Showing posts with label Soldier Pay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Soldier Pay. Show all posts

Saturday, October 10, 2020

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

We expect to be paid off soon, as the pay-rolls are now being made out. Money cannot do us much good here among the hills, but we can send it home. Many a family is dependent upon the thirteen dollars a month drawn here by the head of it. 

When the war is over, how many soldiers will be unable to earn. even their own living, to say nothing of that of their families, all on account of wounds or disability incurred in the service. I have heard many a one say he would rather be shot dead in a fight than lose a limb, and thus be compelled to totter through life disabled. But I know our country will be too magnanimous to neglect its brave defenders who have fought its battles till they have become incapacitated for further service. I know we are not fighting for a country that will let its soldiers beg for a living. 

We have now but a year left of the term of our enlistment, and the boys are already talking about what they will do. Some say they will stay till peace comes, no matter how long may be the delay, and I think the majority are of this mind. A few, however, will seek their homes when their time runs out, should this war last so long, and the Lord and rebel bullets spare them. For myself, I shall stay, if I can, till the stars and stripes float in triumph once more over all the land. 

Here are a few lines : 


You started at your country's call 
     To tread the fields of blood and strife, 
Consenting to give up your all- 
     All, even to your very life. 
And many storms of leaden rain 
     And iron hail have been your lot; 
While yet among the number slain 
     The dear ones North have read you not. 
Oh, may you safely yet return 
     To those who wait your coming, too; 
May their fond hearts not vainly yearn 
     To greet you when the war is through. 
But, though I wish you back in peace, 
     'Tis not a peace that quite disarms- 
'Tis not a full and sure release, 
     You simply take up other arms. 

SOURCE: Osborn Hamiline Oldroyd, A Soldier's Story of the Siege of Vicksburg, p. 50-1

Friday, September 25, 2020

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: February 6, 1864

Major-Gen. Breckinridge, it is said, is to command in Southwestern Virginia near the Kentucky line, relieving Major-Gen. Sam Jones.

Yesterday the cabinet decided to divide the clerks into three classes. Those under eighteen and over forty-five, to have the increased compensation; those between those ages, who shall be pronounced unable for field service, also to have it; and all others the Secretaries may certify to be necessary, etc. This will cover all their cousins, nephews, and pets, and exclude many young men whose refugee mothers and sisters are dependent on their salaries for subsistence. Such is the unvarying history of public functionaries.

Gen. Pickett, finding Newbern impregnable, has fallen back, getting off his prisoners, etc. But more troops are going to North Carolina.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 144

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: November 3, 1864 — 6 p.m.

Five miles northwest of Villa Rica, Ga.,
Novembebr 3, 1864, 6 p.m.

Forty-eight hours' rain without a stop and a good prospect for as much more. We left Van Wirt and Dallas to the left, and by 16 miles hard marching have got near enough over this barren ridge, I think, to find a few marks of civilization. Rumor says we are going to Atlanta to relieve the 20th Corps, and will then be paid. Passed to-day a one-horse wagon, a large ox in the shafts and four women in the wagon dressed for a party.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 317

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Captain Charles Wright Wills: October 19, 1864

Near Summerville, October 19, 1864.

Reached this place yesterday. The cavalry advance had some sharp skirmishing, and brought back some two or three prisoners. We are drawing full rations, besides preying off the country, all kinds of meat, apples, potatoes, and I believe the men find a little of everything known to be eatable. Entering houses is prohibited under penalty of death, but some scoundrels manage to pillage many houses. Foraging is also half prohibited, but I am satisfied that our general officers do not object to our taking meat, etc., if houses are not entered. Ten p. m.—Have stopped here to draw rations. The 23d and 4th Corps have already moved forward on the old Alabama road. That looks as though we were intending to follow the Rebels. We “liners” have no idea where they are. One rumor is that they are moving northwest, intending to cross the Tennessee river, south or southwest of Huntsville. Another that they are moving to their new base at or near Blue Mountain, on the road from here to Talladega, Ala. If we are going to follow them, I look for a long campaign. But for one thing, we would rather go into a campaign immediately than into camp. That is, the men have not been paid off for ten months, and many families are undoubtedly suffering in consequence. Our money is waiting for us, and we will get it whenever the Johnnies will let us stop long enough for the paymasters to catch up. Don't you people ever think of us as being without rations. We sometimes wish the Rebels would cut our communications entirely, so that we could live wholly off the country. The Rebels only take corn and meat, and we fatten on what they are not allowed to touch.

