Diary of Lieutenant James H. Linsley, 10th Connecticut Volunteers, Expeditions to North
Carolina, Volume 1, 1862
[Calendar pocket diary in brown leather with flap, pages with printed dates for entries].
[January 1-2, 1862]
In camp at Annapolis where we have been since Nov. 5th. Nov. 4th was spent in the
college yard of Annapolis. The building bore marks of the conflict for its possession last
spring. In the yard is a large cottonwood tulip tree of the northern states 28 ft [feet]
circumference under which Gen. Washington [General George Washington] once had his
headquarters. Sunday, Nov. 4th was spent in depot at Perryville at the mouth of the
Susquehanna opposite Havre de Grace. The night in a small steamer on the Chesapeake
Received two months pay in Treasury Notes. Commenced going on guard by companies.
From that date an abundance of liquor finds its way into camp. Many of the guards are
susceptible of corruption and are aided by the pickets on the railroad.
A large amount of money sent home. Serg. Way takes from our company over $1200 by
express, over $300 go by mail. Larger companies send more. Preparations are making to
break up camp and go to Dixie.
Last night our Comp. A siezed [sic] a large quantity of liquor. The Major's servant was
taken with six canteens. Our company goes on guard tonight. At dress parade the
resignation of Lieut. Jennings and promotion of Serg. Way was the first knowledge the
company had of a change. A snowstorm. Camp struck. The weather cold. The path
beating down hard and smooth as we march. After waiting 5 hours by the fires in the
Navy yard we began to board. Finished getting on board the baggage. Boat hauled out
into the stream leaving me on shore, whereby I had another opportunity to visit the city.
But after traversing it twice I was unable to find the place for which I was looking. It is a
remarkably intricate place for one of its size. The streets crossing each other in every
conceivable direction. The State House stands in a round square. The inside is as intricate
as the city. Here Gen. Washington resigned his commission which is commemorated by a
painting in the Senate Chamber. There are also portraits of distinguished Marylanders.
The Houses are composed of able looking men. The Union sentiment strongly
predominant. Today we weighed anchor and started for Fortress Monroe. Met the Golden
Eagle on which the Clinton boys hailed some of their acquaintances. At sundown the land
was out of sight on either side of the broad Chesapeake. In the morning we found
ourselves at anchor in the fog, about noon it cleared up so as to proceed. Many of our
fleet had preceded us at the Fortress.
Today the fleet continue to accumulate. The Rip Raps exchanged shots with Sewall's
Point both falling short. Craney Island battery was playing all day.
The fleet were getting under way during the night and today the steamer New Brunswick
filled up with coal and at 11 o'clock at night we start, pass the capes of Virginia and the
light boat of Willoughby Spit and enter on the waters of the Atlantic.
The morning finds us with a stiffening breeze, which about noon increased to a gale.
Most of the boys were glad to retreat to the bunks. The canal boat in tow after twice
parting however was abandoned the crew being saved with difficulty. The life boat was
stove and went adrift with all their equipment.
This morning finds us anchored under the lee of Cape Hatteras. Many of the boys have
lost their rations and are not very anxious to get more. Swearing ceased when the boat
was pitching among the waves above the cape, and it would be a blessing if it were never
The sand drifts and pinewoods of North Carolina and the barracks of one regiment are in
sight. We get under way take a turn towards the light return and go in safely over the bar,
where the City of N[ew] York was wrecked among the breakers.
The fleet continue to arrive. All are expecting to fight tomorrow. Some are making all
preparations others making none. All will be glad to set foot on land. Some will never see
home again. The sick are removed to the hospital boat, Cole. 9th N.J. mate & Sergeant
drown[e]d in the breakers. All are doomed to disappointment. The fleet does not move
for some reason, and we remain to gaze upon the inhospitable shores of Hatteras Inlet.
Fort Hatteras is at the extremity of a narrow sandy beach which makes a semi circle to
Fort Clarke [Clark]. Fort Hatteras is inside almost out of sight from the sea and
surrounded with water at high tide. In a severe storm the troops lost their boxes of new
clothing, their camps nearly washed away and several men drowned. 9th N.Y., 48th
Penn. are glad to give place to the 6th N.H.
