Letter – David Norton, 2 December 1861

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Letter written by Captain David W. Norton of Company E, 42nd IL Volunteer Infantry, to his mother, from a camp near Tipton, MO. Norton’s company has seen no fighting since they left Camp Hunter in Tipton. They marched to Warsaw on the Osage River hoping to fight General Sterling Price, but were disappointed. They were then forced march to Springfield, MO and joined General David Hunter’s division. He describes the rations and weather conditions. Upon arriving at Springfield and finding no Confederate troops, the hard and hurried march had been unnecessary. Some blamed General John C. Fremont, though most still have confidence in him. Norton warns that the newspapers are exaggerating the number of casualties suffered by Union troops. After staying in Springfield for a few days, they marched back to Camp Baker. Norton mentions that he had been ill, and the doctor tried to keep him from marching on to Warsaw. Initially he stayed behind as ordered, but the next day rode out to join his company when they received new orders to head to St. Louis. Since then, his health has recovered. He has been busy making muster and pay rolls for the company. He mentions an engagement with a small camp of Confederate troops, and how he took prisoners against the authorization of Major Roberts.


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Camp near Tipton Mo.

Dec. 2nd 1861

Dear Mother

As I have just learned that a mail by which I sent you a letter from Springfield Mo. has not been since heard from, I thought you must be somewhat anxious to hear from me. You have undoubtedly read of Battles fought and to be fought in this state since you last heard from me. This Regt. has been in none – excepting those to be fought! I don’t know which of my letters you may have received so I will tell you all that has occurred to me since I left Camp Hunter, Tipton 28th of Oct. We marched to Warsaw on the Osage River in 3 days. This was the first place where we were sure to have a fight with Gen. Price! When we arrived he was no nearer to us than when we started. We remained at Warsaw 3 days and crossed the river – on that bridge you may have seen illustrations of in Harper’s, – and marched 6 or 7 miles and camped at Camp Baker where we remained until the 1st of Nov. Our soldiering now begun for the first time. At nine o’clock on the evening of the 1st we received orders to march immediately to Springfield leaving our camp equipage and all men who could not march night and day behind. We started at 10 o’c. I had in my company to go with me, my 1st Lieut and 62 men out of a comp’y of 94 Rank & file. We marched all that night and joined Gen. Hunter’s division

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at their camp in the morning. We stopped here long enough to cook our breakfast and marched again. We made 30 miles that day – 42 miles our regiment marched without sleep. We laid ourselves at length on the prarie that night and did some ‘tall’ sleeping even if we did for the 1st time do with out tents and other camp conveniences such as full rations and something to cook them in. But we did not miss our rations until the next morning, for we were too tired to think of eating.

We were up next morning in time to eat such rations as we could get – being fresh beef with out salt and one pilot brisket to a man – in time and marched about an hour before day. We marched about 30 miles that day and camped in the woods, where fortunately we had plenty of fuel, for although it was not very cold, still we were so tired that we all felt as cold as if it had been winter in place of Nov. This day our men began to give out; and I marched into camp with only 40 men. We built large fires and waited for our beef and hard bread with a great deal of impatience for the butchers were slow and the teams with the bread had no kept up with us. We had just got our meat when an officer dashed into camp at full speed with an order from Gen. Hunter, – who had gone on ahead of us, -for us to march to Springfield without resting – So the long roll was sounded and we ‘fell in‘ in hot – (or rather cold) haste expecting that the enemy must be upon us, and minus our suppers we started in the dark to meet him. My boys would have left their meat on the ground had I not by

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precept and example induced them to put it in their haversacks. I put a “junk” of about four lbs in my haversack and they then followed suit. We marched that night in a cold mist – which was gotten up for our especial benefit until just at daylight when our commanding Gen. ordered a halt of about 2 hours. The way the most of the men threw themselves upon the ground at the order was a caution to young men not to go soldiering in Missouri! I stopped to build some fires to sleep by and then rolled my blanket around me and went to sleep in short order. The drums beat in two hour and up we jumped and I pulled out my beef and after dividing it with some of my boys who didn’t get any, I stuck my part on a stick and heated it through by my fire and eat it with as good relish as ever I eat roast turkey at home. We ‘fell in‘ in good spirits after our nights rest, and started again for Springfield perfectly sure we should have a fight when we got there – if not before! We arrived at Springfield that afternoon – having marched on short rations (and very short too) 100 miles in two nights and less than three days.

The Gen. said our Regt. did the best in the division and we had about 300 men when we arrived in camp – so you may judge how many men some of the other regiments had. One Regt. did not have more than half a compy! – I had 38 men – the largest number excepting one that any compy in our Regt reported. Our march was bad enough – but what was worse than that was that we were no nearer a fight than when we

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started from Camp Baker. The way our poor tired men cursed the one who ordered us on in such haste, was shocking to church members I assure you. No one but Hunters particular friends and the newspapers blame Gen. Fremont. Notwithstanding all that has been said against him, this army so far as I can learn, have more confidence to-day, in Gen. Fremont than in any other man under Gen. McClelland. About 20,000 men were hurried to Springfield without camp equipage and slept without cover, when Gen. Price was not within 56 miles of the place and showed no disposition to come nearer. Many a good man will pay for that march with his life, – which would have been all right if the march had been necessary, but as it was not it is a perfect shame. One of my own men I am expecting daily to die from the effects of the march. I for one do not believe that Gen. Fremont ever ordered us to make a forced march. I believe it was done to through [throw] a slur upon Gen. F.

