Transcribed and Contributed by Thom McCague
At right is Lamoin N. Ulrey of Co. D, 157th Indiana
Volunteer Infantry. The men are armed with the outdated
Springfield "trapdoor" rifle. Stuck in the stump between the two men are the rifle bayonets. Ulrey married
Ida May Secor and had three children. The family lived in Elkhart, Indiana. The man at left is not identified.
The following accounts appeared in the Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana. These are newspaper accounts concerning the formation of would become, on being mustered into the federal service, Company I of the 157th Indiana Volunteer Infantry.
Article 1 (Monday, May 2, 1898):
CAMP MOUNT, INDIANAPOLIS, May 2 – The members of Co. I begin to realize more fully than ever the real meaning of a soldier’s life. It is being clearly shown that this camp is not one of pleasure, but one meaning business. The routine of camp life is being carried out very strictly, and the boys have little time for pleasure or rest. Relative to Co. I, they are by no means an exception to this rule. But in spite of rigidity, the boys are located as comfortably as could be expected under the circumstances. Much to their preference the barns and buildings of the State Fair grounds, the site of the camp, have been utilized for company quarters instead of tents, owing partly to the reasons that tents are lacking, because of the new recruits having been recently admitted. The latest census of the camp shows 4,710 men in camp enlisted.
JEERED OUT OF THE CAMP
CO. I WANTS FORTY MORE
TIRED OF CAMP LIFE
And Came Home Monday, all
NEVER HAD A “SKIRMISH.”
The Company Deplores the Loss of the Men and Pass Resolutions Condoning Themselves That No More Left Them.
(From Our Staff Correspondent.)
On arriving at camp, Tuesday evening April 26, at 8:30, we were immediately quartered in one of these barns, in company with Co. H, of Angola. Those who had been in camp before had somewhat the advantage in knowing just how to take hold, and accordingly soon had plenty of straw and blankets, which were perhaps somewhat lacking to the raw recruits. The men were placed four or five in a stall, in one of the stock barns, and fire was built on the ground down the center of the barn. Every thing was closed up and the men hurried to bed as soon as possible. The need of blankets became evident, before morning, as has been the case ever since, the weather becoming extremely cold at times, so that men were unable to sleep. More blankets could still be used in the company, although the men are quite comfortable in this respect at present.
The general health of the camp is remarkably good. Only three men have responded to sick call from our company, Edson Mosher, for an extreme cold, R. Wes McBride, upon whom was preformed the first surgical operation in camp, he having had several severe boils on the fore-arm lanced. He is thus released from duty for a time, also, Paul Duncan, for a sprained ankle. Measles have appeared in camp, but are closely quarantined, and considered safe. One case of “graybacks” was reported in Co. H, who are in the same quarters with us, but this cannot be confirmed.
Rations were somewhat scarce at first, but no complaint can be made at present. Hardtack, with some soft bread, coffee, rice, hominy, potatoes, beans, bacon and beef are the main rations. In addition, we have received tomatoes, prunes and dried peaches, and pickles as extras. However, they are beginning to cut out the extras, and soft bread is a luxury soon to be abolished. Cooks have been detailed from the company, and are able to make the best of the circumstances.
One of the most important events occurred when two papers for signatures were presented to the company on last Saturday evening. The one was to contain the signatures of those willing to volunteer into the Federal service, and the other, those who were unwilling. Those signing the “unwilling list” were Serg’t J.D. Snyder, Privates Frank Brand, G. Clement, W. DeWitt, John Duncan, Will Duncan, S. Ellis, Sol Fisher, S. Holden, -- Hose, F. Maggert, E. Mosher, Claude Miller, -- Neff, Jas. Rhinehart, A. Salander, W. Tatham, Lolyd Treesh, C. Williamson. Those signing the “willing list” which also constitutes the complete roster of the company in camp are:
Captain, Levi L. Denison.
1st. Lieutenant, Chas. V. Barr.
2nd Lieutenant, W.H. Denison.
1st Sergeant, D. Rohrbaugh.
Sergeant, Jas. Wallace.
“ C. Luce.
“ R. W. McBride
Corporal, Guy Farrington.
“ P.J. Geeting.
“ F. Moore.
“ F.M. Hine.
Musicians, Edw. D. Willis.
Ackley, D. B. P. Ackney.
Barr, Harry Beidler, Fred
Beidler, Harry Bateman, H.
Bateman, A Bennett, O.
Brewer, D Bryant, C
Barnes, D Boorman, Frank
Carter, S.C. Cassleman, E
Duncan, P Delong, O.
Dunfee, J. Funk, C
Farrington, L Geeting, R
Getts, G Goodwin, S
Goering ,L Hughes, S
Huyck, C Jenning, E L
Kollman, B Luce, Ed
Lehman, H Miller, V
McBride, C H Martin, E D
Miser, W Nodine, A
Opdyke, H Opdyke, D
Pulver, J Penick, A
Rohrbaugh, C Rising , C
Resler, S Randall, J
Smith, D W Smith, W B
Smurr, W Singrey, G
Shroeder, C Vanscork, C
Private Delbert Crooks was granted an honorable discharge, owing to the serious illness of his young child. He however, expressed a willingness to stay with the company. The totals thus show nineteen “unwilling,” one honorably discharged and sixty-one enlisted. Those returning home started in a body under command of Serg’t Snyder, on Monday morning, not amid the cheers, but amid the jeers of the camp, and cries of “deserters.” The companies of our battalion now average about sixty-five men. Co. H. of Angola, sent home twenty-eight men, and retained seventy-four. Co. K, of Auburn, sent home eleven men, and retained fifty-three. Those in camp now await physical examination, which is in progress this week. This will probably be very rigid, and will bar out several men from enlisting in regular service.
Sunday was a gala day in camp, and one of great bustle. The day was hot, windy and dusty, but not withstanding this fact, a crowd of about 65,000 people were collected on the grounds. An inspection was held in the morning, thus depriving the boys of the privilege of attending church. Great interest was manifested when the Waterloo delegation arrived, and boxes, baskets, letters and verbal messages were handled about in great profusion. The boys were all very glad to see every acquaintance, and many were disappointed in not seeing expected friends. When the delegation left for home, there was some homesickness in camp, and many expressed by looks a desire to return, but in spite of this, they stood the circumstance bravely, and bade farwell with a resolve to obey duty’s call before considering their own welfare.
