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
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
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