123rd (not 121st as previously believed) Illinois Volunteer Infantry
The following is a transcript of a portion of a daily journal. The journal was in the possession of Kay Hansen. He had received it from his mother Minnie Keigley Hansen. It presumably was written by Ben Keigley her grandfather. From the contents I assume that he was in the 121 th Illinois Infantry.
I have generally kept spelling and capitalization. I have however replace the usage of fs for ss in words such as acrofs or blefs with across and bless. I have added and removed a great many commas, Ben places commas very freely, sometimes breaks of the lines start new thoughts and I have added commas to help were this happens. The diary is roughly 2" by 4" in size and lined. Also Ben and I have the same bad habit of Capitalizing at Random this I have tried to keep as Ben wrote. Another habit we share is to raise the vertical part of small "ps".
I have added a line break after each date this was not done consistently in the diary and formatted to roughly fit the size of the journal.
To the best of my ability here goes:
Monday Jan 2 1865
weather moderated all hands up before daylight & ready shove come to thunfordville 18 miles & crossed the river and went into camp.
going to stay in camp today weather drill & rainey. The afternoon beautiful got dinner then wrote Letter to L. Keigley
13th Chapt. Hebrews
Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled but, whoremongers, and adulterers god will judge.
Wednesday, Jan 4th 1865
we move out from woodsonville have good road for 4 miles then have mud road for about 8 miles Come by Cave City and on to Rockey hill Station and go into camp for the night, the feed was brought down to us on the cars, the night was very cold we put up our tents, get our usual Supply of coffee and Lard tack & Sowbelley.
Thursday Jan 5th 1865
up long before daylight got breakfast and wait for day to come, weather Some warmer we go to Bowling green to day got to Bowling green at 3 p.m. come out about 3 miles & go into Camp for the night had fine road today, the afternoon quite warme, & pleasant we draw rations at this place at 12 oclock at night, after that we get our Suppers and then to bed & the rain Commences - rain all night
Friday January 6th 1865
all ready to move out and still raining have a Clay road and very bad, rained all day go into Camp at night get our tents up when the Snows Come down on us like Shepp Skins. Had a very bad nights rest-
the morning very cold the 17th Indiana goes in advance to day everything froze up. Blankets wet, everybody mad, we move out at Sunup. Some of the Boys without Breakfast, have a pleasant day. [next page] Jan 7th at night about 5 oclock get our tents up & Supper over and feal tolerable well expect to get some sleep tonight, Roads was very mudy to day and we are 21 miles from Nashville.
we move out at 7 oclock, the morning pleasant have good road today come within 4 miles of Nashville and go into Camp no rails alowed to be burnt Rained all night.
Monday Jan 9th 1865
Slep untill daylight, the morning wet and bad, the apes are being plied frealy in the timber around us, as we have had no Chance to wash our clothes Since leaving Louisville and we will Stay hear today washing and cooking is the general order of the day, got a pair of woolen gloves brought to me by ashmore, - had turnip Soup for diner the day continues to be wet. Bought one Small plug tobacco at 50 cts.
Tuesday January 10th 1865
No rations, morning wet and mudy all hands mad on account of not having anything to eat, tore down our Shed & put up the dog tent fine thing the tents are big enough to hold your Clothes and you Can Stand outside & Look in, rain, rain eternal rain in tennessee, Camped in a mud hole on the left hand Side of the pike within 4 miles of Nashville, had no supper last night & no Breakfast this morning, expect to get Something to eat about night.
Camp 4 miles form Nashville
Wedensday Jan 11th 1865
morning very cold we have inspection today 12 oclock Clear & warmer orders to move tomorrow, Boys fixing up nead to move, wrote to L. Keigley, Bought paper & envelops at 50 cts.
we go to the Division quarter master & get our saddles & other traps, taken to the Boat Layed there until 10 oclock at night. The Boat was filled so that we had to lay Spoone fashion. Sleep just tolerable.
Friday Jan 13th 1865
finds us still on the Cumberland river -men half froze and trying to get some Coffee very tedious process as we take it like we used to do at the home mills in Ills , got to Padncah at dark, got supper on The Ills Shore.
Still at Padncah weather Cold got a Shore. Bought 3 Loaves of bread & one cake at 35 cts, got a Shore Last night to cook our suppers. Slep very uncomfortable, no place to warme at, officers alowed to have warme Room, men not alowed to go in eavin to warme, the town a mean place.
Sabbath Jan 15th 1865
at the mouth of the Tennessee River Layed up put all the cattle a shore everything noise and bustle pleasant to eat & drink but money scarce, weather cold, wrote letter home sent a book, day passed off with eating & drinking
The morning pleasant all hands put ashore and the Boat Cleaned up. Boys having a good time. Boat gone down the river for rations, Came back in the afternoon, orders to move out at 10 at night get about 200 yds Stop for the night.
