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Letters from the 18th Battery Ohio Volunteer Artillery

Headquarters 18th Battery, O. V. A., Camp Clay Nov. 26th, 1862 Special Order No. 10

     The Ladies of Gallipolis, who kindly furnished us with a Guiden [sic-probably indicates a Gideon Bible], show respect for us, as individuals, as well as for the great cause in which we are engaged, and have the thanks of the officers and men of the 18th Battery, O.V.A. By order of Capt. C. C. Aleshire, Jas. W. Chesnut, Sergeant Major

The Gallipolis Journal
December 11, 1862

[The butternut politicians referred to in this letter would refer to politicians from the region of southern Illinois, southern Indiana and southern Ohio where there was opposition to prosecuting this war as an antislavery war as opposed to a war to preserve the Union. Butternut referred to the color of the Confederate uniforms. This letter was written about a week before they met defeat at Thompsons Station, about 20 miles west of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. N. Elvick]

Headq'rs 18th Battery, O.V.A., In Camp Thirteen Miles South of Nashville, Ten., Feb. 24, 1863

Eds. Com.
     I desire, through your columns, to correct a statement made by the Gallipolis Dispatch. It says: "We hear that Lieutenants Morgan and Rutherford, of the 18th Ohio Battery, have sent in their resignations—the former assigns disability. The cause of the latter is not given us.—
     There are now but ninety effective men in the battery, being reduced by sickness and desertion."
Lieutenant Rutherford, of my company, has tendered his resignation on account of ill health, and has received a certificate of disability from a surgeon. As to the number of effective men in my battery, I will state for the benefit of the Dispatch, that I have one hundred effective men under my command, which, I think, fully equals that of any other battery now in the Army of Kentucky. All soldiers are liable to sickness, and the Dispatch ought not to be surprised at the fact that some of my men are sick. There is, however, proportionately less sickness among them than there is among other troops in the army. Regiments that mustered one thousand men when my battery mustered one hundred and fifty, now muster four and five hundred, while my battery musters one hundred. Now let the Dispatch make the calculation, and, in the next issue, tell us the proportion.
     It says we are cut down by desertion. We have had nine men to desert us! whose names are Wm. Dickinson, Wm. H. Blagg, Edward Reynolds, John J. Johnston, David S. Jones, Wm. Toops, Salem F. Morgan, and Louis P. Julien. Notwithstanding we had been in the service four months before we received either bounty or pay, yet, I think, fewer desertions can be found from my company, than the most of infantry companies. I must say that my battery is generally composed of men that are patriots, and have joined the army through motives too pure to be influenced by cowardly traitors at home. They enlisted for the purpose of sustaining the Government, and they are satisfied that this can be honorably done, in spite of the numerous protestations of certain Northern sheets, and butternut politicians, against the further prosecution of the war. These things are getting too old, and as the boys say, too nearly "played out," to breed discontent in our ranks, and only tend to convince us that we have a cowardly enemy in the rear, who, unless they stop in their course of opposition, will receive our attention as soon as we have crushed the Southern rebellion.
     We are told by them that we are fighting to carry out the President's "Emancipation Proclamation." We do not believe this; but we think the President made the proclamation to assist us to carry out the fight, and preserve the Government, and we are satisfied that it renders us great aid, no matter how much it hurts the feelings of rebels, either North or South. But, Mr. Editor, I am wandering from the subject. I desire to say but a few words through your columns, to let the people of Ohio, particularly of Gallia and Pike counties, know that Lieutenant Rutherford was not influenced to resign, nor will my men be influenced to desert, by newspaper articles and speeches of butternut patriots at home.
     Very respectfully,
     Your obedient servant, Chas. C. Aleshire, Capt. Com 18th Battery O. V. A.

The Gallipolis Journal
March 5, 1863

We have been permitted to peruse a private letter from Capt. C. C. Aleshire of the 18th Ohio Battery, in which he says in reference to the battle near Franklin, Tenn.:

     The first day's fight put my boys all right; they got used to the whizzing sound of the shells from the enemy.—If I were to attempt to tell of those who acted bravely, separately, I would have to speak of them all. I am proud to know that they will stand to their guns at all hazards. Lieuts. Morgan and McCafferty are both brave and determined. Both dismounted and went to their guns. The musket balls came thick and fast around me, but I did not fear them. When the niggers were charging the guns, I sat on my horse and witnessed the black rebels running at us yelling, and I saw them fall too in gangs, before our shower of cannister. I think we killed about 600 rebels, and took a few prisoners, most of whom were drunk. P. H. Hart is missing, probably a prisoner, so also is one of my detailed men.
     Lieuts. Rutherford and Regnier were not with the Battery. The former remained with our baggage and camp equipage at Franklin, and the latter is confined with inflammatory rheumatism. Sergeant Brice commanded Rutherford's section, and McCafferty that of Regnier. Serg't Brice is cool and brave. He dismounted and stood by the guns all the time during the fight, has good judgment and is not easily excited. He deserves more than praise. Serg't Roseburg was with us during the first day, but broke his gun down running over the railroad track, and had to return to Franklin to repair, consequently was not with us in yeterday's fight. He has his gun ready now, and his men are anxious, and disappointed with the fact that they met with the misfortune to break down.
     I have asked that Geo. Valentine be reinstated, and the remainder of his sentence revoked. He was in both days' fight. There were no casualties in my command during the first day. On the second our loss was two men missing.—We had one horse killed and three wounded, and one Sergeant's horse and equipment missing.

The Gallipolis Journal
March 19, 1863

Headqr's 18th Battery, O. V. A., Franklin, Tenn., April 20, '63

Mr. Harper—Sir:
     I most respectfully solicit a small space in your columns, to say a few words in reference to Lieut. Regnier, to let his numerous friends know why he resigned his commission as Sr. 1st. Lieut. of my Battery. On the 25th day of last February I sent Lt. Regnier with his section out with a foraging party from Brentwood, where we were at that time. Shortly after he left camp it commenced raining, and rained hard until the next day. Lieut. Regnier returned late in the afternoon, completely soaked and chilled through, as were all of his command. On the following morning he complained of cramp, and it was not long afterwards until he discovered that he was afflicted with rheumatism. Medical aid was immediately called in, and all was done that could be done, to crush the disease, but instead of improving he has ever since been growing worse, and while I write he is in hospital, confined to his bed, almost helpless, and has been for the past six weeks. His medical attendants told him, among others Major Varian, the medical director of Gen. Granger's staff, that the climate here was unfavorable to his disease, and advised him to resign. It was only after repeated advice of this kind, that Lieut. Regnier made up his mind that such was the case, and that he was compelled to resign. And let me here state that his is no case of feigning disability, (as I understand such things have happened) but even after his resignation was made out he was too feeble to sign his name, and when Sergeant John P. Amos read his resignation, and the indorsement [signature] thereon, he was moved to tears. Lieut. Regnier as an officer in every respect stood second to no one of his experience. As a tactician he was not surpassed in my Battery, as the drill of his section to-day evidences the same. He was mild, yet firm, and while he was beloved by all of his men, their discipline was remarkable. He was attractive and took delight in the perfection of his section, and the care of his horses.
     As an officer I had every confidence in his ability. He was ever ready to execute any order I gave him, and always executed all orders with the greatest degree of precision. It is useless for me to state that he is a true patriot, for all who know him will join me in this statement, but I will say that during the time that he was in the army, his patriotism grew no less, and a more determined Union man is nowhere to be found. I regret exceedingly his resignation and take pleasure in thus publicly expressing my high appreciation of him as an officer and a gentleman. And feel assured in stating that he returns home only because disease has driven him from his post of duty. I am, very respectfully,
     Your obedient servant,
     Chas C. Aleshire, Capt. Comd'g 18th Battery O. V. A.

The Gallipolis Journal
May 7, 1863

[This is an extract from a letter from Capt. Aleshire as it was published by the Journal.]

Eighteenth Ohio Battery

     We are permitted to make the following extracts from a private letter written by Capt. C. C. Aleshire of the 18th Ohio Battery, written under date of "Headquarters 18th O. V. A., on the field, Sept. 23, 1863:"
"I thought I would say to you that I am yet safe and well, but have passed through places and afterwards wondered how I did it. This great battle has been raging since last Thursday. We fought Friday night after dark, Saturday afternoon, and all of Sunday afternoon and was [sic] under the enemy's fire Monday afternoon, but not engaged.—The great battle of Sunday is not to be described on paper, neither can tongue tell all. The same ground was taken and retaken several times, but when dark came, we held it. The following is a list of casualties in my command:
     Lieut. Roseburgh, flesh wound in leg; Lieut. Chesnut, in nose and face, not serious; A. J. Whittaker, dangerously wounded; John Roberts, slightly wounded; A. J. Fillinger, dangerously wounded; John Darst, slightly; John Keith, slightly; Lieut. McCafferty is sick at Nashville, and was not in the fight.

