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We are not retreating -- we are advancing in another direction.
-- General Douglas MacArthur
Rome Ga Nov 10th 1864
During the last two weeks we have been expecting "marching orders". More than a week since we rec'd orders to prepare for a "long arduous & successful campaign".
Many different opinions have been expressed as to our probable destination - Some think we will make direct for Charleston S.C. others that we will visit Mobile - but the most general belief is that Savannah will be the objective point - Nothing definite however is known concerning the coming movement - Received orders this evening to move at six o'clock tomorrow morning - All tents and other government property which we can not take with us to be left standing undisturbed - The 52d is to be left behind to destroy everything and bring up the rear. The Division wagon train moved out this evening on the Kingston road accompanied by the 3rd Brigade - they will go about six mile. Quarters and buildings in town were burning all afternoon - Large fire in town tonight. All is the work of rowdy soldiers. Had Dress Parade this morning. Made one mistake - Read an order consolidating "B" and "D" C & II during the coming campaign. No mail nor trains today - We packed up this evening and will be ready.
Friday Nov 11th 1864.
Up this morning at an early hour and commenced loading up the things - After Breakfast I discovered that my pocket containing $175. was either lost or stolen - I looked in every nook & corner for it - but could not find it. Left at six o clock. 81st bringing up the rear of the Brigade - We left all our tents standing and many things which we could not bring away with us - they were all destroyed by fire by the 52d which brought up the rear of the Division. The Railroad Depots Foundry and every thing of value to the enemy in Rome was destroyed. All the way from Rome to Kingston the road was lined with "contrabands" of all ages sizes and sexes - It was indeed a novel sight to see these people fleeing from Slavery. Every one was loaded - some with bundles of clothes and bedding larger than themselves. We passed through a country which showed plainly the ravages of war. We reached Kingston at 3 P.M., the town was full of soldiers waiting to see a Rebel Captain hung who had murdered several soldiers of the 33d - they were found in the woods hung up by the heels with their throats cut. We marched past Genl Shermans Head Quarters at "Shoulder Arms" with band playing and Colors flying. Presented a fine appearance. Went into camp about Sundown 4 mile South of Kingston on the R.R. A beautiful day. fine weather for marching. Made out a report of "effective strength". Wrote a short letter to Father and sent it North by Mr Alehurst - Orders to march at 3.45 tomorrow morning.
Saturday Nov 12th 1864
Up at 2 A.M. had breakfast at 3 AM were under way at the appointed time our Brigade having the advance. Reached Cassville by daylight. The place was burned by our troops last Summer and presented nothing but a mass of ruins. Only two houses are standing and they are churches. Reached Cartersville at 10 AM where we halted several hours. Everything at Cartersville has been destroyed today Quite a number of wagons were burned and enough medical supplies to last a Division 3 months. Some of the brave heroes who fell at Allatoona were buried here. Col Bedfield Capt Agors & c. We passed through the famous "Allatoona pass" this afternoon. - If Sherman had attempted to reach Atlanta through this "pass" he certainly would have been defeated. Reached Allatoona at 3 P.M. Passed over the battle ground of Oct 4th and 5th which still presents many evident signs of a hard fought battle. Everything along the gave us evident proof that Sherman intends to evacuate the R.R. from Atlanta North to or Dalton - Twelve long trains heavily loaded went north today and none South. We crossed the Etowa River at noon. Went into Camp at 4 P.M. 2 mile South of Allatoona. We had a Sumptuous supper coffee "& Hard tack" - Roads are in splendid condition and trains keep well "closed up" - We feared though a country which shows the effects of war. No houses - no fences and the road side strewn with dead mules & broken wagons. A cold & windy day. Retired early.
Sunday Nov 13th . 64
Up at 4 AM. and breakfast at 5 Rec'd a mail this morning just before starting. Suppose it will be our last mail for sometime. Rec'd one letter from home - from "Sib" - We moved at 8 A.M. our Brigade having the rear. We passed over historic ground today Ackworth. Big Shanty. & Kennesaw Mt - they looked very familiar - the two forms were entirely destroyed by fire which was done by the "Yankee vandals" The 14th AC were destroying the RR at Ackworth. - At Big Shanty we found the RR. completely destroyed - ties burnt and rails bent. We are now certain that we are entirely cut off from communication with the north and are an isolated command. We marched today in two ranks on each side of the train. Went into camp at the foot of Kennesaw Mt on the South side. About 1 mile from Marietta. Genl Kilpatricks Cavalry was reviewed by Genl Sherman at Marietta today and it is said they presented a fine appearance. Did not go up on Kennesaw Mt. those who did. say they can see burning buildings in every direction - even see Atlanta burning - . Marietta is all a "blaze" - We had a fine days march. - the country was entirely cut up with fortifications of every description - Seen grave of many a brave hero who fell in the defence of his country.
Monday Nov 14th 1864.
Left camp at 8 o'clock - took the Atlanta road and marched on it. until we were within two mile of the "Chattahoochee" - when we took the road to "Turners Ferry" and marched for 4 mile alongside a complete "chain" of Forts and works built by the enemy for the defence of Atlanta - It would have been impossible to have to run them by assault, and we can plainly see the reason of our flank movement era of Rosswell last July - At the "Ferry" were pontoons laid guarded by a Brigade of the 2d Div 15 A.C. The enemy had strong forts & works here defended by heavy guns. We went into camp on the south bank of the River. We are 5 mile from Atlanta.
Tuesday Nov 15th 1864
Up at 2 a.m. started at 4 on the Atlanta road. Our Brigade "escorted" the Div supply train into Atlanta.
On the way in we passed over some familiar ground - Where we laid 16 days last August under fire all the time. Saw the effects of our shots upon the timber in front of our line. We certainly must have made it very "warm" for the enemy. Their works in our front were very strong and we can now understand why we did not assault their works. We found a great many buildings burning in Atlanta. R.R. Depot torn down and the RR destroyed. made a detail to lead our "supply train" - A large quantity of Tobacco, bread and meat were issued to the Brig. - At the R.R. depot can 13. 64. Powders which were rendered entirely worthless - About 3 P.M. the RR depot which contained a large quantity of shells was fired. and at times the the explosions were terrific but fortunately no one was hurt. A large quantity of clothing which we did not have transportation for was distributed to the troops and when we left town every man was loaded with clothing Rations & c. We left Atlanta at 4. P.M. on the "East Point road and by the time we were two mile from town it was dark and we beheld a grand sight - The burning of the "Gate City". All the principal buildings were on fire and the sight was indeed grand. We went into camp 2 mile north of East Point - has very much the appearance of rain this evening. This has indeed been a strange day - In the morning we passed over the ground where so many of our "brothers in arms" spilt their life blood and during the day seen the destruction of Atlanta. Such a day as this one seldom sees and it will not soon be forgotten but this wanton destruction of property would soon demoralize any army -- I think Sherman intends to devaste the whole country as he goes. This day may be considered the beginning of the campaign - Today we joined our corps and the different divisions headed southward. While in Atlanta received an old mail. Rec'd one letter from Lizzie. Recd $50 today from R.W. Suttrell
Wednesday Nov 16th 1864
Ordered to march at 6 1/2 oclock but did not get "underway" until an hour later -- Before we started. detailed Lt. Post & Co "D" as guards to ordinance trains Recd the resignations of Capt Lt. Robinson and Dr Whittaker but as communication is destroyed am unable to send them to Nashville where they are. Our Brigade had the rear of the Division and we found it very hard marching as we had to march in two ranks on each side the wagon train and the road was very narrow. The country through which we passed was very poor - Nothing but oak woods with thick underbrush. We passed through Rough & Ready - We left Jonesboro 3 mile to our right and went into camp 8 mile South East of Jonesboro at 8 oclock -- This has been the hardest days march we have had. Distance marched 22 mile. Today we heard the first cannonading of the campaign - I suppose it was our cavalry skirmishing with the enemy.
Thursday Nov 17th 1864
We recd orders to move before daylight for we had the advance of the Division We took the McDonough road and passed through a country never by the foot of a "Yankee". The country is more open today than it was yesterday and the marching much easier. than heretofore. We passed through McDonaugh. the county seat of Henry Co which is a village of not much importance. near McDonaugh we passed 1st 2d and 3d Division of our Corps. Being in the advance we obtained plenty of Forage of every description - such as Pork Sweet potatoes Honey & c & c - We went into camp 3 mile from Jackson the county seat of Butts Co in an oak grove. - Distance marched 19 mile - It is still a mystery where we are going. I think we will cross the Ocmulgee River tomorrow and then we will either go down the east bank of the River to Macon or go direct to Miledgeville - We can reach either place in 3 days - Along our route today we surprised the citizens very much they were not expecting us so soon. Had some splendid persimmons today - the best I ever ate - A fine day for marching.
Friday Nov 18th 1864
Up at an early hour and anxiously awaited order to move - but they were not acc'd until 5 oclock PM. - In the meantime "layed around" reading eating & sleeping. We lived on the fat of the land today. The Reg't had more Fresh Pork Sweet Potatoes & c than they could possibly use. Made a regular detail forage for the Regiment - We moved at 5 P.M and it was after dark when we passed through Jackson, which is an insignificant town. The C.H. was on fire when we passed through
The Brigade was very noisy this evening & Gen Corse rides past and gave them his opinion of noisy boisterous soldiers. We had a nice road to and we went about 6 mile and camped at 10 .PM. half way between Jackson & the ockmulgee River which we expect to cross tomorrow.
Saturday Nov 19th 64
Orders to march at 5 AM but it was seven oclock before we were under way. Has been a damp rainy day - We marched 4 mile to the ockmulgee River. at a point called the "7 Islands" - got there about 10 oclock and have been waiting for the 1st 2d and 3d Div. of our Corps to cross. - All the troops and wagons are over this evening except the 2d & 3d Brigades of our Div. Visited the "Ocmulgee Mills" and Factory this afternoon - both are very large and fine, especially the mill which is the finest I ever saw. Near the mill is a building containing 360 bales of cotton - suppose the Factory mill & cotton will be destroyed by our troops. There is quite a village here. Mostly women who were employed in the Factory. The "Ockmulgee" is nearly as large as the Chattahooche . is very rocky and Shallow. We have two pontoons to cross on. All surplus horses and mules are being taken to mount the 7th lls. No news nor no fighting today -- Plenty to eat and every one enjoying the Campaign finely - We expect to cross the river tomorrow morning and then Ho! for Macon or Milledgeville - Distance 4 mile
Sunday Nov 20th, 64
Crossed the "Ocmulgee" this morning and advanced on the Montcello road passing through a country abounding in Hogs Cattle Chickens &c. On account of the recent rains the roads were very heavy. When we were about 4 mile from the river. we heard brisk firing in our rear - we supposed to be skirmishing, but it proved to be the Killing of worthless horses & mules at the "Crossing". The Citizens living near supposed a fight was on hands, and they were badly frightened -- The Factory & cotton were destroyed -- In our route we find many "Contrabands" but very few Citizens -- We marched 10 mile and went into camp at 8 P.M. in a beautiful pine grove. about half mile west of Montcello the County seat of Jasper Co. This has been a damp disagreeable day for marching -- Lost a very valuable ring today We are still in the dark as to our destination Rain in morning. Retired early.
Monday Nov 21st, 64
Up at 4 o'clock and found it raining very hard. it rained nearly all last night. Had orders to move at 4 1/2 am but did not move until 6.A.M. Brigade Hd. Qrs Were "behind time" this morning and had to start without breakfast -- Passed through Montcello a very pretty village. Saw some beautiful gardens -- full of roses and flowers in full bloom. -- "Red white & blue" -- it was indeed strange to see such colors in "Dixie land" - "Pontoon train" in our front which delayed us very much - roads very heavy - rained most of the day - This has been about the most disagreeable day we have seen lately. Passed through Hillsboro. Which was an insignificant town. but it is in ashes now - Went in camp half a mile south of Hillsboro in an open field - No wood nor rails near and a cold piercing wind blowing - We had rails hauled and made ourselves comfortable for the night - We came 11 mile
Our Div seems to be marching on a road by itself. Have not seen anything of the other Corps or Divisions since we left the Ocmulgee. We are still uncertain whether we will go to Macon or Milledgeville
Tuesday Nov 22nd . 64
Ordered to march at 7.AM. but it was 10 before we left camp. Our Brigade had the rear of the Division - A very very cold morning and continues cold and windy throughout the day - We enjoyed a snow storm in Central Georgia this morning. Roads still very heavy - Pontoon train delayed us very much. Had to halt an hour three or four different times to allow them to get out of our way. & as it was very Cold, the fences along the road had to suffer. We passed the place where Genl. Stoneman was captured last summer. It was the intention to reach Clinton today, but the "Pontoons" got stuck & froze in the mud and it was impossible to go any farther - So we had to halt and go in camp 3 mile from Clinton - It was nine oclock when we went in camp - very dark. ground frozen and very rough. - No rails to build fire with and all half frozen, trains scattered and in no shape, and every one in a bad humor - Wheelers Cavalry is all around us and if they knew our fix this evening we might see a little fun before morning. Had a cold time getting supplies. but when it was ready - I paid my "respects" to a "double ration" Fresh Pork Sweet Potatoes & c. - Distance marched 12 mile
Wednesday, Nov 23rd 64
Up early, still very cold. Did not get started until 10 am in consequence of the trains being so "mixed up" - Passed through Clinton County seat of Jones Co - A muddy dirty, dilapidated Southern town -- Nearly all the citizens have left for parts "unknown". Here we were met by 55 fresh teams for the Pontoons and we got along first rate after that. - They were sent by Genl - Roads are still very heavy though they are better than they were yesterday. - We heard of the capture of Milledgeville which fell into our hands the 20th without a fight. When we left Clinton did not take the Macon road but proceeded towards Gordon - so I suppose we will not see Macon - We are 15 mile in rear of everything and the order is for us to "hurry up" but we cannot on account of the pontoon train - The country is full of Rebel Cavalry -- At Clinton we found the 1st Brig 2d Div line watching for the "Johnnies" - The train got stuck in the mud. After night and the . all but a guard. were ordered forward into camp. Near Wallace at 10. P.M Distance marched 11 mile Soil sandy & productive. Country broken.
Thursday Nov 24th 1864
"Thanksgiving Day" in Georgia. A most lovely day. Ordered to march at half past five and left at that time Our Brigade having the advance - After marching several mile we over took the "pontoon train". which was just "pulling out". but as they had fresh teams they did not delay us. When about 2 mile from Gordon we were surprised to hear cannonading in our rear and for a time we supposed we were attacked - A halt was ordered but it was only for a few minutes, as it was soon ascertained the enemy were not molesting our Column Did not hear what the cause of firing was. but suppose it was either Kilpatricks cavalry or the "blowing up" of an ammunition wagon loaded with shell - which was left yesterday "stuck" in the mud - Passed through Gordon at 9.A.M and went in camp 2 mile south of this town about 10.A.M. occupying works which our forces up some days ago - distance marched 10 mile - Country level and soil very sandy. roads splendid. Gordon is the Junction of the Milledgeville RR and the Macon & Augusta RR - We found the RR & depot buildings entirely destroyed - Do not know how much of the RR is destroyed. Most of our Corps was here but left for Irwinton this morning - Yesterday Walcotts Brigade had a sharp fight with the enemy near Johnsonville - our loss was 80 killed and wounded. and the enemy left Dead in the field - their loss was 1000. All the Rebel forces seem to be in Macon Awaiting our arrival but they will be sadly disappointed for we seem to be taking a direct route to Savannah. - All are anxious to hear from the "outer world". We had our "Thanksgiving dinner" at supper. Bill of fare. - Fresh Pork Sweet Potatoes Corn Cakes Honey & Coffee -- We are living like "Kings" - We all enjoyed our rest finally this afternoon. - We changed "our linen" and feel clean once more -- Was in Corinth Miss one year ago today.
