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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we were roused up and soon were on the road. At the
dead hour of night we marched through Danville, taking the
road to Stanford. Before long we were on to the rebels
and engaged in a sharp skirmish with them. We drove
them from the town and camped near them that night.
Next da}' we had another heavy skirmish at Crab Orchard,
and captured about twenty prisoners. This was the last
exchange of shots we had with any of 15ragg's army during
this campaign. He had been following us, or we had
been following him, for about two months, during which
time we had traveled over 500 miles, but the result of this
arduous campaign was anything but satisfactory. We had
the mortification now of knowing that Bragg was making
good his escape with all his spoils.

We proceeded on in the direction of Mt. \"ernon, but
stopped within two miles of the town. Starting again next
da\^ we got within four miles of Wild Cat and camped at
that place several days. This was our furthest advance in
that direction. When we moved again it was a retracing of
our steps. We passed through Crab Orchard and Stanford,
and then turned to the left, taking the Lebanon pike. It
was understood now that our orders were to go to Columbia,
Kentucky. There was nothing of interest that transpired
on this march. The country through which we passed was
rough and hilly ; the roads for the most part were narrow
and unimproved, consequently our progress was slow. At


the end ot tour chn's we arrived at Columbia in the midst ot*
a heavy snow storm. This was ihc 25tli ot' October and the
weather was nnusuallv cold. \\\^ were vet without tents
and had only a scanty supph- of blankets and clothing, so
that we were illv prepared to stand such weather. How-
ever, we had learned a jjfood deal about soldierincj bv this
time, and evervone knew how to adapt himself to the cir-
cumstances. In lieu of blankets that night we made use of
some adjoining hav stacks. With a bunch of hav to lie on
and another bunch for covering, and with the various other
devices for temporary shelter adopted, we managed to pass
a very comfortable night, despite the tact that snow contin-
ued to tall all tliat nipfht. Next mornino- the earh' riser,
in looking over the place wiiere the 58th went into camp the
previous night, would have discovered a great number of
snow covered mounds, the scene resembling very much a
populous country' cemetery. Later on there was a resurrec-
tion and a transformation of scenery, when our soldiers begun
to wake up and crawl out from under their covering of

We remained here for several days and during this time
w'e were made glad by the arrival of our wagon train, bring-
ing our tents and knapsacks. We had parted company with
these at Bowling Green. It was like old times when we got
our tents up and camp was arranged in regular shape again.

With our tents and wagons also came about ninety new
recruits, and several returning convalescents lor t!ie 58th.
These recruits had been enlisted in Indiana by the recruiting
party that left us at Decherd, under command of Lieutenant-
Colonel Embree and Captain (now Major) Moore. This
made (juite an addition to tlie somewhat depleted I'anks ol
the 58th, and with our change of clothes we began to look
more like a Regiment.

The same day that our baggage arrived we were ordered
to march, and accordingly started next uT^rning for Glasgow.
We occupied three days in getting to that place. After
Btavini: at Glasgow about a week we moved on toward


(lallatin, Tenn. We passed through Scottsville, Kentucky,
campino- there the second night after starting. We lay here
one day \yaiting orders. After two more da^^s' marching we
camped near the Cumberland river, on the pike leading from
Gallatin to Lebanon. Here we remained about two days.
In the meanwhile the 17th Indiana was sent as an escort for
a wagon train going to Mitchelsyille after rations, the Louis-
yille and Nashville railroad not being in operation further
than that place.

Starting again we forded the Cumberland river and struck
the Lebanon and Nashville pike and marched toward the
latter place. Our next camping place, lor a considerable
time^ was at a place known as Silver Spring, twenty miles
from Nashville. While here our old friend, John Morgan,
was hovering about our outposts, occasionally gathering up
a few of our pickets and straggling soldiers. This kind
of business became so bold that it was feared there was
a large force of rebels in the vicinity. In order to ascertain
the facts General Wood's Division was ordered to make
a reconnoisance toward Lebanon. We tound some rebel
cavalry near Lebanon and chased them through the town.
As they were mounted and we were afoot, they did not have
much trouble in keeping out of our reach. We learned that
Bragg's army was now concentrating at Murtreesboro and
some reported that he was preparing to move on to Nash-
ville with a large force. We were inclined to make a move
ot that kind ourselves, and about November loth we broke.'
camp at Silver Spring and started again in tliat direction,
following the main pike. On the way we passed the
"Hermitage," tlie home of General Andrew Jackson.
Qiiite a number of our boys availed themselves of the
opportunity to visit this noted place. We camped 'for about
a week at Stone river and then moved on to Nasiiville,
arriving there November 26th, and went into camp near the
Nashvalle and Chattanooga railroad, about three miles from
the city.


Stone Ri\er [Campaign — Preliminary E\'ents — Ofei-
ciAE Changes — Moving on to Murfreesboro —
Sharp Fight at Lwerc^ne — Driving the Rebels
Across Stewart's Creek — Opening of the Stone
River Battle — Panic on the Right — The 58th
Holds the Key Point — Engagement on the Left
— Incidents of the Several Days' Battle —

DURINCj ihe jTi'ogress of the march Irom Pen"v\'ilk' to
this phice there had been a change in the commander of
onr armv. October 30th General Buell was relieved bv
general order from the war department and Major-General
W. S. Rosecrans appointed to sncceed liini. The army was
now designated the '•'14th Army Corps, Department of the
Cnmberland," and was composed of all the troops that had
been under the command of General Buell. The sub-divis-
ions of this army were now designated as tiie Right Wing,
commanded by General McCook, Left Wing by (jeneral
Crittenden, Center bv General Thomas. The 5Sth remained
as before in Ilascall's Brij^ade of Woods Division, Lel\
Wing, n^ht' 17th Indiana was hvvv dc>tached fi-om our Bri-
gade and afterwards became a part of a mounted infantry
Brigade, commanded by Colonel J. T. Wilder.

As this cani]^ James M. Smith, Lieutenant in L'ompanv
K, was transtered to Company B and promoted Captain,
there were also several promotions in otiier Companies and
there was a general readjustment of afTairs all around. It



was soon e\-ulcnt that a more thorouj^li orifani/ation and a
stricter military discipline was lo be enforced nnder our new
commander. Soon after our arrival in this camp we had
our first i;'eneral review hv General Rosecrans. He rode
down tlie line, followed In' his stafT, and inspired contidence
in the soldiers by his fine military appearance and e\'ident
determination to accomplish something- worthy of the great
armv under him. We spent considerable time here drilling
preparatory to an actiye campaign. Our clothing and camp
equipage were looked after and we were soon able to pre-
sent a respectai")le ap-
pearance in this r(>gard.
Moreover, we wcrt^ al-
lowed full rations, a hix-
ur\- of which we had
been depri\-ed for mauA'

x\t last (.>\-er\-thing was
ready and the time to
advance against l^ragg's
army at Murfreesboro
had comc\ December
26th, just one month
from tht' tinn' of our
arrival in this cam]i, u e
started on oui' marcli to
Murtreesboro. A\'e left all our tents, caniji equipage and
wagons at Nashvilk\ excejit that c^ach Regiment was
allowed one wagon to haul oflicers' bedding, cooking uten-
sils and th(^ extra rations that t'ould not be carried by tin-
men in their hayersacks.

l)U . \\ . R. M MAIIAX, I.IKir. CO. K.*

* Was mustered in at Cainp Ciibson as Ser

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 9 of 47)