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Memoirs of John W Bartleson

As Transcribed and Edited by Tweed Ross

Editor's note: The text has been rendered as near to the original as possible. Minor text errors have been retained, inasmuch as they do not create significant syntax issues, but, in many cases, add to the story. In some cases additional information is provided with brackets and some unreadable words followed by a "sic" notation. In addition, some hyperlinks are provided to sites with additional information about specific locations and battles.


Chapter One: Boyhood

Chapter Two: Part One - Youth and War
J.W. Bartleson

This program continued for something like five years. My sister Eliza married our school teacher from Ohio, Nathanial P Tarr. He was a fine man and had made us a splendid teacher. In the spring of 1861 the Civil War began. One of my brothers, William W Bartleson, enlisted at the first call in the 18th Illinois Volunteers. Alonzo, not a very strong boy and only seventeen years old, enlisted with him. The regiment at this time was stationed at Bird’s Point, Missouri, just opposite Cairo, Illinois. From the unhealthful conditions at the front, and at Bird’s Point, my brother Alonzo contracted fever and died, having served his country only about three months. When Alonzo left the far, Mother thought I surely would remain for I was less than fifteen, but she considered me too young to manage all the work so rented the farm to my brother, James. I was supposed to go with the farm but James and I disagreed before the corn was planted and I hired to Andrew Colvin with 25 cents a day to be my wages.

During this time my mother was living on Brother Gus’s farm and had a hired girls to help with the work. Gus kept many hands employed clearing land and improving the place. He himself was the county sheriff, a widower and lived at Caledonia. It was not long until drifted over to where Mother was and became a fixture there to assist my brother Gus in every way that a boy could. I particularly liked Gus, he was a liberal, never bothered about where had been at nights, but there was no leniency shown if I was not at work early every week day morning. My brother Gus married in the fall of 1861 – married Miss Sus[is Wilson] an ex-school teacher, a fine women. I liked her and she thought well of me but did not approve of all my ways. I had grown somewhat wild and loose, though not so bad as some of my associates. I lived with Brother Gus and his wife during the winter of 1861, went to school, paying by keeping up fires, tending to the horses, cows, hogs, and many other chores. Out teacher that winter was Gus Thompson. He was disreputable, a free drinker and all around sport. I being the oldest scholar and inqusitive he let me into all the hidden secretes of life. He was smart and rather good looking so all the more dangerous.

In February, 1862, after the battle of Fort Donaldson and Fort Henry, my brother William sent me a fine shot gun, from Fort Henry on the Tennessee river. I went to Caledonia to receive it. The day was rainy and cold. I contracted typhoid and pneumonia and was very sick for two or three weeks, but under the care of Dr. Covington, I recovered.

During the summer of 1862 I worked on the farm and for my Gus for $8 a month and paid my own wash bill. During that summer I believe I saved up $10 and when the great public speaking was to be at Caledonia in October, I asked Gus for $10 and a mule so I could go. I got the mule.

The boys were enlisted for war. That summer Lincoln had made a call for 60,000 soldiers. That set most of the boys on fire. Warren K Bartleson had already enlisted in Captain Knowlton’s company, the 2nd Illinois Cavalry, next James, Edwin and Robert enlisted, Edwin and James in Co I of the 81st Illinois and Robert in Co K of the 109th Illinois, afterwards, the 11th Illinois.

All this fanned my desire to go, too. Because I was not yet sixteen, I required my Mother’s consent, which she repeatedly refused to give. She put me off with the promised that, if I would wait until was eighteen, she would buy me a horse and I could go in the Cavalry. I did not wish to go without her consent, and no doubt she thought giving up seven boys was enough without parting with her baby. Afterwards Aratus enlisting made seven, and sill alter, --October 9, 1863,--I enlisted,-eight of her children, all her boys but Gus and he served in the Mexican War.

Toward the spring of 1863, I formed a partnership with my brother-in-law, Dr George W Bristo, which with his wife, my sister Mary, and their family were living in the old house on the old homestead. Mother was making her home visiting around with her children, most of whom then lived in the near vicinity of Grand Chain.

