WIS. 28th REGMT., CO. G

 November 1863

Copyright 1986, 1997-2018 [James R. Shirey]. All rights reserved.

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On the March from Benton to Little Rock.
Sunday November 1st 1863.

This morning we were waked early at 4 1/2 Oclock as it was determined to march to Little Rock today as we have been on half rations some days past. Yesterday & today we marched in two files & we moved quite rapidly. We reached town about sundown & marched before Gen. Salomon & staff. The Regt. bands played many tunes ere we reached camp at dark. I got my knapsack all right. We found Lieut. Tichenor in camp. He is well. We marched 25 miles today. My feet are well.

[booklet version] This morning we were astir early as we were to start at daylight, it being decided to make the whole distance of 25 miles to little Rock today. After starting we halted in the street till some Cav. & Inf. passed us. we felt some Cold as the morning was some frosty & the air chilly. The day was sunny in the A.M. but got cloudy in the P.M. & in the evening threatened rain. We did some good marching, all determined to reach our home at Little Rock so as to secure the pleasure of a sleep in our tents. Many of the boys got on the wagons without trying very hard to walk. My feet felt a little sore when we reached camp about dark, but I could have walked several miles more if required. We got our Knapsacks with little trouble & found Lieut Tichenor in camp from Wis.


In camp at Little Rock.
Monday Nov. 2 1863.

This morning I went over to the hospital bakery at St. John's College but failed to get any bread, & I went to the City Bakery but no bread was to be found. I bought two pieces of ginger cake for 20 cts. & on my return I bought a piece of corn bread for 10 cts. Flour is very scarce as no more than half rations are drawn anywhere in the Army here. Today I drew a new pants & pair of shoes, the third pair of each that I have drawn. The day was cool but pleasant. We have some nice meat. Today I mailed a letter to Matt. I am very well.


In camp at Little Rock.
Tuesday Nov. 3d 1863.

Last night McKee & I slept together & I had a good sleep. I dreamed of John Evans & his family. It was a pleasant dream. Today was pleasant & bright. I was detailed on fatigue duty but Lieut. Turner asked me to be clerk of election in our Co. with McKee. The Union ticket got all the votes in number 38. Palmer not one. All the Co's got caps today, one shirt & 1 pr stockings. [between the lines:] How vast are the interests and how important the result of the election going on in our own Old Badger state & many other states today. The Copperheads are despondent but desperate in this what they must think the last struggle for the success of their hellish schemes.


November 4th Wednesday 1863.

This is a very bright & pleasant day. We had Brigade drill this afternoon. Gen. Samuel A. Rice of the 33d Iowa Commanding. The 9th Wis. Inf. is in our Brig. They lately came from St. Louis & look well. Lt. Col. E.B. Gray of our Regt. showed his deficiency on drill as usual. It is to be wished that he studied more the tactics & spent less time with his fellow officers of our Regt in midnight revels & drinking liquors. I like the beautiful appearance & showiness or rather the terribly majestic appearance of troops on drill. How terribly awful must be the destructiveness of a wide-spread Battlefield on which the mighty energies of tens of thousands of men & vast engines of war are wrought to the utmost of their ability. Capt. Myer & Major C.C. White are on Ben. Salomon's staff.


November 5th Thursday 1863

Last night was rainy and this morning also. I am on Picket today and was first on the ground to fall in , a thing somewhat unusual with me. The day cleared up and was fine & sunny. Very many pass out by our post. We relieved the 29 Iowa. Lieut. Goff Co. H. is officer of our post. I went down town & I bought one loaf of bread made from native flour for 25 cts and six pieces of gingerbread for 50 cts. This seems very extravagant, so I must be more saving. Alex McNeill took my loaf to camp. Some of the boys got pies & milk.
[between the lines:] The telegraph is repaired to Benton, Saline Co. by some accident the telegraph wire got broke & some of the boys tangled & pulled a lot of it about & broke an insulator-


November 6th Friday 1863
In camp at Little Rock, Ark

This morning I came off picket on the Benton or Archidelphia road. I got a letter from Matt dated October 17. He said they were all well & Maria who had been unwell was getting better. Prices in Milwaukee were good. as oats 70 to 75 cts. corn 75 to 80. Rye about 1.00 Wheat $1.18. He said they could get 63 cts for the wool, all of which they had on hand. About noon I washed two shirts, one drawers, old pants, stockings &c so all my things are dry. The day was warm sunny & pleasant. There was Brig. drill, but I did not go. About 5 P.M. word came that we must start away tomorrow I have answered Matt's letter & mailed it tonight.


