Letter – Elizabeth Todd, 10 December 1867

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Letter written by Elizabeth L. “Betsey” Humphreys Todd (step-mother of Mary Todd Lincoln), to her cousin William, from Madison, IN. Betsey is updating her cousin on the current state of her children, in-laws, and grandchildren, but does not mention Mary Todd Lincoln. She does mention her deceased son-in-law, Brigadier General Hardin Helm. Helm was a graduate of West Point, and served in the Confederate army. Betsey enjoys living in Madison, and says that several Kentucky families have followed suit, despite some locals who “try to convert us, being well acquainted with our… disloyal sentiments.”


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Madison Dec

10th 1867

Dear Cousin William

Many things have prevented my writing sooner and thanky you for the history of the family of which I was ignorant soon After the death of my Brother I left Ky and have not sen any of them since. You knew Lucy was dead and soon after her three children with that dreadful scourge Diptheria – Sam left two sons his widow moved to Springfield Ill. her oldest son David at College [is a] fine young man. Tommy [is] delicate Joseph mar[ri]ed a relation Sarah Gibson – died in N[ew] York leaving three daughters IS ok – his widow Resides on the farm near Versailles Ky Belle died just before her father and Annie since having Lucy, Sally & Joe Mary H has never married and lives with her Mother at the home place – I had a visit from Mrs Dawson (Elodie Todd) Col Dawson lives in Selma and by the

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kindness

of one of our distant Preston Cousins (during the sacking & burning of the town) he knew Dede [Elodie] and placed a guard on her lot as well as a camp but they saved her house Col D. was at Manassas & was in the fight when “Wilson” entered the city but escaped with my other son in law Capt White did not get home for some weeks – David H Todd Capt Art. commanded at Vicksburg has parolled with the Army married a daughter of Judge Turner of Huntsville has one daughter Elise Kitty Todd my youngest daughter married since the war Capt Herr & lives near Louisville has one child H Helen Herr – Margaret my eldest child married Mr Kellogg merchant at that time in N.O. [New Orleans?] has considerable property and resides in Covington Ky. he went South under a misapprehenson After the death [of] A.S. Johnson he was carried to Richmond as prisoner – he is right has always been a Democrat

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you may have heard my great bereavement My oldest Samuel Todd fell at Shilo a brave man went with the NO [New Orleans] “Crescents” saw much privation as he went as a private left a wife of four children in N Orleans – My youngest son Capt Alex Todd fell at Baton rouge “young brave & good he was a favorite with his company and much loved by all that knew him B. General Hardin Helm my son in law fell at Chickamauga – My daughter Emilie was in Atlanta with her three children. she had gone out with him and had passed thro’ many trying scenes before the last affliction which deprived her of a most excellent Husband her children of an affectionate father & me of a devoted son & friend – he was a graduate of West Point, but had left the Army and was was a practising lawyer at the opening of the war – the three lie in

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[the] South I never could get Samuel but Alex and Gen Helm were quietly and decently intered. their Graves are marked. The Genl at Atlanta. his Father Gov Helm died one week after his Inaugeration It may be that the bodies may be brought to Ky – I am now indifferent about it. I have left the state, but hope the resurrection may find us all in the [???] prepared for those who love the Lord – Emily is very young to have the care of her family – she purchased the house we live in. All my child being married I remain with her and am rather pleased with this place ’tis quiet and several Ky families have followed our example and we have society sufficient tho’ the Lads seem to convert us being well acquainted with our to “them disloyal sentiments-” I hope you iwll write again and inform me respecting yourself & others of the family or better still come to see us –

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I direct to Mr. Gilkinson as I am not sure of your address

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I enclose my [???] knitting {???] socks and will try to send one of each of my family – write to Mrs Humphrys for theirs – May evry good my dear cousin attend you [???] E.L.T.


Elizabeth L. “Betsey” Humphreys married Robert Smith Todd of Lexington, KY in November 1826, following the death of his first wife in July 1825. She was stepmother to six children, including Mary Todd Lincoln (then age 8), and soon had nine children of her own, before her husband’s death of cholera in 1849. Three of her sons served in the Confederate army, two of which died (Samuel – at Shiloh; Alexander – at Baton Rouge). Her favorite son-in-law, Brigadier General Benjamin Hardin Helm (married to Betsey’s oldest daughter Emilie) was killed at Chickamagua. She was about 65 years of age in 1867, while living with Emilie, her only unmarried child, when this letter was written.

