Friday, December 31, 2010

Mission Statement

I am going to post a series of letters my Great-Great-Grandfather wrote his wife during the Civil War. I will add interactive content and commentary as I go. They will be from first to last. I will give some background information and add to it as I learn more of when and where he traveled.

Charles Milton Adams B. July 10, 1826, D. September 4, 1875
Married Selina Jane Ewing who bore him three Children, Waldo, Edgar, (My G Grandfather) and Ernest. Selina died in 1856. Remarried to Mary Eleanor Oliver and fathered seven more children, Elmer, Selina, Ulysses, Emma, Erastus, Mary, and Adelle.

Enlisted March 7, 1861
Mustered in December 27,1861
Promoted December 1861 to Corporal
Medical Discharge January 16, 1863 as a Private

Enlisted August 30, 1864
Discharged June 28,1865 as a Corporal

The letters are to Mary who he alternately also calls Mollie. I have left the spelling and punctuation as it was written.

The letters are listed on the side click on them to open them. The oldest letters were posted first so they are in reverse order.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Charles Milton Adams Grave Site

The final resting place for Charles Milton Adams is the Mellinger Cemetery located in Paulding County, Ohio.

Photos by James Vanvoorhis

Charles Milton Adams' Discharge Papers (Original Copy)

CMA's original discharge papers found in a box 4/18/2014 after 43 years of sitting in storage. The writing on the top is from the paymaster, it indicates his muster out pay has been completed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

February 20th, 1865

Head Quarters 3rd Brigade 1st Division, 23 O.C.
Feb. 20th 1865

Dear Mollie
At Last I have the extreme pleasure of informing you that I have at last got back to head quarters and found all right. I reported to Col. (now Brigadier) Thomas, who greeted me with a hearty shake of the hand and bid me welcome. I found all the boys in good spirits. Eli Meeks is in the hospital in a pretty bad fix, has fits.
We are now aboard a steamship and I don’t know how soon we will leave, so I can’t write much. When we get through I will write again. Give my love to the children, kiss the baby and Elmer and imagine a thousand for yourself.
Yours affectionately
C.M. Adams

This is the only letter from his second tour of duty. The 174th fought at the battle of Overall's Creek and Wyse Forks, I will research those battles as well. This letter was written from Washington City (Washington D.C.) the day before he left for North Carolina.

Pic Source

Dec. 7th 1864 The Battle of the Cedars

On December 7th 1864, the Battle of the Cedars took place, also known as the Battle of Wilkinson's Pike. Charles Milton Adams and the 174th Ohio took a very active part in the ongoing struggle to protect Union supply lines and the railroad. In the morning, reports of the rebels moving their forces and wagons prompted General Milroy to move down the Salem Pike west of Murfreesboro in an attempt to flank the enemy. Milroy took seven regiments including the 174th and six guns with him. he reported;

"I encountered Reb Cav Videtts before I got out of sight of our own pickets I threw forward skirmishes and drove them before me. At my request Gen Rousseau permitted me to take with me seven Regts of Inf. and a battery of 6 guns. I had no cavalry except my orderlies and a small body guard. My Regts consisted of the 174th, 177th, 178th and 181st Ohio Vols, the 8th Minn Vols. 61st Ill Vols and 12th Ind Cav. who had never been mounted and are armed as Infantry. I divided my force into two Brigades. The 1st commanded by Col Thomas of the 8th Minn and consisted of the 8th Minn, 174th and 181st O. V. I. and the 67th Ill. The 2nd Bgd consisted of the 177th and 178th O.V.I. and the 12th Ind Cav. under the comd of Col Anderson of the 12th Ind. I moved in driving the Reb Cav before me to Stone River two Miles from town."
The 174th under Colonel John S. Jones then moved out in pursuit. They crossed Stone's Bridge and entered the deep woods where they encountered heavy enemy fire. Col. Jones reported, " command was formed in the line of battle in the edge of the woods to the left of our artillery. I threw skirmishers well to the front in the corn field and in the skirt of timber to my left, with a view of picking off the enemy's cannoneers." Milroy ordered the artillery brought forward and the opposing sides commenced a heated duel for about an hour. With ammunition running low, Milroy ordered the artillery back to the fort and advanced with his infantry under heavy musket fire. Col. Jones moved across an open field and his skirmishers from Company E under Capt. Campbell drove the rebels back to their breastworks. It was at this time that Major B.C.G. Reed was shot in the head and killed. Milroy describes Major Reed's death;

"He was so near to the reb soldier who shot him that his face blackened by the powder. He was a most Gallant officer. He had been a prisoner for 15 months and was most barbarously and brutally treated by them. He escaped from them five times and was each time recaptured. On the 6th time he succeeded in getting away. He escaped from Charleston S.C. in a boat and got to our vessels. He fought for vengeance. The history of his daring adventures is more strange than fiction."
Confederate General Bate lamented "The time of the reappearance of the enemy from the woods, when he was thought to have retired to Murfreesboro(no information being received by me from the cavalry in my front) did not admit of sufficient time to adjust the line before [the enemy] was upon us." General Forrest charged to the front of the 1st Florida and implored "Men all I ask of you is to hold the enemy back for fifteen minutes, which will give me time to gain their rear with my cavalry and I will capture the last one of them."

It was not to be, Col. Jones and the 174th captured a stand of colors, two cannons,(12 pound Napoleons) eight officers, and fifty two men. Later the number of prisoners climbed to near 200. Col. Jones was ordered by Milroy to take command of the faltering 178th Ohio during the battle as well. During the rout Forrest was reported as screaming;

"Rally men for God's sake rally!" according to a southern artilleryman. But the panic-striken soldiers ignored the General. Forrest called out to a color bearer "who was running for dear life," and ordered him to halt. When the frightened soldier paid no heed, Forrest, claimed the artilleryman, " drew his pistol and shot the retreating soldier down. " Then seizing the colors, the General vigorously waved them in front of the men racing to the rear, as he screamed at them, his shouts punctuated with threats and profanity, to halt and fight. Forrest's chief of artillery, Captain John Morton, called Milroy's attack "the hardest blow" that Forrest took during the entire war.
At that point Rousseau recalled Milroy to the fort. Col. Jones reported the losses to the 174th as follows: I officer killed (Reed) five wounded, five enlisted men killed and thirty three wounded. The regiment was later cited for gallantry in the general orders for its conduct. Rousseau later ordered the 174th on dress parade and complimented them in person. Milroy had glowing things to say about the regiment (and himself for that matter) and their conduct under fire.

(Ohio in the War pg 707) by Whitelaw Reid
Col. Jones Source
Milroy Source
Nashville pg 146 by James L Mc Donough

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 4th-6th, 1864 Overalls Creek

Union Blockhouse

From December 4th through the 6th, Charles Milton Adams and the 174th Ohio participated in a running battle near Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The cavalry of Nathan Bedford Forrest and General William Bate's division of Hood's Army were sent to attack the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad and disrupt the Union supply lines.

