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Shields Military Records

William Chapman Shields Civil War Diary (1863 - 1864)

Pages 6 - 10 Pages 11 - 14

IN Confederate Service

Not having been a secessionist, I kept out of the Confederate Army as long as possible.  But not being able to evade the conscription longer, I left home August 26, 1863 in company with my brother, who was at home on furlough, and who was going to return to his command, then recruiting near Alexandria, Calhoun County, Ala.  We staid all night at W. B. Warren's in Cherokee Co., Ala. and on the morning of the 27th, resumed our journey, having fallen in company with J. F. (?) Thompson, another returning soldier who was at home on furlough. Then near Jacksonville, we learned the Cavalry Corpse (Corp) had left Alexan­dria and gone in the direction of Gadsden.  We turned thither, getting dinner at Mr. Ben Turner's.  Bivwaced (bivouacked) that night and got breakfast on the 28th at D. P. Posey's near Hokes Bluff.  Thence by A. Tidmore's ferry to Gadsden, where we met a detachment of the command and learned that the Corps was still at Alexandria.  We turned toward Alexandria, where we arrived at 10 o'clock at night.

29th was mustered into the Confederate service - Company A 37th Ala. Regt.
Capt. H. T. Snow, Col. John T. Morgan.  The command moved early that morning, crossed Coosa River at Ten Islands.  Camped at Will's Creek, near Gadsden.

30th - moved up 1 mile west of Gadsden and camped. 31st - Moved up near Round Mountain and camped.

Sept. 1st at 1 o'clock p.m., the command moved - camped at Gaylesville.  Brother and I left command and went home only 8 miles distant.

2nd - Fell in with command near Price's (?) Bridge - traveled some 20 miles and camped - was on guard at commissary wagon.

3d - Command moved up 5 miles N.E. of Lafayette and camped.

4th - Moved up to 9 miles of Dalton - turned back to Lafayette and camped, having twice crossed Taylor's Ridge at Gordon's Springs - wrote a letter home.

5th - Lay in camp all day

6th - Sunday on detail for forage.

7th - Lay in camp all day.

8th - Went into Lafayette and paid $1.25 for having horse shod and $1.00 for rations.  Went on picket over Pigeon Mountain at Catlett's Gap.

9th and 10th - Still on picket.

llth - Heavy artillery firing at Davis X roads.  Paid $1.00 for rations.

12th - Command moving - on detail to Lafayette for rations.

13th - Sunday.  Met command near Catlett's Gap and delivered rations to Orderly. Command moved through Lafayette on road to Alpine and camped at Big Spring.

14th - Command moved to Summerville - company sent on detached service, on scout, up Lookout Mountain at Weil's Gap.  Proceed 5 miles on mountain and

Campaign Sketches
Diary Kept by W. C. Shields
in Confederate Service

met a large force of the enemy, and after skirmishing, fell back down the mountain 3 miles from Weil's Gap and camped.

16th - The detachment moved via Summerville to Dug Gap and bivouaced at 10 o'clock p.m.

18th - Went into McLemore's Cove into a brisk skirmish - back to Dug Gap and camped.

19th - Detachment on guard at Dug Gap - heavy firing direction of Lee and Gordon's Mills.

20th - Sunday, still on guard at Gap, and hearing of the great battle of Chicamauga, which raged with fury all day.

21st - Detachment still on guard at Gap.

22nd - Detachment ordered back to regiment, passed up over the field of Chica­mauga, which was still covered (with) the Federal dead and the debris of army equipage to four miles of Chattanooga, then down the foot of Lookout Mountain 5 miles and camped.  My horse, having become stifled, gave out and could travel no further.  Wrote a letter home.

23rd - Being afoot, I left my disabled horse by the roadside and turned off a few hundred yards and found a pony and some colts in a lot.  I bridled the pony approperated him to my use, or mustered him into the Confederate Service and fell into ranks.  The command moved to Cooper's Gap.

24th - Command moved via Lee and Gordon's Mills and camped 4 miles therefrom at a big spring.

25th - Wrote letter home - Command moved in direction of Harrison. 26th - Command moved 5 miles N.E. of Harrison.

