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Letters from "B"

[This writer, who signs off on his letters as B, appears to be a reporter for the Journal who travels to the war zones to get stories. He seems to address the editor in a familiar tone, such as if he were a friend or possibly an employee. His articles begin with the January 23, 1863 issue when he reports from Louisville as he is travelling to the war zone in Tennessee. It starts out like a travelogue, but changes abruptly in tone as he reaches the battlefields. In March 1864 he writes a letter in which he seems to indicate that he is now a soldier in the 53rd Pennsylvania Infantry. N. Elvick]

Galt House, Louisville, Ky., January 11, 1863

Dear Harper:
     I think you, once upon a time, resided in this city, and for a bashful man you are pretty well acquainted here; in fact I have heard your name mentioned several times, coupled with anxious inquiries as to your physical and worldly condition, to all of which I have returned as favorable answers as my regard for truth and veracity would permit me to do.
     Louisville in point of architectural beauty is not to be compared with Cincinnati. The buildings, with now and then an exception, are old and dingy looking, giving one the appearance of being about completed. The streets are uneven, full of chuck holes, and muddy. The wharf, the most miserable on the river. The chief business appears to be the manufacture and sale of Bourbon whiskey and tobacco, with a mania for trading in mules. This is evidently the finest Tobacco market in the country. In Hotels this city excels all others. The Galt House is the best appointed and ablest conducted Hotel in the country, and the table beyond doubt the best. Cincinnati has nothing equal to it.
     One thing I have noticed, in the way of fashion—at all hotels it seems to be all the rage for ladies to eat dinner in full walking costume, bonnet and all. One would suppose the ladies were about leaving on the cars and had no time to don their bonnet and cloak after dinner. It is all the rage among the bon-ton, and a lady might as well be out of the world as out of fashion. Shoulder straps are very thick in this city, and a regiment might be easily formed of these loafing gentry, whose sole ambition seems to be to live at first class hotels and draw their per diem from our Reverend Uncle Samuel.
     I notice Gen's Buell, Wright, Granger, Smith, Boyle, etc. The court-martial of Gen. Buell's case is, I believe, in session here, but as it meets with closed doors the public are unaware of its progress. These court martials have become a nuisance. The people are getting down on the administration.—In the last week I have seen but few advocates and friends. This applies to a greater degree to Kentucky than to Ohio, although in the latter State, as far as I have seen, the people seem to have lost confidence.
     I give this as one of the signs of the times, while at the same time I greatly deplore it. If we expect to crush this infamous rebellion, we must stand by the administration, even if some of its acts do not meet our approval. As another sign of the times, I find that McClellan's friends are as thick as berries in June. Among nearly 200 passengers on the mail boat I heard but one man speak ill of McClellan, and he is for unconditional abolition of slavery and arming all the blacks. It may be that all of McClellan's friends are traveling at this time; judging from the numbers I should, if a rail road or steamboat stockholder, want them to keep on traveling. It is a crying shame that such men as McClellan, McDowell, Shields, Lew. Wallace, Buell, Porter, Butler and a host of others, the best men we have, should be lying idle when they are so much needed in the field. With McDowell at Fredericksburg and McClellan on the Peninsula, unhampered by the authorities at Washington, we would soon have Richmond. The name of Rosecrans has become a household word. His praise is on everybody's tongue, and the people vie with each other to in praise of Rosecrans and his glorious victory at Murfreesboro, The next move I anticipate is the move of Rosecrans to the Potomac.—Another such victory as the one at Murfreesboro, or Stone River, will do it. Time presses and I must away. I go now to have my baggage examined, sealed and passed. So much for being in a military country. I shall be on the battlefield of Stone River in a few days and if all the items have not been gathered up, I will send you a few.
     Yours fraternally,

The Gallipolis Journal
January 22, 1863

Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 18, '63

Dear Harper:
     Having arrived here safely, let me give you a short account of the most exciting and exhaustive (physically) trips it has been my fortune to experience. Let me begin by giving you a copy of my Journal.
10th.—Came aboard the steamer Lady Franklin and registered my name for Nashville. Fare $15. Found Capt. Sam Dean, formerly of the old Buckeye State, in command. The Captain is the same old sixpence; affable and accommodating, looking to the comfort and safety of his passengers.
     12th.—Left Louisville at daylight this morning—going through the canal.—Steamer(s) Diana, E. H. Fairchild, and Baltic lying at New Albany fitted up for hospitals, by being boarded up from the upper to the lower deck. Laid [sic] at Cannelton overnight. Saw the Grey Eagle and judging from her trip Capt. Hutsinpiller must be making money.
     13th.—Nothing of importance to-day. Run [sic] to Shawneetown and laid [sic] over until the morning of the
     14th.—Arrived at Smithland and found Cumberland River booming—coaled and run [sic] ten miles above the mouth of the river and laid [sic] up. A death occurred aboard the boat to-day, Rev. J. H. Dille Chaplain of a Chicago Regiment, had been home on sick leave and was now on his return to his post of duty; became worse after coming on board at Louisville and died to-day, having been insensible for the past twenty-four hours. Everything was done for him that could be. Dr. Shilpel of Louisvile and the ladies of the Sanitary Commission were unceasing in their exertions to save him. It was a sad affair and cast a gloom over all on board.
     15th.—Reached Fort Donelson this evening. News of a rebel raid on the Cumberland River reached us here.—Three steamers (Parthenia, Charter and Tyro) and one Gunboat (Sidell) captured and burned at the foot of Harpeth Shoals. Poor prospect ahead for our getting up. Officer in command at this post expresses doubts, as to our getting to Clarksville.
     16th.—Reach Clarksville in safety and find twenty-two steamers and two gunboats lying here, dreading the trip to Nashville. Com. Sturgiss in command of the fleet. He decides to lay [sic] over here until to-morrow morning and start at four o'clock. Rosecrans needs supplies; this fleet has them and it must go through even if it has to run the gauntlet of rebel ball and shell. A scout just in from Harpeth Shoals reports the rebels still at the shoals and firing across the river at out pickets.—Rebels reported in the woods opposite this place (Clarksville) and our artillery are now shelling the woods. The gunners evidently understand their business as every shell is thrown with remarkable exactness and precision. By means of a glass I saw some of the devils on horseback riding along the edge of the woods. Our pickets reported driven in. If the rebels come they will meet with a warm reception. We go to bed, but I doubt whether much sleeping will be done. So much for the Journal. On the morning of the 17th we left Clarksville for Nashville, the Gunboat St. Clair in the advance; the ferryboat James Thompson with six guns in position, occupied the center; and the Gunboat Brilliant bringing up the rear. The following signals were communicated to each boat by Com. Sturgiss: One whistle to the right; two to the left; three, come ahead; four to land; five to retreat. Our position was the last boat in the fleet. Our boat being somewhat faster than the others, we found ourselves three miles below the shoals, ahead of the entire fleet. This in all probability saved us. At this point we landed to "wool up." An old man dressed in butternut informed us that Forrest's Cavalry passed there a few days before, 8000 strong, with 9 pieces of artillery. We pushed out a squad of armed men to scour the hills while we took in wood. The gunboat St. Clair passed up and we shoved out feeling slightly uneasy. We had not gone three miles when we heard the St. Clair whistle, one, two, three, four times. We landed on the north bank of the river. The St. Clair shelled the woods and finding no rebels, whistled for us to come on. We went two miles and laid [sic] 67 up for the night, congratulating ourselves that the rebels had skedaddled. We had not fairly landed when the whistle was blown three times, and we started. Something up. The Commodore reported one of the rear boats attacked and two men killed. Now for a run up the river, against a strong current and try to get away from the devils. Again more news; the Steamer Mary Crane captured and burned, the pilot (Mr. Carroll) shot through the head and instantly killed. The crew and passengers taken off and carried off. The Science,. (Capt. Perry Kerr) fired into and a Colonal severely wounded. The boat was completely riddled with balls, but through the coolness of Capt. Kerr, who stood manfully at his post, while bullets whistled all around him, the boat was saved. The impression gained ground that the rebels had permitted the fleet to pass the point where the Mary Crane was captured and now had us between two fires. Our safety evidently now depended upon pushing through under cover of darkness, but a heavy fog coming up we were compelled to land. We tied up to an Island, water on all sides of us. This morning we pushed out not knowing what was in store for us, but we were permitted to reach Nashville without any further interruption. You may rest assured we all breathed freer when we came in sight of this city. Capt. Sam Dean actually smiled and felt like a new man and ten years younger. The only loss in the fleet was the Mary Crane, loaded with army stores; she is a total loss. What has become of her crew and passengers no one knows. Probably carried into the woods, robbed and parolled [sic].
Upon the boat captured last Tuesday were about 22 negroes, all of whom were killed. Nine of them had their throats cut from ear to ear. On one of [words concealed by a fold in the paper] as chambermaid. The rebels asked her if she was single. She answered that she had been married but her husband was dead. They told her they were going to send her after him, and with an oath hoped she would find him, and killed her. The rebels are a desperate set of scoundrels, and such fiends should be hunted down like wolves. Any mercy shown them is an act of cruelty to our own men.
     This place is almost isolated from the rest of the world. Rail-road to Louisville damaged in three places, Cumberland river nearly blockaded, and rebel raids between here and Murfreesboro of almost daily occurrence. It costs something to live here. Potatoes five dollars per bushel, butter 80 cents a pound, fresh beef 15 cents, cord wood $30 to $40 per cord, coal at fabulous prices—$2 dollars or more a bushel, and not to be had at that. I have not seen a paper for eight days. None here later than Louisville dates of the 10th. Aching to hear the news from civilization and no one to satisfy my longings. A Journal would be a luxury. Send me one. I leave here for Murfreesboro in two days, not a very pleasant trip, I assure you. I am averse to being picked up by rebel cavalry and made to walk 40 or 50 miles and keep up with horsemen. Will write you again in a few days if I get through safe. Good bye.

