HISTORY OF THE 84TH REGI-
MENT ILL. VOLS.
BY L. A. Simmons.
THE MARCH FROM MANCHESTER, VIA
CHATTANOOGA TO CHICKAMAUGA.
On the morning of August 16th 863, the advance toward Chattanooga commenced. The right wing of the army (20th corps) commanded by Gen. McCook, moved directly south toward the Tennessee river; the center (14th corps) under Gen. Thomas, along the line of the railroad toward Stevenson and Bridgeport, Ala; and the right (21st corps) under Gen. Crittenden was to move from Manchester and McMinnville directly towards Chattanooga, by the routes found most practicable across the mountains. Gen. Wood’s division moved directly to McMinnville, and from the point, with Van Cleve’s division took the road to Pikeville; while Gen. Palmer’s division to which our Regiment belonged, marched nearly eastward on what was known as the Hickory creek road, and at night encamped at Viola a very small town of only three or four houses about eight (8) miles southwest of McMinnville. The morning had been fair but about noon a heavy rain set in, and we were reminded of our advance from Nashville, and from Murfreesborough; and the remark was common ‘that it always rains when Gen. Rosecrans starts on a campaign.’ Most of the artillery had crossed the swamp east of Manchester before the rain set in, but wagon trains were all night and till late the next day in getting through. Starting from Viola on the 17th, we marched nearly eastward into what is known as Northcut’s cove which is at the foot of the main ridge of the mountains. The country through which we passed was as fine as any we had ever seen in the south. The farms were not large, but the crops were very good, and there were indications of thrift and prosperity at and about almost every homestead. Many large orchards along the route were bending with their annual burden, and peaches were brought to the roadside in abundance. From this cove we passed through a narrow gap, and came into another, which we were informed was known as Roger’s hollow. Here on either hand were farms extending far up on the sides of the mountain ridges, and the cove or hollow widened till we came into a quite level tract several miles in extent, through which flowed a swift mountain stream; on either bank of which were farms, and meadows and pastures so large and level, that we were strongly reminded of our own beautiful Prairie State. Near this stream (Collins creek,) we passed a group of old brick building, greatly out of repair but extensive and commodious, which we were informed was Irving College. The sire was certainly a very remarkable one for an institution of learning, in the midst of the mountains, far from river or railroad; yet the purity of the air, as well as the delightful mountain scenery upon every hand, had a few years previous made this one of the most popular institutions of the State.
So far we had passed through gaps and between ridges, but a few miles further on after crossing Collins creek, we came to the Main ridge, in which we could discover no break or gap for many miles on either side of the road; which being the direct one from McMinnville to Dunlap, had some years before been well worked and partially macadamized. The road wound up the side of the mountain in a sort of zigzag, so that, although it was only about a mile and a half in a direct line. It was at least three miles by this devious and winding wagon road.
We were not a little surprised to find the road so skillfully constructed up the mountain. It was laid no doubt by a scientific and practical engineer, and years ago when this was one of the principle stage routes between Middle and East Tennessee, much labor was most certainly bestowed upon it. The Division reached the summit a little after noon, and after a brief rest, marched on about two miles to a small ravine, where there was abundance of good water, and here the wearied men speedily put up their shelter tents, and encamped for the night. The artillery met with but little difficulty in the ascent, being assisted by the troops; but the wagon trains were all overloaded, and although the teams were doubled, so as to have eight mules to each wagon, it was with great difficulty that the wagons were brought up. All night long the work was incessantly continued, and at sunrise the next morning there were several large trains at the foot of the mountain, which had not yet been able to get upon the road. This night will be long remembered by the writer, for there was some severe labor; and if not “days of danger” certainly “nights of waking” in the Quartermaster department. About noon the next day, most of the wagon trains having reached the summit the Division set forward, and not a few were surprised to find a level country, almost two thousand feet above the valley in which we had been marching the day before. We advanced only five or six miles through a thickly timbered country, and again encamped. On the sides of the mountain, the yellow or pitch pine is thickly interspersed with oak and chestnut; but upon the level summit, though, there are occasionally a few hundred acres of pine timber, it is mainly oak of several varieties, with here and there a chestnut, and an undergrowth of whortleberry and sourwood.
