Monday the 1st April 1861
Cleared off this morning. I run about till noon tending to the hogs &c. Went to Levan’s. Miles Walter was here again & talked 2 or 3 hours about trading. Then I hitched up the mules. Charley & I hauled poles. John chopped.
Tuesday the 2nd
Clear & warm. We plowed all day. Finished the wheat ground. I plowed the mules.
Wednesday the 3rd
Looks like rain. We pitched in early, hauled out & sowed 20 bushels of wheat. It just finished the piece. John harrowed the mules & Charley drove the horses to a big brush. We turned on it & worked late. Threatens rain.
Thursday the 4th
Cloudy & windy. John finished brushing at noon. I cleaned some troughs &c. till noon. Old pump man come get his ponies, Charley, and put off again in a hurry. I drew all the water out of the stock well & cleaned it out good. John hauled some stone & we lined it up good to keep water out at top.
Friday the 5th
Rained some last night. We went & shelled 16 bushels of corn. I went to L_____’s [and] got my filly. John & Dan took the corn & went to mill about 3. Then I husked corn in the barn till night. Boys got home about 10. The day was clear & very warm.
Saturday the 6th
Raining — Raining. I got up early & run after the hogs till breakfast. Then stayed in the house awhile & watched the rain. It continued raining all day. Read most of the time. Went to the barn about 2 & stayed till night. Cloudy & rainy.
Sunday the 7th
Partly clear early. Soon clouded up & commenced sprinkling. Rain. We took the wagon to Chapel Hill and heard the Circuit Rider Hammond preach on the Sabbath Question. Text — Exodus 16–25. He takes the grounds that the Jewish Sabbath was the 6th day & was instituted for typical purposes & that the first day now is the seventh from creation. He preached about 2 hours. It rained all the time & we come home in the rain. I read a sermon by Fleming, a M. E. [Methodist Episcopal] Divine, to the same purport & I supposed that H’s was taken from it. The rain continued until bedtime & then increased its power.
Monday the 8th
Muddy, rainy. Raining. Shelled some corn.
Tuesday the 9th
We went to town with the wagon. Took some meal. Got 20 cts. Sold Henry for $110 (one hundred & ten dollars). Borrowed one to get home. It rained some today & is muddy for keeps.
Wednesday the 10th
Cloudy and rainy. I took mules & went to the saw mill. Loomis’ have bought Cure out & they are sawing for us. Brought up a small load, then went back. Broke coupling of wagon. Butted off all the hogs. Brought home lumber.
Thursday the 11th
Partly clear in the forenoon. We hauled some poles, fixed the lot fence down there, hung the meat &c. I went down to mill with 17 bushels corn & mules had pulling. It rained some. Started back with the meal about dark & had a time of it. Stalled — unloaded — pulled out — loaded up — stalled again, then come home with mules. Got Jule, went back & pulled it home. Got to bed a little after 12.
Friday the 12th
Rained all night after we went to bed & put it down all day. Read some till noon, then went down, shelled corn awhile. Partly clear tonight.
Saturday the 13th
Cleared off today. We played ball & jumped with Al Forbes all afternoon. Dan went to town Went over to Heater’s at night.
Sunday the 14th
Clear & pleasant. I was over at Heater’s till afternoon watching the boys jump &c. In the eve went down to Wurth’s to see Jim Cure. Got back about 9. Settled up with Dan [McCue] tonight about 12. John’s out.
Monday the 15th
Dan left this morn. We worked on the brush fence hauling brush to put on it &c. John took a load of corn to Dick’s. Afternoon, got it ground. We heard that Fort Sumter was taken by the enemy &c.
Tuesday the 16th
Clear & frosty. We went to town, took up some meal, got the plows sharpened, & heard the news of great preparations for War. Billy M. [Morehead] come home with us. Dick was up tonight.
Wednesday the 17th
Clear & cool. I took a load to mill — 6 bushels of wheat & corn, got it ground, got good flour. Sowed 4 bushels of oats this eve. John harrowed.
Thursday the 18th
Birthday. Windy. John harrowed the oats in & then harrowed down stalks till noon. Then we plowed & planted a potato patch & the garden.
Friday & Saturday
We plowed for corn in the west end of the field; I with the mules, John with Tip & Jule.
Sunday the 21st
Clear & warm. I went over to Forbes’ awhile to hear the news. ‘Tis no better. They had a meeting in town yesterday & have 80 men ready to start. I come home, got on Jule & rode through the timber awhile & up to the sawmill. Got home before night. The rest were running about.