The Gallipolis Journal
October 8, 1863

[This letter was unsigned, but the authoritative tone and informative nature would indicate that it was written by one of the commanding officers, and so probably it was another letter from Captain Aleshire. The battle described came to be known as Chickamauga. Rosecrans troops had captured Chattanooga and pushed into Georgia. The Confederates, who had been reinforced by large numbers of troops from Joe Johnston's army won a narrow victory and the Union troops retreated to Chattanooga. The Confederates would unsuccessfully attempt to dislodge the Union army from Chattanooga, and it would be from here that Sherman would launch his invasion into Georgia, first the Atlanta Campaign and then The March to the Sea. N. Elvick]

Camp near Chattanooga, Tenn., Sept. 27, 1863

Mr. Harper:
     The 1st Brigade, 1st Division, of which the 18th Battery forms a part, together with other troops of Gen. Granger's Reserve corps, left Tullahoma about three weeks since to advance farther in Dixie and help to swell the number of "Rosey's" Union fighters, which were soon to move against the combined rebellious tribes of Bragg, Lee, Johnson & Co. We struck the Cumberland mountains at Cowan, Tenn., and then commenced a march over mountains, hills and valleys to Bridgeport. The scenery along our route was grand and admiring [sic].—At Bridgeport we crossed the broad and majestic Tennessee river on one of Uncle Sam's Pontoon bridges. This place at present is the terminus of car running on the Nashville and Chattanooga railroad. The noble structure on which they once passed over the river was destroyed by Bragg in his hasty retreat from Tennessee.
     Our route from Bridgeport hence lay more through valleys than before, and we encountered but little difficulty, except an almost suffocating dust—it has not rained in this country for six weeks—until we reached Lookout mountain, which, after a severe trial of horse and mule flesh, and some breakage of wagons, we crossed. It is said that from the top of this mountain nine States can be seen at a glance, the truth of which I cannot vouch for, as we were only half way to the top. We passed three miles to the right of Chattanooga and camped at Rossville, Ga., where we remained quiet until one week ago last Friday afternoon, when our Brigade was ordered to advance on a road leading East—we were the extreme left of our army. We had advanced but few miles when Gen. Whittaker and staff, leading the Brigade, were fired on by the enemy's pickets. Skirmishers were immediately thrown out, and one of our pieces moved to the front (the timber being very thick and the road narrow, only one piece could be of any avail,) and a spirited fight ensued which lasted about an hour, when dark closed the contest. The rebs fell back a short distance during the night.
     On Saturday about noon the rebels again attacked us with superior force and the fight raged with fury until dark. Our Battery was engaged during the whole time. In the engagement we were several times furiously charged by the rebels and twice compelled to give way a little, yet dark found our brigade holding its first position. In this fight, Lieut. Roseburg, privates Whittaker, Roberts, Figgins and Darst, of the Battery, were wounded; Roseburg through the leg, not dangerous; Whittaker, dangerously; Roberts, Figgins and Darst, slightly. I did not learn the loss of the Infantry.
     On Sunday morning we were re-enforced by another brigade and prepared to give battle, but the enemy made no demonstrations up to 10 o'clock. All the morning could be heard a continuous and terrific roar of artillery about three miles to the right, which was conclusive evidence of the right and centre of our army being hotly engaged, as they had been fighting most of the time during Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
About 10 o'clock our whole force on the left was moved briskly to the right, orders having come to join Gen. Thomas, his corps being too hard pressed. We were soon to the scene of action and here the 18th Ohio Battery with Granger's reserve corps became engaged in one of the hardest fought battles of the war. I will not attempt to describe the incidents and scenes of the battle, but leave them for others more capable. Those who know say it exceeded in fury the memorable battle of Stone river. In this day's fight Lieut. Chesnut, privates A. J. Fillinger, Jas. Wyley, and Jno. Keith, of the Battery, were wounded. Chesnut, shot through the nose, not dangerous; Fillinger in the breast, dangerous; Keith and Wyley, slightly. Whittaker and Fillinger were taken to hospital in Chattanooga and we have not heard from them since; the other wounded are doing well. We lost several horses in the engagement. I am unable to give our loss of killed and wounded in Sunday's fight. You have no doubt ere this seen a full report in the city papers.
Gens. Granger, Steadman, and Whittaker, our corps, division, and brigade commanders, all complimented Capt. Aleshire, Lieuts. Bierce, Roseburg and Chesnut, and the men of the 18th Ohio Battery for their bravery and coolness during the battle. Lieut. McCafferty was not with us, being at the time sick in the hospital at Nashville. Gen. Thomas told Gen. Whittaker of our Brigade that his Battery saved him and staff from capture. Out army fell back to Rossville on Sunday night. The rebs attacked us again on Monday, but withdrew after exchanging a few rounds. On Monday night we again fell back to Chattanooga, where Gen. Rosecrans intends we shall stand until we are ready to move on the rebs again.
     Our Brigade occupies at present a line on the North side of the Tennessee river, while the main body of our army are in and around the town.—Our Battery is divided and occupies two positions below the town, one on a hill opposite Lookout mountain, the other in the valley two miles distant at a ferry landing. Mountain Lookout is three miles West of Chattanooga on the same side of the river which runs by its base. It was evacuated by our forces a few nights since, as its occupation is not of much consequence to us. It is now infested with rebs whose signal flag can be distinctly seen from where I write. They planted two guns on the side of Lookout opposite Lieut. Bierce's section, the other evening, and let loose at us, but a few well directed shots from one of our best gunners soon silenced them. Our and their sharp shooters peg away at each other across the river at all times, day and night. Our men have the advantage of them, as we can go back of the hill to get water, while they have to come down to the river in full view, and not unfrequently does their thirst for water cost them their lives. Movements are on foot which will soon rid the mountain of the "varmints."
     Rebel papers and prisoners acknowledge that Bragg received large re-enforcements from the East and South, the reason he gave us battle, and that he will retreat no farther South, so the battle here is not ended. But with Gen. Rosecrans for our leader we have no fears for the result. Let the loyal people of the North put forth every effort to fill our depleted ranks and cheer and comfort our soldiers in the field, and victory will soon be ours, and the laws of our glorious Government be maintained. Today (Sunday) several of our boys with a detachment of Infantry who are stationed two miles below where I write, went over the river for the purpose of foraging—they had been over the day before and encountered no danger—becoming bold, they ventured too far, and were fired on by a party of rebels; an Infantry Lieutenant and two of our boys escaped to tell the tale, the rest were taken prisoners. The names of Battery boys taken are Wm. Summers, of Gallipolis, Jos. Roush, Swan Alson and Uriah Moch. The Lord only knows what will be their fate.
     We have seen real soldiering for two weeks past, having left our tents and knapsacks at Bridgeport, bringing only our blankets and the clothes on our backs, sleep in the open air, receive only half rations; however there are too many loose cattle and swine running at large for our boys to want for meat.—But we are in good spirits, knowing that this state of affairs will not last always, and as soon as the rebs are cleaned out from here and we are again regularly camped, will have plenty to eat, drink and wear, as we have had heretofore.
     The battery boys are in good health, and I believe there are none present but are able for duty. Gen. Rosecrans was around among us yesterday and passed a few jokes with the boys. I saw several boys from Gallia belonging to the 18th, 36th and 33d Ohio regiments since the battle; they are right side up and ready for another brush.

