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J.A. Lumbard History Online

 

 

 

Company G, 147th, P. V. I.

 

BY  CORPORAL    J. A. LUMBARD.

 

PRELIMINARIES

The following history was published in the SNYDER COUNTY TRIBUNE, Selinsgrove, PA., J. A. Lumbard Editor, from January 13, 1876 to June 27, 1878.  The document from which this copy was produced consisted of photo-copies from a microfiche copy of a document that was made up from newspaper clippings of the original publication that were pasted into a book.  The copying was very poor and often segments of pages were black in the center of the book when it was not flat enough for the copying.  In addition many pages were speckled with spots that gave the OCR program difficulty with recognition.  While it was possible to guess at most of the missing words, there are six places in the document where the missing words are replaced by question marks, one for each letter that must have been in the word.  The reader is left to supply his/her best guess.

Lumbard appears to have been a frustrated poet and the language is even more flowery than the times would support.  This along with his rather liberal, and seemingly random, use of commas with an accompanying reluctance to use periods, and an excessive use of clichés, makes for tedious reading at times.  However, the recounting of the events is quite interesting and well worth the patience the reader may need to make it to the end.  Many of the events are the same as in the diary of Michael S. Schroyer, but in many places it provides more detail than Schroyer.  It is more than twice the length of Schroyer’s, but then Lumbard often uses two or three times as many words to describe an event than does Schroyer.   W. L. HAFLEY

 

PROLOGUE

The red hand of Treason had drawn the veil of disunion closer and tighter around the National strongholds.  The stars and bars the emblems of slavery and oppres­sion, waved in triumph over a large por­tion of our common country, and for the time being, the Northern Copperheads boastingly asserted "that the North can never subjugate the South,” and that “one southerner was a match for five northern mudsils."  The grand Army of the Po­tomac, under its then lionized commander, General George B. McClellan, had been defeated upon the Peninsula, and had lost heavily in numbers in battle and from death caused by the malaria of the swamps.  General Pope had met the ene­my in the valleys of Northern Virginia, and the defeat of his Army at the second Bull Run, was the final result.

The Rebels emboldened by their suc­cesses, which alone in the department of the South-west had met with reverses at Shiloh and Fort Donelson, were determined to invade the Northern States.  At this critical epoch, the Government issued call for Three Hundred Thousand Vol­unteers to aid in crushing Rebellion.

The Governor of Pennsylvania issued his Proclamation, calling for volunteers for nine months, as well as for three years.  At this period, about the 1st of August 1862, Charles S. Davis, Nelson Byers and William H. Schroyer, prompted by patriotic impulses, recruited a company for the nine months service.  This company was not accepted, as by the time it was fully recruited Gov. Curtin had given official notice that no more nine month men would be accepted at this time.  Snyder County had then already forwarded Capt. George W. Ryan’s nine month company, and which was subsequently denominated company ”F,” and attached to the 131st regiment, P. V. I.  Thus the first com­pany raised by the above named gentle­men was never organized.

The War clouds grew thicker and thicker, and the time had arrived when every man in the country was required to throw his influence into the scales against treason and Rebellion.  The hour was without exception the darkest in our Country’s  history.  The draft of 1862 appeared inev­itable, already had the enrolling officers issued their notices, which included all able bodied males between the ages of 18 and 45.  At this time another effort was made to raise another company, this time for three years.  A large and enthusiastic meeting was held at Selinsgrove, in the old “Union” School-house, on the evening of August 25th, 1862, and which was fol­lowed by meetings at Boyer’s Tavern, Port Trevorton, Freeburg, Beavertown, Beard’s Tavern and Kratzersville, which resulted in recruiting 80 men..

On the 11th and 12th of September, ‘62, those who had volunteered to enlist for three years, began to concentrate at Se­linsgrove, with Head-quarters at the Keystone Hotel, and by the afternoon of the 12th, all were present or accounted for.

At one o’clock, p. m. on Friday, Sept. 12th, the boys were ordered to “fall in” for the first time, and with raised hands took an oath administered by John Em­mit, Esq., to the effect that “we would obey and respect the officers about to be elected by a majority of our Votes.” This being accomplished, the roll was called and the voting done, resulting in the elec­tion of Charles S. Davis, Captain, Nelson Byers and William H. Schroyer, 1st an 2d Lieutenants respectively. Byers was Davis' competitor, and Isaac Smith contest­ed the honor for 2d Lieutenant with Wm. H. Schroyer.  The result of the election gave general satisfaction and we all de­termined to "stand unto the last,” by the officers of our choice.

 

CHAPTER I

THE DEPARTURE

In the foregoing introduction It has been my aim to be brief, while at the same time, I desire to gave an outline of the cir­cumstances and dangers which threatened the general Government at the time the Company was organized, so that when the child of the future shall read the history of the hardships, privations and sufferings of the defenders of the dear old flag, it may form an intelligent idea of the cir­cumstances under which the above named organization entered the service of the Government, prepared for a long and ter­rible war, believing that we would in all human probability be called upon to serve the full term of our enlistment, and not as some supposed who had enlisted in the early part of the war, believing that the war would only be a trifle, or that the north could settle the rebellion in at least thirty days. The thirty day fallacy had been long ago exploded, and the members of Captain Davis’ company were well aware of these facts.

The night of the 12th of September 1862 will long be remembered by many of the citizens of Selinsgrove, it was the night preceding the departure of the company for Harrisburg.  We shall not endeavor to portray any of the events in particular, only in general -- for what was the history of one, was the history of all.  Mothers took an affectionate leave of the son who was going to meet his country’s foe on the field of battle, as they thought of the many chances against a safe return, tears would chase each other down their patriotic cheeks.  Husbands took farewell leave of their wives and children, which many of them should never more behold, and oh, how dear did those little ones ap­pear to the father who pressed them to his bosom, and impressed the good-night kiss for the last time perhaps; and who can imagine unless by experience, the sad parting between husband and wife, the one filled with sad forebodings, whilst the other felt that though he should never see his help-mete again, be was but doing his duty, and with Spartan firmness, he bade his wife dry her tears and hope for the best; he would do his duty and give the rest over into God’s hands.  Then again we had the lovers, who ere they parted vowed eternal constancy and though death might claim the hero, the heroine nobly bade him go, feeling that it was his duty, and she who had a lover march to the front in Company G, felt proud of him and freely gave her idol to her country.

The 18th of September dawned at last, and the quiet little town of Selinsgrove, was bustle and excitement.  The citizens had kindly furnished a large amount at stores which were contributed as a com­missary supply for the Company until we should become acquainted or accustomed to army rations.

At nine o’clock. a. m., the company was drawn up in line in Market St. when each member of the company was presented with a “housewife”—or needle case—pre­pared for the occasion by the patriotic ladies of the town.  At quarter past nine o'clock a. m., headed by the Selinsgrove Cornet Band, the company made its first march.  Reaching the river the parting scenes became general, after which the company and a large number of citizens were conveyed to the other side of the river by means of a large flat.  Owing to a delay in the arrival of the train, we were compelled to spend several hours awaiting its arrival.  During our wait speeches were made by Revs. Hall, Domer and Parks, and here it was that Rev. Domer gave the company the name of

“KEYSTONE GUARDS,"

and how well we merited the title, we shall endeavor to portray in the following imperfectly written history of the Compa­ny in its thirty-three months service.

‘Tis said, “that there is a time for all things,” and so the train at length arrived. With a hasty good-bye, and a long, long look towards the home of childhood, we were soon seated in the box cars, pro­vided for our transportation, a shrill whis­tle of "up brakes” and we were soon thundering down the Northern Central, en route to Harrisburg, and where we in due time safely arrived.  While on our way to camp, marching through the city we were frequently greeted by the urchins with "there goes another lot of ragged - militia - who were then rushing to the front;” we soon made known that we were three year men, and were greeted by the then popular cry of “bully for you.”

 

CHAPTER II

OUR FIRST EXPERIENCE

Upon reaching camp we were placed in Camp Simmons, under command of Captain William Tarbutton, an ex-Methodist minister, and being the only troops at the time in the camp, we were dubbed Tarbutton’s Rangers, Co., A.  Here we first learned that to be a civilian was one thing, whilst being a soldier was certainly quite another.  While the boys were hav­ing a mouth battle, concerning where they were going to place their tents, Captain Tarbutton informed them that HE would dispose of that matter by ordering them WHERE to place their tents.

This was the first indication that we had of what we might expect in the future from those who would be placed in author­ity over us.  And we there and then first learned that. it was a soldier’s first and last duly to obey, without questioning the reasonableness or unreasonableness of the command.

The first afternoon of our camp life was spent in erecting our tents, after which we drew rations, consisting of sugar, cof­fee, bread, beans, rice,  meat, potatoes,  pepper, sa1t, candles and soap, which were stored under a tarpaulin which had been erected for a cook house.

The tents erected, rations drawn, after which a number of the boys started for Harrisburg to "see the sights” and, as it was the last night that we could really ex­pect to be absolutely free from military discipline, we made the most of it and did not return to camp until the “wee sma” hours of morning.

 The first morning that dawned upon us in camp was that of the holy Sabbath.— We were awakened at the break of day, by the salutation: “Fall in for roll call.”— B. T. Parks had charge of the company, and having been a member of Company B, 6th Reserves, it was good sport for him to watch us “green ones” falling into line, and growling at the nonsense of playing soldier in earnest, generally muttering that it will be time enough when once in the field.

The first regular meal in camp, who that had the pleasure to partake of it, will ever forget it? The cups that were dealt out to us were common pint tin cups, and it is useless to attempt to enumerate the burnt fingers, in attempting to prepare that meal, and then with what relish it was eaten.  It did not take long to discover that the members of Co. G, were not experts in the art of cooking, and that it would be necessary to hire or detail a gen­eral cook, whose duty it should be to pre­pare the rations for the company.  This was accomplished by securing Peter Lau­benstine, a former resident of Selinsgrove and who was paid fifty cents per month from each member of the company.

The first day spent in Camp after our arrival was the holy Sabbath, and well do we remember it.  It was a beautiful Sep­tember day, the bight sun shown down upon us with the warmth of midsummer.  The beautiful trees on the ridges on either side of us, were merely visible through the hazy atmosphere, the sweet music made by numerous bells, as they called together those who worshipped the “great Giver of every good and perfect gift,” in our front in the city, taken in connection with the novelty of our situation, served to make an impress on our minds, that the finger of time will find difficult to erase.

It was upon this day that our officers opened the box of provisions that had been prepared by our friends at home and “falling in” around their “A” tent caused the same to be dealt out to the men; each one seating himself upon the ground, with his plate and which by the way was a tin one, upon his lap and his cup of coffee near by.  Thus our first Sunday dinner was eaten in camp, and a noble repast it was, fit for Kings to dine upon, and often during the dark and try­ing times, when owing to the scarcity of “grub” in Uncle Sam’s larder, did our imaginations go out towards that Sunday  dinner

On Monday the 15th, we were examin­ed, and this exhibition owing to its novel­ty, was amusing in the extreme, and did the subject permit, a number of ludic­rous incidents might be given, which un­der the circumstances must remain among the unwritten doings of the company.— A number of the men, amongst them old Danny Herbster seriously objected to go­ing through the “ordeal.” but when they found that if they would march with the company they must submit, they grace­fully gave in and were accepted.  W. S. Keller passed twice, once for himself and also for B. T. Parks, and owing to his pe­culiar formation was detected by the ex­amining Surgeon, who as he passed him turned towards Captain Davis and with a knowing wink said: “Captain, you have two men pretty near alike, but they are both sound, which I suppose is all that you care about.”

The Captain saw the point and very po­litely thanked the Doctor for his kindness. Several of the boys who had enlisted, ow­ing to some bodily deformity, were not accepted..

The examination being over we were mustered into the United States service immediately.  This important step in our history took place about 4 o'clock, P. M. on the same day that we were examined and was performed by Captain Norton, who at the time was laboring under the influence of too much benzene, mustered ­us into service as cavalry, “to serve during  the war.” The latter clause was the cause of frequent contention in the company, as scarcely a half -dozen of the mem­bers agreed as to the time and manner in which they had been mustered.

After being mustered into service next step to be attended to was the draw­ing of the Quarter-master stores. Bright and early on the following morning B. T. Parks, acting Orderly Sergeant, detailed a squad of men and who were sent to the Camp Quartermaster, where they received all the clothing necessary to rig us out completely in Uncle Samuel’s toggery.

The sport now began in good earnest, the clothing consisting of pants, dress and overcoats, drawers, shirts, hose, shoes, ponchos, scales, &c., were distributed among the boys, who hastily exchanged their citizens clothes for "suits or blue," and when they next appeared in the com­pany street, a more ludicrous fantastic sight never greeted mortal sight be­fore.  We were raw recruits and had a great many things yet to learn.  The most of us having taken the clothing just as they had been issued to us, without regard to sizes and here was some of the results:  Luther Parks, the smallest soldier in the Company, was lost in a pair of pants large enough for a six footer, whilst Asa B. Churchill, the company giant, was arrayed in a pair of pants that scarcely reached his knees; Ed Fisher had his head enveloped in a monstrous cap, whilst John K. Stuck had a “wee bit" of a thing perched on the top of his head, while six or seven of the boys were trying to put feet that snugly fit a number 10 boot into number 6 shoes.

After considerable trading with one and another, all at last succeeded in getting suited to their various needs, and when we had everything arranged, even to sewing on of the brass scales, the company presented a very (?) martial appearance.

After we were once fully equipped hav­ing received everything excepting arms and accouterments, we began to play the part of the soldier in good earnest.  Drill morning, noon and evening, was the order of the day.  More recruits began to arrive and we were detailed to stand guard over the camp, armed with clubs.  In those days a corporal was a very important per­sonage.  Calls similar to the following: 

“Corporal of the Guard, post number 115, double-quick,” owing to a change of diet, were quite frequent,

 

CHAPTER III

OUR FIRST LESSONS

On the 17th of September our officers at attempted to procure arms, and begged for permission to march us on towards the field of action, as the rebels were then in­vading “My Maryland.”

Old Captain Tarbutton, to whom the application had been made, politely informed them that they should rest easy, since they and their men would see fighting enough before their term of service would expire.  A verification that was lit­erally fulfilled.

On the 18th of the same month, the wounded from the battle field of Antietam reached Harrisburg, and part of the com­pany was detailed to assist in unloading the cars, freighted with the mangled and maimed Union soldiers, none of whose wounds had as yet been dressed.

To hear the moans and groans of the poor fellows, was sufficient to convince the most stout-hearted of Company G’s boys, that to play soldier was a very dan­gerous game and to say the very least, we had chosen an avocation that would certainly call us to places where death and destruction stalked through the land in an open and defiant manner.

We have always surmised that the experience gained upon that occasion had a great deal to do with several members of our company getting discharged from service on account of physical disability.  ­We remember one of these chaps who car­ried a beg of sweet potatoes on his shoulder on the day he was discharged, when a few hours before, he had been almost too weak to carry his discharge from one ward to the other.

The first guard duty that the company performed with muskets and accouterments, was on the 19th of September, 1862, in the Capitol grounds, upon the occasion of firing a salute of one hundred guns, in honor of the victory obtained over the Rebel Army at Antietam.

It was upon this occasion that the writer halted A. G. Conic, the then great war Governor. Upon being informed as to who it was that stood at the mercy of our bayonet, we brought the old fuzee to a present, recognizing the salute, his Excel­lency passed on.

At this time we were kept very busy do­ing guard duty on the hill.  The Capitol grounds were dotted with tents which had been used by the Militia, who had flocked in by the thousands to defend the State from the invasion which was then being threatened by the Rebels.

Here the members of the company had ample opportunity of playing the part of Sunday soldier in its brightest light.  The grounds were nearly always filled with strangers who visited Harrisburg to catch a glimpse of army life.

Soldiers are apt scholars, and we believe that we can truthfully claim as much aptitude and shrewdness for the members of Company G as was possessed by any other company, or at least it did not take our boys long to learn that it was a good thing to be provided with a piece of raw bacon, the fattest we could get, with several hard-tack, and whenever there would be any persons about who by their actions gave us reason to believe that they were friends of the soldier, we would seat ourselves near them on the ground, take out our “prepared” grub and commence to eat it with the keenest appetite.  As a general thing the first vender of pies and cakes that happened to pass that way would receive an order for the balance of stock, and as a natural result the soldiers would get something better than bacon for that meal.

Part of the above arrangement is what perplexed Peter Laubenstine our cook.  He reported the case to our officers in about the following words;

“I can’t understand what ails the boys, when they go to town they can’t get their meat fat enough and when they are in camp, why I can’t get the meat lean enough, it just beats the ‘old boy.’”

The officers said that it was strange, but it was impossible for them to tell how this change in the diet was brought about.  And as to the company cook he remained in ignorance until long after we left Harrisburg.

Time passed rapidly, we had been in camp two weeks, and the company under B.T. Parks’ skillful hands, was making rapid progress in the school of the company, and we were pronounced by Capt. Tarbutton to be the most efficient troops in camp.

Up to the 30th of September, our officers had not been announced yet, we had been actually awaiting to hear who the favored ones were to be.  At last the appointments were made, and at roll-call on the morning of November 1st, B. T. Parks called the roll in the following order for the first time. (I have added the officers in order that the company roster may be complete.

 

Captain       Charles S. Davis

1st  Lieutenant             Nelson Byers

2nd Lieutenant           William H. Schroyer

        NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS

1st  Sergeant            B. T. Parks

2nd      “                  James E. Lloyd

3rd           “                 George W. Townsend

4th       “                  Henry W. Baker

5th       “                  Franklin M. Stuck

 

1st  Corporal            Isaac D. Whitmer

2nd       “                 John R. Reigel

3rd        “                 Francis W. Wallace

4th        “                 Frederick B. Ulrich

5th        “                 Henry Shrawder

6th        “                 Jeremiah Malick

7th        “                 Samuel H. Bower

8th        “                 George W. VonNeida

MUSICANS

           Lewis C. Schroyer

           Antes Ulrich

                  PRIVATES

App, Solomon                      Millhoff, John

App, Jeremiah                     Miller, Elias

Bingaman, Jno. F.    Moyer, Jeremiah

Churchill, Asa B.     Mull, John

Doebler, Henry J.    Miller, Reuben

Eby, Amantes                     Matter, John

Ehrhart, Daniel                    McFall, William

Fisher, Edward                    Napp, Isaac J.

Fausnacht, W. E.     Nerhood, Jacob

Griggs, George D.   Noll, Elias

Garman, Jacob                    Noaker, George

Gross, Daniel W.     Parks, Calvin E.

Henninger, Win.      Parks, Martin L.

Herbster, Win. H.    Reed, Isaac E.

Herbster, Thomas    Reed, John

Hassinger, Allen      Romig, Levi J.

Hafley, Uriah P.      Reigle, Jacob J.

Herbster, Daniel      Reed, Isaac B.

Haas, John P.                      Schroyer, M. S.

Hathaway, Jere.      Shreffler, Henry E.

Jarrett, Samuel                    Stuck, John K.

Krebbs, Jacob                     Smith, James W.

Keller, William S.    Spade, William

Kreamer, Henry      Swab, Jacob

Knarr, Franklin                    Seesholtz, Win. E.

Kreamer, Daniel W.            Swartz, John A.

Knight, Fred H.       Sholly, Adam S.

Lahr, Peter             Shaffer, Michael S.

Lahr, Daniel D.       Shiffer, Wm. H. H.

Long, John C.                      Templin, Stephen

Lumbard, Joseph A.            Ulsh, Joseph S.

Leider, Jacob                      Ulrich, James P.

Mark, John T.                     ‘űźĽůÔĂÓÂĹÔĂť‘őĐßŘÔݸăÔÔŐť‘řÂĐĐŇ‘óźĽůĐĐÂť‘űŢŮߑ៸¸âŇŮĂŢČÔĂť‘üź‘⟼ůĐĹŮĐĆĐČť‘űÔĂÔź¸âŮĂÔ××ÝÔĂť‘ůÔßĂČ‘ôźĽűĐĂĂÔĹĹť‘âĐÜÄÔݸ¸âĹÄŇÚť‘űŢŮß‘úźĽúĂÔÓÓÂť‘űĐŇŢÓ¸¸âÜŘĹŮť‘űĐÜÔ‘柼úÔÝÝÔĂť‘ćŘÝÝŘĐܑ⟸âÁĐŐÔť‘ćŘÝÝŘĐÜĽúĂÔĐÜÔĂť‘ůÔßĂȸâĆĐÓť‘űĐŇŢÓĽúßĐĂĂť‘÷ĂĐßÚÝŘ߸¸âÔÔÂŮŢÝĹËť‘ćŘßź‘ôźĽúĂÔĐÜÔĂť‘őĐßŘÔݑ柸âĆĐĂĹËť‘űŢŮß‘đźĽúßŘÖŮĹť‘÷ĂÔŐ‘ůź¸âŮŢÝÝČť‘đŐĐܑ⟼ýĐŮĂť‘áÔĹÔø¸âŮĐ××ÔĂť‘üŘŇŮĐÔݑ⟼ýĐŮĂť‘őĐßŘÔÝ‘őź¸âŮŘ××ÔĂť‘ćÜź‘ůź‘ůźĽýŢßÖť‘űŢŮß‘ňź¸¸ĺÔÜÁÝŘßť‘âĹÔÁŮÔ߼ýÄÜÓĐĂŐť‘űŢÂÔÁŮ‘đź¸äÝÂŮť‘űŢÂÔÁّ⟼ýÔŘŐÔĂť‘űĐŇŢÓ¸¸äÝĂŘŇŮť‘űĐÜÔ‘៼üĐĂÚť‘űŢŮߑ埸¸ J.Herbster, Daniel           Reed, Isaac B.Haas, John P.                  Schroyer, M. S.Hathaway, Jere. Shreffler, Henry E.Jarrett, Samuel                      Stuck, John K.Krebbs, Jacob                  Smith, James W.Keller, William S.          Spade, WilliamKreamer, Henry  Swab, JacobKnarr, Franklin                   Seesholtz, Win. E.Kreamer, Daniel W.   Swartz, John A.Knight, Fred H.  Sholly, Adam S.Lahr, Peter                    Shaffer, Michael S.Lahr, Daniel D.         Shiffer, Wm. H. H.Long, John C.                       Templin, StephenLumbard, Joseph A.         Ulsh, Joseph S.Leider, Jacob                  Ulrich, James P.Mark, John T.               ‘űźĽůÔĂÓÂĹÔĂť‘őĐßŘÔݸăÔÔŐť‘řÂĐĐŇ‘óźĽůĐĐÂť‘űŢŮߑ៸¸âŇŮĂŢČÔĂť‘üź‘⟼ůĐĹŮĐĆĐČť‘űÔĂÔź¸âŮĂÔ××ÝÔĂť‘ůÔßĂČ‘ôźĽűĐĂĂÔĹĹť‘âĐÜÄÔݸ¸âĹÄŇÚť‘űŢŮß‘úźĽúĂÔÓÓÂť‘űĐŇŢÓ¸¸âÜŘĹŮť‘űĐÜÔ‘柼úÔÝÝÔĂť‘ćŘÝÝŘĐܑ⟸âÁĐŐÔť‘ćŘÝÝŘĐÜĽúĂÔĐÜÔĂť‘ůÔßĂȸâĆĐÓť‘űĐŇŢÓĽúßĐĂĂť‘÷ĂĐßÚÝŘ߸¸âÔÔÂŮŢÝĹËť‘ćŘßź‘ôźĽúĂÔĐÜÔĂť‘őĐßŘÔݑ柸âĆĐĂĹËť‘űŢŮß‘đźĽúßŘÖŮĹť‘÷ĂÔŐ‘ůź¸âŮŢÝÝČť‘đŐĐܑ⟼ýĐŮĂť‘áÔĹÔø¸âŮĐ××ÔĂť‘üŘŇŮĐÔݑ⟼ýĐŮĂť‘őĐßŘÔÝ‘őź¸âŮŘ××ÔĂť‘ćÜź‘ůź‘ůźĽýŢßÖť‘űŢŮß‘ňź¸¸ĺÔÜÁÝŘßť‘âĹÔÁŮÔ߼ýÄÜÓĐĂŐť‘űŢÂÔÁŮ‘đź¸äÝÂŮť‘űŢÂÔÁّ⟼ýÔŘŐÔĂť‘űĐŇŢÓ¸¸äÝĂŘŇŮť‘űĐÜÔ‘៼üĐĂÚť‘űŢŮߑ埸¸poral were sent to the German Reformed Church Hospital, corner of Third and Chestnut Sts., as well as a similar detail to the Walnut St., Cotton Factory and River Hospital.  The boys had the run of the city, all that was necessary was to have a pass countersigned by any of Sergeants’ on duty, and it was surprising  to see how many Sergeants the company had.  In the language of Col. Charles Kleckner, then acting Provost Marshal of the city, “every d—d man of them is a Sergeant, for my patrol now have in their possession the hand writing of at least 16 men, all purporting to be Sergeants  in Captain Charles Davis’ Company.

For upwards of two months the Company was on detached duty in the city, and the temptations to which the boys were  exposed were of such a character as to be a snare to the feet of many of the unsophisticated youths of the company, to say nothing of the older ones.

At the time when Company G, known as Captain Davis’ Snyder company, made its appearance on the scene, Bob Edward’s Concert Saloon was in its zenith, and the ballet, as well as the prevailing, eccentricities of the hour were nightly delineated by male and female STARS, to the great delight and astonishment of the gaping crowds of soldiers and among which might generally be noticed a fair sprinkling of Company “G’s” warriors.  Among the pleasant recollections connected with the concert saloon, then occupying the building opposite the Jail, near the State Capitol Hotel, are the now extinct “war songs,” not extinct be­cause they form a large portion of the reminiscences of the times which tried the hearts of the patriots of 1861--5, those charming songs, rendered by Julie Edwards and Lizzie Francis, among which we now call to mind: “We are going to fight for Uncle Sam,” “My Mary1and,” “Hurrah for General McClellan and the. Union Volunteers,” which seldom if ever, failed to draw forth an encore.  While speaking of the “Gaiety songs” we dare not forget “Ever of Thee,” and “Lauderbaugh,” names which carry us back to the time, when clothed in Uncle Sam’s suit of  blue, seated within its “classic” walls sipping lager, we just more than threw ourselves upon the wave of dissipation and lived upon the fleeting pleasures of the day, which were sure to bring us a heavy head in the morning, which would cause us to resolve “never to get drunk any more.”

Every organization has its character and we believe that Company G had its full share of them.  We cannot forget old Danny Kreamer, who wore a monstrous pair of green spectacles, and who upon a certain well-known occasion remarked that “he did not believe that he ever saw Sergeant Baker in a general manner.”

It was the same chap who after being treated to a breakfast on farina, brought to the Chestnut street hospital by Mrs. Small, said: “Well, I am a pretty old man, but I’ll be blamed if ever I eat mush and milk for breakfast.”  While we are speaking of this eccentric character, we may as well mention that Danny dealt in “charms,” consisting of printed slips, on which were printed words which were to protect the person who carried them from violence or dangers of any sort, and when he attempted to sell one to Serg’t George Townsend, for the moderate price of 25 cents, found himself caught by the throat in the iron grip of the Sergeant, who said: “Danny, this is too thin, your papers are no good,” and he choked the charm vend­er until his tongue hung out.

Of course the boys all remember who it was that guarded that “little Bucktail” Sergeant in the guard-house, and the accident which befell the valiant guard who became exhausted for want of sleep, and who rolled down the bank, greatly to the detriment of his clothing, and who was probably saved from freezing by the interference of Corporal Fred H. Knight who kindly assisted him into the “markee” and who just as freely helped him out in the morning, and why it was done.  We know that up to this time be has never been able to clean his skirts of the strange affair, while all those who slept in that markee that night, aver that there certainty was ‘something rotten in Dan(ny) mark.’

We trust that the members of the Company will accept the little pleasantries in the same spirit in which they are written, and not get angry, as we shall endeavor to give a correct account of the doings of the “boys,” and one and all will receive full credit for all that befell them, as far as we can remember the facts, or recall the funny incidents to mind.

The company had a number of accomplished foragers, who not only distinguished themselves in raids upon the enemy, but who made it a point to visit the markets early in the morning, and before the venders were up, take advantage of buying anything “cheap” that they could lay hands on, of course the boys had no money or at least very little, and the edibles displayed were too tempting to be resisted, and so general did this “foraging” become that nearly every member of the company had a large pocket made in the inside of the overcoat, and which was appropriately called the union “confiscation” pocket.

We remember upon a certain occasion that two of No. l’s mess, took sweet potatoes out from under a man who had his bed on them, and then finished up the job by walking off with some ten or fif­teen pounds of sausage, which served to gladden the hearts of the mess.

Nor can we forget the German “Kost­hause,” with its tempting motto: ”Kum do rouse stu dem Deitchen hause,” on the old weather beaten sign, kept by old “Mommy” and Nicholas, he who loved his “schnaps” so well, in the part of the city known as Verbecktown.  It was here that a number of the boys made their head-quarters and many an interesting little squib might be written of the events transpired here.

We could tell as how Daniel Ehrhart upon a certain occasion gave the old lady a two dollar bill in payment for a “bitters” and when she could not change it, he ordered her to give him credit for the bal­ance and how that balance was wiped out that afternoon, so that when Ehrhart in the evening came to get his “night cap,” and ordered it taken from his credit, just how surprised he looked when old Mommy said:

“Du lieber Gott im himmel mon, das geldt ist shunt long aus gedrunken.”

Ehrhart never found out who it was that squandered his credit., although he vowed vengeance on the guilty ones.

It was here that ten and twelve of the company would lodge in one room with three beds in it.  As a general thing eve­rything passed off smoothly as long as there were only three men for each bed, but when the fourth man came, then the circus would commence, and the struggle between the “ins” and the “outs” waxed warm.  We had the pleasure (?) of trying to sleep in the room one night, and we are free to confess that we scarcely received our “levy’s” worth of sleep.  It was the night that Lot Ulrich had placed a large carpet tack in one of Danny Herbster’s shoes, and then invited the old man to go along out to get a drink, knowing full well that if there was a man in the company that would not get up out of bed and put on his shoes for a drink of whiskey, that man was not old Danny.  To judge from the way the old man ripped out the Sny­der county “Dutch” we had no doubt but that the tack got in its work successfully.  Herbster accused C. E. Parks of setting up the job, and it was with great difficulty that the old man was prevented from doing Parks bodily harm.  The difficulty was at last amicably arranged by Parks setting up the “Greek fire,” for Danny and his boon companion, Levi J. Romig.

 

CHAPTER V

FIRST FORAGING EPEDITION

Camp life in Harrisburg, was somewhat monotonous, guard mounts in the morning our regular morning detail for city hospital duty, throngs of visitors, pie girls and venders of all kinds, with an occasional dress parade turned off by Adjutant General Russell, made up our every day existence, and we naturally longed for some other excitement to aid us in passing the time.  Never will we forget our first foraging expedition, it consisted of Serg’ts Stuck, Lloyd, Baker, Knight, Witmer, Corp. F. B. Ulrich, Lot Ulrich, W. E Fausnacht, Antes Ulrich and the writer.  Early in the morning we passed out of camp, under the pretext of going for wat­er, taking several camp kettles with us, and which we concealed at the stock-yard tavern near the canal west of the camp.  We crossed the canal and started for the Lunatic Asylum, passing through the ground connected with the Institution we met a number of the inmates, who were out taking their morning walk, under the surveillance of their keepers.  Reaching the building, we rang the door bell and were admitted.  We passed through the building and noticed a large number of unfortunate men and women, who bereft of reason, made their homes within its walls, and who were evidently as well taken care of as it was possible under the circumstances.

We were forcibly impressed with one of the men confined in the Asylum, and we shall never forget the advice given us by the “old General” as he delighted to style himself, owing to the strange hallucinations under which he labored, believing himself to be General Jackson.  He was a fine looking man, tall and of a military appearance, with a snow white beard and hair, his eyes sparkling with the luster of insanity, walking up to where we were grouped he addressed us as follows:

“Soldiers, when you have fought as many battles as the old General has, you will learn the importance of always carrying a bale of cotton with you, and above all, don’t forget to make good use of you bayonets,” and with a graceful military salute he passed into his room and close the door behind him.

After we had spent some time in examining everything in and about the Asylum, we decided to start out into the country to get a good dinner.

Unfortunately for us the citizens had been greatly annoyed by the soldiers, as great numbers had been encamped in the vicinity, from the first days of the war up to the present time, and they were consequently not as ready, and probably not as able as they once were, to minister to our wants.  We walked about three miles back of the Asylum and as it was about dinner time, Serg’t knight and the writer were detailed to go to a farm house and make arrangements for dinner.  We did not succeed at the first two places but at the third place we stopped the family was making preparations to seat themselves at the table, making our errand known, and were politely informed that they could not give us all dinner, but that if we would seat ourselves we should have our wants supplied.

Taking advantage of their hospitality we seated ourselves at the table, and had soon forgotten our less fortunate companions, who were out in the orchard near the house, anxiously awaiting a summons to dinner.

We ate heartily, and when the hostess handed the pie around, we informed her that we believed we would take pie our out to our hungry comrades: The ruse worked well, we were told to eat our pieces, and when we had finished our dinner, we were given two pies, a loaf of bread, about a pound of butter and a crook of milk, to be carried out to our other foragers.  We offered to pay for our dinners, as well as for the provisions given us for the boys in the orchard, but the kind and generous hearted farmer and his wife, positively refused to take any pay for the victuals given us.

Thanking them kindly we gathered up our rations and hastened to where we had left the rest of our comrades. When we came in sight with our arms ladened with the commissary stores, we were received with a hearty three times three.

The provisions were soon dispatched, after which we returned the dishes to the house and started out on our expedition again.  In the rear of the orchard we discovered a large brood of chickens, and at once made an onslaught upon them, capturing several of their number whose heads were soon severed by the aid of a large sheath-knife that Corporal Freddy Ulrich carried with him.  It was here that  Freddy received a name by which he is today best known by to the boys of the company, namely “Kevic.”  He had drawn the knife out of the sheath, to cut the head off of one of the fowls and had dropped it, Lot Ulrich picked it up.  As soon as Freddy missed it, he asked if any one had seen his “Kevic,” which is the German name for sheath.

The next farmhouse we struck there was no one at home, although the door was open.  We entered and at once struck for the pantry, in search of edibles to eat.  We scarcely found the edibles ere the man of the house arrived upon the scene, having been engaged in plowing in a field near the house.

We at once made our wants known and he kindly furnished us with an abundant supply of bread, butter, apple-butter and all the milk we could drink.  After our appetites had been appeased Serg’t Baker who had some of the company funds, realized from the sale of fat and other surplus rations, offered to pay the bill, but the man refused to take anything for it.  We passed through the barn-yard, which was filled with fowls of all kinds, but his kindness, and the fact that he went with us, prevented the boys from going for any of them.

We started for camp by another road, and entering a stable we passed in our tramp, W. E. Fausnacht grabbed an old rooster as did several others of the boys.  The captured fowls made considerable commotion, through which the man in the house was notified of our proceedings, he came running out with a shot gun, and we scampered down the hill taking the chickens with us.  He ordered us to drop the fowls which we refused to do, but one and all breathed much freer when out of reach of his old “fuzee.”  Nothing of any importance occurring we reached camp in due time.

The next question which presented itself was, “who will prepare the chickens?”— This question was answered by Sergeant Stuck. who by the way was a regular “pot rattler.”  Frank succeeded right well, only Captain Davis said that he had more hearts for the same number of fowls, than he had ever before seen. The chickens were at length prepared, and those who were fortunate to be in the crowd of foragers, succeeded in getting a number one supper, we however did not fail in making a clean job of it, even the kettle was licked out so clean that Pete Lauben­stine did not need wash it before he made coffee in it next morning for breakfast.

 

CHAPTER VI

EXCITIMENT IN CAMP

About this time a tragedy was enacted in the city which occasioned great excitement in Camp.  It will be remembered by our readers that a little six year old daughter of Mr. E. S. German the Bookseller, was abducted from her home, and after having been brutally ravished, was found dead in a strip of woods near the cemetery, and it was reported that the child had been seen in company with a man dressed in the uÔÔŐ‘ĆĐÂŮ‘ŘĹ‘ÓÔ×ŢĂÔ‘ŮÔ‘ÜĐŐÔ‘ŇŢ××ÔÔ‘Řß‘ŘĹ‘ßÔÉĹ‘ÜŢĂßŘßÖ‘×ŢĂ‘ÓĂÔĐÚ×ĐÂĹźĽĽňůđáĺôă‘çřĽôéňřĺřüô˙ĺ‘ř˙‘ňđüáĽđÓŢÄĹ‘ĹŮŘ‘ĹŘÜÔ‘Đ‘ĹĂĐÖÔŐČ‘ĆĐ‘ÔßĐŇĹÔŐ‘Řß‘ĹŮÔ‘ŇŘĹČ‘ĆŮŘŇŮ‘ŢŇŇĐÂŘŢßÔŐ‘ÖĂÔĐĹ‘ÔÉŇŘĹÔÜÔßĹ‘Řß‘ňĐÜÁź‘‘řĹ‘ĆŘÝÝ‘ÓÔ‘ĂÔÜÔÜÓÔĂÔŐ‘ÓČ‘ŢÄĂ‘ĂÔĐŐÔĂ‘ĹŮĐĹ‘Đ‘ÝŘĹĹÝÔ‘ÂŘÉ‘ČÔĐĂ‘ŢÝŐ‘ŐĐÄÖŮĹÔĂ‘ŢבüĂź‘ôź‘âź‘öÔĂÜĐß‘ĹŮÔ‘óŢŢÚÂÔÝÝÔĂť‘ĆĐ‘ĐÓŐÄŇĹÔŐ‘×ĂŢÜ‘ŮÔĂ‘ŮŢÜÔť‘ĐßŐ‘Đ×ĹÔĂ‘ŮĐÇŘßÖ‘ÓÔÔß‘ÓĂÄĹĐÝÝČ‘ĂĐÇŘÂŮÔŐť‘ĆĐ‘×ŢÄßŐ‘ŐÔĐŐ‘Řß‘Đ‘ÂĹĂŘÁ‘ŢבĆŢŢŐ‘ßÔĐĂ‘ĹŮÔ‘ŇÔÜÔĹÔĂČť‘ĐßŐ‘ŘĹ‘ĆĐ‘ĂÔÁŢĂĹÔŐ‘ĹŮĐĹ‘ĹŮÔ‘ŇŮŘÝŐ‘ŮĐŐ‘ÓÔÔß‘ÂÔÔß‘Řß‘ŇŢÜÁĐßČ‘ĆŘĹŮ‘Đ‘ÜĐß‘ŐĂÔÂÂÔŐ‘Řß‘ĹŮÔ‘Äeed wash it before he made coffee in it next morning for breakfast.CHAPTER VIEXCITIMENT IN CAMPAbout this time a tragedy was enacted in the city which occasioned great excitement in Camp.  It will be remembered by our readers that a little six year old daughter of Mr. E. S. German the Bookseller, was abducted from her home, and after having been brutally ravished, was found dead in a strip of woods near the cemetery, and it was reported that the child had been seen in company with a man dressed in the uÔÔŐ‘ĆĐÂŮ‘ŘĹ‘ÓÔ×ŢĂÔ‘ŮÔ‘ÜĐŐÔ‘ŇŢ××ÔÔ‘Řß‘ŘĹ‘ßÔÉĹ‘ÜŢĂßŘßÖ‘×ŢĂ‘ÓĂÔĐÚ×ĐÂĹźĽĽňůđáĺôă‘çřĽôéňřĺřüô˙ĺ‘ř˙‘ňđüáĽđÓŢÄĹ‘ĹŮŘ‘ĹŘÜÔ‘Đ‘ĹĂĐÖÔŐČ‘ĆĐ‘ÔßĐŇĹÔŐ‘Řß‘ĹŮÔ‘ŇŘĹČ‘ĆŮŘŇŮ‘ŢŇŇĐÂŘŢßÔŐ‘ÖĂÔĐĹ‘ÔÉŇŘĹÔÜÔßĹ‘Řß‘ňĐÜÁź‘‘řĹ‘ĆŘÝÝ‘ÓÔ‘ĂÔÜÔÜÓÔĂÔŐ‘ÓČ‘ŢÄĂ‘ĂÔĐŐÔĂ‘ĹŮĐĹ‘Đ‘ÝŘĹĹÝÔ‘ÂŘÉ‘ČÔĐĂ‘ŢÝŐ‘ŐĐÄÖŮĹÔĂ‘ŢבüĂź‘ôź‘âź‘öÔĂÜĐß‘ĹŮÔ‘óŢŢÚÂÔÝÝÔĂť‘ĆĐ‘ĐÓŐÄŇĹÔŐ‘×ĂŢÜ‘ŮÔĂ‘ŮŢÜÔť‘ĐßŐ‘Đ×ĹÔĂ‘ŮĐÇŘßÖ‘ÓÔÔß‘ÓĂÄĹĐÝÝČ‘ĂĐÇŘÂŮÔŐť‘ĆĐ‘×ŢÄßŐ‘ŐÔĐŐ‘Řß‘Đ‘ÂĹĂŘÁ‘ŢבĆŢŢŐ‘ßÔĐĂ‘ĹŮÔ‘ŇÔÜÔĹÔĂČť‘ĐßŐ‘ŘĹ‘ĆĐ‘ĂÔÁŢĂĹÔŐ‘ĹŮĐĹ‘ĹŮÔ‘ŇŮŘÝŐ‘ŮĐŐ‘ÓÔÔß‘ÂÔÔß‘Řß‘ŇŢÜÁĐßČ‘ĆŘĹŮ‘Đ‘ÜĐß‘ŐĂÔÂÂÔŐ‘Řß‘ĹŮÔ‘Äeed wash it before he made coffee in it next morning for breakfast.CHAPTER VIEXCITIMENT IN CAMPAbout this time a tragedy was enacted in the city which occasioned great excitement in Camp.  It will be remembered by our readers that a little six year old daughter of Mr. E. S. German the Bookseller, was abducted from her home, and after having been brutally ravished, was found dead in a strip of woods near the cemetery, and it was reported that the child had been seen in company with a man dressed in the un for the tossers, but proved to be next thing to death, to the one being tossed.”

At this time the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Cavalry was lying in camp, they afforded our boys considerable sport, as they were learning their horses to jump over a rail fence.  A number of the men knew nothing at all about riding, whilst many of the horses knew nothing about jumping, and more than one laughable circumstance was the result.  Whenever any of the men made an unusual awkward appearance, he was greeted with cheers, which usually had the effect of getting the cavalry officers on their ears, and the result would be that we would be driven away.

About one of the first mishaps that befell any of the company boys, was the arrest of Stephen Templin and the placing of him in the guard-house for several hours.  One of the sporting ladies of the city happened to find her way into Camp whilst intoxicated, and with her glib tongue attacked all who came within her reach.  Her ribald jests were cheered by the large crowd of soldiers by whom she was surrounded.  About the time that the occurrence was at its height, a number of the boys had secured camp kettles and mess pans and were proceeding to drum her out of Camp, Captain Tarbutton arrived upon time scene and seeing that our Steve was enjoying the affair immensely, had him placed in the guard-house, to appease the dignity of outraged military discipline.

Our officers at once took steps to have him released, and when the matter was explained to Captain Tarbutton, he ordered Templin to be released. We welcomed him back to the company with three cheers and a tiger.

On the 15th of November, Rev. O. O. Hall, who had gone along with the company to Harrisburg, with the intention of becoming the Chaplain of the regiment to which the company would become attached, took sick with small-pox, was sent home and died on the 30th of the same month.  He was buried at night in the Evangelic Lutheran Cemetery in Selinsgrove

 

CHAPTER VII

HARRISBURG SOLDIER LIFE

Among the many characters which served to fill up the membership of Company G, we will not forget Sergeant George Townsend.  George was a native of Maine, he had been a soldier in the 8th Massachusetts, had been in the riot in Baltimore on the 19th of April, and participated in the battle of Bull Run, had followed the sea for a number of years, was always ready for a fight or a frolic, and as may well be imagined when under the influence of “grog” which was pretty much all the time, he was rather a privileged character and was allowed to do pretty much as he pleased.

One morning George was Sergeant of the guard, with head-quarters at the Chestnut Street Hospital.  He gave the post in charge of Corp. Witmer, and started out on a lark, and by 10 o’clock was sailing under a pretty heavy head of “steam,” and while promenading one of the streets he fell in with Jack Williams, a notorious bad negro and a very giant in strength.  Just how the affair commenced will never be exactly known, but the result was a fight between the two.  The first intimation that we had of the affair was the announcement made by “Black Dick,” the half-witted colored lad, who for so many years run in front of the trains on the N. C. Railway at Harrisburg, and who but a few years ago met his death by being run over by a locomotive, came up to the Chestnut Street Hospital, where he gave the alarm saying, that the “sojers and de kullud men are fitin,” and that we had better hurry up or they would kill “de sojers.”  The guard hastened to the scene of the conflict, and as soon as they left, all the inmates of the hospital who were able to move, hastened to assist the soldiers.  When we arrived at the place where the fighting was going on, we found Serg’t Townsend under the darkey, bleeding from a stab in the mouth, and surrounded by a large number of negroes, the Serg’t was pretty well played out.  Ed. Fougat a member of Co. “A,” 127th P. V. I., threw a stone which bare1y missed the darkey’s head, and then seizing a club made for the darkey.  Williams jumped up and run into a negro shanty, into which he was followed and caught up on the loft.  A “Buck-tail” Sergeant had secured a hatchet and with it struck the darkey several strokes on the head sufficient to fell an ox, and which only had the effect of making him shake his woolly cranium.  The boys were determined to finish him, and finding that they had a tough customer on hand, U. P. Hafley attempted to wrench the musket out of the hands of Jacob Leider, who had been on guard at the Third St. entrance at the ­time the alarm was brought to the hospital, and who had taken his gun along.  Leider held on to the gun, and as it had a bayonet attached it was a fortunate thing for the negro as well all concerned that Hafley did not get the gun.  The darkey finally raised himself from the floor with two or three men clinging to him.  He was at last thrown down head foremost, and strange to say escaped without injury.  A number or women had gathered in the shanty, and their screams were frightful in the extreme.  At last the patrol arrived on the ground, and the darkey was arrested and taken to jail.

Court being in session, the following day the darkey was arraigned, indicted upon the charge of assault and battery with intent to kill.  He was tried, found guilty and sentenced to the Eastern Penitentiary for three years and six months.  We have always felt as though the sentence was rather an imposition upon justice.  Jos. C. McAlarney, Esq., formerly of this place defended Serg’t Townsend.

The Company made White Hall Saloon its Head-quarters and almost any hour of the day, one or the other of the boys were to be met in the institution.

 

CHAPTER VIII

HARRISBUBG LIFE CONTINUED

We do not pretend to give the entire history of each individual member of the company, since that would be a much more difficult task than we would be willing or able to perform, but we hall endeavor to give all the main facts, as well as many of the minor events as they occurred under our immediate observation, or were related to us at the time of their occurrence.

To show how soon a soldier becomes inured to the hardships and privations of a soldier’s life, as well as becomes hardened to scenes and acts which before his entry into service would have appeared to be almost impossible, and in support of this proposition, we need but narrate an event which took place one evening at the River Hospital, about six weeks after we had been mustered into service.  We generally slept in some of the tents connected with the hospitals, but it frequently happened that the tents were used as dead houses, that is, used as a place to keep those in who died in the hospital during the day, and owing to the number of severely wounded men at the time, there were often as many as three or four dear persons in the outside tent, awaiting the arrival of friends or relatives to take them to their homes for interment.  At first when the tent had any dead in, the boys would sleep on the outside.  This soon however played out, and one night when there were four dead soldiers placed in the tent on stretchers, we prepared to retire for the night, and as the greater part of the tent was filled with the dead, we were compelled to run our feet and legs under the aforesaid stretchers.  We had just settled down for a good snooze, when one of the boys placed his knees on the bottom of the first stretcher and with a steady pressure raised the center of the stretcher up, and as a natural consequence the dead man, without a warning, fell with a heavy “thud” upon us.  He was lifted back upon the stretcher and we prepared anew for sleep, about the time we were nearly ready to drop off to the land of Nod, when one of the boy’s said: “Gol­ly boys wouldn’t we jump up if one of these dead fellows were to commence to scratch around above us.”  No sooner said than up went the knees and down came the dead man. We lifted the corpse up and placed it on its rest, and after passing a number of jokes went to sleep, and were awakened in the morning by Will Seesholtz, who let himself drop upon us, thinking of course that it was the dead man, and raising up we attempted to place him upon the stretcher.  Seesholtz began to struggle, and only being partly awake, we for the time thought the dead had come to life again.  We however soon discovered our mistake, and Billy was pitched out of the tent a flying.

It was certainly an amusing episode in ‘our soldier lives when we caught the first “gray-backs.”  A number of the hospital guards slept in the boxes which contained the clothing of the wounded inmates of the hospital, and the result was that we became kinder over run with the vermin before we knew it.  Not knowing what was the matter, as an eruption was breaking out on various parts of our bodies and thinking that it, might be itch, we called on one of the Hospital Surgeons, informing him that we were troubled with a kind of a rash, which we wished he wo’d give us something for.  He asked us to show him the rash(?) which we did.  He only laughed and stated that the rash was caused by “gray-backs” on our persons, and that just as soon as we would rid ourselves of the “gray-backs,” the “rash” would go away. A statement which we found to be correct.

Time passed pleasantly in the main, the company had its hands full, guard duty during the day and sight seeing at night, and many were the humorous adventures that our boys got into, and here we will mention that one of the boys, D. W. Gross got lost near a red coal pile, for says Dan although a little befuddled his logic was correct, “red looks black at night, and it was the blackest pile that ever I saw.”

The first Rebels that we had the privilege of seeing were encamped for a short time in Camp Simmons, having been captured at Antietam.  They numbered over 200, and from what we afterwards learn­ed were a pretty fair specimen of the Confederate Soldiery.  It was amusing to us to hear them talk in their drawling Southern vernacular, whilst at the same time we were impressed with their martial  appearance.

It was here that a number of our boys found fault with the manner in which the authorities treated these prisoners as several of the Rebel officers were escorted through the city, and even taken to min­strel performance, in which that great negro delineator of the day, Sam Sharpley, gave the Johnnies several home thrusts.  The prisoners in camp as far as drawing rations were concerned lived better than we did, as they drew a superior article of ham, whilst we were compelled to subsist on “sow-belly” and “salt-horse.”  We had every reason to believe that these prisoners rather enjoyed their captivity.

 

CHAPTER IX

FRENCH FURLOUGH

During our stay at Harrisburg, the boys frequently took advantage of the facilities afforded them by the Northern Central Railroad, and left for home on what was then termed “French” furloughs, or in truth and in fact, without furlough or per­mit.  The famous expedition down the Cumberland Valley for ARMS, will no doubt be remembered by many of mem­bers of the Company.

On the evening of the 18th of October, the officers announced to the Company that they wou1d that night proceed down the Cumberland valley, perhaps as far down as Carlisle Barracks, in order to procure arms for the company.

In the language of the day, the story would do to tell Marines, but volunteers would choke on it.  A number of the boys were detailed to keep a watch on the officers, whilst all who had colat suf­ficient on hand to pay their way home made hasty arrangements to take the Cumberland Valley (?) train in order to assist the officers to load the arms.

It was soon determined that the officers were going down the valley via Selinsgrove, and as soon as they got on board the rear car, about 20 of the company’s boys got on the front car.  And when the train stopped at Selinsgrove, the surprise to Capt. Davis and his Lieutenants can be much better imagined than described.

A few words of explanation followed, and then Serg’t Eby informed the Captain that as soon as we had learned that the Company was to be equipped with arms from the Cumberland Valley, the boys had concluded that if they were to see their friends and homes once more, that this most undoubtedly would be their last opportunity.

The explanation was satisfactory, and the Captain laughed and gave them all permission to remain in Selinsgrove until Monday morning, then ordering the boys to “fall in” he moved us forward.  As we crossed the river, Lt. Schroyer remarked: “I am glad that its so early and that but few people are about yet, as they would certainly imagine that the war is over and that the company is returning in a body.”  And to tell the truth the length of the column warranted the expression.

It was during this visit that an affair occurred in town that caused considerable feeling at that time in the company.  It happened that a large number of boys who came home were democrats, and, as they remained at home until after the election, which was the contest in which the Hon. Isaac Slenker was elected Auditor General, a number of the prominent Republicans of the town found fault with the Captain and accused him of having brought them home for the occasion, whilst he had kept the Republicans at Harrisburg.  This charge was so notoriously unjust that it was resented by the Republican members of the Company.  The truth of the matter was that the men came home without the knowledge of the officers.

 

CHAPTER X

THE 147TH  P. V. I.

Shortly after the events narrated in the previous chapter, an event took place which sealed the destiny of our company.

On the 10th of November, Major John Craig of the 147th P.V.I., arrived at Harrisburg in search of new companies to recruit the Regiment to ten companies as required in order to entitle the regiment to its full compliment of field officers.

The regiment was then lying at Harper’s Ferry, under command of Colonel Arlo Pardee, Jr., late Major of the 28th P. V. I.  This was Col. John W. Geary’s old regiment and was organized with fifteen companies, and owing to an order from the War Department which called for the consolidation of all regiments with more than the usual number of companies to ten, the officers of the five surplus companies, viz. L,M,N,O and P decided upon organizing a new regiment to be denominated the 147th of the line.

It was with this object in view that Major Craig visited Harrisburg, he succeeded in getting Company “F” which was then lying in camp, having been recruited in Luzerne County, mostly in and around Hazelton, and commanded by Jacob Kreider, who was perhaps better known as old “Jack of Clubs.”

Major Craig made application for our company to join his regiment, and on the morning of the 12th of November, the officers of the company called the men in line and put the question of joining the old regiment, or whether they would wait until a new regiment was formed, to a vote of the company.

The boys were anxious to see service and with but one dissenting voice they voted to become Company G, 147th P.V.I.  Thus the fate of the company was sealed, and we sincerely believe, when we take into consideration the history of the organization, that an over ruling Providence had much to do with our selection.

At this time there was another company of men in camp, recruited from the whole of the United States including New Jersey, officered by Captain Alfred Schwartz and Lt. Daniel Bower, formerly editor of the Shamokin Herald, better known in after days as “Lt. Walk-Your-Beat.” This also joined the regiment and became Company H.

Our officers on the 14th of November then made application to be relieved from duty at the hospitals, which was promised should be done just as soon as any other troops could be furnished to take our place.

After this step was taken, the boys felt that they would soon be called to perform a soldier’s duty in good earnest, proceeded to make the best of the time allotted to them in Harrisburg.

It was whilst we were waiting to be relieved that Corp. Freddy Ulrich came to the Chestnut Street Hospital with a gentleman of Jewish descent, Freddy having informed him that our company was composed of “pack” carriers.  The Jew tho’t that Freddy meant that we had a Jew company, whereas Freddy only referred to the knapsacks which we were compelled to carry.  The stranger saw the joke and taking a number of the boys to Koenig’s Lager Beer Saloon, soon succeeded in getting them all full of beer and patriotism.  It was whilst in this condition that we visited the brewery and watched the modus operandi of manufacturing the liquid.

Whilst one the employees was up on a platform playing a stream of water through rubber hose from a hydrant into a large stand, containing the “mash,” Freddy Ulrich took advantage of the man when be had his back turned on the hydrant, and shut off the water.  When the man, who was a German, discovered the trick that had been played upon him, his tongue which appeared to be loose at both ends let fly a volley of German adjectives that almost staggered those who heard them.  Freddy nothing daunted, requested him to speak United States, which only added fuel to the flames.  The foreman came to the rescue, and the matter was settled by handing around a big copper dipper filled with fresh lager, which had the effect of restoring peace and harmony.

One of the characters who frequented Chestnut St., was “Fiery Facias,” a per­son whom some of the boys have occasion to remember to this day.

It was about this time, the 18th of November, that the body of John W. McBay, a member of  Captain George W. Ryan’s company, who died in Virginia, pass­ed through Harrisburg; a number of the boys went to the depot out of respect for him.  This event gave rise to the expression by  the “little one” [M. L. Parks,] of  “oh, how can a Selinsgrove man die with­out a bullet in his heart?”

After returning from the train, U. P. Hafley, D. W. Gross and the writer were arrested by the patrol, and taken to the guard-house. When we arrived there we met Levi H. Patterson, formerly a play­mate of ours, and who now was a member of company “A,” 127th, P. V. I., who interceded for us, and we were permitted to bunk with the guards.

On the following morning early we were taken before the Provost Marshal, Col. Chas. Kleckner, who heard us and gave us a paper previously prepared and sealed which he instructed us to give to the first patrol we should meet, and then dismissed us.  As soon as we were out of sight of the office, we opened the document and read as follows:

“Take these men to their quarters.”

Of course we did not think it necessary to have an “escort” since we were only privates, and made our way to hospital head-quarters without meeting a guard, and reached there just in time to go on boat.

Quite a number of the members of the company during our stay at Harrisburg had been arrested by the patrol, but were always released in the moaning. One night however Henry Kreamer, Jeremiah Hathaway, Peter Lahr and several more were escorted to camp and placed upon the camp sanitary corps.  They had halted on their way out to camp and purchased penny musical instruments.  They came into camp, fully representing the “Little German Band.”

Upon one occasion, Serg’t Stuck and about 20 of the company were “gobbled” up at the depot.  As soon as the provost guard moved the column, which was in charge of a corporal, the boys decided that Stuck out-ranked the Corporal, and that he must take command, which he at once did.  For more than an hour we pa­raded the streets of Harrisburg.  When the Corporal in charge of the squad gave the command to “file left,” Stuck would countermand the order by a decided ‘right flank,’ and the boys would obey his com­mand greatly to the chagrin of the corporal.  Reaching the Provost Marshal’s office at last, Col. Kleckner informed us that since we belonged to the Snyder County Company, we might consider ourselves discharged, after which he ordered Serg’t Stuck to march us back to our quarters.

Nov. 20th, we received two months pay and two dollars bounty.  Thus equipped a number of the boys visited the Gaiety, and made a famous night of it, Serg’t Townsend and several of the boys got in­to a fight, and had they not been reinforc­ed by Lt. Schroyer and several others, who heard of the fight on the street, they would in all human probability have been ­cleaned out, as it was they came off conquerors.  The boys placed the “little one,” who as usual was conspicuous in jobs of this kind, upon their shoulders and march­ed off in triumph.

 

CHAPTER XI

OUR LAST NIGHT IN HARRISBURG

We had now been in Harrisburg two months and six days, during which time we had made many firm friends, amongst whom we would mention the Smalls, Boy­ers, and Reighards, and it was with feel­ings akin to sorrow that we made arrange­ments for our final departure, but the many strange and exciting events which our imagination pictured, lured us on, and when the order came on the afternoon of the 20th of November, to pack up and march to the depot where transportation would be furnished to take us to the regi­ment, we had a number of regrets.  We will never forget our first experience at packing knapsacks for the march.  We were compelled to discard many things which we then thought we could hardly do without, and even then our knapsacks had the appearance of over filled peddler packs.

When the company filed out of the gate at Camp Curtin it had the appearance of a Regiment, and the squad that passed through the same arches nearly three years later, contrasted strangely with it.

The company was marched to the N. C. Rwy. Depot, to await the transportation.  Our officers had expected us to take the daily evening train, but owing to some misunderstanding this was not done.  Infor­mation was received about dark that we would not leave until after midnight, and the officers gave the men permission to take a farewell stroll through the city, to report promptly at the depot, no later than midnight.

A number of the boys started for the Gaiety, to take in the sights for the last time for many a long day, which had become so familiar to us, whilst others visite­d other points, just as their inclinations led them.

After the performance we repaired to White Hall Saloon, to partake of a farewell oyster stew, as well as to slake our thirst in several glasses of Michael’s lager.  Here we were met by Serg’t  F. H. Stuck who acted door keeper, demanding a fee from all who sought admittance, we paid and passed in.  When once within the saloon, a sight met our gaze, which we will not soon forget.  About two dozen of the boys were in the back room, whist fully that number were in the front or drinking department.

It was here that Sergeant Knight, assisted Jacob J. Riegel to eat cabbage, us­ing the handle of a small cracker mallet to help Jacob swallow it.  Serg’t I. D. Whitmer furnished the cabbage from the dish handful at a time, greatly to the detriment of the eater, whilst Serg’t Knight assisted in “rushing” it down, from which circumstance Riegel obtained the name of pusher, which he went by among his comrades to the day of his death.

Sergeant Stuck had collected a handful of stamps, pennies and promise to a script of the day.  Bill McFall gave Stuck’s hand a knock which caused his collection to fly in every direction, whereupon someone called out scramblings.  The rush that followed beggars description, and the way that furniture flew around was a caution.  After quiet was  restored and the money all recovered and counted, it was discovered that enough had been raised to pay for a glass of beer for any who wished to participate, and upon a count it was discovered that but one of the number present refused to take a glass, and this was not upon temperance bounds, but was mainly owing to the fact that a too liberal use of the fluid had knocked his pins out from under him, and he was at the time stretched out on a table in a side-room, covered over with a white spread and exhibited to all who cared to have a peep at the “Sleeping Beauty,” and a beauty he was.

We cannot recall the names of all who participated in that “cantico” but we have no hesitancy in asserting that all who were there and have occasion to visit Harrisburg will not fail to call at “White Hall” in commemoration of that farewell banquet.

The clock on the State House tolled the hour of midnight, and we found it necessary to say “good-bye” and hasten to the depot.  We found that the company had been removed to the Soldiers’ Rest and that a number of the most trusty men in the company had been placed on guard to prevent the men from leaving the building.

Three members of the company, D. W. Gross, U. P. Hafley and the writer were transferred to the 14th U. S. I., but owing to a Proclamation issued by the Government on the previous day, forbidding the transfer, the “Regulars” were returned to the company, this probably gave rise to the placing of guards at the Rest.  The boys however who knew the “ropes” had all the liberty they desired.

During the evening several knock-downs took place in the company, in one of which George B. Townsend knocked Danny Herbster topsy turvey, and which was settled by the interference of Lieut. Schroyer, who was always on hand whenever the rights of any of the company demanded it, whilst another took place between two of the company, both of whom are no more, besides a number of mouth battles, a species of warfare in which the members of Company G, were in, and for which the company was noted as long as it had an official existence.

 

CHAPTER XII

OFF AT LAST

At length the officers were informed that the train was ready, and we took our line of march for the Depot, and took possession of the two cars provided for us.  As may be well imagined the boys made considerable noise, feeling very jubilant under the circumstances.  It so happened that a young officer on his way to return to his command, got into the cars with the company, and not relishing the noise and withal anxious to show his authority, intimated to our officers that he would like to have charge of such a company, that he would soon get them under his control, and that the way they were acting was a disgrace to the service.   Captain Davis expressed his entire willingness to transfer the company over to him until we arrived at Baltimore, or as far as he should go with us.  Captain Davis saying that he was only a YOUNG officer did not know much about discipline, and giving the company over to the Major, and after winking innocently (?) at several of the boys he passed out and took a seat in the front car.

 As soon as the Captain left the car, the most of the boys ignorant of the change in Commanders, commenced in good earnest and the confusion was much greater than before.  The Major sprang to his feet and walking to the center of the car, and in louder tones shouted “silence!”  The suddenness of the command brought the boys I who were singing the “Union Volunteer,” in their best style, to a sudden halt.  For a tine the gallant Major’s face was wreathed in smiles at his apparent victory, and like the Irishman it was well for him that he had his laugh first.

As soon as the boys took in the situation there was a perfect shower of questions hurled at him, the most conspicuous of which was “who in the hell are you?”— before he could reply Ed. Fisher had struck him square in the face with a loaf of bread, which be threw at him from his seat, this was the signal for the commencement of hostilities, and the bread, crackers, bologna, cheese, blind robins, &c., &c., flew as thick as hail, whilst the gallant Major was shielding his face from the storm of things which were being pitched at him, someone snatched his cap from his head, whilst Sergeant Townsend caught him by the seat of his trousers and the nape of his neck, Abel Seesholtz pull­ed the bell rope, and as the train slowed up, the Major was unceremoniously hustled out on the platform and pitched out on a bank, the conductor in the mean time had signaled the engineer to proceed and thus the gallant Major was left behind to make his way to the next station as best he could.

Captain Davis soon after came into the car and when told of his successor’s fate, a broad smile illuminated his face, and he went out with the remark:

“Well I declare boys, it is really too bad with you.”

We knew it was, but then it could not be helped.  The train run with its accustomed speed, and when the sky began to be streaked with gray, many of us caught our first glimpse of “My Maryland.” How eagerly we looked for the first indication of anything that looked like real soldering, and when the first soldier was discovered doing guard duty along the railroad near Baltimore, and shortly afterwards a small fort on the right side of the road, the boys rushed for the windows with the same eagerness that they had for Stuck’s pennies at the White Hall.

 

CHAPTER XIII

IN BALTIMORE

The train stopped at the upper Depot, the company marched through the city to the other depot.  Here our officers learned that we would in all human probabili­ty be compelled to remain in the city over night, marched us to the So1d1ers Rest.  Here under the auspices of a number of patriotic ladles, a repast was soon set before us, and we partook of a hearty meal, consisting of bread, coffee, meat, cold tongue, pickled cabbages, pickles, &c., &c.  After we had partaken of the good things placed before us, “we fell in” and marched to a Market shed unoccupied near by where we unslung knapsacks, and prepared for a stroll thro’ the Monumental city.  It will not be out of place to mention that the “three Regulars,” as we were called were each plac­ed under a corporal, and under his charge we were kindly permitted to do the city.  It fell to our lot to be placed under the, prevalence of Corporal Freddy Ulrich and together we saw the sights. We visited the Monuments for which the city is noted, stood in awe under the shadow of the shot tower; feasted our eyes upon the sight of the guns that frowned upon the city and to sea-ward from Fort McHenry, watched the soldiers drilling on Federal Hill, visited the Franklin House kept by our old and respected former townsman Gideon Leisenring, sauntered along the dock and examined the construction and equipment of the various description, and crafts from the fishing smack to the three masted king of the sea, riding upon the majestic breast of the Chesapeake; we partook of a number of stews of oyster at “only 10 cents a bowl,” as well as several glasses of something stronger, to invigorate the inner man and to prevent “change of water doing us any harm,” as Freddy put it..

After taking in all the sights we turned our steps towards the place where the company, or at least our traps were stored.  After several mishaps, and at length by the aid of several policemen, we finally turned up at the place we had started from in the morning.

Soon alter our arrival the boys took up a collection and with the proceeds, some 90 cents, purchased two bushels of fine shell oysters, which by the aid of pepper, salt and vinegar did not go so bad.  Thus the day was spent, and in the evening we were again treated to a number one supper at the home, after which we were taken into a large brick house, near the corner of Howard and Franklin streets, and which bad been previously used as a Fur­niture Warehouse, but during the war was used for quartering troops that remained in the city over night, so that the condition in which we found it, will be readily appreciated by those who are posted in the way such places are generally kept.

Here we were told that we must remain for the night.  A number of the boys obtained permission to go to the theater.  Among those who were granted passes, we now remember  Lewis C. Schroyer, U. P. Hafley, Will Keller, Freddy Ulrich, Elias Millhoff, Will Fausnacht, Dan W. Gross, Jake Riegel, J. P. Ulrich and ourself.  We visited the two Theaters, Holiday and Front Sts., and examined the bulletin boards to see which one offered the greatest attractions.  At the Holiday Street theater they were running “Mazeppa,” or the Wild Horse of Mantary, with Ada Issac Menkin in the role.  This play we concluded would be the best, and when comparing notes with those who attended the other play, we found that it was.

We distinctly remember that Lewis C. Schroyer who had never before been in a theater, was wishing that he could see a play with thunder and lightning in it, and it so happened that his wish was gratified to its fullest extent, as all can testify who have had the pleasure of seeing this excellent play. We passed a very pleasant evening, and had it not been for getting lost, we would have returned to out quarters at a seasonable hour, but as it was we did not reach the warehouse until nearly two o’clock.  Here we related to our less fortunate comrades who were awakened by our coming in, what we had seen, and it was almost morning before we were successful in closing our eyes in sleep, and had scarcely succeeded ere we were awakened by reveille, done up in Dasher’s (Antes Ulrich) best style.  We were however fully awakened by some one caging one of Levi J. Romig’s No. 9 government shoes across the room hitting him “ker chuck” on the cranium.  Jumping up with anything but a Christian feeling he attempted to discover who was the guilty party, but no one knew who had threw it, and we pitched it to its owner.

After performing a hasty morning toilet, and answering roll call, we marched to the Rest, anxious to get breakfast, and glad to escape from the illy ventilated room of the almost intolerable stench that pervaded the building, and which had been strengthened by the doings of several of the roosters belonging to the company.

The breakfast prepared for us was similar to the other meals with which we had been regaled on the day previous and as could well be surmised we did ample just­ice to it.  The ”little one” and several of the boys were detailed to assist in waiting on table and the way that they served cold tongue was a caution to the commissariat of the Rest.

It has been decreed by fate that there is an end for all things, and that there must surely be an end to our pleasures as well as our sorrows, so the time for our departure for the front at length arrived, and we rather reluctantly bade adieu to the city of Baltimore.

We were marched to the depot and soon were seated in the cars.  A few sharp toots from the whistle, the throttle-valve was opened, with a hiss the imprisoned steam hastened to perform its function, slowly the ponderous iron wheels of the locomotive began to revolve, only to gain increased velocity with revolution until we were being carried towards our destination with all the rapidity possible.

Our company was entrusted with the Regimental Colors, and we carried  them with us to the regiment.  Little did we think as we gazed upon its silken folds for. the first time, with its beautiful Penn­sylvania coat of arms and its significant motto, “Virtue, Liberty and Independence,” upon its blue field, made radiant with the brightness of the stars, artistical­ly grouped around the same, of the many thrilling adventures that we should be called upon to undergo, while rallying be­neath its beautiful folds, and how many of those who at the time were anxious and willing to risk their lives in its defense, should be called upon to seal their devo­tion to the dear old flag, insignia of the noble free, with their heart’s best blood.

Yes, Company G carried the colors to the regiment, and upon every field upon which it was afterwards unfurled, it was heroically defended by the members of the company, whilst a number of them fell whilst gallantly following it on to victory, while those who were spared saw it float in battle for the first time upon the ill-fated field of Chancellorsville, as well as when in triumph for the last time it was unfurled in triumph in the fore-front of Sherman’s Army, near Durham Station, on the 30th of April 1866, when the Army of Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to the Army of Gen. Wm. T. Sherman, and the war was over.  How nobly Company G defended the colors entrusted to her care by the Governor of the State, it shall be our purpose to tell ere we finish the task we have undertaken to perform.

