My Civil War Before, During and After
These memoirs of my paternal great-grandfather, Josiah Conzett, are for me a remarkable record in that they provide a contrast between two crises of identities --- one of a divided nation, and the other of an obscure store clerk.
Woven into the fabric of these pages, and more movingly, into those that have been mysteriously abstracted, is the understated love story of two young immigrants whose courtship was enacted against the backdrop of the American Civil War.
The eyewitness account of that war, which is the major part of the book, shows its every aspect --- the comradeship, the humor, the obscenity and the brutality.
Throughout this record one feels that Joe was destined for greater things if only he had had the education, which he himself shunned and the opportunities, which ever eluded him. But although he lacked material success, one is left with the impression of a God-fearing man of indomitable spirit whose type was the very backbone of the great emergent nation of the nineteenth century.
In writing the foreword to these memoirs I have had the easy task. We are all indebted to my sister-in-law, Edith Dayton Conzett who took on the enormous labor of deciphering the faded and spidery script of the original diary and typing it out complete with the misspellings which are such an integral part of the book. I know that both of us have found it a fascinating and rewarding project. Further thanks is given to Allan E. Sigman, President of the Union-Hoermann Press who once again has made possible the publication of a family document.
To Greatgrandfather Joe I say, Rest in Peace . . . and Thank you.
Donna Conzett Dumbell
29th March, 1973
***contains picture of Josiah Conzett in profile dressed in Civil War era Union Army uniform, with signature below***
FAMILY TREE PAGE
***contains a listing of family tree dates and places, many of which are incorrect as to dates or places***
Our Family on the Fathers Side are of Italian Decent. Our Brother Jacob, Succeed in Tracing it back to the last Days or rather Years of the 14th Century - and to A Certain Proffesor (of what is not said) who signed himself Conzetto, who was either or Peidemont or Savoy - nothing Farther of particulars is given. The Family was however Know to Belong to those True, and Sturdy, Pius People Known as Albignese, who refusing to Acknowledge the Pope and His Doctrine, were So many Martyred and Persocuted By his Order, that they Feld for Safty to Switzerland. Our People seem to have Fled to the Gissons, then a small but Free and Independent State - now a Canton of Switzerland - From these Good Pius People we decend.
Our Grand Father Conzett was Born about the middle of the 18th Century. Father said He was A Large Strong Man. He was A Soldier during the French Revolution and later Served under Louis Napoleon in Holland, where he was Taken Prisonor. He was a Prisnor for 4 years in England. When he came Home he was Quite an Old Man and One Winter day was found nearly Frozen to Death on the Alps, he died soon from its effect.
Of our Grand Mother We Know nothing - she was proubly one of those Strong Healthy Woman that Switzerland is noted for. Father said she was a Good Pius Wom. We Hope and believe she was all that. When she Died we do not Know.
Our own Father was an only Child and he said himself, A spolt and Wild one when a Boy and Young Man. He was Born in Shiers Canton Grisson, Switzerland, June 1811. They named him John Lucius. His Parents were fairly well to do People. He inherited from them a good Home and a well Stocked Farm of Cattle, Goats and such. He tried to Learn the Shoe Maker Trade but never stuck to it. He Married our Mother in 1833. They had 6 children in all, 4 boys and 2 girls. He Sold his Home and Emigrated to America in 1845. At first for A Year or two his Health here
was Bad. His Money also went and we were very Poor. Up to within 20 years of his Death, He Worked very Hard. After that as Him and Mother were all alone and they had a good Home to Live in and enough income to Keep them Comfortable, He took it easier. His last days were Happy and Comfortable we are glad to know. He died February 5th 1895. Old Age was the cause, and he just seemed to Fall Asleep - so easy did he Pass away- He outlived his Wife 7 years, and was like a lost Child after her Death.
Of our Grand Parents on our Mothers Side, we Know very Little. They were People in good circumstances as Wealth was there and then estimated. We are for many very good reasons Lead to believe, and that for Many Centuries Switzerland Had been their home. They were Staunch Protestants of the Calvanistic Faith. Children they had Six (6) Five Girls and one Boy. He was an Artist and Well Educated But Wild. He died quite Young in Italy. Our Mother I think was next to the Oldest. She was Born in Schiers Canton Grissons December 25th 1811. I don't think that she even had Six Months Schooling, as She Could not Write at all. She however learnt to Read. For some Reason she was the Drudge - the Cinderalla of the Household, for all the Other Children were fairly Well Educated. As said in the Lines on Father, They were Married in 1833 and From that time on she Shared Father Life 'Good and Bad. She was A good true Wife to him and Worked with and for Him for a number of Dark Days. Days of Grief and Tears for her. But she remained True and Faithfull. I will not speak any farther of this. For 4 or 5 Years she was the Sole Support of the Family. Father for several Years was so Sick with Fever and Ague, that he could not Work and for One long Cold Winter (1848 & 49) He was up in the Wilds of Minnesota Getting out Cedar Rafts, and never got a Cent for his Work. Mother went out Washing any day and all day. After Mary was Born (Dec 5, 1848) Dave used to Cary Marry up to where Mother was Working so she could feed her. Jake and Otto had Work, but so little Wages did they get (1.50 & 2.00) for Week that It helped but little. But in A Year or so after, The Boys Jake Otto and Dave go Work the first 2 at Fairly good Pay, and Father also got
Steady Work. That everything went better and easier after 1850 Mother never went out to Work any more, and when in 1850, they were able to Buy the Modest little Home of 3 Rooms on Iowa Street they, Father and Mother, thought they needed nothing more, but there were still some Hard Trials in Store for her, but she Fought Them Bravely and happily Outlived them. Mother was a deeply Religious Woman. The Bible and the Church were her Solace and comfort in many dark days - she lived to see all her Children Establish and with Families of their Own, Grand & Great Grand Children Nestled in her Arms. Her Sons (Davids Death in the Army in 1864, was the Great Grief of her Old Age. Old Age, Bronshittis Asthma and Rheumatism were for Years her Enemy and at time she Suffered greatly from them. So at last, One day 5th March 1888 in One of their attacks she passed away to her Reward in Heaven. She Died as she Lived full of Faith. So ended the Life of a Faithfull Wife A Loving Mother, Beloved and Mourned by all that ever Knew her.
