Friday, December 19, 2014

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: April 2, 1861

Governor Manning came to breakfast at our table. The others had breakfasted hours before. I looked at him in amazement, as he was in full dress, ready for a ball, swallow-tail and all, and at that hour. “What is the matter with you?” “Nothing, I am not mad, most noble madam. I am only going to the photographer. My wife wants me taken thus.” He insisted on my going, too, and we captured Mr. Chesnut and Governor Means.1 The latter presented me with a book, a photo-book, in which I am to pillory all the celebrities.

Doctor Gibbes says the Convention is in a snarl. It was called as a Secession Convention. A secession of places seems to be what it calls for first of all. It has not stretched its eyes out to the Yankees yet; it has them turned inward; introspection is its occupation still.

Last night, as I turned down the gas, I said to myself: “Certainly this has been one of the pleasantest days of my life.” I can only give the skeleton of it, so many pleasant people, so much good talk, for, after all, it was talk, talk, talk à la Caroline du Sud. And yet the day began rather dismally. Mrs. Capers and Mrs. Tom Middleton came for me and we drove to Magnolia Cemetery. I saw William Taber's broken column. It was hard to shake off the blues after this graveyard business.

The others were off at a dinner party. I dined tête-a-tête with Langdon Cheves, so quiet, so intelligent, so very sensible withal. There never was a pleasanter person, or a better man than he. While we were at table, Judge Whitner, Tom Frost, and Isaac Hayne came. They broke up our deeply interesting conversation, for I was hearing what an honest and brave man feared for his country, and then the Rutledges dislodged the newcomers and bore me off to drive on the Battery. On the staircase met Mrs. Izard, who came for the same purpose. On the Battery Governor Adams2 stopped us. He had heard of my saying he looked like Marshal Pelissier, and he came to say that at last I had made a personal remark which pleased him, for once in my life. When we came home Mrs. Isaac Hayne and Chancellor Carroll called to ask us to join their excursion to the Island Forts to-morrow. With them was William Haskell. Last summer at the White Sulphur he was a pale, slim student from the university. To-day he is a soldier, stout and robust. A few months in camp, with soldiering in the open air, has worked this wonder. Camping out proves a wholesome life after all. Then came those nice, sweet, fresh, pure-looking Pringle girls. We had a charming topic in common — their clever brother Edward.

A letter from Eliza B., who is in Montgomery: “Mrs. Mallory got a letter from a lady in Washington a few days ago, who said that there had recently been several attempts to be gay in Washington, but they proved dismal failures. The Black Republicans were invited and came, and stared at their entertainers and their new Republican companions, looked unhappy while they said they were enchanted, showed no ill-temper at the hardly stifled grumbling and growling of our friends, who thus found themselves condemned to meet their despised enemy.”

I had a letter from the Gwinns to-day. They say Washington offers a perfect realization of Goldsmith's Deserted Village.

Celebrated my 38th birthday, but I am too old now to dwell in public on that unimportant anniversary. A long, dusty day ahead on those windy islands; never for me, so I was up early to write a note of excuse to Chancellor Carroll. My husband went. I hope Anderson will not pay them the compliment of a salute with shotted guns, as they pass Fort Sumter, as pass they must.

Here I am interrupted by an exquisite bouquet from the Rutledges. Are there such roses anywhere else in the world? Now a loud banging at my door. I get up in a pet and throw it wide open. “Oh!” said John Manning, standing there, smiling radiantly; “pray excuse the noise I made. I mistook the number; I thought it was Rice's room; that is my excuse. Now that I am here, come, go with us to Quinby's. Everybody will be there who are not at the Island. To be photographed is the rage just now.”

We had a nice open carriage, and we made a number of calls, Mrs. Izard, the Pringles, and the Tradd Street Rutledges, the handsome ex-Governor doing the honors gallantly. He had ordered dinner at six, and we dined tête-atête. If he should prove as great a captain in ordering his line of battle as he is in ordering a dinner, it will be as well for the country as it was for me to-day.

Fortunately for the men, the beautiful Mrs. Joe Heyward sits at the next table, so they take her beauty as one of the goods the gods provide. And it helps to make life pleasant with English grouse and venison from the West. Not to speak of the salmon from the lakes which began the feast. They have me to listen, an appreciative audience, while they talk, and Mrs. Joe Heyward to look at.

Beauregard3 called. He is the hero of the hour. That is, he is believed to be capable of great things. A hero worshiper was struck dumb because I said: “So far, he has only been a captain of artillery, or engineers, or something.” I did not see him. Mrs. Wigfall did and reproached my laziness in not coming out.

Last Sunday at church beheld one of the peculiar local sights, old negro maumas going up to the communion, in their white turbans and kneeling devoutly around the chancel rail.

The morning papers say Mr. Chesnut made the best shot on the Island at target practice. No war yet, thank God. Likewise they tell me Mr. Chesnut has made a capital speech in the Convention.

Not one word of what is going on now. “Out of the fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh,” says the Psalmist. Not so here. Our hearts are in doleful dumps, but we are as gay, as madly jolly, as sailors who break into the strong-room when the ship is going down. At first in our great agony we were out alone. We longed for some of our big brothers to come out and help us. Well, they are out, too, and now it is Fort Sumter and that ill-advised Anderson. There stands Fort Sumter, en evidence, and thereby hangs peace or war.

Wigfall4 says before he left Washington, Pickens, our Governor, and Trescott were openly against secession; Trescott does not pretend to like it now. He grumbles all the time, but Governor Pickens is fire-eater down to the ground. “At the White House Mrs. Davis wore a badge. Jeff Davis is no seceder,” says Mrs. Wigfall.

Captain Ingraham comments in his rapid way, words tumbling over each other out of his mouth: “Now, Charlotte Wigfall meant that as a fling at those people. I think better of men who stop to think; it is too rash to rush on as some do.” “And so,'” adds Mrs. Wigfall, “the eleventh-hour men are rewarded; the half-hearted are traitors in this row.”
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1 John Hugh Means was elected Governor of South Carolina in 1850, and had long been an advocate of secession. He was a delegate to the Convention of 1860 and affixed his name to the Ordinance of Secession. He was killed at the second battle of Bull Run in August, 1862.

2 James H. Adams was a graduate of Yale, who in 1832 strongly opposed Nullification, and in 1855 was elected Governor of South Carolina.

3 Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard was born in New Orleans in 1818, and graduated from West Point in the class of 1838. He served in the war with Mexico; had been superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point a few days only, when in February, 1861, he resigned his commission in the Army of the United States and offered his services to the Confederacy.

4 Louis Trezevant Wigfall was a native of South Carolina, but removed to Texas after being admitted to the bar, and from that State was elected United States Senator, becoming an uncompromising defender of the South on the slave question. After the war he lived in England, but in 1873 settled in Baltimore. He had a wide Southern reputation as a forcible and impassioned speaker.

SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 25-9

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: April 26, 1861

To-day I recognize Northern merchants and Jews in the streets, busy in collecting the debts due them. The Convention has thrown some impediments in the way; but I hear on every hand that Southern merchants, in the absence of legal obligations, recognize the demands of honor, and are sending money North, even if it be used against us. This will not last long.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 27-8

Diary of Judith W. McGuire: June 19, 1861

Yesterday evening we heard rumours of the Federal troops having crossed the Potomac, and marching to Martinsburg and Shepherdstown in large force. General Johnston immediately drew up his army at a place called “Carter's,” on the Charlestown road, about four miles beyond Winchester. Messrs. B. and R. M. called this morning, and report that the location of the Federals is very uncertain; it is supposed that they have retreated from Martinsburg. Oh, that our Almighty Father, who rules all things, would interpose and give us peace, even now when all seem ready for war! He alone can do it.

SOURCE: Judith W. McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee, During the War, p. 33

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Friday, February 19, 1864

The quartermaster is sending out large foraging parties today, while the army is preparing to start back toward Vicksburg tomorrow, after destroying everything within our lines. There are no more rebels to be found in this vicinity.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 169

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: June 11, 1864

Up and on the march by daylight. After a few hours marching, judging by the cannonading, there is hot work going on. We are pushing on for Lexington. Find the town is located on the south side of the James River. The enemy burned the bridge, delayed our crossing. The Engineer Corps provided a way for us to cross on the ruins of the bridge. The cavalry and artillery crossed at some other point. The Engineer Corps used lumber from nearby buildings to make the bridge safe for us to cross.

