Marion Morrison.

A history of the Ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry online

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on his face. The top of his head seemed to cave in, and the blood
spouted straight up several feet. I could see men fall as they attempted
to run, some with their heads to pieces, and others with the blood
streaming from their backs. It Was horrible. One poor fellow being
almost on me, told me his name, and asked me to take his pocket-book
if I escaped and give it to his mother, and tell her that he died u brave
man. I asked him if he was a Christian, and told him to pray, wliich^
he did, with the cannon thundering a deadly accompaniment. Poor
fellow. llfcrgot his request in the excitement. His legs were literally
cut to pieces. As our men returned, the enemy poured in their fire,
and I was hardly 30 feet from the mouth of the cannon. Minnie balls
filled the stump I was behind, and the shells ' bursted within three feet
of me. One was so near it stunne^ me/'and burned my face with pow-
der. The grape-shot hewedj^*ge pieces off my stump, gradually
wearing it away. I endured the horrors of death here for half an hour,
and endeavored to resign myself and prayed. ^)ur trogps formed iu
s , line in the woods, and advanced a second time* to the 'charge with
^jiieers. They began firing when about hlf way, and I had to endure

* it all. I was feigning death. I was right between our own and the

enemies fire. In the first charge our men did not fire a gun, but
chareed across the ditch, and to, the very mouth of the cannon, with
the bayonet. So also the second charge, but they fired. ^Thank God,
I am unhurt, and I think it was a merciful Providence. Our troops
charged by, when I seized a rifle and endeavored to fire it se'veral times,
but could not, for the cap was bad. Our boys were shot down like
hogs, and could not stand it, and fell back each man for himself. Then
the same scene was enacted as before. This time the Yankees charged
after them, and as I had no chance at all, and all around me were sur- <
rendering, I Was compelled to do so, as a rascal threatened to shoot me.
I had to give up my sword to him. He demanded my watch also.

|[Cook it; but I appealed to an officer, and got it back. I had no means

c- o% defending myself for the first time in many years. I cried to see

our brave men slaughtered so, and thought where Catesby might be.

I have never felt so in- all my life. It is now said that our Brigade




was 'never ordered to charge such a place, and that it wq,s a mistake.
If so, it was a sad one. Being brought behind the works we found
three .Regiments drawn up in line, and all of them were fighting our
42 d Alabama alone. I helped to carry a wounded man to the Depot,
with Lieutenants Marshall, Contra and Preston, they being the only
unhurt officers who were prisoners from our Regiment. *P\Ve and the
privates were soon marched to a large house, having a partition for the
officers. The men, about 400, in next room. I heard firing again,
but I fear we can do nothing. We are treated very politely more so
than I had expected."

Perhaps the reader is now ready to ask what this long extract from
a secesh officer's journal, has to do with the history of the 9th 111. Inffc.
Well, it is not very intimately connected with it. But it has been
preserved by the boysnn the .Regiment, and all agree that it gives a
very correct account of that 'terrible battle. It has, however, this
connection with our history: It shows the desperate nature of thai
struggle, in. which our boys took so. active a part. It shows that they
had a foe to contend with, full of courage and who fought with des-
peration. V $

It was truly a terrible battle. OUQ officer who was on the ground,
told me that he at one time thought the rebels would succeed in driving
us out.

The loss sustained by the 9th Regt. 111. Inft. in this terrible conflict, ^
was 20 killed and 82 wounded. Captain Britt was among ,the killed.
The following officers were among th^vounded: Major Kuhn : Adjt.
Klock, Captains Kneffner and feobiSBn, and Lieutenants Rollmann,
Williford, Clements and Cowgill. There were 57 captured, including
Captains E. M. and G. G. Low, and Lieutenants S. T. Hughs and B.
L. Ulen.

