Civil War Diary
EPHRAIM SHAY DIARY 1861-1863
Tuesday, January 1st, 1861 – I had no school, staid with Uncle RICE the evening of December 31st, 1860. Jay HENDERSON, Dalmond and myself went on a hunt, did not find much game. I carelessly fired my rifle leaving the ramrod in. The consequence, I got pretty well kicked. Stopped in Uncle RICE’S woods and fired at a mrak, made excellent shots. Wilber HENDERSON had joined us in Uncle’s field opposite William Van HORN’S.
Wednesday, 2nd – Taught school, as I did also on Thursday the 3rd
Friday 4th – Taught school, a funeral in the church, I let some of my scholars go. Had school on Saturday the 5th.
Sunday 6th – Staid to Uncle RICE’S. went to meeting.
Monday 7th – Taught school as I did also the whole week.
Sunday 13th – Staid to Uncle’s all day. Taught school the following week. Staid with Uncle on Sunday. On Fryday 25th some of my scholars disobeyed a strict rule I had laid down concerning leaving school without leave to slide on the ice. On Saturday I punished the ringleader, a young man, severely by twelve well put strokes with a whip. Sunday staid with Uncle RICE. Taught school until Fryday evening of the following week. Saturday February 2nd had no school. Went to Havana [Next little town east of Republic, OH. Where Sebewa’s Rush & George BALDWIN were raised and their parents are buried - editor], bought some stationary & 1 pr. Of shoes.
Sunday 3rd – Went down to Sherman to Father’s, returned in the afternoon. Taught school the following week. Staid with Uncle RICE over Sunday. Taught school the next week and staid to Uncle’s over Sunday. Continued to teach until Wednesday 27th when I closed my school, being the last day of three months teaching, the time for which I hired.
On Thursday 28th I collected $24 of my money. Friday March 1st I packed clothes and went down to Sherman to Father’s. Saturday 2nd I collected an order on David WEAVER Treasurer of $12.00. Went to Bellevue. Bought a pair of boots then returned home and went to Templer’s Lodge in Norwich. Staid with Uncle RICE Sunday 3rd March. Staid to Uncle’s until 3 o’clock in the afternoon, when Dalmond took me and my trunk down to Father’s. It rained quite hard, cold and uncomfortable.
Monday, March 4th – left Father’s at 8 o’clock in morning. Theodore took me to Bellevue, left Bellevue 10:40, arrived Toledo 12:30, left Toledo at 3:12 PM, arrived in Detroit 6:20. Went in the city to --- Hotel and put up for the night. Took a stroll through town during the evening. Wrote a letter to Priscilla [his sister - editor]. Took walk before breakfast. After breakfast took another. Got on a ferry boat and went over into Canada, examined some huge ferry boats. Strolled through Windsor, returned to Detroit. Watched a company of workmen driving tiles. At 10:12 took cars for Muir, on the way broken engine. Had to take a freight train to get through, with arrival at Muir 4:40 P.M. Enquired for H. PROBASCO, found him in his shop.
I went in and spoke to him, enquired about his business, also priced his work and conversed on other topics. He thought queer of my being so familiar and finally suspected who I was. He seemed pleased to see me.
Wednesday 6th – Brought my trunk up to Uncle Henry’s. Went with Aunt to church [Muir First Christian Church has his grandmother, Mary PROBASCO’S name in stained glass - editor]. Saw three elders ordained, had an excellent sermon. Afternoon took a look through town, was at the R. R. station where the eastern train came in. when I saw Wesley & Helen FELTON get off. I was much surprised to see them, as when I left they were single and Wesley was teaching school. I supposed they would be married, but did not expect it so soon and never supposed we would meet in Mich. if they did.
Thursday 7th – Jacob and myself went to Sebewa. We crossed the Maple River at the R. R. bridge. Wesley & Helen passed us on the road. They wanted to get in and ride with them as they were going just below Sebewa, but I would not ride unless I paid part of their carriage hire and that was $6.00 which I thought was outrageous. When we got to the saw mill at the junction of the Sebewa Center road with the road from Lyons, we heard of Aunt Delores’ death which occurred on Sunday morning 3rd of March.
On coming to Uncle Eph’s I saw him with Uncle Ben at the barn, went up and passed the usual salutations, stopped with Uncle Eph for supper, then went up to Uncle Ben’s and staid all night. In the morning Uncle showed me his barn stock and after which he proposed to take a hunt. But rain settling in, we went [Jacob & myself - editor] in Uncle’s copper shed and shot at a mark. Frank SMITH shot a few times, I came out best. In afternoon we went out for a while as it had ceased raining. We shot an owl and tracked some turkeys, too cold to hunt.
Saturday 9th – went to Uncle Eph’s in morning. He showed me his stock. We went over to Mr. SHOWERMAN’S [his brother-in-law - editor]. In afternoon started towards Uncle Ben’s to go on a hunt when Ben overtook me and said that a flock of turkeys were in a field opposite them. Uncle had a shot but missed. I fired at what looked like a hen, but did not get it. We then went over and viewed a farm which Father had an idea of buying, then went to Uncle Eph’s and shot at a mark.
Sunday, 10th – No meeting near, staid with Uncle Ben until noon then went down to Uncle Eph’s, weather cold. March sun shining occasionally. Monday 11th – went to Muir with Uncle Eph, Mother and Aunt Jane. A cool clear day. Went down and partly made arrangements to buy a sugar evaporator of Cook’s patent. Tuesday morning 12th – finished the bargain then went to Sebewa and made arrangements for making maple sugar. Went in Uncle Ben’s copper shop and commenced a cask to use for a feeder to the evaporator. Wednesday 13th – Uncle Eph went with me by way of Portland to get the evaporator. Met the agent at the Hotel, he said the evaporator had not come. He sent to Ionia by telegraph for one he had there. Thursday 14th – evaporator came in morning, one of $60.00 price warranted to boil without burning from one to two and one half barrels of sap per hour. Paid $13.00 cash and telegraph and freight expenses from Ionia.
Fryday 15th – worked very hard to get ready to make sugar. Took the evaporator to the woods, finished my feeder cask, chopped some wood, carried in some buckets, made a number of spiles. Saturday 16th drove the hooks of about 100 buckets. Tapped about 65 trees. Afternoon set up my evaporator and set it in motion, met my expectations. Made about 12 lbs sugar of excellent quality rivaling loaf sugar in color. Sunday 17th – staid with Uncle Eph – went nowhere all day, Uncle Ben came in afternoon. Monday 18th – tapped about 80 trees after driving the hooks on about 20 buckets. Tuesday 19th – cut down a large basswood and commenced making a sap trough, did not get it finished. Wednesday 20th – went up to Uncle Ben’s shop and made a barrel to hold maple syrup – snowed nearly all day.
Thursday 21st – nearly finished my storage trough. Cut some wood ready and drew it to the arch. Put a new sight on my gun and put it in order for shooting. Fryday 22nd – chopped some wood and boiled down 18 buckets of sap. Saturday 23rd – helped Henry in morning – he drew some boards for a roof to my sugar works – put up the cover – boiled 30 buckets of sap. Sunday 24th – staid to Uncle Eph’s all day.
Monday, March 25th, made sugar, a thunder shower came over, the first of the season. Tuesday 26th – at work all day in sugar bush. Wednesday 27th – made some sugar – rainy. Thursday 28th – at work in sugar bush – rainy. Friday 29th– snowy in morning – gathered some sap and made sugar. Saturday 30th – worked in sugar bush. Sunday 31st – staid with Uncle Eph all day.
Monday April 1st – making sugar. Tuesday 2nd – making sugar. Wednesday 3rd – making sugar. Thursday 4th – making sugar. Friday 5th – warm day but sap run but little. I went over to Uncle Ben’s bush and shot at a mark with him and Mr. SHOWERMAN. I beat. Saturday 6th – no sugar weather forenoon, went to the P.E. Afternoon with Uncle Ben went on a little scout through the north woods, saw three deer but shot none. Sunday 7th – staid with Uncle Eph all day.
Monday 8th – Father and family arrived in Sebewa. I was very much pleased to see them. Father seemed in good spirits. Tuesday 9th –visiting – no sap weather. Wednesday 10th – killed a few squirrels and viewed some land. Thursday 11th – viewed land. Friday 12th – boiled some sap for vinegar – shot at a mark with Uncle Ben, nearly tie, a little in my favor. Saturday 13th – staid to Uncle Eph’s to be present to the school teacher’s examination. Priscilla [his sister - editor] was examined and got a certificate. No other certificates given.
Sunday 14th – Father came to Sebewa with Grandma [Mary PROBASCO - editor] and Aunt Jane and George. Mr. CERLEDGE fetched them up. I had to deliver my sugar on the 15th and as Uncle Eph did not want to take it down, I put it in with Mr. CERLEDGE and paid him for taking it to Muir, and I went along. Uncle Henry’s folk were abed when I got there, so I staid at the tavern.
Monday 15th – delivered my sugar neatly packaged at the depot according to my agreement with Mr. RICHARDS. Only had 240 lbs, was to deliver 300 but did not have it made. I then viewed some land N.E. of town, in afternoon returned to Sebewa. Tuesday 16th – staid with Uncle Eph in forenoon. Afternoon went with Uncle Ben to see some men about building an addition to his house, on the way saw a few deer. Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th – made vinegar.
Friday 19th – viewed some land in the north woods. Saturday 20th – in forenoon made vinegar, afternoon went to help Mr. STEBBINS raise a barn. Sunday 21st – staid until noon with Uncle Eph, in afternoon staid with Uncle Ben.
Monday 22nd – made some vinegar, commenced to scald my buckets. Tuesday 23rd – stored my buckets, packed my trunk and went to Muir with Uncle Ben, took a stroll and viewed some land N.E. of Muir, thought the soil was too sandy, afternoon viewed the steam saw mill.
Wednesday 24th – went over to Lyons in forenoon. 4:20 PM took the cars for Grand Rapids to get a situation as a machinist, retired at 8 o’clock. Thursday 25th – applied for a situation, all business too dull. Friday 26th – an officer wanted me to enlist – I saw his Co. drill. Saturday 27th – at 9:10 left for Muir, arrived at 11:20 AM. Afternoon attended a meeting to raise recruits – I enlisted for three months. Sunday 28th – attended church in Muir, staid with Father.
Monday 29th – met the do. In Lyons, we endeavored to elect officers but failed, the Muir boys went home thinking to join the Ionia Co. But shortly the Lyons chaps came over, came to terms, and we elected an excellent Captain, not so good 1st Lieut.
Tuesday April 30th – at 9 o’clock met the Co. in Lyons, drilled until 1:00. At 2:00 met and drilled until half past four. Wednesday May 1st drilled. Thursday 2nd drilled, Friday 3rd drilled. Saturday 4th drilled in forenoon, afternoon we was presented with a flag then marched to Muir. Elder ERRETT made a speech – then friends bade adiew – much feeling exhibited – took cars to G. Rapids, went to hall, from there to hotel, staid all night. Sunday 5th – marched up to Fair Grounds and went into quarters – it rained some in afternoon. I found a pile of straw which I made my bed. Jacob [Uncle Henry PROBASCO’S son - editor] was my bedfellow – it was my first experience as a soldier.
Monday 6th awoke in good spirits – drilled in morning. During the day wrote two letters, one to Priscilla and one to Cousin Sarah. Tuesday 7th – drilled until 9 o’clock went to stand guard.
Wednesday 8th discharged from guard duty at 10:00 AM. Was just getting around to go to town when a Telegram dispatch came to hand that Father was dying. I hasted with speed to the Depot but the train had left. I telegraphed to know how he was at 12 o’clock. Answer “The doctor says he cannot live”. The news was so sudden and unexpected, I felt as if I was dreaming. I could not realize the awful fact that my father was dying. I staid at the Depot all day waiting for some passing train, at 10 o’clock left for Muir. Engine broke down and had to return.
Thursday 9th – at 4 A.M. got started and arrived in Muir at 7 A.M. I got out of the cars, looked up the hill, hardly dared to hear the result. Met Delia [his mother’s youngest sister, Melissa Cordielye PROBASCO, was only four years older than him - editor]. She said Father was dead.
I seemed to be dreaming, so sudden was the news. I went to his room. Met Aunt – I felt choked, could not speak. Aunt uncovered his face, which looked as calm as if he was sleeping. But taking the cloth from his forehead disclosed a frightful wound. Oh such feelings as I experienced standing before my father’s corpse. I had but a few days before left him in sorrow, thinking that my return was doubtful. I was starting with many chances of being killed. He stayed at home in peace, but how widely different the result. I am summoned beside his corpse instead of his being called to receive mine. While still looking at him little Arty and Velma came in. Too young to value their loss, they commenced to tell me how “The mill hurt Pa” but seemed to think he would soon wake up. Arty went to his feet and touched them exclaiming “Poor Pa” “Poor Pa”. I then left the room and going in bedroom I gave full vent to my feelings. I began to realize my loss.
In a land of strangers without a father to guide and counsel me, my mother left with a large family, just having moved to Michigan without a permanent home. The world before me looks dark. Had Father died a natural death, I could easier be reconciled. But a death brought on by the carelessness of a hired man, not really a hired man, but a lout of the town who came in the mill and took without request or leave the place my brother (Theodore) was at work.
Then by carelessness letting a bolt touch the saw, my father’s life was lost. To think what must have been Father’s feeling when the bolt struck him. To hear how he, unable to stand, sat down on the floor leaning against the side of the mill, his head drooping down on his breast, the blood streaming from the wound, sitting helpless. The frame which held his spirit broken; it just took leave of its former tenement. What must have been his feelings if he was sensible of his situation. Those who saw him think he never knew what it was that killed him.
He that morning had left the house in excellent spirits, his business was paying well. He saw prospects ahead of happiness, at the usual hour he commenced his work and while he engaged in supporting his family, at that very time he was making money to use when too old to work. In an instant quick as a flash of lightening, he is summoned before his maker.
What must have been his impression when so unexpectedly launched into the realities of his future home. Is there in that land of Glory a thought of the world left behind. Could he look back and see us performing the last ceremonies to the dead? Or was he occupied greeting his old acquaintances who had preceded him. His father maybe was showing him the beauties of his new home. Oh there is more cause to shout for joy than weep when a good man dies.
To be sure it is hard to part – but the joy of his meeting his friends in his future home, a home where endless ages may pass and no changes occur save the continued advancement into the knowledge and goodness of God. Oh it must be the most satisfying change that man can ever experience to be brought face to face with Him. To be face to face with the Star of Perfection, to see his hands scarred with the ragged spike thrust through by the envious Jews.
To see the Savior of man, the One thru whom and by whose exertions all are enabled to visit and remain in a land where there is no sorrow, a land in which each moment bears with it more happiness than can be experienced in all ages on earth. To see the old Patriarchs of whom it is so much pleasure to read, to receive from their lips the experience they passed through.
In this world it is a source of great pleasure to view nature’s work, day by day to see a very trifle of magnitude of the created world. When the thought of what will be seen at the last change of man comes to mind, the pleasure to be experienced, I feel as if to want him again a mortal would be selfish. I feel that he is gone on a journey on which all are traveling and that I will overtake him in a few days. Yes they may be few, judging from the past instance, although I am young, well, and to all earthly knowledge destined to live my “three score and ten”.
Friday, May 10th – attended the funeral at 10 AM Afternoon went to Lyons and bought some flour. Saturday 11thremained in Muir. Sunday 12th – went to Meeting. Monday 13th – I went up into Sebewa in forenoon. Afternoon I commenced repairing a house of Uncle Eph’s in which to move Ma. Busy 14th, 15th, 16th repairing the house. Friday 17th went after a load of her stuff with Uncle Ben’s oxen. Saturday 18th returned with a load – bought sash and lights (windows with glass) (cost 2.70). Sunday 19th – staid with Uncle Eph.
Monday 20th and 21st still busy at the house. 22nd commenced to make garden. Worked on the house some 23rd and worked in the garden. 24th worked in the garden forenoon, afternoon attended Mr. PLANT’S funeral. After funeral I looked at Mr. Green’s farm. 25th I looked as some land in forenoon, afternoon worked for Lucius SHOWERMAN planting corn. Sunday 26th at home most all day, called to Uncle Ben’s and Uncle Eph’s through the day.
Monday 27th – made a lounge in forenoon, afternoon planted corn for Uncle Eph. Tuesday 28th – went to Muir to get a letter, found none, went out 2 ½ miles to view Mr. ROBINSON’S land, it did not suit me, too hilly. Wednesday 29th – went to Ionia in the morning having staid all night with Mr. ROBINSON. I talked with Mr. WILLLIAMS concerning a piece of land in Sebewa that Mother wished to purchase, he being the agent to sell it.
Went to Muir from Ionia on the morning train, came home in afternoon after getting the letters I expected. Thursday 30th – prepared corn ground and planted some corn. Friday May 31st – planted potatoes in the morning, it commenced to rain some. Saturday June 1st bargained with Uncle Ben for a piece of land, but only if second parties relinquished it. Went to P.U. in afternoon. Sunday 2nd staid at home.
