My Civil War Before, During and After
defeat, but Fighting like Lions with Bayonette and Clubbed Musket and Revolver for now it was Hand to Hand Our Boys held thier Ground and the Rebs at that point Fell back for a short time only to try again and again Only to meet the same Fate. here Genl Stanely was Badly Wounded in the Neck and had to leave the Field - in the Center the Fighting was even Fiercer. This was the Vital Point if they (the Rebbs) could break through there The day was thiers and the way Open to them to Nashville and as they Hoped Victory for the Confederacy - So they Fought as only desperate Men can Fight, on they came Seven Ranks deep with thier well Known Rebbal Yell. Time and again, all that Fatal Afternoon did they Charge them Breast Works - and just so often did our Gallant Boys hurl them back with Bloody defeat - Seven times they came right on top of the Works only To Find a Soldiers death there. Genl Pat Cleyborn Was fond dead beside his Horse on the Top - he was one Of the Best and Bravest of Hoods Generals - General Adams also one of Hoods trusted Leaders fell right at the Foot of the Works. We on the right had no share in this Bloody Work. the Rebbels seemed not To care for this Position and did not Attackt us, We couldy only Stand and Wait but it was a Terrable Sight to see, as we only could when a Breeze would Lift the Smoke of Battle - then we could see the Strugling Mass of Humanity Friend and Foe in a Hand to Hand Conflict with fully A Hundred Cannons hurling thier Shot and Shell into there Midst. the Uproar was something Frightfull to Hear - One that has once heard the Scream Of Shells comming towards him will never forget it. it was the Infantry and Artillary that saved this day - the Cavalry could only look on and Wittness this Terrible Scene - but we had to Obey Orders and we did it by Safegaurding our Flanks and so of cource our Rear - it was Realy nearly as bad to Sit still on our Horses and see our Boys Fighting so desperatly as to be in the midst of it - So the Battle Raged all After Noon until Night came on And both Sides were glad to lay down and Rest, so near each other As to Allmost Shake Hands. Only the Artillary Kept up a Duel all Night long the Shell and Shot flying Screaming Over us as we lay flat on the Damp Ground - We had been Called in at dark and were in the Rear of our Forces - Our Trains had been Retreating all Afternoon and Night - Our Army Silently fell into Line and Followed as the last Wagon pulled Our of Franklin - it was A Train 16 Miles long one
Wagon Following the other as Closly as possible - as the first Wagon Enterd the Defences of Nashville the last one was Just leaving Frank. Those that have not seen an Army with its Train On the Move will hardly realize that this is possible - Yet it is so - I myself was there to see it and saw it at different Places and Times in Camp and while in Motion. So the Battle of Franklin Tenn ended - and Ended in fearfull defeat To the Rebbel Army - even though we Retreated and they Held Ground - we had gained our Object - Viz - Saved Our Trains and Army now safe behind the Defences of Nashville with of cource considirable loss in Men & Animals but I think not over 1000 Men about 600 of these in the Battle of Franklin, but not one Waggon was lost - where as the Rebbal Loss was fearfull - 5000 - of thier Dead and Wounded were laying in and around Franklin. Some of them in the Yards of thier Own Homis. One Officer was Killed on his very Doorstep, besides loosing heavily in Officers some of them the best in his (Hoods) Army such as Cleyborne and Adams, and then see his Prey slip through His Hands, As he had fully made up his Mind to Capture Schoffield and his Army and Trains, it must have been A Terrible blow to him and his Men, and to the Citizens of Franklin for this was the Home of a good many of his Men. So they Fought right under the Eyes in many instances Of Father Mother Sisters and Sweehearts - So indeed many of the Poor fellows came Home to die. This Battle was one of the Noted and finest Conflicts of the War and its Consequences were far reaching as will be seen later on.
We had been Notified during the Night that our Regiment Was to bee the Rear Gaurd of the Army, so after the Last Regiment had gone, We Mounted and by Four Front Followed our Retreating Army. Day was Just breaking as we Our Company pulled out we had again the Honor of being the Rear Gaurd of the intere Host Regiment and all - I was to be with 8 or 10 Men (forgot just the exact Number) to be the very Last of all by about ¬ Mile, day was at Hand - the Rebs were in plain Sight and many tims did we look back expecting to see Them after, But no they never made a Move and we all Breathed a deep Sigh of relief when the last one of us Got out of thier Sight - We could never undertand Why the let us go so easy. They had been fearfully Punishd and badly demoralized in some of thier
Commands in The Battle so they did perhaps not feel able to follow us up at once - or they may have regarded us as thier Certain Prey when they got us Cooped up in Nashville. At any rate they did not mollest us. - We had gone about 10 Miles to a Station called Brentwood at The Foot of a Hill where we Saw a Group of Officers On Horsback waiting - when our Company came up The Halted us and told us they wanted us as thier Escort. we were there perhaps a little over an Hour, when We Saw the Advance Gaurd of the Rebbal Army Coming with thier Banners Waving and in no seeming Hurry when the caught Sight of us, there were Quite a Number of General Officers at thier head. it was a fine and impressive Sight but we did not stop To Shake Hands with them! We retired at a Slow Trot To the Subburbs of Nashville and near the Forts and Defences when we (our Company) were Halted and Told to go into Camp our Regiment being somewhere near us. When we had got things fixed for the Night I looked Around and could not find either our Captain or the Lieutenent. they had gone into the City with the other Officers Without saying A Word to me or any one. A very Strange Proceeding and I should have Reported it but did not - about dusk it began to Rain hard - we were without any Shelter so it was a dreary prospect for us with the Rebs Not more than a Mile or two behind us in Camp - I think as Well as I can now Rember about 9 Oclk when one of our Boys (Al Mathews) came up to me - (I was standing beside a Large Tree for a little sheltor with my Horse close by) He Said to me - Seargent I have Captured a Stray Horse that Has no Brand on it I think it belongs to the Rebs. I wish You would give me A Pass to the City I Know where I can Sell him and I will make it all right with you. I was the Ranking Officer (Non Com) in Command of the Company since The Capt & Liutenant could not be found - but I very much Doubted haveing the Authority to grant any Pass. It was a Risky thing to do as we were undoubtedly looked upon A the Picket Gaurd and the Rebs being so near might any Moment Advance - then there would be trouble not for me as Much as for the Captain but I felt pretty Ticklish about it - After thinking it over a few Moments, I told Al to stay right Here a short time and I would see what I could do - so I truged along in Rain and Mud to find Sergt Chas Wiegel Next in Rank. I found him like the rest or most of them Cursing and Swearing at the Luck that Kept us out here in such a Night. Well to be
short about it, I told him That I had to go in Town right away and wanted him to Take Charge of the Company and bring it in when Relieved in the Morning - After grumbling a while he said he would But wanted to Know where to find me or some one else To Relieve him then, I told him we would be on the watch For the Company when it came in. I also told him to bring My Horse as well as Als with him - so I left him and found Al where I left him. I then told him I would go with him But he must agree to give me halve of what the Horse Sold For - wich he gladly agreed to. So I told him we would leave Our Horse and Ride the Captured Nag by Turns - we did Not take either Bridle or Saddle - we Rode in Bare back Holding by a Rope we tied around his Neck, it was pitch Dark and still Raining. The Pike or Road was Mud Knee Deep and all Cut up by our Artillery Horses and Wagons - it Was a Nasty Ride - we finaly arived in Town without being Halted as I dreded we would be. Al Knew right where to Go - we stopped in front of A Livery Stable and All went in, He soon came out with a Man, and to my great Surprise Found him to be one of our Company Named Ensign - he Told me he had been detailed there to look after some Horses. He had not been with us since the Regiment had Left Camp Patrick in November. How the Orderly Seargt had reported him I never Knew but strongly Suspected it to be one of our Captains Tricks wich Ensign Paid him Well for. For they were two of a Kind - Well he took Our Horse and Paid us #50.00 Dollars for him - and as we were All completly Strapped it was A welcome raise - so Al & me Devided the Mony we went to a Restaurant and got a Meal such as we had not tasted for Months - we then went to a Hotel got a Room - Went to Bed and Slept. Oh how we did Sleep. The Next Morning we saw and Joined our Regiment and Company as they came through the Streets we then crossed The River (the Cumberland) and went into Camp at Edgfield - A Subburb of Nashville, in the meen time Hood brought is Army within two and Three Miles Threw up strong Intrenchments and then Besieged Us for the Next Two Weeks - Sending us Shot & Shell To let us Know he was there. The Pickets of both Armies soon established Friendly Relations and Guyed each other and Swapped thier Tobacco four Our Boy Coffee & c. They were in our old Camp Patrick and the Pickets Were on Oposite Sides of the Creek mentioned befor and the Spring also spoken of - was on our Side of the Picket Line - this by Mutual Agreement was Neuteral
