John K. Duke.

History of the Fifty-third regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, during the war of the rebellion, 1861 to 1865. Together with more than thirty personal sketches of officers and men online

. (page 17 of 24)
Online LibraryJohn K. DukeHistory of the Fifty-third regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, during the war of the rebellion, 1861 to 1865. Together with more than thirty personal sketches of officers and men → online text (page 17 of 24)
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chester, a manufacturing city on the James River. We crossed
the river on pontoons, and passed through the city of Richmond
and had a fair view of those hated prisons, Libby, Belle Island,
and Castle Thunder.

.\.good part of Richmond was in ashes. If our army could
have had a few hours to stay, it is to be apprehended that
this city would have shared the same fate as Columbia, South


Carolina. The business houses were opened and apparently well
stocked, but as we had not been favored by the sight of a pay-
master for some months, and not being permitted to forage, we
had to content ourselves by longingly looking at the palatable
goods and letting our hungry mouths water. One consoling re-
flection, however, came to the present writer, namely, that mother
would greet John with several good square meals, when he was for-
tunate enough to reach her home. The country in and around
Richmond was good. We marched 12 miles.

On May 14th we moved at daybreak and marched about 4
miles and on the morning of the loth we again left camp at day-
break and proceeded to the Pamunkey river, stacked arms and
rested, but finally moved on, going 18 miles during the day. We
passed Hanover Court House, which was of an ancient date, hav-
ing been built in 1735, at least according to the inscription on the

On the 16th we moved at 6:40, passing the town of Bowling
Green. "Hot and weary" was the general complaint. May 17th
we had reveille at 5 and marched at 6 a. m. At 10 o'clock we
passed through Fredericksburg and crossed the Rappahannock
River on a pontoon bridge. We marched on to Aquia Creek,
where we camped for the night after travelling some 23 miles.
We passed Stafford Court House. Many of the boys were sick, tired,
and straggling, which was in consequence of the heat, the dust,
and endless marching we were doing. •

On the 18th of May we moved at 7:30 a. m., crossed Aquia
Creek, and halted at Dumfries Court House. We marched 20
miles and camped at 5 p. m. Here we caught our first view of the
famous Potomac. At sight of the river the yell was started :
"All quiet along the Potomac." It passed all long the line, our
boys rejoicing that it was quiet.

On May 19th we left camp at 7 a. m., crossed Bull Run, pass-
ing near Mt. Vernon, and camped at 4 p. m., after marching 12


miles. May 20th we remained in camp. May 21st we moved at
noon, marched six miles and camped within six miles of the Cap-
ital, where we remained until the morning of the 24th, when we
crossed the Potomac on Long Bridge at daylight, coming into
Washington City for the Grand Review. We stacked arms near
the Capitol and remained there until 9 a. m., when we took our
place in the columns for review, passing the reviewing stand at
1 1 o'clock, we then passed out of the city and camped some four
miles away.

The contrast between the two armies, East and West, was
very noticeable. The former, while they had performed arduous
duties and had done valiant fighting and lots of it yet it was over but
a limited extent of country, and always, or nearly so, close to the
base of supplies ; hence, at the time of the parade they were for
the most part in bright new uniforms, with clean accoutrements ;
while our western army was just in from over a year's campaign-
ing, bronzed, ragged, shoeless, and dirty ; but the healthiest and
bravest lot of dare-devils that ever paraded in review before an
American public.

From May 26th to the 31st inclusive, we were in and about
the city of Washington. Owing to the large aggregation of troops
the Quarter-Master General was not able to feed us ; so, for some
fortv-eio-ht hours we were without food at the capital. When our
Division Quarter-Master was supplied on Sunday evening, he con-
cluded that because it was raining he would not issue the rations
to the Brigade Quarter-Masters until Monday. As this word
passed along the line mutterings could be heard which eventually
became a rumbling noise, as about fifty or sixty per cent, of the
division, hungry and enraged, proceeded to the headquarters of
the division quartermaster. When he took in the situation he
mounted the head of a pork barrel and made a speech promising
to issue the rations at once, and with them a large ration of
whiskey. His promises, however, did not satisfy the boys. They
were hungry, and they proceeded to issue the rations. He had


a large quantity of soft bread for the officers, and this was the first
to disappear ; then everything went as if by magic, leaving the
heartless quartermaster minus all supplies, whiskey included.