Bad as our case was – those long articles in the papers, asserting that our men were dying by hundreds & thousands under the hedges and by the road sides, between Tipton & Sedalia and Springfield were nothing but outrageous lies from beginning to end. Our Regt. left only one man seriously sick on the whole trip and that was on our return. And he was left at a comfortable farm house. Those men who dropped out of the ranks from fatigue on the way all came into camp within three days. Those articles made thousands of hearts in this army boil with bitterness at those men who stay at home and write lying articles against those who are

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fighting for their country. If they confined themselves to pointing out their faults we could stand it although that is mean enough when they are where they are where they can not defend themselves – but to make such lies of ‘whole cloth‘ is contemptable.

Gen. Fremont, I believe, did everything a man surrounded by vipers as he was – could do.

We remained at Springfield 6 days and started on the back track. We reached Camp Baker on the fifth day. I did not give out once on the march until we were within about 3 miles of Camp Baker when I was taken with a kind of ‘gone-ness,’ and they put me on a horse on which I road to camp. The Dr. would not let me walk any farther as I wished to do on account of the example to my tired me. We received orders before daylight next morning to march across the Osage river at Warsaw and camp three miles beyond. As our teams were not with us we must again leave our Camp and sick behind. I was sick that night and the Doctor reported to the Major that I had the (Billious Fever?) And that I could not be moved, but as I had never yet allowed my company to march without being at their head, I told the Doctor I should go, and began to dress accordingly, when the Maj. came to my tent and ordered me to remain behind – nominally to take charge of the camp and sick, but really because he thought it dangerous to move me in a lumberwagon for he and the Doctor thought that they had a sick Capt. in your son, notwithstanding I knew better. They were rather anxious to get me on the sick list – not that they wanted me to suffer, but only because I had always made fun of them for getting tired or ‘played-out‘ as we call it. For you must know that the Major had nick-named me the ‘Stout Cap‘ as I

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had not been on the sicklist since the Regt. left Chicago. Well the Regt. marched from Camp Baker and I staid behind in obedience to Maj’s orders. In the afternoon one of the officers came back to camp and said the Regt. was to march at daylight next morning and to proceed to St Louis immediately. I thought from that that they must want to send us immediately into Kentucky and having no notion of being behind, I got up and had a horse saddled and started at sun down to ride to the other camp, about 12 miles. It was hard work to ride and took me about 5 hours to go camp. The next morning when the Major saw me he threatened to put me under arrest for not obeying his orders, but when I told him that I understood that he was to march that morning he laughed at my conceit at for thinking the Regt. could not get along without me, and called me a fool for running the chance of making myself sick. While I was talking to the Major, the Doctor came to report that he had succeeded in getting an ambulance to send for me. He was surprised and angry at seeing me, and said I had signed my death warrant that time sure! He said I was as sick as any man in the Regt. and had the Billious fever, but I knew better – so he got angry and so did I, and he insisted I was sick and I that I was not, and, so ended the affair. We did not march until the next day. I was hardly able to march, but would not ride because I would not acknowledge that the Dr. was right. I actually drove sickness “from my tent‘ and have been in first rate health ever since. That one day is the only day that I have not been in command of my company since we

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left Chicago. I am ‘fat and saucy’ – so say my “supperior officers,” for my old habit of saying what I think at all times and in all places has not left me yet. – In fact camp life just suits me – I believe I weigh more now than at any other time since I was at home.

My time is fully occupied with affairs of my company for I have the whole to do, excepting what can be trusted to my non-commissioned officers. My Lieutenants are of very little use to me, as they are either sick or lazy all the time.

We arrived at Camp Hunter, Tipton, on the 19th ultimo. Since then we have marched to Syracuse and back to our present camp. How long we shall remain here I can not guess.

Since we came here I have been very busy making muster and pay rolls for my co. and in writing up my company books, which were very much behind on a/c [account] of our long marches.

We have marched since leaving St. Louis, about 450 or 500 miles (since the 8th of Oct.)

