Diary of Joshua Creglow
On the 22 we marched for camp. The first night camped in Norwalk. The next day at 3 P.M. arrived in Camp Taylor. Thare remained to drill & nothing worthy note up to the time of our departure from this camp. The camp being disband because the call come for three years service. That caused them to shrink from their duty, the duty of evry American cittizen. This caused the Co to disband. Rice, St John, Cain & myself reinlisted May 10th under Cap Stacey in the 2nd K.Y. Regiment. Thare remained about two weeks. Having a dislike toward the officers in command over us, applied for a discharge. This camp situated on the banks of the Ohio R- N.W. of Cincinnati. On the 1st day of June we enlisted in Co B 7 Regiment under Capt J. L. Sterling. Capt remained in camp Denison until June 26. At 6 OC P.M. took the cars for Belair, it being situated on the Ohio R- 4- below Wheeling (V.A.). Then we ferryed across the R. to a village opposite B- namely Benwood.
Thare waited arrival of enough of cars to transport the Regiment over the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. as we before intended to leave immediately, but received a dispatch from the Colonel that we would be attacked if we attempted to march & accordingly went into camp & prepared for to rest being much fatigued, riding so far on the cars, we had lain but a short time as it seemed to us, it being late before we retired. The officers called for us to be in readiness to march immediately for Grafton, the Colonel being thare at the time. When we arrived at Grafton the Colonel had advanced farther on a Branch of the B.&O. R-R called the Western Branch, up as far as Clarksburg where we arrived the 28th about 3 P.M. Pitched tents for the night. Remained in camp unitll the 29 at 3 O.C. P.M. when we resumed our march on foot. The place of our destination of our days journey was unknown to the privates. The sun being very warm it caused intence thirst as well as fatigue. The sun was so hot that many fell from the ranks before they had traveled 10 miles. The necessity of the force march was unknown. They marched on & on a continuation of falling from the ranks. Sore & fatigued from the long march, about 4 in the morning over 5 hundred had fell from the ranks. To see them march it seemed as if they could go no further. Many would call for a little water to wet their lips. Some would dip the muddy water from the road side to quench their intence thirst. To see the ghastly pale faces laying by the road-side completely exhausted, it would have caused the hardest of hearts to ache & the dryest of eyes to weep to see one trying to relieve the other perhaps a well known friend. Yes! Perhaps a dear brother who with his weak aid is trying to assist him thinking that he would expire from fatigue & thirst. About 5 in the morning the few that remained in the line of battle marched in & took the little village in 15 minutes after we come in the village. It was surrounded but most of the rebels had left. Some wakened up in the morning & found themselves surrounded, it being the village of Weston situated on the banks of the west fork Monongahela River.
Remained in camp one week, nothing of much importance transpired while in camp thare. We took a printing o. & printed about 2 thousand papers called The Ohio 7th. July the 7th we marched for Glenville. Encamped one night by the roadside being disturbed but a little. We arrived in Glenville the 9th at 3 P.M. This village being situated on the banks of the little Kanawha, a number of shots was exchanged by the rebles & 7 Regiment. Nothing worthy of note transpired while in Glenville. We remained in this camp untill July the 23rd. The next day we resumed our march, the distance being 15 miles. Then we went into camp on the side of a mountain. The soldiers enjoyed themselves picking blackberrys. They being in abundance. The next morning we marched on, it being very pleasant. About 4 in the evening we reached a little village on the little Kanawha (B.T.). The 27th & 28th we marched about 18 miles. Reached this village (Suttonville) about 3 OC P.M. It being very rainy & muddy caused much fatigue to all of us. At times it fell in torents & wet our cloths through. Nothing had transpired in our last journey worth of note except a skouting party went out & found a man guarding some horses in the woods. They shot him & took the horses to camp. We are now in camp near a village situated on the banks of Elk River. Our camp is situated on a very nice hill ˝ mile north of Suttonville, county seat of Braxton Co (V.A.). At this time we number about 35 hundred.
It was thought by our Commanders that O. Jenning Wise was coming with his forces. On the 30th we commenced throwing up breastwork & diging trenches that we might better protect ourselves. Aug 1st we received orders to march before we finished our entrenchments. Aug 2 about 12 M we started & marched about 10 miles. Thare encamped. The 3rd we resumed our march until 12 n. whare we went into camp. The whole being about 15 miles. It being beautiful weather & the march short the soldiers seemed to endure it easily. They all seem to be merry. The most of them appear to be busily engaged washing their cloths. Nothing worthy of note transpired in this last march or the two days in camp. 6th we resumed our march. The weather being somewhat warmer & the hindrance of the reinforcement of the 23rd , they being much fatigued of a number days march from Clarksburg, we could not march fast. Wednesday, the 7th (Aug) we arrived in Summerville Co seat of Co of Nicholas whare we remained untill Aug 15. Nothing worthy of note transpired during the time we remained in this camp. About 9 am we marched for Gauley Bridge. About 4 P.M. we went into camp, the march being only about 8 miles distant from Summerville, there to wait for further orders. One thing in the above that I forgot to mention which I will notice here. When in camp about the 12th, Capt Sprague left for home. While passing over Birch Mountain in Co with the mail boy & some cavalrymen, he being took prisoner & the mail bag shot. They soon went in search of the Capt but all search was in vain.
Aug 20 Co K went out on a skout on the Gauley R-. 4 of the men were shot. The Captain (Shultz) also was mortally wounded. It caused intence excitement through the camp. When the Capt left camp with his men his orders from the Col not to cross the river but regardless of orders he crossed mity to his sorrow. The regiment would have gone & redressed their wrongs but that night about 10 O.C. we received orders to march for Gauley Bridge. All things were packed & tents struck as quick as possible. We were soon on the march. Marched all night untill the next day (it being the 21) about 12 M 22 when we went into camp 5 miles from the bridge. The supposition was that Gen Cox expected to be attacked & wanted immediate force. Remained in this camp a few days & the attack was not made. Aug 23 received news that about (4) hundred rebles had crossed the R-. The 24th Cox ordered us to retrace our steps & go back & drive the rebbels back. We arrived to Peters Creek about (4)O.C. Thare learned that the enemy numbered about 6 thousand. Then we supposed that the 7th had to retreat.
After a few hours reconoicence, the Col concluded to retreat 3 miles and dispatch immediately for more forces to Gen Cox. He refused to reinforce at all & said if we were not cowards we would march on them & see how many thare was. The Col did not think it best to make an attack on them with the force we had which numbered about 6 hundred. After a long consultation of the captains, he thought it best to obey the orders of Gen Cox. On the 25th we resumed our march which was 8 miles to the camp at Keslers x Lanes from the place where we encamped the night previous. Evry mile was marched with caution. We arrived 3/4 of a mile from the camp. Thare we halted untill some reconoicence was made about the Cap. None of the enemy to be seen except a few cavelrymen which soon disappeared. The main body fell back toward the R- & the flanking Cos fell back in the woods immediately behind us. We did not advance nearer the camp that night. It being very cold that night with no covering only to lay uppon the ground. To take the heavens for our covering & a rock for our pillow. The train did not advance with us. They were left back to the place of our encampment the night previous for fear that if we was defeated that they might be captured & if they were left there they could advance toward Gauley imediately. On the morning of the 26th they mad an attack upon us. The firing commenced between the pickets. Then they attacked the rear Cos about the time the Col ordered us to double quick. At that time the firing commenced rapidly between the rear companys & the enemy. We intended to advance & form a line of battle on or near the ould camp ground but the main body of the enemy was about to attack us by the flank. The Col commanded file left toward the woods & form line but on discovering that they were surrounding us fast, give orders to retreat. He left the Major to take command of us. He & the Lt Col went to command the train with one or two companys that was left to guard it. It arrived safe. For many hours we did not know but that our retreat was cut off on evry side. We marched over mountains & rocks, through ravines & creeks. Many places to be indicative of volcanic erruptions yet it was not probable that such was the case. We marched all day untill about 5 in the evening. After the long & fatigueing march we was only about 5 miles from camp & 18 from Gauley Bridge, the point that we were retreating to, but thinking that the enemy had cut us of on our retreat up what is called the 20 mile Creek to Gauley. Then we changed our direction to the westward. We marched untill about 9 that night & encamped upon a mountain. Many fell from the ranks with hunger & fatigue. After we rosted some corn it being all that we could procure to eat. Then we got some hay & layed down to rest for the night with no covering, as usual, save the starry heavens.
About 4 in the morning we was waked up to resume our march without any breakfast. Marched untill about 9 in the morning when the major procured a verry small amount to perhaps a 1-tenth part of what a man could eat. Thus, we continued our march for Charleston for the day. Forded the Elk River 3 times, our feet being wet all the time caused our feet to become verry sore. Many was unable to march the entire distance. Canoes was procured for them to come down the Elk R- to the Kanawha R- where it emptied in near Charleston. The 3rd day Capt W.R. Sterling was ordered by the Major to take a horse & go to Charleston & have some food sent to meet us.It arrived about 5 O.C. the 3rd day, we then being about 16 miles from C-. Thare we went into camp for the night. Having plenty to eat revived us verry much, it being the first for the 3 days. It had rained the third day all the time & caused it too be verry muddy for the 4th days march. The morning of the 29th we was aroused from our poor but verry convenient beds about 2 O.C. in the morning to resume our march to C- whare we arrived the 4th day about 12 M. We marched into camp, stacked arms, hungry and fatigued. Many went seeking for a small space of ground that was shaded by a tree or house & soon went to sleep to rest their weried limbs & sore feet, many of which was blistered. Some having worn out their shoes was barefoot & they necessarily would have verry sore feet. Marching over the stones which was verry plenty through that part of the state (V.A.). As I before stated, the Col & Lt Colonel arrived safe into the camp at Gauley Bridge.
Then to arrived the sad news of his men supposing they were all lost, cut into pieces or taken prisoner. They seemed to be filled with grief, hoping that we had been successful & arrive into camp safe. One of my best friends spoke of the Col weeping for his men as he supposed was lost. S Rice, the man spoken of had strained his ankle on the evening of the 24th & was unable to march with us to X Lanes. He returned with the train to Gauley. He being one of my Co & one that enlisted with me, had messed in the same mess for 4 months previous. He being somewhat attached to us was anctious to learn the result & what had become of Co B, he stepped up to the Lt Col & asked him where Co B was. He answered they are all cut to pieces. At the same time, he was so filled with grief he could only give vent to his feelings by a flood of tears which wet his cheek. I was afterwards informed they both wept like a child for 4 long days & nights. They awaited with anctious hearts to hear whare we was of what had become of us after we arrived to C-. The Major reported the No of men he esscaped with which was about 425. When then Col received the message he went to the quarters of the remaining part of the Regiment which numbered about 365 including the train guard. He was soon surrounded by those that was with him waiting to hear the news. After he read the report to them, they give the loudest of cheers which relieved them of their heart sickening burthen that had been on their minds for 4 long days. At this time many was in the woods endeavoring to escape if possible. A.C. Jones was in the woods ten days. E.B. Steffens 16 days before he got into camp. Many was taken prisnors, the names of all I cannot mention. Nothing worthy of note transpired up to the 5th of Sept when our Co, that is Co B, was called to camp Eronyard 12 miles up the R- from C- toe remain thare while 2 K.Y. Col went out skouting. After they had been gone a day or two they sent a message for more forces. We got on board of a boat & crossed the R- to go to their relief. They being out about 10 miles, before we could get to them the rebbels had taken many of them prisnors & killed two & wounded several. We remained thare untill the next morning, buryed our dead to the wounded to our camp. The entire amount captured by the rebbels as about 15 hundred $ including the cattle. The whole was through negligence of the officers not keeping their men in propper order to meet the enemy. They was taken by cavelry which attacked them verry suddenly & in the rear, they being strung along the road for 4 miles. We returned to Charleston on the 3rd day. Did not learn all the particulars & the amount taken prisnors or if there had been more killed in the skirmish. We are in camp at this place (C-) & nothing worthy of note has transpired up to this date, Sept 22nd. While in camp at this place quite a striking incident occurred. One of the soldiers was shot on the evening of the 3rd of Oct (1861) he being a acessionist created a great excitement in the camp it being a member of the 2nd K.Y. Regiment & had two brothers.
May we never forget bunk ck2 and its associations
Morris Baxter, Mt Gilead &
H.P. Eddy, Euclid Ohio