6 July 1864: “You speak of riding with Col. McChesney and note his mentioning that I was not pleasant enough to the other officers. It may be that I am not familiar enough with some, but as yet I have not found time to idle away in the company of officers whose rank does not give them wit or intelligence.”

Item description:  Letter dated 6 July 1864, from Lieutenant Colonel John C. Bigelow of the 134th Illinois Infantry Regiment to his friend, Hamilton Hunt.  This letter was sent from Camp Hancock in Columbus, Ky. and describes camp life, packages received, and the position of the 141st Illinois Regiment.  This letter was found in the Andrew Lucas Hunt Papers, 1863 – 1908.  Andrew Lucas Hunt (1843-1905) of Chicago, Ill., was a lieutenant with the 134th Illinois Regiment, United States Army, during the Civil War. 18640706_01 18640706_02 18640706_0318640706_04Item Citation:  Letter dated 6 July 1864, in the Andrew Lucas Hunt Papers, #3225, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Camp Hancock
Columbus, Ky. July 6th, 1864

Friend Hamilton

Yours of June 30th came to hand on the “Fourth.” We had the day before received the boxes + kegs: They came in good order and opened to our satisfaction. We thought best not to propose a common table as some seemed unwilling to divide, but nevertheless quite a dinner was got up which satisfied all the boys. The pickles, Butter and lemons were very acceptable. The thanks of the officers + men of Co’s D + I are due to Mrs. Dickinson [?] Fauntleroy and yourself and I can assure you that your efforts and good intentions are fully appreciated. You speak of riding with Col. McChesney and note his mentioning that I was not pleasant enough to the other officers. It may be that I am not familiar enough with some, but as yet I have not found time to idle away in the company of officers whose rank does not give them wit or intelligence. I find much more entertainment in the study of such books as qualify me for the place I hold, and if these officers that complain of my not spending all my time with them in profitless amusements would study their books they would have less to find fault with and would show less ignorance in the field. I can’t say that Col. McC. is as well posted in Battalion drill as he should be. The “Fourth” was a very cool day and was pleasantly passed by the boys. Some of the companies illuminated their quarters and others built large bonfires. The health of the regiment is good, there bring but a very few in the Hospital and they not sick with anything dangerous. The regiment makes a very fine appearance on parade and has earned an enviable name for good and soldierly conduct. Metlar says you hit him in the right spot when you sent him that camp stool. He will write soon. Luke and all the rest of our boys are well. Give my respects to all the old boys that may enquire about us and remember me to your father’s family.

Yours Truly,

Jno. C. Bigelow

P.S. The 141st Ill. are incamped about a mile south of us. Frank Gilman and W.S. Watrous old E.Z.’s are both orderly sargeants in that regiment. They pay us frequent visits and I think, feel more at home here than with their own regiment.

J.C.B.

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4 July 1864: “Your company with lady is requested at a celebration of the 4th of July, to be held in Fort Macon…”

Item Description: An invitation and order of exercises for the First Regiment North Carolina Union Volunteers’ Fourth of July celebration at Fort Macon, North Carolina. The pre-printed invitation is addressed to “Collector Hendricks…with lady.” The celebration included a “National Salute,” reading of the Declaration of Independence, music, prayer, orations, a concert, and fireworks.

Item Transcription:

INDEPENDENCE

Collector Hendricks, with Lady
Your Company is requested at a celebration of the 4th of July, to be held in Fort Macon, on
Monday, July 4, 1864,
by the 1st Reg. N.C. Union Volunteers

Capt. H. D. Clift
Lieut. J. B. Reed
Com. on Invitations

FORT MACON, N.C., JULY 4, 1864
Order of Exercises

Col. J. M. McChesney…Presiding Officer
Lt. Col. J. H. Strong…Marshal of the Day
I. National Salute at 12 PM
II. Assembly at 1 PM…By Drum Corps
III. Music…By Band
IV. Prayer…By Chaplain Mosmore
V. Music…By Band
VI. Reading of the Declaration of Independence, By Lt. E. H. Babbitt
VII. Music…By Band
VIII. Oration…By J. Crolley
IX. Music…By Quartetto Club
X. Oration…By J. C. Salter
XI. Music…By Band
XII. Dinner…At 4 1/2 o’clock, PM
XIII. Promenade Concert…By Band
XIV. Fire Works…At 8 1/2 o’clock, PM
XV. Supper…At 11 o’clock, PM

Item Citation: Independence. United States Army. 1st North Carolina Regiment. [n.p.], 1864. Cb970.742 N87u. North Carolina Collection, Wilson Special Collections Library.

