Lot Abraham’s 1864 Diary

Lot Abraham's 1864 Diary

Lot Abraham’s 1864 Diary

Clear Creek, Near Vicksburg, Mississippi

First Page in L.A. Diary

First Page in L.A. Diary

Friday, January 1, 1864. Weather clear & cold. In camp all day busy writing most of the time. No mail or news of any kind. All quiet. I took a ride in the evening and went to —  Got back at 11.

Saturday, 2 Cold. Moderated a little during the day. Busy all the day making out all kinds of returns, reports &c. No mail or news yet.

Sunday, 3 Cloudy and cool. Ordered on a scout with fifty men and went to Camp Sherman. Waited until a Hoosier took up a soldier’s body —  J. A. Steele, Co C. 83rd Indiana, then went to Black River. Found it high. Got back 2 P.M. Raining to night.

January, Monday, 4, 1864. A cool rainy day. Writing all day at returns &c., working at Quarterly, of Ordnace. Getting along fine. Mail to day. Wrote some letters in the evening. Went to bed early.

Tuesday, 5 Cloudy and cold. Freezing all day. I done but little — kept close to the fire [and] read some. We are nearly done with Returns. No news today. Wrote some letters to night.

Wednesday, 6 Have but little to do and it’s too cold to drill. Read some. No mail or late papers. We are ordered on picket tomorrow. Black Bob enlisted as a soldier and will leave me.

January, Thursday, 7, 1864. Cold and cloudy to day. We was slow getting out. Took the old post Number 3 and there passed away the day as usual. Got a mail this evening.

Friday, 8. Was sick all night and had a cold time of it. All quiet. Relieved in good time. Have been looking about and thinking of some plan to square old Ord Returns.

Saturday, 9. Cold. Thawed a little about midday. I feel rather dull and did not get up to roll call. Eat a hearty breakfast at 8 A.M. and wrote most of the day at vouchers &c. for ord returns. Had drill at 1 P.M. ‘Tis cold tonight.

Winter quarters on Hebron Farm.

January, Sunday, 10, 1864. Pleasant day. I had inspection at 10 o’clock. Then wrote nearly all day. Finished up my vouchers in good shape. Wrote five letters tonight after hearing that we don’t go up the river so soon.

Monday 11. Rainy and cool. A forage party started out for 3 days early. I have done but little this day. Read some in Army Regulations. It has been an ugly day; no mail or news of any kind. Wrote a letter to Miss P. S. A.

Tuesday 12. Cloudy & cool. Misty part of the day. I had the men at work fixing stables. Moved my own around in the rear of the quarters, fixed up in the tent some. No news yet. No mail. Roads very muddy. Doing nothing tonight. Had oysters late.

Clear Creek, near Vicksburg, Mississippi

Pemberton and Grant at the Vicksburg Surrender Interview Site

Pemberton and Grant at the Vicksburg Surrender Interview Site

January, Wednesday, 13, 1864. Rainy last night & cleared off today. Pleasant. I am nearly sick. Done nothing. Feel lost & can’t content myself at anything all because the mail brings no letter for me. got Home Journal to day. No News though.

Thursday, 14 Cloudy & cool part of the day. Cleared off p.m. I’ve worked about the stables, policing &c. Drilled at 1:00 P.M. 4 recruits arrived from Davenport. No mail yet. Got a Chicago paper 4th with news of the snow storms & cold. No other news. All quiet. I have been unwell all day.

Friday, 15. Clear and cold in morning. Pleasant during the day. The Boys are busy making oak finger rings out of the tree that Grant & Pemberton met under July 3, 1863. Ogg went to town. Mail come at 1 p.m. and a letter from Neal — 23 days later than last date. Drilled at 1:00 P.M. (after reading letters) Papers of 12th tonight. Not much news.

Winter Quarters on Hebron’s Farm

homer_rainydayJanuary, Saturday, 16, 1864. clear and cold last night. Pleasant today. I am doing nothing. Having some policing done this P.M. Gen. Sherman arrived at Vicksburg. Col. went down. Now I can’t be contented until we know about it.

Sunday, 17. Cloudy and rainy. Col. got back last night and our go-up is doubtful now because he don’t want to go. Gen. Sherman said something. I had inspection at 10 A.M. Was over at Major’s tent most of the day. Raining hard tonight. I am writing some letters.

Monday, 18. Cloudy and oh, how dull. Gloomy! I feel nearly sick. Have nothing to say. No news today. 25 men went on picket. A crowd called on Col. W. to know about going up the river but got no satisfaction.

Clear creek near Vicksburg, Miss

January, Tuesday, 19, 1864. A beautiful day. Frosty in the morning. I rode to Vicksburg & back again after an old-fashioned go-to-town, Program. Lieut. H. came out with me. No news. Some mail today.

Wednesday, 20. Warm and pleasant. I have a bad cold. Don’t feel well. Read most of the time. Ogg done the drilling today.

Thursday, 21. Very pleasant today. I drilled the company mounted. We fired off our arms. I read some stories. Got late papers. No news. We are fixing for the paymaster. I weighed 188 lbs today.

January, Friday, 22, 1864. Another fine day. Drilled mounted A. M. & with sabres P. M. Studied tactics & read stories. Don’t feel well. No news today.

Saturday, 23. Cool last night. Very pleasant day. No drill today. Cleaned up the ground all around the quarters. Turned over part of the overcoats.

Sunday, 24. Weather continues so very pleasant. I had Company inspection mounted. Men went on picket. Then I had out 43. Got late papers. Read some & wrote a letter home by candlelight.

January, Monday, 25, 1864. Drilled mounted at 9 o’clock A. M. After that I became interested too much reading novelette Oakenshaw to drill anymore. Got mail today.

Tuesday, 26. Was ordered on a forage expedition at 8 A. M. I took out 47 mounted men. We led the column. Had some skirmishing in front. Wounded 2 Rebs, got one of them. Camped at Old Man Russel’s. Loaded 60 wagons with corn.

Wednesday, 27. Started for camp (20 miles) at 2 o’clock in the morning. ‘Twas clear & moonlight. We made good time. The Rebs — a whole Brigade of Cavlry — come up with & attacked us in the rear at Oak Ridge. Had a lively time for awhile. Got away safe. I slept some this P.M.

Winter Huts on Hebron’s Farm

January, Thursday, 28, 1864. Got ready for inspection. Then had to go on picket. The monthly inspection went off. We had a long lonesome, tedious day on picket. Clear & warm.

Friday, 29. Clouded up in the night. All quiet with us. Was relieved in good time by Co. C. I slept awhile. The veterans got paid off this evening.

Saturday, 30. Cloudy and warm today. The company was paid off. I put up in package 5,525 dollars & took it to Vicksburg & expressed to Mt. Pleasant. Come back after dark in the rain. I had 2 orderlies with me & we got lost. Went too far over to the right. It was very dark. I got wet & was sick before.

Clear Creek near Vicksburg, Miss

January, Sunday, 31, 1864. Cloudy and warm today. We are preparing for the trip. Companies D, C, & F have been detailed as escort for Gen. Sherman. No move today yet — preparations &c. I wrote some letters & its raining to night.

February, Monday, 1. Cleared off in the night last. I feel unwell. All day we prepared & waited. No news.

Tuesday, 2. Beautiful day–& still we wait all anxious & ready–no feed–& hard tack to live on. Rough, rough, to pass away the time. I wrote a lot of stuff to Neal, Ester, & Jonny. Boys all seem restless. Got orders late tonight.

February, Wednesday, 3, 1864. Received our orders to take the advance of the 16th Army Corps instead of Gen. Sherman’s escort — a great change that makes. Escorted the pontoon train to Messenger’s [Ferry]. They put down bridge & we completed their bridge. Crossed. Got corn.