At this point we received a great surprise. A wagon train overtook us with supplies. Our rations at this time were very low. The enemy were run out of town. We go in camp on the east side. Lexington is a beautiful town. The scenery grand. Reported to us that the sound of Yankee guns had never been heard here before, or until today.

Stonewall Jackson and many prominent rebel officers lie buried here in the town's cemetery. The Washington Military Institute is located here, the pride of old Virginia. Governor Letcher resides here. Many other fine residences are located here. The weather clear, but hot. Scouts are bringing in prisoners. Detailed for picket duty tonight.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 74-5

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: February 13, 1862

Wrote to Fannie and received a letter from her — dear girl!

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 7

68th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Indianapolis, Ind., and mustered in August 19, 1862. Left State for Louisville, Ky., August 20. Attached to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of Kentucky, Dept. of the Ohio. Moved to Lebanon, Ky., August 25; thence to Munfordsville, Ky. Siege of Munfordsville, Ky., September 14-17. Regiment captured September 17. Paroled and sent to Indianapolis, Ind. Reorganized at Indianapolis till December 25. Moved to Louisville, Ky., December 26; thence to Murfreesboro, Tenn., January 1, 1863. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 14th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to October, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 14th Army Corps, October, 1863. 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 4th Army Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to April, 1864. Garrison at Chattanooga, Tenn., Dept. of the Cumberland, to November, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 1st Separate Division, District of the Etowah, Dept. of the Cumberland, to June, 1865.

SERVICE. – Duty at Murfreesboro, Tenn., January to June, 1863. Expedition to McMinnville April 20-30. Middle Tennessee (or Tullahoma) Campaign June 23-July 7. Hoover's Gap June 24-26. Tullahoma June 29-30. Occupation of Middle Tennessee till August 16. Passage of the Cumberland Mountains and Tennessee River and Chickamauga (Ga.) Campaign August 16-September 22. Shellmound August 21. Reconnoissance from Shellmound toward Chattanooga August 30-31. Battle of Chickamauga, Ga., September 19-21. Before Chattanooga September 22-26. Siege of Chattanooga September 22-November 23. Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign November 23-27. Orchard Knob November 23-24. Mission Ridge November 25. March to relief of Knoxville November 28-December 8. Operations in East Tennessee till April, 1864. Operations about Dandridge January 16-17. Garrison duty at Chattanooga April to September, 1864. Relief of Dalton, Ga., August 14-15. March to Cleveland, Charleston, Athens and Madisonville August 18-20. Moved to Tullahoma September 1, thence to Chattanooga and Decatur, Ala., October 27. Defence of Decatur, Ala., October 29-31. Duty at Resaca, Ga., November 13-29; thence moved to Nashville, Tenn. Battle of Nashville, Tenn., December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. Moved to Chattanooga, Tenn., and garrison duty there till June, 1865. Moved to Nashville, Tenn., June 16, and there mustered out June 20, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 4 Officers and 35 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 111 Enlisted men by disease. Total 150.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1144

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Major-General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Mead, October 19, 1864

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac, October 19, 1864.

I am very glad you went to see Mrs. Birney. The telegraph to-day announces her husband's decease. This has shocked every one here, for no one had any idea he was so ill. General Birney is undoubtedly a loss to the army. He was a very good soldier, and very energetic in the performance of his duties. During the last campaign he had quite distinguished himself. I feel greatly for his poor wife, who is thus so suddenly deprived of her husband and protector. When he left here he was said to be threatened with a serious attack, but it was hoped change of air and being at home would keep it off. He must have been much more sick than persons generally, or he himself, were aware of, because he was very reluctant to leave.

To-day I had a visit from the Rev. Dr. Pyne, of Washington, who has come to the army to visit a poor creature, a Frenchman, who deserted the service and then re-enlisted to get the large bounties. He was sentenced to be shot, but at the earnest solicitation of Dr. Pyne, and of his representations, I remitted the sentence to imprisonment at the Dry Tortugas.

I saw General Grant to-day, and we had a laugh over the ridiculous canard of my being relieved. He then told me he was asked in Washington if it was true, it being reported at the same time that he had resigned. These foolish reports were doubtless gotten up for political purposes and to affect the elections.

To-day Robert Meade1 went down the river in the flag-of-truce boat, having been exchanged. I saw a young navy officer who was captured at the same time and exchanged with Robert. He said Robert was well, but thin, as he had felt his captivity a good deal. His mother will be delighted to have him once more at home.
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1 Nephew of General Meade.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 2, p. 234-5

James Louis Petigru to Mrs. Jane Petigru North, November 5, 1860

Summerville, November 5, 1860.

* * * Miss Cunningham,* through one of her assistant secretaries, writes me that Lincoln's election is likely to blow up Mt. Vernon, for though the purchase money is paid there is nothing to stock it, and contributions are almost at a stand. Before we hear from one another the die will be cast, but I don't think the hazard so great as many do, for it is not easy to undo the complicated machinery of that great engine or government. Adieu.

Your Brother.
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* Miss Ann Pamela Cunningham, Regent of the Mount Vernon Association. Mr. Petigru was always her legal advisor, and wrote the constitution of the Mount Vernon Association in 1856.

SOURCE: James Petigru Carson, Life, Letters and Speeches of James Louis Petigru: The Union Man of South Carolina, p. 361

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: March 27, 1861

Wednesday – I have been mobbed by my own house servants. Some of them are at the plantation, some hired out at the Camden hotel, some are at Mulberry. They agreed to come in a body and beg me to stay at home to keep my own house once more, “as I ought not to have them scattered and distributed every which way.” I had not been a month in Camden since 1858. So a house there would be for their benefit solely, not mine. I asked my cook if she lacked anything on the plantation at the Hermitage. "Lack anything?” she said, “I lack everything. What are cornmeal, bacon, milk, and molasses? Would that be all you wanted? Ain't I been living and eating exactly as you does all these years? When I cook for you, didn't I have some of all? Dere, now!" Then she doubled herself up laughing. They all shouted, “Missis, we is crazy for you to stay home.”

Armsted, my butler, said he hated the hotel. Besides, he heard a man there abusing Marster, but Mr. Clyburne took it up and made him stop short. Armsted said he wanted Marster to know Mr. Clyburne was his friend and would let nobody say a word behind his back against him, etc., etc. Stay in Camden? Not if I can help it. “Festers in provincial sloth” — that's Tennyson's way of putting it.

“We” came down here by rail, as the English say. Such a crowd of Convention men on board. John Manning1 flew in to beg me to reserve a seat by me for a young lady under his charge. “Place aux dames,” said my husband politely, and went off to seek a seat somewhere else. As soon as we were fairly under way, Governor Manning came back and threw himself cheerily down into the vacant place. After arranging his umbrella and overcoat to his satisfaction, he coolly remarked: “I am the young lady.” He is always the handsomest man alive (now that poor William Taber has been killed in a duel), and he can be very agreeable; that is, when he pleases to be so. He does not always please. He seemed to have made his little maneuver principally to warn me of impending danger to my husband's political career. “Every election now will be a surprise. New cliques are not formed yet. The old ones are principally bent upon displacing one another.” “But the Yankees — those dreadful Yankees!” “Oh, never mind, we are going to take care of home folks first! How will you like to rusticate? — go back and mind your own business?” “If I only knew what that was — what was my own business.”

Our round table consists of the Judge, Langdon Cheves,2 Trescott,3 and ourselves. Here are four of the cleverest men that we have, but such very different people, as opposite in every characteristic as the four points of the compass. Langdon Cheves and my husband have feelings and ideas in common. Mr. Petigru4 said of the brilliant Trescott: “He is a man without indignation.” Trescott and I laugh at everything.

The Judge, from his life as solicitor, and then on the bench, has learned to look for the darkest motives for every action. His judgment on men and things is always so harsh, it shocks and repels even his best friends. To-day he said: “Your conversation reminds me of a flashy second-rate novel.” “How?” “By the quantity of French you sprinkle over it. Do you wish to prevent us from understanding you?” “No,” said Trescott, “we are using French against Africa. We know the black waiters are all ears now, and we want to keep what we have to say dark. We can't afford to take them into our confidence, you know.”


