Journal of 1st Sgt. John Daeuble,
6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry Regiment U.S.
a Native of Muelheim an Bach, Württemberg
Courtesy of Gus Daeuble
Diary of John Daeuble
December 30, 1861 February 19, 1863
The original journal was written in German and is located at The Filson Historical Society, Louisville, Kentucky
(Translated by Joseph R. Reinhart)
The Sixth Kentucky was 705 men strong when we left Camp Sigel near Louisville
Description of travel and events since I enlisted the 6th Kentucky Regiment, in Company E on November 26, 1861.
Dec. 30, 1861 we marched from our first camp site, Camp Sigel, on the road to Bardstown, and camped 15 miles from Louisville in the evening. That was the first night; we slept without tents and also drew crackers and bacon. We advanced 14 miles on the 31st. The march with our heavy knapsacks was difficult and already many fell behind the first day. It was very strenuous. Jan. 1, 1862 we reached Bardstown toward evening and pitched our tents that same night at the fairgrounds. Jan. 2 we marched off again and pitched our camp 6 miles from Bardst.[own] in Camp Morton. Several regiments were already camped there. It rained most of the time and was terribly muddy there. Jan. 5 we marched off again and after a march of 10 miles camped at Camp Wickliffe in a thick wood, where we first had to clear away trees, in order to pitch our camp. Feb. 12 we received new tents and on Feb. 14 we marched from there. It snowed the previous night and it was 6 inches deep. In the morning the tents were heavy with snow and frozen; we knocked it off and tied them together as well as we could. The brigade to which we were assigned was the 19th under command of Col. Hazen. Ours and Capt. Hedden’s Company were the rearguard and we stayed there until noon until all others were away. It was cold and we burned all boards, boxes, straw and the like before we departed.
We marched afterward to the wagon train, which had taken a forest path the previous night and was so muddy that one could almost not pass; Each moment some wagon was stuck again almost up to the axles and we had to help them out again. The whole way was barricaded by wagons stuck fast and we had our problems with it. We covered only 5 miles that day and camped in an old log cabin. It was very cold and the snow was frozen hard and we were not destined to get any sleep here. The next morning the 15th. it went better because the wagons moved better as long as the road was frozen. We also marched through Hatchingsville [Hodgenville] where we could buy some things and our two companies camped in the evening in two log cabins where our Comp. [Company] slaughtered a pig; however, we had no salt and also no crackers and had to eat the meat unsalted. This was 2 1/2 to 3 miles from Elisabethtown [Elizabethtown]. The next morning, the 16th, we marched off about 5 o’clock by moonlight, and came through Elisabethtown while still dark. We joined our regiment again on the other side of Elisabethtown and the same day made a march of 26 miles, in snow and muck, where many men did not keep up. We were all dog-tired. We camped two miles from Westpoint in a wood. The next day, Feb.17, it began to rain and we marched off in foggy weather. It thundered until evening. Our regiment boarded the Boat Switzerland. We had much trouble until the wagons and similar things were brought onto the boat, because the march was down a big hill and the ground was loose and difficult. The boats departed by nightfall. The boats stopped by the mouth of the Wabash [Green] river for a long time, and afterwards moved up the river several miles, then turned back again until we landed at Paducah on Feb. 21. On Sunday Feb. 23 we moved our things from the Switzerland onto the steamer City of Madison. The boats departed and near Smithland steamed up the Cumberland River. Feb. 24 we passed Fort Donelson where a 3-day-long battle occurred and Gen. Buckner was taken prisoner.
Feb. 25 we arrived at Nashville around 2 o’clock, and about 3 o’clock we marched through and out of the city, and it began to become dark when we wanted to camp. Then we were ordered to move again and stand around here and there for quite some time, The Rebel cavalry, the so-called Texas Rangers, had left the city shortly before and still roamed around in the surrounding area. Suddenly 10 to 15 quick shots followed one another between the outposts; we were immediately posted in Line of Battle. We immediately loaded our rifles, and we spent almost two hours marching back and forth. We also stood in a square. The night was pitch black, our cavalry came rushing up the road, and we thought nothing else but now the Rebels were approaching, which was quite surprising and made us curious, finally we were allowed to lie down. Everyone had to remain in readiness and we had to sleep on our loaded rifles, but we slept very little. Toward midnight it began to rain hard and rained until around morning, we were all dripping wet. On the morning of Feb. 26 we cooked our breakfast and unloaded our rifles whereupon we then pitched a camp several hundred yards from there. It was named named Camp Andrew Jackson. We spent our time with drills as we did everywhere we camped a long time. March 12 our brigade made a march to Andrew and Richard Jackson’s graves, on the Lebanon pike, 12 miles distant from our camp. Upon arrival we stacked our rifles, and went to Jackson’s grave accompanied by mournful music, several salutes were fired off by the cannon and then began our march back. We reached our camp again by nightfall, at which we arrived very tired, hungry and dusty. March 17 we marched off from there and we camped in the evening. We were tired but Dress Parade was still held, over which everyone was angry. March 18 we marched through Franklin, Tenn[.] We camped after an arduous march and many had blistered and sore feet, and could hardly march any more.
