My dear wife,
This is the first time I have had any time to write you since we left Columbus. This is campaigning in earnest. We left Columbus about 10:30 Monday night. I had charge of the baggage -- and after seeing to getting it loaded, and hauled to the Depot -- I was ordered by the major to stay with the car and protect it. I had 15 men under my charge. The car was a grain car -- doors at each end as well as at the side, you can readily see the advantage in this, as we could watch the couplings from the inside of the car. We were at the head of the train and the headquarters car next then followed six cars of the boys -- two Dayton companies, one Springfield, and the stragglers mentioned in my former letter. We passed through Newark, I stationed four men at each of the side doors, two men at each of the end doors, that left me one sergeant whom I placed in charge while the train was running, with orders to arouse me whenever the train slackened up, this with two cooks made up our squad. After we reached Zanesville, the major gave me orders to have the men load this I did also loading my own friend. I then ordered them to hold communication with no one outside. At Newark two fellows tried to get on top of the car but we hustled them off. At Bellaire, I heard a couple of railroaders talking together one said he did not see how a man was expected to get any work done, that every few feet he got orders to halt and a bayonet jammed into his face. He said it took just one hour to go about a square. This showed me that the boys were doing their work well. We arriv here about 4:10. I have made a rough sketch of the surroundings of course it is only a poor sketch but will give you a small idea of our position. We are down in a small valley surrounded on all sides by mountains. This is the spot where Morgan raided into Ohio. Wheeling Creek runs from the north-west to south-east through this place. The miners formerly occupied the territory we now have, but were driven back into the mountains. There are a great many of them loitering around the outside of the guard line of course they are quiet as long as we are here, and try to get the sympathies of the boys, but we must not low them to associate together. We have forty two posts on the guard line -- besides a squad at each end of the bridge and one squad at the end of the foot bridge. One can see guards all along the rail roads for miles in this district. Camps are scattered all along. The mountains are being scoured to keep the miners from congregating. So although the miners are keeping quiet it is only because we are here. It is impossible for them to accomplish anything the way the military is stationed. Our battalion is on duty now. We went on at 6 last evening and will probably be relieved at 6 tonight. The second and 16th are here besides our battalion abd battery "D" so you see we are pretty well fixed. Our battalion is liable to move further on at any time. General Howe's headquarters are here. Every one said last night was the most orderly since the camp was established. This again shows the discipline of the Dayton companies, and their abilities to compell others to observe military order and discipline. We are going to raise a garrison flag this afternoon. The miners had their signals working last night but we have as yet heard nothing from them. We are not stopping at the Phillips house now and we are glad to get anything. We have plenty but the quality of cooking is not first class as everything tastes of smoke. The Governor sent word that we should have anything we want and the meals are improving some. I have been careful of my eating and have not yet been sick. Although I have been almost constantly on duty. I slept at the guard quarters last night, and had a sound sleep not withstanding I felt the cold -- but the surgeon gave me a little whiskey this a.m. I only took a very little in order to keep from catching cold. The cars we are accompanying are some built for the Illinois Central for hauling from Chicago to the Fair, (World's Fair), but we expect to get a better one for the officers quarters pretty soon. It is hardly possible we will start for home before next Monday and perhaps then it will all depend upon the condition. I could not show you just how many miners houses there are on this drawing but there is quite a village. They sit around and play cards and passing away the time the best they can. That is when they are not holding meetings over the hill. We had four prisoners at the guard house this morning. They were arrested by US Deputies for holding up trains on the B & O after the injunction was issued. We will hold them until some of the others are caught when they will be taken in charge by the Deputies. I wish that I could describe just how our camp looks, but I can not. We are all bunking in the cars and pack everything in the chests between each meal so we can move out at any moment. General Howe says it will be a week before the troops can be withdrawn. I now have $24.00 due me from the state and will call this my vacation so I will get the money as I only brought three dollars along, and loaned some of that. I now have a dollar & 25 cents so if you want to send about a $2.00 bill in a letter I would be much obliged as I do not like to be strapped. I may not need it, but there are a great many incidentals that come up. I would like to hear from you and if you will address me as Lieut. D. M. Rowe Co. G 3rd Infantry c/o Adjutant General's Office Columbus, Ohio with a return address I think it will be forwarded to me all right. Some of the boys are getting mail without any trouble -- I amwriting this on the bottom of a pie-pan so you will hav to excuse the writing.
