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16th Ohio Volunteer Infantry
Where was the regiment on
January 31, 1862

Today, the 16th Ohio, having spent over 11 days in camp near Somerset, Kentucky, packed its gear and began journeying east. It passed through the small town of Grundy, about noon, and continued east on what was described as a "torturous route". Cpl. Theodore Wolbach, Company E, provides more detail:

Noon found us at the little town of Grundy, that looked deserted and drear, but could once boast of its Bank of Issue, and could get up a brawl and a shoot with any of its sister hamlets. ... All the afternoon after leaving Grundy we followed the tortuous route that led us eastward. Tired, sweating and sullen as we bore onward, the majority of the regiment failed to discover anything grand in these frowning hills, with their steep sides studded with jagged rocks and gnarled laurels. ...Night came and found us at a place where the mountain road forked, near the eastern line of Pulaski county. Here we expected to meet our wagon train but were disappointed; they were delayed by the bad roads and did not come up that night, so without tents we bivouacked wherever we could find or construct shelter to keep off the rain. A house near the road furnished quarters for the field officers and some others; out-buildings, the porch at the house, and a still-house not far away, were filled with soldiers. Blazing fires helped to cheer the less fortunate and dry their saturated clothing.

Although research has not yet provided confirming details, it is assumed at some point during the regiment's camp near Somerset, Kentucky, orders were received instructing the regiment's commander, Col. John DeCourcey, to move east toward the Cumberland Mountains and Cumberland Gap, and to join other Union forces gathering in the area with the intention of capturing the strategic geographical fortress of Cumberland Gap, now held by the Confederates.

Period map showing approximate route of the 16th Ohio from near Somerset to a camp one to two miles west of Buck Creek, Pulaski County, Kentucky. It should be noted the portion of this map east of Somerset, including the roads around Grundy, Buk (Buck) Creek and Rockcastle River are highly inaccurate. Matching both period and modern day maps to the details recorded in Cpl Wolbach's Camp & Field articles and Pvt. Peter Perrine's diary has been very difficult. Both records specify the regiment passed through the town of Grundy, Kentucky, then camped about one mile west of Buck Creek, however, Perrine states this was 18 miles from their camp at Somerset which cannot be logically achieved using these maps. It will be assumed that Perrine overstated the mileage on this day.
image from Library of Congress
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