January, February 1864
January 5th still in same camp, money getting plenty, we receive another
two months pay. January 24th on dress parade Colonel J.C. Black who as
an orator or commander always does himself with the cause, gave us a stirring
patriotic speech with a view to get us to reenlist, but boys took it under
consideration till February 10th, when General Ord and Colonel Black addressed
us again, and this time started the ball, and before evening of the 11th
the necessary three-fourths of the Company had reenlisted, (under promise
of a furlough for 30 days) under Sp. O. No. 191 War Dept.
Left Brownsville that same evening and reached Point Isabell by noon
the 12th, cross bar of river on Mustang--then board St. Mary on which we
recross the Gulf arriving at New Orleans evening of the 15th--get ordered
to camp in one of the cotton presses close to the river. Remain here sometime
making out "muster out" and in rolls and settling up all necessary business.
February 28th get mustered in again by Major Maloney. March 1864 March
4th participate in the inauguration of the first Free State Governor of
LA under great military pageant and firework display. After receiving more
pay and bounty installments embark again on March 29th on Steamer Hope.
Leave morning of the 10th for up river--passing all familiar landmarks
in rapid succession. Reached Cairo by the 19th--St. Louis by the 21st and
Chicago, by A. and C. Railroad on the 22nd of March.
Here we were well received and quartered in Soldiers home, realizing
once more the blessing of being in a land of friends and plenty. Were well
treated by our Chicago friends during out two day stay. March 24th we store
our arms and accoutrements, receive furloughs and Companies A and H board
train for Rock Island at 10 p.m. Arrive at 7 a.m. the 25th and get well
received by the citizens and treated to a breakfast in Island City Hotel,
after which we scattered to our respective homes to enjoy a well earned
and long to be remembered furlough.
April, May 1864
April 25, 1864 went back to Chicago and left there the afternoon of the
26th. Arrive before Memphis by the 30th into which place Rebel General
Forrest and forces had just made a dash the night previous. May 1st found
the Regiment on picket duty outside Memphis near Germantown road, and on
the 2nd marched by way of Moscow Summerville and Bolivar toward Ripley
in pursuit of above named forces, but after 4 days pursuit we returned
to Memphis reaching there the evening of the 10th (having marched 140 miles
paying for our 30 day furlough.) Reembarked on the 11th for further progress
down the river. Reached Natchez on the 14th. Bivouac there, by order of
General Canby, till the 15th when we get ordered to mouth of the Red River--start
up the river and reach Simmesport on the 17th.
There we find rest of Army, lay there for guard and fatigue duty till
the 20th, when , as rear-guard of whole Army, march along Old River towards
Mississippi. Arrive at Morganza the 21st. On the 30th start out on another
scouting party towards Achtafalay River and Bayou Fordeau. After a most
effective scout of four days, return to camp at Morganza.
June, July 1864
June 2nd having traveled over 60 miles--out on march again the 14th, return
and move camp the 15th meanwhile get incorporated into the 19th A.C. Remain
in camp near Morganza with guard and picket duty till July 12th when we
receive orders to embark on transport "Kate Dale" and start up White River
as far as St. Charles, land commence fortifying the place--working hard
day and night (here get detailed by Brigadier General Lee to act as Brig.
Com and issue rations etc. etc., (also keeping mess of Colonel J.C. Black
in free grub and alive).
August, September 1864
On the 6th of August get relieved from the place and ordered once more
back to Morganza--the 13th find ourselves in M.K. Lawlers Brigade, another
change. Between the 13th and 31st changed camp several times but only short
distances, doing most picket duty. On the morning of September 3rd 15 out
of 21 commissioned officers tender their resignations but failed to get
them accepted--embark same afternoon and reach mouth of the White River
the 8th. September 20th all nonveterans of Regiment leave and other left
at Brownsville pass us on boat on route for home. (September 29th go with
transport to Memphis for 50,000 rations high old time).
October, November 1864
We remain in camp at White River Landing till October 7th. Embark again
and reach Duvall's Bluff on the evening of the 8th--march about one mile
west of town and go in camp. Here we do something never done before by
this Regiment--go into regular winter quarters of log houses built by ourselves.
Whole distance traveled in September and October: 650 miles. November 1st
finds us still at the bluff enjoying our log cabins with plenty of picket
and fatigue duty.
(December 15th witness the execution of a deserter and bounty jumper and
in building breastworks). We received cheering news from all our Eastern
Armies--Thomas--Sherman--Grant--etc. and with these and plenty of drill
we while away the winter hours--but with the 37th a good thing never lasts
long, as the sequel will show so goodbye to the eventful year of 1864.
blessed by a great many Union Victories, but also cursed by just as many
follies and mistakes.
December 17th got transferred from 19th Corps to 4th Brigade Military
Division West Mississippi Corps, the balance of our Brigade from Brownsville,
Texas, having lately joined us again under General Steele and General Canby,
consisting of two Brigades of colored troops. (Christmas and New Years
on the Bluff- where high times for some officers and also men, as bad whiskey
made a good many fools--and made duty heavier on the decent part of the