After the train had gotten fairly started the boys were somewhat surprised as well as pleased to discover Col. Simpson upon the train bound for Annapolis. The Col. in his characteristic manner shook hands  with the boys, and we all felt as though we had met a true friend.

As the train neared the Relay House the traces of the “unpleasantness” were becoming discernible.  Here and there we could see where the railroad had been torn up, and deserted picket fires were becoming numerous.  All these marks or signs of army life, whether made by foe or friend, were eagerly looked for by us.  At the Relay House, Col.. Simpson left our train, he taking the Washington train whilst we continued on our journey towards rebeldom.

The time was pleasantly passed by us in various ways whilst making the run towards Harper’s Ferry.  Several of the boys had succeeded whilst in Baltimore to secure several canteens of “oh be joyful” which served as a stimulus to encourage all  manner of didoes, which our officers no doubt thinking that we would soon be called upon to play soldier in good earnest, did not prevent but enjoyed with as much gusto as the men.  A very pleasant surprise for us, was the fact that the “little one” had filled his haversack with pickled tongue whilst acting as one of the waiters at Baltimore, and which he brought forward and generously dealt out amongst us, and for a time we just more than “tongued” it.

 

CHAPTER XIV

HARPER’S FERRY

Never will we forget when first we caught a glimpse of the first REAL fort near the Point of Rocks, in Maryland, where we first caught sight of the Potomac River, on a gentle eminence to the right of the railroad was a hastily thrown up earth work, with embrasures for three guns.  The moment it was discovered we rushed for the windows to get a good view of it, but as the train was moving along at a tolerable rate of speed, we did not have much time to examine it very critically.  We were now getting into Dixie in good earnest and we would not have been much surprised if at any moment a squadron of cavalry or a battalion of rebel infantry should have attempted to dispute our further progress.  Whilst we were busily engaged in surveying the scenery which met our wondering eyes, we were startled by a hearty cheer in the front car,  which we soon learned was occasioned by the first of Harper’s Ferry.

Sure enough, right to our left, we co’d plainly see Bolivar Heights, and in its immediate front, snugly nestled in between the mountain fastness, was all that the rebels had left or the famous town of Harper’s Ferry, which had from its picturesque surroundings been very justly designated the Switzerland of America.  But long ere we had time to contemplate the grandeur and sublimity of the scene, the train halted and we were called upon to bid adieu to the  pleasure of car riding.

We got out of the cars crossed the river on the first pontoon bridge we had ever seen, and about 9 o’clock, p. m., November 27, 1862, we set our feet on the sacred soil of Virginia for the first time, and strange as it appeared to us, upon the very spot made historical in the events of those days, in which the heroic though deluded John Brown, too early struck the blow to remove the shackles from the limbs of 4,000,000 of human beings  whose only sin was that they were with skins of ebony hue.

Hastily passing through the historic old town, without giving it more than a brief passing notice, we were guided to the place where the regiment was lying in camp, to which we joined  our fortunes, company “F,” sometimes called Q, having preceded us.

If we were to say that we were cordially received we would be telling an untruth, a thing which those who know us best know we would not like to do, in fact we were looked upon as a set of interlopers who were not worthy of the rec­ognition of the old veterans, who in the language of C. D. Griggs, “had guarded the Point of Rocks, until the name was an anomaly, as the POINT had been worn off by those battle scarred veterans.”

Our arrival was heralded by the “old” soldiers, as we were wont to term them, in language of the following description:

“Another arrival of conscripts,” “say, give us one of your white haversacks and gum blankets;” “How are you $450, government bounty,” and many other such pet appellations as had a tendency to cause our blood to rise.

We were marched to the left of the regi­ment and placed in tents already erected.  The sight which greeted our eyes was in­deed a novel one.  Quite a number of Sibly tents were erected in various parts of the camp, and from the position which we occupied we had an excellent view of the camp of the Division, then numbering about 5000 men all told.

Soon after our arrival and whilst we were busy looking around, we were made aware that something unusual was about to take place, by the beating of a drum at a place which we afterwards learned was regimental head-quarters, and by the activity which at once existed among the men.  The different companies “fell In,” equipped with arms and accouterments.  The colors which M. S. Schroyer had de­posited at the Colonel’s tent, was taken charge of by a Sergeant and eight Cor­porals and escorting it to the parade ground, where they took their position and the regiment was formed by company in line of battle.  The music which was stationed on the right of the regiment, struck up a dirge, and with measured tread the musicians marched down the entire line, then returned playing in 1ivelier strains.  After the music was ended, the Adjutant brought the command to a present arms, and then took a position in the rear of the Colonel, who for sometime ex­ercised the men in the manual of arms.  After these exercises the Adjutant read general orders. Among which was the promotion of a number of non-commissioned officers, after which the Adjutant dismissed the parade.

Thus we witnessed the first dress parade turned off in regular military style and owing to the fact that we had no arms we did not participate.

The Company had been divided into messes at Harrisburg, but quite a number of changes took place when we proceeded select permanent quarters on Bolivar Heights..

The first night spent in Camp on the sacred ­soil of the “old Dominion,” we shall never forget. The camp-fires which illuminated the hills and valleys could be counted by the thousands, whilst the signal ­rockets could plainly he seen ascending from the station on Maryland Heights.  In measured tread of the sentinel as he walked to and fro, whilst guarding the camp from sudden attack or improper interruption, taken in connection with the silence which fell over the camp after taps, served to impress upon our minds the serenity of the scene.

A number of the members of the company ourselves among the number, strolled to the top of Bolivar Heights, to where Knap’s Battery was stationed, and had a splendid view of the cantonment.  From this point we could see far in the direction of Winchester, which was at the time in the possession of the enemy.  Around us as far as we could scan we could see the ocean of fire, which located the picket reserve.

We returned to our quarters and prepared to ­close our eyes in slumber, but before we succeeded our thoughts had wandered to the homes of our childhood, and instead of being in an enemy’s country, we where standing amidst the familiar scenes of our childhood left behind us in our native old Pennsylvania.

The reveille aided by the authoritative ­command of orderly Parks’ “fall in the company for roll call.” routed us out and we fell in line promptly.  At that first roll call, company E of Philadelphia, and B of Huntingdon, between which companies ours was sandwiched, owing to the number of strange names, they called us the “Dutch” company, a name which we held as long as the company retained an official existence, although at the time we did not have a single foreigner of any nationality within our ranks, we were composed of Americans to the honor born.

At the time we joined the regiment some dissatisfaction existed among the six old companies, owing to the fact that they were taken from the old 28th and moved so far back as the 147th in the line.  Quite a number of our boys, in fact nearly all, had purchased a neat frosted German-silver G, with 147th  P. V. I. to match and had placed them on our caps.  This act caused a number of the old companies to look with displeasure on us.  A number of the members of company “F,” had been foolish enough to buy the letter “Q,” 28th, P. V. I.  Our company, not being desirous of stealing the honor and glory belonging to others, quietly wore their numbers, but heroically determined to aid in winning a name for the number they wore that any regiment in the service might envy.

 

CHAPTER XV

LIFE ON BOLIVAR HEIGHTS

The second day after our arrival, we spent much of our time in looking about us, everything was so changed from what we had been accustomed to see them at Harrisburg, and we soon found that we had much to learn before we could claim to be veterans.

It will be remembered that Bolivar Heights was the scene of Miles’ disgrace­ful and cowardly surrender, by which act it was turned over to the Rebels, and had been retaken but a short time before our arrival by a portion of the troops of our Division, under command of Gen. John W. Geary, and as may well be imagined, we anxiously searched for the traces of the battle, the marks were rare however, owing to the fact that it had only been a little skirmish.

We were interested in the novel way the men carried water for culinary purposes.  It consisted of a piece or wood about five feet long, with a place cut out to fit the carriers shoulders, it had both ends provided with hooks, straps or rope, to which the buckets were fastened, and thus one man could easily carry two buckets at a time.  The arrangement was similar to those used by the Spanish or French peasants in carrying grape or other fruits.

The first shell we heard explode was thrown from Napp’s battery, from the fort in which it was placed.  The shell was thrown at an unoccupied house outside of the lines.  A number of our boys went up to see the firing when they ascertained the fact that the Rebel cavalry frequently made their appearance in that 1ocality and that Major Napp was experimenting with a view of obtaining the proper range.  Several shells exploded immediately over the house. This was something new to us, and whilst it was fine fun to see the practice as long as the shells were fired towards the enemy, we imagined that it would not be so funny when the shells once would be thrown towards us.  As we turned towards our quarters, Abel Seesholtz remarked that it would be a long time before any of the members of Company G, would be hit with a shell.  0n being asked why?  He replied in his good-natured way:

“Because if the Johnnies were to throw any shells at us, we’d “shake” so that it would be impossible to hit us.”  Poor Abel he lost his life by a shell.

In the afternoon Will McFall and several more of us, went over to the old farm house between the picket lines and the fortifications, and whilst there we saw a guard shoot a member of the 111th P. V. I.  The guard was placed at an old board fence, with instructions not to allow any one to tear down the fence or to carry off the boards.  We had attempted to get one ourselves but when commanded by the guard, to “drop that board,” we at once dropped it.  We walked around the house, and soon after heard the report of a gun, and upon going to where the guard was stationed, we found that he had shot a man who disobeyed his order.  The ball had entered the right leg above the knee, shattering the bone and making amputation necessary.

A soldier was sent to the Division Hospital for a stretcher. Upon its arrival he was taken to the hospital where the leg was amputated, and it was afterwards reported that the man had died.  This incident served to impress upon the writer’s mind the necessity of promptly obeying the command given by a guard or picket.

We arrived at the company just in time to receive several letters from home in the mail.   Those who had the pleasure of receiving those precious letters whilst in the army, know full well how welcome were the messengers of love, from those who were near and dear to us.

The same train that brought us the mail also brought Lt. Schroyer to the company, he having remained at Harrisburg to attend to some business connected with the company.  The boys were all glad to see him.

After supper, an order was sent to the company for a detail of thirty men for fatigue duty, the men to take their dinners along, and to report at regimental head-quarter’s by eight o’clock, a.m., next morning.  We did not happen to be among the detail, but some of the detailed men were extremely anxious to know what FATIGUE duty was.  John P. Haas went up to the officers’ quarters and soon returned with the intelligence that those who had been detailed would have to work upon the forts which Geary was erecting for the purpose of making the defenses on the height more formidable.  Upon the receipt of this news the boys were not so anxious to go.

The detail started out at the proper time, and after reporting at regimental head-quarters; the regimental detail was placed in charge of Lt. Byers, who reported at Division head-quarters, and with the rest of the detail were marched to the south-east side of the hill, where a large earth fort was in the course of construction, and here the first fatigue detail sent out by Company G, worked.

In the evening when the boys returned to the company, they reported that the Captain in charge had credited the 147th detail, which by the way was composed mainly of our company, with having done more work than all the remainder of the Division, and the blisters on the hands of the boys who had been on the detail certainly vouched for the Captain’s assignation.  They had been too green, and had worked harder that day, than they ever did again under similar circumstances.

In the evening another detail was made and we found our name called among the rest.  The next morning as on the previous day the regimental detail was marched to Division head-quarters.  Here we first saw General Geary, and were favorably impressed with his commanding appearance, and more especially when he informed us that owing to the fact that day was Sunday, and as it was not a of absolute necessity, we should return to our commands and report for duty on the following morning.

We got back in time to take part in the Sunday inspection.  Here we were a lot SMARTER than the rest of the detail as they were just in time to be too late and did not get into camp until it was over.  As our company had not yet received their arms, we only took out our knapsacks and had our clothing inspected.

This being our first inspection it did not prove much of a success.  We did not know how to pack our clothing and none of us had put on clean clothing that morning, and had placed our dirty clothing in the pockets of our haversacks, with no regard to order or system.  The adjunt came to our company and assisted our officers to inspect us.  When we were ordered to “open knapsacks” we felt considerably mortified.  After the adjutant gave us some instructions in preparation of inspection in the future, we were given in charge of the Orderly who then marched us to our camp.

Inspection over, a number of the company visited the town and made a number of  purchases of the suttlers there, owing to the fact that we had no “stamps” we remained in camp, anxiously awaiting the call to dinner to fall in for our “bean soup.”

At this time Sergeant Whitmer dealt out our cooked rations, and as it is a very natural thing for soldiers to growl, the job was a very unpleasant one.

At this dinner, a little incident occurred which at the time afforded the company not a little sport, Serg’t Whitmer had given Edward Fisher, a tin cup at coffee, and his ration of bean soup, when Fisher said in his particular vernacular:

“I wish. you’d give me a few more of your beans, mine’s all soup”

Whitmer made a reply that Fisher did not like, and throwing his p1atefull of beans over Whitmer, remarking:

“There, darn you, take your soup.”

Whitmer retaliated by throwing a cup of coffee over him, saying.. “If you don’t want soup take an extra ration of coffee.”

 

CHAPTER XVI

OUR FIRST PICKET DUTY

Matters progressed slowly with us, the company did its full share of all duty that could be performed without arms, and the men were becoming tired of playing work all the time, and were anxious to receive guns.

On the 1st of December the company officers were informed that the company couldn’t do the picket duty for the regiment, and General Geary intended making a reconnaissance in force towards Winchester.

In the morning the company was armed and equipped with guns, accouterments belonging to the men of the Division who were on the sick list, and were marched out on picket to relieve the men on duty.

Schroyer and Serg’t F. H. Knight accompanied the Division to Winchester the sergeant was detailed as an assistant to the regimental medical staff.

Capt. Davis was placed in command of the regimental camp.  The picket detail took two day’s rations with them, as they expected to remain out that long.  We presume that none of the boys have forgotten our first picket duty.  A snow to the depth of four or five inches had fallen the day previous, and the weather astonishingly cool.  The first countersign that we received was Winchester, and this sign was so indelibly stamped upon our minds, by a little incident that occurred to us and we will never forget it.  The company was divided in posts of three privates and a corporal.  Our post consisted of Corp. Eby, W. H. McFall, W. S. Keller and the writer.  In the early part of the evening, and whilst we were on guard, a man approached the post, and when within hailing distance, we halted the man in the usual manner, ordering: “Halt who comes there?”  The reply was “A friend with the countersign.”  We replied advance friend and give the countersign.  When the person who proved to be Lewis Millhoff of our company cried out at the top of his voice “W-i-n-c-h-e-s-t-e.r.”  We told him that was not the right password and ordered him to come into the line at once, or else put up with the penalty.  He came in and Corporal Eby gave him a good lecturing for thus heedlessly revealing the countersign.

The command made an arrangement amongst ourselves that if the one who was on post should see anything suspicious he should give notice to those on the reserve post by throwing a stone or stick back to where those not on post were lying around resting.

Everything passed off quietly until W. H. McFall got on post, when we were lying around the fire enjoying a snooze, it was after midnight, when suddenly into our midst a block came flying, quickly followed by another, when jumping up we seized our guns and hastened to where he was on post, when he informed us that he thought he saw something, but that he must have been mistaken.  We went back to the fire grumbling about the mean trick McFall had played us.

During the night several contrabands came into our lines and the next morning they were sent to camp under guard.

This was our first picket duty, and the novelty of the situation was really interesting.  We however made one mistake which we had cause to regret, having used the two days rations the first day, so that on the morning of the second day we were without rations.

A lieutenant of the 5th Ohio, who had charge of the picket line, gave us permission to send one man from each post to procure rations.

It fell to our lot for our post, and in company with six or eight others we started for camp.  We had no sooner reached camp than we were met by Captain Davis who gave us just two minutes time to start back for the picket line, or he would place us under arrest for deserting our posts, and as we had drawn our two days rations, there were none for us in camp, and we were reluctantly compelled to return to the picket line, tired and hungrier than then we started for camp.

In an open field about a quarter of a mile from the line, there was a stalk of wheat, for this we started and brought several armfuls to the post, which we threshed out with our hands, and cooked it, adding pepper and sa1t thus securing tolerable good subsistence.  A number of our less fortunate comrades who did not get any of the wheat, were compelled to do one whole day and night without a particle of food.

Whilst on picket we could occasionally hear the boom of artillery, which we afterwards learned, was occasioned by Major Knap’s Battery shelling some rebel cavalry.

The weather was pretty severe and the snow made it very disagreeable to us.  We did not know enough to make good log fires, and as may well be imagined we suffered considerable in this our first experience on picket.  To add to our misery, the Division did not return until the third day, and we were compelled to remain on picket during this time.  Captain Davis however sent us out one day’s rations.

 

CHAPTER XVII

OUR FIRST QUARTERS

After the Division returned, we were relieved and were glad to return to camp.  Serg’t Knight proved to be an important personage, he having been with the expedition.  From him we learned that the command had been within a short distance of Winchester, and that at Charlestown, a place made historic by the trial of John Brown, for his insurrectionary purposes against the sovereign Commonwealth of Virginia, the command had destroyed a large flouring mill, and a considerable quantity of flour which was intended for the Rebel Army.

The day before we were ordered out on picket we had been notified to erect winter quarters.  When we returned to the regiment we found a large quantity of wood suitable for that purpose and we proceeded at once to erect them.

The quarters were erected in the most primitive fashion, and consisted of logs notched and crossed.  The quarters were about 8x6ft, and built to the height of 4ft, and covered with shelter tents, and were large enough to accommodate six persons,  The space between the logs was filled up with chunks of wood and then plastered with mud, thus making them warm and comfortable.  The company was quartered in eighteen tents, arranged in two rows facing each other.  There was a company street fifteen feet wide and 100 feet deep.  The officers tents lined, facing the company streets with an avenue of twenty feet between them and the company quarters, whilst the regimental quarters were fully as far in the rear on an eminence near the center of the command.  Thus it will be observed that great care is taken in the arrangement of the camp of a regiment of men.  The quarters were all properly ditched, and every precaution taken to make them as comfortable as possible.

Having made our quarters as cozy as possible, we expected to remain in them for the winter and have a nice time generally.  The first night we occupied the quarters a fire occurred in the one occu­pied by M. S. Schroyer, J. P. Haas, Ed. Fisher, and several others, which caused considerable merriment.  Haas had gone to sleep, and thinking that the others wo’d soon follow, he allowed the tallow dip, which was fastened to the top log of the tent, by causing a sufficient portion of hot tallow to run on the log, and placing the candle an it.  During the absence of the rest and Mass going to sleep, the candle was consumed, burning down to the log, the blaze was communicated to the canvas and which soon look fire.  Haas was aroused from his sleep by the boys discovering the fire and not fully realizing the situation, he commenced battling the fire with his hands and finally succeeded, but not until he was rather severely burned about his hands.

After the quarters were all finished, which took place about the 8th of December, a number of the messes went to Bolivar and purchased small stoves, for which they paid $8.75.  The mess to which the writer belonged bought one, and the first night we had it, we were baking potato cakes on top of it, having DRAWN an extra allowance from the cook house and whilst busily engaged in preparing them Lieut. Byers put his head into our tent supposing that he had seen us draw the potatoes, we hastily scraped them off the top of the stove, greatly to the detriment of our fingers, which were more or less blistered.  The lieutenant wanted a box of pills of Jacob Swab, one of the mess, and who by the way was a traveling Doctor shop.

 

CHAPTER XVIII

A VISIT TO JOHN BROWN’S CAVE

On the 9th of December, D. W. Gross, whilst carelessly handling a small pocket revolver, discharged it and the ball passed through his hand, and was the first man wounded in our company, that is if we except John Mull, who had shot off the index finger of the right hand whilst at home on a “French.”

The same day, our hopes of remaining in camp for the winter, were rudely killed by our receiving orders to hold ourselves to be ready to move at a moments notice.  The company officers were notified that arms and equipment would be issued to the company during the day.

Immediately after breakfast, Lot Ulrich started for the stove dealer to see if he would not take back the stove which he had sold us on the previous day, he did, generously giving us half price of the stove.

All the boys who purchased stoves carried them back, and on the return to the regiment visited a bakery and invested money in pies and cakes, and since a number of the boys are now pillars in several of the churches in the county, we will not tell what was not BOUGHT there.

Having learned that the cave in which John Brown had concealed a number of his men, besides pikes and a lot of arms, was not far from the place where we were encamped, in company with a number of the boys we started out to explore it.  We found the cave, with its opening facing the river, near the Baltimore and Ohio Canal.  Having provided ourselves with plenty of inflammable material, we at once entered and explored the subterranean cavern.

As we entered, we were greeted by unearthly helloes, coming as we imagined  from some infernal spirits entombed in the bowels of the earth, but we afterward learned came from several of our company’s boys, who had preceded us, whose torches had become extinguished leaving them in utter darkness and in a very dangerous predicament, one false step might plunge the unfortunate person to destruction.

We spent quite a long time in wandering through the cave, exploring as far as possible for one to go, often being compelled to stoop, and at times even being compelled to crawl through cavities barely large enough to admit the body of a large sized man; and then again standing in rooms so large that the rays of the torches we carried, were too feeble to illuminate the entire cavern, causing the feeling of the cave to present a weird aspect, serving to fill the mind of the beholder with fear and wonderment.

The sound of running water could be distinctly heard underneath us, and in several places quite a rapid stream would rush on madly through a chasm cut in the stone by its own resistless fury, and in some places it would sink from our view with an agonizing gurgling sound.  After seeing all that we could see without danger, we retraced our steps and again returned to daylight, and one and all apparently breathed freer when we emerged once more into God’s sunlight.

We now hastened our step. to camp, and when we once came in sight of the company street, we had no difficulty to discover that something unusual was taking place, as the boys were moving about like a swarm of bees.

When we reached our quarters, we 1earned that the company had received arms at last.  An old musket of the Springfield version, red with rust, stood up against our shanty whilst on the ground near by, were arrayed the necessary straps, cartridge and cap boxes, brass plates, &c.  We were informed by those in authority that that was our individual property, and that we should lose no time in getting, plates, guns, &c., in military trim.

Those who “have been there themselves” know the perplexities which beset the recruit in properly arranging his accouterments, and they will fully appreciate the brouhaha the members of Company G were in.

We peeped into our shanty, the sight that met our gaze was ludicrous in the least.  Stephen Templin was assisting Jacob Swab to fix his traps, and had succeeded in getting the eagle where the US should have been.  Antes Ulrich was helping his brother Lot to arrange his things, and  whilst they were sweating over the job Old Reed who had managed to get his eagle on upside down, stuck his head into the tent and asked:

“Antes, wee in der teyful fixt mere das draght ding?”

Templin showed Reed how he was fixing Swab’s, Reed left happy, but he discovered his mistake when he tried to buckle the belt about his person, and about that time would have been unhealthy for Templin to have entered Growler’s Retreat for Reed was on his ear and the air was redolent with the strongest kind of German adjectives.  Very few of the boys succeeded in getting their accouterments fixed without any mishap, but when Lot Ulrich and Adam Sholly made their appearance with the eagles on their backs, they knocked the persimmons.  Some of the boys who enjoyed the fun the most, on hurrying to their quarters and upon ex­amination found that  they in the language of Sholly, had the “verflucht Audler,” on their back.

As we were among the last to rig up, we had the benefit of the other boys’ expe­rience, and consequently got along without any serious mishap, our only mistake was in not cutting the strap used to fasten the cartridge-box, which caused the box to hang so low that we were compelled to get on our knees to get our hands into the cartridge box.  A little advice from an “old soldier” which resulted in cutting a foot of strap off, remedied the matter.

A number of the members of the company, who were on the sick list, among them Joe. S. Ulsh, William and Thomas Herbster, and several others whose names we cannot recall, were sent back to Wash­ington.

In the afternoon we, for the first time, took part in the dress parade of the regiment. General orders were read announcing that the 12th Army Corps, to which, we were attached, would hold itself in readiness to move at a moments notice.  Also another issued by Gen. Geary commanding Division, announcing to the troops in his command, that once more the order to march towards the enemy had gone forth, and that their commander expected from them the same unselfish devotion and spirit of heroism in the fu­ture as that which had characterized the men of his command in the past, and he expressed a hope that the new men, that meant companies. F, G, and H, would prove themselves worthy members of the gallant old command to which they had been so lately attached.

During the reading of the latter part of the order, the flashing eyes and compressed lips of the officers and members of Com­pany G, plainly bespoke the determination which took possession of them, and then and there, on Bolivar Heights, on the afternoon of December 9th, 1862, a si­lent covenant was made by the boys, officers and men, that Company G, would never do anything to mar the past or further name and record of the Regiment or Division.

After the evening meal the boys assem­bled around the fire at the cook house and where all manner of speculation was set afloat as to our probable destination, as to when we would move, etc.  The latest rumor, direct from the drum corps, was that we were to move to Washington to relieve the troops there, a majority being one year men whose time had expired; another report coming from a more belligerent Source was that we were to make a flank movement to Richmond by way of Winchester.   Each rumor found willing ears, and all the members of the company expressed a perfect willingness to be governed by the exigencies of the case.  To a majority of the boys direction was not an object, just so we moved.

Lt. Byers came to the fire and soon set our conjectures to rest by informing us that orders had been received by the officers to be ready to move to the ‘front” early on the morrow.

A shell thrown into the group standing around the fire, would not have had the effect of scattering it more quickly than did the announcement made by the lieutenant.  Each one of the boys was anxious to be the first one to carry the news to those of the company who had not heard of the order, whilst others hastened to their tents to write the news to their friends.

Tattoo was sounded.  The company was ordered to fall in with arms and accouterments, when we were furnished with 60 rounds of ammunition, and then for the first time we felt as though we were fully prepared to meet the enemy.

After roll call Orderly Serg’t Parks, at the request of the boys, put the company thro’ manual of arms and company drill for fully an hour, after being dismissed, we retired for the night to dream of the events of the next day.

 

CHAPTER XIX

ON OUR FIRST MARCH

On the following morning, December 10th, 1862, we were awakened by the sound of the bugle at Division head-quarters, at 4 o’clock.  Soon the drum corps of four­teen regiments and the bugles of two Ohio regiments and Knap’s Battery, made the hills and valleys resound with martial music.

We turned ourselves on the other side preparatory to taking another short nap, but alas no sooner had we found the soft side of the plank upon which our bed was spread, then we were roused up by the orderly with the imperative command:

“Fall in G Company promptly for roll call!”

The members of the company rushed out of their quarters, and fell into line as though the fate of the nation depended upon the prompt manner in which the or­der was obeyed.

Never will we forget the scene which met our gaze as we emerged from our quarter’s just in time to give a sleepy “I,” in response to our name as it was reached by the orderly.

The entire heavens were illuminated with the reflection of a thousand camp fires.  In every direction as far as the eye could penetrate, everything was confusion and excitement.  Orderlies were galloping to and fro, the men of the different regiments were busy preparing their breakfast, whilst from the direction where the teams were parked the braying of the animals and the shouts of the teamsters, were adding a full share towards swelling the sum total of confusion which prevailed at every hand.

Whilst old Peter Laubenstine was preparing the hash for the Company, the boys had ample time to pack up and prepare for the march.  One little incident took place while he was getting breakfast, which caused considerable merriment on the part of all who witnessed it and shall not be omitted here.

It will be remembered by the members of the company that immediately north of the cook-house there was a deep slop pit, dug expressly for the purpose of receiving all the slops and refuse matter collected by the company.  At this time the pit contained probably four feet of the obnoxious refuse matter.  A guard had been placed around it consisting of a frame about eighteen inches high, but on account of the scarcity of fuel and the fact of our leaving, caused Yankee Garman to place the frame on the fire, it happened that a little Dutchman of company F, by the name of Adam Raas was on camp guard, and as our boys were standing around the fire blabbering dumb, which greatly delighted the said Adam, he made a number of halts at our  fire; but did not notice the pit and made several narrow escapes from steeping into it.  He was standing at the edge of the treacherous receiver of slops, with his gun at the order arms, when one of our boys called out:

“The officer of the Guard?”

Adam shouldered his musket, made a step backwards and went into the pit up to his—well, his cartridge box.

Several of the boys assisted him out, and a madder  Dutchman  we never heard before or since.

The boys took a hearty laugh at poor Adam’s expense.  The officers hearing the merriment, Captain Davis came to see what was the matter, and walked right into the pit just made vacant by Adam.  Feeling that he was going made a sudden leap, and was out almost before he was in.  When he was informed of Adam’s mishap, he enjoyed it hear­tily as any of us.

After breakfast was over three day rations were issued.  The crackers were old and were inhabited with bugs, a thing we afterwards learned was of common occurrence. We remember of hearing Serg’t Townsend saying that if the crackers did not contain the initials B. C., they most certainly should.

Here we first received our shelter tents and we were surprised to see how small they were, having been accustom to nothing smaller than an A tent.  With the distribution of the tents came the announcement that we must now “mess” up, as the tents were only sufficiently able to shelter two persons.

Here was another encroachment on our way of living, slowly and steadily we found that the lines were being drawn on us and we soon began to realize that we were fast becoming soldiers.  At this time messes were formed which only were terminated by death or discharge.  It was the writer’s good fortune to mess with W. S. Keller and which we kept up as long as we remained in the company.

A detail consisting of Corporal Eby, Keller, McFall, the writer, and several others whose names we have forgotten, was made for advance guard.

We slung knapsacks just as the sun put in its appearance, and under Lt. Byers we were marched to Brigade Head-quarters ­where the detail was placed under command of Major Chapman of the 28th P. V. I., who marched us to town where we remained about an hour.

Whilst lying in town a part of Blenker’s Brigade, then belonging to the 11th Corps, joined us, and a harder and rougher looking se­t of men we never set eyes on.  When they first began to pass some one asked “whose regiment?” and received as an answer:

Gheneral Blenker!”

This command was composed almost entirely of Germans, the majority having their heavy bushy mustaches so characterist­ic of the beer guzzlers.  The men carried the heaviest ladened knapsacks of any we had ever seen, whilst many of them carried mess pans, camp kettles, axes, shovels, spades and picks, in addition to their monstrous knapsacks.

As soon as Blenker’s Brigade had passed the bugle sounded the advance, and our first march was commenced.  Well do we remember the general appearance of the country with its winding roads and stone fences.

The ground was covered with snow to a depth of three or four inches, and the long mile we traveled wound its serpentine shape around a high hill, and owing to our being delayed by Blenker’s troops, the advance was in sight pushing us lively, when taking the fact into consideration that we were novices at the business, it was one of the most fatiguing marches we ever made.

After we had marched about three miles Major Chapman halted us, and ordered us to load without priming, telling us that he had a reason to apprehend a dash on us by one of Stuart’s rebel Cavalry, known to be lurking in the vicinity.

His announcement caused us to become somewhat excited and had the good effect of aiding us to overcome the fatigue of our march.

Having gained rapidly on the advance of our Division, which had been detained in assisting the Batteries in being taken up the steep hill, the Major ordered us to cook coffee and eat our dinners.  As we had a company cook, we did not have the coffee or the proper cups to boil coffee in and so we contented ourselves by munching our hard tack and lubricating them with a piece of cold “sow-belly,” which had been prepared on the day previous, and never before did “speck” and crackers taste so sweet before to us as upon this occasion.

Several of the “old soldiers” noticing that we did not make coffee, and upon learning the reason, kindly furnished us with kettles and coffee and we soon had the satisfaction of having a quart cup of coffee, almost strong enough to swim an iron wedge.

Our repast over and being greatly refreshed and strengthened, we again pushed ahead with rapid strides.  Several times during the day we passed through places where the road had been barricade with rails, all of which we destroyed, thus convincing us new recruits as well as the veterans of a summer’s campaign, that the game for which we had loaded our guns in the morning, was in the vicinity and there was no telling how soon we might run upon more of it than we would just exactly know how to dispose of.

Several times during the day we got a vague idea that we were much nearer Richmond than we had been in the morn­ing.

As the sun began to hide himself behind the western horizon, in our front we dis­covered the town of Hillsborough, about 10 miles distant from Harper’s Ferry, and ­were informed that we would encamp here for the night.  We were marched into a strip of woods to the left of an old fash­ioned schoo1-house.  Here we halted with instructions to be ready to fall in at a moments notice.

At this time we made another important discovery, which was to the effect that the advanced guards of the day become the pickets at night, and that instead of being able to secure a good snooze in our tents, as we had promised ourselves  we should, we found that we would be called upon to take the out-post, for at least four long hours out of the twelve.

We were moved a short distance northwest of the school house, where Eby, Keller, McFall and ourselves were placed on one post, on the outskirts of the woods. We were instructed to keep a vigilant watch, to allow nothing to approach the post from the opposite direction without halting it, and if the challenge was not obeyed, we were ordered to shoot.

The regiment arrived in camp nearly two hours after we did, and from the boys of the company we afterward learned that the march had been very severe on a number of Company G’s best men.

 

CHAPTER XX

ON THE MARCH

We soon had our supper prepared and about as hastily dispatched the same, after which we begin to make our preparations for the night.

Corporal Eby proposed that he would take his trick on duty, which would save him the necessity of remaining awake to post the relieves, and at the same time re­duce our duty to that extent. Giving Eby the preference on account of his stripes, he took post first, whilst the remainder of us wrapped our blankets around us and soon found repose and forgetfulness in profound slumber, which was not disturb­ed until we were aroused by one of the boys to take our station on duty.

To those who have paced the lonely beat, or stood silently watching for the approach of an unseen enemy, or perhaps crouched upon the earth with the organs of sight and hearing taxed to the utmost tension, to discover anything that might possibly be occasioned by the stealthy approach of the much dreaded bushwhacker, will be able to fully sympathize with us upon this occasion.  The various pick­et fires which in the earlier part of the night had blazed forth so brightly had almost disappeared when we took our trick, and only now and then as the dying embers were stirred up by some guard or half-frozen soldier, was there any fire vis­ible.  As is the experience of all soldiers, the two hours that we were on duty, were apparently much longer than the six we were off. At length however we heard the other pickets along the line being re­lieved, and after standing a little while longer we called McFall and again laid down to sleep, thankful that half of our trick had been faithfully performed.

Long before our time had come to go on post, we were awakened by old General Jack Frost, and when we got up we found that the old General had wakened up the rest of the boys, who had gathered around the fire and were endeavoring to coax some green twigs to burn, but which like the old woman’s chimney would do nothing but smoke.

After a number of ineffectual attempts to make the fire burn, we gave up in despair, and seated ourselves upon our ponchos, threw our blankets over us and tried to resign ourselves to our fate, but it was no use, the cold was too much for us.

At last a happy idea struck Eby, which was nothing more or less, than that we spread the four ponchos, or gum blankets, on the ground with one of the woolen ones and then use the other three blankets over us.  We did so, and were astonished to find how much warmer three blankets were than one.

Just as the east sky began to be streaked with the light gray tints of the morning, heralding the approach of the king of day, the division bugle announced that preparations for the day’s advance would now be in order.  Soon the Brigade bugles took up the strain and were soon responded to by the regimental drum corps.  The pickets began to pack up and prepare to join their respective commands.  It did not take us long to get ready to join the boys, but finding that we did not get relieved as soon as we expected we ate our breakfast, which like on the previous day consisted of crackers and speck.  We had some of the coffee left that had been given us on the previous day, and all that was needed was a proper vessel to boil it in.  While we were debating how to get one, an officer’s servant passed the post with a two quart coffee kettle dangling from his haversack.  Maxey McFall seized his gun, and aiming it at the darkey and commanded him to drop the kettle, this at first he refused to do.  “Click” went the hammer of the gun, as Maxey cocked it, and the darkey getting excited, handed over his kettle to us.

Soon the regiments began to move, but by some oversight we were not relieved until after 9 o’clock, when we were pushed rapidly ahead.  The road was filled with teams, artillery and troops, and we found it very difficult to make very much progress.

Whilst on our way to overtake the line, Gen. Geary and his staff came riding up.  The General halted us and upon learning where we belonged and how we had been left behind, ordered us to move forward briskly until we should join our regiment.  We had heard of the General’s hasty temper, as well as of his big boot, and were all somewhat nervous when he first talked to us, and we just more than made haste as long as he remained in sight.

We came up to the regiment at about 5 o’clock, and soon after our Division moved into a field and cooked dinner.   Here the Colonel found fault with the company for the first, and we believe only time, we were ordered to stack arms, and our company not having any arms before the day previous, we were naturally a little awkward, and since the greater part of the Division officers witnessed our blunder, and being anxious to have his regiment show up well, was naturally a  little nettled, and riding up the company on a gallop said: “D—m you Captain Davis, will your men never learn to stack arms?”

“Wait and see Colonel,” was the quick reply of our Captain.

The Colonel road to the rear of the regiment amidst the smiles of those who had heard the reply.

The boys soon had a roaring fire going and, Laubenstine coming up, the coffee kettles were hung over it, and in less time than it takes to tell it we were ordered to fall in for coffee.

We lay in the field for several hours, when the bugle again sounded the advance and we moved forward again being greatly refreshed by the rest and dinner.  On passing a farm house in the course of the afternoon, the boys discovered some chickens in a field and immediately started in hot pursuit.  The Colonel called the men back, one of our boys having almost succeeded in capturing one, was rather slow to give up the chase, and the result was, in the evening after the regiment had gone into camp, he was sent for to carry wood for the Colonel’s fire, as a punishment for violating the order prohibiting foraging, and how the Colonel knew the boys name will be easily understood when we inform the reader that the forager carried a knapsack that bore the following inscription:

“J. C. Long, Co., G, 147th, P. V. I.”

Considerable trouble was also occasioned by the fact that we did not know our guns as yet, which difficulty was increased by several parties, Lot Ulrich in particular, who had his name written upon the strap of no less than half a dozen guns, so that he would be able to claim, and also prove the claim by showing his name, which he had no trouble to do.  So well did this become known that when he claimed his own gun he had trouble to keep it.  It frequently happened that some one of the boys, bent on a little fun, would steal his gun and when Lot would claim the gun, the matter would be left to the company, which certainly would decide against him, and the fun would commence.  Lot would go from gun to gun and before he was through would claim a dozen, and at least one of someone else’s and cut or write his name upon the strap.

Those who have carried a musket or a knapsack during the late unpleasantness or any war, will bear us out that the assertion that growling soon becomes ­chronic, and that some one can be found at all times who upon the slightest provocation will furnish the “chin music” for the benefit of his comrades.  We at least have no hesitancy in stating that old Company G had a sufficient number of growlers to stock a brigade.  We had our marching growlers as well as our camp growlers and cowardly skulking growlers, in short we had them of all kinds.  Foremost upon the list of marching growlers came Jeremiah Moyer.  He always carried one of the heaviest knapsacks, never played out or skulked, but he had a terrible habit of fault finding as soon as we started on the march.  If the command moved slow Jerry would say, “I wish they would a march, if they a going to.”  Whilst on the other hand, if they marched fast, Jerry would say, “die verflucht kelver sie dadet une behauf dote marche eb sie uff geva.”  Thus after marching several hours Jerry would begin to find fault and universally end with a threat to soon fall out if the column did not halt to rest.  A threat which he never once put into execution, being always on hand for any emergency.

At about 4o’clock we came in sight of Leesburg, and went into camp about half a mile from town, having marched about 14 miles.

 

CHAPTER XXI

ON THE MARCH

The night was passed as the previous one had been, save that a new detail had been made, and instead of standing on picket, we were enabled to pass the evening sitting around the camp fires, listening to yarns and anecdotes embracing a period in the lives of the narrators before the battle-clouds had settled over our beloved country, long before they knew ought of the miseries and privations of a soldier’s life.

During the evening George Henry, the Hospital Steward with his guitar, and assisted by a number of others, favored us with music, among which was a song entitled the Pennsylvania 28th,” which recited the daring achievements and warlike history of this veteran organization and which was followed by “My Old Log Cabin Home,” rendered in Henry’s best style, after which a number of the then popular war songs were sung, and as they started “Old John Brown” which was at that time the soldier’s favorite, the members of Company E, started in the chorus, which was taken up by the other companies and by the time the last verse was reached the entire regiment joined the chorus, making the welkins ring with the combined musical efforts of the members of the 147th.

Taps being sounded, the musical interval ceased, and one after another of the boys retired for the night, leaving nothing but the sleepy camp guards to keep their lonely vigils.

We were tired and sleepy and having profited by our experience of the previous night, we prepared our bed by dividing the cover using half to sleep upon and the other half to cover with.  W. S. Keller, W. E. Fausnacht and the writer stretched our limbs to rest and prepared to sleep.

Keller was the first to go to sleep, of which fact we speedily were made aware.  Those who heard him snore upon that occasion will agree with us when we say that it was next thing to impossible to sleep whilst he slept, and the only way we managed to sleep at all, was by placing our fingers in our ears, and whenever that preventative failed us, we would reduce his snores to medium rates by giving him anything but a gentle prod with the toe of our governments.

Morning at length dawned and we were awakened by the usual hub-bub and confusion caused by the sounding of reveille.  The company cook soon had the coffee prepared and it did not take us very long to dispatch our breakfast.

As our brigade was in the rear and our regiment in the rear of the brigade we did not break camp until nearly 9 o’clock.

We passed through Leesburg a little past 10 o’clock, with bands playing and regimental and state colors fluttering in the breeze, to the delight of the American citizens of African descent.

On one porch in front of a small log house, near the outskirts of the town, we noticed an old gray headed negro keeping time to the music of the band with his head and hands, whilst he was surrounded by half a dozen woolly-headed urchins all of which were under 10 years of age, dancing to the music.  The boys gave three hearty cheers, which had the effect of startling the old gentleman to dancing as lively as any of the picaninnies, which he kept up as long as we could see him.

At Leesburg we saw the first rebel fortifications, which were built about the time of the battle of Ball’s Bluff was fought.  They consisted of large forts, with wicker work embrazures for 12 guns each and were named respectively Forts Evans and Johnston, after two prominent Rebel generals.

Upon this march the boys played an outrageous trick upon Corporal Freddy Ulrich, he carried a pair of boots hanging down behind his knapsack, and as we frequently halted to rest, Maxey McFall, Lot Ulrich, and a number of other members of the company quietly dropped small stones into his boots until they were nearly full, and the result was that before he discovered the trick, he was about “played out.”

When Kevic discovered what was wrong with his boots, the way that he made the gravel stones fly was a caution to those near by.

It was upon this march that Sergeant Baker tied Elias Millhoff’s knapsack fast to a stump.  Millhoff having lain down with it on to sleep, and when the bugle sounded the ‘fall in,’ Baker repeated the command given by the Captain in a sharp tone, being near Millhoff at the time, who being suddenly aroused from his nap, attempted to jump up quickly and take his place in the ranks, but being securely fastened to the old stump, he could not make the riddle, and after several ineffectual efforts to rise Bawly Shiffer came to his relief by cutting the strap and freeing him with that huge knife which William Henry Harrison Shiffer carried with him on that march.  Of course Elias wasn’t mad or nothing, or did not say anything when he got loose.

Sergeant Baker informed Millhoff that if it would be found out who had tied him up it would not be good for the person.  It is needless to add that the person was never found, and that although Elias may have had his suspicions, he never knew positively who had tied him to the stump.

We encamped at Gum Springs, at about half-past 8 o’clock, p. m., having made a distance of about 12 miles from where we broke camp in the morning.  It was here in forming our line that the Colonel came near riding over W. S. Keller, he having had his coat off and his gun wrapped in it and whilst he was unwrapping it the Colonel rode down on him, and had the animal he was riding not displayed better sense then he did Keller might have been seriously injured.

Before we were dismissed we were informed that we would remain here for a day.

After having collected rails for the necessary fires and our tents pitched, we started for a run to wash ourselves.  The run about six feet wide at some places was soon found near the camp, it was covered with ice as clear as crystal, here we enjoyed a fine time, like so many school-boys, young and old, enjoyed the luxury of sliding on the ice.  We were compelled to cut holes in the ice, in order to secure water for washing purposes.

After washing ourselves a number of us started out foraging, in order to replenish our stock of rations which were becoming alarmingly low.  In a strip of woods immediately outside of the picket line we discovered an ox, but how to catch and dispatch him without shooting him was what perplexed us most. At length it was agreed that we drive him farther away from Camp, and loading a gun with a small portion of an ordinary charge of powder, we thought that we could kill him without being detected.

We drove him about a half-mile from camp, when coming into a little ravine Daniel Ehrhart, having purposely loaded his rifle, let the ox have the contents of the gun, which had the desired effect of knocking the animal over, although the report was much louder than we cared about.  After he fell, some one struck him on the head with a hatchet and Ehrhart bled him by using his bayonet in place of a butcher knife.

We proceeded to divest him of his skin using pocket knives, table knives and everything else that we could lay our fingers on that could be made useful.  Not knowing much about the trade we commenced at the head and tried to make a start at skinning the ox, but finding it rather hard work we concluded that it was easier to cut out the tongue than to get off the skin.  We placed the tongue in our haversack and awaited results.  It was not long before one of the boys reached into the mouth, but the tongue was missing, he said nothing about it, soon another fellow tried the same game, with no better success; finally Ehrhart stepped up to the head opened the mouth and said, “Boys, I claim the tongue,” which he had no sooner got out than he discovered that it was missing, when he excitedly inquired, “who took dat tongue?”  No one knew.

 

CHAPTER XXII

ON THE MARCH

To make up for the tongue Ehrhart claimed the liver, which was conceded to him, and which more than compensated him for his loss.

After cutting up his ox-ship into numerous pieces, in order to make it convenient to carry, and after dividing it out into parcels, which was done by two of our company boys, after the reported manner in which choice fish were divided at a certain fishery, located not many miles from Selinsgrove, Lot Ulrich turned his back and Serg’t. Eby pointed out the lots, and whenever he came to a choice parcel, he would prefix the word “and” to the usual question, thus, “and, whose is this?”

The ownership would be sure to fall to some one of company G’s boys, thus verifying the  old saw “that everything is fair in war.”

After we had secured all the meat that we possibly could, we returned to the camp, feeling mighty proud over our success as foragers, and soon had all the company camp kettles in use,  making the air redolent with the odor of boiling beef.

The evening passed pleasantly, we had the means to fill our stomachs, and were subsequently happy.  Ehrhart was somewhat riled when he discovered who had the tongue, but Yankee Garman made things all right when he told him that he had better taken the whole ox.

The next morning, December 12th, bright and early the Army made arrangements to move, and by seven o’clock we were moving along as though the fate of nation depended upon our Division.

During the day we passed through a number of deserted camps which we at first supposed had been occupied by rebel troops, but upon investigation, we found old envelopes, letters and papers promiscuously scattered about, that the quarters had been occupied by the 1st Division of our Corps, under the command of General Williams.

It was upon this march, when about halfway between Gum Springs and Fairfax courthouse that we first saw the Commander of the old 12th Army Corps, Major General Henry Slocum, who with his staff and military escort galloped past us.

Never, in the course of our military experience, had we been more completely taken by surprise than we were when General Slocum was pointed out to us, General Geary, who was a large man in our eyes filled the measure of what a General should be, and so when a small, quiet and unostentatious man rode past us, we were scarcely prepared to believe this was the brave and gallant Corps commander, of whom we had heard so much.

It was soon after the General had ridden past us, that we heard anything definite concerning the advance of the Army under Burnside.  It did not take long get the grape-vine telegraph into operation and we were soon supplied with all the information needed, each operator receiving different information.

As we approached a small a tributary of Goose Creek, we were ordered to left-oblique, in order to give the batteries, which were hurried to the front, room to pass.

Soon in our immediate front was heard the report of artillery, in quick succession, and from the low rumbling sounds we made up our minds that it was not many miles distant, and that in a very short time we expected that we might be called upon to face the foe in martial array.

We think that this little episode created the greatest scare that the company ever had.

We do not know how we looked upon the occasion but distinctly recollect how we felt, whilst we also have a faint recollection as to how a number of the boys looked upon the occasion of that innocent little scare; cards flew and bibles were in demand.

As Our company gained the brow of a little eminence, they made a discovery that quickly dispelled the anxious forebodings which had taken possession of them but a short time ago, when they heard the artillery (?)

In a large field to the right of the pike the batteries were parked, and the men were getting dinner.

General Geary and staff passed us, and as their horses crossed the temporary bridge that spanned the stream, we discovered where the cannonading was.

The Division filed to the field, and in less time than it takes us to describe it every vestige of the fence had disappeared and a thousand fires burned in the field on which six thousand men were boiling coffee, toasting hard-tack and salt pork.  The meat which we had foraged for and prepared the evening before, furnished us with a sumptuous repast and for which the 12 miles we had already traveled since we broke camp, had sharpened our appetites so that we were fully able to do it justice.

It was strange to behold the change that had come over the members of the company, since they had received the scare but a very short time before, then all were scared, now it would have been impossible to find anyone that would own that he had been frightened. We re­member of one of the chaps who had pitched his euchre deck away, tried to borrow one we carried, to play a game while we were resting, and when he was twitted about it, said that he would not have done so only that his cartridge box strap passed over it and the darned cards rubbed him so.  Of course old Bill’s reason, under the circumstances, were considered ample, as we should undoubtedly have had followed his example, had it not been owing to the fact that we had packed it in our knapsack and were unable to get at it at the time of the alarm, since we know that we were  scared fully as bad as any of the rest.

After a halt of an hour, the bugle sounded the advance, and we started on what proved another hard and long march.

Those of the boys who were in ranks on that, our first campaign, remember how anxiously we longed for camp, and how as we gazed down along the level farms on either side of the pike for miles, and not a vestige of camp could be discovered, we were quite prepared to agree with Solly App, “that playing soldier at Harrisburg was all very nice, but to march 24 miles, carrying knapsacks, gun, accouterments and rations is horse of it different color.”

It was the fortune of the company to do its full share of marching subsequently but we never beheld the camp fires in the distance more joyfully than upon the evening of the 12th of December 1862.

The Division went into camp at Fairfax Courthouse, and in the formation of the line, our regiment was placed in a piece of woods, in which the under brush was so thick as to be almost impenetrable.  Of course there was no growling or nothing as the men, almost exhausted with the fatigues of the day, stumbled, staggered and fell around in that woods, whilst the Colonel was vainly endeavoring to form a line.

As soon as the command had arms stacked a number of the members of the company, hastily cleaned up the rubbish sufficiently to make room for their beds, spread out their blankets, and stretched out their tired limbs, without eating a mouthful of supper, were soon lost to the world.

Whilst a number of the boys, not-with-standing the fact that they were also nearly played out, attempted to get supper.

We found it rather difficult to procure water for coffee, and when we had water it was  almost impossible to get fire started, as we had no fuel save the green bushes and twigs that grew in the dense dark woods in which we were encamped, and never shall we forget the fearful smoking we got while attempting to boil that cup of coffee, and how when it was finished it tasted more of pine and smoke than of coffee.

It was our bad luck, in company with Peter Lahr, John C. Long and Jacob Leider of our company to be placed on camp guard, thus being on duty four hours out of the 12.

Early in the morning, long before light, we heard the dull far off b-o-o-m of a heavy gun, which no doubt was the big gun fired in what afterwards proved to be the disastrous battle of Frederickburg.

In the morning when we told Freddy Ulrich about the cannonading we had heard, he replied, “oh, you was only addled again, Lumbard, at the noise made by some battery of artillery passing over the bridge.”

This sally of Freddy’s caused the boys to laugh at our expense, but ere the smile had time to disappear from the faces of those who happened to hear Freddy, there ears were saluted with sound, following each other in quick succession announcing that in all probability the much talked of advance had been made by the Army of the Potomac under Burnside, and the guns we now heard were those served by the Rebels, hurling death and defiance into the ranks of the veterans of the U. S. Army.

 

CHAPTER XXIII

ON THE MARCH

We were soon ordered to be ready to move.  Knapsacks were hastily packed and all the minor details preparatory to a  day’s march were gone through within which time the cook had the coffee “going” and we refreshed ourselves with the soldier’s solace, a steaming cup of coffee black as the imp of darkness and strong enough to bear a pontoon train.

From the number of orderlies who were galloping hither and yon, aided by the booming of the far-off gun, the sound of which reached us at regular intervals caused us to think that something was to be did.

We fell in promptly at the word of the command, glad to escape from the intolerable smoke and the abominable pine thicket.

During the night W. S. Keller had met with an accident, having slept too close to the fire, he had the one side of the tail of his “long-tailed blue” badly damaged and in order to retrieve the misfortune Freddy Knight had cut it out bias, giving the wearer the appearance of a rooster with his wing cut off.

When the boys beheld his comical appearance they made the welkin ring with shouts, which Keller good naturedly played along with.

During the day’s march, we were impressed with the apparent poverty of the people.  The houses in most cases consisted of little log huts, while the outbuildings were in strict accordance with the main buildings, the only feature of any prominence about them, were the large old fashioned stone chimneys, which covered up the entire gable end of the house, the spacious hearth and fire-place, having a corresponding space upon the inside.

The citizens had the appearance of abject want stamped upon every liniment of their faces, the men, as a general thing, their hair long and unkempt, while beards looked as though they had never felt the keen edge of a razor and their garments in many cases betokened the scarcity of soap and water.

The ladies we saw, but we presume that the better class either fled or concealed themselves upon the advance of the Yankees­, were indeed a sorry excuse for the former noble women of the old Dominion, they were tall, raw-boned and saffron colored, their lips were tinted with the color of tobacco instead of the hue of the rose, whilst their dilated nostrils proclaim­ed the victims of snuff.

Another characteristic was the fact that they prided themselves upon being simon­-pure Virginians, boasting that they never had done any work until the “Yanks had gone and commenced a war, jist to steal their slaves, but they reckoned that the Yanks would be glad to toat thar propety back agin when the whar was over and the Confederacy was all right.”

The women in most case, were the most defiant rebels, and it afforded them the greatest satisfaction to tell how many of their sons and brothers, husbands, fathers and friends had gone to war, to fight for their country and the “bonnie blue flag.’

About three miles from Fairfax we passed one of these Southron Mansions with the owner sitting on a bench on the porch, when the following colloquy, illustrative of similar events transpiring daily, took voice.

Soldier—“How far to the next town, old man?”

Old Man—“A right smart chance of a walk.”

Soldier—“Never mind the walk, old man, can’t you tell us how many miles it is?”

Old Man—“I reckon its nigh unto 12 miles.”

Soldier—“I guess they are Virginia miles.”

Old Man— “Yaas, its 12 right smart miles.”

The foregoing is about all that could be gotten out of any of them, and we were frequently informed that it was ten or twelve miles to a certain point when a few minutes afterwards we would meet another native who would give quite different figures, sometimes much nearer and at other times much farther off.  Thus, we were at all time surrounded by uncertainties.

Our march during the day lay through a section of country in which large numbers of persimmon trees grew, and as we were the first troops that had passed them since they were fit to eat, we made a terrible onslaught upon them and whenever we halted near them, in a few seconds the trees would be covered with “blue coats” and in a very short time they would be as completely scutched as the potato-bugs of late years have cleaned the Murphy stalks.

It was upon this march that an original idea worked its way into Kevic Ulrich’s cranium.  We were marching along quietly when the Corporal astonished the whole Company with. the following:

“Hu, Hu, I have often wondered why they say still, ‘Cinnamon seed and sandy bottom,’” referring to the song of Dixie then very popular in both armies “and now I know it,” he continued, “for just see the cinnamons.”

The latter part called forth a hearty cheer and Lieutenant Byers capped the climax by remarking:

“Just listen to that darned fool, who every heard of the like?”

When Freddy remembered that the fruit was “per-cinnamons” the couplet in the song remained just as much of a mystery to him as it had before he made the discovery.

During he entire day we could plainly hear the booming of cannons, and heard a battle was in progress, but as to where, or the magnitude of it, we were profoundly ignorant.

Our rations were almost exhausted and had it not been for the beef we captured at Gum Springs, together with the persimmons we got along the road, we would indeed have fared badly.

It was mid-winter, and in a section of country where the climate is but a few degrees less severe than in central Pennsylvania, whilst many of the boys, owing to the severity of the previous day’s march, had slung blankets or overcoats away, and we who were not fully initiated into the hardships of a soldier’s life, found the situation a very unpleasant one, but the boys took it like veterans, and when several of them began to find fault, they were speedily stopped by the “little one” who started up one of the old Harrisburg Gaiety songs entitled, “Oh Why did I go for a Soldier?”

The marching was very irksome, it being one of those slow kind composed mainly of “starts”  and “halts.”  By the time the men would get seated to rest, the command to “forward” would again be given..

We made camp at sundown, having marched from Fairfax to Occoquan, a distance of about 14 miles.

The campfires soon burnt brightly and after we swallowed a cup of coffee and dispatched a cracker or two, we soon forg­ot the mishaps of the day, and felt perfectly resigned to our fate.

Before we closed our eyes in sleep, stretched out upon old mother earth, with the canopy of heaven, thickly studded with the myriads of twinkling stars, for our covering, listening to the booming of a number of heavy guns in the distant front—how far we knew not, we mused upon the uncertainties of  “glorious (?) war,” vainly endeavoring to rend the veil of futurity and to catch a glimpse of the future life beyond the narrow confines of the known.  As we gazed upon the heavenly wonders in silence and awe, we were impressed with one thought, that never deserted us in the years we spent in service ­and was this, that the Hand that shaped the heavenly bodies, and called the laws which govern them into existence, also is able to extend the same protecting care over us poor mortals, who in our blindness and folly, rush madly and hurriedly into danger, and that those who fall in the contest, like a meteor flashing through the heavens will not be destroyed, but only be transferred to another constellation.

Cogitating thus, we closed our tired eyes in slumber and did not wake up until the morning dawned, and we were aroused by Dasher and the drum corps beating revile.

 

CHAPTER XXIV

ON THE MARCH

Breakfast being hastily dispatched we were soon in line, our regiment, the 147th  P. V. I. being in advance, we started out at full speed.

As we struck the road, we for the first time witnessed General Geary with his “mad up.”

The 2nd Brigade, then commanded by the gallant little Kane of Buck-tail notoriety, was encamped on both side of the road, having been in the advance on the previous day, the men were waiting for us to pass so that they could take their place in the line of march for the day, which was in the rear.

As the head of our regiment got opposite to the 29th Penn’a Regiment, “Old John” and his staff came riding up.  As soon as the men of that command saw him they began with one accord to yell:

“Crackers!  Crackers!!”

The General suddenly wheeled his horse around and rode with a gallop into the midst of the astonished men, raised himself to his full height, curbing “o1d Charlie,” his searching eyes caused the stout hearts in the old 29th to quail.  Looking at the men in silence for a few seconds he suddenly broke forth with the following  in his usual emphatic manner:

“By G—d, I’ll shoot the first man that dares to yell cracker again.”  He then rode up to where General Kane and his staff stood and notified the General that he would hold him strictly accountable for the future conduct of his men.

General Kane attempted to offer an apology for his men, but the old General had his dander up, and with an impatient wave of his hand, and in language too pointed to admit of any doubt, informed General Kane that be would hear nothing from him or the men of his command.

We had frequently heard of the manner in which General Geary, or “old John” as he was familiarly called by the boys, made things get when in a bad humor but this had been the first demonstration of which we had any ocular proof.

It appeared that the incident had boiled up the old Generals blood and in about an hour be put us through at such a rate as not to allow much grass to grow under our feet.

This day we watched only about 10 miles and went into camp at Cockers Point, in a camp formerly occupied by Rebel troops.

 We looked anxiously about us for anything that we could pick up formerly owned by some Johnny Reb.  A number of the boys were successful, finding buttons, rebel newspapers, or rather pieces, parts of letters, rebel envelopes, stamps, all of which were prized highly by our boys, owing to the fact that they had never before had had an opportunity to get anything of the kind.

The old worn-out shoes were quite a curiosity to us, having been smuggled from England, and bore no more resemblance to the shoes we wore than a big canoe does to a river flat.  They were long and pointed, turning up at the toes similar to the shoes worn at the present time.

All day long we had heard the cannonading, and towards evening it became more frequent and distinct, and to us it appeared that our men were being driven back, and that that the rebels were advancing towards us.

Soon rumor was rife and was eagerly caught up and devoured by the men.  It is surprising to see how ingenious a line will be spun out of the most scanty picture.

When we lay down to sleep the night looked down serenely and the stars twinkled so brightly above us, and we did not for a single moment apprehend a storm, and subsequently made no arrangements to protect ourselves from one.

We stretched ourselves upon our ponchos and soon were asleep.  We were not asleep very long until we were awakened by the dropping of the rain drops on our face.

Being determined to make the best of a bad bargain, we threw one of the gum blankets over us, and tucking it under all around us, we made up our minds to do much as they do in the old country – leave it rain.

The storm grew worse, the rain came down in torrents.  Soon it commenced to reach through our clothes from the ground, and being a December rain, it was rather fresher than we had any relish for.

Soon the boys, one after the other, began to be roused up from the same cause, and then the growling commenced in good earnest.

It was the company’s first experience of rain whilst lying in camp without having any shelter, and it was no wonder that the boys were a little out of patience.

The rain continued until morning, thus making it impossible for us to rest ourselves as the only sleep we did get, came only while sitting upon our knapsacks, our rifles thrown across our knees and the gum-blankets thrown over us.

When the morning dawned, the rain clouds disappeared, and the smiling face of the great and genial sun soon drove the frowns from the faces of the boys.

We built large fires and dried our woolen bl­ankets, over-coats and other clothing, as well as we could, and when ordered to fall in, our knapsacks were from five to six pounds heavier than they had been on the previous day.

Our rations were now almost completely consumed, and what little we did have, were badly damaged by the rain.

As the General rode to the head of the column, preparatory to starting, the members ­of the company felt like making a demonstration similar to the one made on the previous morning by the 29th, but knowing the result they very wisely considered that discretion was the better part of valor.

The marching during the day was the most disagreeable of any that we had yet been called to make. The rain which had come down during the preceding night, had caused the ground to partake of the nature of mortar, a characteristic of the yellow sad soil of Virginia, which to the pedestrian calls to mind the couplet in Aunt Emma’s plaster:

“The more you try to get away, the more you stick the faster.”

Our route during the day lay along a number of little streams, which rain that fell during the night had swollen so as to swell them out over the low marshy grounds adding greatly to the annoyance of the day’s march.

Upon the march we first heard of the battle of Fredericksburg and its disastrous results.  The news certainly did not add much to our encouragement and instead of cheering us up, it had a tendency to depress us.  Here we were trudging along, wet, tired and hungry, without the present necessaries to relieve our wants.

Those who have never felt the gnawings of hunger, cannot form the least possible conceptions of its pangs.  But those who have been placed in similar circumstances will be able to fully appreciate our condition.

When dinner time arrived, we were given twenty minutes for “coffee.”  A short piece from our halting place we marched through what had once been a corn field, and several of the boys were fortunate enough to find several nubbins of corn, which they roasted and shared with those who had no rations.

We happened to be among the ones who received a small handful of the parched corn, and we know that it was disposed of with a great deal of gusto.

With this send off we felt ourselves greatly refreshed and we were also informed by our officers that we would draw rations at our next stopping place.  This announcement caused the boys to brighten up, and they gave three hearty cheers.

When the men in the other companies discovered what “the Dutch company” was cheering for they started up and passed the “cheers” along.

The artillery firing had almost entirely ceased, save now and then a random gun discharged as it were for the purpose of feeling for the enemy.

In the afternoon at about four or half past four o’clock, we reached the camping ground for the night, about half a mile from the town of Dumfries, on a gentle eminence, over looking the ancient town.

Our officers were very particular in the formation of the line, corroborating the report of the defeat of the Army of the Potomac.  We anxiously awaited the arrival of the promised rations, but as night slowly drew her sable curtains around us we discovered that our cheers had  been some what premature.

 

CHAPTER XXV

ON THE MARCH

The morning dawned at length and we were aroused from our slumbers by the stirring strains of martial music.  Falling in for roll call was next in order, after which Orderly Parks detailed two men, App Solomon and Garman Yankee, for fatigue duty.

This last order created considerable growling on the part of the entire company.  After the growling had reached its height, Parks changed it in the twinkling of an eye, by informing the detailed men that they were to report at Regimental head-quarters and to accompany the regimental detail to the wagon train, for the rations which had come up daring the night.

Soon after the men had left our hearts were gladdened by the sight of them re­turning, loaded down with boxes of hard-tack, salt pork, coffee and sugar.

The sight of the rations dispelled every particle of the deep gloom and ill nature which had so deeply settled over the a members of the entire Brigade and Di­vision.

Sergeant Stuck who was acting com­pany commissary Sergeant, never moved about smarter in his life, he did not even take time to whistle “Kennel’s reel.”

In less time than we can express it, the rations were divided out and the air was soon filled with the delightful aroma of boiling coffee and had it not been for the fumes of frying pork and burning crackers, we might have imagined that we were encamped amidst the coffee groves of Arabia.

After we had dispatched our breakfast, we were called into ranks by the Division bugler, seconded by the Brigade Bugler sounding the advance.

This was now the 17th of the month, we having been on the march just one week.  Our surprise may well be imagined when we first discovered that we were counter marching and that instead of push­ing forward, we were going back over the same route that we had advanced on the previous day.  Conjecture was rife as to the cause of the retrograde movement and as to our probable destination, which proved to be about as near correct as such rumors generally were.

We reached our rainy camping quar­tets at Cock-pit Point in time for dinner, thus traveling as far in half-a-day as we had on the previous day, showing the decided advantage of marching with a full stomach over that of an empty one.

While resting here we first received authentic information of the results of the battle of Fredericksburg, which we obtained from Washington papers which were sold by a news agent who had come out from Washington.

In looking over the lists of the killed and wounded we discovered the names of number of Snyder county soldiers among them Captain George W. Ryan, Lieutenant John Gardener, &c., and we felt exceedingly thankful that our company had been fortunately permitted to be held in reserve and in this way to escape the startling casualties which were visited upon the various commands who participated in the battle.

We were allowed a short rest after dinner, and then started on the march.

Just as the sun was beginning to set himself in the western horizon, we reached Wolf Run Shoals, or Occoquan, had now marched as far in the one day, as we had on the two preceding days.

 

CHAPTER XXVI

IN CAMP

Next morning we expected to be on the move again, but our expectations were soon set aside by the announcement by the officers that we were to put up quarters as we would in all probability remain her until the Army would move again.

As our regiment had encamped in a woods, a number of the boys took advantage of this circumstance and felled trees and erected tolerable good quartets, whilst others of a more careless disposition and not having forgotten the comfortable quarters they had left behind at Bolivar satisfied themselves by stretching their “dog” tents as best they could, even as they were compelled to tie them from the trees, to prevent them from falling over.

We made the discovery that not the whole Division, in fact only two regiments of the Brigade, the 28th and the  147th, were the only troops that were camped in our immediate locality, and that the Division was on duty from Fairfax to Dumfries.

Occoquan, as we generally called it, held an important position, in fact the link to Fairfax and Dumfries, hence the necessity of having an officer in command in whom the commanding general would have implicit confidence, hence the promotion of Colonel Arlo Pardee as the commanding officer.

It will be remembered that Company G had just received arms upon the day starting upon the march, and thus were just as green as we could be.  We had demonstrated whilst on the march that we were as fully able as the veterans to undergo the fatigues of soldiering and we felt satisfied that just as soon as the opportunity should be afforded us, we would be able to master the manual arms, so that the company would compare favorably with that of any other army regiment, in any and every respect.

Orderly Parks secured special permission of the Colonel to place the company under the strictest military discipline and drill, so as to be much better able to accomplish the object he so much desired.

The. members of the company will not soon forget our first lessons in the manual of arms, and how Churchill brought down his musket on Hathaway’s toes, and the various other little mishaps which befell a number of the members of the awkward company.  It is a fact that we had some very awkward men who gave Parks much troub­le until he was able to get them to handle a gun with any degree of military precision ­and in fact he never entirely succeeded, ­and he finally hit upon the plan of placing these men on detached duty.

We had drill at any time that a squad could be got together, and the effects of the Orderly’s rigid discipline was soon evident.

The men caught the enthusiasm which excited the officers and the test word of honour with the officers and members of Company G, was Excelsior.

A number of the members of the Company were detailed to cut down trees and assist in putting up a hospital for the two regiments.  To us this had the appearance of remaining here for some time, a conclusion  that the facts in the case did not warrant.

Among the many incidents which occurred during our short stay at Occoquan, was the mouth battle between Corporal Ulrich and the officers of the company.

Up to that time our officers had entirely existed on our rations and we were fast becoming initiated into the duties and rights of soldiers and as the sequel shows, Freddy was prepared to defend the rights of the company.

 

CHAPTER XXVII

IN CAMP

It had been customary for the cook to serve the best meat, the largest potatoes, before we had them, in short to give officers double rations of the very best we had.  This finally gave rise to much dissatisfaction and no small amount of growling as was the natural result.

Early on the morning in question, Steve Templin the officer’s cook, made his appearance at the cook-house and began to fill his dish with the choicest “Murphies.”  Whereupon Freddy, who was standing nearby, said:

See here, Templin, that’s played out, no more feeding the officers upon our rations.”

Steve emptied his dish and at once headed for the officers’ quarters and duly stated what the insolent corporal had had to say.

Whereupon the officers sailed down on Freddy like a swarm of bees, whilst the others who had found just as much fault as he all slunk to their tents and allowed the anger of wrath, to fall upon the Corporal’s unlucky head.

For a time it looked as though the fracas would end in blows, but prudence directed a different course and those in authority satisfied themselves by threatening to jerk the chevrons from Freddy’s arms.

Kevic’s blood was now up, and extending his arms he replied:

“Hu, hu, jerk off them stripes just as soon as you please, I didn’t ask for them when you gave them and I won’t cry for them if you take them from me.”

The officers did not reduce him but he was never advanced any further in the line of promotion and we have always believed that it was owing to the course he took in reference to the officers rations upon the occasion just narrated.

Freddy’s action had the desired effect and from that time on, our officers found their own rations, just like those of the other companies did.

Among the amusing incidents which transpired here, that we now call to mind was the great growling match about a pound of cheese.  Mess No. 1, or rather several of the members of it, had purchased some cheese, and while attending roll-call, it was taken out of Sergeant Whitmer’s haversack by some one and consequently when they came to dine upon it, it was among the missing, then the fun commenced.  One accused the other of having taken it until they were ready to quarrel about it, the fuss was kept up until the messes nearest to them became involved in the dispute, and after all the fuss they were unable to saddle the blame upon any one.

A similar occurrence took place in the morning following, Reuben and Elias Miller, father and son, messed together and Reuben, the father, purchased a loaf of Dutch bread, as it was termed, off a suttler, and was just making a breakfast of it when the drums beat for drill, placing the remainder in his haversack he fell into ranks, whilst his son who was on camp guard was not compelled to drill and remained in the tent, the better to protect the bread.

The drill was a long one and Miller frequently referred to the fact that he would just more than demolish his share of the loaf just as soon as the drill was over.

At 1ength the drums sounded the recall and with arms at a right shoulder shift, we marched to camp and were dismissed.

