Monday, November 11, 2013

Time to Reflect

Time to Reflect




Sabbath, June the 8th, 1862

In camp seven miles west of Corinth

Mississippi

Reveille was the first thing I heard this morning, after a good sound sleep during the night. Nothing of interest occurred during the day, anything more than a Sabbath spent in camp.

Dress Parade at 5 ½ P.M., after which all Noncommissioned Officers were summoned to the colonel’s headquarters, where they were instructed relative to their duty as such. The day is somewhat cooler than yesterday. Health good, and plenty to eat.

This day one year ago [8 June 1861] we were mustered into the U.S. Service. Many and noted are the changes in this country, both in a military and civil point of view. At that time the rebellion had assumed a gigantic form. The authorities of the Border States had defiantly declared their hostility to the government! And their openly aroused intentions to unite with the Cotton States and thereby form a separate and distinct government from that of the United States of America. The Nation’s capitol was threatened. The entire overthrow of our government and its free institutions appeared evident.

The emblem of our liberties was torn from the breeze and tramped in the dust by traitorous and unhallowed feet. And the flag of Treason, Despots and Tyranny hoisted in its stead. This aroused the lovers of liberty and the heart of the nation to arms. Fathers and brothers bid adieu to homes and friends and marched in martial array to the defense of their country, their free institutions, their homes and their all.

Thousands have fallen since that time on the field of conflict for these their noble rights. They have been successful; the arm of rebellion has been broken. The hordes of the enemy have been made to fear and quake before the mighty hosts of Israel. This day, the 8th of June 1862, the old flag of the Union floats in the breeze over every state on the American continent. Before any state shall be permitted to soil its sacred folds, let her people be exiled and her cities made desolate.

W.C. Newlon

Winterset, Iowa



38



June the 9th, 1862

Camp on Memphis & Charleston R.R.

Another week has passed and another Monday morning has dawned upon us while resting in this our pleasant camp. What a glorious night for sleep last night and how delightfully charming, cool and pleasant this morning is. But as the sun approaches the meridian, the cool breeze vanishes before the scorching rays of a summer’s sun in Mississippi

What a quiet day! How still everything seems to be in camp. It is as quiet and lonely as a Sabbath spent in a Presbyterian village, where not even the town clock is permitted to strike. No thundering cannon is heard today. How strange! When, but a few days ago, the woods resounded with their deafening roar. I cannot hear the pickets firing today. What can the reason be? Why, says one, the enemy have fled before us. They no more annoy our outposts. Why, we can sit beneath the cypress and oak tree and no one daring to molest or shoot at us. Five o’clock P.M., papers of the 5th give an account of the battle before Richmond up to Sunday evening.



The Big Hatchie



June 10th, 1862



Orders came at 12 o’clock last night for us to march at 7 A.M. We start at the appointed time. The roads were very dusty and the weather very warm; continued in a westward course. [We] pass General Sherman's divisions; cross the [range?] of mountains covered with pine and cedar trees.

Twelve midnight, arrive at [____] across Tuscumbia River where Sherman’s advance is building a bridge, the old one being destroyed by a retreating foe.

Three o’clock P.M., bridge completed; cross over and proceed to Big Hatchie. The road is mountainous; cross Cypress swamps, and come knee high.

Six P.M., arrive at Big Hatchie. Bridge was [____] suspect and was built by the Rebels. A number of citizens came to our camp.

39



We camp on a high hill in an open field very sandy and a disagreeable place to camp.

June 11th, 1862, all right this morning. Took a fine bath in Big Hatchie before breakfast.

We commenced to build a bridge as soon as possible. Go across the county one mile; got Dew berries, very warm. Three o’clock P.M. Co G is detailed for guard.

June 12th, 1862, morning very warm, I am still on guard. 12 A.M. making preparations to march. The heat is intense.

Two P.M., we get ready and march from the hill to the bottom where we wait till the 2nd Brigade passes as it takes the lead in today’s march leaving our brigade in the rear.

Four P.M., take up line of march across the bridge of own construction over Big Hatchie River. Pass a fine plantation and pretty girls that I have [not] seen for a coon’s age. Heat is intense and dust almost to suffocate.

Six P.M., arrive at Big Mendy [Muddy River]. Camp for the night. Pay $1.50 for Chickens and Turkeys. &c







June 13th, 1862

Reveille at 3:30 A.M. ate for breakfast a piece of cracker and cup of coffee. Bought an old Rooster last night for breakfast this morning but was so tuff, we could not eat him.