The Battle of Overalls Creek

Maj.-General Milroy was ordered by General Rousseau to send a reconnaissance force to look for the Confederates near Murfreesboro. According to Milroy, “About noon on the 4th rapid artillery firing was heard at the block house 4 1/2 mile north on the R.R. at the crossing of Overalls Creek. Distant heavy artillery firing had been heard almost constantly in the direction of Nashville for several days, but the firing at the Block house at Overalls Creek was so near that we saw smoke rolling up. Col Johnson of the 13th Ind Cav (Who got through with about 300 men from Nashville a few days previous) had been started up the Nashville Pike (Which was nearly parallel with the R.R.) about 12 o’clock M. and sent back a dispatch that the enemy were too strong for him to drive. Upon my requesting it Gen Rousseau permitted me to go up with three Regts and a section of artillery (2 guns) to the relief of the Block house which the Rebs were cannonading. I took the 174th Ohio, a new fall Regt the 8th Minnesota a full veteran Regt. that had but a few weeks returned from the far West where they have been fighting Indians for three years and the 61st Illinois, a veteran Regt. of only 200 men and a section of Capt. Bundays N.Y. (13th) battery”.
The Cavalry under Col. Johnson was in a firefight when the infantry arrived, the artillery was moved up and they traded shots to no effect. Unable to determine the enemy strength in the waning daylight, Milroy explains, “I ordered the 8th Minn and part of the 61st Ill down to the block house to try to cross the R.R. bridge and get around to the right of the Reb battery and take it while I with the 174th and the ballance of the 61st Ill crossed the turnpike bridge to flank the battery on the left. The Reb Battery was about 500 yards from the Creek and between the Pike and R.R. and their line lay across the Pike between it and the R.R. I threw forward the 61st (or rather that portion of it with me) across the bridge and deployed it as skirmishers on the other side and followed them closely with the 174th we crossed the bridge under heavy fire of both artillery and small arms. It being a new Regt. and under fire for the first time I felt some doubt about being able to form them in line of battle after crossing the bridge but with the assistance of their excellent field officers, Col Jones, Lt Col Sterling and Maj. Reed (who was killed three days afterwards) and My staff I succeeded in forming them in excellent order and my skirmishers being advanced opened a rapid fire on the Rebs”
Milroy wanted to take the Rebel battery and ordered Col. Johnson forward over a bridge, he did so but met stiff resistance, To help Col. Johnson, General Milroy responded, “I then moved forward the 174th Being a new large Regt it looked like a small brigade in line of battle and advanced in splended order for the new Regt. and opened terrific fire on the Rebs who were rolled back rapidly before the fire of the 174th--A number of prisoners were picked up by the 174th as they advanced laying flat on the ground who stated that the sheet of lead above them was so terrific that they dare not get up to run away. Learning from these prisoners that they belonged to Bates Division of Infantry which was all in front of me and it being now so dark that we could only see where the enemy were by the flashes of their guns, and their fire having nearly ceased.” According to Rousseau‘s after action report, “I sent three regiments, under Gen. Milroy, to its relief. The enemy (Bates' division) were routed and driven off. We took some prisoners, near thirty, but no guns. Loss of the enemy unknown, as night closed in before the fight was over. Our troops, new and old, behaved admirably. We withdrew at night.”. The men withdrew over the bridge for the night at the loss of seven men killed, sixty two wounded and capturing 20 prisoners. ( The official history puts the losses at 6K 38W and 2 officers wounded)
The next day, the fifth of December and all through the sixth, Union and Confederate forces maintained an ongoing skirmish with cannon and pickets. "On the two following days, December 5 and 6, the Confederates showed themselves to the west of us, and demonstrated most ostentatiously against Murfreesboro. From where we stood on the ramparts of Fortress Rosecrans we could plainly see their columns in motion, with flags flying, circling around us as if looking for a good opening. They were beyond the range of musketry, but our big guns in the fortress opened on them and gave them a most noisy cannonading, but what the effect was I don't know,— probably not much*" lamented Leander Stillwell. The rebels had Milroy’s men almost completely surrounded.

On December 6th, a stalemate ensued and Forrest was joined by General Palmer and General Sear's brigades increasing their strength to about 7000. On December 7th was the Battle of Wilkinson Pike.

Milroy Source
Rousseau Source
*The Story of a Common Soldier pg.233-237 By Leander Stillwell
Pics Source

Saturday, December 18, 2010

March to Murfreesboro

Charles Milton Adams joined the 174th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on August 30th 1864. It was one of the last Volunteer Regiments of the war and was made up of veterans with previous service at Camp Chase in Columbus Ohio. He was in one of two companies (B and C) raised in Marysville for the term of one year. They were organized on the 21st of September and left two days later for Nashville, Tennessee.
The 174th reported to the Military Division of the Mississippi under General Sherman and were ordered to proceed to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, which was under threat from Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry. Adams remained there until October 27th on garrison duty until they were ordered to Decatur, Alabama. The next day they arrived and found the Federals under attack from Confederate General John B. Hood’s vanguard and assisted in their defense. They stayed in Decatur until November 27th when the town was evacuated and burned, leaving only four buildings standing..
The 174th marched back to Murfreesboro as fast as possible on December 2nd to counter the Confederate threat on Union Blockhouses and the railroad there. On December 4th, the 174th participated vailiantly in the Battle of Overall’s Creek.

History of Morrow County and Ohio pg.280 by Willam Henry Perrin
Ohio in the War pg.707 by Whitelaw Reid

A Call to Arms

Charles Milton Adams was home in Union County on the farm as America continued to tear itself to pieces, the carnage was far from waining. In 1863, we had the battles of Chancellorsville, and Vicksburg in the west, and the watershed Gettysburg in the east.

In April of 1864 Charles and Mary gave birth to Selina Eleanor Adams, their second and his fifth child, she bore his first wife's namesake.

1864 bought more heartache and destruction, Chickamauga, the Battle of the Wilderness and the bloodbath of Cold Harbor,with 7000 casualties in twenty minutes. In July, General Jubal Early advances within five miles of Washington D.C.

1864 Timeline

On August 30,1864 Charles Milton Adams enlisted in the 174th Ohio Infantry, one of the last volunteer units of the war.

Family Ties

I am trying to understand why C.M.A. re-enlisted into the Army after being home for eighteen months. One possibility was the fact his two nephews from his brother Ammon had joined the same unit, the 136th Ohio in May of 1864. Possibly from a call for volunteers to shore up the Army of the Potomac around Washington D.C.


Edwin G. Adams was born in this township, December 26, 1841, and was a son of Ammon and Betsey (Converse) Adams. He was the second son of six children, two of whom are living. He was reared on the farm, and educated in the common schools. In May, 1864, he enlisted in Company K, One Hundred and Thirty-sixth Regiment Ohio Volunteer Cavalry, and did duty as a wagoner. After one hundred days of service, he was discharged and returned home. January 26, 1865, he was married to Dilla U., daughter of Frederick and Permilla Parthemore, of Virginia and Pennsylvania. Mrs. Adams was born in Union Township, this county, November 2, 1839. One child was born to Mrs. Adams, viz., Edwin G., born December 15, 1875. Mr. Adams departed this life June 11, 1875. He left at his death, 139 3/4 acres of well-improved mud valuable land, on which his wife resided.

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (later in life)

John Quincy Adams of Union County Ohio,was 23 years old when he enlisted on 5/2/1864 as a Corporal. On 5/13/1864 he mustered into "K" Co. OH 136th Infantry He was Mustered Out on 8/31/1864 at Camp Chase, OH. The same unit and same time frame as his brother. He served three months, or was what they called a "100 days man". He went home and became a "Church Member" and a school director. In 1866 settled on his farm of 123 acres. using the 1862 Homestead Act. On January 20, 1861 he married Mary McNier and had three childen

Charles Adams and His Ancestors and Descendants By Elmo Adams 1969

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


On January 16th,1863, Charles Milton Adams received a surgeon's discharge and returned home to Jerome Township in Union County Ohio. I am going to search the National Archive for a copy of that discharge. We know from his letters that he had a nagging wrist injury from early in his army career, and later he injured his leg during or after the 2nd Battle of Corinth.
The Civil War took it's toll on many soldiers and C.M.A. was no exception. The War in the western theater was particularly hard on man and beast. When the Confederate army occupied Corinth, of the 80,000 men there, 35,000 were on the sick lists.* Most suffered dysentery and malnutrition, with both armies relying on foraging to supplement rations in Tennessee and Mississippi. This leads to long term damage to even the most healthy among us. Marching between Pittsburgh Landing and Corinth to Iuka and back to Corinth in poor shoes and bad weather did not help either. Campaigning in the south during summer carried oppressive heat, mosquitoes, malaria, and various other discomforts, particularly lack of good drinking water.
So why did he leave? C.M.A. served a little over one year and talked of getting out some months before he actually did. When the 13th ohio was disbanded his rank was reduced from Corporal to Private. The fact that he had not been paid for six months may have played a role. The hope that his old company would be resurrected was dashed. Many volunteers served in units that came from the same county or town and were friends and family, he never was fully comfortable being transferred to the 10th Ohio Battery. He had a loving wife and four children at home on the family farm which he was struggling to keep. After C.M.A. had "Seen the Elephant" he may simply have had enough. Within eighteen months he was back in uniform serving in the 174th Ohio Infantry.

