Wednesday, November 28, 2012





BROTHER JONATHAN'S LAMENT FOR SISTER CAROLINE

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

She has gone,-she has left us in passion and pride
Our stormy-browed sister, so long at our side!
She has torn her own star from our firmament's glow,
And turned on her brother the face of a foe!

O Caroline, Caroline, child of the sun,
We can never forget that our hearts have been one,
Our foreheads both sprinkled in Liberty's name,
From the fountain of blood with the finger of flame!

You were always too ready to fire at a touch;
But we said: "She is hasty,-she does not mean much."
We have scowled when you uttered some turbulent threat;
But Friendship still whispered: "Forgive and forget!"

Has our love all died out? Have its altars grown cold?
Has the curse come at last which the fathers foretold?
Then Nature must teach us the strength of the chain
That her petulant children would sever in vain.

They may fight till the buzzards are gorged with their spoil,
Till the harvest grows black as it rots in the soil,
Till the wolves and the catamounts troop from their caves,
And the shark tracks the pirate, the lord of the waves:

In vain is the strife! When its fury is past,
Their fortunes must flow in one channel at last,
As the torrents that rush from the mountains of snow
Roll mingled in peace through the valleys below.

Our Union is river, lake, ocean, and sky;
Man breaks not the medal when God cuts the die!
Though darkened with sulphur, though cloven with steel,
The blue arch will brighten, the waters will heal!

O Caroline, Caroline, child of the sun,
There are battles with Fate that can never be won!
The star-flowering banner must never be furled,
For its blossoms of light are the hope of the world!

Go, then, our rash sister! afar and aloof,
Run wild in the sunshine away from our roof,
But when your heart aches and your feet have grown sore,
Remember the pathway that leads to our door!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


A Tennessee Narrative Continues


Battle of Shiloh

Tennessee River

April the 1st finds the Iowa 3rd Infantry with 150,000 other troops quietly in camp on the Tennessee River, Hardin County Tennessee, but making preparations to act upon the defensive or aggressive in a very short time. The Rebel’s army at Corinth, Mississippi is being augmented daily by troops arriving by railway from different parts of the Confederacy.

Major General Grant arrived and commenced reviewing the troops at this point on the 2nd. He reviewed the 4th Division, of which we form a part, on Tuesday the 2nd inst. The review took place one mile from our camp in an open field, and was truly a grand scene. The division consists of 16 regiments of infantry, one of cavalry, and two batteries of artillery. The division is commanded by Acting-Major General Hurlbut.

The troops belonging to this division are mostly from Illinois and Ohio, a few from Iowa, the Iowa 3rd Infantry occupying the extreme right of the division. &c &c &c

A Terrible Battle

It appears to be a fact beyond doubt that the enemy is concentrating a large force at Corinth, Mississippi for the purpose of making one more bold stand against the federal army at this place. On Friday evening the 4th, our outposts were attacked by two regiments of the enemy. Quite a brisk engagement took place; wherein, several were killed and wounded on both sides. The enemy retreated toward Corinth.

This was a signal for a battle, which I think, will soon be forgot not and it would appear from this that the enemy will be the attacking force. Our army is still being augmented by the arrival of fresh troops. If a battle takes place here between the two majestic armies, the loss of life will be immense.

Saturday the 5th, everything is quiet in our division, but what is going on along our lines, I cannot tell, but I presume the commanding general is on the look out and will be ready for any emergency whatever. Our army here is very large, and no doubt the enemy is equally strong.

April 16th A.D., 62, what a change since I last took up my pen. A terrible battle has been fought and a great victory has been won by the great federal army at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee.

Alas! We Soon Found Who Were to Fall

On the evening of the 5th, everything appeared to be quiet along our lines. Our regiment had dress parade at the usual hour (5 P.M.). A chaplain’s order was read announcing that we would assemble the next day (Sabbath) at 11 o’clock for divine service. The evening was pleasant and all appeared to be happy. Little did we think that the Sabbath, soon to dawn upon us, would be a day to be remembered by generations yet unborn; is the day on which began one of the greatest battle ever fought on the American continent up to that time.

The morning of the 6th was pleasant. We were preparing for morning inspection when volleys of musketry and the roaring of cannon louder than thunder grated our ears; informing us that a day of trial had come in which many were to fall. But who would bite the dust, we then knew not. Alas! We soon found who were to fall.

Our camps were alarmed. Our outposts driven in; no time was to be lost. The long roll was beat. ‘Fall in!’ was the cry that met every ear. In a moment companies were formed, and soon regiments were forming into their respective brigades, and brigades into divisions - thus forming the great army which fought the terrible battle on the 6th and 7th of April A.D., 1862 at Pittsburgh Landing, Tennessee River.

After forming our battalion, we took our position on the right of the 4th Division commanded by Acting-Major General [Stephen A.] Hurlbut. Colonel Williams of the 3rd Iowa, acting-brigadier general of the 1st Brigade. Our position was on the right of this brigade, our division occupying the center of the line of battle.

We met the enemy one mile from our camp, where a short engagement took place between our forces and the enemy, but we maintained our position driving the enemy back from their position, then we moved our position to the left a short distance where we again formed a line and lay down on the ground so that we might not expense ourselves unnecessarily to the shot and shell of the enemy, which was coming from the enemy’s batteries almost as thick as hail, but their range was too high to do much executions.

City Guards of New Orleans

The position of the 3rd Iowa Infantry was at the upper end of a large field. In the meantime our battery was brought to bear upon that of the enemy. The firing was terrible. The two batteries being in sight of each other, this lasted for one half hour when the enemy’s battery was silenced. The fighting was not up the center alone. Our lines, some six miles long, were engaged by the enemy. One continual blaze of fire and a roar of musketry and cannon was kept up from 6 o’clock in the morning till 3 P.M. - almost without cessation at any point along the entire line.

