RECOLLECTOR Newsletter from Sebewa; Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI.
SURNAMES: BROWN, LIVINGSTON, GUY, RUSSMAN, POHL, THELEN, SCHNEIDER, FEDEWA, SIMON, NAHRGANG, BARTON, BAILEY, LIPPENCOTT, GOODWIN, PIFER, BYER, BRZEZINSKI, VROMAN, KUKLEWSKI, CALENDER, REED, GALLANDT, MEGGS, DAVISON, GORSUCH, HARWOOD, CHIEF COBMOSSA, CAMPAU, CU-CUB-BAH-MOO-SA, SHAY, FAHRNI, STANNARD, WHITE, CAHOON, GOULD, EATON, McCAUL
MARIAN F. BARTON BROWN, 88, widow of Burton BROWN, mother of Jan LIVINGSTON, James BROWN, Joan GUY, Joel BROWN, Jerrold BROWN and his twin JEFFERY who is deceased, Bill BROWN, Anne RUSSMAN, Tom, Chris, Jon, Brian and Mike BROWN in order of birth, stepsister to Linus POHL, Anna THELEN, Florence THELEN, Agnes SCHNEIDER, Janet FEDEWA and Mary SIMON, daughter of Rose NAHRGANG & William O. BARTON.
Bill BARTON and his brother Jay had BARTON Brothers International Harvester dealership in the cement block building which they built of blocks made on the job. They sold out to SPITZLEY’S Westphalia Hardware; they sold to ZERPHAS, they sold to WEBERTS, who moved the business, and the sold to SANDBORNS. The BARTON Brothers Building was torn down to make parking for the new city hall.
William BARTON was elected Treasurer of Portland Village in 1916. Bill & Rose lived on SMITH St. between Brush & Academy, next north of Dan WATSON’S cement block house. Besides raising this large family, Marian was a farmer all her life in Orange, Danby, and Portland Townships, coming to KNOX’S Portland Elevator with bags of grain for cow feed on a small trailer, in the trunk, and on the front fenders of her car every week, even a week before her twins were born. She camped at Ionia Free Fair for over 50 years, with her kids and grandkids in 4-H and music groups. Marian BARTON BROWN was Portland Homecoming Queen in 1936, when the new Grand River Bridge on US-16 was dedicated in a two-day celebration.
She is buried in Sunset Memorial Gardens, Ionia.
CLARENCE G. (MICKEY) BAILEY, 81, widower of Beth LIPPENCOTT BAILEY, husband of Esther GOODWIN BAILEY, father of Michael BAILEY, brother of Dorothy PIFER, son of Minnie Pearl BYER and Gorma BAILEY. Born in Huntington, West Virginia, Mickey served in the US Army in WW II, farmed in Upper Michigan and then in Sebewa, first on the Howard KNAPP farm and then his own land on SHILTON Road.
Besides raising hogs, he drove truck for Sid BROWN and BARLEY-EARHART Corporation. He traveled to Alaska, Hawaii, many other places in the United States and Canada in his pickup camper, and wintered in Florida. Mickey had the ability to take a brand new pickup and make the muffler sound like a straight pipe.
He is buried in East Sebewa Cemetery.
THOMAS L. BRZEZINSKI, 53, husband of Kristi VROMAN BRZEZINSKI, father of Clint BRZEZINSKI and Natasha VROMAN, brother of George and Jim BRZEZINSKI, Joyce KUKLEWSKI and Kathi CALENDER, son of Catherine and the late George BRZEZINSKI, son-in-law of Nancy and George VROMAN.
His ashes are buried in Portland Cemetery.
PAUL S. REED, 80, husband of Shirley GALLANDT REED, father of Paul Jr., Scott, Christopher, James and Clark REED and Sally MEGGS, brother of Robert REED, Mrs. Edward DAVISON, and the late Thomas G. and Walter A. REED, Jr., son of Uarda GORSUCH & Walter A. REED, son of Clara HARWOOD & Thomas HOSEA (Hosey) REED, who homesteaded on 40 acres at SW ¼ SW ¼ Sec 7 Sebewa Township before 1891 and increased it to include NW ¼ Sec 18 and totaling more than 220 acres and who have a baby daughter Lennie buried in West Sebewa Cemetery. The HARWOOD family settled in north Berlin Township before 1860, probably in the 1840s.
Paul served in the US Navy in WW II as a hospital corpsman in the Okinawa campaign. He worked his way up to president in the family businesses, Lake Odessa Canning Co., and REED-JOHNSON Cold Storage Co.
They retired to Green Valley, AZ, and he is buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Lake Odessa.
MORE HISTORY OF BOSTON TOWNSHIP:
Printing of a Mystery Farm photo of the Bruce FAHRNI farm on Portland Road in the IONIA COUNTY NEWS on December 5, 1957, attracted the following story from the late Wilbur YOUNG, whose centennial farm was located across the road:
Jeremiah STANNARD, his wife, a great-great aunt of the FAHRNIS, and son Abial, came from the East and acquired about 400 acres in 1836. They found temporary lodging at the Timothy WHITE cabin. This is the present Jessie CAHOON farm on US-16, just west of the South Boston Cemetery. Mrs. CAHOON is WHITE’S great-granddaughter. Nineteen people were too many for a one-room cabin and Mrs. STANNARD declared she wanted a house of her own, even if it was only a bark shanty. So the family built a bark shanty on the Kalamazoo-Saginaw Indian Trail and occupied it for a few days until their log house was ready nearby. The foundation stones of this house are still visible (in 1957) and the TUCKER-FAHRNI line fence cuts this building site in half.
When the fire in the fireplace would go out, the boy, Abial, would have to walk (northeast) on the Indian Trail to Moses GOULD’S farm, later the Otis EATON farm, (north side of Grand River Avenue near GOULD Road) to borrow fire. This trail (an extension of GOULD ROAD) cuts the FAHRNI farm from northeast to southwest. It was used by pioneers in Ionia to haul wheat to Kalamazoo. Their wagon ruts are still visible in the Ken TUCKER woods after 117 years. The new US-16 (I-96) will pass about 40 rods north of the log cabin site, even closer to the wagon ruts in the trail, and will absorb the site of the pioneer school. (Doris (Mrs. BURTON) McCAUL is a sister of Bruce.)
FRONT PAGE PHOTOS: COBMOOSA HOUSE, 803 N. WASHINGTON, LOWELL, MICHIGAN.
CHIEF COBMOSSA UPDATE to our story of April 2004, Vol. 39, No. 5; Our cover photos show the home of COBMOOSA’S daughter at 803 N. Washington Street in Lowell, where he often visited. The house retains its mid-1800s Federalist Style appearance, except for the addition of a window air-conditioner, porch-light, and chain-link fence.
Further information about COBMOOSA comes to us by way of the Ionia County Genealogical Society from “Lowell: 100 Years of History. 1831-1931”.
In the year 1765 there came from Montreal to the Rapids of Grand River, a French voyageur by the name of Antoine CAMPAU. He woed, won and wed Indian style by just living together with the beautiful daughter of the chief. The result of this union was a son born in 1768.
His name as a boy is not known. But when a grown man he had a dream and saw a ghost or phantom bear, which he followed to the source of the Grand River, thence north to the head waters of the Muskegon River and down to its mouth, then followed the lake shore to the mouth of the Grand River and back home in one day and night (supposedly). So he was given the name Cub-bah-moo-sa, the great walker. At the first treaty with the United States in 1855, he signed by his mark Cu-cub-bah-moo-sa, the great chief.
He seems to have lived at different places along the Grand River, The Rapids, Ionia, and at Lowell. He had four wives, eleven sons and three daughters, also an orphan girl, Negonce, left by his oldest son, Gaw-ge.
His first wife, Ah-da-wah-ga, had four sons, namely Gaw-ge, Wab-sho-gun, Shaw-bo-e and O-gee-moss.
Second wife, Ah-da-go-wem-on, had one son, Ah-mah-bes, and one daughter, Ah-bow-e-na.