Today we have divine service for the first time in several weeks. Also a prayer meeting in
the evening both of which are well attended. There is less card playing than usual and
decidedly more like Sunday than almost any we have yet seen in camp.
A schooner run on her anchor sunk and has been dismantled. There is also a propeller
sunk a month ago, a schooner sunk by the Secesh, two or three others on shore or sunk.
Discouragement and despair rule the hour with the soldiers. Bodies Island [Body's Island,
N.C.] stretches from Fort Hatteras to Loggerhead Inlet about 50 miles. It contains about
2000 inhabitants. At intervals among the sand and scrubs there is a little swamp which
allows of cultivation. Everything is in the most primitive style. The houses have wooden
chimneys built on the outside. Subsistence is eked out by fishing and wrecking. The
people are Union. The rebels having left. There were three stores which have stopped
under the discouragement of the soldiers, so that the women can get no calico. There is
one Methodist minister who has a price set on his head by the rebels. His wife is the only
woman it is supposed who wears hoops on the Island. He has the only store seen in a
dwelling within several miles of here. A terrible storm raging requiring constant
watchfulness to prevent smashing up of vessels in their crowded conditions. The
Louis[i]ana has store in our wheelhouse. On the beach the soldiers are driven from their
camp and water nearly covers the point. Their [sic] is funeral of a poor fellow on shore.
He is buried where the tide almost meets on either side. Away from his home and the
friends of his youth, the soldier finds an unhospitable grave among the drifting sands.
Today the pleasantest we have yet I spend in my berth. The carpenters are busy repairing
the boat. Some of our sick return from the hospital. Wright is dead. Robbed of his money
and other valuables. Several had to be thrown overboard in the storm. In the pockets of
11 dead men only one solitary cent was found. Such heartless villainy deserves the halter.
We had news to the 23rd. Good success in Kentucky. We hope when Gen. Burnside's
[General Ambrose Burnside] Expedition gets over the bar we may have success of some
sort. 13 of our boys on shore today. Very much interested in what they saw. Everything
green from the live oak to the cabbages, turnips, and beets in the gardens. Removing
baggage and men our boat made an effort to go over the bar but got first alongside the
Spalding where we lie till morning tide. Again removed and go on, but when nearly over
stick first on the edge of a shoal where we are likely to lie till a high tide or storm. The
usual height of the tide is about two feet.
After much tugging and straining and pulling our steamer is again afloat and passes in
advance of the squadron. Our baggage and provisions are again put on board and
preparations again made for starting at some future day.
The most gratifying event of a long time is the reception of a mail, once more connecting
us with the loved ones left behind. Newspapers few and far between also furnish a world
of gratification to all.
Cloudy disagreeable day. Nothing of importance transpires. Company A on guard as
usual, the sutler suffers. In broad daylight a barrel of blacking and brushes rolled down
stairs. He offers $10 reward.
Unpleasant day. Preparations making to get off. Oars and rowlocks manufactured.
Coaling up. Regimental orders read, etc. Service today perhaps the last which some of us
14 of our boys off all night came along side in a schooner with a load of coal which is
rapidly being got on board. Rainy. Another boat captured 17 colored persons on board.
Nothing special going on. Orders to sail tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock. Rainy morning.
Pleasant evening. A good nights rest and perhaps the last some will enjoy.
This morning the fleet weighs anchor and all start for Roanoke. A splendid sight as they
are in motion. At night all anchor just in sight of the island, near the N.C. shore.
This morning we haul up a little nearer the island. The fog and rain prevent active
operations. 7th- Active operations begin. The gun boats move through the narrow
entrance in the sound begin in the fray with the rebel gunboats, and the battery. The shells
bursting in the air and others tilting on the battery are watched with the greatest interest.
Sheets of flame and clouds of smoke roll up as their quarters take fire. We are landed and
after spending the night on the ground, we wade a creek and enter the bloody fight. The
line does not last [?]. The men fall thickly. Col. Russell [Charles L. Russell, 10
Connecticut] is lost. The Zouaves charge the battery and it is won.
