February 18, 2012

'The hideous folds of the anaconda are beginning to contract'

Location: Munfordville, KY, USA
Detail of Knapsack from Adam Pontz Service Poster
(Courtesy of Kay Lingle, descendant)
On the evening of February 12, 1862, the camp of the 77th Pennsylvania, 79th Pennsylvania, and other regiments of McCook's division, "was in a blaze of enthusiasm."  Word of successful movements of gunboats on the Tennessee River and Burnside's North Carolina Expedition reached Munfordville, Kentucky, and the Lancaster County soldiers anticipated joining the forward movement--finally marching on Bowling Green--at any moment.

In fact, the move had already begun.  What the Pennsylvania soldiers did not know was that the Army of the Ohio's commander General Buell had selected General Ornsby Mitchell's division to lead the attack on Bowling Green, a fact that would have horrified them after the hard work of picketing along the Green River without any real action for two months.  Ben Ober appears not to have been too worried based on the information he had, though.  He might have just felt lucky to be alive, as he was very sick and his death was rumored the previous week in the Lancaster newspapers. 

From the February 19, 1862, Daily Evening Express: (alternate link)

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