Category Archives: 66th Illinois, Birge’s Western Sharpshooters

1863-64: John Chenowith Brooks to Mrs. Amanda Catherine (Brooks) Lilley

I could not find an image of Brooks but here is a CDV of Benjamin Marot who also served in the 66th Illinois Infantry (Photo Sleuth)

The following letters were written by John Chenowith Brooks (1838-1915) to his sister, Amanda Catherine (Brooks) Lilley (1830-1887)—the wife of Mitchell Campbell Lilley of Columbus, Ohio. John and Amanda were the children of Thomas Martin Brooks (1803-1881) and Sarah B. Chenowith (1808-1865) of Paris, Edgar county, Illinois.

John enlisted in Co. E, 66th Illinois Regiment (Western Sharp Shooters) in October 1861. The 66th Illinois was a multi-state regiment—two companies were raised in Ohio, three in Illinois, one in Michigan, and four were organized at St Louis’ Benton Barracks of Missourians and detachments of volunteer candidates sent by recruiting officers from Iowa, Minnesota and other western states, thus forming a regiment that represented every state in the West, a pet scheme of General John C. Fremont. John rose in rank to sergeant and later as a 2nd Lieutenant. Late in the war he was attached to Co. G, 1st Alabama Cavalry (a predominantly white regiment composed of Southern Unionists). He mustered out of the service on 25 January 1865 and soon after attended the Indianapolis Dental College where he graduated and became a practicing dentist in Sullivan and Charleston, Illinois. He married Charlotte Blake (1844-1928) in 1864 and had at least two children.

Letter 1

Camp near Pulaski, Tennessee
November 19, 1863

Dear Sister,

It has been almost three weeks since I received your last letter. It has been cruelly neglected but I will assure you it has been from necessity. As you may see by the heading of my letter, we are in Middle Tennessee, about one hundred miles east of Corinth. We marched through [and] were near two weeks on the road, and have been scouting about almost all the time since we arrived here. Our Division of our Corps is here and distributed along this railroad which is being opened through from Nashville to Decatur. I understand that the other two Divisions are on the way here and the 17th Army Corps is to follow.

We have had but three mails since we left Corinth—two since we have been here and one when we got to the Tennessee river. We have but one or two chances of sending mail and then I had no chance to write. I will write this and have it ready. I hope you will accept this explanation as sufficient excuse for my long delay.

I suppose we will stay here or in this vicinity for awhile. So you will address to 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, via Nashville, Tenn. I hope our communication will be perfected soon so that we may get mail regular.

I am in good health and stood the march fine—better than I thought I would. Our troops are in fine condition. Not a man reports to the hospital from our company.

This is a beautiful country and has once been called rich in the world’s goods, but alas, the destroyer “War” has been here and left his mark. In the place of affluence and wealth is now found desolation and ruin. Out of fifty business houses in this town is not found one that can boast of an occupant.

I was on a scout the other day and seen find dwellings deserted—the finest of furniture left to the mercy of our soldiers. We brought some fine chairs in for the use of our hospital. Please excuse bad writing for I have to write on my knee.

There are a few citizens living here but they are either Union folks who feared not to stay, or those who were too poor to get away. Many of the citizens are coming in and taking the oath of allegiance. Gen. Dodge, commanding, has ordered the citizens to bring in provisions for the soldiers. The consequence is we are living very well just now. The railroad is finished down to Columbia from Nashville, within thirty miles of this place. I must close. Write soon to your brother, — J. C. Brooks

E Company, 66th Illinois Vols., W. S. S., 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, via Nashville, Tenn.

Letter 2

Camp 1st Alabama Cavalry
near Rome, Georgia
July 10th 1864

Dear Sister,

I received a letter from you some time ago while in the field, but have forgotten whether I answered it or not. If I have you may thank me for an extra.

Our regiment is now stationed at Rome, Georgia. We left the army in the front about three weeks ago while they were hammering away at Kennesaw Mountains. I have heard but little news from there since. We have heard that Sherman had got into Atlanta and that is all. Our communication might just as well be cut off for all the good it does us in the way of news and mail. I have received but one mail since I have been here. There is a train runs down here every day or two but it hardly ever brings mail. I suppose our mail goes down the army and they neglect sending it back. I hope we may get a regular communication opened soon. If we don’t, I fear there will one boy have the blues some o’ these days. I have enough to do just now to keep me from getting the blues.

Please excuse that big letter on the other side. I guess I must have put more on it than it could dispose og on that side so I had to use both sides.

My health is good—never better. The health of the regiment is good—but very few cases of sickness in our hospital. I sent one of our boys to the hospital this morning for insanity. He had become quite dangerous around where there are so many firearms. He would get up at the dead hour of night and shoot his gun off at some of his imaginary objects.

I haven’t received a letter from home for Lo these many days, but one since I have been in this camp. We have a few alarms here about once per week. Some daring rebel will slip up to our picket post and try a shot at our pickets.

I have been quite busy for the past few days making out company papers, I have enough to keep me busy for some time to come. I have no news of importance so I will close. Write soon to your affectionate brother, — J. C. Brooks, “G” Company, 1st Alabama Cavalry Vols., Rome, Georgia, via Chattanooga, Tenn.

P. S. I have just received orders to have the company ready for a three days scout at 5 o’clock tomorrow morning. We are going over the Coosa river and we will perhaps have a little fight before we get back. if we go as far as is expected, thirty miles south of the river. — J. C. Brooks

1863-64 Diary of Frederick Hammerly, Co. B, 12th Illinois Infantry

Small image of the author discovered pasted on inside cover of Fred’s Vol 4 Diary

[Insert bio (yet to be written)] of J. Frederick Hammerly, born 1834 in Koenigreich, Wirtemberg, Germany. Came to America on 3 October 1852.

This is the third diary of J. F. H. I have transcribed. It is identified as “Vol. 4” but Vol. 2 is missing. The first two transcribed diaries may be found here:

Vol. 1: 1861-62 Diary of Frederick Hammerly, Co. B, 12th Illinois Infantry

Vol. 3: 1862-63 Diary of Frederick Hammerly, Co. B, 12th Illinois Infantry

Frederick’s brother, Jacob Hammerly, enlisted on 25 August 1861 in Co. B, 12th Illinois Infantry. He drowned on 15 September 1861. Residence place give: Amboy, Illinois.

[Note: The Hammerly Diaries are from the collection of Greg Herr and are published on Spared & Shared by express consent.]

First page of Fred’s Diary. Bought at Amboy, Lee County, Illinois, April 6, 1863, Vol. 4

Amboy, April 8th 1863. I am home on a short furlough. Have to leave tomorrow night. The following are short sketches of the 12th Regiment and myself from the time I joined it until this present day.

The 12th Regiment was organized August 1, 1861. Jacob, Martin & myself joined the regiment August 28th at Birds Point. Went to Belmont August the 31st. Came back to Birds Point September 2nd. Arrived at Paducah (Ky) September 7th 1861. Left the 15th of January 1862 for the 11 days’s expedition. Came back January 25th.

Left for Fort Henry February 5th 1862. The fort was bombarded and taken the 6th. We left Camp Heiman (opposite Fort Henry) February 12th and arrived at or near Fort Donelson on the 13th. The bombardment of the Fort commenced early in the morning of the 13th. It lasted until the 15th. The 16th they surrendered. Left Fort Donelson February 22nd. Arrived at Clarksville (Tenn.) in the night on board the [steamer] Memphis. Arrived at Nashville February 27th 1862 on board the [steamer] Woodford. Got back to Clarksville March 1, 1862.

Arrived at Paducah (on the Savannah Expedition) March 7th. Stayed a few hours and arrived at Savannah March 11th 1862. Landed and camped at Pittsburg Landing. March 17th and 18th. The battle of that place was fought April 6th & 7th, 1862. General C. Smith died at Savannah of a fever April 20th, 1862. Left Pittsburg Landing April 29th. Corinth was evacuated May 30th. Battle of Iuka September 19th. Battle of Corinth October 3rd-4th 1862.

April 1863

On board the Mary Forsyth on the way to Alton, April 1st 1863. Wednesday. Weather nice and clear today. Arrived at St. Louis at 3:30 o’clock p.m. Donely and myself arrested three passengers who were suspected of having some stolen money and property on their persons; nevertheless nothing was found. Stayed over at the Scofield Barracks. Pretty hard place.

Friday, April 3rd 1863. Arrived here at Alton, Illinois, after dark. The 77th Ohio is doing Provost Duty here. The prisoners we brought up (deserters) were made secure.

Saturday, April 4th, 1863. Arrived here to George’s. Amboy, Lee county, Illinois, this morning early—before sunrise. Left Alton yesterday at 8 a.m. Stayed at Bloomington from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., then took the Illinois Central to Amboy. Had to pay full fare from Alton to Amboy.

April 10th, 1863. Amboy, Lee county, Illinois. I had started last night but made up my mind to wait for the next train. Left today about noon. Arrived at Bloomington an hour before dark. Stayed over until 4 o’clock the next morning. Had a rather short but a good visit. Wished to stay a few weeks longer.

April 11, 1863. Alton. Saturday. Weather windy and chilly. Left Bloomington at 4 a.m., arrived here about noon. Got through on a soldier ticket. Left Amboy yesterday the 10th about noon. arrived at Bloomington before supper. Stayed at the American House. Saw Mary Carl there as waiter.

Sunday, April 12th 1863. Rather windy and chilly. Have hardly enough clothes with me. We have to wait for a boat until tomorrow. The 77th Ohio Volunteers tell us that three of the prisoners got out one night. Two of them were caught 15 miles out. The other escaped. A rebel female spy is there imprisoned. 1

1 “There are also accounts of Confederate spies in Middle Tennessee. One of the most infamous female spies associated with Nashville was Clara Judd. The Annals reported that she traveled from Nashville to Louisville with the purpose of acquiring quinine and other medicines for the Confederacy, but her true intent was to pass Union Army information to Confederate raider John Hunt Morgan. Judd’s information on Union troop strengths and locations along the Louisville and Nashville Railroad helped Morgan lead successful raids. When the Union Army learned of Judd’s involvement, she was arrested and sent to a military prison in Alton, Illinois.” [See Spying & Smuggling…” by Rob DeHart]

April 13th, Monday. St. Louis. Weather damp and cloudy but changed to a misty warm day. Arrived here at 11 a.m. Took dinner at a saloon. Found Herman Schuh, an old schoolmate, at the drugstore, corner of Chambers and Broadway in St. Louis. Had a short and good visit. He informed me of his two brothers and Jacob Hall’s whereabouts. Left St. Louis at 6 o’clock p.m. on board the Mary Forsyth—the same boat we came up on from Memphis.