 November 7th Saturday 1863
On the march to Pine Bluff, Ark.

This morning we were up early and all the camp was busy all the morning packing up and preparing. Alexander McNeill was detailed brigade carpenter before we started, so he did not come. Bastin stops in Little Rock in one of the Army Offices as clerk. Five of the boys are at the Bluff to guard a wagon train. Eight others are also left behind some of them sick or unwell. I left my dress coat packed up in a box with a lot of other clothes &c for the Co. We started about 9AM in heavy marching order & crossed the river where we waited till the wagons were ready about noon. There are about 25 wagons to one sec. (two pieces) of the 25th Ohio battery & our Regt. The day is warm & sunny. All well.


November 8th Sunday 1863
On the march to Pine Bluff, Ark.

This morning we started early but made slow progress as the raod was very muddy & deep till about noon when the Regt. stopped to let the wagons come up. One of the wheels of the ambulance was broken off. I stopped at a house & bought a canteen full of milk for 15cts & a qt. for 10 cts. It was buttermilk & I liked it. The lady from whom I bought it wished to trade butter for coffee equal weight as coffee & tea are very scarce. She wished the war would soon close & feared that the state of society would not be good for a long time. Today I ate some black haws for the first time.


 November 9th Monday 1863
On the march to Pine Bluff, Ark.

Last night we camped on the bank of the river about 30 miles from Pine Bluff & as Lt. Col. Gray Com. our Regt. forbid the use of rails that belonged to a widow he said that was poor we had to make fire of some logs. McKee & I slept together. The night was cool & frosty. This morning I was detailed as train guard & my place was behind with Co A that was rear guard. Ira Woodcock & I were together most of the day. The day was sunny & bright & warm. I am well. [between the lines:] Our route lay all the way along or near the river. One man, a planter, told me land before the war was worth from 25 to 75 dollars and acre....


November 10th Tuesday 1863
Arrived at Pine Bluff, Ark.

Last night I was on guard in camp & I was on post from 7 to 9 PM & from 1 to 3 AM. Jacobi was near me so we both warmed at a fire of rails. I slept well & warm while abed. This morning we were astir at 4 and we started about daylight our Co G in advance as guard. About 8 o'clock we reached the opposite side of the river & stacked arms. We did not cross till about 11 o'clock. We were ferried on 2 flat scows each of which carried two Cos. We pitched our tents on the bank of the river on the south side about the center of the town. The 5th Kansas & 1st Ind. Cav were glad to see us. The day was cool, breezy & bright & clear. I am well.


Pine Bluff , Ark Nov 11 Wednesday

Last night we slept in our tents & on the ground. I slept well & warm though I was disturbed two times in the night. As we have but 7 tents for our Co of 33 present, there were 5 viz Ring, Abare, Hinkly, Vette & myself in our tent. Today our Regt. drew many new tents of which our Co got 6. Yesterday & today I was some through the town. Many of the buildings bear the marks of the cannon shot in the recent fight. On Sunday Oct 25th the rebels were about 5000 strong and they attacked our two Regts of Cav while on inspection at 8AM having completely surrounded the town. The Rebels burned a block of the best buildings in the place including the qrts of the 5th Kansas & had to retreat at 3PM. We had a good dress parade this evening. The band played the Battle Cry of Freedom. I am well.


In camp, Pine Bluff, Ark Nov 12th Thursday 1863

I slept very well last night. Nelte took a tent for him & those left to come. I was on detail drawing bricks for officers' tents. We got those in the ruins of the burned buildings. I got some boards to make a bunk which we finished about dark so we are very comfortable now. The day was pleasant & sunny. I was not on dress parade. Year ago this morning we were in Port Washington, Wis. Last night I mailed a letter to Mother. I am well.


