CIVIL WAR JOURNAL OF JAMES B. LOCKNEY

WIS. 28th REGMT., CO. G

 March 1864

Copyright 1986, 1997-2021 [James R. Shirey]. All rights reserved.


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There are two versions of this portion of James B Lockney's Civil War Journal.  The short entries were copied directly from his field diaries.  The more lengthy journal appears to have been composed by Lockney after the war, based on the uniform penmanship and cleanliness of the paper. 

 

Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 1st Tuesday 1864

Last night the Theatre was again open & as I was on post from 8 to 10 I heard the shouting & noise in the room.  Just when I was relieved at 10, the Company, composed exclusively of soldiers, was homeward bound.   Co D 5th Kansas, Cav, provost guard, were on duty as guards in the court house.  Last night 5 or 6 of our Co were on Guard till the breaking up of the entertainment.  The idea seized many of our boys that any or all of our Co. should be admitted!  Such an occurrance took place as will not be soon be forgotten.  This was the means taken by our Orderly Sergt. Gilbert to get in.  Sergt. Foster was on duty with the guard & G-- put on his waist belt or that of one of the soldiers (as there is a difference between the Sergt's waist belt plates & those worn by Corps & privates) & Foster, at his own request (I suppose) asked the manager to pass (G--) Corp. ? of the guard in , Snyder was Corp...of the Theatre guard & of course was admitted free.  This was the way G-- took to save .75 cts, the price of admission.  This spread like fire through our Co as the joke was altogether too good to be hidden;  was told to Lieut, who could not repress his smiles & laughter at this little trick with a cloak on it.  All day G-- was frequently saluted as Corp G--, & many a laugh & joke was enjoyed all day at his expense.  This exposes his character in no favorable light, as many speak of his denunciations against working at cotton for $2.00 a day.   "O! that God the gift would give us, to see ourselves as others see us"-- This A.M. snowed quite fast till about 9 oclock. when the sky became clear & the sun shone all the rest of the day, much of the snow melted.  The thermometer stood at freezing point at 7 A.M.  River is rising fast.  Yesterday Higby's month ended & he gave up cooking, each of 7 of us paid him $2.00 each.  He says he does not like to cook anymore & talks of boarding out.  So our mess is apt to break up or diminish some.  Hinkly did most of the cooking today.  He does very well.  Our mess was very pleasant all the time & I regret if it breaks up.
Mail came this P.M. by escort from Little Rock.  It was welcomed with impatience.  I got three letters from home, mailed 3d, 10th, 17th ult.  People were generally well.  Father had one weakly turn, but at last date of writing, 15th he was pretty well.  Some fine weather early in the month, but came on cold & stormy later.  Mother felt well as usual, John was sometimes unwell, but sometimes able to be about.  Sisters & families, also Anthony's were well.  School goes on again.  Wm Gamble teaches three months.  Hay is very high, best $20 a ton, marsh hay $10.00.  I got three papers Harper's Weekly Jany ___ N.Y. & Chicago Tribune of Feb 3, Lieut Tichenor has Milwaukee Sentinel of 17th ult.  This is the latest I've seen active preperations are making at all our chief points especially Chattanooga for an early advance.  Veteran Regts begin to return full, also recruits, conscripts &c.  President Lincoln issued another call for 200,000 more, making 500,000 lately called.  Some towns &c have furnished their quotas for both calls.  Rebels try hard to fill their ranks for the opening of spring campaign.  Theirs is the last hopeless desperate effort.  They are using free blacks & slaves as help, only such are now chiefly in Ft. Sumpter, so says rumor.
Our mail was quite heavy in letters as well as papers &c.  Turner rec news of the death of a sister.  For a time our room echoed his lamentations & groans.  A.M. he was lively & gay selling small apples (rusty coats) five for $.25 cts.  Thus suddenly comes saddening news.  Last week Sergt Foster had ague & has not entirely recovered yet.  Yesterday King had ague.  Corp Cullen had ague before, but has recovered.  Steamer Leon [Seon?] came down this P.M. but had no mail.  Talk of using Steamer Progress for a gunboat.  We hear the transport that sunk is again afloat.  I wrote some of a letter to Matt this P.M.  I read a good article in Southern Quarterly Review, Pub 1847 at Charleston, S.C. on Valley of the Amazon River was discovered by adventurers from Peru in 1541.  One of them went to Europe soon after & published an exaggerated account of the country inhabitants &c one of which was war-like women, hence arose the adjective or term Amazon as now applied to bold or desperate females.  I never before knew the origin of the term.  I am well.

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 2d Wednesday 1864

Last night I slept well till about 5 this A.M. when I waked & rose & wrote till after daylight.  E.P. Hinkly was our cook in the morning.  Five or six of our Co. were detailed before breakfast to go on the Steamer _____ to Little Rock to guard prisoners.  Boats started without giving provost marshal due notice so the boys returned & went on duty as guards.  The little steamer Chippawa which came down _____ went up & the prisoners were sent on her.  Sergt. Griffing & Hinkley, Owen, Findley, Lewis, Jacobi, __ went on her as guards.  She started at noon.  I stewed some crackers & Wells fried some bacon which with coffee constituted our dinner.  In the P.M. Higby made for us two pans full of biscuit, which I baked & they were very good.  Higley, Foster, & Wells took their rations off as they give them $1.25 each for board in a private house in town.  Yesterday we drew full rations of flour, one half of bacon, & 1/2 fresh meat, full shares of sugar, 1/2 of coffee & some tea &c.  Clark & I thought that too high to pay with such good rations as since we left Helena we did not have so good rations.  For a time we scarce knew what to do as with those gone to the Rock & boarding out, our mess is all scattered.  Toward evening we joined with Safford, Turner, & Corp Walden, the first of whom will cook for us while Hinkley is gone.  He & Vosburgh did the Co cooking in Camp Washburn. (This last name I don't like to have on my page but must write it as a matter of fact, I wish him well, much better than he is).  Thus I hope our mess will again flourish.  This P.M. the sunken transport Ad. (not Lady) Hinds was towed up the river.  I have heard one connected with the boat say $500 was paid for towing her up here a distance of six miles.  A snag in the river made a hole in her bow as large as a flour barrel.  Her boilers were removed off on a small flat boat.  They worked 10 days to get her up.  Loss in time, expense &c was about $3,000.  A short time ago she was sold for $16,000, though built probably for half that sum.  Steam boat property now & for some time past has been excessively high.  Hinkely & I tried to have our portraits taken before he went away, but it was not a good time.  The day was clear & sunny.  Snow thawed very fast & the ground is some muddy.  I am well.

Review of Last Letters Received: Camp Matters, &c

Matt writes Jany 28: 'Weather during the last week was mild & pleasant as in the last of March.  It is so much like spring that on looking around one expects to see the birds.  Days are bright & so warm, & wind is soft as the summer breeze.  The snow goes off so fast & nicely, without rain or storm, & the sparkling liquid flows away.  Nights are still starry & pleasant.  John was offered $100.00 for two stacks of hay of rather poor quality.  He expects a late springtime.  About little Winnifred he says she can pronounce some words quite plain, such as 'Good Morning!' which she is always sure to say when she sees me; & she can tell a story right through so that those accustomed to her way of talking can understand her quite well.  A few weeks ago she undertook to tell me about Tray (the dog),  tearing her Pa's coat, & she seemed to remember the whole circumstance.  A part of what she said I did not understand, till her mother told me.  If a strange person comes in, she will watch his manners quite closely & when he goes, she will begin to talk & mimic his gestures.  In some respects she is a little wayward, but generally ready to do what she is desired to do!  They sold one pair of steers for working oxen for $100.  Strange reports reached Chas. Findley's people from Chattanooga that he was a prisoner.'  Under date of Feb 15 he says: 'A portion of the people of Greenfield & Franklin congregations have organized a Temperance Society.  This was the result of the labors of a missionary priest from Chicago, who preached every evening for a week'.  Matt says: 'I think a portion of those people are yet to be redeemed.  When such as (here he names three young & middle aged men) go up to the alter & in presence of all the witnesses in a crowded church promise aloud before Almighty God, not to taste whiskey, brandy, beer, cider, or any intoxicating drinks during life, then I think there is a reform'.  I fear that what he hopes or thinks is a reform will prove before long to have been but a very slight & transient change for everything & person with which those have been associated in the past will be a source of temptation to influence them to violate their pledge or promise.  May God grant that they & all may keep the path of Temperance.  The best feature of the new change is that it is for life, if kept as I never had any confidence in a mere suspension of vicious habits.
This P.M. I & 5 others are detailed as guard for the theatre tonight.

 

[journal] Pine Bluff, Arkansas
March 3d Wednesday 1864

Last night I and five others of our Co went on guard at 6 1/2:  One was placed in the stairway where a soldier stood to take tickets, or pay as the case might be.  The crowd flowed in till about 7 1/2 OClock when the curtains were drawn, every part of the house being full & some parts crowded.  The gallery was reserved at first, for those who came in company with ladies & shoulderstraps, but toward the last owing to the crowd in other parts of the room, soldiers were allowed to go up.  This was the first show of any kind that I ever attended, if I should except an Agricultural State Fair held near Milwaukee about the year 1855.  The music was by some of our Regt, band & some from other regiments.  It was small in quantity & rather poor in quality.  The room some 40 or 50x60 feet was lit up by about 25 or 30 candles.  The first part or opening scene was a song by a boy & his father about the (I think Union) flag.  It was loyal & devoted in sentiment or meaning.  The next was acting. (I know not what more fit term to use) by a man in the tight fitting apparel worn by men while acting & which was fancifully trimmed & decorated.  He lay on his back, on the stage or platform with his legs up & with those & his hands he performed with a globe 15 to 20 inches in diameter.  He went through a series of movements in this way for 10 to 20 minutes, which surprised me not a little in this the actor was a full grown man.  The next was a series of combinations of supporting others in various positions, in which two men & two boys 12 to 16 years old were the actors.  The larger man would support the three others in various positions & performed curious movements with the boys, who would assume unusual positions & retain them with the utmost rigidity, even in the most difficult positions, or what I thought such.  Summersaults & balancing on the head on the foot or hand of one of the men was done.  Another part was the performances of a dog & playing a game at cards with the man who was the chief actor.  A little girl from 8 to 12 yrs attired like an old woman sung a song I'm ninety five.  The next scene was so 'o'er true' & life like in the first part as to be saddening to me though others laughed at it.  One was a rather clear and able looking woman, who seemed to me to be no more than from 20 to 25 yrs old who played the part of wife (some said she was the little girl's mother, but I did not think so).  The other was a drunken husband:  the converse between them was only regrets, mutual, criminations & recriminations, each charging the other with all faults & faithlessness &c.  They sung a chorus each regretting his & her regret.  The one that she had become his wife & the other that she had become a wife.  The finale was that they were reconciled;  each repicing[?] at the relation that connected them.  The next was a negro scene of learning a music lesson.  For the first lesson the charge was $250. the next $2.50 & the finishing lesson 25 cts.  The learner wished to get the last lesson first.  This was by the two men.  Another was a pantomine in which the characters were Father & Mother, a daughter (who acted wife in other pieces) & her lover.  The mother made signs to daughter to sit down diligently to her sewing;  soon her lover came with a letter & she tried to read it & sat on his knee, when the mother saw them & drove him off with the broom.  This was quite long & quite well performed, I thought.  The whole ended at 10 Oclock when each of the six guards was given a free ticket for one night.  I sold mine this P.M. to Juhre for 50 cts the admission fee being 75.  I think there were at least 300 persons present, one man, a citizen, was there with his family & 6 or 8 women were with soldiers.  Gilbert was in as usual, I suppose, but did not like the affair.
The day was bright & clear, nearly all the snow is gone.  I am on guard on the boats.  This A.M. I ate a lot of apples which I got out of some broken barrels, while the steamer Ad Hinds was unloaded.  23 bbls of damaged apples were sold this A.M.  They brought from 4 to $11 a bl.  Many of the soldiers, some in our Co, sell apples nearly every day.  Last night & today the soldiers stole a large amount of Sutler stuff that was on the Hinds.  Much of this was liquors of various kinds, so that many of them have got drunk.  One of the 5 Kansas Cav today drew his revolver on Geo. Church while he tried to arrest him.  He was drunk of course & was put in the jail.  Thermometer stood at 56 [degrees] at 9 this A.M.  I am well.  Church had ague this P.M.  Nights are clear & starry.