April 14th, Tuesday. On board the Mary Forsyth. Weather cold and rainy. Laid over most all last night. This morning the boat run aground past some island. I thought it would wreck. However, no damage was done. Co. D of the 4th Missouri Cavalry which are on board this boat. their captain arrested three sergeants, one corporal, and one private. They were left under guard at Cape Girardeau.

April 15th 1863. On board Mary Forsyth. Laid over last night at Price’s Landing. Rained a considerable last night. About daylight just as they were getting up steam, one of the steam pipes bursted and created quite a scare. No one was hurt. Had the accident occurred when all the steam was up, many lives might have been lost. Arrived at Cairo at 11:30 a.m. Found Paul G. Shuh. Had ta two hours good stay with him. Weather cloudy and clear, chilly and warm. Arrived at Columbus [Ky] just dark. Like to see Mr. Plummer but have no time. The 128th Illinois and some Marines are doing Provost Duty here.

April 16th 1863. Thursday. On board the Mary Forsyth. Weather more fair than yesterday. Must have went quite a distance last night. Unloaded and loaded lots of freight at Perrickville below New Madrid. The 28th Iowa [Infantry] is at that place. 3:30 o’clock p.m. passed the steamer Hope. She was aground. Later, we are passing an immense sight of boxes, barrels, sacks, &c. They say it is the cargo of the steamer Hope (and so it was).

April 17, 1863. Memphis. Arrived here before daybreak. Were too late for the train to Corinth. Our transportation was not made out in time. It is growing very warm. Went out to see the boys of the 46th Illinois Volunteers. Found them all well. Had a few hours visit with them. Weather is very warm today. Went to the theatre this evening but did not get the worth of my money. Mosquitoes are rather bad this time in the year.

April 18th 1863. Saturday. Corinth, Mississippi. Left Memphis at 7:30 a.m. and arrived at Jackson about 2 o’clock p.m. At Corinth after dark. It is quite warm today. Considerable anxiety is felt in regard to the expedition that left this place a few days ago. The 12th [Illinois] too had been out to reinforce the Glendale troops last Thursday. A few guerrillas made a dash at that place. They however were driven back to their main whole beyond Iuka where quite a number of our men are busying them. Martin had three letters for me—two from Christian, one from Mother, received one from John M., Rushville, [Pa.].

April 19th 1863. Sunday. Corinth, Miss. It is very warm today. We are receiving a variety of news (mostly bad) about our expedition at Bear Creek. Our men have lost heavy and are on retreat to this place. A company of the 9th Illinois [was] taken, several killed including a Captain, and more wounded. The 10th Missouri Cavalry badly cut up and two pieces of artillery taken. 2 Such and other news is current.

2 The 9th Illinois Infantry was ordered to be mounted in March 1863. “They were mounted on mules by 20 March 1863 and by mid April, they were pressed into service as scouts throughout northern Alabama and southern Tennessee. In one of their first cavalry operations, the “Bloody Ninth” of Illinois found themselves in a definite pickle near Chattanooga, as Company D was captured, on 17 April 1863. The regiment suffered 5 wounded and 59 captured; during the skirmish at Lundy’s Lane, Alabama. The Ninth re­engaged the enemy near their previous position on 19 April; and within fifteen minutes of skirmishing, they had driven the enemy off their position.

April 20th 1863, Monday. Corinth, Miss. I am on picket today. The most of the troops are out on an expedition beyond Iuka. Reinforcements were sent out from here and other stations (between here and Jackson) last night and this morning. Troops are coming in constantly. Numerous rumors are afloat in regard to the eminent contest beyond Iuka. Several trains loaded with troops went out to reinforce our men. 4 o’clock p.m. were relieved by the 27th Ioa from Picket Guard. Soon after I was detailed as Provost Guard. Weather warm and comfortable. Two more trains with troops come in this evening.

April 21, 1863. Tuesday. Corinth, Miss. It is warm this morning but is clouding up. Later, it thunders and rains hard. Afternoon, it is raining yet. Today we hear better news from the Bear Creek Expedition. Not much has been done excepting some skirmishing. Capt. Cameron of the 9th [Illinois] was killed and only a few wounded. Our men are checking the rebels at every point. This news needs to be confirmed.

April 22, 1863. Wednesday, Corinth, Miss. Weather warm. Am on fatigue [duty]. Nothing reliable yet from the expedition that left this place. It is rumored and believed that Vicksburg is taken.

[April 23, 1863] Thursday. Weather fair, nice & warm. Nothing more about Vicksburg. Sent a letter to Mother [and] one to George. Martin to Katie Conder.

April 24th 1863. Friday. Today it is nice warm weather. I am on Provost Guard. Can’t hear nothing from Dodge’s forces nor from elsewhere. Am very anxious to hear from Vicksburg.

April 25, 1863. Saturday, Corinth, Miss. Had been warm all day but cloudy this evening. It thunders and will soon rain.

April 26, 1863. Sunday. Got some rain last night. This morning it thunders and rains very hard. Am on Provost Guard. Sent a letter to Mr. Bear Received a letter from Philadelphia.

April 27, 1863. Monday. Had several severe thunder and rain showers last night. Today it is cloudy and raining at intervals.

April 28, 1863. Tuesday. Corinth, Miss. Weather cloudy. Afternoon, clear. Sent a letter to Michigan.

April 29, 1863. Wednesday. Weather comfortable and warm. Am on Provost Guard. About 200 negro women and children arrived here and marched out to the corral. 3

3 The contraband camp (also referred to as the “contraband retreat” and “contraband corral”) was a tent city that was first established in the fall of 1862 on the Philips farm and placed under the supervision of Chaplain James M. Alexander of the 66th Illinois Infantry. by mid-1863, it resembled a small town, complete with a church, commissary, hospital, frame and log houses and gridded streets. [See Contraband Camp at Corinth by National Park Service]

April 30, 1863. Thursday. Weather fair. Had been chilly this morning. The moon shone as bright as day last night. Had monthly inspection (muster for pay) today. Sent a letter to Philadelphia.

May 1863

May 1, 1863. Friday. Corinth, Miss. Am on Camp Guard. Received a letter from Charles Dykeman. It is rumored that a detachment from Grant’s army has been successful in tearing up the railroad below Jackson, Mississippi. Also burning the Iron Works at Jackson.

May 2, 1863. Saturday. Weather warm and fine. Are working hard to get our barracks finished. Afternoon. The Dodge’s Expedition is coming in. The 9th Illinois, Co. D (40 men) taken [prisoners]. Only two or three killed and wounded as far as known, lost one cannon. Scattered the rebels. Had been at Florence.

May 3, 1863. Sunday. Corinth, Miss. Had rained last night but has cleared off again and is comfortable today. Sent a letter to Alfred. On Provost Guard in morning.

May 4, 1863. Monday. Weather hot. The moon shone very bright all last night. Washed off in a creek. Sent a letter to Ch. Dykeman. Another to Mass. A third M. N.

May 5, 1863. Tuesday. Another cloudy and cool this morning. Had a small shower last night. Am on Camp Guard. Sent a letter to Rushville, Pa. One to Clark P. Roff, Marine Hospital, Chicago.

May 6, 1863. Wednesday. Corinth, Miss. It is cold today. Our butter is getting hard. The barracks are going up one after another. Charles Peterson left for home this morning. I sent with him [money] Martin sent 30 dollars. Ten dollars to Mr. Mingle for shoes.

May 7th 1863. Thursday. Weather real cold. A fire feels good.

May 8th 1863. Friday. Cold this morning. Went on Headquarters Guard. Is growing warmer. Afternoon. The rest of the 9th [Illinois] came in with a lot of prisoners belonging to [Brig. Gen. Philip D.] Roddey. Good news from Hooker’s Army. No mail tonight owing to the burning of a mail packet at Island No. 8. Several passengers perished in the flames. Others badly burned. Among them were several on their way to visit their sick and wounded children at Memphis.

May 9th 1863. Saturday. Was quite chilly this morning but turned [out] to be quite a warm day. A few more prisoners arrived this day with some of the 10th Missouri Cavalry. Continued good news arrived here from Hooker’s Army. The same from Vicksburg.

May 10, 1863. Sunday. Weather fair and comfortable. Had weekly inspection and dress parade this evening. There must be good news. The troops are cheering all around here. The Ohio Brigade left for Memphis, perhaps to Vicksburg. A dispatch was read on the color line of Stoneman’s taken Richmond. 75 men from the 12th [Illinois] are detailed after lumber to a mill at Red Sulfa Springs. After reveille. The 70th Illinois are having another great cheering and playing by Gen. Dodge’s Brass Band. An officer read a second dispatch (telegraphic) to the 9th [Illinois] stating and confirming of Stoneman’s entering Richmond [and] also the capture of Lee’s train and a large portion of his army by Gen. Hooker. This news is most too good to believe and as we had such news once or twice before, it is doubted by many. I feel rejoiced. I think it true. We shall son have this rebellion crushed and be on our way to the Prairie State and again in peace. The 7th Illinois is having a great time, They have a splendid fire. It is after ten o’clock p.m. I understand they have marching orders.

May 11th 1863. Monday. Weather warm. Got up this morning at 4 a.m. Got breakfast. Left a little after sunrise. Arrived at the sawmill at 4 p.m., loaded (had about 25 teams) and went back about 3 miles. Then camped on a plantation. Could not sleep on account of flies and wood ticks on some other animals.

May 12, 1863. Tuesday. Had been warm all day. Got up and had breakfast early and left before sunup. Arrived at Corinth about noon. The capture of Richmond is as yet confirmed (must be true). Also the taking of Vicksburg is reported again but the night papers say nothing about it. The boys say the town was illuminated last night. The 7th [Illinois] left. Received a package from Philadelphia.

May 13th 1863. Wednesday, Corinth, Miss. Weather warm. Worked hard cutting timber for another shanty for myself and two or three more. the papers this evening are not saying a word f the capture of Richmond. It is doubted by most everybody now. From Vicksburg we have no reliable news as yet.

May 14th 1863. Thursday. weather warm—yes, hot part of the day. It looks a little like rain this eve. The taking of Richmond has turned out to be a hoax. Nevertheless some important move has been made.

May 1863 – “A Camp Meeting with a Purpose”: At the moment this photograph was taken in the yard of the Verandah House, General Lorenzo Thomas was addressing Corinth’s Union garrison. With arms stacked, the soldiers gathered about an improvised stand sheltered with canvas, listening to a speech “upon a burning question of the hour – the employment of colored troops in the field.” [Page 155, Volume II, Miller’s Photographic History of the Civil War.]