The Gallipolis Journal
October 22, 1863

Head-Q'rs 18th Battery, O.V.A., Mocassin [sic] Point, Tenn., October 23, 1863

Mr. Lewis Fillinger—Sir:
     It becomes my painful duty to notify you of the death of your son, Andrew J. Fillinger. He was wounded at the battle of Chickamauga on Sunday, the 10th of September, 1863, and died in the hospital at Chattanooga, on the 10th inst. I would have advised you of his death before now, had I received the intelligence myself. He was wounded while performing the duties of his post at the gun. I was near him when he fell, and he said to me, "This is rough, ain't it, Cap." I had him put in the ambulance, and he was sent to Chattanooga, where he received all the care and attention circumstances would admit of. We flattered ouselves that he would recover, but God saw fit to take him from us. While the loss falls most heavily on you, still we mourn, and you, his relatives and friends, have our heartfelt sympathy in your bereavement.
     Your son was a soldier who was always for duty. It appeared to be a pleasure for him to perform his duties promptly. He bore the hardships of the soldier's life without a murmur, and was always pleased to do the will of his officers. He served as a soldier under my command for more than a year, and during the whole time there never was a complaint entered against him by either officer or soldier. He was never even reprimanded. When duty called, he was among the first to respond. As a comrade, he was esteemed and beloved by all. None knew him except to be his friend. He was a model soldier, and received his death wound on Sunday afternoon, at the battle of Chickamauga, in a like manner, while fearlessly serving ammunition for his gun while it was firing cannister [sic] at the enemy.
     I am, most respectfully,
     C. C. Aleshire, Capt. Comd'g 18th Battery O. V. A.

The Gallipolis Journal
November 19, 1863

[The writer is John Daniels whose rank was 1st sergeant.]

