Archive for July, 2013

Pvt. Marcus A. Brockway

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Soldier Profile, Stones River with tags , , on July 30, 2013 by 40thindiana

brockway 40th

Marcus A. Brockway was born in Center Twp., Boone County, Indiana on February 13, 1844. During the month of October 1861, Marcus enlisted as a private in company F, 40th Indiana Infantry. Company F was composed of men mainly from Boone County. Pvt. Brockway was present during all of the 40th Indiana’s hard fought engagements. After the battle of Stones River, he appears on the regimental list of wounded, with the notation “slightly wounded in arm.” His service record states that he was wounded a second time during a skirmish in front of Atlanta, August 3, 1864. Marcus was honorably discharged out of the regiment on December 6, 1864 and returned home to Boone County where he would record a post-war record book of the 40th’s movements, battles, and memories. (link to book Pvt. Marcus Brockway died on August 29, 1882, he was laid to rest in the Brockway Family Cemetery, Boone County, Indiana.


Rebel News; The War In Georgia

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Wagners Brigade on July 25, 2013 by 40thindiana


The Battle of June 27 at Kenesaw Mountain. THE FIGHTS ON JUNE 21 AND 22. REBEL ACCOUNTS OF THE SITUATION. The Battle of Kenesaw Mountain Highly Important from the Front-Enemy Assaults our Works Repulsed with Heavy Loss. From the Front Assault of our Centre. The Frost. Later in the Evening. The Fights on June 21 and 22. THE FIGHT ON THE 22D. A Complaint Over Mismanagement.

From the “Southern Confederacy,” June 28.From the Southern Confederacy. June 28, 1864″; Editorial. From Johnston’S Army. From the “Atlanta Confederacy,” June 26, 1864.

Published by the “New York Times,” July 12, 1864

MARIETTA, Monday, June 27.

The enemy made a simultaneous attack on our right, when our batteries, ably assisted by those on Kenesaw Mountain, Commanded by Col. Stow French’S Chief of Artillery, opened a most galling fire upon them. Their loss is not yet ascertained, but it is thought to be very heavy. Forty ambulances are now in sight carrying off their wounded.

A brisk skirmish is going on in front of French’s division. One Yankee Colonel and one Major are known to be killed.

About 10 o’clock this morning, the enemy, consisting of part of Palmer’s, Schofield’s, Blair’s, Howard’s and Logan’s corps attempted to gain possession of an angle in our fortifications, on the left and centre, held by Cheatham and Cleburne. They with difficulty came up in seven lines of battle. Our troops reserved their fire until they approached within a few yards of the breastworks, when they opened upon them with grape, canister and musketry.

The fire was so rapid and destructive that the enemy could not rally, but were driven back with a loss of between 800 and 1,000 men.

We captured about 100 prisoners, including Lieut.-Col. John B. Kerr, of the Seventy-sixth Illinois; Capt. H.B. Wakefield, of the Fifty-third Indiana, and Lieut. J.H. York, of the Sixty-third Indiana: also, two stand of colors, one of them presented to the Twenty-seventh Illinois by By Brigadier N.B. Buford.

The woods where the enemy’s dead and wounded lie are now on fire, making it impossible to bring them off.

Our loss, owing to our men being protected by breastworks, was very small on our right and centre.

The Sixty-third Georgia Regiment, under Col. Gordon, of Mercer’s Brigade, was deployed as skirmishers, acted with great gallantry, and held hand-to-hand fight with the enemy until relieved.

The troops engaged in the first-mentioned action were Maney’s and Vaughn’s brigades of Cheatham’s division, and Polk’s and Lowry’s brigades of Cleburne’s division.

Brig.-Gen. Kimball, commanding the First Brigade of the Second Division of Howard’s Fourth Army Corps, was killed, or so reported by his own men who were taken prisoners.

WAGNER’S in Kimball’s brigade suffered very severely.

The enemy made a fierce and vigorous assault upon Hardee’s Corps yesterday, and, we are proud to state, were handsomely repulsed. The attack was mainly directed against the centre of our line at Kenesaw, up to which they advanced four lines deep. The enemy opened fire at nine o’clock A.M., in a heavy cannonade against Kenesaw and the batteries of Hardee, succeeded, about 11 A.M., by a direct charge upon the portions of the line occupied by Cheatham’s, Cleburne’s and Walker’s divisions, the fight extending into Loring’s Division. The enemy’s troops were drunk with whisky, and came right up to the works. Some of them are represented to have been so drunk as absolutely to have refused to discharge their pieces.

