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John Beatty, The Citizen-Soldier; or, Memoirs of a Volunteer 18 0 Browse Search
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his unpretentious record, therefore, I seek to do simply what I would have had my fathers do for me. Kinsmen of the coming centuries, I bid you hail and godspeed! Columbus, December 16, 1878. The Third Ohio Volunteer Infantry served under two separate terms of enlistment — the one for three months, and the other for three years. The regiment was organized April 21, 1861, and on April 27th it was mustered into the United States service, with the following field officers: Isaac H. Marrow, Colonel; John Beatty, Lieutenant Colonel, and J. Warren Keifer, Major. The writer's record begins with the day on which his regiment entered Virginia, June 22, 1861, and ends on January 1, 1864. He does not undertake to present a history of the organizations with which he was connected, nor does he attempt to describe the operations of armies. His record consists merely of matters which came under his own observation, and of camp gossip, rumors, trifling incidents, idle speculati
June, 1861. June, 22 Arrived at Bellaire at 3 P. M. There is trouble in the neighborhood of Grafton. Have been ordered to that place. The Third is now on the Virginia side, and will in a few minutes take the cars. June, 23 Reached Grafton at 1 P. M. All avowed secessionists have run away; but there are, doubtless, many persons here still who sympathize with the enemy, and who secretly inform him of all our movements. June, 24 Colonel Marrow and I dined with Colonel Smith, member of the Virginia Legislature. He professes to be a Union man, but his sympathies are evidently with the South. He feels that the South is wrong, but does not relish the idea of Ohio troops coming upon Virginia soil to fight Virginians. The Union sentiment here is said to be strengthening daily. June, 26 Arrived at Clarksburg about midnight, and remained on the cars until morning. We are now encamped on a hillside, and for the first time my bed is made in my own tent. Clar
nimals in creation. I am reminded of this by that broth of an Irish lad, Conway, who says, in substance, and with a broad Celtic accent, that their noses have to be sharpened every morning to enable them to pick a living among the rocks. Colonel Marrow informs me that an attack is apprehended to-night. We have sent out strong pickets. The cannon are so placed as to shoot up the road. Our regiment is to form on the left of the turnpike, and the Dutch regiment on the right, in case the seco satisfy McClellan that it is not advisable to attack today. What surprises me is that the General should know so little about the character of the country, the number of the enemy, and the extent of his fortifications. During the day, Colonel Marrow, apparently under a high state of excitement, informed me that he had just had an interview with George (he usually speaks of General McClellan in this familiar way), that an attack was to be made, and the Third was to lead the column. He de
ngs. Two boys were but slightly wounded, and were in good spirits. To one of these — a jovial, pleasant boy--Dr. Seyes said, good humoredly: You need have no fears of dying from a gunshot; you are too big a devil, and were born to be hung. Colonel Marrow sought to question this same fellow in regard to the strength of the enemy, when the boy said: Are you a commissioned officer? Yes, replied Marrow. Then, returned he, you ought to know that a private soldier don't know anything. In returMarrow. Then, returned he, you ought to know that a private soldier don't know anything. In returning to camp, we followed a path which led to a place where a regiment of the rebels had encamped one night. They had evidently become panic-stricken and left in hot haste. The woods were strewn with knapsacks, blankets, and canteens. The ride was a pleasant once The path, first wild and rugged, finally led to a charming little valley, through which Beckey's creek hurries down to the river. Leaving this, we traveled up the side of a ravine, through which a little stream fretted and fumed
eft Logan's mill before the sun was up. The rain continues, and the mud is deep. At eleven o'clock we reached what is known as Marshall's store, near which, until recently, the enemy had a pretty large camp. Halted at the place half an hour, and then moved four miles further on, where we found the roads impassable for our artillery and transportation. Learning that the enemy had abandoned Big Springs and fallen back to Huntersville, the soldiers were permitted to break ranks, while Colonel Marrow and Major Keifer, with a company of cavalry, rode forward to the Springs. Colonel Nick Anderson, Adjutant Mitchell and I followed. We found on the road evidence of the recent presence of a very large force. Quite a number of wagons had been left behind. Many tents had been ripped, cut to pieces, or burned, so as to render them worthless. A large number of beef hides were strung along the road. One wagon, loaded with muskets, had been destroyed. All of which showed, simply, that bef
tenance has become quite rosy; this is doubtless the effect of the fire. He has been unusually powerful in argument: but whether his intellect has been stimulated by the fire, the tea, or the punch, we are at this time wholly unable to decide; he certainly handles the tea-pot with consummate skill, and attacks the punch with exceeding vigor. December, 27 No orders to advance. Armies travel slowly indeed. Within fifteen miles of the enemy and idly rotting in the mud. Acting Brigadier-General Marrow when informed that Dumont would assume command of the brigade, became suddenly and violently ill, asked for and obtained a thirty-day leave. I would give much to be home with the children during this holiday time; but unfortunately my health is too good, and will continue so in spite of me. The Major, poor man, is troubled in the same way. December, 28 Lieutenant St. John goes to Louisville with a man who was arrested as a spy; and strange to say the arrest was made at
last. Apparently almost wild with joy, she shouted after us, God be with you! We went into camp on Duck river, one mile from the town. April, 5 General Mitchell complimented me on the good behavior and good appearance of the Third. He said it was the best regiment in his division. At Bacon creek, Kentucky, he was particularly severe on us, and attributed all our trouble to defective discipline and bad management on the part of the officers. On the evening when the acceptance of Marrow's resignation was read, the General was present. After parade was dismissed, I shook hands with him and said: General, give us a little time and we will make the Third the best regiment in your division. The old gentleman was glad to hear me say so, but smiled dubiously. I am glad to have him acknowledge so soon that we have fulfilled the promise. At Murfreesboro heavy details were made for bridge building, and one day, while superintending the work, the General addressed the detail