The crop we put out was mostly corn, tobacco and castor beans. Things looked fairly promising until in August there came a hard freeze, killing all vegetation outright. Such an occurrence had not been heard of before or since. We cut tobacco but it was badly frosted and Dr Bristow said there was nothing received from the crop. I received nothing for my part. The war was raging a terrific rate and all men and boys in the country were going to the front. July 4th, Vicksburg and Gettysburg fell to the Union. Captain James Bartleson of the 81 Illinois and Captain Robert Bartleson of the 11th Illinois came home on leaves of absence and to recruit new enlistments. I took the enlistment fever badly, and to my mother to declare I could not endure waiting longer. She gave her consent, reluctantly. I went to see my chum, Wm Cain. He at once consent to go with me and it a few days we were on board a steamboat at Caledonia. In a few hours we were in Cairo. I had bidden my dear mother and friends farewell and was off to ware, little realizing what it meant. At Cairo we took boat for Vicksburg, Mississippi, where we landed on the 9th of October, 1863. I was sworn into the service of the United States, in Company I, 81st Illinois Infantry, wit pay of $13 a month and board. Being a recruit and brother of the captain, I was not very cordially received. There was something of a division in our company, as part of the company was from Ville Ridge and part form Wetang, rival towns in Illinois.

About the 13th of October, after I had been a solder for six days, we were called to go on what was known as the Brownsville Expedition. Five regiments, the 3rd Brigaded, 3rd Division of the 17th Army Corps, Logan Division and McPherson Corps. We marched the first day twelve or fourteen miles to Black River. I never felt so tired. We had marched as rear guard behind a wagon train, sometimes stopping and sometimes double quick, owing to the wagon trains getting stalled on hills and then running the mules down hill to keep up. I ate supper, bacon, hard tack and coffee and then folder myself away for the night, dreaming of mother and the good bed at home. The second ay we were up early and on the march. The third day we over took the Rebels and had quite a fierce artillery duel with them. We lay just in the end of wood, with a field in front, and the Rebel artillery had to just graze the high part of the field in front, throwing shells about ten or twelve feet over us to burst in the timber behind us. It was noisy and exciting. I watched the old soldiers and kept my face near the ground. That night we camped in sight of Rebel fires. I was detailed to go on picket, three men to each post. I was not acquainted with my companion guards. I sat down on a log. It was very quiet, and with my naturally sleepy head and the extra fatigue I had endured for the past three days, I became unconscious without knowing why. Something wakened me. I twas sitting stiff on the log. I did not move. I reminded I had been asleep by counting three men not including myself. All kinds of propositions went through my mind. One we had been relieved and I been asleep until later. I could be arrested as sleeping on picket dury. I listened carefully and heard one of the men remark that it was about time to be relieved and he quietly marched back to his own post leaving mean as one of the three belonging to this particular post. There was not more extra excitement on this expedition. The Rebels got away and we, having nothing more to do, returned to Vicksburg.

The winter of 1863-64 was known as one of the coldest winters on record. The ice on the Mississippi river floated past New Orleans before sinking. Our brigaged was camped just on [north] side of Vicksburg, past the first deep cuts on the Baldwin Ferry road, near Fort Hill. Out duties were on the outside fortifications, camp duties, details to go to the county to cut and haul wood for the camps. Our Brigade consisted of the 81st, 17th and 8th Illinois; 7th Missouri and 32nd Ohio Regiments. We had small wedge tents, five or six men to each tent. We usually had dress parade every evening, there being plenty of brick chimney from burned houses in the city, we built chimneys to our tents to provide more room, out squad went to the city one dark night, removed the plank fence from around a dwelling, put a board base in out tent and built modern bunks to keep us off the ground and we were quite comfortable. In January, small pox broke out in our regiment and in other units. My bunk mate, William Smith, caught it. It was a severe case and he had to go to a small pox hospital. I may have had a slight [attack] of varaloid [smallpox], but did not miss any duty, nor extra duties to which I was called as punishment for sleeping late in the morning.

General ShermanAbout this time, General [William Tecumseh] Sherman organized his army for the great march through the Carolinas, Georgia and to the sea. General McPherson, with the 17th Army Corps went on this march, with the exception of our regiment and perhaps one other regiment. During February, our regiment went on boat up the Mississippi for what reason I never knew. The trip was difficult because of floating ice. Once we stopped, contrary to orders, some of us went ashore to see what we might plunder. Some got pork, some got chickens and some beef. My own share was a knapsack of brown sugar. Soon the boat whistle blew to call in all the stragglers. As fast as they arrived and crossed the gang plank, the guard required each one to deposit his forage in a pile on the deck. I passed with my sugar and sold it to the steward on the boat for a dollar and a half. They we reached Vicksburg, the boys were mad for having lost their fresh meat. The lieutenant colonel, A W Rodgers [Rogers], who was in command of our regiment, wanted to make a good showing while marching through the city. He formed us in four ranks abreast, open order, and at the head of the regiment the band was playing its best. We were forward-marching when some one at the rear called out, “Who’s got the chickens?” Someone answered, “Colonel Rodgers.” This sort of thing continued throughout the march but the Colonel never uttered a word and never again tried to coerce the men in such a way.

