SUNDAY, January 1, 1865 -- Sno Raine. On board a steamboat again for a voyage left Camp this afternoon with every thing with us. Wrote 1 letter and read a family letter from home. It does not seem at all like Sunday much less New Year.
MONDAY 2 -- Did not leave today. The Sno Raine is cooling up expect to leave to night.
TUESDAY 3 -- Left Memphis about 8 oclock. Sailed fast all night. Wrote 2 letters to be mailed at Vicksburg which place we will reach about 10 oclock p.m. Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY January 4, 1865 -- Passed Natchez that fore noon. There is not much to be seen along the banks. We have gun boats here and there. Saw 1 monitor [Yankee gun boat]
THURSDAY 5 -- In Camp about 10 miles from N. Orleans at a place called Kinneyville on an old sugar plantation. The Country is cultivated on both sides of the river. Orange trees and all tropical fruit flourish.
FRIDAY 6 -- Our tent blew down today. We had dress parade tonight and orders new and old. I put in for some clothing. Wrote 2 letters home.
SATURDAY, January 7, 1865 -- Was on fatigue today. Went into the swamp for wood. Saw cane brakes and the Green rushes used for palm leaf fans. Jimmy is unwell and I spent my last cent this morning.
SUNDAY 8 -- Had regimental inspection this forenoon. A guard was put around camp at noon. Some of the boys been foraging too heavy. No meeting to go to. I enjoyed reading my testament and tracts better than ever.
MONDAY 9 -- It rained all day. Heard a part of the Regt received pay for 4 months today but when we will get it I cannot tell. I'm Strapped
TUESDAY, January 10, 1985 --A month today since we left Camp Butler. We have seen lots of country since then and been blessed with good health.
WEDNESDAY 11 -- On guard tonight. Let one letter from home. Jimmy is a good deal better.
THURSDAY 12 -- Wrote 2 letters. Cleaned up my gun. It is a clear and moonlight night quite cool. Dress parade at sunset.
FRIDAY January 13, 1865 -- No mail which I did expect. A frosty morning, but pleasant day. Had drill twice.
SATURDAY 14 -- Drilled 3 times today. Fixed up our tent a little. A very pleasant day.
SUNDAY 15 -- Wrote 2 letters. Had a tramp with Jim this afternoon. Company inspection this forenoon. Raining to night.
MONDAY 16 -- It cleared off, pleasant this forenoon. Nothing going on out of the way.
TUESDAY 17 -- On guard did not get any mail as we expected.
WEDNESDAY 18 -- Received a letter from mother and answered it. Also a shirt from home.
THURSDAY January 19, 1865 -- A drizzly rainy day, such a dull and tiresome one in the life of a soldier comes often. Patience is greatly needed here in the mud and slop. The niggers [sic] had a row last night.
FRIDAY 20 -- Rained all day quite hard. Bill on guard.
SATURDAY 21 -- On fatigue this forenoon. Received 4 letters today, 1 from Sublette [Illinois] 3 from Amboy. Good news received our new blankets
SUNDAY 22 -- Mud deeper than ever and still drizzling a little. Wrote 2 letters.
MONDAY 23 -- Quite cold today. No more rain at present. Fixed a floor in our tent. Haynes Circus is in Kenneyville lots of the boys have gone tonight.
TUESDAY 24 -- On guard. It froze quite hard last night and is cool yet the mud is getting dry.
WEDNESDAY 25 -- Cold yet had dress parade tonight. Wrote a letter to mother.
THURSDAY 26 --- Cold enough to make ones hair stand. Had Inspection this forenoon. No mail.
FRIDAY 27 --- Cool and rainy. It slacked some to day. Drill twice today.
SATURDAY 28 --- Cleared off a little warmer. Mail tonight but none for us.
SUNDAY 29 -- Wrote 1 letter. Had company inspection this forenoon.
MONDAY 30 --- On fatigue today. Went down to headquarters to unload rations. Went to the Circus this evening. The show was very good.
TUESDAY 31 --- On guard again. Looks like rain tonight. Mail came today I got nothing but some almanacs.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1 -- Pleasant weather. I was on battalion drill today for the first time. Wrote 2 letters.
THURSDAY 2 --- Rainy day. Laid in the tent most all day. Went for wood once and water once.
FRIDAY 3 --- Got marching orders today. Sent my overcoat and 1 blanket home by Parkers Express Co. Rainy weather and very muddy. Got 3 letters late in the night.
SATURDAY 4 --- Left camp this morning about 10 oclock. Went 8 miles by the RR and 5 on foot to a place called New Lake where we camped on the shore of Lake Ponchetrain.
