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June, 1863.

June, 1

By invitation, the mounted officers of our brigade accompanied General Negley to witness the review of Rousscan's division. There were quite a large number of spectators, including a few ladies. I was introduced to General Wood for tile first time, although I have known him by sight, and known of him well, for months. Many officers of Wood's and Negley's divisions were present. After the review, and while the troops were leaving the field, Colonel Ducat, Inspector-General on General Roseerans' staff, and Colonel Harker, challenged me for a race. Soon after, Major McDowell, of Rousseau's staff; joined the party; and, while we were getting into position for the start, Generall Wagner, who has a long-legged white horse, which, he insisted, could beat any thing on the ground, took place in the line. McCook, Wood, Loomis, and many others, stopped to witness the race. The horses were all pacers; it was, in fact, a gathering of the best horses in the army, and each man felt confident. I was absolutely sure my black would win, and the result proved that I was correct. [276]

The only time during the race that I was honored with the company of my competitors, was at the starting; then, I observed, they were all up; but a half a minute later the black took the lead. The old fellow had evidently been on the track before, and felt as much interest in the contest as his owner. He knew what was expected of him, and as he went flying over the ground astonished me, as he did every body else. Loomis, who professes to know much about horses, said to me before the race took place, “Your's is a good-looking horse, but he can't beat McDowell's.” Before leaving the field, however, he admitted that he had been mistaken. My horse was quicker of foot than he supposed.

June, 2

Called on Colonel Scribner and wife, where I met also Colonel Griffin and wife; had a long conversation about spiritualism, mesmerism, clairvoyance, and subjects of that ilk. At night there was a fearful thunder-storm. Tile rain descended in torrents, and the peals of thunder were, I think, louder and more frequent than I ever heard before.

Met Loomis; he had accompanied General Rosecrans and others to witness the trial of a machine, invented by Wilder, for tearing up railroad tracks and injuring the rails in such a manner as to render them worthless. Hitherto the rebels, when they have torn up our railroads, have placed the bars crosswise on a pile of ties, set fire to the latter, and so heated and bent the rails; but by heating them again they could be easily straightened and [277] made good. Wilder's instrument twists them so they can not be used again.

The New York Herald, I observe, refers with great severity to General Hascall's administration of affairs in Indiana; saying that “to place such a brainless fool in a military command is not simply an error, it is a crime.” This is grossly unjust. Hascall is not only a gallant soldier, but a man of education and excellent sense. He has been active, and possibly severe, in his opposition to treasonable organizations and notoriously disloyal men, whose influence was exerted to discourage enlistments and retard the enforcement of the draft. Unfortunately, in time of civil war, besides the great exigencies which arise to threaten the commonwealth, innumerable lesser evils gather like flies about an open wound, to annoy, irritate, and kill. Against these the law has made no adequate provision. The military must, therefore, often interpose for the public good, without waiting for legislative authority, or the slow processes of the civil law, just as the fireman must proceed to batter down the doors of a burning edifice, without stopping to obtain the owner's permission to enter and subdue the flames.

June, 3

Our division was reviewed to-day. The spectators were numerous, numbering among other distinguished personages Generals Rosecrans, Thomas, Crittenden, Rousseau, Sheridan, and Wood. The weather was favorable, and the review a success. In the evening, a large party gathered at Negley's [278] quarters, where lunch and punch were provided in abundance.

Generals Wood and Crittenden, of the Twentyfirst Army Corps, claimed that I did not beat Wagner fairly in the horse-race the other day. I expressed a willingness to satisfy them that I could do so any day; and, further, that my horse could out-go any thing in the Twenty-first Corps. The upshot of the matter is that we have a race arranged for Friday afternoon at four o'clock.

The party was a merry one; gentlemen imbibed freely. General Rosecrans' face was as red as a beet; he had, however, been talking with ladies, and being a diffident man, was possibly blushing. Wood persisted that the Twenty-first Corps could not be beaten in a horse-race, and that Wagner's long-legged white was the most wonderful pacer he ever saw. Negley seemed possessed with the idea that every body was trying to escape, and that it was necessary for him to seize them by the arm and haul them back to the table; he seemed also to be laboring under the delusion that his guests would not drink unless he kept his eye on them, and forced them to do so. Lieutenant-Colonel Ducat, an Irishman of the Charles O'Malley school, insisted upon introducing me to the ladies, but fortunately I was sober enough to decline the invitation. Harker, late in the evening, thought he discovered a disposition on the part of others to play off on him; he felt in duty bound to empty a full tumbler, while they Shirked by taking only half of one, which he affirmed [279] was unfair and inexcusable. General Thomas, after sitting at his wine an hour, conversing the while with a lady, arose from the table evidently very much refreshed, and proceeded to make himself exceedingly agreeable. I never knew the old gentleman to be so affable, cordial, and complimentary before.