About 11 o’clock P.M. the City Guards of New Orleans, 17th Louisiana, charged in an open field upon our regiment. We remained lying in perfect silence until they approached within 150 yards of our line.

When we opened upon them with a volley of musketry, it appeared to me as though half of them fell the first fire, and it was but a moment when there was none to be seen on the field but the dead and dying. The ground was literally covered with bodies. In many places they were lying one upon the other, but few of them escaped with their lives. Such a sight I never before witnessed and may God grant another such may never be fought on this continent, by a civilized and enlightened people, is my prayer.

The enemy’s batteries threw shell and shot thick and fast, but many fell short, while others went far above us, some exploding high in the air making quite a flash followed by a loud report. Many struck among the trees tearing them to pieces killing birds and squirrels, which happened to be upon them.

At one time we heard a shell coming directly toward us; it passed over our company and exploded in a treetop a few rods to our rear, on which was a squirrel. Although I was in a place of extreme danger, men falling upon every hand, yet I had to laugh at the action of the poor little animal. It appears to be frightened almost to death, running and jumping from branch apparently not knowing what to do (I have heard quite a number of soldiers remarking since that birds and small animals became very tame as the battle raged. They would come so close that you could touch them).

Cutting Our Little Regiment Terribly

But during this time our batteries were not silent, their shot and shell with telling effect in the enemy’s ranks, making terrible destruction among them. On several occasions I saw our cannon balls strike trees cutting the tops of them and they [sic] falling upon the lines of the enemy making great havoc among them.

The battle continued to rage with great fury along the line, but the hardest fighting was on our left wing. The enemy appeared to be trying to outflank us and force back our left wing. This they failed to do, then, they rallied and made a desperate charge upon our center, apparently with a determination to brake through our lines; in this they failed also.

Never did men hold a position with more gallantry than did the brave troops on the center. The enemy again turned upon our left. The fighting on our left was terrible. The superior force of the enemy at this point compelled to give way under a heavy fire from the enemy, slowly and gradually did our men fall back but not without keeping up a brisk firing.

Soon our right began to give way (And I would say here that my position being in the center I could tell precisely how things were going judging from the sound of the firing I could tell just when we were gaining or losing ground). Still we maintained our position without losing ground until about 3 ½ o’clock P.M. when our right and left had given away so far that we were near being surrounded. (It was at this junction that the Iowa 3rd, 12th, and 11th Regiments were taken prisoners.)

An order was given to fall back; this we did for three hundred yards where we again made a stand. But finding that the enemy was fast flanking us, we were ordered to fall back double quick.

It was not until this moment that I saw our real danger. The enemy was in full view on both sides of us coming fast upon us pouring in a cross fire, and one from the rear cutting our little regiment terribly, surrounding and taking many prisoners, who were unable to make their escape. For ¾ of a mile we had to pass under a raking fire from our right, left and rear. We had done great executions during the day and lost but very few men in killed or wounded until this retreat began, when many of our brave little band fell on the field, where they remained till the next day.

Shiloh - A Requiem

Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh –
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh –
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there –
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve –
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceived!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh –

Herman Melville



Saturday, October 6, 2012

TENNESSEE NARATIVE CONTINUES




TENNESSEE NARATIVE CONTINUES.....
[cannon image: ©cng]

We Shoved from Shore


On the 4th of March at 10 o’clock A.M., orders came for the 3rd Iowa to march, and at 12 o’clock the same day, we were on our way to St. Louis.

The journey was very unpleasant as the weather was remarkably cold. We arrived at St. Louis 9 o’clock P.M., the sixth. The next day was spent in moving from the cars to the steamboat intended to carry us down the river.

I procured a pass in the morning and visited Benton Barracks where I found the 4th Iowa Cavalry. Here I found a number of acquaintances, that I had not seen since enlistment.

The barracks looked almost like home, for I spent two months here last winter and not very pleasantly either. The day was spent very pleasantly with my former associates.

In the evening I returned to the landing and found my regiment aboard the steamer Iatan, all ready to open the way through the running ice down the Mississippi River. Starting time found not a few of the soldiers intoxicated for they had liberty to do as they saw fit during the day, privilege which a great many abused, bring trouble upon themselves as well as others. At 10 o’clock P.M. the 7th inst., all being in readiness, we shoved from shore, directing our course to the sunny South. Not far had we proceeded, until a member of our company by the name of Robert Blythe, being drunk, fell overboard and was drowned. He was a wicked wretch and prepared for any thing but death. The ice was running in abundance, which made it rather disagreeable traveling.

Sabbath morning March the 9th found us at Cairo, Ill.

A quantity of commissary stores, and coal sufficient to carry us a long distance, but where to, we then did not know, but very soon found out by experience. The town of Cairo was under water. The water in the Ohio River being ten feet above the streets of the town, we found but about 2,000 troops here, all having previously left for the field of active service.

At two o’clock P.M., being fully-equipped with hard bread and bacon, we launched steering our course up the Ohio River which we found remarkably high, overflowing the bottoms on either side, the water paying no attention to the farms or houses covering the former, washing away fences and everything of that nature, and in many instances, half of the first storey of the latter was under water. What had become of the inmates [citizens] is more than I can tell, for, but very few could be seen at any point along the river. In many places cattle and hogs could be seen standing upon dry spots of ground perhaps a rod [16.5 ft.] or two square, apparently waiting for the water to subside that they might once more enjoy themselves upon the land that gave them birth.

Some time during the night of the 9th inst., we arrived at Paducah [Kentucky] at the mouth of the Tennessee River. Starting quite early the next morning up the Tennessee River gave me no opportunity to see the town and therefore I can say nothing about it.