 

[journal] Pine Bluff, Ak
March 4th Friday 1864

I was guard yesterday P.M. & I had a part of an article in Southern Quarterly Review of a book or work--A Year of Consolation-- by the actress Miss Fanny Remble, afterward Mrs Bulter [Butler?].  As the article is a long one of 45 pages, I read but a part of it.  She was a very gifted person, but alas! was not happy as wife & mother. 
As the passage to the boat was very muddy & few if any would try to come aboard but those who belonged there, I thought it safe to read & watch at the same time.  When the relief came I was reading & Sergt Donaldson (I suppose) with his usual promptness reported me at least I think it was he.  This morning while I was eating breakfast at 8 A.M. after coming off guard Gilbert told me that Lieut. wanted to see me.  After breakfast I went & saw Tichenor & he spoke to me about my reading while on post.  He was quite serious, but good natured, as is his wont with me at all times.  He wanted me to make up my mind not to do so any more, which I firmly resolved to do.  He then kindly & with a smile settled by asking me what I was going to do today?  I said I was going to clean my gun &c, to prepare for inspection.  He said that if this was repeated he should have to report the case to Provost Marshal.  Perhaps the Pr. M. would not think it so great an offense as our officers would, as they are less strict in nearly every respect.  Thus our rgt'al officers would expect & require our Co. on Provost Guard to salute them while passing the guard & our Co did so at first when we went on duty in town:  but the Cav officers forbid it, so the silly ceremony (for such it would be in this case) was discontinued.  In this case I would regret that any of my acts should act to the detriment of our Co.  While I was on post a man came aboard but in trying to do so he slipped down in the mud & could hardly stand--I was told by one--the watchman of the boat, that he had been in the Army two years & was Lieut. when discharged from an Ohio Regt, but now is Government agent to prevent the smuggling of goods on or off the boat.  His wages, the watchman's was $60 a month.  I could not help thinking how such a man could be able to attend faithfully to the duties of his station & interests of our Government as at any time he might become unable to take care of himself.  I was told that engineers on the boats get from $150 to 175 to 200 a month & pilots get from 400 to $500 a month.  When on post the watchman showed me the pilot of the Lillie Martin who was paid the latter wages, but who did not save any of his enormous wages, owing to his extravagant & profligate ways.  When he gets to Memphis, he has a chance to indulge all his dissolute habits.  There he has three women who absorb all his earnings & probably that of many others like him.  What a horribly sacrilegious (life waste & soul destruction) way so many of earth's most beautiful & gifted follow for a living!  And what an unsatisfied, uncertain, heart aching soul-humbling course such have through all the days of their life;  in spite of all the show, glitter, costliness & assumed gayety they may exhibit to the eye of the world.  He was a tall, able, well looking person probably not long enough in such wasys to show palinly its effects on his person & constitutional vigor.  Deckhands are paid $45 a month, but some of them told me they save very little if any of it.  They get whiskey three times a day & yet they buy much more, for which they have to pay 25 cts a drink.  Who wonders that want & ignorance fill the world, while such extravagance rules all.  Those latter are chiefly or all Irish.
This P.M. I & 3 others went for wood.  We got one load & then I went to the public meeting in the Methodist church where a large No., chiefly soldiers, were assembled to hear speaking by Snow & Rogers of this place who are candidates.  J.W. Demby & Mills & as many more all candidates for the election ordered on the _______ of this month.  There was much personality indulged, each telling his own merits & more or less inveighing against his opponents.  One thing is granted on all hands...the death of slavery.  Demby & ___ were from one to 2 yrs in our army, at Helena & elsewhere.  Meeting ended at about 5 P.M.  The day is sunny, clear, & pleasant.  River is very high & still rising.  I am very well
Major C.C. White arrived here last evening with an escort of the 13th Ill. Cavalry. He is now Inspector General of our Division the 3d & we are now in the 7th Army Corps.

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 5th Saturday 1864

Last night I wrote till about 10 oclock, when the boys came from the theatre.  Higley & I slept together as both our mates are gone to Little Rock.  I rose about 1/2 hour after sunrise.  The day was pleasantly warm, clear & bright.  No candles were drawn the last time, so I bought two from a negro woman last evening for 10 cts.  She lived in Charleston, S.C. till the last of 1860.  She was there at the time of the Dem. National Convention, but was sold & brought to Ark before the first smoke of war at Sumpter.  Her master was a merchant & had about 40 slaves whom he hired out for wages by the month or year.  She bought her time for which she paid $8 to $10 a month, she was able to earn this sum in three weeks, so that she had the other week for herself.  She worked in boarding houses, hotels &c as I understood she was a good house servant.  She was parted from all her kin (This is very common word among the colored people when speaking of their relatives) & she wished to o back after the War to find her husband.  I have found that under the old slave rule, the distance to which husband & wife were removed from each other had very much to do with the permanence of the marriage relation.  Thus, were they but 10, 20 or 30 miles apart & their attachment strong, the husband was allowed to visit his wife (?) at stated periods;  but if they were 100 miles or more apart, the relation was broken & he might never see has darling any more.  Now evidently the trouble or inconvenience & cost or loss increased with the distance, but could not affect the Relationship in any way, & this proves that the selfish interest of the Master was all that caused this way to prevail.  When far apart, they usually assumed a new relation, as this was evidently the blood-stained interest of the Oligarchy.
Yesterday P.M. Steamer Curlew came from above.  The river is now as high as it was any  time since we came here, it is still rising.  Yesterday & today two of the 13th Ill Cav have been quartered with us.  They are a part of the escort from Little Rock.  They are Germans. At 2 O'clock this P.M. our Regt 'fell in' for general inspection; our Co. with the others.  Major White was inspecting officer, it took 1 1/2 or 2 hours.  The poorest of our canteens, haversacks, knapsacks &c were examined & condemned as unfit for use & for them we are to receive in exchange good ones.  We were all in holiday trim & everything had to be in apple-pie order.  Those guns broken or otherwise unfit for use are to be condemned & good ones supplied.  Military rues or 'the  regulations' require such an examination to be made every 3 or 6 months.  I have heard that most or all the new recruits have been assigned to Co A.  I believe a large no. more are expected.  The rumor has been in camp lately that our Regt. is under marching orders & that we were to go to Little Rock to form a part of a force to advance to Red River.  I do not think such an expedition could move before the middle of May with the large baggage & heavy artillery train required.  It is said that Col. Clayton chose our Regt. in Nov. among all the troops at Little Rock to come here, as he seems to have a good opinion of it & some think we will not leave here while he commands this post.  Some of the boys do not like to leave here, but I am very glad we did not stay at Helena & I am willing to go on still further if need be.  I will like to see the country.
Our Mess is in a very satisfactory state, as Safford cooks better than Higby.  Our late messmates who board out, find it inconvenient to go to meals &c as the place is at some distance from camp & talk some of coming back.   Daugherty is sick today with fever.  Many of the boys still sell apples, cigars &c. some of which they bought at auction.   Some bought barrels of pecans & peanuts, tobacco, cigars &c, all of which was damaged on the boat that sunk.  The boys almost always save themselves & often make a considerable profit.  McKee, Turner, Gilbert &c are active in the trade.  G-- seems to have no scruple at making a large profit, though he likes to denounce Sutlers &c for the high prices & large profit they make.  Today I sewed my clothes some, as my coat sleeve lings were loose.  Very many of the boys of our Co went in the 'show' tonight.  Few if any of them pay.  Nights are cool, clear, starry & calm.  I am well.  Bruce[?] was here tonight & some drunk.

 


[journal] On Guard, Pine Bluff
March 6th Sunday 1864

Last night I wrote till about 10 oclock, a part of the time by the light of the fire.  I had a good sleep till 6 1/2 this A.M.  We had breakfast in good time & I was ready to go on guard in good season.  I asked Corp. M-- if I might go to church between 10 & 12 O'clock, but he did not want to let me go.  I might have gone without asking, but I might have been wanted.  I saw the Theatre Gentry return from the Catholic church. (I think)  Yesterday P.M. there was a performance at 2 o'clock for citizens, women, & children.  No soldiers were admitted, I believe.  I wrote a letter to Mother this A.M. & mailed it as it was said the mail would go today.  I finished the article about Mrs. Butler this A.M.  She travelled in Italy.  She was English by birth & the niece of the famous Mrs Siddons.  Her first public appearance as actress in America was in the autumn of 1832.  It is said she had much more success as actress than as author.  In 1847 she again returned to the stage.  I am anxious to know if she yet lives.  I hope she is happy as one so talented should be after much disappointment & trouble as wife & mother.   Last evening a Cav. Officer knocked down & kicked a Cavalry man.  Our guards arrested him, & took him to the Provost Marshal, who allowed him to go at large, till an investigation might be had in a day or two.  Both of the parties were under the influence of thrice accursed drink.  This P.M. I saw a sutler lying on the sidewalk drunk so he could not walk & moving as if writhing from pain.  Someone helped him away.  Arrests are getting much more frequent since the fleet came up than before, as vast quantities of liquor were brought up.  Friday last some of the Cav boys charged a load of sutlers stuff & got some cases of bottled liquors, from which they since have the pleasure of getting drunk at a cheap rate.  Alas, that man will so degrade himself & lovely woman too.
Gunboat 37 (Naumkeag)[?] came from Little Rock in 7 hours & got here at 4 P.M. with mail.  I got none. 
Today at 10 A.M. thermometer stood at 54o and in the P.M. at 5 it showed 70o .  The day was clear & pleasantly warm.  We had dinner at 3 P.M.  We had tea, fresh pork (for which we exchanged our nasty fat bacon--or what the boys call sow belly, pound for pound) & which we draw as we use it, good biscuit, & nice baked apple dumplings, which our cook made.  The two Cav. of the 13th Ill, ate breakfast with us.  Only 30 or 40 of their Regt. reenlisted, but nearly all would if they like their staff officers.  No doubt tens of thousands of our old soldiers have been prevented from enlisting again by the manner in which they have been treated by their officers.  I think all that serve three years should go & stay at home (unless they have a particular liking for the army) & give those who have been at home a chance to learn to love Liberty--But when a Nation's Rights & life are imperiled, no truely loyal citizen can stand idle or stay at home, while there is a lack of defenders in the field & be justified. --- (11 1/2 P.M. Sunday I have just returned from a hunt in Co with 4 others of our Co & 3 or 4 of Co D 5[th Regmt] Kansas after some of 1st Ind & 18th Ill. Cav who broke into a house & tearing things generally.  One of the latter drew his revolver, so we took him & another of same Regt to the jail.  Night is mild, calm, clear & starry.)  Today I saw the following posted up about town.  Headquarters Post of Pine Bluff, Ark.  March 3d 1864.  General Order No. 4 Hereafter, all citizens within the military jurisdiction of this post, who subscribe to the Amnesty Oath, will be regarded as loyal.  Those who do not will be regarded as enemies & will not receive the privileges & immunities of loyal citizens.  No vouchers will be issued to them for property will be granted to them to go outside of the lines after this date, except to such as desire to go beyond the lines to remain.  By order of Col Powel Clayton, M.W. Benjamin & Lieut & Post Adj.  I am well