Third wife, Ma-sena-be-qua had three sons, Aush-kah-mah-ga, Antoine and Cogz-he-sa, and one daughter, Was-sa-yah, mother of Rodney Negake.
Fourth wife, Ah-ne-me-ga, had three sons, Mash-she-ba, Cha-way-gosh-gun and Henry Mau-bese, father of Jacob WALKER, and one daughter, Say-sa-gah, mother of Solomon BAILEY.
By the treaty of 1855, the Indians ceded all lands of Grand River Valley and all other valleys north to the Straits, in exchange for farms in eight townships in northwestern Michigan. The principal ones were townships 15, 16, 17 and 18 north by range 16 west in Oceana and Mason Counties. Each family was given eighty acres, and each single person forty acres, plus many valuable considerations.
On the northeast corner of Section 27 of Elbridge Township, Oceana County, by the Cob-moo-sa Schoolhouse built in 1860 by the U. S. Government for the Indians, under large maple trees, stands a beautiful monument erected by the D. A. R. of Ionia and the people of this neighborhood. It was unveiled June 26, 1927, by two great-great-granddaughter of Cob-moo-sa, witnessed by an audience of eight hundred Indians and white people, who enjoyed a picnic dinner and a splendid program. Many of Cob-moo-sa’s descendants were there and took part in the program, the last number of which was a song in Indian language, “The End of a Perfect Day” by four of his great-grandchildren. END
EPHRAIM SHAY’S DIARY 1861 – 1863 Continued narrative during his service in the Civil War):
Friday March 7th – the REED (ship) came for Lyman, went up the river a few miles and took up stand to await further orders on the 23rd Indiana from the west shore, then crossed the river and took on the 24th Indiana from the east bank. Saturday 8th – returned to fort Henry and coaled up, then went about 4 miles up the river and tied up alongside the SB (steamboat) JJ ROE, which had on it the 8th Missouri & 11th Indiana, plus balance of the 1st Brigade 3rd Division.
Sunday 9th – remained at the landing. Monday 10th – about 10 AM started for “Secessia”. JJ ROE and TELEGRAPH NO. 3 arrived together at Savanna about 6 o’clock on Tuesday 11th. Wednesday 12th – in the evening went about 4 miles up the river to CRUMPS Landing and there the 1st Brigade disembarked and went out 4 miles in the country, laying in wait for the enemy cavalry. In the meantime some had been sent out to the R. R. bridges to destroy them. Rained hard all the later part of the night. Very wet and muddy boys came on board again on Thursday evening 13th.
Friday 14th – remained on board. Saturday 15th through Saturday 22nd – spent in getting off the good from the boats. QM stores did not come off until 18th. 22nd we are now getting ready for a march and from what I hear, I judge Memphis our destination. Sunday 23rd thru Thursday 27th – attending to business, but very little work. Forage for the different Regts is now drawn from Lyman, he being Division QM, and it is useless trouble to handle papers over so many times. Today I, not having anything else to do, went out to see a horse race. An unlucky accident happened by which a horse was killed and a man bruised considerably. One party of the race could not find any ground inside the picket line, and while waiting at the line for the proper authority to pass, Dr. PETERSON and one of the parties of the race concluded to try the speed of the horses. They went off a reasonable distance and came up in good style, but as they arrived at the line, the Dr. P. horse being headstrong, bolted on and would not stop. The sentinel, a Lieut. of the picket, grasped his gun and in stopping the horse, ran the bayonet into him, causing the horse to throw the Dr. bruising him considerably. The horse will die most probably.
Genl WALLACE came up and went out with us to view the countryside. Everything passed off very well and we saw the ruins of a Cotton Gin which was burnt by the rebels I believe. Friday 28th through Sunday 30th – at our work. Today the 2nd Brigade left camp for a march in the country, their destination unknown to me. Monday 31st – issued grain & hay to all the Regts of our Brigade. Tuesday April 1st – cannonading heard up the river, considerable talk of a fight soon. Yesterday 100 deserters from the enemy came into Pittsburgh, a small town about 4 miles above here. They report 80,000 Secesh marching to meet us. Very warm, pleasant weather this morning, the sky is a little smoky and resembles Indian Summer in the Eastern States.