SOURCE: Charles Wright Wills, Army Life of an Illinois Soldier, p. 313

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: July 12, 1865

Immediately after breakfast packed up and went around to bid my friends goodbye. Felt sad as well as happy. God bless the friends at Benton Barracks. Got paid. Saw Will B. Off at 4 P. M. Made several acquaintances. Can hardly realize that I am going back home to stay.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 169

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Thomas Wentworth Higginson, August 1860

August, 1860

The [boarding] house was further enlivened last night by the presence of Mr. Longfellow's son and heir . . . who with a companion sailed round from Nahant. Late in the evening — that is, probably so near the small hours as half-past nine — he was heard in the entry, rousing the echoes with the unwonted cry of Landlord! and when at last Mary Moody or some similar infant appeared, it appeared that they desired pen, ink, paper, and postage stamps. Mary thinks they had run away from their nurses and wished to send word home.

We have decided that Americans think their own race so beautiful, something must be done to disguise it; and bathing is taken as the occasion, certainly with great success. Mary was especially impressed with one man in scanty raiment, exhibiting an amount of bald head which Mary declared to be positively indelicate.

Also a tall, slim, red, unpleasing Californian with a perpetual pipe and a capacity for steady flirtation so long as his wife can be kept at a safe distance.

. . . To-day (Sunday) we thought would be hot, but there is a cool breeze and Miss Susanna's supposed lover is patiently stirring or revolving water-ice for dinner. Little “Parkie” Haven just called to him from the window, “Is it did yet?” — he responding, “No.”

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

I had a characteristic letter from Charles H. [a cousin] yesterday, closing with a hint that there was often trouble in the army about delay of pay, etc., and begging me to draw on him up to five hundred dollars at any time, if needed. I have a great mind to take it and then turn miser and strike out a new path for Higginsons.

This is Sunday, the B—— visiting day, and their, loud voices pervade the promontory — Miss Susanna perhaps does not extend into the afternoon her impressive attire of this morning, which consisted of three vast curtains of white cotton (shall I say dimity?), the first draping her head, the second reaching to her waist, the third touching the ground, and the whole filling the horizon and making a shade in sunny places. She and Isa and brother David can protect this place from sunstroke, never fear. The present delight of visitors is the calf, to inspect which all are invited by the mighty voice of Mr. George Swett, resident ambassador from the court of Cupid near the headquarters of Susanna. “George” is the Gloucester widower of whom we used to hear, and who is now admitted to a nearer probation, and has been so indispensable in the family for two years that if he struck for higher wages I certainly think Miss B. would, with the family eye for the main chance, give him herself instead. Many are the anxious observations made with the sleepless microscopic eyes of childhood by Florence and Annie, who think nothing of popping out of bed for this purpose by moonlight, and who have composed a poem thereon, which ends, perhaps ingloriously, with

Another rhyme I wish to make
That his name is Mr. Swett, —

which may remind you of some of Pet Marjorie's poetical difficulties.

It is a singular compensation of human skill that while all other B—— voices are so vast and resounding, that their copperness of head must go down to the lungs, at least; one youth of eighteen next door was born with a squeak. Yet by one stroke he has outwitted Fate, and by dint of a piano fortissimo and twelve hours' daily and nightly practice he has attained skill to drown any of his relations, voice and all, and is now performing “The Maiden's Prayer” in tones to silence the Mighty Deep.

. . . Looking about for some literature suited for “a lonely and athletic student” temporarily on half rations, I have selected Miss Austen, the only author except Dr. Bartol whose complete works the house possesses, and one whose perfect execution cheers, while her mild excitements do not inebriate the mind of man.

. . . There is a Mrs. D—— of Cambridge, with a gentle dyspeptic daughter, whom (the mother) I should define as a Cambridge waiter — a perpetual tone of motherly despair, with the personal grandeur peculiar to that classic town, when represented by its citizens abroad. She was née W——, and there is a suppressed-Quincy sacredness in her every gesture. Her husband is the noted antiquarian, I believe; but nothing unbends her but perch, of which she has caught more than anybody; thus linking her to humanity through the indirect tie of a fishline.

