Pvt. Belue's Trips on Confederate Railroads

Private Thomas Belue enlisted in the 15th South Carolina Volunteers (Company F) at Union County Court House on August 29, 1861. He served until late 1864. He fought in the Battles of Chickamauga and Spotsylvania, being wounded in both battles. The following excerpts are taken from his diary, now located in the Winthrop College library. I have ignored the usual transcriber's markings indicating missing letters, words, punctuation, etc. because they had to be heavily used and added nothing to the narrative.

Beaver Dam Station (Virginia Central RR) to Chickamauga, Ga.

   All as usual up to the 7th of September {1863} when we got orders to cook three days rations and be ready to march at 4 o'clock the next morning. The 8th marched at the time ordered some 15 miles to Beaverdam Station on the Virginia Central Railroad. Marched some 5 miles down the road and camped. Marched at 7 o'clock next morning the 9th 18 miles down to Hanover Junction where we arrived about 12 o'clock. Was to take the train to Richmond at 6 o'clock, but did not get off. Marched out 2 miles and camped to take the train next morning.  All was suspicious to know where we were going but none was able to learn that fact. The 10th marched back to the Junction. Left on the train for about 10 o'clock arrived at Richmond about 1 o'clock, distance 28 miles. Moved over near the Petersburg depot {Richmond & Petersburg RR} and remained there until 10 o'clock at night, was ordered on the train and arrived at Petersburg at 2 o'clock a. m. distance 22 miles. Marched to Weldon depot {Petersburg RR}. Walked on the pavement where we spent the remainder of the night on the hard brick, the most of us wishing anything else under us using our baggage for pillows. For myself shared an unbroken nap from three until daylight all ignorant as to any certain point that we are going. Some think to Charleston other to Chattanooga Tenn. 
   Sept. the 11th taken the train about 8 o'clock a. m. for Weldon, N. C. distance of 68 miles. Reached Weldon about 3 o'clock p. m. Left this place at 5 o'clock p. m. for Wilmington, N. C. {Wilmington & Weldon RR}, reached this place after the nights travel at 9 o'clock a. m., distance 162 miles. Spent the remainder of the day the 12th and night in cabins built for soldiers winter quarters. The 13th marched out to the wharf and crossed the River Cape Fear on a steam boat. Got on the train at 11 o'clock leading to Manchester, S. C. {Wilmington & Manchester RR} reached Florence about 10 o'clock a. m. the 15th distance 107 miles. Taken the N. E. Railroad at this place for Charleston at 12 o'clock, arrived at Charleston at 12 o'clock at night, got off the train marched into Chapel Street and spent the remainder of the night talking (distance from Flor. to Chars. 193 miles) a nap on the pavement. Moved at 5 o'clock a. m. the 15th across the Ashley River, to the Savannah depot {Charleston & Savannah RR}. Drew three days rations of bacon and crackers which was a very welcome draw, our rations having give out 24 hours previous. Left Savannah depot at Charleston for Savannah about 1 o'clock p. m. Reached Savannah Ga. at 9 p. m. distance 102 miles. Left Savannah at 10 p. m. for Macon, Ga. {Augusta & Savannah RR, then the Central (of Georgia) RR}, reached this place at 3 o'clock p. m. on the 16th distance 190 miles. Leaving Macon about 5 p. m. on the N. W. road {Macon & Western RR, then the Atlanta & West Point RR}. Arrived at Atlanta about 2 o'clock a. m. the 17th, remained in the cars until day. Changed cars at this place for the first time since leaving Charleston, distance from Macon to Atlanta 102 miles. Left Atlanta at 7 o'clock p. m. on the Atlanta & Western road {Western & Atlantic RR} leading to Chattanooga Tennessee. Reached Dalton Ga. about 4 o'clock distance 100 miles. Out of the cars and camped in a piece of woods close by. Drew and cooked a days rations and slept a good nights sleep as we traveled the entire way crowded in and on top of freight boxes and platform cars thereby our chances was bad to sleep. We learn here that the enemy is falling back to Chattanooga which is 38 miles from this place.
   Sept. the 18th got orders about 7 o'clock a. m. to get ready to move. Moved forthwith back to the depot, got on the train expecting to start every minute,  but did not start until about sundown. Went 12 miles and got off the cars and camped close by, the Yankees being at this place one week ago. Got order directly after camping to be ready to move at daylight. The 19th marched at 7 o'clock on towards Ringgold Station. Passed Ringgold about 1 and camped in the area of battle. {Pvt. Belue was in the first day's battle at Chickamauga later in the day.}

