We remained in camp [near Corinth] until
June 2d, when we took up our line of march to Memphis, leaving behind
Capt. Frazee, who was sent home on sick-leave, which left Capt. Peterson
in command of the Regiment. We were delayed a short time by a heavy
shower. Passing through Corinth, we bivouacked on the road-side for the
Early the following morning, we were ordered to Chewalla on double-quick,
a distance of eight or ten miles. Why we were ordered to that place on a
run, with no enemy near, has never been satisfactorily explained.
On June 9th, Thomas Peale, Esq., of Lynchburg, Ohio, made us a visit, and
remained with us on the march to Lafayette, Tenn. From here he went with
the supply train to Memphis, and from there home. He had quite an
experience of army life.
June 9th, we resumed our march to Memphis, and camped at Tuscumbia river
in the evening, where Lieut. Col. Parker, who had been sent home on
sick-leave shortly after the battle of Shiloh, rejoined and
took command of the Regiment. The following day, we repaired the
bridge, which had been destroyed by the enemy. We left June 11th, marched
through the richest portion of West Tennessee, and arrived at LaGrange
June 14th. We left LaGrange on the 16th, and arrived at Moscow in the
evening. Our chief employment, during our stay at Moscow, was to rebuild
the railroad bridge over Wolf river.
On the 22d, we were ordered to Lafayette, eight miles below, on the
Memphis & Charleston R. R., where we arrived in the afternoon. The
following day a portion of the Regiment went on picket. - During the night
quite an amusing incident occurred on one of the picket-posts. Thomas
Newton was startled by a snake crawling up inside his pants. He raised the
alarm and danced a lively jig, while his comrades assisted him to release
the snake, but fortunately he sustained no other injury than a big scare,
which he will never forget.
After we returned to camp the following morning, we learned that our
brigade had been ordered back to Moscow. This proved to be the hottest and
sultriest day of the season, and our march back to Moscow
will be as long remembered by us as the one from Moscow, mentioned
in history, will be remembered by the French. The blinding dust and
intense heat were terribly severe on both man and beast. The roadside was
lined with soldiers overcome by heat, and quite a number of artillery
horses dropped dead in their traces.
Arriving at our destination, we camped on the banks of Wolf river. During
our stay here we had a pleasant time, our duties being light and the
bathing facilities excellent. On the 29th several took "French leave,"
taking the overland route for home, where they arrived safely, and in due
season were safely returned to the Regiment again.On the 30th of June, our
Division was ordered on an expedition to Holly Springs' twenty-two miles
south. We arrived in sight of Holly Springs at noon on the following day,
while the cavalry was having a hot skirmish with the enemy. Our Regiment
and the 4th Indiana Battery were ordered forward in the engagement, but a
few well-directed shots from the artillery started the rebels in full
retreat. We remained in our position until dark,
when we fell back about three miles, and
camped in the woods on the road-side. Here we lay in ambush, awaiting the
return of the enemy, until July 5th, but they did not appear.
We started on the expedition with only one day's rations, and expected a
supply from Memphis, by the supply-train, but the train had been attacked
by the rebels and delayed. As foraging was almost unknown at this stage of
the war, we were compelled to subsist entirely on blackberries and apples.
We soon stripped the orchards in the vicinity, of their green fruit, and
lived a few days on the refuse from a cavalry camp.
On the 6th we started back to Moscow. We marched until midnight, when we
met the supply-train. A halt was ordered, and through the energy of H. C.
Stewart, Quartermaster Sergeant, the rations were soon distributed to the
hungry soldiers. At day-break on the following day, we were on the march,
reaching Moscow at noon.
Up to this time, the slaves were still at work for their masters, and none
were allowed to follow the army. On the Holly Springs expedition the
Regiment Engaged several of them as cooks, but they had scarcely been
initiated when an order was issued to exclude all slaves from camp. Thus
ended our first attempt at putting them to work to assist in putting down
the Rebellion. But "De Year ob Jubilo," as the slaves called it, was fast
approaching. In less than two months, there was a complete change. The
slaves came into camp in droves, and were put to work as cooks, teamsters
and laborers. At one time nearly every soldier in the Regiment had his
On the 18th of July, we took up our line of march once more for Memphis,
camping at Collierville the first night, and at White's Station the
second, where we remained the succeeding day - the Sabbath - and being
short of rations, we spent nearly the whole time in cooking green corn. A
field of twenty acres did not quite supply the demand for our Division.
The following day, July 21st, we resumed our march. Our Regiment guarded
the wagon-train. When within a few miles of the city, we were ordered
forward on double-quick, to rejoin our brigade, and make our entrance into
the city with our Division. As it was an exceeding hot day, and the dust
almost suffocating, it was with great difficulty that we succeeded in
picking our way through the immense wagon-train that obstructed the entire
road. On reaching our brigade, we entered the city of Memphis, with bands
playing, colors flying, and the troops cheering. We marched to the south
end of the city, and camped in a peach-orchard, in Fort Pickering, on the
banks of the Mississippi river. It had been nearly six months since we had
left Ohio, and in that time we had been constantly on the move, and had
seen soldiering in nearly all its phases, and now we had reached a haven
that promised us rest for a short season at least.
Memphis is a handsome city, built on a high bluff, 420 miles below St.
Louis. It had a population of 20,000 before the war, and was the center of
a vast trade. Gen. Jackson's equestrian statue is in a beautiful park, in
the heart of the city, but the rebels had obliterated the inscription,
"The Union must and shall be preserved." Shortly after arriving here, Dr.