Camp on Moccasin Point, Tenn., November 20, 1863

Mr. Editor:
     Thinking that the numerous friends of the old 18th will be pleased to hear from it, we presume to address a short communication for the columns of your paper. Our Battery has now been out over fifteen months, and profess(es) to have seen a speck or two of war. It started out to see the elephant, and it certainly saw the monster, body, toe nails, tusk, trunk, and all, toties, quoties, at Chickamauga. We do not design giving an account of this terrible conflict as enough has been already written on the subject, and perhaps too much. The part which our brigade took in the terrible conflict is now a matter of history.
     After the battle the Battery crossed the river at Chattanooga, and took quarters on a range of hills, called "Stringer's Ridge." The river makes an immense horse shoe bend around this ridge, south, and the bend is called "Moccasin Bend." Where this ridge is terminated by the river, it is called "Moccasin's Point," which lies directly opposite Lookout Mountain. The mountain towers far above the point, and is held by the enemy. Whilst Capt. Naylor's Battery, and ours, in conjunction, hold the above mentioned point. The distance by air line between the rebel batteries on the mountain, and ours, is about one mile. The result is, that nearly every day witnesses sharp artillery duels. So far the enemy has done us no material damage, though some of their shells came uncomfortably close. Upon the whole, the rebels have done ill shooting, their shots falling too short or too high. It is amusing to hear the boys upon such occasions, "Ho ho!" they will yell back to Lookout, "you're too short, give her more elevation" or "too high, too high; cut your fuse a little shorter." Last Monday it appeared that the enemy was sending, what looked like a brigade of men, from left to right, high up on the mountain. They could barely be seen by the naked eye, but the sunshine flashed in sparkles from the polished surfaces of their muskets, and bayonets. Our battery immediately opened all its thunders, and there was done some of the prettiest artillery shooting ever witnessed. The ammunition was good, the fuses just right, and nearly every shell exploded exactly where it was intended. The effect on the chivalry was electrical. Smoke and dust, and horrible missiles, whizzing fragments of shell, were before them, behind them, over their heads, and amongst their feet. They made double quick in the most unsoldierly positions across the point exposed. Since, they have shown themselves "few and far between."
     Our boys have grown perfectly indifferent to the danger from rebel shells. A shell comes howling over camp, perhaps bursting, and filling the air with the sharp whizzing noise of the jagged fragments, making the bushes and trees crack, crash, and rattley-bang, and all the notice taken of the circumstance, will be, perhaps, some such expression as this, as they look up at the mountain: "you fool son of a gun had better be not wasting your ammunition that way." One moonshining night the enemy commenced throwing shells around our camp about midnight. All were soundly asleep, save the guards, and therefore the demonstration came like a clap of thunder. "Boom whiz" went the bursting ones, and su-wash went those that did not burst, into the leaves and soft earth. Up rose nearly every man in his bed, not knowing precisely what was up. Suddenly light broke in on their minds; "Oh the devil, it's only the rebels wasting more of their ammunition," says one, and we heard another sleepily drawl out "Those darn fools on Lookout will cripple some of us yet," and then lay [sic] down to sleep soundly until morning. The fact of it is, no blank cartridge can scare them like it did a certain Corporal that we read about the other day. They are too much accustomed to hear real live ones, intended to hurt, not to scare, sing around their ears, and not only little bullets, but great shells, big enough for tea kettles. Were any of them "out after roll call," and a sentinel was to fire at them, and a real bullet was "to sing within an inch of their heads," they would march on, perhaps barely remarking "what d—d fool was that who let his gun go off?"
     The boys have no tents, but they have erected themselves comfortable shanties of pine logs, with mud and stick chimneys. They have constructed bunks of pine poles, over which they spread pine tops. Over this, they lay their blanket, or blankets, for none possess(es) more than two blankets, and though having no "bed ticks filled with straw," they sleep none the less comfortably and soundly thereby. Having no material to "white wash their Barracks," Tennessee mud plastered over the interstices, though not quite as elegant, makes them just as comfortable. They have no "large stoves," but in their stead large fire places, which is more comfortable, and a deal of a sight more healthy. Here we get no "loaves of bread weighing full twenty-two ounces," but the "hard tack," a little "sow-belly," and some beef. But this does not interfere with the appetites nor the health of the boys in the least, for it is the healthiest of food, besides there is no danger of surfeit, because the quantities issued are too small to endanger men in that way.
     Finally, Mr. Editor, we may say that we are at home on Moccasin Point and should you, or any of our friends, wander this way why just pay a visit to Moccasin Point City. You will find the latch string out (figuratively, for latch strings are played out, here), with enough hard tack, coffee, and bacon or pickled pork, to spare a meal or two, though to confess, our visitors would have to make their visits short for our accommodations are such that we could not entertain them very long.
     Jno. Daniels