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 7th Monday 1864

Last night I did not sleep till near midnight.  I had a good sleep this morning, so well satisfied was I that I waked about 7 A.M.  Yesterday was a dry, dreary & lonesome day--for I had no pleasant association with any of my fellows by which the monotony of camp & guard routine might be so satisfactorily broken.  How I long for the time when my daily joy will be found in daily duty & woman's love & smiles.  How this heart sinks from its own heaviness when no strong sympathy nor sweet joys stir it to a new life & healthy activity.  I am so different from many that without sympathy life is not enjoyable as it might be.  I can not enter into the common sports in which others waste so long & precious hours, but then they are careless & thoughtless & to their notion happy.
Today was sunny & pleasant.  Dress parade was at 4 P.M.  Some orders were read, and a circular from our Regimental Head Quarters referring to the proximity of the season for active operations;  ordering all peddling or selling of apples &c. in camp to be stopped;  those boarding out to form messes in camp as soon as may be, as we may have to move at any time.  Capt. Kenyon Co. E & Wiley, late Q.M. of our Regt are honorably discharged from the service.  The rumor that our Regt. is to go to Little Rock to join the advancing column, but that may not come for a month or more, yet.  I heard those two that we took to the jail last night were put to work on the streets today.  Pro. Marshal said last night they would be sent to Little Rock in chains.  Tonight some of the boys made some comments on my miserly ways.  Abare, who sold so many apples, cigars &c, was treating some of the boys with some half rotten apples & he offered me one, which I took rather to please him than for the value of it.  He spoke of it tonight.  True is it that I have not bought any from our speculative boys or much such from any one, nor will I.  Three transports loaded with cotton & No. 37 went down A.M.  River falls slowly today.  Wells does not feel well.

 

 [diary] March 7 Monday, 1864

I came off guard this A.M. day was clear & sunny & warm. Mail went this A.M. on Gunboat No. 37. I washed some of my clothes this P.M. Dress Parade at 4 PM Capt Renyon & 2 M Wiley are is charged. Boys are at Theatre tonight.

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 8th Tuesday 1864

Last night I read 20[th] Chap of Luke, tonight the 21 & 22.
Last night I lay down early & slept till after sunrise this morning, when I found one of the most beautiful, bright & balmy daysprings that I often saw.  I could not but feel the beauty, the loveliness of the hour, while I gazed on the swift flowing, swollen Arkansas, feeling as I did that this is no longer a land of slavery, thanks to God.  Last night about midnight, Smart being on guard halted Col. Gray & 10 or 12 citizens that were in company with him & detained them till Corp. Cullen came to the place of the scene--At this Gray was highly offended even to madness at his detention, even though he or any of his party had not the countersign & he abused Corp. Guard &c.  The orders for several weeks past were that officers & soldiers while well behaved, passed with or without the countersign, but citizens must have it or they were liable to be taken to the guard house or jail for the night.  Lt. Col. ordered Corp. to report to him this A.M.  There was an investigation this A.M. as Gray was determined on revenge, so he made complaint to Col. Clayton of the deficiency of our Co, in drill &c, as this was probably the only plausible plea or cause that he could adduce.  A detail from Co. E was sent to report to Pro. Marshal, to relieve us, but were ordered back.  This took place about noon.  Adj said to orderly Sergt of our Co. that Col. expected our Co to be on drill at 2 P.M. but it did not go.  At six P.M., Co. E went on duty & our Co was relieved.  I have heard Co. E presented Gray with the horse he has before our Regt left Wis.;  it is also a Walworth Co. Company & so is he.  Also that Gray never liked our Co.  The caws [?] alledged is that he & Capt. Enos were in the book agency in '57 to 1860 & Enos got the start of him by getting his books adopted throughout the state.  Certainly this & all such should be forgotten.  The detail for our Co is four privates & one non-com officer for picket or Grand Guard, & 2 privates & one Corp. for camp guard.  This is disproportionate, as four privates & one Sergt. have been & are yet off on duty.  Corp. Walton from the jail, Sergt. McKee & privates Moore & McKown to direct the negroes at work are all relieved, so G. has a general gathering tonight.  We had a good apple pie for dinner & supper.  I am very well

 

[diary] March 8 Tuesday 1864

This morning was beautiful & the day warm, clear & bright. I wrote in my books that I am about to send home. Our Co. was relieved from Provost Guard duty at 6 P.M. Co. E. takes our place. Col. Gray is the cause of it. I bought two books today for 75 cts. one for Anthony & one for Catharine. All our Co. is in Camp tonight

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 9th Wednesday 1864

Last night I had a good & refreshing sleep.  Sky was cloudy & the elements were ajar making the air resound with the heavy discharges of Heaven's artillery amid frequent flashes of lightning.  We just got through breakfast when the first drops fell, about 7 1/2.  Then came on a very heavy rain for an hour when a short cessation ensued during which pickets & guards started out;  but ere the former were out of sight the rain again began to fall & continued to fall in torrents till 10 or 10 1/2 O'clock, when some heavy hail stones fell & by 11 the storm ceased, clouds began to clear off and by N the sun was shining faintly & the P.M. was clear & pleasant.  The river fell fast yesterday, but the rain caused it suddenly to rise again.  It was quite severe for the pickets to begin a day's duty, as they are very apt to have got more or less wet.  How the Rebels can live without rubber blankets & with a defective supply of tents &c is more than I can understand.
About N Lt Col. Gray came to Lt. Tichenor's house when Corp. Cullen was summoned to whom Gray gave quite a talking about his conduct in detaining him 'night before last.  He ended by ordering Tichenor to send to him a request to reduce Cullen to the position of private.  How much I value my independence of all the smiles & favors of all the stuck up gentry, such as Gray, who in their exalted baseness know & care not what they do.  I have heard Lt. says he will not comply with Gray's request for C. reduction as he does not think C did use disrespective language to Gray, as that is his charge.  Cullen is very apt to be reduced by G's order, as he can do so.  Some of our boys swear vengence against some of the straps when they are again on an equal footing, viz, after the War.  Some also have hard feelings against Co. E boys, but this is wrong & unreasonable.
Tables were full most of the day with card players.  I read some & wrote also.

 

[diary] Pine Bluff, Ark. March 9th Wednesday, 1864

I slept well last night. This morning our Co. was out to roll call very heavy rain fell from 7 1/2 to 10 1/2 A.M. At M. sun came out. P.M. was clear & pleasant. Col. Gray ordered Lt to have Cullen reduced to ranks. No drill today. I wrote some today. I am well March 10 Thursday, 1864 Some rain fell last night. Day was sunny & high wind this P.M. I was on fatigue duty till 1 P.M. Ira Woodcock was along. Com. & non Com. Officers had drill this P.M. Steamer Chipawa came down with mail this P.M. I got none. Our boys come.

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 10th Thursday 1864

Last night the new moon looked clear but the clouds lay in the S.W. above the horizon.  A shower fell during the night.  Today was sunny & clear with high wind in the P.M.  This A.M. at 8 1/2 I went on detail for fatigue duty.  Our work was to draw rations which took us till 1 P.M.  We loaded 38 barrels of flour & 24 bbls of mess pork & beef.  No crackers were drawn and I believe there is none of the kind here.  3 or four barrels of sugar, one bbl white beans, also as much split peas, soap, coffee, &c.  No candles were drawn & I believe there are none here .  I have bought a few candles for 5 cts each.  These are nearly as good as those we get from commissary.
I read some in Little Rock National Union of 5 inst.  Also I read 50 pages of Agnes Grey by Charlott Bronte' & her sister.  I also wrote some in a letter to Matt.
The steamer Chippawa came down this P.M. having left the Rock at 8 A.M.  A mail came, but I got no letters.  I expected one from Matt & one from Maria, but they came not this time.  The boys said a mail came to Little Rock yesterday which they think was not brought down today.  They saw Capt. Turner (our late 1st Lt.) & all our boys at the Capital.  Active preperations are making at Little Rock for the advance movement to take place, as early as the season will allow.  Our Division of the 29 & 33d Iowa, & 9 & 28th Wisconsin Inf. Regts. are to go.  An active competition for superiority in drill is going on between 9th Wis. & 29th Iowa Inf.  A prize of $1,000 & a full uniform for Col. of the victorious Regt is offered.  This excites a great enthusiasm & drill goes on every day.  Vast Nos. of baggage wagons are preparing for the expedition;  Many stores have a good & full supply of goods & some new ones are building.  I heard this A.M. that a Lieut. of Co. [ ] 5th Kansas Cav. was taken by a few of Capt. Webb's Rebel Co that prowl about this place.  He went outside the picket, last night without leave or a pass to visit 'his girl', probably a lost one when the Rebs surprised him & bore him off.  I hope he will be meetly punished.  I am well

 

[journal] Pine Bluff, Ark
Picket on Little Rock road
March 11th Friday 1864

Last night I slept early till about 4 1/2 this morning when I lit my candle & finished a letter to Matt.  I enclosed it & two sheets of my diary in an envelope which I sealed & put in the letter box, as the boat may start up the River & take the mail off when I am off on duty.  My old mate Hinkley is here again & I am glad of it.  He bought 1/2 ream of commercial note paper for me, as much for himself & R. D[?]. Lewis got as much for himself & Griffing got some also.  They all got the same kind of paper, having a beautiful stamp with the word 'Hope' within.  They paid 20 cts a quire or $4.00 a ream.  H-- got a pint bottle of Arnolds for him & me.  He paid a dollar for it.  They brought a package of papers, soldiers hymn books &c for each of our Companies.  I got some of each kind.  In the Hymn Book are some beautiful pieces that I heard & long wished to have for I often repeated such parts of them as I knew.  Moore, McKown & I , Sergt Foster are on Picket.  Moore & I are together with others at the best post on the line.
This A.M. a wagon loaded with furniture &c. was sent outside the lines.  On it were a wretched looking & poorly dressed woman & two little ones.  The cause of her expulsion was that she was the mistress of a house of shame & misery, the other in metis escaped.  Alas that our world so beautiful naturally should be clouded with the dark shades of the many excesses that cause so much unhappy guiltiness & misery to many of Earth's fairest & most gifted.  Wars & their consequent waste & crime & ruin, drunkenness, idleness, treachery & falsehood in families & society & among man & woman.
Today I finished the novel, or life sketch 'Agnes Grey'.  The book has 116 pages.  I cannot think such reading can damage any person;  on the contrary there are very many good & sound views advanced which could only benefit the young of either sex.  Moore made some coffee for him & me at noon.  Day is breezy & pleasant.  I wrote a short letter to Myron Gilbert.  I am well

 

[diary] March 11 Friday 1864

I went on Picket today We have a good post W. of town. Three privates & sergt. Foster are on picket, two privates & a Corp on guard. I read 66 pages in Agnes Grey & finished it. Pleasant day I am well. March 12 Saturday. 1864 Last night I was on post two times four hours. The night wind moaned among the Pines so as to excite sad & melancholy thoughts. I slept four hours. Today is pleasant & clear I wrote a letter to Myron & mailed one to Matt. Yesterday. Regt. drilled today Pickets do not drill. 10 or 12 are in our mess

