1863

Jan 1st   In camp at Prairie Grove once more rain at night it is New years day & now let us look forward to better success this year

2d   march to Fayetteville 15 miles roads very muddy

3d   weather fine our C. (Black) is doing well also the boys that were wounded from this Reg.

4th   the W.S.C. is caring for our boys here

5th   General review today by Gen. Schofield he tries to take our Blanket team away but is not quite smart enough still we have to carry our Knapsacks

6th   march 8 miles S.E. camp on White river.

7th   march 4 miles camp on the banks of Richland creek weather fine a little cloudy

8th   weather beautiful camp named after Gen. Rosecrans the Hero of Murfreesboro

9th   Reg. in good Health & spirits weather fair

10th   this morning we break up camp & march East 14 miles through a beautiful valley to the once beautiful but now desalate town of Huntsville Ark. Gen. Herron's (3d div'n) has left today for Carrollton East Gen. Blunt's (1st) Div'n is at Elm springs thus leaving one div'n in a place

11th   weather beautiful just cool enough for comfort this is a fine town & the County seat while here Herron shot 9 bushwhackers mostly leaders of bands

 

Jan. 12th   this is a beautiful morning the roads are good it is very mountainous [illegible] here

13th   a rainy day orders to march but they are countermanded & we lay in camp Gen. Schofield has come from Fayetteville where we left him the 6th [illegible]

14th   We are weather bound have had orders to march for two days & all the time it has rained so we cannot move

15th   last night the rain turned to snow & now that is 4 inches deep rather cool

16th   this morning it snowed & blowed but now it is warmer

17th   A very pleasant morning roads excelent but like to be very muddy soon

18th   march at 3.P.M. train ahead almost impossible to get along but we go to go 7 miles

19th   rainy day lay 7 miles north of Huntsville for the roads to get better

20th   cloudy weather roads impassable & we still lay mud bound

21st   clears off train commences to move there is a prospect of proceeding at once to Missouri where it will be easier to get rations & clothing to us for we are greatly in need of both at present Reg. good Health

 

1863

Jan. 22d   March 6 miles north teams take the wrong road & go to the War Eagle 5 miles cloudy, rain in the P.M. roads very bad

23d   weather fine teams come in & we pitch our tents on a beautiful Hillside 6 miles south of White river in Madison County Arkansas

24th   march north cross the White river over bridge erected for the occasion by the 26th Ind. strike the telegraph road at Mudtown pass through Crosshollows & camp 1/2 mile north of there we are now on the old familiar road with our faces turned Springfield marched today 16 miles

25th   march 13 miles along the telegraph road & camp on the very ground where we made our last charge at the Battle of Pearidge march 8th/62. the effects of the battle are to be seen on every side here a tree splintered by a shell in another place a score of bullets are embedded in the trunk of some giant oak it is cloudy & looks as though we might have a shower

26th   march 10 miles along the telegraph road & camp in camp Sigel last night it rained all night & the roads are very bad we are again in Missouri

 

1863

Jan. 27th   lay in camp clears off is a beautiful day roads are getting better mud is drying up we shall soon have good roads one of Blunts Brigades is at Springfield receive mail

28th   weather fine roads are getting excelent the Regiment is in excelent Health & spirits expect soon to resume our march northward or it may be we shall turn back from here

29th   break up camp at daybreak march 16 miles north along the wire road pass through Keatsville & Cassville & camp on flat Creek nearly all the Houses on this road Keatsville & Cassville included have been burned to the ground by our (miserable) Missouri troops this a beautiful creek on which we are camped & winds through a beautiful valley crossing the road nine times in twelve miles

30th   march 7 miles along the wire road and camp at what is known as the three widows 45 miles S.W. from Springfield

31st   camp named after our present com'd'g Gen. (Schofield) or as he is termed here Buell No Two for all believe he lacks the courage to risk a battle

 

1863

Feb. 1st   Weather pleasant clean up camp & prepare to live once more Reg. in excelent Health

2d   this is a beautiful day

3d   weather fine. roads good boys in good Heath & spirits

4th   this morning the snow is three inches deep & still snowing very cold O. Serg't. Merrill kills a fine Deer

5th   very cold. snow six inches deep in the woods Cap. starts for Springfield

6th   very cold this morning but this afternoon it is peasant & the snow is fast disappearing under the influence of a warm sun Lt. F. J. Abbey kills two fine deer

7th   a beautiful morning snow melting fast & the roads are becoming bad again

8th   weather warm and pleasant

9th   cloudy with some rain roads very muddy

10th   pleasant weather Uncle Jimmy on another spree & every body has to fly around it is very muddy which makes it very disagreeable dodging for him

11th   cloudy very muddy & disagreeable today

12th   still in camp Schofield cloudy, muddy & very nasty generaly our wounded arrive from Fayetteville stay over night with us & then pass on to Springfield where they can have better care some look very well some very bad

 

1863

Feb. 13th   Splendid weather roads are better

14th   last night it rained but it is a beautiful morning we march two miles into a more suitable Camp we are now encamped in a beautiful valley 40 miles S.W. of Springfield on the wire road it is St Valentines day but we are too far from civilization to procure anything worth sending to our friends

15th   beautiful weather Reg. in excelent Health. this is the Sabbath day we have no Church to attend, as we have no Chaplain. this is a beautiful camp in a magnificent valley close to a large clear spring at which we get out water

16th   this morning we have our second dress parade since leaving Ozark Nov. 16th/62 this P.M. it rains which prevents Co. drill which we must have hereafter by Order Brig. Gen. Jm's. Totten Com'd'g. Schofield being absent in Springfield

17th   Camp Bliss. cloudy some rain have drill

18th   this is a beautiful morning but it clouds up at night & rains some

19th   snows some today the days are long and lonesome we have so very little to do & not much to read at present

 

1863

Feb. 20th   Weather fine dress parade twice per day drill three times Regiment in excelent Heath

21st   rain & snow roads very muddy so bad we cannot drill today

22d   weather fair rather cool sign the Payrolls

23d   this is a beautiful morning roads are excelent

24th   beautiful weather

25th   rainy day go to Mt Vernon with a forage train a pretty town but nearly ruined by the ravages of war. the 76th Enrolled Militia are guarding the town they are a pour excuse for Soldiers

26th   leave town go down Spring river six miles load our teams & come back & stay over night again in town

27th   last night five of our men deserted taking four good Horses one mule saddles &.c. with them come back to camp Bliss weather fair roads good &.c.

