Letter – Cecil Fogg, 14 August 1863


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Letter written by Private Cecil Fogg of Company B, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his father from University Point, TN. Fogg expects to move soon across the Tennessee River. There are rumors of peace, but most think it will take more time for the Confederates to accept the terms set by Abraham Lincoln. Fogg writes that he enlisted due to a “hatred of the South and a desire to end slavery,” and can fight for his country with a clear conscience now that slavery is nearly abolished. He describes an artillery accident involving the 21st Indiana Battery and that a deserter, Thomas McClasky, was sentenced to be shot.

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University Point, Tenn. Aug. 14th [1863]


     I rec’d yours of the 1st a few days ago. I expected we would be moving on before this time, we are expecting to move at any time. It is reported here that part of the Army is moving now. It is thought here that when we move we will cross the Tennessee River. Some men here, with more money than brains, are betting that peace is declared. But the most of us think it will take another month or two, like July has been with the Rebs, before they will come to Lincoln’s terms; though they are coming to it slowly in places. We are all Grant men in this

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army; that is unconditional surrender before peace. As much as we would like to see peace, when I volunteered, it was not so much patriotism as it was hatred of the South and a desire to help end slavery. But now that slavery is about disposed of, I think that I can fight for my country the 3rd year with a clear conscience. I think you were lucky in not losing anything by Morgan. It is the best plan to stay at home in such an emergency, and not run off and leave any thing alone. If they find a house deserted, 10 to 1 they will destroy everything in it. When, if the owner had been there, it might probably have been saved. I know that is the case in the South, and

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from what I can learn, that is the way Morgan’s men done in Ohio. The 21st Indiana Battery in this brigade met with a serious accident one day last week. They had taken out the ammunition from the caisson to dry, and was so careless as to leave some fire in a tree only a rod or two off. Some of the fire blew in among the powder and set it off. There were 3 piles of shell and canister, about 50 loads in each pile – 2 lbs. of powder to each load. It wounded 7 men. One of them died the next day. It is a great wonder that more were not killed. The canister shot were scattered all around over camp like hail. I was sitting in my tent about 20 rods off, and could feel the wind strike against me very sensibly. I looked up

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and just then the 2nd pile went off. The blaze of it went as high as the tree tops, and it was the loudest report that I ever heard. Our new general (Turchin) is getting very popular with us. He has issued an order regulating the price of produce which the citizens bring into camp to sell. The have to sell apples, peaches, and potatoes at $1.25 per bushel now. They used to ask double that. We hear that Thos. McClasky of Morgan[‘s raiders] (a deserter from this co.) has been taken and sentenced to be shot. We have 670 men in our regt. now. It is to be filled up to 1,000 by conscripts. They will be here in a short time. We have had some very warm weather since we came to this camp, but it is cooler up here than where we camped last. Deserters are coming in nearly every day from Chattanooga.                           

Cecil Fogg

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.