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Stones River - A Diary Entry

Edward Morrow was a member of Company A, Twenty-Sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Morrow was a farm laborer near Okeana when he enlisted and mustered into service in June 1861 as a twenty-five year old private. Company A was filled with men from Butler County, Ohio, and known as the Butler Pioneers. The company had formed in late April 1861, and the men were not pleased that the company was not immediately taken into service as they were one of the first companies to form in the Buckeye State. The Twenty-Sixth Ohio began organizing in July and the Pioneers were taken on as Company A.

Morrow maintained a diary that is held by Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Morrow was not a fluid nor educated writer, but did convey a sense of emotion and duty. His last entry of 1862 drew my attention, and so, with some editing, we have this brief account of Stones River through one soldier's pencil.

Wednesday, Dec. the 31. 1862

At the battle of Murfreesboro, Tenn. The 26th fought very brave. The Battle commenced to rage at 7 O'clock on the Right. We got into it at 9 O'clock & we repulsed them. They drove our men - the new troops giving away in confusion. They came against our Div. but we held our position & after one hours and a 1/2 of hard fighting the Rebels commenced to fall back. We lost 93 men in that time. They commenced on our right flank with their artillery, killing a good many of our men. General Rosecrans Adjutant General got his head blowed of[f].[1] Our Artillery silenced the Rebels Batteries. Old Rosecrans ordered the 26 to support that battery on the left and not to shoot but charge bayonets. O by God that is what will make us got up & just the last days fight I helped Jack Owen Mullin away under the Rebels fire.[2] After 5 days fighting we returned to the Rear to rest & get something to eat. I was so hungry that I would turn over the Dead Rebels & take the contents of their haversacks & dam[n] bloody at that. The two hardest fighting days. We had to lay on the battle field all night in the Rain & starving at that. I don't think I'll ever get shot now I can whip any dam[n] S of a Bitch of a secesh that ever lived.

Edward Morrow, contrary to his belief that he would never be shot, was mortally wounded at Chickamauga on September 20th, 1863, dying of his wounds the next day. He rests in the Chattanooga National Cemetery.


[1] - Lieutenant Colonel Julius Peter Garesché.

[2] - Owen Mullen was thirty-one years of age when he enlisted as a private. Unfortunately he would die on January 2nd, 1863 as a result of his wounds.

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