Submitted by: John and Cindy McCachern
Before you begin reading this transcription of Leonidas H. Bradley’s Civil War diary, please take a minute to read the following information. You should find it helpful in setting the stage for the beginning of the diary.
Leonidas Hamilton Bradley, (one of six children born to Louis and Nancy Bradley), was born in 1841, in the small town of Patriot, Ohio. Sometime between then and 1860, he and his family moved to eastern Illinois, where they settled in the town of Marshall.
In 1861, the Civil War began, and within a year’s time, Leonidas had volunteered for service in the Union Army. Leonidas was officially mustered into the army on August 15, 1862, at Camp Butler, Illinois, located near Springfield. He was assigned to company “K” of the 130th Illinois Volunteers, and he began his three-year term of service as a private.
Soon after enlisting, in December of 1862, Leonidas was temporarily detached from the 130th Illinois t o serve as a clerk for the Convalescent Department at Fort Pickering, Tennessee. In June of 1863, while still serving as a clerk a Fort Pickering, Leonidas was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
Four months late, in October of 1863, Leonidas was ordered to rejoin the 130th Illinois, which was then serving in Louisiana with the Department of the Gulf forces. Soon after rejoining his unit, Leonidas found himself out in the Gulf of Mexico, preparing for a planned sea assault on the state of Texas. As part of the plan, the 130th Illinois was assigned to a detachment of forces that stormed and took control of the Matagorda Bay area of Texas in December of 1863, (see map on p. 2, Appendix M). This is where we find Leonidas as the new year, and the diary begins…But, don’t start reading just yet. There is a little more you should know.
Thought the sea assault on Texas had basically been a success, the Union had really only managed to secure a few, mostly non-strategic beachfronts. By the end of February 1864, the whole strategy for taking Texas would be changed. The new plan would be to first take Shreveport, Louisiana, and then invade Texas overland from this point.
With this new plan approved by Lincoln and Grant, all of the Gulf forces were quickly recalled to southern Louisiana to begin preparations for the overland assault on Shreveport. By March 7th, 1864, this new offensive, (later called “The Red River Campaign”), had begun. I won’t spoil the outcome of the campaign here, but I will say that it proved to be an interesting 73 days, (involving at least three major battles, and one massive engineering feat).
I have copied much of the documentation that I could find on the Red River expedition and have included it in the appendix. This appendix, (divided into sections), also includes a copy of the original diary, maps showing Leonidas’ movements throughout the year, copies of Leonidas’ military records, personal information on Leonidas and his family, and other relevant information on the Civil War. To make the appendix more useful, I have added cross-referenced notes within the transcribed diary. It is my hope that all of this will add to your understanding and enjoyment of the diary.
Friday, January 1, 1864Very cold, almost frozen and wind blowing a hurricane. No chance to cook or make a fire for the wind. No turkey or chicken or anything strange for New Year’s dinner, but glad to get hard bread and cold rice. No prospect of a change by tomorrow.
*Hard bread and rice were two staples of military cuisine during the Civil War. Hard bread was commonly referred to as “hardtack” and was quite frequently moldy or infested with bugs.
Saturday, January 2, 1864Still cold and windy, but gradually moderating and a prospect of better day tomorrow. Still suffering with cold, and all we can do to keep our tents from blowing down. All standing about and lying in bed to keep from freezing.
Sunday, January 3, 1864Still moderating and tents still standing. Doing but little else than try to keep warm. Had a chill and nearly froze to death getting over it at 6 P.M. Will be all right tomorrow.
*This is just the beginning of countless references to being sick or ill, and I stop here in defense of Leonidas. Being ill was the rule, not the exception during the Civil War. Ninety percent of all soldiers were affected by chronic diarrhea, and there were countless other afflictions that spread like wildfire through the filthy camps. Statistics show that over tice as many men died from disease as did in battle.
Monday, January 4, 1864Tried to get clothing for the company but the Major thinks it cannot be drawn until the R.Q.M. comes back. The men suffering for want of them.
*Fairly certain this refers to the Regimental Quartermaster. There were many levels of officers working withing the Quartermaster Department of each Army Corp. Leonidas’ records indicate that he was not yet officially working in this department, though he may have been, unofficially. Later, we’ll see some developments in this area involving Leonidas’ promotion to Quartermaster Sergeant.
Tuesday, January 5, 1864Still cold and no clothing drawn yet. Wood very scarce and too cold to carry it from the Gulf shore. Still hoping for a warmer day. Had a chill. Made an effort to get clothing, got none.
Wednesday, January 6, 1864Feel better, 7 A.M., will try to get clothing indepentent of the major as he says he cannot get it. 7 P.M., succeeded and got all the clothing we wanted that was to be drawn. The men, made comfortable and warm, expect good nights rest.
Thursday, January 7, 1864Had a good nights rest and felt better after getting clothing for the men. Weather moderating. Bread getting scarce and no prospect of a supply, as the waves are so high the ships cannot land with it.
Friday, January 8, 1864Out of bread and none on the peninsula to draw…the wind still high, don’t know what we will do for bread. Still cold and the men getting hungry. Crackers only issued to the men on picket guard. Six round soda crackers per day to the man.
*Picket guard of picket duty refers to the men charged with guarding the perimeter of the camp. These men obviously needed to be alert and ready for an enemy attack, thus, when food was in short supply, they received the most complete rations.
Saturday, January 9, 1864No bread yet, nothing but meat and rice….Getting ravenous for bread. None on the island yet to be had. Hoping for the better, but see no prospect of bread.
Sunday, January 10, 1864Got bread for breakfast this morning and two days rations issued us of bread…No more on had to issue. Looking for a ship load of provisions. Weather getting mild and wind calm. Greatly rejoiced over the bread.
Monday, January 11, 1864Plenty of bread and meat, no coffee or sugar or candles, but pretty well satisfied to get bread and meat. Getting warmer and more pleasant. Can keep from freezing without lying in bed all the time.
Tuesday, January 12, 1864The bright day has dawned on us and we do not expect to starve to death as much as we did. All in fine spirits over the fresh supply of provisions.
Wednesday, January 13, 1864Getting warm. Have plenty to eat and prospect of continuing so. Have left the holes in the sand and got back into our tents. Consider that we have seen some hard times during the past two weeks.
Thursday, January 14, 1864Nice day and we will have to commence drill(s) in a few days. Have not had any drill since the first of January on account of the wind. But glad to keep from freezing without it.
*When not on the move or fighting, “drilling” was a major part of every soldier’s daily routine. The men hated drills, but they were deemed necessary to keep the men busy and disciplined. There were all kinds of drills: Company drills, Brigade Drills, etc, but all were generally monotonous, drawn out affairs, that most of the men felt were pointless.
Friday, January 15, 1864Pleasant day. Nothing strange took place. Will draw rations tomorrow morning and expect to get full rations for the first time in two weeks.
Saturday, January 16, 1864Nice day. Drew rations…got full rations. Boys full of glee over it, thinking how much better it is than laying in the holes in the sand almost starved and frozen.
Sunday, January 17, 1864Very pleasant day, warm and clear. So much so, that we are all afraid there will be a northerner any day again, and we dread it more than a battle.
Monday, January 18, 1864Pleasant. Had company drill. No northerner yet, but we are still in constant dread of them. Nothing strange took place.
Tuesday, January 19, 1864Wash day. All the men excused to wash. No drills or anything of the kind. Picket detail very heavy.
Wednesday, January 20, 1864Warm day. Brigade drill. Lt. Col. Parker, 48th Ohio, commanding the brigade. Had troop drill, made great many mistakes, both (the) company and regiment.
Thursday, January 21, 1864Fine weather. Company drill, nothing of importance took place. Look anxiously for letter from home.
*This is the first of countless references to mail from home. Getting mail from home was, by far, the most important event in any soldier’s day. As you will soon see, the writing of letters home, and the anticipation of letters from home, seems to consume much of Leonidas’ time and thoughts. This was very normal though, and understandable, considering the circumstances.
Friday, January 22, 1864Got two letters from home. One from brothers Isaac and Robert. Great excitement over the mail. Nothing else of importance.
Saturday, January 23, 1864Nice day. Nothing strange took place. Very busy all day. Will be glad when Sunday comes to get some rest. Had brigade drill. Major Hotchkiss commanding brigade.
Sunday, January 24, 1864Lt. Pool and myself spent the day on the Gulf of Mexico gathering shells. Started at 10:00 A.M., got back to camp at 5:30 P.M., tired and hungry. Got quite a lot of good shells and had a nice time. The first brigade came in from a march up the Gulf.
Monday, January 25, 1864Warm pleasant day. Stayed in camp all day. Tood the company out on battalion drill for the first time. Got along tolerable well. Boys paid the best of attention.
Tuesday, January 26, 1864Still at Decroys Point, Texas. Pleasant weather. Nothing of importance took place today. Took the company out on drill parade. Lt. Pool started to Indianola this P.M. on detail for fatigue, took Kirby and Metcalf with him.
*Fatigue duty is an all-encompassing term referring to duties other than strict military duty. From this reference it is impossible to tell what the purpose of this detail was, but they may have been sent for supplies, etc…
Wednesday, January 27, 1864Warm and pleasant, Lts. Pool and Martin absent on duty. Took the company on brigade drill for the first time. Major Hotchkiss, commanding brigade. Nothing new took place. No orders. Tomorrow expect to draw blouses for the company.
*In this case, blouse refers to a jacket worn as part of the soldier’s standard uniform.
Thursday, January 28, 1864Had the company sign the clothing receipt roll in the forenoon. Afternoon got orders to strike tents and move camp at 4 P.M. Moved 40 yards southwest and camped alongside the marine regiment that had been put in the 2nd brigade today. (The) 77th Illinois regiment transferred to the first brigade, 4th division 13 A.C.
*Leonidas’ division (130th Illinois) was also a part of the First Brigade of the 4th Division of the 13th Army Corp. This fact becomes more useful later, when we begin sorting out battle information.
Friday, January 29, 1864Weather gloomy and rainy. Had battalion drill. Drew clothing and issued to the company. Got mail and letter from George Balsley. Wrote a letter to sister Mollie. At 7 P.M., still misting and foggy.
Saturday, January 30, 1864Pleasant weather. Had brigade drill. Rumor in camp of 4th division going to New Orleans, uncertain. Took walk at 7 P.M. along the Bay Shore with Lt. Pool. Been working on monthly returns all day.
*This is just the first of many references to working on various types of returns. The Army required records to be kept on just about everything, and the term returns refers to these various records.
Sunday, January 31, 1864Beautiful day. Had company inspection (at) 9:00 A.M., regiment inspection (at) 2:00 P.M. Wrote letter to George W. Balsley. Took a walk with Lt. Pool down on the gulf shore. Nothing strange took place. Having a great revival among the men. Forty joined this evening. Great stir among the men.
Monday, February 1, 1864Fine day. Had battalion drill. Got mail, not letters, two circulars. Had the company sign the clothing rolls for Oct., Nov., and December. Andy Hickman sick. (Gen.) Ord offices moved to Indianola, Texas. Probability of us moving there soon. Captain Watts, Ord officer. Wrote letter for H. Jeffers to his wife.
*It was very common for those who could rite to find their skills in high demand by those who couldn’t. As we will see, Leonidas writes letter for quite a few people, but most often for H. Jeffers.
Tuesday, February 2, 1864Fine day. Went on grand review, Lt. W. C. Pool commanding company. General Ransom present at inspection. Col. Of the 13th marine commanding brigade. Had good revie. Company did finely. No orders about leaving. Gen. Ord expected daily.
*Getting all the Generals and commanding officers straight gets pretty confusing. As near as I can tell from my research, General Ord was originally in charge of the entire 13th Army Corp, but he evidently left the Gulf on “sick leave” late in 1863. Therefore, it is interesting that they were expecting him to return any day. (And, in fact, he did return briefly, contrary to published records.)
Gen. Ransom was evidently in charge of a major detachment of the 13th Army Corp that included Leonidas’ division. This is the detachment that took the Matagorda Bay are, including Decrows Point.
Wednesday, February 3, 1864Windy in the morning and cool. Begin to think of digging holes in the sand to get into. Got calm by evening. Went on battalion drill and was out about two hours. Nothing strange transpiring. Got orders to draw arms for the men.
Thursday, February 4, 1864Beautiful day. Boys signed the clothing receipt roll of January ’64. Drew chevrons for the company officers, non commissioned. Went on battalion drill. Boys got greatly vexed at Lt. Pool for talking to and treating them like dogs. Don’t know what it will end in, if he continues to do so.
Friday, February 5, 1864Fine day. Completed the returns for January ’64. Had brigade drill. I did not go out. Lt. Martin and myself took a walk up to the sutler’s shop of the 77th Illinois volunteers. Caigin just returned from New Orleans.
*Sutlers were government approved vendors that operated “mini general stores” where the men could purchase all kinds of goods. Only one sutler was licensed for each regiment though, and this being the case, they were free to charge exorbitant prices for their wares.
Saturday, February 6, 1864Fine day. Had grand review and inspection by major General E. O. C. Ord in person (at) 10:00 A.M. Had battalion drill at 2:00 p.m. Did not make a single mistake. Boys did finely. Very unpleasant drilling on account of the sand flying in such clouds. Lt. Martin got leave of ab sence for 20 days, expects to start home tomorrow.
Sunday, February 7, 1864Beautiful day. Lt. A. S. Martin got on board of ship to start home. Took a lot of shells for me. Expects to be gone 60 days at least. Went to church at night. Had a splendid meeting. Preacher said the meeting had een in progress for five weeks and near 500 had joined. Got letter from Miss Add. Barber.
Monday, February 8, 1864Pleasant day. Had company and battalion drill. Did very well on both. Went on dress parade. Captain in charge of the company. Had oysters for supper. General Ord left for New Orleans. Talk of us all going soon, no orders to that effect yet. Wrote letter to Miss Add. Barber, Marshall, Illinois.
Tuesday, February 9, 1864Rained. Had short battalion drill, dismissed on account of rain. Drew arms and accoutrements for the company. Got mail, no letters for myself. Nothing strange took place. Got orders to draw knapsacks, etc. Will make distribution tomorrow.
Wednesday, February 10, 1864Fine day. Turned in old knapsacks, etc. Drew cartridge box(es), straps, and halters. Made out requisition for tents. Had four knapsacks condemned. Had battalion drill. One man died last night. Nothing strange transpiring.
Thursday, February 11, 1864Fine day. Had drills. Turned in old canteens. Sent two valentines, one to A. Manly and A. Barber. Nothing new taking place. No marching orders.
*This is the first reference to Leonidas’ future wife, Abbie Manly. Don’t know who A. Barber was, but this is the last we hear about her.
Friday, February 12, 1864Beatiful day. Nothing new transpired today. Drew cartridges for the company and issued them. Had battalion drill. Tood the company out on drill and (the) captain came out and relieved me. Boys went swimming, caught plenty of fish.
Saturday, February 13, 1864Fair day. Drew knapsacks, haversacks, and canteens and issued them to the men. Excused from all drills. Several men from convalescent camp at Carollton came today, more expected next steamer. Looking for mail tonight.
