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Letters from the 7th Ohio Voluntary Cavalry

[John F. White, who authored this letter, was the commissary sergeant of Company M of the 7th OVC. There were many men from Gallia County in Companies L and M. As many as two dozen or more men from these companies were later taken prisoner in Tennessee and were sent to the prison in Andersonville, Georgia where many of them died. N. Elvick]

Camp Ella Bishop, near Lexington, Ky. Jan. 21st, 1863

Mr. Harper:—Dear Sir:
     We have repeatedly written to our friends while in the service since we left the border of our State at Camp Ripley, Jan. 2nd, '63, but learn that our letters for some reason have failed to reach their point of destination; therefore we sincerely request that we be allowed space in your respectable paper for the purpose of informing the friends of Co. M, 7th O.V.C. that we are all well, with the exception of Sergeant Hively, and Alexander Boggs, who are in the Hospital, but are now convalescent. We were six days on our march from Ripley, to Lexington, a distance of about seventy-five miles. We passed through much fine country, as we traveled through the counties of Mason and Bourbon, where I was informed that land rates at from forty to fifty dollars per acre. The worth of old Kentucky cannot be told until the accursed institution of slavery is eradicated from her soil, and School Houses, Churches, and Academies, are erected in the place of negro huts and the aristocratic slaveholders' palaces, whereby knowledge and the principles of religious liberty may be thoroughly instilled in the minds of the people and disseminated throughout the length and breadth of her domain.
     We arrived here on the 8th inst., where we have been encamping for now eleven days, on what is called the old Henry Clay Farm. It is in reality a nice place and a beautiful country, but we would undoubtedly admire it more were it not for the enormous amount of mud we have to encounter, but we live in the joyful anticipation of this drying or freezing up soon, which would render it much more pleasant. We have a good Captain and Lieutenants. Let me here state that Lieut. Carr, is estimated as second to no other officer in Camp. Jim Campbell is still the same mysterious, incomprehensible self. He is monarch of all he surveys and his rights there are none to dispute.
     As before mentioned, the boys of old Gallia and Jackson, J. W. Swanson, H. Nutt, Wm. Mossbarger, J. E. Perkins, John J. Smith, E. P. Stubbs, and Samuel Norman, are well and in fine spirits. Now that the taps have blown I close this epistle with the fond expectation of hearing from our friends and relations soon and often.
     Yours Respectfully,
     John F. White

The Gallipolis Journal
January 29, 1863

[H.J. Rickabaugh was Corporal Henry J. Rickabaugh. He was born here, moved to Lawrence County, then to Nebraska and back to Jackson County where he died in 1918. He was also a Squirrel Hunter. ]

Harrodsburg, Ky, March 7, '63

Mr. Harper:
     The Journal makes its appearance in our camp most every week, through which we receive intelligence from good old Gallia, the birth place of many a brave hearted soldier who has gone forth to maintain the rights and privileges of those we have left behind, and the free Government under which we have lived and prospered so long. The question I wish to ask is this—what do the boys think about the draft. Would they rather stay at home and be content to see this Government fall? I know very well that the thought of leaving home runs quick to the heart, but would it not be far worse to have to fight at home, where our families would be in danger at every moment? Wives, I would say unto you, be as heroes; tell your husbands never to let old Gallia be drenched with the blood of this unholy rebellion. I for one have left my home, the place of my youthful days, a father and mother, sister and brothers, a wife and little boy—for what, a mere show? by no means. I felt that I had an interest in this great Government, which my old father helped to maintain in 1812, and to day would tremble to see it fall. I have felt for some time past as I have never felt before, and that is that this Government must be sustained, let it cost what it may. I would say awake, arouse, oh North put in thy strength, and come and help us, and before six months roll round this accursed rebellion will be at an end, and we can return to our homes.
     At the commencement of the rebellion we could hear prayer after prayer offered up for our support. Have we quit praying, and are we being led by money! Money in place of such a Government as this! Is not this a fact worthy of notice? But still the cry is money, while so many soldiers are suffering and languishing for home, but who are not willing to return until an honorable peace is conquered. Does not the word of God say that the prayers of one man availeth much, and if the prayers of one man availeth so much, what would the prayers of the whole North effect to ascend to the Throne of Grace in behalf of this glorious Government! But judge for yourself. I know for one that politics are interfering too much with business in the North at this critical moment.—God forbid that politics should interfere at this critical hour of our country's trial. Although I with others did not vote for Uncle Abe, but I am bound to see him through. Come boys, and help us, won't you? Well, if you won't be persuaded, Uncle Sam will have to—what shall I call it—draft—. That will fetch you up, oats or no oats. Well, I feel sorry for you but the thing must be did [sic].
     Yours respectfully,
     H. J. Rickabaugh, 7th Reg. O.V. Cavalry