*The Darkest days of the War pg.32 by Peter Cozzens

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 17th, 1862

Camp Near Abbeville Miss. Dec. 17th 1862

Dear Mary,
I take my pen this morning to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well, hoping that you are all enjoying the same blessings. We are having very beautiful weather, clear and sunshiny , but cool and bracing.
The health of the troops is excellent. The roads are in fine condition for traveling and from all accounts, we will be marching again soon, perhaps tomorrow. It is expected that the railroad will be so far repaired that cars can come to our little town today. They came so near yesterday that I could hear the whistle, and it is not much damaged this side of the river and it will not take long to repair it.
Reports from the front say that our troops occupy Grenada and report further says that our next stopping place will be 40 miles beyond that place. Quite a large scouting party have gone out today, consisting of a portion of the 11th Illinois Cavalry, and a part of our battery. I don’t know exactly what they are up to, but suspect there is some devilment afoot. I wanted to go along but I couldn’t get to go today. We have got word that the rebels had been driven from Fredericksburg, but don’t know whether there is any truth in the report or not. It is also reported that we are to be paid off the first of January. This is about as welcome news as any we have heard lately. There will be six months pay due us at that time. I recon you begin to want some money by this time don’t you Mollie?
I have got no news from Darby for some time, it seems that our mail has got behind some how. Some of the boys are just now getting letters dated Dec. 1st. I expect that they will begin to get letters by the dozen soon. I don’t know that I can think think of anything more to write at present. O yes, you will remember that I wrote you while at Iuka, that five of our boys were taken prisoners. Well just before we left Grand Junction, three of them came back, viz. Hulsizer, Sparrow, and Nixen, they all were paroled at Florence, Alabama. They had all been confined in jail at that place for sometime, and about two weeks before they were paroled the other two, Leslie and Shumaker broke jail together with a lot of sucsesh deserters and made their escape. A day or two ago Isaac Jolly got a letter from Leslie giving an account of his experiences since he was taken prisoner. After they broke jail, they struck north as a matter of course. They got into Tenn. And were taken again, but were paroled again. They started again and again were taken prisoners, their paroles taken from them and they were sent back to Florence. When they got to Florence, their paroles were returned to them, they were then sent to Iuka, and from there to Corinth and from there they went to Camp Lew Wallace, 4 miles north of Columbus, Ohio.
The last we heard of those who came back to us, they were as St. Louis enroute for Columbus also, and I suppose that they have all got together again by this time.
Well there is another thing I have thought of, I have heard that Capt. Myers* has got his commission back again, if such is the case the probability is, that our company will be reorganized again before long. I expect that we will have to go to Jackson, Tennessee to reorganize, as our old guns are there and a large number of the men are there also in the 14th battery. It maybe that we will have to go into some other department of the army as grant commands this department and Hurlbut is in command of the post at Jackson and Myers and his men are not very favorably disposed toward those distinguished generals. Well Mol, I have got this sheet about full at last, hoping to hear from you soon. I subscribe myself truly and affectionately yours.

*He was mistaken, although Myers used the newspapers and political connections, he never received his commission back and never saw service again.

December 8th 1862

Camp near Abberville, Miss. Dec. 8th 1862

Dear Mary,
I take my pen to reply to your kind letter of the 27th uft.(?) Which came to hand to day. I was glad to hear that you were all well, I am well as usual and in fine spirits. I have plenty to eat, drink, and wear, and have comfortable quarters to stay in. We have plenty of fresh meat, both beef and pork, chicken and sweet potatoes. I hope you will worry no more about me on that scene.
I paid all the tax on that land in the west, and have or had receipts to show. Don’t let anybody have the receipts unless the one that gets them gives you an attested copy of them. I got a letter from Mr. James today proposing to trade land, I return you the letter, also my reply to him, so you can see his proposition and mine. I don’t want you to agree to anything that will result in injury to yourself and the children. I intend to write Ammon and if he can raise the money, and wait till I can pay him, I am going to try and get him to attend to the matter. If you can get him to take your claim on uncle AH (?). I think you had better do so, so as to save all the money possible. If I can get my pay from the government soon, I can send forty dollars home. If I don’t get it till the first of January and then get it all, I can send home sixty dollars. You can cut off my reply to Mr. James and give his to him and keep the one he sent to me.
I am going to send you some more mistletoe, which you can divide with aunt Ann, Cynthia, and Martha, that is if you have enough to spare. If I get my pay soon, I will try to get my likeness to send you. I believe I can think of nothing more to write about to you today. I will try to write a little to Edgar, and a little to aunt Ann. Kiss Elmer for me, write soon and remember your Milt.
Dear Edgar,
I take my pen today to answer your kind letter dated Sept. 27th , but I suspect you meant Nov. 27th, but that’s a slight mistake, only two months. I was glad to learn that you are well and that there was a prospect of getting to go to school this winter. I was also glad to learn that Elmer had taken a few steps, I hope that he will walk pretty soon. Did you see the eclipse of the moon last Friday night? I went on guard duty at 2 O’clock in the morning and the moon was totally eclipsed and had been for more than two hours and remained so for sometime after I went on guard. I think I will send you some gourd seeds, plant a part of them right away in some fence corner. That is if the ground is not froze too hard, and save the rest to plant in the spring. Be a good boy and write soon.
Aunt, where is cousin John and what is his address?
Dear Aunt,
I take my pen today to write you a few lines. I was sorry to hear that you had sore eyes, but more grieved to learn that you had a burden on your heart, for that is harder to endure than bodily affliction. Perhaps I am not aware of all the grounds of your sorrow, but if it is only what you allude to concerning cousin Jake. I advise you to dismiss you anxiety for him, for if he has been so unprincipled as to desert the army in the hour of his country’s peril he is not worthy. That a single anxious thought or a tear of pity should be bestowed upon him. As to those who have been instrumental in persuading him to degrade himself in the eyes of all good people both from time present and time to come, a fearful retribution awaits them. I envy not the name they are getting for themselves, even if justice is cheated of it just dues.
We have but little war news now, our cavalry have advanced some forty miles and report no rebels near.
Write soon and often to your affectionate Nephew,
C.M. Adams

With comfortable quarters and regular rations, C.M.A. turns to the mundane tasks of grappling with issues of running the family farm. He is just two weeks shy on one year since he enlisted. The days of long marches and short rations are over for the time being.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

November 20th, 1862

(La Grange Seminary Grand Junction, Tennessee, 1862)

Camp near Grand Junction Tennesse Nov. 20th, 1862
Dear, Mary,
I received your kind letter of the 14th today. You said nothing about your health, but from what you say you were doing, I infer that you were not very ill. I am sorry that you have to do such hard work and hope the time is not far distant when your fence building will not be required.
I have not heard from Darby by letter since I left Corinth, and presume that your news from there was later than any that I have received. I am very sorry to hear mother or any of the rest of my friends talk so discouragingly about the war. I can but think that our cause is just, and that it will eventually succeed. At least my faith is yet unshaken and I fell so much like pushing the war to the bitter end, as ever I did. I do think that some of our officers do not push the war with the vigor that they might, yet I think that they are making some progress, and that rebellion is growing weaker every day. I am still insist on coming home, leaving the service entirely.
Well Mollie, perhaps you see things in another light than what I do, I think that if we can succeed in putting down this rebellion, I can confer in way a richer legacy on my children and children’s children than by expending my best effort in assisting to put it down. However, I intend to go home sometime this winter, that is, if I can get my pay, and leave to go. We think that we will get our pay now in a few days, but of course there is nothing certain known about it. I am glad to learn that you are so well fixed to live this winter, that is if you are determined to stay there this winter. I would like so well to you and the children, especially little Elmer. I can’t understand why he cannot walk yet, he is now 15 months old, certainly old enough to walk. Did you have any difficulty in weaning him? Did he fret much? Or did you suffer any inconvenience?
You say that you would like to have me there to boss the fencing. Well I don’t doubt but that I should have enjoyed your company very well, but from what I can learn you are managing things full as well as if I were there, perhaps better. Well dear Moll. It is getting late and I must quit soon in order to get this letter in the mail to night. I must say a few words Aunt Ann, and then close so good night, write soon,
Dear Aunt, I take this opportunity to answer the question. Why I call you Coz., My answer is you began it, and I returned the compliment. At first I supposed it was a mistake on your part, but you persisted, and I took it for a pleasant joke, and carried it on as such. So far as I am concerned, I am willing to be called cousin, nephew, uncle, or what not. So I am soon called to meet a happy cheerful family and circle of friends at my own home away up there on Bushcreek.
Will the explanation satisfy you? I shall look with some impatience for the promised letter.

A word to Edgar,
Well Edgar, I am always glad to get you letters. I hope you will make good use of the new book that mother got for you, and I hope that your Sucsesh pants will keep you warm. I want you to continue writing to me,
Good night,

Pic Source

Friday, December 10, 2010

October 23rd, 1862

Corinth, Oct,23rd 1862

Beloved Mollie,
I take my pen this evening to write you a few harty (?) lines. I don’t expect to have time to write a long letter, even if I had the time anything of importance to write. I received you kind letter of the 9th inst. And was glad to learn of your good health.
I will try to answer your questions as best I may, you ask me if my leg and wrist hurt me yet. In reply I will say that my leg does hurt me some and I am sorry to add that I am not able to do my duties of a soldier, as I could wish. In the late battle as Corinth, I was at my post and as it required but little running I could perform my duty with very little inconvenience, but strange as it my appear, the duties of an artillerist in time of an engagement are lighter than when in camp or on a march. I could stand better to fight a week than to march three days. I will say in justice to our officers, that they favor me as much as they well can, more particularly of late. My wrist has never got entirely well, but it does not interfere much with anything I have to do. I suppose I could get discharged from the service if I would take application, and if we don’t succeed in getting our battery organized, I may do so, but if we can get our old company together again and I can get a position where I can do duty. I don’t feel like leaving the service till the work I set out to do is accomplished.
The prospect I think is brightening. Mollie, you say it looks hard for me to be down here while others are at home enjoying themselves. Now I’ll tell you just how I feel about it, I would not change places with them for all they are worth, True it is that it is making a great sacrifice to be separated from home and the endearments of the family circle and in time of peace, I could not be induced to make the sacrifice, but when our laws are set at defiance, when treason and rebellion stalk abroad, the dissolution of our glorious (indiscernible?) is threatened, and the lives and liberties of ourselves and children jeopardized, could I look idely on, make no effort to put them down the hydra-headed monster, and still enjoy the smiles of an approving conscience? I answer emphatically, No. I envy not those their happiness, or the good name they will carry with them to the end of their existence, of those who are enjoying themselves at home, when their bleeding country calls them to active service in the battlefield. Sooner let me die a thousand honorable deaths in the service of my country than to live to bear the name of a chicken-hearted coward or a base Tary. (tarry?)
Well Mollie, I have written more than I expected to when I began, and I expect I have said some things that would not be relished by some of my neighbors, if they should see it and I don’t care who sees it, but I know you will approve all I have said. Knowing that and having an approving conscience, I am satisfied. Hoping that this will find you enjoying good health and the comforts of life. I subscribe myself.
Your affectionate,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Battle of Davis Bridge Oct. 5th

Battle of Davis Bridge also know as the battle of Hatchie bridge.

