Category Archives: Corinth, Mississippi

1862-63 DIARY OF FREDERICK HAMMERLY, CO. B, 12TH ILLINOIS INFANTRY

A sixth plate tintype of an unidentified member of the 12th Illinois Infantry, famously known as the 1st Scotch Regiment. He’s wearing the early-war state-issued tunic cut from gray fabric with blue cuff facings, six button front, and the Scotish tam or bonnet widely worn by the regiment. (This image was sold on WorthPoint)

[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 second diary of J. F. H. I have transcribed. It is identified as “Vol. 3” but Vol. 2 is missing. The first diary may be found here:

1861-62 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. Drowned 15 September 1861 Residence place give: Amboy, Illinois.

Transcription

J. Frederick Hammerly. Bought at Corinth, Mississippi, October 10th 1862

October 1862

October 10, 1862. Friday. Yesterday and ever since the 2nd, it has been very warm but today it is raining and growing cold. Fires feeling very comfortable.
October 11 & 12. Saturday & Sunday had been very cold for the Sunny South this time in the year. Prisoners are being paroled ever since the 6th. Received two letters—one from Mr. Brigham, another from (Mich).
October 13 Monday had been quite cool last night but it’s now warm. Sent a letter to Michigan
October 14. Tuesday. Weather fair. We are on duty every other day since the [2nd] Battle of Corinth doing Provost or Picket Duty.

October 15 & 16. Wednesday & Thursday. Nights are cold. Guards are surrounding the fires. Received a letter from New York.
October 17 Friday. Moved our camp northeast of Corinth. I am on Camp Guard.
October 18 Saturday. Weather fair. Received a letter from M. B.
October 19. Sunday. Cold nights and warm days. Guarded prisoners. Sent a letter to Rushville.
October 20. Monday. I came off from guard this morning. The guards we relieved let a prisoner run away, consequently the orders were strict. Had a frost this morning.

October 21. Tuesday. Has been quite windy today. Sent a letter to George. Saw Charlie Dykeman in the 21st Missouri. They are talking of going home.
October 22. Wednesday. I am on camp guard. It is very warm. The 21st Missouri left Corinth for home before daylight. Co. K of our regiment have orders to take charge of artillery. Sent a letter to Helena, Arkansas. Received a letter from George.
October 23. Thursday. Weather warm. Our stove feels comfortable this evening.
October 24. Friday. Moved our camp a few rods in order to let them build a fort. Commenced clouding up before sundown. Had a very cold night. Co. K is going to stay.
October 25. Saturday. It is a very cold day—cold enough to snow. 4 o’clock it snows like blazes. Cold enough to freeze. Am on Provost Guard.
October 26. Sunday. Very cold this morning. The ground is covered with snow and frozen hard. Come off from guard this morning at 10 o’clock. Sent a letter to brother.
October 27. Monday. Had a very heavy frost this morning. Suffered much from cold last night. The troops are breaking down houses like everything. The breastworks are growing fast in front of us. I went on Camp Guard this morning. Received a letter from Mother.
October 28. Tuesday. Weather warmer. Came off from guard at 9 o’clock this morning. Heard from [brother] Martin through Glick. Sent a letter to Conrad mother, to sister Katie, a third to M. Page.
October 29. Wednesday. Weather growing warmer. Am on guard.
October 30. Tuesday. Had a frost last night but is warm today.
October 31, 1862. Corinth, Mississippi. Am on guard. It is warm. Had muster for inspection in general. Received a letter from George.

A sample of Frederick’s handwriting

November 1862

November 1, 1862. Saturday. It is quite warm today. Had a letter from Ch. Alf[red].
November 2. Sunday. It had been cloudy last night. This morning it is quite foggy. Troops are on a move ever since 2 o’clock this morning. Their destination is reported to be Bolivar. 11 o’clock a. m. It is now real warm. Have been on guard camp.
November 3. Monday. Had been warm today. Sent a letter to George and one to New York enclosed.
November 4, 1862. Tuesday a.m. on Provost Guard. It is real warm today noon. Sent a letter to Ch. Alf.
November 5. Wednesday. It is getting cold. This evening the wind is blowing big guns. Many have to hold their tents down. The dust blowing through our tent. The night it commenced raining. It did no rain much. Received a letter from M. Northway.

