The Civil War Diary of Julius Lafayette Dowda
Third Georgia Cavalry
Army of East Tennessee

Commencement of My Soldiery, May the 10th 1862

[May - December 1862]

I, J.L. Dowda was mustered into service under Capt. James A. F_ _ _ _ _  May 10th 1862, at range [unreadable] Cherokee County Georgia to serve for three years or the war.  Lay around home till the 24th when we received marching orders.  Off we all started with proud hearts to try the hardships of a camp life.  Saturday, 1st day, we traveled to Roswell, Cobb County, Georgia and camped, distance 21 miles.  Sunday 25th we started on for Atlanta.  Reached the place late.  We then marched to old "Fair Ground" and camped; distance 20 miles.  Monday, 26th put our horses on the train.  Took cars and off we went for West Point, Georgia..  The old "car" was often made to ring with the shouts of volunteers on board whenever we would see a hand kerchief waving.  Ah! That I could say that I spent all my life as a soldier as well as that day.  Evening we reached this place and camped,  distance 26 miles.  Amount traveled 134 miles.Tuesday morning 27th, we started on horse back and reached Columbus, Georgia, distance 36 miles.  We moved out in a little pine thicket and camped there.  We spent the time rather dull.  Weather too warm to suit us, nothing but pine wood to burn and we made a poor cook being new hands anyhow.  We remained there and drilled until the 8th of June when we were ordered to Camp McDonald, Cobb County Georgia to drill.  We marched via Hamilton, Newnan and Campbellton to Marietta, 133 miles.  All of Co. "F" Third Georgia Cavalry got furloughs for 3 days and we marched home from McDonald, some 20 miles and 9 miles from Marietta.  When our furloughs expired we all started back for command very prompt indeed.  We reached command at McDonald. Remained only a few days when we were ordered to Camp Randolph, Gordon County Georgia.  We marched via Cassville and near Calhoun some 50 miles.  We commenced drilling, kept out pickets and camp guard all the time.  Very rigorous too, in carrying out our orders. 

 About the 1st of August, I was taken with typhoid fever and on the 17th was furloughed home for 2 months and remained there till the 8th of October - Traveled 486 miles - when I left home again to search [obliterated word] command in the far distant wilds of Kentucky.  All of the time I was absent from command on furlough my Regiment and Company was seeing real service in Tennessee and Kentucky.   I got transportation at Atlanta for Knoxville, Tennessee and took cars and reached place, distance 210 miles.  Went to Convalescent Camp and remained there till the 28th October 1862 when I left and marched for Clinton, Tennessee, distance 21 miles, and joined command there but strange to see but comparatively few of Third Georgia Cavalry.  At New Haven,  Kentucky, Col. Crawford, Lt. Col. Kennon and Major Thompson together with 225 privates and officers were captured.  Boys were worn out by hard duty and short rations. 

We left Clinton the last of October for Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  After marching about 2 weeks, half time without anything to eat but some walnuts that we might chance to pick up marching along.  We marched via Winchester, Tullahoma and Shelbyville, Tennessee, distance some 200 miles.  Remained there a few days when Co. "F" was detailed with 1st Kentucky Squadron to go back to Chattanooga, Tennessee, as provost guard.  We marched via Shelbyville, Tullahoma, Winchester and Jasper, distance 136 miles.  We went on guard there and had a fine time.  Spent Christmas on guard at Chattanooga, Tennessee. Distance traveled 567.

[January - September 1863]

About the 1st of January 1863.
Lt. George Burtz with some 13 of Co. "F" went to Pontoon Bridge 11 miles below Chattanooga to guard it against bushwhackers.  We passed January, February and March there pleasantly too when we were relieved and ordered to report to command then at Mt. Hebson, Tennessee.  Lt. Burtz with detail of 8 men was sent home in Cherokee Georgia to get some horses.  I was on the detail. Of course I was proud as I had not been home in 7 months.  My stay was short, only 8 days.  We marched via Chattanooga, Ringgold, Spring Place and Calhoun and Canton, 146 miles.  15th of April 1863 soon came when I must start back for command.  We left home and after marching via Calhoun, Spring Place, Ringgold, Chattanooga, Jasper, Winchester and McMinnville to Pocahontas and Holley Springs - about 10 days - half  time without anything to eat or feed we at last reached the place 221 Hills and Barrens, poorer than anything.  We picketed there till relieved by Fourth Tennessee Cavalry. In June we were ordered to Unionville, Tennessee.  We marched via Fostersville, Bell Buckle and Shelbyville, 80 miles.  Miles traveled 457.