A grand review was ordered for Sunday afternoon, and it was pronounced a fine sight by all onlookers. The amphitheatre was crowded to witness the sight, and a crowd extended nearly around the entire race track. Our boys are presenting a good appearance on all drills. Their time is busily engaged and they do not have much time to read or write letters. Of course a good many “roasts” are prevalent on some of the boys, as the one who was sent to the commissary department for “strap oil,” and one who inquired of the corporal of the guard what his number was when on duty. Sergeant Wallace has been proven the greatest “girl-masher” in camp. One bunk posts a banner “Jolly old bachelors, --Girls Wanted.”
In regimental drill on Saturday afternoon, Col. Pennington, of the first regiment, was thrown from his horse and sustained a broken leg. He has been removed to his home in New Albany and his vacancy will not be filled for some time. On Sunday afternoon while crowding for a street car at the Fair ground station, Mr. Wm. Archer, aged 25 years, single, of Perth, Ind., was thrown under the car and instantly killed. He was a visitor in camp. About 300 car loads, twenty-four special trains, of people were brought to the city. The lines were closed to visitors after Sunday night. And camp life will now become more dull and rigid.
The mustering into the United States service will probably occur Saturday. Gov. Mount says, that as far as possible the companies and their officers will remain intact.
Chas. H. McBride, an old resident of Waterloo, has returned from
Saratoga, N.Y. and has enlisted as a private in Co. I. This was his
express purpose in returning home. Mr. L Goering, of Kendalville,
has also come down for that express purpose. Two or three fines,
of from one or two dollars, have been imposed on members of our company
for drunkenness, but none have yet been placed in the guard house.
On the night of our arrival one man, who left a lucrative employment in
the government service to come here, had to be carried into camp and laid
out until he recovered. He was “shot in the neck,” but has sworn
off. The conduct of the company has been up to the average.
A “poker gang” keeps busy in the Angola company, but our boys
have let the game alone.
This article would also call especial
RESOLVED. That a copy of these resolutions be spread
upon the records of the company, a copy be forwarded through the
regular channels to the commander-in-chief I.N.G., and a copy be given
to The Press for publication. Pass by Co. I, in company assembled,
on this, the second day of May, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight.
L.L. Denison, Capt.
D.L. Rohrbaugh, 1st Sergt. Co. I.
NOTES OF THE CAMP.
One comrade in the 3d Regt., received a basked of eggs, Sunday, and on Monday morning thought to have fried eggs for breakfast, but found them hard boiled.
The Press was a welcome visitor last week, and the boys are looking for it every week as a medium of communication between home and friends, and the boys in blue.
There were over 250 applicants for position in this state, for the office of surgeon. A good many gave up the chase as hopeless. There seems to be a great willingness to look after the health of the boys in blue.
The 3d Regt., being short of a Chaplain, a very necessary adjunct of a pious regiment, Elder Midbury [Medbury], of the Christian Church, of Angola, has secured the appointment and bade his congregation farewell, last Sunday night. He is an able man and will carefully look after the spiritual welfare of the regiment.
Capt. E. G. Melendy, quartermaster of the 3d Regt., has resigned on account of physical inability to perform the duties, and Col. Studebaker has recommended Quartermaster Sergeant H.L. Hutson for the position. Harm is a candidate for county clerk, on the republican ticket, in Steuben county, but leaves his political chances with his friends while he performs soldier’s duty.
In the rush to complete the roster of Co. I, Captain Denison wired us, on Sunday night and again early Monday morning, that he must have eighteen men by Monday night, or the company could not muster. There was hurrying to and fro, J.N. McBride drove to Butler, Dr. H.D. Chamberlain to Hudson, and Frank Fisher to Hamilton, to notify those previously enlisted and to secure new men. The orders were to send them at 2:55p.m. Monday, and the time was short, but the efforts were crowned with success and the following good men were enrolled: Presley Brown, of Moores; John Beight and Wm. Martin of Fairfield, Wm. H.E. Coffman of Artic, Chas. O. Dirrim, J. A. Lautzenheiser, of Hamilton, Fred Ritter, E. V. Geer, Jesse Clark, F. L. Chilcote, Orin Heckathorn, Arthur Kimmell, and Geo. W. Clark, of Hudson, Isaac Buss, Elmer Feagler and J.A. Melton, of this place, were on hand ready and anxious to go, but a telegram received by the writer at 11:15a.m., countermanded the order, saying that Co. I had been filled and mustered. The Butler contingency was stopped by telephone. There was great disappointment and much hard labor lost. The above names, however, will be used in the event of another call. A telegram sent to Capt. D. asking if he could not use ten men, failed to elicit a reply. Coffman walked thirty miles last Friday to enlist here, and was too late for the train. He walked in again Tuesday morning, ten miles, from Artic, arriving at six o’clock, and refused to be turned back, and started by the freight train route for Indianapolis, with a remarkable persistency to join the 3rd Regt., and the first man that winks out will have his place filled by Mr. Coffman, who is built of the right stuff for a soldier.
The following recruits were sent to Co. I. 3rd Regt. Leaving this station at 10:10a.m. last Friday: Sherman Edge, Chas. A. McCague, David Smurr, Charles Harper; and from Butler, L. E. Perry, Thadeus Horner, Ollie Hall, Emory Dunn, Frank L. North, Jas. Arlo Casebeer, Clyde B. Oberlin and Oliver B. Diehl, the last two came from the Butler high school. Chas. Harper walked nine miles from south of Corunna, to join the squad, which was placed in charge of Sergeant McCague. A large number of people assembled at the depot to bid them God speed, and a small collection was taken at the depot to furnish the boys a lunch. They were a fine looking set of men, and left in good cheer, and we speak for them an honorable service.
CO. I GOES TO THE FRONT!
THE COMPANY MUSTERS IN
TO FIGHT SPANIARDS.
Those Who Couldn’t Pass the Medical Examination
“CHEERED OUT OF CAMP.”
Instead of Being “Jeered Out” Like the Deserters
Were. – Boys were Very Indignant at
(From Our Staff Correspondent.)
CAMP MOUNT, INDIANAPOLIS, May 10th
Hardtack is continually getting harder and the need of good strong
teeth is becoming evident. There is not much new in camp life.
