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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shade of the oaks. The soldiers were routrh, but not crim-
inal, in looks. They gave careful and serious attention to
every word. If I can not accomplish good by preaching on
"Prepare to Meet Thy God" to such a congregation, under



FIFTY-EIGHTJI INDIANA KEUIMENT. :{18

these circumstances, I can not do any good by preaching.
The Both Indiana was made up in the First Congressional
District, and is composed of splendid material. They have
seen hard service recently. Thev have marched from Mossy
Creek Station. The}^ were severely engaged at the battle of
Oostanaula, losino- some of their best men. Amon^r them
was William Archer, of Princeton, whom I married to an
estimable young lady — Miss Jane King. Recently they
have been in the front, and have had a few wounded. They
are now resting in the rear. The men are well tanned and
greatl}^ fatigued. Mav heaven smile upon these bronzed
heroes.

Major Downey returned tiiis morning witli Companies A
and F. They have been out about eight miles to cut timber
for the obstruction of the road. They report that they cut
timber in the roads for a hundred yards or more. The rebel
cavalry can not get in now, without one of three expedients
being resorted to : ist, go some other road ; 2d, pa^s
through the field along bv the side of this fallen timber; or,
3d, cut away the trees, which would take an hundred axes
nearly half an hour. I inquired of the Major whether he
had left our own cavalrv on the outside of the fallen timber.
Surely we would be utterlv undone if that were so.

The remainder of the Regiment, under Lieutenant-Col-
onel Moore, who are out in another direction, has not
returned. Perhaps they are like the man wlio stood on the
limb and cut it oif. They may be on the thither side of the
obstructions I

The signs of the political world are favorabk^. A respect-
able, though halting, anti-slaverv partv ha^ been organized
in Kentucky. Doctor Rreckenridge and Chaplain Bristow
took anti-slavery grounds in the convention. But most of
the delegates hesitate. Even this much is a triumph. Del-
egates were appointed to the Republican Na ional Conven-
tion. Tlie Radical Convention, of Mi;souri, which was
expected to throw fire-brands into the ranks, has voted to
send delegates to the same convention. All things seem to



;{U CHAPLAIN HKIHT'S HISTOHV OF THK

hv workinjf towards the renomination ot Abraham Lincohi.
He will be triumphantly elected.

The campaign west of the Mississippi has resulted disas-
trously to our arms. But steps have been taken to retrieve
these disasters. In the East, General (jrant has been suc-
cessful, thus far. But his progress has been slow, and every
step has been in blood. There is a prospect of the capture
of Riciimond. General Sherman's advance has been like
General Grant's. The fate of the Union is now being
decided. If Richmond and Atlanta fall, so does the South-
ern Confederacy.

Thursday, June 2. — Companies A and F marched early
this morning, under Major Downey, to repair \"aughan's
Ferry. The remainder of the Regiment, under Lieutenant-
Colonel Moore, returned from their obstructing tour. They
had been some twenty miles on the lett, into a tine country.
They obstructed roads and cut down bridges. This is pre-
paratory to a movement to the left. At one house a squad
of our men were very much taken with surprise, by being
treated so kindly. The lady desired them to stay lor din-
ner, but they did not have time. She then began loading
them down with every species of good things to eat. Our
boys were so little accustomed to kind treatment that they
were impressed that there was some mistake. . And so there
was. The lady mistook them for Conlederates I The boys
told her they were Yankees. But she had never seen any,
and refused to believe them. She thought the boys were
only joking. So she continued her deeds of kindness until
the\' departed, leaving her in blissful ignorance.

About noon tents were struck, and the entire train moved
out on the Vaughan Ferry road. We crossed the Pumpkin
Vine Creek, and submitted to a drenching rain on the other
side. After the men had fixed the ferry, and repaired the
ro.uN. we camped, near wStarns' Creek.

Friday, Jim-: .>. — One hundred men from the 58th, and
some otlior di^tails tVom the Pioneers, all inider Lieutenant
Ilunlingtoii, constructed a ]">ri(lge over Pumpkin \'iiu> Creek,



FIFTY-EIGHTH INDIANA I{E(;iMEXT. :n 5

near Vaughan's Ferrv. It is seventy-tive feet long.
Another detail, under Lieutenant Murray, constructed a sub-
stantial bridge over Starns' Creek.

Colonel Buell is ordered to march his command to Alla-
toona, and repair the roads as he goes, and we march at
eleven a. m. The rain is falling, and, as the road lits
through a marsh\' plain, the travel is bad.

Our general course is northeast. Having gone a few-
miles, we leave the road to Allatoona, and turn ofl' to the
inevitable Pumpkin Vine Creek. On the banks of this
stream we camp, in a wheat field and pine thicket. A bridge
is immediately commenced.

Sunday, June 5. — The Sabbath morning was gloomv. I
lay until near noon under my shelter, meditating on John
5 :24, "God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must wor-
ship Him in spirit and truth."

About noon the march towards Allatoona was resumed.
Companies A, F and D were left, under command of Major
Downey, to complete the bridge. After all the trestles were
up, save one bent, it fell down, but killed nobody. Cause :
The pins had not been put in I A Sergeant in charge
declared, "I knew a circumstance just like that once before"
"A wayfaring man, though a fool," would have pinned as
he went.

The clouds broke away. The sun resumed his wonted
splendor. We passed a part of the road where but few of
our men had passed. The train dragged heavily. Many of
the mules had had no corn for five days. They were very
poor when we started. A number of wagons did not reach
camp, and some of the mules died.

Allatoona is a deserted village, at the rear of the Allatoona
Hills. General Sherman flanked General Johnson out of
this position, by moving to the right.

Stopping an hour at Allatoona for supper, we finished our
march bv night. We stowed ourselves awav on a hillside,
near the Etowah river, for sleep. Here we experience the
disagreeable sensation of trying to sleep while slipping dov^n



HHi CHAPLAIN HKIHT'S HISTORY OF THE

tlie hill. But even this is more pleasant than a conscience
ill at ease. For the guilty man there is no rest. "The way
of the transgressor is hard."

Monday, June 6. — Early this morning we moved our
train to the river bank, near the railroad. The men were
encamped in an open field and the train parked on the river
bank. Under a wide-spreading walnut tree our Regimental
headquarters are pitched.

This is a romantic spot. On this side of the river there is
a basin, surrounded by the Allatoona Hills. Through this
basin the railroad runs, there being a fill of about fort}^ or
fifty feet. Into this valley General Johnson attempted to
draw General Sherman. But Sherman has been about too
much to be thus easily drawn in. On the other side of the
river there are two hills, with the railroad running between.
The one south of the railroad is the lower, and has some
fortification on its summit. It is about ninet3^-five feet abov^e
the river. The hill north of the railroad must be two hun-
dred feet hi



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 26 of 47)