1863 Diary of Edwin Elliot Richardson, Co. A, 46th Massachusetts Volunteers

I could not find an image of Edwin but here is a cdv of John A. Pease who served in the same company and regiment with him. (Photo Sleuth)

This 1863 diary was kept by Pvt. Edwin Elliot Richardson (1839-1915), the son of Winthrop Richardson (1804-1877) and Fannie Dwight Thompson (1806-1869). Edwin enlisted on 20 August 1862 and was mustered into the service on 25 September 1862, becoming a member of Co. A, 46th Massachusetts Volunteers—a nine months organization.

The following summary of the regimental history comes from Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War. Activities of Co. A are highlighted in bold font.

The regiment left camp Nov. 5 and proceeded to Boston where it took transports for North Carolina. Newbern was reached Nov. 15, and here the regiment was assigned to Col. H. C. Lee’s Brigade. The regimental camp was established on the banks of the Neuse River near the city. Companies “A” and “K” were soon assigned to the duty of guarding the railroad station at Newport Barracks on the railroad from Newbern to Beaufort.

The first active duty of the regiment was during the Goldsboro expedition. Starting Dec. 11, it was present at the battles of Kinston, Whitehall, and Goldsboro, Dec. 14, 16, and 17, but was only slightly engaged and suffered little loss. Returning to Newbern, Dec. 20, the regiment was soon established in a new camp near the confluence of the Neuse and the Trent. Colonel Bowler who, though ill, had accompanied the regiment to Kinston, now resigned, and Lieut. Col. Shurtleff was promoted to colonel. Co. “A” now returned from detached duty, and Co. “F” under Capt. Russell H. Conwell took its place.

Edwin pocket diary measures 4 x 6.5 inches and contains @ 75 ledger-style stitched pages.

On March 13 and 14, 1863, the regiment took part in the defense of Newbern against a Confederate force under General Pettigrew who sought to recapture it on the first anniversary of its occupation by the Union forces. Ten days later the six companies which comprised the main part of the regiment were sent to Plymouth, where from March 26 to May 8 they formed apart of the garrison of that place. Companies “F” and “K” I it will be remembered, were absent on detached duty, and Companies “A” and “I” were left behind at Newbern. Soon after May 8 the six companies returned to Newbern, and the regiment was now quartered in barracks.

May 21 the regiment with the rest of Col. Lee’s Brigade took part in an expedition to Gum Swamp, about eight miles from Kinston, where it was engaged May 22, returning to Newbern the following day without loss. Early in May Companies “A” and “I”, which had been left behind when the regiment went to Plymouth, were sent to Batchelder’s Creek to do outpost duty under Colonel Jones of the 58th Pa. Here, May 23, when their position was heavily assaulted by the enemy, Capt. Tifft with these two companies hold an advanced redoubt long after the rest of the command had retired. For exceptional bravery on this occasion Sergt. A. S. Bryant of Co. “A” was promoted to sergeant major and received a Congressional Medal of Honor. Early in June, as the term of the 46th was drawing to a close, over 100 members re-enlisted in the 2d Mass. Vol. Heavy Artillery which was then being organized. The remainder of the regiment embarked, June 24, for Fort Monroe.

On its way home the regiment volunteered for service with the Army of the Potomac during the emergency caused by Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania. It served doing patrol and guard duty in or near Baltimore, Md., from July 1 to 6, and was stationed on Maryland Heights near Harper’s Ferry from the 7th to the 12th. On the 12th as a part of the brigade of Genl. Henry S. Briggs it joined the 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac, at Funkstown, Md., in front of the Confederate position at Falling Waters. After Lee’s retreat into Virginia the regiment was ordered to Massachusetts, reaching Springfield, Mass., July 21. Here the men were furloughed for one week, re-assembling at Hampden Park, July 29, when they were mustered out of the service.

Edwin later served as a corporal in Co. A, 8th Massachusetts Infantry from which regiment he mustered out of the service on 10 November 1864 as a veteran. He married Eliza J. Bull on 31 December 1863 at Springfield, Massachusetts.

Note: This diary is from the personal collection of Greg Herr and is published on Spared & Shared by express consent.

Front page of Edwin Elliot Richardson’s 1863 Diary kept while serving in Co. A, 46th Massachusetts Infanry



E. E. Richardson, Co. A, 46th Regt. M. V. M., New Bern, N. C.

Thursday, January 1, 1863. Newport Barracks. New Years I went to Bogue Sound with H[enry] O. Davidson. Went across over to the island & went across to the sea shore gathering a few shells & brought them to camp. We was over 2 hours rowing to the Block House. got back to camp after dark, wet and tired. Do not think I shall go again very soon. I dit up till 11 o’clock to write an answer to a letter from E. J. B. [Eliza J. Bull] & then went to bed & slept sound till morning.

Friday, January 2, 1863. Went on picket with H. O. Davidson. It was a cold night. I did not suffer so much with the cold as I have other nights. Our captain [Russell H. Conwell] came up to see us on horse back. was thrown off when near us. A fair day.