Monday 3rd – prepared to leave home. 4th left home at 3:30 AM. Arrived in Muir 1:23 – Uncle Eph brought me. At 4:20 PM left for Grand Rapids, cost me 97 cts. Went up and ate supper with Sgt of 3rd Mich Regt. I thought some of joining it, but finally concluded to go further west to look for a farm. I staid at the Depot and took the train for G. Haven at 2:42 AM Wednesday (expense .95). Left G. H. on boat 4:20 PM, arrived in Milwaukee about 10 AM Thursday (expense 2.30). Had to stay there until next day, as my trunk had by mistake been left at Grand Haven. Strolled through town all day.
Friday 7th – left Milwaukee for Chicago at 2 AM, arrive at 9 AM (fare 2.30). Attended the funeral of Stephen A. DOUGLAS. I last saw him at Tiffin, Ohio. How little I thought that I now should see him on his last resting place. He was buried on the lot he expected to build his residence on. It is a beautiful place overlooking the lake. The Illinois Central railway passes under the bank between it and the lake.
Left Chicago at 8:12 PM for Peoria (fare 2.00). Staid all night at Chenoa to wait for connecting train to Peoria, left at 12:30 and arrived at 3:30 PM Saturday. Made inquiries of many business men for the whereabouts of my connexion D. SHEY and found a man at the Virginia House who knew a man by the name of SHEY. Staid at Virginia House. Sunday 9th – went to the M. E. Sunday school and to Meeting. Was introduced to my host – the superintendent – a fine man from all appearances. Monday 10 – took packet for Pekin. Went out to Circleville, from there to Dellion, started for Pekin. Put up for the night with a farmer. I found two men by the name of SHEY, no relation of mine.
Tuesday 11th 0 returned to Pekin, examined assessor’s books. Visited Haines Machine Shop. Sent my trunk to Peoria by packet. I went up on foot and got a chance to ride most of the way with a farmer. Staid all night in the suburbs. Wednesday 12th – examined two assessors books there also. Stopped at the hotel, overheard conversation concerning a Regt forming at St. Louis. Made inquiries, found a Co. was forming in Bloomington, concluded I would like to join it. Made up my mind to go down at any rate, took cars for Bloomington, joined the Co.
Thursday 13th – shipped my trunk to Mich., addressed to Uncle Ben by express. Had a Co. election, elected B. A. SMITH – Capt. J. W. WHITE – Lieut. Received some shirts and drawers donated by the ladies. Took a walk after supper, felt quite sober or rather realized I was just about to enter in a service fraught with many dangers and hardships and perhaps for the last time spending an evening of quiet and peace in Bloomington.
Friday 14th June – left Bloomington at 1 o’clock AM. Arrived in St. Louis about 9 o’clock AM. Went into camp at a park, elected 2nd Lieut. F. BLELAPP, appointed noncommissioned officers and then went down to the arsenal and were sworn into service by Mayer SCHEFIELD for three years or during the war if sooner ended. Saturday 15th – went through the usual drill. Sunday 16th – went back to arsenal and trained in that large brick building.
Monday June 17th – while on drill today we received news of trouble in town, as a segment of Home Guard was marching through town they were fired on by a group near the Recorders Court which was then in session. The H. G. returned the fire with serious effect. June 18th drilled as usual, several recruits came in from Bloomington. 19th and 20th drill. June 21st was detached as clerk for Quartermasters. But by Commander’s request was still in drill 22nd. Sunday 23rd drilled some also. Drilled 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th 29th. Sunday 30th – Meeting in the Grove, excellent Union sermon on text First Peter 13th chapter 13th – 15th verses. Monday July 1st – an accident happened by which a man was killed last night. The Lieut. Of the guard was showing a sentinel how to handle his piece, when it accidentally went off, killing him. That same evening as I was looking out the window of my quarters, which were near the front gate in the corner of the large brick arsenal, I saw the flash of a pistol and saw two men running. One a Dutchman, was the one who shot, and the other was one of the soldiers of my Co. No harm was done in this case, but there is lots of keen talk running that it originated about a ferry girl, as soldiers term them.
June 2nd – drilled as usual. 3rd did police duty cleaning up the grounds preparatory to celebrating the Anniversary of American Independence. Thursday July 4th – attended celebration in Arsenal. The day was ushered in by the usual National Salute. Capt. Charles McDONALD read the Declaration of Independence. Col. BLAND made a speech. Lieut. Col. PECKHAM also spoke and others made remarks. In evening I went into the upper story of the brick building (my quarters) and amused myself by watching the different fireworks in various parts of the city.
July 5th & 6th drilled as usual. Sunday July 7th – attended Meeting in Grove by the arsenal. On 8th, 9th & 10th usual drill. The Ill. 20th left for Cape Girardeau on 10th. On 11th, 12th, 13th occupied in drill. On 14th Col SMITH left with 4 Companies of 8th Missouri and 4 Companies of Home Guards for North Missouri. Monday July 15th – drilled.
On 16th at 2 o’clock A.M. an alarm beat and all fell in line – went in Arsenal – found alarm false. Drilled in ranks in forenoon. At 2 PM a prisoner was brought in charged with shooting at train of cars containing Col. SMITH’S command. 7:30 JACKSON’S Quarter Master arrived in prison. 7:43 seven………prisoners came in guarded by H.G. As they came up the street numbers of small boys surrounded them. Some men seemed anxious to see a live Secesh (secessionist). They were charged with burning a R. R. Bridge.
Wednesday 17th – my birthday – drilled in forenoon, at 1 PM received marching orders, at 2 we left our Quarters for North Missouri R.R. Depot to join Col. SMITH in North Missouri. Quite a coincidence, on the day I am 22 years old I start on my first expedition to defend my country’s honor & flag. Reached St. Charles about 9 o’clock, sent a detachment up the R.R. to prevent any news of our approach from getting along the line.
Thursday July 18th – early in the morning took a train after first putting all the rolling stock of the road in possession of the Home Guards and was not molested. At nearly all the stations Union sentiments were shown, waving of handkerchiefs, most probably owing to fear for our safety, as when Col. SMITH passed along. At about noon we joined our comrades at Mexico (Missouri). Twenty four of my company stood guard at night.
I heard beating of drums about 9 in the evening, supposed it was the enemy’s camp, who hearing of the reinforcements sounded the alarm & left. We kept up the utmost vigilance expecting an attack. Friday July 19th – about 9 o’clock my Co. started on a scouting expedition expecting some fun. When about 3 miles from camp we saw some horsemen in the distance, gave chase, they eluded us. Skirmished through the woods, cornfields & came suddenly on a house before which stood two horses. In the house were three men, looked a little suspicious, but we passed on.
Just after leaving the house we saw a Secesh (secessionist) pass on horseback at fast speed. Tried to get a shot but failed. About same time two of the boys found each a gun secreted in the brush near the house. Capt. Then ordered the men and horses captured. Corp. STONE and myself took the lead. I came up first and took possession of one of the horses, STONE the other. Sgt. MARSH came in with a file of men and took the men prisoners. We then started towards camp, examined all houses on the way. One house had several men in it, no arms were found. Did not make them prisoners, although I think we had ought to have done it, as undoubtedly they were Secesh.
Saturday July 20th – about 11 AM an alarm was sounded and all fell in. A moment later it proved to be a Regt. Of troops (21st Ill) coming down on a train from the west. During afternoon a detachment of cavalry was needed to go to reinforce a Regt. Of H. Guards of St. Louis at Fulton. The cavalry with us refused to go, as their enlistment had expired. So my Capt volunteered with as many men as needed, and about 4 o’clock we started. Saw a few straggling horsemen, fired on one of them but missed. Did not follow as we feared an ambush. Sunday 21st – at 12:30 AM arrived in Fulton (MO).
Rainy all day. Col. HAMAN’S Regt. came in town and stopt owing to the rain. Monday 22nd – left at 8 AM for Mexico (MO), took a circuitous route hoping to fall in with the Rebel Haris, but failed. Saw several suspicious-looking persons, but none armed. Are in Mexico at 2 PM. Tuesday 23rd – left for St. Louis Home Guard at Montgomery and our men who had removed there accompanied us.
(Total loss to Secesh about 60 to 100, our loss 2 killed, 4 or 5 wounded.) Wednesday 24th – arrived in Arsenal about 4 AM was up all night, very tired and sleepy. (My CO. did not get in a fight, being on other duty out to Fulton. Most of the fighting was done before we were ordered away from the Arsenal.) Left Arsenal for camp at Fair Grounds, were to be there at 12:13 AM. Thursday 25th – had company drill and Battalion in afternoon. Friday 26th – company drill. Saturday 27th – marched down to Genl. FREMONT’S Headquarters and was inspected by him.
Afternoon received Marching Orders – embarked on the Desmoines and left for Cape Giraldeau about dusk. Sunday 28th – arrived at Cape about 4 AM, by 9 AM took up Quarters in a large Grist Mill on bank of the river. 29th 30th and 31st the usual drill. August 1st made a monthly return to Co. A rumor in camp that a part of our Regt had orders to leave for Cairo, not true however. 2nd & 3rd drilled.
Sunday 4th – a rumor that the enemy were approaching, commenced throwing up fortifications. Continued on 5th, 6th, 7th working on entrenchments, mounted some cannon. 8th working on entrenchments. August 9th – pickets gave the alarm about 4 AM. fell in line, supposed the enemy were upon us, firing all around town. Expected enemy every moment, Col. Went out with 4 Cos. To meet them.
Alarm proofed to be false, caused by a party of pickets mistaking their comrades for the enemy, resulting in the killing of one and seriously wounding two more. Saturday August 10th – working on entrenchments. Sunday 11th – attending the funeral for one of my comrades. I acted as one of the guards. Fired the usual salute (three rounds) over the grave. 12th and 13th worked on entrenchments.
Wednesday 14th – I volunteered to mount picket with Lieut., had no adventure. Thursday 15th – being hungry we concluded to have breakfast. We went to an old Secesh and Lieut. Ordered our breakfast and feed for horses. After breakfast scouted the country and returned to came about 11 AM. Found my Co. on board the S. B. Hannibal City ready to go on an expedition up the river. I dismounted, got my stationery box, gun & accouterments and arrived at the wharf just as the boat was starting. The stern swinging near the wharf, I gave my box to a soldier – who threw it on board, my gun to another, and making a spring, caught on the edge of the wheel house and by exertion climbed on board.
Received three letters, which one of the boys had got in lost mail; one from Priscilla, Catherine, and John RICHARDS. Arrived at St. Geneviev, disembarked, took double quick and surround the town. I acted as sentinel. I being up all night was very sleepy and got permission to sleep a short time. Friday 16th – passed the day doing business for the Major, I being his clerk for the expedition. In afternoon I copied a proclamation for the printing office to publish. After its publication we embarked and left for St. Louis, after taking from the bank 58 thousand dollars, or rather nearly 59 thousand. On 17th copied a report for Genl. FREMONT giving particulars of our transactions. I remained on board boat all day. Sunday 18th – remained on board the boat, at 6 PM left for Cape Girardeau. 19tharrived at Cape at 4 AM. 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th spent at drill and finishing fortifications.
Monday August 26th – had a heavy march, went 7 miles to rout enemy which was reported there. Commenced to rain, could go no further, as orders were strict to go to a certain toll gate. Had to return in the rain, mud got very deep, had knapsack and accounterments besides wet clothes to carry, which with the mud worried us very much. I never was so near given out in my life. 27th, 28th, 29th spent finishing fortifications. 30th about dark marching orders arrive and at 9 we started. Arrived and surrounded the town (of Jackson) before daylight. My Co. took quarters in a vacated house, had lots of fun. A regular dance in evening, about midnight the house sounded like a menagerie. Someone woked and commenced to imitate a cat, others as fast as they woke up commenced imitating other animals. One a dog, another a turkey, some crowded like a rooster and such a mess of different imitations in the dead of the night sounded laughable enough to make the most crusty crack a smile.
Saturday August 31st – remaining in Jackson, boys had lots of adventure. Some women they had sold themselves by a fair bargain to some handsome lad, others engaged to be married as soon as the war closed. Sunday September 1st – at about noon scouts reported troops approaching, all fell in line. Proved to be Genl. PRENTISS with his command. He made us a speech, told us to let no secessionist insult us. Left at 2:00 for Cape Girardeau, made the march in 3 hr. 30 min.
Monday September 2nd – commenced making out Muster Rolls, 3rd, 4th, 5th busy making muster rolls. Friday 6th not doing much of anything – a little drill. Saturday 7th – received marching orders and struck out and encamped just on the edge of town. Monday 9th through Monday 16th occupied with usual business of camp life. Tuesday 17th Capt. SMITH arrived from Bloomington. Wednesday 18th – was alarmed at 11 o’clock, had to sleep in arms, at daylight out on color line. Many citizens leaving for the country Thursday 19th through Monday 30th.
Tuesday October 1st through Sunday 6th all spent with no occurrence of any note. Principal doings were drill and throwing up fortifications. Changed our camp from west to east side of town on the bank of the Tennessee. Monday 7th– heard heavy cannonading all day. Tuesday 8th through Monday 21st all spent with usual routine of camp life. On 21streceived orders to march, left at 8 PM, marched to Viola, 19 miles distant, by 3 AM on Tuesday 22nd. Left again about 2 AM on 23rd and arrived in camp 11 AM about 1 mile from Viola. For the first time, except once in Ohio when washing sheep for Uncle John DRAKE I took a swallow of the liquid, I got very tired and could hardly go any farther. We had been marched with but one rest and that only of about 10 minutes. My Capt, although a temperate man, had a flask of liquor and induced me to take some. Did it because under the state I then was in I thought it necessary. Evening of 23rd had toothache very bad, went to hospital to have it extracted. Doctor broke it off, which increases the pain. Had to use chloroform to get out the rest.
Thursday October 24th – wrote Priscilla a letter. Friday 25th through Sunday 27th usual occupations of camp. Also 27th had a dress parade before Genl SMITH’S headquarters, returned to Genl WALLACE’S headquarters and he made a short speech. Told us that there was a regiment of Secesh calling themselves the Missouri 8th and possibly we might meet them. The boys seemed crazy with delight when he told them that if they said so, he would get a meeting of the two regiments. To a man they cried out “Do it! Do it!” Boys were all excited thinking they had sport ahead. Monday 28th – Col. SMITH sent a challenge to the Col. Of the Secesh 8th Missouri to meet him on equal footing anywhere between Mayfield and our camp.
Tuesday 29th – Mrs. FREMONT rode through camp, rumored that we are to leave for Cairo. Wednesday October 30thtill Monday November 18th spent as usual in camp with drill and inspections and on 18th fell in line with Brigade and marched out 4 or 5 miles in country then returned. November 19th – company drill. Wednesday 29th at 2 o’clock fell in line and went down on the bank of the Ohio. Viewed the review of the 23rd Ill Chicago Artillery and Cavalry. In evening all the boys of our camp got out and commenced to yell like crazy men. The yell was answered by all camps within hearing. Soldiers in all parts, wherever they chanced to be, answered, and the Secesh, thinking something was about to happen, were scared nearly to death.
Thursday 21st – went through the form of a review. 22nd company drill and 23rd Capt SMITH went to Bloomington. Sunday 24th through Thursday 28th spent in company drill when weather would permit, it being quite cold part the time. 29th hail & sleet, very uncomfortable. 30th ground white with snow. Lieut PECKHAM left with his Co. for an expedition up the river to Caseyville, Illinois.
Sunday December 1st to Saturday 14th occupied with Co. drill, and on Sunday the 15th the whole Second Brigade met on our drill grounds.
To clear off the brush and trees for lots of space (for drill), we would take a large rope, tie it to the top of a large tree, and then all get hold of it and by digging a little around the roots, pull it up and draw it off from the grounds. Have seen about 1000 on the rope at one time, great sport! Several times the rope broke. In the end a string of perhaps a hundred trees were piled on the ground.
Sunday December 15th – started with inspection in morning, then wrote letters to Priscilla and Grandma. Meeting at 2 o’clock heard a Union preacher driven from the South. Then the Dress Parade at 4 and the Col took us down on the levee to drill us to see if we had forgotten it. Monday 16th – Second Co. Kentucky boys left for Smithland. Brigade continued pulling stumps. I did not go out. Tuesday 17th – Battalion drill at 10 o’clock. 18th usual camp occupations – retired early. At 9 PM order came to prepare for an expedition. Dressed myself, got ready, fell in line with Co. Went to Genl WALLACE’S headquarters, joined a Co of Illinois under Major ELSTIN with 11th Indiana and marched on. Arrived at Eddysville 4 AM on 19th. Sourrounded a house this die of town (took one prisoner). Then went to town, surrounded it. Found armed force of Secesh Cavalry, left in afternoon. The day before some of the boys got some Secesh trophies. One got a sash which had a Secesh flag on it, beautifully finished, worth at least $23. The way he found it was, as he was passing a house a man standing in the yard asked what his business was. He replied that he was in search of traitors. The man said he would not find them, but that before tomorrow night every Union man in turn would be hung and he would help do it. Frank, with gun in hand, closed the fence to take him prisoner. The Secesh took to his heels and went in house, Frank in pursuit. As Frank was searching a room under the stairs, he saw the sash and kept it. The Secesh got out of his sight and he could not find him.