Thursday, 4. I had a sorry night coughing. We took the advance at 8 o’clock. Drove the Rebels to the chruch at the B. road. There they lay in ambush. I charged them. They ran. I was put back with [Companies] D & F. Reported to Gen. Veatch. Had a rough night of it.

Friday, 5. Moved at 1 o’clock. We took the advance and reached the church just before day[light]. Stopped there until 11 A.M. Moved 10 miles. The advance of 17th Army Corps went into Jackson. They fought all the way from Black River Bridge. Our cavalry lost 4 killed, 3 prisoners.

Jackson, Mississippi

February, Saturday, 6, 1864. We got a fine rest. I sent Lt. back with the P. train, for Tuttle’s Div. to cross. Moved out before day[light] with the General. Stopped within two mile of Jackson at noon. Camped & rested. Cold & windy.

Sunday, 7. Had a good rest. Moved out at dawn of day & into Jackson. Here we are 3 P.M. Crossed Pearl River at 4 & moved eastward. Slowly bringing up the Rear. Moved 9 miles & camped at midnight. With the General.

Monday, 8. I feel badly this morning. We didn’t move until 9 a.m. Then come into Brandon (3 miles) Stayed there waiting on the heavy trains until late in the eve. Moved 7 miles & camped at 9 o’clock– having a good time of it this way. I am nearly sick.

Sherman Raid into Mississippi.

February, Tuesday, 9, 1864. Moved out at daylight. Our Div. 4th in advance; the Corps. 16th. The 17th is on the move still in advance. Our cavalry in front & skirmishing occasionally. Passed through north & left the 17th Army Corps there. Moved 5 miles & camped late in the night on a little creek.

Wednesday, 10. Moved out early, our Div. in front, the cavalry ahead. Had a fight in Hillsboro. Drove the Rebs in a hurry. Killed 4. We remained in town on guard till our Div. passed. Moved out. Camped early in the pine woods. Took a scout. Rode 4 miles north. Got some mules &c.

Thursday, 11. Moved out in good time & made a good march over some very bad roads. All hands went to work on them & soon fixed them. We camped early in a very pleasant place. No news today.


February, Friday, 12, 1864. Weather warm & pleasant. 3d Div. swept out in front & we was late starting. I took a nap. Our Div. all passed & the General left us. We moved at noon & overtook him at Sherman’s Headquarters in Decatur. Rested awhile. Then moved on. The Rebs charged in our the train. Killed 16 mules. We camped at 3 o’clock.

Saturday, 10. Pleasant morning. I took a good rest last night. Feel dull. We are 20 miles from Meridian yet & expect fighting today. Moved out in good time and made a slow steady march of it. We are enjoying the trip fine. Plenty to eat & feed. Crossed some streams this eve.

Sunday, 14. Has the appearance of rain. Did sprinkle a little. Made a steady march and arrived in Meridian before dark. The cavalry got in 3 P.M. with only a little skirmish. This is no town after all has been a great Reb camp. Now I can’t guess which way we go. Quartered in a house tonight. Plenty to eat & feed.

Sherman Raid

February, Monday, 15, 1864. Cloudy & rain. We have good shelter. All guiet within our sight & hearing. I can’t see anything doing. The boys have some fun with the women in town. We rode out with the General this eve after the rain. Come back & camped in same house. It cleared off.

Tuesday, 16. Moved north on the M & O. R. R. this morning. Our Div is tearing it up. Stopped for dinner 2 miles out. Then moved again. Met the Rebs near Marion Station. Had one horse shot. Infantry come up & drove them through town. We camped in the village. Cold & windy tonight.

Wednesday, 17. Froze hard this morning. I can hardly navigate. Eat nothing. All quiet. General sent us west to examine a road. I went 3 miles out. Got no particulars. Boys got plenty to eat. Some fine turkeys &c. Found our camp (old cotton gin) burned down on our return. Moved down in a door yard on right of road. Stayed in house.

Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut

Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut

February, Thursday, 18, 1864. Cloudy, cold & snowing. We moved down in town & got in a house. Got a stable for our horses. Gen. Hurlbut come up here about noon. All quiet. We got plenty to eat & have nothing to do. I stayed at Widow—

Friday, 19. I feel some better this morn. Rested well on a good bed. Come down to the Company & eat some breakfast. Cold last night. Clear & pleasant today. All quiet. Gen. Sherman & staff arrived here about noon. The Commanding Officers met for some kind of a confab. I went north 6 miles with only my Company. Rode fast. Got back late.

Saturday, 20. I stayed at the widows again. couldn’t rest–was too late this morn. the Div. was on the move when I got up. Gen’l sent me to the advance, started back on a new route. got plenty to eat a few horses, seen some rebs, marched 8 miles past the 16th A.C. on this road.

Union & Hillsboro

February, Sunday, 21, 1864. Weather warm & pleasant. Marched at daylight. We took the advance again. Had trouble with Jayhawkers. Got plenty to live on but no horses today. Destroyed a distillery this evening 4 miles from this road. Met some supplies from the train at Union where we are camped (22 miles today).

Monday, 22 Camped in an old store. Rested well. Move out early & in a hurry. Took the advance again & had a good time. Got plenty. Marched 13 miles & camped. Then General sent me forward 3 miles to guard a bridge on the Tusmulgee. Girls. We fell in love with Widow McBowens.

Tuesday, 23. A fine moonlight night. Rebs come in dismounted & a few shots soon drove them, killing one. Pioneers come down at 3 o’clock to work & we moved up to the widows. Started early & come to Hillsboro. 10 miles & camped at 2 P.M. Come up with the 18th Army Corps. Here all together again. Warm today.

Returning from Meridian Miss

February, Wednesday, 24, 1864. Warm & pleasant. Up early but got a late start. Our Div. in rear. Took the Canton Road. Moved very slow. We rode with the General all day. Moved only 14 miles. Camped in the woods near a pond on right of road.

Thursday, 25. Weather continues pleasant. We started early and closed up on Smith’s column and just lay along the road all day. They are putting down the bridge. We moved only 7 miles today. Too far in the rear to get anything to eat now. Stopped on left of road long after dark.

Friday, 26. Started at 9 o’clock & moved slowly to Pearl River 4 miles. Crossed over & rested awhile. Then moved in good order to Canton 13 miles. The place still looks well. Met Col. Winslow here. They have had a big ride & are going on to camp. The army is coming in here to stop awhile. We camped 2 miles north of town.

Canton, Livingston, Bronsville & Arrival in Camp

February, Saturday, 27, 1864. Up & ready early but no order come for me & rode to Gen. Sherman. Soon got an order to Join the Regiment. Done so & we started for camp in a hurry. Gen. Sherman is with us. Had a dusty ride of 35 miles & camped just after dark 10 miles from B lack River crossing. Same camp of May 17th 1863.

Sunday, 28. Moved out about 4 o’clock. Crossed the river [on military bridge] at Messenger’s [Ferry] at daylight. Met a supply train going to the army. I got to camp at 8 ½ o’clock. Tired, hungry & dirty. Got plenty of mail [but] not much news. I find all right. 12 more recruits here. Baten gone & plenty work for me to get at. Appointed my Non-Commissioned Officers this evening.

Monday, 29. Cloudy & rainy. I worked all day as busy as I could be. Don’t feel well. Mustered at 4 P.M.  Lt. Col. Peters commanded the Regiment. I stayed up writing until 2 o’clock at night and hardly know how to manage several cases on hand Just about now.

Winter Quarters near Vicksburg, Mississippi

March Calendar from Lot's Diary

March Calendar from Lot’s Diary

March, Tuesday, 1, 1864. Cloudy, cold & raining hard this morning. I try to write. Suffer with headache & can’t keep in a good humor. Got our Reb to help write. Cleared off this evening. I got along fine tonight. Wrote until 3 o’clock all along (& Red Sisson).