Letter – John Downes, 22 April 1863

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Letter of Private John Downes of Company E, 35th IA Infantry, to his friend John W. Walton, from a camp at Milliken’s Bend, LA. Downes reports that Governor Yates is reviewing troops in the department. He has heard rumors that Vicksburg is being evacuated, and that there is a possibility of peace. All soldiers were recently ordered to send their personal fire arms home, or else they will be confiscated. Downes is not in favor of this order. Neither is he in favor of the current officers; noting that they are disgraceful and at risk of being shot by their own men. Downes writes that there is talk of Ulysses S. Grant moving the infantry down to Vicksburg, though he fears it will fail. He has also heard that they have thousands of prisoners quartered on the island below Vicksburg. At the finish, Downes has received marching orders for the next morning.


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Camp at Miligens Bend April the 22 1862

kind friend I send this for information

Governor Yates is here to day from Illinois he is Reviewing the troops in this Department the Report is that Vicksburg is being evacuated we hear a report from northern letters that there is a prospect of peace but I dont credit the Report I notice that most of the troops have sent there money home some fools have went in to Gambling and have lost all there money and they go about trying to borow of there fellow solders but i have no sempathy for such fools I notice the Oficers can get Whiskey and a large share are drunk the Order has come for all soldiers to send there side arms home or else they will be seized by the government oficials now i think that damned hard the boys has paid for there Revolvers and they aught to be alowed to keep them the Codfish bas done this mean trick i should not wonder if the soldiers would kill a few thousand codfish oficers the shoulder straps had beter not put on to many airs or by god some of them will get shot they have been playing the fool long enough i am geting tierd of those little ticy ass codfish oficers they are a disgrace to the army

April the 23th heavy firing was heard all the later part of the night in the Vicinity of Vicksburgh and there is an odd shot this morning once in a while

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My kind friend I must mention one thing yesterday I was to the Cattle Corell [corral] and took a peep at the beef Cattle they was all so poor they could not shit for bones Such beef as that is as a disgrace to the American Army I shal play my hand out on a stranger and go into some other Regiment On thing is certain this codfish plan of taking the side arms from the soldiers will have a bad tendency It gives the Rebels a decided advantage over us in the field of battle because they go armed to the teeth and we will have nothing but our muskets to fight with god damn the codfish they will Ruen us what the caus of all this cod fish style i cant see there must be traitors at the head of the army somewhere when we made a flank movement on the Talahatchie last fall that would have been the time to have taken Vicksburgh but that would have ended the war to soon for the government leeches some people let it be who it will must sufer in hell for these cursed doings in the army one half of the oficers in service are no more loyal than Jeff davis and a great deal the largest half to[o] there is lying at the bank the Steamer Uncle Sam She is turned into a man of war she caries 10 guns on lower decks and two long mines on the bow and one small field peice on the haricane Roof with on Rifled gun mounted that caries 2 ounces of lead what that little one is for i cant tell there is 5 of those boats and they cary the Marine Brigade the whole concern is wooden

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I notice there is a good deal of style put on those marine boats I have an idea there is some codfish on them what good they will do I cant tell time alone will decide

April the 24th

it is now talked in military circles that Grant will make a flank movement with Infantry down the Arkansas side and cross the River and by so doing he will get in the Rear of Vicksburgh but I fear that it will prove a failure like the yazoo Expedition it is said that we have 5000 prioners safely quartered on the island below Vicksburgh but that is only a camp Report it needs Confirmation the Report in camp is that 2 of our transports was sunk while Running the Blocad [Blockade] but that needs to be confirmed also the boats sufered some of course they cant get through without some geting hit the other night I counted 315 shots in about 2 hours and then turned over and went to sleeep so you can give some Idea of the engagement it is said that Grant will knock down a couple of high church steples they answer for a good observatory for the Rebs to watch our movements if i had comand i would knock hell out of em in a minute 12 o clock

