The following diary is presented with the
gracious permission of Sergeant John Marsden’s Great grandson, also
named John Marsden. Please direct corrections and amplifications
to Nolan Jones, SJCNolan@AOL.Com.
Be sure to put “Marsden Diary” in the subject line. This site may
be linked to but not duplicated in any fashion without my written consent.
Personal Diary Of
Sergeant John Marsden
11th New York Cavalry Regiment, Company C
January 1, 1864 to December 25, 1864
John Marsden was born at New Hartford, New York June 15, 1844. On January 15, 1862 at age 18 he enlisted in the 11th New York Cavalry (Scott’s 900), Company C, at Utica, New York. At that time he was described as 5 foot 4 ½ inches, with brown hair, gray eyes, and of dark complexion. He was wounded and captured at Fairfax Station, Virginia on June 27, 1863. At that time his regiment’s action was against J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry and it helped to prevent Stuart from being at Gettysburg for the famous battle. If Stuart had been at Gettysburg, the outcome there might have been very different. He was in a prisoner exchange and returned to duty with his regiment. He was promoted to Sergeant August 25, 1864 at age 20 and assigned duty as 4th Sergeant of C Company..
You will no doubt conclude that Marsden was somewhat immature when he created the diary; he was only 19 years old at the start. But you will also see considerable maturity as the year 1864 progressed. By the end of the diary, December 25, 1864, he had matured a great deal, as demonstrated by the increased responsibilities assigned to him and more substantive diary entries. The February 27th entry shows that he was already drilling the Company in combat exercises.
The diary begins January 1, 1864 at Camp Relief, on Meridian Hill, Washington D.C., the present site of Meridian Hill Park, on 16th Sreet, NW. The camp had a large oval horse track for training men and their horses, with a parade ground in the center of the track. The Regiment was defending Washington, which was at continuing serious risk from the Confederate army just over the Potomac River. Part of Company A was the usual escort and guard for the President. Marsden was often “down town as usual” on vedette or guard duty. The camp was named for Regimental Commander James B. Swain’s wife, whose given name was Relief.
James B. Swain, age 41, enrolled April 30, 1862, discharged February 12, 1864, Colonel. Also see diary entry for February 12.
The Regiment was subsequently transferred
to Southeastern Louisiana, where many men died of disease. Of
344 deaths during the Regiment’s service, an astounding 256 deaths or 74
percent of all deaths were from disease.
Friday, Jan 1st 1864
In Camp Relief Washington DC Nothing going on today very windy and cold washed some clothes wrote letter to Clayville (New York) had a tip top New Years dinner
Washed some clothes very cold and windy got a letter from Sister Jane
Jane was also called Jennie and Janice. Born 1848, Canada. Died after 1880.
Inspection of Arm and quarters answered Janes letter clear and very cold
Monday Jan 4th 1864
Snowed some today the first snow of the season sword exercise this afternoon in the Officers Barracks for the non coms by a fencing master from the city
Thursday Jan 5th
On guard. Corp of the first relief pretty cold at night 1st Sergeants commenced acting as Officer of the guard everything passed off well.
Wednesday Jan 6th
Got a pass went up to Fort Baker met Aunt Phebe as she was going up to the Asylem to see Uncle John went up with her found him a little better went up to the Fort stayed until dark got in Camp after roll call found Jim Lindsay had arrived he had enlisted in my Co
Phebe Marsden, born at Over Darwen, Lower Chapel Street, Independent, Blackburn, Lancashire, England September 24, 1821. Died (?). Sister of Sergeant John Marsden’s father.
Fort Baker was located at the present site
of Fort Baker Drive and 30th Street, Washington, D.C.,
It was a 20 gun earthworks fort.
James Lindsay, age 26, enlisted Dec 21, 1863 at New York, Co L, died of disease December 26, 1864.
Thursday Jan 7th
Got a pass and went up to Fort Baker Aunt Phebe started for home took her up to the Smithsonian and throug the Capital and to the Depot bought her ticket and left her, got in Camp just after roll call got a letter from Cousin Ellen
Friday Jan 8th
Snowed some more this morning pretty cold and mended my pants wrote a letter to Cousin Ellen done nothing but lounge around the Barracks the rest of the day
Saturday Jan 9th
Clear and cold washed some clothes lounged around the quarters the rest of the day
Sunday Jan 10 1864
On Vidette duty down town second Relief warm & sunshiny in the afternoon rather slippery for the horses everything passed off well clear and cold at night
Monday Jan 11th
Cold in the morning warm in the afternoon Sword exercise this forenoon for the non commissioned Officers
Tuesday Jan 12th
Nothing to do to day mended some clothes sent paper to Canada very warm and pleasant daytime but cold at night.
Wednesday Jan 13
Warm and pleasant had a regular guard mounting this morning dismounted Signed my clothing account for the past year Dress Parade this afternoon dismounted with overcoats on
Thursday Jan 14
On guard today second Relief no guard around Camp only over the prisoners and at the Colonels quarters got a Utica paper sent to my by Cousin Ellen
Friday Jan 15
I am in the service just two years today dull and foggy signs of rain this afternoon two of my friends Lindsay and Redfern come to see me from Fort Baker & Jim Lindsay and myself got a pass until midnight we all went to the theatre
Saturday Jan 16 1984
Rather unwell went on the sick list was marked unfit for duty made me a box for my clothes got a letter from Father
Father: Thomas Briggs Marsden, born Over Darwen, Lower Chapel Street Independent, Blackburn, Lancashire, England, 27 October 1823. Died in Tatlock or Altamond, Canada, between 1865 – 1880. Drowned. Married Jeanette Robb 1843, at Bathurst District, Ontario, Canada.
Mother: Jeanette (Also called Janet) Robb, Born Scotland, 1827. Died after 1880.
Sunday Jan 17
Inspection dismounted by the Captain he read the Articles of War to us, nothing to do but go on Parade warm & pleasant got a letter from Clayville
Monday Jan 18
Rained last night pretty muddy, went over with the sick report to the Hospital this morning Dress Parade in Overcoats as usual wrote a letter to Camden (New York)
Tuesday Jan 19 1864
On guard third Relief was sent down with some prisoners to the Provost Marshalls in the Ambulance with a guard of three men Cold windy day
Wednesday Jan 20
Come off guard Inspection mounted of Arms and Equipment this forenoon by Major Remington Parade in Overcoats rather cold and windy
S. Pierre Remington, enrolled November 27, 1861 at New York, Co. D, discharged March 11, 1865, Major brevet Colonel.
Thursday Jan 21
Went down town on pass with Lindsay took a jacket to the tailor to be trimed bought me a Portfolio and a lock for my Chest got some pictures taken got in Camp just in time for Parade
Friday Jan 22
Warm and pleasant got a letter from Sister Mary answered it went this evening to the debate in the Officers Barracks afterward had a play called Box to Cox Music by the band spent a very agreeable evening clear and moonlight
Mary Marsden Estes, Born 1849, Canada. Died after 1880.
“Box to Cox” is a “romance of real life”, a classic British farce, by John Maddison Morton, 1847.
Saturday Jan 23d
On guard first Relief very warm and pleasant everything passed off well clear warm moonlight night
Sunday Jan 24
Come off guard the guard had to be called out on the Parade ground to be dismissed Inspection this morning Inspection of Arms at two o,clock my Sabre was condemned Dress Parade as usual wrote a letter to Father and to Charley (Devonig?)
Monday Jan 25
Clear uncommonly warm the pleasantest day we have had this winter non commissioned drill this morning on the Parade ground
Tuesday Jan 26
Very warm and pleasant and dry wrote a letter to Julie Weeks Drill this forenoon and afternoon dismounted in the school of the Trooper dismounted Dress Parade as usual
Wednesday Jan. 27
On Vidette duty down town second Relief everything passed off well rather windy and dusty got a letter and a paper from Cousin Ellen
Thursday Jan 28
Very warm and pleasant Non Commissioned Drill on the Parade ground this forenoon dismounted drill as usual this afternoon Dress Parade as usual
Friday Jan 29
Warm day and very pleasant Drilled twice as usual in the school of the platoon got a letter from Osceola (New York) and one from Camden (New York) and one from Mohawk (New York) answered the first one Dress Parade as usual some new Recruits arrived for this company
Saturday Jan 30
On the sick list today quite sick Laid in bed nearly all day some new recruits arrived for this Co
Sunday Jan 31
Still on the sick List some better today lounged around the Barracks all day wrote a letter to Camden a very dull gloomy day
Monday Feb 1 1864
Still on the sick list a drizzling dull day lounged around the Barracks all day cleaned up my bridle cleaned up my things
Tuesday Feb 2 1864
Went down town this morning with the Orderlies to Colonel Haskins very muddy had my pass made out for this month
Wednesday Feb 3d
Rather muddy went down town as usual bought me a towel hemed it this evening
Thursday Feb 4
Froze up pretty hard this morning got my horse shod all around this morning got a letter from S Carolina one from Camden one from Bill Lindsay
William Lindsay, age 23, enlisted Feb 29, 1864 at Camden, Co. C, discharged Sept 30, 1865.
Friday Feb 5th
Some warmer today answered two of the letters I got last night quite warm tonight.
Saturday Feb 6th
Went down town as usual pretty warm not much to do to day laid before the fire and read nearly all day
Sunday Feb 7th
Did not go down town today went on Inspection this morning lounged around the Barracks all day got a letter from Clayville (New York) went on Parade this afternoon
Monday Feb 8
Went down town as usual not much business to day rather warm signs of a storm good traveling no mud or dust
Tuesday Feb 9
Went down town as usual not very busy to day lounged before the fire all day pretty cold and windy good traveling
Wednesday Feb 10th 1864
Went down town as usual asked the Captain to relieve me from duty pretty busy to day rather cold at night
Thursday Feb 11
Was relieved from down town duty Corp Emery was sent down in my place attended non-commissioned Drill this morning very cold did not drill very long had Squadron drill this afternoon by our Captain & Parade in overcoats
Charles K. Emery, age 42, enlisted July 14, 1862 at New York, Cos. C and A, discharged June 12, 1865, Sergeant.
Friday Feb 12
Washed some clothes very warm and pleasant (drill?) in forenoon & afternoon Parade in overcoats just after Parade an order came stating that our Colonel was dismissed the service great excitement in Camp we all signed a petition to have him reinstated
Colonel Swain was often at odds with his superiors and was relieved from duty as commander of the 11th NY Cavalry. He was subsequently appointed engineer-in-chief on the staff of Governor Fenton with the rank of brigadier-general.
Saturday Feb 13th
On Vidette duty down town first Relief warm and very dusty an order came to night to get ready to leave expect to go to New Orleans.
