Letter written by Private Cecil Fogg of Company B, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his father from Jasper, TN. Fogg expects to remain with the Signal Corps on the mountain above Jasper for some time. Rations and water must be carried up the mountain, but the troops would rather do that than stay in the valley and drill. They have plenty to eat, as they get produce from local farms and meat from hunting. Fogg describes the rough road conditions going up the mountain. He mentions how their camp is located near a cliff, and describes the view across the river. Fogg mentions that a few contrabands, or escaped slaves, are employed as cooks in his regiment. He describes the recent weather conditions, and writes that he does not know when he will get a chance to mail the letter since they have crossed the river.
Jasper, Tenn. Sept. 2nd
I wrote to you from this place about a week ago. I rec’d yours of the 8th just after I sent my letter off; also yours of the 23rd a few days ago. We are still with the Signal Corps on the mountain above Jasper, and we are likely to remain with them some time, I think, as our regt. has crossed the [Tennessee] river and left us here.
The army has been crossing the river for 2 or 3 days, and are not across yet. We have carried our rations up the mountain from the camp since we have been here, and have to carry our water a mile and a half. But we have nothing else to do, and would rather do that than
stay down in the valley with the regt. and drill. The are a few farms up here on the mountain, and we have had plenty of potatoes, geen corn, apples, peaches, etc. since we have been up here.
Some of the boys killed a deer, and there are some sheep running through the woods, so we have plenty of fresh meat. I thought the road over University Point was bad enough, but this road is a good deal worse. It took 6 mules and 20 or 30 men to get one wagon up the mountain. I think it was the first wagon that ever went over that road. It is only a bridle path, and I never would have thought that a wagon could have been got up there, unless it was taken in pieces. but we managed to get it up
by carrying the load up the worst places. We are camped on top of the mountain just back of a cliff of rocks, several hundred feet high, extending for miles along in front of the river. We can see on the other side of the river, some 15 or 20 miles back, a similar cliff 40 or 50 miles in length – which looks like a line of breastworks from this place. We see very few contrabands in this part of the country. I don’t know what has become of them; there are a few in our brigade, employed as cooks, who get together [on] Sundays and have a camp meeting when we are in regular camp. We have one negro preacher in our regt. We had some hot weather about the time we left University Point, but
for the last week it has been very pleasant; the evenings being cool enough to sleep very comfortably with one or two blankets over oneself. I don’t know when I shall get this mailed, as our brigade and division have crossed the river, and we have no chance to send our mail off now.
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.