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 NORTH MANCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY
 North Manchester, Indiana

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Source: The News-Journal, February 3, 1938

WHO REMEMBERS 47TH REUNION?

Older people of North Manchester are familiar with the history of the 47th Indiana regiment, Civil war volunteers. This regiment, recruited mostly from Wabash, Huntington, and Wells counties, saw considerable service during the Civil war. Liberty Mills and North Manchester contributed heavily to the rolls of this regiment. Recently W.H. Ballenger found in his possession the badge given his father John H. Ballenger, at the first reunion of the regiment in 1883. The reunion was held in Harter's grove in the north part of town on September 25 and 26, and was the start of an annual gathering that continued until recent years when the survivors were too enfeebled and too few to continue the reunions. So far as known William Enyeart of Liberty Mills, member of Company I, is the only Wabash county survivor, and one of the few survivors of the entire regiment.

On the evening of the first day an organization meeting was held at the Hamilton opera house, now the American Legion hall, and Major Shearer of Huntington was elected president with the understanding the 1884 reunion was to be held at Huntington. At least two other reunions were held in North Manchester during the ensuing years, the last one being about 1921.

The North Manchester Journal of that date tells how the North Manchester band met the trains and escorted the visitors to the Grove where tents had been pitched for the two day encampment. The late B.F. Clemans, Civil and later Spanish war veteran, acted as marshal of the day, and Capt. J.R. Wallace read the roll call. Then followed various talks, dress parade, and general visiting. The second day was almost a duplication of the first with more parading, more speeches and more martial music. About 800 veterans attended this meeting and hundreds of visitors.

Regimental History
The 47th regiment of Indiana Volunteers was organized at Camp Sullivan, Indianapolis, Indiana, September, 1861; ordered to Kentucky in department of General Buell, December 13, 1861; marched from Louisville to Bardstown; thence over Muldrangs Hill to Camp Wickliffe for military instructions under General Nelson; brigaded with 6th Kentucky, 4th Indiana, 41st Ohio, under Col. Hazen. During the storming of Fort Donalson ordered to march to the support of General Grant. After the surrender of Fort Donalson, with Col. Slack commanding 46th, 34th and 47th Indiana regiments; February 20, 1862, transferred to the department of General Pope; reached Commerce, Mississippi, February 23, and marched by the way of Benton and Skykestown to New Madrid, March 14. The 47th, with the 34th Indiana, marched at 3 o'clock a.m., with orders to advance the rifle pits 500 yards in the face of the enemy's fire, and storm New Madrid. The Rebels apprehending an attack fled. Gun boats appearing in sight, both up and down the river, Col. Slack marched a part of his command into the fort. By the cheerful help of his men the canon, drawn by hand through the mud for one-half mile, were mounted and the river effectually blockaded in 35 minutes, March the 18. The regiment had an engagement with seven gunboats at Riddles Point, Missouri, with a single canon and their long range rifles. They disabled three of the boats and the rest withdrew to Tiptonsville, Tennessee, leaving them in quiet possession of the field. The men behaved most gallantly during the terrible contest; Island No. 10 having been, abandoned by the enemy, the 47th was assigned to take care of Tiptonville and its approaches, where it remained doing important service, from the middle of April to the 12th of May, 1862. May the 12 they embark for Memphis. They were the first Union regiment that marched through the city of Memphis. Here they performed provost duty until ordered, under General Hooley to Helena, Arkansas, at command of General Washburn and acted as provost guard until materially weakened by sickness and death; accompanied the White River expedition, capturing a few Rebels at Duvalls Bluff and St. Charles. February 8, 1863, they were ordered through Yazoo Pass to remove obstructions thrown in the way by the rebels. February 25, they went a second time to Yazoo Pass, proceeding to Fort Pemberton, in support of the gunboats, where they witnessed the burning of the cotton boat parallel. April 12, returned to Helena, and the same day set out for Vicksburg, under command of General Hovey; landed at Millikens Bend April the 15, and 16 marched to Perkins Plantation and embarked on boat for hard times opposite Grand gulf to storm the works, waiting for the gun boats to silence the batterings. They at length marched to a place opposite and crossed over to Bruinsburg, witnessing a brilliant gunboat fight at Grand gulf; April 30 marched all night to Fort Gibson; and May first, without any rations, fought till sundown losing 47 men in killed and wounded; entered Fort Gibson May 2, and the next day marched and skirmished with the enemy, opposite Edwards Station; May 6 went to Rocky Springs and on May 8 were reviewed by Major General Grant; May 14, through a terrible rain storm, and mud in places knee deep they marched to Raymond; thence to Bolton Station, they were double quick skirmishing with rebel cavalry and bivouacing in line of battle. Next morning they marched to Champion Hills, where their division met the enemy, and in that terrible battle the regiment lost, in killed and wounded, 143 men. The next day they skirmished with the rebel cavalry, and on the 18 marched back to Edwards Station, and on the 19th to Black River, skirmishing daily with the enemy; on the 23rd reached Vicksburg to take a part in the siege. Few casualties occurred during the siege; the place surrendered July 4 and 5, 1863. The regiment, with General Sherman's command, marched in pursuit to General Johnson; overtook the enemy at Edwards, depot, and drove them to Jackson, which place was invested on the 12, and stormed the same day. Entrenchments requiring much labor were thrown up, and on the 17th entered the city. The regiment returned to Vicksburg July 23, having been under fire and within hearing of canon, and the shock of battle for 81 days; April 2, embarked on boat for Natchez, and on the eleventh arrived at Carrolton; August 22, the troops were reviewed by Major Gen. Grant; were ordered to Brashear City, where they remained for several days; September 27 were reviewed by General Odr; next day crossed Bernie Bay; October 4, reached Franklin driving Dick Taylor's forces before them; October 10, marched 25 miles to Vermillion bayou, and reached Oppolusas October 23; returned soon after to Grand Cateau, and engaged and repulsed the enemy, November 17; while encamped at Ibera had two teams and eleven men captured by the enemy. At this place the regiment re-enlisted as veterans, and arrived at New Orleans, December 21; were ordered January 21, 1864, to report to Governor Morton, at Indianapolis, Indiana, receiving a furlough for 30 days, at the expiration of this time to report at New Orleans.