Wednesday & Thursday April 2nd & 3rd – very warm and pleasant, on the 2nd I went from QM Dept back to my Co. They had acted as A. C. S. (Army Central Supply) and needed several clerks, but now some have to return to their Cos. I hear cannon in the direction of Pittsburg. I think it is firing at the review or possibly the gunboats are practicing a certain distance. Answered a letter from Kate & Ophelia yesterday, answered one from Priscilla and one from Jane today. Friday, April 4th, rested and ready.
Saturday April 5th – 12 AM received orders to be ready to march in one hour. Very cold, commenced to rain hard, accompanied with heavy thunder. Marched through mud and rain until daylight. When we arrived at Adamsville, rain ceased and wind turned to NW, blowing cold. About 4 PM returned to Crumps Landing. Sunday April 6th – about 2 AM enemy attacked our forces at Pittsburg, at 8 AM cannonading commenced. Before noon orders came to be ready to march in 20 minutes. Left at 12, marched by circuitous route to the rear of the enemy, when we received orders to retrace our steps and come in by the river, which we did.
Arrived at the scene of action as dusk, but not in time to participate. Formed a line of battle and slept in arms all night. A drenching rain wet us thoroughly. The gun boat kept up a continued firing all night, doing much damage to the enemy. At daylight Monday, April 7th, we were in line of battle and as soon as our skirmishers ascertained their position, we opened fire on them. Our battery (9th Indiana) soon drove them from their position, dismounting one of their guns. When our line advanced over the ravine and up a hill, taking position they had just left. Our skirmishers then advanced, and getting our batteries (9th Indiana & Buel’s) in position, gave them a heavy fire.
They returned it with vigor, and as our infantry and battery were in an open field while others were sheltered by a ravine, they gave us a galling fire. As we were supporting our batteries, the cannon balls, shells, etc. could easily be seen flying by among our men and busting over us. Every moment some person could be seen writhing with pain as a shell would strike them.
After lying in this position for half an hour, my Regt were ordered into a vavine close to the enemy. Going there we were exposed to a raking fire, but the enemy did not get our range accurately enough to do us much damage. Only one rifled cannon ball passed through our ranks. It passed a few feet to the left of where I was and struck in a Co. on the left, the Battallion which was at this time marching to the left. After reaching the ravine we were comparatively safe from the enemy’s shot. One of our batteries (Buel’s) kept firing over us. Once or twice their shell burst so close to us as to wound some of our men.
A Regt of their cavalry, seeing our battery somewhat exposed, thought to charge & take it, but on their coming to the ravine my Regt delivered such a galling fire as to send them back without firing hardly a shot. They left their Col. And 15 in 20 men dead. After about an hour’s hard fighting, the enemy again commenced to retreat, but disputing every inch of the ground.
We followed them up closely, they making a retreating fight for over a mile, when their batteries commenced to play on us, which halted us. Here we had a desperate encounter. The Division on our left falling back gave the enemy a flank movement on us, but we merely changed our front and held our ground. Here Col SMITH, our Acting Brigadier General, showed Generalship. Genl Lewis WALLACE gave him orders to fall back, but SMITH knowing it would give the enemy confidence, requested he let him have 20 minutes to fulfill his order, which Genl WALLACE granted. SMITH then sent word to a Col of the 11th Indiana to hold his ground and he would send him another Regt if necessary, which he did. He then told us to raise a yell and give three cheers as if we were giving reinforcements, which we did, and it had the desired effect, the enemy retreated.
The enemy commenced to fall back and in less than half an hour we completely routed them. We followed them for over a mile, when finding them in full retreat, we gave up the chase to the cavalry and returned to good camping ground, formed a line of battle and rested from the fatigue of the day. From 5 AM until 4 PM had been one incessant fire. At times the rattle of musketry and booming of cannon seemed to jar the earth, or rather the heavens and earth seemed coming together. The heaviest peals of thunder I ever heard were slight sounds compared with what I heard during the fight.