The following is a list of the killed and wounded, in the various
companies :

COMPANY A. Kitted, Charles Gibrich 1. Wounded, William
Kortkamp 1

COMPANY B. luUcd, Joseph Cropp and Jacob Sulzer. 2. Wound-
ed, Captain Kneffner, Anton Weeustroth, Sergeant John Ei.chenberglP,
Corporal Louis Fisftr, Paul Geist, Ed. Hoffmann, George Jenrie,
Nicholaus Meyer, Jos. Noelsner,$eorge Salz, Daniel Werner, Sergeant
Augustus Wurmb. In all, 12 wounded. 4

COMPANY C. 7v7/AW, Corporal John Angeniann, and Frederich
'Hugenberg. 2. Wounded, 1st Lieutenant Oscar Rollnian, 2d Lieut*^
Charles Sheve, Privates John Miller, Peter Schneider, John Frietz,
Christian Jackob, Christian Maedel, Henry Bchrn, and, Jacob Herpein.
In all, 9 wounded.


COMPANY P. Killed, Jacob Berthold, Hy. Borchording, John
Smith, Christ Trutiog, Louis Truttinan. In all, 5 killed. A number
were slightly wounded names not given.

COMPANY K Wounded, Corporal Francis J. Murphy, Privates
William T. tmmley, Jack L. Stevens, James F. Williams, James
Malone, John Lill, John Beatty, William P. Kelley, JSTeal Vestal. In
all, 9 wounded.

COMPANY F. Killed, Captain William Britt, Privates John 0.
Foeshee, and Fred. Weggourd. In all, 3 killled. Wounded, Sergt.
W. C. Hawly, Corp. James Fiske, Private WilliarP Miller. In all, 3

COMPANY Gl. Killed, Alferd Bartley and tlohn McCord. In all,
2 killed. 'Wounded, Lieutenant I. Clements, Henry Brown, James A.
Peragin, William J. Heglar, Robert Marshall, N. G. Brown. In all,
6 wounded.

COMPANY H. Killed, Sani'l Giesinger, John B. Livingood, Sebas-
tian Swendeman. In all, 3 killed. Wounded, 1st Lieutenant C. H.
Gilmore, 2d Lieutenant A. Cowgill, James Brady, William S. Boone,
Dennis Bahon, Charles Biernbrier, William A. Cottingham, Robert
Finley, Israel Haller, Charles H. Newconib, George W. Quails, "Win.
Reckord, Francis M. Stickle, 0. W. Boutwell, Venice C. Haller, Am-
brose J. Shelton, Jos. W. Warren: In all, 17 wounded.

COMPANY I. Wounded. Thomas Pat. William Baird, John Jtfka,
James Lang, Jos. E. Stringer, tn all, 5 wounded.

COMPANY K. Killed, James Ulen. 1. Wounded, George Myers,
Levi Gibbs, Henry Stanger, John Burke, Charles W. Boles, Jos . N.
Coneden, Peter Hall, Sani'l C. Ulen, Frank M. Winsted. In all, 9

The enemy driven from Corinth, our Regiment was again thrown
out on the front, a position it had been occupying for some time before
the battle. On the 8th of October, it moved South to Danville, Miss-.,
and on the next day the left wing, Companies K, I, H, G, and F,
m$ed on to Rienzi. Col. Mersy took command of all the troops at
Rienzi, and Lieut. Col. Phillips, who had now rejoined the Regiment,
after his severe wound at Shiloh, of the forces at Danville. The Regi-
ment, with other troops of .the 2d Brigade, performed outpost duty at
the above named places until the 28th of November, 1862, when they
.^returned and went into camp at Corinth, Miss.

On the 12th of December, the Regiment moved Southward again,
going within five miles of Tupelo, Miss., and returned to camp a fc
Corinth on the J.9th of the same month; Col. Mersy being in command


of the 2d Brigade, and Lieut. Col. Phillips in command of the Regiment,
On the 2d day of January. 1863, we moved three and a half miles
East of Monterey, and bivouacked for the night, and returned to camp
the next day; Gen. Forrest and his command having escaped across
the river. The Regiment remained in camp until Maroh, not having
much duty, except guard duty.

