A page from the diary of Thomas Richards, my great-grandfather (Walker Price in “Open Country”). I found the diary a month ago after years of searching for it. It is 12 pages long and covers October 9, 1862-February 24, 1863. Below is a fragment:
“Monday Morning Dec 31, 1862, in the line of battle on the left wing at Stones River, Hascall’s brigade, Woods division, Crittenden’s corp. The regiment lying on its arms. No fires, taking off our saddles using them as pillows rubber blankets over our heads. I was soon sound asleep regardless of mud, drizzling rain, and freezing. About 10 P.M., my father received orders to take the ambulances and get direct to Murfreesboro vicinity. Finding it impossible to find our way out of the cedars, we followed the regiment. Some balls ran zipping by, spraying on the rocks and stumps. My father called out to me to get off my horse and lay down. As he had disobeyed orders to go down to Murfreesboro I refused to dismount. Now regular Indian fighting was going on all along the line…”
Thomas was 11 years old when he wrote this. The family story is that he sneaked aboard the wagon and/or train that was carrying his father, Daniel back to his regiment, the 26th Ohio. Thomas remained with the 26th until at least February 24, 1863. At some point he was wounded in the shoulder so badly that he lost the use of his arm. He survived the war to become a doctor in New Philadelphia, Ohio like his father. He lived until 1931. More to come, including diary entries.