16th Tennessee Volunteer
Infantry Regiment
1861

         Throughout Tennessee men were gathering for war and on the 14 May in Van Buren County many met at Wiley Miller's with their wives, daughters and sisters along to bid them farewell.  At 1400 they marched for McMinnville 'to the music of Alf and Joe Stipe's fiddles and Lewis Ford's drum'. Where they arrived late in the evening.
        On the 16th a company calling themselves the 'Warren Guards' left McMinnville for Allisonia (Alisona or Alistonia) under the command of Captain T. B. Murray.  'We went into quarters and began the regular routine of the soldiers life drilling and otherwise disciplining for the army'.  That same day another company of men from Dekalb County, under the command of L. N. Savage, rendezvoused at Smithville and commenced a movement to McMinnville in two horse wagons.
        The 10 Companies comprising the Regiment were raised throughout the State of Tennessee during May, with 952 officers and men enlisting.  Many of the men who enlisted were inducted into Tennessee forces on the 20 May by General Anderson at Camp Harris at Alistonia, where the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad crosses the Elk river.  The men formed into line to be inspected for physical fitness. 'the maimed and stiff jointed put forth their very best appearance, for fear of being rejected, but Oh! my, 'twas not long until some began to make excuse'. 
   
     Company B mustered at Manchester and proceeded towards Camp Harris on the 21 May, arriving on the 22nd.  Here all began army life with its routine of drill and discipline.
        All the various companied rendezvoused at Estil Springs, near Tullohama  and left camp there over the 24th, 25th, and 26th, and proceeded to Richland Station where they arrived on the 27th.  Here they drew and pitched tents.  Here poor sanitary conditions and close living begin to take their toll with many of the command becoming sick with measles 'which contagion is spreading very fast'.
        While here 'ten companies from the 4th Congressional district of Tennessee...organised. themselves into a Regiment' and were designated the 16th Tennessee Infantry.  They also elected their officers, with Colonel John H. Savage being elected commander.
       
On the 11 June 'Savage's Regiment' moves from Richland Station to Camp Trousdale 45 miles north of Nashville on the Louisville and Nashville Rail Road, near the village of Richland, now Portland.  On arrival the evening was spent on 'hard labor clearing and arranging our campground'.
   
     The 13th saw a deliberate false alarm at about 2300 and although they were at this time unarmed the men of the Regiments 'were aroused and thrown into line with an alacrity that would scarcely have been expected of troops who had long been inured to the field...(ready to defend their camp with)...poles, clubs, rocks, shovels, spades, tongs and various other implements of war'.
         The 16th saw the Regiment have their first dress parade in the evening, and on the 18th 15 men are given furloughs for home.
   
     The 4 July, a hot and clear day, saw the 'ladies of the Mountain District' present the Regiment with a 'most beautiful flag' represented by Captain A. L. Davis to Savage.
   
     On the11th, in the evening, a deserter was mustered out of service with his 'head bare and half shaved, barefooted and pants rolled above the knees', and with a board painted with red letters hung across his chest and shoulders reading 'deserter'. 
        At Camp Trousdale they  became State troops and brigaded with five other Regiments under the command of F. K. Zollicoffer.  Discipline at the camp was said to be non-existent with few officers remaining sober enough to stand their turn of duty. While here they began an association with the 8th Tennessee which lasted throughout the war.
   
     20th and the Regiment received orders to be prepared to move at an hour's warning and make a training march 'up the Louisville Railroad about three miles with guns, knapsacks, haversacks and canteens', they were also placed into a mini Brigade comprised of themselves and the 8th Tennessee, under the command of S. R. Anderson.
   
     On the morning of the 21st July the Regiment 'tents were struck, and the baggage placed upon the train'.
   