The Gallipolis Journal
March 19, 1863

Camp near Mr. Sterling, Ky., March 7th, 1863

Mr. Harper:
     Dear Sir:—We have been absent from camp near Harrodsburg on a scouting expedition for the last seventeen days, which has deprived us of the privilege of hearing from or communicating with our correspondents in old Gallia and Jackson, for what we consider a long time. We therefore request the publication of this communication in your highly respected Journal, which will supercede [sic] the necessity of my writing many private letters, inform our friends and relations as to our whereabouts, and at the same time briefly narrate what came under my observation during a march of fourteen days—and I might say nights too, for we seldom stopped for the night, and scarcely slept at night only on our horses.
We left Harrodsburg on the night of the 20th of February, 1863. Marched that night as far as Danville, a distance of ten miles, remained there until the morning when we obtained ten days' rations and resumed our march for Crab Orchard, through rain, snow, and sleet, where we arrived about 8 o'clock P.M. I will not here undertake to give a description of the manner in which we put in that night. The next day Capt. Campbell, Major McIntire and Lieut.-Colonel Miner, started with a detachment of men from various Regiments, with a portion of the 7th O.V.C., taking the major part of our company in the direction of Mt. Vernon, but I have not received any intelligence from them only as it came through the medium of the daily press, since they left us.
     On the night of the same day, between the hours of ten and eleven, we were ordered to Richmond, a distance approaching fifty miles. We arrived there the next evening shortly after dark, but learned that we were a day behind the times; the rebels had been there the day before, stealing horses, robbing stores, and committing depredations and outrages too intolerable to be borne by a free and intelligent people. We were cheerfully welcomed by the good Union people of this place, where we remained that night and part of the next day, when we moved forward in the direction of Winchester, at which place we thought to stop for the night, but on our arrival there we learned that the rebels were in force at Mt. Sterling, therefore we moved on for Mt. Sterling that night, eighteen miles distant. We went within about three miles of town, when a halt was called by Col. Runkle, who was in command of the entire force there. Major Raney and Lieut. Carr, proposed marching right into town with a force sufficient to take them by surprise, but was ruled down by the cowardly Colonel. The next morning about sunrise we advanced slowly in the direction of town, saw nothing until within one mile of town, where we scared up the pickets, perhaps fifty in number; this brought serious reflections across the mind of the Brigadier General, who imagined that the rebels were secreted behind a ravine that was between us and the fugitive rebels, and therefore drew us up in line of battle, squared the battery, and threw a shell in that direction, (no rebels being there, judging of the number killed, wounded and missing). The main body being about three miles beyond town, made good their escape.—We followed rapidly for about one mile beyond town, where we, to the great surprise of the people and men themselves, halted all that day. However, small squads of scouting parties went out and brought in a few prisoners, recaptured the wagons and mules which they had taken from the 14th Kentucky stationed here, prior to our advent into this part of the country. That night we were ordered to be in readiness to form into line of battle at the first sound of the bugle, in case of engagement, but no enemy that night.
     The next day about three o'clock P.M., we started in pursuit of the enemy, and after marching until dusk we saw no very strong indications, but here received a dispatch announcing that there was a large force marching for Lexington, under John Morgan and Humphrey Marshall, when we faced about and went on double quick in that direction. About eight o'clock the next day we reached Paris, where we ascertained that the dispatch was utterly false, and had been forged by rebel citizens to let rebels come back to Mt. Sterling. The trick was pretty effectually carried out; but I notice we left the perpetrators incarcerated within the gloomy walls of a dungeon, to await their doom.
     The next day a small party under command of Major Raney, left for Winchester, a distance of fourteen miles from Paris. We went into town with a dash, found no soldiers, but the place was full of butternut gents, who came into town with the expectation of seeing their rebel friends in the army, but instead of that, they found a Federal force, who had the town under martial law. No man was allowed to pass out of town. But when we put out our pickets, a scouting party of forty approached, four of them dressed in Federal uniform, and captured the pickets, after we had advanced six miles in the direction of Lexington and camped in a meeting house. The next day we marched back to Winchester where we found encamped a Federal force, consisting of the 100th Ohio, 10th, 2d and 14th Kentucky, also the 45th Ohio, and a portion of the 7th O.V.C. The next morning being the 2d of March '63, we left about 8 o'clock A.M. for Mt. Sterling once more. One Battallion of the 7th O.V.C., in command of the gallant Major Norton, being in the advance, was ordered to make a dash in town. About this time we came in sight of their pickets, about two miles from town, under full headway. Then the men who had the fastest horse(s) and the longest spurs got before. We captured several pickets before they got to town, but on entering we met a force nearly equal to that of our own, who turned on us for a fight. They fired one volley among us, wounded one man only, and then skedaddled. As we followed in hot pursuit through town, hats, caps, and coats, flew in every direction. The pavements were thronged with women and children, who were jumping up and down, waving handkerchiefs, aprons, and flags, and shouting "Glory to God and victory to the Union," which connected with the hallooing of the men, the taking of prisoners and firing of pistols and carbines, augmented a scene which never before greeted the ears of men raised in a civilized country. We pursued them six miles to a stream, where their main force was situated. We killed five or six, wounded several, and captured twenty-six prisoners. The curses of the men were deep and bitter because they were not allowed to cross over the stream, where it has since been well known success would have crowned the slightest effort. Col. Runkle was immediately arrested and sent to Lexington, where if he gets his just deserts, he will be dismissed from the service in disgrace, and his name stigmatized with infamy down to the latest posterity.
     Mt. Sterling, the county seat of Montgomery county, is quite a nice looking town, with a population of about one thousand inhabitants, but like the majority of towns through Kentucky, it is not marked with that degree of enterprise and rapid improvement, which is characteristic of the towns and villages in Ohio and other free States. We are sojourning here for a short time only. As soon as our horses recruit [sic] a few days, we expect to return to camp at Harrodsburg.
     Good health is prevalent among the men generally, who daily express a desire for a more vigorous prosecution of the war, that the rebellion may be successfully crushed out, and peace and tranquility restored to our once happy and prosperous county.
     John F. White

The Gallipolis Journal
March 19, 1863

[Lieutenant Carr, Sergeant Philip Blazer, Sergeant Hively, and Privates John Donalds and James Campbell mentioned in this letter were all in Company M of the 7th Ohio Voluntary Cavalry. Captain Leaper was in Company F & S.]

Camp near Lexington, Ky., March 24, 1863

Mr. Harper—Sir:
     For the benefit of the bereaved mother of John Donnalds, a member of my Company, I desire the publication of this epistle.—Mr. Donnalds departed this life March 22d, at about nine o'clock P.M. I am informed by the Physician who attended him during his illness, that his disease was a Bronchial affection [sic].—He complained of being unwell on the 18th of March, and went to the Hospital on the 20th, where he was visited by Lieut. Carr and Sargeant [sic] Philip Blaser, who remained with him until he was called to exchange worlds. Not being able to be out of my bed for three days, I did not get to see him during his sickness.
     John was a brave boy and a good soldier, always ready and willing to meet any emergency, and never flinched from duty. I have to regret very much that it was out of my power to send his remains home, from the fact that the majority of the Regiment at the time were out on a scouting expedition, and myself being sick as before stated I presume affords satisfactory reasons why the corpse was not sent home, which doubtless would have afforded much comfort to his aged mother.
     The health of my Company is comparatively good. However, we have twelve in the Hospital, six of these have measels [sic], the others with colds &c., but all are at this time convalescent. Why should they not rapidly recover when everything necessary for their comfort is afforded. I have visited many Hospitals, but never have I come across one that can compare with the General Hospital at Lexington, for well ventilated rooms, cleanliness, and a marked devotion on the part of those to whom the care of the sick are [sic] intrusted [sic].
     Since the above was written the boys have arrived, and bring the news that they have been running and fighting the rebels. No casualties occurred on our part, with one exception, which grieves me to announce that Sergeant Hively of my Company was accidentally wounded by one of Capt. Leaper's men. The accident took place beyond Mt. Sterling, while returning after persuing [sic] the rebels. In crossing a fence a carbine accidentally went off, the ball entered the Sergeant's thigh, giving him a flesh wound which I think will be right again soon.
     Yours respectfully,
     James Campbell [Captain in Company M]

The Gallipolis Journal
April 2, 1863

[The writer here, Albert A. Carr, eventually mustered out as a captain.]