I was Born in Shiers, Canton Grisons, Switzerland, on the 22nd day of August 1841. My Parents are spoken or Written of in the first part of these Memoirs, so I shall mention them no more only to say that they were of the Middle Class, Honest and Godfearing Protestant People. The Famili in 1845 - Consisted of Father, Mother, Four Boys and One Girl - they were in regard to Age - Jacob, Otto, David, Josiah and Mary - The Girl Mary Died in Galena Ill in 1846, Age 2 Years. Father Sold his Home and Property and early in 1845 The Family Emigrated to America. I was then Four Years Old but Have A faint indistinct recolection of the Ship with its Big White Sails - the Ocean and a few things that I was the Chief Actor in. Viz. One day I was seen Sitting out on the Very edge of the Ships Blowsprit and was Rescued by a Sailor Climbing out after me. At Another Time while Climbing up the Ships Side I fell, my Legg coming Down into a Pot of Boiling Hot Soup that one of the Passengers was Cooling for his Dinner. They took me into the Cabin and Wraped it up in Tar and Cotton. I persume the Soup was Spoilt for Dinner. After a rather Stormy
Voyage of 42 days, the Good Ship Pactola, Landed us in New Orleans. (We Sailed from Havre de Grass, France) We remained in New Orleans only a few days. We had such a Fish Diet there that Mother ever afterward could not bear the Smell or Cook them. We then took a Steamboat up the River to St. Louis where we also only Stayed a few days. Then once more up the Mississippi and the Fever River. And we Landed in Galena Ill some time early in the Fall or late Summer of 1845. Galena then was A Busy bustling Town the Largest above St. Louis Mo. The Landing was Crowded with Steamers Bringing Goods and Supplies of all Kinds and taking on Heavy Cargos of Lead and Furs. The Lead was the Largest part for this Section was then Famous for its Lead Mines. At that time there were No Rail Roads any Where near and Chicago was Only a Mud Hole. We Rented and lived in A 2 Story Frame House at the Foot of some Hills - We Occupied the 2nd Floor. Here shortly after our Arival our little Sister Mary died. Father started to Work Mining- but Plenty as Lead seemed for others there was none for him, and he Worked Hard to find it to. He had some Money left so we did not Suffer, here. Jacob and Otto first went to an English School and in a short Time mastered the English Language. Now Father was taken Sick with the Ague and could not get over it, so Hearing of the Rich Lead Mines and the Better prospects for Work in Dubuque Iowa - then a Frontier Town of 3 to 3500 In habitants Father Hired One (I think) Teams. We one Cold Day in March the 17th arrived in the New Eldorado. We had to Cross the River on the Ice wich was yet Solid. We were Kindly Received and entertained over night and next day, by the Rev. Peter Fleming(?) and His English Wife. He was Stationed there as A Missionary. The day after Father Found and Rented Three Rooms in A 2 Story Frame House on Main St, (West side) and near where now Stands a 3 Story Brick Bldg -Co. 6th St. A Mr. M Schunk (Father of Mayor Schunk) I remember while there Jake and Otto were sleeping a A Trundel Bed and One Night a Rat nearly Bit Jakes Ear of. We did not remain there long when we Moved into A 2 Story Frame House on the Cor of 1st and Locust St. This at that Time was one of the
Busiest part of Town. It was then as yet, Called Dublin. How long we stayed here I dont Remember, but We Moved again (I think) Spring 1847, just about one Year after leaving Galena Ill (the 17th of March 1846) It was Yet a Territory. This time way up and then on the upper end of Town, and into a Three Tenement Frame House Owned by John D. Bush (A Pork Packer) Here our Sister Mary was born Dec 3, 1848. We lived in the North Part, Mr. M Tschinge in the Centor, and the Buchlor Family the South part. Mr Tschinge Built a Small Brick House on the Alley and Commenced Brewing Beer. The first to do so in Town- above us was all Vacant Land. We lived here until sometime in 1850, when Father Saved the Money ($760.00 dollars) he Bought a One Story Frame House of three Rooms on Iowa St between 13th & 14th St, then way out of Town and just One Block below the Cemetary.
I now started to School (German). An Old and Good Man Named Zamuck taught it. It was in A Brick House Cor 6th & Clay. He died soon after. I then went to A School Taught by Mr. Wullweber and his son Christian (afterwards Lawyer to minister to Bogata) Here I learned to Read and write German and also got a Sound whipping for being Naughty. We were now doing fairly Well & Were Happy. In this House I first Met my little Sweet Heart then 10 Years Old - Nell Vanderbie. By this time in the Year between 1850 & 1855, I was a pretty Wild Youngster going to School when I was Watched but often Playing Hookey. I was A Circus Actor and could Tumble Jump and tear around with the best of them. Joe Tinkam was our Tutor and we really owned quite A Large Tent in wich we gave Preformances on the Ground Now Occupied by the City Hall. Linkham afterwards became Famous as an actor.
In them days Lead was found Plenty on the Surface on the Hills and discarded Dirt of the Miners. I often made from 50 to 75 per day picking Mineral. I became an Expert Swimmer and Skater and the Leader in all the Mischief of the Smaller Fry. I had earned a One Barrell Shot Gun by Sawing Wood and went Hunting Saturdays. One Day I went Hunting for Snipe on the Flats (where now Stands
St. Marys Church then a Cornfield) I saw sitting on a Fence Post A Quail. I crept up as near as I thought it Safe, then I banged Away, but the Bird was still there. I fired 3 or 4 times, but still the Bird was there, and on going there I found it a very dead Bird Tied by String to the Fence. I was up to all sort of Tricks and Mischief. Pat Nortown Owned a long Row of Small Frame Bldgs 7 or 8 of them. In one of them Lived a French Canadian Family - they had 4 or 5 boys - we were Playmates - they got the Small Pox and were all Broken out with it, but still played around with us. We got into A Fight one day and when the Scrapp was over, I found my Hand Covered with Matter, but some of us Caught the disease.
The Cemetary was A Good Hunting Ground for Quails up to 1854 it was full of Large Trees and the Grounds were as High as it is where the Sisters School now Stands on 13th & Main St. so things went on. I had been Circus Actor, was one Summer Associated with Sam Patch (a fellow Rascall) in Charge of the Public Hog Pen - we had lots of Boys engaged to drive Stray Pigs for us - we Paid them 10 per Head. Sam and Me got 25 per Head for them. I cant enumerate all the doings of Us Boys of those days - But I do Know that the Folks put an end to my Hog Pen Speculations when they found it out. But we made Money. Jack Burt, Lawyer Burt Son and me were quite Chummy. He had a Nice Rifle, and one day we went out hunting in the Hills for Quails. We went up what is now West 14th St. then only a Path, and over the Hills and finaly came out on the Hill above Washington Part at the Head of 6th & 7th St. There was not even at that time (1854) A House anywhere on the Hill. We had got no Game, not a thing. So Jack proposed we Shoot at each Others Hats. Of course it was a go, and I went Home without a Hat and Jacks had not a Hole in it. (I wonder where Jack is now?) Space will not in these Memoirs permitt me more of the early days in detail. I will relate them in my Early Recolections of Dubuque.
I was now 14 Years Old and as there was an Opening for an Errand Boy in the Store of Barney Scott & Co, in the Globe Building on
Main & 5th I was put there Sept 1st 1855. John and George G. Moser were Clerks there then. It was A General Store, everything was Sold there, it was what Department Stores are now Called, it was the Largest and best in Town. Mr's. Schiffield and Scott were two Young Men from Uttica, N.Y. They were not Married. Mr. Barney was A fine Young Man from Vermont also Single. All Hands Slept in the Store in them days - and We Opened up for Business at 7 AM and closed at 10 PM. Goods Were Sold on a years Time and hardly any Questions asked as to Standing.
