Tabler's Diary for July-December 1863

(Edited for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.)

Wednesday, July 1st
This wet and muddy morning we marched into Tullahoma without resistence. The place well fortified, and but for a flank movement, we would not be here today, the Rebel force here 2500. Our rations have been taken to supply those in front. We are on half rations.

Thursday, July 2nd
This morning we started in pursuit of the enemy, towards Winchester. Went to Elk River, and found the bridge burned, but off with our equipment, and breasted her through, it being waist deep, and camped for the night. Prisoners coming in and giving themselves up.

Friday, July 3rd
Up and off again this morning, on the Rebel track. Passed through Winchester about 10 A.M., and kept moving until we brought up at a place on the Nashville & Chattanooga R.R. called Cowan. Here we halted for the night. This day I waded two rivers, taking me most to the waist. Twelve miles, rainy and muddy.

Saturday, July 4th
Here I celebrated the Fourth of July on picket duty. Houghtaling’s Battery and the 11th Indiana Battery fired the National Salute, notwithstanding it rained most of the day. The Rebel deserters keep coming in, and surrendering up all.

Sunday, July 5th
A funeral, caused by the death of a lieutenant of the Kentucky Cavalry, killed by the enemy in front, in a brisk skirmish. This is a day of rest, much called for. Raining again, of which it seems there’s no end. The enemy just made their escape, and that’s all.

Monday, July 6th
The 51st and 42nd went foraging, and run around all day, through the mud, rain and water, for a distance of fifteen miles. Found nothing. Came back halfway to camp, and halted for the night. I slept on a rail, and got up in the morning none the worst. Here was a boiling spring.

Tuesday, July 7th
This morning we loaded our train and returned to Cowan Station on the railroad. It rained very heavy again. The fall of Vicksburg reported, and firing salutes for the glorious victory achieved by Grant and his victors. Tired we were indeed this evening, and lay down to rest.

Wednesday, July 8th
I was detailed for picket this morning, the Regiment not going out, but a detail. The news of Vicksburg confirmed. Rained on me all day again. My picket post was over. The Army’s living on half rations, yet all quiet at Cowan. War news generally encouraging.

Thursday, July 9th
Called off the picket line this morning, to get ready to march again. And it was a march too, such as you don’t read of, up on top the Cumberland Mountain, to a place called The University Of The South, for here was the cornerstone already laid.

Friday, July 10th
Pulled up my stakes, and started again southward, toward Bridgeport. Went about 7 miles and halted for this day. Companies K and H got lost on the R.R., but it came out alright in the end.  Here is where a Murrel killed Wood and threw him over the precipice.

Saturday, July 11th
This day was spent in picking Huckleberries, and resting our weary limbs. There is but our Brigade on this mountain, the others being left back at Cowan. It is the opinion that we can go no further until the railroad is fixed, in consequence of provisions.

Sunday, July 12th
I spent the day on picket, and a rainy one it was too. The 22nd and 27th went forward 3 or 4 miles, and cleared out the road of fallen trees. We heard good news from the East, General Mead routing the Rebel hoards. We were relieved at 8 P.M. from picket.

Monday, July 13th
All was quiet at this place on the mountain, the boys picking berries. The deserters are coming in, in squads. The citizens here are very destitute of the necessaries of life. This day we find ourselves in the rain, but warm and pleasant.

Tuesday, July 14th
On account of bad roads, and no forage to be found in the country, wherewith to subsist, we returned to University Station, and here we this day got whole rations, for the first time for 20 days. I was getting poor, now get out of the way, rations.  Weather rainy.

Wednesday, July 15th
On picket this day, on the railroad. Had a mess of berries. Last night, some long-fingered pilfering thief, or thieves, tore down or knocked down the cornerstone of The University Of The South, and took out the contents.  Whatever was in it, is done gone up.

Thursday, July 16th
All quiet on the mountain, the weather cold as the month of March would be down in the valley.  Heard of the surrender of Port Hudson. I am enjoying myself well. The health of the soldiers of the 3rd Brigade very good.

Friday, July 17th
Nothing of importance taking place today. The citizens coming in with berries to barter for coffee and sugar. I had a mess of Blackberries, no less desired. Tended conference meeting, and had a good time. General Sheridan offers a sword for the man that upset the cornerstone.

Saturday, July 18th
Reading and taking my ease this day, all quiet on the Cumberland Mountains. The cars came through to Cowan Station, bringing rations for the Army. War news very favorable and interesting. Weather warm and pleasant.

Sunday, July 19th
This morning the 51st and 42nd was detailed to go out scouting. We went south, out the Bridgeport road 8 miles, halted, formed a line of battle. Companies K ad H went on picket from the left wing of the 51st. The 42nd made a detail for picket, and here we spent the night.

Monday, July 20th
Here’s your mule. So we marched back to University, and throwed off our things for another part of a day’s rest. We met no resistance last night, all was quiet along our front. The weather continues fine, health good.

