Archive for montgomery county indiana civil war

Letter to the Citizens of Montgomery Co.

Posted in First Hand Letters & Accounts with tags , , , , on January 21, 2010 by 40thindiana

Crawfordsville Weekly Journal Oct. 29, 1863

Letter from Capt. Bryant

The following letter has been received by Mesers, Campbell, Gayley & Harter, of this city – and handed us for publication – from CaptR.E.  Bryant, of the Commissary Department, Army of the Mississippi. Comment is unneccssary, it explains itself.

 Office Commissary of Subsistence St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 20, 1863

Gentleman: – I notice in the JOURNAL of Oct. 15th, the farmers are requested to supply Cabbage to be made into pickles for the soldiers, by the ladies. As the Subsistence Department is putting up a large quantity of cabbage in various ways, I send you a mode adopted in St. Louis. First, we have the Krout, which every farmer knows how to make; next, we have what is called “Cabbage in Currie;” and third, “Cabbage and Onions.” The “Cabbage in Currie” is made by splitting the head into four or five pieces, it is then put over the fire and let the water come to a boil, taken off, and when cold put into barrels; first a layer of cabbage, over which sprinkle ground allspice, pepper, salt, and strong mustard, sufficient to season the cabbage highly. Of the mustard put 1 1/2 pounds to each barrel, and fill with good strong vinegar; let the barrel stand without the bung one day, when it will be ready for use. “Cabbage and Onions” is made by cutting the head into thin strips like krout, the onions and cabbage to be cut together, three fourths of a bushel of the former to the barrel. When ready, put in a layer of cabbage and onions, then a layer of salt, until full. Let the barrel stand without the bung one day, then pour off all the brine, and fill up with good strong vinegar, after standing open one day more it is ready for use. Care should be taken to not pack the barrel as tight as is usual with krout. Cabbage, when put up in either of the above ways, is highly relished by the soldiers, and it is a fine substitute for cucumber pickles, which are exceedingly scarce and very high.

Will not your farmers be willing to contribute each a barrel of “Cabbage in Currie” or “Cabbage and Onions, already prepared for use? I would suggest that the farmer put his name on the end of each barrel, the soldier in the field would appreciate it the more if he knew the cabbage was prepared at home.

Very Respectfully,

Your ob’t serv’t R.E. Bryant, Capt. & C.S.


10th Indiana Infantry 3 Years Regiment

Posted in 10th Indiana Infantry, Montgomery Regiments & Companies with tags , , on January 19, 2010 by 40thindiana

10th Indiana Infantry (3 Years Service), Company B  – “Crawfordsville Guard”