Friday Nov 25th 1864.
Left camp at half past five and took the Irwinton road which place we passed through about 10.a.m. It is the county seat of Wilkinson Co. - a small village - all the principal buildings have been burned. - Went into camp at Sundown 7 mile east of Irwinton at "Poplar Spring Church" - Nothing of interest happened today - distance marched 18 mile - Country broken and soil sandy - Procured a Macon paper today containing Gov Browns message which was read by Capt to a small knot of us around our camp fire at night.
Saturday Nov 26th 1864
Ordered to march at 5 1/2 AM and we were on the road at that time. And reached the Oconee River about 12. M. at a point called "Morning Ferry" Where the Uches Creek empties into the River -- Before reaching the river we had to pass through a fine swamp 3 of 4 miles wide. When we reached the River the "pontoons" were not laid - in consequence of the "Johnnies" being on the opposite side - they were even dispersed and our Div was the first to cross. We halted a few minutes after giving our call then advanced on the same road with a Div of the 17th A.C. about a mile where we took different roads - Went into camp 10 mile from "Morning Ferry" and near a place called Irvine & Roads - distance marched 19 mile - Country this side of the river much better than what we have seen heretofore. We are now in Washington Co about 4 mile from the R.R. - Saw plenty of "palm leaf" fans growing today. Also some beautiful "spanish moss" Saw Maj Woodhull this morning - There is no enemy in our front except a few cavalry - Haven't heard anything from the 14th & 20th corps -- Saw a Rebel paper which informs us that Lincoln has carried every state except 3(viz) Kentucky Delaware & New Jersey. - they also informed their readers that Hood has cut Sherman off from the North and he (Sherman) is now seeking for an "out let" and if 10.000 resolute Georgians will only come to the rescue. Shermans whole army can be captured Let'em Come!
Sunday Nov 27th 1864
Did not recd Orders to march this morning. Spent the in making Monthly Reports. Detailed Co 7 to go foraging for the Regiment Placed St Murphy in arrest by order of Col Adams for shooting off his Pistol on the Picket line 1st & 3d Brigades left at daylight this morning and went to station no. 13 on the Macon & Augusta RR and have spent the day in destroying RR. Our Brigade rec'd orders to March at 2 P.M. 81st in center of the Division train. Marched 4 mile to Peacocke Cross Road and after waiting nearly an hour for the staff officers to determine if that was the place for us to camp - we went into camp -- 1st and 3d Brigade still at the R.R. and our Brigade guarding the supply train We are still in Washington Co Capt. Lockwood and his horse Zeb" meets with a evening. Country level. Soil Sandy & productive - Had a good camp rails & water plenty.
Monday Nov 28. '64
Left camp at half past five o clock. Our Brigade having the advance. Passed through Wrightsville the county seat of Johnson Co. - the most miserable looking town I ever saw -- Went into camp 11/2 mile east of Wrightsville at 1. O clock Our Brigade got on the wrong road today and this evening we find ourselves alone with the ordinance train six mile from any other force - The other two Brigades took the right road and are in camp six mile from Johnsonville. Genl Howard & staff were with us until 4 .PM. when they started to find their Hd Qrs is with us Today we passed through a level pine country - mostly "pine woods pasture not very thickly settled - but as no troops had been on this route we found hogs cattle chickens & c in abundance. Quite a number of Horses & Mules were captured in the swamps today also some liquors - The Citizens to whom the animals belonged were hiding from the Yankees in the Swamps - some of them had come 30 mile from Sandersville .Several prisoners were captured today - Nothing but women are found at the houses we pass all the men folks having "skiddalded" .Cannot yet tell where we are going. but from the direction taken, think we will pass between Melton and Augusta. Cross the Savannah River near Jacksonboro on Mobleys Pond and threaten both Charleston and Savannah - reaching a base of supplies at Beaufort S.C. Plenty of Niggers & Mules hid away in these fine swamps. Distance marched 14 mile
Tuesday Nov 29 "64
Up this morning at half past two and it si now as I write 10 P.M. - a very tiresome day -- We passed through pine barren country - nothing but pine timber -- Soil sandy very poor and covered with a thick growth of wild grass. very much like our northern blue grass in appearance but stock won't eat it. Only saw three housestoday and they were nothing but dilapidated log cabins inhabited by tall sallow Georgia damsels. Our marching was very slow. on account of the many swamps we had to cross - they forming the source of the Ohoopee Rivers - At 2 P.M. we got on the right road and went into camp at 9 P.M. Men very tired and hungry .We are in Emanuel Co about 10 mile from the Ogeechee River. In camp near 3d Div 15 A.C. Our Div is all together once more. This has been the most lonesome day of the campaign. The country through which we passed was very level and resembles our Western Prairies Distance marched 18 mile
Wednesday Nov 30th 64
Left camp at 6 o clock - a very foggy morning - but the mist soon cleared away and we had a most beautiful day .The first 10 mile of our way lay through the pine barrens". And during that whole distance only one log hut greeted our vision and that was inhabited by a "love lorn widder" with six headed children" Passed through Summerville a country town which presented rather a pleasing appearance. Went into camp about sundown six mile from Herndon and 4 from the Ogeechee river on the South Side. 1st Div has the advance today and as the country was very poor we found forage very scarce - A negro was shot today by a and killed instantly. Distance marched 15 mile.
Thursday Dec 1st 1864
First day of Winter. and we can congratulate ourselves that we are in a more congenial clime than our friends at home. It was foggy again this morning but the sun soon came out and we had a warm pleasant day. Marched about 12 mile and went Country more fertile and thickly settled. We did not cross the River at Herndon as expected. When we were within two mile of the crossing, We took the Savannah road and travelled 8 mile down the Ogeechee and are still on the South bank of the River in Emmanuel Co. about two mile from the river and six from Milan Div. not known when we will cross the River perhaps not until we get within 18 mile of Savannah - Are in camp near 1st Div. Engaged a "contraband" today to take care of my horse. Heard some splendid news. That Genl Granger has captured Mobile. Hood is badly whipped at Pulaski "and then we heard something that was not so agreeable "that the enemy had us (Shermans army) surrounded and it was only a question of time about his whole army being captured - but we cant see the surrounding.
Friday Dec 2d 1864
The weather continues very favorable for campaigning. We certainly should be very thankful to Divine Providence for such delightful weather as we are having. Had it rained much it would have been impossible for us to get through these swamps. It has'nt rained a day since we entered these "pine barrens which are full of swamps. Today when we would halt we were compelled to hunt a "shade". "Old Sol" was sending down his scorching rays upon us. Expect we will have "Sun Strokes" by Christmas if the weather gets much warmer. Wonder what our Northern friends would say if the knew we were suffering with the heat. - but we find the nights quite cool. This is the most "God forsaken" Country I ever saw. - Nothing but pine Barrens & swamps - with very few houses to relieve the monotony. Left camp at 8 o'clock this morning. 1st Div marched on parallel road with our Div. We crossed "Sculls Creek" this afternoon and went into camp a quarter of a mile from the creek at 4. P.M. Distance marched 10 mile. We are now in a region abounding in alligators " " & c. Alligators are said to be quite numerous in "Sculls Creek" Pontoons are laid across the "Ogeechee" about a mile distant and the 1st Brigade and one Brig from 1st Div are across tearing up R.R. - We are in Bullock Co just opposite Scarboro Do not think our Corps will cross the River here, but proceed down the South bank of the River. No Enemy in our front and the work goes bravely on. Heard today through Rebel that a large "Yankee fleet" of 70 was off "Hilton Head" -- Suppose they are to cooperate with us. We are all enjoying ourselves finely - as I write every thing looks cheerful and happy and contented around me. Major H. Capt. V. and Lts Johnson and Pittman are enjoying a game of Whist - Joe "Cor" & "Peggy" are each deep in the hidden mysteries of "yellow backed Literature." Do not think we will move tomorrow. as we are ordered to drain "full rations" of soap, and we will have a chance to wash and clean up. Retired late.
Saturday Dec 3d 1864
Up early and moved at 6.30 Our Brigade crossed the Ogeechee and occupied works made by the 1st Brigade - We lay in support of the Brigade who were tearing up the R.R. Remained there all day and then returned to the camp occupied last night Pontoons were taken up this evening Quite a number of '"negroes" came today with Horses & mules. Saw plenty of "Live oak" Palm leaf" fans & Spanish moss today. Distance marched 4 mile
Sunday Dec 4th 64
Marched at 6:30. Our route was down the south bank of the Ogeechee Went into camp at Sundown just opposite Cameron a station on the R.R. - distance marched 15 mile. Nothing of interest happened today. Country much better than any we have seen for 10 days - Forage for and beast plenty.
Monday Dec 5th 1864
Marched at 5 o'clock our Brigade having the advance. Passed through a local country - The best we have seen for some time - Soil sandy and productive - Saw some splendid "live oaks" today - Marched 20 mile crossing "Belchers Mill Creek and when near the River each man was ordered to "shoulder a rail" and we marched down to a large swamp and left the rails for the Pioneers to build roads with. One of the most beautiful sights I ever saw was the trees in the swamp which were all thickly covered with "Spanish Moss" Went into camp near by. We are just opposite Guyton - This Evening after going in camp each man was ordered to supply himself with 60 Rounds of ammunition. it was thought we would cross the River tonight but it is now 9 o clock and no orders to move yet. but it is very likely we will go over sometime tonight Are waiting for Pontoons to come up -- Lt. Bruner was quite "salubrious" today.
Tuesday Dec 6th 1864
Did not cross the river last night - We are still in the camp which we occupied last night. This has been the first days rest we have had since leaving Rome. We washed, read, slept, &c. Had Company "Inspection" - found arms in good condition & men well supplied withammunition. The other Divs of our corps proceeded down the river. Lt Pittman and 45 men were detailed to cross the river and "tap" the R.R. but on going to the River found nothing to cross on so returned to camp - Our Pioneer Corps has been busy all day fixing roads - No news from the 14 & 20 Corps - Suppose they have been fighting some as we heard distant Canonnading yesterday - We are now 35 mile from Savannah and by this time next week we hope to be enjoying the "balmy breezes" of the sea coast. Do not know whether we will proceed directly to Savannah - it may be we are only making a and instead of going to S. will Cross the Savannah River and tread the Sacred Soil of South Carolina". Heard today that Gen Foster had destroyed the fleet off Charleston and Savannah R.R. It is now 26 days since we left Rome and we are all hungry for "Northern news". It is no fun being "cut off" from the civilized world. Quite a number of Contrabands came in today and they afforded us a good deal of amusement dancing wrestling & c.
Wednesday Dec 7" 1864
Up early and on the move at 7 AM proceeded down the south bank of the Ogeechee. Our Brigade having the rear - Marched 10 mile and went into Camp a mile from the river just opposite Eden. It rained most awful hard today - rain came down in perfect torrents. 1st Brigade crossed the River this evening & found the enemy entrenched - 2d Iowa charged them losing 2 men killed and 4 wounded. drove the enemy from their works and took 28 prisoners - Our whole Corps is here now - Only 22 mile from Savannah - and a strong probability of a fight tomorrow -- No news of any importance - Boys are anxious to push on & take Savannah and have communication open once more.
Thursday Dec 8th 1864.
Orders to march at 5:30 a.m with 2 days rations - No transportation to be taken except ambulances & "Pack Mules" - Crossed the Ogeechee at "Junks Ferry", passed through Eden and pushed down the north bank of the river, crossing the S M R.R. several times - a fine RR - Went into camp about 3 o'clock on the "Ogeechee "Canal. - half a mile from the River -- Distance marched 14, mile - The 7th Ills had a slight skirmish this afternoon -- A very warm day -- Passed through parts of 4 counties today Bullock Bryan. Effingham & Chatham. Country very level. Not thickly settled - Saw a great many "ever greens" which gave the woods the appearance of summer - Saw some splendid Rifle Pits this morning. Other Divs of our Corps across the river 6 mile below us. 17th 3 mile this side of Eden. 14th 2d Corps at the Savannah River 10 mile from the City. Our Brigade will have the advance tomorrow and will have something to do -- Heard distant cannonading this evening. which is said to be Gun boats down the Ogeechee." we are gradually drawing Our lines around Savannah. Rebel force in the place said to be 10.000 - We will be in Savannah in 3 days if not there somewhere on the coast Capt Guthrie & I took a walk. down to the river. Our wagons will be up sometime tonight -- We have our Hd Qrs under a beautiful live "oak tree"
Friday Dec 9th 1864.
Left camp about 8 o'clock. Our Brigade moved out alone - took the Savannah road. After going 3 mile from ran into some of the enemy who sent us their compliments in shape of shell & balls. but we drove them easily for about 4 mile capturing one piece of artillery. 81st marched 2 1/2 mile through thick woods. Swamps Rice fields &c. trying to flank the Rebel battery. But the enemy were too fast for us. Our skirmishers crossed A branch of the Little Ogeechee when we were ordered to halt. - While resting here a train of Cars passed on the Gulf RR 3/4 of a mile to our right, Lt Bruner sent a few shells after them - Understand the train was captured afterwards by the 7th Ills. Ordered to fall back to the "Cross roads". 81st went in camp at dusk a mile from the "cross roads" in a thick pine woods - We were within 10 mile of Savannah today . Heard cannonading in several directions but no particulars of any fighting - 7th Ills tore up the Gulf RR today. So the enemy have no RR communication - Brigade only had one man wounded today - belonging to the 66" Ills - though at times the Rebel "shell & ball" flew thick and fast -- 81st did not disgrace itself as some expected - No news from the other Div - Gen Howard was with us most of the forenoon. Distance marched 10 mile.
Saturday Dec 10th 1864.
Regiment ordered to remain as Guards to "Division train". Capt with a platoon of "A" Co was sent to the RR. but didn't not develop any enemy. 12th & 66th Ills went to the R.R. bridge over the Little Ogeechee River - 1st and 3d Brigades moved forward on the main Savannah road. The train moved after dinner, crossed the west fork of the Little Ogeechee, & went in "flank" at 4 P.M 8 1/2 miles from Savannah & 1 1/2 mile from our front. Went up to the front could plainly see Rebel tents & works - A large swamp intervenes between us & the enemy -- They have opened the "flood gates" of the canal and have "flooded" the country to prevent our crossing. Heavy cannonading all day. but without any result. The "Siege of Savannah" may be said to have commenced today - As the City is entirely inverted -- Saw some splendid Rice plantationstoday - No communication opened yet. and Crackers are getting scarce It is very probable we will have to open a "Cracker line". before
Savannah falls. Col Adams sends for 81st, but Genl Corse says it Can't be spared - Cloudy and appearance of rain. Retired early.
Sunday Dec 11th 1864.
Were up early the heavy cannonading awakened us - Several shots came within a short distance of us. Remained as Guards to Div train until now when we were ordered to take up a position on the left of the 3d Brigade. Have a good camping ground - though the one assigned to us was a perfect swamp. Went to Genl Corse and obtained permission to move to our present position -- Rained this morning but about 9 oclock "cleared off" and we had a bright clear day. It is quite cool and windy this morning. It is said no further advance will be made until we open a base of supplies -- No orders to join our Brigade - 4th Div is on the extreme right of the line 1st Div the left - 2d Div the center and 3d in reserve - We will be apt to remain in our present position several days. All are anxious to join the Brigade as it don't seem "home like" to be separated. No news from separate Col Adam he is trying to cross the "Little Ogeechee River near Millers Station.