Camp Dick Robinson, Ky., March 31st, 1863

Mr. Harper:—Sir:
     We would ask space in your respectable paper to record the death of Simeon C. Abbott, a member of our company, who died in General Hospital No. 2, Lexington, Ky., on the 25th day of March, 1863. Mr. Abbott was taken to the Hospital on the 20th of March, and was admitted there at the same time as our friend Donalds, of whose death his friends have heard ere this.
     His disease was Neuralgia. His lungs had also been affected for about two months, but he seldom murmured. Capt. Campbell and I called to see him on the day before his death, but having received marching orders that night, we were deprived of seeing him again. The deceased was a member of the Free Will Baptist Church, and lived true to his profession we believe, through all the trying circumstances by which a soldier is surrounded—daily discharging his duty to his God and his Country.—"Hence there is laid up for him a treasure," and he is gone to reap his reward where rebellions cease to exist, and the horrors of war have no dread.
     Bereaved wife, while you have lost a kind and affectionate husband, we feel to sympathize with you in your sorrow and grief. No doubt his loss will be deeply felt within the family circle as it is in the field. Another of Gallia's brave sons have [sic] ceased to exist, and no doubt many of us must follow the same pathway as thousands have gone before, ere we accomplish the object for which we left our homes, our friends, and the comforts of peacefulness. Mothers, daughters, and wives, be of good cheer. Weep not to see your sons, brothers, and husbands bleed and die in this great struggle for liberty, for you and your homes must be protected, and our Union preserved.
     A.A. Carr,
     First Lieutenant, Company M, 7th O.V. Cavalry

The Gallipolis Journal
April 16, 1863

Camp near Lexington, Ky., April 14, 1863

Mr. Harper:—Sir:
     On the 11th inst., Company M, 7th O. V. C., for the high regard entertained for their company officers, purchased and presented Capt. Campbell and Lieut. Carr each with a new cavalry sabre. The presentation was made by Sergeants Scott and White, in neat patriotic addresses, and responded to by Capt. Campbell and Lieut. Carr in fitting and appropriate terms. The enthusiasm, however, was somewhat marred by the Regiment being then under marching orders, but everything passed off as well as could be expected under the circumstances.
     Co. M, 7th O. V. C.

The Gallipolis Journal
April 23, 1863

Camp near Stanford, Lincoln co., Ky., April 19, '63

Mr. Harper:—Dear Sir:
     I hope that you and the higher powers will pardon a poor soldier for spending a portion of this wet, gloomy Sabbath in scribbling a few thoughts for the information and encouragement of the friends of the 7th Ohio Cavalry.—Well, sir, after some eight weeks of almost constant marching, and scouting through the South-eastern portion of this State, we find ourselves encamped on a beautiful situation, near Stanford, where our battalion started from, about eight weeks ago. I say we are encamped here, but the larger portion of the men have gone to Summerset [Somerset], thirty-six miles from here, close to the Cumberland river, to help watch the movements of the rebs, who are gathering there in quite a force, and fortifying at Monticello, ten miles on the South side of the river. There is but little doubt, sir, that ere long the 7th with others, will find more hot work to do in that vicinity. I suppose that you and most of those having friends in the 7th, have learned before this, that there was some hot work done some three weeks ago by this regiment, the 1st Kentucky and 45th Ohio. Well, I am glad that I can say that all agree in the statement that the boys in the 7th, with their brave Colonel to lead them, acquitted themselves like true soldiers, fought bravely, and sustained but a very slight loss. Our battalion, I believe, did not lose a man, although they made a bold charge up a steep hill and drove a portion of the rebs from their position. But, sir, I am sorry to say, I was not with them; other duties had taken me at that time to another part of the State, and since then I have rode [sic] about four hundred and fifty miles on different roads. I must say from what I have seen since Burnsides' men are gathering along the border that Kentucky begins to present quite a military appearance, and it is much feared by many of the people here that Kentucky will be the principal battlefield this summer. But of this we can form no idea, for as a soldier we have learned that the movements of armies are very mysterious at times.
     The health of the Gallia boys is as good as we could expect; we have a few in the Hospital, and a few in camp not able for duty at present, but none dangerously ill. Since spring has dawned upon our winter-beaten frames, we feel inspired with new life and vigor, and are ready to do battle for our country and the friends we left behind us, provided those friends stick true to the cause of our country, the cause we have espoused. But if they turn traitor to us and to their country, we are just as ready to return and do battle on traitors there as here, if we are called on. But seriously, I do hope that the judgment and good sense of the men in the free States will lead them to be cautious and not give their influence to increase and continue a war that is costing so much blood and treasure.
     Now, sir, I hope you will not take it as a breach of manners for me to brag a little of Company L, for it is admitted that it turns out more men than any company in the regiment, when there is scouting or duty to do, and are brave almost to a man. There is [sic] now but eleven of our men left in camp, and not one of our officers. Our regiment is now in General Carter's command, and I think from his appearance that he is a gentleman and a good officer.
     W. L. C.

The Gallipolis Journal
May 7, 1863

[The next two letters describe the episode that resulted in the capture of many men from Companies L & M at Rogersville, Tennessee. They were taken first to Belle Isle prison in Richmond and about 4 months later to Andersonville, Georgia. N. Elvick]

Morristown, East Tennessee, Nov. 8, 1863

Mr. Harper—Dear Sir:
     Ere this reaches you, you will doubtless have been made acquainted with the casualties of the fight which took place on the 5th of this month, five miles north of Rodgersville, the county seat of Hawkins county, between the Confederate forces, commanded by Gen. Jones, and Gen. Carter's Brigade, under command of Israel Garrard, Colonel of [the] 7th O.V.C. At this date we hear many clashing rumors in regard to the number of killed, wounded and missing, therefore I give only what I know and gather from the most authentic sources, and chiefly confine myself to Capt. Campbell's Company, for the sake of brevity and the accommodation of friends in old Gallia. The enemy were guided by four rebel citizens, who had sworn allegiance to the Government, and just returned from incarceration at Knoxville. Thus we were betrayed, and our entire force surrounded by night. On the morning of the 6th, they opened on us from every side, and then a general engagement ensued, in which, the 2d Tennessee were all missing save about sixty, who cut through. The 2d Illinois Battery was captured, with sixty-five men [fold in paper obscures words]. The 7th O.V.C. cut their way through with a loss not to exceed one hundred and twenty-five men. But all the books, Quartermaster and Commissary stores, fell into the hands of the enemy, which leaves the men all here with their arms principally, but minus the blankets and grub, which they chiefly obtained by borrowing from their reb friends.
     The following are the names of those missing in Company M: Lieut. A. A. Carr; Sergeant H. F. Wood; William Furgerson (bugler); F. M. Corn; Silas Nelson; Leroy Butcher; Salmon K. Bickel; David Siders; David Viers; Oliver Cavilee; Lewis Dawson. This is the first thing like a defeat that we have ever met with, and I hope may be the last. We are not discouraged by any means; we know that war has its reverses as well as its victories. Good health prevails generally among the troops in East Tennessee.—We have here a salubrious climate, plenty of good water, and a country well adapted to improvement, but the cursed institution of human slavery, which has ever defaced the moral brightness of our legislative page, has withered the spirit of mental improvement to such an extent, and so palsied the arm of industry, that it will take it a long time under the control of Yankees, before her rebellious subjects are subdued, and harmony restored permanently.
     Yours truly,
     John F. White, Co. M. 7th O.V.C.

The Gallipolis Journal
November 19, 1863

[This is a news article printed in the Journal from information received from a private (Wm. Miller) in this regiment who escaped. N. Elvick]

Seventh Ohio Cavalry

    —We have received information from Wm. Miller, a private in Capt. Leaper's Company, who escaped from the rebels at Newbern Station on the way to Richmond, which very materially changes the face of things connected with the fight at Rogersville, as published in the Cincinnati dailies. This information is fully corroborated by Capt. Leaper.
     Mr. Miller states that our men were completely surrounded. Every road was guarded by the enemy, and on all sides detachments of our men advancing, found themselves in the presence of the enemy largely superior in point of numbers. The result could not have been otherwise. There was no panic existing among our men. All fought with desperation, knowing the fate that awaited them as prisoners was if possible, worse than death on the field of battle. They were simply overpowered by numbers of the enemy. Captain Leaper speaks in high terms of the cool and daring courage of his men. The escape of Miller was almost miraculous. At Newbern Station where the prisoners were being placed on the cars, he contrived to crawl under the train, and lying on the track remained there until the train moved off. He then rolled off the track into a ditch, and remained there until an opportunity offered to escape. Being in the night he had little difficulty in doing so. He was placed on the right track for Flat top mountain by Union men, and thence made his way down Kanawha to Gallipolis.
     A private, Francis M. Corn, of Capt. Campbell's Company, 7th O.V. Cavalry, made his escape at the same time in the same manner, and reached Gallipolis in safety, with Miller. As we did not see him, of course we cannot state how far he corroborates the statement of the others. From what we have learned we do not hesitate to say that the 7th Ohio Cavalry did their whole duty in the fight at Rogersville.
     Capt. Leaper has furnished us the following list of captured of his command: Lieut. Jas. C. Shaw, Isaac Compston, Corp. Wm. Morrison, Austin Brothers, Alonzo Brown, Jas. L. Donnally, Joseph Henry, Lewis Holcomb, Nicholas Thevinin, Jobe Randolph, Sam'l Kerr, John A. Morrison, Brint Gillingham, Daniel Coffman, Geo. B. Houk, Geo. Shields, R. L. Hutsinpillar, Henry Northup, Adam Sibley.

The Gallipolis Journal
November 26, 1863

[These letters were printed in the Gallipolis Journal on December 10, 1863. The letters were sent from Belle Isle Prison in the James River, just outside Richmond, Virginia. The prisoners at Belle Isle were transferred to Andersonville, Georgia in March, 1864. Reuben L. Hutsinpillar, who wrote the second letter below, died at Andersonville on May 15, 1864. N. Elvick]

     We are requested to copy the following letter for the benefit of the friends of those named therein. Letters or packages for the prisoners, will probably reach them sooner by being directed: care of James C. Wetmore, Ohio State Military Agent, Washington, D. C.

Richmond, Va., Nov. 16, 1863

Dear Ma:
     I thought I would drop you a few lines this morning, to let you know where we are. We were taken prisoners at Rogerville, Tenn., on the 6th of this month, by A. Gallatin Jenkins' Cavalry. I will give you the names of our Company taken prisoners: Matt Reub, H. Dan. Coffman, Geo. Hank, Lewis Holcomb, Ad. Sibley, Henry Northup, Will. Morrison, Compston, and myself. We are all in good health at this time.—Camped on Bell Island, near the city. Please send word to the friends of those names mentioned. Please write soon. Address J. A. Morrison, prisoner of war, 7th Ohio Cavalry, Richmond prison.
     J. A. Morrison

Mrs. M. Hutsinpillar
Dear Mother:
     I can do nothing more than let you know where I am, and that I am well. I have no envelops, so I will write a line in Morrison's letter. I hope to be exchanged soon. Write to me per direction given above in John's note. Give my love to all.
     Good bye.
     R. L. Hutsinpillar, Richmond prison

The Gallipolis Journal
December 10, 1863

[This letter from a chaplain in a Pennsylvania unit is inserted here because at this time there were many Gallia men imprisoned in Richmond. Most were at Belle Isle, which was a prison for enlisted men on an island in the James River, just outside the city. Libby Prison was in the city and was for officers only. Castle Thunder, also in the city, was an old tobacco warehouse which had earliler been converted into a prison but during the war was used by the Confederates to house mostly civilian prisoners. It had a reputation as being a place where prisoners received particulary brutal treatment. The mention of prisoners from Maryland and Pennsylvania would indicate that the prisoners were taken during the Pennsylvania invasion that had resulted in the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. Civilians would have been arrested who were guilty of aiding the Union army, probably mostly as informants or spies, but possibly also soldiers who were caught out of uniform. There were prisoners here from the 7th OVC at both Libby and Belle Isle. The Journal probably printed the letter to acquaint the local citizenry about conditions in the prisons. N. Elvick]

    The Rev. Mr. D. C. Eberhart, Chaplain of the 87th Pa. Vols., has been released by the Rebels, and gives his experiences at Castle Thunder and Libby Prison. They were the same as those related by many others. But we cannot resist copying his closing remarks:

     Of the manner of our fare, rations, &c., enough may have been said by others, yet even then the half has not been told. I would advise all our officers to run a most fearful risk rather then to throw themselves upon the hospitalities of heartless Rebels, and experience the realities of this vile and loathsome prison. While in the hospital, and able to go about, I was permitted as a favor from the Doctor to visit the hospital situated in a lower room of the same building, where our citizens and private soldiers were brought. Here I conversed freely and received the testimony of many a poor fellow, whose vital energies had almost eked out at the cruel treatment received. I have seen as high as twenty brought in at a time from Belle Isle, and seated on benches while they would take their names, but before they were half through with this ceremony, one-third or more of the number would be fallen to the floor, and many of them insensible, and some only to wake up in eternity. My heart has sickened at the sight, and I now make these statements, not with a revengeful feeling, but only to warn our noble soldiers from falling into such hands. If when closely pressed and a thought of surrendering crosses your mind, pass in review before you the gaunt, half-famished forms of those unfortunates, and it will stimulate you to a desperate effort to escape, or even to die on the field of battle rather than to fall into such hands.
     Our citizen prisoners seem even to fare worse, if possible, than any others. Some were taken forcefully from their peaceful homes in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and without a moment's warning, or an opportunity of changing their working apparel, or supplying themselves with a little needful change, or giving a word of comfort or advice to their weeping families, were hurried off on foot, in front of the bayonet, and traveled thus for five days. The only rations issued to them during that time was a pint of flour a day; and not until the evening of the third day were they allowed to make anything like dough and bake it in the ashes—thus being compelled to eat raw flour, like beasts, and this by the boasted chivalry of the South. I have seen these same men begging like children even for a crust of bread to satisfy their appetites—men, who perhaps, had never known what it was to want for anything.
     For some six weeks several hundred occupied a lower room in Libby, and in the night the officers would pass down through the cracks in the floor all the surplus bread that could be procured through the savings of the officers, and I was told by one of our doctors, that he had actually seen them fish bread out of the sinks where all the filth from the rooms above passed through, and wash it off and eat it, so near were they to starvation!—I have seen citizen prisoners in Castle Thunder, over 72 years of age, simply clinging in their old age to the time-honored flag of their country. Friends at home, if you can do anything for our poor prisoners at Richmond, either through your personal effort or through the agency of our noble Christian Commission, rest not until you have done your duty in mitigating their sufferings and cheering their sinking spirits, and a kind Providence and many grateful hearts will bless you.
     D. C. Eberhart, Chaplain 87th Regt. Pa. Vol. Infantry, Army of the Potomac