The book The Darkest Days of the War by Peter Cozzens has an excellent account (Chapter 23 Pages 280-290)

The Second Battle of Corinth Oct. 3rd-4th 1862

After the Battle of Iuka, Charles M.Adams marches back to the town of Corinth, Mississippi to take an active part in the defense the Union Army depot located there. The Second Battle of Corinth is an important chapter in the Civil War in the western theater..........

The 10th Ohio Battery:

"On October 1st, the battery moved toward Corinth. On the 2nd it passed through Corinth and stopped for the night at a fort south-west of town. On the morning of the 3rd it was ordered to take position near where the Chewalla road crosses the Memphis Railroad. From this place the battery was ordered into position just north of Corinth. About 11'o clock on the morning of the 4th, the rebel lines advanced. The battery open with shell and one piece was disabled after the first fire by a shell getting fast half way down. Two shells each was fired by the other three pieces, and then canister(doubled) was used to the direct front. The ground was favorable for canister-practice; and at each fire gaps at twenty, thirty, and forty feet wide were cut in the advancing columns. The battery stopped three columns of Rebels, and each piece was pouring out eighteen to twenty rounds of canister per minute, when the order was given to retire. The Rebels had advanced on the right and the battery was without support of a single musket, right or left. The pintle-key of the third piece had to be tied in place; and the Corporal, while tying it, discovered the sponge-bucket was left. He called out: "Get the bucket, Number Two." George S. Wright, a boy of eighteen, acting as Number One, ran back towards the Rebels, picked up the bucket when he was no more than twenty-five yards from him, and returned with it to the gun. As fast as they were limbered they were off at a gallop. They unlimbered east of town and south of the Decatur Railroad, but only for a moment, when they were returned to a point about one hundred yards in rear of the former position. In a short time the enemy retired. The battery lost only three men wounded.* A number of horses were also wounded, including the ones belonging to Captain H. B. White and bugler William H. Bretney. It pursued the enemy as far as Ripley and then returned to Corinth." (Ohio in the War Vol. II page 853)

*In his next letter dated October 23rd, C.M.A. discusses a leg injury that may cause his discharge.

This is an account of the infantry's actions directly to the left of the 10th Ohio:

"When he heard firing on his left, Maury ordered his division forward down Chewalla Road toward Batteries Robinett and Williams. Defending Battery Robinett was Colonel John Fuller's Ohio Brigade of Stanley's division. Fuller had all four regiments on line, with the 11th Missouri in reserve behind the 63rd Ohio.

About 11 a.m., Fuller saw Confederates approaching in three or four columns. At their appearance, the 30-pound Parrotts of Battery Robinett opened fire, as did a battery of field artillery. Fuller ordered his regiments to lie down and hold their fire unit the Confederates were close. When they were 100 yards away, Fuller's line came to its feet and fired one volley.

Captain Oscar Jackson, commanding Company H of the 63rd Ohio, watched the Confederates fall back. "As the smoke cleared away, there was apparently ten yards square of a mass of struggling bodies and butternut clothes," he said. "Their column appeared to reel like a rope shaken at the end."

A second attack came, this one using a ravine to cover the advance. Emerging into sight at a run, the Confederates smashed into the 27th Ohio. That regiment fired one volley before the fighting became hand-to-hand. Fighting centered on the colors of the 9th Texas. A Confederate officer yelled for his men to protect their flag, but Private Orrin Gould of Company G made off with it, despite being shot in the chest.

During the first two attacks, the company that Colonel John W. Sprague of the 63rd Ohio had placed in front of Battery Robinett was all but wiped out. He turned to Jackson's Company H to replace it. Jackson ordered his men to the left and moved into position. In his diary he recorded, "It was like moving into dead men's shoes, for I had seen one company carried away from there on litters, but without a moment's hesitation we moved up."

A third attack appeared in sight. As it neared the Union line, it divided, one column, the 2nd Texas Legion under Colonel William Rogers, splitting off so it headed directly at Company H. Sprague asked if he could move the rest of his regiment to support Jackson, but Fuller refused.

Rogers, marching to the left of his men, turned about, walking with his back to the Union lines so he could address his men. "Boys, when you charge, give a good yell!" he urged. As the Confederates charged, a volley from Jackson's company dropped the men in the front rank, bringing the attack to a temporary halt. Since most of his men did not have bayonets, Rogers rearranged his ranks, putting those who did in the front rank.

Jackson saw that the Confederates were about to charge before his men were finished reloading. "Don't load, boys; they are too close on you; let them have the bayonet," he shouted.

To check the Confederate momentum, Jackson ordered his handful of men forward. The two forces smashed into one another, with survival depending on the individual soldier's skill with the bayonet.

Jackson continued to fire his pistol point-blank at Confederates until it was knocked from his hand with a musket, and he was thrown to the ground. Meanwhile, carrying the colors of the 2nd Texas Legion, Rogers marched forward to the parapet of Battery Robinett. As he planted the colors there, a Union drummer boy killed him with a pistol." Source

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From General Mc Arthur's Action Report:
"I would also mention Captain Hickenlooper, Fifth Ohio Battery, chief of artillery of this division, for his very able management and direction of his batteries, conspicuous among which were the Tenth Ohio, Capt. H. B. White, and one section First Minnesota, under Sergeant Clayton, who ought to be promoted. Also the Fifth Ohio Battery was well served."

Rosecrans After Action Report

On the unstained sward of the gentle slope,
Full of valor and nerved by hope,
The infantry sways like a coming sea;
Why lingers the light artillery?
"Action front!"

Whirling the Parrotts like children's toys,
The horses strain to the rushing noise;
To right and to left, so fast and free,
They carry the light artillery.
"Drive on!"

The gunner cries with a tug and a jerk,
The limbers fly, and we bend to our work;
The handspike in, and the implements out--
We wait for the word, and it comes with a shout--

The foes pour on their billowy line;
Can nothing check their bold design?
With yells and oaths of fiendish glee,
They rush for the light artillery.
"Commence firing!"

Hurrah! Hurrah! our bulldogs bark,
And the enemy's line is a glorious mark;
Hundreds fall like grain on the lea,
Mowed down by the light artillery.

"Fire!" and "Load!" are the only cries,
Thundered and rolled to the vaulted skies;
Aha! they falter, they halt, they flee
From the hail of the light artillery.
"Cease firing!"

The battle is over, the victory won,
Ere the dew is dried by the rising sun;
While the shout bursts out, like a full-voiced sea,
"Hurrah for the light artillery!
"Hurrah for the light artillery!"

