Marion Morrison.

A history of the Ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry online

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doing it, a woman came from the house, much excited. Coming towards
the Doctor, she inquired, "Is there a Mason here?"

Doctor. "Why, madame, what do you wish?"

Mad. M. " I am the widow of a Mason. I wish to know if there is
a Mason here. I wish protection."

Doctor. " Madame, you had better go into the house. You do not
need protection. There is a guard around your house."

During this conversation, a chicken, from some cause ran through
the fence into the street. A soldier started after it, to catch it. The
Doctor's companion seized a long club, and quickly got over the fence
and after the soldier. Unobserved, she came upon him, when about to
catch the chicken, and struck him a heavy blow over the head. This



70 A HISTORY OF

he did not resist, as it was from a woman. But after the second blow,
he supposed that "forbearance ceased to be a virtue," even if a woman
was involved. The Doctor says he was scared when he saw her seize
the club and climb the fence. He supposed she was coming at him.

Still another. At the same time and place with the last, a lady whose
horse had been taken, came out to Col. Phillips, very pleasant, and
announced herself as a daughter of Gen. Bi'adshaw; took the Colonel's
horse by the bridle, and told him that she would be servant for him,
and he had to submit to having her lead his horse up to her gate. She
invited him to go in and have something to drink. He could not well
refuse her invitation, even if he had desired to. Once in the house,
she told him that she had both wine and whisky. Said she did not know
how it was with our officers, but theirs 'all preferred the whisky. The
Colonel told her that he would not be an exception, and so helped him-
self to a portion of the whisky.

Another one yet. During the raid on Florence, when the town was
being searched, and contraband goods taken, tobacco and wine were
both regarded as contrabands of war. Considerable quantities of both
were found in the town. Dr. Allen tells of one soldier whom he saw
with three boxes of tobacco on his mule before him. Having more
than he could well carry, and meeting a citizen on the street^ proposed
to give him a box. Another, whom he .met, had three or four boxes
of bottles of wine on before him. Being rather overburdened, he made
a present of one box to the Doctor, which he accepted, I suppose, as
hospital stores.

Another on Dr. Guliek. I hope the good natured Doctor will par-
don me for using his name so frequently in this connection. When on
the return march from the raid to Grenada, Miss., as has been stated,
there was a drove of about 2,000 negroes followed the returning column.
They were of all ages, and*' both sexes. Old grey headed grandfathers
and grandmothers were there. Men and women in the vigor of life
were there. Prattling little boys and little girls were there. Suckling
babes were there also. This great crowd of colored people were there,
some of them pretty well clad, others almost naked. It is described as
a sight sufficient to touch the heart of any one. Mothers were there,
traveling on foot a journey of 75 to 100 miles, carrying their infant
children. Two or three of these mothers, overcome with traveling to
keep up with a mounted force, carrying their children, actually laid
them down by the road side, and pressed on to liberty. "Can a mother
forget her sucking child ?" Some of these poor creatures seemed
willing to leave their children behind, rather than be left themselves,



THE NINTH REGIMENT. 71

Sloping, perhaps, that some "good Samaritan" would care for them.
The Doctor, kind-hearted man, finding one of these little ones, alighted
3,nd picked it up, and as some of the boys passed him, was dandling
the child. He placed it in his ambulance, and when they halted, he
found its mother. All praise to the Doctor for this humane act.

Another fact, closely connected with this rebellion, for the suppres-
sion of which our Regiment has so nobly contended. While in camp
at Pocahoutas, the writer took the pains to ascertain some facts with
reference to the education of the citizens. When we had been in camp
about three months, I called at the Provost Marshal's office, and ascer-
tained that 1,520 citizens had taken the oatk of allegiatece, that they
might make purchases of coffee, salt, &c., from our Commissary. Of
the above number, just 300 could write their own names. The other
1,220 had to have their names written arid make their, mark. At another
point where the Regiment was in camp, on the Tennessee River, out of
313 who took the oath in one day, only 13 could write their own names-
The remaining 300 had to make their mark.

Now, looking at these facts, and if they are anything like an approxi-
mation even, to the state of society in the South, need we any longer
wonder at this rebellion ? A few well informed and designing leaders
<can go into a community, such as the above facts indicate, and influence
its inhabitants to almost any course of action they may desire.



CHAPTER VII.