The only thing our Regt. has done against the Rebels, has been done by my Co. We went out to take a camp of Secesh while we were at Camp Baker. We surprised them and took fiver prisoners and six horses. – One Major and four soldiers, several rifles & other traps. The next day I went out again to finish up the business and to take another squad camped two or three miles farther off. Some of Gen. Hunters Cavalry got the start of me and got to the camp before me and after a short but sharp fight took some prisoners and horses. I went to finish up the other job and took about 20 head of cattle and 14 horses

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The joke of the Affair is that Maj. Roberts sent one of his pet’s Capt. Vardon with his whole company to take this Major and his squad. Maj. Roberts would not authorize me to do the same thing that he ordered Capt. Vardon to do. I had the best guide and went straight to the camp about 12 miles, took it and returned to our camp the same night. What I did, I did on my own responsibility. The next day – after I had got the cattle & horses in a field ready to drive to camp, – who should march up but Capt. Vardon, who had marched all the day before and half of that day to get to the place I was already to leave with my booty. If ever a man was angry – Capt. V. was, to find me in full possession of the ground and ‘plunder’ and to learn that I had taken the prisoners and part of the horses in to camp the night before. I t was a good joke on him and on the Major too for selecting an old English officer to do what a young Yankee could do a great deal better.

When we found the Secesh camp the men took to the brush but our bullets call so loudly on five of them that they surrendered without being hurt. They are a cowardly sett out here. They know they are in the wrong and can’t stand fire.

I must close now as I must go up to Tipton to see my sick boys of whom I have one Lieut. (the one whose likeness I sent you) and 10 men in the Hospital there.

Write soon and often to

Your Son

(Excus Brevity) D. Woodman Nor

Capt. Co. ‘E’

42nd Regt Ills. Vols

in Missouri

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P.S. I visited the Battle field where Gen. Lyon was killed; while I was at Springfield will write about it in my next D.W.N.


Major David Woodman Norton was born 31 January 1838 in Chelsea, MA. He had two other brothers (Joshua and John) who also enlisted and served in the Union Army. He enlisted with the 1st Zouave Regiment of Chicago and was then promoted to 2nd Lieutenant of the 42nd IL Infantry then Captain on July 22, 1861. He eventually joins Major General John M. Palmer’s staff as acting Assistant Inspector General. He was killed in action near New Hope Church, GA on June 2, 1864 during the Atlanta Campaign.

Letter – Anthony Burton, 24 January 1862

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Letter written by 1st Lieut. Anthony B. Burton of the 5th Independent OH Battery (Hickenlooper’s), to his foster father Z. B. Coffin, from the headquarters in Jefferson City, MO. Burton writes Coffin that his regiment has just been paid, and includes a breakdown of his wages. Though he is happy with the pay, there are also expenses incurred being a lieutenant, and mentions several charges he needs to pay. Burton describes the paymaster, Major Will Cumback, who was a Congressman and shares stories of his time in Congress. Burton writes that everyone is in good spirits after their recent good luck streak.


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Hd. Qrs. Jefferson City Mo.

Friday afternoon Jany 24/62

Mr. Coffin

Dear Sir

That welcome gentleman, the Paymaster is now paying us off. I have just received my “pile” $285.56 for two months service up to Jany 1st. The amount is counted up as follows

Pay for two months 106.66

4 Rations (30cts) per day, for 61 days 73.20

Commutation of Forage for 2 Horses 32.00

Use & Risk of 1 Horse at 40cts per day 24.40

Pay for Servant at $13 per mo. 26.00

Allowance for Clothes for Servant 5.00

1 Ration per day for Servant, for 61 days 18.30

$285.56

This looks like big pay but I find it most confoundedly expensive being a Lieut. I have my horse to pay for this time, &c. &c.

I herewith send you $100. – which

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please pass to my credit I wish you to charge me with the $25 Andy borrowed of you, and he will settle with me. Also, charge me with the whole cost of the mess-chest. Andy and I have arranged it, for him to pay for the chest, and me to pay the Express charges, and when we return home the chest will, of course, fall to him. How do our accounts stand, after charging me with the $30. – which I suppose you have sent me before this?

The same Paymaster paid us this time as before – Major Cumback. We invited him up to dinner at Bakers as before and sent and got old Secesh Dixon’s carriage to bring him up again, this time taking a team of our, own horses however. The Major is quite a wit, and tells many

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funny stories of his experiences in Congress. Strange to say though he has been a Congressman, he has never tasted a drop of liquor in his life. Good for him, say I. He says he used to get in some pretty tight places sometimes, amid the universal drinking at the Capital. He told us of a party at President Pierce’s once where everyone in the room including the ladies, got pretty tolerably “funny,” except himself. I might think he was a little boozy himself, on the occasion, and though every body else so, as tipsy persons sometimes do, but he doesn’t look like a man that was ever addicted to ardent spirits. Some people might call him large-featured, for he has a large nose, a large mouth and an “awful” large Moustache,

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but I think he is the best-looking man that I am in the habit of seeing, out here. At any rate, I am always the gladdest to see him. Long may he wave, and often may he get around where we are.

