Henry Baker, 74th Indiana letter, “We got to Louisville . . . “

He writes [late Sept 1862]:

We got to Louisville on Monday Evening and here on the Ohio River Sept 23rd [1862], one day later then the other. Sarah we arrived here this afternoon and got our tents up. I thought before this time that we would be in a fight but not yet. Now the citizens are shipping their women and children all across the [Ohio] river. The Rebels sent word that we had to surrender or be drowned in the river but by the time they got us in our shells gave some fun.

Now don’t be uneasy when you get word there the newspaper for they print print just to get money. Now Sarah I[‘ve] been gone 4 times to fight and not yet have the privilege to see a man killed in a fight. Yesterday we had a man killed by the [railroad] cars but this is nothing for we came up with 10,000 on trains to Louisville from Shepherdsville. Now we have about 17,500 here at present and such a lot of one is such a curiosity to see and the ___ ___ in here too.

Now we will take 10,000 Rebels. I know we are put down as a reserve. All the danger in the picket guard that we have to stand. I think about Thursday and then it will be a bad day about the Rebels but I guess we will come right for I have been in some narrow places have no trouble for my safety for I gave my all to God and I trust that if all right I shall see you before Spring. Farewell and  write of get somebody to write for you for I haven’t got but that letter that your Father wrote in Louisville, Direct as before

[Henry Baker, 74th Indiana Infantry]





Letter owner: The Kraig McNutt Civil War Collection


History of the 74th Indiana:

Eight companies of this regiment were organized at Fort Wayne 
in August, 1862, and were mustered in at Indianapolis Aug. 21, 
leaving the state at once for Louisville and proceeding thence 
to Bowling Green.  They returned to Louisville Sept. 5, and 
were assigned to the 2nd brigade, 1st division, Army of the 
Ohio, and joined in pursuit of Bragg.
Source: Union Army, vol 3, p. 157

Historical marker #1350 – Louisville and Nashville Railroad


The first track for the L&N Railroad was laid in 1855 and the first train ran in August of the same year. The first passenger train going from Louisville to Nashville took place in 1859. During the Civil War the L&N was the Western theatre’s only north-south supply route. Generals Grant and Sherman both used this railroad to move troops north-south throughout the Western theatre and the South.