Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Joseph Crawford King
Scope and Content
The original Joseph Crawford King diaries as well as two sixth-plate ambrotypes were discovered in the state of Kansas in 1992. After extensive research, the owner and Marjorie King Bottorf (King family descendant) connected King to the family of Jeremiah Niles King, early pioneer and machinist of Rollersville, Ohio. The owner produced and donated typed transcripts of the Joseph Crawford King diaries to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 1994. An article about the diaries and Joseph Crawford King appeared in Gun Report October 1993.
Joseph Crawford King, b.1835 in New York, was the son of Jeremiah Niles and Mary Dean King who came to Madison Township in 1834. Jeremiah was a machinist in Rhode Island prior to his migration to Ohio. The family settled near Rollersville where they operated a grist mill and where Jeremiah also made and machined tools. Joseph Crawford King joined his father in the milling business in the Rollersville area. The King family, as part of their machining work, produced gunsmithing tools. At the age of twenty-seven, Joseph enlisted in Co. A of the 111th O.V.I. for three years. By March of 1863, King sought a disability discharge. In addition to health concerns, he was increasingly disenchanted with military life. Furthermore, his business and investments had fallen into disarray. The fact that the 111th O.V.I. had not seen action and appeared permanently stationed at Bowling Green, Kentucky was cause for further discouragement. Following King's discharge in March of 1863, he returned to Sandusky County, Ohio. In 1877, King moved west in search of gold in the Black Hills. He prospected near Rapid Creek, South Dakota with five other miners. Apparently finding some success in mining, King remained in the Black Hills until his death in 1880.
Scope and Content
The collection includes typed transcripts prepared by Steve Rudloff from the three original diaries of Joseph Crawford "Kit" King discovered in Kansas, and photocopies of two sixth plate ambrotypes of King found with the diaries. The photographs show King displaying his unique weapon, which included a telescopic sight. The rifle was made by John Smith of Hessville, Sandusky County, Ohio.
The original diaries were later acquired by a California resident and the owner of the John Smith Gunsmithing Collection (1994).
Gift of Nan Card & Marjorie Bottorff
Typed transcripts of Joseph Crawford King diaries: 1862-1863, 1877-1878
Photocopies of King ambrotypes
Gun Report, October 1993: article about King and the discovery of the diaries.
DIARY OF JOSEPH C. "KIT" KING
111th OHIO VOLUNTEER INFANTRY
September 1862 October 1862 November 1862 December 1862
January 1863 February 1863 March 1863 April 1863
[Text in brackets has been added by the transcriber. Words followed by a question mark means that there is some uncertainty that the transcription is correct. Periods and commas have been added for clarity when necessary.]
Sept 12 1862 Left Fremont [Ohio] for Camp Toledo, arrived too late to join the reg[regiment], went out to camp, found it nearly deserted. Got a pass from Maj.
Platt. Staid all night at Whipple House. Started for Cincin[Cincinnatti] on 13[th], was taken sick. Enroute stopped at Dayton for dags [daguerreotypes], then
took my departure for Porcoproles[?] (Cin). Stopped at Galt house. Left for camp at Covington Sunday 21, arrived in the evening after a variety of adventures
getting into other camps & finding stupid sentinels &c. I finally reached the gallant 111 OVI in safety, boys were delighted to see Kit with them again & Kit on
his part certainly reciprocated. I found the reg without tents. I had a fine view of Cincinnatti from the high hills which surround the place. On Monday 22[nd]
our reg was ordered to march to the landing to get on board of steamer for Louisville, which is threatened by Bragg [Brig. Gen. Braxton Bragg, CSA*]. I was
(with I. [Isadore] Shell) left in charge of some of co[company] baggage. It was several hours before we saw the teams belonging to Uncle Samuel approaching
on their winding way up the steep hills. I amused myself in the mean time by looking at the army wood choppers cutting down the forest trees to give a good
range for the artillery. I noticed a party cutting down the ornamental trees of a very fine residence, the lady of the house came out & was very indignant to think
that the men were cutting down her nice trees but Uncle "Sams" men were [illegible]. From the top of the hill I witnessed the fall of one after another of their
fine trees over fences & in all, directions. I smoked my pipe in peace & ruminated on the state of our once glorious country. The teams arrived, the baggage was
put on. The hind wheels of the waggon were locked, we got on board, our six mules commenced their descent. Reached Covington without nary [an] accident. I
stopped to express a couple of boxes home for Lieut. Jennings [Joseph H.] & Capt. Beery [John V., company commander]. I stopped into a store & purchased
an oil cloth blanket and havelock. When I had got those little affairs arranged I found the teams of 111 Reg missing. It might seem like a very trivial affair to
the uninitiated but when taken into consideration that Covington was full of Uncle Sams teams nearly all alike, they were going & coming in all directions. I
started on the run for the landing on the double quick. Saw a steamer loaded with troops just putting off--the last one in sight. I got on board, took a hasty
survey, found our baggage was not on board, got off as quick as or quicker than I got on. The next thing was to find the team in which Isadore and baggage
was. After a lengthy search I found him. We could not go that day. Slept in the waggon, did not sleep very soundly owing to the cold & scarcity of "bed quilts."
*[Bragg's invasion of Kentucky forced the Union army to evacuate central Tennessee in haste in order to save Louisville and Cincinnatti.]
23 Got a pass, went over to Cin on the pontoon bridge, made a few purchases. About 4 oclock we got on board of the steamer Romeo. There was a portion [of] 111 Ill & 111 OVI & 79 O[Ohio] & a small part of the 102 O[hio], in all perhaps 300. We had 120 mules, about 80 horses and a lot of waggons. We had a barge alongside heavily loaded. We started slowly down the river, ran down about 5 miles & ran aground. Smashed our paddle wheel all to pieces. The channel was so narrow that our steamer reached clear across to the bank. We were towed out by another steamer, hauled up alongside shore & tied up. Slept on deck of steamer that night.
Sept 24 We were in the immediate vacinity of several large vineyards, we had all the grapes that we could eat. Of course we also confiscated several chickens &c.
25 Got wheel repaired, started about 5 oclock. Steamed down the river a few miles and tied up.
26 Got up steam, started down the river. Fears were entertained that we would run aground again at a place called Rising Sun, we got over however in safety but we could hear the bottom of the boat rub on the bar. At 12 oclock at night we tied up opposite Louisville. Our pilot was shot at while we were on our way down the river.
Sunday 28 Stopped at Galt house to finish a letter, had the pleasure of seeing Gen. Nelson [Maj. Gen. William Nelson-- commander of the Army of Kentucky]. He is a fine looking very large man. Saw a large part of Buell's army, they had marched about 400 miles. They were as regards shirts most awful dirty but they looked tough & hardy. Said as a general thing to be down on Buell [Gen. Don Carlos Buell] because he would not let them fight Bragg when they had a good chance at him [3 small words illegible] their route. I reached camp about 4 oclock, had not been there but about 15 minutes before there was a skirmish on our left wing. Supposed it would bring on a general engagement. We were formed in line ready to march. I loaded my double barrel teliscopic back action [illegible] rifle[*] warrented to kill a man with. The regiments were hurrying out in all directions, the cannon were going off pretty lively but the firing gradually ceased. We expect to be attacked tomorrow. [*--See notation following final diary entry]
29 Today we were out on piquet [picket], was informed we were a forlorn hope, the enemy would probably attack us from the direction in which we were. We confiscated a hog & a lot of sweet potatoes along towards night. One of our boys-contrary to orders-shot at a hog. A party of us consisting of Lieut. Jennings & Capt. Beery and several others were taking a look through my teliscope & being in range the ball came whizzing close by our heads. We thought we had been shot at by bushwhackers but a hasty glance showed the true state of affairs. I laid down with Lieut. Jennings & went to sleep. Slept as soundly as though I had been at home. It is reported that Gen. Nelson is shot today.
30 & Oct. 1 & 2 All quiet on the "Potomac". go back
Oct. 3 Ordered to march. Got started about 4 oclock. Marched about 16 miles & encamped, pretty well tired out. A good many had blisters on their feet.
4 Started on the march, it was raining, reached camp near Shelbyville about 8 PM. Expected a fight that night, did not have the least chance for a scrimmage [the meaning of this apparently contradictory statement is not clear].
5 Laid around camp & smoked & ate fresh pork & Uncle Sams "pies".
6th Went out on piquet again, we were the advance infantry. We had a good time, "confiscated" about 25 turkeys and chickens. I laid out a hog. Some of the co[company] killed a couple of sheep. We got some hoe cake & sweet potatoes &c. Lived high I can tell you. Stole a bee hive from our friend[?] when we were on piquet. Joe J[Jennings] & myself & three or four others went out on a scout several miles. Saw a sick secesh prisoner, had a lengthy talk with him, he was a fine looking man, believed his cause just &c. He belonged to 3d Tenn[?] Co[?]. I ate [illegible] much. Was sick on the 7th.
8th At 4 were aroused & ordered to prepare to get ready to march at 7 AM. Again ordered to march at 9 AM. Marched at 1 PM, have had a very fatiging march. Marched until twelve oclock. I got hold of some pork, boiled & ate it, took a smoke & retired at one. The only excitement worthy of note was while in Shelbyville on our march some of the contraband were taken from the ranks. We had three or four in the ranks of Co. A, one of which was taken before the boys were aware of what was going on. They undertook to take out another, our boys fixed bayonets & dared any man to attempt it, the tall Kentuckyans concluded it would not pay. There was a good deal of swearing done because we were so sleepy headed as to let them get Jim away from us.
9th Was aroused at 1/4 to two after a refreshing sleep of 3/4 an hour, without breakfast were ordered to march to Frankfort, report is F[Frankfort] is taken by our forces but there is not forces enough to hold it. Arrived just at dawn tired, sleepy, hungry &c. Stopped on a hill above the city for an hour or more, were finally marched into town. Saw several evidences of the skirmish the night before. Bullet holes in the buildings & one spot on a brick house just across the bridge-- which spans the Ky river-- where a secesh fell against a brick house after being shot through the head. In the skirmish there was six rebbells[sic] killed & 26 wounded, on our side one killed three wounded. We left the ranks in search of something for my "inner man", the search was nearly fruitless but after a while the wife of Judge Brown gave me & Lieut. Jennings an invitation to her house. We had to wait until another party had breakfast before we could get our hoe cake & bacon & tea, by the way the nicest tea I think I ever drank. While waiting I had a fine conversation with Judge Brown, who is a real KK[?] gent of the old school. I showed him my rifle, he was delighted with it. He took a scan of a batty[battery] up on the hill, his little son also took a squint through the teliscope. The residence is a fine, large & somewhat ancient structure. The judge informed me that the plan of the structure was drawn by Thos Jefferson & the building was built in 1798, that every nail [illegible] & [illegible] was packed on mules across the mountains from Penn. He also stated his father went to Congress in a canoe to Wheeling, from there by stage, but lived to go by rail. I felt much revived after the chat & the tea. Had a nice little yellow gal fill my canteen. At about ten was marched into a field, in other words turned out to grass.
10th Rested today. A flag was sent in demanding a surrender or an evacuation by 6 oclock in the morning or we would be attacked, are not much scared, dont scare worth a d-mn[sic]--as the fellow says.
11th Was marched out about 10 oclock last night 2 1/2 miles as picket. After our piquets were stationed I reconnoitered up the road some distance. Capt. Beery followed me & told me I was foolish for venturing up that way alone. The hills are very high & steep along the road, a fine chance for bushwhacking. I & Joe Jennings slept in under & partly by the side of a large elm tree standing near the road, our position was the most "exposed" but the most comfortable of any. It rained nearly all night. Our forces were behind a stone brest[sic] work, in our rear Co. B was stationed off to the right & was behind a stone wall. In the morning the boys "confiscated" a hog & several turkeys & chickens. We advanced about a half a mile, stayed on the banks of a small stream in the neighborhood of a deserted seceshs home. Killed that day four hogs, ate I guess about 10 lbs of "swine flesh", in fact ate so much that we could feel the bristles starting in the backs of our necks. I & Jim Garton were allowed by special request to take a scout [of] the hills on each side of the road, are several hundred feet high. It took some pretty severe climbing to get up but by perseverance & the use of our muscles we suceeded in climbing to the top where we found several large plantations in sight. We traveled about two miles from camp. I fell in with some Kentuckyans [illegible] & planting wheat with their negroes. We reached camp without accident. At night I & Joe Jennings & Jno D Evans, Herbert [Hathaway] & Geo Evans encamped on the top of the bluff. A part of our co[company] was sent up the road about 30 rods, another squad was stationed at a small bridge & the Capt. had his headquarters at the deserted house along with the shirks & the suddenly taken sick &c. A party of 7 was stationed at a road which joins the main pike a little to the rear & left of deserted house. Thus we were stationed in admirable condition for discovering the enemy but in miserable shape for defense. Co. B however was stationed about a half or 3/4 a mile in our rear so that we could fall back on him. Everything passed off however with "good humor["], no scrimmage that night.
12th In co[company] with J. Jennings & about a doz[dozen] more went out on a scout, rec'd information from a contraband that Maj. Crockett of the rebbell army was at a house about two miles off. We started for the house, sent parties out to the right & left & surrounded the house. The inmates were very much frightened, a man we saw there was more than frightened. Crocketts wife wished to know what we had come for. We politely informed her that we had come for Maj. Crockett. She denied his being there & seemed quite indignant to think that we would not take her word for it but insisted upon searching the house, but we did search the house notwithstanding their tears & entreaties. Maj. Crockett was not to be found. We found out afterwards that he had ignomiously "skedadled" about fifteen minutes before we arrived. Z. G. Burton & two others were sent to a house within twenty rods occupied by Gen. Scott Brown[*], he had also "departed having a very pressing business engagement in the opposite direction." In searching the house & in a dark closet discovered Gen. Browns dress coat & sword. The coat was a splendid affair covered with gold lace, a large silver star on each of the shoulder straps, the coat cost $150. When we got near our camp where the remainder of Co. A was encamped I put on the coat & sword & was marched in granduer by the men with fixed bayonets. It was fun to see the surprise of the remainder of the co[company], they supposing that we had captured a live Gen. & no mistake. They did not discover their mistake until I was quite near. When we go back we found a co[company] to relieve us from piquet. By the way on our trip we captured a bee hive. Marched back to Frankfort.
