1862: George Benton Dausman to Parents

How "Bent" Dausdon might have looked

How “Bent” might have looked

This letter was written by Pvt. George Benton (“Bent”) Dausman (1842-1863) who enlisted in Co. H, 75th Indiana Infantry in August 1862. A letter in the Indiana State Library written by Captain William McGinnis informs George’s sister (Amanda) that George was “taken with diarrhea and could not get it checked until he became much reduced and nearly lost the use of the legs and arms.” The captain told about burying George near Murfreesboro on the Wood-Berry Pike where hundreds of other soldiers are buried. Bent’s death is given as 28 February 1863. His remains were later taken to the National Cemetery at Murfreesboro and are now in Section J, Grave #3715 under the name “G. B. Dowsman.”

George was the son of Jacob Dausman (1820-1878) and Margaret A. Snyder (1820-18xx) of Concord, Elkhart County, Indiana. Jacob came to the United States from Germany in the late 1830s.

The 75th Indiana Infantry left for Louisville on 21 August and then moved on to Lebanon, Ky. They participated in the pursuit of Gen. Braxton Bragg into Kentucky October 1–20. 1862 and were engaged at the Battle of Perryville on 8 October 1862. From there they marched to Bowling Green, Ky., October 26-November 3, and then to Scottsville (November 10) and to Gallatin, Tennessee (November 25). They pursued Morgan to Glasgow, Kentucky from 22 December 1862 to 2 January 1863 and then moved to Cave City (January 2). From there they went to Nashville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee which was the end of the line for Pvt. Dausman.

TRANSCRIPTION

Camp Wabash ¹
August the 14th [1862]

Dear Father, Mother, Sisters & Brothers,

I have an opportunity to write to you and thought that I would.

It is raining this morning and looks as though it would rain all day. There will be no drilling to do today and as I have no guard to stand, I will not have anything to do but stay in my tent and write letters if I want to.

I have wrote several letters and have not yet received any reply but I think it is the fault of those who I left at Antioch to send my ail to me. My letters should be directed in this way:

George B. Dausman
Capt. [William O.] Jones’ Company
75th Regiment Indiana Volunteers
Wabash, Indiana

Then they will go to camp and not to Antioch.

We have a jolly time here in camp but we do not expect quite as good times when we leave here and we expect to get orders to march every [day]. But if we do get orders to leave as soon as we expect to, we will not go farther than Indianapolis and there we will have better times than we have here.

Our living is very good here. We have bread baked by the bakers, beef, crackers, and ham. Coffee, tea, sugar and molasses is dealt out regularly every morning. The Friends bring us in the nick backs such as money, pies, butter, pickles, and a great many other little things. And the hen roosts, cornfields, and potato patches in the vicinity of the camp furnish us a bountiful supply of such things as boys generally get when they break guard. Night before last I brought one of the biggest turkeys into the camp that ever gobbled. He made a good mess for our whole mess.

We have to stand guard 8 hours in 24 when our turn comes, which is once about every 12 days. Besides that, we have to drill from 6 to 8 hours every day when the weather is good. We have not got our clothes yet and only drew our blankets last night.

You can expect to hear from me soon again as I do not have much to do but to drill very frequently.

Yours respectfully, — George B. Dausman

¹ Camp Wabash was located at the northwest corner of Chestnut & columbus Streets along the Wabash River in Wabash, Indiana.

Dausman's Grave Marker

Dausman’s Grave Marker

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About Griff

My passion is studying American history leading up to & including the Civil War. I particularly enjoy reading, transcribing & researching primary sources such as letters and diaries. View all posts by Griff

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