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Journal history of the Twenty-ninth Ohio veteran volunteers, 1861-1865 online

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the creek; the enemy was found on its opposite bank in
considerable force ; the regiment was ordered to drive
the enemy out of the timber^ force them back and hold
them while the bridge was being rebuilt; we loaded our
guns, and crossing the bank four companies under Cap-
tain Schoonover advanced to the right up the road,
through t)tie timber (which was a thick undergrowth)
driving the enemy out of the woods and into an open
field about one mile from the bridge; barricaded the
road with rails, and the other six companies under Major
Wright, advanced direct to the point through the woods
about one mile, the enemy falling back ; the regiment
held its position until the bridge was rebuilt, and a
crossing effected, and late in the p. m, the brigade
moved through the swamp and camped for the night.
3d, remained in camp until after dinner, then moved
forward the remainder of the day and all night; had no
supper; halted at 7 a. m. for breakfast, near Millen ; the
old stockade was empty, the prisoners having been re-
moved the day before; after breakfast on the 4th, we
moved forward, marched all day, and at 8 p. m. halted



VETERAN VOLUNTEERS. I3I

and camped for the night. 5th, marched at 7 a. m.,
halted at 2:30 p. m. for dinner; moved three miles in the
afternoon, and at 6 went into camp for the night. 6th,
marched ten miles and camped for the night. 7th,
marched at 7 a. m., halted at 12:30 for dinner; rained
all the forenoon, had no dinner; marched in the after-
noon, halted at 7 p. m. and camped for the night, near
Springfield ; marched twelve miles. 8th, marched at
6:30 A. M. and camped at 4:30 p. m. near Eden.

9th instant at 9 a. m., moved six miles and halted
thirty minutes for dinner at Wallhower Swamp, where
the Confederates were found in force. The fallen tim-
ber which obstructed the road was soon removed by the
Pioneer corps, and in the meantime with the Third
brigade, of Geary's division in the advance, had a sharp
skirmish with the rebels. While the road was being
cleared the Second division were resting on their arms,
except the Third brigade, which had advanced nearly
through the swamp. While engaged with the enemy
the train was ordered forward, and the Twenty-ninth
regiment advanced on double-quick in support of the
brigade thus engaged. Passing the train it reached the
Third brigade, which had advanced about one mile and
a half. The Twenty-ninth immediately formed line on
the left of the road in rear of the Third brigade, and
skirmished until dark, when the firing ceased. During
the night the rebels fell back. loth instant, moved at
7 A. M. and marched through the swamp where we
found small earth works and two small field pieces
masked to cover the road through the swamp, but when
the boys in blue were discovered the rebels moved to
the rear. The regiment marched thirteen miles with
some skirmishing and artillery firing during the day and
night.



132 TWENTY-NINTH OHIO

When about four miles from the city of Savannah^
Georgia, rebel artillery was found to be in the road be-
hind earthworks to impede our progress. The Twenty-
ninth regiment, with the brigade, filed to the left of the
road and took position in the timber, where it bivouacked
for the night. After, leaving Atlanta, Georgia, on the
15th day of November, 1864, the army was designated
as the Army of Georgia, the Twelfth and Fourteenth
corps, known as the left wing, commanded by Major-
general H. \V. Slocum, and the Fifteenth and Seven-
teenth corps, known as the right wing, commanded by
Major-general O. O. Howard, Major-general William T.
Sherman in command of the Army of Georgia.