Sunday Feb 14th
Began to fix up my things for a move a large mounted guard was put around Camp warm in morning but dreadful windy and dusty in the afternoon no Parade
Monday Feb 15 1864
Done nothing in particular rather a raw cold day washed some clothes and mended some
Tuesday Feb 16th
Signed the pay roll for two months pay, was paid off lounged around the Barracks the rest of the day cold and very windy terible cold at night
Wednesday Feb 17
Terible cold windy day the coldest this winter sat around the fire nearly all day
Thursday Feb 18
Got a pass to day went up to Fort Baker and then went up to St. Elizabeth Hospital to see uncle John and found him almost well got back in camp just after dark bought me a Photograph Album got my jacket from the tailors
Friday Feb 19
Very cold done nothing in particular lounged around the fire nearly all day Dress Parade this afternoon Corp Emery was made Sergeant. Reily was made Corporal
Henry Reily, age 19, enlisted July 23, 1862 at New York, discharged June 12, 1865, 1st Sergeant.
Saturday Feb 20
Mounted drill this forenoon & afternoon Dress Parade a usual rather cold
Sunday Feb 21
On guard today first Relief very pleasant day. Parade as usual. Sergeant Maxted was transfered to Co L nothing particular occured to day warm and moonlight at night
James S. Maxted, age 21, enlisted August
30, 1862 at Washington, D.C., Co. C, discharged June
12, 1865, Ordnance Sergeant, Co. L.
Monday Feb 22d
Washingtons birthday a warm pleasant day Drilled this afternoon Practiced our horses at jumping ditches a very laughable time Parade as usual this evening we all had rubber blankets & canteen and haversacks issued to us
Tuesday Feb 23d
Very pleasant today no drilling because most of the Co is down town on Patrol three of the men who was on furlough returned to day Parade as usual washed some clothes this afternoon there is a report that we are to start tomorrow packed up my things in readiness
Some new recruits arrived for this company
Wednesday Feb 24
Sergeant Emery was transfered to Co A. Co A E and H was ordered off to day destination supposed to be Alexandria (Virginia). Drill mounted this forenoon very windy & dusty very high wind this afternoon no Drill everybody is fixing up for a move
Thursday Feb 25
Warm and pleasant. Drill as usual, went on Parade was promoted to Sergeant Saxton and Herman was made Corporal bought some lager beer for the boys the first Micheagan Calvary arrived this evening to relieve us
Charles P. Saxton, age 21, enlisted September 1, 1862 at New York, Co. C, discharged June 12, 1865; captured on the Davidson Raid, December 5, 1864.
Hunhege Hermann, age 38, enlisted September 5, 1862 at New York, Co. C, discharged June 12, 1865, Corporal
Friday Feb 26
On guard to day very windy and dusty considerable trouble today with the guard made several arrests “old Norton” of A Co drew a revolver on me as I went to put him in the guard house I turned out the guard and arrested him tied him up to the flag staff
“Old Norton” is not further identified.
Saturday Feb 27
Come off Guard sewed some striped on my Jacket Drilled the company this afternoon took them out of Camp practicing the horses some at Jumping, Parade as usual went down town on pass sent some things home by Express
Sunday Feb 28
Inspection mounted by the Capitan of horses Arms & Equipment Parade mounted this afternoon very warm & pleasant today
Monday Feb 29
Regimental Inspection this morning of Arms & Equipment raw and windy day Mustered for pay this afternoon snowed some at night the non-coms are all examined this evening in the Sortie by Dagwell
George A. Dagwell, age 22, enrolled December 9, 1861 at New York, Co. C, discharged April 6, 1865, Captain and brevet Major; wounded and captured at Annandale, VA, June 27, 1863 after the Fairfax fight.. He had served as a non-commissioned officer in the First United States Mounted Rifles (regular cavalry), and fought in the Indian wars. In this diary John Marsden usually refers to Captain Dagwell merely as “Dagwell”.
Tuesday March 1 1864
Wet and muddy to day very disagreable day done nothing but lounge around the Barracks studied the Tactics some the prisoners set the guard house on fire and escaped
Wednesday Mach 2d
Drilled twice today no Parade this afternoon.
1864 Thursday March 3d
Was mustered for pay went on the sick list to day had a bad cold no drilling or Parade warm and pleasant
Friday March 4th
Paid off two months pay no drilling or Parade warm and pleasant
Saturday March 5th
Wet and rainey Co K started for Alexandria this morning went down town on pass this afternoon had some stripes sewed on my pants had some pictures taken went through the Smithsonian Institute got back in Camp just in time for roll call
Sunday March 6 1864
Inspection dismounted this morning warm and pleasant to day mounted Parade this afternoon we were all was woke up at 11 oclock at night ordered to be ready to march at day light
Monday March 7th
Up since 11 o,clock last night the boys got some whiskey and danced and sang the rest of the night lounged around the Barracks all forenoon expecting to start about three in the afternoon we fell in line Co F and C the band went with us marched through the city across long Bridge down to Alexandria stopped for the night at the Soldiers Rest
Hard liquor was not allowed in camp, but there was a convenient local bootlegger who had a still out in the woods. One of the men “borrowed” an officer’s coat and several of them went to the bootlegger’s place, arrested him and confiscated a keg of whisky. The nearer they came to camp, the more compassionate the “lieutenant” became, and finally they let the bootlegger go. But they kept the keg of whisky.
Tuesday March 8th
Rained all day marched down to the wharf. About 10 oclock unsaddled our horses and stood in the rain holding them about two commenced putting our horses on board of the
Transport had to put them on board with a sling got all ready to start about three o,clock shoved off and bid good by to Alexandria passed Mount Vernon at sundown at dark and hoved for the night
Wednesday March 9
On board U S Transport Cahawba Started on down the river about 10 o,clock
Inspection this morning and Guard Mounting. I am on guard everything passed off well
Reached Chesapeake Bay just before night anchored soon after
There is some irony here. Cahawba was once Alabama’s state capitol (1820-1826) and there was a prison for captured Union soldiers there. It is near Selma, Alabama and is now an historic site.
The Regiment’t move to Louisiana was made in several transport ships. The Chawba fared better than most other transports. The “E. Z”, a sailing ship, lost 38 horses that were swept into the sea during a gale.
Thursday March 10
Raised anchor at day light and started on arrived in the Hampton Roads about 8 oclock stoped a short time, rounded Cape Henry about ten oclock 3 PM out in the Atlantic on pretty heavy sea running the horses very restless, several of the men are sea sick
Friday March 11
Passed Cape Hatteras at midnight rather stormy rained all day laid on my bunk nearly all day pretty sea sick , headwinds continually
Saturday March 12th
Warm and sunshiny feel some better, able to eat something most of the men are sick 2 PM off Charlston Signs of a storm most of the men are up on deck slept on deck all night Clear and moonlight
Sunday March 13th
Clear to day hoisted sail today ,, on deck all day Inspection of Arms this forenoon saw some flying fish to day 3 PM very pleasant and warm.smooth sailing making good headway took the sail in there being no wind slept on deck at night clear warm and moonlight.
Monday March 14th
Saw land this morning proved to be the coast of Florida kept in sight of it on guard all day to day Guard mounting this morning uncomfortably warm to day showered some at night
Tuesday March 15
Come off guard this morning guard mounting this morning as usual, arrived at Key West about noon got a pass and went on shore saw some Coconut trees ,,and bought some Bananas & Coconuts went on board just before dark
Wednesday March 16
Very warm day went on shore again to day rambled all over the island and went into a Lemon Patch and filled my pockets with Lemons saw some very curious flowers & plants got on board just after dinner Left Key West about 5 PM rather rough & stormy slept on deck as usual
Thursday March 17
St Patricks day very rough pitched a good deal most of the men are sea sick feel rather sick myself slept on deck
Friday March 18
Warm pleasant day, very smooth sea read some this forenoon washed some clothes this afternoon
Saturday March 19
Reached the mouth of the Mississippi this morning about 3 o,clock very pleasant day saw some sunken Rebel Gunboats as we came up the river saw some sugar plantations also. 3 PM cast anchor at New Orleans 6 PM commenced discharging our horses all unloaded by 10 PM slept on the Dock at night warm moonlight night
Sunday March 20
Saddled up ready to march All marched about three miles in another part of the city we are quartered in an old Cotton Warehouse ,, this afternoon went down town run the guard nothing to eat but Hard Tack & coffee dismounted Dress Parade at 4 PM
“Run the guard” and “French Pass” were
common terms for absent without leave. If caught,
punishment might consist of extra work detail or restriction to camp for a short period. See diary entries for March 23, 28, 31, July 11 and December 24.
Monday March 21st
Cold last night wet cold and disagreeable day nothing but hard tack and coffee to day drill & Parade dismounted this afternoon
Tuesday March 22
Some warmer to day drill dismounted to day. Sabre exercise. Parade mounted this afternoon washed some clothes this afternoon
Wednesday March 23
Warm and pleasant to day dismounted drill this forenoon mounted drill and Parade this afternoon Co D & H arrived to day run the guard went down town at night
Thursday March 24th
Rainy dull day no drill,,very unusual . slept nearly all day. no Parade
Friday March 25th
Warm and Pleasant drill dismounted this forenoon drill mounted and Parade this afternoon went down town on pass Boyce & myself went to the Academy of Music
William E. Boyce, age 19, enlisted May
30, 1862 at Washington, D.C., Cos. F and C, discharged
June 4, 1865, Chief Bugler.
Saturday March 26th
Warm and pleasant. drill this forenoon dismounted no afternoon drill cleaned up my things for Inspection Parade as usual
Sunday March 27th
Inspection mounted this morning by Dagwell warm and pleasant Parade as usual
Monday March 28th
Dull rainy day no drill cleared up in time for Parade. Saxton and Thomas and myself run the guard and went down town after tattoo
George P. Thomas, age 28, enlisted December 16, 1862 at Kirkland, Co. C, discharged June 12, 1865.
Tuesday March 29
Cold windy day.we was all ordered to pack saddles,,Companies H and E went off the rest will have to wait until tomorrow bought me a towel this afternoon
Wednesday March 30
Packed up again to day Co F and K went off was detailed for guard in the afternoon everything went off well
Thursday March 31st
Come off guard packed up again to day warm and pleasant day,,Saxton, Boyce France & myself run the guard and went down town in the evening
Jacob V. France, age 21, enlisted March 17, 1862 at Blairstown, NJ, Co. C, discharged March 17, 1865, Sergeant.
Friday April 1st 1864
Warm pleasant day packed up saddles again to day took a walk up town this forenoon bought me some things. Just after I got back got orders to saddle up. Co F and C ordered up to the Bulls Head,,(?) embarked on the Steamer Jas. Peabody, started just before dark up the river. slept on deck,,rather cold
Transcriber can find no “Bulls Head” location.
Saturday Apr, 2d
Disembarked this morning at daylight, on the Manning Plantation, about 60 miles above New Orleans marched about half mile,, to where the other boys were encamped took up our quarters in and old Sugar house,, good stables for our horses, went on a scout with the Lt Colonel 25 of us marched about 30 miles got back in camp just after dark,, got wet through to day as I was watering my horse in and old Bayou he got beyond his depth and fell down
Samuel H. Wilkeson, age 24, enrolled February 22, 1862 at Staten Island, Co. C, discharged March 27, 1865, Lt Colonel
Manning’s Plantation was on the East side of the Mississippi river about one mile upriver from Donaldsonville, Louisiana and just below Doyal’s Plantation. Major Remington’s Company Headquarters was at Doyal’s Plantation, with a Detachment at Manning’s Plantation commanded by Lt Colonel Wilkeson. The Regiment was spread out along the Mississippi River to provide courier service and protect the telegraph between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Sunday Apr 3d
Cool and rather windy done nothing to day Dress Parade this afternoon
Monday Apr 4th
On Picket duty today three men and a Corporal on each Post.. after posting the Pickets Lieut French and myself took a ride down to Whitehall 6 PM the whole detachment saddled up with one days rationing
Henry French, age 26, enrolled January 13, 1862 at New York, Cos. H and K; cashiered September 1864; 2d Lieutenant.
Tuesday Apr 5th
2 AM the detachment left leaving nothing but the guard drew in the Picket leaving only two posts the detachment got back at 3 PM was relieved from duty washed some clothes a very pleasant day
Wednesday Apr 6th
Warm pleasant day, some of the Co went out on a scout.. got back that night nothing else of importance occurred
Thursday Apr 7th
Rather rainy with heavy thunder the pickets brough in five Rebels to take the oath some of the boys went fishing
The Rebels had been captured by a scouting party. They took the oath of parole and were released.
Friday Apr 8th
Very pleasant day nothing of importance occured to day. Borrowed a net and went fishing but caught nothing
Saturday Apr 9th
Clear and windy. got a pass and went down to Whitehall bought me a frying pan and some eggs.. had dinner with an old slave. got back in Camp about suppertime fried some eggs for supper
Sunday Apr 10th
Very pleasant day.. we had rations of flour issued to us this morning The boys are all frying pancakes. Dress Parade this afternoon.. took a walk this evening on the river bank Lindsay and myself pleasant moonlight night
Monday Apr 11th
Very warm day lounged around all day took a ride just before supper down to the Picket Saxton and myself
Tuesday Apr 12th
Clear pleasant day in the quarters all day mending my clothes nothing of interest occured to day
Wednesday Apr 13th
Was sent up the river with a fatigue party Ferrying grain across from Donaldsonville in an old scow. Brought over three loads very hard work got back in Camp just after dark. My horse fell with me and pitched me over his head found the Detachment had all gone off on a scout..
Thursday Apr 14th
Very rainy day very muddy on Picket to day the Detachment got back this morning. visited the pickets this evening found all right. very hard traveling
Friday Apr 15th
Warm and pleasant. the Lt Col. came today and brought a large mail. I got four letters
Saturday Apr 16
Warm and pleasant washed some clothes. nothing going on in Camp
Sunday Apr 17th
This morning some Guerillas in ambush fired on a small scouting party. shot Captain Halleck and a Co. D man through the head. was all ordered out. marched to “New river (Near Sorrento, Ascension Parish, Louisiana) scoured the woods. with no success got back in Camp at sundown found some of our Co had arrived that we left in Wash also our new Lieutenant
Franklin B. Hallock, age 31, enrolled January 13, 1862 at Staten Island, Cos. E & K, died May 17, 1864 at a hospital in New Orleans of wounds received at New River. The entire force from Manning’s Plantation was ordered out to reconnoiter, but the enemy had escaped into impenetrable swamps.
Monday Apr 18th
Weather cloudy and windy. on “Picket. visited the pickets this afternoon and at night Capt Halleck was brought in to day. dismounted Parade this afternoon, Harry Hargreave of the Co was sentenced to ten years Dry Tortugas for striking a superior Officer
Henry Hargrave, age 22, enlisted Jan 14, 1864 at Washington D.C., Co. H, discharged July 25, 1865. The sentence apparently was not carried out.
Tuesday Apr 19
Cloudy today wrote some letters.. slept part of the day nothing going on in Camp Drew five days rations of flour
Wednesday Apr 20th
Laid on my bunk and read all day. Ordered to saddle up for a scout, one days rations started at dark marched to “Remingtons Camp slept untill 12 M. Started out under command of Remington our Sabres straped to our Saddles so as not to make a noise..when we got to new River part of us was dismounted scoured the cane brake. captured three ,,Rebs”
Thursday Apr 21st
Clear pleasant morning got a good drink of milk from a farmer. started for Camp about 8 AM arrived there about noon. slept all afternoon
Friday Apr 22d
Clear rainy day..was sent up to Donaldsonville with a fatigue party of 20 crossed the river in and old scow very hard pulling very rough. loaded an old flat boat with forage left three men to guard it untill morning, recrossed the river..got back in Camp at supper time
Saturday Apr 23d
Some new recruits arrived for this company. this morning. W. Lindsay was on of them rained very hard all day
Sunday Apr 24
Warm pleasant day lounged around all day. Dress Parade dismounted this afternoon
Monday Apr 25
Warm and dry dismounted drill this afternoon. drilled the awkward squad fixed up the stables this afternoon
Tuesday Apr 26th
Rather too warm for comfort. Drilled the Co this forenoon Sabre exersise lounged around untill afternoon when we had a dismounted Parade..played whist in the evening.
Wednesday Apr 27
Very foggy this morning Cleared up very warm in the afternoon. Drilled the new recruits to day Sabre exersise lounged around the quarters the rest of the day
Thursday Apr 28th
Very warm dry day. Drilled the new recruits again to day. lounged
The rest of the day. read some.. The mail arrived this afternoon dismounted Parade this afternoon
Friday Apr 29th
Cleaned up my things for Inspection. Our new Colonel. John P Sherborne” & Surgeon paid us a visit this forenoon. Inspection of Arms and Equipments this afternoon. uncommonly warm to day
John P. Sherborne, age 32, enrolled March 8, 1862, discharged March 15, 1865, resigned; Colonel. Chief of Cavalry at New Orleans
Saturday Apr 30
Ordered to saddle up for a scout before daylight started after breakfast. under command of the Lt Colonel through the woods to New River.. marched along it around five miles..saw nothing of the Guerillas. Stoped and got some milk and sweet Potatoes at a house..The advance Guard (25 of C Co) started on a new route home. through the woods very muddy. For about 3 miles the horses sank to the knees every step. reached “Bayou Conway” about noon a very deep muddy stream.. Swam our horses across a very difficult job..some of the men lost their blankets..saw some fine Aligators there. Saw some ripe Blackberries today reached Camp about 3 Stephen Shaw of our Co was drowned in the river during our absence
Stephen Shaw, age 19, enlisted March 15, 1862 at Blairstown, New Jersey, Co. C, drowned April 30, 1864.
Sunday May 1st
Cool Pleasant day signs of rain On picket to day. Visited the Posts once during the day.. Bill Lindsay was taken to the Hospital to day.. Visited the Pickets once at night..Took supper with one of them..Hoe cake and molasses.. Very cold at night
Monday May 2
Warm and windy washed my horse and some of my clothes drew three days rations of flour. nothing paticular occured the rest of the day
Tuesday May 3d
Warm and dry. Inventory of Company property taken this forenoon.. Report in Camp that a large force of Rebels are on this side of Baton Rouge marching this way..no one is allowed away from Camp except on duty. Mounted Parade and Battallion drill this afternoon
Wednesday May 4th
Cool breezy day lounged around all forenoon. Mounted Drill this afternoon. did not go out. Drew four days ration of flour.
Thursday May 5th
Cool windy day. On fatigue duty building an oven. Got my horse shod. nothing of interest occured until midnight when we saddled up and remained so during the night.
Friday May 6
Ordered to pack our saddles expected marching orders all day one of Co H was taken prisoner to day three prisoners was brought in by lieut Burgess..Horses saddled up all night
Burgess had captured three prisoners when he was surrounded by Rebels. He ordered his men to shoot the prisoners if the Rebels made a move, and walked away with his three prisoners.
Jefferson Burgess, age 23, enrolled December 24, 1861 at New York, Cos. G, D. E and C, discharged September 30, 1865, Captain.
The captured Company H man’s horse was shot from ambush while on a scout. After extensive research he remains unidentified.
Saturday May 7
Cool windy day done some washing this morning. The sick were all sent to New Orleans. Boyce and I went Blackberring this afternoon stewed some for supper
Sunday May 8th
Cool windy day. Wrote some this afternoon lounged around the Quarters the rest of the time nothing of importance occured
Monday May 9th
Nothing of importance occured to day lounged around the quarters about all day washed my horse
Tuesday May 10th
Rather windy day some of the boys went out after fresh beef. went after berries this afternoon got back too late for parade
Wednesday May 11
Rather cold and windy day. on fatigue duty this afternoon down on the Levee drawing forage.
Thursday May 12
On Picket to day visited the pickets once during the day and once at night..Got some sugar at Orange Grove (Orange Grove Plantation, near Thibodaux, Louisiana) Moved the Orange Grove Picket at night nearer Camp
Friday May 13th 1864
Very warm day..pitcked (quarters?) with the boys some today Had orders to be ready to march in the morning early
Saturday May 14th
All ready to march this morning.. Did not start until afternoon. when we marched to the Levee and took the Steamer “Col Colburn” for Donaldsonville (Ascension County, Louisiana) arrived there about 3 PM took up our quarters.. with the rest of C Co who was there. Co E and C are the only companies here
Sunday May 15th
Very warm day. Inspection mounted this morning. The Sergeants of C Co moved into the old Band Quarters
Monday May 16th
Very warm sultry day done some writing today lounged around the rest of the day. very pleasant moonlight night
Tuesday May 17th
Very foggy this morning cleared up and was quite pleasant Our company all had mosquito bars issued to them. Had order to saddle up for a scout. Started at 4 PM under Dagwell. up the river.. reached Bayou Goula (Iberville County, Louisiana) about 9 PM Bivouaced for the night. very pleasant moonlight night.. Very dusty marching
Wednesday May 18
Made some coffee and had Hard Tack and coffee for breakfast. started about (?) AM toward Plaquamine (Iberville Parish, Louisiana) marched about 8 miles halted on a Plantation (Probably Nottoway Plantation) where the Rebs had been the day before. We found a barrel of pork that had been left there by the Rebs Started out on our return about 4 PM marched two miles (below?) Bayou Goula and stoped for the night 25 of Co C stoped in a barn on Mr Delongs Plantation the rest of the Detachment on the next Plantation We had supper with Mr Delong., and breakfast the next morning
Thursday May 19th
Started on this morning through the woods to Bayou Grand” very hard marching.. very warm reached Bayou Grand about noon had dinner and after resting started to Camp arrive there about 4 PM
Friday May 20
Very foggy this morning cleared and was very warm mended my clothes this forenoon. lounged around and read all afternoon.
