WIS. 28th REGMT., CO. G



28th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry 1862 - 1865 website

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

This is a work in progress. I will upload the journal and indexes as I go. The index is crude at this time since it was compiled a decade ago on a different word processor. I will eventually update it with hyperlinks.

Latest uploads:

March 25 - April 2, 1864 uploaded Aug  7, 2007 Battle at Mt. Elba
February 4-16, 1865 uploaded Sept 22, 2007 Little Rock...down the White River and Mississippi Rivers, through Brownsville Station, Vicksburg, Natchez, Baton Rouge
February 17-March 10, 1865 uploaded Dec. 26, 2007 Algiers LA, Gulf of Mexico, Ft. Morgan (Mobil Point) AL, comments on Monitors, Steamers, battles in the news, Lincoln.
March complete-April 1865 uploaded Dec. 30, 2007 End of War, death of Lincoln
April complete-May 4, 1865 uploaded Sept. 17, 2009 Alabama, Rebel Generals surrendering.
May 5-10 , 1865 uploaded Oct. 5, 2009 More surrenders, boat to Mobile
May 11-15, 1865 uploaded Oct. 9, 2009 Sutler bills, Ironclads, talk of expedition to Texas, chiggers, lizard Swift
May 16-28, 1865 uploaded May 8, 2010 Lt. Gilbert's poor mental health and eventual discharge, munitions explosion in Mobile killing about 300
May 29-June 11, 1865 uploaded Dec 2012 No official notice of end of war.  Left Mobile aboard a steamship to Texas
June 12-15, 1865 uploaded June 21, 2013 Texas
June 16-20, 1865 uploaded June 26, 2013 Lockney sick with Colic.  Death and burial of Wm Jones Co G.  French and US in Mexico
June 21-24, 1865 uploaded July 4, 2013 Sickness due to water, Negro troops, officers being reassigned, possible firing squad for theft
June complete-July 5, 1865 uploaded Sept 27, 2013 Clarksville, Texas.  Boredom, beachcombing, sharks.
July 6-13, 1865 uploaded Oct 4, 2013 Negro troops, mosquitoes, Court Martial.
July 14, complete headers uploaded Nov 13, 2013 Fugitive slaves protected
July 1865 completed uploaded Dec 16, 2013 Cigarettes first seen.  Angst about not getting discharged and sent home.  Too much idle time
August 1865 completed uploaded Jan 29, 2014 Mustered out finally, started trip home
September and 1865 done uploaded Feb 8, 2014 Trip towards home, arrested, disorder
Jan 1864 started uploaded Feb 20, 2014 Entire month in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Jan 1864 finished uploaded Nov 2, 2016 Finally finished January 1864
Feb 1864 started uploaded April 2017 Still in Pine Bluff
March 1864 finished uploaded February 2021 Battle of Mt Elba, still in Pine Bluff


Compilation began in 1986


James R. Shirey

New Berlin, Wisconsin
of late, Watertown Twp, Michigan


Two of the original Civil War diaries of James B. Lockney/Loughney were in the possession of his Great Granddaughter Mary Lockney (1942-2014) of Brookfield, Wisconsin and his complete works are at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. This document is the result of their generosity of giving up the diaries for a couple months in order for me to photocopy them. It is with her permission that this is being made available to the general public, and it is done so with the hope that other people who are researching that time period and geography will benefit by its publication.


In order to better understand the contents of the diaries, a short family history is in order. In 1854, Mathew and Winnefred Loughney came to America from Ireland with their sons Anthony, James, and Mathew, and with some other Loughney's that may or may not be immediate family. They settled on a farm in New Berlin, Wisconsin. After the end of the Civil War, James and Anthony owned farms in Muskego, Wisconsin, just a few miles from their parents' farm, which was now being run by son Mathew. James moved to the city of Waukesha soon after, Anthony and Mathew and their families remained on the farms for another generation. Data on the Loughney's was obtained with minimal research through the U.S. Census records in Madison, Wisconsin and in the Waukesha City directories and Waukesha County Atlases in the Milwaukee Public Library.

James B. Loughney's name apparently changed during and because of his service in the Civil War. According to Mary Lockney, it was confusion on the part of military records that was never rectified. It might also have been a simple case of Americanization of the name. His brothers were not in the war and kept the Irish spelling.


Jump to:

August 11, 1863
September 1, 1863
October 1863
November 1863
December 1863
Letters and "Stray Thoughts"
Index of names

Jim Shirey's Home Page


August-September 1863

Book One


James B. Loughney New Berlin Waukesha Co. Wis. Sept. 15th 1862

Capt. Enos Hodgson Guards "They who fight for Freedom undertake, The noblest cause Mankind can have at stake."


Record of Volunteer Experiences. J. B. Loughney I enlisted after mature reflection & consultation with my bros. Anthony & Mat. Thursday, Aug. 21, 1862, in the town of New Berlin, Waukesha Co. Wisconsin. We decided that one of us should volunter to enlist in mainta[n]ing the Liberties of the U.S.A. as we had decided to live here all our lives. Anthony being married, and not very healthy, & Matthew being my youngest & best loved brother, as he expressed his willingness to volunteer I chose to do so rather than let him go.


Brief Record

Enlisted Aug. 20 1862. Recruiting Officer J. L. Ingersol for E. Enos' Company. Company first met Aug. 27 and elected Captain. Elected Lieutenants Turner & Tickens Sept. 6th. Examined by Surgeon Smith Sept. 11 Mustered into Co. Sept. 12. Came to Camp sat. 13 First furlough Monday even. 15 returned to camp Wednesday 17 10 O'Clock. Carried by Mat. Recd. $15,00 of town Bounty 16 Parted John & Mother, Father being about when I came away 17 Sever fighting in Md. & Va. for the last 4 or 5 days Union victorius announced 18 First Co. drill in which I took Part 18 A.M. Examined by Dr. Dousman for Life Insurance Mon. 14 P.M. First time on guard 21 A.M. to A.M. 28 10 O'Clock Clear Monday windy threatening rain. Tuesday Mary Jane, Caroline, & Eliza Hennessy, Ann Kelly, A. & W. Heaton visited us in Camp & brought a lot of pies, cakes, forols & c. so as to make a grand meal or dinner for 12 to 18 persons. Jos. Murray was with us. 2 McNeills, 2 Churches & c. they stopped till about 2 O'Clock P.M. It rained P.M. so that we did not drill much in the Even We spoke pieces had some good & pleasant songs, some readings by Mr Kerr, and an address to the boys by Capt. Enos.