James H. Vanarsdall Captain
Franklin Goben 1st Lieutenant Wounded at Chickamauga GA.
William Colwell 2nd Lieutenant
NCO’S and Musicians
Isaac F. Miller 1st Sergt. Wounded at Mill Springs KY.
David C. Elcher 2nd Sergt.
John W. Hogsett 3rd Sergt. Wounded at Mill Springs KY.
William J. Cason 4th Sergt.
Thomas N. Hartness 5th Sergt.
Elihu Nicholson 1st Corpl.
Robert P. Snyder 2nd Corpl.
Albert Burdett 3rd Corpl.
William S. Duncan 4th Corpl. Wounded Kennesaw Mt. GA.
Jacob Swank 5th Corpl.
Lewis W. Hance 6th Corpl. Wounded at Perryville KY.
George W. Stover 7th Corpl. Killed Perryville KY. Oct. 8, 1862
Joel Manka 8th Corpl Killed Perryville KY. Oct. 8, 1862
James M. Robbins Drummer
John H. Scott Fifer
John Duncan  Wagoner
Privates Applegate, John E.  PRIVATE
Applegate, Geo. W. PRIVATE
Babb, Benj. M. PRIVATE Killed Chickamauga GA. Sept. 20, 1863
Beach, Wm H. PRIVATE
Bradford, Geo. W. PRIVATE Wounded Mill Springs KY.
Bratton, Chas. A. PRIVATE
Bratton, Samuel B. PRIVATE
Brown, Zebulon PRIVATE Wounded at Mill Springs KY
Calfee, Albert W. PRIVATE
Childers, Wm. M. PRIVATE
Clark, Levi PRIVATE
Conner, Dennis PRIVATE
Cauk, Robt. F. PRIVATE
Copner, James E. PRIVATE Killed Mill Springs KY. Jan. 19, 1862
Craig, Samuel M. PRIVATE Wounded at Mill Springs KY
Crain, Zephaniah PRIVATE Wounded at Mill Springs KY
Crain, David B. PRIVATE
Custer, Wm. H. PRIVATE
Davis, Andrew P. PRIVATE
Davis, Franklin W. PRIVATE
Day, William H. PRIVATE
Dorsey, George T. PRIVATE
Edmonds, Wm PRIVATE
Elmore, Wesley C. PRIVATE Died July 5, 1862 Cornith MS.
Evans, John P. PRIVATE
Evans, Joseph M. PRIVATE
Ferguson, Isaiah PRIVATE Wounded Mill Springs KY.
Ferguson, Jesse Jr. PRIVATE Wounded Mill Springs KY.
Fields, Jasper M. PRIVATE
Forgey, James S. PRIVATE
Fulwider, Jacob S. PRIVATE
Fulwider, Samuel J. PRIVATE
Goehring, William PRIVATE
Hance, John P. W. PRIVATE
Haywood, John M. PRIVATE
Harris, James H. PRIVATE Wounded Peach Tree Creek GA.
Harris, William K. PRIVATE
Higgins, William O. PRIVATE Wounded Mill Springs KY
Hunt, Thomas PRIVATE Wounded Mill Springs KY
Hunt, Moses Wesley PRIVATE
Inlow, Isaac PRIVATE Died June 22, 1862 at Crawfordsville
Jay, Moses PRIVATE
Jesse, Thomas J. PRIVATE Died June 19, 1862 Cornith, MS.
Johnson, John M. PRIVATE
Jones, William C. PRIVATE
Kelsey, Thomas J. PRIVATE Wounded Perryville KY
Kelly, Lorenzo D. PRIVATE Died Aug. 10,1864 Jeffersonville IN.
Landis, Thomas PRIVATE Wounded at Mill Springs KY.
Laurie, John PRIVATE
Lewis, William H. PRIVATE
Lewis, Benjamin R. PRIVATE Died Aug. 9, 1864 Chattanooga TN.
Lynn, Daniel B. PRIVATE Died Aug.19, 1862 Evansville IN.
McDaniel, Joseph PRIVATE
McKinzie, Jonathan PRIVATE Wounded Chickamauga GA.
McKinzie, Mordecal PRIVATE Wounded Kennesaw Mt. & Vining Station GA.
McKinzie, Joseph PRIVATE
McCready, Emerick PRIVATE
McLaughlin, John W. PRIVATE
Marlow, George B. PRIVATE Wounded Mill Springs KY
Martin, Geo. P. PRIVATE
Mote, James H. PRIVATE
Moore, John A. PRIVATE
Miller, John PRIVATE Deserted May 12, 1862 Cornith Ms.
Miller, Leonard H. PRIVATE
Misner, Amos K. PRIVATE Killed Mill Springs KY. Jan. 19, 1862
Nicholson, Samuel PRIVATE
Newkirk, William PRIVATE Died May 29, 1862 Cornith MS.
Ochiltree, Andrew PRIVATE Died of wounds received at Mill Springs
Parsons, James H. PRIVATE
Patterson, Samuel PRIVATE
Poague, William C. PRIVATE Transfer to U.S. Signal Corps
Poague, John H. PRIVATE
Porter, William Y. PRIVATE Wounded Mill Springs KY.
Porter, John C. PRIVATE
Pickerell, John W. PRIVATE Killed Perryville KY Oct. 8, 1862
Pruitt, George W. PRIVATE Died May 9, 1862 Cornith MS.
Peterson, John PRIVATE
Quinn, Charles E. PRIVATE
Rauth, John F. PRIVATE
Roberts, James F. PRIVATE
Shoemaker, James A. PRIVATE Killed Perryville KY. Oct. 8, 1862
Simpson, John H. PRIVATE
Simpson, John R. PRIVATE Wounded Mill Springs KY.
Simpson, William A. PRIVATE Died Feb. 20, 1862 Stanford KY.
Snyder, James H. PRIVATE Died Mill Springs KY., Feb. 12, 1862
Sparks, Walter H. PRIVATE
Stearns, Daniel W. PRIVATE
Stonebraker, David A. PRIVATE Wounded Mill Springs KY.
Stubbins, Joseph L. PRIVATE
Sweetzer, Abram C. PRIVATE Wounded Chickamauga GA.
Stump, James W. PRIVATE
Talbot, Nathaniel A. PRIVATE
Tate, John L. PRIVATE Wounded Chickamauga GA.
Tate, Samuel M. PRIVATE
Tipton, George W. PRIVATE Died March 1, 1862 Somerset KY
Vancleve, James M. PRIVATE
Wilson, Thomas W. PRIVATE Wounded Chickamauga GA.
Williams, Thomas W. PRIVATE
Wert, Martin V. PRIVATE Wounded Mill Springs & Chickamauga

