Letter from Chaplain of the 3rd regiment to Ramsey about the regiment camped in Tennessee – June 13, 1862
Letter from Chaplain B. F. Crary of the 3rd Minnesota Regiment to Governor Ramsey regarding the Regiment’s march from Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
“McMinnville, Tenn. June 13th 1862.
Gov. Alexander Ramsey, Dear Sir, I intended to have reported to you as soon as I reached the camp of the Third Regt, but the orders to march and the duties employing me hindered me. I believe the Minnesota soldiers are improving in health; such is the report as far as I have heard or seen.
The day after I reached camp I attended the funeral of John Bump Co. K and M. [Martin] L. Knox Co. E. both died at the General Hospital at Murfreesboro, and were buried in the cemetery of that town. Their graves are carefully marked.
On the 11th the Regt. started for this place, and in hope of catching a rebel force here, marched forty five miles in thirty hours.
The Third took the lead, followed by the Sixty Ninth Ohio, Col. [Leu]. Cambell’s the Seventy Fourth Ohio Col. Mead’s and the Eleventh Michigan, Col. Stoughton’s.
Our men stood the march better than either of the other Regts, but they were worn down beyond anything I have ever witnessed.
We left the camp at Murfreesboro at 6, O,clock Wednesday morning and reached Woodbury twenty miles distant about 5, O,clock P.M. We encamped as though we were going to stay all night, but received orders to march at 11 O’clock at night. A sad accident marred the general good feeling while we were getting ready. A.W. Stewart, Co. H, employed as a teamster while hitching up let a pistol fall. One barrel went off, the ball struck him in the right breast[,] passed through the lung and lodged just beneath the skin of the back. He was a good man and highly esteemed by his officers and companions. We left him at Woodbury in a comfortable room and with a good man. He can scarcely survive.
The night march was peculiarly impressive. A total eclipse of the moon made it still more interesting. The shadow began to pass over its face about 11, O,clock, and it seemed in total eclipse more than an hour.
Our men all came in in good time, and the health of the Regt has not suffered from the forced march. We found no enemy except the secessionists who are at home brooding over their troubles, and pretending to be just as friendly to one side as the other. I suppose it is the intention to hold McMinnville as it is on the road to East Tennessee and has been a resting place for Stearn’s guerillas. We are perfectly willing to camp here, […]“
Citation: June 13, 1862 Letter from Chaplain B. F. Crary, Letters Received—3rd Regiment. Minnesota: Governor: Ramsey. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives. Minnesota Historical Society.