The following diary was kept by J. Frederick Hemmerly of Co. B, 12th Illinois Infantry. Frederick was born in Koenigreich, Wirtemberg, Germany. He came to America on 3 October 1852.
Frederick enlisted in August 1861 at Amboy, Illinois, with two of his brothers, Martin and Jacob. Martin was wounded in the fighting before Atlanta in 1864. Jacob drowned on 15 September 1861.
Links to Frederick Hammerly’s Civil War Diaries:
Diary 1—August 1861 through 22 April 1862.
Diary 2—23 April 1862 through 9 October 1862.
Diary 3—10 October 1862 through 1 April 1863.
Diary 4—8 April 1863 through 8 January 1864
Diary 5—1 January 1864 through 6 August 1864
[Note: This diary is from the personal collection of Greg Herr and was transcribed and published on Spared & Shared by express consent.]
January 1st, 1864. Tunnel Hill, Tennessee. Weather cold. Freezing all day. Capt. Van Solers was here today and swore 20-30 from each company into the Veteran service. Snows.
Saturday, January 2, 1864. Weather cold and windy. Disagreeable.
Sunday, January 3rd. Weather cold and wet. Heard [Augustus Louis] Chetlain’s farewell address. He is made Brigadier [General] over colored troops and has to report to Vicksburg, Mississippi. I went on picket at 3 pm. A portion of Sherman’s trooops passed by here to Pulaski.
Monday, January 4th, 1864. Tunnel Hill, Tenn. It rains, is cold, and very muddy.
Tuesday, January 5th. Weather cold. Snows some, freezes hard. My enlistment papers were brought to me but I changed my mind not reenlist. Did not sign it. Received a letter from George.
Wednesday, January 6th. Weather very cold. Roads froze hard and rough. I am on picket. Citizens say it is a very uncommon cold winter.
Thursday, January 7th 1864. Tunnel Hill, Tenn. Cold severe, snows much. The ground is covered with snow. Snows very hard these eve. Had a bad night on picket.
Friday, January 8th. Weather cold. Received a letter from R. M. B. Syracuse, a 3d from Mother. Sent one to George. Another to Nashville P. O.
Saturday, January 9th 1864. Weather dry and cold. I am on picket.
Sunday, January 10th 1864, Tunnel Hill, Tenn. Weather cold and dry. Went out after shells to Richland Creek.
Monday, January 11th 1864. Weather moderate and clear. Is getting muddy again.
Wednesday, January 13th 1864. Weather cloudy. Moderate. Lieut. Hoffman of the regular army mustered all those who were swore at New Years into the veteran a and out of the 3 first year service. Came off from picket this p.m. Received a letter from Ch. Alfred, Phila.
Friday, January 15th 1864, Tunnel Hill, Tenn. Weather fair. Muddy. Went on picket this p.m. Received a letter from Johnny.
Saturday, January 16th 1864. Weather cold. Some cloudy. Sent a letter to R. M. B. to Alfred.
Sunday, January 17th Moderate weather.
Monday, January 18th. Weather growing cold, rains and snows. Freezes. The Veterans left this morning for Springfield, Illinois. Co. A left only their 2nd Lieutenant behind. I am on picket. Received a package from Rice & Co.
Tuesday, January 19th. Tunnel Hill, Giles County, Tenn. Snowed and blowed hard last night. It was a hard night on picket. Cleared off before daylight. Thawed and getting muddy. Freezing again this evening. Received one dollar regimental fund.
Wednesday, January 20th. Weather moderate. Sergeant Weldon was here. sent a letter to Mother.
Thursday, January 21st. weather moderate and pleasant. The mud seems to dry up some. Guard mounting was changed yesterday.
Friday, January 22nd 1864. Another warm and pleasant [day]. went on picket 9 o’clock this a.m. Sent a letter to John M. H.
Saturday, January 23rd 1864. Another spring like [day]. A few more days will dry up this mud. Nights are splendid & illuminated. Lieut. [Jason J.] Sanborn of Co. G took charge of this post today.
Sunday, January 24th. Weather very fine. sent a letter to Emma. Received on from Cal. and two Amboy Times. Capt. Towner sent out a squad of men, They came in with a rebel lieutenant and two privates.
Monday, January 25, 1864. Weather more than fine. As warm as summer. Have been out door nearly all day in my shirt sleeves. The 9th Illinois had a fight yesterday with Roddy’s men and are reported captured. Received a letter (with photos) from Michigan. Sent one to Cal.
Tuesday, January 26th. Another dry, warm and beautiful [day]. I am on bridge guard. After dinner we had to fall in line of battle about 20 strong. Dispatch after dispatch comes. We sent all mounted men out on the roads. Teams with negro household and negroes somewhat scared are moving by here coming from Prospect. The 9th [Illinois] is said to have fallen back to there. Orders to be ready to move to Pulaski. Another to move to Prospect. Another to stay until further orders. A wounded soldier comes and tells us that the rebs are driven out of Athens [Alabama] and everything is still. Only about 200 of them made a dash. He was wounded on picket at 4 o’clock a.m. Advanced our post and made two extra ones.
Wednesday, January 27th. Weather as yesterday. No orders to move yet. All is as usual. Duty heavier. Three posts instead of two.
Thursday, January 28th. Weather real warm Some misty. I am on picket. Received a letter from Jacob Holle.