Wednesday, 2. Pleasant day. Finished up all my Rolls & Reports today & decided to leave Ogg here with the Company, recruits &c. I feel that I would as leave stay myself. Don’t know what to do. There’s nothing pleasant about my situation just now. I’ll succor, but I shall make the best of it.

Thursday, 3. Moved for Vicksburg at 8 A.M. Some in wagons; some on horseback. I rode down alone. Still suffering with headache. Had to run all over town to get papers for transportation &c. Got aboard the steamer Constitution. 42 men all in a glee for home run. About town some after night.

Enroute home [to Mt. Pleasant, Iowa]

March, Friday, 4, 1864. Some signs of starting this morning. I worked hard & got my 5 new Vets paid. Some of the Company failed to do so well. No news of interest. We started 2 P.M. Boat well crowded. Have to take mattress [and] sleep on the floor. Fare nothing. Extra fine dance tonight. I didn’t feel well enough to join in it.

Saturday, 5. Pleasant morning. We are moving along all smooth. I undertake to write some. Have the headache & cough yet. Can’t write much today. Our [steamboat] Constitution is a slow one. 2 boats have passed us already. All the soldiers seem to enjoy it fine. Joined in the dance at night.

Sunday, 6. Sleep on the floor & have to arise too early. Some of the boys drink until they are inclined to be troublesome — none in my Company yet. They had preaching in the cabin today. I read novelette most of the day. Keep up a thinking of how to pass my 30 days visit.

March, Monday, 7, 1864. Arrived in Helena [Arkansas] about sunrise. The solders yelled for Joy & could hardly wait for the boat to land. Run all over the place. I went up to Nixon’s. Got a good breakfast & Lieut. Tucker’s trunk that we left there. Stopped an hour. The day was away slowly. Pleasant though.

Tuesday, 8. Arrived in Memphis Tennessee about 1 o’clock last night. I went up in town early. Got a big breakfast, then run about. Had trouble getting feed for horse. Come near being left. Had to leave my feed. Started at noon. Running faster now. Unloaded some there. I got a room — No. 15.

Wednesday, 9. Pleasant morning. I got a good sleep though have some headache today. Staying in my room. Wrote some letters and feel as though I hardly knew what to do when I get up North. Sometimes would as soon not go.

March, Thursday, 10, 1864. Moving as slow as ever. I looked at the towns Hickman & Columbus & the old battleground of Belmont as long as they was in sight. Arrived in Cairo in the P.M. stopping over an hour. Left part of the Regiment who take the cars here.

Friday, 11. Moving a little faster since unloaded so much. Can see nothing very pleasant along here. Boys all very quiet & tired of the Constitution.

Saturday, 12. Found myself in St. Louis. Got up early [and] went out through the city. Bought clothing. I tried to get paid. Citizens gave us a reception supper at Turner’s Hall [at 10th Street between Walnut and Market]. Hurrying times to get back to the boat Lucy Bertram. Left at 6 o’clock P.M.

Arrived Home [in Mt. Pleasant]

March, Sunday, 13, 1864. Stormy day. Good rest last night. We are moving rapidly towards Keokuk. I fixed up all the boys’ furloughs. Stopped at all the towns along the river. Arrived at Keokuk about 10 o’clock at night.

Monday, 14. Cold & freezing. I had to run over town till nearly froze last night. Slept none. We took the cars at 8 AM. Run to Ottumwa & stayed there till 4 P.M. Arrived in Mt. Pleasant just after dark. Could hardly get off the cars for the crowd. I come home with [brother] John.

Tuesday, 15. Weather cold & disagreeable. At home all day & feel lonesome. Suffer considerable with cough. Feel tired & sleepy. Jim Chandler come down tonight.

Home, Again

Lot arrives home on 30-day furlough in March 1864

Lot arrives home on 30-day furlough in March 1864

March, Wednesday, 16. 1864. Cold, clear & thawing. Noah & Sallie come over, Sission arrived with [my horse] old Ballee. He has stood the trip well. I went to Dick’s awhile, then to the grand festival at Coiner’s tonight. Met many friends there.

Thursday, 17. Cool in morning. Pleasant day. I rode to town with Dick. Went to the doctor’s. Got home late in the evening, tired & sleepy. No one here tonight. Went to bed early.

Friday, 18. Very cold this morning. By the fire & I kept close to it until about 3 P.M. Rode over to Miller’s to see the folks. Stayed for supper. Went out to Bogus Corner to an Exhibition at night. House crowded. No seats & poor show. Cold ride home.

March, Saturday, 19. 1864. I can hardly stand the cold. Hate to leave the House. Mother & I went to Dick’s for dinner, then down to the graveyard. Took a look at the old scenes along the Branch. At home tonight. Feel lonesome.

Sunday, 20. Very cold weather. My cough remained about the same. I feel well. Went to Old Liberty to singing at 3 P.M. Then down to Andrew’s at night. Stayed till after midnight.

Monday, 21. 1864. Weather clear & cold. I went to town with Lige. [on] horseback. Got back before night. Then went with the crowd to Beery’s. Went in the wagon — 4 horses. Crowded House. Rough dance & jolly time.

March, Tuesday, 22. 1864. Got only a short nap. Up early. Allen come down this morn. I went with John & the girls to town in the P.M. Hort went up with us. Got back before dark. Went to bed early.

Wednesday, 23. Good sleep last night. Feel fine this morning. Started about 10 A.M. Took dinner with Lea’s. Crossed the river. Called at several places & got to the dance 4 P.M. Good supper before night. Then to Dancing.

Thursday, 24. Very pleasant today. We got but little sleep last night. I visited Nickelson’s today. Came home alone in the evening. Went to the Squire’s to the Festival House. Crowded &c. News from the Company tonight.

March, Friday, 25. 1864. Warm, & a little rainy. I got enough sleep from midnight till 8 A.M. Then got up & ready for a ride to A. J. Spearman’s sale. Found a big crowd there & stayed till all sales were over. Come home. Went to Forbes.’ Stayed till night, then went to neighbor Wurth’s & danced.

Saturday, 26. Come in at 3 this morning. Slept till 9 A.M. Rode up to Mt. Pleasant in the P. M. John sowed wheat. Worked Ballee. I met Dan in town. Got home after dark. Stayed at home all night. Easter.

Sunday, 27. Cloudy and rainy in the morning. I rode down to Dick’s. Stayed for dinner. Went up to singing. Was too late. High winds tonight. I stayed at home. Becky, Kate, Sallie all here.

March, Monday, 28. 1864. Raining & disagreeable. Was about home all day. The prospect for a dance was not very flattering, though after sending for Beery’s girls & a few others, we made it go. Danced till 2 o’clock, then I went to Dick’s [and] stayed all night.

Tuesday, 29. Rainy & cold. Come up home early. Wanted to go to town. Hated to try it. Finally started & had a rough ride. Got mail. Hurried home late in the evening & went to the supper at Mr Bebb’s. Got home late. Very tired.

Wednesday, 30 Cloudy. No rain today. I started for Ohio [to see Neal]. John brought me over to Sallies. Stopped for dinner, then hurried but missed the train at London. Went up to Mt. Pleasant on night train. Started at 8 o’clock. Run down to Burlington. Stayed over night at the Burlington House.

Chicago, Indianapolis, Cinn. & Marietta Ohio

March, Thursday, 31. 1864. Took the train east at 1 o’clock. Enjoyed the ride fine. Arrived in Chicago after dark. Was detained only a short time. Could see but little in the night. Run on to Michigan City there trouble began. Engine off the track &c.