Mr. Jas. B. Lockney

Co. G. 28th Regmt. Wis. Vols.

via Cairo, Ill.

Record P.M. Aug. 11 1863 Tuesday This A.M. I wrote home & wrapped up my diary which I used this year as I did not think it very safe to keep it. I was very busy all the day. Our Co. fell in at 2 1/2 OClock and passed along by the fort and met our Regt. but did not march more than 100 rods till we stopped before the Hindman house Hospital for 2 or 3 hours. I went up to the hospital to get some water without leave & I thought I might do so. The Lieut called me but I thought it was Corp. G Church & did not heed it. soon he & two men were sent for me, but I got the water & went along with them to the Co. Lieut. Said I must not go from the Co. again without leave. This was the first time so far that any one was sent for me in this way, but I was not scared or hurt or no one else was. While we lay there on the Road side the 77 Ohio 33 Iowa & 2 or 3 others and the 1st Mo. & Dubuque. Batteries and all looked well & complete. Men. Animals & equipments. We saw the 43 Ind. & others start from the Bank of the River in the advance. When we started it was warm & sunny but soon it got cloudy & dark clouds full of threatening rose fast. Very heavy wind blew rising clouds of dust off the roads. this was soon followed by a shower which did not more than lay the dust. There was a very long bagage train & we being rear guard (except Co. D. detailed from Regt. as pioneers) had to wait till all the wagons had passed including a pontoon train. at last about 6 1/2 OClock we started but did not go 80 rods till we halted & a detail was made for picket. Soon we started all the way with our Knapsacks till we got 3 or four miles out at Headquarters We then struck into the waste field where the rank fireweeds were wet & higher than our heads. after going about 1/2 1 mile in the dark as the sky was cloudy & some rain falling, but at last we got somewhere & it rained some till about 11 P.M. McKown was watch till 10 1/2. I till 12 1/2 A.M. I had a good sleep as I lay on my Rubber, wrapped in my dry wool blanket. Before it was light we were waked by Lieut. Bingham. while I was on watch E.B. Smith went a little distance off to me unobserved. I saw him but did not know it was a person but I watched it. Soon I saw a person standing & moving. I prepare to fire and asked who comes there when he spoke


Wednesday Aug. 12 1863

This morning we found on reaching our Regt. that it had been moving nearly all night & now it was the advance. The boys had very little rest or sleep, and resting about an hour but they (or I) except very few cooked anything even tea or coffee I ate very little. & felt pretty well though I had a little fever in the night. Many of the boys were wary & some a little discouraged. so that many threw their wool blankets away. some their shirts & almost anything you wished could be found along the way. Though I had a heavy load in mine I did not leave anything till noon when we stopped at lick Creek 12 or 14 miles from Helena. Here we had to build a bridge about 30 ft long which took us about 2 hours. Bastin & I put one Knapsacks on Ed. Thomases wagon & I got along well all the P.M. & sometimes carried the guns of some of the other boys I carried Nosburg's Gun a while as he was complaining of not feeling well & he seemed so little to appreciate it that he did not 'thank' me. We paid a dollar each for carrying our Knapsacks. I feel very well


Thursday, Aug. 13th 1863
On the March from Helena to Clarendon

We were waked early this morning as it was expected to start early, but as the bridge was torn away by the rebs or by Guerillas we did not start till about noon. Co. D. was detailed yesterday or this A.M. as pioneers whose duty will be to repair the road & bridges. Capt. Reddington (whom the boys have called Revolver & hated ever since the regt. was at St. Charles last January.) fell in the stream & got quite a ducking at which some of the boys laughed heartily. While we lay about on our blankets in the A.M. the sun shone clear & bright and beautiful through the trees I McNeill & Geo. Church were both quite sick last night. Some of the boys had a knife in the rivit of which was to be seen a most obscene figure. They made quite a point of having me to look at it which I did not knowing its character, "Hard crackers go pretty well when a person is real hungry." The day was warm & dry. We marched pretty fast in the P.M.


On the March to Clarendon
Friday, August 14, 1863

Last night we camped on the right side of the Road while the Artillery & baggage train was parked in a field on the opposite side of the road. Last night water was scarce & hard to be got for coffee. I hunted around for the doctor Miller, but failed to find him so I went & lay down where Bastin & I slept. After a while he & the hospital Steward came along & gave me two powders for my fever which came on about 4 last P.M. & the night before, when Dr. Miller had me to drink some awful tasting Whiskey. I drank but two swallows of it, being the first I tasted since 1854 in the fall. Today I felt very well all day. Last evening I saw after dark the flames rise from a building of fire & This morning before starting I went 40 to 80 rods & got some good well water. When I got back the Regt. had started. The 77 Ohio Inf. was after us. "We started early this morning & kept moving steadily all day." We camped in a field on the left or south side of the road, where no crop was this season. We had fresh beeff for supper. I felt well all day & had no feaver.


Clarendon on White River
Saturday, August 15 1863

Last evening while we were drawing our rations Kellogg of Co B. made a move for the whiskey bottle of Clark Perkins, our Regt. wagon master. & the latter found him in the act & accused him of stealing it. when the former clinched him, when they had a rough time handling each other. After some scratches from which blood came, they were separated. this was while Kellogg had his cartridge box & other traps on. He went & got them off & returned in for a renewal of the fight. He again clinched Perkins when he did not expedct it and again were bloody scratches made. As I felt then rather chafed & scalded by sweating from the labor of marching & the heat of the day, I felt the shocking barbarity of fighting, & most heartily hoped I might never have any quarrel with any one. They were parted again speedily. Before starting this morning four were detailed from our Co. & proportional from others to be sent ahead to ride or be a guard to the Pioneer Co. Those unable to walk as Bastin, Church & c. were sent & a sorry guard would they be if attacked. About 2 mile from the Town we halted to get water & saw a small Union flag. the dear old stars & stripes waving near the house at which we got water. they were heartily glad to see it & us for its sake. soon we saw the pickets Car about 1 1/2 miles from town & again we reached the suburbs of the town where we saw some pretty places shady groves & good houses. We passed through clouds of dust & reached the town at 5 P.M.