Five o’clock A.M., take up a line of march past large plantations, slaves both men and women almost naked plowing corn and cotton. [We] rest in shade every hour & half. Pass at different times groups of women & children wearing their handkerchiefs.

Ten o’clock and 30, pass plantations where many slaves are at work in corn and cotton, the former about knee high. 11 A.M. pass a group of mowers - heat intense. The remainder of the day is a repetition of what has already been witnessed. All we very tired at night.



[40]



June the 14th, 1862

Camp at Spring Creek

We remained here till 4 P.M.

I am detailed as Sergeant of the Guard. We marched four miles past the finest plantation I have yet seen in the South, delightful fields of corn & cotton.

We go into camp for the night on the side of a very steep hill out of whose sides flow pure clear cold water.

Twelve P.M., can not have the privilege of sleeping tonight. O! How much I could enjoy it.



Sabbath, June the 15th, 1862

State of Mississippi

Reveille at 2:30 this morn, get breakfast before day. Train moves at 4 A.M.

Five A.M., just relieved from guard; are ready and waiting to hear the command – Forward by File Right, March!

I slept two hours last night, consequently am in good trim for marching today. Morning cool and pleasant.

Six A.M., all ready, we march. Boys in good spirit make the work ring with national airs.

As the sun rises the heat increases; hundreds of men fall beneath the burning rays of the sun.

Six P.M., arrive at Davies Creek 2 ½ miles south of Grand Junction after marching 15 miles. This has been one of the hardest day’s marching we ever performed. A number of men were killed today by the heat. Water could not be had along the road. I came very near [boiling?] myself; however I succeeded in getting through.



An Army Corps on the March



With its cloud of skirmishers in advance,

With now the sound of a single shot snapping like a whip, and now an irregular volley,

The swarming ranks press on and on, the dense brigades press on,

Glittering dimly, toiling under the sun – the dust- cover’d men,

In columns rise and fall to the undulations of the ground,

With artillery interspers’d – the wheels rumble, the horses sweat,

As the army corps advances.



Walt Whitman

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Time to Reflect, June 1862




Chap 8     Marching Toward Memphis

         
Time to Reflect

Sabbath, June the 8th, 1862
In camp seven miles west of Corinth
Mississippi
    Reveille was the first thing I heard this morning, after a good sound sleep during the night. Nothing of interest occurred during the day, anything more than a Sabbath spent in camp.
     Dress Parade at 5 ½ P.M., after which all non-commissioned officers were summoned to the colonel’s headquarters, where they were instructed relative to their duty as such. The day is somewhat cooler than yesterday. Health good, and plenty to eat.
     This day one year ago [8 June 1861] we were mustered into the U.S. Service. Many and noted are the changes in this country, both in a military and civil point of view. At that time the rebellion had assumed a gigantic form. The authorities of the Border States had defiantly declared their hostility to the government! And their openly aroused intentions to unite with the Cotton States and thereby form a separate and distinct government from that of the United States of America. The Nation’s capitol was threatened. The entire overthrow of our government and its free institutions appeared evident.
The emblem of our liberties was torn from the breeze and tramped in the dust by traitorous and unhallowed feet. And the flag of Treason, Despots and Tyranny hoisted in its stead. This aroused the lovers of liberty and the heart of the nation to arms. Fathers and brothers bid adieu to homes and friends and marched in martial array to the defense of their country, their free institutions, their homes and their all.
Thousands have fallen since that time on the field of conflict for these their noble rights. They have been successful; the arm of rebellion has been broken. The hordes of the enemy have been made to fear and quake before the mighty hosts of Israel. This day, the 8th of June 1862, the old flag of the Union floats in the breeze over every state on the American continent. Before any state shall be permitted to soil its sacred folds, let her people be exiled and her cities made desolate. 
W.C. Newlon
Winterset, Iowa


June the 9th, 1862
Camp on Memphis & Charleston R.R.
Another week has passed and another Monday morning has dawned upon us while resting in this our pleasant camp. What a glorious night for sleep last night and how delightfully charming, cool and pleasant this morning is. But as the sun approaches the meridian, the cool breeze vanishes before the scorching rays of a summer’s sun in Mississippi
     What a quiet day! How still everything seems to be in camp. It is as quiet and lonely as a Sabbath spent in a Presbyterian village, where not even the town clock is permitted to strike. No thundering cannon is heard today. How strange! When, but a few days ago, the woods resounded with their deafening roar. I cannot hear the pickets firing today. What can the reason be? Why, says one, the enemy have fled before us. They no more annoy our outposts. Why, we can sit beneath the cypress and oak tree and no one daring to molest or shoot at us. Five o’clock P.M., papers of the 5th give an account of the battle before Richmond up to Sunday evening.

