THE WAR IN TENNESSEE
APRIL 1862-JULY 1862
Lebanon Tennessee April 1st 1862
Dear Father and mother.
Yours of the 15th of March came to hand and I was very happy to get it some time since I heard from home last. since my last which was wrote from Nashville we have moved again 30 miles further into dixy. We are right into secesia. I never saw anything equle the fealing that has been disiminated through the country by secesion leaders. We where the 1st union troops that came into this part of the country. The people heard that some troops where to be sent down this way, they left their homes unprotected where there was any one at home. If we atempted to speak to them they would run as if we were going to eat them. The stores and all business and private houses in the town were all closed ready to fly and some families had left the day before we came we are attatched to Col. Munday, 123d Ky. regement of Infantry. we raised the stars and stripes on the court house and of that time some of the more bold men of the town who seeing that we did not rush into the houses, came out. The Colonel made some remarks to them and told them he did not come to destroy, but to protetch and save, and said he hope the citizens to open their business houses as they were before. He said he would give them his word that not a soldier under his comand harm or destroy any one, but they were very shy for one or two days refusing to open their stores, but on Sunday the reft whent down town on dress parade and the streats were perty welll filled with curious spectaters who had come in from the country. I with 3 other men whent out in the country some 10 miles from camp to some good Union mans house where we were very hartely welcom by them it was the first Union troops they had seen but along the children would run away from us as though we were a pack of ravanous wolfs. The people seem all to be frighten. We had a very sumpatanous dinner, the bill of I supose would not be unexcepatable to you, 1st ham and egs stewed chicken, wheat cake, wheat hot bread, corn cake, sweet milk, buter milk, red beats and custards. We did ample justic to all returned to camp by 4 oclock in the evening. We [ ] all that we could get a chance to speak to Monday and today have been quite different from the first day. In Lebanaon our camps are visited by the Union ladies from the country from the north of us, all bringing something for the poor soldiers. I was the happy recepceant to day from two[ ] Mcclealner ( when we got our dinner) of two pound cakes and four sweet buskets which I assure are quite a treat. The country is beautifule it would be a pity if a large force should come into this part of the country. We only have above one thousand men 9 hunard infantry and 100 cavelry only our suquadron is here. Where the balance of the regts I dont know they are all divided among the Infantry regtments.
I have entirly recovered from my sickness it was a tutch of thyphoid feaver. I assure you I shall be careful of myself for their is nothing that I fear a muchaas the hospital. As to my money I dont know how to send my money. Our mails are uncertain and liable to all misfourtain of war. We have not receved any pay sence the 1st of January. I am in hopes they will not get paid till we get back to Harrisburg, the prospects of our regtment is [ ] at present that is to stay with this rebelion is cleaned out of our once happy country. You cantell Krebs that Garret and I are [seperated ] I know not where their battelion is the last I seen of him was on the morning when the regt was divided, he was well and whiched to be remered to you when I wrote to you. To day I receved a letter from Harry Snyder, he says he expected to rejoin the company in the course odf a week or two, he says he is right well now with the exception a little neuralgia in his bones. The captain has received a number of papers by wher we see that the rebles are in reatreat in every direction, and some sighns of this soon coming to a close. but we have the ball roling and we intend to keep it going.
Let me heare from home soon again, direct to Nashvill in care of Col. Wynkoop regiment and an ocasional Miners Joournal would be very excepatable. My best respects to Mr. Laurence, to Mr. Freed and families, Mr. And Mrs Matsen, Mr. and Mrs Medlar and all friends. I must close taps have blown and lights must go out. I woulde be kindly rembered to Emly, Dav and Charles.
I remain your son.
Camp Parkhurst at Murfreesboro, April 4, 1862.
It is with pleasure that I know write to you, but I cannot give any idea as to where we are going to or what the prospects of the regiment are for the future. Since my last letter to you we left our pleasently situated camp at Lebanonm for our present one at Murfreesboro. when we left our camp at Lebanon it was the general impression that we where going down to Corinth Miss. but when we got to Murfreesboro we heard our regement was to be mustered out of service. All the talk in camp now is about going home.