Tuesday, July 21st
All quiet on the mountains at University. Got some soap for to wash my shirt, for the first time since I left Camp Schaefer at Murfreesboro. There are beautiful springs here, called the Beersheba Springs. Last night it rained slightly.

Wednesday, July 22nd
All quiet on the mountains. A detail was taken from our Regiment, to go after the Paymaster. When the guards came home in the evening, they brought to me, told to them by Mr. Parks, the sad news of the death of my friend, Mr. Hunt, of the 36th Illinois.

Thursday, July 23rd
This day, all is quiet along the picket line. The cornerstone being marble, the boys are pecking it all to pieces, and making trophies of it. Were payed four months this day. I sent my money home by Mr. Raymond, our Chaplain.

Friday, July 24th
This day the left of our Regiment is detailed for picket. Our knapsacks has not come from Murfreesboro yet, consequently we are without tents and other necessary things that are much needed in camp. The picket post changed, had some berries to concentrate my hunger.

Saturday, July 25th
Came off picket this beautiful morning, all was quiet on the line during the night. Deserters keep coming. War news favorable, weather cool and pleasant. I don’t know any further of anything worthy note.  pending my time in reading.

Sunday, July 26th
This Sabbath, the 26th day of Our Lord, 1863. Our Chaplain gave us a farewell address, before going north. It was very interesting to hear. We held this meeting under the great shed, or workshop, made for the purpose of working under, while building the great Southern University.

Monday, July 27th
This is a lazy day among the soldiers, nothing going on but the usual routine of camp life. The Chaplain started north. I gave him an half dollar to defray expenses, as he said it customary for the boys to do.

Tuesday, July 28th
The left wing of our Regiment went on picket. Enjoyed myself finely. I and Corporal Riley got permission to go berrying. I ate berries, until the hard crackers and bacon was no enticement to me for dinner. Weather clear.

Wednesday, July 29th
Came off picket in good health and fine spirits, all was quiet along the line. My post was under a great Chestnut tree. Received marching orders, with three days rations. Dress parade this evening. War news favorable.

Thursday, July 30th
The long roll beat this morning at 8 in the morning, and next thing we were off for Bridgeport, Alabama. Went as far as Battle Creek, and halted for the night, a distance of 18 miles. We came through a great valley, between two mountains, called Lost Cove. Raining.

Friday, July 31st
Up and off for the town of Bridgeport, and when we reached the place on the Tennessee River, there was no place because the Rebs has burned it. Also the bridge over the river here. The Rebs were in sight, on the other side, and we had a chat with them. 

August, 1863

Saturday, August 1st
All quiet at this place. Our Regiment went on picket at 1 P.M. The country round here is free from guerrillas. Our boys and the Secesh pickets are talking backward and forward most at all times, and about a little of everything. Cleaning up our camp ground.

Sunday, August 2nd
Nothing much transpiring today, all quiet around the camp. The cars came through and excited great indignation. The Rebels, on the other side of the river, came out from behind their defenses to see what the Yankees were doing.

Monday, August 3rd
All was quiet during the night. I was made to rejoice this day, because our knapsacks came to us.  I will have a blanket to lie on once more. My things were all safe, and just as I packed them at Murfreesboro.

Tuesday, August, 4th
Fixing a shade over our tents, a very warm day. I got two teeth pulled, that have been bothering for the last six months. Went into the woods and cut poles to cover over our tents street. Some deserters swam the river, and give themselves up.

Wednesday, August 5th
All is perfect quietude at this place on the Tennessee. Our camp here is situated on a high bluff on the bank of the river. This is/was well fortified, and prepared for resistance, but the Rebs, as at other places, were scared out of it, then burned the great bridge, 600 yds. in length.

Thursday, August 6th
I cannot write anything that will be interesting to read, and how a death-like silence reigns throughout the whole camp. Our boys are trying to converse with the Rebels, but they refuse to talk. They say they are afraid we will shoot them.

Friday, August 7th
The left of our Regiment went on picket. All is quiet on the picket line. Major General Rosecrans came up here to see us for the first time, on his little dummie. Returned again in the evening, to Stevenson. The weather mild and pleasant.

Saturday, August 8th
We are this day reinforced by two regiments of the First Brigade. There is now here two brigades of Sheridan’s Division, the other is back at Stevenson, 8 miles from here. Citizens bringing in their fruit for sale. Clear weather, and warm.

Sunday, August 9th
A flag of truce went over the river, for the purpose of taking over the Rebel General Anderson’s mother. All passed off quietly. Inspection of Arms. Had a conference meeting, enjoyed myself well. Good health, the great boon of a soldier’s life.

Monday, August 10th
This is another day that there was nothing transpired but the routine of camp life. We are taking our ease, reading and writing, etc. All is absolute quietness along the picket lines. The weather clear and warm, the day well spent.

Tuesday, August 11th
Went on picket this day. All was quiet in and about this place.  Our Company and Company H. take one post on the Stevenson Road with __?__ outpost’s. Received marching orders, with three day’s rations in haversacks, four or five on the wagon, and two pr. of shoes about the person.