The Big Hatchie

June 10th, 1862

     Orders came at 12 o’clock last night for us to march at 7 A.M. We start at the appointed time. The roads were very dusty and the weather very warm; continued in a westward course. [We] pass General Sherman's divisions; cross the [range?] of mountains covered with pine and cedar trees.
     Twelve midnight, arrive at [____] across Tuscumbia River where Sherman’s advance is building a bridge, the old one being destroyed by a retreating foe.
Three o’clock P.M., bridge completed; cross over and proceed to Big Hatchie. The road is mountainous; cross Cypress swamps, and come knee high.
     Six P.M., arrive at Big Hatchie. Bridge was [____] suspect and was built by the Rebels. A number of citizens came to our camp.                             

     We camp on a high hill in an open field very sandy and a disagreeable place to camp.
     June 11th, 1862, all right this morning. Took a fine bath in Big Hatchie before breakfast.
     We commenced to build a bridge as soon as possible. Go across the county one mile; got Dew berries, very warm. Three o’clock P.M. Co G is detailed for guard.
June 12th, 1862, morning very warm, I am still on guard. 12 A.M. making preparations to march. The heat is intense.
     Two P.M., we get ready and march from the hill to the bottom where we wait till the 2nd Brigade passes as it takes the lead in today’s march leaving our brigade in the rear.
     Four P.M., take up line of march across the bridge of own construction over Big Hatchie River. Pass a fine plantation and pretty girls that I have [not] seen for a coon’s age. Heat is intense and dust almost to suffocate.
     Six P.M., arrive at Big Mendy [Muddy River]. Camp for the night. Pay $1.50 for Chickens and Turkeys. &c 

June 13th, 1862
Reveille at 3:30 A.M. ate for breakfast a piece of cracker and cup of coffee. Bought an old Rooster last night for breakfast this morning but was so tuff, we could not eat him.
     Five o’clock A.M., take up a line of march past large plantations, slaves both men and women almost naked plowing corn and cotton. [We] rest in shade every hour & half. Pass at different times groups of women & children wearing their handkerchiefs.
Ten o’clock and 30, pass plantations where many slaves are at work in corn and cotton, the former about knee high. 11 A.M. pass a group of mowers - heat intense. The remainder of the day is a repetition of what has already been witnessed. All we very tired at night.

June the 14th, 1862
Camp at Spring Creek
We remained here till 4 P.M.
     I am detailed as Sergeant of the Guard. We marched four miles past the finest plantation I have yet seen in the South, delightful fields of corn & cotton.
     We go into camp for the night on the side of a very steep hill out of whose sides flow pure clear cold water.
Twelve P.M., can not have the privilege of sleeping tonight. O! How much I could enjoy it.

Sabbath, June the 15th, 1862
State of Mississippi
     Reveille at 2:30 this morn, get breakfast before day. Train moves at 4 A.M.
     Five A.M., just relieved from guard; are ready and waiting to hear the command – Forward by File Right, March!
     I slept two hours last night, consequently am in good trim for marching today. Morning cool and pleasant.
     Six A.M., all ready, we march. Boys in good spirit make the work ring with national airs.
     As the sun rises the heat increases; hundreds of men fall beneath the burning rays of the sun.
Six P.M., arrive at Davies Creek 2 ½ miles south of Grand Junction after marching 15 miles. This has been one of the hardest day’s marching we ever performed. A number of men were killed today by the heat. Water could not be had along the road. I came very near [boiling?] myself; however I succeeded in getting through.

An Army Corps on the March

     With its cloud of skirmishers in advance,
     With now the sound of a single shot snapping like a whip,and now   an irregular volley,
     The swarming ranks press on and on, the dense brigades press on,
     Glittering dimly, toiling under the sun – the dust-cover’d men,
     In columns rise and fall to the undulations of the   ground,
     With artillery interspers’d – the wheels rumble, the horses sweat,
     As the army corps advances.

