Mementos 2


from The National Tribune, Other Contemporary Newspapers, Diaries, Letters, Books,
Court Martial Records, Pension Files, Compiled Service Records
and Other God-Knows Wheres

Mementos 1      Mementos 3

Hospital Too Close to the Firing Line
I would like to relate a circumstance that happened on the battlefield at Atlanta, Ga., July 22, 1864. I was on the skirmish line, and we went a half mile through the woods and came out in plain view of the city. Many of us had lost our commands, but stayed there all the time the battle was raging on our left where Gen. McPherson was killed. About 2 o-clock the enemy began pouring over their breastworks in front of the city, column after column. I watched them as long as I thought it safe; then, as I was my own General, ordered a retreat. I had not gone far before I met a skirmish commander, who ordered us all back. I started back, but not so fast as I had come, and soon met the whole line running as hard as they could. I joined in the run back, and had only gone a little way when I came upon two young men who had been stopped in their flight by the pleadings of a wounded soldier, shot in the back, the bullet passing entirely through his body. He begged them piteously not to leave him in the enemy's hands, and as soon as I came up one of the young men said to me: "I will carry the things if you will help carry him." At once I took hold of his legs, and the other fellow took him around the waist, and we started through the woods as fast as we could, knowing the enemy was close to us. None of our boys were anywhere around, and we realized that we were between two fires. Several times we were almost on the point of leaving the wounded soldier to take care of ourselves, but his pleadings were too much for us, and we held on to him. After many vicissitudes we happened to hit my regiment, but when we reached it, the works were so full that they refused to admit the poor fellow, and told us to take him to the hospital, half a mile back in an open field close to the woods. They brought a stretcher upon which we put the wounded man and started for the hospital. This put us in line of the bullets where the main fighting was going on. The boys came flying up, and we knew something had happened, and we afterwards learned that this was where the thickest of the fight had taken place. But we were traveling, and don't you forget it, while this was going on. When we were within 50 or 60 yards of the hospital tent, a cannon shot, which came from the direction of the fighting, exploded near the tent, which frightened the poor fellows inside so that many of them came running out. I never saw anything so distressing; some of them with arms broken, some with one leg broken, and badly wounded in other ways. But the worst case was a poor soldier with both legs nearly shot clear off, who came out on his hands and knees, his legs dangling as if held by strings. They were trying to get to a bluff a few hundred feet from the tent. We carried our man to the place and put him down. He thanked us most earnestly for what we had done for him, but felt he could not live. None of us belonged to the same regiment, nor had we ever seen each other before.
—J. T. Drury, 26th Ill., Donegan, Ill., National Tribune, August 16, 1906
1907 Reunion, Cos. H & K, 51st Illinois
The Annual Reunion of Cos. H and K, 51st Ill., was held on Chickamauga Day, Sept. 19, at the home of Comrade M. R. Metzger, Moline, Ill. At Chickamauga, being flanked [second day], the 51st Ill. lost 61 percent of its engaged strength, yet did gallant service, capturing the colors of the 24th Ala. and recapturing two pieces of an Indiana battery, which they hauled off by hand. Next year these companies will meet at the home of Comrade S. J. Allen, Port Byron, Ill. The officers elected are; President, A. Rowland; Secretary, M. R. Metzger.
National Tribune 11-21-1907
Why the 22nd Illinois Dumped Grant
John B. Thorn, Co. H, 22d Ill., Gatewood, Mo., says that the reason why the 22d Ill. was not with Grant after Belmont is that Gen. Grant took his command on a scout back of Columbus, and at Elliott's Mills there were a lot of bee gums stolen. The 22d Ill. was accused of it, and Gen. Grant believed the accusation, and fined the privates and officers the value of the honey. The adjutant of the regiment said that it was taken by Grant's bodyguard, but the 22d was out of Grant's favor for some time afterwards.
National Tribune 12-05-1907
Like Blue Texas
Yesterday morning we went on picket and about noon it commenced raining and it rained till ten oclock at night and I had to stand on post till I was soaked through for uncle had my rubber blanket and he don't have to go on picket for he is on detached service. When I came off post I had to stand at the fire all night to dry myself and did not sleep a wink but stood shivering all night till 8 oclock this morning. Then I was relieved and marched to camp 2 1/2 miles through the mud without any breakfast and now I have commenced writing to you with this back ache like blue texas.
—John L. McBride (Co D, 51st Ill) to Sister Marcia, Camp 6 Miles from Nashville, 12-16-62 (John L. McBride Letters, Mohler Family Papers, Lincoln, NE)
Diarrhoea, scurvy, and everything else. This disease of liver was contracted while a prisoner at Libbie Prison, Richmond Va - and from Richmond Va was moved to Danville Va - was in Libbie Prison about two months and in Danville Prison about three months and while there took the small pox - from there sent to Andersonville Ga Prison where he remained seven months exposed to all the vicissitudes of a prison life without shelter and almost starved - had diarrhoea, scurvy, and seemingly every other disease.
—Pension File of Gilbert Bailie, Co E, 51st Ill.

