Cardinal Charlie: Letters from a Civil War veteran continue

Published 6:32 pm Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Shells were fired from Lookout Mountain. Our boys are so weak they can only go a mile before resting. Sherman is here with his army of 75,000. The Battle of Lookout Mountain was now beginning. Some daring men scaled the mountain and plant the Stars and Stripes on the summit. There was more fighting and more were killed, many more.


Dec. 7, 1863

We drew less than one pint of oatmeal and a piece of meat about 2 inches.


Dec. 9

Two ears of corn for the day’s food. Men with the 25 Michigan were mostly from Marcellus. Those still with the 25th in December were Sgt. Amos Poorman, he died in 1864; Burce Babe; Gideon Beebe; Daniel McKibby; John A. Poorsman; Jacob Root; Martin V. Shears; Samuel Shoemaker; Charles and Timothy Taylor; and Simon Young, all from Marcellus. Also Perry U. Day of Dowagiac, who died in Georgia the next year.


Dec. 30

Colburn went and saw Jim Hill.


Dec. 31

Ended the year of 1863, amen.


Jan. 7, 1864

We drew three days rations of coffee, corn meal, sugar and beans. The 27th Company H started out foraging. I was hungry today, nothing much to eat.


Feb. 4

Got a pass and went up on Lookout Mountain. A real nice sight, I could look down on Chattanooga, and see for miles. The 13th Michigan Infantry started home today. I visted the 11th Michigan boys today also.


Feb. 16

We were mustered out of the service, and mustered in again by Capt. Snyder.


Feb. 20

Hallelujah, we were heading for home today. Got a pass for George Spicer, Pete Rummels and myself. We spent the night in Louisville. We had been at the front for 30 months, and we were cheered through all the little towns. Visited Chicago with Ben Conrad.


March. 3

Started for Dowagiac and met by brother, George, at Lake Station. He was returning to the front. I arrived in Dowagiac that night.


April 5

Started back to the front and met Joseph Starr from Decatur.


May 13

Marched through Dalton, Ga., captured 2,000 bushels of peanuts and lots of tobacco. Some boys got ill from the peanuts.


May 14

Heavy fighting; we lost three and took a lot of prisoners. The 19th Michigan was besieging Atlanta. Sgt. John Griffin of Wayne was killed and Homer Hungerford from Wayne was missing.

Timothy Danahy died May 25, Perry U. Dodge of Dowagiac also died May 23. James said his uncle George Riley and uncle Henry Nichols, one lost a leg and the other died.

June 7

Washed and killed millions of body lice; we lost three men from our company and nine from the regiment. Stephens, Smith and Rhodes were shot from our company.


June 18

Estes was killed during the Battle of Kenesaw Mountain.


June 28

Our regiment lost 20 killed and lots wounded, we buried on our own front.


July 4

We lost six men. We drew rations of whiskey, beans, dried apples and desiccated vegetables.


July 22

We lost 19 men from our regiment since the morning of July 20.


July 23

Gen. McPherson was killed yesterday by and we lost a lot of men and officers, but the Rebels lost a lot more than us.


Cardinal Charlie” Gill writes a nostalgic weekly column about growing up in the Grand Old City. E-mail him at