Two stands of Yankee colors were captured almost upon the top of our breastworks. The enemy were repulsed at every point of attack, and their loss is estimated at 5,000. Our loss was apparently insignificant.

Prisoners report that Gen. Jackson, with cavalry, is in Sherman’s rear, and that he burned three trains near Tilton, a short distance from Dalton.

There is a rumor that the enemy is falling back by the Villenow road.

About fifty prisoners were brought down last evening, and among them a Lieutenant-Colonel.

MARIETTA, Sunday, June 26 — P.M.

Our lines remained unchanged, and, while a fight may come off at any hour, yet I see no prospect of a general engagement soon. I don’t think it is Sherman’s intention to fight unless Gen. Johnston forces him into an engagement, which he will likely do ere many days.

While the effect of a ball sent from a Hessian’s Whitworth, or from that of a sharpshooter, is equally as great and dangerous as if it had been shot in the heat of battle, yet sharpshooting has become so common that to hear the occasional rattle of musketry along the whole line scarcely excites the dread or suspicion of those witnessing it for the past six weeks. It is true, both armies sustain some loss by sharpshooting; but that loss is of no importance to either.

The enemy’s plans are not yet developed to any one, unless it be to Gen. Johnston, which leaves us to conjecture. The bulk of the Yankee army is probably massing on our left. Of course the chief object is to flank, like the boy by wrestling, but Sherman won’t do so unless he gets all “under bolt.”

The confidence of the whole army is unabated in Gen. Johnston, and the greatest enthusiasm prevails. It can be seen that the army of Tennessee needs one other assistance, and that is Forrest, to command the cavalry. We have a brave corps of cavalry, but there seems to be something lacking. With Forrest, to lead them, Shermans’s rear would be so harrassed as to force him back, or reduce his army by the number of troops required to guard depots and the long string of railroad over which he is obliged to ship his supplies daily.

There is but little discipline in our cavalry — the number of stragglers scattered through the country from that command testifies to the fact. I know that Northeast Georgia is absolutely filled with infantry deserters and cavalry stragglers. I am aware that discipline does not always prevent desertion, but it does strangling.

It is yet known who the President will appoint Lieutenant-General to command Polk’s old corps.

Pvt. Robert Aitchinson’s Letter Home

Posted in 40th Haversack, Stones River with tags , , on July 22, 2013 by 40thindiana

Pvt. Robert Aitchinson's Letter Home Image of Robert Aitchison

Robert Aitchison, a Scottish weaver, enlisted as a private in company B, 40th Indiana Infantry on Sept. 19, 1861. The 33 year old was living in the Mexico area, Miami County, Indiana. Robert was killed by an artillery shell during the fighting at Stones River, Dec. 31, 1862. Below is what may have been Robert’s last letter home to his wife Sarah.

Camp Near Nashville, Tennessee
Dec. 5,1862

Dear Wife,

As it is snowing this morning, and we can’t go out on drill; thought I would write you a few lines. The(y) had what they call grand review yesterday. General Rosecrans reviewed us himself, he seems to be a good man, at least he has the appearance While he was riding along our lines, he would stop and ask the men how they fared, if they got enough to eat, and if they had drawn overcoats yet. While he was passing me, he pointed down to a mans feet, and said that his shoe would last him about a four days, he passed some pleasant remarks all along the line. I think he will make a better General than Buell did. He is a man about 45 years old, dresses very plain, there are not near as much style about him, as there is about some of his Aide (de) Camp. It is supposed we will make a forward movement before long, if we don’t, the roads will get so bad, it will be almost impassable to get our teams and batteries along. The soil is a kind of clay substance and when it does get muddy, it is very bad.

Sarah, I asked Willard if he had got those things that Uncle Frank expressed to him, he said he did not know that there was anything expressed to him. He had not received any letters from home since the 15th of last month. I would like (if) he would get them as I am about out of socks and can’t get any here.

Sarah, how I would like to be at home now, but there is no sense of thinking about it, and the prospect of getting home, looks to me, to be as far off, as it was when I first enlisted. I will conclude this by sending my respect to all enquiring friends.

Robert, to his wife Sarah Aitchison

(P.S.) Tell Clarance that he must learn to read and write, so as he can write to Pa.

Source: Stone’s River National Battlefield Park; 40th Ind. Regimental Files – Pvt. Robert Aitchison Letter