November 6. Thursday. Had been very cold this morning. A fresh breeze blowing all day. Was on ordinary fatigue.
November 7, 1862. Friday. The wind is again blowing heavy guns. Received a letter from Lew Roff.
November 8, 1862. Saturday. Am on Provost Guard. More hopes of leaving here. Drawed a pair of socks and one overshirt. Sent a letter to Benton Barracks to Martin.

November 9, 1862. Sunday. Corinth, Tishomingo Co., Mississippi. It has been warmer today than its been for weeks back although last night was a severe one. The ground was white in the morning with frost. Went as an escort to help bring Trover of Co. C.
November 10, 1862. Monday. Has been quite pleasant today. Went on the sick report. Had several chills last night.
November 11, 1862. Tuesday. Windy towards evening.
November 12. Wednesday. Rained nearly all last night and part of today. Cloudy this evening. Took medicine three times today.
November 13. Thursday. Was cloudy and frost this morning but now it is clear and warm. Received a slip from Martin.

November 14, 1862. Friday. Weather fair and pleasant. Sent a letter to Cousin Fred.
November 15. Saturday. Weather fair. Sent a line to Martin. After sundown, received a letter from him and another from R. M. Brigham.
November 16. Sunday. Went on Camp Guard this morning. Has been real warm last night. Looks like rain.
November 17. Monday. It is sprinkling at intervals, warm and calm.
November 18. Tuesday. It’s cloudy all day. Commenced raining several times. went after rails about 3 miles out.

November 19. Wednesday. Rained this morning. I was on Provost Guard. Cloudy nearly all day.
November 20. Thursday. Has been cold and windy last night. The majority of Companies C & B went off guarding a train of wagons to some place. Has been clear and cloudy today. The artillery had a shooting match today. Some thought it an attack.

November 21. Friday. Clear, cloudy, cold and windy.
November 22. Weather clear and warm. Was on Water Fatigue.
November 23, 1862. Sunday. Weather fair. Helped get some wood. Sent a letter to Brother John and Martin.

November 24, 1862. Monday. Weather fair. Had review yesterday. Received a letter from sister Maria. Another from C. Alf. Hammerly told me of the unexpected death of cousin William. Sent a letter to M. North [?]
November 25, 1862. Tuesday. Clear and cloudy alternately but cold all day. Received intelligence of a forage train being captured. Also of our correspondence between here and Columbus being cut off. No train came in the night. Am on Camp Guard. Received a letter from Rushville, Pennsylvania.
November 26, 1862. Wednesday. Weather clear and cold. Rumors afloat of the rebels again advancing on here with the intention to siege it. The road is fight again and a train left here for Columbus this afternoon.

November 27, 1862. Thursday. Had been very cold last night bu it is warm today. Had Battalion drill.
November 28, 1862. Friday. Weather cold, clear, and cloudy. Sent a letter to Ch. Alfred. Another to Rushville.
November 29, 1862. Saturday. Weather fair. Received two Watchman’s. Sent a letter to No. 2. N. Y. had a regimental drill.
November 30, 1862. Sunday. Weather warm and cloudy. Looks like rain. Noon, sprinkling now. I am on patrol. Sent a letter to Mr. Brigham.

December 1862

Capt. Henry Willard Allen of Co. G, 7th Illinois Infantry was shot by Sergt. John Myers on 3 December 1862. According to Hammerly’s diary, the captain died three days later, 6 December 1862.

December 1, 1862. Monday. Weather wintery.
December 2, 1862. Tuesday. Had a cold rain last night. Today it is quite cold. Rains and snows at intervals.
December 3, 1862. Wednesday. Weather fair. Am on camp guard. One of the 7th Illinois shot a captain while discussing politics.