SERVICE of the 10th INDIANA.–At Bardstown, Ky., October and November, 1861. Advance on Camp Hamilton, Ky., January 1-15, 1862. Action at Logan’s Cross Roads January 19. Mill Springs January 19-20. Moved to Louisville, Ky., thence to Nashville, Tenn., February 11-March 2. March to Savannah, Tenn., March 20-April 7. Expedition to Bear Creek, Ala., April 12-13. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. Pursuit to Booneville May 30-June 12. March to Iuka, Miss., thence to Tuscombia, Ala., and duty there until August. March to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg August 20-September 26. Pursuit of Bragg Into Kentucky October 1-15. Battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8 (Reserve). March to Gallatin, Tenn., and duty there until January 13, 1863. Operations against Morgan December 22, 1862, to January 2, 1863. Boston December 29, 1862. Action at Rolling Fork December 30. Moved to Nashville, Tenn., January 13, 1863; thence to Murfreesboro, Tenn., and duty there until June. Expedition toward Columbia March 4-14. Middle Tennessee (or Tullahoma) Campaign June 23-July 7. Hoover’s Gap June 24-26. Tullahoma June 29-30. Occupation of Middle Tennessee until August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign August 16-September 22. Battle of Chickamauga September 19-21. Siege of Chattanooga, Tenn., September 24-November 23. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23-27. Orchard Knob November 23-24. Mission Ridge November 25. Demonstration on Dalton, Ga., February 22-27, 1864. Tunnel Hill, Buzzard’s Roost Gap and Rocky Faced Ridge February 23-25. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1 to September 8. Demonstrations on Rocky Faced Ridge May 8-11. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Advance on Dollas May 18-25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill June 11-14. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Ruff’s Station July 4. Vining Station July 4-5. Chattahoochee River July 5-17. Peach Tree Creek July 19-20. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5-7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 58th Indiana Infantry September 8, 1864. Old members mustered out September 19, 1864.

Regiment lost during service 3 Officers and 64 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 5 Officers and 114 Enlisted men by disease. Total 186.

Montgomery County Irishmen in the “1st Irish Reg’t

Posted in 35th Indiana Infantry, Montgomery Regiments & Companies with tags , , on January 19, 2010 by 40thindiana

The 35th Indiana Infantry, known also as the “1st Irish” was the only regiment composed of all Irishmen from in Indiana. Several Irishmen from Montgomery County enlisted in the regiment and saw hard service in the western theatre. Two of them would die during their service. Just looking through company rolls for Montgomery County, it is obvious there were many other Irish immigrants that lived here and served their new country.

Company A

Michael Fitzpatrick, mustered in as 1st sergeant November 24, 1861; promoted to 2nd lieutenant March 18, 1862

Timothy McMahon, mustered in as sergeant November 24, 1861; mustered out January 13, 1865

John McMahon, mustered in as company wagoner November 24, 1861; mustered out October 17, 1864

Company E

William Figg, mustered in December 14, 1861, deserted; later joined U.S. Regulars

Patrick O’Conner, mustered in December 14, 1861, killed Marietta, GA. July 4, 1864

Charles Woodruff, mustered in December 14, 1861, died June 13, 1862

Andrew Carroll, mustered in December 14, 1861, transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps March 10, 1865

