The Diary of Edwin B. Weist
Transcribed by Gordon Bradshaw
1435 W. Weston Trail, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001
In July, 2002, my 101 year old father (Harold VR. Bradshaw) found a small (3 ¼ X 5 inch), leather-covered pocket diary in a drawer with a lot of his personal memorabilia. It was the handwritten diary of Edwin B. Weist of Company A of the 20th Indiana Regiment, containing entries dating from January 1, 1863, through March 4, 1864. My father did not remember when, where or how he got the diary, but supposed that Weist was a friend of his mother's father. Dad's maternal grandfather (James R. Bennett) had been a soldier in the Civil War in the same regiment as Weist (but in company C), so it may be possible that it was given to him.
The pages of the diary were intact, but the diary itself was falling a part. A lot of the pages in the last half of the diary are faded, as if the ink did not survive the passage of time as well as the ink used in the first half. And finally, the last few entries were in pencil.
Pathos, boredom, depression, humor, terrible weather, difficult times, and incredible human effort are related in numerous entries.
The handwriting is cramped, small and spidery, and seems to me to have a European flavor in the handwriting. Initially I copied the diary pages at 150% in order to speed up the translation, but even so I had to resort to a magnifying glass and a black light many times to decipher the original document. Sometimes I could deduce what a word probably was from context of the sentence, but other times it remained a mystery.
I have retained the original entries as they were actually written. Adding the usual "[sic]" to indicate that I was typing it the way it really was seemed way too cumbersome, as there were many misspelled words (to day, o.clock, and gaurd the most numerous). A few words were not completely decipherable so I tried to figure out the original, but added "[?]" to indicate that there may be some problem with my translation. Any special explanation by me is italicized and in square brackets - [G.B. ----]
Within the pages of the diary was an undated obituary, on yellowed newsprint that reads as follows:
"Edwin B. Weist, who died here Sunday night, enrolled from Peru, Ind., July 22, 1861, and was mustered into A. 20th Indiana infantry as a private, for three years. He veteranized February 20, 1864 and upon the re-organization of the regiment he was transferred to company H, and appointed sergeant. On December 2, 1864 he was commissioned second lieutenant, and May 16, 1865, was promoted to first lieutenant. Lieutenant Weist was mustered out with the regiment ta [sic] Louisville, Ky., July 12, 1865. He had been a member of F barracks for many years and was one of the best known members of the Home, having been a mess hall employe [sic] almost from the day of his admission. He was a quiet man. He was a good man. Funeral this afternoon at 2:30. Chaplain Payne officiating."
Edwin B[ascome] Weist died on May 5th, 1907, and is buried in the national cemetery at Ft. Leavenworth in section 22, row 4, grave 11. Lt. Weist was living in the domicilary at Ft. Leavenworth at the same time as my great-grandfather [James R. Bennett], who did not die until May 31, 1919, so I am sure that the diary was passed on to him.
The diary begins on Thursday, January 1, 1863
Camp near Falmouth Va
A very pleasant day indeed. Visited Falmouth in company with Lt. Hoover. Could see the rebs on the opposite shore very plainly. The river is very rough and stony [?] at that point. The town is full of Sutter [G.B. Suttler] stores etc. I commence the year in rather indifferent health, am suffering with a bad cold, and looseness of the bowels. This book cost me $0.72 cts. in Falmouth to day.
[A suttler is a peddler who follows an army and sells provisions to the soldiers.]
Friday January 2. I am on the sick list to day, have a very bad cold, and diarheoah. The division was reviewed and inspected to day by Gen. Birney & Gen. Stoneman. Gen. Hazman is in command of the Brigade. Gen. Robinson having been promoted to the command of Gen. Sikes old division.
Saturday 3. Am worse this morning than yesterday. Wrote to Joseph Potter and received a letter from home. There is 93 of the original number of Company A with the Regt now having lost 48 men since the first of last year. My clothing account uptill the first of the present year amounts to $6.00 minus a pair of shoes which was charged to me at Harrison's landing and which I never got.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth, Va
Sunday January 4. Am still on the sick list & the more that I go to the Doctor the worse I appear to get. The weather is very pleasant.
Monday January 5. The Corps & Division were reviewed this morning by Gen. Burnside & Gen. Stoneman. I went out as bad as I felt, and got a good view of the great man. Received my gloves through the kindness of Wm. Reeder who sent them from Washington City by mail. The Monitor was sunk near Hatteras a few days ago.
Tuesday January 6. Received news of the battle and victory of the Union forces at Murfreesborough. Also that Vicksburg was taken. Wich latter I hardly believe. I wrote to father this morning. Wm. Reeder is in the Columbian Hospital Washington City.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Wednesday January 7. There is nothing going on worth mentioning. Capt. Reyburn lazes around in his tent complaining of ill health as usual. He would like to get his discharge if he could. Lieutenant Hoover is in rather indifferent [health?]. Also Peter McMillen died yesterday, another victim of the advance on Fredricksburg. Not put down on the list of killed & wounded, although he died of disease.
Thursday January 8. I think the more I go to the doctor the worse I get. He has given me five or six different kinds of medicine and this morning confessed that he did not know what was the matter with me. I don't think I will go to him any more at present. It is reported that evening that the paymaster is here. Rather doubtfull.
Friday January 9. I did not go the Doctor this morning. But feel rather poorly. Received some papers from home & a letter from Hank Heiser. Bought some apples from a Sutter wich I think will do me more good than all the stuff the Doctor could give me. They were selling at 30.cts per dozen. A very poor imitations of the excellent fruit they were to.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Saturday January 10. The day broke pleasant but commenced raining about noon, & continued from that on till night. George Rockley shot himself through the foot this evening. A good many think he done it on purpose but it has the appearance of having been done accidently at least.
Sunday January 11. Was perfectly clear this morning. I wrote to Wm. Reeder to day enclosing a twenty five cent bill for postage stamps. It's said that Capt. Reyburn has received his discharge papers last evening, there is a good many of the Company will be as glad of it as he is.
Monday January 12. Received a letter from cousin Carrie. Battle of Murfreesboroug fought by [?] Rosecrans commenced Dec. 16th and lasted four days. Battle at Vicksburg about Jan 7th. As I expected the fruit I got at the Sutters is doing one good and I expect to be able for duty again soon.
Tuesday January 13. I was out on Brigade drill for the first time but one since the battle of Fredericksburg. It is reported this evening that we are to be transferred into Gen. Robinsons division. The Zoriaves [G.B. Zouaves] have received new uniforms and look considerable better.
Wednesday January 14. Weather very warm for the time year; looks like rain. Had no drill this afternoon. A great deal of talk about our leaving here.
Thursday January 15. Still very warm and quite windy. Am Suppernumery. It is now quite positive that we will leave here in a day or two. Drew a pair of pants to day. Price $3.00.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Friday January 16. I was called out last night 1 oclock to stand gaurd in place of Oldinger who was taken sick. Rained the whole time I was on post. Had orders this evening to hold ourselves in readiness to march at reveille in the morning. Supposed we are going to cross the river again, but perhaps not in the same place.
Saturday January 17. The orders for marching this morning were countermanded. The very cold weather probably the cause of the change of plan. The order is to go tomorrow at ten o-clock. I made a bet of $1.00 with Weasner that we would be home in less than a year from this date.
Sunday January 18. Very cold weather but clear. A fellow by the name of Larks belonging to the 63rd was drummed out of the service for desertion this morning. The buttons were all cut of his overcoat. He was then branded with the letter D on the hip, and marched up and down the rank of the whole Brigade to the tune of the rogues march.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Monday January 19. Was very sick all last night and to day. It is reported through the camps that Ind. Ohio and Penn. are about to seceed from the Union.
Tuesday January 20. Bivouck 3 miles above Falmouth.
[G.B. January 20-24 is listed in the regimental history as the "Mud March"]
Were in line ready for marching at 11o'clock. Just before starting an order was read to us stating "that were about to try Fredericksburg once more and hoped with better success than the former expedition" etc. Made a forced march of about 12 miles. Was unable to keep up, but joined the Regt. just before they stopped for the night. Rained ever after [?] and rained all night.
Wednesday January 21. Rained all day. Ponton train got on the long [?] road and therefore was behind time again, as usual. Our regiment was sent out to assist them over the bad places. Were at it all day. The roads are perfect rivers of mud. Came back to where we stoped last night just before dark. Still raining some.
Camp near Banks ford Va
Thursday January 22. Rained all last night and is still drizzling some. Received orders about 8 o'clock to be ready to march at a moments notice; but were afterwards ordered to put up our tents & prepare for inspection. Sergt. Deipert is in command of the company. I received a letter from Wm. Reeder containing K.P.S. Rations of wisky were issued to the men this evening. Reported that the Butternuts have possession of the arsenal at Indianapolis.
[G.B. Butternuts is a slang term for the Confederate soldiers due to the use of the herbal dyes to color their uniforms.]
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Friday January 23. I got back to camp about dark. It appeared to be the understanding that each man was to get back to camp the best way he possible could, and we came in like a parcel of hogs at feeding time, one at a time and all more less covered with mud. I came very near not getting back at all. The road was strewn with broken down and stuck in the mud supply trains, artillery, etc.
Saturday January 24. Pleasant weather. Were paid off this morning up till the first of November. Mr. Conner from near Peyelurg [?] made his appearance in camp this evening. He had been expected for some time and met with a hearty welcom not only from his own boys but from the whole company. Mailed a letter to Reeder this evening.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Sunday January 25. Rained all night but is pleasant to day. Wrote Home. The boys are having a fine time now that they have money, and whiskey at $2.00 per pint finds ready sale. Cards have also made their appearance in camp, and money changes hands rapidly through their influence.
Monday January 26. Weather as pleasant and warm as Spring. Received a letter from Joseph Potter this morning his wife is dead and little child is not expected to live. Mr. Hewett is also dead. All died of the epidemic that has been raging for some time in Plymouth with great fatality.
[G.B. The epidemic that is referred to could have been measles, typhoid fever, diphtheria, or even smallpox. ]
Tuesday January 27. The weather fair. Nothing transpiring worth putting down. Murphy Blackburn and Newbern, were brought in by the Provost gaurd they had deserted from the Company on the trip up the river. Bright has deserted at the same time and has not since been heard from. I wrote a letter to Heiser to day.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Wednesday January 28. Snowed all day. I was supernummery yesterday but went on the sick list this morning. The day is very disagreeable indeed. I am suffering very much with the ribs [?]. Gen. Burnside has resigned and Gen. Hooker takes command of the Army in his place. Stanford has deserted soon after pay day and has sinc not to be heard from.
Thursday January 29. Looks very much like an Indiana winters day the snow is from four to six inches deep, and in some places is drifted to the depth of two feet and upwards. We have to cary our wood nearly a mile. I wrote a letter to cousin Carrie. Gen. Sumner has resigned, and Gen. Franklin it is said is to be court martialed.
Friday January 30. Warm. The snow is going rapadly. Col. Van is commanding the Brigade. Col. Harman having gone back to his Regiment.
Camp Pitcher Va
Saturday January 31. Weather pleasant. Received a letter from Wm. Reeder. Am Colonels orderly to day.
February, Sunday 1. Pleasant. An order from Gen. Hooker was received last night granting furloughs to every two out an hundred able bodied men reported for duty. Was down to Falmouth station this afternoon for the first time. Conner and Hank have applied for fourlougs. Conner some days ago. Hank this morning.
Monday February 2. Rather pleasant. Looks some like rain. I wrote a letter to Wm. Reeder to day enclosing a doller collected from Chas. Schodd for him and another for him to send me a grammer & first lessons in composition some periodicles etc.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Tuesday February 3. Captain Hoover got a furlough last evening for 20 days, and started home this morning. I sent my diary for last year and ten dollars by him. Conner's furlough came back to be corrected and was again sent up this evening. It turned out cold last night and snowed some this morning.
Wednesday February 4. Was very cold this morning. Snowed all day. It is rumored that this grand Division it to be sent back to Washington.
Thursday February 5. Snowed this morning but changed to rain towards evening.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Friday February 6. Rained all last night and part of the day. Myself and Werner thought we would try a little speculation. [G.B. i.e. sell something for a profit] As some of the boys are doing it rather successfully and started to Falmouth for soft bread, but but learning that it could not be got. Went to the Station and bought 100 papers. I did not make it pay very well, but Werner done better.
Saturday February 7. Was inspected this morning by a major sent by Gen. Birny. Very wet and muddy under foot. Troop are leaving on the cars & it is reported that we are to follow soon.
Sunday February 8. Newton Conner & Warren Hank received their furloughs last night. One for 15 days and the other for ten days. They start to morrow morning. I am suppernummery to day. Very warm and pleasant. It is reported that the rebels have driven away our blockade fleet at Charleston.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Monday February 9. Im on gaurd to day. Mr. Conner Newton and Warren Hank left this morning for home. The cars are carrying away troops with great rapidity some eight or ten trains loaded with troops going down daily. The weather is warm and pleasant, but it still muddy under foot.
Tuesday February 10. the Regiment went out on a picket this morning. I am acting as Corporal of the gaurd during their absence. The day is a beautiful one warm and pleasant as Spring. We have got a new Regimental Sutter who put up this tent yesterday.
Wednesday February 11. Raining this evening. St. Thomas started for home on a furlough this morning. The Regiment has had an adition in the shape of a barber shop.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Thursday February 12. Very warm and pleasant all day. Nothing going on worth mentioning. Received a letter from Heiser.
Friday February 13. Had quite a rain storm last night and was rather cool but clear this morning. Drew soft bread to day. The Regiment came in from picket about three o'clock.
Saturday February 14. We were relieved from gaurd this morning having been on five days and nights. Murphy, Blackburn, and Newborn have been sentenced by court martial for stragling & sentenced. The latter two to have $10.00 of their monthly pay sent home to their families and to wear a barrel around the neck six hour each day for five days.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Sunday February 15. Rained nearly all day. Murphys sentence was read on dress parade this evening he to lose $45.00 of his monthly pay and wear a barrel six hours each day for five days. Two out of Com. E [?] received the same sentence. It is reported that the 63rd Ind is coming here to relieve us and that we will take their place in Indiana.
Monday February 16. A very pleasnt and warm day. Received a letter from home this morning, wich I answered immediately and told them to send me a silk handkerchief.
Tuesday February 17. Was snowing when we got up this morning and snowed continually all day. Of course our wits were set to work to pass of time.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Wednesday February 18. Has rained hard all day with no appearance of slacking this evening.
Thursday February 19. Rained some this morning but has slacked up with the appearance of being pleasant again. Got my long expected book "four lessons in composition and Rhetoric" sent to me by mail from Washington by the kindness of Wm. Reeder.
Friday February 20. A series of resolutions were read to each company separately this morning. They discontanace all opposition to the Administration are opposed to the would be secessionists of Ind. Etc. Each member of the Com. Dissenting from the views expressed therein was requested to step two paces to the front. There was one in our Com. The resolutions were to be sent to Gov. Norton and published.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Saturday February 21. It is reported that Col. Van Volkenburg has been dismissed the service; for disloyalty and cowardice. It is the general oppinion that the charges made against him were false. Especialy the charge of cowardice. It was on detail, building a road about four mile east of camp. I suppose we will some[?] more to the neighborhood.
Sunday February 22. It commence snowing about dark last night & when we got up this morning we found a pyramid of snow about three feet high in one corner of the tent. And an extra blanket of the same material covering our persons. The snow is deepest I remember to have seen it for several years. Washingtons birth day was celebrated by a salute of thirty four guns fired from different batteries in the neighborhood.