Miller hastened to his tent, took off his accouterments and placed his gun in a safe and handy position, then removing his cap, brushed hack his hair and wiped the sweat from his brow after which he took down his haversack and reaching into it to get his bread discovered that like Whitmer’s cheese it had disappeared.

 Turning to his son, who having been overcome with the fatigues of the duties of the night, lay innocently sleeping ignorant of the loss which had befallen the ill-fated loaf of bread, and called:

“Eli! Eli! Eli!” and though the last call was made in a tone of voice loud enough to arouse one of the seven sleepers, Eli did not move and it required sundry shakes and kicks from the old man before Eli was fully roused up, when something like the following dialogue took place:

Old Man —“Eli, where is my cake?”

Son —“Why you put him in yer haversack.”

Father —“I know I did but it is gone now, I guess you eat it.”

Eli —“I didn’t eat him, I sleept all the time you vas out, I guess Lumbard got him.”

Father —“No Lambard was out on drill, I guess you got it.”

By this time the boys gathered about Miller’s tent, and each one had something to say to Eli, when he capped the climax by coming out of his tent and facing the boys said:

“I didn’t take that cake by d—m, do you sink I’d say a swear to my pap?”

The last speech satisfied the boys of Eli’s innocence (?) and they dispersed leaving the father and son to settled the difficulty as best they could.

It appeared that the stealing mania was contagious and whilst we were encamped here a number of other petty larcenies were committed, one more of which we deem worthy of notice.

Corporal Harris Bower missed a large black handkerchief and several other articles, he reported his loss to the officers, who without any previous orders “commanded the company to fall in” in light marching order.

We fell in wondering what was the matter, since none of the other companies appeared to have any orders.

We did not remain long in ignorance as the Captain soon informed us why we were thus drawn up in line, and than the Captain accompanied with the Orderly and Bower, entered the tents and inspected the knapsacks.  Suffice it to say that the missing articles were found and returned to their rightful owner.

After the ranks were dismissed the boys were busy surmising as to whom the guilty party was, and this was all that it amounted to, and a long time elapsed ere it was positively known in whose knapsack the missing articles were found.

Our tine at Occoquan was employed in drilling and doing camp-guard and picket duty, and a pleasant time of it we had.  Well do we remember the broad-sword exercises of old Fox, a member of Company H, and an old German soldier who had seen years of service in the armies of the old world, besides the frequent discussions while seated and around the fires of the reserve post, upon politics and religion as well as on all other questions as varied and diversified as the human mind could conceive.

 

CHAPTER XXVIII

IN CAMP

Whilst lying in camp the 18th  Cavalry made a reconnaissance south of Occoquan and fell in with a part of Stewart’s rebel Cavalry and in a few minutes from the time that they bad ridden past us so grandly, a number of them  came riding back, hatless, without arms, and in short were the worst demoralized of men that we had ever beheld.  They gave us a heart-reading account of the terrible onslaught which the rebels had made upon them, and how they had mowed down whole squadrons of them on horse.

The men passed on to the rear, evidently anxious to get out of the reach of the famous Cavalry General and his men.

The advent of the frightened cavalry men in our midst recalled us from our seeming security which we had enjoyed up to the present time, and the keen edge which we had gained that a mean rebel force was within an hour or so ride from our camp, was news that we by no means relished, and we began to feel a “leetle” uncomfortable

On the morning following the cavalry scare, Captain McCabe of Company H had been out on a little scout and brought us the information that a part of the rebel command which had attacked the Cavalry was in our immediate front and that we were liable to be attacked at any moment.

The drums tapped Orderlies calling upon the assembling of the Sergeants at Adjutant’s head-quarters, they were expected to have their companies fall in previously and to prepare for action.

In a very short time after the command was given the company, with tents struck and in heavy marching order, was ordered to take its place in line.

The men appeared to be ready for most any emergency, and save some more soberness, nothing unusual seemed to be the matter.

The Regiment was formed and the Colonel riding up, gave the command “Battalion, load at will, load,” almost instantly numberless rammers were sprung and the deadly charge was sent home.  Obeying to a shoulder arms, the command was given, “right face, column forward,” and we were on the move, in search of the Johnnies.

In the rear of the camp, we struck a main road leading to Fairfax we marched down this road about a half-mile, where we were moved by the left flank in to a strip of woods, here we about faced and formed our line a the left of the road.  After which we sacked arms and awaited further developments.

Several companies taken from the line were deployed as skirmishers and proceeded to advance  across the road, over a fence and down through the field.

To the members of company ‘G’ the advance of the skirmish line was an object of interest.  Anxiously we watched as the skirmishers got in range of the woods, momentarily expecting that some concealed unseen foe would rise up and fire a volley into the line of blue, that was steadily and fearlessly advancing.

We watched them until they disappeared in the woods.  We now listened for the discharge of the deadly rifle, expecting it momentarily.  As the time wore away, we began to breath free, and to all matters a little more cool.  A number of the boys stretched themselves out and took a  “snooze,” whilst a number of the boys took to writing letters to friends at home.

After laying in line for several hours we were gladly surprised by seeing the skirmishers return, bringing several of the cavalry with them, who turned out to be an attachment of the 17th & 18th Cavalry who were on duty watching the advance of the rebel troops who appeared to be unable to decide where to strike, and who were hovering between Occoquan and Wolf Run Shoals.

We marched to our old quarters and soon had everything in apple-pie order again.  Our officers however took the precaution to strengthen the picket line, and to make every arrangements as to render being taken by surprise almost impossible.

The following day, December 24th we heard several reports caused by the discharge of artillery, which we afterwards learned was occasioned by the rebels making an attack upon the Ohio regiment of our Brigade, then stationed at Dumfries, in which the rebel troops were beaten, with a small loss of killed and wounded.

This was the last that we heard of the rebels while we had our camp at Occoquan.

Christmas in  camp passed very quietly since nothing happened to make it appear different from an ordinary day in the war.  The best treat that was given us was mail, containing numbers of letters from dear ones at home.  In the evening we gathered about the camp-fires, and often smoked an occasional hard-tack at the fire, we compared the present with the past, and thought how differently we had passed our last Christmas from the present one; then we had plenty, surrounded by loving friends and the comfort of home, now we were surrounded by hostile foes, and frequently suffering from the actual necessities of life.  Situated as we were upon this bleak December night, with the wind whistling through the branches of the tall pines, and the waves of the Occoquan madly dashing upon the rock-bound shore, as it endeavoring to disobey the Divine injunction, “thus far shalt thou come and no further, here shall thy proud waves be stayed,” all combined to make the contrast more marked.

Nothing of any importance transpired to mar the monotony of camp-life, and the same hum-drum events continued to transpire each day of our stay at Occoquan.

On the evening of the 30th of December the usual monotony was interrupted by the announcement that we were to move forward to join the rest of the Brigade, then encamped at the ancient town of Dumfries, Prince William County, the following morning.

The order came at an evil time, we were out of rations, having consumed almost the last particle of food for the supper just dispatched.

However, having learned by actual experience that we might just as well acquiesce quietly, as no action that we were able to take would bring us rations or cause a general order to be countermanded, so we retired to our tents in order to secure the necessary rest and refreshment for the march on the morrow.

In the morning we were awakened by the timely beating of the sheep skin battery which called us forth for roll call and duty.

We managed to raise sufficient coffee to give each member of the company a cup, which constituted the principal part of the day’s diet unless we would be served with nations during the day, which we were informed was very probable.

During the night a slight fall of snow had fallen, covering the earth to the depth of several inches, but which as soon as the sun put in an appearance it began to melt, making a very disagreeable slush and causing the marching to be very unpleasant.

By the time that the sun had fairly gilded the heaven’s dome with its light, the command was marching, moving in the direction of Dumfries, traveling over the ground for the third time in as many weeks.

We moved along smartly, the officers anxious to get us to our journey’s end.

We did not halt for dinner, but moved right along, Colonel Pardee having evidently learned of the condition of our haversacks.

We reached Dumfries at about 3 o’clock p. m., having marched 17 miles carrying fully forty pounds, without a mouth full of victuals, save the cup of coffee which we had scraped together in the morning before we left camp.

When we reached the place designated as our camping place, which was in the midst of a brushy pine thicket, we were almost exhausted, a number of the boys threw themselves upon the ground without removing knapsacks or their accouterments.

Those who were present well remember the pangs of hunger we suffered on the occasion narrated above, and how we endeavored to satisfy the cravings of hunger by picking up the corn that had been dropped by the cavalry horses while feeding there at some previous time, and how greedily we devoured the bits of hard-tack and scraps of meat which had been left scattered around by rebel troops encamped there earlier in the winter, and which were in a bad state of preservation.

Well do we remember poor Asa B. Churchill who had been to the wagon train and cabbaged a pot of wagon grease, in which he fried some corn, but the mess was too much for even HIS stomach and he was reluctantly compelled to give back his supper.

 

CHAPTER XXIX

IN CAMP

We gathered around the camp-fires that night and discussed the situation, which certainly was not very favorable.  Here we were huddled around fires built from green pine boughs, the smoke of which nearly suffocated us, tired and hungry, without the means of securing any relief from the ills with which we were beset.

Taps were sounded, and after roll call, we retired for the night, to forget the hardships of the day in sleep, in which we were visited with pleasant dreams of loved ones at home.

The morning dawned at length, welcoming the New Year with the cheering rays of a mid-winter sun, partly dispelling the gloom which had settled over the members of the company, on the previous day, and had it not been for the fact that the inner man craved nourishment, we would have been perfectly delighted with the view which greeted us as we opened our eyes on the 1st day of January 1863.

The guard-mount a detail was made to go for rations, and we soon after began to feel our spirits revive, and by the time that the detail arrived with three day’s rations we had forgotten our sad experience of the ills of a soldier’s life when taken into connection with an empty haversack.

Sergeant  Stuck had the rations divided among the boys, and they soon had fires kindled and breakfast prepared which was demolished with a relish known only to those who have been similarly situated.

After breakfast the company officers, assisted by Adjutant McGee, laid out the company street, which site had been selected on the southern slope of high eminence, which gave us ample advantages for drainage.

After the street was staked out, trees, or at least a sufficient number, were cut down to give us room sufficient for the company, and the others were allowed to remain standing after all low branches were chopped off, giving the appearance of a Selinsgrove street.  We then cleared a place to erect our tents which were orderly arranged on either side of the street, and by evening, what had been but a wilderness of stunted old trees on the previous day, was now a boom town containing upwards of 700 souls, in short, a town filled with a gay and feeling population.

The regimental parade ground was cleared up and the trees cut down and the stumps dug up, at the lower side of  the regiment, where a guard house was erected and the guard mounts and occasionally the dress-parades of the regiment were turned off.

The officers quarters were erected on the upper side, or end of the company streets, whilst the quarter-master, which occupied a Sibly tent, was in the middle of the line officers tents.  Thus every precaution was taken to make our encampment complete and handy.

On the following day we had an opportunity to look around us and see what the town and its surroundings were like.

The great object that attracted our attention as we sauntered towards the woods was a newly-made grave, under a small tree, which had been shot through with a shell.  As we neared the grave we were enabled to read the following inscription upon the head board:

 

LIEUT. THOMAS BULL

Co. I, 7th Ohio Vols.

Killed December 26th 1862

 

This was the first grave of any dead soldier who had been killed by the rebels that we had seen, and it was consequently an object of interest to us, and especially because he had been a member of our Brigade, and as we had heard the report of the gun that had mustered him out of the service.

We remember distinctly of cutting a piece of the tree off which had been shattered by the shell passing through, and our example was followed by several of the others who were present, we sent several pieces home in a letter.

The town of Dumfries was a rundown and ancient looking Virginia town which at the time had about 100 inhabitants a majority of whom were colored, it was situated about four miles from the Potomac with which it was connected by means of a canal.  The town contained several big old buildings, the brick of which they were constructed having been brought to this country from old England.

One of the edifices referred to was a church and the bell which was hung in the belfry bore a quaint inscription, which the writer at the time copied but at present cannot find, whilst the bell had a number of pieces cut out of it by relic hunters.  An old fashioned mill stood on the banks of the little stream which flowed to the south of the town and which supplied the inhabitants with material for Johnnie cloth.  Beside this structure resided the “maid of the mill,” perhaps better known to the boys of the company as Lizzie of Dumfries.

Near the town was its counterpart the church grave-yard, and as we walked among the graves and read the inscriptions cut upon the old moss covered brown stones, we were forced to admit that we were upon ground made sacred by containing the last remains of a number of people who had conversed and been familiar with the Father of his country, who in boyhood as well as the more mature years of his life, had frequently been a guest of theirs.  We felt veneration for the solemn spot where rested the remains of a number of the Old Patriarchs of the eighteenth century and we tread as reverently over the rounded mounds above their dust as if the souls of the departed were hovering over us.

The cemetery was without an enclosure of any description, and was covered with a heavy growth of pine trees. A number of the graves were protected by pine poles which were placed over them in the manner in which log houses are constructed, these afforded some protection from the cattle and swine that roamed through the land before the war.

A number of the gardens attached to the best residences had at one time been neatly laid out, the edges of the beds were cornered with splendid box wood, the prettiest we had ever seen, and from the best of which our boys manufactured figures, charms, &c., which they sent as gifts to their friends in the North.

While laying in camp the greater part of our time was consumed in reading, writing, playing cards and checquers , &c., about the most onerous duties consisted of being on picket or camp guard every other day.

A chain picket line was established around the entire camp and the strictest diligence was maintained in order to prevent a surprise.

About this time John F. Bingaman, who took a notion about the time that the company left Harrisburg, that he would rather come North than go to Dixie, was captured and brought to the regiment.

Bingaman was tried by a court martial and condemned to undergo an imprisonment of one month in the guard house, and to carry a stick of wood weighing 80 lbs., eight hours out of every twenty-four, which would give him two hours on and four off, the same as the sentinel.  The pill was a bitter one, but there was no other alternative, it had to be taken.  The guard-house was immediately below our company street and immediately in front of John’s beat, here the boys frequently gathered to watch him on duty, several of whom occasionally pretended to laugh in their sleeves, greatly to the chagrin of the unfortunate stick carrier.

 

CHAPTER XXX

IN CAMP

Time passed along smoothly, our time being taken up between camp guard, picket duty and drill, company and  regimental, and the building of winter quarters.

It was here that Lieut. Wm. H. Schroyer met with a serious accident, which came near breaking his leg, he being in command of a detail to bring in wood to build officers quarters, and while assisting in tearing down an old house one of the pieces of timber fell on him and injured him­ severely, causing him to be unable for duty for the greater part of the winter.

Up to the present time, the 12th of January, the health of the company had been very good, but now a number of the boys, among them Lewis C. Schroyer, Ellis Noll, Corp. VonNeida and several others were removed to the regimental hospital, having been taken with Camp or Typhoid fever of the worst form.

 The boys in the hospital had considerable sport at the expense of poor El­lis Noll, who had the fever settle in his feet and they presented the appearance of a mammoth pair of boxing gloves and were as black as a silk hat.

Noll suffered excruciating pain in his pedal extremities, and would fre­quently give utterance to expressions, near to the following:

“These feet, them feet, those feet gracious what feet, oh, them feet.”

At one time it was feared that mor­tification had set in and that it would be necessary to amputate his feet in order to save his life, but his disease took a turn for the better, and he was, enabled to use “those” feet again.

Lewis C. Schroyer continued to grow worse, until on the morning of the 17th of January his spirit quit its frail ten­ement and entered into the presence of the great Judge, then and there to give a strict account of the deeds done here below, and to receive the reward or punishment, in accordance to the verdict of the Judge.

The death of Lewis C. Schroyer, it being the first, excepting Rev. Hall (who did not properly belong to our company as he was a candidate for the Chaplaincy of the regiment to which we might become attached) caused considerable feeling among his comrades.  Had he been stricken down in battle it would have not appeared so hard but to have fallen a victim to the malignant fever seemed to his com­panions a severe stroke.

Sergeant Stuck was detailed to ac­company the corpse home, and accord­ingly on the morning of the 18th of January, 1863, in company with a number of the boys, we had the last fond look at one who had been a companion of our earliest childhood, and whom we had ever esteemed as a true and tried friend.  The lid of the rough box was fastened down and placed in an ambulance was taken to the landing from whence in due time it arrived with its escort, and was interred with all the honors of war, in the 1st Lu­theran Cemetery, within a few paces where he had passed the greater part of his life, and where he is silently enjoying that sleep which shall know no awakening until Gabriel’s trump shall sound the alarm which shall cause the grave to give forth its dead.

On the afternoon of the 22nd a snow having fallen to the depth of four or five inches, the right of our regiment was attacked by the 28th P. V. I., which was attached to our Brigade and occupied a position to our right and front, and they were making it very lively for our regiment, using snow balls, having driven the right back as far as Company E., here they were struggling to get possession of the company flag, bearing the letter “P” which was their letter in the old regiment whilst in the 147th they were “E.”

Our company, about 80 strong were anxious to have a hand in the fracas but owing to the fact that the company persisted in claiming to belong to the 28th we held aloof and it was not until Lieutenant Tourison called upon Captain Davis to bring G Company to the relief of Company “E.”  This was all that the company wanted, the Captain sprang forward, and with a shout we threw ourselves into the breach and the flag was saved.  In vain the boys of the gallant old 28th attempted to drive us back.  Never, we believe, did a mimic fight partake more of the nature of a genuine engagement than did the snow-ball battle at Dumfries.  And as James Kilmartin furled up the company flag, which had caused the battle, he proposed three cheers for Company “G,’ which were given with a will.

After the cheers had subsided, Serg’t. Baker proposed three cheers for Company E and the 147th P. V. I.

The cheers were given with a will and from this time forward much of the ill-will which existed between the old and the new companies was forgotten and the best of feeling soon prevailed in the command.

About this time a number of the boys who were in the hospitals at Baltimore, came up to the company, from among them we remember Joseph S. Ulsh, who made his appearance decked out with a paper collar and necktie at the sight of which the boys greeted him with hearty cheers.  Joe informed the boys that the train in which they came up to the regiment had met with an accident whereby his baggage was destroyed, or he would have been able to supply the company with collars, as it was the only thing which he had left was the collar he wore and a pint bottle of “speerits” which Serg’t. Townsend drank as he-gulped about the half of it down, greatly to the disappointment of about half-dozen of the DRYEST of the men.  He pronounced it worth more down a parched throat than all the paper collars in the great United States, an opinion which a number of those present emphatically endorsed.

On the morning of the 25th of January the hearts of the boys were buoyed with the announcement that those who desired it could now have packages sent from home.

The boys hastened to their tents and soon were busy sending the glad tidings to friends at home, informing them of the news and requesting the forwarding of home luxuries.

We have before us a letter which was saved by the person to whom it was addressed, which we here publish, just as it was written, showing how the tastes of the writer run:

 

Dumfries, Va., Jan. 26, 1863

 

Captain Davis having told us that we can now have parcels sent us from home, if you can, I ask that you would send me a small request.  Boil 2 doz. eggs, hard; a can of apple butter; a cake of chocolate; 1 pint of brown sugar; tell the boys to crack and pit me about a pint of walnut g??????; a few sweet cakes; a little bag of flour to make gravy to my beef; send me the directions how to make sour dip; send ground pepper; get me a quart tin like Schroyer’s to boil my coffee in; make me three little bags to carry my salt, coffee and sugar in, make them large enough to hold a little more than a lb. with a string to draw them shut; send me a piece of ham; bake some fat cakes, a loaf or two of bread, several apple mince pies, right strong; put in several fish hooks and a line; if you can think of anything else that I am in need of send it along.  Send the box as soon as you can.  Send me the recipe in the next letter you write after you send me the box.

S.—Send a roast chicken, a piece of dried beef and some pickled cabbage.

No more at this time.

      From

                              Yours affectionately,

 

The above letter we consider about an average one of those written home with a view of hurrying along the good things, and in all cases, when it was possible, the wishes of the writers were pleasingly gratified.

The time passed away slowly enough whilst we were expecting the good things from home, and anxiously did we await the arrival of the first information that the boxes had been shipped, and that they were on their way, intended to cheer the hearts as well as fill the stomachs of the lucky receivers of the boxes containing the innumerable good things, prepared by the fond and willing hands of the near and dear ones at home.

John P. Haas was the fortunate individual who received the first box, and never we will forget his “damt ??? it” when upon opening the box found the greater part of its contents was spoiled.

 

CHAPTER XXXI

IN CAMP

Whilst lying in camp, the day before Burnside made his attempted second advance, and which terminated so disastrously by “sticking in the mud,” we received orders to be ready to join the advanced portion of our Corps. The 12th which was encamped near Stafford Courthouse.

This order caused the boys to feel very uneasy, and “my box” was the principle topic of conversation, all agreeing that if they just had their boxes which were on the way for them they would cheerfully move.

Morning dawned and with it came a copious shower of rain, such as only falls in the old Dominion, and what was to have been an advance of the Army of the Potomac, was checked and is now known to the soldiers of that grand old Army by the significant sobriquet of Burnside’s “stuck in the mud” campaign.

By noon of the preceding day, the order to move was countermanded and rumors were put in circulation that General Burnside would be relieved and that “Fighting Joe Hooker” was to be appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Potomac.

On the 16th of January General orders were read on dress parade announcing that Gen. Joseph Hooker had been appointed to supersede Gen. Burnside.  Our new commander issued a spirited address to the Army which filled the troops with much of his own characteristic spirit and vim and for the time the Army with confidence in itself as well as its brave Commander.

Orders were now issued for the Army to go into winter quarters, whilst the new commander set himself to the task of reorganizing the Army and making extensive arrangements for the spring campaign.

About this time the Selinsgrove boys were taken by surprise by a visit from Mr. George Keller, father of W. S. Keller.  To say that the boys were all glad to see him, and converse with him regarding their friends at home, but illy expresses the facts.  Mr. Keller had supplied himself with tobacco and segars, as well as other articles of luxury for the boys, which he distributed among them with a liberal hand.

The members of the company, under the Orderly’s skillful manipulation, were fast becoming very proficient in drill and in every respect Company G, compared very favorably with any of the companies in the regiment.

It would be almost impossible, from the meager notes at my command, to narrate the one-twentieth part of the tricks, anecdotes, and funny adventures which occurred during our stay of four months at Dumfries and we shall therefore content ourselves by giving a few of the many, which at the time made a special impression upon us, and which the lapse of thirteen years have not effaced from our memory.

Mess No. 1, composed of B. T. Parks, Serg’ts. Witmer and Eby, and Wm. H. McFall, had the reputation of visiting the boys’ wood piles and helping themselves at the expense of those who were not much employed (?) to go and bring it from the woods.  G. D. Griggs and Abel Seesholtz occupied an unpretentious tent in the rear of No. 1, but always had a flourishing wood-pile.  Mess No, 1, so Griggs thought, occasionally visited their wood-pile and confiscated some of it to their own use.

One evening Griggs and Seesholtz took several pieces of wood and doused the ends in the sink, and then carefully piled the prepared wood between the two tents.

After everything was prepared they laid down in their tent to watch the developments.  As soon as the drums sounded “taps,” Parks came out in the streets and ordered “lights out,” after which he retired to his own tent and made preparation to retire for the night.

As soon as quiet was restored the inmates of No. 1 stole forth to secure a sup­ply of wood for the morrow.  Parks cautiously approached the pile stretched forth his arm, seized a stick of wood and got his hand full of splinters.  Dropping it like a hot cake he started in search of water, Witmer, Eby and McFall, tried their hands at the wood with similar re­sults.  As they returned from the run, Griggs and Seesholtz met them, as they passed them Colonel Griggs asked Barney why he did not take “that” wood?

The reply was, “sold, Colonel, badly sold!”

When the joke on the boys leaked out it was greatly enjoyed by the members of the company.

Another trick played upon D. H. Ehrhart caused considerable merriment although it might have proved a serious matter to him.  Dan was out on fatigue duty, assisting in building corduroy road between Dumfries and the landing; whilst his mess-mate Peter Lahr was on picket.  Some one of the boys entered his tent and took the powder out of 20 cartridges and put it on the hearth, covering it over with ashes and cutting wood, everything was already fixed just to start his fire.  It was nearly dark when Ehrhart came home, entering his tent tired and hungry, his heart was cheered with the preparations which had been made for his comfort..  Several of the boys who knew what was up congregated in the neighborhood and awaited further developments.  Soon the cheerful light illuminated the fire-side and Ehrhart commenced to prepare his frugal meal.  Those who were close enough to the tent could hear the meat frying in the pan, and everything was passing off to the satisfaction of the occupant of the tent.  Suddenly and unexpectedly, to Ehrhart at least, there was an explosion, a cup of coffee was sent up through the chimney and the pan with the meat was sent through the tent flying, with its contents scattering in every direction.            The crowd rushed for Ehrhart’s tent, Eli Miller, who knew nothing of the trick, was the first to come to the tent and reached it just as Ehrhart came out of the tent, who running against Miller upset himself, like a mad-man he rushed for the Officers quarters and reported what had been done to him. The officers asked him who had placed the powder in the fire place.

“I don’t know, I have reported it, now you know your duty,” was Ehrhart’s response.

Ehrhart went to his tent and took his gun and stood guard, threatening aloud to any one who came near.

After standing guard for about an hour he became tired and went into his tent.  Several of the boys made an effigy of a soldier, and fastened it to two long poles, and then shoved the soldier up beside Ehrhart’s tent.

Dan was not to be caught napping and was watching for some one to play a joke on him, and when he saw the outline of the man in the rear of the tent, he determined to make him pay for the trick that had been played on him a short time ago.

Sneaking up to the rear of the inside of his tent, he struck the man a blow equal to the kick of a mule, tearing the rear of the tent and knocking the soldier as limp as a dish-cloth.

As Ehrhart emerged from his tent, and seeing the main stretched out lifeless, became scared and kneeling down attempted to raise him up, at the same time saying, “I hope I didn’t struck him so he died.”  As soon as he touched the body he made the discovery that he had been tricked again and then followed of a string of Dutch and English that was more terrible than sublime.  Pitching the effigy into the middle of the company street he retired within his quarters to ponder and reflect over the doing of the day and vowing vengeance against the perpetrator of the cruel hoax.  If any of the boys wished to get Dan on his ear, all that was necessary, was to say “who killed the dead man?”

The jumping match between M. S. Shaffer and Kevic Ulrich was another event that gave rise to considerable fun, and is well worth a place in the history of the company.  Shaffer was on the outs, and complaining with rheumatism and other kindred ailments, and in all appearance was the stiffest man in the company.  Kevic was bantering several the boys to jump, when the writer offered to wager a dollar that the oldest and most worn out man in the company could beat him.

Kevic accepted the wager.  The money, the last cent we had, was staked, after which we started for Shaffer telling him what we had done, and promising him to divide with him if he won.  Shaffer agreed at-once, saying “des kon ich duhn.”(This I can do.)  The two champion jumpers, followed by a number of the boys, proceeded to the ring back of the regiment.  Here the arrangements were made and the jumping took place.  Shaffer was the first to come to the scratch, and made a leap of 11 feet 9 inches.  Kevic next toed the chalk  Jumped and fell short.  He however claimed another trial, the referees agreed giving the same privilege to Shaffer.

Kevic took off his boots and starting about ten feet in the rear of the base took a turn, but unfortunately got his feet full of briars, and fell 4 inches short, thus making Shaffer the victor.

 

CHAPTER XXXII

IN CAMP

The boys caught Shaffer upon their shoulders and carried him in triumph to the camp.  Kevic seated himself on the ground and proceeded to pick the briars out of his feet muttering to himself “who’d a thought old Mike could jump the way he did?”

In the evening when the detail for pickets was made, the orderly called the name of Shaffer, Michael.  To this Shaffer objected stating that he had the rheumatism real bad.  The orderly clinched the matter by saying that “it looked like it today when he beat Kevic jumping.”  Freddy lost his dollar but the company had one more man for duty.

On the night of the 21st of February the heaviest snow of the Winter fell, measuring eight inches.  As the sun made its appearance the battery on the hill,  Knap’s, suddenly and unexpectedly to us, began firing.  Thinking that we were being attacked, we rushed out of our tents in our stocking feet unmindful of the snow.  It was soon apparent to us that there was no enemy in view and after a moment’s reflection we came to the conclusion that it was a salute fired in honor of the birth of the Father of his Country, our immortal Washington.

After the boys found out that they had been fooled and that there were no rebels to fight, then soldier-like, they commenced to growl at the snow.

About this time, Levy Ulrich, John Haas, Reuben and Peter Gemberling visited us.  During their stay we had several rumors of contemplated attacks from the rebels, which had the effect of giving them a taste of army life.

The ground “Kevic,” so named from the fact that it was a dugout with a frame made of pine saplings and then covered with ground, with a trap door in the side of the roof like a cellar door for an entrance, occupied the right of the front row of the company tents, next to the cook-house
occupied by W. S. Keller, John P. Haas, F. B. Ulrich and the writer, was built more with view to handiness and comfort than for ornament.  Two springs, one in the lower corner of the chimney and the other under the bunk on which we slept, furnished the mess with all the water needed, and which were covered over with cracker box. lids whenever the quarters were inspected for sanitary purposes by the medical department directors.

On the afternoon of the 1st of March some one of the boys hung a large piece of pork down the copious chimney of the Kevic, and as there was at the time ­a blazing fire in the hearth, it did not take long to roast the fat out of the pork which dropped down on the fire added fuel to the flame, and soon the chimney was on fire.

Several of the bays who were watching the sport, placed an old tub on the chimney, this procedure soon filled the Kevic with smoke and fire.  The inmates were calmly taking a snooze, entirely unconscious of the destruction which was pending over them.

The smoke was making its egress through the ground roof, and when Yankee Garman opened the door to see how matters were progressing, the flame and smoke shot forth like from the bowels of Visuvious.

The cry of fire was raised, and the first we knew, Company E burst through the rear of our tent and we soon found ourselves snaked out of the tent with Keller, Haas and Ulrich promiscuously piled on top of us, and in a few seconds the inside of the tent was gutted.

We managed to get on our feet just in time to see Parks and Ed. Fisher empty a tub of water down the chimney to outen the fire.

The Kevic presented a frightful appearance after the fire, and had we known who it was that committed the joke on us, he would have paid dearly for the fun.  As it was, we could do nothing but grin and bear it.  Hoping that time would make all things even.

On the following morning after the fire the company was drawn up in line and a ration of “whiskey and quinine” administered to all.   As may well be imagined there were quite a number of wry faces in the company, and for once to the surprise of the orderly, there was no one to be found that desired an “extra” ration; however there were several who thought it a pity to spoil the quinine (?).

Close in the wake of this sanitary move came the order that the men must all be vaccinated.  The afternoon of the 5th of March found the Officers of each Company marching their men to the Doctors’ quarters in their shirt sleeves.  Arriving at the hospital, all were ordered to bare the left arm above the elbow, after which they were formed in open order and the doctors passed up and down the lines and inoculated the bare arm of each and every one thus making it a memorable day by the shedding of much loyal blood.

As we marched to our quarters W. E. Fausnacht got up the following poetic effusion, the sentiment of which was certainly shared by the rest of the boys:

 

We are vaccinated as you see,

And from small-pox now are free;

The fever we have fixed

With quinine and whiskie,

And could they make us bullet-proof

Oh, how happy we would be.

 

On the afternoon of the 7th of March when the regiment had dress-parade, and after the regular routine of the parade was gone through with, Adjutant McKee, read a general Order from the War Department dismissing from the service Dr. Levi Oberholtzer, for disloyalty charged upon the violation of articles regulating the government of the Army and Navy of the United States.

After the dress parade an animated discussion took place in the company concerning Dr. Oberholtzer’s dismissal.  A number of the boys took sides for and against the Doctor, and which was brought to a sudden close by the Captain, who threatened to dismiss all the disloyal ones on the same terms that the Doctor was, the loyal ones he proposed to add two years more of service.  This announcement settled the loyal side and when the Doctor’s friends found that they had no one to dispute with, they also stopped and quiet was restored.

General Hooker was laboring hard to efficiently to re-organize the Army of the Potomac, having made simple, yet effective arrangements, one of which was the selection of different emblems, by the wearing of which the Division and the Corps were at once made known to those who were aware of the different badges and the troops which they respectively designated.

The badge which in the future was to be made historic by the bravery and gallantry of the 12th Corps, was the Star.  In accordance with the. regulation, the 1st Division was represented by the red star, the 2nd Division (to which we were attached) by the white star; the color of the 3rd Division was blue, we however had no 3rd Division.

When the first batch of these stars, which were made of merino, were issued to us, the members of the company at once proceeded to sew them on their coats, thus showing their willingness to aid our Commander-in-Chief to carry out all his designs that tended in the direction of placing the Army on a solid footing.  Little did we then suppose that the White Star we then received should become so well and favorably known to the of the whole country, both North and South, as it did during the three succeeding years.

On the 15th of March we saw the first soldier buried in the field, Samuel Mullen of Company B having died on the 10th was buried under a tree, near the woods back of the town where the Brookville road enters the Dumfries road.  The regiment escorted the corpse to the place of interment.  David Fetters read a chapter in the Testament, made a short and impressive prayer, a squad of comrades fired over the grave and the last sad rights were performed, and with the Drum-corps playing a lively tune, the regiment returned to its quarters.

Some comrade, more thoughtful than the rest, had taken part of the lid of a cracker box and improvised a tablet to mark his last resting place, which bore the following inscription:

“Sleep, Soldier sleep, thy weary day is o’er.”

To which was added his age, company, name and regiment.  The board was nailed to the tree under which the grave had been dug.

 

CHAPTER XXXIII

IN CAMP

Among the incidents which transpired during our stay at Dumfries, and which impressed themselves upon our mind, was the burial of “Lizzie of Dumfries.”

In an old hovel, one-and-a-half stories high, on the North bank of the creek that flows through the town, resided an old lady and her feeble minded grand-daughter who was the mother of an infant, the father of which was attached to some rebel command which had been stationed there during the previous year.

The child, a puny, delicate creature took sick and died. The old lady having no means to procure a coffin, and when several of the boys kindly volunteered to assist her and Lizzie to bury the child, they gladly accepted their service.

After a short consultation, the boys went to camp and procured a cracker box and a shelter tent.  They then wrapped the tent around the infant, placed it in the box and the corpse was ready for interment.  A member of the 7th Ohio regiment carried the box on his shoulder and the funeral cortege, consisting of old Granny, Lizzie and about forty soldiers, was ready to move. Upon reaching the grave-yard the box was deposited in the hole prepared for it, and was hurriedly covered up, upon which the women and several soldiers ­returned to the house, whilst the men who had witnessed the burial scene returned to their regiments.

Not having been very long in the service ­the event made considerable of an impression on us, and we walked to our quarters fully impressed with the fact that death is a great demoralizer.

Many of the members of the company made their head-quarters, when on picket and the reserve post, at old Granny’s house, so many a ludicrous and laughable in­cident might be given, if space would permit.  The old lady was a staunch believe­r in the Southron cause.  Her only concern appeared to be on account of her son who she said was a member of Mr. Stewart’s critter company.

The routine of ordinary camp life was intervened on the afternoon of the 20th of March, owing to the drumming out of troop of a member of the 28th Pennsylvania ­regiment, for striking an officer, Major Chapman we think.

The troops of the Division were all drawn up in line, and the offender was marched out in front of the troops.  The Adjutant then read the finding of the court-martial.  The man was seated upon his knapsack, and all the hair was shaved from his head and face.  The buttons were cut from his cap and coat, after which he was paraded up and down the entire line while the drum corps followed at his rear playing the rogues march.

After the man had passed the line, the troops were marched to their respective quarters whilst the disgraced man made tracks for the landing from which place he had transportation to Washington.  I have no doubt that the first thing that he purchased after he arrived in civilization was a wig.

Evidently arrangements were being made which betoken that the Army would soon be called upon to meet the foe and to retrieve, if possible, the disaster which had overtaken it the close of the disastrous Burnside campaign.

Details were made from the regiments and the pioneer, ambulance, and medical corps, whilst the regiment was being paced under a thorough state of discipline and drill.  The company was complimen­ted by the regimental and Brigade officers for its soldierly appearance and its state of military discipline, a1l of which was very gratifying to the men as well as to the officers of the company.

On the 26th of March, General John W. Geary and staff inspected the soldiers of the Division, by regiment and Brigade, and made a number of appropriate addresses to the officers and men, calculated to inspire confidence in the officers and men of the gallant “White Star Division.”

Already the searching rays of a tropical sun were making the life-giving e1ement felt and the surroundings betokened the approach of Spring.  The health of the company compared very favorable with that of any of the other new companies.  We had had but one death, that of Lewis C. Schroyer.

Serg’t. Henry Baker, who in the very prime of life had left his wife and family of little ones, having enlisted in the comp­any to assist in restoring the Union of his fathers, was the second member of the company to die.  The members of the company all remember how sudden and unexpected the news came, he appear­ed to be enjoying his usual good health when the attack came.  Seated in our tent writing a letter home, we were startled by an unusual disturbance in one of the tents of the company, and upon going to ascertain what it was, we found that Serg’t. Baker was laboring under some strange hallucination, that some strange per­son was in his tent, and he had kicked the upper bunk, sending its occupants, Serg’t. F. H. Knight and W. E. Fausnacht up against the roof of the tent.  He was at once taken with camp fever, and in the morning he was sent to the Division Hospital in the town, and grew steadily worse until the night of the 3rd of April, when a kind Providence relieved him of his suffering by sending the angel of death to his relief.  The sudden and unexpected death of Henry W. Baker, cast a gloom over the company.  He was a model soldier, one who obeyed promptly every order, and who expected those under his command to render a willing obedience to him.  His brother, George Baker, who had come to visit him accompanied the corpse home, where it was interred in the 1st Lutheran Cemetery, near the remains of Lewis C. Schroyer.  Thus ended the brief military career of one whom, if he had been spared to serve his time of enlistment with the company, would no doubt have acquitted himself with honor and, credit.  George Baker, who had brought several pounds of Snyder County butter along with him for the Serg’t., finding him sick and unable to use the butter selfishly took the same home again although the mouths of a number of the boys, watered considerable for that butter.

On the afternoon of the 4th of April a member of Company B, whilst on picket shot his index finger off, so that he might be able to procure a discharge.  Our Doctor, when he learned the facts connected with the shooting, dressed the finger without giving the patient chloroform.  The man survived the operation, and not getting a discharge, he manufactured some soap pills, which he took, they secured him a discharge and a long one.  He was buried at Wash­ington.

On the 6th of April, Peter Laubenstine cooked the last meal for the company, after which he started a suttler shop on a small scale.  Jacob Swab furnished him with the money.  They however came near coming to grief, when they charged five cents for a three cent postage stamp.  The Colonel heard of it, and told them that if they would attempt the like again, he would con­fiscate everything they had.  This had the desired effect, only they used their money in purchasing goods from which they realized a larger profit.

The taming of the wild beasts, or entering the den of lions at Dumfries by orderly Parks, was among the most exciting events, which took place during our stay in camp.  It required considerable nerve to enter the den and stop the “growling” but the orderly was equal to the emergency.

Playing Poker was one of the characteristics of a number of the boys, among them Noll, Miller, &c. and the expression, “Pap Mull has got money, lets play Poke,” had its significant meaning those days.

The bucking of Ed Fisher for shooting off his gun, contrary to orders, caused considerable amusement to those who beheld it. The Happy family of Pennscreek, generally furnished the music for the company, prominent among the pieces came the “Blue tailed Fly.”

 

CHAPTER XXXIV

IN CAMP

The Suttler of the 28th Pennsylvania Regiment did a thriving business, being patronized by both Regiments, our Suttler, John F. Frank, never having put in his appearance after his appointment to the position.  Everything was sold at the very highest figures, butter was sold at from 75 cents to $1 a pound; eggs 60 cts. a dozen; cheese 50 cents a pound; ginger snaps 25 cents for ten, and everything else in due proportion.  It did not require Danny Kreamer to much “general” figuring to discover that at $13 per month it did not require a shelter tent to carry the provisions purchased of the suttler with a month’s wages.  It was a common saying that it cost 25 cents to peep into a suttler’s tent, 50 cents to open your mouth and $1 to buy anything.

On the evening of the 17th of April W. E. Fausnacht of our company was detailed as a stretcher-bearer, in addition to seven others from the regiment.  At this same time general marching orders were read, instructing the officers to hold the command to move at an hour’s notice.

At roll call Hooker’s famous eight day’s rations and 100 rounds of ammunition order was read by the orderly in the presence our company’s officers.

After the ranks were broken Snyder County Dutch made things 1ively, the men could not see the necessity of being transformed into pack mules.

Serg’t. Eby who was of a mathematical turn of mind, took his pencil and presented the following facts, which caused our eyes to open like saucers and the Dutch to flow more fluently and at a higher key.  The following are the figures which confronted us, embracing 8 days rations:

 Soft bread, 3 days,              3 lbs. 12 oz.

 Hard-tack, 5 days,              5 lbs.

 Fresh beef, 2 days,             2 lbs.   9 oz.

 Salt pork, 6 days,                4 lbs.   8 oz.

 Coffee, Sugar, Beans, &c  2 lbs.   7 oz.

                                  Total       18 lbs.   4 oz.

In addition to the above the ammunition, gun and accouterments, weighed 24 lbs., whilst the knapsack, with shelter tent, poncho, and two changes of under clothing, made 12 lbs. more or a total of 54 lbs

Sergeant Eby’s figures caused the boys to feel that now came the “tug” of war.  In addition to the above we carried blankets weighing from 4 to 9 lbs. and over-coats weighing from 6 to 12 lbs. all of which would make a total of about 75 pounds.

On the evening of the 19th of April, 1863, we received orders to move out the following morning on our

FIRST CAMPAIGN.

At the early break of dawn on the 20th of April, we were aroused from our slumbers by the Division Bugle, which was answered by all the bugles and Drum Corps in the Division.

After partaking of a hearty breakfast, for grub was abundant, and in the language of C. E. Parks, it could be carried easier “in our bellies than on our backs,” and we commenced to tear down our quarters and prepared to do up our personal effects.

A number of the boys threw away all their surplus baggage and packed just as much as they needed, whilst others packed up everything they had causing their knapsacks to have the appearance of a first-class peddler’s kit.  We distinctly remember the fact that William Henry Harrison Shiffer, better known to the boys as “Bawlly” who was a follower of St. Crispin, fearing that he might not be able to procure another lap-stone, packed his entire shoe-maker’s kit up, thinking that he could easily carry it in addition to his already over-filled knapsack.

At about 8 o’clock. a. m., we fell in line and turning our faces southward we bid good-bye to Dumfries and the camp in which we had passed the winter so pleasantly, curiously wondering how long it might be before we would be permitted to go into such quarters as those again?

On the first day it happened to fall to the writer’s good fortune, in company with Keller, McFall, and several others of the company to be detailed as wagon guards, and consequently were frequently able to have our fixings hauled, thus helping to ease ourselves.

The command had been in camp all winter and the men had been fed up in a first rate condition and not being able to stand much fatigue, the march proved to be a very severe one.

As soon as the train began to move we loaded articles of clothing of all description, found scattered on the line of march in every direction, the men thus freeing themselves of every particle of superfluent weight.

Some of the boys say it was fun to see how that little shoemaker’s out fit flew, first the lap-stone, followed by the ham-???? lasts, awls and lastly he even dropped the bristles.

Our first camp was on a small creek, the name of which we have recorded as ????pawumsy, at half-past 3 p. m., having traveled about six miles from Dumfries.

The train escort encamped on the plantation of Col. Colquohoun, and as may well be expected the boys made free with the old Col.’s property.  He had a number of bees, the old gentleman did not appear to care for the bees if the boys only did not destroy the “bee-gums.”  On inquiry we learned that he meant hives.

D. W. Gross, who had been detailed to the pioneer corps and who had been away for some time was sent to the hospital and we never expected to see him any more, as he appeared to be to far gone to fever, but owing to a strong constitution he was enabled to weather the gale and after a hard tussle for his life, came out the victor.

On the 21st we crossed the creek marched into ­Acquia Church and went into camp having marched about 8 miles. The day was intensely hot and the marching proved severe.  One death was reported in our Division on account of the heat.

One of Company B’s boys cut a tree down to secure a nest of f1ying squirrels which had been discovered in the tree, when it fell the boys made a rush for the squirrels.  Ed. Shreffler secured one of the squirrels and for want of a better place put it in his cap.  Upon examining it the boys found it was full of “flees.”  Shreffler gave the Squirrel its liberty instantly.

In the morning of the 22nd  we fell in and commenced to move at about 9 a. m., marching past Stafford Court House.  Here for the first time we met the 1st Division, or Red Star Boys, under the command of General Williams, the oldest Brigadier General in rank, in the volunteer service.

The troops of the gallant old 1st Division ranged themselves on both sides of the road and as we passed through the line thus formed we were received with cheer upon cheer and which was just as warmly returned by the White Star as it was given by the Red Star boys.

After a six mile march we went into camp where we remained on the 22nd in order to recuperate, as well as to allow General Hooker time to consummate his plan for the approaching and impending campaign.

This day in camp was made use of to write letters home and wash and clean our clothing which had became soiled by the march.  Not a small part of the day was devoted to demolishing the stock of rations on hand in order to bring them down to light marching order.

From this camp we had a plain view of Prof. Low’s balloons in which reconnaissance and observation were being made on the enemy in the vicinity of Falmouth, in connection with this we could occasionally hear the far distant boom of Artillery, all of which seemed to indicate to us that ere a great many days should pass around a battle between the two opposing armies would be fought, a supposition which was verified sooner perhaps than we at the time supposed.

On the 24th  we broke camp and moved about one mile nearer Aquia Landing, in an orchard where we went into camp, being about miles from the landing.  Here orders were issued to make ourselves comfortable as there was no telling how long we might remain here.

 

CHAPTER XXXV

ON THE MARCH

We remained in this camp, known to our boys as the “Orchard Camp,” until the 27th of April  On the evening of the 26th we received marching orders, to hold ourselves in readiness to move at short notice.

In the morning, on the 27th, we broke camp and moved toward Fredericksburg with eight days rations.

The first night we encamped near Potomac Creek.  About ten miles march the route we pursued.  The day had been excessively hot and we suffered considerably from the fatigue of carrying such an unusual load.

At this halting place the commissioned officers of the regiments tried their skill at jumping and Captain C. S. Davis came off victor, greatly to the chagrin of some of the boys of the “old” companies, but the matter could not be changed.  The boys of the company gave the Captain three hearty cheers upon his success as a “jumpest.”

The writer in company with a number of the boys visited the Church in the vicinity, which had been erected in 1754, and found it to be a quaint old superstructure, with high backed seats, and the pulpit box-like in shape, facing the high old fashioned gallery in the east.  As we seated ourselves in the venerable looking chancel and cast our eyes over the vacant looking room, we could not help but feel a solemn reverence for the, old deserted church, and closing our eyes we fell to musing, and before us we saw seated the early pioneers of the old Dominion, men who did not hesitate to throw off the galling yoke of oppression which King George and his hired minions were attempting to place upon their shoulder, whilst seated beside them were the noble women who buckled the swords upon their husbands and sons and bade them go and meet the vandals that dared to invade and pillage their homes and sack their fire-sides.  Then again the scene changed and we saw the building filled with men and women preparatory to the leaving of a company of men who marched under the “stars and bars” intent upon the destruction of the government which their sires had founded at the cost of untold blood and treasure.  We opened our eyes and the sacred old edifice was filled with blue coated veterans, men who left their far Northern homes to defend the Government born amid the din of battle and handed down to us by our revolutionary sires.  We left our seat feeling that we stood upon holy ground and that the building was hallowed by many fond recollections of the past.

Upon a tablet under the chancel was chiseled the announcement that several of the early pastors of the church were buried in a vault in ­the building.

On the 28th we broke camp early in the morning and had a hard days march making about 14 miles and encamping in the vicinity of Harwood Church.

On this march our Division lost 3 men and 5 horses owing to the excessive heat.  Men and horses dropped by the way-side, the horses were dragged out of the line of march, while the men were carried along-side the road and were covered over with blankets.  When the ambulances came up the men were placed in them and interred in the rear of Harwood church when the ambulances reached camp.

Upon the Northern wall of the church, a soldier belonging to the 1st Michigan Cavalry, had sketched a cavalry charge, having used a piece of charcoal for his pencil.  The sketch was seen by a large number of soldiers, all of whom pro­nounced it a capital representation.

At this camp we had the pleasure of meeting with Lts. Frank Keller , M. L. Wagonseller, Serg’ts. Burkhart and H. H. Gemberling, Corporal Joseph Glover, Jacob J. Houseworth, M. L. Fisher, and a number of other members of Capt. ??????? company, who were attached to the 11th Army Corps, and who visited our camp in the evening, after spending a short time with us a number of the boys accompanied them to their regiment, there where a pleasant time was had shaking hands with the boys from the town and county.  We remained in their camp until nearly midnight, when we returned to our camp and secured a few hours sleep.

Bright and early in the morning we were aroused by the reveille and were soon actively engaged in making arrangements for the day’s march.

The 147th Regiment was in advance of the Brigade, and the Brigade was in advance of the Division.

At about 9 o’clock we crossed the Rappahannock at Kelly’s Ford, over a pontoon bridge, and for the first time we ourselves occupying the front line army.

We marched briskly until nearly two o’clock when we came to a halt and the 11th Corps passed us.

We took advantage of this halt and prepared our supper, which owing to the long fast we dispatched with considerable relish.

After a halt of an hour, we moved briskly forward, and soon reached the Rapidan River, at Germania Ford.  There we saw 200 Rebel prisoners, that had been captured by the advance of the 11th Corps, whilst busily engaged in constructing a bridge to be used by General Lee’s contemplated move upon the Union Army.

So cautious and skillfully had General Hooker handled his Army that he had entirely deceived the wily rebel general, that he had been enabled to throw the greater bulk of his Army in close proximity to the Confederate lines, before General Lee or his able Lieutenants discovered that the Union Army was on the move or that anything unusual was transpiring which piece of skillful strategy served to rank Gen. Hooker as one of the leading military men of the age.

These prisoners were the first “fresh ones” we had seen, and they were obviously of special interest to us. They belonged to a Mississippi Brigade and were a rough looking set of men.  They were apparently well satisfied with being captured and jokingly informed us that:

“That there is a right smart charge of rebels over yander,” pointing the way we were traveling.

“How far from here?” asked one the boys.

“Don’t be uneasy, Yank, you’ll find ‘em when you get thar,” was the smiling reply of a strapping big sergeant.

Whilst we were halted at the unfinished bridge, which General Geary was getting ready for us to cross on, the troops of the 11th Corps were fording the river.  It was amusing to stand on the bank and watch the little stout Dutchman ford the stream.  The water was from three to four feet deep, and the bank where the river was entered was very steep and if the men were not very careful in getting into the stream they would lose their balance and fall head over heels into the river.

 

CHAPTER XXXVI

ON THE MARCH

The men would occasionally flounder around in the water, puffing and blowing something after the manner of P. T. Barnum’s Sea Lion.  It afforded those who watched Howard’s men crossing, considerable amusement, although had we been compelled to ford the river, it certainly would not have been so amusing.

Three men of the 1st Division of the Corps were drowned in fording the stream.  They were fished out by their comrades, and laid out upon the bank, covered over with blankets.  They were buried the same night by the pioneer corps attached to the 1st Division or our Corps.

After the bridge was repaired sufficiently to admit the artillery to be taken across, we fell in and resumed our march.

Well do we remember that march, the sun had disappeared and the moon and stars thickly studded heaven’s azure arch, breaking forth the beauties and charms of nature, in all its grandeur and greatness.

The boys fully entered into the spirit of the scene, and they made the air resound with patriotic songs, prominent among which were:

“Rally around the Flag, boys” and “We are coming Father Abraham, three hundred thousand more.”

We did not get into camp until after 10 o’clock at night.

Those of us who were not compelled to be on duty, unslung knapsacks, made our bed upon old mother earth and were soon sound asleep, forgetting the cares and fatigues of the day.

Next morning at half-past four o’c1ock reveille was beat and by five o’clock the whole Division and Corps was in motion.

The writer awoke with a swelled face and a stiff neck, having developed a first-class case of mumps, which caused moving to be very painful, and had it not been for the kindness of Capt. Davis and Lieut. Schroyer who carried our gun and knapsack, we would not have been able to keep up with the command.  The Colonel ordered the Doctor to give us a pass to ride in an ambulance, but by the means of the officers help we were able to keep us.

At about 10 o’clock we heard an artillery ­shot fired to our left and soon orders were given for the regiment to deploy as skirmishers.

Capt. Tourison of Company E, got behind a tree, we all thought that he had got down to pray, and we felt a little frightened, supposing that we would get into a battle right off.  We soon discovered that the Captain had one of his spells, an event which always took place before a battle.

The regiment was deployed on the left of the road, while the remainder of the Brigade deployed to our right, and thus on the 30th of April, 1863 our company did the first skirmishing.  The underbrush and woods were very dense and our progress through it was very slow.

On our right the occasional discharge of artillery and small arms indicated that the rebels were in their front, and that we might come upon them at any moment.

Never will we forget the scene that took place in those woods on that eventful day.  The regiment was drawn up in line, and the order was given to “Load at will.”

Instantly the jingle of six hundred rammers attested the readiness of the men to meet any emergency.  The quick sharp click of the locks gave notice that the loading had been com­pleted.

The regiment continued to move cautiously forward until about three o’clock when we came upon part of the 5th Corps, when we were moved out in the road and moved up in the front of the Chancellorsville House, at a place called Shady grove.

Here great caution was exercised on the part of the officers in forming out our line and considerable time was spent in making all the necessary arrangements.

After the regiment stacked arms, we were ordered to put up our tents in the rear of the company stacks and the men were very particularly charged not to straggle or stray away.

After everything was satisfactorily arranged some of our boys walked over to the “little” brick house, known as the Chancellorsville House, then occupied by the family of the rebel Col. Sidney White.

The large plain to the south-east of the house was liter­ally covered with troops moving into position, and consisted in part of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 11th and 12th Corps, which had formed a juncture and were now being, as rapidly as possible, formed in position to await further developments.

The sight witnessed that afternoon from the gentle eminence was one never to be forgotten.  Hundreds of battle flags streamed gracefully in the evening breeze, gaily caparisoned chargers, danced and pranced, held in curb by men who knew the mettle of the steeds, Corps commanders followed by their staff and escort moved hither and yon, while the declining sun shed its luster over the tens of thousands of glittering arms and the necessary accouterments.

As we cast our eyes over the wide expanse, so thickly thronged with men and the munitions of war, we came to the con­clusion that if we could not defeat the Rebel Army and force the South to return their allegiance to the Government of their fathers, that we might about as well go home and give it up for a bad job.

A number of the members of the company were in the hospital at the present time, among which we remember Serg’t Stuck, who had the small-pox, D. W. Gross and John Matter both of whom were sick with typhoid fever, of which John Matter had died in the Division hospital at Aquia Landing, on the 29th inst. making the third death in the company since we had left Harrisburg.

John Matter was raised in the upper part of Snyder county, and at the time of his death was in the 19th year of his age.  Quiet and unassuming, always ready and willing to perform the task allotted to him.

His death occurred under painful circumstances and as re­lated to us afterwards by an eye witness, or rather one who came into the hospital soon after his death occurred, and was as follows:

Matter had been delirious for several days and imagined, owing to the terrible fever in his head, that he had a fire in his throat.

He had called several times for water and the nurse had gone to get him some, and remained out some little time, and when he returned, he found him dead, with his right hand tightly clutched around his throat, plainly indicating the manner he came to his death.

He was the first one of our company that was buried in Dixie, in a strange land and among strangers, far away from his kith and kin, where no fond mother could bedew with the tears of affection, the sod which covered the last resting place of her loved one.  He was buried in the hospital burying ground at Aquia Landing.

In the evening at roll call, M. L. Parks was detailed to take charge of Capt. Tourison’s old gray horse, which was trans­formed into a packhorse for the company officers in the regi­ment.

After taps sounded the lights were soon put out and boys quietly sought their beds.  The excitement during the day had the effect to drive all sleep from us, and there under those grand old trees we lay meditating upon and talking with our messmates and comrades of the probabilities of the approaching battle, which all felt would in all probability take place within a few days at the farthest.

 

CHAPTER XXXVII

OUR FIRST BATTLE

The sun shone brightly on the morning of the 1st of May, and the birds warbled sending forth their praises to the God of nature, whilst all around the beauties of the May day morning in the Old Dominion were unfolded.  From tens of thousands of camp fires the smoke curled and turned itself in all manner of fantastic shapes, and around the fires were seated squires in “blue-coats” preparing their frugal morning meal.  There was nothing to imply the probability of the enactment of the bloody drama which was so shortly to take place with such a disastrous loss to the Union force.

At about 8 o’clock orders were given  us to prepare for muster and company inspection.  The first of the month muster for pay was held, the arms of the regiment were inspected by the regimental officers, and the company rolls were called in the presence of  the Colonel commanding the regiment, and from the roll-calls the pay-rolls were made out.

At 10 o’clock a. m., the drums announced the “fall in” and the muster for inspection was hastily gone through, and we noticed that much more attention was paid to the “click” of the lock than rust spots on the barrel, and of the contents of the cartridge box than knapsack.

After the inspection was over we received orders to keep ourselves in readiness to fall in at the tap of the drum.  We at once prepared our dinners and anxiously yet dreadingly, awaited the command “fall in.”

Staff officers and orderlies were passing and re-passing our command in constant profusion, and at 12 o’clock, noon a Division of troops were moved out on the plank-road, in light marching order.

Soon after they had moved out, to our front and left, we heard the first pounding of artillery fired by the rebels, in the area of Chancellorsville.

At about 1 o’clock we received orders to “fall in.”  After the regiment had formed, the command was given “ about face,” “counter march by file forward m-a-r-c-h!” and the regiment moved out on the plank road in the direction of the artillery firing, which by this time had become quite spirited.  After marching about one-fourth of a mile, we come up with the main body of the troops which had been moved out before us, and who after sending out a regiment to reconnoiter, and if it was possible bring on a general engagement.

 At this point we filed to the right and found ourselves in a clearing of about twelve-acres, in the midst of which was ranked a large amount of cord wood to be used by the rebels to burn charcoal, large heaps of which were already burned and raked together in this clearing.  Several piles of pig metal and rail road iron, broken in pieces from 8 to 12 inches were also discovered, the use of which we did not then know, but which we were very eager to find out.

The regiment was formed in line of march, and moved forward. We passed through an almost impenetrable growth of briarbrush, and crossed a small stream the banks of which were strongly lined with briars and a species of water birch, native to the location, and which formed an almost impassable natural barricade and to add to the difficulties, the bottom as well as the banks of the stream were of such a character as to cause us to sink seven or eight inches in the mud, when we were on the other side, we were certainly a dreadful looking set of men.

As soon as we gained the top of the little eminence a short distance from the stream we halted.  The Colonel ordered us to get down and be quiet.  And as we passed from the center to the right of the regiment, the rebels opened with a battery of artillery upon us, from their front.  The shell flew immediately over the regiment from left to right, and struck the ground and exploded but a few feet from the spot where the Colonel stood.

This was the first shell that had ever been fired at us; we had formed an idea as to what it must be like, but the imagination ­fell far short of the real. The writer found it a sovereign remedy for mumps, the shell caused him to dodge his body so violently that he found no incon­venience in bending or turning his bead and neck afterwards.  Quite a number of shells were thrown at us, but outside of them being uncomfortably near to us, causing us much lively dodging, they did us no harm.

After remaining at this place for an hour, we fell back across the run, and took up a position in the charcoal field it was here that Col. Pardee made a short speech to the regiment.  A number of the old companies having frequently assume­d that they would not fight under the new colors, meaning the regimental flag of the 147th P. V. I.  The Colonel referred to this fact and urged the old men to stand up nobly for the flag, telling them to set the new men an example by their undaunted gallantry, closing by saying t­hat he knew the old men would fight, which Ed. Fisher responded in his well-known defective speech:

“And by G—d the conscriptives will fight too, Colonel.”

Fisher’s speech, strong as it was, called forth the lusty cheers of the new men.

We proceeded to throw up breast-works, using the cord wood which we corded up about three feet high.  This was speedily accomplished, for if men ever work it is when they are putting up works to protect life and limb, after which we anxiously awaited the coming of the Johnnies.

In this field the most of the men of the company and regi­ment, threw all the superfluous clothing, knapsacks, &c. away.  Here “Brawly” threw away the last remnant of his Dumfries kit, a small bunch of bristles, also his best cashmere shirt, keeping his old government one.  Many just as absurd changes were made.

We remained in the breast-works for a long while, and finally the Colonel mounted upon his little mare, rode out in the woods in our front, and with the aid of his field glasses made an observation.  He shortly returned and we marched back towards the Chancellorsville House.  The rebels were at the same time cautiously advancing.

When we got out on the plank road we found our men moving back in three columns.  The rebels had a battery planted which commanded the road and they opened a brisk fire on us.

The shell and balls came ricocheting down the road quite lively, scattering the men in different directions.  When they got the range on us, some of the boys thought that the command had been given to “double quick” and acted accordingly.  Our officers however informed the “galloppers” that no such command had been given, whereupon they took their places in the company.

After we got back to the place we had started from four or five hours before and which had been selected by General Hooker, as the position, we came to a halt and were ordered to erect a line of works.

Those of our readers who have never been in a battle, will more readily understand the situation when it is compared as caus­ing an excitement somewhat similar to that created by a large fire, and that whilst all men are more or less excited, some are more excited than others and perform feats that under less trying circumstances, they would deem impossible.

Having stacked arms, we proceeded to build works, using pans, tin cups, and plates to throw up the ground to cover the logs, stones, brush, and rubbish that had been hastily collect­ed and placed in front of us.

As soon as the works were considered ample to afford the slightest protection, we were ordered to cut down the brush and trees in front, for a distance of 80 or 100 yards.

This was done by means of knives, hatchets and sword bayonets.  The brush and trees were all cut so that the limbs and brush were all turned towards the enemy.

While we were out cutting down the trees, the rebels hearing the clatter, knew what we were up to, advanced their skirmishers and opened up on us.

The command was given to “fall in” by a score of officers, and such a scratching and scrambling as we had to get up over the brush, we never experienced before.

It was only a false alarm and we soon returned to finish the work.  During the night the breast-works were made stronger by means of logs and earth.  The men worked with a will and by midnight we were allowed to stretch our tired frames on the ground to rest, with our guns in our arms and our accouterments filled with 80 rounds of ammunition strapped around our bodies, so as to prevent the possibility of our being taken by surprise.

M. S. Schroyer, U. P. Hafley and J. C. Long of our company were furnished by the company as skirmishers and with the other men detailed by the regiment were under the command of Lieut. Goodman, and were sent so far out, or near to the rebel lines, that they could hear the Johnnies talk.

Saturday morning, the second day of the battle dawned, beautiful and bright, and promised to be exceedingly hot.  The morning found General Hooker’s plan completed and everything in readiness to try the prowess of the two armies.

The silence was occasionally broken by the boom of artill­ery and discharge of musketry, but nothing like a general en­gagement had yet taken place.

A number of the boys had gone to the rear of the company, perhaps 30 yards, and having placed two rails side by side, they filled it with quart coffee cups and having whittled some pine shavings, they proceed to kindle a fire.  No sooner had the smoke begun to ascend, than a rebel battery opened on it.  Almost simultaneously with the report of the gun came the wurr-­wurr-wurr of the missile, which happened to be a piece of rail­road or pig iron, which struck one end of the rails and sent the coffee cups spinning in every direction.  One of the cups was knocked upon a tree where it hung on a limb.

The boys unanimously concluded to take breakfast without coffee, and made tracks for the regiment.  The rebel battery continued to fire upon our line, until Best’s regular Batt­ery, which was stationed on the plank road opened on it and after blowing up a caisson they silenced the same.

No sooner had the rebel battery been silenced, than a rebel Infantry brigade advanced upon the battery with the intention of capturing it.

Long before the artillery men could see the gray-backs, they could hear the word of command, given by the rebel officers.  Everything was still as death, save the beating of our hearts as we crouched down behind the breast-works, awaiting the onslaught.

At last the long suspense was over, the rebels rushed out of the woods, like so many fiends, and with their characteristic yell, charged upon the guns to our right.  The battery opened upon the advancing line of gray the grape cut large gaps in the line, these were closed up, and on came the rebs.  Now the troops that supported the battery fired a volley, the battery fired at the rate of a shot every two seconds, giving 5 rounds to each gun per minute. The ground trembled with the combined concussion. The rebels advanced to within about 100 yards of the coveted guns, here they broke and fled in confusion, their officers could no longer hold them in check, and the charge was over.  The victorious troops joined in a hurrah, that was taken up and passed down the entire line, thus announcing the bit of intelligence to thousands of interested comrades of the temporary advanced guard.

No sooner had the boom of the cannons ceased, the rattle of musketry died out and the cheering subsided, than from the dying and wounded lying between the two lines, came the groans and shrieks of the unfortunate men who had been wounded.  One rebel sergeant who had both legs and one arm shot off, made a high noise.  One moment he would cry out, next pray and then swear, cursing the Yankees for murdering him, then he would cry out, “oh, my poor, poor wife.”  He begged of us for Heaven’s sake to come and fetch him in.

Several members of the 5th 0hio regiment volunteered to bring him in.  By the time that they got him in, he was dead and gone, having bled too freely.  The first wounded man we had ever heard on the field, and we tried to imagine how terrible it must be whenever eight to ten thousand wounded men were lying on the field, and what was worst of all, we might be among the number.  We are free to confess that the picture painted for the occasion, was not a particularly bright one.

At about 10 o’clock they opened up a severe artillery fire, one of the shells exploding over our company and wounding Serg’t Townsend in the wrist, making him the first wounded man in the company.

At about 1 o’clock, p. m., General Geary sent out the 2nd Brigade commanded by General Kane of Buck-tail fame to reconnoiter, and if possible to bring a general engagement.  The Brigade went out and it was not long before they were warmly engaged, the minnie balls from the rebel lines flew over our heads, making it as Will Keller said, “dangerous to be safe.”  From the approaching men and the rapidly increasing number of balls over us, it was evident that our men were being driven.

At this critical juncture part our of Brigade was ordered forward.  Fortunately we had been out on the day before and were allowed to occupy the works.

Major Chapman gallantly led his regiment, the 28th P. V. I., over the breast-works and into the thickest of the fight.

The musketry became terrific, and the wounded soon began to arrive in large numbers, showing that the rebels were stubbornly contesting the advance of Ma­jor Chapman’s command.  At this time the rapid discharge of artillery and muskets ­on our right announced that the enemy was engaging Howard, and in order to prevent Hooker from sending Howard re-enforcement’s, Lee made an advance on our center, in which advance Major Chapman was killed, and his command run back over our breast works, with rebels following in hot pursuit and at last the hour had arrived when the 147th regiment was to be baptized in blood.  On came the rebels, towards our works with a yell!

 

CHAPTER XXXVIII

OUR FIRST BATTLE

At this critical moment the men of the Corps gallantly awaited the command to fire, and when it was given the long line of rifles belched forth a deadly fire, the enemy wavered, and by the time that the Corps delivered a second volley, the rebs were i­n full retreat.

At his time the terrific cannonading battle was taking place on our right, as was the terrible discharge of musketry announcing that the battle was becoming critical

Night had gathered her sable curtain around her, and the moon veiled her face behind ­the clouds, as if to shut out the terrible scene being enacted between the sons of sires who fought side by side at Bunker Hill and Yorktown.  At about 9 o’clock p. m., the skirmishers in the front began to fire an occasional shot, which was answered by the rebel skir­mishers, showing that the enemy were menacing.

At this time an event took place which we could never understand, at the time the rebels advanced, some one got up on the breast-works, and ordered us “not to fire.”  General Geary came up and ordered us to “Fire.”  No sooner had the command been given than it was obeyed, our Brigade was massed in close order, with the Ohio regiments in the rear.  As soon as the firing commenced the regiment in the rear opened fire killing several men in the front line.  After half an hour’s fighting th­e rebels, were repulsed.

After the rebels were driven back the firing was continued on the right with unusual severity, as rebels were attempting to drive back Howard’s line, and the sight of the shells bursting over the rebels and the incessant roar of the muskets with the boom of the artillery and the bursting of shells, made it an event never to be forgotten.

While the right was engaged we were anxiously awaiting the result of the attack, it was during the contest on the right that M. S. Schroyer asked Lt. Byers which way we would be compelled to retreat in case we were driven out of our works.  This question incensed the Lieutenant, who answered Schroyer accordingly, but events afterwards showed that it would have been well if some of the boys would have known which way to retreat.

During the night we were greeted with the ominous song of the whippoorwill with its “Whip-em-well,” a command which the rebels carried out to the letter on the following day.

At about midnight the firing ceased, and we received orders allowing one rank to lie down, and sleep whilst the other rank watched.

 

CHAPTER XXXIX

THE FINAL STRUGGLE

On Sunday morning, at half-past 4 o’clock, a.m., the battle opened and soon the 11th Corps was driven back and shortly af­terwards the rout became general, and then the rebels began to breach our works, and we were warmly engaged.

At first the enemy, threatened us in front only but soon we were attacked on the front, rear and flank.  Under this terrific fire the Brigade began to waver and part of it began to fall back in more or less confusion.

At this critical moment, Colonel Arlo Pardee, drew his saber, and with the sardonic smile which illuminated his face while in battle, said:

“Boys, we’ll have Battalion Drill in the face of them!  Colors and general guides on a line!  By company on the new alignment!”

And thus under a murderous fire, the Colonel formed the regiment and moving it by the “right face,” we moved about one hundred yards to the rear and near the brick house, here we were ordered to lie down, a command which the officers did not find it necessary to repeat.

While lying here, and but slightly protected, we had a fine view of the Third Corps’ gallant fight and were in the midst of the demoralization that followed.  The well-known Collis’ Zouaves made their masterly retreat, bearing their wounded with them, carrying their arms at a right shoulder shift and marching with the precision and regularity of a regiment of men on dress-parade to our right.

While laying here and awaiting orders, a number of our boys were hit, among the number of lucky escapes was one made by M. S. Schroyer, who caught the minn­ie ball in his knapsack.  While here some General came riding up and ordered us to make a charge, but when he was informed that we belonged to the 12th Corps, by our Colonel, he rode away.

At length one of General Geary’s aids rode up to where Col. Pardee was and said to him:

“Colonel Pardee, General Geary requests you, if possible, to retake the works from which your regiment was driven.”

To which the Colonel replied:

“Give my compliments to the General and tell him my boys will retake the works.”  Then turning to the men he said:

“147th Attention!”

Instantly the men obeyed, and with a loud hurrah, advanced upon the host in gray, who were thicker than the leaves of the forest, and who received us with a well-directed fire.  Louder than the din of battle could be heard the “steady forward, 147th.” of our officers, and with another loud hurrah we drove the Johnnies from our line of works, Company G charging in advance of the regiment, which act secured of the company the cheers of the men of the regiment and the confidence of the reg­imental officers.