This explanation Trescott gave with great rapidity and many gestures toward the men standing behind us. Still speaking the French language, his apology was exasperating, so the Judge glared at him, and, in unabated rage, turned to talk with Mr. Cheves, who found it hard to keep a calm countenance. On the Battery with the Rutledges, Captain Hartstein was introduced to me. He has done some heroic things — brought home some ships and is a man of mark. Afterward he sent me a beautiful bouquet, not half so beautiful, however, as Mr. Robert Gourdin's, which already occupied the place of honor on my center table. What a dear, delightful place is Charleston!  A lady (who shall be nameless because of her story) came to see me to-day. Her husband has been on the Island with the troops for months. She has just been down to see him. She meant only to call on him, but he persuaded her to stay two days. She carried him some clothes made from his old measure. Now they are a mile too wide. “So much for a hard life!” I said.  “No, no,” said she, “they are all jolly down there. He has trained down; says it is good for him, and he likes the life.” Then she became confidential, although it was her first visit to me, a perfect stranger. She had taken no clothes down there — pushed, as she was, in that manner under Achilles’s tent. But she managed things; she tied her petticoat around her neck for a nightgown.
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1 John Lawrence Manning was a son of Richard I. Manning, a former Governor of South Carolina. He was himself elected Governor of that State in 1852, was a delegate to the convention that nominated Buchanan, and during the War of Secession served on the staff of General Beauregard. In 1865 he was chosen United States Senator from South Carolina, but was not allowed to take his seat.

2 Son of Langdon Cheves, an eminent lawyer of South Carolina, who served in Congress from 1810 to 1814; he was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, and from 1819 to 1823 was President of the United States Bank; he favored Secession, but died before it was accomplished — in 1857.

3 William Henry Trescott, a native of Charleston, was Assistant Secretary of State of the United States in 1860, but resigned after South Carolina seceded. After the war he had a successful career as a lawyer and diplomatist.

4 James Louis Petigru before the war had reached great distinction as a lawyer and stood almost alone in his State as an opponent of the Nullification movement of 1830-1832. In 1860 he strongly opposed disunion, although he was then an old man of 71. His reputation has survived among lawyers because of the fine work he did in codifying the laws of South Carolina.

SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 22-5

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: April 25, 1861

Ex-President Tyler and Vice-President Stephens are negotiating a treaty which is to ally Virginia to the Confederate States.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 27

Diary of Judith W. McGuire: June 18, 1861 – Night

The day was passed delightfully; the Bishop, his son, and daughter-in-law, all so kind, hospitable and agreeable. It amused me to see with what avidity the old gentleman watches the progress of events, particularly when I remember how much opposed he was to secession only a few months ago. He clung to the Union with a whole-souled love for all that he had been educated to revere, as long as he could do it; but when every proposal for peace made by us was spurned, and when the President's proclamation came out, calling for 75,000 troops, and claiming Virginia's quota to assist in fighting her Southern brethren, he could stand it no longer, and I only hope that the revolution may be as thorough throughout the land as it is in his great mind.

“Mountain View” is beautiful by nature, and the Bishop has been collecting exotic trees and shrubs for many years, and now his collection is perfectly magnificent. This country is so far very peaceful, but we are constantly subjected to the most startling rumours, and the frequent, though distant, booming of cannon is very trying to our nervous and excitable temperaments. Many, so many, of our dear ones are constantly exposed to danger; and though we would not have it otherwise — we could not bear that one of them should hesitate to give his life's-blood to his country — yet it is heart-breaking to think of what may happen.

SOURCE: Judith W. McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee, During the War, p. 32-3

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Thursday, February 18, 1864

Our provision trains came in from the rear today and we are thankful for the hardtack which we have been without for three days.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 169

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: June 10, 1864

General Crook joined forces here with Hunter, coming into town from the west. It is now reported that the combined forces numbered about eighteen thousand and that we will advance on to Lynchburg. All sick and wounded who can be moved, including two thousand prisoners, will be sent with guards to Beckley, West Virginia, one hundred miles to the northwest. After they were well under way the army began its march, going to the southeast of the town. The day a hot one, and very dusty as we marched over the rough roads. The boys keep up good courage, taking in the points of interest, and at the same time going farther into the enemy's country. All cattle and horses that can be found are taken in charge by the Quartermaster's Department. Some of the cattle are butchered in the night, the meat given to us in the early morning. If we have time, we fry or broil it before we begin our march.

After a march of about twenty miles, we stop for the night. The next town that we are headed for is Lexington. We take notice and comment on the various movements of the army and can most generally tell when the enemy is near and in force.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 73-4

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: February 12, 1862

Read some in “Lessons in Life.” Spent the evening at Mr. Campbell's.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 7

67th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Madison, Ind., and mustered in August 20, 1862. Ordered to Louisville, Ky., and attached to 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Army of Kentucky, Dept. of the Ohio. Siege of Munfordsville, Ky., September 14-17. Captured September 17, paroled and sent to Indianapolis, Ind. Reorganizing at Indianapolis till December. Ordered to Memphis, Tenn., December 10. Attached to 1st Brigade, 10th Division, Right Wing 13th Army Corps (Old), Dept. of the Tennessee, December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Sherman's Yazoo Expedition, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 10th Division, 13th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to August, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 13th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, to June, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 19th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, to December, 1864. 2nd Brigade, Reserve Division, Military Division West Mississippi, December, 1864.

SERVICE. – Sherman's Yazoo Expedition December 20, 1862, to January 3, 1863. Expedition from Milliken's Bend to Dallas Station and Delhi December 25-26. Chickasaw Bayou December 26-28. Chickasaw Bluff December 29. Expedition to Arkansas Post, Ark., January 3-10, 1863. Assault and capture of Fort Hindman, Arkansas Post, January 10-11. Moved to Young's Point, La., January 17, and duty there till March 8. Expedition to Greenville, Miss., and Cypress Bend, Ark., February 14-29. Moved to Milliken's Bend, La., March 8, and duty there till April 25. Movement on Bruinsburg and turning Grand Gulf April 25-30. Battle of Port Gibson May 1. Battle of Champion's Hill May 16. Big Black River Bridge May 17. Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., May 18-July 4. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19 and 22. Advance on Jackson, Miss., July 4-10. Siege of Jackson July 10-17. Ordered to New Orleans, La., August 24. Duty at Carrollton, Brashear City and Berwick till October. Expedition to New and Amite Rivers September 24-29. Western Louisiana "Teche" Campaign October 3-November 30. Action at Grand Coteau November 3. Moved to Algiers December 13, thence to Texas December 18. Duty at Du Crow's Point, Matagorda Bay, till March, 1864. Reconnoissance on Matagorda Peninsula January 21, 1864. Moved to Algiers, La., March 1. Red River Campaign March 10-May 22. Advance from Franklin to Alexandria March 14-26. Battle of Sabine Cross Roads April 8. Monett's Ferry, Cane River Crossing, April 23. Constructing dam at Alexandria April 30-May 10. Retreat to Morganza May 13-20. At Morganza and Baton Rouge till August. Operations in Mobile Bay against Forts Gaines and Morgan August 2-23. Siege and surrender of Fort Gaines August 3-8. Capture of Fort Morgan August 23. Duty at Morganza till December. Expedition to mouth of White River November 12-20. Consolidated with 24th Indiana Infantry December 21, 1864.

Regiment lost during service 1 Officer and 52 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 194 Enlisted men by disease. Total 249.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1143-4

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Lyman to Elizabeth Russell Lyman, June 2, 1864


To-day has been occupied with strategy; but our strategy is of a bloody kind, and even the mere movements have not passed without the sounds of cannon and musketry for two or three hours. Sharp as steel traps those Rebs! We cannot shift a hundred yards, but presto! skirmishers forward! and they come piling in, pop, pop, pop; with reserves close behind and a brigade or two hard on the reserves, all poking and probing as much as to say: “Hey! What! Going are you! Well, where? How far? Which way? How many of you are there?” — And then they seem to send back word: “There they go — down there; head 'em off! head 'em off quick!” And very soon General So-and-so, who thinks he has entirely got round the Rebel line, begs to report that he finds them strongly entrenched in his front! Yesterday the 6th Corps drove the enemy from their lines, in their front, and took a good many prisoners. The division of Ricketts, which Hancock called a “weakly child,” suddenly blazed out, and charged with the bayonet; an example I hope it will follow up! The “weary boys” at first broke and ran as usual, but Ricketts, their new commander, a man of great personal courage, pitched into them and kept at them, till finally, on the 1st of June, he got them to storm breastworks, and now I hope and believe they will continue good troops. Such are the effects of good pluck in generals. You hear people say: “Oh, everyone is brave enough; it is the head that is needed.” Doubtless the head is the first necessity, but I can tell you that there are not many officers who of their own choice and impulse will dash in on formidable positions. They will go anywhere they are ordered and anywhere they believe it is their duty to go; but fighting for fun is rare; and unless there is a little of this in a man's disposition he lacks an element. Such men as Sprigg Carroll, Hays (killed), Custer and some others, attacked wherever they got a chance, and of their own accord. Very few officers would hold back when they get an order; but the ordeal is so awful, that it requires a peculiar disposition to “go in gaily,” as old Kearny used to say.