Friday, January 29, 1864. Tunnel Hill, Tenn. Weather as yesterday. Some cloudy this eve.
Saturday, January 30th 1864. Commenced to rain this morning early but ceased before noon. I went after fodder about 7 miles out. The teamster upset twice with me going and once coming. Once he lost a [fore ward whet?] The roads are indescribable bad—so many stumps and creeks. I sent a letter to brother Johnny.
Sunday, January 31st 1864. Weather warm. Some cloudy. I am on picket. Sent a letter to Jacob Holle. Another to Adams Express, Memphis.
Monday, February 1st 1864. Commenced to rain last night at 12. Rained hard and continued nearly until daylight. Is clear all day. Brung a grindstone and made several rings on it.
Tuesday, February 2nd. Weather clear and cloudy. Fresh.
Wednesday, February 3rd 1864. Tunnel Hill, Tenn. Weather fair. Rather fresh. I am detailed on picket. A dispatch came in to move up to Richland as soon as relieved. Did not go on picket. 12 M. We are relieved and going. Received a letter from George.
Thursday. February 4th. Weather fair. Some windy. Arrived yesterday some 30 strong at Richland. Moved into E’s quarters. 8 in our shebang. I am on picket.
Friday, February 5th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather clear and cloudy. Chilly and windy. Rained some last night. Some cavalry passed by here south.
Saturday, February 6th. Weather windy, cloudy and cold. Rained some early this morning. Attended roll call the 1st time in a long while. Sent a letter to Nashville Express Office.
Sunday, February 7th 1864. Weather clear but cold and windy. Have roll call mornings and evenings regular. Douglas, a member of Co. K, arrived here from Memphis. He came up on the boat Glendale. They were fired on with cannon and musketry but scattered the rebs afterwards.
Monday, February 8th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather clear. Warmer. I am on fatigue hauling wood for the hospital and pickets. Received two Amboy Times. Sent a letter to George.
Tuesday, February 9th. weather clear, cold and dry. A scouting party left this place after a reb conscripter.
Wednesday, February 10th. Weather as yesterday. Froze ice in our shebang last night. We hear of Co. E’s veterans having a fight with the Copperheads at Paris, Illinois.
Thursday, February 11th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather smoky. Cold and fresh this morning.
Friday, February 12th. Weather as yesterday. I am on picket. The scouts come in with two prisoners. Received a letter from Alfred.
Saturday. February 13th. Weather clear and nice. Have ice most every morning lately.
Sunday, February 14th. Commenced to rain last night and rained all day. Some 30 of this detachment went out on a big scout.
Monday, February 15th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather damp, rainy and cloudy. I am on picket. Arnold arrived.
Tuesday, February 16th. Weather cold and windy. Cleared off last night. I helped get three loads of wood. Received a letter from Holle.
Wednesday, February 17th. Weather very cold. Freezes all day in our cabin. Rather windy, some cloudy.
Thursday, February 18th. Weather clear, cold severe. Another mounted party left here this morn. I am on picket. Great rejoicing over the first train arriving here.
Friday, February 19th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather cold. A few prisoners were brought in by this detachment.
Saturday, February 20th. weather moderate. Pleasant this p.m.
Sunday, February 21st. Weather fair. A few more prisoners and the last scouting party also some contraband arrived here. Received a letter from Memphis Express Agent.
Monday, February 22nd. Weather fine. I am on picket.
Tuesday, February 23d. Richland, Tenn. Weather very fine. Rather windy this p.m. A large train passed by here last night. After bedtime, it made an uncommon noise. It woke me.
Wednesday, February 24th. Weather fine.
Thursday, February 25th. Weather rather windy. Smoky but warm. A squad of our detachment brought in two horse thieves. Sent a letter to M. N. to Michigan.
Friday, February 26th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather warm and pleasant. I am on picket. A third train passed here to Prospect. The Ohio Brigade veterans are mostly all back again.
Saturday, February 27th. Weather smoky. Some windy. Warm. A small scouting party went out again. Two citizens dressed in soldier’s cloth went with them. A train with pontoons passed by here, probably to use them across the Tennessee River. Received a letter from Johnny.
Sunday, February 28th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather cloudy. Had several small showers. A train came down with some troops. The pontoon train returned this a.m. Whiled my time away with phrenology.
Monday, February 29th. Weather rainy, cloudy, and muddy. The creek is fast coming up. Mustered for pay. Received a letter from Mother.
Tuesday, March 1st 1864. Richland, Tenn. It rained all last night and much of today. I am on picket. The last scouts came in but couldn’t bring their horses across on account of high water. Lieut. Sanborn came nearly drowning.
Wednesday, March 2nd. Weather fair. Cleared off last night. The creek is rising yet. A detail went to take away drift wood from the railroad bridge.
Thursday, March 3rd. Weather fair. Received two months pay.
Friday, March 4th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather cloudy. Rains this evening. A train with timber for the pontoon bridge, a company of Negroes, and some others run off two miles above here. Our sutler got his shoulder broke. No one else hurt except slight scratches. Sent a letter to Alfred.
Saturday, March 5th, Weather some cloudy and cold. I am on picket. The [rail]road was fixed and trains are running again this eve. A rebel deserter came to my post. I took him in, found him a pair of shoes and his dinner. He was otherwise well clad.