I had no particular adventure. Once the party I belonged to thought we had surprised a camp, as we saw a fire resembling a camp fire and also heard a gun, as if giving an alarm. But on coming up it proved to be a man butchering hogs. We embarked on a boat at 11 AM and arrived at Paducah at 4 AM on Friday 20th. 21st thru 24th nothing but drills. Wednesday December 25th – no drill in evening, heard a scuffle out in camp, saw a Sgt taking a man to the guard house.
Prisoner attempted to run, Sgt fired at him with his revolver, but missed. A wonder that the ball could go through camp without hitting someone. It passed over the heads of two boys in one tent, passing through the tent near the top. It was a careless piece of work, proper enough to shoot the prisoner for trying to get away, but dangerous among so many. Friday 27th – commenced to book up clothing in account, make out receipt bill. 28th making out Muster Roll to muster in for payment.
Sunday 29th – busy on clothing account muster rolls, and Brg Genl WALLACE went on a scout with 200 Cavalry. Monday 30th – this morning at 1 o’clock Genl WALLACE was near Camp Beauregard, returned to Viola. Secesh came up on trail and fired on him at Viola. He being in command was principal mark. After the first fire, he turned to them and told them if they wanted to get him, they must make better shots, then put spurs to his horse and got out of the way. He chose a position out in a field to await attack, but enemy fled after first fire, there being 4 times the number of enemy.
He sent for reinforcements. Genl SMITH sent out 11th Indiana, 9th Illinois, and orders positive to return immediately without fail. WALLACE bit his lip at such orders, but needed to obey. He with his reinforcements could have easily whipped the Secesh, but if they should also be reinforced, it might lead to a premature battle, which would spoil the plan of taking Columbus. Perhaps he did well in obeying, had he been the victor he would have been court-martialed. Two Cos of the 8th now went out to sustain the pickets if necessary. Night passed quietly. Tuesday 31st – usual drill, I worked on Muster Rolls in afternoon.
Wednesday January 1st, 1862 – in morning was mustered for pay, no drill or fatigue duty today, boys had lots of sport. I was in town twice during the day, saw Corpl HAYES (now a 1st Lieut. in Indiana 11TH) who was so conspicuous in a skirmish party of 13 against about 73 of the enemy. They killed 42 and lost but one man, and he was killed after they left. Being wounded, he was left at a private house, where the Secesh found and killed him. HAYES was wounded also, but got back to camp. He is a large man about 40 years old. About noon a number of boys mounted on mules, armed with everything imaginable from a clip & a pair of revolvers to wooden swords, included no two dressed alike, nor any two with the same kind of weapon, made lots of sport. They called themselves the Secesh Cavalry. In the afternoon a lot of boys calling themselves the Secesh Infantry visited our camp, clad similar to the cavalry and if possible more comical. Some of our boys got a pair of wheels of different sizes, mounted a log on it, and went down town performing all the drill of a light battery. The whole town was all excitement, sports of all kinds helped to make a Merry New Year.
January 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, spent making Quarterly Returns, finishing Muster Rolls and squaring Clothing Account. 7th drill & making out requisitions, drew my quarterly amount of stationery at night. As I sit writing a band is serenading one of our officers not 100 feet from me. The music is excellent. Wednesday 8th – a very rainy day. I have been principally engaged in writing this diary. Thursday 9th – warm, damp, foggy day, roads very muddy, spent day getting ready to march. Orders came about 9 AM to be ready at 3 PM, but it was postponed until tomorrow morning. Can get no clue as to our destination, but guess is we are going to prevent reinforcements from going from Bowling Green, to Columbus. I guess an attack on Columbus is meditated. Have heard heavy guns firing occasionally through the day.
Friday morning 10th – 23 minutes past 5 I have had my breakfast and only wait the order to march. It is a pleasant morning, warm but very muddy. I expect that it will be the last morning spent by many in Paducah. Appearances look as if a formidable blow was about to be made, which will make Succession tremble, I hope. Preparations have been going on long enough to be ready, although I fear we are not. I may be mistaken, but from the best information I have, our force is too small to make a short battle, and it will be long and bloody. One must surely conquer. The boys are all excitement getting ready. The wagon is here and I must soon go help load it. Each takes 4 tents and about 6 or 8 days’ provisions. Yesterday provisions were being loaded all day at the Post Commissary. Nearly all the supplies have left.
No mail came last night, but I must stop writing. It is now evening and I am no nearer Camp Beauregard or Columbus than I was this morning, although our wagon was loaded, our knapsacks packed, haversacks with 48 hours provisions in them. Still our preparation was useless, as the march was contramanded, were in line at 8 AM, went down to headquarters, got all in readiness, waiting for the command forward, when we were ordered back to quarters with instructions to be ready at a moment’s notice. On Daily Parade this evening an order was read countermanding the previous order and to march at 8 AM tomorrow. What all this means I cannot tell. The roads were very bad today, being extremely muddy from recent rains, and about noon the weather looked threatening, in fact it did rain some. I was much disappointed, thinking this morning the time for an advance had come. Perhaps this is but a delay, we are still ordered to be ready at any moment. Each man must have two days provisions in his haversack all the while. For now it is bedtime.
Saturday, January 11th – 12:30 PM had Co. drill and dress parade this forenoon, no order to march yet, expecting it hourly. The reason we did not go yesterday, as near as I can learn, is that 17,000 troops to have arrived at Cairo yesterday did not come, consequently the delay. General WALLACE was ordered to Cairo day before yesterday and he received orders to have the forces in Paducah in marching order. At 4 AM yesterday he returned and did so, but by 4 o’clock received a dispatch to defer marching until 8 AM. He did so and at 8 we were in line.
No order to advance arrived, so we came back to camp for dinner. A boat brought orders to be ready to march as soon as the 17,000 from up the river reach Cairo, and now we are momentarily expecting the command. The telegraph line did not work yesterday, owning to being blown down, it is now all right. 8:30 PM news came by the boat that their 13,000 troops are crossing at Cairo, Il. All the while about 18,000 of our troops are expected at Cairo from up the river at any moment. In all probability we will leave this place tonight or tomorrow. This evening about 2 PM one of the Indiana 11th boys was killed by a clerk in a grocery store a few steps from our camp. From what I hear, the soldier was drunk and asked for some liquor. While the clerk was getting it, the soldier took a bottle which was near and poured the whiskey into his canteen and then started to go out. The clerk saw him and threw a weight at him, knocking him down, and as he was getting up again, threw another, striking him near the right temple, which caused his death in a short time. I hear they have caught the fellow and that he will be hung tomorrow morning. This fellow is known to be a strong secessionist and killing the soldier as he did is thought to make him a hero.
Sunday 12th – morning warm and comfortable to go around in short sleeves, evening uncomfortably cold with overcoats on. Have heard nothing of the fellow who killed one of the Indiana boys last evening. Expect that he is in the Provost Marshall’s Guard House. No move has been made yet, hourly expecting orders to fall in line and take up the line of march. Papers brought by today’s mail say that the movement now on foot is destined up the Tennessee River. I think not, though it may be so. The plan is a favorable one, but my guess is the movement will go straight down the Mississippi to Columbus, KY.
Sunday January 19th – I never saw as bad roads as we traveled yesterday and today. We have worked hard both days and gained only about 2 miles, it’s discouraging. Tonight we encamp in a pleasant place in the openings. We are now in a Secesh neighborhood, the headquarters of Clay KING and his band. Two wealthy Secesh only a few roads ahead from our camp have left with all their movable effects such as could be got away with. Half their meat, groceries, beds, and such were left behind, which the boys use. Also much of their stock, all the sheep & hogs. Such are the effects of civil war, I hope it will soon cease. Monday 20th – today, by cutting our roads through the woods, we succeeded in making a good day’s march. Passed several Secesh houses which were known by the owners leaving them. The Union men staid at home glad to see us. Passed through a nursery and encamped nine miles from the Tennessee River. Tuesday 21st – reached the river, found the gun boat LEXINGTON and the transport WILSON awaiting us, commenced unloading commissary. Wednesday 22nd – finished unloading. The gun boat went up to Fort Henry once or twice through the day, examining the fort. They threw a few shots at a Rebel boat DUNBAR, which they met coming down the river last evening to reconnoiter. Also at some pickets on shore, some at the fort. Thursday 23rd – left camp for a march to Paducah. By gun boat last night orders came from Genl. GRANT to return to that battle. The boys all wanted to take Fort Henry, but we could not disobey orders, so returned. Reached Paducah on Saturday 25th about 3 o’clock PM.
Sunday 26th – resting from our march. The rains lately have raised the river very high. I feel rather dull today, a long march has quite an effect. A rumor that we (8th Missouri) are to join Jim Lane’s command. The 55th Illinois came here while we were away and they say they are to take our place. Things look a little as though we are going to leave. The paymaster is here and I guess we will get our pay soon. I received five letters last night, one from Priscilla, one from Jane, one from Kate, one from Zella, and one from Jay.
Monday 27th – writing letters, went to levee a short time, concluded to get a transfer to our gun boat if possible. Wrote a letter to Commodore FOOTE. Milo & Frank are going with me if we can get the transfer. Tuesday 28th – today have been busy getting the payrolls signed and clothing accounts signed. Received our money up to Dec 31st. Boys having a boisterous time, their money is being spent very freely. I can hardly believe my eyes when I see boys, who have worked so hard & undergone hardship, get their money then spend it as freely as if it cost nothing. I believe many a boy will contract habits while soldiering which he will never entirely overcome. What an account the causes of this war will have to face at the final day.
Wednesday 29th – rainy day, did nothing but a little writing. Thursday 30th – Capt SMITH being appointed Quartermaster for 2nd Brigade, detached me to act as Forage Master. Friday 31st – issued hay & grain orders, quite busy.
Saturday February 1st – busy issuing orders and receiving hay & grain, 2nd issued but little, it being Sunday, all issuing delayed to Monday except urgent cases. Went up to Co. D 8th Missouri a short time visiting at hospital, after supper wrote letter to Jay HENDERSON. Rumors that we march tomorrow, no orders here yet to that effect. Monday 3rd – issuing forage orders. 4th – issuing orders and packing Quartermaster stores to move.
Wednesday February 5th – started for boat at 12 o’clock AM, left at one, and now at 8 PM are near our stopping place, as lights are seen ahead. Thursday 6th – boys are all excitement, getting 2 days rations and preparing to leave the boat. Rumors that the enemy have evacuated the Fort after burning everything inside it. Also that a Secesh General is 10 miles out in the country stuck in the mud. I do not credit them. At 11 o’clock the 11th Indiana takes the lead, next Chicago Artillery, then 8th Missouri. The balance of the Regts I cannot tell the names of from here.
At 11:45 AM the signal to prepare to go to the front is run up. It consists of 4 flags, the uppermost being 2 blue stripes, one white, one red. Next flag all white, next white with a small square of blue in the corner, the last has 2 red and one white stripe. At this signal all the boats commenced to fire up and at 12 started. At 12:30 the gun boats are under way, the 5 ironclad boats ahead, the 3 wood gun boats behind. The TYLER in the center, CONESTOGA on the left, LEXINGTON on the right. 1:30 PM the ball has commenced, the gun boats have opened fire on the fort. 1:50 firing grows heavier. There goes a broadside. I can see the smoke as the breeze blows it eastward, and I hear nothing from the Infantry watching the fight. 2 PM – there goes the 128 pound gun in the fort, now the firing is not so heavy, now it increases.
The troops from the east side have only half of them gone from appearances. Our Regt is on the west side. Now that they have orders to fall in, they do it with a yell of delight. The Regt is now in motion, it is 2:16 PM, light firing continues. The WHB is coming down the river. The Capt is waving his hat, the news is good I guess. The firing has nearly ceased, the WHB is now going back. A gun boat is floating down, it is the ESSEX. The WHB goes up to the gunboat and seems to speak to her. 2:50 PM – the firing has ceased, the fight has lasted about 80 minutes.
It doesn’t seem possible that the fort is taken so soon, staid on board the boat. Friday 7th – early the ferry BULLET crossed the river, coaled up, and went to the fort. I got off and examined the fort, saw the effects of cannon balls, saw the rifled cannon – the only one in the fort – bursted, also some of the men which it killed. One had his head and arms blown off, another his skull mashed, another his throat nearly cut off, and all were burned black by the powder, their clothes entirely off around their breasts. Saw the prisoners, about 80, got a complet idea of the fierce power of the balls from the gun boats, as I saw one which was half buried. Saw many shotguns, knives, a Secesh Col’s uniform.
Within about an hour after landing at the fort, we crossed the river and lashed fast opposite our camps, or rather Fort Helman, I believe that is the name of it. Saturday 8th – remained on the boat. Sunday 9th –remained on boat, going back and forth to camp occasionally. Monday 10th – same. Tuesday 11th – removed to camp on hill just behind the unfinished fort. Wednesday 12th – straighting up the tent, drawing some forage, and wrote a letter to Jim. Lieut. WHITE gave me a letter which came from Jim.
Thursday 13th – busy in tent in afternoon running balls for revolver. Some boys here had a little skirmish with the enemy today. From what I hear, it appears that 12 men sent in word that they were Union men and wanted to take the oath of allegiance and would meet at a certain school house 3 miles distant from camp. Accordingly, by the Col’s orders, the 28th Illinois sent a Co. of armed men out there.
They had hardly got to the place mentioned, when some 4 or 5 hundred Secesh Cavalry surrounded or attempted to surround them, but our boys soon cleared out and fetched the 12 men prisoners into camp. Some boys of my Co. were out on a foraging excursion today and were fired on by 11 mounted men. They returned the fire with but little damage apparently, one horse seemed wounded.
The forces which went to attack Fort Donaldson are today having hot work from reports. I lean that our gunboats shelled them out of the fort and that our infantry had them surrounded. About 17,000 on each side are engaged. We have 10,000 on the opposite side of the river. Lieut. WHITE was within 4 miles of the fort today, he told me what I have written. He says our loss most probably will be heavy.
Friday 14th – this morning about 43 o’clock our Regt. and Indiana 11th left camp for Fort Donaldson, the fight continues there with much spirit. They took only their blankets, haversacks, etc. The winter snow evens the ground and melts but little. Towards noon very heavy fire, which continued for several hours, was heard. Occasional heavy guns are heard till late in the night.
Today I bought a stove. It is a regular cooking stove with oven & it cost $10.00 I am so situated I cannot hire my cooking, and unless I have things convenient, cannot do it myself. My partners will bear half the expense. Saturday 15th – snowed a little more last night, heavy firing heard all night, which continues today. Our troops are now doing the heaviest fighting ever done in the United States. I only wish I could be present with my comrades, but someone must attend to things in absence of the Regt. and I do not know as I am any better to do it than anyone else. I hear rumors, but cannot credit any of it.
Cold day melting only a little on the east side of the hill, can hear heavy guns yet at 10 o’clock PM. Sunday 16th – heard firing this morning, rumor came in camp that our boys were hotly engaging the enemy. Yet another rumor came in camp tonight that the fort is ours, that the enemy surrendered at 10 AM today. Also that Capt. SWARTHOUT was killed. Later rumors state that Col. SMITH is killed.
I do not credit the report, although it may be true. 8 o’clock PM a very bright and large illumination visible in the direction of Fort Henry. Drums or rather martial music and bands are heard over near Fort Henry. I think it is a jubilee over the fall of Fort Donaldson. I think the illumination is also an exultation over the fall of a Secesh stronghold. Monday 17th – news of Fort Donaldson still arrives, I can hardly credit all I hear. My Regt. got back to camp tonight. I had a splendid supper for some of my Co. officers. I have not time to write particulars of the fight. Tuesday 18th – busy turning over horses and moving, at 2 AM, stores down near the river. My Capt. is now QM of all forces this side of the river at Fort Helman.
Wednesday February 19th – busy issuing forage and opening books for forage accounts. Thursday 20th through Friday 28th usual work of issuing forage. Saturday March 1 through Tuesday 4th issuing forage. Wednesday March 5th – Capt. SMITH transferred. All QM & Commissary stores transferred to F. BILAPP, former QM of 8th Missouri. Thursday 6th– commenced packing up all stores preparatory to embarking on S B to go on an expedition up the Tennessee River. Got everything which we wished to take with us on S.B. TELEGRAPH NO. 3. By dark, balance of QM and Commissary turned over to QM of 2nd Illinois.
Friday March 7th – the REED (ship) came for Lyman, went up the river a few miles and took up stand to await further orders on the 23rd Indiana from the west shore, then crossed the river and took on the 24th Indiana from the east bank. Saturday 8th – returned to fort Henry and coaled up, then went about 4 miles up the river and tied up alongside the SB [steamboat - editor] JJ ROE, which had on it the 8th Missouri & 11th Indiana, plus balance of the 1st Brigade 3rd Division.
