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Military Quotes

There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell.

-- General William T. Sherman

Civil War AUGUST 1, 1861.—Believing the people of the South to be engaged in a just cause, defending the inalienable rights of American freemen, and that principle in the Declaration of Independence which asserts that "all governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed," and that the States are acting by the authority and in the strength of their reserved rights, I am with them.

Their principles are mine; I endorse their course, and engage my life and sacred honor to sustain their action. "Live or die, sink or swim," I am with them-willing to test my faith on the march, the battlefield, or in the gloomy prison. If we fail, we will at least have made a stand for the rights and liberties transmitted by our fathers; if we succeed, those who fall will not have shed their blood in vain.

In the month of August 1861, I enlisted in the Missouri State Guards, Company "A," organized in July, near Emerson, Marion county, Mo., John W. Priest, Capt., John Hicks, First Lieut. Our regiment was commanded by Col. Martin E. Green, Joseph Porter, Lieut. Col., and Wm. Davis, Adjt.

We were at the battle of Athens, after which we remained some two or three weeks in the North-Eastern counties of the State, when we received orders to march toward the Missouri river. We broke up camp, which was near Marshall's mill, on the Fabius river, in Marion county, on the morning of September 2nd, and camped same night near Florida, Monroe county. From that point we commenced our march to Glasgow, where we joined the main body of Second Div. M. S. G., under command of Brig. General Thos. A. Harris, member of the State Legislature and author of the "Military Bill."

Here we captured the steamer Sunshine, on which we crossed the river, going into camp on the southern bank. On the 14th we fired into the steamer Sioux City, but did not succeed in taking her. Broke up camp on the 15th and proceeded by forced marches toward Lexington, camping two and a-half miles South of that place, which was then occupied by United States troops, strongly entrenched. Our forces then moved upon the enemies works and commenced an attack about 12 o'clock on the 18th. Col. Mulligan, commanding the federal troops, surrendered about 3 o'clock P. M., on the 20th. Besides arms and military stores captured, we recovered and returned near a million of dollars belonging to the Farmers' Bank at Lexington. Our loss was 70, that of the enemy, killed and wounded, 270. Our boys behaved well.

On Monday 30th, we took up the line of march and proceeded southward; on the 21st of October we halted at Neosho, Newton county, Mo., where we had several interesting sermons, one from Rev. Wm. G. Caples, and one or two from Elders Fink and Roe.

On Sunday night a member of our Company, Thomas Banks, of Marion county, died. We buried him next evening in a beautiful place, and the litle pine board which marks the spot, bears this inscription:

"T. Banks, died Oct. 27, 1861, aged 20 years."

On the 28th the Legislature in session at this place, passed the ordinance of secession. The act was received by our troops and citizens with deafening applause and firing of cannon. We left Neosho on the next day, and continued southward, passing through the towns of Newtonia and Gadfly, and also through the lead mines, on our way to Cassville, County Seat of Barry, which we reached about sunset on the 30th of Oct. It is a pretty little place about 16 miles from the Arkansas line. Here the Legislature convened, John McAfee, of Shelby county, Speaker.

On the night of the 3rd of November, our guards killed a prisoner in the act of escaping. The second command to halt being unheeded, the guard fired, and next morning the body was found a hundred yards from the spot. We left Cassville on the 7th, passing through the roughest country we have seen, large mountains on each side of the road. Reached Pineville, County Seat of McDonald county, on the 8th. Mr. Tucker, of the St. Louis "State Journal," spoke in front of Gen. Harris' head-quarters last night, and was enthusiastically applauded throughout the entire speech.

We left Pineville on Nov 16th, moving northward. Reached Sarcoxie on the 19th, went into camp about a mile and a half from town. Traveled 12 miles on the 20th, stopping near Oregon; next day went 20 miles further, passing through Greenfield, County Seat of Dade.