Yesterday was an exciting day around Murfeesboro. Saturday night two negros into came camp and said that Morgan was encamped 7 miles from our camp with 12 hunred men. No attentun was paid to that and on Sunday Morning some four or five negros came in and said Morgan was passing our camp some 5 miles to the east of us. Then was the first any attentun was paid to the report. Some of the cavary were sent out to reconorter. They rode on to the pickets before they were aware of it. When they came in and reported, some 15 thousand men where sent in pursuit of him. I had quite a fine time. I had six men and had the leftt side of Nashvill and Shelbyvill pike to scout. we where out all day, it was 7 oclock before we got back to camp but did not get anybody[ ] to late. we searched quite a number of houses where men of Morgans had stopped for the night but we could not find any. The last message that came into camp reports that Woodfords 1st Ky Cabalry was with in one and a half mile of Morgan. The orders of General Duffuld are that they shall persue him for two hunard miles. Col Wynkoop is also in ppursuit with the 2nd battalion. They left camp yesterday afternoon at about 4 oclock. Col. Duffuld got one of the flags which they lost in their haste, it is a very large flag made out of some kind of red and white flanel. They only have the red and white blue Union and ten stars. The Lieut. Col. had a tide to his horse, thus dragging it around in the dirt. Then he would spit on it and tramp on it. It was amusing to see the maner in whic he treated the flag. And while writing they brot in one of Morgans surgeons who was sick and had to be left behind. we have orders to keep ourselves in readines to move in a moments notice where ever we may be needed.
On the 28th of April our officers presented the Major of our battalun a hansome sword. The Govinur of Michigan was here. He presented it for the officers. He accompanied it with a fewe remarks. He is a good speaker. He came in here to see how his men where treated, to see that they were comfortable.
I sent thirty doles home between the 17 and 23rd of April. 5 doles in two letter and twenty doles in one. I am quite anxious to hear from you to know wheter you receved it or not. I have been looking for a letter some few days niow. I’ve expected to be paid this month again and I may want to send more home if you receved that.
Gerhart Hasken was here yesterday. You can tell Mrs. Knobs he is right well. So is Dan paul. He was not along with the squadron. He was left back in camp guard.
My best respect to Mr. Laurence to all inquiring friends.
I would close by signing myself your son.
(Signed) F.W. Reed
Direct your letter as usual to camp wood Nashvill in care of Capt. C.C. McCormick, 7th regt. Penna Cavalry, Col G. Wynkoop. I enclose a 10cts shin [ ] plant. The county is full of them here and also a confedeat electing ticket which I got from Union man at Lebanon. Keep them both
Camp Ceder Lebanon, April 18th 1862
Dear mother and father.
Yesterday morning I sent five dolls in a letter I thought it about as safe a way as any that I could do. We have express hear. And the paymaster of volunteers is not prepared to give vouchers, he was in a hurry he had to go down to Murfreesboro to pay the troops there the next day. We were paid up to the first of March. I received $ 34 at 17 doll a month. I want to send thirty dolls home, ill send it all by mail, five dolls at a time, so if one gets lost I will only be five dolls at most, you will plese let me know wheather you receved it. In this one find five dolls again.
I receved your letter dated April the 4th on the 16th and also 2 papers for which I was very glad. I wish you would send some whenever you can get them. For eastern papers are very scarce, the Louisvil Journal happens to find its way down hear once in a while.
The three letters you speak of before this last one I have not received. I was Glad to hear that Mr. Turner has been stationed so near to Port Carbon. I shall not forget him to write him a letter some day, but I dont think Walters is the man for Port Carbon station.
Our Chaplain of the regement has deserted us he left while we lay at camp Thomas bardstown, he went to Louisville and never returned his health would not admit of his accompanying us any further. His plase has never been filled, nor I dont supose that it will since the regiment is so cut up. Old Col. Wynkoop only has comand of three of his companies. And thart it to many he makes them stand guard and work till they are almost dead he is an awful tyrant. The Col. That our squadaron is under is a fine man, if we want anything we can go and talk to him like a white man. But Col. Wynkoop would not listen to a private. Col [ ] is playing ball with his men every day.
