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      Disease was a lingering malady despite improved living conditions at Munfordville. The state of health of the 32nd Indiana was on the mend largely due to Willich's efforts to keep his men physically active and well fed. But little could be done to prevent certain illnesses. Measles claimed the life of Private John Zolley of Company F and he was buried at Fort Willich on February 8. The loss of individual men would not prevent the maneuvering of armies. On the evening of February 13, Buell issued new orders to General McCook's 2nd Division.

      General Grant's campaign against Fort Donelson required fresh troops and Buell made the offer to send reinforcements. McCook would proceed with his division to West Point at the mouth of the Salt River where transports waited to convey the brigades down the Ohio River to join Grant's forces on the Cumberland. Preparations commenced in the various regimental campsites with a renewed spirit. They were finally off to meet with the enemy in mortal combat.

      The 2nd Division began the march north on the Louisville Turnpike departing Munfordville by brigades at two-hour intervals. General Johnson's Sixth Brigade, with the 32nd Indiana in the lead, gladly left the Green River community at 9:00 A.M. A severe rain and hailstorm the night before had disintegrated into a bitterly cold, but beautifully clear, frosted winter's morning with a light snow covering the ground. By early afternoon the frozen road had been reduced to a morass of mud by the sun's thaw. Undaunted, the troops zealously trod on with bands blaring and songs resonating through the surrounding hills. [45]

      After a fourteen-mile march the division assembled under the stars near Upton, fifteen miles south of Elizabethtown. Delayed by the muddy turnpike, the supply wagons were unable to join at bivouac, leaving the men to sleep in the open. Wood was plentiful, including farmers' fence railing, and soon bonfires dotted the landscape. Around midnight a messenger arrived from Buell directing McCook to halt until further orders. The division bugler did not sound the expected morning assembly the following day, casting an ominous light to the forward movement. Buell countermanded McCook's marching orders for Salt River in the afternoon, after learning the unfolding engagement at Donelson indicated that Grant would require fewer troops. Activity south of the Green River would again require McCook's services in that arena.

      On February 15, during the return march, the 2nd Division halted for bivouac on all too familiar ground at Bacon Creek. Buell had already ordered the remaining divisions of the Army of the Ohio to converge on Bowling Green, Kentucky. Disappointment ran high in the division at the loss of the lead position in Buell's advance. In camp that evening, the 32nd Indiana Regiment prepared for what would eventually lead them into unfathomable experiences on the bloody fields of Shiloh and beyond.

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 [45] Dodge, 122-124.