On the morning of the 25th, we were upon the road at sunrise, and soon came into a more broken section, winding around some very deep ravines and gulches, and at ten o’clock having marched at least ten miles, began the descent into the Sequatchee valley. The valley lies between the two main ridges of the Cumberland mountains, and is some five or six miles wide. With the exception of a line of low cone shaped hills running nearly in the center, it is level and well cultivated, having a rich soil, and is one of the most productive in this portion of the South. From this point of observation the beautiful farms and substantial farm houses, for several miles up and down the valley were plainly in view. The descent with the artillery and trains was accomplished with much difficulty, and in some places attended with no little danger; for the side of the mountain is a succession of precipices, among which the road winds from one shelf to another, and in some places by carelessly driving a few feet from the track a wagon might have been thrown off several hundred feet at a single bound. About noon the Division encamped in and about the town of Dunlap a town of but few houses, situated near the center of one of the most delightful valleys on the continent. After a hearty dinner, of which green corn and peaches were the most delectible portions, our brigade moved about a mile westward to the very base of the mountain, almost beneath the towering cliffs, and encamped near some large springs: which flowing out almost from the base afforded water as clear as crystal, and as cool as could be desired. In this pleasant camp we remained until the 1st day of September.
We soon ascertained that nearly all the inhabitants of this valley were and had ever been firm and devoted friends of the Union, and that very few recruits had ever been obtained here by the Confederates except by drafting. We were here compelled to forage heavily: loading whole fields of corn, stalks and all upon our wagons, which were sent out every morning; but the owners scarcely considered it a grievance; they were so anxious for our success, that they were as a general thing perfectly satisfied with the receipts which we gave them for their fine crops of corn and hay. The presence of a large army was something new in that locality, and the next day after our arrival scores of citizens came in to see the “jolly boys in blue.” We noticed one company of eighteen or twenty ladies all on horseback, several of whom we noticed were very pretty, and all were gay and graceful, if not elegant equestriennes. While in camp in this valley, we were able to procure abundance of vegetables, green corn, and fruit; and for once had the material for a living almost as good as we were accustomed to at home. The men at this camp, again found much cause for complaint, in the camp guards and strict orders which Col. Grose immediately established. The Col. was social and pleasant on the march, but always seemed cross and severe when in camp. On a trivial pretext at this place he ordered Lieut. Edson of Co. A in arrest, from which he did not release him for nearly three months, though he must have known there was no sufficient ground for charges against him. Of course the Col. was greatly annoyed by the constant demand for passes to go outside the brigade camp; and occasionally had the opportunity of overhearing the men make remarks about himself, not in any degree polite or complimentary. These he no doubt dealt with severely when he afterwards found opportunity. We have here preserved a specimen of the brave colonels malignity and literary ability in the approval which he wrote upon a pass, presented by a man of our Regiment. – it reads thus. “Appd This man had very insulting language & conduct to the Brig Com’dor yesterday.” “Wm Grose Col Comdg Brig”
During the week which we remained here, we had scores of rumors and reports as to the advance of other portions of the army, and the movements of the enemy – The intrepid and impetuous Col. Wilder, with his gallant Brigade of mounted infantry, had pushed on when we halted at Dunlap; and having found the enemy strongly intrenched of Harrison’s Landing, a few miles above Chattanooga, had taken a position upon the low hills directly across the river from the city and was daily harassing the inhabitants with screeching messengers from his twelve pound rifled field pieces – Gen Palmer’ with one Brigade of this Division (Hazen’s) had crossed directly over Walden’s Ridge from Dunlap, to support Wilder; and each day we heard the artillery, and shortly afterward there would be rumors of an attack of hard fighting, and several times it was currently believed that Wilder had crossed the river and taken the city. – Hourly we were looking for the order to go forward across the remaining Ridge of the mountain, an take part in the investment of this noted little city; but it was not so ordered; and on the morning of the 1st of September, we moved down the Sequatchee Valley towards the Tennessee River, taking the direct road to Bridgeport, which place had already been several days in possession of our forces. – We marched about twenty miles during the day down this very fertile valley and encamped on a small stream, called the Little Sequatchee or Sequatchee Creek. – The mountain scenery along the lower portion of this valley we think the grandest we have ever seen, we were about to say the grandest in the Union: – but grand and beautiful scenery could not wholly devert the minds of all from the wearisome marching, and before we went into Camp, not a few were fretting and swearing because we were going too far on the first day, after a week in Camp. On the following morning we moved about a mile away from good water and abundance of wood, and again went into Camp. – How often then were the questions asked, “Why did we march twenty miles yesterday, and only a mile this morning?” “Why are we marched away from wood and water and halted upon a flat weedy field?” The inevitable answer came stereotyped long before, when anything was done that was evidently a blunder or utterly unreasonable, “because it is military.”
