Spencer, Article 7
On the 11th of November we bundled our duds and started again, crossing Greenbriar River late in the evening and camped at Marlain bottom. On the 12th we marched all day and camped. On the 13th we marched all day and camped near Frankford. On the 14th went near Lewisburg and remained there until the 16th and then went through Lewisburg and out 3 miles and camped. The weather was getting pretty cold in the Va. Mountains and we had log heap fires. This is the place where Bill Hodge and Jim Richardson quarreled about midnight, when Hodge hit Richardson and Richardson hit the ground. We were all getting tired of the rain, snow and mud in Western Va. and anxious to leave. On the 1st of December, we bundled up again and started crossing Greenbriar River and 2 creeks and camped. On Monday the 2nd we passed through Union City at 10 a.m. and camped that night in 3 miles of salt sulphur springs. On the 3rd we passed through Centreville and camped on Kibble Mountain, in 3 1/2 miles of red sulphur springs. On the 4th we marched all day and camped near Peterstown. On the 5th we marched to New River, then up this same 2 miles and crossed on ferry boats, then up the river 5 miles and crossed Wolf Creek on a bridge and camped. On Friday the 6th we passed through Parisburg and 8 a.m. and going 13 miles further crossed Walker Creek on a bridge, thence up Little Walker Creek, crossed it on a bridge and camped. We had not seen or heard a steam whistle since the 5th of August, and were anxious to get a glimpse of the cars. On the 7th we marched most all day and camped in 1/2 mile of Dublin Depot. While at that place we related to each other our experience in the rain and mud, and of the boys who spread their blanket and slept all night on the big Rattler. Crocket Ward came up with one shoe gone, and told of running his arm down after it, but failed to find it, and then got out on the bank and dive after it but could not get deep enough. We took a good rest there, knowing that we would soon move again. On the 11th of December we packed our chattles, marched out to Dublin Depot, got on the cars at 8 a.m. and at 8 p.m. were back at old Lynchburg on the James. On the 12th we went to Petersburg a nice little city 22 miles south of Richmond. On the 13th we left Va. and went to Weldon N.C.. I believe that is in Halifax County and that Tar River runs through it. I sometimes tell the boys that I have been to Halifax and crossed Tar River. On Saturday the 14th we started again, on the Eastern Atlantic Coast line, passing the beautiful little city of Goldsboro, and many other places. I remember the pine orchards were beautiful, and more sedge (?) grass than I ever saw elsewhere. Some one would approach the train at each stop and want to sell a fresh rabbit. I would like to travel that route again. I remember at a stop for water or wood, some of the boys left the train, went over into a turnip patch, pulled up some, started back to the train and Col. Savage met them at the fence, took a turnip cut of a fellows hand and warped him over the head with it. I remembered my luck back in Va. with the punkins, and I was afraid to tackle the turnip patch.
C. H. Clark
Spencer, Article 8
Late in the evening we arrived at Wilmington on Cape Fear River and remained until next morning. That is some 25 or 30 miles from the Atlantic, but the river ebbs and flows with the ocean. There is where we first saw a steam ship with cannon on it. Thousand barrels of turpentine were there. On Saturday morning the tide was up, box cars were rolled out on flat boats, and floated across Cape Fear River to South Carolina. The boxes were then rolled on the railroad tracks, an engine hitched to them and we went to Florence. The next day we went to Charleston and stopped at the soldiers wayside home and remained there that night. The citizens showed us great kindness. Early next morning Andy Moore and Waldo had a hard fight just outside the door. Waldo loved to fight, provided he was confident of success, but if he had doubts, he was slow to take hold. A fellow gave him ??? d__n lie, Waldo looked at him, sized him up and said, "You are not the first man ever told me that." We went through the city and the flowers and roses didn't look much like the cold snowy mountains of Va. we had just left. The harbor was full of ships and boats. We saw Fort Sumpter. Charleston is between the mouths of Cooper and Ashley Rivers. Fire had just burned a good portion of the city, and they said that 900 houses were burned. I would like to see the city of Charleston again. On the 17th we went West 60 miles to Coosawhatchie in Beaufort County. I cannot ask for space in "The Times," to tell all about our wanderings and duty while on the coast. I would like to tell you of Pocataligo how it got its name, of the swamps, and green moss hanging from tops of trees to the ground, the black squirrels and the alligator the boys caught and the 164 lb. cannon ball many boys failed to shoulder. The beautiful piney woods Pages Point. Port Royal has grown to be a town. I remember the big live oak tree near the Stewart house under whose branches I stood guard many nights. An oyster bank was near and when the tide was down we got all we wanted. We could see the Yanks on Beaufort Island one mile distant. We would "halloo" to them and they to us. I heard one say 8th Michigan which meant that he belonged to the 8th Michigan Regiment. Two of the Warren County boys were out in a skiff, grabbing oysters and remained too long, the tide went down leaving their skiff stuck in the mud, and had to remain there until the tide arose and brought them back, which was after dark. That was a fine country for sweet potatoes and stock turnips. I, in company with a messmate, went out one dark night prowling for potatoes and found them stored away and covered with banks of dirt. We hurriedly scratched into one, filled a sack and pulled for camp, expecting to slice and fry some for breakfast next morning. We opened the sack and behold, they were turnips instead of sweet potatoes. I thought again of my punkin luck in Va. For fear I may not think to tell you later I will now say that I never stole a chicken during the war, but helped to eat some that I knew had been stolen. I have seen soldiers go into houses and carry off goods, but I never did such as that. On my next I will carry you away from South Carolina.
