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1862

Union troops under General U.S. Grant begin their siege of Fort Donelson.

“ 9 A.M. notified that the University buildings [in Nashville] were needed for hospitals – By dark had all the Libraries removed. 4 P.M. requested by Dr. Pim to act as Surgeon.” [Lindsley]

1863

Confederate troops defeat a detachment of the First Cavalry at Bolivar (Hardeman County).

1864

The Nashville Daily Union reports:

“The distinguished tragedian, J. Wilkes Booth, takes his farewell benefit to-night …. The entertainment will commence with Shakespeare’s tragedy, ‘the Merchant of Venice,’ and close with ‘Catherine and Petruchio,’ a Shakespearean comedy …. Mr. Booth came amongst us a stranger, his reputation as a rising star having preceded him. His first night was a splendid ovation; the theater being densely packed, every foot of standing room occupied, and numbers sent away unable to get in ….. His genius appears equal to anything the tragic muse has produced; and the time is not too distant when he will attain the high niche of professional fame. His engagement here will not soon be forgotten by any who have attended the theatre, and the records of that establishment will transmit it to those who follow after him as the best played here during the most eventful of dramatic seasons. We expect to see the house literally overflowing to-night. Gentlemen with ladies should make it a point to go early to be sure of seats.”

Benjamin B. Hamilton
Chaplain of the 61st Illinois Infantry.

Camp of 61st Ills Vols
Bolivar Tenn

Feb 23 1863,

Maj Ohi showed me a Green County Loyalist today in which honorable mention is made…of the services of Capt Manning and Chaplain Hamilton in our late battle with Forests Brigade on the morning of the 19th December last…I felt resigned to my fate in allowing it to be known in Green County that I had been in a battle with the rebels. Some of my brother Chaplains think I ought not to have [been] there while on my part the only regret I experienced was that I did not carry a gun…I think Captain Manning…is at home now but I am afraid he will sup sorrow on account of his rash trip…I am afraid he has [got] himself into a bad scrape…The doings of the Illinois Copperheads have had a very unhappy influence upon the minds of some men in this Regiment. I think they are justly chargeable with the larger proportion of the Desertions which are taking place. There will be a bitter day of reckoning before long…Those men have no idea of the intense hatred entertained for them by four fifths of the army. And the day of vengeance is much nearer than any of them dream…

Benjamin B. Hamilton was commissioned into service on 1 November 1862 and resigned on 3 March 1865. At Shiloh, the regiment lost 80 men killed, wounded and missing. The regiment also saw action at Clarendon on the White River, and at Overall’s Creek just outside of Murfreesboro.

Hardeman County, Tennessee

October 2014
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