I love you and the children. Will be glad when I can see you all again.
Give my regards to all the folks who inquire. Give my kindliest respects to your own folks. Kiss Margaret and Clement for me and tell your father he will have to kiss you once for me. Well I must close now -- so good bye my darling wife.
Your own loving husband,
D.M. Rowe -- 1st Lieut. Co. G 3rd Inf. ONG
Camp Wheeling Creek, Ohio
c/o Maj. Gen. James C. Howe.
photo taken Nov. 18, 1894
My dear wife:
We just arrived here about an hour & a half ago. We are guarding a tunnel 1485 feet long. Our company is here alone. Company I is at Maynard about 5 miles South of here and Company B is about 5 miles south of Company I. This place is 20 miles North of Wheeling Creek.
I started to write a letter to you this morning but being officer of the guard I was interrupted so often I gave it up. This place contains about 500 inhabitants, and we are stationed about a mile from the village in the R.R. cut. We are housed in the cars. I am officr of the Guard. Went on duty at Wheeling Creek last night at 6:00 and was relieved at 12 noon today, and went on again at 4:30 so you see all the sleep I had was what I got riding down to this place. I almost forget what a good night's rest is, and if I stay out much longer I won't have to sleep at all. We will not start home before next Tuesday and may not start home for one or two weeks yet so you see just what you have to look for. We have been having very little trouble with the miners. The always say they are willing to obey orders whenerver we are obliged to stop them on the line. The sergeant of the Guard brought 5 of them to me at Wheeling Creek this morning and said they wanted to walk around the camp and look at the Gattlings but they were such ugly looking fellows I judged them to be Italians and Huns, so I gave positive orders to march them out of the Guard line, they said all right they were only curious to see the gattling guns but they would go if I said so. You can not tell what to expect and dynamite had been used at the bridge and I was not going to run any risk. It is very evident our presence is all that is keeping them down here. A crowd of them said the other day when we were holding the fair train wreckers at the guard house for the U.S. deputies that if it were not for us they would cut those deputies eyes out and throw them in the Ohio River. Just now a miner told me it made them mad to see the coal trains running through, but of course they can not do anything. We passed fair trains today. We have not had occasion to fire on any of them yet although a bushwhacker took deliberate aim at an officer at Wheeling Creek the other day and the bullet fell at his feet it was a narrow escape. Another fellow walked up and pulled a revolver on another officer but the revolver did not go off and the officer grabbed him and arrested him. As a rule however there is very little going on, as I said they are awed by the blue coats. All they talk about is the soldiers. I made two or three friends amongst them. The other afternoon I was invited into one of their houses the man was a very nice American. He had an organ and I played a few pieces which seemed to please him very much.
We have been living pretty well for the last few days. Oranges bananas strawberries lemonade cakes potatoes tomatoes corn beans rice peas coffee bread ham bacon fresh beef all have their round. The governor said we could have anything we want so we are wanting everything there is.
Yesterday we were ordered to scour one of the hills, and I tell you it was a scour through bramble and undergrowth but when we got to the top we beheld one of the most beautiful landscapes conceivable a farmer who lives at the top said it was 750 feet high but I think he meant above the sea level. We had the picture of the company taken just before we went up.
I took a bath yesterday in Wheeling Creek. We have to stop all trains before allowing them to enter the tunnel as the gas is so strong it would over come the guards if they happen to be in the tunnel. I had to stand 25 feet from the entrance to get asay from the gas when a train pulled through a while ago.
I suppose you are all well. Would like to hear from you. I can not tell how long we will remain at Flushing but if directed as I told you I will get it. The people of Dayton out to tender us a banquet when we get back.
How is everything getting along? I would like to have a nice loving letter from you. I am so busy most of the time that I can not write and when I am at "leisure" I generally try to sleep. If I do not get home next week you had better tell Schaeffer to get some one to help him until I get back. I love you very much indeed my darling wife. Kiss the dear children for me. The buglar has just sounded mess call so I will have to go to supper. Good bye.
Your loving husband