About the 8th of March, the Red River expedition was organized and began. The 13th and 19th Army Corps under command of [Major] General [N.P.] Banks [from New Orleans] and ten thousand of the 14th Army Corps from Memphis, Tennessee, commanded by General A J Smith. Our regiment, with the remnant of the 17th which had remained at Vicksburg, was attached to the 14th Corps under General A J Smith [from Memphis]. We steamed down the Mississippi river landing at the mouth of the Red river. Here we were organized into brigades, 81st Illinois, 124th Illinois, 95th Illinois, 8th Wisconsin, - the Eagle regiment,- and the 14th Wisconsin. The 14th Wisconsin had a good many Indian soldiers.

Map of Fort Derussy

Sign at Fort Derussy We began our march; at the small town of Marksville we heard fighting at the front; on we double-quicked, but before we reached the front, our men had captured Fort De Russ [Fort Derussy, Captured March 14, 1864] , a strong fort, well overlaid with railroad iron to protect it. Large guns were used. General Smith had not camped the soldiers far enough from danger and in blowing up the fort the dirt rained down all over our camp. The[n] he proceeded to burst the cannon. One of our lieutenants with a soldier from the 14th Wisconsin were standing together and a piece of bursting cannon struck and killed them both. General Smith keep away from our troops for a while. The Indians of the 14th Wicsonsin had threatened his life. Never afterware did we have reason to complain of treatment from General Smith.

Without particular incident, we marched on to Alexandria, Louisiana, driving scattering rebels before us. This was a very prosperous rich sugar and cotton country, rich in forage, of which we took plenty, but we did not destroy property. At Alexandria, we met General Banks with the 13th and 19th Corps and General Banks took over command, with General Smith becoming his subordinate. The 13th and 19th from New Orleans had been well dressed and well kept, with new uniforms, and paper collars, but we were ragged and dirty, as we had taken clothes for a thirty day trip that had stretched into a ninety day one. We took a dislike to the better kept men at once.

The water fleet having arrived at Alexandria was composted of gunboats, monitors and steamboats. This moved in columns up the Red River, with its long wagon train drawn by mules. The river was at a good stage and no trouble appeared in sight. General Banks, two Corps leading, followed by General Smith’s Corps, dubbed us Smith’s Guerillas, Banks having said that he had sent to General Sherman send him some men from Memphis. He-Sherman-had sent him 10,000 d---gorillas under A J Smith. Many men were sick at this time, and my Company, I-had been detailed to board the double stern wheel Adriatic steamer with about 200 convalescents. We enjoyed the ride up the Red River. The steam is narrow and quite deep with high banks. The steamer used wood, mostly, for fuel so we had to stop frequently to take on cord wood. At one of these landings, the boat swung around and before she could be pushed from shore and the gang plan put out with guards to keep us all on board, several of the active boys – I among them—had leaped to shore.

We ran up to the level land to see what we could see. We saw a good sized farm house, something more than half a mile away. Some of the boys started for the house. I hesitated for a moment, then the foraging instinct got the better of me, and believing I was a good a runner as any one, I struck out fast. Coming to outbuildings, I saw a chicken making straight away. I followed it and caught the chicken. I did not inspect the premises, but returned to the boat. Noticing that the guard at the gang plank was not one of my company, I went straight past him with the chicken under my coat and hid it in the engine room. Coming back to the front of the boat, the guard could not pick me out from the other boys. Some fodder on a bunk of coal made a good hiding place for the chicken. My Bunkie and I had a good feast after the excitement as the engine firemen permitted us to cook the fowl at the boilerfire.

