Showing posts with label Games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Games. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Captain Braxton Bragg to Elisa Ellis Bragg, June 6, 1853

Fort Leavenworth, 6th June, 1853. 
Court Room, (Chapel) 

My dear Wife: The whole day on Saturday was consumed in small questions of form, and, as I consider, frivolous objections-A request was made to delay all proceedings until witnesses could be called from New Mexico. The court decided to proceed as far as it could with the witnesses present, and entertain any proposition for delay when the presence of witnesses may become necessary. It has rained all the time excepting one day since my arrival. Today it is fair.—The sun here is infinitely worse than at the Barracks, and any locomotion is out of the question when it exists. The post is in horrible condition as to police and no better discipline. We have just expended two hours in doing nothing but listening to the twaddle of the prisoner and Judge Advocate, all amounting to nothing, except that they are both very learned men (in their own estimation). At length we got the plea of the prisoner, and the Judge Advocate asks an adjournment—he having so much to do. It was refused—a precedent I hope may be followed. The inefficiency of the J. A. surpasses my comprehension and is only equaled by the President. I can draw no other conclusion than that the General is not very anxious to get home. He has had no chill yet, but the sooner one comes the better for us. 

By the last mail we learn the recruits were at the Barracks. The General says, they will be here soon, and then I shall hear from my wife again. That is to be my only consolation for some time, I fear, for it seems to be a determination of both parties to spend the summer here. Some of the members of the court are getting impatient with myself, and are for going ahead. We are at last taking testimony!!! I must retract all expression of hope in regard to my return, and can only say I shall do all I can to urge business.

Time hangs heavily on my hands as I have no books and there are no means of recreation but a billiard table, and I do not play. The weather is so bad and the mud so abundant that visiting is almost suspended. During a call Mrs. Fauntleroy asked for you and wished her regards presented. She pressed me strongly to stay at her house when I first arrived, but I had already accepted Col. Beatty's invitation. Mrs. Barnes is staying with her parents—her husband being at the new post 150 miles west of this--and made special inquiries for her dear friend, Miss Anna Butler. Of course I enlightened her to the extent of my ability.

Miss Kate looks as well as could be expected under the circumstances.” Lt. Whittlesey had a chill day before yesterday, and I should judge required some one to keep him warm. It is to be hoped his family in New Mexico will not interpose any objection to this comfortable arrangement. Miss K. is not so pretty as it was thought she would be when younger—a sort of scowl seems to have settled permanently on her face.-It will certainly not be out of place after the union.

I am unable to pick up any scandal to elongate this poor return for your last loving letter. Accept all my love, dearest wife, and only give puss a kiss this time, for I suppose after my last she does not feel much like loving me or my pills. My health is good.

Your husband,

SOURCE: Don Carlos Seitz, Braxton Bragg, General of the Confederacy, p. 13-4

Monday, November 16, 2020

Dr. Seth Rogers to his daughter Dolly, January 28, 1863

January 28, 1863.

 While superintending the transfer of the wounded from the John Adams last night, I sent ashore for mattrasses, but without success. This morning I have been ashore and procured a bale of fine hay from Quartermaster Seward, a gentleman who was my partner at euchre on the Delaware and who is now very prompt in doing what he can for us, so that now our men are about as comfortably placed as if they were in a hospital. Yesterday I saw how difficult it is to keep down vandalism when a town is to be burned. In this respect the blacks are much more easily controlled than the whites. Of course we have a right to appropriate what we need in the service of Uncle Sam, but I would be as severe as the Colonel is on individual appropriations. My only regret about burning the town is that we did not give those “unprotected ladies” the protection of our flag and then burn every house. I find the same feeling among officers here in Fernandina. If we are ever to put down this ungodly rebellion, we must act on the broadest principles of justice. If I offer my life in the defence of my country I shall not be slow nor economical in my demands upon my enemies. This is true justice and wise humanity. Just now two companies were sent to St. Mary's on the Planter to load brick; I let Dr. Minor go with them. That I did not go myself instead was the bravest thing I have done since I came to Dixie.

SOURCE: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 43, October, 1909—June, 1910: February 1910. p. 351-2

Monday, November 2, 2020

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: June 18, 1863

Aiming at the Court House.