On this march the army cut loose from the base of
supplies at Atlanta, and lived mostly from forage on the
country. On reaching the enemy within four miles of
Savannah, on the loth day or December, the division
had accumulated several hundred head of cattle. Sun-
day, December nth, moved in the morninaj about one
mile, and took a position near the rebel lines, the
Twenty-ninth regiment, on the extreme left of the line,
with its left reaching the Savannah river. While in this
position the rebels opened fire with artillery from a fort
immediately in our front, and the infantry from their
strong line of works, kept up a continual fire. The
brigade remained in line until late in the afternoon, sus-
taining slight loss, when it fell back through the open
field into the woods and laid on arms all night. On the
1 2th inst., at 2:30 a. j\r., fell in and advanced to the
front about one-half mile to the old levee, and thence
filed to the left. Marched about three-fourths of a mile,
halted, and prepared to charge the rebels. To do so
the right had to pass a dike or canal 'with four or five
feet of water, and assault the fort and breastworks in



VETERAN VOLUNTEERS. 133

open field. The charge was abandoned, and at 4:30 a.
M. the regiment returned to camp, where we remained
skirmishing and artillery firing during the day. On the
13th inst. the Twenty-ninth was on skirmish line all day.
During the night we advanced our line through a woods,
which was heavy pine, mixed with live oak, within two
hundred yards of the rebel line, where they were strongly
intrenched. Between the contending armies was no
timber except scattering undergrowth, and a canal near
the rebel line of works. In this advanced position the
regiment dug rifle-pits, which were strongly barricaded
with timber.

In the lines of rifle-pits our pickets were stationed and
performed the duty of skirmishers, being relieved
every twenty-four hours, which was done under cover of
night. In the meantime the regiment fell back about
one-fourth of a mile, and constructed works of heavy
timber, in the rear of which the men put up their shelter
tents. Here they could partake of the scanty rations (but
dare not sleep), as the artillery firing and skirmishing
was kept up continually day and night on the 14th, 15th,
1 6th and 17th; and Sunday, the i8th, skirmishing and
artillery duelling all along the line. On the 19th skirmish-
ing all day. In the evening a detail was made from our
brigade under the command of Major Myron T. Wright,
to construct new lines of works. While engaged in the
work at 7 o'clock p. m., he received a severe wound in the
left foot (at which time Captain Jonas Schoonover took
command), the ball entering the foot a little below the
instep, and lodged into the center of the heel about one
inch from the bottom of the foot. On the 20th, firing
all along the line. This ceased at 11 o'clock p. m. The
Twenty-ninth regiment, with its brigade and division,
has been in position on the left of the road leading



134 TWENTY-NINTH OHIO

♦"rom Springfield to the city of Savannah, with its main
line in the timber, its right resting on the river. During
the ten days the command remained in front of Savan-
nah it took charge of large rice mills on the river, and
supplied the men with rice. The quartermaster used
large quantities for the train teams. At one time rice
sold for fifty cents per quart (before the capture of Fort
McAllister, on December 13th, 1864). The rebels in
our front were behind a heavy line of works, which was
surmounted with large timber called head logs, with port
holes in their front. At their rear was a large body of
timber, their right rested on the river, where they had
constructed two forts, one near the river, and the other
a short distance west along their line, where they had a
strong position behind sand bags. But our lines were
advancing nearer every day, and during the night of
December 20th they evacuated their works, and fell back
to Savannah, crossing the river into South Carolina.
At 4 A. M., on the 21st day of December, the Twenty-
ninth fell in, and moved in the advance of the brigade
to the front. Passing the rifle-pits, it filed to the left,
across the canal near the rebel fort, finding their works
and entire line evacuated. We moved on in the direc-
tion of Savannah. On reaching the city, the Twenty-
ninth Ohio and Twenty-eighth -Pennsylvania regiments
moved down the river to Fort Jackson, which had been
evacuated and set on fire. The regiments reached the
fort at 9 A. M., and at 12 o'clock at night the rebels blew
up their gunboat Beauregard. We remained at the fort
until December 24th, with the usual routine of camp and
garrison duty. In the meantime the Twenty-ninth took
an inventory of the ordnance and ordnance stores cap-
tured by the Twenty-ninth regiment and the Twenty-
eighth Pennsylvania in Fort Jackson and other forts



VETERAN VOLUNTEERS. 135

along the Savannah river. On the 24th instant the regi-
ment was ordered to move at 9 a. m. The Twenty-
ninth, in rear of the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania volun-
teers, marched to the city of Savannah, passing through
it, and encamping on the west side.