*Soldiers carried their rations in haversacks.
Sunday, February 14, 1864Beautiful day. Had company inspection at 9:00 A.M., and monthly inspection at 2:00 P.M. General ransom complimented (the) company and regiment, especially on appearance. Got two letters, on from Abby Manly and one from sister Mollie. Good news from home. Got orders to go to Berwick Bay.
*This is the first indication we get that General Ransom’s detachment of the 13th Army Corp is soon to join General Bank’s overland assault on Shreveport, Louisiana.
Monday, February 15, 1864Fine day. Had two drills. Drew some things for the men. Camptain Wilkin, Lt. Paulen, and myself went out bathing in the Gulf. Had a fun time. Still expecting to go to Berwick Bay (at) first transportation.
Tuesday, February 16, 1864Fine day. Rather windy to be pleasant. At dark, getting more windy and colder. Expect to move soon to Berwick Bay. Nothing new took place today.
Wednesday, February 17, 1864Got out of bed reluctantly, the wind roaring and sand flying in clouds. Looking for the tent to blow down every minute. (It is) as cold as winter and uncomfortable. The day was a disagreeable one. Drew some shelter tents. Wish we were out of this sandy country.
*Each soldier carried, in his own pack, one half of a two-man shelter tent.
Thursday, February 18, 1864Tent blew down on me last night and the rain poured down on me. The tent tore in pieces. The wind blew a perfect hurricane and as cold as winter. Almost froze. Had to lay in under the wet tent, covered up to keep from freezing. Quite an amusing time. Several of the boys lost their hats. Have to sleep under the old tent tonight.
Friday, February 19, 1864Very cold morning and disagreeable, but clear and sun shining. Prospect of moderate weather. Had battalion drill. Got two letters from home, Expect to leave for New Orleans this week.
Saturday, February 20, 1864Rather a pleasant day. Wrote two letters for myselfone to sister Mollie and one to Miss Abby Manly. Expect to leave this point tomorrow at least. Wrote a letter for William Elain (and) one for H. Jeffers.
Sunday, February 21, 1864A very beautiful day. Troops moving all day60th Indiana, 77th Illinois, 48th O. V. L. (Ohio Volunteers), all left for New Orleans. We go tomorrow. Wrote letter to brother Isaac and one for J. Ross. Lt. Pool, Lt. Leech, and I went to Matagorda Bay bathing, had a nice bath. We will leave tomorrow sure.
Monday, February 22, 1864Fine weather. No orders to go on the boat yet. Waiting anxiously to get away. Lt. Captain Wilkin has my valise. Finished up all the company accounts for this month, got them all straight. Expect to get away tomorrow sure.
*A valise is a small piece of hand luggage.
Tuesday, February 23, 1864Fine day. Warm as Spring. Great sport bathing in the bay. No orders to move yet on board boat. 23rd Wisconsin Volunteers left port for New Orleans. We will nto go until the whole division goes from here.
Wednesday, February 24, 1864Beautiful day. Got orders to cook three days rations and be ready to embark at any moment. Did not get away. Still looking for a ship. No mail.
Thursday, February 25, 1864Fine day. Got orders to strike tents at 10:00 A.M. Did not get away from the old camp. Sept out of my tent, nothing but an overcoat and rubber blanket over me. Waiting anxiously to get off, but will not before morning. Slept in my old bed where my tent was.
Friday, February 26, 1864Beautiful day. Got on board steamer “Crescent City” for New Orleans at 9:00 A.M. and bid farewell to old Decrows Point, Texas. 12 miles, reached the Gulf water. Sea quiet and fine riding. Do not know whether we will got to New Orleans or direct to Berwick Bay. Will reach there by daylight tomorrow.
Saturday, February 27, 1864Beautiful day. Still out in the Gulf. Slept in the open air last night with overcoat on me. No signs of land this morning. Climbed up on the sailor ropes to the lookout on the mast and sat up on it. And a beautiful sight it was, out of sight of land, nothing but water. (We) anchored in the mouth of Berwick Bay for the night.
Sunday, February 28, 1864At sun up we made for Berwick City and reached the city at a little after noon, a distance of near 50 miles. Here we met Y. Whittock and B. Martin and went into camp on the side of the bay opposite Brashear City. All the company well. Got letter from sister Mary and brother Robert.
Monday, February 29, 1864Fine day. Had inspection and mustered, (assembled), for pay. Got marching orders to be ready to march tomorrow or next day and turn over all surplus property. Wrote letter to brother Robert and one for Hickman. Am in good health.
Tuesday, March 1, 1864Fine day, after noon, rained in the morning. Made out muster rolls. Barry Whittock and I carried weeds for bed. Expect good nights rest. No orders to march yet. Will leave in a few days, at farthest, will probably go to Alexandria, (Louisiana). *The men made bedding material of whatever they could find.
*It is interesting to note here how little the men really knew about what they were doing or how far they were really going. This was typical though. Only the generals and other high ranking officers ever really knew much in advance, and even then, plans often changed on a daily, even hourly, basis. We know from General Bank’s records that the plan was to take Shreveport, the men were apparently not yet aware of this fact.
Wednesday, March 2, 1864Nice day, like spring. Had cold night last night, now getting warmer. No orders to march yet. Wrote letter to Miss A. Manly and several for the boys. Had dress parade, made out to get half the company on parade.
Thurday, March 3, 1864Lovely morning, bright and cheering. No orders to march yet. Made out the monthly returns for February. All correct. Boys went into the country after molasses and sugar. Got plenty of molasses. Bought some flour with the company fund and had cakes and ’lasses.
*Going out into the country after molasses and sugar is a reference to what was known as foraging. We will see more reference to this in the future. Foraging was basically nothing more than stealing from the locals, though it was most often referred to as “living off the land.” Many thought it was wrong, (especially early in the war), but many others felt it was necessary, and it became quite common as the war dragged on.
*The company fund was an account that company commanders could set up. The funds included in the company fund were cash allowances made to the rank and file men for rations they didn’t get while marching. Company commanders were the only ones who could get these allowances, and they were expected to distribute the funds to the men. Most of the time this never happened.
Friday, March 4, 1864Beautiful day, like spring. Had company drill. Wrote letter to Edition Littlefield. Got mail and letter from Isaac, answered it today. Wrote letter for Bill Elam. No marching orders yet. (Will) probably stay sometime.
Saturday, March 5, 1864Beautiful day, pleasant and springlike. John A. Baker got back to the company. Pioneer corps to be broken up soon. Sick in the afternoon. Expect to stay here sometime yet.
Sunday, March 6, 1864Got orders (in) P.M. to be ready to march at 6:00 A.M. tomorrow. Do not know where we will go, perhaps to Franklin. Turned over company property for storage. Ordered to take two days rations and be ready at 6:00 A.M. tomorrow.
Monday, March 7, 1864Got up at 5:00 A.M., marched at 7:00 A.M. Strapped my knapsack on my back and took my gun on my shoulder. Marched about ten miles and took dinner a little beyond Pattersonville, toward Franklin. Camped about 16 miles from Berwick on Bayou Teche. Give out and tired almost to death.
*Many of the rivers in Louisiana are referred to as bayous. The march up the Bayou Teche was organized and directed by General Banks, and March 7 is the date that the first cavalry division began moving up along the Teche. The 13th and 19th Corps apparently moved out around this time also, but were delayed by rained-out roads once they reached Franklin, Louisiana. Leonidas mentions this rain in his March 9th entry, and you will see that it was some time before they actually left Franklin.
Tuesday, March 8, 1864Arose at 4:00 A.M. and marched at 6:00 A.M. Felt much beter in the morning. Got my knapsack hauled and started out on foot feeling finely. At noon, stopped just beyond Franklin almost fatigued out. Got a chance to ride on wagon and rode about three miles, when the regiment camped on a large plantation. Expect to start on soon towards Alexandria.
*Getting to ride on a wagon is significant only because it was a rare occurrence. By general order, men were not allowed to ride in wagons at any time, unless by special instruction. They also had to have a recommendation of the surgeon in order to have their knapsack hauled by wagon.
Wednesday, March 9, 1864Rained last night and a prospect of more today at 7:00 A.M. 10:00 A.M. commenced raining and rained all day. Had a talk with Major Reid about Q. M. Sergeant, and he says it is his wish and intention to post me (to) Q.M.S. immediately. (I) will accept, of course. Captain Wilkin promises to keep the vacancy for me (for) three months in the company.
*This is just the beginning of Leonidas’ path towards promotion. It appears, at first, to be a fairly simple matter. Later though, we will see the process become more complicated. Major Reid was the commanding officer of the 130th Illinois regiment, and I think we can gather here that Captain Wilkin was the commanding officer of Leonidas’ company within the regiment, (Company “K”).
Thursday, March 10, 1864Gloomy morning, rained part of the day. Got mail, but no letters for me. Was detailed as a Q. M. Sergeant by order of Major Reid and to be confirmed as such if the Q. M. S. does not return immediately and to rank as such from this day. Will enter on its duties tomorrow, no preventing providence.
Friday, March 11, 1864Beautiful day, pleasant and warm. Feel very sick, took a pill of blue mass. Arthur McCabe and A. Griffin paid us a visit and stayed al day. Reported to the Q. M. this morning for duty, but too sick to do anything. Will commence as soon as get well enough again.
Saturday, March 12, 1864Fair day. Got orders to turn over the extra wall tents in to the Sergeant. Had dress parade. Had stringent orders about straggling. Took my things over to Q. M. tent today. Will sleep there tonight. Got a dog collar from Arthur McCabe. Am getting better. Got mail, no letter for me.
Sunday, March 13, 1864Beautiful day. Commenced active business, worked on the monthly returns. Wrote letter home to sister Mary. Wrote letter for J. Ross. Had monthly inspection. Rumors in camp of move tomorrow at 5:00 A.M. Are ready anytime. Getting better, think will be well soon.
Monday, March 14, 1864Fine day. Troops passing all day to the front. Got mail. Two letters, one from A. Manly and one from brother R. H. Bradley. Been busy all day issuing clothing, etc. Feel better still tonight, after the good news from home. No marching orders yet.
Tuesday, March 15, 1864Beautiful day. Troops passing most of the day. 19th corps passed. We have orders to go at 6:00 A.M. tomorrow. Getting ready to go tonight, expect fine march to Iberia.
Wednesday, March 16, 1864Marched at 6:00 A.M. Fine, cool day. Marched till noon and camped near Olivia Landing. But before we got to it, stopped here for the night. Will go to Camp Pratt tomorrow. (Will) start at 7:00 A.M. tomorrow.
Thursday, March 17, 1864Fine day. Arose at 5:00 A.M. Marched at 7:00 A.M. Got to Iberia at 11:00 A.M. Went up and saw Mrs. Gill. Mrs. Muss had moved to Vermillionville. Marched on until about 2:00 P.M., when we camped on Clear Lake, 4 or 5 miles from Iberia. Will probably leave tomorrow again.
*As near as I can tell from my research of the time period before 1864, the 13th Army Corp had already been along this same route once before, late in 1863. This fact would seem to help explain Leonidas’ references to Mrs. Gill and Mrs. Muss, as well as his apparent familiarity with the area.
Friday, March 18, 1864Fine day. Marched at 6:00 A.M., 2nd Brigade in advance. Did not stop for dinner until we got into camp on Vermillion Bayou, a distance of 18 miles. The bridge gave way and delayed the train so that it did not get to camp until about 4:00 P.M. Will march tomorrow again.
*Train here refers to the wagon train. The wagon train generally moved at the rear of an advancing column, and at the front of a retreating column of troops. The wagon train carried all the food, ammunition, supplies, etc., needed to support the marching troops.
Saturday, March 19, 1864Fine day. Marched at 7:00 A.M. Passed Vermillionville and marched to the battleground at Carencro Paradise and camped for night. Will march tomorrow again. Had good days march and men stood it well. Camp (ed) just before we got to the bridge on the right hand side of road.
Sunday, March 20, 1864Marched at 6:00 A.M. Passed Opelousas about 12:00 P.M. Saw great crowds of citizens on the streets. Poor looking town, laundry women, mixed colors. Passed Washington about 2:00 P.M. Crossed Bayou Cantanbleau, and camped on the banks near Washington. Will rest tomorrow. Drew beef for regiment. Did not appear much like Sunday.
Monday, March 21, 1864Camped for the day. Got orders to be ready to march at 2:00 P.M. Regiment left at 2:00 P.M. Q. M. department stayed behind, waiting for the wagons to come for foraging. Will stay here until morning. Nice place to camp, fine water. Boys got plenty of sugar. All supplied. Drew rations for regiment for three days.
*Due to his recent detail, Leonidas now officially moved with the quartermaster department. Before this point, Leonidas always seemed to move with the rest of his regiment and company (130th Illinois, Company “K”). This fact become especially significant later, when the fighting begins.
Tuesday, March 22, 1864Foragers came in and we all marched at 7:00 A.M. Wagons stuck, but made out to get to the regiment about 9:30 A.M. Then went in rear of train. Left Bayou Cantanbleau and went on to Bayou Boeuf. Went into camp on Bayou Boeuf, about 12 miles march. Roads bad.
Wednesday, March 23, 1864Marched at 5:00 A.M. our regiment in front. Passed Homesville about noon, distance of eight miles. Marched on until near night, making in all, near twenty miles today. Camped on Bayou Boeuf. Drew two days rations and beef for regiment. Camped thirty-five miles from Alexandria. Will make it in two days. Saw woman 102 years old. Will start at 7:00 A.M. tomorrow.
Thursday, March 24, 1864Marched at 7:00 A.M. Company “K” detailed as train guard. Third division in the advance. Will march 17 ½ miles today. Am in good health and fine spirits. Began to rain about 1:00 P.M. Rained till near night. Passed Cheneyville at 12:00 P.M. Camped on Bayou Boeuf, 18 miles from Alexandria.
*As we already know, Company “K” was Leonidas’ company within the 130th Illinois Regiment. Being detailed as train guard meant that they would stay back with the wagon train to protect it from possible enemy attacks. This detail didn’t really change things for Leonidas though, as he was already traveling with the wagon train.
Friday, March 25, 1864Marched at 7:00 A.M. Roads heavy. Will tray and make Alexandria. Crossed Bayou Mora at 10:00 A.M. Crossed Bayou Roberts at 1:00 P.M., ten miles from camp, five miles from Alexandria, at 3:00 P.M. Drew rations for regiment (for) two days and whiskey one. Go to Alexandria tomorrow.
* The whiskey ration was a very infrequent “treat” for the men. When it was given out, it was usually after a long march or a major engagement with the enemy.
Saturday, March 26, 1864Marched at 7:30 A.M. Reached Alexandria at 12:00 P.M. Plenty of soliders to be seen. Camped just above the city on Bayou Rapides. Will stay here until Monday morning, when we will start for Shreveport, Louisiana. Got mail, not letters for me. Am in good health. Wrote to brother Isaac.
*This is an interesting understatement by Leonidas. Alexandria had been the planned meeting place for all of the troops that were to participate in the Red River Campaign, and it was apparently quite a sight to behold. General A. J. Smith had come in from the East with three infantry divisions, borrowed from Sherman’s army, as well as one marine brigade. A fleet of sixty vessels under the command of Admiral Porter was also there, and, with all of Banks’ forces, the total number of troops in Alexandria on this date came to about 30,000!