                                                                                                                           Walt Whitman

La Belle Village

     We remained in camp on Davies Creek 5 days, and then marched. Marched to La Grange, distance six miles, at which place, we remained until the 17th of July. But during that time, we did a great deal of hard marching and heavy duty. One of those was to Holly Springs, Miss. [22 miles southwest]    
     We went on many foraging expeditions, which were always tended with much danger. At one time the 3rd Iowa had a daring adventure with a body of Rebel cavalry under command of Colonel Jackson.           

Camp
La Grange, Tennessee
     La Grange is a beautiful town situated on the M & Charleston R.R., 42 miles from Memphis and about 2 miles from the state line of Mississippi.[1]
     The buildings are mostly of ancient style and many of them much decayed.[2] The lots of ground on which the buildings stand are much larger than ordinary town lots in the north, judging them to contain about two acres, and these beautifully adorned with ornamental trees.
     The county surrounding the town is indeed beautiful, consisting of fine plantations. The county south to Holly Springs is also good, beautiful mansions with the most luxuriant surroundings.
     After the military had concluded to abandon the [rail]line from Corinth to Memphis, the divisions under Generals Sherman & Hurlbut were ordered to march to Memphis.
     In pursuance to orders, the 3rd Iowa Infantry, with her associates in division, took up a line of march on the 17th July for the conquered city of Memphis. The weather is remarkably hot and dry to march over the sand banks; the hot weather appears almost more than we can stand.
     We left La Grange at 1 o’clock P.M. just after a refreshing shower of rain; marched to Moscow ten miles from La Grange. This first day’s march was performed with ease and with but little disasters compared with the latter part of the march.
     But as I failed to make a note of the towns, camps and general appearance of the county, I cannot, at this late period, give anything like a correct account of our journey across this portion of Rebeldom. Notwithstanding a fine and beautiful county is their [brand] of habitation.
     During this very severe & exhausting march, we lost many men. However, after the elapse of four days we accomplished a hard and much dreaded march. We entered the city of Memphis on the 21st of July after marching 10 miles. A more ragged and dirty body of men never marched in this county.

     We halted one hour on Main Street for rest and water. After which, we continued our march to the south, halting and marching a half dozen or more times; we finally succeeded in finding a stopping place.

July 23rd, 1862
     Today we moved camp a few rods, and pitched tents in a dense piece of woodland; so thick that the rays of sun could not penetrate through the thick foliage.
July 24th, 1862
     Today we again moved camp just across the road. At night when all were fast asleep, a mighty storm arose, the thunder rolled, the lightning flashed, the rain fell, and the winds blew with great fury. So much that the foundation of the forest timber trembled with fear. A huge and powerful tree fell to the south in the midst of our camp, however with but little damage.
      We remained in this camp two or three days when we again moved camp to a position 1 ½ miles south of the city where we have spent many hot days. Since our arrival here, but little of importance has transpired worthy of note.
     Guard duty is very heavy every four days; 19 men from a company are required for picket duty.

July the 28th, 62
     3rd Iowa is detailed to go on picket 6 miles north of this camp to guard a bridge across Wolf River. We had a pleasant time. However, one very serious accident occurred. While a number were in the water swimming, one man from Company D (Captain Wiser) was drowned; was taken to camp for internment.[3]
     After three days’ duty, we were relieved by the 28th Illinois Infantry. Marched back through the City [Memphis]. The band playing many favorite airs at which crowds of civilians gathered along the sidewalk. After a dusty march we reached camp about 8 o’clock P.M.; found all as we left except a Sergeant of Company G who had died in the hospital in absence.                         

Sabbath, July 31st, 1862
Company near Memphis, Tennessee
     I am detailed as Sergeant of Provost Guard; reported at Provost Martial’s Office.[4] Was detailed from there with one Corporal and 9 men to guard General Hurlbut's Headquarters. Was not relieved until the next evening; a proper detail had been neglected by Company A & a general of the Division.[5]

Will gives no reason for this month-long interruption.

Wednesday Sept 3rd, 62
     Nothing new today, 4,000 prisoners (Rebel) anchored off Memphis today on their way to Vicksburg to be exchanged. Upon their arrival here they gave three vociferous cheers for the Confederacy, and three for Stonewall Jackson. At the same time displaying a flag of which was recognized by a Miss Edmondson in the City who also waved one in return, which resulted in her expulsion south of our lines. Good for her, learn her better next time.