Tuesday Jan 17th 1865
the whole fleat Starts out this morning 30 Boats besides gun boats are on the move, and Sutch a time getting a little Coffee Tnevin Sene evry one is Boss and no one, at last the boats are lashed together by twoes, in the afternoon we meet a fleet coming down Bring the 23rd Corps. We run all night the night turns warmer pass Johnsonville in the afternoon put off a few Soldiers
Wednesday Jan 18th 1865
finds us Still on the move. The morning pleasant. Boats Close together and tooting evry 10 minutes we go at the rates of 4 miles an hours, Sometimes drifting back, then again go a head, evrything noise and bustle men Cursing and howling poor Chance to Cook anything. Then dump a few head of Cattle evry day, pass Robinsonville & put off a few Soldiers, and as usual we toot and Snort go a head and then drift back So that we make probably 3 or 4 miles per hours.
2nd Timothy 3 Chapter & 16 Verse 1865
All scriptures is given by inspiration of god, and is profitable for doctione for re proof, for correction, for instruction in rightness
Thursday 19th 1865
we got to Clifton or rather the place where it used to be, a few soldiers are Camped hear & we get ashore nothing but a barren Country is to be Seen. The usual amount of Confusion aboard the Boat, The officers & moneyed men Keep up a Steady run to and from the Barroom, WhisKey is retailed at 30 cts. And all that use it Seam to be lively, Cursing & Swearing is done up in the most improved Stile.
Friday Jan 20th
finds us within 8 miles of East Port weather fine, got to East Port at 10 A.M., put all the cattle off Started out again 12 miles further up the river. Lots of Soldiers at this place and feed & Cattle in abundance, got to Wilsons head quarters about 5 oclock and then commenced the unloading which lasted untill about 10 oclock at night, when the rain Commenced and kept up until daylight , put up our tents Slept tolerable Comfortable
camp 12 miles from East Port in Alabama.
Saturday Jan 21st 1865
got up at daylight made coffee fryed meat and had a tolerable Breakfast, tents up everywhere and all Seam to be doing well, the weather Rainey, done some washing and have my Clothes hanging in the rain to drye, the command has not got hear yet, wrote to L Keigley Sent two small books, done my washing, got supper and now I have no tobacco, no money and as for friends in the army they are Scarce, had a good nights rest.
Sabbath Jan 22nd 1865
Weather dull, Boys Shooting around in all directions, two of them was arrested and had to bacK a rail for sometime. To Came them of breaking orders, commenced raining about dark, finally turned to Snowe. Was very Cold during the night had a bad nights rest.
and very cold had Considerable trouble to get a fire Started. Made the last of our Coffee & eate up the last of our Bread & meat, and got a pot of Corne boiling for diner. No prospect of getting any rations, no word from the Command yet. Weather dull and gloomey the river lashing camp on the Tennessee above (East Port) its Bank as though it wanted more roome. Men out evry where hunting up Something to eat. The Steamers Huntsville and Storm have been hear for two days. Padling around we have any amount of forage shiped to this place as for Rebs if there are any they Keep themselves Close
morning Clear and cold.
Nothing to eat made some coffee with some old growns that had been boiled some three times. Commenced to make homeny Boiled one Kettle of ashes and could get no lye out of it. Started off to a negroe hut & got ashes and took a new Start, got the homeny made by 3 oclock and had our Suppers.
Wedensday Jan 25th 1865
Weather Clear and Cold had BreaKfast on homeny & meat, no Boats up and no rations. Boys getting whatever they Can through the Country to live on Tried making homeny but failed. Boiled the Corne and eat it, so had a Cold night of it.
The Command has Come and nothing to eat. We have been three days living on Boiled Corne Still no rations, but two Boats Can Come up one the Shoals, we traveled out Some 6 miles & got to the Command in the words all hands cut off rations.
Friday Jan 27th 1865
At the Command at gravil Springs, weather fine & Cold all hands building houses. Whilist I am making homeny, nothing but homeny and some little meat to eat, no rations Come yet.
Put up a shanty to day and drawed two Cups of flower to the man.
Still the Building goes on, the weather very cold and clear
The buildings are going up finely, but no rations yet except Corne Meal & but little of that.
Tuesday Jan 31st 1865
Weather Some warmer went about _ mile got some planK Carried them home fixed our Bunk -had no Coffee nor hard tack fore Six days, today we got some the most of the Shanteys are up and the next thing is to put up stables for the horses. We have pleanty of feed. The camp is inspected evry day by Brigadier Miller. Roll Call once a day and Soone as the work is all done we have order to drill. So we expect to be Rept *uissey.
Wedensday February the 1st 1865
Weather fine and warme we commence building stables for the horses to day evry thing going on fine and all hands employed. Wrote for the fist time Since being Camp. Sent a book home
Rain this morning and my cook day have the watter to Carriy _ mile up hill at that no building goeing on to day on account of the rain wrote to R. Boyd.