28th   another rainy day in camp & another month has gone & still the Southern Confederacy seems to be in a thriving condition as ever & for all our power we lack in some one thing it must be wisdom in our leaders we have men enough now in the field to wipe out the Reb's at a single stroke why should we go groping about in the dark

 

1863

March 1st   this morning (Sabbath) we break up camp & march 15 miles northeast along the wire road Camp McCullough spring roads the worst we ever passed over weather good

2d   today after marching six miles on the telegraph road we leave it & march directly East cross James river camp in Ozark very windy roads some better than yesterday 28 miles

3d   march 12 miles East and camp at White Oak springs weather fair roads very bad

4th   March 25 miles East through Hazlewood camp on small but beautiful stream roads bad weather fair

5th   lay in camp in waiting for part of our train which could not keep up cloudy

6th   rainy day

7th   on guard at Gen. Tottens Headquarters very strict very disagreeable weather

8th   it is breaking away this morning and now I guess we will see better weather it has rained for three days & the roads are almost impassable

9th   this is a very beautiful day all Nature looks smiling & Happy go out with a forage train. travel over a very mountainous country camp at night in a beautiful valley with a magnificent creek running along its in its center roads bad

 

1863

March 10th   load up & start for camp come five miles lay over night roads very bad weather good the people are very ignorant in this part of Missouri they have beautiful farms but they are so very indolent that they look very bad

11th   this is a splendid day we come into camp the grass is springing out green & beautiful

12th   it is cloudy this morning the roads are gaining fast Camp Bloomington

13th   beautiful weather every thing looks lovely our Regimental forage train has just come in & we have orders to prepare for a march the roads are getting quite passable & I guess Uncle Jimmy can urge his horse along fast enough to keep out of our way at least I hope so for it is disagreeable to be bothered with him along the road

14th   this is a fine morning warm & clear we break up camp & march 15 miles northeast Camp in beautiful valley with a lovely stream running through it one of our team lay back four miles

15th   march (at 7.A.M.) 15 miles over gradual sloping hills through beautiful vallies over ragged bluffs & camp on Elk Creek 60 miles from Rolla weather fair roads passable

 

1863

March 16th   We have a beautiful camp five miles from the Gasconade River it is a lovely day

17th   this has been a splendid day a detachment has been clearing off camp & a parade ground we have a magnificent camp on a beautifully sloping hill covered with small trees shrubbery &.c. in front (north side) in the valley lies Elk Creek beyond is high bluffy Hills in the rear (south side) in the valley murmurs a small rivulet leaving us on a hill & still in a valley for beyond the rivulet is high Hills. Batery E. 1st Mo. Light Artilery joins us, Gen. Totten has procured two small pieces (58/100 Calibre) to go with his Body Guard Union preservers I believe he calls them but if the Union is to be preserved by them we shall be obliged to wait some time yet before peace is declared.

18th   weather fine roads are getting quite passable commence drill again the Gen. Com'd'g. (Totten) visits us quite often of late but is not quite as severe as he has been heretofore he is a splendid disciplinarian & an excelent provider that is two good traits in his character

19th   Corporal Jones of this Co. is detailed to help work the Union preservers

 

1863

March 20th   this is a beautiful day the roads are gaining

21st   drill three hours per day fine weather

22d   last night we had quite a shower but it is clearing off & is like to be a fine day after all inspection of arms today

23d   this is a fine day. men in find spirits the Regiment was never in better Health

24th   Gen. Totten leaves us today weather beautiful

25th   weather fine roads excelent

26th   our forage train comes in part of it empty forage very scarce weather fine roads good

27th   cloudy with some rain no drill today

28th   weather good forage train goes out again Col. Wickersham (of the 10th Ill. Cav.) is in command of our division a very fine appearing man we have a large Garrison flag up on our parade ground men in good Health & spirits & under excelent dicipline & pretty well drilled what there is left of us.

29th   a cold windy day no drill this afternoon forage train goes out & comes back well loaded Commissioned Officers mail comes Ladies smoke & chew tobacco about here

30th   weather beautiful roads in good condition

31st   very windy day inspection of arms by Major Payne, Com'd'g. Reg. at present [illegible] another month has passed

 

1863

Apr. 1st   clear windy day last eve Col. Black came back to us exchange our team for a six mule team

2d   the weather continues clear & windy roads good

3d   Cav. march at 7.A.M. Inft. at 8.A.M. cross the Gasconade river & proceed N.E. 14 miles camp on the Rubudue Creek it is a beautiful day for marching just cool enough for comfort.

4th   march N.E. 14 miles to the banks of the big Piney camp on the left bank & build a bridge to cross in the morning roads excelent weather beautiful men in good Health & fine spirits

5th   break up camp at 7.A.M. Cross the big Piney & march N.E. 12 miles camp on Spring creek roads excelent weather fair not much water on the road today for the last three days we have followed the ridges most of the time we have a good kindhearted leader (Col. Mc E. Dye of the 20 Iowa) & we have had an easy march this time we expect to over take the Cav. & Artilery on the little Piney tomorrow night

6th   march twelve miles & camp on the little Piney find the Cav. & Artilery here weather fair we are now ten miles south of Rolla

7th   weather fair roads excelent mail comes in once in two days Reg. in good Health

8th   Grand review by Major Gen. Herron who has now assumed the command of the army of the Frontier Brig. Gen. Van Dever assumes the command of the 2d Div'n both were formerly of the 8th Iowa Inft.

 

1863

Apr. 9th   this is a beautiful day the roads are in excelent condition trains arrive daily with clothing Rations forage &c. from Rolla.

10th   beautiful morning clouds up at night

11th   rained some last night but has cleared off now & is likely to be a pleasant day

12th   pleasant day men receive furloughs for thirty days

13th   weather fair roads continue good

14th   it rained most of the time last night & is still raining Health of the Reg. good.

15th   beautiful day, Serg't G. H. Merrill starts for

16th   Home on furlough, windy day

17th   a clear beautify day Boys in excelent Health & spirits Col. Black assumes command of the Reg. Major Payne to do the field duty for the present until Col. Blacks arm is well

18th   pleasant weather

19th   Sabbath no drill company inspection of arms

20th   today we have had our first Battalion drill in this camp (Totten) & the first under Col. Black since he was wounded (Prairie Grove Dec. 7th/62) he is now Col. of the Reg. thus far our Div'n commander is well liked

21st   all the available cavalry & one batery have gone on a scout under Gen Van Dever taking fifteen days rations with them weather fair roads in favorable condition men healthy

22d   weather fair

 

1863

Apr. 23d   this afternoon we have to march leaving everything except what we can carry on our back in our knapsacks therefore my dear old journal (over which I have passed many a lonely hour) you & I like all friends in this weary world must part not knowing whether either may survive the ravages of war I bid you a sorrowful adieu

Eve_ here is a mistake instead of marching south as we expected to we march north 10 miles to Rolla camp just north of town for the night

24th   Embark on board the cars & run to St Louis (110 miles) arrive at 7.P.M. & march to the south side of the Arsenal 3 miles where we bivouac for the night beside the Arsenal wall

25th   march one mile south to Fort No 1 & lay there until afternoon when we march back to the Arsenal our tents are brought to us we pitch them & get ready to live once more. This morning (at the fort) the 37th Iowa (Greybeard Regiment) cooked & brought us coffee (in barrels) boiled Hams & bakers bread enough for our breakfast it was a kind act of them & deserves all praise at 10.P.M. we receive orders to march in thirty minutes things are packed in a trice & off we go for the arsenal levee Companies A. & B. embark almost immediately and are of the transport that is to take us has to take on coal from a coal Barge which lies here & there & delays us a long time

 

1863

Apr. 26th   Embark at 3.A.M. on board the transport Francis Ficher & start down the river arrive at Cape Girardeau at 2.P.M. just as the skirmish there is ending we take our position on the right & lay there until midnight waiting for the Rebs to renew the conflict but they donot come they have withdrew

27th   soon after midnight marched to Fort C. (near the centre of the line) where we lay until about 3.P.M. when we march (without arms[)] to the levee load our tents messboxes &.c. come back & while we are pitching our tents it commences to rain still we are quite comfortable as we have our tents to shelter us & our blankets to keep us warm

28th   rained most of the night but it has cleared off this morning & is quite pleasant at one P.M. move out of the fort & pitch our tents nearer the river the Cav. & part of the Artilery have gone in pursuit of Marmaduke we receive orders to march with three days rations in our haversacks no tents one blanket at 7.P.M. we take a macadamized road toward Bloomfield S.W. march until midnight over good roads when we lay down

