Archive for the Missionary Ridge Category

Walter Morris, Company A

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Missionary Ridge with tags , on May 28, 2015 by 40thindiana


Walter Morris Grave, Spring Valley Cemetery, Tippecanoe County, IN

OBITUARY: Sudden Death of Walter Morris: Walter Morris, a carpenter residing on Twenty-sixth street, died very suddenly on the street near his house about 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, and death is believed to have resulted from disease of the heart. Mr. Morris was well advanced in years, and came to this city about two years ago. He was employed in the construction of a number of residences in the Belt addition or Hulls mill area, and was an industrious and prudent gentleman. He was a church member and a sincere Christian. His life was a useful one and he was highly esteemed by all who knew him. The suddenness of his death was a severe shock to the family and its members have the sympathy of all in their sorrow. Funeral took place at 9th St. Church with odd fellows being in charge. Buried at Springvale Cemetery/ lot 36-section 29. — Walter fought in the War of the Rebellion. Enrolled at Stockwell, IN on Sept. 7, 1861. Muster in Oct 31, 1861 with his brother William at the Culvers Station-Stockwell, IN. Age 24, eyes grey, Hair Brown, Height 5′ 6′, Complexion Light, Occupation, carpenter. A Pvt. in the 40th Infantry with Captain Kirpatrick. He was wounded in battle at Missionary Ridge, (and) in his right arm June 27, 1864 (Kennesaw Mt.) by mini balls, but survived his wounds and is discharged Dec. 4, 1864. — Walter came to Tippecanoe County with this family around 1860. Settling in Sheffield Township. His parents were John Morris and Caroline Horscroft-Morris of England. Children of John Morris and Caroline Horsecraft are: i. Elizabeth Morris, m. Thomas Avery, April 01, 1858, Tippecanoe Co. Indiana.


Montgomery County Indiana at Missionary Ridge

Posted in Missionary Ridge, Wagners Brigade with tags , , , , , on October 27, 2013 by 40thindiana

Sharing an article I did about Missionary Ridge for a local newspaper in Montgomery County, Indiana.

(above) Sgt. Wm. Galey of Waveland, IN. KIA 11/25/64

Our Darkest Day; the Battle of Missionary Ridge

Montgomery County is very rich in the annuals of the Civil War. We can boast of five general officers and well over 2000 men that enlisted to fight during four years of Civil War. Many men from MontgomeryCounty fought valiantly in every theatre of the war. Articles could be written for weeks about the battles and hardships endured by MontgomeryCounty men. The purpose of this article is to focus on the actions of Montgomery County solders at the battle of Missionary Ridge. The often overlooked battle took place 150 years ago, on a lofty steep ridge overlooking Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The battle of Missionary Ridge was fought on November 25, 1863.  It was the end result of a long 1863 summer/fall campaign through Middle and East Tennessee. The fight for Chattanooga took place a month after the battle of Chickamauga, Georgia. MontgomeryCounty men that fought and died on Missionary Ridge were proud members of Gen. George H. Thomas’ Army of the Cumberland. The Army of the Cumberland had been soundly defeated at Chickamauga on September 20th and had retreated to the City of Chattanooga. The Confederate Army followed and laid siege to the city.   Grant and Sherman arrived from Mississippi with the Army of Tennessee and broke through the Confederate siege lines bringing aid to Thomas’ army. Members of the Army of the Tennessee, including many of their commanders quietly considered Thomas’ men inferior to their army. After all, the Army of the Tennessee had just arrived in Chattanooga after their great victory at Vicksburg. Tensions would remain high between the two Union armies sitting in Chattanooga.

As overall commander of both armies in Chattanooga, General Ulysses S. Grant was making his battle plans to drive the rebel army off of their strong position on Missionary Ridge. His plan was for Gen. Sherman to assault the Confederate right flank on the northern end of Missionary Ridge and drive the rebels off of the heights. The Army of the Cumberland was to play a secondary role in the action. It was to advance forward, take the Confederate rifle-pits at the bottom of Missionary Ridge and then stop. They were to be a diversion; it was thought they had no fighting spirit after the Chickamauga loss. But, the main attack on the northern end of the ridge didn’t go according to plan. Meeting a strong Confederate resistance, Sherman’s attack stalled. As the Army of the Cumberland stepped off toward the Confederate rifle-pits, the rank and file soldiers felt that they had something to prove. They were going to show Gen. Grant that they had plenty of fight left in them.