May 15, 1863. Friday. Corinth, Miss. Weather warm. Is very dusty. Adjutant General [Lorenzo] Thomas arrived here yesterday and today he made a speech in front of Gen. Dodge’s Headquarters to all the troops of this place. Afterward he reviewed us. He said in his address that his main object of his coming here was to organize and encourage everyone to sustain the organization of the negro into regiments for the U. S. service for it was the wish of the President and Congress to do so and all loyal men will undoubtedly be in favor of all this. He stated that he oganized ten regiments of this class on the Mississippi and that they make good soldiers—that they are vigilant and ready to apply to every call of their duty; that he had been an eyewitness of it in an engagement on one of the gunboats on the Mississippi. He expressed himself with heart full of wisdom and a man of feeling could not help but say that he spoke in favor of the welfare of this nation, the love of the Constitution, and the establishment of peace and Union forever.

Dr. Florence Cornyn entered the service as a surgeon but preferred fighting and was given command of the 10th Missouri Cavalry to the disappointment of his Lt. Col. William Bowen who thought he should have had the command. Bowen later killed Cornyn. See entry for 11 August 1863.

After he took his seat, Gen. [“Uncle Dick”] Oglesby was called upon. He arose and made a very interesting and important speech. He said he was in for arming the blacks and to use every instrument to hurt the rebels no matter whatever. A year ago he was against the arming of the blacks but now, said he, “I am in favor of not only of the arming them, but of the President’s emancipation proclamation to cripple slavery forever. After this, Gen. [Grenville M.] Dodge and Col. [Florence] Cornyn of the 10th Missouri Cavalry made some short remarks. After they had finished, the band struck up a few patriotic tunes and we were ordered to fall in for review. It was most awful dusty. It looked as like the chariots had come down in a mass of clouds. There [were] quite a few of the soldiers grumbling about the negro organizations. They can not shake off prejudice against the unfortunate blacks which have so long been oppressed by the unfeeling and inhuman whites.

May 16th 1863. Saturday. Felt quite chilly last night on Patrol but is warm again today.

May 17, 1863. Sunday. Corinth, Miss. Weather fair and warm. Sent a letter to cousin Fred. Gen. Grant has no doubt possession of Jackson, Miss. Took it today.

Monday the 18th and Tuesday the 19th, we moved into our new barracks made of our own hands. We have our hands full doing guard, fatigue, and duty and building houses for ourself. Martin and myself have moved into our house 12-12. This evening we have to put in a door and window yet and do some patch work. Then we shall be ready (after we have a table and a few chairs or stools) to receive company. Received a letter from M. North, a paper from cousin Fred. Martin from Katie Conder. Vicksburg is not taken yet but Jackson, Miss is. War news is not very encouraging. Would like to hear from Brother Alfred. A member of our company who was wounded at Fort Donelson and since once or twice been reported dead, arrived here last night.

May 22, 1863. Friday. Weather warm and streets dusty. Yesterday we had a small shower and more water would be acceptable. This night it looks some like rain. Yesterday morning I was relieved from Provost Guard.

May 23, 1863. Saturday. It is most awful warm. It may rain before night. Am on patrol. Ha a small shower. Did not do much good. Received a letter Mass. Another from Maine.

May 24th 1863. Sunday. Weather very warm. Rain is wanted very much. It looked like rain this morning but has cleared off again. Had dress parade. had the new colors (flags) out. Cheering news came in from Vicksburg. Perhaps Grant has possession of it by this time. Received a letter from cousin Lucie. States that Brother Ch. Alfred reported among the missing. In a letter to C. Camp the same is stated. Received another from Brother George. A third from Ch. W. Peterson. A price list from Mingle.

May 25, 1863. Monday. Weather as yesterday. Vicksburg reported again to be ours. Hope so at least. If not taken yet, it soon must fall. Martin sent a letter to Mr. Church.

May 26th 1863. Tuesday. Weather warm, hot and dusty. I am on Camp Guard. An expedition left here today noon consisting of mounted infantry, cavalry, and one battery of artillery—a force maybe some three thousand strong. Their destination is unknown as yet. Received a letter from Brother John. Another from Alfred on his way from Richmond paroled.

May 27, 1863. Wednesday. Corinth, Miss. It is cooler today. It sprinkles some this evening. Received a box of boots and shoes from Amboy. Sent a letter to N.

May 28th 1863. Thursday. Weather warm and cloudy. I am on Headquarters Guard. Received a letter from Mingle. Sent one to Rushville. Enclosed one to Alfred. Nothing reliable has been heard from the expedition that left here the 26th inst.

May 29th 1863. Friday. Weather cool and cloudy. Fixing for rain. 5 o’clock p.m., had quite a storm here. The dust has disappeared. More rain we want. Sent a letter to Michigan. Another to Dubuque. A third to Paul S. A fourth to Herman S.

May 30th 1863. Saturday. Weather comfortable. Some cloudy and airy. I am on Camp Fatigue grubbing and clearing the color line. Today it is a year when this place (Corinth) was evacuated. I remember the mysterious movement we made.

May 31st 1863. Sunday. Weather clear and cloudy, quite warm but airy. The expedition that left this place the 26th inst. has come in with 60-70 prisoners 3-400 mules and horses and maybe one hundred negroes. The rebels followed our men up to the Tennessee River opposite Hamburg Landing. The gunboats shelled the rebels this morning after our men had left Hamburg Landing. Some think they will attempt to cross the river. Our men burned a large amount of property at and around Florence, Alabama. There were about 8 to 10 of our men wounded and killed.

June 1863

June 1, 1863. Monday. Weather cloudy but warm. I am on Forage Guard. It looks some like rain this eve. Received a letter from Michigan. Received Amboy Times.

June 2, 1863. Tuesday. Had quite a rain shower this morning. There is considerable stir here this morning. Some of the forts (Batteries) have been taken up by fresh artillery who arrived here last night and this morning. Some are looking and talking about an attack on this place. Jackson, Tennessee, is being evacuated. This artillery speaking of above is said to be from there. Letters from the North state the firing of cannons all over saluting the taking of Vicksburg on May 28th or 29th. Many refugees came in from Jackson last night. More are expected.

June 3rd 1863. Wednesday. Weather warm and clear. Went on Provost Guard. Two trains arrived from Jackson.

June 4th 1863. Thursday. Weather cool and cloudy. Commenced getting cold early this morning about the same time clouding up. It is now raining hard three o’clock. Quite chilly too. Buel’s Batteries left this morning, destination unknown. It is rumored that our brigade with exception of this regiment is under marching orders. We don’t care and if we had to go. 4 o’clock pm. We are having a very hard shower. Many trees are blowing down, It is very cool.

June 5th, 1863. Friday. Weather cold and overcoat feels comfortable this morning. It is windy and cloudy. Went on Provost Guard. Afternoon. It is now again real warm. The 9th Illinois, 81st Ohio, and Buel’s Battery—also they say the 122nd Illinois—has left for Pocahontas and other stations (between here and Grand Junction). Many think that we soon will follow them. This eve it is real warm. Went to the Corinth Theatre as guard.

June 6th, 1863. Saturday. Weather cloudy but comfortable. Received marching orders. Expect to leave tomorrow morning. It is believed we are going to Grand Junction. We hate to leave our new quarters (shanties) on which we laid out so much work. Afternoon. The 50th Illinois relieved our regiment from Provost Duty. The boys have all come up and we are getting ready for a move tomorrow. Sent a letter to cousin Cinda.

June 7, 1863. Sunday. Got up pretty early this morning. Had roll call. Packed up. Breakfasted and are ready to march. At 8 o’clock a.m. we all fell in and marched down to the depot. About ten we left on board a train and went as far as the Tuscumbia Bridge to where the road was finished. we unloaded and stayed until 4 p.m. when Companies A, B, C, E, & F marched up to Pocahontas on the railroad track, a distance of 2.5 miles. Companies D, H, I, and K were left to guard the Tuscumbia Bridge. A few companies of the 57th Illinois and two pieces of artillery were relieved and went back on the train to Corinth. Our quarters are on a side hill east of the town of Pocahontas near the railroad. A fort on the opposite side is commenced and will within a week be finished.

Bissell’s Engineer Regiment of the West

Six companies of [Josiah] Bissell’s Engineer Corp is encamped here also. The 9th Illinois Infantry (mounted now), the 81st Ohio, and Buel’s Battery, a company of Home Guards (Tennesseans) and some of the 18th Missouri Infantry (now mounted). This place is noted for their loyalty. I went on Camp Guard this evening. It looks some like rain.

June 8th 1863. Monday. It cleared off last night but this morning it is again getting cloudy. Later. We had several small showers all through today. I was relieved at 6 p.m. All the tents we had were pitched yet a number of the boys are sleeping in the open air. Received an Amboy Times.

June 9th 1863. Tuesday. Prospects for much rain. I with a number of others guarded our company trains to get our camp equipments from the Tuscumbia Bridge. Five miles by the wagon road. Commenced to rain at 8 o’clock a.m. and rained nearly all day and came down in great river through the night.

June 10th 1863. Wednesday. Pocahontas, Tennessee. One shower follows another nearly all through the day at intervals. The sun comes out very warm. Our teams made two trips and got mostly all of the equipment. Received a letter from Charles Dykeman.

June 11th 1863. Thursday. Weather cloudy and windy. Had several small showers. I went on picket this morning. A small scouting party went out ad came in again this eve reporting a small force of guerrillas towards Ripley.

June 12th 1863. Friday. Pocahontas, Tenn. It cleared off last night and is very warm this morning. I bound a few bundles of wheat in a field near the picket line belonging to a loyal citizen, Had some dew berries. Got relieved by the 81st Ohio at 9 o’clock a.m. Bathed in the Hatchie River (creek). Afternoon. Three of us went out to help bind wheat in the above mentioned field. A large scouting party with two pieces carried a message for us to come to camp. Companies A and B had marching orders. Packed up and waited at the depot nearly two hours. Went back to camp again with orders to keep myself in readiness until further orders.

June 13th 1863. Saturday. Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather fair and quite warm. Our train from the Memphis yesterday a rebel raid between Memphis and Germantown is reported. Both today’s and yesterday’s train arrived and went through to Corinth for the first time since the evacuation of Corinth. I. W. Camp arrived. Also Corp. Hawk. The Quartermaster’s negro drowned. A negro less and gone to h_ll is the tune of several of Co. C’s and B’s brutes.

June 14th 1863. Sunday. Weather hot. Went on Fatigue to help build an oven. Worked until p.m. when I was ordered to report to my company. They were just falling in. Had no trouble to pack up. Arrived at headquarters. Instructions were given, viz. to Companies A, B. & C to post and guard the Hatchie Bridge 1.5 miles from town. Yesterday’s raid between Memphis and Germantown is counterdicted. Yesterday’s scouting party came in late this evening with 12 prisoners, some contraband and refugees.

