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Letters from Soldiers of the 18th OVI

[The 18th was organized in the fall of 1861 at Athens, Ohio. For the first year of service they were deployed first in Kentucky, and then Tennessee. Their first major engagement was at the Battle of Stone's Mountain in December 1862. They were also active at Chickamauga and the Seige of Chattanooga. They mustered out on November 9, 1864 while in northern Georgia. Those who reenlisted were combined with remnants of other regiments as the "New" 18th OVI. They became part of the occupying force for Nashville and had to defend the city from Confederate General Hood's invasion of Tennessee in the Battle of Nashville which took place in December of 1864. N. Elvick]

Camp Haycraft, Ky., November 22nd, 1861

Mr. Harper—Dear Sir:
     I avail myself of this opportunity to write you a few lines concerning the 18th Ohio Regiment, and particularly concerning the boys from Gallia. We are encamped near Elizabethtown, about 45 miles from Louisville, at this time, but it is probable that we will march toward Buckner's camp in a few days. The boys of our company are in good health, and anxious for a fight; in fact our Regiment has enjoyed excellent health since we left our first encampment at Camp Wool. [see footnote] We are well armed, well fed, and well clothed, and the conduct of our officers and men since we came into Kentucky has gained for us the admiration of even our enemies. I think that the rebels will soon be driven from Kentucky. There is a great many men leaving Buckner and coming back into this part of the country. They report Buckner's army in a bad condition, badly clothed and not more than half enough to eat, and very poorly armed. The best estimate that can be given of his force puts it at about twenty-five thousand men. A fight is certain to take place soon, if Buckner does not surrender or get out of the way. I think he will have to fight or surrender for he cannot get away without fighting. I have nothing more of interest to write at this time.
     I remain yours with respect,
     Harrison M'Claflin

[Spelled Harrison P. McClaflin in the military records. Private in Company I.]

The Gallipolis Journal
December 5, 1861

Camp Haycraft, Ky. November 22nd, 1861

Mr. James Harper:—Dear Sir:
     I take my pen in hand to inform you that I am well at present, hoping these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing. I am in the eighteenth Regiment, Company I, O.V.I. We are forty-three miles below Louisville, at Elizabethtown, in Camp Haycraft. We are right where President Lincoln was born. There is some talk that we will move in a few days to where General McCook is, near Green river. They are expecting a battle in a few days. Report is that Buckner is moving on towards McCook. Our cavalry went to McCook last night. There is considerable stir amongst the soldiers here. There are four Regiments here and four more this side of Louisville. When we all get together we will number about fifty thousand, if we hear the truth. I don't wish to write any thing that isn't true. There is strong talk that if Buckner gets whipped the war in Kentucky will be at an end. The citizens here say that there are about fifty thousand Union soldiers in Hardin county at this time, chiefly Ohioans and Indianians. McCook has four Pennsylvania Regiments. There is one Illinois Regiment here. I respect the people here; they have been very kind to us so far. They say they were deceived by Buckner. A great many of Buckner's men have left him. About two hundred from this place have returned, and a good many others from other places have gone home. They say the rebels are nearly all naked and starved, and poorly armed. They say that a great many of his men are barefooted. Excuse my bad writing, I have to write on my knee. It is raining very hard.
     Wm. H. Markin  [He is buried in Dickey Chapel Cemetery in Harrison Twp. His obitiuary here]

The Gallipolis Journal
December 5, 1861

[Charles C. Ross entered service as a private and left as a captain. He is buried in Calvary Baptist Cemetery in Raccoon Township.]

Camp Stanley, Ky., Dec. 16, '61

Mr. James Harper:
Dear Sir:
     I wish in behalf of the members of my company, to return thanks to the ladies of Gallia and Lawrence counties for a box of socks and mittens which were received by them, on the receipt of which three hearty cheers went up from the brave boys of old Gallia and Lawrence for the fair hands that made these small but beneficial articles. I am proud to think, though absent, that we are not forgotten by the ladies of our native counties. The boys are all well and eager for a fight, and will make their mark if they ever get into an engagement. I would just say for the boys of my company, that they are the pride of my heart, and are always ready to do their duty when called on. The health of the Regiment is good.—We have had no sickness since the Regiment was organized, with the exception of a few cases of mumps and measels [sic]. Owing to the skillfulness of our surgeons, they will all recover. As for any general news, I have nothing of note. My respects to friends of old Gallia. I remain yours, &c.,
     C. C. Ross, Capt.
     Co. I, 18th Reg't, O.V.I.

The Gallipolis Journal
January 2, 1862

Camp Jefferson, Ky., Jan'y 9, '62

     There is little of importance here to write about. The health of the 18th Regiment is not as good as it has been. Most of the Gallia boys are well and able for duty. We have about 250 patients in our hospital, about one-fourth of them with the measels [sic], but being in the care of our good Doctors we have had only three to die since we have been in the service. The health of our Regiment was very good before we came to this camp.—Our company was out on picket duty on the 7th of this month. Along toward daylight we heard the firing of cannon down toward Green River, but we have not learned what the firing was for.  
     Nothing of importance happened while we were out. It has been very wet here for some time, and it is raining again to-day. Our Regiment has been well supplied with Testaments and Tracts by the American Tract Society, for which we all return our sincere thanks. We are armed with rifled muskets, and I think we shall make an impression on the enemy if we have a chance to try our metal. We are all prepared and eager for battle. Green River bridge is finished and we are looking to move forward soon. There are some 15,000 men here under command of Gen. Mitchell. The First Ohio Cavalry is here, and other Ohio regiments, all prepared, equipped and ready for battle. No more at present.
     Lewis F. Berthe

The Gallipolis Journal
January 23, 1862

[Letter written by Lorenzo D. Carter, 2nd Lieutenant]

Bacon Creek, Ky., Jan.11, '62

     Being now some distance from home, I thought I would drop you a line. Three months ago I no more expected to be a soldier than to be a sailor, but for two months and a half I have been a faithful soldier, and have not met with half so much trouble and discomfort as I expected when I enrolled my name as a soldier for the stars and stripes.—But I felt at that time as I do at the present, that it was my duty to go forth to defend the honor and integrity of my country, which our forefathers fought, bled and died for. And should we as an enlightened and prosperous nation, deviate in the least degree from the true principles which our fathers fought so bravely for? No, let every honest and true-hearted man take some weapon in his hand and join the Union army.
     We are now encamped on Bacon Creek, which is some seven miles from Green River, and having so much rain, it is a very disagreeable place, mud shoe deep, and the ground being very level, our tents are a greater portion of the time flooded with water, consequently the health of our boys at present is poor. We are expecting marching orders every day, and God knows we are willing to leave this place at any time, and if necessary meet Gen. Buckner on any terms whatever. It matters not what his force may be, I feel confident of success. He may have an equal number with us, but not equal in skill and bravery. Our boys are bound to have his scalp if ever they meet in conflict.
     Since writing the above our brigade (the 8th) has been ordered to advance to Green River, and in all my life, never did I hear such cheering. All are anxious for a fight.
     Yours in haste,
     L. D. Carter

The Gallipolis Journal
January 23, 1862

Letter from Lewis F. Berthe, Camp Jefferson, Ky., Jan. 5, '62.