Confederate States of America

The Tennessee River, like the Ohio, was very high; the current ran very swift taking, as a matter of course, more power to carry us up the stream. How unlike the great Mississippi is the Tennessee River. What beautiful valleys, what fine farms and beautiful dwellings along the Mississippi River, everything presenting of industry and civilization. But upon entering the Tennessee River how wild and uncivilized everything appears to be. Yet, it is in the sunny South, the Confederate States of America. The land of Rebellion, containing a people that rebelled against the purest, the best and the freest government ever formed by mortal man.

Our journey up the Tennessee River at first was rather dull-nothing but dense forests of timber, and that covered with water. Once in a great while we would chance to pass an inferior log hut with but little or no improvements around it whatever, presenting an uncivilized appearance, the inmates (as is generally the case with the mass of the people of the Southern States) appeared to be very poor, at one place, where we hauled into repair some damage done the boat, the inhabitants had their shoes tied on their feet with bark. There appeared to be but very little furniture of any kind in their houses, this is the condition of the three fourths of the people so far as I could learn up the Tennessee River.

We traveled but little during the night owing to the high stage of water, also to secure ourselves from the fire of an enemy that might be concealed for that purpose. Care and foresight is the best policy in time of war.

At 12 o’clock March the 10th, we arrived at Fort Henry. Took a good view of the fortifications, the heavy guns about 30 in number, three of which were dismounted. The barracks, which the enemy had prepared for winter quarters, were built of round logs and just of a size, and perhaps two hundred in number.

The enemy went to a great deal of cost and labor in fortifying this place and then evacuated it after such a short engagement leaving everything behind them, no dwelling could be seen near the Fort, more the winter quarters.

Our stay at Fort Henry was but short. We had proceeded on our journey but a short distance after we left Fort Henry till we came up with a fleet of about 30 steamers loaded with troops, and every mile we traveled from this point the number of steamers increased to the number of about 150. Judging from the number of steamers in the fleet and from the number of troops on each that the entire expedition consisted of about 125,000 men. Such a sight never was witness before on the Tennessee or any other River in these United States.

Just here I would say that in almost every instance, through Kentucky and Tennessee the people presented the white flag, and at one time about 40 miles above Fort Henry, a company of horsemen, about thirty in number, hailed us from the shore with white flags, upon nearing the shore they informed us, that there was about 500 of them and that they wanted us to take them to Fort Henry where they desired to be armed that they might fight for the old Union. They were large able-bodied men and looked as though they might do their country good service had they an opportunity.

The fleet landed at Savannah, Tennessee [10 miles northeast of Shiloh N.M.P.] the 12th and remained for three days. Here men from the surrounding county flocked in by hundreds and joined our ranks, and I presume it would be the case all over Tennessee had they a chance to fight for the old Union. This is speaking well for Tennessee.

On the 13th, we were ordered to prepare three days’ rations and equip ourselves for duty. At 6 o’clock on the morning of the 14th, we left Savannah passing up the river some 10 miles. But the river, which had been raising [sic] for two or three days, was so high that a landing could not be effected.

General Sherman’s division landed 25 miles above Savannah [perhaps Peters Landing area] and marched eight miles from the river, but found the water so high that it was impossible to go further, and were compelled to return to the boats. We remained aboard the boat until the 17th, when a part of the expedition landed at Pittsburgh Landing, Hardin County, Tennessee, where we still remain in camp this the 26th of March.

We are at last brigaded. Colonel [Nelson G.] Williams is acting-brigadier general and has command of the First Brigade in the 4th Division, which gives our regiment the position of honor, which is on the extreme right of the division.

Overflowing With Troops

I should judge from appearances that there are 60,000 troops in camp here. Great preparations are being made for a move in some direction from this point, and that pretty soon. The weather here is rather cool for the time of year.

This part of Tennessee is anything but a fertile county. The country is hilly and stony. Some cotton is raised here, but the country or soil is too poor to be productive except in the bottoms. If what I have seen of Tennessee is a specimen of the state, I would not give one acre of land in Iowa for 50 in this state. That is taking the society, natural advantage of the country, and the quality of the soil into consideration.

The condition and position of the enemy in this part of the country, or whether there is any force at all is entirely unknown to me at present. Although rumor is in circulation that the enemy, 60,000 strong, are fortifying at Corinth, Mississippi, 15 miles from this place. This report I think is unfounded. My private opinion is that this expedition will move very shortly in the direction of Memphis or some point on the Mississippi River.

Not so much fighting has been done in the present month as in the last month (February). Yet, great advantages have been gained over the enemy the present month. Tennessee has been filled almost to overflowing with troops from the North. Columbus, the strongest position in the Confederacy, has been evacuated by the enemy, and occupied by our troops. New Madrid is in our position. The enemy, during the present month, has fled for before our forces, but we may meet with reverses yet before the end.
For the Cause of the Union

The month of March has passed into the future and what has been done in the past month for the cause of the Union, and the overthrow of the rebellion existing at the present time in these United States of America.

Let us look for a moment at the progress of our army during the past month. The amount of territory we have acquired, the number of battles fought with complete success to the arms of the Federal Troops.

Upon the 1st of March 1862, the Rebels were in full force at Columbus, Kentucky, one of the strongest positions that the enemy had on the Mississippi River. On the first of March, but little opening (except the taking of Fort Donelson) had been made in Tennessee. On the 1st of March, Price’s army was in the height of its glory, plundering and destroying the property of Union men in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas.

On the 1st of March, the great Rebel Army on the Potomac held their position and fortifications apparently defying the opposing army on the opposite side of the river of equal strength and with fortifications equally as formidable. But March closes with the following changes.

Columbus has been evacuated with great destruction of property and military stores and is now occupied by the federal army.

[US Brig.] General [Samuel R.] Curtis gave battle to the forces of Generals Price, [CS Brig. General Benjamin] McCulloch and [CS Major General] Earl Van Dorn in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas completely destroying and demoralizing the enemy’s army, taking a great number of prisoners and a large amount of baggage and commissary stores, also killing Generals McCulloch, [CS Brig. General James] McIntosh and others. Also, the Tennessee River has been opened as far as navigable and is held at the present time with a force of not less than 200,000 effective men.

