Diary of the twenty-seventh Kentucky regiment.
Presuming your readers would like to know what we have been doing during the recent eight months, we offer a few notes from our diary; and we think by the time they have read our short history they will say that we have been soldiering in earnest. Our notes may prove very uninteresting, as our opportunities have not been those of a regular correspondent, as we belong to the ranks and know nothing of the movements until we have them to perform, and then we know only what we do and see. September 18, 1863.--Our company was ordered from Cave City back to Munfordville to rejoin the regiment. We remained at Munfordville till the twenty-fourth of September. On the evening of the twenty-fourth we were mounted, and at four o'clock, with three cheers and hundreds of good-byes, we left the camp that had become almost as home, where we lived a cheerful soldier-life the recent ten months. Our stay at Munfordville is the greatest oasis in our soldier-life. There every member of the regiment had often communication with his home, and his duties seemed lightened by the visitations of his friends and the sociability shown us by the citizens. It was there we worked hard ten months fortifying the place, and made it one among the strongest in Kentucky. There we did as much duty as any regiment will do; but the military fiat saw proper to move us from our own works and home to a field of more active work, and put in our stead strangers, who of course do not understand Kentucky in any way better than we do. We know her geography, the advantages and disadvantages; her friends and her most dangerous enemy — the sneaking traitor that lives there. But, being perfectly willing to work in the cause of our country anywhere, and, after resting from marching so long, we left “champing the bit” for East-Tennessee. September twenty-fifth, we joined General Manson at Glasgow, who had already begun to move out. The weather having been dry so long that the roads were very dusty and water scarce along the road, consequently our march was made with moderation. Camped near Gray's Cross-Roads. September twenty-sixth, marched to Marrowbone by two o'clock P. M., and went into camp. September twenty-seventh, crossed Cumberland River at Neelie's Ferry, and camped. September twenty-eighth, marched slowly till about four o'clock in the evening, and went into camp on Illwill Hill, eight miles from Albany, Clinton County. September twenty-ninth, at nine o'clock A. M., we passed through Albany. Albany looks as though it once had been a nice and flourishing little town; but as we rode through we could but feel sad to see a place — a nice town in our native State--laid in entire desolation. Even the court-house and public square around it, where once the citizens of Clinton County could look for a just enforcement of the laws of the land, looks as though no human concourse had gathered there for two or three years. Every building and fence is in a state of dilapidation; yards and sidewalks grown up with weeds. Crossed the State line into Fentress County, Tennessee, about eleven o'clock A. M. October first, passed through Jamestown, which is another place of desolation. The courthouse has fallen down. A citizen of Fentress County told us that they had had no enforcement of the civil law in that county for about two years; that every man not taken by conscription was “a law unto himself.” On the morning of the third we got to Montgomery, the county-seat of Anderson County. Here are visible the tracks of this monster — rebellion. The town is evacuated and every thing going to ruin. But one family in town. October fourth, we crossed Clinch River. The country lying between Cumberland and Clinch Rivers is laid in great desolation. We had thought we had seen the desolating effects of the war before, but through this section is the worst we have found in our travels. The people have deserted the country and towns. Some, we presume, went to the South, and some to the North. Not a lick of improvement could we see. Not a new rail or board, while we could scarcely find a roof that would turn rain, or a fence that would confine stock. October fifth, we marched within two miles of Knoxville, when we met an order from General Burnside ordering us to go into camp where we were. So after near eleven days winding our serpentine line through the dust, over mountains and through valleys, we arrived nearly in sight of Knoxville. Our march over the mountains was quite pleasant. We were highly interested with the mountain scenery; the distant mountains through the Indian summer haze, whose towering summits capped with their autumnal cap of “sere and yellow leaves” that seemed to kiss the sky as they rustled in the breeze, and the craggy cliffs that showed their gray faces above the pines, were as pillars for the sky. We must say that we were well pleased with our commander, General Manson, who took every thing with moderation. In getting the wagons up the mountains, the General's shoulder was as good at a wheel as any man's.  