John J. Hight.

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

. (page 46 of 47)
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 46 of 47)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

With officers of everj' grade, no flinching here was seen.
The soldiers of the Cumberland — their laurels ever green.
October ist, 1S63.


Chaplain Might's Report to Conference.

The following letter ot' Chaplain Hight to his brethren of
the M. E. Conference, in 1863, was Ibund among his
papers. It is submitted as his own review of his work in
the arm\- up to that date :

Camp at Thlrman's. Seqj.atchie Valley. Texn., )

August 22, 1S63. )'

To the Bishop and Members of the Indiana Conference:

Dear Fathers and Brethren: Again I am deprived of the privilege
of meeting vou in Conference. It is with much regret I deny myself this
pleasure, annually enjoyed since my entrance upon the ministry. But the
exit^encies of active war detain me on the field. A short communication
from me mav not be inappropriate, as there is no superintendent over me to
report my case.

While pastor of Simpson Chapel. Greencastle. Ind.. in March. 1S62, I
unexpectedlv received notice of my appointment as Chaplain of the ^Sth
Indiana Volunteers. Being anxious to enter the army in that capacity, I did
not hesitate long about accepting. I entered upon duty at Nashville, Tenn.,
on the 24th of that month. I have continued with the Regiment from that
to the present dav. except one week spent in a hospital, sick, and twenty days
on furlough, during most of which latter time I was doing duty for the men.
When I entered the service I met many difficulties in the discharge of the
duties of the Chaplaincy:

1. Mvself and all about me were entirely without experience in religious
labors in the army.

2. But little interest was manifested by the public at home. We had no
suitable hvmn books; we had no Christian Commission; we had none of
those ample arrangements for the spiritual good of the soldiers, since put in

3. The soldiers had come out for a 'big spree;"' they generally seemed a
rollicking set of "bold soldier boys," who had adjourned piety until "a more
convenient season."

4. That opposition which is kept down by public sentiment at home
broke out unrestrained in the army. Obstructions were thrown in the way
of the Gospel by those in high and low places. Every tale that scandal
could devise was set afloat against the followers of Christ, whether Chaplain


or not. "They played cards, drank whisky, and swore," were the common
representations of these revilers of the people of our God. Strange to say,
many good people lent themselves to a repetition of these slanders.

5. Our people seemed to think that this war was a very small matter, and
could be finished by human power in a very short time. But little attention
was given the Providence of God. We marched and tbught as frequently on
Sabbath as any other day. No conveniences for religious meetings were
aftbrded us. In short, religion was almost wholly ignored in the army.

In the midst of these discouragements, I have labored, with the satisfac-
tion of seeing each of them growing, less day by day. By the help of many
friends, our Regiment has been supplied with reading matter since about the
middle of June, 1862. The U. S. Christian Commission has been foremost
in supplying our wants in this department. The soldiers have been very lib-
eral in purchasing good reading matter and in contributing to the various
societies for the diffusion of religious knowledge. Last spring two hun-
dred copy books were distributed in the Regiment, at the expense of the
men. An instructor in penmanship was appointed in every Company, and
nearly all who could not write have learned, and many others have improved
in penmanship. The American S. S. Union sent me four hundred and forty
copies of the Bible Reader and seventeen sets of the accompanying charts.
I used these in instructing soldiers to read. We had about seventy -five in the
Regiment who could read but little, all of whom made some progress, and
some have become good readers. Having given mv attention to them for a
long time, I liave latterly opened a school for the benefit of the negroes in
camp. Previous to our present march I had a class of fifty or more, some of
whom learned to read within two weeks. By this process the institution of
slavery is surely being overthrown. The accursed laws of the South against
the education of the blacks are annulled, the bitter prejudice against negroes
is being rendered still more causeless, freed are being prepared for freedom,
and all the advantages of knowledge are brought to a long neglected and
oppressed race. With eagerness they improve the opportunity thus pre-
sented to them. They cling to their books during our weary marches
through the mountains, and spend their spare moments in conning over their

In spiritual matters I can report great progress. When in camp we hold
fi\e services each week — two sermons, one conference, and two praver meet-
ings. All of these are well attended and deeply interesting. We have a
large and growing Regimental Christian Society. Sincfe the battle of Stone
River, I have baptized nineteen, and received thirty-four applications for
membership in the churches at home. Many have professed religion, and
many backsliders have been reclaimed. Our meetings are attended bv manv
from beyond our Regiment, from Major-Generals down to camp followers.
Many officers manifest a deeper interest than formerly in religion, and have
given up profanity and other evil habits. These happy results have all been
accomplished by the amazing grace of God, who can and does work even in
the army.