*[A man named Scott Brown was appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky on May 24, 1861. He resigned on Oct. 12. This may not be the same man mentioned above.]
13th Visited the sentry stationed on the east side of the Ky river on a high hill overlooking the city of Frankfort. I saw a great many monuments sacred to the memory of the illustrious dead of Kentucky. There is one monument 60 or 70 ft in height upon which is engraved the names of those who fell in [the battles of] Buena Vista, Monterrey, Churubusco, Molino del ray [during the Mexican War: 1846-48] beside several other distingushed military heroes, some of whom fell in the indian wars. I also noticed Danl Boones monument, upon one side is Boones cabin & his wife husking[?] his corn, upon the north side showing a desperate conflict between Boone & an indian, the next Boone alone in the wilderness sitting on a log with his gun, the last scene Boone showing the spot in Missouria[Missouri] where he wishes to be buried. The tomb of Col. Rich 'd M Johnson is[?] a representation of the death of the celebrated Chief Tecumseh.
14th We are ordered to be ready to march with three days rations. Today we saw 66 rebbells marched into Frankfort among which there is a Maj. & a lieut., both of whom have been paroled three times before. The majority of the secesh were a hard looking crowd, no uniform. I suppose that they were mostly what is termed the poor white trash.
15th It is reported that the Maj. is to be shot. I hope so. The Lieut. is also to share the same fate. A report comes in that the Union forces has captured 20000 of the rebbells & still another says 30000 & 2000 came in & delivered themselves up. A flag also having been sent into the enemy demanding a surrender of the bal[balance] of the forces. Took a scout today in co[company] with Jas Bennett, traveled several hours over hills & plantations, was in hopes we could find something we could "confiscate". Found some hogs in a yard near a fine aristocratic mansion. As there was a guard around the premises we concluded we would not confiscate, returned to camp. Can hear heavy cannonading off to the east of us off perhaps 12 or 15 miles. A man shot today carelessly within a few rods of me, shot through the stomach, cannot live long. He is the second man I have seen shot, the other was shot in the hand & hip at Shelbyville. I have heard of five more shot accidently, in fact about every day some one gets wounded some how either by themselves or their comrades in arms, mostly caused by revolvers. For several days before this recent [illegible] there had been no one carelessly shot that I have heard of. Frankfort is a small place comparatively.
16 Nothing new today. Maj. Fisher of the 23 Michigan who is acting Col. puts his men through [word missing?] in the drill. They are not more than 520 strong owing to being camped at, [illegible]. They will fall out before they have gone a mile. Last night it was said that there was scarcely any hope of Maj. Klingstens[?] being shot--the rebbell who was brought in on the 14th, we hope as he has been paroled three times already that they will not swear him & let him go again.
17 I feel rather unwell, am not able to drill today. Our Capt. is acting as Col. of the small bal[balance] of our regiment, he does it up brown and butters it on both sides.
18 This afternoon I was out on Batallion drill, got quite tired, am not very well yet. Distance between Frankfort & Bridgeport 5 miles, from F to Mardinsville[?] 9, from F to Clayville 16, to Shelbyville 22, from F to Simpsonville 30 miles, F to Boston 35, to Middletown 40, from F to Louisville 52 by pike 65 by rail.
Oct 19 1862 Was awakened at half past 11 oclock & ordered to be ready to march in half an hour. I started with the rest but found I was not able to travel. I was taken quite sick to the stomach & fell out in the neighborhood of our piquets, stopped with them until daylight & came with them in to Frankfort. I had not been here more than an hour before the whole sick in camp able to hold a gun to their faces were ordered to be in readiness for a battle as it was expected Morgan [Gen. John Hunt Morgan, CSA] would attack us. I was just about sick enough and felt ugly enough to fight, little rather he would come than not but he did not come & so I had no chance for a scrimmage that time. I believe this "invalid brigade" would have given a good act[account] of themselves in case Morgan would have given us a friendly call. Our co[company] & Co. B and the whole of Dumonts [Brig. Gen. Ebenezer Dumont] division still remaining went out to Laurenceburgh [Lawrenceburg] to capture Morgan, he left as usual a short time before our forces arrived. The result of the "strategic" movement so far as I have been able to learn amounted to a march of 13 miles & back & the capture of 25 of Morgans men & 26 horses.
Oct 20 I am still unwell. I am afraid I am going to have a fever. I am yet stopping at our Irish friends where I staid last night in co[company] with Lieut. Jennings. We slept on a feather bed on the floor. I took my coat off for the first time since leaving Cincinnatti. We have not got our tents. I have not slept but two nights in a tent since I have been in Uncle "Samuels" employment. Report tonight is Morgan is captured, Bragg is captured, also 600 of negroes were captured. Wouldn't believe a word of it if I knew it was so.
Oct 21 I am better today. I am as yet with our Irish friend Mrs. Fitz [illegible], the best Union old lady in town. Lieut. Jennings & myself are always together, usually get sick & well together. We calculate to fight, bleed & die three or four times together & then go home & live out the remainder of our days, run for Congress, get elected--in a [illegible]--in the meantime & when we finally come to a decease at a merry advanced period of our existence we will be mourned by the small remainder of our friends--having outlived the rest of them. If the above is not well & grammatically expressed call me [illegible] but I am at the residence of our Irish friend & that acts[accounts] for it. None but a yankee could guess what I meant by the above or "any other man." From noon until the present time we have been expecting to march, it is now 1/2 past four oclock, we will probably not get started until night. I do not feel very stout but I shall try & keep up with the gal I met[?]--the bal[balance] of it left here--111 OVI. How I will endure the fatigue of the march is more than I can tell for I feel rather weak on my [illegible] speaking "shanks". Got started about sundown, marched about five miles & encamped. I felt very tired. Called on "Mrs.[?] Jines[?]" [slang for vomiting or diarrhea ?] two or three, several times as usual. I hope I shall be better in the morning.
22d Morning I don't feel very well, my bones ache & have a disorganization of the digestive organs, my head aches & the fact of the business is I don't feel well myself. How I will stand the march is more than I can tell. We will probably not march far today, it is generally supposed that we will have to march one hundred miles to overtake our Regiment. There are about 1000 of us with the 23d Mich. They are falling in & Kit must shoulder arms & "vamoose". 10 oclock have marched about 5 miles. I feel tired but my spirit is unbroken. When I can't go any further I shall be slightly under the weather, in other words as the darkey says done gone give out. Well I am off, the boys are going. Reached camp about sunset, passed through the village of Rough & Ready 9 miles from Frankfort & through Laurenceburgh 13 miles from F-t. We marched 4 miles beyond Laurenceburgh & encamped at McColis Spring. I was sick last night, never felt any nearer done gone "give out" during my brief stay here on earth. Drank some coffee & went to bed. Quite cold last night, ice froze as thick as glass. Weather is very pleasant. Bought a canteen full of milk for 21 [cents]--"cheap".
Oct 23 1862 Feel better this morning but am weak. By good luck I got on board a "pressed" [confiscated] team, we make it a rule to press teams, enough to carry the sick & the knapsacks of the boys. Last night our piquets captured a secesh Texas Ranger, he is with us under a guard. Passed through a small town called Salvisa 26 miles from Frankfort. If old Morgan don't form a more intimate acquaintance with us before we join our Reg he is not so sharp as I give him credit for being. We have not a piece of artillery with us. If Morgan gives us a fair fight we will give him enough of Uncle "Samuels" "pills" [pills was a slang term for bullets] for him to remember us for sometime to come. We are encamped for noon. Quite a number of the dead from the Perryville killed (officers I suppose) already boxed up passed us here going north to Ills[Illinois]. I noticed one wounded man. Arrived at Harrodsburgh [Harrodsburg] about 3 oclock. The college is a fine large building at present occupied by sick secesh soldiers. Encamped near Harrodsburgh on the pike. There are a lot of churches & other publick [buildings] as well as a few residences filled with Union & secesh prisoners. Harrodsburgh is 35 miles from Frankfort.
24th We are preparing to march, we encamped near a fine spring. My head aches this morning, hope I shall feel better before long. Capt. Beery so far is well liked by his men. He is at present acting as Col. of this detachment. He wears his honors[?] with becoming grace & dignity. We reached camp after a fatiguing march of about 20 miles. We marched through a very rough & hilly country for several miles, its called the "Nobbs". The scenery is in places beautiful. We encamped on a stream called the North Rolling Fork, it enters or rather with the South Rolling Fork froms the Green River. Passed through Perryville, saw a large no[number] of wounded, it is said there are 2000 there. I noticed a good many Butternuts. From Frankfort to Perryville 45 [miles].
25th I feel pretty well this morning. The weather looks like rain. 12 oclock reached a town on the bank of the Green [River] called Bradfordville. It is raining a cold drizzling disagreeable rain. We are gathered in a seminary or school house or some institution for the purpose of learning the young [the] idea how to shoot the principal. Part of the town has been burned by the rebbells. The farther we get into the south the more we begin to see the effects of the war. The town looks desolate, the entire town was not burned. They fired the grist mill of a Union man & the fire spread over the remaining part of the place. It commenced snowing about five oclock, it "bids fair" to be a cold & disagreeable night.
26th Lieut. Jennings & myself stopped all night at the house of H.P. Thornton, a first rate Union man. He is a fine old Kentuckyan. We had the best breakfast I have had in Ky this morning from our friend Thorton, he will long be remembered by us as a fine Union man & a gentleman, long may he live. Our dinner consisted of biscuit, chickens, roast pork, soup, potatoes & corn cakes with coffee. Made a nice dinner. I have kept in the house nearly all day, am not well & have not been since I started to join the Reg except for a few days at a time. We march at 6 in the morning, are now ordered to go to Bowling Green as our Reg is marching in that direction. From Perryville to Bradfordville 21 miles to Lebanon 10 miles.
27th Marched about 7 oclock. Took our departure from our friend Thornton with regret. We marched to New Market 10 miles from Bradfordville, reached here about three oclock PM. I had the ague after I arrived, "retired" to my blanket without any supper. Saw Obey & Joe Hill & Geo Woolcutt.
28 We shall stay here probably until noon in order to wait until our supply trains get here. They have gone around by way of Lebanon to get a supply of Uncle "Samuels" "pies, cakes t &c." I have heard the best news this morning since I have reached the state. The infernal old traitor Buell is removed. Had he not been a traitor Bragg would never have got out of the state with his waggon train of 3000 waggons filled with plunder from Ky. May ten thousand curses rest upon the head of the d--d[sic] old villian. Did not leave today, teams at sunset did not arrive. By the way I forgot to mention a very important event which happened to me while at our friend Thorntons. The last night I staid with him I slept on a bed, yes actually done so & took off my trowserloons, coat & vest, &c. A very startling event & the first one that has occurred of the kind since I crossed the Ohio River.
29th Started from New Market about six oclock, marched about 20 miles. I feel very tired. I expect to sleep without a tent or blanket as the teams I am afraid will not arrive. We marched through Rosecrans [Gen William S. Rosecrans] Division. I had the pleasure of seeing the Gen., he is a fine soldierly looking man.
30th Waggons arrived about 1/2 past nine. I rested very well last night. Passed through Summersville about 20 miles from New Market. Our camping place last night was on a fine little stream of cool fresh spring water. The country is very hilly & has been for the last 75 miles. We are getting into a more thickly settled country. The roads as a general thing are extremely rough. 12 mi arrived at Green River. I am now & have marched with the advance guard for several days. I crossed the river, the stream is very low. I have been gazing at [&] observing the thousands of cavalry passing & the teams climbing the bank of the river. The amount of swearing done at the mules was some you can bet. Marched to Little Barren river & encamped. There is a cave near where we encamped which can be penetrated about 100 ft. We had a first rate supper consisting of boiled pork, fried hog, boiled pig, swine flesh roasted on a stick, &c, some mush. Visited a grist mill & confiscated a bag full of corn meal. Shortish[?] & H. Munson were the heroes of the expedition. We had beans & rice, take it all around. We considered it the best repast we have had in camp. I ate very hearty.
31 Marched about half past six. At one or two points on the road I noticed some very fine scenery, nothing occurred worthy of note. We reached Munfordville
about an hour before sun set. Marched 15 miles today. We are encamped in the woods. I saw the earth works or fortifications on the east side of Green river. I
have not seen Munfordville yet. There is a good many troops here in the neighborhood here from appearances.
Nov 1 The Reg has gone on for Bowling Green & Lieut. Jennings & 26 men from the three cos[companys] who were not well left to take the cars for B. Green. The RR bridge across the Green river at this place has been partly destroyed by the Rebbells. It was a splendid bridge, over 100 ft. in height from the river. One of the piers was blown up, the others were mined but failed to explode. They burned all the wood work however. We failed to get on any train today. I took for my dinner some of Uncle "Samuels" pies & some raw shoulder of a "defunked" swine, also some pork ala roasted on a stick. Such was my birth day dinner Nov 1, 1862.
Nov 2 I & H. Munson & Mosier got on board of a train bound for Bowling Green. We got under the wheels of a cassion[?] waggon which was on an open car. We slept finely, could not roll off on act[account] of the wheels on other side of us. I shall not soon forget the ride we took that night but it was far better than going on foot. We reached Bowling Green a little before daylight. We have found our Reg. the balance of it. Capt. Beery is on his way, will be here tomorrow. I expect & if nothing occurs to prevent Lieut. Jennings will arrive with his "genuine Brigade" today sometime. Went to the depot to escort Lieut. Jennings to camp, found he had already arrived at depot & started for camp. As the boys have no tents Hank Munson & myself camped in a little shanty made of a few loose boards. It was some shelter & kept the hoary frost off from us.
Nov 3 Went to Bowling Green, made a few slight purchases & then started for camp (about 1 1/2 miles). Bowling Green contained about 3000 inhabitants before the war. It probably has about 1/2 that number now. A part of the town has been burned, also the fine large depot was destroyed. I reached camp about noon, found Capt. Beery had arrived & was busy making out pay rolls. I went to work & helped him, we got through about midnight. It was a cold disagreeable task, our fingers would get so benumbed with the cold that we could scarce hold the pen. One of us warmed outside at the fire while the other wrote. I am not very well, have a severe cold & my "digestives" are in a very disorganized condition. Lieut. Jennings is quite unwell, he has the ague & general dibility.
Nov 4 Nothing occurred worthy of note except the arrival for "Kit" of six letters (which astonished him not a little). From Bowling Green to Nashville it is 73 miles by rail. I guess if we have to march it they will take us around the longest way you can bet.
Nov 5 We are still in camp, had a review today by Gen. Rosecrans. I have been charging Co. A with their clothing. At present it is raining. The wind blew & the dust was flying in clouds. I suspect it will rain about a week now it has commenced. The next thing will be our brave generals will be telling were it not for the impassible state of the roads they would raise the very D---l[sic] with the secesh but the roads are such that we cannot move our artillery. The roads were for months perfectly firm & solid. The splendid fall weather has been frittered away & comparatively nothing done. Such is what the high warlike functionals call a "vigorous prosecution of the war", "crushing out the great rebellion", &c.
6th Went on Battalion drill in the afternoon, had a fine drill. Formed hollow square, guard against infantry & cavalry charges &c. Heard some good news. Buell is to be court martialed & I hope shot, but I fear they will give him an "honorable" discharge & a command where he will again comd[command] the anaconda strategy on the Rebb in imitation I suppose of McClellans celebrated anaconda plan which is supposed had been, as the saying is, played out.
Nov 7th About midnight I am sitting by the camp fire in co[company] with John McNut[McNutt]. Shalish[?] is asleep, his watch will come on bye & bye. There are four other boys of Co. A on or at this post[?]. We are about a mile & a half from camp I should judge by the way we came circling around, leaving a squad every few rods, I should think we came about five miles. I am taking a smoke. John is on the lookout for bushwhackers, straglers, spies, &c while I scrawl a line or two up to date. Have not seen a thing worthy of notice except one or two swine & don't expect to either. We are as unconcerned as a couple of scare crows in a corn field. If we see anybody we shall be disappointed unless it should be the Capt. who may come around thinking to catch a weazle or two asleep. Maybe he will find me asleep & take my shooting arm by way of amusement & then again he "[illegible]". The night passed away without our being disturbed. We marched into camp about 11 oclock AM. Had Battalion drill in the afternoon. While on drill we saw a "Butternut" passing along about 20 rods from where we were with his musket, old blanket, &c. Our Maj. ordered him to halt but he kept right on. Four men were detailed to bring him in, our Adjt[Adjutant] also rode out. Our "Butternut" friend showed fight, sure he would shoot, &c. The Adjt rode up, he gave up his gun & it was fun to see Adjt Sherwood take him by the collar, put spurs to his horse & bring him into the hollow square which we happened to have formed at that stage of our drilling, the four men detailed bringing up the rear. He was a wild secesh Irish man chock full of fighting whiskey, not enough to cause him to reel [stagger] but enough to make him reckless. Nothing else occurred worthy of note except the death of one of the boys from Co. K. He will be buried tomorrow.
Sunday 9th Had inspection of arms & equipments. Also funeral of the soldier who died last night. It was more like Sunday to me than any day I have seen since I enlisted. There was a negroe meeting near our tent, it was ludicrous to hear & see the style ah! of the colored preacher ah! deed was it ah! There was also preaching of the chaplin. At the same time there was fifing & drumming & bugling & tooting beautifully intermingled with the preaching. The nights are quite cold, freeze water in our tents.
Monday 10th of Nov Our Col. [John Bond] arrived last night. Today for the first time I saw him while we were on battalion drill. I cannot say I am much presupposed in his favor, my private opinion is that he is a sort of a Basswood [meaning unclear] man, a fair prototype of our gallant Lieut. Col. [Benjamin Johnson]. Tonight I hear Co. A with Capt. & 56 privates & noncommissioned officers with enough of the bal[balance] of the Reg to make up 250 men without officers (or rather not including officers) to go somewhere where there has been some bushwhackers at work. What wonderful feat we are expected to perform is more than I can say. We are ordered to take all our traps [trappings] & one days rations & be ready to march at 8 oclock.
Nov 11 Got all ready & 250 of us started, had not the least idea how far we were going or where we were going. Marched into Bowling Green & were informed we were to be provost Guards. Such is a specimen of our generals wonderful strategy [of] secrecy, why in thunder we were not informed where we were going when it could have been done just as easy as not. We supposed we were going on a long march. We left a good many articles in camp that would have made us more comfortable where we were "provoking" guards. We marched to the Courthouse square, divided off into reliefs & then commenced our duties, which was according to orders to arrest all soldiers without papers, which we did not do. The boys however brought in all drunken men & suspicous characters generally. I was with the squad in which I was placed quartered in the courthouse in the lower room, the upper room being filled with a motley collection of soldiers, secesh and Uncle Samuels, among which was a Union soldier either crazy or acting the part of an insane individual. With great tact & skill he had burned up his pantaloons to kill the lice he said [illegible] was a very sane idea. I believe in that respect he acted more sensible that a good many others in the same room. The room was used without any regard to decency & the inmates were as filthy an old lot as it has ever been my fortune to see. I carried some bread up in the morning for them. My stay among them was as brief as possible you can rest assured.
12th Were relieved & marched back to camp. My only achievement was having my miniature taken & purchasing 1/4 lbs tea at the rate of 02 per lb. Tonight we are informed we are to go out on piquet tomorrow, it sure seems that Co. A is on duty nearly all the time. A soldier from Co. I died very suddenly, was sitting up, nothing was supposed to be the matter serious when he suddenly fell over & died within two minutes. I believe that is the 6th death in the 111 Reg.
13th I did not go our on piquet today as I did not feel very well & for the first time I have failed to be on piquet. There is no danger today aprehended & I dont feel like laying out tonight unless there is some chance for a scrimmage.
Nov 14 1862 Nothing occurred today. We had our usual battalion drill. Our co[company] got in from piquet about 10 1/2 oclock. I took three canteens & went to the river (nearly 1/2 mile from here) & filled them & then I found a nice cozy nook in the sun in a retired spot, took out the latest Louisville Journal, read all the news. Smoked my favorite briar wood pipe, enjoyed myself in my own way finely. Our contrabands have all stopped or have been captured except one, the meanest, blackest, uglyest, dirtyest & saucyest negro in the whole lot. He is claimed by the Capt. He is a perfect superfluity, of no use to the Capt. or any other man. He has had an attack of the measles--it must be what is called the "black measles"--the other day I told him he had better go home to his "Massah." He thought so too & said he would go as soon as he was able. I don't know of any one who will regret his departure.
Nov 15 The principal events of today were the usual routine of camp life with the exception of its being washing day for every one who wants to do up his little weeks washing. I done up my months washing for the past month. I allowed my linen "& things" to accumulate & today I took the whole pile consisting of one shirt down to the river & squdded[?] it out & hung it up on a branch to dry. My whole mammoth washing was dried & brought in in good order. The Capt. has made a few changes in regard to noncommissioned officers. Promoted Charly Ables into the ranks & put Charly Baker in his place as 1st Duty sergt. Merritt Holcomb is I believe reduced to the ranks also.
16th Sunday Had inspection of arms. Nothing of [illegible] occurred.
17th Our co[company] went to clean up our future camping ground for this winter is suppose. Nearly the whole reg were engaged in digging stumps, cleaning away brush &c. Our camp is directly at the foot of the hill upon which the fortifications are on the south east side. We are upon the slope of the hill somewhat elevated from the surrounding country & the view from our future camp ground is rather fine. I went in co[company] with Lieut. Jennings & John Walker to visit three of the boys in Co. A that are sick. We first visited an old church. The room was filled with sick, the beds being made of nailing four strips together about 5 in[inches] in width, laying the same on the floor, filling up the inside with straw, a blanket over it. The bed is then finished, being six feet by about about 3 or 3 1/2 & 5 or six inches in height. Two of our boys were in there, they look bad but I think they will get along. James Current our drummer looks the worst, if he does not keep up his spirits he will soon have to pay the debt of nature. At present he can walk around. [Current recovered, but died Dec. 9, 1864, at Chattanooga.] We next visited one Frank Lantz. He is in an old frame building about 3/4 of a mile from the church. I thought the church was a hard spot for human beings to be placed in when sick but where Frank is now is the worst apology for a hospital I ever saw. In a small room on the second story we found Frank on a narrow tick filled with straw. He cannot live two days, he is a mere skeleton. One man from our reg. a sergent by the name of Wallace [Justus Wallace], is dieing. He laid on or partly on his blanket, his head on his knapsack. There was nothing under his blanket but the bare floor. The poor fellow was dieing a soldier--one of the nurses of the "hospital" was sitting or "squatted" near him. The whole scene I shall never forget. There were three more sick in the same room, one with [illegible] & the other two with fevers. I returned to camp thankful that I was comparatively well.
Nov 18 Weather rainey & disagreeable. Wallace is dead. Frank Lantz is failing. We are to go on piquet tomorrow. Rumor of peace being declared between north & south. I dont believe a word of it, would not believe it if I knew it was so. I went on piquet, it was raining like every thing. Marched about two miles to the piques posts. It rained until nearly night & then cleared up but it was cold & disagreeable. I thought I saw a man slinking down to cross my beat. I deployed out to head him off but I waited for some time & he did not cross & I made up my mind it was a false alarm. I said nothing & sent back to my post. My watch was from 20 minutes past nine PM until 20 minutes to 10 oclock AM. We confiscated a nice hog, had as usual a fine time "bearing the rain" & cold. Nothing occurred worthy of note, excepting that poor Frank Lantz is dead.
Nov 20 Came in from piquet. Were ordered to strike our tents & move up under the fort for winter quarters. Our troops were got Jo on board the mule teams & away we went. It was not a mile in distance to our camping place.
21 Again we are on piquet, it is said owing to some mistake or neglect on the part of Lieut. Col. Johnson or Adgt. Sherwood. Thus it happens that the soldiers often have to do extra duty for the neglect or carelessness of their superiors. Joe Jennings & Jno Beery had a quarrel today growing out of a change being made in the noncommissioned officers. They talked rough & sang[?] I heard to each other. It is a bad affair, making as a natural consequence some hard feelings in the co[company]. I hope that it will all be settled without any further difficulty. I acted as corporal for the squad in which I was consisting of [illegible], McNutt, [illegible], Isadore, H. McDaniels. I & McNutt stood from 6 until 10, [illegible] & [illegible] from 10 until 2 AM, Isadore & McDaniels until 6 oclock. It was cold as the dickens. We have drawn our overcoats today & tonight we need them.
22 Morning have been to breakfast & are waiting for our relief from piquet which will be about 10 or 11 AM. My health is pretty good & has been since I arrived here. It would be a scene for our Black Swamp friends if they could look in upon us as we are at this moment. I am laying on a knapsack, the book on the ground & scribbling away. Shutish[?] is busily engaged in scraping our frying pan with a case[?] knife. John McNut[McNutt] is lieing on the ground about half asleep. Sulvene[?] is partly leaning against a gun & chatting. Isadore is rolled up in a blanket & probably taking a doze & Heman McDaniels is darning a pair of socks. Our blankets are hung in the bushes to dry the frost off, our guns are near with Bayonet stuck in the ground. There is a cave & spring or underground stream within ten rods of our camp. We were told of it by a contraband. Shutish[?] & I in co[company] with a couple of soldiers for 102nd OVI, one of whom had a dark lantern, we went down to the bottom of the cave by climbing down two or three poles. The cave extends but about forty or fifty feet before we came to water. We did not explore it much, it was a singular looking place. We filled our canteens & were glad when we were out again. Our co[company] had gone, we came in from piquet alone. Isadore was guarding our guns & traps [trappings]. He came with us.
23rd Sunday Hdq[Headquarters] had inspection of Arms, the Col. gave the whole reg[regiment] & Co. A in particular "fits" because their guns were not in better condition. When taken into consideration that we are on duty nearly all the time it is not to be wondered at that we get our clothes soiled & guns a little rusty. Yesterday some of our reg & some of the teamsters were arrested for plundering. Dont know how it will come out, expect to see a few shaved heads &c. We have service today, our Chaplin is holding forth to the soldiers at this moment. Aaron Smart & myself went to the river for water, the distance is about a mile. We take two or three canteens apiece & a large camp kettle, a pole is put through the bale[bail] & with pole on our shoulders away we go. We pass near one of the hospitals. As Aaron & myself passed along by we saw a soldier laying in his little bedstead with his blanket over him. He had taken the long journey to the spirit land. I thought as I saw him there of his mother & imagined what would be her feelings. Did she know that her son was being cold in death all night outside the hospital with no one to watch over him. The stars & the angels were his watchers.
24 About ten oclock went to the hospital to get some salt for a phylsic[?]. I saw the soldier still there, his hair not being covered by his blanket was white with frost. He is from 111 Reg. I do not know his name. We had Brigade Drill this afternoon at 2 1/2 oclock, boys did not get in from drill & dress parade until dark. We are out of candles tonight & the way the boys did swear. No supper got & no lights but they made some coffee & ate their crackers & growled their way off to bed. Instead of the regiment now going or whole companies going on piquet they detailed 8 or ten men from each co[company].
25 Had a fine drill today. Gen RS Granger-Brigadier-[Brig. Gen Robert S. Granger*]put us through the movements in pretty good style. Our Lieut. Col. made
several blunders in giving commands, as usual with him. Our Col. cannot, owing to hoarseness--which he has had a year or so--, give commands audibly. Thus
you can see we are particularly unfortunate in regard to commanders. Lieut. Jennings is quite unwell, he has neuralgia, has not been well for some time, was
however getting better when he was taken with this late attack.
*[Commander of Post at Bowling Green.]