The Gallipolis Journal
January 29, 1863

Nashville, Tennessee January 24th, 1863

Dear Harper:
     Have you ever been a thousand miles from home among strangers in a strange land, with no familiar faces around you and feeling that two thirds of those you met were aching to put a ball into you and end your pilgrimage in this world? A fellow under such circumstances is apt to have a hankering after home, get the blues and feel as savage as a half starved bear. Such has been the unfortunate condition of the subscriber up to yesterday, when my eyes feasted upon the chubby form of an old Western Virginia friend, who flourishes under the name of H. C. Palmer, clerk for Capt. John Levering. It was useless to hide the fact that I was glad to see him. I took him in; ate and slept with him; asked him a thousand and one questions, and talked him into a raging head-ache. I feel better this morning, decidedly.
     Were you ever in Nashville? If not be content to remain at home. If your passion for traveling masters you, don't come to this city. Go to Rodney and live well. Don't come here and starve at an enormous expense. You can do that cheaper at Rodney. It would cost you here from $2,50 to $4,00 per diem to go through the motions of supplying your bodily wants. As for filling your stomach it's out of the question. Government rations are a luxury only availale to the soldier. Coffee 70 cts. per pound and not to be had. They get up a beverage at the hotel here which they call coffee, but one cup would kill the oldest inhabitant. Potatoes, I have a feint [sic] remembrance of, but "nary a tater" is there here. They are quoted at $5,00 per bushel; prices tending upward. Butter 80 cts. per pound—of this article I have seen a few. Tea not a bit. Eggs, heard of a man who saw a few yesterday. Principal meats are pork, ham, ribs, shoulder and Sausage, with a sprinkling of fresh beef, wretchedly cooked and swimming in grease. Dried apple pies are as plenty as they were at a certain hotel in Gallipolis, one winter, and which some of your readers may have a distant recollection of. It would be a luxury to sit down and read a cook book for an hour or so each day. Again I advise you not to come to Nashville, unless you are tired of this world and want to commit suicide by starvation.
     Nashville is built upon a hill with the streets running down each side. The streets are narrow, uneven and filthy in the extreme. The pavement about wide enough for two to walk abreast. Buildings as a general thing, are miserable, dirty looking structures. There are some splendid private residences which would look well in Louisville or Cincinnati. Mrs. James K. Polk, Gen. Cheatham's (rebel), John Bell, and Carter's are the most imposing. The State House is one of the finest buildings in the country. It stands upon the crest of the hill and from the dome you have a fine view of the city and the country for several miles around.
The mass of the people are secesh to the core, and would to-day glory in the destruction of our armies and the invasion of the North with torch and sword. The rebels are becoming desperate, as their hopes of success fade away. One wounded rebel said the other day: "you have three men to our one—you may exterminate us but you cannot conquer us—we are ruined anyhow and will fight you to the bitter end." The answer he got was this: "Then we will exterminate you." The war is becoming every day more savage and ferocious in its character.—The feeling among our own men is best illustrated by a remark made by one of our men to a rebel prisoner after the late battle: "We fought you at first, with love in our hearts for you because you were our brethren, but we fight you now because we hate you."
     I learn that the rebel wounded at Murfreesboro are dying rapidly. Some 50 or 60 are buried daily. Their own Surgeons are attending them, Gen. Bragg having left a supply of Surgeons and hospital stores behind. All accounts concur in the fact that at the late battle of Stone's river, the rebels were half drunk on whiskey. Their Surgeons admit it and attribute the rapid dying of their wounded to this fact. I hope to be in Murfreesboro by day after to-morrow, when I shall try to find time to write you again.
     I heard that Capt. Ross of Gallia was wounded, and spent half a day hunting him up, but without success. He is not in any of the hospitals here. The Medical Director could give me no information concerning him. If he is at any private house it would be an impossibility for me to find him.—From the fact of his not being registered in the Medical Director's office I infer his wound, if wounded at all, is not serious. I met yesterday with Lt. Col. W. H. Young of the 26th O.V.I. He has relatives and friends in your county.—He is in the Officer's hospital here having been sick with fever since the 10th of December. He is improving rapidly, and is able to walk about, though still quite weak. He expects to rejoin his regiment within two weeks. I shall endeavor to hunt up the Gallia boys when I reach Murfreesboro and learn their condition, giving their friends, through your columns, all the information I may be able to obtain. Col. Stanley, of the 18th Ohio, now commanding a brigade in Gen. Negley's division, is spoken of in high terms by the officers of the army. I understand that his bravery and daring in the late battle was warmly spoken of by Gen. Rosecrans. If all I hear be true, and I have no reason to doubt it, he merits in the highest degree promotion to a Brigadier Generalship. I rejoice to speak in terms of praise of an officer who is one of us and so well deserves it.
     It is reported that Bragg has been heavily reinforced by troops from Gen. Joe Johnston's command at Vicksburg, but like nine-tenths of the reports, it is not traceable to any authentic source. I am inclined to discredit it, for Gen. Johnston will need all the troops he can muster in his coming struggle with Gen. Banks. The skies are brightening and the enemy are being pressed severely on all sides. Let the Potomac army go to work and capture Richmond, and the bottom of this hellish rebellion will be knocked out. For this and the speedy close of the war, and for the success of our arms upon every battle-field, let good people throughout the loyal North devoutly pray, and we shall soon see the old flag unfurled from every hill-top, and in every valley throughout the length and breadth of our beloved land. With the prime moving cause (slavery) of this rebellion wiped up, free labor will make the beautiful valleys of the South bloom as the rose, and we be in truth and in deed a nation of freemen.

The Gallipolis Journal
February 5, 1863

Murfreesboro, Tennessee, January 30, 1863

Dear Harper:
     To undertake to write a letter from the army which will prove interesting to your readers, "or any other man," is no easy task. The very information they desire is of course contraband. A thousand questions are mentally asked and remain unanswered. They want to know Gen. Rosecrans' position; is it a strong one? how many men (effective) has he? have we entrenchments, and fortifications, and how and where are they located?—how much Cavalry, how many pieces of Artillery, and what is their calibre? when will we move forward, &c., &c. It is natural for men and women to ask these questions, but improper to give a reply. Your readers must be content to believe that all goes well, and that Gen. Rosecrans will move forward as soon as he gets ready. If the rebels are bold enough to attack us, you will know then whether or not the position is a strong one. At any rate we shall stay here awhile.
     I reached here on the 28th, sound in body, and without seeing a reb. Morgan, was reported to be on one side of the pike between here and Nashville, and Forrest on the other side, but they have not as yet been bold enough to attempt the capture of our trains. They have done such things heretofore and doubtless will attempt it again, with what success remains to be seen. We need cavalry. The Government should authorize the North-west to put into the field at least fifty thousand mounted infantry, with the understanding that they are to chase Morgan, Forrest, and others; cut rebel rail-roads; capture rebel trains; harass the enemy; and live off the country. When a horse breaks down and gives out, swap him for a fresh one; destroy all trains captured, and make it unsafe for the enemy to send out even forage trains. The North-west could turn out 50,000 men for such duty as this in a short time. Let the men furnish their own horses, turning them over to the Government at their true value. Do this and you would never hear of the rebels interrupting our lines of communication, or riding around our army. It will have to be done sooner or later, and the sooner the better.
     I paid a visit this afternoon to Col. T. R. Stanley's brigade, and found the Colonel absent on a visit home. I saw and conversed with several of the Gallia county boys belonging to the 18th regiment. The field officers of the 18th, are all absent, and Capt. Ross is in command of the regiment, having fully recovered from his wound. Lieut. Carter, wounded in the back by the explosion of a shell, has been pronounced fit for duty, and has again resumed his duties. I believe he is a son of Isaac Carter. The rest of the boys wounded in the battle of Stone River are doing as well as could be expected, and all will probably recover. George W. Angel, was wounded in the foot, and has since had it amputated just above the ankle; after the foot had been taken off he was taken with erysipelas in the stump, and fears were entertained of his recovery, but Dr. Johnson informed me today he was improving with the chances strongly in his favor. I went to the hospital to see him, but he had been removed, and I failed to find him. Lewis F. Berthe is well, and I was told "hearty as a buck." He was out on fatigue duty, and I did not see him. He and young Angel are members of Co. K, which was raised in the neighborhood of Racine, O. I had a list of all the Gallia boys, which I had intended on inserting in this letter, giving their present condition and whereabouts, but it has unfortunately got [sic] misplaced. I will obtain another in a few days and forward to you. Enough to say for the present that all are well, excepting the wounded in the late battle. I found Dr. Mills, in excellent health and spirits. It is generally believed by Surgeons that wounded men do better in tents than in houses. The wounded of Gen'l Crittenden's corps were mostly put in tents, and fewer deaths have occurred among those than those placed in houses. The reason I do not pretend to know. I give you the facts and you can ask some physician for an explanation. Nearly all the houses in this place are used for hospitals; the rebel wounded occupying twenty-two buildings. Large numbers of the rebels have died. Our wounded are generally doing well and are well cared for.
     Murfreesboro is a place of 3,500 or 4,000 in population, or, rather has been, for most of the citizens left with Bragg (men, women and children). The town is well laid out and the buildings are of a better character, than I have noticed in other Southern towns. They look neat and clean, and the dwellings generally [are] set back from the street, leaving a yard in front, most of them adorned with shrubbery. The place is thoroughly secesh, and the entire male population is evidently in the rebel army, as I see none about the place. One thing I have failed to find and that is the shoeless, hatless, coatless, half-starved, ragged rebels our Northern papers tell us so much about. All the rebels I have seen look as though they fared well, had plenty to eat, and the necessary clothing. To be sure they are not as well off in this respect as our army, but as for their being ragged and starved, I incline to doubt it. If they are I fail to see it. I speak of only what I have seen, and those I have not yet met may be ragged and half starved. I hope they are.
     There is no news in this section of importance, which is not contraband, and sensational items are scarce. Every-body you meet has his own version of the battle, and "Every-body's" regiment, brigade and division done [sic] the right thing at the right time, which resulted in a glorious victory. One thing all agree in, that it was a terrible battle, and any other General but "old hold fast," as the boys call Gen'l Rosecrans, would have been whipped. The entire army have the most undoubted confidence in Gen'l Rosecrans, and when he leads them forth to battle, victory is certain. The discipline and morale of the army is [sic] excellent, and its confidence in its own strength double what it was two months ago. The army is divided into three corps, the 14th, 20th, and 21st, commanded respectively by Major Gen'ls Thomas, McCook, and Crittenden. Capt. John Levering (late of Gauley) is spoken of as a coming Brigadier General. The 21st Ohio (Col. Neibling) is here, in Stanley's brigade.

The Gallipolis Journal
February 12, 1863

On board Steamer Edward Duncan, Cumberland River, Feb. 24, '63

Dear Harper:
     The writer thereof believes himself to be on the steamer named above, and at the present time, 6 P.M., about 25 miles above Nashville and bound for some point still higher up. There is a fleet of steamers with us, having quite a number of troops, more or less on board, under command of Gen. George Crook, a sure guarantee of the success of the expedition, whatever its object may be. The fleet is composed of the following named steamers: Edward Duncan, "flag ship of the Squadron" and Headquarters, Izetta, Imperial, Liberty, Orient, Henry Fitzhugh, Fanny Barker, Belfast, Delaware, Glenwood, Crescent City and Hornet. Two Gunboats went up ahead of us last night, and more, will, it is said, be after us to-night. On the Imperial I found Capt. Frank Oakes, who does not fancy steamboating up in this country. He can stand it up as high as Nashville, but when he has to go above, he would much prefer to be excused; but when the military say "go," they mean it—and Capt. Oakes is a man to obey orders without a murmur.
     On the Izetta I found Capt. Jno. Kyle, "Raphe" Hamilton and others—in fact many old acquaintances are on steamers composing the fleet. Where we are going and on what mission is more than I am able to say. Our Pilots say the river is navigable 500 miles above Nashville and I comfort myself with the thought of cool mountain air during the coming hot weather. But we will not probably go very far up, at least not so far but what our friends at home will hear from us before many days. I am not sure whether we are going for a fight, but my impression is that we are. Rest assured the famous Kanawha Division will give a good account of itself.—The Gallia county boys, including Dr. Sisson and Lieut. Homer Cherrington, are in fine spirits and, as a general thing, remarkably healthy. When we reach our place of destination, I will write you, that the friends at home may be posted as to our whereabouts.