• Around midnight about 10 shots were fired, whereupon we were deployed right away and prepared for an attack if something of that sort should occur; it remained quiet however, and we returned again to our rest. It did not last long however because a strong thunderstorm began; it lightninged and crashed. We threw the tents from the wagon as quickly as possible and pitched them; however, it began to rain before we got under cover and rained the whole night through until toward 8 o’clock in the morning Our company came on picket the next morning. We marched off again and we passed through the little city of Spring Hill where we pitched a camp several miles from the city. It was named Camp near Spring Hill. We stayed there until March 29, when we marched off. At Columbus [Columbia] we had to wade the Duck River, which at places was 3 1/2 to 4-feet deep. This presented a comical spectacle, it lasted rather long until all were across and we had dressed again. The bridge over the river was burned down and Col. Willich with our regiment rebuilt it again, which was finished in a few days. We halted a long time in Columbus [Columbia], then resumed our march. We camped several miles from Columbus [Columbia] and pitched the tents the next day. Our company seved on picket. March 30 we marched three miles farther and camped on the beautiful farm of Rebel General Pillow. The next day, the 31st, we took up our march again and pitched our tents in a corn field near Mount Pleasant, a little country town, We had a dress parade on the same evening in the moonlight. The next morning April 1 our young division was put in an uproar because some shots were fired in the outpost line. We were deployed and marched halfway up a large hill, whereupon it was seen this whole thing was a false alarm; we returned and cooked our breakfast and marched away afterwards. April 2, 3, 4 and 5 it rained most of the time.We were always without shelter at night and never pitched our tents. The 5th we came in the early evening to a meadow by Savannah, on the Tenesee [Tennessee] River,
Our company came on picket and the others pitched the tents. The night was frosty and cold, and we were not allowed to have a fires. The next morning April 6 was a Sunday, we heard some cannon fire in the distance. We immediately received the order to march off and by the time we left it degenerated into a general battle in the distance by Pittsburg Landing. We heard cannon and small arms fire without stop. We marched to Savannah where we drew rations, because we had none with us. At 1 o’clock in the afternoon we marched off with our knapsacks on our backs at the double-quick. We tramped over a miserable forest road to [opposite] Pittsburg Landing, which was eight miles distant. We reached there near nightfall and were shipped over right away. The troops of General Grant, who had been in battle that day, summoned up courage upon our arrival, because the battle during day had been lost, and if we had not come the Rebels would have taken the men prisoner or have driven them into the river. Our division, the Fourth under General Nelson, was pushed forward that same night as advance guard. The night was pitch black and toward midnight a storm moved in and it rained until almost morning. We were all soaked. At daylight [April 7] we threw our knapsacks into a pile. The gunboats continued to fire Bombshells toward the enemy during the night, so they kept at a considerable distance. At daybreak it began, our company and Martin’s Company from our regiment served as the skirmishers. It misted all day. Commands were given to advance and we did not need to go far until we found the ground covered with corpses, clothing, knapsacks, rifles, sabers, disabled cannon, horses, and everything normally found on a battlefield. We skirmished through the woods until we came to an open place, and across it at the edge of the wood lay the enemy who drove us back considerably fast,
faster than we had advanced. An absolute hail of bullets came towards us, then the regiment came up and the battle began. The battle had partly started with our brigade. Our cannon were absent until about 9 o’clock when the artillery came to help us. The Rebels drove us back several times, whereupon our brigade made a bayonet attack and we forced the Rebels to retreat hurriedly and they lost many men. Then they drove us back, where many with us fell. The battle continued until noon and the Rebels did not want to retreat. In the afternoon between noon and one o’clock we believed ourselves lost and surrounded, then continuous reinforcements arrived and the enemy began to retreat little by little. By 5 o’clock in the evening they were completely beaten and withdrew from the field. Our regiment lost 116 men killed and wounded. Afterwards our brigade inspected the field on which we had fought and took all the wounded still around and laying in hospitals or log cabins back with us. We camped in the muck and it began to rain hard again. The next morning, April 8, “Fall in” was called and all went in confusion, in the knee-deep muck and rain, and we grabbed the nearest rifles. I could not find my rifle and had to obtain another one. Our Brigade then had to go on picket at least 3 or 4 miles from our camp. We relieved the Brigade where the battle had taken place the previous evening. We saw the places where the Rebels had camped. The dead were all buried after the battle, and most of the wounded sent to St. Louis, Louisville and other cities. We were relieved on the 9th by another brigade and came back again next to our previous site, where we had to lay in the muck and rain for 3 days without shelter. Only the officers had their tents and there was still little to eat. Finally on April 11 our tents arrived and we pitched a camp on
the battlefield of Shiloh. We camped there until May 2. Meanwhile we were paid, and also received good food i.e., plenty crackers and bacon, etc. May 2 we marched away from there and camped about 10 miles distant. May 3 our brigade had to make a reconnaissance. Our company and Martin’s were again the skirmishers from our Regiment. We had a difficult march through woods, over fences, hills and valleys, and covered 4 miles. However, we encountered no enemy. Toward evening we came back again, but we had hardly finished our black coffee, when our regiment had to go on picket right away. Our company and Capt. Martin’s company were used again to mam the outposts. May 4 it rained the whole day. We built ourselves huts, but it rained through them. We were relieved toward evening about 5 o’clock. May 5 about 6 o’clock in the morning, general march blew. It rained hard and our whole Division marched off in the rain and muck. We got stuck; nevertheless, had to go forward, and no one or few had consumed their black coffee or eaten ant crackers yet. We had to leave with empty stomachs. We were only able to march 1 1/2 to 2 miles and then halted because the cannon were unable to be advanced further on the bottomless road. Therefore we turned around again, really covered with mud and soaking wet, and we remained there until May 7, when we advanced 6 to 7 miles farther. May 8 advanced 4 miles farther. We advanced the next morning to within approximately 4 miles of Corinth and remained there until 1 o’clock in the morning. The order arrived to march back as quickly as possible. Each one of us carried 80 cartridges. The night was pitch black and we were on a wretched newly cut and constructed forest road. We moved back almost in the double quick and few arrived in the camp who had not fallen 3 or 4 times on the way back.
We arrived at the old place before daybreak. We pitched our tents on May 9. In the afternoon we were alarmed by heavy cannon fire in the distance and went to the battlefield on the double quick; however, before we were quite there the order came to turn around and we went back the same way, and returned to the same place we were the previous night. The next morning, May 10, our whole division was formed in line of battle and we expected an attack. We spent until 10 o’clock there and advanced a little, but there was no enemy to be found. We returned again when night fell and stayed until 12 o'clock without tents. Our regiment also went there on picket on the 11th . We now pitched our tents somewhat back in the woods, it was named Camp near Corinth, Miss. [Miss.]; the time there was spent with camping, etc. We still had to stand in line of battle each morning until night from 4 to 6 o’clock and drill, and sometimes we had to go out at 2 o’clock in the morning. May 17 we were alerted through heavy cannonading in the distance that occurred on the left wing. Our regiment was relieved from picket duty and we had to stand under arms until 5 o’clock in the evening. Suddenly general march blew and the whole army was put in motion. We had to march at the double quick for two miles in dust and heat that was nearly suffocating. We halted at a large open place. It had already begun to get dark and we camped there at the road and edge of the woods. The pickets maintained a continuous mutual fire on each another. The next day, Sunday, May 10, 10 large siege guns, which were 11 1/2-feet-long arrived; 10 horses were hitched to each cannon. They were immediately deployed in the open field and earthworks were constructed in front of them with earth and bushes. May 19, we marched off. The army advanced and built entrenchments from fence rails and earth 1 mile from our camp. The following night it rained hard. Overall our trenches were finished, We had to remain there on picket and afterwards we
built huts from brushwood. Nevertheless we were soaking wet in the morning. A few from each company were sent back to the camp to pick up some coffee and crackers, and also coats and blankets. Toward evening we were relieved and for as long as we were there came on picket every 2 or 3 days. May 23, while serving as pickets by the entrenchments, I was promoted to sergeant. It rained the whole day. The 27th. we served as pickets again. After we were relieved and were about half way back to our camp, the order came to turn around. We threw all our blankets in a pile and marched a mile beyond our first entrenchments, exchanging fire the whole day, with cannon and rifle fire blowing in between, sometimes very loudly. They deployed us in an open field where we had to spend the whole day from 9 o’clock in the morning. The sun was so hot that we could barely hold up. May 29 they put us to work again, and we had to make new entrenchments in an open field in the greatest heat, one mile from the first. They were finished at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and we built huts there in the open field from foliage. May 30 at 7 o’clock in the morning we saw a thick black smoke in the area where Corinth was located. Immediately after that bombs exploded there and for a short time there was a perfect thunder. This was the Rebels' munitions warehouse, which they themselves had set on fire before they abandoned Corinth. Immediately the order arrived to march off and we marched into Corinth and into the camp of the departed Rebels and their entrenchments that were all abandoned. The inhabitants had fled. Afterwards several came back. Foodstuffs lay abundantly everywhere where the enemy had camped. We had e.g., flour, molasses vinegar, bread, roasted rye corn for coffee, tents, rifles and all kinds of other things. The prettiest furniture and glassware lay all around destroyed. They also had set fire to the railroad depot and some other houses before they left. We stayed there until evening. Prisoners were still were being brought in and a nice secessionist flag was burned.