Sunday 9th – remained at the landing. Monday 10th – about 10 AM started for “Secessia”. JJ ROE and TELEGRAPH NO. 3 arrived together at Savanna about 6 o’clock on Tuesday 11th. Wednesday 12th – in the evening went about 4 miles up the river to CRUMPS Landing and there the 1st Brigade disembarked and went out 4 miles in the country, laying in wait for the enemy cavalry. In the meantime some had been sent out to the R. R. bridges to destroy them. Rained hard all the later part of the night. Very wet and muddy boys came on board again on Thursday evening 13th.
Friday 14th – remained on board. Saturday 15th through Saturday 22nd – spent in getting off the good from the boats. QM stores did not come off until 18th. 22nd we are now getting ready for a march and from what I hear, I judge Memphis our destination. Sunday 23rd thru Thursday 27th – attending to business, but very little work. Forage for the different Regts is now drawn from Lyman, he being Division QM, and it is useless trouble to handle papers over so many times. Today I, not having anything else to do, went out to see a horse race. An unlucky accident happened by which a horse was killed and a man bruised considerably. One party of the race could not find any ground inside the picket line, and while waiting at the line for the proper authority to pass, Dr. PETERSON and one of the parties of the race concluded to try the speed of the horses. They went off a reasonable distance and came up in good style, but as they arrived at the line, the Dr. P. horse being headstrong, bolted on and would not stop. The sentinel, a Lieut. of the picket, grasped his gun and in stopping the horse, ran the bayonet into him, causing the horse to throw the Dr. bruising him considerably. The horse will die most probably.
Genl WALLACE came up and went out with us to view the countryside. Everything passed off very well and we saw the ruins of a Cotton Gin which was burnt by the rebels I believe. Friday 28th through Sunday 30th – at our work. Today the 2nd Brigade left camp for a march in the country, their destination unknown to me. Monday 31st – issued grain & hay to all the Regts of our Brigade. Tuesday April 1st – cannonading heard up the river, considerable talk of a fight soon. Yesterday 100 deserters from the enemy came into Pittsburgh, a small town about 4 miles above here. They report 80,000 Secesh marching to meet us. Very warm, pleasant weather this morning, the sky is a little smoky and resembles Indian Summer in the Eastern States.
Wednesday & Thursday April 2nd & 3rd – very warm and pleasant, on the 2nd I went from QM Dept back to my Co. They had acted as A. C. S. [Army Central Supply - editor] and needed several clerks, but now some have to return to their Cos. I hear cannon in the direction of Pittsburg. I think it is firing at the review or possibly the gunboats are practicing a certain distance. Answered a letter from Kate & Ophelia yesterday, answered one from Priscilla and one from Jane today. Friday, April 4th, rested and ready.
Saturday April 5th – 12 AM received orders to be ready to march in one hour. Very cold, commenced to rain hard, accompanied with heavy thunder. Marched through mud and rain until daylight. When we arrived at Adamsville, rain ceased and wind turned to NW, blowing cold. About 4 PM returned to Crumps Landing. Sunday April 6th – about 2 AM enemy attacked our forces at Pittsburg, at 8 AM cannonading commenced. Before noon orders came to be ready to march in 20 minutes. Left at 12, marched by circuitous route to the rear of the enemy, when we received orders to retrace our steps and come in by the river, which we did.
Arrived at the scene of action as dusk, but not in time to participate. Formed a line of battle and slept in arms all night. A drenching rain wet us thoroughly. The gun boat kept up a continued firing all night, doing much damage to the enemy. At daylight Monday, April 7th, we were in line of battle and as soon as our skirmishers ascertained their position, we opened fire on them. Our battery [9th Indiana - editor] soon drove them from their position, dismounting one of their guns. When our line advanced over the ravine and up a hill, taking position they had just left. Our skirmishers then advanced, and getting our batteries [9th Indiana & Buel’s - editor] in position, gave them a heavy fire.
They returned it with vigor, and as our infantry and battery were in an open field while others were sheltered by a ravine, they gave us a galling fire. As we were supporting our batteries, the cannon balls, shells, etc. could easily be seen flying by among our men and busting over us. Every moment some person could be seen writhing with pain as a shell would strike them.
After lying in this position for half an hour, my Regt were ordered into a ravine close to the enemy. Going there we were exposed to a raking fire, but the enemy did not get our range accurately enough to do us much damage. Only one rifled cannon ball passed through our ranks. It passed a few feet to the left of where I was and struck in a Co. on the left, the Battallion which was at this time marching to the left. After reaching the ravine we were comparatively safe from the enemy’s shot. One of our batteries [Buel’s - editor] kept firing over us. Once or twice their shell burst so close to us as to wound some of our men.
A Regt of their cavalry, seeing our battery somewhat exposed, thought to charge & take it, but on their coming to the ravine my Regt delivered such a galling fire as to send them back without firing hardly a shot. They left their Col. And 15 in 20 men dead. After about an hour’s hard fighting, the enemy again commenced to retreat, but disputing every inch of the ground.
We followed them up closely, they making a retreating fight for over a mile, when their batteries commenced to play on us, which halted us. Here we had a desperate encounter. The Division on our left falling back gave the enemy a flank movement on us, but we merely changed our front and held our ground. Here Col SMITH, our Acting Brigadier General, showed Generalship. Genl Lewis WALLACE gave him orders to fall back, but SMITH knowing it would give the enemy confidence, requested he let him have 20 minutes to fulfill his order, which Genl WALLACE granted. SMITH then sent word to a Col of the 11th Indiana to hold his ground and he would send him another Regt if necessary, which he did. He then told us to raise a yell and give three cheers as if we were giving reinforcements, which we did, and it had the desired effect, the enemy retreated.
The enemy commenced to fall back and in less than half an hour we completely routed them. We followed them for over a mile, when finding them in full retreat, we gave up the chase to the cavalry and returned to good camping ground, formed a line of battle and rested from the fatigue of the day. From 5 AM until 4 PM had been one incessant fire. At times the rattle of musketry and booming of cannon seemed to jar the earth, or rather the heavens and earth seemed coming together. The heaviest peals of thunder I ever heard were slight sounds compared with what I heard during the fight.
Tuesday April 8th – rained all night. This morning some Regts commenced to fire off their guns to put them in order, when the alarm of “the enemy is coming” created quite a panic among some green Ohio Regts in the rear, many breaking ranks and running as for life, a very disgraceful act. I blame their officers more than the men, as no well disciplined Regt would run before seeing the enemy. I went over the battlefield today, or part of it. I never imagined how horrible it is to see men killed by shot and shell. All the corpses were bloody, many so disfigured as to look little like a man. Some were burnt horribly by the leaves near them getting set fire by the shell. This is the second battlefield I have viewed and I hope it may be the last.
When I stood looking at old and young men laying cold in death by violent means, I could not but try to answer the questions of who is the cause of this wholesale murder. Certainly there must be a cause, for where any effect ever was produced, there always has been a cause, and an effect so awful as this one must be caused by some great reason.
I think and know that mankind cannot exist without war, and since its effect is so terrible and linked with so much misery, I cannot tell why they do not stop it. Here are thousands and thousands of human beings, men in the prime of life and possessed if ever they can be with good judgment. Enduring all the hardships of a soldier’s life, causing anxiety among friends & connexions at home, and what for? To cause still greater misery by killing each other, leaving friends, wives & children at home without anyone to protect them. I wonder I ever joined the army. The many call it brave and patriotic to go to war. I begin to think it foolish and unwise.
Wednesday April 9th – rained nearly all night. Our Regt not having tents with us, got wet thoroughly. A rumor comes that the enemy are approaching, but is not credited. I was sergeant of the picket last night. Thursday April 10th – Sgt Peaslee and myself walked over the battlefield. Saw many places where some of our comrades fell. Details of men were busy burying dead. This is the third day occupied in burying and still many are yet unburied. Were many places where the trees and brush were nearly all torn to pieces. I counted 110 balls in one tree, put there by the Union troops. Did not count the opposite side where Secesh were firing.
Friday 11th – rain, I went to the 65th Ohio, found one man from the Co. where my friends serve, heard of more acquaintances in the 3rd Cavalry. Saturday 12th – a national salute was fired at the levee this morning. Also a salute of 15 guns for Major Genl. HALLECK. Sunday 13th – the excitement of the past week ended, I went out early this morning and shot a beef, which my comrades helped fetch in for the Co. At 12 all Regts of our Brigade fell in and Col SMITH read an order from Genl STEINTEN to the effect that a prayer of thanksgiving should be given for the many recent victories of the Union Army. Our Chaplin performed the services.
Monday April 14th – went through the usual routine of camp equipage. Tuesday 15th – moved from riverbank. Wednesday 16th – moved our camp out to the picket line. Thursday 17th – washed clothes, etc. Friday 18th – for the past two mornings we have formed line of battle at 4 AM to prevent being surprised by Secesh. Different Brigades and Divisions keep moving towards the enemy, taking positions in line of battle within supporting distance of troops in the rear. Many rumors in camp, one that the left wing of McCLELLAND’S army is at Memphis, another that Genl MITCHELL is at Huntsville in possession of the Memphis and Charleston R.R. Also that he has captured several locomotives and many cars. He has destroyed the R.R. bridge at Decator, for we saw pieces of it floating down the river, some of them on fire. I don’t credit all the rumors, but there is some reason to believe some of them.
Saturday April 19th – in camp all day, very rainy. Sunday 20th – In camp, rainy, a detail went to a swamp in our front to build a bridge across it. Monday 21st – rainy, I went over to Secesh Hospital. Tuesday 22nd – clear day, sun very warm, made out papers for SCHLEIGH, SAMUELS & SPAINHEURS – descriptive lists, they being sick and circumstances rendering it necessary for them to be sent where they may receive proper medical treatment. In afternoon had grand review of our Brigade before Genl. Wednesday 23rd – very pleasant. I made out descriptive list for Sgt MARSH, wrote a letter to Priscilla, and clothing accounts for Co.
Thursday April 24th – orders came last night to be ready to march at 6 AM today. At 4 AM fell in line of battle, stacked arms and cooked our rations. At 6 we left camp for the place of meeting. When all four Regts were ready, we started to reconnoiter the position of the enemy, took with us two pieces of artillery, went on the Corinth road. Found the enemy’s advance picket only about a mile from ours. Drove them in four miles, where we met a reserve picket numbering about 400. They fired a few rounds at us, then we opened on them with artillery, driving them from their camps with no loss on our side.
The enemy’s loss was not ascertained, as we did not follow them. We burnt their tents and commissary stores, took ten prisoners. We could see their new camps in the distance, but returned to our camp at 5:30 PM. Other Regts came out to hold the position we gained. Tonight our whole Brigade have orders to be ready to march at 6 AM tomorrow, with two days’ provisions in our haversacks. I guess an advance is to be made, having in view the taking or dispensing of the rebels at Corinth. It is now 18 hours since I got up this morning and I have been at work all the while getting things prepared for marching or actually marching, and doing the part allotted me in driving out the rebels. I am very tired and should retire immediately. This is a warm evening, a shower is seen passing in the northwest. I hope it will not rain here, as the roads are now good.
All along the line of march today were seen the clothing, cooking utensils, wagons, ammunition, caissons, etc. of the rebels, thrown away in their retreat from the recent battle here at Pittsburg Landing. Had we only a few fresh troops to have followed them at the end of the fight on Monday the 7th, their retreat would have been a perfect rout and many prisoners would have been taken. Genl SMITH of Genl HALLECK’S staff conducted reconnaissance today. I judge the information gained is satisfactory.
Friday April 25th – it is now 10 PM. It was rainy this morning when we started about 7 AM, marched out to within a short distance of Perdy. Acting Brigadier WOOD was at Perdy and news came to us that he needed reinforcements. It was a tiresome march. Sunday 27th – a pleasant day. Inspection in morning, Meeting in afternoon. Monday 28th – left camp with three days’ rations, took road for Perdy, went out six miles and encamped for night. Tuesday 29th – a large force of Cavalry [perhaps 2000 - editor] left our camp about 1 AM and went to the R.R. beyond Perdy and destroyed two R.R. bridges, captured a locomotive which had left its train a few miles back to see if the bridges were safe. They tore up the track for a long distance, run the locomotive off, and brought in engineer, fireman & horsemen as prisoners, also a Lieut found in Purdy. Wednesday 30th – returned to camp and mustered for pay, I received two letters from Jay and one from Kate [his cousin on the SHAY side down in Ohio - editor] saying Grandma [SHAY - editor] is dead. She died on Friday night, April 18th, at 10 PM. Funeral was at Hainsville [Ohio - editor] Church on Sunday. Text was Revelations 14th chapter 13th verse. She was confined to her bed but one week. How I wish I might have seen her once more. It will seem so lonesome not to see her when I go back, if I ever do. My best friend, one who has done more to mould my character than anyone else, not excepting my parents, is no more. To mourn her would be wrong; she is now in the land of happiness. What a pleasant meeting must her and Grandfather have had.
Thursday May 1st – making out muster rolls, did not work at them very hard, took my time. Friday 2nd – still at work leisurely on muster rolls, can finish them in a few minutes when once at them. Weather is very pleasant, woods are thick with leaves, cherries are the size of peas already, other vegetation in proportion. Saturday 3rd – did some company writing, had Brigade Drill, received Orders to be ready to march at 8 o’clock tomorrow morning. Sunday 4th – marched according to orders, commenced raining about noon, wet us completely and made the roads near impassable. I think this country can furnish as much water upon as short notice as any I ever saw, but it does not last long. Monday 5th – rained all night and only stopped by noon today. Tuesday 6th – busy with camp duties. Wednesday 7th – made out descriptive roll for Al B., did other company writing. I have been quite under the weather, but continue to do duty. Thursday 8th – did some company writing, a rumor in camp that the enemy were about making trouble, staked our arms in the color line, but no orders to march and we gave up hopes of an engagement today.
Friday 9th – did no duty today, quite unwell. Papers state that the rebels have evacuated Yorktown and that McCLELLAND is in hot pursuit. Saturday 10th – still unfit for duty. Sunday 11th – papers confirm the evacuation of Yorktown and give details. Monday 12th – feel much better, will return to duty. News in camp today that Norfolk is taken and the Merrimac blown up. The news is well authenticated. Success is crowning our arms beyond expectations, hardly time elapses from exulting over one victory when another is published. Surely the Secesh must be at a discount. A rumor is in camp that Genl HALLECK received orders from the War Dept. that he should not bring on an engagement unless attacked, until further orders. Such news has a color of peace, possibly an Armistice. I do not credit it however, but expect a battle here just as soon as Genl HALLECK deems it advisable.
Tuesday May 13th – at about 10 AM we received orders to be ready to move camp on front, as our Regt was transferred to Genl SHERMAN’S Division. Marched as ordered at 2 PM, bivouacked on the front line. Wednesday 14th – awoke early and had breakfast, to be ready in case of an attack at daylight, skirmishing going on all the while. Secesh tried to destroy a bridge on the picket line, whereupon we opened fire on them with two pieces of cannon, driving them back. At dusk Genl SMITH [our Col. acting as Brigadier - editor] took us out with him to ascertain the result of the firing, returned at 9 PM. While out could hear drums beating in Corinth. Thursday 15th – in fighting order bright and early, pickets still keep up skirmish.
Friday 16th – yesterday & today building rifle pits in front of camp. Saturday 17th – since coming to the front, we go on picket duty a Company at a time, C. D’s turn being this morning. Pickets still skirmishing. Genl SMITH took out our Regt to drive the Secesh back, the balance of the Brigade supporting us. On our coming to the bridge, the Secesh opened fire on us, whereupon four Cos. Were deployed, making a line a half mile in length, against which was a whole Brigade of Secesh. Against such odds slow progress was made, but in a little while we drove them from the hill and chased them to their rifle pits. Our loss was heavy, being one man of every ten in the Regt and one of every six actually engaged in firing, either killed or wounded [4 wounded and 9 killed - editor].
Sunday May 18th – Co D still on picket, enemy have fired but little today, firing is down among the other Divisions also. Monday 19th – relieved from picket duty this morning, orders to be ready to march with rations at a moment’s notice, answered a letter from Jim and one from Priscilla today. Tuesday 20th – heavy thunderstorm last night, orders this morning to be ready to march at a moment’s notice with rations for two days. Pickets still skirmishing. A report in came that the heavy firing, etc., heard in the enemy’s camp yesterday was caused by four Louisiana Regts trying to break through their own line to give themselves up, but were fired upon by their own men and overpowered.
The same thing occurred a few days ago; two Regts, I do not remember their names, tried to escape to our lines but were fired upon by their pickets. Our advance men, hearing the firing, interfered, bringing back sixty prisoners, most of them from the Regts trying to escape. Their dissatisfaction is caused principally by Genl LOVEL’S cowardly act of deserting New Orleans on the approach of the Federal fleet. Deserters say that if we begin to fight now, we will have a hard time, but to give them a little more time and they will whip themselves.
Wednesday May 21st – our division advanced and very silently got our cannon in position. We then commenced to throw up fortifications and by night had the principal parts done. Thursday 22nd – finished our line of defense, pickets exchanging shots at intervals all day. Friday 23rd – were called in line several times, our pickets advancing drove the enemy back some. Thought an engagement was about to be had, but the enemy fell back and remained quiet, save for the occasional firing from zealots, answered if everything was quiet, but little firing among the pickets.
