THE 20th KENTUCKY VOLUNTEER INFANTRY

An Interesting War Record by F. S. Loyd,
of Fredonia, Lieutenant Company H.

Part 1 of 11

Seeing a notice in the National Tribune asking someone to give a history of the 20th Ky. Volunteer Infantry during the late Civil War, I thought I would write some about the company of which I was first Lieutenant, Company H, of that Regiment, which was with the 20th Kentucky from start to finish.  Our company was organized at Smithland, Ky., in October 1861 and was consolidated with 6 companies from the upper part of the state, , Cos. A, B, C, F, I and K, Cos. D, E, H and G were recruited by Col. Williams, the other companies by Col. S. P. Bruce.  The service demanded troops and they were thrown together and called 20th Ky. Vol. Infty.  We were mustered into the U. S. Service January 6, 1862 at Smithland, Ky., by Lt. Col. Chetland, U. S. A. Mustering Officer.  After staying at Smithland some 3 weeks we were ordered to board the Steamer Baltic, and were taken to Louisville, Ky., marched to the farm of Wm. Tinsley, some 4 miles from the city. (here was where the writer was elected 1st Lieut. of Co. H.)  After remaining 4 or 5 days in camp drilling 4 hours per day, we were ordered to march to Bardstown, thence to Camp Bruce on the Bowling Green road, stayed 2 days, were ordered back to Louisville, to go to Fort Dowelson[Donelson] marched 1 day, camped and that night, Feb. 15, the order was countermanded and we were ordered to Bowling Green and camped on the same spot, Camp Bruce, remained all night and at 6 o'clock ordered to march, marched all day, got to Bowling Green in the night.  Our Regiment was the first to arrive.  Stayed several days in camp then we were ordered to Nashville, Tenn.  All the bridges were burned, the railroad bridge was still burning when we were transported on some boats across the Cumberland river.  Marched up through the city taking a number of straggling prisoners.  We marched around the Capitol 2 or 3 times, camped in the Capitol yard stayed a few days, marched out on the Murfreesboro pike to Murfreesboro, then to McMinville, then on to Savannah, Tenn., camp.  Our regiment was ordered to be paid off Sunday morning, company A and B were paid.  The fight opened at Shiloh, Pittsburg Landing, April 6.  General Nelson ordered the paying of the troops stopped and fall in line awaiting orders, stood in line for 2 or 3 hours awaiting orders from Buell, but no orders came.  Nelson could not stand it any longer, started without order and when about half way to Pittsburg Landing met a carrier coming with orders ordering us to get there as soon as possible.  We were double quicked for 4 miles crossed the river on boats, formed line of battle in evening, lay on arms all night, early in the morning April 7 we were thrown out as scirmishes, met the enemy and soon got them started on the run.  The casualties of our regiment, 1 wounded and 1 killed, John Boone.

Late in the evening we were ordered back to camp, remained all night, rained all night hard, next morning some of the pickets after being relieved discharged their guns and Gen. Nelson thought they were coming again, ordered his brigade to fall in line of battle, but it turned out to be a false alarm.  We went back to camp and details were made to bury the dead.  Monday and Tuesday were taken up  in  this.  On Thursday we were ordered to move toward Corinth, Miss., got to Corinth, it was evacuated.  Marched on after them to Athens, Ala., then to Iuka, Miss., then back to Murfreesboro, crossed the Cumberland river and was ordered after Bragg, who was making his way to Louisville, marched through Bowling Green to the mouth of Salt river then up the Ohio river to Louisville.  Camped   between the canal and the river in a potato patch, stayed two days, then we were ordered go after Bragg and we overtook him at Perryville where we had a sharp little fight.

After the fight we were ordered to Lebanon to do garrison duty.  After being there some three or four weeks John Morgan came through and attacked our Regiment which was reduced to about 850 men and officers, with 4,000 or 5,000 men.  We held him off for 3 hours, losing four men killed and several wounded.  We were compelled to surrender.  Marched to Camp Dick Robinson 9 miles, double quick.  We were paroled and returned to Lebanon.  All of our tents and records were burned.