May 31 we had to serve on picket again and June 1 we were paid in Camp near Corinth.
On June 4 we marched off and after advancing 12 miles we made a halt in the bush where we spent 2 days and received nothing but 3 dry crackers each day. On June 6 we marched off again and advanced a mere 6 miles. The next day, the 7th, we covered 4 more miles. Our regiment was in front of the brigade and 3 companies of which ours was one, had to advance several hundred yards for our regiment, and remain there until the 9th without being relieved. Around 3 o’clock in the afternoon we marched off in the dust and heat and marched without halt until 10 o’clock at night and then nobody even thought about cooking, by then everyone was too much tired. We made fires and lay down on the ground, dripping with sweat and covered with dust and dirt. There was nothing to lay on and nothing to cover up with except a coat, and then only a few had them. The next morning, the 10th, marched off again and in fact without breakfast. We halted at 7 o’clock in the evening, of course everyone was tired and done in from the severe strain. We cooked our coffee and each man received 2 good drinks, a half pint of Whisky that cheered us up again. The 11th we marched off again and halted at the Charleston and Memphis Railroad. The march was arduous and dusty, and we sometimes received no water and most water was foul and disgusting. June 15 we had to perform guard duty at the railroad bridge, which was built over the Bear River, 5 miles distant from our camp. The 16th we returned, because we had been relieved. We received orders to send all our extra clothing away by command of General Nelson. We sent our coats and dress coats and the like off and it happened that we never saw them again. June 17 we marched off and covered 7 miles in the greatest dust
and heat. The order then came to turn around. Our regiment had to serve as the rear guard. The wagons had to go up a high hill, which took a long time. We had to help pull them up until finally all were over it; however, we still had our knapsacks on our backs, which made us very sweaty and it was dusty at many places, so that when marching we barely saw each other. At approximately 10 o’clock at night we reached the place we had left that morning. The following night it rained, and on June 18 we marched on the other side of the railroad and pitched our tents in the woods. It was called Camp near Iuka (miss.) [Miss.] The 22nd we had marching orders and we were all ready to march off, but did not depart that day. The next day, June 23, around 3 in the afternoon, we marched off. We halted in the woods at nightfall, and the next morning we took up our march again, and marched mostly along the railroad. The 25th we marched through Tescumbia, [Tuscumbia] Ala., and on the 26th, we crossed over the Tenesee [Tennessee] River on two small steamboats named Lady Jackson and Des Moinser [Moines] City. About 6 o’clock,we marched through Florence, Ala. in the largest thunderstorm. The road was filled with foot-deep water; it lightninged and cracked continuously, the lightning hit a few times. Soaked to the skin, we camped 1 mile from Florence in the woods. The 27th we marched off again, and we were hardly on the march a quarter hour before it began to rain hard again. We marched in the rain and on terrible streets for 7 miles and we made a halt by a river, or creek; we were dripping wet. The first platoon of our Company served as pickets. Seven of us were by posted by the headquarters of Col. Grose who at that time was our Brigade Commander. The 28th we marched off and it began to rain again.
We marched through a little hamlet named Rochesville [Rogersville], Ala., and we stopped not far from there. We had to cross the Elk River that ran several hundred yards from there. We took off our shoes and socks, and rolled up our pants as far as they would go. It was 3 1/2 to 4-feet deep in several places. We arrived on the other side and dressed ourselves again. It looked curious enough and ridiculous when we waded through the river, which was nearly 150 yards wide. This march was one of the hardest that we had yet made. We had the most intense heat, 18 miles lay behind us, and we could only get water half the time. It was miserable and made me sick. I got out of line and I was Sergeant of the Guard at that time. Now over half the men stayed back at this time. On June 30, early morning, we marched off and had barely 6 miles to Athen [Athens] Ala., which we marched through at 8:15 in the morning and camped 1 1/2 miles from Athen in the woods. We pitched tents the same day.
On the 4th of July our Division had a parade under General Nelson down at the Fairgrounds at Athen, which was located a good 3 miles from our camp. Of course it was so dusty that one could not see his neighbor, and the sun was oppressively hot. Many soldiers were overcome by the heat during the march. We marched there about 4 o’clock in the afternoon and came back again about 7 o’clock. We looked like millers who were covered with dust from head to foot, and so we spent the 4th of July 1862. July 8 we marched off from there, and moved forward 2 miles. Our camp lay at a hill and there was a large open place with good water and also a creek to wash in. This camp was called Camp Houghton [Routin]. July 14 we departed from there and we pitched our camp by the little city of Athen where they barely gave half rations to us. This same day our Colonel Whitaker had a quarrel with another Colonel, who had his tent where Whitaker wanted to pitch ours, and they got into an argument. He also had
a heated exchange with Col. Hazen, whereupon he had to hand over his saber and was placed under (so called) arrest. July 17 we marched off from there. It began to rain and the road was filled with water. At nightfall we made a halt, however, we could not find good water anywhere. July 18 proceeded farther, and our brigade was now all spread out. We moved left over a narrow forest road and arrived about noon at our assigned place and pitched our camp in the woods at a pretty place near the railroad. It was called Camp Brown, near Elk River Railroad Bridge. We always worked alternately by company at the bridge over the Elk River. One time we were supposed to be attacked there by 300 cavalrymen on the night of August 3 to 4. We were alerted and prepared to hold, no matter what happened, but it remained quiet. August 5 we marched off from Camp Brown. The wagons were taken over the river on a flatboat. We made a halt by a creek, named Richland Creek, where we ate and stayed for a while. And in the evening we arrived by Pulaski, Ten. [Tenn.], where we camped for the night. On the morning of the 6th we took up our march again and marched through Pulaski, which is an old little city with a pretty Courthouse. Around noon we arrived at Ronald [Reynolds] Station where the wagons were unloaded, and the contents loaded on the rail cars. The captains drew lots as to which companies had to go by railroad and which by the wagons over the road to Murfreesboro. Four companies had to go with the wagons and 6 by the railroad, including ours, and we arrived in Nashville at 6 o’clock in the evening. We had considerable time and freedom there, and those who had money bought things, and most got themselves full of booze and got to fighting. I borrowed two dollars from Gustav Laun. I bought quite a lot of bread and cheese, and also a pint whiskey for 25 cents.