Saturday May 24th – some preparations clearly indicate the near approach of a battle. I went out on picket line, had a view of Secesh, heard bullets whistle too close for comfort. Sunday 25th – pickets gave an alarm at daybreak, did not amount to anything serious. Regt received new guns today, the Minnie rifle. Received and answered a letter from Kate.
Monday May 26th – Usual camp duties, pickets firing continually. Tuesday 27th – picket firing continues brisk. Wednesday 28th – orders received to be ready to make an advance on the enemy, at about 10 AM commenced skirmishing, planted three batteries and shelled the woods and a house heretofore occupied by Secesh. Drove them out, then advanced to a ridge and took position, shelling the retreating rebels.
They returned the fire of our cannon by an occasional shot from what sounded to be a single gun. One shell came close to my Co., a piece falling within a few feet. We held the ground gained without opposition until about 4 PM, when a Brigade made a charge on our advance troops through an open field. Our batteries opened fire on them, which sent them back in a hurry; at dark we commenced to throw up fortifications and worked all night, finishing them by daylight. Thursday 29th – the morning found a formidable breastwork, where not eighteen hours before rebel pickets were exchanging shots with our men.
Day spent in watching the enemy. At dark fell back to a small ridge and pitched tents. Friday 39th – cars were heard very busy all night, in fact there seemed to be many trains econtinually leaving. Shortly after daylight we heard a succession of explosions for which no reason could be assigned, except that they had evacuated and blown up their magazines. Accordingly Genl M. L. SMITH took up my Regt and the 34th Ohio out to ascertain.
We were off in a twinkling and soon reached the rebel outposts occupied by them yesterday, now vacated. A little farther brought us in full view of the rebel embankment, now apparently deserted. Trees had been fallen for half a mile to the front, making a network of brush, which would make it an impossibility to march through. On nearer approach, we saw their guns had been taken away. On coming upon fortifications, they appeared very slight in comparison with ours.
A man could scale them at a bound, the ditch being on the inside. The camps appeared as camps usually do when left in a hurry. Cooking utensils & food scattered in all directions. On coming to the Depot, we found both depot buildings and several store houses in flames, also a quantity of cotton was burning. We passed on, taking the track of the retreating enemy, capturing 40 prisoners. By this time orders for artillery and infantry to follow had been given and they commenced to arrive. Taking a good position about three miles from the Depot, we sent cavalry ahead to ascertain the position of the enemy. They reported them ahead some three miles occupying a commanding position on the bank of a deep creek, the bridge they had burnt. They opened fire on our cavalry with artillery wounding one man and injuring three horses. Returned to our camp by dark. Other Regts & commands took our place.
Saturday, May 31st – busy with usual routine of camp duties, heard cannonading in direction of Corinth, also about same time heard a locomotive whistle, have not heard the cause. Gave to Col KIRBY $35.00 raised by Co. D to be used in purchasing a sword & saddle for M. L. SMITH [Acting Brigadier General - editor]. Sunday June 1st – usual camp duties. Monday 2nd – left camp about 2 PM with two days’ rations. Sherman’s Division marched through Corinth and down the R.R. Tuesday June 3rd – my Regt went four miles beyond Chawalla to repair the [rail - editor]road and clear the track of rubbish, to get some seven locomotives from among the wreckage of as many burnt trains. Balance of Division remained at Chawalla.
Wednesday 4th – bivouacked at front. Thursday June 5th – awaiting orders. Friday 6th – went into camp on the hill near the station. Saturday 7th – in camp, I am busy fixing up the Co. accounts, as my former Captain [G. A. SMITH - editor] is now Acting Col of Regt. Sunday 8th – Monday 9th – Tuesday 10th – usual routine of duties in camp. Wednesday 11th – left Chawalla, marched 18 miles, stopt long enough to fix one bridge 30 feet long. Thursday June 12 – marched twelve miles, rested in the middle of the day.
Friday 13th – marched to Grand Junction, bivouacked on north side of town. Saturday 14th – marched to LaGrange and bivouacked SW of town on the bank of a large creek. Sunday 15th – change to camp on a hill west of town. Monday 16th – spent the day fixing up company papers and at 4 PM left for Holly Springs. Tuesday 17th – bivouacked at a plantation 11 miles from Springs last night, arrived in town at 10 AM. Stacked arms on the common, east of the Depot. Wednesday 18th – in camp, left town at 4 PM, camped at creek six miles from town.
Thursday 19th – marching 26 miles took several prisoners, one Major, several Lieutenants. Ten of our cavalry were wounded. Friday 20th – received letters from Kate, Ophelia, and Mary BROKAW, answered them, also wrote one to Eph. Saturday 21st – usual duties of camp. Sunday 22nd – left LaGrange at sunrise, marched 18 miles to Lafayette, camped for the night half mile from the Depot. Monday 23rd – this morning one of my comrades died of Typhoid Fever. He was sick only five days, the second day a congestion chill took him down, from which no relief could be given. Myself with two comrades made his coffin and at 3 PM we buried him. Went into camp in a grove on the top of a small knoll.
Tuesday 24th – went bathing this morning, spent most of the day strolling about the camp and Depot. Wednesday 25th– doing camp duties. Thursday 26th – headed for Moscow [KY - editor], arriving at noon. Friday 27th – quite unwell, but doing duty. Saturday 28th – quite unwell. Sunday 29th – went on sick report this morning marked quarters, but worked all day on muster rolls. Monday 30th – were mustered for pay, Regt ordered to march en route for Holly Springs. I remain in camp. Tuesday July 1st – finished writing muster rolls – getting better. Wednesday 2nd – usual camp duties. Thursday 3rd – camp duties. Friday 4th – Regt has not returned, very lonesome in camp, nothing going on. Makes me think of old times, when Fourth of July passed more pleasantly. A salute of 34 guns was fired at the Depot at midday, the only demonstration made.
Saturday 5th – usual camp duties, received letters from Kate and Ophelia, answered them. Sunday 6th – usual camp duties. Monday 7th – Regt returned to camp, had a hard march. Tuesday 8th – usual camp duties. Wednesday 9th – usual routine of camp life. Thursday 10th – Friday 11th quite unwell, in fact since we came to Moscow on June 26th, I have felt unfit for duty. Saturday 12th – Wednesday 16th – quite unwell. Thursday July 17th – my birthday, sick in quarters.
Friday 18th – left camp at Moscow at daylight, I had to be carried in an ambulance, camped about 7 miles west of Lafayette. Saturday 19th – came to a small station west of Germantown, where we pitched tents and staid over Sunday 20th. Monday 21st – marched into Memphis and went into camp in the SW of town. I am still in hospital. Tuesday 22nd – received letters from Kate, Ophelia, Jim, Priscilla, Zella and R. A. B. I remain about the same, mending if anything, answered all the letters except Jim’s & R.A.B.’s.
Wednesday July 23rd – received a letter today from Jane [HENDERSON – his future wife, sister of Jim - editor], feel better today (!) moved camp out on the road, came into town in about three miles, a pleasant place. Thursday 24th – not so well today, answered Jim’s and R. A. B.’s letters. Jim made me a proposition in his letter to go into partnership with him. Friday 25th – feel quite good. Had a great dinner today, we presented Genl SMITH with a full uniform, a splendid saddle, a fine sword, and an elegant pair of pistols. Sgt JACKSON made the presentation speech. After dinner many extempore speeches were made. Tailor’s battery and Willard’s old battery boys were present and others, the time passing very pleasantly. Saturday 26th – answered a letter from Priscilla received on the 24th. I am getting better quite fast.
Sunday July 27th – do not feel so well today, as usual nothing going on in camp. Monday 28th – some better. Tuesday 29th – about the same, my medicine changed from a prescription of brandy & Quinine to three grains Quinine three times a day, the aim is to stop my night sweats. I am also using an ointment of Iodine for the Goiter or swelling in my neck. I feel somewhat stronger, have a fair appetite, rainy afternoon. Wednesday 30th – cloudy morning, feel quite well this morning. Thursday 31st – cloudy forenoon, feel about as well I did yesterday……
Friday August 1st – pleasant day, feel about the same as yesterday. A quarrel in Co. F this morning, one man stabbed in the bowels – wound considered dangerous. Saturday 2nd – changed hospital from tents to a house, feel quite well. Sunday 3rd – feel about as usual, no change, a swelling of the Thyroid Gland. Monday 4th – no change. Tuesday 5th – feel weak, no apparent change.
Thursday 7th - ……….I have a good appetite, which serves to keep me around. Friday 8th – getting weaker, have pains through my bowels. Received a detail by Genl SHERMAN’S order to report myself as clerk for D. W. HARTSHAM, Division Surgeon. Regt received their long expected uniforms this afternoon.
Saturday August 9th – I rode down to Genl SHERMAN’S Hdqtrs in an ambulance and reported as ordered, feel weak but gaining. Sunday 10th – making out a weekly sick report of Division, very unsettled today. Monday 11th – busy all day in office, feel better again. Tuesday 12th – feel quite well, diarrhea is less violent – busy in office – very warm day. Wednesday 13th – am much better, busy making out Consolidated Monthly Reports of sick and wounded, etc.
Thursday 14th – busy in office. Friday 15th – Monday 18th – all pleasant days busy as usual office business. I am getting stout and healthy again, and if marching don’t start my old complainte, I will be as well as I ever have been. Tuesday 19th – pleasant day, have been writing for a General today, besides doing my usual work. Wednesday 20th – pleasant day, doing the usual business of the office.
Thursday 21st – Thursday 28th – at work attending to usual business, was up to the Co. this afternoon, nothing new transpiring of much consequence. A Brigade was sent out in reconnaissance towards Holly Springs, merely as a check on the enemy. Friday 29th – Sunday 31st – occupied in making weekly reports and attending to other business of the office.
Monday September 1st – usual office duties. Tuesday 2nd – Friday 5th – ordinary routine of business, a command of 179th Cavalry Company Sixth Illinois Regt. commanded by Lieut GRIERSON, went on a reconnaissance. Saturday 6th– busy making out a monthly report. Quite a sensation created by a report brought in by a sergeant of the command which went out yesterday, that it had all been captured. Just now a detachment of it came in with a number of prisoners and a report that the Lieutenant who commanded them was killed by Guerillas firing from ambush.
Part of the prisoners escaped, two were killed, one private and the Lieut. A small command went out and laid the whole country waste around where the attack was made, burning several dwellings and killing two men who were of the party of Guerillas. Genl HULBERT’S Division left with all their camp equipage for a point unknown just past 1 o’clock PM. Sunday 14th – busy at the duties of the office. Monday 15th – Saturday 20th – nothing unusual, ordinary routine of work.
Sunday 21st – warm day, remained in camp, do not feel very well, have been to the theatre 4 nights in succession. The plays were good, 1st Honeymoon, a farce, 2nd All Is Not Gold That Glitters, 3rd Michael Erin as The Maniac Lover, 4thThe Serious Family Monday 22nd – usual business of the office.
Tuesday 23rd – Sunday 28th – usual routine of office duties. A few Guerillas have been firing on our boats for the past few days. Randolph has been burnt, on account of an attempt at that place to capture the S. B. Eugenie [steam boat - editor]. Only one building left, that was a church. The G. B. [gun boat - editor] Essex had an engagement silencing a battery of 34 guns without any damage to herself. She also bombarded a town for harboring citizens or Guerillas who fired on a boat load of men going from the gunboat to get supplies. The President’s proclamation has reached us, freeing all slaves in the states or sections in rebellion on January 1, 1863. He is going to work now with the gloves off! For the past week we have had Artillery practice nearly every day, very beneficial to the Artillerists. Monday 29th – Tuesday 30th – usual duties.
Wednesday October 1st – Saturday 4th – office duties quite busy. Sunday 5th – Friday 10th – nothing exciting at this place, pickets bring in the usual number of persons trying to smuggle goods, etc., other departments of the military succeed as usual. Saturday 11th – Thursday 16th – nothing stirring except news of a fight at Corinth. Also news of a fight in Kentucky and a raid into Pennsylvania by Secesh cavalry. Friday 17th – Sunday 19th – weather getting cool, but it’s dry and healthy, usual office duties. Surgeon Genl has sent for the specimens of morbid anatomy now in this division. Today (Sunday) is very quiet. Genl SHERMAN has gone to review the 1st Brigade. Of late he has reviewed his whole Division once a week, generally the 1st Brigade on Sunday.
Monday October 20th – Friday 24th – very busy in office, have been copying very lengthy court martial proceedings of 25 cases for Genl GRANT. Have made out a report for Medical Inspector G. T. ALLEN, have much to do. Received a letter from Priscilla, all well, although Ma and Theodore complaining some. Saturday 25th – Friday 31st – busy with office duties making monthly reports, etc.
Saturday November 1st – Wednesday 12th – usual routine of duties. The new regiments are now coming in here, one or two each day. A new Medical Officer outranking Major HARTSHORN has reported for duty. Thursday 13th – Friday 14th – last night three more Regts arrived. I have been quite unwell, feeling better this morning. Saturday 15th – Monday 17th – usual duties, nothing new, a series of fires in town. They seem so regular that the supposition is they were set and that there is a group of rebels at work. Received letter from Kate, all well, answered it. Tuesday 18th – Wednesday 26th – usual duties in office. Received orders on 23rd to march on 26th, column did so early this morning. We left at 2 AM, crossed the Hatchie and encamped about one mile beyond. Thursday 27th – column moved at sunrise, and as it passed the road on which Genl LAUMAN was to join our column, he reported promptly at that moment. Went on about half mile to the State Line, where Genl M. L. SMITH was to join us, he reported also, making an exact meeting of the three Divisions at the appointed place. Genl LAUMAN left Memphis by the Hernando Road, Genl DENVER by the Pigeon Roost Road, and Genl M. L. SMITH by the Germantown Road, encamping at Coldwater Creek 27 miles from Memphis.
Friday 28th – column marched at sunrise. Genl Sherman and staff (incl. E. SHAY) stopped at Byhalia Village until Genl DENVER’S and Genl LAUMAN’S Divisions passed and the column of Genl SMITH’S was in sight. Then we left at dusk on the direct road to Pigeon Roost, where we arrived and encamped at 9 PM. Genl LAUMAN’S Division took the Chulahoma Road at Byhalia and joined Genl DENVER’S column, which passed on the direct road to Pigeon Roost beyond the Holly Spring Road to join us. Saturday 29th – remained in camp at Pigeon Roost. Sunday 30th – column moved at sunrise, we left soon after. Stopped at a farmer’s until by brisk riding we just had time to reach the head of the column as it arrived in Chulahoma (Chewalla, TN?). Went in camp with Genl. DENVER in the center, the others on the right and left on the principal roads leading to and from town.
Monday December 1st, 1862 – remained in camp at Chulahoma, cold damp day, had our office in the parlor of the mansion in the yard where our tents were pitched. I was very busy making out a Consolidated Monthly Report of all the sick and wounded of the District of Memphis. Sent out a reconnoitering party of two Regts of infantry (815th Missouri was one) and a force of cavalry to ascertain the enemy’s position on the Hatchie, where they are fortified. Discovered them in full retreat, burning everything they could not take along.
Tuesday 2nd – column moved at 2 AM, we left at 7 AM, arrived at Wyatt at 12, took quarters in a house near the river. Very rainy and muddy, building a bridge across the Hatchie. Wednesday 3rd – Genl SHERMAN and staff went to a ford. Thursday 4th – marched to College Hill. Friday 5th – Monday 8th – in camp at College Hill, Genl Sherman went to Oxford to consult with Genl GRANT and others. Tuesday 9th – orders from Genl SHERMAN arrived to prepare to march to Memphis in company with Genl M. L. SMITH’S Division. Left at noon and Genl SHERMAN rode along the lines of Genl LAUMAN’S and Genl DENVER’S commands, making a short speech to each Regiment camped at Wyatt.
Wednesday 10th – marched to Pigeon Roost and encampment. Thursday 11th – marched to Coldwater Creek, where Genl M. L. SMITH’S Division encamped. We, with 7 companies of the 13th Regt as a bodyguard, camped 20 ½ miles from Memphis this side of Coldwater Creek several miles.
December 12th – left camp at 4 AM, rode in advance of the Infantry and arrived in Memphis at noon, took quarters in the Fort in a house formerly occupied by Col McDOWELL. Office is in the basement of the brick house now used by Genl HURLBENT as Headquarters, formerly SHERMAN’S. Saturday 13th – busy issuing orders and getting everything ready to move down the river as soon as boats arrive to transport us. Sunday 14th – Friday 19th – very busy making the needful preparations for the important movement down the Mississippi. Saturday 20th – at 10 AM the Forest Queen, upon whom Genl SHERMAN has his quarters, left the landing at Memphis (TN) for Helena (MS), in order to arrive in time to perfect arrangements for the disembarkation of the troops at that point.