Saturday May 21
Nothing particulr occured during the day lounged around all day reading. Very warm and sultry
Sunday May 22d
Very warm day. dismounted Inspection this morning by “Skinner On fatigue duty this forenoon unloading a Steamer. Slept all afternoon
Fredrick B. Skinner, age 21, enrolled August 12, 1864 at Canton, Cos. I and C, discharged December 21, 1864, disability, 2d Lieutenant.
Monday May 23d
Inspection mounted this morning (monthly Inspection) On Picket to day. Visited the posts once during the day and in the evening. and after midnight with the Officer of the day Slept the rest of the night
Tuesday May 24th 1864
Come off Picket. Cool and pleasant wrote some letters this forenoon read all afternoon.
Wednesday May 25th
Nothing of importance occured today lounged around the quarters nearly all day Went out this afternoon to visit the graves of some soldiers who were killed in action near this place last summer
Thursday May 26
Very warm day done nothing but lounge around the quarters all day. read some this afternoon.
Friday May 27th
Very warm. dismounted drill this morning before breakfast. sabre exercise. this afternoon an order came for us to be ready to cross the river next Sunday
Saturday May 28th
Cool and pleasant day. this forenoon “Joe” Smith and myself went up the river. after some green beans for dinner.. cooked them for dinner.. Cleaned up my Arms this afternoon.. some of Banks troops came here today from Red River, looking very hard..
Joseph A. Smith, age 21, enlisted August 16, 1862 at Washington, D.C. discharged June 12, 1865; 1st Sergeant; wounded and captured at Fairfax Station, VA June 27, 1863.
Nathaniel Banks, Major General, commander of the unsuccessful Red River Campaign; former Govenor of Massachusetts. An able commander but victim of much bad luck.
The troops from Red River were General Bank’s rear guard covering his retreat from Red River, putting a close to the Red River Campaign. Also see entry for May 29 and May 30.
Sunday May 29th
Cool and pleasant day. Inspection mounted this morning. Lounged around all day. just after going to bed. was ordered to saddle up and take a file of men...and ride fast up the river.. with dispatches for Gen Arnold chief of the Cavalry of Banks Army found the Cav Div encamped just this side of Bayou Goula
General Richard Arnold, 1828-1882, from Rhode Island, a USMA 1850 graduate.
Monday May 30
Started for Camp at 2 AM one of the boys “confiscated” a couple of chickens as we were coming in. Arrived in Camp just as Revillee sounded. went to bed at once and slept all forenoon. The Cavalry Division arrived here built a bridge and crossed the Bayou.. on their way to Brashear City (Now Morgan City, St Mary Parish, Louisiana) the last passed over about midnight.
Tuesday May 31st
The dismounted men of Cos A & G arrived here this morning. On the Steamer from Thibedeaux (Thibodaux, LaForche Parish, Louisiana). Expect the rest of them uphere soon. On Picket to day.. The Pickets were doubled this morning very warm this forenoon. rained very hard this afternoon. drew some shoes to day. Cos A & G arrived just after dark
Wednesday June 1st 1864
Was taken very sick last night as I was going with the grand rounds..Very unwell all day..A very cloudy dull day. Our Colonel came up this afternoon. Cos A & G crossed the river to day to Manning Plantation all of our Reg has left New Orleans.
Thursday June 2
Wet cold disagreable day Rather unwell all day. Ordered to be ready to march in the morning
Friday June 3d 1864
My birthday twenty years old to day. Wet cold and very muddy packed up ready to move. lounged around all day. Rained very hard at nignt
Saturday June 4th
Ordered to saddle up this morning at 3 AM. Embarked on a Steamer light marching order” went up the river to Remingtons Camp Disembarked rested ourselves until afternoon raining very hard. Marched down to Mannings Plantation. Drew some Shelter tents pitched them. Very unwell all day.
Sunday June 5th
Very unwell today drew some tickets of our Sutler bought me some Stomach bitters. Rained very hard in the afternoon got wet through. One of the boys got some milk for me this evening Sergeant Rork was put under arrest for insulting the Officer of the Day
The regimental sutler was J. R. Boswick. He kept a variety of goods, such as, blackening, needles and thread, etc. At Camp Relief he furnished the officer’s mess. He loaned money for a fair rate of interest. He issued tickets for two dollars, to be paid on the next pay day. It was generally believed that the soldier who patronized the sutler the least in food and drink would live the longest.
George Rork, age 27, enlisted July 11, 1862 at New York, Co. C, discharged June 12, 1865, Sergeant Major; wounded and captured at Fairfax Station June 27, 1863; wounded at Brogan’s Ford December 24, 1864.
Monday June 6th
Very unwell all day. Rained very hard while eating breakfast Went on the sick list was marked unfit. laid in the tent all day rained all day and all night everything was wet through the tent. passed a very uneventful day.
Tuesday June 7th
Very muddy this morning. went to the Surgeons was marked unfit ordered to saddle up we marched up the river about 3 miles. raining very hard. Took up our quarters in a corn crib. everything wet through
Wednesday June 8th
Showery all day. Feel some better to day..the Dr came up this afternoon. got some midecine. Ordered to saddle up and go down to the Telegraph Station one mile below. just opposite Donaldsonville 30 of us. good quarters in a dwelling house
Thursday June 9th
Cleared up this morning very warm day. The rest of our Co came over from Donaldsonville some of them stoped here making 45 in all..Signed the pay roll this afternoon
Friday June 10th
Showery today. Inspection Mounted by the Captain this morning. Waiting for the Paymaster all day..On guard tonight Corporal of the guard
Saturday June 11th
Cool pleasant day was paid two months pay. We all raised a Company Fund. Was made Treasurer. Bought some Cabbage and Potatoes. Went in bathing in the Mississippi this evening
Sunday June 12
Rather warm day. rained some this afternoon. lounged around the quarters all day
Monday June 13th
Clear warm day. went out after some eggs this afternoon rather muddy. very pleasant moonlight night. On guard
Tuesday June 14th
Clear warm day. wrote some this afternoon.. lounged around the rest of the day
Wednesday June 15
Very warm day. got a pass rowed over to Donaldsville bought some things. rained this afternoon. hemed a towel, wrote letter
Thursday June 16th
Warm and sultry. rained this afternoon, wrote some letters to day lounged around the rest of the day
Friday June 17
Very warm sultry day. lounged around the quarters all day. Inspection of Arms by the captain this afternoon
Saturday June 18th
Warm sultlry day. cleaned my pistol this forenoon. Packed up and moved a half mile. farther up the river, into an old deserted house a cool pleasant place with me a bunk went bathing in the evening
Sunday June 19th
Cool pleasant day. wrote some letters this forenoon. Monthly Inspection this afternoon by Major Gamble. On Picket at night, at the Telegraph Station. Mosquitoes very troublesome at night.
Thomas T. Gamble, age 28, enrolled November 29, 1861 at New York, Cos. C and H, discharged April 22, 1865, Major
Monday June 20th
Very warm day. On Picket, everything passed off well. Had some Hominy & milk for supper. was relieved at dark.
Tuesday June 21st
Very warm day. washed some clothes. rigged up my mosquitoe bar on my bunk. rained some this afternoon. warm pleasant moonlight night.
Wednesday. June. 22.
Very warm this forenoon. rained very hard this afternoon. Was sent out this afternoon with a file of men to examine the roads in the woods in our rear. Was on guard at night
very warm pleasant moonlight night
Thursday June 23d
Very warm dry day slept all forenoon. lounged around all afternoon several transports passed up the river loaded with troops.
Friday June 24th
Tolerably cool today. done some writing. Lounged around the rest of the day. great many of the men are sick 138 of one Regiment are in the Hospital. Col Sherbourne is apointed Chief of Cavalry of this Department.. went in bathing this evening.
John P. Sherburne, age 32, enrolled March 8, 1864, discharged March 15, 1865; resigned; Colonel
Saturday June 25
Very warm and sultry this forenoon Went up to the other Camp. Some cooler this afternoon Went after berrie this afternoon but did not get any. On Picket at night down to the Telegraph Station mosquitoes are very troublesome
Sunday June 26
Very warm day on Picket all day. was relieved at supper time
Monday June 27th
Very warm to day went over to Donaldsonville after the mail took a pants to the Tailors
to be cut
Tuesday June 28
Very warm sultry day. sewed nearly all day. Some Cavalry was landed on the other side of the river from a transport on guard at night
Wednesday June 29th
Some cooler today. a large mail arrived to day. sewed some this afternoon
Thursday June 30
Tolerably cool to day wrote some this afternoon just after supper an order came for us to be ready to start for Baton Rouge with three day cooked rations
Friday July 1st 1864
Was packed up all night. expected to Start every minute was joined by the rest of the Co at 6 AM and marched down to the Hermitage (Head Quarters) (Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana) laid all day in a splendid grove drew shelter tent..Pitched them. Camped there all night. went in bathing this evening.
Saturday July 2d 1864
Very warm this forenoon. took the sick up to the Hospital. Two men from the Hospital were burried today quite cool this afternoon
Sunday July 3d 1864
Very warm day Inspection mounted by Dagwell. Shower this afternoon Dress Parade at 4 PM. nothing more occured during the day.
Monday July 4th
Was woke up this morning by the Gun boats firing Salutes. Went with five men and bought some Cabbage and Potatoes for dinner. Quite cool & pleasant. rained some this afternoon Lindsay went out after some corn and cooked it for supper.. Considerable firing going on in Camp
Tuesday July 5
Ordered to pack up just after breakfast. saddled up and marched down to Mannings Plantation.. took Co Ks quarters rained all afternoon. fixed me up a Bunk some of D Company started home on their Veterans Furloughs
Wednesday July 6
On Picket to day everything passed off well visited the Posts twice during the day Slept all night
Thursday July 7th
Come off Picket. Nothing going on lounged around the quarters all day
Friday July 8th
Very warm day lounged around all day our Forage is exausted.
Saturday July 9
Very warm sultry day. 50 of this Co was ordered to be ready to start for New Orleans. dismounted with our horse equipments. Carried our saddles to the river Embarked on the Steamer “Red Chief” Had a very pleasant ride down the river. the boys were singing all the way down Arrived at New Orleans (illegible)
The trip to New Orleans was to secure horses for the Regiment. They got 108 horses.