Today the pigs and vacant houses suffer severely. Some Union men returning find their
houses robbed which is much to be regretted. Those men have suffered from both parties
more than their share. [Written in margin:] Took prisoner John O'Connor, Capt. Co. E,
2nd Virginia [?] at the house of Geo. Wescott [probably George W. Westcott, a planter on
We take up our march along the beach pass the 4-gun and 12-gun batteries which the
rebels had no opportunity to use. Before night we find ourselves again on board the New
Brunswick and are glad to get a good nights rest.
This morning is pleasant the first since the fight began. Many letters are written to the
dear ones at home. Some of the wounded are brought on board our boat.
A splendid spring like morning. The balmy breezes are refreshing to the senses. Co. A
leaves to escort home the remains of the Colonel and their Lieutenant. Picket guards
stationed all over the island, no soldiers allowed to rove.
Pleasant day. A mail arrives from home bringing gladness to the hearts of many soldiers.
No doubt the hearts of friends are torn with anxiety concerning our fate. But the pitiless
rebels are in our power instead of our being in their clutches, which puts an entirely
different aspect on both their affairs and ours. May the battle of Roanoke soon be
followed by others which shall forever put an end to the pretensions of the Oligarch.
Foul weather. Fresh beef for breakfast. Too old to be palatable. A pity that we cannot be
put on shore where we can have some tolerable cooking and lodge where pure air might
prevent the lethargic slumber which attends our rest.
Dull stormy weather. Service in afternoon. But little feeling in men confined as we are in
putrid air on putrid food, which occasions a constant grumbling.
The last fresh meat I hope to see from N[ew] York. A barrel of the sutler's apples
tumbled downstairs much to the gratification of the boys who seem to have no conscience
toward the sutler and [???]
Pleasant weather, general movement of gunboats whether it betides anything I know not,
and very little of the reports in circulation can be relied on.
Shad brought on board. Unsuccessful efforts made by boat hands to catch them in the
Spring weather. First express matter recieved [sic] since we left Fortress Monroe.
Pleasant but cold. Old barge goes ashore on mainland. Matt brings on board Shad, honey
and chickens and sweet potatoes. Pilot comes alongside and orders up stream.
This morning we move up Croatan [Sound] to the entrance of Albemarle Sound. The
Spalding and other boats go up to Elizabeth with the prisoners who are released on
A warm breeze from the North West which increases to a gale Sou[th] West.
Steamer Captain goes to Roanoke and cannot return.
[Here begins an account of the Battle of Newbern which continues in the entry spaces for
February 26-28 and March 2-3. These entries have been moved to follow March 12-15
where they fit the chronology].
Our boat puts about and returns to Roanoke. National salute fired in honor of Kentucky
and Buell [General Don Carlos Buell]. Phenomena of Refraction observed on sandbanks
buildings and coast. Mail received.
Company mustered for pay roll. Go on sick list.
A pleasant day. The balmy air of spring is reviving to the spirits, if it could be united with
palatable food and exercise on shore. We take an excursion to Albemarle and return in
Cloudy morning. Pleasant midday. Thunderstorm passes to the N.W. of us which sends
quite a squall to us. A large number of schooners arriving. High seas a seasoner [?] [???]
Barge crew on shore with Hospital stores. One box Whiskey secreted and nearly all
return intoxicated. Disorder and arrest of several persons on board of the boat.
Barge crew overhauled by Col. Drake [A.W. Drake, 10th Connecticut] most of them
placed in irons with 4 hard crackers and two cups water daily and their hands behind
them during the day. Time two days. Enough to give time for reflection.
A beautiful Sabbath morning. A light breeze scarcely ripples the smooth surface of the
sound. The beauty and quiet of the scene seems to impress the same on the minds of all.
Disappointed in not starting and also in not receiving a mail. Inspection of arms and all
equipment. Prospect of storm so we may not leave for several days.
Bid goodbye to Roanoke and steamed down Pamlico anchoring at night in sight of the
vessels over the Swash at Hatteras but could not see the forts. Received a mail from
home. Over 100 letters & papers for company.
Steamed down Pamlico and entered the Neuse River. Anchor at night 15 miles below
Newbern. Gunboats throw a few shells in the woods and take a boat with a few men.