Monday Dec 12th 1864
Did not move today. Last night was cold and windy and it has been quite cool all day. Heavy cannonading all day but no musketry Lt Johnson & I rode to "the front" this afternoon. Saw the Rebel batteries with their flags floating in the "breeze" We keep up a thin line of and in some places it is not necessary to have any at all for it is Just impossible to cross on account of the extreme swamp between us - The enemy are very strongly fortified and it may take us sometime to dislodge them. Gen Osterhaus was shelled out of his Hd Quarters today - Genl Kilpatricks cavalry goes to the coast to open communication -- Capt Lockwood detailed us as "Div Off of the Day" We have 20 men on the "Picket line". Expected the Brigade in this evening but it did not arrive. We retired early. still blowing and cold.
Tuesday Dec 13th 1864
Up early. Cold and very windy. Rec'd orders to move to the right of the "Anderson place" in "the live oak grove" near the spring. Were ordered to keep the Hill secure from the batteries -- We moved to the place assigned us and soon found that we were in splendid range of a battery - for the enemy discovered our position & shelled us furiously for a while but we only had one man wounded Fletcher B. Haynes severely in shoulder Obtained intrenching tools from the 3d Brigade and threw up a splendid line of works. Can see the Rebel works very plainly but the distance is too great for musketry. Heavy cannonading & musketry in direction of Ft McAllister -- Suppose it to be our men attacking the fort. Genl Rice will attempt to cross the Little Ogeechee tonight - Had a taste of salt water today the tide comes up this far. -- The Brigade has not yet arrived and no news from it. Rebs are very "saucy" in our front. No news from the fleet or any part of our line.
Wednesday Dec 14th 1864.
Gen. Rice did not cross the "Ogeechee last night as expected, much to the "Chagrin" of Gen. Corse - At 2 AM Genl Corse sent for 2 of our best Companies to effect a crossing, but after going to the River did not attempt it. Co "E" returned & remained all day. Very little forming along the line today. Ft McAllister was captured yesterday evening it was taken by the 2d Div Capturing its garrison of 250 men and 19 Guns Our loss was about 80 killed and wounded Enemies loss heavy - We now have a base of supplies and Shermans Grand army is safe and the whole Do not think we will do anything until we get a fresh supply of rations - We are now very short and have nothing but "corn bread" to eat - no coffee - The Brigade came in from the RR Bridge this morning, being by 3d Div Was down to the "Ogeechee" this morning - think it will be very difficult to effect a crossing Lieut Pittman was sent for by Gen Corse - A large mail reported "aboard" the fleet. which we are very anxious to get. It is more than a month since we have seen any northern papers.
Thursday, Dec 15th 1864
A very spirited Cannonading duel This morning - Our batteries seem to have the best of it. Spent the day in writing letters wrote three one to Father -- Lizzie and Lt H.R. S.R. 15 tons of mail said to be at the coast but cannot come up until the obstructions in the "Ogeechee" are removed. But little firing on the Skirmish line. - The boys of Co "E" procured a "several guns" and took it out on the "skirmish line" It throws a formed ball and created quite a disturbance among the enemys It has been a nice day. cool and pleasant - No Rations & eating very slim.
Friday Dec 16th 1864
Was up early. Enemy threw shell in among us. Col Adams being afraid that some one would get hurt moved us back to where the rest of the Brigade was - 1/2 mile from our position occupied at morning 12th Ills detailed as Guards to 13th AC. Rec'd large mail this morning -- got six letters 2 from Lizzie -- 2 from home, one from "Hugh R S." and one from Columbus - an official documents" -- also rec'd a huge lot Of Cincinnati Gazettes - Sat up very late reading the news was after 12 o'clock when I gave myself up to the arms of "Morpheus" -
Saturday Dec 17th 1864
Was up early and reread my letters and papers in hopes of finding something new. Spent the day in reading and writing. Wrote a long letter to Columbus -- Mail left the Regiment this evening -- Made out a complete Roster of officers & sergeants and sent them to Columbus by "Davy Samme " Rations are getting very scarce. The army is worse off for Rations than anytime since we have been "in the field" -- think we will get a supply tomorrow - for supper we had "hard tack" and "cold boiled beef" -- --
Saturday Dec 18th 1864
Went to "Kings bridge" today in company with Capt Lockwood Lt Johnson and "Hank Comstock" -- Went to see the "fleet" and to get something for our men to eat -- only one boat at the bridge unloading Rations. A large no of soldiers at the landing. 12th Ills started for Hilton Head today in charge of prisoners - After repeated efforts at the bridge we succeeded in getting some "Hard tack" & sugar for our men - Returned about dark. Had a rich dinner today - "Bill of Fare" "Dried Apples" - Men are living on "parched corn" today - Rations will be issued some time tonight. Men are very hungry -- A battery of 32 Rd Parrott guns arrived today from New York & was sent to the 20th AC on the left of our lines. - 17th AC are worse off than our corps for Rations - Capt Compton " " was mustered out today & will start march soon.
Monday Dec 19th 1864
Was up early and sent "Charlie Stians " to the River to get the Rosters for Officers & Sergeants. As I wanted to make some changes. Leuts Ellis Dixon & Miller were "mustered out" today - their time of service having expired : - Lt Harbaugh temporarily assigned to the command of "B" Co Rec'd "Muster out" Rolls of "B" & "C" Leut Pittman and 10 volunteers crossed the "Little Ogeechee" this evening at nine oclock and explored the ground on the opposite side -- he reported that a crossing could be made and Col Adams wanted to cross his Brigade immediately - but Gen Osterhaus would not let him I suppose we will cross the "Rubicon" tomorrow night - Gen Rice attempted to effect a crossing but failed - a few shells demoralized him Capt McCain & squad floated down the River in a boat right under the guns of a Rebel battery for which they deserve the thanks of the Div -- Still starving -- a full supply of Rations will by issued tonight.
Tuesday Dec 20th 64
Made out quite a number of noncommissioned warrants today - Nearly all the party which crossed the River last night were promoted today. Lt Pittman appointed A.A.A.G. 2d Brig - a genl appointment - Leuts Dixon and Mills left for the today -- Wrote a long letter to "Hugh R S" also one to Lizzie. It was rumored all day that our Brigade would cross tonight - but towards morning understood that Pontoons and would be taken down preparatory to crossing tomorrow - Considerable firing today - Enemy quite active with their artillery - It has been a nice day, but very windy and looks very much like rain this evening.
Wednesday Dec 21st 1864
This morning after breakfast we were informed that the "Rebs" had taken up their departure last night not believing it I went down to the front and seen for myself that the enemy had indeed left. We were immediately ordered to cross. 81st and 66th crossed in a pontoon boat at the same point where Lt Pittman and party effected a crossing. We supposed at first that the enemy had only fallen back to a stronger line of works. - so after crossing we advanced cautiously - but soon discovered that they had bid the city of Savannah adieu. -- We soon struck the Gulf RR and proceeded directly towards the City - down the RR track - Major Henry & I had left our horses on the other side of the "Little Ogeechee - so we took it "afoot" and reached the "suburbs" of S about 3 PM and went into camp southeast of the city among the "dutch gardens" Which are full of all kinds of vegetables. As soon as our horses arrived Maj H and I rode into the city -- With the exception of Huntsville it is the prettiest city I have seen in the 'Southern Confederacy" - The "Wharfs and docks" are magnificent but on account of the obstructions in the River below Jackson our fleet cannot come up. The town was quite full of Soldiers - quite a number of stores were plundered by soldiers assisted by negros and "poor white folks" who seemed delighted at having a chance to pillage - As a general thing the Citizens kept 'in doors". Saw the Rebel Savannah and a gun boat laying on the opposite side of the river -- The enemy finished crossing this morning about daylight and are supposed to be making for Charleston. I think Sherman has rather been "out generaled" by Hardee. or since he couldn't have gotten away so easily - Who is to blame for allowing him to escape -- time alone can tell. but it is the general informs us that Gen Foster is the "guilty man" -- We found a great many Guns Cotton & c which the enemy had to leave. Cold and windy this evening -- Procured some nice riding bridles today Retired early.
Thursday Dec 22d 1864
- A cold windy morning - We obtained a house for Hd Qts and spent the day very pleasantly - Lt Johnson and I rode down town in the afternoon - The city of Savannah is much larger than I imagined it to be yesterday -- We visited the RR buildings. The enemy left a large amount of rolling stock - cars locomotives &c. &c. - We passed through many fine streets & seen many fine buildings - The city has some splendid Parks. saw the Pulaski & Greene Monuments. -- The enemy "blew up" the Rebel Savannah last night. it made a fearful and tremendous explosion, - 66 Ills detailed as Provost Guards and ordered to report to Col Woods Had a very disagreeable day. Have made our beds down on the floor and will try sleeping in a house tonight.
Friday Dec 23d 64
Up early. Wind still blowing and quite cold. Had to move our quarters this morning - as the 3d Div of our Corps were to camp where we were -- We moved to a much better place in rear of Brigade Hd Qrs. inside of the "Rebel Works" Our Hd Qrs are near a "dutchmans" house - will make him evacuate a room for us. Lt Johnson applied for "leave of absence" today but it will not be granted. Rec'd a large mail this evening but "Nary letter" for me. Orders came to be ready for review tomorrow - our whole corps will be reviewed by Genl Sherman. No news. Retired early.
Saturday Dec 24th 64
Was up early - As ordered the Regt prepared for Review. 81st was attached to Gen Rice's Brigade. Our was formed on Broad St. Passed in review before Gen Sherman Howard Osterhaus & c presenting a fine appearance. Col Adams did not go on review as he had no command. -- Glorious news from Thomas. "Hood" has been badly defeated before Nashville. has lost 60 pieces of Artillery and 10.000 prisoners and he is retreating Southward rapidly.
No mail today
Retired at 9 1/2 P.M --
Sunday Dec 25th 1864
-- Was up early - Lt Johnson and I attended preaching this morning at the Presbyterian Church and heard a splendid sermon by the Rev Dr Axson. a noted DD. Quite a number of citizens were out. - In Afternoon went to 17th AC and saw Dave Plattes Capt Simpson & c Sent a wagon after Oysters this morning - but they did not have very good success. House sacking was carried on quite extensively all day on the road between camp and town. The city was full of drunken soldiers and officers -- Had a splendid oyster supper this evening. No news today. Retired early
Monday Dec 26, '64
It has been a nice clear and pleasant day. - Considerable talks about our Div garrisoning Savannah, but there is no foundation for the Rumor - We were informed today that we could fix up our quarters - for we would remain here 2 or 3 weeks. -- We moved our camp forward, so as to give room for the 12th Ills who came back a few days since. Several boats came up today but no mail. Co "C" was transferred to "E" & "F" and "B" to "D" --
Tuesday Dec 27th 1864
Was up early and went to work at nothing and continued at it all day -- Men busy fixing up quarters - Had a nice clear day The new Consolidation of Co's promises to work well. "Dave Murphy" was up to see us today. He has a furlough of 30 days in Ohio. Capt Lockwood sent in his resignation on Surgeons Certificate of disabilities -- Rumor says Jeff Davis is dead, said to be official -- 17th AC was reviewed by Genl Sherman today - Had Dress Parade this evening - have orders to have Parade every evening and make a report of the same to Div Hd Qrs.
Wednesday Dec 28th 64
- It has rained nearly all day but has cleared off this evening Orders to have for Div Brigade Regiments & Companies and establishing drills, Camp Guards. Guard mounting &c. It looks as if we are going to stay awhile. The citizens had a meeting today and adopted a strong set of resolutions -- Sent a copy to Dr Miller
Thursday Dec 29th 64
Capt Vanpelt and I rode into Savannah this morning and saw the 17th AC reviewed by Genl Sherman -- it presented a fine appearance. Capt Vanpelt officiated at Dress parade this evening and did fine. Several boys got quite happy -- Joe especially -- Dr Jacobs & Howell came over and had a game of "whist" -- The "dutch" family moved down town today - day and we have the whole house for Hd Qrs.
Friday Dec 30th 1864
A bright clear night . The 20th AC was reviewed today -- About the time the "review" commenced they fired a salute and we imagined Gen Grant had Arrived but it was just some of the 20th Corps style. They presented quite an indifferent appearance - Many who went to see them were very much, as they expected to see something "extra". Men are entirely out of something to eat -- Sent a wagon after Oysters for New Years. A Blockade runner ran up today - not knowing Savannah was in out possession 15 AC to be reviewed next week -- --
Saturday Dec 31st 1864
The companies were mustered for pay today - day - Spent the forenoon in making muster Rolls for "Field and Staff". Lt Tyler gave us a call this morning and Major made some "Alabams" - As soon as we were through mustering Major H and Hays imbibed very frequently and consequently both became beastly drunk -- Tumblers were broken papers & reports spoiled and havoc made generally -- so we were very much relieved when they got past navigation -- Our oyster wagon returned and we had a huge "Oyster Supper" -- Major H not able to eat Oysters -- Owing to the inclemency of the weather - no parade was held this evening -- Procured some papers of date 1798 -- sent a copy to Lizzie - one home and several to Dr. Miller - Sat up until eleven oclock & then retired. Slept with Capt Lockwood in front of the fire on the floor. Our blankets were in a condition not to be used tonight - so Joe & I had to separate. Do not think, I will soon forget this day.
January 1st 1865
A bright clear day -- very cool in the morning. Water nearly an inch thick in water bucket. Major N. arose feeling quite badly after his dissipation of yesterday. Leut Johnson & I attending preaching in forenoon at the Presbyterian Church and heard a splendid sermon by Dr Axson. Quite a large number of Citizens were present. Genl Sherman was out and attracted the attention of the Citizens. In the Afternoon Lts Johnson Pittman Jack Comstock & "Peggy" rode down to Ft. Thunderbolt - which is a strongly fortified position -- From the fort we proceeded to "Bonaventure Country" where we saw some of the grandest scenery imaginable -- Saw several Palmetto trees -- Returned about 4 P.M had Dress Parade Capt V officiating
Monday Jan 2d 1865
Nothing of special interest happened today -- Made out a report of the operations of the Regiment since Oct 5th 64 and sent to Brigade Hd Qrs. - Went into Savannah this evening to attend a concert but it was indefinitely postponed -- Before returning to camp called at the Hd Qrs. 66 Ills and had a pleasant Chat with Lt Marrot
Tuesday Jan 3d 65
Up Early - spent the forenoon in making out Non - Commissioned - Was hit be a spent ball this morning on foot which was very painful for a while. Had a very nice battalion drill this P.M. Men & officers are very rusty and need drilling -- Recd a letter from Tim this morning. Capt Lockwoods resignation came this evening -- Good bye Charley We will miss you very much - Howell &Pittman gave us a call this evening. Part of the 17th A.C. left today - There are strong indications of a move soon. Major H. had school this evening.
Wednesday Jan 4th 65
Had Battalion drill this A.M so that the officers could attend the review of Genl Kilpatricks cavalry which had been assumed to come off today. Major Henry Capt Vanpelt "Hank Comstock & myself rode down to see the reviews but were disappointed as the review was post - poned The Wharf presented quite a business like appearance. Quite a number of boats were up. Rode all over town. hunting for " Stones", but couldn't find any. bought some apples 8 for a dollar. Saw Duke Welfry of the 69th After waiting a while for an "extra" Savannah republican, we rode back to camp Wrote a letter to Father. A very small mail arrived this evening - one letter for me - from Tom.
