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.

December 11, 2012

Reminiscences of the Civil War, William and Adelia Lyon

To Mrs. Lyon.

Dec. 11, 1862.—There is a boat between Paducah and here that has Captain Woodman on board, and it is supposed that the wives of Captain Ruger and Lieutenant Bowerman are also passengers. Mrs. Chapman, wife of the Lieut.-Col., is here. I dined with them on Tuesday on wild turkey.

I have kept you on the rack some time now concerning our expedition. Well, you see, it has not come off, and I will tell you why. Just as we were ready to start, we learned that Napier was strongly reinforced by the troops of Woodward and Forrest, with considerable artillery, and that Morgan was some fifteen miles northeast of Clarksville, and about forty miles from Fort Donelson, waiting for us to go up the river in order to pounce upon Fort Donelson and take it. His force was reported at 3,000 men, with four pieces of artillery. So, instead of starting for Waverly, we held ourselves in readiness to march to Donelson at short notice. Then, no longer ago than yesterday, General Rosecrans telegraphed us that Forrest was advancing on Fort Henry (from Waverly, I suppose), and would certainly attack us. We rather liked this, for we have here two gunboats, one carrying four and the other two heavy guns, 24-pounders, and we had also one 12-pounder, and five rifled, six-pound guns on shore; and we would fight and whip 5,000 of these fellows should they attack us here without siege guns.

Well, today one of our scouts came in from Waverly, and he reports only 500 men there under Napier, with no cannon except two 12-pounders, which they captured from one of our boats that ran aground up the Tennessee river last summer. He says that neither Forrest nor Woodward is there at all, and discredits the story that Morgan is anywhere in this section of country. As soon as Colonel Lowe can be satisfied upon the latter point, we shall move on Waverly.

Of course, we shall get no fighting, but we go to administer a little justice to a few of the rebel ringleaders in that region, and they need it badly. Were I in command I think I should make the expedition forthwith ; but Colonel Lowe is a very prudent, cautious officer—too cautious, I sometimes think—and will not move until he is assured of success. In the meantime our preparation for winter progresses finely.

In addition to our tents, we have about sixty log houses, which the boys have built, and some of them are really nice and cozy. Many of the officers have them, but I prefer a tent.

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