Spencer, Article 9
On the 1st morning in January 1862 the roaring of the cannon on the enemy's gunboats were continuous until 12 o'clock. We were ordered to be ready to march at any moment, and started at 2 o'clock, and marched until dark, and halted for the night. One of the boys said "hush boys. I thought I heard a Yankee Officer give command." In breathless silence we listened, and off a little way in the piney woods heard a big owl go "whoo - whoo--ah." Next morning, we learned that the enemy had gone back to their gunboats and we fell back 2 miles and remained 2 days. We were several miles from our blankets, but the pine burs and leaves made good beds. We then went to Page's Point to guard the coast. My pos_ was near the Stewart House, and one mile from Beaufort Island. We had a good time on the coast and got fat on oysters, rice and sweet potatoes. I weighed 185 lbs. One day while the tide was down, one of my messmates and I went out on the sandbar, just below the Causeway leading toward Beaufort Island, and saw some Yanks in a skiff making their way to the point of the island, and we fired on them with our muskets, but failed to hit them. They fired on us with their long range guns and clipped the seagrass close to us and we pulled for the "Live Oak". I will not ask space for many events of interest, but pass on merely touching the high places. The boys would tear up little huts vacated by negroes, catch large rats and eat them. I am one old Rebel who never eat rats, turtles, frogs, and possums, although I saw the time when I would give the world and fullness thereof for a square meal and one good night's rest. In the early days some negroes were carrying cotton to market with one mule and dray, and the mule balked and could not be whipped or persuaded to go, when an old negro came along and said "poke his tail, he go." Afterwards, that place was called Pocataligo. On the 15th of March we went to Grahamville 20 miles west of Pocataligo and camped one mile from town occupying ??? cabins vacated by soldiers who had been there. I remember the long home called the "ballroom". Uncle Sam McCorkle would mount the stage with his fiddle, and all who could dance had a good time. During sand storms we could scarcely see "Old Sol" as the white sand would blow from the drill field. One day while Col. Savage was out, his tent caught fire and burned up. We were learning, making and singing war songs. One was as follows:
"South Carolina gals won't eat mush.
South Carolina gals won't eat mush.
South Carolina gals won't eat mush.
When you go to kiss em
They all say hush.
Get along sambo sound yer horn
We will eat sheep meat and gnaw the bone
And shave old clay when the weather gets warm, etc."
On the 20th of March the enemy landed at Bluffton and we were ordered to prepare for battle. Next morning, we started, marched 24 miles and learned that the enemy had gone back, and we returned to camp, and most all got back same day having marched 48 miles. Bill Head got back before night and got a pass to Grahamville and back. Bill was as jolly and good natured a fellow as ever broke a hard tack or chewed beef neck in the old 16th. He was always cheerful and I guess the print of his no 10 are not visible in the Cheat Mountain mud in West Va. made there 50 years ago this fall. In my next I will carry you away from S. C.
Spencer, Article 10
Before leaving South Carolina I want to ask Bill Payne if he remembers Genl. Ripley was in command of some of our forces on the coast. We called him "But Cut". He was big over (?) and wide across was why we called him but cut. Genl. Donnelson prefered charges against Col. Savage for violating orders, appointed a court martial and tried him, but was acquitted and restored to his command. We run foot races and had a good time. Fifty years have passed and gone since my first experience in war and you cannot expect one to remember and write about all occurrences. Most of the boys who were with me on the Carolina coast have crossed "over the river" and we who are here yet are growing old and feeble. But I must resume my history. We were ordered to join Genl. Beauregard at Corinth (?) Mississippi the 10th of April. We took the cars at Grahamville at 4 p.m. and next morning at 4 o'clock, arrived at Charleston and remained four hours, and thence to Augusta, Ga. arriving there the 12th at 10 a.m. You will remember the bridges and trestle work over swamps and lakes. Do you remember about the Irishman poking his head out and got knocked off into a swamp, and we supposed killed, but came on the next train? We went from Augusta to Atlanta and remained until next morning. Milledgeville was then the Capitol of Ga. We were ordered to come to Chattanooga and go to Corinth on the Memphis and Charleston R.R. On the 13th we went to Cartersville and heard that the enemy was in possession of Huntsville Ala. on said R.R. and we went back to Atlanta and again received orders to go by way of Chattanooga, and started North again going as far as Day(x)ton (?) and again ordered back to Atlanta. On the 15th we left Atlanta at 5 p.m. and arrived at Newman next day at 1 p.m. This is the place where we had a wreck and killed several horses and bruised up some of the boys, and caused some delay. On the 17th we went to West Point, arriving there at 4 p.m. On the 18th we went to Montgomery, and while waiting for transportation we took in the city and were favorably impressed with the city and the people. Montgomery was the Capitol of the Confederate states for a while and then Richmond, Va. was selected. We took a steamer and started down the Ala. River and arrived at Mobile on the 19th at 10 a.m. Where on earth can you find a river more crooked than the Ala? Mobile is at the mouth of the river emptying into Mobile Bay, and a beautiful city. We were all anxious to visit the places of interest and enjoyed sight-seeing while awaiting transportation. We were yet making and singing new songs, and I remember a portion of one was as follows:
In Alabama they live on peas.
In Tennessee they eat what they please,
In North Carolina tar and roses (?)
Georgia girls eat goobers and sorgum, by and by.
But I must leave Mobile. On the morning of the 20th we took the train going North, on the Mobile and Ohio R.R. which was then the best road in the South and runs through some fine country, and arrived at Corinth on the 23rd at 1 a.m., and joined the army under Genl. Beauregard. We were 12 days and nights on the route and glad to stop. We met Col. Hill's regiment many of whom were our ??? neighbors and friends. They had been in the battle of Shiloh and told us of their experiences in battle.