The Gallipolis Journal
March 5, 1863

Carthage Tenn., March 19, '63

Dear Harper:
     John Morgan, or rather I suppose some of his men, have "gone and done it"—done a very impudent trick, thereby depriving you of an epistle of some six pages in length, and in which was some information of matters and things hereabouts, which I was in hopes would have proved interesting to the friends of the brave boys in this command. I had, at some little trouble, gathered together a few items of public interest and not contraband, and on last Sunday evening embodied them in a letter to you, and through you to the Journal and its host of readers, and started it, properly addressed, on Wednesday morning. It should have reached Gallatin that evening protected as it was, by a small squad of cavalry, belonging to Gen. Gaines' brigade. As far as heard from, that letter, with many others, and the squad of cavalry haven't reached Gallatin, and this is Thursday. Some of Morgan's men took charge of the entire mail and the squad of men and started it Dixie-ward. It was very unpretty in Morgan's men to do such a thing, and I hope John will give them a talking to. I rather think he will. Don't you?—Several letters of a private character have gone the same road. I anticipate seeing them in the Chattanooga Daily Rebel, especially one written to my "better half." They do such things down that way; in fact John Morgan furnishes that sheet with a good deal of its original matter, culled from Uncle Sam's mail bags. The deuce of it is that they won't "exchange," or I might regale your readers with choice tit-bits [sic] from rebel letters; in retaliation of course. It's no use trying to re-write that letter, as I have not the time, even if I had the inclination. It's gone.—Your columns will be filled with more interesting matter. It is provoking, though, to say the least.
     This command has moved to the north side of the Cumberland river, where the water is said to be better.—It's awful hard on the south side.—You can almost see the lime-stones in it. On the 8th inst., the rebels picked up a forage train of 18 wagons, together with the escort of 45 men, all from the 11th Reg. O.V.I. The men have since been parolled [sic] and have returned, while the officers are supposed to be provided for 'down South.' General Early, formerly of Kanawha, is reported to be in command, in our front and on Bragg's extreme right.—Morgan and Breckenridge are also said to be with him. It's rather doubtful about Morgan. He is like the Irishman's flea; you go to put your finger on him and he ain't there. He is in too many places at the same time, to tell exactly where he is. In his case a directory is of no account whatever.
     A good many deaths have lately occurred in the 92nd Regiment; the disease being the measles. It is astonishing the large number of men who have grown up without having the measles, and other contagious diseases incident to childhood. When an adult takes the measles he has them "hard," and proves much more fatal than among children. (Take warning!) Col. Van Voorhes has been quite sick with fever, but I am happy to say he is now improving rapidly.
     Lieut. Cherington [sic], (Homer of the 36th) together with all "our boys," is in excellent health and spirits. I heard the Lieut. highly spoken of as an officer, a few days since, by one whose good opinion is worth having. The 36th is hard to beat any way you take it. (Right here—for the benefit of an unknown acquaintance—the scribbler hereof is the one who spoke in such glowing terms of the gallant behavior of a certain individual in the battle of Lewisburg, in a message announcing the aforesaid individual's safety.)
The steamer Cottage, Capt. Henry Bailey of your city, reached here last evening, having run the gauntlet of rebel "ball and buck" for several hours yesterday, 20 miles below here. The gunboat scattred the "garillas," but not until the Cottage had been slightly perforated with bullets. In fact they had a running fight for several miles. Two men on the gunboat were slightly wounded. No one hurt on the other steamer composing the fleet. Capt. Bailey thinks that steamboating up the Cumberland is slightly different from that on the Kanawha, the former being attended with some difficulties not laid down in the latest "River Guides."—The crew are all enjoying excellent health. (Pop—there goes a gun from one of the picket posts. Rebels prowling about. Hope the bullet hit one of 'em. That's wicked, but can't help it.)
     Gen. Crook is in excellent health and at work. His men all have the utmost confidence in him, but not a man that feels, that, with him to lead, they can whip three times their number.—That is the strength that confidence in a leader gives to men. I have seen no cause to change my former good opinion of our General, but, on the other hand, everything to strengthen it.—Nothing would so much please the officers and men of this command, as to see him "going about" with still another star, indicative of the wisdom of our beloved Chief Magistrate in bestowing a Major-General's commission upon our leader.
     Major-General Frank P. Blair, Brigadier-General Geo. Crook. How that sounds! One a political trickster—the other a soldier by education and profession, with ten years' experience in active service. One, possibly, qualified to command a regiment—the other qualified to lead an army, and lead it to victory. Republics are grateful—provided a "feller" don't care what he says. Kick down your military men, by education and profession, and push up your cross road politicians, and see how long it will take to send your armies and country to the devil. If you were going to lay out a line of railroad would you get a civil engineer to do it for you, one who by education and profession was competent? or would you get "Alfred B—k, Esq." to do it? The comparison is too great, is it?—Well, wait and see. How long do you suppose it will be before you will be calling back into the field such men as McClellan, Buell, McDowell, Wright, Granger, et al? How long? You don't want military men? Well try to run the machine without them. Now long can you run an engine without oil? It soon begins to "crack," don't it?
     If you men in the North want to know how soldiers feel in regard to war matters, go and have a talk with them, especially you Peace men. Say you believe in Vallandigham, and I wouldn't ensure [sic] your safety for three cents. You would be far better off if you were caught in Georgia, inciting the slaves to insurrection.
We have a noble army, every man of whom is a hero, who are determined to do their part in putting down this infamous rebellion, and they ask the Government to do its part, by placing above them, as commanders, military men who can not only plan but lead them to victory. Military men who have been schooled in the service. Because a man can make a good stump speech in an electioneering campaign, it don't [sic] follow by any means, that he can command an army corps! Because a man has influential party friends, who for signal service in the last campaign, procure for him a Major-General's commission, it does not by any means, follow that he has the requisite qualifications to make a successful General! These are only the opinions of a high private, poorly expressed, and no one, but himself, is responsible for them. If you haven't room for them, leave them out.

The Gallipolis Journal
April 2, 1863

Carthage, Tenn., April 8th, 1863

Dear Harper:
     The Ohio regiments of this Command have been holding meetings the past week to express their sentiments and feeling in respect to this new Peace on—on—any terms Party, which has lately sprung up in the North. A series of resolutions were drawn up and adopted, almost unanimously, by officers and soldiers in every Ohio regiment, and headed by the name of Gen. Crook and his entire staff corps, and will be forwarded by same mail as this goes by, for publication in the Cincinnati and various county papers in which the several regiments were raised. The resolutions are bold and explicit in denunciation of traitors both in front and rear, and will be wholesome reading for "butternuts" and Valandigham Democrats, (God save the mark) who are doing their utmost to aid the cause of the rebellion by a fire in the rear. The day is coming when they will call upon the rocks and the hills to fall upon them and hide them from the vengeance of an outraged people, who are enduring privations and hardships, and offering up their lives for the preservation of civil and religious liberty.
     I trust you will find room in your widely circulated Journal, for the publication of these resolutions, calling attention (editorially) to them, in such terms as their merit and the righteousness of our cause demands. The army has no sympathy with these Northern traitors, but on the other hand they loath [sic] and abhor them. Officers and men will, if it ever becomes necessary, subjugate and exterminate these vermin with even more pleasure than they are now trying to conquer this rebellion, and the sooner such sheets as the Cincinnati Enquirer, Dayton Empire and lesser lights cease their traitorous twaddling and give evidence of loyalty, the better for them and the country. Why don't [sic] our Government suppress all such sheets, and arrest and imprison all traitors wherever found? The army would hail such a movement with joy, and as an omen of a successful issue of the war.
     Again let me call your attention to the resolutions, and assure you that they embody the sentiments and the sober, earnest judgment of the rank and file of this Division, who believe that the time has come when the army should be heard, in language unmistakable and not to be misunderstood.—I assume it will not be contraband to say that this command has been re-inforced, and will soon be in a condition to give a good account of itself. Several expeditions have been sent out the past week, but beyond capturing a few of Morgan's men, have accomplished but little. The truth is, we have heretofore, been unable to do much, lacking a very essential arm of the service which is absolutely necessary to a successful foray or raid into the enemy's country. Morgan has been in hot water the past week, Gen. Rosecrans having stirred him up and driven him from our front. There seems to be no doubt but that John Morgan was severely wounded in the late fight.
     Late Southern papers, which we get in three or four days from Chattanooga and eight days from Richmond, represent the scarcity of provisions in the South as very great, causing considerable alarm and uneasiness for the future. Bacon at Atlanta, Ga., was selling the 27th ult., at 90@95¢ per pound. The Governor of Georgia has convened the Legislature of that State, to take steps to remedy the evil. In his message, which I have just read in the Atlanta Intelligencer, gives a very gloomy account of affairs in that State, and poor consolation for the future.—He says he has been using the railroads of the State, in transporting corn from the Southern portion of the state to the starving inhabitants of Northern Georgia. He recommends the Legislature to pass a stringent law, limiting the amount of land which each planter shall sow in cotton to one fourth of an acre, barely sufficient to raise cotton enough to clothe the people, and compelling them to plant every available acre in corn, wheat &c. Accounts from middle Tennessee, (Southern), represent the people as being in a deplorable condition. The rebels are taking provisions from friend and foe, stripping the latter and leaving but four months' supply in the hands of the former. Deserters and refugees who come within our lines, all tell the same story. The rebels will no doubt make a desperate attempt to get into Kentucky again, and are, no doubt, massing their troops on Rosecrans, deeming this the weakest point in our lines. Bragg has at Tullahoma, 50,000 effective men, and in Tennessee a total of 190 regiments of Infantry, and 75 regiments of Cavalry; counting each regiment at only 300 men and you have a grand total of 79,500, or in round numbers 80,000 men. Are they going to increase that number by additions from Virginia?—If all accounts are to be believed, it looks that way. Gen. Rosecrans is prepared for them, and come when they may, they will meet with a warm reception. If the deserters are smoked out and sent back, it will add materially to our strength. Let the loyal men of the North smoke them out.
     Since I last wrote you, Col. Van Voorhes has been compelled to resign the Colonelcy of the 92nd regiment O. V. I., owing to bleeding at the lungs. The health of the 92nd is not as good as could be desired. Some 25 or 30 of the poor fellows have died since we came here, and fill graves in an enemy's country. There is something inexpressibly sad in the burial of a soldier, so far from home, and among strangers in a strange land. The bodies have been deposited in the grave-yard here, much against the wishes of the rebels who live here. One she devil allowed that when we left Carthage, they would have to dig the bodies up and pitch them into the river, (the Cumberland). Secessionism makes she devils out of women. They are worse, ten times over, than the men. Picayune B (blurred) is the only Yankee General who ever knew how to handle the wenches and curb them in.
     The boys of the 36th are all well and tough as bears. They are proof against all the ills that flesh is heir to. Lt. Col. Duval is in command of the Regiment, Col. Andrews being away on detached duty.

The Gallipolis Journal
April 23, 1863

Carthage, Tenn., April 21, 1863

Dear Harper:
     The Journal of the 16th, received last evening, conveyed to me the first intelligence of Major John R. Blessing's death. To say that I was surprised is but a feint [sic] description; I was thunder struck. One more good man gone to his reward; one more life offered up on the shrine of our common country; one more for which traitors North and South will have to render an account to the Ruler of the Universe. Their skirts hang heavy with the blood of good and loyal men. Patriotism alone, and that of the very highest order, sent Major Blessing into the field of battle, and if necessary, to die for his country. He is gone! The nation has lost a patriot, Gallia county one of its best citizens, and his family a devoted husband, loving father, and an affectionate son. The writer hereof has seen Major B. in all the relations of life, at home and abroad, and a more kind hearted, unselfish, and honest man never lived. Many can truly say that they are better off, for the life which has just closed. May "He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb," protect and shield from the storms of life, the widow, and fatherless children.
     Let me make this a gloomy letter while I am at it, by giving you some incidents of life in rebeldom, with the remark that they are strictly true. I mention only such as I have heard from the parties interested, and for whose truth and veracity there is no question or doubt. Near New Middleton, five miles south of Carthage, lives a man by the name of Mason, who is near sixty years of age, and an uncompromising and unflinching lover of the Union. The rebels might steal his horses, plunder his house, destroy his property, and threaten his life, but they could not change his devotion, or cause him to falter for one moment, in his allegiance to the Government of his fathers. Last week, (Monday, April 13th), fifty rebel (Cavalry) came to his house and inquired for him. He was sitting on the piazza, and acknowledged himself to be the man for whom they inquired. They took him and tied his hands behind his back, at the same time threatening to gag his wife if she made any disturbance. They informed Mr. Mason that they had been told he had, secreted about his house, three thousand dollars in gold, which he could deliver to them or forfeit his life. He assured them in the most earnest manner, that he had not a single dollar in gold, and all he had was about two hundred dollars in U. S. Treasury notes. The rebels immediately slipped a rope around his neck, and the last thing he remembers was becoming dizzy and falling to the ground. They choked him until they nearly killed him. How long he remained in this condition of unconsciousness he is unable to say. When he recovered sufficiently to stand upright, they made him give up all the money he had, threatening to kill him and his wife if they remained in the country; calling him by such names as G--d d--n Yankee s-n of a b---h, and others equally refined and chaste. I had the particulars of this affair from Mr. Mason's own lips. These rebels belonged to Gen. Wheeler's command. Oh! ye dirt-eating traitors of the North how do you like your Southern masters?—You want peace-on-any-terms with our chivalrous and erring brothers of the South? You want to lick the spittle off the feet of these cut-throats, murderers, and thieves? A secessionist is all this and more too.
     Last Sabbath evening about sundown, an old negro woman, travel stained and nearly broken down, came into our camp, crying bitterly with a sorrow too deep for utterance. Her whole cry was, "dey hab stole my four gals." She lived but a few miles from here, higher up the Cumberland. The night before, twenty rebels came to her log cabin, seized her four grown girls, and carried them off. To save herself and two sons, they fled from the house into the woods, and started for this camp, which they reached Sunday evening, after travelling over the hills all day.—Does the mere fact of having a black skin, cause a mother to sorrow and grieve any the less over the abduction of her children? That black woman's tears and heart-rending cries for her lost children, was [sic] enough to make the coldest heart warm into pity. A secessionist is a negro thief, and you have men in the North who want to take them in their arms and embrace them. Can you imagine the fate of those four girls? Answer that, you women of the North who flauntingly display butternut ornaments, and talk so flippantly of the chivalrous and refined South. An abolitionist! you cry. Why you never saw the day, nor never will, that you was [sic] worthy to sit on the same seat with the most ranting abolitionist that ever drew breath.
     You have been informed from time to time, of the sickness and death in the 92d Reg. O.V. I. About 60 or more, of Ohio's brave sons have been deposited in the burial ground, at this place, and a head board to each grave, informs you who is there buried, and to what regiment and company he belonged. The she-secesh hereabouts have been terribly angry at the Yankees for burying them in their grave yard—what do you suppose they say? "As soon as you Yankees leave here we will dig up your dead and pitch their carcasses into the Cumberland river." That is what Secession does for the women of the South! The refined women of the Sunny South! Have you any in the North who sympathize with these she-adders? If you have, the loyal women who have sent their husbands, sons, and brothers to their country's help in the hour of danger should spurn them as they would an adder.—A northern man or woman, sympathize with such fiends? None but a traitor would. All such persons should be sent South, where they can have free scope to display their hatred for free institutions, and give full rein to their deep depravity. I could go on and fill page after page with accounts of deeds done by rebels, fully as atrocious and damning—but I have not the time, even if you had the space for them.—It is no use in saying that the leaders and generals commanding rebel armies disapprove such deeds, for its a lie, as they could prevent them if they saw fit to do so. Is it any wonder that our boys in the army feel like hanging Northern traitors, who encourage these Southern rebels in the commission of such infamous outrages? Is it any wonder they say they would rather shoot and hang such men than a rebel in arms?
     Col. E. B. Andrews has resigned the Colonelcy of the 36th Regiment O.V. I. Lieut. Col. Duval will probably succeed him to the command of the regiment. It is sufficient to say that he is in every way qualified to take command of this crack regiment. Major Adney, a fine officer, will no doubt be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Sickness still prevails in the 92d Regiment, though the number of deaths is diminishing.—Lieut. Col. Fearing has been promoted to the Colonelcy of this regiment. Major Douglas Putnam, Jr., of Harmar, a gallant and meritorious officer, should and no doubt will, be promoted to Lieut. Col. in the 92d
     The Cumberland river is falling slowly, and is now at a few points fordable. Morgan and Wheeler will give us some trouble here this summer no doubt, provided we remain here. They threaten to gobble up this command as soon as they can ford the river. As long as Gen. Crook has command here we have no fears of any such disaster. The rebels tried that game at Lewisburg a year ago, and they will succeed no better here. Reports from rebel, and other sources, go to show that Bragg is massing his troops for an attack on our lines and another raid into Kentucky. How much truth there is in these reports remains to be seen. All is quiet here. Every moment is occupied by Gen. Crook in getting his command into a high state of discipline and thereby render it as effective as possible. He is aiming to do for this command what he done [sic] for the 36th regiment, and those who know the man, have no doubt as to the result. B.