Tuesday April 8th – rained all night. This morning some Regts commenced to fire off their guns to put them in order, when the alarm of “the enemy is coming” created quite a panic among some green Ohio Regts in the rear, many breaking ranks and running as for life, a very disgraceful act. I blame their officers more than the men, as no well disciplined Regt would run before seeing the enemy. I went over the battlefield today, or part of it. I never imagined how horrible it is to see men killed by shot and shell. All the corpses were bloody, many so disfigured as to look little like a man. Some were burnt horribly by the leaves near them getting set fire by the shell. This is the second battlefield I have viewed and I hope it may be the last.
When I stood looking at old and young men laying cold in death by violent means, I could not but try to answer the questions of who is the cause of this wholesale murder. Certainly there must be a cause, for where any effect ever was produced, there always has been a cause, and an effect so awful as this one must be caused by some great reason.
I think and know that mankind cannot exist without war, and since its effect is so terrible and linked with so much misery, I cannot tell why they do not stop it. Here are thousands and thousands of human beings, men in the prime of life and possessed if ever they can be with good judgment. Enduring all the hardships of a soldier’s life, causing anxiety among friends & connexions at home, and what for? To cause still greater misery by killing each other, leaving friends, wives & children at home without anyone to protect them. I wonder I ever joined the army. The many call it brave and patriotic to go to war. I begin to think it foolish and unwise.
Wednesday April 9th – rained nearly all night. Our Regt not having tents with us, got wet thoroughly. A rumor comes that the enemy are approaching, but is not credited. I was sergeant of the picket last night. Thursday April 10th – Sgt Peaslee and myself walked over the battlefield. Saw many places where some of our comrades fell. Details of men were busy burying dead. This is the third day occupied in burying and still many are yet unburied. Were many places where the trees and brush were nearly all torn to pieces. I counted 110 balls in one tree, put there by the Union troops. Did not count the opposite side where Secesh were firing.
Friday 11th – rain, I went to the 65th Ohio, found one man from the Co. where my friends serve, heard of more acquaintances in the 3rd Cavalry. Saturday 12th – a national salute was fired at the levee this morning. Also a salute of 15 guns for Major Genl. HALLECK. Sunday 13th – the excitement of the past week ended, I went out early this morning and shot a beef, which my comrades helped fetch in for the Co. At 12 all Regts of our Brigade fell in and Col SMITH read an order from Genl STEINTEN to the effect that a prayer of thanksgiving should be given for the many recent victories of the Union Army. Our Chaplin performed the services.
Monday April 14th – went through the usual routine of camp equipage. Tuesday 15th – moved from riverbank. Wednesday 16th – moved our camp out to the picket line. Thursday 17th – washed clothes, etc. Friday 18th – for the past two mornings we have formed line of battle at 4 AM to prevent being surprised by Secesh. Different Brigades and Divisions keep moving towards the enemy, taking positions in line of battle within supporting distance of troops in the rear. Many rumors in camp, one that the left wing of McCLELLAND’S army is at Memphis, another that Genl MITCHELL is at Huntsville in possession of the Memphis and Charleston R.R. Also that he has captured several locomotives and many cars. He has destroyed the R.R. bridge at Decator, for we saw pieces of it floating down the river, some of them on fire. I don’t credit all the rumors, but there is some reason to believe some of them.
Saturday April 19th – in camp all day, very rainy. Sunday 20th – In camp, rainy, a detail went to a swamp in our front to build a bridge across it. Monday 21st – rainy, I went over to Secesh Hospital. Tuesday 22nd – clear day, sun very warm, made out papers for SCHLEIGH, SAMUELS & SPAINHEURS – descriptive lists, they being sick and circumstances rendering it necessary for them to be sent where they may receive proper medical treatment. In afternoon had grand review of our Brigade before Genl. Wednesday 23rd – very pleasant. I made out descriptive list for Sgt MARSH, wrote a letter to Priscilla, and clothing accounts for Co.