The Gallipolis Journal
December 10, 1863

[Although this is not a letter from a soldier it is inserted here for continuity sake. This escape was made in October 1863, or about three weeks before many others from L Company were captured in November near Rogersville, Tennessee. The others would not have arrived yet in Richmond at the time of this escape. The room described seems to be the above described Libby prison in Richmond where they seemed to have been kept in a basement area under the place where the officers were imprisoned. N. Elvick]

     Joseph A. Donnelly and John H. Cherington, Company L, 7th Ohio Cavalry, who were captured about the 15th of October, near Bristol, West Va., made their escape from a Richmond prison or tobacco house, on the night of the 13th of November last, by digging under the wall and excavating a tunnel about 35 feet in length.—They arrived safe home last week and give a most interesting account of their privations in prison, and hair-breadth escapes, as also their journey to our lines. They fully confirm the statements already made relative to the prison "hells" of Richmond, and say that imagination can hardly conceive of the terrible reality.      They were confined in a room in the basement with 118 others. The room, although large for the purpose originally designed, was too small for 120 men as a prison. But one stove was allowed in it, and as few, if any, of the prisoners had blankets, or even coats, they suffered intensely from cold. Their food consisted of corn bread coarse and raw, and not half enough of even that, with a tincup-ful of cabbage soup very thin and watery. As they never got sight, taste, or smell of the meat used in making it, it may have been mule or dog for aught they knew. Tubs were placed in the same room for private purposes, the stench from which, rendered the atmosphere overpowering; yet these men slept, ate, and lived for three weeks in this horrible place. Lice in countless thousands, swarmed over everything, rendering rest impossible.
     After getting clear of Richmond, they were indebted wholly to the slaves for sustenance and guidance into our lines. These men left Gallia county imbued with strong prejudices against the negro. Their experience in getting out of Dixie, has worked a marvellous change in their views, and they are now decidedly of [the] opinion that one loyal negro is worth three rebels at any time. Strange, indeed, that those only who have no knowledge of Southern affairs should think otherwise.

The Gallipolis Journal
December 17, 1863

[When Sherman's army was marching through Georgia, from the Confederate standpoint it was uncomfortably close to Andersonville, and so those prisoners who were ambulatory were evacuated to places in South Carolina. Many were returned to Andersonville after Sherman's army passed through. N. Elvick]

     Lieut. James C. Shaw, 7th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, a prisoner at Charleston, S. C., writes under date of September 18, 1864 to his wife, a letter from which we are permitted to make the following extract:
"I have at last seen some of the boys of my old company, but very sorry to learn that many of them are dead. Sergeant Coffman, Sylvester Clark, Sibley and Charles Kincaid are in Charleston. Clark looks very bad. John Hill, Isaac Compston, H. D. Gillingham, R. Hutsinpillar, Joseph Henry, George Shields, Bate Malborn and one more are dead. Sgt. Kerr and one more are in the hospital, and George B. Hask and Alonzo Brown reported dead. The balance of the boys are in tolerable good health. Christopher Berridge's boy is here and well. I have no other news of importance to you that I know of. Direct, "prisoner of war," in care of Gen. Foster commanding at Hilton Head, South Carolina. J. C. Shaw

The Gallipolis Journal
October 20, 1864

[The writer here is Sergeant Henry Felix Wood. Reading these next letters is not for the faint of heart. At least the war was all but over at this time. Sergeant Wood would later write letters to support the application of many of the widows of these men for their widow's pensions.]