29th   march at two A.M. pass through a very bad swamp until 10.P.M. (40 miles) when

 

1863

Apr. 29th   We bivouac for the night during the day we have crossed white river

30th   march 11 miles into Bloomfield cross the Gascon on a bridge built by the 32d Iowa (a splendid Reg't.) here we join the main force (Van Devers cavalry scout) 5,000 Cav. 22 pieces of Artilery & about 600 Inft. under command of Brig Gen Vandever Brig. Gen. McNeil 2d in command Col Black (ours) com'd'g our Brigade here the Secesh had made great preparations to receive us in style but before we came came up they run as usual and we take peacable possession of the place & lay here over night the town has been a beautiful one but it has been ransacked by the Reb's, & strange as it may seem the people are rebel sympathisers still the Officers of the Rebel Army have allowed their men to pillage this town they have even taken the dresses bedquilts & pillows from the Ladies and in some instances they have taken the victuals from the houses so that the people have to go hungry it is hard telling what they are to do until grain can grow well another month has gone into eternity & we are here 50 miles into the swamp & like to go farther before we go back there is a little chance yet of getting a fight out of them yet at St Francis river

 

1863

May 1st   The Cavalry are reconnoitering ahead we march at 8.A.M. road bad march 32 miles & bivouac for the night

2d   march 8 miles to the St Francis River near which we begin to come up with the cavalry line after line of cav. & artilery are thrown accross the road all these we pass & march to the front a spirited skirmish of about 30 minutes lost one 1st Lt killed one Serg't & one Corp. several wounded the secesh take to their heels & as they have destroyed all means of crossing & the river being deep & swift all we can do is turn back which we do & march 12 miles rations is becoming scarce & it stands us in hand to travel

3d   march 28 miles & bivouac in Bloomfield out of rations get a little pickled pork of the 32d Iowa who has guarded this place while we were out the roads are very bad rain

4th   bury our Lt this morning & then march 14 miles rainy afternoon roads bad have fresh beef only for tonight

5th   march 20 miles over very wet swampy roads ran start of the day

6th   march 16 miles & arrive at the Cape glad to get Home once more find all things right it has rained every day since we left here 8 days ago we have marched 180 miles & have driven Marmaduke once more from Mo. it is considered the hardest scout the 37th ever made such Horrible roads so little

 

1863

May 6th   to eat, so much rain together with marching night & day made it pretty hard but I donot see[?] but[?] we stand it pretty well after all

7th   Arainy day but being in camp we donot mind it much this is a splended little town the inhabitants are mostly Germans

8th   this is a beautiful day the first one for a long time P.M. after writing the above we have orders to march pack up & march to the Levee Embark on board the transport J. C. Swan for St Louis

9th   a beautiful morning arrive at 12.M & march to Camp Gamble (3 miles) have inspection pitch our tents &.c.

10th   pleasant day this is indeed a beautiful camp no wonder the Secesh chose this for their camp of instruction two years ago

11th   this has been a magnificent day this morning at 10 Oclock we marched to Washington Avenue where the procession was formed for the celebration of the taking of Camp Jackson (now Camp Gamble) two years ago today here we received Major Gen. Curtiss as he passed our Reg. he took off his hat & bowed (a thing he didnot do to any other) as he recognized the old 37th who followed him to victory at Pearidge he is deserving more praise than he receives by far then we marched down Washington Avenue to 6th street followed that to Olive St up Olive St to Camp Jackson where the celebration was conducted in peace & Harmony

 

1863

May 11th   I may safely say there was more Shoulder straps here than the Army of the Frontier could ever boast of but the City is much pleasanter than the field where a soldiers life is real not fancy parades & Sham Battles toward night a few drunken Home Guards have a quarrel among themselves

12th   weather fair

13th   This has been a beautiful day. I have visited the Wesleyan Cemetery it has once been a beautiful yard but for want of care (like everything in Mo.) it is sadly dilapidated still there is some magnificent Edifices left untouched by the hand of decay[?] as yet the flowers are in full bloom nearly one half has been used as a burying place for Soldiers they are burried in rows a short board at the head of each grave with the initials of the soldiers name & his No then a Register is kept by the Sexton bearing each Soldiers description all for the benefit of his friends it is a sad sight to see so many young men pass off but it is the will of an alwise & almerciful Creator who knows what is for the best & we have no right to complain they are at rest gone from a world of sin & sorrow gone to a last long rest gone to that bourne from which no traveler returns

 

1863

14th   this is a beautiful morning break up camp at 6.A.M. march four miles to the Iron Mountain R.R. Embark at 9.A.M. run to Pilot Knob disembark march one mile bivouac for the night today we have passed over some very rough country & through some beautiful little towns Desoto among the rest with a beautiful though small Church the people along the R.R. seem to be intensely Loyal flags were flying at almost every House

15th   this is a fine day we move into a suitable camp draw shelter tents turn over our others we have pontoons here for quite a long bridge & now we are prepared for an active Campaign in Dixey & expect soon to have one every thing goes to show for it

16th   today I have been over the mountain to Ironton it is a pretty little town beautiful day roads are excelent the country around here is very Hilly

17th   fair day draw soft bread have Regimental inspection

18th   it is a beautiful day all Nature looks smiling & gay the summer is upon us in all its beauty, the Spring is fast going, but we gladly exchange it for beautiful summer with all its shady bowers & handsome flowers Excelent fruits &.c.

 

1863

May 18th   Oh, sweet, indeed, the jentle spring,
When the Earth is robed in flowers;
And beautiful, the summer day,
With all its leafy bowers.

Evening_ this afternoon Serg't. Sands & I have been to what is called the Knob it is a picturesque place, from the top one can look round upon the Hills below for miles around then the Iron works it is quite a sight to see them lower the car-loads at lightning speed by means of pulleys

19th   "Camp Illinois" this is a beautiful morning

20th   the weather is fair our Camp is cleared off so it looks quite decent our (2d) Div'n is all here now except one Batery, the 3d Div'n Brig. Gen. Orme (formerly of the 94th Ill.) Com'd'g. is still at Rolla where we left them the 24th of April Gen. Van Dever has his family here & seems to be making preparations to stay some time

21st   Changed "Camp Herron" weather fair Reg in good Health

22d   this morning Srg't Sands & Tripp start Home on furlough weather fine

23rd   weather fair

24th   weather beautiful roads Excelent rather dusty

25th   still it is fine weather lay in Camp Herron drill twice per day dress parade once per day

 

1863

May 26th   this is a splendid day roads are in Exelent condition

27th   weather fair Health of the Regiment Excelent

28th   a beautiful day

29th   rain part of the day, go to Ironton & the Knob Geo. Kennicott has been our 2d Lt three weeks 1st Serg't Wm B. O. Sands 2d A. J. Higgison 3d G. I. Tripp 4th T. J. Stow 5th D. H. Jones Serg't Geo. H. Merrill has been promoted to 2d Lt of Co. H. of this Reg.

30th   rainy disagreeable day Lt Geo. H. Merrill is detailed as A.S.P.M. of this Div'n 2d Army of the Frontier the 24th Mo. Inf't & the 34th Iowa Inf't. have been attached to this division Gen Van Dever is here & in command Gen. Herron in command of this Army of the Frontier but is now Home (Pitsburgh P.a.) to bury his Father who has suddenly died Gen. Orme is temporarily in command in the absence of the Com'dg. General for the past two weeks we have had beautiful weather until yesterday now it is rainy & the roads are muddy & slippery

31st   very heavy rain last night but this morning it has cleared off & is now a beautiful day Spring has surly left us & now comes summer with its rich Warmth[?] & its beautiful flowers [illegible] &.c.

