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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described are true pictures, drawn bv a close observer of
men and affairs, and reads like a tale of romance. To the
man}' friends of the deceased author this book will be a rare
souvenir of priceless value. How it will be prized, espec-
ially by tlie surviving members of his old Regiment. As
the battle scared veteran, now nearing his end, peruses its
pagt\s what memories of the past will crowd his mind.
What visions of bv-gone vears now rise before him. He
lives his armv life over again. He hears the shout of battle,
liie roar of cannon, the rattle of musketr^' and the clash of
arms. Amid the wounded and tiie dving that lie here and
tliere on the field of carnage and death there bends a majestic
form, doing all in his power to alleviate their sufferings and
cheer up their feinting hearts. Who is he? Why, that is
the faithful Chaplain, loved and respected b}'- every man in
the Regiment.

Many a mother, as she reads in this book a touching ref-
erence to her sick soldier boy, and how tenderly he was
cared for by this good man, will thank God in her heart,
and bless the name of John J. Hight.

This book will alike be interesting to the members of the
Indiana Conference, with whom Dr. Hight was associated
for a third of a century, and the people of the respective
charges he served as pastor. In every sentence and para-
graph will stand out in bold relief some characteristic of
Chaplain Hight; "How that sounds like John," will be
said time and again bv those who knew iiim intimately.



1» IXTRODKTFOX.

Tlie new generation will also read this book, not only ior
the valuable information it contains, but the vein of humor
and occasional flashes of wit running through every chapter.

But to the cultured wife and daughter, who still live to
mourn the loss of a faithful husband and affectionate father,
this book will be an invaluable treasure, and ever remind
them of one of the purest lives that ever lived.

After awhile it may be asked. Who was Chaplain Might?
What State in the Union produced such a man ? WHiere did
he come from ? and What was the secret of his success in
life? The men of the Grand Army of the Republic are
rapidly passing away. Few are left. Tiie great majorily
who battled under the flag of our country for its life, are
sleeping their last sleep. The time is not far distant in the
future when the last living comrade of tiiese dead will cross
the dark river, to join the great armies gone before. Tiie
early associates of Chaplain Hight, in the ministry, are just
as rapidly passing away. Of those who constituted the
Indiana Conterence when he entered, only a handful
remains. Soon the gates will open and tlie last one pass
out into the unseen.

For the benefit of those who are to come hereafter — the
children's children — of the surviving veterans, and thous-
ands of others, the following brief sketch of the life, char-
acter and work of Chaplain Hight is herein inserted by one
who was the friend and companion of his youth :

Born in Bloomington, Ind., December 4, 1834, and died
in Cincinnati, Ohio, December 18, 1886.

Graduated in the Indiana State University with credit to
himself and that institution, August 4, 1854.

United with the M. E. Church in his native town, Novem-
ber 20, 1853, and entered the traveling connection in the
Indiana Conference November 15, 1854.

His flelds of labor were diversified. Two years were
spent in circuit work ; eleven in station work ; three as
Chaplain in the Union army ; one as Centennary agent in the
interest of our denominational schools: four in district work



INTRODrCTION. 19

as Presiding Elder, and eleven as associate editor of the
West cm Christian Advocate.

Thus, for nearly a third of a century Chaplain I light was
prominently before the public. With tongue and pen, bv
precept and example, with tears and entreaties, he labored
to exalt the race and make the world better. He had all the
instincts and elements of the true reformer, and it was his
soul's delii/ht to battle for the rio-ht. And now that we no
longer see his manly form among the children of men, nor
hear his voice in trumpet tones rallying the hosts of right-
eousness to greater conquests, we cannot make him dead ;

"There are no dead."
It is true, many of them are gone ; singly the}' came, singly
they depart. When their work was done they lay down to
sleep : but never one hath died.

Chaplain Hight had great hope in the future for his coun-
tr^•. He believed the bitterness engendered by sectional
strife woidd ere long die out, and the flag he loved wave in
the sunsiiine of peace and prosperity throughout the length
and breadth of our vast domain. Then

•'Some sweet bird of the South,
Would build in everv cannon's mouth
Till the only sound from its rusty throat
Would be a wren's or a blue bird's note."

To-day, if Chaplain Hight could whisper in mortal ear
across the great gulf betwixt this and the life beyond, he
would say to his friends that still linger on the shores of
time,

"So live that when the Mighty Caravan,
Which halts one night time in the vale of death,
Shall strike its white tents for the morning march
Thou shalt mount onward to the eternal hills;
Thy foot unwearied and thj strength renewed
I.ike the strong eagle's, for the upward flight."

J. H. KETCHAM.

Mt. Vernon, Ind.



CHAPTER I.



Preliminary En'knts of i86i — How tiik News of the
Firing on Fort Sumter Aroused the Loyal Peo-
ple — Enthusiastic Response to the Call of Gov.
Morton — Companip:s and Regiments in Southern
Indiana — The 58T11 Indiana R]'

12
I

I

6




2

a
3'


3







X

<


<
P
3
Q.
rt
■-1

at!

I
I




p*

3

fD

E


1-3

p_


Field and StaC.

Company A

Company B

Company C

Company D_. ..

Company E

Company F

Company G

Company H

Company I

Company K__ _


6
73
97
66

42

24
3

5

2

29


I

73


II

42

I


13

4


7
I

2


7
4

2


4

I
I
5
5

2

I

4
23


n
103

105
104

85
88

lOI

105

1

39


Total...


347


273


74


c


4


58


20


17


10


13


891



By the loth of November the Companies had all taken up
their abode in camp and the men had become more or less
familiar with camp duties. Temporary barracks had been



:j() CHAl'LAIN IIIUIITS HISTORY OF TIIK

constructed b}- utilizing the exhibition sheds and cattle and
horse stalls on the fair ground, making quite comfortable
quarters for the boys who were learning the art of soldier-
ing. Still, this mode of life was a great change from that to
which many of the new soldiers had been accustomed and
the effect of the change soon began to show in the increased
number requiring medical treatment. The camp hospital
was soon tilled with the sick, many of them suffering witli
the measles. There was one death in camp, and there was
just enough of a glimpse of the solemn realities of a soldier's
life in the field to cause those who were capable of such a
tiling to think seriously of the business before them. But
such things did not disturb many, none, in fact, to such an
extent that they desired to back out of their agreement to
serve for "three years or during the war." So it was
when the mustering officer came, on the 12th of Nova^mber,
there was found no one in camp with an inclination to step
out of the ranks. There was rather a disposition to make



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 2 of 47)