April, Friday 1. Behind time in Lafayette this morning & had to lay over till 4 PM. Run to Indianapolis. Had to lay over a while & run over the city some. Started for Cincinnati at 7. Had bad lunch. Engine off the track kept us waiting. I slept some in the cafe.

Lot travels to Ohio to see Neal while on furlough.

Lot travels to Ohio to see Neal while on furlough.

Saturday 2. Arrived in Cincinnati first at daylight & I was in good time for once. Met Miss Fairfield in an omnibus after coming all the way together. Took that train at 8 a.m. Run all day through Ohio Hills. Arrived in Marietta after dark. Stopped at the National Hotel. I had good luck.

April, Sunday, 3. 1864 Late breakfast this morn. Then started in a buggy with [Neal’s cousin,] Hiram True over bad roads. 6 miles brought us to Rufus Alden’s. Found them absent. Then we started on foot crossed the [Muskingum] River. Scared Neal a little as she wasn’t looking for me. Came back to Rufus Alden’s in the evening.

Monday, 4. Rainy all day. We thought of going up to Duck Creek but had to give it up & be content watching the Muskingum River, its hills & valley — what little we could see from the windows. Oh what a lonesome place.

Tuesday, 5. Cloudy but pleasant today. I don’t feel so lonesome as yesterday. We took a walk in the A. M. After dinner I went to get a horse & buggy. Got Mr. Barker to bring his down to town. Had a fine ride only while I walked. Got to see Lib & Charley. Had a good time generally.

Chicago, Illinois

April, Wednesday, 6. 1864. Had no trouble getting ready for the train this morning and at 7 o’clock A. M., I bid adieu to all I knew of Marietta. Left for home. Had a lonesome ride in a crowded car. Just in time in Cincinnati. Run all night taking the air line R. R.

Col. Wood's Museum in Chicago

Col. Wood’s Museum in Chicago

Thursday, 7. I slept fine for such fast running. Arrived in Chicago just a little too late for the 8:15 a.m. train for Burlington. Have to wait till 11:30. Tonight took a good tramp over the city [of Chicago] seeing the sights. Got some pictures taken. Met J. Monger in the evening. Went to [Col. J. H.] Wood’s Museum [on Randolph Street] & Theater.

Friday, 8. They waked me at 7 oclock at Galesburg. Got to Burlington at 11 a.m. Met Dan. Went up to cousins, stayed for dinner & until 3:30. Took the train. Come to Mt. Pleasant. It rained steady all day. I made several calls. Went to Barnes.’

Home Again [in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa]

April, Saturday, 9. 1864. Rainy & Raining. I got a good sleep got up late. Come out home with H. Andrews. Found all well. No news today. I looked about over the place this evening. Went up to the Union League tonight. Cleared off today.

Sunday, 10. Clear and pleasant. All mud under foot. Went to the chapel in the wagon. Heard a Sunday sermon. Come home to singing at 3 o’clock. ‘Tis a fine day at home. Tonight feel lonesome. Wrote some letters.

Monday, 11. Commenced raining this morning. [Sister] Mag & I went to town in the P. M. [on] horseback. Stopped at Mr. Blakemore’s. Come home & I stayed at home tonight. Speaking at the schoolhouse. John & Mag went.

Off for War Again

April, Tuesday, 12, 1864. Cold and windy. I rode up to Jenkin’s & Dickey’s. Went to Mr. Horsey’s. In the evening to a stylish supper. Had fun. Went to Brandford’s at night & employed a good dance until 2 o’clock.

Wednesday, 13. Sleepy this morning had to get up early. ‘Tis pleasant this morn. Stayed about the house while John went to town. 2 P.M. we rode down to the timber & to Cure’s. Got back before dark. All the family at home tonight. Good supper.

Thursday, 14. cloudy & cool. I got up early. Come to town in the wagon after bidding adieu to home again for 3d time. Mt. Pleasant crowded full [in the] evening. Left there at 12:30 P.M. Mag & John with me. Found steamer Jennie Whipple waiting for us at Burlington. All aboard. I left those dear ones there. Had a rough time.

Davenport Iowa

April, Friday, 15, 1864. A rough crowded time we had last night. Slept on the floor. Landed in Davenport just after day[light]. Stopped for breakfast. Then went out to Camp McClellen. It rained. Officers all went back to town. I stayed here. Drew rations &c. Took a good rest.

Saturday, 16. Cleared up awhile this morn. I read novel. Come down to town & stopped at Burtis House for dinner. Read the news from [Battle of] Fort Pillow &c. Went back to camp 3 P.M. with a dray. Brought the Company down & come on board the Savanna. Started down river at dark.

Sunday, 17. Passed Burlington before I got up. I am trying to make up lost time. We run on the rapids & halted on account of the wind. Lay there all day & started over at dark. Had to give it up. I enjoyed the time fine.

Enroute for Dixie

April, Monday, 18, 1864. Another birthday & I am still spared. How fast the years pass. Is a cool, pleasant day. We stopped only a short time in Keokuk. I read most of the day. Got acquainted with the Ladies & had a good time with Miss Mary Graves. She kept me from getting lonesome.

Tuesday, 19. Arrived in St Louis about 8 o’clock. I took a big tramp over the city. Come back & we moved over on Steamer Nebraska. I bid my Mary & her friend good bye. Meet up in town in the P.M. to see the sights. Come back, took a nap, then went to the theatre with a crowd of Co. D. Had a good time.

Levee at Cairo, Illinois (1864)

Levee at Cairo, Illinois (1864)

Wednesday, 20. Awoke this morning to find the boat under way & that I had come near losing my breakfast. Had a poor breakfast. Read till about 11 o’clock, then went to sleep. Slept till 4 P.M. Missed dinner. On hand for supper. We tied up to Illinois shore for night. Was stopped.

April, Thursday, 21, 1864. Danced till late last night & was in Cairo when I got up this morn. I come up to town for breakfast, then wrote a few lines to Neal. ‘Tis cloudy & rainy. I run all over the town. Can get good ale & have fun. Went to the Theatre. Got back to boat at midnight.

Friday, 22. Raining hard yet I stayed in. The Col. come down on J. C. Swan with horses. We started about noon. Boat down to water’s edge. I fear she will sink. Slept some in the P. M. Read awhile. Feel rather down to night. [Editor’s Note: The capacity of the steamboat J. C. Swan was 1,000 men, 250 animals, and 30 wagons.]

Saturday, 23. Moving slowly along. I was up early. My old disease is with me again. Only free 2 month’s. Wrote a letter to [sister] Maggie. ‘Tis cloudy and rainy again & very windy. I read a novel. Stayed close in my room. Got to Memphis about 10 in the night.

Memphis, Tenn.

April, Sunday, 24, 1864. Cloudy and cool today. We come off the boat early. Quartered in old depot. I got boarding at the Charleston House close by. Feel badly disappointed in not getting to go on to the other boys at Vicksburg. Read a novel and kept still all day.

Monday, 25. A warm, fine day. We divided the horses & moved out to camp. Got up our tents. Issued horses & equipment to 45 men. Got along fine. Busy all day & feel well contented. Got boarding close to the Company.

Tuesday, 26. Revelle & Roll call at daybreak. Got 25 more horses making 81. I was among the horses most of the day. ‘Tis very warm. Not much news today and I don’t care about reading either. Can’t think of writing yet.

April, Wednesday, 27, 1864. Weather clear & warm in camp all day and nothing to do. Sent some of the horses and had them shod. I read some good stories in the [W.W.?] Read the news. Went to horses to water once.

Thursday, 28. Stormy night last. Cloudy & rainy today. I drilled the Company 9 o’clock. Then went to water with Viem. Stopped in town a short time. Got home before dinner. It rained hard this evening. I wrote some letters.

