Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

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An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones

October 6, 2013

An Artilleryman's Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones, 6th Battery, Wisconsin Artillery.

Corinth, Tuesday, Oct. 6. Had but a very poor night’s sleep, having a terrible toothache all night, in fact the last three or four days—a decayed back tooth. If my teeth will decay as fast next year, as last, I will have to go home toothless. The cooks were called up at 3:30 A. M. and reveille at 4. Fed, harnessed, ate breakfast and immediately loaded the guns, wagons, etc. on the open cars. The horses put in the box cars with the harness on. By 8 o’clock we were all loaded, when to our surprise Captain Dillon made his appearance, having come in by the boat last night. 9 A. M. we started in two trains, infantry on top the box cars and the artillery boys stowed away on their carriages. At the same time it commenced raining and it continued all day.

Passed by Buntyn Station without stopping, but we saw where we lived during the month of January last, but our shebangs were gone.

Raleigh—we stopped here for wood and water. We recognized this as the place where we stopped the night before we reached Buntyn Station and we lay in the rain. All the road to Germantown was familiar to us. Stopped here fifteen minutes.

Collierville was our next stopping place, a large cavalry force being stationed here. One of our mules dropped off here and we passed on and left him.

Lafayette—as familiar as ever. We halted here nearly three hours. Four long trains passed us. The switch was too short so we were obliged to run up and down every train. The 66th Indiana were stationed and reported guerrillas very troublesome. The road is patrolled the whole length every two hours by cavalry, each patrol having six miles of a beat. Two reb lieutenants were in the depot, caught yesterday cutting the telegraph wires. They look like flashy desperadoes.

Started on at 1 P. M. Ran very fast thirty-seven miles from Memphis. Stockades and block houses are to be seen all along the line, some large enough to hold a regiment, but most of them are left vacant.

We passed through Moscow without stopping. The place looks decidedly better than it did when we were here before, all the dirty wood-colored houses having been burned down and the whole policed nicely.

Halted at La Grange a few minutes. This is the pleasantest place on the whole line, very elegant mansions here, several stores running and a large body of troops.

Grand Junction—forty-three miles from Memphis and forty-five miles from here to Corinth. The Mississippi Central crosses here. The last ten miles of the R. R. were very crooked. The three trains were coupled together part of the way, and they crawled like a serpent, ran very slow. Our train laid here two hours to steam and oil up, and it was dark before it started, but when once under headway it endeavored to make up for lost time, and it plunged into the darkness around curves and through cuts at a fearful rate in the condition the road was in. The carriages on the cars were loose, and they flew back and forth and were in great danger of being thrown off, which would be a fatal catastrophe.

Our next halt was at a small station twenty-nine miles from Corinth called Porter’s Creek. Took wood and water. Talked with a member of the 118th Illinois who were stationed here. He said they had seen no trace of civilization for six months. All they did was to hunt guerrillas who were very thick and very wicked.

Pocahontas—fourteen miles from Corinth. We stopped here thirty minutes. Several buildings to be seen. Tatoo sounded while here. We were now all fatigued, sleepy, hungry and cold, the rain having fallen all day, and it was quite chilly. There was no room to lie down and I sat on the foot-board of the limber and bracing myself, went to sleep, but it was broken. I dreamt of a warm room and a comfortable bed (tantalizing dream that). I was next conscious at Corinth, where we halted, but we supposed we were going right along. I crawled under the caisson and fell asleep with no covering save my overcoat and poncho. Woke up at midnight chilled through. Found us still at Corinth and fires lit on the roadside. I sat up for about half an hour and warmed, when big drops of rain commenced falling. I sought shelter under a warehouse stoop and laid down between two infantry men in a space nine inches by five feet, with my rubber over my head and slept.

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