Clarendon, Co. Ark.
Sunday, August 16th 1863

Last night it came my turn to go on guard I went on the first from 8 to 10 & I was not disturbed again all night, so I had a good sleep. My beat was on the road along our Regts. baggage wagons, & as the evening was warm and our march pretty severe I was a little tired. While on my beat I ate one or two crackers as (I think) I had had no supper. I was so fortunate as to get our Knapsacks with little trouble (Bastins & mine) but others had much trouble hunting for theirs. This A.M. I tried to find some soft bread to buy, as Alex. McNeill had bought 4 loaves for 20 cts I failed to get any and while away I had a good wash in the White River. The day was clear & beautiful & a shower fell about noon just enough to lay the dust where it was not heavy. The drums beat or were to for Divine Service but most or all the boys preferred to rest. Here we saw Hide of Co. R. fifer, who was made prisoner at Helena July 4, being taken with our ambulance. He was released & a few others taken in the same way together with our ambulance, which we met going to Helena on our second or third days march. After noon we moved our Camp about a mile down on the bank of the River. Our line is about 15 to 20 rods back from the river in the woods where the soil is moist & the ground covered with Cane of small growth. Some of the Co.'s are in a small patch clear of trees & shade & they put up small shades of bushes. The boys catch some fish that are good to eat.


Clarnedon, Ark.
Monday, August 17th 1863

When we reached this place we found all our boys that we left at Helena except Hinds and they were rather a sorry set of fellows. Sergt. Gilbert being sick since July. Griffing acted orderly till about the time we started on our march & he not being strong enough to march, was left to go around on the boat & Foster acted orderly all the way till we reached Duvall's Bluff. The others who came on the boat were Griffing, Corp. Geo. Peck. Privates King, & Abare, Darling, Dougherty, & c. & those and Allen Peck. Church & D. Mcneill had a house in town for their quarters. I went up to see the boys & found many of them quite weak. None of us had very good or much rations & they had very little better things than we. I found White River much larger & more beautiful than I had expected as the water is clear & the current swift. We found many transports & a few Miss. Kittoe gun boats lying in the stream also two small transports. the Tom Sugg. & Kaskaskia the two side wheel boats which our men captured in the river above Desark. Those were the last boats the enemy had in this River & we hear our Men destroyed a part or all of Marmadukes pontoon train. As we came in I saw some nice & good Brass field artilery. We hear Gen. Davidson has not far from 40 Pieces of all sizes. Harlen Wells & Wm. Clark paid $2.00 for 1 qt of Whiskey. I am well.


In Camp at Clarendon
Tuesday, August 18th 1863.

"We still remain undisturbed in Camp but expect to move tomorrow. Sergt. Gilbert was here last evening & is going to be left here in charge of the Sick who will be left in town." Copied from A. Foster's diary.


Aug. 19th Wednesday, 1863

"Peter Abare & Stutsman are ordered to report to Co. also George Peck. Gill & Nelson Smith. Bastin is pretty sick also D[?]uhre. Lieut. Turner was taken sick with fever last night, but seems to be a little better today. only two of those who came around on the boat are going with us." As in times past Lieut. Turner cared little about the sickness of the boys seldom going near them even to ask how they were getting along. they now feel little anxiety about him. He does not eat much, but lies on his bed, trying to rest what he can. Some of the boys catch some fish & sell them for from .50 to 1.00 each. Bastin & I have been together but he has been complaining nearly all the way on the march. Alexander McNeill fishes some & he & Bastin & I have some good messes as we cook them in fat.


Camp a mile below town. Clarendon Ark.
August 20th Thursday. 1864[3]

"Received orders this morning to be ready to march in short notice. Corp. E.N. Walden was appointed Commissary manager for our Co. He is going to make a good one. Lieut. is a little better." Foster's Diary. Our Regt does no Pickiting nor any of our Brigade, & so far as I know the infantry does none, all that work being done by the Cavalry. The boys swim every morning & evening but there is an order against going in the water in the middle of the day. There is a log running into the River on which the boys go in & come out, as the bank is so steep that one cannot get up out of the Water. I went in & swum down stream 4 or 5 rods where the water was very deep & the current quite rapid. some of the boys were on hand to help me if I needed any help but I did not. The boys said I could swim very well but was in too great a hurry to work easy. I will now ever feel confident of my ability to save myself in the water.


Clarendon Ark.
August 21st Friday, 1863

We had orders to be ready to move at daylight, but did not till about 4 P.M. All day I was busy writing letters home, of which I sent some, but one to sister Mary I did not complete. Alexander McNeill caught one fish that we three ate & another Bastin caught we let W. T. Donaldson take, as he could have it carried on the Wagon. The Weather while we have been here was warm, sunny & pleasant. Just after we started a light shower came on but did not last long. We put our Knapsacks on the wagons, though the orders were to put on only those belonging to the boys who were too sick or unwell to carry theirs. When we got to town we had to wait till dark as some other troops were crossing on the little steamer Hamilton Belle while teams crossed on the ferry. While waiting Bastin went to the boys who were sick, as he was not able to go with us. Geo. Peck & I bought a Chicago Tribune (or St. Louis Democrat) for which he paid 15 & I 10 cts. I also got one or two letters from home & 1 good big one from Anthony. Good news comes & all are well. Before & while crossing I lit a candle & read a part of my letters. The moon is bright but small


Near Clarendon Arkansas.
Saturday, August 22nd 1863

Last night when we got off the boat we halted before proceeding for 40 Rods, & we G & B on the left loaded our guns to be sure against surprise. I suppose A. & F. probably loaded theirs on the right. We marched over the muddiest, slippriest & often winding road for a distance of about six miles, which took us till about 11 O'Clock P.M. Many of the boys fell down in the mud: a few carried their Knapsacks. I slipped once but did not get much muddy. Few others got along so safe. A part of the way I & Inhre[?] took hold of hands & so both of us got along safer than we could otherwise. As we passed along many of the Iowa boys & others lay on their blankets by the wayside. At last we crossed a pontoon bridge (the first I ever saw) 15 or 20 rods long. Alexander McNeill & I lay down together in our clothes on a rubber 7 had another to cover us. We had Wooll blanket as the train had not yet come up. I felt very anxious about my Knapsack & those of others as the road was so rough & muddy & the night so dark. We slept well & are the only New Berlin boys along with the Co. The wagons came up this morning all right. During the A.M. the Regt. moved back about a mile & made shades.