Several days of riding on the hurricane deck of a boat in the April sunshine was a real pleasure, there was nothing to do, while the Army plodded along home to meet us as about Shreveport, Louisiana. One fair day, where the river had become narrow, the rebels had loaded a barge with brick and sunk it across the river. While our gunboats were tugging to removed the barge so we could proceed, word came from the army in the interior that Banks’ army had overtaken the rebels at Mensfield [Mansfield], Louisiana, and that Banks’ army of the 13th and 19th corps had been defeated with great slaughter and this wagon train and most of artillery captured. After Banks’ corps had fallen back on Smith 14th corps, 10,000 gorillas [guerrillas], Smith had checked the rebels, driven them from his front, recaptured most of the wagon train and wanted to follow up the regained victory. General Banks, being the commanding officers, would not let him do so, but recalled him. Then began the great retreat and admission of failure and a great failure it was. When we on the boat received word that our forces were defeated, we began to retreat down river at once. The river being narrow, our boat quite long and heavily loaded with feed, ammunition, and shells, we had to back down stream quite a distance before we could turn to face the boat downstream.

Our company, I, was stationed on the hurricane roof, next to the pilot house, the cabin deck being occupied by convalescent soldiers, and the lower and boiler deck with shells and feed. It was a beautiful sunshiny afternoon as we wended our way down the Red river, with no thought of anything disturbing us. Suddenly, without any warning, a volley of musket fire began peppering every part of the boat. Every tree on the river bank seemed to shelter rebel soldiers. No one was more alarmed than the captain and pilot of the boat, all steam was applied and our gait quickened and soon we ran by, with casualties. Our company then conceived the idea of bringing sacks of oats from the hull of the boat to build a barricade. This we did and soon had a respectable fort on the hurricane deck. We believed that we were not perfectly safe and congratulated ourselves and really wished for the return of the rebels. Some of us had a little taste of war and wanted more.

We no sooner had located our positions and got cartridges handily paced than the woods seems to swarm with rebels. From behind our oats stacks we returned their fire. The sacks became badly riddled with bullet but we did not lose a man of Company I.

Most of us decided that we did not need more of that kind of fighting. Our pilot was brake and I believe was the happiest man on the boat. Still, out troubles were not over yet. After steams down the river for a while, trouble was discovered below a bend.

Our boat was tied to a tree and some of us clambered to the pilot house to look across the bed [dend] a mile distant. The rebels had planted a battery on the bank of the river and would fire at passing boats. It seemed quite interesting to watch from a distance. No boat was sunk and there came a lull in the firing. I could see an artillery man at the gun. All at once it belched smoke and I see at once that the aim was straight at us. While only the smoke stack and pilot house were visible from the battery, it was a dangerous position for me. The ladder from the hurricane roof to the top of the pilot house was filled with our men making their escape. I jumped from the pilot house to the deck, about eight feet. Just at the instant the cannon ball came crashing through the lower part of the pilot house.

Only one more shell was fired and it cut wires between the smoke stacks. In running past the battery, the steamer Blackhawk was struck and had to land. The rebel general, [Thomas] Greene, came rushing down the bank to board her, but the Ironclad Monitor came up, opened with her big shells and grape and canister, killing many and with them General Greene.

Because our boat was loaded with shells there was extra danger in running past the battery. Wondered which part of the boat would be least dangerous. I selected the hurricane roof, figuring I might be blown into the water and escape. I slept soundly until three in the morning. When I awoke, I found the boat had been tied up and I was detailed to go in the wood and stand on picket guard. The moon was shining brightly. I did not relish the position, always being more or less timid at night time alone in a strange place. I hugged the shady tree, intending to be very quiet, if every one else was quite. Toward morning I was relieved and marched back to the boat with great relief.

Sometimes we found enjoyment in the army, amid all the hardships. I was never sorry I enlisted. And as time moves on, I believe I have derived more pleasure from my army experiences than from any other conditions of my life. We did not always have our own way, but submitted gracefully. One day on this trip while the boat was tied up and there was no access to shore except over the gang plank, past a guard, I felt a strong desire to go on land. The boat cable from shore to shore was, I suppose, about twenty feet. I thought I could catch hold of the cable and hand-over-hand my way to shore. I made it all right, but the officer of the day and the guard were strangers to me, and the officer of the day ordered the guard to shoot me if I did not come back. I came back, and it was a bitter pill.

