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

Post image for An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones

An Artilleryman’s Diary–Jenkin Lloyd Jones

November 18, 2013

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

Sequatchie Valley, Ala., Wednesday, Nov. 18. Reveille sounded before dawn and we were ordered to prepare to march, but they knew not at what hour. All baggage that could be spared was ordered to be left with camp guard. The knapsacks were to be left, but as the cannoneers did not feel disposed to lose all of them as at Vicksburg, they all strapped them on their backs to “tote ’em”. Failed to draw but one load of forage, so a vacant wagon was left and the knapsacks packed in much to the satisfaction of all. Hitched up at 6 A. M. Marched on to the hill where the infantry were encamped. The 2nd and 3rd Brigades had started, leaving tents standing. We were in the rear and compelled to lie in the road until 2 P. M. In the meantime a large mail was distributed. I received four letters, all from home, which of course were very acceptable. Moved down to the river where our Division had been crossing all day on the pontoon. No more than four wagons allowed on at a time, hence a tedious job. 4 P. M. we moved on to it. It consists of a firm scow boat anchored every sixteen feet and stringers laid across, over which were laid twelve-foot plank. It was narrow and shaky, but a tight rein and careful driving brought us over all safe. Had to cross two of them, an island occupied by Hooker’s men in the middle of the river. Men busy at work on R. R. bridge, but not near finished. Came to a halt two miles from the river and lay there over an hour to wait for the train to cross. Large fires were built and the infantry cooked their coffee in their little cans. It was quite dark before the bugle sounded and we marched on at a brisk rate till 9 P. M. Our road lay through the Sequatchie Valley, which was pretty well under cultivation, watered by a large stream coming out of the solid rock a few yards above us, one spring furnishing water enough to run a flouring mill. A large cave was close by, which is reported to be a curiosity, thirteen miles long, out of which saltpetre is dug, but I could not visit it. Unhitched our weary and hungry horses having had nothing but two quarts of corn all day, and but a scant feed last night. Made our bed in the open air and piled in supperless.

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