Orders has come for 3 days Rations to be cooked and to March to morow the 25th at 10 o clock it will be dificult for me to get any leters from this time until we stop I think the battle will not be delayed long I have Received some 4 or 5 leters from Ann

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the other day I sent Father 75 dollars by Express i wish you would tell him to see to it and if you please write to me when he gets it

I am well at this time and hope this leter may find you and yours enjoying the same previledges of this life I cary the Enfield Rifle and it shoots well it is made to cary 900 yards with Raising sights

I must close my letter with due Respect to John W Walton

from your friend John Downes

PS this is the last stamp I have got and i cant get any more

Yours J.D


John Downes was born c. 1824 in Ireland, moving to Allamakee, IA at some point. In the 1860 census he is listed as a farmer and had three young children; Mary, James, and John with his wife Mary. At the age of 38 he enlisted as a private on August 12, 1862 with Company E of the 35th IA Infantry. He mustered out on August 10, 1865 in Davenport, IA.

Letter – William Hooper, 24 August 1864

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Letter written by Private William E. Hooper of Battery K, 4th US Artillery, to his uncle, dated August 24th, 1864, from the Battleground of Deep Bottom. Hooper writes that he is in Battery K, though he belongs to the 10th MA Battery. He says that his battery suffered heavily at the Battle of Deep Bottom. He mentions the wages he receives, and the amount he will get when the war ends, if he doesn’t “expire on the battlefield.” Hooper’s regiment will soon begin marching to Petersburg again, and he writes that the 5th Corps has cut the railroad to Richmond. Hooper is adamant that he does not want peace if it comes at the price of southern independence, he would rather the Union remain intact at any cost. He is confident William T. Sherman will get Atlanta, and Grant will get Petersburg. He mentions seeing both Grant and General George Meade frequently.


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Battery K 4 U.S. Artillery

Aug. 24th deep bottom on the James river

Dear Uncle

Tis with much pleasure that I improve these few moments to write you. Again I am in the war. I enlisted the 2th of last January My health is good, I have been through every battle during Grants summer campaign, I am in Battery K the 4 U.S. artillery but belong to the 10th Mass. Battery, this branch of service I like much. we wer all through the wilderness

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and Spotsylvania fights also at Coal [Cold] Harbor, and so for in front of Petersburg, I am in the Old 2th Corps. the Artillery Brigade we have now jut came out of the battle at deep bottom at this place my Battery suffered heavly, but we drove the enemy, and captured 4 Cannon and 2 morters beside a lot of prisoners.

Well Uncle. the war looks somewhat dark on our side yet, but success is shure in time Petersburg must go up, and it shurely will then Richmond is ours Have patience with you and we will do the same in the field. Patience and

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perserverance only issues success in any department of study, and such we are trying to do in our wholly [holy] cause. I hear that Grant father is dead. He died at Aunt Marrys did he not. wer you down at his burial. The folks are all as well as Usual at home Emily and Charles are married. Charles is in Philadelphia a nurse in a Gen. Hospital. His wife is also there. He was married in Baltimore. Emily lives in Lynn, Mass. She is married to a shoe dealer. Lucinia is in Portsmouth at work on her sewing machine. and James and Georgia are at

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home. William is in the Army, and here expect to stay for the next two years, and 4 months. When I came out I received $25.00 with 16 dollars per month. and one hundred more bounty at the close of the war, or expiration of my time. if it dont expire on the Battlefield. Where is Albert. Give him my best respects and tell him to come out and help us take Richmond. I send my love to all of my cousins. and hope that I shall live to see them all again. Did you get much of a drought with

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you this summer. The weather has been very hot here during august but the season has been pretty cool, We are now just again to commence our march back to Petersburg. The 5th Corps has cut the Railroad running to Richmond, but I am doubtful if they can hold it. we continue shelling the Enemy in front all the time. They are pretty saucy yet and want to be let alone, and want their Independence badly but I dont see it, and hope the Nation will fight them to the last man