Two motives have urged me forward in my labors. One is the uncer-
tainty of life with the soldiers. Thev fall bv thousands in battle and of dis-


ease. We leave them in every valley, and upon every hill and mountain
side. They give their lives for their country, and shall they perish without
the ordinances of the Church? Should we not make their privileges greater
than the ancient people of God. who could not "sing the Lord's song in a
strange land? "

Again, I am deeply impressed with the truth, "Like army, like people."
There is no escape from the fact, the armj' rules and will rule the nation.
Upon the success of the army depends the success of the Government; they
stand or fall together. It is manifest to the observation of all, that the unan-
imous and unflinching stand of the army has saved the country, politically,
within the last year. Demoralization of the army would demoralize the
Nation. If our soldiers become corrupt, the whole Nation will go back-
ward. Then must ruin o\ertake our fair land, "for a demoralized people,
spring never revisits, and day never dawns on the night of their shame." I
am glad that I can hope, that the soldiers of the 5Sth Indiana will return to
bless, and not blight society.

Of course I meet hindrances, but they "are trifles, light as air." On the
other hand, I have been much encouraged by my fellow soldiers, by every
Regimental, Brigade, Division, and Corps commander I have had, by the
words of cheer and prayers of friends at home, and especially by the blessing
of Heaven ever bountifully bestowed. Much, therefore, as I love home, and
cherish the pleasures of Christian society, I am content to remain in the
field. If it be my lot to fall in the conflict, I shall bear with me to the grave
the sincerest consolation of having died for the extinction of slavery, and for
the establishment of freedom, unity, and the glory of our Nation. I ear-
nestly ask the prayers of the people of God for myself and the arm^'.

I ask to be continued as Chaplain to the 5Sth Indiana Volunteers, and
member of Simpson Chapel Qiiarterly Conference.

Wishing that the blessings of God may rest upon you in your delibera-
tions, that ^■ourselves and families may enjoy health and happiness, and that
Heaven may abundantly smile upon and crown your labors with success, I
subscribe myself, Your brother in Christ,



Dr. Andrew Lewis.

Dr. Andrew Lewis, under whose direction the 58th Indiana was recruited
and organized, was born April 19th, 1S13, in Lewisburg, New York county,
Pennsylvania, and died in Princeton, Ind., March loth, 1S77. lie was the
fifth son of Doctor Webster Lewis, a physician of great eminence in that
state. After completing a common school education the subject of this
sketch turned his attention to the study of medicine. In 1839 he left Lewis-
burg. intending to settle in Iowa, but, getting out of funds, stopped in Gibson
county, Indiana, to recruit his finances. Here, he engaged in manual labor
on the Wabash and Erie canal, then in the course of construction. After-
wards he resumed the study of medicine, with his brother, in Boonville, Ind.,
and in January, 1841, began his first practice in Winslow, Ind. In April,
1843, he removed to Princeton, Ind., where he continued the practice of his
profession until 1850. At this time he became a candidate of the Whig
party for County Clerk and was successful. In 1855 he was re-elected and
served to the end of his term.

Dr. Lewis was a man of great energy and enterprise, and devoted his
time and means very largely to the promotion of the public and private
interests of the town and community in which he lived. He took an active
part in the incipient steps that brought into existence the first railroad
through this town — now the Evansville & Terre Haute. It was mainly
through his eflbrts that the main line of the Louisville, Evansville & St.
Louis railroad was located through the countv of Gibson and town of Prince-
ton, lie was interested in the construction of the road and it was largely
through his energy that this railroad enterprise was sustained through its
primitive struggles, and was kept in a condition for others to push to ulti-
mate completion. Unfortunately, this enterprise did not prove profitable to
Dr. Lewis. His large fortune, which he had amassed in other enterprises,
was shattered in this. He was left largely involved, and was never able to
recover the loss.