Friday, 29. Cloudy & rainy. We got some Sharp carbines & issued them to the men. The Regiment arrived from Vicksburg. I got to work at Muster Rolls. Have just 100 men present. It rained hard this evening. We got orders to move at 6 A.M. tomorrow.


April, Saturday, 30, 1864. I wrote nearly all last night. ‘Tis raining hard yet. We had a miserable batch of confusion getting ready. Moved out in the morning. I got out 87 men. Rode steady all day. Passed through Germantown & Collinsville & within 5 miles of Moscow — about 65 miles.

Sunday, 1. Had a good soft bed last night & took a good sleep. Clear & cool this morning. Started early. Come 5 miles to Wolf River. Have to build a bridge. Stayed all day. ‘Tis very pleasant & we have good grounds. Took it easy. They got the bridge (a pontoon) done after dark.

Monday, 2. Up early. Got ready & into line for a start & the bridge broke down. Drowned a team. We unsaddled. They built a solid bridge then & it took all day. Crossed just before dark. Rode about 20 miles over rough roads & had a sleepy time. Camped in the woods at 3 o’clock in night. ‘Tis cold.

Scouting in Tennessee

May, Tuesday, 3, 1864. The sun was up when we awoke. Got corn to feed. Breakfasted about 8 A.M. & remained there in the sun until 2 P.M. Then moved for Bolivar 18 miles where we arrived about 10 o’clock & camped on the Hachie River. They are building a bridge near it. Slowly.

Wednesday, 4. Hot day. We are in the sun waiting on the bridge while it progresses slowly. Went on picket at noon with Co D. Divided them & sent some in every direction. The scouts report Forrest near this evening. I rode all round the lines in the night. Found all quiet.

Thursday, 5. Slept awhile in an old barn. All quiet this morn. Troops moving out on the Ps Road. I took off the pickets & followed up. Overtook our Regiment about 2 P.M. marching rapidly in direction of Ripley. Crossed the state line this evening into Mississippi. Camped in the woods & went to sleep hungry. Have nothing to eat.

Scouting in Mississippi

May, Friday, 6, 1864. One ear of corn to the horse this morning. No breakfast. Rode forward 8 miles & halted. Sent out & got corn. Reconnoitered all through the country. Found nothing of importance. Got rations this evening & eat hearty & the boys quieted down.

Saturday, 7. All quiet. The infantry moved out westward early. We are here yet. 10 a.m. ‘Tis very pleasant & I feel well contented. Moved at 11 & took it slow. Passed through Salem in the evening. Marched 15 miles. Camped here in the brush after dark.

Sunday, 8. Weather very pleasant & all quiet. We are informed that we will stay here all day. I read the Bible awhile. The time passed slowly. Boys hungry & can’t be kept in camp. Got plenty of forage & meat. They got up a big scare in the evening. Had us into line quicker.

Returning from Scout

May, Monday, 9, 1864. Took a good rest last night again & was ready for an early move. Rode steady all day. Crossed the state line into Tennessee again. Camped on our old ground on the R. R. near Moscow. Got plenty of feed off the cars. Hear that Grant is moving in Va. About 24 miles.

Tuesday, 10. Commenced raining in the night. We had prepared a good shelter & was undisturbed by it. Started early in the rain and moved along as usual to Germantown (20 miles) where we camped in the woods & enjoyed another storm & rain and rough time generally.

Wednesday, 11. Suffered with cold last night. It cleared off this morning early. We moved at 10 A.M. and come to Memphis (5 miles) & again we enjoy camp, though a poor one. Found plenty of letters & much news from Grant’s army. I find 2 Lieuts. here on duty now.

Memphis, Tenn.

May, Thursday, 12, 1864. Clear and cold this morning. I couldn’t sleep much & got up early. Don’t feel very well satisfied with the way things are running. Wrote some & answered many questions during the day. Got the Company started along its course again. Good news from Grant.

Friday, 13. Up early. ‘Tis a fine day. Finished up my Muster Rolls & hardly know where to begin with my work next. Feel a little better contented today. Got home letters this evening & good news from war [in Virginia]. Get on slowly with my work.

Saturday, 14. A fine day. I was up early & ready for inspection — the regular monthly event off & took most of the day. I felt rather awkward with my surroundings. Don’t see how to help it yet. I keep busy looking over my papers & hardly know where to begin on ’em.

May, Sunday, 15, 1864. Weather very pleasant. The news from the armies continues good though the loss is heavy. I feel an awful dread all the time & will till the decision. Got to work today though ’tis very tiresome & annoying to me at present. I quit before night. Couldn’t work for thinking of six weeks ago.

Monday, 16. Worked at my C. C. & G. E. Returns had Hort & John helping me. We got along fine. The good news continues coming from the East to cheer the soldiers’ dreary life. That with a good letter late from Neal makes me almost happy this fine moonlight night.

Tuesday, 17. At the same business yet and get discouraged badly sometimes. Looked over my ordinance awhile today. Find that very discouraging. News good today yet. I wrote a letter to Neal after I quit work tonight.

May, Wednesday, 18, 1864. Weather clear, warm, and pleasant. I wrote slowly at my returns & get along very slow. Working at the C. C. & G Equipage now. They moved part of our Regiment. We will all move near a mile N. E. tomorrow. I hate to give up my room now. The news continues good.

Thursday, 19. Moved camp this A. M. & I could’nt get much done at my papers. Lt. Ogg got his order for vet. furlough & got ready to leave. We have a fine camp down there & I guess I’ll have to give up my room & stay there. No news today. ‘Tis very dry & dusty.

Friday, 20. Warm and dusty. I got up late. Went to camp after breakfast; then to the city. Then Ogg and others start home. Came back through the city. Worked some this P.M. We started our mess this evening. News is good yet though we are almost trembling for fear of a change.

May, Saturday, 21, 1864. Don’t feel altogether right. Got up rather late. Walked down to the Company & back. Begin to think that won’t pay. Fixed up my C. C. & G. E. Return for April & worked at my Ordinance Returns some. Moved my desk &c. up here to Company Headquarters tonight and shall stay with them now.

Sunday, 22. Hot, dry, & very dusty. Had Company inspection at 10 and 4. Read the articles of war to the men. Then lounged about until water call P.M. I took the company down again. Had trouble to keep the men in ranks.

Monday, 23. As per order of yesterday evening, I reported to Gen. Grierson at 7 ½ o’clock a.m. with 50 men for patrol duty. Got instructions & sent the men over town. I remained at court square. Had no trouble. Stayed in the city & went to the National Theatre. They gave a benefit to the M. V. S. Fair. Had a dull time of it & walked home.

May, Tuesday, 24, 1864. Cooler today. In camp all day working at the C. C. & G. E. papers most of the time. Had an inspection of the saddles — missing only one–one sabre minus only. The boys are having a swinging this evening. No later news yet.

Wednesday, 25. Pleasant today. I went with the Company to river to water through clouds of dust and the day passed away quickly while I was not doing much. ‘Tis thought that Grant is on the move again & we have all confidence in him. No mail.

Thursday, 26. The bugle routed me last night but ’twas a false alarm. ‘Tis pleasant today. We had an inspection of unserviceable ordinance stores & I had a Board of Survey at work for me. I’m getting along finely with my papers &c. Got a late letter from [sister] Maggie this evening. She’s lonesome, it seems.

May, Friday, 27. Pleasant most of the day. I went on duty as Div. Officer of the Day & rode hard till dark. Visited a post on each road leading from the city — 9 in all. The news is good from N. S. G. to day. Lee retreating. I feel very tired tonight.

Saturday, 28. Started early. Sent out the new guard. Then went down on post 8, Hernando Road, where the Sergt. had some trouble. I fixed it all up. Arrested a straggler & took him to Gen. Grierson. Met Capt. Huff & we went on around. News good yet. I’m tired.