*This is the first reference that indicates that the men were now aware of their final objective.
Sunday, March 27, 1864Stayed in camp on Bayou Radpides. Drew two days rations and worked on monthly return. Paymaster paid the regiment. Wrote a letter for John Ross. Sick in the afternoon. Got pay for my watch. Will be paid for four months. Will probably start on tomorrow.
*There is reference in the memoranda section of Leonidas’ diary, in which he records the sale of his watch to another man in his regiment. He made the transaction of January 29th, but at that point, he only received a not promising payment on the next payday.
Monday, March 28, 1864Paid our company off at 12:00 A.M. last night. Began to rain at daybreak today and marched at 6:00 A.M. in the rain. Continued to rain until about 9:00. Got $74.00 pay. No chance to send any home yet.
Tuesday, March 29, 1864Marched at 8:00 A.M. Came to the Pine Woods about 9:00 A.M. Took chill at 10:00 A.M. Lasted till 5:00 P.M. Marched until near sundown and camped on the banks of Cane River, on the same ground our advances had a fight with the Rebs today. Chased a gang of Rebs across the river, said to be 5000 over there.
*Finally, he first reference to the “enemy.” The Rebel troops in this area were under the command of Generals Dick Taylor and Kirby Smith, and they were currently retreating in front of the column of federal troops. Taylor would skirmish with small groups here and there, but he was generally being cautious until promised reinforcements could arrive.
Wednesday, March 30, 1864Bridge down, had to make new one. Stayed in camp all day. 19th Corps passed, expect to go tomorrow. Rebel deserters came in today and report the Rebel forces (are) ten miles in our advance and retreating. Had headache most all day.
Thursday, March 31, 1864Marched at 6:00 A.M. Fine day. Took chill at 10:00 A.M. Rode in wagon the rest of the day. Had high fever and felt badly. Crossed Cane River again and camped on the opposite bank in a cornfield. Will move tomorrow again. Came about twenty miles.
Friday, April 1, 1864Marched at 8:00 A.M. Saw nothing strange. Marched about fifteen miles and camped on Cane River, five miles from Natchitoches. Took three Rebel prisoners today. Expect fight at Natchitoches.
*As they drew nearer to Shreveport, the men knew a battle was immanent. They just weren’t sure when the enemy would make a stand. The Rebs didn’t, in fact, make their stand at Natchitoches, but things were to change soon, as on April 3rd, a fateful decision would be made.
Saturday, April 2, 1864Marched at 6:00 A.M. Got to Natchitoches at 9:00 A.M. Rebels caught three of our men; killed one, beat another over the head with a gun and took one prisoner. 19th Corps passed. Camped about 3/4ths mile from town and stayed in camp here for the day. Probably stay until Monday. Drew rations. Wrote a letter to Abby Manly.
Sunday, April 3, 1864Still camped all day near the city Natchitoches. Wrote letter to brother Robert. Made one copy of the requisitions for C. C. and G. E. for March. Tood ride to commissary. Feel well today. Gen. Smith’s troops on transports passed by at 2:00 P. M. We will probably go soon. Perhaps tomorrow. Some person stole my bridle.
*Am not sure why, but General A. J. Smith’s troops had the pleasure of getting a ride to Natchitoches from just outside of Alexandria. At this point, they were apparently moving on up to Grand Ecore, just a little further up the Red River.
General Banks was already in Grand Ecore on this date, and this is where he would soon make his fateful decision. After conferring with his chief of staff, Banks decided to continue on to Shreveport using a road leading west, away from the safety of the Red River and Admiral Porter’s fleet. There was actually a road that continued to follow the Red River, but Banks was evidently unaware of this fact, and this oversight would seal the fate of his Federal troops.
Monday, April 4, 1864Still camped near Natchitoches. Fine day. Worked on receipts and clothing. Got mail. Got two letters from home. One from sister Mary, one from George Balsley. Drew rations.
Tuesday, April 5, 1864Still camped, same place. Worked on clothing receipts all day. Made our clothing receipt rolls book and got them signed. Got orders to be ready to march tomorrow with two day’s rations. Drew one more than we had on hand.
*Banks was now ready to move his troops on to Shreveport, taking the road leading west. He wasn’t really that concerned about leaving the safety to the river because he was confident that the enemy would simply continue to retreat, just as they had been doing since the beginning of he campaign. Little did he know…
Wednesday, April 6, 1864Marched at 7:00 A.M. for Shreveport with two day’s rations. Came to the camp of 16th Indiana Mounted Infantry, about seven miles from town. Nothing but pine woods to be seen on either side of the road. Took three Rebel prisoners. Roads good and fine day. Camped in the pine woods, eighteen miles from Natchitoches. Had a cavalryman shot by Rebs in evening.
Thursday, April 7, 1864Marched at 8:00 A.M. 19th A. C. (Army Corp), came up and sent in advance of our train. Had fight at Pleasant HillLee’s cavalry and the rebs, 6000 strong. Killed and wounded 80 of our men, be we drove them back and camped in the town. Went into camp about 2:00 P.M. The wounded were brought into town and broken limbs amputated. Rebels took us in ambush.
*This was the first real battle of the Red River Campaign and it was just a small taste of things to come. Judging from Leonidas’ reference to “our train,” he obviously still traveling with the wagons, and, as I indicated earlier, this is significant.
Friday, April 8, 1864Orders to march at 5:00 A.M. Began to skirmish about noon. One regiment of the first Brigade, fourth Division, and one of the third division tood the advance. About 2:00 P.M. the engagement became general and our entire fourth Division was ordered into it. About an hour after, the remainder of the 3rd Division went into it. We fought them three hours and began to fall back. The 19th A. C. came up and checked to Rebs. No particulars. None of our company in camp, but H. Jeffers.
*Leonidas was obviously aware of troop movements, orders, etc… But since he evidently stayed in camp with the wagons of the quartermaster department, he was apparently unaware of how disastrous the fighting had been on this day. His regiment, (the 130th Illinois), had been virtually wiped out, most being killed or wounded. The rest were taken prisoner. I can only speculate here, but if Leonidas had not been serving as a Quartermaster Sergeant, he probably would have been out on the battlefield with the rest of his regiment, rather than in camp with the wagon train. Serving as quartermaster may have saved his life. This battle in known as the Battle of Mansfield.
Saturday, April 9, 1864Yesterday, about midnight, began to move the train back to Pleasant hill, about eight miles. Got there at 4:00 A.M. All in confusion. A few of the boys coming in. Skirmishing began at daylight, reinforces by the 24th Missouri, and the 32nd, 27th, and 14th Iowa Regiments, under General A. J. Smith. Began fighting at 10:00 A.M. and continued during the day. We captured 600 men and 7 cannon, and whipped them. Train moved toward Natchitoches. All of Company taken prisoner and killed but for Corporal Jeffers.
*This was somewhat of an optimistic view of what really happened during this battle, (known as the battle of Pleasant Hill), but Leonidas was accurate in that the enemy had eventually been repulsed. General Smith was encouraged by this fact and wanted to take to the offensive immediately. But, much to his surprise, General Banks ordered a retreat, and that was that…. The campaign was lost. The “gun” was just beginning though. The Rebs would harass the Feds all throughout their retreat and as if that wasn’t enough, the falling level of the Red River was soon to cause a severe problem for the retreating flotilla of Federal ships.
Sunday, April 10, 1864Stopped train at 3:00 A.M. this morning and did not start until 8:00 A.M. Drove on to camp eighteen miles from the river. Nothing further heard of our boys. Got news that we had captured 1200 Rebels and 14 pieces of artillery. Rebels badly whipped. Captain DeCamp in command of regiment. Regiment at ___ 99 enlisted men present, rest all captured. Saw H. Armstrong of the 16th Corp. camped near us.
*This is another very optimistic report. Actual records show that it was more like 426 Rebels captured and 3 pieces of artillery.
*This is an indication of how badly the 130th Illinois Regiment had been hit. I’m not sure exactly how many men the regiment had started this campaign with, but it was probably at least 400. Captain DeCamp was now in charge of the regiment because Major Reid was among the missing. We find out later that Major Reid had actually been captured by the Rebs.
Monday, April 11, 1864Moved at 3:00 A.M. for the river. Reached there at 5:00 P.M.. All our forces came in. No more fighting during the day. Nothing further heard from our boys. Went into camp on the river, for ho long, do not know.
Tuesday, April 12, 1864In camp on the river still. Made out monthly return for March, for Company “K.” Drew rations for two days commencing the 13th. Reinforcements came in today by transports, 10,000 strong. Don’t know anything of our destination. Nothing further heard from the boys. Very anxious to hear.
*General Banks had sent for reinforcements only to protect the army he had left. He had no plans at this point to go back on the offensive. The actual number of reinforcements that came up from Alexandria by transports though, was something less than 3500 men.
Wednesday, April 13, 1864Regiment out on picket. Ordered to form battle line at 11:00 A.M. Kept teams in same place. Are building fortifications and expect an attack today or tomarrow morning. Got reinforcements last night. Got provisions return for 16th and 17th. All quiet yet.
*General Banks, and many of the men, still expected an attack, and they are building fortifications to protect against such an attack while they waited at Grand Ecore. General Banks had stopped here to consider his next move. It seems he may have actually considered going back on the offensive, provided he could get sufficient reinforcements, but this thought was short-lived. By now, Banks had received word that Sherman was recalling the detachments of the 16th and 17th Corps that he had “lent” to Banks, and this realization quickly killed any ideas of further advancement.
Thursday, April 14, 1864Still at this place. Regiment out in line of battle since yesterday morning. No Rebels yet. One gun-boat and transports ran the rebel blockade above here yesterday. Rebs fired at them. Sent three letters by H. Jeffers, one to sister Mollie, Father and brother Robert. $2.00 in each of them. All quiet.
Friday, April 15, 1864Regiment still in line of battle, and we are in same place as yesterday. All quiet. No enemy in sight. Wrote two letters home, one go G. Balsey and one to A. Manly. Sent them by a discharged soldier. All in good health and enjoying it well.
Saturday, April 16, 1864Still in same camp. Drew forage for three days from today. Nothing strange taking place. No orders to move, but orders to draw as much forage as we can haul, which was done. Wrote letter to Isaac. Got mail, letter from Isaac. All quiet yet.
*Forage in these instances, refers to feed for the mule teams and the horses.
Sunday, April 17, 1864Still in camp in same place, with no prospects of moving. Chaplain came to regiment. Drew rations for 18th of April. Expect to go soon. Probably to Natchez or the Army of the Potomac, nothing certain. Rebel Dick Taylor reported to be at Natchitoches with 5000 men, three miles off.
*This is one of the few accurate assessments of enemy strength to be reported in Leonidas’ diary. It is interesting to note here that the Federal Army, at this point, numbered about 25,000 men. With the Rebel forces at barely 5,000 men, the current situation did seem pretty ridiculous; Here we have this massive Union army of 25,000 men, hemmed in by a force of barely 5,000! General Banks was a notoriously cautious man though, and his decision to retreat had been made. The Red River was falling, so he wouldn’t have naval suppor or water transportation, and he would soon be losing General Smith’s 8000 men. There was really no other decision he could make. His problem now was to get all the troops and ships back to the Mississippi River safely. And this, as we shall see, was no small undertaking.
Monday, April 18, 1864Still in same camp. No orders to march. Made out ord returns for 1st quarter, 1864. Lt. Wood came over to see me from 117th Illinois. Drew rations for the 19th and 20th of April. Sent letters to brother Isaac by Sutler, Whitehead. Am in good health. Captain Wilkin paid me $10.00. Am in good health and enjoying the army as well as could be expected.
*Am fairly certain these were some kind of returns require by General Ord. Leonidas refers to them quite often.
Tuesday, April 19, 1864Still in camp at Grand Ecore, Louisiana. Got orders to be ready to march against the enemy at any moment and draw two days rations. Drew rations for 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd. Tried to send off office’s baggage, but failed and brought it back to camp. Expect to go soon. Lt. Martin came to us today and brought several things with him.
*Lt. Martin, as you may remember, had been home on leave since early February.
Wednesday, April 20, 1864Still in camp at Grand Ecore, Louisiana. Orders to be ready to march at any moment. Gen. Smith’s forces moved today against the enemy as reported. We go tomorrow, no doubt, and are ready for it now. Got mail last night and letter from Robert, and answered it last night. Sent by George Glick.
*General Banks’ first problem in retreating was to get his army past Natchitoches, and to this end he had sent General Smith and his forces ahead to Natchitoches to engage the enemy and thereby provide cover for the rest of the retreating army.
Thursday, April 21, 1864Got orders and marched at 5:00 P.M. for Alexandria. Took until night to get the train straightened. Traveled all night. Saw great numbers of colored people with carts, etc., to go with us. They said, “We all’s are going with you alls.”
Friday, April 22, 1864Teams corralled about 7:00 A.M., and we took breakfast. Moved again at 1:00 P.M., and traveled until 8:00 P.M., and then camped again. Had violent chill and fever and rode all afternoon in wagon.
*If it appears that there was some urgency in this retreat, there was a reason for this. The Rebel forces were now also moving south, with the intention of cutting off the Federal retreat before they could cross the Cane River at Monnett’s Ferry. The whole affair had now turned into a “footrace,” with the Federal troops racing to beat the Rebels to the Cane River crossing.
Saturday, April 23, 1864Our troops commenced skirmishing with Rebs about 8:00 A.M. Our battery is in sight of us as it fired. Attacked in front and rear. General Smith, with 7,000 men, whipped them in the rear and took 100 prisoners. (The) 19th A. C., in the (front), did the same, but no prisoners. Enemy whipped on all sides. Train moved at 12:00 A.M. midnight. Got rations fro 22nd-26th.
*This battle occurred near Monett’s Ferry. The Confederates were intent on holding Monett’s and preventing the Union forces from crossing the Cane River. They had a bold plan to surround the Federal troops here, (even though they were horribly outnumbered), and give the enemy all that it could handle. The plan did succeed in some respects, but they were simply too outnumbered. One Rebel front eventually gave way, and the Union forces managed to escape across the Cane. There weren’t really that many causalities on either side in this battle, and the enemy was hardly “whipped” as Leonidas put it. In fact, the Union forces actually lost twice as many men as the Rebels lost.
Sunday, April 24, 1864Train stopped about six miles out in the pine woods, about daylight. Stayed about three house. Moved again and stopped on the bank of the Red River to water. Then moved on and struck the Bayou Rapides and camped where we did going up, eighteen had chill and fever, and sick over it.
Monday, April 25, 1864March at 8:00 A.M. for Alexandria. Marched until near sundown and camped near Alexandria, Louisiana. Had pleasant days march with no accidents. Boys in good condition and fine spirits. Camped in same old place we did going up. Had no fighting today. No chill today, felt well.
Tuesday, April 26, 1864Arouse about 6:00 A.M. Looked like rain. Stayed in camp here. Drew rations for this month out. Wrote to J. Littlefield. Sent letter to Father and Mother. General Smith’s forces passed today coming in. Camped near town. Had chill today and feel finely now. Wrote letter to “Flag.”