In this, the first charge we had ever made, several amusing little episodes occurred. one of which was the tussle that took place between Corp. Fred’k Knight and Peter Hofer.  Knight being Hofer’s file leader, Freddy not relishing the locality in which Hofer’s gun pointed, remonstrated with him, but all to no pur­pose, and while the charge was being made, he reached behind him and with a jerk sent Peter flying.  Hofer looked at up the Corp­oral and said:

“Freddy, you should not do this here.”  Knight replied that he should be more careful with his gun.

When we had driven the rebels out our works and were order­ed to halt. Corporal Freddy Ulrich stepped out in front of the company, fired a shot in his left-hand style, by the way of a parting salute, and then took his place in the ranks.

We hastily took possession of the works and planted our colors on the same.  A battery opened on us, the first shot fired knocked the color sergeant’s head off, splattering his brain all over the flag and killing Lieutenants Smith and Leahming.

This was the signal for a general advance by the rebels.  On they came closing in mass with colors flying.  Our batteries opened upon them with canister and they were also warmly received by our infantry.  But onward they came, regardless of all opposition, until they were near enough to be hit with the butt of the gun, by which means several of them met death.  The crisis had arrived.  The rebels ordered forward a new charge, they advanced to the assistance of their comrades, with their characteristic yell.

The 1st Brigade of Geary’s Division was almost surrounded and greatly out numbered, began slowly to fall back, and the rebels with a victorious yell, took possession of our works for the second time.  As we fell back the second time the men of our company and B company mixed up with the 66th Ohio, and took up a position on the left of the plank road in a line of works.

The 147th, reduced to less than ??? men, with the Colonel as color bearer made a second charge, driving the rebels back a short distance.  In this last charge Lieutenant Schroyer was injured by his horse that was killed falling upon his sprained leg, and Henry J. Doebler was wounded.

The Rebel Army now advanced in force and the retreat became general and the scene which ensued beggars description.  Whole companies and hundreds of stragglers ran down the plank road at the rebels hands and were gobbled up as fast as they came to the proper place.

At about this time, Sunday noon the battle was over and the Confederate Army had gained a victory, but it was purchased at a fearful cost in killed, wounded and missing.  The enemies loss was certainly much heavier than ours.

We fell hack about a quarter of a mile on the main road leading to the Rappahannock river at United States Ford, General Geary was on the road and as fast as the men came up he turned them into the woods on the left of the road where we were reformed.

The 147th regiment was the last organization to leave the battle-field, and soon Colonel Pardee and his handful of men came back to where the line was forming, the troops of the Division gave hearty cheers.

After the men of the company were gathered together, then came the sad, painful and sorrowful events of the battle, the summing up of the casualties.  The following is the loss sustained by the company in killed, wounded and missing:

Killed—Reuben Miller, Frank E. Knarr, the latter named was never heard from or seen after the charge.

Wounded—Lt. W. H. Schroyer, Serg’t Geo. B. Townsend, Corp. Jno. Riegel, H. J.  Doebler, H. J., Long, John C. Long, Jeremiah Moyer, Isaac J. Napp, Michael S. Shaffer.

Missing—Serg’t F. H. Knight, Edward Fisher, Elias Miller, Wm. McFall, Michael Shaffer.

Making our loss seventeen out of 60 men, or about every third man

After our loss had been ascertained the members of the company fully realized the dangers attending the going into battle, and it is not necessary to say that we were not anxious to get into another engage­ment.

The concussion caused by the discharge of artillery and musketry had the effect of making us nearly deaf, and whenever a man would mistake a noise for the buzz of a minnie, the dodging that followed would be laughable.  We remember that several of the boys had gone out in the bush and Yankee Garman picked up a tin plate and threw it out into the brush, the boys mistook it for a shell and the way they came pitching out towards the regiment was almost sufficient to shock the modesty of the men, and when they discovered the cause of their needless alarm, they looked as foolish and crestfallen as could well be imagined.

While laying in this line one of the ladies who had refused to leave the Chancell­orsville House during the engagement, was taken past having been seriously wounded in the thigh, by the bursting of a shell, from the effect of which she afterwar­ds died.

In the afternoon, towards 4 o’clock we were moved back on a new line, fully one mile from the line we had occupied in the morning, and by this time everything was quiet in our front although the occasional report of the discharge of artillery could be heard in the direction of Fredericks­burg.

We had now been in a battle and had discovered that to read of a fight, or to see an engraving of an engagement, was one thing and to pass through the ordeal was quite another.  To attempt to portray ­the sensation, which takes possession of a man when he for the first time is under fire, is an utter impossibility.  It is natural for man to dread the going into battle, as it is the most trying ordeal that a man can be subjected to, and may be compared to a bath in cold water, it is the contemplation that sends the cold chills creeping up your back and many a man would much rather stay out than to go in, but after the first plunge the greatest anxiety is over, and the soldier ceases to specula­te over the probable results.  His comrades are shot down by his side, the enemy’s bullets and shells cut large gaps the ranks, and he moves up towards the colors, placing his person in the breech caused by the death of his comrade.  At all times ready and willing to obey the command of his officers, even though to obey exposes him to additional dangers.  A man appears to become transformed into an inhuman monster, and nothing affords him greater satisfaction than to behold the total annihilation of the approaching column, and he aims his rifle at a human being with the same precision that he would fire at a squirrel or other game in the woods.  After the first volley or two are fired the men appear to become unconscious of danger and as a general rule those who slink out of an engagement, never get under fire, or drop down and do not fire at all.         ‘‘

We also noticed at Chancellorsville that our company bullies were not the bravest men, and that universally the members of the company who had expressed themselves the most anxious to get into a fight were also the most anxious to get out of it, whilst a number of the boys who were looked upon as cowards by these blow-houses, proved themselves to be cool headed and brave in the time of action.

The members of the company were in a sorry plight indeed after the battle, having discarded everything but gun, accouterments, haversack, canteen and a few shelter tents and ponchos, all the rest being left on the battle-field fell into the hands of the rebels.  But when we thought of the thousand who had fallen in the conflict we consoled ourselves with the fact that we had abundant reason for being thankful that we were as well circumstanced as we were.

Towards evening we were visited by a right smart thunder storm, during which a tree near the regiment was struck and a member of the 28th regiment was seriously though not fatally injured.  Considerable consternation was created among the boys who at first thought that the tree had been struck by a rebe1 shell.

 

CHAPTER XL

RE-COSSING THE RIVER

As soon as it grew dark and all the precautionary measures had been taken to prevent a surprise by the enemy, the boys who were not on duty, stretched their tired limbs upon the ground and were soon asleep.

At about midnight we were roused up and ordered to “fall in” quietly.  This order had the effect of making our teeth chatter, not only from the effect of the cold but from the dread of what might fellow, presuming that we were going to attack the enemy.

As soon as the right of the regiment reached the road and filed to the left we made the discovery that we were moving to the rear, and we soon felt greatly relieved.

After a very tedious march, caused by the numberless halts, which were occasioned by the reformation of the line of the Division, our regiment having been assigned the post of honor in retreat, the rear—we came to a halt, about a mile from where we had started from.  Here we stacked arms in a ravine and were ordered to rest for the night.

The morning of the 4th dawned soon after we had fallen asleep, and our slumbers were disturbed by the orderly who awakened us by roughly shaking us and ordering us get up and eat our breakfast as the regiment had orders to be ready for fatigue duty at five o’clock.

We soon dispatched our breakfast and were ready at the appointed time for the duties of the day, which we soon found out was to build breast works.  We went to work in good earnest and soon had the satisfaction of seeing a formidable line of works springing up all around us.  While we were working at the entrenchment as we could plainly see large numbers of the enemy who came out in front of their Works to watch us.

During the day we could distinctly hear the report of heavy guns in the direction of Fredericksburg, plainly telling that a battle was being fought.

During the day the woods in the vicinity of the battlefield burned from the effects of the shelling of the previous day, burning up a number of the dead and wounded.  The fire spread until a num­ber of houses or huts were burned down, in one of which was an aged negress, who was rescued from the burning build by several of the Ohio boys but not until she was badly burned.  The boys carried her inside of our lines where they made a bed for her, with a blanket, using pine brush to shield her from the rays of the sun.

We never in our life beheld a more pitiful object than was this old lady, and her groans and cries were most distressing to hear.  Everything that could be done to alleviates her pain and suffering was cheerfully done but without effect.

After the breast-works were finished, we returned to the ravine and made preparations for the night.  It had been threatening rain all day and soon after dark we were visited by a terrible rain storm.  For a while we could hear the piteous cries of the old negress above the noise made by the falling of the rain.  Our position in the ravine was the most trying one we had ever been placed in.  The water came rushing down through it in torrents, and it was with the greatest difficulty that we could manage to keep our ammunition dry, as we were sitting town on our haunches in from six to eight inches of water, while it was coming down from above in a resistless storm, drench­ing us through our clothes in less than no time at all.  That we anxiously waited for the morrow and the cessation of the storm, must be apparent to all.

Morning at length dawned and the sun soon dispelled the clouds and the g1oom, and soldier-1ike the privations of the previous night were soon forgotten.

Upon going to where the poor old colored woman lay we found that the vital spark had fled.  The elements had been too much for her frail body and she died, “the poor old slave was free.”

Our arms truly presented a frightful appearance, owing to their rusty condition caused by being heated in firing in the battle and also on account of the exposure to the terrible rain storm of the previous.

The boys cleaned up their guns and prepared them for use in any emergency that might arise.

The artillery firing had continued to grow fainter and fainter, until it became painfully evident to us that the enemy were driving General Sedgwick back towards Falmouth and that the Chancellorsville campaign had terminated disastrously in every respect to the Union cause.

On the night of the 5th of May the troops had already commenced to re-cross the Rappahannock river, and by daylight on the morning of the 6th we were marching toward United States Ford, and by 8 o’clock a m., we found ourselves on the Washington side of the river on a fast skedaddle.

The river was very turbulent, owing to the rains, and fears were entertained that the pontoon bridge would give way before the troops could all get across, this along with the explosion of several shells thrown towards the river by the rebels had the effect of expediting our crossing.

As soon as we crossed the river and ascended the steep banks which led to an eminence about a half-mile from the river, we came in sight of large piles of hard-tack and although well guarded the boys made a rush for it and succeeded in filling their haversacks with crackers, having run short of rations they came in very opportunely.

The march was a very tedious one for us since our Division was in the rear and its movement was in consequence very slow.

We went into camp near Potomac Creek having marched about 14 miles through the toughest kind of Virginia mud, and we were tired accordingly.  Here we heard the first drums beat since the first day of the fight.

Rain began to fall about dark and continued to come down the greater part of the night.  But few of the men had any shelter tents and the few that did have them generously used them to construct a tent to shelter Captain Davis who was ill from the storm.  The best we could do was to take several rails and by raising the one end from the ground for the head end, and letting the other end for the feet to rest on the ground, threw ourselves upon them and the few who had ponchos could cover themselves with them, whilst the rest of us lay down on them, with the rain pelting down on us.

We were fast learning that a soldiers life had its sorrows and privations, and that for every rose there were a dozen thorns.

The night, long as it appeared to us, at last passed away and we were again called on to perform the duties of another day.  Our frugal meal was soon prepared and dispatched and off we started on the march.

The clouds threatened more rain and about 7 o’clock it began to rain again.  We pushed along rapidly and by noon reached Stafford Courthouse.  Here we halted to draw rations and also received a ration of whisky, which all cheerfully accep­ted excepting W. S. Keller and W. E. Fausnacht.

The commissary had the desired effect and soon all had forgotten the sad experien­ce of the past few days and were ready to resume the march again.  In the afternoon about half-past five o’clock on the 7th of May we arrived at our old camp in the orchard, near Acquia Landing..

Upon arriving in our old camp and on receiving orders to stack arms and to prepare to camp for the night, we experienced the sad realities of war.  Here was the place that the company and regiment had occupied but a very short time ago, and here we stood and marked the many vacant spaces, for scarcely a mess of four persons had escaped without missing one of its number, either killed, wounded or missing, and some even two members, and as that was the history of our company, was equally applicable to the other companies of the regiment.

The first night spent in the old camp was certainly a very sad one for the members of the company, and many an eye was dimmed with tears as we pondered over the probable fate of those absent, and who never more would be known as members of Company G whose names though dropped from the company’s roste­r would be cherished by their surviving comrades.  That afternoon new messes were formed by the members of the company, the vacancies caused by the casualties of the battle, formations which were formed only to be broken by another battle.

The next morning we were allowed to make a list of the articles we were in need of and a requisition was at once made by our officers and we were soon after supplied with-the necessary articles, after which we placed our quarters in fine trim.

In   this camp, a few days after our return ­from Chancellorsvlle the famous battle between Corporals Freddy Ulrich and Harris Bower took place and which might have been a bloody affair had it not been that they stopped fighting before the blood came.

We were soon paid off after our arrival and owing to our close proximity to the landing, where shad and herring could be purchased, we lived tip-top.

Capt. Davis, not being in good health, was granted a leave of absence, which he accepted, leaving the company in command of Lieutenant Byers.  The arrival of the wounded men from the battle-field of Chancellorsville, was a sight to sicken the heart of the bravest beholder.  The men, or many of them had lain upon the field for six days without having their wounds attended to and were full of animal life, and which had to be cleaned out before the wounds could be dressed, and many a brave and noble hearted man lost his life for want of timely attention.

A number of cases of small pox had broken out in the Divis­ion, and the dreaded red flag waved from a number of points, between our camp and the river. Serg’t Stuck of our company had the small-pox but in a mild form and he was soon sufficiently recovered to report to the company and be marked “for duty.”

 

CHAPTER XLI

DEATH OF LT. W. H. SCHROYER

On the 15th of the month the company sustained a severe loss in the untimely death of Lieutenant Schroyer, whose death was the result of an injury received during the late battle.

Lieutenant Schroyer was one of the three Schroyer brothers who had enlisted in the company among the first and was the second one who had died in less than the nine months from the time that the company left Selinsgrove.  He was in the prime of life, having left a wife and family of small children giving the support of his strong right in defense of the government of his fathers and which had been so ruthlessly assailed by the armed cohorts of slavery and rebellion, and in whose defense he met his death.

As an officer and a soldier he was loved and respected by the members of his company and regiment, kind hearted and gener­ous to a fault, ever the protector and defender of the weaker and younger members of the company, always at his post, ready for his duty or an emergency that his command was called upon to face.  His death created a vacancy in the ranks of Company G that was never filled.  His remains, after being embalmed, were sent home and interred in the 1st Lutheran Cemetery, by the side of his brother and near to the last resting place of Sergeant Henry Baker.

We lay in the orchard camp until about the 20th, when we were moved one half mile nearer the Landing to where the remainder of the Brigade was encamped.

Lot Ulrich was detailed and sent down to the Brigade Bakery.  It was here that Lot lost his four month’s pay and which was picked up by a little Irishman, who acted so suspic­iously that. he was suspected, and when upon a search being made on his person, the greenbacks were found and Lot was correspondingly happy.  The fellow was spiteful at Lot, and sought to quarrel with him, whenever the slightest opportunity offered itself, and one day he rushed at Ulrich with a large knife drawn.  Lot thought that prompt action was necessary, and accordingly knocked the belligerent mackerel eater down, convincing him that Lot’s muscle was to firmly knit to be trifled with.

General Geary, having been injured by the explosion of a shell at Chancellorsville, was absent and the Division was commanded by Gen. Greene the ranking Brigadier.  Gen. Greene was a rigid drill master and under his command Division drill was the order of the day.

A short distance from our camp was a beautiful tract of country, called Bell’s Plain, here the Division would assemble twice and three times a week to be exercised in the various military evolutions by the General.  Upon one occasion after the boys had been drilled several hours, in the hot sun, much of which time was spent in double-quicking, and when the General was about to turn the Brigades over to their respective commanders, the Generals daughter, a young lady of about seven years of age said:

“Pa, make the men trot again, I like to see it.”

And “trot” we did for the next half hour.  If that young lady would have heard the remarks made by the men that had to do the “trotting,” we do not think that she would have felt herself very highly complimented.

Afterwards whenever the General and daughter would ride past our quarters, the boys would sing out:

“Pa, make them trot again, I like to see it.”

As soon as General Geary returned, he commenced to erect forts and to make all necessary  preparations to resist an attack from the enemy.

The. members of the company were kept very busy, guarding, fatigue duty, company, regimental, brigade and division drill, in short, every available and practicable effort was made to place our division in a high state of military discipline.

Quite an unusual amount of sickness prevailed among the troops, and orders were issued prohibiting the sale of fish at the Landing to the soldiers.  This order caused the boys to adopt numerous ruses, whereby they might succeed in evading the argus eyed patrol.  Sometimes the boys were caught, and then a day’s duty at the lauding was the consequence.  Quite a number of the boys of the company did more duty than would have fallen to their lot by a regular detail, the writer has a feint idea of having volunteered (?) to do duty at the Landing, while the order was in force.

 

CHAPTER XLII

IN CAMP

Soldier life in camp is always surrounded with considerable red-tapeism, so much duty is required of the men that might readily be omitted, but such is human nature, that “man clothed with a brief bit of authority commits such acts before high-heaven, as to make saints weep.”

The regimental officers had their tents placed in front of the regiment, immediately alongside of the high-way leading to the landing, and as the road was very rutty, a guard was placed in the rear of the quarters facing the street, with instructions to allow no one, officer or private, to ride past the quarters faster than a walk or a slow trot.

It happened to be the ill-luck, of the writer to be placed on this beat one day, with the usual instructions made imperative, owing to the fact that the Adjutant and Sergeant Major, with the aid of the regimental clerk were making out the muster rolls.  Whilst on duty, leisurely  pacing backward and forward in the beaten path we discovered General Geary and his staff approaching at a full gallop and when within halting distance, we ordered them to halt!  The old General paid no attention to the challenges and galloped past, followed by the rest of the party at the same speed.  Scarce the cloud of dust which they raised subsided, ere the Colonel made his appearance, and proceeded to give us one of the roundest cursings we ever received, being a soldier, it was our duty to take the anger and feel ourselves highly honored for the marked attention bestowed on one of Uncle Sam’s mud crushers.

A number of the boys of the company saw the performance and enjoyed the mishap hugely, among those whom it appeared to give the greatest satisfaction was Sergeant F. M. Stuck, who was the Sergeant in charge of the guards, and who stood near us and overheard the entire affair,,....

There is a true saying that “it is a long lane that has no turn,” and this proved true in this particular case at least.

It is one of the old established military customs that the camp guards must remain at the company guard-house, where all the guard-mounts are turned off, and from whence the relief started out every two hours.  It did not take the men long to discover the disposition of the officer in charge of the guard and then conduct themselves accordingly.

As a natural consequence the men took advantage of Stuck’s good nature and went to their quarters as soon as off of post.

At about 2 o’clock, the Colonel, who by the way was general Officer of the Day, approached the guard-house.  He appeared fully equipped and it was the duty of the Sergeant in charge of the camp guards to turn out his men and bring them to a present arms for the Officer of the Day.  There was but one man besides the Sergeant at the guard-house.

As the Colonel came up towards the guard on duty, the man saluted him, which salute the Colonel returned.  Sergea­nt Stuck was seated on the grass and the guards had all gone to their own quarters, it was an utter impossibility to have the men fall in.  The Colonel stopped in front of Stuck and asked:

“Sergeant where is your guard?”

“Gone to get their dinners, ”was Frank’s reply, “I thought th—”

“You thought, d—m you, you had no mess to think, get up off of the grass, or I’ll kick the head off of you, now I’ll give you ten minutes to get the guard here.”

The Sergeant started post-haste for the regiment, his mind was so much taken up with the Colonel’s command that he did not really find time to whistle “Kennedy’s reel.”

Suffice it to say he got the men togeth­er and had several minutes of the time allowed him to spare.  This little episode taught the Sergeant a lesson and in the future when our Colonel was officer of day and Frank was on duty he kept his eyes skinned for the Colonel.

We were on guard and witnessed the occurrence and we presume that it is almost needless to inform our readers that we enjoyed the affair fully as much as Frank had the cursing we received but a little while before, and its occurrence turned the tables and we escaped considerable teasing.

We made a trip to the landing in company  with W. S. Keller for the express purpose of getting a dinner at one of the numerous hotels or boarding houses which were then flourishing in the vicinity of the Landing.

We paid one dollar-and-a-half each and took a seat at the table.  The bill of fair consisted of short cakes and tea, the cakes were so heavy and the tea so weak that when we would soak a cake in it, the cake  would drop to the bottom with a “thud,” for spread we had butter, --well to smell it was all that was necessary, there was no danger that the boys would steal any of it, for it was certainly strong enough to help itself, in conjunction with this we had a mixture made of boiled peach and apple snits.  We determined to stow away all the grub we possibly cou1d, however greatly in danger of loading ourselves down with “those” cakes to such an extent that we could not get up from the table.

After finishing our meal we came out of the hotel and sauntered down along the wharf.  Our surprise may will be imagined when we run across a boat which we at once recognized as belonging to Selinsgrove, and which we soon discovered was in charge of Captain Edward McGlinsey.

We got on board the boat and soon had the pleasure of taking the Captain by the hand.  Almost the first question he asked us was:

“Are you hungry boys?”

Of course we were and we told him so, although we could yet easily feel the cakes.  He immediately set out his bread and some spreads, and told us to help ourselves until he could prepare a cooked meal for us.  We thanked him, and told him that we would not spoil our dinner by eating a piece but would wait until he had his cooked meal ready.

The Captain set to work in good earnest, and soon placed an excellent dinner, consisting of new potatoes, fried shad, Washington bread, butter and coffee, to all of which we did ample justice.  That meal we have never forgotten and shall ever remember the captain for his kindness.

Owing to the orders which had been issued forbidding the selling of fresh fish to the. men, it had been impossible for us to buy them, but now this difficulty was obviated we gave the Captain money, and he bought us four fine large shad.

After spending several hours very pleasantly on the boat, and after partaking, at the urgent request of Mr. McGlinsey, of a little something more to eat, we watched our opportunity and with our fish left for the camp without coming in contact with a guard or patrol.  We were fortunate enough to reach camp with our precious load.  We had no difficulty in disposing of one of the pairs to members of the company.

On our arrival from the landing we heard that rumors were being circulated to the effect that the Army was getting ready to move and that when we did move it would be towards Washington.

The Army had been greatly reduced by the casualties of the spring campaign, as well as by the expiration of the term of service of the nine month men, a large number of men were in the hospital and on the sick list, so that the strength of the Army of the Potomac all told, did not exceed 80,000.  But the men were in good spirits and anxious for anything that might tend towards the defeat of the Rebel Army.

 

CHAPTER XLIII

ON THE MOVE

The Spring was rapidly merging into Summer, the heat was becoming oppressive and when not on duty the boys sought the shelter of the friendly oaks, and beneath their spreading branches, passed their time in writing, sleeping and fighting gnats, flies and mosquitoes, to stay nothing of yellow jackets, wood ticks and the numerous other insects and reptiles unknown to the people of this section of Uncle Samuel’s domain.

The boys were contented and happy and notwithstanding the then very popu­lar interrogatory, “why don’t the army move?” in which they heartily joined, they had no very great desire to have the “move” take place.

At length however, General Hooker gained information which strengthened the opinion he had entertained for some time, viz: that it was the intention of the Rebel General Lee to again throw his Army North of the Potomac and carry the war into the border States.

Heavy details were made from the company and regiment, to cut down the tim­ber around the forts which our Division had constructed, in order to make the approach more difficult and the guns more effective, in case we should be attacked.

On the 12th of June, an unusually large detail was made to go to the woods to cut timber.  Among those from the company we remember M. S. Schroyer, Haas, Ehrhart, Fisher, Fausnacht, and the writer.  The regimental detail was in charge of Captain Jacob Kreider of F Company, who was better known to the boys by the well duped sobriquet, “Jack of Clubs.”

When we arrived at the woods, we were informed that an extra amount of work was to be done by this detail and in order to accomplish this a large ration of Whiskey­, known as “commissary tanglefoot” was to be issued to us.

The boys went to work with a will, Captain Kreider sent two men of his company back to camp for a camp-kettle, and ordered them to go to the Brigade Commissary and bring on the “greese” for the axes.

In the meantime the monarchs of the forest were coming down with a crash in every direction.  The boys believed the work to be necessary, and as a natural consequence pitched in with commendable ­energy.

The men who were sent after the “grog,” soon returned. Captain Jack of Clubs established himself as “jigger boss,” and dipped an ordinary pressed tin coffee cup into the bucket and filling it to the brim, he quaffed it with a gulp and thus dealt it out to all who desired it, and but few, only one, W. E. Fausnacht of our company, refused a trial at that cup.

No sooner was the kettle emptied of its contents than the Captain sent it down to the commissary to have it filled up.  And just as often as it was filled so often was it emptied.  The boys got pretty well filled up, and a number of them not only got drunk but good and sick.  Among that class  was M. S. Schroyer, who to this day boasts that liquor he that day drank was the last that ever passed his lips, being formed a resolve that from that day forward he would NEVER taste another drop as a beverage.

We worked until four o’clock, although the trees did not fall as rapidly as they had in the morning, owing to the condition of the men, when we were ordered by one of Candy’s aids to return to camp and prepare to move at once.

We hastened to camp and found that all the sick had been removed, and the necessary arrangements made for a move.  We at  once proceeded to prepare our supper and after it was hastily dispatched, we packed our knapsack and soon were ready for the command “fall in.”

Just as the shades of night were closing around us, on the night of the 18th of June, 1863 we started out on what proved to be a memorable campaign.

We marched all night, and those of our readers who have carried a knapsack and gun, know how tedious night marches are, since the column moves so irregularly making numerous halts, scarcely are the men in motion, ere a halt is sounded.  The commands “halt, rest.,” “fall in, forward” are alternated with alarming regularity.  At last when the command gets into full motion, the troops are compelled to march along rapidly.  The dull monotony of that night’s march was relieved by the occasional stumble and fall of  any unlucky soldier who in the darkness would take a step to the side of the road and tumble head over heels into a ditch or chasm, reminding one of the traveling Christian in the Pilgrim’s Progress; and with the exception that the boys did not take their mishaps with the same spunk that Bunyan’s hero did.

The first gray streaks which tinged the East and gave the first glad intelligence of the approaching day, fell upon us in the vicinity of Acquia Church, crossing the stream bearing the same name, we halted for breakfast.  After a halt of an hour, in which time the boys prepared their meal and taking advantage of the water, washed themselves and soon felt greatly refreshed, and ready for the resumption of the line of march.

The route during part of the day lay over the same ground that we previously traversed, and we felt as though we were no longer in an enemy’s country but on the contrary, as though we were marching home.

At about half past three o’clock we came in sight of Dumfries, and went into camp a litt1e East of the town.  Here we remained over night, leaving camp on the following morning about 5 o’clock.  We reached our camp at Wolf Run Shoals, about 2 o’clock, p. m.  Here we prepared dinner and washed our feet in the stream, and rubbed them with bacon skin.  We had marched very hard and a great many of the boys were too tired to get dinner, preferring to sleep and rest.

Promptly at 1 o’clock we were ordered “forward.”  This day’s march, the second of our Gettysburg campaign, we have always considered the hardest we ever did.  At about half past 3 o’clock, we came up to the line of pickets thrown out from Fairfax Station, and consisted of a detail of the 6th Reserves, and we had the pleasure of meeting several Selinsgrovers, among them John Emmitt, Lewis Haack and John Snyder.  When we reach­ed the Station a number of our boys dropped ­out to visit acquaintances in company B,­ thinking of course that the command would not move much further.  In this they were mistaken, as we did not rest until we got to Fairfax Seminary, having marched about 28 or 30 miles.  When we halted for the night the regiment did not number 100 men, of which our company had three files.  As soon as we halted for the night, the writer, threw down his trappings unfolded his poncho and lying down upon the same did not get awake until morning.

 

CHAPTER XLIV

ON THE MOVE

The morning dawned and with it the usual amount of bustle and excitement occasioned by the preparation of the soldiers for the march.  At 8 o’clock orders were issued to the effect that the troops would not move, but remain in camp for the day.  Knapsacks were unpacked and almost instantaneously a of city of tents was called into existence, and every one made all possible arrangements to pass the day as pleasantly as could be.

In the evening a ration of whiskey was issued to the regiment and which owing to the lateness of the hour was not dealt out to the men but was kept in the officers head-quarters, which gave rise to a little fracas, some of the boys accused the  officers of helping themselves too frequently, filling their canteens from the common crock, this upon investigation proved to be a false report.

On the following morning, June 16, the liquor was dealt out, and the boys soon got so as to feel their oats, and by the time the column moved all the men had to do was to hoist up their legs and then the body would move forward or backward at the will of the “tanglefoot.”

The column moved about 9 o’clock moving in the direction of Leesburg, passing through Drainsville at about 12 o’clock.  Since this was one of the first battles of the war in which the arms of the Union troop were victorious  and owing to the fact that a company from Selinsgrove took part in it, it was a matter of interest to our company.

During the day we several times crossed Goose’s Creek and finally went into camp near a mill, having marched about 13 miles.  Here we camped for the night and in the morning resumed our march in the rain.  During the day we passed through a lovely country, and which reminded us very much of the country between Selinsgrove and Kreamer.  The air was redolent with the sweet perfume of clover, ripe and ready for the reaper, and in numerous localities we noticed fields of waving grain, commencing to bow its bead beneath the weight of its growing treasure.  Reminding us of the rich fields ripening in our far off Northern homes.

In the afternoon we reached the town of Leesburg, and went into camp in a large field said to contain over two hundred acres, all of which was as level as a floor.

On the following day we were ordered to put up temporary quarters, as we might probably be here for some time, it was always the aim of General Geary to make his command as comfortable as could be.

We were encamped but a short distance from the ill-fated battle field of Bulls Bluff, in which General E. D. Baker had lost life together with a large number of his brave comrades owing to blundering mismanagement of the commander – General Stone.

On the second day after our arrival we were detailed to go on picket and our post was on part of the battle-field and which at the time bore numerous traces of the engagement which had taken place there with such disastrous results to our arms.

On a little knoll in the rear of our post where a rebel masked battery had been planted, we discovered a number of graves from one of which a grinning skull was plainly visible, glaring with its eyeless sockets and ghastly grin at all who beheld it, proving an impressive though silent  lecturer on the folly and barbarism of war and most especially did it appeal to us, as we beheld it in the dim light of the new moon, as we paced our lonely beat.

During our stay at Leesburg we cut down large quantities of excellent oak and pine timber, large details were sent out daily from our Division and every necessary precaution taken to strengthen our camp and to be prepared to resist an attack.

While laying in camp, or on duty, strict orders were in force concerning foraging, prohibiting the troops from killing hogs, sheep or cattle of any kind.  The order was much easier given than carried into effect, and many were the devices resorted to by the soldiers to get a choice cut of pork, veal or mutton.  One day soon after the order prohibiting foraging had been made public, a number of the boys were detailed to go on picket, and sent South of the town under the command of Lieut. Byers.   In the field in which the post was, a herd of cattle were grazing.  Among them was a fine looking calf which tempted Serg’t Schroyer and caused his stomach to yearn for a mess of veal.

Lt; Byers was present and it was out of the question to kill it whilst he was present,  After holding a counsel of war, Schroyer was selected to hint to Lieut. Byers as to what the boys would like to do, and at the same time wonder whether be would not like to go in search of a spring of water and fill his canteen and then the boys would prepare him a cup of coffee.

The Lieutenant smelled “a mice,” and taking his canteen with him he started out in search of water, informing Schroyer that he should keep a good watch on the post and NOT allow the boys to make a raid on the cattle, as he should be gone some little time.

No sooner was he out of sight than the boys made an onslaught on the cattle and succeeded in catching the calf.  A number of the boys caught hold of it, Jerry Moyer held its mouth shut to prevent its “blahing” whilst Schroyer struck it several stunning blows, the harder Mike struck the tighter the fellows held the calf, and strange to say he could not knock the poor thing down.  Jerry discovered that it did not attempt to “blah,” said “let it go, Mike can’t knock him down.”

The boys let go of it, when to their utmost surprise it fell down dead at their feet, having been killed by the first blow, but was prevented from falling by the boys who held it up on its feet.

Picking it up and conveying it to a place where they could safely dress it, the boys soon had it prepared for the pan and when Lieutenant Byers returned to the post he was somewhat astonished at the amount of veal that was being fried for the evening meal, and he was still more surprised when he reached into his haversack and found that it also contained a choice piece of steak.  The boys inform­ed the Lieutenant that they had purchased it from an old darky whilst he had been to the spring for water.  But the most surprised party that we know of was the darkey who came to drive the cattle home and found “dat ar kalf done gone and clar’d out uv the field.”

Near to our camp stood an old grist mill which not only ground cereals, but run a set of burs on plaster, it so happen­ed that W. E. Fausnacht got hold of a small handkerchief full of what he considered flour and bringing it home to camp in triumph he made preparations for a good supper.  He at once began to mix his “flour” in a small blicky, after pouring sufficient water into the contents of the bucket, he made the discovery that he was badly “sold” and that in place of being “flour” it was nothing more or less than ground plaster.

Fausnacht quietly set his bucket into his tent and went over to where Dan Ehrhart was making preparations to eat his supper, he having gotten a spoonful of Fausnacht’s “flour” to make gravy to his salt pork.  As Will came up, Ehrhart said:

“It just takes me to make gr—, what de h—l’s dat?”

This sudden inquiry was brought about by Ehrhart taking a spoonful of his gravy to discover whether it was properly seasoned.  Fausnacht laughed at him and Dan thought that he had played a trick on him, and grabbing up the pan he pitched meat, gravy and all at Fausnacht who only made his escape by jumping aside very quickly.  It was many days before Earhart heard the last of that plaster gravy.

That very evening or afternoon the mill took fire, and not having steamer on the ground it burned down.  A number the boys assisted the man to save his house.  Which was done after a hard struggle.

Perhaps one of the most amusing incidents occurred whilst encamped here that occurred in the company during its term of service, and is well worthy of a place in connection with the written history of the company.         

Early one morning a number of the boys discovered a large hog, in which no mistake could well be made in referenced to his gender, and at once made arrangements to capture the sire of all the pork ­in the immediate vicinity of Leesburg he was driven beyond the picket line and at once attacked with the well-known ferocity and bravery for which Company G’s warriors  were becoming fast proverbial for, and under the leadership of the gal­lant Kevic, they did their level best.  ­Armed with sticks, stones, case-knives, ­bayonets and hatchets, they rushed into attack, at last the nob1e brute fell a victim, but not until he had hurled the chief man of Growlers’ Retreat, head-over-heels down an embankment into a run.

After he was killed, the first thought of his captors was:

 “Will he be fit to eat?”

Kevic, who was supposed to know more than all the rest of the boys put together on the subject, said:

“I’ll fix that all right, so that the meat will be as good as that of any other hog.”

This was cheering news to all concern­ed and anxiously they watched the Corporal perform the operation that was to make palatable food of the dead monster at their feet.

The hog was at once skinned and soon dealt out among those who had captured him, whilst a fair share was allotted to Freddy for his aid in capturing as well as for the favor he had done the boys in helping them out of the trouble which had most perplexed them.

The boys soon reached camp and at once generously proceeded to divide the meat. with those less fortunate than themselves.  The frying pans and kettles were at once brought out and soon from a dozen fires arose such a stench the likes of which never greeted our olfactory organs before making it painfully evident that Freddy’s experiment had failed and that he did not know as much about the matter as we had given him credit for.

From one end of the regiment to the other, came the cries, shouts and jeers of the men, and so offensive was the effluvia that the men were glad to throw the meat away, and bury it out of sight, and to our knowledge, the boys never went to much trouble to kill a hog of that kind, in the Spring..

 

CHAPTER XLV

IN CAMP

While encamped at Leesburg we were called upon to witness a heart-rending scene, which was nothing more nor less than the shooting of three deserters, who having deserted to the enemy were captured and having been tried by court martia1 and sentenced to be shot.

The day selected for the execution was Sabbath and a lovely day it proved to be  The sun shone bright and clear, the birds warbled their songs and flitted gaily from bough to bough, evidencing the joy and happiness which they felt.  The bells of the town peeled forth their glad sounds reminding us of a Sabbath in our far off Northern home, it being the first time since we left home that we beard the sound of the church bell.

At 10 o’clock the troops were drawn up in a hollow square, the condemned men were brought to the ground in an ambulance, seated upon their coffins which were simply rough boxes.

The firing party consisting of an officer and six files were drawn up in line in front of the men who had their eyes bandaged and placed upon the coffins, the chaplain performed the last sad ceremony.  The officer in charge of the detail, standing to the right and front of the men, raised his handkerchief, instantly the men drew up their rifles to a ready, the handkerchief dropped from the officer’s hand and almost simultaneously with the act, the deadly crack of their trusty rifles rang out, and the spirits of the three unfortunate men winged their way into the presence of the great Judge.

The men were picked up and placed into their coffins, the command was then given by company “right wheel” and we were then marched past the dead deserters.

Never will we forget the sight which met our gaze as we filed past the victims of military discipline.  The bandages had been removed and their eyes stared forth wildly, whilst from various parts of their breasts and other portions of the body, the crimson life current was ebbing forth.  It has been our lot to see many persons who were killed by shot and shell, but never did we behold any features in which the liniments of fear and terror were so frightfully depicted, and it was many a long day before we could erase their images from our imagination, and we earnestly hoped that we might never be called upon to witness another such a scene.

After we returned to our quarters we prepared our dinners and ere we had finished the meal, we were aroused from our fancied security by the rapid discharge of artillery, denoting that a battle was in progress in our immediate front, and there was no telling how soon we might be called to move towards the engagement and be taken into the fight.

Sergeant Parks came around and inspected our ammunition and filled our cartridge boxes to their utmost making all the necessary arrangements to give the enemy a warm reception.

It soon became evident to us that no enemy was being driven, for instead of the sound drawing nearer, as would have been, if we were getting the worst of it the sound was becoming less distinct as well as less frequent, that plainly giving us the much desired information that the enemy were getting the worst of the scrimmage.

It was not very long before we had information from the front to the effect that the engagement had been between our cavalry commanded by General Pleasanton and a Division of the rebel cavalry commanded by Gen. J. E. B. Stuart and that the enemy had met with a decided repulse.

Next morning large details were sent out to cut down timber and in other ways to make all necessary and available means and preparations to meet the enemy should he advance upon our position.  It was evident from the action of our commanding officers that they were at a­ loss to decide which one of the probable lines of action the rebel General commanding was most likely to pursue, and in the mean time it was the purpose of our commander to be prepared to meet the enemy at every available point.

On the morning of the 15th of June we broke camp and crossed the Potomac River at Edward’s Ferry, crossing the river over a pontoon bridge which had been previously put down.

The command was moved vigorously forward and by 6 o’clock in the afternoon we went into camp at Monocacy Aquiduct, having traveled a distance of about 25 miles.

Here we camped in a large field, after which most of the boys went into the canal for a swim.  The reader may well imagine the high old time, which four or five thousand men would have in the water, the stream was chuck full of yanks.

On the 28th  the march was resumed the regiment passing through Poolsville, Point of Rocks and went into camp near Petersville.

It was the intention of General Joe Hooker to march our division to Williamsburg in order to destroy the pontoon bridge which the Rebel Army had thrown across the Potomac River and which at the time was defended by Ewell’s Corps of the Rebel Army, fully 20,000 strong, or at least three men to our one. And had a kind Providence not willed it otherwise the brave and gallant old White Star Division would in all human probability have met with a sad disaster.

On the 27th, whilst moving rapidly in the direction Williamsburg a halt was ordered and the movement countermanded.

We At once proceeded to move in a contrary direction, passing over part of the South Mountain battle-field.  We marched until late at night and went into camp in a field a short distance south of Frederick.  Here we first learned of the removal of General Hooker, and the promotion of General Meade to the command of the Army of the Potomac.

On the 28th we moved through the city of Frederick.  A short distance north of the city whilst moving into a field to rest, we saw a number of men belonging to a Regular Battery, punished for drunkenness.

One of the men was tied to a wheel in spread eagle style, whilst the blood was running down from his mouth owing to the severity of the gag, but notwithstanding all that they could do, his officers could not conquer him, and although he could not speak loud he muttered curses against them.

 

CHAPTER XLVI

THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN

Whilst resting in the field a number of the members of the 5th Ohio Regiment, which was also attached to our Brigade, got into a difficulty with Major Simms of their regiment.  The boys attempted to drag the Major off of his horse, and in the melee which ensued, the Major struck one of the boys injuring his thumb, and in order to ease it he stuck it in his mouth, as soon as the boys discovered this they commenced to “blah” in imitation of calves.  This got the Major’s dander up but he was powerless to check his men, and they were stopped by the prompt action by Colonel Creighton who rode up to the Major’s relief, jumping from his horse to the ground, he threatened to knock the first calf down he heard “blah.”  The boys all knew that the Colonel would do what he said and so they obeyed him and order was restored at once.

A short distance North of Frederick we passed a very large brewery a detail of men had taken out the liquor and emptied the casks in the streets, and whilst passing this place a number of the boys got down on their knees and drank up the beer out of the gutters.

During the day several times we heard rumors that General McClellan was to be placed in command of the old Army of the Potomac, and the announcement served to inspire the Army with the utmost confidence for the soldiers of the gallant old Army of the Potomac had not forgotten their formerly idolized commander little Mack the hero of Antietam.

We also during the day heard for the first time that the Rebels had actually invaded Pennsylvania, and that when next we should be called upon. to give the enemy Battle, it would be on the soil of glorious old Keystone, and it appeared to be the firm determination of one and all to meet the enemy and drive him from the soil of loyal Pennsylvania, in dismay and confusion, defeated if not utterly crushed.

We marched rapidly all day and went into camp towards evening near a small town by the name of Woodsboro.

In the morning bright and early we were making preparations to move and by daylight we were on the move.  We halted in the town for a short time and where we received our first mail since leaving Leesburg.  To say that we were glad to receive the tidings from our loved ones at home, but illy expressed our delight.

After the mall was distributed we again fell in and resumed our onward march which we continued until night-fall when we went into camp being about five miles from the Pennsylvania line.

We broke camp on the morning of the 30th about daylight, marching past Tanneytown, and crossing the line dividing Maryland and Pennsylvania at about 8 o’clock, a. m.

On a post, on the line, a paper was at­tached, bearing the following written inscription:

“This is the Pennsylvania line, enter and give the rebels h—l.”

As soon as the troops stepped into the Keystone State they made the welkin ring with their cheers.  We forgot to mention that as we neared Tanneytown, we passed a number of loyal ladies who sung “My Maryland” and other patriotic airs, for our benefit, and who were made the recipients of such cheers as soldiers alone can give.

After we had crossed into the State and as we passed the first house, on the porch of which were gathered a number of girls and women. C. E. Parks asked them:

Wie weid is es bis der neighst stettle, Mate?”

Oh, gohr net wite,” was the ready response in Pennsylvania German, and which was greeted by a hearty three time three.

The members of Company E soon made the discovery that Captain Davis’ “Dutch” company as they termed us, were in clover, and consequently were glad to have some one of our company to act as interpreter for them, in asking for edibles.

It was on this march that Lot Ulrich made the discovery that “Ich kon net fum wint leben.”  Lot was suffering from the effects of a violent case of chronic diarrhea and as is customary in such cases, his appetite was inordinate and it mattered not how many pies, cakes, &c. he devoured, he was hungry all the time, and having money, a commodity which most of us had not, he would buy every thing to eat that he could lay his hands on, frequently causing the mouths to water of those who unfortunately had a healthy appetite but no money to buy, and as often as he was spoken to about the amount of provender that he was daily working out of the road, he would universally reply, “Well, I can’t live on wind.”

About noon on the 30th  as we were marching along leisurely, an aid came riding back from the front at a right smart trot, he halted, saluted our Colonel, communicated something to him, and then passed on to the rear.

We were ordered to quicken our speed, and soon we noticed the troops in our rear break files to the right and left, and following their example, we discovered the aid returning with a section of Knap’s Battery.  As soon as it had passed we closed up our ranks and made up our minds to be ready to meet the enemy at almost any time.

As soon as the Battery reached the head of the column, we were ordered forward on a double-quick, and we were kept on a full run until we reached Littlestown.  As we entered the outskirts of the town, we passed quite a number of men who were sitting on a fence watching us march past.  J. C. Long marched up to the fence, handed one the men his gun and commenced to unbuckle his trappings, at the same time telling the man to take his arms and go and fight for his property.  To this not very desirable invitation, the fellow replied:

“Oh, I c-c-cant, you go Mr. Soldier.”

“Well then d---m you, give me a chew of tobacco anyhow,” was Long’s next demand.

Almost instantly, as if by magic, a dozen of hands went into that many pockets and a corresponding number of pieces of “Navy” were produced.  Cal selected the largest piece and taking it in his hand, started post haste to catch up with his command, taking enough tobacco with him to supply the lovers of the weed in Company G,” for a day.

The citizens of the town very considerately filled large tubs, buckets and other vessels with water and placing them along the line of march, owing to the great and the rapid marching we had been doing for two hours, nothing could have been more acceptable to the officers and men than the pure fresh water from the rock ribbed bowels of the old Keystone.  One of the most amusing and pleasing spectacles of our entrance into the town was the distribution by the fair and loyal daughters of the village, of HOT pies, cakes, rolls and bread.  The town had been occupied by a battalion of rebel cavalry and who were driven out of the town after a sharp skirmish with our advanced troops, in which several Johnnies were wounded and captured, the officers of the cavalry had issued orders to the citizens of the town to prepare rations for their men.  In compliance with the order the good dames of Littlestown had filed their ovens and stoves with pastry and other necessaries of life intended for the rebel cavalry men, but owing to our timely arrival they did not get it.  Many of the ladies hurriedly drew the contents of their ovens forth, and carried them out to us “red hot.”  To see the boys pick up a pan of hot biscuits and drop them like “hot cakes” was really amusing.  We were rapidly marched through the town in pursuit of the cavalry and the incidents related above, took place much quicker than it takes to relate it.

A short distance North of the town the head of the column was turned into a field.  A short distance to our right was a newly thrown up earth-work, and for it we started.

The members of the company had never been in such a tight box, here was a fort not over six hundred yards to their front whose deadly guns at any moment would belch forth death and destruction, and here our officers were moving us within easy range in column.  “Why don’t they form a line of battle and charge?” Was the question on every lip, and which no one could solve.  Slowly we advanced, the regimental officers riding at the head of the column, with the sheepskin battery following immediately in their rear.  In looking back we discovered the pack mules and hospital department coming up, just as though nothing unusual was going to take place.  We now drew close enough to what had appeared to us as a fort to discover that it was only an ore bank, and that there was no danger to be feared from this quarter at least.

We soon went into camp and made arrangements to stay for the night.  A num­ber of the boys went back to the town, and secured a large amount of provision which the citizens kindly gave, refusing all pay which was offered them.  The greatest anxiety was expressed by the ladies because the soldiers were compelled to sleep out in the woods.  One old lady kindly offered the boys permission to sleep in her house, saying that she could not give them all beds, but that she could make the floor full of beds.  Of course the boys could not accept the kindness.

There were a number of cherry trees in the vicinity of the camp, and the way that the troops gathered in the fruit  was a caution to the owner of the trees.

M. S. Schroyer was detailed to go to the ammunition train and bring up a box of ammunition, as the train was back fully three-fourths of a mile, and owing to its weight, 100 pounds, Mike found it a very sever task, and upon his arrival in camp, he found it advisable to partake of an extra supper, a feat which he never found it very hard to accomplish when he had the rations on hand.

In the morning, July 1st, the regiment was mustered for pay.  The last time we were mustered for pay was the 1st of May, on what afterwards proved to be the ill-fated battle field of Chancellorsville.

A number of the citizens of the adjoining country gathered in to see us, and from them we first learned that the Rebel Army, over 100,000 picked soldiers was being concentrated in the vicinity of Gettysburg, about ten miles distant, and that in all probability the pending battle would be fought near that place.

Some of the old farmers told pitiful stories of how they had been robbed by Lee’s troops.  Of course their tales were not new to us, many a similar act of instifleable as well as wanton act of confiscation, as we termed it, we witnessed enacted in Dixie, when the Southern Planter was the victim of the forager or Quartermaster.

At about 8 o’clock, a. m., the bugle sounded the “fall in.”  As we slung knapsacks, we did so thinking, “well, today we’ll get into a brush with the Johnnies.”

We marched back to town and filed right into a road on the corner of which stood a post bearing a hand-board on which we read the ominous inscription, “Ten Miles to Gettysburg.”

 

CHAPTER XLVII

THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN

We continued our march leisurely, passing farm-houses and old Pennsylvania barns, snugly nestled amidst the luxuriant fields of grain, ripe and waiting for the reaper, all around them betokening the wealth and prosperity which smiled upon the owners of the orderly domain.  Ever and anon as we passed the residences of these well-to-do tillers of the soil, handkerchiefs would be patriotically waved by fair hands, bespeaking the sentiments of the noble hearted ladies who resided in them.

At about 12 o’clock, N., we arrived at the Twin Taverns, midway between Littlestown and Gettysburg, here we filed into a field on the left of the road, and prepared our noon-day meal.  We were now about five miles from Gettysburg and little dreamed ­of the bloody drama which was being then enacted there and of the great struggle which during the next two days would be decided.

Having finished our meal and as there appeared to be no disposition on the part of the officers to move us imm­ediately, the boys hastily prepared shelter from the scorching rays of the noon-day sun, which was done by fixing bayonets and inverting the gun and fastening one end of the shelter tent by means of raising the hammer and then leaving it down on the tent, after which the other end was fastened to the ground by means of a wooden pin, thus forming a simple and complete shelter from the sun.

Whilst most of the boys were lazily engaged in lying under cover, several of the boys had wandered down a ravine in search of water in which to bathe, and while thus employed, they heard the rapid discharge of musketry.  Hastily returning to where we were unconsciously enjoying ourselves, unawares that an engagement was in progress, they gave us the unwelcome tid­ings.

We here experienced the strangest phenomenon of the war, being less than five miles from the scene of the engag­ement, and looking in the direction of the town of Gettysburg, we could see the smoke of exploding shells, but were not able catch the slightest report, whilst upon going a short distance south of where we were lying the sound of musketry and artillery was plainly audible.

At first when the boys brought the news to the company, we were loath to believe them and had it not been for the serious faces of those who gave us the information we would have been tempted to treat it as an attempt at a scare.

Quite a number of the members of the company started down the ravine to ascertain for themselves and soon returned with a report confirming the tidings ­already received.  Soon afterwards a number of rebel prisoners, about 300, were marched past where we were resting.

As soon as we saw them we crowded up close to the road to get a good look at them.  They all seemed to be in the best of spirits, evidently glad to escape the pending battle.  Quite a number of very pertinent remarks were made by the “Johnnies,” among w­hich we distinctly remember:

“The Stars, we met you at Chancellorsville,” “We ain’t all, theirs a right smart chance left back for youen’s to capture,” “here goes Lee’s advance for Baltimore,” with many other similar expressions, which were good natured­ly answered by our boys.

At about half-past two, Frenchy, the Division bugler, sounded the advance, which was quickly followed by the Brigade’s “Fall in.”

We were soon put in motion headed for Gettysburg.  Those who have been in similar circumstances, are fully able to realize with what thoughts our minds were busy.  Well we knew what might be our fate, we were surrounded by brave and noble-hearted men, soldiers who had taken their lives in their hands, and who now were in the full enjoyment of health, one and all might be cold and stark in death, ere the setting of the sun.  Thinking of the absent and loved ones, and the probabilities of the battle, caused many a brave and lion-hearted man’s cheek to pale, not with the fear of cowardice, but from a full and calm canvass of the situation.

That we were approaching the battle-field, soon became apparent from the fact that we were being met by the stragglers and the slightly wounded, who were working themselves back to a place of safety.  Anxious to ascer­tain how the fight had gone we ques­tioned the wounded as to how the fight had gone?  From some of them we re­ceived favorable replies whilst from others we received replies of a contra­ry nature.  It did not take us very long to discover that the wounded be­longed to two Corps, the 1st and the 11th, and that the members of the 1st gave us favorable reports, whilst those from the galloping 11th reported otherwise.  This discovery was a great source of comfort to us, and taking ad­vantage of it, we never asked anyone belonging to the 11th Corps.

Soon the indications of the battle be­came more apparent, the houses along the road were being used as hospitals, and at several of them the Surgeons were busily engaged in performing op­erations on the porches on the outside of the houses.

When within a mile of Cemetery Hill we witnessed a sight that drove every other thought out of our minds save a desire to meet the enemy and give him a sound flogging.  It was a sight that none of those who witnessed it will ever forget.  A lady, probably twenty-four or five years of age was coming towards us, carrying a small child and a small bundle, by her side walked a little girl under five years of age, her long curly hair hanging down over her neck and shoulders, whilst in her tiny, hand she clutched a doll and a little bundle tied up in a red ban­danna.  As the lady met us one of the boys inquired whether there were many rebels out front? “Yes, its full,” was her reply.

“We’ll make them git,” responded the boys in a chorus.  “That’s right, whip them until they run,” added the lady while her eyes shone brightly with the excitement she was laboring under.

We were now pushed rapidly ahead and marched to the extreme left of the line.  Here our regiment was formed by division in echelon.  After the command was given to “load at will” and the order executed, we were moved forward into line, this a short distance South of Little Round Top.  By this time the sun had disappeared in the West and the shades of night were settling and hiding everything behind its sable curtains.  Everything around was quiet save the occasional rumbling of artillery as it was moved into position.

A number of the boys of the company, among them M. S. Schroyer and James P. Ulrich, started out in search of water, and started towards a house when they were met by General Geo. W. Greene, who ordered them back, telling them that the Rebels had possession of the house.  Thus a number of boys were saved from going to Richmond.

In the early part of the evening the regiment was about-faced, and we were moved to the rear, in a small pine thicket and placed on picket, with instructions to fire upon any thing that should advance upon us.

Thus we passed the long night, and the dawn of the morning of the 2nd of July found us moving from the left of our line towards the center, where we were placed in the rear of the main line on Wolf’s Hill, as a reserve to await the developments to be made by the enemy during the day.

A greater part of the Union Army had now arrived upon the field and they were being rapidly placed in position and General Lee had allowed a golden opportunity to slip through his hand, instead of following up his successes of the 1st, he allowed Gen. Meade to perfect his plans, as well as mass his Army ere he renewed the contest.

 

CHAPTER XLVIII

THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN

Our Regiment performed the part of Reserves during the second day’s engagement, giving us ample opportunity to watch the events as they transpired upon that day.

The enemy remained inactive, making no demonstrations until about one o’clock when they opened the battle by attacking General Sickle’s troops, on the right of Cemetery Hill, where was fought one of the most stubbornly contested engagements of the battle, which resulted in driving back the union lines.  General Sickle being severely wounded, making the amputation of a leg necessary.

After which the Rebels attacked the line in our immediate front, but after a spirited resistance, and gallant charge led by General Crawford in command of the Pennsylvania Reserves, the enemy was driven back discomfited.

Failing in this part of the line, they struck our line further to the right, just about dark, and the fight was contin­ued until after dark, during which the Rebels gained a slight advantage, driving part of our line back out of the breastworks, and taking possession of the same.

At this critical moment our regiment was ordered to go to the assistance of the hard pressed line.  We moved diagonally from the left center to the extreme right of our line, through the woods.  As soon as the rebels noticed our movement they opened fire upon us with several Batteries of Artillery, and the shells were sent crashing through the timber of the trees, above us, and all around us, filling our hearts with fear and consternation.  Fortunately the Rebels did nothing more, than to scare us, as their aim was not true.

This was a dark hour for the members of our company.  We all believed that it was Chancellorsville repeated again.  We moved out into the pike, moved down it a distance of about a mile and filed left into a field, and moved on forward towards our old line.  It was rumored that we were to make a flank movement, and never did troops march more willingly upon an errand of conquest than did the gallant old 147th Regiment and the other Regiments of our Brigade.

After marching about one mile, we were halted and ordered to prime.  This meant business.  We were formed in a line of battle, Colonel Pardee passed along our line and ordered us to stand firm, that the 137th Regiment N. Y. Vols., of the third Brigade of our Division was trying to retake the works from which they had been driven, and that we were to support them, and that we must hold our position at all hazards.

Soon we heard the gallant New Yorkers advancing.  A Cheer and a volley broke upon our ears at the same time, and our men had regained their works, which they had lost a few hours before.

We were marched up to a stone fence, where we were ordered to rest.  It was here that W.S. Keller went to sleep and dream­ing that he was engaged in a hand-to-hand encounter with the enemy, he struck Capt. Nelson Byers, a severe blow in the face which soon brought the Captain to his feet, he having been asleep too, imagined that he had been struck by a rebel shell.  We remained behind the stone fence until about half-past three o’clock a.m., when we were wakened up, and about faced marched several hundred yards further to the south and front, and on the top of a bluff, we were ordered to put up a line of rail breast-works.  This we soon accomplished, and we congratulated our­selves on our good fortune, when Major Moses Veal of Gen. Geary’s staff came riding up, and ordered us to leave our rail-works and move down over the bluff.

The Col. moved us forward, and we soon moved, over the works and down the bluff, which was a position on Culp’s Hill, on the extreme right of our line.

We found our new position to be a good one, a large number of trees and rocks offered many of us excellent shelter.  But scarcely had we fixed ourselves than General Geary sent an orderly to our Col. ordering him to advance his regiment across the open field immediately in front of our position.  The Colonel, who had by the way been using his eyes, had discovered that the woods in the rear of the open fields in our front con­tained large numbers of Rebels, who were preparing to attack us, thought it prudent to disregard his superior officer, and instead of ordering us to charge across the field called “Attention,” this got us on our feet, his next command was “by the left flank,” forward march,” “Halt.” This took us about twenty feet further North, and on the same line.

Shortly afterwards General Geary sent Capt. Elliot to order Col. Pardee to move his Regiment across the field and deploy it in the woods which skirted the field.  Col. Pardee had not changed his mind, and called “Attention” “By the Right flank, March,” “Halt, lie down.”  This brought us to the same position we occupied before our first move.

In a very short time General Geary came down to us in person, addressing Col. Pardee in an excited manner, he said:

“Col. Pardee, why in the H__l do you not obey instructions?”  The Colonel drew his sword and saluting the General replied:

“General Geary, my men can go where any other Regiment can, but if you will use your field glass you will soon see why I refused to obey your orders.”

General Geary drew up his field glass and dropping it suddenly, turning to Col. Pardee:

“Colonel, remain where you are,” and instantly made tracks up the hill in the rear.

At about half-past 4 o’clock a. m., or less than fifteen minutes after Gen. Geary left us, a Division of Rebels came out of the woods with their arms at a “right-shoulder shift,” making the finest military pageant we ever beheld.  They had formed in the woods came forward in line of battle with colors flying and moving in splendid style.  They advanced bravely and upon discovering our rail works, they fired a volley into them and then advanced upon them in fine style and with that peculiar yell which characterized the Southern troops.

Our Colonel stood behind the colors, commanding the men to ‘keep steady,’ ‘Don’t fire until you hear the command, steady, men.’  On they came until we could see the buttons on their coats, and not a shot had been fired.  At last the moment came.  The Colonel commanded “147th attention!”—Suddenly there rose a line of Blue coats between the advancing column and the rails taking the rebels completely by surprise. The Colonel gave the command “Fire!”  Instantly five hundred rifles belched forth death and destruction into the ranks of the enemy.  Never did any similar number of men do more effective work, the enemy were not over fifty yards from our line, and the dead and wounded fell like ten pins.  On they came, another volley was sent into them and now they began to waver.  Their officers seeing their critical situation drew their swords, and rushing to the front gallantly rallied the broken and wavering lines and again led them on towards our position, but the men of the noble old 147th stood as firm as the rocks by they which they were surrounded and pouring another volley into the line of gray, it broke and fell back.

 At this moment the 5th and 7th Ohio regiments, crowing like roosters, indicative of the fact that they were in their own barn-yards, charged upon the retreating line, the gallant old 28th  Pennsylvania Regiment poured a galling right oblique fire into the broken and dismayed ranks of the enemy.  At the same time a battery placed on the Baltimore turnpike having range on the enemy, opened fire upon the woods in which the enemy was reforming.

Owing to the formation of the ground, and the fact that the enemy had fired into the breast-works, our casualties had been very light.  Among the killed up to that time were Serg’t Howeiter, a very worthy young man who had been a student at the Missionary Institute, also Lt. Tourison and Corp. Henry Nice of E Company.

But soon the minnie balls began to whistle around us quite lively.  The rebels had thrown forward a heavy skirmish line and were massing the old “Stonewall” Brigade under the immediate command of the brave and intrepid General Ewell, determined to break our line, which was the extreme right flank of our Army, and the key to Wolf’s hill.

We knew what was coming and prepared for it.  Serg’t Schroyer filled his coffee kettle with cartridges so as to be able to get at them much easier.  Lieutenant Byers picked up a gun so as to be able to assist in repelling the anticipated advance.  George Noacker had taken up a position in advance of the line, whilst on the left of our line C. E. Parks and Jeremiah Moyer occupied a position almost as advanced.

There was a lull in the firing and the excitement having died off, we were disposed to enjoy that dreamy state so familiar to all who have passed thro’ an engagement, and were fast passing to the land of Nod, when suddenly we were aroused by the cries of “there they come!”  Casting our eyes toward the woods, we beheld the enemy advancing to renew the attack.  With­out waiting for the word of command we opened fire upon the compact line, and the result was they were again driven back.

In this melee Corporal Harris Bower of our company received a dangerous wound whilst C. E. Parks had the tip of one of his index finger shot off and the writer had his scalp laid open by a minnie.  When Parks was wounded Jerry Moyer said:

“Cal you wounded,” to which piece of information Cal replied:

“Tell me something I don’t know,” and started back nursing his finger very tenderly. Among the narrow escapes, we would mention James P. Ulrich who had the stock of his gun all shot away between the second and third band, whilst in the act of drawing a bead on a rebel who was in advance of their line.

An incident occurred after the last charge that was witnessed by all the members of our company.  A rebel who had been wounded and was lying as he had fallen, behind a little knoll, about fifty yards from our line.  We could plainly see him raise his arms in loading his rifle, and thinking that he intended to fire upon us, several of the boys fired at him, but owing to his protected position they could not hit him.  We kept watching him to see what he would do, when suddenly we heard the report of his rifle and simultaneously therewith, the rebel stretched himself out dead.  After the battle was over, we visited the spot where he laid and found that he had placed the muzzle of his gun in his mouth and had blowed the top of his head off.  We supposed that he had been a deserted and did not wish to fall into our hands.

To the left of us the contest raged fiercely, the rebels driving our men back and in turn being driven back by our brave Union boys.  We had an excellent opportunity of witnessing the contest and which finally terminated in the success of the blue­-coats who drove the broken lines of the enemy back in dismay and confusion.

Never will we forget the victorious cheer which first started on Wolfe’s hill, announcing the repulse of the desperate and determined assault of our line, made by the flower of Lee’s Army, and which gathered strength as it traveled, until it reached us it had increased in volume until it sounded like the roar of a mighty hurricane, sending dismay to the hearts of the enemy and cheering the hearts of the brave defenders of the Union.

After 10 O’clock, a. m., the rebels made no more attempts in our front, and everything was as quiet as though both armies had thrown down their arms and wrapping themselves in their blankets were peacefully slumbering.  The dread and suspense that we felt made this ominous silence still more oppressive.

Between 12 and 1, the silence was disturbed by this discharge of a piece of artillery from the center, this was answered by shots from the right and left, after which was opened one of the most terrific artillery engagements of this late war.  Fully three hundred guns belched forth death and destruction from their brazen throats.  The very hills upon which they were planted trembled from the effects of the con­cussion, the air was filled with the screeching missiles, which burst through space with lightning rapidity, deafening the ears of those who were lying beneath them, vainly endeavoring to find shelter and protection from the terrible effects of the murder­ous explosives and not infrequently above all this horrid din and confusion could be heard the groans and shrieks of the un­fortunate ones.  During the very hottest part of the cannon­ading a dog came running into where our company was lying and creeping in under an overhanging rock, he remained there until after the artillery duel was over.

J. C. Long made a providential escape by following the pre­monition of the danger which he felt.  His head was resting on a flat stone, the shells were passing over us and around us, when Long said to a comrade, I “don’t feel safe, I am going to change my posish.”

He did so, and but a little while thereafter a shell struck the stone and knocked it into smithereens and would have killed him had he not previously moved his position.

 

CHAPTER XLIX

THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN

At 3 o’clock, P.M.. the union batteries ceased firing.  Not from a want of ammunition, or on account of any serious injury sustained from the fierce attack made upon them by the enemy’s batteries, but in order to encourage the enemy to make a demon­stration upon our lines.

The ruse worked to a charm and a Division of Rebels, the elite of Hill’s and Longstreet’s Corps, rushed upon portions of the 1st and 11th Army Corps, with a determination that was worthy of a better cause.  When within range, the Union batteries opened with grape and canister upon them.  The foe advanced with a yell, and soon came within easy range of the deadly rifles of our boys, and the slaughter was terrible.

At this juncture our regiment was moved up to the center, occupying a position in the rear of the line from which we had moved on the evening previous.  The fighting to our left and front was desperate, but at last the rebel line was compelled to fall back, having been most severely punished.

About this juncture, the last attempt was made by the Rebel Army to retrieve the fortunes of the day, and consisted of the daring attempt of General Longstreet and his troops to carry Round Top, and which attempt proved a miserable failure, result­ing in a great and glorious victory for the Union Army, dispell­ing the dark clouds which had for the past few days so com­pletely shrouded the prospects of a speedy restoration of peace in the deepest gloom.

As the sun was sinking behind the western horizon, we were moved up in a position in the front line on Culp’s Hill, where we anxiously yet confidently awaited the renewal of the attack made upon this portion of the line during the forenoon.

The firing had now almost entirely ceased, save the occas­ional report of the deadly sharpshooter’s deadly rifles, which were frequently attended by the fatally wounding or killing of our men. As the evening, or night, wore on and we were not attacked, a number of the boys went to the rear to prepare coffee for the rest of the company.

It happened to be our lot to go to the rear, and while bending over a small fire, blowing up the coals, not daring to make a large fire for fear of drawing upon us the fire of the artillery of the enemy, to boil our coffee.  A German belonging to one of our regiments, was using a fire next to us, holding his coffee cup by means of his bayonet, a stray ball came wizzing in, cutting his finger off as slick as a greaser.  The unfortunate man dropped his cup spilling the coffee as a matter of course.  The first exclamation we heard was:

Dunder-und-blitzen, de verflucht rebels hen my coffee versheit.”

Picking up his coffee cup he found his finger in the bottom of it, taking it out he placed it as it had been and remarked:

Yets wor das so.”

And placing his finger carefully in his coffee cup, he started for the hospitals.

Anxiously during the long and silent night did we wait and watch for the approach of the enemy, little imagining that at the same time, the enemy was retreating Southward, discouraged and defeated, leaving a large number of their dead and wounded in our hands.

At last the East gave the first signs of returning day by the light gray tints, followed by the deeper red or crimson streaks which betoken the approach of the King of day.  As the light became strong enough, we peered forth in the direction of the enemy lines to catch a glimpse of them, but all to no purpose.

Soon the rumor reached us that the enemy had retreated.  To our left the 1st Corps, or rather the skirmishers were extending their lines and advancing down the hill.  We awaited to hear the sharp and decisive reports of musketry, but in this we were happily doomed to be disappointed.  The rumor was correct, the boasting enemy had been repulsed, upon a field of his own choosing and once again victory had been achieved through the bravery and heroism of the noble old Army of the Potomac.  When it became positively known that the Rebels had really retreated, the joy and rejoicing which filled the hearts of the brave Union soldiers, was great in the extreme, and only those who have stood victors upon a sanguinary battle-field, can conceive the feelings of those who have conquered.

Soon the men started out to view the field of death, and we never desire to look upon such a sight again.  Our first visit was to that part of the field where our Regiment had done such terrible execution on the previous day.  The sight which met our gaze, can not be adequately expressed by the most fluent tongue, neither can it be portrayed by any pen.  The field was covered with the dead, all of which had been exposed to the rays of a July sun for a whole day.  The faces of the dead were terribly swollen and were as black as could be, whilst out of their widely opened eyes, they seemed to stare at the beholder and say: “you are my murderer,” or at least, this was the whisperings of the “small still voice,” hidden within our breast.  On a field containing less than three acres, and in fact on a strip of ground less than 200 feet in length, and 20 feet wide, we counted 275 dead bodies, and since the percentage of wounded is at least five to one, fully one thousand men must have been wounded in the front of our division.  For a distance of several hundred yards we could have stepped from one dead body to another.  Men, who were shot in the head with the brain oozing out of the opening, showing plainly where the fatal ball had entered, others shot in the breast, with every particle of clothing torn from the wounded locality, others who been struck by a shell, disemboweled, headless, and limbless, wounded in all conceivable places as well as apparently under all kinds of cir­cumstances, men who fell as they had been standing, with their guns by their sides, some with a cartridge in their hand, others in the act of getting out of their cartridge box a cartridge, others in the act of shooting, in short lay just as they been stricken down, in many instances their countenances portraying the very excitement which actuated them at the moment, the thinly compressed lip, and on others we could trace the apparent surprise, which seemed to be stamped on their faces, showing that many of them apparently were aware of the fact that they had been hit by something, we remember very distinctly of seeing one man a member of a Virginia Regiment, a Sergeant, who had been shot in the limb, this he had tied up with a shelter-­tent, his forehead had a wound which was bound up by a handker­chief but he laid cold and stark in death with a bullet hole in his breast, whilst his hand was pointing towards the wound.  The remark that we heard expressed by all who saw him was “ poor fellow, he was a brave man,” for no one can appreciate a brave act, or honor a brave soldier more, be he foe or friend, than he who has faced death himself upon the field of battle.

This was the first battle field that we had been permitted to examine after a hardly contested engagement, and we took advantage of the circumstance.  A little to the left of where our regiment was stationed, we found the body of General Ewell’s Adjutant General, lying dead by the side of his horse, and we counted eleven bullet holes in his person whilst his horse was completely riddled.

This officer was a splendid specimen of a man, tall and commanding in appearance and well dressed, with a splendid pair of high top boots.  The boys cut off his buttons for relics, than pieces of his clothing, then some one took his boots, this was continued until when next we saw him there was nothing left of his clothing but drawers and socks.

