73rd Indiana soldier writes, mentions Forrest

Big Piney Creek, M. and C. R.R. Ala

Oct 8th, 1864

My Dear Flora,

You think I have been silent a long while and so I have but no fault of mine. You too have been silent a long while but no fault of yours. Mr. Forest (the Old Rebel) is to blame for it all. Just as I began to get caught up again with letters and news after the Wheeler raid, Forest with his legion of Raiders came in – tore up the track this side of Athens, took the Post of Athens, went on to Sulphur Trestle; destroyed that, then destroyed the bridge over Elk River (the one we guarded while Wheeler was here) and went on toward Pulaski but was repulsed there with a loss of some 800 men. Where he is now we can’t tell but most of his force came came back again to Athens after attempting to reach the Chattanooga & Nashville Road to destroy it and after burning up the track on the other side of us here about 4 miles this side of Huntsville. Thus they flanked us on both sides but didn’t disturb our little Garrison here at all.

When they returned to Athens, 5 companies of our Regt. were there with Lt. Col. Wade in command. The Rebel commander sent in a flag of truce asking Wade to surrender also stating that he had placed a sufficient number of men around the Fort to destry everything and only for the sake of humanity had given him privilege to surrender. Col Wade answered that none of his men were hurt yet and he thought he could take care of the Fort at least he meant to try awhile longer. After this correspondence the fighting ceased and the Rebel Commander moved on toward Florence on the Tennessee River.

About 6,000 Infantry troops have passed down toward Athens from the Front since they repaired the road this side Huntsville and since then we have seen nothing nor heard any news whatever. It has been 17 days since we received any mail ot read a paper. The trains run regularly on the Nashville and Chattanooga R.R. but they bring no pepers from Stevenson down here.

Company “K” is still badly shaking. I have sent 18 off to Hospital since the Wheeler Raid and now have almost 8 more who are having the ague every day, myself among the number. We presume that Col Wade will have us relieved from here as soon as things get settled again.

I have been lonesome a little and longed for letters from Flora and home. I couldn’t send letters or you should not have waited in vain for them as I am compelled to by the fortunes of war. Perhaps I can’t send this for a week yet.

It has been raining for near two weeks until 3 days since the floods ceased and Piney Creek begins to grow less again. It is very beautiful today. The mocking birds woke me up this morning with their trilling warbles in the boughs over my shanty and the “nameless songsters of the grove”make music jusy as sweet as spring time whenever the sun shines. The leaves are begining to change color and the white frost has been on the grass again these two mornings. The hickory nuts and walnuts and “Persimmons” are abundant here and if we only were well and hearty we could lay in a good supply for winter. Three of the boys have gone out today to get a pail full of muscadines for dinner. I am having some mush made for my dinner having been so fortunate as to obtain some meal and sorghum yesterday. Since our communications have been broken we have been rather scant of rations having “Hard Tack” and groceries. No meat only what we have been able to butcher ourselves in the country. We haven’t suffered at all for we have a sheep or a young “Porker” nearly every day. What we are most hungary for is the news, the history that is being daily made out in the world and especially in our own country and around our own homes in the Northland. I have not been entirely alone. I have a Tennyson “Parley’s School History” and a great stack of old “Continentals”, “Atlantics”, “Ecleatics”, “Harpers”, “Goday’s”, “Knickerbockers”, “Littells Living Age” & other lesser lights all by the kindness of Miss Mollie Garret who gave them to Charley to read and then went off to Fayetteville, Tenn. and Charley went off to Hospital and turned them over to me. Thus in reading when I could and writing bits of journal etc., blowing on the flute and reading over and putting away old letters. I have managed to put in the odd hours of my well time. You have been a dear good girl, Flora, you wrote me 8 nice letters in August and one only received of the “September series”. There is more somewhere lingering by the wayside. I have them all neatly filed away in my portfolio – 25 altogether. I’d rather the Rebs would capture anything else of mine than my Portfolio

Isn’t there considerable of poetry in the accompanying poem from an Indianapolis Journal? Jennie Shannon has written before perhaps. I am so anxious to hear from you in your new home and learn how you are satisfied and all the news. I won’t seal this at present. Perhaps it may be some days ere I can mail and I know I shall want to say something else by that time. In the meantime, my thoughts are again ere 10 months, but “absence” doesn’t conquer the Love of Job.

Sunday 9th.

A prospect of getting to mail letters this P.M. A train came up via Stevenson this morning and it is reported it had mail on. A courier has gone up to get it. Hope to get a “heap” of letters. Had ague again yesterday P.M. pretty hard. Perry is at Athens. He was down to see us a short time ago. Had & John are at Pulaski in Hospital. The sun still shines. The best wishes and affections of Job. are as ever yours, Flora. Good Bye.

(Job Barnard)

Job Barnard (1844-1923)

Judge Barnard was born on Maple Arbor Farm, Porter County. Indiana on 8 June 1844 and was the ninth child of William and Sally Barnard. He grew to young manhood on his father’s farm. He early developed a love for knowledge and was an incessant reader of the works of the best authors. He received his early education in the public schools of his county and later attended the Valparaiso Male and Female College for two years. With the outbreak of the civil war young Barnard was an early volunteer for service in the Union army. He enlisted and was assigned to Company K of the 73rd Indiana Volunteer Infantry, serving with that command all through the conflict. He was mustered out with the rank of sergeant. The last year of the war he was in command of his company as all the commisioned officers of his command had been taken prisoner. His regiment was in the Army of the Cumberland and his service was in Tennessee and Kentucky. While serving in the army he studied shorthand which had a determining influence on his future life. At the close of the war he entered he entered the University of Michigan for the study of law and graduated from that school in the class of 1867. Forty years later the university conferred upon him the honorary degree LL.D.

On September 25, 1867, he was married to Miss Florence A. Putnam and then located in Crown Point, Indiana where he practiced law until June 1873, being a partner of his brother Milton Barnard and Elisha Field. He served as town clerk, marshal, assessor and city treasurer. His knowledge of shorthand and experience as a court reporter brought him to Washington as one of the assistant clerks in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia serving under the late Chief Justice David K. Cartter. In 1876 he formed a law partnership with James S.Edwards and practiced under the firm name of Edwards & Barnard until October 1, 1899 when President McKinley appointed him one of the associate justices of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia which position he held with marked ability and honor to himself and the bench and bar until June 8, 1914 when he retired at the age of seventy years.

On February 28, 1923 he died at age 79 due to influenza. He was interned at Arlington national cemetery with military honors under auspices of the Department of the Potomac G.A.R. of which Judge Barnard was a member. The pallbearers were the six judges of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.

In 1926 an elementary school was built in the District of Columbia and named after Job Barnard. It was completely modernized and reopened in 2003 and stands today as a testament to this great American.

COVER: US 3 Cent tied with Oct 12, 1864 Nashville, Ten cancel.

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