Ground A White Flag was put there and in the Morning both Parties (or rather a deatil of each) came down to Wash and Got drinking Water & to Cook with - at such times one would Have thought that the best of Friends were having a Social Chat or a Picnic - in 20 Minutes after they would Be Shooting at each other, and not in Fun either. The Weather was bad - it was now December and Winter had set in with Rain and Sleet Covering the ground with a Thin Coat of Ice making any Movement of the Army Impossible. We were poorly provided with Shelter as all our Tents and Camp Equipage had been Stored away when we Started to Join the Army early in November, so we sufferd A good deal during the Two Weeks we laid there, some of Our Boys that had been taken Prisnors on the McCook Raid Joined us during this Time, having been exchanged - on the Morning of the 14th of December we were Orderd to Move - we Again Crossed the River and went into Camp in the Outskirts of Nashville. Late that Night Orders came to be ready To Move at day break next Morning - we Wonderd what all this Moving around ment - but we were soon enlightned - Revielle Woke us up while yet dark. We soon got our Breakfast of Coffee Hard Tack and Bacon - in a little while after, Boots and Saddles was Blown and we were Mounted and in Line, wondering where or what Next. The Weather had now Moderated and the Roads were passable. it was now Daylight but a Heavy Fogg had settled down so that we could hardly see the Men or the Horses Ten feet away, when The Bugles Sounded Forward. We did not have the faintest Idea as to where we were going, but in perhaps 20 or 25 Minuets the Fogg suddenly Lifted and we found we Were on the Granny White Pike going South - and Both Sides of the Pike or Road lined at parade Rest With our Infantry and Artillary - Then we knew Where we were and what we were there For. They Were waiting for us to Advance and Open the Ball As was generaly the case in most evry Battle - the Cavalry On each side started the Muss. We Halted for 10 or 15 Minuets and right beside our Company was a Company of 12th Iowa the 1st Leiutenat of wich at once came up To me and holding out his hand, said Hello Joe - it Was Tip Fuller a Boyhood Friend that left Dubuque in the early Fifties with his Folks for Hopkinton Iowa. They Lived in the Old Norton Rowe on 14th Several Years. We parted again in a few Moments. I have never seen Him since that time, but
heard he came out of the War Alive, in a few Moments the Bugle Sounded forward by Fours, and in less Time than as it now seems to me we Came in Sight of A Battery of Three Guns posted on a Hill Side in full View of us. The at once Opened up on us and The first Shell flew over our Company (we were in the Advance) So low and near that the Wind from it was felt like a Blow. Co H being next to us and Liut Jack Watson of Bellvue (A Brother in Law of Lawyer Graham of Dubuque) Was instantly (killed) by it - we then saw it Explode in the Ranks of the 13th Ill Ifantery on the Oposite side of the Pike and Open Field 2 or 300 Yards. Now this was a little Tough. The had us in full View and Range but Orders were Orders So we Charged Across in A full gallop and how it came That not one us were hurt will allways be a Mysteri to us. it may Be the Range was to close as we Knew the Shells flew over us I persume they did more dammage to those in the Rear. We now formed in Battle Line. Draw Sabre and Charge Was now the Order, and in Full Gallop the Regiment was on Over the Field and up that Hill - but now sooner did the Rebs see the Sabers out than they Turned their Guns the other way and got out in double quick time - but we got one Of thier Guns- they only had time to get away with 2 of them. This was on the 15th day of December 1864 - and was the Opening of the Two days Battle of Nashville Tenn the 15th & 16th of December, in wich Hoods Army was almost Totaly Anehillated as he crossed the Tennesse River With but a Ragged Remnant of his 50 to 60000 Men That he crossed same River with only about one Month befor. Well we chased them all that day but gave them no time To Halt and Turn thier Guns on us - it was a Runing Fight in wich they had the Advantage - but not much harm was done. We went into Camp that Night pretty tired but very Thankfull that we Escaped with so little Harm. Next Day I think about Noon, we found them again ready For us with thier Battery Posted on A Hillside as usual in A position hard for us to get at. We came in Sight of Them as we reached the Top of a Small Hill - they were On the Other Side of An Open Stretch of Ground from 3 To 400 Yds away. the only Break in it was the little Hollow we came to from down our position and there There was a Small Pond of Water - and about the Middle of the Clearing was a small Bunch of Crabb Aple Trees - That was all there was to Shield us from thier Fire - and that We could not take any Advantage of Small as
it was. in Our Charge - as soon as they Sighted us they Blazed away With Grape and Cannister - Corporal Wismer was Unhorsed And Severly Hurt by that discharge - it was to good a thing For them - we were to good A Target - so we went down To that Hollow and there formed for A Charge - we went At them in good Style and allthough they made away as Fast as they could we would have got some of them and Thier Guns had it not been for A 6 Foot Rail Fence that We did not see on Account of A deppression in the Ground. We could not Tear down the Fence Quick enough to To prevent them from getting to big A Start for us to catch Up with them. We then withdrew and went to the Pond Spoken of Wattered and Rested our Horses a short time. Then We advanced slowly again - when we Heard the Guns Roaring and the Rattle of Muskets around Franklin - for we Were now near there and the Rebs were making a final Stand - so we Threw out our Skirmishers - I being in Command of Them, and Advanced in Line of Battle, but we so no Enemy until we reached the Hights overlooking the Town - When we saw them at A distance of 1 or 1« miles getting Out of Franklin as fast as they could and the Cavalry After them - We were not in this - Right here is where my Horse gave out - and as some 2 or 3 of our Boys were in The same fix and Several had been left in Nashville on Detail I was told to go back and see to them and when The Regiment got into Camp again to Join it with the Boys, so we Slowly Rode back our Horses could hardly carry us. So we walked and Rode by turns and it was A Ride I would like to take again. The Infantery and thier Artillery had given up the Chase - The Cavalry was now left To finish it up - and they had little or no Oposition to expect as Hood Army had gone to Pieces and Thier Genl Forrest Was all they stood between them and utter extinction, And only once did he make a Stand Dec 25/04 to assemble The remnant of Hoods Troops to get across the Tennesee. The Pike all the way to Nashville was Cut up and Mud Allmost Knee deep, and Lined on the Side on the Grass with Wounded - Dead and Dieing mostly Rebbals as our Men were taken care of First. it was a Terrible Fearfully Pittifull Sight even to us that 4 Years had partly hardend. But the Worst was on the Hill in Front of Nashville were The Rebbels had thier Strongest Position and Fortifications - Three Times some of our Best (White) Brigades had Assaulted This Position and each time
driven Back with Terrible Slaughter. Then Genl Stedman was Orderd to try it with His Black Brigade - and he did take it, but it was at a Terrible Cost after Several times being repulsed, as We Rode Over that Fatal and Fearfull part of the Field, it was just Getting dark, and there these Poor Brave Fellow (?) lay in Numbers - we did not count - we Rode away as quick as we could. The were Mutilated and Cut up by Shot and Shell that the Sight was to Horrible to stand & look at.
We went into Camp at Edgfield and for about Ten days - Did nothing but lay around Draw our Rations, Eat and Sleep - It was a lazy Life and we got very tired of it. in the meen Time our Regiment with the others had followed the last of The Rebs to the Tennesee River and there and then gave up The Pursuit. The Rebels were thouroughly discouraged and never After that were Able to get an Army of any Force together again. ***1865***(1865 in left margin of page) We few in Nashville finaly to our delight received Orders To Join our Regiment the Early part of January 1865 - We went by Steamer down the Cumberland and up the Tennesee and found our Regiment in Camp at Gravley Springs Alabama, about 4 Miles back of the River and Oposite Eastport Miss. The Camp was Located in a Valley Amongst the Hills and was the Poorest Drieriest Country We had yet seen in Dixie. The People were all of that - Poor Ignorant Class, called White Trash whom even the Negroes would not associate with, after being there about Two Weeks the Commissarry Stores gave out the River had Fallen so low that Steamers could not get up with Supplies. And the country back to Nashville our Nearest Depot was so Infested with Gurrillas and Lawless Bands from both Armies that we could not Send back there for anything - So all we had to Live on for several Weeks was Nine Ears of Corn on the Cobb for Man and the same for Horses, but We made the best of it by Parching and Crushing it for Coffee and Grinding it betwen two parts of Canteens wich we Preforated by driving Nails through them making it into Rough grinders or Mills and then putting the Corn and Rubbing togather for a while we got a little Meal sush as it Was - and out of that we made Corn Bread and Flap Jacks - and realy we did quite Well and Sufferd but
little from Hunger - at last a few days befor we left the Boats arived And we got a full Supply of evrything Needed and with Them came quite A Large Box from the Wives and Lady Friends of our Jamestown Wis Boys. it was filled with all Kinds And Sorts of Goodies such as Jar of Butter Roasted Chickens and Turkeys Cakes - Pies & c & c. it was sent by them the First part of December and intended as a Christmas Treat. But at the time we were beyond reach of Friends - Mail Or anything else - so the Box laid there all this Time - when We opened it - Allas evrything was so Spoilt and Rank that very Very little even us Tough fellows could not use - what little Could be used even in that state the Boy generously divided. Tom Allen was my Bunky and as his good Wife had been very Active in Sending the Box - he got A Jar of Butter as part of his Share - but O My how Rank it was - and how it did Smell - but By Washing and Working it over - we got it so we could use it especialy On our Flap Jacks - by & by we got used to it, and regretted to see it nearly gone.