On the 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th, fixing com-
pany quarters, and attending to the usual routine
of camp and guard duty. Friday, the 30th, the
army reviewed. The Twenty-ninth regiment moved
from camp at 8:30 a. m., and marched to Liberty street
in the city of Savannah, where it joined the brigade
formed on the left, in prolongation with the Sixty-sixth
regiment of Ohio volunteers. After review it returned
to its old camp at 2 o'clock p. m. Saturday, the 31st,
inspection and muster for pay at 10 a. m.

January i, 1865, monthly inspection at 2 o'clock p.
M. 2d, 3d, 4th and 5th, nothing occurred except the
usual camp duty. 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th, in camp, and
up to the 1 8th the Twenty-ninth was doing camp duty,
and on the i8th received news of the fall of Fort Fisher.
From the 19th to the 25th engaged in camp duty and
regimental drill.



CAPTAIN SCHOONOVER'S REPORT.

Headquarters Twenty-ninth Ohio
Veteran Volunteer Infantry.
Savannah, Georgia, Dec. 28, 1864.
A. H. W. Creigh, first lieutenant, and acting assistant
adjutant-general First brigade, Second division, Twen,
tieth corps :

" Lieutenant : — In compliance with circular from
headquarters First brigade, Second division. Twentieth
corps, dated Savannah, Georgia, December 23, 1864, I



136 • TWENTY-NINTH OHIO

have the honor most respectfully to make the following
report :

"I took command of the regiment in front cf Savan-
nah, Georgia, on December 20, 1864. Nothing worthy
of note transpired during the day. At 4 o'clock a. m.
of the 2 1 St instant the Twenty-ninth in advance of the
First brigade, took up a line of march to the city of
Savannah, and from there to Fort Jackson, when I
reported to Colonel Flinn, Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania
volunteers, for duty, and performed garrison duty until
December 24th, when the regiment was ordered to
march at 9:30 a. m. The Twenty-ninth in rear of
Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania volunteers, marched to the
city, and through it to the west side, where we are now
encamped.

" I am very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Jonas Schoonover,
Captain commanding Twenty-ninth Ohio Veteran A^olun-

teer Infantry.

" Headquarters First Brigade, \

Second Division, Twentieth Army Corps, l

Savannah, Georgia, December 25, 1864. )

" Captain W. T. Forbes, assistant adjutant general :

" In compliance with circular order No. 144, I have
the honor to submit the following report of the opera-
tions of this brigade, from the capture of Atlanta, Sep-
tember 2, 1864, to the occupation of Savannah, Georgia,
December 21, 1864, etc., etc. .....

December 2d, the march was resumed at daybreak and
was uninterrupted until Buckhead creek w^as reached
The bridge over this place was partially destroyed, and a
few of the enemy's cavalry were on the opposite side of
the swamp. Major Wright, commanding the Twenty-
ninth Ohio volunteers, was ordered to cross the creek



VETERAN VOLUNTEERS. I 37

with his regiment and drive and keep away this force,
which was accomphshed without loss. The command
camped for the night near Buckhead church.
December 12th to December 20th inclusive, a substan-
tial line of works was thrown up for the protection of
the command from the artillery of the enemy, and in
addition to this two forts, with thirteen embrasures in
the aggregate, were constructed by the command. The
working parties on Fort No. 2 were under the command
of Captain Kreicler, One Hundred and Forty-seventh
Pennsylvania volunteers, and those on Fort No. 3 under
command of Captain E. B. Woodbury, Twenty-ninth
Ohio volunteers. Both these officers and the men under
their command are deserving of praise for the energy
and perseverance manifested in the prosecution of the
duty assigned them.