Thursday April 24th – orders came last night to be ready to march at 6 AM today. At 4 AM fell in line of battle, stacked arms and cooked our rations. At 6 we left camp for the place of meeting. When all four Regts were ready, we started to reconnoiter the position of the enemy, took with us two pieces of artillery, went on the Corinth road. Found the enemy’s advance picket only about a mile from ours. Drove them in four miles, where we met a reserve picket numbering about 400. They fired a few rounds at us, then we opened on them with artillery, driving them from their camps with no loss on our side.
The enemy’s loss was not ascertained, as we did not follow them. We burnt their tents and commissary stores, took ten prisoners. We could see their new camps in the distance, but returned to our camp at 5:30 PM. Other Regts came out to hold the position we gained. Tonight our whole Brigade have orders to be ready to march at 6 AM tomorrow, with two days’ provisions in our haversacks. I guess an advance is to be made, having in view the taking or dispensing of the rebels at Corinth. It is now 18 hours since I got up this morning and I have been at work all the while getting things prepared for marching or actually marching, and doing the part allotted me in driving out the rebels. I am very tired and should retire immediately. This is a warm evening, a shower is seen passing in the northwest. I hope it will not rain here, as the roads are now good.
All along the line of march today were seen the clothing, cooking utensils, wagons, ammunition, caissons, etc. of the rebels, thrown away in their retreat from the recent battle here at Pittsburg Landing. Had we only a few fresh troops to have followed them at the end of the fight on Monday the 7th, their retreat would have been a perfect rout and many prisoners would have been taken. Genl SMITH of Genl HALLECK’S staff conducted reconnaissance today. I judge the information gained is satisfactory.
Friday April 25th – it is now 10 PM. It was rainy this morning when we started about 7 AM, marched out to within a short distance of Perdy. Acting Brigadier WOOD was at Perdy and news came to us that he needed reinforcements. It was a tiresome march. Sunday 27th – a pleasant day. Inspection in morning, Meeting in afternoon. Monday 28th – left camp with three days’ rations, took road for Perdy, went out six miles and encamped for night. Tuesday 29th – a large force of Cavalry (perhaps 2000) left our camp about 1 AM and went to the R.R. beyond Perdy and destroyed two R.R. bridges, captured a locomotive which had left its train a few miles back to see if the bridges were safe. They tore up the track for a long distance, run the locomotive off, and brought in engineer, fireman & horsemen as prisoners, also a Lieut found in Purdy. Wednesday 30th – returned to camp and mustered for pay, I received two letters from Jay and one from Kate (his cousin on the SHAY side down in Ohio) saying Grandma (SHAY) is dead. She died on Friday night, April 18th, at 10 PM. Funeral was at Hainsville (Ohio) Church on Sunday. Text was Revelations 14th chapter 13th verse. She was confined to her bed but one week. How I wish I might have seen her once more. It will seem so lonesome not to see her when I go back, if I ever do. My best friend, one who has done more to mould my character than anyone else, not excepting my parents, is no more. To mourn her would be wrong; she is now in the land of happiness. What a pleasant meeting must her and Grandfather have had.
Thursday May 1st – making out muster rolls, did not work at them very hard, took my time. Friday 2nd – still at work leisurely on muster rolls, can finish them in a few minutes when once at them. Weather is very pleasant, woods are thick with leaves, cherries are the size of peas already, other vegetation in proportion. Saturday 3rd – did some company writing, had Brigade Drill, received Orders to be ready to march at 8 o’clock tomorrow morning. Sunday 4th – marched according to orders, commenced raining about noon, wet us completely and made the roads near impassable. I think this country can furnish as much water upon as short notice as any I ever saw, but it does not last long. Monday 5th – rained all night and only stopped by noon today. Tuesday 6th – busy with camp duties. Wednesday 7th – made out descriptive roll for Al B., did other company writing. I have been quite under the weather, but continue to do duty. Thursday 8th – did some company writing, a rumor in camp that the enemy were about making trouble, staked our arms in the color line, but no orders to march and we gave up hopes of an engagement today.