In camp at Pine Bluff, Arkansas
November 13th Friday, 1863

Last night Hinkley & I had a very good sleep in our new bunk. Today we fixed some shelves in our tent so that it is now in better order and more comfortable than any tent in which I have been. My mates are quiet & rather kind, though King & Abare swear some. Hinkley does not swear or play at cards. This P.M. I cleaned my gun. We fired by Co. day before yesterday, it was well done. Yesterday morning a train of wagons went to Little Rock. I was on dress parade this evening. Capt. Townsend acted as Col. The day was windy but sunny. Am well.


In camp at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co, Ark
Nov. 14th Saturday, 1863

Last evening the sky was cloudy. There were lightning & thunder and a light shower fell in the night. This morning was cool but clear, and the sun rose clear & golden in the gorgeous grandeur. The day was warm & sunny. The Capts. are busy building chimnies, many are finished. There are a great many negroes at this place, who do all foraging & much other work as hauling logs for stables for the Cav. horses, which were burned by the Rebels three weeks ago. This A.M. a house was burned in town. In the Court House today I saw a shot said to be James's Projectile about 14 or 16 lb. This is the first I ever saw of this kind. It is a rifled shot. We hear very little news from home or the world. All well


In Camp at Pine Bluff--Arkansas
November 15th, Sunday, 1863

This morning Hinkley & King went on picket and McKown & I on guard from our Co.. I & 5 others went to guard some prisoners in a brick store in town. There were about 8 Rebels, 2 negroes, & 2 of the 1st Ind. Cav. I was first on the ground at guard mounting. Each of us were on guard two times of two hours each. About 10 1/2 A.M. I went to the Catholic Church and stopped during Mass. Every one was treated politely. Those present were mostly soldiers. There were about 25 or 3[0] women present many of whom were smart looking, but none that I thought intellectually beautiful or prepossessing. The Sermon was on the Eucharist or Lord's supper. The priest was an Irish man. The day was bright & pleasant. I am very well.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co, Ark
November 16th Monday 1863

The discourse yesterday was very pointedly addressed to non-Catholics & the Priest read from a protestant copy of the scriptures to prove the correctness of the faith of Catholics on the real Presence in the Eucharist. The church is a frame one about 25x45 lined inside with boards. In the church is a gallery. There was music on a melodeon & a choir. I could not attend the evening discourse. Last night I was on guard from 8 to 10 P.M. & I talked nearly all the time with the Rebel prisoners on the subject of the war & slavery. None of them seemed to have any slaves and they said that the best interest of all would be if the slaves could be removed from the country forever. Today the teams are drawing logs for barracks which it is proposed to build for each Co. Day was sunny & warm. I am well.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co, Ark
November 17th Tuesday 1863

Today our Co. has been at work cutting & drawing logs for our company barracks. The logs are cut 20 & 30 ft. long. We were outside the Pickets & about a mile from town. We took no arms along, so that a very few guerillas could have captured & carried off 6 or 8 of us with little trouble. I would not do so again for any terms. The building is 4 or 5 logs high. Yesterday I found a spherical case shell 12 lb. in the corn field E. or town. It had not exploded. Night before last Lieut. Tichenor being officer of the Picket guard was placed in arrest for all on his post being asleep but the 4 videttes. This was by order of Col. Gray, who was on the Grand Rounds. Today we had some roast beef for dinner & some corn bread for supper. Our living is very good at present. No dress parade today. Part of the train has come from Little Rock. The nights are cool & frosty, days after 8 A.M. warm & pleasant. Produce is cheap & plenty here. Milk 10 cts a qt, butter 30 a lb., sweet potatoes sell for 50 cts a bushel, Irish [potatoes]1.00 a bushel.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co, Ark
November 18th Wednesday 1863

Roll call was early this morning which was soft, Hazy, & smoky. The days too are smoky, sunny, & warm, very much like Indian summer in Wis. Yesterday there was no detail for guard or picket from Co G. today there was [no detail?] for both & __ Corps. All the Co. in camp were busy getting our house up. Today the guard that came with the train from Little Rock crossed the river. There are 110 men & 3 Liets. from the 36 Iowa & 77 Ohio. They brought __ wagons. Another train is expected tomorrow & with it our mail. The guard joined our Regt. this evening on dress parade. Lieut. Tichenor was release this P.M. I am well.
Praise & Glory eternal to Jesus Christ.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co, Ark
November 19th Thursday 1863