The evacuation of Manassas [Junction] and the occupation of the same by our troops without the loss of life or a battle is a victory to our arms of the greatest value. Here the two Grand Armies of the Potomac, rested for months almost within gun shot of each other, while the people of the east and west expected every day to hear of a struggle between the giant armies. But, the enemy was compelled to evacuate their fortifications as a military necessity, thus saving the lives of thousands.

Other victories of less importance, though won by hard fighting in different parts of the field, might be recorded here, that of Brig. General James Shields, also Burnsides operations on the coast, the taking of Roanoke, South Carolina, also the possession of New Madrid by the federal troops.

In a word, every undertaking of our generals in the month, which has passed, was a complete success to the federal army - God for the right and the overthrow of the wicked.

May the coming month bring as many victories to the army as the past has done, and may it still bring greater victories, even to the end - overthrow of the rebel confederacy and the establishment of March, 1862 of law and order throughout the United States.

March 31st, 1862


Monday, October 1, 2012

Re-modeling the web-site

I worked most of yesterday removing content and photos, and then adding other content and photos to greensblueandgray.com. The job is far from over, though.

You may find it difficult to even get to the site right now; the path to it is somewhat broken.

My plan is to make the site more of a Civil War link resource. And, I'm getting rid of the ads. They took up a lot of space where content can be.

So, pardon the dust for now, if you will. I'll be working on it every spare moment I have.

Cheers,
Chris

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sgt. Newlon's Tennessee Narrative Continues...

We Shoved from Shore


On the 4th of March at 10 o’clock A.M., orders came for the 3rd Iowa to march, and at 12 o’clock the same day, we were on our way to St. Louis.

The journey was very unpleasant as the weather was remarkably cold. We arrived at St. Louis 9 o’clock P.M., the sixth. The next day was spent in moving from the cars to the steamboat intended to carry us down the river.

I procured a pass in the morning and visited Benton Barracks where I found the 4th Iowa Cavalry. Here I found a number of acquaintances, that I had not seen since enlistment.

The barracks looked almost like home, for I spent two months here last winter and not very pleasantly either. The day was spent very pleasantly with my former associates.

In the evening I returned to the landing and found my regiment aboard the steamer Iatan, all ready to open the way through the running ice down the Mississippi River. Starting time found not

6th

a few of the soldiers intoxicated for they had liberty to do as they saw fit during the day, privilege which a great many abused, bring trouble upon themselves as well as others. At 10 o’clock P.M. the 7th inst., all being in readiness, we shoved from shore, directing our course to the sunny South. Not far had we proceeded, until a member of our company by the name of Robert Blythe, being drunk, fell overboard and was drowned. He was a wicked wretch and prepared for any thing but death. The ice was running in abundance, which made it rather disagreeable traveling.

Sabbath morning March the 9th found us at Cairo, Ill.

A quantity of commissary stores, and coal sufficient to carry us a long distance, but where to, we then did not know, but very soon found out by experience. The town of Cairo was under water. The water in the Ohio River being ten feet above the streets of the town, we found but about 2,000 troops here, all having previously left for the field of active service.

At two o’clock P.M., being fully-equipped with hard bread and bacon, we launched steering our course up the Ohio River which we found remarkably high, overflowing the bottoms on either side, the water paying no attention to the farms or houses covering the former, washing away fences and everything of that nature, and in many instances, half of the first storey of the latter was under water. What had become of the inmates [citizens] is more than I can tell, for, but very few could be seen at any point along the river. In many places cattle and hogs could be seen standing upon dry spots of ground perhaps a rod [16.5 ft.] or two square, apparently waiting for the water to subside that they might once more enjoy themselves upon the land that gave them birth.

Some time during the night of the 9th inst., we arrived at Paducah [Kentucky] at the mouth of the Tennessee River. Starting quite early the next morning up the Tennessee River gave me no opportunity to see the town and therefore I can say nothing about it.

Confederate States of America

7th

The Tennessee River, like the Ohio, was very high; the current ran very swift taking, as a matter of course, more power to carry us up the stream. How unlike the great Mississippi is the Tennessee River. What beautiful valleys, what fine farms and beautiful dwellings along the Mississippi River, everything presenting of industry and civilization. But upon entering the Tennessee River how wild and uncivilized everything appears to be. Yet, it is in the sunny South, the Confederate States of America. The land of Rebellion, containing a people that rebelled against the purest, the best and the freest government ever formed by mortal man.

Our journey up the Tennessee River at first was rather dull-nothing but dense forests of timber, and that covered with water. Once in a great while we would chance to pass an inferior log hut with but little or no improvements around it whatever, presenting an uncivilized appearance, the inmates (as is generally the case with the mass of the people of the Southern States) appeared to be very poor, at one place, where we hauled into repair some damage done the boat, the inhabitants had their shoes tied on their feet with bark. There appeared to be but very little furniture of any kind in their houses, this is the condition of the three fourths of the people so far as I could learn up the Tennessee River.

We traveled but little during the night owing to the high stage of water, also to secure ourselves from the fire of an enemy that might be concealed for that purpose. Care and foresight is the best policy in time of war.

At 12 o’clock March the 10th, we arrived at Fort Henry. Took a good view of the fortifications, the heavy guns about 30 in number, three of which were dismounted. The barracks, which the enemy had prepared for winter quarters, were built of round logs and just of a size, and perhaps two hundred in number.

The enemy went to a great deal of cost and labor in fortifying this place and then evacuated it after such a short engagement leaving everything behind them, no dwelling could be seen near the Fort, more the winter quarters.

8th

Our stay at Fort Henry was but short. We had proceeded on our journey but a short distance after we left Fort Henry till we came up with a fleet of about 30 steamers loaded with troops, and every mile we traveled from this point the number of steamers increased to the number of about 150. Judging from the number of steamers in the fleet and from the number of troops on each that the entire expedition consisted of about 125,000 men. Such a sight never was witness before on the Tennessee or any other River in these United States.