Friday 9th – did no duty today, quite unwell. Papers state that the rebels have evacuated Yorktown and that McCLELLAND is in hot pursuit. Saturday 10th – still unfit for duty. Sunday 11th – papers confirm the evacuation of Yorktown and give details. Monday 12th – feel much better, will return to duty. News in camp today that Norfolk is taken and the Merrimac blown up. The news is well authenticated. Success is crowning our arms beyond expectations, hardly time elapses from exulting over one victory when another is published. Surely the Secesh must be at a discount. A rumor is in camp that Genl HALLECK received orders from the War Dept. that he should not bring on an engagement unless attacked, until further orders. Such news has a color of peace, possibly an Armistice. I do not credit it however, but expect a battle here just as soon as Genl HALLECK deems it advisable.
Tuesday May 13th – at about 10 AM we received orders to be ready to move camp on front, as our Regt was transferred to Genl SHERMAN’S Division. Marched as ordered at 2 PM, bivouacked on the front line. Wednesday 14th – awoke early and had breakfast, to be ready in case of an attack at daylight, skirmishing going on all the while. Secesh tried to destroy a bridge on the picket line, whereupon we opened fire on them with two pieces of cannon, driving them back. At dusk Genl SMITH (our Col. acting as Brigadier) took us out with him to ascertain the result of the firing, returned at 9 PM. While out could hear drums beating in Corinth. Thursday 15th – in fighting order bright and early, pickets still keep up skirmish.
Friday 16th – yesterday & today building rifle pits in front of camp. Saturday 17th – since coming to the front, we go on picket duty a Company at a time, C. D’s turn being this morning. Pickets still skirmishing. Genl SMITH took out our Regt to drive the Secesh back, the balance of the Brigade supporting us. On our coming to the bridge, the Secesh opened fire on us, whereupon four Cos. Were deployed, making a line a half mile in length, against which was a whole Brigade of Secesh. Against such odds slow progress was made, but in a little while we drove them from the hill and chased them to their rifle pits. Our loss was heavy, being one man of every ten in the Regt and one of every six actually engaged in firing, either killed or wounded (4 wounded and 9 killed).
Sunday May 18th – Co D still on picket, enemy have fired but little today, firing is down among the other Divisions also. Monday 19th – relieved from picket duty this morning, orders to be ready to march with rations at a moment’s notice, answered a letter from Jim and one from Priscilla today. Tuesday 20th – heavy thunderstorm last night, orders this morning to be ready to march at a moment’s notice with rations for two days. Pickets still skirmishing. A report in came that the heavy firing, etc., heard in the enemy’s camp yesterday was caused by four Louisiana Regts trying to break through their own line to give themselves up, but were fired upon by their own men and overpowered.
The same thing occurred a few days ago; two Regts, I do not remember their names, tried to escape to our lines but were fired upon by their pickets. Our advance men, hearing the firing, interfered, bringing back sixty prisoners, most of them from the Regts trying to escape. Their dissatisfaction is caused principally by Genl LOVEL’S cowardly act of deserting New Orleans on the approach of the Federal fleet. Deserters say that if we begin to fight now, we will have a hard time, but to give them a little more time and they will whip themselves.
Wednesday May 21st – our division advanced and very silently got our cannon in position. We then commenced to throw up fortifications and by night had the principal parts done. Thursday 22nd – finished our line of defense, pickets exchanging shots at intervals all day. Friday 23rd – were called in line several times, our pickets advancing drove the enemy back some. Thought an engagement was about to be had, but the enemy fell back and remained quiet, save for the occasional firing from zealots, answered if everything was quiet, but little firing among the pickets.
Saturday May 24th – some preparations clearly indicate the near approach of a battle. I went out on picket line, had a view of Secesh, heard bullets whistle too close for comfort. Sunday 25th – pickets gave an alarm at daybreak, did not amount to anything serious. Regt received new guns today, the Minnie rifle. Received and answered a letter from Kate. TO BE CONTINUED.
Last update November 10, 2013