Sunday, March 6th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather very nice. Went to a meeting. Mr. Graves, the preacher, is very severe on [ ]tism. Though he hinted to the soldiers. There were as many as ten or more. Saw some very fair Southern (Tenn.) belles.
Monday, March 7th. Weather damp and wet. Thundered and rained hard this p.m. and evening. At the creek I worked at the shells. Sent a letter to Cousin Fred.
Wednesday, March 9th. Weather rainy. Trains are coming more frequent. Gen. Dodge moved his headquarters to Athens [Alabama] a few day ago.
Thursday, March 10th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather fair, I am on picket.
Friday, March 11th. Weather chilly. Rained some last night.
Saturday, March 12th. Weather warm this p.m. Windy and cloud this p.m. We hear of our regiment leaving Chicago yesterday. Received a letter from John M.
Sunday, March 13th. Weather fair. Rather windy this p.m. Went to meeting but there was none. Our boys expected tonight or tomorrow.
Monday, March 14th. Richland, Tenn. Weather cold and windy. Our regiment is said to be in Chicago yet. I am on picket. Received a letter from Emma.
Tuesday, March 15th. Weather cold and disagreeable. Snows this p.m. About 18-20 rebels made a dash near this place and Prospect capturing three men within musket shot of their camps. Our scouts recaptured them. They came all in and went out again tonight. Sergt. Mills, Co. H now Lieut. of the 2nd Alabama. They was also captured. They took his money and arms and let him go.
Wednesday, March 16, 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather cold. Snowed some. Received a letter from Clink.
Thursday, March 17th. Weather cold and windy. I am shivering writing his. Our regiment is expected here this eve.
Friday, March 18th. Weather moderate. Some smoky this a.m. Cloudy and windy in p.m.
Saturday, March 19th. Weather clear. Some cold this morn. Warmer this p.m.
Sunday, March 20th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather changeable. I am on picket. Sent a letter to R. R. Landson [and] to brother John M.
Monday, March 21st. weather cloudy, cold, and windy. Went to Mr. Howard’s with Stiver and stayed until late in the eve. Helped cut cornrocks. They are a fine Southern family.
Tuesday, March 22, 1864. Weather very chilly. Have a big fire all day and is none too warm. Received a letter from Alfred.
Wednesday, March 23, 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather clear and windy. Warm this p.m. I am on fatigue hauling timber for a stockade. The 12th [Illinois] arrived at Pulaski. Companies B and I is to guard this place.
Thursday, March 24th. Weather clear and warm. Cloudy this p.m. Co. B and I veterans arrived here last night at 12 o’clock. I stayed over night and breakfasted to Mr. Howard’s.
Friday, March 25th. Weather damp and rainy. Co. B has only 6 new recruits.
Saturday, March 26t 1864. Richland, Tenn., Weather chilly and cloudy this a.m. Clear this p.m. I am not well.
Sunday, March 27th (Easter Day). Weather fine. Some windy this p.m. Took a dose of oil. Sent a letter to E. V. to Mother.
Monday, March 28th. weather chilly and wet.
Tuesday, March 29th. Weather comfortable. Cleared off this a.m. Received letter from Jacob Hoelly.
Wednesday, March 30th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather fair. Received a letter from J. G. Hoff Cal.
Thursday, March 31st. Weather comfortable but smokey. Paducah is burned we hear by Gen. Forrest and Roddy.
Friday, April 1st 1864. Weather chilly. It rained some. Capt. Moore, a famous reb guerrilla, passed here on his way to Nashville. He was captured by a detail of the 12th Illinois with the assistance of some of the 66th Illinois 40 miles from here [on the] 29th March. I was on camp guard last night. Received a letter from Cousin Cinda.
Saturday, April 2nd 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather moderate. Some cold this a.m. Our brigade has marching orders. we expect to leave next week for Decatur. Trains are running more regular since yesterday. The train to Athens passes at 1 p.m., from Athens (or Decatur) 11 a.m.
Sunday, April 3rd. Weather clear and warm. I am on fatigue. A Copperhead riot took place at Char[les]ton, Illinois, lately. 5 of the 54th Illinois are reported killed there. Mr. Owen Lovejoy is reported dead. Sent a letter to New York to Johnny. Received one from George, from Emma.
Monday, April 4th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather wet, damp, rained last night. Blows hard this p.m.
Tuesday, April 5th. Weather cloudy and damp. Moderate this p.m. Our regiment expects to leave Pulaski for Athens or Decatur this week. How we have to run to be in time for a plate, fork, or knife at mealtime.
Wednesday, April 6th 1864. Weather fair. Had company drill. Sergt. Andrews of Co. C stopped here. He helped catch Capt. Moore. He says they killed one and wounded two of his men. All the scouts of this regiment returned to their respective companies.
Thursday, April 7th 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather warm. Smokey this p.m. I am on picket. Received a letter from George, from Michigan.
Friday, April 8th. Weather damp and rainy. Much wind. Rained and blowed considerable last night.
Saturday, April 9th. Weather cloudy. Rains at intervals. The wind blows hard. The chimneys smoke out through the wrong end. Had no fork, cup, knife nor plate but plenty of coffee without bread for dinner.
Sunday, April 10th, 1864. Weather fair. I am on picket (back of Mrs. Wilkerson’s house). Received a letter from Emma.
Monday, April 11th. Weather fair. Had a comfortable night on picket. Sent a letter to George with $40.
