February 20, 1862




 Friend Fletcher:

Your many readers doubtless begin to think that we have forgotten our friends at home, and merit the same treatment at their hands.  Not so; the only difficulty is that we are put through so unremittingly, that the task of writing no longer seems an unpleasant one, but rather a pleasure, being so much lighter than our many other manifold duties.  To enumerate, first is Revilee, or the awakening roll-call for the regiment, which occurs at six o’clock A. M., then the sick call at 6:30, then breakfast at 7, then fatigue, then guard mounting at 8, and officer’s drill until 9:30, then Battalion knapsack drill until 11:30, when we have barely time to get our dinners and eat the same when the bugle sounds for Battalion drill again, then we have a siege of about three hours performing the various “evolutions of the line,” get in at nearly dark and get on our overcoats for Dress parade, immediately after which, the officers recite a long lesson in the tactics, which usually consumes the evening until 9 o’clock, all the duties of getting lessons, inspecting tents, arms, ammunition and all the various calls of soldiers upon the captain and you get a tolerable idea of the way we spend our time.

We are encamped about twenty-five miles southwest of Bardstown, and about three miles form the summit of Muldraugh’s hill, our camp being in the woods and entirely out of the sight of reach of civilized life. – We are about twenty two miles from Munfordsville, the seat at War in Kentucky.  Thither we expect to wend our way just as soon as weather and roads will permit.  The other day we were surprised by a flying visit from Capt. Thomas of the cavalry whose regiment and company have gone on in advance of this division to Munfordsville.  But a visit that surprised us all still more, and agreeably too was a visit from our old friend Dr. H. H. Perry, of Wabash.  We had just got off from Dress parade and upon looking around, whose benign features but his, should we find kindly and smilingly beaming upon us as of yore.  How he had got through our pickets without being taken prisoner, and being sent back to Louisville, or detained at New Haven or Bardstown was really a wonder.  But the more difficult the enterprise, the more strenuously does he exert his power and ingenuity to overcome the obstacles in the way, and here he is among us, cheering us with news from home, and kindly words of encouragement for the future.  Truly his visit is one of those blessings not often the lot of poor soldiers.

The health of our company is first rate.  We have none so sick as to be in the hospital, and very few complaining.  The men are in fine spirits, clamorous as usual for an advance and an opportunity to show their prowess.  If the paymaster would only shed upon us the light of his gratifying countenance; there would be no murmurs in our camp of the wintry horrors of our campaign.  Although we have very little snow and ice, we do have rain in copious and lasting showers.  Mud!  Why, we are in mud from morning till night – mud out of doors, and mud in doors, and mud all over us.  The very beds are made soft with a deep, soft, slushy underlayer of mud.  The night air echoes at midnight with the popping of the sentinel’s shoes as he pulls them wearily out of the thin, deep, mire!  Our friend Lieut. Will Henly has been promoted.  Capt. Bowersock of your county resigned a few days since and Will has performed his duties as a soldier so faithfully that he is by the unanimous wish of all, the successor of Capt. B.  He leaves our company with the unmixed regret of all.  A better officer and a more perfect gentleman cannot be found. 2d, Lieut. C. B. Rager, “of ours”, is about leaving on a recruiting expedition, to fill up the deficient companies of the regiment.  He will probably visit Wabash county where we bespeak for him the united assistance of the patriots, and men that we know to live there.  He will doubtless succeed Lieut. Henly in Co. B, and a most efficient and gentlemanly officer he is.  May he meet with the success in recruiting that he deserves, and that the 47th may be said to deserve. 

I wish I could mention all our meritorious boys, but space will not permit.  Suffice it to say that none come short of their duty, but let a wish of their officers be expressed and they spring forward to its performance equal to the best military discipline. 

Hoping that all may be permitted again to return to their homes upon a speedy advent of peace and prosperity to our bleeding country. 



January 16, 1862 



 JANUARY 9TH, 1862

Mr. Editor:  - Since the presentation of our Regimental colors, we have had marching orders, and we are now encamped 25 miles from Bardstown on the Nashville road.

On Monday night we encamped on the ground close by where Abraham Lincoln was born, and our boys made good use of some of his rails.  It is a mile and a quarter from his birth place to the foot of Muldraugh Hill, and a mile and 1 quarter from the base to the summit.  Upon the summit, used to stand the school house where Mr. Lincoln learned to read – but the place there of knows it no more.  We have passed by one school hence from Louisville to this post – a distance of seventy five miles – the school master must be a good ways abroad.

The 34th Regiment is within a mile of us.  Many of our boys have been over to see their friends, and the visits have been reciprocal.  Their Regiment is becoming well drilled.

Our Brigade has been formed – it consists of the 41st Ohio, 6th Kentucky, and 46th and 47th Indiana Regiments, under the command of Col. Hazard [Hazen].  Col. Hazard is a graduate of West Point, and is will spoken of, by all who know him, as a gentleman and efficient officer – that he is moral and religious is no disqualification for his position.

