March 3, 2012

Into Tennessee

Location: Nashville, TN, USA
Railroad Bridge over the Cumberland River at Nashville (HW 3/8/1862)

The Lancaster County Regiment crossed the Kentucky-Tennessee line for the first time on the morning of February 28, 1862.  Two days later, they were on the outskirts of Nashville, which had surrendered on February 25.  They passed through Nashville on March 7, and continued south of the city towards Franklin and Columbia, where they would spend much of spring 1862.

A War Map of Tennessee (HW 3/8/1862)

Here's Sgt. William T. Clark's account of the movements over these eight days:

(Up next, I'll have letters from the 77th Pennsylvania and 79th Pennsylvania describing the journey to Nashville...)


Fri., Feb. 28th

Wagons reached us last night, but did not unload. Started at 6 and ¼A.M. & had a clay road 7 miles. Rebels took the plank off a bridge. We crossed on the sleepers. We came to the pike at the Tennessee line at 9:15 A.M. Passed through Mitchelville which is a small place much scattered & now nearly deserted. Halted at a small creek to rest & get water. At the last named village there was a steam saw & grist mill & as we pass along see some very fine buildings. At noon I was attacked with a severe pain in my head & for that reason rode on the wagon the rest of the day. Marched 22 miles & camped on Sugar Creek.

Sat., March 1st

Left camp at 8 A.M. & our first halt was at Tiber Spring a celebrated “Watering Place”. We passed a small village called “White Hill”. Passed farm on which was 50 goats. We next passed Huntingsville & crossed the Memphis Branch R.R. & came in sight of the Cumberland River. Today we crossed a range of the Cumberland Mts. near Tiber Springs. We halted & camped near the Cumberland River where 2 turnpikes meet, the R.R. crossing both of them. Drew 2 days rations. Just as we came here a steam boat passed up the river. 2 of them brought rations to us. This is the junction of the Edgefield & Kentucky with the L. & N. R.R.

Sun., March 2nd

Left camp at 9 A.M. Soon after we meet a man under guard for trying to steal a horse mule from the 1st Regt. Wis. Vols. This pike is very dusty today. We had a very severe thunderstorm when within 2 miles of Nashville. We halted & stacked arms in a field close to the pike. While there the lightning struck a tree 50 yds. from where we stood. Half a Regt. of Calvary passed us while here. Passed sane very fine houses today. Formed line, marched a short distance & encamped in a woods. Received orders to be ready to move at 6 A.M. tomorrow.

Mon., March 3rd

This morning is cold & snowing. We were ready to move at appointed time when we were ordered to await further orders. At noon we unpacked & pitched tents. 3rd Ky. Cav., 1200 strong encamped near us.

Tues., March 4th

Just one year ago today “Old Abe” took his seat in the Presidential Chair. This morning a member of Co. “G” 3rd Ky. Cav. gave me a cracker. We had not drawn any for three days. This afternoon there was 100 men detailed to carry crackers from the boats to the wagons. This day was fine until 3 P.M. when it became cloudy & is now raining, Our Regt. drew 40 boxes crackers.

Weds., March 5th

The 3rd Ky. Cav. left today. We had Regt. Inspection. The 2nd Ind. Cav. encamped near us today. Our wagons came up tonight.

Thurs., March 6th

Received letter from Bro. Robert. We pitched the other tents today. Received orders to be ready to march early in the morning. The people of this region are nearly all Rebel & many of them are in the Rebel Army. Received 4 letters, one from Bro. John, one from Sister Agnes, one from Coz. Letitia P. Clark & one from Coz. Washington Clark.

Fri., March 7th

This morning we struck tents & left camp at 8 A.M. each Regt. in our Brigade leaving 2 Cos. in camp. We carried our knapsacks & crossed the Cumberland at 11 A.M. The old Pike Bridge was taken away by flood 10 years ago. The Rebels destroyed the R.R. bridge & New Pike Bridge in their retreat. They put 10 Bls. of burning fluid on the Pike Bridge (which was a wire one), but finding that it would not be destroyed in time to prevent us crossing they then cut the wires. The R.R. bridge is a “Draw One”. There is a gun boat just above the ferry. The Stars & Stripes were hoisted over the capitol in Nashville on the 24th of Feb. It is a very nice town & as large as Louisville. There is some of the finest houses & yds. in & around this place that I ever saw. We encamped 2 miles south of Nashville. I received a letter from S. J. Ankrim.

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