During the period embraced in this chapter, some interesting inci-
dents occurred. As I mentioned above, the two Captains Low, and
Lieutenant Hughafljbgether with a considerable number of privates.,
were taken prisoner^ I have given extensive extracts from the journal
of a Rebel prisoner, showing the horrors of the battle-field. It may
not be amiss to refer to some things connected with the prison-life of
some of our boys, who were captured in this battle at Corinth.

The scene, as described by Captain Gr. Gr. Low, to the writer, beggary'
description. The horrors of their retreat was terrible. The Captain
thinks if Napoleon's retreat from Moscow was much more terrible, he
does not know how it was endured at all. But I shall here allow the
Captain to speak for himself, by giving extracts from a written state-
ment, which he kindly furnished me, of his prison life :

"On the morning of the 3d of October, 1862, our Regiment received
orders to move early in the morning. We had moved up the day
before from Rienzi, to within 2$ miles of Corinth. As we approached
Corinth, wo could occasionally hear the boom of distant cciinmn. Con-
jecture was rife as to what it meant, 'so little did we expect an action.
We passed through Corinth, and to the outer Works on the West of it.
Sometime before we obtained our position behind the rifle-pits, three
had been heavy fighting on <*ir left. .We took our position here, feel-
ing confident we could hold it against a vastly superior force. The
enemy were gradually approaching from the front, and our line was
being engaged, when I noticed a panic in my company. I was on the
extreme left of our Regiment. Many of my men broke out of the ditch
and started back. I ordered every man back to his place. They told
me the 12th 111. and 81st OMp were running. I told them it mattered
not; we would stay there unwl we were ordered away. I saw a change
of front was necessary, and expected to hear the order to change front
to rear, on first company. But it did not come- Soon after, I heard
the order to move by the right flank; but it was too late. Already the
enemy were in our rear. I saw it would be death for my men to
attempt to leave their position, and I surrendered with seventeen of my

"We were moved' back about three-fourths of a mile. I found that
Captain C. M. Lowe and Lieutenant L_ T. Hughes of our Regiment,
were captured. We were placed under guard at or near a house.
Here a woman abused us very much. She insisted that Captain Lowe
was the mean Yankee that was there the night before and stole her


chickens. The Captain assured her that he had never been there
before, and that she must be mistaken. She was certain he was the
man, and had it not been for the guard, she would have pitched into
him rough-shod. 1 think she vra.s as hard a specimen of the fair-sex
as I have ev#seen in the Sunny South; and I have seen many that
outraged decency and forever disgraced the name of woman.

"After the excitement of the battle was over, or rather of the scenes
through which we passed that day, we had time to reflect. Here we
were, prisoners. or war, held by a mofcjey set of human beings that, as
far as outward appearances were concerned, wojl| be a disgrace to
barbarians. I wondered, ''Is this the boasted |plry of the South,,
sent out to fight the hated poor men of the North, the 'mud-sills' and
<j >- *i/ mechanics?" When I saw my poor boys, dressed in their blue
uniform, contrasted with these rag-a-mumns, I felt proud of them.

"The "Rebs" had great stories to tell us. Bragg had captured
Louisville and all Buell's army. t 1^ iiad captured Little Mac. and
* 40,000 prisoners. Governor (Jamb^ of Missouri, had turned over
40,000 troops, well armed and equipped, to the Southern Confederacy;
and they had come with 7*),000 men to capture Corinth, and drive
Grant out of West Tennessee, and the war woul$ be over in a few dajrs.
All were jubilant.