But it is more within the province of this sketch to speak of the loyalty
and patriotism of Dr. Lewis. As has already been intimated, he was in
thorough sympathy with the war for the suppression of the rebellion. It was
through his suggestion and influence that the order was secured from Gov-
ernor Morton to organize the 58th Indiana Regiment at Princeton. He was
appointed to recruit the Regiment, and at once began the work. A camp
was established in the Gibson county fair grounds in the latter part of Sep-
tember, and several Companies were entered as a nucleus for the Regiment.
Within four weeks the organization was complete. Dr. Lewis was
appointed Colonel, but his business was such that he could not go to the
field, and he had to decline the appointment.

Governor Morton subsequently appointed him Commandant of the First
Congressional District, and as such he recruited three other Regiments,
namely, the 65th, 8oth and 91st Indiana Regiments. The service of no one
in the State was more highly prized by Governor Morton than was that
of Dr. Lewis. He devoted his best energies to the cause of his country at a
time when it was in a struggle for its existence. His contribution to
this cause was not alone in labor, but also in money, clothing and food for
soldiers' families. He was known at home and abroad as the friend of the
soldier and the soldier's family.



General George P. Buell was the second son of George
P. and Ann Lane Buell, and was born October 4, 1833, in
Lawrenceburg, Indiana. His early life was spent on the
farm in Dearborn county, of his native State. He attended
school in the country, and town, until old enough to be sent
to Greencastle college, where he remained some years.
Afterward he went to Norwich Militar^^ Institute, at Nor-
wich, Vermont, for a scientific course, and graduated in
civil engineering. When the war broke out, he was in Col-
orado, pursuing his profession. He resigned his position,
returned to Indiana, and entered the volunteer army as Lieu-
tenant-Colonel of the 58th Regiment Indiana Infantry. He
was promoted to Colonel, and in a few months had com-
mand of a Brigade. He was a Brigade commander during
the remainder of his army service, and near the close of the
war was made Brevet Brigadier-General.

He entered the regular army July 28, 1866, as Lieutenant-
Colonel of the 29th Infantry. Was transferred to the iith
Infantry, March 15, 1869. He was breveted Brigadier-
General, U. S. A., March 2, 1867, for gallant and meritori-
ous service during the war, and on March 20, 1879, was
promoted to the Colonelcy of the 15th Infantry, which posi-
tion he held at the time of his death.

His service in the regular army was, with the exception of
two or three years, on the frontier in Texas, Dakota, Mon-
tana, New Mexico and Colorado. During these years he
was engaged in a great man}' Indian campaigns, command-
ing large bodies of troops, and often in the field months at a
time. Such continued hard service greatly impaired his
health, and, in 1882, he was forced to take a leave of
absence, hoping that complete cessation from all duty might
restore him. liut his constitution was so broken that neither
rest nor the best medical skill could save his life. After
months of great suffering he ]")assed awav. May 31, 1883, at
his countrv home near Nashville.


During the war General Buell formed the acquaintance of
Miss Rochie Brien, near Nashville, Tennessee, and on
December 27, 1865, they were married. One son, Don
Carlos Buell, was the result of this union. Mrs. lUiell and
her son are still liv'ino- near Nashville at the time this sketch
is written (1895) .

The following editorial notice appeared in a Nashville
paper the day following his death :


General George Pearson Buell, Brevet Brigadier-General of the United
States army, and Colonel of the 15th United States Infantry, died at his
home near this city yesterday afternoon at 3:10 o'clock. He was born at
Lavvrenceburg, Indiana, October 4, 1S33, and graduated from Norwich Mili-
tarv Uni\ersitv, Vermont. He entered the volunteer ser\ice in December,
1S61, as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 58th Indiana Infantry, was in all the bat-
tles of the western army, except the battle of Nash\ille, and rose to the rank
of Brigadier-General of volunteers. Was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of
the 29th United States Infantr\' on the 2Sth of June, 1S66, and Colonel of the
15th United States Infantry March 20, 1S79. ^^^ ^'^'^^ breveted Brigadier-
General, I'nited States army, March 2, 1S67, for long, faithful and most val-
uable services.