We steamed on down the river and at Grand Ecore[KU12] [four miles north of Natchitoches, LA] we disembarked. There we met the returning army about seventy five miles up the river from Alexandria. We immediately began the march to Alexandria, marching by night and fighting the rebels by day. In due time we reached Alexandria and went into camp. The month of May was advancing and the weather was becoming hotter. Our old clothes were getting ragged, no pay, nothing for knickknacks, only foraging. The rebels were near all the time. One day we marched from Alexandria across the river to a small town called Pineville. Before the war there had been a governmental military college there, presided over by General W T Sherman. It was a pretty place. That morning we started to the county as support for the 1st Missouri Artillery. Well, in the course of five or six miles we started the rebels. They had artillery. Our artillery men would whip their horses into a gallop and when near enough to land their shells against the rebels would stop, unlimber and plug it to them. When the artillery would start to move forward we would double quick in line of battle to keep as near the artillery as possible. It over the ridges of a sugar can plantation, where the ridges had not been worked down. When we neared the artillery we would lie down to be near in case the artillery should be attacked by rebel infantry. This we kept up until nearly sundown. We went into camp at a large plantation, rich with provisions, chickens, hogs, cattle, and everything good and fresh. We slew and ate, -- it was all acceptable.

While some were preparing supper I thought of a good night’s sleep, dreaming of home. I went into a cotton bin and carried a couple of loads of seed cotton, placed it on the ground, and spread my rubber poncho over it. How soft it was, to a tired man. About this time, and before we had eaten supper, the drum beat called us to arms.

We were in line at once, marching to Pineville and Alexandria. Some of the boys started to carry back chickens and half-cooked suppers. We had not gone far before we found the road lined with raw edibles. Many threw away their blankets and extra clothing, for the rebels were hot in pursuit. It was a long twelve miles, but I know what it would mean to stop. I would be a prisoner. I was never so tired as I was this time. We reached Pineville after midnight, a miserable night. We went into camp and were so mad and mad so much noise with our complaints that we were called into line again and were marched across the river into camp at Alexandria. This was nearly daylight.

At that season the Red Rivers was falling rapidly and when the gunboats and monitors reached Alexandria the water was too shallow to allow them crossing over the bar or falls there. It was therefore contemplated to destroy the fleet. Afterwards there were found among the Wisconsin troops engineers who claimed they could dam the river, raise the water sufficiently to float the vessels over the falls. The work was begun by sinking barges loaded with brick then adding timbers to strengthen them and complete the dam. This plan was adopted and when it was about complete, one of the large vessels did go through, but at the cost of great damage to the dam. Being encouraged by this partial success, the dam was repaired and strengthened and then, waiting for a full head of water, the remaining vessels under full steam headed down to the opening in the dam. All seemed to be going well until the last vessel, passing through, seemed to hang suspended on a rock, and then, with a powerful lurch, tore loose and passed into deep water.

Each riverbank was crowded with soldiers eagerly watching the feat, and when it was accomplished, a great cheer went up, for the way was now open to a more quiet life.

All things being in readiness, the large army, heart-sick, with artillery and transportation train, took up the retreat down the Red River, to the mouth of the river, where it flows into the Mississippi. We marched mostly be night and fought off rebels by day. Often I would be so sleepy on night marches, that when the column would stop, I would drop down in the road and fall asleep. Sometime it would only be for a few minutes, sometimes for an hour or more, one could not tell how long the stop would be. Then when the column would move on, some one would tick me or stop on me and I would get up and move on, too.

Our pack consisted of a gun, bayonet and cartridge bos [sic] with forty to fifty rounds of ammunition; haversack with three days or less of rations, canteen holding three pings of water, a quart can in which to cook everything except fries, a frying pan to two or three persons, one rubber poncho, one coarse woolen blanket, rolled together, tie together at the ends and carried across our shoulders; practically no clothes, except those worn. Such was our marching and camping equipment. Western soldiers early discarded the knapsack and everything not absolutely necessary.

So this march continued down the river through a very rich cotton and sugar country, with good improvements. I have seen stacks of baled cotton, thousands of bales curing [or “burning”] at one time. The cotton was then worth one dollar per pound. There were fences and many buildings. A fire lit up the roads like daylight, one did not have to stop to make coffee. Our quart can, held on a stick over the blazing fire, with water and coffee in the can, soon gave us our drink piping hot. This continued to Chavarliah Bayou near the Mississippi, where a bridge had been formed by placing steamboats side by side. The army all crossed from the bow of one ship to another. But at this bridge we had a one-fight, and during the fight, a sergeant, firing over my shoulder, shot off the middle band of my gun. Finally we stock of the rebels and marched aboard the steamers that were waiting for us on the Mississippi. Then began our trip to Vicksburg.

I have always regarded this expedition as a blundering failure. I blame Banks as not being capable of handling the large army and also blame the mania of our officers for speculation in cotton. The cotton was loaded on boats and brought north.

We reached Vicksburg about the 29th or 30th of May, ragged and dirty. We had taken our old clothes for a thirty day trip and had been wearing them nearly three months, on the march on boats nearly every day, without tents during all the time.