 

1863

June 1st   a pleasant summer day with occasional showers Health of the Reg. excelent

2d   it rained nearly all night & part of today our tents are not much protection from the storm but then they are better than no tent

3d   this has been a beautify day we have marched 20 miles east [of] the Knob roads passable but rather muddy to day we have crossed the St Francis River passed through Farmington a beautiful little town 18 miles east of Pilot Knob. This is the best part of Mo. we have ever been through it is generaly well cultivated & almost every farm has a vineyard & some of them beautiful ones the people seem to be mostly Germans

4th   march 22 miles pass through valley forge & cross many little creeks & camp in a beautiful valley for the night roads good

5th   march 7 miles to the Mississippi River (St Geneveve) & embark at 10.A.M. on board the transport Hannibal lay until afternoon when they run accross the river take on wood & lay over night eat supper in Illinois

6th   this is a beautiful morning on the Mississippi we start down the river pass Cape Girardeau run to Cairo lay over night

7th   start at daybreak down the river pass Columbus Island No 10 New Madrid & land at Point Pleasant clean the boat reembark run 20 miles lay over on the Tenn. farm for the night

 

1863

June 8th   proceed again down the river at daybreak land at Memphis two hours this is a beautiful city & is kept in good order I should judge by appearances that the Comdg. Gen (Hurlbut) was doing his duty well run about 40 miles below Memphis & lay up for the night on the Tenn. shore

9th   start at daybreak run to Helena land to clean the boat this is a filthy little town or Huddle it should be called a large scout has gone from here today in search of Marmaduke leave Helena run about 5 miles & lay up for the night

10th   during the night the 3d Div'n have joined us & now there is ten transports in the fleet. all our Cav. was left in Mo. & one Batery (L 1st Mo) with them at New Madrid we exchanged the 24th Mo. for the 38th Iowa (850 strong) they are the largest Reg. in the two divisions but they have neither marched or fought yet

11th   start at 3.A.M. run to the mouth of the Yazoo up that to Chickasaw landing lay an hour return & proceed down the river to Youngs Point land just above the Mortar fleet on the L.a. bank lay over night in plain sight of the City. the mortar & gun boats (below town) are at work all night

12th   march 3 miles accross the little neck of land & now we lay below town but still in plain sight still both fleets keep constant firing in to the works about town

 

1863

June 13th   this is a lonely morning rather too warm for Comfort it is true there was sharp fighting on the Centre yesterday afternoon with what results I know not there is heavy canonading in that direction this morning we cross the river on some old shattered transport that has run the Blockade and march up the river three miles camp for the night on the side of a sand Hill

14th   weather beautiful but very warm march three miles & take position on the extreme left next to the river shelling & sharpshooting is constantly going on in our front (Rear of Vicksburg)

15th   it is a beautiful day we are now the 1st Reg. (Col. Chas. Black com'd'g.) of the 1st Brigade (Col McE Dye comdg Brigade) of Van Devers Div'n of Herrons Command two cos. from Each Reg. advanced as Piqiuets (called sharpshooters here) our Major (Payne) is detailed as Project Officer for Herrons Corps. Blackberries & Plumbs are ripe & plenty.

16th   called out at daybreak to support our Piquets while they ocupy the Rebel rifle Pits a pretty sharp time but they take the works now our sharpshooters can easily pick off the rebel gunners in the outside forts weather fair very warm

 

1863

June 17th   still the seige continues with unabated fury O, they must have the Horrors in there, the shell & shot flying about their ears continualy & on short Rations at that I am sure if I had to pass through what they do I should want a full stomach to steady my nerves. I go to the 85th Ill. (7 miles to the right of us) see very many schoolmates & acquaintances. they are closer to the Reb's than we are

18th   come back to camp go to the 38th Iowa find a cousin (Orson Morse Co. K.) that I have not seen for a long time. the seige continues our lines steadily & they must give up soon or be driven into the Heart of the City.

19th   weather fair and war roads very dusty seige still continues nothing of importance occurs

20th   had a sharp artilery duel this morning the Reg. is called out to support the Bateries but donot get a shot at the Reb's. the seige continues as heretofore a few are wounded & some killed each day

21st   a light shower this morning. very warm Health of the Reg. continues Excelent

22nd   last night our Piquets had quite a skirmish but lost nothing by it this morning we go out to support our sharpshooters while they advance our lines it is handsomely done with but little loss on our side it is a beautiful day.

 

1863

23d   last night our sharpshooters took possession of the Rebel rifle Pits with but little opposition & now our lines lay very close together it is a beautiful day we are all ready with two days Rations in our Haversacks to leave here for no one knows where or if they do they will not tell

24th   all was quiet last night except an occasional gun it rained just Enough to lay the dust this is a beautiful day quite cool after the showers it is unusualy quiet today the Reb's donot deign to reply to our guns at all

25th   last night the Reb's would not answer to our guns at all fine day go after Blackberries have a pleasant time Eating berries come back & find no Reg. it had gone to the front to support the Bateries while they shell the Rebel works they are not answered, therefore we return to Camp at 10.P.M. a heavy artilery duel commences which lasts about 10 minutes when the Reb's cease firing we go to the front but as there is nothing to be done we return & turn in for the night but Expect soon to be called out all however remains quiet until morning prisoners are taken almost every day & some deserters come in almost Every night very warm today

 

1863

June 26th   fine morning all is unusualy quiet this morning this afternoon Orderly Sergeant Sands & I go to the front to see the Boys fire at the Reb's. our Rifle Pits are just close Enough to their front so I can fire in with my old five shooter with the 100 y.d. sight raised it has been a very warm afternoon

27th   last night all was quiet Except artilery it looked very much like rain this morning but has cleared off & is a beautiful day

28th   weather is very beautiful the seige continues but not quite so fierce as heretofore last night all was quiet the beseiged seem loath to part with their amunition & the beseigers seem willing to let them keep it for we are satisfied that the want of food is more than the want of amunition with them deserters continue to come in very warm this P.M.

29th   it is beautiful weather last night all was quiet today scarcely a gun can be heard up to this time M

30th   this last day of June is a beautiful day all seems unusualy quiet, still the seige continues & will most likely until the Stars & Stripes float in all their magnificence over Vicksburg the stronghold of the Reb's we have U.S. Grant at our head a man that never tires & with him at our head we know that Vicksburg is ours

 

1863

1st   last night it rained a thing we very much needed to preserve the Health of the troops all is quiet up to this time 6.A.M. later at 8.A.M. a fierce cannonading commences & is kept up for about two hours then all is quiet as before

2d   beautiful weather all is quiet go the 95 Ill. visiting have a pleasant visit come back in the Evening

3d   splendid morning all are preparing for a grand charge on the Rebel works on the morrow (Ever Glorious 4th of July) new Bateries are being planted nearer their works & all is being done that is possible to insure our success ten A.M. all is quiet not a gun is to be heard an armistice has been agreed upon at 3.P.M. the two Com'd'g. Gens (Grant & Pemberton) are to meet we all go half way & meet the Rebs & have a chat they look rough Enough still they will own nothing but without doubt they must give up soon on account of food

4th   the Ever Glorious fourth has dawned but what do we hear the heavy boom of cannon the fierce rattle of musketry the shouts of charging Legions; O, no it is the shout of victory it is the booming of cannon in honor of the Great Victory acheived

 

July 4th   by U.S. Grant the Pet of the Army of the Tennessee a man that prepares to do a thing before he does it or commences & then goes unfalteringly forward never once halting until his end is is accomplished this is indeed a glorious day to the Arms of the U.S.