Major Henry Leaming, of the 40th Indiana Inf. stated that the Army of the Cumberland would cover “more than a mile, without cover of any sort, over dead level, commanded at all points by the enemy’s batteries, and the last quarter mile under fire of the infantry.” Montgomery County had men present in the following regiments on Missionary Ridge. The 10th, 15th, 38th, 40th, 79th & 86th Indiana Infantry. At 2:00 o’clock the men stepped off to take the rebel rifle-pits, there were no orders to scale the heights. Once the Confederate rifle-pits had been taken, an order was received to advance the quarter-mile to the ridge.  In after-action reports from Gen. George Wagner’s Brigade, which contained the 15th & 40th Indiana Regiments, commanders state that they were taking heavy rifle fire but were making forward progress. The brigade had reached a spot at the bottom of the ridge where they were somewhat shielded from the bullets of the enemy.

Lt. Col Elias Neff, of the 40th Indiana Infantry sums up what happened next. “Scarcely had this movement upon the ridge commenced when the order to fall back to the rifle-pits was received from General Wagner, through an aide, and given to the men. It was with the greatest reluctance, almost amounting to a refusal at first, that this order was obeyed, but the sense of duty prevailed, and they fell back, suffering very severely in the movement; but the shelter thus obtained was not long made use of. Again, under the proper order, the line advanced to its former position, again loosing heavily in the movement. Now commenced the struggle; man by man, as each would gather breath, firing as they went, the brave fellows rushed up, always onward, never backward for one moment. The fire here, on the part of the enemy, rapid and well sustained, both by the infantry and the batteries upon the ridge, which at this time poured a constant shower of grape down the slope; but the advance was not even checked………”

The 15th Indiana Infantry were members of Gen. George Wagner’s Brigade. On November 25 Wagner’s Brigade was one of the hardest hit brigades in the Army of the Cumberland. Company E of the 15th was composed of men from Montgomery County. The ranks of the 15th had been thinned during a bayonet charge performed by the regiment at the battle of Stones River on Dec. 31, 1862. Six men from company E had been killed; numerous others had been wounded and disabled. The company reported 28 men present for duty at Chattanooga. Captain Benjamin Hegler, commanding the 15th Indiana explains the regiment’s assault on Missionary Ridge. “…. The ascent was very steep and our progress so obstinately contested that it was necessarily slow, but in forty-five minutes after leaving the base of the ridge our colors were planted by 2nd Lt. Thomas Graham and the enemy fleeing in disorder.”  Officers and men fought and clawed their way up the slope, paying a price in blood for every step taken. Several color-bearers from the 15th were shot down during the assault, but the men kept pushing. Color-bearer George Banks, who was wounded twice, said the ridge “was a perfect hail of bullets.” The 15thIndiana had the honor of being the first regiment to plant a flag on the heights of Missionary Ridge. On December 10, 1863 a list of causalities from company E appeared in the “Crawfordsville Daily Journal.” The article reported that company E “went into the fight with only 28 men, rank and file; and came out with a loss of just one half – 5 killed and 9 wounded. These numbers would change as several men succumbed to their wounds.  Causalities for the regiment as a whole were 202 men killed and wounded – 60 percent of the regiment.

Also in Wagner’s Brigade was the 40th Indiana Infantry. Companies C, G, &H, contained men from Montgomery County. Every step the regiment took was heavily contested by the Confederate defenders.  Major Henry Leaming of the 40th described his view of the attack; “ I could see our brave boys dropping all around me as we moved forward, some killed, others desperately wounded, but the advance was not even checked. It moved as if each man felt himself invulnerable.” As the regiment neared the ridge top, regimental flags became targets for the Confederate defenders. At one point, 2nd Lt. James Hanna of Waveland was carrying one of the regiment’s flags; he was severely shot in the hip by a musket-ball. Close by James was his brother, Corp. Robert Hanna. Seeing his brother go down, he grabbed the flag from his brother’s grasp and started for the top. 20 year old Robert had only taken a few steps when he was killed, “pierced through the head by a musket-ball.” At another point, James H. Seaman of Brown Township, picked up a flag and advanced with it. Seaman also went down; a musket wound to one of his legs. After the war Lt. Col. Neff cited Seaman for “gallant and distinguished conduct as color bearer of the 40th Indiana Regiment at Missionary Ridge.” Brown Twp. resident, Hezekiah Harrell, was able to grab the regimental colors after it had “fallen five times.” Harrell made it to the summit and planted his flag. The commander of the 40th; Lt. Col. Elias Neff,  picked up the national flag after it had fallen numerous times. Once at the top, Neff planted the flag right in front of Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg’s headquarters. Major Leaming reported; “ The Fortieth took two hundred prisoners, and eight pieces of artillery.” Losses in the 40thIndiana were 158 killed and wounded – 45 percent of the regiment.

