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Furloughs

When periods of inactivity permitted it, some of the men were permitted to go home for a 'furlough,' which was typically 30 days. The leave enabled some men to regain their strength. Others never could. Thomas Smith of the 20th died of typhoid in his parent’s home in Dinsmore Township.

By the spring of 1864, the 20th Ohio, originally composed of nearly 1,000 men, had only 364 soldiers fit and ready for duty. The Shelby County men arrived home for their furlough at the end of April 1864. Pvt. Wicks of Company B wrote to the editor of the "Journal" about the feelings of his comrades as they left to return to the front: "We have all been home on a 30 day furlough, and were received by our friends and kindred with a great deal of enthusiasm and joy. We enjoyed ourselves gayly. On the 27th of April we left Sidney on the 2 o'clock train, and it was somewhat a difficult matter for us to part with our friends, and especially those of our own fireside: yet so strong is the love we have for our country, its rights and institutions, that we forsake all the endearments of home to strike a blow in her defense.  Hope the friends will not forget us in their prayers at a throne of grace, or remit the interest they have in their country."

'Civil War' segment written in July, 1998 by Rich Wallace

 

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