The Gallipolis Journal
May 7, 1863

Murfreesboro, Tenn., June 10th, 1863

Dear Harper:
     On the 4th inst., Gen. Crook's Kanawha Division left Carthage for Liberty, Tenn., a small village thirty miles east of this place, reaching it on the evening of the 5th. On the 6th, orders were received to proceed to Murfreesboro, when we pulled up stakes and left, reaching this place Sunday evening, June the 7th.—On the last day's march we made 21 1/2 miles, halting two hours and a half at noon,—a big day's march and hard to beat. Nothing worthy of note occurred during the march. We found Col. Wilder with his famous hatchet brigade (mounted) at Liberty, "going for" the rebels wherever they could be found; picking up horses, mules, bacon, forage, and contrabands. An incident occurred on the second day's march, when near Alexandria, which illustrates fully the animus of the genus commonly known as the she-secesh. Col. Stokes' cavalry, the advance guard, very quietly and unceremoniously entered a house near the road side and took therefrom a secesh soldier, who happened to be home on a visit. His wife was bitter as gall on the Yankees, she went into the front yard, kneeled down on the ground, clasped her hands together, her children kneeling around her, and with upturned eyes, poured forth such a prayer to the Almighty as I hope I may never hear again. She prayed that not one of us might be permitted to return; that sickness, disease and battle might sweep us from the face of the earth. It was horrible to listen to the maledictions heaped upon our devoted heads. She continued on her knees praying until the entire column had passed by. Beyond a few remarks made by the boys, she was not interrupted by any one. She is a specimen of the she-secesh.
     How long this command will remain here is, of course, unknown to any of us. The indications, however, are that we shall move before many days, when there will be a big fight or an extensive foot race.—Nothing is known outside of General Rosecrans' Headquarters, and all that I could say would be mere conjecture on my part. You can do enough of that kind of writing without my filling up your space.
     I saw Capt. J. P. Drouillard, who is A. D. C. on Gen. Rosecrans' staff.—The captain looks remarkably well and is in excellent spirits. He speaks in the highest terms of their army and its commanding General. To use his expressive language, "we have a magnificent army here." I visited Col. Stanley, commanding a brigade in Gen. Negley's division. The Col. has a fine brigade, and, what is more, he has the confidence of every officer and man in it. The 18th Ohio is in tip-top condition. Capt. Ross and his company are all well. Dr. Mills is always on hand. If you hear of the Doctor's applying for a furlough, you may rest assured he wants to visit old Gallia. There has [sic] been some changes in the 18th among the officers. Lieut,-Col. Given has been promoted to Colonel and assigned to the 74th Ohio, Granville Moody's old regiment. Major Grosvenor, of Athens, a splendid officer and a perfect gentleman, is promoted to the Lieut.-Colonelcy, and Capt. Welch to the Majority.
     In Gen. Rosecrans' Division, I found the 33d Ohio, Col. O. F. Moore, of Portsmouth, commanding. The Col. was on a Court-martial and I failed to see him. Capt. Montgomery is in excellent health, and informed me that his company was in good trim and ready for a fight. This command together with the regiments named above, are all in Gen. Thomas' impregnable old 14th army corps, and occupies the centre, facing Dixieward. Generals Reynolds of Ind., Negley, and Rousseau are in the corps.
Gen. A. McDowell McCook commands the 20th and Gen. Crittenden the 21st army corps. The army is in superb condition, and its machinery works to perfection. Major General Rosecrans is fully alive to the work before him, and when he moves, there will be a muss somewhere. This army fairly idolizes him, having unbounded confidence in his ability to handle it, large as it is.
     There is nothing new which I can give publicity to. Examine your almanac and see if it don't [sic] say "about this time expect a storm." The 36th boys are all well. The same may be said of Gen. Crook's entire command. The sick of this command, numbering some 400, were all left behind at Carthage, in charge of competent surgeons. The good Union people of that section will do all in their power to alleviate their sufferings, and administer to their wants. I neglected to say in the proper place that a sufficient number of troops were left at Carthage to hold the place against great odds. Whenever anything occurs worth jotting down, you will hear from me.
     Until then adieu.

The Gallipolis Journal
June 25, 1863

Murfreesboro, Tenn., June 11th, 1863

Dear Harper:
     Gen. Crook's famous Kanawha Division is still at this place, like Micawber, waiting for something to turn up. The boys are spoiling for a fight, and when it comes, rest assured they will give a good account of themselves. Troops who have passed through Lewisburg, South Mountain and Antietam, covering themselves with glory, as with a garment, are not to be intimidated by any show of strength the enemy [may] make. In the graphic language of the Arkansan, they can whip their weight in wild cats. "Stars" are in the ascendant in this city. Major and Brigadier Generals are thick as hops. If you turn a corner you are sure to run into one.—Imagine to yourself a portly looking man about five feet ten, well built, and weighing about 185 pounds, about 50 years of age, and you have Major Gen. Thomas, commanding the invincible 14th Army Corps—one of the ablest officers and most polished gentlemen in the army. He is a very quiet, modest unassuming man. Nothing goes wrong with him, and everything pertaining to the machinery of his Corps works smoothly and harmonius[ly]. A rigid disciplinarian, a tactician of the first order, he deservedly stands foremost among the corps commanders of the army of the Cumberland. The very appearance of the man assures you that you are in the presence of a soldier, brave, cool, and able to command. He is beloved and respected by all who come in contact with him.—Gen. Thomas' Division commanders embrace such men as Gen'ls. Reynolds, Rousseau, Negley, &c., men who stand high in the nation as number one military men. Gen. Reynolds was in the Cheat Mountain region of West Virginia, during McClellan's memorable campaign, and for months afterwards.—When Gen. McClellan first went into West Virginia, he telegraphed to Simon Cameron, then Secretary of War, asking that Gen. Reynolds be appointed a Brigadier General, and ordered to report to him. Simon paid no attention to the dispatch. Gen. McClellan then sent a similar message to S. P. Chase, asking him to use his influence to the same end, and with a like result.—Most men would have despaired and given it up as a bad job; but not so with Little Mac. He sent another dispatch addressed to "His Excellency Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States," asking that J. J. Reynolds of Indiana, be appointed a Brigadier General, setting forth his eminent fitness for the position, and that he needed him. The President responded a few hours afterwards that Reynolds had been appointed, as requested, and ordered to report forthwith to him (Gen. McClellan.) To-day no man stands higher in this army than Major [sic] General Reynolds. This incident impressed me forcibly in regard to the willingness of the President to stand by his Generals, giving them all they asked for to enable them to prosecute the war successfully. The War Department might refuse them; but the President—never.
     The ablest man in the 20th army corps is undoubtedly Major General Phillip H. Sherridan [sic], who, on the hotly contested and historic field of Stone river, manifested such undaunted courage and heroism; such consummate skill in the handling of troops as to win the plaudits of the commanding General and the nation's gratitude. His career has been a brilliant and successful one, and his promotion rapid and deserved. He is idolized by his command, and in his hands they are almost invinvible. Gen. Sherridan [sic] in his private relations is a perfect gentleman hospitable and kind-hearted to a fault, I predict a future for him more brilliant than the past, if such a thing can be possible. Of the other able Generals who are commanding Corps, Divisions, and Brigades, I have not time to speak. Suffice it to say for the present, that they have the confidence of Gen. Rosecrans, as to their fitness and qualifications for the various positions to which they have been assigned. Probably no army in the country is better officered or can show a brighter galaxy of "stars" than the three Corps de Armee comprising the Army of the Cumberland. With such men to lead as Rosecrans, Thomas, McCook, Crittenden, Reynolds, Sheridan, Rousseau, Stanley, Negley, Granger, and others, the North may rest perfectly easy as to the result when this army moves on the enemy. The popular and prevailing opinion in the North that the rebels have all the best officers, is "played out." The history of this war thus far tells a very different story. Antietam, South Mountain, Stone River, Corinth, Pittsburg Landing, Vicksburg, Port Hudson, attest in unmistakable language the superior generalship of our officers, and the superior courage and fighting ability of our soldiery.
     I wish I could fill up this sheet with news of an exciting nature, but news (facts) being contraband, and sensational items being out of my line, I am fain [obliged] to put up with merely assuring you that this army is under marching orders, and all goes well.—Destination to be developed hereafter. In the meantime, compose yourself in patience for a time, waiting and listening for a clap of thunder out of a cloudless sky.
The telegraph will have apprised you of the swift and summary execution of two rebel officers, as spies, found inside our fortifications at Franklin, on the 9th. But a few hours elapsed between their discovery and arrest, before they were suspended between Heaven and earth. A female spy is being tried here before a Court Martial, and if found guilty, will no doubt suffer the extreme penalty of Military law. I doubt whether any false idea of gallantry to the sex will save her. Hanging in this section is getting to be popular, especially where the interested party happens to be a rebel spy
     The health of this army is much better than I expected to find it. Probably less sickness prevails in this army than in any other command of its size in the country. The police and sanitary regulations of the different camps are almost perfect, while cleanliness is noticeable in every camp; much more so than one would expect. I will aim to keep you posted of events as they occur in this vicinity, while I am here. The Journal of the 4th inst. reached me to-day. Many thanks to "Uncle Sam's" mailbags for bringing it through safely. An article, (editorial) which recently appeared in the Marietta Register, does great, and I am charitable enough to believe, unintentional injustice to Gen. Crook. The Cincinnati Gazette published a similar communication, but upon examination of the facts placed before it, made the necessary correction. I trust Mr. Stimson has, ere this, been equally as fair and impartial, and done Gen. Crook at least partial justice, by republishing the communication and editorial which appeared in the Gazette on the 29th ult.
     Your correspondent has lately felt the force of that ancient maxim, "it is better to be born lucky than rich."—Particulars through another channel at no distant day.