Many men got drunk and there was such a spectacle the entire night that no one could sleep. Next morning several had swollen heads and a terrible hangover. On the morning of the 7th, we rode away from Nashville on the railroad and arrived at noon in Murfreesboro where the rest of the regiments of our brigade were already located. All had marching orders when we arrived. We had our things unloaded and placed on the wagons of other regiments, and everyone was ready to march off, but the order was cancelled, and we pitched our camp outside the city on the McMinnville Road. We marched off the next day, August 8, to the opposite side of the city and pitched our camp there. A little Fort, which our Battery occupied, lay next to us. Two companies from our regiment were deployed to 2 railroad bridges in order to guard them; they had to build little forts. We had to serve as pickets and train guard on the railroad, and every morning around 3:30 or 4 o’clock had to go out and stand in Line of Battle until day[light]. August 17 we had a Brigade Review. We marched through Murfreesboro up to a large open place on the evening of the 17th, and that night the 27th Ky and 9th Indiana Regt., which belonged to our Brigade, marched to Nashville. The 27th was sent to Mumfordville [Munfordville], to receive additional men, and the 9th Indiana came back to us later. The 18th we had an inspection. The 19th we drew half rations for 14 days, the 20th the old Hecker Regiment [24th Illinois] rode past us on the railroad. On the 22nd the music band left; it had played for us there each evening at dress parades. On Sunday, August 24, we were on picket and the others in the camp had to cut down trees. The 25th, the 2nd Ky. Regt. came to us, and 2 cavalry regiments camp near us. The 26th, the 6th Ohio was there but did not remain long. August 27 around 3 o’clock in the afternoon several shots were exchanged by out pickets and Rebels; at the same time the cavalry came up there
and brought a message that the enemy was approaching; then all went into confusion. The regiments fell into line. Our company was already posted as skirmishers in the little city of Murfreesboro, but no one came. Afterwards we marched out of the little city. The women and children fled to a secure place, and we waited for whatever might come. The road out of the city was fully strewn with corn, which the haulers had lost because they thought the Rebels were after them and their cart. We returned again to our camp. Our regiment marched to join the 2 companies that had been posted at the bridge and stayed there overnight. The next morning we arrived again at our camp. In a skirmish between the pickets of both sides, 1 man was killed and 3 wounded on our side. This disturbance began where the soldiers wanted to wash. Their whole wash, soap, canteens, buckets, etc. were all left behind, which we found by the Spring and took the best with us into the camp. The 5th of Sept. we received marching orders. In the afternoon we set fire to everything, including the huts we had made from brushwood and boards. The wagons were loaded and the regiment fell into line to depart. Then the order was changed to march off from there the next day. In the evening toward 5 o’clock a fire broke out next to the Courthouse in Mursfreesboro, and 4 companies from our regt. had to double-quick to the scene of the fire, but before we arrived there it had been extinguished. We returned to camp, the same evening everyone was sick and those not capable of marching were transported to Nashville on the railroad. The next morning, Sept. 6, we marched off from there. At this time our brigade consisted of the 6th Ky., 41st Ohio, 2nd Ky. and the Battery. Around noon we halted at the Stone[s] River and marched off again about 5 o’clock. We still marched 7 miles in 2 hours.
We camped by the little city of Lavergne [LaVergne], where we arrived in the moonlight. With a detour we had to make, we had covered 21 miles in the dust and heat that day. Next morning at 10 o’clock we marched off again, and made a halt 4 miles from Nashville at the Stone[s] River. There were many men in the water and bathing themselves; then it was called Fall In and we marched in the night up to Nashville and halted, almost at the same place where we expected an attack in Feb. 62. After we entered Nashville, our knapsacks were loaded on special wagons during the night, and the tents also, and most now had no blankets at all with them. In the morning at 2 o’clock, Sept. 8, we marched off; it was still dark when we marched through Nash'[ville]. We only advanced 8 miles and camped in the evening 8 miles from Nashville. We also did not have much to eat, only what we fetched for ourselves. We camped there 2 days. On the 10th our Company went on picket. We were informed to be on guard, because the rumor was that we would be attacked by 700 hostile Cav. [cavalrymen]. The night passed quietly and nothing happened. The other regiments in camp had to stand in Line of Battle for 2 hours. From here it was still 8 miles to Nash. by the railroad and 177 to Louisville. Sept. 11 we marched away from there. We made 24 miles and camped at 10 o’clock at night. The Rebels had left the place shortly before, because their picket fires still burned. The weather was foggy and rainy. The next morning, Sept. 1, we marched off again. It went very slowly. Our Company and Company A were the skirmishers and were deployed on both sides of the road. We advanced a mere 8 to 9 miles that day and camped by the little city of Mitchel[l]sville. Two divisions, ours and McCook's, camped
on a large open place. It was foggy the whole night and rained very hard. About 2 o’clock in the morning we marched off again and the majority still had had no coffee cooked and had to leave without something warm to eat or drink. We marched through the little city of Franklin and we made 26 miles the same day in terrible dust, and we camped 2 miles from Bowling Green by a large ravine. which was from 150 to 200 feet deep and a large stream of spring water flowed underneath. We had to haul the water up from there with great difficulty. Sept. 14 we marched to the city of Bowling Green. When we camped there, we saw the places, which were now washed out but still recognizable, where Buckner had camped with his army last year near Bowling Green. We only had miserable, muddy pond water that was as thick as Buttermilk, and horses and donkeys all drank out of the ponds. In the evening we had an inspection, where also the Sgt. and Cpl. drew ball pullers and scrapers. From there it was still 155 miles to Louisville and 70 miles to Nashville by railroad. We drew rations for 10 days consisting of flour and salted pickle pork. It was barely drawn from the Commissary when the order came that it must last 20 days, and the order was issued that we should provide ourselves with food for 3 days, and so we baked the whole day and until midnight. The so-called Slapjacks consisted of flour, water and salted fat from old bacon, and the total when complete was a fatty mixture still half dough. September 15 I was also in Bowling Green and got my blanket, which I had not had since the 7. Sept. and had had to make do without it. Sept. 16 I was rather sick and I could hardly stand upright. I had a sort of Fever and attributed much of it to the unhealthy cakes. In the evening we were supposed to march off. Our regiment was on the road ready to march and the wagons were loaded. It gradually became night and the regiment camped again.
On Sept. 17, we marched off. I had my things brought on the wagon and stayed with it because I still felt weak and miserable, I spent the last night sleepless. Things did no go very fast. We crossed the Barren River by B[owling] Green; the day went slowly or so to say not at all until toward evening, then it went in a hurry until 4 o’clock in the morning. The wagons were driven the whole night through and we marched beside them, because riding in one hurts more than if one does not ride. It rained tremendously; we were soaked to the skin and my shoes were quite loose. I ran in the muck, which ran into my shoes; We put behind us 20 miles that night. We received nothing warm to eat for 2 days, i.e. we had no coffee to cook. I returned to the regiment the next day and on Sept. 18 we marched off on a side road through the bush to Glasgow Ky., however, the Rebels had already been driven away by our cavalry, and we then headed in another direction. It was about midnight before we camped because the whole army came together by a little country town named Prewitt Town. The road was obstructed everywhere with wagons, cannon and military forces. Everyone was impatient on account of this long period of standing around, and marching forward little by little, and then stopping again. At 4 o’clock in the morning on Sept. 19 we had an inspection, without having cooked our breakfast. It concerned whether all rifles were clean and unloaded. The whole army marched off very early at daybreak. The Hecker Regiment [24th Ill.] was the only one that still had a music band.. We marched about 6 miles, then we camped; however, the whole brigade had to go out on picket right away. We had no blankets, however.
A barn was nearby and we obtained hay and straw for cover. It was rather cool and in the morning at daybreak we made a fire and burned the entire fence located by us, We had not had any coffee for 3 days; corn, apples and gruel was our only food. The 20th, in the evening, 2 wagons arrived and brought us foodstuffs and a ration of fresh meat. We cooked ourselves meat soup. We drew flour for 2 days, which we all had to bake the same night; the bakers worked the whole night through. The next morning we were supposed to be attacked, but instead the enemy had departed. Marching orders arrived about 7 o’clock In the evening and the whole army moved forward. Things went well as long as we marched on the main road, but over half the way we had a wretched miserable forest road, where it was pitch black, and a good many men accidentally ran into tree trunks and fell to the ground stunned. Around 3 o’clock in the morning we camped near the Green River, all with the greatest effort. On the morning of Sept. 22, we cooked our coffee while we camped in an open area. The sun was very oppressive. We then moved a half-mile from there into the woods, however, we had barely reached there and stacked our rifles when we had to go back to the first place. We were back there for barely a quarter of an hour when we had to return, and had hardly a short half an hour’s rest when general march blew again. We already had meat on the fire that was left over from the previous day and we succeeded in cooking it, and slurped it down in a hurry.