June 15th 1863. Monday. Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather fair. Had been quite chilly last night on picket. I relieved at 8 this a.m. Cos. A’s and B’s camp equipments were brought out here. Are fixing up quarters upon a steep hill called Ray’s Hill [Ray’s Bluff]. A fort [see Big Hill Pond Fortification] is laid out and we soon will have our hands full of guard and fatigue duty. More trains than common are running back and forth. Our rations are short right after we left Corinth, Miss.

June 16th, 1863. Tuesday. It is very hot today although an overcoat felt comfortable last night on picket. The fort here is progressing slowly. The ironclad car and engine attached went through a small bridge between Grand Junction and Jackson (on a road lately evacuated) killing two men and wounding one. The latter died this morning. This happened yesterday. Set a letter to Clark C. Puff.

June 17th 1863. Wednesday. Pocahontas. Weather very hot this forenoon. This afternoon it rains much. This evening it rains hard. A prospect to rain all night. Went to work on the fort. Sent a book and letter to Mother.

June 18th 1863. Thursday. Weather hot, clear and cloudy. I went on picket again.

June 19th 1863. Friday. Weather hot. I was relieved at 7 this morning. Six of us went scouting through the country. Went as far as the [Stephen A.] Hurlbut’s Hatchie fight [of last October]. Saw many marks of shell and shot. Had some plums and many dewberries. Blackberries are abundant and soon will be ripe. Received a letter from cousin Fred.

June 20th 1863. Saturday. Weather cloudy and I am on fatigue [duty]. Sent a letter to Ch. W. Peterson.

June 21st 1863. Sunday. Weather fair. Rather hot this afternoon. I went on picket this morning. Received a letter from George Hammerly’s wife and Amboy Times.

June 22, 1863. Monday. Had been real cold last night. My toes were cold. Is cool and airy all day. The 9th Illinois had been out again and came back with a loss of some thirty killed, wounded and taken [prisoner]. They also lost their baggage. Nevertheless they brought in 26 prisoners, among them are three officers. Sent a letter to cousin Fred, another to Jacob Holly, Received one from Joe Kelley.

June 23rd 1863. Tuesday. Ray’s Hill near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather fair and comfortable. I am on picket (bridge guard).

June 24, 1863. Wednesday. Commenced raining early this morning. It rains hard yet. I think it will rain all day. Later. Such violent rain I hardly ever saw, It continues to rain tonight. All of the boys out were sent to camp. Sent a letter to Michigan. Another to George. A third to Charles Dykeman.

June 25, 1863. Thursday. Weather cloudy. Sprinkles at intervals. The Tuscumbia [river] has risen 8 foot and continues to rise. Our cooks will have to move before the water washes them out. I am on picket.

June 26, 1863. Friday. Rained some last night. Is cloudy and hot this forenoon. Nothing has been done on the fort since Tuesday on account of the weather. Our cooks moved this morning. The water is over their fireplaces.

June 27, 1863. Saturday. Ray’s Hill near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather hot, warm and cloudy. Had some rain.

June 28, 1863. Sunday. Weather very hot and cloudy. It may rain again. This evening and tonight it is raining considerable. I went on picket again. Tonight it rains like the blazes.

June 29, 1863. Monday. Weather windy but warm. Drawed soft bread—the first since we left Corinth.

June 30th 1863. Tuesday. Weather hot. This is the first day it did not rain any since the 23rd. Received a letter from S. Vorthway and an Amboy Times. I am on picket (bridge guard). We done picket duty for the engineers. Had muster for pay.

July 1863

July 1, 1863. Wednesday. Ray’s Hill, Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather very hot. Had some rain and thunder this evening. Martin received a letter from S. C.

July 2, 1863. Thursday. Weather very hot. I went to work on Fort Flood (the fort here). Sweat like a teamster. Had a sunshine shower this afternoon. This evening it is raining again. Stirring news arrived here in the Memphis Bulletin. Rosecrans is pressing the rebs. the siege of Vicksburg progressing. The rebs under Lee advancing on Harrisburg, Pa.

July 3d 1863. Friday. Weather not. Sweat runs freely. Rained much this afternoon and is much cooler. I am on picket. The mosquitoes are thick and are much annoying us. The boys not on duty were all summoned and sent with a sergeant of the 18th Missouri to the other side of the river where the said sergeant saw (as he reported ) 15 to 20 rebs surround a house where there were some of our boys. They turned out to be three or four from our boys and a few citizens after pork. The 4 companies below under Maj. [James R.] Hugunin’s command too were arr____ by the rumor. Received a letter from Ch. Dykeman.

July 4, 1863. Saturday. Ray’s Hill, Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather very hot all day. Salutes of big guns were fired at Pocahontas and Corinth. I have a severe headache nearly all day. Tonight it seems to be increasing. Hear of Rosecrans’ success. Glad of it.

July 5th 1863. Sunday. Weather hot this forenoon. This afternoon rained some and turned cool and windy. Hear of Gen. Foster (the S. C. forces) taking Richmond, Virginia. The rebel Gen. Smith—his forces is rumored to be driven back by the militia. I am on picket (bridge guard).

July 6th, 1863. Monday. Weather hot. Some air is astir though. Considerable rain fell this afternoon and tonight. The river has fell to its almost normal depth. Sent a letter to Mother and Alfred’s mother, to Brother John. Received one from the former.

July 7th, 1863. Tuesday. Weather wet, warm and cloudy. Mosquitoes are driving us out of our tents. I never saw them so thick. I am about half eat up by the barbarians. At 12 o’clock M. a salute was fired of 13 guns in honor of the taking of Vicksburg on the 4th inst. with 25,000 prisoners and a large amount of arms. Sent a letter to Luther D. Wolf.

July 8, 1863. Wednesday. Fort Flood, Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather hot. Mosquitoes awful. Had some rain. I am on picket guard. Richmond is invested by Gen. Foster too but not taken as reported. We pray it may soon be.

July 9th 1863. Thursday. Weather very hot. Had only a slight rain today. Helped bury Ed[ward F.] O’Neill [of Dwight, Illinois]—a member of our company. My heart was much suppressed. Had artillery drill for the first time this eve. The surrender of Vicksburg with 31,000 prisoners and any amount of arms is no longer a doubt. Good and encouraging news is received from all quarters. A letter to New York.

July 10th 1863. Friday. Weather exceedingly hot. Was detailed on picket (bridge guard). Done picketing duty for the engineers. They are cutting and hauling timber back of our camp for the [Memphis & Charleston] railroad. Had a small shower. Fighting mosquitoes is all we can do.

July 11th 1863. Saturday. Weather very warm but misty sky. Several of us got a pail-full of blackberries some distance from this camp. Gen. Meade’s forces (late Hooker’s) took—according to rumors—nearly a full 30,000 prisoners. great anxiety is felt in regard to that army. Great and hard fighting was to take place there (in Penn.) yesterday or today. Mosquitoes are playing all night and day.

July 12th 1863. Sunday. Fort Flod [Flood], Ray’s Hill, Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather misty. Rather warm. Good news is continuing. We are much rejoiced of it. The news of the capture of Port Hudson is awaited daily. Mosquitoes so thick and bothersome that I am hardly able to write these lines. Martin sent a letter to Ch. Church. Am on guard in the fort.

July 13th 1863. Monday. Weather cool. Sky misty. Attended weekly inspection.

July 14th 1863. Tuesday. Weather cool. Sky misty. Nevertheless the mosquitoes are as thick as usual. I am on picket.

July 15th 1863. Wednesday. Weather comfortable. Some cloudy. The news of port Hudson’s surrender today is confirmed with 5,000 prisoners. Received a miscarried letter from Mother.

July 16th 1863. Thursday. Weather cool and cloudy. Afternoon warmer. I am on picket. The 9th Illinois arrived with about 40 or more prisoners from Jackson, Tennessee.

July 17, 1863. Friday. Weather cloudy. Rather warm. Had been chilly last night. Sent a letter to Mass. to L. Northway. Received one from Mich.

July 18, 1863. Saturday. Fort Flodd [Flood] Ray’s Hill near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather warm. Some cloudy. The papers today being the news of a desperate riot in New York City, Boston, and one or more other northern cities. In New York over 100 rioters are reported killed and many wounded. Gen. Lee crossed the Potomac and escaped Gen. Meade. We thought so. Am on picket (bridge guard).

July 19, 1863. Sunday. Weather cloudy. Hot and airy. Attended weekly inspection.

July 20, 1863. Monday. Weather clear and cloudy, hot. Some guerrillas burned the Big Muddy Bridge last night. The 9th Illinois went after them. The trains were delayed a few hours. Fort Flodd [Flood] is finished.

July 21, 1863. Tuesday. Weather cloudy. Clear this afternoon. Had a heavy rain early this morning. The news in the paper is that Charleston, S. C. is ours. Received an Amboy Times.

July 22, 1863. Wednesday. Fort Flodd [Flood], Ray’s Hill, Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather hot. Partial cloudy. The Memphis Bulletin of today reports Morgan’s forces partly taken. The rest scattered and demoralized. It too gives an estimate of rebel losses during the first week of July thus: Prisoners at Gettysburg 25,000; at Vicksburg 32,000; at Helena 2,000; at Port Hudson 7,000; total 66,000. Artillery pieces 250; small arms 75,000. I inscribed a head board over [Edward] O’Neill’s grave. Received a letter from Rushville.

July 23, 1863. Thursday. Weather warm. Yesterday Co. F came here to assist us; only 10 men instead 16 are drilling artillery. They don’t have any other duty but artillery.

July 24, 1863. Friday. Weather very warm. I am on picket guard (timber g.). An attack on Columbus, Kentucky is talked of. Pitched new tents. Turned the old ones over. Martin and I have one to ourselves. We made a floor, writing desk, stool, and bench.

July 25th 1863. Saturday. Weather clear and cloudy. Sunshine and rain. This evening one of our company who lives in Corinth came here. He told us that last Thursday one of the 1st Tennessee Cavalry (Scouts) 4 was shot by order of the court martial. He had deserted there and was caught lately (acting as spy to the rebel army) near Pocahontas.

Execution of Civil War deserter Alex J. Johnson, soldier in Company D of the 1st Alabama Cavalry in Corinth, Mississippi, circa 1863. (Chicago History Museum)

4 This should be the 1st Alabama Cavalry (not Tennessee). The deserter was Alex J. Johnson who enlisted as a private in the 1st Alabama Cavalry, Co. D on 1 June 1863 at Glendale, Mississippi. Eighteen day later, he deserted while on picket duty.

July 26th 1863. Sunday. Fort Flodd [Flood], Ray’s Hill, Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather cloudy. We had a few showers this afternoon. The state of New York threatens disobedience to the government. What will come next? The forces from here went out again. The Corinth and Grand Junction forces are to join them. Their destination is Ripley where there is a rebel brigade whole.