Sunday, 29. Another fine day. I wrote a letter to Neal & hadn’t got quite done when to arms sounded. Had Company inspection that lasted till after noon. 3 P.M. Hort & I took a ride down to the cemetery & looked around awhile. Got orders for a scout with 2 days rations & started 10 o’clock at night.

Scouting, 2nd Sturgis Expedition

Samuel D. Sturgis

Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis

May, Monday, 30, 1864. Rode steady all night & arrived in Hernando at sunrise. Found all quiet. The Rebs have left the place. We turned back taking a new road. Stopped & fed & slept awhile. Moved on through heat & dust. Arrived in camp about 9 o’clock at night. Tired & sleepy.

Tuesday, 31. In camp all day working at my papers. Couldn’t do much though. ‘Tis hot, dusty & disagreeable everywhere. In the P.M., we got ordered to be ready to march at 6 a.m. tomorrow. Then went to work getting ready.

June, Wednesday 1. Started at the hour appointed with 70 men. 700 in the Regiment and 8,000 in the command. Under Gen. [Samuel D.] Sturgis again. Hot & very dusty marching & we moved briskly along till about 3 P.M. when suddenly the clouds gathered & poured out a heavy rain. We halted awhile for it. Then moved on to Collinsville & camped, making it at 25 miles.

On the March

June, Thursday, 2, 1864. A rainy night. Took a good sleep. Started early & marched 7 miles to Lafayette. ‘Tis cloudy & rainy. We are camped in the woods on Wolf River. I took command of 1st Battalion. Moved out about 5 oclock P.M. & traveled in the rain 7 miles. Camped in the woods. ‘Tis dark & rainy. No feed for horses.

Friday, 3. Cloudy & rainy today. We started about 8 a.m., marched steady till 2 p.m., & camped on a hill. Passed the little village of Lamar. There took the left hand road. 1st Brigade went to the right. Traveled about 16 miles today. The infantry following slowly.

Saturday, 4. Rained very hard last night & on till about 9 this morning. We moved out at 8 o’clock & had a muddy ride. “Tis hot awhile, then cloudy & rainy. We halted & had a good feed of corn. Come through Selina a mile this side & camped. Not over 8 miles today. The train can hardly get along. It cleared off this evening. Co D went on picket.

Scouting in Mississippi

Lot describes the skirmish at Ripley, MS while foraging on 7 July 1864

Lot describes the skirmish at Ripley, MS while foraging on 7 July 1864

June, Sunday, 5, 1864. Clear, cool & pleasant. I don’t feel very well yet & get no better fast. We moved camp 2 miles further on, arriving here at noon & have a fine grove. Got plenty feed & rations in the evening & moved out just before dark. I brought up the rear & had a sleepy time of it. Rode near 10 miles & camped in the brush at midnight.

Monday, 6. The rain waked me after daylight as we didn’t take time to put up shelters. Got nothing to eat & feel considerable down. The Regiment moved out & left my Battalion. Rained so hard I couldn’t hear the bugles. Soon overtook them & had a tedious ride of about 10 miles & camped in Ruckersville. No feed.

Tuesday, 7. Remained in camp until after noon & got a little corn. Moved south 10 miles to Ripley. Was going into camp. I was started after forage & got into a fight. Had only Co D with me. We went in most too far, got no support, [and] had to fall back in a hurry. Just accidentally saved ourselves.

Sturgis Disaster; Scouting in MIssissippi

June, Wednesday, 8, 1864. Cloudy & raining. All quiet. The Rebels left in the night. We sent out & got corn. Fed & remained in camp until 1 o’clock P.M. I took a nap, then moved across over on the Fulton road. Had a rough road of it. Camped in the brush left of road. No feed tonight.

Thursday, 9. A rainy night & rough time. Sent out for corn early. Got but little. Part of the big train started back to Memphis. I sent some letters. We moved at noon, marched 7 miles, & camped in a pasture right of road. Sent out & got plenty of corn. Stormy night.

Friday, 10. Moved out early. Went 10 miles & met the Rebels at 11 o’clock A.M. 1st Brigade of Cavalry went in 1st. We went in about noon & there in that thick brush at Brice’s cross roads [we] witnessed sights & heard noises that will never be forgotten. Infantry got cut all to pieces. Had our artillery taken & was in full retreat at sundown. Badly whipped.

Lot summarizes the defeat at Brice's Crossroads where they were "badly whipped."

Lot summarizes the defeat at Brice’s Crossroads where they were “badly whipped.”

Wikipedia’s “Factors Leading to the Union Loss”
In correspondence with General Sturgis, Colonel Alex Wilkin, commander of the 9th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment gave several reasons for the loss of the battle.[3] He stated that General Sturgis, knowing that his men were under-supplied, having been on less than half rations, had been hesitant to advance on the enemy, but had done so against his better judgment because he had been ordered to do so. When the cavalry had engaged the enemy, many of the infantry had been ordered to advance double-time to support the cavalry, and in their weakened condition, many had fallen out in the advance. Those who did arrive were exhausted at the beginning of the battle, while the Confederates were fresh, and well fed owing to a large supply in their rear.
img27The roads were also wet due to a recent rain storm, that slowed the advance of the supply wagons and ammunition train, and several men were employed to try to make the roads passable. Additionally, the horses pulling the trains were poorly fed because there was little in the way of forage for them to eat along the way. This accounted for Forrest’s capture of the artillery and supplies.
Intelligence had entirely favored the South, because the Confederates had been constantly fed information about the position and strength of the Union army from civilians in the area, while Sturgis had received no such intelligence. Because of this information, the South had been able meet the Union Army at a place where they could ambush Sturgis and make retreat as difficult as possible (Tishomingo Creek was in their rear with only a single bridge as a crossing point.) This place was close to the Confederate supply depot, and very far from the Union’s.
When the retreat had occurred, with food and supplies exhausted, many of the Union soldiers were unable to retreat with the rest because of fatigue. This was much of the reason why so many Union soldiers were captured during the battle.
Finally, Wilkin stated that the rumors that Sturgis had been intoxicated during the battle were entirely false.

Retreat from Guntown

June, Saturday, 11, 1864. A ruined army retreated all night. Lost all our train. Abandoned all artillery that was not taken [by the enemy] & could see nothing but confusion & rout. Rebels come up with us at daylight. Four hit hard in Ripley & got routed. They passed us hard, took all the infantry, then we come faster. All I knew how & kept the 1st Battalion together (except Co. A). The boys done well. The Rebels gave up the chase at dark.

Sunday, 12. Rode hard all night, sleepy and tired & almost out of ammunition. Oh, how I dreaded daylight. ‘Twas my 1st real fear. No Rebs come & we halted at Collinsville about 8 A.M. Here ended our retreat of about 100 miles without rest, food, or sleep. I had to keep busy & got no rest here and we started at dark for another night march.

Monday, 13. Halted at the cavalry camp at White Station just at daylight. I went to sleep & awoke at 1 a.m. feeling rather used up. Got something to eat & went to work. Sent 150 of the Regt (25 of Co. D) back to Collinsville. We come on to camp. News, letters, good supper &c. followed the arrival & I find the loss in Co. D to be Haines 2nd & Saxton.

Memphis, Tenn.

June, Tuesday, 14, 1864. Not up very early this morning. Got to work about 7 o’clock but can’t do much for the talk, confusion &c. among the boys. One man Williams shot his hand. I wrote some letters & don’t feel very well. Got no news. Stragglers continue to come in from the battle.