5th   we are now camped inside the Rebel works the prisoners are still inside of us Gen. Grant with his untiring zeal left with all the available forces for the Big Black to try & take in Joe Johnston if possible if not to drive him off. he just waited long enough to fulfil his promise (of eating supper in Vicksburg the 4th of July) then he started off post haste

6th   weather fair 1.300 prisoners come in from the big black

7th   weather good this has indeed been a Glorious victory such a vast amount of amunition arms artilery (Heavy & light) together with prisoners & the position have gained. now let the Iron Hearted Gen. with his New England Herves[Nerves] take Port Hudson & the great River is opened & we are free to traverse it whole length

8th   nothing as yet from Gen. Grant weather fair

9th   weather fair prisoners are being paroled Health of the Reg. begins to fail & what the Reb's have failed to do that I fear desease will do for us but let it be so it is better thus than to have our Glorious Union severed

 

1863

10th   We have good news from the Army of the Potomac also from Helene the weather is beautiful but so warm one can scarcely imagine the lassitude & disinclination that creeps over a man in these sultry climes it needs more than common Energy to induce one to Exercise Enough to in sure good Health this afternoon go to the 95th Ill. & 14th Wis'n. have an Excelent visit

11th   this morning come back through the City to the camp find the Reg. ready to march Embark on board the Satan Expect to go to Port Hudson but Just as we are ready to go a boat comes with news that Port Hudson has surrendered therefore we have no business there we lay over night ten men from our Co. is left are left sick it is hard to leave our Comerades but such is the fortunes of war & what right have we to murmur C. A. Anderson is among the sick

12th   On board the transport Satan off Vicksburg Miss. it is a beautiful morning our Artilery are Embarking & again there is a prospect of going but this time it seems to be up the river Evening_ we have passed Chickasaw landing & Haines bluff & are now far on our way up the Yazoo river we have left behind a beautiful City (Vicksburg) but it is well garrisoned beside we are going toward the Enemy from it we are now laying up for the night Expecting to Enter Yazoo City tomorrow

 

1863

July 13th   our little army has been reorganized & is now only one Division Major Gen. Herron comd'g our (1st) Brigade is composed of the 20th 34th & 38th Iowa 26 Ind & 37th Ill Inft Bateries E. & F. 1st Mo. Light Artilery Brig Gen Van Dever comdg. Brigade the 2d Brigade is composed of the 18th Iowa 20th Wis'n & 94th Ill. Inft & Batery B. 1st Mo. Light Artilery Brig. Gen. Orme com'dg. Brigade we proceed at daybreak at one oclock P.M. we lay two miles below Yazoo City (one Hundred miles up the river) here our Reg. lands Companies K. & I. (ours) were thrown out as skirmishers & our Reg. advanced toward the town about one mile when the Reb's open on our Gunboats (which are oposite us) with a single gun we are ordered to halt lay in a cornfield & roast corn until nearly night when we are ordered back the Reg. to the boat us two co's. down the River on Piquet the boats move back one mile we pass along down the bank to the bayou & commence crossing about one half cross (on flood wood) when it becomes so dark we cannot see to cross thus leaving part of our guard on Each side of the bayou in a bad position but we do the best we can which proved to be well enough about 8.P.M. the boats advance again the best one (Dekalb) of 13 guns & our canonade is blown up by a torpedo then the Inft land & charge

 

July 13th   into town take 250 prisoners 6 peises of artilery one transport (obliging them to burn their splendid steamers) we also took quite a No of Horses mules wagons cotton &.C. &C we have good news from the East especially from the Army of the Potomac

14th   come aboard this morning the Reg. lay in town they are busy at the DeKalb raising her guns her works are old therefore it is not so much of a loss after all this had been a flourishing town and is the beautifulest one I have ever seen in Secesia the Reg. came aboard this Eve. weather fair but very warm there is plenty of Peaches Pears Apples Figs Blackberries Mellons &.C. here

15th   this is a beautiful morning we are on shore for the boat to be cleaned they are preparing to take on the Artilery which was captured here about 20 of our Co. is sick & the remainder is not very well the water is so very poor

16th   weather fair orders to march at 12.M. light marching orders five days rations in our Haversacks march six miles bivouac for the night in a beautiful grove

17th   march at daybreak there is 7 Reg'ts (about 1.500 men) & four peices of artilery (from Batery F.) we march S.E. through Benton & on toward Canton (on the R.R.) about 11.A.M. we hear canonading ahead & we hurry forward at a rapid pace

 

July 17th   for an hour when the firing ceases & we lay down for a couple of hours then march to the big black Col. Bussey's Cav Brigade has ocupied Canton (8 miles in advance of us) & we have no business there we biovuac for the Night in line of Battle the shape of a half moon the flank resting near the river which we have just crossed

18th   turn our faces toward Yazoo City at 3.P.M. march 10 miles & biovuac for the night in a fine little grove, water scarse

19th   march Early arrive (15 miles) at Yazoo City at 1.P.M. roads very bad on account of dust weather fair but very warm

20th   weather fair busy raising the guns of the DeKalb & loading cotton

21st   run down the river to Vicksburg lay on the boats over night

22d   disembark & march to our old camp find the boys (that we left) on the gain except one now (7.P.M.) we expect to take the boat again tonight

23d   didn't leave last night but expect to go tomorrow

24th   Embark on board the transport N.W. Thomas run down the river as far as Warrenton & lay up for the night only leave one sick man behind but we have many aboard weather fair

 

1863

July 25th   the 91st Ill. Inf't is attached to Gen Orme's (2d) Brigade we start down the river at day break run to Port Hudson arrive in the night

26th   On board the transport N.W. Thomas Off Port Hudson L.a. we now lay off the work that the Noble Gen. Banks has been battering down it is now occupied by what is called the New England Div'n & three Reg'ts of western boys cleaning boat & drawing rations this morning Gen's. Herron & Van Dever start start for New Orleans

27th   we lay here awaiting orders from below us we are now in Gen. Bank's Department weather fine

28th   still waiting it is a beautiful day but too warm for comfort

29th   weather continues beautiful still waiting for the Gen. to come back or send us orders what to do.

30th   Herron has returned & we have orders to march at 4.P.M. Eve_ we did not march today but expect to go in the morning.