July 27th 1863. Monday. Weather warm. I am on bridge guard. [John] Cook and [William] Fox went home on a furlough. Received a letter from George’s wife.

July 28th 1863. Tuesday. Weather fair. Had been chilly last night. Martin and I started to Corinth but Col. [Augustus L.] Chetlain disapproved our pass. Bad luck to him. Received a delayed letter from George’s wife. One from P. G. Schuh.

July 29th 1863. Wednesday. Weather cloudy and windy. Very comfortable. Thunder p.m. Sent a letter to Michigan. One to P. G. Schuh. Another to Ch. Dykeman.

July 30th 1863. Thursday. Weather warm. Some cloudy. Went on Timber [guard] at bridge. The noon train today was fired on (from Memphis) by some ambush assassins. One soldier was killed, three wounded. The murderers fled after the first volley. The New Orleans Era states the rejoicing of that city over the reopening of the Mississippi. The arrival of the Imperial from St. Louis marks an epoch in the history of our country and is the first fruit of those great victories which have given back to the Nation its most magnificent highway of commerce. Let it be written down not alone on paper, but in the hearts of a grateful people, and let it be told to posterity as one of the memorable events of these memorable weeks that on the 16th day of July 1863, the steamboat Imperial, having without obstructions or annoyance, passed down the Mississippi River and steamed up to the levee at New Orleans.

From the Memphis Bulletin, July 30th, Military execution yesterday. A. H. Johnson paid the dreadful penalty of his crimes. He was the second one of the family who paid this debt during the short space of one week. Last Thursday his brother was executed at Corinth for desertion and yesterday Johnston met his doom for the same offense. He was a citizen of Tippah county, Miss. and had deserted from one side to the other two or three times.

July 31st 1863. Friday. Fort Flodd [Flood], Ray’s Hill near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather cool and comfortable. This p.m. we had a very hard shower mixed with hail and heavy winds. Attended monthly inspection. Yesterday’s and today’s papers conforms the capture of Morgan and his whole force on Sunday last by Gen. Shackleford.

August 1863

August 1, 1863. Saturday. Weather cool and cloudy. Rain this afternoon. The canons we heart about noon at Pocahontas were fired to raise a body drowned in the Hatchie. He was a member of Buel’s [Battery I, 1st Missouri Light Artillery] Battery. Today it is just two years since this regiment was organized. The 1st of next August, Uncle Sam will have to discharge us. I received a letter from D. Wolf.

August 2, 1863. Sunday. Fort Flood near Pocahontas, Tenn. Cloudy and warm. I am on picket. Our foraging party from this place was fired into by 9 or 10 guerrillas five miles from here while on their way home. No one was injured. This happened yesterday. Send a letter to Rushville, Pa.

August 3, 1863. Monday. Weather hot and some cloudy. Ten of us went out scouting through the country where they were fired into last Saturday. Stopped in many houses. Found them rather poor. Got dinner in one. Found some loyal, some lukewarm, and some hard secesh. The women all use tobacco. We heard three guns and afterwards understood it was the salute over the drowned man’s grave. He was the only child of the nurserer, Mr. Adwards from Lee, Lasalle county, Illinois.

August 4th 1863. Tuesday. Weather hot and cloudy. Rains at intervals. I am on guard (Viadet.)

August 5th 1863. Weather cloudy and warm. Thunders much. The forces have come back with few prisoners.

August 6th 1863. Weather cool, cloudy and rainy. Much wind. Sent a letter to George. One enclosed to Chicago, on to brother Ch. Alfred.

August 7th 1863. Friday. Fort Flood, Ray’s Hill near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather cool and windy. Cloud. Some rain. The Memphis Bulletin of today has it (through some sources) that Rosecrans was within fifteen miles of Savannah (Georgia). Received a letter from Ch. Dykeman. Martin one from Charles Church. Signed the pay rolls. The steamer Ruth burned to the water. Over two millions of greenbacks was burned.

August 8th 1863. Saturday. Weather clear and cloudy and comfortable. I am on picket. Tonight about 10 o’clock the pickets at Pocahontas fired 8 to ten shots. Nothing more is heard—a false alarm!

August 9th 1863. Sunday, Weather very warm and sultry. I read two chapters of Life of J. C. Fremont’s [biography]. Mosquitoes are not quite as thick as they have been. Them little gnats are bad in the morning.

August 10th 1863. Monday. Weather clear and cloudy. Calm and breezy. Hear distant thunder. I am on fatigue. This afternoon I finished the Life of J. C. Fremont. It is quite an interesting work—more so that I first anticipated.

August 11th 1863. Tuesday. Fort Flood near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather very warm—hot but breezy. Much thunder. This afternoon it sprinkled some. It rains hard this evening. Lightening and thunders hard. The body of Col. Cornyn arrived at Pocahontas this p.m. from Corinth on its way home. He has been shot yesterday by the Lieut. Col. [Wm. Bowen] of his own regiment (the 10th Missouri Cavalry) at the court martial office while said Lieut. Colonel was having his trial. We hear that a large portion of his regiment attempted to hang the Lt. Col. but an additional detail of patrols and guards quieted the place. Cornyn had been a very active Colonel. He is much blamed for insulting his Lt. Colonel. He struck him in the face several times when the other shot him thee times. Died soon after. Received a letter from Mother and an Amboy Times.

August 12th 1863. Wednesday. It rained much last night. This morning it is foggy and cool but now it is hot and cloudy. I have a fever today. A small foraging party of the Engineer Corps were fired into yesterday by Salstreet’s Guerrillas. It resulted in the killing of two of Salstreet’s men. None was hurt of the Engineers. Today thy found in going over the grounds another dead rebel. I am on the sick list.

August 13th 1863. Thursday. Weather fair. I had a very restless night last night. This afternoon I feel much better. The doctor gave me some powders.

August 14th 1863. Friday. Weather hot. I had several attacks of fever this afternoon. I could not write this evening. I am not much better. We had general inspection today. Received a letter from Ch. W. Peterson.

August 15th 1863. Saturday. Weather comfortable in the forenoon. Rather hot at p.m. Rained towards evening.

August 16th 1863. Sunday. Weather very hot. I am much better. News is very scarce. Sent a letter to Mother.

August 17th 1863. Monday. Weather very hot. I am almost well. I did not hear of any news at all. Sent a letter to Michigan.

August 18th 1863. Tuesday. Weather very hot. The news is that the 9th Illinois and Inf. A who went out a few days ago with 6 days rations had a fight with a force below Ripley. They have sent in a few prisoners today.

August 19th 1863. Wednesday. Weather cool and comfortable. I am on picket again. Three trains of troops passed by here from Corinth, probably to reinforce the 9th [Illinois] below Ripley. Buel’s Battery practiced target shooting.

August 20, 1863. Thursday. Fort Flood near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather cool this a.m. Warm and sultry this p.m. Rained at intervals.

August 21, 1863. Friday. Weather warm and sultry. Rained much this evening. The 9th Illinois Infantry and other forces under Lieut. Col. Phillips destroyed an immense quantity of railroad stock at Grenada, Mississippi. Co. A of the 90th came in today. I went after medicine for Martin late this evening. He has the bilious colic.

August 22, 1863. Saturday. Weather cool this a.m. Rather hot this p.m. The Chicago Tribune states an engagement of the eastern armies but without result. The news though seems to be encouraging.

August 23, 1863. Sunday. Weather hot. Sweat flows freely.

August 24, 1863, Monday. Weather very hot. It thunders hard this evening and looks like rain. The 90th Illinois came in this morning from their Grenada trip They brought about 40 prisoners and 400-500 negroes. The latter are to be sent to Grand Junction to fill up the negro regiment there.

August 25, 1863. Tuesday. Fort Flood near Pocahontas, Tenn. It rained some last night and soon after turned real cold. I was on picket and got cold ties. We were instructed to keep a good look out for something is expected between Corinth and Grand Junction. It was quite cool all day. Aday or two ago the negro vedettes between Farmington and Corinth were attacked but they reported the guerrillas with considerable haste. Sent a letter to cousin Cinda. Another to Philadelphia, Received one from P. G. Schuh.

August 26th 1863. Wednesday. It has been quite cold last night. Under two blankets. I slept rather cold. This forenoon was cool. Afternoon quite warm. Martin and I went to Pocahontas. Got a picture and sent it to P. G. Schuh to have him take it to Germany. He calculated to start before the 5th of September. We went to see Sorall of the 9th Illinois. The 3rd Michigan Cavalry passed through Pocahontas on their way to Corinth. The paymaster is there. The engineers left on two trains for Vicksburg or Natchez. Sent a letter to Ch. Peterson.

August 27th 1863. Thursday. Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather cool. I slept cold last night. I am on picket (bridge guard). We had artillery practice at our fort.

August 28th 1863. Friday. It had been chilly but moonlight last night. This a.m. we had a very chilly and uncomfortable rain. It is quite pleasant this evening. A battery of negroes passed here from Corinth on their way to Memphis or elsewhere. Received 52 dollars—4 months pay. Received a letter from Michigan.

August 29th 1863. For Flood near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather cool. Nine of us went out into the country to get our haversacks filled with apples. They are getting scarce. We went over the battlefield. I saw 17 or 18 graves in one line—headboards over all of them. One of Co. C by the name of [Jacob] Spies of the 46th Illinois Infantry lies buried there. 5 I am on bridge guard tonight in a sick one’s place. Mosquitoes are nearly played out.

5 Pvt. Jacob Spies (1843-1862) , a native of Germany and residing in Freeport, Illinois, when he enlisted on 29 October 1861. He was killed in action near Hatchie, Tennessee on 5 October 1862.

August 30th 1863. Sunday. It had been cold but nice moonlight last night. My toes get very cold. It is chilly all day although the sky is clear. Had weekly inspection. After retreat, orders were given to all in the company to be ready for any emergency at any moment’s warning. Rebel news have Charleston in our possession. Sent a letter to Ch. Dykeman.

August 31st 1863. Monday. Weather warmer but had been chilly again last night. I am on picket. Our chaplain visited us yesterday and gave us quite a good sermon. He has I understand to oversee the cultivation of about 1,500 acres near Grand Junction and has charge of many contraband. We were mustered for two months pay. Sent a letter to Mr. Tickner and another to Mr. Brigham. The engineers got back. They got as far as Memphis. [See The Contraband Camp at Grand Junction, Tennessee]

September 1863

September 1, 1863. Tuesday. Weather has been comfortable. Last night was not as cold as it has been. One of our boys from Corinth has been with us yesterday. He confirms the finding of the Iowa soldiers hanging to trees near Corinth to have been hung by citizens in retaliation for the deserter [Alex. J.] Johnson who has been executed there.