Last night the 2d Corps marched, to form on the left of the 6th at Cool Arbor; it was badly managed, or rather it was difficult to manage, like all those infernal night marches, and so part of the troops went fifteen miles instead of nine and there was any amount of straggling and exhaustion. I consider fifteen miles by night equal to twenty-five by day, and you will remember our men have no longer the bodily strength they had a month before; indeed, why they are alive, I don't see; but, after a day's rest, they look almost as fresh as ever. . . . We set out in the morning by half-past seven and, partly by roads, partly by cross-cuts, arrived at Kelly's via Woody's house. Of all the wastes I have seen, this first sight of Cool Arbor was the most dreary! Fancy a baking sun to begin with; then a foreground of breastworks; on the left, Kelly's wretched house; in the front, an open plain, trampled fetlock deep into fine, white dust and dotted with caissons, regiments of many soldiers, and dead horses killed in the previous cavalry fight. On the sides and in the distance were pine woods, some red with fires which had passed through them, some grey with the clouds of dust that rose high in the air. It was a Sahara intensified, and was called Cool Arbor! Wright's Headquarters were here, and here, too, I first beheld "Baldy" Smith, a short, quite portly man, with a light-brown imperial and shaggy moustache, a round, military head, and the look of a German officer, altogether. After getting all information, General Meade ordered a general assault at four P.M. but afterwards countermanded it, by reason of the exhausted state of the 2d Corps. We pitched camp in the place shown on my map by a flag, where we since have remained — ten whole days. Towards evening Warren was to close in to his left and join with the rest of the line, his right resting near Bethesda Church, while Burnside was to mass and cover his movement; but they made a bad fist of it between them. The enemy, the moment the march began, rushed in on the skirmishers. A division, 5th Corps, got so placed that it bore the whole brunt (and a fine division too). Between the two corps — both very willing — the proper support was not put in. The enemy in force swung round by Via's house and gobbled up several miles of our telegraph wire, besides several hundred prisoners.1 We ought to have just eaten them up; but as it was, we only drove them back into some rifle-pits we had formerly abandoned, and then the line was formed as originally ordered, with Burnside swung round to cover our right flank from Bethesda Church towards Linney's house, while the enemy held Via's house and a line parallel to our own. . . .

You know I was never an enthusiast or fanatic for any of our generals. I liked McClellan, but was not “daft” about him; and was indeed somewhat shaken by the great cry and stories against him. But now, after seeing this country and this campaign, I wish to say, in all coolness, that I believe he was, both as a military man and as a manager of a country under military occupation, the greatest general this war has produced. You hear how slow he was; how he hesitated at small natural obstacles. Not so. He hesitated at an obstacle that our ultra people steadily ignore, the Rebel Army of Northern Virginia; and anyone that has seen that army fight and march would, were he wise, proceed therewith with caution and wariness, well knowing that defeat by such an enemy might mean destruction. When I consider how much better soldiers, as soldiers, our men now are than in his day; how admirably they have been handled in this campaign; and how heroically they have worked, marched, and fought, and yet, how we still see the enemy in our front, weakened and maimed, but undaunted as ever, I am forced to the conclusion that McClellan (who did not have his own way as we have) managed with admirable skill. Mind, I don't say he was perfect. I say he was our best. Think how well we are off. Do we want the very garrison of Washington? Grant beckons, and nobody is hardy enough to say him nay. McClellan had over 20,000 men taken from him at the very crisis of the campaign. Suppose at the culmination of our work, a telegraph from the President should come: “Send General Wright and 25,000 men at once to Winchester.” How would that do? In all this I praise the present commanders. The handling of this army, in especial, has been a marvel. Through narrow roads (the best of them not better than the “lane” opposite our back avenue), ill known and intricate, over bogs and rivers, we have transported cannon and army waggons in thousands, and a vast army has been moved, without ever getting in confusion, or losing its supporting distance. I don't believe there is a marshal of France that could do it with his army. I am sure there is not.

[It was known that the order had been given to attack next morning. Rhodes says:2 “Officers and men had a chance to chew upon it, and both knew that the undertaking was hopeless. Horace Porter, an aide-de-camp of Grant, relates that, when walking among the troops on Staff duty, the evening before the battle, he noticed many of the soldiers of one of the regiments designated for the assault pinning on the backs of their coats slips of paper on which were written their names and home addresses, so that their dead bodies might be recognized on the field, and their fate be known to their families at the North."]
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1 “When Grant heard of it, he said to Meade: ‘We ought to be able to eat them up; they have placed themselves in such a position. Generally I am not in favor of night attacks; but I think one might be justified in such a case as the present.' Indeed it was a wretched affair.” — Lyman's Journal.

2 History, IV, 446.

SOURCE: George R. Agassiz, Editor, Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, p. 138-42

Major-General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Mead, October 18, 1864

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac, October 18, 1864.

Yesterday General Grant came up in the morning with the Secretary of War, Secretary of the Treasury, the Collector of New York, Mr. Hooper, member of Congress from Boston, together with several military dignitaries. They spent a short time at my headquarters, from whence I took them to see a part of the lines, after which they returned to City Point, I accompanying them. At City Point I met Admiral Porter and Captain Frailey, each with his wife. As these ladies desired greatly to go to the front and see some rebels, I persuaded their husbands to return with me, and we stopped the cars near Hancock's headquarters, inspected our line and the rebel works, and then went to Hancock's headquarters, who got us up a comfortable supper, and after dark shelled the enemy's lines. They seemed greatly delighted, and returned about 10 P. M. to City Point. Mr. Stanton was, as he always is, most kind and civil to me.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 2, p. 234-5

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: March 26, 1861

CHARLESTON, S. C. I have just come from Mulberry, where the snow was a foot deep — winter at last after months of apparently May or June weather. Even the climate, like everything else, is upside down. But after that den of dirt and horror, Montgomery Hall, how white the sheets looked, luxurious bed linen once more, delicious fresh cream with my coffee! I breakfasted in bed. Dueling was rife in Camden. William M. Shannon challenged Leitner. Rochelle Blair was Shannon's second and Artemus Goodwyn was Leitner's. My husband was riding hard all day to stop the foolish people. Mr. Chesnut finally arranged the difficulty. There was a court of honor and no duel. Mr. Leitner had struck Mr. Shannon at a negro trial. That's the way the row began. Everybody knows of it. We suggested that Judge Withers should arrest the belligerents. Dr. Boykin and Joe Kershaw1 aided Mr. Chesnut to put an end to the useless risk of life. John Chesnut is a pretty soft-hearted slave-owner. He had two negroes arrested for selling whisky to his people on his plantation, and buying stolen corn from them. The culprits in jail sent for him. He found them (this snowy weather) lying in the cold on a bare floor, and he thought that punishment enough; they having had weeks of it. But they were not satisfied to be allowed to evade justice and slip away. They begged of him (and got) five dollars to buy shoes to run away in. I said: “Why, this is flat compounding a felony.” And Johnny put his hands in the armholes of his waistcoat and stalked majestically before me, saying, “Woman, what do you know about law?”

Mrs. Reynolds stopped the carriage one day to tell me Kitty Boykin was to be married to Savage Heyward. He has only ten children already. These people take the old Hebrew pride in the number of children they have. This is the true colonizing spirit. There is no danger of crowding here and inhabitants are wanted. Old Colonel Chesnut2 said one day: “Wife, you must feel that you have not been useless in your day and generation. You have now twenty-seven great-grandchildren.”
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1 Joseph B. Kershaw, a native of Camden, S. C, who became famous in connection with "The Kershaw Brigade" and its brilliant record at Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chickamauga, Spottsylvania, and elsewhere throughout the war.