Monday the 22nd
We plowed all day. ‘Twas very warm. Looks like rain at night.
Tuesday the 23d
It rained a little last night. We went to plowing & worked till 9. Then a big rain come up & poured down. We shelled some corn & worked on the brush fence till noon.
We went to plowing. I went to John W. Wilson’s & bought 3 hogs of him for 11 dollars — average about 80 lbs. Early Thursday morning went to Rays’, sold him 2 year old steer for ___ dollars. Went on to town. Had to wait an hour for the bank to open. Then withdrew out $20 dollars. Stayed in town till about 11. Saw the soldiers take the oath, heard all the news &c. Plowed afternoon. John finished harrowing out the corn ground (fall plowing) below the house — about 15 acres. We went & got the hogs home. Hauled them.
Cloudy part of the day but warm. We planted corn all day barefooted. Dick is moving the corn out of the house to move in again. It rained a little before I went to bed.
Rained a hard shower last night. I took 14 bushels corn down to the mill this morn & brought up a load for Dick’s. They moved all up today. Went down in the eve & got my meal. Clear.
Clear & cool. Ice this morn. I went through the regular routine. Took till about noon. Wrote a letter to Bob & Kate Blacker, then went up to the School House. A singing was appointed for 3 but few came out & very little interest was manifested. Come home & talked around till night. Wrote a letter to Uncle John McCue & one to W. Miller. Took till near 11.
We finished plowing out a land that we was on till noon. Then planted corn till night.
Tuesday the last of April 
Clear & cool. We finished planting that corn at noon. Then went to plowing.
Wednesday 1st day of May 1861
Weather clear & cool. We plowed all day.
Cloudy, cold & raining. I plowed till noon & finished the west 20 acres. John furrowed & Dick helped him till noon. Then we furrowed till night.
We finished furrowing, then planted till noon & it got so cold & windy we quit. Planted some potatoes &c. Fixed to go to town tomorrow.
Saturday 4th day
A heavy frost this morning. We cleaned up 8 bushels wheat, took that & 21 bushels meal & started to town (& lo the surprise that awaited us ‘ere we got there). Up by Mr. Lathan’s we met Uncle John McCue. I could hardly believe my eyes. Come back with him & John went on. Surprised mother still more. I went back to town with the mare, sold meal 23½, wheat 65 cts. Come home before night. Went to Cornwell’s. He is about to die. Then went to meeting. [Elder B. F.] Snook’s Meeting.
Sunday 5th day
Raining. Raining. I went up to Mr. Dickey’s to see Snook & stayed there till noon. It quit raining. Afternoon, I wrote to Uncle Griffin Abraham. Went to meeting at night. Snook preached on the Sabbath Question. Proved it to demonstration. Very windy.
Monday 6th day
Showery & windy. Hailed some. We hunted all day for a spotted 3 year-old steer & did not find him. Had a meeting at School House again tonight & organized a company.
Tuesday 7th day
I harrowed some & plowed till night. John planted potatoes & borrowed some. Finished the 20.
Wednesday the 8th May 1861
Clear & cool. We planted corn all day. Went down on the creek at night to Pigeon Roost & saw sights that have heretofore escaped my vision.
Thursday the 9th
We planted all day & had Jimmy Forbes dragging a log to break clods.
Friday the 10th
Frosty. Planted till noon & finished that piece & then went to plowing above the house. Plowed Saturday the 11th all day till 5 o’clock, then went and met with company to drill.
Sunday the 12th
Cloudy & raining. We started out to hunt the steer & found him easy. Then I played all day with a crowd of boys. Went in a swimming & it plowed on all week steady & finished early Thursday morning the 16th day. Then harrowed till supper, then took the steers to Ross’s. Had quite a time of it. Stopped at the chapel as we come home. George Edger & Mary Rebecca Spearman was married today.
Friday the 17th
Finished furrowing & planted the cane &c.
Saturday the 18th
Planted all day steady till supper. Then went & drilled till night. It rained a little at noon.
Sunday the 19th
Cloudy & warm. Walked to the Pint to Sunday School. They had quite an interesting group of Young America collected together & was teaching them all they could. I stayed there then till meeting was over, but didn’t go in the house. Come home & stayed till night (went to Heater’s awhile in the eve). It rained hard awhile.
Monday the 20th
It rained slowly all day. We shelled corn &c. ‘Twas cold.