The boys received the full $26.- without deduction this time. Corporals $28.- Sergeants $34.- Artificers (6) 30.-

They are all in high spirits at our continued streak of good luck. Guns, horses, and Pay; all within a week! “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood &c &c” Maybe we are on that tide, who knows? There is a better feeling throughout the camp than I have ever seen before. The boys are all in good spirits – expect some of them will come into camp tonight with bad spirits in them. Poor joke that, Don’t laugh. Love to all. Believe me

Yours ever affectionately A.B. Burton


Anthony B. Burton was an accountant from Cincinnati, OH. He enlisted as a private in the 2nd OH Volunteer Infantry in April, 1861. During his 3 month term he fought in the Battle of 1st Bull Run. After his discharge in August, he joined the 5th OH Battery (Hickenlooper’s) as a junior 1st Lieutenant. He was presented by his friends in Cincinnati with a non-regulation Cavalry Officer’s sword (2015.001.015) just before his departure to Jefferson City, MO. He served in MO until March 7, 1862 when the battery was sent to Pittsburg Landing, TN and was present at the opening of the Battle of Shiloh. Burton’s horse was shot from under him and around 3 P.M. he was shot in the left knee and carried back to the landing. Captain Hickenlooper found him aboard a steamboat where Burton refused to have his leg amputated, saying he’d rather die with his leg than live without it. Burton recovered and rejoined his battery in November, 1862. He commanded the battery during the fighting at Vicksburg but eventually resigned in March 1864 due to his wound. Burton returned to work as an accountant. He continued to live with his foster father Z.B. Coffin at Newport, KY utnil his death January 30, 1898.

Letter – Warren Scott, 19 June 1864

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Letter written by Lieutenant Warren L. Scott of Battery H, 1st NY Light Artillery, to his mother, from a camp near Petersburg, VA. He describes the movements of his regiment, and mentions crossing the James River. The battery are near Confederate earthworks, and sharpshooters on both sides are constantly firing. He mentions having a uniform made, and how he may get a chance to go to Washington and travel on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Scott describes the “trails and hardships” endured by the army. He is unsure of the physical loss caused by the war, and recounts the many dead and wounded he has seen being transported on ambulances and baggage wagons. He writes that he can only pray to God that he will escape the war with his health.


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Hd Qrs. Battery “H” 1st N.Y. Arty.

Camp near Petersburgh VA

June 19 1864

Dear Mother

This morning I received a very welcome letter from you, dated June 9th teeming as usual with good advice that a christian mother knows how to give.

At present our army is investing the city of Petersburgh, directly south of Richmond – Since last I wrote you our army has been almost constantly on the move – For the third time since I have been in the army I have been within the vicinity of Baltimore Cross Roads. once more upon the banks of the James – crossed upon a pontoon bridge over 2200 feet in length-

To-day the battery is in position within 400 yards of the rebel earthworks. Sharpshooters upon both sides are continually firing at each other – Since yesterday morning we have had eight or ten horses shot down – One man had his right arm blown off by the premature discharge of the piece. Another his thumb while serving the vent at the same time – No one seriously injured by the enemy.

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Col. Wainwright had a close call yesterday – a shot went between his legs, as he was walking along. viewing the rebel works –

The work is so close and hot that a person is very careful how he exposes his head or body – above the redoubt –

How Mat should understand that I was on my way to Washington, from the time of my letter I don’t see – that I was making efforts to pass is true, but I had not sufficient papers and it is for that that I am now waiting. When i go I can not tell. I hope soon. I am at present with the battery but expect every day to receive orders to join temporarily some battery in this brigade and do duly until my papers come around.

Nothing has been told me respecting the uniform that Louis was to have made for me – Suppose I should be sent through by the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. how could I get them Tell Louis to study out the rout I should be about to take and see if they could be expressed in case I telegraph you as soon as I get in Washington-

Dear Mother you can not conceive the trials hardships, suffering &c now that our army is

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enduring. One thing about it we expect no respet [respite] until this army of Lee’s is routed or Richmond taken – If Richmond falls within two months I shall be very glad but if it holds out for a year, when it does fall I shall be equally rejoiced. For my part I have no hopes of the city being taken this year.

We receive very little news. That Lincoln is nominated I have heard but not read – What has been the estimate thus far of our loss. In every town where we halt for a short time all building are made hospitals of – The stores are cleaned and the counters and floors covered with the wounded – If a church, it is made the depot of hundreds of the suffering – Only those who witness it can form any idea of the suffering – Trains of ambulances and baggage wagons miles & miles long loaded with the wounded – All along the roads are seen the graves of the fallen braves – sadly attesting the innumerable throng who have ceased their warfare – God grant my life be spared in perfect health and body, and that I be restored to you again. If ever we needed the prayers of friends at home it is now.

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We need to pray for ourselves

My love to Judge S’s family and other friends.

God have us in his holy keeping until we meet again –

Yours with love

Warren

Direct as usual to “H” Battery and I shall get your letters wherever I am


Warren L. Scott was born in 1838 in Lewis, NY and worked as a teacher. He enlisted at age 23 on September 28, 1861 in Lowville, NY and mustered in as a corporal on October, 12. He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant of Company I on May 2, 1864. He re-enlisted with Company H in Culpeper, VA on December 31, 1864 and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. He mustered out June 23, 1865 and returned to Lowville where he worked as a postmaster. He died February 12, 1901.