On the morning of Sept. 3d, we marched at daylight, and about sunrise passed through the town of Jasper, containing about twenty houses and a few miles Southward came to the Tennessee River. We proceeded two or three miles down the River to the mouth of Battle Creek, and halted at some strong fortifications built under the direction of Gens McCook and Mitchell more than a year before, when Gen Buell had command of the army in this department. The wagon trains were immediately sent down to Bridgeport to cross the River on the Pontoon Bridge, and our Division set to work to build rafts. Before night our Regiment had commenced crossing and Capt Higgins with large detail was sent across the river to select a Camp for the Brigade and establish picket-lines. Many of the men swam the river as soon as they could get their knapsacks, guns and accoutrements carried over on the rafts. There was a novelty in this work and though there was considerable hard labor in it; yet the men were full of mirth and enthusiasm, and the ferrying progressed rapidly. During the night the whole Division crossed and encamped near the town, or rather railroad station, of Shellmound; there to await the arrival of the wagon trains.
When the trains reached Bridgeport the pontoon bridge was not entirely completed, and all the trains of the 14th corps were already waiting to cross. Before night however they began to cross, for the Pioneer corps were an energetic set of men, and did not mean that the movements of the army should be long retarded for want of a bridge, a thousand feet long. The writer being in charge of a train here had the pleasure of meeting with Sergeant Green and others of the 84th Illinois, who were detailed at Nashville for this branch of the service; and from them learned that Gen. McCook’s corps had already crossed on a bridge of their construction, thrown across the river near Stevenson, Ala. The boys engaged in this branch or arm of the service, were finding a vast amount of hard labor, falling to their share, yet they were as healthy, cheerful and light-hearted a set of men as were ever gathered together. There are really two bridges at Bridgeport, for a large island here divides the river: the broader portion of the stream passing on the west side of the island, while the main channel is on the other side. The men detailed from our Regiment, belonged to company D of the Pioneer corps, and this company had charge of the shorter bridge. The trains commenced to cross only a few hours after we arrived, but we had to wait until the morning the 5th before it came our turn to pass over. The trains rejoined the Brigade near Shellmound about one o’clock the same day, and about four the same evening the Division marched, proceding along the rail road towards Chattanooga, and ebcamped near Whiteside.
While lying at Shellmound, many had an opportunity of going into the somewhat celebrated “Nick-o-jack cave” which was only half a mile distant. The mouth of the cave is about thirty or thirty five feet in height, and sixty or seventy feet in width; and from this vast hiatus in the mountain side, pours forth a deep clear stream; which it is said enters the mountain on the opposite side, nine miles distant. We saw men, who said they had passed through the entire distance in a canoe.
[To be Continued.]
Democrats be up and Doing.
As the meeting of the County Convention will take place next Monday it is necessary that the Democrats of the various townships act promptly in selecting delegates. Let every Democrat and Conservative be at the primary meeting on Saturday and see that the very best men are selected as delegates to the convention. If the delegates will lay aside personal preferences and act simply for, the good of the whole and give us a ticket of good men, we will sweep the traitors and fanatics of this county so far into political eternity that Gabriel’s trumpet will not awake them. Let the Democrats be up and doing, knowing well that the enemies of their God, their country and humanity, will leave no stone unturned to beat them, and that there is no fraud too mean or contemptible that they will not resort to. It then behooves every lover of his country to buckle on the armor and to fight valiantly in this war against negro suffrage and negro equality and in favor of white man’s government. Then be not discouraged because some who have hitherto acted with us have turned traitor to their party, and not only to their party, but to every principle of a free country, and have united with that party which has from its conception denounced the constitution of their country as a “covenant with death and an agreement with hell,” and who, in 1856, paraded the prairies of our own beautiful State with a sixteen star flag, and who trailed the Star Spangled Banner in the dust, and said:
“Tear down the flaunting lie.