October sixth, we lay in camp making amends for the wear and tear while crossing the mountains. In the evening I obtained a pass of Major Alexander Magruder, a good officer and a gentleman, to go to Knoxville. We found every thing in better condition than we had anticipated. After riding about town a few minutes, to make a survey of its location, we inquired for the residence of Parson Brownlow, which we soon found on Cumberland street, just east of a bridge across First Creek, in the corporation designated as East-Knoxville. We could but look upon the silent domicile with reverence, though it is but a plain two-story frame, with portico, while on the east end, and above the windows, some grapevines wove their autumn wreath. At the west end is a smaller house — the old office of the Knoxville Whig--which is about six feet from the other; and between the two houses stand three locust trees that tip their pennates above the roof of the “Tennessee patriot.” October seventh, started on the march at sunup. Passed through Knoxville, and moved up the Rutlege road eight miles and went into camp near Morris's old storehouse. Rained all day. Remained here in camp until early on the morning of the ninth, when we went back to Knoxville and went into camp on the north side of town, and remained here till the night of the twenty-second. During which time our regiment sent two large details to Cumberland Gap, and did as much foraging, scouting, and picket-duty as other regiments here. October twenty-second, remained in camp. Nothing of interest. At nine o'clock in the night we started on the march for Loudon. Marched till two o'clock and bivouacked till daylight, when it commenced raining very hard. October twenty-third, started on the march at daylight without breakfast, and the rain pouring down in a torrent. Marched through the rain and mud till late in the evening, when we arrived at the Loudon bridge. Went into camp as hungry, wet and muddy as we could be; but in a short time huge fires were built — coffee boiling and meat broiling, and a fog rising from the drenched clothes of the boys, while they were growing all right again. October twenty-fourth, in the morning our brigade crossed the river on the pontoon-bridge, joined Colonel Wolford, and went to Philadelphia. Here we found the rebs, had sharp skirmishing a short time, and they fled; drove them about live miles toward Sweetwater, skirmishing some all the way. About sundown they made rather a stubborn stand with artillery. Artillery firing was kept up on both sides till after sundown, when our force turned about and came back to Loudon. Our brigade crossed the river to the camp we left in the morning. Our command lost during the day five or six killed and wounded. We got into camp about eleven o'clock at night. October twenty-sixth, our brigade crossed the river to Loudon and joined the division and went back to Philadelphia. Found the rebels here again. They fell back as before to the hill where we left them on the evening of the twenty-fourth, but skirmishing more severe. The One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois cavalry charged them from the hill, in which it lost three killed and wounded. The Twenty-seventh Kentucky mounted infantry was thrown forward into line of battle on the left. Company B was thrown forward as skirmishers under a shower of shot and shell. Captain Pulliam commanding, pressed the skirmishers forward with great coolness till they were in about three hundred yards of the rebel battery, and on line with it, when General Sanders ordered us to retire. At dark we returned to Loudon as on the twenty-fourth. October twenty-eighth, all our force at Loudon crossed over to the north side of the river, and our brigade out to Lenoir's Station. Regained here till the morning of the thirtieth. October thirtieth, Colonel Pennebaker moved up to Leaper's Ferry with our brigade. Sent two companies across the river, and beyond Unecia on scout--company D, of the Twenty-seventh Kentucky, and one company of the Eleventh Kentucky mounted infantry, Captain Hammer commanding. They were attacked by a brigade of rebels, and after two hours fighting, Captain Hammer fell back to the river in perfect order, and none of his men hurt. The rebels now began to close in, confident of capturing the two companies, but we began to reach across the river with our long-ranged Enfield rifles, and held them back until Lieutenant-Colonel Ward crossed over with three companies, A, H, and C. We had but one small ferry-boat to cross in. Captain Pulliam with our company, B, got in the boat and started across, and when we were about half-way across, the rebels rushed down and poured a heavy volley into the boat, killing one man. The Captain received orders to go back to the shore, which we did under a perfect shower of bullets. The rebels made several bold attempts to capture the companies across the river, but our continued volleys from both sides of the river were too hot for then. On one of their bold attempts to lay hands on their prize, Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, who is always found in the thickest danger, not knowing but he would be overpowered, told the color-bearer, Sergeant John Defever, a young man of seventeen years, to never let the flag fall into rebel hands. When the moment grew more threatening, the Sergeant furled the old worn flag and