Letter – George Rogers, 12 April 1862

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Letter written by Captain George Rogers of the 20th OH Infantry of Col. Charles Whittlesey’s 3rd Brigade, to a friend from Camp Shiloh, TN. Rogers writes about the Battle of Shiloh, and describes encountering a Confederate battery supported by a brigade of Creoles [Orleans guards], who were led by General P.G.T. Beauregard himself. Rogers’ regiment, along with a small battery [Thurber’s Battery I, 1st Missouri Light Artillery], opened heavy fire on Confederate troops, forcing them to begin a retreat. He states his most vivid memory of the battle was of watching an officer shoot his wounded horse to put the animal out of its misery, weeping all the while. The regiment has just received orders to move up the river towards Corinth, and Rogers also mentions that General Halleck recently arrived at the camp.


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Camp Shilo, Tennessee

April 12th 1862

My Dear Friend =                  

  Since writing you last I have had the honor of engaging in the great battle which came off here on the 6th & 7th inst. As our division [Major General Lew Wallace’s 3rd Division] did not arrive on the scene of action till late on Sunday night I am unable to give you any particulars concerning the disasters of that day’s fighting. The newspapers have informed you how completely the enemy routed our forces the first day – how they drove them almost to the very [???] edge, and how if they had enjoyed a few more hours of daylight the whole army under Gen. Grant should have been annihilated. Thanks to Providence, night came on just when our safety lay in darkness. Before the next morning our division of ten thousand came up from below and Buell was able to throw across

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the Tennessee [River] several brigades of fresh troops. Men who had put forth every effort to reach Savannah in time to engage in the fight they knew to be impending.

With the assistance of these reinforcements we were able to give events a different character to the engagement of Monday. I will not tire you with a detailed account of the movements of our division – of the movements of others I know know nothing – We were ordered to take position on our right flank and by keeping steady in the advance to turn the enemy’s left, an order which was executed in so skillfull a manner and with such eminent success as to receive from all parties the most enthusiastic praise. Our brigade was on the right of our division, and our regiment on the right of our brigade. Our maneuvering was made in a zig-zag line constantly bearing away to the left in order to menace the enemy’s rear. The line of march over which we passed was

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over five miles in extent – every foot of which in some part of our division front was stubbornly contested by the enemy. About three o’clock or perhaps a little sooner, our brigade came by a beautiful and rapid movement upon a heavy battery of the enemy’s, support- ed by a brigade of Creoles commanded by Beauregard in person, who – with flag in hand at the head of the brigade – was endeavoring to rally his forces for a final effort to retrieve his lost fortunes. Our regiment being in the advance moved quickly to the right and seemed to the enemy as if about to come upon his rear. To meet this danger the enemy changed the front of one of his regiments. Having advanced several rods into an open field on the opposite side of which was the enemy’s battery and reserves, we halted in order to draw

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his fire. Misconstruing the meaning of our halt, the rebels began to move toward us – seeing which we fell back to the edge of a woods for cover, and immediately opened a heavy fire, which in conjunction with our little battery which had just taken position on our left – soon caused the enemy to halt, then hesitate and eventually to make a precipitate retreat, carrying with them their battery of heavy guns. Our regiment pursued them as rapidly as the character of the ground would permit for about three miles farther – which was in addition to the five miles above alluded to – our skirmishers picking off the rear guard and picking up the stragglers, You will thus see that we had the honor of [silenceing?] the last gun of the enemy in the great battle of Shilo or Pittsburg. As our regiment was engaged in crumbling the enemy’s flank and menacing his lines of communications, the character of the engagement in front did not permit him to punish us as severely as we deserved. Our loss in killed and wounded amounts to about twenty – among the latter is Capt William Rogers of Co. A who was struck in the shoulder

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with a grape shot. He is now with his command. [???] men in my company were just nicked, scarcely enough hurt to be called hit – My men behaved most admirably and although in nearly every company in the regiment someone showed the pale feather, I was surprised to find my own an exception. The battle ground is very extensive and the number of forces engaged on both sides must have amounted to from one hundred and thirty five thousand to one hundred and fifty thousand. The enemy’s forces it variously stated by the prisoners at between seventy five and one hundred & twenty five thousand. On Sunday we must have had at least thirty five thousand perhaps 4 [???] = On Mondy sixty thousand men in the fight. I will not attempt to entertain you by descriptions of the horrors which the field presented during the fight, but especially afterwards

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it was but a reproduction of those scenes of which half of history is occupied in depicting – I can assure you of one thing, however, and that is those things don’t affect one very much while he is engaged in fighting. What moved me more than anything during the engagement was the effort of a field officer to dispatch the noble animal that had carried him safely across a great field, over which the fight was raging furiously. In crossing, the horse had received a shot in his lower jaw – the officer seeing the animal could not be saved, mounted his led horse, and riding several times around the wounded brute, discharged six balls from his pistol into the horse’s body – bringing him with the last shot, to the ground – the man the while weeping like a child. But in a moment the scene was changed – the tears were dried and that humane rider plunging his rowles into the side of his fresh horse, flew across

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the plains to welcome new dangers. That scene however remains the most vividly painted in my memory of all those I saw on that memorable day.

