War on Two Fronts: Shiloh to Gettysburg

By John Cannan | Go to book overview

LLOYD BRYNER


A Yankee in Mississippi

The general who was to lead his bluecoats to two successive victories over Price's Confederates was Major-General William S. "Rosey" Rosecrans. His solid fighting ability, while criticized by Grant, won the attention of President Abraham Lincoln who gave Rosecrans the leadership of the Army of the Cumberland on 23 October 1863. Serving in "Old Rosey's" ranks at both Iuka and Corinth was Lloyd Bryner of the 47th Illinois. His account of the battle is taken from his stirring work Bugle Echoes.

Upon Col. Bryner's departure, William A. Thrush, who had been made Lieutenant-Colonel after the death of Miles, assumed command of the regiment. The band which, ever since the departure from Peoria, had been a source of pride and pleasure to the regiment, was ordered discharged. The expenses of the government were enormous and all unnecessary impediments were being dispensed with. Bugles, drums and fifes could sound the calls and brass bands were allowed henceforth only to brigade headquarters and fighters and marchers like Mower had no use for them even there.

For almost three weeks the regiment remained at Rienzi, breaking camp August 18th, 1862, and once more starting on a seemingly endless tramp. Eighteen miles this day through a village, they say it is Jacinto; at the end of the day another village on a railroad, which some say is the Memphis and Charleston, and the village Burnsville. The soldier doesn't know until the war is over, when he looks it up on the map, and then knows it is so. Memory of such marches is a horrid nightmare. Stifling dust those August days, parched throats and aching eyes seared by sun and irritated by sand, the smell of sweaty leather from burdening knapsack—weighting cartridge box and haversack—gun barrels that are hot and bayonets whose glint is an irritation, the water in the canteen

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