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Adam S Johnston.

The soldier boy's diary book; or, Memorandums of the alphabetical first lessons of military tactics. Kept by Adam S. Johnston, from September 14, 1861, to October 2, 1864 online

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Online LibraryAdam S JohnstonThe soldier boy's diary book; or, Memorandums of the alphabetical first lessons of military tactics. Kept by Adam S. Johnston, from September 14, 1861, to October 2, 1864 → online text (page 1 of 9)
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NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES



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MEMORANDUMS



Alphabetical First Lessons of Military Tactics,



5^1



KEPT BY



i



I^ADAM S. JOHNSTON,



J^rom September /^ 7867, to October 2, 7804.,



ffx




PITTSBURGH

1866.

^6



THE NEW YOPiK
PUBLIC LIBRAUY

A'JTGR, LENOX AND
TILDEN FCi;:il)Ar*MNS
B 1840 h



Entered arcnrding to Act of Congrfss, on the tbirtof-ntli ilar rf
April, A. D. 1S67,

By ADAM S. JOHNSTON,

lu :1ie Clerk'ri Office of the District Court of the Uni^ States for th<
Western District of rnnn'svlvrtria.



*^



PREFACE



In taking up a book of any kiud, your first glance is
to see its form, or came set forth in itj from what source
it originated, or who is its author.

First. The following pages have been filled up by me,
Adam S. Johnston, its author and finisher, a member
of Company D, Captain J. S. M'Bride, Seventy-ninth
Regiment'of Pa. Vols. Infantry, Colonel H. A. Ham-
bright commanding, Gen. Negley's Brigade.

Secmid. The names of camps, destinations, marches
and number of miles marched during 1861, 1862, 1863
and 186-4, and the fiery trials, hardships and battles
personally engaged in ; when wounded, and in what
battle; how long absent from my company and regi-
ment, on account of wound, and my return to join them,
and where at.

Third. Capture and imprisonment; while a pris-
oner, confined in Smith's and Pemberton's buildings in
Richmond, Va., on Gary street, near the well known
Libby prison and Castle Thunder, and many other
places of confinement, equal to Belle Island, which would
make a heart, although hard as steel, melt to know



IV PREFACE.



how fust many of my brother soldiers' lives were short-
ened and taken away by scores, yes, I would be safe in
saying hundreds per day, by starvation, and want
of clothi?iir, and ill-traatment. while in the jaws and
hands of the enemy in those hellish places of confine-
ment.

Fourth. And all the comfort or consolation those
fast wasting frames and sickened bodies had, was to
lie down on a hard, rough plank-floor, with the soft
side of a brick for a pillow on which to rest their weary
heads; which had to be stolen or pried out of the walls
by some of the inmate brother soldiers, or they or I
would be even deprived of that privilege or comfort.

Fifth. To give you some idea of those prisons in
Richmond, Ya., and likewise in Danville, A'a., while
confined there. They consisted of a large brick build-
ing or buildings, formerly used for pressing and manu-
facturing tobacco by the Sunny South's inhabitants,
their length being three hundred feet and twenty-four
feet wide, containing three stories in height, and three
hundred men in each room, without furniture of any
kind, and nothing but the floor to sit or lie down
on, and kept without fire all the time, even in the cold-
est time of frosts and winter, and inhabited by the
army-bug or grey-backs, and all the filth that mortal
eye could discern.

Sixth. I might fill page after page with the suf -
ferings and hardships of the poor Union soldiers, which
they endured without a murmur after the misfortune
of being captured when standing up in defense of their
country's rights and privileges, and then placed in



PREFACE. T

those filthy and crowded prisons, which no artist can
paint or human tongue describe.

Seventh. And not finished then, but time and space
will not permit to go further. And now I will turn your
attention to the out-starts of our camps and marchies,
and number of miles marched from one camp to the
other, and the time of oui* stay in each and every camp,
from the period above spoken of till my return, October
2d, 1864.



1*



%lt MhUt %^'$ ^iM^.