Wednesday, August 12th
No marching yet, no orders to go yet, only to be ready. All is quiet in Camp Roberts. This camp is named Camp Roberts, in memory of our brave General that fell at Stone’s River. Had Dress Parade this evening, everything went off quiet.

Thursday, August 13th
Camp all quiet on the Tennessee, in Alabama. Fired off our guns, that we might clean them, and get ready for Inspection. A change in the weather, it rained a quite a refreshing shower, and laid the dust. The health of the boys are good.

Friday, August 14th
All quiet in Camp Roberts. Our Lieutenant had his pants stolen, with $25.00 in them. An Officer of the Day, of the Rebels, came over to our side. Deserted the Rebs, and run away. Said he was tired of their skulduggery. There was some men came with him also.

Saturday, August 15th
Last night the Rebs left island, and burned the other bridge across the south branch, between twelve and one o’clock at night. Our guard gave the alarm, when the artillery opened on them with great fury, but they were gone, and we got no reply.

Sunday, August 16th
This morning the bridge was still smoking, and not a Rebel to be seen. All is quiet again. Why they burned the bridge, a deserter told. They thought the Yanks were coming, and gave the alarm, and the tar and turpentine that was on the bridge was touched off.

Monday, August 17th
The Sun rose brilliant this morning, and all is well in camp. Commenced writing up this book this day, the 17th, 1863. Hope I may not be laboring in vain. I consider, in future it may be of some interest to me.

Tuesday, August 18th
Camp Roberts is all quiet this day. Deserters still coming, and report the Rebel Army as being in a destitute condition. An old veteran soldier deserted them yesterday. The weather quite warm.

Wednesday, August 19th
Went on picket, and received orders to pack up everything, preparatory to marching. Two prs. of shoes must be kept about our person, one on the feet, the other on the back, with the expectation of a long march.

Thursday, August 20th
Came off picket this. Our tents standing. Our knapsacks was not gone, as we expected they would be, and no signs of moving yet. Our Quartermaster sent after a new lot of clothes, and I suppose we are awaiting their arrival.

Friday, August 21st
No go yet, lay here in perfect quietude. Generals Rosecrans, & Stanley & McCook came up from Stevenson, and mounted horses and went down river about five miles, to visit the place and plan out for a crossing.

Saturday, August 22nd
This day of Our Lord, 1863, we had some clothing come through to us. There was also some lumber come, to fix the bridge. The sharpshooters went over and scoured the island, but nothing was to be found, except a few deserters whom they brought over.

Sunday, August 23rd
Last night there was a Rebel train burned on the railroad, with some cannonading. We, the battle impending, had already commenced. General Rosecrans came up, to look out a crossing place, a place to lay the pontoons. Tended Divine Services.

Monday, August 24th
Camp Roberts all alive, and in a whury about our marching orders. War news, and rumors and reports generally. The First Brigade sent over four companies onto the island, to scout about, and the Rebel pickets fired at them, when our cannons opened on them, causing great scatterment.

Tuesday, August 25th
Still here at Camp Roberts. This is a cool day. General Rosecrans came up again from Stevenson, his headquarters, with a squad of Cavalry, and went out towards Jasper, to visit that portion of his Army. We are jubilant the evening, over the news of the fall of Charleston, S.C.

Wednesday, August 26th
No go yet, all is quiet on the Tennessee. Gen. Rosecrans came up again to look around, preparing to build the bridge. More lumber came in on the train. I was on guard, last night, over the Field Officers horses. Weather cool.

Thursday, August 27th
The left five Companies of our Regiment on picket. Nothing going on unordinary or uncommon.  There was 25 deserters came in, from the coal mines on the other side of the river. Also the Superintendent of the diggings, who is a very intelligent man.

Friday, August 28th
All quiet along the line last night. Two Dummies came up today, bringing three or four Major Generals. The whole 27th Regt. was out choppin’ and gettin’ out timbers for the bridge.  Everything going on lively. War news favorable, etc. etc. etc.

Saturday, August 29th
The 22nd Regiment went chopping timber to fix the bridge. Two Regiments of Cavalry forded the river, one above & one below this place. All is quiet in and about Bridgeport. I am taking it easy, spending my time in reading. Weather cool.

Sunday, August 30th
Last night there were 4 pontoons came up from Stevenson. Was on picket this day, all quiet along the line.  Sat on a large rotten log and ate my dinner. Weather clear. Gave 15 cts. for the Cinncinatti Paper, for one week.

Monday, August 31st
Last night, 28 pontoons came through, and are being launched in the river this morning. Men very busy putting up the bridge. A report afloat that Chattanooga is evacuated. Last night, while on picket post, I engaged a Possum, and came out victorious.

September, 1863

Tuesday, September 1st
Was detailed to go into the woods, to help load bridge timber, and got my hand hurt. Then was detailed as orderly for the Courts Martial.  Cars bringing in bridge timber and rations. The troops are coming in. Two men drowned in the river.