At present our division occupies the upper camps – and our regiment is bivouacked in the one [???] surprised by the enemy on Sunday morning. Orders have just been received for us to move up the river farther in the direction of Corinth. This looks very much as if we were to have the advance in the next move. I am also just informed John G. Stephenson, who was this morning detailed as Brigade Sergeant Major, that Gen Halleck arrived this morning. Anyhow, a major general’s salute was fired by the gunboats this morning.

I shall be glad to hear from you at any time and if I am not mistaken you owe me a couple of letters – please direct them to Savannah, Ten –

Miss Elza Russell

Mt Vernon OH

Yours Resp’ly,

Geo Rogers


Captain George Rogers, of the 20th OH Infantry, was 25 years old at the time of Shiloh. Having served as an ensign with the 4th OH Infantry during McClellan’s 1861 West Virginia Campaign, Rogers later fought at Corinth and in Grant’s Central Mississippi Campaign before resigning as a captain in Feb. 1863. Rogers accepted a commission as lieutenant colonel of the 4th USCT in September of 1863, and served through the remainder of the war. He was breveted colonel and brigadier general for war service, March 13, 1865.

Letter – Frederick Doten, 13 September 1864

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Letter written by Lieutenant Frederick B. Doten of Company F, 14th CT Infantry, to his fiancée Georgie Welles, from the headquarters of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division. Doten describes his two horses, and requests that Welles choose the name for his favorite one. Doten expresses his love for his fiancée, and reminisces about when they first met. He inquires about friends and family from home, and writes that he is sending Welles a portion of cotton picked near the camp.


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Head Qrs 3d Brigade

                          2d Div. Sept. 13th 1864

My own loved Georgie

      I have just come in from a ride. I have such a nice horse that I take every opportunity for riding him, and every time I ride I think “how Georgie would enjoy a horse- back ride with me today, and how I would enjoy to have her with me.” The weather is cool and pleasant, just right for riding. I have two good saddle horses; one of these, my favorite and just what you would like to ride. I keep him very carefully, and never ride him under fire, for fear he will get shot. I don’t care so much about

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the other one, though he is a good horse and has carried me well through many hard places. I have no name for my favorite. Will you not name him? I hope I can carry him home with me, then you shall ride all you wish. I received you letter last night, written the 8th. I was feeling just a little low spirited when it came, but it changed the appearance of everything and I was happy again. This may sound exaggerated, but, my darling, your letters are very precious to me, and the words of love they contain are of untold value to one who loves you as dearly as I do. Georgie, my own darling, I did not think I could love you any more

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than I did when I left you. But each day seems to make me love you more deeply, truly than ever. I can never be sufficiently grateful to God for bringing you and me together. Do you remember the first time I ever saw you? It was at Mrs. Goodnow’s tea table. Mrs. Skinner had been telling me of a young lady that was coming to visit us. But how little I thought then that we were destined to be all in all to each other for life. Oh, how I long to see you; each day brings the day nearer when I can hold you to my heart. Georgie, dear, you won’t be afraid to kiss me then will you?

     Mrs. Emily has not sent

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me that letter yet. I am obliged for her interest in us, and shall be pleased to hear from her. Please remember me to her. Mr. Harlon had forgotten me I expect. Well, never mind. I care only for you  my darling. If I have letters from you I am quite satisfied. Thank you for your promise to write often. I will write as often as possible; generally every other day, some-times oftener. I enclose a bit of cotton picked near our camp.

     If there is anything that I want, I will gladly send to you for it, instead of Nellie, for who has a better right, or who can do for me more lovingly than my darling. Please give my very kind regards to your father & mother. With my best love and many kisses for you, my dearest Georgie,

                                Lovingly,      Fred

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I could not get that cotton blossom in with this; I send it by mail separate    Fred


Frederick B. Doten, was born in Sheffield, MA in 1840. He worked as a clerk in New York City then enlisted at age 22 as a corporal in Co. A, 14th CT Infantry, August 1, 1862. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant of Co. F, March 3, 1863, adjutant of the regiment, April 14, 1863, and captain of Co. F, Oct. 20, 1863. He was present at “Pickett’s Charge” at Gettysburg, helping defend the Angle on July 3rd and was cited for receiving many captured swords from surrendering C.S. officers. He was captured at Morton’s Ford, VA on February 6, 1864, but after being imprisoned at Libby Prison, was exchanged and returned to duty as a staff officer for Brigadier General William Hays. He was mustered out May 1, 1865, and became a cashier of the 1st National Bank of Chicopee, MA. He married Georgie L. Welles in 1866, and died Apr. 9, 1903.

Another 3 of Doten’s letters to Georgie, dating from 19 June 1864, 13 October 1864, and 10 April 1865, can be found at Spared Shared. An inquiry into his Prisoner of War status in February, 1864 is available in Ohio State University’s records Be sure to check them out as well!

