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

Post image for Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon.

Reminiscences of the Civil War by William and Adelia Lyon.

October 11, 2013

Reminiscences of the Civil War, William and Adelia Lyon

Colonel Lyons.


Stevenson, Ala., Sun. P. M., Oct. 11th, 1863.—We have been cut off from the United States for several days. The first train came through from Nashville last night. We were all out of forage and rations were running unpleasantly low. Now we have large quantities of supplies, or will have immediately. I think our communications are comparatively safe, General Hooker having used every possible precaution against further interruption. We have an additional brigade here of General Hooker’s command, but I am still left in command of the post.

General Hooker came yesterday and asked me if I belonged to General Morgan’s Division. I answered in the negative. He replied that he was glad of it, because he had orders to send Gen. Morgan’s command to Anderson’s Cross Roads, twenty miles this side of Chattanooga. Gen. Morgan left this morning, but only goes to Battle Creek, 16 or 18 miles from here on the river

The presence of Gen. Hooker here does not relieve me from any of my labors or responsibilities, for he does not interfere at all in the management of the post.

Those Virginia troops did not get here a day too soon. The rebels sent a large force of cavalry and artillery to cut the railroad in our rear, expecting to do it before those troops got here. We learn that it was their intention to keep on this way, destroying the railroad and the supplies at this place, scattering the forces guarding the road, which they were strong enough to do; but when they got to the railroad they found so large a force in their neighborhood that they did but comparatively little mischief and hurried on. Our cavalry were in close pursuit of them, and on Thursday last overhauled and repulsed them at Shelbyville, killing, wounding and capturing several hundred.

So you see a protecting Providence has saved us once more from a great peril. We are now safe from any mere raid. Nothing less than an army has any business on this side of the Tennessee river.

All the troops which were left behind when Gen. Rosecrans advanced from Murfreesboro in June were organized into what is called the ‘Reserve Corps.’ This corps is divided into three divisions, the first commanded by Gen. Steadman, the second by Gen. Morgan, and the third by Brigadier-General R. S. Granger, the whole under command of Major-General Gordon Granger. We are in the 1st Brigade of the Third Division.

The Reserve Corps numbers some 25,000 men, 8,000 of whom—from the 1st and 2nd Divisions, were in the Chickamaugua battles. The Corps is badly scattered and I think will be reorganized. Our brigade is strung all the way from Ft. Donelson to Stevenson. We are nearest the front of any regiment of our division.

Gen. Rosecrans has made his position at Chattanooga too strong for the rebels to attack him, and they will hardly attempt to cross the Tennessee river with our army there. Oh! for 50,000 more men, and the rebellion would be crushed in the West in ninety days; but the men are not here and we must do the best we can.

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