Tuesday, April 12th. Weather cloudy. 12 o’clock M. six trains are within sight waiting for the engineers to get this bridge done. Four trains up and two down. 15 trains in all passed here, the most of them on their way to Nashville. The trains from Chattanooga are coming empty this way. Letter to Cal. to Ohio.
Wednesday, April 13th 1864. Weather cold. Four to five trains are waiting here for the Nashville train.
Thursday, April 14th. Weather cool. I am on picket.
Saturday, April 16th. Weather some chilly and windy. Farmers call this a very late spring. I sent letters to Michigan to Cousin Cinda.
Sunday, April 17th. Weather smokey. No trains from the North yesterday. We hear Forrest captured Fort Pillow killing all the negro prisoners and their officers. Also showed no mercy to the white soldiers there. An awful affair. This happened the 12th inst.
Monday, April 18th, 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather cool. Some chilly. Windy this afternoon. We hear cannonading at Pulaski. They had Division Drill. sent a letter to E. N.
Tuesday, April 19th. Weather clear but cool again. We hear artillery practice. Received a letter from Mother.
Wednesday, April 20th. Weather fair. We hear the artillery at Pulaski again.
Thursday, April 21st 1864. Richland, Tenn. Weather warm. I’m on a fatigue. It rains this p.m. This bridge is now completed and the engineers are going down to Elk River. Sent a letter to Michigan to Mother.
Friday, April 22nd. Weather fair. I am on picket guarding the bridge. Received a letter from Alfred.
Saturday, April 23rd. Weather fair. Some cloudy. The division post master of Pulaski was taken under guard to Nashville.
Sunday, April 24th 1864. Richland, Tenn. It rained last night. Is cold and windy. Some cloudy all day.
Monday, April 25th. Weather fair. This is the first day this year I went without a coat. One of our patrols was brought in under guard by two of the 7th Iowa. Capt. Mills kept one of them in retaliation.
Tuesday, April 26th. Weather rather too warm. I am on picket. A negro soldier came in this evening late shot through the shoulder. He reports some rebs a mile from here, A squad from here are now going out to see.
Wednesday, April 29th, 1864. Weather hot. They brought in the ma—a citizen—who shot the negro. He says he shot the negro supposing him to be a thief. I had several severe sick spells. We have orders to march tomorrow.
Thursday, April 28th. Weather cloudy. Rained, thundered and blew terrible last night. 10 a.m. we are ready and waiting for orders to start. Later, the orders are to start tomorrow. Sergt. [John] Myers of the 7th Illinois Infantry was hung at Pulaski between the hours of 9-11 today. He was acquitted once. He shot his captain in self defense over a year ago at Corinth, Mississippi.
Friday, April 29th, 1864. Richland, Tenn. It rained again last night and of course we are ready to march [so] it will rain more. It is cloudy. I am not well enough to march. 9 o’clock a.m., we all have started and are waiting for the regiment on the pike 1.5 miles from our quarters. The regiment came up and Dr. Newel sent five of us to Pulaski to report to Dr. Cady–viz: Bewer, myself, Collison, and Prince and one of Co. H. We met Gen. Sweeney and staff one half mile in the rear of the Division. He passed us with but few questions. It was nearly two o’clock when Cady sent me to the R. Camp with its convalescents to stay.
Saturday, April 30th 1864. Pulaski, Tenn. Weather cloudy. The su comes out hot. Rained much and most all last night. I am thinking of the many soldiers out in this wet. I feel quite rested this morning. Our grub consists of what we pack up around the camp. We are rather poorly provided; every man for himself. I am with Sergt. [Gillispie B.] Welden (Co. G) and am doing as well or better than any of the rest. Slept in Lieut. [John] Hall’s tent. The garrison consists of the convalescents belonging to our Division. the sickest from the hospital were sent to Nashville about one hundred. This eve a company of the 9th Ohio Cavalry came in but without horses. It looks rather bare yet. Left the 12th camp and moved in the 2nd Iowa Barracks.
Sunday, May 1st 1864. Pulaski, Tenn. Weather pleasant. Some cloudy and chilly at intervals. I am on picket guarding the bridge over Richland Creek near the Depot. I went to camp after dinner. No rations. Plenty of hard tack though. They are waiting for an issue. Later 300 rations for convalescents were issued. Another company of the 9th Ohio Cavalry arrived here. An hour and a half fighting was heard near Decatur, o a railroader says. Flies are getting thick and a mosquito can be seen now and then.
Monday, May 2nd 1864. Pulaski, Tenn. Weather chilly, cloudy, and rather windy. I was relieved by the 9th Ohio Cavalry at 8:30 a.m. Many trains are going North. Rations seem to be get scaly. The papers of today have the rebel army concentrate their principal forces near Richmond. A great battle there imminent. Sent a letter to Alf to J. M. Hammerly. The citizens are rejoicing. They dream of our being driven out here. They go around like sneaks only whispering to one another.
Tuesday, May 3rd 1864. Pulaski, Tenn. Weather warm. I slept cold last night and my bunk felt hard. A Capt. came here [looking] for able bodied men to support the Elk [River] Bridge with two pieces of artillery. I am ready to go. 5:30 o’clock p.m., (the train was behind time) we arrived at Prospect, but no res near. The bridge builders are busy to work. We took possession of some old barracks bout 25-30 of us, all convalescents from different regiments. There is two blockhouses here—one not quite completed. Also an old stockade and a fort upon a high hill. Our regiment is near Chattanooga. 75,000 troops passed Huntsville, says one of Co. A who came from there this morning.