*General Smith and his forces had made up the rear guard during the retreat, and they received cheers and ovations as they entered Alexandria.
Wednesday, April 27, 1864Still in camp. Drew clothing and stores, Q. M. Fixed bed, in tent of willows. Nothing new transpiring of interest. Skirmishing still going on. Expect general engagement soon. Wrote letter to sister Mollie.
Thursday, April 28, 1864Fine day. Still in camp. Fixing up new desk. Got orders to hitch up team at 4:00 P.M. and get out of field to give the infantry a chance to form. Rebs skirmishing with us, lively; expect fight. Camped wagons in town in vacant lot.
*Rebel General Taylor had, by now, moved his 6000 forces around Alexandria, and he was intent on causing as much trouble for the Union forces as he could possible manage.
The Union forces had stalled in Alexandria for a very interesting reason. The entire “backbone” of the Navy’s Mississippi squadron of ships was trapped above the falls. The water level of the Red River had fallen so low that many of Admiral Porter’s ships could not continue. On the surface, there seemed but two answers: One- leave an entire detachment of troops with the ships until the water level rose again, (probably next Spring), or twodestroy all the ships and continue on without further delay. Neither choice was at all desirable, and so when Lt. Colonel Bailey, (Chief Engineer of the 19th Corp), suggested that they build a dam to raise the level of the river so that the ships could pass, his idea was accepted. The necessary orders were given to begin construction of the dam and, even tough there was much skepticism as to whether it would do any good, construction began on April 30th.
Friday, April 29, 1864Fine morning. Moved out to the regiment about 1:00 P.M. and put in tents, and went into camp for the night. Drew extra rations for the regiment. Wrote letter to brother Isaac. Am in fine state of health and enjoying the time.
Saturday, April 30, 1864Fine day. Still in camp at Alexandria behind works. Got five day’s rations commencing May 1, 1864. Got jacket fixed, charged $1.50. Made good job of it. Nothing strange transpiring, and no new orders about moving yet.
Sunday, May 1, 1864Fine morning, cloudy and cool. Drew beef for the regiment and took it over the river to the boys. They are in nice camp and will be there until the dam finished across the river, which will require three weeks to complete. Sent letter to Isaac, by Charlie Smith.
Monday, May 2, 1864Fine day. Drew and issued clothing in the forenoon. Built shade in front of tent. John Hargrove came to regiment today. Sent rations over to the boys. All the troops ordered out to dislodge the enemy twelve miles from here, have not returned yet. Health good, and having good times.
*It is of interest to note here that, though Leonidas was giving “good times,” things were generally not going well for the Union in Louisiana. Alexandria and New Orleans were virtually the only two areas in the whole state left under Union control. Getting out of Alexandria and back to the safety of the Mississipi River, was not going to be an easy task. Work on the dam had already bugun, but until it could be finished, Banks’ troops and Porter’s ships had to sit tight and defend themselves from the ever-persistent Rebel forces.
Tuesday, May 3, 1864Fine day. Nothing strange doing in camp. Made out Muster Rolls of Company “E.” Teams went out foraging with one day’s rations.
Wednesday, May 4, 1864Beautiful day. Drew beef for regiment. Troops had skirmish out where they went foraging. Drove the Rebels off. Nothing strange transpiring. Still in camp, same place. No mail yet.
Thursday, May 5, 1864Very dusty and disagreeable. Rebels burned and captured two gunboats for use and one transport, (the) “John Warner.” Have blockaded the river entirely, don’t know what we will do for rations if boats don’t come up soon.
*The “John Warner” was a Union transport ship that had started on its way up the Red River on May 4th, (not all the Union ships had been trapped above the rapids). The “John Warner” was on its way to the Mississippi River, carrying an entire regiment of mne going home on furlough. The loss of the “Warner,” and the two gunboats accompanying it, was really quite a bow to the Federal forces, especially since their shipping line had been cut off.
Friday, May 6, 1864Very dusty and unpleasant. Drew beef for regiment. Remainder of troops in camp here left, except sick and quartermasters, and went out to the front. We’(re) still in same old place and prospect of staying here. No mail. Almost sick for mail. Rations likely to be short if transports don’t come soon. Are in rather bad fix.
Saturday, May 7, 1864Dusty and unpleasant. Worked on Feb. returns. Q. M (quartermaster) agreed to buy me a find Deplix silver watch or give me $25.00 to make them out so as to pass all right. Got partly through. No mail yet. Captain Wilkin (came) down to see me. All the remainder of our 4th division ordered to the front. Today (we) will probably go.
Sunday, May 8, 1864Still dry and dusty. Division train ordered to be ready to move Monday at 2:00 P.M. Gunboats came over the rapids. Will call come down tomorrow. Lt. Neil, Doctor Autis, Sutler kirtridge and Hunt and myself took a bath in the river. Rode up and saw the dam. Drew rations for 9th and 10th.
*The dam had been completed by now, and some of the trapped boats had actually been freed. For the time being, tings were looking pretty good….
Monday, May 9, 1864Fine day, but dusty. Got orders to turn over teams (four mule teams). Turned over one. Hauled things down to boat to be transported to the Mississippi River. Sent Sergeant Bachelor and Henry Bass with it. Drew rations for the 11th-15th inclusive, (2/3rds rations). Dam in Red river partly broke loose. Commenced new one, farther up river. Will take 2 or 3 days more.
*Another setback…There seems to be evidence that more of Porter’s ships could have made it over the rapids on May 8th. Why they didn’t attempt to do so is not certain. In any event, pressure on the dam had continued to build all night, and at 5:00 A.M., May 9th, the center of the dam gave way. As the water level was rapidly falling, Porter immediately ordered the gunboat “Lexington” to make a run for it. The Lexington” did manage to get through safely, as did three other ships, but there still wasn’t enough water depth to get ther rest of Porter’s fleet over the rapids. Bailey decided then to build some smaller wing dams further up the river, closer to the rapids. Work on these dams proceeded quickly, and by May 13th, all of Porter’s vessels were safely past the rapids.
Tuesday, May 10th, 1864Had fine rain last night, settled the dust. No prospect of getting off today, and probably not tomorrow. The new dam will be far enough completed to let the boats come down today or (to)night. No mail. Went bathing with Q.M. Neill, Doctor Autis, and Hunt in the Red River. Had fine time.
Wednesday, May 11, 1864---Fine day. Still waiting for the gun boats to come over the falls. Will leave as soon as they get over. No mail. Drew rations for the 16th and 17th, issued two days. Getting warmer. Anxious to get away from here.
Thursday, May 12, 1864Fine day. Drew rations for 18th and 19th. Went and saw three gun boats go down over the falls. Great excitement and hundreds out to see them. General Banks with the rest. Three more and a gun boat are above the dam and will go over tomorrow morning.
Friday, May 13, 1864Trains moved at 7:00 a.m., and we saw the gun boat “Louisville” come over the dam. Just before the train got to town, some heartless wretch had fired a block joining the court-house on Front Street and, by 12:00 P.M., ½ of it, (the city) was burned. The cries of the homeless and distressed mothers and little children were heartrending. Ladies sat on the river banks without a home, who, three hours before, were living in splendor and wealth. Camped at 7:00 P.M.
*All along the retreat, the Federals, (primarily Smith’s men), had been burning everything in their path. Unfortunately, Alexandria was not spared this fate. General Banks had attempted to prevent the primary instigators of the fires here, and General Smith himself appears to have been involved.
*The homeless had gone to the river banks to escape the oppressive heat and smoke of the fires. Some had also come to ask for safe passage to New Orleans. They were all refused.
Saturday, May 14, 1864Trains moved about 10:00 A.M. A squad of Rebs fired into our transports about eight miles below Alexandria, Louisiana. The advance had some skirmishing and drove the Rebels. Train and troops marched until 3:30 A.M. and stopped and fed. Served fresh beef for regiment. Laid out on the levee on (the) Red River with nothing over or under me. Slept finely.
Sunday, May 15, 1864Moved at 8:00 A.M., and train corralled about three miles from where we camped the night before. Had skirmish in the afternoon. Lost few men. Train moved on again about 6:00 P.M. and camped 1 ½ miles below Fort De Russy. Began fighting in advance at day break, (May 16th), had heavy cannonading and drove the Rebs from the field.
Monday, May 16, 1864Followed he Rebs out onto prairie and fought them from day break until noon, when they ran. We followed them all night and camped about 7:00 A.M., eight miles from Atchafalaya. Moved at 9:00 A.M. (17th May 1864). Had no fighting (in) afternoon.
*This prairie battle was evidently quite a beautiful sight.
Tuesday, May 17, 1864Moved at 9:00 A.M. Skirmishing on all sides of us. Took one of our wagons. Followed us all day. Reached the fort on Atchafalaya Bayou. Crossed Bayou DeGlaise and camped. Train all safe.
*Two Rebel regiments on horseback specifically attacked the wagon train on this day. As Leonidas reports (and the record concurs), they were largely unsuccessful.
Wednesday, May 18, 1864Camped in same place, near Atchafalaya (River). Rebels began fighting about 8 A.M., and in the afternoon the fight became general and Smith’s forces went into it in force. I was present on the battlefield and in the midst of flying shells and shot. We finally drove the enemy from the field and captured 200 or 300 men. Rode back to camp and rested.
*This was the final battle of the Red River Campaign, and one of the few battles that Leonidas was ever involved in directly. During and after this battle, the Union forces began crossing the Atchafalaya on a makeshift bridge designed by Col. Bailey. Once across, they would be safe from further pursuit by Taylor’s Rebel forces.
Thursday, May 19, 1864Fine morning. Forces all sent out to draw out the Rebel forces. Train moved down, ready to cross the Atchafalaya at 2:00 P.M., and crossed in the night. Brought the Rebel prisoners (250) down to the boat. They reported the Rebels whipped other day but think they can whip us today. No firing today.
Friday, May 20, 1864Beautiful morning. Train all over the river. Got letter from Lt. Pool. (He) is a prisoner (in) Tyler, Texas. Advanced at 8:00 A.M. Marched four miles and camped until dark. Hitched up and moved at midnight. Reached Mississippi River at daylight. One of the boys lost my horse. Found him again. No mail yet. Health good.
*With the last of the train over the river, the campaign was finally over. In all, the Union had lost over 8000 men, 9 ships, and 57 guns while the Confederacy had only lost about 4000 men. These numbers speak for themselves, but, to make things worse, the Union had gained absolutely nothing. The entire Red River area was now back in Confederate hands, and it would remain that way for the rest of the war.
Saturday, May 21, 1864Moved at daylight. Transports all lying on river by mouth of Red River. Marched for New Orleans, stopped about 10:00 A.M. on the river. Slept outdoors, no covering. Got large mails. Letters from sister Mary, Mother, A. Manly, Isaac, and Robert and Jeffers and J. H. Hanley of my company and regiment. Got plenty of good news and feel finely tonight.
*Can only assume that it was common to use the term “mails” when referring to more than one shipment of mail. Leonidas refers to it both ways throughout his diary.
Sunday, May 22, 1864Train moved at 8:00 A.M. down the river, going to New Orleans, Louisiana. Camped about noon on the river at Morganzas Bend. Got baggage from off steamer Arizona. Put up tents and expect to stay sometime. Wrote a letter to sister Mollie. Captain Lincoln arrived today. Eighteen men came.
*Mollie must have been either an older sister who was no longer living at home, or a younger sister who hadn’t been born by 1860, as the census data from that year doesn’t include her in the Bradley household.
Monday, May 23, 1864Fine morning, still in camp at Morganz. Drew beef. Wrote letters to Mary and Abby Manly, and J. Littlefield. Expect to go to New Orleans soon. No news. Don’t know where we are finally to go. To New Orleans from her, at any rate. Health good.
*As Leonidas had already mentioned once before in April, he wasn’t sure where his division was going to end up now that the current campaign was over. He thought maybe to the Army of the Potomack, and as it turned out, much of the 4th Division, 13th A.C., did eventually get sent east o join that army. For some reason though, perhaps just by chance, Leonidas stayed in Louisiana with the West Mississippi forces. In hindsight, this was probably a stroke of luck, as the reassigned 4th Division arrived in the East just in time to participate in a battle for the defense of Washington, D. C.
Tuesday, May 24, 1864Beautiful morning. Felt cheerful at so bright a day. Drew three days rations for 26th-28th. Order to go on boats for New Orleans. Our regiment is left behind for the present, will likely go tomorrow.
Wednesday, May 25, 1864Fine morning. Loaded wagons on steamer “Colonel Cowles.” She started for Baton Rouge in night, will be back soon. No news of importance. Fourth Division will all go to Baton Rouge. We will go soon, we think. Health good.
Thursday, May 26, 1864Fair morning. No orders to go yet on board boat. “Colonel Cowles” (the boat) got back today from Baton Rouge. All off duty. Lieutenant Martin and myself took ride to lower landing. Had nice ride, expecting orders.
Friday, May 27, 1864Fine day. No boat yet. Nothing of interest at all transpiring. Expect to go to Baton Rouge soon. No mail or papers. Boat came up in evening to take us. Part of mules brought on board. Ours to go tomorrow morning. Am in good health.
Saturday, May 28, 1864Fair day. Went on board boat at 8:00 A.M. and set sail for Baton Rouge at 11:00 A.M. Got to Baton Rouge at 5:00 P.M. and laid on board boat all night. Had nice ride and all wishing to get to stop here. Bought two pies as soon as we landed, being the first time for months.
Sunday, May 29, 1864Disembarked at 4:00 A.M. and went into camp about ½ mile from river, just back of state house on open plain. Wrote letter home to Isaac. Had chill and high fever. Camped in fair place.
Monday, May 30, 1864In camp, same place. Made out provision returns for regiment for prior days. Got it approved. Made out invoices for April and May for Captain Donnell. Expect to stay here some time. Had no chill today. Feel tolerable well.
Tuesday, May 31, 1864Fair morning. Took prior returns to General Burton’s Adjutant for approval. Took team and went out to draw rations. Took chill and had to come home. Carried furlough for R. Mifes to General Burton’s headquarters. Had high fever and very sick all evening.
Wednesday, June 1, 1864Fair morning. Took twenty grains Calomel; made me sick. Turned over seven mules, one wagon and harnesses. Felt sick all day. Took dose (of) salts in evening. Still sick…very sick. Got letter from sister Mary.
*Calomel, a compound of mercury, was a very popular drug during this time. It was administered quite freely and a common aftereffect of the drug was mercury poisoning. Not very surprising then, that it made Leonidas feel even worse.
Thursday, June 2, 1864Fine morning. Took dose oil, felt dreadful sick. Had chill in afternoon and an uncommon hot fever. Sicker than had been for a long time. Took doses (of) powder and got to feeling some easier. Rained most of the afternoon.
Friday, June 3, 1864Raining this morning, and cloudy. Took ride down to look at State House. Came back. Wrote letter to brother Robert. Wrote letter to sister Mollie. Rained in evening very hard. Camp all wet and rain still coming. Feel better.