plunged into the rapid Holston, and while bullets dimpled the water he swam with the flag safe across. About sundown we were reenforced by the Eighth Michigan and One Hundred and Twelfth Illinois cavalry. The rebels, thinking we were too many for them, fell back. The companies across the river returned one at a time in the little ferry-boat till all were over. Then we straightened up and went into camp, and we do not think we ever saw a much darker night, and raining very hard, and had been all the evening. October thirty-first, our brigade moved on to  Knoxville, and went into the camp we left on the night of the twenty-second. November first, at six o'clock in the morning, our brigade moved out into town, but every thing not being ready, we were ordered to return to camp and wait till twelve o'clock. At two o'clock we moved out, crossed the river on the pontoon — the same bridge we had at Loudon — marched to Rockford, a small town on Little River, and camped for the night. November second, crossed Little River and marched to Maryville; went into camp and remained there till the morning of the seventh, during which time we scoured the country as far down as Little Tennessee River, where Lieutenant McAdams, of the First Kentucky cavalry, gained a glorious victory by drowning, killing, capturing, and completely routing twice his own number. On the morning of the seventh, General Sanders's cavalry corps fell back across Little River to Rockford, where we remained till the morning of the fourteenth. November fourteenth, early in the morning, the rebels made a dash on the pickets, and captured part of the Eleventh Kentucky cavalry. They soon began to press our lines all along the river with a heavy force — Wheeler's and Forrest's. About nine o'clock General Sanders ordered our forces to fall back. We fell back to Stock Creek, skirmishing all day. In the evening our regiment was put on picket, extending from Frenche's bridge, across Stock Creek, on the Martin Gap road, along the creek to its mouth, where it empties into Little River; a distance of about five miles. November fifteenth, early in the day, the enemy made his appearance along our line, and, after several hours' skirmishing of both artillery and musketry, General Sanders ordered our skirmishers to fall back gradually. When the enemy felt our line give way he seemed to double his ambition. I was on the post at the bridge. We sent a courier to the road to get orders when to go in. After the courier arrived at division and regimental headquarters on the Maryville road, the rebels rushed in between our post and the road, so our courier could not return. After waiting full time for his return we started another. In a short time the latter returned, stating that we were entirely cut off. We struck out in a direction to strike into the Maryville road ahead of the fighting. We (sixteen in number) met an old citizen, who said he would pilot us through. Away he went through the mountains, and in the course of two hours hard riding we got into the Maryville road just in time to get in ahead of the rebels, crowding on the rear of our marching column. Our regiment had covered the retreat all this time, and having stood picket all night, and as much as a company two days and nights, were becoming very much fatigued — were relieved by the rest of the brigade, the Eleventh Kentucky and the Forty-fifth Ohio mounted infantry. Just before reaching the heights south of the Holston, the rebels made a furious charge on the two regiments, running into their ranks and shooting them with pistols. We fell back to the heights, where four guns of our battery were in position, supported by three regiments of infantry. Our cavalry force dismounted and formed in position. The battery then opened. Our regiment was ordered by General Sanders to take position on a very high hill on the right and near the river. After gaining its summit, and throwing forward skirmishers, we halted to take a moment's rest, when Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, walking along the line, remarked that he was proud to see the regiment get together in such good order after having fought part of two days at such intervals, and not a man hurt. Here we might note the daring courage and art as skirmishers of a number of our line-officers, shown all the way from Rockford to the Holston. On the first day, that of Lieutenant Higdon was admired by the regiment. Of to-day, that of the abovenamed lieutenant, Captain Hammer and his First Lieutenant Roff, who are not surpassed on the skirmish-line. Also that of Captain Ragsdale. I think General Sanders is well pleased with the officers and men of our regiment for to-day's work. It is said by some of the boys that the General remarked in the morning, that his dependence for the cover of this retreat was in Pennebaker's mounted infantry brigade. At the opening of our battery, the rebs, seeing our position and readiness to receive them, fell back. After dark our regiment moved from the hill to the rear of another hill nearer the pontoon-bridge. Here we drew rations and camped for the night. November sixteenth, we moved forward a few hundred yards, and threw up a temporary breastwork of timbers. After dark