8, 1862, An Iowa soldier's observations on the mass burial of Confederate soldiers at Shiloh battlefield
* * * *
Where the retreat commenced on Monday afternoon are hundreds and thousands of wounded rebels. They had fallen in heaps and the woods had taken fire and burned all the clothing off them and the naked and blackened corpses are still lying there unburried[.] On the hillside near a deep hollow our men wer [sic] hauling them down and throwing them into the deep gulley[.] One hundred and eighty [sic] had been thrown in when I was there. Men were in on top of the dead [sic] straightening out their legs and arms and tramping [sic] them down so as to make the hole contain as many as possible[.] Other man on the hillside had ropes with a noose on one end and they would attach this to a mans [sic] foot or his head and haul him down to the hollow and roll him in[.] Where the ground was level it was so full of water that the excavation filled up as fast as dug and the corpse was just rolled in and the earth just thrown over it and left.
War is hell [sic] broke loose [sic] and benumbs all the tender feeling of men and makes them brutes[.] I do not want to see any more such scenes and yet I would not have missed this day for any consideration[.]
Boyd Diary, April 8, 1862
8, 1863, Confederate Coney-Catching near Wartrace
Gen. Liddel's command, stationed near Wartrace, Tenn., are having a good deal of sport in catching a large number of rabbits daily. An old friend of ours says that on last Friday the boys captured about four hundred of the "molly cottontails." They manage the thing well. Two or three regiments march out and surround a thicket, then cavalry men with dogs enter the thicket and put the rabbits to flight, when our boys close in with clubs, sticks, etc., making a clean sweep of the varments. Quite a Luxury, and a great saving in a commissary point of view.—Chat. Rebel.
8, Foraging, Confederate Citizens Prefer Coffee to Money in making Exchanges for breads and pies
April 8th 1864
It is raining this morning and there will be no drill…tho it isn't very pleasant to have the water running through the sent on your paper and besides two lively Yanks in the same bunk jostling and talking. I often wonder how I can write at all but it's nothing after you get used to it…
One of the boys started out foraging in the evening and came back with a bucket full of fresh milk, some corn meal and butter. We mixed up some cakes and baked them in our pans, made milk gravy and coffee, enough for a dozen at home but the 3 of us made short work of it. Next morning we got some nice biscuits, the best I've seen since I left home. So you see, we ain't in a starving condition yet…The rebels took everything they could lay hands on while they were here but some of the citizens were too sharp for them and hid part of their meat and grain. They are very anxious to exchange bread and pies for coffee at any price but don't want to sell for money. Some of them haven't seen coffee before for two years. The rebels being principled against using it – only when they capture it from the Yankees…One lady, a rank rebel – at Morris Town said she was very fond of coffee but wouldn't take a grain of "Lincoln Coffee" as she called it. I expect I will be regular old Grammy for tea & coffee, yet one thing certain – if I had nothing of the kind on a march I should have played out often. Some stimulus is absolutely necessary in some cases and I take coffee in preference to whiskey which many consider essential in camp.
8, A new hat for a Bolivar school girl
....I'm going to get a new hat this month, for the first time in three years. That is a Summer hat, got a winter hat last Winter and I am really ashamed to think of the cost, however it was $15.00, about one of the cheapest. Received a letter from Brother Jimmie a day or two ago. He is again in bad health, unfit for field service....
Diary of Sally Wendel Fentress.
James B. Jones, Jr.
Tennessee Historical Commission
2941 Lebanon Road
Nashville, TN 37214