26 I did not go out on drill today, was busy part of the day in posting of co[company] Books.
27th Thanksgiving. Had some bread toasted & some tea for breakfast. Then started off with Hank Munson to look up some roots &c for my blood, found some dock & sassafras, did not get along in time for drill--Brigade Drill--I should have been on hand. The Col. has issued very stringent orders in regard to getting men out to drill, he even wants all the cavalry out & would if possible get a few from the hospital. He himself is & will be too hoarse to give a command audibly. Might as well have a paper man as Col. "[illegible]", thus we are in a pretty good fix. "Who wouldn't sell a farm & be a soldier" Echo answer [is] nary a one unless be was an infernal fool. It is reported again that we are under marching orders, probably for Nashville. I dont hardly believe it. Still, as the weather is beginning to show symptoms of being rainy snowy drizzly cold & disagreeable I should not wonder a great deal if we were ordered off--after spending a month nearly here the weather fine--through the snow & sleet just to make a sensation[al] paragraph in the papers about the vigorous forward movements &c which are being made. People at home will be delighted at the idea, think that war is soon going to be brought to a close "Wonderful anaconda plan" "Bag em &c" Had after arrived from root hunting expedition a dinner of boiled rice & burned sorgum & a piece of bread toasted & some sassafras tea. Night I am alone with Lieut. Jennings in the tent, he is sleeping, the night is quite chilly. I have a pan of coals for my stove. The Capts. tent is next to ours. He & Lieut Frary & 1st or 2nd duty sergeant C. Baker occupy that. My eyes are a little weak. I have written considerably tonight, I must close.
28 Nothing especial occurred. dress parade. I went out on Brigade Drill & dress parade.
29 Washing day. As it was not my "month" for washing thought I would wait until next week. For the first time reported myself to the doctor. He said I had the jaundice or jaunders[?], gave me light blue pills to take, have taken two tonight, dont like them very much if any. Went to Bowling Green today, purchased three apples for five cents & four sticks of hoarhound candy for a dime. Heavy purchase but as I went on borrowed capital I could afford it well enough. Lieut. Jennings is gaining.
30 I do not feel very well, in fact have not since the last time I was on piquet. I am very billious. Nothing new today.
Dec 1 One of piquets from Co. B (Slaughterback) was wounded in the arm last night by bushwhackers. It was a very rainy & dark disagreeable night. Aaron Smart conducted the wounded man into camp. All quiet tonight. I do not feel as well today as usual, my chest & "inner man" generally feels very sore. Hope I shall enjoy better health soon. The doctor tells me I have got the jaundice or jaunders[?]. Wm Beery [2 words illegible] & Elias Hollenback who was with him in the hospital at Harrodsburgh have just arrived tonight.
2 Dec I feel a little better today. My complexion is turning a beautiful Saffron color. I am much delighted with the change, think it makes me look more "distingushed", might be mistaken for a Spaniard or east Indian or a bronze statue on a small scale. It will take me several days to get over it. I have been taken [taking] blue pills, have taken "only" 15 up to tonight. Five cos[companies] of the reg have or are to move up inside the fortifications just above where we are. Co. A have already gone up. Lieut. Jennings & myself are all that is left below here of Co. A. There are five cos[companies] going up in the morning I suppose. I have not been inside of the fortifications yet. The ground has until this morning been occupied by the 9th Mich who have left for Nashville. We may stay all winter & may leave in a week. One of our cos[companies] is off guarding a RR Bridge. The Reg may be cut up & scattered along the Railroad. If I was well & stout I would not care what the done with us & as it is I dont care much.
Dec 3 Lieut. Jennings & myself are yet occupying our tent on the slope of the hill upon which the fortifications are situated. I have not as yet had curiosity enough to go up the hill--not five minutes walk--& explore the works. They are not formidible however at present. I suspect that tomorrow we will move up. Lieut. Jennings has been under arrest for several days owing to charges preferred agst[against] him by Capt. Beery who is trying to break Joe Jennings of his commission. I do not think he will suceed however. The weather today is pleasant but cool. I think I am improving in health slowly but not much if any in appearance, remain as yet a beautiful yellow. Shurtish[?] is out wood chopping, has been gone since Monday, will not come in before Saturday night, was out the week before. As soon as I get well I shall go out myself I think.
4th Visited by the boys upon the hill & in the morning read some extracts from the President's message & the news of the day. The night was rather cold & the weather indicated a storm.
Dec 5 Snowing like forty, a very disagreeable morning. Had an alarm last night, had the gun all loaded & two guns from a battery here moved up on to the hill inside the earthworks. The boys stood in line of battle or were deployed out as skirmishers &c, had a big time. I and the Lieut. were fast asleep--outside the camp guards at that--little did we care about the wonderful alarm. If we had been awake at the time I dont think we would have skeddadled very far. We calculated this morning that we could hold this side of the fort just like winking. We will probably go up inside of the fort in the morning--if we are not "captured" tonight--I think if the weather is fair. It is reported tonight that Morgan is at or on this side of Glasgow, which is within 20 miles from here. Whether it is so or not but the news comes from a very "reliable gentleman." It is now about 1 oclock at night & is cold as the dickens. I have for a fire a large pan of coals.
6th I visited Bowling G today, spent about a dollar on little liesures &c. Our men captured 8 men & 7 horses out on a advance piquet post. Reported that Morgan is going to attack Cave City instead of here "Just as he has a mind to & not as I care" Today is washing day but it is not my washing week. Have changed my "linen" once since I left Frankfort.
Dec 7th/62 I found a very delightfull morning. I feel better this morning than I have for two weeks before. I took a fine bath--wash rather--changed my unmentionables & washed my undershirt, hung it up behind the stove--an old thing no doubt used by the secesh when they occupied this place which I found & tinkered & repaired up--& then (as I was all alone, Lieut. Jennings have gone to B.G. to see about his approaching court martial. How he will come out is difficult for me to say but I hope for the best) roasted me some potatoes & stewed some peaches & with some bakers bread I relished my dinner. I had some sassafras tea also, a very good dinner for a soldier. I am at present taking medicine for my blood in the shape of burdock, sasafrass, sasparilla, Gum Guac[?] chips. My blood is not very pure & one cannot enjoy good health when his blood is in bad condition.
Dec 8 I feel pretty well this morning. The weather is cool but pleasant, nothing new this morning. Report is this afternoon & eve that the rebbell Gen. Forrest [Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, CSA] has defeated Gen. Dumont, captured three of his cannon &c & is now advancing to attack this place. The mens have their guns all loaded & are ordered to be in readyness at a moments warning. The Col. has ordered the cystern inside the fort to be filled with water & preparations are being made for a fight. My rifle remains unloaded in its rubber case & I shall not take the trouble to load it until I see a chance more certainly for a "scrimmage", but taking all things into consideration I think that there are some grounds for suspecting an attack here, the bridge across the river being destroyed would injure Gen. Rosecrans considerably as he cannot even with the way unobstructed keep the troops in full rations it is said. There is one thing about it, if Gen. Forrest "or any other man" comes here he will stand a chance for a scrimmage for I think & hope Gen. Granger is not a coward & I know [for] a fact that the men are not. If we are attacked we will be outnumbered two or three to one if report is true. Lieut. Jennings [and King] are outside of the camp Guards & on our old ground. We still think we can hold the position. Last report is expected attack tonight or tomorrow. I shall read a while & turn in, if they kick up a [illegible] I shall be apt to find it out I guess.
Dec 9 Nothing new except Lieut. Jennings & myself moved today up on the hill inside of the fortifications by "order" of Col. Bond. Got our tent all fixed up nice. There are walls on two sides as high as my head & a shanty at the back of our tent so we are surrounded on three sides & are in the most comfortable qtrs[quarters] of any of them after all & taking the last choice. The bomb proof is a few paces in front.
10th Was writing general & special orders in the co[company] order book today. Visited Bowling Green in the eve. Wanted to get a paper. Reported that mail train would not be in on act[account] of being in danger of being captured by the guerrillas. Also reported that there is a big battle going off at Nashville or vacinity. Was made happy by receipt of $25 from F.S. White Bank of Fremont. I was so near dead broke that if salt had been three cents--instead of 1 1/2--per barrell I could not have purchased enought to have "pickled a jay bird." It is late, the camp except those on guard are asleep. Our cysterns in the works here are ordered to be filled & are being filled. It is quite large, holding I suppose 1500 or 2000 barrels of water. I only make a rough estimate.
Dec 11 Rumoured today that Morgan is at Lebanon with 4 M[thousand] cavalry. The news in regard to the capture of Durmonts Brigade by Morgan is confirmed. I am a little unwell today, was gaining but had a severe attack of "disorganization of digestive organs." "All quiet on the Potomac"
Dec 12th 1862 Late at night. The night is blustering & windy but not very cold. The weather for a week or more has been delightfully cool & pleasant, much resembling our indian summers in Ohio. Had a general review today or inspection. I do not go out on reviews as my gun is not suitable, so as the general thing I do the looking on. They are filling up the cystern here inside the fortifications, from the rapidity in which the work is done I should judge that the fight which we were expecting will not take place until next spring or "thar" a bouts as it will take fully that length of time to fill the cystern if conducted on the "great plan" now being pursued. It is rumoured that they are fighting at Fredericksburgh & at [illegible] or vicinity.
Dec 13 Washing day, had quite a notion of having my "other" shirt washed today, think I should if it had not been a very boisterous sort of day & the dust would have accumulated to an extent not to be [illegible] of in one so fastidious as myself. I have been rather unwell & have not been in dress parade or drill for some time. At present have a very bad cold. It is rather warm tonight. It is warm enough in our tents to dispence with fire today, it is not uncomfortably cool tonight. The news from our armies are cheering. I hope to hear of a great victory & one that is not like the most of our wonderful victories, barren of results except the slaughter of an immense no[number] of men & then a long rest & go at it again. I hope if Burnsides does defeat the secesh he will follow them up until there is not a man of them left.
Sunday 14 Company inspection & had the pleasure of hearing the Capt. read the regulations to us. Had our traps [trappings] inspected &c. At noon the wind blew pretty strong, making our tent shake & tremble considerably. Wrote a long letter to Jno Wagg[?] my new [illegible] friend tonight, it was late when I retired.
15th Rained all day nearly without interruption, the camp fires were put out with the rain or flooded with water, the tents do[ditto], had a gay old time, the wind blowing most of the time, the canvas a flapping. I had a bad cold, have caught more of a one today. Lieut. Jennings has his trial tomorrow, how he will come out I am unable to say. I regret very much the quarrel occured but I can only say wheather the result [2 words illegible] "[2 words illegible]". News tonight not very encouraging from Burnsides, neither can it be put as very discouraging. May "Allah" crown his army with the most brilliant success. Lieut. Col. Johnson told me tonight that an attack was aprehended here with 20 hours. I shall sleep none the less sweetly on the act[account] of that news. There was some firing along our piquet line last night, mostly at stumps & trees I guess for I have heard of no casualties on our side or that of "any other mans"
Dec. 16 Nothing special today except that the court martial between Capt. Beery & Lieut. Jennings was commenced today. The time was occupied in examining witnesses for the Capt. I forbear to make any remarks upon the case. It would have no doubt been much better for all concerned if the Capt. had never initiated the court martial, but "[2 words illegible]" is all I have to say.
Dec 17th 1862 Suit still progressing between Capt. & Joe, still engaged in examining witnesses for the prosecution. Rumours of an attack again, guns all ordered to be loaded, four additional cannon brought up inside the works & loaded. Our officers probably know more about it than I do but as far as I am concerned I have but very little "apprehensions" of an attack. Those that know nothing fear nothing as the old adage is perhaps would fit my case. It is nearly two oclock. I have been writing letters &c & am getting tired & sleepy so I shall now prepare myself for my evenings repose upon my sumptous couch. I pull off my boots & get into my bunk, nest would be equally as appropriate--where I shall dream of fighting for glory & $13 per month, $42 worth of clothes thrown in for the year & a beautiful prospect of dieing gloriously in the hospital. Who wouldnt be a soldier.
Dec. 18 The night & day has again come & gone & I "still live." The boys were out target shooting today. I have not been out target shooting yet myself but I mean to go out & try my had at it some of these days. Lieut. Jennings has been having the witnesses examined in the defense. How long it will take to get through with the court martial is more than I can say, perhaps a couple of days longer. Another "rumour" of an attack tonight, three regiments of the Union Tenn troops encamped below on our dress parade ground are ordered up inside of the works at three oclock tonight I hear, whether it is so or not I am unable' to say but it seems to me that a force should be sent to help the detachment of the 23rd Mich now guarding the RR bridge across the Big Barren, for it will be a part of the "great plan" of the Rebbs to destroy the RR Bridge, but they have not taken the bridge yet & I do not think they are able to do it either. Burnside [Brig. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside] it seems has recrossed the Rapahanock, finding Gen. Lee too much for him, but it was no doubt a "strategic movement" on the part of Burnside, making on a smaller scale the wonderfull [?] military strategy of McClellan Gen. George B. McClellan] as displayed in his retreat from Richmond.
Dec. 19th Today had "grand review" of troops stationed here by Gen. Granger. I did not go out but instead went up on the top of the bomb proof in the works here & had a fine view of the scene. The day was very pleasant. At the different encampments could be seen the regiments drawn up in line, their guns glistening in the sun. Off in every direction could be seen the white covers of the waggons going & coming. In a field near B Green was a few hundred head of cattle for the army I suppose. One of the Tennesseans shot & dangerously wounded a man who undertook to cross through their lines & would not halt when he halted him. They also captured two hogs & 1 sheep & a beef "animal". They brought them in on their bayonets. The case between Lieut. Jennings & Capt. still continues. Joe seems a little fearful of the result tonight, thinks the Capt. may succeed in removing his shoulder straps & perhaps cashier him. I have been by his special request copying a "statement of facts["] in regard to the matter. I may get into a d--d[sic] of a scrape although I have tried to be as far as possible nuetral, thinking both parties are more or less to blame. For a wonder, we do not expect an attack tonight. I have a severe cold, yet it hangs in like grim death. I am nevertheless gaining every day. Today I tried my hand at making a pudding, got some milk & a few raisens & made a "partly successful attempt." Although I did not succeed as well as my ardent expections led me to hope I should, yet the "pudding" was rather palatable. I shall I think try my hand at that particular branch of the culinary department again in a day or two. It is getting quite late, at least three oclock & I must "subside" for the present & retire to my "luxurious bunk."
Dec 20 Last night Co. A was aroused from their peaceful slumbers about three oclock or later & removed up to the upper end of the fortifications & awaited the attack of the enemy who did not come. I heard the order to "fall in" but having been up very late I was very sleepy & so I changed my position & traveled again to the land of dreams thinking if the game of "ball" finely [finally] commenced I would find it out in time to take a hand at the "laughable & amusing game." Nothing has transpired today worthy of note excepting perhaps that the court martial between the 1st Lieut. & Capt. was concluded but the decision has not been given out yet. I visited Bowling Green today again, it is not ten minutes walk from here to the main square. I bought 1 qt molasses 30 c & a little over half a peck of potatoes at 40 c, very small ones at that. I went to the Lieut. Cols. to get my pass so that the "Provoking" [Provost] guards would not interfere with me while on my little trading expedition. The Col. inferred that an attack was expected certain in the morning or during the night. Sunday is a fighting day & who knows but the secesh may be "green" enough to attack this fortification when (the thus far) invincible 111 is here & hereabouts. I have heard so much about an attack that I am tired of the apparently senseless rumor, for the last two weeks it has been Morgan is expected to attack us either today or tonight &c &c. I had rather if Allah is so willed that I am to be engaged in battle [to] do my fighting here rather than to be marching over the whole southern confederacy & then have to fight the enemy on their ground of their choosing. I feel real tired & sleepy & so I am in a few moments going to be in the land of dreams.
Dec 21 Morgan did not attack us & for a wonder there is no rumor of an attack tonight. The Tenn troops left today. I stood on the bomb proof & saw them take their departure. They are bound for Nashville.
Dec 22 Our co[company] went out on piques today but I did not go owing to my having a very severe cold, there is nothing new here today except the news from Washington & Fredericksburgh the [2 words ellegible] of Burnsides, Ramsuer[?], Chase, Blair[?] &c. Banks [Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks] it seems has gone to Mobile instead of operating agst[against] Richmond. It is enough to make a fellow swear to think how the powers that be manage business. It looks as though a lot of school boys could do as well.
Dec 23d All quiet at Bowling Green, no news of special interest excepting the news from Washington. "Everybody" is ordered to load their guns tonight, can't see what for. Don't believe there is an enemy within a hundred miles of here. Have been making out quantity return of issues of clothing to the co[company] for the Capt. The document goes to Washington & must be nicely done without blobs[?], erasures or anything of the kind. I think I can do the thing up satisfactorily to the powers that be at the Capitol "If I can't I can most"
24 Report tonight is that Morgan has taken Munfordsville, captured a mail train &c & destroyed communications of telegraph &c. 12 oclock report contradicted, think Morgan is going to attack us here. Morgan is reported to have said that he would eat his Christmas dinner in B Green. If he keeps his promise we will hear from him soon. I don't believe a word of it however. I know we did not receive our usual mail but that is not a very unusual occurrence. I heard two volies[volleys] of musquetry about 20 minutes apart. I thought it might be a signal of attack. I did not take the trouble to go out of the tent to see what was the matter. The firing alarmed our brave Capt. & he marched out with sword & traps [trappings] on prepared to mingle in the deadly conflict & consequently no chance to display. generalship. I think the firing was in Bowling Green & probably they have some kind of a [illegible] down there as this is Christmas Eve.
25 Christmas has passed off much like other days but not like other Christmases. For breakfast had roast potatoes & dry bread. Dinner the same excepting the addition of rice & molasses. I might have gone down to Bowling Green & bought a sweet cake or so but was afraid that any business of that kind would not agree with one "Brig. Gen." Morgan. Boasted to the effect that he would eat his Christmas dinner in B Green. I rather imagine he meant next Christmas for I have not up to date heard of his arrival, although there are some in the fort that are & have been for the last two weeks expecting him every minute. It is getting late. Norbert Shurtish[?] & H. Munson were having a late supper of principally rice & molasses, after which I finished a long letter to "A.N." I "retired" about 3 oclock. It was the most mild & pleasant weather, not a sign of a sleigh ride. The weather seems more like spring than winter.
26th Rained all the forenoon, has been on the whole a disagreeable day. Nothing new from "Morgan" today. We are now pretty well prepared for a siege, having 6 M[thousand] rations on the inside of the works here & quite a quantity of ammunition & a lot of water in the cystern.
27th This morning saw a lot of troops going through B Breen in the cars & two or three regiments of cavalry. They are going after Morgan who has destroyed the [illegible] track about 15 miles north of Munfordsville, thus to some extent cutting off communications with Louisville. It is said that it will take about five days to repair it. We have had no mail for three days. Our co[company] went out on piquet. I have a bad cold or I should have went. I have been busy making out quantity report of clothing today.
28 No mail today. Reported fighting between here & Nashville. This eve have been making a shell ring for [blank space]. I have worked until 12 oclock & blistered one of my fingers in filing, have not got it finished yet.
Dec 29th The ring making business in a slow & somewhat laborious undertaking or business rather with the indifferent kit of tools one has to work with. I hope
that our mail communication will not be cut off for any great length of time for I am anxious to hear from June &c. I think that Rosecrans is capable of
"cleaning out" the secesh in his neighborhood. What a confounded shame it is that ole Buell was not kicked out of his position sooner. Had Rosecrans been in
Buells place there would have been no Bragg with his army threatening & actually fighting him now. Nothing would have prevented the entire annihilation of
Braggs army while in Ky except the cowardice, treachery or imbecility of the genl[general] in command. I think if BuelI & those of a kindred spirit should be
most respectfully invited to wear a "hempen collar" for a few moments just for the sake of benefitting the people at home, the government & the army. There is
McClellan the wonderful strategist, the originator & perpetrator of the great "anaconda plan", another feature of the entertainment which tickled the American
people wonderfully. Was "masterly inactivity" a beautiful and very "strategic" feature of the entertainment, a few side shows under the name of "bases of
supplies", lines of retreat, taking a "port" & holding it &c all for a time duly appreciated but they & the organization & invention are about played out. His
principal admirers being formed now in the Rebb army & among his Butternut friends at home, who still swears by "little Mack"[McClellan].
Unexpectedly get notice to leave in about an hour. Co. A & F were all on the march bag & baggage. We are at present in or rather on the outside of one of the forts on the north side of the Big Barren about a mile & 1/2 from B Green and about two from where we were on colledge hill in plain view of both however. The fort on the the hill was built by Floyd [Gen. John B. Floyd, CSA]. This one which is a stockaded fort was built by Sidney A. Johnston [Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, CSA]. I expect we will have to repair it up some. If Morgan makes an attack we will no doubt be the first to have the "pleasure" of seeing him as this is a sort of an outpost. The stove that I picked up at a secesh camp about a month ago is doing grand service. I should not wonder if more than one rebb general has warmed himself by the same little sheet iron affair. In coming here we crossed the river on a pontoon bridge which is near the ruins of the bridge across the river which was on the Nashville pike, the RR bridge is but a short distance above.
30 The fort here upon examination is a very strong little work & exceedingly well planned. On the south side the ground has been levelled off at an expense so the proprietor of the farm says of $500. He does not like the plan of having it built up again I guess. I have been tonight finishing off a ring commenced sometime ago & drawing up an act[account] of the 4th gn[general?] issue of clothing for Co. A. The night is stormy & disagreeable. Bragg is said to be about 12 miles from Glasgow marching on this place. I "cant see it" as the fellow says.
Dec 31, 1862 The old year in nearly gone, an hour more & the present year with its many scenes of sorrow & strife ("blighted hopes, ruined prospects, &c")
will have passed away & will be among the things that were. I pray "Allah" may will it so that long before the young year now just coming into being [is over]
we will all be at home & our deeply troubled but still glorious country will be at peace. The future at present looks dark but it is an old saying [that] it is always
darkest before day. There is a rumor today that Gen. Hooker [Brig. Gen. Joseph Hooker]--one of the bravest of the brave--has had his army division entirely cut
up. I am afraid the news is so, still it needs confirmation for one hears nothing but bad news from the east, one blunder or disaster following another. It is said
that Morgan has destroyed about 24 miles of RR track & burned too bridges between here & Louisville & that it will take three or four weeks to repair
damages. If so we need not expect any mail for sometime to come. I expect the folks at home are much alarmed about us but we are as unconcerned as a scare
crow in a corn field. By some an attack is expected, there is provisions enough going into the fort we left to[?] on colledge hill to stand a months sedge. Our
boys have orders to load their guns every night. My own remains unloaded yet. I keep my revolver ready for action however. We were mustered for pay today
but when the paymaster will get along the lord only knows for I dont. News is recd of a victory on the side of the federals at [blank space]. The loss on our side
is said to be fifteen hundred. Gen. Rosecrans is in pursuit & if so he will make them "git" as he believes in following up a victory when he has achieved one. I
think cutting off his supplies in his rear like unto old Morgan has done unto him has a tendency to awaken up the Gen. God grant him success & "Grant" [Gen.
Ulysses Grant] too. Our tents are near the proprietor of the premises, he is a good Union man. He had to leave home when the Rebbs were here. SA [actually
AS-- Albert Sidney Johnston] had his headquarters in his house. His name is Baker. He says that the secesh took 500 hogs & 100 head of cattle from him, burnt
his Negro cabbins &c. While one of his girls was riding out today her brother shot her accidently, the ball passing through the leg above the knee, no bones
were broken I believe. I have not been to the house yet but think I shall perhaps tomorrow. To my friends I wish a happy new year & every body else except the
cursed infernal secesh.
Jan 1 1863 1 1/2 oclock AM. I have amused myself by working on a shell ring part of the evening & have just eaten some stewed peaches, soft tack & a slice of ginger bread. ZG Burton & Herbert Hathaway were invited guests at my sumptous new years breakfast or lunch. Tonight we heard some little piquet firing, two or three shots. Boys have probably been shooting as some stumps or imagining Bushwhackers. I am off to dreamland Hu[Au] Revoir. Today I had for breakfast stewed peaches, bakery bread & "ginger bread". For supper I indulged in the luxury of a cigar afterwards, could not help it after such a luxurious repast. Visited Bowling Green for the first time since I have been here to Ft. Baker. Everything seemed very quiet over in Bowling Green & to me but little like a "happy New Year".
Jan 2 Everything quiet in this vicinity of Bowling Green. Reported fight at or near Nashville going on.
3d Rainy & disagreeable. Visited our camp under colledge hill, left clothing reports with Adgt, visited quartermaster & then went to Bowling Green. Report is Gen. Rousseau [Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau] & Sill [Gen. Joshua W. Sill] are killed but Rosecrans is driving the enemy before him & has already taken several thousand prisoners. We can ill afford to lose such men as Gen. Rousseau & I sincerely hope that the rumor in regard to his death is untrue.
Jan 4 I saw a Nashville paper of the date of 2nd in which Gen. Rousseau is only slightly wounded. Gen. Rosecrans is still fighting. I have some fears for the result although seems to think it is or going to be a big victory most certainly. I hope so for a general cleaning out in this direction will have a tendency to shorten the war. The troops have been going every day through here on the cars, I suppose for Nashville, three or four days. One brigade went through today on foot & some soldiers--a couple of regiments or so--on the cars. It is said our Reg is under marching orders for the same place. I had about lief go as not. There has been fighting on both sides of us & we have not even had a "scrimmage" yet. We may get more than we want some fine day when we least expect it. We have had no mail for several days. What is going in the outside world is more than I can say, whether Washington is "still safe", whether Richmond is taken or not. I expect the road will be completed this week & then we will know all about it. I suppose our friends at home are very much alarmed about us much more so than we as a general thing are alarmed about ourselves. Those that know nothing fear nothing as the saying is.
5th Tonight I borrowed a darning needle & raveled out a part of a stocking & "d---nd"[sic] my socks a we[e] bit. They had got in a shocking bad condition as the fellow says "more holey than richeous". Nothing of importance occurred worthy of note. We are engaged is stockading the old fort Baker on the side of where the ground has been removed or levelled down by the proprietor, who says it cost him the sum of $500.
Jan 6 1863 Making or rather commenced making a ring from one of the shells to be found in the river here. The "modus operendi" is thus. Take a shell, drill a hole through it with a bayonet-- quite a slow job requiring some muscle & considerable perserverance. After you have drilled the hole large enough to get or insert a file then you have a nice job filing. It takes me working liesurely about two days to make one, could do it in 1/4 of the time if I were disposed to hurry the business. I have two already finished & one in the "stocks as they say of the gun clubs[?]"
7 January Today moved inside the works. One tent is close to a gun carraige upon which there is a "barker"[?] that should we be attacked by the enemy will no doubt be heard from. There are but two guns in the Fort at present. Vicksburgh is reported taken by our forces & a complete victory gained by Rosecrans over the secesh at Munfordsbourgh [Murfreesboro]. Grant has also "gobbled up" & cleaned out a lot of those of the secesh pursuasion in his vicinity. Too much good news to be all true I am afraid, yet I have a presentiment[?] that the information is in the main correct. Finished ring No. 3 today. Read some letters from home, was informed Christmas dinner has been sent, am afraid that the victals will get cold or the war will be over before it comes to hand.
8th Nothing new or worthy of note.
9 Visited Bowling Green. Vicksburgh reported not taken. Sherman repulsed.
10th All quiet on the "Big Barren".
Sunday 11th 1863 I am at the present moment laying on my back in a warm sunny nook in an old slashing or piece of woods cut down by the secesh when they occupied this place, my head resting on the roots of a large beech stump, the thick weeds & logs break the wind off & the sun shines in here very pleasantly. I have been smoking my pipe, reading a little, thinking of the war & its consequences & wondering when it would end. I think certainly before the 4th of July. I was also thinking of home in imagination. I can see mother with spectacles on eagerly reading the lates news. The girls are no doubt disappointed in not receiving their usual letter from their brother Kit, but they can lay [that] to "friend Johny Morgan["] & not to any omission on my part.