"At night, we moved in the woods about a mile, and were consoled
with a lot of wounded of both armies. About 9 o'clock at night, the
news came back that they had captured Corinth, and we would be
moved up there in the morning. About this time; Col. Prevene, of a
South Carolina. Regiment, came to see us,'^he was a Mason,) and -took
Capt. Lowe and myself outside the lines and had a long talk wi^i us.
He assured us that Corinth wasfcot taken, and that it would not be;
and further, that G-en. VanDorn was (to use his own language) a d d
fool for attacking the place. To-night we had nothing to eat, excepta
cup of coffee that a Rebel Lieutenant made for us. I furnished tire
cofee. We passed a restless night.

" The morning of the 4th dawned, and was ushered in with the boom
of heavy cannon. This assured us that the place was not taken, but
that they had approached very near it, as we could hear the guns of
the forts. The cannonading and musketry was incessant from daylight
! until about 1 P. M. At that time, orders came to move us back to the
rear. We . took up our line of marcfy fb Dixie. Although we were
prisoners in the hands of the enemy, yet we were jubilant. We knew
they had been repulsed; that the stars and stripes had again been
triumphant; and though we had a prison-life, and even starvation
staring us in the face, yet there was not a man despondent. We were
then suffering for something to .cat, but we knew the "rebs." were
suffering even more than**e were; for they had nothing to eat when
they attacked Corinth, and their only hope for something, was the
capture of the place. In this they had failed. The retreat soon be-
came a rout. Neither tongue nor pen can'describe the sufferings during
that memorable retreat. Wagons, with six mules attached, were filled with
the wounded and dying, and the cowardly drivers whipping their niule


at every jump. The groans of the dying and the curses of the wounded
were enough to make the knees of terror tremble. One would think T
that if human ^suffering would expiate the crime of treason, all this
army should be forgiven; for they suffered from hunger, thirst, fatigue,
and all the ills that follow a defeated, routed, broken and disheartened
army. I could not help feeling sorry for the panic stricken wretches.

"At night, we camped about twelve miles from Corinth, on a little
branch. I had coffee enough to make us a cup apiece. This, and a
few crumbs of crackers, was all w,e had for twelve of us eight Federal
officers and four EjjH officers." (It will be remembered *they had 9W
nothing to eat th^^B before, and very little on the preceding day.)
"We camped neaj fj^iouse, and there was a rooster, the only chicken
left on the premises^ We offered five dollars for it. The woman would
not let us have it.

"On the morning of the 5th of October, we again moved, escorted
by a company of the liebel Jkuris cavalry, under comman(|pf Gapt,
Douglass. Let me mention her^pthat Capt. D. did all in his power to
make his prisoners comfortable. While we were being marched back
on the afternoon of the 4th, an aid of Gen. VanDorn's rode up and
told him to move the prisoners foster. He sajcl, ' If I move them faster
they will fall down from exhaustion.' The aid replied, 'Let them fall,
and be d d. Shoot them if you cannot get them along.' But the
CaptaiiFtook his own guit, and treated all kindly. As we marched
along this forenoon we saw a great number of their wounded on^H sides
of the road. About 1 o'clock we came in sight of Hatchie Bridge.

We halted /or a few momenfc, ancksoon we heard Anting in front of
us. We were taken back about one mile, and haltecT in a hollow. We
had been there but a lew moments, when riHc shells came whistling in
sucn. close proximity that we had "to retire further back. Soon we saw
the liebel mass come running back in, if possible, greater confusion
than the day before. They thought t^e whole liebel army .would be
capturecl. They took up the HatchieWbout ten mils and crossed us,
and we halted about 12 o'clock that night, near Ruckersville, Miss.
Here they killed a beef weighing about 800 pounds, for the o20 pris-
oners and their guards, in all over 400. We had had nothing to eat
that day but raw corn. We ate the beef without salt.

"On the morning of the 6th, we started towards Ripley, without
anything else to eat.
gave us a very little
the following mornin
Miss. The day was very hot and the roads dusty. Add to this, the
suffering from' hunger, and it w^uld be hard to describe the amount of
suffering tfce men endured. We camped at nj^it near a Mr. Robinson'*
(To-day we had to march about nine miles qjc of the way, on account
of some one destroying a bridge in the rear of the retreating army.)
Th^ officers got a very good supper at Mr. Il.'.s. by paying one dollar
each, in Greenbacks. He would not take anything else. The men got
but little to eat.