Thursday Jan 5th 1865
Spent the day to make out a "March by Return" to send to Washington City -- Had battalion drill again this morning. Capt Guthrie gave us a call this P.M. - I am afraid he is becoming "demoralized" "Hank Comstock" started for Hilton Head SC -- Sent for some clothing. Johnson obtained Clothing and issued it to the companies - 12 Ills were on Fatigue detail working on fortifications - expect we will get a light detail tomorrow. Wrote a letter to Lizzie - Had a this evening - Retired late
Friday Jan 6th 1865
Rained this morning - but cleared off about noon. -- Made out an ord requisition - which was respectfully returned for correction -- Made out A L. Stephens descriptive Roll & forwarded it to Captain Edwards. Capts Vanpelt Lockwood Joe & I sat up quite late playing Casino.
Saturday Jan 7th 1865
Today the grand review of the 15th Corps came off. and it was indeed a grand affair. We were reviewed by Genl Sherman. Our Div was formed on Liberty St. Had to wait Several hours before the reviewing officer passed - It was quite cool, which made it rather unpleasant - The reviewing Officer was stationed A vast of Citizens and soldiers were present to see the Corps pass. It was near 4 oclock when we returned to camp. Had Dress parade before the Battalion was dismissed. Gen Logan arrived today in time to see his Corps on review. Recd a mail this evening -- Rec'd two letters. One from Lizzie and the other from home from Lib - folks at home very anxious to hear from me. Col Adams & Lt Howell gave us a call this evening Heard that Gen Brown has recalled the Georgia State Troops & ordered the stars and stripes to be hoisted in the State -- Retired late - after writing a letter to Lizzie.
Saturday Jan 8th 65
Quite a pleasant morning. Lt Johnson & I attended preaching again today at the Presbyterian Church Rec'd orders to march tomorrow at 6 1/2 oclock -- but we will not have to march very far - Our Brigade is ordered to report to Col Woods to relieve a part of the 1st Div which has marching orders. -- So it is very favorable that we will remain here and do Garrison duty. Wrote a long letter to "Lt HR SR" -- 12th Ills came back from Hilton Head today Retired early
Monday Jany 9th 1865
Up early. Reg't started down town at 7 A.M -- After waiting several hours in the street -- We were ordered back to our old camp the order for us to do Provost duty having been countermanded. When we reached camp, it began to rain and continued to rain all day. Genl Logan was expected to visit out camp but he did not make were working on the fortifications Inspection which was to have come off today was postponed untilWednesday next. -- Capt Lockwood bid us Good Bye at noontodaybut came back in the evening, as there was no boat going North.
Tuesday Jan 10th 65
A very rainy day. Capt Lockwood got off this morning - Nothing of interest happened today. Sergt was very drunk this evening and had an altercation with his friend "John Peters".
Wednesday Jan 11 65
Monthly Inspection today byCapt Canusm A.A. G - It was quite chilly all morning and consequently it was not very pleasant work inspecting the troops - The Regiment and Camp presented a very good appearance and The Inspector today pleased with the condition of things in the 81st - While on Inspection Dr. Jacobs Capt Guthrie Lts Howell & Tyler called and remained until after dinner. "Alabams" were drunk quite freely and some of the party became quite "Jolly" - Leut Howell got sick eating "Pork and Beans. "Joe" visited the 7th Ills this P.M and was quite "Salubrious" when he returned - Lt Johnson & started to hear "Dr E sticks " lecture but did not go any farther than Brigade Hd Qrs. - Wrote a long letter to Columbus. Lt Tyler brought over his resignationtoday but it was improperly addressed and he took it back. Rec'd orders for the Regiment to report at 6 1/2 oclock tomorrow morning to Lt Col Ian Sellars for Fatigue Duty.
Thursday Jan 12th 1865
Regiment reported as ordered were working on the fortifications all day. I did not go out with the Regiment but remained in the office until noon. After dinner Lt Johnson & I went to Savannah to see Genl Kilpatricks Cavalry reviewed -- it was a grand sight though they did not make as fine appearance as the Infty Corps -- Saw Sec Stanton & A.M. Meigs - Lt said the former bring Lt down Several Stars -- It is very likely that Genl Corse will be made a Major Genl. if he is our Div will be apt to remain in Savannah. Saw Capt Thurston but did not get to speak to him -- "Hank Comstock" returned from "Hilton Head" today -- he has a small stock of " Sutler goods" coming by a Schooner -- We are all very anxious to get a mail. Haven't had one for 10 days -- Had a Severe Headache this evening and retired early -
Friday January 13th 1865
Nothing of special interest today - Had Guard Mounting this morning Leuts Johnson Murphy & I back down town this evening to hear "Dr E sticks" -- not as good as we expected it would be - his subject was Pluck. Had a call from Capt White this morning
Saturday Jan 14th 65
A large mail was announced in the morning paper, has having arrived last night ( from Steamer) - so we spent the day in anticipation of receiving a huge lot of papers and letters. The mail reached the Regiment about 11 P.M. and we were all sadly disappointed as very few letters were received - It is two weeks since we recd a mail of any size. Genl Corse was made a Breast Maj Genl today. 66th Ills were relieved from duty as Provost Guards and rejoined the Brigade. Reading matter very scarce and we are all anxious to get a "file" of Northern papers
Sunday Jany 15th 1865
Another small mail arrived today but "nary letter" for me. We rec'd the daily papers (Gazette & Commercial) as late date as Dec 31st and we have spent most of this day reading the "News" Lt Pittman has been recommended for AAG - Lt Tyler sent in his resignation today Did not attend preaching. Had some reports to make this morning and it was after church time when I had them finished -- Had a detail for "Grand Guard" - the first since we have been in Savannah. 17 A.C. left more than a week ago for Beaufort S.C and the 1st and 2d Div of our Corps has already left and we are expecting to follow soon
Monday Jany 16th 1865.
Was up very early this morning as I had to Inspect the Grand Guard before sending it away. "Big fuss" about forage today -- Brigade A.M has been drawing forage and not distributing it equally to the Regiments Comstocks "John" shuffled of his mortal today - Detail came for the whole Regt tomorrow -- part for fatg picket and the rest for Fatigue -- The new fortifications around Savannah are being rapidly completed. It is now said that Genl Fosters troops will garrison Savannah and Sherman will take all his troops with him on his next campaign.
January 17th 1865
A beautiful day - The Regiment with its Brigade was out all day working on the fortifications - Did not go out with the Regiment but remained in camp until after dinner when "Hank Comstock" & I rode down town. Called on "Charlie Bell." - he is clerking in the "marine transportation office" - Also called on Leut -- Part of the 20th Corps left today -- Procured tickets for the "Opera house" -- and this evening in Company with Capt Comeson Leuts Johnson Howell & Murphy went to the "show" -- which proved to be a very poor concern -- We rec'd today the news of the capture of " Pocatalize " by the 17th A.C. which gives us over land communication with Hilton Head via "Causeway". - This evening we recd orders to be ready to move at an early moment to take as much forage & Rations as we can but no to overload the wagons. This shows we will not go by transports as expected but will go by land and also dispels the idea of the 4th Div doing Garrison duty in Savannah a thought that Sherman intends to move in Charleston and that the city will fall within 30 days -- It is said all of The 19th Corps is on its way here -- part having already arrived.
Wednesday - Jany 18th 1865
Was up early -- Heard today of the capture of Ft Fisher at the entrance of "Cape Fear River" - by an expedition which started out after the one under Sutler failed. It was assaulted and carried with heavy loss on each side captured 1760 officers and men and 70 pieces of artillery -- It was a glorious victory and Wilmington has lost its military importance to the enemy -- Recd orders to be ready to move tomorrow at 8 A.M. Spent the evening in "packing up" - wrote a letter home and one to Lizzie, informing them of our departure from Savannah - Sent the Muster Rolls for Nov and Dec, to Washington City -- Retired late.
Thursday Jany 19th 1865
Up at an early hour. Left camp at 8 o clock, 81st bringing up the rear of the Brigade -- We moved down to the city and after laying a couple of hours on "South Broad St" - we crossed over the River to Hutchinson Island -- Here we had to halt on account of the "jam" of troops and trains in our front -- About this time it began to rain very hard - While waiting here Lt. Johnson and I recrossed and went to Saloon and got a "lunch" - but before we got back to the river we found that The Div had been ordered back to camp as the roads were found to be impassable When we reached our camp we found that every thing was burnt except the house used for Hd Qrts - Hank Comstock recd some of his goods this evening - It is very probable we will start again tomorrow morning It is still raining very hard. Retired late.
Friday Jany 20th 1865
No orders to move -- Spent the forenoon in writing. About noon heard that Leut Robinson had arrived on a steamer from New York. Sent "Charlie" down with a horse but the boat had not come up from Ft Thunderbolt -- After dinner Lt Johnson and I went into town & found Lt. R at the "Pulaski House" -- he had never rec'd official information of his "discharge" and has been on duty most of the time in Nashville he came around via New York with convalescents for Shermans army - He can out to camp with us and we have been having a regular old "Fashioned Talk" all evening -- he will remain with us several days and then go north again -- All the troops which troops crossed the rain yesterday - were ordered back today Quite a number of wagons were left stuck in the Mud over on Hutchinson Island -- It still continues to rain very hard and the probability is we will not move very soon and when we do go it will be by transports - Heard today that Wilmington was captured but the report needs confirmation -- A small mail this evening principally papers - Nothing for me.
Saturday Jany 21st 1865
Up early and the rain still coming down in torrents - Leut Robinson & I rode down town this morning, - but it was so foggy that we couldn't see much of the city - When we returned we found that a large mail had arrived - Rec'd 4 letters, 2 from Lizzie one from Columbus and one from "Uncle Joshua." Recd a note from Adjt Genl of Ohio in reference to promotions. Wrote a letter to Columbus in reply to the Adjt Genl. - Also made out Rosters of officers & Sergeants but did not send them as Col Adams wishes to make some changes in them - Retired late after writing a letter to Lizzie.
Sunday Jany 22nd 1865
Did not attend preaching this morning - as I had reports to make out -- After Dinner Leut Robinson Crawford Johnson & I rode down to Bonaventure Cemetery -- and not withstanding the rain - we were well paid for our trouble - The scenery around thecemetery is grand -- it is just full of grand old "live oaks" covered with Spanish moss -- making everything present a sad and melancholy appearance - We brought quite a number of of moss evergreens & c. Wrote a long letter to Tammie and her some moss & c. & c. Made out a another Roster of Sergeants and wrote another letter to the "Adjt Genl of Ohio" both were signed by Col Adams. he recommended 5 Sergts for promotion - Sergeants Rush Hays Harbrusin Mason and Branman -- Maj H. made considerable "fuss" about Col. A sending a Roster and said the first Roster made should go to Columbus -- Retired late
Still raining at 10 1/2 P.M.
Monday Jany 23rd 1865
Up early after a good nights rest and found it still raining - Sent of the rosters which Col Adams signed last night - Remained in camp all day. Towards evening it cleared off and it looks as if we are going to have pleasant weather - Recd another small mail today but nothing for me. The 3rd Div taking transports for Beaufort and expect we will follow in a few days. Lt Robinson is with us and will stay as long as we remain here. .Had a game of authors this evening - Retired late - clear and windy as retiring.
Tuesday Jany 24th 1865
Was up not very early -- very cold and windy throughout the day and we all kept close to the fire. No news of any importance - No mail. .Capt Guthrie gave us a call -- he informed us that we would move day after tomorrow our Div will go up the Savannah River on the Georgia side to "Ferry" and rejoin the army near Beaufort. -- Lt Pittman and Howell gave us a call this evening
Wednesday Jany 25th 1865
After a good nights rest was up early - cold and still windy No news of any importance We were expecting orders to move any moment .but they are not received. - It is said the 1st Brigade have orders to move tomorrow, they will go ahead and repair the roads - Lts Robinson Johnson and I went down town after dinner. Went to "barber shop" and got my hair cut shampooed & c.
Thursday Jany 26th 1865
Update. 1st Brigade moved out but returned in a short time - Genl Corse ordered it to move after the 20th Corps and they were expected to move today but did not -- A large mail arrived today but we will not get it until tomorrow for it takes sometime to distribute so large a mail - Has been a very though cool and windy.
Friday Jany 27th 1865
Up early -- There is a strong probability afloat that we will move tomorrow. So Joe and I spent the forenoon in making out reports so as to be ready to move. The last of the 20th Corps move out today and the 3d Brigade moved out after them. Recd a large mail today. got 3 letters. One from home. one from Lizzie and the other announcing Dave Murphys arrival at Columbus, O. This will be our last mail for sometime as we will not join our Corps untilwe get near Branchville S.C. Nothing definite is known concerning the coming campaigns. It is said we will take the same amount of rations as we did on the Savannah campaign - Wrote several letters and will send them North by Leut Robinson who will start North as soon as a -- Packed up this eve and will be ready to start at 7 AM tomorrow morning - the time we are ordered to be ready to move. Retired late.
Saturday Jany 28th 1865
After retiring last night was awakened at 11 1/2 A.M. by the explosions of shells in the Rebel arsenal which was destroyed by fire - at times the explosions were terrific. A great many buildings were burned and a number of lives, were lost. The 'fire engines" could do but very little to extinguish the flames on account of the bursting of the shells. Was up early - packed and loaded up and left at the time ordered. 81st bringing up the rear of the Brigade - rear of the Div and the rear of Shermans army. We passed through the city and took the Louisville Road and traveled briskly until sundown making 18 mile and camped 2 mile east of Eden - We passed through a low marsh country and as the roads were impassable, we marched on the RR the rails and this having been removed so that wagons could travel over it. This has been a cold raw day. Lt. Robinson left this morning in the "America" for the North. There are various rumors afloat as to our probable destination but the general impression is that we will make for Wilmington N.C. Our Div Div will cross the Savannah at Sisters Ferry. The 14th and 21st Corps are ahead of us.
Sunday Jany 29th 1865
This has not seemed much like Sunday. "Broke up" camp at 6 1/2 am and traveled until sundown, camping 1 mile south of Springfield - having marched 14 mile over the most miserable roads imaginable - Country very poor. only saw two houses to day -- No forage - The 81st being in the advance we had plenty of work to do, making " " . The country today was swampy and unproductive -- Heard today Genl Shermans order concerning the coming campaigns - Army of the under Genl Howard to concentrate at on Pocataligo S.C. The army of the Cumberland under to concentrate at Robertville S.C. -- both armies to load their wagons with the same amount of supplies as on the "Savannah Campaign" and then both armies to march onwards.
Monday Jany 30th 1865
Left camp at 6 1/2 A.M. 81st in advance of the Brigade. Halt at Springfield nearly an hour for the roads to be repaired & for Kilpatricks Calvary to pass. 1st Brigade also passed us here. Roads some better than yesterday. Went into Camp at 4 oclock. 2 1/2 mile from "Sisters Ferry." 20th Corps in camp 2 mile in our rear. It is likely we will remain here three or four days weather cold & clear. Country level - soil Sandy -- Timber pine and "scrub oak" -- distance marched 10 mile - Private Mathis 'A" Co. had his leg broken today by a falling tree.
Tuesday Jany 31st 1865
Remained in camp all day. Men busy washing & drying their clothes - Weather moderating - Heard today that "Hood" with 20.000 was at Columbia S.C. The report is said to be reliable -- It is likely we will get a mail before we leave here - Several men of the 20th Corps were killed & wounded by torpedoes across the River today.
Wednesday Feby 1st '65
No orders to move. Spent the forenoon in writing. After dinner Lt. Johnson and rode down to the ferry and crossed over into S.C. Roads were being repaired by the 14th and 20th Corps. Saw where several torpedoes had been taken out. It will be several days before we get away from here. Heard today that our corps was at Hickory Hill S.C. and expected us to join them there. Am afraid this part of the army is delaying the rest. Genl Sherman has ordered Slocum to "hurry up" - We are losing precious time waiting here. -- Weather warm and pleasant.