Commenced our march again on the 23rd, after traveling 15 miles were ordered to camp. The news was received with joy, the day being extremely cold, we were anxious to get near a fire. Dec. 4th found us still in camp near Osceola. Country pretty well cleard of forage for 10 or 15 miles around us. Capt. Priest's Company was this day detached from the regiment and placed in charge of the Ordnance Department, we being appointed Assistant Ordnance master. Waller Boulware, of Palmyra, Marion county, was taken prisoner on Dec. 5th, said he came into camp to see some friends, and the first thing he knew he was arrested, and was, we suppose, compelled to tarry longer than he expected.

Struck camp on the 19th and started back toward Springfield. When our destination was known much disappointment was manifested. We had hoped and expected that our route lay toward the Missouri river, but our forces were too weak, and we were compelled to move southward. O Missourians, if every man were at his post, this need not be! A fatal accident occurred in Gen. Rains' Division on the 21st. The caison to one of the cannons exploded, killing three men and wounding several.

Reached Springfield on the 23rd, and went into camp one and a half miles south-west of the town. Had a very hard march and were anxious to get some rest. Springfield is a beautiful place, and contains about 3000 inhabitants.

DECEMBER, 25, 1861.-To-day is what we used to call Christmas at home, sweet home, where my wife and baby are. "Do they miss me at home, do they miss me?" God bless them and give them "Merry Christmas." They little imagine how we pass our holiday Christmas! Such a Christmas, nothing to do but lie in camp-the dryest place in the world. Did get a chance to go to Springfield, and when we got there found nothing but mud and dirt, could not even buy a little thread to mend our ragged clothes. Hope this is not the sunny side of a soldier's life, but-"Cheer up boys, there's a good time coming."

Visited the city again on the 27th to get some stationery, unsuccessful-officers all busy distributing clothing. Our Division received five wagon loads, not yet given out to the men. Hundreds are leaving the army daily, say they must go home before they enlist again. They probably mean well, but if they are in earnest, it should be the other way. If Missourians would throw off the yoke they must all sacrifice home and home comforts for awhile. They leave us fewer and weaker, but we "wont give up the ship."

On the 29th visited the battle ground, could see bones of every description scattered here and there. Found part of the skull, thigh bone and ribs of a man. Saw the sink hole where some 60 or 70 German soldiers were buried; ribs, leg bones, and arm bones, were sticking above the earth. We took out several bones, also the hand of a man, took up the thumb on a stick and examined it, found nothing left but the skin and nail. A hot stench was continually escaping from the sink which was sickening and almost suffocating. We also found large bunches of human hair in several places scattered over the ground, where we suppose men had fallen and laid several days before burial, the hair falling off in removal. Viewed the place where General Lyon fell, looked at the remains of his horse and secured a piece of his hide. A great many have gotten strips for shoe and hame strings. We have little cause to love Gen. Lyon, but he was a brave soldier. Peace to his ashes. The battle field was literally covered with the remains of horses and fallen timber. There were trees larger than a man's body cut down by cannon balls, and the smaller trees were filled with balls of every description. Observed a large tree where a cannon ball had passed through leaving it still standing.

To-day, Jan. 4th, 1862, Thirty-eight of the old members of Co. "A" were again sworn into the State service for six months longer. John W Priest re-elected Capt, John Hicks 1st Lieut., David Willis, 2nd, and H. C. Newman, 3rd Lieut.

January 13th was a miserable day, snowing very hard. Some of the men were in their tents wrapped in blankets, others hovering round the fire trying to keep warm. On the 25th a member of our Company, Wm. Jeffries, died at the hospital in Springfield. He was a good soldier, and the members of Company "A" will miss him very much. His parents reside in Marion county.

About this time ten dead men were found within a mile and a half of our camp. Supposed to have been jayhawkers-probably killed by some of our men. The enemy is now within 50 miles of us; our scouts brought in 25 of their pickets, who are held as prisoners of war. Had an election for Lieut. Col. 1st Bat., 2nd Div. M. S. G. Capt. Priest was chosen. Company "A" being ordered to supply the vacancy of captain, your humble servant was elected to fill that office.

