Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 1, 1863

October 1, 1863

---Gen. Joseph E. Johnston sends a dispatch to Bragg that Federal troops are on the move to Chattanooga.  Johnston’s scouts in Memphis report four major generals there, and of a very number of transport steamers tied up at the city docks.

---Wheeler’s Raid:  Gen. Joseph Wheeler, commanding two divisions of Confederate cavalry, crosses the Tennessee River upstream, and begins a series of raids behind (west of) Chattanooga.  Moving down the Sequatchie Valley, he captures 50 wagons belonging to Rosecrans, and destroys them.

---John Beauchamp Jones records a letter from a Virginia lady who had traveled up to Pennsylvania to help care for the Confederate wounded about two weeks after the battle:

July 18th—We have been visiting the battle-field, and have done all we can for the wounded there. Since then we have sent another party, who came upon a camp of wounded Confederates in a wood between the hills. Through this wood quite a large creek runs. This camp contained between 200 and 300 wounded men, in every stage of suffering; two well men among them as nurses. Most of them had frightful wounds. A few evenings ago the rain, sudden and violent, swelled the creek, and 35 of the unfortunates were swept away; 35 died of starvation. No one had been to visit them since they were carried off the battle-field; they had no food of any kind; they were crying all the time “bread, bread! water, water!” One boy without beard was stretched out dead, quite naked, a piece of blanket thrown over his emaciated form, a rag over his face, and his small, thin hands laid over his breast. Of the dead none knew their names, and it breaks my heart to think of the mothers waiting and watching for the sons laid in the lonely grave on that fearful battle-field. All of those men in the woods were nearly naked, and when ladies approached they tried to cover themselves with the filthy rags they had cast aside. The wounds themselves, unwashed and untouched, were full of worms. God only knows what they suffered.

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