Wednesday, September 2nd
Packed up, and was off at 10 A.M.. The bridge, after all the troops had crossed and the heavy baggage wagons came on, gave way, letting them into the water. But no lives lost. We marched about 4 miles, and halted for the night.

Thursday, September 3rd
Lay all day waiting for the reparation of the bridge, and for Negley’s Division to get out the way. Up Raccoon Mountain there was 4 horses killed by overheating. Some families very destitute.  A man thrown off his horse and near killed. Some deserters came in.

Friday, September 4th
This morning we left Hog Jaw Valley, our Brigade going ahead, and marched up Raccoon Mt. a distance of one mile and a quarter. This was uphill business, but did not check the progress of our infantry, but the train was double teamed. The bridge broke down again. We marched until Negley’s Division was overtaken, where we halted for the night.

Saturday, September 5th
Marched forward today. Our Company was left in the rear to guard the ambulance, and did not get into camp until dark, and tired and weary we lay down for the night. Our march today was on Raccoon Mt. until night drew nigh, and we descended the Mt. into the valley, where we camped. The night road was very dusty.

Sunday, September 6th
The 2nd Brigade on the lead, we moved forward as far as Lookout Creek in the valley of Lookout Mountain, and a distance of 9 miles, where we camped for the night. The road was very dusty. War news favorable. We are marching toward Rome, Georgia.

Monday, September 7th
Moved forward again, a distance of 5 miles, where we halted for this day. The citizens turning out, to resist the Invaders. The bridge burned in front, and the Enemy reported in force on the opposite side. Two Divisions moving on this road.

Tuesday, September 8th
Did not move this day. Lay still, waiting orders and foraging something to eat. And, had Inspection, in order that every man’s ammunition should be preserved and in good order. Policing up our Company ground. The weather warm and dry.

Wednesday, September 9th
Was detailed to go to Stevenson, as a guard with the supply train. I rode most all day, over the rough and dusty road, and went on picket at night. Did not reach Stevenson. This day, made 25 miles.

Thursday, September 10th
Rose early, and was off.  Reached the town at 10 A.M., and loaded up, and was off again for the Army. Did not get up Sand Mountain this evening, on account of our heavy load. Was obliged to double team up this Mt.

Friday, September 11th
Got up the Mt. about noon today, and made 10 miles, and camped for the night. The road very dusty. I walked all the way this day, and carried my arms, because most of the boys got tight and did not attend to their duty.

Saturday, September 12th
Descended the mountain this morning, on our way to the front. The Army moving towards Alpine. We reached Valley Head at 4 P.M., and camped for the night. Reports and rumors of a fight in front.

Sunday, September 13th
Went up Lookout Mountain, on our way to the front. Went to within two miles of the foot of this Mt., and halted in consequence of the expectation of a battle. We rested here for awhile, and went back two miles and camped.

Monday, September 14th
Our troops changing their position. This day I joined the Regiment, and we marched north.  Descended the mountain at 10 A.M., and had a long march of 23 miles through the dust, where some places it was so thick as to hide the ground from my view.

Tuesday, September 15th
Here we lay until 1 P.M., getting rations. We set out again in the direction of Chattanooga, and reached the foot of Lookout Mountain again, where we put up again for the night. The whole Army moving.

Wednesday, September 16th
Climbed the Old Mountain again on our way. Also descended  it, and put up for the night, within 12 miles of LaFayette. Here General Negley engaged the Enemy the other day, and was compelled to fall back, on account of superior numbers.

Thursday, September 17th
Some cannonading in front. Drawn up in line of battle, where we lay all day awaiting the approach of the Enemy. No Rebs came, and now moving to the rear about half a mile, we lay down for the night.

Friday, September 18th
This morning we moved forward about 6 miles, and pitched our camp. The left wing of our Regt. went on picket, where we remained for about one hour, when the long roll beat and we had to march again in the middle of the night. Dust very thick, and night dark. Made 6 miles.

Saturday, September 19th
This morning the battle commenced, and raged with great fury. Our Division was called for, and off we went to the support of Gen. Crittenden’s Corps. After going on the double quick for a number of miles, our Brigade made a desperate charge on the Enemy, and lost half our number (the 51st Regt.).

Sunday, September 20th
The 51st Regt. lay on the battlefield all night assisting the wounded, and watching the Rebs. This morning we moved back one mile, and formed a new line of battle. At 12 O.C. the Enemy, with overwhelming numbers, drove us back towards Chattanooga, with a loss of some cannon, killed, wounded and prisoners, but the Enemy beaten on the left.

Monday, September 21st
Here in Chattanooga Valley, we went to building barricades. The Enemy following up, supposing to drive us into the Tennessee, was beaten back handsomely, and we kept on digging. The Army in fine spirits. Our loss heavy, and the Rebel loss heavy.

Tuesday, September 22nd
Last night we fell back to within one mile of the town, and commenced to fortify again. The Enemy followed up closely, and began to shell us, but getting as good as they sent, they drew off again and began to maneuver.