The Gallipolis Journal
June 25, 1863

Murfreesboro, Tenn., June 16th, 1863

Dear Harper:
     I had not intended writing you again for at least one week, hoping in that time to gather together a sufficient number of items to enable me to give you a letter which would prove interesting to those friends who have husbands, sons and brothers in this magnificent army. But bear with me a moment. I have just read the proceedings of a Convention of traitors assembled at Columbus, Ohio, on the 11th, which placed in nomination for Governor of the loyal State of Ohio that arch traitor Clement L. Vallandigham, now residing in the bosom of his friends. In connection therewith, I have read a speech delivered before that Convention by Geo. E. Pugh, its nominee for Lieutenant Governor. Such a Convention held and such a speech delivered in the loyal State of Ohio! Shame on the loyalty that would permit it! Free speech!—Forsooth! Free Press! It's free speech, is it to permit a man who is a traitor to his country to get up and preach treason to the people, council [sic] resistance to his Government in its hour of trial, and use language calculated to bring on a conflict of arms between the people and the Military? Yes, it is free speech with a vengeance. Such freedom of speech will bring on civil war at your homes, desolate your own firesides, and drag our beloved country into the vortex of anarchy, and irretrievable ruin. Such freedom of speech should be stopped by a —halter.
     If these worse than Jeff. Davis traitors want to inaugurate civil war in Ohio, the sooner they begin the better. The Ohio troops in the field would consider it the highest honor that could be conferred on them, to be called home to rid the State of these pestilent traitors of the Vallandigham-Pugh stripe. If they think they can help their friend Jeff. Davis more by inaugurating civil war in Ohio, let them try it on. Now is as good a time as any. Pugh and the gang should be sent after Vallandigham, and for the good of the country send them through Murfreesboro, in day-light! The Committee, when they demand of the President the restoration of Vallandigham, should be sent to hunt him up. They should have full powers to go through our lines and stay.
     Let no one in the North delude themselves with the false belief that they have any friends in the army. If you heard the curses uttered, and seen [sic] the crimson flush that overspread the faces of the boys when Pugh's speech was read, you would have no doubt as to the feeling which animates every soldier in the army. They are all loyal, and believe in hanging traitors wherever they are found. It don't [sic] need a legal tribunal to convict such men (?) of treason. One thing more—Are [sic] there any considerable number of men in Ohio who will vote the Vallandigham-Pugh ticket? No man who is loyal to his country; who is in favor of the Union as created by our fathers; who is in favor of crushing out this infamous rebellion; who is in favor of an abiding and permanent peace, will VOTE THAT TICKET; I care not to what political party he may be attached. It is not a question of party. It is a question of Union or disunion; loyalty or treason; peace or war; liberty or anarchy. In the language of Stephen A. Douglas, there can be but two parties, one for and the other against the Government—but two classes of people, loyalists and traitors. He who votes the ticket put in nomination in Columbus by the so-called Democracy, (God save the mark,) announce(s) to the world that they are traitors and enemies of their country.
     There is no use in mincing matters. It is a grave question and should come home to every man. THE ARMY IS A UNIT. The North should be. The government must be sustained, and what is more—IT WILL BE—COST WHAT IT MAY. Such is the feeling which pervades the entire army, while such speeches as Pugh's causes the cheek(s) of Ohio's soldiers to blush with shame and indignation, and I but reproduce in this letter the sentiment of every loyal heart in the army of the Cumberland.

The Gallipolis Journal
July 2, 1863

Camp near Elk River, Tenn., July 5, 1863

Dear Harper:
     By examining a map of this State, finding the village Manchester, then take the road leading to Winchester or Dechard, you will cross Elk river, and three miles south of that stream is, as near as I can tell you, where the subscriber now camps. After leaving Manchester, from where I last wrote you, we marched for Tullahoma, encountering the enemy's outposts about six miles out, and after driving them a mile with no loss on our side, we [ink smear] the night within five miles of the rebel stronghold, Tullahoma, where Bragg was fortified, and as we supposed, waiting for us, intending to "welcome us with bloody hands to hospitable graves." That night, June 29th, we could hear the whistle of the locomotive, indicating that the road had an unusual amount of extra business on hand and were [sic] running extra trains "not on time." Gen. Rosecrans was evidently working his plans for the capture and annihilation of Bragg's entire army.—In fact I was assured by a citizen of Alabama that Tullahoma was a giant man-trap, and [who] hinted strongly that our patience would be rewarded in due time by an exhibition of the "bagging" process on a giant scale, all hands sharing in the glory.
     On June 30th, the 89th and 92d O. V. I. of Gen. Crook's command, under command of Col. Fearing of the 92d, made a reconnaisance on the Tullahoma road, which leaves the Manchester and Winchester road abruptly to the right to within 2 1/2 miles of T., encountering the enemies [sic] pickets from the outset.—Finding the enemy strongly posted on the road and in the woods, Col. Fearing returned without the loss of a man. In the meantime, a Chattanooga Rebel of the 28th was brought into camp, which informed us that heavy reinforcements were passing up for Bragg, and that we would get a thrashing that would bring us to sorrow, and tickle amazingly our "poor erring Southern brethren." We rested contentedly that day, believing that "Bragg was a good dog," and knowing that "Hold-fast was a better one" feeling assured that when all hands were up and this large army massed, we should cabbage Gen. Bragg and his army, after a severe and desperate battle. The men were in prime condition, with bouyant hearts and eager for the fray.
     On the 2d, word came that Tullahoma was evacuated; Bragg gone—skedaddled, and all we had to do was march in and possess this rebel stronghold, which we accordingly "went and did," reaching the town at 4 P. M. July 2d, the 2d Brigade of this Division (Reynolds') being the first to enter. The rebels evidently left in a hurry, as they left hundreds of wall tents standing, and neglected to burn a warehouse of commissary stores.—Quite a large amount of camp and garrison equipage, small arms, three 64 pounder rifled siege guns (one spiked with a three cornered file), ammunition, 3 sacks corn meal, about 200 bushels of beans, and smaller articles in larger proportions, fell into our hands.—Tullahoma was well fortified and could have withsood a good siege, but as my Alabama citizen said, it was a man-trap and could have been surrounded if Bragg had only waited long enough to enable us to do it. On all the approaches to the town extensive earthworks had been thrown up, and all the trees within a half or three-quarters of a mile had been cut down, the branches pointing outwards, rendering it an almost impenetrable brush pile. Bearing on all these points were placed heavy guns commanding every road and field. On the north-west side of the town, just on the outer edge or suburbs, was a large bastion fort, which was one of the most complete forts I have yet seen. It was about ten feet high and fully as thick at the base, and from 200 to 225 feet square; made to mount twelve 64 pounder siege guns, bearing on every point of the compass. Under-ground store-houses and magazines were built, proof against shot or shell, and a well capable of furnishing water for a large garrison, in the centre. Encircling this fort is a ditch 12 feet wide, about 10 feet deep, and nearly half filled with water; whether designedly so or caused by the late heavy rains, I am unable to say. To protect the entrance was a large stockade built of upright "saw logs," and filled in with dirt. A draw bridge was thrown across the ditch which could be withdrawn at pleasure. It was in this fort that the siege guns mentioned above were found. The carriages had been burned, and at the time I was in the fort the guns were so hot as to preclude the possibility of one's holding their hands on them more than half a minute.
Corn meal was scattered along all the roads leading out of Tullahoma, and bread trampled in the ground. Meat, the quantity I had no means of judging, had all been burned. Officers(') and medical chests were left behind.—Everything was confusion and betokened a hasty and precipitate exit. No doubt Gen. Bragg could have maintained his position at Tullahoma for some time, and at considerable sacrifice of life on our side, but he would have finally had to yield with possibly the loss of his entire army. What would not have been killed, wounded, or taken prisoners, would have been scattered through the woods and swamps without arms or stores. Bragg evidently knew this better than we did, and deeming "discretion the better part of valor," left between two days for Chattanooga.
     The army remained in Tullahoma but one night, leaving at 4 A. M. the 2d in hot pursuit of the enemy. Gens. Negley and Sheridan have been treading on his heels ever since. But such roads! They are enough to discourage any General. Not a single day has passed since this army left Murfreesboro but what it has rained more or less. The mud is deep and the streams high. Of course the enemy are leaving no bridges behind them, and this, also, impedes our progress and tries the patience of officers and men. Yet with all these and minor disadvantages and obstacles, the army is in splendid condition and fine spirits. They would have preferred to have fought Bragg at Tullahoma, feeling that a victory there would have been more decisive and complete, but as he refused to meet them there they are willing to follow and fight him on ground of his own choosing. Bragg is probably aiming for Chattanooga. The map will show you where we are.
     This part of Tennessee, south of Manchester, is a low, flat, swampy country with but few evidences of cultivation. Large ponds are to be found almost every mile, the water in them being clear and cool. In the valley lying along either bank of Elk river, we find a much better country and nearly all under cultivation. The finest springs I ever saw are to be found along the banks of this river—freestone water, very clear and very cold. The water boils up out of the ground in such quantities that I have seen one single spring that would furnish water enough for this large army. I shall aim from time to time to keep you posted as to our whereabouts.—The chances for writing letters on a march like this are rare indeed, except to the genus correspondent by profession, who comes prepared and can write a letter in a fence corner or on a stump, fully as well as at the table editorial. Nearly all the letters written by professional correspondents for our city dailies, are written in this way while the column is halting for a rest. It is no sinecure position I assure you. I had not before, the remotest idea of the labor devolving upon the army correspondent during an active campaign, more especially if he aim(s) to make his letters reliable, and filled with facts instead of mere idle speculation. When you will hear from me again is more than I am able to say now. If anything I write may have become stale and uninteresting owing to its age, you will please expunge. In these days of telegrams, letters are of but little account to a metropolitan journal like the Thunderer.
     "Boys" are all well. No casualties among Gallia boys as far as I can ascertain. When it is not raining the "sunny South" is a huge bake oven. What has become of "Fighting Joe"? The army of the Potomac will soon become as famous for Generals, as Kansas was for Governors.

The Gallipolis Journal
July 30, 1863

Camp near Winchester, Tenn., August 10, 1863

Dear Harper:
     The Journal of the 30th brought me the first intelligence I had had from the "land of the Gauls" in a long time, and judging from the editorial page, Morgan must have been running about loose in your region. That will be something to talk about for the next century. You done [sic] well. All honor to the militia of old Gaul. I heard that your beautiful city was surrounded by fortifications, and 64 pounders placed on all the main roads leading out of the city. Of course I do not doubt the story in the least; but I would like to know where you made a raise of the aforesaid 64 pounders.—Were they smooth bored or rifled? But Morgan has gone up. A splendid day's work for Ohio. The female secesh of the sunny South will be in the dumps until he is released. John was a gay dog. The women, old and young, married and single, were all in love with him. The heighth [sic] of their ambition was to see John and wind their arms around his neck, imprinting upon his lips numberless kisses. The number of favors of this kind that John has received are beyond mathematical computation. Lucky John! He is now deprived of all these luxuries. Unfortunate John! It was a pity you captured John, for he was on an errand for his beautiful wife. She had sent "my noble husband" on a raid up North after a new dress, bonnet, and other things pertaining to the female wardrobe.—That's the way John has been clothing that wife of his. When she wanted a new dress, bonnet, shoes and so forth, John went on a raid. When she wanted a new set of jewelry, John went a raiding. No matter what she wanted, John had to raid for it. When John is exchanged and goes to work again, and you hear of his making a raid, you can bet your bottom dollar that John's wife wants some dry goods. Since John married he has not been in as high repute among the secesh.—I have heard several say that he wasn't worth a cent since he married. I think some disappointed female must have started the story.
     The heat here is intense. From about 9 A.M. to 4 P.M. it is almost unendurable. The nights however are deliciously cool. The contrast is far greater than a Northerner would imagine.—I have known the temperature to change 21 degrees, as indicated by the thermometer, from 4 to 7 P. M. I have yet seen but two or three nights during this summer but what it was comfortable to sleep under one and two blankets.
     News of a military character is very scarce. In fact there is none worthy of mention. Rumors of a speedy move are current, but have no foundation in fact. The army may gradually work its way to the Tennessee river, but active operations are almost impossible while this heated term lasts. It would use up men and horses to march in this broiling sun. Bragg with a small force is said to be at Chattanooga. His supercedure [sic] by the Right Rev. Bishop Gen. Polk, which has been currently reported in the Northern press is no doubt incorrect. No official announcement of such a change has been seen in the Southern papers, dates of which have been received, as late as the 8th inst. Bragg will undoubtedly, upon our approach, fall back to Atlanta, Ga.—His army is losing strength daily by desertions. One more skedaddle will lose him his army.
     The rebel army in the Southwest is pretty effectually played out. All we need now is the filling up of the regiments now in the field by a speedy and rigid enforcement of the draft, to enable our armies to go forward, possess and hold the Southern Confederacy.—The army is looking to the loyal people of the North to enforce the draft and send forward the men. The men are worth more to the cause now than three times their number will be six months hence.
     Winchester has been rather a pretty place, containing a population of about 3000, but the war has made sad havoc with it. The entire population were heart and soul in the rebellion and are now getting their rights with a vengeance. None of your "mud sills" or "poor white trash" had a habitation here. Nothing but F. F's., Quadroons and niggers were tolerated. As one of the F.F's. remarked a few days since: "Most places have three classes of society, the higher, middle and lower, but Winchester had only two, the higher, and, what in other places is called the middle." Bah! This Southern codfish aristocracy, (it is all bitter secesh) is disgusting in the extreme.—You ought to see these proud Southern families beg for Government rations; something to eat. It is a humiliating sight and grinds them to the quick.—They are getting their rights rapidly.
     There are "dry chips" in the army. One of them took a notion to answer a "Wanted-Correspondence—with a view to love and consequences" advertisement. After giving an exaggerated pen picture of himself, he wound up by saying that "owing to my demoralized condition, I ain't much on love, but I'm h---l on consequences." He is now waiting patiently for an answer to his letter.
The Col. Ward, belonging to Morgan's force, and captured by your forces is the same chap who was in our front last spring, while we were at Carthage, inflicting all manner of outrages and indignities upon the good Union people of that section, stealing their horses, cattle, bacon, &c. He and his squad played the tyrant and brigand most effectually. The best thing that could be done with him would be to hand him over to the tender mercies of the Union people of Smith county, Tennessee. I assume he would prefer to be incarcerated in the Ohio Penitentiary.
     The following extract from a private letter received from the Rev. John W. Bowen will show you how our great free North strikes a whole souled Union man reared admidst slavery. The Doctor will pardon me for publishing it: "I was more than pleased with my Northern trip; I was delighted. Indeed I ought to have been, for from the time I entered the free States at Cincinnati I was taken by the hand and treated like a brother rather than a stranger. I was greatly impressed with the triumphs of free labor and free thought and universal education that met me everywhere. Such were my impressions of the moral and intellectual that I had no eye for the mere physical, and therefore, Niagara, singing its eternal requiem of thunder, made but comparative(ly) slight impression on me." I may also be pardoned for the following quotation from the Doctor's letter as showing how greatly "our General" and his staff were esteemed by the Union people of that section. Referring to the General and staff, he says:—"I never expect to meet men in any department of life with whom I had rather be associated." The Union people of that county thought "the world and all" of Gen. Crook, the newspapers to the contrary not withstanding, and Union people in the South watch officers more closely and are more exacting than you of the North. Praise from them is praise indeed. Who would want a greater reward than to merit the good wishes, and words of praise of the down trodden, oppressed Union people of the South? It is the "well done thou good and faithful servant" of those who have the best right to be the judges.