The squadron that Garhart Hasken is in is under Col. Wynkoop they still lag at Nashvill not doing anything, Daniel Paul he is one of Gen. Negleys body guard, they as far as I know of are both well but I have not heard any thing of eather one for a long time. Our squadren has plenty of work to do around here but boys are willing to jump into the harness. Some eighteen whent out on Monday a week ago, they have not been back to camp since. They captured 15 hundred bushel of wheat 75 blls of flour 13 hundred bushel of corn which was intended for the rebles. We about 40 muskets that had been stored away in town here by the reble soldiers. They are of the enfield style since the battle at Pittsburge, they arte down in the mouth, they dont say mutch of their beloved idol Bureguard who was going to whip the yankees out of the coferacy, the reble generals are all good. If you take them as they run Doctor Seegraves, who was surgon in the reble army returned last week, he came and took oath of alegiance. He says the reble leaders are tired of secess as any person can but they are so situated that they cant give up now, but their only hope is to fight to the last. This morning it is rumored that our brigade is ordered down to Pittsburge Landing, so far I have not been able to learn wether their is any truth in it or not. In my next you will know whare we may be.
I have not heard any thing of Harry Snyder for some time, I cannot tell anything of him. I am right well and have a good time generaly the boys are of [ working] nearly all the time so their is not mutch for me to do.
Tell Mr. Laurence that I shall hasten the war tho is quickly as possible, but if he was here we might do a great deal soon, he would be a great help in making out the program of proceeding against the rebles, then this is just the plase for him, here he could have plenty of time and chances to argue the slavery question and the right of secessen with some of the secessonists. The girls at home shall be the means tho of making me hasten on with the work.
I am your son affctonty
(signed) F.W. Reed
To my mutch respected parents.
Give my repects to Mr. Laurence to Mr. May and Fanlie.
Camp Parkhurst May 7th 1862.
My Dear Parents.
According to promice I now will try to give you all the particulars of the battle of Lebanon. On Sunday our men chased Morgan keeping in site of his rear guard till Tuesday morning when they came within 4 miles of Lebanon, General Dumont got information that Morgan had taken the houses and was going to fight that way. So a charge was ordered and for 4 miles our men rode their horses as hard as ever they could go into town. Col. Wynkoop and Major Givin heard the charge as they got within about yards of the Coledge, they were greated with a volly from behind the building and fence. One hundred had taken refuge in them, but our men charge fearlessly on when within twenty yards they gave them a volly from their pistols which told on them for they scatred in every direction. Our men divided up and charged thro town and they say that hail never fell thicker and faster than did the balls while they charge thro town. They could not see a man to shoot at, they were all in the houses. Our forces were posteded on the difrent pikes then orders wher sent in that if they would not surender in 10 minutes the town would be burnt> Luet Col. Wood of the reble army with 75 men gave themselves up but Morgan with about 250 of his chose to fight their way out of town, they made a charge down the Cumberland Pike where our Majer was with a few men, they over runned him killed one of our sergeants, he was from Reading Birks County. John Riley, it was the only man that was killed out of our company. The [ ] they have taken along with them. Our whole loss was six killed and some 8 or 10 wounded mortaly, they look for his end every hour the reble loss killed is reported at 60 men 220 prisiners, this was a hard fought batles as has been fought since.
Since the rebelin the rebles had all the atvantage they shot from the windows on our men as they charged thro town our men at to shot at random thro the windows at them the numbers engaged where about equale. It was altogether a cavalry fight on our side no infantry was near. The rebles where routed and scatred in all direction Morgan made his escape. Col Wynkoop followed him to Cumberland which Morgan was just crossing, they shot after him, some say that he fell but their is no certanty about it, Garhart Hasken is all right he has come tho the fight safle.
I dont think the rebles willhold out mutch longer, Bureguard is dispercing his men on all direction and refuses to show fight this was quite a lucky thing that freemont chased old Morgan out of the Cumberland Mountyains for it gave the seventh Penny cavalry a chance to show its spunk. This is all this morning. I am right well at present but Harry Snyder I am sorry to say is still very poorly, he is still at the hospital at Bardstown. But I receved a letter from him the other day in which he said he was worse than he had been any time yet. He wished to get his discharge, he asked the captain to try and get it for him, the captain wrote back to him that he should not ask for it for a few weeks that the whole regement would be mustered out then he would get his pay and go home with us all.
Give my best to all friends.
I remain your son.