SUNDAY 5 --- Laid still all day. Foggy, rainy, and very muddy. This evening got our rubber blankets stretched over to keep us dry.
MONDAY 6 --- A rainy muddy day. Our Co. was on fatigue this forenoon muddy as it can be. Some of the Co. are loading this wild night.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1865 --- Marched about 2 miles through the mud this morning to Lakeport. Came aboard the Warrior this afternoon and are sailing over Lake Ponchetrain fast. The weather is clear but cold.
WEDNESDAY 8 --- Reached Fort Gaines on Dauphine Island at 11 A.M. Marched 2 miles out along the coast and camped in a very sandy place at the mouth of Mobile Bay.
THURSDAY 9 -- Got a tent rigged up in pretty good style. All ship shape, gun cleaned, and dress parade. Wrote 1 letter home. Col. Cates is in command of the Brigade.
FRIDAY 10 --- Went for oysters this morning. Had all I could set raw. Ice this morning on the water. Cool weather. Heard the guns firing at Mobile.
SATURDAY 11 --- A nice warm day. Fixed up my pants. Went down to the fort for bread.
SUNDAY 12 --- A warm pleasant day. Co. inspection this forenoon. Brigade dress parade this evening. Wrote 1 letter.
MONDAY 13 --- Wrote one letter. Fixed up our Chebang a little. Greased my boots. It looks a little like rain again.
TUESDAY 14 --- Rained like sixty last night. Blowed in our tent some. The waves roar and dash on the beach making a grand sight. Drawed a mess of crout, beans, tomato, and cucumber pickles. The first.
WEDNESDAY l5 --- No letters came for me today. A package of papers though. A heavy mail to the rest of the boys.
THURSDAY 16 --- Wrote 2 letters. A nice pleasant day drilled 3 times and on fatigue.
FRIDAY 17 --- Had mail again today. Received 2 letters and some papers so I am well set up for reading matter. Went to meeting tonight, the first time since we left Camp Butler.
SATURDAY 18 ---Had Brigade inspection this forenoon. Wrote 2 letters. Got my shirt mended. Read the rest of the time.
SUNDAY 19 -- Went to meeting twice today. Heard 2 very good sermons. Wrote one letter. Had Brigade dress parade tonight.
MONDAY 20 --- The flags were hung at half mast today in honor of E. Everett and a salute fired by the guns. Everything going on as usual in camp.
TUESDAY 21 --- Received 3 letters. Real good ones from the girls. Nothing unusual going on. The boys chased the niggers [sic] to throw them up tonight.
WEDNESDAY 22 -- This is Washington's birthday. A salute was fired this morning from Forts Morgan and Gaines. 68 guns. A drizzly , rainy day. We missed dress parade the first time since we came here.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23 --- Wrote part of a letter to the girls. Drilled the skirmish drill twice. I finished reading my testament course through by this morning.
FRIDAY 24 -- Finished my letter. It rained this afternoon. Commensed the testament again this morning.
SATURDAY 25 -- A pleasant day. Well and in good spirits as usual.
SUNDAY 26 --- Wrote 2 letters. The Chaplain of the 21st Iowa preached for us this afternoon. Had Regimental inspection this morning.
MONDAY 27 --- Received 2 letters. Postage stamps too. Then I got some paper over to the 46th.
TUESDAY 28 --- Mustered today for 2 more months pay. 65 men present. We went out in our Harness 5 times today. Meeting tonight. The Chaplain of 21st Iowa preaches.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 1865 -- Wrote one letter home. Drawed some onions Sanitary [Comission]. Foggy weather. Missed 2 drills on account of the weather.
MARCH 2 -- Went out target shooting this afternoon. I did not hit the target once. Got some pickles and soft bread today.
FRIDAY 3 -- Was on fatigue twice. Unloading clothing down at the wharf. Saw a secesh prisoner.
SATURDAY 4 -- Out shooting target again today. No better luck than before. A Brigade of Ohio troops camped near us last night and staid.
SUNDAY 8 -- Wrote 2 letters. Went to meeting twice once here and once at the 21st Iowa.
MONDAY 6 -- The whole regt went out this afternoon and practicing firing. [Col.] Coates got mad because some fired before the word.
TUESDAY 7 -- Received 1 letter. No drill this afternoon. Can't imagine what is up.
WEDNESDAY 8 --- Went out target shooting again today. Hit it twice out of 3 times. Accident, I guess. A heavy thunder shower last night blowed the N P Banks ashore near us.