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3 July 1864: “[...]we have fixed up our quarters with bowers, etc – very nice – I built me a spring bed two hickory poles – lay barrel staves on them – tack them down – and I have as good a bed as I want.”

Item description:  Letter originally dated 2 July 1864 and continued on 3 July 1864, from Andrew Lucas Hunt to his mother Sophia Hunt, describing camp life.  Andrew Lucas Hunt (1843-1905) of Chicago, Ill., was an officer with the 134th Illinois Regiment, United States Army, during the Civil War. 18640703_01 18640703_02 18640703_03Item citation:  Letter dated 2 July 1864, in the Andrew Lucas Hunt Papers, #3225, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

 
[Letter continued from 2 July 1864.]
 
Sunday July 3, 1864.  Just (1/3) one third of our 100 days has gone by today. This AM we received 1 box lemons- 3 boxes sundries, and 1 pkg butter + one keg – think it is pickles. have my pair of suspenders, + “Bugle Call” – very much obliged. This “Call” is very acceptable – I am not very well – have head ache – was on duty for nearly 40 hours this week – The Faunt LeRoys are well. we have fixed up our quarters with bowers, etc – very nice – I built me a spring bed two hickory poles – lay barrel staves on them – tack them down – and I have as good a bed as I want. We had heavy rain all night – my tent leaked – I wraped myself up in my rubber blanket and slept regardless of the rain – I would like to have a piece of Mosquito gauze – large enough to cover a cot bed – send also about 30 ft of wire to support it – The pillow cases will come in very nicely – [?] dress looks very naturally – I am very sorry to hear of Richard [?] death – It must indeed be a sad blow to his parents – It was so very sudden – I would write a longer letter than this on – but am entirely out of writing paper – send me some the first opportunity – some larger than note paper. It is very warm today – we cant sit in our tents – so hot. I ought to write to Willie – Father Hamilton – in fact – all of the family – I received the morning I went out as a scout, letter from all the family nearly – I read them as I rode along – could not but help thinking “how I wished I could see you all once again.” I was up part of the night – so slept a short time this noon – I woke up at one o’clock to go to dinner – the thought of all at home came to me – you were probably eating your dinner the same time that I was eating my bread + molasses + water – I can’t drink coffee without milk – or at least does not agree with me – Evening – I have just been asking the men to go to church – am very tired Sunday is the hardest day we have – have to inspect all the men – very hard work. It does not seem to me as if tomorrow was the Glorious Fourth! I will try to write tomorrow – want to have the go by tomorrow morning mail – I do not feel as if I had spent Sunday rightly – have not been to Sunday School – or to church today – I think today is communion Sunday at in Chicago I could not help thinking, at half past twelve of [?] – I shall remember her particularly in my prayers – How I wish I could have been there – who has united with the church today? Will write more fully tomorrow – I have been out more than I ought to have been today – Whitehead wishes to be remembered kindly to you – and all the family. I generally read him my letters – give Bigelow Metlar + Dickinson extracts – anything that interests them sixty seven days more to serve – kind regards to Gussie with very much love to you all at home
will occupy the Fourth writing home – if I can find paper
Lucas

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2 July 1864: “I have been at work shading my tent + am so hot + feel so dirty, that I hardly can write[...]“

Item description: Letter dated 2 July 1864, from Andrew Lucas Hunt to his mother, Sophia Hunt, about camp life and news from home.  Andrew Lucas Hunt (1843-1905) of Chicago, Ill., was an officer with the 134th Illinois Regiment, United States Army, during the Civil War.