"On the morning of the 7th, the officers hired a teaaa to take them


to Holly Springs, for which they paid $20. We arrived there at 11
o'clock at niglit. Here we were taken to Col. Roddy's Head Quarters,
He said he was surprised that we, being North-western men, were
iiii'litinir Southern men. Captain Lowe told him that we were not in a
condition to resent an insult, and did not wish to be insulted. This
Bended the conversation.

"The nexfc evening we started by Railroad, under guard, for Jack-
son. Miss., arriving there about 10 A. M., on the Oth of October.
Here we were taken before General Thillman,and paroled for that city
and Vieksburg. We had good rooms at the bni hotel in Jackson.
On the morning of the 10th we took cars for Vj^H>urg,. On this trip
we had no guard, except one Rebel Captain, trofp-rrived at Vieksburg
about 1 o'clock, and were quartered at the 'Washington Hotel/ We
were limited to certain streets. Otherwise we had our liberty. Our
fare at the hotel was corn bread, corn coffee, fresh beef and molasses.
The ladies were allowed wheat bread, and when tne darkies could do
so without being detected by their v^p^ster, they would supply us with
that luxury. On the whole, we were treated pretty well by the 'Rebs/
We found them generally dispirited; but said they thought they
never could be conquered, &c.

On the 18th of October, we were paroled, and started up the river
to meet our flag of truce boat. The sight of the old "flag and hard bread
created great joy among our men. Hard treatment, under a flag of
treasotwhad endeared the old flag to them. A scanty supply of corn
bread, and beef without salt, made 'hard tack' look and taste like the
best food cooked. On the morning of the 19th of October, 1862. we
took our course up the river for 'God's country/'*

A little incident narrated by Private Neal Vestal, of Co. E, who was
taken prisoner at the same time with Captain Lowe, is worth noting.
When the Rebs. were attacked by General Hurlbut, at the Hatchie on
the 5th of October, and a panl was arising, a Rebel Captain' passing
by Neal, he inquired, good naturedly, "Well, Captain, what are yo^a
going to do with us now?" His reply was, "If I had my way, I would
shoot you/' At which Neal replied, "I bet six bits that man was not
in the fight." At this response went up all along the line, "That is




Regiment mounted Scout to Tuscuonbia, with its Jive, engagements
Scout to Florence, with tiro engagements Move camp to Pocalion-
tas Scout to New Albany, destroying the town Mud Creek scout
and battle, Scout ip Jark*on,*ind battle- -Scout to Ripley Seoul
to Trc.nto n^Tenn.-"- about to Grenada /?/*/ to Grenada* Commis-
sions and -promotions Battles of Salem, Graham's Milk and Wy -
att's List of killed <m<l iroinuled Incidents.

Our Government, by the beginning of 1863, began to see the neces-
sity of having a larger mounted force. It was proposed that ujttfy of
the Infantry Regiments should be mounted for scouting purposes.
Lieut. Col. Phillips made application to have the 9th 111. Inft. mounted.
He was told that it could be mounted on mules, but not on horses.
He replied that he would prefer the mules, as they would endure more
hard usage, and require less care. Hence, on the 15th of March, 1863,
Lieut. Col. Phillips, commanding Regiment, received orders to inount
his command, on mules, fpr scouting purposes. The Regiment was all
mounted by the 20th of March.

Col, M$rsy was in command of the 2d Brigade^ and Lieut. Col.
Phillips of the Regiment. This arrangement still continues, to the
present date.

Sergeant George Rhuland, of Company A, was commissioned as 1st
Lieutenant of said company. He ranks from March 20th, 1863, the
date of the receipt of his commission.

The Regiment was paid on the 26th of August, by Major Phelps,for
the monthsof May and June.