The Summer of 1856 Sands and Nathans Large Circus was Showing in Town. One Evening W E Dickinson (Now A Dentist in Minneapolis) Came to Store and told me the Circus People wanted to see me right away, he said that Joe Tinkham was with them. Mr. Barney allowed me to go but cautioned me very Strongly against allowing Myself to be Talked into going with them. I promised to do so. When I got to the Circus, they at once took me to the Dressing Tent, and in Spite of my Protest, Put me into Circus Tights and Dress. Then with the Rest of the Acrobats and Tumblers, I was sent into the Ring, Packacked with Thousands of People, and it Seemed to me, everyone of them Said, There is Joe Conzett, There is Joe Conzett, everybody in Town Knew me at that time. I was Scared as I never was before, After Two Apearances in the Ring they finaly let me go, but Offered me a Tempting Salary to Travel with them. But the Sawdust Ring had lost its Charm for me and I was glad to get away. My Bosses Congratulated me on the Stand I had taken. But for some time after they made me show them my abillity as an Actor after the Store had Closed Evenings.
One Morning I think it was in the Spring of 1857, while out on the Porch wich ran all along the back part of the Globe Building and had a Stairway leading down to 5th St., I heard a Shot Ring out. Then Saw a Crowd of People Running down 5th St. I too ran Down and in front of the Frame Building on 5th St Right West of and near where now Hartigs Genr. Store is, the Streets was packed with People. A Tailor by the Name of Gillick lived there, and he had Shot his Wife in one of his Drunken Fits. He used an Old
fashioned Horse Pistol he had brought with him from the Mexican War. She Lived through the day and died in great Agony. We Could Hear her Scream A Block away. (I will close the story of this Tradgy here all though it will bring this Paper over A Year in Advance of the regular Narrative.) Of Course Gillick was at once Arrested and Sent to Jail. He was Tried, Granted New Trials until he had been in Jail over a Year, when he was t last Condemmed and Sentenced to be Hung. So one warm day in the Summer of 1858 he was Hung and the Display-Parade and fuss made over his Execution was really like A 4th of July Parade or A Street Circus display. Jerry Cummings was then the Sherriff. When they took him out of the Jail, Mrs. Cummings was leaning out of A Window. She was Crying as if her Heart would break and Waved him Goodby. He, the Sherriff and A Catholic Priest were with him. A long line of Carriages followed behind in wich were the Court Official and Citizens, and following that was Hundreds of People in line, 2 by 2, at the Head of it was the Bermanic Band (Brass, Ferdinand Heeb was its Leader.) playing Dirges - and One Man was Carrying A Large Star Spangeld Banner (think of it). The Streets and House tops were Lines and Black with People Anxious to see the Procession and the Condemned Man. The Gallows was Erected out on Eagle Point near where the Public School now Stands. There was then not A House nearer than Hams Log House and very few nearer than on Eagle Point & Couler Ave - Here and there a Strayling Shanty. It was over A Mile from the Jail - and was A Sand Dessert - The Bluff near and for as far as I could see were Black with People - that had come to Town for Miles from Wisconsin Illinois and our Own Farmers with there Wives and Children were there to see this Tradgy - A fright farce as we now see it. Well on Reaching the Gallows the Sherriff Priest and Prisnor were soon on the Scaffold and after a short Prayer by the Priest Gillick stepped on the Trapp - the Noose Adjust on his Neek, the Black Cap drawn over his Face - Then the Sherriff cut the Rope and in 10 minutes Gillick was in Eternity and He was driven in an Express Wagon the Horse on a Gallop to the Catholic Cemetary on Third St. This was the last Public Execution in Dubuque County. The Public revolted against any more such Spectcals. I wittenssed it all from Jail
to Scaffold against Mr. Sheffields Advice, but I wanted to See A Man Hung - and it Cost me A Nice New pair of Blk Broad Cloth Trousers. I split them across the Knee in Getting on a Wagon to see the whole or end of it. The fashion at that time was to Wear Trousers so Tight one had to allmost be pulled into them, and mine could not stand the Strain.
In December 1856 I was taken very sick and had to go Home. We were then Living in Uncle Rudolphs House on the 2nd Floor. Father had Sold his House on Iowa St to Bissell Moser and Co. for 2800.00. He Bought A Lot on Almond St where next Summer he Built A House wich was our Home until Mother died in 1888. I was very sick for A Month or six weeks. We were all then yet Living at Home. Jacob was still Studying for the Ministry but about to Graduate, Dave and Otto were Working at the Harness Track for L. D. Randall & Co. On my Recovery the Folks sent me to School - to the Presbeterian College in West Dubuque, where now Stands the Finley Hospital. Rev John Boutly (?) was our Teacher in Latin and Greek and G. Moery (?) was my School Mate. Him and Me that Winter were the Janitors of our (the Blue) Church. I attended that School Just one Term, when finding out that Rev Mr. Van Vliet our minister and my Folks were benton Making a Preacher out of me, I revolted. I did not want to Preach. So one day in the Spring I brought my Books Home and told Them I had Quit School. They got so Angry they told me I could Leave the House and get along as best I could. I took them at their Word at once, and as the Situation at the Store was Open Fore me, I went there at once. On telling Mr. Sheffield my Tale, He told me they would give me $8.00 for Month and Board me at the Tremont House for this Year, so I was in the Store again. This was in the Spring of 1857. I never Lived Home again until After the War - but after the Folks anger had Cooled of, Mother tried to persuade me to Live at Home again, but I did not do it. Still I took Dinner with them on Sunday. Bought a Carpet for Their Front Room, (they were now living in their New Home on Almond St.) and Kept Mama and Mary in Clothes, in the Fall of this Year I was Promoted to A full Clerkship - Mat Ploukli (?) taking my Place As Errand Boy.
My Salarry was now also increased , in the Fall of 1858 the Firm , Now Sheffield & Scott, Moved to a New Two Story Building of Three Stores, Occupied on South by our Firm The Center by L. W. Jackson, North by Mudjet (?) and Whitney. All of them now First Class Dry Goods Stores. The Country Style now Ellimated as the City was now putting on Metropolitan Airs. The intire 2nd Story was Occupied by a Mr. White as A Gambling Den - Run Openly day and Night and Was a Famous Resort for Years. This Building stood on the Ground now Occupied by Levis Dry Goods Pallace. Among My Fellow Clerks of that day or time was P W Skemp, J C Anderson and C S Keller, the last two going to Pikes Peak on the outbreak of the Gold Fever in 1859. In that Year I was one of the Crowd that Chartered the Ferry Boat Peorstu (?) to Go to Galena Ill to hear Lincoln and Douglas Speak. I did see but not Hear them. The Crowd was so great I could not get near enough - so I Clum A Tree and so saw Them. And am now Proud to say that I Saw that Great and Good Man Abraham Lincoln.
So passed the Years of 1858 and 1859. We all Slept in the Store in them days. I spent most of my Evenings in the Store Reading of wich I was allway fond. I loved History and Historical Works, some of wich I still have yet.