To the left of Wagner’s Brigade was the 79th and 86th Indiana Regiments in Gen Samuel Beatty’s Brigade. Company K of the 86th had been raised in Montgomery County. Reverend Henry Newton Ornbaun of Crawfordsville had left his ministry and was serving as a sergeant in company K, 79th Indiana Infantry. The 86th and 79th regiments had been consolidated at Chattanooga because of losses sustained in each regiment at Chickamauga. Beatty’s Brigade experienced a rough time climbing the ridge, especially from Confederate artillery fire. W. H. Laymon of the 86th Indiana sent a letter that appeared in the December 10, 1863 addition of the “Crawfordsville Daily Journal.” Laymon’s description of the assault; “ ….we advanced in fine order, on the double-quick, charged and took that line of the enemy’s defenses, and still charged on and on until the foot of Missionary Ridge was gained, and on up the ridge still we charged against eight pieces of heavy artillery directly in our front, thirty more pieces of artillery constantly  pouring their fire upon us both from the right and the left and Gen. Hardee’s Corps of three entire Divisions in our front, right and left, from behind breast-works pouring their galling fire into us. On up the mountain still charged the noble 86th and 79th.”

Lymon also mentions MontgomeryCounty’s company K of the 86thIndiana. “Capt. Southard was shot in the breast and instantly expired, at the head of his men, when about half way up the mountain. His conduct is well spoken of by all who witnessed him on the battlefield, and his death is severely felt, not only by his own command, but by all the officers and men of the regiment. Poor Billy! His is another good life given for our country”. The other causalities sustained by his company are Serg’t B.F. Snyder, severely wounded in the left hip; Corp. Tillman A. Howard, slightly wounded in the left breast; privates Morris Welch, severely through the right arm; James Harrington, slightly in the left side; Wm. Saunders, slightly in the left knee; Jas. Williams, slightly on left elbow. Lieutenant John Yount was pretty severely bruised by a fall, but it did not prevent him from bravely leading on the noble boys of company K. ”Long may he wave, and enjoy the honors so nobly won.”

Sergeant Henry N. Ornbaun, of Crawfordsville is also mentioned in the Laymon letter. “Serg’t Newton Ornbaun of the 79th, I saw fall, severely wounded in the thigh, whilst bravely charging the rebel breastworks. I hope he may soon be able for duty again, for he is one of the bravest and best soldiers.” Ornbaun’s return was not to be, he would die from his wounds on December 1, 1863. Ornbaun’s body was returned to Crawfordsville, where he was interred in the Crawfordsville Masonic Cemetery on Grant Ave. The following article appeared in the “Crawfordsville Daily Journal,” on Thursday, January 21, 1864.

Funeral of Serg’t Ornbaun

“The remains of Serg’t H.N. Ornbaun, of Company K,79th Indiana Regiment, who fell mortally wounded at the battle of Missionary Ridge, on the 25th of November last, and who died on the 1st day of December, arrived at home on Saturday morning last for interment. On Tuesday of this week, under military escort, the remains were conveyed from the family residence to the Methodist E. Church;(where appropriate funeral exercises were had);and thence to the town Cemetery, where they were consigned to the tomb-the final resting place of all that is mortal of man.”