[This is a two-part letter that continues on 3 July 1864.]18640702_01 18640702_02Item citation:  Letter dated 2 July 1864, in the Andrew Lucas Hunt Papers, #3225, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Columbus July 2, 1864
 
My dear Mother
I am so very behind hand in writing home that I fear that I can never catch up.  The box came to hand the day before yesterday, I am very glad to have it –my best is a very nice one just what was wanted.  My jacket is also very usefull – will do for night duty.  The shoes I have not tried on – have not had time to.  I would have written yesterday but was ordered to take command of a squad of men to go outside of the picket lines – on a forage – and it took me all day – this A.M. I had to go down town with the Colonel – so my time was taken up till now.  I have written to Henry Chapin I was very sorry to hear of the death of his Father.  I saw a letter of John Chapins received the day before your letter. He did not say his father was unwell – it must have been very sudden.  I have been at work shading my tent + am so hot + feel so dirty, that I hardly can write – I took the old pr of pants to the tailor at the soldiers rest to fix up.  I am now weary the pr sent down there the box – they are rather small but will do for occasional wear.  I have some twelve letters to write – I am afraid I can’t answer each personally – but let my letter be an answer to them all.  I will try to write long letter[s] + write them often.  We had a call today from Frank Gilman.  Hamilton knows him – he is orderly Sergeant of his brother’s company in the 141st – which arrived here yesterday – Being out in the sun all day yesterday – and this am – I feel very measly today.
 
[Letter continues on 3 July 1864]

 

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1 July 1864: “A negro man named Sam called at my house this morning, who says he was freed from his master’s farm in Mecklenburg (Dr. Burwell) by the Yankees this Sunday and was with them till Tuesday when he made his escape and is now trying to make his way home.”

Item Description:  A note dated 1 July 1864, from Blanche W. Sydnar to George W. Burwell, a physician, planter, and businessman of Mecklenburg County, Va., with the news of Sam, claiming that he had been forced from George’s home by Yankees, had arrived at her house and that she had written him a pass to get home.18640701_01a 18640701_02aItem Citation:  Letter dated 1 July 1864, in the George W. Burwell Papers #4291, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

A negro man named Sam called at my house this morning, who says he was freed from his master’s farm in Mecklenburg (Dr. Burwell) by the Yankees this Sunday and was with them till Tuesday when he made his escape and is now trying to make his way home. I gave him something to eat and sent him on with two others belonging to Capt. Watkins & [?] Davis.

Blanche W. Sydnar

P.S. My husband, Rev. T. W. Sydnar is now at home, but I consented to give Sam a pass, hoping he may get home safely.

B.W.S.

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30 June 1864: “The rebels still hold this big hill in our front, and there seems no disposition on the part of our Generals to hurry them off.”

Item Description:  Letter, dated 30 June 1864, from George Hovey Cadman to his wife. Cadman (fl. 1862-1864) was a soldier in the 39th Ohio Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

[Item transcription available below images.]

18640630_01 18640630_02

Item Citation:  From the George Hovey Cadman Papers, #122, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

In the field,
Foot of Kennesaw Mountain.
June 30, 1864
 
My ever dear Wife:
 
Our regiment is out on picket and the skirmish line, but Capt. Orr ordered me to remain in to do some writing. It seems to me that I shall have the clerking to do again, as usual, but I am used to it and don’t mind it as much as I used to do. 
 
By the end of next month a great many of our officers will have left the service, as well as a great many of our men, and our regiment will be pretty small. What may take place then I can’t say, but suppose some of the regiments will be consolidated. I hope Capt. Orr will remain with us, but expect he is going to leave. 
 
The rebels still hold this big hill in our front, and there seems no disposition on the part of our Generals to hurry them off. It is the strongest natural fortification I have ever seen, and if they have food and ammunition, they may hold out for a long time, but I think when they do move, we shall take a great many prisoners.  When they start from here I think the campaign will be virtually over, for they will hardly make another stand this side of the river, and the report is we shall not cross the river this campaign, but use the hot months in securing our lines of communication. 
 
The weather is intensely hot. I have not used my blanket for several nights. I just lie down on the ground anywhere and sleep till I wake.
 
If you can I would like you to send me some word of Carrie’s husband, whether he is still in the service.  I have not heard from him since the sinking of the Conestoga.
 
You ask whether I want money. I do want a little to pay for my washing. I paid my last dime day before yesterday for washing my shirt and drawers. A few weeks ago I asked you to send me a few ten cent chips, but suppose you did not get the letter. I lost one of my check shirts at the hospital. I gave it to a nigger to wash, and never saw him or the shirt after. But I got one from a man in our company who wears the same kind.
 