The Year of 1860, the Presidential Year came on and was an Eventfull Year. Lincoln and Hamline were the Republican Candidates. The Wide Awakes with their Torches and Capes Marching through the Streets with Torches A-Blaze Singing Patriotic Songs, Created intence Excitement. Of course I was One of the Loyal Marchers. Oh "those never to be forgotten days." Well Lincoln and Hamline were Elected. The South Suceded. Fort Sumptor was Bombarded and Captured in April 1861. The Civil War was now a fearfull Reality. My Brother David went out in the First Call for Troops. Elisting in the Jackson Guards as one of the Companies of the Immortal 1st Iowa Infantry who at the Battle of Wilsons Creek Mo. So greatly distinguished themselves and at whose head the Gallant General Lyon (?) lost his Life. Who that Saw the Home
coming of those Brave Boys of the Gov Greys and the Jackson Guards will ever forget it. With Banners Waving Arms at Right Shoulder the Bronzed Heroes came Proudly Marching up on Main St amidst the Hussahs of the Thousands Lining the Streets. The Girls Entwing their Heads & Shoulders with Garlands. The Town was all theirs. And how us Boys envied them and then & there Vowed to be a Soldier Boys.
So one day in August 1861, Chas Weigel and Geo Healey came to the Store and Bought some Red Flannel for Shirts. They told me they had Enlisted with Capt Schaeffer who was getting up a Company For Fremonts Hussars, and they asked me to go along. I told Them I would let them Know soon, so at Dinner Time I went to See C A Gilleam (?), who was one of my Boyhood Play Mates and was then Clerking for Mr Henion in his Grocerie Store on Main bet. 7th & 8th (?) St. I told him of Weigel & Healy and asked him if he would Enlist if I would. He said, Joe come in on your way back from Dinner and I will lit you Know. I did so and the upshot of it all was that Without farther delay we went to the Recruiting Office and Enlisted for Three Years with Fremonts Hussars. My Employers were Surprised and tried hard Keep me Home by Offering me better Pay & etc. but I had made up my Mind to be a Soldier and told them so. They then Paid me all due me in Gold, Some #300.00. All but #50.00 of wich I gave to Mother. All the Folks objected to my going very hard, but it now had to be, so on the 1st of September 1861, we Marched to the Landing Followed by our Weeping Mothers and A Host of Friends. We Boarded the Steamer and Two days after Landed in St. Louis Mo. We were at once Marched out to Camp Asboth, Two Miles out on the Rollo Ternpike. Here we Found the first Arivals of our Company, and here we were introduced to our first taste of Soldier Life and Fare, Boiled Beef Cabbage Soup full of Flies on Tin Plates & Tin Cup, Our first Dinner. Bare Boards with one Blanket for our Bed. Tough as it was, we many times in after Years of our Service longed for such A Dinner. Our Service as Fremont Hussars was vary Brief. He was Relief of his Command. We were then with
Troops from different States formed into A Regiment and were Known as Curtis Horse Cavalry, and very soon after Taken to Benton Barracks, where we with fully 30000 Other Brave Boys were now put in Trim to prepare us for Real Soldiers. Drill, Drill, Morning Noon and Night was now the Order of the day. Our Col was W.W. Low, A Regular Army Capt. M. T Patrick of Omaha was our Liut Col. We had 3 Majors, Schaeffer, Hoolan & Brackett also 3 Adjutants, Edwards, Aston, and A full Non Com Staff. There were 12 Companies of 100 Men Rank & File, A B C & D from Neb., E F & H from Iowa, G K I from Minnesota, L & M from Missouri. We were now in good Form, Well Officered but poorly Armed, as to Carabines. We now felt ready to Face the Foe. But we still need more preperation especially in Drill on Horseback & Sabre Drill and especialy with Carabine and Revolver Target Shooting. It was hard on us Boys not used to Horseback Riding. We were Sore for many days after, but finaly got used to it. We were Known as Curtis Horse until 1862 when by Order of War Dept, We became the 5th Iowa Cavl. The Regiment was Consolidated and Reorganized. Only one Major and One Adjutant for the Regiment was allowed from this Time on. Maj Schaeffer remained our Major but Adj Edwards was Musterd out of Service and Went Home. On the Reorganization of the Regiment the Companies were also Reorganized. Our Company was Organized as follows
Captain Chas C. Nott of Nott of New York City 1st Lieutenant M M Wheelor of Dubuque Iowa 2nd " Levi Morning (?) of Dubuque Iowa 1st Sergt Andrew Guler of Jamestown Wis QM Sergt Josiah Conzett of Dubuque Iowa 5 Duty Sergts Name 8 Corporals (several blanks) Farier Blk Smith Jas Desmond Dubuque Iowa Sadler Sergt John Brainerd Wyoming Teamsters Jacob Cash St Louis Mo " Martin Iowa
Capt Nott Was or had been Suprtndt of Public Schools of N Y City. He was Well Aquainted with President Lincoln. He was A Tall fine Solderly Looking Highly Educated Christian Gentleman easily the Peer of any Officer or Soldier in the Regiment. How it ever happend that he came to our Regiment and Company I allway Wonderd at but never found out. However as this Story will show, He was before Long filling A Higher position - it was he to whom I was indebted for my Promotion - as Surprising to me as it was Astonishing to my Comrades of the Co. - Now we were Drilled and Drilled - On Horse Back and on Foot, With Swords and Pistols until the Officers Felt sure we Could hit A Barn Door with Carabine or Pistol Ten paces off - and Stick a Pig with our Swords, so we could at least disable and catch it. The First Carabine we had was an Old Blunderbus that we were affraid of either to Load or Shoot. It was more dangerous to the one behind it than the One in front of it, and that Thing We had to Carry for 6 Months after we got to the Front, about the first days of February, we were Orderd to the Front.
We went by Steamboat down the Mississippi to Cairo - up the Ohio to Paduca Ky, then up the Tennesee to Fort Henry - and we were within 12 Miles of Fort Donaldson and its 20,000 Rebbels - so at last we're in the Midst of War and its Dangers. But more of Mud and Typhoid Fever than Bullets. Our First Camp we Named Camp Mud and it was not Miss Named for Both Horse and Man Sank up to their Knees in it after being on it 2 or 3 Hours in A day or two we could hardly find a spot dry enough to build a Fire and or to Cook our already Scant Rations. There were 25 or 30,000 Troops here and near here and Genl Grant was preparing to Move onto Ft Donaldson. Wich he did very soon After and in 3 days Captured it. I will not try to describe it as every School History does it better than I can. Our Captain was the only one of the Company in it, he had been Detained at St Louis on A Court Martial when we left. He Came to Donaldson with Col Shaw of the 14th Iowa and was with Them throughout the Battle We were in Sight and Hearing of the Battle but not in it or any particular Danger except from stray Shells or Bulletts. The Regiment was on
the Courier Line Carrying dispatches from the Field to Grants Head Quarters. I now began to think Soldiering was not Half as Romantic as it had Looked to me in Dubuque, and I and the Rest often Sighed for a Meal as good and plenty as our First one at Camp Asboth, but We were in for it and make the best of it, but we were Sorry we had come. While yet at Camp Mud, Privates Henry Pfotzer and Henry Buch (?) Rode out into the Country a few Miles to Forage around for Anything they could Find to Eat. They went out without any Pass or Permission, in going out in the Morning they Crossed an insignificant Creek, hardly Knee deep. It Rained all day so when they came back in the Evening it was A Raging Torrent. They had to get back to Sneak in befor Roll Call to avoid Severe Punishment, so they Undertook to Cross it. But Allass. Poor Henry Birch never got to shore Alive. His Horse went under and he with it. Pfotzer had A Large Powerfull Horse that took him across in Safty. Next Morning we found Henry's Body. We put it into a Pine Box, the best we Could do and Poor Henry laid in front of my Tent all that Day and Night in a Drenching Rain. This was our First Death at the Front. Henry Pfotzer was Tied up by his Thumbs several Hours for Going out without a Pass. He was discharged for Disability a short time afterward. How Sick or how disabled he was we never Knew or Cared, as noone was specialy sorry to see him go.