     I embrace this opportunity to pen a few lines. We have about 15,000 troops at this place, under command of Gen. Mitchell. They are all in good spirits, and only waiting to be led to the battle field under their gallant commander. Reinforcements are arriving every day, and we expect soon to advance. The rebels have torn up the rail track for about ten miles.—One of our men has just returned from Green river, and he says the bridge there will be finished to-morrow. The rebels have blown up a tunnel between Green river and Bowling Green, which will check our advance for a short time.
     The Ohio boys are all ready and eager for a battle, and be assured whatever may be their part they will act it nobly. They know their duty, and ere long they will help to carry the starry banner over the sunny plains of the South, and when our country is once more united and in peace, the Ohio boys will return to their homes clustered with laurels.
     We have here at present 215 patients in the hospital. The wet weather has kept us in our tents for the past two days. We expect to leave here on the 8th inst. for the Green river. No more at present. Respects to enquiring friends.
     Lewis F. Berthe [Private in Company K.]

The Gallipolis Journal
January 16, 1862

[This is information given to the newspaper by assistant surgeon Dr. W.W. Mills, home on furlough.]

     The 18th Reg. O.V. is now at Bacon creek, Ky. The assistant Surgeon Dr. W. W. Mills of Gallipolis is now at home on furlough, being sick. He expects to return on the 28th inst., and desires us to say to the friends of the soldiers in the 18th, that he will take any letters or packages whatever, which they will see proper to entrust to his care, and deliver the same to the parties interested. He states that from 250 to 300 of the regiment are sick with measles or mumps—and that they are in need of blankets, comforts, &c., any of which that may be donated or sent to them, he will undertake to deliver if left at his residence in Gallipolis.

The Gallipolis Journal
January 23, 1862

[The letter writer here appears to be Lorenzo D. Carter who started out as a private in this regiment but was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant by the time he had served out his term.  N. Elvick]

Bowling Green, Ky., Feb. 20th, '62

     Having formerly been a resident of Gallia county, Ohio, but now of Bowling Green, Ky., or rather for the time being, I shall endeavor to give you a short sketch of our marches, and also the matter in which we took this place, which has been occupied by the Southern army for the past eight months, and very strongly fortified at that. This brigade, (the eighth, Gen. Mitchell), being in the advance, left Green river on the 14th, and reached Bowling Green the next day, distance about forty-eight miles. The first day we marched twenty-six miles, having a very pleasant day until late in the evening, when the weather became very unpleasant, sleeting and snowing during the following night. Our men suffered greatly during the night, having no place to sleep, as we were not allowed to pitch our tents. We slept with our eyes open, with the rebel scouts all around us. After passing a wearisome night, we were ordered to march on double-quick time, but the boys were so tired and sleepy they declared they could not stand it, until word came that we had an opportunity to give the rebels some of Uncle Sam's improved pills, when all was well and every man was in good spirits, and ready for any duty that chanced to fall to him.
     By day-break we were on our way to Bowling Green, and after marching some four or five miles, our General pressed every team on the way to haul the men's knapsacks, which of course relieved us very much, and we reached our destination by four o'clock Saturday evening, notwithstanding we had extremely bad roads, rendered more difficult to travel by the infernal rebels, having fallen timber, rolled stones, and in every conceivable manner blockaded the roads to prevent our speedy march, but all in vain, as we were homewardbound.
     Loomis' battery, with a number of cavalry, reached their fortifications on this side of Barren river about two o'clock, and commenced cannonading immediately, which lasted some fifteen minutes, but not a shot was fired on the enemy's side. Every man took to his heels and run [sic] like the d---l, leaving everything behind except what they could carry on their backs. They fired both bridges at the east end of town to prevent our men from crossing Barren river, and not only the bridge, but every building they could get fire to was burnt into ashes before we could cross the river, as we had nothing but bare one old flat-boat to cross our whole army in, until we constructed more, which of course took considerable time, consequently the rebels made their escape, or the greater portion of them, before we reached the town. Our cavalry scouts took quite a number of Texas rangers, who had not yet crossed the river, and several others were captured after we crossed, among them were two Captains and three Lieutenants.
Gen. Mitchell's division is now quartered in town and now has full possession of the place, and he has appointed the regular town officers, among whom is Col. T. R. STANLEY, of the 18th Ohio Regiment, who is Provost Marshal, and has his office where Gen. Buckner formerly quartered. Being weary I shall not add further for the present, but will endeavor to give you a full detail in my next.
     Yours, &c.,
     L. D. Carter

The Gallipolis Journal
March 6, 1862

Camp Andrew Jackson, Tenn. March 4th, 1862

Mr. Harper:—Dear Sir:
     Our march from Bowling Green to Nashville was made in four days [of] easy traveling, and was, so far as I observed, devoid of occurrences calculated to interest the public. Beautiful weather and a splendid road made it a very pleasant march; and had it not been for bad management on the part of some one, who let our rations grow very short (causing us to subsist two or three days on just what chance threw in our way), there would not have been anything to dampen our ardour or mar our happiness. But the curses of hungry soldiers are loud and deep, and their visits to neighboring poultry yards and pig pens, are frequent and profitable. But do not understand me to intimate that ours is a plundering, devastating army. With the exception of sundry nice horses that have fallen into the hands of certain officers, whom I might name, I have observed nothing of the kind, except such as grows out of necessity, and is really unavoidable.
     Our Generals seem determined to handle the rebels with great tenderness and consideration. It appears to be their purpose, to protect rebel property at all hazards. No difference what it costs Uncle Sam, rebels must be protected in person and property. So much is this the case, that on yesterday a certain Colonel, commanding a brigade, was heard to say—"I ish tired of dis; I would like for vonce to get into de enemee's countree." I think a little more of the iron rule, would be better. At least a secesh city like Nashville ought certainly to be disarmed. It is said that the city is full of arms and that its citizens go loaded down with concealed weapons. So far as I know, up to this day, no search has been made and no inhabitants been disarmed.
     This is a fine country, as indeed is all of the country over which we have passed, South of Green river. Much of the land on this route, is little if any inferior to the best farming districts in Ohio. Many of the farms are large, the farm houses spacious and elegant, many places giving indications of wealth and luxury. Nashville, in many respects, is a nice place. The State House especially, is an ornament to the city and an honor to the State. It is built of Tennessee Marble, and the style and finish of the building, is not surpassed by any building of the kind in the Union. It is not as large as the capital at Columbus, Ohio.
     The people here are nearly all secesh, and many of them are honest enough to speak their sentiments plainly. They say their revolution must and will succeed, and that we will have bloody work down in the cotton States. Many have deserted their homes and gone South with their portables, supposing they were fleeing from the wrath to come—the Yankees. The people here have been taught to believe that the business of our army was to lay waste their property and free their negroes. Citizens here in this city, have told me that they confidently expected us to set all their slaves loose, and play the d—l generally, and they are greatly astonished at our policy, and still eagerly inquire—do you not intend to interfere with our slavery? If not, then what are you fighting for? They all agree that our army compares very favorably with the Southern army.
     We have seen much of slavery since we crossed Green river. Almost every house is flanked by negro quarters, some of the farmers owning as many as seventy-five or one hundred slaves. I suppose slavery exists here in its mildest forms, at least I see nothing horrible about it. The niggers seem to be happy and well cared for. Their dwellings are generally comfortable, their clothes good, and their food is at least as desirable as that which subsists the U.S. Army. Every thing is very dear here. Coffee $1 per pound, calico sixty cts. per yard &c.
     Well, I am writing too long a letter, and must close by saying, we are encamped three miles from the city, with a host of soldiers around us, and more coming all the time. I think there is some trouble among our Generals, or rather a good deal of jealousy existing among them. I believe that Gen. Buel has run through his department, and he is now waiting for something to be done, I know not what.    
     Yours truly,
     W. W. Mills, Acting Surgeon 18th Reg. O.V.

