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Sunday, October 2nd, 1864

Meeting every night during the past week and twice today.

 

Monday 3rd

Paid one dollar for my shoes half soling.

 

Sunday 9th

Meeting twice today; news this evening that Richmond is in our possession.

 

Monday 10th

On guard this evening at Regt. Quarters. Meetings still progressing; no mail yet.

 

Saturday 15th

(to x) Received orders to march.

 

Sunday 16th

Started on a foraging expedition; Col. Robinson in command; marched 17 miles. Camp on South River.[1]

 

Monday 17th

Left to guard the Ford while part of the train get their loads.

 

Tuesday l8th

We are relieved by another Regt., take 400 wagons out and get forage; 14 miles.

 

Wednesday 19th

Return to camp, having got all our wagons loaded, 800 in all; Col. Robinson in command; 17 miles, arrived in camp 5 p.m.; received x from Richard, 1 from Jane.

 

Thursday 20th

(of x)

Wrote to Mr. Lacy, Richard, Jane and John.

 

Sunday 23rd

At meeting 3 times today; Chaplain Seymour and some others returned from furlough.

 

Wednesday 26th

Orders to march on a scouting expedition, march at 6 a.m. camp at 12 p.m. 22 miles.

(Editorís Note: It was also on Oct. 26th that Gen. Sherman began his bold plan of a march to the sea. To Gen. Thomas, Sherman now delegated full power over all the troops under his command, excepting four Corps with which he intended to march from Atlanta to the sea.Sergt. Hopper was a member of the latter group.)

 

Thursday 27th

Foraging until 12 p.m. 12 miles.

 

Friday 28th

Foraging again; camp at 12 p.m.; march 15 miles.

 

Saturday 29th

Start for town [Atlanta] as advance guard, arrive at 4 p.m., 15 miles; took 50 prisoners, lost 20; loaded all our wagons [illegible] 600, lots of cattle, sweet potatoes, sheep and hogs; Capt. Lamb returned this evening.

 

Sunday 30th

Meetings still going on.

 

Monday 31st

Mustered by Lt. Col. LeSage, had a vote of the Regt.; our Co. 9 for Abe, and 9 for Mac; the Regt. 50 majority for Lincoln.

 

Wednesday, November 2nd, 1864

A large dwelling house caught fire during the night; it was too far gone for us to save it, but we prevented several others from catching fire; received orders to be ready to march tomorrow on a scout and afterwards on a heavy campaign.

(Editorís Note: The meetings were evidently those held in planning the march to the sea and the ďheavy campaignĒ no doubt refers also to that proposed march.)

 

Thursday 3rd

Received 8 monthís pay $163.60 cts; orders to march counter≠manded.

 

Friday 4th

Making muster rolls.

 

Saturday 5th

March at 3 p.m.; camp 3 miles south of town [Atlanta].

 

Sunday 6th

The Rebs fired into our pickets, killing one; received orders at 1 p.m. to return to Atlanta, 3 miles; took possession of our old camp, the 15th and 17th Corps marching into town.

(Editorís Note: Various divisions of Shermanís army had been sent out away from Atlanta for counterattacks on the Confederate Army.)

 

Wednesday 9th

Artillery firing this morning; we tear down our tents and pack up; a small detachment of the enemy were trying our lines but were repulsed.

 

Friday 11th

Large fire tonight, ten or twelve houses burnt down; sent 2 of our engines to Nashville yesterday.

 

Saturday 12th

More fires.

 

Sunday 13th

At meeting another fire broke out destroying railroad; tearing down all Public buildings [in Atlanta].

 

Monday 14th

Saw Sergt. Mulligan, 10th Illinois; received orders to march tomorrow; Atlanta is mostly in flames.

(Editorís Note: Sherman turned his force toward Atlanta, preparatory to taking up his march for the sea. Part of them moved to Kingston, from which point all the sick and wounded and all surplus baggage and artillery were sent to Chattanooga. Then the mills and foundries at Rome were destroyed and the railway was thoroughly dismantled from the Etowah to the Chattahoochee. The army crossed that stream, destroyed the railroads in and around Atlanta and on the 14th of November the entire force destined for the great march to the sea was concentrated around that doomed city. Their last channel of communication with the Government and the loyal people of the North was closed when on the 11th the commander-in-chief cut the telegraph wire that connected Atlanta with Washington City. Then that army became an isolated moving column in the heart of the enemyís country. It moved on the morning of the 14th. Then by Shermanís order the entire city of Atlanta except its Courthouse, churches and dwellings was committed to the flames. In a short space of time the buildings in the heart of the city covering full 200 acres of ground were on fire and when the conflagration was at its height on the night of the 15th the band of the 23rd Massachusetts played and the soldiers chanted the air and words of the stirring song ďJohn Brownís soul goes marching onĒ.Sherman left desolated Atlanta on the following morning.)

