Article from the July 15th, 1864 edition of The Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, page 4, column 2.


The 21st Michigan Infantry
Chattanooga, Tenn., July 3, 1864

When last writing, our regiment was neatly encamped on the north bank of the Tennessee River opposite of Nashville. Shortly after this we were relieved from duty there, and ordered on the top of Lookout Mountain, where at present we are in camp on the eastern front with one of the most beautiful landscapes spread out before us that ever nature made. Between this and Missionary Ridge is the Chattanooga Valley, some six miles in width with the city of Chattanooga at the northern extremity immediately beyond Missionary Ridge, a succession of mountainous ridges, even in number, set in rising higher and lighter as they recede, until the lofty blue line of the smoking mountains, of North Carolina, mingle their distant top with the clouds, concealing the romantic beauty of the Atlantic slope beyond. In the midst, or rather on the top of the wild scenery we are encamped, but for what length of time rests with the powers that be. We may be here all summer, and we may be here a week. Since having finished the bridge over the Tennessee River we have been engaged in building hospital. We have three saw-mills running night and day, and in a few days well have a shingle and planning mill; all here on top of the mountain, and all engaged in cutting dressing lumber for the hospitals. Two companies of the 21st, (I and F) are on picket duty, and form a continuous line from the rock wall of the mountain on one side, to a similar rock wall on the other. Some four miles in front of our camp, Co. G, of the 21st, and I, G, and H, of the 18th, are running the saw-mills. Co. E is preparing to run the planing-mill, Co. C will run the shingle-mill, while the remaining companies of both regiments are engaged either directly on the building or laying pipe to convey water to them from the mountain springs.

The general health of the regiment is not quite so good as it was on the river bank, originating here, we think, from the excessive hot weather. The monthly report gives the whole number of sick in the quarter at 22, and all, with one or two exceptions are new recruits.

We have lost our Colonel, Wm. R. McCreery. To him has been assigned the command of the brigade. It is one of those peculiar paradoxical points where we are both please and sorry that it should occur, for although we are sorry to part with him as commander of the regiment, we are nevertheless pleased or glad to see merit rewarded. In writing this we mean not to speak disparity of our present commander, Lieut. Col. Bishop, for it is not that we “love Cesar less but Rome the more.”

The fourth of July is upon us, with all its national tendencies and mu.. for the first time in our history be celebrated on the top of Lookout Mountain, for which great preparations are being made. And although much as se enjoy such national festivals and more especially under existing circumstances, we cannot refrain from expressing a wish that the proceeds could be applied to the relief of some of the ten thousand sick and wounded in the vicinity of Chattanooga. G. H. B.

 

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