     During pouring rain on the 22nd the Regiment left camp Trousdale at daylight and marched to Richland Station here they boarded a train at 0800 on the train they were drenched with rain in the open top cars with their 'swords, knapsack and rations all wet and our bodies thoroughly chilled'.  They now passed through Nashville at 1600, they then here they waited a while and had 'a splendid dinner....which we enjoyed very much.  While there many of the men became beastly drunk, some of whom had to be left in the city and many others were remarkably troublesome'.  They now continued by rail to Tullahoma where they passed through about 2100.
        On the 23rd they arrived in Chattanooga around 0900 where they waited till after 2300 before leaving for Knoxville.
        They arrived there about 1400 on the 24th.  Left Knoxville about 0700, on the 25th, and arrived at Hainsville about 2100, staying there the rest of the night.
        The next day, the 26th, they marched about a quarter of a mile from town and then pitched tents, 'and then practiced with their muskets in the afternoon'.
   
     On the 27th they packed up at 0500 and marched back to the railroad until 1300 when they boarded train and left for Bristol where they arrived at 1700 and stayed all night.

        They left Bristol at 1000 the next day and then travelled all day and night until they reached Lynchburg, Virginia, about 1200 on the 29th.  Detrained, marched south about three miles and pitched camp.
        While on route through Tennessee 'At every town and station citizens and ladies were waving handkerchiefs and hurrahing for Jeff Davis and the Southern Confederacy'.
   
     On the 1 August the Regiment held elections for the adoption or rejection of the Confederate States Constitution needless to say they adopted it.
   
     Thus on the 2nd they struck tents at 0500, marched back to Lynchburg and took the train for Staunton.  From here they set of for Millborough, by rail, on the 3rd arriving about 0300, on the 4th, during that day they 'cleared off a place to camp near the depot' and 'practised shooting our musquets'.
.        On the evening of the 5th
they marched three miles towards Huntersville before camping for the night, 'on Cowlick Creek near an old school or church'.  The next day, the 6th, they marched 12 miles before camping at Warm Springs.
        The 7th saw them march past Bath Alum Springs and arrive at Back River and camp at Colonel Gatewood's (Gaitwood's) in the evening having managed only 13 miles over mountainous country.  And at 0600 on the 8th continued on arriving at Huntersville where they pitched tents about one mile west of town.
   
     Here they joined the command of General Loring (called the Huntersville Division) and they were now assigned to the Brigade of Daniel S. Donelson (this was composed of the 8th and 16th TN, 1st and 14th GA and the Greenbrier, VA Cavalry.)
   
     Two main thoroughfares went through were they were ' Green Bank and Green Brier Roads' the Brigade, together with the Forty-eight Virginia and a Georgia Regiment were left here on guard these roads.
        On the 22 Aug the Regiment participated in company and regimental drill, althouh the  increasingly worse weather conditions and the health of the Regiment was in decline with 'typhoid and bilious fevers and other diseases was quite fatal, killing some of our best and stoutest men' with 'one hundred men were sick and unfit for duty—ninety-six of them from diarrhea, and four from fever' as they were camped on 'a low, wet, and spongy tract of land, very unfit for a permanent encampment'.
          Due to the Regiments poor health Savage asked Donelson for the Regiment to camp 'on the side of the mountain above Huntersville where the winds blew and the air was cool and there was a spring of water almost as cold'.  Donelson refused, regardless, on the 23rd the Regiment moved to a new campground about 1/2 mile south of Huntersville on a 'very lofty hill'.
       
On the 24-31 the Regiment drilled with the last day of the month seeing the 'Regiment was mustered into Confederate service by Major Canley of Tennessee'.
        On the 3 September with the weather deteriating the officers are ordered to find the wants of the Regiment as 'in consequence of either the neglect or inability of the C. S. government to supply our Brigade with clothing...officers will be sent...'o our homes in Tennessee to solicit supplies from them'
officers will be sent 'to our homes in Tennessee to solicit supplies from them'.
   