SOURCE: Mary Potter Thacher Higginson, Editor, Letters and Journals of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, 1846-1906, p. 148-50

Friday, July 12, 2019

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: November 19, 1863

Miss Harriet H. Fort, of Baltimore, has arrived via Accomac and Northampton Counties, with a complete drawing of all the defenses of Baltimore.

The Medical Purveyor's Guards have petitioned the Secretary for higher pay. They get now $1500 per annum, and say the city watchmen get $2300.

Gens. Banks and Taylor in the West are corresponding and wrangling about the exchange of prisoners — and the cartel is to be abrogated, probably.

The Governor of Mississippi (Clark) telegraphs the President that the Legislature (in session) is indignant at the military authorities for impressing slaves. The President telegraphs back that the order was to prevent them falling into the lines of the enemy, and none others were to be disturbed.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 2p. 100

Monday, June 24, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: May 15, 1865

Was routed out this morning at 10 A. M. by Chester. Gave the P. M. General a call to learn about extra pay on resignation. Visited Navy Yard before dinner and Arsenal after dinner. Wrote to Mr. Wright.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 163

Friday, May 17, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: Thursday, May 11, 1865

Drew one month's pay on my order. Went through the Patent Office and to the Treasury. Went home with Mr. Mills to tea and remained over night. Rained. Had a very pleasant time with Flint, Lyra and Leof. Capitol yesterday.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 163

Monday, May 13, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: April 18, 1865

Had a very good night's rest. Up early. Pleasant visit with an Indiana man. Several Southern ladies on board the boat. Great gloom in Washington. Excitement very high. Went to White House and viewed the President's remains in state. Everybody on the alert to discover the conspirators. Drew pay for January and February. Took the evening train via Harrisburg. Read papers and slept. The whole nation in mourning. All business places draped.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 161

Monday, February 11, 2019

Diary of Captain Luman Harris Tenney: March 29, 1865

The whole night occupied in paying off the regt. Got very little money myself. Up early after a little nap. Boys sent their money home by Dr. Smith and Adj. Pike, who have mustered out of service. Went to Army Hdqrs. Moved out. Joined Div. near old picket line. Marched 4 miles beyond Reams and camped. Rained — awful roads.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 149

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: Thursday, October 27, 1864

Regt. paid off. Drew pay for Sept. and Oct. On picket. Clothing drawn but not issued. Rainy.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 134

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant Luman Harris Tenney: October 4 & 5, 1864

Paymaster paid off 1st Conn. Drew 8 months' pay. Lt. Meigs of Sheridan's staff killed by guerrillas.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 131

Sunday, February 18, 2018

An Act to authorize the Employment of Volunteers to aid in enforcing the Laws and protecting Public Property, July 22, 1861.

Whereas, certain of the forts, arsenals, custom-houses, navy yards, and other property of the United States have been seized, and other violations of law have been committed and are threatened by organized bodies of men in several of the States, and a conspiracy has been entered into to overthrow the Government of the United States: Therefore,

