1864 Battle diary of George A. Stolp, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery, Company I.

1864 Battle diary of George A. Stolp
2nd Illinois Light Artillery, Company I.

Excerpts include the regiment’s participation in the Atlanta Campaign battles of Rocky Faced Ridge, Resaca, Dallas, New Hope Church, Pine Hill, Kennesaw Mountain and Peach Tree Creek:

On the 2d of May, 1864, I marched from Rossville, Ga. (attached to the Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, Brig. Gen. J. C. Davis commanding), to Ringgold, Ga. On the 5th marched for Cherokee Springs.
– Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery.

May 7th Reveille at 3, O.C. A.M
all ready to move before daylight tour forces drew up in line of battle our Batt took position on a rise of ground sheltered by timber

7th, marched at daylight for Tunnel Hill, arriving there at 11 a. m.; fired sixty rounds at a rebel battery, which retired. 9th, worked all night, placing three guns in position on a hill fronting Rocky Face Ridge, and relieved three guns on the left of the railroad with the other three.
– Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery.

May 10th
We had just settled down last night for a good nights rest when we were called to the front started at dark + worked our way up to a position in front of the rebs fortifications. We came into position on a very high ridge having to draw our guns up by hand for more than one half mile. Worked till morning throwing up breast works done some considerable firing

10th, fired 196 rounds at the enemy; at night fell back, and took the harness off for the first time in thirty-six hours.
– Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery

May12th
Started at six this morning down the valley with our whole Corps to join Hooker some 15 miles below leaving two corps at Buzzards gap to hold the Rebs there. It is impossible for us to take the gap from this side

12th, marched at 6 a. m. for Snake [Creek] Gap, arriving in camp at 2 a. m, on the 13th. 13th, formed line of battle in front of Resaca, Ga.
– Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery

May 14th
There is a family living within twenty rods of our Batt consisting of mother + daughter the father being in the rebs Army .the woman is feeling pretty bad seeing our large Army. She sees that the rebs have but little chance to win. Afterward the man + two brothers came into our lines + gave themselves up + he sent word to his wife + she feels much better

Sunday 15th
And such a Sunday I never witnessed before. Ordered out to take position at 8, O.C. A.M. about 500 yards in front of the rebs rifle pits we were obliged to work on our knees to dig trenches + throw up breast works for a protection against Sharp Shooters we got in position ready for action at 2 O.C. P.M The rebs are well protected with log breast-works. while I am writing this the bullets are flying altogether to thick for comfort. Our killed + wounded up to last night was estimated at one thousand I do not think to days fighting quite as bloody .yet it may be before night

15th, went into position and kept up a steady fire all day; at night the enemy opened with musketry in our front, when, supposing they were advancing, I fired a few rounds; in half an hour all was quiet.
– Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery

May16th
Moved our section after dark last night to a less exposed position .we had just finished our breast work when the rebs made a charge. it was about midnight. so many demons. we gave them the best we had. Gen Palmer says there is not a Battery in the service that ever done better

16th, marched for Rome, Ga., under Gen. Davis.
– Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery

May 17th
had a little fun + some fresh pork this afternoon Secesh hogs mussn’t come around our camp. especially if we leave been without fresh meat any lengths of time We are getting farther + farther down in dixie hope we have shant stop till rebs are in the dust

17th, arrived at 5 p. m. within two miles of Rome, where we had a sharp fight, and drove the enemy across the river into the town.
– Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery

May 18th
two miles from Rome our troops have possession after about two hours hard fighting our loss estimated 15 killed + 40 wounded

18th, in position to shell the city, when a rebel battery opened on us returned their fire and silenced them. At noon our division had the town. 21st, moved into Rome.
– Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery

28th May
warm work on the skirmish line all night. It seemed one blaze of fire the whole length of the line. We can not help our boys. half as much as we wish sometimes because the country is so. heavily timbered it is impossible to do much with Art. only now + then can we get a position. cheering news. this morning to good to be true I am afraid report has it that Gen Thomas on our extreme left killed + captured one whole corps of rebs yesterday + that our cav got around in the rear of the rebs + burnt a train of four hundred wagons + another report says that Gen Rosecrans has come up on our sight with forty thousand men If this last is true we certainly have got Johnson caged.

21st, moved into Rome. 24th and 25th, marched in a southeasterly direction twenty-five miles. 26th, arrived at Dallas, Ga., at 5 p. m. 27th to 31st, in position fronting west.
– Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery

May 29th
got in camp I don’t know more than a fool where we are more than that it is some where in Georgia. These movements appear very strange to us our boys are laughing about the move + call it strategy

May 30th
The rebs charged our lines four or five times in as many different places in the course of the night but were repulsed every time. very hard fighting they left two thousand dead on the field.

June 1864

June 2nd
heavy skirmishing in front of us all the time I expect we will take position pretty soon. lost very heavily in the last few days fighting. 83 killed + wounded. 3rd heavy skirmishing. Hooker is on our left.