A battery on shore might play mischief with the fleet. Orders to be ready to land in 15
minutes. A part of our regiment land in the morning. Our company march from the
landing about 3 1/2 p.m. March along the beach partly on good road, partly in mud and
water like Roanoke. At about 8 o'clock we move towards the battlefield. Shot and shell
from our gunboats raked across our path, but we march steadily along, and when ordered
to enter the action, we take a good position and pour a raking fire into their works. Today
finds us waking up in the camp of the 33rd N.C. Reg. in good quarters and capturing good
enough to last us till our supplies arrive.
[From earlier entry in diary:] Battle of Newbern. We land fifteen miles from the city
marching about 6 miles we find a long entrenchment deserted without firing a shot, had
previously passed a cavalry camp. An old darky said that the bombshells fell right in
Cap[t]. Evans's muster ground.
We bivouac in the woods raining hard after a tedious march rendered so by our long
confinement on ship board, leave our boat howitzers behind which came up before
morning and go into action before us. Hard dragging.
Our regiment marching on the field in column a shell bursts just beyond us in Co. E.
Others whistle close over our heads. Said they were thrown from our gunboats. Our
regiment gains a slight shelter and waits for the word to go in. It comes at last and we
pour in a galling fire which seems to still their batteries. The Stars and Stripes are soon
We are ferried across the Trent and up the Neuse in a Secesh ferry boat and find
quarters for two nights in the 33rd N.C. Reg. Co. E. An abundance of letters and
correspondence found in the tents. Considerable pillaging going on in the city. Darkies
rob $50,000 in one night.
Sick nearly all our tents are brought on shore and we move into them, the rebel tents
being reported infected. The men being tired and sick the labor of moving is very
St. Patrick's day busy getting our stuff off the New Brunswick. 5 or 6000 bushels of corn
in depot, piles of heavy shot, cannon &c [etcetera]. Dress parade at evening with reading
of orders. Compliments &c from Generals.
Our company on guard. Issuing of new pants, crowds of contrabands coming down from
the country. Their masters holding them as long as they could and then they ran away.
Dressing in new pants. Drill 1 1/2 hours per day. Our camp is pleasantly located on a flat
sandy piece of land which readily absorbs all the rain which falls upon it. Pookman Isle.
[?] It again raining some [?].
A rainy night. Some of our tents let in the water pretty freely. Building a cook's galley.
Drill only 1/2 hour.
Col. Drake [Colonel A.W. Drake, 10th Connecticut] will leave us tomorrow on account of
his health, we shall probably never see him again. The regiment will be extremely sorry
to lose him, a good soldier and a good commander.
A new episode in soldier life for us. Just after sunset we are routed out under arms and
marched 3 or 4 miles out in the country because our pickets have had a little skirmishing.
The sick will be sicker.
Passed to Newbern. With difficulty] found a church with a congregation. Listening to
the chaplain of the 25th Mass. Reg. who were present under arms. Very few citizens in
church. Most of them entirely deserted.
Barge loading with cotton near the oil still, worth perhaps $100.00 per bale, a large
amount of oil and resin on the grounds.
A very pleasant day. Negroes beginning to plow the fields, though] "Massa's gone
away." Dr. Walter Duffy's plantation will be tended without his direction.
Go on home guard. Unpleasant weather. Ball whistles past our outpost. Regiment goes on
picket duty leaving but one company to relieve guard at home.
Relieved from guard expecting to go on tomorrow morning. At night have orders to go on
picket. Tak[e] a detachment out 6 miles to quarters. A long road at night.
A fine day. Lieutenant and 9 men go on a scout, have an adventure with the enemy,
adding zest to the day's sport. Came as nearly losing officer and 4 men as was agreeable.
Go on duty at the outposts. Relieved by Massachusetts regiment and return to camp,
fatigued and sore, but ready for any other opportunity for adventure.
Attended church at Newbern. Forenoon at Episcopal church. Afternoon at Baptist.
Scarcely a citizen in church. Congregation almost entirely soldiers. "The rich folks are
gone away. The poor remain."
Rather unwell but drill as usual. The appearance of some of the contrabands would
convert some of the rabid Democrats. 20 or more clothed in the coarsest gray carpet
Battalion drill from 9 to 10 1/2. Payrolls signed. Refused a pass to go on battlefield.
Accidental discharge of gun in Co. B.