Half mast the starry flag
Insult no sunny sky
With hate’s polluted rag.”
→ The republican convention passed resolutons that their proceedings be published in all of the county papers. We would cheerfully have complied with the request, had they been furnished us at the time they were furnished the other papers in this county, but to publish them after they have appeared in the other papers is a little more than we are willing to do.
The Fair Next Week.
The eighth annual County Fair will begin next Wednesday. The success of the exhibition we think is a sure thing. We believe everybody is going, and if all take something to exhibit, as they should do, there will be no uneasiness or embarrassment felt as to its success, by those who are well wishers of the Fair. To make a successful affair, and one that we may feel proud of, every district of our county must be represented, and every farmer and mechanic see that he enters his articles for a premium, and not imagine that his neighbor has something that he cannot compete with, or that his neighborhood will be represented enough without his competition. It is the duty of every farmer to exhibit his products, and it is the duty of the Awarding Committee to give his entries a fair and impartial examination and corresponding reward of merit, and so with all the other classes and exhibitions of industry. That every one should get a premium, it is not expected; but the idea is for every farmer, every stock breeder, every mechanic, every nurseryman, ever gentleman or lady manufacturer to exhibit before the Society and the people the evidences of their industry and excellence in their particular avocations. – They will in this manner, if no other object is gained, give notoriety to their business, as well as their efforts in competing for the ascendency.
Larger Than Ever.
Mr. I. August has lately returned from the East with the largest finest and most beautiful stock of gent’s furnishing goods ever brought to this city. Mr. A.’s reputation as a judge of goods is sufficient to recommend the stock. He has the advantage of many merchants, as he purchased them for cash, and consequently got them much lower than otherwise, and is prepared to sell his goods very cheap. In connection with his establishment he keeps the very best tailors, and at present has, we believe, the best cutter in the city. Those wishing a fine and fashionable suit should not fail to call on Mr. August.
Soldiers Monument Association.
In pursuance of the call published in the newspapers of the county, a meeting was held at the Court House, in Macomb, on Saturday, September 16th, 1865, for the purpose of organizing a Soldiers Monument Association. The meeting was called to order by Lt. Col. Roach, and Samuel Calvin, Esq., selected as chairman, and L. A. Simmons as Secretary. Mr. Roach then stated the object of the meeting, referring to the Address which was recently published, and our obligation as citizens of McDonough County, to do something to commemorate the services and sacrifices of those who have fallen in defense of our country.
Mr. Blackburn then made a few pertinent remarks on the subject of organization, and stated that Mr. Simmons had been requested to prepare a Constitution. – Mr. Simmons being called upon gave his reasons why a Monument should be erected in this County, and why a permanent organization was necessary, in order to carry forward the undertaking successfully. At the request of the meeting he then made a hastily proposed Constitution, which the meeting proceeded to take up, amend, and adopt article by article.
When this was finished, on motion of Mr. Blackburn, the Constitution was as a whole adopted as the Constitution of the McDonough County Soldier’s Monument Association.
Twenty-five gentlemen present then signed said constitution; and are by the same constituted the Charter Members of the Association. Their names are G. W. Welch, J. D. Hainline, George W. Reid, William Ervin, W. E. Withrow, William Hunter, W. H. Hainline, Samuel Calvin, D. W. Reid, Amos Scott, Pressley Hobbs, Chancey Case, James K. Magie, J. K. Roach, C. V. Chandler, James Rollins, Charles J. Bartleson, Samuel R. Jones, A. Blackburn, W. T. Harris, Ferman Castro, Richard Kellaugh, J. W. Hume, Tomas Kellaugh, L. A. Simmons.
On motion, the Association proceeded to the Election of officers by a vote viva voce.
The following were elected, Charles Chandler, President. Alex. Blackburn Vice President, L. A. Simmons, Secretary, J. H. Cummings, Treasurer.
Directors, James Rollins, J. D. Hainline, William Ervin, Thomas M. Jordon, D. M. Wyckoff.
