Friday, July 13, 2012

Sunday Morning Near Athens, Alabama

Just a brief note from Captain Cox today, July 13, 1862.  Time seems to be passing quickly as he notes the beginning of a new week in their new camp, five miles from Athens.

This is again Sunday.  Had inspection this morning. Received a letter from Josie today per Dillehay from Josie.*

The fact that he mentions Josie's name twice seems to indicate that she is weighing heavily on his mind.

The other reference is probably to William S. Dillahay, 1st Lt. in Company H.  He had resigned on May 10, 1862  (due to illness or injury) and likely returned to visit his old unit.  Dillahay was from McLean County, Kentucky, near Calhoun.**  There were actually quite a few civilians coming and going from camps like this throughout the western theater, especially when the camps were relatively close to home.  They were a welcome source of newspapers, letters and special commodities that weren't available from the commissary officer.

Meanwhile, back at Headquarters in Corinth,  Major General Henry Halleck has been recalled to Washington in reward for his successive victories in the west, but General D.C. Buell, at his headquarters in Huntsville, is not so lucky.  Halleck had counted on the Army of the Ohio's advancing eastward to Chattanooga while maintaining control over the occupied territories of Tennessee and Kentucky.  This explains the Seventeenth's positioning near Athens, poised for the attack on Chattanooga.  Confederate activity since the Fourth of July, however, is drawing increasing attention as demonstrated in this communication from Buell to Halleck, also dated July 13th .

Editor's note:  For a better understanding of Buell's predicament, start at the link below and follow pages 136-151, correspondence for July 13 & 14, 1862. 

HEADQUARTERS, Huntsville, July 13, 1862.
General HALLECK:

General Boyle reports that Morgan's force is increasing by the rising of secessionists in the counties on the Ohio; that he is now at Danville and Harrodsburg, and will have Lexington and Frankfort if troops are not sent immediately. I shall have to send troops there. This morning I received a dispatch from Nashville saying that 3,000 cavalry surprised and, as the phrase is, "cut to pieces" the force at Murfreesborough [sic], two regiments of infantry, a battery, and some cavalry. I have no particulars and no information since. There has no doubt been an attack threatening Nashville and our railroad communications. I have ordered troops to meet the danger. The road to Stevenson was finished a strong force on the roads, but the lines are long and exposed from the east. Everything indicates that the enemy is throwing a heavy cavalry force into Kentucky and Middle Tennessee, which will give us occupation. The force at Chattanooga is stated at from 15,000 to 20,000, exclusive of the force under Smith farther east.


* Cox, Samuel K., Civil War Diary 1862-1865 of Captain Samuel K. Cox, courtesy of Daviess County Public Library, Kentucky Room archives, p.19.

** Blackburn, John, A Hundred Miles, A Hundred Heartbreaks, 1972, self-published, LOC 72-93774, p.221.

No comments:

Post a Comment