Poem Source
Map Source

Sunday, December 5, 2010

September 25th, 1862

Iuka Mississippi, Sept. 25th ,1862

Dear Mary,
I take my pen this afternoon to address you a few lines, I wrote you a few days ago giving you a partial account of our march to and occupation of this place. Nothing of interest has transpired since we came here, only the paroling of the rebel prisoners, which took place day before yesterday. Our stay here I presume will short, everything transportable that is of value to us or the enemy is being removed to Corinth. A lot of prisoners was taken there yesterday and there is a long train of cars here now for transporting our wounded. Iuka is not a very important point, as a military post and I presume it will be evacuated and burned. It was reported yesterday that there was fighting going on at Boliver, (Bolivar) between Breckenridge and Van Dorn and our forces. Our forces had been driven within their entrenchments and were being reinforced. Some 8 or 10 thousand had left Corinth for that place. A thousand rumors concerning the rebel forces that left here is in circulation. One is that Price has been reinforced and is going to come back. Last night it was rumored that 15,000 of his Calvary was already within our lines. It is my opinion that if there are any rebels near here, it is only a feint to keep our troops from going to Boliver. Just now a soldier who came to guard the train from Corinth reports that there has been no fighting at Boliver. So it goes, we never know what to believe.
Yesterday my Knapsack and writing material came to hand all safe. The mail also came, I got a letter from Mr. Hendricks of Iowa, but nary one from Mollie or any of the Ohio friends. I did feel somewhat disappointed as I had received no letter for nearly two weeks, but maybe they will come thicker and faster when they begin again. I have a portfolio to carry my pens, pencils, paper, and stamps in, and I had no way to carry it but in my knapsack, and when we are ordered off in a hurry as we were last time, we are obliged to leave our knapsacks behind, and then we can’t write till we return or our knapsacks are sent to us, unless we chance to write on spare scraps of paper as we did here. So today, having some spare time I concluded to provide against such emergencies, I procured some strong cloth and made me a sort of sack just large enough to hold the portfolio, one side of the sack I have left longer than the other and have cut a slit in it long enough to put my head through. It hangs suspended from my neck, down over my right breast and is held in position by two neatly worked button holes, attached to the suspenders buttons of my pants. I know you would smile to see the incomparable exquisiteness of the needlework, (and it wouldn’t make me feel bad to see you smile). I also patched the elbows of my shirt this forenoon, I have been going rather ragged for some time. The Capt. Promised to get me some new clothes last week, but was called away in such a hurry, he didn’t get to do it.
I forgot to mention in the proper place that the rebel general Little was killed and Colonel Chambers of the 16th Iowa, and the Col. Of the 26th Missouri were severely wounded. Direct your letters as heretofore. Give my love to Edgar, kiss Elmer and remember your Charlie

(General Little)

Iuka Mississippi

In the last Letter Charles Milton Adams says "We shall probably stay here sometime as you can continue to direct you letters heretofore". That was not to be. The Army and 10th Ohio moved out on September 15th. and was marching toward Iuka when the battle began. C.M.A. was in McArthur's division.

General Rosecrans says (" Official Records," Vol. XVII. Pt. I. p. 74) that " we moved from Jacinto at 5 A. M. with 9000 men, on Price's forces at Iuka. After a march of 18 miles attacked them at 4:30 P.M. . . . with less than half our forces in action." Meanwhile the command of General E.O.C. Ord, comprising the divisions of Davies, Ross, and McArthur, numbering about 8000 men, was marching from Corinth direct on Iuka, and was within four or five miles of the battle-field on the 19th (see map, p. 730). The entire Union force near Iuka, including Ord, was about 17,000 men.

Conspicuous in the battle was the 11th Ohio Battery:

"When the Eleventh went into position Lieutenant Sears was in command. As junior First Lieutenant, I had the right section, while Second Lieutenant Alger fought the center section. Of the acting Second Lieutenants Perrine had the left section and Bauer the line of caissons. During the fight I succeeded to the command when Sears went to the rear with a wound. Alger was captured. Bauer was killed.

The battery had taken position in line from column under an infantry fire from an entire division at ranges of from 200 to 400 yards. Shells from the rebel artillery were also crashing through our line. We opened fire at first with shell. This shell fire proved so effective that a rebel assault on the battery was ordered. A division of Price’s army rushed to the charge. The battery changed from shell to double charges of canister. The effect of the canister was[Pg 9] terribly increased because of the rebel method of charging in masses. Had the line to the left of the battery held its front the assault on the battery would have been impossible of success. But Col. Eddy of the 48th Indiana was killed and the survivors of his regiment were swept back by overwhelming numbers. The left flank of the battery was thus left bare and unsupported. On the right the Fifth Iowa was cut to pieces. Only eleven officers and a handful of men remained. With the line melted away the battery found itself facing in three directions and battling with masses on three fronts. It had a rear but no flanks. The guns were being worked with greater speed and smaller crews. Cannoneers were falling. Other cannoneers coolly took their places and performed double duty. Drivers left their dead horses and took the places of dead or wounded comrades, only to be struck down in turn. Of eighty horses only three remained standing and a withdrawal of the guns was impossible. The surviving men were too few to do more than work the guns. Finally the charging hordes, checked and mutilated again and again in front, to right and to left, pressed close. Eight thousand men against two score. On the fifth charge the survivors were finally choked from the guns they would not abandon."

A Battery at Close Quarters Pg.9 Henry M. Neil 1909

Battle of Iuka on September 19th.

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September 11th, 1862

Corinth, Sept. 11th 1862

Dear Mollie,

If I am not mistaken I wrote you a letter one week ago today, and another last Sunday, indeed. I think I have written as often as twice a week for a long time, but I feel like writing everyday and I don’t know but I should do so, if you if you had a daily mail. But as you get but one mail a week, it is useless to write oftener than once a week, if I could only hit on the time that I could write the latest and you get the letters the earliest.
Sept.12th Dear wife, I didn’t finish my letter yesterday so I’ll try and do it today, between my guard hours. I got a letter from you this morning dated Sept. 4th, by which I learned that you were at your mothers yet and was glad to know that you could get peaches to dry. You didn’t say how long you were going to stay there and I hardly know where to direct the letter, you stated also that you had got your and the children’s likenesses taken and sent them to me, but I am sorry to say that they have not come to hand. You request me to get mine taken for you. Well I suppose I might do so, but it will cost a dollar and fifty cts. To get it taken here and I had thought the money would do you more good than the likeness would. Don’t you think so eh! Mollie? You also sent me some postage stamps, which arrived safe but, I didn’t need them very bad for I had got a chance to buy some and Ammon sent me 16. However they will come in good play.
I got a letter today from cousin Jane Grabb, she has been sick and Lewis is very low. Ammon sent me a lot of papers, which gave lists of three companies which have been formed on our county under the late call. I am somewhat surprised that Jo. Boseberry should act as he did, I thought he had more spunk than that. Had it been some of the Bailey’s or Temples (?) or some others I might mention, it would have been no more than could have been expected.
Well I don’t know what to write about. I’ll have to go on guard pretty soon and the mail will leave pretty soon too, and I dislike to send a sheet that is not filled. It don’t pay to send blank paper by mail, in addition to my being in a hurry there is a sap-head here that keeps his everlasting tongue running all the time and I have to stop to answer his questions and that bothers me a lot (?), and as I have nothing of interest to write, I’ll quit. We shall probably stay here sometime as you can continue to direct you letters heretofore.
Now dear wife accept my warmest love, kiss Elmer for me and remember me to Edgar and the friends, Mollie.
Good Bye Charlie

P.S. I send you a lock of hair that cousin Matt Parcels sent me. Take good care of it, will you Mol?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

September 7th 1862

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Camp No.9 Corinth Miss, Sept 7th 1862

Dear Mollie,

This is Sunday morning and I take my seat to write you a few lines. I received a letter from Ammon yesterday containing 16 postage stamps and he informed me that you were still down there and you may be there still. I wrote you sometime ago and requested you to send me your and Elmer’s likeness,, but I suppose you didn‘t get the letter before you left home, so I shall not get the likeness this time. But, I want you to tell me when you write whether he is pretty or not, how big is he, what color is his hair (Aunt Ina wrote me sometime ago that she thought he was going to have red hair, how does that happen Mollie?) What color is his eyes? Can he stand alone or walk yet? Does he get plenty to eat? And by the way do you all get plenty to eat, drink and wear?
I would like to know how big the corn is, is it as big as the corn was last year? How did it down in that wet corner? You see I am great on asking questions, you say in you letter that you intend to pay all my debts, that is all right provided you have plenty to spare, but I must caution you about two things. First don’t spare yourself short of money, always keep plenty ahead, for although I am sure of getting my pay form the government, I am a good ways from home and it may not always be safe to send money home. In the second place be careful not to pay any debts I don’t owe. You must be careful also who you loan money to, if you have any money to loan. I think you had better send it to Ammon and let him loan it for you. If there is anything coming to you that is not paid when it becomes due, have it secured by note drawing interest. I will give you a list of all I owe on Bushcreek so far as I know. Mark Austin 75cts., Wilson 25cts., Jim Price five dollars, I believe that is all. If there should be any other accounts or claims presented, you need not pay them without first consulting me.
The taxes on the land where we live and the Peasley land will have to paid before long, but Mr. James or his agent will attend to that and then you can fix it with him. The chattel tax, I suppose I can get Ammon to settle, so you need not trouble yourself about that. I hardly know what to say about your writing to me again soon, I would like to get a letter from you every week, but it is pretty generally believed that we will move from here this week and if we do. I might not get your letter so soon, as writing till we know whether we move or not or where we go to.
It is rumored that three batteries from our division are ordered to Kentucky and as there are four left in the division, we shall stand a pretty good chance to go. The blacksmiths are very busy today setting tire on our gun carriages, which rather indicates that we are going to move somewhere.
Perhaps you had as well write, and direct your letters as here before and if we move I will let you know as soon as I can.
Dear wife, you say in your letter that you don’t feel like going back home till I get there, I can’t blame you for your feelings. I think I know how to feel for you, I too feel lonesome and lonely and long to return to the bosom of my faithful and loving wife and to the society of my children and friends and I sometimes feel as though I could not endure the separation longer. But alas this cruel rebellion bought about by wicked men for the purpose of strengthening and perpetuating the vilest institution that ever cursed a nation, binds me here in fetters of adamant. O, had I the power, I would sweep the leaders of this rebellion from the face of the earth and consign all its aiders and sympathizers to eternal infamy and disgrace,
I see dear Mollie my sheet is full, so goodbye.