December 4, 1862. Thursday. Commenced clouding up early this morning. Part of three companies—B included—went to guard a train of wagons to LaGrange. Had several small rains through the day.
December 5, 1862. Friday. Had a considerable rain last night and snowed nearly all the forenoon. 4 o’clock p.m., seems to be clearing off. One of the 7th Illinois shot a Captain [Henry W. Allen of Co. G, 7th Illinois].
December 6, 1862. Saturday. Had a very cold night. Froze hard. I am on provost patrol today. I am guarding the Sergeant [John Myers] of the 7th Illinois who shot a Captain [Henry W. Allen of Co. G] in a quarrel. The Captain died this morning.
[Sgt. John Myers was hung for his crime on 28 April 1864.
December 7, 1862. Sunday. Weather clear but cold. Had a very cold night. Had general review.
December 8, 1862. Monday. Weather fair. Sent a letter to No. 1 N. Y. The detailed guards came back tonight from LaGrange. One of Co. I was shot through both legs by an accidental discharge of a musket on the cars. Drawed a pair of boots.
December 9, 1862. Tuesday. Weather warm. Have been out 10 to 12 miles foraging.
December 10, 1862. Wednesday. Corinth, Mississippi. Another warm and comfortable day. Had Battalion Drill. Sent a letter to Mo.
December 11, 1862. Thursday. Had been very warm today. Helped get some fire wood.
December 12, 1862. Friday. Weather warm, cloudy and sprinkling at intervals. Went down to Glendale with a telegrapher on a handcar. Received a letter from Martin. Another from Charles Dykeman (Mo.), a third from N. Y. No. 2. Co. I man who had been shot through the legs had them both amputated (is alive).
December 13, 1862. Saturday. Had been very warm and comfortable but windy. This evening looks like rain. wind increasing. Several detachments left here for Iuka.
December 14, 1862. Sunday. Corinth, Mississippi. Another warm and fair day. Had some rain and considerable wind last night. Wrote a letter to Mich. and received a letter from Bithe and a paper from W. Bingham.
December 15, 1862. Monday. Had several rain storms today mixed with heavy winds. Is quite warmer. More rain towards night. Is growing cold. Am on guard.
December 16, 1862. Tuesday. Weather clear and cold. Received a letter from Cousin Fred. An attack on Jackson, Tennessee is talked of tonight.
December 17, 1862. Wednesday. Had been real cold last night and is clear but cold today. Co. I man who was shot through both legs and amputated coming back on the cars from LaGrange was buried today. His sister, the Captain’s wife of the company, had been here to attend to him. 1

1 The soldier who had both legs shot accidentally while returning to Corinth from LaGrange was wagoner Jacob W. Butt (1842-1862) of Princeton, Illinois. His sister was Alice Butt, was married to William D. Mills (1838-1906), Captain of Co. I, 12th Illinois Infantry.


December 18, 1862. Thursday. Corinth, Mississippi. Weather clear but fresh. I am on patrol. Sent a letter to Mo.
December 19, 1862. Friday. Weather fair and nice today. Three companies of our regiment with the 90th Illinois and others—also some artillery—left last night for somewhere, supposed to harass the Rebels marching on Jackson, Tennessee. They say they are fighting there. The 9th Illinois and 31st Ohio came back with a lot of prisoners from Alabama. No train, no news tonight.
December 20, 1862. Saturday. Weather fair, nice and warm. Am on Provost Guard. Considerable excitement here on account of Jackson being taken by the Rebels. Had strict orders in regard to the last group of prisoners. A mounted infantry company was organized.
December 21, 1862. Sunday. Corinth, Mississippi. Weather fair. Received about one hour in the guard house of Corinth for the complaint of letting a prisoner off. This evening they are moving all Commissary and Quartermaster goods to the main fort. The question–What’s Up? No news tonight.
December 22, 1862. Monday. Had been real warm today. No attack has been made on this place yet. Our forces whipped the Rebels at Jackson the day before yesterday. No reliable news from there has as yet been received although tis only 50 miles from here. A train left for the North but not come back. Today we were put on half rations.
December 23, 1862. Tuesday. Another [day] like summer. Two trains came in with two days mail and some papers. Also the most of the troops that had left this place a few days previous. I am on Provost Guard.
December 24, 1862. Wednesday. Had some rain early this morning but cleared off towards non. Another train came in tonight but only from Jackson. No news and no mail. We have splendid weather. Sent a letter to Peters.
December 25, 1862. Christmas. Weather like summer. Our half rations are felt. Those who have money can have whole. The same are buying their whiskey. Many are having their drinking sprees. This has been a hungry Christmas. A train from Jackson again but no news.
December 26, 1862. Friday. It commenced raining this morning about 9 o’clock and rained most all day and all night. Capt. Sharp—a secesh—got away last night.
December 27, 1862. Saturday. Had considerable rain again today. This evening it cleared off and clouded up alternatively. No news at all. Am on Provost Guard. Drawed a pair of pants.

