October 11, 1863

Hd. qrs. 11th Corps Bridgeport, Alabama

My dear Mother,

I arrived at this place at 2 o’clock this morning having started from Nashville at ten a.m. of Friday. The bridges burned by the Rebel Raiders were all rebuilt so as to allow of our passage that day and before dark we had got beyond the break – but the grades on the Nashville and Chatanooga R.R. are abrupt and as we had a heavy train we progressed slowly and finally got stuck on a heavy up-grade between Wartrace and Tullahoma. After several hours delay we were boosted on by another engine and stopped for breakfast at Déchert. The Conductor was hungry as well as the rest and so as accommodatingly as carelessly waited till a Breakfast was cooked at a forlorn shanty of a house. At Cowan, 4 miles below, we learned by telegraph that the Rebels had been there in the night and done damage to the R.R. in the tunnel near that place. Perhaps the conductor was more willing to delay owing to this report, owing to a similar report received the evening before we had brought troops of the 12th Corps from Wartrace to reinforce the R.R. guards etc. General Butterfield (Hooker’s chief of staff) was on a train just in rear.

After a decent Breakfast at 50 cts (which seemed reasonable in comparison with other meals for which I had paid $.75 and with the exorbitancy in Nashville) we went on to Cowan. Found that the guards (not from the 11th or 12th Corps) had run away and the Rebels had thrown rocks, stones, dirt and timber down through two apertures or shafts (as I think they are called) running from above perpendicularly down into the Tunnel and through which the stones, etc. were taken up in the construction of the Tunnel. Continue reading

October 10, 1863

Temporary Camp, near Culpepper.  Extra rations came in during the night, so we have quite a load to carry.  Five days’ rations extra, blouse & overcoat.  Commenced a letter to Miss Godding, but had written only a page & a half, when the bugle sounded “pack up,” and we were off.  Left at half past eleven, and marched about three miles to get one from camp,  About two drew up in line of battle.  Heard several guns at a distance, but could not tell whether federal or rebel.  Had no more fears than when in camp.  Pioneers sent out to destroy bridges & obstruct the road.  Extemporized camp tonight.  Spring-bed.  Warm marching, but rained after we halted. Overcast now.  Tent with Noble.

Had talk this morning with little secesh girl.  Could not tell her age.  The family is very poor.  Like most we have seen.

Diary of Edwin Emery [Edwin Emery Diaries and Memoir]

October 8, 1863

Camp near Culpepper Va.

Dear Cornelia,

[…] I find a great difficulty in commencing my letter, to know what to write as you did, for everything in the Army of the Potomac is in a great state of stagnation as in the [illegible] of Gettysburg. Nothing is being done. And there is no prospect of any change at present. Our signal officers know the key to their system of signals and can read their dispatches. One of our officers told us of a dispatch he saw sent to Lee the other day stating that “the army of the Potomac was retreating and that this was confirmed by deserters that came daily with their lines” I think that if they should come over to this side of the river some fine morning they would hardly find a clear country for them to occupy. Meanwhile we are enjoying life hugely. […]

Charles O. Hunt to friend [Charles O. Hunt letters and personal recollections]

October 7, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Assistant Inspector General’s Office, Nashville, Tenn

My dear Mother,
I arrived here last night. Found Col. Asmussen, Balloch and some other of the staff, but the rest went through to Bridgeport (120 miles) with the General and the troops last week. Otis left here last Friday evening.
On Monday last a Rebel force of Cavalry destroyed one and perhaps more bridges just below Murfreesboro and hence cutting off Rail Road Communication between this and Bridgeport. The Telegraph is also broken and we cannot consult with or get orders from the General. He has forage & rations enough but all the artillery horses are yet here
– having reached this city from the East and North only last night.
I must wait here till the bridges & R.R. are repaired. Our Artillery horses
may perhaps be sent by marching but they must rest a few days from their terrible journey of a week upon the cars from which they are much weakened. Fortunately our own sta
ff horses went on from here before the General and are now safe and for use at Bridgeport.
This latter place, which you have probably never heard of before as none of us had, is at the point where the Nashville Rail Road first strikes the Tennessee River. It did have a R.R. bridge there and thence the Rail Road ran along on the South side of the Tennessee River to Chatanooga, a distance of only 30 miles by the River. But Gen. Rosecrans has never repaired nor used the R.R. beyond Bridgeport and since his  last great battle the Enemy have come in and taken possession of that portion of the country on the
South side of the Tennessee – from Bridgeport to Lookout Mountain. Rosecrans’ right rests upon this range of mountains which runs perpendicular to the River. He gets his supplies by going a round about way among other mountain ranges and through passes on the North of the Tennessee. I am looking for a letter from father. I think the best investment I could make would be in one of those U.S. banks and Uncle Henry [Strickland] can get me $1,000 at par although there is a great demand for the stock. It will pay 10 per cent.
How is your health, Mother? You will have to write pretty often now in order to make up for the long time letters take in coming. From Aunt Martha’s to here takes about the same time as from home to Washington.
Love to all. Your affectionate Son C. H. Howard