The same rigid routine of duty is followed day after day and many have
been heard to exclaim, “This thing of being a soldier isn’t what it is
cracked up to be.” The boys all seem anxious for any change, and
according to reports in camp at this writing, this change will not be long
in being effected. The captains of all the companies have orders
to make requisition for all supplies, as tents, blankets, clothing, etc.,
necessary to go to the front, and the two regiments first equipped and
mustered will be sent immediately to Chicamauga Park. These will
probably be the second and third. The examination of all the men
in camp has been completed and those who were unsuccessful in the examination
have been returned home. Co. I has received quite a number of recruits,
but some of these also were rejected by the examining surgeon. The
list thus returned home is as follows:
Of the former members of the company:
Sergeants, R. Wes McBride and Clarence Luce.
Barens, D.D. Barr. H
Bennett, D Duncan, P
Farrington, L F Goering, L
Goodwin, S Hughes, S
Luce, E Miller, Clyde
Miser, W B Randall, J
Smith, D W Smith, W
Of the recruits: --
Deller, L Deller, W m
Frederick, G Latham, O
Latta, M Patch, E W
Renner, C Wolf, S
Privates Miser and Randall were exceptions in the above list, in that they passed successfully the examination, but Private Miser was refused by the captain, upon request of his parents, and Private Randall expressed a willingness to again join the company after a three or four days’ furlough, if wanted, having a family depending upon him.
Those men returned home on Monday morning under command of Sergeant McBride. It was a great disappointment to them to have to leave the old company and many made all possible efforts to be reinstated. As an instance we would mention Sergt. McBride, who secured, after difficulties, three successive examinations, but failed to pass. Harry Bateman also secured three examinations, and passed the third. Corporal F. L. Moore, Musician Edw. D. Willis, privates F. Beidler, B. Brewer and Chas. Vanscoik succeeded in securing second examinations, in which they passed. The disappointment of some of those who failed can thus be realized. It was with great regret that the boys who thus left for home were bade good-bye by their comrades in camp. Not one jeering word was spoken, but instead, in many companies, the boys gave three rousing cheers, and in the eyes of the bravest of them tears might be seen, as the full realization of the disappointment was clearly presented. However, it must be said of them that they remained true to their colors to the fullest possible extent of their power and they returned home bearing the title of the brave and not of the coward.
The company, as it musters, including recruits, is as follows:
Captain, L.L. Denison.
First Lieut., Chas. V. Barr.
Second Lieut., W.H. Denison.
First Sergt., D.W. Rohrbaugh.
Quartermaster Sergt., F. Moore.
Sergts. C.A. McCague.
Corporals F.M. Hine.
Artificer H. Thomas.
Wagoner P. Auckney.
Musicians D. Ackley.
Bateman, A Brewer, D
Bateman, H Bryant, C
Boorman, Frank Brown, M
Briner, A Borman, Wm
Castleman, E Carter, S C
Clemens, J Crystal, J
Corn, C Dunfee, J
Delong, O Dunn, E
Diehl, O Edge, S
Funk, C George, F
Geeting, R Goodrich, L
Groat, W Harper, C
Huyek, C Hael, O
Homer, F Hitchcock, W
Jennings, E L Johnson, E
Kollman, B Kinnel, C
Kannel, L Langley, E
Linder, R Lehman, H
Latham, E Miller, A
McKinley, O Martin, E D
Monahan, J Nodine, A
Newell, D North, F
Opdyke, H Opdyke, D
Oberlin, C Pulver, J
Penick, A Pettit, H
Patchett, J Piery, L
Peters, J Rohrbaugh, C
Resler, S Rising ,C
Smurr, W Schroeder, C
Singrey, G Shea, Wm
Smurr, D Thomas, W
Vancoik, C Waite, C
Wheaton , Willis
Orders were issued Monday morning to have the companies enlisted to the full number by night, that the examination be completed. Our company lacked nearly a score of men and it took considerable hurrying to make up the number. Members of the band and any one upon whom hands could be laid were hurriedly enlisted into the company’s ranks, and by 2:30 the ranks were filled and examined.
Some miserable weather was experienced in camp last week; cold and rainy weather prevailed, and a few flakes of snow were perceptible on one morning. The camp ground became one vast mudhole and the boys wandered around aimlessly in rain and mud. Drills were suspended in part. The weather caused some sickness in the way of colds and Chas. Funk spent one night in the hospital from this casuse. As a rule, however, the boys kept well and in good spirits, and fine weather greets them this week.
Great indignation was expressed in camp on Saturday evening, concerning an article contributed to the Silver Dawn, by J.D. Snyder, and had the author of the article been present in camp on that evening there is not the least doubt but that he would have fared disastrously in the hands of the enraged company.
Sunday was uneventful, except for the enormous crowd present on the ground, even exceeding that of the week before. The boys were all marched to church in the morning and Chaplain Medbury delivered a very able discourse. There is no doubt but that he meets universal satisfaction in the regiment. A brigade review was witnessed by an enormous crowd in the afternoon. The crowd even occupied the roofs of buildings. Great excitement and anxiety was caused by the report of a terrific naval engagement between the Sampson and Cape Verde fleets on Sunday afternoon, but the excitement subsided upon a later telegram to the contrary.
Our company has been detailed to act as ladder company of the fire brigade of the camp. The first drill was held Monday morning.
On Monday morning a new recruit came to camp, who was a typical “Weary Willie.” He said he wanted to be a soldier and the boys set him to work policing camp. Then he was put through very comical and awkward performances and was told that they were part of the regular drill. The camp has never seen a specimen to excel this one. He will not remain in camp long.
Co. H, of Angola, received more recruits than their company would hold and part were returned home. They were in command of Lorenzo Taylor, of Angola. The companies are being mustered into U.S. service as rapidly as possible and the two regiments are expecting an order to the front at any time. Battery A, commonly known as the Indianapolis Light Artillery, will also be sent to the front with the first. Numbering regiments will begin where they left off at the close of the civil war, and this will number the first regiment equipped the 157th. This will probably be our regiment; or the Second, in which case our’s would probably be the 158th Ind. Vol. Inf. There was considerable concern felt in camp for fear that Col. Studebaker would not pass the physical examination, he having been referred to higher authorities, owing to chest measurements, but there is little doubt but that he will be retained.