December 28, 1862. Sunday. Had a real pleasant day today. Had company inspection. A train from Jackson arrived but no news.
December 29, 1862. Monday. Another warm and nice day. No news yet (cut off yet). Am on patrol.
December 30, 1862. Tuesday. Rain almost all day and the biggest part of the night.
December 31, 1862. Wednesday. Clear and cold. Two trains arrived from Jackson
.

January 1863

January 1, 1863. New Year’s Day. Corinth, Mississippi. Weather has been very warm and agreeable all day. Cut off yet, consequently no news. Living on half rations ever since the 19th. Such a Christmas & New Year’s I never saw!
January 2, 1863. Friday. Had been very windy and clouding up alternatively and [rained] hard all last night. Several regiments left for places unknown—some say to Pittsburg Landing. Co. G went on picket and on Camp Guard.
January 3, 1863. Saturday. Rained much all night and considerable today. The Tennessee River must soon be rising. It is pouring down in torrents this evening.

January 4, 1863. Sunday. Cleared off this morning and proved to be very fine day. Had company inspection this morn. Received a big mail tonight over which was great rejoicing. The mail was carried over the burned and destroyed bridges. Vicksburg is said to be ours sure. Received a letter from Rushville. Another from John Amboy. Third and fourth from camp near Fredericksburg. What a splendid moonlight night!
January 5, 1863. Monday. It is cloudy and windy today. The few papers came in last night was sold for one dollar apiece. According to papers, Burnside is whipped.

January 6, 1863. [No entry]
January 7, 1863. Wednesday. Air cold but clear and sunshine. a large train of provisions arrived here last night. Sent a letter to Alford.
January 8, 1863. Thursday. Weather fair but chilly. Martin arrived tonight. Am on patrol.
January 9, 1863. Friday. Weather fair but is clouding up this eve. The long roll beat today. After we had fallen in, we were dismissed. Sent a letter to Benton Barracks with $1.

January 10, 1863. Saturday. Had some rain last night. Had been very comfortable all day. Some cloudy. Heard heavy thunder all night. Sent a letter to Rushville.
January 11, 1863. Sunday. Looks like spring. Am on Headquarters Guard. A small mail arrived here. Drawed a dress coat, a pair of pants for [John] Griffin, [coat] $6.70; [pants] $3.05.

January 12, 1863. Monday. Weather fair like spring. A train with provisions from Pittsburg Landing arrived here. Had Battalion drill. A letter from Conrad.
January 13, 1863. Tuesday. Warm but windy. Some cloudy. Draw whole rations again.
January 14, 1863. Wednesday. Commenced raining early this morning and it rained hard all day and all night too.
January 15, 1863. Thursday. The rain turned into snow this morning. Snowed most all day but partly melted. am on Provost Guard. Guarded the sharpshooters hospital. Sent a letter to John Church and brother George.

January 16, 1863. Friday. Snowed and blowed the bigger part of today. Found George. Camp of the 72nd Ohio.
January 17, 1863. Saturday. Cleared off last night. The sun shines nice this morning.
January 18, 1863. Sunday. It is clouding up again. the mail consisting of 4 letters came to the regiment, very unfrequent and small. Am on Provost Guard. The snow is melting.
January 19, 1863. Monday. Commenced raining early this morning. Rained all day and part of the night. The snow is gone.
January 20, 1863. Tuesday. It is cloudy, chilly and damp. Rains at intervals. Was detailed for Train Guard. Was dismissed.

January 21, 1863. Wednesday. Is cloudy, damp and the streets are very muddy. Went on Headquarters (Paymaster) Guard, Our paymaster came in this evening.
January 22, 1863. Thursday. Has cleared off this morning and it looks again like spring. This evening at 5 o’clock an expedition left here for Pittsburg Landing or Hamburg Landing.
January 23, 1863. Friday. Cloudy today but warm. went on picket [but] a few hours after were relieved. Got marching orders with three days rations in our haversacks. Ready to start early in the morning.