Thursday, Sept 4th, 62
     All in trim this morning, news from the Army of the East, federal forces falling back on their works.[6] Had a short drill. Was summoned as witness on Court Martial against Geo W. Baty, for getting drunk on duty.[7]
     Four o’clock P.M., evening paper brings intelligence of a Bull Run No 2.[8] Headed in large capital letters one absurdity after another. Such a secession sheet as the Memphis Appeal, and its treasonable editor should be dashed into the Mississippi waters forever.[9]


Friday, Sept 5th, 1862
     Fine, pleasant, cool morning. My health good; everything has a lively appearance in camp. No news more than yesterday from the Virginia Army.[10] Anxious for the news. &c &c &c
     One o’clock P.M., orders to march by tomorrow morning at one o’clock A.M. Everything is in camp. Wine & brandy rules the day. Boys in ailing trim, as is the case generally when we have orders to move. Four o’clock P.M., heavy thunder & rainstorm blowing many tents to the ground; laying the dust & cooling the air.

Saturday, Sept 6th, 1862
Camp near Memphis, Tennessee
     Daybreak found us fast asleep this morning instead of on our march as we expected. The order was countermanded at 11 P.M. last night. It now stands for 11 o’clock P.M. today, at which time we will bid adieu to our present camping ground unless another change is made. This is a pleasant cool morning, delightful for marching.
     Seven o’clock P.M., we left the City of Memphis at the appointed time (11 o’clock). Marching through the back part of the city until we reached the northwest part of town and then we took the Bolla Road running in a northeast direction.
     Marched 9 miles where we now rest for the night. The march was very hard on the men as they have not marched very much for more than a month.
     Nothing of interest on the road but the Boys relieving some wagons of melons, which were being conveyed to the city for market. However, they were saved of the trouble. Supper is announced by the cook.
     Well, after partaking hearty of rough camp fare, I feel once more refreshed. It goes very hard with me to march this hot weather.
     We are at present bivouacked for the night on the banks of Wolf River whose waters empty on the Mississippi just in the northern part of Memphis. Quite a pleasant little stream, silently running through heavy forests of timber.
     A little shower of rain has cooled the air considerably, but making the ground somewhat damp for spreading our blankets.
     However, I have already gathered some paw paw [Asimina triloba] leaves which will answer as substitute for feathers &c on which I shall spend the silent hours of this night (if providence permit), while the frogs echo their shrieking notes and the mosquitoes so silently sail through the air when to your ear they will sing cousin [sic].
                                                         

Sabbath night, 11 o’clock, Sept 7th, 1862
Bivouacked 21 miles E. of Memphis
     After another miserably tedious day’s march, we again rest for the time being 27 miles from where we started yesterday morning. We took up a line of march this morning at seven A.M. leaving our temporary encampment on Wolf River for our enemies to ramble over in our absence.
     The shower of rain last night very much improved the roads and cooled the atmosphere, making it, in all, quite pleasant for marching.
     Our regiment is the rearguard of the division today, which decidedly is the hardest place to march in a division. The division train (about two miles long) was immediately in advance of us and some of the teams were continually balking, breaking down bridges &c which made it very tedious indeed.
     After we had marched two miles, we came to the town or village called Bolla, a kind of one horse town destitute of good buildings and nothing as I saw of interest in or around the place, unless you call old fields, barren plantations, & decayed buildings, objects of interest.
     The next place we came to was Union City on the Memphis and Ohio R.R., fifteen miles from Memphis; it also is an inferior place like most of the inland towns in the south. No mercy was shown to Rebel citizens along the road as the Boys were pretty sure to relieve them of their chickens and such like.
     We burned a small place (The name of which I had forgotten.) about 3 P.M., consisting of store room, repairing shop and several other buildings all of which we willingly applied the torch. The place being the rendezvous of a guerrilla band. General [perhaps Lew] Wallace had one man killed near by them when he was marching to Memphis in June, 62.
     The county along this road is far from being as good as on the road to La Grange, no such fine plantations and beautiful mansions.

     Rebel Uniform, WS cartridge boxes and such like were found at different houses. At such places not much respect was paid to property. The rain commenced to fall about noon and continued for some time.
     Night overtook us and we were far from our journey’s end. The train made but slow progress stopping every rod or two until we reached our place of abode for the night. Weary and very worn were all, and happy were we when we found a resting place.
     And as Mal (the cook) is preparing supper, cooking some fine chickens, which he cunningly captured by the way, I am penning these words.[11] And, as he has announced it to be ready, and, as it is just 12 o’clock midnight, I will draw the notes of the day to a close.
     After I have partook of the spoils of the enemy (The first I have ate since four A.M. this morning), I will lay down my weary limbs upon mother earth for a short, but sweet repose, with the Heavens for a covering and the falling rain to cool my brow while the silent hours of night pass away, that I may arise ere the dawn of tomorrow’s day for the labor and toil which it may bring. &c &c &c
WCNewlon 3rd. Iowa