27th - Sunday - Command moved via Georgetown, forded Hiwassee River at Carmichals Island.

28th - Command moved at 5 o'clock p.m. 8 miles N.E.

29th - Moved to Tennessee River at Cotton Port, where was a small force of Federals - a few shots from the Artillery drove them off and the Cavalary commenced to ford the river, led by the 3rd Ala. Regt.  The whole force had cross by night, when it moved forward via Smith's Cross (?) Roads to top of "Walden's Ridge" and camped.  Rained.

Oct. 1. - Moved forward to Foster' X Roads in Sequatchee Valley and camped Second Command moved down the Valley to vicinity of Dunlop and after some hard fighting,captured and destroyed about 500 wagons loaded with supplies for the Federal Army at Chattanooga.  Here I captured my first prisoner, lifted him out of his boots into which I jumped.  Turned my little pony loose and mounted a large government mule from one of the wagon teams .  The mules from the wagons amounting to over 2,000 were shot - the wagons and supplies burned.

Campaign Sketches
Diary Kept by W. C. Shields
in Confederate Service

3rd - Command moved over Cumberland Mountain in direction of McMinnville - at foot of mountain - was detailed to write paroles for the prisoners taken with the wagon train.  Camped at McMinnville, where there was an immense amount of commissary stores destroyed.

4th - Moved on 3 miles west of Woodbury - was on picket at a bridge.

5th - Command moved forward to vicinity of Murfreesboro where the 51st Ala. Regt. was dismounted and ordered up to within a few yards of the stockade at railroad bridge on Stone River.  Col. Morgan rode forward and demanded the surrender of the stockade, which was refused.  Standing within a few feet of the gleaming guns of the stockage, expecting every moment to receive a volley, the guns of Wiggin's battery opened on the stockade, when after a few shots, the "stars & stripes" were hauled down and a white flag was run up.  I was the second man to enter the fort, being preceded by Private J. L. Thompson of Com-y A (Co. A). The railroad bridge and stockade were destroyed when the command moved toward Shelbyville.

6th - Wartrace was captured by Martin's Division and Shelbyville by Wharton's.

7th - Crossed Duck River at White's Bridge.  Met the enemy in force at Farmington where there was severe fighting - moved south through Lewisburg and Corners-ville.

8th - Command moved 12 miles south of Pulaski.

9th - Command crossed - forded - Elk and Tennessee Rivers at Elk River Shoals. The river is two miles wide and very rockey and swift, and I forded on my wagon train mule.

10th - Lay in camp all day.

llth - Sunday wrote a letter home,  was on detail to cook rations.

12th - Went to E. W. Swoops (?) quarter and bought bread and potatoes.  Rained.

13th - Lay in camp all day - still raining.

14th - The 51st Regt. moved camp to big spring on S. W. Swoop's place.

15th - Lay in camp all day - rained.

16th - Wrote letter home - on detail for forage.

17th - On guard at Spring.

18th - Sunday - Relieved from guard.

19th - On inspection in morning - in evening got a pass and went out to have the federal overcoat dyed, that I captured at Stone River stockade.  Left the coat with Mrs. Lee Gipson - went to Courtland and returned.

20th - Lay in camp.

Campaign Sketches
Diary Kept by W. C. Shields
in Confederate Service

21st - Went and paid Mrs. Gipson $5.00 for dying overcoat - was on detail for meal.

22nd - Command moved up near Decatur.

23d - Moved on through Decatur and Summerville.

24th - Moved up to 10 miles of Warrenton.

25th - Sunday - Command moved through Warrenton 2 miles and camped.

26th - Lay In camp all day.  Swapped my wagon train mule for a horse - saw a man drummed out of camp for stealing a pistol.

27th - Command moved forward across Sand Mountain and camped 12miles from Gasden.

28th - Command moved on through Gadsden and camped in miles of that place. Knowing that the command would move in the direction of home, Brother and I got permission from Capt. Snow to go on by home.  We went on to Esq. Martin Kale's and got supper and then rode all night and arrived at home at sunrise, the 29th,where we remained all day.