The Gallipolis Journal
August 20, 1863

[The battle described here came to be known as Chickamauga. Chickamauga was just across the state line into Georgia, and was a hard fought battle with casualties high on both sides. Overall it was considered a Confederate victory, although it still left the Union forces in a position to capture Chattanooga and still able to receive resupply. This would be the point at which Grant and Sherman would arrive here to take over. Rosecrans would be replaced and the Union army would be poised to begin the Atlanta campaign.]

Chattanooga, Tenn., Sept. 26, 1863

Dear Harper:
     Ill health has kept me from writing you at an earlier day. I find one does not get well in a day after fighting a fever. I wrote you from Winston, Ala., some ten days since, but owing to our mail facilities being none of the best I fear it will be some time before it reaches you; probably too late to be of any value whatever. The same remark will apply to this letter; yet I shall endeavor to get it to you by private hands at the earliest possible moment. To attempt to give you a description of events that have transpired in this vicinity the past 8 days is a matter of impossibility. I can only aim to give you an outline leaving you to fill out the details as to you may seem best. The telegraph has informed you ere this of the terrible battle, lasting three days, 18th, 19th, and 20th, which has been fought in this vicinity, and which resulted in the army of the Union falling back upon Chattanooga and thereby gaining a stronger position, rendered almost impregnable by sixty hours of incessant digging. On Friday the 18th the ball opened by heavy skirmishing along the whole line which continued through the entire day. Our line of battle was at this time 15 miles south of Chattanooga and near Fayetteville, Georgia, the right resting on the foot of Lookout mountain. It was apparent to all that Bragg had been heavily reinforced, having been joined by all of Joe Johnston's Mississippi army, Hindman's force from Arkansas and two corps of Lee's army (Longstreet's and Hill's). In plain English this heroic army had confronting it the best troops of the rebel army, numbering over 100,000 men. On Saturday, the 19th, the ball opened in earnest. The rebels played their old game of massing their troops and hurling them first on the right, then on the centre and the left.—They came up eight and ten columns deep in the face of a most galling fire of grape, cannister [sic], and musketry, which fairly mowed them down. They closed up and came ahead apparently unmindful of the perfect storm of fire which greeted them. No troops could stand up long against such a furious onslaught of overwhelming numbers. Our lines gave way and fell back in admirable order. It was on this day that Col. Jones of the 36th was killed, and Major Adney wounded (not dangerously.) The whole line by dark had been driven back and the enemy held the battle field. Gen. Lytle was killed. Col. Fearing, 92nd O.V.I., wounded slightly. Col. Carlton, 89th O.V.I., taken prisoner. Our loss was heavy.—The fight on Sunday was but a repetition of Saturday's, opened and carried on through the day with redoubled fury. Major-Gen. Thomas, towards evening, massed his corps (the 14th) and repulsed the enemy with terrible slaughter. They made repeated efforts to break through Gen. Thomas' lines but "old stand fast" nobly held his ground against great odds. A hurricane could not have moved him an inch, and to rush upon his invincible columns was certain death. There he stood immovable as the mountain which frowned upon him until darkness brought an end to this terrible conflict. The cannonading was terrific and the roar of musketry was incessant and continuous, greater probably than in any battle of the war. Our army on Monday fell back upon Chattanooga, and took up a new and stronger position, rendering it doubly strong by throwing up entrenchments, and today the entire rebel army could not move us a peg. Our loss is heavy but the proportion of killed to wounded is very small. Most of the wounds are flesh wounds, in the arms, hands, and legs, most of whom will be fit for duty in two and three weeks. I shall not pretend to give you the aggregate loss sustained by the army of the Union as it would be mere guess work. I prefer to wait until the official figures are given. The rebel loss cannot be far from 25,000 in killed and wounded.—The prisoners are about a set off—if anything, in our favor. Prisoners from Longstreet's corps say they never had to do much fighting in Eastern Virginia.—The truth is, the army of the Cumberland is a band of heroes, from Gen. Rosecrans down. They fought against overwhelming numbers of the picked troops of the Confederacy, and although overpowered and compelled to fall back, they punished the enemy so severely as to prevent him from taking advantage of his questionable success.—Gen. Rosecrans is entitled to the praise of all loyal men, for the heroic and successful defence [sic] he has made. The enemy, by force of numbers, anticipated an easy conquest and the driving of Rosecrans out of Tennessee, but they have been foiled and beaten by superior generalship and bull dog fighting.—Next to Gen. Rosecrans stands forth the noble and brave Maj-Gen. Geo. H. Thomas. The old hero is invincible. As a corps commander, as a fighting soldier, he has no superior and but few equals. The hero of Mill Spring has added fresh laurels to his brow in this one of the fiercest battles of the war. All honor to the brave Gen. Thomas. May his life long be spared to his country.
     The 36th Regiment covered itself all over with glory. Regulars could not have fought better. The boys claim that they first stemmed the torrent of rebels who were bearing down upon them, and beat them back at the point of the bayonet. The rebels can't stand the bayonet. Loomis' famous battery of 10 pound Parrotts was all captured save one gun which the boys succeeded in drawing off by hand. Other pieces were captured, but the aggregate number I am unable to give you. Bragg claims to have taken 20 pieces of artillery and 2500 prisoners, which, I presume, is not far from the truth. I append hereto a list of killed, wounded and missing in Companies B and I, 36th Regiment O.V.I., kindly furnished by Major Adney.—Company B, is Major Adney's old company, raised, I believe, in and around Huntington township, and Company I, was raised by Mr. Taylor in the lower portion of the county. The whole number of casualties in the 36th, on the 19th and 20th, is as follows: Killed 11— wounded, 62, (three mortally and since dead), and 18 missing. There has [sic] been 8 since wounded in skirmishes, making a total of killed, wounded, and missing, 99. Nearly a loss of 20 per cent. About 15 per cent of the wounded have already returned to duty. Major Adney leaves for home in a day or two. I sent to Dr. Mills and Capt. Montgomery for a list of casualties among the Gallia boys in their respective regiments, but up to this time have received no reply. I have heard nothing at all from either regiment, and am therefore unable to give you any information concerning them. I should personally have attended to this matter, but I was utterly unable to endure the fatigue of hunting them up. If I should receive the lists before this letter goes, I will enclose them.
It is reported this evening that Bragg is retreating down the Valley towards Rome. If this should prove true, the enemy has been terribly punished and so cut up as to be unable to attack us with any prospect of a success. I intended to have given you an account of the part taken in the fight by the Cavalry command, but this letter has already been extended to such a great length as to justify me in devoting another letter to their doings. It is sufficient to say at this time, that they contributed their full share to our success, and that Gen. Crook added fresh laurels to his already high reputation as a brave and successful General.—Nothing excites or disconcerts him.—His coolness and quick perception when in a tight place, is amazing. At one time he was surrounded by a large force of rebels, and extricated himself amid a perfect shower of bullets which were aimed at him. He was as cool as if on dress parade. But more of this anon.
     Gen. Rosecrans is going to hold Chattanooga in spite of all odds that can be brought against him. One thing more, this army has not been whipped. The enemy aimed to drive us out of Tennessee and back to the Ohio by hurling upon us an overwhelming force and overpowering us, but they were defeated and badly crippled. Now give us two corps of Grant's veteran troops, who are doing nothing, and Gen. Rosecrans will split the Southern Confederacy through its very center, and give this hellish rebellion its death blow. The final blow is to be given in this Department, and by Gen. Rosecrans, and mercy to the troops here requires that he be sufficiently reinforced as to ride rough shod over any force his enemy may be able to bring against him. The rebellion dies in Georgia.—May the Government see the importance of concentration at this point, in such strength as to render a repulse or defeat an impossibility.
     Capt. Drouillard is all right; somewhat worn down by the incessant labor of the past week. The army is in excellent trim and spirits. Gen. Rosecrans is in good health and buoyant spirits. "Holdfast" can't be whipped.

List of killed, wounded, and missing in Cos. B and I, 36th Reg. O.V.I., and belonging to Gallia county:

Major W. H. G. Adney, wounded in thigh, not seriously

Co. B Wounded,

John Evener, mortally
Thos. Tuder (or Nider), in the side, severely
H. C. McMillen, severely in thigh, and a prisoner
J. Payne, knee, severely, and a prisoner
T. McClaskey, slightly
H. Linescott, slightly
H. C. Eggleston, slightly

Co. B Missing:
John Hoffman,
Thomas J. Ewing,
D. Shenefield,

Co. I Wounded

J. C. Coffman, slightly;
J. D. Drummond, slightly;
J. Hawk, severely;
James Jeffers, slightly;
John Lewis, severely, a prisoner;
Levi Nolan, leg;
W. P. Small, badly;
J. S. Thomas, slightly

Co. I Missing
J. P. Walden

Co. I Killed
H. Hazlett,
H. J. Calmer,
J. Whittaker

The Gallipolis Journal
October 8, 1863

Stevenson, Alabama, October 25, 1863

Dear Harper:
     Of course you have heard ere this of the changes that have been made in this Department. The Army of the Cumberland, in name, has ceased to exist. The removal of Gen. Rosecrans was wholly unexpected, and by none more so than the General himself. The reasons, therefore, are of course, unknown, and to account for it is but speculation. There can be no doubt in the mind of any man that the time had arrived for a thorough and harmonious co-operation of all the south-western armies, commanded respectively by Gens. Grant, Rosecrans and Burnside. In consolidating these armies, someone had to give way. The question to be decided was, who would be the unfortunate man to retire to private life, at least for a season.—Generals Burnside and Hooker both outranked General Rosecrans, and both are commanding officers of high repute. Gen. Grant ranked every officer in the "Division of the Mississippi," being Major General in the regular army.—Gen. Grant's success in the field, rivaling that of Napoleon himself, pointed to him as the man to command this magnificent army. Gen. Thomas has shown himself to be well qualified to command the late Army of the Cumberland. While we cannot but regret the removal of Gen. Rosecrans, we are bound to acknowledge that his successor is equally as good a man, and all in all, the change is the very best that could be made and no doubt called for by the consolidation of the three great Western armies.
I am inclined to believe that active work will soon be inaugurated in our front, and the enemy pushed from his present positions. Everything indicates a speedy movement, which military necessity demands shall be made as speedily as possible. The sooner the better. The roads between here and Chattanooga are impassable. Six mules cannot haul as many hundred pounds.—There is no disguising the fact that great difficulties exist at this time as to subsisting our army at Chattanooga by means of wagons on the north side of the river. It has become already a serious question, demanding all the energy and ability of the Commanding General to remedy.
     Everything seems to be in confusion, and matters generally in a mixed up condition. The machinery of the Department does not work in harmony.—It is but just to Gen. Grant, to say this state of things existed at the time of his assuming command of the Department, and he has not yet had time to bring order out of confusion.—It is to be hoped he will do so quickly. The weather is miserable, continuous rains rendering the roads almost impassable.