On motion, the Association then proceeded to select a committee of sixteen, one from each Township in the County, to procure subscription, funds, &c.
The following named gentlemen were selected for this committee:
Capt. J. B. Johnson, Prairie City; James Booth, Jr., Walnut Grove; John Logan, Sciota; Samuel Logan, Blandinville; Vandever Banks, Hire; G. G. Guy, Emmett; O. F. Piper, Macomb; Lewis Smith, Mound; G. P. Waters, New Salem; Samuel R. Jones, Scotland; William Hunter, Chalmers; G. W. Welch, Tennessee; Lemett Little, Lamoine; Samuel Calvin, Bethel; D. M. Creel, Industry; Samuel Frost, Eldorado.
J. D. Hainline, Esq., then made a proposition, which he wished entered upon the records of this Association, in terms as follows: That during the ensuing three months, he will be one of twenty, who will jointly donate one thousand dollars, to the Association for the purpose of erecting a Monument, that is to say, Fifty Dollars each.
Mr. Roach then offered the following resolution which was unanimously adopted.
Resolved, That it is the sense of this meeting, that the Soldier’s Monument, which this Association proposes to erect, should be erected upon the public square, in the city of Macomb, if it be found practicable.
Various matters in connection with the proper method of raising funds, the size, height, material, &c., of the Monument, the duties of the committees, &c., were then discussed.
On motion, the secretary was directed to offer to each of the newspapers in the county, a copy of the proceedings of this meeting for publication.
On motion, the Association adjourned to meet at 10 o’clock, A. M. on Saturday, December 16th, 1865, in some room to be by the executive committee provided in the city of Macomb.
Please announce Theadore Kendrick as a candidate, for school Commissioner subject to this decision of the Democratic convention – and oblige MANY VOTERS.
We are authorized to announce the name of John E. Jackson, as a candidate for County Judge, subject to the decision of the Democratic County Convention. He is an old Democrat, and well qualified for the position.
The friends of Morris Chase, a true Democrat, who has served three years in the U. S. Army, desire to announce that they will present his name to the Democratic County Convention as a candidate for County Clerk. Mr. C. enlisted as a private and was taken prisoner in Tennessee, and was placed in the Stanton Wirz slaughter pen at Andersonville. He has been a Democrat all his life, and can now see no reason for selling out.
The Democrats of Emmett township are requested to meet at Union school house on Saturday, September 23rd 1865, at 2 o’clock for the purpose of selecting delegates to the county convention.
→ When you come to the Fair next week – an every body and his wife intends to do – you will want to buy a few dry goods for fall and winter wear. The place to make selections and get the most goods for your money is Mr. Abbott’s, southwest corner of the square. His goods are 5 to 10 per cent. cheaper than those of other houses who purchased later in the season. Call and see that this statement is true.
A cotemporary, among its answers to correspondents, says: “The use ov teeth wus furst discovered by a man whose name wuz Moth[??] Adam. He kep, tha say, a pea-nut, stoll in the Bullevard de Paradise. His wife, Mrs. Exe Adam, persuaded him one day, (when in a fit of passhun) to stick his finger in her mouth, which he very willingly did. – The effect cannot be described. Suffice it to say, he drowned his mizery in Chicago ale, the best of which can always be found at Stuard’s saloon in the Randolph block.
→ We learn that on Wednesday evening last some one entered the saloon of Mr.W. B. Naylor, and took from the drawer from 8 to 10 dollars.
Lost or Stolen. – A pocket book containing two notes given by Wm. Tatman and S. Tatman, Randolph Hall and Reuben Porter to W. Wolford for $320.00 and $9.75. – Also about $25 in currency. Any person returning the same to the undersigned, will be liberally rewarded.
The Red Jacket Stomach Bitters invigorate the system, give tone to the stomach, and enliven the mind. Thousands have used it, and there is but one voice, and that of their wonderful cures. They are sold by all druggist.
Everybody should secure a fine photograph while life lasts; a few short days, or years at most, and all that is mortal will pass away. And when death shall have done its work, it will be a pleasure for your friends to have a fac similie of yourself to look at. Then go to Hawkins & Philpot and secure one while you are in the bloom of health.