12th 1863 January I went out on skirmish drill by especial request of the "Captain." I have had a cold more or less severe since I left Bradfordsville--caught it by very foolishly sleeping in a feather bed because I happened to have the opportunity. In one drill we had considerable running to do & I got quite warm & sweaty & consequently caught more cold. I feel not very well or in very [illegible] good humor tonight.
13 For the first time in several weeks I took a tramp into the country in co[company] with Lieut. Jennings. Visited the residence of a widow lady by the name of Blunett[?]. The farm adjoins Bakers. It is about a mile from here. The farm was once a very nice one but is now grown up to weeds. The house is [illegible] & [illegible] up all over & there is not a fence remaining on the place excepting one recently put up around the house. There are two fair looking Ky girls there, they are unmistakedly Union all over. They left home after the secesh had been here for a while & they raised Ned with their house & farmstead. One of them told me that one day their mother--a very kind old lady--& herself came home to see how things were going. There were a lot of Texas rangers galoping their horses over their porch & running them through the house. They have a melodian. They are not very good performers. I played a few turns for them. I passed two or three hours there very pleasantly & was invited to call again, which I may possibly do if we stay here for any length of time. We continued our walk on to a celebrated spring called I believe Mill Spring owing to there being a steam grist mill in the neighborhood. The spring is at the end of a deep ravine, the rocks are above it to the height of I should judge one hundred feet. The road to the mill actually passes over the spring, the rocks shelve over it so that it almost looks like a cave. From there I visited the grist mill. Had the Farmers N. M. Co. put up such a one it would have paid very well. There is one [illegible] 20 ft 40[?] inches diameter, fire flues 9 in, cylinder [illegible] 20 in stroke 200 to 225 revolutions. The stone run[s] the same speed as the engine. Can run both [illegible] at once, takes one cord of wood to 100 bushs[bushels] wheat from[?] that to 150 busies. Reached camp about dark quite fatigued. Cold not any better. Noticed an improvement in letting grain into the stone.
[Kit operated a grist mill before joining the 111 OVI. See entry of Mar. 5]
January 14 1863 It has been raining incessantly all day & now at 12 at night it is still pouring down. Our tent is so leaky that we cannot go to bed without getting wet through, as where our bunk is it leaks like forty. I pity the boys that are on guard tonight for it is more than tough on them. I guess Gen. Banks will be able to reach Vicksburgh if the rain continues for it must have a tendency to raise the "father of waters" ([illegible] the Miss). Vicksburgh was reported taken again the other day & since contradicted again. Have been amusing myself making rings from shells tonight. I is quite a slow process but where one has nothing else to do it answers for amusement. It ceased raining & commenced snowing about 2 oclock so we went to bed.
Jan 15 Snowed all day, snow is about a foot deep. The Kentuckyans say it is the deepest snow they have had in ten years.
16 Cold & blustery, some snow fell today. Lieut. Jennings had the ague & I am about sick myself, partly bit "mit the same snake". I have a very severe cold.
17th Slept poorly last night, feel better today. I visited B Green today, no news. A bridge has been washed away between here & Nashville on the RR so that we are now cut off from all communication with the outside world excepting an occasional visit by one of the small river steamers. Lieut. is no better today. I am afraid he is going to have a fever.
18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd Nothing new or worthy of note except Lieut. Jennings has a severe intermittent fever.
Jan 23d 1863 Lieut. is some better today. We have got out of our canvas home into the residence of Mr. Baker. We have a good room & fireplace & are much more comfortable. Moved day before yesterday. The house is but a few rods from the fort. News is that Bragg has been reinforced by 40 or 45 M[thousand] from the rebbell [army] in Virginia, the news is however contradicted. Also report to the effect that Burnside has again crossed the Rapahanock & engaged the rebbs, has driven back the left wing of their army &c, all of which I hope is so but up to date "I cant see it". I await further advances with considerable interest. Our victory at Stone River--Murfreesbourgh--I do not consider very decisive. I regret very much to hear of the brave old Gen. Hooker being mortally wounded but fear alass it is true.
24th To vary the the monotony of camp life I & Hank Munson took a jaunt, stopped on our way at Mrs. Blunetts[?], played on the melodian a little & then went on after shooting the rifle at a mark a few times to adjust the sights, which had got a little out of order. We moved on into somewhat extensive woods which border the Big Barren river. At the edge of the woods a rabbit sprang up & skipped away, a "whistle" or two caused him to come to a stand, "he never stopped again" for a "whip like" report sounded through the forest, a convulsive spring into the air, a few struggles & the earthly troubles of Mr. Rabbit were over. We proceeded onwards for a mile or more but saw nothing. On making a detour to our left & travelled some considerable distance I had the "felicity" of seeing a grey squirrel but the glimpse was only momentary for he skedaddled on the double quick, had me lost in conjecture as to the particular tree he had taken refuge in. After a fruitless search we proceeded onwards. Getting tired we sat on a stump & talked about the war & the probable period of time which would elapse before its termination. Swore a little at old Abe & some of his procrastination. Some of the genls also came in for their full share of praise or censure & [which] one we deemed they deserve. After resuming our hunt we heard two more but did not see anything to shoot until we again emerged into the open fields. A hawk was sitting on the limb of a dead tree some twenty rods [110 yards] off. Hank shot at him & hit but did not kill him. A feather fluttered down which we judged was from the reign of the "[2 words illegible]" [2 words illegible] more properly speaking "narrative". I stopped into Blunetts[?] & borrowed a few papers & started for camp. Seeing a mourning dove sitting quietly on the limb of a tree I [illegible] my skill at markmanship at his birdship. The result was magnificent, the ball passing so near that the bird was so charmed by the beautiful music of the whistling bullet that he forgot his danger & narrow escape & sat gazing complacently at me as much as to say hello sonny what are you here for & is your maternal relative aware that you are absent from the paternal [illegible]--vulgar[?] does your mama know you are out. I shouldered up my shooting "stick" & with the remark to Hank of come let us go back to camp we vamoosed. Reached camp about dark. Total result one rabbit (besides several squirrels & doves that we did not get) & a couple of boys that wear "Uncle Samuels" clothes being pretty tired. I boiled about half the rabbit & ate it for supper, saving the remainder for Lieut. Jennings.
Sunday 25th Lieut. is better today, has but little fever. Last night we had an addition to our little family of one half drunk, half sick, half crazy Lieut. of artilery. He [3 words illegible] curiously for a while but after a while he subsided. Fortunately he left this morning. Today I took a book & a file & went off & read awhile, filed a little on a ring & I guess took a bit of a nap. Everything is quiet on the "Big Barren" tonight. No further news from Burnside excepting that the wonderful rumors of yesterday was mostly untrue.
Jan 26, 1863 Rained nearly all day. I intended to have gone out on a hunt for the purpose of killing a squirrel or two to make a soup for the Lieut. I amused myself by copying "General" & "special" orders for the benefit & guidence of officers & men in the department & this vicinity.
27th No news today from Burnside that is reliable. We had a mail today. I was not so fortunate as to receive even a single letter, much to my disappointment. Willam Beery our orderly sergt has been promoted to the 2nd Lieutenacy to act in Co. A until further orders. Jennings is better today. One of Co. F's men was brought in today to our room sick with some kind of a fever.
28 Called in the evening on Mr. Baker, read the "latest news" until I got my head so muddled up with conflicting rumors that I didnt know any thing, about like the babes in the woods I was lost. Dropped in to the tent of the Majors where they were playing Eucher, stopped a few moments & looked on, returned a paper I had borrowed of him, then hearing a fiddle--violin--in Co. F I went into a tent, saw the performer seated on a cracker box sawing away. The boys insisted on my dancing. I told them my education had been badly neglected in that particular science. I finally sawed them off a few times, then came back, read until about midnight & then retired to my bunk. The performance is very simple, I have only to pull off my boots & get under the blanket. I sleep with my hat, coat &c on.
29th Nothing new excepting Col. Bond has issued an order for these two companies to move back & bring two companies from colledge hill here. The Col. seems to take delight in pushing the men to as much trouble & annoyance as he possibly can. It is hoped that the order will be revoked. Under date of the 15th of Jan. Gen. Munson issued a very stringent order in regard to the burning of rails & destruction of property, if carried out it will have a tendency to put a stop to "confiscating" swine &c. The order says these things must & shall be stopped, even if it requires the hanging of a few of the desperados & marauders.
30 Have heard nothing new about moving back to our old quarters on colledge hill, hope we wont until we take our final departure from here.
31 Shutish[?], H Munson & myself took a hunt today, shot a rabbit & a squirrel, had some salt with us & a loaf of bread. We built a fire, broiled our game, ate
our bread, smoked & talked over matters & things in regard to the war. Had a few remarks about the "Chief executive" & several Generals, a Col. & Captn. or
two that was not especially complimentary to them. On our travels we saw a specimen of some of the poor white trash & the hut that they lived in, pretty hard
looking specimens they were. Came back by the way of Mrs. Blunetts[?], called in & borrowed a few newspapers & then came into camp a little after dark.
Captain & several others thought we had either got lost or been "gobbled up" by the guerrillas or bushwhackers. Consequence is Shutish[?] & Hank are put on
double duty, which by the way is full as easy as drilling.
Feb 1 Rainy. Read four letters today. Learn that the RR is repaired & henceforth we may expect letters more regular. Nothing new today except that the box in which is my Christmas dinner has arrived via Nashville to the express office in Bowling Green. I have no doubt that the roast, swine & turkey will be very tender & nice, yes very.
Feb 2 1863 The principal event worthy of note was the inspection & renovation of my Christmas box of "goodies", such a collection of Christmas cake, doughnuts, boiled eggs, rotten apples, dried apples mixed with tea & scraps of turkey & "swine flesh". The only things worthy of preservation were a few of the dried apples & a little butter, all good in its way but scarcely worth its cost. The apples for instance were about worth here or cost 50c per lb & the butter say $1.50 per lb. I & Shutish[?] had a "[illegible] old time" looking over the contents of the box. The "Pig" has been to Nashville & from there to Bowling Green, from the express co[company] to the quartermasters under the hill & then taken up into the fort on colledge hill & there I captured the aforesaid swine. I feel nevertheless grateful to my mother & sisters for their kindness in sending the box of provisions, no one to blame but old John Morgan.
Feb 3rd 1863 Nothing new except that Rosecrans is reported to have been attack 'd by the secesh. News needs confirmation, still there is a probability of its being true.
Feb 4 Report of yesterday contradicted. It is snowing like forty tonight. Today old Col. Bond was as tight as a brick [drunk], by the way not I guess a very unusual occurance. His wife is here at Mr. Bakers on a visit of a couple of weeks.
Feb 5 Nothing new except Herberts[?] box got along[?] today & I had sent to me one can of apple butter & several lbs of nice yellow butter. Our Capt. is detailed to take command of a few wood choppers. A corporal or sergeant has heretofore been deemed of as high [a] rank as was required. It is done on act[account] of the ill will which I think the Capt. has for him [for Col. Bond?]. He is to go tomorrow.
Feb 6th I visited Bowling Green today, also went up on the colledge hill fort. Old Morgan or his guerrillas have tore up the track on the RR & burnt some bridges between here & Nashville so the the cars cannot pass through. The telegraph wires are also cut. The extent of the injury done to the RR I do not know. Morgan was expected last night, the cavalry were out scouting around but Johny M did not appear. Tonight I was a little too late to cross the bridge, orders being issued not to let any one pass after 6 oclock PM. The Col. happened along & after some difficulty we both got across. I found a letter from the Capt. requesting me to make my appearance out at the wood choppers head quarters tomorrow by 9 1/2 AM. Have got to go to fort Qr 'masters & get a horse & ride out so that the Capt. can ride in to attend a meeting of the officers of the Reg to see about electing a Major when by rank Capt. Beery should be the Major. It is now 4 AM & I must retire for in an hour or two I must be off armed & equipped as the [illegible] directs. I have written two letters home tonight.
7th Arose from my "sumptuous" couch about 6 oclock & ate a piece of bread & in co[company] with Hank started on our journey. Went to fort qr' masters, got an order for a horse, had our pick of a couple of hundred or so of the worst looking broken down plugs I ever beheld. They belonged of course to our Uncle "Samuel". The horse that we had fell down before he had gone a rod. The ground was a little frozen & slippery & when the "animal" slipped he only seemed to look for an easy place to fall on, using scarcely any exertions to keep on his legs. Hank & I had some fears that our "beloved" Capt. would get badly "hurted" before he got into town, especially if he undertook to put in much "style" when riding in. We got on the army road & went a couple of miles out of our way. I rode a part of the time. After getting the right direction again we parted co[company], Hank being on horseback & as we were to report at 9 1/2 oclock time was passing so away went Hank about as fast as our old plug could carry him. I met our "highly expected" Capt. on the way back. He[?] told me he thought I would be delighted to go out & stay with the wood choppers where I could hunt &c, which was true enough in some respects & then again in some it was not. While the Capt. was away we built a log house about four feet high & then put a "bell tent" over it making quite a "nice" & roomy "tent hut". I was architect, draftsman & overseer of the structure, having the main part of the work done by a couple of the wood choppers. Henry M had charge of a squad who cut & brought up the timbers. The encampment is in the valley or bottom lands of Drake Creek.
8th Were ordered in to Bowling Green to sign our payrolls as the long expected paymaster had arrived. Arrived in time, saw the reg[regiment] all drawn up in line by companies undergoing inspection of arms, accoutrements &c.
Feb 9th Visited B Green, loafed around town all day. Went to the funeral of one of the 23 Mich. Saw a poor fellow packed away with all the honors of war. Since my last visit to the grave yard some two months ago the graves have increased in number about five hundred. Expected to get our green backs today but did not.
Feb. 10 Nothing new, am not going out to Head Quarters of wood choppers until further orders. Expect to be paid tomorrow. Our Capt. stands a slim chance for Major although by rank he [the Major] should be Sherwood. Our Adjt [Sherwood] is a splendid looking man & is as fine a man [in] every way as he appears to be.