Thursday, Feby 2nd 1865
Another pleasant day. Remained in the office during the forenoon. Wrote 2 letters. One to Father and the other to Lizzie. 1st and 3rd Brigs reviewed by Genl Corse today and We are ordered to prepare for review tomorrow. In the afternoon Lt. Pittman & I rode down to the 14th A.C. to see some of his friends and from there we went to the "Ferry" & then to camp. Col Campbell D Newell & c & c passed the Brigade today - they report the 23 A.C. on its way here. Retired early. Appearance of rain.
Friday, Feby 3rd 1865
Up early and found it raining. Review postponed until after dinner on account of the rain. Spent the forenoon laying around doing nothing with plenty of help. At 2 oclock we were out in an open field and were reviewed by Genl Corse. After the review - we had Brigade drill - the Brigade is said to have made a fine appearance. Had Dress Parade this evening & read a lot of orders in reference to the coming campaigns. We are not allowed to take This alone will be used for shelter. 2d Div 20th Corp train moving out this evening. It is raining quite hard - has the appearance of a "wet spell." Retired early.
Saturday Feby 4th 65
Up early and found it raining 2d Div 20th Corps passed our camp this morning on route for the River. Had a fine battalion drill in the forenoon - the weather having cleared off. We were ordered have Brigade Drill. but just as we were "falling in" Leut Pittman informed us that the Review was postponed as we were ordered to be ready to move at once. 12th Ills left at 11 A.M. and went ahead to repair roads. We left camp at 3 P.M. Reached dusk. Where we had to wait sometime for the 1st Brigade to get out of the way. As each Div entered S.C. they gave a yell - We advanced up the River about 3 mile over the worst Country imaginable and went into camp about 9 P.M. Ordered to draw 2 days Rations and 2 days Hard Bread extra. A very foggy night. Our first night on the "Sacred Soil" Retired at 11 P.M.
Sunday Feby 5th 1865
Up early. 81st ordered to go ahead at 8 oclock with axes. One Reg from each Brigade was sent forward. We were busy all day fixing roads and only traveled 3 mile - just across a large swamp where we went into camp. It was 3 P.M. before the 20th A.C. got out of our way. and advance of the 14th. It was quite late before the Brigade came Rec'd a small mail today - Nothing for me Heard today that Genl Sherman was within 16 mile of Branchville and expected to occupy the B and a RR immediately and one Brig of the army would go to the right & the other to the left of Columbia. We are camp near Robertsville. Has been a very pleasant day.
Monday Feby 6th 1865
Left camp at 8 A.M. our Brigade being the rear of the Div. Passed through Robertsville which was all in ashes except a church Roads very heavy - consequently we could not travel far. Left the road traveled by the 20th Corps and took the Lawtonville road. Went in camp at 7 P.M. 6 mile from Lawtonville. Has been raining hard this evening and obtained 2 'Porkers" for our mess. Country level but not very productive - Timber - pine - distance marched 12 mile. Rumors of a fight near Branchville. Our Div is on a " by road" and consequently we find forage for mess and beast quite plenty. Col Adams arrested a teamster today
Tuesday Feby 7th 1865
Up early and found it still raining very hard. It was after 8 o'clock when we got under way. 1st and 3rd Brigades had to about face as they had got on the wrong road. It continued to rail all forenoon and the roads were very bad. Had to Corduroy" nearly half the way - Crossed "Coosawatchie River" and went into camp near "Hickory Hill" - It is strange the 'Rebs" did not fortify here - Here we found the 9th Ills who had been escorting our ambulance train loaded with wounded. and were on their way to join the corps. The men were wounded at "Rivers Bridge" across the " Salkehatchie" - Rec'd a small mail this evening nothing for but a bunch of valentines Rec'd New York papers of the 31st ult. - which I suppose will be the last news for us for some time. We are still 30 or 40 miles from our corps and are on a different road from other troops. distance marched 6 mile. A very hard day for soldiers - Retired late .
Wednesday Febry 8th 1865
Up early. Left camp at 7am our Brigade having the advance. This has been the hardest days march of the Campaign. We find the roads very bad and the troops had to work hard making " Corduroy" Country very and but few houses. Travelled in a north west direction all day -- do not know what road we are on - After bridging a part of the "Whippay Swamp River" we crossed it and went no camp in a pine woods about 1 1/2 mile from the "swamp." Supply train did not get across the "Whippay Swamp" and we had to send a team back after Rations. A bright clear day. distance 12 mile Lt. Howell and Benjamin had quite a difficulty about the teams today. Howell was victorious.
Thursday Febry 9th, 65
Orders to move at 6 o'clock but the supply & ordinance had to cross the "Whippay Swamp" and it was 3pm before our Brigade which had the advance started. We marched six mile Crossed the Salkehatchie at "Rivers Bridge and went camp on the north bank of the stream. The 17 A. C. had quite a fight here several weeks ago. We captured 2 pieces of artillery and 200 prisoners. - The position was a very strong one and must have been badly managed. or else they could have held it. Our Div is ordered to march to Grahamsville - a RR Station west of Branchville Our corps is There. Two men of ourDiv were "bushwhacked today. Ordered to be ready to march tomorrow at 6 am -- a bright clear day.
Friday Febry 10th 1865
Up at 4 1/2 am and started at 6 am. We found the roads splendid and the country the finest we have seen in the South Confederacy. and consequently we made a big days march - distance 22 miles - and this evening we find ourselves 5 miles from Grahams Station on the A and C RR We are now in hearing distance of the army. Sherman has occupied the RR and has already tore up 23 mile -- It is very uncertain where we will move next.
Some think we will advance on Augusta while others are of the opinion that we will destroy as much of the RR as possible and then in the direction of. Today we passed through "Buford bridge" which we found in ashes. We are now on the "table land" and are out of the "Carolina swamps." Weather fine. Water good - timber pine & oak. Capt. Cameron "reorganizes" his old friend Daniel this eve
Saturday Febry 11th 1865
Up late - and as there was a difference in our "time " we were behind time & had to eat our Breakfast in a hurry. Our Brigade had the advance of the Div & we found the roads fine. We crossed the RR (C&A) near Grahams station & traveled in a northly direction and crossed the South Edisto River not at some ferry near where 17 al Hdqrs were - and proceeded on the Orangeburgh road. Went in camp at 3.30 p.m. 14 mile west of Orangeburgh. We were in camp near where a union lady lived who had befriended some of our escaped prisoners. Said part of the 17th al and 3 Div of our Corps passed the house occupied by Gen Sherman last night - The RR we crossed was entirely destroyed - We will not see Augusta as some supposed - for the army seems to be moving towards Columbia - Country fine. Weather warm and pleasant. Timber pine & oak. Rec'd an old mail today Which had been at Corps Hdqrs for some time. Nothing for me. Genl Hills corps is said to be in Branchville - do not think Sherman will give him battle if he can possible help it. Retired early.
Sunday Febry 12th 1865
Ordered to start at 6 but it was near 8 am before we were under way. our brigade having the rear - Marched about 10 mile and went into camp at one P.M. 2 mile from the north Edisto River & 6 from Orangeburgh. 1st and 2nd Divs are crossing the river this evening. Dept Hdqrs is at Orangeburgh tonight. .It was thought yesterday that the enemy would certainly give us battle today at the Edisto River but "nary fight." Lt Tylers resignation accepted. A warm pleasant day. quite windy & smokey this eve -- Country poor &sandy.
Monday Febry 13 1865
Up at 4 and left at 5 a.m. but it was nearly 8 a.m. before we crossed Edisto River. After crossing the River our Division took the advance of the Corps - traveled on the Columbia road and this evening we are 20 mile from Capitol of S.C. - distance marched 20 mile - Had good roads. Country average good weather Cold & clear. Did not find any enemy in our front. Passed through a great many turpentine camps - they were on fire and the smoke was almost unendurable - Gens Sherman, Howard and Logan were with us today and have their Hdqrs near us. Am very anxious to get out of this pine Country. as it is just impossible to keep clean. Heard today that Gen Schofield had landed at New Berne N.C. with 23d Al - We are all surprised on this campaign at not meeting with any opposition - It is uncertain whether we will visit Columbia we may leave it to our left - Are in camp on Little Beaver Creek tonight.
Tuesday 14th 1865
Ordered to march at 7 am our Brigade having the advance. We passed through Sand Town Here we struck the Old Charleston road. Crossed Sand town creek and went in Camp 2 mile from the creek and 14 from Columbia about 12 noon - We were ordered to fortify but the order was countermanded just as we were ready to go to work - It began to rain about 1 P.M - and it continued to rain all afternoon and evening. Read "Enock Arden" this evening - think it is perfectly splendid. Retired early - distance marched 10 mile. Country average good.
Wednesday Feby 15th 1865.
Ordered to march at 8 A.M. and were under way at the appointed time - Our Brigade in rear of the Division. Soon after starting we halted and I read a lot of orders to the Regiment -- 1st and 2nd Divs in advance and were skirmishing with the enemy nearly all day. We marched mile - halted ate our Supper. and the Div was ordered forward 2 mile and went in Camp on the banks of the Congaree Creek. - The enemy were fortified on this creek but were driven back. Roads down near the creek very bad, - do not think there can be a very large force in our front. Saw this evening. Has been cloudy all day but has cleared off and a prospect for a bright day tomorrow. - We cannot be more than 4 mile from Columbia. - Our whole army is concentrated near here. - It is still very uncertain whether Sherman takes the place - but we are all certain he can enter the place if he wishes to do so.
Thursday Feby 16th 1865
Late yesterday evening we rec'd orders That if the enemy left our front during the night the demonstration against Columbia would be continued . This morning we found that the enemy had fallen back during the night. - About 8 a.m. our Div crossed the Congaree Creek and advanced across a very large plain in full view of the city - All the corps was on this plain - 1st and 2nd Divs in our front and 3rd in rear. - It was indeed the grandest sight I ever saw. "The whole corps could be seen at once. I have often read of Generals "marshalling their hosts for battle " but never saw it before - We halted about 30 minutes on the plain. - In full view of the city - During this time we were skirmishing with the enemy across Congaree River - They replying with artillery - and we answering with "fife and drum " - Brass bands and waving of flags - Such a sight one seldom sees. We then advanced down opposite the city where we lay until 4 p.m. Our battalions shelling the town and the Rebels who seem to be evacuating the city - WE advanced several mile up the River (above where the Saluda and Broad Rivers unite and form the Congaree.) Crossed the Saluda and went into camp 8 p.m. but it was 11 1/2 P.M. before the wagons got over and 12 1/2 before eating our supper. - distance marched 6 mile - I think we will cross Broad River tomorrow and enter Columbia. Owing to the width and shallowness of the River (Congaree) opposite Columbia it could not be " pontooned ". It seems the "Rebs" have left the city and only a skirmish line remains. We shall see tomorrow.
Friday Feby 17th 1865
This has been a day long to be remembered - We entered the Capital of the state which first passed the Ordinance of Secession. We rec'd orders to march at 7 a.m. but we did not get off at the time ordered. After breakfast Lieut Johnson Captain McCain and I went down to Broad River. Our men were busy laying pontoons. Col Stones Brigade 1st Div 15 A. C was thrown across in pontoon boats and were advancing and driving the enemy easily before them. At 12 N. we rec'd orders to move with 4 days Rations and no transportation allowed except one ambulance. We crossed Broad River in rear of 1st Div and went through Columbia with bands playing Colors flying &c. &c. It was indeed a grand sight to see a "victorious army" marching through the "stronghold of secession." A great many stores were plundered. and the negroes were wild with delight. A great many soldiers were drunk having obtained whiskey from a distillery. Columbia was quite a nice city. Contains some splendid residencies - The new state House will be a splendid edifice when completed. We went in camp one mile from the city - 15th Corps in line of battle. About dusk the city was set on fire and from then until midnight the fire raged. and as the wind was blowing fiercely the sight is said to have beggared description -- It was indeed grand as seen from our Camp. The streets were full of drunken soldiers, guards, firemen women and children &c. &c. - All was confusion & excitement and as the wind was very high it was just impossible to extinguish the flames. The boys were loaded with delicacies. Tobacco was plenty - more than we know what to do with - Most of it was taken from the stores in the city. The burning of Columbia does not reflect much credit on our army - A very disgraceful affair - but whisky done it and not the soldiers.
Saturday Feby 18th 1865
Ordered to march at 7 A.M - Prepared and equipped to destroy RR. - We left a camp guard expecting to Return this eve. We proceeded down the C&C RR 4 mile and began to tear up the tracks. On the way down we passed the ruins of a Rebel Commissary which had been destroyed by fire - We also saw an innumerable number of darkies on their way to Columbia - all happy that the day of jubilee had come. This beats all the places for Contraband I ever saw. - After tearing up a mile of R.R. we were ordered down to the 12 mile station and there destroyed another mile - By this time it was Sun down. but it was decided that we should return to Columbia. After marching 6 mile the Division was halted and ordered to go in camp - Officers all hungry - as mess wagons were not brought along. We sent for our cooks who remained behind but it will be very late before They get here. We are in camp on the Hampton (Frank) Plantation - The house was destroyed by fire. Today - It is quite cool this evening and I haven't Nary Blanket - but Maj Henry and I have built a huge fire and we will get along finely. Marched 17 mile.
Sunday Feby 19th 1865.
Up early - as it was too cold to sleep. Our cooks arrived sometime during the night and we had something for the inner man. As we anticipated we ordered to destroy RR today again, and we marched back to the very same place we left last night and spent the day in tearing up track. About 3 p.m. our ambulance train and a few ammunition wagons came up. At 4 oclock we quit work and marched 2 mile north of the RR and went into camp for the night near an old mill. It is said we will join the corps tomorrow. Our blankets came with the ambulance train and we will sleep warm tonight. Heard some very loud explosions said to be our troops destroying ammunitions in Columbia - A pleasant day. Marched 12 mile.
Monday Feby 20th 1865
Up early and started at 7 A.M. Marched 22 mile and went in camp at " Muddy Springs" about sun down. We traveled in a north west direction and were about the same distance from Columbia all day About 1 P.M. we struck the road traveled by our corps and the rest of the day we marched on a parallel road with the 3d Div - our teams were in rear of 3d Div and reached us about 8 A.M. Our route today was through a section of country known as "Sand Hills" which is by far the poorest country I have seen in the Southern Confederacy. Our whole army is under way moving northward - There is no telling where we will halt next.
Tuesday Feby 21st 65
Left camp at 5 1/2 A.M. our Regt having the advance of everything - Marched northward. Sherman has again "fooled" the enemy - yesterday he threatened Camden and today he took a course due north leaving Camden in our Rear and right. - Marched 20 mile and encamped in "Dutch Creek" some 3 or 4 mile east of Wainsboro. Country rolling and productive - weather warm and pleasant - in camp early and had a splendid supper of corn cakes "& other good things. - We occupy the extreme right of the army.
Wednesday Feby 22d 1865
Ordered to move at 7 A.M. but as we were in the rear of our Div it was 10 oclock when we got under way. - We had to wait for the 1st Div to pass us. - Just as we were starting heard cannonading in front but did not learn the cause of it. Passed through Poplar Springs - a one horse Country town. Consisting of a store and "Blacksmith Shop." Went into Camp. one mile from Peays Ferry on the Wateree River - distance marched 7 mile. - Saw a great many refugees today - they are in camp near us. - Country very hilly - weather clear & pleasant. Col Adams and St Pittman had a difficulty just as we were going in camp. - Pittman says he will not remain any longer as a.a.a.G. - but Col will not relieve him.
