Page images

rummery away from the vicinity of that encampment forthwith.

On the 29th day of September, 1862, orders were received from Governor Yates for the regiment to leave the State immediately, after receiving pay and bounty, proceed to Louisville, Kentucky, and report for duty to Major General H. G. Wright, commanding the Department of the Ohio. The camp was astir early on the morning of the day set for departing from Camp Fuller, and the soldiers, little supposing that they were to return thither so soon as they afterward did, made bonfires of almost everything combustible about camp in the shape of old barrels, boxes, mess-tables and benches. The barracks were left standing, but certain compartments of those even had been rendered so unpleasant, that, to say the least, their condition would not be of an inviting character to returning occupants, and would require some police duty before their use could be again tolerated. At an early hour of the same day, the regiment took up its line of march through the city of Rockford to the railroad depot, and filled the cars provided for conveying the command to Chicago. Scarcely, however, was the embarkation finished when Colonel Church received a telegram from Governor Yates which rescinded the former order of march, and directed him to return to Camp

Fuller with his command and remain there until fur.

ther orders. In compliance, the regiment marched back to the old camp — all tired and disappointed in not getting off for the war.

And now the men began to wish they possessed the benches and mess-tables, and various articles of military household furniture, which a short time previous they had consigned to the flames, under supposition that such conveniences would never be again needed. Certain ones well remembered, too, in what plight their quarters at the barracks had been left, and the mischievous circumstance which had furnished the boys with much fun and merriment at the outset, was now, in a practical application to themselves, not so much of a laughing matter after all.

The regiment now resumed drilling, and employed the time usefully until October 30th, when new orders were received from Adjutant General Fuller, at Springfield, to move the command immediately to Columbus, Kentucky, and report for duty to Major General U. S. Grant, commanding the Department and Army of the Tennessee.

[blocks in formation]

Journey of the Regiment to Cairo, Ni., and Columbus, Ky.- Re

port to General Davis, at Columbus — The Iron Cable — The trip to Jackson, Tenn. — Camp Life at Jackson - How a Ninety-fifth Man supposed himself captured by a Rebel Cavalryman, and how he was mistaken Ordered to Grand Junction, Tenn. — Report to Brig. General Hamilton - Assigned to General McArthur's Division, 13th Army Corps — Incidents of Camp Life at Grand Junction - Preparations for a forward movement.

On the fourth day of November, 1862, in accordance . with orders from head-quarters of the State, the regiment took the cars at Rockford, passing over the North-Western road to Chicago, and proceeded thence to Cairo, Ill., by the Illinois Central. At the time of leaving “ Camp Fuller” for the seat of war, it numbered as follows:

Commissioned Officers.


Enlisted Men...



...983 most of whom accompanied the regiment, and only few sick soldiers were left behind.

The com

a very

mand arrived at Cairo on the morning of November 6th, after a long and tedious ride over the Illinois Central Railroad, and immediately embarked on the steamer "Dacotah” for Columbus, Ky.; landed at that place in the afternoon of the same day, and reported for orders to Brigadier General Davis, commanding the district. He instructed the Colonel to keep his regiment on the boat until evening, when railroad transportation would be furnished to Jackson, Tenn. It was here that Colonel L. S. Church, who, though in feeble health, had attended the regiment hither, having been wearied and broken down still more by the long journey, was obliged to leave the command and return to his home. He did this with much reluctance on his part, and to the deep regret of the entire regiment, but under the most urgent advice and solicitation of medical officers. All saw that his health was rapidly failing, that his speedy return North was necessary for his recovery; and it was with many a sorrowful feeling that his officers and men bade him farewell, still hoping, however, that, with health restored, he would come again to command them and take part in those busy. military scenes upon which the regiment was now entering.

At Columbus the curiosity of all was excited at the sight of the bluffy stronghold which a few months previous had been in rebel possession, and which for

some time served as a formidable barrier to Federal

navigation of the Mississippi river. The important military movements from Cairo and other points in the spring of '62 had necessitated its evacuation. While occupying the place, the rebels had sunk a huge iron chain or cable in the river above the town, fastened to either shore, to prevent the downward passage of Union boats, and a portion of it could still be seen hanging in broken condition over the bluffs, showing exactly the location of the obstruction in the times of its use. fulness to the Confederacy. At the wharf another piece of this chain, which had been fished out of the river, was lying coiled up, and attracted crowds of the men, who were curious to examine the monster cable about which so much had been said and written. The desire to collect relics of the war already manifested itself, and one soldier expressed an ardent wish to secure a portion of the chain and preserve the same as a curiosity. It was wisely concluded, however, that the men had quite enough traps on hand already, quite enough baggage and sufficiently full knapsacks without being encumbered by such ponderous material as superfluous iron.

Toward evening of the same day, November 6th, orders came for the regiment to debark from the steamer and proceed by railroad to Jackson, Tennessee, report

« PreviousContinue »