My duties of Quarter Master Sergt were no Joke now. It Kept me in the Saddle all day Riding through the Mud, Slush and Rain and Fighting the Regimental Q M Sergt. for Rations and Clothing for the Men and Grain and Hay for the Horses - and then have another Squable with Men in dividing the Rations. It was no easy matter to divide One Ham amgs 75 to 85 Men in Equal parts so that noone could get A Bone, but that and other impossible Things they expected me to do. But I was never Called down as they say by my Superiors and I got the Compliment of being the Best Co Q M Sergt in the Regiment.
At last a better Camp was Selected for us on Higher Ground and in A Nice Grove of Large Trees. We Called it Camp Dry. From here Scouting Parties were sent out evry day as Gurrillas were bothering
us Considerable. On One of these Scouts one of the Companies of the 1st Battallion Rain into an Ambush and got badly punished for it. This was early in March 1862. Grant with his Army was Still here, but now preparing to Move upto Corinth Miss, where the Rebaals were gathering in Large Numbers under Albert Sidney Johnson with Genl Beuregard as Second in Command. They were regarrded as the Two Ablist Generals the Rebbels had. Lee and StoneWall Jackson had not yet got the Reputation they afterward gained. A few days after we got Settled in Camp Dry, Hardship and Exposure at last got the Better of me and I got to Sick for any Duty. Our Doctor dosed me with Calomel and Blue (?) Mass until evry Tooth in my Head Rattled like a Lot of Dry bones. I had a Rageing Fever. At last the Seriousness of my Sickness was Seen, and I was Orderd to the Hospital. My Brother David Carried me down to the Hospital Boat on his Back with 2 of my Blankets also. The Steamer was Crowded with the Sick and Wounded. Wounded at they Battle of Fort Donaldson and had lain around all this Time since. David took me up into the Cabin and so Crowded was it that he could Hardly find Room for me on the Floor. He Spread my Blankets on the Floor for me, made me as Comfortable as possible, then bade me A Tearfull Farewell. Poor Brother he never expected to see me again. One of our Boys, Andrew Meiser was here going to the Hospital, what for I could not Help Wondering how a Sick Man could eat so much as he did. He was Noted for his Miserly Habits. He drew but One whole Suit of Clothes during the entire Four Years, and the Fatigue Cap he drew at Camp Asboth he still had when we were all Discharged. How many days we were on the boat I have no Recolection of, as I was in A Delerious condition most of the Time, but at last we Arived at Evansville Indianna where A New Hospital had just been Opened. My Comrade Meiser took me and my Blankets on his Back and Carried me up to the Hospital, where I was soon in a clean Bed, but Oblivious to all my suroundings.
(Page 5 in the Ledger is a repeat of the tale about the two went foraging for food when the Regiment was at Camp Mud.)
6-7 1862 When I arrived at the Hospital, I became Unconscious and remained so for Several days. When I came to, I found myself under the Hands and in Care of Two Ladies, not Nurses, but Visitors greatly interested in all the Sick and Wounded Boys in Blue. They were Mother and Daughter. The Daughter was the Wife of a Gun Boat Captain. They it seems had asked the Hospital Authorities to take me to their Home and take care of me there, but as that was against the Regulations it could not be, so they Received permission to care for me there, and from that Time until I left the Hospital they took Sole Charge of me & Under Providence to them and their Care I am my own self and while Life Lasts I shall never forget them. To my great Regrett I have forgotten their name, but their Memory will Abide with me Forever. On my Return to the Regiment I had to report myself to the Hospital. I then called at the Home of these dear Friends. They received me with Open Arms as one Risen from the Dead for no one ever expected that I would ever Recover. I spent the day and that Night with them. Had I been their Son they could not have been Kinder or more Loving to me. So next Morning I bid them Farewell and since then I have not seen or heard from them. No Doubt they have long since gone to their Reward - And I cherrish the Hope of again Meeting them in that better World beyond the Grave -
I was in the Hospital 5 or 6 Weeks - about a Week or ten (10) days after being there I Noticed that the Doctor did not prescribe for my any more - so I asked the Hospital Steward why he did not Give me any more Medicine, He evaded the Question in some way as also did the Ladies that took care of me and I saw Tears running down their dear Faces when I asked them. I then felt that something they did not want to tell me the Matter, so next day when the Doctor (Terney) came around, I asked him right Out what the matter was. He then told me that he was afraid I had not many days to Live and so did not want to worry me with Medicine that did me no good. He told me I had better have some one Write to my Folks wherever they were and tell them of my Condition. I took no Stack in what he said for I felt sure I would get Well - but the Young Lady said she would be glad to
Write - and she did so at once and she Wept all the time she wrote it and I made Fun of her. She wrote to Father. I told her to tell them to send me Some Money as I did not like them (the Ladies) to spend Their Money for Danties they sent out and got for me. Well in a Week or so A Letter came to me from my Former Employers Sheffield & Scott (written by Mr. Scott) in wich they enclosed a #5.00 Bill saying with other good and dear Words to me, that when asured that this was me and I received the Money more would be sent and evrything that it was possible to do for me would be done - I can even Now tell how good I felt over that Letter and how it Cheered me up. I still have the Letter (June 7/09 ?) and it is One of my Cherished Treasures (Mr Scott having passed away.) In a few days after receipt of the Letter, I was made very Happy by seeing my dear Brother Jake come Walking into the Ward - Language cant express the feelings and the Joy of that Moment and time - so - I will not try - but Oh it seemed so good to see some dear Face from Home. Well Forloughs were hard to get at that time for evry Man was needed at the front as soon as he could stand but by presistent effort and Cooporation of the Doctor He finaly got a 30 days Forlough for me - so he at once took me to a Hotel and next Moring on board of a Steamboat, as the Doctor told him it was the only show (?) of getting me Home alive, to take me all the way by Boat - down the Ohio and up the Mississippi about 800 Miles to Dubuque wich could Take about a Week or more. When we arived at Cairo I was so Tired I begged my Brother to Take me the rest of the Way by Rail Road, which He finnaly consented to do. We had to wait until Next Morning for the Train, so we went to a Hotel to wait. I remember the Town was all Overflowed, the Ohio being so high, we had to go to the Hotel in a Boat, and such a dirty hole I never saw. I amused myself and spent the long Hours by Killing Bed Bugs on the Wall from my Bed - The Walls when we left looked like a Miniture Battle Field. Early next Morning we took the Train (ICRR). Evrybody on the Train was very Kind to me the Ladies especialy did evrything possible to make me Comfortable. A Soldier in them days was of some Consequence and were Toddied and Feted to their Hearts Content. Well early the following Day we arived in Dunbith (now East Dubuque). I remember Capt Gates of the Ferry Co was at the Train and he took me in his Arms and carried me to the Boat and Laid me down in his Bunk in his Cabin - Well we Landed in Dubuque
and in about 30 Minutes I was at the dear Old Home on Almond St. My Dear Old Father and Mother Hovering over me and doing all that Love could in any way Suggest for my Comfort and Oh how good it felt to see all the dear Old Faces once more. The first thing they did was to send for our Old Famili Doctor (Thooman.) He quickly told them that I needed No Medicine, had too much in me now. He told Mother to Feed me on Oysters Chicken Soup & etc. and she did the Thing up Brown as only a dear Good Old Mother can. In about 10 days I was up and around Hobbling on a Cane. All my Friends came to see me and Whenever I went down Town I had a Reception at evry Corner. I was the Attrachion, a Regular Circus for the Time. It was thought I could not go to the Regiment when my 30 days were up, so They applied for 30 days more and it was granted. But Just then News Came that the 5th Iowa (My Regiment) had been all Cut up & Captured in a Fight in Tennessee. (It was as first Reports Generally are - greatly Exagerated.) This News so Excited me that although my first 30 days were not yet up and my extra 30 days at hand, I determined to start for the Front at once in spite of the Remonstrations of the Doctor and all my Friends and even the News That my Sweetheart dear Nellie V was on her way from Plattville could not detain me.