Mr. R. L. Stewart: Sir:
     At your request I have hastily drawn up an account of my experience in Southern prisons, which you are at liberty to publish if you think proper. I had taken notes of every days transactions but lost them on the route from one prison to another. What I now say is from memory only but believed to be correct in the main facts.
     I was captured at Rogersville, Tenn., on the 6th Nov., 1863, at a house where several of us were making out pay rolls. The main body of our forces was about four miles distant, and (they) were attacked by the rebels after our capture. We were forwarded at once to Richmond, with about 112 of the 7th O.V.C., that were picked up during the day, and reached Belle Isle on the 12th of Nov. The accounts published in Northern papers of this terrible den, are not all exaggerated. Indeed all I have seen, fall far short of the reality. It cannot be conceived of, by persons in this country, for the reason, that it is hard to believe that human nature could be so debased, and sunk so low in wickedness and brutality, as the keepers of these Southern prisons have proven themselves to be. I could occupy pages of your paper, in reciting incidents of horror that would appal(l) the stoutest heart, but you have not space, nor do I incline to repeat the sickening tale. I shall confine myself to facts and dates leaving the imaginations of your readers to fill out the details, assuring them that if drawn in the strongest light they will fall far short of actual experience.
About 10,000 were crowded on Bell(e) Isle, into a sandy enclosure about the size of the Public Square of Gallipolis. A part of these only had the shelter afforded by some old tents. Very many had to be out all winter on the sand without even the shelter of a blanket. The winter was said by the oldest inhabitants of that country, to have been the hardest one known in that section for ten years. Snow lay on the ground 4 inches deep, for several days of January, and hundreds of our men perished from the cold. We did not get wood enough in a month to make one good fire. Our rations were furnished us cooked, so as to avoid giving us fuel to cook them and warm our frozen limbs. The water we drank was obtained from (the) James river, and only in daylight. Great suffering was experienced from thirst at night. Men could not sleep for cold and hunger, and suffered more from thirst than they otherwise would have done. Many men were shot by the guards, for attempting to get water, or getting over what was called the dead line. All night long you could hear men groaning in the agonies of death, without any hope of relief from the demons who stood guard around them, and refused them even a drop of cold water. Many in their last hours became raving maniacs, to whom death came as a merciful visitor and released them from their terrible misery.
     Added to all this was the regular sound of the musket shot, as some poor fellow in his agony staggered over the dead line, or performed some act in violation of prison rules. All night long these sounds rang in our ears, and many poor fellow innocent of any such violation met his death from stray bullets fired at random by the inhuman guard or if aimed at some unfortunate Yankee missed him, only to strike fatally one for whom it was not designed. Such mistakes were only treated as jokes, by these murderers, nor do I know of a single instance wherein the perpetrators were censured by their officers.. The sinks or privies are made near the river, and could be used only in the day time. During the night, men suffering from diarrhea and other diseases of a like nature were of necessity obliged to use the camp, and the condition of it in the morning, may be better conceived than described. Details of prisoners were made every morning to remove the excrement and filth that had accumulated in the camp the night previous. The labor of doing this was more than could be done by the men in the time allowed. Of course the remainder was left to be troden [sic] under foot, or lain down upon the succeeding night, producing on the bodies of the unfortunate men, ulcers and sores of the most disgusting and painful character. All these scenes were of daily occurrence.      
     The condition of the camp, after one or two months of our stay, may be readily imagined.
Rations at first consisted of a mixture of rye and corn bread twice a day, with a small ration of meat once a day. This would about suffice to sustain life but no more. To a sick man it was anything but nourishing. In about ten weeks after my arrival, we received corn meal made of unsifted meal without salt. Meat was only furnished us twice in ten days, and then not only of poor quality, but small in quantity. I remained on Bell(e) Isle until 15th March, 1864. The foregoing detail of prison life in that horrible place, is not overdrawn in any particular. The scenes of misery and suffering that occurred there, are beyond the pen of an ordinary writer to describe.—But they are written on my mind, and memory, as if with a pen of red hot steel. They never can be effaced, but will endure to the latest moments of my life.
     It will be born(e) in mind that all these sufferings were endured by us, in sight of Richmond, and almost under the eye of Jeff. Davis and his myrmidons. They knew of it all. They could not fail to know it. Nor was it caused by a scarcity of provisions at Richmond, nor of fuel. Our guards lived as well as rebel soldiers do generally. It was our deliberate conviction, that the rebel authorities, if not openly, at least tacitly assented to the horrible atrocities of the guards, for the purpose of thereby depleting the Union forces by the actual death of those whose constitutions were feeble, and by so destroying and breaking down those of us, whose naturally good constitution would have enabled us to survive, the rigors of such discipline, and be fit for duty on exchange. Another object in view was to force as many of us as possible to enter the rebel service. To the honor of our boys be it said that very few accepted life on such conditions. It was also supposed that such inhuman treatment of these prisoners would deter many in the North from volunteering in the Union army.—This scheme I think also failed of its intended design.
     In my next, I shall endeavor to give you an account of my trip to Andersonville, Georgia, and a description of that lazar house, where so many of our brave soldiers now sleep peacefully after enduring all the cruelties that Southern malignants were able to inflict upon them.
     Yours, &c.,
     H. F. Wood, Sergt. Co. M, 7th O.V.C.

The Gallipolis Journal
March 30, 1865

Mr. Stewart:
     In my last, after giving you a very imperfect account of my prison life at Belle Isle, I promised you a short history of my journey to Andersonville, and experience as a prisoner in that celebrated place. I left what should be appropriately named Hell-isle on the 16th day of March, 1864, in company with about 800 of my fellow prisoners. We were packed into freight cars like so many cattle, each car containing about 75 men. The weather during the trip, was unusually cold, and having no fire, and scarcely any blankets, we suffered very severely from cold. The trip occupied six days, and during the whole time we were closely confined to the cars, and not allowed to get outside for any purpose. Openings were made in the floors for private purposes, but no screens or anything to prevent observation. The guards used their own pleasure about furnishing us water. Twice on the trip we drew one days rations consisting of hard bread made of bran and beans, and a small piece of meat. Some died in the cars, but how many I do not remember. Our officers called the attention of the guards to the condition of the dying men, but they paid no attention to it. We arrived at Andersonville on the 22d of March, 1864. We were marched to the stockade in a cold rain, and turned loose to shift for ourselves. This stockade contained at that time of about 16 acres, all the timber had been cut off for the fence, and there was no shelter not even a bush left standing. The timber had been pine, and the land was perfectly barren. A small run passed through the center of the lot. On each side of this run there was a swamp extending about one hundred yards. This swamp was impassable except on logs or rails. The run and swamp occupied at least one fourth of the sixteen acres, leaving but twelve acres sufficiently dry for a man to lie down upon.
     Into this pen, about 8,000 prisoners from Belle Isle and Alabama, were turned like so many hogs, to "root or die." Afterwards the number was increased to 20,000 making it almost impossible to find room to stand. This state of things continued up to the 1st of July, when the stockade was enlarged by taking in about 15 acres. This additional ground was added to one side, and was of a dry, sandy nature where we could get no water, even by digging 70 feet, so that the men on that addition, had to come to the run I have named, for water.
     After the enlargement, the number of prisoners was increased to about 30,000. For this vast crowd of men, no shelter whatever was provided, save for that which they could make with their blankets. No tents of any description, not even a shade tree to shield us from the rays of a burning sun in August, the dews at night, or from the rains of heaven. The terrible suffering occasioned by this exposure to the sun at that season of the year, may be imagined, but the imagination will fall far short of reality. A vast number became insane, from the intense heat of the sun, having no shelter nor any means of procuring any. I saw one man who in three weeks became so prostrated from this cause, as to be unable to drive off the flies that swarmed through the camp. These flies soon produced worms in the flesh of this poor man. I saw them crawling over him and through his flesh whilst he was yet living. This was a common sight. It is too terrible to speak of, but I give it as an instance of the refined cruelty to which we were exposed in this den of Southern barbarism. I could recite other still more loathsome sights that come [sic] under my own observation, but decline doing so first because of their disgusting nature and secondly because from their very outrageous violation of the common order of things, they would be deemed improbable.
     Our rations consisted at first of about one pint of meal, and a small piece of bacon daily, of which latter article the worms had claimed their share, and we had frequently to drive them off before using it. After the first of June, they furnished us cooked rations, consisting of the same kind and quantity of meat, beans cooked hulls and all, and spoiled by the sand clinging to them when gathered. The rations were too small to keep a well man living for any length of time. Those of us who had any money could buy food. Two men with me, managed to get extra rations by doing little jobs of work for the guards. Now and then we received a little fresh meat, but generally almost in a putrid condition, very often so much so, as to be unfit for use. The latter part of the summer we received corn mush, made of meal unsifted, and ground, cob and all. The mush was made without salt. This latter article was much in demand. I have seen in this prison, a spoonful sell for one dollar. A man who has never experienced it can form no idea of the terrible suffering, this craving for salt occasions. It was a fruitful cause of disease and death among our men. I have seen the time when I would have given every thing for a spoonful of salt. The refusal to give us salt, was no doubt was no doubt part of the system practised by the rebels to destroy us so far as possible.—They had salt, for we could buy it any day, if we had money. In regard to the starvation at Andersonville, I can only say that it was thoroughly systematized. Like the Yankee who learned [sic] his horse to live without eating, so our boys were trained at Andersonville. The result in both cases was the same. I have not more inclination to commit crime than other men, but if any thing will force me to it, starvation will. The sight of food to a starving man, excludes from his moral vision every thing like the rights of other(s). I earnestly pray that I may never experience the like feeling again.
     The demoniac cruelty of the guards at Andersonville in shooting down those whom starvation could not kill, is without a paralell [sic] in the history of the world. I once read of the English in East India, shooting men out of cannon. This was mercy compared with the fate of our boys at Andersonville. The fiends who guarded us embraced every opportunity of shooting a Yankee. They were stimulated to do this, by the prospect of a furlough, for every one so killed. Nor was it only men who violated prison rules, that thus lost their lives. The firing was indiscriminately practiced and many an innocent man met his death by a shot not probably designed for him, but for another. This constant dread of being shot, was a great augmentation of our suffering. I saw two men killed for merely placing their heads over the dead line. One of these merely placed his head over the line at a place where it crossed the run, in order to get some clear water. He was carried out on a stretcher in a few minutes dead.—The other was a poor fellow who had happened to step over the line.—The sentinel was above him on the platform. He fired and killed the man instantly. The man was not in his right mind at the time he stepped over the line.
     Your readers are doubtless weary of this tale of crime and blood. But the half has not been told. When I reflect over the long weary hours of my life in that "hell," I sometimes wonder if there can be another, or if so whether the devils who rule it had not better resign in favor of the demons who guarded us at Andersonville. It can hardly be doubted by those of us who have experienced the horrors of that place, that the guards could give lessons to the devils in cruelty refined, in hatred diabolical and malignity extreme, and all combined of a character so odious that the arch fiend, would blush to acknowledge himself the author or instigator of it.
     Of the crowds at the prison up to 1st Sept. 1864, about 8,640 men died. Every morning more or less were carried out dead. I know of 42 carried out in one morning that had died during the night. They were carried to the gate on stretchers by our men, and thence taken to the dead house and stripped of their clothing if they had any worth stealing. From that they were thrown into an army wagon, like so many logs of wood, and hauled to the grave yard and buried in trenches. I saw 22 men taken in one wagon, no coffin nor scarcely any clothing. In order to obtain a little wood, four of us proposed to the officer of the guard to carry out a man, we represented as a special friend, and bury him. He gave us leave under guard and out we went, we laid this poor fellow down in a trench, already dug, about two and a half feet deep. In this trench bodies of men were lying in nearly a nude state, that had been out the day previous, and still were uncovered. The sight so disgusted me that I resolved not to die in the Confederacy if possible, which resolution, thanks to a good constitution I have been able to keep.
     On the whole, Andersonville may be regarded as the scene of the crowning wickedness of this rebellion. A few days experience of it would convert the rankest copperhead of your county into a Union man, or if not, then he would prove too mean even for a prison guard, and I thought they were selected from the very scum of rebeldom, for the purpose of carrying out the original plan of starving us to death. In my next, I shall give you an account of my trip to Charleston, and what I saw there.
     H. F. Wood