FROM THE TIME OF LEAVING POCAHONTAS TO THE PRESENT.

Orders to move camp March to Eastport Regiment detached for
scouting duty From Eastport to PulasJd Pidaski to Athens
Scouting along the Tennessee Going into quarters Roddy's Raid
Scout beloic Florence.

As stated in the preceding chapter, there had been much, said about
our Regiment leaving camp and being throwR out into an active cam-
paign; that that exitement had passed away, and the boys had prepared
themselves with comfortable quarters in which to spend the winter.

When thus comfortably fixed for living during the winter, orders
vcanie for the Regiment to be ready to move on the morning of October
30th. Thus the comfortable little dwellings prepared by the boys; the
<chapelprepared for our religious services; the new hospital just finished,
.and such like comforts were all left behind. But such is the common
lot of .soldiers. They have & very uncertain life before them. They



72 A HISTORY OF

know not to-day, where they sfcall be on to-morrow. The order was to
conduct a Battery to Corinth. Whence, from there, we knew not.

The morning of October 30th eanie, and with it heavy clouds, threat-
ening rain. Baggage must be packed up. Tents must be struck.
Wagons must be loaded. By about 8 A. M., all was ready, and we-
were on the march. About the time we started, it commenced raining,
and rained heavily all day. This made it difficult for the Battery
wagons to proceed rapidty. Came to Cypross Creek and bottom. The
stream was very difficult to cross. There was a swampy bottom, of
three miles, which we had to cross. The Battery did not get through
it that n i glit, but camped in- the bottom. The right wing of the Regi-
ment moved out to the ridge beyond, and there awaited the arrival of
Battery and left wing. It being found they could n,pt get through that
aight, all went into bivouack until morning. At an early hour on the
morning of the 31st, the Regiment and Battery were on the move.,
We reached Corinth about 1 P. M., of the 31st. .Here we were relieved
as escort to the Battery. Went into camp in the barracks lately occu-
pied by the 50th 111. Regiment. Here we remained until the morning
of the 3d of November.

On the 2d of November, we were mustered for pay. Received orders-
en the 2d, to move the next morning, as escort to a train, to luka..
Or.ders were issaed regulating the order of march. There was a train
of about 200 wagons and ambulances. The advance was ordered to
move at 4 A. M., and the rear at 6 A. M. The whole was under com-
mand of Lieut. Col. Phillips. Such was the promptness with which he
had each part of the column to occupy its position, that when the rear
moved, and he went to the telegraph office to dispatch to Gen. Dodge
that all were moving, it lacked ten minutes of six o'clock. Moved on
steadily until noon. Halted one hour to water and rest. At 5 P. M. r
we reached luka, a distance of 25 miles. It was regarded a very speedy
trip for so long a train. We bivouacked for the night, near luka. On
the morning of the 4th of November, we moved at 10 A. M., as escort
to a train of 150 wagons, to the crossing of the Tennessee River at
Eastport. We arrived at Eastport at 2 P. M.

Gen. Dodge's orders to Lieut. Col. Phillips, commanding the 9th 111.
Inffc., was, that immediately upon his arrival at Eastport, he should leave
the train, together with his own Regimental teams on this side, and
ferry the Regiment across the river, so as to be ready to move as early
as practicable on the following day. The Regiment was all across by
about sundown, and bivouacked one half mile from the river.

Our Regiment, Liouk CoL Phillips commanding, was osdared OBI



THE NINTH REGIMENT. 73

detached duty, and thus separated from the 2d Brigade, to which it
properly belonged.

I might here state that the whole of the 2d Division of the 16th
Army Corps, under command of Gen. Sweeney, Gen. Dodge being the
department commander, had taken up the march from Corinth on the
2d and 3d of November, and was engaged in being ferried across the
Tennessee River at Eastport.

Gen. Dodge's order, detaching the 9th III. Inffc., assigned it to scouting-
and foraging for animals. The Division teams needed recruiting.
Horses and mules must be procured in the country through which we
were about to march, for this purpose. Gen. Sherman had lately
inarched his army through the same country, and it was very naturally
supposed that animals would be scarce. Hence, a part of the order to
our Regiment was to gather up all the horses, mules, cattle and sheep
that could be found in the country. It was further ascertained that
portions of Rebel cavalry had crossed North of the Tennessee River, to-
annoy our forces on their march. Hence, an additional duty assigned
to the 9th 111. *was to make reconnoisances and watch the movements
of the enemy.