As I had refused a corporalship from my brother, Captain Bartleson, and had been always ready for duty on all occasions, I had won the respect and good will or all the boys in the company. I told my brother, the Captain, to inflict any punishment that was coming to me, for I would prize the good will of my comrades above any favors in his power to bestow.

At Vicksburg we found our knapsacks had disappeared, with all their contents. From the quarter master I could draw only underwear and shoes,--no uniform. I bought from the sutler [sic] a pair of Kentucky blue jeans and a soft black hat. We boarded a steamer and went up the river, reaching Memphis June 1st. There we were issues tents, and we settled down as if to stay for quite a while. Alas, ignorance was bliss!

Guntown Expedition or Battle of Guntown or Brices Crossroads.

Brices Campaign

(Key to Map Below)
Sturgis's army moved out at dawn on June 10, 1864, headed southeast, the cavalry in the lead (1). About a half-mile east of the crossroads (2) the lead elements of the Federal cavalry met the Confederate Kentucky brigade about 9:30 a.m. and the battle began. By 11:00 a.m. Forrest, now reinforced, began to push the Federals back toward the crossroads. The Federal horsemen held out long enough for infantry reinforcement. Having formed an arcing battle line around the crossroads (3), the two forces battled for the next 4 hours. By 5 p.m., after enveloping both Federal flanks and launching a slashing frontal attack, Forrest had shattered Sturgis's line, forcing the Federals to retreat back toward Memphis (4). An overturned wagon at the Tishomingo Creek bridge slowed the Federal retreat and resulted in the loss of 16 artillery pieces and supply wagons containing guns and ammunition. Thanks to a series of defensive actions by a brigade of United States Colored Troops, most of Sturgis's army was able to escape almost certain capture. (Courtesy of National Park Service website)

Brices battle map

June 2, 1864, after a good night’s rest in our new tents, we all awoke feeling happy. We soon learned of a new call to duty, and were re-brigaged with the 120th Illinois which had been doing provost duty at Memphis for a long time, and had seen little campaigning or fighting. Also with the 95th, 113th, 114th Illinois and our own 81st Illinois. We got aboard freight cars and rode thirty or forty miles going southeast from Memphis. We then started with a long wagon train, well provisioned. There were two brigades, one white and one colored, Waterhouse Battery, a good lot of Cavalry, with some small mountain horse artillery, all under command of General [S.D.] Sturgis, a General we had not previously known, and I sincerely wish to this day we had never known him. History will bear me out in this statement!

Rain began falling on the first day of June and continued without check for nine days. The clay hills and swamps of Mississippi were almost impassable with our long wagon train. We were drenched every day with the sun boiling down between showers.--- no one who had not experienced such weather could understand what discomfort it produced. Our progress was slow. We began to dind [sic] out something of the methods of General Sturgis.

He kept us on short rations, with two men detailed each day to forage through the country for our meals. Through all the train we had nothing to drink, notwithstanding that plenty of whiskey had been taken on the wagon train to guard against fever and malaria.

Some of the swamps were nearly impassable. At one mirey (sic) swamp we had to tear down a small church edifice to get timbers for a corduroy road across. Officers and men cut off the lower part of their pants legs, so as to march more easily. We were a bedraggled army. This went on until the morning of the tenth of June. The army usually cleaned up most everything on the way. I shall never forget one incident. We were halted by the road, near a double log farm house that had a porch in front. All at once I was attracted by an old lady, gray haired, about seventy five or eighty years old. She was marching up and down the porch, praying so loud that all could hear her, that God would have vengeance upon us and destroy us all! Some one had ransacked her home, probably to get dry, clean clothes. I felt very sorry for his old grand mother. Her prayer was answered, too, surely and speedily.

The morning of the tenth the sun came up fair and no rain fell, but the day was the hottest I had every known. Though it did not rain water, it rained bullets, as you shall read. That morning two of our boys had a fight,--Tom Bohan and a big young fellow, and Tom Hill, who could always see the funny side of everything. How little we know of the future! Before sundown, Hill was shot square in the forehead, sitting up on his knees in full sight of the rebels, not more than 125 yards away. Tom Bohan was shot through both legs and Captain Bartleson put him under a church, nothing more was heard from him.

After dinner we got order to double-quick as the Cavalry had engaged the enemy. I was a boy and though,--never wavered.
Next: Battle!

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Last Updated April 22, 2015
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