Saturday, 3rd Came off from picket. Did not feel much like work. Cleaned up my gun and went to bed and slept awhile. Felt better. Went up to Newport and got some molasses. It was a fair day.

Sunday 4th 1863. I went & got an axe & chopped up our log of wood in the morning. After that I washed up & Banks & I mixed up some thin cakes & we had them for supper. It was a fair day.

5th (Monday). Went on picket with E[lijah] A. Newell & E[phraim] A. Perkins on No. 5 in the railroad. It was cloudy. I was sick in the night. Did not eat any breakfast. The 69th Ohio Regt. went up to New Bern. received a letter from my sister.

Tuesday 6th 1863. Came off picket. Cloudy & foggy. Have not done much but clean my gun & went to bed & went up to where my brother was on picket. We did not have any dress parade. Received a paper from E. J. B. Rainy day. “Quebeck” [probably the password for the day]

Wednesday 7th 1863. It is cooler today. Did not feel so well today. A[rthur] H. Fay gave me some cough candy. A fair day. “Montreal” [probably the password for the day]

Thursday, 8th January 1863. I went on picket with my brother & A[lbert] H. Moore. It is not quite so cold today. Sent a letter to E. J. B. “Yorktown” [probably password of the day]

Friday, 9th 1863. Came off picket this morning. Is nothing new atall nowdays. The report is that we stay here and are not to go on the expedition.

Saturday, 10th. Another blowless victory fought last night. The long roll was beat about quarter of 12 & we tumbled out. Co. K was on picket in the woods. They shot a cow. We stayed about half an hour & then we went to bed but I did not sleep very sound. Cludy and rainy.

Sunday 11th. Did not go on picket. Was sick this morning. There was a thunder shower last night—the first we have had since we have been down here. Fair day.

Monday, January 12, 1863. Went on picket with [Charles M.] Hosford & [Charles M.] Stimson on No. 2 in the woods. It was warm all night. Nothing extra happened. Captain [Russell H.] Conwell came down to see us. A fair day.

Tuesday, 13th 1863. Came off picket in the morning. Went om p.m. down the railroad on a hand car and back again. There was two trains of troops went to Morehead. No mail come yet.

Wednesday, 14th. Got a pass and went outside of the lines about two miles. A deserter was caught. He belongs to the 9th N. J. Regt. They put him in the guard house. I do not know what they will do with him. A fair day. “Camden” [password of the day]

Thursday, 15th 1863. Went on picket with W[illis] G. Jones & C[harles] M. Stimson on No. 2 on the railroad. It rained hard most all night. Received a letter from Springfield [E. J. B.] & answered it & sent up on the cars. The 9th New Jersey went up to New Bern. “Blackwater” [password of the day]

Friday, 16th 1863. Came off picket this morning. Cleaned my gun and done some washing. Loafed around the rest of the day. Nothing going on. The same old routine. Received a letter from home, answered it, and sent it up on the train. A fair day.

Saturday, 17th. We went out in the morning and cut down two trees and then got the team & drew them up & in the p.m. I got a pass to Newbern on the cars. Stayed with William Helman, Co. D. Had a good time. They are all paid off.

Sunday, 18th. Took the cars at Newbern and came down here. Arrived about half past 10 . as soon as I got back I went on picket with C[harles] M. Hosford and W[illie] G. Jones on No. 2 in the woods. Never have been on [with] them before.

Monday, 19th. Came off picket this morning. cut my finger yesterday. 30 contrabands came in tonight. I guess they will get the place soon full.

Tuesday, 20th. Went on picket with [Charles] Sikes and [Charles] Stimson on No. 7 in the woods. It was rainy in the daytime. It commenced to rain at 5 o’clock. It rained hard till 11 o’clock. Then it cleared off.

Wednesday, 21st. Came off picket with a wet skin. Gun would not go off. Woe to the Rebs. Nothing new going to today.

Thursday, 22nd. Nothing new. Some cavalry came in to camp. We had a skirmishing drill tonight. Cloudy day.

Friday, 23rd 1863. Rushed n picket with Stimson and Hosford on No, 6 railroad. The 27th Mass. V. M. went to Morehead last night. Nothing new.

Saturday, 27th 1863. Came off picket. 74 horses for the battery went up to Newbern. The 44th [Mass.] Regt. went down to Morehead. I guess they are going on the expedition. There is a flying report that [we] are going to Newbern. Don’t believe it.

Sunday, January 25th. Stimson and I got a pass to go outside of the lines about 4 miles to Porters. we got a dinner. Two regiments went down to Morehead. It was a nice fair day. 4 months today since we were sworn into the service of the U. S.

Monday, 26th 1863. On picket with Jones & Stimson on No. 1 in the woods. had a pleasant time. troops are going back & forth. Grand rounds came along half past 3.

