Bygones of Monroe:
Letter from the Kentucky Army
We have been handed for publication the following private letter, written by a young man whose mother and friends reside in LaSalle, and who we presume, is known to many of our readers. The writer is serving in an artillery company from the State of Indiana.
Bacon Creek, Camp Jefferson, KY
Jan. 16th, 1862
Dear Mother—As you can see by the date of this letter we are yet at Bacon Creek and likely to remain here for a few days, at the least calculation. We are encamped within 7 miles of Green River upon a slight elevation overlooking most of the camps in the division. We are attached to Colonel Sills Brigade which is composed of the following regiments, viz: The 3rd, the 10th, and the 21st Ohio, and the 10th Wisconsin. The last named Regiment is called the best drilled Regiment in General Mitchell’s Division. As our battery is an independent battery we do not properly belong to the brigade, but are shifted about to suit the convenience of Gen. Buell. The first Michigan battery commanded by Capt. Lummis, is encamped beside us, and I believe are for the present attached to the same brigade. General Mitchell said to our Captain yesterday that we were to have the advance and were soon to take up our grand march. The boys are in good spirits generally and anxious for a fight, which I for one hope will soon be granted. The Bridge across Green River was completed last week, and the trains now run about a mile south of the river, when they come to where the track is torn up and a few miles further on is a tunnel, the top of which is blown down upon the track in several places, and it will take considerable time to remove the fragments and to shape the tunnel so that trains may pass through. General Buckner’s advance is about 9 miles of the river, but as our troops are fast crossing the rebels, will soon have to pull up stakes and march for Bowling Green. It is generally believed here that General Buckner’s troops are in poor condition for fighting. Occasionally a deserter will come in and all who come in report his men as a poorly clothed, poorly fed and demoralized set of men generally. They say that the officers are using their utmost exertions to keep the men together, but I fear that when we get down there they will try in vain, for there is nothing like cannon balls and grape to scatter cowards.
There are several reports concerning Gen. Buckner’s forces at Bowling Green. Some say he has 30,000, some 40,000, some 60,000, but I think nothing certain is known concerning them. There is probably a considerable force there and they are well fortified but if you could see the Grand Army in Old Kentucky under Gen Buell, you would not doubt their ability to protect Bowling Green most thoroughly. It is very muddy here at present, it rains nearly all the time, but our camp being situated upon an elevation we do not suffer much from the effects of the rain. Capt. Lummis’ battery, from Michigan, are considered the best battery in Kentucky and I think they deserve their good name. They have the celebrated Parott guns and understand using them. They fired 6 shots in succession, a distance of three-quarters of a mile, and put every one inside of a space of 3 by 4 feet, which I call good shooting. Col. May’s Regiment from Michigan, are at the river I believe, but I have had no chance of visiting them yet, as we are kept in camp nearly all the time; but when we move down there I shall have a chance of seeing them. The first Michigan regiment of engineers and mechanics are encamped here, but I have seen none from Monroe County yet, that I am acquainted with.
Capt. Simsons Light Artillery Co., Ind.
(Monroe Commercial, January 30, 1862, Page 1, Column 3)