Sept the 8th, 1862, Monday noon
                     In the field 27 miles East of Memphis
We unexpectedly rest where we halted last night at midnight. Madam Rumor says that we will return to the city again. The day is cloudy, threatening rain. The news of a fight at Bolivar resulting favorably is the cause of a retrograde movement that is, if any should be the place in the 4th Division.[12]
     The Boys are enjoying themselves finely, rambling through the woods gathering muscadines.[13]
     Eight P.M., orders to be prepared for action in a moment’s warning. Also to march tomorrow morning at daybreak.                                                                                                                                                                   WCNewlon                            

Tuesday, Sept 9th, 1862 8 P.M.
Camp in field, Tennessee
     We were aroused from slumber at three o’clock A.M. this morning, prepared breakfast, struck tents and at daylight we were marching northward. A very pleasant morning for marching, roads in good condition; the atmosphere cool and enticing.
     Our place today was third from the right and immediately in front of the train. Consequently, had nothing to hinder our progress and we improved the time by doing some of the fastest marching we ever done in Tennessee.   After marching some three miles, we came to Hickory Withe,[14] a small village containing perhaps one dozen houses. We marched almost altogether in a north direction, traveling a by-road as we left the Bolivar road this morning crossing the county through plantations & one very large plantation with quite a quantity of cotton in field and about one hundred bales in [whole].
     The county through which we passed today is very poor, old worn out plantations, poor fences and decayed buildings.
But little jay hawking done.[15] In fact, there was nothing to jay hawk, we were now resting in a bottom and I don’t know how far from any place.
     I have learned that we are going to Brownsville some 30 miles distant from this place.[16] Such a county as this I would not live in, not even a pretty girl to be seen at any place. Took some prisoners. Mal (the cook) has just prepared some dinner consisting of green corn &c, which I shall not be slow in hiding.

Wednesday, Sept 10th, 1862
                                     Camp in field, Tennessee
     Reveille at 3 A.M., marched at 5. The county through which we passed was very poor. Marched 15 miles; camped on Big Muddy three miles from Big Hatchie. I was Sergeant of the Rear Guard today.


Thursday, Sept 11th, 1862
Camp in field, Tennessee
     Reveille at 3 A.M. this morning, 3rd Iowa and 41st Illinois are detailed to build a bridge across Big Hatchie three miles from camp. At 5 ½ A.M., with contrabands,[17] shovels and axes, we proceeded to our place of operations passing through one of the most lonely, wild and wilderness looking places I ever saw, dense wood land, thick under brush, marshy land.
     Upon arriving at the stream, we found it quite a stream, about 125 feet wide. The bridge across this river was burned by the enemy. To build a bridge across such a large stream appeared to be quite a task. Our contrabands were brought to bear upon the heavy timber, felling and cutting in pieces of the proper length. These were rolled into the river and drifted to their proper place.
     We busied ourselves gathering the wild fruit, muscadines, grapes and paw paws, which were very abundant in the bottoms. Thus, the day passed during the afternoon. However we were unpleasantly drenched with heavy showers of rain. Night approached and no sight of our teams. Here we are without blankets or anything of the kind. The bridge is near finished.

Partial Letters to Lydia[18]