11th Had an unexpected order to go out & see to the woodchoppers & take the no[number] of loads of wood hauled & to what regiment & hospital[?] the wood was hauled &c. I reached the wood choppers about an hour before sun set. Hank M & myself started, sent Hank to town to get a Louisville Journal. He rode a horse & was to overtake me but he went one road & I another & I had the pleasure of taking a nice little walk of about six miles in the mud. Hank had a gay old fight today, happened to imbibe a little of fighting whiskey & a fight was of course the natural consequence.
Feb 12 Came in to camp, rained all day. Nearly expected our "Green backs", did not get a green back "Nary a one", are to be paid tomorrow. Have heard the same story for almost a week. I am regularly detailed to assist the Capt. so I suppose I must stop with the wood choppers for about three weeks. It is reported that O.P. Frary [2nd Lieut. of Co. A] has tendered his resignation. Capt. also says he will resign. Regimental officers seem to be down on them both.
13th Just about sunset we rec'd our pay up to Jan 1st. Lieut. Jennings Rec'd [illegible], Kit rec'd $47.10. Frary has not resigned.
14th Hank M & myself visited Bowling Green, passed up through the Colledge Hill fortification & then started for Head Qrs [of] wood choppers on Drake Creek where I am at the present moment, feel rather tired with the exertion. We came across lots & avoided the muddy roads as much as possible. In one field in a small space I counted 20 "deceased" mules, thats the way "Uncle Samuels" money goes.
15th Commenced my ordinary duties which consists in ascertaining how many loads of wood is hauled by the teams of each Regt. There are now four regiments here[--]111 OVI, 25 Mich, 23 Mich & 20 Ky. I also by way of "amusement" chinked & mudded up the Captains shanty as much for my own comfort as for his or "any other mans". Some of the boys tonight have got an extra supply of the ardent [liquor] & are rather uproarious. Bill Frary among the rest, there are several of the "bold sojer" boys as tight as bricks.
Feb 16th "Pleasant", took a long walk up the river & around in the woods, also commenced making another shell ring.
Feb 17 Cloudy & damp. It took me about three hours to get the no[number] of loads of wood today owing to some of the trains being a little late. Took a walk down the river on another exploring expedition. Worked some more on my ring, played a few games of Euchre & old sledge with Hank &c. Boys are a little tight again. Some of them are a little noisy but they are a simmering down some now. Capt. & Hank went off about 4 oclock on a "scouting expedition" leaving me in sole "command of the position" which I think I shall be able to hold without the loss of a man until their return. It is now about 11 oclock & alls well.
Feb 18 Paid a flying visit to Bowling Green, made a few purchases for "family use". I also went over to Ft. Baker, saw Lieut. Jennings & the rest of the boys. Saw our second Lieut. O.P. Frary & orderly Charly Baker & a negro servant belonging to Maj. Brailey playing Poker for money. It struck me as a nice piece of strategy on the part of our Lieut. F to be seen by the co[company] in his tent gambling & that too with a negro. Such strategic movements on his part must be calculated to gain him the respect & admiration of the co[company]. Our "worthy" 2nd Lieut. I noticed as drunk as is convenient for a "feller [illegible]" to get & then if report is true he has & is now troubled with complaints of a syphalific nature owing to his partiality for the society of the daughters of the fame[?] ("[illegible] fame[?]"). It is said he intends to resign. The Capt. also has repeatedly remarked that he would resign also.
Feb 19th I learned yesterday that one of Co. A, Joe Jackson, had deserted in co[company] with some six or seven from Co. G (McCords co[company]). McCord & some cavalry are in pursuit. Frederick Geasicker is also among the missing, whether deserted or killed in some brawl or murdered for his green backs is unknown. Commenced a ring today.
Feb 20th 71 teams here for wood today, kept me on the "que vive" to keep correct act[account] of them. Afternoon wrote about 20 passes for the boys to go to their Regiments & to go to Bowling Green. I & Capt. & H Munson & [illegible] played a few quiet games of Eucher for amusement this eve. Most of the afternoon has been rainy & disagreeable & tonight it is cold, cloudy & disagreeable & occasionally we hear the rain drops falling on our canvas house. News is that the [illegible] that we are to reinstate McClellan, if they get that eternally slow Gen. with his "strategic movements & anaconda plan" again at work I shall want to resign "[illegible]".
21 Things are "wiggling" along about the same as usual.
22nd Sunday. My duties the same as usual for there is "no Sundays" in war. Today is the anniversary of Washingtons Birthday. We heard some firing of cannon at B Green in commemoration of the event. Some of the boys imagined that there was an engagement but I convinced them that they were only firing salutes &c.
Monday Feb 23d 1863 Principal item of news is that Vicksburgh is taken. M Munson came in from BG & reported that the report had come into camp the night before & confirmed today &c. Hope it is true but would not hardly believe it if I knew it was so. Two more of Co. A has deserted, Nick Kihn & H Lefler. They have followed C.C Wonders, Joe Jackson [&] Fred Geasicker. I wonder who next will sneak off in that style. I don't think that any of them have as good a reason to leave the service as myself for my secesh friends steal my lumber, commence suit against my mother. Stover, who rented my grist mill, is careless at not keeping the mill in wood & consequently is losing custom[ers], which will take me sometime to regain & the d---l[sic] to pay generously. I sometimes think that my affairs are going to ruin on act[account] of my feeling of patriotism & that the little service in my humble position I am able to give is scarcely adequate to the sacrifice I am obliged to make in "going to war". I have been in service now nearly seven months, we have never had a fight & I can't [see] when if ever we will. I feel as much reverance for the cause of my unhappy country as ever I did but some of the agents that "Uncle Samuel" has benevolently & kindly employed I do not & cannot appreciate. One Col. or Gen. who gets drunk & visits houses of bad repute can do more injury to the service than can be repaired by 500 as good privates "in the war ranks" as ever shouldered a musket.
Feb 24 We were honored by a call from Gen. Munson[?] & Capt. Mayall post Qr Master. He is much pleased with our style of doing business. Thinks "confidential" clerk knows how to make report correctly & in business like manner. The report about the capture comes from rebbell sources I understand. I dont hardly believe the whole yarn yet, but am certain (most) that our forces will take it soon. Capt. & Hank are again off on some sort of an expedition leaving me in com'nd "of the position". There was a grand review of the forces in B Green yesterday & speeches &c big time I expect. I am well pleased to know that I was not there, if I had been I would have been probably a performer instead of a looker on & after all what is the use of having so many "grand reviews".
25th Rainy. It kept me busy today to keep the acts[accounts] all straight & send the teamers to the proper places for wood. H Munson rendered valuable assistance. There was 83 loads of wood hauled out of here today. I went out about four oclock PM in co[company] with Hank to see what we could see & get some eggs & milk &c. We only succeeded in buying five leather Ky pies called peach pies (by way of a joke I suppose) for by the flavor so nice & delicate would puzzle the oldest man in the world to tell what he was eating. He might make the remarkable mistake that he had got hold of a partially tanned piece of sole leather. Only 10c a piece. A fellow wants the digestive organs of an ostrich if he were to follow eating the Ky pies. Got back to camp wet & cold, not much pleased with our "reconnisance".
26th Rainy & cloudy. Had a big time walking through the mud & water to keep the teamsters all straight. There was over 60 teams in a space of not more than two acres. The scene was an interesting one. The negro drivers & white drivers, the wood choppers helping put in the big logs &c, the drivers swearing & driving through mud & over logs & brush, here & there a waggon master on his horse or helping his men out of some difficulty, once in a while a mule team "foundered" or "stuck in the mud". The whole constituted a scene worthy of an illustration in Frank Leslie. Co. A has been moved over to colledge hill. A couple of transports a few miles down the river from B Green were captured by guerrillas & the frieght destroyed &c. The RR between BG & Nashville is reported torn up again & a passenger train not arrived due today at two. Rebbs are reported at [illegible]. The report of Longstreet & 45,000 invading Ky & taking [illegible] & marching on Cincinnatti in part contridicted. Lieut. Frary it is reported intends or rather has tendered his resignation. I rec'd a pr[pair] of socks from home. They came to hand in good time as my others are most "wored" out. To conclude we had some little excitement at camp of wood choppers this eve. One of the 23rd boys has a "weakness" for a certain young lady not far from here, the boys to scare him went to the house of a citizen near here & got him to go with them & they would meet him & the citizen was to capture him & parole him &c. Some of the Ky boys came in & said that they passed a couple of citizens & one of them snapped a pistol at him after he got by &c. The Kyans had gone out, three of them armed, to see if they could find the men, if so of course shoot them. Well they had hardly got back from a fruitless search when bang! went a musket about a qr[quarter] of a mile up the river. The Capt. called for volunteers to go up & see what it all meant. I volunteered, H Munson & all the Kyans that had guns so that there was about 20 of us in all going on a bushwhacking expedition. We deployed out through the strip of woods & finally heard voices a short distance above us. We walked somewhat rapidly up stream, at a bend of the river in a cleared space we saw a party of from 10 to fifteen. We halted them, they kept on towards us, the polite invitation halt G-d d--n you & the cocking of about 20 muskets & revolvers brought the party to a stand. It proved to be the party of practical jokers with one or two citizens. It might have been & came near to being a dear joke to some of them. I saw in the darkness the butternut (citizen) & from appearances of things for about a minute I expected to get into a bit of a "scrimmage". The Capt. remained in camp in com'd of the reserves. I am happy to state that our brave & gallant Capt. held the camp with his reserves without the loss of a single one of his brave "sojer boys".
27th Various reports about [illegible] Marshall, old Morgan &c. Rebbell raids & advances in force &c.
28th Nothing worthy of note transpiring.
Mar 1 Sunday. Only one train loaded here today owing to the almost impassable state of the sacred soil in the Ky woods.
Mar 2 Visited Bowling Green on business of state in co[company] with the Capt. Had a fine tramp over to Bakers hill & back to B Green. Had a fine chat with Dr. Chalfant [Assistant Regimental Surgeon] &c &c. Capt. Beery tendered in his resignation today but Bond our Col. would if possible prevent its acceptance. The Boys see the Capt. about to leave them with regret. In some respects he has not entirely come up to their expectations, yet he is on the whole more or less regretted except for perhaps by a few. Lieut. Jennings is as a general thing well liked by the majority of the co[mpany] & it is a misfortune to themselves & the co[mpany] they [Beery and Jennings] should be so antagonistic towards each other.
Mar 3 In the evening made a friendly call on a nice old Union lady who has two nice Union daughters. The Capt. & Lieut. Frary having some acquintence with the young ladies monopolized their attention (they passed for unmarried men) leaving me to play on the violin & chat with the old lady. On the whole I amused myself very well & passed a very pleasant evening. The old lady aprised me that we would get attacked here before long & we must be on our guard & stated as her belief that the only reason why we had not been bushwhacked before was owing to the high state of the creek & as soon as fordable we would get "Gobbled up". I assured the old lady that if we only had a few minutes notion[?] & did not attack with more than twice our numbers we would make it quite interesting for them &c.
Mar 4 Everything moves on as normal.
Mar 5th Went to Bowling G in co[company] with Capt. JNB, was introduced to Dr. Silver [Assistant Regimental Surgeon] & my intention of "tendering my
resignation" made known. I am to be examined in three days for this time. My reasons for quitting the service is not because I am sick & disgusted with
soldiering, not that I am afraid of getting hurt or that I believe the cause less sacred than I did at first but I cannot perform the whole duties of a soldier at the
best. My affairs at home were left in a very unsettled condition & my "copperhead" friends are taking advantage of my absence by stealing my lumber, raking
up the old mill suit endeavoring to lay aside the settlement of the estate, have commenced suit against my dear mother &c &c. [Kit's father died in 1856.] Old
[illegible] Raymund has "forgotten" to pay the rent & the grist mill is not conducted to suit me. In fact my affairs are going to the d---l[sic] about as fast as I
deem necessary "for comfort". Were it necessary I would willingly sacrifice the last dollar of my little [illegible] but but[sic] I do not think that my dear Uncle
Samuel demands or requires any such sacrifice as yet on my part for the comparatively small benefit in my present subordinate[?] condition I would be able to bestow.
"End of volume the [illegible]" booklet] [Diary continued in another booklet]
Mar 6 1863 I am today attending to my clerking for wood chopper department on Drake Creek five miles from Bowling Green.
7th Smoked my pipe in peace, attended to my "arduous" duties as usual. Was examined by Dr. Silver, passes made out for my discharge.
8th Visited Bowling Green to have post surgeon examine me. He said I was entitled to a discharge but that Dr. Silver had not got up the papers quite right, was not examined however until the 9th by post surgeon. [Mar] 8th O.P. Frary 2nd Lieut. Co. A took his departure for home, he left very quietly, no big demonstrations on act[account] of his taking his departure, no passing of salutes or flags at half mast. His reasons for resigning were because he was not healthy owing to or in other words on act[account] of inability & incompetency. The Reg have a high appreciation of the [illegible] Lieut., simplicity & candour in admitting the "gentle weakness". I have not heard a single doubt expressed[?] but that he was incompetent. He signed a document to that effect & who would [illegible] it.
9th Was examined by Rgt surgeon &c.
10th Nothing new or of startling interest today.
11th Wood choppers came in. Capt. Jno V Beery also arrived.
12th Co. A went to Nashville. 25 men (of which I was one) went in the forenoon & 25 in the afternoon. The country between here & Nashville is in many places fine. The engineer told us when we started we might expect a fight with guerrillas as he saw fifty or sixty the day before &c. We passed along where the mule train was burned by guerrillas a few days before. Saw several butternut citizens in the vicinity, no doubt secesh but professed to ge "good" Union men. The state house at Nashville is a very fine structure, with my teliscopic rifle I had a good view of several of the public buildings & off three or four miles I observed forts, camps &c making quite a warlike scene. The Cumberland [River] is quite high, before we reached Nash[ville] we ran near the river for several miles. 26 miles from Galatin [Gallatin], quite a town over 32 miles from N is the tunnel under some high hills. 52 miles from Nashville is Franklin. At every bridge & every little town one could see soldiers. There are a good many stockades &c & several fortifications, particularly at Galatin.