I was relieved from guard at 9 A. M. and returned to camp. There has been very heavy firing all day, and it is rumored that Pemberton will try to break through our lines; but if he tries that game he will find it dangerous enough. It is no easy matter to climb over the bulwark of steel now encircling this city.

The weather is getting altogether too hot for comfort. A few sunstrokes have occurred, but without proving fatal so far. One poor fellow even dropped at midnight, when I have been-moonstruck. There are more ways than one of shirking a battle, for which purpose some are even willing to part with a finger or toe.

 If the rebels are short of provisions, their ammunition seems to hold out, for they are quite liberal in their distribution of it. But when Sherman begins firing from the east, McClernand from the west, McPherson from the rear, and the mortars from the north, then look out for big fire-works.

The cannon are all pointed towards the town, but some of the shells fall far short of it. When these burst in mid-air, we can see a small round cloud of smoke left behind, and then there is a sharp lookout for fragments to be scattered in every direction. Our artillerymen have had such good practice during the siege, that they can generally drop a shell wherever they want to.

Boys at the front have time for sport which is not to be interrupted even by stray shells. I noticed four of our boys playing euchre, when a shell from the enemy came careering just above their heads; but they treated it with entire indifference. Another group I saw playing “seven-up” under a blanket caught at the four corners in the hammers of muskets stuck in the ground, and thereby forming a very good shelter from the sun. A shell burst right over this group, scattering its fragments all around, but even this failed to disturb the game, further than to call forth the timely comment, “Johnny passes.”

A game of euchre, with a shell for trumps.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 56-8

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: April 1, 1862


I learn that Major McCafferty has resigned and is going to leave us. I am sorry to learn that his ambition for fame is so soon gratified. I think a good deal of the major and shall miss him very much. He is a man of great good nature and a good deal of a humorist, and at times he makes considerable sport for the boys. The major's resignation creates a vacancy which, according to military rules will be filled by the ranking captain which is Capt. Pickett of company A. This will change the formation of the line, bringing company B on the left, and ranking second in the line. So, step by step, we ascend the ladder of fame.
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. . . . . . . We are now living in clover, having little else to do but to keep ourselves, clothes, arms and equipments clean and in good order. We do a little guard duty and the rest of the time is spent in reading, writing, card-playing and walking about town, seeing the fun and enjoying ourselves. Our rations are of good quality and variety. We now have our fresh beef three times a week, with all the soft bread we want. With our government rations, and what we can buy, such as oysters, fresh fish, chickens, eggs, sweet potatoes, etc., we are running at a high rate of speed. We often contrast this with our life at the inlet.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 52

Friday, May 1, 2020

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: January 19, 1862


Witnessing boat collisions and wrecks is getting old, and the boys are amusing themselves by writing letters, making up their diaries, playing cards, reading old magazines and newspapers which they have read half a dozen times before; and some of them are actually reading their Bibles. Of all the lonely, God-forsaken looking places I ever saw this Hatteras island takes the premium. It is simply a sand-bar rising a little above the water, and the shoals extend nearly 100 miles out to sea. The water is never still and fair weather is never known; storms and sea gulls are the only productions. Sometimes there is a break in the clouds, when the sun can get a shine through for a few moments, but this very rarely happens. The island extends from Cape Henry, Virginia, to Cape Lookout, North Carolina, with occasional holes washed through it, which are called inlets. It is from one-half to two miles wide, and the only things which make any attempt to grow, are a few shrub pines and fishermen. I don’t think there is a bird or any kind of animal, unless it is a dog, on the island, not even a grasshopper, as one would have to prospect the whole island to find a blade of grass, and in the event of his finding one would sing himself to death. The inlet is very narrow, not over half a mile in width, and the channel is still narrower, consequently it makes an indifferent harbor. Still it is better than none, or as the sailors say, any port in a storm. But as bad as it looks and bad as it is, it is, after all, a very important point, perhaps as important in a military point of view as any on the coast. It is the key or gate-way to nearly all of eastern North Carolina, and places us directly in the rear of Norfolk, Va. This island is not without its history, if we may believe all the fearful and marvelous stories that have been written of it, of its being the habitation of wreckers and buccaneers in ye good old colony times.