The health of the camp continues remarkably good, when it is considered that there is a larger number in camp and for a longer time than other encampments, and under very changeable weather. The water system is very good and a great deal may be credited to that fact. The lunch boxes brought to camp for the soldier boys are becoming more scarce, and the rations are now very plain. However , everything is perfectly wholesome and the boys thrive well upon it. In regard to those returning to their homes on Monday, the company passed the following resolutions:
WHEREAS, A number of men enlisted in Co. I 3rd Regt., I.N.G., who expressed their willingness and strong desire to serve the United States government in its difficulty with the Spanish governments, were not so fortunate as to meet the requirements of a physical examination as set forth by the United States Army, and were rejected, either by the examining surgeon or by the captain of the company, upon request by letter from parents, therefore be it
RESOVLED, That we share with them the disappointment occasioned by the circumstances, and express our own disappointment as being unable to retain these members, and that we express ourselves by saying that they remained true to the colors and the cause as long as it was in their power to do so and that we credit them with the bravery which they unquestionably deserve. Furthermore that we commend them to their friends and to whoever it may concern, as gentlemen, who left us under the most honorable circumstances, and by no desire of their own.
RESOVLED, That the company retain a copy of these resolutions upon its records, and that a copy be given to THE PRESS for publication.
Passed by Co. I, 3rd Regt., in company assembled, on this, the ninth
day of May, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight.
THE INDIANA TIGERS!
The 157th’s Trip to Camp at
STOOD THE JOURNEY WELL
And Distinguished Themselves Like Heroes on the
March – “Dubbed” by the Buck-
(From Our Staff Correspondent.)
On Train Leaving Macon, Ga., June 2. – The One-hundred-and-fifty-seventh left Chickamauga Park, Wednesday morning at 9 o’clock, and make the march to Ringgold, Ga., about ten miles, through terrific heat and dust, in comparatively short time, and in good trim. The thermometer registered about 95 degrees in the shade, and many of the boys dropped out from exhaustion and overheating, although it is thought by many that some of these only fell out to be picked up by the wagon train behind, and secure a “snap” way of getting to the station. Some who took the wagon trains, however, report a rough time in being thrown from the load, owing to its top heaviness and some frisky mules. But considering all things, the march was accomplished in good shape, over high hills and hard roads. The trip was made in less time than was occupied by the regulars, and in two hours less time than the Ohio regiment having the advantage in having a cool part of the morning in which to march.
The regiment reached Ringgold at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Water was in demand all along the route, but was easily obtained in some places from springs, which furnished some of the best water the regiment has had since it left Indianapolis. The afternoon was spent at Ringgold, while the Ohio regiment was started out, and while the wagons were being loaded onto flat cars. In this respect, also, the regiment made better time than any preceding regiment, including the regulars, partly due perhaps, to Col Studebaker’s capability of handling men and to his experience in loading wagons, especially of the celebrated make of his own firm. The men spent the afternoon in the loading and in resting themselves and obtaining many little supplies which they expect to need further south. The people at Ringgold seemed more sociable toward the boys in blue than those around Chickamauga Park, but a different spirit was noticeable at times. On one occasion a member of one company struck up a conversation with a young woman, in which she said: “If you wore the gray, I would pin a bouquet to your blouse.” The young man answered: “I will not wear the gray, and you will not pin flowers to my blouse,” and the conversation ended. Similar experiences are occasionally met with, but generally all express a common spirit in the cause, and wish the boys Godspeed. The stores at Ringgold did more business than at any other time in their history.
At about 10 o’clock in the evening the boys of the One-hundred-and-fifty-seventh were boarded on the trains which were to take them to the South. The trains were three in number and were composed of Pullman tourist sleepers, accommodating about thirty men to each car. Every one turned into his berth almost immediately, and many were heard to remark that they were afraid they could not sleep after such a sudden change from the hard beds of Camp Thomas. But it was only a few moments until all was still.
The men were awakened by the porter early in the morning to find themselves only a short distance from Atlanta. About this place the people were more enthusiastic than near the Chickamauga battle-field, although only few flags were seen floating. Near this place the men began to realize the changes in the country and vegetation from the mountains of Tennessee. Upon inquiry and request, a magnificent magnolia blossom was obtained, which was a curiosity to every one on the train, and was pronounced by all, the most beautiful blossom, with the finest odor, of any thing they had ever seen. A stop of some length was made at Atlanta, and the next station of importance was Macon. A stop of some length was made there, and dinner was bought by several of the men. Coffee was also purchased for the companies. An old-time engine was attached here, one of the old wood burners, and the boys could leave the windows open with some comfort, there being no cinders flying. Some surprising speed was made with these engines.
The boys are all behaving themselves remarkably well, and are not
in the least boisterous. No liquor of any kind is noticed.
This change may partly be due to the fact that the men begin to realize
the seriousness of the situation, but is greatly due to the fact that they
are “broke,” having spent all their money on Camp Thomas. But be
that as it may, great credit is due them for the respectable way in which
they are conducting themselves. Owing to the energy which they displayed
on the march to Ringgold and their quick work there, the regiment has been
dubbed the “Indiana tigers” by the Ohio regiment, who also, added that
this regiment would never know when it was whipped. The reply
was “the One-hundred-and-fifty-seventh
never expected to be whipped.” The men are all fairly well and in
PORT TAMPA CITY, FLA., JUNE 7. At last the Co. I boys begin to realize the importance of the situation and their relation with the U.S. government. The question of service seems to them no longer a dream, but only a matter of time until they expect to be called to foreign soil to protect their country’s interests.
On leaving Chickamauga the 157th made a creditable march to Ringgold, with such terrific heat, up hill and down, and no breeze at all. Every man had his haversack, with two days’ rations, canteen, blanket bag, with all his clothing and camp equipage, rubber blanket, wool blanket, gun and belt. The duck uniforms not having been issued, the hot, blue uniforms were worn, adding to the heat and exertion of the march. At Ringgold the regiment waited all afternoon for the Ohio regiment to load and get started.
The regiment has borne the name of the fighting regiment ever since it has been in the service and a great deal of expectation is centered upon it.