One day the latter part of January I was Surprised and Greatly dilighted to receive A Letter from my First and Only Sweet Heart, Nellie Vanderbie. I had given her up As lost to me hearing of her as being Engaged if not Allready Married. I read it and Re read it - and at once Answerd it - (And I would Just like to see that Letter now!) We had not Corosponded for Several Years - each being Misseld by Gossipping Medlesome Fools - she heard the same Thing about me of being Engaged & c & c so we both got Our danders up and Pouted - but never forgot each other in Spite of all. My Mother Loved her dearly so one day while She was Visiting at our Home she persuaded her to Write to Me wich she did - and the Result of that Letter is today in full Evidence - Can be Heard without Ear Trumpts And Seen without the Aid of Eye Glass, so all is Well That ends Well. Her next Letter revealed to me her Feelings and Enclosed a Photo of her dear Self - wich I carried Between the Leafs of A Memo Book for the Rest of the War and long after. This was Our last Corospondence until we Reached Nashville again after the Close of the War - but Her Father wrote me for Explanations of things & c & c wich I answerd - I think to his Satisfaction, as he did not Write again.
Well shortly befor we left this place Promotions were in Order 2nd Leut O A Langworthy to 1st Liut Vic (?) A Guler Killed, 1st Sergt L H Carley to 2nd Lieut Vic Langworthy Promoted Q M Sergt Jos Conzett - to 1st or Orderly Sergt Vic Carley Promoted And so on down the intere line to 8th Corporal wich last Was Geo W Healy. Sergt Chas Weigel took my place as Q M Sergt. So the Time flew by nothing of Note happning until about the Midle of March when Orders came to Move - 3 days Rations and 40 Rounds of Amunition for Carabine & Revolvers. Transportation was Cut down to the Lowest Limit - Only one 6 Mule Team and one Abulance for each Regt. The Ammunition Train was the Longest and of cource the most Important. We were told after our 3 days Rations were gone we would have To Live off the Country - details from evry Regt for foraging were To be sent out evry Morning for that Purpose and the Quater Masters Were to see to its distribution. No Strayling or Insultary Conduct Robbery & c & c to be alowed under the Serverest Penaties - and This Order was Strictly Lived up to during our intere 80 days March - throug Missippi Alabama Florida and Georgia.
Now I was in A perdicament. I had no Horse - none were to be Had in this Barren Country. I tried in evry Quarter but even By the Capt and Quarter Masters aid could I get one - but as There Three or Four Hundred Men in the same fix, I did not Feel Lonesome - We were therefor Orderd to Escort the Train until we could find Horses wich we hoped to do in a day or two, but our hopes were not realized until We came withing 20 Miles of Selma Ala - Well we crossed The Tennesee and Landed at Eastport Miss - when we At once Struck out into the Country - for where or why we did not Know - but suspected we were in for a long Siege Of some Kind by the sort or Kind of Orders Issued - The whole Command was under Maj Genl J H Wilson late of the Potomac Devided into Devissions Commanded by Genls Upton Winslow - Long and Alexander, out Regt was in Uptons Devission and Alexanders Brigade. The Total Strength of the Command was 12000 Rank & File with A Strong Battery of 3 or 4 Field Guns to each Brigade - each Man was Armed with A Saber Spencer Carbin (7 Shooter) and One Large Navy Revolver - A powerfull Splindedly Equippe and Abley Commanded Largest force of Cavalry ever sent out in the West,
if not the intere Country and one we all felt the Rebbels Could not stop or withstand and so it proved to be - we with The Train were allway 10 to 20 Miles behind the Main Body - The Orders were to Tear up the R R Tracks destroy and Burn all Depots Machine Shops and Rebel Supply depots and Warehouses Confiscate all Food Stuffs expt only what was needed for the People left at Home, interference and Destruction of Private Property was Strictly Prohibbeted & Strongly Enforced, as this Was a part of the Country as yet never Visited or under Federal Control for any length of Time or Large Forces. it was Rich in all Kinds of Material and Food Stuffs And was the Country the Rebbels now Rilied on for all needed Supplies to sustain thier Armies in the Field - and this Was the or one of the Main reasons for our Raid - and our Orders Cruel as they seemed, and we Accomplished it in good Hard shape - as our March left a Trail of Smoking Ruins and Destroyed R Roads from Eastport Miss to Columbus Ga. A distance of 1000 Miles by the way we went it was A Fearfull Scene of Destruction, but the only Way to end the War. There was no Serious Fighting - the Reb could Not muster Force enough to stop us, all they could hope To do was to delay us until they could get help enough Together and then in some Strongly Fortified Place Meet and geve us Battle defeat and drive us back and Kill and Capture as many of us if not all they could, but thier Hopes were never Realized, for our Boys just Simply ran Over them when they showed any Fight - so it went until Ebenezer Church 20 Miles N of Selma Alabama was Reached. Up to that time it was only A Running Fight between our Advance & their Rear Gaurd. We of the Train Marched Leisurly along without any Oposition so to say - Once in a while we were delayed A few Moments by some Bushwachers Firing into us From Ambush and then get out befor we could Locate them - But we did Succeed in Killing a few Of them as we found out by the Weeping Lamenting Women of Jasper who were crying over thier Dead and A few of them that lay Dead along the Roadside - ***April***(April in left margin of page) One Morning befor daybreak an Orderly from the Front Woke me up Suddenly hading me An Order to take Two Amblances with all the Amunition we could load on And with an Escort or Detail Hurry up to the Main Force 30 or 35 Miles ahead as their Ammunition was
getting short and they Thought the Rebs were going to make a Stand - thier Great Cavalry General - Forrest was now with them at Ebenezer Church where they had Intrenched themmselves Strongly, So we got ready and started ahead about Sun up we had in all 10 or 12 Men - we Went as fast as we could and Late in the Afternoon come in Sight of the Village Of Montebell in a Valley below us. A Sleepy innocent little Southern Town and hardly a Soul in Sight that we Could see from where we were. As we were Riding down the Slope to the Town, we all at once saw on the Side of the South Hills across the Vally a Mile or so from us, 10 to 12 Horsemen Rebs no doubt Riding at full Gallop towards the Roadway we had to take on our Route. Here truly we were in a fine Box. However we went through the Town and then we saw quite A Number of People - mostly Woman and Children with a few Old Gray Heads, now they grew Bold - Taunted us saying we would All soon be Killed & c & c. We Halted on the Edge of the Town, for We saw that our Road would lead us through Thick Woods. We could not doubt that the Woods were full of the Grey Coats waiting for us to come on and then Gobble us up - We saw our Danger - but to draw them out Four of us went To within about 150 Yards of the Woods - when we saw Quite a Number of the Rebs coming on dodging behind Trees so we would not see the them - but we understood Their meaning so drew back to the Rest, we did not Know what to do - we did not want to Retreat and could not if We wanted to had we tried it we Knew they would Rush Out and get us sure, why they did not do it at once seemed Strange to us, but we guessed they would either wait for Us to come on or for Night so they could get us with Little or no Loss at all - Well we decided to say right Where we were, we Unhitched the Mules put them behind the Wagons for Shelter and Shielded the Ambulances as well as we could and then with all the Courage and Paitence We could Muster waited for coming Events but dreding The now near Night Ahead. We hoped against Hope that The rest of the Train would come befor Dark - but our Chances looked very Slim - but we were determined to Give them all the Fight we could befor they got us - The Sun was just going down - when Suddenly Several Carabine Shots Rang out Loud and Clear from them Woods. Then A Bugle Sounded Forward - We saw a Comotion in the Woods Where our Friends in Grey were - we saw them Scatter in all Directions -
and then saw the Advance of our Boys with hier Guidons fluttering in the Wind - it was to us the most Glorious and Welcome Sight we ever saw for we were Saved - Saved Imprisoment if not from Death and it seemed as if only By a Miracle - But we were truly Thankfull for our Deliverance. it Was Genl McCook with one of his Brigades that had come to meet and Hurry us up as they feared we would not Be in time, and he did not come an Hour to soon either. McCook decided to go into Camp right where we were - so we Waited for the rest of the Train wich came up in the Morning. We (us Boys) were now out of Trouble and Happy - we Came up to the rest of the Command late in the day and after Thier Fight with Forrest where they Whipped him badly and our Regiment destinguished itself grealty, it was the Hardest Fight our Command so far had - this was the Ebenezer Church Battle - I was not in this, But I was in far greater danger than they were at the Time.
Here I got a Horse - Took my proper place in the Company and felt more like a Soldier. Next day we enterd Selma Alabama early in the Morning Longs Brigade of McCooks Corps had met a Force of Forrest Men on the Road to Selma = they had erected farily strong Barricades clear across The Road and made a Bold stand hopeing yet to Keep us Out of Selma, But Longs Men would not be Stopped - they Came with a Rush - Rode over them and thier Barricades Killing some and Capturing a Lot of them. then the Rode into the City and took Possession, we folled them up and Came in without any further Trouble - That I think was The last of the Redoubtate Forrest Of Fort Pillow Fame, at Least he never troubled us anymore.