Once the summit had been gained, the fighting continued down the reverse slope of Missionary Ridge. The Confederates were in a mad retreat, muskets, cannon and wagons were left behind. The Army of the Cumberland was in pursuit, and gathering many prisoners along the way. They had proven that they could still fight and felt as if their honor had been restored. By the morning of November 26, 1863 the great railroad hub of Chattanooga lay in union hands. The Confederate army had been beaten and was in full retreat. The little remembered battles for Chattanooga had opened the door for Union forces to take Atlanta in 1864 and ultimately it helped win the war. MontgomeryCounty had played a significant part in the battle; “our boys” would continue fighting on many other fields of battle. But, never again would we pay such a high price in a single day of battle. Eighteen county men had been lost during the assault and capture of Missionary Ridge. Other local men would be lost in the war, but never on the same scale as November 25, 1863. It was MontgomeryCounty’s darkest day of the Civil War.

As in the case of Sergeant H.N. Ornbaun, several other causalities of the battle rest in MontgomeryCounty. John C. Monfort of the 40th Indiana is also buried in the Crawfordsville Masonic Cemetery. Four members of the 40th Indiana are interred in  Freedom Cemetery, Brown Township.  They were friends and neighbors in life and comrades in company C. They are Sergeant William B. Gayley, Lt James Hanna, Corp. Robert Hanna and James Elrod. They are all in the same general area of the cemetery. A visit to this spot brings the thought of the devastation this battle produced to families in a tight knit community. The valor and deeds of all Montgomery County soldiers that fought on Missionary Ridge should be remembered on this 150th anniversary of the battle.

Our Heroes lost on Missionary Ridge

Sgt. Robert B. Gilbert – 15thInd.

Sgt. Frederick Waltz – 15thInd.

Sgt. Solomon Bowers – 15thInd.

Pvt. William R. Emmerson – 15thInd.

Pvt. Silas Cooley – 15thInd.

Pvt. John C. Tyson – 15thInd.

Pvt. William R. Creek – 15thInd.

Sgt. Alvin Egnew – 40thInd.

Lt. James M. Hanna – 40thInd.

Cpl. Robert C.H. Hanna – 40thInd.

Sgt. Wm. B. Galey – 40thInd.

Pvt. James Elrod – 40thInd.

Pvt. John C. Monfort – 40thInd.

Pvt. James R. Shelton – 40thInd.

Pvt. George Krauss – 40thInd.

Pvt. Taylor McIntosh – 40thInd.

Sgt. William Newton Ornbaun – 79thInd.

Capt. William M. Southard – 86thInd.

Pvt. Milton H. Porter Letter

Posted in Atlanta Campaign, Missionary Ridge, Soldier Profile with tags , , , on August 1, 2013 by 40thindiana

Milton H. PORTER

Grave of Milton H. Porter, Marietta National Cemetery

A very interesting letter sent home from Chattanooga, during October 1863, by Pvt. Milton H. Porter. The letter is to his brother, George Marion Porter, who resides in Montgomery County, Indiana. There are a range of topics covered by Milton. He starts by writing about his situation in Chattanooga. A soldier always wants letters, Milton inquires as to why brother George is not writing. Milton was married to Sarah Rice on May 6, 1860 in Montgomery County, Indiana. It appears at the time of the letter that the relationship was on a very rocky road, and Milton wants to know Sarah’s status. The relationship will end in divorce according to pension and Montgomery County records. He also wants to know what brother George and other people think about the 1863 Ohio election for state governor. The election was big news in the Army of the Cumberland, Ohio soldiers in the field got to vote in the heated election. Ohio soldiers are said to have turned the outcome of the election. Milton ends with a couple of more Army tidbits.

Milton H. Porter was born in 1833, Montgomery County, Indiana. He enlisted as a recruit in company H on October 4, 1862. He had severed in several actions at Stones River, Missionary Ridge and Resaca, Georgia. On June 27th, 1864 the 40th, as part of Wagner’s Brigade, assaulted the Confederate works on Kennesaw Mt., Georgia. Pvt. Porter was wounded during the charge, he was sent to the 2nd Brig., 2nd Div., 4th Army Corps Hospital at an unknown date. A surgeon recorded Milton’s diagnosis, “Gun-shot wound, both Thighs and Abdomen – Flesh wound of Thigh penetrating Abdomen.” On June 30th, 1864, Pvt. Milton H. Porter died of his wounds in the 4th Corps Hospital. He is buried in the Marietta National Cemetery, Marietta, Georgia.