Thursday Feby 23d 1865
Up early and left at 7 A.M. and crossed Wataree River - a narrow deep stream - Here all the Extra and worthless animals were taken by the Inspector Genls and the worthless ones shot. Country very hilly - Passed through Liberty Hill - a small country town which contained some nice country residences - It was nine oclock before we went into camp and as our trains were in the rear - it was 12 M. before we got our supper. Has been drizzling rain all afternoon. which made it very unpleasant marching. Lieut Pittman was relieved as a.a.a.G. of the Brigade and reported to the Rgt for duty and was assigned to the command of Co D. Col Adams has not selected another adjutant. Marched 15 mile.
Friday Feby 24th 1865
No orders to be ready to move this morning and consequently when we were ordered to "fall in" at 7 A.M. we were not ready. A great many of the men had to start without eating breakfast. It rained all last night and as our "fly" was leaky we passed an uncomfortable night. It rained nearly all forenoon. Consequently roads were and marching bad OurRegt was in the advance of everything today. We should have gone to "Flat Rock Church" last night but Gen Hagen who was in the advance yesterday got on the wrong road this side Liberty Hill and Gen Corse followed him. We traveled on the main Camden road until within 5 mile of Camden. where we changed our direction to the left and faced near the village of Kirkwood where we left the main Camden road. Col Adams with the 12th Ills and Cos of the 66 Ills Infty was ordered to proceed to Camden and take the place if possible - He entered the town without loss. - destroyed a large lot of Commissary stores. R.R depot &c. &c. He skirmished over the battle of " Hobkirks Hill" - Camden is said to be a very beautiful country town -
After leaving the Camden road we passed through a level sandy pine country. Saw the finest Southern Residence today I have ever seen - "Cool Springs residence" .Quite a number of prisoners were captured today among them a Rebel Captain a C.S. Col Adams came in from Camden about 7 P M. Has commenced raining again this evening and I fear we will have another wet night. We are in camp in a turpentine camp about 7 mile north of Camden. .We have been hearing rumors of the evacuation of Charleston by the enemy. and I guess the place has been abandoned by them and the "Blue Coats" are occupants of the town . We are now nearing the boundary line between North and South Carolina and unless we change our direction to the east we will in a few days enter North Carolina . It is very uncertain where we will reach the coast. - Distance marched 20 mile. We are on the Cheraw road this eve.
Saturday Feby 25th 1865
Ordered to march at 7 A.M. but it was near 8. before we were under way. The 2d Div and our Div have been traveling on the same road for some days. Today the 2d Div had the road and we either had to make a parallel road or march in the rear. Gen Corse former and as we only marched 7 mile we got in camp as soon as the 2d Div. We marched in a northeast direction all day. on the Cheraw Road. In camp near a turpentine "distillery." Still cloudy and drizzling rain, very sharp thunder & lightening just as we were going to bed.
Sunday Feby 26th 1865
Ordered to be ready to move at 6. A M. but it was a hour later before we broke camp. Marched 7 mile to Lynch' s Creek. and here we halted several hours. On account of the recent rains the stream was very much swollen and it was found to be impossible to cross the supply and ordinance trains. The creek is more like a swamp than anything else. .All the Brigades waded across and the 1st and 3d Brigades started and this evening about half of them are "stuck in the mud." The stream is more than half a mile in width and Bumpy my horse fell down with me on crossing and a "ducking" was the consequence -- Col Adams Capt Cameron and quite a number of others met with similar luck. The stream is rising very rapidly & there is no telling how soon our wagons will get over. We are here without any blankets and it is impossible to send over after them. We sent after our cooks. They succeeded in effecting a crossing. Lt Johnson came with them. They had to swim their horses. Lt J attempted to recross but he got cracked and about faced and he will spend the night with us -- Our Brigade foragers had quite a spirited little fight with the enemy today. Col Davis 1 Co received 7. sabre cuts. which were inflicted by the hands of a Lieut Col. Our losses 2 wounded. Rebel loss said to be 15 killed -- The foragers certainly deserve great credit for their bravery and gallantry. - The enemy are Cavalry belong to Sutlers command and are just from Richmond.
Our direction to day has been north east -- Weather clear and pleasant . Do not think we will soon forget this day. We are ordered to be under arms tomorrow morning at daylight. We are anxious to hear some northern news. It will be at least 10 days before we have communication. Crossed Lynchs Creek at " Tellers bridge".
Monday Feby' 27 65
Slept soundly last night before a huge log fire - under arms at 6 A M. After breakfast went down to the crossing. The 3rd Brigade were pulling their teams out by hand. - They were in the mud water and mire all night. Lieut Johnson with several others re - crossed the creek this morning and were all capsized - Spent the day laying around "loose" doing nothing with plenty of help. The creek is still impassable for man and beast. Preparations are being made to build a fort line & it is partly built tonight. Water falling fast. A warm pleasant day but it has the appearance of rain. Am ordered to report to Col Adams tomorrow morning as A.A.A.G. of the Brigade. Lt Pittman I suppose will be my successor in the Regiment. Retired early.
Tuesday Febry 28th 1865
Up early. Regt under arms at daylight. Reported to Col Adams and entered upon my duties as A.A.A.G. - Lieut and I after various attempts succeeded in crossing the creek to where our teams are parked" . When we returned the bridge was completed.Prisoners busy corduroying and bridging the creek. Teams commenced crossing by dusk. Our Brigade wagons had the advance but it was near 11 oclock before they were all over. We put up a tent and "crawled in" for the night. Has been drizzling rain nearly all day. Lt Pittman is Act Adjt 81st Ohio. No news of any importance only that we will be apt to move some time tomorrow.
Wednesday March 1st 1865
Slept late. Spent the forenoon in the office. 150 men detailed from the Brigade to report at the creek to build "Corduroy" -- At noon we rec'd orders to be ready to move as the teams were across. - Under way at 2 p.m. Marched 10 mile over a poor pine country in a direction in a direction a little north of east on the Cheraw road and went in camp on Black Creek - Still cloudy & strong appearance of rain Heard today of the capture of Wilmington by Gen Schofield - Troops ordered to be under arms at daylight - There is a probability of our remaining here tomorrow.
Thursday Mar 2 d 1865
Up early. Remained in the office during the forenoon. Issued an order consolidating the Field Bands of the Regiments - No orders to move until 1 P M. when we received orders that the Div would move across Black River and go in camp. Our Brigade to bring up the rear. About 4 P.M. Gen Howard & staff came up and went into camp - as it would be very late before our Div could get across Black River -- Our Brigade ordered to remain as guards to Gen Howard s train. Rest of the Div ordered six mile ahead on the Cheraw Road. - A very cloudy day. quite a large Rebel force reported at Cheraw. - Capt Cameron has quite a time assisting a refugee family to go with us tomorrow.
Friday Mar 3d 1865
Ordered to be ready to move at 6 1/2 A. M. but as we had to move in the rear of Gen Howards train - it was 8 oclock before we were across Black Creek .The trains kept out of our way and we had a splendid march of 20 mile - reaching "Thompsons Creek" and in camp at 5 P.M. - Caught up with the Div about 3 P.M. Drizzling rain in forenoon but the sun shines out by spells after. dinner - Country - poor. soil sandy Timber pine and oak. Cheraw was taken by the 17 A.C. today -- They entered the town after a slight skirmish captioning 17 cannon 300 small arms and some prisoners. Brigade Drum Corps marched at head of the Brigade and discerned "sweet strains of martial music." - In camp 5 mile from Cheraw.
Wednesday Mar 4th 65
Ordered to march at 1.0 A M but just as we were eating breakfast at 7. A M. we rec'd orders to move out at once. Moved down Thompsons Creek and there waited several hours before crossing. Passed through Cheraw with bands playing and colors flying - marched north of town one mile & a half and went in camp - distance marched 6 1/2 mile -- Country good - Weather cloudy with rain in the forenoon. Rebel papersrec'd reporting capture of Wilmington, Columbia & Charleston. Our troops are laying pontoons across the "Great Pedee" and our army will begin to cross immediately - Suppose Sherman will move to the coast as soon as possible. as Rations are getting "Slim" -- We may get communication at Fayettville. We are all very anxious to get a mail and hear from home - Just one month today since we "cut loose" .Heard distant cannonading south east -- do not know where it can be - Rebel force said to be fortified across the River about a mile but think it is untrue. -- If the Rebs get in our way we may expect a fight for Sherman will not run around them.
March 5th 1865
Remained in camp all day. Capt Cameron had inspection of arms and accoutrements. Regts presented a very good appearance. Cheraw was nearly destroyed by fire - explosions were quite frequent as we were destroying ordnance stores. 17th A.C crossing the river today. We will go over tomorrow. 3 d Brigade in town doing "Provost duty." Rec'd an old mail this evening, which had been with the 14th A.C, since we left Sister's Ferry. Retired early.
Monday Mar 6th 1865
Ordered to march at 8 oclock and were under way at the appointed time. Our Div in rear of 1st and 2d Brigade in advance. We marched down to Cheraw and as the 1st Div were not across the "Great Pedee" we halt several hours for them to get out of the way. Soon after we had halted - we were all startled by a terrific explosions of powder and shells. which had been thrown into a ravine and set on fire by some careless soldiers - The glass was broken in every window in town. Three or four houses were thrown down by the explosions. One man in the 81st was killed by a falling building and 2 wounded. Quite a number were killed in Gen Woods division - The amount of explosions powder exploded is said to have been two (2) tons -- It created a great stampede among horses and teams -- Whilst in Cheraw visited a very old grave yard. The following quaint inscription was on one of the slabs --
"My name, my country what are They This what -- Whether high or low my Pedigree Perhaps .I far surpassed all other men Perhaps -- I fell below them all -- What then? Suffice it stranger though seeist a tomb Though knowest it use it hides no matter whom"
Saw what was said to be Gen Marions tomb - but think it doubtful as he must have been buried at Eutaw Springs. - Left Cheraw S.C. about 10 oclock. 3d Brig of our Div left to bring up the rear - Marched 6 mile and went into camp on Fayettville road -- has been a bright clear day. Brigade camped in line - We will be apt to reach Communication by Saturday.
Tuesday Mar 7th 1865
Up at 5 1/2 A M - ordered to move at 7. A M - 2d Brigade in rear - as the 3d Brigade had not come up from Cheraw. - Marched 10 mile through the best country we have seen in S.C. and encamped at 1 oclock near "Gordums Mills" - Forage plenty Country thickly settled - 2 men from 66th Ills captured by the enemy -- no news -- only question of interest is when will we reach a "base" Ills had Dress Parade this eve. - It is rumored that our forces occupy Fayettville - Retired at nine (9) oclock. -- Quite a lot of Clothing &c. &c. found near our Head qrs.
Wednesday Mar 8th 1865
Moved at 8. A M. Our Brigade in rear - Marched 8 mile. Has been a very "rainy day" and a very hard days march. - Roads very much cut up as 1st Div had the advance. Marched on the Laurensburgh road and went in camp across " Swamp" - near Springfield. It was the intention for us to have reached Laruensburgh but rain and the heavy roads prevented. The other Brigades did not cross the swamp - We " " our own post - Have a "Log House" for Hdqrs which is very comfortable on account of the rain. This is our first night in N.C and a rough days march it has been.
Thursday Mar 9th 1865
Ordered to move at 6. A M. but as we were in the rear it was an hour later before we were under way - Passed through Springfield - Did not take the direct "Laurel Hill" road." - but struck the road traveled by the 2 and 3d Divs. Reached "Laurel Hill" about 3 P.M. - Here we halted several hours - during which time the rain came down in perfect torrents. - After we left "Laurel Hill" we found several mile of the worst roads I ever saw -- it was almost an impossibility to get along with a horse - as the ground was very treacherous and one was liable to "go under" on the most solid looking ground" - It continued to rain very hard. About dark the 81st was ordered forward to build "Corduroy" but they didn't do much - in fact the road was bad all alike and it was impossible to determine where to Corduroy. - The whole Brigade pushed ahead of the teams several miles and halted at a house near "Juniper Creek Swamp" Here we Caught up with the 1st Brigade - The Bridge was broken down and a new one had be built. by the time the bridge was Completed it was 10 oclock and most of our train had "closed up" - but the wagons were very slow in crossing the River - It was the intention to have camped 2 mile across the swamp and accordingly Gen Corse with 3rd B had gone in Camp. but was ordered forward 6 mile further by Genl Logan. he said we must Cross Lumber River tonight but here we are at 12 M. the 4' Div occupying about 6 mile of the road. Most of the train is in "park" just across the Creek. - About half an hour ago our Brig rec'd orders to go in camp on this side -- It will be very late before we get our suppers -- Has quit raining -- The hardest days march of the Campaign - though we have not marched more than 8 mile Have a house for Hdqrs. Our 2 days in N.C. has not been very pleasant.
Friday Mar 10th 1865
It was 1 1/2 A.M. this morning before we got our suppers. An escaped Capt and a refugee Lady took supper with us. - After supper we found that our "host" an old "Frenchman" was a Celebrated violinist - and Capt Cameron and Lt Gillell obtained a violin and from that until "dewy morn" they discovered sweet strains of music. Lieut H and I "crawled in" at 2 1/2 A.M. but Lieut Gillell sat up with the violinist until "reveille" -- Do not think I will soon forget last nights proceedings - Ordered to march at 6 A. M - Crossed Juniper Creek swamp and marched 7 mile over bad roads. Crossed "Sumter Creek" and went in "temporary" camp at 3 P.M. At 4 P.M 12 Ills was ordered out to repair roads - Rest of Brigade ordered "in camp" for the night - After dark had a "darkey dance" -- Retired at 9 P.M Weather cloudy and cool - Issued Circular in reference to straggling. Div train moved out 4 mile to "Bethel Church."
Saturday Mar 11; 65
Moved at 5.30 A.M - The 1st Brigade and supply train started for "Bethel" Church last night but it was 3. oclock this morning before they got in camp - Distance from "Bethel Church" from where we started 4 mile and the most miserable roads I ever saw. At B.C. the 12th Ills joined the Brigade - Marched 14 mile and went in camp at 7. P.M. on The north bank of "Grays Creek" -- About 4. P.M I went ahead & ascertained where the Brigade would camp -- It was 10 1/2 before our train came up and 12. M before we ate our "scanty meal" -- Has been a clear pleasant day - last 10 mile splendid roads -- 1st and 3d Divs camped in rear of us two mile - 2d Div in front - Fayetteville was occupied by our troops today without much resistance entered by the 14th A.C - We are 14 mile from "F" and will get there sometime tomorrow -- We have been expecting to make a base on the "Cape Fear River" -- but it is very uncertain -- It makes 35 days out from Communication and consequently we are all very anxious to get through and hear from the "Dear ones" at home -- Men are getting "bad off" for clothing - Quite a number of the men are "barefooted" and for men to march this time of the year "barefooted" over rough roads is anything but pleasant
Sunday March 12" 1865
Ordered to move at 6 A.M. but as we had to bridge "Rocky Fish Creek" - it was after that time before we were under way. Our Brigade in the advance. Passed through Pickville and went in camp 2 mile from Fayetteville - distance marched 12 mile. Country very level - poor & Sandy. Our whole army is Concentrated in and around Fayetteville - Lieut Grimell & one officer and two men "Gentlemen" - Came Through from Wilmington reaching our line today - with important orders for Sherman. They left Wilmington a week ago - They attempted to Come up the "Cape Fear River in boats - but as the enemy lined the banks - They had to abandon them and Take to the swamps - It is said That our forces will Commence to cross the River tomorrow and That we will move on to Goldsboro N.C. We again have rumors of The evacuation of Richmond - Capt C. inspected the Brigade and Regimental teams and found a great many valuable articles. - distance marched 14 mile. It is very probable that we will remain here tomorrow.
