John J. Hight.

History of the Fifty-eighth regiment of Indiana volunteer infantry. Its organization, campaigns and battles from 1861 to 1865 online

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county. Indiana, a county which, out of a vote ot about sixteen hundred
voters, easts eleven hundretl majority against the administration, tlius leav-
ing but about two hundred and fifty friends of the administration (or Gov-
eriunent. as they call it) within the county. This large number of men who
oppose the Government are earnest in the work, and numy of them have
been engaged, if report is true, in writing letters to the soldiers of this Regi-
ment, telling them they are engaged in a wicked and luihoh' enterprise,
politically and morally; th;it the curse of (Jod and man rests upon them; that
all their frieiuls at home entertain these opinions, and ad\ ising tlu'in to liesert
the service; tliat such an act will be accounted honorable and no penalty
infiicted; that the people (the sovereign people) will protect them.

Is it strange that such things sliould have elTect upon ignorant men, when
desertion was common and the Government failed to vindicate itself and the

Again. we would respectfully state that previous to the time he was taken
sick, and in that unfortunate hour deserted the service. Hembree was a good
and faithful soldier, and we ha\e no tloubt would slill hv such.

lie has a wife and live little children. They love him. lie lo\es them.
'I'hey look to him for sujiport. for the_\' are \erv pnnr. W'e grant that in
strict law tiiese are no reasons in jiis liehalf. yet we think tliat in milit;iry as
well as civil law, nirrey nia\- prnperh' oftrn ^s. )

June 2 2. iS('T,- \
Respectt'nllv forwanied. I recommend that further lime be given in this
case. The prisoner plead guiltv and was conv icled. An ignorant man mav
have debarred himself from manv extenuating circumstances; mav have
thonght it a trivial oflence and refused to put in anv defeni-e; and mav . at
tlie same time, have had testimonv to mitigate the peiiahv of death.

r. L. CRn-lKNDKX.

M aior-( jeneral.

1 1 EAIXJJ AK ri lhin was to seciu'e tlie fnnd that was (hie tiie Regi-
ment on accoiHit of commutation aUowed by the (io\ernment
for unused rations, with the addition of liberal subscriptions
from the ofllcers. and with this fund erect a monument.
This plan was made known to the Regiment, and was heart-
ilv endorsed b\- all. Accordingly a monumental organiza-
tion was perfected, of which Lieutenant-Colonel Kmbree
was made president and Major Joseph .Moore secretary. It








was stipulated that the cost ot the monument should not
exceed $5,000, and that no subscription should be solicited
outside of the members of the Regiment, as it was intended
to be a monument of the Regiment and erected by the Reg-
iment. It was determined by the voice of the Regiment
that the monument should be erected in the court house
; quare in Princeton, Gibson county, Indiana, where the
Regiment was organized. A local committee was appointed,
consisting of Andrew Lewis, Joseph Devin, William Kurtz
and John Kell, to carry into effect the wishes of the Regi-
ment. This committee advertised for plans, with probable
cost of erection. In answer, the committee received a num-
ber of designs, with cost. The design of C. Rule and Cole-
man, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was adopted as the choice of the
Regiment, as the one most appropriate for the purposes

The design of monument adopted was an elegant marble
shaft, about thirty-three feet in height. On the north side,
crossed swords, flag and wreath. On the east side, a small
sliield resting on bunches of oak and myrlle crossed.
Underneath, a large wreath encircling the Vvords : "Erected
by the survivors of the Fifty-eighth Regiment Indiana Vol-
unteers, to the memor}^ of their deceased comrades." On
the south side is a knapsack supporting crossed muskets and
flags, and a soldier's cap. On the west side is the coat of
arms of the state of Indiana. On the several sides are the
following inscriptions: On the south, "Stone Ri\-er;" west,
"Lavergnef' north, "Mission Ridge;" east, "Chicka-
mauga" and "Honor the Flag." The names of all of the
members of the Regiment known to be dead at the dale of
erection of the monument were to be inscribed on its several
faces. An American eagle, made of the tinest Italian marble,
surmounts the shaft, holding the national ensign in his beak
and talons.