     By the 6th 'the Sixteenth had seven hundred healthy men for duty' out of 952 who had volunteered in May.  These struck tents 0600 and set out for Valley Mountain but only marched 10 miles due to the conditions of the road they halted and camped at an old encampment at a place called Camp Edra (Edry).
        On the 7 Sept they conducted Battalion Drill under Donelson late in the evening  with them on the
8th, through heavy showers, they only marching 12 miles over bad roads, with the wagons falling behind ,,thus loosing their tents etc, and men spending the evening 'without covering from the weather or rations for the hungry'.
   
     When on the 9th they passed Big Spring and reached the summit of the mountain after nightfall on an an 'awful road.'  On arrival some of the men were dispatched 'two or three miles to slaughter beavers and another party sent a mile and a half for flour....by 12 o’clock at night our men were engaged in cooking and by daylight....ready for the march.'
  Here they joined the forces there under General  ????   Loring.
        At sunrise on the 10th the Regiment followed the 8th Tennessee down the mountain in the morning down past Big Spring marching about ten miles 'much of the time through the woods, over the mountains, and across ravines.'  Marching till after dark stopping at a Winnan's (Winnant's) Farm for the night.
   
     On the 11th they went down Conley's Run for a few miles, then crossed over a mountain to Stewart's Run.  When they arrived two Companies advanced down the creek.  They now came upon suddenly upon four of the enemy's advance pickets at Matthew's House and took them prisoners by surprise. They advance about one mile further down when they came upon five others, were fired upon and two killed.  Colonel Savage, and the guide Dr. Butcher, rode on after the others killed one and took the other two prisoners.
       
Learning from those captured that a Company was camped at an old house in the valley not far below Savage set off upon his horse he came upon them and they 'seemed to be in a bustle and confusion'.  He now put spurs to 'old George' galloping forwards at full speed and alone whilst 'brandishing a huge pistol in the air' and commanded them to surrender.  With this many surrendered although others rushed into the house.  He now rode up to it and ordered them to throw down their arms and surrender 'or the last rascal of you will be killed in five minutes'.  With troops from the Regiment arriving they surrendered. 
   
     In total 48 members of the 16th Ohio surrendered with the officers surrendering their sword 'one of which, a very nice one, Colonel Savage now wears'.
   
     They now marched in single file noiselessly up a mountain until 'the enemy's camp-fires of a sudden gleamed up in the valley below us far and wide' and they now 'fell upon our arms by the roadside and slept under a drenching rain all night'.
        On the 12th at 0400 'all were aroused, arms inspected, and every thing put in readiness for battle before the break of day',  in Tygart's Valley they were ordered to wear 'a piece of white cloth tacked in front of our hats'.
   
     The Army was ordered to retreat instead.  When this started the Regiment was ordered 'take possession and guard the road until the Brigade passed'.  About sunrise they retiring off down the mountain, after the Brigade had passed, their own advance guard were attacked by about 100 men.  These were quickly supported and fire 'was returned immediately by them with much spirit'.
        These they drove down the mountain and onto the main road.  Here they were engaged by a force about 300 strong at Becky's Run about 200 yards away, they were 'sheltered by the banks and skirting timber of a little creek that ran through the field'.  The Regiment formed battle line when 'Colonel Savage ordered us to take them out on our bayonets. We raised the Yell and the enemy left'.
        They were to make a further stand in some woods but were again forced to retire.  This was their first fight and the Regiment lost two killed and three wounded they had killed 14 and take 17 prisoner.  During the fight a ball passed through a blanket roll with others having holes shot in shirts, clothing, canteens, etc.   Resuming the march at 1200 they marched about ten miles to Snider's Hill were they camped.

        Setting off again at 0300 on the 13th they march four miles to Elk Run before resting here they captured a Company of pickets, but and slept on their arms all night.
        Leaving Elk Run on the morning of the 14th they march to Mingo Flat, on Huntersville Pike, where they stop near midnight having marched through 'hard rains' 'and lay in line of battle on our arms in about one and a half miles of the enemies breastworks'.
        During the 15th they remained where they were before marching back to the mouth of Conley's Run on the pike.  On reaching the pike, about dark, they immediately commenced a backward move for Valley Mountain. They marched until 0100 through very heavy rain and then camped for the rest of the night.