The regiment was ordered from New Orleans to Alexandria to the relief of Banks, and assisted in building the dam to relieve the steamboats and gunboats. The return march was a hard one; for ten days the command was marched day and night, till they reached Morganza Bend. There they took boats to New Orleans and Carrolton, where the regiment went into camp, from there to New Orleans. Took cars to Thibedeaux; thence back to the river at New Orleans, spending a week or more there, from there to Morganza Bend. From this point the regiment made an expedition on the Atchffalaya Bayou, where they were ambushed and fired into on a night march, with some loss. The following day they had a heavy skirmish, and returned to camp. From this point the expedition of three or four days was made down the river to a point near Baton Rouge, and across the county, retiring after a skirmish, and the capture of a considerable amount of rebel property. The next point was the mouth of the White River, and from there to Duvall's Bluff, and back without disembarking, and again went into camp. Here the troops were reviewed by General Nelson. Winter quarters were built here, but soon got marching orders. The next stop was at St. Charles, Arkansas, where they again built winter quarters. Ground their corn at a mule mill in the country; went almost daily to the relief of the cavalry, who encountered Morgan's guerillas; from here to Duvall's Bluff by boats, and again built winter quarters, only to leave them ere they were completed, for Little Rock, by rail, where they went into comfortable quarters. From this point a detachment of 160 men, under command of Capt. C.B. Rager, were dispatched to Fort Smith, with a supply of boats in charge; thence to Memphis, via Duvall's Bluff, and the mouth of White River. From this point another raid was made through the country in which there was some sharp skirmishing. At this point the company's officers, except two, were mustered out by general order from the war departments. Again the regiment embarked for New Orleans, and from there to Kennerville, fourteen miles up the river. Here they embarked aboard the Peabody, a gulf steamer, for Demphine Island, where they arrived after a two days cruise, in which they encountered a terrific storm, in which most of their trains, stoves and camp equipment was lost. From here the 13th Army Corps was reorganized for the Mobile campaign. Everything being in readiness they here transported to the main land at Fort Gaines, and took up their line of march across the pine flats for Mobile. After several days hard marching and building corduroy bridges, pulling wagons and artillery from the treacherous quick islands, they arrived in front of the old Spanish Fort by the same name. Here the regiment took part in the siege for fifteen days, advancing the rifle-pits under cover of the night. On the sixteenth day the regiment was ordered out, and took up their line of march across the country to meet General A.J. Smith, who had in charge a supply train for Ft. Sumter. The evening of the terrific bombardment of Fort Spanish, preparatory to storming the works, the regiment and division were ordered to that place as reinforcements, but before their arrival the works, the regiment and division were ordered to that place as reinforcements, but before their arrival the works had surrendered and the order countermanded. They about faced and marched, each arriving in camp at daybreak, after an all night march. Blakely was stormed that evening. From here they marched down the bay to our landing, where they, together with a large portion of the army, embarked on steamers and crossed the Bay, effected a landing. The rebels having evacuated the city, the mayor came down and surrendered the city. The 47th marched inside the second tier of works and went into camp, but received marching orders a few minutes later, marching through the city, and took up their quarters in the Mobile and Ohio railroad depot. From here they were transferred to a cotton warehouse, where kind providence spared them from total destruction. They were ordered to Spring Hill late in the evening, by which they escaped the terrible disaster of the explosion of the rebel magazine, in which there were thirty-five tons of powder, prostrating all the buildings in the vicinity, among which was the 47th's late quarters, with great destruction of life. From this place they embarked aboard a steamer and went around via Lake Poncharitan to New Orleans, and from there via the Mississippi and Red River to Sherieport, from which point they were ordered to Baton Rouge to muster out.