Tuesday, 27th 1863. came off picket. Nothing going on. The same old routine of duty & once in awhile a train of cars comes down from Newbern & then we run down to the depot.

Wednesday, 28th. We had a mail come and sealed orders for us to go to Newbern to the regiment. Another engagement last night. None killed but the only meeting house in the place was burned to ashes. Sad catastrophe.

Thursday, 29th. Went on picket on No. 6 on the railroad with [Thomas M.] Hazelton & [Richard] Ryan. Co. F came down to relieve us & we went down & packed our knapsacks & got ready to start for Newbern. Took the cars about 3 o’clock & got to camp about sundown. went into Co. F’s tents and slept on the straw. We have been down almost two months. We have had a good time.

Friday, 30th 1863. A good, nice day. Went out on battalion drill. They gave us blank cartridges to drill with. quite exciting times. We made a terrific charge on the enemy [in sham battle]. They were repulsed of course.

Saturday, 31st 1863. A nice day. We had a Battalion [drill] in knapsacks. We were inspected by the Col. & Major afterwards. We had a dress parade.


Sunday, Feb. 1st 1863. There was a squad went down town to church. Went to the Methodist. Co. D squad was put in the guard house. We got along all right.

Monday, Feb. 2nd 1863. We went over on our old parade ground on a brigade drill. We fired blank cartridges. We made the poorest show we ever have since we have been in the service.

Tuesday, Feb. 3rd 1863. Thunderstorm in the night & it flew around cold quite sudden & when we got up there was an inch of snow. Only think—the Sunny South. went on guard. Snowed till a.m.

Wednesday, 4th Feb. Came off guard this morning. Had a tough night of it. I had to run most all of the time. I was on guard to keep warm. It was the coldest time [since] I have been in the service. We were relieved once in an hour in the daytime. I had much rather be on picket at Newport Barracks.

Thursday, Feb. 5th 1863. It rained all day and night. There is nothing new except there is an election of officers. Lieut. Col. Shurtliff is elected Col.

Friday, 6th 1863. Rainy today. Again there was an election in our company. 1 Lieut. [Lewis A.] Tifft is Captain. G[ideon] Wells is 1st Lieutenant, and Ed Rodgers is acting 2nd Lieutenant.

Saturday 7th 1863. No drill today. It has cleared off & it seems quite refreshing. We had a dress parade.

Sunday, 8th 1863. Went down town to church. Went to the Presbyterian church. It seemed the most like home of anyplace I have been since. Dress parade.

Monday, 9th 1863. Went on guard the 2nd [time] I have been on since I came up here. I had a good time to be on guard.

Tuesday 10th. My brother & I got a pass and went down town for the first time since I have been in Newbern. Went down to the wharf and around the city.

Wednesday, 11th 1863. Today we received our long looked for mail. I received two letters, two papers—one from Springfield, one from my brother. A J. A. Sturtevant called to see us. He is going to carry our letters fo us when he goes home. we had a brigade drill in the p.m. over on the parade ground.

Thursday, 12th 1863. It is a pleasant dat. We had a company drill in the morning & in the p.m. we had a battalion drill & dress parade. They are putting us through now.

Friday, 13th 1863. A nice day. Had company drill in the morning. Went on Brigade Drill in the p.m. Sent a letter to Springfield.

Saturday. 14th 1863. I went on guard for 3rd time since I have been up here. Had a good time to be on guard.

Sunday, Feb. 15. Came off guard this morning. Did not go down to church. Did not feel well.

Monday, 16th 1863. Had a company drill in the morning. Had a brigade drill. I did not go out. I went & shoveled. Had a good time.

Tuesday, 17th 1863. We had a battalion drill in the rain. Jas. A. Sturtevant started for the North.

Wednesday, 18th. Rainy. Did not have any drill. I went over to the 25th [Mass.] to see Charley Wetherell. He was from New Braintree.

Academy Green Hospital in New Bern, N. C. (1862)

Thursday, 19th 1863. Went on Battalion drill in the morning. Went down to the hospital to see D. J. Thomas. He is in the Academy Green Hospital. He has got the consumption I think.

Friday, 20th 1863. I went to cook house to work all day. The company had battalion drill in the a.m and in the p.m. brigade drill.

Saturday, Feb. 21st 1863. We drill all day long. Had a dress parade at night. There was a matched game of Ball played between our regiment and the 25th [Mass.] I did not learn which regiment played the best.

Sunday 22nd 1863. Rainy all day. No services in the camp. No dress parade. It was a lonesome day. It was the anniversary of the birth of Washington. A year ago I was in Springfield. Went down town to see the illumination of the city. There was a fire on Howard Street.

Monday, 23rd 1863. We had a company drill in the morning. In the p.m. we had battalion drill. We marched at slow time.

Tuesday, 24th 1863. Went on guard instead of going on general inspection over he river. Received a paper from Springfield.

Wednesday, 25 Feb. Came off guard this morning. Hosford & i got a pass & went down town. they were raising a flag pole in front of Gen. Foster’s headquarters. Rained hard all the morning.

