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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The hours pass, the work in the rifle pits goes bravely on.
By night the preparation for defence had so far progressed
that Bragg would have tound trouble in abundance if he had



FIFTY-inCiHTH INDIANA REGIMENT. lit!)

tried to come in. More than this, the spirit of our army was
revived and the men were impressed wath a determination to
stay .

On the morning of the 23d General Rosecrans rode around
tlie lines and examined the works. He said to tiie men :
"We did not come here to hght the whole Southern confed-
eracy, but now, if they want to, let them come on. We are
readv for them." "Old Rosey," as the boys called him,
was received evervwhere with great enthusiasm.

During the week following this the 58th shifted its posi-
tion several times, and finally was posted in line to the right
of Fort Wood. Tlie rebel army was posted along Mission-
ary Ridge and across the valley to Lookout Mountain, com-
pletelv encircling the town. The two armies are in plain
view of each other, and occasionally some shot and shell are
exchanged. But no serious damage w'as done on either
side. Our picket lines were close to the enemy and at first
picket firing was freely indulged in. Soon this became
monotonous and annoying, without accompanying benefit,
and, by mutual consent, a truce was declared. The blue and
the grav maintained a condition of friendly intercourse,
often meeting between the lines to exchange coffee and
tobacco, etc.

Sunday, October 4. — This was a very blustery day.
Bad for out-door preaching, but it was either that or noth-
ing. Our preaching services have been interrupted for some
time, for sufficient reason. To-da}', Rev. Thompson, Chap-
lain of the 64th Ohio, preached in our camp, on "Thou
Shalt Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself," Some, whose
logical abilities are rather poor, thought he advocated
"nigger equality." But he simply advocated the principle
of dealing justly, even wuth the lowlv negroes, and his argu-
ment was good.

In the evening I preached on tlie propriety of improving
the lessons constantlv presented to the soldier. We thus
imitate Jesus, who drew lessons of morality from every
object that was presented to him. There are many helps to



200 CHAPLAIN HTGHT'S HISTOKV OF THE

Christianity in the experience of the soldier. From the
change ot dress of the citizen to the uniform of the soldier
he should learn to have his "garments washed and made
white in the blood of the Lamb."' When he becomes a sol-
dier, he must give up the rights of a citizen, and submit to
be governed bv the military authorities. So, in becoming a
Christian one must bring his will into subjection to God.
In entering the army, we must be instructed in military tac-
tics and experience. So if vou would be a Christian, vou
must be a disciple.

An armv must exercise constant watchfulness. So must
the Christian. An armv must have an uninterrupted base of
supplies, and draw thence subsistence for man and beast.
The Christian must draw his supplies of grace, day by day,
tVom God. He can not live without his spiritual rations.
Courafjc must be a characteristic of both soldier and CIums-
tian.

The soldier must be read\' to march at a moment's notice.
He must not be encumbered with useless baggage. So must
the Christian be readv for death. The presence of death
among us ought to impress on our minds, "Be ye also
ready . ' '

A long train of ambulances started this morning, with
wounded, for Bridgeport. The authorities seem to antici-
pate some danger, for thev are moving the wounded back,
without regard to lite or limb. l^oor Captain Davis was
sent off; I know not whv. I am at raid that it will kill him.
All the wounded of our Regiment, on this side of the river,
except Chew, Steward, Lockwood, Lounsdale, Rosebor-
ougli, Grav and Singleton, were taken off on this train. We
have about twentv wounded on the other side of tlie Tennes-
see River, at the Held hospital.

Monday, Octohkk 5. — The dull monotonv of the siege
of Chattanooga was broken at about eleven a. m. by a rebel
shell bursting on the picket line in front of Fort Negley.
The pickets maintained their position, but llie stragglers
retreated in (food order. Another shell fell nc^ar the lort.



FlFTY-EKiHTH INDIANA HIXilMENT. 201

Another reached General Rosecrans' headquarters. One
bursted just in front of our Regiment. Bv this time they
came plentifully along the whole line. Our guns responded
slowly, and at long intervals, as if to say, "The Yankees are
still here, but are not anxious for a ti. Cliristian Commission. Rev. Mr. Hiofh. from



FIFTY-EKIHTH INDIANA KIXIIMENT. -JOT)

"away down East," was praying when I entered. He has
quite a Yankee aftVctation in his speech, so that at times it is
difficult to understand him. He has long hair — falling upon
the collar of his coat. After prayer, about one hour was spent
in talking on religion, by the men present. One fellow said
that one day, when he was plowing, "a still small voice"
came to him and told him that he was not prepared to die.
He felt bad about one year. One night he had pleasant
dreams. Next morning he felt all right. I suppose he must
be a Hardshell Baptist. I believe thev can dream away sin.
Most of the speaking was in good taste.

Lieutenant-Colonel Embree, having resigned, left the
Regiment Saturday morning for his home. He made a short
farewell address to the Regiment before leaving, stating,
that on account of the recent death of his father and also his
wife, it was necessary for him to leave the arm}', to look after
business requiring his attention at home, tie regretted very
much that he had to leave the Regiment, with whom he had
been so long associated. He complimented the men on
tiieir discipline and their bravery, tested on many occasions,
and invoked the blessings ot Heaven to rest upon them.
He expressed the hope, that when they returned to their
homes, they mig-ht find their domestic circles unbroken.
Colonel Embree has the respect and good will of every man
in the Regiment, and we are sorry to have him leave us.

Sunday, October 25. — General Palmer's Division
moved across and down the Tennessee. The 58th and 57th
Indiana, and 26th and 97th Ohio, and perhaps some other
Regiments, moved out to take the place made vacant on the
line. This leaves our camp very thinly inhabited.

I was awakened at five minutes before one o'clock, on the
morning of the 27th, dreaming of cannon, and with the
sound of heavy cannonading in my ears. Pulling on my
boots, I stepped to the door of my shanty. Beyond Look-
out Mountain, there was heavy cannonading and musketry.
I soon retired to bed, as the night was cold. But the sound
ot l:)attle continued, and I again arose, and listened until



206 CHATLAIX HKiHT'S HISTOIfY OF THE

about thrre a. m. I then fell asleeji. I am ii^norant of tlio
cause of this li(rhtinir. We have had a thousand rumors
to-dav, but notliin



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 17 of 47)