The boys are up to all sorts of inventions to kill time. In the amusement line the officers have started an exhibition or theatre up in the saloon. It is a clever device to break the dull monotony; to cheer up the loneliness and homesickness which seem to prevail. The exercises consist of recitations, dialogues, singing and music, and make a very good evening's entertainment. A limited number from each company are nightly admitted, and I can see no reason why it will not prove a success, as there seems to be no lack of talent, music or patronage. For a comic performance, one should be down in the after-cabin of an evening, especially about the time the officer of the day, who is a lieutenant, comes around to silence the noise and order the lights out. This after-cabin is a sort of independent community, having its own by-laws, and throwing off pretty much all restraint and doing about as it pleases. The officer of the day is pretty sure to keep out of the cabin during the day, but comes to the head of the stairs in the evening, and gives his orders. Very little attention will be given them, until finally he will venture down stairs, when he will be greeted by an hundred voices with, “Officer of the day! turn out the guard!” And a hundred more will respond, “Never mind the guard!” and this will be kept up until they finally drive him out. Sometimes, after the officer of the day has sailed to restore order, the colonel will come to the stairs and say, “Boys, it is getting late; time to be quiet.” That is the highest known authority, and order will come out of confusion immediately. Without any disparagement to the lieutenants, the boys have a great respect for Col. Upton; he has only to speak and his wishes are cheerfully and instantly complied with.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 23-4

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Diary of 5th Sergeant Osborn H. Oldroyd: May 12, 1863

DeGolier's Battery going into action at the Battle of Raymond.
Roused up early and before daylight marched, the 20th in the lead. Now we have the honored position, and will probably get the first taste of battle. At nine o'clock slight skirmishing began in front, and at eleven we filed into a field on the right of the road, where another regiment joined us on our right, with two other regiments on the left of the road and a battery in the road itself. In this position our line marched down through open fields until we reached the fence, which we scaled and stacked arms in the edge of a piece of timber. No sooner had we done this than the boys fell to amusing themselves in various ways, taking little heed of the danger about to be entered. A group here and there were employed in “euchre,” for cards seem always handy enough where soldiers are. Another little squad was discussing the scenes of the morning. One soldier picked up several canteens, saying he would go ahead and see if he could fill them. Soon after he disappeared, he returned with a quicker pace and with but one canteen full, saying, when asked why he came back so quick—“while I was filling the canteen I heard a noise, and looking up discovered several Johnnies behind trees, getting ready to shoot, and I concluded I would retire at once and report.” Meanwhile my bedfellow had taken from his pocket a small mirror and was combing his hair and moustache. Said some one to him, “Cal., you needn't fix up so nice to go into battle, for the rebs won't think any better of you for it.”

John Calvin Waddell, Corporal Co. E., 20th Ohio.
Killed May 12,1863.
Just here the firing began in our front, and we got orders: “Attention! Fall in—take arms—forward—double-quick, march!” And we moved quite lively, as the rebel bullets did likewise. We had advanced but a short distance—probably a hundred yards— when we came to a creek, the bank of which was high, but down we slid, and wading through the water, which was up to our knees, dropped upon the opposite side and began firing at will. We did not have to be told to shoot, for the enemy were but a hundred yards in front of us, and it seemed to be in the minds of both officers and men that this was the very spot in which to settle the question of our right of way. They fought desperately, and no doubt they fully expected to whip us early in the fight, before we could get reinforcements. There was no bank in front to protect my company, and the space between us and the foe was open and perfectly level. Every man of us knew it would be sure death to all to retreat, for we had behind us a bank seven feet high, made slippery by the wading and climbing back of the wounded, and where the foe could be at our heels in a moment. However, we had no idea of retreating, had the ground been twice as inviting; but taking in the situation only strung us up to higher determination. The regiment to the right of us was giving way, but just as the line was wavering and about to be hopelessly broken, Logan dashed up, and with the shriek of an eagle turned them back to their places, which they regained and held. Had it not been for Logan's timely intervention, who was continually riding up and down the line, firing the men with his own enthusiasm, our line would undoubtedly have been broken at some point. For two hours the contest raged furiously, but as man after man dropped dead or wounded, the rest were inspired the more firmly to hold fast their places and avenge the fallen. The creek was running red with precious blood spilt for our country.   One by one the boys were dropping out of my company. The second lieutenant in command was wounded; the orderly sergeant dropped dead, and I find myself (fifth sergeant) in command of the handful remaining. In front of us was a reb in a red shirt, when one of our boys, raising his gun, remarked, “see me bring that red shirt down,” while another cried out, “hold on, that is my man.” Both fired, and the red shirt fell—it may be riddled by more than those two shots. A red shirt is, of course, rather too conspicuous on a battle field. Into another part of the line the enemy charged, fighting hand to hand, being too close to fire, and using the butts of their guns. But they were all forced to give way at last, and we followed them up for a short distance, when we were passed by our own reinforcements coming up just as we had whipped the enemy. I took the roll-book from the pocket of our dead sergeant, and found that while we had gone in with thirty-two men, we came out with but sixteen—one-half of the brave little band, but a few hours before so full of hope and patriotism, either killed or wounded. Nearly all the survivors could show bullet marks in clothing or flesh, but no man left the field on account of wounds. When I told Colonel Force of our loss, I saw tears course down his cheeks, and so intent were his thoughts upon his fallen men that he failed to note the bursting of a shell above him, scattering the powder over his person, as he sat at the foot of a tree. My bunkmate and I were kneeling side by side when a ball crashed through his brain, and he fell over with a mortal wound. With the assistance of two others I picked him up, carried him over the bank in our rear, and laid behind a tree, removing from his pocket, watch and trinkets, and the same little mirror that had helped him make his last toilet but a little while before. We then went back to our company after an absence of but a few minutes. Shot and shell from the enemy came over thicker and faster, while the trees rained bunches of twigs around us.