Letter – Frederick Doten, 11 September 1864

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Letter written by Lieutenant Frederick B. Doten of Company F, 14th CT Infantry, to his fiancée Georgie Welles, from the headquarters of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division. Doten writes that Sundays are generally quiet, and General Ulysses S. Grant intends for the day to be observed as much as possible. He mentions a recent horseback ride with his tentmate and a new railroad near the camp, which the Confederates have unsuccessfully attempted to shell. Colonel Thomas A. Smyth is currently in command of the division while General Gibbon is absent. Doten is sending Welles a piece of the 14th Connecticut Infantry’s colors.


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Head Qrs 3d Brigade

                          2d Div. Sept. 11th 1864

                            Sunday morning

My own dearest Georgie

     It is Sunday again, and the day for both of us to write. You remember last Sunday, in my letter, I wondered if you were not writing to me? Well, sure enough, you were, and in your letter you spoke of the same thing. Our Sundays in the army have been generally quiet. I believe Gen. Grant intends to have the day observed as far as practicable. We hardly hear a gun fired the whole day. So you can imagine how we welcome the day. We are having such

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lovely moonlight evenings that last evening I could not resist the temptation to take a ride by moonlight. So Lieut. Parsons (Adj’t Gen’l of the brigade) and myself took a delightful gallop across the country. Lieut. Parsons is my tent mate now, and a very fine fellow he is too. We remarked coming back that we hoped each to find a letter awaiting us. The thought hastened our steps, or rather the horses. And away we started at full speed. Arriving, sure enough, there was a letter for each. And I came to the conclusion that I had not had so pleasant a ride for a long time. My letter was from you, my own darling, dated Sept. 7th. So you are back in Chicopee, and pleased with your visit in

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Bridgeport. How glad I am. I received a letter from Nellie speaking of your departure. You are missed there, darling. Nellie is very much attached to you. She says she won’t know what she will do without you. I know very well before you went there, that my Georgie would be gladly welcomed. Charlie is disconsolate as usual. He has been in mischief. I thought I had stored away those pictures you speak of where no one would ever see them again. Well, I don’t mind about it, as I know of. I wish I could have come in suddenly and caught you and him, and Nellie too, looking up my old things. The old “Libby” [prison] suit, for instance. I would have captured the whole party; not one should escape, at least

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not without a large ransom.

     I am under obligation to that young lady for sending that “rice ball” to me. I will immediately commence to pin myself up, though I believe I have not had occasion to use such a thing for a long time. You need not tell her so, though. I will use them someway.

I am glad Aunt Sarah has discovered why I went to Springfield, and believe she thinks I had a good reason. ‘Why!’ she says. ‘Who do you know in Springfield?’

     I suppose your father was glad enough to see you home again. I don’t wonder at all, darling

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that he is so very choice of you. I should not like to have you leave me as long. But here I am far away from you, with no prospect of getting nearer at present. I am very impatient to see you, my own darling. Will the winter never come? I don’t think I get as low spirits now as I used to. Since I have the assurance that you love me, the only feeling is impatience to be with you. To be sure, it has been very gloomy here, and at the regiment since the loss of my poor friend, Will Hawley, and so many other noble fellows, but when I think of that, the next thought is about Georgie, my dear loved Georgie. I have her still, and

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she loves me. So you see, my darling, how much you have done for me already. You spoke of learning something good about me. No, no, Georgie, dear. I am altogether unworthy of your precious love. But dearest, it shall be an incentive to try and become more worthy.

     We have been in the same place for two days, at which we are all surprised. The new railroad runs quite near our camp, and the enemy frequently waste their ammunition trying to shell the trains. They have not been able to do any damage yet, though their shots come unpleasantly near, sometimes.

     Col. Smyth is in temporary command of our division, during the absence of Gen. Gibbon. I think

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it is wrong on the part of the government to keep Col. Smyth from having a commission as Brigadier Gen’l, at least. They give him a major general’s command with only the rank and pay of a colonel. There is not a more brave or efficient officer in the field than Col. Smyth. I enclose a small piece of the colors of the 14th. The old flag is nearly in pieces. This little piece was nearly off, so I thought I would send it to you.

     Please give my very kind rememberances to your father and mother

With many kisses for your own dear self,

                        Yours lovingly,

                                          Fred


Frederick B. Doten, was born in Sheffield, MA in 1840. He worked as a clerk in New York City then enlisted at age 22 as a corporal in Co. A, 14th CT Infantry, August 1, 1862. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant of Co. F, March 3, 1863, adjutant of the regiment, April 14, 1863, and captain of Co. F, Oct. 20, 1863. He was present at “Pickett’s Charge” at Gettysburg, helping defend the Angle on July 3rd and was cited for receiving many captured swords from surrendering C.S. officers. He was captured at Morton’s Ford, VA on February 6, 1864, but after being imprisoned at Libby Prison, was exchanged and returned to duty as a staff officer for Brigadier General William Hays. He was mustered out May 1, 1865, and became a cashier of the 1st National Bank of Chicopee, MA. He married Georgie L. Welles in 1866, and died Apr. 9, 1903.