January 24, 1863. Get our breakfast by candlelight and ready to start. Marched down i town, stacked arms in front of the Corinth Music Hall. About 9 o’clock we left town as a rear guard of a forage train to Hamburg. About noon it commenced raining and rained till after midnight. Arrived at Hamburg about sundown. The train was loaded through the night.
January 25, 1863. Sunday. Left Hamburg about 8 o’clock. Halted about an hour on the hill back of Hamburg, took a different road, arrived at Corinth two hours after dark. Was cloudy and windy but did not rain. We had plenty of mud to tramp through.
January 26, 1863. Monday. Early this morning the 7th Illinois and 81st Ohio were loaded on the train to Hamburg. Had some rain and much wind this afternoon. The paymaster paying the 90th Illinois.
January 27, 1863. Tuesday. Rained much last night. Today is cloudy, damp and chilly.
January 28, 1863. Wednesday. It is cold and cloudy. Was on Fatigue [Duty] last night until 11 o’clock to help unload a train from Hamburg Landing. Snowed some last night. Sent a letter to Cincinnati, Ohio, with $1 D. C.
January 29, 1863. Thursday. Whether fair. Rather windy. Am on Provost Guard. Cut off again below here and Jackson. A train only stove up!
January 30, 1863. Friday. Corinth, Mississippi. Weather fair. were paid for two months. Received a letter from Michigan.
January 31, 1863. Saturday. Weather nice and fair. Had monthly inspection. It sprinkled some on Dress Parade. Voted for to stand by the government. Martin received a letter from Ch. Church.

February 1863

February 1, 1863. Sunday. Drawed blouse and forage cap. Rained last night and part of the day today. It’s warm. Sent $50 to Mr. Bingham by Lieut. Cook and $5 to Martin.
February 2, 1863. Monday. weather clear and comfortable. Turned cold and cloudy towards night. Am on Patrol.
February 3, 1863. Tuesday. Had been very cold last night but cleared. First US Infantry leaves this morning for Vicksburg. Co. G takes their places at Fort [Battery] Williams.

The Memphis & Charleston Railroad facing west with Battery Williams on the left and Battery Robinett on the right.

February 4, 1863. Wednesday. Corinth, Mississippi. Had been cold last night. Came off from Patrol. Is growing colder this morning. Five o’clock p.m., the ground is covered with snow and it snows like everything. went after nails to fix our tent.
February 5, 1863. Thursday. Considerable snow fell last night. Is very cold this morning. Moved our bunks and altered the looks of our tent. Received a letter from Ch. Alf.
February 6, 1863. Friday. Was detailed for taking off condemned horses and mules to Henderson. Went 15 miles and stayed over at a plantation. Quite a number of mules gave out. Had a hard time of it. Was freezing cold.

February 7, 1863. Saturday. Corinth, Mississippi. The snow is melting fast. Went through Purdy. Is a very fine town. Arrived at Henderson after sundown. Got left behind with three more. Stayed over at the telegraph office.
February 8, 1863. Sunday. Slept pretty cold last night. Now waiting for the train from Jackson. Had breakfast with some teamsters. 4 o’clock the train has come and is going. Arrived at Corinth after dark. Up in camp I am. Heard of another fight at Fort Donelson. The rebels whipped. The snow seems to have disappeared from all places but Oh! so windy
February 9, 1863. Monday. Weather moderate. Looking again like rain this evening. Considerable trading done in town. The Adams express is open again. A lot of Christmas boxes received here but everything is spoiled in them.

February 10, 1863. Tuesday. It is very muddy today and is raining at intervals. Two trains arrived from Jackson, Tennessee. Got a check from our money sent by Lieut. Cook.
February 11, 1863. Wednesday. It is very warm today but muddy yet. Am on Camp Fatigue. went after rails for the regimental bakery. Got stuck several time [in mud].
February 12, 1863. Thursday. Rained last night and had two or three showers today. Thundered hard. It is growing cold this evening.
February 13, 1863. Friday. Cleared off last night. Is growing warm. Was detailed to guard a train. Went after wood beyond Chewalla, 11 miles from Corinth on the Memphis & Charleston Railroad.Had been very warm. Sent a Valentine.