Friday Feb 3rd 1865
in camp weather dull & Raining all hands ingaged in putting up stables, wrote to Wm McGregor.
weather continues warme and rainey, got our sheds nearly ready to put on the boards-
drawed some corne meal yesterday had bread baked in a frying pan. Bread and Coffee Constituted our breakfast no news concerning the rebs. all seams, to be quite at the time. Boats Come up regular from Nashville to this place
Sabbath Feb 5th 1865
The morning wet Snow and Sleet all hands housed up, drawed rations yesterday 2 days coffee & two of Shugar, for 5 days we got 36 lbs of meat for 52 men.
the 5th and 7th Divisions moved out to day for East Port all dismounted, our Boys Still Continue to build at the Stables. The weather is dull & warme, seen George Runnets to day of the 11th Indiana Command, Snowing about sundown had a bad nights rest.
Tuesday Feb 7th 1865
the hills are Covered with Snow had the most of the horses under sheds, hear we are like men on Some Island once in a while we get a Last August number of the Missiouri Republican on Some other old thing. Nothing but the trees to look at & guard the Camp & fix up officers quarters and live on half rations & sometimes that in corne meal.
Wedensday Feb 8th 1865
Sick in bed took 4 pills one doce Calomet, one of Salts, and ervy Bone in my body ached enough to Kill a horse
Some better this morning weather very cold, that old Song no meat Boys out hunting our Reigth has killed Some 10 dear in the last few days of the snow, our beef Cattle are at east port and are too poore to be drove up to us. So we must do without meat untill they fatten or something else turns up.
Friday Feb 10th 1865
the morning clear and cold washed 4 shirts 2 pr drawers and 2 pr socks, had nothing to eat but crackers & coffee. Headquarter men getting double rations & we are not alowed eavin to hunt a living a thing, we could do if alowed to. & today we draw sour bread, but the men are getting there mad up and this evening I saw some meat brought in
Saturday Feb 11th 1865
the weather beautiful got on horse guard to day, day passed off pleasant.
orders to have inspection this morning at 10 A.M. had the ague Last night dont feal well. Weather beautiful had preaching at 2 P.M. by Mr Sando text 10th Chap and first verse of the acts of the apostles.
weather pleasant the usual details made men at these posts and all Seam to be in good Spirits as they drawed Some rations yesterday.
Feb 13th went to 72nd Sutler got one large plug tobacco at 2.00 5 small ones at 1.00, one tin cup at 26 cts, Come to my bunk finished writing a letter to John Keigley, got super and thus ended the 13th with me.
morning Cloudy & rainey, I am cooking beef, the boys are making boards & putting up a shed to keep the feed under, yesterday the rebs done some Shooting across the river at us but done no harme had diner on beef & Coffee, after diner Mcgee went to mill with some Corne. I patched one pr. Socks & darned one darned pr., dont get our grinding untill tomorrow.
weather Cloudy issued feed then issued bread then eat Breakfast, after that went down the hill after watter, next commenced to write letter, had corne bread for diner.
Some Rain this morning Can hear some shooting towards the river, all things going right I Suppose got Some more blue onion to day & Corne meal for bread.
Feb 16th at noon had beef. Soup, Corne bread and Coffee for diner feal pretty fine on account of having Something to eat again. The Boys Still fixing up Some making there houses more comfortable, Some fixing Stables and some few playing at cards, thanks to god there is but few in our Company that played cards, the day has turned out to be beautiful and all Seams to be good natured.
finds us all in tolerable good health & able duty The morning was very windy Some appieanance of rain, got some beef last night and all hands of the cook are ingaged in Boiling it for diner
weather beautiful no drill to day drawed five days rations yesterday. Seen a few Johnneys Coming in. this morning Baked two loaves of corne bread, for diner had no dry period.
the weather fine Breakfast over, Boys all cleaned up ready for inspection, had preaching in the afternoon text 2nd Chap 2nd Timothy & 19th Verse, give a very good discourse the day passed off pleasantly.
Monday Feb 20th 1865
The morning beautiful Breakfast over I put on Some beans to cook then Commence diging for watter dig down about 3 feet get plenty of watter, then set down write a few lines home, had no mail since the 19th Janu Dress parade winds up the day.
weather cloudy, orders to drill three hours on horse back each day, nothing but the regular camp duty going on, living pretty well at the time, draw plenty of blue onin & hard tack go throug the manuel of armes in the forenoone drill on horse back in afternoon officers get tried & drye come to our quarters put away horse, get suppers, feed horses go to bed with our stomachs fill with blue, beef and dream of home. Comforts nebs rivers, mountains, & Breast, Works of the home kind, Wake up and find myself Issuing feed for horses and have a big head ache.
rain this morning evrybody housed up except what few have to be on duty. Read letter form home was mailed 12th of Feb, wrote to H. Polladay wrote to H. Keigley
Thursday February 23rd 1865
this morning Rainey nothing strange going on except the regular camp duty, drawed 6 days rations yesterday the Rainey Season has set in and with it all the comforts that generly attend it in a Swampey Country, had fish coffee & bread for Breakfast, sent letter to day to L Keig.
Weather cloudy and dull, making homeny no news of any kind, cant get up a good camp fie its self. Rain all night.
Saturday Feb 25th 1865
Weather at noon clear and beautifull, Three men in our company sick, the report is to move Tuesday the men beginning to fix up, inspector was around this morning to know the number of Cartrages we have on hands, have some very poor horse, orders to mount evry man on any thing in shape of horse if it will only carry him 5 days.