Go on homeguard. Several regiments arriving. C., our company with Co. P. go over the
river to haul down the cannon from the enemies batteries, which will do our fighting
Ramble in the fields Henry Savage when he is a man "will fight." Who? "The Yankees.
No I won't fight the Yankees." Burnside building his batteries. Two funerals from our
Geo. Dewey [probably George Stanley Dewey, 1st North Carolina Cavalry, formerly a
student at Yale] and his father have left their residence in Newbern and gone to
Goldsboro. Wm. H. Snell is at his plantation 30 miles down the river. So says Snell's
Regimental inspection. No drill. Mail received. No letters from home
[List written vertically:] Smith, Harney, Davis, Dan Rogers, Meachem, struck [?] by at
the scouting party.
Regiment go to church with arms and music. Baptist church preaching by chaplain of
23rd. Mass. Strange sensations seeing armed soldiers from another state occupying the
churches while the inhabitants are nearly all absent.
Election day at home but no election here. We hope Secession will receive no
encouragement from Connecticut. We believe Secesh of Connct. [Connecticut] will be
well whipped out.
Long expected pay day. Visit Dewey's house in Newbern, find some of his letters. Sorry
to find him serving against his country. I had expected better things of him, with his
knowledge of the North.
Old Merritt the prisoner of our scouting party, taken again this time under arms with a
rebel picket of 9 men & also 27 horses.
A very pleasant day. We hear the First Brigade has marching orders to go up country and
rebuild the bridge over the river.
No drill, after dinner tak[e] a bath in the Neuse. Shepard and I sent to guard house.
Went to Methodist church in Newbern. Heard a native preacher. Saw more citizens than
altogether previous to this time. Visited Dewey's house again securing more documents.
More of the boys are becoming interested in the game of wicket, which makes quite a
lively scene of an evening.
Pass down town. Inspect Dewey's house again. Gather some documents from N[ew]
A very warm day for a double quick drill. Laziness rules the hour with me. The sick are
being removed to town.
Helped to turf over the graves of Sears and Hubbard. Close by is the grave of Willy
Bradley. Sadness is in the home where he was beloved by parents & sisters.
Morning drill by company instead of battalion. Afternoon to prepare for Sunday
Regiment ordered out to church. Failure of men punished severely. Officers remain to be
seen to[o]. Disobedience in officers should receive no toleration more than in the ranks.
On guard. The wind blowing a hurricane whirling the sand in clouds and covering
everything and filling our eyes with sand.
Pass down town. The city is very pleasant with its abundance of shade trees and grassy
streets. Only marred by the abundance of negro hovels.
Weary day just sick enough to lay still and feel uncomfortable. Another mail and I
receive no letters. A cake of maple sugar from Dudley's by way of Albert.
Charge of Co. C on Co. K' s battery & bearing away the gun and carriage in triumph,
drawing together nearly the whole regiment.
Made a bedstead. Treat removed to hospital. Visited Fort Totten which will soon be in
condition for an attack, with its parapet guns.
Rain, rain, rain all day. I lie down and read all day as I did at home. Finishing Hope
Campbell whose moral lesson is good.
Voluntary turnout of the regiment to go to church. Co. C is not represented in the lines.
Going to church with guns is somewhat repugnant to the feelings of most of our men.
N.A. [?] Treat is found dead having hung himself. The regiment march out at 8 o'clock
on picket to relieve the 24th. A wild road through the woods & swamps. Azalia.
Picket of 23rd Mass. shot "John I'm going. Tell them that I died at my post." Our pickets
thrown out some miles further. Beauty is not wanting to these vast forests,
notwithstanding we are here on a warlike errand. Go on guard at camp. Fire flies &
mosquitoes in abundance. Corn growing adjacent to camp. Preparing ground for
cabbages, which grow large without manure.
Rainy day. Pickets alarmed last night. An old cow with a bell fired on. No lives lost.
Rattlesnake & moccasin killed by Capt. Willis. Lieut Greeley returns from home.
Lieut. Greeley promoted to be Captain of Co. A. Atherton to Co. G. Company A get a
good officer, one who will do well by them. Co. C lose one whom they all respected. So
go military promotions.
On guard again, according to precedents already established we get our full share of
guard duty. Sleep in the open air. First relief go out on picket, in addition to the regular
Wake up, hurry traps together and march out on picket, and do not think of Sunday till
mid forenoon of this pleasant Sabbath. May the time soon come when we can spend our
sabbaths in peace.