June, 4

The guns have been reverberating in our front all day. I am told that Sheridan's division advanced on the Shelbyville road. It is probable that a part, if not the whole, of the firing is in his front.

June, 5

Read the Autobiography of Peter Cartright. It is written in the language of the frontier, and presents a rough, strong, uneducated man, full of vanity, courage, and religious zeal. He never reached the full measure of dignity requisite to a minister of the Gospel. There are many amusing incidents in the volume, and many tales of adventures with sinners, in the cabin, on the road, and at camp meeting, in all of which Cartright gets the better of the sons of Belial, and triumphs in the Lord.

June, 8

The One Hundred and Fourth Illinois, Colonel Moore, reported to me for duty, so that I have now four regiments and a battery. This Colonel Moore is the same who was in command at Hartsville, and whose regiment and brigade were captured by the ubiquitous John Morgan last winter. He has but recently returned from the South, where, for a time, he was confined in Libby prison.

The rebels are still prowling about our lines, but making no great demonstrations of power.

June, 9

Governor (?) Billy Williams, of Indiana, dined [280] with me to-day; he resides in Warsaw, is a politician, a fair speaker, and an inveterate story teller.

Wilson has been appointed Assistant Adjutant-General, with the rank of captain.

June, 13

Had brigade drill in a large clover field, just outside the picket line. The men were in fine condition, well dressed, and well equipped. I kept them on the jump for two hours. Generals Thomas and Negley were present, and were well pleased. I doubt if any brigade in the army can execute a greater variety of movements than mine, or go through them in better style. My voice is excellent, I can make myself heard distinctly by a whole brigade, without becoming hoarse by hours of exertion. Starkweather has the best voice in the army; he can be heard a mile away.

Our division and brigade flags have been changed from light to dark blue. They look almost like a black no-quarter flag.

We have one solitary rooster: he crows early in the morning, all day, and through the night if it be moonlight. He mounted a stump near my door this morning, stood between the tent and the sun, so that his shadow fell on the canvas, and crowed for half an hour at the top of his voice. I think the scamp knew I was lying abed longer than usual, and was determined to make me get up. He is on the most intimate terms with the soldiers, and struts about the camp with an air of as much importance as if he wore shoulder-straps, and had been reared at West Point. He enters the boys' tents, and inspects their [281] quarters with all the freedom and independence of a regularly detailed inspecting officer. He is a fine type of the soldier, proud and vain, with a tremendous opinion of his own fighting qualities.

June, 16

Had a grand corps drill. The line of troops, when stretched out, was over a mile in length. The Corps was like a clumsy giant, and hours were required to execute the simplest movement. When, for instance, we changed front, my brigade marched nearly, if not quite, a mile to take position in the new line. The waving of banners, the flashing of sabers and bayonets, the clattering to and fro of muddle-headed aids-de-camp on impatient steeds, the heavy rumble of artillery wagons, the blue coats of the soldiers, the golden trappings of the field and staff, made a grand scene for the disinterested spectator to look upon; but with the thermometer ranging from eighty-five to one hundred, it was hard work for the soldier who bore knapsack, haversack, and gun, and calculated to produce an unusual amount of perspiration, and not a little profanity. Major-General Thomas guided the immense mass of men, while the operations of the divisions were superintended by their respective commanders. I fear the brigade and regimental commanders profited little by the drill, but I hope the major-generals learned something. The latter, in their devotion to strategy, have evidently neglected tactics, and failed to unravel the mysteries of the school of the battalion.

In the morning, with my division commander, I [282] called on General Thomas, at his quarters, and had the honor to accept from his hands the most abominable cigar it has ever been my misfortune to attempt to smoke.

June, 19

The army has been lying here now nearly six months. It has of late been kept pretty busy. Sunday morning inspections, monthly inspections of troops, frequent inspections of arms and ammunition, innumerable drills, and constant picketing.