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 12th Saturday 1864

Last night I was on post from 9 to 11 & from 3 to 5 this morning.  I & Moore lay down together & I slept about four hours pretty comfortably.  When I waked he was up by the fire & he said I could sleep in a snow bank.  It seems he was waked by the cold.  I read a part of Gillespie's Roads & Rail Roads, pub by A.S. Barnes.  We were relieved about 9 o'clock A.M.  Night before last we heard an order came from Little Rock for Capt. Williams, Co. A to report there & immediately.  It was rumored the order came there from Wis. as dame Rumor said, he was to be tried by Court Marshal for some offense.  We heard he had offended against the Civil law by seducing a young woman &c, but for this the Military Law would not reach him.  He went with an escort of Cav. this morning.    Last night on post I remembered Miss Emma West of Pewaukee, who with one or two other girls took some pie & nice sugar-frosted cake &c to me & one or two others of our Co. who were on guard the day in Oct 1862 on which the people from that town treated Co. G to a dinner in Camp Washburn, Wis.  How kind & sympathetic were the best part of the women of the North toward the Vol's for Freedom's War!  Sister Mary & Anthony & his wife were in camp the same day.  It was a clear & cool day.
I went about camp & in town nearly all day.  In the A.M. I heard some men who lately gloried in their human (inhuman?) possessions conferring as to the best way to induce their late slaves to work their lands.  One plan spoken of was to feed, clothe, & furnish medical attendence all free, & give them their usual chances of extra reward for extra work & 1/10 of the crops that they cultivated.  I heard one ask "would this be more advantageous than to pay wages by the month".  All acknowledged the power of the U.S. Government to control all such matters and more.  No doubt many long for the old past but cannot hope for it.  The streets are filled with citizens from the surrounding country as far as 20 miles out, who have come in to take the oath of Allegiance so that they can purchase supplies and vote at the Election next Monday.  This P.M. the Provost Marshal's office was [xxx?]ed with men & women.  I saw 6 or 8 men hold up their hands & take the oath & immediately after two women took it.  All are busy conversing about the candidates &c.  A notice is up today announcing the withdrawal of [blank] Snow, as can[didate]. for Congress from this Congressional District.  He did this to favor the prospects of [unreadable] in opposition to [blank] Rodgers, who I fear has the best chance of election. [unreadable] & Demby were in our Army with Gen Curtis in '62 in this state.  Various candidates are posted about town for county offices &c.  The No. of votes required is [blank] without which the state cannot be reorganized at present.  All things are arranged so that little chance is open for fraud, as all names are registered in the Pro War offices.
I got a Harpers Weekly this A.M.  I was in the P. Office & asked the price of it, intending to pay .25 cts for it, but the Chaplain of the 1st Ind, who has charge of the mail here, said I might have it.  The date is Feb [blank].
I had a talk with the sergt. who showed me a piece of poetry or merely verses, that he began to write, but did not yet finish.  I did not think it very able or beautiful.  He also read me a letter to a young lady, which he wrote for a soldier, a lover-sick swain, who I thought himself could not write in sufficiently melting sentences.  The language was very flowery & entreating.  If I must write such ere I marry, it may never be.  But what I would say & write were I smitten & entangled in Love's tangled net I know not, nor can I even guess.  He goes with the mail & assists the Chaplain in the P.O.  I thought this was taking me into his confidence considerably as I & he were nor at all acquainted till we came here.  He asked me while we conversed if I were  lawyer.  It is strange what opinions people form & questions they ask about me.
This P.M. I bought 7 1/2 libs coffee at 75 cts & sold it for $1.00 a lb, thus making $1.90  I bought a box of Ayer's Cathartic Pills for .50.  There was a skirmish drill P.M.  Pickets do not drill the day they come off.

 

[journal] Sunday, March 13th 1864

Today I heard the following Hymn sung in the Presbyterian Church.
'Twas for my sins, my dearest Lord
Hung on the cursed tree,
And groaned away a dying life,
For thee, my soul, for thee.

Oh! how I hate those lusts of mine
That crucified my God;
Those sins that pierced & nailed his flesh
Fast to the fatal tree.

Yes, my Redeemer, they shall die,
My heart has so decreed;
Nor will I spare the guilty things
That made my Savior bleed.

Whilst with a melting broken heart,
My murdered Lord I view,
I'll raise revenge against my sins,
And slay my murderer's too.

P.M. I sung the following from my hymn Book--The Bleeding Savior

Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
And did my Sovereign die;
Did he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

thus might I hide my blushing face
While his dear cross appears;
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness
And melt my eyes to tears.

But floods of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love I own
Here Lord I give myself to thee
'Tis all that I can do.

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 13th Sunday 1864

Last night was clear & cool, the stars and moon shining bright.  I slept well from about 10 P.M. to daylight this morning.  Today was clear & pleasant.  Thermometer at sundown indicated 60o  or temperate.  We had inspection at 9 or 9 1/2 A.M. & dress parade at 5 P.M.  I & many others of our boys were at the service in Presbyterian Church.  The text was Hebrews Chap 11, v.17.  The discourse had little of interest for me but I always enjoy the music & singing, especially when there are many singers as today.  The whole church was well filled today as usual chiefly by soldiers.  There were from 35 to 50 women or ladies in nearly half of whom sung or perhaps not so many.  Some of the soldiers sing.
Yesterday Safford & Hinkley made our mess room & table , as all our old mates who were boarding out have come back except Higley, who is apt to join us soon also.  S--does nearly all the cooking in a very satisfactory way.  H-- helps him some.  Some of the Co's in 28[th Regiment] have several Ark. vol's.  [Company] A has 6 or 8.  Some of them very large men.  On parade, several orders were read from War Dept at Washington, among them discharges of Lt. C.K. Davis Co. B & Capt H.A. Myer, Co H, both for alledged physical disability.  An order is issued forbidding soldiers to sell apples, nuts, &c in public places, which lately became very common.  Yesterday I found a pantaloons in the flap of my knapsack for which I often looked since the day we had inspection (a week before) and I thought it lost.  It caused me considerable anxiety, as being my 2d best pair.  Today I drew a new hat like those we had in Camp Washburn.  Some of the boys drew blouses & dress coats.  Lt. Tichenor said to me that we would march to Texas in light marching order.  Wagons will carry knapsacks &c.  Tents will be left to follow us by the boats.  Sherman is at Selma, Al.  Banks is moving NEastwardly in Texas.  Jeramiah Noon[?] of Co F died last night & was buried this P.M.  I am well.

 

[diary] Pine Bluff, Ark. March 13, Sunday, 1864

Today was clear & sunny. Inspection was at 9 A.M. Dress parade 5 P.M. Capt. Myer Co. H. & Lt. Davis Co. B. are discharged. Yesterday I got a box of pills for .50 cts. We drew hats today. I got one. We had dinner at 3 P.M. I am well.

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 14th Monday 1864

Last night it was 10 O'Clock before I lay down.  I slept well till roll call this morning.  Morning was cloudy.  Sky cleared off before N.  The day was cool & windy, much dust was blown about.  I was about town some in the A.M. & P.M.  Voting was done in the Court House.  Rumors were that guerrillas would guard the roads leading to this & other towns where the votes are taken.  Scouts are out to meet such.  Regt. was on drill P.M. chiefly bayonet exercise.  Co. Gray urged the soldiers to try to induce some of the voters here to enlist in our Regt. as Government will pay Vol's in this state the same bounty as those in the free States.  Anyone who brings an accepted volunteer gets $10.  Capt Townsend started for Little Rock this morning with escort.  We hear he is to be Inspector on Gen S.A. Rice's staff.  Steamer Chippawa came up river last night with a load of Com.  Heavy details of Negroes were busy today unloading her.  A small mail was brought by an escort last night from L. Rock.  It was distributed this morning some of our Co. got 3 letters.  I hoped for some but there were none for me.  Lieut. Seymour temporarily commands Co. B.  Lieut Slawslon will command it as soon as he returns from Wis. in April.  This P.M. two steamers came up the river, another grounded about five miles below & a gunboat stopped with here to assist & protect her.  The boats are chiefly loaded with Government supplies.  The 77th Ohio Inf came on the boats.  They started from Little Rock 2 1/2 months ago.  40 or 50 who did not reenlist, who remain at the Rock & who will now join them.  One to whom I conversed a little said recruiting was very active, as large bounties are paid & the expectation that this year will end the War.  The North becomes more determined than ever before.  We hear the prowling bushwhackers (I heard) have gobbled a few of the Cav here, who were outside the lines chopping wood.  I had an Ambrotype taken this P.M.  I paid $1.00 for it.  I am well.
Turner got a letter from W. McWhorter, who was appointed orderly in a Co (of which S.B. Beardsley was appointed & commissioned Capt) of the 2d Ark Negro Regt when we were at Helena last summer.  The Co is now (last of Feb.) at I's No. 60 above Helena chopping wood for the use of boats in Gov. employ.  He is now 2d officer in the Co. & may be Lieut.  He never did much duty in our Co.  Those who were acquainted with him at home had not much confidence in his honesty & none in his veracity.  He is a very smooth, gentlemanly & winning sort of person & he would deceive most person, seeming more meritorious than he really is.  I was at first much deceived in him.  He wrote Capt B. was discharged, for physically disability. A party of 20 wood choppers had been taken prisoners a short time before, their cabins burned, some mules &c also captured.  Hinkley had a letter from Egle saying his sister had been married.  His mother wrote she heard of the death of another of his-- H's--cousin in Mich Regts making the third who died in the War.
Some of the boys of 77th O. were up in our Co this evening & ate supper.  Volburgh said to me this evening that he thought he should give up obscene talking, as he was made ashamed of himself by hearing a boy only 14 or 15 yrs old in 77 speaking so indecently.  I said to him I hoped he would do so as I thought he would feel more respect for himself & command more of the respect of other people.  I wish he would amend
I saw a large No. of shovels, spades, &c piled on the bow of one of the boats.  I think they are for Gov. use.  The 77th left Ohio 4th inst & came by RR to Cairo, Ill.
Gambling still goes on in camp, at every game there is a bet for something of more or less value, usually nuts, cigars, pies, &c.  For some weeks past many of the boys, as McKee, Goelzer, &c were very much interested in making finger rings from various substances, sometimes using meat bones, Gutta Rercha buttons, 1/2 & 1/4 dollars &c.  For this purpose all these articles for some time past were at premium.  They often got high prices.  I was not interested in such.