The Gallipolis Journal
November 5, 1863

Mayesville [sic], Ala., Nov. 12, '63

Dear Harper:
     Your correspondent, since his connection with the Cavalry, bids fair to see a good portion of the so-called Southern Confederacy.—At one time he was within 35 miles of Rome, Ga., and 20 miles south of Lafayette, where Bragg's headquarters then were; again at Chattanooga, an eye witness of part of that terrible conflict along the banks of the Chickamauga; thence back to Stephenson over roads beyond all description; and now at the place from which this is dated.
     By starting from Stevenson [sic], following the line of the Memphis and Charleston Rail Road westward, you will see a station marked Brownsboro, laid down, about ten miles east of Huntsville. At a distance of 2 miles north of said road is situated the village of Mayesville [sic], in a rich agricultural region, but little run over by the contending armies. This is one of the best sections of the South that I have yet seen. The land is rich and rolling, climate delightful, at this season of the year, and the people generally loyal.—There is a better class of people in this section of Northern Alabama, than I have yet seen in the farming districts in the South. There is more refinement, intelligence and wealth. Here one sees the aristocratic Southern planter, with his large plantation stocked with negroes, counted by hundreds, and fabulous wealth. Here one begins to see "the dark eyed beauties of the sunny South," who flourished, in the good old times past and gone, as belles at the noted watering places. Ladies who once dressed in silks and satins, and measured the qualifications of a husband by the number of negroes and his aristocratic connections; who ate off of silver plates with silver knives and forks. Cotton was then king, and his subjects lived and reigned in the highest style, surrounded by all the luxuries of a sunny clime. This was in times before they undertook to "go it alone." King cotton has been dethroned, and his subjects humbled.—Great was the fall thereof. The mud sills of the North roam at will over the plantations, burn rails, forage on the country, and the negroes flock into our camps, leaving their lordly masters helpless and dependent. These people of the South are getting sick of the war. Their only expressed wish is: Oh! that it were ended. Home-spun cotton has taken the place of silk and satin; rye of Rio, sorghum of New Orleans, corn whiskey of imported cognac and port, and promises to pay six months after peace, in place of gold and silver. Sneering and turning up noses at Yankees is "played out," and charity is acceptable. They vie with the mud sills in barter and traffic, and get anything from a chicken to a horse. A bushel of corn is worth more than a bale of cotton, and a pound of coffee is an immediate cure for sore eyes. Cotton is whipped, and corn is king, triumphant. Alas! for the pride and boasting of the chivalrous subjects of King cotton! Their house was built upon the sand: it fell, and great has been the fall thereof.—Where pride is once humbled there is hope of repentance. It has already begun. The people are beginning to ask each other, how shall we live through the winter? Starvation stares them in the face. There are about ate [sic] out of house and home, and hundreds, nay thousands, within the federal lines, will have to be fed by the government during the coming winter. Their corn, potatoes, hogs and cattle, are all gone. The rebel soldiery is stripping the country wherever they go, and we finish it. The actual necessaries of life command fabulous prices, with an upward tendency. They are beginning to drive their negroes off, owing to their inability to feed and clothe them. They begin to see that this kind of labor is and has been unprofitable and unreliable.
     I heard a woman to-day, a bitter secesh, beg, for a half hour, for only two pounds of salt, after coming nine miles after it. Another one offered a fabulous price for just barely enough to salt three hogs, all the meat she had to run the family through the coming winter. The condition of the people in the South, within our own lines, has become distressing in the extreme. I know twenty families, and there are hundreds of such cases, in this immediate vicinity, who have assured me that they have not sufficient meat and bread to support their families, and they know not what they will do. The state of affairs for the South is worse, even than here. Taking the line west from Chattanooga to Huntsville, (and I have been through the whole length of it,) as a sample of the condition of the Confederacy, I am satisfied that if we hold our present lines without moving an inch, the opening of spring will see the rebellion crushed without striking another blow. I believe it is the best policy that can be pursued. The people are already dependent, and discouraged. Starvation sits upon the door step, and men will not stay in the field while their wives and children are starving at home. If we hold our present lines, operating only on such points as Charleston, Savannah and Mobile, during the coming winter, we will have accomplished far more than by trying to push forward.
Hon. Jere Clemens still resides in Huntsville, and is, as he ever has been, loyal to the Government of our fathers. I am informed that his voice was heard from every stump in North Alabama in favor of the Union and against secession, and to him more than all other men is due the Union sentiment which pervades this section. But he was unable to stem the torrent and is now waiting for the explosion of the bubble, which he sees is not far distant. There will be but little trouble in wheeling North Alabama back into the Union.
The 2d Cavalry Division is resting and recruiting its strength, after its exhausting chase after Wheeler. How long we will remain here is uncertain. But little can be done in this section, of an aggressive character for some time to come. What the enemy may do will soon, no doubt, be developed. Their only salvation is to break through our lines and force us, by a flank movement to evacuate Chattanooga, and fall back from the line of the Tennessee river. They will have a happy time of it. The way in which Gen. Grant is handling his army about this time is wonderful, even to the initiated. He decides a point quicker and moves troops with greater rapidity than any General I have yet seen. Everything is done quickly and without fuss or parade. When he issues an order, the quicker it is obeyed the better one is off. It's no use talking one minute about it. It don't [sic] take you long to discover that he is "boss," and he don't [sic] use many words or spend any time to let you know it. He is responsible for this "job," and feels it, and officers and men have got to come right down to the work or "git." I have more hope of a speedy close of this war now than I ever had before. You people up North need not grumble, become impatient and say "why don't Grant move?" "What the devil is Grant doing?" &c. &c., for you might as well whistle against the wind. When he does move he will go ahead and be victor on every field. Gen. Grant is fighting this rebellion to kill it. He ain't [sic] running for President, and wouldn't take it as a free offering. In plain English he is a soldier. See to it that the people of the North leave him alone. If you lose Gen. Grant you lose the greatest soldier of the age.

The Gallipolis Journal
November 26, 1863

[B. appears to have joined up as he is referring to the 53rd Pennsylvania Voluntary Infantry as "our company." There are many copies of the Journal that are missing so we might very well be missing some of his letters. At the time of this letter this regiment was in Stevensburg, Virginia, which is near Culpepper in the northern part of the state. N. Elvick]

Army of the Potomac, Camp 53rd Pa. V.I., March 26th, '64

Editor Journal.
     Having a spare moment I thought I would improve it by writing to you. Since I last wrote affairs in the army of the Potomac have not materially changed, but I see by a late order, that the army is to be consolidated into three corps, the 2nd, 5th, and 6th. This I presume is all for the better. Our army corps have always been too small to be efficient, and one thing is very certain, there will not be so many Generals to quarrel as to who shall have the honor and glory, which has nearly always been the case. General Grant will have a chance to try his hand and we will see what he can do. I think the men of the army have confidence in him as he seems to be the centre of attraction or whatever you may please to term it. This "onward to Richmond" has been tried so often, and failed, that we men of the army hardly know what to think about it, but are willing to give it another trial if Grant says so. I do not know that it makes much difference who the leader is if the men have confidence in him. There is one thing that we all too little appreciate, and that is, that an all-wise Providence has the destiny of Nations in his power, and were we but to look to Him a little more, and our Generals and officers generally, would drink less whiskey, we might have more faith in the success of our cause at least much sooner. We all think our cause a just one and are willing to do everything in our power to help it. Many think that this "cruel war" will close with the year that is before us. I would it were so and will do all I can to bring it about.
     The army is fast filling up; many of the regiments are full, and recruits are coming in fast. Our company has some ninety new recruits which will make us about one hundred and thirty men. Our officers are all absent which leaves the duty to three of us sergeants which is considerable. I am on picket about once a week. We drill about four hours a day when the weather will allow it.
     We had quite a snow storm a few (days) since. It was about ten inches deep here, and the only fall of snow that amounted to anything this winter. The roads are getting so bad I do not think the army can move for some time to come, but there is no telling what an hour can bring forth. Yours truly, B.

The Gallipolis Journal
April 7, 1864

From the Rio Grande. [Correspondence Gallipolis Journal] Brownsville, Texas, Sept. 5, '66

Dear Journal:
     Possibly your correspondent owes an apology for his long silence, and as he has an ample one at hand, he proposes to make it known. In the first place he pleads laziness. Who can write a letter with the thermometer ranging up into the nineties? I cannot. Some six weeks ago your correspondent had to nurse his "better half," who was sick with the "Dango" fever. As soon as she recovered, I was taken ill with the same disease, and for two weeks was no account whatever. In fact I was unable to move hand or foot. Having been urged by Physicians to take a trip up into the mountains for a change of air, I went as soon as I could set [sic] up, to Camargo, Meir, Mexico, and Rio Grande City, and Romo, Texas, and was benefited thereby. While at Rio Grande City, our "better half" was taken ill with a relapse of the "Dango," and I hastened home as rapidly as possible, and after coming very near losing her, she is to-day barely able to sit up a part of the day, after near three weeks severe illness. The "Dango" fever is peculiar to this climate alone, and is only a mild type of the "yellow jack." Where the "Dango" prevails the latter is never known to make its appearance. The General commanding the District of the Rio Grande, together with most of the officers, have been down with it, but so far we have had but few deaths from it.
     To cap the climax, the cholera has been raging here for the past two weeks in a style and manner calculated to depress everybody. At White Ranch, where the 116th U.S.C.T. is stationed, about forty have died. Here, about thirty-five out of the 9th U.S.C.T., and the same number out of the 117th, have been buried. Twenty-five others out of detachments, have also died, besides several in the town proper. Yesterday morning 105 men were excused from duty in the 9th, and 125 in the 117th, on account of sickness. I have lost one in the detachment I use, and three sick this morning. No officers have died here as yet. Several have been sick, but all have recovered. It is almost an impossibility to save a negro if he is attacked with cholera, as they are sure of dying, and you cannot bring them up. They will not take care of one another, believing that if God wants them to die, all the care and nursing will do no good. They are fatalists in the extreme. Yet all of them fly to prayer meetings; get religion, shout, and become thoroughly exhausted.—Having, as they conscientiously believe, got religion, they quietly sit down, waiting for the dreaded pestilence to attack them to carry them straight to Heaven. If they are taken with the dysentery, they are almost sure to have the cholera, as they keep it to themselves until too late to save them. It is a sad sight, I assure you, to see these poor, ignorant negroes, all formerly slaves, dying off so rapidly, and unable to do any thing for them. But the saddest sight of all, is their prayer meetings; when their moanings and tears, and shoutings of joy, result in so many of them having to be carried to their tents, from sheer exhaustion. Do not understand me as speaking light of religion. Far from it. I only speak of it to show the fatal results of sheer ignorance while an epidemic rages. To show that fright is producing more deaths than the cholera itself, is the fact that not a single officer has died with it up to this date. Ere this reaches you the epidemic will have run its course, and we will be free from it. The Quarter Master's Department is unable to furnish coffins, owing to the non receipt of lumber from New Orleans, and the poor fellows are being put into the ground with a single blanket wrapped around them. It seems hard, I assure you, to see the poor fellows thus buried, but it cannot be avoided as no lumber can be had here.
     Let me say to you, reader, that the best cholera remedy is the "saturated tincture of camphor, of Dr. Rubine of Naples." Equal weight of Gum Camphor and spirits of wine, 60 deg. over proof. Five drops on sugar every five minutes, blanketing the patient heavily, will produce a reaction in from two and a half to four hours. I have not known a white person to die who has used it.