SERVICE of the 35th.–Movement to Nashville, Tenn., February 10-March 12, 1862. Duty there until April 5. At Shelbyville until May 10, Negley’s Expedition to Chattanooga, Tenn., May 28-June 15. Chattanooga June 7. Guard duty along Memphis and Charleston Railroad until August. March to Louisville, Ky., in pursuit of Bragg, August 21-September 26. Pursuit of Bragg to Loudon, Ky., October 1-22. Battle of Perryville, Ky., October 8. March to Nashville, Tenn., October 22-November 12, and duty there until December 26. Murfreesboro Pike November 9. Dobbin’s Ferry, near Lavergne, December 9. Advance on Murfreesboro December 26-30. Battle of Stone’s River December 30-31, 1862, and January 1-3, 1863. Duty at Murfreesboro until June. Middle Tennessee or Tullahoma Campaign June 23-July 7. Occupation of Middle Tennessee until August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign August 16-September 22. Battle of Chickamauga September 19-20. Siege of Chattanooga September 24-November 23. Reopening Tennessee River October 26-29. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23-27. Lookout Mountain November 23-24. Mission Ridge November 25. Ringgold Gap, Taylor’s Ridge, November 27. Regiment reenlisted at Shellmound, Tenn., December 16, 1863. Veterans on furlough January and February, 1864. At Blue Springs, Tenn., until May. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1-September 8. Tunnel Hill June 6-7. Demonstrations on Rocky Faced Ridge and Dalton, Ga., May 8-13. Buzzard’s Roost Gap May 8-9. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Near Kingston May 18-19. Near Cassville May 19. Advance on Dallas May 22-25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Pine Hill June 11-14. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Ruff’s Station, Smyrna Camp Ground, July 4. Chattahoochee River July 5-17. Peach Tree Creek July 19-20. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Operations against Hood in North Georgia and North Alabama September 29-November 3. Nashville Campaign November-December. Columbia, Duck River, November 24-27. Battle of Franklin November 30. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. Moved to Huntsville, Ala., and duty there until March, 1865. Operations in East Tennessee March 15-April 22. At Nashville, Tenn., until June. Ordered to New Orleans June 16, thence to Texas, July, and duty there until September. Mustered out September 30, 1865 Discharged at Indianapolis, Ind., October 23, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 5 Officers and 82 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 164 Enlisted men by disease. Total 251.

Book Review: Three Years in Wallace’s Zouves

Posted in 11th Indiana Infantry, Books with tags , , , , on January 19, 2010 by 40thindiana

Three Years With Wallace’s Zouaves; The Civil War Memoirs of Thomas Wise Durham; Editted by Jeffery L. Patrick, Mercer University Press (June 1, 2003)

A wonderful book of Civil War memoirs from a Montgomery County soldier that served in the 11th Indiana Infantry. Thomas W. Durham was raised in the Waveland area and starts his memoirs as a young man still in school. He relates the story of how he became a soldier with several other men from his area.

Thomas first enlisted in Lew Wallace’s three month 11th Indiana Zouave Regiment, Company “I” and was present at the battle of Romney, Va. in the western Virginia Campaign. He returns home and re-enlists in the three year 11th Indiana Regiment as a sergeant in Company “G”. He is first engaged in the battle for the river fort of Heiman on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. Mr. Durham holds no opinion back while telling of the hardships of soldiering and battle. The regiment moves south to Crump’s Landing, where Lew Wallace’s division encounters problems marching to the battlefield on the 6th of April. The regiment is in action at Shiloh on the 7th of April and Thomas is wounded in action. He tells the story of his trip home traveling on a steamboat and his homecoming.

Thomas returns to his regiment and things are set in motion for the Vicksburg Campaign. Again he relates the hardships and suffering of the cold and heat. During this time he is promoted to the rank of lieutenant in Company “G”, where new problems of paperwork arise for Thomas. His description of the battle for Champion Hill puts the reader in the thick of the action. Several small stories are told about friends and enemies in and out of the regiment through each chapter.

Thomas recieves a furlough in late 1863 and returns to Waveland, he tells of his dislike for the young men in town who did not enlist to fight. Thomas also runs into trouble while at home with a group of “Copperheads” from neighboring Ripley Twp. He gets a small band of young men from Waveland and raids the “Copperheads” in Ripley Twp. The “Copperheads” want revenge and plan their own raid. This is a bit of unknown history for Montgomery County.