The transports bringing down the forces from Memphis are to follow. We arrived at Helena at dark and they dropped us at the wharf on our boat. Sunday 21st – Genl M. L. SMITH’S Division passed us early in the morning. We staid at Helena until 3 PM, when we left for a landing (old town point) 10 or 15 miles down river, where we found Genl M. L. SMITH’S Division, remained here overnight. Monday 22nd – all the troops on about 70 transports are now here or near. It is very pleasant weather. A rumor arrived yesterday that the Rebels had made a raid on Holly Springs and cut off communication with Genl GRANT’S command. I have a Memphis paper from yesterday morning, which does not confirm it, but mentions a raid was expected at Jackson, Tenn. And states that a train of cars was set fire between Humbold and Cades Station (TN). Passed White River at dark and stopped for the night just below its mouth.
Tuesday 23rd – left early in the morning, passed Arkansas River about 8:30 AM, Napoleon, the small town at its mouth, is a busy small village composed of very ordinary houses. Saw what appeared to be two small churches and one school house, no business house of any size. A Marine Hospital is situated at the mouth of the Arkansas, quite a respectable building, but reported to be a very unhealthy situation. There is no levee nor paved streets at Napoleon. All the towns along the Mississippi River banks present a naked poor appearance. Small poorly built houses, no pavement, and the farm houses near the banks look more like a backwoodsman’s hut in Michigan than a Southern Planter’s Mansion. I have not so far seen one respectable-looking house since leaving Memphis. Wednesday 24th – usual routine of camp got under way at about 11 AM, and went until 10 PM.
Thursday, December 25th – this morning a group of soldiers unworthy of the name set fire to some barns, huts or Negro quarters, etc. burning 12 or more. Genl SHERMAN ordered out a squad of armed men with orders to fire on them. I guess he told them to aim high, as but one or two slight casualties occurred. Several prisoners were taken and 28 more are being court martialed for stealing pigs, chickens, etc. Friday 26th – arrived at mouth of Yazoo River about 12:30 AM, preparing to move up the Yazoo at 8 AM. Left the landing and the fleet, except Gen A. J. SMITH’S Division tied up at the respective landing. Gen M. L. SMITH’S Division is at Johnson’s house. Gen MORGAN is about one mile above. Gen STEEL is above Chickasaw Bridge and took necessary precautions to prevent the enemy’s making a rush on us.
Saturday 27th – Gen M. L. SMITH marched to the front, had quite a skirmish. Gen MORGAN also moved ahead, had quite a skirmish towards evening. Gen A. J. SMITH landed near Black’s Mill and moved his line forward. Gen STEEL also moved forward and much cannonading was heard from that direction.
I supposed it to be the Gun Boats shelling the woods. I have not heard anything from the command yet, whether they find the enemy in force at the front or not. I saw a signal flag on the hill near Thompson’s Lake, but could not ascertain whose it was, whether ours or the enemy’s. The Chickasaw Bridge prevents our communication except by water. Tonight our line meets in the Chickasaw Bridge. New bridges are being thrown across and will be completed by morning.
Sunday December 28th – skirmishing commenced about 4 AM and at daylight cannonading, at 7 AM brisk cannonading, at 8 AM quite heavy, principally in the front of the center Divisions. Gen (J. A.) McCLERNAND has not arrived yet, and unless he comes soon, Gen SHERMAN will have Vicksburg before he gets here and the honor he expects will be given to the man who deserves it. We have a very hard task before us and with anyone but Gen SHERMAN to lead would be defeated, at least that is my opinion now. At 7 AM Gen M. L. SMITH was wounded in the side. He was in front with a Capt of one of his Battalions examining or choosing a position for the Battalion, when a rebel sharpshooter arose from the grass and shot him. Some sharp skirmishing recurred during the day.
Monday 29th – Infantry skirmishing commenced early in the day. At 8 AM the Batteries opened very heavily and continued for one hour, firing more slowly all day. Infantry commenced a vigorous attack at 12 noon and the firing continued without intermission until after dark, and all during the night the cannon shelled our bridge built by our Col at intervals of about 3 minutes. Tuesday 30th – no firing of much account. Enemy strengthening their position, we are also strengthening ours, building roads to the rear, etc. Wednesday 31st – no action of any account, time occupied as yesterday. A gun appeared today on the hill commanding the [Chickasaw - editor] Bayou and from appearances was capable of shelling Headquarters, no firing from it yet.
An expedition was prepared consisting of 12,000 picked men and two mortars, a couple Ironclads and three wooden Gun Boats, with Steamers enough to transport the Infantry. Under commands of Gen STEELE and Admiral PORTER respectively. But owing to a slight fog hanging on the surface of the water, it was not thought advisable to attempt the storming of Haines’s Bluff, as much difficulty would be experienced in getting the transports near enough to effect a landing.
Thursday January 1st, 1863 – at 3:30 AM a dispatch for Gen SHERMAN arrived on board the Steamer Forest Queen, on which boat the office of the Adjt Gen remained. The Orderlies being all out in the field at Gen SHERMAN’S Hd Qtrs there, I saddled my horse and with much difficulty got him ashore, by crossing another boat and leading him down a single stair. I rode as fast as possible to Gen SHERMAN’S Hd Qtrs, I found the Gen standing outside his tent by the fire, apparently listening for Gen STEELE to open on the Batteries at Haines’s Bluff, at which time attack was to be made along our whole front.
The dispatch contained the notice of the failure of the expedition, giving the reasons. He seemed disappointed, but without saying a word wrote an answer and gave it to me, which I delivered to Gen STEELE on board the Steamer Constitution. He received it in his bed and merely raised up to read it. All further attempts to take Vicksburg with the present force, and without the cooperation of Gen GRANT as well as Gen STEELE, appear useless and the attack was abandoned under cover of darkness.
On the night of January 1st the troops withdrew to the transports and left for Millikens Bend. The enemy appeared not to anticipate the movement, as no demonstration was made, even though all the transports did not get out of the Yazoo River until 4 PM on Friday the 2nd. Saturday 3rd – laying at Millikens Bend. Gen McCLERNAND reported officially and with Gen SHERMAN went down to the mouth of the Yazoo to officially and with Gen SHERMAN went down to the mouth of the Yazoo to confer with Admiral PORTER, leaving about 8 PM and returning about 12 AM. The rain which has been pouring down for two days past has ceased. I have been very busy making out reports of the killed, wounded, etc. Since January 1st, when I came in from the battlefield, I have staid on board S. B. Forest Queen, Gen SHERMAN’S Hd Qtr boat. Sunday 4th – we started up the Mississippi River, having in view a fort on the Arkansas River. Gen MeCLERNAND assumed command. Monday 5th – we are on our way up the Arkansas River. The Ironclads have to be towed, making progress slow. Tuesday 6th – on our way I continue to work on the report of killed and 1000 wounded, of which 721 were so serious as to require hospital accommodations, the balance were so slight as to be treated by the Regt Surgeons. Arrived at White River at 2 PM.
Thursday 8th – very busy making arrangements for the expedition in contemplation. Friday 9th – left landing at 8 AM and proceeded up the White River to the cutoff, thence into the Arkansas River and up that, landing just below Fort Nelson, three miles from Post Arkansas, preparing to disembark early tomorrow. Saturday 10th – disembarked and advanced on the enemy, taking his rifle pits and driving him to the Fort. Sunday 11th – formed our line of attack, getting batteries in position, enemy in the meantime throwing shells among us occasionally. At 12:45 PM battle opened with our artillery and Gun Boats advancing within 400 yards of fort and by rapid and correct firing, silenced it at 2 PM. Fort surrendered unconditionally.
Monday 12th – conversed with prisoners. They embarked on a boat for the trip north. I went down to the General Hospital of the place and took charge of the medicines. Tuesday 13th – came up to landing after loading medicines, etc. Gen SHERMAN moved his quarters on S. B. Forest Queen at 4 PM. I am now and have been for 3 days past at Gen McCLERNAND’S Hd Qtrs on S. B. Tigress.
Wednesday 14th – commenced to rain at daylight, disagreeable day. I moved my clothing, etc. from Forest Queen to Tigress, took everything aboard in afternoon. Thursday 15th – changed to snow, three inches deep this morning, a snowy, wintry day. QM (Quarter Master) is loading mules on the S. B. Friday 16th – snowing still, melts some; went down to fort to pass the night, burnt everything we could not get on board, blew up the fort. Nearly all the boats have gone down the river, Gen Morgan’s Division is here yet.
Saturday 17th – after giving up the fort, we started down the river, arrived at Napoleon at the mouth of the Arkansas at noon, cool day, snow melting very little. Sunday 18th – laying at Napoleon, a fire broke out during day and boats had to move out of its reach. Monday 19th – started down the river, a squall of wind for an hour or two. Tuesday 20th – on our way down the river we stopped each night, about noon found our Gun Boats laying at anchor, two boats through some misunderstanding, had passed the fleet. Wednesday 21st – after about two hours overtook the missing boats anchored and awaiting our approach. We landed at Tourage Point.
Thursday, January 22, 1863 – disembarked, I went up to Milliken’s Bend by land with a dispatch. Friday 23rd – the work of disembarking and caring for the sick & wounded continues, troops are working on a ditch. Saturday 24th – troops are encamping and some are at work on the canal. A wedding last night on the Gun Boat Queen of the West, the Capt married a lady living up the river a few miles. Sunday 25th – office duties, usual program of camp life. Monday 26th – office duties, ordinary camp duties occupy the attention of company, a detail at work on canal.
Tuesday 27th – B. B. Van Phal & J. C. left today for Memphis with the sick. Wednesday 28th – I went down to the ditch today, the water runs very sluggishly, no washing of the banks. Thursday 29th – firing from the mouth of ditch at Rebel transports, a ferry boat has been captured, the river is now blockaded below the city. Friday 30th – office duties. Saturday 31st – office duties.
Sunday, February 1st – Went on board Tigress with wagons, etc. of the Medical Director. Monday 2nd – moved down to Gen Sherman’s Hd Qtrs, Queen of the West got by the batteries of Vicksburg in broad daylight without serious injury. Tuesday 3rd – Monday 9th – office duties. Tuesday 10th – office duties and a Serenade to Gen Sherman. Wednesday 11th – Rebels trying to range their guns on the canal, hit it very well. Surgeon LAUBIS, Medical Director of the Department here is quite unwell. Surgeon ALLEN of Medical Dept is here also. Thursday 12th – office duties. Friday 13th – office duties, received letter from Kate & Ophelia. Saturday 14th – office duties. Gun Boat Indianola ran the blockade without injury last night. Sunday 15th – Saturday 21st – office duties. Sunday 22nd – office duties, naturally a salute fired by land and naval forces in honor of Washington’s Birthday.
Monday 23rd – office duties. Tuesday 24th – office duties, distant and heavy firing heard all day down the river, continuing until dark. At midnight a dummy was sent down which drew the fire from all their guns. Our boys caught it at the mouth of canal. Wednesday 25th – office duties, at 10 AM a dispatch arrived that the Queen of the West was in sight, with Rebel colors. Nothing definite yet with regard to Indianola, but suppose her captured also or sunk. About 4 PM the dummy was let go from its moorings at the canal and floated down. The Queen left down the river on the dummy’s approach at about 8 PM, later a tremendous explosion was heard down the river.
Thursday 26th – office duties, nothing definite yet of the Indianola, but think the dummy scared the Secesh and they blew her up, for fear she would be captured. Friday February 27th – Thursday March 12th – office duties. Friday, March 13th – office duties, much activity among troops of 3rd Ohio Cavalry, and 55th, 24th, 34th Ohio Infantry.
Saturday, March 14 – office duties, Maj. TAYLOR and Capt McCOY returned from their leav of absence. Asst Surgeon General Col R. C. WOOD is at the landing. Troops moving up the levee, quite an amount of activity prevails, water endangers the camps. Col WOOD came up to the office, took a ride with Surgeon McMILLEN. Received letter from Priscilla dated December 28th. Sunday 15th – office duties, answered Priscilla and Ma’s letter, enclosed $1 for Ma to pay Uncle Ben a debt I owed him. Rained last night, is cloudy with some rain this morning, cleared off and fair in afternoon, had a fourhanded game of cards with Jake HILLARD, a sergeant, and another man from the Colonel’s staff.
Monday, March 16th – office duties, pleasant day, 8th Missouri and other troops embarked for an expedition. Surgeon McMILLAN went to Gen GRANT’S Hd Qrts, taking documentary evidence to show the history of the Med Dept since the command left Memphis. Gen SHERMAN left to accompany expediton about 4 PM, went up on a tug to the upper distant landing. Heavy firing all day of heavy guns at Waneuter or in that direction. Tuesday 17th – official duties, pleasant day, rumors that HAINE’S Bluff was evacuated and occupied by our troops, celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the evening. Wednesday 18th – office duties, pleasant day, too warm for comfort, rumor that two Cos on the Mosquito Flats were taken up the Yazoo by the enemy, also that the 8th Missouri had a fight resulting in their being cut up badly – no good foundation for either report. Removed guns from the mouth of the ditch by way of levee. Rebs fired shell at the boys but did no harm, fired at the dredge boat also, but went nowhere.
Thursday, March 19th – office duties, pleasant day, Rebs fired at dredge boat every 15 minutes all last night, one piece of shell hit but did no harm. Heavy firing heard about daylight down the river, much speculation concerning its cause. Rumor that Commadore FARRAGUT has run by Port Hudson. Signals were made from below (city) and now it is certain our boats are below, or the enemy have our signals.
Friday 20th – Rebs fired but little last night, five of the boats from lower fleet went below, one reported destroyed. Office duties, pleasant day, making report for Hospital Surgeon Gen. Lieut HILL went down to communicate with Admiral FARRAGUT. Two of the lower fleet are here in safety. The Hartford guns are the Albatross guns! Saturday 21st – office duties, pleasant day. Lieut HILL returned with dispatches and Lieut of 25th Regt NY Lt ARTILL. Seven boats started, one burned and the others could not be seen when these left the Fort. Just before sundown heavy firing was heard near Waneuter lasting one hour. Supposition is that Commadore FARRAGUT attacked the place, nothing definite known.
Sunday 22nd – office duties, pleasant day. Brig Gen CONDIG arrived at the Columbia landing at noon today with firepower anew, the Autocrat, Diana, Baltic, Adams, and E. H. FAIRCHILD. Firing near Waneuter early in the forenoon. Monday 23rd – office duties, rainy and muddy, dredge boats have left the canal. Tuesday 24th – office duties, cool north wind, not near freezing, but cool for this climate, did not do much work in office. Wednesday 25th – office duties, cool but pleasant, two boats tried to run the blockade by Vicksburg, the first one had the boiler exploded and was sunk, the second, the Switzerland was disabled but towed ashore by Commadore FARRAGUT’S Gun Boat. Thursday 26th – office duties, pleasant day, 55th Illinois 10th, sleighing in the East. Gen ELLIOT’S Marine Brigade went away from landing about noon, up the river, destination unknown.
Friday 27th – pleasant day, a little cloudy about noon, office duties. Gun Boat Lafayette left her anchorage and went upstream this morning. There are no Gun Boats between Lounge Point and Vicksburg now. Answered Kate’s letter. Gen SHERMAN’S Expedition returned, proved a failure, got to within 6 ½ miles of Sunflower River. Saturday 28th – office duties, Spring showers, heavy firing in direction of Waneuter, violent wind about midnight, several trees blown down in the yard and a general scattering of tents, etc., finally went to bed and to sleep about 3 AM on the 29th.
Sunday, March 29, 1863 – office duties, cool day, had to have fire in the office. Monday 30th – office duties, weather still cool, military operations progress as usual. Tuesday 31st – office duties, cool day. Wednesday April 1 – office duties, cool day, Gen STEELE’S Division preparing to go on expedition – Gen SMITH commanding, Gen ROSS’S old Division has arrived. Rebels fired a few shells about dark. Thursday 2nd – office duties, warmer weather, need no fire. Gen STEELE’S command left today. Gen STUART had a review, his last before returning to private life. Congress not confirming his re-appointment. He was early engaged in the war, raised two Regiments himself, spent $20,000 on them, has never been home, and has attended strictly to his duty; so much for justice! Friday 3rd – office duties, received letter from Kate and her photograph. I was down to Regt (Hd Qtrs), quite unwell last night, feel bad today, answered Kate’s and Ophelia’s letters, windy evening. Saturday 4th – office duties, feel better, pleasant day, Gen STEELE’S Division on expedition at Greenville today.
Sunday, April 5 – office duties, pleasant day, went down on point and took view of Vicksburg Canal, which broke through the levee, overflowing the old camp. Gen STEELE’S Division is on the march in the interior, enemy rear guard in close proximity. Monday 6th – office duties, pleasant day, water rising in the yard, the railroad has been cut, and water begins to drain off and fall. We made a huge wreath of willow and roses and Shiloh in large letters and hung it at the Gen’s door this morning. Gen STEELE repaired the bridge today, which stopped his progress last evening, being burned ahead of him by the enemy. Tuesday 7th – office duties, Gen STEELE on the march towards the interior. Enemy seen in small numbers, skirmishes with artillery. Wednesday 8th – office duties, Gen STEELE on the march, enemy in sight occasionally. After camping for the night, the enemy’s artillery and ours exchanged several shots, no casualties. This place is called Thomas Plantation. A few miles from Greenville the march ended. Thursday 9th – office duties, Gen STEELE on the march back to Greenville, destroying all large quantities of crops, etc. which could not be brought along. Friday 10th – office duties, pleasant day, Gen STEELE reached the boats today, one man has been killed and two wounded. Saturday 11th – office duties, pleasant day, quite unwell, shower in evening, continued raining all night.