 

Tuesday 15th

March at 7 p.m., march 14 miles in an Easterly direction; camp at 9 p.m.

 

Wednesday 16th

Tearing up railroad all day; marching until 12 p.m.; 10 miles.

 

Thursday 17th

March at 7 a.m.; camp at 1 a.m.; 20 miles.

 

Friday 18th

March at 7 a.m.; eat dinner at Social Circle [Georgia], camp at 11 p.m.; 22 miles.

 

Saturday 19th

March at 7 a.m.; pass through Madison [Georgia], camp at 1 p.m.; 10 miles; Madison is the prettiest town we have yet seen.

 

Sunday 20th

March at 8 a.m., march 15 miles, rain all day, camp at 12 p.m.

 

Monday 21st

March at 8 a.m., camp at 11 p.m., 15 miles.

 

Tuesday 22nd

March at 7 a.m., camp at 11 p.m. at Milledgeville [Georgia]; not much of a town; capture a large quantity of ammunition and guns.

 

Wednesday 23rd

In camp at Milledgeville; lay over.

 

Thursday 24th

Move at 6 a.m., march 14 miles, camp at 2 p.m.

 

Friday 25th

March at 6 a.m., cross several swamps[2], sharp skirmish≠ing, capture several Rebs; 8 miles, camp at 5 p.m.

 

Saturday 26th

Leave camp 7 a.m., sharp skirmishing; passed through Andersonville at 11 a.m.; camped at Thirteenth Station [Georgia] 4 p.m., 9 miles; tear up the road.

(Editorís Note: This evidently refers to Sandersville which was in the direct line of march; Andersonville, the sight of the prison, is located south of Macon, which locality was not included in the march.)

 

Sunday 27th

March at 7 a.m., camp at Davisboro Station [Georgia] 6 p.m., 20 miles.

 

Monday 28th

March at 7 a.m., destroy the road for 11 miles; camp at Spearís Station [Georgia], 7 p.m.

 

Tuesday 29th

March at 7 a.m., destroy 2 miles of road, march 9 miles, camp at 5 p.m.

 

Wednesday 30th

March at 7 a.m., march 9 miles, camp at 5 p.m.

(Editorís Note: On the 30th Shermanís entire army with the exception of the 15th Corps which covered the right wing had passed the Ogeechee River and was ready to march on Millen, Georgia.)

 

Thursday, December 1st, 1864

March at 10 a.m., camp at 12 p.m., march 12 miles; crossed several swamps.

(Editorís Note: Slocum marched from Louisville with the left wing on the 1st of December, and the 20th Corps in advance.)

 

Friday 2nd

March at 6 a.m., camp at 9 p.m., marched 9 miles; crossed some swamps.

 

Saturday 3rd

March at 6 a.m., camp at 5 p.m., 15 miles; crossed the Augusta and Millen road; came across a Rebel Pen where they have kept our prisoners over 2 years.

(Editorís Note: Sherman reached Millen where so lately thousands of Union prisoners had been confined. The sight of the horrid prison-pen in which they had been crowded and tortured with hunger, cold and cruel treatment in the midst of plenty and in which 750 had died, made the blood of their living companions-in-arms course more quickly in their veins because of indignation and nerved them to the performance of every service required to crush the rebellion. These captives had all been removed, no one then knew whither, and were suffering in other prisons with equal severity.)

 

Sunday 4th

March at 6 a.m., 15 miles; camp at 7 p.m.

(Editorís Note: After fighting Wheeler at Thomasís Station on the railway connecting Millen and Augusta, Slocumís cavalry and infantry rejoined the 14th Corps which was concentrated in the vicinity of Lumpkinís Station on the Augusta railway and camped.)

 

Monday 5th

March at 12 a.m., camp at 11 p.m., 3 miles.

 

Tuesday 6th

March at 9 a.m., camp at 8 p.m., 9 miles.

 

Wednesday 7th

March at 6 a.m., part of the Regiment detailed as for≠agers; the country is full of swamps[3], camp at 9 p.m.; 10 miles; rained all day.

 

Thursday 8th

March at 7 a.m., entered Springfield [Georgia] at 8 a.m.; wish it were Springfield, Illinois. It is a wonderful town, County seat, 1 Court House, 1 Church, 2 stores, 2 dwelling houses and lots of Negro houses: marched 12 miles, camped at 4 p.m.

 

Friday 9th

Heard the cannonading at Savannah last night, march at 7 a.m., the Rebs troubled us all day and blockaded the road through the swamps; part of our Brigade drove them from Fort Harrison; 10 miles.