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to accept the services of volunteers, either as cavalry, infantry, or artillery, in such numbers, not exceeding five hundred thousand, as he may deem necessary, for the purpose of repelling invasion, suppressing insurrection, enforcing the laws, and preserving and protecting the public property: Provided, That the services of the volunteers shall be for such time as the President may direct, not exceeding three years nor less than six months, and they shall be disbanded at the end of the war. And all provisions of law applicable to three years' volunteers shall apply to two years' volunteers, and to all volunteers who have been, or may be, accepted into the service of the United States, for a period not less than six months, in the same manner as if such volunteers were specially named. Before receiving into service any number of volunteers exceeding those now called for and accepted, the President shall, from time to time, issue his proclamation, stating the number desired, either as cavalry, infantry, or artillery, and the States from which they are to be furnished, having reference, in any such requisition, to the number then in service from the several States, and to the exigencies of the service at the time, and equalizing, as far as practicable, the number furnished by the several States, according to Federal population.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said volunteers shall be subject to the rules and regulations governing the army of the United States, and that they shall be formed, by the President, into regiments of infantry, with the exception of such numbers for cavalry and artillery, as he may direct, not to exceed the proportion of one company of each of those arms to every regiment of infantry, and to be organized as in the regular service. Each regiment of infantry shall have one colonel, one lieutenant-colonel, one major, one adjutant, (a lieutenant,) one quarter-master, (a lieutenant,) one surgeon and one assistant surgeon, one sergeant-major, one regimental quartermaster-sergeant, one regimental commissary-sergeant, one hospital steward, two principal musicians, and twenty-four musicians for a band, and shall be composed of ten companies, each company to consist of one captain, one first lieutenant, one second lieutenant, one first sergeant, four sergeants, eight corporals, two musicians, one wagoner, and from sixty-four to eighty-two privates.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That these forces, when accepted as herein authorized, shall be organized into divisions of three or more brigades each; and each division shall have a major-general, three aides-de-camp, and one assistant adjutant-general with the rank of major. Each brigade shall be composed of four or more regiments and shall have one brigadier-general, two aides-de-camp, one assistant adjutant-general with the rank of captain, one surgeon, one assistant quartermaster, and one commissary of subsistence.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That the President shall be authorized to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for of the command of the forces provided for in this act, a number of major-generals, not exceeding six, and a number of brigadier-generals, not exceeding eighteen, and the other division and brigade officers required for the organization of these forces, except the aides-de-camp, who shall be selected by their respective generals from the officers of the army or volunteer corps: Provided, That the President may select the major-generals and brigadier-generals provided for in this act, from the line or staff of the regular army, and the officers so selected shall be permitted to retain their rank therein. The governors of the States furnishing volunteers under this act, shall commission the field, staff, and company officers Field, staff and requisite for the said volunteers; but, in cases where the State authorities refuse or omit to furnish volunteers at the call or on the proclamation of the President, and volunteers from such States offer their services under such call or proclamation, the President shall have power to accept such services, and to commission the proper field, staff, and company officers.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That the officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates, organized as above set forth, shall, in all respects, be placed on the footing, as to pay and allowances, of similar corps of the regular army: Provided, That the allowances of non-commissioned officers and privates for clothing, when not furnished in kind, shall be three dollars and fifty cents per month, and that each company officer, non-commissioned officer, private, musician, and artificer of cavalry shall furnish his own horse and horse equipments, and shall receive forty cents per day for their use and risk, except that in case the horse shall become disabled, or shall die, the allowance shall cease until the disability be removed or another horse be supplied. Every volunteer non-commissioned officer, private, musician, and artificer, who enters the service of the United States under this act, shall be paid at the rate of fifty cents in lieu of subsistence, and if a cavalry volunteer, twenty-five cents additional, in lieu of forage, for every twenty miles of travel from his place of enrolment to the place of muster — the distance to be measured by the shortest usually travelled route; and when honorably discharged an allowance at the same rate, from the place of his discharge to his place of enrolment, and, in addition thereto, if he shall have served for a period of two years, or during the war, if sooner ended, the sum of one hundred dollars: Provided, That such of the companies of cavalry herein provided for, as may require it, may be furnished with horses and horse equipments in the same manner as in the United States army.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That any volunteer who may be received into the service of the United States under this act, and who may be wounded or otherwise disabled in the service, shall be entitled to the benefits which have been or may be conferred on persons disabled in the regular service, and the widow, if there be one, and if not, the legal heirs of such as die, or may be killed in service, in addition to all arrears of pay and allowances, shall receive the sum of one hundred dollars.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That the bands of the regiments of infantry and of the regiments of cavalry shall be paid as follows: one-fourth of each shall receive the pay and allowances of sergeants of engineer soldiers; one-fourth those of corporals of engineer soldiers; and the remaining half those of privates of engineer soldiers of the first class; and the leaders of the band shall receive the same pay and emoluments as second lieutenants of infantry.

SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That the wagoners and saddlers shall receive the pay and allowances of corporals of cavalry. The regimental commissary-sergeant shall receive the pay and allowances of regimental sergeant-major, and the regimental quartermaster-sergeant shall receive the pay and allowances of a sergeant of cavalry.

SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That there shall be allowed to each regiment one chaplain, who shall be appointed by the regimental commander on the vote of the field officers and company commanders on duty with the regiment at the time the appointment shall be made. The chaplain so appointed must be a regular ordained minister of a Christian denomination, and shall receive the pay and allowances of a captain of cavalry, and shall be required to report to the colonel commanding the regiment to which he is attached, at the end of each quarter, the moral and religious condition of the regiment, and such suggestions as may conduce to the social happiness and moral improvement of the troops.

SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That the general commanding a separate department or a detached army, is hereby authorized to appoint a military board or commission, of not less than three nor more than five officers, whose duty it shall be to examine the capacity, qualifications, propriety of conduct and efficiency of any commissioned officer of volunteers within his department or army, who may be reported to the board or commission; and upon such report, if adverse to such officer, and if approved by the President of the United States, the commission of such officer shall be vacated: Provided always, That no officer shall be eligible to sit on such board or commission, whose rank or promotion would in any way be affected by its proceedings, and two members at least, if practicable, shall be of equal rank of the officer being examined. And when vacancies occur in any of the companies of volunteers, an election shall be called by the colonel of the regiment to fill such vacancies, and the men of each company shall vote in their respective companies for all officers as high as captain, and vacancies above captain shall be filled by the votes of the commissioned officers of the regiment, and all officers so elected shall be commissioned by the respective Governors of the States, or by the President of the United States.

SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That all letters written by soldiers in the service of the United States, may be transmitted through the mails without prepayment of postage, under such regulations as the Post-Office Department may prescribe, the postage thereon to be paid by the recipients.

SEC. 12. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to introduce among the volunteer forces in the service of the United States, the system of allotment among the volunteer forces in the service of the United States, the system of allotment tickets now used in the navy, or some equivalent system by which the family of the volunteer may draw such portions of his pay as he may request.

APPRoved, July 22, 1861.

SOURCE: George P. Sanger, Editor, The Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations, of the United States of America from December 5, 1859 to March 3, 1863, Vol. 12, p. 268-71

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: October 7, 1862

Nothing further has been heard from Corinth. A great battle is looked for in Kentucky. All is quiet in Northern Virginia.

Some 2500 Confederate prisoners arrived from the North last evening. They are on parole, and will doubtless be exchanged soon, as we have taken at least 40,000 more of the enemy's men than they have captured of ours.

Yesterday, Congress, which has prolonged the session until the 13th instant, passed a bill increasing the pay of soldiers four dollars per month. I hope they will increase our pay before they adjourn. Congress also, yesterday, voted down the proposition of a forced loan of one-fifth of all incomes. But the Committee of Ways and Means are instructed to bring forward another bill.

This evening Custis and I expect the arrival of my family from Raleigh, N. C. We have procured for them one pound of sugar, 80 cents; one quart of milk, 25 cents; one pound of sausage-meat, 37 cents; four loaves of bread, as large as my fist, 20 cents each; and we have a little coffee, which is selling at $2.50 per pound. In the morning, some one must go to market, else there will be short-commons. Washing is $2.50 per dozen pieces. Common soap is worth 75 cents per pound.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 164-5

Friday, July 24, 2015

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: March 8, 1864

Mrs. Preston's story. As we walked home, she told me she had just been to see a lady she had known more than twenty years before. She had met her in this wise: One of the chambermaids of the St. Charles Hotel (New Orleans) told Mrs. Preston's nurse — it was when Mary Preston was a baby — that up among the servants in the garret there was a sick lady and her children. The maid was sure she was a lady, and thought she was hiding from somebody. Mrs. Preston went up, knew the lady, had her brought down into comfortable rooms, and nursed her until she recovered from her delirium and fever. She had run away, indeed, and was hiding herself and her children from a worthless husband. Now, she has one son in a Yankee prison, one mortally wounded, and the last of them dying there under her eyes of consumption. This last had married here in Richmond, not wisely, and too soon, for he was a mere boy; his pay as a private was eleven dollars a month, and his wife's family charged him three hundred dollars a month for her board; so he had to work double tides, do odd jobs by night and by day, and it killed him by exposure to cold in this bitter climate to which his constitution was unadapted.

They had been in Vicksburg during the siege, and during the bombardment sought refuge in a cave. The roar of the cannon ceasing, they came out gladly for a breath of fresh air. At the moment when they emerged, a bomb burst there, among them, so to speak, struck the son already wounded, and smashed off the arm of a beautiful little grandchild not three years old. There was this poor little girl with her touchingly lovely face, and her arm gone. This mutilated little martyr, Mrs. Preston said, was really to her the crowning touch of the woman's affliction. Mrs. Preston put up her hand, “Her baby face haunts me.”

SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 295-6

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Diary of Salmon P. Chase: Tuesday, September 23, 1862

At breakfast this morning, I proposed to Katie to ride over to the Insane Asylum and see Genl. Hooker, to which she agreed; and she having provided a basket of grapes, peaches, etc., we went. We were very kindly received by Mrs. Nichols, who ushered us into the General's room. He was lying on a couch, but suffering no pain, he talked very freely as far as time would permit, of the recent events. He said that at Richmond, when the order came to withdraw the army, he advised McClellan to disobey, and proposed a plan for an advance on Richmond. McClellan gave him the order to advance, but, before the time for movement came, recalled it, and gave orders for evacuation. When Hooker expected to march to Richmond, therefore, he found himself, to his surprise, compelled to fall back to the Chickahominy on his way to Aquia. I said to him, “General, if my advice had been followed, you would have commanded after the retreat to James River, if not before.” He replied, “If I had commanded, Richmond would have been ours.” He then spoke of the Battle of Antietam, where he received his wound, and expressed his deep sorrow that he could not remain on the field three hours longer. “If I could have done so,” he said, “our victory would have been complete; for I had already gained enough and seen enough to make the route of the enemy sure.” After he had been carried off, he said, McClellan sent for him again to lead an advance. The General impressed me favorably as a frank, manly, brave and energetic soldier, of somewhat less breadth of intellect than I had expected, however, though not of less quickness, clearness and activity.

While we were conversing, Dr. Nichols came in and I had some talk with him in an adjoining room. He said the General's wound was as little dangerous as a foot wound could be, the ball having passed through the fleshy part just above the sole and below the instep, probably without touching a bone. I suggested the trial of Dr. Foster's balm. He made no special objection, but said the wound was doing as well as possible, without inflammation and very little matter; and he thought it unnecessary to try any experiments. I could not help concurring in this and postponed Dr. F. and his balm. — The Doctor said he first knew him when he encamped below him last year; that he became deeply interested in him; that when he heard he was wounded, he went up to Frederic, seeking him; that he missed him; but that his message reached him, and he came down to the Asylum himself. I asked, “What is your estimate of him?” — “Brave, energetic, full of life, skilful on the field, not comprehensive enough, perhaps, for plan and conduct of a great campaign; but at least equal in this respect, if not superior to any General in the service.”

Mr. Rives (of the Globe), his daughter and son-in-law came in and we took our leave; Dr Nichols having first strongly recommended to me to secure the appointment of Col. Dwight, of Mass., as a Brigadier General.

Returned home and went to Department Found Genl. Robinson, of Pittsburgh, there, and Mr. Piatt and Dr. Harkness. Got Harrington to go with P. and H. to War Department. — Mr. Welles came in, about appointment of Pease, in Wisconsin, and I asked him to write a note about it. — Attorney-General Bates called, with Mr. Gibson of St. Louis, about pecuniary aid to Gov. Gamble — both telling a very different story from Farrar and Dick. Promised to look at papers and answer tomorrow. — Stanton came in about payment of paroled soldiers at Camp Chase, which I promised to provide for. Said that he proposed to make the Department of Florida, with Thayer as Governor and Garfield as Commanding General, if I approved of Garfield. I said 1 approved heartily. Said he had insisted on removal of Buell, and leaving Thomas in command. I could not disapprove of this, though I think less highly of him than he seems to think. — He went and Barney came in. Asked him to dine. Declined, but promised to call in the evening. — Mr. Hamilton, on invitation, came to our house to stay while in town.

In the evening, many callers — Miss Schenck, Genl. and Mrs. McDowell, Genl. Garfield, and others. Young Mr. Walley came, with letters from his father, and I brought him in and introduced him to Katie and our guests.

SOURCE: Annual Report of the American Historical Association for the Year 1902, Vol. 2, p. 90-2

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Diary of Corporal Alexander G. Downing: Friday, August 5, 1864

It rained nearly all day. The troops here are receiving their pay today, some for one and others for two months. Since May 1st the Government has been paying the privates $16.00 per month, which is an increase of $3.00. But money here in Rome is of no particular benefit to a soldier, for there is nothing in town to buy, the only business men being the sutlers who are attached to the regiments in the front. All is quiet at this place.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 209

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: March 27, 1862

News came that the staff would be paid off. All went to the Fort to sign pay-rolls. Returned to dinner. Rode the Major's horse. Saw a tame buffalo. Quite a curiosity. Sergeants receive only $17 per month — a joke on their extra stripes.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 10

Sunday, March 29, 2015

John M. Forbes to Reverend Henry W. Bellows, December 22, 1861

Boston, December 22,1861.

