(Editor’s Note: Benton Barracks was used as an encampment for paroled Federal POWs released from the Confederacy, on the condition they would not bear arms against Southern forces until the expiration of parole.)
Wednesday, July 1st, 1863
I feel much better this morning. I feel a kind of lassitude or heaviness in my head, the effects of opium administered in powders. Lieut. English taken to Post hospital.
Quite a joyful time, the news of Vicksburg being taken was read on dress parade and also of Lee’s forces being captured in Pennsylvania. We had some glorious cheering such as soldiers only can give.
(Editor’s Note: Grant ordered the attack on Vicksburg to be begun by Sherman’s corps on the afternoon of May 19, 1863. Bombarded from land and sea -- for Admiral Porter sent the Benton, Mound City , and Carondelet to shell the water batteries and other places where troops might be resting -- the city took terrible punishment for almost two months but finally could stand no more and on the 3rd of July Pemberton raised the white flag of truce.)
Received orders to march this morning. We got on board the Telegraph No. 3 and arrived at Columbus [KY] about 11 o'clock at night.
Detailed on duty to unload commissaries, encamped on the hills at Columbus alongside a Negro Regiment. Not much like Sunday, all hard at work.
(Editor’s Note: In August 1862 the proposition to organize Negro regiments raised a storm of indignation in Congress but a few weeks later the Secy. of War directed the Military Governor of the seacoast island to arm and equip Negro volunteers not exceeding 5000 for guarding that region. By mid-1863 few of the thousands of freed slaves were in arms such prejudice against them. But with the war assuming vaster proportions this prejudice gave way entirely art when Lee invaded Pennsylvania the government authorized the enlistment of colored troops in the Free-Labor States.)
We are all up in line; it is now 2 o’clock of the l4tn and we are laid in line, our equipments on and our arms in our hands, expecting an attack every moment; some pickets have been taken.
Nothing serious happened yet; we are in expectation of an attack; the town is all fortified, cannon placed in all the streets.
(Editor’s Note: Brig. Gen. Forrest had operated boldly in the heart of Tenn. At an earlier date he had attacked and defeated a small National force below Nashville and left for further operations near Nashville and continued movements there put National armies on guard throughout that section of the state as well as in Kentucky.)
On picket. I think Forrest has concluded not to attack us. Captain Fulsom is officer of the day; he says we are ordered to Clinton [KY]. We are relieved from picket at 12 o’clock to get a few hours sleep.
12 miles. This morning we are striking tents; everything lain confusion. At 9 o’clock we started for Clinton with the 24th Mo. inf., 2 pieces of Artillery, and a regt. of Cavalry. We camped in a beautiful grove about half a mile from town. It is the prettiest camping place we nave ever been to.
In camp, Clinton. Moved our tents, another alarm tonight at 9 o’clock. The pickets firing; nothing happened.
Nothing of interest. Will Larrimore, George Coffin and myself went out blackberrying this afternoon.
Our camp is christened Belle Umbre; reports of a fight at Jackson and some talk of marching there.
(Editor’s Note: While Pemberton was vainly trying to hold Vicksburg against Grant, Johnston remained near hoping to aid Pemberton by cooperative movements farther downstream. When Vicksburg was surrendered, Johnston was pushed back to Jackson and Grant sent Sherman to dislodge him. Sherman opened on the doomed city on the 12th; misapprehension of orders on the part of one of Sherman’s generals and tardiness of ammunition and supply trains caused the Nationals a severe loss. The supplies finally arrived on the 16th and knowing he could not stand against the Union general, Johnston fled during the night hurriedly crossing the Pearl River, burning the bridges behind him. Sherman did not pursue him far for his chief purpose was to make Vicksburg’s position secure. For this purpose he broke up the railway in every direction and destroyed everything in Jackson that could be useful to the foe. The place was shamefully sacked by the soldiers and the capital of Mississippi, one of the most beautiful towns in all that region, was totally ruined.)
Washing some clothes this afternoon; the scouts brought news of a force of Rebels 30 miles distant and marching on this place.
Cooking today; all quiet in camp, company drill.
Received marching orders this morning but could not get teams to haul our baggage. Lieut. Courtney returned.