Wednesday, September 23rd
Days and nights equal. All hands to work this day, with pick-ax and spade. Cannonading going on. Some skirmishing along the whole line, the Enemy kept off. Our signal on the top of Lookout Mt. gives us warning of all the Rebel movements.

Thursday, September 24th
Very heavy cannonading along the whole line of fortifications, and heavy musket firing for some time. The Rebs feeling our position, finds it to be a strong one, and draws off again with bellies full. Rosecrans visits his lines amidst loud cheering.

Friday, September 25th
This evening the Enemy made a desperate attack on our lines, but was driven back handsomely.  One solid shot struck on our works, scattering the newly laid earth in every direction. The attack ceased, as the night came on. Casualties unknown.

Saturday, September 26th
Last night our Division moved back one mile, other troops taking our place. This day we are felling trees and building new works, on a very commanding position. A few shots fired on the line, but to no avail.

Sunday, September 27th
Occasional shots fired along the line, no heavy firing this day. The Enemy maneuvering his troops preparatory to an attack. General Rose. is getting ready to receive them, working day and night.  Tended Divine Service in the forenoon. The Regt. this evening was detailed to work, but done nothing.

Monday, September 28th
Last night we were aroused by musket firing, at a brisk rate for full half an hour, when it died away, resulting nothing. We moved into camp this afternoon, and was very busy fixing up our little tents for the first time for a month.

Tuesday, September 29th
Was detailed to work, digging new breastworks in front. Worked all day on half rations, at the rate of 13 dollars a month. Some picket firing. Our pickets obliged to keep themselves secreted, and double quick while relieving, for safety.

Wednesday, September 30th
This a lucky day for me. Though many were detailed to work, I was given a day of rest, it not being my turn. Spent my time in reading, writing, resting and C. All was quiet last night, and this day my health is good.

October, 1863

Thursday, October 1st
This night, at 9 P.M., I was detailed with eleven others to go to town and unload the wounded soldiers, as they are just coming in. We worked all night, filled two hospitals, and unloaded three trains. Remained in the hospital all day, taking care of the wounded.

Friday, October 2nd
Was relieved from my duty in the hospital, and was glad of it. It was very tiresome and loathsome, as our wounded had been laying on the battlefield with little or no care for six days, and our dead yet unburied, Bragg refusing us leave.

Saturday, October 3rd
Done nothing this day but reading and writing. All is quiet along the picket line. A report that the Enemy is massing his force on our right, preparatory to an assault. Orders not to leave camp, but be ready to fall in at a moment’s notice.

Sunday, October 4th
A few cannon shots fired at the Enemy, but no reply. On fatigue, and on half rations, because the supply was burned the other day between here and Bridgeport. Chattanooga all quiet. The Enemy planting siege guns on Lookout Mountain.

Monday, October 5th
Spread brush along our line of breastworks, to hide them from the Enemy. Then went to work building a bombproof, to protect us from Enemy shells. About noon the cannonading commenced on both sides, Bragg ordering the women and children out of town.

Tuesday, October 6th
All quiet along the line last night. There was a brisk cannonading on both sides, but no lives lost.  We worked on our bombproof. On half rations, four crackers for two days. A rumor that reinforcements are coming.

Wednesday, October 7th
Went on picket at half past three, without any breakfast. A few shots fired along the line, but no one hurt. Some artillery firing over our heads, feeling the Enemy position. Stood six hours on post. Weather cold and unpleasant.

Thursday October 8th
Was relieved early this morning, and went to the rear about half a mile, where we lay on reserve all day. Some cannonading again. We believe the Enemy to be drawing off his forces, as we receive no reply when cannonading.

Friday, October 9th
Our cannoneers firing at the Rebel signal flag on top Lookout Mt. Dropped a shell right on the point of rock where they were, scattering the signalers in every direction. Drew full rations of hard bread, the first time for eight days.

Saturday, October 10th
Suspecting an attack, two pieces of artillery brought out, ready for the fray. Our Regiment went out to the immediate front again, where we lay in an old factory all day.

Sunday, October 11th
Nothing going on worthy of note today. Some artillery firing in the afternoon, but no reply from the Enemy. Tended Divine Service in the forenoon, and went over to see the boys in the 36th in the afternoon. All well.

Monday, October 12th
The Rebel sharpshooters trying to pick off our General, but in a feeble manner. Our artillery playing among them with shot and shell, but not much success. Details working on the forts, in different places.

Tuesday, October 13th
Chattanooga is all quiet but a few shots fired on the line. Commenced raining last night, and rained all this day. A fatigue party to work on the fort, but not from our Regiment. The name of this camp is Lytle, the name of our General that was killed here.

Wednesday, October 14th
A wet, rainy day. I am permitted to remain inside my little tent in the dry. All was quiet along the picket line. My health good. Wrote a letter to one of my friends.

Thursday, October 15th
Rained all day, and last night. The river rising rapidly. The Rebs made large rafts, and let them float down against our pontoon bridge, breaking it loose in several places. All quiet along the line.