31st   march one mile into camp this morning it is a beautiful day I think the Health of the Reg. is improving, another month has passed & it has been a month of victory to us on Every hand the Reb's are fleeing before our victorious armies

 

1863

Aug. 1st   this is a beautiful day the Health of the Reg. seems to be improving fast now. O, how I hope this may be as successful a month to our Arms as the past month has been then we may look for Peace joyous Peace

2d   beautiful day but so very warm it almost suffocates one

3d   the weather continues good roads very dusty it is so dry it has been so long since we had a good soaking shower to lay the dust very warm

4th   weather fine go 18 miles into the country with a forage train plenty of melons & corn not much of any thing else load with corn and biovuac for the night

5th   beautiful morning, drive back into Camp Reg't have moved into a more suitable Camp & now we fix up a little sick boys have come up from the boat & are now gaining very fast

6th   this is a beautiful day have to draw our water from the Mississippi River (one mile) there is plenty of spring water about here but it seems to be unfit for use therefore the medical director has ordered that we use river water

7th   a light shower just enough to purify the air & make it quite healthy here for all it is so far south

8th   this is a splendid morning quite cool after yesterday's shower our sick are gaining fast many of them have already returned to duty Expect to move one mile tomorrow

 

1863

Aug. 9th   beautiful day move Camp one mile farther back from the river roads very dusty

10th   this is a splendid day just cool Enough for comfort that is Secession Comfort the Health of the troops is steadily improving

11th   weather fair but very warm

12th   occasional showers just Enough to cool the air & make the dust lay still

13th   this is a beautiful morning our baggage is being drawn to the Levee where we Expect to Embark for .______. Eve_ On board the transport Argo we are nearly ready to leave down the river we Expect

14th   it is a splendid morning on the Mississippi River we have run all night passed Baton Rouge & lay up for breakfast on the St James Plantation stay one hour & again we are going down the river run to Carlton lay up an hour run down & land 3 1/2 miles above New Orleans move back 1/2 mile & camp

15th   it is fine weather we have a beautiful Camp under the shade of some large Live Oaks our sick are recovering very fast vegetables are very plenty here peddlars are swarming the camp like swarms of bees

16th   this is a very beautiful day all nature looks lovely & calm as though nought was disturbing the serenity of this mighty Nation as though no blood was being shed upon its sacred soil

 

1863

Aug. 17th   this is a beautiful day the remainder of our Brigade came down the river also part of another div'n plenty of peddlars come into camp mostly French and German one of Co. G died today the sick are gaining fast & I am in hopes the Reg. will be healthier here so near the sea with plenty of vegetables

18th   rainy morning but looks as though we might have a fine day yet, two years ago today I Enlisted then the opinion was the war would End in six months two years of toil & pain two years of blood & slaughter have passed & alas for Human calculations it is not at all likely the war will End within six months "Man proposes, God disposes"

19th   occasional showers just Enough to cool the air

20th   this is a beautiful day our sick are gaining fast as a general thing some few have died but most of them will soon be well

21st   weather fair grand review by Major Gen. Banks at 10 A.M. review does not take place today

22d   the grand review comes off today it is beautiful weather vegetables of almost Every kind is continualy coming into camp but we Expect soon to be far away from here as grand review is always the forerunner of a campaign with us or at least it always has been for two years & I guess it will not fail us this time

23d   this is a beautiful sabbath morning but we have no church to attend another of our men died last night but none from our Co as yet

 

1863

Aug. 24th   the weather is fair but very warm more men are taken sick

25th   this has been a lovely day I have been to the city & well may New Orleans be called the queen City of the south it is kept so clean it has no such magnificent buildings as some Northern Cities has still they look very pretty, the most magnificent structure is in the city is the Monument of Jackson his motto "The Union must & shall be preserved" is Engraved in large letters under him, & then such a beautiful yard so many pretty flowers & so many diferent kinds of shrubbery

26th   it is cloudy this morning & looks as though we might have a shower clears off toward noon

27th   this has been a beautiful day three men from the Reg. have died today

28th   the weather is fair two more of our Reg. died last night Heath of the Reg. on the decline

29th   it is beautiful weather her at present Health of the Reg. seems to be improving,

30th   fine morning yesterday we had grand review by Gen. Banks com'd'g. this department (of the Gulf)

31st   this is a beautiful day orders to march leaving knapsacks tents &.c. behind light marching order muster by Col. Black another month good news from Charleston today

 

1863

Sept. 1st   this is a beautiful day Heath of the Reg. seems to be improving slightly more troops come almost every day until an immense army is collecting at this place

2d   weather fair

3d   beautiful weather Health of the Reg. steadily improving none have died for four days none have died from this company since the Battle of Prairie Grove December 4th /62

4th   weather beautiful Grand review by Major Gen. Grant

5th   fine day Embark on board the transport D. G. Taylor at 8.A.M. start up the river at 1.P.M. run all night passing Baton Rouge during the night

6th   arrive at Port Hudson at 9.A.M. plenty of aligators here, take on wood & run up the river twenty miles tie up on the west bank for the night

7th   three Reg'ts from the 2d Brigade march out at sunrise under command of Col. Day (Col. 91st Ill.) they march 12 miles & have a skirmish fall back & wait for reinforcements

8th   our Brigade march to the front this morning & for the first time I am left behind being unable to march they go 13 miles & lay on the bank of a steep Bayou the Rebs oposite making it impossible to cross without Pontoons which we have now[?] at hand it is a very warm day thus making it very hard marching through the dust which is very deep, very thinly settled through these parts

 

1863

9th   this is a beautiful day our Brigade also the 2d Brigade is coming in (13 miles) they have had no fight to amount to anything Piquet has been shot

10th   Off Morganza L.a. the weather is beautiful but very warm- a scout goes out for Beef to gather information &.C. get plenty of beef we run 10 miles up the river & land with wood come back at night

11th   weather fair, Health of the Reg. good what there [is] of us here,

12th   this morning the 26th Ind. & 19th Iowa under command of Lt Col. Leak (of the 20th Iowa) run up the river 6 miles land & march six miles into the country the Cav. & one section of Artilery go with them they take their position as an outpost

13th   fair weather no news from the outpost

14th   one Packet comes up one down but no mail on Either, our sick are on the upward Bound boat four from our company going Home on furlough our 13th Corps has left New Orleans for Texas by land

15th   the Ben Franklin goes up the river

16th   our outposts have a little brush with the reb's but without any advantage on Either side

17th   some of the 26th come in today but bring no news from the front of importance

 

1863

Sept. 18th   No 8 (Missqueto) comes down from the mouth of Red river & goes down the river

19th   nothing of importance occurs

20th   weather fair run up the river 6 miles land & take our position beside the levee in the town of Morganza Coupee Parish L.a.

21st   weather fine no signs of our Camp Equipage coming to us no news of importance from outpost

22d   this is a lovely day so cool & comfortable that is for this place

23d   weather fair no news from the outpost Health of the Reg. Excelent

24th   on Piquet two miles up the river great Nos of people come in to see the Gen. (Herron)

25th   weather fair the people here are mostly French & Irish

26th   weather fair looking for a new Division Commander Major Gen. Herron is to leave us no one knows (or if they do they will not tell) where he is going to

27th   weather beautiful nothing of importance from the front occasionaly a skirmish but without any advantage being gained by Either side the Rebel Piquets stand this side [of] the Bayou but their camp is the other where they seem to be strongly post & in quite large numbers under Gen. Green Major Gen. Dana is in command

 

1863

Sept. 28th   morning fair rain at night no news

29th   last night the Reb's crossed & surrounded the outpost & took them after a short but desperate struggle a few Escaped by instant flight the cavalry not being in the same camp Escaped & came into camp our loss in killed was 13 wounded 27 the Reb's burried 27 in one grave or ditch leaving them only partly covered it looks very cruel to leave them thus after they have fought & died on the Battlefield ours were brought into camp the 37th (ours) was called to the rescue but was too late & returned the secesh having retreated accross the Bayou as quietly as they came taking the two Regiments & one section of Batery E. 1st Misouri Light Artilery it has rained all day & there is no signs of clearing off very soon the mud is very deep & the stickiest I ever saw, men from the 26th and 19th keep coming in from the woods until there is quite a squad of them they were Noble Regiments but under a very incompetent commander & so every body thought & thought it very strange that Vandever should want[?] him in com'd

30th   still it keeps raining as though it would never clear off

 

1863

Oct. 1st   very muddy & rainy march 3 miles lay through the day while Col. Black goes forward with the cavalry to reconnoitre he is in command in front Cap. Kennicott is in command of the Reg. at night we march back one mile & lay in a Cotton Gin over night

2d   march one mile to our old stand while Col. Black again goes forward at night march back to the Cotton Gin again a slight skirmish between the Rebel Piqiuets & our cavalry under Col. Black he fires upon them he is a brave Officer

3d   go out one mile again this morning it is a beautiful day come back at night two miles & lay in an open field one mile from the river

4th   march two miles to our old stand there is plenty of sweet potatoes here & we have fine times it is a beautiful day come back at night

5th   lay still today weather fair

6th   march one mile along the road turn & go south two miles & lay over on a fine plantation until Evening when we march two miles back to the road & three miles along it then lay still until morning one section of artilery comes to us & things begin to look as though we might make an advance in the morning we are now one mile from where those two Regiments were taken in the 28th of Sept.