2 Colonel Chesnut, the author's father-in-law, was born about 1760. He was a prominent South Carolina planter and a public-spirited man. The family had originally settled in Virginia, where the farm had been overrun by the French and Indians at the time of Braddock's campaign, the head of the family being killed at Fort Duquesne. Colonel Chesnut, of Mulberry, had been educated at Princeton, and his wife was a Philadelphia woman. In the final chapter of this Diary, the author gives a charming sketch of Colonel Chesnut.

SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 21-2

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: April 24, 1861

Martial music is heard everywhere, day and night, and all the trappings and paraphernalia of war's decorations are in great demand. The ladies are sewing everywhere, even in the churches. But the gay uniforms we see to-day will change their hue before the advent of another year. All history shows that fighting is not only the most perilous pursuit in the world, but the hardest and the roughest work one can engage in. And many a young man bred in luxury, will be killed by exposure in the night air, lying on the damp ground, before meeting the enemy. But the same thing may be said of the Northmen. And the arbitrament of war, and war's desolation, is a foregone conclusion. How much better it would have been if the North had permitted the South to depart in peace! With political separation, there might still have remained commercial union. But they would not.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 27

Diary of Judith W. McGuire: June 18, 1861

We go to-day to dine with Bishop Meade. He wishes us to spend much of our time with him. He says he must have the “refugees,” as he calls us, at his house. Dear me, I am not yet prepared to think ourselves refugees, for I do hope to get home before long. How often do I think of it, as I left it! Not only blooming in its beauty, but the garden filled with vegetables, the strawberries turning on the vines, the young peach-orchard in full bloom; every thing teeming with comfort and abundance.

But the family is waiting for me; the carriage is at the door, and my sad thoughts must end.

SOURCE: Judith W. McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee, During the War, p. 31-2

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Wednesday, February 17, 1864

The different troops are returning to camp here after destroying about one hundred and twenty-five miles of railroad, stations and all public property. All is quiet around here.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 169

Diary of Private Charles H. Lynch: June 9, 1864

This morning still finds us at Staunton. Called out early. Marched through the town. Destruction goes on. It certainly looks bad for this town. It seems to be a part of war. A large Confederate hospital is located here, also a retreat for the insane. Among the buildings destroyed are large tobacco warehouses, much of the contents thrown into the streets. Tobacco plenty. Many of our boys carried much of it into the Confederate hospital, giving it to the poor fellows confined there. They were pleased and thankful, some even saying they were glad we came, so I was informed by those who went to the hospital.

Our regiment scouting through the country along the line of the railroad, picking up horses and cattle wherever we found them. Also protect the boys of the 5th New York Heavy Artillery who were busy destroying the railroad. By the time we leave here there won't be much left in this vicinity.

Our scouts manage to find some meal and flour. We are getting a part of our living in this vicinity. We use a half of a canteen for a frying pan, a stick for a handle, so we have pancakes, or, as the boys call them, toe-jam, and fresh meat. The buildings destroyed in town and along the line of the railroad were factories and warehouses, and some public buildings. To my knowledge no dwelling houses were burned up. In camp tonight.

SOURCE: Charles H. Lynch, The Civil War Diary, 1862-1865, of Charles H. Lynch 18th Conn. Vol's, p. 73

Diary of Luman Harris Tenney: February 11, 1862

Commenced to make my quarters at Quartermaster Thayer's. Wrote a line home and sent it in Charlie's to sister.

SOURCE: Frances Andrews Tenney, War Diary Of Luman Harris Tenney, p. 7

66th Indiana Infantry

Organized at New Albany and mustered in August 19, 1862. Left State for Lexington, Ky., August 19; thence moved to Richmond, Ky. Attached to Cruft's Brigade, Army of Kentucky. Battle of Richmond August 30. Regiment mostly captured, paroled and sent to New Albany, Ind.; those not captured marched to New Albany; arrived September 10. Regiment moved to Indianapolis, Ind., November 18; thence to Corinth, Miss., December 10, 1862. Attached to 1st Brigade, District of Corinth, Miss., 13th Army Corps (Old), Dept. of the Tennessee, December, 1862. 1st Brigade, District of Corinth, 17th Army Corps, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, District of Corinth, 16th Army Corps, to March, 1863. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 16th Army Corps, to September, 1864. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 15th Army Corps, to June, 1865.

SERVICE. – Garrison duty at Corinth, Miss., December, 1862, to August, 1863. Dodge's Expedition into Northern Alabama April 15-May 2, 1863. Rock Cut, near Tuscumbia, April 22. Tuscumbia April 23. Town Creek April 28. Moved to Colliersville, Tenn., August 18, and duty there till October 29. Action at Colliersville October 11 (Cos. "B," "C," "D," "E," "G," "I"). March to Pulaski October 29-November 11 and duty there till April 29, 1864. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1-September 8. Demonstrations on Resaca May 8-13. Sugar Valley, near Resaca, May 9. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Ley's Ferry, Oostenaula River, May 15. Rome Cross Roads May 16. Advance on Dallas May 18-25. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Ruff's Mills July 3-4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Battle of Atlanta July 22. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Operations against Hood in North Georgia and North Alabama September 29-November 3. Reconnoissance from Rome on Cave Springs Road and skirmishes October 12-13. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Little Ogeechee River December 4. Jenk's Bridge and Eden Station December 7. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Salkehatchie Swamps, S.C., February 2-5. South Edisto River February 9. North Edisto River February 12-13. South River February 15. Columbia February 16-17. Little Congaree Creek February 16. Battle of Bentonville, N. C., March 19-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 14. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 19. Grand Review May 24. Mustered out at Washington, D.C., June 3, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 3 Officers and 62 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 184 Enlisted men by disease. Total 250.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1143

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: March 12, 1861

Tuesday. — Now this, they say, is positive: '”Fort Sumter is to be released and we are to have no war.” After all, far too good to be true. Mr. Browne told us that, at one of the peace intervals (I mean intervals in the interest of peace), Lincoln flew through Baltimore, locked up in an express car. He wore a Scotch cap. We went to the Congress. Governor Cobb, who presides over that august body, put James Chesnut in the chair, and came down to talk to us. He told us why the pay of Congressmen was fixed in secret session, and why the amount of it was never divulged — to prevent the lodging-house and hotel people from making their bills of a size to cover it all. "The bill would be sure to correspond with the pay," he said. In the hotel parlor we had a scene. Mrs. Scott was describing Lincoln, who is of the cleverest Yankee type. She said: “Awfully ugly, even grotesque in appearance, the kind who are always at the corner stores, sitting on boxes, whittling sticks, and telling stories as funny as they are vulgar.” Here I interposed: “But Stephen A. Douglas said one day to Mr. Chesnut, ‘Lincoln is the hardest fellow to handle I have ever encountered yet.’” Mr. Scott is from California, and said Lincoln is “an utter American specimen, coarse, rough, and strong; a good-natured, kind creature; as pleasant-tempered as he is clever, and if this country can be joked and laughed out of its rights he is the kind-hearted fellow to do it. Now if there is a war and it pinches the Yankee pocket instead of filling it.”

Here a shrill voice came from the next room (which opened upon the one we were in by folding doors thrown wide open) and said: “Yankees are no more mean and stingy than you are. People at the North are just as good as people at the South.” The speaker advanced upon us in great wrath.

Mrs. Scott apologized and made some smooth, polite remark, though evidently much embarrassed. But the vinegar face and curly pate refused to receive any concessions, and replied:That comes with a very bad grace after what you were saying,” and she harangued us loudly for several minutes. Some one in the other room giggled outright, but we were quiet as mice. Nobody wanted to hurt her feelings. She was one against so many. If I were at the North, I should expect them to belabor us, and should hold my tongue. We separated North from South because of incompatibility of temper. We are divorced because we have hated each other so. If we could only separate, a “separation à l’agréable,” as the French say it, and not have a horrid fight for divorce. The poor exile had already been insulted, she said. She was playing “Yankee Doodle” on the piano before breakfast to soothe her wounded spirit, and the Judge came in and calmly requested her to “leave out the Yankee while she played the Doodle.” The Yankee end of it did not suit our climate, he said; was totally out of place and had got out of its latitude. A man said aloud: “This war talk is nothing. It will soon blow over. Only a fuss gotten up by that Charleston clique.” Mr. Toombs asked him to show his passports, for a man who uses such language is a suspicious character.

SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 18-20

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: April 23, 1861

Several prominent citizens telegraphed President Davis to-day to hasten to Virginia with as many troops as he can catch up, assuring him that his army will grow like a snow-ball as it progresses. I have no doubt it would. I think it would swell to 50,000 before reaching Washington, and that the people on the route would supply the quartermaster's stores, and improvise an adequate commissariat. I believe he could drive the Abolitionists out of Washington even yet, if he would make a bold dash, and that there would be a universal uprising in all the border States this side of the Susquehanna. But he does not respond. Virginia was too late moving, and North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Missouri have not seceded yet — though all of them will soon follow Virginia. Besides, the vote on the ratification in this State is to take place a month hence. It would be an infringement of State rights, and would be construed as an invasion of Virginia! Could the Union men in the Convention, after being forced to pass the ordinance, have dealt a more fatal blow to their country? But that is not all. The governor is appointing his Union partisans to military positions. Nevertheless, as time rolls on, and eternal separation is pronounced by the events that must be developed, they may prove true to the best interests of their native land.

Every hour there are fresh arrivals of organized companies from the country, tendering their services to the governor; and nearly all the young men in the city are drilling. The cadets of the Military Institute are rendering good service now, and Professor Jackson is truly a benefactor. I hope he will take the field himself; and if he does, I predict for him a successful career.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 26-7

Diary of Judith W. McGuire: June 16, 1861 – Night

I can scarcely control myself to sit quietly down and write of the good news brought by the mail of to-day; I mean the victory — on our side almost bloodless victory — at Bethel. It took place on the 10th. Strange that such brilliant news was so long delayed! The enemy lost 200 men, and we but one. He, poor fellow, belonged to a North Carolina regiment, and his bereaved mother received his body. She lives in Richmond. It seems to me that Colonel Magruder must have displayed consummate skill in the arrangement of his little squad of men. His “blind battery” succeeded admirably. The enemy had approached in two parties from Fortress Monroe, and, by mistake, fired into each other, causing great slaughter. They then united and rushed into the jaws of death, or, in other words, into the range of the guns of the blind battery. I feel sorry, very sorry, for the individual sufferers among the Yankees, particularly for those who did not come voluntarily; but they have no business here, and the more unsuccessful they are the sooner their government will recall them. I do believe that the hand of God was in this fight, we were so strangely successful. How we all gathered around M. M. as she read the account given in the paper; and how we exulted and talked, and how Mr. P. walked backwards and forwards, rubbing his hands with delight!

The camp at Harper's Ferry is broken up. General Johnston knows why; I am sure that I do not. He is sending out parties of troops to drive off the Yankees, who are marauding about the neighbouring counties, but who are very careful to keep clear of the "Ferry." The Second Regiment, containing some of our dear boys, has been lately very actively engaged in pursuit of these marauders, and we are kept constantly anxious about them.

SOURCE: Judith W. McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee, During the War, p. 30-1

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Tuesday, February 16, 1864

After a rain yesterday, it is quite cool today. General Crocker's Division went on to the town of Enterprise, to destroy the railroad there, while the Sixteenth Corps went to the north destroying the railroad. General McPherson has his headquarters in a fine residence in the west part of town and his headquarters' guards, twenty-eight of us, occupy the negro huts close by. We are at present short of rations and all I had for dinner was some tough fresh beef, which the more I fried, the tougher it got.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 168-9

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Monday, February 15, 1864

After two hours' marching our army entered Meridian at about 10 o'clock this morning and went into camp. The rebels are still retreating, and detachments of our army are pursuing them. The infantry is sent out in all directions tearing up the railroads, burning the ties and twisting the rails. Large numbers of cars, some engines and the depot have been burned, as also the store buildings and many residences. It is a terrible sight to look upon. Forage is plentiful in this vicinity.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 168

Monday, December 15, 2014

64th Indiana Infantry

Intended for 1st Regiment Light Artillery, but organization not completed.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1143

65th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Princeton, Ind., and mustered in August 18, 1862. Company "K" mustered in September 10, 1862, and Joined Regiment at Madisonville, Ky. Left State for Henderson, Ky., August 20, 1862. Served unassigned, District of Western Kentucky, Dept. of Ohio, to June, 1863. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of Ohio, to August, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, 23rd Army Corps, to October, 1863. 4th Brigade, 4th Division, 23rd Army Corps, to November, 1863. 2nd Brigade, 2nd Cavalry Division, Dept. of the Ohio, to April, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to February, 1865, and Dept. of North Carolina to June, 1865.

SERVICE. – Action at Madisonville, Ky., August 25, 1862. Guard duty along line of Louisville & Nashville Railroad till August, 1863. Skirmish at Bradenburg, Ky., September 12, 1862, and at Henderson, Ky., September 14, 1862 (Co. "D"). Regiment mounted April, 1863. Action at Cheshire, Ohio, July 21, 1863. Dixon July 29 (Co. "E"). Burnside's Campaign in East Tennessee August 16-October 17. Occupation of Knoxville September 2. Action at Greenville September 11. Kingsport September 18. Bristol September 19. Zollicoffer September 20-21. Carter's Depot September 20-21. Jonesborough September 21. Hall's Ford, Watauga River, September 22. Carter's Depot September 22. Blue Springs October 10. Henderson's Mill and Rheatown October 11. Blountsville October 14. Bristol October 15. Knoxville Campaign November 4-December 23. Mulberry Gap November 19. Walker's Ford, Clinch River, December 2. Near Maynardsville December 12. Bean's Station December 14. Blain's Cross Roads December 16-19. Kimbrough's Cross Roads January 16, 1864. Operations about Dandridge January 16-17 and January 26-28. Dandridge January 17. Scout to Chucky Bend March 12. Regiment dismounted April 21, 1864. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1-September 8. Demonstrations on Rocky Faced Ridge and Dalton May 8-13. Battle of Resaca May 14-15. Cartersville May 20. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Muddy Creek June 17. Cheyney's Farm June 22. Olley's Farm June 26-27. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Isham's Ford July 8. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5-7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Near Rough and Ready August 31. Lovejoy's Station September 2-6. Decatur September 28. Pursuit of Hood into Alabama October 3-26. Nashville Campaign November-December. Columbia, Duck River, November 24-27. Battle of Franklin November 30. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. At Clifton, Tenn., till January 16, 1865. Movement to Washington, D. C., thence to Fort Fisher, N. C., January 16-February 9. Operations against Hoke February 11-14. Sugar Loaf Battery February 11. Fort Anderson February 18-19. Town Creek February 19-20. Capture of Wilmington February 22. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1-April 26. Advance on Goldsboro March 6-21. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. Duty at Raleigh and Greensboro till June. Mustered out June 22, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 34 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 4 Officers and 216 Enlisted men by disease. Total 254.

SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1143

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Lyman to Elizabeth Russell Lyman, June 1, 1864


June 1,1864.

At 1.30 last night, General Wright with the 6th Corps passed round our left flank and marched on Cool Arbor, which already was occupied by our cavalry last night. They would have fallen back, in view of the advance of the enemy's infantry, but General Meade sent an order to hold it, which they did; and had a very heavy fight early this morning, remarkable from the fact that our cavalry threw up breastworks and fought behind them, repulsing the enemy till Wright could arrive. Baldy Smith too was marching from Whitehouse and came up during the day, forming on the right of the 6th Corps. Meantime, of course, the enemy was marching to his own right, in all haste, and formed so as to cover the roads leading to Mechanicsville and also to continue his line on his right. . . . There was a desperate charge on Smith and Wright at Cool Arbor and the sound of musketry was extremely heavy long after dark, but the Rebels could not do it and had to go back again. Nor did the right of the line escape where they attacked Birney, and were driven back just the same way. . . . Smith had orders to report to General Meade and so became part of the Army of the Potomac. General Meade was in one of his irascible fits to-night, which are always founded in good reason though they spread themselves over a good deal of ground that is not always in the limits of the question. First he blamed Warren for pushing out without orders; then he said each corps ought to act for itself and not always be leaning on him. Then he called Wright slow (a very true proposition as a general one). In the midst of these night-thoughts, comes here from General Smith bright, active, self-sufficient Engineer-Lieutenant Farquhar, who reports that his superior had arrived, fought, etc., etc., but that he had brought little ammunition, no transportation and that “he considered his position precarious.” “Then, why in Hell did he come at all for?” roared the exasperated Meade, with an oath that was rare with him.