" December 2 ist, the enemy having evacuated their
position the night previous, their works were occupied at
an early hour by the skirmishers of the division, and by
sunrise the city of Savannah was entered and occupied,
this brigade being in line in the advance into the city.
Soon after reaching the city, the Twenty-eighth Penn-
sylvania and Twenty-ninth Ohio volunteers, under com-
mand of Colonel John Flynn, were, by order of the
commanding-general of division, through Captain Veale,
aide-de-camp, dispatched to occupy Fort Jackson and the
smaller forts and batteries near it. The possession of
the forts and other works was gained with but slight re-
sistance.

"Inventory of ordnance and ordnance stores captured
by the Twenty-ninth Ohio volunteers and the Twenty-
eighth Pennsylvania in Fort Jackson and other forts on
the Savannah river: Forty-four thirty-two-pounders, two
ten-inch Columbiads, twenty eight-inch Columbiads, two



138 TWENTY-NINTH OHIO

rifled thirty-two-pounders, twelve twenty-four-pounder
howitzers^ one eight-inch mortar, three three-inch rifled
field-pieces, etc., etc. Of the ninety-one guns captured,
fourteen only were found to have been spiked and shot-
ted. The gun-carriages were broken and temporarily
disabled, and all the implements were broken and
destroyed.

"To the regimental commanders I tender my thanks
for the strict obedience to orders, and the enforcement
of the regulation prescribed in regard to the conduct of
the march, and especially are they due to Major M. T.
Wright, Twenty-ninth Ohio volunteers, who was seriously
wounded while supervising the working parties on the
forts, for the promptitude exhibited by him in the execu-
tion of all orders, and his strict attention to the duties-
incumbent on him throughout the entire campaign.
"Respectfully submitted,

"Arid Pardee,
Commanding Brigade."



• EXTRACT official REPORT OF GENERAL GEARY.

" December 29th, a conference of the division and
brigade commanders with the general commanding the
corps, was held at 10 a. m. to-day, with the view to the
adoption of a plan for storming the enemy's works, as
soon as the heavy guns should be in readiness to open
fire. Fort No. i was finished this evening. The details
from the First and Third brigades continued work on
the other forts during the night, under a heavy artillery
fire from the enemy. Several casualties occurred, among
them Major Wright, a most valuable officer, commanding
the Twenty-ninth Ohio volunteers, who was severely
wounded by a shell. Sloan's battery of three-inch rifled



VETERAN VOLUNTEERS. 1 39

guns had already taken position in a work thrown up ta
the right of Fort 3, and in the open field.

"December 20th. The usual artillery firing and sharp
shooting to-day. By this evening we had constructed
and in readiness for use in the contemplated assault,
two hundred large straw fascines, to fill up ditches m
front of the enemy's works; also a large number of fas-
cines made of bamboo-cane. The latter were to be
used for bridging the canal by laying them across baulks,
which were furnished from the pontoon train for that
purpose. The work on Forts 2 and 3 was well advanced
to-day, and would probably be completed to-night.
Three siege-guns (thirty-pounder Parrotts) were brought
down this evening and mounted in Fort No. 2. I as-
certamed this morning that the enemy had completed a
pontoon bridge from Savannah across to the South Caro-
lina shore, and notified the general commanding corps
of the discovery. This bridge was about two and a half
miles from my left. The usual artillery firing was kept
up by the enemy during the day and night. During the
night I heard the movement of troops and wagons across
the poontoon bridge before mentioned, and sent a report
of the fact to the general commanding corps. Leaving
one of my staff to watch the sounds in that direction, I
notified my officer of the day and brigade commanders
to keep a vigilant watch upon the enemy, as they were
probably evacuating. The details on Forts 2 and 3 con-
tinued working through the night, the enemy shelling
them heavily.