Sabbath Feb 26th 1865
Morning clear & coole 2 am cooking beef to day. Wrote letter to L Keigley sent two small books set in house untill noon diner over went to preaching come back read a while; pitching shoes seam to be the amusement of the day, preaching is but little attended, although we have a very good preacher, all seam to be going the same way, cavning passed off with singing slep tolerble, comfortable had coffee bread and fish for breakfast weather clear and warme. Farewell Cabbin.
Monday Feb 27th 1865
orders to move tomorrow, Boys all washing Camp all in an uproar, some drawing clothes, Some fixing sacks to carry there traps in, Some Cooking, others cursing about, Some unknowing thing and all hands generly buisy, I washed 4 shirts, 1 pr. Socks, cooked diner issued feed divided one box crackers, and am now a waiting the move, in afternoon issued 5 days rations Coffee & Sugar & Meat, Got my clothes all packed and ready to move, wrote to L, Keigley.
Tuesday Feb 28th 1865
Morning Clear and Beautifull and after all our fussing around yesterday we are not off yet, & perhaps wont be for some days, the men are all ready, but we must be mustered before leaving and the officers must have a little drunk. First order we have is to be ready in an hour, then a gain in a day or two and about the time we think we are going then we have just got three work to do & all to be done in one day. O the glories of the army, wrote to Wm Austin in afternoon.
March the 1st 1865
Weather cloudy and coole, after two days of hurry scury and fussing around there is nothing more said about the move, Boys injoying themselves pitching shoes & evry thing goes as usual.
Thursday March 2nd
got orders this morning at 4 oclock to get ready to move & up we got this morning, dull and rainey, men packing up and the rain just pouring down evry fellow got enough for two minds to Jacks.
[next page]Thursday March 2nd 1865
12 M rain like all thunder & no move yet, boxed up our coats and going to send them home. Setting in Shanty wondering what I will get for supper.
Friday the 3rd
Rain, Rain all night, and we are hear still last night we had a big blowe and rain, still continues to come, nothing said about moving, fed up all the feed we had this morning plenty to eat so let in rain, drawed more rations to day and amongst the things we got some fine fish.
Saturday March 4th 1865
Weather moderate & some cooler, river very high nothing said about moving comfortably situated plenty to eat, horse feed no them scarce, river bottoms over flowed, no mails, no news of any kinds except Camp lies, the differed bands are playing some livly tunes, this morning that helps to drive dull cares away. Six chapt ephesianes & 12th verse for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world. Against spiritual weeKedness in high places, preacher of this day.
Sabbath March 5th 1865
the morning beautifull, had inspection to day, teams are going this morning toward s the river have but half feed for horses, river very high Camp very lively, health good, our mail is stoped at the Padncah, no news from home since 6th of feburay citisans around camp gathering up what little they can, on the 2nd we boxed up all our coats & extra blankets expecting to send them home, to day we unpacked them again, our orders are about like the weather, very uncertain.
Monday March 6th 1865
Weather fine, Boys injoying themselves, pitching shoes, my horse got away last night, hunted all over the Camp, Came bacK got BreaKfast Started out again after an other hours tramp returned & found the horse, am as tried as if I had done a days marching, day pasted off pleasant.
Nothing unusual going on, weather fine, boys amusing themselves pitching shoes, a boat Came up yesterday teams & pack mules are going to the river after rations & feed, no news from home, hear we are like so many slaves with the exception that but we have little to do, but we must be very precise about that little, so soon as the bugle sounds the whole Reigt must be on the move to watter then back & no one alowed to go to the river only on duty.
morning Cloudy & raining a little Review to day with full equipment, drawed rations yesterday, at _ past 12 *e was on the ground, the day turned out beautifull and after a great deal of Shuffling around getting into line & then out of line with a great many Commands that no one Could hear but guess at. The General with his staff galloped passed in front, then in the rear then we left wheeled & passed him and then to camp, so ended the day
Some rain all quiet in the Shantys no review to day, Cooking beans weather, turning Colder. Officers Cant Come out to day So we poor understaffers Can Set Still in our Shantys, and eat Cod fish and rotten Krout, watter & feed horses, Oh god deliver us from the army and the Devil The only impediment to our future well fare, wrote to L. K Sent two books
[next page]Thursday 9th
in afternoon rain and hail, all hands cooped up nothing to read, nothing to See days long night short, no mail Consequently no news from home, nothing but Cook & eat, feed & watter horses & at big white gloved jents & pumpkin vine Capts want to do something or go Someplace, Commenced Snoweing about 4 oclock Cleared up during the night and turned very Cold, Slep Cold.
Friday 10th morning
Cold & Clear hills covered with Snow horses Chumping & Kicking men taining around to Keep warme and all full of life wrote to I. Moody sent a book to little Ben. Afternoon warm & pleasant no drill. Boys pitching Shoes. Some few playing cards Rations pretty plentiful with the exception of meal.
weather clear, Breakfast on coffee & bread, Beans & bacon nine for diner, the different games are going on. The health good. the only trouble is we have nothing to read. Review in the afternoon. General Wilson was out this time after the usual amount of getting into line & out of line the general & Staff galloped passed us in front & near then we right wheeled & passed the General & Come to quarters.