Hustled out of sleep to go on picket at a post in a cane brake wading through mud &
water, to a point covering the road on the opposite bank of the creek. Terrible thunder
storm. Rest at night in an old building but get nearly wet through. Go on at daybreak but
see nothing. Relieved by Co. G boys, return to picket camp. Lightning had struck a tree at
our reserve and in our company street, 4 companies go out scouting.
Visit camp. Buy some eggs of the family on Dr. Hine's plantation. Cotton gin and press
with extensive out-buildings and a very large clearing, all performed in two years. News
from Yorktown, wild rejoicing of the boys. Music by the band. Speech by Col. Pettibone
[Colonel J.W. Pettibone, 10th Connecticut] and permission to make one huge bonfire
which is carried out. Jeff [Confederate President Jefferson Davis] rode on a rail, a
burlesque dress parade & battalion drill concluding about 10 o'clock.
[Written vertically along left margin:] on guard.
Orders to be ready for inspection Saturday morning. Our knapsacks are carted up from
camp and we have a review here in the wilderness. It might have been delayed till we
returned to camp.
Inspection by Gen. Foster [General John G. Foster] & Col. Stevenson [Colonel Thomas
G. Stevenson]. Prepare to go on picket, but are ordered to remain in camp but one
company going out. An abundance of quails in this region, whippoorwills occasionally.
No inspection. Church service afternoon, in the woods write E.L. Moore at Fort Pulaski.
Company goes on picket. I am sent to camp to pack and remove company's property.
Return to the reserve at night. Sleep on the ground musing our unique position.
Return from picket. Have enough to do cleaning our street fixing our new tents, &c. Fire
gets into the woods and cleans them out. Messes arranged according to regulations.
Mail from home letter from Emilia. Independent thunder shower with great rain. Lighting
stroke [struck] close to guard quarters.
Chapel tent erected. Another thunder shower. Pink lightning. Great highth [height].
Rain morning. No drills this week so far. Lieut. Way removed to Hospital.
Stopped raining and the extensive quantities of mud soon dry up.
Sunday morning inspection. Service in Chapel tent. A splendid day, & the clearest sky
seen in weeks. Corp. Bradley & Way return from Hospital.
Way presented with a cup of blackberries by a comrade, which were quite refreshing,
having a cherry like taste. They had picked about four quarts.
Teamster Blair brought the captain some new potatoes. Lieut. Way promoted and
Davenport put in Lieutenant. Also orderlies Co. B, G, H.
Corporal Hovey promoted to be Sergeant. A. Barnes to be corporal.
Company go on picket duty on Neuse road. Thundershower as usual when we go on
Tremendous rain last night the Sunny South has become a byword but in the course of the
[sic] these gloomy ideas are dispelled by the bursting forth of the sun. Pay day.
Knapsacks picket tents struck and at 8 we march for our old camp where a hard day's
work pulls me down.
Abundance of to do and an orderly badgered to death
Finally finished our arrangements and I am used up. Colonel [?] says the old Douglas,
and so I go in for I don't know how long.
Gen. Reno's [General Jesse L. Reno's] Brigade reviewed today.
Company went out on picket. I am yet too sick to attend to anything.
Company returned from picket bringing some honey with them.
Doctor tries a new pathology. Sends three of the sick list to the guard house, orders two
more on duty.
Went on duty after the longest fit of sickness I ever had.
Went over the river to sword presentation to Gen. Burnside. 13 regiments of infantry
besides cavalry & artillery. A grand affair.
Drill from 6 to 7 1/2 a.m. which will be a decided improvement. We have lost Col.
Drak[e] [Colonel A.W. Drake] who was loved & respected by his men.
Mulberry Green apple pies Blackberry & Plum pies for sale.
Visited New Berne [Newbern] battlefield where are found an abundance of blueberries
growing. The foliage obscures almost everything except the embankment.
Preparations commenced for moving. Orders to be ready. Muster rolls sent around on
which I have to work.
3 more payrolls which I go to work as it is desired to have them complete when we
leave. Regimental inspection is not to be changed. Cartridges to be filled up.