The Gallipolis Journal
April 6, 1865

Mr. Stewart:
     In this paper I shall endeavor to give you a short sketch of my trip to Charleston, and prison life in the city of the nullifiers, secessionists, and rebels. About the first of September, 1864, in consequence of Sherman's successful march through Georgia, the rebels concluded to remove us from Andersonville to places of greater safety. Some were taken to Savannah for exchange, and others to Charleston. About 1,500 were taken to the latter place, myself among the number. We left Andersonville on the 9th of September, and were the last to leave that delectable locality, except the sick. We reached Charleston on the night of the 11th traveling as usual in cattle and freight cars, not allowed to go outside the cars, and supplied with nothing but the scant rations furnished at Andersonville. We suffered greatly for water, as the guards gave it to us just when they pleased.
     On arriving at Charleston, we were turned out in the old race-ground, about two and a half miles from the center of the city. We had no shelter save our blankets, and but few had them, as many had sold their blankets for food, under the impression we were to be exchanged. The weather was pleasant, and our suffering was more from heat than cold. We could distinctly see the shells falling into the city, from our batteries, though none reached our camp. There was no stockade or enclosure, but a strong guard kept up all the time. The usual "head line" was marked out around the camp which of itself served the purpose of a blockade as death was certain to any poor fellow who by accident or design, happened to step beyond it.
Our supply of water was procured by digging about four feet, as the ground was naturally swampy and wet. The only tools we had to dig these wells, was made by heating a canteen so as to melt the solder, and when separated, the parts furnished us plates to eat off, and dig with.—The water of course was none of the best. The rations consisted of flour and meal, though not enough of either to satisfy hunger or sustain life. We received fresh beef every day, just in small doses. Our rations for four days, were about enough for one meal for a man in good health. Salt in homopathic doses was served to us "semi-occasionally." The quality of the rations on the whole was much better than at Andersonville, or Belle Isle, and in fact the best we received at any point. The citizens of Charleston treated us very well, and would have done everything in their power to alleviate our sufferings, if the demons who guarded us, would have allowed them to do so. The sisters of mercy particularly were anxious to aid us with food, but all communications were cut off by the guard. A man and woman were sent off one day under arrest, simply because the lady insisted on giving one of the boys a piece of hard bread. This incident is related, merely to show the inhumanity of the guards, and in support of the general belief, that their orders and purposes were, to starve as many of us, as possible. No articles of food were allowed to be sold us, as at Belle Isle or Andersonville. Provisions were not so scarce among the citizens, but that we could have purchased them if permitted to do so.
     The mortality at Charleston I can give no accurate account of, as we had no access to the hospital. The number of prisoners did not exceed 6,000, but the percentage of deaths, was in proportion to the number, about the same as at other prisons. We remained at Charleston but about four weeks, and were then taken to Florence. It was generally believed that we were taken to Charleston, for purpose of exchange, but some difficulty arising about it, it was deemed safer to transfer us to a stockade. Our experience of rebel hospitality at Charleston, although in some respects better than at other places was nevertheless hard to bear. From continued suffering, many of our men became peevish, irritable, and in fact more like very old childish men, than the brave soldiers they had been. In such moods they would frequently complain of the Federal Government for allowing them to remain so long in prison, a feeling which the rebels never failed to intensify by taunts and sneers.—This feeling however was at once dispelled on being exchanged. Every sentiment of bitterness at once vanished, and the sight of the "Stars and Stripes," seemed to invigorate the men more than anything else. I have heard it asserted by Northern sympathizers, that this feeling of resentment against the government largely predominated among the prisoners. This is as false as most other opinions advanced by that class. It existed only whilst the cause that produced it existed. Once relieved from the "jaws of death" and out of the "gates of hell," every one seemed inspirited with new life, and I could find none after reaching a loyal State, that were free to censure the government, because of the long delay in making exchanges.—Particularly was this the case, when they once understood why it was, that our government failed to effect their release. I never heard of but one man, whom I saw in those prisons, that was mean enough to throw the whole blame on President Lincoln, but never say a word against Jeff. Davis. It is due our brave soldiers to-day, that man never belonged to the United States army. In my next I shall endeavor to give you an account of our prison life at Florence.
     H. F. WOOD