Sunday, April 12 – office duties, damp morning. Flag of truce today, a mother and her two daughters came with it, daughters young and handsome. A refugee and family also came in – all go north I believe. Monday 13th – office duties, flag of truce today, Gen GRANT and Gen STEELE answered it. Tuesday 14th – office duties, fair day, water rising, wrote letter to Uncle as usual. Wednesday 15th – office duties, Gun Boats to have went by Vicksburg did not go. Passed evening on Westmoreland, Forest Queen was not ready, which caused a delay, going this evening without fail.
Thursday 16th – office duties, warm day, about half a dozen shots fired from Battery in the city, apparently at our fort on the point. Brig Gen THOMAS, Adjutant General, came here this afternoon to Gen SHERMAN’S office. Boats all ready, will go this evening. Friday 17th – Gun Boats went down last night: Beuton, Lafayette, Tuscumbia, Corondolet, Louisville, Mound City, Pittsburg, Gen Price. Also Transports: forest Queen, Silver Water, and Henry CLAY. Henry CLAY took fire approaching city and was burned. Forest Queen helped her and received a shell, which injured her steam drum. Tuscumbia went back and brought her through.
Saturday, April 18, 1863 – office duties, pleasant day, crew of Forest Queen came up to office today, came past firing from our guns on the point on enemy’s stronghold. Sunday 19th – office duties, pleasant day, received letter from Kate, answered it, all are well except Tripp VANETTER. A boat from the fleet endeavored to go up the river on the opposite side. It having no flag raised, our battery fired blank shots and brought it back, then sent an officer to ascertain its business and let it pass. Monday 20th – office duties, pleasant day, shelling city, apparently to burn house which enemy are preparing to blockade. Rumor that Gen ROSENKRANS had a battle and whipped the enemy but had heavy losses, at present stated at 16,000, but greatly exaggerated I think. Tuesday 21st – Tuesday 28th – office duties, no word of a fight by Gen ROSENKRANS’ forces.
Wednesday 29th – office duties, pleasant day, mud drying up a little, ten Regts under Gen BLAIR of 2nd Division left landing to go a short distance up the Yazoo River, about 13 miles, heard firing about 11 AM or 12 PM. Caught some fish in a ditch near Hd Qtrs this afternoon. Thursday 30th – office duties, rumors from picket that the enemy are crossing in boats opposite Vicksburg or a little below, sent aide to ascertain. Firing up Yazoo is heard about 10:00 AM. very heavy guns. Enemy seen across the river opposite Gen SHERMAN’S Hd Qtrs, apparently watching our movements. Firing up Yazoo continues until late in evening.
Friday, May 1st – office duties, warm day, have noticed no firing up the Yazoo, firing in the vicinity of Vicksburg nearly all day, do not know the cause, but some shells were so close could hear them burst. Heard it was a party of enemy who went across the canal to see if anything was being done there. They were firing at our troops, causing quite a stir among the Regts left behind. Col HOGERE with 5 Cos of the 118th just went up towards the canal. He has been riding up and down the levee two or three times this afternoon. Gen SHERMAN’S Expedition returned at dusk, did merely what was intended – to make faint of an attack. Orders to be ready to move tomorrow.
Saturday 2nd – went by boat to Milliken’s Bend, disembarked and prepared to leave for Carhage tomorrow morning, 1st Division is on the way, 3rd Division also. Sunday 3rd – left Milliken’s Bend about 8 AM, road to plantation, where Gen STEELE dismounted for a stay of two hours. Received letter from Kate this morning – Jim SHAY elected. “Chatterbox” is quite unwell, Bell is dead and YOUNGS died in the army some time ago. Went to Gen GRANT’S Hd Qtrs within a couple miles of Carthage.
Monday 4th – left early and went to Perkins Plantation, where we remained during the afternoon and night. Gen SHERMAN went by boat to Grand Gulf, returned during night. I saw Mr. PERKINS’ monument, he was lost at sea on the ship Arctic. Mrs Perkins’ monument is near her husband’s. The dwelling house was burned by the next owner upon our taking New Orleans, I learned. Tuesday 5th – left at 9 AM and went to Hardens’ Landing opposite Grand Gulf, passed many large mansions, most of them deserted and the furniture left behind had been destroyed by soldiers. Passed many cotton gins, etc. burned last night. Do not know by whom, but from description by the slaves, the same man did all the burning. Staid at plantation of Dr. HOLLINGSWORTH.
Wednesday, May 6, 1863 – packed up wagons, saddled horses, expecting to cross the river, but did not do so, remained all day and camped for the night in same place we staid last night. Gen STEELE’S & Gen TUTTLE’S Divisions arrived, the 2nd Brigade of Gen STEELE’s crossed during the night and the 6th Brigade under Gen THOMAS came to our camp in the afternoon, brought dispatch from Gen GRANT that he is proceeding admirably.
Thursday 7th – cold night last night, wind from north, packed wagons and saddled horses and went to landing early. Crossed over (to east side of Mississippi River) on Forest Queen, with some on Gun Boat, and camped against the hill. Took a survey of the defense, much work done, a lack of heavy guns was plainly visible. So strong is the place by nature that it would be impregnable if guns were properly placed and defended.
Friday 8th – left camp. Gen GRANT is near Rocky Springs. I do not know what we are waiting for, unless it is for Gen BLAINE. Some of the troops are in motion. Sent Kate’s letter which I wrote at Grand Gulf.
Saturday 9th – remained in camp at first ford.
Sunday 10th – I went with Capt PITTMAN to make a survey of the road. Gen SHERMAN’S Hd Qtrs and Gen STEELE’S command left at 2 PM and marched to Big Sandy Creek by way of Rocky Springs and bivouacked for the night. Country is very hilly, roads crooked, deep ravines, land poor, presents a striking contrast with the rich plantations across the river, country is better as we go up Big Black River.
Monday 11th – left camp at sunrise, went with Capt. PITTMAN to survey road to Cayuga, arrived at 10 AM, very pleasant dry weather, heard a few cannon in NW direction this morning.
Gen GRANT’S Hd Qtrs are at Cayuga P.O. near the church, camped there for the night.
Tuesday 12th – left early in the morning and marched a few miles when enemy opened fire on us with musketry – killed one man. I was with Col HIBBARD making a survey of the road when I heard the firing, so I went in front. Some skirmishing now at 10 AM, lasted only a few minutes, enemy retreated, followed by us. The bridge was burned, took until night to repair it and get the two commands across, camped on hill just across creek. Six killed, 8 or 10 wounded today, heard firing on and off all night.
Wednesday May 13th – Left camp at 4 AM, Gen McPHERSON had a fight about two miles from Raymond, we reinforced him, he lost about 200 killed and wounded. We arrived about 8:30. He had driven the enemy through the town of Raymond last evening. Command went forward on the direct road to Jackson, came on the enemy’s picket 8 ½ miles past Raymond.
Exchanged a few shots, then they fell back. We then went into camp, the owner of the plantation is a Private in the 3rdMississippi, MARSHALL by name. Gen McPHERSON went into Clinton, took possession of the place, intercepted dispatches from Gen LEE ordering his troops to fall back, if not strong enough to stop us or risk engagement.
Thursday 14th – left in morning for Jackson (MS), some skirmishing all the way, and about 3 miles from town came a force of Infantry and Artillery. At 11 AM commanding on our left supposed to be Gen McPHERSON, the enemy opened fire on us with cannon at 11:50. Our Battery answered, but not from a good position. At 12:15 Infantry fire quite heavy. At 12:25 PM enemy gave way to our men, skirmishing continued. At 12:30 Capt PITTMAN reported rifle pits abandoned. Gen STEELE took possession of Jackson at 3 PM, camped in suburbs of town, has been rainy all day.
Friday, May 15, 1863 – remained in Jackson all day, busy taking possession of Rebel property and destroying railroads, manufactories, etc. Troops are taking possession of all property, food, etc. which is of any service to the army. Destroyed Rebel cannons, loaded up one, saved the ammunition; many fires in town.
Saturday 16th – left about 10 AM, arrived in Clinton (MS) about 2 PM. Col HOUGHTON brought report that Gen GRANT has an engagement and lost 1500 prisoners, other reports say 500 were recaptured, no positive information. We are pushing ahead on the strength of the report. Dispatch from Gen GRANT at 6 PM that he has taken 1500 prisoners and three batteries. Camped at Bolton, (MS) with orders to leave at 4 AM on 17th. (Clinton & Bolton are small towns on present-day I-20, main route from State Capital at Jackson to Vicksburg on the Mississippi.)
Sunday 17th – Gen TUTTLE’S Division was unable to pass (over) the bridge just east of the train station, on account of the lateness last night and fatigue of the troops, consequently we left later than ordered, being sunrise. At 11 AM and 4 miles east of Big Black River, receive a dispatch from Gen GRANT, 3000 prisoners & 33 pieces of cannon taken at bridge. I went back with medicines for wounded in Gen GRANT’S Division, about 300 enemy killed and 3000 prisoners. Army Corps went to Big Black River and put down pontoons and commenced crossing river at sundown. Gen BLAINE’S Division joined us; we crossed two miles above the railroad.
Monday 18th – whole Army Corps crossed during night, wagon train left to cross today. Marched to within 3 miles of Vicksburg, where the enemy commenced to skirmish with us. We come on the city from the northeast. Gen GRANT is here. About 4 PM the Division parted from Gen BLAINE’S and advanced by both roads towards the city. As soon as McPHERSON’S Corps arrived, Col SMITH’S Brigade returned and took position with the 2nd Division. Some anxiety for Gen McPHERSON’S arrival on account of fires seen in city and a supposition that the enemy may try to excape by way of ridge road on our right. Gen STEELE is charged with guarding the attack, expected some skirmishing about 15 wounded.
Tuesday 19th – forenoon spent getting in position, with intervals of sharp skirmishing. Orders to assault at 2 PM, which was done by Gen SHERMAN’S Corps and a part of Gen McPHERSON’S. A General failed to obey orders and the consequence was that these two did all the fighting, loss – 300 wounded actually in hospital. Gen STEELE’S site from the Gun Boats (on the Mississippi River) opened fire after dark and kept it up at intervals all night. Wednesday 20th – skirmishing commenced at daylight and continued briskly until 2 PM, when it increased to a real fight, cannonading all day from Gun Boats and mortars at intervals all night.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: In case you have been unable to follow the path of this war, General GRANT’S railroad supply lines from the North had been destroyed, and the Mississippi Bluffs at Vicksburg were heavily fortified, so he sent his army with very few supplies hopping from port to port south along the west bank of the river, sometimes by boat and sometimes overland. Then they crossed the Mississippi below Vicksburg, went up the Big Black River and Natchez Trace, to capture the Capital at Jackson and slip into Vicksburg from the East along present-day I-20.)
Thursday May 21, 1863 – cannonading all day, very heavy during forenoon, firing from sharpshooters incessant. I went to the extreme right and saw Youngs Point & surrounding country from the bluffs. Friday 22nd – cannonading commenced early in morning and was very heavy as the assault was made by 15th Artillery Corps. I do not know whether the other corps did as they were ordered or not. I heard little or no firing on the left. The flag was planted on the enemy works and remained there all day, withdrew after dark. Our forces were within 50 yards of their works all day, very heavy loss, four forces acted under the heaviest fire. Saturday 23rd – very quiet in morning, little firing of cannon except from mistake about 10 AM, cannonading heavy on left, Gun Boats opened fire also from sound. Capt. PITTMAN, Topographical Engineer on Gen Sherman’s Staff, was wounded by enery’s sharpshooter while taking survey of works. (Weather during campaign so far is the best kind for our purpose – roads dry, just showers enough to lay dust once in a while.) Received letter from Kate.
Sunday 24th – cannonading all day, slowly skirmishing with sharpshooters, our troops digging rifle pits. I went to the landing on Yazoo River at head of Chickasaw Bayou, passed over battleground of Dec. 27-28-29, 1861. The enemy had the strongest natural position in the West, if not in the whole South, to protect them. I never saw anything near its equal. Wounded sent to river to go north yesterday & today. Monday 25th – a slow cannonading and fire from sharpshooters kept up & fine dry weather. A flag of truce from 6 to 8 PM to recover the dead. I went out to view their works, it is an excellent one for defense and offense. It can be taken by assault if present army remains before it – too bad the loss of life must be so immense. Wrote to Priscilla.
Tuesday 26th – firing very slow, little to be heard, an unusual calm. I guess storm approaches we are very busy making preparations for a determined and successful attack. I think 2000 lbs. of blasting powder and 1,000,000 rounds of small ammunition. Gen GRANT just came into the office and ordered that a sharp lookout be maintained, as reports say the enemy are going to cut their way out over night. They say it was ordered and the signal given last evening, but for some reason the troops did not respond. Gen BLAINE’S Division is ordered to HAINES Bluff this evening. Wednesday 27th – usual skirmishing, very heavy cannonading, principally from Gun Boats and mortars, slight shower, very warm. Received letter from Jane and one from Griff BROKAW, also one from Mother & one from Priscilla – Jane’s dated May 7th, Priscilla’s May 14th, Ma’s May 18 and Griff’s May 22.
Thursday 28th – usual amount of firing, pleasant day, quite dusty. Busy recording names of the wounded actually received in the hospitals and reported by name: 16 killed – 57 wounded from our Brigade under Gen SHERMAN in May.
Reported by Division:
1st Division Gen STEELE – Killed 98 Wounded 377 Missing 10 Total 486
2nd Division Gen BLAINE – 174, 709, 8, 891
3rd Division Gen TUTTLE – 25, 191, 23, 241
Totals – 297 Killed, 1277 Wounded, 41 Missing, Total 1618
Friday 29th – heavy bombarding in the forenoon, starting at 6 AM, Gun Boats still firing at evening and all day I believe, but the cannons near Hd Qtrs made so much noise I could not distinguish between them. Saturday 30th – cannonading all day, 30 bl. Pannetts principally, sharpshooters skirmishing at daylight. Built a gun battery last night close to enemy. Wrote letter to Mother, sent $5.00; also wrote to Priscilla, have not sent any letters yet, but will tomorrow morning. Sunday 31st – heavy firing all along line at an early hour this morning (3 AM). Captured 12 prisoners last night, each one had a number of percussion caps on his person amounting to a thousand total. Cannonading all day, warm and dry, very dusty. Answered Kate’s letter from May 8th.
Monday, June 1, 1863 – firing as usual all day. Tuesday 2nd – usual firing from heavy and light artillery & musketry and at 6:30 PM brisk bombardment of 10 minutes ensued. At 7 PM received four minutes of rapid firing-heavy guns (Secesh Hunters). Wednesday 3rd – usual firing all day – more heavy guns being wanted – a number of hand grenades of 1 to 5 lbs. being made – another attack will soon be made. Gen BLAIR has returned and his Brigade has arrived, many ladies visit Hd Qtrs for provisions. Weather is dry, cloudy at times today, have had no rain for past month, except little sprinkles, not enough to lay dust. Thursday 4th – usual amount of firing, preparations for the capture of the city go on actively. Friday 5th – usual firing, dry warm weather. Saturday 6th – firing continues slowly, weather dry and extremely warm.
Sunday 7th – very quiet all along the line, very little firing, heard firing in the morning over towards Milliken’s Bend. Dispatch received that the enemy has attacked and at first drove out the Negroes camped there. Negroes rallied and repulsed them, with a loss of 80 dead on the field, 200 Secesh taken prisoner & 5 cannons, Negroes’ stock is rising. Monday 8th – firing increased to its usual amount, continued till late in evening, cannon and musketry. Tuesday 9th – office duties, usual firing, Wednesday 10th – rainy in morning, much water fell towards noon and continued showers all day. Firing very brisk in the intervals by sharpshooters, cannonading as usual, more troops arrive. Thursday 11th – office duties, usual firing, reinforcements arriving, 23,000 reported. Roads getting good, Gen JOHNSTON reported moving forward. Friday 12th – office duties, usual firing, a little misunderstanding between myself and someone caused me to apply to be relieved from duty at Hd Qtrs by 15th, request granted.
Saturday 13th – order issued relieving me from duty at Hd Qtrs of 15th Army Corps on 12th and ordering me to report as clerk at Gen Hospital. Reported for duty as ordered. Sunday 14th – quite unwell, have been so for some months. Monday 15th usual duties, heavy firing along the line, enemy opened fire with cannon, the first since May 23rd on their near side. Gen SHERMAN went to the rear to command the force opposed to Gen JOHNSTON. News of Port Hudson’s capture.
Tuesday 16th – usual duties, getting quite unwell. Gen SHERMAN delayed. Wednesday 17th – usual duties, still quite unwell. Thursday 18th – office duties, unwell. Friday 19th – office duties very laborious, unwell, siege as usual. Saturday 20th – office duties. Sunday June 21st – office duties, letter writing, received letter from Kate & Miss Chatterbox. Monday 22nd – office duties, usual siege. Tuesday 23rd – office duties, much writing very late.