Tuesday the 21st May 1861
Cleared off in the night & is warm today. I took 25 bushels corn & went to Beery’s [Mill] & got it ground (the creek had raised). Got home about 3 o’clock. John plowed for flax till noon, then planted. We planted till night.
Wednesday the 22nd
I plowed all day with the mules. Dick helped plant & they finished the corn.
Thursday the 23rd
We plowed all day. L. Horsey helped with his team. We plowed about 10 acres. Cloudy this eve.
Friday the 24th
Noah come over this morn early & sowed flax for us all day. John harrowed and brushed. It rained a little at times all day.
Saturday the 25th
Looks still more like rain. We finished sowing flax about 10. Then plowed the orchard. Then went to drill & put in the afternoon.
Sunday the 26th
We started early & went down on the creek to look for a cow & calf. Dick was with us. We went to Cure’s & stayed till middle afternoon, then come to the Mill pond, took a swim, come on home. I wrote a letter for mother & Uncle John to Uncle Patrick McCue. ‘Tis cloudy, windy, & cold.
Monday the 27th
Cleared off in the night. We went to planting corn the 2nd time between here & Dick’s. Plowed through one furrow in a row & planted about ½ of the way.
Tuesday the 28th
Finished about 10, then planted the orchard in beans. It rained some in the afternoon.
Wednesday the 29th May 1861
We took both teams & worked on the roads all day. In the evening we brought the pigs up that we bought from Dick’s. Went to Hartman’s & traded pigs with him.
Thursday the 30th
I harrowed corn till noon today. Then fixed for shearing sheep & Dick helped me. We sheared a few in the evening. John plowed & harrowed in afternoon. It was a warm day.
Friday last of May
We finished the sheep this morn & it commenced raining. Went to Heater’s, killed & skinned a dog for a drum, then hang & took the wool & went to the creek, washed it good & got home at dark.
June 1st 1861
Warm. We took 25 bushels wheat (the last in the granary) over to Forbes’ barn, cleaned it over good, then took 10 of wheat, 10 of corn meal, to town. Just after I got there, it rained hard. Got 22 for meal & couldn’t sell wheat for any price — in money. Banks all gone down but State Bank of Iowa. There is some of it now but not enough yet. Left the wheat there till they would buy. Got a barrel of salt for $3.00, Got some potato plants and come home before dark. There was some very exciting news come this week but is disputed again. Not much now but the preparations that are being made. Out State Legislature has been in session and have adjourned this week. Appropriated $800,000 for war purposes in Iowa & have called for more men &c.
Sunday the 2nd
It rained some in the night. Is partly clear now. Reading Home Journal though I sat down to write but nothing but gloomy thoughts of the future overshadows my mind and the perilous condition of our country — beautiful, beloved and free country — once wrested from under the yoke of oppression and prospered for above 70 years — come out victorious in all struggles and the old flag still triumphs until now and a mighty struggle is now before her and with a united North we hope to see her triumph this time. I wrote here awhile, then wrote to Dan McCue, then slept awhile, then to Joe Fisher & Uncle P. Blacker’s. It rained a little today. Cleared off in the eve. John was out late tonight.
Monday the 3rd
Douglas Died. Cloudy. I looked around awhile this morn, then took the team went & borrowed a big plow at Andrews’ to break Dick’s clearing. Went to Trump’s in the eve. Got plows sharpened. It cleared off.
Tuesday the 4th
Weather clear & warm. I helped Dick break with 2 yoke of oxen. John plowed corn.
Wednesday the 5th
We finished at noon, Then I went to rolling & kept at till [dark].
Friday the 7th
Finished early in the morn. Then took 12 bushels wheat. Went to Lowell to mill. Heard a big speech from H. C. Dean in memory of the immortal Douglas. The eloquence of the orator and resolutions of the renowned statesman forced the tears from my eyes in big drops. I got home just after dark with my grist. It rained a little today.
Saturday the 8th
We both plowed corn till 4. Then went to School House to drill but few out & but little interest taken. They had a big meeting in town in honor of Douglas. There was a large crowd there.
Sunday the 9th
Weather clear & warm. I got Forbes’ buggy, took the mules & took John to London to John King’s. Stayed all day. I went to meeting there twice. Heard a big black Nigger preach. Got home about dark.
Monday the 10th
We plowed corn all week. I plowed the black mule. The worms is taking the corn & the rust is on the wheat & the ground is getting dry & I begin to dread the consequences.
