|New Garden Star|
They operated out of a meeting house they named New Garden for the place in Guilford County, North Carolina they left behind.
I have no soldier letters from Shep and Billy for March. After the Meridian Campaign, according to the regimental history, veterans, which Shep would have counted among, were absent on furlough during March and April, leaving Vicksburg on March 4th and arriving home March 17th. I hope that Shep was able to enjoy some time with his family while the newer recruits went on the Red River campaign.
The 82nd was still in the vicinity of Chattanooga. The regimental historian, Colonel Hunter's brother Alfred, wrote that their duty after the battle was to guard the area of Ringgold, an important point for the eventual march against Atlanta. Alfred tells one story from March:
"During our stay at this point, some time in March, a snow six inches deep fell, and two Ohio regiments formed in line of battle some distance apart facing each other, and opened a snowball battle. It was real exciting to see them charge and counter charge, and finally commence capturing their enemy and carry them to the rear. The men became as earnest in the battle as though it was an actual enemy confronting them. There was much blood spilled principally from noses and all appeared to enjoy it very much."
Alfred also tells a complicated story about getting an extra ration of potatoes for the 82nd that were shipped in barrels to the Indiana troops. It sounds as though potatoes were much appreciated and not part of the rations.
|from the Library of Congress collection: Boxcars and depot with Federal cavalry guard beyond, Chattanooga Tennessee.|