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Civil War Experiences, 1862-1865:Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Buzzard Roost, Resaca, Rome, New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Averysboro, Bentonville

Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Buzzard Roost, Resaca, Rome, New Hope Church, Kenesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Averysboro, Bentonville

Library of Alexandria
Enlisted in Capt. John Allen’s company June 7th, 1862. Went on board the steamer Jennie Whipple at Dallas City, Sunday morning, June 15th, and with company went down the Mississippi to Quincy, Ill., place of rendezvous. On the way an incident occurred which I cannot pass without mention. When we passed Alexandria, Mo., the river shore was lined with people and to our ears came the shout, Hurrah for Jeff Davis! and to add to the insult they waved the black flag in our faces, (which interpreted meant no quarter to Yankees). Passing on down the river the next town was Canton, where the same greeting was given us, all of which made us very indignant to think so near home we should be insulted in such a manner. I have never had a very favorable opinion of those two towns since, and while I hope there is more loyalty and patriotism now than then, I feel that their forefathers put a blot on their little cities that will never be erased. At Camp Wood on the 1st day of September, was mustered into the U. S. service, together with nine other companies, forming the 78th Ill. Vol. Inf. (In casting lots for position in line my company drew the letter H which placed us on the left of the colors, and Company C on the right.) On the 19th day of September we were put on coal cars with boards laid across for seats, no cover over our heads; on arrival at destination were put on provost duty for a few days, until Gen. Buell was equipped for his campaign against Gen. Bragg. October 5th my regiment was marched to Shepardsville, Ky., and on the 14th was divided into detachments under Gen. Gilbert to guard railroad bridges on the Louisville and Nashville railroad. December 26th the guerrilla John Morgan, captured Companies B and C at Muldrose Hill, two and one-half miles from Elizabethtown, Ky., and they were paroled. On the same raid on the morning of Dec. 30th, Morgan attacked Co. H at New Haven, Ky., and was driven away without accomplishing his purpose. About the last of January, 1863, the companies were collected at Louisville and embarked on the steamer John H. Grosbeck for Nashville via the Ohio and Cumberland rivers, arriving at Fort Donelson February 3, 1863, in time to relieve the 83rd Ill., which was surrounded by a superior force of Forest’s and Wheeler’s cavalry. The enemy retired on our approach and we passed on to Nashville, Tenn., where the regiment disembarked. The regiment was in the command of Brigadier Gen. C. C. Gilbert of the Army of Kentucky, under Major General Gordon Granger, reserve corps commander. During our stay in Kentucky there were many social features with the citizens that made our stay among them quite pleasant, one of which is worthy of mention. As a few of us wished to avail ourselves of an opportunity to attend a dance to be given by a planter by the name of Sphink, who sent in to our lines an invitation for about a half a dozen to come out on a certain night. Of course we were crazy to go, but how were we to get outside the lines. We decided to ask the officers for a pass, but this failed. Our officers claimed this was a plan made up to get a lot of us out there and take us prisoners, as a lot of Morgan’s men were in that vicinity at that time, and we decided it was all off. But as the time came near for the event and there was less news of the Rebel General Morgan’s near proximity to us, a few of us Yanks' heels began to tickle for a dance and a desire to have a chance at the roast turkey that was promised for the occasion. So we made up our minds that we would take our chances on getting by the pickets. In the mean time there came a big snow storm, the heaviest, the natives said, that had ever been known in Kentucky. It covered the earth to a depth of a little more than two feet. The night for the party arrived, and not Johnnies, snow, pickets, nor anything else would have stopped that gang. During the day we located the guards on picket duty, quite a ways from the main road, and planned to go as close to them as possible without attracting their attention, then to drop on our hands and knees and crawl through the snow to a safe distance on the outside, which we did, and arrived safely at Mr. Sphink’s. We had taken the precaution to take our side arms with us, for we had seen service enough to be always on the alert and trust nobody or allow them to get the drop on us. When we went into the house almost the first persons we met were men wearing the gray uniform, and the host introduced them to us as Confederate soldiers home on furlough. At first we were just a bit disconcerted until our host assured us that all was on the square, that we need not fear any trouble, as they were home boys and had heard of our coming and for us to pitch in and have as good a time as we could, and we sure did have a fine time, a royal supper, and not a word was spoken to mar the peace and comfort of anyone. When we left for camp we shook hands with the Confeds the same as any one else and bid them goodbye. It was some time before the officers found out about our going out, in fact not until we had left Kentucky, consequently we were not disciplined for having the good time, and leaving the camp without permission