Wednesday, May 4th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather fine. Eight of the 12th [Illinois] and one of the 52nd Illinois were sent to guard the sawmill 1 mile north of the bridge. Two of us are to patrol the road up to Tunnel Hill during the day. Three are on guard during the night. Only few trains are running now. I stood 3 hours guard last night. We hear of our division drawing 10 days rations (three days in their haversacks) at or near Chattanooga.
Thursday, May 5th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather rather warm. We have a comfortable place, a fresh water spring and a nice creek close by. Drawed rations. It was high time. I was awful hungry. I only had ration for one mean when I left Pulaski. Perhaps tomorrow we will get soft bread. The citizens below threaten to burn the bridge. Two sneaks were discovered and fired at this morning. A squad of nine took possession of the blockhouse on the opposite side of the river to stay there permanently.
Friday, May 6th 1864. Pulaski, Tenn. Weather hot. Trains are coming thick again. They say the road has been broken near Stevenson which caused the unusual stillness of this road last night and this forenoon.
Saturday, May 7th. weather hot. I am on picket. Stood but two hours last night.
Sunday, May 8th 1864. Prospect, Gile county, Tenn. Weather rather warm. Some windy. A bridge builder was knocked off the bridge by a pulley. He is not expected to live. Mr. Thornton and Shimpock stopped here. Also two other citizens. The former is a fine Union man. The other claims to have married a relation to Dick Ogelsby but his heart is not yet right. An engine with car and engine inside (a new kind of cars) passed by here. I saw two of them at Richland Station running with their own machinery. The train which was fired into the other side of Huntsville also passed here. A fireman was killed, an engineer, and 3-4 others badly wounded.
Monday, May 9th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather comfortable. This morning before breakfast we were ordered to go on picket nearer the bridge. He said (the Lieut.) that Forrest is expected. We are looking for him all day. The 14th Illinois Infantry came to reinforce us last night. Later, the 17th Corps is marching here. Also trans are loaded with troops on their way to Athens, Huntsville, and elsewhere. The biggest part of Gen. [Walter Q.] Gresham’s Division are encamped at or near Prospect. Forrest may come in now! We are relieved by the 14th Illinois after sundown.
Tuesday, May 10th 1864. Prospect, Giles county, Tenn. It rained much last night and until 11 o’clock this a.m. the wind blows a cool, steady breeze. 5 o’clock p.m., rains again and looks as if it is to continue all night. We are relieved just dark. A thousand head of cattle went past here on their way to Huntsville, Alabama. The pontoon bridge broke down with them. One broke its leg and this post has to eat him up (awful). The news is that Grant has whipped Lee at Chancellorsville, Virginia. Gen. Butler is said to be in the rear of Richmond. Gen. Banks is said to be in a bad fix [in Louisiana].
Wednesday, May 11th 1864. Prospect, Giles county, Tenn. It rained most all last night and grew colder. The cold penetrated through two thick blankets and a rubber. The 14th Illinois left here early this morning. A few of the 15th Illinois arrived here. They are expecting their veterans from home today or tomorrow. The news of yesterday is today confirmed. The battle was fought May 6th-7th. Encouraging news was received from Gen. Sherman. He is said to be near Atlanta, Georgia. This has been a cold and windy day. It is awful lonesome without mail and only a paper now and then.
Thursday, May 12th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. I slept very uncomfortable and cold last night and today it is chilly. We have no paper but hear that Grant is gaining a great victory. 10 of us came over to guard the mill again. 3 belong to the 52nd Illinois. The rest to the 12th.
Friday, May 13th. Weather quite comfortable. I am on picket this eve.
Saturday, May 14th. Weather comfortable. The news from most all quarters comes in favorable yet although it is some confounded.
Sunday, May 15th. Weather fair. We hear from unreliable sources that our division has been in a fight. Some of our regiment are said to have been seen on a train of wounded [going] to Nashville.
Monday, May 16th 1864. Weather fine. I am on picket this eve.
Tuesday, May 17th. Weather some rainy. Sent a letter to Martin, to mother, and to George.
Wednesday, May 18th. weather fair. Rather hot this p.m. The trains did not run last night owing to a rebel dash at Madison Station. The road was some damaged. The 13th Illinois driven off and 40 or more are reported captured. The papers say that Sherman fought a big battle at Resaca, Ga. driving the rebs before him. Our loss is reported 3,000, but why do we see all or most all the trains pass by here empty? Grant’s loss is said to be up to the 17th, 34,000 killed, wounded, and missing. The 2nd Corps lost alone 9,900 men.
Thursday, May 19th. Weather hot. Am on guard this evening. The trains can’t cross this bridge. The regular train went back to Nashville again. The bridge builders are laying their track. They worked all last night.
Friday, May 20th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather comfortable. We drawed 11 days rations. The trains commenced running this p.m. A train passed which was fired into by guerrillas. The engine and cars showed the effects and engineer and brakeman was killed. The moon shines as bright as day tonight. So it did last night and night before last.
Saturday, May 21st. Weather comfortable. Trains are running thick again. Three cars loaded with prisoners passed here. Two trains with wounded and convalescents too passed. The bridge was finished today.