SOURCE: George R. Agassiz, Editor, Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, p. 137-8

Major-General George G. Meade to Margaretta Sergeant Mead, October 13, 1864

Headquarters Army Of The Potomac, October 13, 1864.

I undoubtedly do not occupy the position I did just after the battle of Gettysburg, and no one will retain any such position in this country, unless he continues to be successful; but when you compare my position with my numerous predecessors, McClellan, Pope, McDowell, Burnside, Hooker, Rosecrans, Banks, Sigel and many others, I think you will admit that my retaining command, and the hold I have at present, is even more creditable than the exaggerated laudation immediately succeeding Gettysburg. Recollect, also, that most persistent efforts have been made by influential men, politicians and generals, to destroy me, without success; and I think you will find reason to be grateful and satisfied, even though you should desire to see more justice done. I don't mean to say I have not been badly treated, but I do mean to say I might have been much worse treated, and that my present status is not without advantages, and does not justify my being discontented.

I am very much distressed to hear that Sergeant1 does not seem well enough to bear a sea voyage, and still hope the fine weather of the fall will enable him to gather strength.
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1 Son of General Mcade.

SOURCE: George Meade, The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade, Vol. 2, p. 234

Diary of Mary Boykin Chesnut: March 11, 1861

In full conclave to-night, the drawing-room crowded with Judges, Governors, Senators, Generals, Congressmen. They were exalting John C. Calhoun's hospitality. He allowed everybody to stay all night who chose to stop at his house. An ill-mannered person, on one occasion, refused to attend family prayers. Mr. Calhoun said to the servant, “Saddle that man's horse and let him go.” From the traveler Calhoun would take no excuse for the “Deity offended.” I believe in Mr. Calhoun's hospitality, but not in his family prayers. Mr. Calhoun's piety was of the most philosophical type, from all accounts.1

The latest news is counted good news; that is, the last man who left Washington tells us that Seward is in the ascendency. He is thought to be the friend of peace.  The man did say, however, that “that serpent Seward is in the ascendency just now.”

Harriet Lane has eleven suitors. One is described as likely to win, or he would be likely to win, except that he is too heavily weighted. He has been married before and goes about with children and two mothers. There are limits beyond which! Two mothers-in-law! Mr. Ledyard spoke to Mrs. Lincoln in behalf of a doorkeeper who almost felt he had a vested right, having been there since Jackson's time; but met with the same answer; she had brought her own girl and must economize. Mr. Ledyard thought the twenty thousand (and little enough it is) was given to the President of these United States to enable him to live in proper style, and to maintain an establishment of such dignity as befits the head of a great nation. It is an infamy to economize with the public money and to put it into one's private purse. Mrs. Browne was walking with me when we were airing our indignation against Mrs. Lincoln and her shabby economy. The Herald says three only of the elite Washington families attended the Inauguration Ball.

The Judge has just come in and said: “Last night, after Dr. Boykin left on the cars, there came a telegram that his little daughter, Amanda, had died suddenly.” In some way he must have known it beforehand. He changed so suddenly yesterday, and seemed so careworn and unhappy. He believes in clairvoyance, magnetism, and all that. Certainly, there was some terrible foreboding of this kind on his part.
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1 John C. Calhoun had died in March, 1850.

SOURCE: Mary Boykin Chesnut, Edited by Isabella D. Martin and Myrta Lockett Avary, A Diary From Dixie, p. 17-8

Diary of John Beauchamp Jones: April 22, 1861

Early a few mornings since, I called on Gov. Wise, and informed him that Lincoln had called out 70,000 men. He opened his eyes very widely and said, emphatically, “I don't believe it.” The greatest statesmen of the South have no conception of the real purposes of the men now in power in the United States. They cannot be made to believe that the Government at Washington are going to wage war immediately. But when I placed the President's proclamation in his hand, he read it with deep emotion, and uttered a fierce “Hah!” Nevertheless, when I told him that these 70,000 were designed to be merely the videttes and outposts of an army of 700,000, he was quite incredulous. He had not witnessed the Wide-Awake gatherings the preceding fall, as I had done, and listened to the pledges they made to subjugate the South, free the negroes, and hang Gov. Wise. I next told him they would blockade our ports, and endeavor to cut off our supplies. To this he uttered a most positive negative. He said it would be contrary to the laws of nations, as had been decided often in the Courts of Admiralty, and would be moreover a violation of the Constitution. Of course I admitted all this; but maintained that such was the intention of the Washington Cabinet. Laws and Courts and Constitutions would not be impediments in the way of Yankees resolved upon our subjugation. Presuming upon their superior numbers, and under the pretext of saving the Union and annihilating slavery, they would invade us like the army-worm, which enters the green fields in countless numbers. The real object was to enjoy our soil and climate by means of confiscation. He poohed me into silence with an indignant frown. He had no idea that the Yankees would dare to enter upon such enterprises in the face of an enlightened world. But I know them better. And it will be found that they will learn how to fight, and will not be afraid to fight.

SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 26

Diary of Judith W. McGuire: June 16, 1861

Rumours are abundant to-day of a Federal force approaching Strasburg. We are not at all credulous of the flying reports with which our ears are daily pained, and yet they make us restless and uneasy. We thank God and take courage from the little successes we have already had at Pigs Point, Acquia Creek, Fairfax Court-House, and Philippi. These are mere trifles, they say; well, so they are, but they are encouraging to our men, and show that we can hold our own.

A most decided revolution is going on in our social system throughout our old State: economy rules the day. In this neighbourhood, which has been not a little remarkable for indulging in the elegancies of life, they are giving up desserts, rich cake, etc. The wants of the soldiers are supplied with a lavish hand, but personal indulgences are considered unpatriotic. How I do admire their self-denying spirit! I do not believe there is a woman among us who would not give up every thing but the bare necessaries of life for the good of our cause.

SOURCE: Judith W. McGuire, Diary of a Southern Refugee, During the War, p. 30

Diary of Private Alexander G. Downing: Sunday, February 14, 1864

We marched fifteen miles again today and went into camp for the night. The Seventeenth Corps also corralled their wagon train, leaving two brigades as a guard. There was some skirmishing in the front today, but we learn that the rebels have left Meridian without making any resistance, retiring to the south. Some of our men occupied the town late this evening. Things are marching along fine.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 168

60th Indiana Infantry

Organized at Evansville and Indianapolis, Ind., February 19 to March 21, 1862. Duty at Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Ind., guarding prisoners February 22 to June 20, 1862. Left State for Louisville, Ky., June 20; thence moved to Munfordsville, Ky., and duty there till September. Attached to Garrison of Munfordsville, Ky., Dept. of the Ohio, to September, 1862. Reorganizing Indianapolis, Ind., to November, 1862. 1st Brigade, 10th Division, Right Wing 13th Army Corps (Old), Dept. of the Tennessee, to December, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, Sherman's Yazoo Expedition, to January, 1863. 1st Brigade, 10th Division, 13th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to August, 1863. 1st Brigade, 4th Division, 13th Army Corps, Dept. of the Gulf, to June, 1864. District of LaFourche, Dept. of the Gulf, to December, 1864. District of Southern Alabama, Dept. of the Gulf, to February, 1865. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Reserve Corps, Military Division West Mississippi, February, 1865. 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 13th Army Corps (New), Military Division West Mississippi, February, 1865.