Boiled our Coffee eat supper pitched a game or two of Shoes, So ended the day, Seen a few Johnneys Coming into our Camp, they looked tolerbly hard,
weather fine the health good, drawed rations of coffee & Sugar & beans and two Mackeral to the man for five days.
Some talk of moving again preaching to day at the 98th a great many uniting with the Church, the meeting has been going on for sometime may god bless the work, and may many obey the Commands of our Lord. The Camp is very quiet to day, may god be mercifull to us and assist us in doing his will had a good preach in afternoon after preaching we got the order, to be ready to move at 7 oclock, in the morning; Boxed up our Coats again Sent the Coat to Charleston and one blanket to Ashmore, So now we are ready to get up & Scud.
up at 4 oclock and all ready to move Started out at 7 oclock got along tolerbly well, only had 3 brake downs with the packmules in about 6 miles, finally Stoped at the greate and noted place of Watterloo, Come to a hamlt about 3 p.m. unsaddled & gathered up Some feed and made Some Coffee & had diner we move from hear at 4 p.m. and Cross the river, the day warmer & beauitfull got across the river about 10 oclock, come out a mile & went into camp as it was late when we Stoped, we put up no tents & about 3 oclock in the morning it commenced raining and me and my bunkmate got up & put up our tent, at daylight we got some Coffee & Bread and after so long a time we have got a mail again I Read one letter my little niece and one from Brother, one was mailed Feb 28th the other March 3rd.
So hear we are Tuesday 14th
the morning wet we are getting Some new horses made out of old ones, as a great many of the horses are broke down already. & a great many of what we have got will not last 3 weeks. Our officers are going to the boat to take diner. I am going to have beans & hard tack for my diner
traded horses to day get $5.00 cts to boot, at pay day. Recd another letter was mailed Feb17th Come by Cairo in answer to one written on the 1st of Feb. wrote to Lenny to day our over coats are on the way home, the detail got back in the night, the Clothes will go by Cairo.
Wedensday March 15th 1865
the camp at Chickasaw Bluffs we draw one days feed. Boys out hunting up something to eat, pork scarce, the country a perfect wilderness. Wrote to John Keigley sent two pictures, drawed some beef & potatoes & Krout and a hand full of dried fruit to the man, bully for the Christian Commission they do the Stomach & Soul both good, besides filling thre own pockets. Had a big rain Commenced at dark. The wind blowing at the same time perfect jimey came. Towards morning it turned cold & stoped raining.
Cloudy & Cold a detail made from our company for picket and another for feed all hands buisy trying to make themselves comfortable. Had to move all our tents this afternoon and put them in regular order, got the tents up by night, and tomorrow we must Clear away the brush, report is we will Stop hear for a week or two, we drawed beef to day again and as usual too poor. Some through it away, we also drawed a few mouthfulls of Bacon, we draw plenty of feed for horses of Corne & Hay. Night clear and cold, 4th Chapter Ephesians, 5th verse one lord, one faith, one Baptism.
Friday March 17th
morning Clear all hands buisy Cleaning up & pack mules and each wess Carrys a Sack to put flower or meal in, when on the road we expect to forage our way through wrote letter to Allice drawed 3 days rations of coffee & Sugar 7 Bread and the good Commission give us Some Krout got our camp in good order weather Clear & warme the day passed off pleasantly.
everything quiet Boys washing Clothes to day got all the Companys pretty well fitted out, but we have a very poor lot of horses .
had preaching 18thChapt & 41, 42 Test Luke
Sabbath March 19th 1865
all well weather fine inspection to day again preaching at 2 p.m. and at Candlelight, wrote to L.K, orders to move tomorrow & carry 20 lbs corne to each man, the Hospital Boat gone out to day we draw 5 days rations, all again confusion, Chaplin Sando has gone with the last, mail for some time our buisness fighting & foraging from this out.
Monday 20th 1865
the morning beautifull Some of the troops are moving out our pioneers are gone our Reigt awaiting orders, orderleys flying around in all directions, all the games are broken up, Boys Setting around talking over the
Monday 20th 1865
old fights and the ones thats to come, had preaching last night test 10 Chapt&41 & 42nd verse St Luke no more today. Orders to feed horses all they can eat to day & tomorrow we are to carry 20 lbs corne & 5 lbs hay to the horses, wrote to H Gill & to Seth Bland had some rain to day & all night. Recd letter from Wm Gregor Dated 25 of Feb.
Still in camp weather Cloudy the camp is rather dull, draw one days feed for horses & one days ration of pork & Bread & Coffee, nothing Strange going on. Weather Some cooler this eavning, Boys in fine Spirits & anxious for the move. Left Chickasaw landing
Wedensday, March 22nd 1865
we moved out at 6 oclock, came over Some very Rough Country then came into some fine farms for some 3 miles, after that nothing but swamps & hills & rocks. Some few horses & mules Brokendown & was left, passed our pontoon train about 5 oclock and went into camp amongst Rocks. Night passed off tolerable.
up at 3 in the morning got Breakfast the band played Some lively tunes whilst the different Commands were moving out. the weather pleasant & Clear. Boys full of life, tolerable good road, to come to the town of franklin/frankford, Camped for the night.