Up at 2 o’clock this morning, everything packed up, start off half-past six, pass through Dublin [KY] 12 o’clock, Mayfield [KY] 6 p.m., marched 22 miles. Camped on a creek, half-mile from Mayfield, all timbered country. In Mayfield there were several Union flags waving; the people seemed glad to see us.
18 miles today. Up by 4 o’clock; get breakfast, load our tents, 7 o’clock all ready, 11 o’clock we leave, pass through Mayfield, reach Farmington [KY] 2 o'clock, the [illegible] were holding a caucus; our cavalry took all their horses and. brought them along, camped on the Black River [KY].
Very muddy, marched 9 miles. Been raining all night; ordered to strike tents, the order countermanded, started at about 11 a.m., arrived at Murray [KY] 3 p.m., town mostly deserted. A Court House turned into a stable; the Union flag was torn down this morning by Guerillas, the people are mostly Secesh, camped here, a nice place, plenty of water.
(Editor’s Note: Secesh - secessionists; confederate sympathizers were carrying on guerilla warfare against Union troops in their vicinity.)
Sunday, good breakfast, fried bam, onions and chicken. Camped in town [Murray] today. This evening detailed on picket, 9 contrabands come through the lines.
Congersville, Tennessee. 22 miles. Relieved this morning at 5 o’clock, Commence our march 7 o’clock a.m., passed through a small town in the afternoon. Camped at 3 o’clock 6 miles from Paris [TN]. Commenced a backward march at 10 p.m., marched 6 miles and camped on a small stream [TN].
3 p.m., great excitement, pickets fired into by Guerillas, one horse lost. Regt. called out in line of battle as skirmishers, started our march half past 4 p.m., marched 16 miles, camped at 10 p.m. by a small creek, crossed the Tennessee line back into Kentucky.
6 miles. Left Camp at 1 p.m., passed through Boydsville [KY] and camped at 4 p.m. by a small branch, water very bad. Rained all night.
12 miles. Left camp 9 a.m., marched through a very hilly country and reached our camping place 3 p.m., two wagons upset; it is raining very hard.
Left camp at 5 p.m. and marched 3 miles to Camp Beauregard, passed through Felicianna.
Saturday, August 1st, 1863
At Camp Beauregard, several deserters came in today from the rebel army.
30 miles. Left Camp Beauregard on (or?) Gilmore [TN] and passed through Jacksonville where a young lady played some beautiful music. The weather was extremely hot. I was on prisoner duty and thus escaped the heat of the ranks, 2/3 of the men gave out; arrived at Elm (?) City 6 o’clock.
On private guard, the cavalry brought some prisoners in.
A Cavalry and Inf. Scout went out and brought in a rebel Adj. (?) and 2 Guerillas.
Relieved of guard this morning to go on a scout, Co. C and Co. E., Capt. Brown in command. Camped this morning at an old Mill (?); get supper at Kenton (?) Farm (?), marched 2 miles after supper, 13 miles today.
30 miles. This morning commenced our march at 4 a.m., marched to town of Rutherford [TN], found no Guerillas [illegible] found lots of [illegible] about 1 mile [illegible] engaged [illegible]
Left Rutherford before daylight, eat breakfast at Ben Harris’s and up on to Kenton [TN]; rested here an hour or two, marched through the Obine Bottoms, crossed the river on a ferry and camped about 2 miles over the river at the house of an old Secesh, marched about 15 miles.
Started at daylight this morning, eat breakfast at Troy [TN], marched along and eat dinner at the house of a Camelite (Campbellite), preaching first, ate dinner -- afterwards, they have lost 20 niggers since the war broke out; reached Union City [TN] 4 p.m., marched 13 miles.
Guard inspection this morning [illegible] to the creek, roads [illegible] very stiff after the [illegible]
Sunday. Chaplain preached the 2nd time since [illegible]. It’s rained very hard this evening, very warm.
On picket, the Guerillas snap (?) [illegible] killing [illegible]
The weather has been extremely hot for two weeks. Benjamin F. Collins of Co. H. died today. [Union City TN]
On fatigue; this morning building stable for the Major, this afternoon a man by the name of Roe died of Co. B. Chaplain preached this evening to a large concentration.