So next day I started off and the day fowlling I reported myself To the Hospital at Evansville Ind - as ready for Duty and for Transportation to the Regiment whereever it Was - Dr Terry was greatly Surprised - he never expected to see me again and at best not for a long time. I then called on my Dear Lady Friends that so faithfully Cared for me while in the Hospital - they too were so Surprised but Just as glad to see me. I had to spend the day and Night with them - Next Morning I boarded the Steamer for the Front. I remember that Govenor Morton (?) the War Gov of Indianna and his Staff were on Board to Visit the Troops from Ind and see to Them and their Sick & Wounded after the Terrible 2 Days Battle of Shilo on the 16 & 17 of April. (I should have stated that the Fight of our Regiment that hurried me to the Front took place the 5th day of May 1862 and I left Dubuque 3 or 4 days Later.) Well we went down the Ohio and reached Paducah Ky next day - where as good luck for me, the Steamer that our Col
made his Headquarters on was in getting Supplies. So I boarded her and heard from the Boys that were aboard all the particulars of the late Fight - it seems Our Battallion Co E F G & H under Maj Schaeffer Had been Orderd on a Scout from their then Camp Low - to Parris Tenn - they arived at Parris, and there Roumers of Large Bodies of Rebels in the Vicinity marched there - but the Major thought it only a Bluff so Kept on. Next day position information reached him that the Rebel King with a Large Force of Troops were Between him & the Camp on the Tennesee - were Now at Paris heading for Paducah to Capture it and had heard of him & his Command and was going to Gobble him up by the Way, so the only thing he could do was to try & reach Paducah first - on The afternoon of the 5th of May they reached the Obion River a Small Slugish Swampy River wich Had a Rickety Cordway Bridge over it - they should have Crossed the Bridge & destroyed it - then they could have had time to excape - (But the Maj saw a fine House with some Nice looking Women on the Poarch on this side of the Stream, and the Maj was a great gallant where Fine Ladies were Concerned.) So instead of Crossing as he should have done He gave Orders for a short Halt to give the Men A Chance to make a Cup of Coffe - a little Feed Rest and Rubb Down for the Horses, he himself went up to the House and no doubt was also Refreshed there for the Short time he had. Allas poor Maj This Imprudence & Carelessness Cost him his Life for refusing to Surrender he was Shot Dead on the Poarch. Well the Men had hardly got the Saddles of off their Hosres and no time to get Coffe (for the Horse was allways first to a Cavlery Man) when the Pickets (and a Riderless Horse) came rushing down the Road Shouting - Saddle up - Sadle up the Rebs are coming and right behind them could be seen a Dense Mass of Rebbels coming on the Run with their Loud Rebbel Yells. Now all was Confusion. No time to Form Ranks & Show Fight although our Our Capt Nott Tried hard to do so - but he was overwhelmed by the Rush and it was evryone for themselves. Our Men and The Rebels Jamed together all mixed up rushed on and over the Bridge. In the meantime the Major had been Killed and also Private Kuntzman of our Company a Number Wounded and about 1/8 of the Company Captured - amonst the badly hurt was our Capt Nott - his Horse
Threw him Breaking his Shoulder Bone - he managed to Crawl into the Woods & waited until the Rebs all passed by - then Hiding his much Prized Sabre a Gift from his N Y School he wandered around in the Woods until he found some Staunch Union People who took him in and cared for him and finaly after many Trials much Suffering and often in great danger they brought him to Paducah where friends found him and Took him Home to N York. This was his last as an Officer of the 5th Iowa - he was soon Commissioned as Col of the 176th (?) N Y Infantry. He came to us in the Fall of 1862 to Bid us goodby and to try & Recover his Saber and he did. He took our Co over the same route and to his great delight found it under the Log he put it on that Fatal day. Well he left us and the Regiment lost its best Soldier and Manliist Man, & Co E the only good Captain it ever had.
