Michigan in the Civil War

Browse by Name: Penland, Hiram F.

Penland, Hiram F., 1841-

Penland, from Royalton, Mich., enlisted in Company I, 19th Infantry, August 11, 1862. His diary (photocopy of typescript only) from January 1863-July 1865 is composed of short daily entries about his activities, such as patrol guard; camp guard; picket duty, on which he usually had a good time; battalion, brigade and skirmish drills; dress parade; various inspections. They went foraging and also pillaging at which time he said, "The boys stole so much tobacco and killed so many hogs that it caused us to stand camp guard." He wrote and received many letters and copied songs for himself and his sister.

Occasionally they were on the march. They engaged in skirmishes, in one of which they ran out of ammunition and had to surrender (March 5, 1863). They were marched in the rain and mud with little or no food, stripped of their overcoats, rubbers, woolen blankets, and canteens, then put on the cars for Richmond and Libby Prison, where they remained until March 31. Paroled, they were sent to Annapolis given new clothes, plenty to eat, "and felt like men once more." From there they were sent to Camp Chase, Ohio, and then granted furloughs to go home.

Back in Camp Chase about June 1, 1863, the regiment was ordered south to the Nashville-Murfreesboro area where they stayed until the following April. On the march again, they came to Chickamauga-Resaca-Allatoona where he was wounded in the leg May 25, 1864. He was taken to a hospital in Nashville and spent the time writing letters, playing checkers, reading, but was always lonesome. Again he was sent home on a furlough, but had to come back to the veteran's hospital in Indianapolis, Ind. He did some guard duty, made picture frames, watched President Lincoln's funeral procession, wrote letters as usual until his discharge June 30, 1865.