Went on picket at Unionville, Tennessee.  In a few days Third Georgia pickets were driven in which brought on the Unionville fight: the first time I ever saw a Yankee, the 23rd day of June 1863.  Companies "F" "D" and "K" was cut off.  We got in about "2 o'clock".  RA! This day was a brilliant and glorious day for Third Georgia Cavalry.  We whipped them in every attempt to drive us.  24th we fought them at Rover and drove them down the Nashville Pike.  In a few days we were ordered to Fairfield, Tennessee but being cut off again we had to run and ride all night and day.  Tried to cross the Shelbyville Pike 3 different times, but being overpowered, was compelled to retire.  At night we formed a junction with General Forrest near Shelbyville and marched out and at last landed safely in Tullahoma, Tennessee, distance 50 miles and on 29th had a heavy skirmish with the enemy along with the Second and Fourth Georgia, Third Georgia reserve.  We left Tullahoma the 31st of June and on the 1st of July at Allasona, Tennessee, we again skirmished, distance some 15 miles.  Miles traveled 65. We came up Cumberland Mountain the 3rd and on the 4th of July the Eleventh Texas Cavalry fought the enemy and drove them back down the mountain.  We then came on unmolested to Bridgeport, Alabama.  Crossed river and burned bridge, distance 100 miles.  We came on then across Sand Mountains and to Trenton, Georgia, 60 miles.  Remained there only few days when we was ordered to Calhoun, Georgia via Ringgold, 60 miles.  There we all went home again about the last of July to stay only 4 days, distance 40 miles. We reported back according to time, 40 miles.  Command remained till about the 1st of September when I went home again and stayed till the 15th of September.  Started back for command.  Got with it Sunday 21st at the great Battle of Chicamauga, Georgia after marching a round about way via Calhoun, Williamson and Lafayette, distance 100 miles.  Regiment was off fighting when I came in to lead horses.  Evening came, dismounted, eager to try the Yanks a few pulls - off we started.  Came nearby Hospital Camps with some 300 wounded soldiers.  They raised a flag of truce to us.  We just captured them; placed guard over them.  Miles 400 traveled.  Yanks all ran that could get away.  We lay around in country getting nothing to eat but parched corn for some days.  Regiment was ordered near Chattanooga to support a Battery - where Captain Field of Co. "G" was killed by canister shot.  We marched to Hams'son, 35 miles, and up through Savannah Valley and via Georgetown and Cotten Foert, Tennessee, distance 40 miles and there on the 3rd of September we crossed Tennessee River to make a raid in Middle Tennessee.  We forded over had a little skirmish with the enemy. Drove them clear off.  Marched out some 2 miles and camped till dark.  Started on, marched all night, rained hard.  Stopped at Smith's to wade and fed horses, distance 20 miles. 

[October 1863 - January 1864]

Morning 1st of October, raining hard again.  Crossed Walden's Ridge; went down into Sequatchie Valley on picket, distance 20 miles.  Morning 2nd, started across Cumberland at Gardner's Gap, rode till late.  Lost two or three horses in the night and camped, distance 25 miles.  Morning 3rd, went down mountain 5 miles and lay and rested till evening when Yanks came up and we had a fight without any loss much.  Miles 122 traveled. Night came. We started for McMinnville, Tennessee and reached the place about 1 o'clock at night, distance 20 miles.  Got plenty crackers and old corn to eat and feed.  Sunday 4th, started for Shelbyville, Tennessee, some 50 miles, thence to Farmington where we had a little fight.  Lost some 500 prisoners and I got worried a little.  Marched all night and came through Lewisburg and Conyersville and then camped only about one hour till day.  Fed horse and lay down and slept till about one hour by sun, distance 45 miles.  Morning (5th ?), passed through Pulaski a fine little town indeed and on to Rogersville, Alabama, distance 30 miles.  Here we sent out on picket to form a junction with Second Georgia Cavalry but Yanks charged and captured nearly all of Regiment and we was cut off.  We got a pilot and crossed Tennessee River 7 miles below [illegible] Ferry on Mussel Shoals about 10th of October and rejoined command at Decatur, Alabama, distance 40 miles.  Remained here some time resting. Miles traveled 185.  Command left Walker's Mountain, Alabama, Friday 23rd and marched near by Summerville and in country some 19 miles.  24th Saturday, crossed Raccoon Mountains to Warrensburg; rainy cold distance 26 miles.  Sunday 25th, marched to Guntersville, Alabama, 5 miles, remained there till Tuesday 27th, then started on across Sand's [Mountain] and camped near Van Buren, Alabama, distance 30 miles.  Morning 28th, marched to Galesville, Alabama, distance 22 miles and marched to Summerville, Georgia, 20 and in country 7 miles, and camped.  Morning 30, marched to Williamson, Walker County and then to country 22 miles.  Saturday 31st October marched to Tunnell Hill, 8 miles and thence on Cleveland road some 16 miles to Bradley County Tennessee.  