On June 1st the regiment took the cars for Parkersburg, then
went by transports down the Ohio to Louisville, Kentucky. On
June 5th we made our only stop at Portsmouth, Ohio. The boys
had one hour off for the city. The citizens had comparatively no
notice of our approach, yet the loyalty and generosity of the peo-
ple were displayed in an agreeable manner.

On June 6th we arrived at Louisville, and camped near the
water works, two and a half miles from the city. While at Louis-
ville, Major Galloway was commissioned Lieutenant-Colonel of the
53rd, and took command of the regiment. Disappointment, how-
ever, awaited us at this city. We expected to be mustered out of
the service and sent home, but, to our chagrin, we were sent to
Little Rock, Arkansas, for further service.

On June 24th we took transports for Little Rock, disembark-
ing there July 4th. We received orders for final muster out, and
this being completed, we took transports for home August 11th.
The command, in due course of time was at Camp Dennison for
pay and discharge.

On August 25th we were paid, and began to separate for our
homes. The reader should not imagine that our separation was
all rejoicing. Four years of constant association had forged ties
of friendship which were not to be sundered without a pang. At
.the final " Good-bye, and God bless you," many were the tears that
trickled down the bronzed cheeks of the veterans.

The history of the 53rd Ohio would be incomplete without
the enumeration of the battles and skirmishes in which the regi-
ment bore an honorable part. It will be observed that on some oc-
casions we had sieges, or in other words, many days and weeks of
fighting ; hence we give the number of our attacks in detail :



Shiloh, Tenii 1

Approaches to Corinth f^

Siege of Corinth 1

La Grange, Tenn 1

Moscow, Tenn 1

Holly Springs, Miss 1

Wallace Mills, Miss 1

Yocona River . . t 1


Siege of Vicksburg 1

Black River, Miss 1

Jackson, Miss 3

Colliersville, Tenn 1

Florence, Ala . . .- 1

Lookout Mountain, Tenn • 1

Mission Ridge, Tenn 3

Knoxville, Tenn 1


Snake Creek Gap, Ga ' 1

Resaca, Ga 3

Kingston, Ga 1

Dallas, Ga < 3

Burnt Hickory, Ga 1

Ackworth, Ga 1

Big Shanty, Ga 1

Big Kenesaw Mountain, Ga 3

Little Kenesaw, Ga 1

Knickajack, Ga 1

Before Atlanta, Ga 3

'Siege of Atlanta. Ga . . 7

Battle of Atlanta, Ga 3

Jonesboro, Ga 6

Milledgeville, Ga 1


Fort McAllister, Ga ... 1

Savannah, Ga .... 1


North Edisto River, S. C 1

Columbia, S. C • 2

Bentonville, N. C 1

Total 69
And our record would still be incomplete did it not recount
the history of our flag and its color-bearers.



First — Mission Ridge, Tennessee, November. 24th, 1863.

Second — Knoxville, Tennessee, December 5th, 1863.

Third— Resaca, Georgia, May 13th, 14th, 15th, 1864.

Fourth— Dallas, Georgia, May 27th 28th, 1864.

Fifth — Kenesaw Mountain, Georgia, June 27th, 1864.

Sixth— Ruff's Mills, Georgia, July 3rd, 1864.

Seventh — Before Atlanta, Georgia, July 22nd, 1864.

Eighth— Before Atlanta, Georgia, July 28th, 1864.

Ninth — Flint River, Georgia, August 30th, 1864.

Tenth — Jonesboro, Georgia, August 31st, 1864.

Eleventh — Jonesboro, Georgia, September 1st, 1864.

Twelfth — Lovejoy Station, Georgia, September 3rd, 1864.

Corporal William H. Sheldon, Co. I, wounded while carrying
the flag, June 27th, 1864.

Corporal Alex McBride, Co. A, wounded while carrying the*
flag, June 27th, 1864.

Sergeant Isaac Wheeler, Co. C, wounded while carrying the
flag, July 3rd, 1864.

Ijattle Flag of the -jorjj u. \ . I.

See Page 202.


. . ^ *■ ■ ■ — - - ■ -■

Corporal Charles Burgess, Co. D, wounded while carrying the
flag, July 3rd, 18G4.

Corporal Thomas Kellie, Co. B, wounded while carrying the
flag, July 22nd. 18

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 17 19 20 21 22 23 24

Online LibraryJohn K. DukeHistory of the Fifty-third regiment Ohio volunteer infantry, during the war of the rebellion, 1861 to 1865. Together with more than thirty personal sketches of officers and men → online text (page 17 of 24)