The Gallipolis Journal
December 17, 1863

Chattanooga, Tenn., Jan. 14, '65

Mr. Editor:
     The 18th Ohio battery has just returned from the campaign of General Thomas against Hood, in Tennessee and Alabama. Ten days was the longest period we expected to be absent when we left Chattanooga, Nov. 29th, last, and, therefore, were illy prepared for this long time we were gone. Instead of ten days, it was forty days. We had nothing with us but two blankets apiece, and what we had on our backs. We faced all kinds of weather, wet, cold, and dry; often wet to the skin, by torrents of rain, often having our wet clothing frozen stiff on our benumbed limbs, and many nights, getting no sleep at all, or only a little, by laying [sic] on two or three rails, or some rocks by a fire.
     During these forty days, we loaded and unloaded, ten times, our guns, caissons, horses, and mules, on and off cars and boats. Those in the habit of moving batteries of artillery can appreciate this. No one else can. We were in the two days battle before Nashville. We tried our new 12-pound Napoleons, something new in our line, having heretofore used the rifled Rodman's. Our "Napoleons" worked to a charm, and the way our gunners handled their pieces, was death to the rebels. We fired four hundred and eighty-nine rounds of shell and shot. The plan appeared to be to mass the artillery on one point, and carry by assault. It worked successfully. It is impossible for human nature to stand the terrific firing of these batteries of "Napoleons." Our battery escaped remarkably well. We had only one man wounded, private Luke Miller, who was struck in the foot by a piece of a shell. Luke left the field very reluctantly. "Oh, I will have to go and leave the boys, and see no more of the fun?" he cried. "Give me my canteen then, it is of no use leaving it if I am wounded. And where is my big Mac. pipe?" This pipe was a large one, given him by Lieut. McCafferty, under circumstances which, when mentioned before the boys causes their "risibilities" to be provoked. A newspaper correspondent during the fury of the engagement asked one of our Corporals "what battery?" this was meaning ours.—The Corporal, busy at his gun, grimly replied, "the same old battery, only fighting like h–ll." It is supposed the reply miffed said correspondent wonderfully, for in his account of the battle, all the batteries but ours were mentioned.
     The battery followed with Gen. Thomas' army, as far as the battlefield of Franklin. Gen. Steadman there turned about, and went to Murfreesboro, with his forces, we going with him, as we belonged to his command. Loading on the cars, we run [sic] down to Stevenson, thence about twelve miles west of Huntsville, Alabama, where we unloaded, Christmas evening. We proceeded thence to the river, (Tennessee) and commenced crossing in sight of Decatur, which was on the opposite side.—Roddy was over there, and gave us a few rounds, to which a Tennessee battery replied. They might as well have fired at the moon. Beyond scaring some of the conscripts, (one whom noticed behind an enormous oak, at least two miles from the rebel guns, crouched down, the very picture of terror) nothing was accomplished by the cannonading.—We landed very early next morning, the infantry having taken possession of the city the last night. We found the town all in ruins, and uninhabited. We then marched for Courtland, Alabama. Four miles out, the cavalry captured two rebel guns. About four o'clock, Capt. Aleshire sent out the 1st Sergeant, and three men to bring the guns in. These men soon found one of the guns with the horses already hitched in. A mile further on the other gun was found. Both were secured.
This part of Alabama, not having been traversed previously by the armies, abounded in forage, and provisions plentiful. Hams, chickens, turkies [sic], honey and sorghum syrup, were our "daily bread." After remaining here at Courtland four days, we returned to Chattanooga, from a land flowing with "milk and honey" to a land of famine.

The Gallipolis Journal
January 26, 1865

[The laments of this soldier would only have two months to go. The 18th Battery mustered out on June 29, 1865. N. Elvick]