The Gallipolis Journal
Mrch 13, 1862

Fayetteville, Tenn. June 20th, 1862

Mr. Harper:
     Having some spare time I will drop you a few lines to let you know our whereabouts, and what we are doing down in Tennessee. There are no troops here at the present time except our regiment, the 18th Ohio. Our brigade is scattered around in the different towns of middle Tennessee.—Two thousand of our brigade that went out on a scout on the 2nd of June, returned on the 16th, having marched over two hundred miles within 14 days, having two skirmishes with the rebels, and routing them both times.
On the 17th, we had an engagement with the Pay-master. Every man was able for duty, and stood up to the fight manfully. The engagement lasted one day, when the Pay-master retired with the loss of a good many of Uncle Sam's green-backs; no loss on our side. This is the third engagement we have had with the Pay-master, he being compelled to retire in every battle. Green-backs are flourished by the soldiers at present, while stuck up over the stores and shops can be seen—green-backs wanted—confederate shin-plasters at a discount of 4 per cent. Scouting parties are constantly bringing in guerillas, who are found marauding through the country and shooting out pickets every chance. The notorious John Trimble has been taken and sent to Huntsville, where most likely, his neck will be lengthened.
      Lewis F. Berthe

The Gallipolis Journal
July 3, 1862

Headquarters 18th Reg. O.V., Camp near Jasper, Tenn. Monday, June 30th, 1862

Mr. Harper:
     From the very days of my boyhood, the name of your weekly paper has been among our household words, and I have delighted in the columns of your weekly since my promotions of the first rudiments of reading, but am now in a position, so that I cannot obtain it weekly, though when I do receive it, it does my heart good to ponder over its contents, which enable me to hear from my old friends of Gallia in general, though I am quite a distance from them, accompanied with a number of others from the same place. However, we are absent from our friends in a just and holy cause, or at least I deem it as such. But perhaps some of our friends in Gallia, would be equally as glad to hear from their absent ones, and I know of no better way to inform them of our whereabouts, than through the columns of your worthy paper.
We are now encamped on the north side of the Tennessee river, near the village of Jasper, and some twenty-five or thirty miles west of Chattanooga, where the enemy are supposed to be encamped with a considerable force, numbering some ten or fifteen thousand, which is superior to ours at this point, but I suppose will not be in a few days, as we are being reinforced every day.—Our force numbers at this post at present six Regiments of Infantry, one battery of Artillery, and six companies of Cavalry. Though the rebels are superior to us in numbers, they are not on the field of battle. We whipped them effectually but a short time since.
     On last Wednesday morning, our pickets were attacked at Jasper, and driven in with a loss of three killed and eight wounded, while their loss in killed and wounded was twenty-five.—This skirmish lasted two hours, when our little guard of fifty or sixty men were reinforced, then the enemy, numbering twelve hundred, fled to the mountains—we followed for eight or ten miles only in the tracks of the enemy, and while we were following them, some of the rascals, who were on the opposite side of the river from us, opened fire with their artillery on our rear guard, at the mouth of Battle creek, aiming I suppose to cut off our retreat, in case we should attempt the like. But Col. Sill, who was commanding the post, left four or five companies of Infantry to prevent them from crossing the Tennessee river, until the balance of his forces could return, and upon our return to Battle creek, they began to shell us across the river, and Edgerton's Battery returned the compliment. The fight lasted some two or three hours. We dismounted two pieces of their Artillery, and from the best information, killed fifteen or twenty, while our loss was one killed and four wounded. They stayed close to the river two days, in a secure place from our guns, and firing at us occasionally with little or no effect. Gen. Mitchell's whole division is moving forward to this point, followed by some of Gen. Buell's forces, and so soon as they arrive here, there will be a forward movement, determined for Chattanooga, where I suppose from all reports, a hard battle will ensue. The rebel General there commanding, sent a flag of truce into our camp to-day, stating that he was waiting eagerly for our approach, and that he intended to fight us until the last day in the evening, before he would either retreat or surrender to Gen. Mitchell, and should be as good as his word, a hard battle will come off soon. Our boys are generally in good health and good spirits. |   
     L. D. Carter