Camp in Chattanooga Tennessee
October the 29, 1863

Mr. George A. Porter, dear sir I send you a few lines to let you know I ain’t well, but I hope this will find you and family well and all Gods blessings rest on you. There is a prospect for a big fight soon.

George, I don’t see what is the reason you don’t write to me for I don’t think I ever done or wrote anything that you need not write. I want to now. What it is I want you to tell me if you write. What you know about my wife, if she has got a divorce and if she is married or not. I want you to tell me all the particulars and tell me how you like the election of Ohio and how the people likes it in the town of Crawfordsville.

We have General Grant for our commander now and I think we will gain the day soon. We learn that Meade has whipped Lee once more.

Well I must close, for I shall have to by dawn.

Write soon.
M.H. Porter
to George R. Porter

Direct your letter
Chattanooga Tennessee
40th reg’t Ind. Vols.
Co. H Care of Capt. Cole



Sad Duty, Death Notification Letter

Posted in Missionary Ridge with tags , , , , , , , on April 2, 2012 by 40thindiana

One of the saddest moments during a soldier’s life must have been notifying family members that a loved one had died. Going through the pension paperwork for Private Taylor McIntosh’s (Co. H) mother, Eliza McIntosh, I noticed a letter sent to her from Chattanooga on a 40th Indiana Infantry letterhead. The news was not good, Private Taylor McIntosh received a head wound during the assault up Missionary Ridge, November 25th, 1863. On December 19th, 1863 McIntosh would die of his wound in one of the hospitals established in Chattanooga, TN.

I am a little confused who wrote the letter, as it has two signatures. The first signature is William Oliver of Company C, he was from Waveland, Indiana, as was Taylor McIntosh. The two were probably close friends before the war and remained close while serving in the regiment. The rolls show William Oliver is later killed during the assault at Kenesaw Mt., June 27, 1864.

The second signature is from the 1st Lt. of Company H, John.C. Barnhart. John Barnhart was from Lafayette, Indiana, he mustered in as a corporal in Company H. John was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on December 14, 1862. The muster roll shows Barnhart resigning on November 22, 1863 before the Missionary Ridge attack. He is still in Chattanooga almost a month after resigning from the regiment, possibly waiting for the paperwork to go through.

Some of the content in the letter makes me believe that William Oliver is the author of the letter. At the end of the letter is the statement, “as I Rite (wrote) to you a few days ago” and he wanted Eliza McIntosh to correspond back. If Barnhart wanted Eliza to write him back, he gave no forwarding address to Lafayette, and does not mention resigning.  Lt. Barnhart could have put Oliver’s words down on paper, or the two were close friends with McIntosh and composed the letter together on Barnhart’s 40th Indiana letterhead.

I have tried to keep everything the way it appears in the letter. Not many punctuations were used.

Head Quarters

Co. H, 40th Reg Indiana Vol. Inf.

Camp Chattanooga Tennessee Dec. 1863

Eliza McIntosh

Dear Madam

I take my pen in hand to inform

you of the death of your son he

Died yesterday morning the 19 of Dec.

he was wounded the 25 of November

and lived until yesterday morning

he was well cared for and had all

the care that a soldier could hav

him in the Army Hospitals

I was to see him Every Day after

I came up I was not (with) him at the

time of the Battle But was here

in a few days after

His things that you sent to him

is here and they will be sent to

Just as soon as the administrators

Can Do it or the money and will

Be Sent first as they think Proper

But you will get Every Thing that he

had or the amount of it in money

He died as a True Soldier and

One that Loved his country

he died fighting for the Rites of

man and God and no man

never Died in a more nobler

Cause. Well as I Rite you

a letter afew days a go

I will close by asking

you to write to me

Wm. Oliver  – (either H or &)

J. C. Barmheart

1st Lt. Co. H 40th Ind Vols

Letter From Lt. Stillwell for Widow’s Pension

Posted in Missionary Ridge, Soldier Profile with tags , , , on March 24, 2012 by 40thindiana

On November 25, 1863, Cpl. Josiah Davis of Company C was wounded in the right shoulder during the charge up Missionary Ridge. On December 16, 1863 Cpl. Davis died as a result of his wounds in a Chattanooga army hospital. Josiah’s wife, living in the Waveland, IN. area applied for a Federal Pension shortly after his passing. The letter below was written by Lieutenant S.A. Stillwell (Co. C), confirming to the pension examiner’s office that Cpl. Davis was wounded and died doing his duty.

