Posted on Oct 13, 2012 in 1862 | 0 comments

December, 1862 – Bridge Guard

A typical pontoon bridge of the period.

Beginning Location:  With regiment at Camp Chulahoma, vicinity of  Holly Springs, Mississippi

Dec. 1

Morning cloudy and cool without rain. Rested in camp and drafted provision.  Wrote 3 letters home to my family.

Dec. 2

This morning camp excitement great.  Leaving for rebel fortifications, marched 8 miles through rain and camped for the night.  Health good, roads blockaded by fallen timber by the rebels.

Dec. 3

Rested today on account of the rebels burning a bridge across the Talahatchee River.  Visited the camp of the 100th to see Br. Henry.  Weather pleasant.  Pass the day pleasantly. (Blogger’s note:  Location of burned bridge seems to be close to present-day Sardis Lake, near Abbieville, MS)

Dec. 4

This day still in camp.  Rain again commenced at noon and still raining at night.  Visited my Br. Henry of the 100th Reg’t, found him lame from the effects of marching.

Dec. 5

This morning waked up and found it snowing and raining.  2 rebel deserters come into camp today.  Marched 3 miles and camped on the Talahatchee river bank to guard the pontoon bridge.

Dec. 6

Hard frost last night and total eclipse of moon visible as weather clear.  Pleasant at sunrise.  Sun set clear and cool at evening.

Dec. 7

Cool with hard frost or rather freeze though pleasant at sunrise.  Preaching at 1/2 past 2 and social meeting for the first since I left home and arrangement for meeting on Tuesday eve  and Friday.

Dec. 8

Still in camp at Wyatt as bridge guards.  Mail train passed and took the letters of the 12th Reg’t for Holly Springs.  This day very pleasant, in short sleeves.  Parolled some prisoners.

Dec. 9

This morning the sun rose very fair and nice and the day so warm that I went in shirt sleeves.  The division ordered back to Memphis.  Our reg’t still left as a bridge guard.

Dec. 10

The weather still continues very pleasant and warm.  Health of the reg’t good, only 7 in the hospital.  John Gilpin of Co. C died and was buried about sundown.

Dec. 11

This morning still pleasant.  A supply train of 100 teams pass Camp Wyatt.  Received 3 letters from home.  Our boys came up to the regiment all in good spirits.  Sent 3 letter off home.

Dec. 12

This morning all hurry in camp. Preparing to leave Camp Wyatt on the bank of Tallahatchee river for Waterford on the RR.  Camped east of town.  Rained a little all night.

Dec. 13

This morning pleasant & warm.  Still in camp at Waterford.  Col went to Holly Springs.  4 Rebel deserts from Price’s army.  They think the war will soon close.

Dec. 14

This morning pleasant and warm enough to run barefoot & in short sleeves.

Dec. 15

This day left Waterford to RR bridge 8 miles distant through a heavy rain.  Camped in the woods in mud close to Tallahatchee River.  Had a good night’s rest.

Dec. 16

This morning sun rose very fair and morning cool but pleasant.  Moved across the Tallahatchee River and camped.  Wrote a letter home.

Dec. 17

This morning sun rose fair, day cool.  Went to the 27th Ioway regiment and had my boots mended.  The first train of cars run across the Tallahatchee River.  Tents come today.

Dec. 18

This morning cool but pleasant.  Nothing new.  Pitched our tent but did not get into it.  Sutler Store opened.

Dec. 19

This day was warm and pleasant and we moved into our tents.  Wrote a letter home.  News of a fight at Jackson Tennessee.  Troops sent to reinforce the federals.

Dec. 20

This morning great excitement in camp on account of the reported fall of Holly Springs and a report of an attack on our regiment.  Ordered to strike our tents and be ready to march in 20 minutes.

Dec. 21

This morning ordered to pitch our tents again.  Our provisions running short on account of a raid on Holly Springs by a force of cavalry. (See “Rebels Raid Union Supply Depot at Holly Springs” below)

Dec. 22

This morning very pleasant and warm.  Stewart’s division pass by our camp for Corinth.

Dec. 23

Sherman’s Corps. passing our camp with a part of Grant’s army.  Saw Br. Henry of the 100th of Co. E.

Dec. 24

This morning cloudy with a little rain last night.  The day very pleasant and warm reminding me of Mary, with light showers of rain.  Visit the camp of the 100th, took dinner with Br. Henry.

Dec. 25 Thur

Weather still warm and pleasant.  Saw plenty of house flies in Camp but no turkey.  My heart and my thoughts revert to home and its pleasures.  read a portion of the Psalms of David and passed the day heavily.

Dec. 26

This morning rainy & gloomy.  Raining most of the day.  Camp rumors of Richmond, Va & Vicksburg & Jackson being taken.  No letters yet nor newspapers.  Thunders in the afternoon.

Dec. 27

Still raining this morning and until about noon.  Wind changes to northwest and cooler than usual.  Visted the breastworks in the afternoon.  Saw about 300 negroes at work.

Dec. 28

Very foggy this morning and cool with the prospect of fair weather.  Ordered to pack up everything and be ready to march by 10 o’clock.  Negro died last night.  Left camp at 3 o’clock. March 3 miles, camp, last camp on the Tallahatchee River.

Dec. 29

Left camp 1/2 past 6, traveled in the rear of Brigade, pass the ruins of 3 burnt houses, passed Waterford about noon, got to Holly Springs about 2 o’clock pm.

Dec. 30

This morning foggy and cool with the appearance of rain.  Wind turns north and quite cold in the afternoon.  Move to the new camp ground about 10 rods south.

Dec. 31

Last night cold with heavy frost or freeze.  Sun rose very fair this morning.  Visited the camp of 100th Indiana. Returned to camp and mustered for pay at 12 by Capt. Johnson of the 100th.


Ending location:  Holly Springs, Mississippi


Rebels Raid Union Supply Depot at Holly Springs –

Holly Springs Raid –

Harper’s Weekly Sketch of Holly Springs – published January, 1863

Mississippi Central Railroad – passed through Holly Springs to Oxford, MS.  From the Wikipedia article:

In November 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant began the Mississippi Central Railroad Campaign down the line with the ultimate goal of capturing Vicksburg, Mississippi in conjunction withGeneral William Tecumseh Sherman. Grant established a base in Holly Springs and began advancing south along the railroad. Confederate soldiers built earthwork fortifications to defend the railroad’s Tallahatchie River bridge near Abbeville but retreated south without firing a shot when they learned of a flanking maneuver by Grant. Skirmishes were fought along the railroad to Oxford and in the streets of the town itself. The Confederates were pushed further south past Water Valley, Mississippi but managed to damage a railroad trestle and lead a successful ambush atOakland, Mississippi that stalled the Federal advance.

While Grant was stalled, Confederate General Van Dorn lead a successful cavalry raid on Grant’s supply base at Holly Springs, burning most of his supplies and then moved north destroying the railroad and telegraph lines along the way. With the railroad destroyed Grant had no way to resupply his army and was forced to end the campaign and retreat to Memphis, TN.


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