Sept. 14, 1861. Exchanged home and friends and
all that was near and dear to me, for camp life, and
left home, with a final farewell, for the seat of war.
Went to the town of Buena Yista, Allegheny Co., Pa.,
to bid farewell to my oldest daughter and youngest son,
and stayed all night at John Wood's. A march of 17
miles.

Sept. 15. Left for Monongahela City with ten mem-
bers for Company D, of the 79th Pa. Yols. Infantry ;
arrived in the camp or fair ground in the above named
place, Washington county, Pa., in time for supper, and
Was happily received by our captain, and after supper
escorted up into town for lodging and entertaiment for
the night — making a march of 12 miles.

Sept. 16. Sworn into Company D by a justice of
the peace of the town of Monongahela City, and after-
ward formed into line, and a farewell speech made to
us by the Rev. J. C. Brown (of the M. E. Church) of the
same city, in behalf of us as soldiers going out in de-
fense of our country, and sacrificing home, friends and
all that was near and dear to us, and bidding us a final



8 THE SOLDIER UOY's DIARY. I 86 1

farewell. Who was followed by Mr. IM'lJride, the
father of our captain, giving us a hearty welcome for
choice of our captain, and then presenting him with a
very nice sword, saying, "Take this, and never surren-
der it to those traitors against whom you have been
called out to battle with, and may it not be returned
till stained to the liilt, or peace once more restored to
our now distracted country." With a final farewell we
were marched down to the river's brink, to enter on
board a fine steamboat there ready to receive us and to
convey us from our friends, who escorted us to the
boat, with ten thousand cheers for our welfare and Safe
return again. But, alas ! how many of us never did
return. We got to Pittsburgh the same night, took
supper at the Girard House, and left for the cars on
Liberty street, at 12 o'clock at night, en route for Lan-
caster ; but owing to a train running oiF on the Chicago
R. R. we were detained till morning. Making a march
of 28 miles.

Sept. 17. Left Pittsburgh and got to Lancaster on
the night of the 18th, about 4 o'clock in the morning )
slept in the Rankin House till morning, took breakfast
and then were marched up near the Pennsylvania rail
road and quartered in a hook and ladder house for
sixteen days, and drilled and put through the manual of
arms about four hours per day during those sixteen
days, being our first aljihabetical lessons of military
tactics. Making a march of 339 miles.

Oct. 4. Left Lancaster and got to Harrisburg the
same day ; drew our first tents and pitched them for
the first time ; drew our first blankets, stood our first



I 86 1 THE SOLDIER BOYS DIARY. 9

sentinel beats around camp,. and our first duty required.
Making a march of 90 miles.

Oct. 5. Left Harrisburg and got to Pittsburgh
the 7th. being one day and night en route, and encamp-
ed in Camp Wilkins, well known by the citizens and
surrounding neighborhood as the fair ground, flak-
ing a march of 249 miles.

Oct. 17. Left Pittsburgh for Louisville, being ten
days in Camp Wilkins. getting equipped and fitted out.
Went on board the '-Silver Wave" steamboat, and u
short time after the front part of the hurricane deck
gave wa}^, letting many of our soldiers and musicians
fall to the lower deck, hurting two men badly. We
moved down the Ohio river three days and three nights,
cheered from either shore by hundreds, and safely
reached Louisville, Ky., on the 20th of October. Mak-
ing a march of 625 miles.

Oct. 23. Left Louisville, having remained three
days in that city and fair ground, making a march of
three miles out of town and three back again, which
will make six miles. Got to Camp Nevin on the 23d
of October, the place where our first division command-
er, General Eousseau, defeated the tebels and made
them skedaddle back to Horse Cave City in Kentucky.
Making a march of 72 miles.

Nov. 26. Left Camp Nevin, making one month and
three days in camp. Got to Camp Negley on the same
day. A march of 3 miles.

Dec. 5lh. Left Camp Negley, after remaining there
nine days; got to Camp Hambright the same day.
Makine: a march of H miles.