The Gallipolis Journal
April 13, 1865

[What goes around, comes around. The war is now over, but feelings are still strong. This isn't a soldier's letter, but was a news article in the Journal. It was in the same issue that announced President Lincoln's assasination. N. Elvick]

     Several Gallia boys of the 7th O. Cav., who have been home on furlough, as paroled prisoners, returned to Columbus on Thursday last. It is there [sic] earnest desire to be placed on guard over rebel prisoners at Camp Chase. We hope they may have their wishes granted, and an opportunity give[n] them to deal out justice to the rebels, as it was dealt to them. Just now the rebels would find the quality of that justice "not strained" but administered in its purity.

The Gallipolis Journal
April 20, 1865

    The 7th Ohio cavalry lost 22 men by starvation in the Andersonville prison. A large proportion of these were from Gallia county.

The Gallipolis Journal
May 11, 1865

[The sad encounter described here occurred on April 1, 1865, just a few days before the war ended. The letter from Colonel Garrard was written two and a half months later to Samuel Cole, the father of Grasson Cole who was killed in this engagement. The father apparently supplied the letter to the editor of the Journal. The 7th OVC mustered out five days after this letter was written. N. Elvick]

Headquarters, 7th Ohio Cavalry, Edgefield, June 29th, 1865

My Dear Sir:—
     I enclose you the commission of your son Grasson, as a Lieutenant in the regiment. That he has not lived to receive it is a cause of deep regret to all of us, his comrades and friends. His handsome person, his soldierly bearing, his gentle manners, his courage, and his attention to all his duties, had made him a favorite with his regiment, to which, and to his family he was an honor and credit. Almost in the same instant, two of our most valued men fell dead, both shot directly through the heart, your son, orderly sergeant Cole and first duty sergeant Reuben Martin.
     As we approached Ebenezer Church some thirty miles from Selma, we met a heavy reconnoisance [sic] of the enemy. Captain Womeldorff's squadron composed of his own company, and Lieut. Blazer's company, the two Gallia county companies was [sic] the advance guard. It charged at once, and the enemy retreated. The rapid firing and the cheering on the road to the right of us, on which the 2d Div. was moving, gave the impression to our commanding Generals Upton and Alexander that the 2d Division was engaging the enemy's line of battle, and that our division, the 4th, would be able to strike the enemy on the flank, either while fighting the 2d division or retreating before it. The advance guard was ordered to keep up the charge and the regiment ordered to follow. The road here came out of the woods into a lane with strong fences on both sides. About one third of a mile from the woods this lane passed a farm house with stabling and barns on the right, and a carriage house standing in the lane. As the column entered this lane the firing of the 2d division ceased. The forces they had been fighting were strong reconnoisances [sic], and they had driven these back. The enemy's main line laid [sic] just beyond this farm house, behind the fences that reached to the railroad on our left, and in the timber that covered the hills on our right.
     Womeldorff's squadron had nearly reached the farm house when the rebel line opened on his column. Sergeant Martin fell at this fire. On reaching the buildings, an effort was made, by dismounting the men, to hold the position. It was here that your son fell. Sergeant Gillingham was struck in five places, White and Vaughn were wounded, and not a man of the company escaped some mark on his person, his clothing, or his hair, of the rebel fire. The rebel front, instead of flank, had been struck, and the regiment was ordered back. Men and horses in the other squadrons were being hit. All were ordered back to the cover of the woods, from which the brigade soon advanced to rout and utterly destroy the enemy.
     It has been a sad thought to me that your son could not share with us the brilliant triumphs of the campaign and this higher glory, the victorious peace, which has been won for our country. The memory of those who have died as Cole and Martin died, is the nation's most priceless treasure. Your son lies peacefully in the protected grounds of the house near which he fell. His burial was attended with all the sad respect the battle field allowed to us. I trust it may be some consolation to you and your sorrowing family to know that he fell in the front of battle, that he died the death of the bravest.
     Your friend,
     Israel Garrard, Col. 7th, O.V.C.                                       Samuel Cole, Esq. Gallipolis, Ohio

The Gallipolis Journal
July 13, 1865

[This is the news article from the Journal when they mustered out. All told 2 officers and 26 enlisted men died in combat and 4 officers and 197 enlisted men died of disease.]

The Gallipolis Journal
July 20, 1865

     The 7th O.V.I. has been mustered out of service. The survivors of Companies L and M, from this county, are once more at home, and appear among us in citizens dress—as orderly and quite [quiet] as though the last three years of their lives had not been spent in the camp. Few if any Cavalry regiments from Ohio, have made for themselves a better record than the gallant 7th. Their campaigns have not been child's play. From the Ohio to the Gulf, they have been in almost every engagement, and acquitted themselves like men. We had expected to be furnished a sketch of their campaigns, but thus far have been disappointed. We can only say therefore to the gallant 7th Ohio Cavalry, that their record in the history of the war will be a proud one, and that they have born[e] themselves nobly as soldiers deserving the thanks and gratitude of all loyal men.

[And this final item from a resident of Washington County, Tennessee who sent this to be distributed to Ohio newspapers in an apparent act of kindness so that this soldier's family and friends could learn the location and manner in which he was buried. N. Elvick]

The Gallipolis Journal
March 29, 1866

Jonesboro, Tenn., March 14th, '66
     A few days ago, while riding out in the country, Sheriff Shipley of this place, pointed out to me the grave of an Ohio soldier, which is on the Hon. Mr. Nelson's farm. On the headboard there is written, D. S. Hannah, Co. L, 7th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. He came to his death while standing on the picket near this place. He fell, like all true soldiers, at his post. He was buried by some women, and his grave can be seen very distinctly by travelers, from the road. He was killed September 28, 1863.
     By inserting this note in your paper, some of his friends may know where his grave can be found. I hope other Ohio papers will be kind enough to copy this. If any of the friends of the deceased desire further information, they can have it by writing to the undersigned.
     L. F. Drake

     The above "true soldier" enlisted from Harrison township, and was the son-in-law of Mr. Stephen Martin.

Transcribed by Eva Swain Hughes

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