 

 

[diary] March 14. Monday 1864

Day was cool, windy & clear P.M. Drill in bayonet exercise was at 2 P.M. Dust blew about on our drill Ground. Voting goes on in the Court House. Three steamers & Gunboat 37 came up & brought a mail 77 Ohio Regt. aboard March 15 tuesday, 1864. This morning was cloudy but the day was clear. I & 4 or 5 others went for two loads of wood outside Picket line. The 77 Ohio we saw on the march for Li. Rock. We drilled P.M. by division in bayonet Ex. Yesterday Thornton [Thomton?] got a recruit for our Co. I am well

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 15th Tuesday 1864

Last night I slept well & till roll call this morning. The morning was cloudy & cool.  A strong breeze blew all day.  Air was cold so our hands felt it some while on drill in the P.M.  We had the bayonet exercise.  Regt. was formed in four divisions, Co K being divided among the others.  G & B formed one Div & was drilled by Lt. Seymour.  Officers should drill before they can drill soldiers.  After guard mounting at 8 A.M. I & Lewis, McKown, & Mucky & Corp. Walden & our Mulatto-Wm went outside picket fence & chopped & split up a white oak tree from which we got two loads of good wood.  While at breakfast, mail came & was distributed.  I was not a little disappointed to find there was none for me as this is the third mail that came since I got any letters.  We hear there is a mail at Little Rock for us & in it may be some for me.  'Tis now a month since my last letters were written.  Well there is a good time coming!!  For dinner we had some dumplings, boiled meat & chicken, which some of the boys bought for 25 cts each.  Only 1 1/2  chickens were used for 10 or 11 of us, yet we made a very hearty meal.  Safford cooks the salt beef so as to make it very fresh & good.
Voting was going on today as yesterday.  I spoke with some who live 35 miles out on the Monticello Road.  He said there were 4500 Rebs at Monticello, where they make their headquarters.  This he heard.  Many are sore afraid to return to their desolate homes lest their own rebel neighbors report or hang them.  One man showed me his son 16 yrs old whom he meant to leave within our lines to prevent the Rebels from conscripting him.  I heard A.A.C.Rodgers was ahead for Congress.  77 O. Regt. marched on S. Side of River for Little Rock. They had several wasgons & an oven of sheet iron on cart wheels.  A Boy--Edward Hayes was sworn into our Co. yesterday.  He must go to Little Rock to be mustered into U.S. service.  Today I saw a copy of Brownlow's [?] Knoxville Whig.  I never saw it before.  I saw Donaldson dance Highland Fling.  Daugherty, Moore, & Jacobi are sick.

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 16th Wednesday 1864

Last night as Hinkley was on picket & I found no good cleanly lone soldier, I slept alone & very well too.  I say cleanly for not all the boys are free from the army vermin known as graybacks [lice].  While down on the Tallehachie River in Miss, just a year ago, I saw the hideous vermin for the first time. Nearly all the soldiers had them & those of filthy habits had them in swarms.  The first I found on my clothes was when Gilbert & I went a short distance from camp to wash ourselves in the River which we did many times during the spring & summer at Helena it required much caution to keep clear of them.  Since we came to Little Rock, they have not troubled us much & here we seldom see any.  The sky was clear all day & it would have been a pleasant day, but for a cool wind that blew all day.  I am on guard in camp & was on post 1 1/3 hour P.M.  Battalion drill was begun at 2 P.M.  Lt. Col. Gray was disrespectful to Lt. Tichenor.  Today I drew a poncho rubber.  The price is $2.75.  I want to send one such to Matt & one also to Anthony if I can.  Moore, Jacobi & Greene are on sick list.  They are all able to be about, but are not fit for duty.  The boys have much talk about our Regt leaving here, but there seems to be no foundation for it.  This A.M. I was down town to sell my coffee & some our mess had saved during the last 20 days.  Day before yesterday I paid $3 for 4 lbs.  I sold it for a dollar a pound.  Our mess had 10 lbs for which we got $10.  This gave 7 of us $1.10 each & four others, .55.  We sold those 14 lbs to a lady from the country who looked care worn & almost distressed by the want & anxiety that oppress nearly all dependent on the resources of Slaveland.  I could not look on her without feeling pity for the poor & honest ones so numerous here.  A man told me today that at least 1/2 the Rebel force in this state would desert now if they could do so & will do so when the forests bloom so as to afford them a hiding place.  He was in the army from Dec. last to Feb. when he got away.  I am well.  Bowers is sick today.  I wrote a part of a letter to Anthony.

 

[diary] March 16th Wednesday. 1864

This morning was clear & sunny day was bright & a cool wind blew nearly all day. Air is clear & healthy I am on guard, stood 1 1/3 P.M. drill P.M. I sold 4 lb. Coffee. I got for $3.00 for $4.00. Sold 10 lbs. of our mess for $10. from this I go[t] $11.0 but paid .70 for mess expenses. Voting goes on today I well March 17th Thursday. 1864 Last night I was on guard from 11 P.M. to 2 A.M. Night was clear & cold. I slept till 9 A.M. Day was clear & sunny. Drill P.M. skirmishing. Yesterday I drew a Ponchio Rubber. $12.75 & today a lined blowse. $ I mailed a letter to Anthony at noon. I am well

 

 

[journal] This is St Patrick's Day
Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 17th Thursday 1864

Last night I was on guard from 11 P.M. to 2 this morning.  I slept till 9 A.M. when I arose & ate some breakfast with Lewis & Safford who had come off picket.  There was Co drill this A.M. & Regimental drill in the P.M.  Our Regt had a skirmish exercise, by the bugle.  The line was a long one from 40 to 60 rods.  Owen Findley discharged his gun which was loaded.  Adj. Kendrick came along the line & tried to find out who did it, but after asking Lt. Tichenor & many others (none of whom would tell if they knew, though a few did), sergts of our Co B & D.  I saw Lt. would not tell even if he knew.  Such is considered one of those lies that nearly all tell & but few think wrong, but I cannot think so.  The drill this morning was in the bayonet exercise. Lt. Tichenor had Glibert to drill our Co in it as he never practice it much & in fact he never paid much attention to the tactics.  His absence in Wis from July to last Nov made him to be less proficient than he might have been.  During the P.M. drill Lt. Col & most or all the commissioned officers present went off & had a drink.  Tichenor went as Gray asked him to, but as he has not a drinking way fixed upon him & his dislike of Lt. Col. I judge he had little relish for the --treat?  It is saddening to see young men of fair promise give themselves up to the debasing habits that nearly all in the army officers as well as soldiers practice as drinking, swearing, vulgar & disgusting stories & remarks, as often a premium is offered for the most low lived jokes.  Nearly all will return (if return they may) with old habits stronger & many new ones acquired, as very many who never gambled or used tobacco till they enlisted will practice those ways during their lives.  I should have noticed when our boys, Griffing, Hinkley, &c came from Little Rock.  Butkins came down with them.  He came lately from the north.  He was wounded the worst of our Co in the fight of the fourth at Helena at the time of our first fire on the enemy at the outpost early in the morning when he & King & Jacobi were wounded.  Yesterday I drew a poncho rubber & today a blower.  I mailed a letter to Anthony today.

 

[diary] March 18. Friday 1864

This morning I was asleep at roll Call for which I was detailed on Picket. There were three pri & one Corp. on Picket. Day was warm & dry. Two boats came down the River with no mail. Chas. Wicket drew me a rubber blanket. I am well.

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 18th Friday 1864

Last night I read a while by fire light, long after taps. I slept well till morning & was waked by Hinkley when he rose, but I went to sleep again & did not wake up in time for roll call, not till Gilbert waked me when it was over.  For a long time past the calling of the roll was more a humbug than much else for we often had to wait in the ranks some minutes for the last to come before he began to call the names, thus, keeping the prompt one waiting for the tardy.  This I think was caused by two reasons viz first a wish to be as easy with the boys as he well could be & again a very strong wish to avoid turning any of the boys against him & a little fear to do so.  While at Little Rock last fall many of the boys very often answered to their names while yet in bed.  This was repeated many times & was generally passed along as all right.  I sometimes noticed this to Orderly Gilbert & at one time I half in jest., half in earnest threatened to answer in like manner saying I thought if any should rise to answer all who were well should do so.  To this he answered that if I did so he would prick me, that is mark my name & report me, in consequence of which I might be given an extra job to perform.  He & I then were in the same squad or mess.  At this threat of the exercise of his petty authority my indignation was aroused or my resentment excited & I then resolved no such opportunity should be given him & till now I succeeded in my purpose.  Well while at breakfast orderly came & said that I was on picket as Lieut. ordered him to put me on instead of Clark who was detailed last night.  This was unexpected to me, but as I said no one was scared [sacred].  After breakfast I asked Lt. about it.  He confirmed the order & said the next time I should have to drill with the new recruits.  Yesterday while on drill Lt. spoke to me quite sharply one or two times.  It may be that his feelings take a change as but a very short time ago he was particularly pleasant & kind.  The prospect at present is that whoever is absent will be put on extra duty of some kind, though there is no telling how long the new stricter way will be followed.
The day was quite warm, in fact too much so for comfort.  I think the thermometer would indicate from 88 to 98 in the sunshine & from 90 to 95 in the shade.  When off duty I looked about for a shade, but I could not find any as nearly all the trees inside the picket line have been chopped down for saw timber & fire wood.  Small loads of wood in long sticks 6 to 10 ft enough to make from 1/3 to 1/2 cord are sold by Negroes chiefly, in town for $1.25 to $2.00 a load.  High prices are paid for teams to go out 10 to 25 miles for cotton, but few like to risk themselves & teams outside.  Since last Sept when our troops first came here, the woods about & in the town have been cleared more than in the forty preceding years.  I often wonder how the people got along with so little wood for so many years past even though chimnies [sic] are numerous in nearly every house.
Before noon we heard a steamboat whistle, and as she came down the river we expected a mail.  I went down from our post to get the mail, but she did not bring any mail.  I felt tired of this way of living, with so little every day necessary work to do or so much mere ceremony that would be all so much a waste of time in the noble common sense every day work of the longed-for days of Peace.
I read some, & wrote one page of diary [which begs the question why does he note writing in a diary if this journal is his account of the War?  Further evidence that this journal was written after the War using the diary and memory as his guide.  Shirey].  How I would like to work on the farm again as hard as I liked, when I liked & at such work as I liked best or saw most necessary.  But this tedium & occasional ennui [?] & terms of idleness are inseparable from the state of war, & war is the only means left by which to preserve our nation's life & liberties.  What will we not bear for the privileges which are enjoyed in the Free States & guaranteed to all the states
We hear the draft ordered to take place 10th inst. is delayed till April.  There was a debate in Congress lately about the $21,000,000 in gold in the national treasury & its branches.  At last accounts in New York the premium was from .50 to .55 percent.
H. Wells, Chas. Blum & Corp McNeill are on picket.  I am well.

 

[diary] March 19th Saturday 1864,
Last night Wells & I slept together.  evening was warm but Night turned cold & windy.  Day was cloudy & cool. Mail came last night by escort.  I got two letters from Matt. & my watch. He wrote 1st & 2d inst all were well.  I did no drill No dress parade.

[journal] Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co, Ark
March 19th Saturday 1864

Last night I was on post from 6 1/2 to 8 1/2 & from 12 1/2 A.M. to 2 1/2.  Early in the night the air was warm, but soon it got windy & cold.  The moaning of the wind as it swayed the tall pines & swept through the young growth of pines was sad & melancholy, very unlike the noise of the fierce blast that tries the strength of northern forests.  My thoughts wandered far back into the distant past & ran at will with fancy force into the securely hidden future.  What a source of pleasant entertainment to us are our thoughts when a part alone from all save Him who ever watcheth & is nigh to all that call him!  After 2 1/2 A.M. I did not sleep as during the four hours I & Wells lay down together.  I felt cold & preferred to sit & read by the dim & uncertain fire light, than risk taking cold.  The hours wore past slowly while I fixed my fire, now picking up dry limbs & again reading by the light they gave.  The moon was up till 4 1/2  or 5 A.M. & was a little inclined to redness in color or complexion.  I had a plenty of reading as Testament, Young's Night Thoughts, two Knickerbockers mag's-one for 1858 & one for Nov '63 & Roads & R.R. &c.  Thus am I not ever lacking for co. or employment
Lt. Rowen of Co K was officer of the picket & he came to our post about daylight & placed two (not of our Co) under arrest for finding them asleep while on duty.  We reached camp about 9 A.M. when I found the long expected two letters from Matt dated 1st & 2d inst, & also my old watch which came safely & all right in every respect.  Matt said they were all well.  Father had recovered & was well & quite strong.  Mother was well as usual & John it seems was well enough to be about as usual.  A's & sisters' people were well.  I got no letter from Maria.  Hay brought $14 to 20 a ton.  Weather was sometimes fine & pleasant & again broken & stormy.  Gilbert said Jacob Heaton & one or two others had enlisted for our Co.
Day was cloudy & cool.   We hear rumors of a fight here tomorrow.  We are ready for our foes should they dare come.  We discharged loaded guns this evening.  I feel a little cold, but not much..