Thursday, 26th 1863. Had a battalion drill in the p.m. and in the morning had a company drill. Sent a letter home.

Friday, 27th 1863. The company went on drill in the morning. I did not go. We received our greenbacks after so long a time. I had began to think we should never get it.

Saturday, 28th. We went out with out knapsack and equipments for inspection to be mustered in for our next 2 month pay.

MARCH 1863

Sunday, March 1st 1863. I wrote a letter to Charles Flagg. I also sent another to Springfield. Rainy day. Did not go to church.

Monday, 2nd. We heard that Companies F & K were coming up & the 51st [Mass.] is going on picket duty.

Tuesday, 3rd 1863. Went on guard for H. O. D. Our company moved their quarters onto the left of the regiment.

Wednesday, 4th 1863. Came off guard. Hosford & I got a pass & went down town. I got my profile taken. It was not good. I reckoned they though because I was down in North Carolina they would make a negro of me. It is my sister’s birthday.

Thursday, 5th 1863. Had a company drill in the morning. The cooks had orders to cook 3 days rations so as to be ready at any time to leave.

Friday 6th 1863. Had company drill in the morning & battalion drill in the p.m. & to top off with had a dress parade.

Saturday, 7th 1863. We did not have any drill at all. The regiment played ball & more. I went over to the fort to see how things looked. Had a dress parade.

Sunday, 8th 1863. We are still under marching orders. 15 men out of this regiment went out to escort some wagons up to the 25th regiment. Had a dress parade.

Monday, 9th 1863. Had a company drill in the morning and battalion drill in the p.m. and dress parade afterward.

Tuesday, 10th. Had a company drill in the a.m. ad the boys that went off with the 25th Sunday came back & the 25th came back from the expedition.

Wednesday, March 11th 1863. We did not have any drill all day. The 5th came over on our parade ground & drilled. Had a dress parade. No mail in yet.

Thursday, arch 12th 1863. Had a company drill in the morning and battalion drill in the p.m. and also dress parade. There was an express came for the regiment. Some of them had a little too much to be joyful and got into the guard house. No mail in.

Friday, March 13th 1863. Had a company drill in the a.m. It is very cold. I washed in ice water this morning. No drill in the p.m. Had dress parade.

Saturday, March 14th 1863. It is the anniversary of the Battle of Newbern. I finished last night’s report with dress parade. Well, just as we got most through, 2nd Lieut. [Daniel J.] Marsh came with orders for the 46th to get ready as quick as possible for a march. The 25th went before us and started. We went right away. We went on a quick march up about 9 miles where the 25th was on picket. We were drawn up in line of battle and spread our blankets and laid down to sleep. We got up early & slung our blankets ready for business, About 7 o’clock, we fell in to line & marched down toward the woods where the Rebs was. Our Colonel got us in position & ordered us to lay down. We had been there half and hour when orders came for us to march back to Newbern because the Rebs were shelling Newbern. We arrived here at 11 o’clock. The Rebs had not got in yet. Newport Barracks was taken early this morning. I do not expect it is all over yet. We started again at 5 o’clock back on the same road that we went before. It seemed as though Ic could not hardly put one foot before the other but after I got out two miles I could go quite easy. We encamped about 6 miles out from Newbern.

Sunday, 15th. Morning we got up early and got our breakfast of hard tacks and salt horse and done up our blankets ready for orders. The 43rd [Mass.] was encamped near us. About 5 o’clock orders came for us to push on. The 43rd took the lead and we supported the Battery. Went on two miles and encamped for the night. Company A and H went on picket. Our company in the rear and the other in the advance, I went on picket the first two hours and then came in and went to bed. About 5 o’clock we were all waked up to get our breakfast and be ready for the march.

Monday 16th. We started on for the Rebs. We went 6 miles in the advance and then we were drawn up in line of battle about an hour and then we were received orders to march back. We marched back to where the 25th were stationed. Our pickets and Companies A, K, I, & F went on picket and the rest of the regiment went in to Newbern.

Tuesday, 17th. We stayed there till 3 o’clock when we started again for Newbern. We arrived here about half past 5, foot sore and weary. I expect the next orders will be for Plymouth.

Wednesday, 18th. Had a good night’s sleep. Wrote a letter to Springfield. A cold, rainy day. No dress parade or drill.

Thursday, 19th 1863. A cold rainy day. Put two letters—one to Springfield and another Westboro. Cold and rainy.

Friday 20th. A cold rainy day. Nothing going on. Dull as ever. Expect orders every hour to go to Plymouth. Brother [Alfred] went on guard.

Saturday, 2nd 1863. Went on guard. A cold, rainy day. Have not had orders to go to Plymouth yet.

Sunday, 22, 1863. Did not go to church. There was no passes given out. Expecting orders all day to leave but they did not come. Cleared off.

