The Civil War Diary of Henderson George



After the battle of Fredericksburg our regiment lay inactive with the army before the city, until February 10th., 1863. On this date the Roundheads received orders to strike tents and march to Falmouth a R.R. Station a few miles north of Fredericksburg; at this point we board a train for Aquia Creek Landing on the Potomac. At Aquia Creek the enemy had destroyed the bridge over the stream and our engineers had erected a temporary structure in its place. The height of this temporary bridge above the waters of the Creek was more than one hundred feet, and the length about four hundred feet. Our train it was said would be the first to cross the bridge. The train was made up of box freight cars and the writer with others preferred to ride on top of the train, rather than in these box cars. I remember our feelings of distrust and apprehension as our train pulled on to the frail looking structure and came to a stop; the few minutes we lay there seemed like an age; we felt as though our life was literally hanging by a thread.

However,we got safely over and detrained at Aquia Creek, landing about seven P.M. At the Landing our troops were exposed for several hours to a cold bleak north westerly wind that that almost frose the marrow in our bones. About mid-night we went on board the fine coast steamer, Silver Moon, and immediately steam down the Potomac, and next mornitig about ten o'clock land at Fortress Monroe. From here we march ten miles and encamp at Newport News; the date of our arrival here is Feb. l4th., 1863.

We remain in camp here until March 20th., on this date we strike tents about eight o'clock A.M., in the midst of a heavy snow storm, and march through the falling snow to Hampton. By evening snow covered the ground to a depth of six inches; rain setting in the ground became a sea of slush and water. That night our troops suffered greatly from weather conditions.

Next day March 21st., we go on board the fine coast steamer, John Brooks, and steam up Chesapeake Bay and land at Fells Point, Baltimore, Md. In the evening troops board a train of box freight cars, (and here may I state that throughout the war our troops were always transported on freight cars, and on the long trip now before us, of two days and two nights, there was very great discomfort if not suffering,) and proceed west over the Baltimore and Ohio R.R. to Parkersburg West Virginia on the Ohio River. At this point we detrain and go on board the river steam boat, Jennie Rodgers, and proceed down the river, landing at Cincinnati.

This trip on the Jennie Rodgers, recalls a little personal incident that occurred about four years later, it was just after the writer had met Miss. Amanda B. White, who at this time was his affiance. It seems that Miss White, and Miss Jennie Rodgers, were close girl friends and often visited at each others homes. After the writer became acquainted with Miss White, we incidentaly visited at the home of Captain Rodgers, and while there that evening he learned that Captain Rodgers was the owner of the Steam Boat, and that the boat had been named Jennie Rodgers as a complement to his daughter; and this was the boat that during the war the Roundheads made the trip from Parkersburg W. Va. to Concinnati, Ohio. In those days steam boat Captains were usually prosperous and commandingmen, and proudly bore the title of Captain or Commodore.

Captain Rodgers is very well remembered; he was a large man physically proud and independant.

From Cincinnati we marched across the bridge over the Ohio River to Covington Ky., and immediately entrain for Lexington. We arrive at this point on the 29th. of March, detrain and encamp. We remain encamped at Lexington about eleven days, and then march south, about two days march, to Camp Dick Robinson. This point may be considered the logical end of our long trip for the present; from here we shall be held in readiness for some new military movement.

It was a long journey from Fredericksburg Va., to Camp Dick Robinson Ky. The regiment was transported over four different lines of Rail Road, and by water, on board three different steamers, a distance of more than one thousand miles, to which may be added more than eighty miles of marching. Owing to the season with its unpleasant weather conditions, and the uncomfortable traveling accommodations, our men on this journey suffered much hardship.

Our arrival at Camp Dick Robinson was on April 10th., 1863. While here the writer was appointed Company Clerk by Captain Blair. This appointment does not afford much in the way of relief from regular camp duty, but affords some privileges. The work is not heavy consisting mainly in making out muster and pay rolls, and some incidental clerical work which does not require much time; the appointment is a sort of sinecure.


The concentration of the ninth Army Corps at Camp Dick Robinson portends the beginning of some new military movement. The "Roundheads" are a part of this corps.

Troops remain in Camp Dick Robinson until April 30th. On this date orders are received to strike tents and be ready to move in an hour. The line of march is southward, via Stanford, Huestonville, Middleburg, as far south as Columbia. No enemy is met in force--some "bushwhacking." It is rumered that a considerable force of the enemy have concentrated on the Columbia River in the direction we are moving, and in the region of Burksville.

On May 30th., we arrive at Columbia and bivouac. About two o'clock next morning troops are suddenly called to arms for action, and ordered to be ready to move at a moments warning. A little later an order is given to be ready to go forward at seven o'clock in light marching order with three days rations. Troops march at seven A.M., and bivouac that evening near Burksville. Our company G. ordered out on picket; remain on picket that night, all next day and the following night. Pickets fired on but no enemy appears in force. Join the main body of troops with further warning to be ready for instant action.

Thursday June 4th., called to arms at four o'clock A.M. and march at once to Campbellsville, twenty two miles directly north.

Next day march to Lebanon, twenty miles. We are making forced marches and apparently going away from the enemy; we are making back tracks; there is much speculation among the men as to its meaning; is the enemy getting in our rear? It is beginning to be rurnored that Vicksburg is our destination.

Arriving at Lebanon Ky., about two o'clock P.M., troops immediately entrain and arrive in Louisville about nine P.M. Troops detrain and cross the Ohio River to Jeffersonville, Ind. and at once entrain on the L. & I.R.R., for Seymour, Ind. Here we change cars to the St.L. & C.R.R., for Sandoval, Ill. Again we make a change of cars to the Illinois Central R.R.and on Monday June 8th. arrive at Cairo about 10 A.M. At six P.M. same day, troops board the steam boat, Alice Dean. The Alice Dean did not leave her mooring until ten o'clock next morning.