Friday, October 16th
The rain subsided. We to work on the fort one half day. Had inspection in the afternoon. The Rebel sharpshooters to work again, but results not known. Our pickets well prepared for the fray, and keep off the Rebel Tyrants.

Saturday, October 17th
Some cannonading, but to what purpose is not known. The sharpshooters also to work. Had Dress parade in the evening. Two of our Co. boys returned from a foraging expedition. Fortifying going on rapidly. The Rebs prowling round.

Sunday, October 18th
Our Brigade went on picket, our Regiment first on the line. The Rebs very bold, and came up to the river bank on which were our pickets. And in the night time, we threw sticks and stones at each other.

Monday, October 19th
Moved back about 80 Rds., where we lay on reserve. Some few shots exchanged between the boys, but no casualties. The time limited for us to stand, is four hours off and four hours on.

Tuesday, October 20th
This morning we were relieved by troops from the 14th Army Corps, who are to take our place.  Moved camp in the evening, took our place on the right of our Corps, near the center of the Army around Chattanooga.

Wednesday, October 21st
Did not get into position yesterday, consequently we did not pick tents, therefore we made no camp, and lay here all day awaiting orders to move, but no move this day. Some firing on the lines.

Thursday, October 22nd
This day about 10 P.M. received orders to move into position, which we cheerfully done, and commenced arranging our small tents. Some cannonading along our lines, but no reply from the Enemy.

Friday, October 23rd
Heavy cannonading in the night, but no reply. The cause was supposed to be that the Enemy were planting batteries near our lines. Rained all day. Nothing to eat but hardtack and salt meat, and half rations at that.

Saturday, October 24th
Got orders to fix up a shebang large enough for eight or six persons, and to be put up immediately, so we worked at this all day, with great contention, every man being his own boss. All quiet along the line.

Sunday, October 25th
All quiet at Cha. Was detailed to get brick, to build chimneys. Worked all day hard, without anything to eat. The roads being so bad, or the distance so far for which to obtain them.

Monday, October 26th
This day I was among the detail that went on picket. Did not go directly on post, but was on reserve. The editor’s residence, of the notorious sheet The Chattanooga Rebel, torn down. And one man got his leg broke.

Tuesday, October 27th
Last night our troops crossed the river at the point of Lookout Mt., and attack the Rebs, routing them and taking some prisoners, and gaining a very important point, of which they rapidly fortifying.

Wednesday, October 28th
Heavy cannonading down the river, our forces still contesting the Enemy for the important point on Lookout Mountain, necessary for our supplies to come through. The Rebel Guns reply with great vigor from the top of the Mt.

Thursday, October 29th
Last night I was startled by the loud booming of cannons, the sharp cracking of musketry on the point of Lookout Mt., and a desperate engagement ensued, lasting two hours. The Rebel guns on the Mt. keeping up a continual fire all day.

Friday, October 30th
The two Richmond Guns on the point of Lookout Mt. threw a few shells into our camps, but done no damage. In the evening we had a short review by Acting Brigadier General Walworth. Every else passed off quietly.

Saturday, October 31st
Among the detail this morning, I was one. All passed off quiet in front. We were on reserve, and did not stand sentinel but two hours. Some few shells fired by the Rebs into our camp, but no injuries.

November, 1863

Sunday, November 1st
After fixing one bunk, I went over to Sheridan’s headquarters to hear a Mr. Murdock read and talk to the boys, then appeared on General Muster, and in the evening went to hear a sermon preached by a Catholic minister.

Monday, November 2nd
Went on picket again without anything to eat, until the next morning when I got to camp. The Rebels building fortifications near our picket line, when our cannons opened upon them, making them scatter.

Tuesday, November 3rd
The Rebel gun on point Lookout threw some shells into the town, but done no injury. Got a little something to eat, just enough to keep me from starving. A detail every other day for picket.

Wednesday, November 4th
Washed two shirts and hung them out to dry. All quiet in Chattanooga. This morning early, two houses burned down, which allowed the boys a chance to get some boards.

Thursday, November 5th
This morning raining hard. I was detailed to work on the breastwork, but having nothing to eat the C detail would not work, laying round all day in the rain. We went back to our quarters with a wet back and an empty stomach.

Friday, November 6th
Was detailed again for picket. All was quiet along the entire line, with the exception of some cannonading from Old Point Lookout. A beautiful day, and had a little something to eat. All quiet.

Saturday, November 7th
Came off picket this morning. Last night was a very cool night, but all was quiet along our line.  Some cannonading heard at a distance. The Old Siege Gun on Lookout to work, but accomplished nothing.

Sunday, November 8th
The big guns on Point Lookout replying at long intervals, but no casualties but a Negro killed. Other than this, all was quiet at Chattanooga. Tended Divine Service, and a meeting of the black man, the other the soldiers.