10 TUE SOLDIER BUY's DIARV. 1 862

Dec. 11. Left Camp Ilambright, alter rcmaiuing
there six days. Gut to Camp Wood, Baking creek, ou
the 11th. Making a inarch of 12 miles.

Dec. 16. Left Camp Wood, liaking creek, Ky.,
after remaining tliere five days, and got to Camj) AVood-
sonville, Green river, Ky., making a march of 1 i miles.
Had to fall in battle-line about ten minutes after
receiving order to pitch tents, and go over Green river
to reinforce Col. Willich, whom the rebels had attacked;
but before we reached the river Col. Willich and his
small command had whipped them and driven four
thousand of them back. We then got orders to return
again to camp. Twelve of Col. Willich's men killed and
seventeen wounded, on the 16th day of December, ISGl,
the day we arrived in Camp Woodson ville. ]Making a
march of two miles to the battle-ground and two from
it — 4: miles.

Feb. 14, 1862. Left Camp Woodsonville, Ky.. on
our first march or counter-march, for two months all
but twjo days remaining in this camp. Getting march-
ing orders to our whole Western Army to right-about
or counter-march to West Point, 20 miles down the
Ohio river, below Louisville, going a march of 14 miles
through mud and snow six inches deep, and encamp for
the night, not having our tents with us, on account of
the roads being so bad that our baggage-wagons could
not reach us ; so we had to make ourselves as comfort-
able as possible by building square pens of rails, and
sleeping on the tops of these pens, to keep us out of the
snow and from the frosts of winter.

Feb. 15. Got marching orders to right-about and



1 862 THE SOLDIER BOY's DIARY. 11

counter-marcli back over the same road again to Camp
Hambriglit, with our whole army, making a march of

7 miles and encamping for the night.

Feb. 16. Left Camp Hambright, and marched back
past our old Camp Woodsonville and on over Green
river two miles, and encamped for the night, naming
the camp after our Col. Hambright again. Making a
march of 16 miles.

Feb. 17. Left Camp Hambright, remaining in this
camp two days, and went on a march for Bowling
Grreen. Got to Camp Vf ater Cave, or a branch of the
great Mammoth Cave, so well known to exist in Ken-
tucky. Making a march of 22 miles.

Feb. 23. Left Water Cave Camp, remaining six
days in this camp, and got to Camp Starkweather the
same day, making a march of 21 miles.

Feb. 27. Left Camp Starkweather, after remaining
there four days, and got to Camp Franklin the same day,
making a march of 23 miles.

Feb. 28. Left Camp Franklin, and got to Cain
creek, and encamped for the night, making a march of
19 miles.

March 1. Left Cain creek, after remaining there
one day, and got to the Cumberland river on the same
day, and encamped for the night, making a march of
15 miles.

March 2. Left the Cumberland river and got to
Camp Hambright the same day, making a march of

8 miles.

March 6. Left Camp Hambright and got to Camp
Andrew Johnson, two miles from Nashville, Tenn., the
same day, making a march of 4 miles.



12 THE SOLDIER BOY's DIARY. 1 862



March 29. Left Camp Andrew Johnston and got
to Camp Merriweatlier, Franklin, Tenn. — a most beauti-
ful camp — and encamped for tlie night, making a march
of 17 miles.

April 1. Left Camp Merriweather, and got to
Camp Rutherford the same day, and encamped for the
uight, remaining one day in this place^ makiiii:- a march
of 20 miles.

April 2. Left Camp Rutherford and got to Duck
creek the same day, and encamped for the night, ma-
king a march of 2 miles.

April 3. Left Duck creek camp and got to Camp
Ocncral Moorhcad the same day, and encamped for the
night, making a march of 5 miles.

May 10. Left Camp General Moorhead and came
to Columbia, and got to the town of Pulaski on the
same day, and encamped for the night, making a mjirch
-of 1 1 miles.

May 13. Left Pulaski and got to Sugar creek on
the -same day, remaining three days in the above men-
tioned camp, and encamped for the night, making a
march of 18 miles.