From the 18th Ohio Battery

     We are still lying within the environs of Chattanooga, with nothing to brighten the rest of the inactivity of camp life but a little drill, twice a day, which is after all an old song. Occasionally some of the boys get a furlough for a few days, to visit their homes, which they have not seen for three years, nearly. We have not been paid off for seven months, which puts many of the boys to a great inconvenience. Just here it appears to me that those who enlisted in 1862 have greater difficulties to contend with than any other troops. Those of 1861 are now all out of the service and doing for themselves, or have re-enlisted, obtaining large bounties. New recruits since are enlisting for only one year, obtaining five, and six times more bounties than we received for three years. It is a notorious fact that at the time the '62 men enlisted, it was about the darkest period of the war. Yet they cheerfully went forth for one hundred dollars government and a local bounty, the smallness of which is an insult to offer it to the soldiers. Why is this? Why must we fight for three long years, through the thick of the war, and receive not enough to keep soul and body together, whilst others, who, perhaps, will never see a wild rebel, can enlist for one year, and receive bounty local and government, enough to set up a considerable of a grocery, when their term expires? We assert it, that there are soldiers families at home, now, suffering for the necessaries of life, their pay not being half enough to keep want from their doors. These very soldiers, too, have endured hardships, and perils, by battle, flood, and field, all to save the country, enough to purchase an eternity of endless Paradise, was it thus purchasable. Is it not enough to break the soldier to the earth what he endures in the field, witihout having an additional trouble cast on him, the knowledge that his family, wife and children are actually suffering at home?
     Lt. Patterson, the company clerk, O'Dowd, and ourself, took a jaunt on Lookout Mountain last Sunday. No one visiting Chattanooga should fail to make a visit on this Mountain. From its summit may be seen the long ranges of Mountains north in Tennessee, south and south-east those of Georgia, north-east the towering summits of the Alleghanies of North Carolina, and south-west the mountains of Alabama. You may look on four states.
     We then visited the lake, five miles back on the summit of the mountain. A creek finds its way down the mountains, among huge rocks, its banks embowered with spruce, yellow pine, holly, laurel, cedar and other evergreens. In a quiet little nook, it spreads out into a little lake, clear as crystal and as romantic as a lover of nature could wish, shaded by evergreens, towering pines stretching their arms wide over the tops of the holly, and laurel, in whose branches sang the thrush, red bird, and blue bird, merrily as joy and happiness can make them. Further down, the scenery is truly Alpine in character. The stream rushes over a solid precipice of sixty feet in height, and is dashed into a dazzling whiteness, of the most pleasing effect. On either side of this cascade the cliffs of the Canon [sic], or gorge, tower high above it. You can walk to the edge of either of these precipices, and by the aid of a small tree, or bush, you may look down the fearful depth, and see the foaming waterfall, the thunder of which comes to the ear from the great depth, softened into a music, no art can imitate. We thought what a glorious picture the scenery around in connection with the cascade would make. There is a brigade of regular troops encamped on the mountain, and government has several saw-mills, sawing lumber, and shingles there. There is a pleasant little village called Summertown, where the road from Chattanooga finally reaches the summit. The bushes and trees are still left standing. One cannot imagine a more delightful place during a long, Southern, summer day. Before the war, every summer, this place was a gay one. Here the Southern nabob, and roue, abandoned themselves to pleasure, wine, women, and wassail, games of all kinds and fast horses. But, what a "change has come over the spirit of the dream." The feet of "them dreadful Yankees" now pollute the sacred soil, and will require considerable trouble to remove said feet. Gen. Hooker, fighting Joe—took a mad freak into his head one cloudy day to storm the mountain, and the tread of his vandal legions, and the roar of his infernal cannon, rudely chased away the echoes of "—the sound of revelry by night." of the beauty, and chivalry of the South, that was wont to make Summertown a scene of so much pleasure and gayety [sic]. One of the houses is still occupied by some rather fancy looking women, of doubtful character. We have our authority from the Sergeant on picket duty, close to the house, a spruce young man, who seemed to know, for Lt. Patterson asked him if the women living there were single? "They are single a part of the time" the Sergeant answered with a merry twinkle of the eye, and the mischievious soldiers standing by, laughed heartily thereat. We put on a broad grin also, being joined therein by the Lieutenant and O'Dowd.
     Farther down the mountain we overtook an officer with two bars on his shoulder straps who, evidently had been taking "suthin strengthenin" for his equilibrium, on his horse, seemed to be very precarious. His face was the color of "the red, red, rose, so to speak" in the beautiful language of A. Ward, the showman. Arriving at a point in the road, where it makes a short turn to the right, from which you can look down on one side to a dangerous depth, the festive Captain thought it would be the safer plan to dismount and lead his horse a short distance. In so doing his spurred heels in an unaccountable manner, became entangled in the reins of his bridle. Consequence was, a series of gymnastic evolutions, not laid down in any book on the subject, took place. The horse became very much mixed up with the rider, and the Captain at the end came out with the ground on the broad of his back, his heels performing a series of gyrations and the nasal part of his horse, the latter animal rearing back to prevent the spurs from tickling his nose. We believe the captain eventually came out all right, for after a while, far up the mountain, we heard a voice singing, "I love thee still" with a hic between every word.