Monday, 23rd 1863. A nice fair day. I played a game of Ball. We had a dress parade. I wrote a letter to Springfield. Two companies of our regiment started for Plymouth this morning. They went on the steamer Escort. I don’t know ow soon we shall go.

Tuesday, 24th 1863. Had a company drill in the morning and battalion drill in the p.m. and dress parade. I had a letter from Charles Flagg.

Wednesday 25 1863. Today is the anniversary of the 46th Regiment being 6 month from the 25th of June. We had a battalion drill and dress parade with our new hats on.

Thursday, 26th 1863. Had a company drill in the morning. In the p.m. orders came for the rest of the regiment to go to Plymouth. Co. A & I did not go. We are always at the tail end of the heap.

Friday, 27th 1863. Had a company drill. In [p.m.] played New York game. It is hard work to play that game. Had dress parade.

Saturday, 28th 1863. Played the New York game all day. There was not ay drill for a wonder. No dress parade.

Sunday 29th 1863. I was on guard. It rained all day as usual. Orders came for us to pack up and get ready to go to Plymouth but it was countermanded.

Monday 30th 1863. Had a p.m. drill out of 2 companies regular Newport Barracks style. I did not drill. I got a pass to go down street and saw J. Kilmer.

Tuesday, 31st 1863. Had a company drill in the morning. In the p.m. Alfred & I went down to see John Kilmer of the 27th. He is teamster. He is down on the river.

APRIL 1863

Wednesday, April 1st 1863. We had a company drill in the morning, No drill in the p.m. We received orders to have everything ready in at a moment’s notice. Firing was heard in the distance.

Thursday, 2nd April. It is fast day in Mass. We had battalion drill in the morning. In the p.m. had a company drill in firing and loading on our knees. Had a dress parade. Had a letter from E. J. B.

Friday, April 3rd 1963. We had a battalion drill in the morning & dress parade at night. I commenced a letter to Springfield but the wind blew the dust & it was so cold I gave it up for another day.

Saturday, 4th 1863. No drill today. The wind blew so hard last night that I thought the tent would come down. I finished my letter & mailed it. I went over to the 25th to see Charley Wetherell. Stayed till 10 o’clock talking over old times.

Sunday, April 5th 1863. We had a company inspection in the morning. We went down town to church in the p.m. It has been a nice, pleasant day. The 3rd Mass. M. V. received orders to march for Washington. Various reports are flying as to position of our army at Washington.

Monday, 6th April 1863. Had a company drill in the morning & then played ball in the p.m. Had a dress parade to top off with.

Tuesday, 7th April. Ditto.

Wednesday, 8th April 1863. Had a battalion drill in the a.m. of two hours & over a big thing on [ ] dress parade to top off with.

Thursday, 9th. Went on guard i the morning. About 10 o’clock orders came for us to pack our knapsacks and march over the river. we started about 12 o’clock and marched down to the boat. When we got there, orders came for us to leave our knapsacks on the boat and proceed with baggage train as guards. We started about 3 o’clock with the train and arrived with main body of the army at 2 in the morning and such a march and a bad place I never saw to get wagons through. There was two wagons in the train that our two companies & one company of the 175th Pennsylvania that we had charge of. We were surprised that we sought so soon. Come to find out they had a brush with the enemy & had retreated back 12 miles & were going back to Newbern in the morning. We encamped out in the woods till morning. I did not go to sleep all the while I was gone.

Friday, 10th 1863. We started about 7 o’clock to retreat back. I kept back with the company for the first few miles & then I went on ahead till I was within a mile of the river. Then I waited for the company to come up. Then we went down to the house we started from & stayed there till sundown when we started for this side of the river when we got here at 9 o’clock, tired and weary and glad to go to bed I’ll bet.

Saturday 11th 1863. I wrote a letter & put it in the office. I did not have time to write what I wanted to. Major he had to get us out into line and march us over to the river so as to get our regular drill out of us.

Sunday, 12th 1863. They had a company inspection in the morning, of guns in the p.m. We were called out & the roll was called of both companies by the Major. Had a dress parade.

Monday, 13th April 1863. I did not answer to roll call. Felt quite unwell. They had a battalion drill and dress parade.

Tuesday, April 14th 1863. Had a company drill in the morning. In the p.m., dress parade. They fixed the cook house. There was a mail in. I did not get any letters.

Wednesday, April 15th. Rainy. There was a lot of rain fell. Thunder showers in the day time. Our tent leaked like a sieve. No drill. Had a dress parade.

Thursday, 16th 1863. Had a battalion drill in the morning. Had a dress parade at night/ I had a letter from Springfield in the evening.

Friday, 17th 1863. Orders came for us to be ready to march so we started to the wharf where we waited about an hour when we took the boat Allison & went across the river where we encamped for the night. Made our coffee and laid down to sleep. I had a rubber blanket and my overcoat.