Thomas again returns to his regiment in the Trans-Mississippi West, where things are slow in early 1864. He thinks the war is about over and decides to resign from the army. He then states his regret when the 11th Indiana is moved to Virginia and fights another battle. –

The book is very entertaining and full of Montgomery County History, as well as the war in the west. Mr. Patrick does a wonderful job of laying the groundwork for the 11th Indiana Infantry. I am glad Mr. Patrick was impressed by Tom Durham’s memoirs and decided to edit and publish it. For those that have an intrest in the 11th Indiana Infantry or Montgomery County this book is worthy to buy. It will be read more than one time.

Scott Busenbark

link to the book

Colonel David H. Patton, 38th Ind. Inf

Posted in 38th Indiana Infantry, Soldiers with tags , , , on January 19, 2010 by 40thindiana
Officers of the Army and Navy who served in the Civil War, Edited by Lt. Col. Wm H. Powell, U.S. Army, Published By L.R. Hamersly & Co., Philadelphia, PA., 1893, p. 129
Colonel D.H. Patton, whose proudest title is that of “The Hero of Jonesborough’s Skirmish-Line,” was born November 26,1837, near Flemingsburg, Kentucky. His boyhood days were spent upon the farm and attending the village schools. In 1857 the family moved to Indiana, taking up residence at Waveland, Montgomery County, where David, then in his twentieth year, entered the Waveland Collegiate Institute, completing a scientific course in 1860, when he immediately entered upon the study of medicine. While engaged in the study of his chosen profession, Fort Sumter was bombarded; following this came the disastrous defeat of the Federal forces at Bull Run. The future colonel laid aside his books, relinquished his cherished ambitions for the present, and with twelve others hastened to New Albany to join the Thirty-eighth Indiana, already organized and ready for the field. The regiment passed into Kentucky, and after innumerable skirmishes and marching and countermarching for nearly eighteen hundred miles they were face to face with the Confederates at Perryville, where a battle was fought. It was the fate of the thirty-eighth Indiana to bear a conspicuous part on that field, where their percentage of loss was as great as that of either of the contending armies at Waterloo. Of the color-bearer and guard, Patton and Sullivan alone stood erect, and the former, as Colonel Scribner will testify, could touch the colors any time during the engagement. Of the seven that lay upon the ground, five were killed outright and one dangerously wounded. The flag-staff was shot in two twice, and the colors were shot into shreads on that day.Their next severe engagement was Stone River, where the colors were pierced by thirty-one balls, and private Patton again distinguished himself so much that he was promoted. The regiment participated in the capture of Lookout Mountain and the “battle in the clouds,” in which they again distinguished themselves. The regiment served in the Atlanta campaign, participating in all the battles till that city was taken. In the battle of Jonesborough Lieutenant Patton rendered signal service, and recived the highest praise of his commanding officer, being styled “the hero of Jonesborough’s skirmish-line.”

To fully understand the importance of the service rendered, it must be understood that Jonesborough was the key to Atlanta, and that certain works lying in front of Carlin’s brigade were the key to Jonesborough, and Carlin’s brigade was ordered to take the works. Two regiments were ordered to attack, but were repulsed; but they had succeeded in getting close enough to the works to learn that an abatis lat just in front of it that would have to be torn away to make room for the assaulting colimn. General Carlin ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin to take the Thirty-eighth, as it was all there was left, and take the works. Colonel Griffin ordered Company G, Captain H.F. Perry, and Company H, Lieutenant David H. Patton, as skirmishers, to take advantage of the smoke and gathering shades of evening, reserve their fire, to move noiselessly as possible, tear away the abatis, and open a way to carry the works. Captain Perry fell early in the advance, but lieutenant Patton and skirmishers cleared away the abatis, and the Thirty-eighth carried the works. To the bravery of Colonel Patton on that occasion, Colonel Griffin, in his farewell address to the regiment, feelingly alludes when he says, “To the brave boys I can but say that everything is due to their valor on the field; and remember that you have a leader in the commander of Jonesborough’s gallant skirmish-line,” meaning Captain Patton, who was then the ranking officer and in command.After the fall of Atlanta the Thirty-eighth went with Sherman to the sea; from Savannah they marched into North Carolina and fought the battle of Bentonville, where the senior officer, Captain Lowe, fell, leaving the regiment in command of Captain Patton, who brought it to victory.While in camp at Goldsborough, Captain Patton was elected colonel by his brother officers, and received his commission as such. His military record is a heritage that his children will prize above gold and silver, and will stimulate them to noble deeds and aspirations.