13th Returned to Bowling Green without accident or incident worthy of note. We were quartered in a large unfinished hotell which was commandered by old Zollicoffer (who was killed at Mill Spring I think). The hotell was a fine building.
Mar 14th 1863 Made a call on Dr. Brewer [Regimental Surgeon]. He examined me & stated that I was unfit to perform the duties of a soldier &c but thought I could not get my discharge at once as I had not been under treatment sixty days & according to his oath &c he did not think he could discharge me at once &c but said he would look at the regulations in regard to the subject & tell me his [illegible]. Any treatment of my case he knows would be but a mockery as nothing short of a myracle would be of any earthly use in my case. In the meantime my affairs my go to the d---l [sic] for all the Dr. cares. It seems to me that the surgeons as a general thing prefer to have a soldier discharged feet foremost from the hospital & then they have got a "dead sure thing on him".
15th Sunday. Inspection of arms &c. Went out with the Lieut. Jennings & amused ourselves by picking up bullets which had been fired at targets & scattered around generally. Visited Charley Herriff, who is sick with lung fever. A couple of frieght cars burned up down by the depot. I could see them burning plainly from the fort. Whether the fire was the result of accident or design I am unable to say.
Mar 16th Visited Charly Herriff again today, he is no better. I also had an interview with Dr. Brewer. He said he had not consulted his books &c, said if one was discharged there would be a dozen more want to be &c but said he was very busy, would attend to my case as soon as he had time &c. I made up my mind that he could do just as he d----d[sic] pleased & I would let him. It serves me right I ought or rather had no business to be very patriotic & my affairs at home ought to go to the old Nick[?] as a reward. Dr. Silver gave me my discharge but there was an eror [error] in the papers thus it leaves me to wait & watch the operations of "red tape ["]. Dr. Chalfant who is a fine [illegible] fellow (Asst Surgeon) thinks I am entitled to a discharge now & ought to have it. If my affairs at home were in different shape I would not care anything about it.
Mar 17th Dr. Chalfant has gone to Louisville for medicines. In other words I rather guess he is going home to see his wife & "little Chalfants". I hope his trip will be made in safety & that nothing will occur to mar the pleasure of his visit for he is a fine obliging & courteous gentleman. Weather very warm and pleasant.
Mar 18th Today the great Union convention of Ky met at Louisville, from what I have been able to learn it will be a genuine loyal & patriotic meeting. The weather is a little [illegible] today. Went on a shell hunting expedition, found four or five that I think will make nice rings. I also visited Charly Herriff today, he is quite sick, in fact I think dangerously so. The steward of [the] hospital told me he had typhoid pnuemonia, the most malignant type of typhoid. There is a rumor that Vicksgurgh is being evacuated & that the Vicksburgh Rebb Ayc[?] is concentrating in front of Rosecrans to overpower & defeat him. Just like them but they will wake up an old "war horse" when they run into old Genl Rosecrans. There is also another to the effect that Charlestown [Charleston] is taken. I would not believe that yarn if I knew it was so yet I would not be surprised to learn that the bombardment of Charlestown had commenced.
Mar 19th Went to Bowling Green, purchased a new hat, got my hair cut, invested in some cigars & tried to smuggle into the belief that I was a gentleman, but the highest flight of my imagination failed to convince me it was a reality. In fact just after the aerial flight of my imagination I took a more rational view of the case & "discovered" that I was "only" a common soldier after all. I got my miniature taken a couple of "twices" just to see if I could not break the photographers "[illegible]", but as the camera was brass mounted (clad in armor) my most "ferocious" glances failed to do any serious injury. I got my "ugly mug" taken and started up for the fort on colledge hill. To my great surprise [I] saw the 111th armed & equipped & on their way for a fight with guerrillas as there has been, so it is said, another train captured by them somewhere between here & Nashville. I was too late to go & felt mean to think I was not along with the boys. It is the first expedition that the 111th have been engaged in that I have not been with since I joined the Reg. The word came suddenly & unexpectedly & in ten minutes the men & [2 words illegible] was wanted, were on their way to the depot & in a few minutes they were off on the cars. The expedition is under com'd of Maj. Sherwood, who is one of the finest men & the best officer in the Reg. My impression is that the expedition will prove a "fizzle", in other words be fruitless of results like all the rest. I shall console myself with that belief any how for if they should be in a fight & I not be there, although I could not help it, people would say Joe King was back at the fort, he was afraid to go &c. The guerrilla party who captured the train were probably ten miles from the scene of their "wonderful exploit" before the 111th left Bowling Green.
Mar 20th Rumor in camp is this morning to the effect that the cars which had the 111th on board were run off the track by some obstructions being placed on
the road by guerrillas & that they were fired on & 17 killed & 23 wounded of our Reg &c. About noon a bugle call was sounded for the 111th (what was left of
it) to fall in on the color line with guns & fixtures to go for a reinforcement to assist the balance of the Reg who we supposed had got into a bad old fight &
needed help. I hurried preparations, shouldered my gun, confiscated a loaf of bread, buckled on my revolver & started. Four men were taken out of each squad
(I supposed for the purpose of guarding the fort while we were gone to help our brother soldiers out of the "scrimmage" that they had got into), after which we
were right faced & order of arms, a port[?], break ranks march & we all went back growling because it had only been a ruse of the officers to see if we would
scare any ways easy.
[The rumor of the train derailment was accurate. However, there were only a few casualties. The Roster of Ohio Troops indicates that 3 men of the 111 OVI, all in Co. G. were wounded-- one severely--in the accident, which occurred near Gallatin, Tenn.]
Mar 21st 1863 I amused myself at ring making part of the time today. A steamer (transport) was captured & burned by the guerrillas on the Big Barren a day or two ago. I was examined by Dr. Brewer again today, he has decided to make out my discharge. I expect it will take a day or two before the whole thing will be finished up & I am made a citizen again. I cannot say that I feel any great amt[amount] of pleasure at the propect. My best friends are in the army & I would stay with them were it not for the advantages that my "secesh butternut" friends have been & are taking of my absence. I think I shall pay the 111th Reg a visit again after I get my business affairs at home arranged.
Mar 22d Sunday Inspection of arms &c. I done nothing today but soldier. I filed a little on my rings for amusement. Charly Herriff is better today. I sincerely hope he will get well soon. [Herriff was discharged July 6, 1863, on a Surgeon's certificate of disability.]
Mar 23 Visited Bowling Green today, had a good time generally. Bond did not sign my discharge papers in the proper place. I had to make out another set & also to make out a pay roll for Lieut. Jennings &c. Did not get under my blankets until about 2 oclock.
Mar 24th I pulled up a lot of small cedar trees growing around on colledge hill to take home with me. The Lieut. (Jennings) got my papers signed & every thing all ready for a start for home. I treated all the boys in camp belonging to Co. A to the cigars before I left. I regret much to leave them & I think I have as many friends in Co. A as any other man in the co[company]. The boys did not like to see me & Lieut. Jennings leave. Nothing but the complicated nature of my affairs at home would induce me to go home at all now. 11 oclock, I am at the depot "En route" for home. The locomotive & cars that were run off the track by the guerrillas is here at the depot, looks very much like a wreck. I would like very much to visit the Mammoth Cave. We stop only a few miles from it but I am afraid I cannot prevail on Lieut. Jennings to go with me. I did not have the pleasure of seeing [2 words illegible], Shotish[?] or Geo Vansickle as they were out on Piquet & I had not time to go & see them. Got on board of passenger train at 20 minutes past 11 AM, cars are very much crowded. We occupy one end of a car & the rest if filled with secesh prisoners (none of which were the the guerrilla party that attacked the train a day or two ago) & their guard cars stopped at Cave City for dinner. Some of the secesh are fair looking men but they are as a general thing a motley looking crew & the greatest variety of clothing, butternut color predominating. Reached Louisville about six oclock PM, found our old friend Sayers[?] where we stopped when we were here before, they were glad to see us. I am about to try a desperate experiment. I have not taken my clothes off & retired in a Chrystian like manner since I left Bradfordsville (I was imprudent enough to do it there & was sick with a cold for a couple of months afterward, all for sleeping in a feather bed) just five months ago. I am going to take off hat, coat, vest, pants & boots & risque[risk] it any how. It is rather "dangersome" I know but I am desperate & so here goes.
Mar 25 Did not sleep very well, had a notion to get up & spread my blanket on the floor but I managed to doze a little. Got up early, went on a voyage of discovery to find the paymasters department & the transportation office. Had a fine walk all over the place. Louisville is in many respects a nice place. Awaited patiently to have my name called at paymasters office, name was not called, went in to see what the reason was, papers not right. Ordered to take them to Col. Got papers made out correctly, will try to get my pay tomorrow in time to leave on the Cincinnatti mail boat. I am still at our old friend Sayers, will try to get off tomorrow if possible.
26th Morning went to paymasters, left my papers by special request of Lt. Jennings. I got my pay about 11 AM, then Joe Jen[Jennings] ascertained that it would be necessary for him to have a pass. We went to Buells Hd Qts, from there were sent back to Col. Munday & by the time we were through with that little business we found we had 3/4 of an hour to go to Sayreses (2 miles) & from there to the steamer. We double quicked it you can bet. I had a satchel, my gun & Lt. Js sword. He had a heavy valise & a roll of blankets with a few cedars rolled up in the middle, making a load for a mule. We could not get a hack, had not time. We got on board of the steamer "Genl Buell" just at 12, the regular hour for starting but the old steamer (like its namesake) did not get off in time. In fact we did not start until after 1 PM, which made us feel as though we had been on a forced march for nothing. Evening about ten oclock, I am in the cabbin of the Genl Buell. There is a motley collection of discharged soldiers, civilians, officers &c part of them playing cards for the "ardent spirits" & some smoking, some drinking, some reading & other lounging lazy back in their chairs having nothing apparently to occupy their thoughts or attention but the chandeliers on the ceiling of the boat. A lot of troops were landed in Louisville today, we have passed several steamers loaded, supposed to have been sent from the Army of the Potomac.
27 Arrived in Cin, put up at Galt House. Jennings left at 4 AM. I concluded to [illegible] [it appears that this entry was not completed].
28th Arrived in Columbus 4 AM. Left at 1:15 PM, arrived in Fremont at 11 PM.
29th Laid around house[?].
30 Attended to matters & things in general.
31 Evening went up to [illegible].
Apr 1 Stopped at [2 words illegible].
Apr 2 Started for home, am at the present [illegible] on a log about half way home, taking a smoke & taking note also. In passing by Mr. Popes & happened to
see the [2 words illegible] himself. He wants me to come in & take a glass of cider. I went in & gulped away until supper time. After supper I started for home,
arrived in the evening. Found the folks all well.
[Notation on entry of Sept. 28: Kit's rifle was almost certainly made by John Smith, who made guns in Sandusky County, Ohio, (where Kit was from) until about 1870. Kit's father, Jeremiah King, was a machinist and made a cast steel screw cutter for Smith. Stamped on one face of the screw cutter is "Made by JNKing, Madison Township, Rollereville, Ohio, Feb. 1852 for John Smith. Not to be sold, stold, strade or mislade." The other side reads "Rifles made to order warranted to cut in the eye by John Smith, Sandusky Co. Ohio, A.D. 1852." A John Dower of Maysville, Calif., discovered the screw cutter, a rifle, tools and parts stored together in a basement that had been stored together for many years. Gluckman and Satterlee in American Gun Makers notes on p. 200 that Smith had moved to Sacramento and continued his profession there until 1875. The rifle, according to his description in a letter written by Dower in 1970 to one of Kit's descendants, was "mounted with a Malcomb scope sight and of the type used in target shooting." In addition, the monograph titled Gunsmiths of Ohio: 18th & 19th Centuries (Vol. 1) by Donald Hutslar reports the existence of a "John Smith rifle with lock marked on inside King & Smith"' (p. 345). As one final piece of circumstantial evidence, note the statement of "warranted to cut in the eye" on the screw cutter and Kit's reference to "warranted to kill a man" in his Sept. 28 entry.]
[The 111th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was organized at Toledo, Ohio, and mustered in Sept. 5, 1862, under the command of Col. John R. Bond. The regiment remained at Bowling Green until May of 1863. It was then sent to Glasgow, Kentucky, and stationed there until June 18. It then served in Tennessee from August, 1863 to April, 1864. It participated in the Atlanta Campaign May through September. It was sent back to Tennessee until November, 1864. It was sent to Ft. Fisher, North Carolina and had duty there January-February, 1865. The unit participated in the Carolinas Campaign in March and April, and spent the final days of the war at Salisbury, North Carolina. It was mustered out on June 27, 1865.
The 111 OVI participated in 26 battles from November, 1863 through March, 1865. Among the most well known are the Siege of Knoxville (Tenn.), Resaca (Ga.), Kenesaw Mountain (Ga.), Siege of Atlanta (Ga.), Franklin (Tenn.) and Nashville (Tenn.).
The regiment lost during service 2 officers and 52 enlisted men killed in action, 3 officers and 158 enlisted men by disease. While at Bowling Green, 60 men died of disease (note Kit's diary entry of Feb. 9) and 67 other men besides Kit were discharged on a surgeon's certificate of disability.
On Nov. 16, 1863, 53 men of Co. B. were captured in action at Lenoir, Tennessee. Of these, 24 died at Andersonville, the infamous Confederate prison camp. One man, First Lieutenant Omar Norvis, escaped from Andersonville on Dec. 27, 1864, and later rejoined his unit. The were also four men from other companies of the 111 OVI that died at Andersonville.
In one of the most tragic accidents of the war, the boiler of the steamer Sultana exploded on Apr. 27, 1865, while the vessel was going up the Mississippi River near Memphis. Hundreds of soldiers were crowded on its decks, most of whom were on their way home because of being sick, wounded or otherwise disabled. Scores were killed by the boiler's scalding water, drowning, etc.--three of these were men of the 111 OVI.]
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