Saturday the 15th
Clear & windy. Samuel Heater come over this morn & helped with the hogs. We got through at 10 o’clock. Dick put a pump in the well today. I plowed awhile in the dust. Went to the drill in the eve. The thing is nearly dead. There was some boys here at night fiddling. We spoke some pieces for Uncle John [McCue].
Sunday the 16th
Cloudy & cool. I wrote some here in my journal & a letter for Uncle John [McCue]. One to [cousin] Angeline. They stayed around the house all day, slept &c.
Monday the 17th
Clear & warm. I took Uncle John [McCue] to town this morn. Saw him start on the morning train. Sold the wheat &c. Come home. Plowed corn all week.
Wednesday eve the 19th
The company met at Liberty School House & adopted a uniform as follows — Black Wool Hat, long flannel hunting shirt trimmed in red, black pants [with] red stripe down leg.
Very hot. Jim & Al Forbes plowed for us. Mule run off with me in eve. Dan come yesterday eve; Mr. Eliot with him. They went to town this afternoon, got the papers, a letter from Joe F., &c. Dan went after mother. She’s been at Noah’s since Tuesday.
Saturday 22nd June 1861
Weather clear & hot. We were all busy this morn fixing preparatory to a Picnic Stampede & by 9 o’clock all were in readiness & the cavalcade moved southward with all speed, myself driving mule team [and] a company on horse back, Daniel & his partner in their buggy. After an hour’s exposure in the hot broiling sun, this cavalcade might have been seen approaching a beautiful grove of sugar maple in the midst of a large surrounding forest near the residence of A. Short in the vicinity of Skunk River where the mighty Big Creek empties its flowing torrents. In the center of this grove & under its shady boughs amidst the dark green foliage that hung down so grand & beautiful where it would make glad the hearts of all mankind or even the beasts of the forest — to lull in the noonday shade & partake of the fragrant air — was a large concourse of people collected together paying their respects to Miss Hollinsworth’s school — the term of which had just expired — by listening to the scholars recite, read, sing songs, &c. After dismounting, tying up mules & horses, we placed the stars & stripes upon the platform & let them wave o’er the multitude. Taking our seats in the midst, about noon the crowd surrounded a table loaded with the good things of life & none seemed backward but all partook with their usual readiness until satisfied & there was plenty left. The afternoon was spent in different ways — talking, singing, swinging, &c. About 3 P.M., our company started coming a different route. It was near to 5 when we got to the School House, then drilled till night. Named company Union Guards. I got the cloth for uniforms.
Sunday, June 23rd 1861
Pleasant day. Folks all went to meeting, Sunday School, &c. I fixed up my book ready to let uniform, then wrote some, read, studied &c. Went to singing at 4 P. M.
Monday the 24th
Plowed corn all day. They took away uniform’s fast.
I got Jim Forbes’ to plow corn. I went to town. Rode Jule. Got some more uniform trimmings, a hat &c. Got back at noon. Plowed corn till supper. Then it rained a small shower.
Wednesday the 26th
Plowed corn all day. It was clear & pleasant & the rain had made the plowing more agreeable. Uniform goes.
Commenced raining early. Kept it up until 11, then slacked up. I went down to Jack Spearman’s & over to Noah’s. Stayed till 4, then back to Liberty to drill. Had a real time of it. Changed the name to Liberty Union Guards &c.
Friday the 28th
Cloudy. Ground wet. We plowed although too wet. About 9, Lewis Horsey come along & agreed to plow in my place. I rode his horse to Hardscrabble & tried to get that company to join with ours. Couldn’t do anything. Got back after supper & plowed. John got to talking this eve in his usual mood. At times he goes too far. This was one of them. But enough. Weather cloudy & cool.
Saturday the 29th
We plowed. Jim helped. About 9 I quit & put the mules to Collin’s buggy. Himself, Dick & I went to town, then from there to a Regimental Drill in Canaan. 3 Companies there formed a Battalion &c. &c. We got home about dark after a long, tiresome drive.
Sunday, June the last 1861
Weather hot & dry. We all went in the wagon to Jack Spearman’s to a basket meeting & there we stayed all day. I paid but little attention to the preaching. Put in my time watching the movement of distinguished personages. We got home about 5 in the evening. We plowed all week or till Wednesday noon, then the military met again for drill. Kept it up till about 6 o’clock & then the name question was again sprung by the opposing party (noted for their zeal & knowledge) & resulted in our defeat by two majority. We kept still but had our own opinion of —-.