September 2006

From the Memoirs of Andrew R. McCurdy, Allen County, IN
Sent to me by Loren E. Anderson back in 2003  

I went to Cincinnati Ohio and stayed a short time and I went to Memphis Ten. on a boat. Had a nice ride and was in a storm at Cairo Ill. and got to Memphis and I got a job with Jones and Tagg and I had a good job and I stayed until Dec. 1860 and the Rebels was drilling and I had to leave.
After the election of Lincoln it got hot.  I came home and stayed at home all winter and in March 1861 I went to work for J J Kamm and the first work I done was on the Avaline Hotel and I worked until the 27 of April 1861. I enlisted Co. F 12th Regt. Ind. Vol. and we drilled out on the old fair grounds. And Capt. George Humphrey was our Capt. and he wanted me to play the fife for his Co. and he bought me a fife and when we got to Indianapolis I had my photo taken with my fife. We enlisted for three months and they wanted us to go for three years. We all voted to go for one year. 
Our Regt. was sent to guard the Ohio River. Our Co. was stationed at Newburgh, Indiana and our company guarded the Ohio River and Colonel Link commanded the Regiment and George Humphrey was Lieut. Col. and George Nelson was our Capt. and O K Hinkle was our first Lieut. and John Godown was our second Lieut.
And our Co. was stationed in the college grounds and when we heard the news of the first battle at Bull Run, two of our guards was talking of the fight. One of them said he wished he had been in the fight and the other guard raised his gun and pointed it at him and shot him through the head. He didn't know the gun was loaded. They was the best of friends. The one that shot was a relief for the other guard to go to his breakfast.The name of the one that shot was Gabe Stembarger. I cannot remember the name of the one that got shot. That was our first funeral and I had to play the dead march and we buried him at Newburg Ind. It was a sad day for us all. 
And in a few days after the battle of Bull Run we was ordered to Washington and in July 1861 we went to Townsville and took the train for Washington and when we got to Harrisburg Pa. our order was countermanded and we was ordered to Harpers Ferry Md. and we arrived at Sandy Hook and for several weeks we camped in Pleasant Valley and on Maryland Heights and we had a nice time.
The remainder of the summer going around Sugar Loaf Mt. and all we had to was to drill and march and we marched through Darrstown and Hagerstown and we always had to play the fife and drum when going through the towns and in the fall we came to Antietam and our Regt. guarded the Potomac River and I had a good time.  I had to go after the mail to Harpers Ferry six miles. Mr. Newton Bingham was first Sergeant and had charge of a picket post and a canal boat came along. It was loaded with shells and Sergeant Bingham took one from the boat and thought he would set it off and he got a fuse and lit it and run away. It did not go off so he went to see the reason and as he got over it, it went off and killed him. He was the second one killed by accident. That was a sad time. He was sent home for burial. He was one of my chums.  And in our mess in camp I had Harve Kriss, Luke Valentine, Amos Sine, John Henning, Can Brown. Luke Valentine and myself would sing songs and hymns to the rest of the boys.
I numbered the knap sacks for the boys and I charged five cents marking them and some of the boys paid and some never paid. One of the boys we called Mother Rusteelan. He was cook and a good cook too. And he could make fried cake as good as any body. 
I was going down to Harpers Ferry one day and the boys was shooting across the River at the Rebels and they was shooting too and I shot into a house on the other side. I could hear the bullet strike the house. We was on the towpath between the river and canal and the bullets struck the water in the canal and we had to get down in the canal to keep them from striking us. We had a cannon up on the mountain and they shelled them out and they wounded some. We could see them taking the wounded away and I went to Harpers Ferry after the mail. A few days after some of our boys went over the river and rebels came up behind them and took them prisoner and kept them a few months and they was exchanged. Gabe Smihar and William Smith was the ones taken.
I was fishing one day in the basin and a canal boat came along and I saw Mr. Myers from St. Louis. I called to him. He did not recognize me. He got off at the aqua dock and he knew me. He was going to Sharpsburg and he came to Va. to settle up his estate and the next day he came to see me and I went with him to Sharpsburg and I had a good time with him. I boarded with him when I was in St. Louis in 1859. 
There was a gristmill near our camp on the Antietam crick and the miller would give us all the flour and corn meal and the miller's daughter baked us pies. Some of the country people would have a keg of whiskey out in the mountains and some of the boys would find it and get drunk. Josh Parker and Cass Smith would get drunk whenever they could get whiskey. Josh Parker was the worst one in the Co. After he came home he had his arm shot off at some celebration. He had been drinking.
We was stationed at Antietam four months and had a good time all winter and on the first day of March in 1862 we was ordered to Winchester Va. and we took a canal boat up to Williams Port and we was after Stonewall Jackson and we went through Bunker Hill and on to Winchester and on our way we stopped at a house where Jackson ate his dinner at eleven o'clock and we got there at one o'clock. The folks had left with Jackson and had left two old darkies to take care of the place and we had some nice ham to eat but the boys was so mad they broke a large mirror in a thousand pieces and I had get the officers to stop them or they would brake a nice piano to pieces. 
And we chased Genl. Jackson out of Winchester and we stayed seven days and we was ordered to Warrington Junction and the first day we crossed the Shando (Shendandoah) River and camped on Blue Ridge Mountain and the next day we got over the mountain to All Day and when we got into camp and was putting up our tents and getting supper we got orders to remarch back to Winchester and we marched all night to the top of Blue Ridge Mountain where we was the night before and the next day we got across Shando River. And within five miles of Winchester and the order was countermanded and we was ordered back to Warrington Junction and when we got across the Shando River, it was dark and we camped that night on top of Blue Ridge Mountain for the third night and marched every day and the next night we got to All Day and we got to Warrington Junction.  And we stayed there until our time was out and was ordered to Washington where we was discharged May 19, 1862 and we was in Washington two weeks.
We was ordered in Grand Review before President Lincoln and he gave us a good talk and thanking the boys for what they had done. Advised them all to re-enlist as many as could. I came home. On my way home I stopped at Lucas to see Grandmother Donaldson and Uncle Jacob Culler's and go to Fort Wayne the last of May 1862 and was at home in Eel River Township a short time and came to Fort Wayne and went to work for J J Kamm at painting and worked for him all summer and most of the winter.
And in Feb. 1863 I went to Nashville Tenn. for Bro Smiley to bring him home. He was in the hospital. He was sick. He belonged to the 88 Regt. Ind. Vol. and I was there two weeks and I took sick with typhoid fever and was sick four weeks. I was staying at Capt. Drivers and I had good care and Bro Smiley was getting better and he wanted me to come home as soon as I got able and he would come home as soon as he would get his discharge. I stopped to see him when I started home and he was better but that was the last time ever got to see him. The hospital was moved and he got sick and died and was buried in Nashville Tenn.

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