For the Gallipolis Journal.
May 22, 1862
For the Gallipolis Journal.
Camp Piatt, Va., May 13th, 1862.
Dear Brother: - As I have a few leisure moments on hand, I will devote them in writing you a short account of our march to Chapmansville, where companies B, C, D, & K, are now stationed, in command of Lieut. Col. Russell. On Monday, the 5th inst., we crossed the river to Brownstown, encamping there for the night, early next morning tents were struck and knapsacks slung, and before the sun had peeped over the mountain tops, we were “stretching out” at a rapid pace regardless of the heavy load on our backs, Big Coal river was crossed about noon, two miles further on, we pitched our tents, camping for the night, having marched 15 miles till 1 o’clock. Wednesday morning found us again on the tramp, at midday we crossed Little Coal, and halted for dinner; again we were moving forward laboring over the rough mountain roads, and through the hot, broiling sun, now wading through streams of water at every few rods, and again climbing steep, almost perpendicular hills, until pretty well “gone up,” we halted at a farm-house, the proprietor of which is known by the very euphonious name of “Forked John Miller,” in order, I suppose, to distinguish him from the rebel Col. John Miller, who is now lying very ill at home, and, as one of the boys very knowingly informed, on his “patrol” of honor.
The wagons – on account of the bad roads, failing to reach us that night, we were forced to retire almost supperless to bed with no covering save the “starried canopy” above. The third day we again resumed the march – minus our breakfasts, and reached Chapmansville about noon; here a great slaughter instantly commenced – not on the secesh, but on the numerous fish, flesh, and fowl; but we had scarcely time to attend to this matter, before word was brought that a body of rebels were within a short distance, attempting to elude the vigilance of the “Blood-thirsty Yankees” – as some of them have chosed [sic] to designate us. Instantly Capt. Dayton with upwards of 100 men was sent in search of them, but failed to find their retreat. The following day, Lieut. McMasters with 20 men of Company C, crossed the river (Guyan) and chased up the band we were in pursuit of the day before. A few rounds were fired at them, and one very important prisoner captured. He was acting Quartermaster of the 129th Virginia Militia, and was in Richmond in January, when Wise’s Legion was starting for Roanoke. I forgot to mention that two prisoners were taken the day before, one of whom had in his possession nearly $200 in counterfeit Waynesburg, Pa., notes, “Big Sandy gold,” and Confederate money. Lieut. Col. Russell relieved him of his burden for the present, and I suppose he will not have much use of it for a few months to come. Our wagons reached us the day after we arrived. Co. D, Capt. Goodspeed, who was their guard, had a severe time cutting roads, building bridges, &c., &c.
On Friday night Capt. J. L. Vance with 105 men started to Logan Court House to cut off the retreat of the rebels, and surround Col. Morgan if possible, who was there attempting to collect the Militia. When we left the next morning he had not been heard from but it was supposed he was doing good work.
Capt. Dayton with 40 of his men were detailed as a guard for the wagon train. We arrived here on Sunday and start on our return this afternoon. When you write direct your letter to Charleston.
Your affectionate Brother, MILTON.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: May 1862