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27th Iowa Top Banner

History of Buchanan County, Iowa 1842 to 1881
Transcribed by Tommy Joe Fulton and Peggy Hoehne

Pages 206 - 207

NEAR MEMPHIS, August 31, 1864.

MESSRS. EDITORS: - For the sixth time we are again camped in the suburbs of this goodly city. The history of our travels since my last, from Holly Springs, is as follows:

On the seventeenth instant we marched to Waterford, about ten miles south, on the Mississippi Central railroad. The place is of no importance except as a railroad station. On the eighteenth marched to Abbeyville, also a small town and station, three miles south of the Tallahatchie river. Passed in sight of Fort Noble, and other similar earthworks, garrisoned by our regiment in the latter part of 1862. I was much amused and interested by the various reminiscences of that campaign, which our approach to well known localities brought up. The defence of Fort Noble by company C against rebels that never came - the capture of the attendants at our regiment hospital, and the gallant and ineffectual pursuit after the successful rebels - the sad incidents attending the death of poor Lender - the rapid march to Holly Springs; and any number of exploits in foraging, were all described with the greatest minuteness. It was conceded by all, however, that our first campaign was by no means the most severe.

At Abbeyville we were detained two days by a heavy rain, during which time we amused ourselves in trying to keep as comfortable as possible. The facilities for such a purpose afforded by a single blanket per man, are found somewhat deficient. The march was recommenced Sunday, the twenty-first, over very heavy roads. The distance made was seven miles. Next day our division had the rear, and had just commenced the march when a general halt was made for several hours, and about the middle of the afternoon our return march commenced our advance had reached Oxford. Noon of the twenty-fourth found us in camp on the Tallahatchie, where we remained till the twenty-fifth, awaiting the construction of the bridge. Holly Springs was reached on the twenty-sixth. Remained there till the twenty-eighth, and marched hither in three days. The distance is fifty miles, over a very fine country now mostly uncultivated. The reason of our return was undoubtedly the reception of dispatches concerning Forrest's raid on Memphis, confirming previous information that the enemy would not present themselves in our front in any considerable force. I infer that the series of "side shows" of this sort are now "played out," and that iustead of being kept here for fruitless raids after Forrest, the surplus men of this army will be sent where they can do good.

The intention of all our movements here has been to create a division of the enemy's force. The enemy are not drawn away from their strong points, and our force is thus rendered entirely ineffective. Rumors are rife that we are to go to Atlanta in a few days.

The health of the regiment is good - the supply of fruit has been abundant and freely appropriated, and the consequence is an almost entire exemption from fevers. When the furloughed men return to the regiment it will be, perhaps, in as good a condition for effective field service as it has been heretofore.

H. C. H.