September 2, 1863. Wednesday. Weather comfortable. Last night after 11 o’clock a musket was heard nearby at Pocahontas. The alarm bugle sounded & the discharge of a cannon followed. Not taking time, everyone made a jump into the street to see what’s up. Another big gun and another. Get ready boys! It was all still nothing but the fire of some building. We all retired. This morn. we heard that someone set the negro quarters on fire back of Turner Hotel. Set a letter to George and another to Mr. Brigham. Received one from brother John and another from Emma Way.

September 3, 1863. Thursday. Weather comfortable. I went to town, heard that 200 guerrillas effected an entrance into Corinth and killed 5 soldiers in the Seminary Hospital. How they got in or out, I did not learn. The story is reliable. Sent a letter to Luther D. Wolf. Received one from Schuh.

September 4, 1863. Friday. Weather comfortable. I am on guard. The rebel raid into Corinth is untrue. Only some of the pickets were fired on. Sent a letter to Michigan. Another to New York.

September 5th 1863. Saturday. Weather comfortable through the day. I felt the cold considerably last night. A fleet of ironclads from England for the C. S. A. is reported in the papers on the way. Sent a letter to N. Y. Answered.

September 6th 1863. Sunday. Weather comfortable. Rather hot part of this afternoon. I went to Pocahontas with the company books.

September 7th 1863. Monday. Fort Flood, Pocahontas, Tenn. I am on guard. Two young fellows—residents of this vicinity—enlisted in our company today. Received a letter from Chicago. 6

6 The Company roster indicates the two “young fellows” were probably John and Joseph Kennedy of Pocahontas, Tennessee.

September 8th 1863. Tuesday. It has been warm all day. Last night was warmer than common. Received a letter from Rushville; another from Vicksburg and an Amboy Times. Alva Griswold [of Lee county, Illinois] went home on a furlough. I sent 71 dollars.

September 9th 1863. Wednesday. Weather comfortable. Pawpaws are plenty. I found them good to my taste for the first time. Sent a letter to brother John, Amboy.

September 10, 1863. Thursday. Weather hot. I am on bridge guard. Had a pleasant night.

September 11, 1863. Friday. Weather hot and dry. The papers are containing but little news. Oh how anxious we are to hear the fate of Charleston. Burnside is reported to have taken Knoxville. Two more boys have enlisted in our company. There is much talk here that McArthur is going to have our regiment in his Division. The general belief is that we will leave for Natchez within two weeks. Co. E with our Captain left here after supper on an expedition or scouting. I sent a letter to Tarolott, Amboy.

September 12th 1863, Saturday. Ray’s Hill near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather warm. It looked like rain this p.m. It thundered much. Yesterday’s scouting party came in safe this afternoon not losing or receiving many injuries. Had quarters and ordnance inspection. Received a letter from cousin Fred. Sent to New York.

September 13th 1863. Sunday. Weather hot. I am on bridge guard today. Not a pass is allowed to be issued. They are looking for an attack on Middletown some distance to west of Pocahontas. The 122nd Illinois is there.

September 14, 1863. Monday. Weather hot. I went to Pocahontas. Three companies of the 9th Illinois are out. A dash from Johnston’s cavalry is expected. The trains are running regular. Sent a letter to Philadelphia.

September 15, 1863. Tuesday. Weather very hot. All is quiet. It looks like rain this eve. Received a letter from Mr. Brigham. Another from Philadelphia.

September 16, 1863. Wednesday. Weather rather warm but windy. This afternoon it sprinkled some. This evening it rained. Col. Hess’s men took about 40 of Roddey’s rowdies prisoners yesterday near Dicinto [Desoto, MS?] . Sent a letter to Emma N. W. Another to John W., A third to Chicago.

September 17, 1863, Thursday. Fort Flood near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather cool and breezy. Sprinkled several times. Had general inspection.

September 18, 1863. Friday. It rained after dark. Soon after it changed to a dark, windy and cold night. It has been cold and wind, partial cloudy all day. Had a slight frost this morn. I am on guard. Some of the boys are building fire places already. A large train of negro troops passed here this evening on their way to Corinth.

September 19th 1863. Saturday. It has been cold. Last night we had a fire for the first time this season. The sky is clear but cold. Overcoats are worn all day. Today is a year since the Battle of Iuka.

September 20th 1863. Sunday. Weather cool and clear. This morning the ground was white with frost. The cotton crop is a failure. Much hurt. I sent a letter to Ch. Alfred to Annapolis, Maryland.

September 21, 1863. Monday. Fort Flood near Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather hot and dusty and clear. I sweat much today. Last night I froze nearly. Give companies of the 1st Alabama Colored Regiment passed here on their way to relieve four companies of our regiment at the Tuscumbia Bridge 1.5 miles below ere. This evening they came up on the cars and are going to camp at Pocahontas. We received orders this evening to move up there by tomorrow. I heard a company of negroes are going to relieve Companies A, B, and F. We hate to leave only for such a short distance but a move on a large scale is expected to follow soon.

September 22, 1863. Tuesday. Right after breakfast we packed up, struck tents and an hour afterwards had everything ready for shipment but not until three o’clock p.m. when a train came and relieved us from our anxious waiting. Arrived at Pocahontas at our old camping place. we had but just time before night set in to pitch tents and get supper. Weather had been comfortable. Also nights are some warmer that they have been.

September 23, 1863. Wednesday. Weather clear and comfortable. I am on fatigue [duty and] part of the time helping Martin fixing up in the tent. Received a letter from Philadelphia.

September 24, 1863. Thursday. Pocahontas, Tennessee. Weather clear and warm. The 9th [Illinois] scouts brought in two armed guerrillas. The papers state that Rosecrans is whipped [at Chickamauga].

September 25, 1863. Friday. Weather smoky but cleared nice. Moonshine this evening. I went on Show guard. Had much trouble to keep the rowdies out notwithstanding the 12 guard. Several S___ came in under the tent. The negro guards were fired on last evening at the Tuscumbia [bridge] where four companies of our regiment were relieved last Monday. Rosecrans had a hard fight in George the 19th inst. but is not whipped.

September 26th 1863. Saturday. Weather warm and comfortable. What a nice moonlight night.

September 27, 1863. Sunday. Weather warm—yes, hot and dry. Considerable talk about our leaving here is in progress. Everything indicates a move southeast of here. Three large train with wagons, mules, beef cattle &c. passed by here to Corinth. Everyone talk about the marching orders this evening and many are preparing to go this week. Today we drawed the Springfield rifled musket (brand new). They are a splendid gun but I preferred my old Enfield.

September 28, 1863. Monday. Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather warm and dry. I am on picket. Found many muscatine’s, pawpaws and some grapes. A negro got run over at the station. He died soon after.

September 29th 1863. Tuesday. Weather some cloudy but warm and very dusty. Three trains with troops, covered wagons, and camp equipage passed by our line last night. This morning we hear the 13th Illinois passed by here. Several extra trains passed by during today loaded with troops, wagons, mules, &c. Some of our sick were sent to Corinth. Received a letter from Chicago and New York. Martin from Katie C.

September 30th 1863, Wednesday. It rained nearly all day and tonight looks much like it.

October 1863

October 1, 1863. Thursday. It rained much last night and the biggest portion of today. Cleared off late this p.m. I am on picket at the railroad. Saw the 13th [Illinois] pass by but did not recognize any on I knew—the train went too swift. Four trains with troops passed during the day and one at night. Gen. [Peter Joseph] Osterhaus was on one of them, It is thought all of Sherman’s forces are to be concentrated at Corinth. The 11th Army Corps is reported to be marching from Louisville to Chattanooga. Another Shiloh is expected there. Received a letter from Philadelphia.

October 2, 1863. Friday. Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather clear and warm. Large trains of troops passing continually. Four companies of the Engineers are to leave tomorrow eastward.

October 3rd 1863. Saturday. Weather clear and warm but how cold I slept last night. The train from Corinth was four hours behind on account of a bridge being burned (by guerrillas) between here and Corinth. Also the telegraph wire was cut in several places between Grand Junction and Corinth. Three trains passed here from Corinth—the 57th Illinois on one and a Missouri Battery on the other. The first was empty. An orderly from the 57th fell off, got run over and expired on the spot. He belonged to Co. F. 7 We hear 4 more killed of the same regiment between here and LaGrange. Sent a letter to Mr. Brigham.

7 The Orderly who was killed when he fell off and was run over by the train was George W. Tyner (1833-1863) of Tiskilwa, Bureau county, Illinois. The company roster says of him, “1st Sergt. Died from injuries received while in line of duty.” He was a mechanic by trade and mustered into the regiment on 26 December 1861. The details of his death are not stated in the pension records; his wife Mary received $8 per month commencing from the date of his death on 3 October 1863.

October 4, 1863. Sunday. Rather windy and cool, clear and cloudy. I am on Provost Guard (supernumerary). The 9th Illinois came in today with two prisoners. They had a fight yesterday losing one man who belonged to the 109th Illinois. Was much thought of by all who knew him. They threatened to shoot one of the prisoners in retaliation but the guards were informed to keep outsiders away. Three trains with troops went to Corinth. Received a letter from George. Sent a letter to Upham.

October 5th 1863. Monday. Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather clear and cool. Had a gig frost last night. No person is allowed to go outside of the lines. From 3 to 4 trains of troops passed to Corinth. The 59th Indiana and 18th Wisconsin were some of them. Gen. Blair passed by here on his way to Corinth. Received a letter from Mother.

October 6th 1863. Tuesday. Weather cool and rain at intervals. Is warmer this evening. I am on provost guard. Two trains with troops passed by this eve. The 9th Illinois went out.

October 7th, 1863. Wednesday. Weather cool and partial cloudy. Two trains passed with troops this p.m.

October 8th, 1863. Thursday. Weather warm and fair but real cold last night. I am on provost guard. Sent a letter to cousin Fred. Martin to H. C.

October 9th 1863. Friday. Weather clear and warm. I am not well. Took a dose of oil. The train from the West is 4 hours behind owing to the retreat of the 9th [Illinois] They have twenty killed and wounded. 9 wounded came in on the train. Our arms stood on the color line all day. Tonight we expect to fall out. Alva Griswold has come back from a furlough. Brought me two watch and chains.

October 10, 1863. Saturday. Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather fair. This morning before daylight we fell in. Our arms were stacked all day. The 9th [Illinois] are fighting yet and falling back. Troops from LaGrange are reinforcing them. Four trains with troops went to Corinth today. Went on the sick report and sent a letter to R. R. Landon.