“Head Quarters 40th Reg’t Ind. Vol. Infantry

Near Marietta, GA .June 26, 1864″

‘I here certify on honor that Josiah Davis

 corporal of Company C 40th Reg’t Ind Vols.

Infantry died in military hospital Chattanooga,

Tenn, the 16th day of December 1863 in consequence

of gunshot wound received in the Battle of

Mission Ridge Tenn., on the 25th day of Nov. 1863.

I further certify that the said Josiah

Davis when wounded was in the ranks of

his company, and in the line of his duty.’

Signed S. A. Stillwell 1st Lieutenant

Comdg. Co. C 40th Reg’t Ind. Vols.

Six men from the Waveland area were killed as a result of the Missionary Ridge charge.Taylor McIntosh (Co. H), Cpl. Josiah Davis, Serg’t. William Galey, James Elrod, Lt. James Hanna, Cpl. Robert Hanna (Co. C) Josiah’s body was shipped home, as were three other members of his company (Hanna brothers & Galey), all four are buried in Freedom Cemetery, Montgomery Co., Indiana.

Major Henry Leaming’s Missionary Ridge Letter

Posted in Missionary Ridge with tags , , on January 31, 2009 by 40thindiana


“The Soldier of Indiana In The War For The Union Vol. 2”; Author Catharine Merrill; Published Merrill and Company 1889.

Page 473 -476

“Two days after the battle Major Leaming, of the Fortieth gives a spirited description of the race up the mountain.”

“”I do not know that I could interest you by attempting  a description of the battle last Wednesday, but dome of it’s incidents will never by me be forgotten. Stone River was a skirmish, as far as our regiment was concerned, to this affair. In fact the Fortieth, being in the front line, formed with the regiments on it’s flanks, the forlorn hope of the storming party. Now, if you will reflect that we had to advance more than a mile, without cover of any sort, over a dead level, commanded at all points by the enemy’s batteries, and for the last quarter of a mile under fire of the infantry, you will wonder with me that any ever succeeded in reaching the foot of the ridge, to say nothing of the ascent afterwards. I could see our brave boys dropping all around me as we moved forward, some killed, others desperately wounded, but the advance was not even checked. It moved on as if each man felt himself invulnerable. As I lost my horse before we were half way across the plain, I had to take it on foot, and after running more than a half mile, had the mountain to climb. It is about as steep and about twice as high as the hill just back of Camp Tippeconoe, at Laffayette, perhaps higher. After running so far, of course I was about gone up before I got to the mountain foot, and from there to the top was just the biggest job of climbing I ever undertook, not to speak of the rascals on the top, who objected to our going up.”

“I never have seen anything so vicious as the artillery fire from the ridge. Grape, canister and shell flew through and over our ranks like a flock of birds. I was blinded time and again by the dirt thrown in my face by some of the missiles striking the ground in front of me. The flight of canister much resembles the noise of a covey of quails just springing from the ground. I heard a soldier say, as a charge of canister rushed along, ‘Here goes your quails.”

“As we lay behind the rifle-pits a few moments, taking breath for the next rush, the firing from the artillery was most accurate and rapid. The bank we were behind was not more than three feet high, and as the Rebels were so much above us, they plumped their shell right down on us. Once, I remember, as I lay close up on my side to the parapet, with my legs behind me, a twenty-four shell struck not three inches from my feet, and glancing, exploded about fifty feet in the rear. You can easily imagine that I drew in my legs a far as possible toward my chin. I mention these things of my own experience that you may form a better idea of how hot the place was for us all. As we were going up the mountain side, directly at the battery, we could feel the hot smoke puff right into out faces. The pieces were depressed so much as actually to blow huge masses of earth from the edge of the hill top.”