May 14. Left Sugar creek camp and got to Rogers-
ville, four miles from the Tennessee river, and had
just unslung our knapsacks, when orders came for us
to fall in and go double-quick down to the Tennessee
river — that the rebels had attacked our cavalry at
Lamb's Landing or Ferry, Laudle Co. Our first fire
or engagement with the enemy. Two men of our for-
ces were wounded and two horses killed. The rebels
were compelled to retreat from there in double-quick



1 862 THE SOLDIER BOY'S DIARY. 13

order — tlieir loss unknown, as tliey retreated in tlie
niglit. We returned to camp, making four miles to
the battle-ground and four back again, in all a march
of 8 miMs ; and having made 29 miles of a march
the same day before being called into action, making a
t;)tal march of 37 miles.

3Iay IG. Left Rogersville or Lamb's Landing, re-
maining two days in the above mentioned camp, got
within one mile of Florence, Alabama, the same day,
and encamped for the night, making a march of 20
miles.

3Iay 17. Left this camp and marched into the town
of Florence, and encamped for the night, making a
march of 1 mile.

May 18. Left Florence camp and marched to the
Alabama line, between it and Tennessee a right-about
or counter-march again for Tennessee. Slept this night
in camp with my feet in Alabama and my head in Ten-
nessee, after making a march of 20 miles.

May 19. Left the Tennessee and Alabama line, got
to Lawrenceburg, Tenn., the same day, and. encamped
for the night at Lawrenceburg camp, making a march
of 20 miles.

May 20. Left Lawrenceburg camp and got to
Mount Pleasant the same day, and encamped for the
night, making a march of 20 miles.

May 21. Left Camp Mount Pleasant and got back
to our old camp General Moorhead, at Columbia, Tenn.,
making a march of 11 miles. Heturn of a grand scout
all safe and sound, except two men lost in the battle
of Lamb's Ferry, above spoken of.



14 TliE SOLDIER BOY's DIARY. 1862

May 2G. Left General Moorliead camp and got to
within five miles of Gillespie.* after remaining five days
in the above camp, and encamped for the night, making
:i march of 27 miles.

May 29. Left Gillespie camp and got to a high
mountain on the Fayetteville road, called Barren Point,
and encamped for the night, after remaining three days
in the above mentioned ca:iip, making a march of 2'3
miles.

May 3L Left Barren Point camp and marched one
mile cast of Fayetteville, and encamped for the night
at Camp Wynkoop, making a march of 19 miles.

June 2. Left Camp Wynkoop and got to Camp
ILiggerty, one mile south of Salem, in Franklin,
Tenn., making one day in the above mentioned camp,
and encamped for the night, making a march of 22
miles.

June 3. Left Camp Haggerty and marched on the
Ciiattanooga road, encamped for the night at Cowen's
i^tation, making a march of 21 miles.

June 4. Left Cowen's Station and marched over the
Cumberland mountains to Cumberland Gap or Sweden
\'alley. Came upon a camp of General Adams' rebel
(.mvalry, seven thousand in number, who stood us a fight,
]>cing the second engagement that we were personally
engaged in. Three fires from our l)a(tcries put them
to flight ', and in following up their retreat wo lost two
men out of Col. Haggcrty's regiment of Kentucky
cavalry. Our forces captured a first-rate cooked din-
ger, just ready to be sit down to eat; and corn, leather
:>nu ammunition of all kinds, haYer.«;acks made out of



1 862 THE SOLDIER BOY's DIARY. 15

every sort of material, women's carpet-sacks and clothes,
even down to babies' frocks, that these scoundrels had
stolen from the Union families of the valley they had
passed through — all of which fell into our hands; and
those hellish fiends had to flee from to save capturing
of themselves and their whole army, losing many of
their men killed and wounded by our forces, and a
number of prisoners falling into our hands. After
dinner we encamped for the night on their camp or
battle-ground, making a march of 15 miles.

June 5- Left Sweden Cove Valley camp and mar-
ched through Jaspertown on the Chattanooga road, and
encamped in camp meeting barracks, used for holding
camp meetings in, nicely fitted up for that purpose,
and called Camp Mellinger, making a march of 15
miles.