On the night of the 4th, Lieut. t Col. Phillips issued orders to be
ready to move at 6 A. M., the next morning. He also issued orders
detailing one non-commissioned officer and six men from each company
for foraging purposes* and instructing the foragers to bring in all horses^
mules, cattle and sheep that could be found on our route. All soldiers
were forbidden to leave the ranks, except such as were detailed for
that purpose.

On the morning of the 5th of October, the Regiment was on the
march by daybreak. Took the Florence road, for about three miles-
Turned North, and traveled about ten miles through a poor, romrh,
broken country. Halted to make inquiry as to the country. Found a
good Union man, with a clever family. Had the old man to go with
us, as a guide. The Regiment here separated and traveled two different
roads. About noon the flankers of the right wing Were fired on, near
a house. A number of shots were fired. Several horses and some
cattle were taken. Halted to feed, two hours. During that time the
left wing came in. All having fed, we took up the march again. Pro-
ceeded in the direction of Florence. Bivouacked for the night, after
dark, about 14 miles from Florence. It had rained almost constantly
during the day. "\Vas still raining some when we halted. There was
a fair prospect for a disagreeable night for laying out. But it did not



74 A HISTORY OP

rain much during the night. We brought in two men as prisoners, and
about forty head of horses and mules, with some cattle.

November 6th, the Regiment moved at sunrise, bearing South. At
2 P. M., we came into a rich country. Plantations large; abundance
of negroes; stock was plenty, which was gathered up. At many of the
plantations we would collect 20 or 25 mules. Halted two or three
hours and gathered up stock and fed. We then moved five or six
miles West, a-nd bivouacked for the night near a house owned by a large
planter. The woman applied for protection. No one was allowed to
enter the house. Negroes came in from different plantations. Through
them we gathered much information as to the whereabouts of stock.
Did not leave camp until about 11 A. M., of the 7th November. Sent
out companies in different directions i to forage for stock. Succeeded
in gathering a large amount of it. We were here South of the road
leading from Eastport to Florence. We had crossed that road on the
afternoon of the 6th.

During both the days we were out, we could frequently hear of forces
of the Rebel cavalry on the North side of the river. They were often
vepy near us, but always kept out of our way.

November 7th, at 11 A. M., we took up our march to strike the
Florence road, hoping to meet the Brigade. We met them, and reported
300 head of horses and mules, 250 head of cattle, and 200 head of
sheep, which we brought in and turned over. We met the column
about 2 P. M., and bivouacked near a large brick house, residence of
Captain Boggs.

The Regiment was now ordered to draw five days rations, and scout
on the left flank of the advancing column. The main column, consist-
ing of the 2d Division, 16th Army Corps, proceeded in the direction of
Pulaski, Tenn., leaving Florence about eight miles to the right. On
the march Col. Mersy, commanding 2d Brigade, had orders to burn a
large Cotton Factory, which was being run by orders from the Southern
Confederacy. The factory, together with the raw cotton, was worth
about $100,000. The whole establishment was consigned to the flames
oa the morning of the 10th of November.

When the 9th 111. Inft. left the advancing column, on the morning
of the 8th, it proceeded in the direction of Waynesboro, and bivouacked
twelve miles North-east of Waynesboro, and twenty miles from Gravelly
Springs. Moved forward again early on the morning of the 9th, and
marched thirty-five miles, bivouacking near Lawrenceburg. We moved
again on the morning of the 10th, traversing the country to see that n
fiebel forces were there to molest the column. We passed through



\

THE NINTH REGIMENT. 75

Mt. Pleasant. Bivouacked for the night five miles from Columbia,
near the residence of Bishop (now Rebel General) Folk's residence.
On the morning of the llth, moved into Columbia, and proceeded in
the direction of Pulaski, Tenn. Bivouacked two and a half miles from
Pulaski. On .the morning of the 12th, moved into Pulaski, and joined
the column.

During this scout of four days, part of our business still being to
collect stock, we brought in 500 head of horses and mules. Passed
through some very fine and well improved country. There was no
opposition met from the enemy, worth noting.