Boon, Hospital Steward, was discharged, and Jos. A. Gravatt appointed in
August 1st, Col. Sullivan, with a large number of officers and soldiers,
who bad been home on sick-leave, returned for duty, which made the
Regiment look like its former self again. On the 2d, the Paymaster
arrived, and paid us two months pay. It came when it was most needed and
was highly appreciated.
Sept. 2d, Adjutant McGill and Lieut. Posegate were sent to Ohio, with a
recruiting party, consisting of one sergeant from each company. The day
following, Major Wise resigned.
On the 4th, the Regiment was ordered on provost-guard duty in Memphis,
companies C, H and G being stationed at the military prison in Irving
Block. It contained one hundred rebel prisoners and a number of disorderly
Union soldiers. Our duties were very severe, as we had to be on guard
every alternate six hours, both day and night.
The Memphis Argus, of Sept. 7th, contained the following: "Cincinnati,
Ohio, has surrendered to Gen. Kirby Smith." This was startling news to our
Regiment. Out of the ten companies, one was raised in the city, and seven
within a circle of sixty miles. Our only consolation was that it might
turn out to be a false report, which fortunately proved to be true, as it
was contradicted in the same paper a few days later.
Sept. 8th, Lieut. John Kean was discharged for disability. On the 11th,
the rebel prisoners were sent to Vicksburg for exchange, and we returned
to our camp in Fort Pickering. Before leaving, they were all furnished
with new rebel uniforms by their friends.
Toward the latter part of the month, the duty of the Regiment became very
laborious. Large details were made daily, to cut down all the timber
within one mile of the fort, and to demolish all buildings within a half
mile, in addition to regimental and brigade guards. On the 20th, the
Regiment was sent twenty miles down the river, on a boat, to guard one
hundred contrabands, while cutting and loading cane, which grew in
abundance in the river bottoms, and was used by us in constructing
When the weather got cooler, in October, our brigade and division drills
occurred more frequently, including a "grand review " every Wednesday.
Oct. 17th, Lieut. Posegate and his recruiting party returned, with a
number of new recruits for the Regiment. On the 18th, we enlarged our
streets and prepared more comfortable quarters for the winter.
After the discharge of our cornet band at Shiloh, efforts were made to
make our drum corps more efficient, but it was not successfully carried
out until it was placed under the leadership of George McMahon, after
arriving here. From that time forward, at intervals on a march and on
entering towns and cities, the band struck up some patriotic air, which
always elicited a hearty cheer from the Regiment.
Sept. 22d, Capt. Frazee took command of one hundred and fifty men of the
Regiment, and went up the Mississippi river on a steamer to Randolph, to
reinforce a regiment of cavalry that had left Memphis a week previous, on
a raid. We disembarked and remained all night. During the evening the
cavalry made their appearance. The next day we returned with the cavalry
On the 1st of November, the Regiment was ordered again on provost-guard.
Companies B and C were stationed at the wharf, and guarded the Government
stores. We occupied the Bradley Block, near the landing, for our quarters.
During our stay the building took fire under the hearth, in the second
story. The alarm was given, but before the engines arrived we had the fire
under control. On the evening of the 4th, a strong guard was ordered out
on patrol duty, in anticipation of a disturbance at the Warsham House. We
patrolled the streets in that vicinity until midnight, but everything
remained quiet; and after partaking of a free lunch at the hotel, and
receiving tickets for breakfast, we returned to our quarters.
On the 7th, the Regiment was relieved and we returned to camp. Troops,
under the President's last call, were now arriving, and by the 16th of
November quite a large army was concentrated here, which was formed into
divisions. Our Regiment was placed in the 3d Brigade and 3d Division,
under orders to be ready to march on the 26th of November, but on the 24th
we were ordered on provost duty in the city, to relieve the 46th Ohio.
On the 26th all the troops, except four or five regiments left for Holly
Springs, Miss. We remained in the city until the 29th, when we returned to
camp. In the evening Companies A, B and C went on picket-duty, on the
Pigeon Roost road, running south from Memphis, and remained two days.
The rebel cotton-burners, who had been at work, destroying all the cotton
within the vicinity of Memphis, to keep it from falling into the hands of
the Government, caught a drayman of the city, who had been engaged to go
beyond the lines, to haul cotton from the neighboring plantations. The
cotton was burned, and his mule and dray were confiscated. When he came
through the picket-lines he informed us of his loss, when eight of the
pickets volunteered to go with him and recapture his property. A barouche
passing along was pressed into the service. About two miles out the
property was found at an old plantation, and returned to the drayman, who,
with many thanks, returned home, a happy man.
Dec. 5th, H. C. Stewart, Quartermaster Serg't., was discharged. He
afterward served in the Q. M. Department until the close of the war.
Another expedition was now organized, under Gen. Sherman, for Vicksburg,
to proceed by boats down the Mississippi river. As we were not yet
assigned to any Division, we had concluded that we wouldspend Christmas at
Memphis, and had written home to that effect. But on the 19th of December
Lieut. Col. Parker made a request of Gen. Hurlbut, Commander of the Post,
to have the Regiment relieved of garrison duty, so as to join the
expedition. Such requests are always granted, and on the following day we
were ordered on board the steamer "City of Alton." We were placed in the
second brigade, with the 19th Ky., 77th, 97th, 108th and 130th Illinois
regiments, commanded by Col. W. J. Landrum, of the 19th Ky., and in the
Division commanded by Gen. A. J. Smith.