Article from the February 24th, 1863 edition of The Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, page 4, column 3.


From the 21st Regiment.

In Camp – Foraging – A Scene – Butternut in the Foreground – Health of the Regiment – Southern Barbarity – Lieut. Burritt – Changes – Election of Field Officers – Promotions.

Camp near Murfreesboro, Tenn.
February 15th 1863.

Special Coor. Of the Advertiser and Tribune.

The 21st is still in camp on Stone river, where we have been since the battle. Picket and forage duty is now the order of the day. We are detailed upon one or the other almost daily. Two or three times a week a trail of one hundred wagons, or more, is sent out for forage. Each wagon carries four men, to load, and the whole train having an escort of at least one brigade of infantry, a section of artillery and a squadron of cavalry. They go but eight or ten miles beyond our picket lines, until finding the necessary forage, they make a break for it, when the corn cribs are emptied, and the corn blades looted in “double quick time” and the wagons are moving off; the darkies looking with wide-mouthed wonder upon the proceedings; the “Butternut” proprietor stalking about with his hands in his pockets, chewing “nature leaf,” and expostulating, begging or whistling in utter despair. After the wagons are loaded the Quartermaster gives a receipt for the amount that has been taken, and nolins vole ns“Butternut” becomes a creditor of the United States. It makes some of these rich old secessionists groan, the entire products of a year’s labor (of their slaves” taken at one call – but groans are of no avail. Some, however, yield with a good grace, claim they are Union men, and say that Uncle Sammy is very welcome to all they have, Some of them carry their magnanimity so far as to refuse to take receipts. Of course, a certain clause in said receipts has nothing to do with said refusal, to wit: “To be paid for only on proof of loyalty.”

We scarcely ever go without coming in contact with some of the rebel cavalry who are constantly prowling about in our regt. The skirmishing is sometimes right sharp and bloody, resulting sometimes in loss on both sides.

Our regiment is daily improving in health and effective strength; over one hundred and sixty men have come up to the regiment from hospitals, since we have been in our present camp. We were pained and shocked, the other day, by noticing in the papers an extrant from the Richmond Whig, stating that one of our officers, Eil Burritt, is to be shot at Atlanta, Georgia for having on his person facsimile Confederate money, Lieut. Burnett was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Stone River, He was a faithful efficient officer, and a perfect gentleman, He has a brother in the South, and of the South, we understand, If he be sacrificed to Southern malignity, no “Butternut” either officer or soldier, need expect any mercy hereafter if he falls into the hands of the 21st. A great many changes have been made in the affairs of the regiment since it left the State. All the field officers, who organized the regiment are gone. Colonel Stevens, from long-continued ill health, brought on by hardships and exposure, has been compelled to resign, The same with Major Hunting. Both regretted very much to leave the service, and both will be missed by us. After the resignations were accepted, the officers of the regiment held a meeting and unanimously recommend the following Field Officers: Lt. Col. Wm. B. McCreery, of Flint, to be Colonel, Adjt. Morris B. Wells, of Ionia, to be Lieutenant-Colonel; Capt. Seymour Chase, of Kent, to be Major. These officers are the unanimous choice of the regiment, and we hope the appointments may be made.

The following recommendations for promotions in the line have also been made: Myron C. Russell to be 1st Lieutenant, vice Chance resigned; James Houghton to be 2d Lieutenant, vice Russell, promoted; Arthur C. Prince to be 1st Lieutenant, vice Dunham, resigned; Charles W. Eaton to be 2d Lieutenant, vice Turner, resigned: Eli E. Burrett to be 1st Lieutenant, vice Russell, resigned; John C. Taylor to be 2d Lieutenant, vice Burritt, promoted: Sergt. Charles E. Belknap, Co. H. is promoted to Sergeant Major, vice Eaton, promoted. All the above named officers are acting in the places they are recommended to fill. Lieut. A. B. Morse, formerly of the old Sixteenth, is Acting Adjutant, He has lately joined the Regiment.

Respectfully, M.B.

 

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