Just here I would say that in almost every instance, through Kentucky and Tennessee the people presented the white flag, and at one time about 40 miles above Fort Henry, a company of horsemen, about thirty in number, hailed us from the shore with white flags, upon nearing the shore they informed us, that there was about 500 of them and that they wanted us to take them to Fort Henry where they desired to be armed that they might fight for the old Union. They were large able-bodied men and looked as though they might do their country good service had they an opportunity.

The fleet landed at Savannah, Tennessee [10 miles northeast of Shiloh N.M.P.] the 12th and remained for three days. Here men from the surrounding county flocked in by hundreds and joined our ranks, and I presume it would be the case all over Tennessee had they a chance to fight for the old Union. This is speaking well for Tennessee.

On the 13th, we were ordered to prepare three days’ rations and equip ourselves for duty. At 6 o’clock on the morning of the 14th, we left Savannah passing up the river some 10 miles. But the river, which had been raising [sic] for two or three days, was so high that a landing could not be effected.

General Sherman’s division landed 25 miles above Savannah [perhaps Peters Landing area] and marched eight miles from the river, but found the water so high that it was impossible to go further, and were

9th

compelled to return to the boats. We remained aboard the boat until the 17th, when a part of the expedition landed at Pittsburgh Landing, Hardin County, Tennessee, where we still remain in camp this the 26th of March.

We are at last brigaded. Colonel [Nelson G.] Williams is acting-brigadier general and has command of the First Brigade in the 4th Division, which gives our regiment the position of honor, which is on the extreme right of the division.

... To Be Continued

BTW,  I'm planning on re-doing Will's web-site: greensblueandgray.com with no ads and more links; shuffle things around a bit, too.

Also, I created a Twitter account for Will yesterday; I'm still in the process of putting it together.

You'll be able to follow Will: @sgtnewlon.

Best Regards to All,
Chris

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tennessee Narrative of Sgt. Newlon, 3rd Iowa


Three Groans – Journal Two Begins



1st [page]

February 8th, 1862
Huntsville, Randolph Co., Missouri


The year of ‘62 dawned upon me at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri. The first day of the new year was spent in a way peculiar only to a military life. A New Year’s dinner was served in the Captain’s room in military style. Nothing worthy of notice took place during the day.


We remained in Benton Barracks until the 11th of January at which time we were ordered to join our Regiment at Montgomery City on North Missouri Rail Road eighty-five miles north of St. Louis. At an early hour we bade adieu to Benton Barracks, but not without giving those remaining behind something to remember us by which we did by forming a line between Headquarters and the General’s house and gave three groans for Benton Barracks. I never was in all my life so much pleased to get away from a place as I was on this morning to leave Benton Barracks, Although, I left many good friends, from Page and Louisa counties.




We marched to the R.R. Depot and in due time were on the cars for Montgomery City. We arrived at St. Charles on the Mississippi River at 11 o’clock A.M. and the river not being bridged we crossed on a large steam ferry. St. Charles is situated on the north side of the river, it contains perhaps 3000 inhabitants and I presume in ordinary times that a great deal of business is done here, it having the advantage of river and R.R. The crossing of baggage and such like occupied considerable time and consequently did not leave till 3 o’clock P. M. And, before we reached our destination, night overtook us and therefore did not get to see much of the country along the road.




At 11 o’clock P.M., arrived at Montgomery City, found our friends hail and hearty. The town of Montgomery City is a new place containing but few inhabitants, and is noted for nothing but the distilling and selling of whiskey and an unfinished well thirteen and fifty feet deep. Water is very scarce here the citizens using cistern water.




Huntsville

2nd

We remained at Montgomery City till the 1st of February 1862. During our stay here I, with four associates, boarded at a private house. The time passed off pleasantly while here.

However on the first of February we were ordered to Huntsville 60 miles north of Montgomery City. We took cars at 3 o’clock in the evening, arrived at Allen Station at twelve o’clock the same evening after a cold and disagreeable ride. We remained in the cars till morning and slept but little on account of the extreme cold. In the morning, after building fires on the ice and snow to get breakfast, we partook a meal gotten up in military style.


After all was over we took up a line of march in the direction of Huntsville six miles west of Allen Station, at which place we reached about noon, stepping to the time of Yankee Doodle. Quite a number of Negroes were upon the streets, with their white eyes turned up as large as a full moon. A few citizens could be seen standing around on the corners dressed in homespun of a blue and brownish color. There is but few, if any, avowed Union men in the town or vicinity. Those who have not declared openly their secession principles take a neutral position.


The town of Huntsville contains perhaps 2,000 inhabitants. There is nothing remarkable grand about the buildings except a magnificent courthouse and an educational institution, without which the town would present an insignificant appearance. The location is among the hills and resembles some of the county towns of eastern Ohio.


There is but five companies of the 3rd Iowa Infantry here and one company of cavalry under the command of Captain Ogg.


On the evening of the 8th of February at 11 o’clock P.M., a detachment of the Black Hawk Cavalry brought to headquarters at Huntsville, 90 kegs of Kentucky Rifle Powder captured some twelve miles from this place, also 7 prisoners. The powder was found part in a corncrib and part of it in a hallow log February 10th, 1862.

News of Other Battles



3rd

News of the Battle and taking of Roanoke on the North Carolina coast February 8th reached here the 13th. The taking of Fort Henry at the same time caused great joy among the troops. News reached here today the 15th of February that the federal troops were shelling Fort Donelson, also of the success of our troops at Springfield. After a short skirmish, [Major General Sterling] Price retreated, leaving General Curtis in possession of Springfield with the stars and stripes floating from the court house for the first time since the Rebs.


