On the Banks of the Chattahoochee

Since Robert Patterson’s last letter on June 9th, the 61st OVI has been on the move with General Hooker’s XX Corps participating in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and following the Confederate Army towards Atlanta.  Ohio in the War reports the following about the 61st OVI: “On June 17th the enemy was driven and skirmished with, and on the 19th and 21st the regiment reached and moved around the base of Kenesaw Mountain.  On June 22nd it moved up still further and built works at Culp’s farm.  While building these works the enemy made a dash on the National lines, and for a few minutes had things all their own way, but the troops rallied and drove them back.  In this affair the Major was killed (Major David C. Beckett).  The Chattahoochee River was crossed at four o’clock in the afternoon of the 17th of June and the regiment went into camp on its banks.”

Robert Patterson’s letter reports that “the Army is at last on the banks of the river and are taking a long looked for and much need rest.”  The 61st is close enough to Atlanta that they can see the church spires of Atlanta.  He goes on to comment about the poor quality of the land — poor soil and thinly populated, but they have good water and are in good health.  He also notes the death of Major Beckett — “He was universally loved by all who knew him and his loss is very severely felt.”  Finally, he reports that the mail has been very irregular and that he had not heard from his mother in a while.

Robert closes his letter with a report of a “grapevine dispatch” that the XX Corps may be reassigned to the Army of the Potomac and be moved to Virginia.  He hopes the rumor is false.

Transcript of Robert Patterson letter, July 10, 1864.












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Dale Huffman visits the Archives

We had a special guest in the Archives today:  Dayton Daily News columnist and local legend Dale Huffman.

Dale Huffman, seated right, with Special Collections & Archives staff, July 9, 2014.

Dale Huffman, seated right, with Special Collections & Archives staff, July 9, 2014.

Mr. Huffman will be the keynote speaker at our 5th annual Living Legends of the Dayton Daily News event next Friday, July 18. Guests at this free event will be able to meet and mingle with Dale, listen to him tell stories from his more than 40 years as a reporter, and enjoy exhibits and refreshments.

Dale shared a few of his stories with us today — about reporting on the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 and (on a lighter note) why he never kept a beard for very long. We’re looking forward to hearing more next week, and we hope you’ll join us! (Learn more about our Living Legends of the Dayton Daily News event and register online.)

Dale with a beard, undated

Dale with a beard, undated

In case you are wondering what Dale looked like with a beard, here’s a photo from his collection to illustrate:

We’re excited to announce that Mr. Huffman recently donated his collection to Special Collections & Archives. The collection includes over 75 linear feet of photographs, articles, awards, correspondence, notes, scrapbooks, and other materials from Dale’s news reporting career, as well as his many community activities.

We have selected several dozen photographs from Mr. Huffman’s collection for an exhibit to accompany the Living Legends event next week. Here is just a small sampling — there’s much, much more where these came from! (Click on an image to enlarge it.)

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Officers Hospital Update

In a July 8, 1864, letter to his mother, William reports that he is doing better, but in unlikely to be ready for duty for some time.  He writes about taking the water-cure when he gets home and trying to get back some of the health he has lost during the past three years.  He also reports that Nashville is a beautiful place, but very hot.  Finally, he notes that he has not heard from Robert Patterson, but believes he is doing well.  (Note:  A portion of the letter is missing)

Transcript of William Patterson letter, July 8, 1864.









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