Camp W. of Clarendon, Ark.
Sunday, August 23rd 1863.

This Morning Stutsman & I went down to the bayou at the Pontoon Bridge for two camp kettles full of water. Weather is very dry & roads dusty where travelled. At the bayou dozens of the boys were swimming & I went in to get clean, though the water was not clear. The water in some places was over my head. I swam about a good deal where the water was deep, as my experience in White River gave me confidence. Once I swum to the Bridge intending to get on it to rest & from it to take a new start, but the guard (of which there were two on Bridge) would not let me get on, so I was compelled to turn off & sink or swim (for the water was deep) as best I could I found no difficulty however in returning and this again strengthened my condidence. Yesterday Capt Williams & 10 men, three wagons & teams & drivers went out foraging & as they did not return last night it was feared they were gobbled but they returned all safe this A.M. The day was warm & dry & clear. At 10 A.M. we started for Duval's Bluff & after crossing 5 or 6 miles of Prairie we turned to the right or N. & soon entered a wooddy unsetteled section. The trees were Chiefly white & burr oak of very uniform size & straight very little if any brush growing in the woods. We had a chance once to get water in a Spring. When we came to it we found the nastiest water we ever got. We had not time to drink Coffee at M. after we got it made. We go to the Bluff about 6 P.M.


Devall's Bluff on White River
Monday, August 24th 1863

Yesterday P.M. 5 or 6 miles from here we crossed some small prairies 2 or 3 miles across, so smooth & level & surrounded by the woods so green & covered with a heavy growth of grass making as pretty spots as I ever saw. While crossing those I rode in a baggage wagon, as all the ambulances were loaded, for two to 3 1/2 miles. This is the first time I ever rode on a march. When about 2 miles from here I got off & reached Camp soon after the Co. I could have kept along walking or marching in my place in the ranks had I tried to but the roads were good & loads not heavy & as I felt somewhat tired I felt that I might as well ride. Had I known that I would have so much difficulty to find a place I would not have left my place. This morning we found the sick of our Co. that we left at Clarendon had come up on the boats & they had to lie on the bank of the River. Very many of them are very weak exhausted & dispirited. There were many sick belonging to all the different Regts. And for some reason no preperation was made for them, and as all is hurry and bustle yet they are left to do the best they can for themselves, or go untended Several transports & a few muskitto gunboats lie in the River. I feel well.


Duval's Bluff Arkansas
"Tuesday, August 25, 1863

No sign of leaving here yet not much going on. the sick boys could not get their Rations and quite a fuss was made about it." A. Fosters diary. As the boys from New Berlin are pretty well. Alex & I have four more mates, viz. Gilbert, Church, Daniel, McNeills & Bastin. We live under our rubbers four of which we have fastened together for a roof & all our other rubbers & wool blankets we need to keep us from suffering from cold at night. Clark, Higly, & Alex. are down along the River most of the time triying to catch fish, sometimes they get some & they are first rate to eat. Our Camp is 60 to 80 rods from the River in the woods On the other side of the road the 29 & 33 Iowa's inf. are encamped & in our front, is the Dubuque or 3rd Iowa battery. I write when I can.


Devall's Bluff
Wednesday August 26, 1863

Mail came today freighted as usual with treasures in the shape of good news from home. I got letters. There is but very little of a town or city here & there never was much. I was today told by a man, a soldier, who was here in 1860 where a hotel stood & 2 or 3 other small buildings. There was a R. R. Depot here, as this is the terminus of the R.R. from Little Rock. A few ruins are all that remains of the depot, & some Car wheels. The river is very pretty, though heavily wooded on both sides & very winding & tortuous and is now in good order for small & medium sized boats while the Miss. is very low & difficult to navigate. I & three others carried Allen Peck & Ed. Dougherty from the bank of the river to a hospital.


Thursday, August 27, 1863

"Nothing going on in Camp worth Notice, except the boys are writing letters" home. Rained quite hard latter part of night." Foster's Diary. As Gilbert, D. McNeill & Church are sick, Bastin & I allow them & Alex the use of the two rubbers not used for roof & lie with very little under us, and as the nights continue cold we are often rather uncomfortable in the night. The rain this morning was heavy, accompanied with strong wind. We all managed to keep dry except when the water stood on the ground & so got to some of our things. I mailed some letters on one of the boats, which is expected soon to start for Helena. There are thousands of sacks of oats here in huge heaps, as this is to be a base for our supplies as we advance to Little Rock. Weather cool & cloudy. I am well.


Duvall's Bluff Prairie Co. Ark
"Friday, August 28th 1863

Found ourselves pretty wet this morning, everything being watersoaked. the water standing from 4 to 6 inches deep all over the surface. Reports are in that Davidson has driven the Rebs from the first Rifle pits & we are ordered to be ready for marching at a moments notice. Allen P. Peck died this evening of the Chronic dierreah." A.F's diary. Today I was on Picket about a hundred rods from Camp. Ira Woodcock McKown & others are on the same post. Lieut. Heartwell is on Picket. He bought some Apples which are selling in 'town' & gave us some. In evening I went to camp & bought some apples for myself & some for the other boys. Liquors are very high & scarce 1 1/2 pint bottles of wine or whiskey cost $2.50 each I hear so as I buy none.