The number of prisoners taken at Roanoke was 3000. Our loss fifty killed, about one hundred wounded. The enemy’s loss was still greater; they lost their entire naval force including all their gunboats exception of two.


The enemy is in a perilous condition; they are being struck on every side, with a complete success to our army in every instance. Hurrah for the right and the destruction of the wicked. We still continue to remain in Huntsville, but, up to this date nothing of importance has transpired worthy of notice, February 15th A.D., 1862.


Fort Donelson was attacked on Thursday the 13th of February. The fight continued until Sunday morning at 9 o’clock the 16th, when the fort surrendered to the forces of General Grant. 15,000 prisoners including Generals Pillow, Buckner and Johnson, of a greater victory has not been won since the present war.


The number killed in taking of the fort is __. The number wounded is __. [Will drew the lines, but left quantities blank.] Great joy among the troops today, the army of rebellion is broken. [CS Brig. Gen. John B.] Floyd escaped from Fort Donelson with 5,000 men. A traitor to his country, a traitor to the traitor, he is cursed by his own followers.


Today the 17th of February, a number of slaves and other property were brought into town. Their masters were just starting to Texas, but lo and behold, we relieved them of some of their plunder. The Negroes are here and free, almost frantic with joy.


W.C.Newlon

4th


February reviewed, ’62 (The month of February is at a close, and what has been done in this last month of winter?). The war has been prosecuted with more vigor and more has been done for the cause of the Union in the past month than any three months prior to this, since the war began.


[Brig. General Ambrose E.] Burnside’s Expedition sailed and attacked the enemy at Roanoke with success to our arms, capturing 3,000 prisoners and army equipment of great value. Forts Henry and Donelson were captured by the forces under gallant Brig. Gen. Grant and Flag Officer Foote commander of the gunboats.


Fort Henry was captured with but little difficulty, the enemy having evacuated it after a short engagement. Fort Donelson was taken after a horrible battle, which lasted three days. The Fort was attacked first by the gunboats under Commander Foote and afterwards by the land force 30,000 strong, divided in three divisions, commanded by Generals Smith, Major Generals Don Carlos Buell and John A. McClernand the whole under the command of Brigadier General U.S. Grant.


The battle raged with great fury until the fourth day (Sunday) at six in the morning when General Buckner requested of General Grant an armistice till twelve o’clock for the purpose of coming to some terms of surrender, to which General Grant replied that he would except of nothing but an unconditional surrender, and said he’d propose to move upon your works. Buckner replied that he was compelled to surrender. Thus on the morn of 16th of February, 1862, Brig. General Buckner surrendered Fort Donelson with 15,000 prisoners of war to Brig. General U.S. Grant, commander of the federal troops.




In the meanwhile, Gen. Floyd and Pillow escaped from the fort with 5,000 men leaving their comrades to make the best of it. Oh Floyd, thou traitor, hell is yearning for traitorous souls.


W.C. Newlon

5th


This month has witnessed the retreat of the Rebel leader Major General Sterling Price commanding the so-called Missouri State Guard from the unfortunate State of Missouri into Arkansas closely followed by the gallant Brig. General Curtis [Samuel R., one of several General Curtises] and his noble army.


The enemy made a stand at a formidable position, but after a short engagement, he (Price) beat a hasty retreat, the Feds in hot pursuit capturing arms, baggage, commissary stores, in abundance, also a number of hostile prisoners of war among who is Brig. General Price, son of Sterling Price, Major General, commanding Missouri State. And the notorious Colonel Freeman, both of which are now in Prison at Alton, Ill.


During the past month the 120,000 troops, which were stationed in the State of Missouri, have all, with a few exceptions, left and gone into the field of active service. The Iowa 3rd Infantry still remains in West Missouri, divided in three divisions, part at Mexico, [Brig. Gen. S.D.] Sturgis on the W.M.R.R. [West Missouri Railroad] and four companies there at Huntsville under command of Capt. A. L. Ogg, captain of Company G. &c &c.








Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wrapping-up Ben Stein's Article

Here's Ben Stein's concluding remarks:

"The Civil War was our bloodiest conflict, but also the densest concentration of courage ever shown on this continent. And nowhere is this most precious American quality-courage-more fittingly memorialized than on our Civil War Battlefields. Shiloh and Gettysburg, and – saddest of them all - Franklin and Lookout Mountain, and Vicksburg and Upperville and a thousand other battlefields I have never seen make us think more about the courage and sacrifice of Americans on both sides than any other monument or memorial.


The preservation of these battlefields is partly because of their beauty. Partly it is because they are a respite from the relentless strip-malling and subdividing of America. But mostly the battlefields tell us something we need to know about us, and about our nation, and this is something we need to know now more than ever, as we are under attack by anew enemy who believes we are weak and cowardly.

The Civil War battlefields tell us that we are a nation of heroes and that no matter what the struggle, no matter how difficult or long, if we truly believe in the cause, we will fight it out until the end. Our battlefields inspired us to fight the Nazis, to fight the Japanese, to win the Cold War, and now they will inspire us to fight and win the war of the terrorists against all decent people.

In a real sense, the battlefields we preserve pay us back by preserving us and this great country that God has blessed so abundantly. As I say, courage is the primary, indispensable element of a people and a nation. America’s Civil War battlefields are where that courage is best memorialized. Let’s keep them, and keep them glorious and beautiful, keep them above commerce. And let us always remember that the courage that Americans have is a gift from God, and that when we preserve memorials to it, we are thanking God. The battlefields we seek to save are reminders of gifts from God that will save us if we invoke them, even now, one hundred and forty years after Pickett’s Charge.

That’s it. That’s my speech to the Civil War Preservation Trust. And now I have to leave."

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, and economist in Beverly Hill and Malibu.

I'll resume posting my Great Grandfather's Civil War journal entries on my next several posts.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Here is Ben Stein's last question. And I'll wrap it up in my next blog.

10.


But most of all-and closely connected to this last point-how could all of the men and women who participated in the war have been so amazingly brave?

How could they have carried such heavy loads, under such grueling conditions, slept in the rain, slept in the snow, marched right into massed rifle fire and certain death? How could they face death from belly wounds, in agony, maddened with thirst? How could they have undergone surgery with primitive anesthesia or none at all? How could the Army of Northern Virginia, starving, under-clothed, bled white by Grant, still have fought so gloriously in a lost cause at Petersburg? How could the Union soldiers have crossed those pontoon bridges at Fredericksburg under intense rifle fire and then attacked the fortified Confederates time after time? How could Pickett’s men have marched across that horrible open field into the jaws of death, keeping good order, doing their utmost as all of their friends and comrades fell and died around them?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another question posed by writer, Joe Stein...

"Of all of the amazing, breath-taking truths and myths about the Civil War, why is this one almost always omitted from mention:


that men of one race fought and died in the hundreds of thousands to free from bondage men and women of another race. From all corners of the Northern States, men came and laid down their lives for the Union, yes, but also to free the African slaves, the ancestors of today’s African-Americans. When else in history has anything like this ever happened, that one racial group should die in droves for another’s liberty? This surely is one of the brightest shining dawns in human civilization. When reparations are discussed for African Americans, I am mindful that a certain reparation has been paid, that every drop of blood drawn by the lash has been paid for by a hundred drawn by the sword, to coin a Lincoln phrase."

Monday, April 30, 2012

Here is question number nine posed by Ben Stein


Why is not more attention paid to the stunning contributions of the black man to his own freedom?

Both sides considered blacks unfit to be good soldiers until about 1863. When Lincoln finally relented, they proved to be superb fighters, and their presence on the Union side was a major factor in the Union victory. Other than maybe in the movie Glory, I don’t think that the black soldier gets the credit he deserves for coming from a tradition of oppression and humiliation and then fighting with utmost courage as soon as the chains had been struck from his body.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Why is the Southern cause so compelling even now?

In my attempt to organize, condense and purge my many Civil War file boxes, I now have them lined up in a row out in the garage. From the local office supply store I found handsome blue plastic 'hang and store' containers with lids; they're out there lined up, too. I'm getting closer to being organized. Now the hard job begins - sorting and purging.

So, I continue now with another question posed by Benjamin J. Stein in his 2003 “The American Spectator” article: “Preserving the Civil War”.



7. Why is the Southern cause so compelling even now?

Knowing - as we do - that the Southern economy was largely based on a horrifying notion of racial supremacy, why do we find the South still so haunting and sympathetic? Is it Gone With the Wind? Is it moonlight and magnolias and nonsense? Is it the romance of a lost cause? Why do we find Lee so much more compelling than Grant? Why do we find Lee so much more compelling than a general that even Lee said was the finest on either side in the Civil War, Nathaniel Bedford Forrest? Why do I cry when I visit one of my favorite battlefields, the one at Upperville, Virginia? And why do I have nightmares every time I visit Gettysburg, when most of my ancestors did not even come to America until thirty years after the Civil War ended?

Americans, Northerners at least, had little or no sympathy and compassion for the South in 1865. So when did this romanticism with that cause begin? Did it develop shortly after the last of the Civil War veterans died off in the early 20th Century? What part did Gone With the Wind play, or not play, in this? Has anyone written specifically about this?

When I next comb the History shelves at Barnes & Noble I'll be searching for an answer.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Preserving the Civil War, cont.

Now, here we go with question #6 of Benjamin J. Stein back in October 2003 in “The American Spectator”.

So, here goes:

What would the South have been like if slavery had ended peacefully, as a result of moral awakening in the South, instead of through a bloody war?


Might the situation of blacks in America be better today? Might there have been no segregation, no Klan, no lynchings?

I just finished reading the book Killing Lincoln: the Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever on my Kindle. The film "The Conspirators" follows this book closely; I now understand the movie much better. In fact, I plan to get the movie thru Netflix and watch it again.  I couldn't put the book down though. It's a must read for anyone interested in the Civil War.

Friday, March 16, 2012

US Civil War "What Ifs" cont.

Now, here we go with question #5 posed by Benjamin J. Stein back in October 2003 in “The American Spectator”. “Preserving the Civil War” was the title of his three page essay that asked ten questions about the beginning of the conflict, ramifications of this and that decision, and the 'what might have beens' of it all. I want to continue sharing it here:



5


How would America have been different if the South had won?
Does anyone really think slavery would still be a stain on humanity in 2003? What would have happened if Lincoln had just said, “Erring sisters, go in peace”? Would the North and South not have reconciled and been one nation again? There were mystic chords of memory, after all, to coin a phrase. Would they not have pulled the Union together eventually without bloodshed?

To me, Ben's questions beg others. How 'bout, as two separate nations how would the USA and the CSA have handled the war with Spain over Pacific islands? Or, what about WWI &II ?

You can go on and on...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Was it illegal for the South to break-away? Q #3

I'm reaching out here to the Civil War Researchers. I'm doing research for an ebook. I'd appreciate any info on Sunday battles. If used in publication, I'll of course cite you as a source. Email me at chris@greensblueandgray.com. Thanks in advance.

Now, here we go with question #3 posed by Benjamin J. Stein back in October 2003 in “The American Spectator”. “Preserving the Civil War” was the title of his three page essay that asked ten, most often, provocative, questions about the beginning of the conflict, ramifications of this and that decision, and the 'what might have beens' of it all. I plan to keep the article, and I want to continue sharing it here:

#3


"Why was it legal for the colonies to rebel against Britain but not for the South to rebel against the North?