Continued...Well Lydia, I have strung my letter out to a considerable length & have not given you much news after all.
And “Sam told Sophy, &c, &c”. Well, I think Sam is sadly mistaken, don’t you? There may be such a place as Page, and there might be such a thing as a girl there, if there is such a place. However, I cannot positively say that there is &c, &c. Maybe my friend Samuel understands matters and things pertaining to my private affairs better than Your Humble Servant.
Lydia, you can rest assured that my connection with “Page” is as limited as these with yourself. And, you know that we are not so very extensive[ly] connected as might be.
As a matter of friendship, I did occasionally exchange letters with friend [M__my?]. But, to the best of my knowledge, Samual G. never saw any of them. But as you say, there was nothing particular in them (I wish there was).
But, as it is your special request that I let no one see them, I will, with pleasure, do as you so sincerely desire. And, you know, “friend Lydia”, that what I say is the truth. Don’t you think that you could trust my honor a little, at any rate?
I understand very emphatically how Ruby,[19] as well as others, succeeded in getting out of the service. And, could get out of the service as he did, but, I have a little honor and don’t have any idea that a three year war will blemish it. It is true that the army is not a desirable place. A soldier’s life is in danger at all times. He is never considered safe. But, much experience during war (as at the present time) hardens his mind, and in many instances rests perfectly easy even when in the greatest danger. (I speak from experience.)
     I wish you not to infer that I am trying to make myself out brave, but I wish it distinctly understood, that no thundering cannon, nor bursting shell and even death did I know that it would come tomorrow on a field of action, would induce me to do as Gentlemen have done in this army. I know that life is sweet, but I care not a Continental [least bit]. If to die on a battlefield is my lot, so let it be.
I have been in a number of battles, have thus far escaped almost uninjured. And why that I might not have reasons to believe that I will always escape as in former fights. I am perfectly willing to risk it, let the consequence be as it may.
It is a pity that anyone should have the heart disease. They say it’s fatal; don’t you think so?
Sure enough, the Winterset wing of the 3rd Iowa is nearly extinct. Blakely and I [are] all that is left. Blakely, I think, will be out soon; he is not fit for service. I will do all I can for him. I have been very lonesome since Frederick left us. He is a splendid fellow; wish he was here. I had a letter from him the other day, also, about half a dozen from the Iowa 4th Infantry. I wonder if they think I will write to every man in the regiment.

...This was written in haste and by candlelight. I fear you cannot read it. Excuse.
     I think you have done exceedingly well this summer in teaching so long in one place, especially in such a deluded spot as Adair County is.
I think I should admire that six-foot and two inch girl of your school. Won’t you speak a good word for me to her highness? I think you will.
I am no captain yet. But, you need not be alarmed, if such should be the case before long. Captain Ogg, if not resigned, will likely be dismissed from the service.[20] And, if either takes place, I have a good chance for the captaincy of this company. I will undoubtedly get the position, if left to the company to choose.
Our present commander is incompetent to hold the position, is not liked by the men, and has no friends among the regimental and company officer - his name, O.G. Anderson, 2nd Lieutenant.[21] Our 1st Lieutenant is still a prisoner & [the] Captain is wounded seriously at [here].
I think that Warner did write you a letter.[22] He was induced to do so by a gentleman of Winterset. Notoriety. I think it was more for a [____] than anything else.
You asked me if I intend to go home this fall. Indeed, Lydia, I would much like to visit home and friends. But, it is impossible to do so, as leaves of absence, are not granted in this division. I would like to see you very much and all of my old schoolmates.
I remember well our former engagements and pleasure rides. Lydia, there was no war then. When will we enjoy such pleasures again?
Well, I am for picket duty tomorrow. Will have a good time; is not much danger here on picket. I was Sergeant of the Guard last night and yesterday. I had command of the prisoners today on police duty. We have a spy here; will be shot. Are fortifying here. We are about 12,000 troops here. Don’t know how long will stay here. Are ready to do or go anywhere. You will please not let any of my people see this letter. Hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience. [_ir_d] as follows – WCN, Company G, 3rd Iowa Infantry, Gen. Hurlbut’s Division, Bolivar, Tenn. Please drop Captain Ogg’s name.
If you chance to see any communications in the Madisonian,[23] signed “Tenn”, you will know who they are from.
I have much to tell you; had I an opportunity. Would much rather give you a verbal account than written.
Respectfully Yours,
W.C.Newlon


[1] La Grange (approx 48 miles from Memphis) was named in honor of the Marquis de La Fayette’s ancestral home in Auvergne, France and became known throughout the Old South as “La Belle Village”. Brochure “Walking/Driving Tour of La Grange, Tennessee”, Town of La Grange, TN, n.d.

[2] It is unclear which type of architecture the author refers to here. It may be Georgian (1714–1776). For a description of various styles of that era, refer to: Michael J. Varhola, Every Day life During the Civil War. (Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books, 1999), 73. Also visit www.LaGrangeTN.com for views of La Grange homes.
[3] Perhaps Emilius I. Weiser, age 25, residence Decorah, Iowa, Pennsylvania, enlisted 20 May 1861, appointed First Lieutenant and mustered 8 June 1861. He was promoted Captain 16 January 1862, wounded in knee by grape shot 6 April 1862, Shiloh, Tenn.  See a roster of soldiers in Company D on the following web-site, http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/regiment/infantry/03rd/index.htm, transcribed by Linda Suarez from the Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers, Vol. I, lists the Captain as wounded 5 October 1862, Hatchie River, Tenn. and mustered out 18 June 1864, Davenport, Iowa, expiration of term of service. There is no Captain Wiser on the above Company D Roster.