Sunday July 10
Arrived at New Orleans (Little Basin Cotton Press) at 3 AM marched up to the Cavalry depot found Wm Lindsay there went down town in the afternoon got back at 12 PM
Monday July 11th
Very warm day. quite a row in Camp about doing duty. I was put in the Guard House along with all of the “Non Coms” in the Company Lieut Dagwell was put under arrest. Was released at 12 M W Lindsay and I run the Guard in the afternoon went down town got back about dark. The Major who put me in the Guard House was relieved of his Command
Upon the detachments arrival at New Orleans, a major ordered them to guard duty. When Lt Dagwell explained they were on special duty and refused to mount the guard, the major placed him under arrest. The non-commmissioned officers and privates were in succession placed in the guard house for refusing to go on guard duty. The major was then put under arrest for placing non-commissioned officers in the guard house.
Tuesday July 12th
Was passed out of Camp W & J Lindsay and myself . We rambled all over the City visited the US Christian Commission. Stoped in the reading room some time. Signed the Pledge just after arriving in Camp was ordered to fall in. Marched to Corall got our horses (100 of them) took up our line of march for Camp arrived at Carrollton (A suburb of New Orleans) at 8 PM Bivouced on the river bank
Wednesday July 13
Took up our march at 8 AM marched 12 miles rested during the heat of the day in a grove on the river bank, Started on about 4 PM marched 10 miles Bivouced for the night in a lovely grove, had some green corn for supper. Mosquitoes were troublesome.
Thursday July 14
Rather warm. breakfasted on green corn. Went in bathing this morning. read all forenoon fried some Chickens for dinner read all afternoon cooked some corn for supper. took up our march at 5 PM marched until 12 Bivouced for the night in and old Frenchmans yard
Friday July 15
Had cold chicken and fried eggs for breakfast. lounged all day reading an uncommonly warm day. Started at 5 PM marched until 12 very pleasant moonlight night Bivouced in a large yard.
Saturday July 16
Took up our march at 8 AM reached Mannings about 2 rained some as we was on the march found everything quiet in Camp
Sunday July 17
On Picket to day visited the posts twice during the day. my horse got mired as I was crossing the fields this evening
Monday July 18
Warm day washed my horse and saddle this morning sent to Washington for some pictures. We all had regulation Hats issued to us this afternoon. drew me a dress jacket
Tuesday July 19
The Pickets at the Orange Grove were attacked last night. And one man of Co H killed, and one wounded and another taken prisoner saddled up part of the night had orders to be ready for 48 hours dismounted scout rained all of the afternoon. Started out 30 of us under command of Dagwell marched about 4 miles but the roads being unexpectedly bad we was ordered back, reached Camp about midnight completely tired
James Ferguson, age 37, enlisted February 23, 1864, Co. H, Killed while on picket duty July 20, 1864 , Orange Grove Plantation.
Oscar P. Tenny, age 34, enlisted February
12, 1864 at Brooklyn, Co. H, Corporal, captured while on scout July 20,
1864, died of disease April 14, 1865.
Wednesday July 20
Cloudy to day washed my pants. Laid in my bunk nearly all day an order came this evening to be ready to march at a moments notice
Thursday July 21
Cloudy and pretty cool day.. Altered a pair of pants The teams was busy all day drawing forage up to the Levee..
Friday July 22
Cool cloudy day sewed some to day Co G arrived to relieve Co H James Lindsay was taken sick with fever & Ague
Saturday July 23
Clear and quite cool sewed nearly all day. This evening Private Young fell down dead, as he was coming up stairs with a pail of water. Was sent out with a squad of men to dig his grave
James H. Young, age 19, enlisted December 21, 1863 at Sangerfield, Co. C, died of disease July 24, 1864.
Sunday July 24
Clear cool day.. slept some this afternoon went to the funeral of Young feel very unwell all day headache
Monday July 25
Uncommonly cold last night very unwell to day. sewed some to day lounged around the quarters all day
Tuesday July 26
Clear cool day. On guard today. The reserve was kept in Camp the men were posted from Camp everything passed off well
Wednesday July 27
Come off guard. Slept about all day a foraging party went out today under command of Dagwell. brought in a fine Beef
Thursday July 28
Cool fine day sewed some to day. Reynolds and Boyce was taken to the Hospital. There is nearly 500 men from our Regiment on the sick list washed my horse Blanket this afternoon
William Reynolds, age 21, enlisted August 13, 1862 at Canton, Cos. E and C, died of disease August 5, 1864, Bugler
Friday July 29
Cool clear day. got my horse shod. All of the “Non Coms” were busy sewing on stripes and Chevrons. Three more men taken to the Hospital to day
Saturday July 30
Rained some today. This evening we had orders to be ready to march at midnight
Sunday July 31
Started at 11 AM marched through the woods & mud reached New River at day light scouted around some, burnt two houses got a good breakfast marched on toward the Amite (Amite River, empties into Lake Maurepas) met Remington about three miles from it, turned back reached Camp just before dark pretty tired
Monday Aug 1
Very warm day cleaned up my things. We all got soft bread this morning Saxton and Reynolds returned from the Hospital. Played Whist in the evening
Tuesday Aug 2
Warm sultry day. Washed some clothes. laid around the quarters the rest of the day Litz Burke & France & myself went out on a private forageing expedition in the evening
Samuel B. Litz, age 21, enlisted December 14, 1861 at New York, Co. C, discharged January 18, 1865.
Joseph H. Burke, age 21, enlisted July 6, 1862 at Washington, D.C. , Co. C, discharged June 12, 1865.
Wednesday Aug 3d
Warm sultry day on fatigue duty this afternoon cleaned up my things for Inspection was Inspected by the Inspector General of this department. All of our horses were moved out to a Picket rope
The sick report for August 3d showed 481 men “unfit for duty” most of them in hospital. Scouting and reconnoitering was abandoned for lack of men. Smaller parties went out at night and frequently came back with prisoners ( See diary entry for August 4th).
Thursday Aug 4
Very warm sultry day. On police duty today. Private Larkin died this afternoon The Company was divided into Squads. Was just put in charge of the third Squad
Michael Larkin, age 43, enlisted January 20, 1862 at Staten Island, Co. C, died of disease August 3, 1864.
Friday Aug 5
Heard heavy firing up the river. It proved to be a large force of Rebels attacking Head Quarters (Doyals Plantation). Our men under Major Remington cut their way through the Rebel ranks. Leaving a large number of sick behind We were all ordered out and marched up to Hed Qurs. But the Rebels had gone taking all of our sick and three of our Officers with them We arrived at Camp at dark wet and tired
About 900 attacking Rebels were led by Colonel John S. Scott, CSA
Major Remington’s horse was shot from under him and Private R. J. Keif gave the major his own horse because Keif did not want the Rebels to capture a major. Keif then hid in a nettle patch until dark and walked about 12 miles back to camp. He was immediately promoted to corporal.
R. J. (or John) Keif, age 18, enlisted August 30, 1862 at Buffalo, Co. M, discharged June 12, 1865, Corporal
See diary entry for September 13.
Saturday Aug 6
Very pleasant day all quiet in Camp. On Picket today Clark and McDonald got their furloughs this afternoon
Thomas W. Clark, age 21, enlisted March 12, 1862 at Utica, Co. C, discharged September 30, 1865; wounded and captured at Fairfax Station, VA June 27, 1863.
James S. McDonald, age 19, enlisted March 13, 1862 at New York, Co. C, discharged July 21, 1865, Sergeant Major; wounded and captured at Fairfax Station, Virginia June 27, 1863.
Sunday Aug 7
Rather pleasant day wrote some to day Inspection mounted this afternoon. by one of General Davidsons staff the boys got back from the Baton Rouge scout
John Wynn Davidson, 1823-1881, Major General, Chief of Calvary Division West of the Mississippi, Born at Fairfax, Virginia, graduated USMA 1825; authored the biography “General Sheridan”.
Monday Aug 8
Very warm day Fresh bread was issued to the men this morning. lounged around the Quarters all day
Tuesday Aug 9th
Was ordered to pack up started about 9 AM up the river marched to Doyal Plantation (Hd Qrs) pitched our Shelter Tents on the Levee Feel very unwell
Wednesday Aug 10
On the sick list laid in my bunk all day Rained very hard this afternoon
Thursday Aug 11
Still on the sick list laid in my bunk about all day rained very hard to day my blanket got wet through A large quantity of forage was landed here this afternoon
Friday Aug 12
On the sick list laid in my bunk all day very warm signs of rain this afternoon
Saturday Aug 13
Very warm day. still on the sick list laid in my bunk all day. Bought a pie & a Bottle of Honey of a “Negro” but was not able to eat any of it.
Sunday Aug 14
Went down to the river to bathe this morning. felt very weak, still on the sick list laid in my bunk all day. flies very troublesome
Monday Aug 15
Rained very hard this morning wet some of my clothes. laid in my bunk untill afternoon when I was taken in the Ambulance to the Hospital. A long tiresome ride. reached the Hospital just before dark passed a sleepless night
Tuesday Aug 16
In my bed all day.. had some Horrible medicine to take. No apetite at all
Wednesday Aug 17
Laid in my bed all day no better slept some today apetite no better. Very weak unable to walk without help
Thursday Aug 18
Feel some better to day this afternoon they began to get us ready for New Orleans at 8 PM was taken in Ambulances to the Levee and put on the steamer for New Orleans passed a very uncomfortable night
Friday Aug 19
Arrived at New Orleans early this morning. about 10 AM was put in Ambulances and taken to St Louis Hospital Ward (?) went to bed and laid all afternoon eat no supper
St Louis General Hospital, U. S. Army
Saturday Aug 20
Laid in bed nearly all day eat some little to day
Sunday Aug 21
Inspection of the Hospital this forenoon Captain Benedict paid us a visit this afternoon
Erastus D. Benedict, enrolled March 14, 1862 at New York, Cos. A, C and H, discharged December 4, 1864, Captain. He had previously served in the Seventh New York State Militia.
Monday Aug 22
Laid in bed nearly all day feel some better to day
Tuesday Aug 23
Sat up some to day read all forenoon slept some this afternoon
Wednesday Aug 24
Some better to day everything passed off well
Thursday Aug 25
Considerable better today stoped taking medicine went to the dining room after my meals instead of having them brought to me
Friday Aug 26
Went on pass this afternoon went down to the French Market and had a good supper
Saturday Aug 27
Lounged around all forenoon. read all afternoon
Sunday Aug 28
Inspection this forenoon lounged around and read some this afternoon
Monday Aug 29
Nothing particular occured today lounged around as usual..got a letter this afternoon
Tuesday Aug 30
Wrote a letter today got an order on the Sanitary Commission for a Shirt and for a can of Condensed Milk
Ironically, the method for condensing milk was developed from an earlier Southern method for refining granulated sugar from sugar cane. Whole milk is evaporated after a small amount of sugar is added. Condensed milk was available to Union soldiers, but not Confederate soldiers.