   
     Renewing the march early next morning, the 16th, they reached headquarters at Valley Mountain around noon and the Brigade passed on two miles further and encamped at Big Springs.
       
Here they stay until the 22nd.  While here they spent their time foraging for 'chickens, vegetables, and other luxuries' they also picked huge quantities of black berries, although the 20th saw a picket fire a gun thus causing the Regiment to be deployed into battle in line around 2300 and remaining there until there was no danger.

        At early dawn on the 22nd they set off from Big Spring and marched as far as Gipson's, about 10 miles, although the rear guard had serious problems with the wagons due to the muddy roads.
   
     The next day, the 23rd, they covered six miles camping after they had crossed the Greenbrier River, six miles west from Huntersville, where the also stayed the next day.
        Here on the 24th  they were now temporarily transferred to Anderson's Brigade (42nd and 48th Virginia, and the 1st, 7th and 16th Tennessee.)  Now only with 'ammunition and flour' they moved towards Little Sewell Mountain.
   
     The 25th saw them march for Lewisburg in the evening, travelling 12 miles before dark and camping 1 mile west of the road.
        On the 26th they covered 17-18 miles before camping three miles north at Mr Nickold's three miles north of Frankford passing 'a most disagreeable night, the rain fell so incessantly that we could not build fires'.  'Col. Savage seeing his men wet and kold give them a dram'.
        On the 27th they resumed the march early and continued until 1700 passing through Frankford, Lewisburg, before camping, having marched about 12 miles.  That evening the Regiment were lucky enough to be able to sleep in some barns.
        The 28th saw them continue on another13 miles before camping near Meadow Bluff.
        The 29th saw them continuing their march arriving late at night at the top of Little Sewell Mountain having wading two swollen streams were 'we wading two swollen streams'  before they 'pitched our camps', on the extreme right of the army.   They were only separated from Federal troops, who were only 1000 yards away, by a deep ravine where 'by tacit consent, (they) were using water out of the same spring'.  While here they rested a few days with both sides bands serenading the troops of both sides with such songs as 'Yankee Doodle' and 'Dixie'.
        Over the next few days little was done but on the 4 October the Army spent the day erecting breastworks 'and hoping daily that the enemy would continue his advance, and attack us.'
        On the 6th with the Federals retiring the 16th pushed forwards 'for a mile or two' reconnoitred as far as Big Sewell before retired back to their own lines.
       
On the 7th the men 'constructed brush houses, but even these could not reduce the discomfort caused by a constant rainfall all day and night that forced the men to sit upright all night'.
        The 12th saw them breaking camp and marching toward Lewisburg late in the evening only covering four miles before stopping to camp on Sewell Creek 'in a heavy forest without tents', 
at the foot of Little Sewell.
        From the 13th to the 20th they remain encamped on Sewell Creek, and commence drilling.  And on the morning of the 21st they marched to Meadow Bluff, a distance of 14 miles.
        On the 22nd they marched the 17 miles to Lewisburg and camped two miles the other side, on the Huntersville Road.
        The Regiment marched to Frankford on the 23rd, and on the 24th they left at 0900, marching through Mill Point, where they rested before carrying on, having covered some 33 miles further.
        On the 25th the Regiment arrived at Greenbrier Bridge in the afternoon, and camped one mile from the bridge, and stayed through the following day.
        During the evening of the 27th they marched two miles north of Huntersville, where they camped on the Greenbank Road.  With the 28th seeing them reunited with their tents, and they remained in camp resting and recuperating.
        They remained at Huntersville until noon on the 11 November when they struck their tents in the rain and marched 10 miles in the direction of Lewisburg with the next day them doing 14 miles on the 13th they marched to Frankford before camping, the arrived at Lewisburg on the 14th were they set up camp two miles short of town.
   
     The 15th sees them marching through Lewisburg and camping three miles the other side.  From then until the 30th they remained in camps at Lewisburg with cold weather and occasional snow fall.  While here on the 19 November clothing arrived from home 'coats, shoes, hats, bed-clothing, and all the bodily
comforts'
, also 'numerous men are discharged for disabilities'.
        1 December and they leave Lewisburg and march 10 miles towards Red Sulphur Springs crossing a river where 'some of the boys was ducked clothes froze on them encamped on the side of the road'. 
        The 2nd saw them passing Salt Sulphur Springs and camping on the roadside that night where they were hit by a snow storm in evening. The 3rd saw them march back 12 miles through Red Sulfur Springs, carrying on a mile and camping on level ground.
        The next day, the 4th, they set of about 1200 and marched about eight miles towards Newbern.
        5 Dec they marched 12 miles through Peterstown and crossed New River at noon in ferryboats, only managing about 12 miles before camping on a 'ledge of loose rocks'.

   
     The early morning of the 6th saw them march through Parisburg and 12 miles up New River to a bridge where they camp.  The 7th they march nine miles arriving at the Dublin Depot, on the East Tennessee and Virginia Railroad, were they camped.
   
     The 8th saw them receive orders to proceed to Charleston, SC, and during the 9-10th they cooked four days rations for the journey.
   
     Leaving Dublin Station at 0900, on the 11th, they board trains arriving at Lynchburg, VA, at 1700. With a car derailing bruising four of five men.
        Due to a lack of rolling stock the 12th, with the others leaving on the 13th?, part of the Regiment set off  at 0900 by rail to Petersburg, where they arrived at 1700.
        14 Dec they spent the day in Petersburg and took train at 1700 reaching Weldon at 2100.  They  immediately changing cars and depart again at 2200
for Wilmington.
   
     On the 15th they arrived at Wilmington at noon and crossed Cape Fear River at 1400. They now took cars for Charleston, SC.
   
     They passed Florence at 0100, on the 16th, and arrived at Charleston at 1500.  Here they took quarters at the depot and ate meal that had been prepared for them.
   
     The 17th saw them march three miles to the Savannah Depot, camping in a pine grove.  But on the 18th they were off again leaving by rail from Savannah Depot at 1500 for Pocotaligo Depot, arriving there at 2100.
   
     On the 19th they marched about five miles down the road and established a 'regular military style' camp pitching their tents in perfect order with assigned company streets.  From the Regiment 'two companies were sent out to Gardner's Corners, eight miles from where our command was camped and a detail was sent out from Gardner's Corners to Port Royal.  Every day we did picket duty as the Yankees were in force on Buford's Island'.
        Here they now camped, in the low-country about Pocotaligo were the low-lands flooded with water, until the 23rd  when the Regiment was moved 'about 5 miles south from Pocotaligo on the road leading to Mackey's Point'.   Womack's and Shield's Companies were ordered two miles further down towards the coast in a large cotton field.
        While stationed in the area they got friendly with the Federal forces on Beaufort Island 'and frequently, under mutual pledges of honour, they would come over (a bridge and)....talk for an hour, exchange papers, and trade in coffee and tobacco....sometimes we swapped knives, and hats etc.'
.        On Christmas Eve one man was accidentally shot although the officers spent the time 'almost as a holiday, having but little to do comparatively, while we lived sumptuously on fish and oysters'.   Although during their time here the men had gathered 'oysters and lived high with plenty of oysters, sweet potatoes'.  With Christmas Day seeing elections for Sergeants in some Companies and the 26th saw Army regulations being read to the camp.
         The 28th saw a reunion with the Regiments tents, with the Regiment remaining in camp resting and recuperating.
        31 Dec And while its New Years Eve they had Dress Parade in the evening also they 'had an inspection of arms by Colonel Murry'.