[June 30-July 2]
Finish the fifth payroll about noon. Had made out Captain's monthly report. Make out 11
descriptive lists of men we are to leave. Gen. Burnside rides along the face of the camp
and is enthusiastically cheered by each company. Orders come postponing our march
which relieves the minds of some of the officers. The second & third Divisions have been
sent off, it is believed to Charleston. Each payroll has about 1260[?] items.
Regiment parade & march about the city. Good many find means to get drunk. Sham
review with fight in evening. Capture of Richmond.
No drill today. Wear off effects of Fourth.
Get up at 3 o'clock and start out on picket at sunrise. 7 mile march is fatiguing enough
even in the morning.
Plenty of whortleberries are to be found in the woods which, with bread and milk,
make a home like dish much preferable to salt horse and hard tack.
Blackberries, apples, Potatoes, etc. Suffer from depredations in this woody and forlorn
Go on a scout across Sandy Ford through the brush across the railroad nearly to Neuse
road, cross Creek on a log. Bring home about a peck of fine blackberries as I ever saw.
Return from picket, hot day, tedious march.
Regiment paid off in Government notes and bank rugs (species) for odd cents. Purchase and
present to Lieut. Engles a handsome sword on behalf of Co. C.
Jason comes to camp but cannot come near the hospital. Came near the company. H[e] probably
felt stomach sick as he approached and hurried off.
Tent in 27 Mass. camp struck by lightning and one man killed and three others injured. 27 & 25
Mass go on a scout.
Sentinel shot in the city having been repeatedly fired on near house spot. Several persons
arrested and buildings destroyed.
Regiment crossed Neuse on a scout with 17th and 24th. Co. C & F left behind to do general duty.
Regiment returned at night nearly drowned having been unable to proceed.
Attend church at Newbern. Chaplain of 25th Mass. just from home preached very acceptably.
Such preaching as means something as well as interests the hearers.
Lieut. Way arrived. Lieut. Engles last day with the company.
Orders to prepare a days rations and be ready] to march at a moment's notice. March to
Jackson's Rock Run and encamp for the night.
Start early. Are placed in advance with Co. G. Meet the enemies' pickets six miles from
Trenton. Our cavalry charged in gallant style, driving them beyond Trenton. After resting
through the heat we encamp at night on the Kinston Ranch. In the morning march a few miles
only and return on account of the heat. Camp at Deep Gulley, nine miles from Newbern.
Return to Camp sore and tired out not particularly disheartened at the small results of our
[Early entries for 1863 written here. These entries are transcribed at the beginning of the 1863
Capt. Gandyear [?] returns with the receipts for our company.
Lieut. May resigned.
Lieut. Davenport resigned.
Promoted to be second Lieutenant of Co. C.
[Written vertically:] Hamilton & Williamston. Artificial stones facing the brow of hills
to keep from washing away. Around yard under fences pile & sand. Negro boy carrying
baby two or three years old. Barefooted all day in snow.
Regimental Sunday School organized. Mr. Trumbull Superintendent, Adjt. Camp
assistant, Myself Secretary. Classes organized by Companies.
Officer of Guard. Hubs make considerable amusement. Captain inquires of man on
knapsack drill if he can pass out.
[October 29- Statement of Accounts]
Left Newbern just before sundown on Pilot Bay with Gen. Foster. Meet the mail boat and
get a mail from home. Some perhaps for the last time. Letter from B.M.
Arrive in Washington. Are finally with the rest of the Brigade in West part of town.
Demolish Boards [?] fence & barn to make "country hogpens" & dog kennels to sleep
Waiting for overland Expedition. Arrive about night. The appearance of camp is very
picturesque at night with the fires in front of each company quarters and private bunks.
Up at 4 o'clock start about 6. At 2 1/2 we are sent forward as skirmishers. About dark
meet the enemy. Carry the food & go forward till ten o'clock. Relieved within 40 rods of
the enemies works. Stop at one.
Up at 6 1/2. Occupy Williamstown [Williamston, N.C.] before 11. Lots of liquor, wine
&c. Start out before night. March 4 or 5 miles, camped in corn field. Officer of Guard.
Scout round in swamp for an hour. [Written vertically in top margin:] chill
Go forward, find bridge gone, work two hours to rebuild. Chill again. Rest at Hamilton in
schoolhouse. March out at night 3 miles.