August 29th, 1862

Camp near Corinth, Mississippi August 29th, 1862
6 O’clock A.M.

Dear Mollie,
Seated on a small arm chair at my guard post with a bright sabre close at hand glittering in the sunshine. I take my pen to address you a few lines, I have two hours yet to stand (or sit as I please) guard and then my days work is done. A foraging party is just leaving camp, I hope they will bring something good to eat, I am in very good health and hope these few lines will find you and the children and all the friends enjoying the same great blessings. The weather here is quite cool for this latitude and the mornings are particularly pleasant.
I received a letter from Lucinda this week dated Aug. 19th. She stated that the folks were all well at the time of writing. She had been to a great war meeting at Watkins, she had never experienced such a time before. All the young men had enlisted to go to war, there was not a bean a piece for the girls. However she thought if they could keep up the government, she could stand it till the three years was up and then she could have a man, provided he didn’t get killed. I think she is both patient and patriotic, It had been just a year to a day, she said since he went away and it seems like two years. Who was it Mollie that went away to war on the 19th day of Aug. 1861?
I also received a letter from Mr. Beattie, he informs me that he had not collected any money from Converse yet and stated that he had written Jesse about it. I never mentioned receiving a letter containing a few lines to Jason Chapman. Did you receive such a letter? And if so did you send it to Jason? I wrote a letter to Richard a few days ago and directed it to his regiment, in care of Capt. Sterling, but as I don’t know where his regiment is or what division it is in, I don’t know as he will ever get it. The War news at this time is rather dry and uninteresting, there seems to be very little activity on either side though the papers still report rumors of the evacuation of Richmond.
10 O’clock,
Dear wife, I resume my pen after an hours intermission to write a little more. I have been waiting the arrival of the mail, hoping that I should get letter from you. The mail has come, others get letters from their friends but none for me. I tell you dear Mollie that I am somewhat disappointed and do not feel much like writing , but I know its not your fault and I will write to you, if yours don’t reach me.
I am seated beneath the broad spreading branches of a majestic beach, surrounded by dense undergrowth of elm, witch hazel, birch, and holly, through the thick branches of which only a ray of the sun finds its way now and then. Close by runs a small crooked creek which adds to the beauty of the scenery in whose chrystal waters the hardy and patriotic sons of Uncle Sam delight to bathe their feverish and dust beclouded bodies. Just as I am writing this a juvenile descendant of benighted Africa who has fled some inhuman monsters, and has sought and found protection under the ample folds of the glorious old stripes and stars, has come down the creek to wash the clothes of some human soldiers who are willing to pay him an equivalent for his services.
Verily this is the year of the Jubilee, to some whose necks for years have been galded by the yoke of bondage, I would to God that it could be the year of Jubilee to all who are held beneath the iron heal of the oppressor, but as noble writers say, I am digressing. This is a beautiful spot, and O! how I would like to spend the next Sabbath with my beloved family, right here in this very shade.
Well Mollie, my sheet is about full and I must close. I wrote you a letter last Sunday I think it was, you will not probably get it till you do this. I want you and Edgar to write as often as you can, and the rest of them as often as convenient. Mollie don’t show my letters to everybody, particularly not to those of tong (tongue) proclivities,
Yours ever,

August 23rd, 1862

10th Ohio Battery, 6th division, Corinth Mississippi
August 23rd 1862

Dear Mary,
It is Saturday night after dark and as I have about two inches of candle and it is cool and pleasant, I will begin a letter to you. I was made glad yesterday by the receipt of a letter from you and Edgar, and was gratified to learn that you are well, I am in very good health and spirits, the news from our armies is more favorable than it was a few days ago. I presume you are yet taking the Marysville Tribune, although you have never made mention of it, if you rather take some other paper. Just mention it to me in your next letter to me and I will have Ammon settle up for the Tribune and get you some other paper. I think the Cincinnati Commercial would be a very good paper, but if you prefer the Tribune you can continue to take it. I guess I will have to quit, there are so many around the light reading and gassing I can’t write.

Edgar, I shall write to you soon,

Sunday Morning, August 24th 1862

Beloved Wife, while you no doubt are preparing for Sabbath School or church, I take my pen, ink, and paper to hold a little converse with you, though we separated by several hundred miles. Oh what an invention is the art of writing and how fortunate that we were born in a land where all rich and good enjoy the privilege of acquiring the knowledge of this useful art. How jealous ought we be of our rights and with what real energy and self sacrifice should we maintain the institutions which guarantee to us those rights and privileges. (I feel like doing all I can to uphold and sustain our republican government for if it goes down, our rights and liberties go down with it. What sacrifices we do make dear Mary, let us make them with cheerfulness looking forward with hope to happier days.)
I am going to try to go home to see you after awhile, when the new troops get into the field. I think there may be a chance for those who have been in the service sometime to get furloughs. As it is now it requires the service of all the troops, they are scattered about. It is said that thirty thousand fresh troops are coming to Corinth and will relieve the old troops a good deal. Negroes are also coming into the army in great numbers, who will take off the drudgery from the soldier who came to fight, not to cut timber, build bridges, throw up breastworks, build forts, drive teams, cook and wash. It is estimated that the Negroes, by doing the drudgery of the army in the west alone will add to the effective force in the field 40,000 men. Another good work is being done here, a great many Sutlers and hangers on of the army, who have been peddling and selling goods to the troops at starvation prices and extorting from the poor soldier his hard earned money, have now to suspend their operations, shoulder their muskets and take to the field. This causes great rejoicing among the soldiers.
Since writing the above , I have stood two hours guard and I resume my pen to write some more. I will relate a little incident, a very respectable looking colored woman came here this morning and inquired the way to Gen. Grants headquarters, she had been a slave and had come within our lines and was consequently a free woman, and had engaged to work in the hospital. But, she has two small children still with her master, who is a rank rebel and she is anxious to have them bought to her. We directed her to Gen. Grant’s quarters and she went up there, in a short time she came back
And I asked her what success she had, she said she didn’t see the Gen as he was not there, but one of his under officers told her that he would do nothing for her, and advised her to go back to her master and stay with her children, and told her further that all the negroes were to be sent back when the War was over. If these are the principles of Gen. Grant and they become generally known, he will need a stronger body guard than he has at present to insure his safety in this army, for he is none too popular now with the troops, and if he is for returning fugitives to their masters, he will be still more so.
Charles Rice, our orderly sergeant, leaves for Ohio tomorrow morning, he has the appointment of a Lieutenant in the 14th Ohio battery, now being raised there and I shall probably send this letter by him, well if I write anymore I’ll have to get more paper, but if I don’t get to write anymore,


August 17th, 1862

Camp near Corinth, Mississippi Aug. 17th 1862

Beloved Wife,
I don’t now but that you will get tired of my writing so often but, as I have but little to do. I get very lonesome and I can’t invent anyway or means of spending my time so pleasantly as by writing to you and the children, but if you get tired of my too frequent letters just mention it and I will try and hold off a little. I would be glad to hear from you everyday but, that is impossible and really I don’t think I have any reason to complain of late. Last week I got several letters from Darby and one from Coz. Ann and one from Jesse White, It looks now as though the mails had got regulated. All the letters I have received have been directed right , but I suppose some that have been sent me have not got the right start and that means they never reached me.
Now Mollie I’ll tell you what I’d like to have, Cousin Ann wrote me that you talked of going to Darby when peaches get ripe. If you don’t go until after you get this letter, I’d like for you to stop in Marysville or go to the Valley and get your and Elmer’s likeness in one case and send it to me by mail, and when I am paid off again I will send you some money to pay for it. A good many of the men have the likenesses of their wives and they think they are good looking, but I fancy that my wife’s picture would look as well as any of them and I know that it would reflect as good a woman as the best and I think a little better.
Well Mollie you talk in your last letter as though there was some spunk about you, yet you don’t say what you would do if a certain individual came to your home after night. What would you do Mollie? Eh! I fancy the broomstick would have to be mended next morning.
Lieut. Bardwell and a dozen men went out Jayhawking yesterday, they bought in a turkey, 17 chickens, 8 bushels of peaches, a few apples, between 50 and 60 watermelons and about 8 bushels of green corn. They report seeing some fine country, a few Sucsesh and had a great deal of fun. I was on guard and couldn’t go but I shall probably get a chance to go yet. I am going to enclose a few mellon seeds. The red ones are called the Tuscumbia and the white ones Tishomingo. They are a long mellon and are both red core.
I went to Genl. Grants headquarters this afternoon to hear preaching. The first I have heard for a long time. I started a box of Sucsesh clothing and some other articles to Ammon last Friday. Among other things there is an overcoat of very good cloth and if you get them in time and can do no better you may make them into clothing for Edgar, that is if you want to. The roundabout (a short close fitting Jacket) is of the best quality of Rebel uniform and it has a ball hole through the back of it, and I picked it up at one of the Rebel hospitals in the camp east of Corinth. It was slightly stained with blood around the bullet hole, I would like to keep that. The citizen coat I also picked up in the rebel camp, but somebody had cut the buttons off, I think it was a pity to see so much clothing go to waste so I saved what I did.
I send my love to you Mollie and the children

Good bye Charlie

Mollie could you send me some postage stamps?