On the 12th of February, some 80 or 90 wagons, loaded with clothing, arrived from the South, but before they could be distributed we heard that the enemy were advancing upon us. They were accordingly reloaded, and placed in advance of the train, and we commenced our march for Fayetteville, Ark. The first night we camped on the old battle ground-the Feds occupying Springfield. We marched 12 miles and camped the night of the 13th on a high prairie. We were near freezing-wood being very scarce. On the 14th went into camp on Crane creek, tents all pitched, supper just ready, when we heard firing of cannon and saw bombs bursting in the air! We formed in line of battle on the hills, keeping our position until the baggage was out of the way, when we mounted, traveling all night and next day, without food for ourselves or horses. During three days march we had only two meals. Our horses were nearly dead with fatigue; the enemy following and constantly harrassing our rear. At Cross Hollows we took a position; cold, wet, hungry, worn out with loss of sleep and fatigue-still we rejoice at the prospect of a fight.

The enemy did not advance and we continued our march. When we reached Fayetteville, the citizens threw open their doors and pork houses, and bade us help ourselves, which we did-living well for a time. We soon resumed our march, passing through towns and villages deserted, the inhabitants having moved South. The men of Arkansas flock to us by the hundreds, saying that Missourians have stood picket for Arkansas long enough. A large number of Texans are on the way to join us. We hope that General Price will return to Missouri with an army of from 40,000 to 60,000 men. Feb. 22nd, traveled up one of the peaks of Boston mountains, the road very rough, broke four or five wagons before reaching the top, mud in some places over a foot deep. Explored some caves on the 24th, went into four and were well paid for our trouble. Chambers here and there all through them. Went in some two or three hundred yards where we found several springs of very clear water.

Received a reinforcement of Indians, fine warlike looking fellows, well armed. Five thousand more from the Nation, are under way, commanded by General Pike, Indian Agent for the C. S. A. We welcome them all, every new face gives us fresh hopes of an early return to, and a speedy deliverance of our beloved Missouri.

"We love Missouri for herself,
The best of all the earth,
And passing well, we love her as
The land that gave us birth.
But ah, far more than words can tell,
We love her, for the trust
She holds within her sacred breast,
Our urns of kindred dust.

"The meanest slave will sally forth
When tyrants bid him go,
And often bravely shed his blood,
To crush a tyrant's foe.
Then why should we a moment wait
To Join Missouri's braves,
And fence if need be with our blood,
The homestead of our graves."

FEBRUARY 16, 1862.-To-day we buried our friend and fellow soldier John E. Mathews. He was taken sick on the retreat from Springfield, and had to ride in a wagon over the rough roads. We left him with a Mr. Russell, near Newburg, Washington county, Ark., where he died suddenly of inflammation of the bowels. John was a good fellow, kind and generous to all, and none knew him but to love and respect. We buried him on the farm of Mr. McClelland, in a private burying ground. Mrs. M. and two other ladies were present; she said she would take good care of the grave and have shrubbery planted around it so that it would be easily found if his mother, who resides in Marion county, Mo., should ever wish to have his remains removed.

Mrs. McClelland informed us that she had 64 blood relations in one company and over 40 in others, making more than a hundred relatives fighting for the rights and liberties of the States of the South. Her heart is with us without a doubt.

We commenced an advance upon the enemy March 4, 1862. Army in fine spirits; traveled all day through a heavy snow storm; stopped half a mile from Fayetteville; reached Elm Spring on the 5th, and next day came in sight of the Feds. We attacked and drove them before us two days-the dead scattered all along the road. Surrounded them and had a bloody fight, with heavy losses on both sides. Gen. Green's position was on a hill to guard the mouth of a hollow. We had been there two days when our scouts came in and reported the enemy coming down the hollow. We drew up in line of battle and awaited their appearance. When they came in sight we let "loose" the "Old Black Battery," under charge of Capt. Jim Kneisley, and it was fun to see them wheel and skedaddle. Next morning the fight ended, our brave leaders McCullough and McIntosh, having fallen, cast a gloom over the whole army. Our splendid victory was abandoned much against the will of General Price, who felt confident of his ability to maintain the position. He begged for three hours longer-with his own Missourians he could have finished the fight with complete success, but his noble voice was unheeded, a smaller man was higher than he. We then commenced a retrograde movement toward Van Buren. Have not been able to ascertain the number killed and wounded in the fight, but the federal loss must have been greater than ours. The Indians fought nobly, and we believe captured one piece of artillery, (gun wagon they call it,) and not knowing what to do with it turned it over and left it.