Wednesday Aug 31
Was mustered for pay this forenoon lounged around all afternoon
Thursday Sept 1
Expected to go on pass today but did not go lounged around all day
Friday Sept 2d
Was ordered to get ready to start for my Regt Started about 10 AM marched to the Cavalry Depot got a pass Boyce & myself went down town took dinner at the Podas Market started about 4 PM took the Steamer for up the river started up at 5 PM. Saw the Rebel Ram “Tenessee”
Saturday Sept 3
Reached Camp early this morning This afternoon We all had orders to be ready to march at three in the morning for Baton Rouge was up nearly untill midnight packing up The Band and the other Companies arrived about midnight
Sunday Sept 4
Lounged around all day expecting orders to march ordered to mount & started just before sundown up the river. met the 118 Ilinois coming to relieve us. We marched untill midnight
Monday Sept 5
Slept untill daylight. Started on arrived at Baton Rouge just after noon. A very warm dusty day. Camped just out of the City. went to the river to water our horses (half a mile) pitched our Shelter Tents. Very heavy dews at night
The entire Regiment (except Co. B) made camp at Northern Boulevard in the Eastern outskirts of Baton Rouge. They were brigaded with the 4th Wisconsin and 12th Illinois Cavalries.
Monday Sept 6th
Very warm & dusty. done nothing but but take care of my horse
Wednesday 7 Sept
A very large number of men on Picket today from this Regt On Camp Guard today. The guard was all relieved at dark
Thursday Sept 8
Warm and dusty twenty men on Picket from this Company. drew rations of fresh beef today. Dress Parade this afternoon.
Friday Sept 9
Very warm day General Lee visited the Camp today made myself a bunk of Cane this afternoon a fine shower this evening
Albert Lindley Lee, Formerly associate justice of the Kansas Supreme Court; resigned May 4, 1865.
Saturday Sept 10
Warm and pleasant drew fresh beef again to day. Inspection of Arms at retreat roll call.
Sunday Sept 11
Warm day lounged around the tent about all day. at 3 PM the Regiment all went out on a scout got back just after dark
Monday Sept 12
On Picket today twenty four hours rations. Was on the Clinton road. Some of the men taken sick considerable trouble with the men. Very pleasant moonlight night everything passed off quiet heard some firing on the Port Hudson road
Tuesday Sept 13
Came off Picket very warm & dusty some of our company went out to Clinton ( East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana) as an escort to a flag of truce. Sewed some today Regimental Drill this afternoon by the Major
See entry for August 5th. The flag of truce was in probably in connection with a prisoner exchange of the Union soldiers captured by Rebels during the raid at Doyal’s Plantation. There is evidence that there was an exchange, as many Union soldiers were returned. Many of the union soldiers were captured because they were sick or non-combatants slow to respond to bugle calls. The Rebels had to care for them and by late 1864 the Rebels were so over burdened with prisoners and under supplied with resources that they sometimes returned Union prisoners without receiving Rebel prisoners in return.
Wednesday Sept 14
Warm & pleasant wrote some this forenoon Regimental drill this afternoon by the Major
Thursday Sept 15
Very warm & dusty wrote some this forenoon. about noon we received orders to get ready to march with three days rations & one days forage started about 1 PM was joined by the 6th Mor & 2d Ill Regts marched down the river about seven miles and started toward the Amite river marched untill dark camped for the night & cooked some supper
Friday Sept 16
Reville at 3AM cleaned our horses cooked our breakfast started on about daylight marched & countermarched through the woods untill noon stopped and killed a beef and cooked it for dinner started on and marched untill dark reached the Amite river camped for the night. cooked some supper slept in the woods fed our horses from a corn field
Saturday Sept 17th
Started back having lost our route crossed the Amite about 9 AM met a small force of Rebels they skedelled we captured three of them we scouted around through the country recrossed the Amite marched untill night Camped in the woods untill morning
Sunday Sept 18th
Started after breakfast on our return to Camp rested about an hour to feed at a corn field. killed some Sheep. very dusty marching reached Camp just after dinner spent the afternoon in cleaning myself, & Arms
Monday Sept 19th
Cloudy and cool today nothing of importance occured in Camp lounged around the tent all day
Tuesday Sept 20th
On Picket to day, on the Port Hudson road (East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana). Lieut Greely of the 14th NY in command, The Pickets on the Clinton road was attacked this morning the 14th went out and drove them off, Taking one prisoner.. I passed a very easy Picket. The Picket Was drawn in about a mile at dark. slept half of the night. everything quiet. Saw a very large fire in the direction of the city
Wednesday Sept 21
Went back to our old place of yesterday cooked our breakfast. was relieved, reached Camp about 10 AM The Co all had new Carbines issued to them. all but the Sergeants (Sharps Improved). Everything quiet in Camp
The old Burnside carbines were turned in.
Thursday Sept 22
Cloudy and cool done nothing in particular to day considerable preparation going on in Camp. it is rumored that we are about to leave this place
Friday Sept 23
Very cloudy rained some this afternoon. got my boots mended this afternoon
Saturday Sept 24
Cloudy this morning had order to be ready for “Non Com” drill It was postponed on account of rain. Rained very hard for three hours. My things was all wet through some of the tents was blown down
Sunday Sept 25
Very fine day Lieut McKenzie our first Lieutenant arrived from N York. Wrote a letter this forenoon Dress Parade in the afternoon
James McKenzie, age 28, enrolled January 22, 1862 at Staten Island, Co. C, discharged April 6, 1865, 1st Lieutenant. He had served as a non-commissioned officer in the Fourth Dragoon Guards (Royal Irish), British Army, fought in the Crimean War and was in charge of the heavy artillery brigade at Balaklava.
Monday Sept 26
Very pleasant day sewed some today Non Com” Drill this forenoon by the Major fixed the tent this afternoon Dress Parade at the usual hour
Tuesday Sept 27
Cool pleasant day. Brigade Drill this forenoon by Col Fonda. Dress Parade at the usual hour
John G. Fonda, Commander, District of Baton
Rouge. The Second Brigade, comprised of the 118th Illinois Mounted
Infantry Regiment and 4th Wisconsin and 11th NY Cavalry
Regiments was commanded by Colonel Fonda.
Wednesday Sept 28
Tolerable cool today Regimental Drill this forenoon by the Major just after dinner commenced raining. Rained nearly all the afternoon. Hard tack for supper instead of soft bread.
Thursday Sept 29
Very sultry this morning. no meat for breakfast Regimental Drill as usual had to stop drill on account of rain lounged around the tent the rest of the day
Friday Sept 30
Detailed for Picket. Was sent with 14 men & two Corporals into the woods between the Clinton & Greenville (Greenville Springs) roads (Baton Rouge) I patroled between the two roads, Mosquitoes very troublesom at night
Saturday Oct 1st
Was relieved from Picket. Cleaned up my Arms and Equipments for Inspection washed my blouse and towel
Sunday Oct 2d
Very unwell all night, went on the sick list Inspection by Lieutenant McKenzie rained very hard about dinner time. One of the Pickets on the Highland road (Baton Rouge) was killed, & three men hurt, by Lightning
Xavier Roullard, age 42, enlisted August 5, 1864 at Clinton, Co. K, killed by lightning on picket duty October 2, 1864.
Monday Oct 3d
Very cool, much better this morning did not go on the sick list. Rained some considerable to day Company B arrived from the Lowlands (Thibodaux, Louisiana area). Heard of C Vanderwhackers death.
Conrad Vandewacker, age 49, enlisted December 11, 1861 at Syracuse, Co. C, died of disease September 26, 1864.
Tuesday Oct 4
Uncommonly cold last night, sewed some to day. A very cold raw, windy day nothing going on in Camp
Wednesday Oct 5
Some warmer to day very unwell all day The Regt was ordered out with three days rations Their destination is supposed to be Clinton. I did not go, not being well
Thursday Oct 6th
Very unwell this morning went on the sick list Clear pleasant day, lounged around the tent all day
Friday Oct 7th
Was woke up at one o,clock by the 1st Sergeants call. was ordered to turn out every available man to escort a waggon train to Clinton.turned out four men. And went to bed again. Got up at Reveille. Feeling first rate. A very pleasant day. washed my saddle this afternoon Company B and G arrived this evening from Clinton with 35 Prisoners. The Captain came with them, sick, Very clear pleasant moonlight evening
Saturday Oct 8th
The weather took a sudden change last. was very cold and windy. The men all crowding around the cooks fire to get warm cleaned up the company Street in the afternoon
Sunday Oct 9
Clear and cold last night raw windy day. lounged around all day. The Regt. Got back from the Scout As they were marching in a tree fell and killed Corporal Dumford, he was burried with military honers about 16 miles from Camp 35 Prisoners were brought in by the Regiment
William Dunford, age 21, enlisted December 22, 1963 at Utica, Co. C, Corporal; killed by falling tree while on duty October 9, 1864. A burning tree began to topple as Dunford was passing and Dunford’s horse became unmanageable. Dunford was thrown from the horse into the path of the falling tree.
Monday Oct 10th
On Picket..they had a Division Guard mounting..had charge of a picket post on the Highland road (?)(Baton Rouge) everything passed off well took one prisoner sent him over to Lieut Hazleton who sent him down to Hd Qrs cooked some squash for supper
August B. Hazleton, (or Hazelton) age 24, enrolled November 27, 1861 at New York, Co. B, discharged April 8, 1865, 2d Lieutenant; captured at Fairfax Station, VA June 27, 1863. He had served in the Royal Artillery, British army.
Tuesday Oct 11th
Terible cold last night come off Picket..got in Camp about noon found the Regiment all out on Inspection.. Inspection of horses in the afternoon.
Wednesday Oct 12
Very Warm day Squadron drill this forenoon by Lieut McKenzie Regimental drill in the afternoon by the Major warm pleasant night
Thursday Oct 13th
Warm dusty day lounged around my tent all day nothing of interest occured in Camp this afternoon
Friday Oct 14th
Warm dusty day. Squadron drill this forenoon by Lieut McKenzie rained some in the afternoon I cooked some squash for supper. a very pleasant moonlight night.
Saturday Oct 15th
Very pleasant day. The boys are all busy filling out their voting papers. some of the company went out on a scout no drilling. busy grading the street. very pleasant moonlight night rained some toward morning
Ballots were mailed to someone in the soldier’s town who deposited them into the ballot box.