our brigade moved across the river, through town to the Tazewell road, to our horses that were previously sent over. About midnight we mounted; moved through town to the Loudon road; had not gone far till we met General Burnside; turned back and came back to the Tazewell road; bivouacked till morning. November seventeenth, our brigade moved through town and out on the Winter Gap or Clinton road. Here we met the enemy, and skirmished some all day; heavy skirmishing on the Loudon road. We lay in line all night; no man allowed to sleep; no fire and very cold. November eighteenth, skirmishing commenced at daylight. The rebels made several charges, which we withstood and repulsed. In the evening they charged upon us with overwhelming numbers. The right of our line swung to the rear, the left fell back a few hundred yards till our line became parallel with the railroad and in the suburbs of the town. All in good order and to keep from being flanked. Here our line established itself perfectly secure from any flank movement by the enemy. During the day our regiment lost in killed, Orderly Sergeant Judd, company F, and Sergeant Meader, company B. Four wounded. November nineteenth, we still maintained our line under a heavy fire, and returning the same with our long-ranged Enfield rifles, that kept the  rebels at a distance of four and five hundred yards. In the evening they set their battery on us, making some very good shots, but doing no damage. Corporal Gilbert, company B, was severely wounded in the right arm by a Minie ball. In the evening we were relieved and moved back through town to the east side. As we passed along the streets by General Burnside's headquarters, the General was standing on the corner of the street, and said: “Boys, you have had a hard time for several days, but we will make it all right in a few days.” Camped in the east side of town. November twentieth, our brigade moved over to a street leading to the Loudon road. Lay there all day ready to support our force in the rifle-pits and Fort Sanders, should the enemy charge them. They did not charge our works. Constant firing all along the line. At night we returned to camp. November twenty-first, our brigade staid in camp all day. Rained very hard all day. After night the rebels threw several shells into town. Two or three aimed very well at General Burnside's headquarters. November twenty-second, our brigade moved to the street we lay in on the twentieth. Staid here till late in the evening, when we came back to our horses, mounted, and our division moved up the river about four miles. About nine o'clock in the night we returned to town. Just as we started out, we were visited again by a few rebel shells. November twenty-third, at night our division moved across the river to the heights on the south side. Twenty-fourth, we staid in and worked on rifle-pits. Very cold and rainy. Twenty-fifth, we advanced to the front, down the river, to another high hill. Worked all night, and by daylight we had a considerable fort built and guns in it. Twenty-sixth, moved a little further to the front. At night, dug a rifle-pit at right angles with the river, and in rifle range of the rebel ditches. Our work had to be done with silence to keep the rebels from firing on us. Twenty-seventh, part of Colonel Wolford's command remained in this ditch, while the rest made Headquarters on what is now called Ward's Hill. This is the hill our regiment took position on, on the evening of the fifteenth--hence the name, Ward's Hill. Our regiment was the first troop that ever ascended it. Twenty-eighth, we still remained in the pit. Now three companies of our regiment — B, H, and G--Captain Ragsdale commanding. Captain Scott, Forty-fifth Ohio, commanding skirmish-line. November twenty-ninth, long before day the rebels made a desperate charge on the north side of the river, got into the rifle-pits, and even into Fort Sanders, but were driven back with great slaughter by the Ninth army corps. Heavy firing was kept up from that till daylight. At daylight the enemy made a simultaneous charge on both sides of the river. They charged upon the pit we were in. Three companies of our regiment (B, H, and G) and the Twenty-fourth Kentucky infantry were in the ditch, and two companies of our regiment (F and C) on a ridge on our left. Here, at the left end of the pit, the picket-line made a right-angle to the rear and along the ridge. So, when the enemy was pressing in front of the ditch, his right passed our left in the ditch, giving him a flank range on us, thus exposing the men in the ditch to a cross-fire. Captain Scott seeing the movement of the enemy in the hollow below the ridge, gave orders for the men in the ditch to fall back, which was done in very good order. After we had fallen back about a hundred yards, Captain Scott rode up to Captain Pulliam and told him to go back to the ditch, that he believed we could hold it yet. We started back through the open field under a galling fire from the enemy behind trees, and were already beginning to get into the ditch. As Captain Scott rode by me, I observed to him that the whole line, both right and left of us, was falling back. Then he told Captain Pulliam to fall back. We fell back about two hundred yards, which made the whole line straight, thus saving us from cross-fire. After getting straightened up, it was proposed to charge the hill and drive the rebels from it and our rifle-pit. The command was given. The whole line rushed forward with terrific yells, but as we had to go through the open field and up hill, it was a considerable task. In a short time, by the straight-forward rushing of our whole line and its constant fire, we gained the hill-top and our rifle-pit, the rebels flying to their own ditch. The loss of our part of a regiment was slight, two killed and four or five wounded. The Twenty-fourth Kentucky infantry, immediately on our right, suffered more than any one regiment with us. The courage of most of the officers and men under our immediate notice was good, used with coolness and good judgment in the thickest torrents of “leaden rain and iron hail.” The rebels having been compelled to return to their own side of the house, seemed perfectly willing to stay there. About this time orders were given to cease hostilities until the dead and wounded could be removed. The remainder of the evening was silent. Both sides were tired from their hard day's work. November thirtieth, we still remained in the ditches; an occasional fire. The rebels make no advances. December first, still in the rifle-pits. Some firing all around the lines. Second and third, no fighting of any consequence; now and then a shot. December fourth, about three o'clock in the morning Sherman's advance came up. We kept in readiness all day to move out. No advances on either side. December fifth, after having been closely besieged twenty days, early in the morning, we prepared to march. About nine o'clock A. M., we started — Shackleford's corps — our regiment in front; crossed the river, passed through town, and moved out on the Greenville road. Marched out eight miles, capturing prisoners all the way.  Our regiment stood picket; the rebel pickets in sight of us. They fired on the two companies on the road, so they had to be drawn back across a small creek. December sixth, about nine o'clock A. M., moved the two companies forward as advance-guard. The rebels made considerable resistance. We moved but about a mile to-day. December seventh, moved several miles past where we were encamped on the eighth of October. December eighth, moved on to Rutledge, county-seat of Grainger County. December ninth, passed through Rutledge and on to Bean's Station. Here our regiment was sent out on the Morristown road to the Holston River. Here we ran upon the rebels; had considerable skirmishing; lost one man. After dark we returned to the station. December tenth, remained at the station. December eleventh, Colonel Pennebaker, with our brigade, went to Morristown. Made no attack on the enemy, as he was about a mile east of town. We returned to Bean's Station after night. December twelfth, remained at the station. December thirteenth, in the evening the enemy moved upon our pickets. Had some skirmishing. We formed line of battle, with artillery in position, to receive him, but, after some skirmishing, the rebels drew off. December fourteenth, in the evening, the enemy moved down the valley, in solid columns, upon us. Our corps was put into position; our division — Wolford's — in front, contesting every inch of ground. Our regiment was ordered to take position in the houses. The station-house is a very large brick building. Part of the regiment were in the brick and part in the wooden houses. The rebels came down the valley, through the open fields, like a flood. As there was not a twig in the way, our boys mowed them down like harvest before the sickle. While the air was filled with bullets and shells, Colonel Wolford rode to and fro along the front line, giving the men instruction how to fight to advantage. When the right of the line was being overpowered, Colonel Wolford rode up to the house, and ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Ward to send four companies of our regiment to support the right. Our companies — B, H, G, and I — were despatched to the right. The rebels moved steadily down. Our line had to give way gradually. The other part of our regiment held the houses till dark, while they were the object of a concentrated fire from the rebel batteries — the rebel lines having now passed the houses both right and left. Here our regiment suffered more than at any time previous. By strategy, Lieutenant-Colonel Ward made his way out with the men, by leaving enough to keep up a fire from the houses, which made the rebels keep their distance till the majority made their escape by running out in small squads in rear of the houses. We full back in line of battle slowly all night. December fifteenth, at sun-up, our brigade moved back the road toward the station about a mile; built a breastwork of rails. The rebels pressed down considerably till about ten o'clock A. M., then drew back out of reach, and remained silent till about sundown. They began to show themselves on the mountains, trying to move around our flanks. They had managed to get a battery on the mountains on our right, and about sundown began to hand down a few shells. After dark we commenced falling