Hand-tohand conflict.
Although our ranks have been so thinned by to-day's battle our will is stronger than ever to march and fight on, and avenge the death of those we must leave behind. I am very sad on account of the loss of so many of my comrades, especially the one who bunked with me, and who had been to me like a brother, even sharing my load when it grew burdensome. He has fallen; may he sleep quietly under the shadows of those old oaks which looked down upon the struggle of to-day.

We moved up to the town of Raymond and there camped. I suppose this will be named the battle of Raymond. The citizens had prepared a good dinner for the rebels on their return from victory, but as they actually returned from defeat they were in too much of a hurry to enjoy it. It is amusing now to hear the boys relating their experiences going into battle. All agree that to be under fire without the privilege of returning it is uncomfortable—a feeling which soon wears off when their own firing begins. I suppose the sensations of our boys are as varied as their individualities. No matter how brave a man may be, when he first faces the muskets and cannon of an enemy he is seized with a certain degree of fear, and to some it becomes an occasion of an involuntary but very sober review of their past lives. There is now little time for meditation; scenes change rapidly; he quickly resolves to do better if spared, but when afterward marching from a victorious field such good resolutions are easily forgotten. I confess, with humble pleasure, that I have never neglected to ask God's protection when going into a fight, nor thanking him for the privilege of coming out again alive. The only thought that troubles me is that of falling into an unknown grave.

The battle to-day opened very suddenly, and when DeGolier's battery began to thunder, while the infantry fire was like the pattering of a shower, some cooks, happening to be surprised near the front, broke for the rear carrying their utensils. One of them with a kettle in his hand, rushing at the top of his speed, met General Logan, who halted him, asking where he was going, when the cook piteously cried, “Oh General, I've got no gun, and such a snapping and cracking as there is up yonder I never heard before.” The General let him pass to the rear.

Thomas Runyan,* of Company A, was wounded by a musket ball which entered the right eye, and passing behind the left forced it out upon his cheek. As the regiment passed, I saw him lying by the side of the road, tearing the ground in his death struggle.

* NOTE.—When the regiment was being mustered out in July, 1865, Thomas Runyan. who had been left for dead, visited the regiment. He said he came "to see the boys." He was of course, totally blind.

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 15-9

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: January 1, 1862


The new year is ushered in with a light fall of snow and very cold weather. There is just snow enough to prevent drills or any sports the boys may have been anticipating. Altogether the day will be a dull one. The sutler, anticipating our removal, has not much to sell or steal. The sutler is regarded as the common enemy of the soldier, and when forced contributions are levied on him it is considered entirely legitimate and rather a good joke. The boys will have to content themselves with card playing and writing letters home. We have just got a new stove running in my tent, and Long Tom is detailed today to supply it with wood. I think we shall make a comfortable day of it, if Tom does his duty. Things certainly begin to look like leaving; the harbor is full of vessels, transports, gunboats and supply ships. Appearances indicate that somebody will hear it thunder somewhere along the southern coast before very long.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 16

Friday, December 20, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: December 26, 1861

Christmas went off very pleasantly and apparently to the satisfaction of all. Drills were suspended and all went in for a good time. The Irishmen had their Christmas box, the Germans their song and lager, while ball playing and other athletic sports used up the day, and music and dancing were the order of the evening. Santa Claus came with a Christmas dinner for a few, but more of us he passed by; however, I think the old gentleman has got a store for us somewhere on the way.