The resident committee was notified of the choice of the
Regiment, and it closed a contract with the above named
firm, stipulating that the monument should be completed by


the time the Regiment returned from the tield at the expira-
tion of its term of service.*

While in this camp, the order was given to turn over our
Sihlev tents and adopt the sheher tents in their stead.
These were pieces of canvas about four feet square, one
piece to be carried by each man. By fastening two together
and stretching over a small pole, a shelter was provided for
two men. When put up, they very much resembled a dog
kennel, and the outtit was very appropriately named ''Pup
Tents'" by the boys. There was a general howl of indigna-
tion when this new order was introduced. The imprecations
that were heaped upon the man who brought this miserable
travestv on a tent into existence were emphatic. But exper-
ience changed their opinion. The shelter tent proved to be
of the ({reatest service after its merits became fullv known.

Altogether, our stay in Murfreesboro was the most pleas-
ant experience in our soldier life. Our camps were all in
strict military order, and wxre kept clean. Our daily duties,
while sometimes arduous, were not unpleasant. Under the
strict discipline and regular drill maintained here, the army
was greatly improved. In the matter of clothing and equip-
ments, it never presented as tine an appearance as it did on
dailv dress parade at MurtVeesboro.

"■•■ This monument \vas formallv and appropriately dedicated on the 4th
dav of Julw 1S6;, while the Regiment was yet in camp at Louisville. Ken-
tucky, awaiting orders for final discharge, which had been expected to take
place prior to the above date. Many of the officers and enlisted men of the
Regiment recei\ed furloughs and were present at the dedication, as well as
large numbers of citizens, and soldiers of other Regiments. Addresses were
delivered l)y Dr. Andrew Lewis, Rev. John Mc Master. D. D., Chaplain
John ]. I light, and others, and the monument was accepted in behalf of the
Regiment bv the members thereof who were present. It was the first mon-
ument erected in the state in honor of soldiers of the war of the Rebellion,
and is probabU' the onlv Regimental mommient, in any state, erected In-
fands provided b\- its members exclusiveh', and the only one dedicated before
the Regiment was discharged from the service. In the manner of its con-
ception, as well as in the manner of its construction, the ^Sth Indiana Regi-
mental Monument, which stands in the court house square at Princeton, is
certainlv unique.


Advancinc; on Tullahoima — Marching Through Mud
AND Rain — Climbing tuk Mountain — Demonstra-
tion OF Cannon County People — Tullahoma E\'ac-
UATED — In Camp at IIillsboro — Kii>led by an
Over-Zealous Guard — Excitement and Indigna-
tion in the 58TH — Military Funerals — Religious
Services in Camp — Celebrating the Fall op'
vicksburg and victory at gettysburg numer-
OUS Events of Interest Detailed.

TUESDAY, June 23, orders were issued to the various
Brigades and Regiments to prepare for marching next
morning, earlv, with three days' rations in the haversacks
and live in the wagons to accompany' each Regiment.
Althoupfh simihu- orders had been issued several times betbre,
during our stay here, vet there were many indications now
that tliis order was not to be countermanded. It was to be
a move sure enough.

Wednesday, June 24, we broke up our pheasant camp and
started on the march at seven o'clock. It was a great sight
to see this grand army move out. With wagons, artillery,
cavalry, officers and men, in almost endless lines, the column
moved on various roads leading toward the enemy, ^rhe
air was rent with cheers and with music of Ixuids, as tliis
ijreat host, with banners ilvino-, marched forth airain to

Van Cleve's Division, of oiu" Corps, was lett in tlie fortitica-
tions at Murfreesboro. We moved out on the Bradyville
pike. Palmer's Division was in the ad\ance of Wood.


About nine o'clock it beijjan to rain and soon the dust\' pike
was converted into a thorou

Online LibraryJohn J. HightHistory of the Fifty-eighth regiment of Indiana volunteer infantry. Its organization, campaigns and battles from 1861 to 1865 → online text (page 12 of 47)