The regiment left Ringgold in three sections, the first being the baggage and the last two the troops, who were carried in Pullmans, which, although of old patterns afforded a great amount of comfort. The section bearing Co. I left about ten o’clock Wednesday evening. From thirty to thirty-six men were quartered in each car, and one of the cars carrying part of Co. I, was named the “Maine.” The car bursted an air hose on the trip but had no other accident, but it was noticed by many and a great many superstitious ones talked of the possibility of an accident. The motto of the boys in the car was “Remember the Maine.”
As the train proceeded southward the people along the line became more patriotic and enthusiastic than near Chickamauga Park. There is a common sympathy throughout the South in the country’s trouble with Spain. No flags flew at Ringgold, and in fact, few or none were seen until Atlanta was reached. Several were seen here and the people were quite enthusiastic.
The thought that each minute was taking them farther and farther from home and all that each held dear was soon chased away by the resolve to do their country’s bidding toward protecting her interests in a cause which everyone knows to be just and right.
The rate of travel was very slow along the line, and the next stop, after leaving Macon, of any length, was at Naldosta, where coffee was purchased for supper. A negro at this place said he was anxious to go to war but that the white people were afraid to go, and that the negroes had organized troops but were rejected by the governor.
Friday morning found us in Florida and the famous Swanee River was crossed in the night. It was a rather pretty although small stream, but its beauty would not warrant its fame.
The regiment arrived at its camp grounds, seven miles beyond Tampa, at 12:30 Friday. We are about a quarter of a mile from the railroad at Port Tampa City and about 500 yards from the beach at Tampa Bay. No vegetation exists except ground palmettos and pines. The air is cooler than at Chickamauga, a delightful breeze modifying the sun’s heat. The water is very poor and must be boiled. The boys scarcely arrived until they rushed to the beach for a bath and amused themselves chasing the swarms of “fiddler” crabs or catching horseshoe crabs and star fish. Some sharks have been seen in the bay, but there is not a great deal of danger therefrom. The large vessels in the harbor afforded a great deal of interest to many.
The tents were pitched in the afternoon and the men are comfortably settled and enjoying themselves. The boys have been cautioned against buying of peddlers, as there is a great danger of Spanish spies in these parts.
A great deal might be said of minor importance concerning the company but it would occupy too much space. The boys are all disappointed in not seeing more frail, which lack is due to the freeze through this section some time ago.
Everyone is well and making the best of circumstances.
The Headquarters of the 157th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The photo was taken in Florida as is evidenced by the sand and the officer at center wearing summer headgear.
STILL AT PORT TAMPA!
Awaiting Further Orders to go
To Porto Rico.
THE 157TH IS FILLED UP
With the First Illinois Regiment. – The Indiana
Tigers Ahead in Everything. –
Co. I is All Right.
(From Our Staff Correspondent.)
Port Tamp City, Fla., June 9, - Definite camp news is hard to obtain, as all orders are kept strictly secret, and one can only judge from appearances. The regiment has been expecting hourly an order to move on board the transports now lying in the harbor, but to all present appearances will now be detained here for at least a week. Ever since Tuesday noon the regiment has been expecting this order to move, and during Tuesday afternoon knapsacks were turned in, containing such articles as could well be left behind, and were packed in a large box, to be guarded by a detailed guard from each company. The detail from Co. I, to remain here is Lieut. Barr as officer of the guard, and Privates Dunn, Session and Rank. The clothing to be carried along consists of two suits of underwear, one overshirt, and such other articles as each may wish to carry, but all must be rolled in the wool blanket which in turn is rolled in the rubber blanket, service or “pup” tents which have been issued, and this is thrown across the shoulders. With the haversack, canteen, belt, rifle and an hundred rounds of ammunition, the baggage is complete. Co. I, is quite proud in having just received new Springfield rifles, but are somewhat disappointed at not receiving the rifle of the regular army pattern. Relative to their baggage some are becoming like the famed “Si Klegg” in constantly discarding something they can do without, and the idea that “This little article won’t weigh much,” is being outruled, and the boys are discarding every possible ounce that would add to the weight of their baggage. There is considerable discontentment at being held in camp in this manner, with baggage all packed as each evening the blanket must be unrolled only to be again rolled with all the baggage the following morning. With a black char all over the ground, it is thus impossible to keep blankets or anything else clean, and the boys are beginning to present the appearance of professional chimney sweeps.
In all probabilities it was the intention that the regiment should move from here ere this, as the horses and mules have been loaded on the vessels since Monday, but owing to miscalculations in the amount of work required to load so many troops, the present delay has resulted. Several transports already loaded now lie in the bay awaiting orders to move.
In the movement of some of these vessels Wednesday evening, a serious accident occurred, to which the Miami crashed into the Florida, striking her amidships, and for a while it looked as though she would go down, but was towed into port in a short time and all made safe. This will also cause some delay in the movement.
On Wednesday morning an order came to the regiment to detail one lieutenant as a chief mustering officer and once private from each company as enlisting officers, to return to their respective towns and take in twenty-six more men, thus recruiting each company up to one hundred and six men. Chas. Huyck was detailed from Co. I, and all arrangements were made, and orders were being awaited to board the train, when the order was countermanded. There has been many opinions as to why the order was countermanded, but it was thought by some to have some relation to the report that Spain had sued for peace. Be that as it may, it was no doubt, a disappointment to the young men who were detailed to return home for a few days, as they could not help but imagine again what home and its pleasures were like, The men were to have been recruited as soon as possible and follow up the regiment.
Capt. Denison can hardly accustom himself to the warm weather, having been in the ice trade, and working about ice continually, he notices the change very forcibly, and every time he used to step from his tent he would glance at the nearest tree expecting to see his old thermometer hanging there to either verify his imaginations or to lend him some comfort. In fact this habit became so strong that he was finally compelled to purchase a thermometer which now graces the tree in front of his tent, and which he can watch to his heart’s content. He reports the temperature varying from 89 to 97 degrees, and calls that too hot for an ice dealer. The weather, truly, is extremely hot, and the sun is blistering, but the heat is somewhat modified by the sea breeze which is almost constant. The water supply is miserable but thus far has caused no sickness. There is an abundance of lemonade stands near camp, and they are patronized as well as each man’s funds will permit. The stores in town are also well patronized but prices are high. This may partly be due to the fact that the store keeper has to make up in prices what he loses by the foraging tours of the boys.