" December 2 1 St. After 3 o'clock this morning the
firing ceased, and my pickets advancing to the enemy's
line, found them hastily retreating. Having possession
of their line of works with all their cannon in front of
my own and the other division of the corps, I immedi-



140 TWENTY-NINTH OHIO

ately sent a staff officer to notify the general command-
ing, and at the same time pushed forward rapidly in the
direction of Savannah, hoping to overtake and capture a
part of the enemy's force. My skirmishers deployed
and swept over all the ground between the evacuated
works and the Ogeechee canal, from the river to the
Augusta road, while my main body of troops marched
rapidly by the flank through McAlpin's plantation to the
Augusta road, and on into the city. Just outside of the
city limits near the junction of the Louisville and Augus-
ta roads, I met the mayor of Savannah and a delegation
from the board of alderman, bearing a flag of truce.
From them I received in the name of my commanding
general the surrender of the city. This was at 4:30 a.
M., and I sent immediately another staff officer to an-
nounce the surrender to the general commanding the
corps. He had considerable difficulty in passing the
line of another division of this corps on the Augusta
road, but finally convinced them that he belonged to the
Twentieth corps and not to the enemy. In the mean-
time my entire division entered the city of Savannah at
early dawn, and before the sun first gilded the morning
clouds, our National colors, side by side with those of
my own division, were unfurled from the dome of the
exchange, and over the United States custom house.
The brigade which led on entering the city, was at once
ordered to patrol it, reduce it to order and quiet, and
prevent any pillaging or lawlessness on the part either of
soldiers or citizens. My orders on the subject were very
strict, and within a few hours this city, in which I had
found a lawless mob of low whites and negroes pillaging
and setting fire to property, was reduced to order. Many
millions of dollars worth of cotton, ordnance and com-
missary stores, etc., which would have been otherwise



VETERAN VOLUNTEERS. 14I

destroyed, were saved to the United States Government,
and the citizens once more enjoyed security under the
protection of that flag which again waved over them, ex-
actly four years since the passage by the State of South
CaroHna of the Secession Act.

" Two regiments from Pardee's brigade, the Twenty-
eighth Pennsylvania and Twenty-ninth Ohio veteran
volunteers, were sent down to Fort Jackson, and early
in the morning had possession of it and all the inter-
mediate and surrounding works. The iron-plated ram,
Savannah, which lay in the river below the city, threw
shells at these two regiments as they flung the stars and
stripes to the breeze from the walls of Fort Jackson.
All the other gun-boats of the enemy had been fired by
them and burned to the water's edge.

" On the arrival of the major-general commanding the
left wing, I was, by his order, placed in command of the
city. Until nearly lo a. m. continued firing was heard
in the direction of Beaulieu, and supposing that a por-
tion of the enemy might still be south of us, I kept one
brigade under arras during the forenoon. Three rebel
flags were captured by my command, which will be duly
forwarded.

" I am, Colonel, very-respectfully

Your obedient servant,

John W. Geary,
Brigadier-general commanding Second division Twen-
tieth corps."



142 TWENTY-NINTH OHIO



CHAPTER XXL

The Carolina Campaign — Washington — Grand Review — The New
Flag — Westward, and Home again.

On the 27th day of January, after the order to march
was issued, the Twenty-ninth broke camp and marched
at 8 A. M., in rear of the Sixty-sixth Ohio regiment ;
halted at 2 p. m. and encamped for the night (marched
twelve miles). 28th instant, marched at 7 a. m. in rear
of the Sixty-sixth Ohio regiment and brigade train ; at
7 p. M. camped for the night (marched ten miles). 29th
instant, marched at 6:30 a. m., Twenty-ninth in rear of
Sixty-sixth Ohio, and passed through Springfield ; halted
at 2 p. M. and camped for the night. 30th instant, in
camp ; three companies of the Twenty-ninth regiment
went on picket. 31st mstant, in camp.