After being exchanged we were ordered to Louisville to take charge of the military prison.  Remained there until May 15, 1864.  We left Louisville for the front at 6 o'clock p. m. running all night, arrived at Nashville, Tenn., on the morning of the 16th at 7 o'clock.  Stayed on the platform from 7 to 9 o'clock when we were ordered to Barracks No. 2 at the Chattanooga depot.  Remained there all night.  Tuesday the 17 at 10 o'clock a. m. we received orders to move forward, got on the Chattanooga train, passing through Murfreesboro, Tenn., running all night.  It rained very hard Wednesday, May 18.  On this morning we arrived at Stevenson, Ala., and run on to Chattanooga, Tenn.  Arriving at 10 o'clock a. m. remained at the depot until 11 o'clock when we were ordered to camp at the foot of Lookout Mountain and ordered to make all the fires we could and all the noise we could to attract the attention of the rebel army on that side of the mountain while they were making arrangements to charge the mountain on the other side.

Thursday, May 19, we drew new tents and remained in camp all day, it was very warm.  Friday, May 20, remained in camp all day and drilled  2 hours forenoon and 2 afternoon.

Saturday, May 21, at 8 o'clock we received orders to move by rail to Cassville, Ga., marched down to the depot and got on the train stock cars.  Left Chattanooga, passing through Greysville, Tunnel Hill, Ringold, Dalton and Ressacca.  After running all night arrived at Kingston, Ga., Sunday 22.  Arrived at Kingston at 2 o'clock a. m., got off the cars and marched 6 miles after dark to Cass Station, passing through Cassville.

Pitched tents in the woods and remained all night.  Monday, May 25, at 9 o'clock p. m. we received orders to guard a wagon train through.  We started on our march and marched 10 miles after night, passing near Ettawa Station.  Tuesday, May 24, at 10  o'clock a. m. we crossed the river, after marching through rain and mud that night we stopped on the bank of a small creek, Rockbow creek and got breakfast.  The men were wet and all their clothes wet.

Wednesday, May 25, at 8 o'clock a. m. we still continued our march.  After marching 10 miles through rain and mud at 10 o'clock p. m. we camped in the edge of the woods and remained that night.  All were wet and hungry.

Thursday, May 26, at 9 o'clock a. m. we received orders to march and we marched 2 miles to the rear and were ordered back, marched back to the place where we camped before.  Pitched tents and remained all night.

Friday, May 27, at 3 o'clock p. m. we left camp and marched 6 miles, crossing Pumpkinvine creek, at 6 o'clock p. m. went into camp and put up tents.  Heavy skirmishing in our front.  Henry Maston, Co. K, was shot and killed by Harvey Sharp, of same company.

Saturday, May 28, remained in camp all day.  There was heavy skirmishing in our front, several wounded passed by us.  Rations were very scarce.

Sunday, May 29, was a beautiful day and we marched 4 miles, went in camp and was relieved by the 25th Michigan.  Heavy skirmishing all day and night.  Beautiful day Monday May 30.

At 1 o'clock a. m. marched 4 miles and joined our brigade, formed line of battle.  Heavy skirmishing in our front.  At 10 o'clock a. m. we marched 6 miles to the left, formed line of battle and remained as such until 4 p. m.  Went on the Skirmish line, skirmished all day and night.  We slept without blankets or tents and the night was very cool.

Tuesday, May 31, we remained on the skirmish line until 7 o'clock p. m.  We were relieved.  Skirmishing is still going on, heavy fighting on our right.

June 1st we went on Skirmish line, at 6:30 o'clock heavy cannonading on our right.

June 2nd at 1:30 o'clock a. m. we were ordered to the left.  We were ordered to charge their works.  Went into a hard fought battle and several were killed and wounded.  Our brigade advanced within 300 yards of their works and they shelled us with shot and shell and grape and canister.  Sergeant Brookshire was wounded with a grape, Lieut. Frank S. Loyd was struck with a piece of shell that bursted over Company H.  Four bayonets were knocked off of the guns that were stacked.  We lay on our arms all night.  It rained hard all day and night and we had neither tents nor blankets.

Friday, June 3, we dug rifle pits all day.  The men's clothing were wet and we remained in the  pits all day.  Rained hard all day.  At 5 p. m. we were ordered to charge the rebel works, drove them out and camped in their works.  Had to lay on the ground, no tents.

June 4, still in works, rained hard all day.  Our regiment on picket today.

June 5, at 8 o'clock a. m. marched to the rear 1 mile, went into camp and at 2 o'clock p. m. was ordered to advance 2 miles, driving the rebels out of 2 lines of their works.  At 5 o'clock p. m. we returned to our camp.  Weather warm and beautiful.

June 6, remained in camp until 3 p. m.  Moved and went into camp.  Troops were passing all day to our left.  Weather warm and beautiful.

 

(To be Continued.)

 

Source:  Crittenden Record-Press. (Marion, Ky.), September 28, 1911, Edition 2, Image 6 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.


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