Sept. 23, early in the morning, we waded through the Green River. The water was rather cool and 1 1/2 feet deep. At noon we made a 3/4 hour halt at the Bacon Creek and camped in the evening next to the Nolin River. We had made a hard march of 25 miles, and it took our colonel an hour to get the regiment organized before he let us rest. At midnight we were awakened. We drew flour and baked the same stuff as usual. Sept. 24 we marched about 24 miles again and camped in the evening about 8 miles from West Point. The water found between Murfreesboro and Louisville was mostly terrible, filthy, and stinky Pond Water. Sept. 25 we marched off and arrived around noon at West Point Ky,. where we had a rather long stop. In the evening we camped at the Ohio River, 1 mile from W[est] Point, and drew for the first time in a long time the familiar Crackers and Ham, which appeared to us as a delicacy after the awful Slapjacks. At 2 o’clock in the morning the order to march off to Louisville came. It went easier although many still had not had their breakfast. Several miles from Louisville our Colonel W[hitaker] behaved barbarically. He hit some men with his saber and threatened to shoot them because they were sore and worn down and were not moving fast enough to keep up. The left wing was in front and our Company, the right, took its proper position again just at the edge of Louisville. Sept. 26, near noon, we reached Louisville and camped by the Ohio Fall [Falls of the Ohio], behind Elm Tree Garden. I washed myself and my clothes and received a pass to go home. The next morning I went down into the camp again, and afterwards I put on clean clothes
and had several cents in my pocket; I felt happy again. Sept. 28 I wrote out the payroll for 4 months while at home, where my brother helped me. We had been told every day that we would receive money in Louisville. The 9th Indiana and 27th Ky. from our brigade were paid off at 4th and Chestnut Streets in Louisville, but we had to leave without money. During the evening on October 1, we marched off from Louisville with the hope that we would be paid off a few miles from Louisville, but we were mistaken, because we marched 10 miles in the night before we camped, and now there was no more talk of money. I stayed back and remained with several others by the corner of a fence where a burning desire arose again to turn back to Louisville. We started off early in the morning while it was still dark, and waited on the road until the regiment came marching up. It began to rain hard at midnight; the road was difficult. We crossed over the Rolling Fork by which time the Rebels had burned the bridge down. We camped there in the area 2 miles from Mount Washington in muck and rain. Wood's division, which was ahead of us, had driven the Rebels out of M[ount]. Washington that evening. We had heard their cannonading for a long time. October 3, early in the morning, we marched off. Next came our Brigade and Division. The people of M. Washington said that only 1,500 Rebel cavalrymen were there. They scrammed. Our Regiment was in front of the whole division and outside M.[ount] Washington the entire regiment was used as skirmishers. We had to move across woods, hills and valleys, and climb over a good many fences. Several shots were fired but no one was wounded. That evening our regiment served on picket; we lay in a ditch near the road. On the morning of October 4 the paymaster came and paid off 6 companies, general march blew, so we had to leave; 2 more Companies were also paid off
on the march. We 2 German companies received no money at that time. My Company B [formerly E] and Company G, each one of us, was greatly enraged over this sensitive exception. The total march for this same day amounted to 6 miles at most. October 5 we rested for 1/2 hour in the woods next to the Fairground at Bardstown. In the evening we marched through Bardstown and camped 1 1/2 miles from there in the woods. Cattle were slaughtered there and each person received a raw piece of meat that one could do with whataever he wanted. Many roasted it on a stick over the fire and most had little pleasure from it. Water was scarce and dirty. On October 6 we marched on an uneven and stony forest road, which exhausted everyone. We also climbed up and down hills and finally camped at 9 o’clock at night. We camped 2 miles from Springfield. Rations were drawn and we spent until midnight before we laid down and could rest. Oct. 7 we marched off and covered about 24 miles by 10 o’clock at night. The road was miserable and a lot of men stayed back, who returned only 2 and 3 days later. The dust and the water were always two things [that bothered us]; the first too much, the latter too little. We settled very close to the Rolling Fork where adequate and good water was found. We had suffered thirst through nearly the whole day and night until we reached here. October 8 we marched off and met the Rebels about 8 miles from the last place. We deployed in line of battle as soon as we arrived. Rousseau and McCook had a hot fight in the army's center and the cannon were nearly unceasing. Water was so scarce there that they battled over it until nightfall. We moved back 1/4 mile and camped that night and drew provisions for 2 days. October 9 we advanced slowly in Line of Battle.
to the little city of Perryville. We advanced over fences, cornfields, woods, and the like, and camped for the night a short distance away. We had plenty of water now; we camped by a large pond. October 10 we marched off again, but covered only 4 to 5 miles. We camped by a large straw pile and most built themselves huts from it when it began to rain. Unfortunately, because of our occupation [soldiers], we had to leave again. General march blew and we marched forward one-half mile away from the road, and left into the woods. It rained constantly, day and night, and we had nothing but our wet blankets for protection. Toward morning it was cold; at daybreak our company had to stalk around in the cornfields for 3 or 4 miles in a skirmish line without breakfast, and when we returned again we scarcely had time to eat something and draw our rations before we marched off to Danville. The 9th Indiana Regt. served as skirmishers and formed up to cover both sides of the road. The 41st Ohio and 6th Ky. had to go through cornfields, over fences, etc,. Our brigade was alone. The 6th Ky., 9th Ind., 41st Ohio and 110 Illinois drove the Rebels out of Danville without small resistance. We fired several cannon shots after them. We rested for a half an hour outside the city of Danville, while the 9th Indiana marched through it. We marched back again in Line of Battle, the same way we had come, and camped again at the previous site, which was 3 1/2 miles distant from Danville. Our regiment had to go on picket at 9 o'clock that night. It was very dark, and we had to stalk around nearly 2 miles in the country before all were posted; however, our Company was the Reserve and camped by a pile of straw, from which we made good beds. On Sunday morning, the 12th, the whole division marched off.