We also noticed that those who had been wounded and in which causes death was not instantaneous, the men had removed all clothing from the wounded part of the body, thus giving the beholder a plain view of all the horrible wounds produced by shot and shell,

 

CHAPTER L

THE GETTYSBURG CAMPAIGN

A detail was made from our regiment and placed under command of Lieutenant Byers, to bury the dead.  The men carried the wounded together in piles whilst the pioneers dug large trenches, 18 or 20 feet long, 7 feet wide and 4 or 5 feet deep.  The dead were placed in these trenches in layers, three deep, and then covered.  We remember that in one of these trenches, seventy-three rebels were laid to rest, together with the foot of another, which had been blown off by a shell, making as the boys said, 73 Johnnies, ONE FOOT under ground.

The stench which arouse from the battle field was almost intolerable, the burying detail were armed with pieces of rail which they pried under the dead bodies and in this manner those who were too much decomposed to be easily removed, were carried to their final resting place.  The scene was one that caused the stoutest heart to quail, and tears to flow from eyes unused to weep, being a real scene in the horrible drama of war.

The most heart rending and affecting part connected with the whole affair, was the finding of letters upon the persons of the dead rebels, written by wives, mothers, sisters and sweethearts, many of them breathing forth the love and affection which the hearts of those loved ones alone could dictate.  All breathed forth the hope that the war would soon be over and that the God of Battles might protect the loved one from the dangers which surrounded and that ultimately they might be permitted to return bearing the laurels of victory.  And here before us, cold as death, lay the object of their love and affection, soon to be placed in an unknown grave.

The day was spent upon the battle field and never can the events and scenes of that day be effaced from the memory of those who witnessed it.  By the time that taps were sounded, this being the first time that we heard the drums for three days, and we were certainly glad to hear the music which was made by the sheep-skin batteries, as the boys called the drum corps.

The ground upon which we were camped, was full of rocks and stones, and it was with great difficulty that all of the boys could find places to stretch their tired limbs.

We were awakened during the night by the falling of rain, and drawing the scanty covering over our heads, we again sought to forgetfulness in slumber.  In the morning we awoke drenched to the skin.

The boys soon kindled fires to dry their blankets and clothing, and soon around every fire two or three men could be seen holding their wearing apparel up to the fire to dry.

It was at one of these fires that a little incident occurred that at the time created considerable merriment among the boys.  Samuel Jarrett, one of the members of the “Happy Family of Penn’s creek” mess, had kindled a fire to dry his clothing and Peter Edward Shreffler, one of the upper end boys, came to Jarrett’s fire to cook his cup of coffee.  Shreffler began to scatter the brands, as the flames were too hot to allow him to get near enough to boil his coffee.

Sammy protested against this act of Shreffler’s, stating that he had made the fire to dry his traps and not for him to boil his coffee on.

Ed. said that he would cook his coffee on that fire, to which Sammy replied:

“By Gunie, due dusth net.”

Shreffler kicked the fire apart and placed his cup on the coals.  This he had no sooner done than Sammy gave the cup a kick, knocking it about a rod.  Shreffler made a spring fir Sammy, and Sammy was ready for him.  The final result was that Edward was knocked out of time.

Shreffler picked himself up, gathered his coffee bucket and made his way for another fire, amidst the cheers of the boys.  “By Gunnie” became a word among the boys which continued in use during our service.

At about 10 o’clock in the forenoon of the 5th, we received marching orders and in half an hour we were on the move.  The marching, owing to the rain, was very hard.  The soil was loamy and we sank fully four or five inches into the mud at every step.  We marched as briskly as we possibly could under the circumstances, and by 4 o’clock we were in Littlestown again.  We went into camp in a field in the lower end of town.

It was here that W. S. Keller had a renewal of his attack of toothache, and after Dr. Longshore gave him a dose of chloroform finally succeeded in pulling out the molar.  Will was seated upon a pile of rails and George Heary, the Hospital Steward, was holding him down whilst the Doctor pulled with all his might, Keller yelled like an Indian until he had a greater part of the regiment gathered around the Doctor’s quarters.  When the tooth came out the boys gave three hearty cheers.

In this cantonment we remained a day during which time we received mail from home, and for the first time we learned of the terrible consternation and excitement which prevailed in the North during the progress of the battle of Gettysburg.  Well do we remember how incensed were the boys of the White Star Division when they read the report of Col. Lockwood in the Baltimore AMERICAN, in which the justly earned laurels of the old white Star Division were conferred upon his own regiment, which was a militia organization, and according to the value the boys had placed upon their services, it was undeserved.

On the 7th of July we broke camp at Littlestown and marched southward in pursuit of the Rebel Army, passing through the towns of Tanneytown, Woodsboro and Middleburg encamped near Walkerville.

On the morning of the 8th we moved at six o’clock, the rain falling in torrents, we marched through Walkerville and by three o’clock we marched through Fredrick, the mud on the pike was over shoe top, and the falling rain made it very disagreeable.  As we marched through the southern part of the town, we noticed some of the members of the 9th N. Y. M., standing guard with umbrellas to shelter them from the rain.  Geary’s veterans greeted these Sunday soldiers with groans.

 

CHAPTER LI

Here we heard of the fall of Vicksburg which had capitulated on the 4th of July to the Western Army un­der General Grant.  So fatigued were the troops, that this news, cheering as it was, did not raise a single cheer, the troops marched along in sullen silence.  We moved into camp a short distance south of the city, where rations were distributed to us.

After partaking of a hasty dinner, we again set out on the march.  A short distance from where we had been encamped, we passed a tree from which dangled the inanimate form of a spy, who had been detected in the act of leading the enemy’s cavalry to where our wagon train was parked, he fell into the hands of Kilpatrick’s Cavalry and he was executed on the spot.  It was afterwards ascertained that this spy had been engaged in selling news papers, which gave him an excellent opportunity to follow his calling.

We were marched immediately un­der the tree upon which he was hanging and had a full view of the man.  He was divested of every particle of his clothing and presented a sickening sight.  His eyes were wide open and almost forced out of their sockets, his veins on various parts of his body were enlarged whilst his skin at several places was blistered as though it had been burned, whilst his long hair hung down over his shoulders.  He was to remain hanging three days as a warning to the rebel sympathizers in the neighborhood, to deter them from acting the part of the spy and to prevent them from giving the enemy information concerning the movements of our Army.

We continued our march until nearly dark, when we went into camp a short distance from Rohersville, having made a severe and trying march.

In the morning, on the 9th inst, we were on the move by day-light, march­ing through Rohersville and Berketsville.  The country through which we marched during the day reminded us of old Pennsylvania, the fields in grain and growing corn evidencing its thrift and fertility.  We marched until 4 o’clock, p. m., when we moved into a field and encamped for the night.

On the 10th, we marched through Ketzville and went into camp early in the afternoon near Bakersville.  Here we found raspberries in abundance and we passed several hours in a high­ly satisfactory manner, gathering the same.  We soon made the discovery that bits of crackers boiled in a coffee cup with the berries, made a very palatable dish, it was not altogether raspberry pie, but to us it seemed the very next thing to it.  A number of the boys stowed so much of this food away that peppermint would have been in great demand if the boys could have gotten it, but as it was the gourmandizers were compelled to suffer until nature brought them relief.

On Saturday, July 11, we marched to Fair Play.  Here we soon discover­ed that we had come up with the enemy and we moved into a small grove on the left side of the road, where we were drawn up in a line of battle, to await the result of a reconnaissance that was being made to ascertain whether the enemy were in force or not.

We had scarcely unslung Knapsacks and sought the cooling shelter of the friendly trees by which we were surrounded, ere Major Elliot came riding up and ordered the 147th to be sent out on a reconnaissance.  The Colonel or­dered the regiment to fall in, and we were moved forward in the direction of the enemy.

The Colonel moved the regiment forward briskly and we soon began to feel that we were getting into close-quarters, and expected to meet the enemy almost any moment.  Here several members of the company loaded their rifles, which act caused a number of the boys to make fun of them, and a lively mouth-battle en­sued and which was suddenly termina­ted by the Colonel, who ordered the Regiment to halt, followed by the command of “load at will.”

The command was soon executed and the regiment moved forward again.  To the left of the road a small house stood, the lady of which was busily en­gaged in removing pies from a bake-oven, which she had baked for the rebel cavalrymen who had occupied a line a little north of the house but which were now falling in the hands of the Union boys.  Several of Company G’s boys broke ranks and made for the bake-oven.  About this time the Colonel made the discovery that he had advanced too far to the left and order­ing the regiment to counter-march, he rode back and meeting some of the boys coming towards the regiment with their guns slung across their shoulders and both hands full of pies, and the enemy being in our immediate front their conduct incensed the Colonel to such an extent as to cause him to ply his horsewhip over their shoulders pret­ty lively, when he came back to where they were.

The regiment was moved back to a little ravine, here we were halted and part of the regiment was sent forward as skirmishers.  The men took up a line along a fence enclosing a grain field in the middle of which the rebels had their line.   Here we remained all day, the skirmishers or pickets lying stretched out at full length, whilst the mid-summer sun sent his scorching rays down full upon them, the men not being able to secure as much as a fresh drink of water, being compelled to slake their thirst from the sun-heated water in their canteens.  This was really one of the most trying days that we had as yet been called upon to pass in the service.

We remained in this position all night and next morning, Sunday, July 12th, our company was sent out to relieve Company B.  During the day the enemy’s cavalry attacked the skirmishers of the 11th Corps, on our right, giving us a splendid view of the engagement, which after it was kept up for an hour more, resulted in the repulse of the enemy.

During the day the enemy came down to a field where part of our company was stationed and opened the bars and drove ten or twelve head of cattle out of the field.  We  had positive orders not to fire a shot unless the enemy would advance upon us, but notwithstanding these orders, Lieut. Byers found it a difficult task to prevent the boys from firing upon them.  Jerry Moyer drew up his rifle several times, each time saying:

“Oh, I would like to shoot, they take all the good cattle and leave the poor ones, oh, but I would like to shoot.”  But the orders were too em­phatic, and Jerry had to forego the pleasure of a shot.

It was while lying on this line that Lot Ulrich who had not quite recover­ed from his severe attack of chronic diarrhea but who nobly struggled to keep up with the company, was again taken with a severe return of the old disease.  Antes, a brother of Lot’s, and who was a member of the drum corps, came up from the rear bearing a large pan filled with crackers fried in grease.  When asked where he was going he said:

“Me, oh, I’m only bringing Lot his supper, he’s SICK.”

Those who saw the mess, thought it was sufficient to make several well men sick, and were somewhat surprised to see Antes return with the pan empty a short time afterwards.  When asked whether Lot had eaten the food all, Antes said:

“By Jimminy, you ought just have seen Lot pitch in, why he licked the pan.”  And then we knew that Lot could not “live on wind.”

About 2 o’clock we were relieved by a detail from the Brigade, and moved back to where the Division was formed in line of battle, on a gentle eminence which overlooked the undulating land which gradually sloped toward  the Potomac.

No sooner had we stacked arms than we were ordered to build breast-works and to entrench ourselves as speedily as possible, as the entire Rebel Army was in our immediate neighborhood and that there was no telling how soon they might move upon us.

We were surrounded by a number of grain fields, the grain in which was cut and shocked, besides the fields all were surrounded by stake and rider fences.  No sooner were the orders issued than the boys made an. onslaught on the grain and rails, and never in the annals of husbandry, is there an instance where 20 acres of grain were garnered so quickly.  In less than half an hour from the time that the first sheaf was gathered, there was not a shock left standing on the field, nor a rail with in half a mile.  We made a cribbing of rails about six feet wide, lined it with grain, and then filled it up with ground, and afterwards cover­ed the entire works with earth, and by four o’clock, we had a line of works ten feet thick at the base and from four to six feet thick on top, with head logs and traverses complete.

As soon as the works were completed our regimental colors were unfurl­ed and planted upon our works, an example which was soon followed by the other regiments, and in a short time as far as the eye could penetrate we could see the stars and strips floating proudly in the. breeze..  The sight was an imposing one, and it served to inspire us with unbounded confidence in our ability to hold the line against any number of men that the enemy could possibly bring against us.

A short distance from our line of works was one of the strongest springs we ever beheld, and from whose cooling waters the tired soldiers quenched their thirst, and bathed their weary limbs.

An old fashioned washing machine stood in an out-house near the spring with which the boys washed their clothing, and since only one could wash at a time, there was quite a rush for the board, during the melee which followed the tub was frequently upset, and the boys got many a good wetting for their pains.

We lay in the breastworks all night and in the morning were awakened by the sound of bugles to our right.  Soon afterwards a long line of Blue-coats advanced upon the rebels position.  We watched them as they disappeared in the woods and anxiously awaited the opening of the battle.  Not a sound reaching us we were happy in the thought that the enemy had fled and that there would be no battle for the present at least.

Thus terminated the battle of Fair Play, and notwithstanding the fact that both armies had been in easy range of each other, not a cannon shot was fired, and no engagement save a cavalry dash had taken place.  This was a signifi­cant fact, bearing evidence that both armies were doubtful as to what the result of an engagement might be.  General Lee fearing to attack least he might be repulsed and his men become more discouraged and demoralized, whilst on the other hand General Meade dared not risk an encounter for fear that he might be repulsed and the victory gained at Gettysburg be dimm­ed by a reverse and the joy which so recently filled the breasts of every loyal man be turned into sorrow and evil forebodings.

As to the result had an engagement taken place there can no definite conclusion be reached, save that it wou1d have been a desperate battle in which the prowess of the brave old Army of the Potomac would have been sorely tested, and the victory, should it have won one, would have been purchased at a fearful cost of life and limbs.

By 10 o’clock, a. m., we were on the march in pursuit of the fleeing Johnnies, and during the day passed over the Antietam Battlefield, which yet bore traces of that most sanguinary battle which had been fought by the Army of the Potomac, under the command of its idolized Commander, Gen. George B. McClellan, and passed over South Mountain, encamped a short distance south of the old Antietam Iron works.

 

CHAPTER LII

On the morning of the 16th we broke camp about 9 o’clock, and were on the move by 10 o’clock, and by noon we went into camp at Sandy Hook, in Maryland opposite the town of Har­per‘s Ferry.

Here we halted and prepared our frugal meal of coffee and crackers and which we soon devoured, so as to be ready to move on short notice.  Soon after dinner we observed the officers servants bringing up the Colonel’s tents, and make preparations to put them up.  This was a hint which we soon followed and in a very short time dog tents sufficient to accommodate 6000 men were visible to the eyes of the beholder.

It was while lying here that 0rderly Sergeant B. T. Parks was hit with a spent minnie ball, while seated upon the ridge-pole of a sink.  The ball cut the skin and caused a lump to swell almost instantly and which became black-and-blue of the size of a silver half dollar.

It was afterwards discovered that one of the 5th Ohio boys had accidentally fired off his rifle, and that the ball had struck a rock from which it glanced and then struck the Orderly.  This was before Parks had an introduction to rebel bullets and he did not relish the feel, and the way he came limping into camp, after the event, was sufficient grounds for us to form an opinion that he certainly did not desire to use his person as a target for minnie balls even if they were spent.

We remained in this camp for three days, including the one in which we arrived there.  On Sunday morning, July 9th, we re-crossed the Potomac River, and once more stood upon the soil of the old Dominion.  Each man feeling that the Rebel Army again had the advantage and that when next again we would meet them, the struggle for supremacy would be a sever one.  As we marched through Harper’s Ferry our minds recalled the time when first old Company G marched thro’ this ancient old town, less than a year ago, and we could not fail but to be impressed  with the great change which had taken place in our ranks since that eventful day.  We had served a winter in the front and passed through two severe engagements, and now the com­pany scarcely mustered 40 men where as we had crossed some 80 strong.  If this change was to continue for the next year, there was no telling how the thing would end, and by the time that we would come around that way again there was no telling who would be left to march across the Potomac again.

While passing through the town, some of the boys in snooping around smelled pies which were in the process of being baked, at last they discovered where they were, and made a rush for the oven, and several of the boys burn­ed their hands pretty badly, but notwithstanding the burns, they secured the pies.

During the day we marched within a short distance from Hillsborough.  On this march our troops discovered some carbines in a stable which they took out and then fired the buildings.

On the following day we marched to Snickersville via Purcelville.  Whilst on this march we moved over the battlefield on which General Pleasanton whipped the Rebel Cavalry previous to the battle of Gettysburg, and whilst resting here, one of Company C’s boys was seated upon powder which bad been spilled during the engagement, he filled his pipe and after lighting the same he carelessly threw the match on the ground, by which means the powder became ignited and he was seriously burned.  The Surgeon made an application for the burn.  When this lotion was applied to the injured man’s face and hands it gave him the appearance of a smoked Yankee.  He was placed in an ambulance and during the day he was frequently greeted with the cry of “put that nigger out of that ambulance.”

We went into camp near Snickersville where we remained until the morning of the 23rd.  During our stay in this camp we lived principally on blackberries, which grew in great abundance in the immediate vicinity of our camp.  Several of the boys made a raid upon the farmers sheep and mutton was both plenty and cheap.  It was whilst encamped here that the writer enjoyed(?) his first shave.  Seated upon the stump of a fallen tree, a seat which was not cushioned by any means, and under the by no means gentle hand of Gid Glazer of Company B, we underwent the operation of having the maiden down scraped from our face.  When we were finished we bore a very strong resemblance to a peeled beat, and it certainly was the very last time that we got shaved at Glazer’s barber shop..

On Thursday morning, July 23rd, we broke camp and moved by way of Paris Gap, passing through Upperville and encamped near Markham, march­ing until midnight and went into camp a short distance from Markham, having traveled fully 25 miles.  Here we should have drawn rations, but owing to the uncertainty of our communications, and the probability of an engagement being brought on, the rations were not issued, and although it was the first rations our company had ever failed to get, the boys were terribly put out about it, and the way that the growlers spit out the Dutch and English was a caution.

It was while lying here, awaiting orders to move, that we had the first good view of General Meade, the hero of the battle of Gettysburg.  He passed our cantonment, on his way to the front.  He was mounted upon a small horse, and attired in the blue undress uniform, wearing a cap and glasses.  He was riding leisurely along with his left hand resting in the right breast of his coat, with his head thrown gently forward, and was evidently deeply en­gaged in thought.  The General was closely followed by several of his staff officers, who in turn were followed by several orderlies.

 

CHAPTER LIII

We broke camp about 10 o’clock, a. m., and moved through Markham a small town which was the home of the late Rebel General Ashly, who had been killed in one of the engagements in Western Virginia.

We passed his residence which was a large white house, located south of the town, and was at the time, used by General Meade as Army Head-quarters.

We continued our march until a short distance of Linden, another small village, here we halted for several hours, and then received orders to counter-march, which we did, and by nightfall reached Peidmont; having marched about 13 miles, which consid­ering the time we were actually on the tramp, was very good marching.

Next morning Saturday, July 25th, we were on the move by daylight, our regiment being in the advance of the Brigade, whilst the Brigade was in advance of the Division.  It was on this march that “Bawly” Shiffer, who by the way had a very red freckled skin was marching along quietly, carrying a very large budget for one so small, when James W. Smith accosted him as follows:

Whu worst du don Bawly? du guchsts so rustich as von du ver lahen warst warrow, und now ust gerfunnen.”

It    is needless to add that this sally was fully appreciated by the members of the company, whilst it brought up Brawly’s ire to quite a lively pitch and he swore a dreadful oath, larger than himself, that he would show Jim Smith that he wasn’t lost just now, as he would find his sorrow.

During the day we passed through Rectortown and White Plains, at the later named place Lt. Byers left us to go to Washington for recruits, which were to be distributed among the companies of the regiment.  The actual strength of the regiment having been reduced to 280 men, for actual duty.  We encamped near Thoroughfare Gap having marched fully 20 miles.

On the following day we made one of the severest marches, we had as yet made, passing through a country in which water was very scarce, and where it was almost impossible to obtain sufficient water, at this season of the year to quench the thirst of man  or beast.  During the day near Catlett Station we passed a large residence which had the following words painted in large letters and fastened up at various places:

“This property is under the protection of the English Crown.”

Noticing several pumps on the premises the boys made a rush for them, in order to secure water to quench their thirst which was fast becoming almost unbearable.  But those who were fortunate enough to secure water were doomed to be woefully disappointed.  The wells all drained the water from the roofs of the buildings, and as these were covered with coal tar, the water was tainted with the same to such an extent that it was impossible, thirsty as we were, to use it.  Well do we remember the sundry wry faces made by a number of our company boys, who had, despite the warning given them and without having the fear of the English Crown in their eyes, invaded the sacred domain of this bloated Johnny Bull’s property.  During the day we marched passed Haymarket and Catlett Station, and encamped near Warrenton Junction within about 5 miles from camp, we passed an old camp, and the boys thinking, ow­ing to the lateness of the hour, it being almost dark, that we would soon go into camp, a number of them selected tent poles and carried them with the intention of taking them along to camp so that they would have them ready to put up their tents, as we continued our march and mile after mile was passed one after the other threw their poles away, growling with all the ardor of veteran soldiers.  At last all had succumbed to the distance and had sent their poles flying except ord­erly Parks, who determined to hold unto them, it mattered not if we did not go into camp until the next morning.  At half past eight o’clock we filed into camp, and a more fatigued set of boys never carried knap­sacks or shouldered guns.

The reason given by the officers for the severe march was the scarcity of water, and that they bad halted at the first convenient place where water could be secured for the men and the horses.

After resting awhile we made preparations for getting our supper, or at least prepare coffee, a number of the boys started out in search of water, while the others went in search of wood for fuel and soon the fires were burning brightly, and after the boys came with the water, the coffee was soon boiling, and the cares and trials of the day were forgotten amidst the chatter of the boys around the camp fires as they quaffed their coffee.  Sev­eral incidents occurred on the evening of our arrival at this camp which we are not likely to forget.  We had gone for water, and had scraped it up by the aid of a small tin cup, into a two quart bucket, after bringing it to camp we laid down upon our blanket, and W. S. Keller proceeded to cook the coffee, and after he had finished he called us to help drink it.  Somehow THAT coffee did not taste good to us, and as hungry as we were, it was not relished by ourselves or Keller, we however drank a tolerable good portion, and prepared for bed.  Immediately on our right a little setto took place be­tween the hero of the Gettysburg mill, P. E. Shreffler, and J. C. Long, which resulted in Long slapping Shreffler’s mouth.

Slumber soon came to our weary eyes, and we were soon sleeping sound­ly behind our stacked muskets.  In the morning it was our turn to prepare breakfast, and in emptying the coffee grounds we discovered what had been the cause that the coffee on the pre­vious evening had not tasted natural.  In the bottom of the bucket we discov­ered the par-boiled remains of a frog, which we had accidentally scooped up.  Keller having poured the coffee into the bucket without looking into it.  We felt rather a queer sensation in our stomach and after relieving it, we call­ed Keller thinking that a similar course of treatment would be good for “too much frog.”  As soon as Will saw the bucket, he raised himself in his bed and followed our example.  Since that time we have a decided dislike to frogs.

 

CHAPTER LIV

We soon discovered that we had gone into camp for several days, and the boys made arrangements accordingly.  Our camp was about one hundred yards from the railroad, and the trains were busily engaged in bringing up supplies and convalescents.  On the morning train, Capt. C. S. Davis, who had been absent sick, arrived, he brought a number of articles for various members of the company from their friends at home, and we were soon crowded around him listening and asking many questions, concerning those who were near and dear to us.  The Captain was heartily greeted by not only the men of Co. G, but by the officers and men of the Regiment.

Whilst remaining in this camp, the boys were in the habit of placing caps upon the railroad track, and when the cars would run over them they would be exploded.  Several of the 28th Pennsylvania boys had placed a large number of caps on the track, and just as they had them on the track they discovered Gen. Geary approaching the road, those who placed the caps on the track at once “skedaddled,” whilst several soldiers, amongst them Lewis Millhoff of our company, who had in no way been concerned with placing them on the track stood their ground.  As soon as the train had passed, Gen. Geary ordered all of them arrested, and Lewis Napolean, as we called him, was marched to the guard-house at Division Head-quarters, where he was kept for the remainder of the day, until his innocence was established, and then he was released from arrest, and returned to the Regiment.

On the second day after our arrival we drew clothing, or at least a few pieces, a difficulty arose between Jas. P. Ulrich and Jeremiah Hathaway which ended in a tussle.  Ulrich threw Hathaway and held him down tightly, so that Jerry could do nothing whatever, getting tired of the fun James got up and allowed Hathaway to get up to his feet, as Jerry arose and shook himself he remarked:

“It was time that you let me up, as I was just getting ready to kick your d__d head off.”

The 172nd Regiment of drafted men were encamped near to where we were laying, having been forwarded from Yorktown, about the time of Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania, and upon this fact becoming known to us, Wm. H. Spade, Elias Millhoff, John Reigel and a number of the boys of our company paid them a visit, and had a long chat.  The 172nd boys were fully impressed with soldiering having as they asserted been put through on their last march.  No doubt, having been on garrison duty all winter the active campaign which they had just passed through was very severe to them.  From this camp, their time having expired, they marched home.

We remained in camp at Warrenton Junction, from the evening of the 26th of July until the morning of the 31st.  The time was principally passed in writing letters and cleaning our arms and accouterments, as they had been sadly neglected for the past two months, and to all appearances we would never be able to get them in a condition to pass muster.

On the evening of the 30th of July we received orders to be ready to move on the following day.  Preparations were at once made, so that we would be ready to fall in at the sound of the bugle.

 

CHAPTER LV

On the morning of the 31st the enlivening music of the bugles and the stirring martial music  of a score of Drum Corps, made the air melodious and hastily called us from our beds to make preparations for the “on to Richmond move.”

We were soon up and doing and as it does not generally take a soldier very long to arrange his toilet we hastily performed that part of our task, after which we set busily to work to get our morning meal ready and ere long the scent of boiling coffee and frying bacon and crackers filled the nostrils of Uncle Sam’s boarders.

After the meal was prepared and disposed of, we tore down our tents and prepared to pack up our household and kitchen furniture as well as all of our other personal effects, this accomplished we seated ourselves in groups discussing the probabilities of the day’s march and awaiting the command of our superior officers to “fall in.”

By 9 o’clock, a. m., we were on the move with the head of our column turned South-ward.  We moved along quite leisurely, evidently it was the intention of the officers to make amends for the hard marching we had been do­ing since the Gettysburg campaign, and even now some of the boys with the true characteristic of the American soldier, found fault with the snail’s pace that we were then traveling with, won­dering why in the deuce, (or a deuced sight more emphatic) why the Army did not move.  Towards evening we arrived near the Rapahannock River, in the vicinity of Kelley’s Ford.

We went into camp on the left of the road, where we received orders to make arrangements to camp for the night.  The boys threw off their knap­sacks and accouterments with a cheer, and immediately made preparations to carry the orders into effect, and in a short time a thousand camp-fires sent up their red glare heavenward.  The boys were busily engaged getting their suppers, when we were ordered “to fall in quietly and promptly,” with strict orders not to disturb our fires but to add fuel and to allow them to burn brightly.

It was then that the grumbling and growling began, the boys were worse than that many bears with sore heads, and woe to the unfortunate sol­dier who was rash enough to take the officers part, but then luckily there was no one who at that time desired to vin­dicate the author of what appeared to us to be a very arbitrary and unreasonable order.  We filed out into the road and moved rapidly towards the river where we were drawn up on the bank, there we suddenly found what was going on.  On the banks of the river we found the Pontoon drain drawn up and the Pontooners were making preparations to put a bridge across the river.  Instantly the growling ceased as the boys discovered the ruse that General Geary had played upon the unsuspecting rebels.

The bridge was rapidly thrown over the stream and our regiment was ordered across the bridge to protect the same.  Whilst crossing the bridge Col. Griggs had a premonition that he would never live to re-cross the river again which premonition, strange to say, was never verified, and in due time the Col. was permitted to re-cross all safe and sound.  No sooner had we been drawn up in line than a squadron of rebel cavalry came charging down on us, but a few shots from Company A, who had been thrown out as skirmishers, checked their advance, and after emptying their carbines they galloped out of harm’s way, greatly to our relief.

Our company and Company B, under command of Captain Davis, were sent forward to strengthen the skirmishers line.   The two companies moved forward in line until we reached the line, when the Captain strengthened the skirmishers by a detail from the right and left of the two companies, and with the remainder of the men formed a reserve post a short distance in the rear.  After the arms were stacked and a guard placed over them, the Captain permitted the men to lie down behind the arms, but upon no condition were we to remove our accouterments.

We had halted on low sandy soil and owing to the innumerable mosquitoes who “held the fort,” it was utterly impossible to sleep.  We threw ourselves upon our ponchos, and for a while fought the “bugs” manfully but at last we were compelled to crawl under our beds, and even then we were not out of reach of their bills.  In all our experience, we never before, nor since, passed such a night, and oh, how we longed for morning, even had the rebel cavalry put in an appearance we would have welcomed them, in fact anything that would have given us a relief from those terrible plagues wo’d have been preferable to them, as it was we could but hide and wait for morning.  At last the rosy God of day put in his appearance, the mosquitoes undoubtedly sunk to rest totally exhausted by their night’s labors at “hide an seek,” and such a set of looking bunged up soldiers we never beheld, one blotch upon another covered the face and hands of a large number of the boys.

At about 10 o’clock we were relieved and joined the Division on the other shore.  As our company stepped off of the Pontoon Bridge Yankee Garman said: “Well, Kriggs back again and didn’t get shooted, you must eat de speck mit der lean.”  Griggs growled and the boys smiled.

After having prepared our breakfast and dispatched the same, we passed some time in bathing in the stream, and as the water was rather deep we had a delightful time.

In the afternoon the sound of artil­lery was heard in the distance and in the evening we learned that it was occasioned by an engagement that Kilpatrick had with the enemy’s cavalry ­in which the rebels had been severely handled.  We passed the rest of day in trying to escape from the scorching rays of an August sun and did not suc­ceed very well, the day being one of the hottest of the year, and even the fear of mosquitoes did not prevent us from longing for the approach of night which in this section of the country is always cool, it matters not how warm the day may have been.

Sunday, August the 2nd, dawned bright and fair, evidencing that the day like its predecessor would be a “stinger.”  At noon we received or­ders to be ready to move, and shortly afterwards the Division bugle sounded the advance and General Geary and his staff rode past us towards the rear.  The Division was promptly put in mo­tion and we soon had the satisfaction of turning our backs upon the river.  The heat was almost intolerable and the command could not be moved beyond a quarter of a mile without halting to rest, and even at this rate a large number of the men as well as several horses fell by the wayside exhausted.  We continued are march until nearly dark when we went into camp near Barnet’s Ford and about five miles from Harwood Church, having made, considering the short march and the length of time we were at it, the most fatiguing march we had as yet been called to undergo.

On the following morning, August 3rd, we moved about one-half mile and went into camp near Ellis’ Ford.

 

CHAPTER LVI.

Orders were given us to put up summer quarters and the company streets were laid out with great precision and each mess was compelled to consist of four persons, so that the tents would be of a uniform size.  The last named edict created considerable changing ­around, as well as no small amount of grumbling, but making a virtue of necessity, the orders were promptly obeyed and numerous mess-alliances were then and there formed.

We immediately proceeded to put up quarters, which were made by driving six stakes, about three feet long, six or eight inches into the ground and then went into the woods and cut tent poles and crotches, by these means we rais­ed the tents from five to six feet.  We then cut a number of pine and oak saplings and made bunks on each side which served the double purpose of beds and tables, leaving an open space in the center.

After the quarters were once arrang­ed the next movement was to get ourselves, arms and accouterments into proper trim to pass muster and inspec­tion and the rigid discipline of camp life was again enforced.

A number of promotions were made here by the Captain and W. S. Keller was appointed to deal out the compa­ny’s rations and every possible arrange­ment was made to secure the comfort of the men.

F.   B. Ulrich and several others of the members of our company who had been absent at some of the various hospitals returned to the regiment and their return was hailed with delight by their comrades in camp.

On the 10th of the month Captain Moore and Lieutenant Byers arrived with 200 men to be distributed among the companies of our regiment.

On the following day ten of the new men were attached to our company which again gave us a very respectable sized company.

The following are the names of the men, as they reported them to orderly Parks:

  Brown, Henry       Brown, Clar1es

  Brown, Geoge       Grant, Charles

  Leadbeater, Thos.             McDonald, Thos.

  Powell, William     Raburn, William

  Smith, Francis       Smith, Edward R.

While laying in the present camp, four Ohio regiments, the 5th, 7th, 29th and 66th, were sent to New York City to aid with putting down the riot which was then in progress.  The regiments before they left were addressed by General Geary.

The recruits received their arms on the 18th of the month and then drilling was the order of the day, consisting of company, regimental and brigade.

The new men were mostly bounty jumpers, and were a pretty rough species of humanity.  They had large sums of money and their principal pastime, when off of duty, was cards for money, and frequently as much as $500 would be staked upon a single hand.

Among the lot of recruits, that came to join the regiment was a Baltimorian by the name of Price, and was assigned to Company A.  He wore an officer’s blouse, and having plenty of money, he had no difficulty in securing all the whiskey, and when under the influence of liquor was a dangerous man, and besides was an out-spoken rebel sympa­thizer.  When ordered to go on duty he positively refused to do so, when told that he would be bucked and gagged if he did not do as he was ordered, to which he replied that by G—d he would shoot the first man that would lay hands on him.

The man was reported to Col. Pardee, who at once ordered the man to be tied up by the thumbs.  Corporal West was ordered to take two files of the camp guard and arrest him.  Asa B. Churchill of our Company was one of the guards.  The corporal and his squad proceeded to the Company and upon making their errand known, the conscript showed fight.  Churchill laid his gun aside and whilst Price was flourishing a pistol ran in behind him, and throwing his arms around the refractory soldier, held him as easily as a cat would a mouse.  After struggling a few seconds he caved in, after which his revolver was taken from him and he marched meekly to the guard-house.  Here he was speedily tied up by his thumbs.  After he was let down he muttered vengeance, whereupon he was taken and bucked and gagged, his conduct having enraged the Officer of the Day, who feeling that it was necessary to make an example of him in order that it might have a wholesome effect upon the new men, a bayonet was placed in his mouth and a marquee taken and the soldier was soon so severely punished that the blood ran down his chin in a stream.  After being gagged for four hours he promised to obey and he was released.

Lieutenant Byers was sent to Philadelphia where he had charge of a recruiting station, where he remained until January 1864.

On the 21st of the month we received papers containing a list of the Snyder County drafted men, No. 2.  We had quite an interesting time discussing the event, pitying some of the unfortunates, generally poor men with large families, and laughing at the selection of others.  Among the list appeared the names of several of the members of our company.  The read­ing of their names were greeted with cheers.

Whilst laying in camp John O. Long and W. H. H. Shiffer were trans­ferred to the veteran reserve corps, on account of injuries received at the bat­tle of Chancellorsville.

A number of the new men added to our company gave our officers more trouble by their fault finding than all the rest of the men combined.  One of them particularly, Powell, an English. man, was continually fault-finding, nothing was right for him; Keller took his complaint good naturedly for a long time but at length grew tired of it, and upon one occasion when Powell  had been growling about all his rations; Will handed him a piece of meat in which there was a large bone, and Powell broke out with his ready:

“What in the bloody Ell can a man do with such a piece of bone?”

“Give it here,” said Keller “and take this,” suddenly flinging up a large sized piece of flank.  Powell was in the act of stooping down and the meal struck him full in the face as KeIler intended it should, he merely said, “get out of my road.”  The boys hahawed and Powell moved away muttering and growling at a fearful rate, but nevertheless it had the effect of making him a little more civil for the short time he remained with the command.

We were visited by the paymaster here and received four months’ pay, the greater part which we sent home in care of Col. Eyer to pay ever to our friends as per list enclosed with the money, which in due time reached home and was handed over to the proper persons.

As long as money lasted we lived at the top of the heap, as there were any amount of suttlers about and, owing to their close proximity to the National Capital, gave them every fa­cility for having good supplies on hand, but owing to the extreme high prices at which everything was sold our ready money, as much of it as we had retained, was soon taken from us and we were compelled to come down to hardtack and pork and beans.

Our stay in our present camp was passed very pleasantly and we were not very anxious to receive marching orders, but since we could not expect to defeat the Rebel Army by laying in camp, we were consequently not dis­appointed upon receiving orders to be ready to move.

Sunday, September 13, being the anniversary marking the day we had left old Selinsgrove, of our first year’s service, and which event was commemorated ­by a piece of poetry written by Wm. H. Spade, entitled, “One Year’s Services of Company G,” in which he narrated the stirring events of the past year.  Whilst we were enjoying our­selves our cavalry crossed the river on reconnaissance towards Culpepper and we were notified to be ready to march at a moments notice.

The next day we awaited orders to move and making arrangements for the same.  We expected to get into a battle and accordingly took advantage of what might be our last opportunity, for some time at least, of writ­ing home to our friends of the contemplated advance.

On the 15th, one year from the time that we were mustered into service, we received marching orders.  At 2 o’clock, p. m., we had general inspection after which we broke camp and moved as far as Kelly’s Ford on the Rapahannock River, where we encamped for the night.

In the morning we crossed the river and marched briskly in the direction of Culpepper, the boys taking up the couplet composed by Serg’t. Townsend and dedicated to H. J. Deobler

“We’ll all go down to Culpepper, And Shoot him in the groan.”

 

CHAPTER LVII

We marched along quite briskly and went into camp near to the town of Stevensburg.  In the distance to the right of our position, and in the direction of Cedar Mountain, we could see the white puffs of smoke, and hear the reports of artillery.  This proved to be the result of an engagement of Kilpatrick’s Cavalry with those of the enemy.  In the afternoon of the day following at 2 o’clock, we were ordered to move forward.  Whilst making preparations to move, we were startled by several volleys of musketry, almost in our immediate front.  We were ordered forward at full speed, and everything had the appearance of an engagement being brought on immediately.  While moving forward, Charles Brown, one of the conscripts belonging to our company played off, and managed to get to the rear and that was the last we ever saw of him.

We were moved into a narrow strip of woods to await further development, while laying in this place, the Ohio regiments of our Brigade, which had been at New York came up and were heartily welcomed back to their old command.

Our cavalry supported by severa1 Brigades of infantry had succeeded in driving the enemy’s pickets south of the Rapadan River, and of taking a position on the north bank.  We were ordered to remain quietly in line and under no circumstances to build any fires, so that the rebels could not discover our position.  For a short time the order was obeyed but soon some of the boys had kindled a fire and ere long a number of coffee cups were steaming.  General Green came up past where some our company boys were boiling coffee and kicked the cups over and tramped the fire out.

A little before dusk we were ordered to put up breastworks, which we hastily proceeded to do, and in a few hours we had thrown up a tolerable strong line of works, and behind which we had no doubt we would be able to hold at bay, any ordinary column that the enemy might throw against them.

Night coming on, and after a detail had been sent out to strengthen our picket line, we unpacked our knapsack and spreading our blankets upon old mother earth, we were soon locked in the arms of morpheus and forgetful of the dangers by which  were surrounded, slept as peacefully as if there were no rebels within a radius of a hundred miles.

Morning dawned bright and fair and we expected to be called upon ere the day would pass to make an assault upon the enemy, who was, as we now could plainly see, strongly fortified on the heights on the opposite side of the river.

Not receiving any orders we passed the day in looking about us, and as a large part of the Rebel Army had been encamped in the vicinity in which we were laying, we had ample means of passing the day very satisfactory.  Large number of rebels could be seen walking about on the opposite side of the river, whilst numbers were scatter­ed about in groups apparently discussing the probability of an attack being made upon them by the yanks.

During the night of the 18th, a member of Company B, of our regiment by the name of George W. Randolph deserted his post and boldly crossed the river and joined the enemy.

The rebel pickets continued to fire upon our pickets, and as we were compelled to relieve our posts in plain view of the enemy’s vidette, the position of our pickets during the day was anything but pleasant.  On the afternoon of the 19th, Jeremiah Hathaway was kept behind a gate post, 6X4 inches, for as soon as he attempted to move a Johnny from the opposite side of the stream, and who had range upon him, would send a ball into the post, for five hours and then when night drew its sable curtains around the scene, the rebel continued to send in his balls with great accuracy.  During the entire time that Hathaway had been held behind that post, Corporal Wagner had been watching to discover where the rebel marksman was concealed, but he had not been able to do so, but when he fired after dark, the flash betrayed his whereabouts, and Nate drew a bead on him, and the poor reb was sent to his long home.  This act brought cessa­tion of firing on our pickets.

On Saturday, the 19th, while we were quietly laying in camp, we were suddenly brought to our feet by the sudden discharge of musketry in our rear.  Instantly the whole camp was up in arms, officers went galloping too and fro.  Our Colonel came forward and hastily formed the regiment and prepared to receive them.  Volley after volley fell in rapid succession, we were ordered to strike our tents and make every preparation for the worst.  Soon after we had everything packed up an officer came riding up and ordered the Colonel to have his men break ranks as the alarm was caused by Kilpatrick’s men who had fired off their carbines after re­turning from his reconnaissance.

The news although welcome to us was received amidst consid­erable grumbling, and the tents were soon placed in their old places.  No doubt but the rebels were as much surprised at the suddenness of the firing as we were for our pickets reported that the enemy could be seen moving about in a greatly excited manner, evidencing the fact that they anticipated an attack upon their lines.

Orderly Parks had been over to Division Head-quarters, passing an examination for promotion to the rank of 2nd Lieuten­ant, to fill the vacancy created by the death of Lieutenant W. H. Schroyer, and gave a ludicrous account of the excitement, which existed at Division Head-quarters when the firing first commenced, his examination suddenly came to an end and he made a bee line for his command, and which he reached in time to take his place in line.

On Sunday, Sept. 20, the enemy having received official reports of the battle of Chicamagua, in which their troops under General Bragg had won a decisive victory over the Union Army commanded by Gen. Rosencranz, celebrated the event with the greatest enthusiasm, bands played, troops cheered and in every other possible way gave vent to their delight.  From our camp we could easily hear their demonstrations and it had anything but a cheerful influence upon us, for well we knew that their joy was purchased at a fearful sacrifice to the cause of the Union.  The news of our terrible defeat at Chicamagua, the particulars which we soon learned, proved that our surmises were correct, and the demonstration which they indulged in was occasioned at the defeat of part of our Army.

On the day following eight days rations were issued to us, causing us to think that our officers contemplated another Chancellorsville campaign.  All appeared anxious to move, the only care that seemed to impress the men was the uncertainty of the result of the project.  All knew that we could not move far without encountering the Army of Northern Virginia, and with the meeting must come a terrible conflict, and how it would result no human agency could foretell.

We anxiously awaited orders for a forward move, but none reached us for the two succeeding days and we began to think that the eight days rations had only been issued for the sake of saving work for the issuing officers, but on the 24th, at noon, we received marching orders at 12 o’clock, noon, and left at 3 P.M., marching via Stevensburg, crossing Mountain Creek at dark and went into camp for the night.

On the following day we marched to Brandy Station.  We crossed the river at Rappahanock Station, here we passed the grave of James Robinson, a former Selingsgrover, who had belonged to a battery and who was killed during the retreat of Banks.

On Saturday, the 26th, we broke camp towards noon and marched to Bealton Station.  Here we went into camp in the woods on the left of the railroad.  While stopping at this camp, a negro servant belonging to one of the officers, attempted to drive a carbine cartridge into the tree, when the cartridge exploded, nearly scaring the negro to death.  Immediately after the explosion, John K. Stuck said: “dat’s de whitest nigger I ever saw.”

 

CHAPTER LVIII

We remained in camp until 9 o’clock, p.m., when we boarded a train, composed of cattle cars, about sixty of us being placed in each car.  This was crowding us into uncomfortable small quarters, as we learned to our sorrow, long ere we had reached our destination.

Shortly after we were all snugly fixed, the engineer blew the whistle, rang the bell, opened the throttle valve, and amidst the vociferous cheers of the soldiers the wheels began to revolve, gaining speed with each revolution, until we were running at full speed towards Washington.

For the past few days it had been rumored that we were going west to reinforce Rosencranz‘s Army, and now it appeared that there were fair prospects of having the rumor actually ver­ified.

As soon as the train was once in full motion, the boys began to cut openings in the side of the cars, in order to give us more ventilation and at the same time to afford us a better opportunity to see the country.

Upon reaching Alexandria, we made a short halt, sufficiently long to allow a number of the boys of our company to make a raid upon a baker, which resulted in the capture of fifteen or twenty loaves of bread, and which was divided among the members of the company.

A loud shrill whistle form the locomotive, announced that we were about to resume our journey, and those who were not on the train came pouring in promiscuously, and several came very nearly being left behind.

We reached Washington at midnight, and as it was announced that the train would stop here for some time we got out of the cars.  It was our first sight of the National Capitol, ­and never will we forget the impression it made upon us.  It was a beautiful moon-light night and the city of magnificent distances lay quietly wrapped in slumber, while the Capital with its lofty dome, towering high above eve­rything else appeared to play the part of a sturdy sentinel, under whose argus eye no foe could successfully ad­vance against it.

The boys amused themselves by chasing several full grown goats, a number of which were gamboling in the vicinity where the train had came to a halt.  One of them had a long beard, which bespoke him to be a ven­erable patriarch, and the beautiful manner in which he sent one of Company F’s boys flying from a bridge into a ditch which it spanned clear1y demonstrating that his early education had not been neglected.

At day-break the train moved onward and we took a long lingering look at the Capitol, feeling fully con­scious that it might probably be the last time that we should ever be per­mitted to look upon the National Capitol again.

The sun was just peeping out from beneath the eastern horizon as we flew past the home of Stuart Mills, the American sculptor, between Bladens­burg and Washington, and who has a bronze equestrian statue in the yard in which the house is enclosed.  As we approached Bladensburg, the place made memorable as a dueling ground being the site where some half-dozen affairs of honor, during the palmiest days of the “code,” were settled, it is also a place of historical note, having been destroyed by fire during the last war with England.

For some cause or other we made a tolerable long halt here, during which time Corporal King of the 28th Regiment, untied a horse that was hitched to a buggy and stood near the station, got into the vehicle, hoisted an umbrella he found on the seat, and started the horse off at full speed.  The man who owned the horse was afraid that King would injure the animal as well smash the buggy to pieces, ran after him and attempted to catch his horse but all to no effect.  General Geary saw the performance and ordered him to be placed under arrest and which was accomplished after considerable trouble.  King was finally captured and for the remainder of the trip he had a guard over him.

When we again got started we ran on towards Baltimore, but at the Relay House we turned out on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad and left Baltimore to our right.  In due time we reached the mountains of Western Virginia, and passed through a delightfully romantic country, which was strikingly beautiful in its original wildness.  Our journey was continued during the day and at sunset we arrived at Martinsburg, here we were supplied with coffee, hard tack and bacon, which was prepared for us.  After partaking supper the train moved onward and we made preparations for the night.  We then found how very uncomfortable we were crowded in the cars, as it was impossible for more than half of us to lay down at one time whilst the others were compelled to sit up and roost the best way they could.  Morning dawned at last and found us at New Creek, where we stopped and cooked coffee.  To say that we were glad to get out on terra-firma and exercise our tired and cramped limbs is stating the facts very mildly.

After a halt of an hour, and during which time the substitutes belonging to our company succeeded in getting several canteens of whiskey and all of them persisted in getting good and glorious, greatly to the annoyance of the rest of the members of the company, and most especially those of the boys who liked their toddy but who were unable to get it.

During the day the riding in the cars was much more agreeable, as we could get out on the platform or get up on top of the cars, thus making much more room in the cars for those who remained in the ears.  Night came on and we were compelled to undergo the same squeezing process, in order to make room for all.  During the night Charles Brown, Thomas Leadbeater, Thomas McDonald and Thomas Powell, all of them new men belonging to our company, deserted.  During the night an accident happened to Charles Grant, another one of the new men, which almost resulted fatally and from the effects of which he never fully recovered his reasoning faculties.  He had been a sailor before he enlisted and had several times in the course of the day, and while the cars were in motion, made his way from the inside of the car through an opening in the side, up to the top of the car.  Having drank too much liquor he became too reckless and while attempting to climb out during the night, he lost his hold and he fell to the ground.  The train was stopped and Jack, as he was call­ed, was picked up in an insensible condition.  The boys kindly watched over him, and rendered him all the aid they could, but be remained unconscious until daylight, and in fact he never fully recovered his right mind.

Our train stopping at Belltown Sta­tion we stopped to cook coffee, while laying here partly concealed by a sharp curve in the road, another train containing a part of our Brigade ran into our train and badly damaged three of the rear cars of our train.  A number of our company boys who were it their cars at the time of the accident jumped out.  Quite a number, of the occupants of the wrecked cars were seriously injured, although none fatally.

When we arrived at Benwood, we left the cars and crossed the Ohio River on a Pontoon bridge and came to the town of Bellair.  Here we found tables set, something similar to those we used to see at an old fashioned 4th of July celebration, only in p1ace of being loaded with the same kind of palatable food, we found the fattest and strongest bacon we ever saw and were served with old musty hard-tack, the coffee would have been passable had it not been for the fact that it was made out of river water.  The fact of our being hungry alone made the articles acceptable.  While we lay in the town a row occurred among some citizens and soldiers, in which the former were pretty badly cleaned out. We took the train at 3 o’clock, p. m., and resumed our journey.

On the 1st of October we reached Columbus, Ohio at noon.  Here we made a short stop, and during which time an altercation took place between Adam Morgan of Company B, 147th and Pat Shay, Company A, 28th, and which at one time promised to become general.  Shay abused an old lady who was selling oranges, Morgan shamed him whereupon Shay became enraged and said be could whip the best man in the 147th.  Morgan accepted the challenge and Shay was whipped.  He started for his regiment, threatening to come back and clean Company B out.  Our company occupied the next car to B, and notwithstanding the attempt of Captain Davis to keep the men in the cars, the boys jumped out to SEE fair play, but Shay and his friends never put in an appearance.

 

CHAPTER LIX

After laying in the city for a little over an hour, we again proceed on our journey.  As we passed the Penitentiary we had the satisfaction of seeing a large number of the prisoners in their striped suits under guard doing police duty.  We continued our journey during the day passing through a number of flourishing towns and villages.  At Dayton, which was the home of the arch rebel Vallandigham, we remained for some time.  Considerable excitement existed in the city owing to the action of part of our advance Division who had gutted the office of the Valandigham organ, the Ohio STATESMEN.  The feeling in the city was intense and if the butternuts wol’d have dared, they would have made short work of us.  The political excitement was very high, the Democrats had nominated Vallandigham, whilst the Union men, irrespective of part rallied around that staunch old Union hero John Brough, and we could at all time hear the shouts of “Liberty and Vallandigham,” and “Union and Brough.”

At a little station a few miles from Dayton, a large number of kegs of ale were piled up on the platform, and as the cars started a number of the boys threw several kegs into the car and the result was, as might be expected, a number of the boys became tipsy and a high old time was the result.

At our last stopping place before we reached Centreville, Ind., a young girl was walking along the railroad track and as the cars were running very slow, several of our boys jumped out of the cars and started after the young lady for a Kiss.  One of our Sergeants succeeded in snatching a “Kiss,” when to his great chagrin, he discovered that, the young lady was crazy.  It was a joke at the Sergeants expense and one which he has not yet heard the last of.  At Centreville, Ind., we were kindly received.  The Citizens had been notified at our arrival, and had prepared breakfast for us.  We remained in the town about five hours, which time was spent in walking around and in seeing the sights.  Several of the boys had succeeded in getting a small cannon, which they were firing off at a rapid rate, greatly to the detriment of the window glasses.  A string band consisting of Hoosier Ladies and Gentlemen assembled at the depot and favored us with a number of excellent songs, accompanied with instrumental Music.  Several farmers came to town with barrels of cider and bushels of apples which they gave to us free of charge.  At 10 o’clock, a. m., we again started, and proceeded our journey ‘til we reached Indianapolis, which we did at 5 o’clock, p. m.  Here we were taken to the Soldiers Rest, where we were treated to an excellent Supper, consisting of Soda Crackers, dried beef tongue, coffee, &c., which was given to us by special orders of Governor Morton.  The State Fair was in session, and we had the satisfaction of seeing several very fine specimens of cattle, which were being driven from the grounds to various parts of the city.  Several of the boys started out in town to see the SIGHTS and as future developments revealed they no doubt did SEE them.

Quite an interesting little episode occurred whilst we were laying here and awaiting the train which was being gotten ready for us.  An old farmer came to where we were laying, with a barrel of cider, which he was selling at five cents a glass.  The boys were dry but had no money, and so they began to pick a fuss with the old man.  Some calling him “butter-nut” others trying to drive his old horse, and as he started off, the countrymen seized his lines, whilst one of the boys jumped into the wagon and rolled the barrel out, whilst they drove the horse off in full speed.  The head of the barrel was knocked in and then the cof­fee cups were brought into requisi­tion and in less time than one could say Jack Robinson, the barrel was emptied of its contents.  At nine o’clock, or after a stay of about 4 hours we were again ordered on to the cars and the journey was again commenced, we continued on our travel the entire night, and by noon next day, October 3rd, we reached Jeffersonville, Ind., here we again got out of the cars and marched through the town for the riv­er, where we embarked upon Steam Ferry boats to cross the river.  As we passed several large Government Cracker Bakeries the girls and men employed in them threw crackers down at us, and they tasted quite different from what they would have several years afterwards.

At one o’clock we left the boats and marched into Louisville, Ky.  Here we soon found that we were leaving the “Freelands of the North,” and were again entering ‘Dixie,’ our Bri­gade was marched into the city, and the men ordered to take off their Knapsacks, and take it easy.  Our officers were ordered to allow none of the men to get any whisky. Several guards were placed at both corners of the square.  Asa B. Churchill of our company was on guard.  Capt. Laven­burg of Co. E, who was unfortunate­ly given to the use of the Liquor, determined to go out in search of it.  He came to where Asa was and tried to go through, but was halted, but not being in a mood to listen, be made up his mind to go through.  Asa brought down his gun to a charge, and Laven­burg found that the guard was not to be trifled with, and he silently turned back.  Now we were marched to the depot, where we remained until nearly dusk, getting our meals in the depot, after which we again started forward.  The train thundered on at full speed, and when the morning dawned we found ourselves running along the Cumberland river, every mile of the way giving indication of having once been occupied by a hostile army.  Fort after fort, alternated with earth works, met our eager gaze and we soon began to feel that we were moving up on the territory made memorable by the heroic deeds of the gallant old Ar­my of the Cumberland, under the lead of Buell and Rosencranz.  By noon we reached Nashville, the Capital of Tennessee.  Here we lay upon the trestle work for several hours, in sight of the State Capitol, which is a magnificent building built of Tennessee marble, and which at the time was enclosed within a line of entrenchments.  Here we were joined by General Hooker and Staff and again started onward.  From this point the trains moved much slower than they had up to this point.  After due time we reached Murfresboro and from the entrenchments which surrounded the place we could see a number of heavy guns placed in position.  Here we were informed that the rebel cavalry general, Wheeler, was threatening to make a raid upon the road.  We were ordered to load our guns, without priming, and we were ready for an at­tack at any moment.  The train moved on slowly during the night, and at daylight on the 5th, we came to a halt at Duck River Bridge, near Normandy station, Tenn., and were ordered to get out of the cars, when we received the joyful intelligence that our long ride of over eleven hundred miles was over.  We fell in and moved to the right of the rail-road, where we were drawn up in line of battle.  A detail was at once sent out on picket to prevent a surprise, after which we spread our blankets upon the ground behind the stacks, thankful for the opportunity to stretch out our cramped up limbs, as we had not been able to stretch ourselves out full length while sleeping during the eight nights we were on the cars.

 

CHAPTER LX

Through the kindness of Wm. H. Spade one of the members of our company, we are able to present the following table, giving the name of the principle towns as well as the distances while traveling in the cars:

From          Bealton to Washington               54 m’s
            “           Washington to Martinsburg        120 “

      “           Martinsburg to Newburg                        167 “

      “           Newburg to Belton                                  77 “

      “           Belton to Benwood                                  31 “

      “           Bellaire to Columbus                  137 “

      “           Columbus to Centreville             117 “

      “           Centreville to Indianapolis            63 “

      “           Indianapolis to Jeffersonville       108 “

      “           Jeffersonville to Nashville          185 “

      “           Nashville to Normandy                61 “

                              Total amount            1,120 “

 

On the 5th, the day of our arrival, after we had put up temporary quarters, we devoted considerable time to giving ourselves a general overhauling and the amount of “flees” which we had accumulated during the time we were on board the cars, was truly astonishing.  In every nook and corner the boys could be seen bringing their thumb nails into active operation.  The most of the boys were so full of the cussed “varmints” that it did not require any particular exertion to find them.

Orders were given us to erect temporary shelter, and we supposed that we would probably remain here for some time.  In the evening of the day after our arrival our camp was thrown into a wild state of excitement by the arrival of several mounted jay-hawkers, who announced that a large force of rebel cavalry and infantry were moving upon us.

Colonel Pardee at once ordered the men under arms and every arrangement made to give the enemy the best we had in store for them.  After reinforcing the picket lines to prevent a surprise, the regiment having stacked arms, we were permitted to lie down, but were duly cautioned to be ready to fall in at the first tap of the drum.  The rebels failing to put in an appearance we were permitted to rest through the night undisturbed.

At noon, Oct. 7th, our regiment was ordered to move.  Almost instantly the tents were struck and the regiment under command of Colonel Pardee crossed Duck River, by means of the wagon bridge north of the station, and then struck out boldly into the enemy’s country.

We passed a number of houses on our march, and from the smoked Yankees around the premises, we learned that the “Rebs had jus done gone and moved out pass dar this morning.”  All of which was particularly interesting information to us.

About five miles out on the march our progress was impeded by a stream, the bridge having been destroyed by the rebels.  Colonel Pardee dismounted and at the head of the column plunged into the water and waded thro’ the stream.  The boys greeted this act with a cheer and gallantly followed his example, and in less time than it takes us to relate it, every man was on the opposite side.

It soon became apparent to us that our destination was Shelbyville, the county seat of Bedford County, ten miles west of Normandy on the Man­chester and Lewisburg road, which, as was reported, was occupied by General Wheeler and a force of rebel cavalry.

As we neared the town several rebel prisoners were taken past us, having been captured by our cavalry the main body having skedaddled upon hearing of our advance.

On passing a house, surrounded by a large yard, on the outskirts of the town we noticed several persons waving handkerchiefs, and among them a little girl waving a flag.  As we marched past close to them, Lt. Parks said to the little girl:

“Sissy, weren’t you afraid that the Rebels would steal your flag and tear it for you?”

“No, ‘tause I hidded it, when zey was here,” was the quick-witted re­sponse of the loyal little curly headed maiden.

Our officers becoming satisfied that they could not overtake the fleeing cavalry with infantry, and night comin­g on they wisely concluded to abandon the pursuit, and we consequently went into camp for the night.

On the following day we broke camp at about 9 o’clock, a. m., and started for Normandy Station.  Upon reach­ing the creek, Ellis Noll of our company having been attacked with something similar to poison, did not, like to get wet, offered Wm. Henninger of our company, one dollar if he would carry him across.  Henninger at once consented and Nolly straddled his back amidst the cheers of those who beheld the affair, and was deposited on terra-firma, without a drop of water touching him.  Ellis did not have the dollar just then, and we presume that Henninger chalked it down to his profit and loss account, where it undoubtedly stands today.

We reached camp in due time and soon took possession of our old quarters.  Here we devoted ourselves to the ordinary routine of camp life and which was occasionally marred by the report of scared contraband, to the effect that Wheeler “am a coming, certain suah,” which announcement never failed to create a stir.

Among the most exciting episodes that occurred during our stay at Duck River Creek Bridge, as John P. Haas called it, was the affair of the bloody sixteen at the stockade, which will ever remain a part of the unwritten history of the Company.

On Tuesday the 20th, Company G and B, of our regiment were ordered to march to Shelbyville, under command of Captain Davis.  We broke camp early in the morning, and the Captain who was a fast walker, exerted him self considerable to give us a good sweating, a result which he accomplished to his utmost satisfaction.  We reached Shelbyville a little before noon, and were at once quartered, in one of the public buildings of the town, and the company was put on patrol duty.

After the first details were made, those of the boys who were not on duty looked around the place.  It was by far the best Southern town that we had been in yet, and the large number of Union people residing here, really made it a very desirable place to be quartered in; provision of every kind was really abundant, and all that was necessary to get almost anything that the heart could desire, was sufficient greenbacks.

On the day after our arrival in the town, a Creole barber, who had been a servant to some rebel officer, got into an altercation with some soldiers in his shop, in relation to the bravery of the respective armies, when the barber was given the lie, he sprang for a carbine that was hanging on the wall, when he was knocked down, being a desperate man and evidently a very strong one, springing up and making for the weapon, feeling that he would do some one injury, a sergeant of the 29th Ohio, drew a revolver and shot him in the head, killing him instantly.  At the report of the revolver, those in the shop and in the immediate neighborhood of the building, skeedaddled in every direction, and well for them­ that they did, for the patrol under Lt. Byers, came upon the scene on a double quick.  Upon entering the little shop, they found the barber dead, with a bullet hole in his forehead.

The soldiers had all made their es­cape and, the patrol did not succeed in arresting any one connected with the affair.  The barber was raised up from the floor and placed upon a bench.  A guard was placed in front of the shop, after which word was sent to the Mayor of the town, who sent several men to take charge of the corpse and the guard was relieved and sent back to head-quarters.

The men who were sent by the May­or to take charge of the murdered man upon satisfying themselves that he was really dead, proceeded to make a rough box, placed him in it, secured an old horse and cart and conveyed it to the cemetery, unloaded the box and proceeded to dig a grave in which they placed him.  Thus what had been a human being, in the full enjoyment of life, but four short hours before, was consigned to that “bourne from whence no traveler ere returns.”

In the evening we were notified that we had been relieved and that we wo’d return to the regiment on the following morning, Thursday, October 22nd.

In the morning before starting the Mayor sent two camp kettles of whiskey around to our quarters.  While the men were being drawn up in line, one of the Ohio boys, who had helped to bring the whiskey to our company, succeeded in walking away with one of the kettles of whiskey, and it was very good they did, since the one kettle that was left us, was sufficient to make all those intoxicated who desired to drink.  At about 9 o’clock we again turned our back on Shelbyville, having first given three cheers and a tiger for citizens of the town.

The march homeward, for the first mile or two was a good one, the tanglefoot which we had imbibed caused the roads to become to narrow and occasionally the ground would rise up and strike one of the heavily ladened ones in the face, and then it would require the combined efforts of two or three of his companions to help him on his feet, and then sometimes the trio or quartet, as the case might be, wo’d fall and flounder together.  After we had marched several miles, the effects of the whiskey wore off, and then the growling and grumbling commenced and which was persistently kept up until camp was reached, which we did at a little after 3 o’clock, p. m.

The time was passed in camp at Duck River in the ordinary routine of a soldier’s life, the history of one day being that of another; camp guard or picket police duty at 9 a. m., sick call at 9:15, company drill from 10 to 11; dinner next, company or regimental drill from 2 o’clock to 3 p. m., dress parade at 4, retreat and roll call at 9, taps 15 minutes later, “lights out and to bed.”  The latter order was not al­ways obeyed, and seated in our tents, we frequently talked, generally about home and our loved ones, long after taps had sounded.  Playing cards, writing letters, reading and gossiping were our principle means of killing time when not otherwise engaged.

At tattoo, on the evening of October 23rd, we received orders to move the following day.  Orders to move were seldom ever received with much enthusiasm, owing to the dread uncertainties of a soldier’s life and consequently the orders just given us had the effect of sending us quietly to our quarters.  The principle query in our minds being, “wonder which way we will move?”

On the following day our pickets were relieved and every arrangement made for the move.  Rations were divided among the respective members of the various messes, letters written to friends at home and every possible ar­rangement made for the pending move.  Saturday and Sunday were both passed without moving, although the sus­pense in which we passed the two days, momentarily expecting to hear the command to “fall in,” was a severe test upon us and went a long way to destroy the pleasure and enjoyment which under other circumstances we would have had.

At about 4 o’clock, a. m., on Monday day morning, October 26th, we were routed up and ordered to prepare to move at once.  Our tents were, soon. struck and every thing hastily packed and we were ready to start.  A train of cars came steaming up to the station and at sunrise we got on the cars and moved away at the slowest possible rate of speed, it was soon evident to us that we were not destined to travel very far, as the train upon which we were riding made a halt every minute or two, rarely running over half a mile without making a halt and then sometimes halting an hour at a time, we traveled in this manner all day and by night reached Deckard, a station on the railroad, 21 miles from where we had started in the morning.  Here we remained all night and in the morning the train started out again having first reversed the cow catcher for fear that the cows would run over us, as the boys jokingly remarked.  During the day we passed a number of small railroad towns which had the usual dilapidated southern appearance everything going to ruin.  We halted at Stevenson for dinner.  Here the boys made a raid upon the Post suttler and in less time than I can tell it, he was completely gutted out.  It was amusing to see the suttler and his assistants follow the boys and attempt to recapture the articles which the boys had taken from the shop.  We remained in the cars until dusk, by this time having reached Bridgeport.  Here we got out of the cars and remained for the night.

On the following morning, October 28th, we crossed the Tennessee River at Bridgeport, on a Pontoon Bridge and commenced our first march toward the front.  Our march during the day was a very fatiguing one, as a great part of it was over a very rough and unbroken country, and night overtook us before we reached our destination and we were compelled to continue our march for several miles, along the base of high and threatening mountains which made the darkness appear still more impenetrable, causing the boys to meet with innumerable falls and tumbles, and we were glad when we were ordered to camp for the night, which was done when we reached Wartrace, having marched about 15 miles.  The Colonel put out camp guards and made arrangements to remain for the night.

During the night, Corporal Schroyer, who had charge of one of the out­posts arrested a man on suspicion of being a spy, and taking him before the Colonel who examined him and finding that he had passes in his pos­session from Grant, Rosencranz, Sher­man, Thomas, &c., pronounced him all right.  After he had dismissed him the man reached into his boot and from some concealed place he brought forth passes signed by General Lee, Gen. Bragg, &c., and turning to the Co1one1, said:

“What do you think of my being all right now?”

The action of the man, as well as the fact of the two sets of passes sorely puzzled the Colonel, and he replied to the man’s inquiry,

“I’ll risk you, I think you are all right,” and when they left the Colo­nel’s tent, the latter called Schroyer back and whispered to him:

“I do not rightly know what to think of that man, keep a good watch on him, and if he tries to escape from the post before morning, shoot him down like a dog.”

Between ten and eleven o’clock at night, heavy firing was heard in our front, although it appeared to be a great distance from us, the steady rolling sound told our practiced ears that a brisk infantry engagement was going on in the front.  To us it was a har­binger of what was awaiting us on the morrow and drawing our blankets closer around us, we tried to settle in to that peaceful slumber, known only to the tired veteran, but ere we had accomplished this, we heard the sound of a horse approaching our camp at full speed, the striking of his mailed hoofs upon the hard ground and rocks announced his approach, and soon upon the night air rang the picket’s sharp and stern command “Halt!”

 

CHAPTER LXI

On came the rider, up came the rifle of the picket, and then above the clatter of the horse’s hoofs was heard the voice of the rider, who thus ad­dressed the sentinel:

“For Heaven’s sake don’t halt me I have important dispatches for General Hooker, I must reach him, or we are lost!”  He had not halted and by the time that he had finished he had passed the sentinel and was riding through the camp, as he approached the other end of the camp he was again halted, when he made a similar answer and passed out of camp as he had entered and we could hear the clattering of the horses hoofs far down the road as he bore his rider safely onward.  Who he was, and what his mission was, will ever remain a mystery to us.

The night passed wearily enough for those on duty, whilst those who were more fortunate and had passed the night in sleep were awakened at day light, thinking that they had passed an unusual short night.  Orders were issue to be ready to move in an hour.  The command consisted of the 28th, 147th Regiments and a section of Knap’s Battery, all under the command of Colonel Pardee.

At the expiration of the hour the command was on the move, with orders to press forward as rapidly as possible.  After marching several miles we were met by one of General Geary’s orderlies, who gave us the results of the battle of the previous night, and from him we first learned of the death of Lieut. Geary of Knap’s Battery, a son of our Division commander, as well as of the fearful slaughter of the brave men of our 2nd and 3rd Brigades.  As we neared the battle-field we were drawn up in a line of battle, and ordered to “load at will.”  We were then advanced cautiously, having deployed skirmishers, to prevent a surprise, as there was no telling where the enemy might be found.  We advanced until we came out into the valley, here a beautiful sight burst upon our gaze, to our right and front, Lookout Mountain reared its cloud capped summit, and like a giant sentinel, obstructing our onward progress in that direction, whilst on its top a signal corps was plainly seen signaling our arrival, to our front was a beautiful valley, on our left a range of the Raccoon Mountains, in the distance was Chattanooga and before us almost equally distant was the winding Tennessee river, all of which would have proven a worthy theme for the pencil of an artist, but the circumstan­ces by which we were surrounded somewhat knocked the romance out of us, and we were more alive to the dangers by which we were surrounded.  An animated discussion arose between our boys as to whether the mountain was held by our men or the rebels, and as usual upon such occasions the dispute became very warm, but it was de­cided in a very conclusive manner.  Isaac Reed of our company, who bad never been under tire, remarked that “wun ase rebels sin don wunch ich das sie do river scheesa datah.”  No sooner ­had young Reed given expression to his wish, than a small rift of white smoke was observed by us to rise with a sudden puff, and soon the whurr-whurr-wuzz” announced the approach of a shell, and with a crash it cut the limb of a tree off, almost above our heads, and then exploded with a ringing sound, scattering the deadly fragments about us in profusion fortunately however no one was injured.  No sooner could Reed obtain control of his tongue than he said:

Now will ich kennah may by’m dunner hareh.”

Notwithstanding the scare we had received, Reed’s words and his scared appearance caused the boys to break forth in a shout.

This was the only shell the rebels threw at us while moving into the valley.  We were received with cheers of welcome by the remainder of our Division, as we came to a halt on part of the battle-field of the previous night.  The sight which met our eyes, was sickening in the extreme, fully 20 dead horses, together with a large number  of dead rebels were scattered about whilst forty or fifty newly made graves told the sad tale of the price we had paid for the victory.

We were halted and ordered to stack arms, and at once commenced to prepare our dinner, for which our tramp of eight or ten miles had sharpened our appetites.  After dinner we found that the men had taken about 200 prisoners, and when we found that they had belonged to Longstreet’s com­mand and that they too were from the Army of Northern Virginia, we felt as though they were friends, and we were soon on friendly terms with them.  At about 2 o’clock, p. m., we were ordered to fall in at once.