Colonel Miller assumes command of a brigade in Johnson's division. Since the troops were at Nashville he has been commanding what was known as the Second Brigade of Negley's division; but the colonels of the brigade objected to having an imported colonel placed over them, and so Miller takes command of the brigade to which his regiment is attached. He is a brave man and a good officer. Colonel Harker's brigade has been relieved from duty at the fortifications, and is now encamped near us, on the Liberty road.

June, 21

Mrs. Colonel Scribner and Mrs. Colonel Griffin stopped at my tent-door for a moment this morning. They were on horseback, and each had a child on the saddle. They were giving Mrs. Scribner's children a little ride.

Attended divine service in the camp of the Eightyeighth Indiana, and afterward called for a few minutes on Colonel Moore, of the One Hundred and Fourth Illinois. On returning to my quarters I found Colonels Hobart and Taylor awaiting me. They were about to visit Colonel T. P. Nicholas, of the Second [283] Kentucky Cavalry, and desired me to accompany them. We dined with Colonel Nicholas, and, as is the custom, observed the apostolic injunction of taking something for the stomach's sake. Toward evening we visited the field hospital, and paid our respects to Surgeon Finley and lady. Here, much against our wills, we were compelled to empty a bottle of sherry. On the way to our own quarters Colonel Taylor insisted upon our calling with him to see a friend, with whom we were obliged to take a glass of ale. So that it was about dark when we three sober gentlemen drew near to our respective quarters. We had become immensely eloquent on the conduct of the war, and with great unanimity concluded that if Grant were to take Vicksburg he would be entitled to our profoundest admiration and respect. Hobart, as usual, spoke of his State as if it were a separate and independent nation, whose sons, in imitation of LaFayette, Kosciusko and DeKalb, were devoting their best blood to the maintenance of free government in a foreign land; while Taylor, incited thereto by this eulogy on Wisconsin, took up the cudgel for Kentucky, and dwelt enthusiastically on the gallantry of her men and the unrivaled beauty of her women.

When I dismounted and turned my horse over to the servant, I caught a glimpse of the signal lights on the dome of the court-house, and was astonished to find just double the usual number, in the act of performing a Dutch waltz. I concluded that the Signal Corps must be drunk. Saddened by the reflection that those occupying high places, whose duty it was [284] to let their light shine before men, should be found in this condition of hopeless inebriety, I heaved a sigh which might have been mistaken by the uncharitable for a hic-cough, and lay down to rest.

June, 23

My colt had a sore eye a day or two ago, but it is now getting well. The boys pet him, and by pinching him have taught him to bite. I fear they will spoil him. I have not ridden him much of late. He has a way of walking on his hind legs, for which the saddles in use are not calculated, and there is, consequently, a constant tendency, on the part of the rider, to slip over his tail.

Captain Wells sent a colored teamster, who had just come in, tired and hungry, to his quarters for dinner. Simon Bolivar Buckner, who now has charge of the commissary and culinary branch of the Captain's establishment, was in the act of dining when the teamster entered the tent and seated himself at the table. Buckner, astonished at this unceremonious intrusion, exclaimed: “What you doin‘ har, sah?” “De Capin tole me fer to come and get my dinnah.” “Hell,” shouted Buckner, “does de Capin ‘spose I'm guiane to eat wid a d-n common nigger? Git out'er liar, till I'm done got through.”

Buckner gets married every time we move camp. On last Sunday Captain Wells found him dressed very elaborately, in white vest and clean linen, and said to him : “What's in the wind, Buckner?” “Gwine to be married dis ebening, sah.” “What time?” “Five o'clock, sah.” “Can't spare you, Buckner. Expect friends here to dine at six, and want a good dinner [285] gotten up.” “Berry well, sah; can pos'pone de wedin‘, sah. Dis'pintmcnt to lady, sah; but it'll be all right.”

June, 24

The note of preparation for a general advance sounded late last night. Reynolds moved at 4 A. M.; Rousseau at 7; our division will leave at 10. A long line of cavalry is at this moment going out on the Manchester pike. ...

Rain commenced falling soon after we left Murfreesboro, and continued the remainder of the day. The roads were sloppy, and marching disagreeable. Encamped at Big creek for the night; Rousseau and Reynolds in advance.