We were led in a circle for 7 miles to near Camp Dick Robinson and returned only at 10 o’clock at night to not far from the place that we had left in the morning. Oct. 13 we marched barely one half mile farther. Oct. 14 we marched again up to the little city of Danville, where we had to linger until we had drawn rations. The weather was clear. We marched through Danville, Ky., a nice little city with a pretty courthouse, and did not camp not until 9 o’clock at night, 2 miles to the side of the little city of Stanford. We were located on the right side there. At 1 o’clock in the morning, October 15, general march blew; most had still not slept, and we had to get ourselves ready in a hurry. We marched 9 miles in the double-quick; cannon thundered in the distance from General Crittenden’s Division. It was cold, the march made us sweat, and several times when we halted it froze on us. Many were still sleepy. By daybreak we arrived by the others, and stopped for about 1 1/2 hours. There we cooked our coffee. We had to go one mile to get the water. Now they [the others] left; the troops in front had skirmish fights with the Rebels the whole day, and they moved slowly forward. October 16, around 5:30 in the morning we marched off again. Our brigade and division were in front. After 2 miles we reached Crittenden’s division’s camp, and our whole regiment was deployed there in a skirmish line on both sides of the road, and had to go up and down hills the entire day and over fences, cornfields and all kinds of stuff near Mount Vernon, Ky. Our company found 3 large 3-gallon containers full of Whiskey next to a large hill. We drank it and filled our bottles; however, half was spilled; There was a terrible fuss over that. I had my bottle nearly full with it, but the others drank it just like water. The company next to us also had received a pitcher from us, and many drank too much of it.
Not far from the last place our regiment had a skirmish with the rebels. A man by the name of Vogel from Comp. C was shot dead and another slightly wounded. The Rebels had several wounded, we also captured some prisoners. The Rebels had blocked the road by felling trees. About 3 o’clock in the afternoon we were relieved from our arduous post by the 9th Indiana Regt. That evening the 27th Ky. and 110th Illinois came on picket and we camped in the area of the Rock Castle’s [Rockcastle] River. The next morning, Oct 17, we again marched off but advanced barely 6 miles. We climbed up a mountain, which was at least 3 miles long, and when we were on top, and had rested there some time, an order came to turn around, and we were about half-way down, when it was called again Right About. We went again up there again and camped in the evening at nightfall in Camp Wild Cat, where Zollicofer had camped last year. We had driven the Rebels before us here the whole day, and they stood nowhere long. Camp Wildcat was protected with rifle pits. On Oct 18 our brigade had to do scouting; we covered 3 to 4 M[iles], but met no enemy, and therefore came back to the old place. Oct. 19 we marched again from there, only our brigade with the 41st Ohio in front. We went slowly forward. The Rebels had the way blocked everywhere with cut down trees. Toward nightfall there were some shots exchanged between the skirmishers, whereupon our battery moved forward and fired several times; they immediately gave answer in the same tone and some roared over our heads. The 110th Illinois was in front of us and they fell flat on the ground and got out of the way. To the other regiments, ours, and the 9th Ind., it was like a blow. Everyone fell onto the ground, and got out of the way. At the time no one knew the real reason for it; everyone laughed afterwards over it, and many looked dusty. When it was over, it began to get dark.
We camped in a wood some 50 yards left of the road. We had no water and could get none there because the Rebels were still in possession of it. Fires were not allowed; the ambulance driver who had started one had to put it out immediately, because the enemy right away shook loose with several bullets that flew over our heads. The night was cold and we of course could not sleep much. At daybreak we wanted to make a fire, however it was still a little too early and dark, so we had to put it out again. However, shortly afterward we made fires, and since only a little before we had been freezing, we could barely wait to warm ourselves a little. The 20th we marched in Line of Battle up to an open field and camped there, where we had water. A coal mine was in the area. It was 4 miles from there to the little city of London, which we however did not go to because the enemy had moved back. Sgt. Brauser from our company found a rifle belonging to the Rebels. He sold it to the doctor for $5. In the evening we drew half rations for 2 days with one day’s fresh meat. Oct. 21 we lay quietly, and we washed our necessities in a hole or puddle. Oct. 22 we marched off from there and in fact back the way we had come and covered 14 miles without even having rested one time. We halted at the Rockcastle River. It was so cold that the water in our bottles froze. Without fires we could not sleep and we continued to have only half enough to eat. Oct. 23 we drew half rations again for 4 days. The whole Brigade emptied their rifles (loaded already for 3 and 4 days) into the Rockcastle River. In the afternoon we had drill again and in the evening at dress parade our chaplain said a short prayer in front of the regiment. We all had to remove our hats and caps for as long as his prayer lasted.
The 24th at daybreak we marched off again and made 10 miles by 9:30 in the morning. We then marched through Mount Vernon and made a 1 hour halt there, and afterwards marched off again. We camped in the evening a 4 P. M. on the road or forest path to Somerset. It had already been dark for a while. We obtained straw, wood and water, then orders arrived stating that our Company and Company C had to go on picket. We marched 1 mile from camp through the woods and blackberry hedges, and had difficulty in the darkness until we finally reached the place assigned. The weather was rather cold and misty. In the morning, Oct. 25, at reveille, we went back to the regiment. Around noon we marched off and camped in the evening without having rested a single time. It began to snow and snowed the whole night through. A 5 to 6 inch deep snow accumulated. We had to spend the night by the fire, and, we were wet and frozen. It was still 15 miles to Somerset. On the morning of the 26th we marched off. The road was full of muck and snow, but it began to thaw. We were covered with it from head to foot. We reached Somerset before dark and wanted to camp in a wood this side of SS [Somerset]; however, we had to leave there, and then marched through Somerset. It had snowed almost the whole day and in the evening it was 7 to 8 inches deep. We were quartered in the woods and made fires. We were still wet from the trees because the snow, from the warming, dripped continually until everyone under them, and their socks, pants, etc., were all wet. We tried our best to get all dry again, but the ground was all wet and grimy, and we could not think much about sleep here. The weather cleared and the snow melted. The 27th we drew half rations for 3 days, consisting of 5 crackers, 3 spoonfuls of coffee and 2 spoonfuls of sugar, and some bacon. Oct. 28 we marched off again, but barely made 5 miles and camped by a creek named Fish[ing] Creek. Oct. 29 we took
up our march up again and progressed 7 to 8 miles. We camped and that night drew half rations again for 3 days. October 30 marched off early in the morning (4:30). It was still pitch black, and made 18 miles. Oct 31 we marched 17 miles and camped by Russell Creek near Columbia, Ky. where we again received our knapsacks and tents. Nov. 1 I wrote the muster roll, and in the evening Inspection was held. Nov. 2 about 10 o’clock in the morning we took up the march and marched through Columbia, made 13 miles. It was dusty and very windy the whole day and it was cold. We camped in the evening to the side of the Glasgow road by a creek, which contained nearly no water. The same evening we drew 4 days half-rations, 8 crackers, 5 spoons coffee and 3 ditto sugar and bacon. Nov. 3 marched off and we passed through 2 little hamlets named Edmonton and Randolph in Metcalf County. We crossed over Beaver Creek, and it was already nighttime when we marched through Glasgow, Ky. We had marched 23 miles and camped 1/2 mile outside Glasgow. Nov 4 we (2 Companies) were paid out for 4 months and we also pitched our tents on the same day. The next day the drills resumed. Nov. 6 I wrote payrolls for the last 2 months, Sept and Oct. Our brigade was all that was left there. November 12 we marched off from there and camped in the evening 1 mile from the Barren River. We had to make detours because bridges over 2 rivers that we had to cross that day had been burned down. It rained and misted the whole day then cleared again. About midnight 4 Companies of our regiment came on picket and no one had a blanket with them. Toward 11 o’clock, 3 niggers came to us, from whom we bought apples and, in fact, 12 for 5 cents. Nov. 13 in the morning at daybreak, the order came that we should
get our knapsacks and carry them that day, which was hard on us because it was a fast march. We passed through a little city, Scottsville, Ky., and camped 8 miles from Scottsville in the afternoon, after an 18 miles hard march. Nov 14 we again marched off early. Our knapsacks were loaded onto the wagon with the sick. The border stone of Tennessee and Kentucky was 1 mile from where our pickets stood through the night. We marched through a little hamlet by the name of Centrehill and camped in the evening 4 miles from Gallatin on an open place. We lay 3/4 of a mile away from the road by an almost dried out creek. I had sore feet and was very tired. Nov. 15, in the morning at 9 o’clock, we marched through Gallatin Ten [Tenn.] Two miles from there we crossed over the Cumberland River, where it took a very long time. Only one man after the other could cross over a wooden bridge made from boards. The water had fallen considerably there, and it was 2 1/2 to 3 feet deep in the middle. It was already dark when we camped on the Lebanon Pike, 17 miles from Nashville . There we were led over to the left about one mile from the road and camped in a wood, where it was very stony, but enough wood available. It took 1 hour before we set up there. It was still a good while before our wagons and their wretched mules arrived. We had to fetch our knapsacks some 5 to 600 yards from where we camped; they lay all jumbled and everyone had trouble finding theirs. The wagon still had to have corn [?], and our Company things, tents etc. were in 3 or 4 different wagons, so that we had to search everywhere, and many got lost.