Duval's Bluff, Prairie Co. Ark.
Saturday, August 29, 1863.

"No more signs of leaving than there were last night. Apples are selling at 10 cts apiece." A. Foster's diary. We hear that Davidson's force in the extreme advance has reached 10 or 12 miles of Little Rock driving the Enemy before him and the prospect is that we shall soon advance to the support of the Cavalry. We hear reports that 12 miles this side of Little Rock is a place where the enemy is making breastworks. At Clarendon a citizen told me that there was no good sites for works about the State Capital. Vast trains of supply waggons are arriving and loading up when they start out toward the Westward, accompanied by an escort of Cavalry. We hear there are 20 miles of prairie to be crossed on our way to Little Rock. The distance is said to be 50 to 60 miles.


Duval's Bluff. Prairie co. Ark.
sunday, August 30, 1863

This is a bright, clear warm day. Alexander McNeill & I went down to the River and along its banks. We saw places for heavy cannon and some short lines of breastworks, which some of our soldiers said had been built by our forces. but I cannot believe it. Some of the cannon had very commanding stations, so that vessels coming up the river would be riddled by shot in the narrow stream. None but Iron Clads could stand it. I got three onions, one a large one from a negro boy for which I offered to pay him but some men would (present) not let him take it. I divided them among our mess & very glad were they to get them as we could find none to buy. I am indebted to Sergt. A. Foster's diary for much help since Aug 12. I am well.


Aug. 30 1863
10 miles from Duvall's Bluff on Little Rock Road.

Last day of Summer, in this Year. This morning we were mustered at 7 O'Clock & we started about 9 1/2 & reached this place about 2 P.M. where we stay till tomorrow morning. The day was cool & pleasant & we had a good road over the prairies, free from dust. We had our knapsacks carried all the way & will have tomorrow. I sent a letter to Maria & mailed it this morning. day before yesterday I got a letter from Matt & Maria bringing good news from home, as all were well 13 inst. I hope a year from today to be well & happy at home, the rebellion subdued, peace in all our land & Liberty truly established South as well as North. I am very well & in good health & spirits God & liberty


On the march to Little Rock, Ark.
September 1, 1863, Tuesday.

Last night we got water in a hole in a water course. We were waked this morning at 4 & started about daylight. Our way all day was on the Prairie & a pleasant time we had with a pleasant breeze blowing. The prairie are broad in some places with numerous clumps of timber which look beautiful in the distance. Our way is along the woods most of the distance. We got no water till 2 P.M. but what we took along. when I took 4 or 5 canteens to a well and filled them, while some of the boys carried my gun, haversack &c. I had to run some & walk fast to catch up. Some of the boys felt like giving up while it was pretty severe on all of us. We got to Brownsville about 3 1/2 P.M. & reached camp 3 miles from town at 5. I felt quite tired as the day was warm & some of the way dusty. Water is near Camp. I was detailed to pitch tents for an hour.


Camp near Brownsville, Ark.
Wednesday, Sept. 2, 1863.

The weather is warm & clear, so we made shades in the woods by cutting stakes & spreading our blankets over them. There are many grapes in the woods, and the boys hunt them in every direction. Many of the boys in all the Co's. are unfit for duty some having sore feet, chafes from sweat &c. We find water in a bayou 40 to sixty rods from camp. I write some in letters. Many cattle are butchered in the woods Rations are not over abundant, so Alex. McNeill & I went & got a head of an animal in the woods & cut off some slices which we cooked & ate. It was not very delicate & we would not use it in a time of plenty. There is a plenty of rations but the difficulty is that it is not divided yet. There is a court house in Brownsville.


On the March. Sept. 3 toward Little Rock

This morning our division the 3rd, at about 5 1/2 started from camp on the way to Little Rock, but when we got about 14 miles out we reached a place where the Rebels had erected strong breastworks from which they fled or were driven by Davidson's Cav. Near by was a large camp ground very clean & well situated on rising ground about 2 miles from the Bayou, & 12 from Little Rock. We camped about 4 P.M. & I & others were detailed on Picket but we lay around a long time & returned to camp. After dark we fell in & were on post till about 9 next day. We expected an attack from Price as he could have fought us with good chances if he had a large force with artillery. We had a plenty of fresh beef as some Cattle was butchered, also, some hogs at one place I found very good water. Day was warm & the roads dusty. I am well.


On the March back.
Sept. 4 1863.

Last night I & 3 others of our Regt. stopped on post with some of the 33rd Iowa. I was on post form about 8 till after the moon rose & again from 3 1/2 till daylight. I went to camp & got some water & ate breakfast, went back on post & about 9 A.M. we were relieved & soon after we started. What was true object & whether it was accomplished I know not, but I think it was a reconnoisance in force, & was probably successful. On the way back the road was very dusty & we reached camp about dark. The telegraph runs all along the way but is cut & torn in pieces. Along the way is some prairie in small patches. the woods are very pretty generally Oak, good soil & generally level, with good timber. The country is very little settled, cleared, or improved. most of the houses are waste & deserted. Truly the South wants whites to build up happy homes.


In Camp near Brownsville Ark.
Sept. 5th 1863.

Saturday Last night we were dust covered & tired a little when we reached camp & we slept well under our wool Blankets once more. As we passed along we caught a glimpse of N.P. Harrisson direct from Wis. He was in our camp this A.M. & looks well & says the crops are good, people are well. Yesterday Bastin was out foraging & he got some sweet potatoes so that we have enough for supper, the first full mess I ever ate. This P.M. I wrote a letter to Matt & I read one from him in which Mother & Mary Ann Goff. wrote some. They were all well Father too, but many children died of diptheria. Matt writes in a right spirit as to the War determined as he can be that the Rebellion must & will be soon crushed, & will come if need be to help do so. Mother had had a heartache for some time but felt better when she wrote.


September 6.----Sunday.