The Gallipolis Journal
July 17, 1862

Camp Mihalotzy, Tenn. July 29th, 1862

Mr. Harper: Dear Sir:
     It has been a long time since I wrote to you; so long, that a letter from me now will no doubt surprise you. It was my intention to drop you a short letter every once in a while, but the amount of labor I have had to perform in the midst of an active campaign, and the fact that I have been alone, and unassisted, in the medical department of the Regiment for more than two months past, must be my apology for so long a silence. To give you an idea of the amount of work done by our regiment and our brigade, I will write a brief history of our movements during the last thirty days. On the 30th day of May, our quiet rest, in the beautiful town of Athens, Ala., was disturbed by an order to March. The evening of the 31st found us at Fayetteville, Tenn., where we rejoined our brigade, and where your correspondent first received information of his father's decease.—The morning of the 2nd of June found the 8th brigade moving in the direction of Chattanooga. Our route was almost a direct course by way of Winchester and Jasper, crossing two ranges of the Cumberland mountains. On we moved about twenty miles a day, under a burning sun, and in a suffocating dust—through valleys and over mountains for six days.
     The afternoon of the 7th of June, found us, in connection with a considerable force, under General Neagley, on the banks of the Tennessee, opposite to Chattanooga, engaged in the laudable and interesting business of shelling the enemy on the opposite bank of the river; while about one thousand of our sharp-shooters were thrown down to the brink of the river, where they did excellent work picking off artillerymen and others, who were reckless enough to expose themselves to our sharp-eyed monsters. This business was indulged in until night drew about us her sable curtains, hiding our enemy from view. We were now ordered into camp for the night, and we slept under the impression that we would renew the fight early in the morning. You can well imagine our surprise and chagrin, when I tell you that in the morning we were told that the object of the expedition was accomplished, and we were to return at once over the mountains by the very same route we had so lately traveled. Worn out with fatigue, foot sore, sleepy and disappointed—we took up our weary line of march, returning by the same route we went, as far as Jasper. From there we went to Stevenson and on to Bellefonte, Ala., where we rested two days; at the expiration of which time, our regiment and the 19th Illinois took the cars for Huntsville. From here our regiment alone marched back to Fayetteville, Tenn.—getting back to our camp June 16th, after an absence of fifteen days, and a march of two hundred and fifty miles. I think this march is unparalleled in the history of this war. You will recollect that we took with us a battery of artillery, and crossed two ranges of mountains, each fifteen hundred feet above the level of the Tennessee river. In order to ascend these mountains at all, it was necessary to unload the caissons of ammunition, and detail all the men that could possibly get hold of a wagon, to its assistance; and then with whooping, lifting, rolling, and whipping horses, up they would go a few feet at a time. But we crossed and re-crossed these mountains by dint of hard work and the sacrifice of many valuable horses, belonging to the splendid battery of Capt. Edgarton's Artillery. Our team horses were badly used up. The fight at Chattanooga was a spirited affair while it lasted. I had the satisfaction of knowing how one feels while cannon balls are flying over his head, bumping into trees under which he stands, and rolling on the ground in uncomfortable proximity to his feet. Our brigade lost two men killed, and ten wounded. No one seems to understand the movement.—But we have the satisfaction of knowing that our commander (Gen. Neagley), told us that we had "accomplished the object of the expedition." I suppose the object was to draw off the forces from Cumberland Gap to Chattanooga. This no doubt was accomplished by our demonstration on that place.—After returning to Fayetteville, our regiment had a terrible engagement with the Pay-master. We charged his front, flanked him right and left, and continued our engagement with him until he "shelled out" about seventy-five thousand dollars, which we received as five months' pay. The state agent, Mr. W. N. Williams, was on hand ready to receipt for our money, and carry it for us to Ohio. These receipts are checks on our respective county Treasur[i]es .
     Our boys sent home nearly all the money they received; not less at any rate than fifty thousand dollars. Our regiment continued its stay in the nice little town of Fayetteville until the 22nd, when we marched back to Huntsville. From there we came by rail to Stevenson, and one easy day's march brought us to this point, fourteen miles east of Stevenson, on the Tennessee river, and at the mouth of Battle creek. We arrived here the evening of the 25th, and still are here, enduring as best we can, the dull monotony of an inactive camp. When we came here we found Col. Sill commanding three of his regiments, one battery, a part of the 4th Ohio and 4th Kentucky cavalry, the 24th Illinois, and 37th Indiana regiments. Since our arrival, two more regiments have come in, viz: the 1st Wisconsin, and 42nd Indiana. Colonel Turchin will be here to-morrow, and then our brigade will be together once more.
     If you have noticed Gen. Mitchell's movements, you will have discovered that the 8th brigade has done much of the active work in this section. It has occupied nearly all the posts of danger. It was first into Bowling Green, first into Nashville, first into Murfreesboro, and first into Huntsville. Our brigade was the first to explore the Memphis and Charleston R.R. east and west from Huntsville, a distance of nearly two hundred miles. It was the 8th brigade that received the rebel cavalry attacks on our right wing, along the Tennessee and Elk rivers, and drove them from that part of the country.—Our brigade alone, of all of Mitchell's forces, were sent without tents or baggage, and only transportation for ten days' rations—on that terrible march to Chattanooga, and back again.
     And here we are again where danger was thought to exist, with a good prospect of more hard marching over mountains toward eastern Tennessee. The fact is General Mitchell has unbounded confidence in Col. J. B. Turchin, than whom there is not a better officer in the U.S. Army. I undertake to say that the 8th brigade gave to Gen. Mitchell his addition[al] stars, in other words made him a Major-General. Yet, while this is the case, it is a shame that not a single star decorates the shoulder straps of Col. Turchin, whose undaunted courage, wise councils, and well executed movements have had such telling effect in the history of the war in this section.
     A few days since, we had every indication of an intended movement upon us by the enemy. Four or five days ago, Col. Sill discovered that they were crossing troops over the river, and his scouts reported the enemy in force on the other side. He at once engaged them, and a good deal of skirmishing ensued, which was kept up for two days. But after trying the metal [sic] of our 24th Illinois Regiment, under Col. Mihalotzy, and feeling the force of Capt. Edgarton's balls and shells, they withdrew to the other side of the river, destroying and blockading the roads behind them. Our loss in this skirmishing was altogether about 20 men in killed, wounded and missing. The enemy's batteries on the other side command the river for a distance of ten or fifteen miles above this point.
     Col. Sill communicated with the enemy yesterday, under a flag of truce. Our bearer of dispatches found Gen. Ledbetter in command at Chattanooga. Ledbetter communicated to Col. Sill the southern news from Richmond.—They claim that Gen. McClellan was terribly whipped and thoroughly routed with the loss of his entire camp equipage, guns, &c., on the 26th and 27th of this month. If McClellan is whipped, the terminated [sic] of this war is indefinitely postponed. Gen. Buell's army is coming in this direction. He is now crossing to the southside of the Tennessee, but where, I dare not tell, and what his purposes are, I would not say, even if I knew. But rest assured of this fact, that the rebel army will not have a foothold in this State twenty days from this date.
     I have just heard that Col. Turchin was fired upon by citizens, while marching from Winchester to this place. He immediately had the woods scoured in search of the miscreants. He found two of them with guns in their hands, and without much ceremony he had them hung up to the nearest limb. He then burned all the houses in the neighborhood—nine in number. That is the way to do it. I tell you if we only had a good many more Turchins in our army, this war would soon end.
     Well, I am writing too long a letter, and will close by saying that I am well, and I hope to be able to write to you soon again.
     Yours truly,
     W. W. Mills, Ass. Surgeon 18th Regiment O.V.

The Gallipolis Journal
July 24, 1862

Manchester, Tenn., Aug. 31, 1862

Ed. Journal—Dear Sir:
     If you please let me use your columns, to report the result of a fight, in which Gallia county boys took a prominent and glorious part. On Friday, the 29th of Aug., two of our companies, viz: Co.'s A and F, with about 20 men of the 9th Michigan regiment, were attacked near Short Mountain Cross Roads, while on duty there guarding a bridge, by fifteen hundred rebel cavalry under Gen. Forrest.
     Our boys, one hundred and fifteen strong, all told, had just completed a stockade, and were resting and eating dinner, some two hundred yards from the stockade, when the attack was made. Nine hundred dismounted cavalry approached under cover of a dense woods to a position about as near to the fortification as our men were. Now they were discovered, and both parties made a desperate effort to gain the stockade first. The race was a close one, and most exciting, but our boys had some advantage in the ground and succeeded in reaching the fortification first. So closely contested was the race, that at one time Capt. Ross considered his company intercepted, and he ordered his men to fix bayonets and go into the stockade at all hazards. Our men, when once within the fortification, were safe, and had nothing to do but deal terrible slaughter to the enemy, which they did so successfully that they were repulsed in the course of fifteen or twenty minutes. During the fight our men had nine wounded. One man in Co. A shot in the foot, one in the Michigan squad shot in the back, and seven men in Capt. Ross' company were wounded as follows: Corporal Edwin Noel, shot in the side, seriously but not positively dangerous; Corporal Wiseman, shot in the shoulder, slightly; Jasper Queen, shot in the neck, seriously; A. F. Wilson, flesh wound in the thigh; Bostick shot in the side in two places, one shot passing under the muscles and fascia of the back, and the other lodging in the wall of the abdomen. Although they are extensive flesh wounds, they are not dangerous, and to-day Bostick is on his feet. Bandy was slightly injured by splinters from his own gun-stock, which was struck by a ball. Lieut. Charles Baldwin was slightly grazed by balls in two different places. These were all the casualties on our side; but it was very different with the enemy. Their loss was nine killed and between thirty and forty wounded. Among their killed was one Capt. W. Y. Huston of the Texas Rangers, and his 1st Lieut. Butler. They also had a Captain and Lieutenant wounded. All of their dead and twelve of their wounded fell into our hands.
     The enemy were so badly whipped, they fled in great haste and confusion, throwing away their arms, and leaving the place without demanding their dead or wounded. They did not deem it worth their while to send in a flag of truce, after they had retired beyond our fire, and demand a surrender—as is their custom. Our boys picked up from the field, about thirty of Colt's Navy revolvers, forty double barreled shot-guns, seven Belgian muskets, one of Sharp's revolving rifles, one Carbine, besides several other arms, many of which they had captured from our men in the shameful affair at Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
     During the heat of the engagement, Capt. Ross bethought him of our ammunition, which had been stored in a tent more than one hundred yards from the stockade, and fearing a siege he told Capt. Miller, who was in command, that the ammunition must be secured and a part of it at least brought within the stockade. Capt. Miller thought this impracticable, but Capt. Ross swore that it must and should be brought in. Now eighteen men were ordered out, and they actually went and returned safely with four boxes of cartridges. This feat was accomplished, under the fire of both flanks of the enemy, who were approaching the fortifications in the form of a semi-circle.—Some of the boys who were out on picket did not get up in time to enter the fort; but they come [sic] up in time to pour in a telling fire into the enemy's rear. Two of these boys were taken prisoners, and both made their escape and returned to the fort before night the same day. One man of Company A, by the name of Wells, made his escape in this way: Three of the rebels were ordered to take charge of him, on the march; two of them went into a house to get some water, whereupon Wells took the liberty to knock down his remaining guard and take to the woods.
     We got information of the fight about 6 o'clock P.M. Dr. Johnston, myself and some hospital nurses started immediately to the relief of our wounded. We traveled half way in a car, and walked the last six miles over rough roads, and as we at the time supposed, through the enemy's lines.—We arrived at the fort at 10 o'clock P.M., and dressed the wounds of our soldiers, and also those of the wounded rebels that were left on the field. The next morning, in the company of a Confederate Surgeon, we went out on the Sparta road seven miles, and found twelve more wounded rebels, and heard of a good many more, that we had not time to visit; we found also one man dead. More than half of the rebel wounded whom I saw will die. Their wounds are of the most terrible kind. We brought to this place our own wounded and six of the enemy's, two of whom are already dead. Considering the small number of our men, and the short time they were engaged in the fight, it is certainly one of the most bright and bloody engagements of the whole war.
Gen. Buell's army is now on a big retreat, falling back to Murfreesboro; and perhaps, to Nashville. I do not know why our army, numbering over one hundred regiments of as brave and well drilled troops, as the world ever saw, should suffer the mortification of a retreat, unless it is to let the rebel army secure the present great corn crop of Tennessee.
     W. W. Mills, Assistant Surgeon, 18th Reg., O. V. I.