Arrest of Fugitive Slave, Springfield, Illinois (The Daily State Register Distinguishes Itself)
Yesterday morning a slave belonging to Mr. Jesse H. Rector, Pike county, Missouri, was arrested in this city by assistant deputy marshal, W. Crafton, at the instance of Mr. Rector. The slave had escaped from his master in November, 1861, and had been traced as far as this city, where his master lost track of him, he having gone into the country to work. A few weeks ago Mr.Crafton, who had been specially deputed by the U. S. marshal to hunt him up, came across his sable individuality somewhere in the neighborhood of the New England House on North Third street, and in a confidential conversation discovered that he was the identical party he was in search of. He immediately wrote to Mr. Rector informing him of the fact. Mr. Rector reached the city on Thursday evening, and on the following morning "Sambo," who rejoices in the euphonious name of "Pleasant," was arrested and introduced into the presence of the U. S. commissioner, S. A. Corneau. When confronted with his master, in reply to the latter's question, "How are you, Pleasant?" he answered, "Bery well, sar," in anything else than a pleasant tone. The identity of the prisoner was then clearly established. Pleasant did not have a word of plea to offer. He stood before the court a convicted and self-convicting fugitive. There was no alternative left to the court but to decide that he was the property of the claimant, and he was accordingly remanded to prison. He left our city last evening in company with his master for his late home in Missouri, where we trust he will learn to be contented with the lot which Providence has assigned him.
—Springfield Daily State Register, March 8, 1862

Starting & Finishing the Atlanta Campaign
I suppose it is not generally known that there lives in this town the man who opened and closed the Atlanta campaign. So far as the artillery was concerned, he fired the first three shots, to commence with, at Buzzard's Roost and the last shot at Jonesboro, Ga., and during the time he fired the first three shots into the city of Atlanta, one of which struck the court-house, doing an immense amount of damage to the building. Soon after that he was taken prisoner and started for Andersonville on the cars with some Indiana soldiers, who were taken prisoners at the same time, and, as they were singing "Where There's a Will There's a Way", he jumped out of the car, and was shot at several times but escaped being hit, and got back to his battery in time to close the campaign. His name is L. O. Craig, and he belonged to Battery D, 1st Ohio Light Art., First Brigade, Third Division, Twenty-third Corps.
—J. C. Lindsey, 7th Ohio, Atwater, Ohio, The National Tribune, 10-30-1884
The Deaths of Woodruff and Miller
W. W. Allen, signal Officer, Seventeenth Corps, and W. J. Frazie, Color-guard, 78th Ohio, are both right in regard to the shooting of a prisoner in retaliation for the life of R. M. Woodruff, Co. H, 30th Ill., who was a regularly detailed forager, and was beaten to death by the Confederates with clubs on the first day of March, 1864, near Big Lynch Creek, S. C. James M. Miller, Co. C, Brown's battalion of S. C. infantry, was shot to death by the men of Co. H, 30th Ill., on March 2, 1864, near Choraw, S. C. The commands were given by Capt. John L. Nichols, Co. K, 30th Ill. The order of execution emanated from Gen. Sherman, but of course came through Gen. Blair's office. Comrade Thatcher, Co. E, 15th Iowa, Keosauqua, Iowa, is mistaken about the first volley not being fatal. The guns were loaded by 12 men of Co. G, 30th Ill., and 12 men of Co. H did the firing. I was an eye-witness, and my memory about the matter is, that any of the shots from the six guns that were loaded with balls would have been fatal. I know the prisoner fell without a struggle.
—H. H. Hurst, Co. G, 30th Ill., Vermillion, Dakota Territory, National Tribune 04-01-1886

Mementos 1 | Mementos 3
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