After the close of the war, having been mustered out with his regiment, Colonel Patton resumed the study of medicine, graduating from the Chicago Medical College in 1867, since which time, up yo 1890, he has been in the continuous practice of his profession at Remington, Indiana. He is at present a member of Congress from the tenth Indiana District, and is well and favorably known.

Atlanta Campaign Letter

Posted in 31st Indiana Infantry, 40th Indiana Infantry, 85th Indiana Infantry, First Hand Letters & Accounts with tags , , , , , on January 19, 2010 by 40thindiana
(Henry H.TipLough photograph)
Early 1864 letter by HenryTipLough of the 31st Indiana Infantry. He gives some great personal insight into the campaign. He mentions seeing the 40th and 85th Infantry Regiments, which had members from Montgomery and Parke Counties.

HH Lough,Waveland Independent; Waveland, Montgomery County, Indiana,Friday, April 3, 1931

Readers of the Independent will note a letter that H.H. Lough wrote to his brother, Levi in March 1863. His daughter, Mrs. Frank Gardner, has handed us another dated May 21, 1864, and written from Camp of 31st Indiana Volunteers near Kingston, Georgia on the famous “March to the Sea.

“Dear Brother having a few spare moments for the first time in a long time, I will try to let you know how I am getting along. We left Ooltawah [sic] May 3rd and have been on the march every day since we have just been booting the Rebs through Georgia. We have had no very hard fighting but we have skirmished with them every day. We have only had six killed and twenty wounded in our regt none in our company. We stopped to rest yesterday and I don’t know whether we will stay here today or not but we will leave soon for they are sending all the sick to the hospital. I think that if our Army can hold out successful two weeks longer that this War will soon be over for they are getting in a small pen some of their deserters say that they are in great confusion and some say they are only falling back to a better position but they have left two of the strongest positions that our Army ever fronted, that was Buzzard Gap and the hills in front of Rasaka [sic] but then we have a few thousand men too many for them. We can march clear around them and fight them on all sides but that they don’t like so they kept moving to the rear all the time. I have come to the conclusion that you have concluded not to write for I have not received a letter from any of you since I have been back. I think it is getting time. I saw the 85th regt a few days ago. They had been in a fight and more of the boys was hurt. They looked pretty hard. They are not guarding railroad now and I don’t think they will be soon. The boys of the 40th are well. I never saw the Army in as good spirits as they are now but we are almost worn out marching but anything to get this war put down. Well I believe I have written all I feel like writing at present but will write as soon as I can get in camp again. This leaves me in good health and I hope it may find you the same. So no more but remain as ever your brother. ”

H.H. Lough

“The letter is addressed to Bethany, a post office that is now off the map.(W.I.)”


31st Indiana Infantry web page

Missionary Ridge Letter from the 86th Ind.

Posted in 86th Indiana Infantry with tags , , , , on January 19, 2010 by 40thindiana

Crawfordsville Daily Journal Thursday, December 10, 1863

 Camp 86th Regiment Indiana Vols. Chattanooga, Tenn, Nov.27, 1863

Editor Journal: – Now that the noise and din of the bloody strife around Chattanooga is over, and I am again quietly resting in the comfortable quarters of our former camp, I will tell you of the part enacted in these engagements by the gallant boys of the 86th.