Monday February 23. It was quite pleasant all day the snow giving off rapidly.
Camp Pitcher: near Falmouth Va
Tuesday February 24. Pleasant again to day. An order was read on dress parade this evening dismissing Van Volkenberg, Col. 20th Ind. Regt. from the service of the United States for disloyalty, and conduct unbecoming an Officer and a gentleman. By Order of the President.
Wednesday February 25
[G.B. There was no entry for this day]
Thursday February 26. Rained all day. I was on a detail again building road. Did not work a lick.
Camp Pitcher: new Falmouth Va
Friday February 27. Was quite pleasant all day. Conner and Hank arrived soon after noon. The latter is reported as a deserter. Some of our boys and the Zouaves got to snowballing and had a big time of it. It would probably ended in a fight if the officer of the day had not came around and put a stop to it.
Saturday February 28. Were mustered for pay this morning, there is four months now due us. James DeLong has been commishened as second Lt. Chas. Pew as first.
March Sunday 1. It beautiful day indeed. Wrote a letter to Reeder. Adj. Thomas got back last evening.
Camp Pitcher: new Falmouth Va
Monday March 2. Fully as pleasant to day as it was yesterday. Colonel Van Volkenburg starts home to day. I wrote a letter to Anna this morning. Am suffering with a very severe headache this afternoon.
Tuesday March 3. Had a chill this morning. Commenced about 3. o.clock and shook hard till daylight. Nevertheless I went on gaurd. Read on dress parade that we would move to a new camp in the morning. Very stickt order against stggling. Colonel Collice commands the Brigade. The weather is very blustering, cold with a little snow.
Camp near Bell plain. Wednesday 4. Field officer of the day took us by surprise at the gaurd house about two o.clock this morning. He was not challenged by any of the gaurds and thought it a great way of doing gaurd duty. The regiment is tranfered to Gen. Wards brigade. The 87th Penn. taking our place in the first brigade. Moved to the new camp. Got here almost three o.clock. Went to work immediately getting out timber for our huts.
Camp near Bell Plain
Thursday March 5. Worked all day on our hut. Conner left us and we took Marsh in his place. Mr. Thorn is too sick to do anything, so that three of us have to do all the work. Got the hut up to the right highth but not chinked or daubed yet. We have to cary the timber some distance and over a very muddy road, several hills, and very thick underbrush.
Friday March 6. The day turned out to be pleasant although it rained some this morning. I was put on a detail to work on the bake oven, but was dismissed on account of there not being tools for us to work with. Got our hut chinked, daubed, and tents streched, and the fire place started.
Saturday March 7. The whole regiment was detailed to work on the corderoy. [G.B. Log road] Twenty men could have done as much work as we did. It is said that there is six miles of road to be built yet. There is about three finished. Weesner finished the chimney to the hut and we have a good comfortable fire in it at the present writing. Rained nearly all day.
Camp near Bell Plain landing
Sunday March 8. Got a good comfortable bunk up composed of small poles covered with cedar boughs. It resembles a bed more than that we generaly have. Our camp is said to be about three mile from Bell plains landing, and about five from the old camp. The railroad is within sight, so allso is the Potomac river. We are not as much in the woods as we expected to be.
Monday March 9. The weather to day has been beautifull indeed, resembling a May day. The view from the top of the hills wich surround our camp is grand indeed. The sparkling surface of the Potomac river in the distanced; the neighboring hills covered with camps; a train of cars just crossing the bridge, 75 feet high, and a regiment of cavalry on drill in the valley beneath, is a subject for a painter.
Tuesday March 10. Was very disagreeable raining nearly all day, wich turned to snow in the evening. Weesner and Marsh were on detail, Mr. Thorn was sick so I have to cary all the wood we used during the day no inconsiderable job.
Camp near Bell Plain landing
Wednesday March 11. The regiment was ordered to report for fatiggue at General head quarters at 8.o,clock but were sent back immediately. Was disagreeable this morning, but soon cleared up and was pleasant the rest of the day. Had our first dress parade this evening. Regts showing a good inspection report are to be granted extra furloughs.
Thursday March 12. I am on gaurd to day very pleasant this morning. Reported that we are to be ready to march at a moments notice. Allso, reported that no more boxes are allowed to be sent to this regiment by express. Turned very cold towards evening, got a letter from Reeder.
Friday March 13. Snowed this morning and was very cold and disagreeable all day. I drew a pair of shoes, a pair of drawrs and a knapsack this evening.
Camp near Bell Plain landing
Saturday March 14. Was pleasant. An order from Gen. Birney was read on dress parade this evening granting a brass cross to all privates and non commissioned officer of have distinguished themselves in the several engagements this division has been on, said cross is to be worn over a piece of red cloth on the right side of the cap, and to be called the cross of honor.
Sunday March 15. Was pleasant all day till towards evening when it commence hailing, accompanied by conciderable thunder.
Monday March 16. Was very pleasant all day. Wrote a letter to Reeder, To Heiser, and to Asbry Morse. A corospondent of the New York Herald says this army is about to make an advance but wether in the direction of Richmond or of Washington, he did not say. Indications point to a speedy movement.
Camp near Bell Plains
Tuesday March 17. A pleasant day, wrote to Father. Cannonadeing can be heard very distinctly, supposed to be in the direction of Warrenton. Captain Hoover arrived this evening. He looks better than I ever saw him I believe. He brought a pair of socks a large silk handkerchief and some papers for me.
Wednesday March 18. The regiment started on picket duty this morning at fifteen minutes notice. We passed a squad of cavalry with 25 rebbel prisoners on our way out. They were prety hard looking customers. The picket line is about eight miles from camp. Captain Hoover is not out with us.
Thursday March 19. It was very cold this morning I went on post at six o,clock. It was reported that our gun boats had succeed in passing Fort Sumter and that Charlston was taken.
Camp Bell Plains landing
Friday March 20. Commenced snowing last night and has snowed without intermission all day. Great cheering was heard in camp supposed to be for the news from Charleston. Rations of soft bread for one day was brought out to us this evening. I went on post at 8. o,clock this morning. We have sixteen reliefs of seven each, posts are doubled at night.
Saturday March 21. Were relieved about 12. o,clock. It had snowed all morning till just as we started in. when it commenced a drizzling rain. The Col. led us over a very tortuous course. Steep hills and very mudy. We never rested once on the way but marched by single file nearly the whole distance. Got to camp about five o,clock.
Sunday March 22. Mr. Thorn and Hann got their discharge papers to day and will start for home early in the morning. The report about Fort Sumpter and Charlston are untrue, or eather have no foundation. Drew a pair of pants to day.
Camp near Bell Plains landing
Monday March 23. Mrss Thorn and Hann started for home at daylight this morning. It leaves only three of us in our hut now, and we will take good care the number is not increased if we can help it. An order was read on dress parade dismissing Ast. Sur [?] Funk 20th Ind. from the service. Said surgeon has not been with us since we left Harisons landing.
Tuesday March 24. The day was very pleasant. We were out for inspection at 9.o,clock. Were inspected by a captain belonging to Gen. Sickles staff, who was very particular examining every gun thoughoraly, even taking of the bayonet and looking at the but piece. He did not get through till after two o,clock.
Wednesday March 25. It rained nearly all night last night. We were to have a grand review this morning, and were in line for that purpose at 9. o,clock, when an orderlie came with the welcom intelligence that it would be defered till pleasanter weather.
Camp near Bell Plains landing
Thursday March 26. Morning broke cold and raining wich turned to snow about 9. o,clock and snow'd quite freely for a short time. We were marched back to our old parade ground for review. The reviewing officer was said to be Gov. Curtin of Penn. A salute of only thirteen guns were fired in his honor. It is reported that Fredericksburg and Richmond are being evacuated by the Rebbels.
Friday March 27. I was witness of a grand hurdle chase on our old parad ground to day. Gen. Birny was master of ceremonies. Govener Curtin and other distinguished citizens of Pennsylvania were present. Gen. Sickles and lady, Gen. Hooker and others were allso present. There was a great many accidents happened in the races but nobody badly hurt. Col Collice was thrown from his horse into a mud hole.
Saturday March 28. St. Delong mad his appearance last night, and slept in our bunk. It has rained all day. He ordered to turn in all extra blankets,clothing etc. It is said that we will march tomorrow or next day.
Camp near Bell Plains landing
Sunday March 29. I was read of as a Corporal this morning. A promotion I am not atoll thankful for. Sargeant Tripper reduced himself to ranks because Hauk was put in as orderlie.
Monday March 30. Was a very fine day. Had Com. drill this fornoon. Gov. Morton paid us a visit about noon. The regiment was paraded for review, and the Gov. made us quite a little speech, at the end of wich he received three rousing cheers. He was accompanied by Gen. Sol Meredith.
Monday March 31. On getting up this morning we found fully three inches of snow on the ground, & it rained and snowd all fornoon. The monthly inspection is defered till tomorrow. The boys had a big time snowballing the officers this evening. The whole regiment was out. It is perfectly clear and pleasant this evening.
Camp near Bell Plains landing
April, Wednesday 1, 1863. Clear but cold this morning. I am on gaurd as Corporal, for the first time. Orders were received at two oclock last night to hold ourselves in readiness to march at a moment notice. The pickets were driven in last night and this morning a great deal of firing was heard in that direction. It is said that four hundred prisoners were brought in.
Thursday April 2. It was expected that the President would review our Corps to day, and great preparations were made of it. But it was a mistake. Gen. Birney has moved his head quarters a little nearer the Division.
Friday April 3. Were inspected again to day by the same officer that inspected us before. He was more particular this [?] if anything than before and found more fault. He had us drill a little after inspection, and made a perfect asses of the whole regiment by having them come to a present arms to the 40th New York who was passing in from drill
Camp near Bell Plains landing
Saturday April 4. Cold and blustering. Every body sticks as close to home as possible.
Sunday April 5. There is three inches of snow on the ground this morning. I wrote a letter to Reeder. Easter Sunday.
Monday April 6. [There was no entry for this day]
Camp near Bell Plain
Tuesday April 7. The Reg. was furnished with dress coats to day. The boys demured a good deal at it but there was no other alternative, we had to take them wether or no.
Wednesday April 8. Our Corps and in fact the whole army were received to day by the President. Gen Hooker and Gen. Sickles. The day was very cold and diseagreeable. The President looked rather pale and careworn.
Thursday April 9. [No entry for this day]
Camp near Bell Plain
Friday April 10. This is muster day for the whole Army. They are to be mustered to find out how many conscripts it will take to fill up the regiments to the required number. The President & Lady Passed along the corduroy on his way to the landing to day. Gen. Birny had his division in two lines along each side of the road without arms and a triumphal arch on the hill for him to pass over.
Saturday April 11. This is a beautifull spring day. The President passed through our line yesterday in a traveling carriage drawn by four horses. He was accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln and one or two other ladies, Gen'rs Hooker, Sickles, Birny and others, besides any quantity of officers of a lower grade. One of his little boys rode on horseback in advance of the carraige.
Sunday April 12. As pleasant this forenoon as yesterday was. But towards evening commenced raining. We were inspected this morning by Gen. Ward who was not very long about it. Two deserters were drummed out of the service by our brigade this evening. One of them carried a board with the words on it, "we deserted nice boys aint we"
Camp near Bell Plains. On picket.
Monday April 13. Im on gaurd this morning. It is a beautiful morning.
Tuesday April 14. I went the grand rounds with the field officer of the day, last night as Sergt. We were ordered to turn in everything we have to carry, except a change, overcoats and rubber blankets. We are furnished with eight days rations wich we are ordered to carry in our knapsacks, and to be ready to march at five o.clock. Serg. 1-Deifert went home on a fifteen days furlough this morning.
Wednesday April 15. Rained hard last night and is still raining. Ordered out on picket with three days rations. Arrived at the line about one o.clock after a very disagreeable march through mud and water, in some places knee deep. We are posted near the river and can see the Rebbel pickets very plainly.
Thursday April 16. I am acting as Sergeant and am posted at a bridge across a small stream with orders to burn it should we discover any of the enemy advancing that way. A prety difficult opperation concidering the rain and that the bridge was composed of poles covered with mud.
Friday April 17. Was down at the river were it is crossed by a dam. The rebbel pickets just on the opposite side within riffle shot. Two of our balloons were up at once this morning looking for our cavalry I suppose, wich started out the other morning. While writing this a brass band is making some splended music over in rebbeldom. This is a very pleasant day although cloudy.
Saturday April 18. Were relieved about twelve o.clock and marched back to camp by three. Very hot work. The boys are very disapointed as they hoped and expected to be left out three days longer. We were in but a short time before they drew five days more rations.
Camp near Bell Plains
Sunday April 19. Nothing unusual has happened to day. It is warm and pleasant. Reported that 7, or 800, of our cavalry was captured by the rebbels.
Monday April 20. Wallace Richardson and Newbern went home on sick furlough this morning. The former for 20 days and the latter 10.
Tuesday April 21. Rained all day yesterday and was pretty cold last night we missed our blankets sadly. The report about our cavalry loosing so many prisoners is reversed, it is now said that our fellows captured seven or eight hundred of the rebs.
Camp near Bell Plains
Wednesday April 22. Rather cold last night. Reported that Gen. Hooker has resigned his command of the Army of the Potomac and that Gen.. Freemont is put in his place.
Thursday April 23. I think it is all a mistake about Gen. Hooker being relieved of this command.
Friday April 24. Got a letter from Cousin Carrie with her likeness enclosed. Heard that in Sept. Mother and sister Anna were down sick.
Camp near Bell Plain
Saturday April 25. Captain Hoover is sick and will be discharged. Adj. Thomas will probably be our next captain.
Sunday April 26. [No entry this date]
Monday April 27. Had another grand review to day. Sec. Seward and Lord Lyons were present at the viewing post. Very warm and sultry. I have not been so tired and worn out for a long time. Signed the duty rolls for this evening and had orders to be ready to march.
Two miles from Franklin Ford
Tuesday April 28. Were called up last night at 12 o.clock to receive our pay and to get ready to march at daylight. Started on the march at about two o.clock. Got to within a mile of the river, some five or six miles below Fredericksburg where we bivoucked for the night.
Wednesday April 29. Cloudy and raining a little, some artillery firing on our front, seem as though they were trying to feel for the enemy. Moved about 1 mile up the river. The 24th New York crossed the river and captured 150 of enemy who surrendered. Good news from the right Gen. Hooker lead a charge and drives the enemy. Gen. Beaumont is killed.
Thursday April 30. Mustered for pay this morning, gave Mr. Porter $30.00 to send home for me. An order from Gen. Hooker was read to us that the enemy would be compelled to come out and fight us or else surrender in three days. Marched to within three miles of Kellys ford. Got stoped about 12 oclock at night
Near Chancorlsville battle ground
Friday May 1. Crossed the Rapahanoc about 9. o.clock. Stoneman reported in possession of Gordonsville. Got up with the main body of the army about two o.clock. Our Reg. was put on picket. About 3.o.ck fighting commenced in front and about 4 our Division was marched to the front. About dark we were marched to the right about a mile on a plank road. Our Reg. Was sent out on picket in line of skirmishers.
Saturday May 2. The 23rd N.Y. Reg. was driven from the ground, we occupy last night leaving some their dead. About noon a heavy column of the enemy could be seen moving to the right. Went to work through up breastworks. Berdan sharp shooters, and our Reg. crossed the creek and captured a lot of prisoners. Got back after night and found the Rebs had got in our rear.