August 10th, 1862

August 10th 1862

10th Ohio battery, 6th Division, Army of the Tennessee, Corinth, Tishomingo County, Mississippi

Charlie to Mollie, Edgar, and Elmer

Dear Mollie,
It has been but a day or two since I wrote you a few lines, but again I feel somewhat lonesome this Sabbath morning. I will try to have a little chat with the woman I love though I have to speak at a great distance and shall have to wait several days for your reply. My dear wife I never feel so well content as when I am trying to give pleasure to the ones that I love. I do sometimes get very homesick and long for the time when we shall be again united in a happy and unbroken family. Rest assured dear Mol. That I will
Come home to you the first opportunity that offers and although our political sky is very cloudy and the prospect for a speedy peace looks dismal, yet I think there is clear sky ahead and that the war will be over and we shall be at home much sooner than most people are expecting.
I am glad to learn that the government is going to drafting and if there is going to be a war at home in consequence, I should like well to be there, for I would sooner fight Rebels at home, than abroad. But I rather think that when the proper authority comes around to those who say they will fight before they will go into the service, they will cool down. Some of the cowardly traitorous scamps may run away to avoid the draft, but justice will overtake them in the end.
You say father wanted you to go down there to live, if you feel like going, I want you to go and if I don’t get home before winter I think you had better go anyhow, but if you can get along till after the corn cutting and potato digging and feel safe in staying there, perhaps it would be as well for you to stay. For it may so happen that I shall be home before cold weather. I hope so at any rate, I expect you had better sell the calves and anything else that you can spare, but I leave that altogether to yourself, but I would not advise you to undertake to keeping too much livestock through winter. One more thing I will want to caution you about, don’t sell anything on credit unless you sell to somebody that be pretty sure to pay you. If you are not satisfied as to what anything is worth try and get some of the Whites to tell you, as I believe they would be as likely to know the value of property as anybody in the neighborhood and they would be likely to give you good counsel as anybody else.
I have never heard whether John Moore went into that Palsy home or not. Where does Smith’s folks live and what is he doing for a living? If he happens to be drafted into the service, he will wish that he had come when I did. I wrote sometime ago to Jesse White concerning that converse note, but I have not got any answer from him yet. Do you know anything about it? I am anxious to have that note collected and Mr. James paid off so as to secure our little home if we lose all the rest. Simon Price holds a order of five dollars against me and if he comes around and wants to buy anything that you have to sell you may take the order.
Dear Mollie, I gather from Aunt Ann’s letter that you worry a good deal about me, I know dear wife that it is natural for us to feel uneasy about our friends when we are absent or separated, but I do hope you will not borrow any unnecessary trouble about me. I am doing much better that I expected when I left home, I have now and then spells of being unwell, but I have not been worse than I used to be at home and thought nothing of it hardly here. When I am unwell all I have to do is to lie still and get well again.
Indeed I have often thought that if we had more to do we should enjoy better health. Now if I could hear from my family once a week and hear they are well and doing well, I should get along first rate. So now dear good wife keep up your courage and show to your traitorous and weak kneed neighbors that you are a patriot and are willing to make some sacrifice for you country.


July 18th, 1862

Camp near Corinth. July 18th 1862

Dear Mary,
I have several times commenced writing you lately but have got discouraged and stopped before I got through. I have got no letters from you for a long time and don’t know whether you got my letters or not hence my indifference about writing. But then I know you want to hear from me and I can do no more than write and if you don’t get my letters it is not my fault.
I am in good health at present, only I have a lame wrist. I strained it sometime ago and it has not got so I can use it yet, but we have little to do so it makes but little difference. The weather has been pretty warm and dry for sometime past, but night before last and yesterday morning we had a heavy rain which has laid the dust and imparted a coolness and freshness to the atmosphere that is invigorating.
There is but little excitement in this part of the country, the Rebels seem to be remarkably quite just now. They are waiting for a bite I expect, it appears from the papers that there is some trouble in Kentucky and that Morgan and his gang are doing a good deal of mischief and they are fearful that Frankfort will fall into his hands. I hope that the villain will speedily reap his reward. The news from Richmond is rather discouraging, although it is said that McClellan has got back all the ground he lost. We got a letter from Captain Myres a day or two ago and he says that Ohio has to furnish forty thousand more troops. I have my doubts about that many more being raised in Ohio immediately without a resort to drafting, in which case the cowardly and secession sympathizers will have to bear their share of the dangers and hardships of soldiers life and in addition , the odium and disgrace of having to be forced to fight for their country and their rights will be forever attached to them.
I am glad Mollie that I am a volunteer, although I may have done little toward putting down the wicked rebellion, I have the consciousness of having done my duty and I have done all I could do under the circumstances.
Mary I can’t help but feel uneasy about you and the children, I have not heard whether you have ever got any of the money I sent you or rather whether Ammon (older brother) even got the check I sent him or not, and you have never told me whether Mr. Worley paid you or not or whether Jake paid you any. If you have not got money from any of these sources, I know you must have suffered from want of this.
I have some money now and which I would gladly send you, but the mails are so uncertain, I am afraid to send it by mail. I did expect to have an opportunity to send it by private conveyance, but I have been disappointed in that, I cannot but feel that we have been ill treated. Before I enlisted I had the promise of assistance for the support of my family from the country, but so far as I know you have never received a cent. I also had the promise of Lieut. Brown that I should have my reimbursements from the time I enlisted to the time of going to camp, that I never received, and in all probability never will. And you say in one of your letters that Tooley had never made a rail on our contract, and having failed to fill his first part of the contract, I am fearful that he will be remiss in the balance. I will say this right here that if he neglects to harvest and save the wheat, he will have an unpleasant account to settle when I get home, that’s all.
I have just heard that Gen. Grant has been appointed to the command of the army in the western department, and he has selected old Whitfield’s Mansion here as his headquarters. Whitfield is now a prisoner of war. He was suspicioned of holding treasonable correspondence with the enemy and he and some seven of his neighbors were arrested. I can’t imagine what can be the object or what will be the result of placing Grant in command of the Army, but this I am sure of it will be hailed with universal dissatisfaction with the troops. The manner in which the battle of Shiloh was conducted under his generalship did not have the effect to inspire the troops with the greatest of confidence in his ability or bravery. The only supposed reason I have heard expressed for the appointment is that there will be probably be but little more for the army here to do.
I would like to know where Smith has gone to or what he is doing now and whether his excuse for taking his name from the enlistment role was valid or not. June is past and that of course will tell the story. I would like to know also whether your suspicions of cousin Matt were correct or not and maybe while I am on the subject it would be also as well to extend my inquiries about matters and things nearer home. Where does Eli (?) and Cynthia intend to live and how are you getting along since she went away, and what do you think you had better do about stopping there next winter if you don’t get home? If our wheat turns out well and you can get anybody to sow that juice again, wouldn’t it be as well to have it (indiscernible?)
If you ever hear from Waldo and Ernest, I’ve not heard from them since Waldo went down to Darby to live. I do hope that our mail arraignments will be better managed soon, as it little more than a nuisance. You asked me in one of your letters whether I had plenty of clothing and I don’t know whether I answered it or not, I have plenty and to spare and now I will ask you have you plenty? Well Mollie I must close, I’ll try to write some to Edgar this afternoon, kiss little Elmer for me, write immediately,

Ever yours truly and faithfully,
C.M. Adams

June 20th, 1862

Camp No.9 Tishomingo County, Mississippi June 20th 1862

Dear Mary,
I have just finished a letter to the boys and I don’t know as I can think of anything more to write that will be interesting, but as I am at leisure for awhile now I will try to write a little to you. I don’t know but you would like to know what I have to eat.
Well to begin with I will say that since I got my pay I have been faring sumptuously, that occasionally. To tell you the honest truth our fare before was anything but desirable. We had plenty such as it was, and so long as I done the cooking, I could fix it up in some kind of shape as I could eat it with some relish, but when my time was out, the cooking fell into hands that made it a point to get along as easily as possible. The cook we have now is a very clever young Irishman, but he can’t cook like Mollie. Now that’s a fact. What we have had for bread is hard crackers and the hardest kind of hard crackers at that, they are sometimes mouldy and sometimes we can hardly bite them. As for soaking them in coffee till they are soft is out of the question for the more we soak them the tougher they get, they are about as tough as sole leather. But for a change we have hominy and rice, which when Mike makes them into soup which he invariably does, are even worse then the hardest of the hard crackers. Then for variety we have bacon or salt beef which he boils without taking the salt off of it, and if we have fresh beef he boils it without salt. Then we have coffee, sweetened, but without cream which is miserable stuff generally. This I believe constitutes our bill of fare till we got to buying for ourselves.
Since I have been paid off, I have bought butter such as I would not think of tasting at home and called it good. We can buy good bread and cheese, but it comes high and I have to make a little do, dried apples and peaches are tolerable cheap and now I have one or the other everyday. But there is a prospect now of our living better. Our quartermaster took flour in the place of hard crackers the last time he drew rations and we are getting it baked up in shares. One of our contrabands has gone after the first batch of bread and we are expecting him back so that we can have some for supper.
Fruit is also getting ripe such as plums, blackberries, and raspberries, and if I can manage to get sugar I can live well. Occasionally I go out before light and draw a little milk and somehow or other a pig comes into camp. Some of the boys have been drawing on old Whitfield’s potato patch, but I guess he has just a veto on that by digging them or rather having his darkie women dig them. When we came here he had one trusty old slave, but a week ago today, he sent him to mill and he has not got back yet. That’s all together too bad, he was kind enough to let Beauregard have all but one, and now to think that he should be so ungrateful as to run off and leave him with all the work to do, its too bad ,too bad. But I expect some of the sympathizers of Rebellion up there in the Union will say the black abolitionists run him off, well I wouldn’t wonder nor I wouldn’t think they have done anything wrong by doing so.
June 21st,
Dear Mary,
I resume my pen this morning to write a little more. My days guard duty is over and I shall have nothing to do till afternoon, only what I choose to do for myself. I think of doing up my washing. Mollie , so far I have endeavored to keep myself clean and free from vermin and I have succeeded beyond all expectations. I don’t think I have had a louse of any kind about my person since I came into the service. A good many of the men can hardly believe it, but such is the fact. If all the troops would try to keep themselves clean, I think there would be no need of getting loused.
Another contraband came in this morning. Last Sunday he went to see his wife and while he was there he visited a Yankee camp. When his master found out about it he got very wrathy (angry) and was going to lash him for it, but if he does he will have to come into our camp to do it and then he can have all the lashing he desires.
Well Mollie, I don’t know how soon I shall be home, but I think it will not be long before a good many of the troops will be discharged and I think that I stand as good a chance to be discharged as anybody. I hope that Tooley will see that the wheat is cut in season and properly taken care of. I want you all to write and let me know how you get along and what for a visit you had down to Darby. How Ernest is getting along and whether he is pretty well contented or not.

I remain truly and affectionately your husband,
C. M. Adams

May 11th, 1862

Camp Shiloh Tenn. May 11th, 1862

I take my pen this beautiful Sabbath day to write a few lines to let you know where I am and how I am getting along. I am in the southern part of Tennessee, one mile from the Mississippi line and about 6 miles from Corinth. If you can get hold of a map that has Corinth marked on it, you can tell what county it is here, but I can’t tell.
I have been quite unwell for sometime, I have had diarrhea and I am pretty weak, but I am getting considerably better than I was.
There is but little reliable news in circulation in camp. We expect a great battle here this week. We shall probably attack the enemy tomorrow if we are not attacked today. There was cannonading east of us, apparently near Pittsburgh (Landing) this morning, but we have not heard the cause yet.
The weather here is pretty hot in the daytime but the nights are cool. There has been a good deal rainy weather and the troops who have no tents have suffered a good deal, but as we have good tents we pass the time very comfortably, only when we are on guard or morning. We have penetrated some 20 or 25 miles in to the country back from Pittsburgh as far as I have been able to discover.
There is a great want of enterprise in Tennessee, there are but few farms through this region and they are very poorly cultivated. A great many old farms have been turned out to the commons and have grown up to brush, principally sassafras. I have a poor opinion of the sunny South as a grazing or grain growing country. I have seen but little corn, and no grass, a little wheat and rye was sown last fall, but it makes a very poor show now, more especially where our Army passes through. An army is very devastating, it destroys everything in its path. The people complain bitterly of heavy taxation and it is hard truly, but I think they ought to be thankful the War was carried south instead of north, the south will not recover from the effects of this war in a generation. Timber rails and even houses such as they are, are destroyed.
I have spilled my ink and have to finish with a pencil. I am not yet entirely reconciled to the change from the 13th to the 10th Ohio battery. Our Capt. White appears to be a very good man and a much better drilled man than Capt. Myres and Lieut. Bardwell commands the respect of the company, but the other lieutenants and a good many of the men are not so agreeable. There are some pretty hard cases in the company, most of them use profane language and a large proportion of the are addicted to gambling. Then the idea of being transferred from one company to another without my consent goes rather against the grain. But I suffice as I have enlisted to fight for the Government. I don’t know but it is all right. (indiscernible?) but I feel a little uneasy about the folks. I worry that I have not heard a word from Ernest since I left him, and have had but two letters from home. I wish some of the folks or Darby could go up there and if they are suffering would take them down there and let them stay until I get home. Which I do think will not be a great while as I think if we are successful in the battle pending here. A great many of us will be sent home.
I think the hard fighting by that time will be about done. Tell Ernest to be a good boy.

Direct your letters to this address.
Camp Shiloh Tenn. Care of Capt. White 10th Ohio Battery, 6th Division.
C.M. Adams

After he switches to pencil, particularly at the end it becomes extremely difficult to read and he starts to ramble on a bit. It could be a short pencil or anxiety over the prospect of battle. The penmanship early on is terrific and horrible by the end.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

May 5th, 1862

Camp Shiloh near Pittsburgh Landing Tenn. May 5th 1862

Dear Wife and Children,
I take my pen in hand this evening on a rail in the fence corner, with my last sheet of paper and without a cent of money in my pockets to write to those I hold most dear. I received letters from you today, dated March 24th inclosing a postage stamp which is all the one I have. You had better not send any more stamps as the letters might never reach me, and the Captain can frank my letters and you can pay postage there, that is if you can get the money to pay with. There is now some prospect of our getting our pay soon.
We are encamped in the southern part of Tennessee, 10 miles from Corinth where the rebels are said to have a heavy force, and are strongly fortified. It was the calculation to attack them today, the rains have rendered the roads impassable for our heavy guns. May 6th. I had to stop writing last night in consequence of its getting dark, and having got my washing out this morning, and as there appears to be no more work for me at present, I resume my pen to write a little more.
This is a beautiful day. The sun shines bright and clear, a balmy breeze floats through the air. The wild birds are warbling cheerfully among the leafy trees and all nature seems at peace, but the shrill notes of martial music, and the grand parade of military show, indicates that man alone is at war. Here are two powerful armies, in close proximity to each other, both of the same nation, speak the same language and closely allied by the ties of blood, often father against son and brother against brother, the one contending for the perpetuation of the vilest crime that ever cursed the earth, the other for the preservation of the best government the sun ever shone upon. May the God of battles give victory to the right, and may Union and peace again soon ! be restored.........
We have not heard anything reliable form the enemy for several days, but it is rumored and extensively believed in camp that they are evacuating Corinth. If this is the case we will have to follow them up but if they stand battle here and get whipped, as I think they will, it seems to me they will have to give up, at least in the west........I don't know as I have informed you of exactly of our condition. The 13th Ohio battery is disbanded through the rascality of General Hurlburt, to whose division we were attached, the officers are sent home, and the men divided among the 7th, 10th, and 14th Ohio batteries.
I am in the 10th under Captain White. The Captain, one Lieutenant, the Orderly Sergeant and a few others appear to be very respectable men. The majority of the men however are pretty hard, nearly all use profane language, and nearly all are gamblers, the consequence is there is a great deal of quarreling among them and they are not so well drilled as they should be. For my part I hope it will never be my lot to go into an engagement with them, and I hope that matters will soon be arranged so that I can get out of their company.
You say in your last letter that you have never got any money from the county, yet I would like to know the reason, for if I am rightfully informed it is there for you and I should think that those into whose hands the business is entrusted would see that you get it. As soon as I get my pay I will send you some, though it is risky business, sending money by mail. Hoping this will find you all in good health and spirits, I subscribe myself as ever, truly and affectionately your Husband and father.

.Direct your letters to C.M. Adams, Camp Shiloh c/o Capt. White.10th Ohio Battery.