The 86th and 79th Indiana Regiments were temporarily consolidated into one regiment, under the command of Col. Heftner of the 79th and Col. Dick of the 86th Ind., the consolidation only to last during this battle. On Monday morning our regiment came in off of picket, where we had been on duty for 24 hours. Immediately after dinner we were formed in line and marched out near our picket lines. Our Division was formed in column by Brigades- the 79th and 86th constituting the front line of our brigade. The 19th Ohio, then on picket, advanced as skirmishers, the rest of the brigade coming up to it’s support. Gen. Willich’s brigade was on our right and Gen. Wagner’s on our left. A brisk skirmish fire was kept up by each party as we advanced, and they fell back until within shooting distance of their reserves when they opened quite lively on us. These were gallantly charged and driven about a mile, many of them being captured. Here we established our line, threw up breastworks, fell trees for abates, and held our ground until Wednesday about half past three in the afternoon, when Gen. Sherdian, who had advanced to the left of us, in undertaking to flank and turn the position of the enemy, was so hotly engaged that fears for his safety were entertained, and to relieve him, we were ordered to advance about a half mile farther to the front, and charge a line of rebel breastworks and divert the fire of rebel guns on Missionary Ridge. At the command we advanced in fine order, on the double quick, charged and took that line of enemy defenses, and still charged on and on until the foot of Missionary Ridge was gained, and on up the Ridge still we charged against eight pieces of heavy artillery directly in our front; thirty more pieces of artillery constantly pouring their fire upon us both from the right and left, and Gen. Hardee’s Corps of three entire Divisions in our front, right and left, from behind breastworks pouring their galling fire into us. On up the mountain still charged the noble 86th and 79th. The top of the mountain is at length reached. The enemy stand to their guns that are belching forth their missiles of death. Their infantry rally close behind their breastworks and fill the air with musket-balls. Inch by inch the ground is gained; their firing becomes weaker. Whenever a head is shown above the breastworks it is doomed by the unerring aim of the Indiana riflemen. To our right and left all stop in their charge to know the result of the gallant charge of our boys. Generals hold their breaths and tremble. Gen. Grant, anxiously watching our every movement, says, “they can’t make it.” The enemy rallies to the defense of this fort, and volley after volley of deadly effect is poured upon us. Our boys never falter, they take deadly aim and every trigger pulled is a death knell to some poor rebels soul. Inch by inch our gallant boys crowd upon the ramparts of the enemy! The flag of the 86th floats upon their breastworks and our men are in the fort. Some of the enemy lay flat behind their breastworks, praying for us not to kill them; some fight on until shot down at the muzzles of our rifles; thousands rush over the mountain and down through the woods; while many rush along the brow of the mountain and rally in the next fort still to defeat the possession of the ridge. This fort gained on a charge, our men to the left to assist others is carrying the long range of forts still between us and the river, and for a distance of two miles on still goes the 86th and 79th to contribute their share of the work in hurling from thence the enemy and these forts are only taken in regular succession after the arrival of our regiments. The flag of the 86th being the first flag planted by our troops upon both forts, and the last fort captured on the left in the great battle. Night closes the scene, the entire range of heights known as Missionary Ridge having fallen into our possession, together with 38 pieces of artillery, wagon loads of small arms, and prisoners of every grade in almost countless numbers.

No sooner had our flag been planted upon the first fort which was taken, than Gen. Grant left his seat at Fort Wood and at the top of the speed of his noble war- horse dashed over to the ridge, his first inquiry being to ask whose flag it was that first planted on the fort. He said our charge was the grandest thing of the whole war. The 86th and 79th are now on everybody’s tongue. All are enthusiastic and unbounded in our praise. These two regiments have not only won imperishable renown by their heroic conduct, but they have added new luster to American arms. The most brilliant charge recorded in the annals of history fails to furnish its equal. It must be bore in mind that it was a charge of only four hundred men, over two miles in distance, on the double quick, to a mountain height and then up that steep mountain side, eighteen hundred feet, capturing a fort considered impregnable and garrisoned by men well armed as men could be, and whose numbers exceeded ours as greatly as the position was advantageous for defense. Wednesday night we rested in the fort we had first taken, and remained there quietly until Thursday night about nine o’clock, when we returned to camp. The night after these grand achievements of our arms, the enemy was fleeing southward, applying the torch to every bridge; pontoon, station and store-house, illuminating the vast valley before us with the light of their burning property.