Van Buren is a beautiful place, situated on the Arkansas river, five miles below Fort Smith. We laid in camp there some two or three weeks when we left for Des Arc, on White river, which was the hardest trip we have had since the beginning of the campaign. Had to wade through swamps in water up to our necks, from morning till night, drawing the wagons after us, the horses not being able to pull them through, and to add to the pleasure of the trip it was raining constantly. At night we would pitch our tents, spread our blankets in the mud, lie down and sleep soundly till next morning, when, after eating our regular ration of bread and meat, would strike tents and again resume our tedious march, encountering about the same hardships as on the day previous. Oh, it was miserable, miserable.

Reached Des Arc about the 13th of April, and after remaining some two or three days, left for Memphis on the steamer "Sovereign," Col. Priest in command. Had a pleasant trip down White river; arrived at Memphis on the 18th, and went into camp one mile south of the city, where we rested and had a good time, enjoyed especially, the table comforts. Here the Missouri troops were paid off in Missouri script (Jackson money.) After receiving their money they visited the city where they rigged themselves out in new suits from head to foot. After a week or ten days we were ordered to Corinth. There we saw soldiers for certain, camps strung along the railroad for over 20 miles. The enemy within five miles, advancing slowly. Pickets have a skirmish every day; cannon and small arms been heard once or twice. Expect soon to be ordered to our breastworks.

MAY 3, 1862.-Drawn up in line of battle waiting for the opening of the ball.

MAY 10.-In line of battle again waiting orders. Yesterday a portion of Gen. Price's command had a fight at a small place called Farmington. Engaged 20,000 of the enemy, under command of Maj. Gen. Pope, and repulsed them with heavy loss on their side, and considerable on ours. Captured 6000 blankets, 5000 guns, and three or four hundred prisoners. Drove them three miles, and burnt the bridge to prevent their reinforcing and following.

MAY 11.-Still in the same position, enemy not yet made his appearance. Weather extremely warm.

MAY 12.-Still occupying the same place. Had drill this morning on double quick, which we consider rather hard on us this warm weather.

MAY 13.-Making preparations to move, probably toward the enemy. Ordered to cook up three days rations, and be ready to march in two hours. Evening-Now on the move.

MAY 14.-Guarding a bridge on the railroad, 10 miles south of Corinth. Our route lay through swamps the whole distance, and had to cross several streams. While part of Co's "B" and "C" were on a bridge the timbers gave way, throwing several into the deep cold water; one man slightly injured. Half the bridge fell down and we had to cross on a single plank-a pretty ticklish undertaking, especially on a dark night. We reached this place about 12 o'clock at night, spread our blankets and laid down to rest, but not so decided the mosquitoes and buffalo gnats, which kept up a pretty brisk fight all night. We hear constant cannonading this morning-expect a general engagement to-day. Do not know how long we will have to remain here, probably until the fight is over.

MAY 15.-No fighting as yet. Captured some 50 or 60 head of fine beef cattle from the Feds yesterday. Weather very warm, causing a great deal of sickness.

MAY 16.-Still waiting for orders. Probably receive them tomorrow. Hope so, as we are quite anxious to get out of this low marshy bottom. Enemy advancing slowly.

MAY 17-Col. Priest ordered to report himself and men, minus 160, at headquarters immediately; Cos "A" "B" and "C" left to guard the bridge.

MAY 18.-Heavy cannonading all day in the direction of Corinth, and the men all in line of battle.

MAY 21.-Nothing of interest has transpired during the last two days. A portion of our men left their entrenchments yesterday, and started for Farmington, expecting to attack the enemy. It was supposed the fight would come off today, but not certain, as a heavy rain fell last night, giving everything a complete drenching. We will have to make the attack or there will never be a battle, they are afraid to bring it on. We have skirmishes every day with them, killing several on both sides. We are still at the bridge on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. Do not know whether we will be in the fight or not, put here to guard the bridge, and dare not leave without orders. The place is not a very desirable one, as the mosquitos and gnats are very troublesome, making it almost impossible for us to sleep, besides we have no tents, and only one blanket apiece, so we catch a fresh cold every night. We are all sighing for our old Missouri home.

