“To Death or a Southern Prison”

Private Jacob Andervount was a member of the 19th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, 4th Corps, Army of the Cumberland, at Kennesaw Mountain. His regiment was not directly engaged in the main assault on June 27th, but rather was held back in a reserve role. That did not mean that Andervount was immune to the battle, however. He and his comrades were still subjected to artillery fire, skirmish fire, and the sights and sounds of war. Andervount witnessed the carnage first hand when he saw Federal soldiers launch their assault on the morning of the 27th, and saw the consequences of battle when wounded men began streaming back into Federal lines a short time after they had left. This is his diary excerpt for that day.

Painting of the 19th Ohio flag, www.ohiocivilwar150.org

Depiction of the 19th Ohio flag, http://www.ohiocivilwar150.org

“This morning every Gen and Liet seem busy. Orderlies are seen passing to and from with orders in their hands. We say it means fight. Our line officers are ordered to report at Col. Quarters. When they return we are ordered to pack up and fall in. Then they tell us that there will be a grand attack made at 8 o’clock AM by one Division of each corps. Our division is to support Gen Newton’s 2nd Division. We move out by right flank, are soon in line of battle in rear of 2nd Division. 8 o’clock our artillery opens along the whole line. Soon the brigade sounds the forward and away goes our troops. The Rebs skirmishers fall back of their works until our troops are within 30 yards of their works then they pour in a deadly fire. Still our lines advance but it is to death or a southern prison for but few return. Our lines were repulsed and occupy the same position we did this morning. Our loss is heavy. The 97th OVI and 40th Ind. Lost most in the 2nd Division. Probably it is not best for us to know what all this charging is for, but we know that it is getting rotten to get our men slaughtered up at such a rate and we accomplish nothing. Gen. Harker was killed today. He commanded 3rd Brig. 2nd Div. 4th A.C.


Source: Atlanta History Center, Civil War and Antebellum Misc, Folder 15, Diary of Jacob Andervount



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