October 11th 1863. Sunday. Another partial cloudy day. I went to the hospital. The trains are behind time but arrived safe. the fight at Salem (on the east of LaGrange) is reported as a sharp one. Cannons and small arms could be heard at LaGrange. Gen. Sherman and the train he was on is reported captured. Late this evening our regiment received marching orders to be ready in a half hour. Over two hundred teams (wagons) belonging to Sherman’s Corps arrived here this eve. Also a brigade to guard them. They camp opposite our hospital. Our regiment is not to march until tomorrow morning at 6 o’clock.

October 12th 1863. Monday. Weather cool, cloudy and windy. Rains at intervals. The regiment will not go at all. Gn. Sherman is not a prisoner but come very near to it. The 13th Regulars with the aid of a few volunteer companies in the 60th Indiana whipped and drove the rebels about 8,000 strong. Sherman took advantage of the Fort at Collierville. Col. [Jesse L.] Phillips [9th Illinois Cavalry] is reported killed in a fight at LaGrange. The new brigade are doing picket today.

October 13th 1863. Tuesday. Weather rather damp, cloudy and rainy. I am getting better. Sherman passed by on his way to Corinth. The news near Collierville is contraband.

October 14, 1863. Wednesday. Weather cold and chilly. Rains much. I shall be able to leave the hospital tomorrow. Col. Phillips is not killed but had many close calls. Received a letter from Mr. Tichner. Tells of cousin Fred’s being drafted.

October 15th 1863. Thursday. Weather cool this a.m. Rained some. This p.m. it cleared off. It is warm.Nearly a whole division came in this eve. Chicago Battery is in camp close to our hospital. Lieut. Whaley and Sergt. Parker came to see me. They look hearty.

October 16, 1863. Friday. Weather clear and warm. I left the hospital this morning.

October 17, 1863. Saturday. Weather misty and cloudy but warm. The 9th [Illinois] sent in a few more of their wounded. They have been fighting last near Tallahatchie. [John] Brough is elected Governor of Ohio. Has over one hundred thousand majority over Vallandigham (the arch traitor). Three trains with troops passed to Corinth. Sent a letter to George and to Clark Roff.

October 18, 1863. Sunday. Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather fresh clear and cloudy. The 9th Illinois came in today with a few prisoners. Sent a letter to Mother. Gov. Curtin is again elected by 20-30,000 majority [in Pennsylvania].

October 19, 1863. Monday. Weather warm and clear but had been awful cold last night. I am on the sick report yet. Took emolsion three times today. Guerrillas have again disappeared on the road—for awhile at any rate. Received a letter from Michigan.

October 20th 1863. Tuesday. Weather cloudy and windy. The moon shines nice tonight. Sent a letter to Cal.

October 21st 1863. Wednesday. It rained hard last night after bed time. Damp and rainy all day. Sent a letter to Emma N. W.

October 22, 1863. Thursday. Weather cloudy and windy. Partly warm. Received two months pay. Clothing bill settled. 23 dollars were coming to me. The Ohio Brigade came in foot. Sent a letter to Philadelphia. To New York. To J. L.

October 23rd 1863. Friday. Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather cold and uncomfortable. I feel miserable today. The Ohio Brigade left for Corinth on the noon train. Sent (bilder) Mich. Received one from Chicago.

October 24th 1863. Saturday. Weather cold. Had a very cold night. Froze ice and my toes. Is some warmer this eve. and moon shines brighter. Sent a letter to Nashville.

October 25th 1863. Sunday. Clear and fair this p.m. Cloudy and growing cold. Warm again towards night. The moon shines bright.

October 26th 1863. Monday. Rather cold this morning. This p.m it is clear and warm. I am on picket. Received the unexpected news of Rosecrans’ removal.

October 27th 1863. Tuesday. Rather warm. Had battalion drill. Received marching orders this evening. Expect to leave within two days. Commenced making a chimney but quit it.

October 28, 1863. Wednesday. Pocahontas, Tenn. Weather fair. It is quite still about the marching orders. This eve the 9th [Illinois] got orders to beard at 10 o’clock tomorrow.

October 29, 1863. Thursday. Rather windy. Rained some this evening. I am on provost guard. Received orders to be ready early this morning. Sent home $50. martin $40. For express $1.50.

October 30, 1863. Friday, Rained much last night and blowed big guns. Is growing colder. We are getting ready. Expect to leave every minute. The regiment started about 1 o’clock p.m. amidst a heavy and cold rain. It rained hard all day. I with many of the guards left for Corinth on the freight train. Helped water the train and wood up. We arrived at Corinth about 5 o’clock whilst raining. This evening it’s growing colder.

October 31st 1863. Saturday. I and two more of the company stayed overnight with Will Doan. Slept with them or Co. C. I was a very cold night. I most awfully hate this cold weather. How I longed and wished for termination. Groswold and I went out to our old quarters. They are in some places worse and in some we left them. I am now seated in the Engineer’s Quarters writing these lines. it is cold and the fireplace feels good. Our regiment and the 81st are camped outside the picket line. The passenger train did not leave for Iuka. They say that a battle is in progress. My watches have not come yet.

November 1863

November 1, 1863. Sunday. Weather some cold. Grew warmer this evening. The regiment is outside the picket yet. The Engineers have marching orders too. Bissell’s Engineers came in from Iuka last night and think to stay at Corinth. They will be the only white troops there. The rest are colored. Stevens’ Division is expected there today.

November 2nd 1863. Monday. Near Burnsville. I and two others stayed in our old barracks last night. Kept a large fire in one of the fireplaces. The regiment came in this morning. Had no time for breakfast before we joined it. Marched on the east side of Corinth where we halted about two hours. Started about ten and marched by Glendale about 4 p.m., halted nearly an hour, got some coffee, when we marched within 2.5 miles of Burnsville. I went on picket. Had been a comfortable day to march. Rather warm though.

November 3rd 1863. Weather cloudy but warm. Had been warm last night. It looks some like rain. Co. B and two other companies went as rear guard. Stopped every few minutes of account of the teams. Our knapsacks were hauled. Arrived at Iuka before dark. Saw the front of a store inscribed J. G. Hammerly, brother. I do not know why I do not get more letters.

November 4th 1863. Wednesday. Weather warm. Stayed at Iuka all day. Washed some clothes and bathed. Iuka is a much prettier place than I thought last year. Has great water privileges.

November 5th 1863. Thursday. This morning it commenced to rain after breakfast. Last night when we went to rest, it was clear. It rained all day and part of the night at intervals. We left Iuka about 8, marched outside and laid over until noon. Arrived as tired mud hens at Eastport before dark and camped in the valley leading to Iuka. Gen. Dodge’s whole Division is coming. He and his staff already arrived. This evening late we received orders to keep in readiness for a march at any moment’s warning. A heavy detail of fatigue went to the landing. Left a shirt and a vest at Iuka and yet my knapsack is heavy.

November 6th 1863. Friday. Eastport, Alabama. We crossed the Tennessee this morning and are now rested on a plantation a few rods from the river. Camped about three miles out. The 111th Illinois put in our brigade. The 122nd [Illinois] stayed at Eastport. ([William] Calwell shot himself).

November 7th 1863. Saturday. Weather warm. The roads are getting nice. Guerrillas captured some of our advance teams. We marched about 15 miles today, keeping the river valley. I am on picket this evening. The 9th Illinois mounted infantry came though our lines with 15 mules and horses. The 66th Illinois Birge’s [Western] Sharpshooters joined us at Burnsville marched through Waterloo.

November 8th 1863. Sunday. Marched about 15 miles today. Roads are middling good. My knapsack was nearly bushing me. Was a rather warm day. Camped on a large plantation. The planter has three sons in our army. His name is Townsley. Have plenty to eat.

November 9th 1863. Monday. Camp Comfort, Alabama. Weather fair. The night was colder than common. Marched from seven to eight miles. Went through Lauderdale—a town with a large cotton factory on Shoal Creek. The bridge was burned, Crossed on footboards. Have plenty of everything. There is plenty of forage. Our brigade marched in the rear of the division.

November 10, 1863. Tuesday. Camp near Lexington, Alabama. The ground and the water in our canteens was frozen. We burned many rails. Marched about 18 miles. Had splendid roads. Good and plenty of water. Passed some nice farms. Saw the cotton factory or fire at Lauderdale before we left.

November 11th 1863. Wednesday. Camp in the woods (Tenn.) Weather fair today, The ground was heavy frost. Today we went about 20 miles, passed a town on Sugar Creek named Tin hook, marched left in front, expected an attack from Roddey. We have a big fire of logs and sticks. My bed consists of two rubbers, an overcoat, and all my wearing apparel.

November 12th 1863. Thursday. Camp at Pulaski [Tenn.] It is warm. The roads are in splendid traveling condition. Marched through a splendid valley. Passed many nice plantations. Arrived at Pulaski, Tenn. this a.m. at 11 o’clock. Marched through town in style. Is a very nice and large town. It resembles Clarksville much. Maybe as large or larger. Marched 6 miles. Our brigade talks of staying here. A rumor has Corinth taken. This evening we hear of starting with a wagon train to Columbia to get provision for this place.

November 13th 1863. Friday. Weather fair and warm. Our regiment, the 2nd Iowa, and some mounted guards left for Columbia in about 200 wagons from 4 to 6 men in each wagon. Many a hog, goose, and chicken were slain on the road. We are passing through a beautiful country—the heart of the South. Passed through Lynnville. The 50th Illinois is there camped on a rich plantation. The rails, hay and fodder of all kind suffered much. The people are mostly rank sesesh. Have six miles to Columbia yet. Our front was fired on but no damage done.

November 14th 1863. Saturday. Commenced raining before daylight. I am on picket. Our breakfast was soaked with rain. Passed through Columbia—a fine Southern city. The road is macadamized all along from Pulaski to as far as we went (as far as Nashville). The citizens are losing turkeys general all kinds of eatables yet. We are now camped 2.5 miles from Smith’s Station where we are to wait for supplies from Nashville. It is cloudy yet but warm. We got a mail tonight. I got two letters. One from R. M. Brigham, one from New York, Got news of Meade hipping the rebs on the Rappahannock.

November 15th 1863. Sunday. Weather cloudy, clear and warm. Commenced loading teams today. Have plenty of fresh meat, potatoes—sweet and Irish. Received a letter from Mother. Another from George. A third from M. N. Way.

November 16th, 1863. Monday. Camp near Columbia. Weather cloudy but warm. I am on fatigue. The wagons are all loaded and tomorrow we will leave for Pulaski. This is the third night we are here. Our camp is within a few rods of the Weatherford Creek. Columbia is on the Duck River. The news of the last fight in Virginia is encouraging.