Wednesday, 15. Sick all last night & in bed most of today. Doing nothing yet & feel badly discouraged. Worked awhile at my returns. Took a ride in the evening. Went to the 45th Iowa to see the boys from Mt. Pleasant. [They are] 100-day men [and] they don’t know but little of soldiering yet. I got back late.

Thursday, 16. Feel better today & went to work with fingers & brains. But oh, ’tis so tedious. I wish I was anything else but a Captain. It won’t pay. Rained in the P. M. Wrote a letter to friend Mary Graves in the evening. Getting along fine with my papers now. Only a little discouraged (thats all).

June, Friday, 17, 1864. Worked slow and steady all the time & don’t stop to think of anything else often. Sent the horses off to graze. Feel a little cross. Eat hearty & live well. Got milk & butter so fine. News is good from Grant. Wrote a whole sheet to Neal — late.

Saturday, 18. A clear warm day. Was most of the day finishing up my Ord. Return of 1st Quarter of 1864. Guess ’tis done now. 4 P.M. & fed some. Relieved, though hardly know where to begin next. Have so much to do yet. No news yet. Some talking of marching soon. ‘Tis very warm tonight.

Sunday, 19. Clear & very hot. We had to wait until nearly out of patience for inspection. The regular monthly inspection went off & took most of the day. I tried to sleep some in the P.M. [but] couldn’t for heat this &c. In the evening, heard [Rev.] Mr. [P. P.] Ingalls’ [of Mt. Pleasant] lecture representing the interest of the soldiers’ Orphan Asylum.

June, Monday, 20, 1864. Another Hot day. I kept as busy as possible writing. Trying to account for losses in the late battles. Got up a subscription of 258 dolls for the Iowa State Orphan Asylum. Strong talk of the Pay Master & the pending expedition. Not much news now days.

Tuesday, 21. Pay Master failed to come & we still wait. I wrote most of the time. Let P. attend the calls, though the Sergeants do most of it. No news today. All in anxious suspense.

Wednesday, 22. P.M. Came early & we got the Green Backs again. Then of course all hands wanted to go to town. I let them go. Went myself awhile. Come back in the rain late in the evening. Pickel & 15 men had gone off on guard for 3 days. I put up the boys’ money tonight ($3,200).


On the March again

June, Thursday, 23, 1864. No sign of starting yet & no news today. I let many of the boys go to the city and of course a portion of them got drunk. I went with them to water. Not doing much to day. Wrote some letters tonight & was disturbed by drunken rows until midnight.

Friday, 24. All quiet this morning. We went to the river to water earlier. Got ready & moved out at 9 oclock, through the heat. Rested at White Station a short time, then moved on to Germantown. Camped on the old camp ground on the hill N.E. of the villa. It looks a little like rain.

Saturday, 25. A very Hot Day. We moved at 6 o’clock taking it moderate. Had us trouble on expedition. My Battalion in rear & had to take the rear of the train. Rested awhile at Lafayette & moved on. Found a heavy force of infantry & cavalry on Wolf River. We crossed over & camped in the brush just north of Moscow.

Expedition under Gen. A. J. Smith

Gen. Andrew J. Smith

Gen. Andrew J. Smith

June, Sunday 26, 1864. Moved out of that brush early, came back across the river & camped in a fine grove expecting to remain 3 or 4 days. No news of importance. I read most of the time — a little book called, 3 years in Rebel Army. Moved on in the evening, rode 10 miles to Lagrange. Camped. My bath in door yard, midnight.

Monday, 27. Slept undisturbed until after sunup. All quiet about this village. We started to move camp. Couldn’t find a better one & came back to old one. Troops arriving all day. I took a sleep. The cars arrived about 1 P.M. I tried to get rations but failed. Warm tonight.

Tuesday, 28. Moved out at daylight & had a hot ride of 9 miles to Salisbury. I was in advance (Co. K. vanguard). Seen some Rebs. Camped in the brush south of the villa about 11 A.M. ‘Tis the hottest day yet. Only the 4th & 10th Missouri here. The Rebs are just ahead of us destroying the R. R. I slept awhile in the P.M. All quiet.

(Salisbury) On Expedition in Tennessee

June, Wednesday, 29. 1864. A quiet night. We got good rest. Have no news yet. All taking it easy in this hot brush (10 A.M.) Boys all lively & seem to be contented lying about in the shade though is very hot. No news of any kind. We are just picketing the roads, &c. I have nothing to read now & feel lost.

Thursday, 30. Cool enough to sleep good last night. I dreamed of home again. 3rd time since leaving camp. Begin to fear there’s something wrong. ‘Tis another hot day. We sent back to Grand Junction last night. Got feed & rations but no mail yet. I got to see a paper of 23rd inst. The news don’t discourage me any. I talked with Col. Winslow about going out of service this fall.

July, Friday 1. All quiet this morning. Nothing to do, I wish for something to read. We can hear cannon down about Ripley. Think a large portion of our force has gone off there. The cars came out here with feed. We got some letters, but no news and this is a very anxious time & looks rather gloomy.

Salisbury, Tennessee

July, Saturday 2, 1864. In camp doing nothing & learning less. ‘Tis becoming very tedious. I wrote Angeline a letter. Got to see a late paper. The news looks indecisive. I feel a little better over it than I have for a day or two. Another mail come. No letter from home yet. ‘Tis too bad. Hear that E. Heft died June 30th. Rainy tonight.

Sunday, 3. Cloudy & rainy this morning. All quiet. I sent out & got potatoes &c. Wrote some letters & wasn’t done when the Rebs came (1 o’clock P.M.). We had hurrying to & fro. I took post east on the R. R. [and] waited. A heavy force appeared north of us. We had to fall back. Ogg come out.

Monday 4. We expected a fighting celebration to begin early this morning. I had my Battalion ready before day[light]. It turned out all quiet. We went out through the villa [and] brought back hay. I remained quietly in shade all day. Had a good dinner. I enjoyed it fine. H. Pickel came with 10 men. Our Spencer & Carbines came & were issued to men. Col. Winslow had Officers Call. We all went.

Enroute for Ripley, Mississippi

July, Tuesday, 5. 1864. All quiet and nothing doing. Lieut. Pickel went back to camp. Read a novel called Luona Prescott based on Arnold’s military career (’tis good). ‘Twas a hot day until 4 P. M. when raining set in. We got orders & moved out at dark on the Ripley Road. Had a sleepy tedious ride of 8 miles. It took till 2 o’clock.

Wednesday, 6. Got a little sleep. ‘Tis very hot & we remain by road side. Water scarce & far off. Moved on at 2 P.M. Took the right-hand road. Expected a fight late in the evening. Camped at cross roads (late in eve). No news. The infantry is coming up.

Thursday, 7. Moved early. The 2nd Iowa Cavalry in advance of ours. Commenced skirmishing soon. We come into the road and retreated over June 11th. I took the left flank awhile, then dismounted but the Rebs fell back & we went into camp on the creek. Have marched about 10 miles today. It rained this evening. Mail come up, but none for me!

Enroute for Pontatoc

July, Friday, 8 1864. Reveille at 3 o’clock & moved out at daylight. Our brigade in front. I’m in rear of Brigade. Some more mail come up & I got some letters. We passed through Ripley (3 miles). I took a good look at roads and places where we had no time to look June 11th. Found many graves, &c. Moved 6 miles S. E., then west 7 or 8 to the Pontatoc Road at — Can see the smoke from the camp of infantry.

Saturday 9. Reveille at 3 o’clock & started early. Our Brigade in rear today. We are on a rough old road on the left flank of the army/ ‘Tis a very hot day. We moved near 10 miles & camped about noon near New Albany. Sent over to the train & drew rations this P. M. It rained hard awhile.

