The regiment left Vicksburg March 20, for Columbus,
Ohio, where it arrived on the evening of the 27th, after a long,
weary, tiresome ride. The true soldier felt indignant at Columbus
no accommodations provided, no welcome extended, but received
coldly, and very much as a rebel city of the South. What a contrast
between Indianapolis and Columbus. When we reached the former
a delegation of citizens received us and had a good warm supper
already prepared; but when we reached the capital of our own State
there was no manifestation of either respect or interest, except
so far as to fleece the soldier out of the small amount of money
he might have.
April 5th the regiment arrived at Zanesville, where it was welcomed in a grand reception and rich supper by the citizens. The conduct of the brave men of the Seventy-Eighth was highly spoken of by all. It was commonly remarked that the men were more orderly, more gentlemanly and upright in their general deportment than others. Captains of transports, who were transporting troops almost every trip, say they always knew the Seventy-Eighth Ohio, by its quiet and orderly deportment.
When at home only two soldiers were known to have died. Caleb Wiseman, of Company E, and Alexander McGregor, of Company C, both brave and faithful men, who have gone to their reward after much hard service.
May 6th the regiment started to Cairo, for duty in another department, and there entered upon the most trying duties of their military career.
At Cairo the Seventeenth Corps concentrated, where it remained one day, and then, under command of General Frank Blair, embarked on boats and passed up the Tennessee river to Clifton, where it remained over Sabbath.
The morning of the 16th the long march overland, across Tennessee, Northern Alabama, and into the heart of Georgia, was commenced. Tennessee was respected as a loyal State; no foraging was allowed, not even a garden or henroost was disturbed. The march was the longest and most severe one the men had ever made, but they stood it well; they plodded on without a murmur, through choking dust, and also through rain and mud, wading creeks and rivers, and resting at night without shelter from the dew and rain, their weary limbs and backs aching under the weight of the knapsacks, arms and traps.
No enemy was seen or heard of until we arrived at Decatur, Alabama. Here our cavalry had quite a heavy fight, and did much damage to the enemy, killing and capturing several officers and many privates.
After we crossed the Tennessee river the march through Northern Alabama to Rome, Georgia, was one of great interest and variety. The towns from Decatur to Rome are poor, shabby wrecks. The country poor, and the people most generally conforming to the character of the country; poor temporally, and still poorer intellectually and spiritually. Few slaves were seen, the country not being adapted to that species of Southern property. We therefore met with many Union people, claiming to be loyal; many of them had been terrible sufferers from the exactions and cruel conscriptions of the Confederacy, and the "rich man's war and poor man's fight." We conversed with several poor families whose husbands and