“The prisoners say that our attempt to scale the height was laughed at by them as absurd and impossible. They thought us insane to undertake it. After the thing was over, and I could see just what had been done, I came to pretty much the same conclusion.  Of course we did, but why we should succeed I cannot see. No artillery could be used by us. All depended on the bull-dog  perseverance of the infantry. In fact we mobbed the Rebels out of their position, every fellow fighting on his own hook. A man behind a stump would move forward to another just vacated in advance of him, and thus make room for another behind him. Thus the whole thing was gradually rushed up the hill, and when we got to the top the Rebels were mostly at the bottom on the other side. ‘Twas a clean thrashing they got, all the advantages on their side, all the success on ours.”

“After we drove the Rebels from the ridge, we could see them running without any sort of order, each man for himself, throwing away everything, – guns, cartridge-boxes with the belts cut, the owners not having taken the time to unbuckle them. While this was going on a part of our men were gathered together, and moved down the road after the crowd of Rebels. We struck them posted on a high hill, over which the road ran, and which, being crescent-shaped, with the horns encircling the road, commanded it most effectually. We got to the foot of the hill, but as we had only a remnant of our regiment, with a few of the Ninety-Seventh Ohio, our force was plainly not sufficient to storm it. So we stopped and commenced firing. We held our own for an hour and a quarter, with a fire poured into us from both flanks, as well as front. Finally a regiment was sent along the ridge to our left, and the Rebels, fearing a movement upon their flank, fled at once. We got here three pieces of artillery, a wagon loaded with rifle ammunition, and another loaded with new rifles, and a third with commissary stores.”

“I was standing in the road watching the firing, when I felt a pain shoot from my toes to my shoulders. I knew that I was struck about the knee, and I thought to myself, ‘Now for a wooden leg;’ but I did not put my hand down to see what was done for ten minutes.  I was afraid to, expecting to find the bone shattered. So I lay down – I couldn’t stand, and after a while became curious to see the damage. Sure enough the shot had struck plump on the bone, but my heavy overcoat had stopped it’s force somewhat, and this, with the distance it had come, prevented it from making anything more that an ugly contusion. If it had come with the slightest additional force, my leg would have been a goner. For a long time it was useless for walking purposes as a stick.”

“This fight was a mile beyond the ridge we scaled. We marched on till four in the morning, then lay on the ground, white with frost. I got a cold that racks every bone in my body.”

“The Fortieth took two hundred prisoners, and eight pieces of artillery. The guns were of the famous Washington battery, one that did our regiment much harm at Stone River. One of the pieces was marked Lady Bragg, another Lady Buckner. These were two hundred and forty smooth bore, two rifled Parrotts one hundred, the others brass howitzers. Bragg himself was on the ridge not ten minutes before we got there, and with Breckinridge made his escape in good time to save his skin.”

“We found that every preparation for winter quarters had been made by the Rebels. Cabins without number were scattered through the woods for miles, many built of large logs, and well chinked and daubed. This freezing weather will provide a great hardship to them without any shelter at all.”

“I told you the the Army of the Cumberland was not whipped at Chickamauga, and when we went for them again we would prove it. Whatever may have been the cause of the check there, the men were not, in any sense, whipped. This will, I think, be plain enough now. The back-bone of the Rebellion was broken last Wednesday. No tinkering can restore it. The patient may linger, but death is certain, and cannot long be delayed.”

“I have written to poor Mrs. Cooper, Jimmy Dick’s sister. It was indeed a painful thing to do, and I confess my heart was sad enough. Never was there a better fellow than he. I was , as all others were, attached most closely to him. A brave and noble gentleman.”

“The day of the fight was my birthday. The armies were celebrating it. Less noise would have suited me as well.”

Robert Hanna Poem

Posted in Missionary Ridge with tags , , on May 26, 2008 by 40thindiana

Cpl. Robert Hanna

“Crawfordsville Journal, Feb. 25, 1864”

      (From the Lafayette Journal)

      “In Memory of Robert Hanna”

” While swell the praises of the great,

  Who come in war, or guide the state,

  Forget not him of lowly birth,

  Possessed, perhaps of equal worth,

  ‘Tis he awakes my simple strain,

  A brave, an humble warrior slain,

  A boy he was – A manly boy –

  Gentle of heart, and full of joy,

  Scarce eighteen summers on his head,

  Mid scenes of rural beauty bread,

  So loved by all, so loving all,

  One thought of man before the fall,

  And marked him as a noble soul,

  True as the needle to it’s pole,

  Of graceful make, and fragile form,

  That seemed unsuited to the storm,

  Of modest step, yet gracious mien,

  So much admired so seldom seen;