 

[diary] March 20th Sunday. 1864

Day was cool & cloudy. I was in Presbyterian Church A.M. Mail went to L. Rock A.M. In P.M. I mailed a letter to Matt. Last night we expected a fight, so we discharged our guns & each filled his cartridge box, so as to have 40 rounds. Roll call was at 15 min to 5. No fight today.

[journal] Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co
March 20th Sunday 1864

Last night we prepared for a fight which some expected this morning.  At roll call about 5 P.M.[A.M.?] we fell in line, all the Co's together & took position on the bank of the river as it was intended we should all fire in volley.  From 2/3 to 3/4 of the Regt had loaded guns.  Capt Smith, Co I was Officer of the Day in our Regt.  When we were all in line he gave order "ready", "Aim", but instead of waiting for the word "fire" many discharged their guns, which others continued to do, so that our volley degenerated into a very irregular fire.  We filled our cartridge boxes to 40 rounds each & were informed that roll call would be at 5 this morning.  I arranged my things a little & put some things in my knapsack, but H-- & I have so many things that it would require very large knapsacks to contain them.  The night was clear & moonlit, so after all [Co.]G. lay down I put my overcoat about me & went part way about the breastworks.  Some of the boys said the cannons were place in position at the embrazares, but that was not so.  I slept well till before five O'clock when we fell out for roll call & I & most others lay down & I had a good nap till about 6 1/2  or 7 O'clock.  We had inspection at 9 A.M. when I & others went to Presbyterian Church.  As usual I like the singing.  Most present were soldiers.  Day was cool & cloudy, with cold raw wind.  About 10 A.M. the mail was taken up the river on the Chippawa.  I missed a good chance to send some of my diary, but did not mail it as I did not know the mail would go so soon.  We had but two meals today, dinner being at 3 P.M.  Dress parade was at 5 P.M.  Capt Smith acted as chief in Command.  I cannot think what Col. Gray finds to do to cause him to be absent.  During P.M. two or three steamers came up the River.  They were down 40 or 50 miles foraging &c & brought up a few negroes, fine furniture, some damaged &c.  A part of the force was 18 Ill Inf, & 68 Ohio (I think).  From 3 to 5 were killed, one of 1st Ind. Cav. had 8 to 10 balls in him.   He straggled behind & was shot by bushwhackers.  Griffing said to me tonight that I used a candle so much my sight would soon fail.  This to me would be a very great loss.  I have some of a cold.

 

[diary]Pine Bluff Jefferson Co. Ark. March 21st Monday, 1864
today I was on Picket on Little Rock road. Moore & McKown are on. Day is cloudy & a cold wind blows. I have some Cold & am likely to increase it. Lt. Like is officer of Grand Guard. I read some in Knickerbocker Lover's Shamus Obvine's Hanging in 1798.

 

[journal] On Picket, Pine Bluff, Ark.
March 21th Monday 1864

Last night Moore, McKown, & I  with Corp. E.B. Smith were detailed for picket, & 3 others & Sergt Griffing for guard.  All the Co. except pickets & guards were ordered to fall out for roll call at 5 A.M.  I slept well till about 6 1/2 O'clock, when I got ready for breakfast.  I had a good plenty of time to get ready.  Hinkley helped Safford to cook & he put up my food for three meals.  Yesterday he was not well, but today he is about as usual.  He, like most of our boys & myself, weighed more since we came here than  ever before.  Today was struggling in the A.M. between sunshine & cloud, but about noon sun disappeared & the day was raw & disagreeable till evening when the wind ceased.  All day some passed in & out all of whom have to stop to show their passes, or their certificates of having taken the oath of Allegiance.  If they buy anything they must get a "permit" from the Treasury Agent. Geo. Warner which they must show & have all their purchases examined before they can pass out of the lines.  While I was on post, from 10 to 12 a young girl of 15 to 16 & a little boy of 10 or 12 were going out and she said they had to go 18 miles.  I felt sorry for them as they were poorly clothed & the wind was cold & sharp.  Many negroes draw wood & as they pass the boys require them to throw off one or more sticks of wood, as we keep a good fire day & night.  One negro was going by with a load of rails & Moore ordered him to throw off one.  More thought he would not do it, so he took his gun & started for him when the driver stopped & threw off three rails.  I asked some of the negroes what they got a month & they said $10.  This seems to be the usual wages paid.  One said he had rather live on a farm the here in town.  I heard some of the 7 Mo. Cav. say that two or three weeks ago there were three Brigades or about 2800 Rebs under Parsons at Monticello distant from this place about 50 miles.  They intended to advance on our force that was 30 to 50 miles below here as there were but few of our men from 400 to 600 men.  Our men were ready for a fight till they started up here.  One pass was for 'Bridget & sister' no name given.  My cold becomes severer a little.

 

[diary] March 22d Tuesday, 1864

Last night was cloudy & cold. I had a good sleep from 2 1/2 to 6 A.M. Today was clear & sunny. Thermometer at 78 Scout brought in two of Webb's men this P.M. with their arms and horses. I saw them. I & A. Monroe were in the jail P.M. There were 5 or six rebs in & some soldiers

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark.
March 22d Tuesday 1864

Last night I was on post from 6 to 8 P.M. & from 12 to 2 A.M.  The night was windy and cold so that though we kept a good fire yet the cold penetrated our great coats, so I felt quite cold.  I tried to sleep during my first term but was waked up by the cold before I slept long.  I had a good & comfortable sleep from about 2 1/2 till after sunrise this morning.  Last evening I had a good cup of coffee with some milk in it.  McKown got it at a house nearby.  For some time I had to listen to him & the officer of the Picket Lt. Like of Co F as each told his many exploits at balls & excursions, barrooms, among ladies at public entertainments & in private life.  Like was acquainted all around Mukwanago where he lived & their subjects of conversation & their acquaintances were scattered to Rockester, Whitewater, Hales Corner &c.  I could not but notice what a large proportion of his words were profane or blasphemous, how frequently were the words God, Jesus Christ, & others such carelessly or wickedly used.  Notwithstanding all this & any shared obscenity that the occasion may require, this shoulder strap (who left Wis. a sergt troty' [?] by death of Lt. Jeremiah Noon & promotion of Capt. White he reached a 1st Lieutenancy) pretends to be very anxious & pretentious as to his character as a Gentleman &c & in common society would be regarded a very polite & captivating young man.  He is a well looking person & posesses at least ordinary abilities & probably fair education.  Like the vast multitudes his defect is a lack of Christian principles to govern his conduct.  I am rather glad I have no sister to be subject to the world's heartlessness & falsity.. I mean no more sisters:  but as I think may God guide my little nieces in their passage among life's yawing abysses of falsehood & deceit,
Today was clear & pleasant, sky clear.  Thermometer in the sun P.M. stood at 78.  Co. drill A.M. & Bat. drill P.M.

 

[diary] March 23d Wednesday, 1864.

This was a sunny & pleasant day. I had a good full wash before breakfast. We had drill in bayonet exercise A.M. & Bat. drll & field movements P.M. outside town near the Picket line. This evening Ira Woodcock was here Daugherty is sick & Hinkley is not well.

 

[journal] Camp 28 Wis Vol Inf, Pine Bluff
March 23d Wednesday 1864

Last night I lay down soon after taps, or about 9 P.M.  I slept well till about 5 1/2 A.M. when we were waked by the rolling sound of the drums.  Last evening the sun looked like a vast blood-colored wafer & again this morning as it rose above the mists that hovered above the Eastern horizon it presented a similar appearance.  This was a pleasant day, sunny, with a pleasant breeze blowing that was fresh & invigorating.  At 4 1/2 P.M. thermometer indicated 68 in the sun & the mercury would fall but little below that point in the shade.  Companies C, G, & K. formed together at 9 A.M. & drilled till 11 in bayonet exercise.  Lt. Kowen of K. was drill master.  At 2 P.M. all the Regt. (9 Co's, Co E being on Provost duty & so excused from Regimental duty) fell in & after an hour passed in Battalion movements, changing posit[?], forming hollow square, &c we moved along the dusty street or road through town to the outskirts where we marched in line of Battle through thick brush of pine &c as that was a new experiment with us, but as Lt. Col. G. said, one often made on the battlefield.  At 4 we returned to Camp, all quite heated & many sweating freely by our exercise.  Lieut. Tichenor was officer  of the day, but commanded us in the P.M. Drill.  From the time Lt. ordered me on Picket as extra duty last Friday till last evening, he & I did not meet directly or have any converse.  While I sat by my candle writing my daily record he came along & stood over or behind me.  I know not how long ere I perceived him, then he came & sat down, inquiring if it was a letter I was writing & remarking how dense or close the writing was.  Said he should have me to write a letter for him.  I knew all this was for a beginning of the old familiarity that previously existed, so after a little while he went away & the icy partition made by one night's cold picketing was no longer between us, but we walked hand in hand, as it were, over its broken fragments.  How pleased was I.  I may not tell, for I think he tries to favor us all that the Col's imperious & arbitrary ways & orders will allow.  I believe ours is the only Co. in 28[th Regiment] in which Pickets do not drill the day they come off duty.
I feel very well.

 

[diary] March 24 Thursday, 1864.

Last night I finished a letter to Matt, & mailed it this morning. Escort took mail to Little Rock. Day was dark & cloudy, a shower fell in the P.M. We had a short drill A.M. Lieut. Tickenor is on Picket. This P.M. I read a part of Wayland's Moral science, Pub. 1835 it is a good work. we had fish for dinner I am well. Lt. Col. Pace 1st Ind Cav went to Little Rock

 

[journal] Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark
March 24th Thursday 1864

Last night Post Master for our Regt, Higley said an escort would take the mail this morning as Lt. Col. Pace was to start to Little Rock.  I had a large sheet of letter nearly half written, so I wrote till 9 1/2 or 10 so as to finish it.  I slept well till roll call this morning & after that I lay down but as could not sleep I rose soon again.  The day was cloudy & dark till P.M. when a light shower fell.  During the A.M. the surface of the river was still & the air calm, but in the P.M. a strong breeze blew from the East which having a full sweep made tiny waves to ruffle its surface.  W.H. Clark of our mess & E.B. Smith set some fish lines & hooks about a week ago & this morning there were two nice fishes on them which were cooked & eaten for dinner.  They were of the kind called cat-fish & were very good to eat, both weighing about 12 lbs.  As I like fish I enjoyed the dinner meal very much.  So far as the edibles could make it pleasant, but I do not find the higher pleasure of conversation as agreeable as when our mess was smaller in number.  As Walton & Clark are on picket, Wells took some of the fish to them for dinner.  A man lives near our camp who has a long line & a large no of hooks in the river & he sometimes catches very large cat fish which weigh from 30 to 50 or 60 lbs.  He once caught a fish different from any that I ever saw.  Some said it was an alligator Gar.  It was 2 or 2 1/2 ft long a& very slim & covered with whitish or silvery scales.
Yesterday I had a good wash all over before breakfast.  This A.M. most or all the other Co's were on Co drill & Orderly Gilbert intended our Co should not drill as he said we might want the A.M. to wash our clothes &c, but at 10 O'clock Adj. A.S Kendrick came along & said he would advise G-- to take our Co out on drill.  We drilled in the bayonet exercise nearly an hour.  The rain prevented Bat. drill in the P.M.  I saw escort start.  There were about 25 officers & men.  Lt. Col. Pace leaves the service, I believe, as I heard he had an appointment in Ind.  He belonged in 1st Ind Cav.  I fixed up my box this A.M. & put my books & rubber blankets in it.  Greene offered me a wool blanket for $2.75.  It is a good one that he found.  Gelzer is on guard & Smart on picket for sleeping & being absent from roll call.  Today I read some in Wayland's Moral Science, Pub 1835.  Stars begin to shine in the sky.
I am well

 

[journal] March 25th Friday, 1864  Camp at Pine Bluff, Ark.

