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Doc. 38.-fight at Waverly, Tenn.


Monmouth Atlas account.

Fort Donelson, October 28.
Mr. Clark: The Eighty-third are all together once more. Companies C and H were ordered here, bag and baggage, on Tuesday of last week. The Seventy-first Ohio, or what is left of it--four companies — took our places at Fort Heiman. The same thing might, and should have been done long age. It would have been done, had our officers had it in their power. But Colonel Lowe, of the Fifth Iowa cavalry, was in command of these three posts — Donelson, Henry and Heiman, and for some reason — known only to himself — chose to divide us. But he has lately been ordered to Washington; leaving Col. Harding in command here. As soon as he could do so, he got us together. We earnestly hope that we may not again be separated. I like the location much better than that at Fort Heiman.

On our arrival here, we learned that five companies of the Eighty-third, with one field-piece of Flood's battery, had gone out on a scout, in the direction of Waverly, a small town about thirty-five miles south-west from here, where a rebel regiment was said to be encamped. The place is called by the rebels “secesh heaven,” from the fact that no Union soldiers have ever been there. But, if reports are true, our boys made them think it was nearly — something else. On Thursday afternoon three runners came back, and reported that we were hotly engaged with the enemy a few miles from Waverly; but could give no particulars, more than that we had lost one man killed and several wounded. All was excitement in camp. All kinds of rumors were afloat; some saying that our boys had been surrounded by the rebels, and all killed and captured.

The long roll was beaten, and we were called into line of battle. Orders were given for us to repair to our quarters and remain there, ready to turn out at a moment's warning, and to sleep on our arms at night. About eight o'clock two messengers arrived with despatches to the effect that we had had a fight, scattered them, captured several prisoners, and were retreating back. It was thought best not to follow them up, with the force they had, as it was said there was a strong rebel force encamped about ten miles beyond. As soon as this report came in, a few, who happened to be at headquarters, heard it, and gave a shout. All made a rush to hear the news, knowing that some good news had come. As soon as the facts were made known to us, oh! what long and loud cheers were given for the Eighty-third. I don't think as many of us slept on our arms that night, as would, had we not heard the true state of things. We also learned from these messengers, that the men that came in in the afternoon, had thrown away their guns, etc., and run at the first fire. What will be done with them, I do not know; but they certainly should be punished.

On Friday morning, four companies more were ordered out, with five days rations. The cause of which I could not learn; for they, with the five first sent out, all returned in the afternoon. The victors brought in eleven prisoners, taken in the fight. One or two of them are said to have been taken in the fight at this place in February last, and but lately exchanged.

George Cox, company A, of Ellison, was shot through the heart, and died instantly. Dick Wagstaff, company A, was slightly wounded. A spent ball struck a leather strap across his breast, slightly bruising, but not breaking, the [189] skin. A buckshot passed through the side of his knee, and another lodged in the butt of his gun at the same time. Two in company E were slightly wounded--one through the thigh, the other getting a bullet-hole through his ear.

All but the few who ran at the first fire, are said to have acted nobly, and fought bravely while they had a chance. Great praise is given to Major Brott, who was in command, for his coolness and bravery. Adjutant Casey is said to have showed coolness and good judgment in the fight. Dan. Eilenberger, who had lately been removed from the position of wagon-master, and put into the ranks, for some imaginary misconduct, when our teams had got into a close place and were about to be captured, rushed forward, took charge of them, and drove them to a place of safety. He has since been reinstated, which speaks well for his conduct on that occasion.


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