The Gallipolis Journal
September 25, 1862

Letter From the 18th Ohio Nashville, Tenn. November 25th, 1862

Mr. Harper:—Dear Sir:—
     After an absence of more than a year in the "sunny South," and having been over a considerable part of Dixie's land, I have thought that perhaps a few lines would be acceptable. We have been here at Nashville nearly three months. We came here on the 7th of September, about the time that Buell's army started for Louisville. Our Regiment was one that was left with Col. Negley to hold this place, and during the time, before Gen. Rosecrans came, we were engaged principally at picket duty and foraging. We had to depend entirely on foraging for subsistence, and sometimes it was but a scanty subsistence. We got a great deal of poor beef, sometimes we got mutton, sometimes pork, chicken, ducks, turkeys, geese, &c., although we generally had strict orders to take nothing but corn, hay, beef, sheep, &c. But the boys would occasionally slip up on a chicken or a duck and bring them into camp on the sly. We all hailed the arrival of Gen. Rosecrans with joy, for with his army also came coffee, sugar, beans &c., which we had been deprived of for such a long time. And with them, also, came the mail, and we once more heard from home. There is nothing that gives the soldier so much pleasure as to receive letters from home, and as we had received none for two months, it was a sight more easily imagined than described to see the commotion it made in camp when we heard called out, "Letters." When we all thronged around our Captain's [sic] and as the letters were looked over and the names called out, each one listened with breathless interest for his name, and if he happened to be one of the unfortunate few that was not named, they would walk away with a disappointed look, soliloquizing on the forgetfulness of their friends to write.
     Gen. Rosecrans is now here with the principal part of his army. He is a splendid looking man, and the soldiers all have the most unbounded confidence in his military abilities, and look foward hopefully to the success of the army under his command. The Louisville and Nashville railroad will be completed in about two weeks, and until then, we do not expect any important movement from this place. But as soon as the road is open, you may expect to hear from us at some point South of this, on the road to Knoxville or Chattanooga. The health of the Regiment is better than it has been for a considerable time, and is still getting better. The men are in excellent spirits and eager for a forward movement.—There has [sic] been three deaths since we have been here—Jasper Queen, David L. Jones, and James Cotten. The former was [sic] wounded in battle on the 19th of August, at Short Mountain Cross-roads, was [sic] brought here and died in the Hospital.
     The prospect of peace I do not think is very encouraging at present. Unless there is a compromise made I think the war will last for years, not that I think we are unable to conquer, but because our government is wanting in energy. There are too many "gloves" in office, and until these "gloves" are removed, we cannot expect much to be done. The north is powerful in men, money and patriotism, but the policy of our government seems to be to put down this rebellion by play. The policy of the rebels is to allow us to go on at this play until we are "played out," and the country so thorougholy [sic] exhausted that we will be satisfied with any kind of a compromise. There is too much disposition manifested to court the favors of the rebels, and some of our officers appear to have warmer feelings toward a seceshionist [sic] than toward a union soldier, and this has a tendency to dishearten the soldiers and make them dissatisfied. A communication in the Gallipolis Dispatch showed the feeling which some of our officers entertain for the rebels. In that article the writer was very bitter in his denunciations of Col. Turchin and the eighth brigade, and as nearly the whole article was base falsehoods it shows what an unprincipled sympathizer will do in his hatred for true and patriotic men like Col. Turchin, who was doing what any other good general would have done under the circumstances. The article to which I allude was from Col. Nortor of the 21st Ohio.
     Well, the drums are calling for Dress Parade, and as I have wearied your patience already, I will close. No more at present, but remain,
     Yours, Respectfully,
     Harrison McClaflin, Private Co. I 18th, Regt. O.V.I.
The Gallipolis Journal
December 11, 1862

Our brave young friend, L. F. BERTHE, writes under date of Green river, Feb.12th

     We received marching orders at 10 o'clock P.M. on the ninth, on which three loud, hearty cheers rent the air, and the camp was soon lighted up with fires from boxes, barrels, and everything else of a combustible nature. On the morning of the 10th, we were out on the turn pike at 7 o'clock and took up our march for Green river, which we reached at 4 o'clock P.M. We are now the advance of General Buell's army. We are expecting to march to Cave City in a few days. Thirty-two of our men went out on a scouting expedition yesterday, but have not yet returned. Green river bridge is 500 feet long and 138 feet above the level of the water, and is supported by four massive stone pillars. Fifteen rebel prisoners were brought in to camp to-day by a party of our men.
     L. F. Berthe

The Gallipolis Journal
March 6, 1862

[Murfreesboro is about thirty miles southeast of Nashville. The Battle of Murfreesboro, also known as the Battle of Stone's River, was fought from December 31, 1862 to January 2, 1863. Casualties totaled more than 24,000 for both sides. It had the highest ratio of casualties to soldiers of any battle in the Civil War. The 18th OVI regiment was involved in the heart of the struggle. The results were a narrow Union victory with the Confederates withdrawing, but able to regroup to fight another day. The asterisks were in the newspaper, so were kept--likely they signify missing copy, indicating there was more preceding what was published. N. Elvick]

Letter from the 18th Ohio; Battlefield, near Murfreesboro, Tenn., January 5, 1863