Monday Mar 13" 1865
Remained in camp all day - as there was a prospect of sending mail. I wrote two letters - one to Father and one to Lizzie - Col Adams and Dr Jacobs went to Fayetteville this afternoon. - 20th and 14'A.C. are crossing the River -- We are ordered to cross tomorrow and will go in camp to the right of the 17th Al and will be apt to remain there several days - Fayetteville is said to be quite an old place - it Contains an old arsenal which is being tore down. .We are expecting to get a mail before we leave here - distance marched since we left Savannah -- 410 mile -- .
Tuesday March 14" 1865
Ordered to move at daylight - Our brigade in rear - but the 17 AC did not get over Cape Fear River until after dinner and it was 4 P.M. before our Div was across. Three boats came up this morning. I went down about the time They came up. and procured a lot of New York papers. and we spent the day very pleasantly reading the news -- latest paper was of date Mar 6. 81st detailed to Unload Rations and reported to Col Carpenter. We crossed The river a mile below Fayetteville consequently did not get to see much of the City. - As we crossed a inspection was held of the animals was made and all unauthorized or worthless animals were seized and the former shot. All the refugees and contrabands were left at the River they will be sent to Wilmington Our Div has at least 1000 contrabands and it was not an unusual sight to see from 20 to 30 in a wagon - It will be quite a relief to get clear of them. We went in camp a mile from the River - In anticipation of the advance on Goldsboro we are ordered to have 5 half days Rations on hands - Div supply trains are to be organized into one train and a guard detailed for it and it will march in rear of the 17. A.C Troops are ordered to go in "light marching order." The general impression is that our Corps and one from the "left wing" .will make a feint on Raleigh in order to draw the enemy from Gen Schofield's front. do not think we will have much fighting to - do. Our Brigade and Regt trains will accompany us -- Mail left today - but not much prospect of getting any. - A large amount of ordinance Stores destroyed in Fayetteville. Retired early
Wednesday Mar 15" 65
Ordered to move at 9. A.M 2d Brigade in the center. Marched on the direct road to Bremans X Roads which is the direct road to Goldsboro - Marched 12 mile over a poor country - a great many swamps. but as our train was not long - we moved along briskly - About 12 N. we had a hard thunder Shower and it continued to rain most of the afternoon - Went into camp at 3:30 - A mile from "Black Creek" - Enemy on the opposite side and skirmishing going on very lively - Col Adams Capt C &G went down the river and remained until dusk - They reported that the 7th Iowa had effected a crossing - 66 Ills ordered out and I went to conduct them to where the 7th had crossed - Got lost but soon found the right road. Remained at the creek until the 66 Ills had started across and then started for camp. On the way I met Gen Corse who informed that the enemy had all left -- When I left the 66; who crossed a mile above the road. I was supposed the enemy were still in force on the opposite side and it was the intention to Charge them in the morning but alas! "he that fights and runs away may live to fight another day." "Black Creek" is narrow deep stream with swamps on both sides and would have been a splendid place to have made a stand.
Thursday March 16' 1865
Ordered to move at 6.30. Our Brigade in advance - Crossed Black or South Creek and marched six mile in the direction of Bremans X Roads where we found the enemy. The 7th Ills & foragers had quite a brisk engagement the enemy replying with artillery - The 81st Ohio was ordered forward as support - after driving them about a mile beyond the forks of a road. The Division took a road leading to the left - Our Brigade holding the forks of the road until relieved by Gen Hagens Div - We joined the Div just as it was going in camp at "Rays Church" (distance 10 mile). Have our Hdqrs in the church. Has been raining most of the day and is still raining at 9 P.M - Consequently we Consider ourselves very fortunate in having a house for Hdqrs -- Heard glorious news today -- Schofield has defeated Bragg near Kinston and Phil Sheridan is within 4 days march of us with 5 Divs of Cavalry -- good! good -- if only true Whole Corps in our Rear and 20' Corps near us. Sam Wiley 81st Ohio was wounded in the skirmish today - Roads will be very bad tomorrow -- Country as usual very poor.
Friday Mar 17" 1865
Moved at 7 A.M. Our Brigade in The rear of the Div - found the roads miserable the first two mile. Only marched 5 mile and went in camp at -- -- 12 Ills sent forward to occupy and hold the bridge across " Mingo Creek" but the enemy had destroyed it. so They returned reaching our camp at dusk -- A bright clear day. Quite a number of horses were appraised "Lucy Ann" was valued at $55. 14 Corps had quite a fight yesterday with Hardee and defeated him -- No particulars -- We have Rumors of the occupation of Goldsboro by Genl Schofield. We are expecting to meet "Phil Sheridan" any day. "Rebs" reported to be in force - 12 mile on our left. - Retired early.
Saturday March 18" 1865
Broke camp at 9. A M - 2d Brigade in center of Div and Div in rear of Corps. Marched 12 mile in the direction of Evertsville - through a country somewhat better than we have been having. Went in camp at Sundown at "Little Coharel Church" near a X roads. The ground we occupy tonight. was used as a camping ground for "Wade Hamptons" Cav - The advance had quite a little skirmish near our camp. We are now on the Clinton Road. Have a house for Hdqrs. Have the tooth - ache and retire early.
Sunday March 19' 65
Broke camp at 8. A M - 1st and 3d Divs in our front. Owing to the bad roads - but little advance was made until 3 P M - During the day there has been heavy firing in direction of the "Army of the Cumberland" and we have heard various rumors as to the result. of the battle. - We marched 16 mile and went in Camp at 9. P.M. on The Goldsboro road 2 mile from the Neuse River. - But it was midnight before The Brigade train came up. I took supper at Div Hdqrs. There is a strong probability that we will have an engagement tomorrow. Men are fortifying. Rebel force of 30,000 said to be in our front and that we may possibly have some fighting to do yet before we are through - No news from Schofield or Sheridan - Though we are anxiously expecting to hear from them both -- This has not seemed much like Sunday.
Monday Mar 20" 65
I did not go to bed until 2 a.m. this morning. Rec'd orders to move on the Bentonville road - prepared for battle - No trains to be taken except ambulances and ordinance train -- Our Div in rear of 1st . We broke camp at 7. oclock and marched down to near Coxe's bridge where we turned to the left. and marched up the Neuse River. on the Fayetteville & Bentonville road. 1st Div found one Regt of Cav in their front and skirmished with them four or five mile until we came near the "Mill Creek" where the Corps was put in shape for fight. For a while it looked very much as if we would have a general engagement. but the day wore away without battle -- We evidently took the enemy by surprise - Coming in on their flank and seems to me we lost a "Golden opportunity" in not attacking Them vigorously. They are fortifying tonight -- but it is thought the will evacuate tonight - Our Brigade built several line of works. - Our Brigade train is up and will enjoy a good nights Sleep not withstanding the constant firing on the picket line. Reports say the. enemy lost very heavy in the fight of yesterday - Schofield will occupy Goldsboro tonight -
Tuesday Mar 21st 65
Was awakened at 4 1/2 this morning by heavy firing on the line - but proved to be a "false alarm" - About 10 A.M our Brigade advanced 200 yds and threw up a new "line of works." At 2 P M Genl Corse ordered that our skirmishen line should be advanced across the swamp in our front - and if possible get possession of the enemy's Rifle Pits -- The skirmish line under command of Capt Burton 12" Ills Infty reinforced by a Co from 66" Ills was ordered forward and the Regiment ordered to follow up in support -- They crossed the swamp and obtained possession of the enemy Rifle Pits - but owing to their nearness to the main Rebel works it was found impossible to hold them - and the order to fall back was given which was done in good order. - All along the line there was constant firing but without any result. Brigade lost one (1) killed and 11 wounded. We are ordered to be ready for an early advance Tomorrow and it is probable we will have an engagement Tomorrow. Retired late. Has rained hard all afternoon - Gen Terry is reported at Coxes Bridge.
Wednesday Mar 22", 65
This morning we found that the enemy had "skeddadled" during The night. 66' and 81st were ordered forward to ascertain how far the enemy had gone - They couldn't be found so "Good Bye" Mr Johnston -- It is supposed he has fallen back to Smithfield and thence to Raleigh - It is generally supposed that our campaign is at an end - and a long Campaign it has been - 54 days since we left Savannah - Our army will fall back near Goldsboro and there remain long enough to refit. It is said Sherman is well pleased about the way the Campaign has ended. This afternoon our Brigade rec'd orders to take the Goldsboro road and proceed 1 mile and repair the roads. We found a few bad places and repaired Them - Have a house for Hdqrs. Are 19 mile from Goldsboro -- A clear pleasant day - though very windy -- Saw Capt White this eve.
Thurs Feby Mar 23d 1865
Broke camp at 6 1/2 A.M. Our Brigade in Center of Div - After marching 3 mile we Struck the road marched by us several days ago. -- Here we had to halt about an hour to allow the 20" Corps to pass. -- Marched 10 mile and went in camp near "Falling Creek" -- a very windy day - Gen Sherman has issued. an order announcing that the Campaign is at an end. And none of the soldiers are sorry. It is said our Corps will halt at Goldsboro. There is a strong probability that the 81st Div will be mustered out as soon as we get through - then "Good Bye" to the army for I am a going home. We are about 8 mile from Goldsboro this eve.
Friday March 24" 65
Last night we rec'd orders to march at 6 1/2 A M. - About one hour later The order was Countermanded as it was reported the enemy were crossing the River above Genl Terry and are ordered to keep the troops well in hand - ready for any emergency but it proved to be a "false alarm. Broke camp at 7 A M. & marched on the Goldsboro road -- Crossed Neuse River at the RR. bridge - Passed through Goldsboro and was reviewed by Genl Sherman. Went in camp 2 mile from town on the right of 2d Div Shermans whole army is here and since being joined by Schofield and Terry. we must number near 100.0 men. The RR. will be repaired in a few days - We expect to get mail and rations tomorrow - Well - our campaign is ended and a grand Campaign it has been - 56 days since we left Savannah and the distance marched 502 mile - Goldsboro is rather an insignificant place - We will have to move our camp tomorrow to it permanent location.
Saturday March 25 1865
The Regiments were moved forward this morning - and we are ordered to fortify - The work was "laided off" by Lieut Atkins - Rec'd 144 men for the Brigade today mostly for the 12 Ills. First train came up from New Berne this morning -- Spent the day reading writing and wishing for a mail -- Some late papersrec'd glorious news from every quarter. Regt called on for Report of the Campaign.
Sunday March 26" 1865
This has been a day for rejoicing in Shermans army for two reasons - first - a full supply of rations was issued and we rec'd a huge mail - I rec'd 13. Quite a number of Commissions came for the 81st. Hays .Rush. Sellers Post Murphy and Hasborough. to 1st Lieuts. Johnson Howell Crawford to Captains -- do not think I shall accept as I would rather be an adjutant and to walk - than a Captain and walk. - Received a call fromLieut Irwin 140' Ind - Brigade at work on fortifications.
Monday Mar 27' 65
Up late. Col Adams sent a note to Div Hdqrs inquiring if he could retain me in my present position if mustered as Captain. If he gets an affirmative answer I will accept my promotion. Howell was mustered in and will remain as adj. Col Hughes 9 Ills gave us a callCol Adams and all his staff were shaved today a la McClellan. Wrote a letter to Adjutant Genl Thomas and Gov Oglesby concerning accounts for the 12" and 66 Ills -- Wrote two letters -- one to Lizzie and one to Hugh. Lieut Pittman mustered out and will leave for home tomorrow -- a clear pleasant day --
Tuesday Mar 28" 65
Col Adams rec'd an affirmative answer and I was "mustered in " as Captain and have been assigned to Co "D." but will remain as of the Brigade - Brigade inspected by Capt Ratery - Lt Pittman left for home Sent the two letters by him which I wrote yesterday. Gen Corse starts to New Berne. during his absence Gen Rice will command. Rec'd New York papers of date 24. Gold down to 1.51 - appearance of rain.
Wednesday Mar 29" 1865
Nothing of interest happened today - Wrote 3 letters - Columbus Home and to Hugh.
Thursday Mar 30" 1865
Have been kept busy all day writing - Had an awful time to get the monthly Return of the 12" correct. Had to return it several times for Correction - Rec'd a communication from the War Dept in reference to Capt Tyler - it was returned with the desired information -- A mail This morning - two letters from Lizzie - of date 7' and 17' of Mar. - Has been raining most of the day -- A prospect of being paid soon -- Maj Merriman received a 30 days leave of absence.
Friday Mar 31st 1865
Remained in camp during the forenoon. After dinner Capt Cameron and I rode down town - I went to the 140 Ind to see Lt Irwin but he was not in camp. - Saw Dr. McDill and Capt White - When I came back found Maj Perry at our Hdqrs -- he remained untilafter supper - There is talk of our Brigade being consolidated - Finished a letter to Lizzie. Col Hill reports That he has two organized companies for the 81st - QM. Reed starts for New York.
Saturday April 1st 1865
Gen Corse ordered this morning That the fortifications must be Completed by tomorrow daylight and we have had heavy details at work all day - it will be late before the works are completed. Rec'd orders to have "Chain guard around camp Will have guard mounting tomorrow by Capt Cameron -- Had a serenade this evening -- Wrote a letter to Tom ordering a blouse vest & c. Sergt Russ appointed Adjt 81st Ohio. Vanpelt 9 M Sergt and Campbell ComSergt. 11 PM placed Lieut Westcott 66 Ills in arrest.
April 2d Sunday
This has seemed something like Sunday - Guard mounting by Capt Cameron. Rec'd an old mail after dinner - A letter from Lizzie and one from - Wrote a letter to the latter. Lieut Westcott was released from arrest. Relieved Charlie Shick and detailed -- Griffith of the 7 Co 81st Ord. Pickets who were on 48 hours relieved after dark and a great many fired off their guns. - Our inspection was made and the guilty ones found.
April 3d Monday
Officer of the day and Lieut of the guard both failed to report this morning - Issued a circular in reference to it. Maj. Henry and Dr Jacobs had quite a quarrel this morning - After dinner Lt Gillill and I went down town - I went to the 3d Div 23 Corps to see Lt Irwin but the Regiment had moved and I couldn't find it - Saw Capt Boyd and got a jacket from him. Called at the hospital on my way back. Prospect of our moving soon. Capt Edwards a.a.a.g. 4" Div returned today. Lt Bremmer left for Memphis. Wrote a letter to Lizzie.
Tuesday April 4' 1865
Nothing of special interest today. Rec'd quite a lengthy circular from Gen Corse in reference to having camp "policed" - Capt Cameron will start for New Berne to obtain clothing - Will be gone 4 days. Went over to witness the dress parade of 12 Ills. Rec'd New York papers of late date - Also a letter from home - 81st receive 10 recruits. Col Hill on his way here.
Wednesday April 5" 1865
- Has been a clear pleasant day. Had "guard mounting" this morning. Made out my returns of CC and GE and forwarded them to Washington - Rec'd orders to prepare for a review drill tomorrow - Wrote two letters - to "Hugh" and Mr McDill and commenced one home to EM.
Lt Allaback relieved from duty with "ordnance train." Retired late.