Friday March 24th 1865
Start out as usual, travel over Some tolerable good country & Some very poore Country, Scouts capture a few Johnneys about 4 oclock, we go into camp a detail is made to go for forage to last us four days, we get some fresh pork for our Suppers, & as we have to fight we must eat too, and the calculation is the Rebs to furnish the pork & Corne.
The night was Cold.
the morning Cold & frosty 1st Division goes out ahead of us, old Sol Shines forth in all his Splendor & promises a fine Day, we have fine music whilist the 4th Division moves out, Our packmules are loaded down this morning with meat & other eatables, & our horses with corne & Cartrages, travel over a poor country. Saw but two famleys in the days march, the main Command went into camp within 5 mi of thornehill and 4 companys of us Come on the place where the town used to be, the chimmeys & the charred remains of the buildings are the only Signs of the village, hear we put on all Caution that Could be used, as our officer Said we would Catch Some of the courriers. The only thing that occured during the night was the firing of one of our Sentinals at one of our own Boys, that was after watter, the balance of the night was put in, in cursing the officer in Command & gambling.
Sabbath the 26th
finds us all up and in tolerable health, and waiting the Command to come up, we move out at 8 oclock and winde our way Slowly over hill & dale until 12 m when we find we are on the wronge road & have gone some 5 miles out of our way, we got on the right, track & Come on to the blackwatter & there we stoped for 4 hours getting the team across it being a perfect Swamp around the Creek go into Camp about 12 oclock at night
on the opposite side of the creek, the country is meserable poore & but few inhabitants, & them as poore & hard looking as the country they inhabit, a Continual range of Sand hills Covered with Scrubby oak with a few cattering pines & poore lean long yellow Bloodless, women & old men are all that is left to occupie these hills, we met a woman driving a yoke of cattle attached to a cart, where she was going we dont Know as we did not ask her any questions.
Forage is scarce & when we do find it we carry as mutch as we can Conveinantly
Monday March 27th 1865
we are in the rear of the pontoons we move out about _ mile & stop untill the road is repaired. Saw a live union man. Has Served one year in our army he tells me the land through hear Sells for two dollars per acre & he is satisfied to live hear Still, traval over Some very poor Sand hills. & about dark we get into a regular Swamp, the wagons Stick and we about face & go into Camp. Me & my bunkmate Sleep in a blacksmith Shop and was comfortable had some fresh pork for our supper.
Tuesday March 28th
we move out at daylight. through a perfect swamp Come through Same 3 miles of Swamp then get into the Clay hills Come Some distance & Camp, get pleanty forage by going out from the road, left the teams behind, got into Camp to day at one oclock the day wet.
We move out at 4 in the morning Come 5 miles & Cross the Big blackworier travel over a very bad road on to one of the tributarrys of the same Stream, both Streams deep the 17th Ind lost one man drownded, the 1st Division lost 6 m. go into Camp a little distance South of the little worier, the night rainey
Thursday March 30th
move out at daylight, morning clear, roads bad, going up five mile Creek, go up Some 2 miles & Cross
on the move at daylight roads bad every thing jamed up, mules & men & negroes all together, the morning clear, and a regular rush for Someplace, horses giving out men walking & cursing and all upside down, burnt a large iron works yesterday but few inhabitants, living directly on the road, forage scarce except by going out some distance. Some farming done around Elyton the County Seat of jefferson. got into the town of Montyvalley a 8P.M. roads tolerably good. This town is the county Seat of Shelby County but few persons living in the town, burnt the depot and moved on, the Reigt went out on another road all packmules Come on the main road to Selma, Come 3 miles South of Monty Valley and go into Camp, the ballance of the Reigt got in some time after dark, brought Some horses & mules & lots of forage.
Saturday April 1st 1865
3miles South of Monty Valley men and animals tired, troops moving out *oass over the ground where the 3rd & 5th Iowa had the fight the day before, they had 2 men Killed & 10 wounded Saw 3 ded rebs & 12 ded horses; / and Considerable Sign of rebs got to Randolph Station at 10 oclock, burnt a lot of Cotton run the johnneys out. Come over some Broken and hilly Country have Scermishing all the way, one Capt of the 72nd Indiana Struck Slighty, Come into a flat Country Covered with pine about 3 oclock, Some big guns was fired & then Some Smart Scirmishing took place, saw 4 of our men that was wounded, the 17th Indiana had 30 killed and wounded, man Killed saw but one ded Johnneys, the 5th Iowa took 2 pieces of artillary & the 17th Indiana one and a lot of prisoners - traveled on until after night some time. Camped within 20 miles of Selma
a detail is made to burn the railroad before we leave the Camp, weather beautifull nights coole, the road is on fine and the burning fine! troops are moving out, the morning very warme Country flat, people mean women ugly, negroes all want to Come along. Forrest had Shipped 1500 Sacks of corne up hear with the Calculation of feeding his Stock whilst he was giving us a thrashing, but we got the corne & he got the thrashing, we move out about one mile & Stop & Stuch a mixed up mess humane beings, white & black with horses & mules & all Kinds of loads, Some with flower & meat others with Cooking utensils & poultrey & eggs and any & every thing, thats eatable as we must live off of the Country, get into Some fine Country. Fight commended about 4 oclock & lasted about two hours when our boys took posession of the works & town the rebs flying in all directions. Co A 123rd Ills had 11 wounded Co C had 1 killed & 2 wounded. the reb works was very Strong.