Sunday Oct 16th
Very pleasant. busy cleaning up for inspection. Inspection of quarters this forenoon by Col Fonda lounged around the tent the most of the day. Inspection mounted of Arms and Equipment at 4 PM by Lieut McKenzie
Monday Oct 17
On Picket on the Perkins road(?) was sent with nine men to a sugar house on the Perkins Plantation. rather a cold day had some sweet Potatoes & hoe cake for supper. considerable fireing at night by the Picket & nothing to fire at
Tuesday Oct 18th
Was relieved from Picket. Rather warm day slept in drill time. Regimental Drill by the Major. warm pleasant night
Wednesday Oct 19
Cool pleasant day lounged around the tent all forenoon Squadron drill in the afternoon by Captain Hand of B. Co. had to stop drilling on acount of a cold disagreable rain
Edwin C. Hand, age 30, enrolled December 12, 1861 at Staten Island, Cos. E, A and B, discharged April 7, 1865, Captain
Thursday Oct 20
Warm pleasant day. The Pickets were attacked by Guerillas, on the Greenville (Greenville Springs) road and Sergt Steele of Co. M killed and two men wounded, a scout went out in pursuit. Sergeant Steele was burried this afternoon
Myers F. Steele, age 22, enlisted September 6, 1862 at Buffalo, Co. M, Sergeant, died of gunshot wound received while posting pickets, Oct 20, 1864
Mahlon Burton, age 26, enlisted December 28, 1863 at Lysander, CO. F, discharged July 1, 1865; Acting Corporal, captured at Baton Rouge, Louisiana October 20, 1864.
Two men cut their way out.
Friday Oct 21
Very fine day lounged around the tent some. Squadron Drill this afternoon some of the Co” went out on a three day scout terible cold at night
Saturday Oct 22d
Warm pleasant day. fixed my tent washed a pair of socks this afternoon nothing of Importance occured
Sunday Oct 23d
On Picket today. had charge of an Outpost on the Highland road. Was stationed in an old Sugar house a very easy agreable Picket Some little firing at night. a false alarm. was troubled with the toothache all night
Monday Oct 24th
Was relieved from Picket a fine day. reched Camp about noon heard that Lieut Massy was taken prisoner while on a scout Cooked some squash for supper. a warm pleasant night. was troubled with the toothache
John O. Massey, age 28, enrolled April 29, 1862 at New York, Co. F, discharged May 15, 1865, 1st Lieutenant; captured at Clinton, Louisiana, October 23, 1864. He had served in the British navy. He served the rest of the war at Andersonville Prison.
Tuesday Oct 25
Cloudy. Signs of rain. Mended my clothes this forenoon. Our men Returned from the scout. bringing in some prisoners. rained a little this afternoon. Lieut McKenzie and Sergt Ackerman and nine men went on a three day scout just before Tattoo
David R. Ackerman, age 21, enlisted January 28, 1862 at New York, Co. C, discharged January 28, 1865, 1st Sergeant.
Wednesday. Oct 26th
Rained all forenoon. lounged around my tent all the time cloudy and dull all afternoon read some this afternoon Very muddy
Thursday. Oct 27
Clear warm and pleasant day The leaves are begining to fall from the trees nothing particular occured in Camp.
Friday Oct 28th
Clear. Warm pleasant day commenced fixing a place to build a hut upon. Boyce & Thomas & myself. heard of the death of Oakes while on Furlough
Silas Oaks, age 32, enlisted July 22, 1862 at New York, Co. C, died on sick furlough October 8, 1864.
Saturday Oct 29th
On Picket. had charge of an outpost with nine men, no shelter at all some of the boys got some sweet potatoes for supper. drew the post in about two hundred yds at dark.
Sunday Oct 30
Rained very hard this morning rained all forenoon got wet through when I arrived in Camp found my tent down.. moved into Boyces tent lounged around the rest of the day
Monday Oct 31st
Weather cloudy and dull done nothing in particular about 4 PM was detailed for fatigue with two days rations & forage. 50 from this Regt & 50 from the 4th Wis & 100 dismounted marched down to the wharf. took a Steamer went up the river about 12 miles landed on the western shore stoped for the night at a deserted Plantation
Tuesday Nov 1st
Very warm & pleasant. commenced tearing down the buildings on the Plantation for winter quarters. Some Rebs were seen after dinner went out after them scouted around but did not see any of them rained very hard at night
Wednesday Nov 2d
Rained very hard all day went down to a Sugar house and stoped untill near night my things are all wet through sent down to Baton Rouge after rations slept very cold at night
Thursday Nov 3d
Windy, cold raw, busy drawing the lumber to the river. The rations and Colonel Fonda arrived about noon. had a good dinner and went to work again. tearing down buildings and drawing them to the river and then making them into rafts went up the river about 3 miles with Col Fonda 50 of us slept on the veranda of a house very cold
Friday Nov 4th
Rather pleasant to day got some “Hoe Cake” of a Negro got back to the buildings about 8 AM went to work worked untill 2 PM Packed up and started down the river the dismounted men on the rafts.. Arrived oposite Baton Rouge about sundown no boat being there we bivouaced for the night in a meadow Clear & moonlight
Saturday Nov 5
Clear & Pleasant.. saddled up and was waiting for a boat about 3 PM was sent over after rations met Corp Herman. Going on a Gunboat he was transferred to the Navy. Got back again at sundown with rations Clear moonlight night
Sunday Nov 6th
Clear and very windy The “Sallie Robinson” commenced to Ferry us over about 8 AM All got over by one PM went up to Camp lounged around all the afternoon. went down to the Government Stables this evening after some of our horses that had been picked up by the Patrol
Monday Nov 7th
Commenced building winter quarters Boyce, Thomas, & myself. got the frame all up. All of the men are busy. A work building quarters
Tuesday Nov 8th
Very pleasant day. hard at work building away. Nothing of importance occured
Wednesday Nov 9
Warm and pleasant. finished my house today moved into it warm moonlight night
Thursday Nov 10th
Rather too warm for comfort took our horses out to graze both forenoon and afternoon went after a stove for our tent but could not get one
Friday Nov 11th
Nothing going on in Camp took our horses out to graze as usual lounged around the Tent the rest of the day
Saturday Nov 12th
Warm pleasant day took our horses out to graze cleaned up my things. Was all ordered out and marched down town and was inspected by Colonel Fonda
Sunday Nov 13th
Warm day. on Camp Guard..everything passed off well done some writing this afternoon
Monday Nov 14th
Warm pleasant day. cleaned up my Saddle in the forenoon bought a stove in the afternoon part of the Regiment went out this evening with 3 days rations under Colonel Fonda (Three lines unreadable---probably from water damage).7
Tuesday Nov 15th
Warm and cloudy. Was packed up since Reville with 3 days rations. Saddled up at 4 PM and started out on the Clinton road the 1st 2d & 3d Brigades General Lee in command
Wednesday Nov 16
Marched all last night captured a Picket Post. Was led out of our way by a Negro guide. He was instantly shot by one of the 4th Wis Cavalry rained at night. Stoped and cooked breakfast of sweet Potatoes. started on.passed through Clinton. marched untill near dark Camped in woods. About 13 miles from “Liberty Miss. a very warm pleasant night. Col Fondas command joined us this afternoon
Thursday Nov 17th
Warm cloudy day. Started on about daylight reached Liberty (Mississippi) about noon fed our horses cooked some dinner. Lounged around most of the afternoon our Brigade was ordered out just before dark. started for Brook Haven (Brookhaven, Mississippi) a very dark night found a “Caison” that the Rebs had left behind. Captured 25 Rebs that were asleep in a barn
Friday Nov 18
Galloped into Brookhaven just before daylight, having marched 43 miles last night but found that the Rebels had left. Leaving two pieces of Artilery and about a dozen men. after setting fire to a building in which were stored a large amount of shells and Amunition. We destroyed a large quantity of leather. And a Locomotive. We Started on our return about 10 AM stoped and cooked dinner about 3 PM started on commenced to rain. marched untill about 9 PM when it was so dark we could go no farther. Halted for the night. very muddy slept in an old Mule Pen
Saturday Nov 19th
Started on just after day light got my Canteen full of Honey. halted about noon our Squadron was sent about a mile down in the woods to burn a Tanary. Started on reached Liberty about dark. found that Gen Lee had had a fight and left the place. followed on found him Encamped about 6 miles towards Port Hudson (Louisiana) cooked some supper ordered to be ready to March at midnight.
Sunday Nov 20th
Rained some this morning Started on about 5 miles. halted and had some breakfast. marched back to cover the retreat of the Division. Our Regiment is Rear Guard to day very pleasant marching. marched about 30 miles Camped in a very swampy place. commenced to rain cooked some fresh pork for supper made my best (unreadable, faded) started raining very hard got wet through
Monday Nov 21st
Rainey cold morning. completely chilled through. Cooked some breakfast started on very cold marching. reached Baton Rouge just before dark. having marched about 300 miles Captured about 230 Prisoners 60 Mules and horses. and about 700 Niggers
Tuesday Nov 22d
Uncommonly cold this morning rained very hard last night was troubled with the Toothache lounged around the tent all day. some rumors of our leaving this place. a very cold windy day rigged up the stove and had a fire in it cooking some sweet Potatoes for supper
Wednesday Nov 23d
Very cold last night. The sun came out and got quite warm cleaned up my things. The Regiment was Inspected by Gen Davidson. Was troubled with the Toothache
Thursday Nov 24th
Clear cold day. on the sick list with the Toothache. Took my frying pan down to the blacksmith to have a handle put on. lounged around the tent the rest of the day
Friday Nov 25th
Some considerably warmer to day. still on the sick list. Ordered to dispose of our surplus things. in readiness for march. Washed and oiled my saddle. & bridle cleaned my sabre Dress Parade this afternoon
Saturday Nov 26th
Come off the sick list. Took my extra baggage down to the Village to be kept during my absence. packed up my saddle drew three days ration and ordered to be ready in the morning.
During the following 27 days, the “Davidson Raid” marched through Louisiana, Mississippi, and almost to Mobile, Alabama, engaging the enemy periodically along the march. The principal purpose of the expedition was to prevent a rebel force from leaving Mobile to attack General Sherman’s flank on his march to the sea.
Sunday Nov 27th
Started at day light. on the Greenville (Greenville Springs) road The whole in command of Gen Davidson marched about 18 miles halted & Camped in the woods Cooked some fresh pork for supper rigged up a shelter for Thomas & Boyce & myself Slept together very warm pleasant night.
Monday Nov 28th
Reveille sounded about 3 AM cooked our breakfast. Was detailed for Provost Guard. Was sent on Patrol with ten men. Arrestted Six men. marched in the rear of our Brigade all day. Generals Davidson & Baily arrived at about 10 AM Started on the Greeburg (St Helena Parish, Louisiana) road halted about dark camped for the night
Joseph Bailey, 1827-1867, exceptional engineer who saved General Bank’s fleet in the Red River Campaign, was killed 1867 while serving as sheriff of Newton County, Missouri.