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and all go up together if any goes up at all. Peace we can have by withdrawing our armies from the suthern territories, but shall we do this, and give up the best part of our Union. No, but fetch every man into the field, and conquer or all perish together. Sherman is doing well at Atlanta, and will have the place as shure as US. Grant got Vicksburg – That Grant is here among us now, I see him about everyday. and where do you suppose he is seen the most. It is where the Cannon and musketry is thundering the loudest and he is always smoking

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Gen meade I see two or three times a day. His headquarters are close beside me now. The Johnnys put away at meades headquarters once and a while but dont do much damage In my last Battle at deep Bottom we My Battery fought them hand to hand fight. They came near taking my battery, but we poured the Grape, and canister among them so hot that they fell in piles before our Cannons we had many men in my battery and many horses. I cannot think of much more to write you now. But will you write as soon as you get

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this. I should like to hear from you.

Address you letters

Wm E Hooper

Battery K 4 U.S. Artillery

Artillery Brigade

2th Corps Army of the Potomac

Washington D.C.


William E. Hooper, a clerk from York, ME originally enlisted at age 21 in Company K of the 27th ME Infantry on September 30, 1862. He was discharged for disability on May 7, 1863. Then he reenlisted with the 10th MA Light Battery on January 2, 1864 but was assigned to Battery K, 4th US Artillery. He was again discharged for disability on December 30, 1864 at Fort Washington, MD.

Letter – Alfred Sofield, 29 May 1863

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Letter written by Captain Alfred J. Sofield of Company A, 149th PA Volunteer Infantry “Bucktails,” to his wife Helen, from a camp near Falmouth, VA. Sofield writes that the Confederates may be planning an offensive into Maryland and Pennsylvania. There was recently a news report that Vicksburg had been taken, though that proved to be false. His regiment had previously set up camp on the Fitzhugh Lee Farm, but were forced to move . He mentions the Battle of Chancellorsville, and how his company took several Confederate soldiers prisoner.


Camp near Falmouth, Va

May 29th 1863

My Dear Wife 

     I wrote you yesterday saying that we were under marching orders, and we are still, but our marching depends upon the movement of the enemy. It is supposed that the Rebels contemplate assuming the offensive, and their late operations indicate a movement by them into Maryland and Pennsylvania. Should they do so, we will probably go to meet them. We had the report that Vicksburg was taken, but later news proves it to have been a false report. The news today is quite cheering, although not as conclusive as I wish it was. I believe I did not tell you that we had moved our camp. We had just got nicely fixed up in a beautiful oak grove on the Fitzhugh Lee farm when the medical director ordered us to move out of the woods into an open field about a mile off. Well, we did so about a week ago, and found it one of the worst places for a camp that could be found in Virginia. But we went to work and after 6 days’ hard work of the whole regiment, have got it into pretty good shape.

     I rec’d yours of the 24th by today’s mail. You say the fruit trees are in bloom. Well, down

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in “Old Virginia” peaches are about the size of a hickory nut, and the fruit accordingly. Strawberries are ripe. The weather is very warm during the day & quite cool through the night. Have you rec’d a letter from me giving an account of our march etc. to Chancellorsville? You ask how many prisoners my company took. They took seven that they brought in beside three that they took and delivered to an officer of the 150th [Pennsylvania] Regt., and for which our regt. was not credited. I have not been troubled with diarhea much of late, enjoy very good health, much better than I expected to. The officers of the regt. are generally healthy. Lt. Fish has not been well for the past few days and applied today for leave of absence on acc of sickness. He asks for 30 days, and I think he will get it. I will try to get the photographs and send or bring them to you, will also send something from the Fitzhugh farm. I am getting quite and I may say very anxious to get home once more for a short time. think I could enjoy a clean pair of sheets by the side of my dear wife (have not had my pants off since I left Washington). Oh, I do want to see you all so much. I can’t tell you how much. I have no news to write. Write often and I will do the same. Kiss the boys & have them kiss you for me. Good night. 

                                    Yours in love,                                  

Alfred


Alfred J. Sofield was a clerk/justice of the peace in Wellsboro, PA when he enrolled as a Union Army Officer. He served in the Civil War as Captain and commander of Company A of the 149th PA Volunteer Infantry. During the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, he was stationed along Chambersburg Pike north of the McPherson Farm. His unit under artillery fire from the Confederate batteries on Herr Ridge, and was struck by a round, which killed him as well as Private Edwin D. Dimmick and Corporal Nathan H. Wilcox.

