Williams Family from Evansville, Indiana

 

On August 21, 1862 the 91st mustered in at Camp Lewis in Evansville. They went to Indianapolis for a week and returned to Camp Lewis. Perhaps for swearing in ceremonies, speeches and medical checks. All Indiana regiments were said to make the trip. The next stop was a stay in Camp Comeback to November 6. It was located across the river from Evansville in Henderson Kentucky where Pvt. Williams likely had relatives. His mother Winna was a Martin we believe from Henderson Kentucky. Her father John fought in the Revolutionary War and his father in the French and Indian Wars under Major George Washington according to relatives letters in the archives. In the Camp Comeback at Henderson Pvt. Williams did picket duty against rebel guerillas followed by more of the same in Madisonville 40 miles south. A few months earlier in that year, CSA General Polk had 17,000 rebels in western Kentucky 50 to 100 miles from Camp Comeback. The bloody Henry, Donelson and Shiloh Campaigns were fought about 120 miles away.

The 91st then guarded rebel prisoners in Smithland Kentucky another 60 miles west, and near Paducah, for over 7 months until June of 1863. During that time each got at least one furlough home for a week the 100 miles or so by the L&N railroad. The men could board in homes using a small part of their pay. Privates made about $160 a year. They had to buy their own clothes which might cost about $25 or 30 a year when guarding. Board would cost about 50 cents a week. They could save it and live in camp if they wanted. Pvt. Holder of the 91st writes in his diary that he "borded" at 7 different places over the seven months. He received a bounty of $27 that we assume is for signing. He sent almost all his pay back home by way of men going near there on furlough. He bought a watch and had a lady sew stripes on his pantaloons. Earlier that year

On June 12th 1863, the 91st moved to a grove in Smithland, and briefly in Hopkinsville on the way east about 100 miles total to Russellville, near Bowling Green. Company B, and possibly A, guarded a train to Clarksville Tennessee and returned took a week. Six months earlier the Stones River Campaign took place about 70 miles from Clarksville.

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Copyright 2001 Williams Family from Evansville, Indiana