Sunday May 3. The enemy commenced the attack about sunup & our [troops] was withdrawn from the front and placed in rear of a long line of artillery. Adj. Thomas was killed while marching to the rear. We supported the batteries all day. Were in the greatest danger about three o.clock. The rebs threw shot and shell right into our ranks killing some and wounding quite a number.
On Chancelorsville Battle ground
Monday May 4. Our Reg. put up to lines of breast works. Tis reported that Gen. Hooker said that if we would hold our works three days it would be all he would ask of us. Our batteries shell the enemy some wich was replied to quite vigorously by their batteries. Wm. Compter was wounded slightly in the head, Smith was struck but not injured any.
Tuesday May 5. Very hot and sultry all day. Chas. Deipert arived from home, bringing a pair of suspenders for me. Everything is compareitively quiet along the lines. The sharp shooters are poping away once in a while is all. Yesterday the 11th New York were supporting the sharp shooters, and when our batteries opened they broke like sheep and came tumbling over our breast works on top of us like dead men. (Commenced raining about four oclock)
Wednesday May 6. Received orders last night about 9. o.clock.to be ready to move at a moments notice, were in line nearly all night raining all the time and very cold. Got started about daylight and doubled quicked nearly all the way to the river. Marched back to camp with only one or two rests on the way. A distance of 16 miles. I was completely used up, could hardly drag one foot after the other, and had no load either.
Camp near Bell Plain
Thursday May 7. I am a used up man couldnt march two miles to save my life hardly. 25 men out of each Com. were detailed for picket, but went as far as head quarters and were sent back. I lost my knapsack, blanket, and portfolio with all it contained last Sunday. All I have now is a rubber blanket, and a tent I picked up.
Friday 8. Had inspection of arms this morning by Capt. Micheals Brigade inspection. I have been sick in bed nearly all day, am suffering with a very bad cold and cough. Our Reg. lost three killed, and twenty two wounded in the late battles.
Saturday 9. Eighteen men out of each company went out on picket this evening.
Camp near Bellplain.
Sunday May 10. Has been very warm indeed. I went down to the creek and took a wash all over. Hear the first sermon in three months this evening. It was delivered by the chaplain of the fourth Main Reg. Received a letter from Muncie.
Monday 11. Had inspection this forenoon by the Brigade inspector and this afternoon had review by Gen. Sickles. Our Reg. only turned out about 180 men and we were consolidated with the 99th Penn. When they commenced firing the salutes the waggon teams took fright and scatered in every direction.
Tuesday 12. the papers state this morning the army of the Potomac is again across the river, and the rebs in full retreat. I dont believe it. It is also reported the Richmond is taken. I wrote to Aunt Martha and to Cousin Carrie this morning. The picket detail came back this evening.
Wednesday May 12. We get soft bread about once every three days. Drill from six till half past seven in the morning and from five till half past six in the evening.
Thursday 14. Wrote to Reeder to day sending him a dollar for paper and envelopes. Adj. Thomas was not killed as reported but was taken to the convelesent camp this evening, a paroled prisoner.
Friday 15. [No entry this date]
Camp Bellair: near Bell Plain Va
Saturday May 16. Was at the convelesent camp this morning. Saw Lieut. Thomas who is in very fair circumstances concidering everything. He is able to walk and was very lively. The day has been very pleasant.
Sunday 17. Was very warm all day. Had orders to be ready for Brigade inspection by ten oclock, but did not have any. Serg't Tripper received his furlough last evening and will start home tomorrow morning. He has leave of absence for fifteen days.
Monday 18. the regiment started out on picket this morning at eight o.clock, and arrived at the lines by twelve. It is the same post our regiment was on before. We relieved the Berdan sharp shooters, who say they had quite a little conversation with the rebs. The eight Alabama is [near?] on the opposite side of the river.
On picket, near Banks ford.
Tuesday May 19. Nothing has happened of any concequence. I had a relief last evening with Com. D, but was sent back to my company since wich time I have had nothing to do.
Wednesday 20. Dunlap caused a slight alarm by firing of his gun last night for wich he has been put under arrest. The Lieut. Commanding Com. B played of on us making us do the most duty wich caused a goodeal of hard feeling among the boys belonging to Com. A.
Thursday 21. The relief came out about eleven o.clock. Two of the rebbel pickets came over to get a paper but after drinking a cup of coffee with our boys concluded to remain with us. The belonged to the 8th Alabama. We got into camp about three o.clock. I paid a visit to the convelesent camp and had a conversation with the Adj.
Friday May 22. I am very unjustly put on gaurd this morning. I think jealosy has as much to do with it as anything else. Capt. Hoover received his discharge papers last evening, and Lt. DeLong had his recommendation for Captain signed by the whole company immediately. I went over to see Lt. Thomas in the evening. He told me that he would be our next Capt. In spite of all Birny could do.
Saturday 23. I received a letter from home and one from Wm. Reeder night before last. My money had been received at home. Reeder sent me a pack of envelopes and two quires [G.B. 24 sheets] of paper and fifteen stamps. Henry Tamblin who has not been able to speak above his breath for several months very miraculously found his voice this evening. The effects of a few snorts of whisky.
Sunday 24. Had brigade inspection this morning very warm indeed.
Monday May 25. While on drill this morning several citizens pass us. One of the boys sung out there comes the conscripts. The citizens were very swell dressed no doubt coming to visit some of their friends took it in very good part, and laughed heartily at the joke. Wm. Reeder surprised us by making his appearance in camp this afternoon.
Tuesday 26. Lt. DeLong and Hank got their commishins as first and seckon lieutenants yesterday evening. The Division was mustered this afternoon and the favored one presented with their long expected medels. Speeches were made by both Gen. Birny and Gen. Sickles. In fact the whole thing was conducted with a good eal of stile.
Wednesday 27. Yesterday a detail was made wich went out and got ceeder trees and we went to work once more to fixing up camp. To day it is reported that we are to move tomorrow. An artillery cassion blew up near our camp yester afternoon, but nobody hurt. Thought quite a scatering of shot and shell.
Thursday May 28. Moved camp to day. It was first intended to move two companies at a time and our's was the last over. However we managed to get up a place to sleep in. Myself, Reeder, Harvey and Chas School are together.
Friday 29. Got our bunks fixed and they are very comfortable. We are about three quarters of a mile nearer the landing. Very close to generals Birney and Ward's head quarters. It is a very nice place for a camp, and plenty of good water.
Saturday 30. Has been very windy and the air being full of dust makes it very disagreeable indeed. It is reported that the rebbel army is moveing in what direction is not known.
Sunday May 31. Had inspection this morning by company officers. Received a letter from Asbry Morse wich informs me of the death of my Cousin Harriet Batten.
Monday June 1. Am on gaurd to day. It is very windy and dust is very disagreeable indeed. Received a letter from Cousin Carrie.
Tuesday 2. Reuben Richardson was promoted Sergeant and Harman to Corpril this evening. Lt [?] F. Thomas as over here to day but wether he had anything to do with it or not I am unable to say.
Wednesday June 3. The promotion of Reuben Richardson has caused quite a commotion in the Com. Corprils Proctor, Smallwood and Tice have went to the ranks in concequence & there is a good deal of hard talk. The boys finished and put up an arch at the entrance of com. Parade ground.
Thursday 4. Were called up at four o.clock, had roll call with arms and belts on. Then we were order to be ready to march at a moments notice. The 87th and 88th New York Reg. started for home this morning, the 2nd and 3rd brigades were out in line to bid them good bye.
Friday 5. Drew our pay yesterday evening. I gave Captain Thomas fifteen dollars to take home for me. There was some heavy cannonading done in the vicinity of Fredericksburg this evening about four o.clock. We have orders to be ready to march at a moments notice, but they were countermanded.
Saturday June 6. Wrote to Asbry last night. Have orders to be ready to march at a moments notice. One corps of our troops is reported across the river, and in Fredericksburg. Everything we did not wish to carry were boxed up and sent off. Smith and Shaffer are wearing barrels for not goin in drill the other day. This is the fourth day for them.
Sunday 7. The whole Division was out for inspection this morning. We were out at six o.clock and did not get back till 12. Gen. Birney inspected several of the regiments himself.
Monday 8. Left camp for picket about five o.clock this morning. Had a detail of 300 men out of the regiment. The lines are only half as strong as usual.
Tuesday June 9. Very pleasant weather picket duty. Distant cannonading can be heard very plain. The 8th Corps is said to be at Bank ford.
Wednesday 10. [No entry for this date]
Bivouck 18 miles from old camp
Thursday 11. Were relieve from picket about two o.clock, and on getting back to camp found everything packed up ready for a move. Were not allowed 15 minutes to rest and get something to eat before we had to fall in. I was detailed for collor gaurd. Marched right by our picket post of this morning. About dark were told that we had but 2 miles further to go but found it nearer six, over a poor coduroy road and through a heavy pine woods.
Bivouck Bealton Station.
Friday June 12. Our bivouck last night was a bare piece of red clay and wich was covered with rock, but I slept very well notwithstanding. Col. Berdan commands the Brigade, Gen. Ward, the division and Gen. Birney the Corps. The 3 division is split up and distributed among the Brigades in the other two divisions. We have the Berdan sharpshooters in ours. To day was very hot and the roads dusty.
Saturday 13. Lay last in a very pleasant woods about a mile from the station. About noon moved up to near the rail road. Had orders to be ready to fall in at a moments notice. Water is very scarce, we have to carry it over a mile and it hardly fit to drink even then.
Sunday 14. Cadlit station. Revellie at 3. o.clock this morning with orders to be ready to march at 4. Did not get started till 4 in the evening however. Marched to Cadlit station where we arrived about 9. o.clock. The road we passed over was very familliar to me who had been over so often. The house at wich Gen. Kearny had his head quarters is in sight.
Manasses. 2. miles from the junction.
Monday June 15. Arrived here about 6. o.clock. It was very hot indeed to day. There was more straglers from our regiment to day than I ever saw before. It is said that several died of sunstroke, the marching was not so hard, except we marched a long time without resting, and water was very scarce. The rail road for over 4. miles back is lined with remnants of cars and machinery destroyed by the rebbels in their raid last fall.
Tuesday 16. Near Bull run. We are lazing behind a breast work on the banks of Bull run, it is about a mile from our bivouck of the last night. I believe I have stood the march better than any man in the com. A. as I have kept up all the time and carried everything I started with, and there is but few in the reg. can say as much. Am reading Bull run Russels account of the first bull run battle.
Wednesday 17. Near Centerville. Moved her last evening about 4. o.clock. Distance 3. miles we stopd to rest about every 15 minutes. Passed over a field on wich is said to have occurred the celebrated charge of the black horse cavalry in first Bull run battle. The house in wich Gen. Kearney had is headquarters the day before he was killed is only a short distance.
Thursday June 18. It is reported that the rebs are in Penn.100, 000 strong. Gambling predominattes to an alarming extent in our Reg. Some have won as high as sixty and eighty dollars to day while other of course have lost corospondingly. Chuckolup and a game called twenty one, with poker are the principle games played. I wrote to Cousin Carrie to day.
[Chuck a luck is a game using three dice and you place bets on a board as to which number[s] will appear after each throw. The more times your number appears at each throw the greater the payoff. If you do not pick any winners you loose your money.]
Friday 19. Had a heavy shower of rain last evening wich was needed very badly. The bugle sounded the call to strike tents about 10. o.clock, got started about 1 but did not get out of sight of Centerville till after 4. o.clock. It was cool, and no dust, so we had very pleasant till about dark when it commenced raining, and soon after got so dark that I could not see my hand before me.
Saturday 20. Camp at Gum spring. I got separated from the collors last night and indeed the whole regiment was scatered in every direction. I stumbled along as well as I could till cam across a portion of the reg. wich was in a quandary not knowing wich way to go. There was no staff officers and but few line officers. They concluded at last to stay where they were till morning.
Camp near Gum springs.
Sunday June 21. We got here yesterday morning. They were having some artillery practice west of us [in reality this was the horse artillery of Jeb Stuart and Alfred Pleasonton during the battle of Upperville, VA. Stuart was protecting Ashby Gap from the prying eyes of Pleasonton's cavalry who were trying to find out where Robert E. Lee was and what he was doing on the far side of the Blue Ridge.], and we had orders to pack up and ready to march, but I guess all the tents are up again. It is raining now. About an hour after writing the above we were again ordered to strike and march! Marched through Gum town and a short distance beyond where we formed column of division and went into camp.
Monday 22. About 3.o.clock the bugle sounded to fall in. We were afterward ordered to pack up, and then ordered to take nothing by canteens and haversacks. We got into line and marched a few yards when an aid came up and told the Col. it was unnessary so we broke ranks and put up our tents again. Soon after a detail was made of picket, and then we were all ordered to get ready to go on picket.
Tuesday 23. Out picket post is only a couple of hundred yards north of Gum springs. 22 men out of each com. are on post, and ballance of us are in reserve.
Camp near Gum springs.
Wednesday June 24. I wrote a letter to father yesterday afternoon. Nothing is going on along the lines worth mentioning except that the boys are prety well supplied with fresh meat. A certain man along the lines refused to take the oath of alegiance. The safe gaurd was taken from his property, and the boys told to help themselves. We expect to march tomorrow at daylight.
Thursday 25. near Poolsville Md. We have marched about 22 miles since seven o.clock this morning. Crossed the Potomac on the ponton bridge of about 75 boats at Edwards ferry there was two bridges of like size. I saw the first field of wheat I have seen this season and the only one in Virginia. In Maryland however nothing else is to be seen hardly. We passed within a mile of our old camp of last fall.
Friday 26 Point of rocks. Got here about noon. Crossed the Monocacy river on a splendid stone acquaduct bridge wich conveyed the canal over the river. There has been a misty rain falling all day, and the roads are very muddy. The wheat in this neighborhood is splendid. Some had been allready harvested.
Camp near Middleton
Saturday June 27. Marched about 12. miles to day. Passed through Jefferson wich is quite a little place. Marched through by column of companies, colors flying and to music. Our regiment was rear gaurd. I never enjoyed a march so much before. When on the Catoctin mountains we could see Harpers ferry.
Camp near Walkersville
Sunday 28. Pass through Middleton this morning, and struck the pike for Frederic. Passed through the latter place about 3. o.clock; were joined by Gen. Sickles who took command of the corps. Gens. Birney and Ward are back to their respective commands. The rebbel cavalry passed through Frederic last Sunday. It is 7. miles from here to Frederic, and 8. from there to Middleton.
Camp near Tanneytown
Monday 29. I was about a mile from camp when the bugle sounded the fall in call. But I managed to back in time. We got started about six o.clock. Our camp was about a mile from Walkersville. We passed through that place. Woodboughrough where the Pike run out. Middleburg and Tanneytown in the latter place the ladies cheered the 20th Ind. as we passed through.
Camp near Emmettsburg
Tuesday June 30. We received mail at Tannytown. I received a letter from Uncle Robbert and one from Aunt Nancy. It is 8. miles from Tanneytown to this place. The 12th corp passed us before we left the latter place, about 1. o.clock. Passed some of the 11th corps with rebbel prisoners. Gen. Mead is in command of the Army.
Wednesday July 1. About 1. o.clock we marched through Emmetsburg. Expected to go into camp just on the other side, but were ordered to march again. Arrived here about dark. The 1st & 11th corps had a fight to day. Gen. Reynolds was killed. It rained nearly all day but notwithstanding was very warm marching. Its said that Gen. McClellan is here with 75,000 new troops and is to command the whole army.