Sunday, May 22nd 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather very warm. Two negroes and a refugee have been found dead near the corral (Mr. Brown’s plantation) 5 miles from here. A train with rebel prisoners and deserters passed here. Also some rebel and Union wounded. Two damaged locomotives were sent by here, captured we suppose.
Monday, May 23rd. Weather very warm. Had a severe headache most all day. The night guard must have caused it. It was a fine moonlight night. A few more wounded passed here today on trains. [Alonzo P.] Sharp of Co. I has been seen wounded by one of his company yesterday on a train. He says several of the regiment have been killed and quite a number wounded, among the former is [Theodore F.] Denman of Co. A, the latter Co. F’s Lieut. [Charles Farr?].
Tuesday, May 24th 1864. Prospect, Giles Co., Tenn. Rained and thundered some last night. More of our wounded, also a few prisoners, passed here. Our regiment is said to have been in two fights and lost heavy. How anxious I am to hear from Martin. Guerrillas are said to threaten this place. A train run off [the track] near Columbia day before yesterday. Several were killed we hear. We also hear that 34 of our regiment are reported killed and many more wounded, but who they are we cannot learn. The two negroes and a white man reported killed last Sunday are all alive. No such thing has been done. James [B.] Nesbitt is reported to be one of the killed at the railroad accident near Columbia. Wonder whether true; from Herrick, Pa.
Wednesday, May 25th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather cloudy. Thunders and rains at intervals. some cool. I am on picket this eve. Mr. Wilber passed here today going across the river.
Thursday, May 26th. Weather real chilly and windy. Some cloudy. A heavy thunder and hailstorm passed over us yesterday which no doubt causes this cold day. Perhaps a battle has been raging somewhere yesterday or day before. 11 carloads with prisoners passed. Also a train of sick and wounded and Buell’s Battery on their way home, we suppose. One of the 7th Iowa arrived here from the front. He reports our Division at Kingston, Alabama, drawing 20 days rations. Our regiment, the 12th [Illinois] lost but few, he says. They skirmished with the enemy last Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Friday, May 27th, 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather warm but breezy.
Saturday, May 28th. weather warm. Some breezy. I am on guard.
Sunday, May 29th. Weather warm but real chilly last night. Wonder whether up north they did not have a frost. Went up (with Corporal [Jacob] Renner of Co. D) to the corral (Brown’s Plantation). The darkies had religious service in front of the old shattered mansion, afterwards a funeral procession. [Harlan] Brewer is there. Also [James] Nesbitt arrived there from Decatur Junction. No train from Nashville today. Something must be . The train from Chattanooga here this evening. Passed it [ ].
Monday, May 30th 1864. Had been real cold last night again but is pleasant, clear and warm today. The passenger train from Nashville due yesterday 3 p.m., passed here between 8-9 this a.m. The guerrillas tore up the track between Columbia and Nashville. A train with wounded passed this a.m. Also some of Roddy’s men who were captured Friday or Saturday.
Tuesday, May 31st. weather very warm. Hot this p.m. Long trains pass mostly all empty. A few cars of wounded passed this a.m. I am on guard.
Wednesday, June 1st 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather hot. Rains this evening and night. Drawed 10 days rations. They talk strongly about us being relieved here but have no orders to that affect yet, I have not heard from our regiment yet. Can’t hear from nowhere as i do not get any more letters. More of Roddy’s men passed here.
Thursday, June 2nd. Weather cloudy. Rain at intervals. Thunders some. Trains are coming by mostly empty. One had some of our wounded on. Received a few lines from Sergt. [Dan A.] Wilber stating that he received a letter from [William C.] Doan dated Kingston, Ga. May 21st stating that Co. B had been in several skirmishes suffering but little. They were doing provost duty at Kingston at the time.
Friday, June 3rd 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather cloudy. Hot when the sun is out. Considerable many wounded passed here. Also prisoners. I am on guard this evening. A young citizen came here reporting guerrillas two miles up the track. Sent to Capt. He sends us 5 men for reinforcements.
Saturday, June 4th. weather rainy, damp and wet. Rained nearly all last night. Many trains pass by last night. I hear many strange noises whilst on guard but up to this hour, 12 M, no guerrillas has been seen. The train from Nashville due at 3 p.m. has not yet arrived. We heard of guerrillas all day and squads patrolled the road.
Sunday, June 5th, 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather cloudy but hot and sultry. I am not well. Have a head and stomach ache. The yesterday’s and today’s train both passed here this 3 p.m.
Monday, June 6th. weather cloudy. The sun shines hot at times. There were less trains today than common. I am on guard.
Tuesday, June 7th. Weather very hot. It thunders in the far off southwest. Only one train instead of 6 to 8 passed between sun down and sunup.
Wednesday, June 8th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather damp and rainy. Nights warmer than common. Only two trains from the South. Received a line from Sergt. Weldon.
Thursday, June 9th. Weather camp, cloudy but hot. Patrolled the road this morn at 4-5 o’clock. Had all the mulberries I could eat. Also some sour cherries. Sent a letter to M. N. to sister Katie.
Friday. June 10th. Weather hot. Rains at intervals. The trains commenced running again yesterday. The engineers fixed a bridge which caused the lull. A five days fight is expected in front.
Saturday, June 11th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Rained hard last night. My bed got wet. A train loaded with wounded passed here. The day’s paper does not say anything of the fight of the 25th-30th last month.
Sunday, June 12th. Weather cold, damp, and rainy. Rained nearly all day and Jones went up to Brown’s Plantation. Had mulberry, raspberry, and [ ] pie and new potatoes for dinner with Sergt. Wilbur. I am on guard.
Monday, June 13th. Weather cloudy and cool. Is clearing off this eve.
Tuesday, June 14th 1864. Weather pleasant. Slept cold last night.
Wednesday, June 15th. Weather some cloudy. Saw C[lark] Camp of our company standing on the platform of the train this morn. I am on guard. Camp is going to Philadelphia to military school.
Thursday, June 16th. Weather rather hot but breezy. Many discharged soldiers are passing daily. Got a canteen full of sweet milk this eve. to Mr. Johnson’s (got two full ones yesterday). Several carloads of prisoners passed today. Also some of our wounded.
Friday, June 17th. Weather hot. They started this sawmill today. Some more discharged soldiers and some wounded went by here. Went after a transportation to Pulaski. Couldn’t get one.
Saturday, June 18th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather fair. Somewhat hot.
Sunday, June 19th. Weather very hot. Today the trains are running 1:30 p.m. from the north and 7:30 p.m. from the south. The southern train ran off near Huntsville. Consequently no trains tonight. The trains are coming back on the other road (commenced today).
Monday, June 20th. Weather hot. Some cloudy. I went up to Pulaski this morning and came back on the noon train. About 100 convalescents had started to go to the front to join their regiment (16th Corps) but were sent back to their quarters again. The news is encouraging. Grant is seizing Richmond.
Tuesday, June 21st, 1864. Rained today. Drawed 10 days rations. I am on guard. The Pulaski convalescents passed on their way to the front. No doubt we will soon follow. Good news from both our armies. Sent a letter to Michigan. Helped in the sawmill.
Wednesday, June 22nd. Weather cloudy but hot and breezy.
Thursday, June 23rd. Weather very hot. Worked most all day in the sawmill. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Tennessee Cavalry and 1st Ohio Battery passed here on their way to Decatur.
Friday, June 24th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather very hot. I am to work in the sawmill but do not feel too well. I am on guard.
Saturday, June 25th. Weather hot. Served orders to pack up this morn at 9 o’clock this eve. At 6 o’clock we were ordered to the station.
Sunday, June 26th. Weather immensely hot. Slept in the open air last night. The afternoon trains passed and we are yet waiting for orders or transportation. Sprinkled some this eve.
Monday, June 27th. Weather more than hot. Slept on the ground again in the open air. Came back to the mill again at 10 o’clock this morn. Train from the south 7:30 a.m. from north 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 30th 1864. Weather cool. Rained some. Was relieved from guard this eve.
Friday, July 1st, 1864. Weather hot. Had a severe rain. This creek swelled to more unusual height in a few minutes. Our springs are covered with the current. Favorable news from the front. Also from Grant. I have not received a letter for over two months. What causes this delay I am unable to say. It is awful inconvenient.
Saturday, July 2nd. Weather cool and rainy. I am on guard. Ran a race, got beat. Had no milk this eve. The first time in a long while.
Sunday, July 3rd 1864. Weather breezy. Thunders and rains at intervals. I am not well today.
Monday, July 4th. Weather warm. Hot some breezy. Last night some 15-20 guerrillas stopped at one of the neighbors to get a drink of water. They crossed the railroad half mile from here, shot a citizen for refusing to let his horses go. The shot was heard by our guards at 11 o’clock tonight. The citizen (Mr. Carr) died this morn at 5 o’clock. This has been a very dull fourth. Received the 1st letter in ten weeks from Mother.
Tuesday, July 5th. Weather hot, breezy. Sent a letter to Mother, to George.
Wednesday, July 6th. Weather comfortable. At guard at 6 this evening. Helped in the sawmill. There was a number of extra trains last night. Today among them was a hospital train to the front.
Friday, July 8th. Weather hot. Helped in the mill yesterday forenoon. Got sick. Feel much better today. A. A. of this post got our names today for to make out a preliminary payroll for us here. Went on guard this eve.
Saturday, July 9th 1864. Prospect, Tenn. Weather very hot. I had the ague the first time and afterward a hot fever.
Sunday, July 10th. Weather comfortable. Thunder. Rained hard this p.m.
Monday, July 11th. Weather wet. Rains at intervals. Had the ague and afterward a hot fever. Fainting twice. I thought I’d die.
Tuesday, July 12th. Weather hot. Had several little showers, I webt up to Pulaski to Hospital. The doctor had no place for me. Consig, was sent back with my pocket full of powders.
Thursday, July 14th 1864. Weather hot. Came off guard this eve. Went to the bridge and got me more powders. Had the dumb ague this forenoon.
Friday, July 15th. Weather very hot. Went after blackberry sweet and black gum root, persimmon root and peppermint. Had Irish potatoes for dinner. Went on guard this eve again. We expect to leave in a few days.
Sunday, July 17th. Weather hot. Yesterday we got orders to keep a good look out. Roddy had crossed the Tennessee River. Nothing unusual up to this hour. 2 o’clock A citizen was hung (until near dead) for his money by some 8-10 supposed guerrillas. A soldier of this post is suspected for having done it.
Monday, July 18th 1864. Weather hot. Petersburg is reported taken & Atlanta. The rebel raiders are reported out of Maryland. I am on guard. Sent a letter to Ed. Brigham.