 Last night I slept well till after roll call.  As the morning was rainy we did not fall out in line.  I & 4 others went out at 9 AM for a load of wood.  We were delayed till noon by a misunderstanding about the team.  I had nothing to read with me, so I felt the time longer than I otherwise would.  This seldom happens with me.  Hinkley is on Picket today.  I went for wood in exchange with Bowers as it was his turn to go.  There was no drill today.  Lt. Col. Gray is officer of the day.  Capt. Montieth Co [?] is on Picket.  The no. of pickets now is about 36 & camp guard 30 from the Regt or 9 Co's.  Last week 20th inst. our co. drew rations for 50 men & Co B. for 54.  Our Regt. draws rations for about 550 men.
Last night several of the boys began to talk about McKee as he was absent in St. house.  I was a little surprised to hear the estimate which some of his mess mates as well as others expressed of him.  Few persons can be long in his company without observing his inordinate self-esteem or self conceit.  His carriage or gait is more striking than pleasing, being a strut rather than a walk.  Others, not in our Co noticed it to me.  His is a way that would impress green & ignorant mammas & very impressible young ladies in the last half of their teens as peculiarly brave, manly, & dignified; but those well informed & experienced would detect very soon what was the truth in the case.  Such is his opinion of his abilities that he told me more than a year ago while we were in camp near Helena, that he considered himself capable to occupy & fulfill the duties of any position in the army.  I can believe that he meant all that he said.  Yet, I heard some of our Co state their preference for him rather than Gilbert stating the reason that he was more open & honest, as he would not work underhanded as G-- would.   This evening at supper the boys spoke of the case of Gilbert buying a book & a measuring tape from a citizen here in town in which the seller made a mistake of $1.00 or 1.50 in making the change.  G-- told how he got such an advantage in the purchase, boldly stating in self justification that the man was a rebel & on this account he thought it right to take any advantage of them that happened in our favor.  Since supper I thought how much this is like the principle or theory & practice of some tribes of Indians in N. America that think it right & meritorious to steal all they can from strangers & enemies.  G-- often said that in his judgment no intelligent rebel was or could be honest;  as he contended that Man's natural instinct, or inherent sense of right could not be so perverted or changed by education, as that he would think Slavery & War for it, right.  The fact is that even against my will, I am forced to conclude that G--'s interest so vitiates his judgment as to blind him more than is common with other people.  ---  McKee tried since New Year's to get a commission in some Negro Co., but I heard lately his projects failed.  I do not know what position he sought.  I think if he held a Com. he would use it as a means to quit the service as soon as a plausible cause or excuse was found for I think his fidelity or devotion to the principles for which the War is prosecuted by the North is very weak & unreliable much more so than if he were raised from early childhood in the U.S.  instead of Lower Canada.  Sometime McKee will begin and open a battery of exceedingly heavy artillery on the rebels, as if it were to make up for some small shot that he sometimes lets fly at the cause of the North & that of Abolition as he calls it.  G-- tells me that McKee sought an orderly's place, with the hope of promotion to a Lieutenarry.
Lately, I was more instructed than pleased to hear the boys refer to the strife between McKee & Donaldson for the post of orderly of our Co. should Gilbert be promoted to a Lieut's place.  I am glad to know that I have no ambition to run this race of jealousy & envy at brake-neck speed;  being perfectly contented with the responsible position I first chose & now occupy & which I am determined to fill if able till the end of my term of service.  This PM I counted 16 at one time playing cards at our two tables.  Smart lost $5.00 on one hand this evening.

 

[journal] March 26th, Saturday, 1864  Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Last night I slept alone, well & refreshingly till roll call this morning.  I went on guard at 8 or 8 1/2 A.M. & was on post four hours at the house or store in town used for storing corn.  The day was sunny, clear & warm, and pleasant.  There was no drill nor dress parade.  A member of Co. C died yesterday P.M & was buried this P.M.  Steamer Chippewa came down from Little Rock & brought us a mail.  I got a letter from Matt dated 7 to 10 inst.  He said thy were all well.  Father, Mother as usual.  He had made a few gallons of molasses & some sugar, with good success & little trouble.  Sometimes he had difficulty selling hay in town.  The weather was breaking up as it usually does there in spring.  Roads bad & muddy.  He & Mother had been at church 6th inst. Father did not go because of the Cold.  This was wise.  It seems that town meetings were had to vote a bounty of $200 each for 30 vols. which was the quota for New Berlin.  They paid the tax on 80 at home which was 27 dollars & in Muskego on 120 acres the tax was $34 or $35.  Matt sent me N.Y. Tribune of Feb 27.  In New Berlin 46,000 was voted for bounty fort 30 vols. 
Word was brought down of the discharge of Lieut. Goff, Co. H.  he having requested to be discharged.  The Sergt Major of our Regt came down from Little Rock whither he went about a week ago.  News came that our forces started from Little Rock on an advance toward Red Riv. during the last 2 or 3 days.  It is understood that our Regt. will stop here for the present at least if not all summer.  Rumor says Gen. F. Salomon who commands our Division tried to have our Regt. recalled from this place, so as to form a part of his command.  I wish he had succeeded as we would see more of the country & of the war than to stop in this hum-drum place.  But His will be done.  Picket detail is now pretty heavy while we stop here we will have but drill & picket.  The 18 Ill is quartered here in the brick Baptist Church.  Several rebs. bush whackers &c are brought in by scouts.  I am well.

 

[diary]   March 27th, Sunday. 1864

This A.M. I went to church. I enjoyed the singing & music. I shaved off my moustach & around my mouth this morning. Day was breezy & sky a little cloudy. At 3 1/2 OClock we got orders to march which we did at 5 P.M. A. F. D. I. H. & G. Cos are along 18 Ill, 5 Kansas, 1st Ind. & 7 Mo. Regts. March 28th Monday, 1864. Last night we marched till about 10 P.M. when we lay down in the woods. Hinkley & I slept well together. a little shower fell before daylight. We ate coffee & crackers for breakfast & dinner We had our blankets carried after 9 or 10 A.M. We moved 6 or 7 miles last evening & at sunset got to Mt. Elba on Saline River 30 miles from Pine Bluff. Some of the boys got rebel letters. I saw school house. Mount Elba on Saline River

[journal] March 27th, Sunday. 1864   Pine Bluff, Jefferson Co, Arkansas

Last night I read & wrote till about 10 o'clock when I went from camp to the corn house where I & others were on guard.  Moore & I lay down together, and had a comfortable & refreshing sleep till daylight.  The Corp. [Moore] was a good sensible & unpretending fellow with whom I had a talk about the state of the country &c.  He was of the same opinion as myself in regard to slavery & the best interests of the world & our own Nation requiring the destruction of the whole system.  I came off guard at 12 N yesterday having stood four hours & so finishing my share.  All of us guards & Corp. slept during the night, having secured the door.  I went to Church this AM & very much did enjoy the singing & music.  One tune, which I thought was "Nettleton", to which the words "Come thou fount of every blessing &c" are sung & in which nearly all present joined , pleased me very much.  The words were different from any I saw before & some of the boys said the tune was not the one I thought it was.  I had no Hymn Book, else I would have joined my feeble voice with the rolling swell of melody, which filled the whole room.  The Old Sesesh [??] Minister was not more entertaining than usual & before the discourse he requested a contribution from the congregation, some few gave something.  A.A.C Rogers, Member of Congress elect from this congressional district was present & some of his family.  There was a larger number present than I saw any time before, soldiers chiefly also shoulder straps & many ladies.  We had two meals today--dinner about 3 O'clock PM--
One year ago today we went up the Tallahatchie River 12 or 15 miles & on steamer, & marched out to McNutt some 10 miles & back before dark.  That was one of the most tiresome tramps I had so far while in the service.  The next one like it was the night we crossed White River last August & marched in the mud 6 or 7 miles till 11 at night.
At 3 1/2 PM we very unexpectedly received orders to get ready to march at 5 O'clock--All the pickets on duty from Cos. A, F, H, G, I & D were relieved so as to join their respective Companies as those six Co's. are to go, leaving the rest to do duty in town & camp.  Lt. Col. Gray stops in camp & Capt. Smith of [Co] I commands the battalion.  Day was pleasant till 4 PM when sky clouded over.  I am very well

 

[journal] March 28th, Monday, 1864  On the March to Mount Elba

Last evening we fell in about 5 O'clock, marched a short distance when we waited nearly an hour for the 8 Co's of the 18th Ill Inf. to join us.  There were 8 wagons having pontoons on instead of the box, those were filled with corn for the use of the teams &c.  The train consisted of about a dozen other wagons loaded with rifle & artillery ammunition & a short supply of crackers & coffee for rations as we were dependent on what meat we could find on our way.  Of this we found a plenty in quantity, but the animals were all so poor as to make poor beef & pork.  When all was ready our Regt marched in the advance of the train, while the 18 brought up the rear.  We reached the picket line a little before dark & moved till 10 or 10 1/2 when we stopped for the night after marching about 6 or 7 miles.  We were detained 1/2 to 3/4 hour for some of the wagons that got off the bridge while crossing a stream.  We made fires & cooked coffee which we drank with our hard tack and soon we lay down & were safely sleeping wrapped in our over coats on our rubber blankets, while our pickets with sleepless eyes vigilantly watched around us.  I & Hinkley slept well together till near daylight when all were again astir.  A light shower of rain fell before daylight, so that H. & I moved our bed & lay down under the wagons.  Soon we started on our way & about 9 AM we halted while the 7 Mo. Cav., 5 Kansas & a part of the 1st Ind Regts. with 4 brass 12 lb howitzers and two steel pieces passed us.  A part of the 1st Ind. went around toward Monticello & found a part of the enemy and taking a few pickets prisoners reached Mt. Elba the same day.  The country through which we passed was all timbered pretty heavily with pine & oak with undulating surface & many streams of water a few of considerable size. Soil is sandy & light , easy to work & entirely free from stone, but with some gravel.  A very small extent of the surface has been ever cultivated & that part not very well as the decayed trees stand in nearly every field.  No good well water is found, as there is no stone to wall the sides, so the water smells & tastes of the wood used to curb them.  We passed a few large plantations with several hundred acres that once were cultivated.  All seems deserted as we saw but one or two pieces of plowed land.  I am well.

 

[diary] March 29th Tuesday, 1864.

