1862: Unidentified to Mother

A couple members of the 49th OVI

This letter seems to have been written by a member of the 49th Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) who is yet to be identified. The content pertains to the Rebel shelling of Ft. McCook located near the mouth of Battle Creek on the Tennessee river by Rebel General Samuel Maxey on the 27th of August 1862. Maxey placed his artillery on the east side of the river, opposite the fort, and began a heavy bombardment. The Federals withdrew during the night. In assessing the significance of Fort McCook, General Maxey stated, “The work out of which the enemy was shelled is a spendidly constructed field work, and admirably executed; [it] is the key to the Sequatchie Valley, and its possession completely breaks the enemy’s chain up the Tennessee River.” For a time, the Confederates occupied Fort McCook, calling it Fort Maxey. The Confederates then moved up the valley to invade Kentucky in an advance that terminated in the Battle of Perryville.

The letter was sold with an envelope addressed to Mr. Francis Warten___[?] of Waverly, Pike county, Ohio, but I’m not convinced it belongs with the letter. Members of the 49th OVI did not come from Pike county so unless he addressed it to a brother-in-law, they are probably unrelated.


September 2, 1862
Camp near Bowling Green [Kentucky]

Dear Mother,

I take my pen in hand to let you know how we all are this time and hoping these few lines may find you [in good] health. I got the letter that you sent me. We were on a march.

Well, I will tell you about the fun. We left 28th of August. The rebels commenced a shelling the day before we left. They commenced at twelve o’clock and shelled us till the next morning. When the first shot they made, I was going to eat dinner. We was inside of the fort but all the dodg[ing] we done you ought to see.

We’ve been marching ever since we left the fort. We are at Bowling Green now here in Kentucky. We are going to Louisville. Many to Cincinnati. We can’t tell you where we are going but there at Battle Creek [Tennessee], we only lost one man in all that time. I don’t know what to write. [unsigned]


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