Saturday, June 4, 1864Raining. Rained most of the day. Worked on returns (for) February. Did not have chill. Wrote letter to A. Manly. Stayed in tent most of the day. One of the same kids came in and played checkers today, that were playing cards in here yesterday. Feel tolerably well.
*Evidently a great deal of paperwork had been put off during the campaign. Leonidas spends much of this month catching up on all this work.
Sunday, June 5, 1864Fine day. Drew two days rations of soft bread for regiment. Drew forage. Wrote letter to Father and Mother. Boat up from New Orleans, expect mail today or tomorrow. Feel tolerably well and improving.
Monday, June 6, 1864Worked on returns for February until near noon when we had to moved camp about 200 yards to the left. After fixing up tents, (it) began to rain and rained all the afternoon and until night. Water about two inches deep in tent and still raining incessantly. Think made a bad move.
Tuesday, June 7, 1864Rained most of day. Worked on February returns. Got them mostly finished. Bought had from R. Hall-Sutler, $5.50. Finished Captain Wilkin’s returns for April 1864 and partly for May 1864. Feel well; well to what I did a day or two ago.
Wednesday, June 8, 1864Began to rain early in the day and rained most of it. Finished returns for February. Felt bad all day. About 3/4ths of the regiment (is) sick. Expected mail in the evening, but it did not come. “Gray Eagle” was sieged at New Orleans, and the mail was detained on that account.
Thursday, June 9, 1864Beautiful morning, lovely. Kept nice until about noon. Mail came, but no letter for me in all mail. Finished returns for February. Fell only tolerably well. Would feel much better if could get letter from the North soon.
Friday, June 10, 1864Fine morning. Worked on returns for March. Rained about noon. Cleared up at 2:00 P.M. Had races in evening. Captain Wilkin came over to see us. Drew rations for five days. Took flour to baker near us. No letter for us yet.
*Life in your typical army camp would quickly become unbearable tedious when the men weren’t on the move. To combat this boredom, the men would come up with all sorts of diversions from playing cards to having head-lice races! Can’t ell what kind of “races” Leonidas is referring to in this case, but he does make a more specific reference to “horse races” in later entry.
Saturday, June 11, 1864Fine day until afternoon. Worked on returns in forenoon. After noon, Lieutenant Parker and myself went riding and to get blackberries. Got plenty and came to camp just in time to escape shower of rain.
Sunday, June 12, 1864Rained nearly all day and, at night, still raining. Wrote letter to A. Manly today and put it, and one to sister Mary, in office together. Had great time with water in the tents today, almost flooded us out. Feel well.
Monday, June 13, 1864Fine morning. Rained part of day. Laid brick floor in tent, looked nice. Finished returns for February, commenced March. Will get them done soon. Nothing strange took place. Prospect of being here for sometime yet.
Tuesday, June 14, 1864Fine morning, cool and pleasant. Did not rain any today. Finished returns for March, and Captain Wilkin’s for May. Took ride to the city to get boot fixed. Had nice ride. Got provision return approved for five days. (Will) draw tomorrow morning.
Wednesday, June 15, 1864Fine day, no rain. Drew rations for five days, two days hard bread and three flour. Got box of flowers ready to send to Miss A. Manly. Wrote letter to Isaac, put $10.00 in it to send home. Drew pay today, two months. Tood ride to town tonight with Lieutenant Martin, got lemonade.
Thursday, June 16, 1864Fine day. Had inspection. Went to town with Lieutenant Martin. Got my boots fixed. Had review by Major General Dan Sickles. Lieutenant Colonel Mathey arrived today, looks fine. Wrote letter to Robert, put $10.00 in it. Had box (of) flowers fixed up to send home, but the boys got off before I knew it.
Friday, June 17, 1864Fine day. Worked on April returns all day. Got almost finished. Captain Wilkin came over and Lieutenant Martin and he and I took ride through the city. Got lemonade. No letter from home yet, don’t know the reason.
Saturday, June 18, 1864Fine day. Major Reid, Lieutenant Phillips, and Sergeant of Company “B” stopped on their way to New Orleans as paroled prisoners. Made out returns for May. Worked all day. Very warm and disagreeable. Drew mosquito bars today. Good arrangement. Paid ____ fifty cents.
*This is where we learn that Major Reid had actually been captured by the enemy. It was a common practice during the war for prisoners to be exchanged, and that is what is happening here.
Sunday, June 19, 1864Fine day, very warm. Major Reid and Lieutenant Phillips are here yet. Major (Reid) made transfers of clothing to W. J. Neill, A.R.Q.M. Went to church todayMethodist. Had good meeting en enjoyed it finely.
Monday, June 20, 1864Warm. Major Reid, etc. left last night for New Orleans. Lieutenant Colonel Mathey with us yet, but expect to go home soon if his resignation papers came through (to)night. Expect own regiment to be sent North soon.
Tuesday, June 21, 1864Fine day. Finished up all the returns to June 1864, and rested the remainder of the day. Had violent rainstorm in P.M. Felt unwell all day long with the diarrhea. Have had it for several days. Sent letter and five dollars to Professor Williams for degree of M.A. Wrote to Father and Mother.
Wednesday, June 22, 1864Nice day. Rained in the afternoon. Felt unwell all day, did not do any work on account of it. Lieutenant Martin and I took walk into the city and to Colonel Landram’s headquarters. Saw Captain Wilkin.
Thursday, June 23, 1864Fine morning. Took walk in afternoon to city with Hunt and Clark. Came back. Wrote letter to Isaac Bradley, put $8.00 in it. To send by S. Sumner to Cairo, Ill. Took ride in the evening with Lieutenant Martin down through the city. Saw some pretty girls, but doubted their amiable quarters.
*The world’s oldest profession received quite a boost during the Civil War, what with so many men, so far from home. Of course, venereal disease experienced a similar boost, so Leonidas’ discretion here was probably for the best.
Friday, June 24, 1864Fine morning. Wrote letter to A. Manly. Got mail, two letters from home. One from A. Manly and one from sister Mollie. Took ride in the evening with Lt. Martin and Captain Wilkin through the city on horseback. Saw many pretty women, but spoke to none.
Saturday, June 25, 1864Fine day. Sent off all the returns for March, April, and May. Dr. Wilcox got back to the regiment. Made returns for Colonel Mathey. Took ride in evening. Wrote sister Mary, two letters. Went with Lt. Martin over to see a lady friend of his.
Sunday, June 26, 1864Fine day. Wrote letters to Father and Mother. Had big dinner in our mess, and Lt. Ayers and Captain Wilkin took dinner with us. Lt. Martin and I tood a ride after supper. Got news that the 13th A. C., and our division, was broken up, (and our company).
*This is Leonidas’ first reference to the split-up of the 13th Army Corp. As he indicates, his division and his company were also broken up. This kind of breakup was common when a corp or division suffered a large number of causalities.
Monday, June 27, 1864Fine day. Made our invoices and receipts for June. Took chill about 3:00 P.M. Had very sick time over it, and it lasted all night. I could hardly tell where I was. I could hardly endure it.
Tuesday, June 28, 1864Fine morning. Got up feeling badly and continued so during the day. Did not eat anything all day and was so sick (I) could hardly be on my feet. Nothing strange took place. All quiet. Did expect an attack last night, but the Rebs did not choose to come.
Wednesday, June 29, 1864Fine morning. Felt better in morning. Did but little all day. Got mail from home, no letters. Expect another soon. Did but little today, only try to make myself comfortable. Felt better at sundown than night before. Will be all right soon.
Thursday, June 30, 1864Fine morning. Made out C. C. and G. E. returns for June. Felt much better. Nothing new took place. Took ride in the evening out to see Lt. Martin on picket. Pleasant evening to ride. Still no more news from North or home. Anxiously waiting to hear from Grant every day.
Friday, July 1, 1864Fine morning. Felt well today. Made out Q. M. returns for this month today, mostly. Got mail, two letters from home. One from sister Mary, and one from Isaac. Made a draft of house for sister Mary tonight, and nothing else. Am in good health and feel well.
Saturday, July 2, 1864Fine day. Felt well. Worked on monthly returns today. Great day for horse racing. Wrote letter to sister Mary. Colonel Mathey heard from, his resignation (was) disapproved. Nothing strange in camp.
Sunday, July 3, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter to brother Isaac. Nothing strange took place. Colonel Mathey went to New Orleans with his resignation. Will be back Tuesday or Wednesday.
Monday, July 4, 1864Fine day. Nothing exciting going on. There was a one-horse celebration nearby here. I did not attend. It did not amount to much. Day passed sluggishly. Heard that O. Greenough was killed and taken home dead. Wrote letter to his Ma.
*Know from 1860 census data that Ogden Greenough was from Leonidas’ hometown of Marshall, Ill. Ogden was the same age as Leonidas, (23), and was part of a large family.
Tuesday, July 5, 1864Fine day. Finished up the returns for June and forwarded them. Nothing strange took place today. Are expecting to learn soon, but cannot tell where we are to go to, as our division is not yet organized into (the) 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 19th Army Corp.
Wednesday, July 6, 1864Colonel Mathey got back from New Orleans. Got his resignation all right. Got mail, none for me. Colonel Mathey took recommendation from the office of the regiment to Springfield for my commission.
*At this point, we know that Leonidas still only held the rank of Sergeant. Though he had been detailed as a Quarter Master Sergeant, being “detailed” to a position was not the same as getting promoted. It will be September before Leonidas is officially promoted to Quarter Master Sergeant. Regarding his commission, I don’t know that Leonidas ever became a commissioned officer. There will be more developments in this area, later this month.
Thursday, July 7, 1864Rained today. Colonel Mathey did not get away. Will go at 8:00 tonight. Everything going on finely in camp.
Friday, July 8, 1864Fine morning. Got mail. Got letter from Robert, one from A. L. Manly, and one from J. Baker’s wife. Answered them all in the afternoon. Drew and issued clothing, etc. Nothing new developing itself. Prospect of staying here sometime.
Saturday, July 9, 1864Fine morning. Made out Ord returns for Lieutenant Martin. Wrote part of letter to Littlefield. Got mail, letter from old man Popper.
*Don’t know who this is exactly, but he is referred to as “Judge Popper” in some later entries. This may have some significance, considering the fact that Leonidas chose to practice law after the war. Of course, Leonidas’ father-in-law to be (Uri Manly), was a judge also even though the 1860 census listed his occupation as “Nurseryman.”
Sunday, July 10, 1864Fine day. Wrote letter home to Father and Mother. Nothing strange transpiring and nothing of importance took place. Felt only tolerably well.
Monday, July 11, 1864Fine day. Very warm. Had diarrhea very bad all day. Felt very feeble and bad. Eat nothing but toast and coffee. Laid in bed nearly all day. Wrote a little. Finished the letter, commenced to Father and Mother yesterday, and put it in the office. Not mail. All quiet.
Tuesday, July 12, 1864Fine day. Sick with diarrhea. Wrote letter to Judge Popper and put it in the office. Rained severely at dusk. Borrowed $5.00 of J. Pierce, to be paid next pay day. No mail today, expect one soon. Nothing new transpiring in camp at all. Dave McKinney made Div. Q. M. (Divisional Quartermaster).
Wednesday, July 13, 1864Fine day. Rained part of day. Got mail, not letter for me. Finished up Ord returns and forwarded them. Wrote letter to G. Balsley. Got orders for discontinuing the division and organizing the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 19th A. C. Lieutenant Crary ordered to regiment. Tomson came to regiment with some of our boys. Today meets with cold comfort.
Thursday, July 14, 1864Fine morning. Lieutenant Crary will turn over his property today and come to the regiment. Helped Lt. Crary turn over Q. M. stores today, and rigged up our teams in regiment. Drew wood and forage. Nothing new, only Lt. Martin, Crary, and I started a mess of our own.
*Am not sure exactly what was involved in starting your own mess, but I assume it involved eating. The very last page of the diary was a fold-out page in which Leonidas kept an accounting record of their new mess.
Friday, July 15, 1864Fine day. Made out transfers and receipts of C. C. and G. E. for Lt. Crary and turned over some harnesses of Q. M. Neill. Felt well. No mail, no letters, no news. All quiet and prospect of us staying here this summer.
Saturday, July 16, 1864Nice day. Very warm. Took ride to city. C. Hamilton Jeffers returned to the regiment today from home. Brought me letter from Mother and some clothing, etc. Enjoyed it finely as it was from home. Sutler Hall left today.
Sunday, July 17, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp most of the day. Wrote letter to Mary and one to Father and Mother. Got mail, not letters for me. Had fine dinner and supper today. Nothing new going on. Cavalry went out on scouting party today, Tom and I in tow.
Monday, July 18, 1864Fair day. Wrote for Lt. Crary on his papers. Had regimental inspection by Captain Wilkin. Got orders to be ready to go to Algiers at a moments warning. Don’t like the idea of move much.
Tuesday, July 19, 1864Fine day. Wrote for Crary most of day. Got mail, 3 letters. One from G. Balsley, sister Mary, and brother Isaac. Answered Mary’s and commenced one to Isaac. Nothing strange transpiring today.
Wednesday, July 20, 1864Fine day. Got orders to move today on board steamer. Moved on board the “Starlight” at 3:00 P.M. and left for Algiers at sundown. Ran all night. Bright, beautiful night.
Thursday, July 21, 1864Arrived at Ligers at 10:00 A.M. today and went into camp here opposite New Orleans. Expect to start to Baltimore soon, on board ships. Wrote letter home.
*This reference suggests that Leonidas was still under the impression that he would be going with the reorganized 19th A.C. to join the Army of the Potomac. We know his 4th division had, in fact, been incorporated in the 19th A. C. But, as I mentioned earlier, Leonidas doesn’t ever get sent East. In a later entry, we will see that only part of the 19th A. C. eventually embarks on transports bound for the East.
Friday, July 22, 1864Fine day. Still in camp here at Algiers. Did nothing much today. Took ride with Lt. Martin to Algiers and had nice ride. Wrote letter to Miss A. Manly.
Saturday, July 23, 1864Worked on Crary’s Q. M. returns today until noon. Then made out commutation papers for Jeffers to draw his money and drew it. Drew some bread and meat. Got mail, two good letters from home. One from sister Mollie, one from A. Manly. Good news I both. Answered Mary’s tonight.
Sunday, July 24, 1864Stayed in camp all day, nearly. Wrote two letters, one to A. Manly, one to G. Balsley. Took ride in the evening. Heard we were to be paid soon and to get lost wages allowed us by Congress. We will start for Baltimore next week, if not sooner.
Monday, July 25, 1864Fine day. Drew rations. Today, went over to New Orleans after soft bread. Ran about through the city and finally found the Bakery, but could not get bread until tomorrow morning. Will go tomorrow again.
Tuesday, July 26, 1864Got orders to go on board the steamer “Vivian” at two o’clock this A.M. Did not get away until 5:00 P.M. Rollins left at New Orleans, expects to start home tomorrow. We and the 83rd O. V. L. (Ohio Volunteers), went on same boat. Don’t like it much.
Wednesday, July 27, 1864On board steamer “Vivian” near Baton Rouge, La. Stopped there and fixed wheel of the boat. Went on shore and walked around the city awhile.