Monday, November 9th
A cold day this. All is quiet on the Tennessee at Chattanooga. Nothing but the old routine of camp life. Chattanooga is getting to be quiet, and pretty well Yankee’d over. The health of the troops generally good. Drawed 3/4 rations.

Tuesday, November 10th
Was detailed for picket. Had a good time, lay on reserve all day. All was quiet along the line. Our men building a fort right near the picket line, with the expectation of taking part in the siege, when it commences.

Wednesday, November 11th
Yesterday evening the shells burst around the point of Lookout Mt. from our siege guns from down the river, but the result is not known. All is quiet at this place. A quite heavy frost last night. Drew some clothing. My health good.

Thursday, November 12th
Heavy cannonading going on between our siege guns and those of the Enemy on Lookout. Some shells burst near our camp, but done no damage. Except this artillery duel, all was quiet this day.

Friday, November 13th
Was detailed the day to work on the fortifications. There were several details here to work, and our’s got the praise. There is being great works being throwed up. Great works here. All was quiet along the entire line.

Saturday, November 14th
Got paid four month’s pay, $ 52.00. Kept $ 40 to send home. Subscribed for the Nashville Weekly Press. Some few shots fired by the big gun on the mountain, but done no damage. My health good.

Sunday, November 15th
The day passed off quiet, with the exception of a few shots fired by the batteries around Lookout Mountain. Tended meeting in the forenoon, and evening wrote a long letter home to my brother.

Monday, November 16th
This morning a pontoon bridge was attempted to be laid by our forces up the river, but the Enemy opened on the Yankees with heavy artillery, foiling the attempt which was abandoned.  Casualties, as far as heard from, is the Chaplain of the 125th Ill. killed.

Tuesday, November 17th
Our Regt. went on picket this day. The Rebels in plain view, 40 rds. distant. All was quiet on the line. The Rebel guns on Point Lookout reply at long intervals, and do no damage. Sent my money home yesterday.

Wednesday, November 18th
Came off picket this morning and left everything quiet along the line. Some few shots from the big guns fired, but to no avail. Let the water pail fall down in the well, and went and got it. Our letter came back.

Thursday, November, 19th
Was in a fatigue detail, which went to work on Fort Wagner. Worked all day on this Ft. An occasional shot from the Rebel gun on the Mt. All was quiet along the line, and in Chattanooga.

Friday, November 20th
Received marching orders, with two days’ cooked rations in our haversacks, and to march at 6 P.M. Some indications of a fight. All quiet in the front, but our cannons shelling the mountain from Moccasin Point battery.

Saturday, November 21st
Got ordered to keep two days’ rations of meat on hand, and be ready for any emergency. Some cannonading from the mountain, and from Moccasin Point battery. All quiet in our immediate front.

Sunday, November 22nd
The day passed off quiet. Suspecting a fight. Our Regiment went out to the picket line, and relieved the 27th . The Rebel trains very active all night. Heavy cannonading at the Enemy’s wagon trains, moving over Missionary Ridge.

Monday, November 23rd
The battle commenced at 2 P.M. on the left, and continued until night, we having gained much and driven the Enemy from his rifle-pits and front lines of breastworks, capturing a whole Regt. Built barricades, and held the position during the night.

Tuesday, November 24th
General Hooker this morning commenced the attack on the right, on Lookout Mt., which raged with fury all day and until late in the night, gaining this point and taking a large number of prisoners, while we strengthened our works.

Wednesday, November 25th
This day the battle raged with great fury all along the left and center, and at 4 P.M. Sheridan’s Division charged Missionary Ridge, capturing many prisoners, a large number of heavy guns. This charge lasted one half hour, up a steep mountain 400 ft. high.

Thursday, November 26th
After drawing ammunition and rations, we started in pursuit of the fleeing Rebels, at one O.C. at night, and followed them as far as Chickamauga Creek, where the bridge was burned and prevented any further advance. Then got orders to go to Knoxville, after Longstreet.

Friday, November 27th
Did not go today, but make ready to march in the morning of the morrow. Some cannonading was heard in the vicinity of Chickamauga Creek. Prisoners keep coming in, and various reports of our great victory.

Saturday, November 28th
Started for Knoxville this morning, through mud and rain, a distance of 12 miles, not getting into camp until 1 O.C. at night. All quiet in front.

Sunday, November 29th
Commenced our march this morning and continued all day, a distance of 16 miles, passing through Harrison, and camped in between two large hills. All quiet in front.

Monday, November 30th
This morning I was detailed, with some others, to go ahead as Pioneers to clear out the road.  Made 22 miles and camped at Hiawassa Landing on the Hiawassa River.

December, 1863

Tuesday, December 1st
The column moved forward to Decatur, a distance of 12 miles, where we camped for the night on a side hill, and I was detailed to draw beef.

Wednesday, December 2nd
Marched this day 18 miles, commencing at daybreak, the weather being cold and the ground froze. Captured 500 lbs. bacon, which did not go hard, as we were short of rations. All quiet.

