SOLDIER DIARY - CORPORAL WILLIAM WINTLE, CO. “A”, 22ND INDIANA INFANTRY; ATLANTA - CAROLINAS CAMPAIGN CONTENT

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Daily entries from August 8, 1864, through regimental mustering out, July 21, 1864. Front eps owner inscription, in pencil: “William Wintle / Comp. A 22nd Regt. Ind. V. Volunteers/ Sept. 14th, 1864//Received at Atlanta/ Georgia.”

Brown leather ledger, 3 x 4.75”, diary entries written exclusively in pencil. Rear cover pocket flap has been trimmed at the top, else VG. Penciled entries entirely legible, though somewhat cramped.

William Wintle was a resident of North Madison, IN, who mustered as a Private in Co. “A”, 22nd Ind. Infy, 8/15/1861. Promoted to Corporal, he was mustered out 7/21/1865. Wintle’s unit, the 22nd Indiana, was attached to the Dept. of Missouri, serving exclusively in the west, participating in the 1862 Battles of Pea Ridge, Perryville and, near of end of the year, Murfreesboro. Attached to the Army of the Ohio, it was engaged in the Chickamauga Campaign and at Missionary Ridge, followed by the Atlanta Campaign and Sherman’s March to the Sea and through the Carolinas, concluding with the Battle of Bentonville and the final Grand Review, before being mustered out at Louisville, July 24, 1865. During service it lost 154 men killed and mortally wounded and 190 to disease for a total of 343. One of Fox’s fighting 300 regiments, the 22nd Indiana definitely saw its share of war.

The Wintle diary is unique in that he took care record each and every day, however briefly, from August 8, 1864 through his July 1865 mustering out. Indeed, the majority of these daily entries provide only of a line or two, noting the weather and distances marched. This is particularly true of those following the regimental arrival in Savannah. The more detailed Atlanta Campaign entries are by far the ones that give this diary its undeniable punch. A representative sampling:

Aug 4.—[Fighting at Utoy Creek] In line at 3 AM. Orders to march at daylight. An advance drove Reb skirmishers one mile. Built works.

Aug. 5—In line at daylight. Advance at 7 am. Make charge Rebel pickets take 16 prisoners, front works, Build works. Heavy shelling by Rebs for 1 9hour) but no loss. Pickett fighting all day and night.

Aug. 6—In line all night. Verry heavy skirmishing in our front. Artillery duel on left in the evening storm. Pickett fighting and shelling in camp all day and night.

Aug. 7—In line at 4 AM. Heavy skirmishing in front. Union line, division advanced at 3PM. Take 2 line works hold them…Rebs works under fire hard fighting till dark. Night quiet.

Aug. 8—In line at 4 AM. Hard fighting all along line. Artillery fighting all day. Day hot, night stormy. By on sight of Rebel main works.

Aug. 20—March at daylight for 23rd Corps. Morning wet. Get breakfast. All quiet in front. March at 5 AM for Atlanta and Montgomery Railroad. Heavy rain. Strike road 14 miles from at Atlanta at 2 pm. Tear up tracks burn rails for ¾ mile, cut wire. Bring in 11 prisoners. Fire only three shots all day. March back to camp, 24 miles. Get to entrenchment at 6 PM. Without loss of a man.

Battle of Jonesboro/ The Fall of Atlanta

Sept 1—In line at 3 AM. Orders to march at 4. Hard fighting on right at daylight. March at 7 AM for Jonesboro. Commenced to skirmish at 10 AM. Drive in Reb picket at 12, form line of battle at 2 PM. Advance on enemy, drive in skirmishers, take 3 lines of works and Division takes 18. 1500 prisoners. Hard fighting til after dark between Jeff. C. Davis and Hardee. Rebs leave dead and wounded in our hands. 4 Corps take Reb hospital and 700 wounded. Leave them there. Rebs defeated.

Sept. 2—Catch up at 8 AM with Brigade. Move forward at 9 AM with Brigade for Jonesboro. 14th Corps hold Jonesboro. 4, 15, 16, 17, & 23, follow Rebs. Hard fighting on the right in the evening 14 Corps breast works.

Sept. 4—March at 4 AM, arrive at Atlanta and Brigade at 4 PM. March 16 miles. Bring up 2700 prisoners, 1 genl, 4 col., 1 Lt. Col. 1 Major, several line officers.

Sept. 23--…Good news from Sheridan [Victory in the Shenandoah Valley]

Oct. 15—Morning Fine. Forage Train start out for Stone Mountain.

Burning of Atlanta

Nov. 15.—Morning fine. 20th Corps to front, blowing up city and burning it up all day. Division come in at 2 PM.

March to the Sea

Nov 26—Morning fine. March at 6 AM. Skirmishing commence at 9 AM with Wheelers cavalry 2500. Drive them and take the town [Sandersville, GA] at 12. In camp all night. Lost 2 men killed.

Capture of Savannah

Dec. 21—Morning fine. Forage train start but Charles Young captured. Rebs evacuate at night, leave all guns and ammunition.

Dec. 28—Morning frosty and foggy. Build house. Police headquarters. Sent letter Illinois. Christmas eve Nigers have a Grand Ball.

Through the Carolinas to Bentonville & Mustering Out

Feb. 16—March at 6 AM. Pass through Lexington at 7 AM. 1st Division have possession of the town. Heavy cannonading in front, halt for dinner 2 mile west of Columbia. March back 5 miles. Camp march 20 miles. [Columbia, SC, was destroyed by fire, possibly accidently, possibly by retreating Rebels or occupying Union troops under Sherman, possibly by neither. An unresolvable controversy].

March 19—[Bentonville] Skirmishing begin at 6 AM. Hard fighting begin at 8 AM continue all day till after dark. Rebs retreat at dark.

March 20—In bivouac, dressing wound and burying dead.

April 16—Report of Johnson’s surrender not confirmed yet.

April 18—Official report of the assassination of President Lincoln

April 27—Official report of the surrender of Johnson’s army.

May 24—14th , 20th, 15th , 17th of Army of Tennessee and Georgia pass in review. Splendid scenes. Street full of spectators. March back to camp to south of the Potomac. [During the staging of the war’s end Grand Review, The Army of the Potomac and Sherman’s Army of the West were purposely bivouacked separately to avoid fights]

July 24—Mustered out of the United States Service at Louisville, KY. Start for home arrive at 10 PM All well.”

Scarce day-by-day diary of the march of Sherman’s Army, from August 1864, on the outskirts of Atlanta, through the Grand Review and mustering out. Accompanied by documentation, with hats off to the 22nd Indiana.   [JP]

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