Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Lookout Valley
My dear Dellie,
I was sorry to learn by a letter from Ella that your health is so poor – and your own letters some of them alluded to the cause for it. If your health is not good and studying makes it worse (as it usually does) I am sure it is better that you suspend awhile – even one season. Perhaps if you remained at home reading a little generally and “choring” about with the diet and care mother could give you, you might get well and rugged by Spring and renew your studies with fresh vigor.
You know I suspended a year after leaving College and many young men find it necessary to do the same. Health first then you can look to studying, earning money or anything you choose – but without health our frail machines are useless and indeed might about as well be destroyed as to get out of “running order”.
I sent my last to you from Cleveland – adding a brief Postcript there. Two days after we reached our old camp here – last Thursday afternoon. Next day it became cold and for two nights water has frozen 1⁄2 inch thick in our water-pail. Continue reading
Hd. qrs 11th Corps
Charleston (on the Hiwassee) Tenn.
My dear brother
If Capt Stinson had not just upset my little pocket ink-stand I should have written you a tremendously long letter upon this stupendous sheet. The paper was captured from the office of the Athens Post – a flourishing Rebel paper publication as its name indicates – of the town 14 miles above here. I believe I did not write you but I wrote mother a brief letter from there. It is the County-town of McMinn Co. There are many warm union citizens – men, women and children there. Sherman caught the Editor of the Athens Post running away into the mountains, trying to get off toward North Carolina or Georgia. He was originally from New Jersey but told Sherman he was a Secessionist. So Sherman says he shall advise his banishment to the Coast of Africa since that is the only place where Secession can be allowed. Some old copies of the Athens Post show that the Editor was a rank Rebel. He had some pretty daughters and Gilbreth (Lieut.) who boarded there had most vivacious discussions with them to use a mild term.
You perceive we are wending our way back. The Rebels, while we were gone, got at and destroyed this Charleston R.R. Bridge which we spent a whole night in repairing on our way up. So we had to rebuild it – taking another day and night’s work. Continue reading
Lookout Valley, Tenn.
To the Editor of the Portland Press:
I notice in the Eastern Newspapers a great deal of misconception relative to the operations of that part of the Army of the Cumberland (including the recent reenforcement from the Army of the Potomac), which undertook and accomplished the opening of the Tennessee River and thereby relieve the starving forces at Chatanooga.
The enclosed order from Gen. Thomas gives so clear a statement of the results combined with a complimentary mention of prominent parties engaged that I hope you will find space for its publication.
The accompanying characteristic order of Gen. Howard was received with unusual marks of gratification by the officers & soldiers of his Command.
Please insert in large type in some conspicuous place in your Paper that the Rebels still hold Lookout Mountain. If some of the Editors of Northern Newspapers or some Correspondents who furnish vivid accounts of scenes and operations here, though themselves never nearer than Bridgeport, (30 miles off), could pass along this Valley during any one of the Day-light hours and have one of these air rending, earth-shattering shells come swooping down from the Upper Regions, past his head – he would appreciate both what is meant by Lookout and the possession of it; at if the lesson is not too dearly learnt – he will be able to inform his readers that the River is in our possession all the way to Chatanooga with the exception of about a mile opposite Lookout Point commanded by the guns of the Enemy not yet dislodged from the Mountain. The Peninsula across from the Pontoon bridge at Brown’s Ferry to that at Chatanooga is less than two (2) miles wide. Lookout Point is above three (3) miles from the city. So that there is an actual gain of distance in landing supplies at Brown’s Ferry. But the “Suck” (or shallows) between Kelly’s & Brown’s doesn’t permit <you> easy passage of the boats and so by crossing another peninsula formed by the Tennessee wagons can reach Kelly’s in a distance of five (5) miles from Brown’s, the boats usually leave their cargoes at Kelly’s. The Rebels did hold all of this portion of the Tennessee as also twenty miles more of it towards Bridgeport.
This was adroitly wrested from them by Gen. Hooker’s Command cooperating with forces from Chatanooga. The Southern papers say it is incomprehensible how the Federals got so complete possession of Lookout Valley in so short a time and not less so that Bragg should have suffered <there do so>.
Charles Henry Howard to Editor of the Portland Press [Charles Henry Howard Collection]
Headquarters Eleventh Corps Lookout Valley
My dear brother,
[...] They fire every day more or less. Yesterday a Shell buried itself three feet in the ground within a dozen yards of where Otis & I were riding along. They possibly fired at a Wagon-train which was passing near us. As soon as we get the roads all corduroyed to Kelly’s Ferry, the wagons can go a route very little exposed. Our Head quarters are rather long range for them besides they are somewhat concealed by trees and we have no apprehensions that they will trouble us from Lookout though shells have struck within one quarter of a mile this morning.
I suppose this would be quite near enough for our peaceful people at home. I might say it is quite near enough for us but still we are so accustomed to the noise and so well aware of our safety when they are that distance from us that we have no more feeling of fear than father would have should he hear the sound of turning out a cart load of stones – which you know makes considerable noise.[...]
Your Affectionate brother C H Howard