Sunday morning 1st of November, regiment rested.  2nd marched out of Bradley County and in Whitfield County Georgia, some 6 miles. 3rd, rested. 4th, marched into Murray County Georgia, some 15 miles.  5th, lay in camp.  6th, marched into Polk County Tennessee, some 5 miles.  November 8th, Sunday, marched to Cleveland, Tennessee, 11 miles and to Char [illegible].  Miles traveled 238. [illegible] crossed Hiwassee and marched 5 miles.  November 11th, marched to Athens, McMinn County Tennessee, 9 miles and thence in country 8 miles.  12th, marched 12 miles and camped. November 13th, marched 15 miles to Tennessee River and camped till dark.  Forded Tennessee and marched 8 miles and camped 2 hours and started on again.  Traveled all night some 10 miles.  14th, marched some 10 miles formed battle line near Maryville Tennessee Blount County. 15th, marched on Knoxville Road via Rockfort, 8 miles.  Went on 3 miles and skirmished some.  Went back 3 miles on picket.  Monday 16th, started on again finding them heavily reinforced.  Went back via Louisville, Tennessee 8 miles and camp 3 miles.  November 17th, matched to Holston River, 4 miles, and forded then to East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad Concord Station, 6 miles.  November 18th,  marched near by Knoxville and took Clinton Road and crosses Virginia and East Tennessee RR and camped.  Some 8 miles.  November 19th, "A" "D" "F" was sent off to blockade road and marched some 15 miles.  Friday 20th,  lay and rested in camp.  Sat 21st, Third Georgia Cavalry skirmished with enemy all day without loss.  Traveled 130 miles. Sunday 22nd, fine day.  On picket last night.  Monday 23rd, lay around all day.  Everything quiet.  Tuesday 24th, heavy skirmishing down the lines.  Wednesday 25th, of November, enemies pickets fires on me five times without damage.  Remained on picket till 27th.  Relieved and went to camp.  29th, marched to Holston River some 15 miles.  Third Georgia Cavalry crossed river twice and camped after drowning one man.  Monday 30th, marched some 15 miles to ferry. 

 December 1st, crossed Holston and marched to Louisville, Tennessee, 5 miles and back 2 miles and camped near a good Lady, 2miles.  Wednesday 2nd, toward Knoxville, Tennessee, 10 miles.  3rd, marched on toward Knoxville again, 7 miles.  Marched some ten miles to Holston River and went on picket.  4th, crossed Holston again and ran around some 5 miles.  Saturday 5th, marched to New Market, 9 miles and thence to Mossy Creek Station, 10 miles.  Sunday 6th, marched out some 5 miles and camped 2 hours and then marched to Morristown, 13 miles.  December 7th, Monday, rested.  Tuesday 8th, went on picket to Mossy Creek.  9th,  relieved and went to Panther Springs, 8 miles.  10th, left Morristown and marched to Chuckey, 15 miles. 129 miles.  Friday 11th, crossed French Broad and Pigeon Rivers and camped in Stable, some 10 miles.  12th, left and marched to Newport and crossed French Broad again and on to Parrottsville and then to Caney Branch and crossed Chucky River and camped, some 20 miles.  Sunday 13th,  marched through  some country 15 miles.  14th, marched to Point Rock, North Carolina and back to country, some 30 miles.  15th, marched via Bull's Gap some 20 miles.  16th, crossed Holston at Long's Ferry and via Russelville in country 15 miles.  17th, marched via Rutledge in country 15 miles.  Friday 18th, marched to camp, 10 miles.  20th, went on picket.  21st, relieved from picket and went to camp.  Dark came; saddled up and marched some 10 miles.  22nd, crossed Holsten and marched by Panther Springs in country 15 miles.  23rd, marched in country 8 miles and camped at crossroads.  24th, went out and fought enemy at Dandridge, Tennessee.  Russius' Alabama Brigade attacked in front and Crews' Georgia Brigade in rear.  Yanks ran Alabama Brigade off and got away.  Crews' Brigade captured 30 prisoners and one piece of cannon - loss small.  Friday 29th, fought Yanks at Mossy Creek.  Crews' Brigade charged up and fought one Division of Yankee infantry until forced away by a fierce charge.  Dibrell's Brigade of Tennessee Cavalry came up to support us.  We rallied and fired again a few rounds, when the Yanks fell back and began to fortify.  We remained in line some two hours when we began to fall back to our old position after carrying off our wounded and dead.  30th and 31st, all quiet. Miles Traveled - 1,685.

January 1st,1864, went to Morristown on detail to repair cannon and returned, distance 10 miles.  2nd, 3rd and 4th, all quiet.  Went on picket 5th. Snowed the 6th. Snow storm, 7th and 8th, rested.  9th, went on picket.  Sunday morning 10th, fine day.  11th and 12th rested in camp.  January 13th started home in Cherokee County Georgia, on furlough.  Marched by mouth of Chuckey, up French Broad, some 20 miles.  Thursday 14th via Point Rock, Warm Springs and Marshall, Madison County, North Carolina, distance 34 miles.  Friday 15th marched via Alexander's Bridge on French River thence to [L]uster thence in country, distance 29 miles.  Saturday 16th, marched via Waynesville and near Webster thence to Franklin and in country 27 miles.  Monday 18th, marched by way of Persimmon Creek and in country 27 miles.  19th, marched via Naccoochee thence to Cleveland in country 32 miles.  20th ,  marched via Lutherson's Ford on Chestatee River and Frog Town and Ball Ground and home, some 45 miles.  225 miles.

Three thousand three hundred and twenty-six miles traveled from 10th of May 1862 to 20th of January 1864
Calculation by Julius L. Dowda of Company "F" Third Georgia Cavalry, Army of East Tennessee.

"No more war in
Life to see
Peace and plenty
Enough for me."
J.L. Dowda
March 17, 1868


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