 

CHAPTER LXII

We were moved a short distance across the road, into an open field, here we were formed into a line of battle, and after stacking arms we were ordered to break ranks and rest as we could.  We were in plain view of the enemy and it was not long before they sent us their compliments in the shape of 31 pound rifle shells.  They kept up the fun (to the rebels not to us) for several hours.  The shells would occasionally bury themselves in the ground and then exploding would send the ground up in large quantities.  We were almost too far from them and did not receive any damage other than to be pretty badly scared several times.

We remained in the field until nearly 9 o’clock p. m., when we were moved a little in advance of our last position and commenced to erect breast-works and worked hard all night and by the following morning at 7 o’clock, we had a strong line of works finished.

At about the time we had the line completed it commenced to rain, and soon filled our works with from six to ten inches of water making it very disagreeable and unpleasant.  All this time the dead rebels, killed in the battle on the night of the 28th, lay upon the battle-field, and the stench that filled the air was sickening.  A detail from the division was made to bury the poor unfortunate victims of the vicissitudes of war, and a sorrowful task it was indeed.  The dead lay scattered over an area of about ten acres, lying in all imaginable positions, just as they had fallen, many of them with their pale white faces turned up, with open eyes staring towards the sky, while the unmerciful rain was incessantly beating down upon them, making, a ghastly scene.  What would have been the feelings of the friends of these dead  heroes of the “lost cause,” if they co’d have been permitted to see the sad condition of their loved ones, their tears would undoubtedly have fallen as fast upon their upturned faces as did the unfeeling rain.

The dead lay in a low swampy field and owing to the decomposed state of the men, they were buried where they fell, graves filled up with water as fast as they were dug, and bodies were placed into them and hastily covered.  The sight was sufficient to cause the stoutest heart to quail, for how soon the tables might be changed and the rebels be called upon to perform the same kind (?) of­fices for us, was a question that did not admit of demonstrating with, any degree of certainty.

The rain continued to come down, the ground was so low that our tents did not afford us a particle of shelter, as we sunk into the mud and water almost up to our knees, and as the room in a tent to accommodate four men was about 6x6 ft, it can be readily seen that it was not pleasant to be cooped up in so small a space.  The greater part of the day was spent by the men who seated themselves in a position in which they used to play “rotten egg,” in their boyhood days, and with their ammunition and rifle slung across their knees, and the poncho thrown over them longed for the rain to cease.

Whilst in this sad plight, a man passed our works on foot dressed in a gum suit and was splashed with mud from the sole of his feet to the crown of his hat, and stopping in front of our company asked where:

“Major General Geary’s head-quarters were located?”

Some one answered ‘down the road,’ and the man moved on.  The boys had taken him for a Christian Commission man, and not being very re­ligiously inclined under the circumstances, and held their incivility.

Soon after the man had passed us Lieut. Willett of Co. B, of our regiment came up to us, having been over to Division head-quarters, and asked us whether General Grant had not passed our works a short time ago?

Upon inquiring as to how he was dressed, we learned that the man we had taken for a Christian Commission agent, was no less a personage than the hero of Vicksburg.  This news started a number of our boys down the road but the General could not be found.

The night of the 30th of September, 1863 is one that will not readily be forgotten by the members of old Com­pany G, the rain continued to fall and we were compelled to sit up all night, and to add to our anxiety and discomfiture, we were ordered to be ready to repel an attack, as the enemy had been discovered to be on the moved and it was altogether probable that they would attack us in force, if they would renew the assault.  Had the enemy made an attack upon us they would have been met by a Division of “mad yanks,” and they would hare been roughly handled.

Saturday morning dawned upon a rough looking body of men, we were wet to the skin, and many of us having been overcome for sleep, laid down in the mud and water and had more the appearance of a drove of swine than a regiment of soldiers.

At about 9 o’clock, a. m., we were ordered under arms, and upon falling into line we were moved about a mile north-west from our works, into an open field, out of range of the battery on Lookout, here we were ordered to build large fires and  to dry out wet clothing.

We soon had large fires built, and it did not take us very long until we made our appearance in a costume, a la Adam, before mother Eve persuaded him to try the apple, and the novelty of the scene made a lasting impression upon the  beholders.

As soon as our clothing were sufficiently dry, we ­donned them and made tracks for a field close by in which a herd of cattle were quietly grazing, and soon had managed to secure fresh meat for dinner.

As soon as our Colonel thought we had a sufficient supply of meat for dinner, he placed a number of guards over the cattle with orders to arrest anyone they should detect molesting the cattle.  Among the few head that escaped was a fine calf, four or five weeks old.  Old Sephes of H Company, saw the calf and at once made for it.  The guards succeeded in capturing him and marching him up before the Colonel.

 

CHAPTER LXIII

As old Sephes made his appearance before the Colonel, he said:

“Kolonel Pardee, I no kill a kalf.”

The  guard however contradicted his story and the Colonel ordered him to be bucked and gagged.  And whenever afterwards the boys desired to see a mad Dutchman, all they had to do was to wait until Sephes was about, then place their hands up to their mouths and “bah” like a calf, this never failed to have the desired effect.

Towards evening we advanced about one-fourth of a mile, taking position upon a ridge, a branch of Raccoon Mountain.  From this elevated position we had an admirable view of the Wauhatchie Valley, as well as of the rebel position on Lookout Mountain and beyond, while at the same time a ­glimpse of the Union cantonments in the vicinity of Chattanooga was also discernible, affording us some slight idea of the strength of the Union Army.

Night soon threw her sable curtains around us, and all that was to be seen were the numberless camp fires which dotted the hills and the valleys as far as the eye could scan.

The following day was Sabbath, as well as the 1st of the month, being our muster day, and we were soon busily engaged in preparing our arms and accouterments for inspection and which owing to the heavy rains, was no easy task our guns being thickly coated with rust.  However by dint of scraping, scouring and burnishing, by noon we were prepared for muster.

At two o’clock, we were drawn up in regimental line and by three o’clock we were through, and were marched to our quarters with orders to com­mence fortifying our position immediately.  Fortune appeared to have favored us for once, immediately to the right of our company, and in line of the proposed works, stood a noble old oak, Asa B. Churchill and Daniel Ehrhart at once proceeded to fell it,  and by a little skill, well known to the backwoodsman, they threw its trunk along the entire length of our company and after trimming off the branches and filling in a little ground we soon had excellent breast-works completed, and by dusk the entire line was completed and our color sergeant placed the flag upon the works and unfurled it, allowing it to wave a defiance to the hosts of treason and rebellion.

On the following day we put up quarters and made all necessary arrangements to make ourselves as easy as possible.  In an astonishingly short time we had first class summer quar­ters up, and our camp presented quite a pleasant and attractive appearance.  The rebels had observed our activity and noticing that we had put up a line of works, sent us their compliments in the shape of a number of 31 pound shells, one of which went screeching over our heads and exploded near Division head-quarters, but the rest all fell short and finding that they were only uselessly wasting ammunition they soon stopped shelling us to our great delight.

While laying in this line, Sherman’s veterans passed us on their way to the front, and their appearance was so vastly different from any soldiers that we had yet seen that we couldn’t fail to notice it, the majority of them were tall men with bushy hair and whiskers indicative of the Western type of manhood, wearing large black hats, with an eagle feather, giving them the ap­pearance of full fledged bandits.  No doubt our men, who wore the fatigue cap, with short hair and closely cropped whiskers and being small in stat­ue, appeared just as oddly to these heroes of Vicksburg, and it is no wonder that they styled us the “bread and butter” soldiers of the “paper-collar” Brigade.

In passing our command they wo’d occasionally halt, and then the most laughable conversation would take place, generally in language similar to the following.

Sherman’s Veteran—“Do you draw your paper collars from the Government?”

Hooker’s Boy—“Certainly. why don’t your men get them issued to ‘em in this army? “

Sherman’s V—“No, we are mighty glad when we get hard-tack and salt-horse enough.”

Hookerite—“Yon don’t say, but certainly you get pie, butter and bread issued to you?”

Shermanite—“Do you hear that Joe, this here paper collar chap wants to know whether we don’t draw butter, pies and bread?”

Joe—“By gol, he’ll find out, guess he’ll get pies with Bragg shortening in em, and if they are hard to digest they wont give ’em the dyspepsia.”

By this time the bugle would sound the forward and the Veterans would shoulder their knapsacks, evidently pitying us whilst the men who fought under the gallant Hooker would enjoy a good hearty laugh at the credulity of the long-haired rangers.

It was owing to little incidents like the one just narrated that the soldiers of the south-west learned to look upon the soldiers from the brave old Army of the Potomac, as being their inferiors in point of bravery and endurance, a conclusion which the facts in the case did not warrant.  And in a short time wonderful stories were related at the camp-fires of the Western Army as to what the soldiers of the Army of the Potomac did, and did not draw with their rations and it was a long time before they made the discovery that they had been duped by some wags of Hooker’s command.

The time we spent in Wauhatchie Valley will never be forgotten, we almost literally starved, being reduced to less than quarter rations.  The poor mules actually starved by the dozens.  A team of six mules were given six ears of corn at a feed, twice, and often only once a day, whilst a guard was placed over them to prevent the hungry men from stealing their scanty feed.  The mules became so reduced that six of them could scarcely draw the empty wagons over the corduroy.  One could almost walk a mile on dead mules, between our camp and the river landing.  The poor beasts would fall down exhausted, and when a mule once gives up nothing can be done with it, the driver would take an axe and brain it and let him lay where he fell or at most not doing more than rolling the carcass to the side of the road to become a prey to the carrion crow and buzzard.

In the course of the week the men became as greatly reduced as the teams, we were scarcely able to work ourselves up and down the hill for water, whilst at the same time our duty was severe, large details for fatigue duty every third day, and  not infrequently were we compelled to go to labor without a morsel of food for breakfast, even our supply of coffee, the soldiers solace, being run out, with no prospect of getting anything for the day.  It was at times like these that we wished for the crumbs that fell from the tables of our friends at home.

It was in the midst of this starvation, that Sergeant Eby had a large boil on his face, he went to Dr. McClure to have it lanced.  The Doctor said it was not ripe, he ought to put on a bread and milk poultice.  Eby came away growling, saying:

“He knows that we ain’t got hardtack to eat, I wonder where in the d—l he thinks I am to get bread and milk poultice?”  This was an enigma we could not answer and consequently gave it up with the request that he should ask us an easier question.

Our condition at this time was rather forcibly illustrated by Jack Black, who was seated on a rail pile, with both hands clasped over his knees, and slowly rocking himself backward and forwards muttering:

“No money!—no grub,—no tobacco,—no Nothing! Gal darn it.”

And Jack’s sentiments were generally shared by one and all.

 

CHAPTER LXIV

The men suffered greatly for want of the common necess­ities of life, as was betokened by their wan and pinched app­earance, whilst the officers were also restricted to a very scant allowance of rations, and consequently bore their full share of hardships with the humblest private in the ranks.

At this time when rations were so scarce, a number of our company boys made excursions to the landing where the rations were stored and on several occasions that we know of succeeded in confiscating whole boxes of hard-tack.  As soon as they succeeded in bringing the box to camp, the boys were notified and gathering in various adjoining tents, the rations were equally divided and soon disposed of in such a manner as to defy detection by any inspecting officer, and then for a time the pangs of hunger were forgotten.

In our school-boy days we had read of General Jackson offering to divide his ration of acorns, with his men, little dreaming at the time that we would be called upon to share the same un­palatable dish with comrades under similar circumstances, yet here we were called upon to try the same uninviting dish.  Corn boiled in wood ashes in order to soften it, was also a choice dish, the only difficulty being the scarcity of the corn.

It was during this time that Ed Fisher succeeded in purchasing a small bag of flour from one of the natives of the soil, and with it gladdened the hearts of the members of the company.  Soon the meal was dealt out among a number of his friends, greatly to the vexation of the least favored ones.  The pans were immediately brought into requisition, and every arrangement made to prepare a meal, in which pot-pie, slap jacks and short-cakes formed the chief dishes.

The members of the messes that had secured a part of the flour, that day seated themselves to a meal, the likes of which they had not beheld for some time, and partook of it with a gusto that bespoke how it was relished.  But scarcely had they ceased wiping their lips, until a change passed over the partakers of this princely repast.  They were attacked with serious misgivings in the regions gorged with the dinner and which speedily culminated in a terrible upheaval and loath as the boys were to part with ‘“the feast” no other remedy could be found, and a sicker set of boys we never met.

The supposition is that the man had poisoned the flour, and had probably got too much poison into it and thus the lives of the men were saved by an over-dose.  Complaint was made at head-quarters, and a squad of men were sent out to arrest him, but he could not be found.  His action, leaving his home, was conclusive evidence that the flour had been poisoned, and that he knew it.

Another little incident, which occurred at a “state dinner,” at the time it occurred, occasioned considerable merriment, and as it was at our expense we have concluded to give it a place in this connection.

Being very fond of chocolate, we fre­quently had it sent to us from home by mail.  Upon the present occasion we had enough chocolate for one drawing, and as a number of the boys, among the number Serg’t. F. H. Knight, who had just been exchanged, having been taken prisoner at Chancellorsville, and upon invitation of W. S. Keller, Freddy was invited to sup with us.  We filled our canteens with water and then started out after wood.  While away, Keller, who was company commissary took the canteens and drew a ration of vinegar for the company, and not wish­ing to issue it until after dinner, hung them up without saying anything to us about it.

The fire was soon burning brightly and taking the nearest canteen, we fill­ed the kettle and put some chocolate into it and watched it boil with great satisfaction.  In the meantime Will prepared the balance of the repast which consisted of three toasted crackers, prepared by being held over the fire on a bayonet, together with three small pieces of curled up bacon.

Soon everything was in readiness and we spread a poncho and seated ourselves upon it like three Turks. The Sergeant was our guest and even Army etiquette demanded that his wants must first be attended to.  Accordingly his cup was first filled and one of the crackers with a piece of the curled up bacon placed on it and giv­en to him.  Freddy remarked:

“Ah, this chocolate looks good and strong,” at the same time putting the sugar into it.

To which Keller replied:

“It may be strong, but I’ll be blamed if it ain’t got a queer smell.”

“Yes and it tastes just like it smells,” said Freddy, who had tasted it.

“Joe, where did you get the water?” asked Keller, not only smelling the Chocolate, but also a large rat.

“Why out of the canteens of course,” was the ready rejoinder.

“Oh, then you used vinegar in place of water,” replied Will bursting out in a hearty laugh.

“Then our supper is spoiled, and I don’t see anything for you to laugh at like a darn fool,” was our ill-natured reply, to which Keller said:

“Don’t get huffy, Joe, we’ll ‘bile’ coffee and have supper in spite of the vinegar.”

But we had been disappointed and having lost the chocolate, coffee had no charm for us, and we told Keller so in language that could not be mistaken.  The boys soon found out the joke and it was some time before we heard the last of it.

On Friday afternoon, March the 20th, at dress-parade, we were ordered to prepare to move, receiving instructions to pack up everything but not to take our tents down until ordered to do so.

And now rumor was busy, the current report was that Hooker’s troops, (our Corps) was to storm Lookout Mountain, and that if successful the survivors were to be granted furlough to visit their friends at home.  The announcement created considerable excitement, and the White Star Division would most cheerfully have volunteered to accomplish this task.

At dusk we were ordered to fall in and strike tents.  We were marched about a half mile from camp where we were drawn up in line of battle, evidently awaiting the approach of an enemy, and as may well be imagined we strained our eyesight as well as hearing to catch the first glimpse of the enemy or hear the first sound that would indicate his approach.  After remaining here for some time we were again ordered to move to camp, which we did and morning found us with our tents up, just as though nothing unusual had taken place.

The day being Saturday we made preparations for the usual Sabbath inspection, and thus the time sped rapidly on, bringing us nearer and nearer to what was destined to be one of the most memorable campaigns of the late war, commencing with the great battle “above the clouds” and ending with ill-fated Ringgold.

Sunday morning, the 22nd of No­vember dawned bright and beautiful and at the regular hour we fell in for inspection, Captain Davis in charge of the company, walked proudly at the head of company, for the last muster, for ere another Sabbath dawned upon us, he had nobly sealed his devotion to the Union with his heart’s best blood.  Inspection was soon over and we were ordered to fall in and move forward at once.

 

CHAPTER LXV

We moved down to the river about three miles and relieved a regiment which formerly belonged to the 14th Corps.  We were placed in position on a knoll, a little below the mouth of Wauhatchie creek, near Williams’ Ferry.

From this place we had a fine, view of the Union position.  As far as the eye could reach we could trace by the curling smoke as it ascended, the camps of the brave defenders of a nations honor.  To our right and front abruptly rose Lookout Mountain, at whose base, and within easy gun shot from us paced the rebel pickets.  We could plainly hear the beating of drums and the shrill blasts of the bugle in the rebel         camp.  When night threw tier sable curtains around, we could easily distinguish groups of the Johnnies at they gathered around the camp-fires to discuss the events of the day and the probabilities of the morrow.

Morning dawned upon us and we found that evidently something was “going to be did.”  Aids and orderlies were busily engaged in galloping to anal fro in every direction, and we soon discovered that the rebels were equally restive and that in all proba­bility a general engagement would soon take place.

During the day camp was filled with all manner of rumors, the principle topic being that General Hooker had volunteered to capture lookout Mountain.

The day finally closed without an aggressive move on our part, and we had just about made up our minds that there had been more smoke than fire, when we were visited by Captain Davis and Orderly Stuck, who notified us that we would move at daylight, and at the same time giving us 20 extra rounds of cartridges, making 80 rounds to each man.  It is needless to add that our dreams were filled with bloodiest and most terrific contests and which were only ended by the order to “fall in.”

Tuesday, November 24th, 1863, will be long remembered by the surviving members of the company.  Having been hastily summoned from our beds on the ground, we were soon in line, and were promptly counter-marched and moved towards the rear.  Thro’ the morning mist we could discern large bodies of troops moving in the direction of Chattanooga, and then we began to realize the situation.  After moving back a half mile, the head of the column was turned to the left and we struck out boldly into the valley.  In passing one of our picket posts, we were accosted something as follows:

“Who’ll trade with me,  Company G, don’t go up that mountain without me.”

The person who was anxious to go up the mountain was Jacob K. Garman, and he did not have much trouble to trade places with another less pugnacious member of the company.

We moved about one mile down the base of the mountain, here we halted and unslung knapsacks, M. L. Parks was detailed to remain as a guard.

We crossed the creek at the mill, on a hastily constructed bridge placed on the breast of the dam, and then the Battle of Lookout Mountain was commenced.  Our Brigade was deployed in three lines, and then advanced on the rebel position.

The Union skirmishers opened up a rapid fire on the enemy, whilst several batteries at a given signal opened and they were completely taken by surprise.  All this time we were approaching upon a seemingly unconscious enemy.  Their position was deemed impregnable, and consequently looked upon the move as a feint designed to cover a more important move in the direction of Chattanooga.

Whilst the firing was momentarily becoming hotter, we were being as rapidly pushed ahead as the nature of the ground would allow.  We were compelled to climb over rocks, scramble over fallen trees and jump over gullies and chasms, with a reckless­ness that threatened to prove destructive to life and limb. Suddenly a full view of the rebel position burst upon our view, and with loud and exultant yells we hurried forward, and upon reaching their camps, we advanced on them on a run.  Halting for a moment, as if to take in the situation, a number threw down their arms and surrendered, whilst others retreated around to the southern base of the Mountain, which was defended by strong earth works and was held by a Brigade of Mississippi riflemen.

Our gallant charge had been witnessed by the troops in the valley, and no sooner was it accomplished than a volunteer cheer broke forth from the throats of thousands of Western men, for General Hooker and his brave soldiers from the Army of the Potomac.  The cheer reached us and was answered equally as hearty.

Knap’s Battery opened fire upon the rebel position, and the shells went crashing over our heads and plunged into the rebel works.  The masked batteries on Moccasin Point joined in with Knap and soon the iron missiles were being showered into the rebels as thick as hail.  Soon the rebel batteries responded from above our heads.  The 2nd and 3rd Brigades of our Division advance on the strong line of works on the south side of the mountain, when a thousand rifles added their clatter to the almost indescribable din and confusion. While awaiting the results of the advance of our troops, we were startled by the rebel yell sounding loud above the din of the conflict.  The rebels intent upon regaining their lost ground, charge madly upon the two advancing brigades.  Our men are fighting manfully but they are forced to give way, already the wounded and stragglers are rushing back on us.  The crisis is approaching.  Col. Candy our Brigade commander has been carried from the field.  “Send me help, for God’s sake” is the word from General Green to General Geary.

The gallant commander of the 7th Ohio, Colonel Creighton, who had assumed command of the Brigade, drew his sword, took his station at the head of his own regiment, commanded:

“Forward First Brigade.”

With a cheer the men obeyed the command and throwing them­selves into the breach the wavering line was steadied, the rebels were driven back beyond the White house and we captured a battery of 12 pound Napoleon guns.

In moving up in the charge we passed over the dead and dying blue and gray-coats, some of whom begged us most piteously not to tread on them, and when accidentally stepped upon, they would shriek out with pain.

At about three o’clock, p.m., the musketry grew severe, the smoke gathered on the mountain below us hiding the combatants from the view of those in the valley below, and from this fact the engagement has frequently been styled “The Battle Above the Clouds.”  Just when the firing was the severest our regiment was ordered to relieve one of the advance regiments and having been moved with our left in front, our officers deeming it prudent to place us properly in line, undertook to counter-march the regi­ment in the face of the enemy.  At the very moment that the regiment was half counter-marched the enemy opened on it with a full volley.  At this juncture the officers commanded us to “front,” as will be apparent to any one having any knowledge of military actions, this was an impossibility, owing to our doubled up conditions.  The men broke and jumped down an embank­ment.

 

CHAPTER LXVI

Adjutant McGee drew his sword and with his revolver in his other hand, threatened to shoot any man who would run.

Ed Fisher faced the Adjutant and spoke out in his character­istic manner:

“We’re not going to run, just tell the men how to get “front’ and by thunder they’ll do it.”

The regiment was hastily reformed and the Colonel gave the command “forward.”  With a cheer the men sprang forward, clambered up the steep embankment, halted, re-dressed the regimental line as coolly as if on dress parade, and then at the word of command began gallantly to ascend the steep mountain side and succeeded in driving the rebels from their first line of rifle-pits below the white house.  We halted behind a friendly ledge of rocks and the enemies minnies whistled over us harmlessly.

We remained in this position until after dusk, at which time we were relieved and moved back to the rear where we par­took of a cup of coffee and three crackers, one-fourth of a pound dealt out to each man, this being the first morsel of food we had tasted since 4 o’clock in the morning and had been engaged in the most fatiguing march, up the steep and rugged mountain sides, that ever befell the lot of any soldiers, and as may well be imagined our scanty meal was hastily dispatched.

We were notified that we would be allowed to rest until mid­night, when we would be called upon to take up our old position.  No sooner had the orders been given than we stretched our tired and weary limbs upon the soft side of the friendly rocks, seek­ing as much protection against the bullets as possible, we were soon asleep.

At about 10 o’clock, or soon after we had fallen asleep, we were suddenly wakened by a terrible volley of musketry, the balls came flying, zipp-i-n-g and whiz-z-i-n-g into and over us like hail.  At this critical moment a voice was heard above the din:

“Colonel Pardee, take the 147th to support of the line engaged.”

In a moment the officers and men were on their feet, and the quick and decisive command of the Colonel “147 forward, double-quick,” soon placed us in line immediately in the rear of the 29th and 66th Ohio.  The firing soon ceased, and the Ohio regiments were taken to the rear and we found ourselves in the front line again.

The night was dark, and what added to the darkness was an eclipse of the moon.  It was sometime before we could discover what was the matter with Luna, but at last on our West Beaver boys announced that it was a “fenchderness.”

From our position we could hear the Rebels busily engaged at work, as we supposed, strengthening their position.  Some of the boys believed that they were retreating since we could hear the rumbling of cannon wheels, whilst others held that they were placing their guns so as to better command our position and the best we could do was to hope for the best and in the meantime await the issue on the morrow.

During the night the enemy rolled a number of rocks and boulders down the mountain side and a number of men were injured by this means.

The sight from the mountain was a grand one.  Below us glimmered the camp-fires of an army of nearly 200,000 men, friend and foe.  In the one Army General Grant and his able Lieutenants, Sherman, Thomas, Hooker, McPherson and others were busily engaged in planning for the grand onward move on the morrow, while their troops were calmly sleeping, many of them, for the last time were dreaming of the loved ones at home.  In the other camp, at General Bragg’s headquarters were assembled, Bragg, Hardee, Breckinridge. Hood, Walker, and other leading Southern Generals.  It did not take them long to decide, their left flank was turned, they must withdraw from the mountain, and take position on Missionary Ridge.

Several rockets flashed in the air and the decision of the council was communicated to the Rebel Commander on the mountain, and soon the rebels were falling back to their new and strongly fortified line of works on Missionary Ridge, leaving a picket line to hold us in check and to prevent us from discovering their retreat before morning.

At the first approach of dawn we advanced our skirmish line, and succeeded in capturing part of the men left back.  We were then relieved and moved to the position from which we had been taken during the night.

The troops which relieved us pushed forward and meeting with no resistance soon reached the top.  Word was sent to General Geary, who sent one of his aids to the top with the Division flag, and when it was light enough to see the mountain’s peak, the soldiers in the valley below had the satisfaction of seeing the “White Star” waving in triumph from the position so defiantly held by the rebels.  At this sight the troops in the valley sent up a cheer that found its way to the rocky fastness upon which we lay.  This was the first knowledge that we had that the mountain was taken.  When we discovered that the mountain was taken such a shout burst forth from the brave soldiers of the old White Star Division as only victorious veterans can give.

Soon we threw off our accouterments and a detail was at once made to be sent down the mountain after rations.  A number of the men started up to the top of the mountain whilst others examined the late rebel camp and the breastworks in the vicinity in which we were camped.  A number of dead as well as quite a number of wounded rebel were found snugly ensconced behind rocks and boulders.  All the aid that could be given the wounded men was cheerfully given them.

E. Fausnacht, of our company, being among the number that went up the mountain succeeded in getting a haversack full of rebel hard-tack, four of them weighing a pound, and also of a piece of bacon.  This was a God-send to the company, Will generously dealt out the grub to his companions, and soon the boys were appeasing their appetites with rebel bread and bacon, the roast turkey never tasted better to us than did that meal.

The rations reached us at the hands of the detail, and owing to what we had already had we were able to eat a hearty breakfast.

A detail was made out of our regiment placed in charge of Lieutenant Parks of our company to take charge of the artillery captured and to turn it over to the proper officers so that our Division might receive the credit for the same.

From our left, beyond Chattanooga the report of heavy guns reached us, soon the forts in the vicinity of Chattanooga opened fire on the rebel lines, evidently feeling to ascertain as to the rebel position.  The troops were also being moved in line towards the old rebel position.  The rebel batteries on ????? began to reply, simultaneously with this their guns in the center opened fire, and it was soon evident that a general engagement was about to be brought on.  We had just begun to congratulate ourselves that we had done our fighting yesterday, and that we would be permitted to look on today, when the Division bugle sounded and we were ordered to “fall in,” and were marched down the mountain towards the fighting.

 

CHAPTER LXVII

Slowly we began to move down the Chattanooga side of the mountain.  We found it strongly fortified, but the rapid discharge of fire-arms and the heavy cannonading which reached us from the rebel position beyond Chattanooga gave us too much uneasiness and we did take much time to inspect the deserted works, and which on the day previously had bristled with rebel bayonets.

The entire Union Army was in motion and just as far as our eyes could reach we could trace the long blue columns with their burnished arms and bayonets glittering in the sun, whilst their proud standards fluttered and waved on the morning breeze, all moving forward steadily towards the chosen position of the rebel commander, and where was destined to be enacted one of the most sanguinary acts in war’s bloody drama.

It is not within my province to describe the battle in general detail, nor do I feel myself competent to do so, and in accordance with my design when I first commenced to write this sketch I shall confine myself to giving a brief account of the action taken by the command of which I was an humble member.

We continued our march, passing over the very same route taken by Gen. Jackson, during his famous Indian campaign.

We were evidently moving by signal, and were at times almost moved on the double quick, and then again we would halt for a considerable length of time, and it was not until about 4 o’clock, p.m., until we found ourselves uncomfortably near to the enemy, who were in position on a very strongly fortified height, on their right, on Missionary Ridge.

We entered a small strip of woods, here we were formed similar to the way we had gone into battle on the previous day, by Brigades, in three lines each, the 5th Ohio and the 147th, P. V. I., in the advance.  As we moved up in line a number of prisoners were taken past to the rear, among the party was Major Breckenridge, a son of the ex-Vice President, who himself came near being captured.

We were ordered to advance, and as soon as we came in range the enemy opened a destructive fire upon us.  At this opportune moment, a Missouri flying battery came up to our relief.  The regiment was ordered to open a way for it, which we had no sooner accomplished than the horses came up on a full gallop, when a short distance in advance of the regiment, the horses were suddenly turned to the rear, and a well aimed volley discharged, the shells were immediately exploded over the heads of the rebels and they were soon put to flight.

With a cheer the line advanced up the steep ridge, the enemy made a feeble resistance and just as the sun was sinking to rest in the west, we gained the crest of the ridge, and the battle of Missionary Ridge was over and the Union Army had won another grand victory,

Our Division, with the taking of the ridge, captured several stands of colors, and a large number of Rebel prisoners.  After the battle, General Hooker and staff came riding along our line and was made the recipient of those characteristic cheers which always  greeted him when coming among the men.

The prisoners were moved down into the valley and a corral of rails was thrown up, and they were placed in it, under strong guard.  We were then moved down also, and permitted to spread our blankets on the ground, and to refresh ourselves with a soldiers­ sleep.

At the first break of day, on the morning of the 25th, we were awakened by the unwelcome sound of the bugle, announcing that the contest was not, over yet and that we would move in pursuit of the fleeing foe.

We sprang front our beds, packed our scanty camp equipage and at once prepared our simple meal, which consisted of a cup of coffee and a few pieces of hardtack, after which we awaited the orders to ‘‘fall in.”

We had passed the night in what had been a rebel camp, and it was really amusing to us to see what shifts they had made to erect their winter quarters.  Many of their tents were constructed out of shingles and lath split by themselves, and covered over with beef hides for roofs.  Their diet was principally corn meal and the stench which surrounded the camp was very offensive.

Being on the right of our line, and in consequence nearer the rebels, we did not move until the left of our line was well under way, and consequently did not get orders to move until after 9 o’clock, a. m.

Our line of march lay over the route taken by Breckenridge and Cheatam’s troops, and was strewn over with the usual debris generally left behind by a  fleeing army.  Several abandoned caissons and one 10 pound parrot gun besides a number of prisoners fell into our hands during the day.  Toward dusk we began to feel the enemy in our immediate front and our officers at once made arrangements to meet them.  The skirmish line was strengthened and the regiments were moved up to easy supporting distance, and the entire command was pushed forward.  Upon reaching Pumpkin Vine Creek and finding the bridges gone, we were halted at the foot of a small ridge and were ordered to throw up breast-works. Scarcely had we commenced to throw up barricades, ere a force of rebel cav­alry charged down on us, but a well directed volley soon checked them and they about-faced and left us the masters of the situation, and the victors of the skirmish of Pumpkin Vine Creek.  Fearing another attack, we hastily finished our works, and when we lay down for the night it was on our arms and were ordered to sleep like rabbits with one eye open.  During the night several volleys were fired, but no further advance was made, and morning found the enemy gone.

The first thing to be accomplished, was the building of a bridge over the stream, to allow the troops to be taken across and the pioneer corps was put to work on it as soon as it was light enough to see where to build it with advantage.

We crossed the creek at about 7 o’clock, a.m., and moved leisurely in the direction of Taylor’s Ridge.  As we ascended a ridge, we heard several musket shots, these were speedily followed by several heavy volleys, and soon the continuous roar of musketry announced that a general engagement was going on.

We were moved out into an open space on the top of the ridge, and our Division was massed by Brigade.  We had a full view of the open country to our front, whilst we could also see our men advancing upon the enemy, who held a strong position of a ridge back of the town of Ringold.

We could see that the enemy had at first given sway, but now the musketry was growing hotter, and the enemy were gallantly holding our men at bay with a probability of driving them back.

Whilst in the thickest of the fray a horseman was seen approaching us at full speed.  General Geary divining his errand, the bugle was sounded and we at once moved to the sup­port of General Ouasterhaus’ Division.

We were marching along on quick time, each moment the sound of the engagement become more real, whilst our thoughts were taken up with the probabilities of the fight.  Those who have been placed in similar circumstances, marching towards a battle­field with every probability of becoming engaged, need not be informed how trying to the nerve of the soldier the situation is.  A stillness reigns in the ranks, cards are thrown away, and those who in camp are never know to give a comrade a chew of tobacco are now ready to share the last chew of the weed with any one, the pale cheek and tightly compressed lip, tells the inward emotions that are controlling the soldier’s action; finally he fills his canteen to quench his thirst and to have the same ready in case of an emergency, for well he knows that he may be wounded, or at least one of his favored companions, will need a draught from it, then as he nears the fatal field and the minnies begin to strike around him, he draws a quiet breath and an unlisped petition for his protection, wings its way to Heaven’s court.

We soon reached Chicamagua Creek when moved down the northern bank until we came to an old fashioned red bridge, similar to the ones we had often played “fox” in during our boy­hood days, over which we crossed, Greene’s and Kane’s Brigades were already engaged with the enemy, as they were in advance of us, they formed by regiment and were moved in on the right to the relief of Ousterhaus’ hard pressed troops as fast as they arrived on the ground.

Our Brigade with the lamented Col. Creighton at its head moved past their position through a perfect storm of rifle balls, and took position on the left of the other two Brigades.

The 147th was the extreme rear of the Brigade and was in consequence on the left flank or our line, and we were compelled to move through the town and were formed “by file right into line,” in an open field just as fast as the right of the companies came up.  By the time that the regiment was formed and the command given, “147th, guide the center, forward m-a-r-c-h,” the minnies began to come “zipping” along, quite lively.  Steadily the men touched elbows to right and left, and pressing forward firmly, and the 147th was advancing up the fatal ridge, towards the enemy’s works, which were defended by Frank Cheatam’ s Brigade of General Pat Clebourne’ s Division.

 

CHAPTER LXVIII

The balls from the enemies rifles began to strike amongst us.  The Command was given “147th, Forward, double quick.”  With a cheer the gallant old regiment charged the open field, and upon arriving at a rail-fence, the boys jumped over it, and then the fatal advance up the ridge was commenced.

The enemy were moving down on the top of the ridge, threat­ening our left flank.  Their movements could plainly be seen by us.  At this critical moment, a ball struck our gallant Captain, and he was carried from the field mortally wounded.  The command was given, by the left flank, “forward.”  As the regiment flanked, Lt. B. T. Parks, who upon the wounding of the Captain had taken charge of the Company, was struck in the back of the neck with a bullet, and was knocked insensible.  Ed. Fisher and W. E. Fausnacht took charge of him, and he was taken to the rear.  The command of the Company now devolved upon Orderly Sergeant F. H. Stuck, who moved to his position on the left of the Company.  By this time we had reached a friendly bridge of Rocks, behind which we were protected from the “Minnies” of the enemy, and had a plain view of the fighting which was being carried on to our right by the balance of the Division.

The enemy continued to move down on our left, and as our right was being gradually driven back, we were ordered to fall back.  This was a critical command and one which tries the nerves of men, viz: to fall back in good order in the face of an enemy.

The command was given “147th about face,” “forward, center dress.”  No sooner had we left our place of concealment, than the enemy opened on us, with redoubled fury.  The balls struck around us in every direction, and we believe that we never saw them strike with as much force before, as they did now, holes were torn into the earth large enough to admit of the muzzle of our rifles.

After retreating, half-way down the ridge, we were ordered to halt, this we did, and naturally facing the enemy, when several of our men were struck, among them Corporal Brown, and Isaac J. Napp of our Company, when we were ordered again to “About-face” and move down the ridge, this we did in good order, a number of boys fell down, among them we remember Jeremiah Moyer, who when he fell, one of the boys says: ”there goes poor Jerry, thinking of course he was shot, Jerry jumped up and replied, “I guess not.”

This time we moved back to the fence, which we crossed, and upon being halted we formed a new line, and awaited further de­velopments.  Here one of Company G Boys, returned Lt. Parks sword, having picked it up, as the Lieutenant dropped it upon being struck.  Quite a number of wounded men were moved back past us, while we were laying at the fence.

At about 11 o’clock, we were cheered by the arrival of several pieces of Knap’s Battery, which were at once placed in position, and in a few seconds they commenced to throw shells into the Rebel ranks, scattering them in confusion.  Our line advanced, and the ridge was carried.

The loss to our Brigade and Division was a fearful one.  Our little Brigade had taken seven hundred into the fight of which number over four hundred were either killed or wounded.  The seventh Ohio lost their Colonel, the brave Creighton, and their brave and gallant Lt. Colonel Crane, whilst every line officer, except one captain in their regiment, was either killed or wounded.  Whilst the loss in Greene’s and Kaine’s Brigades was almost as heavy.  After the ridge was carried and the rebels had made good their retreat, leaving several regiments of Ousterhaus’ Division, on it, to hold it, we were moved to town, when the regiment went into Camp.

When General Geary learned of the fearful loss his gallant White Star Division had sustained he shed tears like a child, and well he might, for the sacrifices made of hundreds of noble men, was altogether un-called for, as the rebels would in a few hours at most have evacuated the position, but owing to the shraness of General Ousterhaus, it became a matter of necessity to take our Division into the fight to save the former from being annihilated.

Soon after the battle a detail was made to assist in removing the wounded from the field back to Chattanooga hospit­als.  D. W. Gross and the writer were detailed from our company to assist in the painful duty.  We at once proceeded to the hospital and selected a sufficient number of stretchers and re­turned to the field, accompanied by a number of ambulances.

The sight which greeted us on the battle-field was a sad one indeed  A large number of our comrades lay stretched out in the cold embrace of death, with eyes staring heavenward, and their hands convulsively clutching their clothing, or anything they could hold to.  A large number of seriously wounded were also laying around promiscuously.  The saddest case we noticed was Corporal Brown, who had been struck in the head by a Minnie ball, which entered the forehead and made its egress on the top of the head having passed through his brain, and at each breath, as he drew it, the brain came out of both places.  He was unconscious, but lived for several days.

We loaded the wounded, such as could be removed, into cars, and then by means of ropes pulled them with their loaded freight of suffering humanity towards Chattanooga.  After we had procee­ded about eight miles on our journey and just as night came on we came up to where the railroad crossed the Chicamagua River here we made the discovery that the rebels had burned the bridge down, and we were compelled to unload the unfortunate men, and place them for the night, in homes along the road.  During the night eleven of the wounded died, and we buried them in one grave, side-by-side, in a quiet spot, near where they had died.

Word was sent back to Division headquarters and ambulances were sent to us and the wounded were loaded on them, and in due time they reached Chattanooga, where they received all the care and attention that was possible to bestow upon them.

During this time, the Company was doing picket duty near, or beyond the battlefield, on the following day after the battle or about 10 o’clock, a. m., our gallant Captain died from the effect of the wound received whilst gallantly leading the Comp­any in the charge upon the enemy’s position.

In his death our company sustained a severe loss, always kind and courteous, he had won the respect and esteem of his men, as well as the confidence of his fellow officers, and had he not been called from his command he would have been speedily promoted.  It was always his aim to have his men well taken care of, never hesitating to obey the call of duty, and when the dread message came for him he was found at his post of duty, with his sword drawn, and ready to strike a blow in defense of his native land.  At the time of his death, he was surrounded by kind and sympathizing comrades, whose warm tears fell upon his manly form, and when it was announced that the vital spark had fled, but few dry eyes were to be seen in Company G.

On the morning of the 30th of November having accomplished all that was intended should be, the command was moved back to the old camp in Wauhatchie Valley.

The following lines, fully expressed the sentiments of our gallant Captain’s latter ended and in compliance with the request, he was embalmed and his remains sent home and was interred, in the New Lutheran cemetery in plain view of his once happy home, and where his remains repose beneath a splendid monument erected by a sisters generosity.

 

“The Hills round Chattanooga

Were sinking into night,

The failing camp-fires glimmered

With a weird, fitful light.

Within the crowded hospital,

Our wounded Captain lay

He spoke in painful whispers,

His thoughts were far away!

 

I am dying comrades dying

The sweat is on my brow.

My limbs are cold and pulseless,

Come listen to me now.

Come nearer Comrades, nearer

My voice is very weak

Don’t loose a single sentence,

Or word of what I speak.

 

Far off in Pennsylvania

Loved ones each ever bow,

To pray for my protection

They art thinking of me now.

To one of that loving number,

A loving faithful one,

To her send the sad message

To tell her I am gone.

 

Tell her I fondly cherished

The hope to meet again,

But God, the loving father,

Did other wise ordain.

That of’t in dreams I wandered

To where we used to roam,

Amidst the fragrant flowers,

With the loving ones at home.

 

Tell her I died most calmly,

A noble Soldiers death,

With thoughts of home and Country

Upon my latest breath.

That I had kindly comrades,

To watch my dying breath,

That oft I felt in fancy

Her soft hands upon my head.

 

Near by our lovely cottage

That she may often weep,

Her warm tears on my bosom,

Tell her I wish to sleep.

There is a spot most charming

Where oft at close of day,

We passed the happy moments,

There too my children play.

 

‘Tis here she’ll want to lay me,

‘Tis here I’ll want to lie.

That when my children come here

They’ll feel that I am by.

When winter’s frosts are ended

And the trees with foliage wave

My loved ones then will gather

Each eve around my grave.

 

Upon each balmy Zepher,

I’ll come and kiss each brow.

Oh! how I’ll guard and love them

The fancy cheers me now.

Our noble Captain ended,

A payer up-heaved his breast

He lisped a name so softly

Then passed away to rest.”

 

CHAPTER LXIX

On the morning of the 1st of December we once more found ourselves in our old camp, in Wauhatchie Valley.  How sad the change, our company being commanded by Lt. William M. Willett of B Company, our Captain having been killed and Lieuten­ant Parks wounded.

Upon our arrival we received a large mail, the first we had received for a week, and the boys were soon made happy by reading the letters penned by loving friends at home, and thus cares, fatigues and dangers of the past terrible week were forgotten.

It did not take us long to occupy our old quarters and we were soon back again into the old rut of camp life, with its monotonous routine of duty.  On the afternoon of the 3rd of December our Division was ordered to fall in at head-quarters and witness the turning over to the Department the trophies captured by it, and which consisted of a number of stands of reb­el colors and a battery of Artillery.   General Geary made one of his characteristic speeches which was neatly responded to by the receiving officer, who by the way was a member of old Pap Thomas’ staff.

On the 9th, we were visited by a commission, sent by Governor Curtin, to express the thanks and gratitude of the people of the grand old Commonwealth to the soldiers of the Keystone State who had taken part in the late battles which had culminated in such a series of brilliant victories to the Union arms.

The Pennsylvania troops were drawn up in line, and the gentlemen comprising the Commission, accompanied by General Geary and his staff rode along the line, the command coming to a present.  The men were brought to a Parade-rest, when they were addressed by the members of the commission.  Among the remarks made, we distinctly remember the prediction that when the war should come to an end which ultimately mast be the case, that then our gallant commander, Major General John W. Geary, should his life be spared, will be called upon to govern the civil affairs of the people whose interests he, as well as the brave boys in his command, are now so gallantly defending upon the National battle-fields.

Upon the conclusion of the remarks a cheer burst forth from the throats the members of the old 147th which could not fail but convince all who heard it that the boys endorsed the sentiments just uttered.  Whilst subsequent developments demonstrated that the prediction has been verified, General Geary having been twice elected Governor of the State.

At this time the Government offered an inducement to the veterans whose term of service was fast drawing to a close, a furlough of 80 days, and a bounty of $400.  This was offered to all men who had served two years or more.  This inducement acted like a charm and on the 12th we turned out to witness the departure of the 29th P. V. I., which was among the first of the regiments in the Department to Veteran.

The veteran fever in the department grew warm and the members of the old regiments began to re-enlist.  On the 22nd we were again called out to witness the departure of the 29th Ohio, who were the second party to re-enlist.

At this time it was reported that ow­ing to the fact that we were attached to an old regiment we would be allowed to re-enlist although we had served but fifteen months.  At this time our company numbered 57 men, of which number 56 signed  a paper agreeing to re-enlist as soon as they had served two years upon the same terms that the old companies did.

On the 23rd our company fell in and marched down to Division head-quarters,  where Captain Veale of Geary’s staff, mustered us conditionally into the service.

On the 24th we received orders to be ready to move back to Bridgeport, Ala., from whence we expected to take the cars for home.

On the 28th  our Regiment, as well as the entire Division was drawn up in line to witness the drumming out of camp of a member of the 111 Penna. Vols., who had been charged with the heinous crime of robbing the pockets of his dead comrades, killed in the late battles, and had been found guilty by the court-martial before which he had been tried, and had been sentenced to have his bead shaved and afterwards to be drummed out of camp in disgrace.

The Division was massed by Brigades and the culprit was marched in the center and front of the command where he was seated upon his knapsack when a squad of soldiers detailed for the purpose proceeded to cut all military buttons from his cap and uniform and then lathered his head and beard with soap suds, which they had ready prepared in a camp kettle, after which they soon had his beard and head shaved as clean as possible.  He was then ordered to stand up, when a card bearing the following:

“I robbed the dead.’’

Was pinned fast to his back and he was marched up and down the line, amidst the groans and jeers of the men and the bands playing the “Rogue’s March.”

When he had been moved along the line, he was commanded to file right, and at the same time the guard was ordered to charge bayonets and the disgraced man was run out of service.  After the ceremony we were moved by regiment back to our quarters.

On the 30th we received the intelligence that General Thomas would not give our company transportation, based upon the ground that the War Department would not accept us upon our terms.

Thus with one stroke of the pen the air castles which we had fondly been building for the past few days, were dashed to the earth, and we would be compelled to pass through many more dangers, as well as spend many tedious hours on the march, in camp and picket before we would be permitted to see our friends and native home again, an event which but a few short hours ago seemed almost within our immediate grasp.  To say the least the members of the company felt the disappointment very keenly, as well they might.

Rations were as yet very short and we suffered considerable from the effects of hunger, as well as from the scant supply of clothing, scarcely sufficient being used to protect us from the mid-winter’s blast, in fact it kept some of the boys busy to cover nakedness.

On Friday the 1st of January 1864, it was our lot to be on picket near the old mill, in company with a number of the boys of the company, and the only rations we had during the day was a small corn cake purchased from an old colored lady who visited the post during the course of the day, and when we returned to camp on the following morning we were informed that the company had drawn rations but that the pickets had been overlooked and their rations distributed out among the company.  Of course no body got a good round going over, and there was not much extra chin music.

On the evening of the 3rd we receive­d orders to be ready to move the next day.  This was welcome news to us as we had lain under marching orders since the 24th ult.

In the morning we were routed up in good time and soon had our frugal meal of coffee and hard-tack prepared and dispatched.  After which we soon packed up our effects and longed for the orders to “fall in!”

At about ten o’clock, a. m., the Division flag of General Geary’s White Star Division, moved to the front, the bugle sounded, and at last we were on the move.

We marched towards the landing, where we were supplied with several days rations, which although they ad­ded to the load we were compelled to carry were thankfully received.  After the rations were dealt out we turned our back upon Chattanooga and moved in the direction of Wartrace.

We marched along quite briskly and by 4 o’clock, were nearing White­sides, when it began to rain furiously.  The heavy clouds soon obscured what little light remained, and a darkness similar to that which fell upon the Egyptians fell suddenly upon us, making it almost impossible to proceed any further.  We were accordingly moved up the sloping sides of a spur of Racc­oon Ridge where we were ordered to go into camp for the night.

After almost numberless attempts old Danny Herbster and several others succeeded in getting a fire started, after which we soon had the privilege of refreshing ourselves with a cup of coffee made fragrant by the smoke of the green pine boughs which we were using for fuel.

After partaking of supper we spread a poncho on the ground spread out a blanket over it and then two or three of us lying down on it and covering a woolen blanket over us, after which we covered the whole with a poncho.  Thus we stretched out our weary limbs and for a time sought rest thus, whilst the rain came down in pitiless torrents soon drenching us to the skin.

The members of the company who passed that night on the slope above referred to, will not soon forget it, nor how they were routed up by the severity of the storm, and how they huddled around those green pine fires until the morning dawned and the storm abated.

As soon as the rain was over we at once proceeded to make large fires and dry our clothing and blankets and thus making our load much lighter.

At about 9 o’clock, a. m., we again moved forward, crossing over runs which were terribly swollen by the recent rains, by aid of the trunks of the largest trees which were cut down for that purpose.  A number of the boys slipped down off of the trunks of the largest trees into the muddy water amidst the shouts of their more fortunate companions.

The march was continued until 8 o’clock, p. m., when we came in sight of the Tennessee River, which was spanned by a Pontoon bridge, across which we moved and then found ourselves at Bridgeport, Ala.  After moving back along the railroad a short distance our regiment filed right and soon came to a halt.  Here we broke ranks “to the rear by company.”  After which we proceeded to make arrangements to camp for the night.

 

CHAPTER LXX

Soon after our arrival in camp the detail out of the regiment which had accompanied the wagon train, among the detail was Daniel Ehrhart of our company, came marching into camp.

Ebrhart had met with a mishap the previous day which came near being fatal, he had his rifle slung over his back by means of the sling, in order to facilitate him in locking the wagons, which was done by means of a small chain fastened at the side of the box, while going down a steep hill, Danny’s gun caught in the wheel and he was twisted fast to it, bending the barrel of his rifle, fortunately the sling tore and Ehrhart was sent spinning down the hill.

As soon as the detail came into camp one of the boys noticed Danny’s gun and of course he had to tell all about how it happened.  The boys listened patiently until he was through, then Corporal Fred Ulrich, whose greatest delight was to tease him, said:

“Ehrhart, that’s too thin, you just bent this gun so that you could stand behind a tree and shoot at the Johnnies wi—“

The Corporal could not finish the sentence, Ehrhart made for him and, dropping the gun, he had to “scratch gravel” lively to get out of his way.

The boys gathered around and sympathized with him and when Sergeant F. M. Stuck handed him several letters from home, he was soon in a good humor.  But at any time afterwards that Ulrich         wished to get him on “his ear,” he had just to get behind a tree or any other object and pretend to shoot around it towards Ehrhart.   It never failed to bring out a lively mix of Dutch and English.

On the morning of the 6th we were ordered to put up winter quarters.  The company streets were staked off with precision and regularity, and ev­ery available advantage taken to make ourselves comfortable.

Soon after the orders were issued the busy ringing stroke of the axe could be heard in every direction, and soon the thundering crash of the huge falling giants of the forest could be heard in every direction, and by noon we had wood sufficient on the ground to build our quarters with.  After dinner all went to work and by dark, many of them were ready for roofing, which was done by buttoning four shelter tents together and stretching them over a ridge pole sufficiently high to give it the proper pitch to prevent them from leaking.

Thus the morning of the 7th found us with the roughest part of our work completed, and we then proceeded to finish up, by ditching and making other  articles necessary for our comfort such as tables, bunks, &c.  Our bunks were an important article, as troops occupying winter quarters are not permitted to sleep on the ground.  The following is the way we generally made bunks.  We would go into the woods and cut eight crotches, four of them being much shorter that the others, these are driven in first and are only eighteen inch. high, cross poles are then laid in the crotches and on these pales are placed, making a bed about four feet wide, or large enough for half of the mess, providing it consists of four or more.  The other bunk is made in the same manner and is placed immediately over the lower one being from two to three feet higher.  The general mode of making a bed is to spread a gum blanket on the poles, then to cover it full of fine pine boughs; covering another poncho over it, after which the two woolen blankets, over-coats, blouses, &c., are used at discretion, either to sleep upon or under, according to the weather, or the inclina­tion of the men.  But as a general rule, when troops remain at one place for any length of time, they soon FIND any amount of bed clothing.

Our camp was pitched on a slight eminence, which declined toward the railroad, the company streets running parallel with the slope, thus affording us every facility for drainage, a much desired want in every camp.

Our first duty was to clear the com­pany street from the numerous stumps, the trees having been previously felled by the rebel troops for the erection of quarters as well as to supply them in fuel, and as the majority of them were large trees the task was a laborious one and what made it still more of a task was the uncertainty of remaining here, and all the time we were working on the stumps, someone would be growling something like the following:

“Oh, shaw, (frequently it would be much stronger) what’s the use of us working like niggers, about the time we get done we’ll have to move and give our quarters up to some jay-hawker regiment.”  Then another discontented one would chime in:

“Never mind, boys, old John is only afraid we’ll get a little rest, about as soon as we get through here he’ll have “old Charley” (Gen. Geary’s horse) rooted and then he’ll ask permission to take us out and capture Forrest’s rebel cavalry, no doubt but he’d be fool enough to think we could do it.”

Then would follow a shower of curses and growls at those in authority, this would be continued until something else would turn up to change the channel of abuse when it would as readily flow in that direction.

It took several days of hard labor to clean our street, but when it was accomplished, we had one of the nicest streets in the regiment, then the boys forgot all about the fault finding they had engaged in and everything began to         move along smoothly.  A large part of the old men in the old companies, having taken advantage of the terms given by the government, veteraned, and in company with the veterans of the old 28th P. V. I., left for home on a 30 day furlough, making the duty considerably harder on those who remained than it had previously been.

In accordance with General Geary’s usual action, as soon as we had our quarters erected we commenced to fortify our position.  The details were so arranged that each man got one day on fortifications each week, and by this plan a number of earth works supported by strong lines of rifle pits sprang up at every avai1able point, thus greatly strengthening the natural position.

The members of the company were cheered by the announcement that Lt. Byers was immediately to return to his company, which was commanded by Lt. Lewis C. Green of F, Lt. Willett having veterened and gone home with the boys.

On the 15th, we received orders to clean up the regimental parade ground so as to be fit for drill, dress parade and inspection.  A piece of ground containing about 4 acres was staked off, and the boys were set to work cutting and digging out the stumps, which stood as thick as they could.  It was while engaged at this work that the writer suggested that William H. Spade, who by the way was the author of a poem in which the following lines appeared:

Dumfries:

Full of trees,

might quite readily, owing to the facts in the case, take advantage of poetical license and write a poem on Bridgeport, in which he might say:

Bridgeport:

Full of white oak stumps,

and that there would certainly be more truth than poetry in them.  Upon looking around we found Billy engaged cutting a stump immediately behind us, and the way he gave us a tongue-lashing, all of which the boys greatly enjoyed, was caution to us in the future not to get him riled.

On Thursday the 18th, a rumor was circulated that the rebel cavalry leader, General Morgan, with a force of at least 2,500 men was reconnoitering in our neighborhood, and that we might expect him to swoop down upon us at almost any moment.

On the following day our scouts brought in news which fully confirmed the reports of the previous day.  The greatest activity at once prevailed.  Ammunition was freely dealt out, the men were ordered to remain in camp and to hold themselves in readiness to fall in at the first tap of the drum.  A number of details were sent out every hour to patrol all the roads leading to our position, whilst the picket line was greatly strengthened to provide against any possibility of a surprise, the line of skirmishers being sufficiently strong to make a spirited resistance to any body of men that might be led against it.

At midnight our regiment was ordered out and we were moved at quick-time to the support of the line on the right of our position, where it was reported that the enemy were massing for an attack, and from which point it was more than probable that they wo’d move on us at the first indication of daylight.

Having reach a commanding position, a knoll which had been selected the day previous, we halted and at once proceeded to erect a line of work which was done by gathering all the wood, rails, stones, logs, &c., we could find and piling it up in front of us, so as to afford protection from the effect of the enemy’s deadly carbine balls.

As soon as we had made the works as strong as we could with the material at our command, we were, ordered to move forward.  Obeying the command we moved forward several hundred yards, where we were halted with in easy supporting distance of the reserve picket post.  Here we were ordered to halt and lie down on arms and on no condition, unless in a case of absolute necessity, were we to break ranks or straggle out of line.

Each company sent out a videt to give the alarm in case of an attack.  The rest of the boys took advantage of this arrangement, and soon were fast asleep, forgetful of the dangers which menaced them.

As soon as the eastern horizon began to give evidence of the coming of the king of day, the guards gave the alarm and the boys were instantly wide awake and ready for any emergency, with every arrangement fully made to give the enemy, should he have the temerity to advance, a “red-hot” breakfast.

The day was breaking grandly, soon the sun flashed out brightly upon our vision and the rebels failed to attack us.  Soon the grave face of the men disappeared and gave place to the smiling countenance of men who feel that they had escaped a fearful ordeal.  After remaining out until nearly 9 o‘clock, we ware ordered to move back to our quarters, and this was about the nearest that the members of Company G ever came to fighting Gen. Morgan’s command.

By this time we had our quarters all completed, and we feel justified in saying that they were by far the most complete as well as the most comfortable that we ever had, and that we spent the best winter here of the three that we passed in the service.

A number of tents bore names, such as “No. 1” “Cozy Nook,” “The Growlers’ Retreat,” &c.  The names were either by the inmates or bestowed upon it by the members of the company, fre­quently on account of the leading characteristic of one or more of the parties constituting the mess.

Corp. F. B. Ulrich, C. E. Parks, Jerry Moyer and Jas. P. Ulrich messed together and the members of the company by common consent and without a dissenting voice, gave the mess the richly merited cognomen of “The Growler’s Retreat.”

It was our fortune to be quartered in the next tent north of them, being sufficiently near to them to hear everything that transpired in their quarters.  At about 4 o’clock, every morning we could hear Freddy commence to stir up the animals, and the “growling” would commence, Parks frequently assisted in stirring up the other animals and the fight would go on gloriously, until it would be about the next thing to blows, then Freddy would intercede and smooth up the troubled waters.

Among the many laughable, and at the same time what might have proved a nasty mishap, took place in “Cozy Nook,” it was the custom the mess that each of them should take a turn about in preparing the different meals.  Whenever it was the duty of one of them to cook breakfast, they always prepared the vegetable in the evening, by soaking it in water it becomes soft and fit for use.  It so happened that W. E. Fausnacht, whose turn it was to cook breakfast, forgot to soak the prepared vege­table, and as it was about the only thing we had he concluded to fry it dry.  Breakfast ready, he called up the mess.

Keller pitched into the dish, took a bite, spat it out, remarking:

“Flicker-squater, this ain’t fit for a hog to eat,” and did not try any more of it.

Sergeant Millhoff tried it, shook his head, drank his coffee and let the vegetable be.

Billy dished out several spoonfuls, took a mouthful and swallowed it saying:

“If you can’t eat it, why I can,” and eat it he did, even cleaning out the pan, after which he finished his quart of coffee.  Now it so happened that the vegetable had the effect of bloating Billy and he was soon as thick as a small bass drum, having filled up every available inch of room, whilst he was suffering intense pain.  The doctor was sent for and for a time his life was in great danger.  He got over it but ever after that, even though he said he would do it, Billy never eat any more unsoaked vegetable.

 

CHAPTER LXXI

On the evening of the 20th, we received marching orders, with instructions to take three days rations with us, as well as 40 rounds of cartridges, and to be ready to move at daylight.  The regular details were made for camp guards and pickets, from this we concluded that the regiment was only going out on a reconnaissance.

On the following morning as soon as the sun peeped out from behind the mountain fastness, we were up and making preparations to move, and by eight o’clock a. m., the command filed out of camp and moved Northward in the direction of Jasper, a small town in Tennessee, about 12 miles distant from Bridgeport.  Here we were hospitably received by that class of People distinguished for their patriotism and fealty to the constitution and the laws, the hardy Union mountaineers of Tennessee.

The town, although small, is very pleasantly located and the members of Company G soon made themselves at home.  On the day following our arrival, a large number of the ladies of the place made arrangements to have a ball in the evening, but unfortunately for all concerned, at about 5 o’clock, p.m., the bugle sounded the “fall in,” and we were compelled to obey the unwelcome summons and in a very short time thereafter we were marching homeward.

We pushed along rapidly and reaching our old camp at 10 o’clock, p.m., greatly fatigued with the march and without having accomplished anything whatever.

On the following day Captain Byers re-joined the company, having been on detached duty in Philadelphia for over a year.  All the company boys were very glad to have him with us, and when in a few days afterwards Lieut. Parks re-joined the company, having recovered from the effects of the wound he received in the Battle of Ringgold, he was made the recipient of a hearty welcome, all of the boys were glad to see him.

The old soldiers, or a majority of them having veteraned, those of the 28th which did not veteran, were all consolidated and attached to our regiment as Company “K,” with Lieut. Nicholas Glace of C Company as the captain.  This little bit of diplomacy secured the commission of Colonel for Our Lt. Colonel as well as Lt. Colonel for our Major and had Captain Davis been living he would most certainly have been prompted to the Majorship.

A little incident occurred while we lay in this camp here that we consider as being of a place in this sketch.

Among the places that we were called upon to guard, was the Brigade bake­ry, and as is well known to those who have been in service, that the men who had charge of those bakeries made a business of baking pies and cakes and selling the same to the men.  The writer had charge of the detail sent to the bakery one morning, and it so happened that the men baked an unusually large amount of ginger bread.  In the evening the bakers placed the same in the tent and at taps retired for the night.  Ed. Fisher, who was on post said:

“Corp., I’m going to get some of that ginger bread, or know the reason why;” and forcing the tent apart where it was tied shut he reached in with his fixed bayonet, and feeling around until he thought he felt the cakes, he gave the gun a sudden prod.  Great heavens what a yelp sounded out on the night air.  The baker had his dog in the tent and he had received the point of the bayonet instead of the ginger bread.

The baker came out to see what was the matter with his dog.  Fisher was rolling up his pants to see where the dog had bit him, but as a matter of course he could not find the bite!

“What did my dog, do?” asked the Baker.

“Do,” queried Fisher, “why he just acted as though he was mad, and came jumping out of the tent and bit me and then I bayoneted him, that’s all and if he comes out again I’ll kill him.”  “What ails the dog?’ was a by word long among those who were on the post.  The beauty of it was the baker handed a large slab of ginger bread out to us, and that cured the dog-bite.

 

CHAPTER LXXII

During our stay at Bridgeport many little events transpired that would undoubtedly prove of interest to the boys as well as to the readers of the Tribune but space will not allot us to pub­lish all, we have therefore concluded to give publicity to but a few of the most important ones.

One afternoon in mid-winter a num­ber of Christian Commission men visited our camp and as was their custom entered a number of the tents, for the purpose of conversing with the men upon religious subjects.  When they entered company G’s street they were at­tracted to the “Bull’s Head,” a large tent occupied by Serg’t Riegel, his brother Jake, William Henninger and others.  Two parties were playing Eu­chre and were evidently having a very good time.

The gentlemen of the Commission came up to the tent, peeped in and were greeted by the following, sung out by several at the same time:

“Come in and look out and you will see more.”

In they came followed by as many of the members of the company as the tent would hold, crowding up the players to such an extent that they had hardly sufficient elbow room to shuffle and deal the cards, and consequently the game was broken up:

As the cards were being put away one of the men asked:

“What will you take for those cards my good fellow?”

“Two dollars, and not a darn continental cent less,” replied the Little one, who had been taking a hand along and who constituted himself chief spokesman for the occasion.

“Don’t you think that is pretty steep for them?” queried one of the Christian Commission men.

“Well, if it is, we did not ask you to buy them,” was the quick rejoinder made by the Little one.

After a little consultation amongst themselves they concluded, to pay the money asked for the cards.  So one of them reached into his pocket and drew out a two dollar bill and handed it over to Parks.

The Little one took the money and handed it over to one of the mess and remarked:

“Go to the Suttler’s and get two new packs, you can get them for $1.50 and then bring tobacco for the balance.”

The commission men were beat and they readily admitted the corn, and by way of getting even asked permission to offer up a prayer.

This permission was cheerfully given and when the men bowed their knees all present did the same.  Then followed one of the most earnest and impressive prayers that we think we ever heard, and which visibly affected all who heard it.  As the men left the tent W. S. Keller stepped up and offered to pay the two dollars back, but they refused to take it.

Thus the work they did had a wholesome effect upon the men and it was many a long day before the prayer which had been offered up in the “Bull’s Head” was entirely forgotten.

The following incident will serve to show to what manner of devices the boys resorted to accomplish various desirable objects.  For instance when laying in camp candles became a very desirable luxury as the amount issued was inadequate to supply the wants of the troops.

Upon the occasion referred to Wm. E. Fausnacht was on guard over some commissary stores, among which were fifty or sixty boxes of candles, and how to obtain possession of one was the all absorbing question with Fausty.  At last a brilliant idea entered his cranium, he would deceive the Sergeant, for be it remembered that whenever the Sergeant was relieved he was compelled to account for the number of boxes, barrels, &c., left in his charge and for which he had receipted to his predecessor, thus an accurate record was kept.

Will came to camp and searched all the tents until he found a candle-box that suited him, this he borrowed, took it to his tent and wrapped some chips in an old blouse, making it about as heavy as a box of candles, he placed it under his bed and then returned to where the guards were quartered.  At night before he went on post, he came to his tent and, wrapping the box up in a blanket, carried it near to the commissary stores and secreted it.  When he was placed on trick he had no trouble to exchange his box of chips for a box of candles.

After he was relieved he carried the box home and hid the dips between the lining of the quarters in which be messed.  He was not detected, but the strange part of it was that Billy Clark, our Regimental Commissary Sergeant drew that identical box of “candles.”  The way that Billy made the chips fly when he opened it and discovered the fraud was laughable in the extreme.

The men discovered where a number of cavalry saddles were stored, it was not long until every flap was cut off and the cobblers were doing business, and when the authorities discovered what had been done and a rumor was current that they intended to investigate the matter, the extra soles were ripped off without much ceremony.

One of the messes in the company was composed of Serg’t Schroyer, Ed. Fisher and John Haas, and many an amusing little episode grew out of the great delight Mike took in teasing old “Snapper,” as be had nicknamed Haas.

Upon one occasion while Haas was asleep Mike set the tent on fire, and as soon as the blaze struck up good be wakened up “Snapper” by yelling fire! in his ear.  John jumped up and began to use his hands to beat out the fire which was rapidly consuming the muslin roof.  Schroyer and Fisher having carefully removed their things, rushed­ into the fire with all the vim of veteran Philadelphia firemen, and pitched Haas’ things out into the company street in a jiffy.  This accomplished they turned their attention toward rescuing John.  Fisher took hold of him and the result was a scuffle in which, as usual, he came out second best.

John grabbed his bayonet and commenced to jab towards Schroyer, who said:

“Everlasting Snapper, if you knew how long I let my fellows lay when I knock them down, you’d stop sticking that bayonet at me, here Ed. roll up my sleeves and spit on my hands until I drive back Snapper’s lower lip.”

This last sally had its desired effect, John commenced to gather up his old traps and the other two fixed up the quarters and by the time it was com­pleted John was ready to be teased again, a thing which Mike was ready to do as soon as an opportunity presented itself.

During our stay at Bridgeport we met old Mose Middleswarth, a son of Hon. Ner Middleswarth, and who was a member of a regular Battery which was attached to our Division.  Mose was well acquainted with the members of our company who came from the upper end and was consequently welcome in our company.  We got in the habit of calling out “Mose,” “Mose,” when ever we seen him coming, and towards the last the members of the regiment as well as the Brigade took up the cry whenever we started it.

Among the other persons that visit­ed us during the winter, with whom we had been previously acquainted, were Mike Breakbill, Jim Bergstresser, Aaron Jeffries, John Housewerth, John and Calvin Boon.  To say that we were glad to see them is not exagger­ating the facts a particle.

The native citizens of the portion of Alabama which we were stationed in, were doless, shiftless, long-haired critters, whose principle occupation, without regard to sex, consisted in the use of tobacco in every shape and form, children who were unable to ask for it could stretch out their tiny hands as soon as they would catch sight of the fine cut or smoking tobacco which our men used.  So habituated had they become to the use of the weed, that any thing which they possessed they would readily barter for coffee and tobacco.

A family consisting of six daughters by the name of Saxton, within our picket line, and whose house was visited by a large number of officers and privates, bore the christened surnames of Virginia Washington, South Carolina Calhoon, Kentucky Boone, Maryland Keys, Tennessee Polk and Alabama Montgomery.  A stranger group we never beheld and at the time we felt that they would compare favorably with the Berget girls whom we used to see driving to town with a two horse load of wood and smoking half-Spanish segars.

No person who has actually had the experience of passing through a section of country occupied by an army either hostile or friendly, can form no adequate conception of the demoralizing effect upon the inhabitants.  We feel confident that those who have had an opportunity to witness the scenes connected with the unwritten part of the late terrible war will join in with us in praying that no occasion for the calling together of a large army of men within our land will come again.

 

*     *     *     *     *

On the evening of the 18th of March we received marching orders and on the following day we broke camp and marched to Trenton, Ga., where we remained over night.  Next day we fell in and moved homeward over the mountain.  We evidently lost our way and General Geary rode up to where an old citizen was sitting in front of a little log house, and asked him, “at what point the road crossed the mountain leading to Bridgeport?”

The old man put his hand up to his lips and then to his ears, as much as to say, “I’m deaf and dumb.”

General Geary suspecting treachery, drew his sword from its scabbard and wielding it dexterously made it cut the air with a whirr brought it to a rest immediately above his head said in his stentorian voice:

“Tell me at once, or by the God in the heaven above us, I will, split your head open and pluck out your lying tongue!”

The old man gasped two or three times convulsively, but not a sound escaped his tightly compressed lips.  The General raised his sword at little higher and making preparations to strike the fatal blow, added very impressively:

“Your death is on your own hands and now may God Almighty have mercy on your poor soul.”

This was too much for the old fellow who fearing that General Geary wo’d probably put his threat into execution, fell upon his knees and addressed him in language similar to the following appeal:

“For God sake don’t kill me General, spare my poor life and I will tell you  anything you wish to know that  am informed about myself, only don’t kill me.”

“Get up!” was the stern command, “and whether I kill you or not depends upon the manner in which you answer my questions.”

“Oh, never fear but I’ll answer anything that I know,” said the poor old man, his knees knocking together for fear, in spite of his efforts to appear calm.

“When did you see the last rebel troops in this vicinity, and how strong were they?” asked the General who had sheathed his sword and assumed his wonted coolness.

“A body of Confederate cavalry about 500 strong, under command of my son, Col. Hickman, passed here about two hours ago, and that is why I did not wish to speak, and now you know the truth,” replied the old man.

“Which way did they move?” asked the General.

“My son said he would strike direct for Dalton via Rossville.” was the answer.

“Where does this road intersect the old mountain road?” the General next questioned the old man.

“Right beyond that large pine,” pointing down the road.

“Column forward” commanded the General, “and old man you will go with us and if your story about the old road is correct you can come back.”

 

CHAPTER LXXIII

 After reaching the point designated by the old gentleman the road was discovered and the command filed into the road and commenced to descend the mountain’s side.