A lad in Co. G who was wounded in the leg by a piece of shell is going home for sixty days. I believe, Esther, I would be willing to take his wound to get home, and shall not forget the lesson easily. And, my dear I hope you keep your spirits up, and do not allow yourself to worry or fret over my absence.  Kiss Phil for me; how I would like to see his little round fat face once more. Tell him Pa often thinks of him. Remember me to George, ask him to write and tell me all the news and how he likes his place.
 
Please remember me to all my friends. Tell them they must not be offended if I do not write to them, but I have not the opportunity. I should be very glad to get a letter from any of them who wold take the trouble to write to me.
 
And now, my ever dear wife, I must once more bid you adieu, and that God may bless you and our dear children is the constant prayer of
 
Your affectionate husband,
George H. Cadman

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29 June 1864: “It would amuse you to notice the sounds of the different shells. The Rodman gives a sharp snap like a thunderbolt striking when it is fired, and the shell whizzes through the air like the sound of a locomotive at full speed.”

Item Description:  Letter, dated 29 June 1864, from George Hovey Cadman to his wife. Cadman (fl. 1862-1864) was a soldier in the 39th Ohio Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

[Item transcription available below images.]

18640629_01

Item Citation:  From the George Hovey Cadman Papers, #122, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

June 29th.
 
Gen. Sherman rode along our lines this morning. Gen. Dodge seems to think the campaign can not last much longer. I have been busy all the morning with company accounts, but it is not very pleasant work, for about thirty yards in our rear is a battery containing two Rodman guns and two twenty pound Parrotts. Some of the shells are not perfect, and burst over our heads as soon as they leave the cannon.
 
It would amuse you to notice the sounds of the different shells. The Rodman gives a sharp snap like a thunderbolt striking when it is fired, and the shell whizzes through the air like the sound of a locomotive at full speed. Some of them growl, some make a spluttering noise like a flock of large birds. There is on gun the boys call “the old hound” because it howls like a bloodhound, and there is another casemated battery the boys call “the sneaks,” because you can’t hear the report of the gun when it is fired till the shell flies over you. Yesterday the rebels had the impudence to open a battery on us and fired two guns, but before they could fire a third, at least twenty or thirty guns were brought to bear an the gunners did not stop long. It was the prettiest artillery practice I have seen yet.
 
We could not lift our heads above the works without the almost certainty of being shot, and as there was no chance to return the fire, it was no use to risk it. After the spat was over, it was amusing to hear our men ridiculing the rebs, and they back again. The night was so still and clear that voices could be heard for a considerable distance. The jokes were all in good humor, but it did seem strange for men who only five minutes before were trying to take each others lives, to be laughing and joking with each other. The rebel sharpshooters have some very good rifles of English make, Whitworths, that beat anything we have in our army. It is said they will kill at a thousand yards. It is a great advantage to them, as a fellow can dig a hole, get into it, and fire away with impunity.
 
If you do not send word that you are tired of these rambling letters, I shall send you one every few days, but if they should cease for a week or two, do not be uneasy, as circumstances may turn up to hinder me from writing. Wishing you, my love, all health and happiness, I remain my dear wife, 
 
Your affectionate husband,

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28 June 1864: “You see, my love, that death is no respecter of persons, and that old and young die, at home as well as on the battlefield.”

Item Description: Letter, dated 28 June 1864, from George Hovey Cadman. Cadman (fl. 1862-1864) was a soldier, 39th Ohio Infantry Regiment, during the Civil War.

[Item transcription available below images.]

18640628_01

18640628_02

Item Citation:  From the George Hovey Cadman Papers, #122, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Tuesday, June 28
 
Yesterday was one of the most trying days we have had since we commenced investing this mountain, and I believe more lives were lost than on any other day. We, that is, our brigade, were awaiting orders the greater part of yesterday to storm the face of the mountain opposite.
 
Two regiments were sent up as skirmishers:  the 64th Illinois and the 66th Illinois. They were all day trying to advance, but I do not think they gained more than a hundred yards. The 64th lost some 60 men in killed and wounded. I think our generals have given up the idea of storming from this side. This is the seventeenth day since we formed in line of battle in front of this place. The weather is very hot, and it is almost impossible to endure the middle of the day.
 
Tuesday evening, 6 o’clock.
 
My dear wife:
 
I have just received your letter of the 20th, with an account of the death of Mary Giffin. You see, my love, that death is no respecter of persons, and that old and young die, at home as well as on the battlefield.
 