Selma was an Important City for the Rebs. they had Large Arsnels here For the Manufacture and Repairing of Arms of all Kinds and For Manufacture and Storing all Kinds of Ammunition also They had here also a Crude Stockade or Bull Pen for our Boys they caught. There were a Number of our Boys in it When Long came in - So now the Captured Rebs changed Places with our Boys - Selma lays in a Bend of the Alabama River and is here - Wide deep and Swift. we were There two days trying to lay a Pontoon Bridge across it. The Rebbels from above us Sent down Flat Boats loaded With Sand - Logs and rafts
of all Kinds and Busted the Bridge a Number of Times when Nearly finished our Brigade Genl Alexander nearly lost his Life one time - he was in a Boat trying to Stop some Logs or Raft when the Things struck And Upset his Boat - only for Timly help he would have gone Down sure - We all finaly got across, the last had set Fire to all Public Buildings used by the Rebs also the Arsnel and Machine Shops so turning our Backs on the now Blazing City we rode or set out on a Sharp March For Montgomery Ala - the Capitol of the State and First Capitol of the Confederacy - where Jeff Davis was Inaugerated in 1861 - its first last and Only President. We Reached it late that Afternoon, and as it had Surrenderd to our first Men that enterd it without any Oposition - the Rest of us were Rushed through its Main St on the Gallop - so we saw but Little of it, but I did see and take note of its Capitol Bldg, and Fenced in Square in the Midle of its Main St and near The Building, and it did not impress me as being Specialy Handsome. We Camped that Night in A Grove 2 or 3 Miles from The City - Passes were given to 5 or 6 Men of each Company To go to the City if they wanted to. I was not very Anxious Or Curios to see it again - and being very Tired I lay Down and went to Sleep as soon as I got me a Cup Of Coffee and A Bite to Eat - and I Slept good and Sound - We resumed our March in good time in the Morning - we were now on the Road to Columbus Ga. where we expected A Warm Recption. We were but Very little Molested by the Rebs that day - now and then Some Gurrilas or Bushwackers would Fire at the Advance Gaurd from some Ambush but as they did Very little Harm, the Boys paid but little attention to Them - there was no use in trying to follow them as they Might lead them into A Trapp as they did several times To the Boys serious Cost the first few day of our March. We Camped that Night in the Woods and right on The Edge of A Swamp - All Night long we heard the Alligators Cry - the Swamp seemed Alive with them - thier Cry Sounded Just like a Childs in Distress - it is A Wonder they did not get some of us when we went There for Water - but no One was Hurt. I think it was This day that we passed through the Lovely Town of Tuskagee Ala - we saw very few People on the Streets - it seemed interly deserted- and for A Wonder- vary few Negroes showed themselves = they had probably been Run of To prevent thier following us - it Seemed to
be a Rich Planters Town - I cant Recall seeing a poorly Built House Or badly Kept Lawns or Grounds exepting only the Negroe Quarters out back of the Residences - if there were any Poor White Folks there we did not see them. What few White Folks we saw were Well Dressed Men and Woman who Stared (?) at us from thier Porches or the Windows - as we Passed through thier Town. We Camped that Night in A Valley at the foot of the Hills and Spent a quiet Night with A good Rest, next day about Noon we passed through A Very fine little Town called Laureldale, we were still in Alabama but nearing the State Line of Georgia - here we Got the First News of the Outside World - all this time we Had been Cut of from all the Rest of Gods Country as we called The North - Not a Word had reached us as to what the rest of Army and the Outside World was doing, in our Way through The pretty little Town Several Times we were told that Richmond had Surrenderd - I rode up to A Man Standing by the Fence in his Yard and asked him what News there was, and how things were going in the Armies. He put his Finger on his Nose and Grimicing told me That was the way Folks were feeling in Richmond - that Our Folks were in full possession of the City and that The War was about over - You should have heard the Hurrahs of our Boys when the News passed along the Line - it ment Home - Rest and plenty to Eat - The People we Met now assumed a more Friendly Attitude Towards us and hoped the Reports were True and so did we. We Camped again and resumed our March - I think it was This day that we passed through and over the Biggest and Most horrid and difficult Swamp we had yet seen it was 8 to 10 Miles Across So dense and Gloomy that we could Rarly see the Sun - Alligators of immense Size we saw - in large Numbers Sleeping on Logs and Snakes of all Kinds and Size and other Kinds of Reptiles we never saw befor were all Around us. it gave us the Horrors so we passed over the Rickey Corduroy Bridge that our had taken our Engineer Corp a good many Hours to Build - the Rebs had destroyed The Regular (and A good one they said it was) Bridge in hopes of Delaying our Aproach to Columbus until they could get in Good shape to Receive us. We were now getting near there - We Were all glad when we finaly got across that fearfull Swamp for Had our Horses made a Misstep and Thrown us over it would surly have been the last of us. it gives me the Creeps even now
To think of it, as I said we were now near to Columbus Ga - And all at once befor we were aware of it we saw the Chattahoockie River - Columbus on the South Side and its Subburb - Girrard with its Strong Forts and Works at Our feet almost laying in a Valley below us - it was about 1:30 P M when we first saw it from the Top of the Bluff 4 or 5 hundred feet High - and although we Knew we Had to Fight and Fight hard for it as we saw thier Forts and Thier Troops with thier Bayonetts glistning in the Sun and thier Strength and great preperation - Yet even so we were glad to see As we had no doubt of the Result. We all felt that we were Now near the end of our Long Weary March and Struggle. As I said, Girrard lay on this (our side) of the River some Three or Four hundred Yards from the Foot of the Bluff we were on - and it was A Level Plain, not a Bush - Tree or Any possible Shelter could we see. it looked like serious Buisness for us to get Across that Space in the Face of Of them Strong Works and Heavy Guns, and behind thier Breast Works a few Yards in Advance was thier Infantry. In what force, we did not Know - but from our position Overlooking the whole Vally for Miles up and down the River we could see evrything plain and distinct. The Marching of the Troops into the Forts and Breasworks - the Gunners Loading thier Heavy Guns and thier Officers Genls & Staff Riding on full Gallopp along thier Lines Giving thier Orders, and all thier other preperations. We could see the People - Men, Woman and Children in Columbus rushing to and fro and even see them Pointing thier Spy Glasses towards us - it was a Curious and Wonderfull Sight to us - and Grand beyond disraption Was the View of River Valley and City in its Martial array - But Just now we did not apreciate all this Grandeur. Our thoughts were Busy thinking of how we were ever going to get over them 3 or 4 Hundred Yards that Seperated us from our Friends in Grey - alive, as soon as we Came in View and they saw us on those Hill s - The Bells were Set Ringing - Whistles from Factories Schreiked thier Loudest, and Warning Salutes wer Fired to Summon the People to Arms and the Defence of thier Homes against the Brutal Invaders. it seemed that all Pandimonium had broken loose. They also Trained thier Guns on us and Shot and Shell flew over Us pretty lively and thier Sharp Shooter tried thier best to Hit some us, but they did us no Harm as we laid Low. Late in the Afternoon our Whole Brigade was dismounted and the Horses left in Charge of evry Fourth
Man. The Marched To the Foot of the Bluff and there laying Flat on our Stomach To protect ourselves from thier Fire - for they Kept it up all The time, but we Sufferd but few or little in Killed or Wounded - Just how many Fell - I never heard - I Knew that in our Company none were Hurt. they could not get a range On us in the Position we were in - but it was a Tedious and Tiresome wait for us as we were in such a Cramped Postion. But we had to stand it, to Stand or even Si up would be sure To be Killed or at Least Wounded - so we lay still and Waited for the signal from Head Quarters to Advance - At last to our great relief - Night came on and it was very Dark as I well Remember. We saw Several Rockets fly Up in the Air That was the Signal - and the Rebs saw it Also and Knew it was now or Never for them - They at Once Opened evry Gun they had on us - and the Rattle Of thier Muskets was steady and Regular With us it was Now - Up and At them Boys - Get in them Works and dont Stop until You are in - And then Hold Them - And up and Away on full Run we Rushed, our Carabines in full Play - and they were Pumped never befor Faster - And in Fifteen Minuets we were inside - The Forts and Works were Ours with all inside of them - I dont Think many of thier Men escaped - they did not have The Time - nor did they Think we would come at them in such a Rush - they expected to be able to hold on For some time and that we would Besiege them and Try and Starve them out - wich they felt we could not Do with the River Free and the City and Open - Country to bring them Reinforcements Supplies & c & c And Genl Wilson Knew this as Well as they did, and it was No part of his plan to do this - For that would have Ment defeat and Capture in the end sure - as we had No Reinforcements or Supplies to rely on anywhere within in Several Hundred Miles- We were now and had been Cut of from all Communication or Help from our Army Ever Since leaving the Tennesee River in March - in the Enemies Country Sourounded on all Sides by them - so We just had to Win, that was all there was to it, and evry one of Us Knew this to be the Case - Well we were the Victors. How many Prisnors we took I dont Know - but there Were a Lot of them, well up in the Thousands, how Heavy thier Loss in Killed or Wounded I never saw Reported, but it was Considerable - Still our was more - They were Protected by Strong Works - we were in the Open, the Only thing that Saved us I may say was the Darkness - Our Nearness to them and our Sudden and