* * * The battle took place on the north side of Stone's river, three miles from Murfreesboro, and commenced on Tuesday morning, and lasted until Saturday night, with intervals of quiet. The hard fighting was done on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Our division, brigade and regiment, was engaged in the hottest of it during those three days. Col. Stanley commanding our brigade, did nobly. Twice did our division save our army. They stood firm while others ran away. Our brigade made three distinct bayonet charges in one day, and each time drove the enemy. On Friday evening again, after a fearful contest of several hours, and while heavy columns of our army were wavering and falling back, our brigade made a desperate charge, drove the enemy clear across the small river, and took a battery of the enemy's best guns (the Washington battery, which they took from us at Manassas) and thus turned the tide of victory, and put an end to the fight.
     On the second morning of the fight, the whole of Gen. McCook's corps (three divisions) were surprised, driven back in the utmost confusion, thoroughly routed and scattered. This took place on the right (Wednesday morning). McCook lost all of his artillery and many small arms. Had it not been for this disaster, our victory here would have been complete, and glorious. The loss in our regiment in killed and wounded is fully one half. About thirty of our boys fell dead on the field. Capt. Fenton, wounded in leg and taken prisoner; Capts. Stevens and Taylor, killed; Capts. Welch and Ross, wounded, but not dangerously; Lieut. Blacker, killed; Lieuts. Minier and McClaron, badly wounded, perhaps mortally; Col. Given, slightly wounded. Many of our boys have had limbs amputated. I have stood by the operating table and amputated limbs when my feet were in blood an inch deep. I have had a hundred eyes turned upon me at once, and as many voices, each asking to have his wounds dressed first. Oh the horrors of a hospital on a battlefield, are past description.
     There was but little fighting on Saturday, and none yesterday (Sunday). No fighting this morning. Our advance is moving into Murfreesboro without opposition. The enemy is gone, and we are not able to pursue. We have lost in prisoners perhaps two or three thousand, and have taken of the enemy about as many. I came near being captured several times, and several times found myself mixed up with flying bullets and bursting shells. I now know what war is.
     Yours, W. W. Mills,
     Asst. Surgeon, 18th Reg. O.V.I.

The Gallipolis Journal
January 22, 1863

Murfreesboro, Tenn., Jan. 5, 1863

* * * I am compelled to occupy rather a precarious position in writing to you—that is, on my back. I am in the Hospital at Murfreesboro, getting along finely. I was wounded on the second day of this month by a cannon ball, or rather a shell bursting on my back and hips, which bruised me badly. I was wounded amongst the hardest of the battle, about five o'clock in the evening, and laid [sic] on the battlefield till about ten o'clock that night, unable to move. I was injured considerably more by the men running over me after I was hurt; and aside from all this, the weather was very cold and raining. I thought that I had gone through the flint mill before, but I had undergone nothing until the present affair, which was the most horrible sight I ever witnessed, or ever expect to. I think I shall be able to join my regiment in the course of two weeks, or at least I want to, in order to get satisfaction out of the rebels. I had my horse shot from under me on the 31st of December, and then fell into the hands of the rebels, but escaped from them on New Year's morning. This was before I was hurt. My flesh is not broken only in one place, which is slight, but my bruise is tolerably bad. Capt. Ross was slightly wounded, and a number more of his Company, of whom I will give the names in my next. Our regiment suffered terribly, the loss being one hundred and seventy-five in killed and wounded. Every house in Murfreesboro and surrounding neighborhood is used for hospital purposes, and I believe all are being cared for as well as could be expected. It would be useless for me at present to attempt to give you an idea of the whole proceedings, here during the late hard fought battles, but shall try to give you an abstract idea in my next, which will be soon.—You can form no idea how the troops suffered here during the whole affair, which lasted seven days. We were short of rations, or hadn't had time to prepare them, without tents, the rain pouring down in torrents and were fighting the principal part of the time. I shall write no more at present, as I think it doubtful if you can read what I have already written. I have no ink, and am compelled to use a pencil.
     Yours, L. D. Carter,
     Lieut. Co. I, 18th Reg. O.V.I.

The Gallipolis Journal
January 22, 1863

Letter from the Eighteenth Ohio Murfreesboro, Tenn., Jan 11th, 1863

Mr. James Harper:—Dear Sir:
     I would like to give you and your readers a description of the battle, which I have lately witnessed. But it is impossible for me to go into details, and I will only attempt to tell you a few things which I know, and what I saw. The fight opened on the 30th, with lively sharpshootoing all along our lines, but no general engagement until Wednesday morning, 31st December. Ten of our men were wounded on Tuesday, and placed in our division hospital, nearly a mile in our rear. I spent Tuesday night dressing wounds at said hospital, and early on Wednesday morning started to the regiment to act as field surgeon, and when I had gone half a mile I met thousands of McCook's men retreating from the right to our left—passing just in the rear of Negley's division, and being hotly pursued by the enemy. I saw much of this retreat, and God knows that I never before saw anything like it; not even imagined or had the least conception of what the word skedaddle meant. It means horrors beyond description. Just imagine a thousand wagons, ambulances, and the like, mixed up with a thousand panic-stricken soldiers, throwing away their arms and accoutrements, running like mad; wagons breaking down or getting jammed into each other, with the enemy hotly pursuing with cavalry and infantry, sending a continuous shower of bullets after the running miscreants, killing, wounding, and capturing them with impunity, and you have a faint idea of what I saw Wednesday morning.
     Of course this did not last long. Negley, who was on the right of Thomas' corps, and just to the left of McCook's, stood firm, and fought the enemy on his front, right, and rear, and thus saved the field by holding out until troops could be brought from the left to meet and check the enemy on the right. It was in this fight that our brigade suffered most, and on this part of the field our dead and wounded fell into the enemy's hands. As I was cut off from my regiment, I concluded to go back to the hospital, and had nearly reached it when a heavy force of rebel cavalry came sweeping round the building, and I retreated under a shower of bullets. This threw me into the retreating mass of Johnson's and Sheridan's men, and hence my accurate observations and terrible impressions of that skedaddle.
     After retreating so far that retreating ceased to be a virtue, I determined if possible to find my regiment. Accordingly I returned as near to the ground on which our division fought as I could get for bullets and shells, and made a vain excursion of our entire lines without finding it. In fact it was at this time surrounded on three sides, and a terrible fight was going on half a mile in its rear. But this ride took me where I could see war in earnest; and I do not now regret that I took the tour, notwithstanding the bursting shells, whistling bullets, and the deadly grape shot to which it exposed me. In the afternoon I found the right, and gathered up all of our wounded I could find, and conveyed them to one of our many hospitals, where I spent the night in operating and dressing wounds. Being established in a hospital, and busily engaged all the time since, I have not had an opportunity of informing myself with regards to Thursday's and Friday's operations, but we could judge that terrible fighting was going on by the large number of wounded sent to the rear. Every house within ten miles of the rear of our army was made an hospital of, and to many of them large numbers of tents were added. At one hospital alone, there was said to be 1,700 wounded and dead soldiers.
     The medical force was entirely inadequate to the task of attending to those men as they should have been attended to. Yet all was done that could be done to add to their comfort and save their lives. Much suffering still exists, and now we find bad wounds which have not been dressed at all, or only partially or hastily done once or twice since they were received. It was impossible to keep the wounded of different divisions separated. As it is, a single hospital may contain men from a hundred regiments, and many rebel soldiers mixed up with our own men. Thousands of the rebel wounded fell into our hands, and are now receiving the same attention from us that our own wounded do. A large force of medical men, sent by Gov. Morton, of Indiana, have arrived. Why don't [sic] Ohio do likewise? Have we no Governor? This town is now one general hospital, more than half of all the houses being filled with the wounded of both armies. We found about twenty of our 18th Regiment wounded boys here in town, who had been captured and paroled. The country hospitals are being evacuated as fast as possible by either bringing the wounded up here or sending them back to Nashville. Operations are still going on, (I mean surgical operations) and if one-half of the poor fellows on whom we operate get well, our country will be full of maimed and crippled men.
     There will be no lack of living men to (attest to) the severity of the battle of Stone's river. The loss in our brigade in killed, wounded, and missing is 479. The loss in our regiment is 171, or about half. Much of this loss, however, consists in very slight wounds which will prove no loss at all—only for the time being.
Col. T. R. Stanley, commanding the 27th brigade, did nobly. No man on the field did better. He proved himself brave, cool, and competent; and now no man would dare call him a coward. His men and officers are highly pleased with him, and he gets, as he deserves to get, the praise of his superior officers. But without doubt, and beyond all question, the bright particular star of that field was Gen. Negley, commanding the 8th Division. Well, I must close in time to mail this note, and will only add a list of the killed and wounded from our county so far as known. I am told that a list of Capt. Ross' men has been sent you, so I will not repeat it. Capt. Ross himself was seriously injured by an exploding shell, but he is now doing well and will soon be able to return to his company. Our loss in officers was heavy. Capts. Stivers and Taylor, both of Meigs county, were killed. Capts. Fenton, Welch, and Ross, wounded; Lieuts. Minear and McClaren wounded; Lieut. Blacker, killed. John Guy, (from our county) was wounded in (the) hand. I amputated a part of his hand the other day. The same boy was severely wounded on the first day of last May. He now loses the thumb and forefinger of his right hand, and all this before he has reached the age of eighteen. He is a brave boy. George W. Angel, also from Gallia county, has had a leg amputated.
     I am now led to believe that this fight will prove a very great victory. But it is nothing to what it ought to be, and nothing to what it would have been if McCook's army corps had not met with that defeat on Wednesday. Considering that, however, it is really wonderful that our other two corps accomplished what they did. People at home will wonder why Rosecrans did not pursue the retreating and disorganized army of Bragg. They would not wonder at all if they had been here. The truth is they could not pursue. Our men were used up by a week's fighting and severe exposure. It rained nearly all the time, and our men slept on their arms, without even a blanket, and half the time nothing to eat. I am satisfied that our loss is not fully estimated. From the best data I can get I could not put it down as less than ten thousand. The rebels lost more heavily than we did in killed and wounded, but they took more prisoners than we did.
     I have no doubt but that this army will move forward as soon as it possibly can—say in four or five weeks. I must close, hoping that you will excuse the loose and careless manner in which this letter is written. I would rewrite it if I had the time, but I have not. Hoping to be able to transmit you items of interest hereafter, I remain
     yours truly,
     W. W. Mills, Ass't. Surgeon 18th O.V.I.