On this disaterous Scout fully one third of the intire Command was Killed Wounded and Captured - among the Captured were Capt Von Minden of Co Y - Lieut Van Vredenberg Our Regimental Quarter Master and my Brother David. the Captured wer taken to Jackson Miss and after 3 Months Captivity were finaly Exchand by Arangement of Genl Halleck and Rebl Genl Bragg. Our Boy were Kept as Prisnors in the Rear of the Rebbell Army during the 3 days Battle of Shilo. They were then sent down the River (Tennesee) and Joined the Regiment early in the Fall - we were then Stationed at Ft Hieman Kentucky having been Order there from F Henry - wich was right on the Oposite side across the River. The Regiment Moved over very Shortly after I was sent to the Hospital. I can well remember the day the Boys Joined us again. We were nearly all on the River Bank to receive them - and Oh what a Dirty Ragged Set they were - Covered with Grey Backs & other Vermin from Head to Foot, but we soon Had them Cleaned up and Rigged out in New & Cleaned Clothes and Oh how glad they were - I will close this acount of the or my Coming back - the Scout and their Return from Captivity by an Account of their Inhuman Treatment by Genl Halleck -
The Boys When Exchanged thought each of them should have a
Certiffecute or some Paper Showing that they were Properly Exchanged, regardles of the Exchange - Had been Published & made Public at Head Quarters of our Army & the Rebbel Army. They could not understand it and feared to go back to duty without such an Cirtiffacute being furnished them as they would be Treated as Spies & Shot if ever the Rebbels Captued them again - of course the Boys were in the Wrong as they had been properly & Legaly Exchanged and it should have been more plainly & kindly Explained to them wich was not done - but they were harshly told to go back to duty at once or to take the Consequences. A few returned to duty among which was our Lieut Andrew Guler (?) (Then our 1st Saurgt.) who I forgot to mention as one of the Captured and My Brother David who I with great difficulty finaly Persuaded to go back to Duty - he wanted to stick to the Boys. The rest Obstinatly refused and so were put Under Guard and made to do all the hard and Dirty Work for the intire Camp & Regiment. They were Under Arrest and in that Cruel Condition for Several Weeks when Orders from Halleck came to Dishonorably Discharge them without Pay and to Drum them out of Camp. I can even now recall and remember the Sad Spectacle. It was on a Bleak Cold Day late in the Fall of 1862. The Regiment was Orderd out in Battle Line under Arms and in Full Uniform - The Prisnors (25 to 30 I think) Poor Boys Were then placed in Line in front of us. The Adjutant then Stepped to the Front and in a Trembling Voice Read Genl Hallecks Cruel Order to them - the Order was then given them to About Face - Forward March the Drum Corps Played the Rogous March and so excorted them out beyond our Lines into the Rebbel Country Infested by Gurrillas Robbers and Scoundrels, deserters from both sides who would not Hessitate to Rob and Kill them on Sight - they were Forbidden to come into our Lines anywhere for Help - Oh, it was the Sadest Sight and hardest duty we were ever called to preform - and we were not Ashamed to Let our Tears flow freely - They all got Home safly But to us it was a Miracle How they excaped all the Dangers they had to Overcome -
I will now go on and relate the happnings on my Arival to the Regiment wich I found in a disorganized State and Panic on the
Banks of the Little Sandy River on the West Side of the Tennesee about 10 Miles above Ft Heiman. A Large Force of Rebbels were in the Vicinity somewhere, and an Attackt was feared any Time and as we were the only Troops within 50 or 60 Miles and we only about « a Regiment 6 or 700 strong our Show (chance?) to be Killed or Captured was very good. We were then Armed with the Sharps Carabine, Navy Revolver & Saber and had as artillery One Antiquated 8 Pound Gun. We were greatly Relieved in the Afternoon to see a Steamer coming up the River Loaded with Troops - they were the 4th Minnesota Just from Home on the way to the Front - Our Colnel Halted them and then They and our Regiment at once Marched out to find the Johnies - We went 10 or 12 Miles but the Rebs had gone - so the Scare was over and we Marched back - the Minnesota Boys went Aboard their Steamer and left us - They were a New Regiment Just from Ft. Snelling and a fine looking Lot of Men, but like all New Troops were loaded down with Steel Lined Vest, Danties, Extra Clothing Blankets Boots & etc. The most of wich they discarded on our 10 Mile Tramp that day in Search of the Rebs and wich they said was an Outrage to force them out on an Extra March - I guess they soon learned that that March was but a Picnic -
Well next day we went down to Ft Heiman and Camped on the High Bluff overlooking the Tennessee for Miles up and down, Also Ft Henry right oposite across the River - We Camped there all that Summer in Peace & Quiet with Plenty Grubb and lots of Time - Our Time was spent Scouting after Gurrillas and Skirmishing with them about evry Week or so - but no Serious Trouble ocured to us this Summer - I must here relate a very trying thing that happened toone of the Boys of our Company William Morgans of Dubuque - one of our good Boys. Our Col was anxious to Organize a Brass Band as We had only Fife & Drums, as Billie was a fine Muscian he was detailed from the Co to Join the Band - but he flatly refused to do it. He said he Enlisted as a Soldier not a Muscian and told them he would not Play in the Band. They tried hard to induce him to Play - but he just Stubbornly refused to do it, so they arested him - took Him to the Point of the Bluff and Tied him to the Wheels of the Cannon by Hands & Feet outstreched as far as they could - it was a Hot day - with a little Shower off and on -
the Mosquitos were Thick & bad - they Settled on his Hands & Face in Swarms all day - no one was allowed to go near & help him - there he stood all day & what he Suffered Can hardly be told - when he was released he was a Sight to behold - his Face was Swollen so he could not See and his Hands & Feet were Twice their usual Size - it was a Cruel and Unwarranted Punishment. I think the Officers responsible for it realized it and Feared the Consequences if it got beyond the Command, especially so the Sergt Maj - A Man that had been in the German, and Officer in their Army to whom Privates were Only dumb Brates - it was he who suggested that Mode of Punishment and Carried it out. He Resigned and Left the Army very soon after. Well for him that he did. The Intire Regiment was disgusted over it and in a Very Serious Mood - I doubt if he ever would have Come out of the first Fight after it Alive, and he knew it, feared it and so left. But Billy carried his Point. He was never asked to Join the Band again, but he would not Reinlist with the Regiment in 1864 - he Had enough, and who could Blame him - One more incident while in Camp there. Ludicrous as it was, and serious as it might have been - Brother Dave was our Co Sadler and so had a Seperate Tent for a Work shop. One Hot Afternoon he had Ocasion to go Out, so he Stuck his Round Knife (wich was as Sharp as a Razor) on a low Box (that he used as his Tool Chest) on its Edge - He came back in a Short time and without looking or Thinking of his Knife - He Set right down On it. Of corce he lost no time in getting up, and grabbing the Seat of his Trousers. He made for the Hospital as fast as his Leggs could Take him. The Hospital was Fortunatly only 2 or 3 Hundred Yards away. They dressed his Wound wich fortunatly was only a flesh one, but deep - it Touched no large Viens so next day he was out and beyond being a little Sore & Stiff he felt no Bad effects from it. I happned to be near and see it all when he Rushed from his Tent and Wonderd what it was - so I followed him up and soon learned what his Hurry was about. I was greatly Relieved to Learn that the Thing was not Dangerous or Serious. Poor Dave he was one of the Unfortunate ones that was distined to Find a Soldiers Grave in the South. A Braver Soldier never Lived.
