146 HISTORY OF THE SEVENTY-EIGHTH REGIMENT O.V.V.I.
and drilled the same length of time, but failed to elicit so much enthusiasm from the crowd; almost every one decided it in favor of the Seventy-Eighth Ohio.
Two of the judges were Illinois Generals; the third was from Iowa. The former decided in favor of their own State, the latter in favor of Ohio. The person appointed to present the flag, regarding the decision unjust, refused to discharge the duty assigned.
On the 5th day of January the regiment had completed its veteran organization, and was mustered accordingly, and all preparation was made for going home on veteran furlough, but before this was done, General Sherman came with the Sixteenth Corps from Memphis, and decided to take it and the Seventeenth on an expedition through Mississippi, which was commenced February 1st. Thus ended the long and pleasant encampment at Vicksburg.
The winter was made pleasant by the presence of Mrs. General Leggett, Mrs. Colonel Wiles and Mrs. Captain Douglas, who spent the winter here with their husbands.
The following members of the regiment died of disease at this post:
Wesley Stinchcomb, Company G, August 1.
William Antil, Company K, August 3.
William Jordan, Company K, August 3.
Alva B. Sniff, Company B, August 4
. Wm. J. Norris, Company B, August 21.
James Henderson, Company B, September 7.
—— Sprague, Company F, August 5.
Corporal John McElroy, Company E, August 7.
James Bailey, Company E, September 27.
Hamilton Gardner, Company B, August 14.
Andrew Mercer, Company G, August 20.
—— Turner, Company H, September 27
. All brave men, who had passed unharmed through many battles, dangers and hardships, but after a faithful service they surrendered their lives a sacrifice upon their country's altar, in defense of the right, liberty and humanity.
THE MERIDIAN EXPEDITION.
March 9, 1864.
REV. T. M. STEVENSON, Chaplain Seventy-Eighth Regiment O. V. I.: —
Having returned safely to camp from an expedition greater than any we have ever before participated in, I venture to give you an outline of our adventures while "raiding" in rebeldom. We left camp on the morning of the 3d of February, as a part of the Seventeenth Army Corps, and preceded by the Sixteenth Army Corps, marched to Black river, which stream we crossed the same night, and bivouaced in the fields three miles beyond the river. On the 4th we resumed our march, and passing the old battle-ground of Champion Hills, halted for the night near Bear creek. Thus far our way was
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