THURSDAY 9 --- This day we got orders to turn over what could not be carried. Rained enough to night to stop dress parade. Wrote 1 letter.
FRIDAY 10 --- No drill nor parades. Too cold. A north wind and very uncomfortable.
SATURDAY 11 --- Went oystering again today. Got a mark for going without leave. The weather is mild. Cannonading has been heard toward Mobile all day.
SUNDAY 12 --- On fatigue. Went over towards Ft. Morgan to unload a schooner.
MONDAY, MARCH 13, 1865 --- Wrote one letter. Saw A Warn (?) 2 artillery Co. L (?) he came to our Rept this evening
TUESDAY, 14 -- Received one letter from home and a very good one it was. 10 dollars in it from Father. Went up to the 2nd Ill. Artillery. Saw the lads from near home.
WEDNESDAY 15 -- Went and got some bread, peaches and butter today. Had a feast of fat things. Wrote one letter. A heavy thunder shower this afternoon. 1 drummer in the 46th killed by lightening and several wounded..
THURSDAY 16 -- Brigade inspection today. Went down to the fort this evening got some paper. Got orders to be ready to move at a minutes notice.
FRIDAY 17 -- Left Camp about 2 o'clock. marched to the boat and sailed over to Mobile point where we are in camp all right and snug.
SATURDAY 18 -- Marched about 6 miles and went in to camp to wait for the Division train. On picket tonight.
SUNDAY 19 -- Broke up Camp at daylight. Had a hard days march. Country sandy and not worth rye straw. About as tired as ever I was.
MONDAY 20 -- On fatigue. Marched 4 miles out of our way. Had to come back. Started at daylight this morning. Went in to Camp this noon. 3 letters for me tonight.
TUESDAY 21 -- Rained like split last night and this forenoon. Cleared off pleasant this noon. We laid in camp as we have to build a road across the swamp. On fatigue every day. Wrote 1 letter.
WEDNESDAY 22 -- Marched at daylight. Did not make over 5 miles through the swamp. It is awful hard on the teams. Saw a notice on a tree by a mud hole "A short way to China."
THURSDAY 23 -- Had a late start this morning. Took things cool. Went into camp right after noon on account of the train and swampy road.
FRIDAY 24 -- Started at daylight. Marched over 12 miles. Went into camp beyond Fish River. Smith Corps is here with the rest of ours. A good camp ground.
SATURDAY 25 -- Left camp at 1 o'clock p.m. Marched all afternoon. The road is pretty good condition. Not so swampy as on the other side of the river. I started a letter but did not have time to finish it.
SUNDAY 26 -- Started about 9 o'clock. marched until afternoon when the rebs met us. Our Regt was put in the advance and S, H, and E showed out to skirmish. Laid in line all night. Did not see any rebs.
MONDAY 27 -- Was relieved about noon. Marched to the rear and rested about 2 hours then marched to a position in line of battle around the reb fort [Spanish Fort]. Cannonading going on all afternoon. We stayed all night in line where we camped.
TUESDAY 28 -- Wrote one letter. Firing on the fort is quite regular. Cos I and E were sent out in the rifle pits to sharpshoot where we are now. The gun boats came within shooting distance today.
WEDNESDAY 29, 1865 --Was relieved at noon by the left wing of our Regt. Wrote one letter home. Cleaned up and went to bed earlier. Advanced the pits last night within rifle shot of the fort.
THURSDAY 30 -- The left wing was relieved at midnight. This afternoon we got orders to be ready to move in 15 minutes. Marched to the right on the road to [Fort] Blakely. We march there in the morning as train guard to Steele, it is said.
FRIDAY 31 -- Marched 5 or 6 miles. Camped. put up breastworks and are waiting for the supply train to come up. Rumors that Spanish Fort has surrendered.
SATURDAY April 1, 1865 -- Laid in camp all day as lazy as could be. Orders to fall in at sunset whether or where we are going is not known. Last night's rumor is false.
SUNDAY 2 -- Received 7 letters and by mail tonight. All well. Good news from home. A very lazy day in camp. Steele's train came in this evening. Out of rations.
MONDAY 3 -- Routed at 1 o'clock [a.m.] and marched out to Steele's company at [Fort] Blakely. Got there long before day. Did not get rations till afternoon. Cannonading heavy at the fort here.
TUESDAY 4 -- Wrote 3 letters. Laid in camp all day and rested. The Regt. train came up this evening. All in good health and plenty to eat at present.