June 19th
The rebs are in position on what is called lost mountain. we have been shelling their position for sometime

19th, at 8 a. m. enemy falling back; brought up a section and shelled them on the crest of Kenesaw Mountain; 9 a. m. placed the whole battery in position; fired 600 rounds. 20th, moved within 1,400 yards of Kenesaw Mountain, and expended 702 rounds ammunition. 22d, enemy opened from crest of the mountain with artillery; at night I built bastions for the battery within 1,400 yards of the crest of the mountain. 23d, returned the enemy’s fire when they opened on us, and a sharp artillery duel ensued, but having built small magazines for my ammunition and sent my horses to the rear, I did not receive any damage.
– Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery

June 24th
we finished bringing in Ammunition which we are obliged to bring in after dark as we have to cross an open field in plain sight of the rebs + as our ammunition was getting a little short the Capt gave orders not to fire unless the rebs opened on us. consequently we have a quiet day prisoners report that to day was set apart as a day of fasting + prayer by the Rebs so that accounts for their keeping so quiet

May 26th
rebs opened on our lines with all their art + our boys returned the compliment + such a roar. I can think of nothing to compare it to.

The 2nd Illinois Light Artillery mustered into service on 23 May 1861 and mustered out on 28 July 1865. In addition to their participation in the Atlanta Campaign, the regiment also fought at Corinth, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Jonesboro and Bentonville.

Source: Nate Sanders auction

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Battery I was recruited in Will county and was mustered into the U.S. service at Camp Butler Dec. 31, 1861. It remained at Camp Butler until Feb. 7, 1862, when it was ordered to Cairo. It took part in the siege of Island No. 10, under Gen. Pope; was active in the advance upon Corinth, and was in several engagements prior to the evacuation of the place, among which was Blackland and Farmington. It went into action at daybreak at Perryville, Ky., and was under fire until dark, having 4 men wounded in that fight. On Sept. 13, 1863, it went into camp at Rossville, Ga., and a week later took an active part in the battle of Chickamauga. It also took part in the battles of Lookout mountain, Missionary ridge and Chattanooga.

On Jan. 1, 1864, all of the old members were mustered out and remustered as veterans. They arrived at Springfield, Ill., Jan. 16, where they were given 30 days’ furlough and ordered to report for duty at Joliet, Ill.

Returning to the field, it started in May, on the Atlanta campaign, in which it took a prominent part, the last battle being at Jonesboro. It marched from Atlanta to Savannah, and from the latter place proceeded with Sherman’s army through South and North Carolina, being in every engagement of 14th army corps. Upon the surrender of Gen. Johnston’s army, the battery proceeded to Washington, took part in the grand review, and from there was ordered to Springfield, Ill., to be mustered out.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 3

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Report of Capt. Charles M Barnett, Battery I, Second Illinois Light Artillery.

HDQRS. BATTERY I, SECOND ILLINOIS LIGHT ARTY.,
Jonesborough, Ga., September 6, 1864.
MAJ.: I have the honor to tender the following report of the
operations of this battery during the campaign in Georgia of 1864:

On the 2d of May, 1864, I marched from Rossville, Ga. (attached to the Second Division, Fourteenth Army Corps, Brig. Gen. J. C. Davis commanding), to Ringgold, Ga. On the 5th marched for Cherokee Springs. 7th, marched at daylight for Tunnel Hill, arriving there at 11 a. m.; fired sixty rounds at a rebel battery, which retired. 9th, worked all night, placing three guns in position on a hill fronting Rocky Face Ridge, and relieved three guns on the left of the railroad with the other three. 10th, fired 196 rounds at the enemy; at night fell back, and took the harness off for the first time in thirty-six hours. 11th, placed three pieces in the gap on the railroad and fired forty rounds. 12th, marched at 6 a. m. for Snake [Creek] Gap, arriving in camp at 2 a. m, on the 13th. 13th, formed line of battle in front of Resaca, Ga. 15th, went into position and kept up a steady fire all day; at night the enemy opened with musketry in our front, when, supposing they were advancing, I fired a few rounds; in half an hour all was quiet. 16th, marched for Rome, Ga., under Gen. Davis. 17th, arrived at 5 p. m. within two miles of Rome, where we had a sharp fight, and drove the enemy across the river into the town. 18th, in position to shell the city, when a rebel battery opened on us returned their fire and silenced them. At noon our division had the town. 21st, moved into Rome. 24th and 25th, marched in a southeasterly direction twenty-five miles. 26th, arrived at Dallas, Ga., at 5 p. m. 27th to 31st, in position fronting west.

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One comment

  1. Hello! I am researching the veterans named on a Soldier’s Monument in Plainfield, IL. Capt. Charles Barnett is among the Civil War veterans listed as well as Freeman Jay, Sr. and Freeman Jay, Jr. Freeman, Jr. died at Boeuf River, LA on 30 August 1863. Is there a way to obtain copies of Capt. Barnett’s reports? Thanks!

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