Letter – Clark Edwards, 26 June 1862

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Letter written by Captain Clark S. Edwards of Company I, 5th Maine Infantry, to his wife from Camp Lincoln. He recently went out to work on a new road, but they were called back early to take up arms. However, the fighting moved further away and the regiment was told to stand down. He mentions the casualties suffered by both sides in the fighting. Edwards describes a picket on a plantation along the Chickahominy River, and a Confederate encampment located at the end of the field. Union batteries were cross firing over the camp, but Edwards writes that the Confederates “stood it like heroes.” He writes about men he encountered when he returned to camp, and mentions attending an officer’s meeting. He was awoken that night by the sound of musket fire, and his men took up arms until after midnight. Edwards then reminisces about how the regiment has changed in the last year and updates his wife on the state of several of his friends. This letter was written the day before his regiment is savaged at the Battle of Gaines’ Mill.


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Camp Lincoln June 26, 1862

My Dear Wife

     You see by the date of this that we are at Camp Lincoln. But still we are at the same old camp; only a new name. Yesterday I sent a letter to you by one of my boys that went to Maine. As I close[d] that letter, I wrote you I was going out with a working party. I left the camp at eight o’clock and worked till ten on a new road. I had one hundred & ten men with me. At ten, or a little past, the word came to me to take all my men to the camp as quick as possible as the fight had already commenced in earnest. So we came to camp and were under arms in less than five minutes, ready to march. But the fight went from us, instead of coming towards us. But we stood on our arms till nearly night, when we were relieved. But it was one of the most exciting days we have yet seen. I cannot tell you the result of the day’s work, only would say that we advanced our line some more than a mile on the left. I hear we lost in killed and wounded about five hundred & took that amount of prisoners, and the Rebel loss was much larger than ours. But I cannot state this to be the fact, as camp

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stories are very uncertain. At six last night, I went on to our right line of pickets, on this side of the Chickahominy. Our pickets at the place I went are about thirty rods apart. It was on one of those large plantations. The field, I should judge, to be one and a half mile long. At the south end of the field there was a large Rebel encampment. At the time I was there, our batteries on the north side of the Chickahominy, and our advanced line, were cross firing over their camp. I thought it a hot place for them to stop. It was one of the finest sight I ever saw, as I stood on the height of land to see the shells come into their encampment from two sides. But they stood like heroes. I was a looker-on till the sun sank behind the western hills. I then returned to my camp. As I came back, I saw Lieut. Brown. He was out with a small working squad. He is well. I then came by the camp of our good old friend, Thompson. Stopped a few minutes, and then came to my tent. The old Christian is not very well, but much better than he was two weeks ago. I got back to camp just at twilight. After arriving at camp, I had an invitation to an officers’ meeting, to get up a cornet to present to Cole, the leader of

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our band. I had an invitation to set the example, as I being the senior capt., and it is got up wholly by the line officers. So I put down ten dollars, and finally we got one-hundred-seventy-five dollars to buy it with. It is to be pure silver, gold mounted. It will be the finest instrument in the army. I presume you will see the account of it in some of the Maine papers. Our meeting broke up at nine o’clock. And I then came to my tent and camped down for the night, as I supposed at the time. But had not been to bed but little more than an hour, when one of those smart volleys of musketry broke forth on the stillness of night. It was about ¾ of a mile from us. In less time than it takes to write this, our men were under arms & we were kept in that position till about midnight, and then allowed to lay down on our arms. Yesterday was one of the most exciting days I have seen. It was a day long to be remembered by me. I was fast asleep as soon as I lay down. I slept finely till six this morning, and then was awakened by the booming of our cannon. But since seven o’clock, up to this time now, near noon, it has been very quiet. It was