Thursday April 6" 1865
This morning we marched out in an open field in front of our works and had Review drill by Gen Corse. Our Div will be reviewed tomorrow by Gen Logan. Great rejoicing among us tonight -- Victory! Victory! - Glorious news from Gen Grant. 25,000 prisoners. Many cannon. And the Rebel Capital - Dispatches are coming in every hour. Rebel army said to be retreating towards Danville. We are very anxious to have the "glad tidings" Confirmed and the full particulars. We will wait anxiously for additional news. - If the defeat is as bad as reported the Confederacy in "gone up." - Went over to the 17' Al to see Dave Platter but he has gone home sick. Had a serenade tonight - New York papers of the 3" rec'd -- full of news -- Everybody in a good humor tonight --
Friday April 7" 1865
Our Brigade was reviewed by Gen Logan this morning. A brass band was procured for each Brigade. The review is said to have been the best ever made by the Div Gen Logan was well pleased. It was very dusty and windy which made it very disagreeable -- After Review the band assigned to our Brigade Came to Hdqrs and discoursed "sweet strains" of music. In the afternoon I went down town again to see Lt Irwinbut he had gone to More head City -from the 140" Ind - went to 83rd Ind to see Capt White - The good news from Richmond is said to be true - Late this evening recd a mail - One letter for me of date 29 March - from Lizzie. had toothache so retired early.
Saturday April 8th 1865
It rained very hard last night. Consequently the dust is mad. - Quite cool all day. MajH called at Hdqrs - first time since we have been here-Col Adams went to Div Head quarters 4 Div - while there heard that all the good news from Grant is confirmed - There is a strong probability That we will "pull up stakes" next Monday - destination - as usual - unknown. Adams inspected the 12" Ills and 81st 66 Ills to see how They were supplied with Clothing - Took supper with 66 Ills before returning to Hdqrs saw a New York Herald of the 5th which gave accounts of the victory around Richmond, Rebel loss. 25.000 prisoners and 15 are killed and and sick - very anxious to get full particulars It is said the enemy have evacuated Raliegh. Wrote a letter to Lizzie.
Sunday April 9th 1865
- Another bright clear day - Spent the forenoon in the Office. wrote a letter to Fannie. After dinner went to Corps Hdqs to see Col Adams promotion - found everything favorable, - from Corps Hdqs went into town, - great activity among the Quarter masters & Commissioners" - before returning went to 140 Ind but did not get to see Lieut Irwin. 81st rec'd quite a number of recruits and they are not equipped foractive service. No arms haversacks or knapsacks and no prospect of getting them. There is a prospect of our leaving tomorrow - though no orders have been rec'd at 9 P. M - it said we will move about 10 oclock Tomorrow in rear of the Corps. Very uncertain whether we shall move.
Monday April 10" 1865
Today we begin another campaign -- destination unknown -- Rec'd orders to move at 10 A.M. but it was 11 oclock before we broke camp. Took the Pikesville road. . About noon it began to rain and continued to "pour down" all afternoon. The roads got very heavy and we were much delayed by the Divisions in our advance and night came upon us when we were 8 mile from Goldsboro. We had a most miserable night march. reaching Pikesville at midnight - We "bivouacked" in a little pine grove without tents or blankets or anything to eat - Our Brigade train is far in the rear and it will be tomorrow morning before we see them -- Capt Cameron returned today from New Berne.
Quite a sad accident happened this evening. Sam Marot orderly at "These" Hdqrs - was sent back about 8 oclock with orders to the rear Regiment .and was killed by a "Guerrilla" -- Another orderly Albert Hickersen was sent back soon after and has not yet returned. Very likely he is captured.
Distance marched 14 mile - Our direction has been towards Weldon. - Before starting this morning wrote a short note to Lizzie also one to Father. Has been a hard day on the recruits in the 81st.
Tuesday April 11" 1865
A most disagreeable night we had last night - Our teams came up at 1 A M. and we had something to refresh the "inner man" - A Regiment from each Brigade was sent ahead to repair roads and it was nearly noon before we "pulled out" - Was again delayed by advance Division and bad roads - Went in camp at dusk on creek. Will be very late before all our trains gets in - Cloudy all day - drizzling rain. Orderly Hickersen was captured last night escaping this morning he killed his guard. We passed through Pikesville (a RR Station) on the Welden road. Our course today has been Westward in direction of Raleigh -
Wednesday April 12" 1865
Ordered to move at 7. A.M but the supply train did not all get up until daylight and everyone being tired and sleepy - it was near 9 oclock before our Brigade "pulled out." We found the roads to "Sowell Factory" just in tolerable condition - reached the "Factory" about 11. A M. and here we had to halt several hours for the 2d Division to get out of our way - but we enjoyed the rest finely - Here we rec'd news of the surrender of Genls Lee to Grant - it is said to be "Official" - When The news was read to the different Regiments they gave cheer after cheer over the good news. - Went to Div Hdqrs which had been temporarily established in a house. We had music from the D. band. Songs by the 7' Iowa. Speeches cheering &c. &c. -- in fact a grand jubilee. -- Left the Factory at P. M. and marched to - but owing to the very bad roads it was after midnight before we reached Camp - (distance 17 mile) - We did not have any supper got for us. We were too tired and sleepy to eat. We ordered breakfast at 4. and crawled in for the night. The last three days have been very hard indeed more severe on the men Than any we have experienced for some time. Weather clear & pleasant. The Country much better than average quality - No enemy in our front. Raleigh said to be evacuated.
Thursday April 13" 1865
Moved out of camp at 6 A.M. found the roads splendid -- Country very good. The best we have seen in North Carolina -- Rained in fore noon quite hard. In the morning werec'd The following order which was read to the Command and was followed by hearty cheers.
Hdqrs Mil Div of In the Field
April 12 '65
The General Commander announces to the army that he has official notice from Gen Grant that Genl Lee surrendered to him his entire army on the 9 inst at Appomattox CH
Glory to God and to our Country and all honor to our "Comrades in arms" towards whom we are marching -- A little more labor a little more toil on our part the great race is won and our government stands regenerated after four long years of war.
(S.d.) William T. Sherman
Crossed Neuse River at Neuse Mills and went in camp at 3 P. M - 5 mile from Raleigh - The city was entered today by 14 Corps. Gen Johnston evacuated yesterday evening. Retired early and will have a good nights sleep.
Friday April 14" 1865
Today Shermans grand army entered another Rebel state capital - which makes three within the last four (4) months. We left camp at 7 A. M. - We were reviewed by Gen Sherman as we passed the Capital - The whole of the "Army of the Tennessee" passed in review. - We went in Camp a mile west of Raleigh - After dinner Col Adams and I rode down through the city.
Everything was very quiet and orderly a guard being stationed at each house. Raleigh is quite a nice place - Nearly all the citizens have remained - The first train came through from Goldsboro. Our movements from this point are very uncertain - Rumor today informed us that we would go from here to Augusta Ga but that is doubtful. It is impossible for us to catch Johnston. for he will not fight us. We may follow him as far as Hillsboro - Has been a bright clear day - No orders to move tomorrow -- Are in hopes we will receive a mail before we leave here.
Saturday April 15" 1865
Did not get to remain in camp today but were ordered to move at 6. A M. on the Morrisville road. - It was raining quite hard this morning when we got up. and it has continued to rain all day - Consequently the roads are very heavy and marching bad. But our train was not very long - as the supply and ordinance trains had been left with the 1st Div to bring up. - Our Division had the advance - About 9. A M The other Divisions in our rear are ordered back to camp and since Then we have had all kinds of rumors about Gen Johnston surrendering his army but nothing definite is known. We went in camp two mile from Morrisville at dusk - The other two Brigades without trains went on ahead and are in camp at Soon after going in camp Gen Corse ordered us forward to Morrisville but as the wagons had not come up and owing to the bad road Col Adams sent me ahead to see the General and inform him That it would be impossible to get the train up before day light tomorrow morning - The General ordered us to go in camp where we were - clear the road and let the Corps Hdqrs train come up. -- When I returned to the Brigade the battery had started ahead everything else was ordered into camp. It was 11 oclock before our Brigade train came up and as we were sleepy and tired we "retired" without our suppers - This has been the hardest days march of the Campaign - distance marched 15 mile. While at Div Hdqs heard that "Capitulation" was going on and it is generally believed that Johnston will surrender tomorrow -- Consultation has been going on all day. Johnstons army is said to be at Hillsboro . his pickets 8 mile from Morrisville. -- We are all anxious for him to surrender and end "this cruel war" and we all feel confident that he will surrender before the setting of "another sun" "so wrote it he ."
Sunday April 16" 1865
.Left camp at 7. A M. and marched to Morrisville and went in camp. - When we arrived here we supposed we would hear something definite concerning the all important question -- "the surrender of Johnston" -- but we could hear nothing reliable. - About noon a train of cars from Raleigh came up and soon after went out to the front. - It came back about dusk and I learned from an officer who was out with the train Genl Sherman and Johnston are to meet tomorrow for Consultation which I suppose will decide the thing one way or another. Genl S. is at Raleigh. - Maj McCoy of Shermans Staff. reports everything working favorable and he is confident of success - What a glorious Thing it will be if Johnston does surrender! Our Div are the only troops (Infty ) out this far except Kilpatrick's Cavalry and they are 12 mile ahead of us. We obtained a house for Hdqrs and have been enjoying ourselves finely - Has been a most lovely day -
Monday April 17" 1865.
- A sad - sad day - We heard the news of the assassination of President Lincoln - I never saw such a gloomy set of men in my life as the soldiers were after the news came It was known by most of the officers during the forenoon and this evening it is known throughout the whole camp. -- His loss is a great calamity -- and the nation mourns his loss as she never mourned before. - It seems a plot was laid to assassinate Seward Sherman and Grant. Genl Sherman came up from Raleigh on a train and proceeded to the front to have a conference with Genl Johnston . During the day we waited anxiously for the return of the train. - Thinking That something definite would be known But nothing was accomplished at The conference. The two Generals are to have another meeting tomorrow, when they will doubtless come to some terms. It is said that "Jeff Davis" is with Johnston and wishes to surrender and receive pardon -- another rumor "That Johnston wishes to surrender but some of his subordinates do not. -- Has been a most beautiful day.
Tuesday April 18" 1865
Glory to God! in the highest - Our Country stands regenerated after its four long years of bloody war. April 18th 1865. will be "our 4' of July" - The whole Rebel army surrendered to day. - Glory! Glory!! Genl Sherman came in from the front this evening after his interview with Genl Johnston. The whole Confederacy has "given up the Ghost." - Each state has surrendered - no more fighting - The troops of the different Rebel states march to the capitals of their respective states stack their arms and quit - We are anxious to see the correspondence between Sherman & Johnston before surrendering - Do not know what disposition will be made of our grand armies - but suppose we will be mustered out in the course of a few months. Great rejoicing in camp tonight - only one thing to mar our rejoicing - the sad news we rec'd yesterday. Rec'd a small mail This eve nothing for me. It is said that the two armies will remain in their present position until Sherman can hear from Washington - as the surrender was accepted subject to the approval at Washington.
Wednesday April 19" 1865
Another beautiful day. Genl Logan removed his Hdqrs to Raleigh this morning - It was said we would go to Raleigh tomorrow but I guess we shall remain in our present camp untilthe army disbands his forces. It is rumored that the report of the assassination of President Lincoln is a "Canard." New York papers of the 12" say nothing about it - Rec'd a letter from Lizzie this eve - Answered it - also wrote to Lib. Retired late.
Thursday April 20" 1865
Another warm pleasant day - This evening received orders to march tomorrow at 9 A. M. to Raleigh - it is said we will remain There "five days" - and the Rumor says "The Army of the Tennessee" will proceed to Washington D.C. Sherman has announced the suspension of hostilities between the two armies - he says as soon as the "agreement" is ratified we will have peace from the Rio Grande to the Col Hill arrived to day and we were all anxious to see him - Have been laying around all day doing nothing with plenty of help. The report of the assassination of Lincoln is true - The deed was done on the evening of the 14" Inst. and his murderer is said to be "Edwin Booth" and he is still at large -- A large mail for us at Raleigh which we will get tomorrow.
Friday April 21" 1865
Left camp at 9 oclock and marched to Raleigh and went in camp two mile north west of the city - It began to rain about 4. P.M. and we had quite a nice little shower. Rec'd a small mail - one letter for me from Lizzie - It is rumored we shall remain here two weeks and then Shermans "Grand Army" will march through to "Fredrick City." --
Saturday April 22d 1865
-- Another beautiful day -- Regiments busy fixing up. Col Adams & I rode into Raleigh to see the review of the 20" Corps - which was indeed a grand sight - I suppose we will be reviewed sometime during next week. Rec'd a small mail - one letter for me -- Rec'd some New York papers of the 17" which contained full particulars of the death of Mr Lincoln - There was great mourning over the death of the great & good man. Rec'd and copied quite a number of orders to day in reference to guards &c. Were serenaded by Div Brass band this evening --
Sunday April 23" 1865
A very quiet day. - Went down to the city and called on Lt Irwin. Rec'd a small mail this morning. One letter from Tom - No news -
Monday April 24" 1865
A very beautiful day. 17th army Corps reviewed by Genl Grant -- who arrived sometime during last night -- Had "guard mounting" this morning. It is said the "surrender of the Southern Confederacy" - has not been accepted by President Johnson and so our bright visions of peace are vanished - - Rumor says offensive operations will commence in a few days. Our movements are very uncertain. Feel quite unwell this evening.
Tuesday April 25" 1865
- "A day of rumors" - Genl Grant visited our camp this morning and was rec'd with hearty cheers. It is said that Johnston has surrendered but nothing reliable - Went over to the 23d Corps - saw Lieut Irwin - Rec'd a letter from Brother "Tom" also one from "Hugh" - answered both - A large number of Recruits came for the Brigade - Had a serenade this evening.
Wednesday April 26th 1865
-- Nothing yet definite about the surrender of Johnston but is generally believed he has given up the "Ghost." Rec'd a vest & blouse from home. After dinner Col Van Sellers Caps Cameron Dr Newell & myself rode down to the city - saw the house where President Johnson was born - also where his Father was buried -- Saw nearly the whole city -- saw splendid residence which I saw before. Well our Brigade is done "busted up" - The 3d Div is consolidated and in the consolidation several brigades are made defunct. do not yet know where the 81st will go But I shall join the Regt. -- Col Adams and all the Regimental Commanders have gone to Corps Hdqrs to see about the matter but cant accomplish anything -
Thursday April 27" 1865
Up early; received the order consolidating our Brigade - 81st Ohio remains in 2d Brigade 12" Ills to 1st Brigade and 66th to 3d Brigade. Went down to see Col Woodhull aaj 15' Corps - he wants to detail me in his office but guess I shall not accept -- Issued an order relieving all the Officers and enlisted men now on duty at these Hdqrs - so Good Bye old 2d Brigade - Went over to Gen Clarks Hdqrs and turned over the Records of the Brigade - I shall quit keeping a journal - We will leave here in a few days - Johnston has surrendered on the same terms Lee did - We shall leave in a few days for Richmond . and "washington City" - by The overland Route.
Note: by Cornelius C. Platter, 81st Ohio Infantry
This Day in History
Confederate General Joseph Johnston officially surrenders his army to General William T. Sherman at Durham Station, North Carolina.
John Wilkes Booth is killed when Union soldiers track him down to a Virginia farm 12 days after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.
Joseph E. Johnston surrenders the Army of Tennessee to Sherman.
The ancient Basque town of Guernica in northern Spain is bombed by German planes.
Armistice negotiations are resumed.
The U.S. command in Saigon announces that the U.S. force level in Vietnam is 281,400 men, the lowest since July 1966.
President Nixon, despite the ongoing communist offensive, announces that another 20,000 U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Vietnam in May and June, reducing authorized troop strength to 49,000.