 

1863

Oct. 7th   march a[t] daybreak it rains in the forenoon making it very bad marching we go 8 miles to the Bayou shell accross it a little it is not returned, receive inteligence that the Rebs have gone to Simsport we return 12 miles & lay over one mile from the river

8th   this is a beautiful day lay still

9th   march into camp & are very highly complimented by Gen. Dana for our rapid marches & the style in which we done outpost duty, the Artilery are embarking & we expect soon to leave

10th   Embark at 6.A.M. & start down the river it is a beautiful day we pass Port Hudson about ten A.M.

11th   splendid morning land at 9.A.M. & march nearly one mile & ocupy a camp near our old one (when we were here in August) I obtain leave of absence & go to see our sick in the Convalescent Camp near Carlton, L.a.

12th   weather fair in the morning rain at night very hard preparations are rapidly going forward to reorganize & refit the division for active field service we have a new chaplain come to us

13th   weather fair went to the Convalescent Camp Boys doing well generally Company, Battalion drill & dressparade our new General takes well so far but we cannot tell much about him yet

 

1863

Oct. 14th   beautiful day just cool Enough for comfort no news of importance

15th   the weather is beautiful we are drawing clothing today Every thing but Jackets the very thing we need most

16th   weather fair orders to march a[t] one hours notice no news of importance

17th   weather fair donot go as we Expected to draw artilery Jackets & other clothing we have also drawn Shelter tents again which we turned over when we started up the river,

18th   weather fair go to the Convalescent Camp find the Boys improving fast some are about to go "Home" some about to come to the Reg. the remainder Expect to go to New Orleans to stay for medical treatment the Heath of the Reg. is improving generaly

19th   this has been a beautiful day Morton & I have been to the city & out to Lake Ponchairtrain also to the Picayune Cotton Press to see the "C.D.A." Commission's from this Reg. they are a gay set of Officers, the lake where we came to it (Milneburg) is a mere mud Hole the town looks as though it was built in the days of Washington & Jackson one is in danger of falling through the side walks into the lake a steamer was just in from Ship Island when we were there

20th   beautiful day drill twice Company & Battallion bad news from Blunt

 

1863

Oct 21st   weather fair no signs of moving as yet news is very drill two drills one dressparade per day

22d   this is a beautiful morning three Eastern Regiments embarked last night they Expect to proceed to Matamoraz I believe

23d   very rainy today revilee at 3.A.M. Embark on board transport Geo. Peabody run down to New Orleans lay over night

24th   lay at the upper End of the city Expecting to move down the river soon very stormy weather

25th   weather fair but cool take on coal for a voyage & run to the mouth of the river anchor in the middle of the stream

26th   stormy this morning & looks as though we might yet have a bad voyage of it our fleet 23 Sail is nearly all here & we expect soon to run out to sea,

27th   9.A.M./ once more we are under way & this time we cross the Bar & now we are at sea, but again we cast anchor it is blowing pretty hard at present 3.P.M./ here comes the Flag Ship (McClellan) the usual salute is fired & we file away on our course, W.N.W., & now we are fairly out at sea the wind is still raising Gen. Banks is along also Major Gen. Dana of New Hampshire in command of our division & now we expect to see what the Heroes of the New England States can do for we are on some Expedition of importance

 

1863

Oct. 28th   quite a stormy night was last & consequently very little Headway was made it rained nearly all night it still blows quite hard

29th   clear but quite a heavy wind is blowing inspection orders to have sixty rounds of amunition & four days rations in our Haversacks & again it looks like Biz ahead the wind is still raising & is now (8.P.M.) blowing quite a gale

30th   about 3.A.M. in a perfect gale our rudder chain gave way & for an hour or so the old ship rolled as though it was a cradle with a cross child rocking it, still it struggled on against the mighty waves as if concious of its precious burden & at last by persevering Efforts of our Noble crew the releiving takles were rigged & manned by part sailors & part from this Reg. & again we stood on our way at daybreak we come up with the fleet but being unable to stand before such a wind we are obliged to stand away S.S.W. all day we go flying over the waves, a storm at sea is a sight of fearful granduer to see the great waves come rolling up chasing each other as though eager to seize their prey & then to see them break together or against the ship & roll back to meet the next none but those who know by experience can imagine the splendor of those Grand old waves with their foam covered crest & then to see a ship go rolling over them half upsetting & then righting it almost seems as though they were things of life instead

 

1863

Oct. 30th   of old hulks of wood & Iron but thus it is & we are here in one of these same old hulks with very little to keep her before the wind & nothing to keep her any other way & no knowing when this wind will die away still God is our Guide & if it is in accordance with his Holy will we shall land safley at last at night the wind is dying away at sunset we stand due north dead into the wind but it is so low that we can easily face it now

31st   this is a pleasant morning we are again coming in sight of the fleet & now we hope to land near the mouth of the Rio Grande river at Point Isabelle if we can. the fleet is fast gathering & we are lying off & on awaiting them have our rudder chain repaired & now we are in better condition for a blow than we were yesterday muster for Pay by our Col. (J.C. Black) another month has gone into Eternity & we, where are we, far on our way toward the wilds of Texas & may this be a successful campaign as all others in which we have been Engaged in has been, we are under what is called Excelent Generals but to us they are untried still they may be better than those we have been under heretofore it is night the fleet is nearly all together the wind is increasing & we are again running out to sea before quite a gale

 

1863

Nov. 1st   this morning it does not flow quite so hard & we again lay our course for the month the fleet has kept together pretty well during the night about noon we see land ahead on the starboard quarter & about 4.P.M. we cast anchor off Brazos De St Iago Island but cannot cross the bar to run in the little Bay while the wind blows so hard

2d   the wind has abated some & preparations are rapidly going forward to cross the Bar. 2.P.M. too light draft boats have crossed Gen. Van Dever has tried twice & failed both times they have tried to swim our Cavalry Horses ashore but it has proved a failure nearly all drowned in the breakers

3d   weather fair change boats to the Exact & lay over night near the Flag Ship

4th   cross the Bar & land on the Island it is nothing but a sand hill go hunting shell some beautiful ones are found by myself and Corporal Dukitte also one oyster.