June 6. Left Camp Mellinger and arrived 12 J
miles this side of Chattanooga, and encamped for the
night at Cam.p Sliver, making a march of 27 miles.

June 7. Loft Camp Sliver and arrived at Camp
Haste, 12-J miles. At 2 o'clock, got orders to fall in
again for fight. ^Ye marched about one mile, feeling our
way cautiously as we went, understanding that fifteen
thousand rebels had crossed the Tennessee river and
were moving on us, between the river and town, in
haste. There were two companies of the 79th Pa. Inf.
detailed and sent down the river in front of Chattanoo-
ga, to advance slowly and cautiuusly to feel the enemy ;
while a force of cavalry was sent around to come up
the river and advance until they would meet, if not
fired upon. The rest of our army, with six pieces of



16 THE SOLDIER BOY's DIARY. 1 862

artillery, passing down' the river on tlie right, about
one mile and a quarter from the river, to the centre,
and our brave commander, General Ncgley, at the head
of our forces, gave us the order to left face and advance
toward the river and town. On we went to the top
of a high hill or mountain in sight of the town, which
surprised the rebels in their forts and town to see the
Yankees in sight; so the orders, '-Lie down, infantry,
flat to the ground, and be ready to support your bat-
teries," was no sooner given than it was obeyed. We
could see the rebs coming out of their forts and pits
like bees out of a scap, and turning their artillery on
us; so feeling that our cavalry and infantry might
meet, and hearing they were across the river, might
fire on each other when meeting, four men were detailed
off the head of each company, to be sent down to the
river as skirmishers, to report to them, and then return
to the hill again. As I was one of the front files, it so
happened to be my lot to go, and on reaching the river
the rebs opened fire on us from the other side, killing
two men and wounding several of our force. At
three o'clock we opened our batteries on them and their
town, shelling them hard, and causing them to silence
their guns, only four shots of theirs reaching us. AVe
shelled the town until four in the evening, causing
them all to move out of the town and call for reinforce-
ments from the Gap, which was all we wanted, to draw
them out with this feint attack, so that our army might
go in, which it did without being interrupted, the rebs
having evacuated the place. So we returned back to
camp for the night, making a march of 1-1 miles.



1 862 THE SOLDIER BOY'S DIARY. 17

June 8. Left Camp Haste, having fulfilled our
mission, and after shelling the town of Chattanooga
this morning again about three hours, we took up march
right-about or counter-marched back again to cur old
camp Sliver, making a march of 12} miles.

June 9. Left Sliver on our return and encamped
for the night on the M'Minnville road at Big Creek
camp, making a march of 27 miles.

June 10. Left Big Creek camp and marched on
the Altamont road to Camp Nell and encamped for the
night, making a march of 21 miles.

June 1 1 . Left Camp Nell and arrived at Manches-
ter the same night, and encamped, making a march of
25 miles.

June 12. Left Manchester camp and arrived ai
Shelbyville, and encamped for the night at Camp Coo-
per, making a march of 25 miles.

July 8. Left Camp Cooper, and arrived the same-
day at Wajitrace, remaining in the above mentioned
camp twenty-six days, without moving. Encamped for
the night in Wartrace, guarding commissary or station
all night ; making a march of 8 miles.

July 9. Left Wartrace and arrived at Duck river
the same day as guard for rail road bridges and fortifi-
cations there, and encamped for the night at Duck
river bridge camp, making a march of 5 miles.

July 14. Left Camp Duck river and arrived the
same day at Tullahoma and encamped for the night,
making a march of 9 miles.

July 25. Left Tullahoma and marched to Manches-



2*



18 THE SOLDIER BOY's DIARY. 1862

ter fair grounds, Coffee county, Tcnn., and encamped
for the night, making a march of 11 miles.

Aug. 10. Left Manchester camp and arrived at
Tullahoma the same day, and encamped for the night,
making a march of 12 miles.