The Gallipolis Journal
September 20, 1866

Correspondence of the Gallipolis Journal
Brownsville, Texas December 28, 1867 [sic]

     A "merrie Christmas and a happy New Year" to yourself and the readers of the Journal. Some little account of how the holidays are passed in this civilized region of country may prove of some interest to your readers. If the festivities, incident to the season of the year, differ from those which, from childhood, you have been accustomed to, you must attribute it to the advanced stage of civilization prevalent hereabout. I protest, however, against the extreme selfishness, of your Northern people. Are we not entitled to a portion of the stock usually distributed at this season by Santa Claus? But no! you must rob him of all, and send him across the gulf empty handed, or with such a limited supply as to make the "old fellow" ashamed of himself. No horses on wheels,—no drums to wake us up before daylight Christmas morning,—no fire crackers for our urchins to serenade us with,—not in horses,—no swords,—pop-guns or woolly dogs,—no doll babies to gladden the hearts of coming mothers,—no gingerbread menageries that so delighted Hawthorne's chubby urchin in the "House of seven Gables." But few things you left for us, forcing Santa Claus to come among us nearly empty handed. You coaxed his majesty out of all his best and prettiest goods, and sadly disappointed the children on the frontier. I tried to make the urchins believe that it arose from the fact of there being no snow in this locality, thereby preventing his majesty from using his tandem team of reindeers and sledge, but it would not go down. Then I accused you selfish people of the North of plundering all of Santa Claus' stock, for your community of Juveniles, which brought down upon your heads the wrath of our youngsters. Do not be guilty of such an unpardonable act again, I beseech you. Still, you did not wholly deprive us of all enjoyment,—a party of us went to celebrate high mass at the Catholic Cathedral on the night of the 25th, which begins precisely at 12 o'clock—midnight. The church was brilliantly lighted by over four hundred candles, and gaily decorated with evergreens and images pertaining to the occasion. There was a perfect jam,—the aisle being thronged with Mexican women prostrate upon the floor, crowding up even to the front of the altar. The ceremony is, to say the least, a curious one, representing as it does, (that night,) over eighteen hundred years ago when the Virgin Mary gave to the world the Savior of men—how the infant Savior lay in a manger and how the wise men of the East came and worshipped at his feet,—all fully represented by images and acts. The music was good, of course, and continued throughout the ceremony, lasting over an hour and a half. The Priests, three in number, were arrayed in garments of satin and gold. Incense was offered up to the Most High, and the smoke ascended above the altar.—At last the child is born—and is carefully lifted out of the manger and upon being placed in the hands of the Priests, they shower kisses upon the infant's feet and give praise to God for his inestimable gift of His own son. The Chief Priest here changes his robe, and with the image of the infant Savior in his arms, comes to the front of the platform, where a scene of confusion ensues that baffles description. You see the Priest, standing erect, holding the feet of the image towards the religiously excited crowd, who press forward to kiss its toe. As each man, woman and child kiss the toe of the image, (which is a doll baby dressed up to represent the child Jesus,) you hear the ring of silver coin as it is dropped into the silver bowl. I left the church at a quarter of two o'clock in the morning, and the crowd pushing their way to the altar to kiss the toe of the image had not diminished in number one iota. How long it lasted I know not. Does this sound like blasphemy? I have related in an imperfect manner, only what I witnessed.
In the early part of the evening many of the Mexican houses had a colored lantern suspended immediately above the outside door; all these houses were visited by men dressed as shepherds, with long staffs and little bells fastened to the end, which they struck upon the ground, accompanied by a prayer, given in a sing-song tone. At the conclusion of the prayer, a Priest steps forth and blesses the inmates of the house, together with their property, for the coming year. After this ceremony is ended, the lantern is removed, and the crowd proceeds to another house to enact the same thing over again. This occupies the early part of the evening, after which all repair to the church to celebrate high mass.
     Another festivity prevalent hereabout is the performance, at private houses, of a drama founded upon the birth of the Savior; children are armed and equipped with wings to represent angels; men to represent shepherds attending to their flocks; wise men of the East who come to pay allegiance to the infant Savior—in fact the whole thing is represented to the life, while the dialogue is animated and seemingly well kept up. It was all spoken in Spanish, which I am not conversant with.—Such are some of the Christmas festivities of the lower order of Mexicans, enacted in Christian America during the nineteenth century. I am told that some of the ceremonies during the season of Lent, are far more remarkable than even what I have attempted to portray. If nothing prevents I shall aim to be present on all occasions during Lent, and take note of what I see and hear.
     St. John's Day. Yesterday being St. John's day, the Masonic fraternity enjoyed it as they alone, know how to. In the morning the officers for the ensuing year were publicly installed by P.W.M., Bro. Howlet, who, at close, delivered an able and interesting address. The services were held in the Presbyterian church, and were of absorbing interest to all true Masons. I regetted being unable to participate in the interesting ceremonies. I miss that very much, the delightful meetings that characterized Morning Dawn Lodge, some seven or eight years ago,—years of revival and permanent progression. Last evening a fine dinner and ball ended the festivities of the day. I am able to assure you that the Lodge here is in a flourishing condition. May it ever continue to prosper, and add to the number of that glorious host who are continually building for themselves a temple "not made with hands eternal in the heavens." A grand military ball is on the carpet for the evening of January 1st, at which it is expected, the notables on both sides of the river will mingle together and "trip the light fantastic toe." May we be there to see.
     Mexican Affairs. I have written you no account of the late affair on this border, resulting in the occupation of Matamoras by the U.S. forces under General Sedgwick, presuming the regular correspondent of your Northern daily papers would be so far in advance of me, as to render it to your readers stale and unprofitable. The published accounts as far as I have seen, are about correct. At the time, the affair created great excitement here, and a foreign war was deemed by nearly all as imminent. A congressional committee of investigation whose arrival is daily expected, will probably give some additional interest to the affair. General Sedgwick still remains in arrest, awaiting an investigation, which, he claims, will exonerate him in his course. Everything on the other side is peaceable and quiet. The administration of General Berriozábal seems to be the best they have had for some time. General B. is rapidly winning the confidence of the citizens of Matamoras, and his wisdom and prudence combined with firmness is fast creating a feeling of security among the people. Business relations are daily being resumed, and signs of former activity are becoming more and more apparent as General B. unfolds his plans and policy for the future. The General is one of the very best Mexicans I have ever met. He speaks English very well, and in gentlemanly deportment, superior to most of his race. He is a man of great talent and intelligence—with a character for integrity, honesty and great moral worth that is above all reproach. His intercourse with this side of the river has invariably been of the most pleasant character. I predict the very best results to the city of Matamoras from his administration of affairs, if the Government and Escobedo will sustain him at all hazards.
     "Bohemians." The press of the country is well represented here, and a worthy host of Bohemians are to be seen daily (without extra charge) perambulating the city in search of the "latest intelligence." New York, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, New Orleans and other places, are all well represented. Right here, let me say, that the correspondents of our daily press are almost universally men of a high order of talent, and are well entitled to the praise of all readers. Their profession is a laborious one, far more so than the mass of the people know of.
     Weather, Garden, Game, Etc. The weather is charming—thermometer indicating an average temperature of over 70 degrees. All kinds of vegetables are still growing in the gardens and look and taste as fresh as in the spring-time. Think of lettuce and onions, radishes, string beans, turnips, tomatoes, green corn, carrots, cabbage, etc., fresh from the garden, spread out most temptingly before you at dinner time, on December 28th.—We are having all this now, and have had ever since I reached here, nine months ago. Game is very plenty. Venison about 4cts. per pound; ducks 12 1/2 cts. each; geese and turkeys 37 1/2 to 50cts.; quail 6 1/4 cts.; oysters fresh from the bay and in the shell, and salt water fish in endless variety, to be had daily at a very low price. Deer, wild geese, turkeys, and in fact all kinds of game is [sic] plenty, within only a day's ride of this place. My table has had on it for breakfast almost every morning, broiled quails. The cheapest meat we have is game. It is good eating I assure you, and has a tendency to increase the corpulency of him who partaketh thereof. Your animal hunters might take a run down here and enjoy themselves for a few weeks. I am assured by a worthy citizen of this place, that he has seen running wild, more than a thousand deer in a single drove. I call that a "right smart show for venison steaks." With the exception of three or four days we have not had to kindle a fire as yet, and have not had a single frost.

The Gallipolis Journal
January 24, 1876

The Gallipolis Journal
October 10, 1867

From Galveston—the Horrors of the Yellow Fever—A Mournful Account

Galveston, Texas Sept. 28th, 1867
     I closed my last letter by saying, if I remember correctly, that there were three families among the military, Generals Potter and Griffin and my own, who, up to that time, had escaped the dread pestilence that was scourging this city. I am unable to say that now. We have all had it and death has swept us fearfully. I had hardly mailed that letter before my wife was taken down. She had a severe attack but has recovered. Five days afterwards my daughter was taken and four days after that I was taken—all three of us in bed at one and the same time, a condition of things blue and discouraging. In the meantime, Gen. Potter, wife, child and nurse were all taken down within forty eight hours. Gen. Griffin, son and nurse followed suit. Gen. Potter's wife and nurse and Gen. Griffin and son all died, and myself and family, the only one among the military, all recovered. It seems like a miracle to us since we got up, and we can hardly realize it. Everyone we meet now says it is remarkable and I assure you we are devoutly thankful. Since my last, Col. Sinclair and his brother have had the fever, making every member of that family, and all have recovered. Col. S. was formerly Adjutant General on the staff of Maj. Gen. Stanberry, of the army of the Cumberland, is now in civil life and is in the Freedmen's Bureau.
     The same physician (Dr. Haden) and the same nurses (Mr. Pearce, and assistant of the Island City Hotel), attended to both our families and the result is we are all alive. They saved my life by three hours['] hard, unceasing work even when I was partially chilled. Dr. Haden was the chief surgeon in the trans-Mississippi department of the rebel army, and Mr. Pearce a major in the same army, but no brothers or parents could have worked harder to save life than they did in my family, and with the smile of Providence were successful. I hope no one will think I, for a moment, aim to reflect on our army surgeons. God knows every last one of them lost their lives in this epidemic—sacrificed them from a sense of duty. They will get their reward in another and better world, for they were all of them good and true men.
     I went on the theory that yellow fever was solely a disease peculiar to this climate, that northern physicians, no matter how thoroughly they may have been educated, yet never having seen this disease, having no practical experience in it, could not be, in the nature of the case, sound practitioners. On this theory alone I discarded all away doctors and selected a physician of experience, one born and bred in the South, and who had passed through previous epidemics. Mr. Pearce kindly volunteered to take charge of the nursing, an old experienced hand, and with these exceptions every friend and acquaintance was kept out of the house. The result is we are all out of the woods so far, though not wholly free from the danger of a relapse, if we should be so foolish as to be guilty of any imprudence. When I was taken down I weighed 142 pounds, had the fever on me three days and nights, and weighed on getting up 112 pounds. It is a pulling down fever. This part of this letter may sound egotistical, but being too weak to answer all the kind letters we have received from friends who read the Journal, I have taken the liberty to embody all the details in one.Nearly all the soldiery have had the fever, and about two-thirds of them have died, a fearful mortality. At least 1,300 deaths have occurred in the city, since July 24th, nearly all of which have been yellow fever. The fever will run, in a milder form, for two months yet, in all probability, the deaths averaging about five a day. It seems small to what it has been, but the material for it to work upon has become nearly exhausted. The estimated number of sick in the city during the prevalence of the epidemic is computed at over eight thousand; deaths about one in six. The deaths among the military will foot up at least one in two. Pretty heavy, is it not?
     In proportion to the population the mortality in New Orleans should be 250 per day, to equal the mortality during the heighth of the epidemic here. In Houston it is even worse than it was here; while in Hempstead seventy per cent of the sick have died. At all of the interior towns, reaching almost to Austin, the epidemic is raging fearfully. Many of the people in these towns have fled to the woods and camped out, but even this move did not allow them to escape. The yellow fever was never known to reach these interior towns, beyond Houston, before. The physicians know nothing or little about it and the result is a large number of fatal cases. Again, all these small places were more or less filled up by unacclimated persons who had ran [sic] away from this city to escape the disease, many of whom have since taken it and died. Several of our friends who thus ran away have died. The seeds of the disease were in the system and did not develop until they had flattered themselves they were entirely out of danger. I trust this will be the last letter I shall have to write you, in which, nothing but yellow fever is mentioned. Let me close by wishing that you may never be among it, or experience its fearful scourging. W. H. N.

Transcribed by Eva Swain Hughes

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