Near Gettysburg Pa
Thursday July 2. Our Division was in line of battle by one o.clock. The left rested on round top mountain, and I suppose was the extreme left of the Army. The rebs advanced on us about 3 ½ o.clock. We found them one hour and a half. Were driven back but not till after the right and left flanks were turned. The reg. lost 138 men. One killed & five wounded out of the collor gaurd. Com A has only 14 men in ranks. Col. Wheeler was killed.
Friday July 3. All the ground we lost was regained last night by the 5th corp. Heavy reinforcements are coming up. There was some hard fighting on the right this morning, commenced about 3 ½ o.clock. We are in reserve. At 1. o.clock a heavy cannonading was going on the whole length of the lines. About 2. we moved to support the center. The enemy had advanced allmost to the artillery but were pushed back with great loss. A great many prisoners were taken among wich was Longstreet. Our reg, the 3 and fourth main are supporting the artillery.
Saturday July 4. The three regiments were sent out on picket this morning. Two companies out of the reg. are on post at a time, the balance is in reserve. There is a brisk fire fight up along our front all the time, although it is comparatively quiet every place else. The regiment had one killed and six wounded. Gen. Sickles lost a leg day before yesterday, and is reported dead. The dead and wounded were laying thick on the field when we came out here but they have thined out pretty well now. The rebs lost very heavy.
Sunday July 5. The reserves retired to the riffle pits last night, but relieve the pickets as before. It commenced raining about 8 o.clock last evening and has rained all night. I took up my quarters on a large rock and managed to get some sleep. It has been discovered during the day the enemy has skedaddled. We moved back and went into camp near round top. The troops are moveing of following up the enemy.
Near Round top at Gettysburg
Monday July 6. A circular has been read to day stating that Gen. French had captured the rebble ponton train with their gaurd at Williamsport, Ind. I wrote a letter to father yesterday and gave it to a citizen to mail for me. We expected to march to day. I indeed did get started but only a short distance when we were ordered back again. Gen. Birney is again in command of the corps & Col. Berdan of the brigade.
Near Mechanicsburg, Ind.
Tuesday July 7. Had revillie this morning at 1.o.clock and order to be ready to march at 3. The road to Emmetsburg was very bad but we made good time and got there by 9. o.clock. Struck the pike for Frederic at the faster place [?] 22. miles distant. The better portion of Emmetsburg was burned to the ground by a citizen of the place at the time the rebs passed through. A catholic college at this place is the largest of the kind in the United States.
On the Coshocton [the diary spelling is clear, but this should be Catoctin] mountains, 9 miles from Frederic.
Wednesday July 8. Got started about six o.clock. It rained all last night and till almost noon to day. Turned off from the pike about noon. I waded through mud and crossed 2 streams nearly waist deep, about two miles to get dinner. Then went back on the pike again by a different road but not better. A circular was read last night stating that Vicksburg surrendered on the 4th. Passed through Frederic about dark. Our cavalry captured about 600 prisoners to day. The rebs are doing their utmost to cross the Potomac before we get up with them.
Camp on the South mountains
Thursday July 9.
Had reveille about three o'clock, and marched soon after, went into camp soon after near Middletown as we supposed for all day. About 11.o.clock the bugle sounded to fall in: and we marched through & about a mile beyond the town where we again went into camp. About 5. o.clock the bugle sounded to strike tents for the third time, and we made a rapid march to this place through the South mountain pass & over the place were the battle was fought last fall. Got into camp about dark. Marched about ten miles to day.
Near Antietam creek
Friday July 10. Had quite an excitement in camp last night some waggon teams broke lose and ran away causing some of the gaurd to think the enemy was making a charge on us & he aroused the camp. I did not get out however & knew but little about it till this morning. We marched about a mile and rested some time, then marched to little Antietam creek, part of the brigade getting across the bridge and had to about face and come back. Went into camp as we supposed for the night, near Kaysville. But had to mak a forced march of about 5. miles further in the dark. Making about ten miles during the day.
Saturday July 11. Were called up about three o.clock this morning and marched about two miles. I have understood that the line of battle will be for to night, and an attack mad on the rebbe lines early in the morning. We are confident of victory, but expect a desparate battle. I pray God to give us another victory.
Line of battle on the south bank of Antietam creek
Sunday July 12. Had orders early this morning to be ready to march at a moments notice. Move about a mile to the front about one o.clock and formed line of battle by regiment enmass. Some cannonading is to be heard on the right, but all is quiet on our front. It commenced raining about 3. o.clock and rained very hard all evening. Brigadier Gen. French command the corps. Gen. Birney being absent on leave. Gen. French's old Division of new troops has been aded to the corps.
Monday 13. It has rained nearly all day. Our forces are said to be in posession of Hagerstown. The bugle has sounded the pack up call several times but we are getting so we pay but little attention to it. The engagement was to have been commenced at 7 ½ oclock, but has been postponed for some reason or another. The boys are ready and hopefull: but serious for we all know that it will be a desperate battle.
Within the rebbel entrenchments
Tuesday 14. It rained again last night. Orders were received last night that the attack would be commenced at 7 ½ this morning. About 12. o.clock we moved to the front. The rebs have crossed the river, the cavalry in pursuit and have captured 800 prisoners. The enemies position was a very strong one and well entrenched. We would have probably lost 10,000 men in taking it. Wich nobody doubts would have been done.
Camp at the foot of South mountain
Wednesday July 15. We marched to day apparently in the direction of Harpers ferry is about 15 [?]. Passed over the Antietam battlefield through Sharpsburg. We got dinner to day in a field where some of the dead had been so slight buried that the hogs had rooted there bones out of their resting places and they were scattered in every direction. It was very hot, and a great many gave out with the hard marching.
3 miles from Harpers ferry: in Maryland
Thursday July 16. It was said to be ten miles to the ferry from where we started this morning but after we marched about five miles it was still ten miles distant. I think we went in a round about direction to avoid the waggon trains probably. It is expected that this corps will stop at Harper ferry to garrison that place and Winchester. I think it very doubtfull. It is said that we will remain here two or three days.
About two miles from Harpers ferry: in Va.
Friday July 17. It rained last night and nearly all day to day. I wrote a letter to Cousin Carrie, and got a big armful of straw to sleep on to night. I had to wade through mud for nearly two mile to get it. About 5. o.clock the bugle sounded to strike tents and we were soon on the road again. Crossed the Potomoc ponton bridge, the regular bridge not being finished yet. Crossed on a wire bridge over the Shanadoah river.
Camp near Hillsborough Va
Saturday July 18. We got here about ten o.clock to day, it is on the Leesburg pike about 8. miles from the latter. I took the opportunity of doing some washing this afternoon wich was needed very badly. Duberries are very plenty and the whole division has all they can eat. It was after dark when we passed through Harpers ferry last night so we had but little chance to see the place. After crossing the Shanandoah river we turned down towards the Potomac and passed around the foot of Boliver heights.
[G.B. Dew berries are close relatives of black berries, but the dew berry canes are weaker and grow along the ground instead of standing upright.]
On picket about three miles from Snickers gap.
Sunday 19. We marched about five miles to day, turning of from the pike near Hillsborough. Our reserve is near where a sesessionist lives who boast that he voted for cesession and believe it to be right yet he says the rebbel soldiers have damaged him more than the Union have. Com A and C are on post about half mile from here. One of Com. Cs boys found a horse concealed in the brush and took posession. The horse has the U.S. mark on. The former owner is very anxious to get him back say he concealed him to keep the rebs from getting him.
Monday 20. Upperville near Ashlys gap. Started this morning about 6. o.clock. and marched about ten miles. The roads were bad and it was very hot. A skirmish occurred at the gap to day between our cavalry and some of the enemies infantry with what result I am unable to say. Our boys took good care to supply themselves with fresh pork, veal, mutton etc. last night while on picket.
Camp near Uppersville & Ashly gap Va
Tuesday July 21. Had Brigade inspection this afternoon by Col. Berdan. He did not inspect very close and I doubt wether he could tell any better after inspection than before wether the guns were clean or not. Immediately after inspection an order was read that 3 commishioned officers and 6 privates would be sent out of all regiment from several states home to assist in drafting men to fill up their several regiments. Our officers are busy making out pass rolls.
Wednesday July 22. Got here about 11. o.clock tonight. The bugle sounded to strike tents about 3. o.clock. We marched at four, passed through Upperville, struck the Manasses railroad at Piedmont, and followed to this place. The road was very bad especially after dark, over hill and gully, we crossed a creek wich was over knee deep four times. I presume we marched about ten miles this afternoon.
Thursday July 23. Moved about 2 ½ miles and formed line of battle. About 3. oclock our reg. was sent out to support the skirmishers (Berdans) wich were ordered to advance. The line was advance under a brisk fire over a mile when we relieved the skirmishers. Soon after the Excelsior brigade charged over our lines and the enemies skirmishers support and all [?] the rebs position, wic opened with a battery not doing any damage as not one shell in a dozen bursted. We captured a number of prisoners. A Lt. from the 3rd was among the number.
Manasses Gap, near Union town
Friday July 24. Were on picket all night, the enemy skedaddled during the night. The balance of our Division and part of the firth corps are in pursuit. We remained behind for ammunition, and then went about a mile to the front. Could see into the valley, saw our cavalry charge on the enemies rear gaurd and drive them across the Shenandoah river. Soon after we marched back on the rail road about 6 miles to this place, where we arrived about dark.
11 miles from Salem & six from Warenton
Saturday July 25. The railroad has been destroyed between Piedmont and the valley wether done by the rebs or by our army I dont know. Some of the boys are out of hard tack and made a great deal of fuss of about it. Gen. Ward made some of the regiments stand up in line for half an hour as punishment. The ration did run out till this morning we drew more before we started. Passed through Salem & took the road for Warenton about 18 miles.
About 5 miles south west of Warrenton
Sunday July 26. Passed through Warrenton about 11. o.clock. The 5 and 6 corps are near here. It is said we are in the advance but will be relieved from further duty for one month with the army of the Potomac. I wrote letter to Uncle Robert, Aunt Nance and Martty at Asbys gap, but did not get them into the mail till to day. Warrenton is a larger place than I even though I have been there before.
In camp near Warrenton
Monday July 27. It has rained some little to day. Col. Berdan has placed gaurds all around the camp and does not allow anyone to pass out even for water without a pass. I wrote a letter to father to day. We had word day before yesterday while marching through Gen. Ward that Indiana had captured Morgan and his whole force. We have three cheers for the gallent old state and its gallent Govener.
Tuesday July 28. Gen. Birney has come back and took command of the division. Gen. Ward comes back to the Brigade and there is allready quite a change in things since. The boys allmost hated Col. Berdan. 3 officers & 6 privates left several of the regiments this morning for hom in accordance with the order that was read at Ashly gap. Got our first mail since recrossing the Potomac.
Wednesday July 29. Mailed a letter to Anna this morning. The day has been pleasant with the appearance of rain. I was about two miles from camp this morning in search of du berries. The officers are ordered to make out a requision for camp or garrison equipage. The first Brigade changed camp this morning. The reg. was inspected by Brigade inspection.
Camp near Warrenton VA
Thursday July 30. I washed a pair of drawrs to day in the creek was prety hard work. About 11. o.clock we moved camp moveing about fourty feet and went into camp by columne of Divisions. Had some heavy shower of rain this afternoon. Commenced a letter to cousin Carrie this evening.
Friday July 31. Were called up this morning at two oclock & order to be ready to march immediately. Went up to bid Gen. Ward good bye, gave him three rousing cheers. He made us a short speech in reply, and did not appear to like the idea of us leaving him, but said we were going to his native city to fight traitors worse than the rebbels of the south. Got on the cars at Warrenton junction, made the distance between Fairfax & Alexandria (9 miles) in 5 minutes.
[G.B. The men were being sent because of the riots over the draft in New York City.]
Saturday August 1. Left Washington this morning at 4. o.clock, and arrived Baltimore at 9. Left the latter place about 11 and arrived here soon after dark. We passed through Wilmington the capital of Deleware. Crossed the Susquehanna river at Havre de grass on a ferry boat, cars and all went on board. Got our supper at the soldiers refreshment saloon, a very good meal it was to. Was ferried across the Deleware.
Castle gardens, New York city
Sunday August 2. Took the cars on the Philladelphia and Amboy railroad about 3. o.clock this morning arrived at the latter place about 7. and took a ferryboat to this place where we landed about noon. It is 13 miles from our camp to Warrenton junct, 48 to Washington, 40 to Baltimore, 98 to Philadelphia; 75 to Amboy, 15 to New York. Whole distance 289 miles in three days and 2 nights.
Monday August 3. Drew A. tents this evening and moved down nearer the river, the gardens are a great place of resort for the lower classes, and is thronged all the time. The 8th regulars and part of a battery of artillery are quartered in the gardens. There is a goverment eating house where we get out meals at regular hours. Four companies of the regiment are quartered in Central Park.
Tuesday August 4. Was at Barnums museum this afternoon, where I spent the time quite pleasantly. Among the curiosities was a gentleman called the lightning calculator, An automation penman, learned seal, sea horse, happy family, etc; Parrish was knocked down by a shoulder hitter last night for expressing his oppinion about the draft a little to freely.
Castle Gardens, New York city
Wednesday August 5. Gave a shirt to an irish woman to wash for me this morning, said she would charge me but five cents, she brought it back but little cleaner than it was when I gave it to her, and I had to pay her ten. We had dress parade this evening. It was found necessary to employ a couple of gaurds or two policemen to keep the crowd of citizens and chilldren out of the ranks. Once a woman either drunk or crazy danced along in front of the music as it was beating off.
Thursday August 6. Some of ladies and gentlemen of the city calling themselves the Harmonic socity favored us with some very good local music last night after tattoo. This day was appointed by the President as a day of thanksgiving and prayer, for the success of our arms during the last month. I was out in the city this afternoon, the majority of business houses are closed. We were on Wall street and at wall street ferry where they are quite a number of foreign vessels loading with grain.
Friday August 7. Was out once or twice to day. On Wall street where the amount of gold and silver coin displayed in the windows was good for sore eyes. This evening was up near the Tribune office and city hall. The roughs of the city are beginning to show great illwill towards our regiment several of our boys have had altercations with them. The police are on our side. Day before yesterday were visited by quite a thunder shower during wich a flag staff on the grounds was struck by lightening.
Camp at the Battery gardens New York city.
Saturday August 8. Had another heavy thundershower this afternoon. I was in camp nearly all day. Moses Faulk from Penn paid us a visit. Two companies left us to day again for some place unknown. We will probably follow in the morning. Some of the regulars had quite a row with some citizens last evening. Our Sutter is here and has a tent set up.
Sunday August 9. Companies F and B left the battery garden last evening, and about ten o.clock this morning the bugle sound to strike tents and soon after we marched down to pier No. 1 and got on board a transport. Com G and K were landed at Wrikers island; Com. B. and F. are at this place where the Col. makes his head quarters and is commanding the post. Com. A. and C. are a Davis island.
Monday August 10. Passed a miserable night last night. Musketoes were very bad and it was to warm to cover with anything to keep them off. Was at the Hospital this afternoon where I found Eli Pearson, Joe McMillen, Martin O'Brien and Ruben Trimblin. The latter was not able to be about, but the others were doing well. Had dress parade this evening. The two companies of artillry forming on the right of the regiment, the other four companies came here this morning.