Thursday, December 3rd
The 51st took the lead this morning, and after marching some length of time, we came to a small town called Philadelphia. Passing through here a distance of 4 miles, which made in all 20 miles.  A hard march.

Friday, December 4th
I lay still all day and had nothing to eat but some fresh sheep meat, which we (Co. K) killed ourselves, and a few little frozen potatoes, which I scratched out of the ground with my fingers.

Saturday, December 5th
Moved forward today and crossed what is called the Little Tennessee, and on a distance of 14 miles, and camped for the night. All being quiet in front, Longstreet reported falling back.

Sunday, December 6th
Moved forward again, towards Knoxville, and made 17 miles. Camped by a grist mill, where we drew some meal, being within 14 miles of the once besieged town. All quiet so far.

Monday, December 7th
Moved forward this day, passing through Rockford on our rout, and reached Knoxville at dark, when our Company was detailed to go on picket. All was quiet during the night

Tuesday, December 8th
Lay still all day. Drew a pint cup full of flour for our day’s rations. Weather cold and chilly, and some symptoms of rain.

Wednesday, December 9th
Marched across the river, through town, and camped a mile northwest of the same, near the Rebel barracks and rifle pits. They are middling good work, but not so good as ours.

Thursday, December 10th
Lay still today. The orders for marching were countermanded. We went to town and got some flour baked. This place is larger than Chattanooga, and much better for the health.

Friday, December 11th
Went to town and got a good meals victuals, for which paid 50 cents of a good Union man, whose name was Colburn. Returned to camp all well. All quiet at Knoxville.

Saturday, December 12th
Fixing up our shebang. Living on a pint of meal and four lbs. of fresh meat a day, with little or no salt. All quiet at Knoxville. Boys visiting Fort Saunders, where the Rebs made the charge with such desperate fury.

Sunday, December 13th
The right of the Regt. went on picket. The weather rainy and cold. The 3rd Ky. went to Loudon, to work on a bridge. All quiet at Knoxville, the place beginning to assume its former position.

Monday, December 14th
Took my shirt over to the Negro washerman, to get it washed. Chopping wood, to pass away the time. My health good.

Tuesday, December 15th
Got marching orders, with 2 day’s rations. Was detailed to go for beef. No mail, no rations, no nothing, nor much of anything, yet good health, the boon of life.

Wednesday, December 16th
Moved out last night, and took the cars for Strawberry Plains. The East Tenn.& Va. R.R. here.  We rode 18 miles, and then footed the remainder of the way, a distance of 10 miles, where we halted for the night.

Thursday, December 17th
Some fighting going on in front at Cross Roads, but the result is not known. We lay still all day, and listened to the firing that was going on in our front.

Friday, December 18th
Was detailed to go a’foraging, got my meal baked, and came back with a pig at four o’clock P.M.  Went about five miles, shot at 4 or 5 pigs and got only one of them.

Saturday, December 19th
Longstreet reported falling back. Rations scarce, weather cold. All quiet near Blaine’s Crossroads, laying out in the night, with little or no shelter.

Sunday, December 20th
All quiet near Blaine’s Crossroads. The health of the troops tolerable good. Co. K. reported 5 men for duty. Companies G., H., and K. commanded by one officer, and also duty together.

Monday, December 21st
Moved camp, on account of a scarcity of wood, and fixed up a shebang the best we thought proper, and drew a few hardtack, just enough to make my mouth water. All quiet in front.

Tuesday, December 22nd
Trees falling rapidly, and as fast are consumed in warming the poor soldier, and cooking his scanty meal.  All quiet near Blaine’s Crossroads. Weather cold.

Wednesday, December 23rd

Fixing our shebang for Winter. Other regiments moving camp, for wood. All quiet in camp.  Cold west wind blowing rapidly, ground freezing.  My health good.

Thursday, December 24th
Myself, and two other boys, went foraging on our own hook out in the country, and got nothing but one chicken and some corn. All quiet in camp. Weather cool.

Friday, December 25th
The boys, three of them, went out in the country and killed a hog for Christmas. Spent the day in the Old Shebang, reading my paper.

Saturday, December 26th
Had some dead hog for dinner. Detailed to go for beef. All quiet in front. Roll call three times a day.

Sunday, December 27th
The 42nd detailed to guard a mill out in the country, that we might obtain meal. I commenced cooking with an old oven, for six men. All quiet in camp.

Monday, December 28th
Cooked a mess of hominy for dinner. Recruiting for veterans. A rumor that we will soon return to Chattanooga. The weather cold. My health good. All quiet in camp.

Tuesday, December 29th
Nothing going on in camp. Had some corn for dinner again. All quiet near Blaine’s Crossroads. Weather cold and freezing. Pretty rough times.

Wednesday, December 30th
No picket duty in this camp. This day is the anniversary of the great battle of Stone’s River. Nothing going on today worthy of note. All quiet in camp.

Thursday, December 31st
Drew three-fourths rations for three days. All quiet 15 miles northeast of Knoxville, at a place called Blaine’s Crossroads. Recruiting for veterans. My health good.