Saturday, 18th April 1863. We stayed till 8 o’clock before we pushed on. There was Hickman’s Brigade in the advance and Wesley’s Brigade was in the rear with the baggage wagons. We marched on stopping over in a while for them to fix roads in the middle of the day. they did not stop much of any. We marched till 7 o’clock when we came up to the place where they had the battle when we went up before. Here we encamped till morning.

Sunday, 29th April. When we started again. We marched till 10 o’clock when we stopped in the woods about an hour when we went on a little ways farther & were drawn up in line of battle for half hour. we found out that they had skedaddled. It was here that 9th N. J. Vols. & 23rd Mass. V. M. took a boat and went up to Washington & we went within two miles of and encamped for the night and the next morning we started for Washington. Here we stopped till Wednesday morning when we took steamer Thomas Collier for Newbern. We had a pleasant ride down the river & through the Pamlico Sound, up the Neuse as far as Newbern which place we reached at 12 o’clock at night. We were glad to get home to camp again.

Thursday, April23rd 1863. I feel today as though I had been on a march. It commenced to rain about 10 and rained all day. Thunder showers. Our tent leaks like a sieve.

Friday, April 24th 1863. It is just 7 months ago today since we went into camp. It seems hardly possible. So swift does time fly.

Saturday, April 25th. It is 7 months ago today since we were sworn into the service of the United States. We got our greenbacks and also a mail. I got a letter from Springfield.

Sunday 26th 1863. I finished writing a letter to Springfield and Westboro to the 27th Mass M. V, and to H. H. B. 8 at night we had a dress parade at night and sent a letter to my sister L J. Richardson. Orders came for us to start off on another expedition but we did not know it till morning, The cooks sat up all night and cooked for us so we could have things to carry with us.

Monday, April 27, 1863. Had orders to take 3 days rations & 100 rounds cartridges & start again. Started again at 10 for the depot. Waited till 1 o’clock and then took the cars for Batchelor’s Creek with the 43rd [Mass]. Our two companies and two of the 5th. We stopped there until 9 p.m. During that time the remainder of the 5th and 27th came up [ ] We started with the 5th and 27th at a [ ] which we kept up until I should think we had been 12 miles. It had been raining for an hour. I had slackened up at this place. We went into camp. My brother and i were detailed to go on picket at 3 in the a.m. About 4 it commenced raining again & rained till daylight when it stopped an hour or two and then there came up a heavy thunder shower. It rained hard for two hours. I sat down on my canteen and three my rubber blanket over my head and did not get much wet. At one o’clock, the 22nd and 85th started out 12 miles and found the rebs and drove them out of their breastworks with the loss of 1 killed in the 85th and several wounded. The 22nd came back at at midnight tired out and foot sore with their forced march which did not amount to [ ] this.

April 29, 1863. This a.m., two cavalry pickets were shot—killed one and badly wounded the other. The rest of the cavalry went out and caught 6 guerrillas supposed to be the ones that shot the cavalry at night. Two days rations were dealt out. Hart tack and coffee. We stayed here all night. It rained again in the night. In the morning, April 30th, it was clear. About 10, orders came up to fall in, Our two companies went on picket and the 27th and 5th M. V. M. went out on a scout. The 27th got back about 5 o’clock and the 5th did not get in till dark. They went in dark.

MAY 1863

Friday, May 1, 1863. We stayed all night and laid around till 11 when orders came for us to go back to Newbern. We went about 4 miles through the woods to the railroad when we took the 2 o’clock train of cars and came into Newbern. Got to camp at 5 o’clock and we had not been here 3 hours when orders came for us to go out on picket. I think that is rough.

Saturday, May 2nd. the companies started at 10 o’clock for Batchelor’s Creek with knapsacks and shelter tents. They were carried in wagons. I did not go or my brother.

Sunday, May 3d 1863. I went over to the 27th and to the 5th after some medicine. H. H. Bush came over to see me and we went over to the fort and down town and at night I went and saw the 27th dress parade. It was good.

Monday, May 4th 1863. At night I got letters—one from my sister and the other was from L. I had also began two letters and I finished them and sent them the next day. I went over to the 27th regiment that night and gave Alfred a sweat to try to break up his cold.

Tuesday, May 5, 1863. I went over to the 27th a little while and received a Springfield paper. Mt brother went to the hospital. He is sick with the measles.

Wednesday, May 6th 1863. Three of our boys went up to the company on picket this morning. I did not go till my brother is better. Got a pass and went down town.

Thursday, May 7th 1863. I went over to the 27th regiment. They have moved into barracks where the 10th Conn. were. I have been mending my clothes and cleaning up my gun and equipments so as to be ready to go on picket.

Friday, 8th May 1863. On guard on second relief. The report is that we are going into barracks. I presume we shall have to somewhere because we have got fixed up. The rest of the regiment arrived from Plymouth.

Saturday, May 9th 1863. Went this morning slept till I lost my breakfast and then went over and got some oysters. The regiment is in the 44th barracks. They are moving the things. My brother has gone over to the hospital. I have been over and carried his gun and equipments.