Nov. 16,  we pitched our tents and spent nearly the whole morning doing it because the ground was mostly stony and uneven, so there was no place to install blocks [stakes]. It was
almost noon before we were all finished, and a quarter hour afterward we heard some cannon fire in the distance and immediately thereupon general march blew. The tents were taken down again and loaded on the wagons. We hung around there for about an hour, and when we marched off it began to rain hard, and rained the whole afternoon. It was about a half mile march. When we pitched a camp there on an open place according to the regulation with the whole brigade in a line, everyone was soaked. We made a big fire and dried ourselves, however, the ground on which we had to lay was still wet. Nov. 18 our regiment came on picket. I had to write in the camp. At 10 o’clock at night marching orders arrived. Next morning Nov. 19 we marched off at 4 o’clock in the morning. Reveille sounded and promptly one-half hour thereafter, strike tents was blown. It was still pitch black; 4 wagons from our regiment were sent to Mitchellsville to obtain provisions, and the few people in camp now had to load all the things on the wagons, which were crammed quite full. I carried my knapsack that day and it misted and rained continuously the whole day. At the Stones River where the bridge was burned down, we made a halt for a half an hour until the wagons made it up over the hill on the other side. Soldiers from each company had to help several of them, We marched off again, left at 2, on the Murfreesboro Pike, which branches off the Lebanon Pike, then camped in the woods between the Murfreesboro Pike and the Stones River. That same day we passed the house and graves of Andrew and Richard Jackson. It was 11 miles from our camp. On March 12, 1862, we had marched out there from Camp Andrew Jackson on orders of General Nelson, who was our division commander. Our brigade was all alone there with Hazen and Nelson themselves. It was still 7 to 8 miles to Nashville from where we camped.
Next day the 20 Nov we pitched our tents and in the evening our whole brigade formed up on an open place where then a Lieutenant from the 41st Ohio had his shoulder straps ripped off because of not fulfilling his duty and drunkenness; a private from Comp. At of the same regiment had his head shaved and was drummed out in front of all. The latter had separated himself 2 times (at the Battle[s] of Shiloh and Perryville), and then stayed away from the regiment several days. On 23 Nov. a Sunday we had brigade review. On 25. Nov. we received orders around 12 o’clock to march off. We had already packed up some things, when the order was changed, and we did not march until the next morning. The 26th at daybreak (around 6 o’clock) we marched off again on the Lebanon Pike, and 2 M from Nashville left the Pike and came in the vicinity of the Murfreesboro Pike and fields. From there, marched up here and pitched camp in an apple orchard, 4 miles from Nashville at the Stones River and Murfreesboro Pike. On the 27 Nov. our whole regiment had to go on Train Guard with 58 wagons to get fodder, We went 10 miles out. We drove out there in the wagons over the rough and stony forest road, it nearly shook the entrails out of our bodies. We had to collect fodder in the whole area, and wagons went in all directions and loaded up where it was found. We came back at night after we had loaded all the wagons. The moon shined from time to time. It was cold, but when we ran it made us warm. We arrived at 10 o’clock at night in camp. We marched by a burned down house and a burning fence in front on our way back to the camp. On 30 Nov our Division had a General Review under Gen [General] Smith on a large open place 2 M. from Camp. General Rosencranz [Rosecrans] was there.
Our regiment was the first from the whole division, and we had a music band from the 84th Ohio, which played before us here. Genl. Rosencranz along with his staff and Genl. Smith were posted in the center and we marched past them. It was a cheerful day and then we marched back to camp again. Dec. 4 I was on leave with Sgt. Maas in Nashville and after we left, a brigade went out to forage and our regiment had to be ready to march off in case they encountered the enemy. The regiment immediately prepared for the departure. Dec. 7 our brigade had to picket 5 miles from camp. I stayed in camp because I had to write. Dec. 8 at noon they returned, and an order announced that we must always have 3 days rations in our haversacks until further orders, in order to be ready to march at any moment, and no one can venture out of the camp without permission. Dec. 9 we heard a half hour cannonade in the distance to our right, but it stayed quiet by us. Dec. 11 in the evening at 7 o’clock we heard several shots rather near to our camp and in the surrounding area. Our colonel said one whistled over his tent. It was dark before the moon appeared, and the whole regiment stood in line of Battle within 5 min[utes.] Many had already laid down but when Fall In was called, all were lively. After a quarter of an hour passed we could go to our quarters, but with the order to be ready at each moment when it is required. Again several times shots were fired, then it stayed quiet for the night; no one knew what it was about. Dec 12 our brigade served as Train Guard again with some 50 wagons. The 15th about noon it began to rain and storm until nighttime, then it was cold after that. Dec. 16 our regiment served on picket. It was clear weather but very windy and cold. I had to write in the camp. On the 20th our brigade was supposed to serve as Train Guard, but right away the order came that the whole division must depart
and make a reconnaissance. We however met no enemy and made a march there and back of 32 miles. Our regiment and brigade was in front. I was in camp and had to write. The 23rd we received marching orders. The regiment was on picket, We had everything in the camp packed except for the tents, then it was called at daybreak to march off. We did not march off however, and the regiment again served on picket. Dec. 24 we had orders to be ready to march at any moment and to have our haversacks filled with 3 days rations. On Christmas Day, Dec. 25, our brigade had to serve again as Train Guard. I stayed in the camp and wrote Muster Rolls. Dec. 26 at 7 o'clock in the morning, we marched off. Our baggage was sent to Nashville, and we marched down the road to Murfreesboro. Hardly had we 3 miles behind us when it began to rain hard and continued the whole day. About 9 miles from Nashville we met the enemy, and drove him back to within 2 miles of Lavergne. The road was a straight line for 3 mile. Ours and the 9th Indiana Regiment were ordered into the bush to the right 1/4 mile from the road, in order to see whether it was clear. We proceeded in Flank March into the woods, without skirmishers, and without having loaded our rifles. All at once, about 30 to 40 shots fell quickly on our right wing, one after another. The Rebels had hidden themselves, and expected our arrival. Our regiment fell into confusion, because no one had loaded [their rifle]. Colonel Whitaker had the brigade command at that time.The line was formed again and we moved forward. There were 3 men from our regiment wounded and at night we camped by the others. It was not until 10 o’clock at night that we arrived at a particular place. Our clothes were wet and it misted and rained continuously. Dec. 27 we marched through Lavergne. The Rebels had left the little city. It
rained tremendously. The houses in Laverne were mostly burned down and the few that were still there were drilled through by cannon balls and had been ruined. The residents had all fled and the place was deserted and empty. Several miles from the little city our brigade turned left on a different road. The main army marched on the main road to Murfreesboro. The enemy was continually before us here and we had Skirmish Fights with them. In the evening we halted by a creek. Our battery fired several shots off into the area where the Rebels were located. It rained the entire day. When it stopped the wather turned cold. We burned only fence rails there because there were enough. Dec. 28 it was pretty cheerful weather. Around our noon mealtime a strong skirmish fire took place to the right of us, where we then all had to join in. The 41st Ohio marched there on the double quick, but came back again after half an hour. We grabbed our rifles and departed again. Our Company and Company K went on picket at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. I found a Sesesh Rifle there, that I however could not keep and otherwise had no where to keep it. We slaughtered a sow, and cooked and roasted the meat. We all liked it. Dec. 29 at 8 o’clock in the morning we were relieved by the 44 Ohio Regiment, Wood’s Division, where then a different Brigade took our place. When we returned to the regiment, everyone was ready to march; the 41st Ohio was already away. We marched then to the main road and came to a little hamlet and Railroad Station, Smyrna. The one street from the other, was 3 miles from one another[?], The whole army marched off then. We had drawn rations beforehand, which we still had in the wagon, Mitchell’s Division was in the Rear, 5 miles from Murfreesboro. Our brigade veered right from the road, and marched about 3 miles on the double-quick through woods, over fences, cornfields and everything possible, which activity warmed us in the cold and damp weather.