I read your message about funds and some other parts of your letter to our committee, and we voted to send on $10,000 at once. Hope to have some more, but it would help us if you would stir up New York a little more, and have a movement going on there at the same time. We have in hand, or promised, $2000 more, especially given to your Ladies' Society. For the two we are good for $15,000 in all probability, and Roxbury $1500 more for their Ladies' Society. A strong effort might, if essential at this time, bring still more, and we are going on with our systematized levy. Possibly something of our system might help you in New York. We got a committee of about twenty business men, lawyers, ministers, and doctors, having as great a variety as possible, and with power to add to their number. I then had a list made of all who could afford to pay $25 and upwards (from tax-book) adding to it out-of-town names of known wealth; then called a meeting of committee, read off the list (alphabetically arranged), asking each member to accept promptly the duty of calling upon such persons as he is willing to — also assigning to absent members a fair proportion. We then fixed upon $200 as the maximum to be asked for, and the first week called upon all who were likely to give $200 and $100, not refusing $50 when offered. We had an address, of which I give you a copy, and provided members with slips printed from the newspapers to hand to our friends, and save talking. The large givers exhausted, we came down to $25, not refusing $10. Now we send a pleasant collector known to ball and theatre goers, to pick up smaller sums. Those who have refused the large sums may give $10 to the collector. I had doubts about asking more than $100 of any one, but it has worked well enough. It has been considerable work, and I sometimes feel as if the money could have been earned almost as easily as begged. Our committee have worked with great spirit, and now we look for the application of our earnings. I hope, whatever you do with other money and things, that you will be rigid as iron in applying ours strictly to the comfort of our soldiers, sick and well. No matter how strong appeals may be made for other good objects. One instance of deviation will check the enthusiasm of hundreds. People feel as if there was some hope of making an impression on the extra needs of the army through your organization, but if you are tempted to try to do anything for other good objects, it will seem like risking a certain good for a doubtful success. The loyal refugees, for instance, do or may form such an enormous object of charity, that if we mean to help them at all it must be done by a separate and very large organization.

Your prospect of success with the medical reform is most cheering; if you can effect it, that one act will be worth all the rest of your results.

I speak without any knowledge of persons, but it is clear that it would be the most wonderful chance ever heard of, if the oldest army doctors proved up to the mark! We are preparing an address to Congress which I think all who are asked will sign, simply because it attacks the system of seniority, and protests against its application to our 650,000 men. I will try to inclose a copy of it. A suitable medical board ought to be second in importance only to the commanding generals. One is great to destroy, the other ought to have power to save. The operations of the generals, so far as life is concerned, cover only one quarter or one fifth of the numbers which the medical board with sufficient powers ought to have an influence over. The generals cause the death of, say one quarter, but even upon this quarter killed and wounded, the skill of the surgeons must have a marked influence. When you add to this the power of preventing or palliating the diseases which carry off the other three quarters, you make a sum which ought to dwindle down to the faintest line any claims of any persons, even for meritorious services to be rewarded! How much smaller the claims of those who ask high places as a reward for longevity, and for keeping their precious bodies out of harm's way so long! The case needs only to be stated, to be decided in your favor; if you will only keep personal quarrels out of it.

N. B. — Of course, you have figured out the importance of the allotment system?l  500,000 men get per month $6,600,000 wages, of which one half, $3,300,000, is a large allowance for necessary expenses of men well clothed, and fed, and doctored by government? Whether the other half shall go to frolicking or be used to prevent pauperism of the soldiers' families, is a great question! If you have any spare time, I hope you will give some help to the perfecting and passing of the bill for securing the payment of the allotments at the expense and risk of the United States.

All hands, sanitary inspectors, chaplains, surgeons, and all decent army officers, should use their influence with the men to further the allotment.

1 The allusion is to a plan for securing from the volunteers “allotments” of their pay for the benefit of their families. A law providing for this was enacted on December 24, 1861. — Ed.

SOURCE: Sarah Forbes Hughes, Letters and Recollections of John Murray Forbes, Volume 1, p. 270-3