February ist. The Twenty-ninth regiment inspected
by General Ario Pardee at 9 a. m. 2d instant, the
ordinary camp and picket duty was the order of the day.
The 3d instant, ordered to march at 6 p. m. ; the order
was countermanded, and we went into camp for the
night. 4th, marched at 6 a. m., the Twenty-ninth in
advance of the brigade ; crossed the Savannah river at
Sisters' Ferry at 10 a. m., marched five miles and camped
for the night ; Twenty- ninth detailed for picket. 5th,
relieved at 2 p. m., marched in rear of brigade, and at
-9:30 p. M., went into camp for the night (marched six
miles). 6th, marched at 7 a. m., halted at 11:30 for din-
ner, fell in at 12 m., halted at 5 p, m. and camped for
the night (marched fifteen miles). 7th, marched at 7 a.
M. ; at 6:30 p. M. went into camp for the night. 8th



VETERAN VOLUNTEERS. I43

instant, marched at 6 a. m., halted at 1 1 :^o for dinner ; in
seven minutes fell in and marched five miles, halted at
3:15 and camped for the night near Buford Bridge. 9th,
marched at 6 a. m.. Twenty-ninth in advance of brigade
and with ordnance train ; marched eighteen miles, and
at 5 p. M. camped for the night near Blackville, South
Carolina. loth, marched at 7 a. m., halted near Black-
ville, and at 2 p. m. crossed the Edisto river, and at 10
p. M. camped for the night (marched eight miles), nth
instant in camp. 12th marched at 6 a. m., arrived at
the North Edisto river this afternoon (a distance of ten
miles), engaged in a skirmish in which the Fifth Ohio
had one man killed and three wounded. Company G
of the Twenty-ninth had one man killed, Jack Rape.
Went into camp for the night. 13th, marched at 6 a.
M., crossed the North Edisto and skirmished with the
enemy. Halted and remamed until 9 p. m., when the
regiment fell in, marched four and one-half miles and
halted for the night. The Twenty-ninth went on picket.
Tuesday, 14th, marched at 8 a. m. some six miles and
halted. Our regiment went on picket as usual. 15th
instant, marched at 7 a. m. in rear of brigade, skirmish-
ing ; marched ten miles ; went mto camp at Lexing-
ton at 3 p. M. ; at 5 o'clock moved to the left of the
Sixty-sixth Ohio. Thursday, i6th, marched at 8 a. m.
one mile to the rear and went on picket ; at 6:30 fell
in and marched six miles as rear guard to the Twentieth
army corps ; halted and went into camp at 4 p. m.
17th, marched at 9 a. m. i8th, marched at 6:30 a. m.,
.crossed the Seluda river at 1:30 p. m., halted for dinner ;
at 2:15 fell in and marched four miles ; halted at 5 p. m^
and camped for the night. Sunday in camp until 3:30
p. M. when " fall in " was sounded by the bugler. The
Twenty-ninth fell in and took the advance of brigade,



144 TWENTY-NINTH OHIO

marched four miles, and at 11:30 p. m. halted for the
night near Bush river. The Twenty-ninth was again
fortunate and went on picket. 20th, marched at i p. m.
in rear of brigade and at 7 p. m. went into camp for the
night (marched six miles, crossing Broad river near
Frost's Mill). 21st instant, marched at 6 a. m. and
entered Winsboro at 11:30 a. m. Fiv^ companies of the
Twenty-ninth detailed for picket. The other companies
camped for the night. 2 2d, Left Winnsboro at 3:45 p.
M., marched six miles and camped for the night. 23d,
marched at 6:30 a. m., six miles, halted at 10:20 a. m. an
hour for dinner; at 11:30 fell in and marched forward,
crossed the Catawba river and went into camp at mid-
night. Friday, 24, marched at 9:30 (we were the divis-
ion train guard), halted at i p. m. for dinner ; at 2 p.
M. fell in and marched five miles ; at 4:30 halted and
camped for the night; rainy. Saturday, 25th, rainy;


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Online LibraryJ[ohn] H[amilton] Se CheverellJournal history of the Twenty-ninth Ohio veteran volunteers, 1861-1865 → online text (page 9 of 17)