From the time of leaving camp at Pocahontas, up to our arrival at
Pulaski, we supposed (at least the uninitiated) that our whole force
was moving on in the direction of Chattanooga, and that was our desti-
nation. We expected soon to reach that place and take part in the
great battle pending there. But on arriving at Pulaski, Gen. Dodge
established his Head Quarters there, and his command were stationed
along the Railroad running from Nashville to Decatur, to repair the
road for use. The 2d Brigade, with the exception of the 9th 111. Inft,
went into camp at Pulaski. The 9th was still ordered on detached
duty, and sgnt to establish a post at Athens, Alabama.

On the afternoon of the 12th of November, we moved South of
Pulaski, along the line of the Railroad, and bivouacked nine miles from
Pulaski, near where the Ohio Brigade were in bivouack. Here the
men were ordered to draw five days rations, in their havei|acks. They
were also notified that our train and baggage would be left behind, and
to make a change of clothing if they desired it.

On the morning of the 13th of November, we moved at daylight,
Southward, leaving our wagons, baggage, and hospital to proceed with
the Ohio Brigade to Prospect, where that Brigade was to "be stationed.
At* Prospect, we forded the Elk River. When the advance reached
the river, and were looking for a ford, some Rebel soldiers were seen'
on the opposite side, and fired upon. They interposed no obstacle to
our crying, however. After crossing the river, one battalion, under
command of Captain Lowe, proceeded by a circuitous and Westerly
route. The remainder of the Regiment proceeded by the direct route
to Athens, Ala., arriving there before sunset. A few miles North of
the town, one man of Company G. was taken prisoner when out foraging,
by a few Rebel soldiers who were in the neighborhood. A small force .
of Rebel cavalry had occupied Athens on that day, but they speedily
left on our arrival. The advance of our column came very rapidly into
town, pursuing the party who had captured our man. They were



76 A HISTORY OF

pursued some distance through the town. On onr arrival, Lieut. Col.
Phillips, who was in command of the Regiment during the entire march,
took possession of the town. Captain I. Clements was appointed as
Provost Marshal, with his Company (G) as Provost Guard. Captain
Lowe, with his battalion, reached Athens sometime after dark.

The Regiment went into bivouack in different parts of the town.
Col. Phillips made his Head Quarters in the Court House.

On the morning of the 14th of November, the entire Regiment, un-
der command of Lieut. Col. Phillips, moved South towards Decatur.
Proceeded to the bank of the % river opposite Decatur, and reconnoitered
the position. Found the Rebels were occupying the town, and had a
Battery of two guns. We moved back two miles, halted and fed.
Parties were sent in different directions to reconnoiter. The entire
Regiment returned to Athens the same evening, and bivouacked as on
the previous night.

On the morning of the 15th of November, the Regiment moved out
one mile North-east of town, and went into camp. Here we remained
until the morning of the 18th, simply sending out single companies
each day to reconnoiter.

One object of our expedition was to examine the conation of the
Railroad and telegraph line. On leaving Pulaski, Lieut. Oats, with
twelve men, was detailed for that purpose. He proceeded along the
line of the Railroad from Pulaski to Decatur, examining carefully its
condition. The writer was requested by Lieut. Col. Phillips to accom-
pany him, aim report the condition of the telegraph. We were often
separated two or three miles from the main column.

On the evening of the 17th, a portion of the teams came down from
Pulaski, with five days* rations, and returned to Prospect the next
morning.

On the morning of the 18th November, the entire Regiment moved
West, in the direction of Florence. Crossed Elk River, fifteen miles
West of Athens, and halted to feed. During the afternoon of this day,
when near Rodgersville, the advance were fired upon by a ilquad of
Rebels, who broke and ran. No one hurt. Two companies moved
rapidly down to the Tennessee River, at Lamb's Ferry, hoping to
capture the boat. But it was on the other side of the river. Moved
West on the Florence road, and bivouacked for the night nine miles
West of Rodgersville.

November 19th, we moved at daylight, Westward on the Florence
road. At Shoal Creek bridge the advance encountered and chased
some Rebels, who seemed to be guarding the bridge. Proceeded rapidly



THE NINTH REGIMENT. 77

with two companies, to Bambridge Ferry, six miles above Florence, and
captured the ferry-boat. The Rebels opened fire from the opposite side
of the river. Our two companies were deployed as skirmishers, and
returned the fire. A brisk fire was kept up for one hour, until the
boat was destroyed, when we started on our return march. Re-crossed
Shoal Creek. Halted and fed. Mounted and continued our return
march. Bivouacked for the night West of Elk River.