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just one year ago today since we left our Pine Tree State. Many changes have taken place in our regt. Some have gone to their last resting place. Others are prisoners of war. Some are now suffering from wounds received at West Point, and some are on our Western gunboats. One of my boys, I fear, was on that awful gunboat the Mound City, that her boilers were stove in, and one hundred of her men scalded & killed. But I hope he is safe. It was Small, the one I had the money for that I let Norwell have. Perhaps you have seen the account of the disaster. We left Maine with more than a thousand and have had more than two hundred recruits, and now only number about six hundred. And quite a number of them are off duty. Only about five hundred can be got out on duty. But so it was. I have reason to be thankful, as I have never been sick [since] the first day I came into the army. (One o’clock) I have just been to dinner. We had beef steak, tea, bread, butter, cheese, so you see we get something to eat a part of the time. Jimmy is in the me[ss]. He does well. He always inquires after you when I get a letter. John is better. I hear he is still at hospital. Tim is about the same. All the rest of the boys are about the same as usual. I think of nothing new to write. I must close this as the mail goes soon. Write as often as convenient. My love to all the good folks of Bethel, [ME] I shall write you quite often till I get to Richmond.

                                 Yours, C. S. Edwards


Clark Swett Edwards, was born March 26, 1824 in Otisfield Maine. On June 24, 1862 at the age of 37 he enrolled as captain of Company I, 5th ME Infantry, in Bethel, ME. He was promoted to major on July 1, 1862, following the severe losses of the 5th ME at Gaines Mill. Edwards was promoted to lieutenant colonel on Sept. 24, 1862, and colonel January 8, 1863. He was mustered out of the service on July 27, 1864, at the expiration of the regiment’s three years of service. Edwards was brevetted brigadier general on March 13, 1865 for war service. He died in Bethel, ME on May 5, 1903. Many of his letters have survived, and a large grouping are in the Peace Collection at Navarro College, Corsicana, Texas.

Letter – Cecil Fogg, 24 September 1863

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Letter written by Private Cecil Fogg of Company B, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his father from Chattanooga, TN. His company left the Signal Station to rejoin his regiment in Trenton, GA then came down into the Chickamauga Valley. He describes being part of the advanced guard in the Battle of Chickamauga, being fired at by Confederate pickets. Despite being outnumbered they managed to turn the Rebels back and took prisoners. Col. William G. Jones was killed with another man from his company. The following day they were part of the center and were nearly surrounded, being fired on by sharpshooters from 3 sides but eventually were able to meet up with Gen. Gordon Granger’s Reserve Corps and fell back to Union fortifications.


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Chattanooga Sept 24th

Father

I am sitting in one of the “Last Ditches” (just finished) writing this. I have been through a two day fight and nearly 2 weeks of skirmishing since I wrote to you last and have escaped unhurt up to this time. Co. B staid up on the mountain above Jasper guarding the Signal Station from the 22nd Aug. till the 6th of Sept. On the 6th we started for our Regt. which was at Trenton Ga. we got there on the 8th. On the 10th we started southward and went about 10 miles then crossed over Sand mountain [AL] one of the Look-out range, when we were coming down the valley into Chickamauga Valley we could see where Gen. Negley’s Division was fighting a whole Corps of Rebels. I was in the advance guard

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coming down the mountain and was fired at by Rebel pickets at the foot of the mountain. It was about dark when we got to the foot and we ran the pickets in abut a mile farther and then stopped for the night. Several balls came pretty close to me that evening and one of our co. was wounded. We skirmished around here till the 18th when it was discovered that the Rebels were moving towards Chattanooga on the other side of Pigeon mountain. we started and marched all night of the 18th Our Brigade was about the center. The Rebels out numbered us 3 to one according to their account. There was a weak place in our line a little to our right when the Rebs broke through

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and we were called out there to turn them back, and we did it we took some prisoners there who said it was the hardest fighting they had ever done and they had been in nearly all the fights in the east. There is where our Regt lost the most. Col [William G.] Jones was killed and Maj. [William H.G.] Adney wounded one of our co. killed and 5 wounded. The next day the big fight came off They turned our right and left and we were nearly surrounded in the center and were exposed to a fire of sharp-shooters on three sides of us. About an hour before sunset our Brigade took the lead and made a charge to cut our way through and get out of there, and we got out just about sunset. When we stopped Gen. Reynolds, Col. [Philander P.] Lane of the 11th