I Begged him to stay at Home, when he came Home from his 3 Months Service. He was a Member of the Dubuque Jackson Guards that was Part of the Famous Iowa 1st that Genrl Lyon Led in the Charge against the Rebels at the Battle of Springfield Mo - Augst 10th 1861 and at whose Head the General was Killed - but Dave could not Rest at Home so he came down and Joined us while we were Yet at Camp Asboth St Louis Mo - in the Fall of the Year (1862) we Moved Our Camp down on the Flats on the Bank of the River and Established a Permanent Camp - we Had a fine Camp laid out in Regular City Style - with Wide Streets between each Co and a Wider Street at the Head on the Other Side of wich in Beautifull Order, The Field and Staff and below it the Co Commissioned Officers were Located - it was a fine Street for our Parade & Reviews. The whole Regiment (12 ?) Companies were Quarted in Log Houses wich we Jayhunked (?) out in the Country and wich were Vacant. All the People having left in Haste on the Aproach of our Troops - Poor Folk when They finaly came back the found thier Homes had Vamoosed - but they doubtless came and got them again after we left - for we left them Standing - We did not destory them as was the Usual case. Well it was a fine Camp - the Largest and best Looking Town within 25 Miles in either Kentucky or Tennessee and we never had or saw its like again. We remained there until the Summer of 1863. Our Col was at this Time in Command of Ft. Henry, Heiman & Ft Donaldson - had a Brigade of Troops under him and made his Head Quarters on a fine Steam Boat on our Side of the Tennessee - He used it to bring up Supplies For us and the rest of the Brigade and while there we allways had plenty and enough to Spare to Trade off - for Pans Pots & Kettles at a little Country Town 8 Miles from Camp in Kentucky called Concord. There was a so called Hotel there the Only Waiter of wich was a quite good looking young Girl at least to us at that Time for Women were Scarce Around there at that Time and anything in Petticoats was sure to be the Center of Attraction no matter much as to Age or Looks. She had the Typical Walk of the Southeran Country Gril - as if her Feet were Cradles and no doubt dipped Snuff Chewed & Smoked Tobacco as most of them did - although we never saw Her do it - Well we often Rode out there
and Traded Off our Spare Coffe to her or the Land Lady for one of their Dinners. Coffee to them was a great and rare Luxury and we could allways be sure of a good Welcome and get most anything the had for a Pound or Two of it, but she was it must be Confessed a greater Attraction then the Dinnr. There were a couple of Other Families 5 or 6 Miles down from Camp that We frequently went to see. The Nearest one was A Widow With Two Grown Daughters and a Son 20 or 22 Years Old - they were the Typical Poor White Trash and Oh so Poor - so Homley and so Ignorant, the Old Lady was anywhere from 75 to A hundred Years Old, Squint Eyed - Skin like Parchmant and Hands like Claws - The Girls were anywhere from 25 to 40 Years Old and no great Improvement as to looks or Actions. We never made long Calls there but out of Pity for Their Folorn Condition frequently gave them Coffe and Hard Tack or Bacon. Their Son Jack came down to Camp often we grew to like him and finaly when We left that part of the Country He Enlisted in our Company & made a good Soldier. Poor Jack when We returned from our Reinlistment in March 1864 He Joined us in Camp Patrick Nashville Tenn and shortly befor the Regiment left for the Front, He Was taken down with the Small Pox and Died - it was a truly Pathetict Case - I doubt if his Poor People ever Knew what became of him. Thier Name was Turner. The other famili consisted of an Old Grand Father Mother and Daughter, their Names I have forgotten but I Still distinctly Remember them - how the Looked thier Home and thier Suroundings and General looks of things it was a dreary Sterile Godforsaken Country hardly any Road way Surounded by Brush & Scrub Trees. It seemed impossible to Raise enough there to feed Hogs on. They were however Superior in Looks and Condition to the Turners. They apeared well Fed and Clothed and Had some Education. The Old Man said he was a Soldier of the War 1812. Served under Genl Jackson and could never Talk enough about him - the Lady Was a Widow more probal her Husband was a Rebel Soldier. The Daughter was A Short Stubby Fat and Rosey Cheeked Girl - Well dressed for the Time and Place - she was Polite and Friendly - we Named her Dutch Pony. Here we were allways Welcome. Had many a Good Meal, and Several Times Spent the Night there. We never in any Way abused thier Hospitality and Kindness and Paid them allways for what we had or they had to
Sell us in Vegetables, so much Needed in Camp - These are all about the near Neibohrs We had at Ft Heiman expeting Peggy and her dirty Disolute Grils on the Hill about one Mile from Camp. When we left St Louis in 1862 we had with us a Young Negro Boy Named Ned about 10 or 11 Years Old - he Was A Cussing Sprightly Boy - A general Favorite With all - he went through the whole 4 Years with us Only to Die at the end of it at Edgefield Tenn - he Had been ailing for some time One Afternoon I Saw him in his Tent wich was right back of mine Playing Cards with another Young Negro He Seemed Cheerfull and about as Usual - I was gone perhaps an Hour or two and looking in His Tent I saw hime Streched out Stark and Stiff on his Bed Stone Bench (?) - he must have had a Stroke of some Kind and died very Sudenly. We Burried him on the Banks of the Cumberland where he awaits the final call - And Black Mary she disapeared somehow when we left Fort Heiman - She was Black as the Ace of Spades Jolly Full of Fun and the best of Cooks - she would do anything for the Boys at any time and Place even To Share her Bunk with any that asked the Favor and I am sorry to have to say that not only the Privates but Lots of the Officers took advantage of her good Nature & Well, guess in that Way - but She was a Jolly good Fellow & a great Favorite. ***1862***(1862 in left margin of page) The Summer and Fall was passed by Scouting around the Country within a Radius of 100 Miles in all - Direction on both Sides of the Tennese Fighting and Skirmishing and trying to Rid that Section of the Rear of the Main Army Under Gel Grant from Gurrillas and Bushwacks that infested it, and greatly Hamperd the Troops in Capturing Supply Trains - Burning Bridges and Tearing up Rail Roads and capturing Forage Trains with their Small Excort. It Kept the Regiment by Turns, of 3 or 4 Companies in the Saddle most of the Time - but We prefered that to Loafing around in Camp - during the Summer (I think it was Aug u s t.) We Went over to Fort Donaldson - Crossed or Forded the Cumberland and advanced to Clarksville Tenn. We had Several Skirmishes with the Rebs on the way there, In one of these Martin Schliecker of our Company, we being the Advance Guard that day, had his Horse Killed under Him by the Rebs laying in Ambush - There is where Our Lieut
L Moring first showed his Cowerdice - insted of Sedning A Messenger back to the Main Command With the Notice and Further Orders - He galloped back in Hote Haste himself and left us Standing there- Without any Commissioned Officer, but that was not the Only or last Time he showed the White Feather and it is Surprising he was not Court Marshed and sent Home in disgrace long befor the War Ended - Hewas an arrant Coward. Well we got into the Town and we found it a very pritty Town on the Cumberland of 5 or 6 Thousand People when they were at Home But probably not much over Half that now, as the Men were about all in the Rebgel Army. Those that were there Kept out of Sight - the Woman and Girls did not Take to us very Kindly. They Obstinat refused to Flirt with wich we all were so Willing to do - nor Did they get up a n y Parties or Dances for us or even Invite any of us to Dinner. the last however we attended to ourselves. at Dinner Time we went into The first House any of us came on our Tour of Inspection of the Stores in the City and Sat down at the Table with them. Of course they raised no Objection But how Welcome we were and what they Thought of us Their Faces plainly showed. Strict Orders were issued Against any Wanton and Personal Outrages, and on that Score no Complaints were made - but otherwise we went on the Principle - To the Victor belong the Spoils - so we Went into the Stores Closed or Open (but mostly Closed tight) and helped ourselves to anything we wanted. I remember my Brother came to Camp with a Pair of Shoes (2Pair I think) Wrapped up in 4 or 5 Yds of Fine Blk Silk and that is only a faint showing of what the good People of Clarksville Tenn contributed to the Comfort of the 5th Iowa Cavlry. After we left the Paper was mean enough to call us the 5th Iowa Jawhakers and Thieves and Some other Choice Names - We never after were very Popular around there. But we got back to Camp without any Loss exet a few Horses and some Dart Wounds From Cupids Bows, but these were neither deep or Dangerous.
Here comes in right Handy the inkling of a Loss to me that I felt Keenly all through the Rest of the War. When we Drew our Horses at Camp Asboth in Sept 1861 Maj Schaeffer at that time our Captain, pointed out to me A Fine little Horse, Black as MidNight with only a White Star in his Fore Head - and a Beautifull Head and
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