Sunday 10. Moved before ’twas light. I took the advance, Co. D. vanguard, & after moving east 4 miles, we turned south & began skirmishing with quite a force of Reb Cavalry. Fought hardest in the village Plenitude & at Cherry Creek this side. I had the boys dismounted. Drove them upwards of [smudged] miles & ’twas so hot. 3d Iowa relieved us on top of hill (they skirmished). We camped before noon.

Pontotoc, Mississippi — Tupelo & its Battle

July, Monday 11. 1864. Rec’d orders to prepare for hard work today (60 rounds to the man). All ready & moved before day[light]. I’m in rear. Co. D rear guard & on the lookout. Skirmishing soon began in front (some cannoning) we got into Pontotoc about 10 o’clock (8 miles). The 3 columns of our army centered here & went into camp. We are in the brush N. E. of town. Have plenty to live on. It rained in the evening.

Tuesday, 12. No orders this morning & we are enjoying our camp. Some of the cavalry went out & got into a fight & fell back. I can’t see why we wait. Took a sleep in the A. M. It rained some in the — all quiet- this evening. No news.

Wednesday, 13. Moved out just at daylight rapidly. Our Brigade in front, 3rd ahead, & 4th next. Took the Tupelo Road. Infantry following & fighting soon commenced in front & in rear. Was kept up all day. Marched hard & reached Tupelo at 2 P.M. Tore up R. R. awhile then went back to the rear 5 miles. There was hard fighting there & Reb got whipped. We brought up the rear.

Battle of Tupelo

img26July, Thursday, 14. 1864. We got in & unsaddled at 11 last night. Slept fine till daylight when the fight began just where we left them last night (near 5 miles back). It raged with fury until about 10 o’clock A. M. when Brave Forrest fell back badly whipped. I was kept going forming &c. all day. There was some fighting on east side (or in rear). All quiet this evening. I had charge of the pickets. Put Co. D on.

Friday, 15. A little skirmishing on the south about 8 A. M. Our Brigade advanced on the Pontotoc road & brought on a fight. Fell back to battleground. Had some hot work, not much less. Rebs got another whipping on the same ground & we moved out on the Ripley Road, our Regiment in rear, & had some hard fighting. Infantry come back & drove Rebs again & we stopped in a swamp for night.

Saturday, 16. Revellie at 2 o’clock. We didn’t move out till daylight. Then most of the cavalry come to the front expecting the fight here today. They are fighting in rear & skirmishing in front but not very strong. I think the Rebs will be glad to give it up. I’ve came through Oldtown & Ellistown. Camped about 1 o’clock 2 miles this side of Ellistown. Rode 14 miles. ‘Tis a hot day.

Returning from Tupelo Mississippi

July, Sunday, 17. 1864. Had a big scare this morning about 2 o’clock. Heavy shooting on picket. We started at daylight. Come over some of the worst of hills. Bad roads to New Albany. Took the Holly Spring road. Came over a big swamp. Camped in the woods this side. 12 miles today. Ogg & I had read all the P. M. Henry foraged & got us plenty to eat.

Monday, 18. More shooting on picket last night to disturb my slumber. We moved early. Turned back, crossed the swamp, & took the Salem road & had a rough ride over hills through lonely pine woods. ‘Tis a sorrowful looking place. We left the infantry behind. I had to leave [Companies] D & K with them. We camped on the Tippah — a fine stream. I enjoyed the night fine. Went to sleep early.

Tuesday, 19. Moved shortly after daylight over the same rough country to Salem, 8 miles. Stopped here in shade & Henry got us a big dinner. Rations all gone & troops hungry. The infantry are behind & nearly starving. They arrived here in the evening & a train loaded with supplies came in from Lagrange. We got the news (outlines of it).

Lagrange, Tennessee

July, Wednesday, 20. 1864. Moved out early & traveled through heat & dust to Lagrange (16 miles) arriving just after noon. Stopped in thick brush on the Bank of Wolf River (a rough place). Got late papers & read some. No mail though. A good many of the officers took the cars for the city. Have orders to move early tomorrow.

Thursday, 21. Different orders this morning. We are to remain here today. I wrote a letter to [sister] Maggie &c. Then orders come to move. We got ready when that was countermanded & most of the officers went to camp. I was nearly mad then. Major told me I might go but nix. Ogg went up & got some good whiskey. We have rough living in this slough.

Friday, 22. Got orders to move at 6 ½ o’clock & got started this time. Slowly guarding a big wagon train through. I was in advance though & the day soon passed & we had made our 25 miles to Colliersville. Camped before dark on the creek N. E. We had a big time of it but I went to sleep early.

Returned to Memphis

July, Saturday 23, 1864. I don’t feel so well today. Had to bring up the rear & I dropped back a long ways. Took my own time & didn’t overtake any of them again. They rushed things. We got into camp at 4 P.M. dusty & tired. Read letters & papers during the evening.

Sunday, 24. Weather clear and very cool for this season of the year. I’m not doing anything today. Overhauling what was done on the Returns &c. while I was away. Find it bad. Worked with the horses until I got all straight this evening. Wrote some letters tonight.

Monday, 25. Weather cool and pleasant when we can keep out of dust. I looked over papers &c. Had John busy all the time. Fixed up Rolls for May & June. I wrote some letters & rested some. Don’t feel very good today. Got late papers & the news is encouraging though not very decisive.

Memphis, Tennessee

July, Tuesday, 26 1864. Weather good, though dry. I am not very busy, but keep thinking & tinkering & ready for anything that comes. I can’t do much at my returns just now. Read the news. It’s not much now though. Lieut. went to the city tonight.

Wednesday, 27. Weather unchangeable yet. We prepared for inspection. The regular monthly come off in the P. M. Dismounted on Company parade ground. I put in the P. M. at it on saddles, horses, &c. Commenced digging a well to water horses. No news today. No mail.

Thursday, 28. Cloudy this morning, only a little rain though. I am not doing much yet & time passes oh so slow. Nearly gives me the Blues. News of fighting near Helena & in Va. Our troops defeated. Guerrillas on the river &c. ‘Tis a squally time, but I hope it will come out all right.

July, Friday, 29 1864. A pleasant day. “Warm.” We have a little better news today, or ’tis not so bad as 1st reported. We are getting along fine with our well but oh, how long the days seem to me. Don’t feel well this evening. No word from home yet, though big mail. Wrote a letter to Neal late at night.

Saturday, 30. Cloudy warm & threatening rain all day. Lt. Ogg went scouting north [with] 30 men. 200 from the Regiment under Capt. Parsons. I have the headache severely & can’t be still. Time passed too slow. No news today. We went to the city to theatre tonight. Took 10 men.

Sunday, 31. Didn’t get up very early & don’t feel any better over the last night’s doings. Had Company inspection at 10 o’clock A. M. Made it short as ’twas hot work. Then I rested most of the day with headache &c. Read some stories in the P. M. No news today.

August, Monday, 1. 1864. We have been favored with a good rain during the night. I’m unable to navigate with any certainty today. Severe headache. No appetite. Billious &c. Was in bed most of the day. Got orders to move for Holly Springs tomorrow at 8 o’clock a.m. I went to work then & felt better.

Tuesday, 2. Hot day. I don’t feel well & give up going with the Regiment. They started at 7. I’ll go out on the cars in a day or 2. I set all the boys in camp at work. But behold, at noon the Regiment came back to wait until further orders. I went off my Returns for the month of July.

Wednesday, 3. Threatens rain. I commenced another well & tore the curb out of the old one. Got orders to move it at 12 ½ P.M. Moved out with [Companies] D & E & 3 wagons. Reported to Col. Benton on the P. Rail Road. Moved with them to the nonconner 8 miles & camped in the woods among Nigs.

Courtesy of University of Iowa, Iowa Heritage Digital Collections. Offered for Educational Use Only.

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