A visit to a cigar factory here is interesting. As an example, the factory of Jose Morales & Co., manufacturers of Havana cigars, might be mentioned. The factory has about 150 employes, nearly all Spaniards. Few of these employes speak the English language, and to the American, the constant, hubbub caused by the jabbering of the Cubans in their native tongue, is quite an interesting experience. In a conversation with the foremen, it was learned that the Spanish employes took no interest in the Cuban affair and did not care how it resulted, just so they got their daily wages. The stock of this factory all comes from Havana, but the price of cigars of their make will not raise until the stock on hand runs low. The foreman said that by that time they were depending on the boys in blue to reopen the commercial relations with Havana.
Men in this factory are able to make from one to four dollars per day, and belong to no union, so the wages of the southerner are not so low as might be imagined.
The loading of vessels at the dock still continues, and several vessels have left, and it will probably be but a short time until the 157th moves, although it would surprise no one if the camp here would again be definitely established, and it is even rumored that the camp may be maintained until the return to the north.
Co. I are all well, and are becoming well accustomed to the warm weather.
There has been much speculation as to the mail connection in case the regiment were sent away from here, but in all probability the mail would follow by diapatch boats. The present address of the company, which will remain thus until further orders, is Co. I, 157th Ind. Vols., Port Tampa City, Florida.
Co. I, is making an excellent mark throughout the entire regiment
for fine drilling, and the boys can feel justly proud of their work.
Few or none in the regiment can excel them in the manual of arms.
Port Tampa City, Fla., June 24 – The harbors are full of transports
again and from all appearances the 157th Regt.
Will soon be on the water, but as to the destination, no one knows.
It is either Santiago or Puerto Rico, without doubt.
One important event occurred in Co. I, since my last letter. First
Lieut. Charles V. Barr having resigned on account of alleged continued
bad health and the same having been approved by Col. Studebaker, an election
was held in Co. I, to choose his successor. The unanimous vote of
the company was cast for 2nd Lieut. Wilson H. Denison to fill the vacancy
caused by Lt. Barrs resignation. This is a high compliment to Lieut.
Denison and shows the esteem in which he is held in the company.
In balloting for a second Lieutenant, the following names were presented:
1st Sergeant D. Rohrbaugh Sergeant Charles A. McCague and Corporal
Charles H. McBride, with this result: Rohrbaugh 24 votes, McCague
33 votes, McBride 7 votes. McCague having received a majority over
all was declared unanimously elected. Sergeant McCague is of commanding
appearance and having served a term in the I.N.G, is well prepared for
the office. Many regret that Sergeant Rohrbaugh was not chosen because
he was in the line of promotion. The large vote he received shows
that he has many friends in the company and they will be anxious that he
shall have the next promotion.
Among the boats in the harbor here are two English vessels, chartered by the government, and they are being overhauled, and will be used in transporting the next division of troops.
A very exciting game of ball was played Wednesday, between selected nines from the 157th, and the First Ohio, resulting at the tenth inning in favor of the 157th, on a score of 5 to 4. The Y.M.C.A. gave a ball bat and catcher’s mit to the winners, and as the score was 4 to 4 at the end of the 9th inning, the excitement was intense, and the “tigers” could not repress hearty cheers over the results.
A hospitable corps is being organized for the divison hospital. Two members from each company have been detailed for the work, and the corps will consist of about 230 men. Maj. Barnett will probably remain with the regiment, while Capt. Barnett, Lieut. Garstang and Dr. Moore will probably be transferred to the division hospital. The members of the corps will bind themselves to the service for three years or during the war. The adding of another year leaves the conjecture that the government does not anticipate a sudden termination of the war.
The Y.M.C.A. is doing a fine thing for the boys, and in their tent is a melodian, books , magazines, paper and writing material and ice water, many hours are profitably spent at this tent and it has much much to do in keeping out the canteen. The health of the boys is remarkably good, and all are anxious to go forth to complete the duties of the soldier.
TYPHOID FEVER AT TAMPA
BUT NO CASES IN THE 157th
PAY DAY FOR JUNE !
The Boys Drilling Daily Pre-
paring to March
EIGHTEEN MILES IN A DAY.
The Regiment Inspected. – Company I’s Equipment
In Heavy Marching order—Company
I’s New Lieutenants com-
(From Our Staff Correspondent.)
Port Tampa City, Fla., July 15.—
Company I is very pleasantly located in its new camp and have made all preparations ofr remaining here for some time. Just after becoming well settled it was thought the regiment would move out from here onto the transports, but since affairs have taken the present aspect in Cuba, the work of loading more troops has ceased, and as before, many are discouraged about ever moving from here. But of course, in a soldier’s life it is hard to tell what will come next, and the boys are prepared for anything. All of the company remain very well; but a few are off duty. John Dunfee was confined in the hospital for a couple of days this week with malarial trouble but is back in the company now, ready for duty. Thus far there has been no cause for worry about the health of any of the members of the company. Sergt. Rohrbaugh was confined to his tenet one day, but is on full duty again.
Pay day again occurred in camp last Tuesday. The boys received pay for the month of June, the sergeants receiving $21.60, corporals $18 and privates $15.60. Several of the boys in the regiment got on a drunk and were run into the guard house, but as a rule, their conduct is much better than after last pay day.
A brigade inspection occurred in heavy marching order. Wednesday and Thursday, and it was very rigid. Owing to heavy rains of Wednesday the inspection was not completed in this regiment until Thursday, and Company I was reached at about halfpast ten, Thursday morning. Every man wore a suit of underwear, heavy blue shirt and blue uniform, with every button buttoned, and leggings. Each one carried his rifle and wore his belt, containing forty-five rounds of ammunition, with bayonet and scabbard attached. All were equipped with canteens, haversacks, containing a meat can, knife, fork, spoon and cup, and blanket bag, which must contain an extra suit of underwear, shirt and pair of socks, beside those worn by the person. The blanket bag also contained the heavy wollen blanket and rubber blanker and above the blanket bag and around the shoulders was a roll containg a service tent and hammock. This constituted the full equipment, and in addition each one could carry any other articles he desired, but few were desirous of adding to this load. The weather was very hot and the boys had to stand at strictest attention with all this load while their arms were being inspected. This, of course, took some time, and was exceedingly trying on the strength, but only two of Company I’s men were compelled to step out of ranks and they were both old men and not recruits. After the inspection of the rifles, arms were stacked and baggage unslung, and every article in the roll, haversack and blanket bag exposed to the view of the inspectors, and if anything was lacking the inspector asked why and gave instructions to have the matter attended to. The inspection in this regiment proved very satisfactory, and the 157th was found to be in better condition than either of the other regiments of this brigade, and in case of a call by regiments, our regiment would be the first called in this brigade.