October 5, 1863

There was quite a drunk last night.  One in our Company, and one below here disturbed my slumbers.  Whiskey is a great bane in the army, and a fearful demoralizer in Camp.  Nearly every day some case of drunkenness occurs.  This morning part of the sixth corps left.  A part left not long ago.  Last week the 11th & 12th left, it is reported, for Chat[t]anooga.  We are drawn up here in line of battle with a second line to support the first.  The 6th Corps occupies the right, the 3rd, ours, comes next, the 5th next, and then the 1st protecting [illegible].  Pleasanton’s cavalry corps are in front, supported by the 2d corps.  All these are fighting corps.  This corps hopes Gen. Sickles will take command soon.  Gen. French is an arrogant, and repulsive officer.  He is a regular “brandy blossom” or a “two gallon whiskey keg.”  He is bald-headed, and red-faced, smooth-shaven, with the exception of a heavy moustache.  As he uncovered his head yesterday when he rode by;, I thought he looked very much like Gen. Butler’s pictures.  As I write this, it is quite cool, though the sun is struggling through the small, numerous clouds, that spot the heavenly dome.

While drilling this afternoon the Bugle sounded “pack up, pack up.”  Immediately all was alive.  We packed up, struck tents and were moving in less than an hour.  We moved north about half a mile, and pitched our tents in the woods near the turnpike.  Tonight cooked my own coffee.  Felt well tonight, whether because I had given part of my soft bread to a fellow soldier, or because we had got new quarters, or because I had the proud satisfaction of knowing that I can rely upon myself, I cannot say.

Diary of Edwin Emery [Edwin Emery Diaries and Memoir]

October 4, 1863

Richmond, Indiana

My dear Mother,

At a town where the train paused a few moments – say half an hour – just before sunset, Xenia Ohio, we had a perfect ovation. Ladies, Gentlemen & Children thronged the train its whole length of some 30 cars  and loaded down the soldiers with all kinds of eatables. When they found Gen. Howard was on board the Ladies all came along in succession to shake hands with him as he stood on the platform of the rear car. They heaped upon us their gifts of pies, cakes, Bread & butter, sandwiches, apples, peaches and most abundantly grapes.

A dozen or so of the little girls brought paper for the General to write his name upon – which he did for as many as he could until the cars left. […]

Charles Henry Howard to his mother, Eliza Otis Howard [Charles Henry Howard Collection]

October 3, 1863

It cleared off most beautifully last night.  At three the moon and stars were shining brightly.  Doing guard duty today.  Being a supernumerary had nothing to do but remain at the guard house.  Wrote two letters.  One to Ellen with a lead pencil.  Called to see the Dr. tonight.  Got some doughnuts.

Diary of Edwin Emery [Edwin Emery Diaries and Memoir]

October 1, 1863


Reengagement of the great and gifted artist, CAMILLE URSO.

Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday evening next, Oct. 3 and 4

The Unanimous desire for another opportunity to hear the greatest Lady Violinist of the age, has induced the Manager top comply with the general wish. And to repeat the concerts of last Saturday and Sunday, which were attended with such great success, on the above after noon and evenings, and for the information of the public, and in order to afford ample time and opportunity for all who may desire to hear this charming artist, the Manager would now announce, that he has secured her services for a third series, to take place on the following Saturday and Sunday evenings.

All the attractions of the last Concerts, including M. ARBUCKLE, FR. RUDOLPHSEN, F. ZOHLER, a grand Orchestra, and Gillmore’s full Millitary Band, have been secured for the above entertainments, and the programmes will be made up of such selections, classical and popular, as will afford the greatest amount of pleasure to the largest number of hearers.

Tickets Twenty-five cents

Boston Daily Advertiser, October 1, 1863 [Historic Newspaper Collection]