Letter written by Private Cecil Fogg of Company B, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his father from Jasper, Marion County, TN. Fogg describes marching to a large natural spring in a valley where they set up camp nearby. Fogg mentions the rough road conditions, and writes that more men died due to injuries sustained from an ammunition explosion. The soldiers enjoyed fresh peaches and ears of corn while in camp near the spring before they marched to Battle Creek and then to a camp near Jasper. Fogg is writing from one of the highest points overlooking the town and the surrounding countryside. He mentions that the Confederates fell back from the Tennessee River, and he expects a large fight in Chattanooga.
Jasper, Marion Co., Tenn. Aug. 23rd
We have moved again since I wrote to you last. I received yours of Aug. 1st a week ago at University Point. We left that place on Monday morning, the 17th, about 8 o’clock, and marched 12 miles in a southeast course. We came down the mountain into a valley and camped about noon close by a big spring. I thought I had seen big springs in Tennessee before, but this beat any that I had yet seen. It is so deep that citizens say they never have found any bottom to it yet, and they have measured it 150 feet. It is about 25 feet across at the top. The road down the mountain was a good deal worse than it was on the other side; in fact, it was the worse road we have ever been over yet. We lost one wagon coming over. Those men who were wounded by the explosion at the battery were burnt worse than was thought at first, 4 of them died before we left there, and two more of them were not expected to live long. One of them, it was thought, might get well. The 2nd day after we left the Point we stayed in camp at the big spring. Here we got plenty of ripe peaches and roasting ears [corn]. We have had plenty of them all the time since.
There are some very large peach orchards on the mountain around here; all natural fruit though. Wednesday morning we marched 5 or 6 miles down the valley and camped on Battle Creek. The next day we went down a mile further and camped by a spring, which comes out of a big rock in the side of the mountain and runs a few rods over a bed of rocks, and then empties itself into an opening in the rocks about 25 feet deep, and that was as far as we could follow it. It is very cool water, and there is a current of cool air [that] rushes out with the water, which is so much cooler than the outside air that it is dangerous for a person very much heated up to come very close to it. The next day we left this place, crossed the Battle Creek, and camped ½ a mile from Jasper. Our last camp at the cool spring was about 1-1/2 miles from the Tenn. River. Yesterday our co. was detailed to guard the Signal Corps for a short time, and we came up to here where we are at present, on one of the highest points around here, overlooking the town of Jasper and the surrounding country for 30 or 40 miles. We can see ranges of mountains in Georgia and Alabama, 40 or 50 miles off. The Rebels fell back from the [Tenn.] river yesterday. I think we will cross the river in a few days and have a big fight at Chattanooga.
Cecil Fogg enlisted in Company B of the 36th OH Volunteer Infantry on August 12, 1861 at Marietta, OH at the age of 20. He served through his three year term of service and re-enlisted for the war, but was mustered out July 27, 1865 based upon a surgeon’s certificate of disability. The 36th served in West Virginia in 1861, and participated in the battles of South Mountain and Antietam as a part of the 9th Corps before being transferred west in January 1863. As a part of the Army of the Cumberland’s 14th Army Corps (George H. Thomas), the regiment fought at Chickamauga and later in the Atlanta and Savannah, GA (March to the Sea) Campaigns.