Fort Skyler: New York Harbor
Tuesday August 11. We got a tent to day and are once more at home. I am staying with the color gaurd. Lt. Hank was here to day and I was with him over to the hospital. Wallace Richardson had come back to the company. There is 2800 rebbel prisoners on Davis island. Jake says they have a very pleasant place up there. It is about seven miles from the fort, and the fort is about 15 miles from the city. I drew a check on the Sutter for $2 this evening.
Wednesday August 12. It rained some last night. We have got our shelter tents up in front of the large one with a table under it and if it were not for the musketoes would be very comfortable. The water in the fort is splended, much better than the croton water [G.B. diarrhea causing] of the city. Cooking arangements are not quite so good as we could wish, but might be worse. There is a detail from each company for that purpose.
Thursday August 13. Last night about dark a transport loaded with conscripts passed here in the direction of the city, but stoped near the gunboat Nangituc [?]. Nothing was thought of it at the time, but about eleven o.clock word was sent to the Col. that the conscripts had mutinied and some assistance was wanted. Com. F and C were sent down and soon succeeded in restoring quiet. The mutineers were mostly New Yorkers who had went to Conneticut for the sake of the $100 bonus. About 30 succeeded in making their escape.
Fort Schyler: New York Harbor
Friday August 14. Wrote a letter to Annie this morning. Have not received our back mail yet wich should have been here long go. Lt. Vayet [?] officiated at Adjutant to night in place of Luther who has proved himself incapable of filling the office. Vadgett was a little better bit still not so well as Thomas. The 28 and 20th Batteries came out at dress parade with us. They form on the right of the collors and the regiment on the left.
Saturday August 15. There was a good many signel rockets sent up last evening the vicinity of the fort. The Col. put off in a boat to the Nangituc [?] to inquire into it, but with what result I dont know. It has been very warm again to day. It is said that last Sunday was the hotest day they have experienced in the city for 20 years. What was left here of the 152nd New York Vols took their departure to day. They took all their tents and we had to pull down ours for them, but got another immediately.
Sunday August 16. Had regular Sunday morning inspection at ten o.clock. Rust was found in the barrel of my gun wich mortified me very much, as it is an unusual occurrence for me. We were to have had service this evening at four o.clock by our chaplain Mr. Wm Porter but a rain coming just at the time prevented his saying as much as he otherwise have done. He said a few words, however, wich were listened to with interest.
Fort Schyler: New York Harbor
Monday August 17. Received our back mail to day. There was about a peck [G.B. 1/4 of a bushel, or 8 quarts] for Com. A. I got two letters from Cousin Carrie, one of wich was mailed on the 24th of July; and the other on the 3rd of August. I was very much disapointed in not find one from home. This has been a regular Autumn day. A cold drizzling rain falling all the time. I wrote a letter to Aunt Martha. Companies G [?] and K came in from Wreckers island this afternoon.
Tuesday August 18. It was clear, but rather cool for the time of the year this morning. Any quantity of porpoises could be seen playing in the river. They are a rather courious looking animals, and I derived great amusement from look at them. Our officers were set to drilling on the heavy guns this morning. Lt. James DeLong, came down this afternoon on business. He says they came near having a little fight with some of Johny rebs the other day. The latter trying to get away from the island.
Wednesday August 19. The draft commences again in the city this morning, and allthough no disturbance is expected every preperation has been made for it. There is some talk through the regiment about us going back to the army of the Potomac again in a few days. Gen. Brown was to have been here to day to take command of the post but wether he came or not I do not know. My health is none the best this morning as I am suffering with a bad cold.
Fort Schyler: New York Harbor
Thursday August 20. There was not disturbance in the city yesterday over the draft wich is still to be continued to day. I and Bennett went up to Davids island to day. We only remained a few minutes as our pass said for business, and we were expected back on the same boat. I got to see only a few of the boys and was not their quarters atoll. The boys are very well satisfied with the place but think the duty rather heavy. My cold is worse to day.
Friday August 21. Had company inspection this morning. Tis said that we are to draw dress coats and over coats, blankets, etc. Gen. Brown was here all day. He think our boys do not pay that respect to supperior officers they should. The draft is still supposed to be going on very quietly. We have heard nothing from the city to day. I wrote a letter to Cousin Carrie. The noncommish are drilling on the heavy guns in the fort.
Saturday August 22. The great Easter [G.B. a ship?] has been looked for to day but has not yet made her apperance. We had the batteries collors out with us on dress parade this evening. Reported that our new collors are in the city and will be here next week. Sergeant Reuben Richardson is here on a visit. Came down on the one o.clock boat. Expect the paymaster here next monday.
Fort Schyler: New York Harbor
Sunday August 23. Myself, Miller and Richardson were out to Westchester to day. There is some splendid farms in the neighborhood but the town does not amount to anything. It has one or two good churches, but that is about all that can be said for the place. We had a sermon from the reverend Mr. Porter at four o.clock this afternoon in the fort. I have heard him do better, though he preached a very good sermon.
Monday August 24. Paymaster went up on the boat to day noon he pays the companies on Carrots [?] island first then comes back and pays the companies here. I owe the Sutler this time four dollors. Sergeant Richardson went back on the same boat.
Tuesday August 25. The Paymaster came down early this morning. He payed the company here, and then us that were detached from our companies. The great Eastern came by the fort this morning at 1 o.clock, she fired on gun in answer to the dipping of the flag from the fort. She is anchored a short distance below the fort. I was out on a pass to Westchester this afternoon.
Thursday August 27. Was quite cold this morning. Mr. Westavelt of Plymouth was here on a visit last night. I got to speak to him just before he got on the boat to leave.
Friday August 28. Went to the city this morning. My pass is till 8. o.clock evening, but think I shall stay all night any way. Spent most of the day in Barnums museum. Saw nobody from our Reg during the entire day. It was raining nearly all day and therefore not very pleasant on the street. I shall put up at the Parker house for the night.
Saturday August 29. Visited Trinity church, Central park and other places of interest during the day. Went back on the four o.clock boat. Threw my pass away and told the officer of the gaurd I had lost it. Was not put under arrest but came very near it.
Sunday August 30. Had Sunday morning inspection. Wrote letters to cousin Carrie, Sister Anna is Pable[?] country. I sent Carrie a photograph album while in the city, have one for Anna allso. Wich I will send soon.
Monday August 31. Were mustered for pay to day by Gen. Brown. The Artillery were mustered at the same time with regiment. The nights are very cold for this time of the year. Wrote to Aunt Martha to day.
Tuesday September 1. The regiment and batteries were inspected by Gen. Brown to day. Old Gen. Ward came up on the 11. oclock boat to pay us a visit. He was enthusiasticaly cheered by the boys.
[G.B. These entries all ran together]
Wednesday September 2. Have had the blues for the past few days and though this is the sixth I have neglected my diary and must fill up with anything I can think off. Everything is very dull and quiet; no news in the papers. Our armies in the field laying perfectly quiet. And our boys here in the old fort are hard up for some means to pass of time. [Thursday 3] wich is hanging very heavy on our hands. There is two or three violins in the regiment wich are used so much that it is getting tiresome. The boys have got to playing marbles for pastime and it not unusual to all a number of large heavy bearded men taking as much interest in a game of marble as would be expected from a parcel of boys. [Friday September 4] I am getting to lazy to either read or write any more. The Chaplain has procured a collection of magazines, tracts, Sunday school books, novels, etc wich we are invited to read. I have taken advantage of the invitation and have read Harpers magazine from the beginning of 1859 till the present time. Allmost find them interesting if they are rather old. [Saturday September 5] It is said that Gen. Brown in his report after inspection the other [day?] reported that our Reg. was well disciplined but arms and accountriments were unfit for garrison duty, and that he had issued an order for new arms, and for the quarters in the fort to be claimed up for an accomidation. The days are warm but nights are very cold for the time of year.
Sunday September 6. Was with Jake out Westchester this forenoon, after inspection; it was a very dull place. Had my whiskers shaved off so that I am now as barefaced as a boy of 12. It is a year last month since I was shaved last all over my face. Some Stranger preach on the north side of the fort.
Monday September 7. There has been some heavy guns landed here for the fort. They are ten inch and weight about 14,960 pounds each. Bennet is wearing Sergeant stripes. He has been drunk several times since we came here but that appears to make no difference, if rather, all the better.
Tuesday September 8. The great Eastern passed by outward bound this morning. She was about as heavy loaded as when she came in. fire one gun wich was not replied to by the fort. The supposition that we will leave here is soon is getting to be very general. It was reported to day that we would day after tomorrow.
Wednesday September 9. Tis rather cool weather for the time of year. Gen. Brown is here again to day. Tis reported that there is to be a garrison for of 1300 men kept here all the time. The Col. is Judge Advocate of a court martial settings in the city. I have asked to be sent up to my company for duty, but am afraid I will not get to go.
Thursday September 10. The invalid corps have orders to move. Tis said that barracks are to be built on their ground for our regiment and the 17th regular wich will be here soon with two companies of heavy artillery The fort is to be garrisoned with a force of about 1300 men. Tis is said a chain able to be streched across the river from the fort.
Friday September 11. I drilled this morning on heavy artillery for the first time since coming here. There was a race run for forty dollors a side to day between two of the battery boys. The boys are having plenty of music in the fort this evening. Two little boys from the city are hear with their violins and make very good music. There is allso some visitors from Indiana who are excelent violinists. Music and dancing is all the go. Visitors say the 20th is the noisiest and best natured regiment they ever saw.
Saturday September 12. Charlston reported taken. It was intended to fire a national salute from the fort at four o.clock, but something turned up wich prevented it. The 7th regulars came here to day. They are taking prisoners away from Davids island. The boat that comes from there this evening take a load of them. I am getting to lazy to live decently. Allmost to lazy to clean my gun, and keep myself clean.
Sunday September 13. Had preaching this evening by the Rev. Mr. Porter of Ranois [?]. Our chaplains father. I am afraid we are going to have trouble with the regulars as they boast that they will run fort Schuyler. A kind of talk our boys dont like very well. And one of the former got pretty severely punish for his insolent language last night, and others will be disposed of in the same manner if they are not careful.
Monday September 14. Two companies D [?] and K went across the river this afternoon. A battalion of the Invalids were sent over allso. The regulars seem determined to run the thing, sure enough. One of their captains in the absence of Col. Taylor is in command of the post and has made entirely different arrangements in our dress parades. He has placed the regulars on the right, our reg. on the left, and the batteries in the center. Each set of colors to go with its own regiment.
Tuesday September 15. Moved camp this morning to where the Invalids had just left. A national salute was fired from the fort commencing about 11 o.clock. the guns used were 84 pounders. On account of the nonappearance of the bread waggon we had nothing but beans for dinner. Of course there was more or less swearing. Dress parade between the camp and the hospital.
Wednesday September 16. We are fixed a little better than when in the fort. Have very good bunk put up now. Had no dress parade this evening. Have had no letters from home, or and place else for a long time, dont what to think of it. Army of the Potomac is said to be moving on towards Richmond. Has got as far as Culpepper without much fighting.
Thursday September 17. This is regular fall weather, and very pleasant. I have been unwell all day. There is nothing going on worth mentioning. I have read nearly everything as there is in the regiment, and dont know what I should do when the reading matter is all gone. Paymaster is expected this week or the first of next. I wish he would hurry up for I am broke.
Friday September 18. Has been a liquid [?] storm wich lassted all day without intermission. Quite a number of tents were leveled to the ground. The storm was accompanied by rain at intervals during the day. The four companies have been relieved from further duty upon Davids island. Pruit[?] Hand and I have seen sent to Beverly New Jersey, Com C. was landed here . they have no tents and had to be distributed among the others.
Saturday September 19. It did not blow quite as much to day as it did yesterday, but it has rained nearly allday. The Col. came up on the boat to day. Some of the boys belonging to the companies on Davids island were left behind yesterday and came down on the boat to day they will have to lay over till Monday. I received a letter from Cousin Carrie this morning.
Sunday September 20. Was very cold this morning, had inspection. The companies here have drawn clothing, but I could get none. I am going to the company if is posible to morrow. It has been so cold all day that we have had to keep pretty close to our tents.
Monday September 21. The paymaster was looked for by the boat to day, but did not come to the dissapointment of a good many. Eli Pearson and Joe McMillen left the hospital to joint the company. I tried to get to go along, but Capt. Bell would not let me. However, I shall try again as soon as the Col. comes back. Rosecrans has been repulsed near Chattenooga. Battle commenced on the 19th ins.
Tuesday September 22. The companies here were paid off to day. I did not get mine, and dont know wether I will be able to get it till after the company is paid of or not.
Wednesday September 23. Went down to the city to day with Lt. Clark for my pay. There was five of us alltogether. We got out pay without any trouble. I found Pearson and McMcillen and sent $45 by them to pay my debts in the company. I bought some books a shirt gloves etc. spent alltogether near $20.00. I cant account for more than $14.00. I visited no place of interest except trinity church.
Thursday September 24. A very pleasant day indeed. Com. C. went to Beverly, N.J. this afternoon. Wm. Miller went with them to the Com. I had my knapsack packed up to go, but concluded I might get into trouble by it. Bennett went to turn in a pass to day. He of course will come back drunk. I bought half dozen magazines in the city for six cents a piece.
Friday September 25. I received a letter from R. Richardson asking me to go to Noah Shell and get a wach he had left there. I procured a pass for that purpose, but found out afterwards that it would be useless, and I took my pass and went to the city where I arrived about 3 o.clock in a very disagreeable rain. I allmost myself back to the fort again, I managed however to get along till evening then I went to the New Bowry theatre.
Saturday September 26. I thought the theatre last night a very poor affair. The play was called the Wizard Priest, during wich several ghosts made their appearance on the stage. I was out this morning about six oclock. Got my breakfast. Then got in an omnibus and rode up to Lafayette square. Came back to the fort on the government boat at eleven o.clock, pretty well satisfied to remain there for the next two months.
Sunday September 27. Was very cold this morning. Had Inspection. William Canter of Company A. came. He was here yesterday he was wounded at Chancellorsville, and is just recovering. He went to the company.
Monday September 28. [There is no entry for this date.]
Tuesday September 29. [There is no entry for this date.]
Wednesday September 30. Had monthly inspection this morning by Maj. Gilbreath. An hundred and fifteen of the regiment were detailed to gaurd some prisoners to Alexandria. May go all the way by water and are expected back in eight days.
Thursday October 1. Some Russian officers have been expected to day but did not come. Gen. Canby has ordered a salut of fifteen guns to be fired should they come. I got hold of an old tent and put it up for my own use to day. I have a table and beadstead put up in it and am very comfortable. The sentence of several of the boys who were tried for remaining absent without leave, was read on dress parade.
Friday October 2. I have slept nearly all day to day. Capt. J. F. Thomas made his appearance this evening. The sentence of some more prisoners was read on dress parade this evening. They were all fined from three to twenty dollars. The United States will obtain quite a revinue from this post this next payday. There is twentyfive or thirty yet to be tried. It is raining, with a very strong breeze tonight.
Saturday October 3. Wrote a letter to father last evening. W. Miller was sent back here to day under gaurd. He says the companies that were at Beverly have gone to Trenton New Jersey.
Sunday October 4. It was unusually dull to day. The collor gaurd does not have to go out on inspection. I have slept nearly all day did not even go to preaching this afternoon, though a strange preacher favored us with a sermon. I have about run out of reading mater, and am getting hard up for occupation. Tis reported that the absent companies are coming back here next Friday.
Monday October 5. Had a little chat with Capt. Thomas this morning. He is going to remain here some time, is detailed on a court martial. I received a letter from Uncle Robert. He thinks I write opinioned letters. Says he has made several stump [G.B. political] speeches lately. The men that were detailed to take conscripts to Alexandria got back this morning. Made the entire trip by water. Got back several days sooner than expected. Passed allmost within sight of Fortress Monroe.
Tuesday October 6. Was very cold last night. I like to have froze. I caught a young rat to day wich I intended to make a pet of, but the confounded thing got away from me this evening. Tis reported again this evening that we are going back to the army of the Potomac.
Wednesday October 7. The four companies that were up in New Jersey came up on the eleven o.clock boat to day. They went across the river on Willobys point. My rat came back this morning. He has got quite tame. Tis reported this evening that our regiment is going to stay here and the 5th division is going to the army. It is allso reported that we are going back to Indiana to recruit up.
Thursday October 8. The Col. came back this morning. He told the officers at the dinner table that we were actualy going back to the Army. I wrote a letter to Anna last night. Tis reported that Govorner Morton is going to call home the four oldest regiments and give them a chance to reinlist with $800 bounty. If that is the case our regiment is one of the lucky number.
Friday October 9. This has been a very dull day for me. I have had a headache nearly all day. Done some washing this afternoon. Tis reported that we are going to Charlston. I think we are just as likely to stay here as go to the latter place.
Saturday October 10. Was over at Willets point to day. I went over on the Arrowsmith to White stone and from there to where our companies are. The boys except those that had clap [G.B. gonorrhea] were well. There is several of Com. A. under arrest for misdameanors. The fort they are building there is to be rather an extensive affair. Tis said that they have been at work on it now four years, and it hard to see what has been done in that time.
Sunday October 11. Its very cold this morning. Reported that the four companies that were up in New Jersey are going back again to Trenton. It is allso reported that the Col. is going to move across the river tomorrow. Bolson had about an hundred dollars stolen from him last night. Pants and all were stolen. Him and Johnson have lost three hundred and seventy dollars in the last few days.
Monday October 12. I think last night was the coldest night we have had this fall. I came near freezing. The Col. put his tents here to day, so that it is not likely that we are going across the [river] soon. Lt. Nadgett [?] is back to his company, and an officer from the regular regiment is acting Prov. Adjutant. Sergeant Weaver had a row with some the regulars this evening on the Arrowsmith.
Tuesday October 13. Got orders about 11. o.clock to pack up, wich was done in a hurry. Got on the Thomas P. May, and were take to Govenors island where we were landed about five o.clock. The 5h Wisconsin is here so allso is the 8th Regulars. Put up our tents leaving a vacancy for the absent companies. Tis said that troops left here to day for Charlston. Govenors island is a beautiful place and I hope we will remain here a while
Wednesday October 15. The other six companies came here this morning. We were ordered to be ready to leave at four oclock and had everything place up at the wharf ready to put on board the boat at that time, but the order was countermanded and we are to go at six in the morning. We are going to the Alexandria wether farther than that I dont know. Tis reported that four Companies are going to garrison fort Lyons. The ballance going some place else.
Thursday October 16. Arrived here about 12 in night. Left Govenors island about 12. P.M. Just before we left a detail of sergeants was made for the collor gaurd and I was ordered back to my com. Soon after the sergeant came after me saying there had been a mistake about me. I could not see the point however, and will stay with the com. Took the cars at Jersey city, run through Newark, New Brunswick, Princetown, Elizabeth city, Trenton and Camden.
H [?] Washington in the cars
Friday October 17. Had a splendid supper, or breakfast in Philadelphia at 1. o.clock. Marched about three miles to the Baltimore depot, left the city about 2 ½. Arrived in Baltimore about 10, got breakfast or dinner at the Union relief. We were delayed some time on account of not getting transportation for our baggage. The Col. refussed to leave the city with, and the conductor refused to take it at first but came [?] it at last. Traveled at a snails pace, arrived here about 7. Were furnished with 5 days rations.
Saturday October 18. 2nd Brig, 3rd Corps near Fairfax station. We slept last night at the soldiers rest in Alexandria. Were furnished shelter tents and turn in extra clothing to make room for extra rations. Arrived here about noon. We were then marched up to the Brigade wich we found out in line. Each regiment, as we passed, gave three cheers for the 20th Ind. A man fell of the cars-was not hurt very badly did not belong to our regiment.
Sunday October 19. Had orders to be prepared for inspection this morning but did not have any. Got orders about 12. oclock to be ready to march at any moment. Had dress parade this evening Lt. Delong acting as Adj. I weighed 130 pounds in Baltimore. Just before we got to Washington the lights went out, and some of the boys got to fighting. No blood spilt. The cars ran so slow in places that we could get off and on when we pleased. The boys in splendid spirits.
Near Fairfax station
Monday October 19. Bugle call to strike tents before daylight and we were soon on the rout, tis said for Bristoe station. Got dinner at Manasses junction. Some cannonading and musketry were heard in the direction in wich we are going. Halted for the night about 3. oclock, and a detail of ten men was made for picket, but about dark the whole regiment was ordered out for the same purpose. We stumbled along till we crossed Broadrun, and went on picket on the opposite side.
Tuesday October 20. It was very cold last night. The railroad along here had been distroyed by the rebs. The buttments across the run have been blown up with powder. Our division came up soon after daylight and we again started on the march in the direction of Manesses gap, butt we crossed a creek over knee deep when we were ordered to turn back, and we took another road in the direction of Warrenton. Went into camp about five miles from the later place.
Wednesday October 21. Started early this morning in exactly an opposite direction from what we did yesterday. Pass the 2nd and 6th Corps. Marched very hard double quick part of the time. Arrived at the rail road near Cattett station about 2. oclock. The rail road along here is completly distroyed. Ties burned and rails bent, bridges all distroyed.
Near Cattett station.
Thursday October 22. There is great excitement in the camp about reinlistin. An order has been issued that if two thirds of any three year regiment would agree to reinlist they would be sent home to recruit, and all those enlisting would be granted 60 days furlough and receive $402.00 bounty besides being discharged from the old enlistment. Quite a number of our boys have agreed to go if they would make a cavelry regiment out of us.
Friday October 23. The boys done so much foraging yesterday and the day before that gaurds have been put on and no one is allowed outside of camp without special permishion. The boys are reinlisting very fast. The have now over two thirds of the regiment, and tis said the Col. has writen to the Govenor to that effect. My name is down but I did not give my consent to it.
Saturday October 24. Rained nearly all day and is very cold this evening. I wrote a letter to Cousin Carrie this evening. The latest report is that the rebbels are about making another raid into Maryland - that they have possession of Harpers ferry allready. The excitement about reinlisting is cooling down somewhat.
On rail road near Cattett station
Sunday October 25. Had three different inspections to day. First, company inspection by captain; second, by Brigade inspectors and third, at dress parade. About dark we were taken by surprise at hearing the bugle sound to strike tents. We move but a short distance, however, and put up our tents so that we could fall out in line of battle at a moments notice. A raid on our trains was expected.
Monday October 26. I was detailed for this morning. The brigade gaurd is all mounted all together. The officer of the gaurd sent me with six men to report to Gen. Head quarters. Capt. Coony told me they would need no gaurds there, and sent me back. I met the officer of the gaurd who told me to dismiss the men and go to quarters. He made a mistake I suppose, but I did not I did not tell him of it. I done some washing this afternoon.
Tuesday October 27. Had tatoo last night at the usual hour, and went to bed expecting to enjoy a good nights rest. But about 11.o.clock the blasted bugle sound strike tents and in a very few moments were on the rout. Heading towards Bristow, a short distance then took of to the left and marched south easterly direction I judged by the moon. Marched about three miles and formed line of battle in the woods where we slept all night. We are near a mill dam on Ceder run.
Near mill on Ceder run.
Wednesday October 28. The talk this evening is that Gen. Birney told the Col. that if he could get three fourths of the regiment to reinlist they would be sent home about the first of next week. I dont think the Col. could get 20 men to reinlist just now.
Thursday October 29. Moved camp this evening to a better position for winter quarters. The position is in the woods on tope of a very steep bluff at the foot of wich is Cedar run and a mill dam. The bluff is mostly composed of limestone rock surmounted by ceder and chesnut trees. Our company is second in the formation of the regiments. An officer from each company went home this afternoon to recruit. Lt Handle [?] went from Com. A. The boys are very jubilant over the prospect for winter quarters.
Friday October 30. Had revillie this morning before daylight. The boys answered with alacrity in order that they might the suner get to work on their huts. But they were doomed to sad disapointment. We had scarcly got breakfast before the bugle gave fourth the ominous warning to pack up and get ready for the march. We struck the railroad near Cattett state and marched over the old rout to within about three miles from Bealton station. Marched very hard, pitched camp in line of battle.
Camp between Warrenton junction and Bealton station.
Saturday October 31. Mustered for pay this afternoon by the Col. I have been busy all day assisting the Capt. make out the pay role. Tis reported that two corps of our Army are going to Chattenooga. This said that the rebbels are at Bealton station and that there is some prospect for a fight shortly. The railroad is completed and the cars running as far as Cattlett station.
Sunday November 1. Was very cold last night. Reeder was on gaurd and I had to sleep alone most [?] of the time, but is clear and pleasant this morning. We had inspection by the Col. Was detailed for gaurd this evening. There is only two gaurds on a relief and but to Corprils; we have to take half the night each; thank fortune I have the fore part.
Monday November 2. The regiment had orders early this morning to be ready to march at a moments notice. Things look as though a fight was expected soon. Tis said that they have stoped work on the railroad. Also that the Rebs are fortifying this side the Rapahanoc. I got a letter from Cousin Carrie last night, and wrote one to Father to day.
Tuesday November 3. Have orders to be ready to march at a moments notice. Have eight days rations and sixty round cartriges. All sick, not able to make a hard march are to be sent back to Alexandria. I wrote a letter this morning to Uncle Robert. 250 conscripts arrived here to day for the fourth Main regiment. They are a very good lot of men.
Wednesday November 4. Murphy and McCoulough came back to the company on the evening of the 2nd. Murphy was reported a deserter on the last pay roll, and will have to pay for a gun and accutriments. Some of the boys found a bee tree out in the woods and brought a limb with the bees in it up to camp. There was but little honey. Myself and Reeder got the most of it. The sick of our regiment were sent off this morning.
Thursday November 5. Had battalion drill this morning a 8.oclock and Brigade drill this afternoon at 2. by Gen. Ward. I commenced a letter to Cousin Carrie last night but my candle went out before it was finished and I have to give it up. We have drew candles and soap but once since we rejoined the army. I was at all the suttlars in the division this evening and could not find a candle at one of them.
Friday November 6. Were to have had inspection and review by Gen. Birney this afternoon, but the order was countermanded and we had Brigade drill instead. About tattoo orders were received to be ready to march at daylight. I, this morning, finished a letter to Carrie. We are transferred and will march with the 3rd Brigade tomorrow.
Saturday November 7. Had revillie at 4.o.clock, and got started at daylight. The 3rd Brigade in advance, arrived here about noon. Formed line of battle and the sharpshooters advanced in skirmishers, drove the Rebbel pickets over the river. A battery of artillery opened up on these on the opposite site. Soon after we charged across the river by the flank, and captured 250 prisoners. We formed line of battle and Com. A was sent out as skirmishers. We charged up to the edge of the woods driving the rebs back. We lay there till after dark when we were relieved. Had six wounded while skirmishing, and Srgt. Tripper before we crossed the river. The ponton bridge was laid down and the balance of the corps crossed over on it. The 3rd Brigade was the first across. Our Reg. was second in the Brigade.
Sunday November 8. Found early this morning that the Rebs were all gone, and started immediately in pursuit. The second division took the advance. Our regiment went back to the old Brigade again. It appears that Col. DeLong was appointed to take the advance across the river and was given the best troops in the corps for that purpose. We marched very hard to day for the time we were at it. It is 4 miles to Culpepper. Cannonading can be heard supposed to be ___[?]. Gen Birney is in command of the corps.
Camp in the woods near Brandy station Pa.
Monday November 9. About noon Com. A was ordered to report to Gen. Wards head quarters for Provost gaurds. But we scarcely got poles and stakes ready for puting up tents before word came that Gen. Ward was relieved of the command of the division and were ordered back to the regiment again. The bugler sound to strike tents about dark and we moved about two miles on the opposite side of the railroad.
Tuesday November 10. This morning we changed front and went into regular camp. The rebels had up very good winter quarters here and left them a very great hurry leaving their rations of fresh beef behind. I got hold of a paper (Richmond Examiner) wich I sent to Uncle Morse. There is some talk about now puting up for winter quarters here but I dont think it will pay very well. As there is not wood enough to last six weeks hardly.
Wednesday November 11. It has been very cold to day. Recquitions were made out for everything necessary to make us comfortable in winter quarters. Those wounded out of Com. A last Saturday were Trippen, in arm, slight; Swaggart, in finger, slight; Hurly, hand; Olinger hand; White, wrist, severe; Roe and Blood, in legs. They were the only men hurt, belonging to this Reg.
Thursday November 12. Our camp is on land belonging to the Hon. John Miner [?] Botts, and a circular was read on dress parade ordering all officers to protect his property as far as posible. He is living with his family but a short distance from here. Camp was laid off for winter quarters this afternoon. The paymaster is expected tomorrow. I wrote to father and to Cousin Carrie this evening.
Friday November 13. A detail of ten men from each company was made for picket this morning. Reeder and Wisel have both gone, leaving me alone in the tent. They expected to be gone two days. All work on winter quarters have been suspended for the present. We expect to move again shortly. I done some extensive patchwork on my pantaloons to day, as indeed it was getting about time. The weather is very fine.
Saturday November 14. Reeder sent me in some fresh pork this morning. It was excelent. Wisel came back sick and he allso brought in some fresh pork and beef. He says that a bull tried to drive in an outpost but met with a premature death in the attempt. I suppose the hogs were killed under similar circumstances. We drew clothing this evening and an overcoat and pair of pants laid out for me were two sizes to large.
Sunday November 15. It commenced raining about dark last night and rained very hard, accompanied by thunder and lightening. Was still raining this morning. About 9.o.clcok some heavy cannonading was heard on the left, wich grew distant very rapidly, and in half and hour could scarcely be heard. Supposed a reconoitering party. Gaurds were mounted with knapsacks and everything on ready to march at a moments notice. Picket detail came in about 12.o.clock.
Monday November 16. Review this morning by Gen. French of two divisions of the corps. Some foreign officers were with the reviewing party. We did not march in review as usual, but stood in columns inmass while the reviewing party rode in front of the column. Did not turn as cold as we expected, but a fire is not uncomfortable. I received letters from home yesterday morning. Col. Taylor has been in court martial ever since we came here.
Tuesday November 17. Rumor says we are going to march tomorrow. The sick have been examined preparatory to being sent off. An old negro near the picket line taking with some of our boys said ""We'un the rebs left here in a hurry but you uns were hard after us." When asked if he had anything good to eat, to all he replied "No, we eat all we had in the house for breakfast, and sold the balance to the Raiders" He said he heard Mr. D__ [?] say that "he was tired of the war, and wished it would stop."
Wednesday November 18. Received our pay this forenoon. Wrote a letter to Aunt Nancy Husten this afternoon and washed two shirts, a pair of drawers and other articles. Capt. Logan and Lt. Miller of Com. F. have been court martialed for being absent without leave, and sentenced to lose one months pay. They remained behind two days after we passed through Washington on our way to the army. The weather is very pleasant.
Thursday November 19. Sent home $20.00 to day enclosed in package to the adress of H. Jamison at Peru. Had Brigade inspection this afternoon. The inspecting officer took down a list of all the clothing wanted to complete the outfit of the men. I put down for an overcoat a pair of pants two pairs socks and a pair of shoes. $680.00 was the amount sent off by Com A. to day. Capt. Thomas sent $300.00 of it himself however.
Friday November 20. Had Battalion drill this forenoon and Brigade this afternoon. Our regiment had an awful lot of marching to do in comparison with the other regiments. The drill was on a very uneven field wich was covered with dewberry vines about knee deep. Were ordered at one time to lay down in vines wich completely covered us of course. The briars did not make a pleasant resting place. I drew soft bread this evening. Tis reported that the 2nd [?] corps is to be sent to Gen. Burnside.
Saturday November 21. It has rained all day. Drew potatoes, beans etc. to day. Drew some clothing allso. All I got was a pair of shoes and a pair of socks. The great National Cemetry at Gettysburg was dedicated last Thursday. The Hon. Edward Everetts made a speech. He says our army lost in killed 2,834,wounded; 13,709 and missing 6,043. We took 13,621 prisoners, and the loss of the enemy beside prisoners is supposed to be about 23,000. There being no official report of the loss of the enemy.
Sunday November 22. Did not know that it was Sunday till the bugle sounded the church call. Had inspection this morning. Turned in all our cartriges but forty rounds. Was pleasant but rather cold this morning.
Monday November 23. I drew an overcoat to day had battalion drill this morning and inspection this afternoon. Expect to march tomorrow. It looks very much like rain or snow. Some of the boys offer to bet it will snow before morning. We will shurely march tomorrow for I got my overcoat and that is a shure sign. They are very busy with their signal lights this evening.
Tuesday November 24. Had reviled this morning at 4.o.clock with orders to march at six about 8. The bugle sounded to pack up, it was raining. We had scarcely got ready however before the order was countermanded and we put up our tents again. The Cronicle of yesterday says of the army of the Potomac "moved at daylight this morning (the 23rd). Some of the boys have got into the notion of reinlisting again. Ten state their willingness to go as veteran soldiers.
Wednesday November 25. It was clear but rather cold this morning. Is cloudy and has the appearance of snow or rain again this evening. It was reported that 25,000 reinforcements came in this morning. I dont believe it. Chuckaluck boards were in a good way of doing buisiness to day, the gaurds made a decent on them but captured none of them. Hundreds of dollars have been lost and won on the boards since pay day.
South bank Rapidan
Thursday November 26. Got here about dark; left camp about 8.oclock this morning. Some of the boys in Com. A got on a bust [?] last night and had a big time. John Richardson gave Tumblin rather a severe thrashing, wich gave the boys, generaly, great satisfaction, as Tumblin as been the bully heretofore. Passed a man this morning who had accidently shot o[ff] his gun. The bullet passed through the arm of one man, struck another in the face, and a third in the head.
Friday November 27. The 2nd and 3rd divisions have been in advance, and skirmishing with the enemy nearly all day. About 4.oclock the engagement became more general. The 2nd Division gave way and passed through our line in great confusion. The enemy charged to with a few feet of us, but met with such a warm reception they were glad to get back faster than they came. Our regiment only fired a few shots. A battery on our right poured the grape and cannister into them thick and huge. Some of the 2nd Division were singing "rally round the flag boys" when they came out.
Near Mine run.
Saturday November 28. Our reg. was on picket last night. The 1st Brig. was in line of battle but a short distance in our rear, but was withdrawn about 3.o.clock. We were withdrawn about 9. this morning. It commenced raining about the same time. Did not leave till everything else was gone when we brought up the rear. Had a great time find the Division. Have order to be saving of rations, since may have to subsist on half rations before long.
Sunday November 29. This afternoon we got orders to be ready to make a charge at 4.oclock precisely and lay to one side our knapsacks, tightened our belts, and made preparation for desperate conflict. Gen. Warren is reported to have gone off to left with the intention of out flanking the enemy. The charge was to have been made by Brigade in columns of regiments. The 20th to head the second Brigade. The enemies position in plain sight about a mile distant. Our artillery is all in position and ready to open at any moment.
Mine run Va
Monday November 30. There appears to be a great deal of manourvering this morning. The regiment was moved of to the left about two miles and then into an open field just under the enemies guns. They opened on us of course, and planted their first shot plumb into our ranks. Lay there about an hour, Com. A and the other Companies were sent [?] out as skirmishers. Then moved back to our old position of the morning. A reconoisance, I suppose. Had only a few men hurt.
Tuesday December 1. Shortly after dark last night the regiment was moved forward about a quarter of a mile and ordered to put up breastworks. Did not get tools to work with, however, till after 11.o.clock. The boys had all gone to bed and it was hard work to get them up again, especialy as were pretty shure that the work was all done to cover a retreat. Have orders this evening to be ready to march at a moments notice. Are satisfied we are going to fall back, on Fredericksburg.
Wednesday December 2. Commenced moving soon after dark last night. Our line was the first move off, leaving only the pickets in front. Marched back about a mile, and lay of couple of hours. A house was set on fire while laying there. Marched very slow till we gained the plank road then went double quick nearly all the time for about eight miles passing the second and part of the sixth corps. Passed close to Chacellorsville, crossed the Rapidan at this ford about daylight. Rested about 3. hours a marched again.
Brandy station Va
Thursday December 3. Got back to our old camp about daylight. We left the rapidan about noon, marching a short distance then stoping for the train to pass, about run down we stoped in the woods and were told that we would lay there three hours. About eleven we started again. I never saw worse roads in my life, and we got along very slowly. Marched about 20 miles right before last. Col. Taylor was field officer of the day, and when the house was fired ago the rebs advanced on his pickets, it is supposed that a rebbel [?] set the house on fire.
Friday December 4. This afternoon at 1.o.clock a deserter from the 3rd main regiment was shot in the presence of the whole Division formed in hollow square of three sides. The prisoner was marched around the square to the tune of dead march, he was hand cuffed and strongly gaurded. Did not appear to be any affected at his doom.
Saturday December 5. We had began to think we were going to stay here awhile as we were ordered to clean up quarters. But about 1.oclock the bugle sounded to pack up, we got out in line and the brigade was formed enmass. Lay there till about sundown and were ordered back to camp again. Expect to start in the morning. Tis said our Brigade is going to Throughborough gap.
Sunday December 6. Wrote a letter to Anna to day and enclosed $2.00. Last night was probably the coldest we have had yet this winter. It was very windy. To day is clear but cold. There is some talk about Gen Mead being relieved from his command of the Army. I bought a watch for $2.00 yesterday. I think it will be a good one when repaired, as I will have it done as soon as posible.
Monday December 7. Reeder is on gaurd to day. I have been busy cleaning dishes and doing other similar work all day. Last night was very cold and windy.
Tuesday December 8. Last night was certainly the coldest we have had this winter. We commenced getting stuff for a chimney early this morning, but had a little dispute and droped it. But went to work again this afternoon and got the fireplace prety well under way. The regiment was furnished mittens with one finger this afternoon.
Wednesday December 9. The weather has moderated conciderable to day, and it is quite warm. Our chimney is finished and works to a charm. We expect to hear the bugle sound the pack up call, now that we are comfortable.
Thursday December10. The day is pleasant. I received a letter from Aunt Nancy this evening. There is no stir or excitement of any kind worth mentioning.
Friday December 11. The boys have mostly gone to work to day puting up quarters. Have a team at work hauling logs. It has rained and hailed some to day. I mailed a letter to Aunt Nancy and one to Graham of New York for onguent for making beard grow.
Saturday December 12. To day has been very pleasant for the time of year. I write to Uncle Robert to day. Things have settle down to the usual monotony attending camp life. We have got the wood prety well cleared off the small patch we are on, and in a few days it will be hard work to get wood enough to keep us warm. Teams have been hauling timber about three miles to put up bunks with.
Sunday December 13. It rained very hard last night, but cleard up this morning, and has been very warm and pleasant all day. Tis reported that we are going back to Ceder run in a few days to go into winter quarters. Another report says we are going to New York the first of next month. I wrote a letter to Cousin Carrie last evening and used some rather rough language. I fear that she will be offended, but I couldnt very well help it.
Monday December 14. Rained some more last night, and this morning a heavy thunder shower passed along to the west of us, just along the top of the blue ridge. One very heavy clap of thunder, and the most beautiful rainbow I believe I ever saw. The shower was followed by a heavy wind, and it was with some difficulty we kept our tents together. Reeder is on gaurd to day.
Tuesday December 15. Contrary to my expectations, to day has been pleasant. Most of the company have comfortable quarters completed. Our is, perhaps, among the poorest; nevertheless, we can manage to lie in it very well during the winter. There is still some talk about us going to move shortly. Another of the monitors was sunk at Charlston a few days ago. Thirty lives lost. Sunk in 20 feet of water.
Wednesday December 16. Staly starts for home tomorrow morning at three oclock, on a furlough of fifteen days. I will send a letter to father by him. I am detailed to night for picket.
Thursday December 17. This morning is very cold and disagreeable. It rained nearly all night and ground is covered with sheet ice. We stood around in the rain for over an hour, before starting for the picket lines wich are about two miles from camp. Most of Com. A. are on reserve. It has rained hard all day, and looks as though it would rain all night. Is very disagreeable indeed.
Friday December 18. The Col. came out to day and said he had received an order that if three fourths of the regiment would reinlist they would be sent home to recruit next Monday, and he was very desirous that each officer would exert himself to get the required number to reinlist. There is not one of Com. A. that is willing to go on the terms. $802.00 bounty and a months pay in advance, with thirty days furlough.
Saturday December 19. Did not rain last night, but was rather cold. Were relieved, and started back to camp about ten o clock. A deserter from the 4th Main Reg. was to have been shot yesterday, but I understand that his punishment has been commuted to ten years hard labor on Government works. Seven men out of Com. A. have put down their names to reinlist by this evening.
Sunday December 20. Last night and to day has been very cold. Reinlisting has progressed very favorably. I understand only seven more are required to complete the number (three fourths of the regiment) Some ten or twelve of Com. A. have put down their names. Most of them are the poorest men in the company such as I would wish were out, should I see fit to reinlist. Reeder is on gaurd.
Monday December 21. There is a good deal of noisy talk, and loud laughing through the regiment. Those that have reinlisted seem to be trying to see who can make the most noise, and it reminds one of the first few weeks we were in camp. A person would almost know by the nois that's made, that there is new recruits in the regiments. Com. A. and B. are behind all the rest. Com. B. having fewer than even Com. A. thought the former is the largest company in the regiment.
Tuesday December 22. Drew clothing to day. I got a pair of pant after having signed for these over a dozen times, commencing before leaving Fort Schyler. The price of clothing has been reduced lately to the same price it was when we enlisted. Some things a little less. About seventeen of the company have agreed to reinlist. Tis said that those not reinlisting will be transferred to other regiments in the Brigade, and there to serve their time out.
Wednesday December 23. There was a light snow on the ground this morning when we got up, but it did not last long. Though the weather is very cold. The division was out for review at 1.oclock by Gen. Mead. Had no knapsacks or haversacks. The Gen. is a very slightly built man is somewhat bald and wears spectacles. He has a keen eye, looks like an active man, and is a very good rider.
Thursday December 24. The day has been clear but cold and windy. My clothing account is $115.00. I put down my name this evening to reinlist if the regiment goes home, wich begins to be very doubtful, as fourty more names are required to make the number complete. The Capt. Has offered $5.00 a piece if thirty men out of the company would agree to reinlist.
Friday December 25. Is a very pleasant day but rather cold. Christmas has passed off with out anything transpiring worth mentioning. I understand a captain was killed at a horse race someplace to day. Of course it was whiskey that done it. All hopes of getting the regiment to reinlist is given up. The sharpshooters have been mustered in to day. The 5th Michigan yesterday.
Saturday December 26. Has been rather warm to day looks like snow or rain. I washed a shirt and pair of drawrs this afternoon. Have been figuaring out an enigma I found in Waverly magazine, nearly all day: and succeeded in unraveling the mystery at last. Those wishing to reinlist from Com. A. are to be transferred to Com. F. There is ten I believe to be transferred.
Sunday December 27. Has rained nearly all day. I receved a letter from father this evening. He is well and received the money I sent home. He says the whole amount is $112.00. Talks of investing part in U.S. treasury bond. Anna is at home.
Monday December 28. Rained again nearly all day. Pass the time trying to decipher certain enigmas published in the Waverly magazine and ended by getting up one of my own with my name and address of an answer. The boys, who reinlisted, went over to general head quarters to be mustered, but heard that a stop had been put to the furloughs for the present, and concluded not be sworn in yet awhile.
Tuesday December 29. Is clear to day. Nothing said about reinlisting to day.
Wednesday December 30. Another picket detail was made of our Reg. this morning. Reeder is on gaurd, and I am left alone for three days to come. Have been helping the Captain on the muster rolls a good part of the day.
Thursday December 31. Has been raining all day; was mustered for pay this morning. One more year allmost gone and I am but little better off than I was this time last year. The army to is not father advanced towards Richmond and winter at no very great distance from where it did last. Though, we have marched many a weary mile and found several hard battles. There were thirty five men mustered as present this morning.
[Weist started writing on the memoranda pages until he got back to Indiana.]
January 1st, 1864. Cleared up this morning, but is very wet and muddy under foot. It has be a dull New Year day for me. I have scarcely been out of the house. Most of the regiment is on picket and those left behind had no desire or energy to celebrate the day as it is generaly done in camp. The 99th Penn. are nearly all drunk, and make nois enough for both regiments.
Jan. 2nd 1864, Saturday. Last night was certainly the coldest we have had this winter and I should not be surpprised if it were not the coldest yet experienced in Virginia. The picket detail came in this evening. I carried two loads of wood from the woods about a mile distant. Staly got back this evening. Reeder brought in several ears of corn with him this evening, and we expect to have several feasts out of them.
Sunday 3rd. Gen. Birney has issued a circular calling on the men to reinlist and keep up the old organization of the Kearny division. The circular was read to the company at inspection this morning. The Gen. has promised to use his influance in getting the 20th leave to go home if they got as many as they had before to reinlist. Had dress parade this evening, the first for several days back.
Monday 4th. Has been snowing nearly all day. Snow is about inch and a half deep. About 60 men of the regiment have reinlisted and their muster rolls are being made out to day. There is not one from Com. A. The 99th Penn. was sworn in this afternoon. I have since learned that Frook [?] of Com. A. is going. He has enlisted in Com. F. as teamster.
Jan. Friday 5th 1864. I washed in snow this morning. It rained a little this morning but cleared up during the afternoon. Reeder is on gaurd. Had a little fight in the company this evening wich broke the usual monotony. Bunch and Cook have been threatening one another for some time back and got at it in earnest at last. Cook got a little the worst of it, I think, but both got all they wanted. It does such men good to fight a little once in a while.
Wednesday 6th. They hauled us no wood yesterday, but me and Reeder made up for it last night by stealing from the generals headquarters. The veteran recruits were paid off this afternoon. Their clothing account was squared up. Flook [?] had over $60.00 taken out of his pay and bounty for clothing. Tis reported that part of the 6th Corps left last night at 12.o.clock for Harpers ferry, and that the rebbels are going up the Shanedoah valley. 65 veterans from the Reg.
Thursday 7th. Lt. Col. Meikels is detailed to take charge of the remnants of regiments, wich have reinlisted and gone home out of the 3rd Brigade. Lt. DeLong is to act as his Adjutant. The Berdan sharpshooters left for home early this morning. No sooner had they left than our boys were after the timber in their huts. The 68th New York left this afternoon. Last night and this morning was bitter cold. If as cold in proportion in the north I dont know how they will be able to stand it.
Jan. Friday 8th 1864. Considerable snow on the ground this morning. Reinlisting is again a subject for discussion and some think the regiment will still get to go home. Congress has up for discussion the subject of paying bounties till the 1st of March. If the bill passes I think nearly our whole regiment will go as veterans. The papers state that there is a prospect of active movement by the Army Potomac during the next three months.
Saturday 9th. Has been clear by rather cool. Drew five days rations this afternoon and it is reported that we are going to move in a few days. Lt. DeLong says we are going to move to the woods about three miles distant. It will be very cold work putting up quarters just now, and I hope it will be defered till it get warmer. Col. DeFrobiand has been promoted to Brig. Gen for gallentry at Kelleys ford. Wrote to Anna to day.
Sunday 10th. Has been quite pleasant all day. The 2nd Brig. Is moveing camp. We will not till Tuesday. I wrote a short epistle to Prince [?], Carrie Millwood, Pembroke. One in answer to a special notice in the Waverly from her. Myself and Reeder are make preperations of putting up winter quarters. Have an axe two hatchets and six tents.
Jan. Monday 11th 1864. Another detail went from our regiment on picket this morning. Reeder is on the detail. We will not move camp till they get back. The first Brigade is moving to day. I done some washing this afternoon, and wrote a letter this evening to a Fioretta, Webster, Inass [?]. Received a letter from Anna this morning.
Tuesday 12th. Our chimney caught fire last night and can near burning the old hut down. There has been several prize fights in the 99th Penn. this afternoon.
Wednesday 13th. Has been very quiet and lonsom for me.
Jan. Thursday 14. Were called this morning before daylight and told to be ready to move by seven oclock. Got off about eight. I had the biggest load I ever attempted to carry, and gave out before we got half way. Got up at last and found every man hard at work. I felled the largest tree I ever attempted to cut down before. Reeder can about noon and we got our logs about all out by dark.
Friday 15. Were up and at it by daylight again this morning. Do not get along quick as fast we expected. Order were to go four in a tent, but we couldnt do it, and are putting by ourselves but large enough for four. The weather has been splended. Our camp is about two mile from the old one.
Sunday 17. Got our shanty covered and daubed this evening. The chimney draws first rate.
Monday 18. It rained very hard nearly all night. We slept on the ground. To day it has rained nearly all the time but we had a shelter to work in and got our bunk done spliting out the slats in the house.
[There is no entry for the 19th]
Wednesday 20. I am on gaurd to day. We have a camp gaurd of five posts. Rader made a pair of very good chairs.
Thursday 21. I was not very well last night and slept till nearly two o.clock to day. Went this afternoon and cut some grass for our bed.
Jan. Friday 22. We are having a spell of beautifull weather. It is allmost to warm to stay in the house. There is some talk about us making a move across the Rappidan in a few days, as tis said that nearly all of Lee's army has gone to reinforce Longstreet. Our bed was to good to sleep well on last night. Received a letter from Hank Heiser this morning.
Saturday 23. Got a floor in our shanty, allmost finished, made of puncheon [?] hewed of on the upper side. Some of the 3rd Main cut down the tree from wich we got the timber, first driving away our gaurd but were compelled to leave it at last. While cutting the end of a stick this afternoon a piece of it flew up and struck just over the eye cutting quite a gash. The worst wound I have had in the Army.
Sunday. 24. Our regiment and quarters were reviewed and inspected by Gen. Birney this morning. I received the Onguent from New York City last night by mail. Have had my head bandaged up all last night and to day. My eye is rather black.
Jan. Monday 25. It has been so warm to day that a fire was uncomfortable. I was on a detail with a fatiggue squad all forenoon. Have got outrtable made, and tore down our chimney and built it up again. I think it will not smoke now. Wrote a letter to Anna this morning.
Tuesday 26. Was rather windy this morning, but still quite warm. I wrote a letter to Annie Kellogg to day in answer to one she wrote to Willie Forrest. A detail of nine men and a Corpl. Went out on picket this morning. Col Taylor got back from home this morning. Corpl. Swaggart and Oldinger arrived yesterday.
Wednesday 27. Washed a pair of pants drawrs shirt and socks this morning. Received a letter from a Miss Burkett Peoria Iowa enclosed in one from Aunt Nancy. The Army of the Potomac lost at Fredericksburg 1,138 killed, 9,105 wounded, 2,078 missing: At Gettysburg 2,834 killed, 18,708 wounded, 6,643 missing. The army of the West lost at Cickamauga 1,544 killed 9,272 wounded and 4,945 missing.
Thursday 28. The army of the west lost at Stone river 1,533 killed, 7,245 wounded and 2,800 missing; at Vicksburg 5,245 killed, 3,682 wounded, 308 missing; at Champion hill 426 killed, 1,432 wounded 139 missing. I wrote and mailed a letter to Miss Burkett, Flint Post office, Mahaska County, Iowa. Received a letter from Father last evening.
Friday 29. The weather is still very pleasant but has the appearance of rain this evening. I received another letter from Aunt Nancy last night wich I answered to day. There is more talk about the regiment going home and being mounted. Father said in his letter that the papers stated the regiment was on its way home.
Saturday 30. It has been cloudy with the appearance of rain all day. We had do some extra policing in company quarter. All stumps were to be cut even with the ground and extra pains taken in seeing that were well swept etc.
Sunday 31 January. It rained last night. We were to had monthly inspection this morning but the weather was so bad it was defered defenately . They are trying to get up the reinlistment fever again. A letter from Mr. Reeder informed me that my brother Joseph has enlisted.
Monday Feb. 1. Mailed a letter to Father this morning and wrote one to cousin Carrie this evening. The day has been gloomy but not much rain. Reeder is on gaurd. Mr. Porter and a Mr. Beggs from Phil. paid me a visit this afternoon and left some religious tracksand papers for my perusal.
Tuesday 2. I am on gaurd to day. It is what is called ground hog day, and tis said that if the groundhog comes to day and sees his shadow he returns [?] to his hole and remains a six weeks longer. As the sun shone some I presume we will have bad weather for six weeks. It is reported that Gen. Sickle is going to have command of the 3rd corps again.
Wednesday 3. It rained very hard last night and was accompanied with conciderable thunder and lightening. There was a ball of Division Headquarters. Reported that Gen. Sickles was there. They had our collors and thirty-or fourty muskets from our regiment.
Thursday 4. Was rather cold to day. Capt. Thomas got back this evening from home. He brought a letter from Anna for me.
Friday 5. It has been warm again to day but looks very much like rain this evening. I have been exercising [?] my talents at drawing to day.
Saturday 6. Had revellie this morning at 5 oclock and got orders to be ready to march by 7. It commenced raining about noon. Distant cannonading has been heard nearly all day. About five o.clock orders came to be ready to march at a moments notice etc [?]. Soon after the bugle sounded the fall in call we were at first ordered fall in with knapsacks, but three days rations in haversacks and then were ordered to have knapsacks but leave tents up. We did not march in the direction but in a direction allmost parelell it being on the left of us.
Sunday 7. Bivouck on Signal mountain. Got here about half past eight last night after a very hard march of about five miles. It was after dark when we passed through Culpepper and rained the whole time we were marching and all night last night. I and the Capt. slept together under my rubber blanket. We have marched this morning about two miles and to within three miles of Racoon ford where tis said the 1st and 2nd Corps crossed yesterday. About 12. o.clock we marched back about a half mile and stoped as we supposed for the night. It cleared off during the afternoon and was quite warm for a spell. We made every preperation for staying overnight but about sundown had to fall in and march to camp.
Monday 8. Got into camp about 10. o.clock last night after a very hard march. The latest report and I think the most reliable is that two brigades of the enemy came this side the Rapidan and captured some of our pickets. The first and second corps drove them back and captured 2,200 prisoners, but after crossing the river the artillery stuck fast and they could not get back. We were ordered out to be within supporting distance in case they were attacked.
Tuesday 9. I received packages of paper and envelopes from home last night, wrote a letter to father this afternoon.
Wednesday 10. A box came by express for Captain Thomas to day. I found a lot of cakes some butter etc. for myself. The weather is clear but rather cold.
Thursday 11. It is clear but very cold to day. I done some washing. Drew a blouse and pair of shoes the other day.
Friday 12. Had inspection to day. It is warm with considerable appearance of rain.
Saturday 13. Received a letter from Carrie and one from Miss Annie Kellog this evening. Col. Taylor made a speech to the regiment this afternoon about reinlisting the required number to take the regiment home has been received. Com. A. has about 25. I have hardly made up my mind yet but think I shall go.
Sunday 14th. I am on gaurd to day. Signed the papers this morning and am now an old veteran volunteer. The weather is beautifull and warm.
Monday 15th. I made the grand round with Capt. Logan, Brigade officer of the day, last night. It is snowing this evening. Had orders about 2.o.clock to be ready to march at a moments notice to the support of the picket line as a large force of the enemy was seen marching towards our right. I wrote a letter to Uncle Robert this afternoon.
Tuesday 16. Snowed a very little this morning. I washed my overcoat. There is another difficulty about the reinlisting. Tis said now that the recruits will not get to go with the balance as veterans. Some think it will knock the whole thing in the head.
Wednesday 17. Last night was very cold. A large detail from the regiment are on picket this morning. 21 men and six noncommishined officer are out of Com K. I and Reeder are both on. Very cold in deed. I poured some water on meat for the purpose of parboiling and before I could get it on the fire there was ice the extent of an inch thick.
Thursday 18. Was very cold last night. I was up from two o.clock till daylight. We had plenty of wood and kept up a big fire and we managed to get along very well. Reeder manufactured a pair of skates from a piece of an old hoop he found. had a first rate skate on a pond wich is in the neighborhood.'
Friday 19. It is quite pleasant this morning and we doubt be warm, before night. We got some soft bread that was so hard that we had to cut it in slices with the axe.
Saturday 20. Were relieved about 10. o.clock. Were mustered in the afternoon for three years or else sooner discharged.
Sunday 21. Was a very fine day. Gen. Birny was around about the time of inspection this morning. I dont know what was the matter with the staff officer, there was no one that took command the regiment, and the Gen. rode past without receiving a proper salute.
Monday 22. They are still getting men to reinlist. Conner and Priest [?] inlisted to day as promised.
Tuesday 23. The men that did not reinlist were paid off to day. We signed the payrolls but have not got our money. I wrote to Mattie Burkett this morning. Lt. Hank got back this afternoon. So did Courter. Courter has reinlisted. It was very warm and pleasant to day. Had company drill this forenoon for the first time this winter.
Wednesday 24. Had review this afternoon by Gen. Finch, it did not go off very well. I received a letter from father last night. He speaks about some lots being for sale. I have a good notion to advise hi to purchase one for me. I received a letter from Aunt Nancy and one from a stranger young lady named Jennie Chadwick.
[G.B. There are no entries from January 24 until February 26, 1864.]
Friday 26. February. Wrote to Annie Kellog and to Miss Chadwick just as I was finishing the latter (at about three o.clock) we were order to get ready for pickett immediately. Our Brigade relieved all the pickets of the sixth corps, who it was reported was going to leave. Our regiment had to go clear to the rappahanock and did not get on post till ten oclock at night. The weather was very cold, or rather a very cold wind came from over the mountains.
Saturday 27. I happen to be on the reserve and our post is where Gen. Banks had a skirmish in his retreat from Ceder mountain, there is quite a number of shells laying around, some of them accidently got into the fire and exploded just before we got here yesterday. Wounded one man. I got a letter Cousin Carrie this evening.
Sunday 28 February. Were relieved by the second division of our corps this morning. They were to have been here yesterday.. Got to camp about 3.o.clock and found the Division all gone and staff officers waiting for us. We were allowed an hour to get dinner and rest in and then had to put out again. Marched through Culpepper and till about 10, o.clock at night, when being uncertain about the road we were to take we were posted for the night.
Monday 29. We started this morning about daylight and caught up with the division about 2.o.clock. They were near a little town called James City wich is close to Ceder mountain. Mustered for pay soon after we stoped Over half the company went back to camp soon after we left it. I presume all the other companies were just as bad; indeed I dont believe we had half the regiment with us. The boys were mad because we were relieved from picket and had to march so far to ketch up.
Tuesday March 1. Commenced raining about dark last night and rained hard all night. I and Shafer slept together under a rubber blankett. Reeder was one of the stragglers yesterday and left me without shugar nor coffee. It rained all day to day myself and five others have erected a kind of shelter with boards and rubber blanketts wich we think will be very comfortable under to night. The sixth corps is about ten miles from here at Madison court house.
Wednesday 2. It commenced snowing last night and got rather cold. We had plenty of good raills [G.B. railroad ties], and kept up good fires. A brigade of cavalry passed by on their way to camp last night; say they are 30. miles beyond. Started back to camp at half past six o'clock, and got here about one. It is about 12 miles to where we were I guesse. The first news was that our transportation papers were ready for us. I have taken a good wash and put on a clean suit of clothes all around. Felt very well.
Thursday 3 March. We start for home in the morning at 5.o.clock went round and bid Gens. Birney and Ward the former commanders a short speech, wich did not take very well. Gen. Ward said Well boys it appears you expect me to make you a speech but it will be unneccessary for you all know what I am going to say. I hope you will have a good time at home, and hope you will come back here when you belong and not go to the south. I can kill you off here fast enough. The weather is pleasant.
Friday 4. Got started about 5 oclock this morning and got in the cars by 7. It was rather coald on the cars. Got to washington about 3 o,clock. Not much prospect of getting by this evening, and we will undoubtedly stay till morning. We are stoping at the Soldier rest near the Baltimore Depot.
Saturday 5. Was paid off about noon $220.55 including twenty pay and bounty. I paid the capital a visit while the legislature was in session think myself well received [?] for my time. Left the city about 4.oclock and made a very slow run of it to Baltimore.
Sunday. Got this morning about daylight have second class pasenger cars. Did not stop at Harrisburg but passed round the place. Arrived at Pittsburg just before daylight.
Monday. Have traveled all day. It is getting very _[?]. Will get to Indianoplis about noon to morrow.
Tuesday. Passed through Munci and stoped for breakfast. I took the opportunity to going to see my aunt. Got to Indianapolis about noon. Cannon was firing.
[The diary entries end.]
[Near the end of the diary were pages for cash accounting, memoranda, and bills payable. I have included the names listed on these pages as they identify persons that were in his company, or acquaintances.]
R. A. King
Eli H. Pearson
B. F. Tinkham
Thoughts from the owner:I constantly wonder if the diary for the year 1862, that he sent back home on 3 Feb with Capt. Hoover, still exists.
I have tried to find relatives of Edwin B. Weist, and may have found a site of interest. However, I was not able to get information about how to contact his now distant relatives.
Edwin mentions a man by the name of "William Reeder" 35 times in the diary, who undoubtedly was married to Edwin's sister - Agnes Catherine Weist. William and Agnes lived in Peru, Indiana.
Edwin also mentions an uncle Robert, an uncle Morse and an aunt Nancy, plus a friend Martty at Asby Gap, Annie Kellog, and Jennie Chadwick.
My thanks for the personal correspondence from William Ayers of Bethesda, Maryland which helped to correctly identify some of the words in the diary.
This Page last updated 12/17/05