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Capt Henry, 3 Lieutenants and about 150 of our Brigade (mostly 36th men) were all that was present. The balance had taken a different direction after passing through the 1st and 2nd line of Rebs and come out by a shorter cut bringing with them about 200 prisoners when Gen. Reynolds and his 150 men stopped it was sunset, and we had run 4 or 5 miles, cut our way through 3 lines of rebs and were then chasing a while Brigade of Cavalry. The dirt and noise we made then was all that saved us, we found our way to Granger’s Corps, then to our own, and fell back 6 or 7 miles that night. Monday night we fell back to the fortifications and have been at work fortifying all the time since.

Col [Timothy Robbins] Stanley of the 18th was slightly wounded Sunday.

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.

Letter – Cecil Fogg, 10 July 1863

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Letter written by Private Cecil Fogg of Company B, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, to his father from a camp near Elk River, TN. Fogg comments on the weather and road conditions since leaving Murfreesboro, and mentions an encounter with Confederate troops at Beach Grove. He describes marching to Manchester and Tullahoma, and writes that they captured prisoners and took some corn meal to eat. They discovered that the Elk River bridge had been destroyed, and heavy rains made it too dangerous to cross on foot, so they were forced to travel out of their way to an older bridge. There are rumors of Union victories in locations such as Vicksburg or Richmond, though Fogg is skeptical.


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Camp near Elk River, Tenn. July 10th/63

Father

   I have written 2 or 3 letters since we left Murfreesboro, but I was in such a hurry each time that I don’t know whether I told you anything or not. We would only have about 15 minutes’ notice to write our letters in, and there was no ink, and but little paper, etc. to be got. We sent back our knapsacks, and we could not carry such things very well. We had dry weather before we left Murfreesboro. We left there on the 24th of June. It commenced raining that day, and  rained nearly all the time for 3 days, and it rained every day but one since, till yesterday. There has been no rain here since day before yesterday, but the roads are awful, and teams can hardly get along at all. We were stopped 2 days at Beach Grove by the

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Rebels. On the 3rd night they slipped off in the dark and we did not discover it till about noon the next day. Our brigade went on 12 miles in the afternoon, and camped a few miles from Manchester. We went in to Manchester the next morning and stayed there that day and the next. The next day we started on toward Tullahoma, and went to within about 5 miles of the place. There were 2 showers that day, about as hard as I ever seen it rain. It rained about 2 hours each time, and we were in it all. We could hear the [rail]cars at Tullahoma all that night, and the next night. Our regt. was out skirmishing the day before, and the night that the Rebs left town. We could hear the cars all the time, but couldn’t tell whether they were leaving, or receiving reinforcements. We went into town the next day and camped about a mile west of town that night. The town is,

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or was before the war, about as large as Withesville. It looks like a town built in the woods. Where we were the ground is not needed [kneaded?]; the trees are left standing and the town is well shaded. We left there the next morning and came to Elk River, where we camped that night. We captured a few prisoners, and a large quantity of corn meal at Tullahoma, and a great deal of meal had been destroyed by the Rebs. We brought some of the meal along with us, and it came in very good play when our crackers ran out. The day we got to Elk River the bridge was destroyed, and we went up the river about 2 miles to a ford where the most of the 14th A. C. had crossed. It was pretty late when we got there, and we camped on the north bank that night, calculating to cross in the

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morning. But it rained that night and raised the river so high that we could not cross. Some regts. crossed, but they lost some men and a good many guns. The water came up to the necks of the shortest men, and it is a very swift stream. We had to go way around, about 4 or 5 miles, to get back to the old bridge, which the pioneers were repairing. We stayed there that night and the next day. They had got the bridge fixed up so that we could cross, and we crossed that morning (the 4th) and came 2 or 3 miles this side of the river and went into camp. We heard National salutes all around us and ahead of us. Besides that, we heard any amount of stories of great victories gained by our armies in the East, and Vicksburg, Richmond, etc. But we all had the privilege of believing just as much as we chose to of it. And I did not chose to believe any of it.

[rest of letter missing]


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.