The Gallipolis Journal
January 29, 1863

Camp near Murfreesboro, March 5th, 1863

Mr. Harper:
     In my last I promised you a detail of the incidents of our expedition. Well, our scout turned out to be nothing but an extensive foraging expedition. We left early on the morning of the 1st, with a force of five hundred infantry and three hundred cavalry. We started for Bradyville, a little one horse town about sixteen miles from here. When within two miles of the town our cavalry came upon a squad of secesh, who only waited to receive one volley, then took to their heels and lit out for camp at full speed, only touching in high places. Our cavalry were not far behind, for they rushed into camp at the heels of the rebs, who were making hasty grabs for their knapsacks. But our boys got in a little too soon for them, and routed them out in a hurry, and away they went, over the hills and far away.—The cavalry cleaned them out before we could come up.
     We had two killed and several wounded. The loss of the rebs in killed and wounded [is] not known. We took sixty prisoners, all their camp equipage, and two hundred bran-new [sic] cavalry saddles. They left their pay rolls in our keeping, which were made out on something little better than common wrapping paper. I guess the old fellow with the shin plasters had not yet arrived, or doubtless we would have had something to kindle our camp-fires with that night. Late in the evening three men came in and gave themselves up. They stated that Maloon commanded the rebels, and that they came there two days before we called on them. Well, we got all the forage we wanted, and arrived in camp without any molestation on the part of the rebs. The rebels are firing on our pickets to-night, and we are ordered to fall in at a moment's warning. I hope they won't subject us to the unpleasant duty of rolling out after we have turned in for the night, for I have a decided objection to getting up half asleep and going out on picket.
     There has been an order issued by Gen. Rosecrans to the effect that five men at a time out of a company, shall go home on a thirty days' furlough, by which process our army can go home and back again in the course of six or eight months. It is getting late and I must resign myself to that which I do not get too much of, so good bye for the time being.
     Lewis F. Berthe

The Gallipolis Journal
March 19, 1863

Murfreesboro, Tenn., April 1, '63

Mr. Harper:—Sir:
     Perhaps something concerning the welfare of the Gallia boys, would be of interest to some of the readers of your worthy paper. The boys from Gallia are, generally speaking, in good health and spirits. In fact, this whole command is in better health than it has been for months past, notwithstanding the carnage that surrounds us. The weather is pleasant and nice, have had but little rain for the past month or so, and was [sic] it not for the fences being burnt and the ground torn up by the devilish Yankees! it would look like citizens might have a sight for their lives, but, as they say, the Yankees have played the devil in general; hence no crops can be raised this season, and undoubtedly citizens will suffer the consequences, though I cannot say they are to be pitied in the least, for they appear as hostile to the Government as ever. They feel dissatisfied, so long as they are in the hands of the Yankees, for they know we are a pretty clever set of fellows at the contest. General James C. Negley returned to his command a few days since, having been home on furlough. Since his return, has been promoted from Brigadier General to Major General, for meritorious conduct on the battlefield at Stone River. We as [balance of sentence obliterated] He is a man [blank] esteemed by all who know him, as being a soldier and a gentleman in every sense of the word. The 18th Ohio has been under his command since September 15, 1862, and have the first time yet to hear aught against him, either by officers or privates, though when we were first put under General Negley's command we had lost almost all confidence in any officer that might chance to be put over us; being so mortified at the dismissal of General Turchin, then our Brigade commander, but have now cast all prejudice and malice aside, learning that General Turchin has since been restored to command and assigned to duty in this department. Now all we ask is to give us General Turchin as our Brigade commander, and Major General Negley Division commander, and I have good reason to believe this privilege will be granted us. If it should be the Southern Confed. is gone up.
     Yours, &c.,
     Lieut. L. D. Carter, 18th Reg't O. V. I.

The Gallipolis Journal
April 23, 1863

[The writer is identified only as S.N.  There is a Simeon Newberry in that regiment so it is possible that he is the writer. N. Elvick]

Murfreesboro, Tenn., April 18th, 1863

Mr. Harper:
     Seeing in your paper, (which a friend was kind enough to send me) your correspondent B. makes mention of a thousand and one letters written to friends and papers at home, I thought I would write you one, which will make a thousand and two; but instead of taking soldiers' fare and the habits and customs of Southern ladies for my subject, I will give the "Butternuts" and "Copperheads" a few of my compliments. Though the political sentiment of the North is so excited at present, that my duties and profession as a soldier do not allow me to say any more for one party than another, but were my opinions and interference of any consequence, I could only plant myself as a peace-maker between them, and defy any resistance that might be offered. For peace I am, and for peace I will be, but I want a continual peace, such as will be honorable and independent, and that gained (if not by submission) by forcing the rebels to acknowledge the laws and Constitution of the United States, or drive them into the Gulf. I would say vengeance, two fold, upon the man who dares to interrupt the prosecution of the laws. It appears that there is a class called "Butternuts." I pity these mean, dirty, sneaking, venomous puppies, if ever the soldiers are sent home that are now in the army of the Cumberland. Such men have no more right to enjoy the blessings of a home and the Liberties allowed them, than a thief has to appropriate property to his own use in the absence of its owner.—They are too cowardly and mean to come out openly. If four of the cowardly miscreants were armed and sent into the field, I would rather fight them than one Rebel already in arms. It seems that there are yet many lives to be lost in closing this war, (for close it must, either by submission or extermination of the Rebels) and before it does close, thousands will exclaim, Oh! traitors, you have sought the curse of many enraged and broken hearts, that will be avenged. May there be clemency for those who repent in time—Bullets for the Rebels, ropes for those who kindle "fires in our rear." And we do most solemnly warn all such, that should duty ever call us home to quench those fires a terrible retribution will await those who kindled them.—Their great cry is —we are fighting for the Negroes. I beg leave to inform them that we are doing nothing of the kind. We are not fighting to free the slaves, but we free slaves to secure victory, and stop the fight. We do most heartily approve of the conscription law, under the operation of which I hope to see loitering patriotism hastening to render due support to the Government that affords it protection. We hope also to see the "fire in the rear men," under its action, enjoying a clearer view of the Sunny South than can be afforded them in the dim lodges of the K. G. C's. I have heard that some of the "Copperhead" stripe have been arming themselves with revolvers, to resist the laws. Let them beware, for they are known, even here, and will be taken care of if they persist in their infamous course. Let them beware ere it is too late.
     &c. S. N.