Sunday, May 10, 1863. I came over to camp to see my brother and went to the 27th Co. B and got my hair cut. A hot day.

Monday, 11th 1863. They sent over men from the barracks to tear down the tents that were left. We packed our things over to the barracks. Did not get over till night.

Tuesday, May 12, 1863. I worked in the a.m. fixing our quarters. There was a mail in a. m. Got a letter from A. N. C. I did not get any letter.

Wednesday, May 13, 1863. I sent my things up on picket and at 3 p.m. started with others for the picket station. Arrived about six o’clock.

Thursday, May 14th. I went on picket with J. Weld and Kakin. I had the ache so that I got a pass to go down to Jones’ camp to have my tooth pulled but did not have any [m ].

Friday, May 15, 1863. It is 9 months today since I enlisted in the service. I passed a sleepless night with the toothache. Had visitors from Newbern. Col., Quartermaster, and Adjutant. Hot day.

Saturday, May 16, 1863. I felt better this a.m. Went on picket with G[eorge] A. Tappan and W[illiam] A. Withey. More visitors from Newbern. Lieut. Col., Major and Adjutant. I had the toothache in the night. Rainy.

Sunday, May 17th 1863. A fair day. Received a letter and paper from home. I commenced a letter to L. The chaplain came up and I sent the letter. I wrote home by him to Newbern.

Monday, May 18th 1863. I received a letter from L. last night and I finished the letter I had began and sent it down to Newbern.

Tuesday, 19th. I went on picket down to the breastwork about 3 miles from camp. It was a pleasant night and day. “Brandywine” [password]

Wednesday, 20th. My brother came up from Newbern. Nothing new going on that I knew of.

Thursday, 21st. Alfred and I wrote a letter to Mag. The rest of the 46th regiment started on an expedition last night. I am glad we were not there to go. I have seen all the marching I want to see this campaign.

Friday, May 22nd 1863. Very warm. Went on picket down to Paradise Lost with Newton, Tevoille, Newell Corporal Warner of Co. I was with us. There was a expedition went up on the train to Tuscarora and drove the rebs and captured 200 prisoners adn came back and went to Newbern.

Saturday, 23rd May 1863. Came off picket this a.m. Some of the regiment came through here on the way back to Newbern. All was quiet till 2 o’clock p.m. when I was down in bathing when I heard firing in the direction of the outside post. Soon I heard the drum calling us together to go out there. I scrambled out and put my clothes on and started for camp. When I got there, the company had gone. I put on my things and started with a number of others for the breastworks. The company was only 30 minutes going over there. There was only 16 men, a sergeant, and a corporal when they first fired. We had not been there long when 4 companies of the 58th [Pennsylvania] came up, Col. [John Richter] Jones in command.

Col. John Richtor Jones, 58th Pennsylvania, was killed on 23 May 1863 at Bachelor’s Creek Station, North Carolina (LOC)

He immediately sent over two companies of skirmishers. A number of our boys went over with them. Soon after the enemy commenced firing and the bullets whistled around us and every little while a shell would come over from their howitzer. Our forces charged on them but Col. Jones was killed and that demoralized the 58th Pennsylvania. They did not know what to do and they retreated across the creek. One company came across the bridge behind the breastworks and when the hottest firing was, they started to leave. But Capt. Tifft said not a man leave this place until they had orders. Soon after this our artillery came up and sent a few shell and shot amongst them and they thought it was most time to leave so they began to retreat. The 58th left for camp and we stayed behind the works till morning when two companies of the 132nd New York relieved us and we came into camp and did not find anyone here. They had orders to fall back to Newbern so we got some coffee and some breakfast and washed up.

A sample of Edwin’s handwriting

Sunday, 24th May 1863. We had hardly got rested when orders came for us to fall in and go over to the breastworks and relieve the company that was there so we started and went over. After I got there, I was detailed to go on picket with others on the place called Paradise Lost. Co. I furnished 16 men for that post and our company came back to camp and that ended the entertainment for the present.

Monday, 25 May 1863. Came off picket. Went over to the brick house after some milk. A mail was in. The boys came back for Newbern. Had to fight mosquitoes all of the fore part of the night. Did not get much sleep. Moore and I went over to Mr. Richardson’s and got some milk and had some bread and milk.

Tuesday, May 26. Went up on a scout in the a.m. to where the Reb pickets were. Stayed some time. Had a good long talk with them. Some citizens were sent out of Newbern and [ ] at the picket post last night. That is the way the war is carried on.

Wednesday, May 27. Went on picket down to the breastworks. Nothing new. All quiet on the creek.

Thursday 28th. Came off picket. Went over to Hertisum and got my washing. Did not have any breakfast. good for anything.

Friday, May 29, 1863. Went and carried my pants to have them washed today. The scouting party that went out were all taken prisoners. Two of our men, C, M. N. and W. A. W., one of the 27th Regiment, and 7 men of Co. I, 46th Regiment, 4 sergeants and three privates.