Our camp was visited by a number of ladies and gentlemen from the city, who were guests at headquarters, Chaplain James doing the polite, and entertaining them as best he could. No farther south than this, I was surprised to hear the chaplain tell of the ignorance of these people in regard to northern people and their institutions. One lady, noticing a box of letters in the chaplain's tent, said she thought he must have a very large correspondence-to have so many letters. He told her those were soldiers' letters going home to their friends. “Why,” she asked, “are there many of your soldiers who can write?” He informed her that there were not a half dozen men in the regiment but could read and write. He told her that free schools were an institution at the north. No man was so poor but he could educate his children, and the man who neglected their education was regarded as little better than the brutes. The lady appeared quite astonished and said she thought our free schools were only for the rich.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 15-16

Friday, December 13, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: July 3, 1865

Peck came up in evening. Played chess and checkers. Have had several very pleasant visits with Mrs. Searle and Miss Tripp. Mrs. Forbes too, is very kind to me. No letter from home.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 168

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: July 4, 1865

After breakfast had a siege of chess with Mr. Barney. A very hot day. A great many friends around St. Louis. Remained in camp till evening when I went to city. Saw fire works and got ice cream. Met Albert Hinman.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 168

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: June 28, 1865

Saw Adams up from the regiment. They had an awful time going down to Rolla. Attended prayer meeting P. M. and evening. Also party at boarding place. Played chess with Miss Tripp from Wis., a Soldier's Aid lady.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 168

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Friday, June 30, 1865

Bosworth left for home. I read paper and books. Drew Longfellow's Poems and Carleton's “Days and Nights on the Battlefield.” Enjoyed reading it. How near Gen. Grant came to losing everything at Fort Donaldson and Shiloh. Played five games of chess with Mrs. Forbes.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 168

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Diary of Corporal David L. Day: November 30, 1861


According to the customs of our Puritan Fathers, last Thursday was observed in Massachusetts and other states as a day of thanksgiving to God, for his manifold mercies and bounties to the erring children of men. The day was observed here throughout all the camps as a holiday. All drills were suspended, and in our camp religious services were held, after which the boys engaged in ball playing and other amusements to which their inclinations might lead. Although deprived of joining our friends at home in their festivities and meeting them around the dear old board, it seems we were not forgotten. Our thanksgiving dinners are just beginning to arrive, and our camp is literally piled up with boxes and bales containing good things from the dear ones at home.

SOURCE: David L. Day, My Diary of Rambles with the 25th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, p. 13

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: June 20, 1865

A very hot day. Read some. Saw Hayes. Time hangs heavily while waiting. Played a good game of ball with Co. “H.” Haven't been so much engaged for years.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 167

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: June 5, 1865

Another clear and beautiful day. Read “A New Atmosphere.” Game of whist. Passed the Cumberland and Tennessee in the night. The riding in the evening was delightful. Gathered on bow and sung.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 166

Friday, June 7, 2019

Diary of to Amos A. Lawrence: May 27, 1859

Cricket in the afternoon in my grove with the children.

SOURCE: William Lawrence, Life of Amos A. Lawrence: With Extracts from His Diary and Correspondence, p. 153

Friday, May 17, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: May 4, 1865

In the morning, aided by the girls, I trimmed up the rose bushes and cleaned around the yard. P. M. we all went over to Minnie's. Uncle Dan telegraphed that he would be along on evening train. Went up to cars. Friends didn't come. Minnie disappointed. Played at chess a good deal.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 162

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: February 21, 1865

Went down and saw Chester. Went home with Houghton and played chess. Beat him three games. Cold and chilly. In P. M. studied my lesson. No school in evening — very stormy. Signed and returned a Warranty Deed for a lot.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 144

Monday, November 12, 2018

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Tuesday, January 24, 1865

In camp. Played chess with A. B. Read "Two Gentlemen."

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 142

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Thursday, January 26, 1865

Relieved by 1st Conn. Cold, some chess.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 142