Quick Rush - They Overshot Us, thier Guns were not Suppressed low enough, thier Shell and Shot as Well as thier Musket or Infantry Balls - flew Screaming over our Heads befor they had time to Correct thier Aim. But their Rapid Fire from Fort and Infantry in thier Intrenchments, Lit up the Darkness and made the Night Look bright as day - but it Blinded us so that no doubt Our Aim was bad - but we Shot Straight Ahead and just As fast as we could Work our Carabines. Our Battery Stationed on the Hill Top Kept up a steady Fire until they Heard Us charge then they Stopped fearing they would Fire into us - I dont think they Hurt the Rebs much either - early in the Morning the 4th Missouri Rushed to and over the only Bridge Over the River Connecting Colombus with Girard to Save it from Destruction - they were none to soon as the Rebs From the other side were already there and in the Act of Setting Fire to it as it had been Saturated with Coal Oil and All spaces filled up with Cotton already Saturatted with Oil. Only a Quick Saved it, and us lots of Trouble and Delay - Next Morning We Marched over in Collum of Fours. Our Brass Bands heading the Regiments, Banners Waving and Swords Drawn - we put on All the Airs we could and about The Whole Population turned out to see us for this was the First Time they (or the most of them) had ever seen the Boys in Blue, exepting as Prisonors of War - for this Country from Selma to here had never been Visited by our Army in Force - only By some hurried Raid, so we were New and A Cureosity - Especialy so to the Common or Poor People and the Negroes - And, Oh how the last did Sing Shout and Pray on their Knees in the Dusty Road - The day Ob Jubelee Am Come. Lawd Bless the Yankee Soldier and the Linkum Men & c & c and They followed us in great Crowds Just waiting for a chance To do something for us. It was realy Affecting and in many Cases Pathatic, But it ment Freedom Life & Liberty to them. We went into Camp out on the Edge of the City - we Found it to be A fine Little City of from 12 to 15,000 Inhabitants in its Normal Condition - of corce not half Of these were here now as any Man or Boy able to Shoulder A Gun had long ago been Drafted in the Reb Army - Only Woman Childeren Cripples - the Lame Blind and Old Men tottering on the Edge of the Grave were left, and the Hide away Skulkers and Desertors with the usual Detail of Soldiers to look after and Gaurd Army Stores and Enforce Martial Law were now Seen on the Streets - when they saw us Capture Girard & its Forts
thier last Hope had gone - so all that could Get away left befor we got overtaking with them what little They could get hold of in thier Haste - especialy Valuables of any Kind - especialy was this the Case with the Merchants What few of them were Still there - Thier Stocks were Small And in most Cases very Poor - they too Closed their Stores And gathering what little they couldy Carry Fled in hot haste from the Hated Yankees - So our Pickings were Rather Poor. But considering the Deserted Stores and the Goods left in them our Legatmate Property we soon had Them Openend up and Apropriated whatever we found That We could use - One Place was A Bank and A Jewelry Store. The Jewelry Man had Managed to get Away with most of his Stock - but what he left we got A few Cheap Watches Finger Rings Broaches and Neck Laces was about all there was. The Banker had taken His Books and Gold & Silver Coin if he had any but had Locked his Vault or Large Safe - we soon had that Open (for Powder was Plenty) and found it Full so to speak Of Confederate Money - Thousands & Thousands of Dollars We Stuffed our Pockets full or it I had Lots of it - I never Took the Trouble to Count it. we Knew it was of little Value even here- but we could Buy a Chicken for #50.00 dollars of it - in Macon one Evening while there I went to the Theater taking Two Comrades with me - The Tickets were #120.00 in Confederate Money - 50 Greenbacks Or 25 in Silver. As I was Flush with Confed Money I Paid our way with that - We Respected all Private Property The Orders were very Strick in that Respect and very Seldom were any Complaints made on that Account. We Remained in Columbus Two days. The last Night we were There Details were Sent out to All Private Houses near The River and near where Several Large Buildings Filled with Rolls of Cut Cloth for Solders Uniforms Thousands of them - and other Rebel Stores and Supplies wich we were Orderd to Set on Fire and to See to it that they were Burnt up. we wanted to give Them Time to Save what they could as thier places were very Liable to Burn with them. it was a trying Job for us, for the People took it vary Hard of cource, and the Lamentations and Weeping of the Poor Woman was very affecting to see and Hear But we had to carry out our Orders and threat a good Share or part of the Town was destroyed - but we helped Them all we could. Nex Morning we Marched on - That Day our Advance Gaurd and thier Rear Gaurd did some Skirmishing but no Harm - Next Morning I think it
Was either the 19th or 20th of April - some time befor Noon And about 15 or 20 Miles from Maure (?) Ga - A Flag of Truce Met us. Genl Cobb in Command there and of the District informed our Genl Wilson the Richmond had Surenderd - also that Genl Lee with his whole Army had Surenderd to Genl Grant, and that an Armistice was Now in force between Genls Sherman and Johnson - he Asked Genl Wilson to come where he was not to bring His Command to the City (Macon) as he said he Feared Trouble between the Soldiers - But Wilson told him he Had brought his Soldiers this Far and that he was going To bring them to the City that day - and also told him he Could try and stop him and his Boys if he wanted to - So on we Marched and that Evening we arived there and Camped in a fine Grove or Park right in the City - and were soon Sorounded by a Curious Crowd Of all Age Sex and Collor, Negroes predominating and All Smiling and Joyous - the White People looked Sad and down hearted and Lots of them Scowling - but we were Happy - we Felt that the War was Over and Home Sweet Home was nearly in Sight. Next day we crossed The Ocmulgee River, A Narrow Sluggish Stream that Runs Nearly through the Heart of the City. We were told it was Dangerous to Bathe in it as alligators were often seen in it Unless we took several Darkies with us - as they allways Preferd Black to White Meat. Right here it is proper to State that we Lived Well all throug our long March The Foragers that were sent out in the Morning came in Every Night With Horses and Mules Loaded with Hams Chickens Honey Corn Meal and lots of other good things to Eat and most allways with some Captured Horses & Mules. it Was a Rich part of the Country never befor Visited by our Armies. Yes we fared exeedingly well all through them days - This was forcibly called to our Minds here and now - Our Rations now delt out to us were Scant and Horrid the Bacon Was full of Maygots and the Hartack was Old - Hard as a Stone And full of Worms. We could get no Vegetables, it was hard Times. The Excuse for this Outrage was that there was now no Government Food on Hand and this was Confiscated from Reb Stores, that Rations had been Orderd by Telegraph and would soon be On Hand.- No Foraging was now permitted. Well we had To put up with it - but it was hard to come down to this after The way we had Lived the past 30 or 35 days - One day soon after our Arival here, we were Orderd to Saddle up & Take evrything. We were Marched A Mile or two from
the City - then turned into a Field - Dismounted and A Detail of Officers went along the Line and Searched Every Man for any Gold or Silver that he had - it had Been reported to the General that on the March A Number Of Private Residences had been Enterd - Robbed and in Several instances the People had been treated very Cruelly - I dont think they got much if any Silver or Gold - They Should have Searched the Officers. They if anyone was were The Guilty Ones. We were her a Week or Ten days - then Our Regiment was Orderd to go to Atlanta to receive its Surrender - it was in Rebel Hands Scine Sherman left it las Fall - but now of little Importance to them - here also Lived Alex H Stevens Vice President of the Confederacy on His Plantation 12 Miles in the Country - on our Arival there A Detail was sent out to bring him in - he expected them And they foundhim Setting on his Poarch Camly Smoking A Corn Cobb Pipe - I happened to be on the Street when they Brought him in and had a good View of him and Also heard him Talking to the Officers. He surly was a Queer Looking Man - was Bent over allmost Humback Nearly all Leggs with Long Thin Grey Hair, and the Face of a Child in Size but Old & Wrinkeled with a Piping Schreeking Voice and then past 60 Years of Age. He had been Gargias U S Senator for a Number of Years befor the War and was thier best Orator and Statesman - he was Opposed to Sessession at the Start but finaly Went out with his State, he was released on His Parole Very soon and some Years after was again U S Senator - Atlanta Surrenderd to us Peacefully - we Camped on the Out Skirts of the City in a Shady Grove and took it easey - One Night a Detail for 2 Men for our Company came to me I did not Know what for but sent them at once - of them Was Thomas Wright one our Recruits and a fine Young Man. The other ones Name I cannot Recall - I soon found out what They were wanted for - it was Roumerd that Jeff Davis with A Regiment of Cavalry was A Body Gaurd was somewhere Around this party trying to make his Escape into Mexico - They were to Locate him and then Report, they did so and in A few days, when the 4th Michigan 1st Wisconsin and 5th Iowa were sent out to Capture him - The 4th Michigan got in the Lead so Captured him & His Party - His Wife and Two Children and two of His Cabinet that were trying to get away with him. They Located his Camp in they Grey or Dawn of the Morning
Quickly Sorounded his Camp and Orderd them all to Surrender - Mrs Davis at the First Alarm urged him to Try to Escape - She threw A Shawl over his Head and Shoulders put a Bucket in his hand so he went out of His Tent hoping to be Mistaken for A Servant going after Water, But the Shawl did not Cover his Boots and they Betrayed him to the Gaurd a few Yards from his Tent - That is the True Version of his Attempt to Escape - all The Yarns about his being Dressed up in Womans Clothes Hoop Skirts & c are only Sensational Stories got up at the Time to Tickle the Northern People - so they were taken To Macon - Genl Wilson in a few day sent him to Augusta Ga under A Gaurd of 200 of our Regiment Who deliverd him to the Naval Authoritees, The Reward for his Capture of #100000 was diveded amongst The 4th Michigan and the Scouts that Located his Camp A few days befor we left Macon we heard of the Death By Assination of President Lincoln, it Shocked and Hurt Us terribly for we all Loved him, it was Well for the People of the South that the War was over for I believe that in our Rage and Greiff we would have otherwise Burnt evry House in Macon and Atlanta, and also was it well When we had Jeff Davis under our Gaurd he would not have left that Train Alive had we not all been sure he would be Executed very soon after he arived at Washington. it was hard to restrain the Boys as it was and Jeff and his Party I think Feared it evry Moment - but it is Better as it turned out, the Country was all the Sooner Reconciled and the North did not have that Constantly Thrown up to them as Needles Crulty & Outrage.