[4]  Provost Marshall: an officer in charge of military police.

[5]  Will had crossed out Company A in the journal.

[6] Perhaps referring to the 1 September Battle of Chantilly, Virginia and its aftermath. On 2 Sept US General John Pope completed “his withdrawal into the entrenchments around Washington”. Skirmishes broke out at Fairfax Court House and Flint Hill...”With Pope’s army no longer a threat, CSA General Robert E. Lee turned his army west and north to invade the North”. James R. Arnold and Roberta Weiner, Editorial Consultants, The Time Chart History of the Civil War. (Ann Arbor, MI: Lowe & B. Hould Publishers, 2001), 44; Frances H. Kennedy, Editor and Principal Contributor, The Civil War Battlefield Guide, 2nd ed. (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998), 112.

[7] George W. Baty (Veteran), age 22, residence Green Bush, Iowa, Ohio, enlisted 21 May 1861, mustered 8 June 1861, re-enlisted and re-mustered 4 Jan 1864. See company B, Third Infantry Consolidated Battalion, A roster of soldiers in Company G on the following web-site, http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/regiment/infantry/03rd/index.htm, transcribed by Linda Suarez from the Roster and Record of Iowa Soldiers, Vol. I.
[8] Second Manassas (Bull Run) Campaign - 28-30 August 1862.

[9] Memphis Daily Newspaper from 1843-1894. In 1894, The Appeal merged with The Daily Commercial, founded in 1890, to become The Commercial Appeal, the current daily newspaper in Memphis. Available at https://umdrive.memphis.edu/mckibben/www/appeal.html.

[10] Second Manassas
[11] “…the concept of a mess hall was unknown during the Civil War,…In camp, companies would frequently designate cooks to prepare their rations…”, Michael J. Varhola, Every Day life During The Civil War.(Cincinnati, Writer’s Digest Books, Ohio, 1999), 92.
[12] Perhaps referring to the 30 August battle where the Union lost 3 killed and the CSA lost 100. Civil War Battles of 1862, Chronological Summary and Record Of Every Engagement Between the Troops of the Union and the Confederacy in the American Civil War During the year of 1862, collated and compiled from the Official Records of the War Department. http://users.aol.com/dlharvey/1862bat.htm
 
[13] Muscadine: (ca. 1785) A grape of the southern U.S. with musky fruit in small clusters [prob. alter of muscatel]: Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Ed (2003), s. v. “muscadine”.

[14] Approx. 25 miles east of Memphis. The estimated population, in 2003, was 2,810.

[15] Jay-Hawk (1858): A reference to looting and burning by some bands of Antislavery guerrillas in Kansas and Missouri before and during the Civil War. Ibid. s. v. “Jay-Hawk”.

[16] Approx. 40 miles northeast of Memphis.

[17] Contraband: a slave who escaped to or who was brought within the Union lines.  Ibid. s. v. “contraband”.

[18] The first letter’s stationery is unique. The two lined pages open like a basic card, measuring 5” x 8”.  In the upper left-hand corner of top page, there is an embossed eagle on a banner shield, with the words “Union and [_____tion]” on the top. The five inch top edge of the top page has a thin [1/16”] trim of bright red; the length of the right edge is trimmed with blue.      
[19] Samuel G. Ruby, age 22, residence Winterset, né Ohio, enlisted 21 May 1861 as Eighth Corporal, mustered 22 May 1861, discharged 8 July 1862 at St. Louis, MO for disability. 
[20] Adam L. Ogg, age 32, wounded severely in both hands 6 April 1862, Shiloh, Tenn., resigned 16 June 1863. Web-based “Roster and Record, 3rd Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry”, http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/regiment/infantry/03rd/co-go.htm.
[21] The web-based roster of Field and Staff Officers of the 3rd Regiment Iowa Volunteer Infantry, http://iagenweb.org/civilwar/regiment/infantry/03rd/field-staff.htm, lists a 2nd Lt. Ole A. Anderson, Company D.

[22] Ephraim P. Warner, age 29, residence Winterset, né Pennsylvania, enlisted 21 May 1861, mustered 8 June 1861, wounded in arm 6 April 1862, Shiloh, Tenn, discharged 12 Sept 1862, Shiloh, Tenn. for disability, Ibid.

[23] Newspaper serving Madison County, Iowa