Two cases of typhoid fever have developed in the First Ohio, which adjoins this regiment on the south, and the guard line between the regiments has been closed and all of our men have orders not to go into the Ohio regiment. The surgeons give as the chief cause, the regimental canteen, which exists in the Ohio regiment. None has existed in the Indiana regiment since the circulation of the petition at Chickamauga and the boys have orders not to patronize the Ohio canteens, and all violators are to be arrested. As a consequence a much less percentage of sickness and arrests occur in our regiment, and the surgeons say it will not do for the men to use the least bit of liquor in this hot climate. Typhoid fever has also appeared in the Third Pennsylvania regiment, the other regiment of this brigade, located on the opposite side of Indiana regiment from the Ohio, so that our regiment is between two fires, but strictest orders concerning the cleanliness of the camp and the water are being enforced and there is not much fear of the fever gaining much foothold here.
Lieut. Denison and C. A. McCague have received their commissions and took the oath of office Wednesday afternoon, and Lieut. Denison is now first lieutenant of Co. I, and C. A. McCague is now second lieutenant. Co. I’s corps of officers have a good record and reputation throughout the whole regiment. Lieut. Denison came from the docks this morning, where he had been officer of the guard for twenty-four hours over a guard made up by details from the entire regiment, and when he dismissed the guard he was given three rousing cheers by them.
Major Kuhlman took the third battalion out for battalion drill this morning, drilling them principally on advance and rear guard for a marching column. Col. Studebaker announced yesterday, that from now on the regiment would be put out on marches, increasing their length each time until in a few days he intends marching them to Tampa and back the same day, making a march of eighteen miles.
Guard duty is becoming very rigid and fines and punishments for drunkenness or being absent from roll calls, are being pushed to the extreme limit.
Private Robbins, of Co. L, is under arrest for stabbing Private O’Conner, of the same company. The two men were engaged in a quarrel when O’Conner struck Robbins, who drew a knife and aimed a blow at O’Connor’s let shoulder. O’Conner raised his shoulder and turned his back and the knife passed through his rubber blanket, blouse and shirt, and cut a gash about two inches long in his back just below the left shoulder. The wound is not serious.
The resignation of Adj. Scott was due to trouble which has existed
between Col. Studebaker and Adj. Scott for some time past, and was not
unexpected. Matters seemed to reach crisis when Scott went north
as mustering officer for the third battalion, when it was thought by the
Colonel that the place should have been given to an officer in the battalion.
It will be remembered that Lieut. Ochs, of Co. L, had been chosen for this
place at first, but his place was assumed by Adj. Scott. It is generally
expected that Adj. Rex, of the first battalion, now acting regimental adjutant,
will succeed Adj. Scott.
Article 9 (July 15, 1898):
W.H. Denison has been commissioned First Lieutenant and Charles A.
McCague, Second Lieutenant in Co. I, 157th Regt, Ind. Inf. U.S.A.
These appointments will give general satisfaction inasmuch as they were
the choice of the company in a fair election. The Press congratulates
them on their preferment.
Article 10 (July 22, 1898):
NEW CAMP FOR THE 157th.
ORDERED TO FERNANDINA,
TO AVOID THE FEVER
Which May be Carried to them
by the Transports
DEATH OF LIEUT. SLADE,
Of Co. C, a Sad Blow to ht Regiment.—Call ”To
Arms” Responded by Co. I, First
Gray Backs the Pest
of the Camp.
(From Our Staff Correspondent,)
Port Tampa City, Fla, July 22, 1898,
--The 157th has orders to move to Fernandina, Fla., as soon as transportation can be afforded. The order came yesterday from Gen. Snyder to Gen. Hall commanding this brigade, and was handed down in turn to the colonels and company commanders, so that before this letter can be published the regiment will probably be comfortably settled in its new camp at the extreme northern coast of Florida. This move is necessary to preserve the health of the camp, as the wet season here is very conducive to all kinds of malarial fevers, and typhoid fever has in consequence gained some foot hold, two deaths having been reported in the Pennsylvania regiment, two in the Ohio, and one having occurred in our regiment, Wednesday evening at about 6.30 o’clock. The unfortunate person was 1st Lieutenant Chas. Slade of Company C, Goshen, Ind., who has been in poor health for several weeks, which illness developed into typhoid fever, and after about a week’s confinement in the hospital, he passed peacefully away. He was considered very low all day Tuesday and the surgeons expected his demise before Wednesday morning, but in the morning he rallied somewhat and lived out the day, and just about as the sun was setting across the bay, and the bugle was blowing retreat, followed by “The Star-Spangled Banner,: Lieut. Slade breathed his last. The funeral services were held last evening and seemed somewhat odd, but were very impressive. A steady rain had set in during the afternoon and continued until evening and throughout the services, which were in consequence cut very short by the chaplain. The services were held in the open air in spite of the rain, and the entire regiment grouped about to pay their last respects to their comrade. The pall bearers, the escort, and a male quartette grouped about the remains of the unfortunate lieutenant, which were sealed in a rough box and not exposed to view. The quartette sang “Rock of Ages” and the chaplain read a selection of scripture which he followed by a very impressive prayer and a few well spoken remarks concerning the circumstances of the lieutenant’s death and its teachings. The make quartette then sang “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” and as the remains were carried to the army wagon which was to convey them to the railroad station, the band played “Nearer, My God, to Thee.” It was the intention when preparations were made, to have the entire regiment march to the depot, but it was not thought advisable to do so in the rain, so the officers alone followed, being conveyed in covered wagons. The body was placed on the evening train for the North and was accompanied to Goshen by an escort of a sergeant, two corporals and six privates, taken from the dead man’s company. While the regiment feels very keenly the loss of Lieutenant Slade, yet they consider themselves fortunate in that this is the only death in the regiment since its term of three months’ service, and, while this is supposed to be a lot of picked men, concerning health, yet the record would be considered remarkable were it to occur in any healthy community of thirteen hundred if they were confined together as much as they are in camp life, not considering the many changes of climate, country, water and living an out of door life. But there is no question but that this section is becoming very unhealthy, and the move will be made as soon as possible. Fernandina affords more conveniences in every respect; especially concerning water, high ground, etc., and is pronounced one of the most delightful places in the state of Florida.