We moved again early on the morning of the 20th of November, and
returned to Athens about 12 M. Proceeded through town, on the
Decatur road, about six miles, halted and fed. From this point four
companies returned to Athens, and occupied our old camp. The re-
mainder of the Regiment proceeded to Moorsville. Found a force
occupying that place, and returned' to camp at Athens on the 21st. On
the afternoon of this day, we moved our camp South-west of town. .
" The country having been completely explored, and considering there
was no immediate danger from the enemy, the Col. Sent for our teams
and baggage. They arrived on the evening of the 21st, and the boys
were glad to have a change of clothing.

I would here say, that upon our first coming to Athens, it was not
deemed prudent to remove any baggage here, except such as could be
carried on our animals. Our Regiment was sent down here all alone,
in the midst of an enemy's country. No one knew the exact strength
of the enemy. It was fifteen miles to Prospect, where our nearest
forces were. The Elk River intervened, and was often past fording.
At that time there was no way of crossing it, except on a very small
boat which would only carry one wagon. It was a hazardous position
we occupied, at best. There was a heavy force of Rebels South of the
Tennessee "River. There were a number of ferries for crossing at
different points. But having reconnoitered the country, and destroyed
several of the enemy's ferries, it was thought our train might be brought
down with safety.

From the time we left camp at Pocahontas, until our train was
brought down, we had been out 23 days, and on the march nearly all the
time. During this time, we had with us no tents or covering of any kind,
except such as we carried on our animals. We would march all day,
often making 40 and 45 miles, and then lay down on the ground at
night, with no covering but our blankets. During this time, we marched
over 400 miles.

When our train arrived, and our camping ground was determined
we had no tents, which could be quickly spread for a shelter. Most
of the boys were under the necessity, for several nights, of doing a*



78 A HISTORY OP

they had done, sleeping in the open air. Soon lumber was procured,
from the fence around the Fair Grounds and the buildings it contained,
and unoccupied stables and fences, with which to'build shanties. But
we had no nails, and this country could furnish none. But where there
were buildings and fences, there were nails, and the old nails were pre-
served, and thus the boys built their houses. After a time, they were
quite comfortable in them. The work of building u New Athens" was,
however much retarded by the fact that several companies of the Regi"
. ' ment were .almost constantly out on scouting duty. But ere long their
houses were finished, with comfortable fire-places attached.

As I have stated above, Lieut. Col. Phillips, with the 9th 111. Inft. :
was detached, and sent to Athens to establish a post. It was a strange
kind of post for two or three weeks. Much was said about "Col.
Phillips' circulating post." After we were settled down in our camp,
however, Col. Phillips formally assumed command of the post, with his
Head Quarters in town, leaving Major Kuhn in command of the Regi-
ment. Still thepos?, or its head, was rather circulatory; for whenever
the Regiment was out on a scout of any considerable importance, the
Col. was sure to go along.

It devolved upon our Regiment not only to hold its post at Athens,
but to guard the crossings of the Tennessee River for a distance of not
less than fifty miles in length. Consequently, there was a great amount
of scouting duty to perform. Almost daily, the various crossings of
the Tennessee River, between Decatur and Florence, were visited by
portions of our Regiment, and the ferry-boats either destroyed or
captured.

On the 28th of November, three companies, under command of Lieut.
Col. Phillips, moved West at 11 P. M., on the Florence road, and
crossed Elk River, in search of some Rebel cavalry said to have crossed
the Tennessee River that evening. He came upon and captured a
squad of fifteen of them. Not finding any more force, he was return-
ing to camp the next morning with his prisoners, when he was met by
a dispatch from Gen. Dodge, stating that a large body of Rebels had
crossed about Florence, and ordering him to reconnoiter and watch
their movements, and develop their strength. A squad of men were
* sent in with the prisoners, with orders for one company more to join
him. He had gone out with only one days' rations. The company
that joined him could not carry rations to him, for we were short in
camp.- Our teams had gone to Pulaski for rations. The Division
^ teams from Columbia had not arrived with rations, as expected. Our
teams were detained there several days. But the boys of the 9th ar*

B

/



THE NINTH REGIMENT, 7

not likely to starve, when there is anything in the country around
them to eat.

The first night they camped near the town of Rodgersville. The


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Online LibraryMarion MorrisonA history of the Ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry → online text (page 8 of 10)