 

Saturday 10th

March 7 a.m.; tear up part of the Savannah and Charleston railroad; camp within 4 miles of Savannah in line of battle, heavy skirmishing; the Rebs have fortifica≠tions along the river and gun boats; march 10 miles; can see Savannah and taste salt water.

(Editorís Note: On approaching Savannah, Slocum had seized the Charleston railway at the bridge and Howard had broken up and occupied the Gulf Railroad for some distance to the Little Ogeechee, so that no supplies could reach the city by the accustomed channels of communication.)

 

Sunday 11th

In camp until 5 p.m. when we changed position; about 11 p.m. we had orders to march to the rear to protect the wagon train. The Rebel Gen. Wheeler is reported in our rear; 4 miles, very cold.

(Editorís Note: Wheeler followed Sherman closely and gave trouble whenever and wherever he could but he was always repulsed.)

 

Tuesday 13th

(x from)

In camp all day; moved position this evening; detailed on picket.

 

Wednesday 14th

On picket; relieved this evening at 5 p.m. Fort McAllister stormed and taken last night with a loss of 8 killed and 80 wounded; 20 siege guns captured and 200 prisoners.

(Editorís Note: On the 13th Sherman ordered Hazen to carry Fort McAllister by assault with his second division of the 15th Corps. By one oíclock on that day his force was deployed in front of Fort McAllister, a strong enclosed redoubt, garrisoned by two hundred men under Major Anderson, artillery and infantry and having one mortar and twenty-three guns. Hazen assaulted as soon as Sherman had contacted the Government steamer in Ossabaw Sound of the Ogeechee River. It was toward the evening of a beautiful day. His bugles sounded a charge and over obstruction his troops swept impetuously in the face of a heavy storm of grape and canister shot, up to the parapets and over them, fighting hand to hand and after a brief but desperate struggle won a victory. Before sunset Fort McAllister, its garrison and armament, were in the hands of the Nationals, the Union flag was planted upon it and the way was opened to the sea.)

 

Thursday 15th

(x to)

Some cannonading along the lines.

 

Monday 19th

Col. LeSage [Lessage] in command of a foraging party, found too many Rebs.

 

Tuesday 20th

2 years since the Holly Springs (Mississippi) affair.

(Editorís Note: While Sherman left for Hilton Head to make arrangements for preventing a retreat of Hardee toward Charleston if he should attempt it, Hardee did manage to flee from Savannah with 15,000 men, crossed the river on a pontoon bridge and was in full march on Charleston; also the National troops were in possession of the Confederate lines and advanced into Savannah without opposition. Hardeeís movement had been unsuspected by the National pickets. Under cover of a heavy cannonade during the day and evening of the 20th he had destroyed two iron-clads, several smaller vessels, the navy yard and a large quantity of ammunition, ordnance stores and supplies of all kinds. He fled in such haste that he did not spike his guns, nor destroy a vast amount of cotton belonging to the Confederacy, stored in the city. He was beyond pursuit when his flight was discovered.)

 

Wednesday 21st

Savannah surrendered to Gen. Geary, 4 a.m.; captured a large amount of cannon and commissary stores, 150 Rebs.

(Editorís Note: So ended in perfect success and vast advantage to the National cause Shermanís autumn campaign in Georgia Ė his marvelous march to the sea. In that march of 255 miles in the space of six weeks during which he made a substantial conquest of Georgia, he lost only five hundred and sixty-seven men. His entire Amy of over 65,000 men and 10,000 horses had lived generously off the country having appropriated to their use thirteen thousand beeves, one hundred and sixty thousand bushels of corn, more than five thousand tons of fodder, besides a large number of sheep, swine, fowls, potatoes and rice. He forced into the service five thousand horses and four thousand mules. He captured one thousand three hundred and twenty-eight prisoners and one hundred and sixty-seven guns, burned 20,000 bales of cotton and captured and secured to the Government 25,000 bales. Full 10,000 Negroes followed the flag to Savannah and many thousand others, mostly women and children, had been driven back at the crossings of rivers, and denied the privilege. The pathway of Shermanís march averaged about 40 miles in width and by his admirable strategy in bewildering his foe he made that march with ease and with abundant success.

 

Friday 23rd

Moved our position, formed near the Old rebel works around the city [Savannah, Georgia].

 

Sunday 25th

Visited the city, 15,000 inhabitants, nothing destroyed.

 

Monday 26th

X to J

 

Tuesday 27th

On Battalion Drill.

 

Thursday 29th

Detailed on Picket, General Review of the 20th Corps by Gen. Sherman.

 

Friday 30th

Relieved of picket.

 

Saturday 31st

Orders to move; moved on the line near town.

 


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[1] - South River Ė a branch of Peach Tree Creek, also called South Fork.

[2] - Swamps of the Oconee River.

[3] - Swamps of the Ogeechee River.