74 HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.
people of God." At this time many of the officers were sick. Captain Talley, of Company C, was taken down with a violent attack of typhoid fever, and being sent to the general hospital at Savannah, died in a few days. General Leggett, then commander of the regiment, although severely sick and unfit for duty, could always be seen encouraging the men and setting an example to officers, in energy, cheerfulness and resolution to meet trials and difficulties with an unconquerable will; he well knew that ennui and inactivity fed disease in the army, and that the best antidote was to bear up against it. Many men at once gave up and lay down, seemingly with the resolution to die, and such most generally did die; many, by cheerfulness and a resolution that they would not give up to disease, thereby threw it off, and became well and robust. Those who survived the first attack of camp disease, generally become afterwards strong and robust men. It seemed to be a kind of a chrysalis state through which men had to pass in order to become fitted for military life, and adaptation to climate.
On the 31st of March the Division left this place and moved to Adamsville, eight miles from Pittsburg Landing. The sick were left at Crump's Landing, in charge of Assistant-Surgeon Mendenhall. Here many died and some were transferred to Northern hospitals.
The design of moving the Division to Adamsville was to protect the flank of the army under General Grant, then concentrating at Pittsburg Landing. The road occupied by General Lew. Wallace's Division was the main thoroughfare to Purdy and Corinth, where the rebel army under Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and Beauregard was concentrated. The rebel outposts extended about twenty miles from the main army, and but a few miles from our pickets. The first night the regiment encamped at Adamsville General Leggett took one hundred men of his regiment and marched in the darkness of midnight eight or ten miles to a creek, where there was a rebel encampment, burned the bridge and terrified the rebels so that they fled to Purdy. Every moment while at this place, an attack was expected, consequently the pickets were strengthened, and every precaution observed. Every morning at dawn the troops were all up and in battle line; and a few more regiments were brought up as re-enforcements.
A few nights before the attack upon our army at Pittsburg Landing, rebel scouts were known to have nearly encircled our camps and the limits of the Division, and strange and wonderful it seems to veteran soldiers now, that little effort was made towards fortifications. In the latter part of the war the same troops would not have pitched camp till good works had been completed, and the entire limit of the encampment well protected. The same was the condition of the main army at Pittsburg Landing; no preparations for defense had been made. In a council of war on the part of the rebel officers, it was decided by Beauregard and others to make the attack upon the army on the flank at Adamsville, but Albert Sidney Johnston being chief in rank, overruled the decision, and ordered the attack to be made upon the main army at Pittsburg Landing, regarding the force at Adamsville as too trifling to waste time upon; a division of six thousand men would soon have been destroyed before an army of ninety thousand.
It was reported by rebel prisoners and citizens, that General Beauregard had been in our camp, both at Pittsburg Landing and Adamsville, as a peddler of pies and cakes, a day or two before the attack upon our army.
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