SERVICE. – Siege of Munfordsville, Ky., September 14-17, 1862. Seven Companies captured September 17, paroled and ordered to Indianapolis, Ind. Three Companies which escaped capture being detached guarding Railroad Bridge over Rolling Fork, near Lebanon; also ordered to Indianapolis. Regiment reorganizing at Indianapolis to November. Ordered to Memphis, Tenn., and duty there till December 20. Sherman's Yazoo Expedition December 20, 1862, to January 3, 1863. Expedition from Milliken's Bend, La., to Dallas Station and Delhi December 25-26. Chickasaw Bayou December 26-28. Chickasaw Bluff December 29. Expedition to Arkansas Post, Ark., January 3-10, 1863. Assault and capture of Fort Hindman, Arkansas Post, January 10-11. Moved to Young's Point, La., January 17. Expedition to Greenville, Miss., and Cypress Bend, Ark., February 14-29. Duty at Young's Point and Milliken's Bend till April. Movement on Bruinsburg and turning Grand Gulf April 25-30. Battle of Port Gibson May 1. Battle of Champion's Hill May 16. Siege of Vicksburg, Miss., May 18-July 4. Assaults on Vicksburg May 19 and 22. Advance on Jackson, Miss., July 4-10. Siege of Jackson July 10-17. Moved to New Orleans, La., August 24. Expedition to New and Amite Rivers September 24-29. Western Louisiana "Teche" Campaign October 3-November 30. Action at Grand Coteau November 3. Moved to Algiers December 13, thence to Texas December 18. Duty at Du Crow's Point and Pass Cavallo till March, 1864. Moved to Algiers, La., thence to Alexandria, La. Red River Campaign April 26-May 20. Retreat to Morganza May 13-20. Duty at Thibodeaux till November, and at Algiers till February 24, 1865. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 26th Indiana Infantry February 24. Regiment mustered out March 11, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 2 Officers and 43 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 3 Officers and 165 Enlisted men by disease. Total 213.
                                                  
SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1142

61st Indiana Infantry

Failed to complete organization and enlisted men transferred to 35th Indiana Infantry May 22, 1862.
                                                  
SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1142

62nd Indiana Infantry

Failed to complete organization and enlisted men transferred to 53rd Indiana Infantry February 26, 1862.
                                                  
SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1142

63rd Indiana Infantry

Organized at Lafayette, Ind., as a Battalion of 4 Companies, "A," "B," "C," "D," February 21, 1862. Duty as prison guard at Lafayette and at Camp Morton, Indianapolis, Ind., till May. Left State for Washington, D.C., May 27. Attached to Piatt's Brigade, Sturgis' Command, Defences of Washington, to August, 1862. Piatt's Brigade, Army of the Potomac, to October, 1862.

SERVICE. – Duty in the defences of Washington, D. C., till August, 1862. Pope's Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Ordered to Indianapolis, Ind., October 3. Completing organization of Regiment and prison guard at Camp Morton and Indianapolis till December 25, 1862. Ordered to Shepherdsville, Ky., December 25, and guard duty along Louisville & Nashville Railroad till January 16, 1864. Operations against Morgan July 2, 1863. Cummings Ferry July 8. Attached to Railroad Guard, District of Western Kentucky, Dept. of Ohio, to June, 1863. Unattached, 2nd Division, 23rd Army Corps, Dept. of the Ohio, to August, 1863. New Haven, Ky., 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, to October, 1863. District South Central Kentucky, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, to January, 1864. District Southwest Kentucky, 1st Division, 23rd Army Corps, to April, 1864. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, to August, 1864. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 23rd Army Corps, Army of the Ohio, to February, 1865, and Dept. of North Carolina to June, 1865.

SERVICE. – At Camp Nelson, Ky., January 16 to February 25, 1864. March over mountains to Knoxville, Tenn., February 25-March 15; thence moved to Mossy Creek and to Bull's Gap April 1. Expedition toward Jonesboro and destruction of Tennessee & Virginia Railroad April 23-28. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign May 1 to September 8. Demonstrations on Rocky Faced Ridge and Dalton May 8-13. Battle of Resaca May 14-15, Cartersville May 20. Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills May 25-June 5. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Lost Mountain June 15-17. Muddy Creek June 17. Noyes Creek June 19. Cheyney's Farm June 22. Olley's Farm June 26-27. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creek July 2-5. Ruff's Mills July 3-4. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Isham's Ford July 8. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Utoy Creek August 5-7. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Pursuit of Hood into Alabama October 3-26. Nashville Campaign November-December. Columbia, Duck River, November 24-27. Columbia Ford November 29. Battle of Franklin November 30. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Pursuit of Hood to the Tennessee River December 17-28. At Clifton, Tenn., till January 16, 1865. Movement to Washington, D.C., thence to Fort Fisher, N. C., January 16-February 9. Operations against Hoke February 12-14. Fort Anderson February 18-19. Town Creek February 19-20. Capture of Wilmington February 22. Campaign of the Carolinas March 1-April 26. Advance on Goldsboro March 6-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Gulley's March 31. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. At Raleigh till May 5. At Greensboro till June 21. Companies "A," "B," "C" and "D" mustered out May 3, 1865. Regiment mustered out June 21, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 3 Officers and 53 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 2 Officers and 130 Enlisted men by disease. Total 188.
                                                  
SOURCE: Frederick H. Dyer, A Compendium of the War of the 3, p. Rebellion, Part 1142-3

Lieutenant-Colonel Theodore Lyman to Elizabeth Russell Lyman, May 31, 1864

May 31, 1864

Last night, what with writing to you and working over some maps of my own, I got to bed very late, and was up tolerably early this morning, so to-day I have passed a good deal of time on my back fast asleep; for the General has not ridden out and has sent out very few officers. As I implied, to-day has been an occasion of Sybarite luxury. What do you think we mustered for dinner? Why, green peas, salad, potatoes, and fresh milk for the coffee! Am I not a good forager? Yes, and iced water! The woman (a fearful Secesh) asked two dollars for half a bushel of ice; upon which I, in a rage, sent a sergeant and told him to pay only a reasonable price and to take what we needed. But, in future, I will not pay for ice; it costs these Rebels nothing, and they can't eat it. For food I will always pay the scoundrels. They have usually plenty of ice for the hospitals, and the bands are kept there to play for the wounded, which pleases them. The Sanitary are doing, I believe, a great deal of good at the rear, between this and Washington. There is room for any such people to do good, when there are such multitudes of wounded. I was amused to read a letter from one of the Sanitaries at Fredericksburg, who, after describing his good works, said that, for eight days, his ears were “bruised by the sound of cannon.” To me, Fredericksburg and Montreal seem about equally far away!

The armies lay still, but there was unusually heavy fighting on the skirmish line the whole time; indeed there was quite an action, when Birney, Barlow, and Wright advanced and took the front line of the enemy. We used, too, a good deal of artillery, so that there was the noise of battle from morning to night. We took in some cohorn mortars, as they are called. These are light, small mortars, that may be carried by two or three men, and are fired with a light charge of powder. They throw a 24-lb. shell a maximum distance of about 1000 yards. As these shells go up in the air and then come down almost straight, they are very good against rifle-pits. General Gibbon says there has been a great mistake about the armies of Israel marching seven times round Jericho blowing on horns, thereby causing the walls to fall down. He says the marching round was a “flank movement,” and that the walls were then blown down with cohorns. Some of the heavy artillerists of the German regiment were first sent to fire these mortars; but it was found that they could give no definite account of where the projectiles went, the reason of which was that, every time they fired, the officer and his gunners tumbled down flat in great fear of Rebel sharpshooters!

"Baldy" Smith arrived, by steamer, at Whitehouse, from Bermuda Hundreds, with heavy reinforcements for this army. The Rebels, on their side, have been also bringing up everything — Breckinridge from the valley of the Shenandoah, Hoke from North Carolina, and everything from the South generally. . . . General Wilson's division of cavalry was sent out towards our rear and right, to cover that quarter and to continue the destruction of the railroads below Hanover Junction. General Sheridan, with the remaining cavalry, swung round our left flank and pressed down towards Shady Grove and Cool Arbor (this name is called Coal Harbor, Cold Harbor, and Cool Arbor, I can't find which is correct, but choose "Arbor" because it is prettiest, and because it is so hideously inappropriate). In vain I try to correct myself by the engineer maps; they all disagree. The topographical work of the engineers is rather uphill in this country. Before we opened the campaign the engineers prepared a series of large maps, carefully got up from every source that they could come upon, such as state, county, and town maps, also the information given by residents and refugees, etc., etc. In spite of all this the result has been almost ludicrous! Some places (e.g. Spotsylvania) are from one to two miles out of position, and the roads run everywhere except where laid down. I suppose the fact is that there was no material whatever wherewith to make a map on a scale so large as one inch to a mile. It is interesting to see now how the engineers work up the country, as they go along. Topographers are sent out as far as possible in the front and round the flanks. By taking the directions of different points, and by calculating distances by the pacing of their horses, and in other ways, they make little local maps, and these they bring in in the evening, and during the night they are compiled and thus a map of the neighborhood is made. If the next day is sunny, photographic copies are taken of this sketch and sent to the principal commanders, whose engineers add to, or correct it, if need be, and these corrections are put on a new sketch. Much information is gotten also by the engineers sent with the cavalry. . . .

SOURCE: George R. Agassiz, Editor, Meade’s Headquarters, 1863-1865: Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to Appomattox, p. 134-7