Thursday, July 28, 1864Got to Morganza at 2:00 A.M. today. Stayed on board until 8:00 A.M. today, and then went into camp here on the riverbank. Wrote letter to A. Manly and sister Mary.
Friday, July 29, 1864Fine day. In camp at Morganza. Lt. Martin and I rode up to the port commissary. Did not do much today. Heard from my recommendation for promotion. Will make it if Captain Robinson will make a statement and forward. Rather blue prospect. Man got drowned yesterday here, (body) came up today.
Saturday, July 30, 1864Fine day. Too warm to work. Asked Captain Robinson about making special statement in my case of promotion and, after saying his will was good, (he) refused to do so for fear of making enemies in the regiment. Don’t think he will do it at all, but this is all that is wanting now in the case to get a commission.
Sunday, July 31, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter to brother Robert. Took walk in evening. Felt lonesome all day. Wrote letter for H. Jeffers, to his wife.
Monday, August 1, 1864Fine day. Worked all day in Lt. Crary’s returns. Got them finished. Sent off returns of C. C. and G. E. today. Expect to get marching orders tomorrow. Capt. Jim Wisner was down today from 97th Illinois Volunteers. Wrote letter for H. Jeffers, to his mother.
Tuesday, August 2, 1864Fine day. Worked on returns for Crary for last half of July, and also for Martin. Wrote letter for H. Jeffers, to his mother. No news yet of going away soon. Expect to go to Pennsacola Bay, (Florida).
Wednesday, August 3, 1864Fine day, windy and pleasant. Wrote letter to Isaac. Got mail. Got letter from home from Isaac, all well. Finished the returns for Crary, etc. Still at Morganza and in doubt as to where we will go. Fell well today.
Thursday, August 4, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp all day. Warm and sultry. No mail, as we expected. Expecting orders to go to Pensacola, but nothing certain of going yet.
Friday, August 5, 1864Fine day. Got mail about 5:00 P.M. Got 3 letter, one from Robert, one from Mrs. Greenought, and one from A. Manly. Answered one to A. Manly. Tonight, looks like rain.
Saturday, August 6, 1864Fine day. Had nothing to do but lay in the shade and enjoy myself, and did it pretty well. Wrote letter to brother Robert. Sent Mrs. Greenough’s letter home for safe keeping, it was so finely and ably written. Nothing strange transpiring. Rumors of going to Camp Butler, Ill.
*As you may remember, Camp Butler is where Leonidas had originally mustered into the Army.
Sunday, August 7, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Wrote a little. Captain Wilkin, Lt. Martin, and myself went up to where the 97th Illinois was camped and saw some acquaintances among them, Lt. Herral, Captain Wisner, etc. Got back just after noon. Nothing new in camp.
Monday, August 8, 1864Fine day. Rained a little. Lt. Frank Parker returned to the regiment, brought me a letter from home from Isaac, which I answered tonight. Some of General (Albert) Lee’s troops from White River arrived today and went into camp just below us.
Tuesday, August 9, 1864Fine day. Rained today, cool and nice tonight. 4th Wisconsin Calvary left today on steamers for Baton Rouge, La. Got official dispatch of the taking of Fort Gaines and 800 prisoners near Mobile, (Alabama). Good news. Feel well tonight.
Wednesday, August 10, 1864Fine day. Worked on returns all day long. Got mail in afternoon. Got letter from Mary and one from A. Manly. Answered Mary’s tonight. Ira Ceuter came down to see me this evening and spent the evening.
Thursday, August 11, 1864Fine day. Had nothing to do. Got mail, letter from Judge Popper. Wrote letter to A. Manly tonight. Lee’s 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 19th A. C. landed here to draw rations today, will go on down to Carrollton tomorrow.
Friday, August 12, 1864Fine day. Had rain. Rained most of the day. Nothing to do but read. Stayed in my tent most of the day. No orders yet. Got another mail, no letter for me. In only tolerable health.
Saturday, August 13, 1864Fine day. Nothing to do all day. No mail, at least no letters for me. Stayed in camp all day, and most the time in tent. The exchanged prisoners got back today. Feel well. Wrote letter to Father and Mother, and one for H. Jeffers, to his wife.
Sunday, August 14, 1864Fine day. Nothing strange going on in camp. Wrote letter to Father and Mother and H. Jeffers’ wife, instead of yesterday, as stated in the diary. Stayed in camp all day. Fell well. As ______.
Monday, August 15, 1864Rained today. Drew rations and forage to 21st of August. Q. M. Neill made me a present of pair of slippers, very nice one. Feel well tonight, after the rain. Rather lonesome.
Tuesday, August 16, 1864Fine day, except raining part of afternoon and evening. Ira Ceuter came down to see us today, stayed most of the afternoon. Nothing new transpiring. No orders. No mail yet. Very lonesome at this point, with as little reading matter as we have.
Wednesday, August 17, 1864Fine day. Rained in the morning, nice afternoon. Got mail, letter from brother Isaac. Got the appointment of Sutler for my brother Stephen. Wrote letter to him, sending him the commission. Short and Mills came today and go on tomorrow. Set letter by him.
*Leonidas’ regiment must have lost it’s original Sutler, if it ever had one at all. In any event, Leonidas evidently managed to secure the official government approval needed for his older brother to become their new Sutler. Futuer developments in this area prove to be quite agonizing for Leonidas.
Thursday, August 18, 1864Fine day. Rained. Sick all day, really sick in evening. Sent Sutler appointment to brother Steve by Short, and letter to sister Mary, by him. Nothing new taking place. No orders
Friday, August 19, 1864Rained most of the day. Wrote letter to Father and Mother and one to Stephen about coming to sutle for the regiment. Heard our boys were coming back to the regiment in a few daysexchanged. Felt sick all day. Wrote letter for H. Jeffers.
Saturday, August 20, 1864Rained all forenoon. Beautiful in afternoon. Drew rations for five days and forage for eleven days. Felt sick all day, and not much better this evening. No news or mail today.
Sunday, August 21, 1864Fine day. Did not rain all day. Stayed in camp. Got mail, a letter for me from J. Baker’s wife. Wrote letter to brother Robert and sent word in it to Stephen to come to regiment at Sutler soon. Answered letter from J. Baker’s wife. Feel well this evening.
Monday, August 22, 1864Fine day, clear all day. Go mail, nothing for me. Small mail, no news. Nothing new in camp. No orders about moving. Still expect our boys back to regiment soon. Feel tolerably well and improving in health. Am anxious for Steven to come to the regiment.
Tuesday, August 23, 1864Fine morning. Stayed in camp all day. Nothing going on. No mails or orders. Wrote letter for H. Jeffes, to Frank Jeffers. Felt well all day, and the same tonight. Expect to get mails tomorrow sure, if any boats come in.
Wednesday, August 24, 1864Fine day. No mails or boats today. Nothing going on in camp. No orders. Nothing to do. Crary in command of the regiment. Feel well.
Thursday, August 25, 1864Fine day. Drew rations for regiment, six days, commencing the 26th August. No orders or mails, except Gen McGinnis taking command of 3rd Division, 19th A. C.
Friday, August 26, 1864Fine day. Very sick all day. No mail. Capt. Wilkin came back to regiment and took command of it. Wrote letter to A. Manly. Wrote letter to sister Mary. Feel bad tonight, quite sick.
Saturday, August 27, 1864Fine day. Got mail. Got two letters, one from A. Manly, one from cousin G. W. Balsley. No strange news. No orders. Still in same old camp. Answered G. W. B.’s letter. Feel tolerably well, getting better.
Sunday, August 28, 1864Stayed in camp all day. No mail and no news or orders, nothing of any interest transpiring. Flag of truce appeared from the opposite bank of the river. Nothing of importance to communicate.
Monday, August 29, 1864Drew clothing for regiment and issued it out to Co’s. No news or mails today. Feel well and am doing well physically. No orders, save muster.
Tuesday, August 30, 1864Fine day. Tried to draw rations today, could not. Will get it tomorrow. Nothing strange going on in camp. No orders to move or anything of the kind. Feel only tolerably well.
Wednesday, August 31, 1864Fine day, very warm. Drew rations today for ten days. Got orders to be ready to embark at any moment. No telling where (we’re) to go to, think probably up to Natchez or Memphis. Feel well over it.
Thursday, September 1, 1864Very warm today. Was promoted to Q. M. Sergeant today and got my warrant. Still in camp and don’t know where we are to go to. Got mail, but no letter for me. Feel well today, except (for) the influence of the heat.
*The Field and Staff Muster Roll for Sept. and Oct. 1864 verifies that Leonidas did get his official promotion on this date. A warrant though, is not the same thing as a commission. Leonidas doesn’t ever bring up the subject of getting a commission again. See Appendix R, p. 9.
Friday, September 2, 1864Fine day. Teams came up from Algiers today, and Brigade Q. M. with them. Got pass approved to go get beef. Will go in morning. No mails or news. Feel very well today considering all. Ira Ceuter came down to regiment today.
Saturday, September 3, 1864Fine day. Got beef for regiment. 2nd Div., 19th A. C., were ordered away, and part of the division embarked today. We will go soon. No more orders yet. Got mail, no letters for me. Feel tolerably well tonight. Nothing strange transpiring.
Sunday, September 4, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp all day. Nothing new transpiring. Got mail, no letter for me. Wrote letter to A. Manly. No orders or any prospect of going away soon. Feel well. Rain in evening, with wind.
Monday, September 5, 1864Fine day. Drew five days rations for teamsters. Went to Brigade Q. M., made out some invoices, and transferred wagon and mules to Brigade Q. M. Got mail, three letters for me. One from A. Manly, sister Mary and brother Isaac. Good news in all of them. Answered Isaac’s and Mary’s.
Tuesday, September 6, 1864Fine day. No orders. Nothing strange transpiring today. No orders. Wrote letter to A. Manly. Will send by Capt. Robinson, or some of the furloughed boys, to Cairo. Took receipt for clothing today.
Wednesday, September 7, 1864Fine day. Nothing strange transpiring. 96th O. V. L. came up today from New Orleans. No marching orders yet. Don’t know how long we will be here, probably sometime yet. Feel well today. Made returns for Lt. Martin.
Thursday, September 8, 1864Fine day. Rained a little. Heard of capture of Atlanta. Worked on C. C. and G. E. returns today, finished them. Ed Dewey came back to regiment. Captain Robinson left on furlough. Got mail, three letter for me from Isaac and Robert.
Friday, September 9, 1864Fine day. Drew rations and clothing today for regiment. Made up papers for commutation of ration money. Will get it tomorrow. Answered Isaac’s letter of 28th August. Feel well today and this evening.
*As mentioned before when discussing the “company fund,” ration money was the cash that could be received to make up for the smaller rations the men got while on the march. See Appendix H, p. 112.
Saturday, September 10, 1864Fine day. Drew forage for regiment today. Got commutation money for Brant, Sumner, Mount and Box. Made $4.00 today doing it. Had quite a time firing with the canon on this place. Feel unwell tonight. Have to go for beef in the morning, by daylight.
*There have been earlier references to Leonidas receiving compensation for his work filling out various returns and forms, (a watch, slippers, etc…). But, from this point on, Leonidas seems to get cash for his work on a more frequent and regular basis. Records of the amounts Leonidas collected for filling out returns, etc, an be found in the Memoranda section of his 1864 diary. And, records and references in his 1864 diary show that he continued to do quite a business right up until the time he was mustered out of the army.
Sunday, September 11, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp all day. No news of importance. Wrote letter to brother Robert. Went for beef, could not get any. Feel tolerably well today. Quite stormy in the evening and quite cool afterward.
Monday, September 12, 1864Fine day. Worked on returns, Q. M. stores, got them finished and Capt. Wilkin to sign them. Made out papers and drew commutation money for Bird, Piper and Johnson. Got orders to go on board boats at 7:00 P.M. (to) go on Scout. Got mail, letter from old man Popper. Fell tolerable well today.
Tuesday, September 13, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp all day. (The) 77th Illinois came up today. Regiment came from Scout at 4:00 P.M., got some sheep for the regiment. Wrote letter to Father and Mother. Got mail, nothing for mer. Sent off monthly returns for August. Feel tolerable well today.
Wednesday, September 14, 1864Fine day. Got commutation money for D. Aratiz. Got mail, no letter for me. Stayed in camp all day. Nothing new or strange.
Thursday, September 15, 1864Got mail, three letters for me, two from Mary, one from Isaac. Good news. Answered Isaac’s. Expecting Steve to the regiment soon.
Friday, September 16, 1864Stayed in camp until 6:00 P.M. when we started on a Scout. Five regiments and battery, Captain Wilkins is commanding. Regiments marched until about 12:00 A.M. midnight, and Lt. Martin and Captain Wilkin’s regiments all laid don to sleep together.
Saturday, September 17, 1864Marched to the Atchafalaya (River) at daybreak. Rebels fired on us from across the river. Wounded one man. Had shelling for three or four hours. Came near being killed. Stayed on the river until about 6:00 P.M. and fell back to the O. V. L. and rested till morning. Had hard day’s fight. Got teams off all right and feel well.
*I haven’t found any specific information on this battle, but it appears that Leonidas was right in the thick of things. This was probably as close as Leonidas ever came to being killed in battle. See map in Appendix M, p. 9, for approximate location of this battle.
Sunday, September 18, 1864At day break, started for camp. Got here at 10:00 A.M. Wrote letter to sister Mary. Feel tolerably well and glad to get back alive. Don’t want any more such trips soon. Men feel very much worn out having marched ten miles without resting.
Monday, September 19, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter for H. Jeeffers. Wrote one tonight to Miss A. Manly. Feel tolerably well, none the best. Feel well but tired and got bad cold.
Tuesday, September 20, 1864Stayed in camp afternoon. Drew rations for regiment in morning. Sick rest of day. Bad cold and headache.
Wednesday, September 21, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Took affidavit for lost property. Wrote letter for N. Nation. Felt bad from 9:00 A. M. to 4:00 P.M. Made out papers for commutation of rations for W. H. Thomas and D. D. Edminton of “H” Company, 130th Illinois. Feel better tonight.
Thursday, September 22, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp all day. Got mail, letter from A. Manly. Got commutation money for D. Edminton, W. H. Thomas, and Beau Blossom, $3.00 for all. Answered Abbie’s letter. Nothing strange took place today.
Friday, September 23, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Nothing strange transpiring. No orders regarding moves. Expecting Steve here with stock of goods. Feel well and in fine spirits.
Saturday, September 24, 1864Stayed in camp until evening when Lt. Martin and I took ride to the 97th Illinois Vol’s Sutler. Wrote letter to Littlefield today. No boats or mails. All quiet in camp. Feel well today.
Sunday, September 25, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp afternoon. Adjt. Dewey and I went to 97th Illinois camp on horseback in morning, got back by noon. Nothing new in camp. Got mail, no letters for me. Nothing new transpiring. Feel well.
Monday, September 26, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Expected to draw clothing, but did not. Will draw tomorrow morning. Feel well. No mail, all quiet. Loaned Captain Wilkins $3.00 tonight.