Last night was bright & starry till late when the sky was overcast with clouds, & this morning is cloudy. The air is soft & a pleasant breeze is blowing. King & I are on picket, also McKown. Lieut. Walter Goff, Co. H. is officer of the picket. The detail for picket from our Regt is [blank] and for guard [blank]. There are 12 men on our post. I have read a 12 mo. Book of 100 pages giving an account of Col/now Brig. Gen. Corcoran's capture at Bull Run July 21st 1861, & his imprisonment at Richmond. Castte Pinkney in Charleston Harbor & Columbia, SC & Salisbury, NC for 13 months. His sufferings & his devotion were alike great borne with great patience & trust in God. The day was dry, the sun sometimes shining through the rifts in the clouds. The wind made a melancholy sound or sighing among the pines. I bought a loaf of bread for 10cts. I saw a fox squirrel today in the woods.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co, Ark
November 20th Friday 1863

Last night I lay down to sleep but in less than an hour I was started by the rain which began to fall about 8 o'clock and continued with slight intermissions till about daylight. Our posts were drawn nearer the reserve at night where we kept fire with some rails. During the night it got cold & the wind blew quite strong, but we whiled the long hours away now by our fir & again in the gloom, but still we tried to be merry & hopeful. We got to camp about 9 1/2 A.M. & soon after got our mail as the train & our boys came from Little Rock. I got two letters & four papers from Matt & one letter from Maria & Thomas. The dates are from Oct. 20th to 2d inst. All are well at home. Maria was sick about tow months, but was getting well when she wrote Oct. 20. Day was cloudy & cool. I am well.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co, Ark
November 21th Saturday 1863

 Last night we had orders about 7 to pack our knapsacks as an attack was expected here this morning. Last night some negroes brought word that a large rebel force of cav. were at about 48 miles distant coming this way. I packed everything & wrote till late about 10 1/2 P.M. This morning we were in line & stacked arms about 4 1/2. We (6 from our co.) and a detach from all our co's went about daylight to build earthworks in town. We were relieved about 9 A.M. Many negroes were working on breastworks all night till moon set. There was no attack made. Day cleared off before noon & was sunny. We had dress parade. We hear Mead has defeated Lee at Fredericksurg, Va.


On Picket at Pine Bluff, Arkansas
November 22d Sunday 1863 

Last night again some apprehension of an attack so we were up at about 4 1/2 A.M. stacking our arms. We had inspection at 8 1/2 by Lieut. Tichenor. About 10 O'clock Greene came off picket sick, so I was detailed to go in his place. After packing my knapsack I went to the same post we were on Thurday. Capt. Townsend was on post with us. He had the Continental Monthly for which I read for a while. I had not seen it before since the No. Matt sent me in summer. The work is quite prosperous I hope & ably managed I think. The Capt. was very accommodatin & quite sociable. He expressed the opinion that Charleston would be ours by New Years & that the war would end ere a year from the present time. Before sundown I worte a part of a letter to Maria. The day was sunny and bright & pleasant. Draper, Gelzer, Greene, Darling are sick.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co, Ark
November 23rd Monday 1863

Last night I was on the 3rd relief in each ther are four. I was on in the night from 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 and 12 1/2 to 2 1/2 this A.M. The night was bright & moonlit. There was no frost as the night was not cold. I had a pleasant time in the night on guard in the night. I slept till about 6 1/4 this A.M. The morning was beautifully bright & the sunshine was so soft & clear. The birds were on the trees, some bluebirds I heard. While on post from 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 (I read the Sermon on the mount yesterday) I read some in my Testament. The boys did some roofing today but it came on rainy about 2 O'clock. We have signed the payrole this P.M. as we hear the paymaster has come today. The train with the mail started about 9 A.M. for Little Rock. It brings two letters from home on for Matt & one to Maria.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
November 24th Tuesday 1863

This morning we were waked about 5. We stacked arms after roll call. Day was clear but cool. This evening is cool, the Moon is beautifully full & bright. We have our house all roofed. I shingled a short time this A.M. & P.M. This P.M. I was down town and nearly all around our earthworks. they are quite sttrong & nearly completed. One of the 1st Iowa Cav. left Little Rock Sunday said the news was recd. Of the occupation of Ft. Sumpter by our man. I paid 10 for a qt. Of seet milk. I am very well.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
November 25th Wednesday 1863