Monday April 3rd
we are in Camp east of town, our boys are burning the arsenal and Sutch a Cracking & banging I never herd only when in battle. the day is beautiful we lay in Camp to day the doctors are buisy attending our boys, we burnt all the cotton along the road & all government property is burnt. where ever we go Citizens and Soliders fly before us, the Country perfectly devastated, Forrest, Roddy, and Chamber were all in the fight, all our boys are getting a long fine, Lieut Mc Scott was out to day he was Shot through the arme, The Country around Selma is fine but the fine is doing the work
In the afternoon we move our Camp south of the town in a beautifull grove have plenty of watter & plenty to eat.
had a fine night Sleep for the first time Since Leaving Gravil Springs after breakfast went to see the boys, they are all doing fine. the towns all in an uproar negroes and whites all trying to Save what they Can. Saw the most Big guns Some large enough to Creap in & 12 feet long, a detail is made from amongst the negroes to Brake up the machine Shops & they go at it with a good will from the Sound of the hamers a person would Suppose there was big work going on and So there is. Look in what direction you will you Can See the Smoke & the blaze & occasionaly we Can & hear the explosion of Some missle intended for us. All government property is being destoryed & the negroes & white Citizens are Carrying off all they Can. Our boys that are wounded are to be left hear at the mercy of our foes. our reigt had 8 killed and 48 wounded in the whole Brigade there was 194 killed & wounded, there was only 1500 men out of the Division that Stormed & took the works.
Wedensday April 5th 1865
In camp at Selma, the work of destruction Still goes on, the Government property is nearly all gone. Boys living fine Corne & fodder pleantifull Country full of pork & flower & Sweat tater, last night we had a party of men to Start out on a Scout.
another detail was made to go out & scout, nothing Said about moving we are fixing pontoons to Cross the river, every day brings Some rebs that have been hid in the woods or otherwise wanted to be taken & the boys fish out Some every day from the river, we got 2000 Small armes and 250 pieces of Artillery and 2300 prisoners beside destroying all there machinery, the fight was on Sabbath day the 2nd of April Commenced about 4 oclock & lasted 2 hours, our wagon train will be in to night. æ Saw an old negroe 70 years old the father of 21 Children by 2 women, 13 boys and 8 girls, he walked 20 miles helped to Catch 7 head of horses, got into Camp about 3 oclock, he says he has been tied down by the hands & feet, then his master took a Cat fastened to a Stick and draged it over his bare back, after his Skin had been torne in Shreds then his Christian Master would wash his wounds with a mixture of Salt and power & watter, & just before the battle of the 2nd of April he tells me there was men of his had there heads Split open & killed on the Spot because they would not Stand up any longer at work on the brest works æ one of there preachers give them a Sermon in the forenoon urging all that believed in Methodism to take up armes & kill in any Shape or forme all the yanks they Could, but not one negroe would Come forward, howle you devils incarnate for your humane Chattles have turned against you. Commenced Raining about dark, the whole Skyes was full of Lightening & peal after peal of thunder belched forth just like the almighty is wont to do on Sutch occasions Soon the earth was one broad Sheet of watter our bunks were flat on the ground & Soone were overflowed, we then got up & blocked up. thinking the Storme would Soon be over but not So for it lasted the whole night & in the midst of all the thunders & Lightenings, the arsenal was Set on fire and a more grand Scenery I never saw the flames flying high above the tops of the houses & the Shells bursting made it appier like Some great battle being fought. about 10 oclock at night I herd Some firing on the picket line I got up put on my Socks and waited a little wile herd no more So lay down again. the rain blowing in on me all the while, my Clothes as wet as watter Could make them. fell a Sleep thinking of the many hardships a Soldier has to go through and of the dear ones at home, god bless them all may they never See Sutch troubles as we do
Friday April 7th
the rain has Ceased and the watters have begun to run off, the Boys are flying around in all directions, making fires drying there Clothes & in the midst if the Storme. Some of our boys Come in, that had been out with minteys Brig A brought in Some fine horses & plenty of grub, we had Sweet potatoes, Short Cake & a chicken, plenty of ham meat & Coffee for
Friday 7th 1865
Breakfast, the afternoon is Cloudy & Cold, the ground begins to drie, got my Clothes drie & begin to feal more Comfortable, our pioneers will have the pontoons down by tomorrow, everything doing fine.