General Geary gave the officers very strict orders not to allow the men to straggle, and to keep them well in hand for fear that Colonel Robert’s rebel command might have dismounted and might attack us should a fa­vorable opportunity present itself for doing so.

The marching was difficult and te­dious and by the time the bottom was reached the men had straggled out considerably and among those who had strayed away the farthest was Corporal D. W. Gross, of our company, who had left the ranks in search of water and who unfortunately came where General Geary and his staff were halted awaiting the arrival of the men.  At the sight of the corporal, who had disobeyed orders, the General became very wrathy and drawing one of his pistols,  threatened to shoot him, but fortunately for Dan, change his mind and made him start for his regiment post-haste.

When the men arrived on the flat the General was as mad as a hornet and the advance regiments moved past him as rapidly as possibly, soon causing considerable of a gap between the several companies of our regiment, at the time in the rear.  Company B, under command of Lt. Willett, bringing up the extreme rear, having been held back as a rear guard by orders of Col. Craig, was marching past the General very leisurely when “old John’s” temper could stand it no longer and riding up to the Lieutenant he gave him one of those tongue-lashings which made his name a familiar by-word in his command.

The Lieutenant took the reprimanding very patiently and as soon as it was done, saluted the General which he returned and he moved his company forward on quick time until he overtook the command.

We reached our old quarters by noon on the 18th, having marched a distance of about 22 miles, aver very heavy roads.

On Thursday the 22nd, a snow fell to the depth of over a foot, and we had a very fine time snow-balling, but on the following day it all disappeared leaving nothing but mud in its place.

On the 26th Lieutenant Byers was commissioned Captain and 2nd Lieut. Parks was promoted to 1st Lieutenant.  The boys were all glad to see the promotion of our officers as they were certainly worthy of the promotion.

The weather was beginning to get nice, the middle of the day was almost like Pennsylvania April weather, and already preparations for the approaching campaign were being rapidly pushed ahead.  All the convalescents were sent up from the rear, and drill and inspection became the order of the day.  It was while laying here that our company attained its highest state of efficiency.  Our officers, as well as Orderly F. H. Stuck, labored hard to make the company second to none in the regiment.

The number of details made out of our company for Regimental Head-quarters, attested the repute in which the company was held by the regimental officers.  Serg’t Isaac Witmer was appointed Sergeant Major, Serg’t Eby was promoted Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, C. E. Parks, was selected as regimental Orderly, W. S. Keller was chosen as Regimental Postmaster and Antes Ulrich as Principal Musician.  Thus it will be seen that a majority of the minor officers of the regiment were filled by men from our company.

On Wednesday, April 6th, a general Order was issued from the War department consolidating the 11th and the 12th Corps, and calling it the 20th Army Corps and retaining the star as the badge, while the troops that originally belonged to the 11th Corps were designated by the crescent with star underneath the same.

In accordance with the nature of the men, this order created no little amount of grumbling on the part of the troops which had composed the old 12th, owing principally to the record made by the 11th at Chancellorsville, but when became knows that the troops were to be under the command of old “Fighting Joe Hooker,” a better feeling soon prevailed and the grumbling soon ceased altogether.

Inspections, drills and reviews now became the regular order of the day, and this taken in connection with the arrival of large trains of recruits from Louisville, Nashville and other eastern cities, was ample evidence that the approaching campaign would be one of the most important ones that had taken place since the outbreak of the rebellion.

On Monday evening, April 11th, we received orders to be ready to go down the Tennessee river on a reconnaissance.  On the following day we were moved down to the landing, about one hundred yards below the railroad bridge, here we remained from 10 a.m., until 2 p.m., at which time we boarded the transportation boat Chicamagua.  The boat carried 4 pieces of artillery, two of Napp’s ten pound rifled guns, one four inch smooth bore brass piece and a small brass howitzer.  Two large flats were lashed fast to the steamer, one on each side, and a company of the 1st Alabama Union Cavalry occupied them with their ‘critters.”  The expedition was about 800 strong under command of Major General Geary.

After we got under steam we moved along smoothly until we reached Larken’s Ferry, a distance of about 30 miles where we halted for the night.  Here we came very near getting into a bad scrape.  A regiment of the 15th Corps was doing guard duty at the ferry, and as soon as the boat stopped a number of men asked:

“What boat is that?”

Then at the same time from at least an hundred throats of those on the boat, burst forth the ill-fated word:

“Chicamagua!” “Chicamagua!”

Then followed a scene which beggars description.  A volley of curses, hoots and groans, supported by a shower of stones, clubs and other missiles greeted us in full force, making it extremely lively.  Our boys stood irresolute for a second the situation becoming more and more critical, whilst the boys on shore made a rush for the boat.  This was too much for our men to stand and seizing their guns prepared to meet the troops on shore.

At his critical moment General Geary, being the superior officer, ordered the Colonel to withdraw his men or he would open on them with his guns.  Quiet was at length restored and when the men discovered that the name of the boat was really “Chicamagua,” they apologized for their conduct.

The key to the trouble was this, in the battle of Chicamagua, the Western Army had been badly repulsed, and it had been a common occurrence that whenever our troops wished to make the western men angry, they would yell “Chicamagua” at them, and it rarely, if ever, failed to accomplish its desired end  Thus it happened that when we yelled out the name “Chicamagua,” to a civil question, and most especially since this regiment had not been in that battle, they felt called on to resent an insult.

Being too much crowded we disem­barked and remained upon shore for the night.  In the morning there was a heavy fog on the river, and not think­ing it prudent to move down the river in it, we did not get started until after 7:20 a.    m., when we again started on our trip down the river.  Nothing of any importance occurred until we came within sight of Guntersville, a fortified town, on the left bank of the river.  Here we stopped and upon landing our Company and B Company were thrown out as skirmishers under command of Lieut. Parks.  Gen. Geary ordered us to pull down several houses which obstructed the range of artillery, a feat which it did not take us long to do, and after the houses were razed we at once advanced the line into the town, and succeeded in capturing a large mill, some tobacco and a few stands of arms and a lot of home guard swords which had been manufactured out of old scythes and all other kind of available material.

At 11 o’clock a. m, we started on our trip and when a short distance south of Guntersville, a number of rebel cavalry were discovered, several shells were thrown towards them, and they put spurs to their horses and soon made themselves scarce.

After starting up again we proceed­ed down the river, at 1 o’clock we stopped 35 minutes to get wood.  After we started out again we were fired into by several bushwhackers and two of the 5th Ohio, were wounded.  At 4:15 we arrived at Whitesburg, 28 miles from Sundersville, here we threw, a number of shells into the town, after which we advanced until about 5 p. m., when we were about five miles below the last named town.  Here we discovered the command of the rebel General who was moving his command rapidly upon us and who was endeavoring to place his artillery on the banks of the river in our rear, in the bow of the bend of the river, and in order to gain this position they were compelled to make a detour to the right, and in do­ing so they were discovered.  The order was at once given to reverse the engine and we soon began to move up the river slowly.  Then commenced a very exciting race, the rebels bent all their energies to overtake us, but our boat came off victorious and we made our escape very providentially.  We ran all night, passing Sundersville on the morning of the 14th, at 3 a. m.  At 12:15 a. m., we reached Larkin,s Ferry, here we stopped 55 minutes for dinner.  After we passed the Ferry an old darkey raised his head from behind an old log, and who greeted us with, “How are yu Lincums?”

Some of the boys fired at him as he jumped up and ran like a deer.

At 5:15 we stopped to take wood and after starting up and upon seeing some men working in a field, several of them mounted horses and put out at our approach.  The General ordered the boat to come to a halt and at once made preparation to land the cavalry.  As the flat touched the shore the cavalrymen began to jump out their horses, and mounting them starting in pursuit yelling like Indians, among the horses was one scraggy, mangy little fellow, that looked as though he could not bear his own weight, besides carry a rider, General Geary noticing one of the men trying to get him out of the flat said:

“Keep that old cripple in the flat, it won’t do any good to take him out to overtake any other horse.”

The cavalryman said in reply, “Gen. he is the best critter in the regiment.”

To which the old General replied:

“Trot him out then, trot him out.”

The cavalryman jumped on his horse and the greatest transformation took place that we ever noticed in horse flesh, he sped away like a deer and he was fortunate enough to overtake one of the men and brought him in a prisoner.  We succeeded in capturing 6 men, 1 mule and 1 horse.

Friday 15, we arrived at Bridgeport at 2 a. m., and returned to our old camp, having been about 88 miles, according to Lloyd’s map, down the river with the loss of two wounded.

 

CHAPTER LXXIV

The weather was daily growing more spring like and we knew that time to commence the summer campaign would soon be on hand, and we shipped much of our surplus winter clothing and blankets home, by express.

Several negro regiments were encamped near us and small-pox having broke out among them, they died off like flies there were frequently five and six funerals daily.  The poor fellows were buried with military honors in the soldiers cemetery on the hill.  We frequently went on the hill to see the sable warriors plant their departed comrades, and we were then and there impressed with the fact that the grave is the final resting place of all that is mortal of man.  The king in his costly robes and the beggar in his rags, are engulfed alike within its silent portals and that after we have passed away the sun will shine as brightly, the birds will sing as sweetly, and flowers will bloom as fragrantly as they do at the present, and that we shall be missed but a few years at the very farthest by our most intimate friends, and then even they will cease to remember that we ever existed.

On the 30th of April, we had a general muster, after which Colonel Pardee gave orders to our suttler, who had previously made the rations, to sell every man in his regiment, as much ale as he wanted provided no man wanted over five gallon of the teutonic beverage.

As soon as the ranks were broken, the men made a grand rush for the suttler’s tent with all manner of vessels, buckets, mess pans, camp-kettles, canteens, &c., and soon returned to their quarters bearing them full of the oh, be joyful.

The members of the company made sure to get a full portion of the ale but by common consent it was agreed not to drink any­thing until after dress-parade would be turned off.  As it happened the officers thought it was not necessary to have a dress-parade, this was occasioned by the tipsy condition of a great majority of the men.  As soon as the time was past, the boys brought forth the cans, and at once commenced to deal out the beer rather lively, and by the time the sun hid his head behind the clouds, quite a number of the boys were in a fair way, to feel upwards for the ground.  The doings of the that evening were rich in the extreme, and the didoes enacted by the members of the company would have been ample to cause a stoic to grin.

We will not attempt to describe the scene, to attempt would be to fail, and we shall rest satisfied with giving one of the many ludicrous incidents.  A large number of the boys assembled in and around Sweeny Tod’s quarters when it was determined to court-martial Keller, who was charged with the crime of wearing a cap rather than that prescribed by the regulations.  The writer was appointed Judge Advocate whilst Serg’ts. Stuck and Knight with Corporal Ulrich, C. E. Parks, Corp. VonNeida and several others of the company constituted the Tribunal.  As the trial proceeded Serg’t. Stuck became very eloquent and when the Judge Advocate arose to address the Court he was unceremoniously held down and informed that he had nothing to do but listen.  At this crisis, the ale having given out, one of the boys volunteered to go to the officers tent and confiscate more.  This was accomplished and everything moved off smoothly again unti1 Serg’t. Knight ordered that no one should speak to him without first saluting him.

The court-martial broke up in a row and such a getting out of a tent you never did see before.  Many of the officers and men had assembled at regimental head-quarters where similar scenes were enacted.  The Colonel attempted to make a speech, but finding it would not go, ordered the suttler to treat the men to cigars at his expense.  The worst footed fellow that we know of was the one who had his canteen of morning bitters confiscated by the members of the drum-head-court-martial.

On the following morning most of the boys discovered that their caps were too small to accommodate their swelled heads, and the popular song was:

“Oh, we’ll never get drunk any more.

The day being the Sabbath we had the day to ourselves and the head-ache and we were heartily glad that no extra duty was required of us, other than regular Sabbath duty.  No sooner had taps sounded than we doused the glimmer and retired for the night.

Monday, May 2nd, a detail was taken from the regiment to go down the Tennessee River and bring up the pontoon bridge at Larkin’s Ferry to the post at Bridgeport.  Colonel Pardee had charge of the detail from the Division, numbering all told about 400 men.

In the evening we were thrown into a wild state of excite­ment by the orders to be ready to move towards the front on the following day.  Preparations were immediately made for the important move.  Letters were written home giving our friends the news of the move, and many little details we had put off for the last moment were attended to, after which we assembled in groups in our quarters and talked over the many pleasant memories that were connected with the winter spent in Bridgeport, and all agreed in the fact that it was with a dread that they prepared for the contemplated move.

 

CHAPTER LXXV

On the following day at about half-past 8 o’clock, a. m., we broke camp and marching across the old Tennessee River, we faced southward, and moved in the direction of Shell-mound, passing a number of block houses, all of which were surrounded by heavy log stockades, made by felling trees, cutting them eighteen or twenty feet in length, squaring the trunks and digging a trench from eight to ten feet deep and then placing the timbers into the trench, side by side, thus forming a tolerable strong work, whilst from behind these enclosures the garrison were enabled to offer a stout resistance to a body of men four or five times as numerous as themselves.

We reached Shell-mound, about six miles from Bridgeport, at a little after 2 o’clock, p. m.  Here we made a halt for the day, and we soon made ourselves very comfortable, and passed a very pleasant time around the cheerful camp fires, listening to the patriotic airs, and discussing the probabilities which the approaching campaign had in store for us, knowing full well that many of the brave men who were now gathered around the camp fires, full of life and spirit, were starting out on their last campaign, and that in a few days at the farthest, we would be called upon to meet the foe, and there was no telling, how many of us would be swept from time into eternity, or at least be maimed for life, such were the facts which looked us in the face, and each individual could but hope that he might escape the fiery ordeal unscathed.

Wednesday morning, 4th, we were routed up early and moved forward briskly, indicating that the campaign was about to begin in earnest.  In the afternoon we came in sight of old Lookout Mountain, and as we moved into Wauhatchie Valley, and came in sight of what had been our old camping ground our memory carried us back with painful precision to the never-to-be-forgotten events which were secreted in memory’s sacred tabernacle, the presence of which recalled those painful scenes connected with the fall campaign.

We moved over the old corduroy road at the base of the mountain and we soon found ourselves in the valley of Chatta­nooga, and a little before the sun hid his face behind the western horizon, we went into camp, having footed it 18 long weary miles.  This was a very hard march, considering the fact that we had laid in winter quarters for a long period without having had much exercise.

On the following day we broke our camp early in the morn­ing.  At about ten o’clock, a. m., we passed the famous Anderson troop.  This body of men had been organized as body guard for Don Carlos Buel, and when the General was relieved from his command by General Rosencrans, the commanding General assigned them to another command, whereupon they refused to serve.  The officers and men were placed under guard and sent back to Nashville.  A court-martial was convened and a large number of the leaders were imprisoned for some time.  They were afterwards sent to the front and as this was the first time that we had the opportunity to see these men, we gratified our curiosity by giving them a good inspection.  The members of the original troop were all wealthy men and had purchased a splendid out-fit at their own cost.

During the day we marched about 14 miles, halting a short distance beyond Ringgold, having left it a short distance to our left.  In the evening we were joined by Colonel Pardee and the remainder of the detail from our regiment, which had just returned from the expedition down the Tennessee River where they had successfully completed the job entrusted to their care, viz:  The tearing up and bringing back of the pontoon boats and bridging which had been in use during the past winter.

We were glad to see the Colonel and the men join us, and when they moved into the field they were received with three hearty cheers by their comrades of the old 147th.  We think that all felt greatly relieved, since now we had our Colonel with us, and if we were compelled to go into a fight we knew that we could rely upon his coolness and bravery.

On Friday, May 6th, we broke up camp at about 8 o’clock, a. m., and after moving about 5 miles in the direction of Chest­nut Flat, we came to a delightful spot, with shade and water in abundance, we were ordered to halt and rest for the day.  We took advantage of the situation to wash ourselves and to search our clothing for “gray-backs,” and which we found to be already largely on the increase.

On the following day we broke camp at about noon and took up our line of march across Taylor’s ridge, at, or at least near, Gordon’s Medicinal Spring via Chestnut Flats.

At about 3 o’clock, p. m., we came up with Gen. Kilpatrick’s Cavalry command: This had the appearance of a little “scrimmage.”  We found that the General had taken up his head-quarters in a house.  In the center of the yard he had planted his Division Flag, which had been the gift of the General’s wife, to her husband’s command.  She had since died, and the name “Alice,” surrounded by a heavy black boarder, floated graceful­ly from two small streamers below the spear head.  The flag contained several Latin inscriptions and the words “Kilpatrick’s Cavalry.”  We marched about 8 miles, going into camp about sun down.  This evening considerable care was taken with the formation of our line, which gave us to understand that the enemy were in close proximity to us.

We were placed on picket and during the night the rebels charged down the road to our left, where Company B was on duty.  One of the rebs was captured whilst the others made good their escape.  During the night an old blind horse came up towards our line and considerable excitement was created in the company by one of the boys on vidette duty halting the old horse.

The following day, being Sunday we move in the direction of Rocky Face Ridge, also known as St. John’s Mountain, leaving camp at about 10 o’clock, a. m.  After marching a distance of about 5 miles our advance came upon the enemy at Dug Gap, a very strong natural position.

As soon as this advance began to engage the enemy, we were moved at a rapid rate to where the engagement was going on.  When we came up to where the other regiments were deployed and moved into the fight, we were moved to the left and ordered to supp­ort Knap’s Battery.

As may well be imagined it was a great relief to us to be allowed to get behind the crest of the hill upon which the battery had been planted, in place of being compelled to climb up that steep and rocky ridge, the summit of which was ably defended by rebel and bayonets.

No sooner had we reached our positions than the battery opened up on the rebels on the top of the ridge with great fury.  Darkness had set in and we could plainly trace the iron hail with its burning fuse from the time it left the gun until it exploded over the rebel position in the rocky fastness.  The cannonading was kept up with great energy, the cannoneers of our noble little battery, fairly excelled themselves, and the noise caused by the discharge of the pieces and the echo of the sound of the exploding missiles, as they went screeching into the caverns and fell in among the enemies, cannot be described.

Suddenly a rocket is set up from a point full two-thirds up the rugged sides of the ridge.  It is the signal agreed upon, the batteries cease firing and we strain our eye to catch the first flash of the deadly rifle which will announce the opening of the deadly encounter.  Not a sound is heard and the silence becomes painful, we are on tip-toe of expectation. Suddenly the glare, followed by the report of a dozen rebel rifles break upon the stillness, that is instantly followed by the belching forth of a long row of fire from the top of the ridge, the whole line is now engaged, on the rebel side.

As yet our troops have not responded to the fire, they are cautiously advancing on the enemy, and do not yet wish to expose their position. At the last, way up on our right, near the top of the ridge, our men have opened up on the enemy and the musketry is becoming terrific, whilst along the line the boys are opening up on the rebels and giving it to them just as good as they received.  The fighting was terrible, the hills and the valleys reverberated with the discharge of fire arms and which sounded like incessant rolls of thunder.  Our men had not advanced since they had opened fire, and now they begin to slack off firing, would they make a charge or fall back?  This was the question with us.  It soon was apparent to us that our troops had not succeeded in carrying the position.  Soon our men ceased firing entirely, this was greeted by one of their characteristic Southron yells.  This was responded to by our battery which for the next half hour sent shot and shell to the top of the mountain, and under the cover of which our men were able to come down the steep mountain unmolested.

Among the amusing incidents connected with the evening battle, was the following:

A German, one of the members Company H, had cooked a cup of coffee and had stood it down near an old stump while he toasted a cracker.  In the meantime a toad jumped into the boiling coffee and as a natural consequence was scalded.  The toad turned on its back, belly up.  As soon as the cracker was done he went to get his coffee, upon seeing something unusual in his coffee, he stooped down and upon seeing what it was, he gave the kettle a kick which sent the toad a sprawling, striking his fists together and giving vent to his feelings in the following expressive words:

Ver dampt t’ Grutt!

 

CHAPTER LXXVI

After our troops withdrew from the mountain or ridge, the musketry ceased, and when the order was given to cease firing to the battery.  A profound stillness rested over the late battle field.  Our regiment was at once moved to the front and put on picket.  A number of the members of our company were ordered to cross mill creek, and to take an advanced position, in order that they might be able to give the command a timely warning in case the enemy should see proper to advance upon us.  Serg’t. Schroyer had charge of the squad and from where the post was established, the Johnnies could be heard talking and forming their picket lines.

After long hours of untiring vigilance the morning dawned and we found our position to be within easy rifle range of the enemy’s videttes, and while they we were protected by the trees we were posted in plain view of them, without the slightest protection, and for quite a while there was considerable dodging about in our ranks, which wore away as the hours passed away and the enemy did not fire on us.

During the day we could see heavy columns of Confederate infantry moving in the direction of Dalton, along the top of the ridge their arms glistening in the sun like myriads of sun beams.  From the length of time it took the column to pass, our officers estimated that fully 10,000 men had moved past and were hastening to reinforce their troops in the vicinity of Buzzard’s Roost, which was being threatened by the troops belonging to the old 14th Army Corps.

We were relieved at a little after 8 o’c1ock, p. m., when we were moved back a short distance and ordered to throw up breastworks and make all possible arrangements to give the enemy a warm reception.

We worked with a will and in a few hours we succeeded in erecting first class works.  After which we spread our blankets and made temporary shelter for the night, most of us putting up our dog tents.

At about ten o’clock at night it began to rain and continued to pour down in torrents nearly all night.  We had placed our tents in the ditch enclosed within the works and as may well be imagined it did not take it long to fill up with water, and then we were called upon to pass one of the most trying nights that it ever was our evil misfortune to undergo.  During the long hours of the night, we were compelled to sit huddled up in the small quarters, in mud and water half-way up to our knees, and every time that we forgot ourselves and fell into a doze, we would take a seat in the water and thus be suddenly recalled to the hardships of the hour.

For seven long hours we remained in this uncomfortable predicament endeavoring to keep our arms and ammunition dry, as there was no telling at what hour or how suddenly the foe might make an attack upon us.  It is a well-known fact that soldiers fight best when they are tired, hungry and out of humor generally, and had we been attacked the rebels would have been met by a body of men who would have just been mad enough to fight desperately.

As the day dawned the rain ceased and we immediately sought the genial rays of the sun, to dry our clothing and to infuse new life into us.  A more deplorable and forlorn looking set of men, we never beheld, and we feel confident that had our wives, mothers, and friends beheld us as we gathered together in groups to compare notes that morning, they would certainly not have recognized us.

It was with considerable difficulty that we succeeded in getting a fire to burn, everything was soaked with the rain and we knew nothing about using coal oil to start the same, but after a number of attempts we succeeded and soon had a steaming cup of coffee in which we soon drowned our misfortunes of the past eight hours.

The ensuing day we devoted to making our arms fit for ser­vice or muster as well as to cleaning our mud stained uniforms, at the same time watching the movements of the enemy, large numbers of whom could be seen from where we were encamped.  Nothing of any importance occurred until Thursday, the 12th of May, when we received marching orders and marched along the base of Rocky Face Ridge, in the direction of Sugar Valley, crossing the Ridge through Snake Greek Gap, a pass as its name would indicate that crossed the ridge by a circuitous and winding route, and which could have been held against us by a small body of determined men, but General Sherman had succeeded by gaining the key to the pass without a serious engagement having complet­ely deceived Gen. Joe Johnson, the Rebel Commander, as to the point where he intended to cross the Ridge.  After a march of about 12 miles we came to a halt for the day.  Here we for the first time met the 23rd Corps, General Schofield’s command, who had taken possession of the rebel breastworks and had trans­formed them into defensive works.  The ground on which we en­camped for the night had been occupied by a rebel Division on the day previous, and the ground was strewn with numberless articles which the soldier finds, adds to his comfort in camp, and which he cannot carry with him on the march.  Quite a number of pieces of Rebel newspapers were scattered around, all of which we anxiously read, and we were fully impressed with the fact that the Southroners were beginning to tire of the war, and that while some of the articles were of the “last ditch style,” the majority of the articles were more conservative than formerly.

 

CHAPTER LXXVII

Here we remained in Camp over night but on the following morning we were aroused quite early by the shrill blasts of a score of bugles, and which to us announced the tidings of an “on to Atlanta,” move.

At about half past 7 o’clock, a. m., General Kilpatrick rode past us, his troopers having already preceded him.  In less than half an hour afterwards the news reached us that the General had been seriously wounded, which was soon afterwards confirmed by the appearance of the General riding to the rear with his arm bandaged.

We broke camp at about 9 o’clock, a. m., and marched towards Resaca.  A little before noon we heard firing in our front. This was anything but desirable information, although we had fully anticipated it.  After marching about six miles our Division was moved into a field on the right of the old Resaca road, where we were ordered to stack arms, and to hold ourselves in readiness to “fall in at a moment’s notice.”

All this time the musketry was increasing and the movements of the troops indicated that a general engagement was being brought about.

We remained in the field until almost dark when we were moved over to our front and left, and ordered to fortify a small elevation, something similar to Bake-oven Hill, only not so much of a cone.  We went to work in good earnest, felling trees, carrying logs, &c., and by 10 o’clock in the evening we had a strong line of works finished.

Occasionally during the night we heard the discharge of musketry in our front, which was evidence that the enemy had not yet withdrawn from the field.  At the first dawn of morning we were up and about, ready to meet the enemy.

A mile to our front we could see long columns of blue coats advancing, and soon little rifts of smoke, announcing the renewal of hostilities.  The battle raged with unabated fury, and in a very short time the smoke of the contest effectually hid the combatants from our view.

We remained in our position until about half-past two o’clock, p. m., at which time the enemy had been driven into his main line of works, and was making a determined resistance to our advancing columns, and it was thought necessary to move us up within easy supporting distance.  We were consequently moved up almost within the range of the enemy rifles.

We were ordered to lie down and to be ready to fall in at short notice.  The sun was sinking fast to rest behind the Western hills, and through the dark rifts of smoke it had the appearance of a fiery dragon about being engulfed in a sea of blood, when we were ordered to fall in.  The engagement had been going on fiercely, but now there was a lull in the affray.  Away to our left there arose a yell, the very sound of which caused our very hearts to stop beating.  It was the famous southron battle yell, there could be no mistaking it for anything else.  And to us it plainly told of some temporary rebel success.  The command was given “quick time,” and forward we sped in the direction of the “yell.”

Soon the cause was apparent to us, for we came upon a large body of men belong to the 4th Corps who were rushing back pell-mell, having been driven from their position and having left their artillery in the hands of the enemy.

As they passed us some of our boys ventured to inquire whether there were any Johnnies where they came from? and to which they received the following answers:

“You bet,” You’ll find out,” “Go and see,” etc.  To which our boys responded, “We’ll make ‘em git.”

Nothing daunted we pressed up the hill and soon came in sight of the enemy who had driven the 4th Corps and taken their battery from them.  The command was given to “charge,” and this was done in gallant style by the advanced troops and in less than ten minutes we had regained everything that had been lost, and our victorious shout announced to the 4th Corps, as well as the rest of the Army, that we had carried our point.

Darkness and gloom settled over the field, and the contestants, as if by consent ceased hostilities, and silence reigned supreme.  We were moved to the left and rear where we were ordered to stack arms and to put up temporary breast-works.  After this was accomplished, a strong skirmish line was thrown out and the rest stretched out upon the ground, to obtain if possible, a few hours sleep.

Sunday morning, May 15th, dawning bright and beautiful, not a cloud was to be seen, and all nature seemed to smile its brightest, as if to shame the events which were shortly to be enacted and in which many valuable lives were to be sacrificed.

Orders were given us not to stray away but to remain with the regiment.  At a little before 2 o’clock, p. m., we were moved to fall in, and moving promptly, in less than ten minutes we were moving upon the main works of the enemy, and from which they were pouring a destructive fire upon our advancing columns.  Fortune favored us at first, as our Brigade was in the reserve, we halted behind the crest of a knoll, and for a while were protected, but the contest becoming very warm we were ordered up on the hill.  The enemy observing the movement they opened on us with grape and canister.  We were ordered to lie down whilst the grape shot went whistling over us, now and then striking some unfortunate fellow with a “thud,” then a groan would follow and all would anxiously await the next.

At about 5 o’clock, p. m., the battle reached that point when a small point might turn the tide of battle and gain it for either side.  The rebels advanced in force against the position held by the 4th Corps, and again drove them like they had the evening previous, this move if unchecked would have endangered our flank.  General Hooker, ever ready for any emergency, led a part of one his brigades, in person, against the advancing column and gallantly repulsed the rebels, and thus unquestion­ably saved the day.

 

CHAPTER LXXVIII

At this juncture our regiment was ordered to relieve a reg­iment belong to the  1st Division, and which was in an open field, within short range of the enemy’s works, and when we came in sight they opened a heavy volley on us, but the boys moved onward with the precision of veterans.  When we reached the regiment which was sheltered in a small ravine or gully, we saw a sight we shall never forget, at least 50 men of the regiment lay stark in death, a majority of them shot in the head while the brain was oozing out of the wounds.  The sight was a sicken­ing one, none of us knew how soon we might be stretched out in the same manner.

A detail was made from the head of the company, amongst which were Jerry and Solly App, Asa B. Churchill, and others and placed under command of Serg’t Schroyer and sent out front as skirmishers.  From their advanced position the skirmishers had a full view of the rebels and their works, and at once opened up a lively fire upon them.  The fire was promptly returned and for a while our position was anything but a pleasant one.  Col. Craig had taken up his position behind a barricade of rails, and when the firing had grown warm, he called out to the Sergeant:

“Schroyer, what are you firing at?  I don’t see anything to fire at.”

“No nor you won’t if you stay behind that rail pile all day,” was the Serg’ts laconic reply.

The Colonel at once went to where Schroyer was, and taking his field glass out from its case to scan the position and see what the men were firing at. “You can them without that,” said Schroyer, when at this moment the rebel skirmishers discovered him, and then not more than 150 yards to his front the Colonel noticed a dozen or more puffs of smoke and simultaneous with the discovery came whizzing the deadly rifle ball, although he made a narrow escape, the Colonel did not stay  long enough to have them try it over, but gladly sought protection behind the friendly pile of rails.

About this time. Asa B. Churchill who had taken up a posi­tion behind an old stump, although warned by his comrades as to the danger he was in, a number of balls having struck the old stump, he raised his head above the stump to fire, and almost at the same time that his gun cracked, a rebel sharpshooter, who had range of the stump, fired at him and the fatal ball speeding true to its aim, entered poor Asa’s forehead and he stretched himself out in death without a moan.

Jack Grant, one of the substitutes of our company, and who was not quite balanced in his mind, owing to a fall he had received from a car whilst being transferred to the Western Army, walked up boldly to where Churchill was lying and picking up his rifle and facing the enemy, he shook his fists at them and then turning to the regiment cursed the officers and men, for leaving Churchill lying where he fell.  The rebels appeared to be thunderstruck at Grant’s reckless bravery, and not a shot was fired until Jack returned to cover again.

We remained in our position until nightfall when we were relieved and taken to the rear, where we were enabled to cook a cup of coffee, the first we had taken for eight hours.

After refreshing ourselves we were moved up to the remain­der of the Brigade and ordered to lay on our arms, and be ready to repel any advance that the enemy might make on us.  Everything was quiet as the grave and nothing was to be heard save the heavy breathing, with an occasional snore from the tired veterans, when at a little after midnight, without any previous signal, we were roused from our slumber by the rapid discharge of artillery and the grape and canister were flying over and among us in reckless profusion.  We seized our gun and awaited the onslaught, but the enemy did not advance on us.  Finding that they did not advance upon us we again stretched ourselves upon the ground and soon were asleep again.

When the morning dawned we found that the enemy had disappeared leaving us masters of the situation.  Our Division having captured a battery which the enemy had abandoned, fearing to remove it lest we should hear the noise and discover their intended flight.

The battle-field presented a sickening spectacle, scores of human beings were scattered over the field, many of them disfigured beyond recognition, whilst the ground was strewn thick with the equipage belonging to those who had dropped them during the day.

After breakfast, knowing full well that we would be compelled to follow the enemy, we proceeded to dig a grave and buried Asa B. Churchill, W. E. Fausnacht took a cracker box lid, and in an artistic manner painted his name, company and number of the regiment and nailed the same to the tree under which we placed Asa to rest.

On the morning of the battle Asa had expressed himself as feeling certain that he would never come out of the approaching battle alive.  Before leaving our position at noon he wanted Henry Brown, one of his messmates, to take charge of a package done up in a red silk handkerchief, with the request that if he should fall it should be sent home to his wife in Bedford County.

Brown refused to take it, saying that Churchill’s chances were just as good as his own to come out all right.  After he was killed, Brown took charge of  it, and upon opening it, we found his pocket bible, with the photographs of his wife and three children, seventy five cents in money and a letter written to his wife, which would be, as he said in it, the last she would ever receive from him.  The closing up of the letter, in which he committed his children into the hands of Him who promised to be a father to the father­less, as well as a husband to the widow, was truly affecting and the reading of it caused the tears to course down the weather beaten cheeks of many a stout hearted veteran.

The things were neatly packed up and together with a brief account of his death, place and time of his burial, were sent to the widow by the first outgoing mail.

Among the wounded men belonging to the regiment was Jeremiah Hathaway of our company, who was only slightly wounded on the arm, and who had come out of the hospital to see us start in pursuit of the fleeing Johnnies, and appeared to be in the very best of spirits, saying that he would be back in our ranks again.  Little did we think as we bid him good bye, that it would be the last time that we sho’d ever see him again.  Yet such was the case, he took gangrene in the wound, and died in a short time thereafter, and was buried in the National Cemetery, New Albany, Md., Section B, Grave 587.

Thus our loss in this engagement was two brave soldiers, men who never shirked any responsibility but always ready to go where duty called.

By 8 o’clock, a. m. we were moving in rapid pursuit of the enemy, over the route on which he had retreated and the sight which met us was anything but a pleasant one.  A large number of dead rebels were scattered along the road.  Having died while being conveyed towards the rear, they were just pitched out into a fence corner from the wagons in which they were being taken to the rear.  We passed a number of places where the enemy had put up field hospitals and the boards covered with human blood, attested to the number of victims who were deprived of limbs to appease the bloody God of war.

Where we halted at noon had been a hospital and the large number of limbs lying around unburied attested the accuracy of our aim.  In hunting around in the woods some of our boys found a wounded Johnnie completely covered with brush.  They got him out, gave him a few swallows of water, got a Surgeon to look after him, and had the satisfaction of learning that he might recover.

After dinner we crossed Costanaula River near New Echota, and continued in pursuit of the Johnnies, crossing Oothkalooga Creek a little before dark and went into camp having made a tedious march of about 11 miles.

 

CHAPTER LXXIX

We went into camp about 5 o’clock, p. m., and as soon as we had unslung knapsacks and taken a short rest, a number of the boys started out in search of forage, and soon returned with an abundance of fresh meat.  I did not take us long to prepare our suppers and a royal feast we made on veal, crackers and coffee.

On the 17th inst., we left camp on the Tallapoosa River and marched in the direction of Fitscraft in Gordon county, Georgia, marching about 8 miles.

On the 18th inst., we broke camp at daylight, passed through Fitscraft, and went into camp after dark, having made a slow, tedious march, caused by the enemy being in our immediate front.  Distance traveled being 20 miles.

On the 19th we broke camp at 10 o’clock, a. m., and moved about ten miles.  Considerable cannonading took place in our front.  Encamped at dusk.

On the 20th we came up with the enemy in the vicinity of Cassville, where he was strongly entrenched.  A greater part of the day was spent in reconnoitering.  A lively skirmish was kept up in our front for several hours.  At three o’clock, p. m., our Brigade was formed into a line of battle, and when the command ‘forward’ was given, one of the best, advances we ever witnes­sed. was made.  The men marched as if on review, the colors of the six regiments floated in the breeze, the line was dressed to perfection, and the men moved with the firm determination to drive the rebs from their position.  The Johnnies watched the line advance, fired a few straggling shots and then fled in con­fusion.  In less than thirty minutes from the time that our line was formed, we had taken the position.

The rebels fell back and the Army took possession of their works. We captured several large hospitals filled with sick and wounded rebels.  The rebels had turned the large seminary into a hospital and left it filled with disabled Johnnies.

The 21st was spent in camp at Cassville, and we took advan­tage of the water and washed our clothes as well as ourselves.  On the following day, Sabbath, all the sick were sent back, U. P. Hafley of our company was one of those sent to the rear.

On Monday morning, 23rd, a full ration of commissary was issued to us, and we broke camp and started out on the march feeling quite comfortable.  We crossed the Etowah River and en­camped having marched fully 13 miles.

On the following day, Tuesday, we took up our line of march, with the head of column turned in the direction of Alatoona Pass, where it was reported that the rebels would undoubtedly make a stand and contest our onward march.

The weather was oppressingly hot, but we were moving through forests and glens, and were partly protected from the heat of the sun by the cooling zephyrs which sported amidst the branches and foliage of the monarchs of the forests, and the boys frequently removed their caps and allowed the breeze to cool their heated brows.  On this march we succeeded in securing a large quantity of “cow” or “sand” peas, which furnished us an additional luxury for our meals, the only drawback being that they were of the last year’s growth, and not like many articles being improved by age, we did not find time to cook them soft, but eat them we did, though many of us past restless nights and had troubled dreams besides suffering other inconveniences.  Nevertheless the boys did not give up the peas.

The march was continued until the evening of the 24th of May, when we went into camp at dark, in the midst of a terrible rain storm.  We hastily put up our tents as well as we could under the circumstances, in order to secure some protection from the soaking rain.  We succeeded in building a number of fires, and sheltering them from the rain as much as possible, we tried to get our suppers.  In the very midst of the storm one of Colonel Candy’s, our Brigade commander, aides came galloping up and announced that the 147th must go out on picket as an attack on our lines by the rebels was momentarily expected.

The shrill “fall in” of our Colonel was soon heard above the fury of the elements, and down came our tents and our knapsacks were packed and we were in line in less than five minutes, ready to move wherever ordered.

The rain was coming down in torrents, and we were soon drenched to the skin.  “Keep your arms and ammunition dry,” was the orders given to the men by the officers, a precaution which the men were endeavoring to fulfill to the best of their power, for no one could tell how soon they might be needed.

The regiment was kept under arms for fully an hour in the rain, when Lt. Kellog came riding up and countermanded the order.  A madder set of men never were met anywheres than were the members of the old 147th on that night, everybody from the President of the United States down to the humblest eighth corporal in the ranks, came in for a full share of abuse.  The most provoking part of the affair was that many of the boys after striving hard to keep their fires going had been called upon to throw their half finished meal away.  This had been done too, without accomplishing any good to us or the cause.  At this juncture the “little one” struck up with the comic song of, “Oh, why did I go for a soldier?” which song, as it generally did, had the effect of dispelling the gloom and caus­ing us to be much better satisfied with the predicament in which we found ourselves placed.

The boys proceeded to put up temporary shelter and tried to make themselves as comfortable as possible.

We had the good fortune to secure our supper, W. E. Fausnacht, one of the members of the mess to which we belonged had taken the kettle containing several quarts of peas and a large piece of pork from the fire, and when we did not move, he placed it on the fire, and by the time that the order to move was countermanded, the peas were considered digestible.  Never will we forget that supper, it was the last one that our mess as it was then constituted, ever took together, little did we think as we swallowed our peas and coffee in the rain and in silence, that ere the morrow’s sun should set, one of our mess should be maimed for life, yet such was to be the case.

After finishing the peas we stretched, or rather curled ourselves into as small a space as possible, in order to keep from getting wetter than we then were and soon fell asleep.

The day dawned bright and beautiful and we were routed out at an early hour, with orders to prepare our coffee hastily and be prepared to move at the call of the bugle.

Having been in the advance on the previous day the rear of the brigade was our position for the day, and as the five other regiments had to move before we did, we had plenty of time and did not get started until after eight o’clock.

We moved along leisurely, little anticipating the bloody drama that was so soon to be enacted and in which we were to enact a leading part.  At a little before noon, Generals Thomas and Hooker with their staffs, rode to the front passing us on the road.  We were marched a little further when we filed left into the woods and the brigade was massed in a line of battle.  We were ordered to lie down and rest.  No sooner had we fixed ourselves in a comfortable position, than we were aroused by the rapid discharge of firearms and soon after the generals and their escort came galloping back as fast as their gallant steeds could bear them.

 

CHAPTER LXXX

THE BATTLE OF NEW HOPE CHURCH

The brigade was ordered to fall in, Col. Candy ordered the 147th, which was moving in the rear having been in the advance on the previous day, to take the head of the column and move to the front at once.  This order occasioned considerable growling in our ranks, as it was not the first time Colonel Candy had attempted to rush our regiment into danger when it was not its place to go.

Colonel Pardee riding at the head of the regiment ordered the boys to move along briskly.  A short march brought us in sight of Pumpkin Vine Creek and the bridge which spanned the creek having been fired by the enemy we crossed over the same while it was burning.  General Hooker’s staff officers and escort were busy at work extinguishing the fire.

As soon as the regiment got across the bridge it filed right and moved into line of battle, facing the enemy.  As fast as the remaining regiments of the Brigade and Division crossed they formed on our left, giving our regiment the right of the line.

The enemy’s skirmishers could plainly be seen advancing on us directly in our front, but when within a short distance from our line of skirmishers they made a right half wheel and moved upon the center and left of our line.

Advancing rapidly, and strongly supported by Stevenson’s Division of Hood’s troops, they soon struck the skirmishers of the 5th Ohio, and the battle of New Hope Church was commenced.

The rebel skirmishers delivered their fire and then awaited the advance of their support which was moved up promptly, and then the union skirmishers fell back and the engagement at ­once became general.

The gallant Colonel Patrick of the 5th, mounted on his bay charger, ordered his regiment to charge on the ad­vancing column, and supported by the 7th Ohio, the regiments moved gallantly forward Lt. Colonel McClellan riding in the rear of the center of his regiment upon his prancing gray steed.  Suddenly old mother earth trembled with the concussion of a terrible rebel volley, the brave Ohioans, Colonel Patrick among the number, fell like grass before the mower’s scythe.  Col. Pardee desiring to charge front, in order to get an enfilading fire on the enemy had ordered the four companies on the left to about-face, and at the same time gave the remainder of the regiment orders to make a left half wheel.  The command was just being executed when the volley fell.  The left of the regiment became somewhat excited and started towards the rear rather lively.  Lt. Col. Craig ordered the boys to “halt, about-face, steady forward!”  The latter command had the effect of bringing us up in file order and just in time to pour a disastrous fire into the unprotected flank of the enemy, and which soon had the effect of driving him back in confusion, thus probably saving the gallant Ohio boys from being captured.

The entire command advanced upon the enemy in-line of battle, and on gaining a gentle rise, the order was given to halt and put up temporary works.  This we proceeded hastily to do and in less than twenty minutes we had tolerable fair works, constructed out of logs, stumps, stones, and all manner of material.

No sooner were the works completed than the sharp-shooters, two out of each company in the Brigade, were ordered out in rear of the skirmishers, with orders to remain out until the skirmishers should fall back, in case of an attack from the enemy.  Wm. S. Keller and the writer were detailed to represent Company G and with the other men detailed were soon over the works and placed in position.  We did not have to wait for an opportunity to try a shot on the Johnnies as they were pushing a strong column forward, and with their hats drawn down over their faces, commenced an advance on us.

­We opened a strong fire on them which they did not stop to answer but pressed steadily forward.  Soon the skirmish line was falling back and now the sharp-shooters commenced on the enemy, who with a yell advanced on them, soon they break and retreat to their works, but not until twenty of the number lie stretched in death.  The enemy advances in closed column; now he is within easy range of our breastworks and at the command of our Col. a sheet of flame and smoke burst forth. carrying death and dismay into the ranks of the foe, who nothing daunted, filled up the gaps in their ranks, dressed their ranks towards their colors, and advanced on our works on a double quick, but they were again received, but at closer quarters, and consequently with more disastrous results.  They waver, the officers draw their swords and endeavor to force them to advance, but again, we pour another volley into them and the rout becomes complete.

As they fall back our sharpshooters are sent out again.  This time they are warmly received.  Almost every tree is covered by the rifles of the enemy and our brave boys are shot down almost as fast as they advance.

At about 4 o’clock, p. m., the 1st Division of our Corps advanced, supported by General Butterfield’s 3rd Division, and the fighting became desperate, the enemy being slowly driven back into his entrenchments.

We remained in our old position until about 5 o’clock, p. m. a large number of wounded being brought back to us, attesting the severity of the engagement, at which time we were ordered to move forward in line of battle.

The enemy had been driven into his line of works, and our Division having rested several hours was selected to storm them.  Forward we moved, thro’ brush, thickets, briars and brambles, coming up to the first line of our men lying on the ground, we passed over them and pressed forward.  Soon the second and last line was reached, and by this time we were in full sight of the enemy and his works, when suddenly he opened on us with artillery and musketry, the very earth trembling with the con­cussion.  One shell disabled W. E. Fausnacht, William E. Seesholtz, and wounding Ellis Noll, Ed. Fisher and Luther Parks of our company and six men of B Company. At his critical moment General Geary come riding up and in a voice sounding above the din of battle, said:

“First Brigade, fix bayonets and charge on that battery!”

Instantly the clinking of the bayonets were heard and the brave boys of the First Brigade moved forward.  But they could not accomplish impossibilities.  The outer line of the abattis was reached.  We were so near the enemy’s lines that we could feel, the heat occasioned by the discharge of his artillery.  Here we were ordered to lie down, this we did and then we began to fire on the artillerists and soon had the satisfaction of driving them away and thus quieting their guns.

At about 8 o’clock, p. m., the last shot was fired, and the first day’s battle over, and quietness settled over the field.  During the night both sides attended to their wounded and making a distribution of their troops for the morrow’s battle.

 

CHAPTER LXXXI

During the night our regiment became separated, the left of the regiment moved by the left flank under command of Col. Craig whilst the right moved by the right flank under command of Col. Pardee, thus forming a gap in the center of the regiment.  After moving around for a considerable time in the dark, a number of the boys getting within the rebel lines and with great difficulty escaped being captured, the regiment was again brought together.

We were at once placed in line and ordered to keep a sharp look-out for fear that the enemy might move on us and drive us from our position.  Soon after we were placed in line Serg’t Schroyer came up and inquired “why, we were facing towards the rear?”

This question caused considerable of a discussion in the ranks and finally ended in persuading the Sergeant that he was wrong, whereupon he took his position in line and faced in the same direction that we did.

As soon as the first sign of the approach of day was heralded by the soft gray tints in the eastern sky, the enemy fired a volley over our heads, and causing such a right-about face as we never before witnessed.  Schroyer’s position had been correct, and here we had been laying all night with our backs towards the enemy.

We proceeded at once to build a line of works, and never did men work with a better effect, and by ten o’clock we had a line of breast-works finished that proved admirable protection against the bullets of the enemy.

We remained in our works until about 8 o’clock, p. m., a continuous fire being kept up all the time        between the skirmishers, and who were about as strong as an ordinary line of battle, at which time we moved to the rear in a ravine, where we were ordered to get our dinner, it being the first opportunity we had of cooking a morsel of food for fully twenty-eight hours.  It did not take us very long to prepare a supper of fried beef, crackers and coffee, nor to dispose of it either.

After eating, we were informed that we would remain in out present place over night.  No sooner was this made known, than we spread our blankets upon the ground and soon had stretched our cramped and weary limbs out upon them.  In the mean time the firing in our front became more general, the balls “zipping” harmlessly over our heads, but the number of wounded men that were carried back past us, attested to the accuracy of the aim of the Johnnies.

The night passed away without anything more serious than a number of false alarms, caused by the rapid firing every time the pickets were relieved.  In the morning, after breakfast, we were moved up in the works and relieved the regiment that had taken our place in the evening.  The rebels observing that something un­usual was going on, opened upon us with a volley from their breast-works, to which our regiment promptly responded.

No sooner had the firing ceased than the air was filled with the most sickening smell that it ever was our lot to come in contact with.  It was caused by the bullets striking the dead bodies which had laid exposed to the hot sun between the two lines for two days.  An attempt had been made by our officers under a flag of truce, to secure the burial of the slain, but owing to the fact that many of our men had fallen within an easy stone’s throw of the rebel works, they did not, deem it prudent to allow this, as it would have given our officers a better knowledge of their position.

The regiment which we had relieved had scarcely got back to the ravine where we had rested during the night, ere the rebels opened upon them with a battery, one shell killing and wounding quite a number of the men.

We remained in the works all day and night, continually har­assed by the firing of the enemy, being compelled to keep our heads down behind the works for as soon as a part of the body was exposed it would prove a target for rebel bullets.  On the morning of the 28th of May, Saturday, we were relieved and moved back to the ravine again.  Here we remained during the day, glad to be allowed to stretch out our cramped up limbs.

It was during the time that we laid here that Serg’t. Witherspoon of Company B, was killed while in the act of bringing water to cook his dinner.  The unfortunate man was fully three ­fourths of a mile from the rebel lines thus showing how far an Enfield rifle was able to do effective service.  Although not a member of our company, the loss at the Sergeant was felt by our boys, owing to our friendly relations with his company.

The following day, being Sunday, May 29, we were expecting to be mov­ed back into the works.  In this we were doomed to disappointment, but by 10 o’clock, a. m., from the unusual hustle and activity among the aids and orderlies, we knew that something more than ordinary was contemplated and our suspicions were soon put to rest by the orders which we received from regimental head-quarters, to the effect to “be ready to move upon the enemy’s works at one o’clock.”

This was indeed a trying moment for the nerves of the boys, for well they knew that an attempt to carry the enemy’s works would be followed by a fearful slaughter, and would in all probability end in a miserable failure in the end, but then it was not our privilege to ask the reason why, it was ours only to do or die.  The regiments were already drawn up in line, and we tremblingly awaited the command to move forward.

General Sherman had heard of the intended charge of General Hooker’s troops and had humanely countermanded the rash order, and thus no doubt saved the lives of thousands of the 20th Corps.  When the order coun­termanding the charge was read to us, the elongated faces of the men soon assumed the wonted smiles, and old W. Tecumseh at once became a great commander.

In the night the enemy made an attempt to carry our works by an assault but which proved a miserable failure, the enemy was severely punished.  In the morning the 30th of May, we were again moved up into the breast-works and kept under fire which was very severe, the enemy endeavoring to re­taliate on us for their loss on the previous night.

Immediately in our front stood a large oak free, a little in advance of the skirmish line and from behind which ten soldiers were shot, and from this it was named the “Fatal Tree.”

We remained under fire until Wednesday June 1st, when we were relieved by a Division belonging to the 15th Army Corps.  It was here that we first saw General John A. Logan, he was dressed in a blouse and cavalry pantaloons, looking almost as rough as we did, and would have been readily taken for a line officer had it not been for his fine, commanding appearance which was added to by a heavy black mustache and a pair of piercing black eyes.  Our attention was at once called to him and asking one of his escort who he was, we received in reply: “That, sir, is fighting Johnny Logan.”

After we were relieved, we moved back out of range of the enemy’s bul­lets and moving towards the left of our line, a move was commenced that was destined to end in driving the Rebel Army from their stronghold and to assist in gaining for General Sher­man the reputation of being one of the leading strategists of modern times.

 

CHAPTER LXXXII

We marched about three miles to the left, when it commenced to rain.  We were soon brought to a halt by heavy firing in our front, which proved to be the 23rd Corps engaging the enemy.  We were deployed in a line of battle and moved forward in a beating rain. After advancing about  half a mile we were ordered to halt and make ourselves comfortable.  Which, under the circumstances, owing to the rain and the firing, was much easier said than carried into effect.

The rain continued to come down and as night was coming on and there being no indication of a further move, we proceeded to put up quarters to protect us from the elemency of the weather.  While we were engaged in putting poles for our tents, several ten-pound shells were thrown uncomfortably near to us, which did no other injury than to scare us a little, and put us in dread of having the experiment repeated almost any moment.

On the following day we had regimental muster and inspection, and our arms having been out in the rain, as well as having been used in a vigorous campaign of over a month, presented anything but a dazzling appearance, nevertheless, with considerable rubbing, greasing and burnishing, we got them so that they passed muster.

The skirmishing in our front was continued with the usual variations sometimes almost dying away and at other times swelling out into the proportion of a regular battle, frequently causing us to make preparations to fall in and be ready to move to the support of the front line.

We remained in the same position until morning of the 6th of June, Monday, when it was discovered that the enemy had retreated, evacuating a strong and well chosen position.  We broke camp about eight 0’clock, and marched to Marietta Cross Roads, about five miles, here our advance came up with the enemy and the army came to a halt.

Orders were issued to the men to put up temporary quarters as it was probable that we would remain here for a week or ten days.

We remained in camp until the 11th of June.  Nothing of any importance occurred during our stay here, except the fact that an extra amount of commissary stores were issued to the men and the usual amount of pranks were committed, and as usual under the circumstances, Company G, had its usual share of offenders.  A number of the officers of the various companies in the regiment had been indulging in a little too much “tangle-foot,” unfortunately selected the wrong night as Colonel Pardee was Officer of the Day.  They had congregated in Lt. Willett’s tent and were having a high old time, when the Colonel came down on them and gobbled Lieutenant Willett, the rest escaped.  The Colonel ordered a guard placed over the tent, as he was leaving the tent he stumbled over the prostrate body of one of the members of Company B.  Colonel Pardee prodded the man with his foot, sternly asking:

“Who are you?”

The man straightened himself up as best he could and replied:

“Amos B. Clark, Company B, 147th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 20th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, now who are you?”

The Colonel politely told him who he was and then calling a guard he ordered Clark to be taken to the guard house.

In the morning when Lieutenant Willett awoke, he tried to get out of his tent, he found a guard placed over his tent and when told that he must stay in, he said:  “Oh, I have been promoted, have I?”

When told of his arrest he took it very good naturedly.  After the new Officer of the Day had been appointed the guard was relieved, and the Lieutenant was again, to use his own words, “reduced to the rank of Lieutenant.”

On the morning of the 14th, we broke camp and moved towards the front.  Firing was going on all morning and from all appearance an engagement was about being brought on.

 

CHAPTER LXXXIII

At about 10 o’clock, p. m., we came in sight of Pine Mountain, a cone like elevation upon which the enemy were strongly entrenched and which was the key to the rebel position.

From our position we could plainly see the enemy, whilst their burnished arms glistened in the sun, and from which we could plainly trace the movement of their troops.  It was clearly evident an engagement would in all probability take place shortly.

It was whilst we were laying here that the rebel Major General Leonidas Polk, was killed by a shell from one of our batteries.  I am aware that the position which I take upon the question at issue will expose this article to criticism, nevertheless I shall feel myself called upon to state what was at the time it occurred currently reported in our command.

A number of rebel officers had gathered on the brow of Pine Mountain, and  were evidently making observations; Knap’s Battery being placed in position in the front line, Serg’t. Atwood of the Battery, seeing the group of rebels on the mountain sighted one of the guns, a ten-pound rifle parrot, and firing the piece, the missile sped true to its aim, and bursting above the group one of the fragments killed the rebel general, Bishop Polk.

Our signal corps interpreted the rebel signal dispatches, and thus it was announced to our army in a very brief time after its occurrence, and at time it happened Knap’s Battery was credited with the deed.

We lay in line all day, in the woods in rear of the main line, and passed the night in the same position.  On the following morning, June 15th, our regiment was reinforced by Company I, giving us nine companies in place of eight, as heretofore.

While laying here Lewis Millhoff, Corporal VonNeida and several of the other boys visited an old log house on the mountain, (the rebels having skeedaddled) and brought a lot of castor oil beans with them and shared the same out among the boys of the company, and they were devoured with the greatest relish.

At about 9 o’clock, a. m., our Division was moved rapidly to the front and soon came up with the enemy.  Our regiment was at once sent forward to skirmish with the enemy.  First Company B, only was deployed and the remainder of the regiment was held in reserve, and moved forward at supporting distance, the enemy opened on us with a battery, and the skirmishers becoming too hardly pressed, our Company was deployed, and was moved to the support of Company B, and a more pitiable set of looking soldiers than some of our boys were, we never beheld, the castor oil beans were  doing their work most efficiently, a number of the boys were compelled to lie down on the skirmish line, and vomited and purged at a fearful rate.  The men of the other companies who were not in on the secret thought our men were full of “tangle-foot.”  One of the sufferers answered one of the men thusly: “Oh, no, not drun—drun—drun-c-k, but deathly sick.”

The skirmishing was kept up lively until about 4 o’clock, p. m., at which time we pressed back the enemy into his breastworks, and General Geary determined to carry the rebel breastworks at the point of the bayonet. One of the Corporals of our company was sent out to bring the skirmishers back, and in doing so several of the men came near being shot by the officers of the advancing column, who naturally supposed that they were attempting to skulk out of the fight.  After considerable difficulty most of the men of our com­pany got back, excepting Daniel Ehrhart who moved on with the charg­ing column, and the regiment formed in a little ravine, after which we were moved to the left to protect the flank of the attacking column.  Fixing bayonets, the greater portion of our men having fired their ammunition away, we left faced and con­tinued to move to the left, while on our way we met Ehrhart coming out of the fight wounded in the shoulder, a little further on we passed Major Moses Veale of Geary’s staff, seated under a tree, and pointed to his left breast from which the crimson tide was flowing; we soon reached the edge of the woods, when lo and behold, the rebel breast-works appeared in full view, filled with Johnnies, not over a hundred yards from us.  The surprise appeared to be mutual, and not a shot was fired at us.  We were promptly ordered to lie down, an order which it certainly did not take us very long to comply with.  Again Providence favored our regiment, as we had halted upon a little rise of ground and creeping behind it we were safe as long as we kept our heads down, and this we could easily do.

The fighting on our right was very severe and now the rebels in our front opened on us from their breast-works and although the minnie balls did not really do us much harm they did the next thing to it, almost scared us to death.

At this critical time, a detail was made from each company to go to the rear for ammunition.  John P. Haas was sent from our company and dangerous mission it was.  The brave Haas soon came back with a box containing a 1000 rounds, 57 caliber, and seating himself upon his haunches to pant a little, and was telling us how narrowly he escaped being shot, when he was struck in the abdomen with a minnie ball.  He fell, then sprang up on his feet again.  Lieut. Parks ordered him to drop his rifle so that he might account for it as lost on the field of battle.  We only state the latter command to show how the death or fatally wounding of a man was looked upon.  Haas threw down his gun and took off his accouterments and started for the rear.  Henry Brown asked permission to help him back.  This was the last time we ever saw Haas, though we subsequently learned that he died during the night.

Our troops failed in their attempt to carry the rebel breast-works, and soon after dark the fighting ceased.  Our regiment was moved back a short distance and here we were ordered to put up breast-works.  We went to work in good earnest and by midnight we had tolerable fair works completed.  In the morning we found that our line of works were erected in a parallel line with the direction the enemies shot and shell were fired, thus giving the enemy the advantage of an enfilading fire.  Colonel Pardee, as ever alive to the responsibilities resting upon him as the commander of a regiment, moved us out, and fortunately for us, we had scarcely left the works before the enemy opened upon the deserted works, with a battery of artillery, and the logs were sent flying in every direction. Captain John Q. Mercer of Company E, who had remained in the breast-works to finish his breakfast was struck with a fragment of a shell and one of his limbs was knocked off.

We were moved to the right and rear of the front line of battle, which was protected by a heavy line of earth-works, here we remained during the day and were subjected to one of the most severe artillery fires we ever experienced, but owing to our sheltered position we escaped without any serious injury.

 

CHAPTER LXXXIV

ERATTA.  Before moving to the rear of the line of works as stated in the last chapter, we were moved up to the front, on the left flank of the line of works, on the side of a small sloping rise of ground.  Here as soon as it was day light, the enemy opened a fire on us, we could plainly see their breast-works, and they undoubtedly had a clear view of us.

While we were engaged in eating our breakfast, Solly App, was struck in the face with a minnie ball, which had struck the ground and glancing upward hit him on the cheek, Solly looked up at Jerry, and with blood running down his cheek, said:

“That was pretty close, Jerry.”

The rebels continued to fire quite lively and annoyed us considerable wounding a number of the members of the regiment.  Finding that we were uselessly exposed, the Colonel moved us in the rear of the works.

While we were laying in the rear of the works in the after­noon, and during a lull in the firing, an incident occurred which we never could account for and which has always been a great mystery to all members of the company.

A man mounted on a black horse and with a gum Poncho thrown over himself, jumped his horse over our breastworks and deliberately rode out into the field and rode down along the line of works and returned, in view of the skirmishers of both armies, and strange to say not a single shot was fired at him by either side.  Whilst no one had been able to show his head above the breast-works without drawing the enemy’s fire.  Who he was or what he was doing, are questions that often came to our mind and will never be satisfactory answered, it is fair to presume.

The enemy kept up a heavy artillery fire all afternoon and until late at night, and when the morning of the 17th dawned it was discovered that the enemy had evacuated his heavy line of works, and we were soon on the move and took possession of them.

Our halt was of short duration and moving forward we came up with the enemy, and commenced to skirmish with them about dinner time.  The skirmishing was kept all day and toward evening when we succeeded in gaining a position on a rise, where we proceeded to put up works.

The enemy was in position on a high knob from which they fired down into our lines.  The men put up their dog tents as protection against the rays of the sun, and in order to be secure from the enemy’s minnie balls, they made a barricade of rails around their tents.

Serg’t. Samuel Reily of Company E was shot and killed whilst laying in his tent and enjoying a smoke.  Wm. S. Keller was frying some liver in a pan which he was holding over the fire by the handle, had a bullet shot plum through the bottom of the pan.  Will looked up with a comical smile on his face and turning towards the rebel position, he shook the pan at them and said:

“Shoot a little higher next time, just see you have spilled my grease and ruined my pan.”

During the night the rebels attempted to steal upon us in the darkness and make a midnight attack upon us but finding that we were on our guard and ready for them they did not make the attempt.

Old Leather-breeches’ Battery did excellent service at this place, firing by volley, as was his wont, thus adding to demor­alize the enemy, in place of firing one gun at a time, he would discharge the six guns, thus causing six shells to explode at one point at the same time, and in which case most generally some person got hurt.

On the morning of the 19th of June, Sunday, we found that the enemy had evacuated their position, and we at once pushed after, and by 9 o’clock, a. m., in the midst of a soaking rain we again came up with their skirmishers.

We pressed forward, driving the enemy before us until about noon, when we came to a halt.  Col. Candy, our Brigade comman­der, rode up to our regiment and directed Cal. Pardee to send out three men to discover the position or location of a certain road on which his Brigade was to take up a position.

The Col. turned to Captain Byers and directed him to detail three men from his company.  The Captain detailed Will Keller, James W. Smith and the writer.

We started out, after receiving instructions from both Candy and Pardee to advance cautiously until we came up to the first cross-road when one of us was to come back to the regiment and report.

We were also informed that the 23rd Corps’ skirmishers were in our front.  We deployed and advanced until we arrived at an open field, here we halted and consulted as to whether we should advance or not.  Finally it was agreed to advance, which we did until we arrived in the middle of the open space, when we were halted by a low whistle from Smith, who had discovered that we were running into a trap.  We looked ahead of us and saw a sight that almost made our hair stand on end.  In our front as well as to our right and left we discovered the masked works of the enemy, filled with Gray-backs.

We about faced, and started for the rear, when the enemy opened a hot fire on us, the minnie balls whistled all around us, striking the ground in front and behind us, the clothing of my comrades were pierced in several places.  Keller stopped in the midst of the leaden hail and picked up a rebel knapsack which had been dropped during the retreat, bearing it with him in safety back to the cover of the woods.

The Brigade was rapidly brought to our assistance.  The line halted in the edge of the woods and we at once proceeded to put up a strong line of works.

Keller opened the knapsack he had picked up and found a large plug of rebel cavandish and as he did not use the weed, he divided it out among the boys who received it with unmistakable signs of satisfaction.

By evening we had a strong line of entrenchments built and unfurling our colors we planted them in the works and would have been highly delighted at the prospect of having the enemy attempt to capture them.

We remained in line all night without anything unusual taking place.  On the following morning a warm fire was opened up between the pickets and in which a number of our regiment were killed and wounded.  Among the number killed being Nick Grimm of Company E and Captain Samuel F. M’Kee of Company H.  The death of Captain M’Kee was the result of an accident, and was occasioned by the accidental discharge of a gun in the hands of Jonathan Halderman a private of Company E.  The Captain was stationed on a loft in an old log house, and was firing at a squad of rebels in a rifle pit, and Halderman loaded the gun for him.  In his hurry to load the gun he forgot to put the hammer down after he primed, and when told of his neglect, he went to leave the hammer down and the gun was discharged the ball entering the abdomen of the Captain and fatally wounding him.

The Captain was placed upon a stretcher and was brought back past the regiment on his way back to the hospital.  Col. Pardee spoke to the wounded man expressing his regret and symp­athy at his misfortune.  Captain M’Kee replied, that he did not care to die, he only regretted that he was not shot by the enemy instead of by his own men.  He was taken back to the hospital and died of his wound.

In the afternoon of the same day we were relieved by the 4th Corps and moved down to the right.  We moved until nearly midnight when we came to a halt.  Part of the regiment was placed on picket.  Daylight found us near the enemy’s line of works near Kennesaw Mountain.

In the morning we moved back a short distance and then formed a line of battle we advanced several hundred yards and then put up a line of works.  The Rebels threw a number of shells at us but they were unable to get the right range and as a natural consequence they flew harmlessly over our heads.

 

CHAPTER LXXXV

On the following day we advanced a short distance until we reached the top of a hill, here we halted and proceeded to erect a line of breast-works under a terrible fire from the enemy’s infantry.

We succeeded in erecting a good line of works without any great damage inflicted upon us, although a number of the men of our regiment were wounded.

During our stay in this line of works one of the members of our company, Jack Grant, was killed.  He was sent out on the skirmish line and was in a pit with Yankee Garman.  He stood up in the pit, fully exposed to the aim of the Rebel skirmishers.  Poor Jack appeared to lead a charmed life, but after several hours exposure, he was shot in the breast, at the same time a rebel minnie ball plunged itself into the muzzle of his rifle.

When Jack fell, he tore his clothing from his person, and then placing his head upon his arm he expired without a groan.

Word was soon sent up to our company that one of our men had been either killed or badly wounded.  Will Keller with his characteristic bravery made up his mind to see who it was, started out over the breast-works and leisurely proceeded down towards the skirmish line.  The ground over which he was com­pelled to advance was in full view of the rebel skirmishers, and the enemy opened up a lively fire on him.  Keller got down on his knees and crawled down to the pit, where Grant had been killed.

After Keller found Jack was dead, he threw his coat over him and again started out on his dangerous trip back to the works, where he arrived in safety, after making several very narrow escapes.

In the evening, as soon as it was sufficiently dark for their purpose, Will Keller, Freddy Ulrich, and several others whose names we have forgotten started out and succeeded in bringing the dead body of Grant up to our line of works.  We proceeded to dig a grave on the outside of the breastworks.  The Johnnies heard the grubbing and imagining that we were strengthening our line of works, or perhaps supposing we were making arrangements to plant a battery, and accordingly they opened a brisk fire upon us and the minnie balls flew around us like hail.  After making a number of stops we succeeded in digging a grave of about two feet or eighteen inches and when we put him in the shallow grave we found that his arm was crooked and that it stuck out, one of the boys took hold of it and pressed it down to his side, break­ing it off with a snap, and hastily covered him over with a few inches of earth.  We wrapped him up in a shelter tent, as his coat dropped off in the attempt to bring him back to the breast­works.  We never witnessed a more pitiful sight than the burial of poor Jack Grant.

On the 24th  of June the enemy attacked our first Division about half-a-mile to our left.  We had a fair view of the engagement and became so much interested in it, that we did not notice that the enemy had opened on us with his batteries.  The rebels exposed their flank and General Geary opened fire upon them, and sent a number of shells into their ranks cutting large gaps into the advancing columns and they soon were driven back.

On the 25th, the enemy opened fire upon the 4th Corps, with their heavy batteries, on our right.  During the cannonading Lt. Parks got up on the breast-works, and watched the effect of the shells which burst in our lines.

A rebel sharpshooter took advantage of the mark presented by Lt. Parks, and sent a bullet through his head, the ball entered to the right of his right eye and came out behind his left ear.  Levi J. Romig, was standing up in the works searching his shirt for gray-backs, and when the ball struck the Lieu­tenant, his legs slipped out from under him and a number of the boys thought he was wounded, and it was not until James W. Smith, who at the time was standing near Parks gave the alarm that it was the Lieutenant that had been hit.

A number of us went to his assistance and found him curled on a heap, having fallen from the top of our works to the bottom of the ditch, a distance of twelve feet whilst the blood was flowing from both where the bullet entered and escaped as well as from his mouth.  Four of the boys picked him up and carried him behind the works and at once sent for a surgeon.  He had been placed upon his back and the blood gathered in his throat and had we not turned him on his face he would have strangled for us.

He recovered consciousness before the Surgeon arrived, and the first words he spoke was, “who threw that stone?’

The boys had a fashion of taking a small pebble and placing it on the thumb and finger snapping it into the face of some one unexpectedly, for the sole purpose of seeing the person dodge imagining that it was a minnie ball.  This was the impression made on the Lieutenant, he thought, as he has frequently informed us since then, that one of the boys had taken a larger stone than was generally used and in consequence he had been hit much harder than had been intended by the one who threw the stone.

Parks reached up to his head with both hands and forced a finger of each hand into the wound, and it was with great difficulty that his hands could be forced down.

Dr. Longshore, our regimental surgeon soon arrived and the first question that Parks asked, was:

“Doc, will I recover?’

The Doctor replied, “Oh, I hope so, at least.”

“Then I am good for a furlough!” was Parks’ cheerful reply.

The Doctor answered “Yes,” and then turning around to some one standing near, said sotto voice:

“I am afraid that the poor fellow will get a long, long, furlough.”

A stretcher was brought up and the Lieutenant was placed on it but not until we had confiscated the Lieutenant’s canteen which was nearly full of Commissary, and he was then carried back to the Division Hospital.  The members of the company took as they supposed a farewell look at him as none of us expected him to recover.  The next day the writer obtained permission to go to the hospital to see him, where we found him stretched out in one of the hospital cots, his head all bandaged up, whilst it was swollen to almost twice its natural size.  We found him in good spirits and fully confident that he was going to recover and anxiously awaiting the time when he should be allowed to go home on a furlough.

On the following day after the Lieut. was wounded John Mull was wounded while out on the skirmish line, the ball passing through a gum blanket which he had twisted in a roll and slung over his shoulder and cut some forty holes in it and then passed down along his leg cutting eight or ten holes into his pantaloons and finally entered his foot taking off several toes.