Tuesday Nov 29th
Was ordered to report with 25 men to the Provost Marshal General. was ordered to (unreadable) Our Brigade was put with 18 men (probably 18 stragglers) in the center to prevent stragglers marched all day through pine woods . reached Greenburg about 3 PM was ordered to take charge of a number of prisoners in (unreadable) was on horse all night guarding the horses. One of our men was taken prisoner. by a Rebel prisoner that he was guarding
Wednesday Nov 30th
Warm cloudy day. remained in town untill the 2 Div passed & then moved on after passed the 2 Div. dismounted for 3 hours & then passed on arrived at Tangipakoa (Tangipahoa, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana) about 3 PM Guarded the town until the Corps had passed left the place just before dark marched about 2 miles halted and cooked supper Started on very bad road forded a river halted untill morning was five hours & marching two miles very hard roads very dark night Some of the 2 NY was dismounted crossing the river. One horse of C Co shot by bushwhackers & one of R Company
At Tangipahoa, 5 miles of railroad track were destroyed and railroad buildings set on fire The fire got out of control and burned most of the town. Several prisoners were taken. Private Payson of C Company had his horse shot by bushwhackers.
Stewart H. Payson, age 19, enlisted December 18, 1863 at Eaton, Co. C, discharged September 30, 1865.
Thursday Dec 1st
Started on in rear of the Corps. passed it marched all day through Pine woods. Crossed Dog River (Bogue Chitto River) Entered and took possession of the town of Franklinton (Washington Parish, Louisiana) put Guards on all of the houses. took up my quarters in an old Shoe Shop, warm lovely night. had fresh pork for supper
Friday Dec 2d
Was relieved from Provost duty and ordered to report to my Regt. found them ready to march with one days forage. Took up our line of march through the woods to Pearl River. very (unreadable) marching. (Unreadable) Halted just after dark & afterwards had (unreadabale) Corp France was made Sergeant Prvt Burke was made corporal Started on marching untill 12 M Camped on a side hill. dark cloudy night. Did not see a house all day
Saturday Dec 3d
Rained very hard this morning. not very cold. Cooked breakfast Started on our Regt is Rear Guard To day “C” Company is the extreme rear reached a house about noon halted & threw out Pickets. Was sent out with a forageing party. Got some corn fed our horses & started on Very hard marching. Some wagons was burnt this afternoon. reached Camp just after dark. Camped in a Swamp water ankle deep. Dull cloudy day. cleared up & was very cold all night. (Unreadable).
Sunday Dec 4th
Clear cold morning. issued three days rations. Was sent out with twenty men to Picket our right flank. was drawn in & took up our march at 10 AM Crossed Pearl river on a pontoon bridge turned out quite warm marched about 15 miles Got in Camp just after dark had splendid Camp in Pine woods. Went out with a Forage party. Got some corn & sweet potatoes. drew fresh beef to night clear cold moonlight night.
Clear & very pleasant. Started on quite early. very slow marching reached the town of Columbia (Marion County, Mississippi) about 3 PM. Our Regt was left in town while the rest went on. Our Squadron was left to hold the place while the Regt went on a Scout on the Monticello (Lawrence County, Mississippi) road. Threw out Pickets on all the roads. Considerable firing going on between the Pickets on the river bank. The Regt got back about 9 PM Started on marched 5 miles reached the Augusta road. Halted and lay on our Arms untill morning
Tuesday Dec 6
Marched about 5 miles, cooked breakfast Started on marched all day untill midnight Went into Camp No Forage for our horses overtook the Division just before going into Camp. Drew 3 days rations.
Wednesday Dec 7th
Clear & very pleasant. Started on after breakfast very slow marching halted in the afternoon and groomed our horses & fed them Started on very warm and moonlight night Camped about midnight. Very sleepy while on the march. We are 3 miles from Augusta
(About 45 miles due East of Columbia, Mississippi, on the Leaf River. It is probably now called New Augusta, Perry County, Mississippi). The Regiment stopped at Eaton, a small place near Augusta.
Thursday Dec 8th
Cool cloudy morning. Started on very slow marching commenced raining in the afternoon. got some sweet Potatoes Went into Camp about 9 PM fixed up a Shelter tent quite comfortable. rainey disagreAble night
Friday Dec 9th
Rained cold morning. Started on. Very bad marching. rained all day. very windy got completely wet through The (unreadable) went into to Camp just after dark Our Regiment put on Pickets. nothing to eat. had charge half the night of an outpost on the Mobile road. no fires allowed. was completely chilled through was relieved about 3 in the morning went up to the reserve slept untill daylight. Cloudy & cold but not rainey.
Saturday Dec 10th
Cloudy & cold, dried my things cooked breakfast. washed a pr of drawers. Started on about 10 AM marched through Pine woods very dry good marching. got some forage for my horse. Halted about 4 PM fed & groomed our horses, cooked supper Started on about 8 PM Crossed Black River (Black Creek, probably due South from New Augusta, Mississippi ) on a pontoon bridge marched about a mile went into Camp most of the horses had no feed. Nothing to eat for myself
Sunday Dec 11th
Cloudy and cold. Drew rations this morning. cooked breakfast Started on Our Squadron in rear of the Battery (unreadable) marched about 3 miles halted while the Pioneers built a bridge. Made some coffee. Started on in about 3 hours Crossed Red Creek on Pontoons (Probably in Stone County, Misssissippi.) Got a glimps of the Gulf of Mexico marched tolerably fast to day. all through pine woods saw one house Went into Camp just before dark My rations is done nothing but sweet Potatoes for supper most of the horses had no Forage, mine had plenty Very cold clear moonlight night
Monday Dec 12th
Very cold last night & windy. Slept very cold. Beef Steak & Potatoes for breakfast. Started on about 8 AM. marched through pine woods. Very slow marching Found the Rebels strongly posted on the Mobile Ferry. Turned to the right marched untill midnight. Very fast after dark Went into Camp about two miles from Pascagoula Bay Some Forage was landed for our horses. Very cold marching saw one house this afternoon
A large Rebel force was encountered just East of the Chickasawhay River, near Leakesville, Misissippi. It was too large a force to engage, so it was avoided. The Rebels also appeared to not want a confrontation and did not pursue the Union force.
Tuesday Dec 13th
Very cold windy night. Drew fresh beef. Walked down to the beach (unreadable) my horse and got some sweet Potatoes. Saw some Men of War laying out in the Gulf. Got back about 3 PM built a Shelter. Signs of rain. Considerable warmer this afternoon.
Wednesday Dec 14
Quite warm pleasant day Saddled up and moved about a mile nearer the beach. Went into Camp in the woods. Built a Shelter (unreadable)
Thursday Dec 15th
Very warm & Pleasant. Took our horses out to graze After dinner. The Company was fell in & marched to the beach. (unreadable) was sent back by Gen Davidson. Drew (unreadable) and our rations Rumors of our going to New Orleans
Friday Dec 16th
Very heavy dew last night. foggy morning. cleared up and was a uncommonly warm pleasant day. had orders to prepare for an inspection by Gen Davidson. Went down to the beach and washed all my clothes. It is rumored that our Camp at Baton Rouge is burnt by Rebels
Saturday Dec 17th
On Picket with 26 men under command of Lieut Von Wiltzaen (Von Weltzein). Very pleasant in the forenoon. Killed a bullock for the use of the Picket. Sent out a party after Potatoes. Cooked some potatoes for supper signs of rain turned out to be a very warm pleasant moonlight night. everything passed off well the Mosquitoes are rather troublesome
Baron Dedrich Von Weltzein, age 25, enrolled December 24, 1862, Cos. C, E, A and K, 1st Lieutenant; captured at Bolivar Heights June 30, 1863, discharged September 30, 1865. He was a lieutenant in the Austrian army, and was at the battles of Magenta and Solferino.
Sunday Dec 18th
Warm pleasant morning. The Picket was ordered to report in Camp just before day light. Found the Regt had gone. Cooked some breakfast. marched down to the beach found the Regt there waiting for a Transport. Unsaddled. Fixed up a shelter. Commenced raining. continued at intervals during the day & night. Thomas and myself dug some Potatoes
Monday Dec 19th
Warm windy day. rained at intervals amused myself by making a Pipe very dull day Co H and G embarked for N Orleans. Part of C Co marched down to the beach but was sent back. The 14th NY was sent to East Pascagoula rained a little at night
Tuesday Dec 20th
Cold foggy dismal day. Some rain lounged around under my Shelter. Drew three days rations after supper.
Wednesday Dec 21st
Clear and cold. Spent a very uncomfortable night rained all night was wet through. After breakfast a very large mail arrived just afterward packed up marched down to the beach embarked on a Leighter got aground. Part of us Disembarked waited two hours. (I busied myself getting some Briar roots for Pipes) Embarked again unsaddled Steamed out about 5 miles and got on the Steamer I D Lmaine(?) bound for New Orleans. Very cold and windy. Nothing but rain Bacon and Hard Tack for supper slept in the hold with The Commissray & Buglers very high sea Slept very comfortable
Thursday Dec 22d
Very cold windy morning. Run out of coal in Lake Pontchartrain. Commenced tearing up part of the boat to make Steam reached Lakefront about 10 AM disembarked. marched down the Shell road to New Orleans. Was sent to Greenville about 3 miles from the city reached there just dark went into Camp. We now are Brigaded with the 12th “Ill” 2 Brigade Col Davis Commanding. Rather unwell Very cold windy night.
Edmund Jackson Davis, 1827-1883, later General Davis, declined appointment as Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court, elected Governor of Texas in 1869. When he was defeated for re-election he barricaded himself in his office.
Friday Dec 23d
Very raw cold morning. lounged around untill afternoon Went up to Carrolton bought a tin pail & some coffee & Sugar Cos I & H arrived having been stuck on a bar for 36 hours. Three more Companies arrived this morning. Some warmer in the evening rained considerable at night
Saturday Dec 24th
Cool and cloudy. Went down to N Orleans on a French pass walked down rambled around some. Bought a Hat for J V France got back in Camp about sundown the rest of the Regt had arrived. We all drew Shelter Tents and pitched them drew me an Overcoat & canteen rained some at night
Sunday Dec 25th
Christmas. Very wet warm raining day. Very dull and lonesome nothing going on in Camp Cloudy was sent with some men to dig Post holes for a Picket line. lounged around the rest of the day, whittling Pipes saw some fireworks in the evening in the direction of N Orleans A great deal of firing going on in Camp
END OF DIARY
On January 18, 1865, at the expiration off his enlistment, Marsden was discharged from active service and he returned to New York.
In later years, he disagreed with a contractor’s
bid to install a sewer in a street and submitted a “taxpayer’s bid”.
He was so successful that he continued in the contracting business, building
such projects as water companies, electric power plants, and sewage disposal
plants. He died in New York City on December 25, 1913.