After the war General Buell was united in marriage to Miss Rochie
Brien, only daughter of the late Judge John S. Brien, by Rev. Samuel D.
Baldwin. General Buell lea\es surviving him his wife and only son, Don
Carlos Buell. General Buell was a gallant and faithful soldier, sterling
patriot, a gentleman of high culture, a pure and good man. whose warm
heart and generous disposition endeared him to all his acquaintances. He is
a loss to the army and the nation. His deeply affected and distressed family
have our sincerest sympathy and condolence.


A meeting of the citizens of Nashville was lu>ld to take
action on the death of General Buell, June 2, 1883. It was
made up principally of men who had served in the late war,
some of wiiom had worn the gray. A committee was
appointed to draft resolutions expressive of their sorrow, in
the death of a loved comrade and a brave soldier.

Pending the action of the committee, a number of persons
gave personal testimony of their respect for General Buell,
as a citizen and a soldier. Among these expressions were
the following :

Captain John Ruhm said he knew a great deal about General Buell's
character. He commanded one of the finest Indiana Regiments. He was a
gallant soldier and a noble and generous one. He referred to his reputation
as an Indian fighter on the frontier in glowing terms.

Major A. W. Wills said: I am unable to add words expressive of the
great worth of the dejiarted, to the noble sentiments embraced in the resolu-
tions. 1 would say, however, that I have known the General long and well.


I was by his side as his groomsman in the happiest hour of his life, imless he
may have been happier when on the field of battle, for I never knew a man
who seemed to crave the field of carnage, as he did. So great was his ambi-
tion, so determined was he to reach the summit of the ladder of fame. He
was a brave and true patriot and soldier. He knew well his duty — he cared
not for trials and hardships. He was called by some a martinet. Yet he
only asked of his subordinates and his soldiers to do what he did. He never
said ''Push onward," but always "Follow me."' As a father and loving hus-
band, none ever excelled him. Brave, daring, and almost savage on the bat-
tlefield, at the fireside as gentle as a child. The nation has suffered almost
an irreparable loss, and ere the setting of many suns I doubt not the wild
Indian of the far West will join the war dance in rapturous delight over the
death of the great Indian fighter whom they have cause to know so well, the
late General Buell.

General W. H. Jackson said it was a sad pleasure to pay a tribute to the
worth of General Buell. He knew him well. He admired him because of
his gallant soldiership, but best on accoimt of his high regard for his duties
as a citizen. In the territory in which General Buell gained his distinction
he (General Jackson) had traveled and fought over the same ground.
Therefore, it had been a pleasure for them to meet and con\erse together.
General Buell had the highest regard for his duty as a father, making his son
a companion.

General G. P. Thruston said there were gentlemen present who knew
General Buell better than he, but so well were his characteristics known
throughout the army that he could speak. General Buell was made Brigade
commander at the battle of Stone River. At the battle of Chickamauga he
fought a fight that earned him a national reputation. In Georgia it was
through his instriunentality that many a bridge was built so rapidly as to
attract the attention of the world. These enabled the army to achieve many
noble victories. General Buell was a soldier and a friend. On either side
we are ready to honor such men.

The committee reported the following memorial, which
was unanimously adopted :

In the few words that can be written upon an occasion like this, it is
impossible to pay a just tribute to the life and eminent services of a charac-
ter like (General George P. Buell. His personal history is blended with many
memorable events in which he bore a conspicuous part. His military title
was not the gift of chance or friendship. It was fairly won upon many fields
during the late war, through years of faithful service. It was the reward of
his own personal gallantr\', intellectual force and ability to command. This
is already recorded as well in many historic papers as in the memory and
hearts of his comrades and those who admired him. Earl\' in the war he
rose to be Colonel in one of the finest Regiments in the Army of the Cum-
berland, and soon afterwards one of its Brigade commanders. At the battle
of Murfreesboro, at Chickamauga, at Atlanta, in the March to the Sea, at
Savannah, and at the last noted battle of the war, at Bentonville, North Car-
olina — the honorable part he bore has found its way into published military
records. Distinction also followed him since the war. In his Indian cam-
l>aign in the West, and in the varied relations in ci\il life, as citizen, neigh-
bor and friend, he has won the esteem and aftection of all who knew him.