The Gallipolis Journal
April 13, 1865

The Gallipolis Journal
May 18, 1865

From the 18th Ohio Battery, On the March Again, Resaca, Ga., May 7, 1865

     Sitting under an old paulin [sic], thermometer between 90 and 95 deg., and not feeling very well is not very pleasant. We are at this place awaiting the laying of pontoons across the Oastanula river, for a move further South. All is quiet around in Georgia. A great many of Johnston's men are returning, on parole, through this part of the country. The rebel forces this side of Chattahooche river are to surrender at Kingston, to General Steadman. We are brigaded in Gen. Judah's brigade at present.
     We started on this march on the 2d inst., loading on cars at Chattanooga, leaving Sergt. Ward in charge of the camp, and those of the boys that were unable to march. We reached Dalton, Georgia at about 2 A.M. on the 3d. Here we remained until 12:30, giving us sufficient time to unload and get dinner. Before the war, Dalton was a pleasant and good looking place, but it is now sadly changed. There were some very good brick buildings in the place once, but the greater portion are now crumbling ruins. We saw hardly any citizen men, but a great many women, some of whom are very good looking. But like all the Southern women, they are addicted to chewing, smoking, and snuff dipping. One hatchet faced, sharp looking female, with two boys, came and was looking at our Battery, standing off at a respectful distance, when suddenly she dived her hand into the recess of a very capacious pocket, and took out from thence, a twist of "green leaf" and took a good sized chew. Being joined by one or two of her females, and talking awhile, they started off but in somewhat different directions. The first woman bawled out to the new comer, "what are you gwine thataway fa? come down to my house and smoke a pipe with me, my ol man is a gwine be home today." And they started off taking long strides, stretching their skirts every step, and squirting tobacco juice out of their mouths, like Texan desperadoes.
     That afternoon, we marched to this place, fifteen miles, in four hours, through clouds of dust, and a broiling sun. We went into camp on the Oastanula river, a stream about a hundred yards wide, and from twenty-five to thirty feet in depth. The rebel pickets were in sight, but there were no wild ones in this vicinity. A brigade of one year's men are here with us. Some of the poor fellows have not had a furlough for three months. Two of them thought to get captured, paroled, and sent home. So crossing the river, ostensibly after mules, they fell into rebel hands as a matter of course. But alas! The enemy returned them to their command, and for the little trick (they) are now in durance vile.

[The 18th Battery moved from Chattanooga to Resaca during the first part of May 1865. They mustered out in late June. They lost 2 enlisted men killed and 23 from disease during their service. N. Elvick]

For the Gallipolis Journal, Resaca, Ga., June 4th, 1865

     We did not go farther south than Calhoun, on the march hinted at in our last. It was with much disappointment that we received the order to turn back. We did not go farther back than Resaca, where we have remained ever since. Various and vague rumors are afloat, regarding the mustering out of the troops of 1862, which keeps up an excitement, and tends to the passing away of the time a little better, for we have nothing to do in the military line.
     Resaca is a miserable collection of houses, about a dozen in number, and a station on the Chattanooga, and Atlanta Rail-road. The Rail-road is now in full operation through to Atlanta, and Savannah, making the chain complete from Louisville. The country, in northern Georgia, is in a wretched condition. Sherman's and Johnston's armies literally swept the land. Great suffering has been, and is endured, by the citizens, and actual famine has been staring them in the face, all the past Spring. There is nothing doing in the way of agriculture, for the people have been stripped of all their stock, and seed to plant and sow. It will be recollected that at Resaca, and in the vicinity, was fought last month, one year ago, a terrible battle. Evidences of the conflict are abundant. The graves of the fallen mark every knoll, and hillock, for miles. Every hill, and ridge, is corrugated with rifle pits, and breast works with embrasures for cannon. Shell, and shot, lie around, almost as thick as acorns, and in some places traces trees, and bushes are mowed by missiles.
     The loyal people are agitating the subject of reconstruction. The northern counties of the State appear to be a good deal interested in the matter. The counties of Walker, Whitfield, Coosa, and Catoosa, one day last week held a meeting at Ringgold, as an initiatory step, and yesterday another one was held at Calhoun. The general wish among the people is, for the President to appoint a loyal Georgian, Military Governor, until the State becomes settled in its elements, and a loyal Governor, and Legislature, are elected. Howell Cobb and Secretary Mallory of the Confederate Navy, passed through here, northward, on the27th ult. Cobb was dressed in the uniform of a Confederate Brigadier General, and wore considerable of tape. He wears his beard long, which is very heavy. He seems to be a pompous kind of fellow, rather portly, with a florid complexion. Mallory is a smaller man, spare, light complexion, and has light sparse whiskers, on each side of his face. He seems to be an ordinary kind of man, to judge from externals. His eyes, however, show a man of no ordinary intellect. Cobb repassed here on the 31st ult., having been paroled to visit his family.
We held a meeting on the evening of the 1st inst., to choose a delegate to represent our Battery at the Union State Convention, to be held at Columbus, the 21st, for the purpose of nominating a candidate for Governor, Lieut. Governor, and other State offices. Our Battery is entitled to one-half vote. We unanimously chose the Captain to cast it for us. The soldiers are somewhat interested in the next State election. They want a Governor elected that will look to their interests, say, such a man as Garfield. This is the common sentiment of all the Ohio soldiers, or at least of a majority of them, so far as we are acquainted Generals Steadman, and Cox, are spoken of as candidates, principally, in this part of the Army. Garfield will, however, receive more of the soldiers' votes than any other man, if he receives the nomination. But we do not know whether he proposes to be a candidate. All the papers, we receive, are strangely silent as to who will be the probable candidates.

The Gallipolis Journal
June 15, 1865

Transcribed by Eva Swain Hughes

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