October 10, 1863

Our Railroads

America is essentially a country of railroads, and it has been our pride that no nation can show as perfect a system of communications between its various sections as our own. It has moreover been our custom to view these railroads in a commercial and social point of view. But the present war has developed their usefulness and value in another direction, namely, the rapid transportation of troops. Steam has become no less an auxiliary to this war than gunpowder and artillery. An army is carried by steam from one point to another with a celerity which would be perfectly astonishing to the oracles of war fifty years ago, were they alive to witness it....

After the battle of Chickamauga General Rosecrans required reinforcements, and immediately....From the Army of the Potomac to the Army of the Cumberland the intervening distance was a thousand miles; yet the telegraph annihilated the distance in a day, and the locomotive in - well, let us say a week. Railroad trains carried the reinforcements, with all their arms, accoutrements and baggage, from Washington to Chattanooga so rapidly that in a very brief time the veterans of the east stood side by side with the tried warriors of the distant Southwest, and Rosecrans' position was made impregnable.


The 35th Indiana (Irish) Regiment, Col. B.F. Mullen, numbers at this time it is said only about one hundred men. This would seem to show that the brave Irish lads had seen service.

October 21, 1863

Military Changes

Our last night dispatches contain intelligence of an important change in the management of the Western Departments. They are to be consolidated, and General Grant placed in chief command, General Thomas succeeds Rosecrans, in command of the Army of the Cumberland....General Grant outranks all other Generals in the West. We doubt not that under his control we shall have a vigorous and united action. As for Rosecrans, he has been tried and not found wanting. Identified from the first with federal victory, he has a strong hold on the affection and admiration of the people.

October 22, 1863

From Virginia

Washington, October 21. - General Custer reports that in the engagement of Monday we drove the rebel cavalry from Gainesville to beyond Buckland's Mills, five miles westward.

At this point General Custer's forces encountered a rebel line of battle, infantry and artillery, at least a mile long, and General Davis's cavalry brigade and battery were at one time entirely cut off by the rebels, but he finally succeeded in extricating himself. We lost about two hundred in killed, wounded and missing, and several wagons, one of which contained the official papers of the brigade.

Research conducted by the Jefferson County Civil War Roundtable.