Where all done so well it might seem invidious to particularize individuals who have greatly distinguished themselves , but I cannot forebear mentioning a few whose noble bearing come directly under my notice. Col. Dick of the 86th, and Col. Heftner were all the time in their places, nobly and fearlessly discharging their duty commanding universal admiration by their coolness, decision and tact. Captain W. S. Sims, commanding the color company, was at the head of his men, bravely calling them forward. From the time we commenced the ascent of the mountain, it became evident to all that his conduct here would,, if possible surpass that at Chickamauga. Steadily he led his men forward until their flag was planted on the fort and it in our full possession; when calling them onward, he never ceased his efforts until the last fort, with our regimental flag proudly waving over it, was greeting Fort Wood, he having placed our flag there with his own hands. We returned to the ground selected for us to occupy, having in our possession the Major of the 32nd Arkansas, whom Capt. Sims captured himself, whilst the rebel officer was endeavoring to capture our flag. Never did men do better than the boys of our company. They all done their whole duty. Eli N. Tipton, a brave boy that feared no rebel noise, would have been the first to enter the fort, but fell mortally wounded by a musket shot in the head, while calling to the other boys to follow him into the fort. Private John Kent received a very severe wound in the neck about the same time and near the same place where Tipton fell. Oliver Wood, private, had his arm broken, previously, in ascending the mountain; and Sergeant Jas. F. Robertson fell, mortally wounded, when about half way up. These constitute all the casualties to our company in this unequalled charge. Capt. Carnahan placed himself at the head of his boys and led them most gallantly. Capt. Southard was shot in the breast and instantly expired, at the head of his men, when about half way up the mountain. His conduct is well spoken by all who witnessed him on the battlefield, and his death is severely felt, not only by his own company, but by all the officers and men of the regiment. Poor Billy! His is another good life given for our country. The other casualties sustained by his company are Sergeant B. F. Snyder, severely wounded in left hip; Corporal Tilman A. Howard, slightly wounded in left breast; privates Morris Welch, severely, through the right arm; James Herrington, slightly in left side; Wm. M. Saunders, slightly on left elbow. Lieutenant John Yount was pretty severely bruised by a fall, but it did not prevent him from bravely leading on the noble boys of Company K. “Long may he wave,” and enjoy the honors so nobly won. Captains Garner, Gregory, Stephens, Rodman and Ream, and Lieutenants McInerty, Goram, Turk, Brant, Hough and Olive, deserve great credit for their gallantry throughout the battle. Adjutant Darwin Thomas, here, as at Chickamauga, distinguished himself by his coolness and bravery. Major Jacob Dick was wounded in the leg, early after the ascent of the hill was commenced, whilst gallantly cheering the men forward. In fact all have crowned themselves heroes in these great achievements which have blest our arms with victory. There names will live as long as Indiana has a place in the memory of men, and brilliant deeds of arms remains a theme for praise. Napoleon and Wellington would have glorified, as Grant glories, to command such men.

The rebel Major, captured by Capt. Sims, when asked what he thought of our charge, replied; “Sir, troops so few in numbers, that will charge and take such works as these when so well defended, would charge through hell. There is nothing on record to compare with what they have here done.” The men were pleased that they had Col’s Dick and Heftner to command them. They have very justly an exalted opinion of the judgment and military capacity of these gallant chieftains, and will go where these Colonel’s would order them, let what may obstruct their way. Whilst I am writing, a complimentary address from Brigadier General Wood, commanding our Division, says that “our achievements are unequaled in the annals of military warfare.”

Sergeant Henry Newton Ornbaun of the 79th, I saw fall, severely wounded in the thigh, whilst bravely charging the rebel breastworks. I hope he may soon be able for duty again , for he is one of the bravest and best soldiers. Sergeant Sater and private Saunders were near me most of the time after we entered the first fort, and I never saw braver men. Saunders says this fight has knocked the last drop of Butternut blood out of his veins. While charging the rebel works and when within about twenty feet of the fort, I noticed a rebel raise up and level his piece in a very uncomfortable position for me. At the same time I noticed that the brave young Robert G. Thornton sent a ball through his head. There are many incidents that occurred during this battle, that I have not time now but will relate in my next.

Bragg’s Army is badly cut up. The town is filled with prisoners. I have heard no estimate of losses, but in a few days it will be accurately known, as we hold all the ground fought over. If we can only manage to arrest their flight long enough to give them one more thrashing equal to the last one, there will be no Southern army left to prevent us all returning home to eat our Christmas dinners.

Most of our wounded are in critical condition, but our Surgeon, Joseph S. Jones, is a most accomplished physician and gentleman, untiring in the discharge of his duties, and all that medicinal science can do for the sick and wounded, will be done. They are all in our possession, which must be a great satisfaction to both them and their friends.

Most respectfully.

W.H.  Laymon