Again, I assume slavery was and is horrible and disgusting and a crime against humanity. But it was legal under the U.S. Constitution, so why was it allowable to wage a moral crusade killing six hundred thousand men to end it and to compel the slave states back into the Union? If popular sovereignty and right to self-determination mean anything, why did they not mean something in North America? Clearly the South (most but not all of it) wanted to be separate. Why was war the response to popular sovereignty? Or did the Southern firebrands force it on the North? If so, could the North have walked away from the fight? And, again, I am convinced that slavery was thoroughly horrible. But so is war."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Preserving the Civil War

So, to continue here with the provocative questions posed by Ben Stein back in 2003 in the "American Spectator" regarding the Civil War. here's his second question:

#2.
"To slightly restate this [Question #1, previous blog] – assuming, as I do, that slavery was a moral evil of horrendous proportions – could it not have been allowed to wither away?

Slavery was horrific, but so are the deaths of 600,000 plus men and the maiming of millions. Does the ultimate responsibility lie with the abolitionists, the secessionists or with both? And how could any of them live with themselves ever after, when they saw the rivers, oceans of blood?"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Did the Civil War have to be fought?

While revamping my site, greensblueandgray.com, I came upon an article yesterday as I dug through a couple of my many Civil War file boxes. I really need to organize, condense and purge, but that’s hard to do. But this three-pager, “Preserving the Civil War” I plan to keep, and I want to share it here. It was written by Benjamin J. Stein back in October 2003 in “The American Spectator”.




First, Ben suggests the reader check out Bruce Catton’s works, read John Brown’s Body and the sad (his word) Lee’s Lieutenant (I’ve started reading it), and then he poses ten thought-provoking (my words) questions about the war, the political climate back then, that era. He doesn’t come up with any answers, and that’s OK with me. I’ve read enough CW books to have an idea about how to answer these questions, and I’m sure you have as well.



I think it’s a good intellectual exercise to consider them, these questions. So, for the next few Blogs I plan to feature the questions that Ben writes about. I’m starting here with, Da-da!, question one:



1. Did the Civil War have to be fought?



The Northern states lost about 400,000 men. Two hundred thousand Southerners died – roughly one in nine Southern white males died. Each was a tragedy for his family and friends, and all died in agony. Did this have to happen? Did this have to happen? Was there not some way it could have been avoided? Was there a way of buying up the slaves? After all, abhorrent as it sounds and is, they were considered property. Could they have been emancipated by money rather than blood? What could have been done had the powers that be on both sides known how many would die? By Antietam or Shiloh, surely Lincoln knew it was going to be long and bloody. So did Jefferson Davis. Couldn’t something have been worked out to end the killing?



I know, this question has been asked many times and in lots of ways. It could be part of a History mid-term. Don’t worry, the other nine go different directions.

Stay tuned….

Monday, January 9, 2012

Second Journal Begins...


Three Groans – Journal Two Begins

1st [page]

February 8th, 1862

Huntsville, Randolph Co., Missouri

The year of ‘62 dawned upon me at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri. The first day of the new year was spent in a way peculiar only to a military life. A New Year’s dinner was served in the Captain’s room in military style. Nothing worthy of notice took place during the day.
We remained in Benton Barracks until the 11th of January at which time we were ordered to join our Regiment at Montgomery City on North Missouri Rail Road eighty-five miles north of St. Louis. At an early hour we bade adieu to Benton Barracks, but not without giving those remaining behind something to remember us by which we did by forming a line between Headquarters and the General’s house and gave three groans for Benton Barracks. I never was in all my life so much pleased to get away from a place as I was on this morning to leave Benton Barracks, Although, I left many good friends, from Page and Louisa counties.


We marched to the R.R. [railroad] Depot and in due time were on the cars for Montgomery City. We arrived at St. Charles on the Mississippi River at 11 o’clock A.M. and the river not being bridged we crossed on a large steam ferry. St. Charles is situated on the north side of the river, it contains perhaps 3000 inhabitants and I presume in ordinary times that a great deal of business is done here, it having the advantage of river and R.R. The crossing of baggage and such like occupied considerable time and consequently did not leave till 3 o’clock P. M. And, before we reached our destination, night overtook us and therefore did not get to see much of the country along the road.


At 11 o’clock P.M., arrived at Montgomery City, found our friends hail and hearty. The town of Montgomery City is a new place containing but few inhabitants, and is noted for nothing but the distilling and selling of whiskey and an unfinished well thirteen and fifty feet deep. Water is very scarce here the citizens using cistern water.


Huntsville


2nd


We remained at Montgomery City till the 1st of February 1862. During our stay here I, with four associates, boarded at a private house. The time passed off pleasantly while here.


However on the first of February we were ordered to Huntsville 60 miles north of Montgomery City. We took cars at 3 o’clock in the evening, arrived at Allen Station at twelve o’clock the same evening after a cold and disagreeable ride. We remained in the cars till morning and slept but little on account of the extreme cold. In the morning, after building fires on the ice and snow to get breakfast, we partook a meal gotten up in military style.


After all was over we took up a line of march in the direction of Huntsville six miles west of Allen Station, at which place we reached about noon, stepping to the time of Yankee Doodle. Quite a number of Negroes were upon the streets, with their white eyes turned up as large as a full moon. A few citizens could be seen standing around on the corners dressed in homespun of a blue and brownish color. There is but few, if any, avowed Union men in the town or vicinity. Those who have not declared openly their secession principles take a neutral position.


The town of Huntsville contains perhaps 2,000 inhabitants. There is nothing remarkable grand about the buildings except a magnificent courthouse and an educational institution, without which the town would present an insignificant appearance. The location is among the hills and resembles some of the county towns of eastern Ohio.


There is but five companies of the 3rd Iowa Infantry here and one company of cavalry under the command of Captain Ogg.


On the evening of the 8th of February at 11 o’clock P.M., a detachment of the Black Hawk Cavalry brought to headquarters at Huntsville, 90 kegs of Kentucky Rifle Powder captured some twelve miles from this place, also 7 prisoners. The powder was found part in a corncrib and part of it in a hallow log February 10th, 1862.