Camp Parkhurst at Murfreesboro May 8, 1862
I wrote and mailed one letter to you to day already in which I told you all the news I knew I told you that our company and Col. Wynkoop with the second batalion was in persuit of Morgan who was going in the direction of Lebanon where we were statyioned for three weeks and put up the stars and stripes. Our with part of the 4th Ky and 1st Ky cavalry over took him in town this morning, he put his men in the houses where our men made a charge thro the town they were greeted with a volly from each side of the street, from the windows and house tops and every corner, but our men returned the fire gallantly making a charge thro the town till at last the enmy broke from their strong hold asand comenced to retreat in all directions leaving there horses, blamnkets and everything behind them. They threw away their arms in their haste to retreat. Corporal Willman and Private Jacob Uplinger of our company came back this evening with dispatches, they report that we have two hundred of Morgans men prisner one Luet Colnel and three ajudants and four or 5 captain, two wagon loads of guns and amunition. Jacob Uplingers horse was shot thro the head the first charge that was made. He brot with a shot gun cartaridge box that some of the rebles threw away in their retreat. Morgan was compleatly routed 15 of our men where reported killed and missing. Our Major is taken prisoner, he was taken twice but the first time mange to make his escape, but the last time Morgan took him along. General Dumont and General Dufield where taken but in retreate they managed to escape.
Gerhart Hasken was in the fight but I cannot say whether he was hurt or not as the men who came in did not know who the dead where. But in the course of a few days I can give you the full particulars of the fight who killed and wounded are. So I must close with the best respects to all and all that I am sorry of is that I was not with the boys in the fight.
I am your obediant son
The killed and wounded on both sides are estamated at 100 men.
Camp Parkhurst at Murfreesboro June 8th 1862
It is with pleasure that I again write to \you to let you know I an coming on, I am enjoying tolerable good health at present. It is some time since I received and letters from you.
The weather is becoming very warm and this place is getting to be unhealthy. Something natural where so many solders are encamped, and for so long a time a great many of our men are sick and dying. We have buried last week out of our company two men one from Northumberland and one from reading and we have some 4 or 5 more in the hospital some of which it is very doubtful weather they will recover. The treatment that soldiers in the hospitals hear receive is such to cause them to die. Sometimes once it is not in these hospitals as in the hospitals in the good loyal states where a sick man has some sympathizing friends and nurses who do their duty diligently. But here the nurses are few generally the convalescent are generally as nurses till they are able to join their respective regiments. Our company can only muster now 25 men for duty, our whole battalion can only muster 100 hundred men. On last Thursday 121 of our men were surprised at Reedville about 12 miles from here while eating their breckfast, by some 400 hundred rebels cavalry under Col. Starns 5 of our men were killed 121 made their escape and the balance where taken prisoner. Out of our company their 5 men among them. The following is a list of their names. John H. Miller, from Ringgold, John A Smith from Tioga county, James Pattersen from Tioga county, Abraham Hains from Reading, Lindsley Newcomer from Fayette County. The rebels have played hob with our regiment this morning, we received word that Capt. Hiblers entire company with part of Cap Jenings company were captured at Manchester. I cannot say how mutch truth their is in this report but we will know in a few days.
While writing some our boys that were taken at Reedyville have come, they report all of our sent homeon parole they will be hear in camp in the course of the day. They say they were treated like gentlemen by Col. Starns comand. Those men will be immediately sent home as they cannot do any duty here.
I dont know what will become of our company I think it quite probable that we will be mustered out soon for at this rate we will not have any men for duty soon. I know I should like to be discharged for it is getting awfull warm down here. I supose you have heard of the success of Gen Pope in Missipia, Gen. Mitchel is chasing the rebles up this way, I think one of these days we can let you know of the capture of all those prowling bands who prowl around the country robing and plundering and falling on small parties of our men.
Yesterday tho it was Sunday the pay master paid us a visit and we were all glad to see him and the green backs that he brot along with him. Enclosed I send 30 dolls. You can use the mony if you need it and if you dont need it put it out on interest in some secure plase. Maby the conty would be the best this with the rest that I sent home.
If John H. Miller come in to day and he gets his discharge I will send home some of the clothes by him. I will let you know by mails as soon as I shall know when he goes. Please write soon and let me know all the news from home it is some time since I received the last I must close by signing myself.
Direct you letter to Camp Parkhurst at Murfreesboro Tenesse in care of cap C.C. McCormick Comp L 7th Regt. Pa Cabalry Col. G.C. Wynkoop.
My best respects to all my friends.