A great deal of skirmishing ahead of us. As yet have not been engaged.
Head-Quarters, Department of West Virginia, Clarksburg, W. Va
General Orders, No. 12
The troops stationed at Harper’s Ferry and Martinsburg, W. Va., and generally, on the line of Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road from Monocacy River west to Sleepy Creek, will constitute the First Division of this Department.
Brig. General J. C. Sullivan, U.S. Vols., is assigned to the command.
Hd. qrs. 11th Corps Bridgeport, Alabama
My dear Mother,
I arrived at this place at 2 o’clock this morning having started from Nashville at ten a.m. of Friday. The bridges burned by the Rebel Raiders were all rebuilt so as to allow of our passage that day and before dark we had got beyond the break – but the grades on the Nashville and Chatanooga R.R. are abrupt and as we had a heavy train we progressed slowly and finally got stuck on a heavy up-grade between Wartrace and Tullahoma. After several hours delay we were boosted on by another engine and stopped for breakfast at Déchert. The Conductor was hungry as well as the rest and so as accommodatingly as carelessly waited till a Breakfast was cooked at a forlorn shanty of a house. At Cowan, 4 miles below, we learned by telegraph that the Rebels had been there in the night and done damage to the R.R. in the tunnel near that place. Perhaps the conductor was more willing to delay owing to this report, owing to a similar report received the evening before we had brought troops of the 12th Corps from Wartrace to reinforce the R.R. guards etc. General Butterfield (Hooker’s chief of staff) was on a train just in rear.
After a decent Breakfast at 50 cts (which seemed reasonable in comparison with other meals for which I had paid $.75 and with the exorbitancy in Nashville) we went on to Cowan. Found that the guards (not from the 11th or 12th Corps) had run away and the Rebels had thrown rocks, stones, dirt and timber down through two apertures or shafts (as I think they are called) running from above perpendicularly down into the Tunnel and through which the stones, etc. were taken up in the construction of the Tunnel. [Read more…] about October 11, 1863
Temporary Camp, near Culpepper. Extra rations came in during the night, so we have quite a load to carry. Five days’ rations extra, blouse & overcoat. Commenced a letter to Miss Godding, but had written only a page & a half, when the bugle sounded “pack up,” and we were off. Left at half past eleven, and marched about three miles to get one from camp, About two drew up in line of battle. Heard several guns at a distance, but could not tell whether federal or rebel. Had no more fears than when in camp. Pioneers sent out to destroy bridges & obstruct the road. Extemporized camp tonight. Spring-bed. Warm marching, but rained after we halted. Overcast now. Tent with Noble.
Had talk this morning with little secesh girl. Could not tell her age. The family is very poor. Like most we have seen.
Parade dress this afternoon. Put us new men, in part, and some old ones under the Sergeant Major. He could do nothing with us. I would like to be drilled by a man of life and energy. No wooden man suits my taste. New clothes tonight.
Camp near Culpepper Va.
[…] I find a great difficulty in commencing my letter, to know what to write as you did, for everything in the Army of the Potomac is in a great state of stagnation as in the [illegible] of Gettysburg. Nothing is being done. And there is no prospect of any change at present. Our signal officers know the key to their system of signals and can read their dispatches. One of our officers told us of a dispatch he saw sent to Lee the other day stating that “the army of the Potomac was retreating and that this was confirmed by deserters that came daily with their lines” I think that if they should come over to this side of the river some fine morning they would hardly find a clear country for them to occupy. Meanwhile we are enjoying life hugely. […]
Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Assistant Inspector General’s Office, Nashville, Tenn
There was quite a drunk last night. One in our Company, and one below here disturbed my slumbers. Whiskey is a great bane in the army, and a fearful demoralizer in Camp. Nearly every day some case of drunkenness occurs. This morning part of the sixth corps left. A part left not long ago. Last week the 11th & 12th left, it is reported, for Chat[t]anooga. We are drawn up here in line of battle with a second line to support the first. The 6th Corps occupies the right, the 3rd, ours, comes next, the 5th next, and then the 1st protecting [illegible]. Pleasanton’s cavalry corps are in front, supported by the 2d corps. All these are fighting corps. This corps hopes Gen. Sickles will take command soon. Gen. French is an arrogant, and repulsive officer. He is a regular “brandy blossom” or a “two gallon whiskey keg.” He is bald-headed, and red-faced, smooth-shaven, with the exception of a heavy moustache. As he uncovered his head yesterday when he rode by;, I thought he looked very much like Gen. Butler’s pictures. As I write this, it is quite cool, though the sun is struggling through the small, numerous clouds, that spot the heavenly dome.
While drilling this afternoon the Bugle sounded “pack up, pack up.” Immediately all was alive. We packed up, struck tents and were moving in less than an hour. We moved north about half a mile, and pitched our tents in the woods near the turnpike. Tonight cooked my own coffee. Felt well tonight, whether because I had given part of my soft bread to a fellow soldier, or because we had got new quarters, or because I had the proud satisfaction of knowing that I can rely upon myself, I cannot say.
My dear Mother,
At a town where the train paused a few moments – say half an hour – just before sunset, Xenia Ohio, we had a perfect ovation. Ladies, Gentlemen & Children thronged the train its whole length of some 30 cars and loaded down the soldiers with all kinds of eatables. When they found Gen. Howard was on board the Ladies all came along in succession to shake hands with him as he stood on the platform of the rear car. They heaped upon us their gifts of pies, cakes, Bread & butter, sandwiches, apples, peaches and most abundantly grapes.
A dozen or so of the little girls brought paper for the General to write his name upon – which he did for as many as he could until the cars left. […]
It cleared off most beautifully last night. At three the moon and stars were shining brightly. Doing guard duty today. Being a supernumerary had nothing to do but remain at the guard house. Wrote two letters. One to Ellen with a lead pencil. Called to see the Dr. tonight. Got some doughnuts.