Aug. 11. Left Tullahoma camp and arrived at Nash-
ville the same day, and encamped for the night, ma-
king a march of 70 miles.

Aug. 12. Left Nashville camp and moved four miles
out of town to camp, and was rallied the same day and
slept all night on our arms, with sixty rounds of cartrid-
ges, in the town of Nashville, Tenn., making a march
of four miles and four back again, making 8 miles.

Aug. 13. Left camp again and slept all night on
our arms in Nashville, and encamped or changed camp
the same day on College Hill, 1^ miles out of town,
making a march of 2 J miles.

Aug. 16. Left Camp College Hill, or was rallied
and sent to Gallatin, Summer county, Tenm, and slept
on our arms'all night, and the next morning our com-
pany was sent out to ascertain where company K, of
the 79th Pa. Inf was, as they were put on out-post
picket in the night and could not be found in the
morning. We found them on the Gallatin road, one
mile from town ; in the mean time orders came to right-
about and march to camp again. On arriving there,
orders had come to the regiment to right-about and
march to College Hill again, leaving Co. D behind.
So we lay over until the next day, and a train of cars
came for us and we returned again to camp, making a
march of 23 miles.



1 862 THE SOLDIER BOY's DIARY. 19

Aug. 17. Returned to camp, making a march of
13 miles, remaining in this camp four days.

Aug. 21. Left Camp College Hill on a rally from
Nashville to the junction of the L. R. & Gr. rail road and
returned to Nashville the same day, and was ordered
right back the same night, making a march of 30
miles.

Aug. 22. Left as an escort for General Nelson to
Franklin, Tenn., from camp at the junction of the L.R.
& G. rail road, and encamped at Tire Spring for the
night, making a march of 12 miles.

Aug. 23. Left Tire Spring camp and arrived at
Drake's mill, Franklin, the same day, and encamped
for the night, having- fulfilled our escort, making a
march of 22 miles.

Aug. 24. Left Drake's mill camp and arrived the
same day in Franklin, and encamped for the night,
making a march of 2 miles.

Aug. 25. Left Franklin camp and arrived at the
tunnel of the Louisville & Nashville R. R. the same
day, and encamped for the night, making a march of
22 miles.

Aug. 26. Left the Tunnel camp and arrived at
Grallatin on the same day, driving General Morgan and
his forces out of the above named town, killing one of
the rebel pickets because he would not halt when or-
dered by one of our number, and took possession of the
town for the night, making a march of 7 miles.

Aug. 27; Left Gallatin and returned to our old
camp on College Hill, Nashville, making another grand
circle the same day, a march of 26 miles.



20 THE SOLDIEll boy's DIARY. 1 862



Aug. 28. Left Camp College Hill on the night of
the 27th oil a rally of double-quick for Columbia. Lay
there all night and the 28th in battle line, making a
march of 45 miles.

Aug. 29. Left Columbia camp, the half of our
regiment coming from Pulaski, 35 miles of a march,
and returned to camp the same day, and encamped for
the night, making another march this same day of 45
miles.

Sept. 4. Left Camp College Hill again and arrived
at Goodlettsvillc on the 5th and took breakfast, making
a march of 12 miles.

Sept. 5. Left. Goodlettsvillc and arrived at Tire
Spring camp, making the third time in this camp and
our third march and counter-march over this ground,
and encamped for the night, making a march of 9^
miles.

Sept. 6. Left Camp Tire Spring and arrived the
same day at Franklin and encamped for the night,
making a march of 22 miles.

Sept. 7. Left Franklin camp, and arrived the same
day at Bowling Green, encamping for the night, ma-
king a march of 21 miles.

Sept. 8. Left Bowling Green camp and changed
camp near Big Barren river the same day, and encamped
for the night, making a march of 8 miles.

Sept. 12. Left Big Barren Hi ver camp and changed
camp to the centre of Bowling Green the same day,
remaining four days in the above mentioned camp, ma-
king a march of 1^ miles.

Sept. IG. Left Bowling Green camp and got to the



1 862 THE SOLDIER BOY's DIARY. 21


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