November 17, 1863. Tuesday. Left our boys early this morning. The teams had all forded the Duck River before 11 o’clock. Camped about 12 miles from Columbia and 18 to 20 miles from Pulaski.

November 18th 1863. Wednesday. Camp between Columbia and Pulaski. Weather clear and warm. Left camp early and arrived at Pulaski before sundown. I am foot sore and tired. Got three more letters. One from Johnny. Clark Roff, Katie C.

November 19th 1863. Thursday. Camp this morning on a hill overlooking Pulaski from the east. Have no tents and are not allowed to take but a few rails. We will wish ourself away from here.

November 20th 1863. Friday. It commenced raining early this morning. Our stall containing 7 of us has 9 rubber on its roof. It does shed water but the whole front is open. Sent a letter to George and to Mother.

November 21st 1863. Saturday. Weather foggy. Rain at intervals this a.m. Cloudy this p.m.

November 22nd, 1863. Sunday. Weather fair. Some windy. I am on picket northwest of the town. Got instructions not to go in any house now. Not allowing privates to enter any residences. Sent a letter to Parker. Express Pocahontas to Adams.

November 23rd 1863. Weather windy and cloudy. Got relieved at guard this morning. The 9th Illinois brought in some fifteen rebs yesterday and today 15-20 more arrived. Received marching orders this pm. to be ready to go to Richland, 7 miles from here.

November 24th 1863. Tuesday, Pulaski, Tenn. It commenced raining last night. Left camp this a.m. about 9 o’clock. Marched 6 to 7 miles. Rained hard all the time. Every time we pull up sticks, i rains. How sick I am if such living (and more of having two pair of pants soiled in the mud and I am in it. A fight with the bullies, ha.ha.

November 25th 1863. Wednesday. It cleared off yesterday afternoon and today it is nice and clear weather. Saw the eclipse of the moon las night. Pulled up sticks and are now viz. Company’s A, B, C, & F, 11 miles south of Pulaski guarding both a bridge and a tunnel. Our houses are as at Pulaski, [made] of rails.

November 26, 1863. Thursday. Tunnel bridge 13 miles south of Pulaski. Weather fair. Had been very cold last night on picket. Expect to be relieved at 3 this p.m. Later. I am relieved and this evening we are to work by candlelight at our board shanty.

November 27th 1863. Friday. Weather fair. Slept warm and sound in our half-finished shanty last night. Had much straw. The news from Gen. Dodge’s headquarters is that Bragg’s army is defeated by Sherman, Hooker and Grant [at Chattanooga].

November 28th 1863. Saturday. It thundered and lightened and rained hard last night and rained nearly all day. I am on fatigue. Our shanty is waterproof. Slept with my clothes off—the first time since we left Pocahontas (Tenn) and a sound sleep it was. Sherman’s dispatch to Dodge dated November 26th is: “We defeated Bragg completely on the Missionary Ridge. Our troops are pressing closely.” A Rebel spy has been hung by Gen.Dodge at Pulaski a day or two ago.

November 29th 1863. Sunday. Camp 9 miles south of Pulaski. It rained at intervals last night and grew cold. Slept very cold and uncomfortably. This morning early it snowed a little and afterwards cleared off. Cold and chilly all day. Our mess got a load of brick and built a chimney. Passed by Brown’s place. the out houses are all torn up and some destroyed. have commenced at the dwelling. Two sewing machines and any amount of fine furniture are laying around in pieces. Brown 8 is said to be in the C. S. A. His overseer and family with a few tenants are yet living there. How I hate to see property destroyed. Our officers have forbidden to pass any more lumber through the lines. Our chimney is done. I am on picket, detailed at 3 p.m.

8 This was probably the plantation of Thomas Brown on the west side of Richland Creek, about two miles southwest of Midbridge and near where Sanders Road us today. The Tunnel Hill contraband camp was sited on the Thomas Brown plantation less than a mile east of Tunnel Hill.

November 30th 1863. Monday. Weather clear but cold. Last night was a severe one. Had a large fire on the reserve. Laid down to sleep. Woke up half frozen. We only get mail twice a week. Grant took 10,000 prisoners, 40 pieces of artillery, and a large amount of small arms at Chattanooga.

December 1863

December 1st 1863. Tuesday. Tunnel bridge 9 miles south of Pulaski. Weather clear and cold. Brown’s houses are now fast growing into shanties at this and two or three other detachments, His dwelling will be out of sight within a few more days. Brown is according to what citizens say, a son-in-law to Gen. Pillow.

December 2nd 1863. Weather clear, cool and dry. ([James B.] Nesbitt left the company on a detail). I am on picket at three p.m. Sent a letter to R. M. Brigham.

December 3rd 1863. Thursday. Weather fair and warm. Had been a moderate night on picket. Three o’clock p.m. I am relieved. Weather warm. A detail from this place who went out this morning come in with negroes and horses to work on the bridge. The 9th Illinois stopped here with a Major and 41 other secesh prisoners which they took west of here. The major was on his way to inspect Roddey’s men.

December 4th 1863. Friday. Camp Tunnel bridge. Weather fair and warm. Three o’clock p.m. I am on picket again. Sent a letter to E. N. Way.

December 5th 1863. Saturday. Had a pleasant post. The night was cold. The sun rose with the clouds. Rained some this a.m. Is clear this p.m. Not enough men in camp for all the picket posts. A detail went after more horses. They took 2 days rations with them and then went out foraging. Some are helping the engineers. Heard of John Morgan’s escape.

December 6th 1863. Sunday. Weather springlike. A mail come in. Nothing for me. No news at all.

December 7th 1863. Monday. Weather fair and warm. Air damp this p.m. Hear of Gen. Burnside capturing Gen. Wheeler with eight thousand prisoners and 40 pieces of artillery. At 3 o’clock p.m. I am on picket. The boys who left Saturday came in with a number of horses, mules and negroes.

December 8th 1863. Camp Tunnel Hill. Tuesday. Weather wet and damp. Commenced raining before daybreak and rained all day. Was relieved at 3 p.m. Received a letter from Michigan.

Wednesday 9th 1863. Weather cloudy and damp.

December 10th 1863. Thursday. Weather clear and cloudy. Was detailed to go mule back scouting. A false report of some 4-500 rebs within 4 miles of here caused the whole camp to stay up last night. This morning, nothing can be heard. All is quiet. Gen. Dodge with staff and body guard passed here going to Athens.

December 11th 1863. Friday Tunnel Hill. Weather cloudy but warm. Cleaned up in front of our quarters. Graveled our doorsteps.

December 12th 1863. Saturday. Cloudy and rain at intervals.

December 13th 1863. Sunday. Rained all day. Thundered much—a sign for cold weather. The mule squad came in tonight.

December 14th 1863. Monday. Weather wet, camp and rainy. Growing cold. Received 2 months pay late this p.m. A Company d’ Afrique was mustered in at Camp Richland. Sergeant [Norton W.] Campbell of Co. G is Captain.

December 15th 1863. Tuesday. Weather warm. Partial cloudy. I went to Richland (Camp Chetlain). Went on picket.

December 16th 1863. Wednesday. Weather rainy.

December 17th 1863. Thursday. Weather wet and damp.

December 18th 1863. Friday. Weather cold and clear. Froze hard. Sent a letter to Syracuse to Rice & Co., Received one from Alfred. The engineers commenced putting up [ ] for the bridge.

December 19th 1863. Saturday. Tunnel Hill. Weather cold and clear. The ground is froze hard. I am on picket this p.m. Co. F drawed mules to be mounted. Hope they won’t mount us. Sent a letter to Alfred, Philadelphia, Pa.

December 20th 1863. Sunday. Weather clear but very cold. Thaws some this p.m. Was relieved at 3 p.m.

December 21st 1863. Monday. Weather clear and cold. Sent a letter to cousin Fred. Another to Michigan. A large ring around the moon tonight.

December 22nd 1863. Tuesday. Today it is warm like summer. Went on picket at 3 p.m.

December 23rd 1863. Wednesday. Tunnel Hill. Had been warm all night until 4 a.m. when in a moment the heavens were covered with clouds. Looks like snow this p.m. [Martin] Clink is going to start for home in the morning. Received a letter from Pocahontas and Amboy Times.

December 24th 1863. Thursday. Weather fair, warm and nice. Much talk about reorganizing this regiment. Clink left for home. so did [Joseph] Cullison. I sent $20. Martin [sent] $50.

December 25th 1863. Friday. Today it is Christmas. Biscuits and pies are plenty. Many went to hear Col. Chetlain’s speech at Richland. Tomorrow he will address us and tell all about the reenlistment. I am on picket this p.m. Weather cloudy.

December 26th 1863. Saturday. Tunnel Hill. It commenced to rain early this morn. Rained nearly all day.

December 27th 1863. Sunday. Weather wet, muddy and rainy. Captain [Henry] Van Seller is appointed recruiting officer of veteran troops. Is scouting now and made a short address here in regard to it. No doubt those that reenlist will go to Springfield next week.

December 28th 1863. Monday. Weather rainy, damp and muddy. Was out to help hunt a rebel mail but did not find it. Col. Chetlain was here and explained the reenlistment, &c. to us.

December 29th 1863. Tuesday. Tunnel Hill. Weather clear. Freezing cold. Received a letter from Emma.

December 30th 1863. Wednesday. Weather clear this a.m. Cloudy this p.m. Went on picket this p.m. Drawed clothing.

December 31st 1863. Thursday. Rained considerable last night. Had a good fire. Rained nearly all day. This evening it snows and blows big guns. Is growing awful cold. Col. Chetlain had been here explaining the reenlisting again. He thinks the regiment will get ready to go to Springfield next Sunday or Monday.

January 1864

New Years Day. Tunnel Hill, Tennessee. Weather cold all day. Captain [Henry] Van Sellar swore a number of Veterans into the service. Snows.

January 2nd 1864. Saturday. Weather cold and windy.

[January 3rd] Sunday. Weather very cold. Rains and snows at intervals. Col. Chetlain’s farewell address was read here by Lieut. Vanhorn. I went on picket. Promised to join the veterans. A portion of Sherman’s troops passed by here (92nd Illinois Regiment mounted).

January 4th 1864. Monday. Tunnel Hill. It rains much. Is cold. Muddy too.

January 5th 1864. Tuesday. Weather cold. Snows some. Freezes hard. My enlisting papers were brought in. Took a notion not to sign them. Received a letter from George.

January 6th 1864. Wednesday. Weather very cold. Roads rough and hard. I am on picket.

January 7th 1864. Thursday. Weather severe. Sows much. The ground is covered with snow. Snows hard this eve. Had a hard night on picket.

January 8th 1864. Friday. Weather cold. Received a letter from R. M. Brigham. Syracuse. Three from Mother. Sent one to George to Nashville.