Tuesday, September 27, 1864Fine day. Drew clothing, etc., and issued to the regiment. Got mail and no letter for me. No news of importance. Looking for Steven to come to us every day now; will be down soon (for) certain. All quiet and still.
Wednesday, September 28, 1864Fine day, cool. Drew Q. M. Stores today, limited supply. Steve (has) not come yet. Expect him soon, next northern boat almost sure. Will be paid off next week. No letters for me today.
Thursday, September 29, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Worked on receipts, C. C. and G. E., for September. Drew rations today for regiment. J. Short came back to regiment today from town. Still expecting Steve. Feel well today.
Friday, September 30, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp all day. Nothing new in camp going on. Still looking for Steve. Feel well, no news.
Saturday, October 1, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Worked on monthly receipts, C. C. and G. E., or regiment. Nothing new transpiring in camp. Feel well, doing well.
Sunday, October 2, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter to Proff. Williams and to Geo. Balsley, (and) one to H. Jeffers’ wife. Feel well.
Monday, October 3, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Nothing new or strange transpiring. Got mail, letter from Mary, full of news for me. Answered it and wrote letter to A. Manly tonight. Feel well and in good spirits.
Tuesday, October 4, 1864Very cold. Stayed in camp all day. Could not wright, (write), on account of the cold weather. Tried to keep comfortable and warm; could not. Waiting for a warm day again to get to work on returns for September.
Wednesday, October 5, 1864Fine day. Stayed in camp all day. Nothing strange transpiring. No orders or news of importance. Still looking for Steve. Feel well.
Thursday, October 6, 1864Stayed in camp all day and worked on returns for month of September. Anxious to hear from A. Manly. No news. Feel well.
Friday, October 7, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Had inspection in morning. Inspection officer gave the fits about proper uniform. Mail (came), no letter for me. Sent returns off.
Saturday, October 8, 1864Very cool. Blowed all day. Stayed in camp, except went up to boat landing to see of Steve had come. Made out returns for Lt. Martin. Feel uncommon (ly) well. Anxious for mail. Wrote letter to sister Mollie; sent ring to her.
Sunday, October 9, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Cold and disagreeable. Wrote letter to Father and Mother. No mails, no letters, or any news of excitement of any kind. Feel well today and in fine spirits. Looking for Steve.
Monday, October 10, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Worked on Ord (returns) for Lt. Martin. Drew rations today for regiment. Feel well and in good health. Almost out of patience waiting for Steve.
Tuesday, October 11, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Built a fireplace to our tent. Finished it and got fire in it tonight. Does finely. Steve has not come yet. Am disappointed at his not coming. Feel well and in good spirits.
*See Appendix H, p. 55-57, for some interesting information on how fireplaces were usually built and some of the problems that they often caused.
Wednesday, October 12, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Made out Ord Returns for Lt. Martin for 2nd quarter, 1864. Beautiful day. Felt well all day and fine tonight. Very anxious to hear from North, from A. Manly, and home. Steve has not yet come; expecting him, next boat. Very anxious to see him.
Thursday, October 13, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Got mails today, 4 or 5 letters. One from A. Manly, Robert, Isaac, Mother, etc. Steve sent Sutler’s commission back to regiment, concluded not to come as Sutler. Good news from home. Feel well tonight.
Friday, October 14, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter home to Isaac and one to A. Manly. Martin sent commission to Trip Martin to Sutler for the regiment. No news. Feel fine and in good spirits.
Saturday, October 15, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Drew and issued clothing today to the regiment. Got plenty of it. I drew two shirts, one pair shoes, (&) two pairs stockings for myself. No orders, nothing new. Lt. Martin starts on a Scout tomorrow morning under sealed orders. Don’t know where he will go to. Feel well. Wrote letter to Isaac tonight.
Sunday, October 16, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter to Robert and Isaac, and Father and Mother. No news. Feel well and am in fine spirits, and all going well. Expect to go into winter quarters here soon.
Monday, October 17, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Put floor in tent, made double bunk, and fixed up all nice and neat. Feel well and looking for letter from sister Mary soon. Got a hint that we are to go into winter quarters.
Tuesday, October 18, 1864Got orders to be ready to march at 11:00 A.M., (with) 5 days rations. Started at 4:00 P.M., marched until 8:00 P.M. Went into camp at bridge on the Bayou. Stayed until 4:00 A.M. and crossed the bridge for Atchafalaya.
Wednesday, October 19, 1864Started at 4:00 A.M. Crossed the bridge and moved onto Atchafalaya. Got there at about 7:00 A.M. Found a few Rebs across the river. Moved on up to Baldwin’s Ferry and went into camp for the night. Commenced raining about 3:00 P.M., constant rain.
Thursday, October 20, 1864Got orders to move camp at 10:00 P.M. yesterday and moved out in silence in the night to this place, about ¼ mile from the Atchafalaya River on the bank of (the) Lost river. Stayed here all day and camped here for tonight. Good deal of picket firing. Killed seven and wounded sixteen Rebs.
Friday, October 21, 1864Still in camp on Lost River in the same camp. Cavalry Brigade came out today, stayed in camp all day. Cavalry brought in eight Rebels, one Captain and two Lts. Pickets firing all day, constantly. No orders or news of importance. Expect to stay here tonight.
Saturday, October 22, 1864Stayed in same old camp on the Bayou. Cavalry passing in small squads all day. Nothing strange transpiring. Got rations today, up to 1st (of) November. Issued one day to regiment. Heard our prisoners are to be exchanged today, or part of them, at least. No orders about going back yet. Will probably stay three or four days more. Nobody killed today; little firing.
Sunday, October 23, 1864Stayed in same camp on Bayou. Got mail from Morganza today, letter from Abbie Manly with picture in it. Good news, feel well over it. Picket firing all day, nothing more. Nobody killed on our side. Fired two or three shots from out cannon. No new demonstrations from the Rebs. Drew and issued beef to the regiment. All right tonight.
Monday, October 24, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Still lying in same camp on the Bayou near Atchafalaya River. Pickets continue to fire, with but little effect. Got mail, letter and Mary’s. Will send them off tomorrow, if possible.
Tuesday, October 25, 1864Stayed in camp on the Bayou all day. Still occasional picket firing, no one killed on our side. No orders about going to camp soon, cannot tell when we will go. Expecting rain all day. Sprinkled at dusk; no tents or anything for shelter. Anxious to go to Morganza, La.
Wednesday, October 26, 1864Got orders to move train and forces at 1:00 P.M. Moved at 1:00 P.M. up the Atchafalaya. Only one team with the regiment, other one gone to Morganza today for forage, etc. Rebels fired at us along the Bayou. Came near hitting me. Went into camp near an old mill on the Atchafalaya. All safe so far.
Thursday, October 27, 1864Did not move today. Had frequent picket firing today near camp by the Rebs, nobody hurt. Waiting to finish cutting new roads to Morganza. We will probably go in tomorrow. Feel finely. All safe, so far. Wrote letter to Hugh Scott’s wife today.
Friday, October 28, 1864Stayed in the same camp today. Rebels firing at us all day, nobody hurt. No orders. Expect to go to camp tomorrow. Nothing new transpiring here. Anxious to go to camp. Don’t feel very well today. Issued out all the rations.
Saturday, October 29, 1864Started to camp at 5:00 A.M., and reached Morganza at 12:30 P.M. All safe, no one killed or wounded in our regt. Very glad to get into camp, all tired and worn out. 2nd Brigade relieved us at the Atchafalaya. My health good, for the circumstance. Don’t feel the best, by any means.
Sunday, October 30, 1864In camp at Morganza. Stayed in camp all day and wrote letters; one to Father and Mother, one to A. Manly, one to J. Boyer’s wife, one to J. Scott’s wife, (and) one to sister Mary. Feel well tonight. Captain Johnson came back today, exchanged.
Monday, October 31, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Worked on receipts and invoices, C. C. and G. E., for October. At 4:00 P.M., got orders to be ready to embark with ten days rations at any moment. Got orders at dark to go on board at daylight tomorrow morning. All busy tonight. Feel tolerable.
Tuesday, November 1, 1864Went on board steamer “Thomas” at daylight; left at 10:00 A.M. for up river. Passed Red River about 3:00 P.M. Commenced raining at 3:00 P.M. and rained on until dark, increasing all the time. Had to stop at 7:00 P.M. and put out picket guard on account of storm of wind and rain, ten miles above the mouth of the Red River. Rained all night. Don’t feel well.
Wednesday, November 2, 1864Started on up river at daylight. Got to Natchez at 1:00 P.M. Stayed half hour. Saw officers and men of 118th O. V. L. there. Went on up river. Had to anchor and stop at dark for the night on account of fog, fifteen or twenty miles above Natchez. Don’t feel very well. Got mail from A. Manly, Prof. W., and G. G.
Thursday, November 3, 1864Started on at daylight. Reached Grand Gulf about 3:00 P.M. Stopped about ten or fifteen miles below Vicksburg for the night, as could not run after night. Had great scare today; boat struck snag in river and all thought it was going to sink. Great excitement on board; some (took) boots off, other coats and hats. All safe at last, no danger now. Wrote letter to A. M. today. All quiet tonight.
Friday, November 4, 1864Started in night and got to Vicksburg this morning at daylight. Stooped to coal. Started on at about 1:00 P.M., ran on until dark and tied up at Island No. 98, five miles above Vicksburg. Had pleasant day for traveling, clear and beautiful. Took medicine today, don’t feel so well at night. Don’t know where we are going.
Saturday, November 5, 1864Started on about 7:00 A.M. and ran on until came up with the “Jennie Rogers,” with Major General Reynolds on her. We stopped there about noon, stayed about an hour. Went on four miles further, came to gunboats and stopped until 5:00 P.M., and started on with a gunboat as an escort. Laid up at 1:00 A.M. below Gaines Landing.
Sunday, November 6, 1864Started at daylight this morning and ran on up the river until (we) came to Gaines Landing, and stopped to reconnoiter. 96th O. V. L. and one other regiment went out. (The) 97th Illinois and 28th Illinois Vols. Came up to us about 4:00 P.M. on “Laurel Hill.” Got some fresh beef today. Stopped here about 10:00 A.M. today. (An) Orderly came back from the scout; report(s) no Rebs. Boat moved on up river to get them, (the scouting part), on at daylight.
*To reconnoiter is to make a close examination or survey of an area to obtain useful information regarding enemy movements.
Monday, November 7, 1864Got to where the scouting party struck the river at about 7:00 A.M. Took them on and moved on up a mile or two and tied up and put out pickets. Stayed there until about noon and started on up the river. Got to mouth to White River at 9 o’clock P.M. Stayed on board boat until morning. Not well tonight.
Tuesday, November 8, 1864Disembarked today at noon, at the mouth of the White River on the Arkansas side. General Shaler left us today and went on up to Memphis. Our Brigade went into camp here today. Rained all afternoon. Got fixed up about midnight. Got mail from I. K. B., good news from home. Feel tolerable well today. Answered A. Manly’s letter.
Wednesday, November 9, 1864Fixed up quarters today, got all in good trim. Fine day. Drew blankets and tents. Got orders that we would go into the camp of the 11th Illinois Vols. Tomorrow. They (were) ordered away.
Thursday, November 10, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Drew and issued clothing. Got letter from sister Mary, good news from home. Regiment moved over the road into camp of (the) 11th Illinois, into log huts. Good winter quarters. Not well. Wrote letter to Isaac.
Friday, November 11, 1864Fine day. Worked on chimney and floor to tent today. Got both most (ly) finished. Chimney made of sticks and mud, smokes awfully. Am not much in favor of it anyway. Got two letters from sister Mary. Feel better today. Wrote letter to A. Manly and Mary.
Saturday, November 12, 1864Beautiful day. Fixed up for general inspection and cleaned up quarters, sword, etc. Wrote letter to Mr. Manly in reference to Abby and myself marrying. Sent detail to Napoleon today after lumber. Got plenty; and plenty of forage etc. All got nice winter quarters now, and think (we) will stay in them this winter. Answered Prof. William’s letter. Wrote letter for H. Jeffers, to his wife.
Sunday, November 13, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter to Father and Mother. Got mail, no letters for me. Had inspection of the regiment by Major NelsonCorps Inspection. I wasn’t present when the regiment formed and got reproof from the Major for it. No orders contrary to staying, to remaining here during the winder. Feel well tonight.
Monday, November 14, 1864Stayed in camp all day and worked on returns for October. Got receipts from officers for clothing. Find day. Feel well today. Looking for Sutlers to come every day. Commenced raining tonight, prospect of quitting soon. Again, nothing new.
Tuesday, November 15, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Finished up returns of C. C. and G. E. for ourselves and Lt. Martin, for October. Sergeant Tutt came back to the company today. Got mail, letters from Marshall; A. Manly and one from Judge Popper. Good news for me. Looking for the Martin boys every day, anxious to have them come. Expect to get something from home by them.
Wednesday, November 16, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter to brother Robert. Got mail, letter from Robert. Have not been very well today. Captain Wilkin went on detail to some point on the White River above here. No packets down today, Martin boys did not come. Worked on Quarter Master returns. Talk of consolidation of regiments soon. Raining tonight. Anxious to have Martins come down.
*A packet is a river boat that carries cargo and passengers regularly on a fixed route.
Thursday, November 17, 1864Went down to boat landing two or three times to see if Martins had come, but no, they are not here yet. We are very anxious to see or hear from them. Nothing strange transpiring. Got small mail, no letters for me. Finished Monthly Returns Q. M. S. for month, October 1864. Been quite unwell all day. Little better tonight, not much. Wrote letter to J. C. Popper.
Friday, November 18, 1864Rained all night and all day today. Made out Ord Returns for Lt. Martin for 3rd quarter, ’64. Wrote letter to Frank Balsley. Nothing new transpiring. Martin boys (have) not come yet. Anxious to see them. River rising fast; raised seven feet last night. Feel only tolerable well today.
Saturday, November 19, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter to A. Manly tonight. Saw notice of death of Mr. Manly today, died on the eleventh of November 1864. Feel bad over it, and have all day. Very anxious to hear from there, indeed. Martin boys have not yet come to regiment, can’t hear form them at all. Feel tolerably well today. Am uncommon(ly) anxious to get mail.
Sunday, November 20, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter to sister Mary today. Sutler Martin came today, brought box for me, full of provisions and nice pair boots. Well pleased today. Got orders to be ready to embark this evening for New Orleans, but orders (were) stayed until 6:00, tomorrow A.M. Will go on the “Iberville.”
*See Appendix H, p. 217-223, for some interesting notes concerning “boxes” from home.
Monday, November 21, 1864Got up at 3:00 A.M., nearly frozen. Went on board “Iberville” at 10:00 A.M. Started for N. O. about 1:00 P.M. Made good time so far. Got good stateroom. Been sick today, don’t feel much better tonight. Got letter today from Isaac and Mother by Cap. Martin.
Tuesday, November 22, 1864Got to Vicksburg at daylight. Very cold, thermometer (at) 22 degrees below zero this morning. Coaled and started on at 1:00 P.M. Got to Grand Gulf at 5:00 P.M. Got to Natchez at 9:00 P.M. and coaled. Started again at 2:00 A.M., for Morganza, La. Running very fast, rate of twenty miles per hour.