February 14, 1863. Saturday. Corinth, Mississippi. Thundered and commenced raining early this morning. Was a rainy day. This eve it thundered hard and heavy dark clouds approaching.
February 15, 1863. Sunday. Weather damp and cloudy. Am on patrol. Rained and thundered hard tonight. Only one letter for the [entire] regiment.
February 16, 1863. Monday. Weather damp and cloudy. Commenced raining on Dress Parade. Our Colonel was going to have us meet at Headquarters in regard of their being the anniversary of the surrender of Fort Donelson [but] on account of the weather it was postponed. Received a letter from Cincinnati.
February 17, 1863. Tuesday. Weather damp and cloudy. Rained last night and this evening it is again raining. Sent $5 to O. A letter to 21st Mo.

February 18, 1863. Wednesday. Corinth, Mississippi. Rained much last night. Today it is damp and cloudy. Went after wood beyond Burnsville.
February 19, 1863. Thursday. Weather damp, windy and cloudy.
February 20, 1863. Friday. Clear but awful windy. Growing warm and nice. The roads are getting dry. A nice moonlit night.
February 21, 1863. Saturday. It commenced to raining this morning early. It’s been raining all day. Am on patrol. A detail left horseback for the Shiloh.
February 22, 1863. Sunday. It is very cold today. The wind is rising. Very dark this evening. Big guns were fired today in honor of Washington’s Birthday. Sent a letter to Chicago with $30.

February 23, 1863. Monday. Corinth, Mississippi. It is rather cold this morning but looks like clearing off. In p.m., the sun shines and the sky is clear again. Sent off a letter to Mich. and to Church and George. A third to Ohio with $2.
February 24, 1863. Tuesday. Weather fair. P. M. is warm and nice. Evening clear and moonshine. Am on camp guard. Received a letter from George and another from N. Y.
February 25, 1863. Wednesday. Commenced raining early this morning. Thundered hard. Considerable rain fell.
February 26, 1863. Thursday. An immense sight of rain fell last night and today it is raining continually. 5 p.m. it looks like clearing off. Am on Provost Guard. Signed the payrolls for two months pay.
February 27, 1863. Friday. Corinth, Mississippi.Today it has been warm and nice. Sent a letter to Ch. Alf.
February 28, 1863. Saturday. Weather fair. Some cloudy in a.m. Considerable wind. Had general muster. Am on camp guard.

March 1863

March 1, 1863. Sunday. Weather had been fair and warm today.
March 2, 1863. Monday. Weather warm and clear and cloudy and windy part of this afternoon. Sent a locket to Katie Henrick.
March 3, 1863. Tuesday. Corinth, Mississippi. Weather fair. Some windy. What a splendid moonlight night. Send a letter to Jim Dy. Amboy Martin to his. 200 Rebels were brought in. Am on camp guard.
March 4, 1863. Wednesday. Weather fair. Nice moonshine. The capture of the Indianola and the Queen of the West is talked of and believed here. Received $4 of the $5…[See The Indianola Affair]

March 5, 1863. Thursday. Weather is cold and cloudy. Snows lightly. Got two months pay.
March 6, 1863. Friday. Weather changeable warm, cold, sunshine and rain. Am on Provost Guard.
March 7, 1863. Saturday. Corinth, Mississippi. Weather the same as yesterday, Considerable rain fell last night. Thundered hard. Sent a letter to Rushville and to Cincinnati, Ohio.