Some very hot weather has been experienced here in the last few days, the thermometer standing at 100 in the shade part of the time, but in spite of this the boys have all been put out on drill as usual. No one is now excused from any drill or roll call except by the surgeon, so there isn’t much escape for the lazy man.
The call “to arms” sounded Wednesday forenoon about ten o’clock and the boys got to their places with all speed and the regiment was hastily formed on the color line. Company I was the first one in place, notwithstanding the fact that Capt. Gilbert, of Company H, had had a “tip” beforehand, and had his men all posted as to just what moves to make, being determined to have his company on the line first. His chagrin can perhaps be imagined when he hurried to the front, only to find Company I all drawn up and waiting for the rest of the battalion. However, the battalion was quick to form and was the first formed in the regiment, Adjt. Noel reporting in a fraction over two minutes after the call sounded. The whole regiment was formed in three minutes and twenty seconds, and again was ahead of the Ohio regiment as regards time.
Company I is suffering, with the rest of the regiment, the regular old army pest – “gray backs” – which were discovered Wednesday. A few tents in the company have been free from them thus far, and where any have been discovered, every possible means is being used to extirpate them, but, as one of the boys says, “they are big as bull gods and ferocious at tigers,” so it will probably be a pretty hard matter to get rid of them entirely, but it is considered no disgrace, as strictest orders are in force concerning cleanliness, and other companies have them, according to the suregons’ reports, but have not heretofore made it known.
A pretty good joke is rife on one of Co. I’s cooks. A number of the men were on guard at the docks on Wednesday, and it was the intention to send their dinner over to them at mess time. Accordingly, one of the cooks filled a lard pail with coffee and a second one with beef steak and sweet potatoes, but it so chanced that another lard pail was sitting close by and by accident the wrong pail was carried to the guards, and they could not be blamed for being disappointed and out of humor when they opened the two pails, to find the one containing coffee and the other one some old grease which had been saved from the last frying of “pig bosom.”
Company I has one case in the hospital – Clinton Rising, who is considered quite seriously ill. He has been sick for some time.
Capt. Denison found six large centipedes under his tent floor a few days ago. Of course they made the captain feel “crawly,” but he thinks they are better than gray backs, anyway. Generally the boys are all well and cheerful and prepared for anything.
Color Sergeant Howard Long, of Angola, had quite an experience with a barbed wire fence which he will not very soon forget. Last night he left the camp with the intention of going to Tampa. He desired to catch the train leaving Port Tampa City at 8 o’clock. He was rather late in starting, and as he arrived about a block from the depot, the train was pulling out. Sergt. Long immediately started on a run and just covered half the distance when he suddenly struck a barbed wire fence in the dark. He was quite severely lacerated by the wire points, but views his misfortune with indifference, and says that this is his first experience with a trocha.
CO. I IS COMING HOME!
The Entire Regiment Ordered
WELCOME TO COMPANY I !
The Secretary of Was Has Issued Orders to Muster
Out the 157th Regt. – Other
Items of the 157th.
Indianapolis, Ind., Aug. 23. – The Governor has received a message from Adjutant General Corbin saying, “Agreeable to your request the 157th has been ordered home to muster out.”
The latest from the 157th regiment is that the boys will come “marching home” in a few days. This will be glad news to many a mother in northern Indiana, whose anxiety has ever been with her boy in the army. Many petitions were sent to the Secretary of War during the past week, to have the 157th regiment removed from Fernandina, Fla., to some place in the north on account of the alarming increase of malaria in the regiment. The appeals were from men of influence, and the Secretary of War wired Gov. Mount Monday evening, that “if it was the wish of the regiment to be returned home he would make an order for its removal to Indianapolis within five hours.” On receipt of this information Gov. Mount wired Colonel Studebaker, “Friends in Indiana are anxious that your regiment be ordered to Indianapolis with view of having it mustered out. I am willing to co-operate along any line you may suggest. What are your wishes” Please wire me at once.” At noon Tuesday Col. Studebaker’s answer was received: “In reply to your message, I beg to say that the officers of the one-hundred-fifty-seventhare willing to await orders, but the enlisted men are unanimous in desiring to be mustered out. I think in justice to the men, they should be sent home immediately.” The Governor wired the Secretary of War recommending that the regiment be ordered to Indianapolis at once, to be mustered out and it was taken for granted that the order for one regiment to move, would be issued yesterday, and without doubt, by the time this article is being read the regiment will be enroute, if transportation can be secured, from Fernandina to Indianapolis, and perhaps by the last of next week the boys of Co. I, will be in Waterloo. A telegram was sent to this office Tuesday afternoon, from Indianapolis announcing the action of the officers in the matter, and as soon as we are advised of the time the boys will arrive in Waterloo, we will publish the news so that an appropriate reception may be given them. Since the war is ended it is wise at least, to remove the regiment from the scenes of malaria and disease.
The action of the officers in some of the volunteer regiments, in
refusing to recognize the wishes of the enlisted men in regard to muster
out, does not look well, and savors of the aristocracy, in that the officers
have authority and salary, which they wish to hold at the expense of the
wishes of their men. Treat the boys well, and the government will
have good soldiers the next time they are needed.
King, Nancy - photo of the headquarters tent.
Martsolf, Diane Ulrey - Photo and info. of Lamoin N. Ulrey
McCague, Thom - These articles came from those collected collected by Blanche Cora McCague in a family scrapbook.
Skinner, Chaplin J. R., Fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. 1899, p. 444 (Grayback image); submitted by Gene Beals
Article 1: Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana Monday, May 2,
Article 2: Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana Monday, May 7, 1898.
Article 3: Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana Monday, May 10, 1898.
Article 4: Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana Monday, June 2, 1898.
Article 5: Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana Monday, June 7, 1898.
Article 6: Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana Monday, June 9, 1898.
Article 7: Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana Monday, June 24, 1898.
Article 8: Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana, July 15, 1898.
Article 8: Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana, July 22, 1898.
Article 8: Waterloo Press, Waterloo, Indiana, August 23, 1898.