Yesterday was the 8th of January, and an order from Gen. Nelson, released us from drill in honor of the day.

The Wabash boys are mostly all fit for service, though a few are still in the hospital.  Mr. Parmer, a member of Capt. Bowersock’s company, died yesterday from the effects of the measles.  The other men are getting well.

Lieut. Tom Horn and Sergeant Lindsey, have just been ordered to report to Gen. Buell, as Recruiters for the Regiment.  They will hear a number of letters and packages homeward.

Dr. Dicken is kept busy at his post he has no time to tell long stories – scarcely time to stutter or repeat his words.  At 6 o’clock in the morning he stands behind his board counter, and examines the patients sent to him from the different companies, and excused them from duty or not, as he may deem proper.  He then sends them to Dr. James, who administers remedies to sit the complaint.

Dr. Mills, Assistant Surgeon, who is very kind and attentive, is at present laid up with a fever.  His helps, Drs. Crosby and Tonee, are attending to the men at the hospital.  Our sick men have been kindly cared for – and are well attended to, and hence, most of them are recovering.

The religious aspect of the Regiment I am not yet able to report fully, though I may say to the friends, that it is on the whole encouraging and hopeful.  We have preaching every Sabbath we can, and frequent prayer meetings after night, in he open air.  Next Sabbath we hope to organize the Christian Association of the Regiment.

Mr. Cloud, of Capt. Robinson’s company, whose father, I believe resides in Wabash county, died after a brief illness, and was buried last Friday.  A Mr. Rigsby, of Capt. Hill’s company was buried the next day.  They had a post mortem examination of his case, humanely conducted by Surgeon Dickens.  He died of congestion of the lungs, and of coagulated blood in the heart.  Religious services were had at their graves, and we buried them with the honors of war.  What could have been done for the brave boys was done in the hospital, and they might have have died had they been at home.

While you and your readers are enjoyed the comforts of home, do not fail to think kindly of, and to pray for the poor soldiers.

Yours very truly,


Chaplain 47th Reg.

Louisville Journal

Published February 7, 1862

COL. WHITAKER’S SIXTH KENTUCKY REGIMENT. – A correspondent of the Shelby News having visited the camp of the Kentucky 6th, gives the following interesting incidents of his tour:

When our droskey, arrived at Col. Whitaker’s marque he was in a distant part of his camp superintending in person the erection of a gunsmith and blacksmith shop and a shed under which to shoe mules.  “Orderly” – Barker, however, soon brought the Colonel to this tent; and I need not say, that I found him “the same as ever.”  We talked of “old times, old scenes, and old friends,” and, I need scarcely remind the friends of Colonel Whitaker that he “God-blessed”  them all a hundred times over.  How much I wish the people of Shelby county could see the 6th Kentucky regiment where it is now encamped.  It is called a Shelby regiment; its Colonel and two companies being from that noble old county.  The regiment is encamped in what was a forest three weeks ago, but within the short space of three weeks the ground has been almost entirely cleared of timber, which has been split up into slabs and corduroy walks which have been laid through the whole camp, and even the localities where the sentinels have to walk to and fro, when on duty, have been so laid, and now each sentinel tramps his beat dry-shod instead of wading shoe-deep in the mud.  Col. Whitaker’s regiment is by far the healthiest in the division, from the fact, as Gen. Nelson remarked to me, “they are most industrious.

In order to leave the line, it was necessary that a pass from Colonel Whitaker should be vised by his Brigadier, Colonel Hazen, and also by General Nelson, and I thus had an opportunity of meeting both these gentlemen.  I have already spoken of General Nelson’s compliment to Colonel Whitaker’s regiment, and Colonel Hazen said to me privately; “I have taken a great fancy to your Colonel Whitaker; I think he is a trump!”

No man in the division so well knows how to provide for and take care of his men as Colonel Whitaker, and no one takes so much care of his men as he does of his.  His whole camp, tents, wagons, mules, the clothing of his men, the health of the soldiers under his charge – I can state from a careful observation on all those points are superior to any other regiment in the division.

Gen. Nelson is anxious to promote Surgeon Drane to the place of Brigade Surgeon, and probably will do so.  Colonel Whitaker has obtained, through General Nelson, the liberty of recruiting for his regiment; and although his roll numbers, all told, nine hundred and fifty-two men, his officers feel confident that two men can recruit two hundred more men in two weeks.

Colonel Whitaker provided me with a horse, and an attentive orderly to see me safe back to New Haven, and I at last tore myself away with regret at not being able to remain longer with the noble fellows, Lee, Martin, Stein, Cotton, Heilman, Shackelford, Choate, Danks and others, with many a fond remembrance sent to the “loved ones at home.”

In conclusion, Col. Hazen was right, Colonel Whitaker is a trump.  Shelby county may well be proud of him; for few men have superior tact and energy, and none excel him in devotion to the cause of the Union; and when disease and death come upon his men, no matter how poor or humble, his voice cheers or soothes them, and when the din of battle comes he will not shrink, and his men will follow wherever he leads!  God bless the Kentucky Sixth.


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