This morning we were roused at 2 OClock with orders to be ready to march at 4 1/2, but we did not start till about 8 O'Clock. We passed through clouds of dust most of the way till we reached the prairie about 2 miles W. of Brownsville as Gen. Davidsons Cav. passed by us. Today I saw him for the first time. We marched rapidly across the prairie about 3 miles taking the left hand road leading more S. than the route we took last Thursday. We lay in the woods about an hour after we reached the shade where I dozed asleep for about an hour & waked feeling dull. All the rest of the day we had plenty of water & as the train could move but very slowly we made but about 12 miles & after dark we camped in a pretty grove near the bayou where we slept well. Before starting I mailed a letter to Matt. Day is dry & warm & I am very well.


Monday Sept. 7th 1863

This morning we waked at daylight but did not start till about 8 so we had time to cook some good pork as some Inf. & Cav. passed us. as our way was through a wooded section & the road winding we moved slowly till M. when we reached a very large plantation extending along the Road & bayou about 2 miles & back a considerable distance. Nearly all of it was planted to corn which was very large, also a large piece of Sweet Potatoes of which I dug a few which we had for Supper. They were very good. We camped about 1 1/2 miles from the Ark. River where it is expected we shall cross it. Some of the Cav. in advance returned to our rear, wounded some 5 or 6 of them. Today I for the first time saw some paw paws, a persommons, & ate muscatine grapes. The soil is very sandy but not to much so. The country is not settled a tenth part as it should be.


Tuesday Sept. 8 1863.
In Camp

This morning I was detailed on picket. there were 6 of us and a sergeant on our post. we stood three hours on watch during the night. A few cannon shots were fired during the night. All was still along the line. We found many grapes as they are very plenty in the woods. I wrote some in my diary today. We are in camp on a part of a plantation that was never cleared up & near a bayou in which we get water. The soil is very rich & I think must be productive in corn & cotton, vegetables grass &c. but the climate is so mild as to make hay of little value. We do not hear much news & the last we heard was Aug. 25 when the attack on the works in Charleston harbor was progressing slowly but surely. The War Dem. of Wis are busy as there is a split in the party.


In Camp Near Ark. River
Sept 9.

We lie here in camp as if the Commanding Gen. did not know what plan to adopt, or else are determined to find out all they can before they move Alexander McNeill was out today foraging to get some sweet potatoes, he was out 4 or 5 miles along the River & found the fields nearly all planted to corn, with some sweet potatoes &c. they found a family claiming to be unionists where they got milk &c. Since the Capture of N.C. all supplies were cut off tea Coffee &c were not to be found here for any money. Coffee was worth 8 or 10 dollars a lb. in Little Rock when there was any. We had a good mess of sweet potatoes for supper. I like them very much. I have written a letter to mother today. The weather is warm and sunny & dry. My health is very good. I feel first rate.


On the March for Little Rock Ark.
Sept 10 1863

This morning we started about 10 O'Clock and moved leasurely along the river bank. The distance we had to travel was 10 or 12 miles & along the way were many plantations some waste & others planted to corn. the crop is good & is now ripe. About N. we halted in a shade & soon heard some very heavy volleys of musketry on the other side of the Riv. as the Cav. & artillery drove the Rebels. We often rested so our march was not severe. Cannonading on both sides of the River was quite rapid at intervals through the whole day. We passed two forts for 4 guns each of recent construction both of which the Rebs abandoned about 2 mi from town. about sundown we camped opposite the City which was occupied by Davidsons Cav. which did nearly all the fighting that was done


In Camp opposite Little Rock. N. Side Ark. Riv.
Friday Sept. 11, 1863

Last evening we roasted a few sweet potatoes & cooked some tea & ate quite a supper. Bastin went on Picket but soon returned & Church we left at Brownsville we had a good sleep. we see with joy our flag float over the town in triumph. I like the country about here very well & the site of the town seems pretty & dry with plenty of Native shade trees. I was down at the Riv. This A.M. & had a good wash. The water is very shallow, about 3 1/2 to 5 ft. a few boats lie on the bed of the river. & the Ruins of a vast gun boat is yet burning. Here is a good lot of rail Road Iron lying as if it had been used for coating many shot & shell lie scattered about her guns were removed. The Cav. is said to be following Price, who is said to be retreating to the S.W.


In Camp opposite Little Rock.
Saturday, Sept. 12, 1863

This is a warm bright pleasant day. Today makes just a year that we have been in the service and away from home as we went into camp Washburn the 13 of this month last year. It seems the longest year of my life, though I rejoice that I enlisted in the cause of Liberty & the saving of our nation from destruction at the hands of Rebel foes who fought for thrice ten thousand times accursed Slavery. If I die in the service of my Country I will die with the Noble Spirits who have gone before in the cause of Human Liberty such as Lyon, Foote, Reynolds, Reyno, Baker & tens of thousands of others as brave as ever trod the earth. I am well & hopeful for the future with a trust in God who never Forsakes those who trust him.


In Camp at Little Rock Ark.
Sept. 13th 1863

Last night I was on guard in camp. About Sundown a rain storm rose with vivid Lightning and loud thunder, but little rain fell. I had a good sleep this morning. The day was warm but breezy & pleasant We had inspection about 11 A.M. I cleaned my gun today, the first time in 10 or 12 days. I have had a letter from Maria written 23 Aug. then they were all well. Her finger was sore some. I had a letter from A. McKee. he is at Burlington Iowa, & is very well. He wishes to come to the Regt Though he is very comfortable there The army of Burnside & that of Rosencrans are in motion. Affairs at charleston are progressing. Ft. Sumpter gets a severe battering the fall of the City is certain by Dupont on Sea & Gilmon on land.


In Camp at Little Rock, Ark.
Sept. 14 1863, Monday.

Last night Bastin & I slept together as did the two McNeills & Gilbert & Church. We waked before sunrise & the day was bright & pleasant. The A.M. I went with a foraging party in Bastin's place. After we filled the wagons of which there were 10 or 12 with corn many of us went to a potatoe patch & I filled my haversack & my handkerchief with sweet ones and we had a very good supper. I also got two squashes. Today I saw for the first time Millet a sort of hay or very much like long oat straw. Yesterday Alex. & I wrote some in the woods but I did not quite finish my letter to Maria. Our men are busy repairing the two Locomotives here which the Rebels damaged some The day is marked by the shooting of one of our Pickets by a sneaking foe. our man was of the 18 Ill.