While in Camp here , I applied for and Received a Pass For myself and two Men, (They were Tom Allen and L V Brainard) To go down to Newnan Ga - 40 Miles South Of Atalnta where the Battle of Newnan so Disaterous To our Side and Especialy to our Regiment was Fought and where my Brother David with so many other Brave Boys Fell on the 30 of July 1864. The Trains were all Crowded and Loaded down with inside and on Top with Rebbel Soldiers from Johnsons Army returning Home - we had to Ride on Top and we were Sandwiched in Between them. They were A Jolly lot of Boys and Oh so Glad the long Agony was over - and Happy in the Atiscipation of soon being Home with Father Mother Sisters and Sweatheart and Wife and Babies - they were very Friendly Towards us and never Showed any but the best
of feelings For us, but such was allways the Case between the Private Soldiers of both sides, even during all the War - Only the Braggart or Cowards Skulking in the Rear ever Taunted or Insulted each other, we Arived at Newnon Late in the Afternoon - Tired Hot and Coverd with Dust we went to the only Hotel in the Town, and finding That the Battle Field was from 4 to 5 Miles South of here We concluded to stay here over Night, so after a good Wash and Hearty Supper we Sat down on the Poarch to Injoy a good Smoke and Rest we soon Attrackted Considerable attention as Yankee Soldiers allways did. A crowd of Citizen Soon gatherd to Stare at us, very soon A Tall lanky Fellow - dress in half Cow Boy and Half Taxas Ranger come Swagering along - he had a Rivfle and the usual Bowie Knife with him - when he saw us He Commenced Abusing us and evy other Yankee Soldier Declaring he could Whip any Five of us with one Hand Tied on his Back and lots of that and the usual Bray and Bluster of the Coward and Bully. He soon had the Crowd Worked up into A dangers Mood towards us - we tried not to Pay Any attention to him or them, but we began to fear Trouble and as there were only 3 of us, and we only had our Revolvers - it Might have gone hard with had a Row been Started. The Land Lord saw it also, he advised u to come inside and not Show Ourselves any more. we did so with the Taunts and Insults of the Bully and Crowd folling us. We soon went to our Room Fastend and Barricaded Doors and Windows the best we Could - we did not show any Light - we soon lay down in all our Clothes with our Revolvers Handy - and in Spite of all seeming danger and trouble were soon Sound ASleep and did not Wake up until Early Morning - After a Hasty Breakfast we started on our Way - we Stopped at A House once to get a drink of Water - an Elderly Lady came to the door - she gave us all we wanted and Seemed greatly Frightend by our Presence. she informed Us that her Son was Home, that he was badly Wounded in The Spine at that Battle - that he would never get Well and Begged us not to Kill or Take him away - we gave her full Assurance on that Score - Told her the War was all over - she Would have no more Trouble from the Yankees - we left Her A Smilling Happy Woman - Towards Noon we arived To a Road turning into the Battle Field now at Hand - right On the Edge of the Road was a Dirt Mound about 10 foot High - we saw Bones sticking out here and there and at the Foot or Base I picked up a Skull - Perfectly Bleached and Bare
of Hair or Flesh - and on the Forehead was written These Words - I hope you are in Hell you D -- D -Yankee Son a B. Written no doubt by some cowardly Skulker or Bushwacker as no True Soldier would have done so Mean Low thing - This then was the Grave of some of our Brave Boys that Fell On this Battle Field - I trembeld - I felt I cant say how bad - might Not my Brothers Body be in this Mound - and might not the Skull I picked up have been that of Dear Dave - But we went On a few Yards farther and then came into a Large Field or Clearing - A Plantation on wich the Battle of Jul 30/64 Had been Fought - it belonged to a Retired Presbetirean Minsister who with his Famili was Living there at the time of the Battle and was still Living there - Tom and Lute Saw Dave when and after he Fell and so led right up to The very Spot - wich proved to be beside a Large Tree that was Yet full of Musket Balls high as I could reach and near it Were Three Graves neatly Fenced in and Coverd with Fence Rails. we felt sure that in one of them was Daves Body - But Wich one was the Question! We went up to the House A Typical Sounthern Logg House of the Middle Call some few Yards away. A Vernerable Grey Bearded Old Man Met us at the Door - on Questioning him, we found him to be the Rev G W Cook - The Owner of the Place and who with his Family Lived There at the Time of the Battle - Rememberd it Well and Had hardly yet got over the Fearfull Fright and never Would get over Mourning over the Loss of thier Little Girl Killed during the Battle - she had somehow got up Out of the Cellar where they had all taken Refuge - I asked him about those 3 Graves. He told me that he and his Help (Colored) had Burried them after the Battle was over - But next Morning had Burried them Deeper and Better and Railed it in as we now saw it. I asked Him if he Thought he could Remember or Recall any of thier Faces. He studdied a few Moments then said he Thought He could by the Fact that Our Men as he called them Had taken off all the Clothes to the Under Short of one of them from neither of the others did they take anything - I could understand the cause of this - as I had when The Regiment left us at Camp Patrick July 8/64, Given Dave a Complette New Outfit from Boots up to Hat - and as these must have been fairly New and good as yet The Rebbels Stripped them of his Body - as they were all in Rags of all Colors and Kinds. I had no doubt now that He could show
us Daves Grave. I then Showed him A Small Photo of Daves, wich he Recognized at once. He then with us Went to the Spot, and The Grave in the Center was the one Dave was Resting - it was a Affecting Moment for all Three of Us and we long Rememberd it. Mr Cook gave us a Nice Smooth Board - on wich I carved with Knife and Pencil his Name Company & Regiment - also his Age Time of Death and his City and State. I asked Mr Cook to Care for it - that I would See he was Well Paid for it - he Promised to do so, and faithfully Kept it up to the Time the Government took charge of it - Our Dave now Sleeps on the Iowa Devission of the Nat Cemetary at Marritta Ga. Our Son John while attending the National Dental Convention in 1907 Rode back with Mae to Marietta and Took some Photos of his Grave, some of wich I sent to our Boys That Knew him best and Loved him most. So Bidding Mr Cook and Family Goodby, started for Atlanta wich we Reached the Evening of the same day, and well Satisfied that We had found Daves Grave and saw the Battlfield and had Met with little Trouble, and No Harm. A few day after Orders came to prepare for the March to Nashville to be Discharged - Musterd out of Service and go Home - That was The most Welcome Order that came to us in Four long and Weary Years - And it was Promptly Obeyed and that with No Grumbling - So one fine Morning we Mounted our Horses Turned our Backs to Atlanta and the South And our Faces to the North and Home Sweet Home. We Marched Slowly - took it easy. Starting late Mornings And Camping Early Evenings. We wer a Happy Crowd - Nothing worth mentioning happend until we came in Sight of Chattanooga there we saw Soldiers turn Out as for Battle and soon a Squad arived to find Out who we were - They on first Sight took us to be Rebbel Cavalry Coming in to Surrender as we had No Chance to Draw any Clothing Since last March - we were A Motley looking Crowd - Dressed in all Kinds of Style and Colors - Half of us in Butternut most of us in Raggs - But they were soon undeceived and we went into Camp - We stayed there two days - why so long we none of us Knew - But at last about the 10 or 12th of June Arived in Nashville Tenn. We Camp at Edgfield and about 8 or 10 days impatient Waiting I applied and got a Furlough and left for Home where I arived the last part of June. The Regiment a few days after suddenly got quick Marching Orders Boarded The Cars and ariveved in Atlanta - Wondering what it
Ment, and Mad as Hornetts - but They hardly left the Cars, when, Orders again came to Go back - it seems the Regiment was to be sent to New Orleans To Genl Sheridan who was there ready to go to Mexico To Kick out the French, but they went away themselves - Napoleon the 3rd did not care to Face or Match his Soldiers against Sherridan and his Veterans - so at Last Muster out Rolls and Discharges were made out Given to the Boys - so on the 11th of August they were at Last again Private Citizens all but being Paid off - now for Home was the glad Word, they Arived in Clinton where I was now Waiting for them. I had been for a day or Two in Adjt Genl Bakers Office Helping to make out Muster Rolls for The returning Regiments. While at Home on this Furlough A Telegram from Gov Stone arived at HeadQuarters Appointing me 2nd Lieut of Company E The Col J M Young At once Issued an Order Assigning me to Duty as such - but As the War was now Over I did not Think it worthwhile To Muster in as such. This I have Regretted ever since. I Received my Commission & the Rest of the Papers at Clinton Iowa when the Regiment arived, I have them All now - perhaps some day our Children & Childrens Children of Future Generation will Prize them and These Sketches (or whatever they may call them) more than The Present Generation seem to. Well in a day or Two all Was ready - We were Paid off and those Living farther Up the River (of which were Co E and H.) Boarded a Boat, and at Midnight we Landed in Dubuque amongst A Crowd of our Friends Waiting for us. The War was Over. We Were Home. Thankfull to God for our Safty but Grieving for those Dear Boys left behind to fill Southern Graves. The Penelty they Paid for thier Patriotasim And Devotion for thier Country and its Flag-, the Glorious Star Spangeld Banner. ***August 1865***(August 1865 is offset into left margin of page) My Brother Otto Was at the Levee and with him I went Home. He and the Folks were Surprised to see me with Shoulder Straps. I did not want to Wear them, but my Friends the Boys of the Company forced me to don them in Spite of all I Could say or do. I had not told my Folks anything about My Promotion, as I now could not use my Office I considerd it an Empty Honor. When we arived Home I found another glad Surprise - My SweatHeart - Dear Nellie, Was there and shouted me A Welcome from her Bed. She and Sister Mary were in Bed together. the first few days of my Arival Home on my Furlough
