Up and Down the Cumberland

Three or Four posts will be from the History of the 27th Indiana Infantry which I had in possession but missed some of it’s content related to the 20th Corps and Resaca.  It was pointed out to me through Mike Wallick, via his book and website about the Wallick’s in the Civil War.

This particular post could be inserted in page 112 of They All Wore a Star.

From “The History of the Twenty-seventh Indiana …” by “A Member of Company C” (Edmund Randolph Brown).
Page 448.

Not the last trip Williams’ division will make over the Cumberland for no apparent reason.

Why Williams was guarding railroads and Geary was in the fight at Wauhatchie, which cost the life of his son just days after this happened.

HISTORIAN, CO C 27TH INDIANA 2B 1D 20C: A little later the following entries were made in the diary of a Twenty-seventh soldier: October 23, to Dechard; October 24, to Anderson; October 25, to Dechard;  October 26, to Tullahoma. Brief, but true. With more detail, these entries mean that, under orders, which had every appearance of being serious, we started to the front. We carried ten days’ rations of bread, five of meat and an extra supply of ammunition. The first day we marched to Dechard, over a good road and through a level country — an easy march of Fifteen miles. The next day we toiled up the rocky side of the main chain of the Cumberland Mountains and descended again on the opposite side. We went over the mountain exactly where the railroad goes partly under it. There had been little or no road there before. The only time it had ever been used, we were told, was while the railroad was being built. With infinite labor we pulled the artillery and baggage wagons up by hand on one side and eased them down again on the other. In places ledges of rock rose from one to three feet, almost perpendicular, and in others the wheels cut down in the soft, black soil squarely to the hubs. That night we camped at Anderson’s depot After crossing the mountain the road follows down the Crow Creek Valley, a very wild and picturesque locality, hemmed in by high mountains. Near where we camped was a spring large enough to run a mill. It issued from a cavern in the side of the mountain into which a man could walk almost upright. Beech nuts were again plentiful.

Next morning there was a delay in starting. When the start was made we took the backtrack; and the march that day and the following one were the exact counterparts of the two previous days, except that the direction was reversed. The fourth night found us back at Tullahoma, upon the precise spot from which we had started. Several thousand men had just had a nice promenade, of some seventy miles, for their health.

The explanation of this transaction, current at the time, was to the effect that an order was issued for our division to go to the front and the Second Division to remain in the rear. But General Geary, the commander of the Second Division, objected. He was a large man, with a rugged, if not violent, disposition. When he learned of the arrangement he went to the higher authorities and made a disturbance. He complained that the First Division had too often been preferred over his. It had been given all chances to distinguish itself, while his division had been kept in the back-ground. Whether this report was true or not. our division was ordered back and the other division went forward. Williams’ division guarded the railroad and Geary’s division participated in ” the Battle Above the Clouds.” In the absence of any other, this explanation is given for what it is worth.

Copyright 2017-2019 Robert G. Miller. All rights reserved.

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