Tuesday Sept. 15 1863.
In Camp South side Ark. River, at L. Rock.

This morning we were up sometime before daylight as we had to move across the River today. We started about 7 O'Clock but as we were delayed to allow a baggage train to cross the pontoon it was near 11 O'Clock when we reached our Camp ground about a mile from the River. Here we saw on the South bank of the River a ledge of Rocks, which was the first I yet saw South of Cairo. From this I suppose the City was named. The site of the City is a beautiful & healthy one. high, dry, and rolling, the soil is gravelly & sandy, and there is a plenty of shade both Native Oaks & artificial or planted trees. The U.S.Arsenal we passed. the buildings & grounds are quite extensive. Many of the houses have gardens & shade trees. The city is very sparsley built. The day was warm & sunny & I am well.


In Camp Little Rock, Ark.
Wednesday, Sept. 16, 1863

Today Was cloudy & showery in the A.M. with some sunshine P.M. Yesterday we fixed up shades & bunks to sleep on. Last night I slept well alone as I put on a new pair of drawers & a dry clean shirt. Bastin was absent on guard duty This P.M. I went across the River on a detail to guard some stores, but when we reached the old R.R. Depot the place was cleared & abandoned so we returned & got to camp before roll call. On our way over we talked to a man on his way from the 15 Ark Regt. in Alabama from which he deserted about a month ago on his way home 150 miles from here. He said the Rebel army is deserting & broken without hope or spirit. I bought a piece of gingerbread in town for 10 The lady would sell us Rebel mory[?]


In Camp near Little Rock, Ark.
Sept. 17 1863. Thursday.

Last night I did not have a very good sleep. Bastin said he slept on one stick all night first on one side & next turn the other side. Early this morning a wind & rain storm came up & our shades blew over & then came the trying time It was dark except when the Lightning shone which was often & long. Daylight came at Last & we ate something & after a time we set about moving our shades to a new place & worked at our bunks of which we made two one for Gilbert & Church & Bastin & I the other for the two McNeills. It was rainy during the A.M. We had some beef for dinner & not having much cracker we ate some badly prepared corn meal pudding for supper with some molasses. we made rather a hard meal but all my things are dry & in good order we were so hungry that we would eat almost anything we could get. The Rational deparment is very short for we draw very little of anything about 1/2 to 1/4 of full rations. the cause is I suppose the difficulty of transporting supplies from Brownsville for so large an Army. Our bed is good tonight. I feel very well.


In Camp near Little Rock, Ark.
Sept 18 1863 Friday.

Last night was quite cold & threatened rain but none fell. We had a little job today cleaning our streets. Our beds of sticks & leaves are quite soft & comfortable. Today is cool but sunny. There is a new regulation about letters, requiring the signature of Co. Com. on the envelope, else it is said that they may be opened & retained at Helena or some other place We hear that about 600 rebel soldiers deserted and were followed by some rebel Cav. who tried to compel them to return, but they avowed their purpose to go to Little Rock to surrender themselves which they did today. This evening our camp is saddened by the sudden death of Capt. Morton of Co. K. Though a native of Ky. where he lived many years, he was a genuine Union & anti-slavery man, a good officer. In Peace.


In Camp near Little Rock.
Saturday. Sept. 19. 1863

Last night was very cold for the season, & I think there was frost last night. We had our rubber & wool blankets over us, & we slept quite warm. I was up this morning early about daylight. About 9 O'Clock I went on fatigue clearing & grubbing behind our camp. This P.M. about 3 1/2 or 4 O'Clock the party started to town to bury the remains of Capt. Morton. There were a few Officers from the 29 Iowa. Alas the old sad fact that drink kills more than the sword has an application in this case. I hear it said that coming along on the way from Helena he used liquor excessively, & depended on it a great deal for preserving his health. Now alas it has proved more his enemy more than the bullets of the Rebels. I am very well, thank God.


In Camp 1 1/2 miles from Little Rock
Sunday Sept. 20. 1863.

This A.M. I & many others went to Church in the City, a permit having been granted to do so. Some others & I went to the Presbyterian Church where there were a few residents present & very many Soldiers & Officers so that the house was crowded, but all had seats. The Sermon was of moderate length & ability, and very guarded and non-committall. The music was quite good (so far as I could judge) both vocal & instrumental. The instrument was a melodion. A China missonary was to preach at 3 P.M. but I did not feel well enough to go if I could as I had some feaver & trouble in my head. The day was pleasant & sunny. We had a religious service this P.M. by Mr. Peake.


In Camp near Little Rock, Ark.
Sept. 21 Monday, 1863

This morning I was unexpectedly detailed on picket or guard between the Camp of our Brigade & the City. The fever & slight headache which set in yesterday P.M. continued nearly all day causing me some trouble, but not very severe. I was on the first sehi[??] & stood my first two turns but toward night I feeling no better judged it best for me not to be exposed to the cold during the night, so after standing a part of my third time. A. McNeill was detailed in my place I bought many pieces of gingerbread for .10 cts. apice for the boys. I kept 4 pieces myself which cost me 35 cts. The bakers two who baked much of our bread at Helena are now here, & they are going at baking, also our sutler is here. Lieut C. K. Davis of Co. b. has arrived, also Commissary Sergeant Rodgers & others. I have heard some of these came from Duvall's Bluff on the R.R. Day was suny & warm.


In Camp near little Rock, Ark.
Tuesday, Sept. 22d 1863

I had a good sleep last night & we were waked by the drums at early daylight. I had but little fever early, but still I thought it best for me to get some medicine to stop my fever. So for the first time since Dec. 4 in camp Washburn Wis. I attended sick call & now stand recorded as sick in the Regt. records in Surgeon Smith's Book. He gave me four powders & excused me from drill, which goes on in each Co. today for the first time. Yesterday we got full rations for the first time since we reached this place. We bought a Chicago Tribune of the 10 inst & init we find good news from Charleston. The Rebels deserted Fts. Wagner & Gregg. Sumpter now must soon fall & Charleston will get knocked to pieces & burned before long by our 200 & 300 lb. guns. I feel some better this evening.


Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1863
In Camp near Little Rock.

This A.M. I was detailed on fatigue duty in Camp. In the A.M. we cleared up in the Rear of the camp & In the P.M. in front of it. Lieut. Heartwell was Officer of the Day in 28 W.s. He is a very agreeable & unpretending person, in no way stuck up. I did not feel strong, so I tried to do but little at noon I went down town for the purpose of bringing potatoes but could find no sweet ones & so I did not buy any. I saw the State Capital & much of City for the first time. The more I see of the site the more I admire its beauty. The State House is an old building & not very imposing. I have read of the Burning at St. Louis Mo. of four large steamers including the Imperial & Post Boy. The day is sunny & pleasant Cold Nights.


1 1/2 miles W. from Little Rock.
An Outpost. Thursday Sept. 24, 1863

Last night was quite cold but I slept warm & with wandering dreams & a little broken was my sleep. This morning I & four others from our Regt. went on outpost on the road nearest the River Along with us were a Sergeant from Co. H & 5 men & 1 Sergt. from each of the other two Regt in our Brig. the 29 & 33 Iowa. & a Lieut from the 29th Our post is near a bridge which we guard & also we are to give notice of & resist a raid on the town if such should be attempted. There are 3 reliefs of 5 each us was on post 1/2 hour, so we felt it very light. I & another got sweet potatoes enough for dinner for all six of us & afterward 3 others got a plenty for supper & a lot is left for breakfast. I have written a part of a letter to Matt. Many residents come in for arms as they are forming Union bands for mutual protection out 20 to 25 miles. I am very well today.


In Camp near Little Rock, Ark.
Friday, Sept 25 1863.

Last night I slept from about 9 to 2 A.M. when we went on post & came off at 4 1/2, we cooked a lot of potatoes & as some of the boys were off hunting possums (hogs) & succeeded in shooting one of which they took along two quarters of which we ate some & carried some to camp. Aexander was out foraging & got some sweet potatoes. Today I heard the shrieks of the Locomotive now so useful to us on the road. There is no news in camp. The day is sunny & warm & we had dress parade this P.M. Lieut. Turner acted Adj. & did it well I thought. Yesterday Seymour mailed a letter from me to Matt. as I was absent. The boys play cards a great deal, some of them for money. I am very well.


In Camp near Little Rock, Ark.
Saturday Sept. 26. 1863.

This morning I & some others swept & cleaned our street some & about 8 1/2 I started for town as I had a pass. George Reader Co. B. went up with me. I went through the Capital building & in the Senate chamber & House of Representatives. In one corner of a hall I saw a vast pile of state documents & reports &c. The buildings are occupied by the 3rd Minnesota. I went about a mile out & saw the State Prison, but could't gain admittance. One of the guards told me there are 10 or 12 U.S. Soldiers & about 500 rebels. The grounds are 115 paces or steps of about 30 inches each on each side. The wall is 20 or 25 ft. high & very strong. I saw a huge old gun in position on the bank of the River. the bore is 9 or 10 inches across I was also by the College but not in it. I bought 10 copies of the National Union for the boys at 10 apiece I am well


In Camp near Little Rock.
Sunday Sept 27 1863

This morning we had inspection about 9 A.M. soon after we started to town for the purpose of attending Church. We went to the Presbyterian Church where we went last sabbath. Some of the boys went to the Catholic & others to the Methodist Church. We bought about 2.00 worth of gingerbread about 3/4 of it for our squad. The baker made some pies today & sold them for 10 cts. We will soon be able to get a plenty of soft bread. We hear talk of the paymaster, as the Co. are signing the books for pay. This P.M. the Chaplin of the 3 Iowa held religious service in our Regt. I think he is a good man & probably a Methodist. I had a letter from Matt. all are well He wrote the 6 of this month. I feel very well today.


In Camp near Little Rock.
Monday Sept. 28. 1863.

This morning I went on picket but as there were 8 or 10 more detailed than were needed I was one of those fortunate ones that got off, So I was not at all required and had all my time to myself. I wrote some of a letter to Matt read some, but did not accomplish so much as I would think I should. Matt wrote that they sold a horse for $115 & might sell some more, also that Lewis Woodcock was married to one of Ira's wife's sisters & that Miss Ellen Softus was announced as to be married to a man named Jordan. From this I see things go on about as in times past. These were both in times past my schoolfellows & afterward my scholars. Some were detailed to go to Duvall's Bluff to guard a baggage train back. I believe they went on the cars which run regularly. How joyous and familiar is trhe Locomotive whistle. I am well. In Camp near Little Rock, Ark. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1863. This morning was the darkest and cloudiest we had for some time. The day threatend rain so we have fixed up our rubbers over our bunks so we can keep dry. this P.M. we had a Battallion drill conducted by Capt. Williams. From first to last the whole affair was one series of mistakes & blunders, so that the boys & most of the officers were gigling all the time. The drill could not do much good or any harm. Dougherty came to the Co. he is not quite well. This morning we had a mess of sweet potatoes we got from the Co. of those I ate very heartily of them. Some of the boys did not like them but I always liked them. One of the boys found some Peanuts growing in a field in great plenty. I have written some to Matt. The last mail brought many papers for some of the boys. We hear Charleston is ours it may not be yet, but must soon be. I am well.


In Camp near Little Rock. Ark
Wednesday Sept 30, 1863.

Today was rainy in the A.M. & drizzled some P.M. The boys had a game of Wicket the first time I ever saw it played. They used clubs of hurdles and a large ball about 6 in. in diameter. Some of the Officers took part & the game passed off quietly. Oh how different it would be if whiskey was plenty among the boys, what a number of fights we then would have on every side & still I do not hear of any one dying for lack of it. Of course many may think they would be so much better off if they had a plenty May heaven speed the day when Slavery and drunkenness will have passed away. the first disturbs the peace of our nation and aims at its total destruction & drink murders peace at home in all the land. I have mailed a double letter to Matthew today. I feel well. We had dress parade.



last modified: 13 Feb 2021