Attended the funeral of Chesterfield Roe this afternoon. A great change in the weather; it is cold enough for overcoats. [Union City TN]
Detailed on picket last evening; relieved at 4 p.m. this day, 1 Corp. and 14 men, 2 contraband came in.
On picket. 2 Corp. and 9 men. Nothing of importance transpired. Capt. Johnson officer of the Guard. Countersign Gettysburg parole. Meade.
Gen. Smith here today reviewing us. General Inspection by a United States inspecting officer, gave us fits generally.
Left Camp Beauregard on the 5th of this month, arrived at Union City the same day. We made one small scout, passed through two or three towns. Shot one Captain, wounded a Lieutenant, captured a few Guerillas and returned to Union City after traveling 73 miles. There have been over 2000 people taken the Oath during the month and a good many joined the home guards. Col. Fox aid Lieut. Courtney have both gone home. We have taken a good many prisoners during the month.
Friday, September 4th, 1863
3rd Relief 1. J. Allen, Co. E.
2. John Sharer -
3. F. M. Abney -
4. W. Anderson -
5. E. Beckham –
Detailed on guard tonight to guard prisoners, report of beer attached (?), removed prisoners to Stockade, over forty prisoners, 2 Capts. and 2 Lieutenants. Capt. Richardson’s sister here today from Columbus [KY], relieved of guard at 9 o’clock p.m. Col. Fox left for St. Louis.
This morning Chaplain Newman preached in Camp; he preached in town after dinner. The Chaplain of the 24th preached for us tonight.
The cars out today the first time for a week; the Rebel prisoners removed to Columbus.
A man by the name of Pepperdine died in the Hospital this evening, a member of Co. H.
Chaplain Newman preached twice today.
1st Relief Corp. Armstrong, Co. D
2 Weaver E.
3 Henry F.
General Inspection today by Lieut. Hanson, Ast. Adj. General
1st Relief, Wm. Larrimore, E. Co.
2nd Aron Petefish
3. J.A. Barr, 24th
Clearing of the ground for picnic.
On guard at picnic today, a perfect [illegible], received orders to march with three days rations tonight, marched through Jacksonville and camped at 12 o’clock p.m., marched 10 miles.
Commenced marching at 6 a.m., passed through Dukedom [TN] and camped on a small creek. Cramped (?) all the horses we could find, marched 20 miles, Capt. Catlin in command.
Left Camp at 6 a.m., the men all mounted themselves except thirteen, took several shot guns and rifles from the [illegible], marched 20 miles. Camped on the [illegible]
Last night after camping, 13 of us went 7 miles on a scout, captured 1 rebel soldier, one horse and one mule; we left camp this morning at 4 a.m. and met some forces at Bucksnort, from Paducah. We marched on to Paris, a distance of 20 miles; the rebels all skedaddled.
On Provo Guard at Paris, part of our Regt. and some of the 4th Miss. Cav. went out on a scout this morning, ran the rebels across the Tenn. River.
25 miles. Left Camp at Paris this morning, marched on until 12 o’clock when our Co. was fired into; we were [illegible] out in line of battle, continue our march at 2 o’clock, camp at 7; start again at 12 o’clock p.m.
This morning we made a [illegible] with Co. E & F at Huntsville [TN], about 3 o’clock continue our march at double quick, reach McC(?) Moorfield at 8 a.m., the Rebels six miles ahead of us, camped here all day, marched 15 miles.
Left camp this morning at 4 a.m., marched 20 miles and camped on the south [illegible] of the [illegible]
Left camp this morning at 1 a.m. (?)[illegible] camped at a Secesh [illegible]
Took the cars, Ill. Central, at [illegible] 4 p.m., passed through Centralia [TN] , reached Odin [TN] at 2 p.m., changed cars and reached Mitchell [TN] 6 p.m. where we again changed cars from the Ohio and Miss, to the Louisville, Chicago, and St. Louis; left Mitchell at 12 p.m. and reached New Albany 6 a.m., crossed the river to the land and marched from there to Louisville, a distance of 4 miles; caught up with the rest of the Regt. Col. Fox had dress parade this evening.
Still at Louisville, troops come in continually, dress today [illegible] passed along [illegible]