the morning beautifull, but we have Sad news as one of our boys that participated in the fight & was wounded in the jaw, died last night and will be buried to day, he leavs a wife & 4 Children to mourne his loss, besides, many friends in the army, the wounded of our Company was as follows, Abraham Pugh, Corporal and died since the battle. Francis Mc. Whiney, in Leg., Rhodes Eppison, James Cornell, John Laffy, John McNutt, Jacob Fox, Wm Henderson Lead Lieutenant, McNutt in arme, Tenbrook Roberts in arme, Wm Rhoden wounded in thigh, these are all in hospital in Selma 12.M. we have orders to draw 15 days rations & be ready to move, the Report is the rebs are Coming in on 4 roads, we have about half of our men out, foraging evry thing is Confusion in Camp, pack mules all out in the Country, possably get ready to move out. Short of 3 o clock
4p.m. our foragers have Come in, brought in plenty [next page] provisions in the Shape of hams, Chickens, potatoes & flower & every thing is being packed & its Comenced to rain as usual on sutch occasions, our mules are packed with Skillets, pans, pots, meat, flower, potatoes & Coffee & Sugar,-
we move out about 9 o clock at night. Come a few rods & Stop, So we continued to do untill we got to the pontoons, then a regular rush took place, officers & understrappers with Swoard in hand all giving Command & evry Command must be given with a big oath. So between the oaths & Commands we got across then Come to a hault. Some more Cursing and we move again, have tolerable good sand road. Come out 5 miles, hault, head quarters, Comes back, we Stand Still for an hour or So , then about face and back we Come about 1/8 mile, rest. Command is going into camp & in we went. Some few went to getting Supper & more of them droped down just where even they was and went to sleep, your humble Servant being one of the number that went to bed Supperless, lay there with my thoughts on home & the Conduct of the officers [next page] untill I fell into a Sound Sleep, the Country where we are this morning is flat and Swampey, the treas are beautifull & green, the principle timber is pine with Some Small underbrush of white oak & black oake, we are due South of Selma.
finds us all in tolerable health & getting our Breakfasts have hardtack ham meat Sweet potatoes, Coffee, and Sugar, after Breakfast was over we began to put up our tents, McGee put the tent up whilest I Baked bread, & fried potatoes, just when all was done, tent up snug, we was ordered to move imediately, So down Come the tent, out went the Coffee & other eatibles, I managed to Save the bread, Saddled up & packed up and off we trudged for about 2 miles east, horses & mules braking through the top Crust, the Soile is black & Sandy & not more than 3 inches deep, belowe that is quicksand, now & then we Could See Some poore fellow down, horse floundering around, Sometimes have to take the Saddle off to get him out, we Carry 200 rounds of Cartrage besides our Blankets & Some provisions, Keep 4 mules to Carry the Cooking utensils & Some provisions Sutch as flower & meat & taters, So now at 12 .M. we are in Camp again tents up & all snug. Boys bringing in pleanty of Corne & fodder 7 now & then Some reckless fellow may be seen carrying a turkey or Chicken with a ham or two hanging by the Side of the Saddle So that we may be said to be living tolerably well for soldiers
Monday April 10th
in Camp not well, have headache, got Some grinding done last night, pleanty of Cornmeal & meat, this morning weather cloudy & rainey, our wounded men will go along with us, but one or two of our Company will, I Suppose, have to stay. Boys in fine Spirits and the band playing Some fine tunes to enliven the Camp, yesterday our pontoons were broken by the rebs, throughing logs into the river, above, the burning still goes on, las night Some one put fire to a large building Close to our camp at 9 a.m. there was a detail made to go out after provisions, its quite an interesting sight to see the men all arranged before head quarters, all mounted 7 armed, and each man has got his Sack to put flower in, there allowed to take anything eatible, [next page] to see & hear the men talk one would Suppose they was going to Some frolick, but Sometimes they run into the Johnneys & Somebody gets shot & we have Some men that would steal from a dying man, men without any principle about them, on Sabbath night there was 17 out of 19 of the Division Scouts killed, they had went out Some 15 miles after the fight & went into Camp when the rebs run into them & killed them, this afternoon we are gathering up all the Sacks to put meal in as we have orders to be ready to move this eavnng, So evry one is busy fixing, we took possession of a mill & have been grinding all night & all the day So that we would leave a good Supply for our wounded & the rebs too the 1st & 4th Divisions are moving out at the time we Come over Some very Swampey road, travaled Some 8 miles which took us untill 12 oclock at night when we went into Camp, burnt most of the cotton on the road, we moved about from two to thee rods at a time, horses & mules Swamping all the time, Sometimes on the very sollidest looking ground the top crust would give away and down would go the mule or horse, the rider floundering in the mud, on Sutch occasins you Could hear a prayer offered for Wilson and the Confederacy, got into Camp, tied up my horse, took my blankets wet & mudy as they was & droped down on them & fell into a profound sleep. Knew nothing more untill old Sol was peeping into my face telling me it was time to prepare for another days floundering in the mud.
Included with the diary section was The New York Herald for Saturday April 15th 1865 Headline "Assassination of President Lincoln" "Secretary Seward Daggered in his Bed but not Mortally Wounded"