(two Weeks befor this) I Son discarded my Uniform of Orderly or 1st Sergeant and Bought me a Suit of Citizens Clothes and then went Over to Dunlith and took the Stage for Plattville Wis - the Home of my Inmoretta - wich I reached after a Warm Tediou Ride of about 5 Hours, I had not told anyone of my intended Visit So no one was there to Meet and Greet me. I was an intire Stranger to the Place, so I was puzzeld what to do or where to go. There happend to be A Circus in Town that day. So I went down to it (but not in it) Thinking I might By some Chance meet my Girl there. And I did see A Young Lady walking around that looked like her to me - but as I had not seen her for about Seven Years I was not sure of it. But as she showed no Sign of Recognition after following her A few Moments I decided it was not her. So went to Town again and finaly Musterd up Courage to ask for Mr VanderBie - I was Directed to it and was then very near his Place of Buisness. I went in the Store and Met a Man (Joe Meinhart) who Told me Mr V was not in (and as I had never seen him I would not have Known him if he had been there) but He directed me up to his House - 4 or 5 Blocks farther Up the Street - I soon found it, and on being usherd In, I found myself in a Room where there were 3 or 4 Woman Sitting around Sewing & c, Now this was a fine Fix to be in - I never befor felt so Embarassed - I was A Total Stranger to them and They to me - Finaly one Of them spoke to me and asked me if I was not Mr Conzett When I said I was - they all came and took me by the Hand asked me to take a Chair and were very Friendly. The Lady that asked me that Quistion was Mrs. Vanderlass Wife of the Pastor there - she said she thought I was a Conzett as I looked like me Brother Jacob. The other One was the Wife of A German Doctor in Hazelgreen Wis And the last one was Mrs VanderBie herself - Nellies Step Mother - her Daughter Annie was there also - a Girl of 6 or Seven Years of Age - But where was my Nellie - I Could not Summon up courage enough to ask - when all At once A Man came Rushing in - came up cordialy Greeting me, he said Nellie was out but would soon be in - This Was my Nellies Father Mr Engel VanderBie. He at once sent the Girl Annie out to find Nellie - and she Met her Coming Home - Annie ran to her Shouting- Unkle Joe is here Uncle Joe is here - she Soon Arived - Blushing like a full Blown Rose - but Only Shook Hands with me then, but in a few Moments she Called me into another Room Closed The Door, Then she
Threw her Arms Around my Neck - And - Well I will leave the rest of our Intorvew to the Imagination of Lovers and Sweehearts parted for Years & Years But we were Happy - Yes this is the Nellie of my Photo and my Early Love - we had Known earch other for 10 Years While she was 10 and I 14 Years Old. we saw each other Seldom only when she came over on A Visit - we Corosponded But that Hardly Counts, but at last we were togather and it was A Sweet Joyfull Week or Ten days we Spent togather. The reason Nellie was not at Home when I came, was that she was Living out. Her Step Mother was Harsh and Cruel to her and she could stand it no longer, her Father Seemed indiffert to it - but did not want her to Live out and tried to Keep it a Secreet from me. Well I had to leave To Meet our Regiment wich I did as I have stated all the Particulars of here befor, - After my Arivall next Moring I of cource had to tell all about the War - Daves Death and my Visit to his Grave and so on - Nellie and me Then went down Town and to Washington Park where The whole Town it seemed were Gathered to see Genl Grant who was to be there on A Visit, when he arived in the Park, the Cannon on the Hilltop Fired A Salute wich so Scared Nellie that I thought she would Jump Over the Fence. After a few more days Visit Nellie Decided to go Home and I had to go with her - and Nothing would do but I had to wear my Shoulder Straps - She wanted to show me of to her Girl Friends, I did not At all relish it, but of cource had to Obey Orders - so Another Happy 8 or 10 days passed by, the last time I Went to see her befor I went to Work I went out to my Brother Jacobs Who was then Preaching in Sherralls Mound. I spent the Night there, and in the Morning I took his Pony and started for Plattville Via Spechts Ferry & c & c I did not remember that this was not A Cavalry Horse, So made him get over the Ground rather fast, Yet I did not think I was Riding Hard or Fast, but I had to Return in the Stage. I had completly Ruined the Poor Little Pony. I dont Know how Jake got him back or what Became of him - but I felt bad and Guilty - I arived at Nellies Home about Sundown. When Mrs. V saw me she Said to Nellie - There is Your Fellow again - She did not Love me very much. I was going to Robb her of her Cinderella - I think at that Visit we decided to Marrey on the 1st of January - instead of May as we First made it out to be, and mostly on Account of the Treatment she received from her StepMother - Well I had to Tear myself
away - go Home and go to Work A Family had to be Provided for in the Sweet By & By So A fond Farewell and I returned Home - ***Sept to Oct 19th***(offset into left of margin of page) My Old Boss Mr F W H Sheffield asked me to come to Work for him. He was now in the Wholesale Dry Goods Buisness on Main St between 7th and 8th The Firm was Sheffield Woods (?) and Co. So on the 1st of Sept 1865 I enterd on my Work, but I did Not Know that I was not wanted by the Rest of the Firm, they had Selecteded one of thier Relations for the Place I had - and they Soon made me feel it to - especialy when Mr Sheffield was East, wich he was a great part of the Time - they tried hard to make A druge of me and put all the hard & dirty Work they could On me. Well so things went along - I was Living at Home at the Time - One day I filled a Box full of Dry Goods - such as I knew Nellie needed, and Material for A Wedding Dress and some Trinkets and Notions, and sent Them to her (50.00 odd Dollars in Value) A few days after I Received A Letter from a Lady Friend and Niebhor of Vanderbies, Begging me to come over and take Nellie Away as her Step Mother was Treating her so badly - So One Sunday Morning about the 14 or 15th of October I Thought I would Ride over and see how it was. I went To John Stunor a Friend of mine and asked him to go With me and he said he would. I had neglected to tell My Folks of it wich I should have done - I however Rode Up and Told Mr Sheffield of it, on the way over John asked Me when we intended to get Married - on telling him - he said why dont you get Married now and bring her over - I thought it a good Idea and told him I would see - so that Same day I asked Nellie if she was Willing she said Yes if she Could get ready - so next Morning, so she went to her Dress Maker and found she could be ready by Thursday - Father and Mother Objected at first but finaly gave in after we told them it had to be - so I told John S told him to tell my Folks, and then waited for Thursday - Well we had Quite a Wedding, as I had to Pay for all of it - it Cost me about #25,00 we spent our Bridal Night at Mrs Hammonds and early next Morning we took the Stage For Dubuque - Mrs V when we came to Bid good By - Fell on her Knees befor Nellie begging her Pardon for Treating her as she did Tears Streaming down her Face, at Home my Folks gave us a Cool Reception Steiner had not told them as he said he would nor did they get my Letter telling them of it & to come over. Mary
went after the Letter and then Evrything was all O.K. so ended as we hoped our Troubles. Our Wedding was on Thursday Eve October 19th 1865. The first Winter we Boarded with my Folks in the Spring we went to House Keeping in 2 Rooms upStairs At our House - ***1866***(in left margin of page) We had Bought most all of our Things From Nellies Father to help him along, and so Cost Us Considerable more than to Buy them in Dubuque. A Mr Whittenheller Hauled them over for us, it Cost us Considerable over #600.00 for our Simple Outfit, the Same Things could a few Years later, and even now Be had for #200.00, but War Prices were Slow in getting Down to Old time Rates - Well at all events Nellie and Me were Happy - in the Spring being dissatisfied with my Situation and Treatment, I Engaged myself To Ackley S Kemp and Addinsell, who were then Located On the Shrine Block on Main St between 4th and 5th I had Known Mr SKemp befor the War. he was with Sheffield & Scott - about 2 Years before the War, They Paid me #75.00 per Month. I now felt in my Element - On the 2nd day of July 1866 - our First New Joy came to us Our First Child, a dear Boy came to us - we Named Him John Vanderbie - now our Happiness was Complete - We had gone over to Plattville Several times since our Wedding- we allways took them over some needed things Such as Material for Dresses and wich Nellie also made Up - or Towels - Bed Spreds & c & c and had one of the Little Girls come and Live with us that Summar I ***1867***(in left margin of page) Think it was Hether (?) - after Christmas & New Years I went Over to Plattville with 3 to 4000 worth of Goods and Opend up A Store - I was quite Successfull - I Had Mr V - help me at Lunch Time and we Boarded at the House For all of wich we Paid Leberly - to say nothing of Nellies doing their Sewing for them. Early in March 1867 Mr John T Hancock came to me and said I had been Recomended to him by Mr Sheffield - He wanted an Experienced Reliable Man To take Charge of a Store he Had bought out up in Trempealen Wis. A Brother of his, that they had not heard from for 18 Years had Sudenly dropped in on him with a Wife and Four Children. All these Years he had been in Texas. They were very Poor. The Wife was One of the Poor White Class, and as her Teeth Showed - Had the Tobbaco Habit in all Forms. He, His Name was Granville Hancock - Large in Size - Very Profane Adicted to Drink and Gambling in Fact was at that time Adicted to evry Vice in the Catalogue of the Southern Bullwacker - they were