On the 14th of April, the Regiment received orders to be ready to
move by daylight the next morning. The order was afterwards changed
to moving in half an hour. We were soon on the way towards Glen- -
dale, where the rebels had made a dash on a small body of the 64th
111. Yols. We reached Glendale a little too late, as Col. Coruyn had
driven the enemy and started in pursuit. The Regiment hastened v
forward and found him at Yellow Stone Creek. 'We were delayed one
a-half hours in crossing this very muddy stream. Hence, we

ouaeked for the night two miles beyond. Moved forward rapidly,
on the 15th, and bivouacked within four miles of Big Bear Creek, on
the opposite bank of which, we were informed, there was y^ large body



of the enemy. We awaited here, on the 16th, the Arrival of the Infan-
try force from (%inth. All having arrived, we moved rapidly, early
on the morning of the 17th. After "shelling the woods" for a short
time with our rifled pieces, the following mounted forces,, viz: 10th
Missouri Cavalry, battallion of the 15th Illinois Cavalry, and the- 9th
Illinois Mounted Infantry, dashed rapidly across the creek. Captain
Richardson was' throwing shell over our heads at an imaginary force
across the creek. As he did not stop soon .enough, a number of his
shell flew among our men, but fortunately I10 |^K was 'hurt. As soon
as all the mounted force was over, and one seclfMrof Tamra Ill's Battery.
we moved forward on the Tuscumbia road.

At Dickson's we ran upon the enemy's videttes, driving them back
to "Buzzard Roost" or "Cherokee Bluffs," where they made a stand,
and^je place being naturally strong, our shell could not dislodge them.
Consequently, the 9th 111. MounteS' Infantry was dismounted, and de-
ployed as skirmishers. They advanced rapidly to within one hundred
, yards of the bluff, and then the right wing swung around on the left
flank of the enemy, compelling them to leave the bluff very rapidly, and
in great disorder. About 25 of the Rebels were killed, wounded arid
captured. Our loss was five slightly wounded, none disabled. The
weather being intensely hot, the horses in the section of battery with
us, became too much exhausted to move -further. Their ammunition
was also about exhausted. The two guns were consequently left at
this place to await the arrival oiLthe main force. Lieutenant Krebs,
with Co. D, was left to support the guqs, in case of an attack. There
were also seven men of Co. I left here to guard the prisoners.

Immediately after crossing the creek, one company of the 10th Mo.,
and one of the 9th III., were ordered to move two miles out on our left
flank, and break up a camp of the enemy said to be in that direction.
Lieutenant Patterson, with Co. E of our Regiment, was ordered on that
expedition. This detachment drove the rebels from their camp, toward
their main body on the Tuscumbia road. This body of the enemy, 250
strong, came upon the two guns of Tamrath's Battery that we had left
at Cherokee Bluffs, and before the guns could get to us, they, and all
of Co. D, except three men, and the seven men of Co. I, were captured,
"We moved rapidly back, and succeeded in recapturing one of the guns
in "Lundy's Lane.''

Col. Cameron, of the 1st Alabama Regiment, (loyal,) was killed hdte
in the charge. The Rebels fled to the timber on our left, beyond tSe
reach of our muskets, and too far off for the' effective firing of the
" Mountain howitzers,"


Col. Cornyn now ordered us to fall back and rejoin the main body,
as we nu-mbered only 1200 all told, while the enemy were riot less than
2500 strong. Scarcely, h( wever, had we left "Lundy's Lane/' before
the enemy filed out of the timber and formed a line across the open
field, threatening our reaj. The advance of the Infantry force being
now only one mile back, we turned about and confronted our foe. The
9th 111. Lift, dismounted, and moved around to the left flank of the
enemy's line, while the cavalry charged their front. They broke and
fled beyond aliigh ridue. and we advanced rapidly and took possession

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Online LibraryMarion MorrisonA history of the Ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry → online text (page 5 of 10)