We were up before daylight this morning.. The Moon was full & shone all night. Some of the boys saw the eclipse of the moon from O'clock this A.M. I forgot about it, else I should have tried to see it. The day was sunny & clear, but the air was rather cool all day. Today we put our bunks in the barracks & built some new ones. Hinkley & I take a lower place so does Gilbert & McKee in separate bunks. The chimney was finished about N. & it draws well. We will have one or two old stoves in. Some of the boys go above, there are three tiers of bunks in. Last week we heard Col. Lewis was at Little Rock in command of a Brigade. About a week ago Lieut. Billings came from Little Rock. Com. Capt. of K. Co. I wrote some of a letter to Matt. I saw Ira Woodcock tonight. He is well.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
November 26th Thursday 1863

This morning we fell in as usual & stacked arms. There was some frost, but the day was sunny and pleasantly warm. About 10 O'clock our Regt. Fell into line, without arms, and we marched to Col Clayton's Head Quarters to receive pay. We had to wait an hour while two or three Companies of Cav. were paid. As the cav. here viz[?] 5th Kansas & 1st Ind. had no pay for four or six months past, many now receive from $100 to $150. They needed it very much. The matter of pay is very much confused & complicated in our Regt. By being mixed up with the clothing we drew since . Some of the boys in some co.s got but from four to ten dollars, but all in our Co. got nearly two months full pay while most of us get much more. I got $34.90 & some got as high as $ . Today we had dress parade. I wrote some.


Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
November 27th Friday 1863

Last nigh Hinkley & I had a good sleep together. The day was coludy in the A.M. but some sunshine was in P.M. & the air was as mild as a Wis[consin] May day. I was on guard at the H'd Q'rt's of our Regt. Q.M. I was on from 1 to 2 P.M. and again in the night. There was talk of a concert to be held at the Methodis Church, but as it rained in the evening and night it is apt to be adjourned. The barracks for our Regt. are progressing. Rain began to fall at 4 1/2 while the boys were on dress parade & they got a wetting. I am well.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
November 28th Saturday 1863

The rain which began continued with slight interruptions through the whole night. Higley, the mail carrier for our Regt. carried the mail away about 8 O'clock & as I had to go on guard before I got my letters finished he did not take them. I had to go about 40 rods from camp to the Q.M. & in the dark ere the moon rose & while it rained I had to cross the narrow plank across the ditch or on the outside or front of the breastwork as the passage is through an embrazure. The lightning often glared & loud thunder rolled & "heavily fell the rain". In crossing from the street to the sidewalk I stepped where the water was deep & got my feet wet. Soon all the 3rd relief met & by mutual consent we lay down in the store & slept. The cold of my feet waked me about 2 A.M. & I made my way to camp in my bare feet. I warmed at Co. B. fire & lay down in my bunk & slept till daylight. I then finished my letters & mailed them in the office. One for Matt & one to Maria & 1 to J. Evans. The morning was cold & blustering & the pickets suffered tremendously. In the P.M. the sky became clear and the air is sharp & cold. I was on dress parade.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
November 29th Sunday 1863

Last night Hinkley & I slept well & warm. We waked early this morning & fell in & stacked arms. The day was clear & cold with a sharp N.W. wind. It froze all day & we tried to keep warm in the house like wise little boys long ago! At 10 A.M. we had inspection by Lt. Turner. Work went on nearly as usual in camp. This P.M. I had a letter from Matt from the 3rd to 6th or 8th . it was mailed the 9inst. He said they were all well. Union ticket nearly all elected. Father had been at Election. He & Mother were well. How glad I am he went. Matt saw Maria lately & she was well though weak & pale. The boys played dice for a watch tonight.


In Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
November 30th Monday 1863

Last night I had a very pleasant dream of Mother. After midnight I was clasped to her bosom in a loving embrace and on my lips was imprinted her fond kiss. I awoke and found tears in my eyes. The morning was cold and frosty. The day bright & clear. I wrote some of a letter to Matt & one to Mother. Our Co. barracks progress toward completion. We got one loaf of bread each this P.M. New lumber comes from the mill for each Co. This is the last day of Autumn & I am very well. Tonight I paid for four candles. 20.


last modified: 4/21/2018