A very Ignorent -, Such was the Man I met at Freeport, Ill, to go with to Trempelen Wis to Work With, had I met him befor, I never should have exepted The Situation, but it was not to Late, he had his Family With him, and Next Morning we took the Train for our Distination. The River was Still Frozen over, and the Weather very Cold. At that Time there were No Rail Roads North of Dubuque along the River, the Chicago Clinton & Dubuque (Now the C M & St P) were just Preparing the Grading & Surveys North of Dubuque to reach St Paul finaly. So we had to Take a long Round about R R Journey to La Crosse Wis. we Arived there in the Night Time, and Spent a the Cold long Hours in the Depot in the Morning we took the Stage and on the Ice, wich was Still Hard and Good started up the Mississippi 18 Miles Farther and in the Early Afternoon Reached the then to Me - Dreary Stayling little Town of Trempelen Wis - I will Confess I was Heart Sick and Home Sick at the Dreary prospect, and the Looks of the Store - Half Logg and Half Frame and the Stock of Goods on Hand- I had left my Family in Dubuque - I wanted to see how Things were befor I subjected them to unknown Trials and Hardships of a little Village way up North in Winter, and right glad was I that I did so - Mr Hancok and Family at once Ocupied the 4 or 5 Rooms over the Store. I found Board and Lodging at A Mr Chas Utter up in the Village. The Buisness part of the Town was on the River Bank, Consisting of one long Street and Had besides ours, Four other Stores, Country Stores, Two Hotels so called - Several Saloons and 3 or 4 little Shops - Cigar Stores Dress Maker & c at the farther end of The Street was the Brewery, quite a pretentious Plant for The Time and Place. it was Owned and Operated by Mr Melchior - A Typical German Brewer of the usual Type Rudy faced Fat and Jolly Weighing over 300 Pounds and his Wife was just as Large Just as Fat and Just as Jolly They actualy had to have thier Bed Sted & Chairs made to Order. The Village Blk Smith Mr Hoberton was another one of The Substantial Citizens - Then Lawyer Utter - Dr Atwood and one or two other Families with the Rich Mr Who Owned about One Half the Village constituted the Bon Ton an Elite of the Village - such in part was our Prospective Future Home befor the Arival of the Rail Roads it was A Busy - Thriving Town from September to June - Farmers from 10 to 15 Miles around (all or Nearly so - Poles - Swedes & Norwegians) Filled the Street Loaded with thier Produce - nearly
all Wheat - there were Three Grain Buyers here, and great was the Rivalry Between them. They used to deposit the Money to Pay The Farmers with us - we Paid them When they presented Thier Tickets from the Buyers in that way we got Thier Trade - for they would allways Buy something and Then become Regular Customers if we pleased them, - in April when the River opend, I went to Dubuque to Lay in A Stock of Goods, and we needed them badly too, And to bring up my Family - My Wife - our Son & Hattie V - I Bought a good full Supply of Dry Goods Grouras (?) Boots Shoes & c Tooke my Family and House hold Goods aboard and after a Pleasent Trip of Two days was Home (so Thought then) Again - We Rented 3 Rooms up Stairs from Mr Utter and Soon were in fairly good Shape to Injoy Life - Nellie Soon got acquainted made some Nice Friends - especialy So A Mr Simpson and Wife who had a Room on the Same Floor we were - Mrs C was like Nellie Young Handsome, and Friendly - The two for some time were taken for Sisters, and they thought the World & All of our Johnnie, Buisness Picked up and we were doing real Well - but there was A strong predequin (?) against the Hancocks, especialy him. He was Known as A Drinking Man - Spent Half his Time play Cards or Billiards - evry Month I had to Settle a Beer Bill for him - he was Rough and very Uncouth in his Manners - and with woman to intimate in fact his Wife found him in a Compromising Situation with his Hired Girl - he came Rushing in the Store at the Time and told me of it - and soon after he tried Hard and long to Make good with her right on our doorstep I saw all this, and he afterward had to Support the Girl - the Situation was a trying one for me - I could hardly bear it. So the Summer and Winter of 1867 Passed - Buisness was getting Better and had all things been as they should have been - we Would have prosperd finly - Then too - Nelle was getting Home Sick and dissatisfied and ***1868*** (in left margin of page) no Wonder, in April - the 2nd We were Rejoiced over the Arival of a Daughter - Mary Adelia - she brought Sunshine and Happiness to our Home. We now Moved into a New Home on Water St, more Room and more Convenient with A Large Yard, - when Marie was Born in April - My Mother came up and stayed with U A Week or Two - when she returned Home she took Hattie V with her, our Family was now Larger - Nellie Needed Help so we got A Girl and we had no Room For Hattie - Mother was taken very Sick soon after she got Home - they sent for us, fearing she would not Survive - But the Lord willed it otherwise and
Spared our Mother to us. I while there Bought some Goods needed in Stock, then Came back. Nellie Stayed to Care for Mother and then went Over to Plattville to Visit her Folks - she was away about Five Weeks - and Oh what a lonly dull 5 Weeks those were For me, I took my Meals with Hancocks during that Time - We were now in A Better Location for the Store and Buisness. Early in the Spring we Moved the Stock to the lower end of The Town, into A Neat 2 Story Frame Building about 60 x 25 feet in demension - we also Hired A Clerk A Norwegian - by Name or Hanson - Tall Lanky not too Energetic and an Inveterate Smoker - he was well Like by the Scandinavians, this Summer or some time while here (it was in 1867) Nellie and John Went up to Winona On a Visit to the Rev Jacob who was Then Preaching there in the Fall (1868) I went to Chicago to Buy our Fall and Winter Stock and stopped in Milwaukee to Buy the Boots and Shoes. Hancock and his Family now Joined the M. E. Church - he turned A new Leaf As he said - for a Time it looked like it too - but Allass - We were now seemingly doing Well - As I had threatend to Leave Them they Offerd me 1/3 Interest and as Mr H had turned a New Leaf, I thought it to good an Opertunity to loose so exepted Much against Nellies will and her Tearfull Protest, she could Not reconsile herself to the Place and People - we had this Fall Moved into a Better Hous on the Main St. Mr Booth (an Old Man) Let us have it for his Board and Room. it was A Nice Home for us. We were and had been attending the Congregational Church, Where they had a Real fine Young Minister, we had also now a New Girl - Young but good - A Norwegian by Name of Sena Severson - she took a Strong Fancy to our Children and Especialy so to Mamie - So passed the Fall and Winter up to Jan 1st ***1869***(underlined) - when on Taking inventory we found To our (at least my) Dismay that we had lost Money - instead of Making any as I had good right to Think we did - the Situation was Embarrassing - we could not Think or see how it came to be - I Studied and Ponderd Over it to no good. Finaly one day Mr H proposed that We make out a False Statement showing A Fair Profit To send down to Mr J. T. H. in Dubuque, for to him we Sent all our Money and Statements, and He Paid all Our Bills - This I absolutly refused to do and told Him pretty plainly what I thought of it - This made Him very Angry - but he saw his Mistake - one day soon After he came to me, and
acused me of underhanded Dealings saying it was my Fault that we failed to make Any Money & c. I said very Well - I would leave him, but Would Telegraph his Brother Mr J T H. to Come up at Once to Settle Matters. He strongly Objected to this telling Me to remain and we could fix Matters up - but I now Was fully determined to quit - but wanted to be Vindicated - so I Telegraphed at once and went Home. I had Mr Booth Look over the Books - he could find nothing Wrong in them. Mr Hancok came up in A day or two, they sent for me To come down, but nothing satisfactory could be arranged There, so I asked him up to the House - and he came I then and There told him the whole Story of our Buisness my Suspision of our Failure and of his Reputation (his Brothers) and his dooings in fact the Whole unvarnished Truth, it made him Wince - but He Listened to me and his Eyes filled with Tears when he said He could see it all and did not Blame me - but exonerated Me fully. I asked him what he would now do for me - he said He could do Nothing only he would Lend me what Money I Wanted to return Home with - That I refused to take - but Told him as he had got me up here, he should Pay my way Back - but he would not do it so I let him out of the House, My Friends Advised me to Bring Suit, they would Back me But I did not think it wise to do so - considering our Different Position - & c. Several Friends now came to The House Expressing thier Sympathie and Offerd us Help in Money or any other way - the also predicted that Mr Hancok would not last long after I left, wich Prophesy Came true very soon - His Buisness dwindled down To nothing and in about One and One Half Year he packed Up what little he had left and left the Town - His Career Up to his Death 7 or 8 Years Later was a failure and I Think his Brother had to come to his Assistance - His Wife Died befor he left Trempealen, a short time after he Married A Widdow from DuBuque A Mr Cook - I Knew her and her Family (the Lockeys of Center Grove) They had one Baby Girl - she got A Divorce from him in Two or Three Years - He is Dead - his Family is now Scattered all over the Country - I will not Judge him more- But surly he reaped A Rich Harvest for his Sins - As stated we Politly refused the Aid of our Kind Friends - and By Selling our Cow (we had a good one too) for #35,00 and some Of our Heavy Household Goods - such as Stoves & c got togather Quite A Sum of Money - Sufficient to Pay our Fare and Last us A little while,
If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me at
larry @ conzett.org. Thank you.