We marched in close column by Division. After standing around here and there, we finally camped in the woods. It was already late night when we camped in Close Column, like we had marched. We had enough wood to burn. It began to rain again after midnight, but not continuously. Dec. 30 in the morning at daybreak, the skirmishers or rather the pickets went again about their work. We camped the whole day on an open field, always ready to battle. Toward evening our brigade marched back into the woods again and made fires and coffee. A long, terrible cannonading occurred in front of Negley’s division. which stood in the evening in rather severe fire. We made ourselves as comfortable as possible. We had to go on picket at 10 o’clock at night and we were deployed in an open cotton field. The wind blew strongly and it was so cold that we could not even think about sleep. December 31, in the morning at daybreak, it started again on both sides, and towards 8 o’clock it degenerated into a real battle. We stood in the fire until our 60 cartridges were fired. That must have been about 3 o’clock; then we moved back and again drew fresh cartridges. After 20 or 30 minutes rest we had to move forward again. We stood for the most part in front of our army, in open fields. When we met the enemy again. I got shot through the heel of my right foot. I hopped with my rifle as well as I could, and as fast as possible, and got out of shooting range. When I felt a little secure I washed my wound out and bandaged my foot by tearing my drawers. I made it from there into a Hostel. However. it was already full and everything was in confusion. I was in the yard where I sat down for a bit, but not for long; then came a piece from a bombshell, which burst, and a piece of it flew into the ground not 2 steps from me. I got away from there as fast as possible and went with the help of a comrade to a distant hospital, that also was full.
We stayed in the yard, and made a fire there. During the night most of the wounded were removed. It was cold, we had nothing to eat, and also nothing to cover ourselves with. We had to help ourselves as well as we could. On January 1, 1863, toward 7 o’clock in the morning, ambulances came and took us to a remote hospital 3 miles back. It was not secure here because the cannon balls roared nearby. The hospital was then moved 2 miles farther back where the General Hospital had been set up, and after much questioning and searching we finally found our brigade and regiment hospital, where we stayed. Our ambulance driver Franz Schwerer drove me about 3 miles back, and I rode again with him to the hospital where I then stayed, but it suddenly began to become dangerous there, but only for a short time. The hospital was on the road and the enemy was approximately 3/4 to 1/2 mile distant from there. We received meager food there and the night of January 2 to January 3 it rained continuously until daybreak. I and several more who had no blankets stayed close by the fire the whole night with only one eye closed. Some old cloth from tents which were there was obtained by those who got there earlier, but were of little protection because they were old and full of holes. January 3 it rained and stormed the whole day. The aides had wooden huts built for us. It was quiet the whole day on the front, only some skirmishers and pickets were heard shooting from time to time. Toward evening it stopped raining but the wind blew very strongly. We had so-to-say no shelter and not one time blankets to cover ourselves. It began to rain and storm again that night. It was cold and one could not linger by the fire, because the wind was too strong; it froze us like dogs. That same evening about nightfall, a heated fight broke out with a terrifying cannonade. It lasted for an hour. Jan. 4 the weather cleared up and towards evening our troops moved into Murfreesboro; the enemy had left it and retreated. In the evening about 8 o’clock a wagon train with nearly 100 wagons arrived and took all the transportable wounded with it. We drove the whole night through. It was cold and near the little city of Lavergne and thereabouts at least 100 wagons burned to ashes lay on the road, a work of Wheeler’s gang of robbers. By daybreak Jan 5,1863
we arrived in Nashville, and moved into a newly established Hospital No. 18, Corner of College and Church Street, Nashville, Ten[n]. I was in the basement where it was very dark, and was not light even with the nicest weather. It also was smelly. Jan.11 we were moved next door to the third floor, where it was much nicer and lighter. On Jan. 13 I was on the list to be sent away in order to go to Cincinnati, and was already prepared to travel and waiting on the bottom floor; however, an order arrived stating that we had to remain there because several of our boats had been burned by a robber band of Rebels at Harpeth Shoals, 30 miles below Nashville. Jan. 14, it rained the whole day, and on Jan. 15 it began to snow and was cold. It was announced several times to prepare to depart, but it did not happen until Feb. 15. On Sunday 50 men from our hospital were sent off. I was one of them. We were driven in Ambulances to the landing and boarded the boat Nashville, however, after half were already on it, they were taken off because the Captain told Doctor Gordon that the boiler has a crack and he could not take us, whereupon we again left and sat on the wharf for an hour, until we were finally taken into the engine room of the Saint Patrick, which was a nice new boat. We lay on the straw which was put down beforehand. About 2 o’clock In the afternoon the boat departed from Nashville. A stop of several hours was made at Clarksville during the night. Feb.16 at daybreak we passed Fort Donelson. A fleet consisting of 20 or 30 boats passed us, while they steamed to Nashville and had with them 8-10 gunboats for protection. Feb. 18 we reached Louisville Ky. and moved to Hospital No. 9/SchoolHouse/Corner of Wenzel and Market Street. Feb. 19 in the afternoon I could go home, however had to report to the doctor each day and since then had many days to write while there.
John Daeuble's diary for the period from October 26, 1863 through May 27, 1864 appears in Two Germans in the Civil War: The Diary of John Daeuble and the Letters of Gottfried Rentschler,6th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2004) translated and edited by Joseph R. Reinhart.
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