Wednesday, November 23, 1864Reached Morganza, La at 7:00 today. Stopped to let the 67th Indiana off. Started on again at 9:00 A.M. and got to Port Hudon at little after noon. Got to Baton Rouge at 3:00 P.M. Ran on all night for New Orleans. Enjoyed the ride finely. Got to N. O. at 12 o’clock at night. Feel tolerably well.
Thursday, November 24, 1864Lying on board boat at the wharf at N. O. awaiting orders. Took baggage and regt. Off at “Iberville” at 8:00 A.M. and put on board “Alice Vivian” (with) orders to the commanding offices of (the) District of Carrolton. Got there at 4:00 P.M., unloaded and went into camp here. We got good brick building for office and quarters. Nice place. Feel sick tonight. Wrote letter to A. Manly.
Friday, November 25, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Wrote two letters; one to Mary, one to Isaac and father and mother. Been sick all day, don’t feel well at all. Bad diarrhea. Saw Negro soldier publicly shot. Nothing strange transpiring in camp. Very anxious to get mails from home now.
*This soldier was most likely a deserter, as the penalty for this offense was death by shooting. Most offenses, other than desertion, carried less severe penalties. See Appendix H, p. 157-159.
Saturday, November 26, 1864Stayed in camp all day and mostly in the office. Felt quite sick all day with kind of “flux” or “diarrhea.” No mails yet. Am almost beside myself to get a mail from Abbie and own folks at home. Prospect of us staying here during the winter, at least. Nice place to stay.
Sunday, November 27, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter to G. Balsley. No mails today. Very anxious to hear from home. Nothing strange transpiring in camp today. Expect to stay here during the winter. Would feel better if could get a letter from home of late date, and hear from A. Manly in regard to death of her Pa, etc…
Monday, November 28, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Got no mails for me. Very anxious to get letters from home. Nothing strange transpiring in camp. No orders about consolidation or anything of the kind. Feel better today.
Tuesday, November 29, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Got lumber today for the regiment. Made good bunk. Drew sanitary goods today for regiment, got plenty. Feel much better today. Very anxious to get letters from home. Mail (came) but nothing for me.
Wednesday, November 30, 1864Stayed in camp most of the day. Made out clothing estimate for regiment. Went to Carrollton today to get some meat exchanged. Failed. Requires action of Inspector first. No mails today, no news. All quiet. Went on Monthly Inspection today. Would give $10.00 or more for letter from home dated (the) 13th.
*A Federal Inspector would have to officially “condemn” the meat before it could be exchanged.
Thursday, December 1, 1864Stayed in camp all day and drew and issued clothing to regiment. Captain Wilkin came back to the regiment today with his men. Been very busy today in office. Feel tolerable well. Very anxious to hear from home, can’t hear a word from anyone.
Friday, December 2, 1864Stayed in camp. Drew clothing. Got orders to move at 2:00 P.M. to Lake End and embark on Gulf Steamer for Lake Park, (Port?). Regiment moved at 4:00 P.M., got (to) Lake End at 7:00 A.M. and stopped to await ride. Will stop for the night. Feel well tonight.
Saturday, December 3, 1864Commenced raining at daylight. Sent an officer to New Orleans for orders, got back at noon with orders to go on board steamship “Alabama.” Did so at 1:00 P.M. Sailed for Lake Port. Got there at 4:00 P.M., unloaed on to cars, and ran them out to land by hand. Went into quarters in house for night. Got to a nice post. Feel well tonight.
Sunday, December 4, 1864Stayed in or near quarters all day. Got orders assigning regiment to special duty here at Lake Port as guards on line of Government Ships running to and from Fort Morgan and Pensacola Bay. In nice place here, like it finely. Feel well today. Fine view of lake. Cargo running to and from N. O. every two hours.
Monday, December 5, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Got mail, no letter for me. Wrote letter to sister Mary, one to Abbie Manly. Very anxious to hear from home. Issued clothing to regiment today. Lt. Orr took seventeen men and went as guards (for) General Banks to Pensacola. Feel well today. Would give anything for a letter from home. No permanent quarters assigned us yet. Expecting it every day and anxious for it.
Tuesday, December 6, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Got up in the morning very sick, felt so until noon. Got better. Wrote letter for H. Jeffers. Got mail today, two of them. One letter for me from Jo Scott’s wife. None from Marshall, am very anxious to hear from home. Inspector came out today and condemned guns of Regt. No quarters for us yet; almost out of patience about it.
Wednesday, December 7, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Got letter from sister Mary and one from brother Isaac. Feel well over it tonight. Wrote letter to sister Mary and one to Isaac, (and a) tribute of respect to Mrs. Manly. No quarters assigned us yet. Very anxious to get letter from A. M., want to hear from home. Feel well tonight.
Thursday, December 8, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Got quarters assigned us across the street in small house. Moved in, built a bunk. Officers of regiment moved into big building today. Got new guns for regiment today. Captain Wilkin and Lt. Martin went on transports to Pensacola. Feel tolerable well today.
Friday, December 9, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Very cold and disagreeable. Cannot work for cold. Rumors in quarters of our being ordered to Brazas Santiago, Texas. No mail today, anxious to hear from home. Feel well today, still cold.
Saturday, December 10, 1864Stayed in camp all day. Got mail, two letters from home. One from Abbie Manly, one from Mrs. Manly. Abbie accepted my proposal. Good news. Feel fine over it tonight. Got letter from J. C. Popper today. Got stove today, fixed up nicely. Feel well now, and especially over the news from home. Wrote letter to J. C. Popper.
Sunday, December 11, 1864Wrote letter to A. Manly, one to Mrs. Manly, one to Jo Scott’s wife, (and) one for H. Jeffers. Stayed in camp all day. Been very cold today. Cap. Wilkin came back today from detail. Feel well today. Feel relieved over the news I got from home yesterday, not so uneasy now.
Monday, December 12, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Made out stationary returns for November. Made out Captain Wilkin’s invoices for November. Got mail. No letter for me today. Lt. Martin and Lt. Parker came back last night with detail. Captain Wilkin and Lt. Parker went away today again on “Clyde” and “Zephyr.” Cold today. Lake froze out for 40 years from shore. Very cold.
Tuesday, December 13, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Worked on papers for November. Got all made out, but Lt. Parker’s. Lt. Martin went on detail (for) General Banks. No mail today. Got stores today for regiment. Feel finely now. Feel great relief since the letters from Abby and her Ma. Getting warmer now, looks like rain. Anxious to hear from sis(ter) Mollie.
Wednesday, December 14, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Worked on monthly papers for November. Got McKinney’s invoices. No mail today, all quiet. Wrote letter to sister Mollie. Feel well today. Nothing strange transpiring. Very warm pleasant day.
Thursday, December 15, 1864Beautiful day. Stayed in quarters all day, except took ride up to Lake this morning with Adjt. Dewey. Beautiful scenery on lake. Got large mail today, two letters for me. One from Abbie, one from sister Mollie. Answered Abbie’s tonight. Feel well tonight, good news from home. All going on finely as far as heard from. Worked on returns today. C. C. and G. E.
Friday, December 16, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Finished returns, C. C. and G. E., for November, 1864. Beautiful day, like Spring, warm and pleasant. No news today, no mail. Heard we are to be consolidated with the 77th Illinois Vols. Soon, anxious to have it done soon, if at all. Took bath tonight. Feel well tonight.
Saturday, December 17, 1864Went to New Orleans today. Got pictures taken. Ran about (on) the train until near noon, and came back to depot and home again. Not well tonight. No mail today. Fine day, warm and pleasant, like Spring. Mosquitoes very numerous. Nothing strange or new transpiring at station.
Sunday, December 18, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Wrote letter to Jeffers’ wife. Had preaching in afternoon, in quarters. Nothing strange transpiring in camp. No mail.
Beautiful day. Captain Wilkin and Captain Martin went to the city today to go to the show, nevertheless it being Sunday. Feel well today.
Monday, December 19, 1864Stayed in the office all day. Worked on Return Q. Master Stores for November. Got all done except signing, and (do have) them partly signed. Feel well today. Made out C. C. and G. E. Returns for Lt. Martin for November 1864. Mail today, nothing for me.
Tuesday, December 20, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Worked on Ord Returns for Lt. Orr. Got news about consolidation. Learned to a certainty of it going to be done immediately. I am to be kept in the army as Q. M. Sergeant, 77th Illinois Vols. Many will get out by it. Am in good health and doing well. Sent photograph to Mary.
*When a regiment was consolidated into another regiment, it was common for some men to be mustered out of the service in the process. No such luck for Leonidas. See his military records in Appendix R, p. 11, for the official orders and paperwork behind this consolidation, which actually didn’t take place until January 26, 1865.
Wednesday, December 21, 1864Stayed in quarters all day and issued clothing to the regiment. Very busy. Wrote letter to A. Manly. Sent photo. Worked on Ord returns for Lt. Orr. Got all finished but (for) the orders necessary for transferring Ord property. Feel well today and in fine spirits. Expecting to be consolidated soon with 77th, Illinois.
Thursday, December 22, 1864Stayed in camp all day and finished up Lt. Orr’s Ord returns for third quarter, ’64. Issued clothing to the regiment all day long. No mail. Nothing strange transpiring. Rumor of pay today, soon. Feel well and doing finely. Nothing further heard from the consolidation today.
Friday, December 23, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Rather cold today. Issued clothing to regiment during the day. Got mail today, letter from Isaac. Answered it tonight. Captain Johnson came back to regiment today. Think will be paid off next week, sure. No orders today. Nothing strange transpiring. Feel well and in fine spirits.
Saturday, December 24, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Issued clothing to the men all day. Captain Wilkin came back today. Got mail, no letter for me. Tomorrow is Christmas, don’t expect any great dinner or anything of the kind. All quiet, nothing strange transpiring in camp. Got new uniform all fixed up tonight. Feel well today.
Sunday, December 25, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Very dry Christmas. Nothing strange at all in town. No refreshments for dinner, but the same old army ration as usual. Wrote letter to Father and Mother. Lt. Martin came in from Gulf today. No mails, nothing of any interest transpiring. Feel well today, but lonesome.
Monday, December 26, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. No mails or anything strange transpiring. Got word of Thomas capturing 9000 men from Rebel Hood and 54 guns. All the news from every front is good today. Would like to hear from home today. Feel only tolerable well. Sent off Monthly Returns of Q. M. Stores for November today. Captain Johnson out on detail today.
Tuesday, December 27, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Had nothing special to do. Got mail today, no letters for me. News from Hood and Thomas, Sherman, etc. all true, and getting better. Cheering news. Drew rations today for fifteen days from first of January. Nothing strange transpiring in camp. Feel well tonight.
Wednesday, December 28, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Had nothing to do particularly. Got mail, nothing for me. Everything moving on finely. News still good. Anxious to hear from home and from Abbie. Expect mail today, not sure of any. Feel well today.
Thursday, December 29, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Had nothing particularly to do. Dolph Algiers came out to see u today. No mails today. Hear nothing more of consolidation. Am anxious to hear from home and from Abbie. Tolerable cool, yet a very beautiful day. The lake looked fine. Would be glad and satisfied if could hear from Abbie oftener, or from home.
Friday, December 30, 1864Stayed in quarters all day. Nothing strange transpiring. No mail yet, anxious for one. Very much disappointed at not getting any. Beautiful warm day, turning cooler at dusk. Prospect of a Northerner tonight. Warm weather for Christmas week. Lake rather rough. All details in, but Martin. Feel well today.
Saturday, December 31, 1864The winding up of the year’s work. Stayed in quarters all day. Got mail, three letters for me. One from Mary, Mother and George Balsley. Good news from home all right. In fine spirits today, feel well knowing this is the last December of our present term of service. Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye.
1860 Census, Marshall, Clark Co, IL
Uri Manly, 53, male, nurseryman, 30,000, 15,000, Massachusetts; Mary E. Manly 37, female, Ohio; Abby L. Manly, 13, female, IL; Francis C. Manly, 11, male, IL; Uri D. Manly, 5, male, IL; Mary F. Manly, 2, female; Anna Price, 25, female, OH; Sarah Walker, 18, female, IL.
Lewis M. Bradley, 55, male, Painter, 1000, New York; Nancy Bradley, 52, female, Delaware; Stephen Bradley, 28, male, OH; Mary E. Bradley, 20, female, OH; Hamilton Bradley, 19, male, OH; Robert H. Bradley, 16, male, OH; Isaac Bradley, 14, male, OH; Charles Knox, 80, male, Delaware; Margaret Bradley, 5, female, IL; Mary Bradley, 2, female, IL; John Bradley, 4/12, male, IL.
Eliza Greenough, 39, female, 2000, 500, VA; James Greenough, 20, male, Clerk, IL; Odgen Greenough, 19, male, IL; Hanna Greenough, 18, female, IL; Frances Greenough, 16, female, IL; Mary Greenough, 13, female, IL; Charles Greenough, 11 male, IL; Willis Greenough, 8, male, IL; Eva Greenough, 6, female, IL.
Certificate of Death
Omaha-Douglas County Health Department
Place of Death:
Name of hospital or institution: Rome Hotel
Full Name: Leonidas Bradley
Birth Date of deceased: July 25, 1842
Usual occupation: Lawyer
Father’s Name: Louis M. Bradley
Burial on 5-8-1913
Place of burial: Springfield, Illinois
Signature of funeral director: A. J. Jackson
Usual Residence of Deceased:
Date of Death: May 6, 1913
Immediate case of death: Arteriosclerosis
Signature: H. Hirschmann
Judge Bradley Dies Suddenly
Prominent Mason, Attorney and Civil War Veteran Succumbs While Sitting in Chair
Came Here in 1886
Judge Leonidas H. Bradley, aged 71, prominent Mason attorney and civil war veteran died suddenly of heart failure yesterday afternoon at his apartments in the Home hotel. His wife had just finished reading a letter from his daughter when her relaxed in his chair, sighed and was dead.
Judge Bradley came to Omaha in 1886 from Springfield, Illinois. He had practiced law there twenty-two years after the mustering out of the Union army. He was for a time on the bench in Illinois. After coming to Omaha, he became one of the prominent figures of the Omaha bar and continued active in his profession up to the day of his death.
He had been in poor health for a month, but had continued work and visited his office the day before his death. He expected to visit a daughter in Waterloo, Iowa, shortly and had arranged all business affairs in expectation.
Mr. Bradley was intensely interested in Masonic work and spent much time in the interests of the order.
He was born in Galleo county, Ohio. He enlisted in the civil war and rose to the rank of colonel by the end of the war. He was a close friend of Robert H. Ingersoll and was associated with him in many cased before coming to Omaha.
Judge Bradley is survived by his widow, two sons, F. F. an attorney and R. M. Bradley, connected with the Ford Motor Car company of Omaha, and two daughters, Mrs. Etta Rosenzweig of Waterloo, Iowa and Mrs. Pearl Waters of Buell, Idaho.
Service will be conducted by the Masonic lodge at a date not yet se. The body will be taken to Springfield, Illinois for burial in Oakridge cemetery where Mr. Bradley often stated he wished to be buried.
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