Last night was cloudy & wind blew Cold. I & Hinkley were cold in the night. Last night the boys killed many hogs, so most had fresh meat. Cav. had some skirmish & took 8 rebs prisoners. Cav. lay pontoon bridge & cross river. Day is cold & cloudy, with wind. Washed my feet last night. P.M. We moved camp near the River. I am well

 

[journal] March 29th Tuesday, 1864

Last night pontoon bridge was laid & Cav. crossed this morning about daylight. Last evening we reached our campground a short time before dark & stacked arms on a road which runs along a wood in the edge of which we made our beds for the night. The 18 Ill. formed the other line of an L or Right angled triangle with us and we were about 100 rods from the Saline River. Very many hogs were butchered by the boys & I helped one to drag a hog to camp.  H & I helped to dress it of which we had 1/2. Some had frying pans in which they cooked the meat, while others broiled it in the fire. All had kettles along so we had a plenty of coffee & I ate very little meat as it could not be cooked very well. A stream ran near our camp in which we got good water--- Yesterday PM we passed a school house into which I went & in it I found a rebel letter written near Ft. Smith last June. It was for a brother in Pine Bluff.  The letter was badly written & the spelling very incorrect. The school house was the best one I ever saw in Dixi, having a large chimney in the middle with a double fireplace in which was fire burning. It was past four O'clock, and it seemed that a school was going on that day. The room was well supplied with seats & several tables for desks in which were drawers. I looked in two books, one was McGuffy's Second Reader, & the other was Smith's Old Grammar. There were a few slates &c lying about. It was altogether the most like a Wis. School house that I saw since I left the state, being so like the better class of country school houses there as to transport me temporarily in fancy to the home of Free Men & Schools. I had a strong desire to see the teacher, who probably is a woman. I could not look about much as our Co. was the rear guard 1/4 to 1/2 a mile behind the Regt. & Lieut. Tichenor called to me to come on.  Soon we passed a church perhaps 20x30 or 35 ft & two stories high. It was a framed building & unpainted, the upper part was probably for some lodge or other society.  About two miles from Mt. Elba we passed a post office into which some of the boys went & found a box of letters from soldiers in the Rebel army.  I read one of those from Canton, Miss.  Sept. 25.  Some of the envelopes were made of wallpaper.  This PM we moved camp to the bank of the river in the wood.  Day cool, sky cloudy.  I am well.

 

[diary] March 30th, Wednesday, 1864.

Last night I lay with Henry Smart. Cav. brought in 21 Prisoners. This morning I & others with Lt. Tichenor were going on Picket at 7 1/2 delayed till 8 Pickets were driven in by rebs. We had a fight with 1500 or 2000 from 8 1/2 to 10 1/2 or 11. Cav followed them toward Monticello. We lost 3 killed.

 

[journal] March 30th Wednesday, 1864 Day of Battle, at Mount Elba, Bradley Co, Arkansas

Last night I slept with Smart. I waked twice in the night by the cold as we had no wool blankets over us each time. I warmed at a good fire & laid down again. I & Lewis had a long & pleasant talk together about various matters, but chiefly of domestic life & social relative and our won chances, hopes, preferences, & fancies of the partners of our peace & happiness & days of the raptures of bliss yet to be. He told me many of his experiences & of the trickery & treachery & petty jealousies of some of his former associates, who are now members of our Co. but not present & belonging in New Berlin. Also of some of his acquaintance with young women , all of which I believe was true & honorable on his part. His manner is very retired, still & unpretending. He told me of his disadvantages for study as he had to work at his home with his step father Monroe, as if he were in a strange place, doing chores late in the night & early mornings till after school time. He attended school one winter in Minnesota about the year '57 where he learned more than in many winters at home. He went to Minn. in 1855 and got 1/4 section. He is older than I & so fortunate as to have the promise of the heart & hand of a Waukesha Co. school mistress in Brookfield. She is a talented & gifted singer & worker, brave, & gay lady. This I say from what I heard & saw of her. I wish I was so favored, so blessed with a cheering prospect in promise, but I can trust to Him who rules the future. The night was clear & starry calm, but a little chill. Lafford cooked some beef & a chicken making soup which we had for breakfast. Lt. Tichenor ate breakfast with our mess.  I & Lewis, Moore, McKown, Reamer, & Sergt Foster with Tichenor was detailed on picket. We fell in at 7 1/2 AM but were detained till 8 O'clock by some misunderstanding or mistake. Before the 1/2 hour passed firing was heard along the picket line. Soon this became so rapid that orders were given for all the infantry to fall in line of battle to meet the enemy if he advanced. The force present was all Inf. so about 225 or 250 of 18 Ill. & as many of 28 Wis. V. Inf. total 450 or 500. Soon the firing ceased & the train was moved nearer the river on low ground. Blankets were piled in heaps, as in fight they would be cumbersome. The Lt. Col. of 18 Ill. commanded & Capt. Smith Co I. 28[th Wis.] was second in commanded & acted as cool & collected as on Dress Parade. Soon Co's G. H. & I on the left of Co. 28 were ordered to go to the extreme left of the position to prevent a surprise to the left flank which would cause the loss of our pontoon bridge & expose our whole force. We went on the double quick & were soon again in line.  15 from the left of G. were ordered forward 20 or 30 rods as skirmishers under command of Sergt. McKee.  13 privates (of which I was one) & corps. Church & Snyder went forward, most of us in the woods along the river but 5 or 6 on the right were in a field among a few old peach trees.  Those few last got some few shots at the foe while the rest of us advanced & retreated many times but failed to see one during the fight.  About 9 O'clock or soon after the fight again raged & heavy volleys of musketry were returned from for the scattering fire of the Rebs.  Shot was fired from a steel piece & shells from one or two 12 lb brass howitzers.  Again there was a lull of a few minutes duration, when the rebs again advanced yelling as rebels only know how to yell when round after round of shot & shell together with repeated volleys of musketry was hurled against them for a welcome from the Goddess of Liberty.  At the time we noticed, & rejoiced they had no artillery.   This gave us a strong hope of victory whatever might be their numbers.  About 10 1/2 or 11 AM they gave up the fight & beat a hasty retreat toward Monticello being the same way they had come.   As soon as the fight began, one or more messengers were sent across the river to Clayton, distant to some 8 or 10 miles.  Before the end of the fight, the cavalry began to arrive & cross the bridge leaving their horses on the other side in the woods.  As soon as Lt. Col. Jenkins came he assumed command & soon came Col. Clayton & the pursuit of the enemy began.  We heard heavy volleys of the Cavalry carbines & some shell was fired.  Soon began the flood of captured prisoners to pour across the bridge & continued till 283 had crossed with about 200 horses & mules.  Those were taken after crossing their pontoon bridge near Monticello on their way to Camden.  About 50 wagons were destroyed by Lt. Greathouse of 1st Ind. & 1st Lt. Young of 5th Kansas.  The enemy mistook them for some of their own men that had our uniform.  Our loss was three men killed & not one wounded.  Thomas Greene of our Co. G was mortally wounded & died about 2 PM & was buried there on the battle ground.  Obrine of Co I was driver in the battery & was killed.  Also one of 5 Kansas.  The enemy lost 20 to 30 killed & 50 to 75 wounded.  The wounded Rebels said their attacking force amounted to 1500 or 2000 men.   Day was sunny & pleasant.

 

[diary] March 31st, Thursday, 1864.

There was only 6 Cos. of 28 W.V. & 8 Cos. of 18 Ill. all about 450 men. About M. more than 300 prisoners & about 200 horses & mules came in this was yesterday They were captured on their way from Monticello to Camden & the train of 50 wagons was burned. P.M. yesterday we started with 355 prisoners.--- Today we started about daylight and marched about 30 miles getting to town after dark. Many of the boys rode on the Cap. horses. I rode 3 to 5 miles. My legs were very tired & my knees ached We buried Thomas Greene yesterday also O'brine of Co. I & a 5 Kansas man A shower fell A.M.

 

[journal] March 31st, Thursday, 1864  On the March to Pine Bluff, Ark.

Yesterday PM about 4 O'clock after all had crossed the bridge, Co's G & H which had orders to guard the bridge loaded the pontoons on the wagons & soon all was again ready to start for Pine Bluff.  During 2 or 3 hours past nearly all the boys went to the Cav. men & got a saddled mule or horse to ride on the journey back, for which the Cav. required a promise to return the animal to him as soon as we reached Pine Bluff.  At first or during all the PM word was given out & the impression nearly universally prevailed that we should go on to Monticello & give the Rebs a fight there, taking our prisoners along with us & if we beat the enemy as we hoped to do by uniting all our forces Inf & Cav. to bring all our trophies back at one time.  Probably this was circulated on purpose that the rebels at that place should hear it & to keep them busy there preparing for the fight, so that we instead of going there would have time to reach this place P.B. without any disturbance from them.  It seems really surprising how difficult it is to express any of our plans, without it reaching the enemy very soon after.  When all was ready to start, Capt. Harrington of ___________ ordered some of our boys off the horses on which they were mounted so that 6 or 8 Rebel officers could ride & this was complied with, though not without curses & oaths on the part of the boys. -- We had the sad job of burying the body of Thomas Greene of our Co. before starting yesterday PM.  Goelzer & he, Chas. Finley, & Gill were on picket when the rebs advanced, but all made their way safely to the command, Gill coming in early with out his hat before any of the others.  Greene took his place in a corn house with others & was firing bravely, when a ball hit one of the logs, glanced & struck him about two inches below the left breast or nipple, nearly penetrating the body & said to go through the left lung.  Some said his first exclamation was " O! Lord" & fell flat on the corn on which he rested while firing.  I saw him after the fight about 2 hours after he was struck.  He did not know me but was moaning faintly.  I laid my right hand on his left one, rapidly growing cold & bloodless, & he died about an hour afterward.  His last hours were occupied in part by the rapidly approaching future as Gilbert, who was near him most of the time, said Greene hoped that God would be merciful to him & that he would not be sent to that bad place, of which nearly all soldiers talk so much for hundreds of times daily is heard the disgusting expression "Go to Hell G-d damn you".  This is repeated so often as to have become a friendly expression & alas poor Greene was not free from Blasphemy & vulgarity.  May God grant him peace.  He was a native of England & about ____ years old.  He spoke of his two children & also his wife, with whom he seems not to have lived [with] in many years.
We marched toward Monticello about 6 miles & camped at dark in a field where the prisoners were guarded all night.  Soon after dark a detail of 50 or 60 was made to guard them.  I was on the detail.  We built fires all around them about 20 or 25 ft. apart.  Those & many fires were kept up all night as rails were nearby.  I spoke to one of them who had been three yrs. in the rebel army & was determined to fight to the last for slavery.  He was from Mo.  I said to him that if he believed slavery was right, now was the time to fight for it, then another prisoner spoke & said he never did believe slavery was right & did not now think so, nor did he ever favor Secession for he said if it were allowed the confederate states would break up & divide & no permanent government could be preserved.  This was the most reasonable person that I ever saw in the rebel army or at least that I heard express himself.  The poor fellows had no rations for supper & but little at all during the day.  Before daylight some crackers & meat was divided among them & sugar & coffee, but as they had no kettles, they could not cook it.  We started very soon after day dawn but not toward Monticello.  We returned about a mile & took a road through the woods & wound our way through a thinly settled section of open oak woodland having a light sandy soil.  We stopped 3/4 or one hour for dinner yet 15 or 16 miles from Pine Bluff.  A man told us that a party of rebs passed there at noon the day before.  A thunderstorm came on about 3 PM.  The lightning was vivid & thunder heavy.  The shower was not very heavy.  Some hail fell.  I gave my horse at starting to King who rode nearly all the way.  I rode about three miles.  All well.

 

[journal] [in the margin between March 30 and March 31]  April 7 sunrise.  This is a pleasant morning.  I am very well.  Mail goes today.  Yesterday I got yours of March 18 & 21.  I was glad to read you were all so well.  I am well.

 

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last modified: 13 Feb 2021