Ringgold, Ga. to Union County, S. C.

   Lay {wounded} on the platform at the Ringgold depot {Western & Atlantic RR} until three o'clock a. m. the 30th of September when I was put in a box car and came to Atlanta a little before sundown. A while after dark we left Atlanta for LaGrange, Ga. {Atlanta & West Point RR}, distance of 70 miles and was received in the Oliver Hospital Ward C. ***** We reached this place about 2 o'clock a. m. the 1st of October. The 6th had a furlough recommended, got it the 7th and started home at 1 o'clock p. m., reached Atlanta about an hour by sun, left Atlanta at dark for Augusta {Georgia RR}, 171 miles distant. Reached Augusta at daylight a. m. the 8th. Got on the S. C. {RR} train and reached Columbia, S. C. at night. Spent the night on the way since hospital distance 143 miles. Left Columbia for home 11 o'clock a. m. {Greenville & Columbia RR} Got to father's about 2 o'clock p. m. the 10th.

Columbia, S. C. to Charlottesville, Va.

   Remained at the 2nd North Carolina Hospital in Columbia, S. C. January, February and March {1864}. ***** Got permission from Maj. ??elton to remain at home three days, the cars being pressed by the Government to transport on toward Richmond, Va. The day that should of left I remained 8 days. The way was open the 12th and I started for my command the 14th. Reached Columbia at 8 o'clock p. m. Left for Charlotte NC at 9 o'clock at night {Charlotte & South Carolina RR}, distance 110 miles then to Raleigh, NC {North Carolina RR, the Raleigh & Gaston RR}, distance 174 miles to Weldon 88 miles thence to Richmond {Petersburg RR, the Richmond & Petersburg RR} thence to Gordonsville {Virginia Central RR} 76 miles thence to Charlottesville {Virginia Central RR} 22 miles which place I reached on Monday the 13th at 3 o'clock p. m. when I learned that my Regt would be there from Tenn via Lynchburg {Virginia & Tennessee RR and Orange & Alexandria RR}.

Richmond to Union County, S. C.

   I remained at the Winder Hospital in Richmond till the morning of the 24th {of May? 1864} when I left the Hospital and went to the soldiers home in the city hardly feeling able to travel but anxious to get home if possible. Taken the train the morning of the 25th for Danville {Richmond & Danville RR}. Reached there a while before day the morning of the 26th being detained some four or five hours by a broken down freight train, distance 140 miles. Left Danville about 11 o'clock the same morning for Greensboro NC {Piedmont RR} distance 48 miles where we reached about 9 o'clock at night being again detained some 4 or 5 hours. Stayed the remainder of the night and till 10 o'clock the 27th at the wayside Hospital. Taken the train at 12 o'clock for Charlotte {North Carolina RR} which we reached a while after night distance of 93 miles. Spent the night at the wayside Hospital. Taken the train {Charlotte & South Carolina RR} at 7 o'clock a. m. the 28th. Reached Chester at 11 o'clock a. m. Got off the train there to hire conveyance to Unionville (as it was Saturday and I was fearful I would have to lay over Sunday in Columbia in considerance of the Greenville Spartanburg & Union  trains {Greenville & Columbia and Spartanburg & Union RRs} not having been running on that day