  Of Rosy cheek, and deep blue eye,

  That struck each hasty passer-by;

  He was a youth, whose beauty told,

  Him sprang from natures choicest mould,

  Mid scenes of peace and rural mirth,

  That nightly graced the homestead hearth,

  This lovely boy, his golden prime,

  Was passing sweetly as a rhyme,

  When hark! A horrid thundering sound,

  That shook Columbia’s utmost bound,

  And jarred the nations near and far,

  Proclaimed the deed of Civil War,

  Enough! The starry flag was torn,

  Insulted, scoff’d by Traitors sworn;

  One Hundred times ten thousand youth,

  Sprang forth to strike for God’s own truth,

  And foremost mid the patriot band,

  Hard by the flag was seen to stand,

  That tender boy, more proud to view,

  Deck’d in his country’s suit of blue,

  And now his weeping friends draw near,

  His father, mother, sisters dear,

  “God save my boy”! His mother cried,

  “God save the flag”! The boy replied,

  Farewell my son, his father cried,

  And blest the stripling warriors head;

  Farewell sobb’d all in tones suppressed,

  And gushing tears supplied the rest,

  Two years rolled by – Two bloody years,

  And yet at home no boy appears,

  For lo! Where o’er the conflict raged,

  He with the foe had been engaged,

  On Shiloh’s dark and bloody ground,

  He saw his comrades fall around,

  And at the siege, when Corinth fell,

  He did a soldiers duty well’

  Where storming lead swept down whole ranks,

  He with a soul afire, aglow,

  That gave the banners of the free,

  That great and glorious victory,

  Yet southward swept the Union host,

  Our matchless chief, victorious Grant,

  Whose praise the world shall ceaseless chant,

  Now guides the war, bids build the bridge,

  And storm the heights on Mission Ridge,

  Instant, in long proud array,

  Stood marshaled for the deadly day,

  A host of veteran souls,

  O’er, whom the old flag’s silken folds,

  From countless standards waving high,

  Against the Rosy morning sky,

  Hovor’d like guardian-angles bright

  To cheer them in the coming fight,

  While winged steeds bear swift command.

  Forward! Boom! Boom! The signal gun

  In thunder told the fight begun,

  Now, like swift lightning’s livid flash,

  Against the frowning mount they dash;

  Which instant to its center shook,

  As forth from every cliff and nook

  Belch’d flaming fire on those below,

  And laid in death to scale the steep;

  Up, Up, The rugged mount they swept;

  When springs the ensign, quick as light;

  To plant the flag on yonder height;

  But as the standard-bearer spod,

  The foe mans bullet stretched him dead,

  The boy, the gallant boy I sing;

  Now forward first was seen to spring

  ‘Mid showers of living, fiery lead,

  That shrieked and stormed about his head,

  He raised the flag, He waved it round,

  And to the top-most summit bound,

  Like lightning’s flash, or mortar’s glare,

  The starry flag one moment there,

  Borne by that dauntless warriors might,

  Gleamed through the gloom of that dread fight,

  When lo! Amid a shower of balls,

  Pierced through the head, the hero falls;

  And downward, like a rushing star,

  That shines resplendent from afar,

  The glittering flag, we loved so well,

  Descended where the hero fell,

  But, thanks to God! The heights were won;

  And now, like gorgeous setting sun,

  As shouts on shouts of victory rise,

  He, in a blaze of glory, dies,

  And oh! me thinks an angle band

  I see, from that celestial land,

  Conduct his soul in Heavenly state

  In triumph through the pearly gate,

  Illustrious youth! thy work is done;

  Thy honor safe; thy fame begun,

  A grateful state thy birth shall claim;

  Thy kindred glory in thy name;

  And while the stars their courses run,

  And mortals greet the morning sun, –

  The prattling child shall breathless hear,

  The maidens cheek betray a tear,

  The pulse of youth throb fast and high,

  And lighting kindle in the eye,

  When o’er in prose, or verse of gold,

  The story of thy deeds is told.”



* A corporal of the 40th Indiana from Montgomery County, who fell while bearing the colors of his regiment in the storming of Missionary Ridge, near Chattanooga, Tennessee.