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

Lebanon, April 13th, 1863.

We have lost our favorite commander, Brigadier General Poe. He is promoted to captain in the regular service, and delivered his farewell address early yesterday morning. He has won the confidence and esteem of every man in the brigade, and they deeply regret his loss. It was his disobedience of orders that saved the First Brigade from slaughter at Fredericksburg. His disobedience led to his promotion. In appearance he is just the man I would select from among a thousand for a bandit chief.

We had a riffle of excitement yesterday in camp. Early in the morning the Eighteenth and Twenty-second Michigan Regiments were ordered to leave for Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The officers of these regiments, in common with others, have employed negroes as servants. Kentucky is violently opposed to the President’s Emancipation Proclamation. Here was a fine opportunity for a Kentucky General to show the “Abolitionists” that his state was not included in that pronunciamento. As the Eighteenth was about to board the cars, General Manson, commander of this post, ordered them to halt and deliver up all negroes in the regiment. Upon inquiry it was found that all, except one, were Kentucky negroes, and were given up. This did not satisfy; he must have the free man also. The Sixteenth Kentucky Infantry and the Twelfth Kentucky Cavalry are doing post duty here. These General Manson ordered to form in line of battle, and again demanded the surrender of the negro. But Michigan was not to be intimidated. Colonel Doolittle resolutely refused, formed his men for battle with loaded guns and fixed bayonets, and defiantly bade the Kentuckian to “come and take him.” Not caring to attack with only two to one, General Manson sent for the Seventy-ninth New York to come and help him, but the gallant Colonel of that regimnet replied: “I am not fighting Michigan men.” In the meantime General Burnside had been telegraphed for orders. He replied: “I have nothing to do with it.” Colonel Doolittle then telegraphed the War Department, and is now awaiting orders. The Eighteenth lay with their arms beside them all last night, apprehensive of an attack. They kept the negro.

We have a fine camping ground, nearly as good as at Newport News. The brigade is encamped in the form of a square. There is a spring of water in the center. In our front is the City of Lebanon, a place nearly as large as Jackson, and old enough in appearance to have been built in the middle ages. On our right and left are splendid farms, on which negro slaves are busily engaged plowing and planting. In our rear is a piece of timber from which we supply ourselves with fuel. We have thickly planted the borders of our streets with evergreen trees, which not only gives our camp a picturesque appearance, but affords a comfortable shade these hot, sultry days.

Our stay here depends entirely on the movements of the Rebels. We are here to protect the loyal people of Kentucky from guerillas; also to support Rosencrans should his rear be threatened by way of Cumberland Gap. The Ninth Corps is separated into fragments; the Third Division is in Virginia; the First and Second are in Kentucky, a brigade in a place, but so situated they can be quickly concentrated at a given point. Doubtless it is pleasant, this lying in camp with nothing to do but drill and play ball, which is all the rage just now, but it is not satisfying. It may do for regulars, who have so long a time to serve, but for volunteers who enlisted to do a given amount of work, would like to do that work and go home to their families.

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