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

November 26, 2013

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

Mission Ridge, Thursday, Nov. 26. After we retired last night with horses unharnessed, a courier came in hot haste with the report “The enemy is coming down upon us in double columns”. We were ready to give them a warm reception on short notice, but they did not come, and again we laid down, but left the harness on. They will not catch us napping. It was a chilly, cold night and we suffered much from cold bed. But little rest during the night, and at 3 A. M. we were called up to feed, which was more of a relief than otherwise. But no man grumbled or complained as we thought of our wounded who lay on the field all night with no covering, and weak from the loss of blood. Their groans could be heard by our men all night, and the friends in rebellion would not permit them to carry relief to them or bring them in. The enemy occupied the contested ground. One, who had a brother lying on the field, started with the determination of relieving him or die in the attempt. True to his determination he was shot dead by the inhuman wretches who would not listen to his plea. Their punishment will be great.

A dense fog settled as the morning approached, so that it was impossible to discern objects two rods distant. Troops commenced pouring down the hill early. The 1st Section joined us. At first we thought it was maneuvering for the day’s battle, but the truth was soon known. The wounded pelican of the South had flown during the night, and all their boasts and threats of the re-occupation of East Tennessee has ended in a retreat. We were to go on the chase. The 11th Corps swung around on their rear and flanked their line of retreat, while the 15th Corps reached back to the Tennessee River, and crossed Chickamauga Creek on the pontoon. Halted on the bank two hours to give the advance time to cross. Grazed our horses. 10 A. M. we crossed the bridge in rear of the 1st Brigade. The infantry moved more still and quiet than usual. Thus they come but miss their comrades that fell in yesterday’s engagement. Our Division lost * * * killed and wounded. A marked change is to be seen in its ranks. Marched lively the rest of the day through the Chickamauga Valley. The troops were entirely out of rations, the infantry many of them having had nothing to eat but parched corn on which they fought for two days and intrenched by night with pick and spade. Halted at 5. P. M. an hour for supper. Shelled corn was got in plenty for horses from Secesh camp, but the boys many of them supped on corn and coffee. Artillery firing could be heard in the distance which told us that we were upon their rear.

Moved on till 9 P. M. through Chickamauga Station, where large piles of corn were in a blaze. Twelve thousand bushels of corn are said to be burned here, and a large quantity of cornmeal left of which we were lucky enough to get a good supply. The road for miles was white with meal, spilled as they ran. Caisson bodies left and several blown up. Took twenty-one howitzer shells from one of them into our chests. Came into camp in an open field in rear of the 11th Corps. Made our beds in the leaves and slept sweet till morning light.

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