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 29, 2013

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

Chickasaw, Ala., Thursday, Oct. 29. We were called up long before daylight, the stars brightly shining, and all was indicative of an early move, camp fires blazing brightly in all directions, baggage wagons a-moving and orderlies flying back and forth, but our place was in the rear to-day, so we took our time. Piled all the corn my horses could eat before them, cleaned them, then shelled my nose-bags full for the march. By that time—had a splendid breakfast ready of fresh meat, sweet potatoes and fried crackers. Harnessed and hitched up by seven was on the road by 7 A. M., but as the Division train was to go ahead of us, we were delayed considerable before we got under way. Frequent and heavy booms of cannonading could be plainly heard to the east, with a distant roll of musketry, and: we knew not but we were going into a fight. But we took a road leading directly north, crossing the railroad. We marched slow, frequent halts in the fore part of the day. Our course was northwest through poor country, hilly, timbered with scrub oak and pine, the road crooked and very stony. Passed but few houses and these of the poor rickety-log kind such as a well to do farmer would not put his horse in. Clearings small, filled with stones and stumps, but generally very good corn growing, and occasionally a patch of sweet potatoes which suffered from the hands of thoughtless soldiers; but I could not think of laying hands on the small stock of the poor half-clad old women and children we saw. Halted at noon and fed, putting on our nose-bags without unhitching. The water along the road was beautiful pearly springs and pebbly brooks on every side, which was enticing to look at. (Who would ask for better beverage than this?) Reached Chickasaw—a small deserted place on the Tennessee River, by 5 P. M.; found the other brigades here. The advance arrived a little after noon, but have not yet unharnessed as they expect to cross the river. We unharnessed and fed. Stuck up our tents as it looked like rain, but we were told we would have to cross to-night. A mile below is Eastport, Miss., where a good boat is busy at work crossing over the 4th Division. Health and spirit good, but would like to get mail.

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