Wednesday, June 24, 1863 – Gen SHERMAN has gone to rear to face Gen JOHNSTON, office duties, very busy, heavy firing all day, skirmishing in the rear, mortars throwing shells very regularly at short intervals, weather damp and showery, but not much rain. Gen SHERMAN took Gen TUTTLE’S 3rd Division with him. Thursday 25th – office duties, same warm weather, firing all the time. A few sensational stories in camp, but only rumors. Friday 26th – office duties. Saturday 27th – office duties, warm weather, quite unwell. Sunday 28th – office duties, warm weather. Monday 29th – office duties. Tuesday 30th – office duties.
Wednesday July 1 – office duties. Thursday 2nd – office duties, preparation being made for an attack or at least a heavy bombardment. Friday 3rd – office duties, flag of truce proposing terms of surrender of Vicksburg (!) about 10 AM, orders for 15th Army Corp to join Gen SHERMAN. Sixty prisoners released from jail were confined for Union sentiments. Sunday 5th – office duties, very warm. 15th Army Corps moves to join Gen SHERMAN immediately, on the way today. (Three Divisions made up a Corps – in this case the 1st, 2nd & 3rd.)
Monday, July 6th – office duties, exceedingly warm today. Tuesday 7th – office duties, very warm. Wednesday 8th – office duties, very warm. Thursday 9th – office duties, moved through Vicksburg, very warm. Friday 10th – office duties, Surgeon Varnum placed under arrest by Surgeon McDONNELL, his orders had been issued, but were delivered without the signature of Surgeon McDONNELL, and recorded in the order book as signed. Surgeon VARNUM was about to take his seat at the dinner table, when Surgeon McDONNELL ordered him to retire and eat at the second table. VARNUM refused to do so and McDONNELL ordered the Lieut of the Guard to enforce the order. A spirited discussion ensued, finally Surgeon VARNUM complied.
Saturday 11th – office duties. Sunday 12th – office duties. Monday 13th – office duties, 116 sick sent to Hospital Boat to go north. Tuesday 14th – office duties. Surgeon VARNUM released from arrest. Wednesday 15th – office duties. Surgeon VARNUM relieved from duty in 15th Army Corps by Surgeon MOORE, new Director of Department.
Thursday 16th – Monday 20th – office duties. Tuesday 21st – office duties, commenced moving Hospital to city of Vicksburg, 25 loads today. Wednesday 22nd – office duties. Thursday 23rd – another 106 patients sent north. Friday 24th – office duties. Saturday 25th – Maj J. L. TAYLOR and Capt Fred McCOY arrived from the field, received furloughs. Sunday 26th – office duties, very warm, heavy showers. Monday 27th – office duties, went to the boat with J. L. TAYLOR and Fred McCOY, Surgeon HECKELMAN is sick.
Tuesday July 28th – office duties, very busy, cloudy with showers, let Surgeon LUCAS have eleven hospital tents complete. Wednesday 29th – office duties, Miss…………left hospital and went to 2nd Division Hospital, sent Jeff’s letter. Thursday 30th – office duties, quite unwell. Friday 31st – Saturday August 1st – office duties. Sunday 2nd – office duties, quite unwell, received Rx – take one tablespoon one hour after each meal, a tonic and prophylactic. Monday 3rd – Sunday 9th – office duties, health the same. Monday 10th – Tuesday August 11th – office duties, making a writing desk at leisure moments.
Wednesday, August 12, 1863 – office duties, 51 sick sent on Hospital Steamer Transport R. C. WOOD, Thursday 13th– received 39 more wounded today and sent 30 north, answered Miss BROKAW’S & Priscilla’s letters. Friday 14th – office duties, health improving, have an idea of applying for Hospital Steward position. Saturday 15th – office duties, made out an application for the position of Hospital Steward. Sunday 16th – office duties, forwarded application strongly recommended by Surgeon McDOWELL.
Monday 17th – office duties. Tuesday 18th – preparing to break up hospital. Wednesday 19th – received letter from Priscilla, sent 85 sick on board the Wood & City of Memphis. The City of Madison, an Ordinance Boat, was blown to pieces by the carelessness of a detail of Negroes loading it. WALSH was seriously injured. Thursday 20th – office duties, rainy day. Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd p office duties, sent 27 men on furlough, they went by Forest Queen.
Monday 24th – Tuesday 25th – office duties, received Detail from Gen GRANT to Special Duty in Med Dept. to report to Surgeon MILLER in charge of Prentiss Hospital. Wednesday 26th – office duties, quite unwell, cool weather. Thursday 27th – I moved down to Prentiss Hospital. Friday 28th – duties in Dispensary. Saturday 29th – usual duties, fitting up the Dispensary. Sunday 30th – Monday 31st – usual duties in Dispensary.
Tuesday September 1st – Friday 4th – usual duties and busy fitting up the Dispensary. Saturday 5th – Saturday 12th – usual duties in Dispensary. Sunday 13th – usual duties in Dispensary, received letter from Priscilla dated August 8th, had already received one written later. Her baby is dead, our Mother’s health is poor.
Monday 14th – Friday 18th – usual duties, went up the river this afternoon to a suburb of Vicksburg to select a site for the hospital. Found the one now occupied quite suitable. Saturday 19th – usual duties. Mister ROWELL staid with me last night. Sgt PEASLEY came into town today on business connected with raising a Regt of Blacks for the defense of Vicksburg.
Sunday 20th – Wednesday 23rd – usual duties. Thursday 24th – reinforcements for Gen ROSECRANS left Vicksburg today. In the afternoon I rode around the suburbs of Vicksburg and saw the new fortifications. Went to the city burying grounds and saw the corpse of Wm. A. L. who was killed in a duel in 1849. He is enclosed in a metallic case and looks perfectly natural. A child is also preserved the same way in the vault. Friday 25th – Sunday 27th – usual duties. Monday 28th – 15th Army Corps moving out on boats. Will & Tom HOLLAND took breakfast with me. Got my vouchers signed by Gen SHERMAN for $42 extra pay due me. Tuesday 29th & Wednesday 30th – very unwell.
Thursday, October 1, 1863 – wrote a letter to Jim TAYLOR. Friday 2nd – applied for sick furlough for sixty days, granted for thirty. Got permission of Medical Director to go up on the McDOUGALL. Left Vicksburg at 3:25 PM. Went up to wood yard just below ditch and wooded up. Steamer New Ben Accord passed down with three barges in tow, loaded with oats I believe, while we lay at wood yard about 5:50 PM. Left wood yard at dark. Sunday 4th – 7:15 AM, 75 miles above Vicksburg before saw a Gun Boat at New Carthage. Laid up at 12 PM until 3 AM on 5th on account of fog.
Monday, October 5, 1863 – went through new cutoff at Napoleon one half mile long, saves 9 ½ miles. At 7:35 AM passed White River 100 miles below Helena, 175 miles from Memphis. 9:10 AM passed Steamer Rocket bound down river with two barges in tow (a stern wheel boat). 10:30 AM passed a gun boat of the Mosquito fleet, upper deck white, lower deck dark, a steamboat refitted, going down stream. 2:10 PM met a stern wheel Steamer towing barges, one loaded with hay, could not see the other.
Tuesday 6th – 7:08 AM saw wreck of Steamer Courier 30 miles below Memphis (burned). 3:25 met the Adams of ELLIOT’S maneuver fleet at the mouth of a river in sight of Memphis. 4:10 PM met the Metropolitan, arrived in Memphis at 4:20. Went to theatre, met Col C. SMITH, can get Extra Duty Pay tomorrow. Saw Gen G. A. SMITH and Gen M. L. SMITH at Gayoso.
Wednesday 7th – booked passage on Steamer Graham to Cairo, IL, fare $1.25. Saw Gen G. A. SMITH at Gayoso again and received $42.00 extra duty pay from Col C. SMITH. Saw T. TAYLOR, BOYER, and other boys. Called on Surgeon HEARTSHOM, can get a situation in Gayoso Hospital. Left Memphis at 5:00 PM on Graham. Met the Clara Belle at 5:50, met two boats names not known, too dark to see. 8:30 PM on a snag, no damage to hull or engine or wheel. 9 PM on our way. Laid up until morning on account of fog.
Thursday 8th – started at daylight, pleasant morning, all day and most of the night. Met several boats with commissary stores for the army. Friday 9th – under way and passed Island No. 10 at 8:45 AM. Arrived in Cairo at 4:50 PM. Got my train ticket, checks, etc. for Detroit, bought cap $1.75, supper $2.00, etc. $1.50 = $5.25.
Saturday 10th – left Cairo at 3:30 AM, delayed by a train in our way, only got 47 miles out by 7:30, an hour behind time. At Oreana another delay by a house which was being moved across the tracks. Sunday 11th – went to Soldiers’ Home, called on James TAYLOR, staid until late afternoon, took train for Detroit at 7:15. Monday 12th – arrived in Detroit on time, left for Muir at 8 AM, arrived at 1:30 PM, called at Aunt Mary’s, stayed all night.
Tuesday, October 13, went to Portland and Uncle Eph’s in Sebewa, found Priscilla there, rode home with Lucious SHOWERMAN, saw Ma a few minutes and went up to Uncle Ben’s a short time. Then back home to Ma’s for the night. Wednesday 14th – went out hunting with Theodore, staid with Uncle Ben for supper. Thursday 15th – helped Theodore husk corn, called on Rich in afternoon. Friday 16th – fine day, visited at Priscilla’s home and Uncle Ben’s, he’s preparing to go west viewing.
Saturday October 17, 1863 – went to Ionia, saw Attorney WILLIAMS about Ma’s land, to get a new deed for tax certificate, employed him to do it, cost 50 cents. Went to Recorder’s Office, left three deeds for recording, one is Warranty Deed to Ma, one from Auditor General to previous owner, and the third to her Will. Paid for the recording of all – total cost $2.75. Total expended for Ma - $3.25. Sunday 18th – staid at Muir with Aunt Mary.
Monday October 19, 1863 – left Muir for Grand Haven at 1:30 PM, staid over night at Grand Haven, expenses $2.75. Tuesday 20th – took Stage from Mill Point for Muskegon, arrived 12 AM. Started up river and stopt over night at a small inn at Wolf Lake. Uncle John PROBASCO came in about half an hour after I stopt, a very unexpected meeting. Total expenses for the day $2.50. Wednesday 21st – went up to Newago, expense $1.15.
Thursday 22nd – went to Uncle John’s, expense $.50, looked at 120 acres of his farm with a view of buying 20 acres improved – cost $600. Friday 23rd – staid at Uncle John’s last night, snow two inches deep this morning, melted during day. Took another look at Uncle’s land, concluded it was too light for my purposes. He offered me 80 acres laying 12 miles east, much better land for $3 per acre (unimproved), allowing him to take the pine off.
Saturday 24th – left Uncle’s and went to Mr. Kelley FULLER’S 12 miles east, viewed Uncle’s land there, not well satisfied with it. Went and viewed 80 acres belonging to Hiram BARTON, with hay, grain, oxen & wagon, etc. for $600 – cheap.
Sunday 25th – came 27 miles to Greenville, Kelley FULLER & Hiram BARTON came with me. Monday 26th – made a bargain with Mr. BARTON and drew contract, came 13 ½ miles, to within 8 miles of Ionia. Tuesday 27th – went to Ionia, then by cars to Muir and by wagon to Portland. Wednesday 28th went home. Thursday 29th – Saturday 31st at home, bargained for two cows of H. and spoke for hay to keep them of Rich, was at a shooting match.
Sunday, November 1, 1863 – went to Uncle Eph’s in afternoon. Monday 2nd – took Stage for Muir, left at 4:15 for Grand Haven, but on account of change of time, no boat came for Milwaukee. Tuesday 3rd – remaining in Grand Haven, left by boat at 8 PM. Wednesday 4th – arrived in Milwaukee about 4 AM, went to Chicago by the 8 AM train, cannot get (further) transportation today. Thursday 5th – got transportation and left for Cairo (IL) by the 10 PM train. Friday 6th – arrived in Cairo about 6 PM, booked passage on Steam Boat M. L. Ewing, cabin fare $6.00. Saturday 7th – went out on a levee, left at 1:30 PM. Capt of boat and Gen SMITH had warm words about landing some passengers at Hill’s Point at Columbus, left at dusk, quite unwell.
Sunday 8th – under way, going very slow, quite unwell with the Ague. Monday 9th – laid up nearly all night, made Fort PELLOW about 10 AM. Ague very bad. Arrived at Memphis at 6 PM, went to Soldier’s Home on Beale St., very unwell, took Dover’s Powder. Tuesday 10th – remained at the Home, took Quinine in the morning, very sick all day. Wednesday 11th – some better, booked cabin passage on Steamer Emerald for Vicksburg – fare $6.00. Thursday 12th – feel better, but very dizzy-headed, boat left at 2 PM. Friday 13th – on our way, left Helena at 11 AM, getting better. Saturday 14th – on our way.
Sunday 15th – arrived at Vicksburg about 10 AM, reported at the Prentiss Hospital. Monday 16th – at the hospital, Surgeon CHURCHMAN wants me to come to his office as a clerk, went in afternoon for a short time. Tuesday 17th – on duty at Health Officer’s office, Col THOMAS left word for me to call at his office. I did so about 6 PM, had a pleasant interview. Wednesday 18th – Saturday 21st – on duty with Surgeon CHURCHMAN, Health Officer’s office. Sunday 22nd – Thursday 26th – office duties.
Friday, November 27th, 1863 – office duties, went to Col EATON’S office, had an interview with his clerk or assistant, found my name had been forwarded for Detail for a position in the 7th Lan(?). Saturday 28th – office duties, went again up to Col EATON’S office and made known my wishes. Stated that but two positions could be given, one in a Regt of Army Department below Major – Adjutant and Quartermaster – told them to strike my name off the list for anything else. Sunday 29th – office duties, very cold, froze hard last night.
Monday, November 30th – Friday December 4th – office duties, cool. Saturday 5th – office duties, much pulling between Surgeon CHURCHMAN and other Doctors, whether I shall be doing duty at both places. Sunday 6th – office duties, Col relieved and ordered to report to Surgeon McCORD. Monday 7th – office duties, feel unwell. Surgeon BUCKNER left for Memphis with Surgeon McCORD. Col went to Goodniche’s Landing. Tuesday 8th – office duties in forenoon, had a chill in afternoon, quite sick, Surgeon CHURCHMAN sent for me, could not go. Received order from Gen McARTHUR to report to Surgeon CHURCHMAN for duty as “Clerk at the Post”. Surgeon DODSON sent in a report. Wednesday 9th – reported as per Special Order No. 84 dated Dec 8th.
Thursday 10th – office duties, feel better, wrote a letter to Dr. BUCHNER accompanying his order relieving him from his Department and ordering him to report to Surgeon McCORD, Medical Director. Friday 11th – office duties. Saturday 12th – office duties. Post Dispensary moved today to front room in our office building, warm day. Sunday 13th – office duties, warm day, heavy shower. Monday 14th – Wednesday 16th – office duties, Order issued relieving me from duty with Surgeon CHURCHMAN and ordering me to report Surgeon DODSON in charge here at the hospital in Vicksburg. Reported in compliance with it.
Thursday 17th – preparing my office and room. Friday 18th – duties of Hospital Steward, weather 21 degrees in morning. Saturday 19th – duties of steward, percent of deaths during week – 41.2%. Weather 30 degrees in morning. Sunday 20th – usual duties of the day, took a chill, or rather rigors, about 2 PM, succeeded by a high fever……took three Coumpound Pills at 7:30 PM, fever on yet, ate no supper. Monday 21st – feel very weak with a headache………took 5 gr. of Quinine, ate a good breakfast of beef steak, toast, tea & pickles. Attending to office duties, took another 5 gr. of Quinine at 11 AM, ate dinner, had a Panada for supper, took blue pill.
Tuesday 22nd – thermometer 40 degrees in morning, office duties though quite unwell. Dr. DOBSON arrived with a sick child, Dr. WRIGHT from Memphis arrived, also Dr PARKER. Received letter from Priscilla, Jane, and old ones, and Dr. MILLER with his Photograph. Quite a misunderstanding between Dr WRIGHT and Dr DOBSON. At bedtime took a pill – Hyd. 8 gr. Quinine 4 gr. Wednesday 23rd – thermometer 50 degrees, duties of office, feel better, had an interview with Mr W. L. CROCKETT, son of David CROCKETT.
Thursday 24th – 60 degrees, usual duties, PEASLEE called on me, has just got his discharge from Regt. Dance in the dining room. Friday December 25 – 60 degrees, usual duties, a dance at Major ANDERSON’S. Saturday 26th – usual duties, 62 degrees, making a box to store my clothes in. Colored girls gave the Hospital Corps a supper, it was an excellent one in the best of style, and they had a dance in the evening.
Sunday, December 27, 1863 – usual duties. Monday 28th – usual duties. Tuesday 29th – usual duties. Dr. MILLER arrived this morning or rather late last night. No news from Dr. BUCKNER. Wednesday 30th – usual duties. Thursday December 31, 1863, usual duties. END OF DIARY.