1864 November 12: News from the 12th Wisconsin Infantry
The following report appeared in the November 12, 1864, issue of The Prescott Journal. Thick, heavy ink from the other side of the newspaper page has obliterated some of the type, indicated here by [__]. There are more reports in this issue of the Journal than we are reprinting.
DOINGS IN MOBILE HARBOR.
Vegetables needed in the Army.
AFFAIRS ON THE SHENANDOAH.
An Expedition in Arkansas,
FROM THE TENNESSEE BORDER.
AFFAIRS AT ATLANTA.
The Chase after Hood’s Army.
Wisconsin Soldiers on Duty in Illinois.
The Movement against Richmond.
From the Twelfth Regiment.
Correspondence of the State Journal.
LITTLE RIVER, ALA., Oct. 22, 1864.
MESSRS. EDITORS : After a long and severe chase after Hood and his army, we have again halted, but for how long a period, “doth not yet appear,” so I embrace the opportunity of sending out mail to inform you of our whereabouts, and how we got here. My last was written from our camp near East Point, Georgia, three miles below Atlanta, where we were resting from the effects of our arduous struggle for the possession of the “Gate City.” The present epistle is constructed beneath the showdown of the famous Lookout Mountain range.
On the 3d day of October, orders were received to prepare for a match in search of Hood’s army, and to protect the railroad threatened by them in our rear. At 5 o’clock next morning, amid darkness, rain and mud, we began our march, passing round the west side of the city, among the works built and the ground fought over by our division in August, crossed the Chattahoochie river near the railroad bridge which was carried away in the center by a late flood, taking position for the night behind a line of old rebel works, five miles from Marietta, having marched some twenty miles, all hands being thoroughly tired and generally foot-sore.
On the 5th we crossed through the woods until we reached another line of old works, two miles southwest of Marietta, where the 17th Army Corps was at once formed into line behind them for the night, from whence they made a furious onslaught upon divers and sundry chesnut [sic] trees, filling the woods with the sound of chopping and falling trees. Here we remained until the 9th inst., while other portions of the army endeavored to pass beyond the rebel force engaged in the destruction of the railroad beyond Kenesaw [sic] Mountain, to relieve the garrisons along the road, and, if possible, drive the enemy back upon us, where we stood ready to “welcome them with bloody hands to hospitable graves.” We halted for the night near Big Shanty, having passed through Marietta, our lines around Kenesaw [sic], and the ground fought over by us in June.
Three companies of our regiment were sent to build railroad, on the 10th inst., and at night our corps marched to Ackworth, reaching it about 4 o’clock in the morning. After resting and breakfasting, we again started forward, camping one mile from Centersville that night, passing through Allatoona, and past miles of damaged railroad, and a lonely locomotive resting on its side, its bell alone responsive to the curiosity of the inquisitive crowd.
We marched through Cassville and Kingston, and passed the night of the 12th inst. half-way between the latter place and Rome, receiving a large quantity of mail just sent down from Chattanooga, where it had been collecting for weeks. During this day and the next our forces had heavy skirmishes with the rebels near Rome, taking two guns and many prisoners.
Toward night of the 13th our army again began to move, crossing the country toward Adairsville, off the Chattanooga & Atlanta Railroad, over a rough, stony and swampy tract, toiling for many hours in the arduous attempt, rendered doubly so by dense woods and a cloudy sky. At this place our regiment was detailed as guard for our wagon train, and left here on the 15th inst. in charge thereof, passing through Calhoun and reaching Resaca about 11:30 P. M.
On the 16th inst. we marched through Snake Creek Gap, Villanow [Georgia], a city of one church and several trees, going into camp about midnight, having marched some 16 miles. We rejoined our brigade on the 1t7h inst., laid in camp until 9:30 P. M., and then marched over Taylor’s Ridge, crossing it at Devil’s Pass, a place not very inappropriately named, and passed the rest of the night in the woods close by.
At 7:30 on the morning of the 18th we pulled out, and soon reached the neighborhood of Lafayette ; turning to the left we marched down the valley, the boys finding plenty of sorghum to chew and a few porkers to eat. We crossed several ridges during the day, and having marched 18 miles, camped on Chattooga creek, where sweet potatoes most abound, and on which the boys gaily feasted.
Next day we passed through Somerville and Alpine, 10 miles further on ; crossing another ridge and going down the valley and through the village of Shinbone on the 20h, camping near a large sorghum patch, which speedily disappeared under the knives and teeth of the hungry soldiers, and on the 21st we moved to our present location.
An order was sent round this morning that all the non-veterans of the Army of the Tennessee whose term of service expired before the 7th of November should return at once to Chattanooga, to be regularly mustered out. Col. Bryant, Captains Stevens and Bennett, Lieut. Blackman and some 83 men of the old 12th at once prepared to leave, and started on the back-track at dark.
When the forces will move, or in what direction, is not for me to say at present.
Yours truly, W.