We have flour which we send to the country and get made into biscuits; have sugar, coffee, rice, molasses and pickled beef, the latter we do not eat. We raised $34.00 among us and sent out and bought some bacon, paying 40 cents per lb. It does not cost our State much to keep us as we buy our own meat, and in fact nearly everything we eat. Butter is worth from 50 to 75 cts. per lb; tough chickens 50 cts apiece; coffee 75 cts. per lb.; soda $1.50 per lb.; pepper $1.00 per lb., and other things in proportion. Citizens are complaining of great scarcity. Some have desired to enchange meal for flour with us, having had no flour for months; others say they have forgotten all about coffee.

MAY 23d.-No particulars from the main army. Still hear heavy firing-probably have news to-morrow.

MAY 24.-Been raining hard ever since yesterday. Visited Rienza about four miles below the bridge; pretty little place, buildings neat and clean; stores all empty. Evening-Heavy firing on our right wing, suppose it is the pickets. However, situated as we are, it is impossible to tell. Every train brings more or less prisoners on their way South. All waiting patiently for the big fight, but suppose we will have to wait in vain.

MAY 25.-Everything quiet, no firing heard in any direction. Yesterday the enemy attempted to plant one of their heavy siege guns, but were attacked and driven back, our forces afterwards resuming their former position.

MAY 26.-General Parsons came down to-day with his entire command. We were glad to see them. After mutual exchange of army gossip, hearing the news and speculations about the big fight, grumbling over its long delay &c., we retired to rest, but were hardly well settled, when we received orders to get up, cook three days rations and be ready to march in the morning. Something in the wind-we "snuff the battle."

MAY 28.-Drawn up in line, full of expectation; heavy cannonading in the direction of Corinth. Our wagons, tents, baggage, &c., all sent off this morning to a place of safety.

MAY 29.-No fight yet. We cooked up three days rations and started, we supposed for Corinth, but within four miles of there we took a road leading South, and after marching three miles went into camp for the night.

MAY 30.-Things look strange. Still moving southward; can it be that we are evacuating Corinth? Troops have been passing all night, and the air is full of rumors.

MAY 31.-It is settled; we are evacuating Corinth. Missourians cover the retreat, blockading the road. We passed the place where a portion of our army had a fight with the enemy cavalry. Saw the effect all along the road, trees barked by balls of every description. Five Federals were found dead lying exposed to the hot sun. The engagement occurred yesterday. Nine hundred of our men were almost prisoners at one time, but a gallant charge from their friends, drove back the enemy and released them from their perilous situation. The Feds succeeded in burning the depot at Boonville, and destroying three car loads of our ammunition. The weather is extremely warm, roads dusty, and water very scarce. Harvesting has commenced-rather early to us Missourians. Provisions are very scarce, have had no meat for over three days, and now the bread is out; will have to march to-morrow without either bread or meat. Don't relish a retreat on an empty stomach.

JUNE 1.-Gone into camp, Had a hard march, sore feet, nothing to eat, and water scarce. We hear it reported that the depot at Boonville contained several dead bodies, which were burned, and the sick not being able to get far enough away, were, many of them, suffocated from the heat; others crawling off would faint on the railroad and be run over by the cars

JUNE 4.-We are sending off our sick to the hospital; enemy slowly advancing. It is supposed we will fight them here, as we seem to be awaiting their approach.

JUNE 7.-On the march again; started this morning at half-past two, halted at 12. Will resume our march at 3 A. M.

JUNE 8.-Camped in an open field near Tupelo-no shade except our tents. Sun disagreeably hot, but still we are rejoicing; we are going back to Missouri-the garden spot of the Confederacy. Gen. Price has gone to Richmond, will return in eight or ten days, when he will carry us back. God bless "Old Pap," we all love him like a father, and we don't allow any but Missourians to claim him either. Some Arkansas boys tried calling him "Old Pap" but they were soon "dried up." We are elated too, over the victories of Stonewall Jackson. We are full of hope-confident of gaining our independence.


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