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November 21, 2011

Letter from Lieut. Col. B.F. Smith describing arrival in Kentucky – November 21, 1861

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Letter from Lieutenant Colonel B. F. Smith of the 3rd Minnesota Infantry Regiment to Governor Alexander Ramsey.

“Camp Todd, Near Louisville Ky, (5 mi. south) Nov 21, 1861 His Excellency Gov. Ramsey,
The 3rd arrived at Jeffersonville on the money (9 am) of the 19th, crossed the river at ½ past one, and arrived at this Camp at night where we encamped for the night.  Next morning changed to a more desirable part of the field, where we are now encamped in regular order.  Our arms have been ordered and will be received today.
The 19th and 53rd  Ohio and one company of artillery are in our immediate vicinity.  We have some 20 on the sick list, but none very seriously so.
On our arrival I reported to Genl. Buel [Don Carlos Buell], with whom we was very favorably impressed.
I am under many obligations to Lieut Olsen [likely Bonde Olson], Acting as Adjutant for the services rendered me on the transportation of the troops.  Major Hadley had his family in charge so that it was out of his power to aid me management of the troops or in maintaining order and discipline, but under all the circumstances, we succeed well, in fact better than we expected, considering the many opportunities for disipation, the Commissioned offr’s with but little exception demeaned themselves in a sober and gentlemanly manner, but one officer (Lieut. Blakesly) [Cyrene H. Blakely] left without permission, on the way, he however came into camp soon after our arrival.
What length of time we will remain here is quite uncertain.  I think it is the intention of concentrate a larger Army at this point before any march is made.  I regret to say that we have not herd from Col Lester [Henry C. Lester], his presence is much needed and I hope he will soon report and assume command.
Today or tomorrow we will be inspected by an officer of the regular army, and reported to the proper department.
The provisions provided for our march has caused great complaints. In fact, I was compelled to telegraph ahead and have rations prepared as our meats was spoiled and unfit for use, I required an inspection to be made by the Regimental board[.] they have not made a report but doubtless much will be condemned.  I shall also cause an inspection to be made by the medical staff.
The 2nd Reg’t is encamped about 15 miles south at Lebanon Junction.
I have the honor to be your Excellency’s Obt servant B F Smith Commanding 3rd Regt. M.V.”


Citation: November 21, 1861 Letter from B. F. Smith, Letters Received–3rd Regiment. Minnesota: Governor: Ramsey. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives.

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