John Shuman, 88th Indiana Volunteers – September 30, 1862

Dear Father and the rest of the family,

I in form you that I am still well and feal [i.e. feel] well and I hope these few lines will find you all the same, except Aron – I understood he died the twenty third and got buried the twenty fifth. I was very sorry to hear such newes for when I left I did not think I would hear such newes as that is. But it is no more than we have to meat with some time our selfe. I heard that Jacob was sick. I would like to hear from their [him?] as soon as possible and I hope these few lines will find you all well. I suppose Mary Ett? was very sick yet. I would like to hear from her as soon as I can. The rest of the boys is all well and in good spirit. … [talks about various people, writing, names, letters, etc.] …

General Nelson got shot yesterday in Louisville by General Davis from Indiania. It was about eight o’clock in the morning. We are in general Reussau  Brigade [General Lovell Rousseau]. Now came in his brigade yesterday and I am glad that we did. I will let you further know that I see. Most of the boyes that is in the forty fourth except bass? Shoup? and James Tuck and John Heller and Lou Bats [or Bots / Butts?]. I hant [havt – [aint]] see them yet but they are all well, so the rest of the boyes said. I dont think that their is any danger of having a fight hear for their is to maney troops hear now. For their is some two hundred thousand hear so they say and some says their is more than that. But I know their is a heavy forse hear now. …

Old Goviner [Governor] Morton [Oliver P. Morton] from Indiana was in Louisville yesterday and general Boiels(?) was their and they had a fist fight. Goviner Morton blacked general Boiel(?) eyes for marching his men around for nothing, and when we got the newes we give three loud cheers for Goviner Morton. We only marches threw town ten times since we are hear and hant done any good yet. But I think that has come to an end now. William Culver wrote to me. He would like to know who was the ones that had give out on that march were we had that day. Charles Roadman [or Rodman?] was one, that was all that I know out of our company. Their was some more out of our company but I cant tell their names. …

Their was thirteen died out of our brigade on that march. Charles Roadman hant got over it yet and he wont for a while. He is in camp now but he looks poorly now. They cant tire me out so quick as that comes to. But it was awful hot that day and in the middle of town it was as hot as a bake oven and it was so dusty, what made it worse and no ere stering? what ever. … [talks about getting a newspaper, etc.] …

We are camp near the river now. I would like to go and see the forty-fourth when I get time. … Dear Father and Mother, you dont need to troble you selfe a bout me for I am well and I like soldier life very well as long as I keep well. But it is miserble plase for sick folks. … John Shuman

Source: eBay auction February 2011



General Lovell H. Rousseau

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-11-21-30-pmRousseau, Lovell H., major-general, was born in Stanford, Lincoln county, Ky., Aug. 4, 1818, his father having emigrated from Virginia. He received the ordinary school advantages afforded the pioneer settlers of that early period and then devoted his attention to the study of law. Subsequently he removed to Bloomfield, Ind., and was admitted to the bar of that state in 1841. He became an active political leader at once, and was elected to the state assembly in 1844 and to the state senate in 1847. He took part in the Mexican war as captain of the 2nd Ind. regiment of volunteers, and received special mention for his gallantry at Buena Vista, Feb. 22-23, In 1849 he made Louisville, Ky., his home and there opened a law office, where he soon attained prominence as a criminal lawyer. He was elected to the Kentucky state senate in 1860, being the choice of both parties. On the outbreak of the Civil war in 1861, he used his earnest efforts to restrain Kentucky from joining the Confederacy, and was especially active in recruiting troops and providing for their proper drill and equipment. He resigned from the legislature to serve better the Federal cause, and to this end he proposed and established Camp Joe Holt, near Louisville, which became a prominent rendezvous for troops. He raised the 5th regiment, Ky. volunteers, and was made colonel in Sept., 1861, becoming brigadier-general on Oct. 6, following. He led the 4th brigade of the 2nd division, Army of the Ohio, at the second day’s battle of Shiloh, and greatly distinguished himself by retaking the headquarters abandoned by Gen. McClernand the day before and otherwise contributing to the success of the Federal army on that day. He again distinguished himself at the battle of Perryville, Ky., on Oct. 8, and that day gained his promotion to major-general of volunteers. He was next in the field at Stone’s river on Dec. 31, and from Nov., 1863, to the close of the war, was in command of the districts of Tennessee. He led an important and successful raid into the heart of Alabama in 1864 and defended Fort Rosecrans during the siege of Nashville. He resigned from the army on Nov. 30, 1865, and four days later took his seat in the Thirty-ninth Congress, to which he had been elected as a Republican representative from Kentucky. In June, 1866, Gen. Rousseau made a personal assault on J. B. Grinnell of Iowa, for words spoken in debate, and was, by resolution of the committee appointed to investigate, recommended to be expelled. The house, however, adopted the minority report to reprimand him, whereupon he resigned his seat. He was re- elected during the subsequent recess to the same Congress and served on the same committees as in the first session. He was appointed on March 28, 1867, by President Johnson, a brigadier- general in the regular army, being given on the same date the brevet rank of major-general U. S. A., and he was assigned to duty in the new territory of Alaska to receive that domain from the Russian government and assume control of the territory. He succeeded Gen. Sheridan in command of the Department of the Gulf, and continued in that command with his headquarters at New Orleans up to the time of his death, which occurred Jan. 7, 1869.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 8

Pro-Unionist James Speed


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Louisvillian and pro-Union activist James Speed, brother of Abraham Lincoln’s close friend Joshua Fry Speed, becomes Lincoln’s second Attorney General

Wikipedia says:

“As the coming Civil War was increasing in likelihood, Speed worked to keep Kentucky in the Union. He also became a commander of the Louisville Home Guard. Elected to the Kentucky Senate in 1861 he became the leader of the pro-Union forces. In 1862 he controversially introduced a bill to “confiscate the property” of those supporting the Confederacy in Kentucky.

In December 1864, United States President Abraham Lincoln appointed Speed Attorney General of the United States. After the assassination of Lincoln he became associated with the Radical Republicans and advocated the vote for male African Americans. Disillusioned with the increasingly conservative policies of President Andrew Johnson, Speed resigned from the Cabinet in July 1866 and resumed the practice of law.”

He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery.