Saturday, January 21, 2017

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 12, 1863

I have plenty to eat. Go outside every day whether clothing is issued or not. To explain the manner of issuing clothing: The men are called outside by squads, that is, one squad of a hundred men at a time; all stand in a row in front of the boxes of clothing. The officer in charge, Col. Sanderson, begins with the first at the head of the column, looks him over, and says to us paroled men: “Here, give this man a pair of pants,” or coat, or such clothing as he may stand in need of. In this way he gets through with a hundred men in about half an hour. Us boys often manage to give three or four articles where only one has been ordered. There seems to be plenty of clothing here, and we can see no reason why it should not be given away. Have to be very careful, though, for if we are caught at these tricks are sent inside to stay. Officers stay on the island only two or three hours, and clothe four or five hundred men, when they could just as well do three or four times as much. It is comical the notes that come in some of the good warm woolen stockings. These have evidently been knit by the good mothers, wives and sisters at the North, and some of the romantic sort have written letters and placed inside, asking the receiver to let them know about himself, his name, etc , etc. Most of them come from the New England states, and they cheer the boys up a great deal.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 18-9

Diary of Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett: September 21, 1864

The first thing I heard this morning was, “We shall lose the General.” I opened my eyes and Arthur said, “Have you got your valise packed? The papers say that the boat is up and General Walker on board.” So I hope to go by this boat. This may “go back” on me again, but it would be very mean. I shall hope to go. The boat goes Friday. Played poker, evening. I am about $40 ahead; shall leave it with Arthur and Brady.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 142

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 30, 1863

There is a rumor that Kentucky has voted to raise an army of 60,000 men to resist the execution of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

Fort Caswell, below Wilmington, has been casemated with iron; but can it withstand elongated balls weighing 480 pounds?  I fear not. There are, however, submarine batteries; yet these may be avoided, for Gen. Whiting writes that the best pilot (one sent thither some time ago by the enemy) escaped to the hostile fleet since Gen. Smith visited North Carolina, which is embraced within his command. This pilot, no doubt, knows the location of all our torpedoes.

Nothing further from Savannah.

Mr. Adams, the United States Minister at London, writes to Mr. Seward, Secretary of State, dated 17th of October, 1862, that if the Federal army shall not achieve decisive successes by the month of February ensuing, it is probable the British Parliament will recognize the Confederate States. To-morrow is the last day of January.

I cut the following from yesterday's Dispatch:


“The Results of Extortion and Speculation. — The state of affairs brought about by the speculating and extortion practiced upon the public cannot be better illustrated than by the following grocery bill for one week for a small family, in which the prices before the war and those of the present are compared:

1860.
1863.
Bacon, 10 lbs. at 12½c
$1.25
Bacon, 10 lbs. at $1
$10 00
Flour, 30 lbs. at 5c
1.50
Flour, 30 lbs. at 12½c
3.75
Sugar, 5 lbs. at 5c
.40
Sugar, 5 lbs. at $1.15
5.75
Coffee, 4 lbs. at 12½c
.50
Coffee, 4 lbs. at $5
20.00
Tea (green) ½ lb. at $1
.50
Tea (green) ½ lb. at $16
8.00
Lard, 4 lbs. at 12½c
.50
Lard, 4 lbs. at $1
4.00
Butter, 3 lbs. at 25c
.75
Butter, 3 lbs. at $1.75
5.25
Meal, 1 pk. at 25c
.25
Meal, 1 pk. at $1
1.00
Candles, 2 lbs at 15c
.30
Candles, 2 lbs at $1.25
2.50
Soap, 5 lbs. at 10c
.50
Soap, 5 lbs. at $1.10
5.50
Pepper and salt (about)
.10
Pepper and salt (about)
2.50
Total
$6.55
Total
$68.25

“So much we owe the speculators, who have stayed at home to prey upon the necessities of their fellow-citizens.”


We have just learned that a British steamer, with cannon and other valuable cargo, was captured by the enemy, two days ago, while trying to get in the harbor. Another, similarly laden, got safely in yesterday. We can afford to lose one ship out of three — that is, the owners can, and then make money.

Cotton sells at seventy-five, cents per pound in the United States. So the blockade must be felt by the enemy as well as ourselves. War is a two-edged sword.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 249-50

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: June 24, 1864

Whole force landed at Fort Adams this morning. Cavalry scouts went out ten miles towards Woodville. Captured no rebels. At Fort Adams there is a mountain about five hundred feet high towering up like a sugar loaf. Up about forty yards from the base two indentures resembling the remains of old rifle pits are what are known as Fort Adams and Fort Washington. The former looks up the river and the latter down about thirty rods apart. I could not learn when they were built or what they were built for. My greatest desire was to stand on the top of that mountain and so Captain Pearson and myself undertook the job. The view from the summit amply repaid us for our labor. As far as the eye could reach to the North and South was the broad Mississippi fringed with the deep verdure of the cottonwood, while to the East stretching far into the interior was a succession of wooded hills full of grandeur and sublimity. To the front lying peacefully upon the broad bosom of the river were our beautiful steamers and a little to the right, with their camp fires blazing, was the human hive. It seemed strange that amid all the beauty and lovliness of nature around us that our errand there was to hunt and kill like wild beasts, our fellow men. Our musings were cut short by the muttering of thunder out of a black cloud in the West and we must hasten down, and we were none too soon for we hardly reached the steamer before the rain drops began to patter around us, and as though wonders would never cease, as soon as the shower had passed a little, the sun came out and a rainbow appeared directly over the mountain completely enveloping it like an aureola, one end of the arc resting on Fort Adams, and the other on Fort Washington. The mountain looked like a picture framed by a rainbow. All the troops went aboard the transports, and at ten p. m. we landed in Morganza. Nothing of importance occurred while we were here. It was guard duty and review.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 123-5

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Monday, July 18, 1864

Marched at 4 o'clock a. m., passed through Snickersville on a narrow stony road, and arrived at Snicker's Gap about noon. We went through the gap, but on arriving at the Shenandoah river at Island Ford about 6 o'clock p. m. found that some of Crook's force had crossed and was skirmishing; did not fight very well; fell back to the river in a stampede, plunged in and some were drowned; probably green troops. Mosby's guerillas have been in our rear all day and robbed some of our stragglers. The artillery shelling this evening made us feel uncomfortable, as the shells landed right among us.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 124-5

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Thursday, November 13, 1862

Felt most sick. Had a slight chill — I suppose — afterwards feverish. Moved camp late in the afternoon on account of a report by an old man who came in with two conscript deserters to join our army, that a force of cavalry of 9,000 were moving north, then at Cane Hill. Before midnight orders came to join our commands. Got breakfast and saddled at 2 A. M.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 43

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Sunday, April 2, 1865

Get the co up at 2. A. M. to get their breakfasts. At 3 take them to the paralel & get our position before daylight, bullets & shell keep a continual screeching & whistling over our heads. About dark Co B which was on the skirmish line bring down a man wonded in the head, his name is William Harris, at 8. we are relieved & return to camp, is after 10. before we get supper over & get to bed. not being right well the day has worn heavy on me. One piece of good news is the arrival of 300 prisoners captured by Steele, one Maj Genl was killed I am told that when the prisoners were captured a soldier presented his gun at the Genl saying to him dismount & surrender, the Genl said I will surrender but will dismount for no one but a commissioned officer Mr. soldier thought he was not safe on horseback & as he still refused to dismount shot him killing him instantly.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 583

Friday, January 20, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Tuesday, February 24, 1863

At the Cabinet-meeting the President expressed uneasiness at the rumor which he had just heard that the Queen of the West was captured. Told him what I heard yesterday from General Halleck. Stanton said he wholly discredited the story, but went and got the dispatches. On reading them, my apprehensions were increased. The President called on me later in the day, and we both came to the conclusion that the boat was lost to us.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 240

Diary of John Hay: Sunday, July 12, 1863

Rained all the afternoon. Have not yet heard of Meade’s expected attack.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 85; Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 66

Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes to Sardis Birchard June 21, 1862

Camp Jones, Flat Top Mountain, June 21, 1862.

Dear Uncle: — We have been here and hereabouts almost a month. Our line of defense extends twenty to thirty miles from New River southwesterly along a mountain range. We have mountain weather. If the wind happens to lull when the sun shines we get a taste of summer heat. At all other times it is very cold. We have fires, wear overcoats, and sleep under winter blankets every night. Our men from the lake shore say it is very much like April and May weather in the neighborhood of home. The men are very healthy; not over a dozen or so unfit for duty out of eight hundred. We have frequent reconnaisances and scouting expeditions against the enemy, not amounting to any great matter. We have not seen or heard of a guerrilla in these mountains since we passed here about the first of May. We get and meet parties of the enemy occasionally, but they are regular soldiers. We suppose the savage treatment administered when we went across a month ago finished bushwhacking in this vicinity. We do not expect any important movement until the event at Richmond is known. Then, whatever the result, we expect to be busy enough.

Soon after we came on to this mountain, I caught a bad cold — the worst I have had in some years. Since I have been in camp I had not had a severe cold before. It held on two weeks, but is now nearly gone without doing any mischief.

Both sides appear to be fighting well in all parts of Virginia now. It seems to be reduced pretty nearly to a question of numbers — I mean, of course, numbers of drilled soldiers. I do not reckon the enemy's recent conscripts nor our own new regiments as amounting to much yet. It seems therefore as if, with the superior numbers which we ought to have at the critical points, we would crush them out during the next six weeks in Virginia. Virginia gone, with what the Rebels have already lost, and the Rebellion is a plain failure. But I think we shall need all our soldiers a long time after that. I hope we shall not be needed another winter, but I greatly suspect we shall.

Sincerely,
R. B. Hayes.
S. BlRCHARD.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 292-3

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 13, 1863

Nothing of any importance to note down. The officers come over from Richmond every day or two, and make a showing of issuing clothing The work goes on slowly, and it would seem that if clothing was ever needed and ought to be issued, it is now; yet the officers seem to want to nurse the job and make it last as long as possible. Many cruelties are practiced, principally by the rebel sergeants. The lieutenant does not countenance much cruelty, still he is very quick tempered, and when provoked is apt to do some very severe things. The Yankees are a hard crowd to manage; will steal anything, no matter what, regardless of consequences. Still I don't know as it is any wonder, cooped up as they are in such a place, and called upon to endure such privations. The death rate gradually increases from day to day. A little Cincinnati soldier died to-day. Was captured same time as myself, and we had messed together a number of times before I became identified with the “Astor House Mess.” Was in very poor health when captured, but could never quite find out what ailed him. I have many talks with the rebels, and am quite a priveleged character. By so doing am able to do much for the boys inside, and there are good boys in there, whom I would do as much for as myself.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 18

Diary of Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett: September 20, 1864

The papers say that the boat is up and General Walker on board, so I may get off this time. If not, I shall give up.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 142

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 29, 1863

It appears from the Northern press that the enemy did make three attempts last week to cross the Rappahannock; but as they advanced toward the stream, the elements successfully opposed them. It rained, it snowed, and it froze. The gun carriages and wagons sank up to the hubs, the horses to their bodies, and the men to their knees; and so all stuck fast in the mud.

I saw an officer to-day from the army in North Carolina. He says the prospect for a battle is good, as soon as the roads admit of marching.

We have nothing further from the bombardment near Savannah. The wires may not be working — or the fort may be taken.

Gov. Vance has sent to the department a strong protest against the appointment of Col. August as commandant of conscripts in Northern Tennessee. Col. A. is a Virginian — that is the only reason. Well, Gen. Rains, who commands all the conscripts in the Confederate States, is a North Carolinian. But the War Department has erred in putting so many strangers in command of localities, where natives might have been selected. Richmond, for instance, has never yet been in the command of a Southern general.

There are indications of a speedy peace, although we are environed by sea and by land as menacingly as ever. The Tribune (New York) has an article which betrays much desperation. It says the only way for the United States Government to raise $300,000,000, indispensably necessary for a further prosecution of the war, is to guarantee (to the capitalists) that it will be the last call for a loan, and that subjugation will be accomplished in ninety days, or never. It says the war must then be urged on furiously, and negro soldiers sent among the slaves to produce an insurrection! If this will not suffice, then let peace be made on the best possible terms. The New York World denounces the article, and is for peace at once. It says if the project (diabolical) of the Tribune fails, it may not be possible to make peace on any terms. In this I see indications of a foregone conclusion. All over the North, and especially in the Northwest, the people are clamoring for peace, and denouncing the Lincoln Emancipation Proclamation. I have no doubt, if the war continues throughout the year, we shall have the spectacle of more Northern men fighting against the United States Government than slaves fighting against the South.

Almost every day, now, ships from Europe arrive safely with merchandise: and this is a sore vexation to the Northern merchants. We are likewise getting, daily, many supplies from the North, from blockade-runners. No doubt this is winked at by the United States military authorities, and perhaps by some of the civil ones, too.

If we are not utterly crushed before May (an impracticable thing), we shall win our independence.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 248-9

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: June 19, 1864

Received marching orders yesterday and the Second Division went on board transports today. Saw nine rebels and captured two at Tuinca bend.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 123

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Sunday, July 17, 1864

Oh, such a horrid night's rest! Being near the mountains it was cold with a heavy dew, and I had nothing but a rubber poncho for cover, and am not feeling very well in consequence of being so chilled after marching all day in the hot sun. We marched at 7 o'clock and arrived at Leesburg at 8 o'clock a. m., where we rested an hour. We found Col. Stephen Thomas here with the Eighth Vermont Infantry, now of the Nineteenth Corps. The balance of our Corps was about two miles ahead, and we overtook it at 6 o'clock p. m. and are camped in a shady grove for the night. General H. G. Wright of our Corps is in command of this army now, which numbers about 25,000 men. It is composed of the Sixth Corps, two Divisions of the Nineteenth Corps under General Emery, and General George Crook's Eighth Corps of about 7,000 men, which has operated largely in West Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 124

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Tuesday, November 11, 1862

Capt. went to camp and left me in charge of Det. Wrote letters home and to Fannie. Felt most sick during the day. Did little. Read the Independent in the evening.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 43

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Saturday, April 1, 1865

Lay in the rifle pits all night. Could hear Smith in the night shelling the Reb transports during the night. Were relieved at 8. A M. & march the co to camp, have a chance to send out mail at 10. I write in a hurry a letter home. Alexander Moore, who has been guarding at the wharf was up today & reports the Monitor Milwakee to have been raised, but another Monitor lies over a torpedo which they are trying to remove without exploding it, one man lost his life by fooling with a torpedo which had been taken out. Capt Ledyard hurt himself last night while inspecting the picket line & is ordered to the rear by the Doctor leaving the co in my charge, P. M. am told the torpedo exploded in the bay & sunk the monitor which was on it. Boys busy all day building bombproofs to get into where the enemy begins to shell us. There was a vigorous shelling kept up all day. After getting to bed was waked by the Adjt who brought me a detail for the co to go out at 3 A. M. to the paralel about 100 yds to rear of the skirmisher for a support to them

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 582-3

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Monday, February 23, 1863

General Halleck informs me there is a rumor via Richmond that the steamer Queen of the West has been captured. He doubts its truth. I fear it may be so.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 240

Diary of John Hay: Saturday, July 11, 1863

The President seemed in a specially good humor to-day, as he had pretty good evidence that the enemy were still on the north side of the Potomac, and Meade had announced his intention of attacking them in the morning. The President seemed very happy in the prospect of a brilliant success. He had been rather impatient with Gen'l Meade’s slow movements since Gettysburg, but concluded to-day that Meade would yet show sufficient activity to inflict the coup de grace upon the flying rebels.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 84; Tyler Dennett, Editor, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and letters of John Hay, p. 66

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: June 21, 1862

Camp Jones, Flat Top. — . . . Rather agreeable social evenings with the officers at my quarters, the band enlivening us with its good music.

Dr. McCurdy having been appointed inspector of hospitals for this division, we had a Dr. Hudson, of Medina, a new state surgeon, assigned to us as assistant surgeon in Dr. McCurdy's place. Dr. Hudson turns out to be a thin-skinned, nervous, whimsical, whining Yankee. He has just heard of the death of a favorite daughter. His grief loses all respectability, coupled as it is with his weaknesses and follies. We agreed today with Dr. Holmes (the medical head man) to swap our Dr. Hudson “unsight, unseen” for any spare doctor he could turn out. We find we caught a Dr. Barrett, lately of Wooster, a young man of good repute. We take him, pleased well with the bargain.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 291-2

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 12, 1863


At just daylight I got up and was walking around the prison to see if any Michigan men had died through the night, and was just in time to see a young fellow come out of his tent nearly naked and deliberately walk up the steps that lead over the bank. Just as he got on the top the guard fired; sending a ball through his brain, and the poor fellow fell dead in the ditch. I went and got permission to help pull him out. He had been sick for a number of days and was burning up with fever, and no doubt deranged at the time, else he would have known better than to have risked his life in such a manner. His name was Perry McMichael, and he was from Minnesota Perhaps he is better off, and a much easier death than to die of disease as he undoubtedly would in a few days longer. The work of issuing clothing slowly goes on. In place of Gen. Dow. Col. Sanderson comes over on parole of honor; and is not liked at all. Is of New York and a perfect tyrant; treats us as bad or worse than the rebels themselves. Col. Boyd also comes occasionally and is a perfect gentleman. Talked to me to-day concerning Sanderson's movements, and said if he got through to our lines should complain of him to the authorities at Washington. He took down notes in his diary against him.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 17-8

Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett to Colonel Francis W. Palfrey, September 20, 1864

Libby Prison Hospital,
Richmond, September 20, 1864.

It was a happy surprise to me to get your letter of the 2d, a day or two since. It came through by the last boat It is the only letter I have had, excepting one from home (August 3d), since I was captured. You didn't think when you wrote, telling me of Arthur's capture, that we should be sitting vis-a-vis partaking the frugal meal together, when it reached me. Such was the case. After I had been here in hospital five or six days, I received a scrap of paper on which was written a hasty salutation from Arthur. Imagine my surprise, not having heard of his misfortune. As I was expecting to go by the boat which went the next day, I asked to have him allowed to come down and see me. He came the next morning, just as I was going. I left with him all the money, etc., that I had, and bade him good-by. After going to the boat in ambulance, and getting nicely on board, an order came from Colonel Ould that I must go back to prison. I could not go until General Walker was sent up, etc. There was nothing to be said. I could not help thinking that it would at least have been considerate in Ould to have spared me the disappointment of going down on board the boat, to return again to prison, when he had no intention of letting me go. When I came to Richmond from Danville and reported to him, he said I was “to be sent North by first flag of truce boat,” and so endorsed the order sending me here. Nothing was said about its depending upon Walker's coming up, and I believe that was an afterthought. It was a sad disappointment to come back within these prison walls and bars after getting so far on my road to liberty. I looked forward then to the next boat, but was doomed to disappointment again.

I hope the next one, which will be here the last of this week, will bring Walker and take me away. Indeed I hope more than I expect. If I was well, I should not be so impatient, and am not so anxious now as when I was so very ill. The Surgeon at Danville recommended that I be exchanged, as I was in a critical condition, and “if I recovered would not be fit for duty for many months.” I am safely through, though, thank God. The thought of dying there in that hospital, with no one to speak to, not a single officer of our army in the place, no one to whom I could trust either effects or messages, was pretty hard to bear. I shall have much to tell you when we meet, which time, I pray, is not far distant. It is a great comfort to me, having Arthur here. He is shamming sick in order to stay here in hospital, where he is of course much more comfortable than “in quarters.” He is very well indeed, and in excellent spirits. I am very anxious to hear from home of many persons, especially Macy. I heard that he was seriously injured internally by his horse falling on him, and Patten has lost a leg! I am very sorry for him ; hope it is not above the knee. Poor Charlie Peirson, his death was very sad. I fear there must be others that I have not heard of yet.

I write this to send by some officer who goes by the next boat. I don't know whether letters sent through the regular channels reach you. They certainly do not reach us. This is contraband, but can easily be smuggled inside a man's coat-lining. I fear you will have trouble in deciphering it. I shall write mother by this boat, but you might let them know that you hear from me in case theirs should miscarry. I am doing comparatively well, remember, and am ready to endure it as long as may be necessary. My experience, I suppose. wouldn't have been considered complete without this phase.

Remember me to any who have not forgotten me.

Ever yours,
Frank B.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 139-42

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 28, 1863

The bombardment of Fort McAlister continued five hours yesterday, when the enemy's boats drew off. The injury to the fort can be repaired in a day. Not a man was killed or a gun dismounted. The injury done the fleet is not known. But the opinion prevails here that if the bombardment was continued to-day, the elongated shot of the enemy probably demolished the fort.

Last night and all this day it snowed incessantly — melting rapidly, however. This must retard operations by land in Virginia and probably in North Carolina.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 248

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: June 4, 1864

Paymaster came round and paid off the First Louisiana. Sent letters home and money to have children's pictures taken. Nothing of importance occurred until June 19, except two reviews: One by General Canby on the eleventh and one by General Sickles on the thirteenth. Thirty-five regiments and seven batteries passed the reviewing officer. On the fifteenth accompanied Lieutenant James M. Gardner on board the boat. He had got his discharge. I felt very much depressed for in him I had a good friend.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 123

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Saturday, July 16, 1864


Arrived at the crossroads about dark and camped for the night. Lieut. Merritt Barber and I went on a scout for some supper, but couldn't find much, as the rebels have taken everything in the country. The men are very tired; arrived at the Potomac about dark and waded the river two miles below Edward's Ferry at Young's Island; are in camp for the night on the Leesburg pike just on the south side of Goose Creek. The rest of the Sixth Corps is at Leesburg.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 123

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Monday, November 10, 1862

After breakfast — poor beef — went into town. Advance with secesh flag and a dozen rushed to it and showed passes from Raines and McDonald — one had taken an oath to shoot every picket, straggler, messenger or pilot he could. Citizens came in for protection. Several recruits came in with guns. 6th sang John Brown and Dixie. Got back to the Mills at noon — tired out and chafed up badly — without anything to eat to speak of but fresh beef — and that seldom enough. On a trot most of the time — tried to rest some. Letters from home and Fannie.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 43

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Sunday, March 26, 1865

Nothing unusual last night. I am relieved at 6. A. M. & marched the pickets to the Regt. which is on the road at 6.45, at which time the train is getting up. The troops move out on 3 roads. Bertrams Brigade on the left, Smiths Corps on the right & Grangers corps in the centre, as we march through the camp ground of 16th Corps am surprised at the completness & extent of the breastwork constructed by them last night. At 12. M. our advance is fixed on by a Reb Picket post, on a hill on which the corps halts & goes into camp at 7, good running water near. We fortify immediately. A negro comes in who reports having seen Steeles army near Blalcely, we are tonight within 2 miles of Spanish Fort a strong position on top of a hill mounting 16 heavy guns besides other bateries about it, the 3 columns fire each a signal gun on their camp ground to denote their situation, this is responded by the Gunboats, in the Bay. Expect to invest Spanish Fort tomorrow. It is rumored that Bertram captured by surprise battery of 6 guns. (doubtful)

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 580

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Monday, March 27, 1865

The whole command stood to arms from revelie until daybreak, troops in the rifle pits too. at 9.15 the column moves out at 10. we are in line of battle & the artillery opens on the forts of which we discover 3. Bertram brought his brigade up to our camp at daylight but was ordered back double quick, he had taken out of the road 15 torpedos, an orderly had been killed by the explosion of one last night, begins to sprinkle at 10. & P. M. rains quite hard. Our batteries keep up a steady firing to get the range & get a reply but the enemy replies but little. The skirmish line pushes up to within 150 yds of the Reb works and keep them well down behind them, it is reported that Smith who has closed in on the right had captured a rebel ammunition train. Regts are camped at dark in hollows behind hills protecting them from the fire of the enemy, large working parties are out all night building breastworks & strong skirmish line is kept out to protect them. I hear of 3 men killed & some 10 wounded. The Bay in front of the Fort is said to be litterally sown with torpedos & this Fort is said to be the Key of Mobile protecting one of the main channells of the Bay

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 580-1

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Tuesday, March 28, 1865

Working parties return at daylight at which time the ball opens again The Enemy were reinforcing last night from Mobile, a little bolder & give us a shell occasionally & quite a no of minnie balls fly over our heads, one of the 35th Iowa is killed in camp near us while packing his Knapsacks At 9.30 Cos. "G" & "B" ordered out as sharpshooters & skirmishers had to advance 100 yds through fallen timber exposed to the fire of the enemy, while advancing, Martin Walraven was wounded in the right fore arm. gain our position within 100 yds of the Fort & throw up earth works to protect us, were relieved at 3.30 by co K, in coming away John Mety, is wounded in the left shoulder & Jo. Dungan in the back passing into the thigh, K Co is to stay until morning. Our Gunboats get up close enough to lift a few shells into the main fort this P. M. When this is seen the boys raise a shout for we all depend a great deal on the Monitors. All the Regts build earthworks from 6 to 10 ft. high to camp behind, 1 man of the 50th Ind Killed by a shell while in camp some guns in our camp broken by a shell. The 1st Ind heavy artillery is reported to have arrived at the landing with 72. Mortors & heavy Parrot guns. It is rumored that our gunboats sunk one & disabled one transport for the enemy. 4 rockets sent up from the fort & it is rumored that the Infty is being transported to Mobile.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 581

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Wednesday, March 29, 1865

E. Co relieves K. before daylight. The enemy & our skirmishers talked all night. Rebs say their torpedos had sunk one of our Monitors & would sink the rest of them. Rains part of the day. We strengthen our protection. I learn that the Monitor which was sunk is the Milwakee she is not destroyed & will probably be raised soon, another the Osage was sunk today by a torpedo name Osage. The Pioneer Corps have taken out of the road 18 more torpedos made of 64 lb percussive shells, barely buried, the weight of a man on them will explode them. The Gunboatman have raised several from the Bay are out in skiffs hunting them. The enemy shell the skirmish line sharply all day.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 581

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Thursday, March 30, 1865

At 12. last night the Jonnies made a charge out of their forts on the skirmish line, draw it in on the left where the 7th Vermont was stationed, camps wise all around & on the alert. brisk firing for an hour, some rain falling about this time. At 3. A. M. co C. relieves Co E. on the skirmish line They come in all whole & were not drivn back, reported that about 30 of the 29th Iowa were gobbled by the 7th Vermont giving back & letting the Jonnies in their rear; The day passes so so. Artillery firing from both sides. Reb Mortar boats shell us considerably & heavy firing on the skirmish line all day, some of the heavy guns to be put in position tonight. This evening the reported capture of the men of the 29th is contradicted Co "C" is relieved after dark & bring off 3 prisoners with them, they were out sharp shooting & got to close They talk confidantly & say we can never take Mobile or Spanish Fort which by their act is manned by 6000 reinforcing every night, one Brigade of the 16th A. C. is sent off this P. M. as guard to supply train with rations for Genl Steele who is in the vicinity of Blakely & reports to Genl Canby that he can keep reinforcements from coming here by land or allow it. Genl C. says to allow it. (this is rumor) There is a telegraph from Genl Canbys Hd Qtrs to all the Div Hd Qtrs & to the landing at our new base about 4 miles from our position. The Rebels use heavier guns today. Have a chill this morning & feel quite ill all day.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 581-2

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Friday, March 31, 1865

Rested tolerably last night, At 8. A M. The batteries open on the Forts & keep up a vigorous shelling for 3 hours. P. M. the felled timber front of the forts where our skirmish line is gets on fire. Rebs open on them with shell & small arms. Could not see how the skirmishers could stand the heat & firing but they did it nobly, firing became so heavy at 6. P. M. the men were ordered to arms Co G. was ordered to the forward rifle pits to reinforce Co. B as a support to the skirmishers, Capt Ledyard was on duty as Brig off of the day, which left me in comd of the co. I took them down on the double quick although almost too week to stand. The bullets whistled thick arond but no one was struck. At 11. P. M. the heavy firing ceased & I reed orders to keep my co in the pits all night. I hear of several men being killed but none from our Regt, hear a report that on our right Smith with some of the heavy Parrots disables one of the Enemy's gunboat & drives another off 2 miles, one battery of heavy guns on our left is silenced by the fire save the main Fort. It is rumored that Thomas has made connection with Steele. The Gunboats advance slowly taking out the torpedos, advanced about 100 yds and that Genl Maury commands at Mobile & Genl Gibson at Spanish Fort. We rec mail today one from cous John who is with Thomas & says under date of 10th Feb that the comd was preparing for an expedition against Mobile.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 582

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Sunday, February 22, 1863

A severe snowstorm. Did not venture abroad. Had a call from Dahlgren, who is very grateful that he is named for admiral. Told him to thank the President, who had made it a specialty; that I did not advise it. He called with reference to a written promise the President had given one Dillon for $150,000 provided a newly invented gunpowder should prove effective. I warned Dahlgren that these irregular proceedings would involve himself and others in difficulty; that the President had no authority for it; that there was no appropriation in our Department from which this sum could be paid; that he ought certainly to know, and the President should understand, that we could not divert funds from their legitimate appropriation. I cautioned him, as I have had occasion to do repeatedly, against encouraging the President in these well-intentioned but irregular proceedings. He assures me he does restrain the President as far as respect will permit, but his “restraints” are impotent, valueless. He is no check on the President, who has a propensity to engage in matters of this kind, and is liable to be constantly imposed upon by sharpers and adventurers. Finding the heads of Departments opposed to these schemes, the President goes often behind them, as in this instance; and subordinates, flattered by his notice, encourage him. In this instance, Dahlgren says it is the President's act, that he is responsible, that there is his written promise, that it is not my act nor his (D.'s).

Something was said to me some days since in regard to the great secret of this man Dillon, but I gave it no attention, did not like the manner, etc. So it was, I apprehend, with the War Department; and then Dillon went to the President with his secret, which I apprehend is no secret.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 239-40

John Hay to John G. Nicolay, April 23, 1863

Hilton Head, S. C,
April 23, 1863.
MY DEAR NICO:

In yours of the 15th received last night, you say “there was verbal indication of much wrath at the report that Dupont intended to withdraw his fleet and abandon his position.” I was surprised at this. If you have received my different letters you will see why. He would have obeyed orders had he done so. You say we have gained points d'appui for future work. The navy say not. They say they cannot lie off Morris Island to cover the landing of our troops, (or rather the crossing from Folly Island, the only practicable route), without imminent danger of being driven ashore and wrecked by the first northeasterly breeze that comes. It is not for me to say what is, or what is not, possible. My old ideas have been horribly shattered when I have seen two men, each of whom I had formerly considered an oracle on every subject connected with ships, accusing each other of ignorance and charlatanism.

I do not think Dupont is either a fool or a coward. I think there is a great deal of truth in his statement that, while the fight in Charleston harbor demonstrated the great defensive properties of the Monitors, it also proved that they could not be relied upon for aggressive operations.

With an adequate force I think Hunter could dislodge the enemy from Morris Island, and from that point make a hole in Fort Sumter; but even then little has been done. The General is sanguine. He wants a fight. I hope he may have one before I return.

To-day I start for Florida. . . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 83-4; Michael Burlingame, Editor, At Lincoln’s Side: John Hay’s Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings, p. 37-8 where the entire letter appears.

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Friday, June 20, 1862

Ditto, Ditto. — Cold and wet. We wear overcoats, sit by fires in front of tents, and sleep under blankets! Had a very satisfactory drill. Am reading “St. Ronan's Well.” Rode down the mountain towards New River On returning found R. S. Gardner giving a blow-out on receiving news of his appointment as captain and quartermaster. Lieutenant-Colonel Paxton, Bottsford, and Lieutenant Christie, of General Cox's staff, all a little “how-come-ye-so.” . . .

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 291

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 11, 1863

Was on guard last night over the clothing outside. Lieut. Rossieux asked Corp. McCarten and myself to eat supper with him last night, which we were very glad to do. Henry, the negro servant, said to the lieutenant after we had got through eating: “I golly, masser, don't nebber ask dem boys to eat with us again, dey eat us out clean gone;” and so we did eat everything on the table and looked for more.

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 17

Diary of Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett: Tuesday, September 20, 1864

Beautiful day. The Sergeant in one of his whims has not been out to buy anything for us for several days, so that we have been short. We are dependent entirely on the whim of this low, ugly-dispositioned brute. This steward can't manage him as well as Cotting used to. Wrote F. W. P. to send by boat.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 139

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 27, 1863

It is too true that several thousand of our men were captured at Arkansas Post, and that Little Rock is now in danger.

There seems to be no probability, after all, of an immediate advance of the enemy across the Rappahannock.

But there are eight iron-clad gun-boats and ninety sail at Beaufort, North Carolina, and, it is reported, 52,000 men. Wilmington will probably be assailed.

Mr. Foote said, yesterday, if Indiana and Illinois would recede from the war, he should be in favor of aiding them with an army against Lincoln. And all the indications from the North seem to exhibit a strong sentiment among the people favoring peace. But the people are not the government, and they sink peace and reconstruction together.

Yesterday Mr. Crockett, of Kentucky, said, in the House of Representatives, that there was a party in favor of forming a Central Confederacy (of free and slave States) between the Northern and Southern extremes. Impracticable.

To-day we have news of the bombardment of Fort McAlister, near Savannah. No result known. Now we shall have tidings every few days of naval operations. Can Savannah, and Charleston, and Wilmington be successfully defended? They may, if they will emulate the example of Vicksburg. If they fall, it will stagger this government — before the peace party in the North can operate on the Government of the United States. But it would not “crush the rebellion.”

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 247-8

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: May 20, 1864

Another march of ten or fifteen miles brought us to Morganza bend in the Mississippi.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 121

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Friday, July 15, 1864

Remained in camp until 8 o'clock a. m. and then marched up Pennsylvania Avenue by the Treasury, White House and War Department, amidst a continuous ovation for fully three miles. Great respect was shown our Division, as it was known that it was its stubborn fighting at Monocacy that had saved Washington, and the sidewalks, windows, balconies, housetops, etc., were thronged with enthusiastic people. The business-like appearance of our regiment, its proud bearing, fine cadence and marching, its weather-beaten, tattered old battle flags all in strings from shot and shell, as well as the men's clothes, its splendid band, together with the evergreen sprig proudly worn by some of us, which always gains us recognition, captured the crowd, and the heartiness of our deserved ovation over all other regiments in line was very noticeable. It was a proud day for the plucky Tenth Vermont, never to be forgotten — even prouder than when showered with flowers on our return home at Burlington a year later — for we were the feature of the parade — real live heroic Green Mountain Boys, as true and valiant as was ever Ethan Allen. We had a right to be proud, for hadn't we proved to the world many times what Meade said to us at Spottsylvania and Sedgwick at the Wilderness, when some wag said to Meade at Spottsylvania when in rear of our regiment, as the lines were being hastily formed for assault on the enemy a stone's throw away, that he was in a dangerous place, and he replied, “I'm safe enough behind a Vermont regiment, anywhere?” We marched via Georgetown and Tennallytown to within a few miles of Offutt's crossroads and bivouacked. It is rumored that we are to join our corps at Poolesville. Probably we shall have to chase the enemy down the Shenandoah Valley again. As the Sixth Corps is the best marching, fighting and most reliable one in the army, I reckon Grant and Meade knew what they were about when they concluded to send it after Early. Now, if they will only send us Sheridan, we will lick the whole rebel army if they will set it on to us in detail, and finish up the war.*
_______________

*As General Sheridan was soon sent us, this prediction was as good as proven, but many a poor fellow bit the dust first.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 122-3

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Sunday, November 9, 1862

Recrossed the mountain, after a breakfast of hoecake of meal captured from the enemy. Went by another road direct for Fayetteville. Very rough roads and poor country most of the way. Encamped in sight of the town.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 43

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Tuesday, March 21, 1865

Rains hard all night. grond flat & all drawn out of bed Rains all A. M. 1st Brig 2Div starts out early men pull the batteries through. Some Rebs seen yesterday, one Brig reported within 3 miles (?) train did not get through, heavy detail out cording the road & building a bridge washed away by last nights rain heavy cannonading on the Bay. all P. M. Bertrams Brigade gets through to Fish river & find 1 Div of Smiths corps there, we have good fires of resin

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 579

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Wednesday, March 22, 1865

Fine day; lay in camp all day quite a no of the men out to forage, see some Rebs. Capt sent back with detail for rations. Men pull the wagons. Evening Genls Granger & Veach have Hd Qtrs in our camp. Heavy artillery heard all day supposed by some to be Steele fighting Genls. Canby Smith & Osterhaus are at Fish river Foragers sees the ruins of a large turpentine factory. destroyed by fire about 2 weeks ago, which accounts for the big smokes we had noticed & find 100 prs good new drawers & 200 prs negro's cotton pants

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 579

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Thursday, March 23, 1865

Revelie late, the Genl had blown in the 50th Ind & 7th Vermont before our revelie. Our Brigade gets up before our breakfast is over this was unexpected. Genl blows before the men have breakfast We are on the move at 7 hear the troops at Fish river are in line of battle expecting an attack move very slowly first 2 miles cording nearly all the road. latter part of the road pretty good & move right along. At 1. P. M. cross the river on the pontoons to the tune. “Out of the wilderness” or “Johny stole a ham.” Was until 4. A. M. getting camped were on 3 different grounds before we got settled, one time tents were being pitched & supper preparing, several boats & gunboats lie in the river. This morning the pickets were driven in by a force variously estimated from 600 to 1000. 3 rebs killed 3 of ours wounded, the 4th Iowa & 32d Iowa are here with Smith 25000 men here now

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 579

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Friday, March 24, 1865

Fatigue party goes out at 5. a. m. to unload boats, spend A. M. going to the Commissary for grub. and writing. P. M. go with Lt Loughridge to camp of 8th Iowa, while there this Regt rec's orders to be ready to march at daylight tomorrow morning with 4 days rations in their haver sacks. Genl Smiths whole corps rec's the same orders. We see post of the line of breastworks about this camp, which are good & strong & 9 miles in extent, seems as though these things come by magic, they rise so quick. Genl Veachs Div gets in this P. M.; After dark the train comes in, there is a big shout when the train crosses the pontoons. They lost by bushrangers 14 men drivers. & as many mules Lt Loughridge & I were out after Tattoo to learn the cause of the cheering when the train was coming in, & hear some sweet music in another Regt. Word in camp that in a skirmish 3 miles from camp this P. M. several men were wounded. 2 ambulance loads said to have come in.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 579-80

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Saturday, March 25, 1865

Genl Smiths corps commences moving at daylight; go out to see them pass; we rec orders to drill from 10. to 11. A. M. This order is countermanded & orders to be ready to move immediately. 5 days rations are issued to the men to be carried in the haver sacks. The 13th Corp begin to move at 1. P. M. at 3.30 Regt falls in line & moves out. march slow, and are to 9. P. M. getting to camp 5 miles from Fish river station. Saw where the trees were marked where the skirmish had occurred. I was detailed for picket as soon as I got to oamp, had to go right out. The train sticks in the mud 3 miles back & our grub did not get up, boarded with the boys. Lt Hook Co C. detailed today as A. C. M. 3d Div. The following promotions in co "G" are announced today. Sergt A. Templeton to be 1st Sergt. Corp A. J. McColIum to be sergt. Privates W. H. Downing T. J. Vineyard. H. J. Vanderwan & J. Lemons to be Corporals, Corp W. Thomas at his own request is reduced to the ranks

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 580

Monday, January 16, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Thursday, February 19, 1863

A special Cabinet-meeting. The President desired a consultation as to the expediency of an extra session of the Senate. Chase favored. Seward opposed. No very decided opinion expressed by the others. I was disinclined to it. The President has been invited to preside at a meeting for religious Christian purposes on Sunday evening. Chase favored it. All the others opposed it but Usher, who had a lingering, hesitating, half-favorable inclination to favor it. Has been probably talked with and committed to some extent; so with Chase. The President on Tuesday expressed a wish that Captain Dahlgren should be made an admiral, and I presented to-day both his and Davis's names.1

I wrote Senator Dixon a note, remonstrating against his misuse of power by opposing in secret session the appointment and confirmation of Howard as Collector; that it was not only wrong, officially, for he was not clothed with authority to revenge private grievances, but it would close the door to any reconciliation, and make lifelong enmities between those who were neighbors and should be friends; that he admitted, and every one knew, Howard was a good and correct officer. All, it seems, was unavailing, for I hear the Senate has failed to confirm the nomination. An inexcusable and unjustifiable act on the part of the Senate, a wrong to the country, a gross wrong and outrage on an American citizen of character and worth who is discharging his duty with fidelity, the peer of the Senators who are guilty of this prostitution of honor and trust. This act and this practice of the Senate are as repugnant to good government and as degrading as anything in the corrupt days of Roman history, or the rotten aristocracy of modern Europe.
_______________

1 Charles Henry Davis, who had defeated the Confederate fleet off Fort Pillow, and captured Memphis.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 238-9

John Hay to John G. Nicolay, April 16, 1863

Hilton Head, S. C,
April 16, 1863.
MY DEAR NICOLAY:

The General and the Admiral this morning received the orders from Washington directing the continuance of operations against Charleston. The contrast was very great in the manner in which they received them. The General was absolutely delighted. He said he felt more encouraged, and was in better heart and hope than before, at this indication of the earnestness of the government to finish this business here. He said, however, that the Admiral seemed in very low spirits about it. He talked despondingly about it, adhering to the same impressions of the desperate character of the enterprise as I reported to the President after my first interview with him. Perhaps having so strongly expressed his belief that the enterprise was impracticable he feels that he is rebuked by an opposite opinion from Washington.

General Hunter is in the best feather about the matter. He believed before we came back that with the help of the gunboats we could take Morris Island and from that point reduce Fort Sumter; and he is well pleased to have another chance at it. Whether the intention of the government be to reduce Charleston now, with adequate men and means, or by powerful demonstrations to retain a large force of the enemy here, he is equally anxious to go to work again.

I write this entirely confidentially for you and for the President to know the ideas prevalent here.

Gen. Seymour has been with you before this, and has given to the government the fullest information relative to military matters here. His arrival, I suppose, will only confirm the resolution already taken. Admiral Dupont's despatches by the Flambeau of course put a darker shade on the matter than anything Seymour will say, as he was strongly in favor of staying there and fighting it out. . . .

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 81-3; Michael Burlingame, Editor, At Lincoln’s Side: John Hay’s Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings, p. 36-7 where the entire letter appears.

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Thursday, June 19, 1862

Camp Jones, Flat Top Mountain. — Cold, dull, and P. M., rainy. Drilled A. M. Rode with Adjutant Avery and practiced pistol firing in the P. M.

Lieutenant-Colonel Paxton of the cavalry called to see me about Lieutenant Fordyce. Would he do for captain? Is he not too fond of liquor? My reply was favorable. He says he has three vacancies in the regiment. Captain Waller seduced Colonel Burgess' daughter; had to resign in consequence. I recommended both Avery and Bottsford for captains of cavalry; both would make good captains. Only one will probably be commissioned. While I dislike to lose either, I feel they are entitled to promotion and are not likely to get it here.

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 291

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 10, 1863

Instead of prisoners going away five hundred more have come, which makes it very crowded. Some are still confident we will go away soon, but I place no reliance on rebel reports Rather warmer than usual, and the men busying themselves hunting vermin. A priest in the camp distributing tracts. Men told him to bring bread; they want no tracts. Exchange news has died away, and more despondent than ever. I to-day got hold of a Richmond Enquirer which spoke of bread riots in the city, women running around the streets and yelling, “Peace or bread!”

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 17

Diary of Brigadier-General William F. Bartlett: Monday, September 19, 1864

Pleasant day. Just two months since I left Washington. It seems like two years. I hope the end of this month will find me at home, or at least, at liberty. Colonel Hooper came down to see me last week. He is very well. I am to go and see his mother when I get home. One year ago I was at Albany, on my way to Saratoga with Mr. Learned.

SOURCE: Francis Winthrop Palfrey, Memoir of William Francis Bartlett, p. 139

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: January 26, 1863

The Northern papers say Hooker's grand division crossed the Rappahannock, ten miles above Falmouth, several days ago.

Burnside has issued an address to his army, promising them another battle immediately.

Gen. Lee advises the government to buy all the grain in the counties through which the canal runs. He says many farmers are hoarding their provisions, for extortionate prices.

I have no house yet. Dr. Wortham had one; and although I applied first, he let Mr. Reagan, the Postmaster-General, have it. He is a member of President Davis's cabinet — and receives $3000 salary.

There is much indignation expressed by the street talkers against Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Sanders, in the matter of the intercepted dispatches: against Mr. Benjamin for casting such imputations on Napoleon and his consular agents, and for sending his dispatches by such a messenger, in the absence of the President; against Sanders for not destroying the dispatches. Many think the information was sold to the United States Government.

Col. Wall has made a speech in Philadelphia. He said he should take his seat in the United States Senate as an advocate of peace; and he boldly denounced the Lincoln administration.

Our official report shows that our military authorities, up to this time, have burnt 100,000 bales of cotton in Arkansas. I have not learned the amount destroyed in other States — but it is large. Gen. Lee thinks the object of the expeditions of the enemy on the Southern coast is to procure cotton, etc. The slaves can do them no good, and the torch will disappoint the marauders.

Strong and belligerent resolutions have been introduced in the United States Congress against France, for her alleged purpose to obtain dominion in Mexico. It is violative of the Monroe doctrine. And Mr. Benjamin's accusation against the consuls (embracing a French design on Texas) might seem like a covert purpose to unite both the Confederate and the United States against France — and that might resemble premeditated reconstruction. But diplomatists must be busy — always at their webs. President Davis would be the last man to abandon the ship Independence.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 246-7

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: May 19, 1864

Rapid and heavy firing in the rear across the bayou so the First Louisiana marched back toward the landing, and found the whole army crossing on the bridge of steamboats. But the firing was occasioned by our rear guard. Smith was playing another joke similar to the army wagon joke previously related. General Dick Taylor had like the Turk, “been dreaming in his guarded tent of the hour” when the tail end of Banks army, “should bend their knees in suppliance to his power” when they crossed the Atchaffalaya Bayou. But it so happened their knees did not bend at all. The cunning Smith had foreseen what would happen, so he laid another ambush and when the army was nearly across Dick run into it and was terribly cut up. That was the last we saw of Dick Taylor or his army. The rebels had no means of crossing the Bayou, and they very well knew if they did they would be captured or driven back into it. Whole army marched fifteen miles towards the Mississippi river and encamped for the night.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 120-1

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Lemuel A. Abbott: Thursday, July 14, 1864

Major Dillingham, with a detachment of the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania, went through on the train tonight to Washington to open the railroad. There is no truth in the report that the road was torn up. We took the cars at the Relay House at 11 o'clock a. m. and arrived in Washington at 3 o'clock p. m. The excitement has mostly subsided in the city. The rest of our Corps is reported at Poolesville, Md. We stay in Washington to-night.

SOURCE: Lemuel Abijah Abbott, Personal Recollections and Civil War Diary, 1864, p. 121-2

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: Saturday, November 8, 1862

Still southwest to Rhea's Mills ten miles and then breakfast — fresh beef and no salt. Col. Philips here two nights before, two of his Indians shot. Two girls wounded severely by rebels firing into a house. After breakfast went to my own men with Capt. Gave Capt. Lucas detachment —the advance. Direction southeast. Rode 7 or 8 miles to Cane Hill — Boonsboro — hilly country. Pickets fired upon at Cane Hill. Captured a secesh saddle and equipments. Went into town. Col. made inquiries and moved on. Col. always with the advance. Went a couple of miles and bang, bang, went guns. Soon 60 or 70 men showed themselves in the woods on a hill half a mile to our left. Sharp's rifles and carbines came into play — no effect — distance too great. Howitzers came up, cavalry fell back into the woods and shell went whizzing over the cornfield. They skedaddled. One fellow whom 8 or 10 men started for, ran forward and threw down the fence and then ran back behind a tree. Blue overcoat. Did not take him. Bold fellow. They took two or three prisoners. After some delay, Col. learned that the rebels, 400 or 500, were one mile farther on. Went on a mile, saw pickets on a distant hill. Sharpshooters advanced, and then command moved forward. Found camp just vacated — fires still burning. Went over the Boston mountains. Over the mountains at the foot, our extreme advance came in sight of rear guard of the enemy. A charge was ordered and away we flew with loose reins and set spurs, up hill and down hill, across and back again Cove Creek, a very rough road. After three miles we began to see stirrups, blankets, corn and a thousand things strewn along the road. The Col. was up with us. He commenced yelling, which was kept up by all the men. More things scattered along. After ten miles in the midst of excitement, back came a volley of shot and bullets from the bush at a point a little elevated just ahead of us. The extreme advance fell back a few rods. Up we rode upon a charge into the bush as we were ordered. We rode up and fired away. Still farther up into the road we were ordered. We hurried up and formed along the road facing the bush. The bullets whistled merrily for a season. Not over 20 or 25 were up. We fired all our rounds, then a sabre charge was ordered. We had our sabres drawn and ready for a charge, when Capt. Lucas' horse was shot and the rebels were running by a byroad. The color-bearer was shot through the head and colors captured, 13 stars — two others were reported killed. Waited for signs of the enemy, but in vain. Went down and helped about unloading wagons and burned them. None of us harmed. Started back. Returned 4 or 5 miles and camped. All the boys got some little trap — baggage and equipments of Mo. Provost Guard commanded by Provost Gen. McDonald. Private correspondence of Col. Sevier of Marseilles, Mo. One excellent letter from his Aunt Phil on the war.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 42-3

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Friday, March 17, 1865

Revelie at 2.45, breakfast at 3.30 Genl call at 5. Brigade forms on the Gulf beach at 6 column of the 3d Div moves out at 8.30; in a quandary about Corys valise; at 11. pass the camp of 1st Brig 2d Div which is ahead, all Kinds of supplies left in camp & no one to pick them up. road sandy & marching heavy, we camp at 2 P. M 10 miles from the Cove Miller & I take a stroll through the woods which we find full of Spanish moss flowers cactus &c find some families on the Bay Beach got some sweet milk to drink. Boys get plenty of Oysters in the slough near by where they have been planted hear that the Monitors and Gunboats all left the Cove soon after we did. We had a long talk with the women, brush so thick could hardly get back to camp. day has been warm.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 578

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Saturday, March 18, 1865

Regt on the road at 6. at 7.30 made Bon secure bayou, see great heaps of oyster shells more low ground today. they bay & gulf one place at the neck not more than 3/4 of a mile apart. Hear heavy guns all P. M. supposed to be the fleet at Mobile, move about 10 miles today. We see one happy wench, we were the first yankees she had seen. After dark a squad of 15, belonging to the Div. 2 of whom belong to our Regt get into camp. They were at Ft. Gaines Hosp. crossed to Morgan & finding their Regt gone pushed on & walked all the way from the Cove today. They report Genl. Veaches Div. coming right on & Genl Smiths Corps landing at the Cove & will start Monday The Estimate is 10000 men with us & 20000 more to follow & we expect to form junction with Steele, who started from Pensacola the 17th with between 20000 and 25000 men

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 578

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Sunday, March 19, 1865

Breaks camp early but wait to corderoy the road, move but 6 miles today 2/3 of the road had to be corded bfore the train could be taken across, rests frequent & long. I read several papers during rests. Pass a house in which is found powder & back of which a few cavalry sabres & plenty of sweet potatoes nice ones, have now a continued pine swamp with no under brush, but a thick growth of grass a great deal like our prairie grass, this is called the Meadows

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 578

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant John S. Morgan: Monday, March 20, 1865

Regt in line to move at 6. Rec orders to wait. At 12. I am sent with a detail to corderoy the road. The train all stuck in the mud. men pull the wagons out with ropes. At 3. I am relieved and report to the Regt. At 3.40 Regt in line to guard a train of 20 wagons, (all that had been got over) to the other Brigade ahead, as they are out of rations. Met Genl Grangers ambulances one mile out, begins to rain before we get through rains hard & is very dark. Get through at 9. The train sticks in the mud & is hard to get through, hear cannonading on the Bay all P. M. we are now in the turpentine orchards, hundreds of pounds of resin on the trees, get supper at 9, raining, retire at 10. Genl Veaches Div has overtaken our rear. The Regt moved 6 miles today.

SOURCE: “Diary of John S. Morgan, Company G, 33rd Iowa Infantry,” Annals of Iowa, 3rd Series, Vol. 13, No. 8, April 1923, p. 578-9

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Diary of Gideon Welles: Wednesday, February 18, 1863

Have a long dispatch from Admiral Porter relative to operations on the Mississippi, a cut at the Delta between Helena and the Yazoo on the east, and at Lake Providence into Tensas on the west.

SOURCE: Gideon Welles, Diary of Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy Under Lincoln and Johnson, Vol. 1: 1861 – March 30, 1864, p. 238

John Hay to John G. Nicolay, April 14, 1863

April 14, 1863.
MY DEAR NICO:

Here is one of the cleverest things I have seen since the war began. It is an impromptu order of Halpine’s on Miss Mary Brooks, a New York lady, who was down here on a visit with Mrs. Raymond. The “Hay” is, of course, Charlie, not the Colonel.

We are living very pleasantly here since the return from Charleston of the K 's. The General has some fine horses and the rides are pleasant.

Yours truly,
J. H.
_______________

Headquarters, Dept. of the South,
Hilton Head, S. C., March 25, 1863
 SPECIAL ORDERS,
A. No. 1
I.

With her charming looks
And all her graces,
Miss Mary Brooks,
Whose lovely face is
The sweetest thing we have seen down here
On these desolate Islands for more than a year,
Is hereby appointed an extra Aide
On the Staff of the General Commanding,
With a Captain of Cavalry's strap and grade,
And with this most definite understanding.


II.

That Captain Mary,
Gay and airy,
At nine each day, until further orders,
To Colonel Halpine shall report
For special duty at these Headquarters:—
And Captain Mary,
(Bless the fairy!)
Shall hold herself, upon all occasions,
Prepared to ride
At the Adjutant's side
And give him of flirting his regular rations;
And she shan't vamoose
With the younglings loose
Of the junior Staff, — such as Hay and Skinner;
But, galloping onward, she shall sing,
Like an everlasting lark on the wing—
And she shan't keep the Adjutant late for dinner.


III.

The Chief Quartermaster of Department
Will give Captain Mary a riding garment:—
A long, rich skirt of a comely hue,
Shot silk, with just a suspicion of blue,—
A gipsey hat, with an ostrich feather,
A veil to protect her against the weather,
And delicate gauntlets of pale buff leather;
Her saddle with silver shall all be studded
And her pony, — a sorrel, — it shall be blooded:
Its shoes shall be silver, its bridle all ringing
With bells that shall harmonize well with her singing.
And thus Captain Mary,
Gay, festive and airy,
Each morning shall ride
At the Adjutant's side
And hold herself ready, on all fit occasions,
To give him of flirting his full army rations.

By Command of Maj. Gen'l D. Hunter,
Ed. W. Smith,
Assistant Adjutant-General.
Official Copy:

Chas. G. Halpine,
Lieut.-Col. and Assistant Adjutant-General,
10th Army Corps, and Department of the South.

SOURCES: Clara B. Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, Volume 1, p. 79-81; Michael Burlingame, Editor, At Lincoln’s Side: John Hay’s Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings, p. 36 where the entire letter appears.

Diary of Lieutenant-Colonel Rutherford B. Hayes: Monday, June 16, 1862

Camp Jones, Flat Top. — A cold morning and a cloudy, clearing off into a bright, cool day.

Last night walked with Captain Warren down to General Cox's headquarters. Talked book; the general is a reader of the best books, quite up in light literature; never saw the Shakespeare novels; must try to get him “Shakespeare and his Friends.”

The extracts from Richmond papers and Jeff Davis' address to the soldiers indicates that the Rebels are making prodigious efforts to secure the victory in the approaching struggle. I trust our Government will see that every man is there who can possibly be spared from other quarters. I fear part of Beauregard's army will get there. Can't we get part of Halleck's army there?

SOURCE: Charles Richard Williams, editor, Diary and Letters of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Volume 2, p. 291

Diary of 1st Sergeant John L. Ransom: December 9, 1863

Rumors that one thousand go off to-day to our lines and the same number every day until all are removed. It was not believed until a few moments ago the Lieutenant stepped upon the bank and said that in less than a week we would all be home again, and such a cheering among us; every man who could yell had his mouth stretched Persons who fifteen minutes ago could not rise to their feet are jumping around in excitement, shaking hands with one another and crying, “A general exchange! a general exchange!” All in good spirits and we talk of the good dinners we will get on the road home. Food twice to-day and a little salt

SOURCE: John L. Ransom, Andersonville Diary, p. 16-7