Our company is dwindling fast through sickness. Quite a number of our men are sick but I am glad to say that I am getting stout again. Tonight I am on the Color Line guard, and shall be from one til daylight. It is now getting closer to sundown and I must leave off for the night. I shall think of you a good many times as I stand and listen to the firing of the skirmishers. When you see Will Giffin give my respects to him and tell him that I deeply sympathize with him in the loss of his sister. I wish he was healthy enough to be out here, If he was fond of fighting he would find enough of it here. I have seen more of war this campaign than in all the rest of my soldiering.

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27 June 1864: “…I told you that our company was then on the skirmish line but none of our boys had been brought in, and I supposed they were all safe. Alas, it was not so. We lost one of our best men, Corporal McFarland.”

Item Description:  Letter, dated 27 June 1864, from George Hovey Cadman to his wife Esther. Cadman (fl. 1862-1864) was a soldier in the 39th Ohio Infantry Regiment during the Civil War.

[Item transcription available below images.]

18640627_01a

Item Citation:  From the George Hovey Cadman Papers, #122, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

In the field, foot of Kennesaw Range, Ga.,
Monday, June 27, 1864.
 
My dear Wife:
 
With a heavy heart I begin this letter.  In the one I sent you yesterday I told you that our company was then on the skirmish line but none of our boys had been brought in, and I supposed they were all safe. Alas, it was not so. We lost one of our best men, Corporal McFarland.  He had moved from the rifle pit his squad was defending and was not missed particularly till the company was relieved last night, when he did not answer to his name. His body was discovered this morning not more than five paces from his post. We could not get him then as the rebel rifles covered the spot, but tonight we shall try to get his body and give him a soldier’s burial.
 
We also had a man wounded in the company, Ben Smith, he is a young fellow about 19, living near the California bridge over the Little Miami. He is single, but poor McFarland leaves a wife and I believe 7 children to lament his loss.

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26 June 1864: “Our regiment is in more danger from our own battery in the rear than from the rebels in front.”

Item description: Letter, dated 26 June 1864, from George Hovey Cadman, a soldier in the 39th Ohio Infantry Regiment, to his wife Esther.

[Item transcription available below images.]

18640626_01 18640626_02

Item citation: From folder 10 in George Hovey Cadman Papers (#122), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Sunday, June 26.

I told you yesterday that Col. Noyes was very anxious to storm the mountain, but that Gen. Fuller feared some trap. For thirty-six hours they kept their artillery masked, and showed nothing but a heavy line of skirmishers, evidently thinking we would advance, but finding suckers did not bite well, yesterday morning they threw off all disguise and opened on us with a full volley of shell. I don’t think Col. Noyes wants to storm it as badly as he did. Could he have had his way, our regiment would have been sacrificed to whisky and ambition. Since our return from furlough he has not been the same man he was before. When we made the reconnaissance at Resaca before the fight, he was so drunk he did not know what he was doing, and he has been the worse for liquor several times since. The boys are getting perfectly down on him. Fortunately he leaves next month when his three years are up. But keep this to yourself or you may get me into trouble.

Last night our company with three others was detailed on the skirmish line. I thought I would have to go too, but Capt. Orr ordered me to remain in and make out our muster and pay rolls. This is the first clerking I have had to do since he has been with the company, and I was in hopes I was done with it.

I don’t believe Johnnie Reb can stop in front of us much longer. He must either evacuate, surrender or fight, shortly, for we command the railroad between here and Marietta, and he can not run any more trains with supplies.

3 P.M.

Everything has been very quiet today, considering. There has not been much cannonading, and I was very glad of it, for it is not very pleasant to sit writing when the shells are whizzing over your head. Our regiment is in more danger from our own battery in the rear than from the rebels in front. Sometimes the fuse is defective, and the shell bursts almost as soon as it leaves the gun. None of our boys have been brought in from the skirmish line yet, so I suppose they are all right. We have not had a man hurt yet from our company in this campaign though some of them have been hit. We have had but one many die of sickness, so I think we have been fortunate.

And now let me conclude these rambling notes by assuring you of my love and my earnest desire for the war to come to an end, that we may pass the remainder of our lives together in peace and happiness.

Your affectionate husband,

GH Cadman

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