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FIRST LESSONS; OR, DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE I was appointed adjutant of the One Hundred and Thirty-second Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, by our great war Governor, Andrew G. Curtin, at the solicitation of Colonel Richard A. Oakford, commanding the regiment, my commission dating the 22d day of August, 1862. I reported for duty to Colonel Oakford at Camp Whipple, where the regiment was then encamped, on the 3d day of September, 1862. This was... more...

CHAPTER I "CHARLIE GORDON" Sixty years ago, at Woolwich, the town on the Thames where the gunners of our army are trained, there lived a mischievous, curly-haired, blue-eyed boy, whose name was Charlie Gordon. The Gordons were a Scotch family, and Charlie came of a race of soldiers. His great-grandfather had fought for King George, and was taken prisoner at the battle of Prestonpans, when many other Gordons were fighting for Prince Charlie.... more...

CHAPTER I. THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR. LIFE AT CAMP CARROLLTON, JANUARY AND FEBRUARY, 1862. I was born September 16, 1843, on a farm, in Otter Creek precinct, Jersey County, Illinois. I was living with my parents, in the little old log house where I was born, when the Civil war began. The Confederates fired on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, and thus commenced the war. On April 15, 1861, President Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 men, to aid in... more...

WASHINGTON COLLEGE—LEXINGTON—VIRGINIA MILITARY INSTITUTE At the age of eighteen I was a member of the Junior Class at Washington College at Lexington, Virginia, during the session of 1860-61, and with the rest of the students was more interested in the foreshadowings of that ominous period than in the teachings of the professors. Among our number there were a few from the States farther south who seemed to have been born... more...

RED HORIZON CHAPTER 1 The Passing of the Regiment I wish the sea were not so wideThat parts me from my love;I wish the things men do belowWere known to God above. I wish that I were back againIn the glens of Donegal;They'll call me coward if I return,But a hero if I fall. "Is it better to be a living coward,Or thrice a hero dead?""It's better to go to sleep, my lad,"The Colour Sergeant said. Night, a grey troubled sky without moon or... more...


AT FORT LEAVENWORTH—THE TREATY OF MEDICINE LODGE—GOING TO FORT DODGE—DISCONTENTED INDIANS—INDIAN OUTRAGES—A DELEGATION OF CHIEFS—TERRIBLE INDIAN RAID—DEATH OF COMSTOCK—VAST HERDS OF BUFFALO—PREPARING FOR A WINTER CAMPAIGN—MEETING "BUFFALO BILL"—HE UNDERTAKES A DANGEROUS TASK—FORSYTH'S GALLANT FIGHT—RESCUED. The headquarters of the military department to which I was... more...

BATTLE OF DINWIDDIE COURT HOUSE—PICKETT REPULSED—REINFORCED BY THE FIFTH CORPS—BATTLE OF FIVE FORKS—TURNING THE CONFEDERATE LEFT—AN UNQUALIFIED SUCCESS—RELIEVING GENERAL WARREN—THE WARREN COURT OF INQUIRY—GENERAL SHERMAN'S OPINION. The night of March 30 Merritt, with Devin's division and Davies's brigade, was camped on the Five Forks road about two miles in front of Dinwiddie, near J. Boisseau's.... more...

ORGANIZING SCOUTS—MISS REBECCA WRIGHT—IMPORTANT INFORMATION—DECIDE TO MOVE ON NEWTOWN—MEETING GENERAL GRANT—ORGANIZATION OF THE UNION ARMY—OPENING OF THE BATTLE OF THE OPEQUON—DEATH OF GENERAL RUSSELL—A TURNING MOVEMENT—A SUCCESSFUL CAVALRY CHARGE—VICTORY—THREE LOYAL GIRLS—APPOINTED A BRIGADIER-GENERAL IN THE REGULAR ARMY—REMARKS ON THE BATTLE. While occupying the... more...

AT CHATTANOOGA—THE ENEMY FORTIFIES LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN AND MISSIONARY RIDGE—REORGANIZING THE ARMY—REMOVAL OF GENERAL ROSECRANS—PUNISHMENT OF DESERTERS—GRANT AT CHATTANOOGA—THE FIGHT ON LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN—A BRAVE COLOR-BEARER—BATTLE OF MISSIONARY RIDGE. By 9 o'clock on the morning of September 22 my command took up a position within the heavy line of intrenchments at Chattanooga, the greater part of... more...

The expedition referred to by General Halleck in his parting conversation was composed of the Second Michigan and Second Iowa regiments of cavalry, formed into a brigade under command of Colonel Washington L. Elliott, of the Second Iowa. It was to start on the night of the 27th of May at 12 o'clock, and proceed by a circuitous route through Iuka, Miss., to Booneville, a station on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, about twenty-two miles below... more...