Head Qrs., 1st Brig., 1st Div., 11th A.C.
In Camp, 11 miles South of Nashville
Febry. 24th 1864
My Dear Wife
We are on the road at last. We went into camp at 2 o’clock this afternoon, making a short day’s march; we purpose marching only 10 miles a day for the first few days.1 All are in good spirits. The Band of the 79th Ohio are playing Marseillaise hymn, & the sun is setting. The day has been very beautiful. All nature seems most happy. It is seldom that everything seems so beautiful.
My health is very good. I feel anxious to hear from you. We will get mail at Lavergne to-morrow & at Murfreesboro the day after, also at Tullahoma, Decherd & Stevenson, so that I hope to hear from you.
We left Nashville at 8 A.M. The roads are very good thus far.2 Give my love to all. May God bless & keep you. Pray for me. I love to feel that it is so —Accept much love.
Your Affect. Husband
J. F. Culver
- Colonel Harrison had been told that: (a) there was no “necessity for making hurried or long marches”; (b) it was advisable to make detours from “the usually traveled highway, if by doing so a better road could be found, having in mind always supplies of rations and forage”; and (c) his brigade was to reach the front “in serviceable condition.” It was suggested that the brigade march from Decherd, by way of Tracy City, to Bridgeport instead of taking the road paralleling the railroad. O. R., Ser. I, Vol. XXXII, pt. II, pp. 276-277. [↩]
- Private Grunert of Company D provides additional details of the day’s march. He reported that after breakfast the troops fell into line, and that “many of the citizens, with whom we became intimately acquainted during our six months’ stay in Nashville, accompanied us to the suburbs of the city, until the command ‘forward’ was given and the band of the 79th Ohio played a beautiful march.” We turned our “backs to Nashville, the friends we had won there, and our sick in the hospitals.” Camp was made in a field “of a rebel, and in order to have a good remembrance we burned a considerable number of fence rails in the camp fires which kept us warm.” Grunert, History of the 129th Illinois, pp. 44-45. [↩]