When Hofer, Mull’s mess, mate heard that he was wounded he appeared pretty well satisfied since they had just drawn rations, and Peter being a pretty good feeder, got Mull’s rations.  Thus proving the correctness of the old saw, ‘its an ill-wind that blows nobody good.”

On the 27th of June we advanced in a regular line of battle, the enemy opening upon us with musketry and artillery.  We drove the enemy back fully one-half a mile and put up a new line of works.

During the cannonading a shell or shot struck a rail which Johnny Mark was carrying on his shoulder and sent it flying into the air.  Several other very narrow escapes were made but no one of the members of the company were injured.

Here the gallant Major Simms of the 5th Ohio was mortally wounded whilst in charge of the skirmish line.  Our Brigade lost a faithful and gallant officer.

 

CHAPTER LXXXVI

We succeeded in putting up a good line of works and re­mained in them until the 30th ult., when we were relieved by the 14th Corps and moved to the right of the line and relieved the 22nd Corps, which took up a position on the left flank of the enemy.

We took possession of the line of works constructed by the 22nd Corps, and at once commenced to skirmish the enemy.

During the time we remained in these works, Corp. VonNeida was wounded.  Knap’s Battery had been planted on a knoll in the rear of our works and was firing upon the rebels the shells being defective through the pieces of lead which fitted the shells to the bore of the guns.  It was one of these pieces that struck Corporal VonNeida whilst he was engaged in cooking his supper.

During Saturday night, July 2nd, the rebels retreated, having been flanked out of their position.

On the morning we started in pursuit and by ten o’clock, we came up to the rebel breast-works, it having. taken us several hours to move a distance of half a mile.

In the line a house was standing and behind which a rebel battery had been planted.  On the eastern wall of one of the rooms, some rebel had penciled the following notice, using a piece of charcoal.  The following is a copy of the notice as, we remember it, not having taken a copy of it at the time:

 

      NOTICE.

To Joe. Hooker’s Corps.

      “This is the Battery that gave Joe Hooker’s Blue bellied Yankees, h--1, at New Hope Church, and we would most cordially invite you’ns to spend your 4th of July in the neighborhood of Atlanta, and we obligate ourselves to provide all the fire-works you may need.”

 

After a short rest we pushed on after the Johnnies and soon came up with the rear guard, when a lively engagement was brought on between the skirmishers of the two armies and which was carried on lively during the. day, night coming on hostilities ceas­ed and before the morning dawned the enemy had retreated again, leaving us masters of the situation.

The morning of the 4th of July, the Nations birthday, dawned bright and beautiful, and when the discovery was made that in all probability we would remain in our present camp or position the greater part of the day.  The various regimental colors were at once unfurled, and the bands attached to Divisions and Brigades played the several national airs, and when we learned that we were to receive a ration of commissary, the measure of our patriotism was full and complete.

At about 10 o‘clock, a. m., we were regaled with the whisky, and in a very short time, quite a number of our men, the writer among the number, were soon chuck full of patriotism, drawn in a great measure, from the canteen.

We were encamped in the vicinity of an old mill, and the boys had considerable sport in the water, and several of them who had became too patriotic, nearly drowned in the water of the dam.

In the afternoon, about 4 o’clock, we were ordered out in line, and our skirmish line was advanced.  Quite a brisk little engagement was carried on until nearly midnight, when the ene­my withdrew.

On the morning of the 5th, we broke camp and moved in pursuit of the enemy, and at a little before noon we arrived on an eminence where we had our first view of the church spires of the city of Atlanta.

A   dense smoke overhung the site of the city and Col. Griggs of our company informed the boys that the smoke was occasioned by the Georgia Militia cooking their coffee, and he remarked that from the amount of smoke, they were boiling it good and strong.

We moved to within about two miles of the Chatahoochie River and went in­to camp where we remained over night.  On the following day we were relieved by the 23rd Corps and moved in the rear of the 14th Corps.  Having moved a distance of about 4 miles.  Here we remained over night.

On the following morning we broke camp and moved to the left of the 14th Corps, where we were formed in line of battle.  We marched a distance of 5 miles.

On the following day we remained in camp all day, and in the afternoon we were visited by Serg’t. John Keller an uncle of Will’s, and a former resident of Selinsgrove, and who belonged to one of the Illinois regiments in Gen. Logan’s Corps.  We were very glad to meet with him and passed a very pleasant time in speaking about the absent and dear ones, our mutual friends.

We remained in camp until the 15th of July when we moved a short distance nearer the river.  Here we were ordered to put up summer quarters.  This we no sooner had accomplished than ordered to be ready to move.

On Sunday the 17th of July, we broke camp and moved to Isham’s Ferry, at which place we crossed the Chatahoochie River, and encamped.  We traveled about 10 miles.  It was dark when we came to a halt, and not knowing how near to the enemy we might be, we were not allowed to kin­dle fires and were consequently compelled to do without our coffee, and could do no better than munch our hard-tack greased with salt pork and wash it down with a cup of water from a neighboring swamp.  We soon sought our soldier couch and vainly attempted to snatch a few hours sleep but the mosquitoes in innumerable numbers put in their appearance, making it impossible for us to sleep but very brief in­tervals between bites.  Considerable merriment was occasioned during the night by Col. Griggs who took his shelter tent and tied himself fast by his heels, and when asked what he was tying himself to that tree for? he re­plied:

“Do you think that I am going to allow these gaul darned secesh musketeers to carry me over into the Johnnies lines?”

The morning at last dawned and we were soon on our onward march.  We moved along quietly without anything particular occurring until the afternoon of the 21st of July, when we came up with the enemy and a warm skirmish was at once commenced and by about 4 o’clock, p. m., the rebels were driven across Peach Tree Creek, and we soon crossed and took up our position on its southern bank.

We at once proceeded to fortify and by ten o’clock at night, we had a line of works completed, after which we threw ourselves upon the. ground and soon forgot the fatigues of the day in refreshing slumber.

At about 8 o’clock, on the following morning we were ordered to advance and having been taken from the rear on the previous day and placed at the head of the Brigade, by command of Col. Candy, and this morning we had our position in the rear of the Brigade by virtue of our position on the previous day.

We advanced a short distance when we came to a halt, the enemy had been discovered in our immediate front.

We were at once thrown into line, our regiment was placed in position on a little rise, whilst the other part of the Brigade and Division was drawn up in line in the woods and across a ravine of considerable width.  We at once proceeded to put up a hastily erected line of breast-works.  The rear rank of the regiment remained in line  ready to repel any attack that might be suddenly made, whilst the front rank was busily engaged carrying together rails, stones, stumps, logs, and any other articles that could be procured that in any manner might afford us protection from the enemy’s bullets in case they might attack us, and as may well be imagined under the circumstances, it did not take us long to put up tolerable strong works.

Owing to the formation of the ground the 12 pieces of artillery belonging to the Division were placed in our regimental line, two pieces being placed in, our company’s works.

We remained in our works until about 2 o’clock, in the afternoon, at which time we received orders to be ready to fall in.  The 33rd New Jersey Regiment advanced boldly in column of fours, taking the hospital department, Surgeon and steward, along with them.  General Geary and part of his staff followed in the wake of the regiment.

We did not anticipate an engagement would be brought on by this advance, and our dropping spirits rose in consequence of this belief.  But suddenly, without a moments notice, a volley of musketry broke forth on the stillness causing the very earth to tremble beneath our feet with the concussion.

General Geary and his party came galloping hack, the old General had dropped his hat and as he came riding past our works, someone said, “old John is badly scared, see he has lost his hat.”

The old General turned in his saddle and cast a look on us that plainly seemed to say:

“If I only had time, I would make you repent that,” but the yells of the advancing Johnnies made it his imperative duty to seek a favorable position from which to be best able to direct the movements of his Division.

The rebels advanced upon us like a hurricane, driving every thing before them on our right, and then fiercely threw themselves upon our position.  The batteries in our regiment opened up on the enemy with grape and canister, and at the same time we opened a destructive fire upon the advancing enemy with rifles.

At this juncture the enemy succeeded in driving back the right of our Brigade and poured through the ravine gaining our rear.  At this critical moment the enemy opened upon us from the rear, a number of the horses belonging to the batteries were shot down from the enemy in the ravine in our rear, whilst Captain Magill and a number of his men were wounded in the same manner.

The enemy having driven our entire Brigade back with the excep­tion of our Regiment, now turned their attention to us, and suc­ceeded in capturing two of the guns out of the right of our reg­iment and turning them on us fired two shells down our line, when companies A and F, charged upon them and recaptured them.  The rebels made a determined assault upon our line but were met with as determined a resistance.

Colonel Pardee, our gallant Colonel paced up and down the rear of the regiment, with his saber drawn, and with his battle smile, illuminating his face, he said:

“Old 147th, stand firm, we will hold our position or else all go to Richmond together.”

At this time the 3rd Brigade troops under General Greene left their breastworks and charged down upon the victorious Johnnies, driving them back in great confusion.

By this time the engagement had become general all along the front of our regiments; the enemy was feeling for our flank, and as a gap existed on our left of several hundred yards.  The enemy having made this discovery formed in the woods  several hundred yards in the rear of the main attacking column, and with a terrible yell they swarmed out of the woods and charged down upon the defenseless point.  But General Hooker, our Corps Commander was equal to the emergency.  At the same time that the rebel troops started for this point, our 3rd Divi­sion started forward out of their works to meet them.  The moment was indeed an exciting one to us.  At length the advanc­ing column of Rebels came in range of our guns, a Division of the 14th Corps opened up on them from the left; and now the leading Brigade of the 3rd Division gained the gap and the rebels flew in confusion and thus ended General Hood’s first attempt to annihilate the Union Army.

 

CHAPTER LXXXVII

While the fighting was going on in our front General Geary came up to where we were engaged, and told us if we would hold our line until night Atlanta would be captured, as part of the army under the immediate command of General Sherman had made a detour on the left and were threatening the rear of the Johnnies.  Altho’ at the time we did not believe the General, the events of the next two days proved the statement to have been correct.

The members of our company as well the regiment, suffered severely, owing to the concussion caused by the discharge of the 12 pieces of artillery placed in the regiment.  After the battle the men could scarcely speak to each other, and when they did, it was at the top of their voices.

In the night the enemy came back and gathered up the dead and wounded, and as our skirmishers supposed that the advance was to be general, they opened fire upon them, and the men rushed excitedly into the line, expecting the renewal of hostilities.  It was soon ascertained what the enemy was up to and we retired to our beds after remaining about an hour in line.

As this engagement was really the last regularly pitched battle in which our company and regiment participated, we have concluded to publish the following extract from “Moore’s Rebellion Record, Vol. XI, Page 252.”

 “At noon of the 20th,” says an eye witness of the scene, “Geary advanced to his ‘tete de point,’ and with the assistance of a section of Magill’s Battery succeeded in taking a ridge in his front to which he advanced his Division, formed with Colonel Candy’s Brigade on the left, Colonel Jones on the right, and Colonel Ireland’s in the center, and proceeded at once to erect barricades.  They had just got fairly to work when the fierce shout of the enemy and the confused sound of their mydiad tramp struck the startled ear.  More than half of Geary’s line was in a dense forest filled with underbrush, the remainder faced an open field.  Across the latter it was a brave and terrifying sight.  When we remember that the entire rebel attacking column reached along the front of  but four of our Divisions, it can easily be conceived how massive and deep their formations were.  In the forest the thickets fairly wilted and disappeared under their feet, so closely were they packed and so irresistible their progress.  They came on without skirmishers and as if by instinct, struck Geary’s right flank, where a gap existed, that William’s Division was endeavoring to close.  The four regiments forming the right Brigade were enveloped on their flank and rear in a moment, and cruelly enfiladed.  Subjected to half dozen cross fires, the brigade fell back hastily to the trenches it had left in the morning.  To remain would have been annihilation.  Portions of Colonel Ireland’s Brigade were also torn to pieces by the withering cross-fires, and fell back after repeated gallant efforts to re-form their line to return the fire on flank and rear.  The moment was a desperate one.  The enemy was almost within the grasp of Lieutenant Bundy’s Battery on the right but he suddenly wheeled one section from front to right, and by double-shotting the guns with canister, succeeded in repelling the greedy vermin in dirty gray.  *   *   *   *   So bitter was this enfilading fire to which Geary’s position was exposed, that the caissons of the guns that had been taken to the rear for safety were driven back to the front to escape a more disastrous fire that was sustained at the ordinary point of danger.  But the remainder of General Geary’s Division (the Brigade to which the 147th was attached) stood as firm as a rock.  The enemy in vain charged and re-charged from front and right flank.  Until nightfall the unequal contest was waged, but Geary held his hill inflexibly.  The enemy sullenly left his front during the evening, firing spitefully as he retired. *   *   *   *   I have seen most of the battle fields in the department of the South-west, but nowhere have I seen traces of more deadly work, than was visible in the dense woods in which Geary’s right was formed.”

Owing to the protection which our works gave us, and the fact that the enemy attempted to break through our regimental line at the point of the bayonet, charging repeatedly down on us, our loss was trifling compared with the injury inflicted upon the enemy in our immediate front, being only 2 killed and 5 wounded.

On the morning of July 22nd, the enemy having fallen back, we started in pursuit and passed thro’ their deserted works, which we found to be very formidable, erected on the most approved plan of modern engineering, and as we gazed upon them, now so completely unable to do the Yankee army any harm, we certainly felt very well satisfied that the rebels had allowed us to take undisputed possession of them.

While we were leisurely making our way undisputed towards Atlanta, the Rebel Commander, J. B. Hood, was massing his army to strike a decisive blow to our left wing, under command of General James B. M’Pherson, and if possible to destroy the same.

About noon of the 22nd, we reached a slight rise and found ourselves uncomfortably near the outer line of the rebel defenses of the city of Atlanta, and for which we had been steadily pressing forward during the past three months.

We were halted here and soon placed in line of battle.  We were ordered to put up works.  As soon as we had our arms stacked, we unslung knapsacks and speedily proceeded to put up works, and as we did not know but that the enemy might attempt to renew the experiment of the 20th, we worked with a will, and soon had the satisfaction of having a tolerable line of works erected.

During this time we could hear that a heavy engagement was being carried on to our left and which proved to be the rebels attacking M’Pherson’s army by the rebel General Hardee and in which the gallant General James B. M’Pherson lost his life, and which attack if made at the time that it had been ordered by General Hood, co’d scarcely have failed of its desired object, the demoralization of our left wing.  The rebel commander reas­onably supposed that by making a desperate assault on M’Pherson’s Command that General Sherman would weaken his right wing in order to support the hard pressed left, and thus at the proper time throw the mass of his Army upon the weakened right wing of the Union Army, and thus crush it at one blow.

The plan was a feasible one, and only failed on account of Hood’s Generals failing to carry out his instructions as to the time of commencing the attack.  After we completed our works, we attacked the blackberries which grew around our works in great plenty and which we soon cleaned out, since it wo’d take rather a large patch of berries to supply enough for a corps of men for any length of time.

In the evening the enemy opened on our works with a number of guns and for three hours they sent the shot and shell into our works quite lively.  As a matter of course our batteries were not quiet, and a magnificent display of fire-works was produced, but had it not been for the danger which attended the display, it would have been much more enjoyable.

The line of works which we occupied were exposed to an enfilading fire from the enemies batteries, our engineers at once proceeded to lay out a new line of works.  Considerable discussion arose in the company concerning the new works; all, with the exception of Corporal Ulrich, holding that the new works would  subject us to a much more severe enfilading fire.  We moved into them in the afternoon of the 26th, and what was our surprise when the first shot was fired, when in place of coming in on our flank, it flew squarely over us.  Then Freddy had the last laugh on us, and it was sometime before we heard the last of it.

The rebels annoyed us considerably by throwing 64 pound shells at us. The battery threw a shell at us every twenty minutes.  A guard was placed on the works, and whenever the time was almost up, he would call out “time,” and then such a scrambling for the breast-works would take place as was laughable in the extreme, and then silently awaited the report of gun.

 

CHAPTER LXXXVIII

During the time that we remained in the line of investment, a 64 pound she1l was thrown into our breast-works and exploded, killing three men of the 16th Ohio, which lay immediately in our rear.  This was the only time that their shells did any damage in our immediate front, although they frequently almost scared us to death.

On the afternoon of the 28th of July the rebels attacked the 15th Corps, and made a desperate attempt to break our line of investment, but failed in it, being repulsed with great slaughter.

About this time, General Hooker resigned the command of the old 20th Corps, and was succeeded in command by Major General Henry W. Slocum.  The resignation of General Hooker was brought about by the fact that Gen. O. O. Howard was appointed to the command of the Army of the Tennessee, vice General McPherson killed in the battle of the 22nd of July.  The writer of this article has always held that great injustice was done to General Hooker by the Commander of the Department by the appointment of his inferior to the position.  As we have no desire to deal harshly with those in authority, yet we cannot refrain from expressing the opinion that General Sherman was jealous of the growing popularity of General Hooker, and was thus prompted to elevate an officer above him who had neither the confidence of the men or of the officers of the Department.

General Hooker was the idol of the soldiers of the Fighting 20th Corps.  His appearance was the signal for the wildest kind of cheering, it mattered not where he passed along the line, or how tired they were, if they would be halted on the march and resting.  If General Hooker would ride past, the men would spring to their feet and cheer him lustily.  No other officer in the Western Army was ever received in the same manner.  And when he resigned the command of the brave men he had so gallantly led from the Tennessee River to Atlanta he expressed a regret that he could not pass along the line and bid “his boys” farewell, but he was sensible of the fact that his appearance on the front line would call forth the usual enthusiasm, and most especially when they would learn that he was about leaving them, and this might draw the enemies fire on them, and thus be the means of causing a useless destruction of life.  Hence he bade his command adieu by means of a characteristic address, which was received with manifestations of the profoundest regret by the men of his command.

While we lay in front of Atlanta we made the discovery that there were a number of truck patches between the two lines, which were filled with tomatoes, beans, cabbage, potatoes, and in order to get possession of this very desirable food the boys would go out before daylight and help themselves to anything they could lay their hands on, and it not infrequently happened that a number of rebels would come into the patches at the same time our men were and then quite a friendly conversation would be carried on between the parties.  Just as soon as it became light enough to easily distinguish objects, it was time to get out, or be shot.  A number of men who grew too bold and remained in the gardens too long were wounded.

It was while lying in line around the city, that a lady, formerly a citizen of New York, passed through our lines and while passing regimental head-quarters, she beheld our colors furled up and encased in its sheath, she turned around to some of the men and addressed them thus:

“Soldiers, it has been over three years since I looked upon the star banner and I would like to see it once again, will you have the kindness to unfurl it for me.”  The Co1or Sergeant who was standing by did as she requested.  As the bullet tattered old flag waved in the. breeze, she gazed upon it and the tears flowed down her cheeks she said “God bless the old flag, may it soon wave over a united, happy and free people.”  And nev­er was a prayer more heartily respond­ed to by us than was the one just made by the fleeing woman.

Our time was passed in playing checkers, chess and cards.  Some one of the boys made a set of chess men and as no one was master of the game, as may well be imagined we had some heavy games.  Corp. Joseph S. Ulsh took a fancy to the game, he had great difficulty in keeping the names of some. of the pieces, he called the bishop, “Bushbeck,” and to this day he is known by that name among the members of Company G.

During the time we were in line in front of Atlanta, orderly Stuck had a difficulty with a number of the noncoms of the company and he would have reduced us if Col. Pardee had not interfered.

On Wednesday the 10th of Aug., two 20 pound parrot guns were planted in our Division and on the evening of the same day, they opened upon the enemy and the sound of their deep throated thunder, as they belched forth their iron hail, was indeed sweet music to our ears.

Sunday 14th, there was heavy cannonading on our right.

Tuesday 16th, in the evening we got orders to put on our side arms, and be ready to fall in line at a moment’s notice.  During the night the picket line was advanced and John D. Germon and a number of other men in the regiment were taken prisoners.

On Thursday the 18th, the enemy shelled us for about an hour, very se­verely but done us no harm.

On the following morning we returned the compliments of yesterday morning with about six or eight batteries, including some 32 and 64 pound guns; setting the city on fire in less than twenty minutes.

On Thursday night, the 25th, our Corps received orders to make ready to move in a moments notice.  We were strictly cautioned to tie our tin cup that we could move back without making any noise.  At about nine o’clock we received orders to fall in, and we marched all night and by morning we found ourselves back at the Chattahoochie River, and put up breast-works, guarding the fords, ferries and the rail road bridge while the remainder of the army was making a forward movement.

Our Division was deployed for several miles, stationed on all the commanding positions along the river.  Our Company and B Company were stationed together on the extreme right of our Division, about one-fourth of a mile south of the regiment.  The first Division or Red Star boys joined us on the right.

We proceeded to put up breast-works and to fortify the knoll on which we were posted.  Before our works was completed we were informed that we might put up comfortable quarters, and as we were short of entrenching tools, we worked by relief at the earth works whilst those who were not on duty proceeded to put up quarters, and by 3 o’clock, p. m., we had very comfortable quarters erected, although the breast-works were not half completed.  At this time General Geary and his staff came riding up, and seeing our comfortable quarters as well as the neglected breastworks, he jumped from his horse, and in language more pointed than polite, he gave vent to his displeasure, cursing everybody that happened to come before him.

“Bushwhacker,” as Johnny Mark was called, was engaged in cutting down a tree which was standing in the works, and as he did not cut fast enough to suit the old General, he stepped up to Bushwhacker and said:

“Here, let me have that axe and I will show you how to cut wood.”

The axe was handed the General and he made several real powerful strokes, handed the axe back, with the remark.

“The axe is too light or I would cut that tree down in about ten minutes, now you take it and cut the way that a man ought to.”

He then mounted his horse and after putting all the men to work, he rode down along the line, and as far as we could see him go, we considerable noticed commotion among the men and we have no doubt but that “old John,” the name that General Geary went with among the boys, was giving them a good “tongue lashing.”

Gen. Slocum, our old 12th Corps Commander, came to the corps on the 26th and took command of the Corps, which had been commanded by Gen. Williams of the 1st Division.

When we had our breast-works finished it was discovered that they were not sufficient and we were compelled to extend our works about fifty yards, which was done amidst the most profound growling and grumbling, to say nothing of curses and swearing, we ever heard.

On the 31st, a portion of our Brigade was sent out on a reconnoitering expedition, to discover if there were any enemy in our immediate vicinity.  The reconnaissance returned without having met the enemy, or without even having discovered the slightest traces of them.

During the evening of the 1st  of September, between eleven and twelve o’clock, we were awakened by terrible cannonading in the direction of Atlanta, which continued until nearly daylight.  On the morning of the 4th we heard that Atlanta was evacuated.

At about six o’clock, a. m., we were ordered to tear down and pack up, so as to be ready to move at short notice. At about 7 o’clock, p. m., we fell into line and moved in the direction of Atlanta.

We were soon reliably informed by couriers, that the rebels had evacuated Atlanta, and that what we had imagined to be cannonading during the previous night, was the bursting of shells which was occasioned by the rebels destroying ammunition, in order to prevent it from falling into our hands.

We marched along rapidly, but in the best possible spirits, for we were about to reach the goal for which we had striven all summer.  At a little before 2 o’clock, p. m., with colors floating in the breeze and the bands playing the National airs, we marched into the city of Atlanta.

 

CHAPTER LXXXIX

Our entry into the city was indeed a gala day for the colored citizens, the streets were thronged with them, old and young of both sexes, they were almost beside themselves with joy.  With their feet and hands going to the music of our bands and drum corps they would call out:

“Bress de Lord, de Yanks hav kum, bress de Lord now we’s free.”

Occasionally a “smoked Yankee” as we called the negro servants belonging to some of the Union regiments would recognize a friend or relative among the sable crowd, and strike for them in a bee-line, and the most ludicrous scenes would be enacted, the ladies would hug and kiss them, while the men would show their joy in a scarcely, less demonstrative manner.

We marched into the city and camped between the Chattanooga and Atlanta and the West Point railroads.  Before we encamped we passed a number of rebel prisoners which had been captured by the left wing of the army in the vicinity of Jonesboro.  As they moved past us a number of them spoke in boasting tones of how the Southern cause would ultimately triumph in the end; to all of which we responded good naturedly, that General Sherman had started out to find the “last ditch,” but as yet be had not found it because they always stole it and skeedaddled with it before we had an opportunity of taking it.

We moved into position occupying the deserted rebel works between the Marietta and Sandtown Roads, with orders to make ourselves comfortable.

Lewis Millhoff found a hand grenade and taking it to be a rocket, he ignited the fuse and a number of the boys had gathered around him to see the rocket go up.  Orderly Stuck happened to see what Millhoff was doing and realizing the danger which he was exposing himself as well as his comrades to, called to him to extinguish the fuse.

This Millhoff proceeded leisurely to do and then the Orderly told him the danger he had been in.  Lewis proceeded to investigate the “rocket” for his own satisfaction, and removed a large handful of fine powder.  Had not the Orderly stopped this experiment, there is no telling how serious the result might have proven.

Having taken possession of the city we next turned our attention to the appearance of the place.  It contained a number of fine buildings, but a very large number of them, and most especially those in the vicinity of the depots, had been badly damaged by our heavy shot and shell.

We visited several printing offices and found, from the appearance of the rooms, that the material had been removed very unceremoniously.  Type and manuscript covered the floor, one of the 29th Ohio boys, was planing down a form with a sheep-foot.

The citizens had dug large holes in the ground in the rear of their buildings and which they covered over with heavy timber and on these threw a large quantity of earth, and then fitted this bomb-proof up, to sleep in as well as to seek shelter in when­ever our guns were throwing shells in their neighborhood.

We were informed that a number of men, women and children, were seriously wounded by our shells during the siege.  Most of the citizens, most especially those who had the necessary means, left the city when the rebel army evacuated it.  Owing to the usual number of thieves and bummers, accompanying so large an army, undoubtedly much property was wantonly destroyed.

The city was about as large as Harrisburg but was the hilliest city we ever had the pleasure of seeing, the streets in some portions of the place were a continuation of up one hill and down another.

The city contained a fine court house which was transformed into a guardhouse, and where by the way, the writer had the pleasure (?) of spending a night in company with Corporal Wallace, (if we are not mistaken in regard to the Corp. as far as we are concerned we have reason to know that we are not mistaken).  We had been to the theater, which was run by a party of soldiers, and had a pass in our pocket permitting us to be out, but in the early part of the evening a number of soldiers had committed serious depredations upon some of the citizens and orders were given up to the patrol, “arrest all that are found on the streets tonight, officers or privates, pass or no pass.”  In consequence of which arbitrary command all out fell into the hands of the provost guards and were taken to the Courthouse and furnished a nights lodging.

We do not think that we shall ever forget the night we passed in the Atlanta temple of Justice.  The seats had all been removed, and a fire had been kindled in the middle of the floor in a sand box, especially prepared for the purpose, the smoke was wafted all over the room, by reason of the windows being raised on all sides, the room being on the second floor.  The room contained about 150 persons, black and white, as well as from all the Corps in the Army; many of whom were well loaded with benzene, and soon they began quarreling, the whites with the blacks, and they kept it up until the guards were compelled to take the colored men and put them into a separate room, and then the members of the different corps, or at least a few of them, attempted to kick up a row, between themselves.  This was prevented by the Sergeant of the Guard, who brought up a squad of men, and said that if we did not stop the noise and fight­ing, he would order the men to fire into the crowd.  We had a seat on the floor, as far away from the fuss as we could get, fully determined that if any shooting was to be done, they would be compelled to shoot very low.

In the morning, at about 9 o’clock, we were taken down before the Provo Marshall, and had the good fortune to be dis­missed and sent to our quarters.  A number of the men were returned to the smoky room, whilst also a number were sentenced to do fatigue duty.

On the 8th of the month W.S. Keller was detailed as assis­tant issuing Clerk at Brigade head-quarters, and thus for the first time since the company left Bolivar Height in 1862 was Keller and the writer separated, having messed together all the time.

On the 11th, a detail was made out of the regiment for Bri­gade Commissary Guards, of a corporal and two privates.  Samuel Teeter of Company B, and Daniel Kneely of F, and the writer were detailed to report to Lt. Conner at the Brigade Commissary.  Here we were met by a Corporal, and ten privates from the other five Regiments of the Brigade.  Lt. Conner appointed us to take charge of the guard.  And thus we found ourself united with Keller again, and pretty comfortably fixed.

On the 12th, we moved on the South side of the city, between the Sandtown and Cherburg Roads, the right resting on the first mentioned road.

On Thursday afternoon, the 15th, we received orders to be on the lookout, as several rebel deserters came into our lines and reported that the enemy intended to attack us.  The men were put on the qui vive, for a day or two, and then matters settled down to their usual status.

On Monday 19th, Captain Byers came back to the company, re­lieving Lt. Yount of C Company, who had command of the Company the greater part of the time, in connection with Lt. Hummel of Company H, since the time that Lt. Parks was wounded at Kennesaw Mountain.

(The writer has been in error up to this time, having been of the opinion that Captain Byers had been with the Company from Bridgport to Atlanta, which proves to have been not in compli­ance with the facts as recorded by the diary of Comrade Wm. H. Spade, of Union, Mich, extracts from the same being now before us.)

About this time, Sept. 1864, Company K, of our regiment arrived, and a more motley crew we never saw together; Company H, of our regiment, which was always considered as being com­posed of the “odds and ends,” presented quite a genteel appear­ance beside them.  They certainly represented all the National­ities of the globe, excepting the genuine Ethiopian.

They had been recruited in Pittsburgh, with the understand­ing, as they asserted, to be assigned to Knap’s Battery.  Upon their arrival at the Corps head-quarters, and finding the Battery had its full complement of men, they were assigned to our regiment, which up to this time had only been composed of nine companies.

The men declared that they would not take a musket, as they had enlisted with the understanding that they were to be assign­ed to Knap’s Battery and that they would not serve in an Infan­try regiment, and that no officer would make them do so.

 

CHAPTER XC

Matters looked a little blue, the new men looked determined and talked defiantly, whilst those of us who knew the officer, Col. Pardee, whom they had to deal with, felt apprehensive of the result.

The men of the new company were ordered out in line, whilst at the same time Company G, was ordered out armed, and moved up to where the men were quartered.

Colonel Pardee spoke to the men, telling them that it was by no fault of his that they had enlisted or were assigned to his regiment, but it was his duty to see that his command, as the orders of his superior officers, were obeyed, and in conclu­sion stated that five minutes time would be allowed them to take the arms which had been drawn for them, and if they wo’d not comply with that order, the result with its consequences would be upon their own heads.

Our company was given the command, “load at will,” “prime,” after which we were brought to a “parade rest.”

The new men, evidently not relishing the turn affairs were taking, concluded that discretion was the better part of valor, concluded to take their arms and thus saved our company from being compelled to perform a very unpleasant piece of duty.

The company was known as company K, and remained with the regiment until it was mustered out of service at the close of the war.  Serg’t. Fred. H. Knight one of our boys had charge of the command for a long time.  We noticed that the company is not reported in Bate’s history of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, we do not know why the omission.

The city of Atlanta contained a large cemetery, in which a great number of Confederates as well as Union soldiers were buried.  We spent several days in visiting it and reading the inscriptions on the head boards.  Most of the union boys graves were marked as follows:

FEDERAL SOLDIER

Name and Regiment Unknown

Here and there we would find one with the name and regiment to which the deceased had been attached.

About the middle part of September an order was issued by General Sherman allowing application to be made for furloughs, by men having served about two years, and who had not been absent from their respective commands, with or without leave, at the rate of five per cent.  Several applications were made by members of our company, but owing to the fact that the enemy threatened to cut our communications, they were not granted, and thus a number of beautiful air castles were suddenly ruined.

On the 5th of October, we changed camp, moving near the Macon road, about one-and-a-half miles from our old camp.  Here we proceeded to put up quarters and soon had ourselves comfortably fixed.

On Thursday afternoon, October 20, we received orders to be ready to go out on a reconnaissance on the following day.

At daylight on the 21st, everything in the Division was ani­mation and we were again reminded of the many similar scenes we had witnessed during the past two years.

Aides and orderlies were galloping backwards and forwards, carrying orders from Division, Brigade and Regimental Head-­quarters. The camp fires were burning brightly and the men were busily engaged in preparing their morning repast.  The bugles sounded the fall in, and then the various commands formed and moved out into line in the various positions assigned them by their respective Brigade commanders.

By 7 o’clock, a. m., the column was well on the road with its head turned in the direction of Stone Mountain, a cone like shaped elevation, which was visible some eight or nine miles in the distance.

At about 9 o’clock we passed over part of the battle-field on which Gen. M’Pherson had been killed, and which notwithstanding the fact that almost three months had passed since the battle, the ground bore unmistakable trances of the manner in which the field was contested.

We moved to the right leaving Stone Mountain several miles to our left.  ­We passed through the town of Decatur, which we found almost deserted by its inhabitants, save a few old people of both sexes; we also crossed the South River a small stream, and went into camp, having traveled about 13 miles.  The wagon train, which consisted of 54 wagons and 17 ambulances did not get into park until long after dark.

On the following day it became apparent that the Division had come on a foraging expedition.  The teams were sent out in every direction under the escort of the regiments, and re­turned to the camp they had left in the morning, pretty well loaded down with forage for the teams, whilst the men also came back loaded down with all manner of supplies, having captured everything in the provision line that they could lay their hands on.

This was the first general foraging­ expedition that we ever were out on and we enjoyed it very much, and after we got into camp we soon prepared a general thanksgiving supper in which, chickens, geese, pork, sweet potatoes, honey, &c., formed the principal part of the fare, and the amount of provision that was stored away in a very short time, was really astonishing.

On the following day we broke camp and moved homeward.  Encamping near Decatur over night.  On the following morning early we again started on the move, and reached camp about one o’clock.

On the 5th of November the regiment broke camp and moved about two miles South of Atlanta, on the Macon Pike and went into camp.

On the following day, Sunday the 6th, we returned to our old camp.

On the 8th, Tuesday, was election day being the first time that the sol­diers were permitted to vote.

The election passed off very quietly and was concluded in a spirit of justice and fairness that was greatly at variance with the assertion of the enemies of the measure.

On the day after the election the enemy made an attack upon our line of works, planting a battery of artillery on a knoll, about three hundred yards from our works, and the first indication we had of their presence was several shots fired by our pickets and immediately thereafter several ten-pound shells came crashing into our camp.

The boys hastily fell into line, and at once took possession or the breast-works and awaited the advance of the enemy.

Company C, had a Lincoln flag floating from a pole in its quarters, and as the Johnnies never liked anything with the name of Lincoln attached to it, appeared to direct their shells towards it.  One of the boys of company ran back to  his quarters and pulled down the flag.

The McClellan men, of which there were not a few in the regiment, greeted this act with a cheer, singing out:

“And that’s the way we will make you take down your flag by electing “Little Mack” President.

We presume that it is needless to state that they did not make us take down the flag in that way.

The enemy were easily repulsed and after firing a number of shot and shell into our works, retired with their battery, allowing us to recover from our surprise.

On the 11th of November, we were cheered by the presence of the pay-master, who proceeded to deal out greenbacks with a liberal hand, it being the first pay we had received for a period of eight mouths.  The suttlers reaped a rich harvest and everybody was extremely happy.

About this time, orders having been issued by General Sherman demand the removal from the city of all inhabitants, allowing them to select which way they would go, either north or south.  Transportation north as far as the Ohio River, and about twenty miles south, which was made with the Government mule teams, each family was allowed to take a few necessary articles of wearing apparel and furniture.  At the place agreed upon between the commanders of the two officers, a rebel cavalry escort and wagon train met ours and they loaded up the goods of the Southern refugees, and moved them further Dixie-ward.

 

CHAPTER XCI

On Wednesday, Nov. 26th, we moved about a half mile to our left and laid in the works of the 3rd Brigade, while they were out on a foraging ex­pedition, and which returned on the 27th, when we returned to our old quarters.

Friday the 28th, we received orders to get ready for a fifty days campaign, with orders to subsist on the country; but positive orders were issued prohibiting the wanton waste or destruction of provender or property.  We at once proceeded to pack our surplus goods to send them back to Nashville, Tenn.  After which followed the usual discussion among the boys, as to where we would strike for, the general supposition being that Mobile, Ala., or Savannah, Ga., was to be our destination.

Saturday, Nov. 5th, 1864, we moved about a mile in the direction of Macon and encamped for the night.  On the following day, Sabbath, we fell in and commenced a retrograde movement, reaching our old camp at Atlanta, at about dusk, tired and hun­gry, ready and willing to find fault with everybody.  At the time we could not see the policy, or the necessity of the move, but which we have since learned had its desired effect, by causing the Rebel Commander, Gen. Hood, to attempt his disastrous expedition to our rear, opening our way to the sea without let or hindrance, and which feat could hardly have been ac­complished in the presence of the entire Rebel Army.

On the following Tuesday, the 8th, we held an election for President and Vice President, the regiment giving a majority of 116 for Lincoln and Johnson.

We had considerable sport with Jerry Moyer, one of the members of our company; he failed to have the proper papers, tax receipts and assessment certificate, and consequently was debarred from voting.  Jerry had lost several of his front teeth and when his vote was refused, Corp. Ulrich said:

“Jarr, du bist evva sthu old for stimma.”

Jerry just more than grew indignant at the proposition that he was too old to vote.  It was quite a long time before Jerry heard the last of it.

On Sunday the 13th of the month, the 15th and 17th Army Corps joined us, they having been back along the railroad from Dalton to the Chattahoochie.  Our Brigade was engaged in tearing up the rail road track from Atlanta to the river.

Tuesday 15th, we left Atlanta and marched to Stone Mountain about 15 miles.  While we were marching we could plainly hear the explosions in the city caused by the blowing up of the Depots and other buildings.  The heavens were black with smoke, and in the evening the same were all in a glare with the blaze ascending from the burning city.  When the troops joined us that had been left back to carry on the work of destruction, they informed us that nothing but a pile of smoldering ruins marked the site where once had stood the flourishing city if Atlanta.

Wednesday, 16th, we marched about 15 miles along the Atlanta & Augusta railroad and encamped in the vicinity of Conyers, Newton County.

We were now standing at the very threshold of the Eden of the Confederacy.  The country through which we were passing was a beautiful one and was rich in provisions for man as well as beast.  The country abounded in sweet potatoes, often times as many as from 80 to 200 bushels were found on one heap, usually in the garden near the Mansion, protected from the weather by being covered over with grass, together with ham, bacon, chickens, geese, turkeys, ducks, hogs, honey, sorghum, corn-meal, &c., to all of which the men helped themselves with a lavish hand.  It was an amusing  sight to see the men returning from the interior of the country after a successful day’s foraging.  They would come loaded down with all manner of palatable luxuries, and not infrequently leading  a long eared specimen of the horse species, which if it was harnessed to some dilapidated vehicle loaded full of the fat of the land, they would have it completely hid underneath the load of good things.  Each company in the regiment had its beast of burden which not only served them during the day but made the night melodious with their sweet musical (?) voices.

It was really astonishing to see how much of the good things were to be had, a mess of four hungry and tired Yankees could easily dispose of at one sitting, without any great detriment to any thing except the Government buttons on the pantaloon waist­band.  We venture the assertion that on the great “March to the Sea,” that Sherman’s men carried a much heavier load in their stomachs than they did in their knapsacks.

Thursday, 17th, we advanced to about 3 miles of Social Circle, having marched about 17 miles, we camped near the line between Newton and Walton Counties.

Friday, 18th, we marched within about 3 miles of Madison, via Social Circle and Rutledge Station, a distance of fully 16 miles.  We entered Morgan county about noon.  At Social Circle, Loraine Dalrymple, a member of the 29th Ohio, shot at a hog and missed it.  General Geary happened to see the affair, he said to one of his aids:

“Put that man under arrest, not for shooting, but because he missed the hog, I want my men to learn to shoot.”

The provost guard came up and arrested him and marched him to the rear where he remained for the day.

Saturday 19th, we marched within two miles of the Oconee River via Madison about 17 miles.  The town of Madison was one of the pleasantest and beautifully situated towns that we passed through, it being the county town of Morgan County.  The houses were set back and were surrounded with beautiful yards, and the streets were lined with beautiful shade trees giving the town a fine appearance.

Our Division started out from Madison alone and proceeded to tear up the railroad for a long distance without severing the rails from the ties like a plow turns the sod over.

Sunday 20th, we struck the Eatonton road at Park’s Bridge on the river and marched near Eatonton, about 14 miles.

Monday, 21st.  We marched about 10 miles toward Milledge­ville.

Tuesday, 22nd.  We crossed the Little River in the forenoon, marched through Milledgeville at dusk and crossed the Oconee River and encamped. having marched about 15 miles.

We remained in camp the next day when we had a good oppor­tunity of visiting the State House, and seeing the sights in the city.  The State House contained a fine library which was almost entirely destroyed, a large of number of the books were carried away.  The city had a large amount of ammunition as well as sev­eral thousand home-made swords.  All of which were destroyed.

Feb. 24th.  We marched about 13 miles eastward of Milledgeville.

Feb. 25th.  We marched within about 8 miles of Sandersville, making a distance of about eight miles.

Saturday, 26th.  We marched to Sandersville ‘til noon, where W. H. Spade was detailed for train guard.  The troops went out to tear up the railroad, the wagon train remained in park, having traveled a distance of about 8 miles.

Sunday, 27th.  We broke camp at daylight, destroying the railroad for a distance of 4 miles, then coming to the Conconchee River, passed through Davisboro and encamped, having traveled a distance of about 10 miles.

Nov. 28th, Monday.  We destroyed the railroad near Davisboro and encamped near the town.

Tuesday, 29th.  We continued on the move and passed Spier’s Station and encamped, traveling about 15 miles.

Wednesday, 30th.  Started on the march early in the morning.  Crossed the Ogeecha River and encamped traveled about 8 miles.

Thursday, Dec. 1.  We moved about 10 miles during the day and encamped.

Dec. 2, Friday.  We broke camped and moved near Millen.  Here the confederates had a large stockade, in which they had a number of our men confined as prisoners.  A number of our men visited the stockade and brought back doleful accounts of the condition of the stockade in which the brave Union boys had been incarcerated.  The Stockade was located in low swampy ground, whilst the men were without a single covering to protect them from the rays of the sun or the falling of the rain, whilst only a short distance from the prison pen, was an extensive forest, from which abundant material might easily have been furnished for the men to make comfortable quarters in which to seek shelter from the rays of the sun or other unfavorable circum­stances.  This inhuman conduct will ever remain a blot upon the good name of the Southron people, and the cruelty which they exercised towards the defenseless Union prisoners can only be mitigated as time rolls on and the principal actors in the dis­graceful drama pass from time into eternity, and give an account at the Judgment bar of God, where mercy and justice will be dealt out by His unerring hand and when they will receive their just deserts.

Saturday, 3rd.  We broke camp at noon, and marched all night, crossed the Augusta railroad and encamped, traveled about 10 miles.

Saturday, 4th.  Broke camp at about noon and marched 6 miles and went into camp.

Monday, 5th.  We broke camp in the morning and marched about 13 miles, encamping about 8 miles from the Savannah river.  During the day our troops were confronted by a body of Rebel State Militia, under Brigadier General R. M. Brown, (we think).  ­They had thrown up tolerable good breastworks but when our men advanced they fired a few shot and then retreated.

Our regiment was placed on picket and every precaution was taken to guard against a surprise.  In the following morning we packed up and moved to the road to await the arrival of the Division.

 

CHAPTER XCII

The Division arrived about eight o’clock, a. m., when we took our place in the column and turned to the right and moved in the direction of Springfield, about 9 miles, when we went into camp and remained over night.

On the 7th, we broke camp and marched to within three miles of Springfield, making a distance of about 12 miles.

Thursday, 8th.  We moved through the town of Springfield and marched about 10 miles on the other side of town, marching about 12 miles.

During the day’s marching we heard some heavy guns firing in the direction of Savannah, or the right of it.  On this day’s march we passed a large drove of our cattle, which in attempting to drive them across a swamp the cattle drivers drove them into a morass and they sank into the mud until nothing but their heads remained above the ground, and finally they disappeared from sight.  Thus in a day we lost over two hundred head of cattle which we had collected on the few last days of our march, and which we had intended to hold in reserve for a case of necessity.

Friday, 9th.  We marched within 15 miles of Savannah where the enemy had 2 small sand forts erected and the roads blockaded with fallen trees.  We encamped for the night after a short march of about 5 miles.

Saturday, 10th.  We marched about 8 miles and en­camped within 7 miles of the city, where we encamped for the night.

Sunday, 11th.  We marched about three miles and came to a halt within about 4 miles from the city and commenced to build breast works, after which the troops were placed in position around the enemy’s work, and the first steps towards the capture of the city of Savannah were commenced.  After our works were completed we began to examine the enemy’s position.

In front of our Brigade a large low tract of open ground was to be seen and beyond this in a strip of woods, the enemy had a heavy line of earth-works erected.

Upon closer investigation the open field in our front proved to be a rice plantation, and as arrangements had been made by the means of sluice gates, whereby a bed of water from four to five feet deep could be readily flooded over it, which was necessary to cause the rice to ripen and which now formed a strong feature in connection with the strong earthworks as a means of defense.

The rebel troops were commanded by Lt. Gen. Hardee, a brave and experienced officer, who was idolized by his men and we had reason to fear that the enemy would stubbornly contest our attempt to capture the city, and in fact our position, liable to be moved upon by an army collected in our rear, made it desirable to force the capitulation of the city at the very earliest possible moment.

The enemy contented himself by occasionally throwing shells into our lines, occasionally wounding, and also killing a few men belonging to our Brigade, among the latter we remember, Major Wright of the gallant 29th Ohio.

During the shelling upon a certain morning, while Keller was issuing rations to the Brigade, having brought his wagons in sight of the rebel artillerists, and as a natural consequence their guns were trained in that direction and for a time the shells fell quite lively around the teams.  Col. Pardee came up and ordered the teamsters to drive back out of danger.  John T. Mark and Jersey Francis Smith, were on their way to the regi­ment, carrying a quarter of beef on a pole on their shoulders, the meat hanging down between them, when a shell struck the beef, breaking the tendon by which it was hung on the pole, and it fell on the ground between them, without doing any further harm.  This we consider as one of those unaccountable and almost miraculous escapes which frequently occur in the life of a soldier.  The men were considerably shocked by this occurrence and it was quite a little spell before they felt like shouldering the meat again and carrying in to the regiment.

Tuesday, 13th.  The Union Troops under Gen. Hazen made an attack on Fort McAllister and by means of a gallant charge carried the Fort by storm, capturing the garrison and the Fort with its entire equipage, thus opening the way for the capitulation of the city and removing all obstacles to the opening of communications.

From our works we could plainly hear the heavy cannonading as the big guns belched forth their iron balls into the column of the brave men who were marching into the jaws of death, and we were anxiously awaiting the result, and when we heard of its capture a load was lifted from our shoulders, and the rejoicing in          our ranks was very great.

Friday, 16th.  Gen. Foster opened communications with General Sherman on the Ogeechee River, and our hearts were again made glad with the arrival of hard-tack and other necessary supplies, all of which were most cheerfully received, as for the past week or ten days, our principle sustenance had been rice for the men and rice straw for the animals.  According to Ed. Smith’s orders, the following was the Bill of Fare at the Hotel Uncle Sam.

Breakfast—Boiled Rice, Coffee and Beef, either raw, roasted on the coals, or boiled in a tin cup.

Dinner— Rice, Coffee, Beef, broiled, fried or roasted.  Dessert—Rice; Side Dishes—boiled Rice.

Supper—The remains of the breakfast and dinner warmed over with a little more RICE.

Saturday, 17th.  The first mail came in via coast on the Ogeechee River, and how glad we were to hear from our loved ones once again.  Some of the boys received as many as one dozen of letters.

On Sunday night the 18th, our Division was drawn up in line of battle, and arrangements were made to carry the enemy’s works in our front by a night attack.  The night was cold, dark and dreary, and as we were not allowed to build fires to keep warm, for fear of arousing the suspicions of the enemy, and as may readily be conceived, we suffered considerable.  At about 12 o’clock, midnight, the order was countermanded and the men were allowed to break ranks and retire for the night well pleased with the turn affairs had taken.

Tuesday night 20th.  The enemy opened upon our works with a severe artillery fire and the shot and shell flew in and around us in liberal profusion, but very little harm was done our men by the missiles, as they all appeared to fly wild of their mark.  The firing was kept up until after midnight, and when morning dawned the enemy had fled, and the White Star Division troops of General Geary were the first to enter the city, and in honor of the event General Geary was appointed Military Governor of the city.

Thus it will be seen that our Division was the first to enter the city of Savannah as well as Atlanta, which speaks well of the vigilance and energy of its able commander, showing that he was always willing and ready to strike a blow at the right time.

Our regiment marched into the city on the morning of the 21st, at about day-break and found in the language of the smoked yanks “de rebs have done gone for sartin suah.”  The regiment was moved to the old United States Barracks, where we remained one day.

After our troops had taken possession of the city, in the morning about eight o’clock, a terrible explosion took place and which proved to be the powerful rebel ram Arkansas, which had been moored in the Savannah River a short distance outside of the city and which they had blown up with a slow match, in order to prevent it from falling into our hands, and as the ram was acknowledged to be one of the most powerful iron-clads in the Confederate service, they knew the injury she would be capable of doing them if allowed to fall uninjured into our hands and hence they destroyed her by means of gunpowder, and the noble old Ram was totally destroyed.

On Friday, 23rd, the regiment moved into Madison square, here we remained until the 26th, when we moved into a fine city park on the south side of Gaston Street.  The park had a fine large fountain in it.  Here the men were ordered to build winter quarters and to make themselves comfortable.

On Christmas, the writer and quite a number of the boys attended Catholic Church and witnessed the imposing ceremony of celebrating “High Mass,” after which we partook of a royal dinner, especially prepared for the occasion.

 

CHAPTER XCIII

Monday, Dec. 26th, our Regt. moved on the south side of Gaston Street in a park.  Here we went into camp and erected quarters.

On this last campaign we marched through ten counties viz. Dekalb, Newton, Morgan, Putnan, Baldwin, Washington, Jefferson, Bushe, Scriven and Effingham, and halted in Chatham having marched, by the serpentine route we pursued, at least 300 miles.  The soil of Morgan and Putnam counties appeared to be the richest, Baldwin comes next in order.  Madison, the county seat of Morgan County, is the prettiest town we passed through.  The residences are nearly all standing back from the streets and are surrounded with beautiful yards, which are thickly studded with trees, flowers, shrubbery and evergreens.

The following table was prepared by Comrade William H. Spade, and may be relied upon on for its accuracy, and contains the actual amount of miles traveled, upon the days given to the corresponding dates.

1st  day Nov.           15th      marched           15 miles

2nd “           “           16            “                    15    “

3rd “           “           17            “                    17    “

4th  “           “           18            “                    16    “

5th  “           “           19            “                    17    “

6th  “           “           20            “                    14    “

7th  “           “           21            “                    10    “

8th  “           “           22            “                    15    “

9th  did not  move

10th            day Nov.           24th      marched           13 miles

11th            “           “           25            “                    8    “

12th            “           “           26            “        8    “

13th            “           “           27            “        12    “

14th            “           “           28            “        12    “

15th            “           “           29         “          12    “

16th            “           “           30 rested

17th            “           “           1 Dec. 12    “

18th            “           “           2            “        10    “

19th            “           “           3            “        2    “

20th            “           “           4            “        16    “

21st            “           “           5            “        15    “

22nd           “           “           6            “        9    “

23rd            “           “           7            “        9    “

24th            “           “           8            “        13    “

25th            “           “           9            “        15    “

26th            “           “           10            “        7    “

                                            Total       295 miles

 

The city of Savannah is one of the finest cities we ever beheld, it contains a number of beautiful buildings, as well as several fine parks.  The streets are shaded with beautiful live oak trees, from their wide-spreading branches long tufts of lichen floated gracefully in the breeze, giving them a weird appearance.

Several beautiful Monuments are erected in various parts of the city.  Among them is that of Count Pulaski, which rears its head above the highest houses.  This monument stands in the center of Bull Street, and is the first object to meet the gaze of the visitor as he enters the street.  In another part of the city is a monument erected to the memory of General Greene.

The weather during our stay in Savannah was mild and spring-like, and on the 1st of January, 1865, we went about bare-footed and in our shirt sleeves, whilst the ladies promenaded the streets, with their furs and carrying their parasols.

While we remained in the city our duty was very light, and we passed a very pleasant month.  All that our regiment did was camp duty.  ­One of the reigning luxuries of our table was oysters, which we could buy at almost any price, as they were dredged out of the river a short distance below the city, the only drawback was the scarcity of butter, which was sold at the modest price of $1.50 per lb.  But then vinegar was plenty as well as pepper and salt, and we had often seated ourselves to a much less palatable meal than raw oysters, seasoned with vinegar, pepper and salt.

The Confederates had just left the city before we entered it, and as a matter of course, their money was current among them, and when we first entered the city we were somewhat surprised at the extravagant prices asked for the different commodities offered for sale, for instance, we were asked $20 for a quart of oysters, and which we afterwards purchased for a cup-full of roasted coffee.  It did not take the citizens long to learn the vast difference between the value of two standards of currency, the Greenback and the Confederate script.

The city contained several very fine cemeteries.  As was our usual custom we visited these silent cities of the dead.  A large number of Confederate officers, who had fallen during the rebellion were buried there.  Many of whom had beautiful and costly tablets erected over their graves, to mark their last resting places.  Among the most attracting was that of General Bee, who commanded a Georgia Brigade at the battle of Gettysburg, and who lost his life whilst gallantly leading his Brigade in a charge in that, to them, ill-fated battle.  It is the writer’s impression that the monument was erected by a devoted wife, but since we have no note of it, and trust entirely to memory, we will not be positive.

Part of the time that we remained in Savannah we were visited by plenteous showers of rain which we presume took the place of the Northern snow storms.  The water raised to a con­siderable height, the corduroy roads were badly damaged and swampy grounds of the Carolinas were almost completely deluged, certainly delaying a move if any had been contemplated.

From letters before us, written home to friends, by members of the company during our stay in the city, as early as the middle of January, 1865, we learn that the campaign of the Caro­linas was already discussed by the rank and file, and that they then already anticipated the grand movement which resulted so gloriously to our cause and so disastrously to the Southern Confederacy and its hopes.

On the 23rd of January a Division of the 19th Army Corps arrived from the Army of the Potomac and relieved our Division.  They were part of the troops that had taken part in the engagement at Fisher’s Hill.

As soon as we were relieved we received orders to make preparation for the contemplated move.  Clothing were issued to the men, the wagons were loaded with rations and forage, for men and horses, and every necessary arrangement completed for the prosecution of a vigorous campaign.

Thursday, Jan. 26th.  In the afternoon we received orders to be ready to move at day-break on the following day.  This order created considerable bustle and excitement, even though it was not unexpected.  The first thing to be attended to, was the writing of the contemplated move to those who were interested in our behalf.  For a short time, pens, ink, paper, postage stamps and envelopes were in great demand.  This important matter once attended too, the boys proceeded to prepare for what was des­tined to be the last campaign of Sherman’s noble old army.

Perhaps the Army never started out from a place that they had more sincere occasion for regrets than had our Army and yet marched with less.  It was true that even the humblest private in the ranks could discover the “dawn of Peace,” and the joyous thoughts of soon being permitted to meet with their loved ones from whom they had been parted for the last three years, cheered them on their way, and thus the morning of the 27th of January 1865, found the Army, not only ready but anxious for the move.

 

CHAPTER XCIV

Friday, January 27th.  We left Savannah and marched eleven miles in the direction of Springfield.  The men were in the best of spirits and marched cheerfully to the music of the bands, and everything passed off very pleasantly.

Saturday, 28th.  We marched within three miles of Sister’s Ferry, on the Savannah River, and remained in Camp here until the morning of the 4th of February.  The river appeared to be very wild, and considerable difficulty was experienced in throw­ing a pontoon bridge across the same, and it is the writer’s opin­ion that it was owing to the high water that caused this delay.

From our camp, which was on a considerable bluff, we could look over the river and down upon the soil of South Carolina, which appeared to be receding out of sight, and more than one soldier sincerely wished, as he gazed upon the hot-bed of rebellion and secession, that it might disappear entirely.

After the pontoon bridge was successfully put down, and several regiments of troops were thrown across the river, and put to work building corduroy roads.  The rebels anticipating the move had placed a large number of torpedoes into the marshy ground and a number of men were injured by their exploding.

Saturday, Feb. 4th.  We crossed the river and entered South Carolina, and marched about three miles near Robertsville.

When we crossed the river, General Geary rode past us, he pointed in the direction we were marching and remarked, “there boys is South Carolina, take off your gloves and get your matches ready, the people of the State had more to do with bringing on this unholy war, than the people of any other State, and they should be made to suffer for it.”

The Division and Brigade Commissary were loaded with ra­tions, they having been conveyed here by boat from Savannah.

It was while laying here that Lieut. B. T. Parks again reported to the Company for duty, having been acting in the capacity of Commandant of the Military Detective Force at Nash­ville; and having served as a volunteer aid on General Miller’s staff during Hood’s memorable campaign in the vicinity of Nash­ville.  As soon as Lt. Parks learned that the army under General Sherman contemplated another grand forward movement, he applied for permission to rejoin his command, and reached just as we were about to start out on our campaign through the Carolinas.

Lt. Parks always was a favorite among the boys of his comp­any, and his return, especially owing to his almost miraculous escape from death owing to the bullet which had passed through his head, occasioned much rejoicing among his comrades.

Sunday, 5th.  We marched about 13 miles in the direction of Lawtonville, passing through Robertsville.

Our cavalry force under command of General Fitzpatrick, moved in advance as well as on both flanks of the moving columns, and to them was entrusted with the destruction of the unoccupied residences, as well as all the cotton gins, store­houses, &c.  And when it is taken into consideration that the army moved in four columns, frequently ten miles apart, the space of country devastated may be well imagined.  During the day the sky was blackened by the hundreds of columns of smoke which ascended from the burning property, while during the night the heavens were illuminated by the glare of the flames, as far back as the eye could trace.  Reminding the beholder of the pillar of fire which in the days of Moses guided the children of Israel through the wilderness.

Monday, 6th.  We marched fully a distance of 16 miles, passing through Lawtonville.

Forage for man and beast was again becoming plenty and we were once more re-enacting the Georgia campaign; we were living on the country, very little rations besides coffee, pepper and salt were issued to us.  Details for foraging purposes were made each morning out of the regiment who were sent out to capture provisions for the men, and it was not often they returned at night empty handed.  Each company owned a mule or a horse, and the foragers generally made out to come home well loaded down with meat, corn meal, sweet potatoes, poultry, &c., and to which of all the men did full and complete justice.

Tuesday, 7th.  We marched about 12 miles, to Whippy Swamp, at the head of Coosawhatchie River.  The marching during the day was principally over low marshy ground and was consequently muddy and disagreeable and fatiguing.

Wednesday, 8th.  Marched 13 miles, crossed the Salkahatchie River over the bridge at Beaufort, here we encamped for the night.

Thursday, 9th.  We marched 12 miles encamping at Blackville, by way of Barnville.  It was here that Jeremiah Moyer of our company, met with, to him, a serious loss.  He had gone to a well where there was a large number of men striving to get canteens full of water from “the old moss covered bucket which hung in the well.”  In the crowding and pushing incident to such an event, Jerry’s cap was knocked off of his head and it fell into the well.  As may well be imagined, Jerry did not say anything(?) he came back to the company bare-headed, and when asked where his cap was, he replied:

“Vy, them Ohio fools knocked it in the well.”

“It is too bad that you should lose your cap, Jerry,” remarked a sympathizing comrade.

“Oh, I don’t care about the cap, but its the nummers I don’t like to lose,” was Moyer’s reply.

This reply caused the boys to set up a shout, and Jerry walked away muttering:

“You all a darn fools, that’s just all what you are.”

Jerry had the letters G, 147th P. V.” on his cap, having purchased them at Baltimore, and as he had carried them through the war, up to the time they went to the bottom of the well, and this was why he cared more for the “nummers” than he did for the cap.

Friday, 10th.  The regiment went out foraging and returned to camp, having been successful in capturing a large amount of provision.

Saturday, 11th.  We left Blackville and crossed the Edisto River, and after marching about 9 miles, went into camp.

Sunday, 12th.  We broke camp and after marching about 13 miles we came upon the enemy and commenced to skirmish with the rebels, which were found to be in our front in tolerable force and with whom we kept up our skirmishing all night.  By morning they retreated.  This was the first opposition we had at the hands of the enemy and it reminded the boys a little of old times to hear the minnie balls come “zipping” and then fly “whizzing” past us, and owing to the fact that nobody was hurt, the boys enjoyed it hugely.

Monday, 13th.  We followed after the enemy, marched a distance of about 5 miles and went into camp.

Tuesday, 14th.  We marched about 8 miles and went into camp.  Rumors reached us that the enemy under Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, in considerable number     were collecting in our front.

Wednesday, 15th.  Broke camp at daybreak and moved forward very furiously.  Met the enemy about 10 o’clock, a. m., when a running fight ensued.  We marched about 10 miles and encamped about two miles from Lexington.

The enemy hung close about our Army and foraging was becoming very dangerous.  Near our camp the enemy captured six men and hung them to saplings where their life-less bodies were found on the following day, by their companions, hanging by their necks, dead, divested of every particle of clothing, while several of them were horribly mangled.

Thursday, 16th.  Passed through the town of Lexington and marched in the direction of Zion’s church and encamped near the Saluda River.  The marching during the day was very irregular, and considering the fact that we only moved about six miles, it was tiresome.

 

CHAPTER XCV

Friday, 17th.  We marched to Zion’s church and went into camp.  The enemy were massing in our front, and in order to be ready to repel any attack he might  make upon us, our army was concentrated here and orders were issued to the Corps Commanders to keep their commands well in hand and to keep their columns in supporting distance of each other.

Saturday, 18th.  We crossed the Saluda river at about 10 o’clock, a. m., and marched very rapidly.  We encamped early in the afternoon, having marched about ten miles.

Sunday, 19th.  We broke camp about noon and marched five miles in a very leisure manner when we went into bivouac for the night.

Monday, 20th.  We crossed the Broad river near Alston about six miles to the North of Columbia, the capital of the State.  We heard some cannonading and could plainly see the smoke of the burning city.  We marched in the direction of Winsboro’ traveling about 8 miles.

Tuesday, 21st.  We marched about 12 miles, passing through Winsboro’ and encamped for the night.

Wednesday, 22nd.  We marched to Rocky Mount on the Catawba River and pontooned it.  We marched about six miles.

Thursday, 23rd.  We crossed the river and marched fourteen miles in the midst of a drenching rain, making the roads almost impassable.

Friday, 24th.  We marched about 5 miles in the direction of Hanging Rock, traveling about 5 miles.  The rain continued to fall, making the marching very disagreeable.

Saturday, 25th.  Owing to the heavy rain we remained in camp during the day.

Sunday, 26th.  We marched to Hanging Rock and went into camp having marched about 7 miles.

Monday, 27th.  Broke camp about noon and marched 3 miles and encamped for the night.

Tuesday, 28th.  We marched about 3 miles beyond Black Creek near McDonald.  We remained in camp during the remainder of the day awaiting orders to march and when they did not arrive the boys passed the time in hunting alligators in a swamp which was in the vicinity.  They succeeded in capturing four large ones and according to one of the darkies of the place: “It wawent a good day for aligatos nohow.”

On the march the men made it an especial point to shoot all the bloodhounds they could find, and it was not an uncommon occurrence to find from two to a half dozen, lying dead in the neighborhood of every wealthy planter’s residence.  These ferocious brutes were used to recapture Union prisoners who frequently made attempts to escape and make their way into the Union lines.

Wednesday, March 1.  We marched about 3 miles beyond Black Creek and went into camp.

Thursday, 2nd.  We broke camp at noon and marched in the direction of Chesterfield, making about 6 miles.

Friday, March 3rd.  We marched about 11 miles and encamped in the vicinity of Chesterfield Court House.

Saturday, 4th.  We marched about 1 mile beyond the North Caroline line, near Sneedsboro’ on the Great Peedee River.  Marched about 9 miles.

The country over which we had been traveling for the past few days was of great interest to us, as it was the scene where during the revolutionary war was enacted the greater part of General Francis Marion’s, the Swamp Fox of the Revolution, bold and daring adventures, which had always claimed our boyish admiration.

Sunday, 5th.  We remained in camp all day.

Monday 6th.  We broke camp early in the morning and at about ten o’clock, a. m., we reached the town of Cheraw.  This was one of the largest towns we passed through in the State.  We remained in town four or five hours and took advantage of the time we had to see the sights.

We visited the cemetery and stood before the grave of General Francis Marion.  In another part of the same yard we found another grave which was marked with a stone which contained one of the oddest inscriptions we ever beheld and which read something like this:

“Reader, here rest the remains of

Who it matters not to you.

Pass on.”

We visited a printing office which we found knocked into pi, the hand press broken and the type all scattered over the office, and everything in the greatest confusion.

Our troops captured several hundred barrels of turpentine, all of which was destroyed.  The barrels were rolled to the river and the heads busted in and the contents of the barrels were allowed to run into the stream.

The town contained a large arsenal and which was destroyed by blowing it up, greatly to the detriment of the windows of the houses in the immediate neighborhood of it.

A large detail was made to destroy everything of any public value in the place.  The men constructed a battering ram in the following manner.  They took four heavy pieces of oak timber, chained them together near the top, then rearing them in the air they spread the lower ends of the timber out in the direction of the four points, and thus they secured a stout and firm frame­work.  From the center of this framework, they fastened by means of heavy chains, three long pieces of railroad iron which could be made to swing backward and forward to the full length of the chain.  By the aid of this machine a number of brick houses used by the rebels for hospitals, were battered down.  The ram was placed in the middle of the street and then by means of a stout rope the men would draw the rails back and leaving the rope fly at a given signal, the rails would swing across the street and strike the building with a considerable force and by this means the building would finally be knocked down.

A large number of sick and wounded prisoners were captured here, all of which were paroled by the proper officers.

At about two o’clock we crossed the Great Peedee river and marched five miles on the Fayetteville road and went into camp, having marched a distance of at least 18 miles.

Tuesday, 7th.  We marched about 15 miles on the same road, crossing the state line and entering North Carolina a little before noon.  We reached camp at dusk, halting for the night in a large pine forest, and where we ran a big risk in having our eyes smoked out.  The fires were all made with pine and our coffee, meat, as well as everything else we prepared for our evening meal was very highly seasoned with pitch-pine.

 

CHAPTER XCVI

 Wednesday, 8th.  We marched about nine miles.  The greater part of the day’s march we passed through the turpentine districts.  As far as the eye could trace nothing but a forest of gigantic pines could be seen.

The trees were nearly all tapped, that is an elongated incision was cut into the trunk of the tree, forming a pocket from three to five inches in depth and fully six inches in width at the surface, and in which the sap of the tree is deposited and which is collected in its crude state and sent to the refineries where it is manufactured into turpentine.

Thursday 9th.  We marched about 7 miles over a delightful road.  The Troops were in good spirits and everything passed off pleasantly.  Spring with its balmy breezes, its early flowers and the songs of the feathered tribe, was again putting in its appearance and all nature was again fully awakened and was rapidly exchanging its somber garments and donning the gay and gorgeous apparel of beauty.

Another source of pleasure as well as gratification to the members of old Company G, was the fact that our three year term of enlistment was rapidly drawing to a close, and only six months more of service remained for us, and each day as it passed over our heads, hastened the coming of that time when we should stack our faithful old rifles for the last time and bidding adieu to the scenes of warfare be received with outstretched arms by those who were near and dear to us.

Friday, 10th.  We marched about four miles and went into camp for the night.

Saturday, 11th.  We marched about 11 miles and struck the plank road.  As we moved down the road the boys started up singing some of their old army songs, such as “John Brown,” “Rally Round the Flag, Boys,” “We’ll Hang Jeff Davis on a Sour Apple Tree,” &c., keeping step to the time; truly the North Carolinians could see how the “Union Boys came marching on.”  We crossed the little Peedee river during the day.

Sunday 12th.  We broke camp about nine o’clock, a. m., and marched about 14 miles, encamping a short distance from Fayetteville.  The 14th Corps having taken possession of the town.

Monday 13th.  The doings of the 13th of March 1864, will never be forgotten by the members of Company G, as upon this day one its honored members, Serg’t. Isaac D. Witmer, Sergeant Major of the Regiment, was shot, and almost instantly killed by a guard belonging to the 104th Ohio.  We have never been able to gather a full and correct account of the ill-fated accident, owing to the conflicting stories in circulation at the time.  The following are the facts as we learned them at the time of the occurrence.

The regiment broke camp at about 5 o’clock, p. m., and was moved into town preparatory to crossing the Cape Fear River.  Owing to the fact that the troops were compelled to cross the river on a single pontoon bridge, as well as the train and all the munitions of war, considerable time was taken up in crossing the river.  The Colonel ordered the regiment to stack arms and to rest in the rear of the stack.

The 14th Corps’ troops were on duty in the town, and every effort was made by its officers to prevent the wanton destruc­tion of property.  But not withstanding all their efforts and endeavors a storehouse, containing flour and meal, which the officers intended to confiscate for the use of the men, was fired.  Soon the boys rushed in and began to carry away the supplies as fast as they were thrown out of the burning building.

The officer in charge of the town ordered a cordon of sent­inels, consisting of the provo guards around the burning build­ing, embracing a distance of several squares, with strict orders not to allow any one, under any circumstances to pass through.

A number of the men belonging to our regiment had strayed away from the stacks and had gone to see the fire, and the result was that when the orders came for the regiment to fall in, but a handful of the men could be found to move with.

The Colonel ordered Sergeant Major Witmer to go into town and order all the boys of the 147th he could find to report to the regiment.

Sergeant Witmer started out in great haste and soon reached the guards at the square.  Here, as a matter of course, he was ordered to HALT!

A short parley ensued and the Serg’t. succeed in passing the first guard but scarcely had he done so, ere he was ordered to halt by a second guard.  Intent upon his errand he passed on, when the guard raised his rifle and fired.  The ball carried away the entire top part of his head almost killing him instantly.  A number of the men belonging to the regiment came up and his remains were carried back to the regiment.

Great excitement was occasioned by the shooting, and there was considerable danger of a riot.  This was prevented by the arresting of the man who did the shooting and the rapid moving the White Star troops across the river.

A detail, consisting of Sergeants Schroyer, Eby, Corporal Ulrich, and privates Griggs and Garman, under the command of Lt. Parks, was left back with the remains for the purpose of interring it on the morrow.

In the morning the detail made the necessary arrangements to perform the last sad rites over the remains of their dead comrade. They washed him and after searching several houses, they found a webb of muslin, from which they tore ten or fifteen yards and then wrapped him up in it.  After consi