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