He was an earnest, decided character, but just and modest, considerate
and generous. In the family circle he was beloved bevond expression in
words. We can only oiler our deep and tender sympathies to those sufier-
ing friends he loved so well.

Years of campaigning and exposure in the far West, as Colonel of his
Regiment in the regular army, finally impaired his health and caused iiis
untimeh- death.


His family and army comrades and grateful country cannot but feel the
profoundest sorrow that this brave spirit has thus been borne down in the
verj' prime of life and hope. Be it

Resolved, That a copy of this report be furnished to the daily papers at
Nashville, to the Army and Navy journal, and to General H. M. Cist, and
to the family of our friend, General Buell.






The chair, at the request of the family, appointed the following pall bear-
ers: Governor W. B. Bate, Honorable A. J. Caldwell, Postmaster W. P.
Jones, General W. H. Jackson, General G. P. Thruston, John Ruhm, Col-
onel VV. M. Woodcock, J. P. Drouillard, General J. F. Wheless, Major Hugh
Gwyn, Captain J. W. Morton and Major A. W. Wills.

Lieutenant=Colonel Joseph Moore.

Lieutenant-Colonel Moore spent most of his early life in Gibson county,
Indiana. At the commencement of the war he was in the mercantile busi-
ness in Francisco, Ind., but he decided to abandon civil pursuits and oflered
his services m defense of his country. A call for additional volunteers being
made in the summer of iS6i, he started out to recruit a Company, which was
soon accomplished, and at the organization he was elected its Captain.
This Company was ordered to rendezvous in the fair ground, at Princeton,
and was designated as Company B, of the ^Sth Indiana Regiment. After
about six months' service as Captain of the Companv, he was promoted to
Major of the Regiment, and about a year later to Lieutenant-Colonel, which
rank he held at the close of the war, when he was finally mustered out with
the Regiment. At Mission Ridge he was in command of the Regiment, and
led it in the charge on the rebel rille pits. He was also in command of the
Regiment in the Atlanta campaign, and on the "March to the Sea," and
through the Carolinas, and had charge of the Pontoon train, bridging all the
streams crossed by Sherman's arm^- on that memorable campaign. For his
ability and faithful performance of this dut}', he was highly complimented hy
his superior officers.

Soon after coming home from the army. Colonel Moore removed to Mis-
souri, where he was engaged in business for a few years. Then he returned
to Indiana, and located in Indianapolis, where he was engaged in the claim
and pension business for about twenty years. He was held in high esteem
by all who knew him. He was a true and brave soldier, and an honest,
upright citizen.

He died at his home in that city, May 7, 1S94, aged sixty -five years, after
a long illness from disease contracted in the army.


Lieutenant=CoIonel James T. Embree.

Lieutenant-Colonel James T. Embree was born in Princeton. Indiana,
January 27, 1829, and was a member of a family distinjjuished for ability in
tbe legal profession. His father was Judge Elisha Embree, a pioneer in
tlie profession of law in Gibson county, Indiana, and ranked as one of the
ablest members of the bar in the State. He served as judge of the Circuit
Coin-t and also as a representative in Congress from his district. James T.
was educated in Asbury University at Greencastle, Ind., graduating in 1S50,
read law with his father and graduated from the law department of the State
University at Bloomington in 1S52. He associated himself with his father
in the practice of his profession at Princeton, Ind., and was soon in posses-
sion of an extensive business. In 1S61 he was regarded as one of the ablest
advocates in Southern Indiana and had brilliant prospects for a long and
successful career.

But he was an intensely loyal man, not onl3' by instinct, but by inheri-
tance. In the stormy years of discussion and debate, preceding the war,
his voice and influence was in behalf of measures that would perpetuate
liberty and more firmly establish the Union. He was a Fremont elector
in 1856, and was in thorough sympathy with the sentiment that was
opposed to the extension of slavery and the aggressions of the slave
power, and, as a matter of course, was an ardent supporter of Abraham
Lincoln, in the memorable campaign for the presidency in 1S60. As a
further natural sequence, when the Southern slave oligarchy resorted
to arms for the purpose of breaking up the Union his patriotic blood was

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 46 of 47)