Saturday, 30 May 1863. Went on picket down to the spring with J. Miller Pease. It was rainy some during the day and night.

Sunday, 31 May. Went and got my pants. Came off picket. Did not sleep much. They are enlisting in the battery. Quite a number. Going to get two companies. A number went on the Dudly Buck home on a furlough. I can’t see it [but] perhaps I shall.

JUNE 1863

Monday, June 1, 1863. Today we were relieved about 2 o’clock p.m Two companies, C & H, relieved us. We march over to Batchelor’s Creek 3 miles, waited till sundown when we came back up to barracks. Got here 8 o’clock.

Tuesday, June 2, 1863. We fixed our bunks and cleaned up the barracks. 10 are detailed for shoveling every day and 2 for guard. Nothing new.

Wednesday, 3rd June. Went on guard on 3rd relief. It was warm day with showers in the distance. Did not rain much here. Countersign was “Raymond.”

Thursday 4th June. Went on guard around camp. It was raining a little. Did not have any dress parade.

Friday, June 5th. Went out shoveling on the entrenchments. Went on dress parade.

Saturday, 6th. Shoveled again today. 44th [Mass.] started for home. The 27th took their place.

Sunday, June 7, 1863. I got a pass & went over to the 51st camp to the Westboro boys. I saw all that I knew. Had quite a pleasant chat.

Monday, June 8th. Went out shoveling on the entrenchments. Worked hard.

Tuesday, June 9, 1863. Went on guard No. 4 beat in front of the officers’ quarters.

Wednesday, 10th 1862. Came off guard. Caught cold last night. Do not feel well. Headache.

Thursday, 11th 1863. Got excused from duty. Various stories are afloat about the companies going home so as to be in Mass. on the 25th June. Our company voted to stay.

Friday, June 12th 1863. Excused from duty taking medicine.

Saturday, 13th. Sick

Sunday, 14th. Sent to the hospital.

Monday, 22nd June. Came out of the hospital.

Tuesday, 23rd. Wrote a letter and put it in the office. Feel a little better today.

Wednesday, June 24. Today the regiment received orders to start for Fortress Monroe. Started 7 for the wharf. Commenced to rain soon after regiment fell in to line & rained all night. It was hard parting with my brother.

Thursday, June 25. I went down to the city to the 27th Regiment. Got back at 1 p.m. It rained all of the time I was going and coming back.

Friday, June 26th. I went down to the city. E. A. Newell and H[enry] O. Davidson were carried down to the Stanley Hospital.

Saturday, 27th. I went down town to see Newell and Davidson & carried Newell’s things.

Sunday, 28th. I went down town to see Henry. He is busy writing for the company.

Monday, 29th June. I went down a little while. It rained last [night]. 124 Penn. were quartered in the barracks. We invalids had to move into another place.

Tuesday, 30th. I went down in the a.m. and in the p.m. went down to see J. Kilmer.

JULY 1863

Wednesday, July 1st 1863. I went down town with King & in the p.m. I went down to see J. Kilmer. The boys had a lot of boxes come that were with the regiment. I wish that they had them for I think they need them.

Thursday, July 2, 1863. Went down town & called to see John. The report is another expedition is going out soon. 29th, 9th New Jersey, and 81st New York are here.

Friday, July3rd 1863. I went down town to see Henry. They are under marching orders. He came up to camp with me. I gave knapsack & a number of other things.

Saturday, July 4th. The 81st New York & 9th New Jersey started on the expedition at 7:30. I went down to see John. They fired a salute in the morning & at noon.

Sunday, 5th July 1863. Went down to church. Heard long sermon. 9th New Jersey chaplain preached from the Psalms. It was very warm day. I cannot walk out in the sun.

Monday, July 6th. Went down town two times. Orders came at night for us to start for Morehead at 7 in the morning.

Tuesday, 7 July. Got up early, packed my things and I went down to the depot to help load the things. Started at 7 for Morehead. We are now at Newport Barracks waiting for the train to come up…arrived at Morehead 10 o’clock. Got the goods all down in the hold at 2 o’clock The 51st came down on the cars at 6 p.m.. got their things aboard. We lay at the wharf till half past 8 when we started. I stayed on an hour after we got outside, then I had to go to bed seasick full before this.

Friday noon Josiah Rhoads of Co. F died this a.m. He had been sick all the time he was in Newbern. Passed Nantucket Island at 4 p.m. Passed Cape Cod Light House at 12 at night. Passed Fort Warren at 5 a.m.. Arrived at Long Wharf at 7 a.m. Helped get out the luggage and came to Park at Barracks. Stayed till 2 o’clock, then took the train for Springfield. Got off at Westboro and took the stage for Ware. Arrived at home 10 o’clock. Found the folks well as usual. The end.

A cure for a diarrhea. Take the inside bark of a gum tree and steep it till it is quite strong and drink it and it is a sure cure.

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