Take a round about road. Halt afternoon, the advance meet the enemy, fall back and make
a flank movement towards Tarboro. Sleep out in the rain. Have to fall back Hamilton.
Raining. Large force of rebels ahead. Too [???] meet them. Fall back to Hamilton where
we rest for the night. Roads heavy for the artillery. A hard march. Thought so by the new
Snowing rapidly, ground white. Snows all day or hails or rains. March 13 miles to
Williamston. Mud deep. Troops good spirits having slept under shelter. Quartered tonight
at Roanoke Hotel, Williamston.
Still stormy. The army remain at Williamston. Foraging is carried in every direction to
supply food for the troops. Piles of pigs, honey, potatoes & beef. The sickest, dullest day
I have had since I have been out.
Breakfast at 5. Brigade line 5 3/4. The army goes to Plymouth. I go the gunboat Hetzel
down Roanoke a narrow crooked stream throwing the boat broadside on in the bends.
Whispers of guns striking trees and slewing round limbs, leaves thick on deck. Pass
Jamesville at 1 o'clock. Arrive at Plymouth. Go on board of Lancer to stay all night. Go
on shore find the regiment out about a mile remain all First Brigade shipped off. Stay at
night in Hospital at Hotel.
Get on board schooner Skirmisher towed down river by tugboat Alert. Pass down
Albemarle Sound in sight of Edenton. Anchor in sight of Roanoke.
Get under way at daylight & pass Roanoke Island Marshes into Pamlico. Head wind,
slow progress. Pass Long Shoal[s] Light boat. North West Point Light in sight at
evening. Brant Island Light north of Neuse.
Wake up in sight of Newbern after getting aground. We at last bring up beside
the the [sic] wharf and succeed in reaching camp, where we shall be glad to rest for the
[Missing pages with November 15-26]
Men are moved into barracks. Officers remain. 8th Mass. occupy our camp. 51st Mass.
Regiment with 5th R.I. ordered off at short notice. Unable to go. Sick from the effects of
About as well as usual. Strange disease, these chills.
Regiment return in rain. Been at Roanoke. Marines not so mutinous as represented so that
no fighting was necessary.
Wessell's brigade arrive. Orders to be ready to move in 36 hours.
Regiment with 3rd battalion ordered off at short notice.
[Not crossed out]
Preparations for an expedition. All things packed and sent on board of transports,
barracks to be abandoned. Sick sent to the fort.
Get 2 [???]. Start at daylight. March 13 miles. Train barely leaves town when the head
of it halts. Sleep without coffee. Front of campfires near half mile in extent.
Make about 16 miles some skirmishing at front. Our train came up at 3 o'clock this
morning. Tonight it is stopped far behind. Miserable roads for heavy trains.
Skirmishing. Section of battery captured. March about 6 miles wait for train, fill up 60
rounds of ammunition and 3 days rations. Six miles from Kinston.
Battle commenced by Wessell's brigade. Tenth charge over 3 regiments, cut off the
retreat, save the bridge. Cross and plant colors first. Pay dear for our honors. Highly
complimented by our Generals.
Staid last night about mile out Kinston. Return over bridge advance toward Whitehall
about 16 miles. Kinston abandoned, bridge burnt. Rebels burnt their cotton. Whitehall
bridge burnt by rebels.
Battle at Whitehall. Tenth managed well by general, their Col. no less. Artillery blaze
away at the gun boats on the stocks supposed disabled. Rebel sharpshooters in trees
suffer from grape & canister [sic]. Advance towards Goldsboro.
Battle at Goldsboro, mostly artillery. We have to return when on the road home. Terrible
destruction of the rebels. C slep[t] at same place as last night. Only one artillery man loss
in six hours fight.
Push rapidly towards Kinston road lined with stragglers, living chickens and other
good things, never severe in battle & never will be.
Pass beyond Kinston, wounded removed on boat to go down the river. Camp early on
low wet ground.
March 30 miles reaching Newbern about 8 o'clock tired sleepy and hungry.
[The remainder of the diary, 13 pages, is filled with accounts and lists.]
Transcribed by Nicole J. Milano, University of Florida, 2009