Another 3 of Doten’s letters to Georgie, dating from 19 June 1864, 13 October 1864, and 10 April 1865, can be found at Spared Shared. An inquiry into his Prisoner of War status in February, 1864 is available in Ohio State University’s records Be sure to check them out as well!

Report – Henry Bryan, 2 February 1865

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Report of Confederate Major Henry Bryan, staff of General P. G. T. Beauregard, from Montgomery, AL. The report is addressed to Colonel George H. Brent, Assistant Adjutant General. Bryan recently inspected the Artillery of the Army of Tennessee at Columbus, MI, and found that they were in desperate need of horses. There were enough horses when General Johnston was in command, but the number lessened under General Hood in Atlanta. The march to Tuscumbia and Nashville wearied them due to harsh weather conditions and lack of forage. Bryan describes how the horses were lost during the retreat. The close proximity of Union troops forced a march through the mountains, and many weaker animals were left behind. Major Landis saved several hundred mules and brought them to Clinton, AL where they are to be exchanged in charge of Captain Rumble. Bryan mentions that the quartermasters, Captain B. M. Duffie and Captain McIves, supposedly escaped to Richmond but have not sent a report.


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Montgomery Ala Feby 2d 1865

Col. Geo. H. Brent, A.A.G.

  Colonel

     In my recent rough inspection of Artillery of the Army of Tennessee at Columbus, Miss., I found the most pressing want to be horses. It was a mooted question whether mules could be successfully used to pull the caissons instead of horses. I presume we shall be forced to depend on them. For mere hauling on the roads, they are better, but when wounded they may run away & smash up everything; at least this has happened so.

     I tried to make an enquiry as to what had become of the horses belonging to this artillery & append to this a statement of what I gathered, not added up, because the reports I asked for were not sent in uniformly or complete. 

It seems that the horses were in good order during Gen. Johnston’s Administration of the Army of Tenn., but deteriorated under Gen. Hood at Atlanta for want of forage, & were wearied by the march to Tuscumbia. They suffered in the advance into Tennessee somewhat, but more at Nashville for want of good forage. On the retreat they got very little to eat & this with bad weather broke down most of them.

     Major A. L. Landis, Inspector of Field Transportation, collected many unserviceable horses & mules at Columbia, Tenn. & sent them across the Tennessee River. At the crossing of this river on the retreat about Dec. 26th Maj. Landis by order of Gen. Hood, thro’ Major Ayer stopped all unauthorized animals & unserviceable artillery horses to be sent to the rear for protection & recruiting. He got there & on the retreat about 150 horses (some 600 animals of all kinds). Many of these horses were lost on the south side by the gross negligence of the guard under Lt. ______of Nixon’s Cavalry Regt., & only 116 could be found on the morning of the 28th Decr. & were started for Clifton, Ala. in charge of Capt. Hays. Between Bainbridge & Leighton, Ala. some Confederate cavalry (command not known) met these horses on the march & took violent possession of quite a number of horses & mules. The enemy

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being in close proximity, a forced march was made to the mountains, during which many of the weaker animals were left. Part of these with a lot of mules 268 in all were saved from the general wreck by the agents of Major Landis & brought to Clinton, Greene Co., Ala., where they are to be exchanged or recruited in charge of Capt. Rumble, agent for Major Ewing. Capt. Rumble is said to be incompetent, or careless in the care of horses.

(The quartermasters, Capt. F. M. Duffie & McIves, in charge of the pontoon train, escaped but did not make any report to the Inspector of Field Transportation, & are supposed to have gone to Richmond; 80 pontoon boats were supposed to have been lost.)

     In the artillery, many officers were riding government horses under an order issued by Genl. Hood at Florence. Many of these officers could not buy horses at the high market rates. They should be authorized to purchase at low rates under certain checks, the use of public horses, by them[now] forbidden.

                   Very respy. yr. obt. svt.

                          Henry Bryan

                        Major & A.I. Genl.

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Approximate Statement of what became of Artillery Animals belonging to the Army of Tennessee during the Retreat from Nashville

BattalionCorpsKilled in actionSaved from battle of Nashville or on hand at NashvilleNow on handDied on RetreatAbandoned, exhausted & captured on RetreatTaken by or turned over to Maj. A. L. Lanais, Insp. Field TransportationTurned over to Q. M. Dept.Turned over to other Batteries
Eldridge’sLee’s7112973043812
Johnson’s (sent to Geo.)142481010222824
Courtney’s17112924012193
Turner’s & Cobb’sCheatham’s1414(114 Horses belonging to these Battlions were either killed, captured, abandoned on Retreat or turned over to Capt. O’Bryan Regt. 2 Q. M. as unservciable)
Hotchkiss; (sent to Georgia), Capt. Bledsoe, Cmdg.211928621611
Storr’sStewart’s5252“a great number”
Truehart’s501227151429
Myrick’s1930710858

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Montgomery Ala/ Feby 2d 1865/ Henry Bryan/ Maj. & A.I.G.

 report on what became of artillery horses, Army of Tenn. on late retreat