5th   rainy day so we catch some fresh water but not much that is fit to use

6th   we wade breast deep 3.00 yds to the mainland & march 9 miles to the Rio Grande where we have plenty of fresh water the first time for thirteen long weary days & most gladly have we marched these 9 miles anticipating a good cup of coffee made from the water of this grand old stream

 

1863

Nov. 7th   this is a beautiful day we donot march so I take a stroll over the Battle Field of Palo Alto which lies close to our camp

8th   march 7 miles up the Rio Grande valley & camp for the night our rations gave out at noon to day & as we have heavy knapsacks to carry it is very fatiguing work on an empty stomach

9th   march 19 miles without food arrive at Brownville Texas where we draw rations once more but we began to think our Eastern tiger would starve us before we arrived but he has done well considering that the teams were nearly all unfit for service when we arrived at the Island

10th   lay in camp weather fair this is quite a town for one built mostly of mud & cane we can look over & see the mexican Soldiers they look gay in their Sky blue over coats & large red cockades

11th   very strict camp & Brigade Guard weather fair

12th   weather good the people look very inferior very dark &.c.

13th   no news weather beautiful

14th   camp guard stricter than Ever they are in for dicipline here well let it come--- that is what makes good soldiers if they only know how to use them which I begin to doubt

 

1863

Nov. 15th   two Maine Reg'ts & a colored Brigade have been attached to our division

16th   weather fine.

17th   the wind is blowing so one can scarcely see for the dust that is blowing about very disagreeable

18th   still it is blowing a perfect gale I cannot see how the people enjoy life here but then I suppose they are use to it & that is half the Battle it is very cold too for this place or at least so I should judge by the way the Citizens go shivering about does not blow quite so hard as it did yesterday

19th   calmer but still very disagreeable

20th   orders to march tomorrow morning at 6 it is very cool today our Baggage is just coming up from the landing & it seems hard to start off again before having any good of our tents after being deprived of them so long but such is the fortunes of war & we must not complain or if we do it is no good for all a soldier has to do is obey without a word or a question whatever he is ordered be it ever so hard but this is right & there is no cause for complaint on that score our Reg. is in Excelent Health at present

 

1863

Nov. 21st   this is a beautiful morning Embark at 10.A.M. on Board U.S. Transport "Mustang" three Co's. of this Reg. under Major Payne & the 1st Texas Cav. under Col. Davis proceed up the river the Intantry in wagons the Cavalry on Horseback, us seven Companies on the boat thus we proceed, run 70 miles & lay up for the night Cav. 3 miles above us 21 miles by land from Brownville

22d   start at daybreak run all day & lay up with Col. Davis tonight weather fair

23d   pass Edinburgh today progress very slow the cav. are far ahead of us tonight river very shallow & full of sand bars weather beautiful

24th   this is a cold disagreeable morning stuck on a sand bar wood very scarce along this river people friendly

25d   again we are clear & again we are fast

26th   clear once more but only to run a short distance- when we come to a bar that forbids our further progress

27th   here we lay our rations nearly out Col. Davis is in Ringold Barracks has taken 81 bales of cotton & other articles of some value

28th   Even Col. Davis has just arrived his command is five miles out

29th   this is a fair but cool morning Col. Davis with his command comes in the Infty come aboard

30th   the cav. has gone on to Brownville we are to stay here until the cotton comes & take it on before we return to Brownville

 

1863

Dec. 1st   weather fair the cotton is coming in & we Expect to start down the river soon rations all gone but fresh beef plenty of that for the killing

2d   start down the river this morning run until about noon when we get stuck on a sand bar & go ashore cook our beef go back & l[a]y down for the night

3d   get loose about day break run 20 miles take on wood start again & get stuck weather fine

4th   this morning we land for the boat to get over the bar get rations go aboard & run a little way land for wood & lay over night

5th   stuck on two Bars today progress very slow wood very scarce

6th   donot make much progress today weather very fine

7th   one year ago today the Battle of Prairie Grove was fought then we were on the north side of the rebellion now we have come down the centre & are preparing to go up the out side

8th   this is a cool cloudy morning we are out of wood & cannot run until we pick up some in the woods

9th   run a little way & get stuck as usual on a bar get loose but donot make much headway

10th   very slow progress

11th   we are nearly down now & have been out of rations for two days

12d   arrive at Brownville land & go into camp in our old situation get rations & a large mail have been gone 22 days on 12 days rations but now we will have plenty once more

 

1863

Dec. 13th   this is beautiful weather, we are once more in camp & plenty of rations to Eat

14th   very windy Gen. review by Major Gen. Dana

15th   very windy & disagreeable weather,

16th   Brigade drill by Col. Black (ours) who is now comdg our (1st) Brigade, very windy,

17th   the wind does not blow quite as hard we have wall tents now & are quite comfortable

18th   this is a fine day Brigade drill at 2.P.M. by Col. Black a Mexican Col. (Berdan) visits us at Dressparade, he came to see the Ill. Boys because by them he lost one arm & was captured at Beuna vista 17 years ago, he seems to like our Flag very much now, for all it caused him so much pain at that time just nine months to serve in this three years term would that that might see this cruel war Honorably settled but I fear it will not & still the prospect looks bright at present U.S. Grant & Meade are victorious Gillmore is driving away at Charleston again & all seems to work well 3.00,000 more are to be in the field by spring & it would seem that with such an army under competent Generals we might sweep Every thing before us

19th   weather fair no news of importance Except that Meade has sacrificed another thousand of his Army (of the Potomac) by following Lee & then retreating precipitately accross the Rapidan

 

1863

Dec. 20th   beautiful weather preaching by our Chaplain at 3 oclock P.M. five of our Company that were left sick at New Orleans have arrived

21st   cool & windy Brigade drill today our 3d one under Col. Black

22d   weather fine.

23d   go to town in the Evening with Lt Kennicott it is quite a town after all & will soon be a business place

24th   Weather beautiful, the Health of our Reg. continues good, very strict on guard, no drill today Except a few moments Co drill

25th   Christmas morning for the third time since we Entered the service, then it was thought by all that one Christmas would be all we would spend in the service & now the same question arises will we Ever spend another Christmas in the service of our Country.

26th   very windy receive orders to prepare to march at a moments notice

27th   weather very cool marching orders countermanded

28th   this is a beautiful day it seems more like May than December

29th   pleasant day

30th   this is a very windy day nothing of importance occurs Health of Reg. very good as it has been for a long time, tomorrow one from Each company start for Illinois on recruiting service I go from our Co. therefore I must bid farewell to the old Reg. & the boys I love so well for a time at least how long I cannot imagine Major Payne goes in charge he is a noble Officer it is a bad time to cross the rough old Gulf but we can go through I guess

 

1863

Dec. 30th   The Mexicans are fighting just accross the river but they donot work as though they thought to accomplish anything I donot think they would stand up & fight long if any one went at them in dead Earnest it is a very disagreeable day the sand blows so

31st   we start about 9.A.M. for Point Isabelle it is so cool we are obliged to walk most of the way to keep warm arrive (22 miles) about 4.P.M. go on board the "Mustang" & take up our quarters there until we shall go down the Bay to Brazos Island where we shall ship on an Ocean Steamer to cross the Gulf__ another year has passed into Eternity & still this cruel war is waged with all the Eagerness of madmen by the southerners, why O, why will they be so foolish. they must see by the steady progress we have made in this past year that we shall soon subdue them by force of Arms, the St Mary is Expected in a day or two & then we shall go on her most likely as far as New Orleans, & then up the river which Grant & Banks has opened by their deeds of unsurpassed gallantry, though I must say I fail to see wherin Banks has done any thing Extra still perhaps I am an in competent judge, it is rough weather here today no steamer here at present Except the Exact & the lighters the Exact is an old tub of a thing