WEDNESDAY 5 -- Lazed around camp all day. Tobacco was issued to the troops at last. We go out into the rifle pits tonight.
THURSDAY 6 -- No accident happened to our Regt. today. One wounded in the 46th Ill. severely, since died. Our Co. was in reserve. Done no duty scarcely at all.
FRIDAY 7 -- Wrote 1 letter. A rainy day. The whole regt. was on fatigue this afternoon building bastions for heavy artillery. 4 recruits came to [Company] H this afternoon.
SATURDAY 8 -- Wils [Wilson Fisher] got some pickles. Drew tobacco again to last up to the 15th. Laid in camp all day. The 8th went out into the rifle pits again this evening.
[Note: On the evening of April 8, the southern forces abandoned Spanish Fort without being discovered by the northern army. Boats took about 2,000 soldiers safely to Mobile.]
SUNDAY 9 -- Did not go last night. Read mail today. Charged the reb works [Fort Blakely] and took them at sun down. This evening never was so tired of running and hollering in my life. None lost out of the 11th.
[Supplementary note in diary] Sunday Apr. 9th. We made our first charge right over trees, bushes, dead and wounded of ours and rebs. Took lots of prisoners. The rebs say Selma [Alabama] is ours. 8 killed and 42 wounded in the 8th Ill. None hurt in our Regt.
MONDAY 10 -- Staid inside the breastworks until 3 o'clock this morning. Went to camp. Marched a few miles this forenoon. Wrote 3 letters.
TUESDAY 11 Got shaved and my hair cut. Marching orders in a hurry tonight.
WEDNESDAY 12 -- Marched to Alabama City. Took us nearly all night. Went aboard the Planter and crossed the bay. Landed at Portsmouth place. Mobile evacuated yesterday. On guard.
THURSDAY 13 -- Got orders to move in a hurry at 7 last night. marched through towns and camped. Moved a little way this morning and camped. Put up good show. In Mobile without a fight.
FRIDAY April 14 -- Wrote 2 letters. Did not get any by todays mail Took things cool and lazy today. Reported surrender of Lee's entire army this evening.
SATURDAY 15 -- Got a pass to go downtown. Run all over. Tired myself down. On fatigue this evening but done nothing.
SUNDAY 16 -- Had Regimental Inspection this morning. On picket at an old mill about 2 miles from camp. Pleasant weather. A good place and all OK. Boys from camp say it was officially reported that Lee had surrendered.
MONDAY 17 -- Brigade Inspection this forenoon. Dress parade this evening. A salute was fired at noon in honor of the late victories. Wrote 1 letter.
TUESDAY 18 -- Two company drills. Capt. is just spreading himself. Quite warm. No news of my note.
WEDNESDAY 19 -- Four drills and dress parade. Quite warm, a good breeze though. Put in for clothing this forenoon.
THURSDAY 20 -- On picket. Two rebs came in and gave themselves up. Found a few ripe blackberries. Reported assignation of Pres. Lincoln. God forbid it.
FRIDAY 21 -- Orders to move before daylight. Marched to Whisler (?). Stayed till afternoon. Rained very hard. Marched back in the evening. Last night's report confirmed.
(additional note in diary) Left Camp before day. The rumor that reached us on picket last night is officially confirmed. It is a great national calamity. And in the death of A. Lincoln the Seceded States have lost a magnanimous enemy. One who knew how to forgive and make enemies friends. I sincerely hope that the murderer will have to pay the penalty of the law to the fullest extent.
SATURDAY 22 -- Cool all day. Drew our new clothing. I got hat, pants, and gunboats (gunbelts?).
SUNDAY 23 --Went to church. Wrote 1 letter. Mail tonight. I received 2 letters and some papers.
MONDAY 24 -- Wrote one letter. Laid around camp all day. No news of any account going on.
TUESDAY 25 --On picket again. Time goes easy as I have a good book. Saw a white slave. never was more astonished in my life when she said she was a slave.
WEDNESDAY 26 -- Nothing unusual going on today in camp. No news. No excitement.
THURSDAY 27 --Received one letter today. No news of any account. It rained a little. This evening we had no Battalion drill or Dress Parade.
FRIDAY 28 --A calm day in camp. The usual drills and etc. Spent the day in reading.
SATURDAY 29 -- Another small mail this morning. Nothing for me except a package of magazines from the Barrelles.
SUNDAY 30 -- On picket again. Wrote 1 letter. Spent the day very pleasantly reading. Mustered for two months more pay in Camp.
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Copyright 1993 Thomas H. Fisher, Tallahassee, Florida 32312
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