back; passed through Rutledge. December sixteenth, fell back to Blain's Cross-Roads, near the “Ruined house.” December seventeenth, remained in line of battle; some skirmishing in the front. December eighteenth, our regiment was relieved from the front, and moved to the rear, and went into camp, and was paid off; received two months pay; at night, moved out about five miles to Holston, near McKinney's Ferry, near the mouth of Richland Creek. December nineteenth, came back to Blain's Cross-Roads. Remained here till the twenty-first. Our brigade is about one third dismounted. At two o'clock on the evening of the twenty-first, the mounted part started to Tazewell. On the evening of the twenty-fourth, the dismounted part moved to the bridge at Strawberry Plains. December twenty-fifth, the brigade all came back to Blain's Cross-Roads. December twenty-sixth, remained in camp. December twenty-seventh, late in the evening, our brigade moved up the Indian Ridge road to Buffalo Creek, about a mile from Orr's Ferry, on Holston River. December twenty-eighth, sent out a scout, but soon returned; perfectly quiet. December twenty-ninth, moved about a mile, and went into camp, with brigade headquarters, at Esquire West's. Remained here till January ninth, 1864. January fifth, 1864, Lieutenant-Colonel Ward made an effort to veteranize our regiment. The boys made a very good turn-out; but finally, because we could not be mustered as cavalry, the regiment failed to veteranize. January ninth, at eight o'clock A. M., our brigade started on march, but as the weather was very cold a good many of the men dismounted, and as our horses were barefooted, our march was slow. At night we camped at Blain's Cross-Roads. January tenth, marched to within three miles of Clinch River. The weather very cold and the roads covered with ice, so it was nearly impossible to get our horses and wagon-train along. January eleventh, crossed Clinch River at ten o'clock A. M., the river running full of ice. Came on to within two miles of Tazewell. January twelfth, moved on toward Tazewell four miles. Remained here till the morning of the fourteenth. On the morning of the fourteenth we started on to Cumberland Gap. Passed through Tazewell at nine o'clock A. M. This is the worst destroyed town we have found. From the ruins it looks as if it once had been a nice  and flourishing town. Crossed Powell River about ten o'clock P. M. Arrived at Cumberland Gap about three o'clock P. M. Remained here till the evening of the seventeenth, having the horses shod and the men fitted up with clothing, camp and garrison equipage. January seventeenth, at twelve o'clock, we started into Lee County, Virginia. Marched to Indian Creek, and camped for the night. January eighteenth, moved on five miles to Ball's Bridge on Indian Creek. Remained here until the evening of the twenty-fourth. On the evening of the twenty-fourth, our brigade moved back to Cumberland Gap. Twenty-fifth, moved back the Jonesville road to Wyman's Mill. Twenty-sixth, moved back near Cumberland Gap. Twenty-seventh, moved back near Ball's Bridge. Remained here until the morning of the twenty-ninth, during which time our regiment turned its horses over to the Eleventh Kentucky mounted infantry. January twenty-ninth, at daylight, the enemy attacked our pickets. Our brigade fell back to within a mile of the Gap. The rebels skirmished with us back to Wyman's Mill. Remained here until the thirty-first. Late on the evening of the thirty-first we moved out to the forks of the Jonesville and Mulberry Gap roads. Here we remained, having an occasional skirmish, until February eighth. On the evening of February eighth we crossed through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. February ninth, crossed Cumberland River at Cumberland Ford. Tenth, passed through Flat Lick. Eleventh, passed through Barboursville, and camped at Laurel Bridge. Twelfth, passed through London and by Camp Pitman. Thirteenth, crossed Rockcastle River, and camped on Big Hill. Fifteenth, passed through Richmond. Here is where we were first ordered to when we were ordered to Kentucky. Sixteenth, crossed Kentucky River at Ray's Ferry. Passed through Athens. Seventeenth, passed through Winchester. Eighteenth, arrived at Mount Sterling. Went into camp about half a mile north of town. Remained here till the eighth day of April, 1864, when the regiment was ordered to Louisville. Arrived at Louisville on the eleventh of April. Here the regiment was put on garrison and provost duty. The above are merely extracts from what we noted in our pocket diary, for no public exhibition, but for our own private use; therefore, we trust, no one will take exception or think we make them public for any individual interest. A full, minute notation of our East-Tennessee campaign would be too large for the columns of a newspaper. But we frankly confess that we experienced more of real soldier-life in East-Tennessee than we ever did before. Suffice it to be explanation enough to say, that Colonel Frank Wolford commanded our division, Colonel C. D. Pennebaker our brigade, and Lieutenant-Colonel Ward our regiment. Three more brave, patriotic, Union-loving, and fighting men do not wield a sword in the cause of the Union.