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

Louisville, Ky., March 27th, 1863.

We did not go to Suffolk as I anticipated. The Third Division went in our stead, while we took another direction, and in eight days, by water and rail, landed in Louisville. We broke camp at Newport News on the 19th inst., marched on board a fleet of transports, went to Norfolk, where we took in coal. While lying there a heavy storm of snow set in, which lasted several hours. It was bitterly cold, or so it seemed to us, and we suffered severely. Toward night the storm abated and we sailed for Baltimore. There we were transferred to cars and came by the way of the B. & O. R. R. to Parkersburg, W. Va. From Harper’s Ferry our route followed the course of the Potomac River to Columbia, a lovely city far up among the mountains, and near the head of that river. The country from Harper’s Ferry is mountainous, and Columbia is near the dividing line, from which point the water flows in opposite directions. We were three days and three nights on the cars, winding around or darting through the rocky barriers that opposed us. For, where they could not be evaded, the energy and power of man pierced their huge forms and ran his fiery engines beneath their towering summits. There are twenty-seven tunnels on this road, twenty-five of which we passed through in the daytime. Some of the shorter ones are arched with brick, others with heavy timbers, while some are cut through solid rock and need no support. At Parkersburg our three regiments were crowded into one vessel, and away we went “down the Ohio.” We made a short stop at Cincinnati, where we received orders to report at once to Louisville, as an attack at that place was apprehended. We halted on our way through Louisville and partook of a free dinner, prepared for us by the loyal ladies of that city. Soft bread, potatoes, boiled ham, cakes and hot coffee were served us till all were filled (and many a haversack was also filled), when we gave three cheers and a tiger for the generous donors.

We found much excitement, as bands of guerillas came within six miles of the city the night before, conscripting men and confiscating horses and other supplies.

We stole a march on the Johnnies in coming here, they having notified the citizens that they would breakfast with them on the morning of our arrival, and when they—the citizens—saw their streets filled with soldiers, they thought the promise about to be fulfilled, but the Stars and Stripes soon undeceived them. Here our brigade was divided, the Eighth Michigan and Seventy-ninth New York going to Lebanon, the Seventeenth and Twentieth Michigan remaining at this place.

Previous post:

Next post: