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"OUR GENERAL SUREND UP HIS DEVISHON TO THE DARN STINK LOUSEY REBELS" (CIVIL WAR--OHIO.) Andrews, Solomon C. Diary of an Ohio artilleryman at Shiloh and as a prisoner of the Confederates. 371 manuscript diary pages plus 15 pages of other manuscript memoranda and drawings, in a printed daily diary published in New York. 12mo, original calf gilt, worn, crudely rebacked at an early date; contents largely sound, a small number of pages torn out, apparently without loss of diary text, entries do not always correspond to printed dates; signed several times by the author as "S.C. Andrews." Vp, 15 November 1861 to 15 April 1863
Solomon C. Andrews (1832-1903) of Newton Falls, OH left behind a wife and two children to join Battery A of the 1st Ohio Light Artillery as a private. His diary records an eventful term of service in vivid terms. The handwriting is rather ragged, and the spelling is completely phonetic ("ouers" means hours, "enimey" means enemy), but the contents are worth the effort. Most of his service was in Kentucky and Tennessee, with his first major battle being the Battle of Shiloh. He was in Buell's Army of the Ohio which arrived on the second day and helped turn the tide for the Union: "We got on bord of the steamboat and went up to the battle field and took 2 posishons but the rebells was on the retreat so fast that we couldent get a shot. They at first had 10 to our one but soon we got the start of them. They got 2 batteries from uss, then we got them back and we got 3 of thers" (7 April 1862). He spent several days with his regiment helping to bury the countless dead: "Still we haven't no tents but we moved the ded and bered them and campt lyht, but it dident rane so we got along fine. But the ded smell very bad and makes the watter tast very bad" (9 April 1862). Days later, he noted: "Som of there hands is sticking out and there feat, they were bered so poorely" (13 April 1862). That summer, Andrews was detailed for six memorable weeks to serve as an untrained head nurse at the division hospital, from 14 June to 28 July. "3 dyed last nite and one this morning. They smelt so bad that it made me sick but I have pane kiler that I take every day to keep from geting sick" (24 June 1862). "We have 3 bad cases that wil dye soon. Ouer drs can't get the rite kind of medeson. We can't get aney male nor the rite kind of provishons" (26 June 1862). The final drama of this diary was the capture of Andrews at the Battle of Stones River and his subsequent imprisonment. Andrews' battery was captured by a famous Confederate dawn attack on New Years Eve: "The enemy took us on a surpreyse at day. They charged on us before we was reday. Our general surend up his devishon to the darn stink lousey rebels. They com just when I had coffey on the fire and made strong" (31 December 1862). He spent the following weeks riding prison cars throughout the Confederacy, from Tennessee to Alabama to Richmond. The trains were not bad: "We have al ben in good spearits every since we have started on ouer new years ride on Jef Davis exspence." (17 January 1863). Andrews notably expressed gratitude on several occasions for his humane treatment by his Confederate jailors. A crowded prison in Richmond was full of lice (who are denounced at length), and Andrews sold his gloves to buy bread, but conditions remained humane: "3 of ouer men are very sick and a secesh dr com and gave them medeson. They have treated us very kind as prisners." (20 January 1863). Andrews was transferred to the infamous Libby Prison for what proved to be his final day in captivity-and the most unpleasant: "The name of it is Libie Prison, the durteyis prison in the plase. It is dirter then a hog pen. . . . The secesh took all the canteans from us." (26 January 1863). Andrews spent the next two and a half months in a Union camp for paroled prisoners which sounded only marginally better than the Confederate prison camps, and then started for home on 14 April 1863, bringing the diary to a close. Andrews later rejoined his battery, survived the war, and worked as a harness maker in Pennsylvania, leaving this diary as his only monument. with--a carte-de-visite photograph of General William T. Sherman, publisher unknown.
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