The Gallipolis Journal May 7, 1863

[The writer here is most likely Wm. Waddell Mills, who also wrote one of the above letters. He was the Asst. regimental surgeon. N. Elvick]

Murfreesboro, Tenn., April 25, '63

Mr. Harper—Sir:
     The great army of the Cumberland lies basking in the sunshine of this balmy weather, rejoicing in its own strength, and grand, even in its inactivity. I would not have you understand that this army is doing nothing. The reverse is true.—Much is being done. Heavy reconnoitering parties are constantly going out; beside the work of fortifying, picket duty, &c. The main part of the army, which is here, is compactly encamped around the town. For miles the fields are white with tents. The sight is magnificent. Encamp- ments are neatly laid out, and profusely decorated with cedar trees, planted in rows, squads, and circles, giving the camps an air of comfort and neatness, very gratifying to behold. How long we will lie here, where we will go when we do move, &c., are questions which of course I cannot answer. Evidently this army is now ready to move, or if necessary, it is prepared to stay here, and hold this place against great odds.
     The health of the army is fine. Officers and men, look contented, cheerful, and happy. Since the battle, hundreds of sick and inefficient officers have resigned, and perhaps all the cowardly and disloyal ones have been dismissed. Inferior arms have been laid aside—each soldier carries a rifled gun. The army has unbounded confidence in its leader, consequently, the fighting condition of this army, was never so good as it is to-day; and when Gen. Rosecrans says forward, this army will move with a will almost irresistable (sic).
If you have any "copperheads" at home, who are fools enough to think that our soldiers are tired of this war, and would willingly lay down their arms, upon terms anything short of a total crushing out of this infernal rebellion, and a complete restoration of the Union, let me say to them, never were men more sadly deceived. That we will fight this thing to the bitter end, that we can, and that we will terminate this war, in just the way we wish it terminated—is the universal sentiment of our soldiers. Another sentiment equally prevalent and prominent in the minds of our soldiers is this:—That after armed rebels are laid in the dust, and the flag of the Union made to float over every foot of the South, they will return, and execute such punishment upon those traitors at home, who have sympathized with this rebellion, wished in their hearts for our defeat, and the destruction of our glorious government and country, as their crime deserves. This is not child's talk, neither will it be child's play, when our army is disbanded and our soldiers return to their homes. Their hatred for Northern traitors is immense; and such men as Vallandigham and Dr. Olds, may find the strong arm of the civil law too weak for their protection; while men less conspicuous, but equally guilty, will at least be branded with the infamous epithet—tory, have the finger of scorn pointed at them, and be voted unanimously, unfit and unworthy of a place in decent society.
     Late arrivals from "Dixie" confirm the reports of suffering and starvation in the South. A part of Gen. Reynolds' command returned to-day from McMinville [sic], bringing with them 140 prisoners; among them one Lieut. Colonel, a few Captains, and the wife of Gen. John Morgan. If all reports be true, the expedition has proved a great success. Gen. John B. Turchin, reported to Gen. Rosecrans for duty some ten days since, and I understand that he has been assigned to the command of all the cavalry here. He left this army last summer, a discharged Colonel.—He comes back to the scenes of his former triumphs and disappointments, a Brigadier-General, and is immediately assigned to a command only second in importance to the chief command of this army. Thus has justice triumphed, and Turchin is vindicated. He comes back to us, finding the whole army doing those very things for which he was court-martialed one year ago. Gen. Turchin took a proper view of this war, and had a correct notion of the policy to be pursued when he first entered the service; but the trouble was he was eighteen months in advance of public sentiment, and the notions of most military men. One year has wrought a wonderful change in the spirit of our dreams.—Men who, one year ago, held up their hands in holy horror, and cried—touch not the negro, are now loudest in their demands to have him used, in every possible way to benefit our Government; work him, arm him, and let him help us fight for our liberties, and for his, say they. Generals, who one year since, were very careful of the interests of rebel citizens, are now laid on the shelf. No longer are our sensibilities shocked, at beholding Union soldiers guarding rebel property. Thank God, these times are past; but their memory haunts us still.
     The roads are good, and the weather very fine. Our Division was reviewed by Major-General Thomas a few days since. I met Captain Drouillard of General Rosecrans' staff, the other day, and found him in fine health and spirits.—He is a fine looking officer, and a clever gentleman. More anon.
     Yours truly,
     W. W. M.

The Gallipolis Journal
May 7, 1863

[Charles C. Aleshire died 4/22/1889 and is buried in Mound Hill Cemetery. You can find his obituary here.

Headquarters 18th O. Battery, Chattanooga, Tenn., Oct. 19th

Mr. Editor:
     I have received several letters from my friends in Gallia county lately, asking me who(m) I intend to support for President of the United States at the approaching election. I have not as yet answered any of the parties making this inquiry. However, it has not been because I have been undecided. The people of Gallia county remember well that I opposed the election of Mr. Lincoln in 1860. I had peculiar notions then, and if I had time to define my position, you would conclude that I was still affected with those same peculiar notions when talking of those subjects. But these peculiar notions respecting subjects and institutions are of minor importance, and no matter what party attempts to speculate largely in them, they will find them very poor stock at the end of the war, and that the results of such speculations will have little or nothing to do in the finale of this rebellion. Consequently for me to write a long letter applauding certain acts of the present Administration, and condemning others, would be entering into just such speculation and avoiding the main question that has been asked me, viz: Who(m) are you going to vote for? Therefore, I will just authorize you to state that, if I have an opportunity to vote, I intend to vote for those gentlemen known as "Abe and Andy." Although if there was a candidate now running for President of the United States who was pledged to make a draft of one hundred thousand men every three months until the rebellion was crushed, I would vote for him in preference to Mr. Lincoln, or any other man.   
     Very respectfully,
     your obedient servant, Charles C. Aleshire

The Gallipolis Journal
October 27, 1864

Footnote from ohiohistorycentral.org
     Camp Wool was located at Athens, Ohio. Governor William Dennison ordered the establishment of the post as a training camp for Ohio volunteers during the American Civil War. In April 1861, following President Abraham Lincoln's call for seventy-five thousand volunteers to end the South's rebellion, Governor Dennison encouraged Ohio communities to form and send militia units to the state capital at Columbus. The governor ordered the formation of additional camps, including Camp Wool, to speed the processing and training of Ohio's military forces. At these camps, military authorities also reorganized these individual companies into larger military units. Camp Wool was originally named Camp Jewett after one of the founding settlers of Athens, but was later renamed Camp Wool in honor of General John Ellis Wool. Wool was a veteran of the War of 1812, the U.S.-Mexican War, and the Civil War.

Transcribed by Eva Swain Hughes

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