As we noted last time, Salathiel was hospitalized on September 30, 1863 immediately following the Battle of Chickamauga. His pension application records state that he was sent to the hospital in Stevenson, Alabama. This would have been Fort Harker, where General Rosecrans established his headquarters. It was about 50 miles away from the Chickamauga battlefield.
Salathiel stayed there from September 30, 1864 to March 22, 1864. He stated in his pension application that the rheumatism symptoms began during this period, in January, 1864. The records for the hospital at Fort Harker began in August 1863. However, during the pension investigation, the Pension Board could find no record of Salathiel’s hospitalization there. I’m under the impression that this hospital was a lower-tier facility and was not where they treated the more severe cases.
Salathiel wasn’t the only soldier laid low by Typhoid Fever. Colonel Wilder himself took ill after Chickamauga. He was away from the Brigade off and on throughout the spring of 1864, finally relinquishing his command for good in June, 1864
Something else that happened in January 1864 was the addition of yet another Timmons brother to Company A of the Illinois 123rd. Recall that four brothers enlisted initially: Salathiel, Battle, Laban and Leroy. Battle Timmons died from disease in May 1863. Cornelius apparently enlisted later and was added to the Company A roster on January 24, 1864. These four brothers all survived the war. I wonder if there were any other Civil War regiment Companies with FIVE brothers serving?
During Salathiel’s absence, Wilder’s Brigade was engaged in Wheeler’s Raid and the Battle of Farmington (Tennessee). The Brigade also had winter camps in Maysville (Alabama), Pulaski (Tennessee) and Mooresville (Alabama).
The Union Army was completely re-shuffled in March, 1864. Ulysses S. Grant was appointed General-in-Chief. Wilder’s Brigade was attached to the Second Cavalry Division of the Army of the Cumberland, which was led by General William T. Sherman.
In early April, the Brigade moved to Columbia, Tennessee and began preparations for Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. The Brigade skirmished constantly through the summer of 1864 but was apparently not engaged in the larger named battles, except for the Battle of Dallas (Georgia).
The campaign concluded in September, 1864 with the occupation of Atlanta. The final days of the Atlanta Campaign were memorably depicted in the 1939 film “Gone With The Wind”.
By now, Salathiel is feeling ill again. His rheumatism symptoms have worsened, and this time he is shipped off to the Number 15 General Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He was treated there by Dr. Chambers, an Illinois doctor who knew Salathiel before the war started and who continued to provide treatment in the years after the war. Dr. Chambers was a notable character from Salathiel’s neighborhood in Coles, County Illinois. We shall find out more about him next time!