Before leaving Murfreesboro I handed John what I supposed to be a package of tea, and told him to fill my canteen with cold tea. On the road I took two or three drinks, and thought it tasted strongly of tobacco; but I accounted for it on the supposition that I had been smoking too much, and that the tobacco taste was in my mouth, and not in the tea. After getting into camp I drank of it again, when it occurred to me that John had neglected to cleanse the canteen before putting the tea in, and so I began to scold him. “I did clean it, sah,” retorted John. “Well, this tea,” I replied, “tastes very much like tobacco juice.” “It is terbacker juice, sah.” “Why, how is that?” “You gib me paper terbacker, an‘ tole me hab some tea made, sah, and I done jes as you tole me, sah.” “Why you are a fool, John; did you suppose I wanted you to make me tea out of tobacco?” “Don [286] know, sah ; dat's What you tole me, sah ; done jes as you tole me, sah.”

June, 25

Marched to Hoover's Gap. Heavy skirmlishing in front during the day. Reynolds lost fifteen killed, and quite a number wounded. A stubborn fight was expected, and our division moved up to take part in it; but the enemy fell back. Rain has been falling most of the day. A pain in my side admonishes me that I should have worn heavier boots.

June, 26

Moved to Beech Grove. Cannonading in front during the whole day; but we have now become so accustomed to the noise of the guns that it hardly excites remark. The sky is still cloudy, and I fear we shall have more rain to-night. The boys are busy gathering leaves and twigs to keep them from the damp ground. General Negley's quarters are a few rods to my left, and General Thomas' just below us, at the bottom of the hill. Reynolds is four miles in advance.

June, 27

We left Beech Grove, or Jacob's Store, this morning, at five o'clock, and conducted the wagon train of our division through to Manchester. Rosecrans and Reynolds are here. The latter took possession of the place two or three hours before my brigade reached it, and the former came up three hours after we had gone into camp. We are now twelve miles from Tullahoma. The guns are thundering off in the direction of Wartrace. Hardie's corps was driven from Fairfield this morning. [287] My baggage has not come, and I am compelled to sleep on the wet ground in a still wetter overcoat.

June, 28

My baggage arrived during the night, and this morning I changed my clothes and expected to spend the Sabbath quietly; but about 10 A. M. I was ordered to proceed to Hillsboro, a place eight miles from Manchester, on the old stage road to Chattanooga. When we were moving out I met Durbin Ward, who asked me where I was going. I told him. “Why,” said he, “I thought, from the rose in your button-hole, that you were going to a wedding.” “No,” I replied; “but I hope we are going to nothing more serious.”

June, 29

My position is one of great danger, being so far from support and so near the enemy. Last night my pickets on the Tullahoma road were driven in, after a sharp fight, and my command was put in line of battle, and so remained for an hour or more; but we were not again disturbed. No fires were built, and the darkness was impenetrable.

At noon I received orders to proceed to Bobo's Cross-roads, and reach that point before nightfall. There were two ways of going there: the one via Manchester was comparatively safe, although considerably out of the direct line; the other was direct, but somewhat unsafe, because it would take me near the enemy's front. The distance by this shorter route was eleven miles. I chose the latter. It led through a sparsely settled, open oak country. Two [288] regiments of Wheeler's cavalry had been hovering about Hillsboro during the day, evidently watching our movements. After proceeding about three miles, a dash was made upon my skirmish line, which resulted in the killing of a lieutenant, the capture of one man, and the wounding of several others. I instantly formed line of battle, and pushed forward as rapidly as the nature of the ground would admit; but the enemy fell back.

About five o'clock, as we drew near Bobo's, two cannon shots and quite a brisk fire of musketry advised us that the rebels were either still in possession of the Cross-roads or our friends were mistaking us for the enemy. I formed line of battle, and ordered the few cavalrymen who accompanied me to make a detour to the right and rear, and ascertain, if possible, who were in our front. The videttes soon after reported the enemy advancing, with a squadron of cavalry in the lead, and I put my artillery in position to give them a raking fire when they should reach a bend of the road. At this moment when life and death seemed to hang in the balance, and when we supposed we were in the presence of a very considerable, if not an overwhelming, force of the enemy, a half-grown hog emerged from the woods, and ran across the road. Fifty men sprang from the ranks and gave it chase, and before order was fully restored, and the line readjusted, my cavalry returned with the information that the troops in front were our own. [289]

The incidents of the last six days would fill a volume; but I have been on horseback so much, and otherwise so thoroughly engaged, that I have been, and am now, too weary to note them down, even if I had the conveniences at hand for so doing. [290]

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