March 8, 1863. Sunday. Weather cloudy but warm; sunshine at intervals. Had an awful hailstorm this evening. Received a letter with negative note paper. Sent off a letter to Brigham.
March 9, 1863. Monday. Cleared off last night. was quite fresh this morning. Went to Chewalla after wood. One car ran off the track.
March 10, 1863. Tuesday. Weather cloudy and considerable rain. Rained much last night. Sent a letter to Chicago
.
March 11, 1863. Wednesday. Corinth, Mississippi. Weather clear but is rather fresh and windy.
March 12, 1863. Thursday. Weather about the same as yesterday. Am on Camp Fatigue. Sent a letter to Cincinnati.
March 13, 1863. Friday. Weather fair and very nice. Received a letter from Cincinnati.
March 14, 1863. Saturday. Weather warm and nice. Went on extra patrol this afternoon. Received a letter from George’s wife.
March 15, 1863. Sunday. Commenced clouding up early this morning. Looks like rain. Went on weekly inspection.
March 16, 1863. Monday. Corinth, Mississippi. Weather like spring. It cleared off this morning. Sent a letter to George. Another to Cincinnati…
March 17, 1863. Tuesday. Weather fair. very warm all day. Am on patrol. Had two shows and two balls in town.
March 18, 1863. Wednesday. It’s very warm today.
March 19, 1863. Thursday. Very warm—yes, hot. was beyond Glendale as guard to a wood train. Received a letter with S. C. from Cincinnati, Ohio.

March 20, 1863. Friday. Weather fair. Sent to Chicago to Hilton for books to Philadelphia.
March 21, 1863. Saturday. Corinth, Mississippi. Weather warm. Like summer. Am on Paymaster Guard to Chandler.
March 22, 1863. Sunday. Weather foggy, windy and damp. Received a gold pen from Chicago.
March 23, 1863. Monday. Is raining mostly all day, Went after some medicine. Sent to Philadelphia $1. S. C.
March 24, 1863. Tuesday. Weather foggy, damp, and rained at intervals. Received a letter from Michigan. Am on forage guard.
March 25, 1863. Wednesday. Has cleared off but is pretty chilly all day. I received news of being detailed to escort prisoners to Alton, Illinois. Much pleased. A fair show for a short furlough.
March 26, 1863. Thursday. Memphis, Tennessee. Left Corinth at 8 o’clock this morning on board the cars for Memphis. Arrived at 8 in the evening. Have 21 Union prisoners to guard. marched them through the streets up to the Memphis Prison. Took our quarters n the same building. It is growing cold and a change of weather is eminent. Hear of Rosecrans fighting. Are anxious of further news.
March 27, 1863. Friday. Commenced raining this morning and had several thunder showers through today. Not much news from Rosecrans nor from below here. The 190th & 130th left this eve. for Vicksburg. Slept cold last night.
March 28, 1863. Saturday. Memphis, Tennessee. Had a heavy rain storm last night. Is cloudy and damp but warm. Slept comfortable last night. About sundown we marched our prisoners to the landing but as the boat could not leave before Sunday morning, we had to counter march them back to the same place.Two of them threw their shackles off, consequently they were put in the cell. One of them escaped but the secret police brought him in after two hours. Hear of the morning train being cut off by a rebel raid near Moscow.
March 29, 1863. Sunday. The wind blew big guns last night. Is growing very cold. This morning it looks cloudy and may snow. Later, it is snowing and raining. 8 o’clock a.m., our prisoners are safe on board the boat, Mary Forsyth. 11 o’clock, she is pushing out. Later, are going a pretty good speed.

March 30, 1863. Monday. On board the steamer Forsyth. Slept about two hours upon two barrels. Had the colic all day ad last night. Tuesday arrived at Cairo about 3 o’clock a.m. Left at 8 a.m. Stopped at Cape Girardeau at 4:30 p.m. and met an old acquaintance.
March 31, 1863. Tuesday. Slept sound and comfortable on some bags of wheat.

April 1863

April 1, 1863. Wednesday. Is nice and clear today. arrived at St. Louis at 3:30 o’clock p.m. [Robert] Donnelly and myself arrested three persons (passengers of the Mary Forsyth) who were suspected of having stolen money on their persons. Stayed over night at [ ]field’s Barracks. Pretty hard place.

Hammerly’s Diary

1862: Augustus Charles Barry to Friend

This letter was written by Augustus Charles Barry (1829-1917) of Wyanet, Bureau county, Illinois, while serving as the captain of Co. K, 57th Illinois Infantry. He was mustered into the regiment on 26 December 1861 and resigned his commission on 20 June 1862 after six months service.