Tuesday, July 19th. Weather moderate. Had some ripe peaches and ripe apples up to Mr. Tom Johnson’s.
Thursday, July 21st. Weather hot and sultry. Sprinkled some. Thunders much. Drawed 5 days rations. I am on guard. Clark Camp passed here yesterday on his way to the regiment. Had a chance to talk to him. He says my folks at Herrick, Pa.
Friday, July 22nd. Weather moderate. Cool this eve. Some cloudy. Received marching orders to report to Chattanooga. We are to be at the depot at 11 a.m.
Saturday, July 23rd. Weather fair. Some cloudy. Left the mill at 11 a.m. Left at the bridge at 1 p.m. I am writing on the top of a car. Rode on the second an open car left on account my clothes catching fire, Stopped at Athens awhile. It is a pretty place. Saw the provost marshal, Capt. Backard. A dispatch was received there last night stating that Atlanta, Georgia, was taken. Arrived at Huntsville, Alabama, at 6:30 p.m. It is a pretty town and a fine rolling country from Decatur down to Huntsville.
Sunday, July 24th. Weather rather hot. Left Huntsville this morn at 6:30 o’clock, arrived at Stevenson at 1 p.m. Passed over several trestle works and bridges through Larkensville and another little town. The road was lined with splendid corn and cotton fields. Peaches, apples, and blackberries are enticing—especially the latter as the former are not ripe enough. Left Stevenson at 3:30, arrived at Chattanooga at 8 p.m. General McPherson’s remains passed us between Stevenson and Bridgeport. He was killed near Atlanta the 22nd inst. We lost heavy that day but drove the rebs out of Atlanta so an engineer tells us. Also that the yesterday the rebs tried to retake the place but failed, losing heavy. At Bridgeport were two gunboats and three small steamers, Crossed two rivers at this place.
Monday, July 25th. Chattanooga, Tenn. Weather hot (my head aches). Slept well in the open air near the depot. Are waiting for orders. Later, Capt. Reiniger comes [and] order the nonveterans to stay here. The recruits and veterans are to go in front. At 3 p.m. they are to start. A large hospital train arrived from the front with many wounded. I helped carry. The most of them were minus an arm or leg. They were wounded the 20th inst. near Atlanta. 5 p.m. A train is getting ready for Nashville to take 4-500 prisoners. Among them I saw 6 line and field officers. [Michael B.] Jones of Co. F and myself pitched a tent in the 16th Corps store camp. There was five of our regiment here. Everyone on his own hook.
Tuesday, July 26th. Chattanooga, Tenn. Weather smokey but warm. Looked like rain last night. I stayed in camp all day. Many prisoners and wounded came in last night and this morn. 1,100 prisoners reported on the road. The taking of Atlanta has bit yet ben confirmed. Hard fighting has been done there. Chattanooga is a lively but small place. Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge are within sight. Our camp is between the town and the Tennessee river. The government is putting up ever so many buildings. Also a depot and track from town to a sawmill on the river in the rear of this camp.
Wednesday, July 27th. Weather damp. Rains this morn. This p.m. I went to town. Saw two trains full of prisoners getting ready to go to Nashville—about 900 of them. Met a few of our regiment from Pulaski. They are to stay with us nonveterans. Saw our Major [James R. Hugunin] just from the front (has resigned). He had a list of the casualties of our regiment. Found brother Martin’s name on it (wounded severely). I expect him here within a few days. Also the nonveterans. Sent a letter to Michigan to Mrs. Clink.
Thursday, July 28th. Weather cloudy. The top of the Lookout Mountain is hid from sight nearly all day. The 9th Illinois arrived from the front. They say ours will soon follow.
Friday, July 29th. Chattanooga, Tenn. Weather very warm and clear. The 9th [Illinois] went home to be mustered out at Springfield. Sent a letter to Herrick, Pa.
Saturday, July 30th. Weather clear and hot. I with 5 more went up on the Lookout Mountain. It was a pleasant but rather tiresome trip. All all the whortleberries we wanted. Visited the artist on the point of Lookout (a few weeks [ago] an artist fell from one of the rocks broke neck). Also Summersville, two miles or 1.5 from the point. Gathered a few apples below the point. There is a large orchard and broken down buildings there. Coming down I blistered my toes.
Sunday, July 31st. Chattanooga, Tenn. Weather very hot. Had a hard thunder and rain shower. Went to town. Saw Gen. [Augustus Louis] Chetlain. He is here to inspect negro troops. Our boys are expected in from the front tomorrow as their time is out.
Friday, 5 August 1864. Weather hot. Had severe hard showers this week. Brother Martin arrived here (wounded) from the front with several more of the regiment. I took him to our camp and wanted him to stay (if not until his time was out) but he wanted to go home as he had a furlough and he left with a hospital train at 5 p.m. He left me about a dozen letters. Sent a letter to Cousin Fred today.
Saturday, August 6th 1864. Weather hot as can be. At intervals had some violent rain showers today. It lightened and thundered hard. The lightning killed a Lieutenant about 80 rods from here and shocked a man with me in this tent and another not far off. Our tent blew over last night and I am glad Martin did not stay else he would of got wet. Hope he will have good luck on his homeward way. Gen. [John] McArthur (our 1st Colonel) was in town. He is going to the front.
Sunday, August 7th. Weather very hot but cloudy.