30th - Left home at 9 o'clock in the morning and met the regiment on the march near Price's Bridge, Chattooga Co-y., Ga.  Command moving in direction of Lafayette, Ga.

31st - Moved forward 5 miles.

Nov. 1st - Sunday - Moved 12 miles of Lafayette.  Companies A and B of 1st Regt. were sent back on detached service to Gadsden, Ala.

2nd - Got permission and went by home.

3d - Left home at 2 o'clock a.m. and went to Round Mountain, Ala., then to Cedar Bluff and met the detachment - thence down near Martin Rale's and camped.

4th - Passed on through Gadsden to Rylis Bridge and camped.

5th - Lay in camp all day.

6th - Courier arrived ordering detachment back to command.  Capt. Snow gave all the boys permission to go home or recreate two and meet him at Gaylesville, Ala.  on the 9th.

7th and 8th - Staid at home.

9th - Left home at 4 o'clock a.m. and met the detachment at Gaylesville (Galesville) - was on detail of Henly's Mills for flour.  Camped near Dirt Town.

10th - Moved up 4 miles of Villenow, Ga.

llth - Moved on through Villenow, Anderson, and Tunnel Hill.

12th - Passed up by Elledge's Mills, Catoosa Co-y., Ga.  Was on detail for flour - Passed on through Cleveland, Tenn, and camped 5 miles to N.E.

Campaign Sketches
Diary Kept by W. C. Shields
in Confederate Service

13th - Crossed Hiwassee River on a pontoon bridge at Charleston.  Then up in 7 miles of Athens and camped on Mouse Creek.

14th - Moved up by Mt. Verde Cotton Mills and camped in 4 miles of Sweet Water. Stopped at Prigmore's shop and fitter horse shoes.

15th - Sunday - Crossing Tennessee River at Loudon (Tenn.) on a pontoon bridge. Moved 5 miles further and camped.

16th - Passed by Lenoir's Station, where was a captured federal wagon train. Capt. Snow reported to Gen. Longstreet and was ordered to report for duty to Col. Hart, 6th Ga. Cavalry.  The road from Loudon to Knoxville was strewn with Federal dead.  Gen. Longstreet was following or driving Gen. Burnside on to Knoxville, and there was heavy skirmishing all the way.

17th - Passed by Campbell Station where there had been quite a fight and many dead were scattered over the ground.  Camped in 2 miles of Knoxville.  Wrote letter home and sent it, can camphor train at Lenoir's by H. H. Mitchell of Cherokee Co-y., Ala., who was visiting his son in 47th Ala. Regt.

18th - The detachment reached the regiment and moved up in two miles of Knoxville and camped.

19th - In line of battle in one mile of Knoxville all day.

20th - Still in line - wrote letter home and sent out by Sergeant R. R. Simmons.

21st - Moved up near town - dismounted and skirmished all day - was on detail for forage 7 miles in the country.

22nd - Sunday - In camp all day.

23d - Command moved through Ball Camp and Campbell Station to 9 miles of Kingston.

24th - Left camp at 2 o'clock in the morning and arrived before Kingston at daylight.  Gen. Wheeler made an attack on Kingston, but was unsuccessful.  Our regiment lay in range of the enemy's guns for two (hours?) when we charged and lost several men killed.  We fell back and moved up in five miles of Loudon -was on detail for rations.

25th - Moved to 8 miles of Knoxville and fed and rested.  Then up to old camp near Powder Mill - was on detail 12 miles for forage.

26th - Lay in camp all day.

27th - Moved down two miles below Knoxville to the River and camped - foraged from an island in the river.

28th - The command went down the river 5 miles and forded.

29th - Sunday - the command moved up on the east side of the Holston and cooperated with Longstreet in a general attack on Knoxville.  We fell back near the ford and camped.

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Pages 6 - 10 Pages 11 - 14

Submitted by: James Shields. See Notes about W. C. Shields Biography, Campaign Sketches and Family Record

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Page Updated on: 5 Feb 2004 Page Visitors: c. Susan Shields Sasek