I could not find an image of Barry but here is one of Linas van Steenburg who also served as a captain in the 57th Illinois Infantry

At the time of the 1860 US Census, Augustus was enumerated as a boarder in the household of station agent David T. Nichols of Wyanet, Illinois. His occupation was given as “attorney of law.” He was the son of John and Eunice (Sweet) Barry of Brookfield, Madison county, New York. He was married to Catherine Ettie Miller in May 1867 and she may have been the “Dear Friend” to whom this letter was addressed. While many of his siblings settled around Elgin, Illinois, Augustus eventually moved to San Francisco, California where he died in 1917.

The 57th Illinois Infantry was raised in the fall of 1861 and was composed of five upstate companies and five from downstate—a situation that was ripe for discord among the leaders of the organization if not the men. The Colonel and Lt. Colonel did not get along and officers below them were often compelled to pick sides in this confrontation. Though he does not say so in his letter, perhaps Augustus resigned in part because of the growing antagonism among the officers. He was long gone from the regiment by the time charges of cowardice were levied against Col. Silas D. Baldwin by Lt. Col. Frederick J. Hurlbut with specifications that dated as far back as the Battle of Fort Donelson in which the 57th Illinois barely even participated. Since he was no longer a member of the regiment, Augustus was not called upon to testify but he appears to have been strong friends with the Lt. Col. and the Regimental Surgeon suggested he may have sided with the prosecution. To read more on the Court Martial of Col. Silas D. Baldwin, readers are referred to Richard P. Dexter’s JSTOR article, “Col. Silas D. Baldwin: Guilty or not Guilty? A Case of Command Influence?”

[Note: This letter is from the private collection of Greg Herr and is published on Spared & Shared by express consent.]

Transcription

[Camp near Corinth, Mississippi]
June 5th 1862

Dear Friend,

I wrote you a few words some time ago when I was in the hospital. At that time I had not received a word from you but soon after I got quite a number of letters which ’tis needless to say has been a fund of enjoyment for a long time.

I am gaining slowly but hope soon to take the field. I would not let our surgeon [Dr. James Zearing] send me back to the river but followed close to the regiment and am now in the old camp formerly occupied by Generals Price & Van Dorn and more recently by our forces. The rebels left their tents just as they had used them and left a large quantity of provision, camp equipage, &c. The provision was partially destroyed although we found a large quantity of sugar and molasses of the finest quality all right. Our men have have moved out about fifteen miles to a place called Danville and we got a report this morning from a deserter that some five miles further on at a place called Boonville the rebels have made a stand in strong force and will probably offer our forces battle—especially if they are commanded by Beauregard. I hope they will give us one more square stand-up fight and then I think they will be fully satisfied to go home and call the war a mistake on their part.

I would have come home two weeks ago but I had made a solemn promise that I never would come to Bureau County again sick if I could help it. I want to have a visit next time when I am in good health.

This is one of the finest camping grounds I have seen situated on a ridge of hills affording a fine view of the country to the south and west. Corinth is a very pretty village with quite a number of houses built in good taste surrounded by trees. Beauregard burned the railroad depot and some large storehouses around it which gives that part of the town rather a desolate appearance. I suppose a vast amount of property was destroyed. The storehouses were filled with provisions and ammunition beside the public square had been filled with military stores of every kind and burned with almost everything valuable in the town.

I think of offering my resignation and shall certainly do so if I don’t improve a good deal in ten days from now. I am just able to ride in an ambulance and shall follow the regiment tomorrow. If I could take part in one more good sharp fight, I could leave the service with a clear conscience and I don’t know but I could now. I don’t want you to understand that I want to risk my life but there are certain things that we estimate higher than life. I have heard it said that the troops who fought at Pittsburg [Landing], fought for their own safety and it required more courage to deliberately attack the enemy. I don’t believe it, but just for my own satisfaction I have often thought I would like to try it before I left the service.

We have had a great deal of sickness in our army but much less than the rebels. They have suffered fearfully as shown by their daily reports found in Corinth after they left and also by the reports of all the deserters from their camp. It is getting very warm and the sickly season will soon be here. I almost dread going further south for the cypress swamps of Southern Mississippi will sweep off more of us than Beauregard and all his rebel crew. I sincerely hope that the war will soon terminate so that we can come home without being sneered at even by our enemies.

Give my kindest regards to you family and write as often as you can. Yours truly, — A. C. Barry