Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Eugene Casey Installment #3 Savannah to Richmond, VA

Oh my, what marches Sherman’s Army done, went over 3500 miles. I myself campaigned in every state except 3 and lost not a days or nights march. I was born under a lucky star, never was wounded --- I had my musket shattered by a Johnny bullet, my hat and right coat sleeve shot through and sidestepped a canon ball at Peach Orchard July 22 when Hood go in our rear.

The ball was shot off Atlanta. First Hood forces had us surrounded and seemed they had us cooped up as most all command was mixed we charged and they at us until Logans 15 Corp filled the gap, the Johnnies broke through the Logan line after McPherson got killed, it seemed everyone was for “hisself”. General Logan took over command in full and rallied us with his hat off shouting at the top of his voice, McPherson, and encouraged some of the yanks to recapture the body of McPherson from the Confederates. Logan was a wonderful figure on his black horse riding with his sword aloft, cheering the army of the Tennessee, after our beloved McPherson was rescued from the Confederates.

Logan was equal to Napolean and all his marshalls.

That was a hard fought battle. Blair’s Corp the 17th was called the Whipcracker Corp by General Sherman, the cracker mostly worn out, we was used as flankers from right and left flank as we was swift on foot.

Armistice was declared the next day by both sides to pick up the wounded and bury the dead. The dead was buried where they fell in breastwork trenches and breastwork earth throwed over them. You hear of the victories of war but seldom of the horrors.

General Sherman said “War is Hell and the more Hell you have the sooner the War ends.” My description of War is its the biggest humbug on earth.

After Big Shanty our regiment was in action until Atlanta was taken, while in service I never lost a days service, we was in action most day and night. Our 17 Army Corps called th e”Whip Cracker Corp.” as we marched from one flank to another. 95% of our Corp was western men or farmer boys. I fed out of my haversack while on the marches, sow belly hardtack, I ate pickled pork raw, marched light tight – no knapsack with only poncho and blanket, musket, cartridge box with 20 to 40 rounds of minnie balls.

In rainy spells when we went into camp, I would cut brush and lay it on the ground, put my blanket on the brush, lay on it and put my poncho over myself to keep dry. While tromping through Georgia, we met not much trouble until got 11 miles south of Savannah, we camped near Owens Rice Plantation – 300 acres we was the right flank of Sherman’s Army we had subsisted on rice for 19 days, thrashed out of the straw to season it with, we paid the negroes 10 cents to take the hulls off the rice.

Hardees Army was on the north side of the plantation. They had to be dislodged by a flank movement, as our Corp could make a front attack, the plantation was flooded. After Hardee retreated we advanced to Savannah, we faired better off the town. Until McAllister was taken (which fell to 1 Division of Logan’s Corp.) They made an early attack. Our supply transports were blocked out at the mouth of the Savannah River, after they got through we all got plenty of rations.

We camped in and around the city until prepared to go to South Carolina. Our Regiment embarked steam ships for Beaufort, S.C. We camped there for a short time then got orders to march toward Washington. We had feeble resistance until we got to Goldsboro. We was confronted with Johnston’s Army. After they retreated, we advanced into North Carolina, part of Sherman’s Army advanced on the Confederates. Attacked at Durmas station, Johnston surrendered, Sherman’s troops went towards Richmond. Our part of the Army 17th A.R.C. marched by Libby Prison it’s a 2 story brick building. Then on towards Washington, D.C..

Before towards Wash.we passed Milledgeville, Macon, Rough & Ready Station, Jonesborough, GA, Atkins, Beaufort, S.C. Beaufort, Fayetteville, Columbia the capitol of S.C. Raleigh, No. Carolna, and Goldsboro. Fairfax Courthouse, VA., Spottsylvania Church, VA., Saint Petersburgh, VA., Fredericksburg, VA., Washingtonford, Va., on Roanoke River seen breastwork, so some of our foraging squad was down near Bakersville.

In forced camp overnight in brush on a crossroad. Joe Young and I was on picket duty, we got the scare of our lives on account of a lot of horsemen – for fear they would turn in our road, they passed by, that was a great relief, we kept still as church mice.
Thus ends installment #3 of Eugene Casey’s Civil War Diary. A very young man of 17 has now become a man of 18. Nothing in life could scare him after his experience in this year. Men can never be the same after war. Stay tuned for the final installment in the Eugene Casey story. Patj

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