Berne Military

No Sabbath On The Battlefield


The diary of a union soldier from Berne, New York.

Transcribed and Researched
By Norma Luce June.
Selkirk, N.Y.
(Published 1996)






To my classmate and old friend, Richard H. Bailey, a fellow Civil War buff, who has never allowed me to forget the importance of this work.
And to Mrs. Ann McGinly, whose faith and encouragement have been a source of inspiration to me.






Special Thanks

To my 18-year old grandson, Thomas Dale June of Stuyvesant, N.Y. whose work with his home computer organized and prepared this book for publication.
And to Town of Berne Historian Euretha Stapleton for information on the Warner family and some of the names mentioned in the diary.








As so often happens in these modern throw-away times, someone had thrown the diary into the trash, and a co-worker of my son-in-law saw it lying on the town dump and picked it up. The little leather-bound book measured about 4 inches by 2 1/2 inches. It was unharmed, and the writing was very fine in black ink. A cursory examination revealed that it was the diary of a Union soldier in the Civil War.


Knowing of my interest in the War Between The States and in old diaries in general, my son-in-law, Richard Bucley, persuaded the new owner of the little diary to let me borrow it and transcribe it.


It was slow and painstaking work, but extremely interesting, and little by little I transcribed the diary into a large notebook.

I began adding the entries to my weekly column in the local newspaper, the Ravena, N.Y. "News Herald", where it was read with interest because the solider was a fairly local man.


The owner of the diary requested that I return it soon, and I did. I deeply regret that I did not photocopy some of the pages, for later I learned that he had sold it and didn't remember who he sold it to. If given the opportunity, I would have purchased it myself.


Since then I have gone to Berne and talked with historian Euretha Stapleton, who was able to give me considerable more information about Pvt. George H. Warner and others of his regiment, the 177th New York Volunteers, 1862-1863.

The Town of Bethleham library in Delmar has a volume in its reference section entitled "New York in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865," compiled by Frederick Phisterer, late captain, U.S. Army. From this book I was able to learn the makeup of the 177th Regiment and statistics of its casualties.


Pvt. Warner also often refers in his diary especially to certain regiments from Maine with whom he came in contact while serving in Louisiana. these were primarily the 24th Maine and the 26th.


Also referred to are the 21st New York Battery, the 175th and the 162nd New York.


The diary was leather bound, and not quite as big as a pocket New Testament. It had a strap that went around it and through a tight loop on the other side. Inside the cover there was a special compartment, and secreted in there was a lock of chestnut-colored hair, just as perfectly preserved as the day it was cut from a special girl's hair when the lad went off to the union Army in 1862.


The handwriting was beautiful, and of the Spencerian style, I believe. That was back when penmanship was a carefully taught subject in school. Most of it was done in ink with a very fine pen, and near the end he used a sharp-pointed pencil. He was quite faithful about keeping the diary, and the only blank pages are when he was too sick with swamp fever to do anything. The spelling leaves a lot to be desired, but the handwriting is so beautiful that the reader could forgive the spelling. However, you will not be seeing the handwriting, unfortunately. What I have done is leave the misspellings in there, just as he wrote them except where it would leave the narrative unclear, in which case I corrected them as best I could. In many cases, where the writer did not know how to spell a word he "sounded it out" according to how it was pronounced. Thus the word "quarthermaster" is consistently spelled without the first "r" in it. He never did quite figure out how to spell "reveille" and who can wonder at that. Where places have been spelt (spelled) wrong, Civil War buffs will know where he means.


The man enlisted in late autumn of 1862, for a nine month hitch. This was not unusual, for neither side would have ever believed that this tragic, fraternal war would march across five Aprils.


The regiment is being sent by naval vessel from New York State down along the Atlantic coast and then westward around Florida to the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana. We take up the story as the young, homesick Union Soldier begins his diary on January 1st, 1863.


Norma Luce June






January 1863


January 1, 1863, Thursday - Arose as usual and went on deck. The waves are rolling mountains high. It is laughable to see the men roll and tumble on the deck, myself included. Did not eat anything at all today as I was awfull seasick. I shall never forget this New Year's day, no never. Last New Years I was in old Berne. Now I am hundreds of miles from home on a briny deep. The boys from Berne are all sick also.


Friday, January 2, 1863 - Spent the day on deck writing in my diary and reading. Corporal Hallenbeck had a fight with the Zouaves. He got cornered up and got the worst of it. About 9 oclock P.M. we arrived at Ship Island and anchored.


Saturday, Jan. 3 - Went on deck and fell in for grub (early) about 8 oclock. A steamer came alongside and hailed us. It wanted to know if we belonged to Banks expedition. He answered in the affirmative. He told us to proceed to New Orleans without stopping. the captain of our ship sent a boat on board for orders. As soon as it got back we started on. Thare was ----- of ships in port at Ship Island this morning. It is a small place. We could see one small fort and several tents and houses and that was about all. Asiled all day. It was very rough all day. The wind blew very hard.


Sunday, Jan. 4 - Anchored last night off the bar of the Mississippi and waited for the tide to flow. Weighted anchor this morning and started for New Orleans. The first place we came to was Pilot Town, a small village about as large as Phila. Next we arrived at Fort Philip and Jackson. Fort Fackson is a small casmated fort and Fort Philip an earthwork one. It is a splendid day, hardly a ripple on the water. The shore was covered with orange trees loaded with oranges. Arrived at New Orleans about 9 oclock.


Monday, January 5 - The colonel and some of the officers went ashore this morning and got orders from General Banks to proceed up the river to a place about 9 miles from the city and encamp. We hoisted anchor about 1 oclock and steamed up the river to a place called Caroltow(n). The Zouaves and the 25th Connecticut went ashore this afternoon. The Quatermaster is busy hoisting stores from the hold.


Tuesday, Jan. 6 - the officers are all busy getting out stores from the hold or at least superintending it. Lounged about on deck the forenoon. Packed my knapsack and got ready to go ashore. About 11 oclock we left the ship and formed a line on the levee. After much delay we started for our camp, a distance of about 22 miles. It was very warm and we had to cary (sic) our knapsacks over our coats and blankets.


Wednesday, Jan. 7 - Arose rather earlier than usual. Washed and fell in for breakfast. It is the first breakfast we have had since we left New York. All along the road yesterday were orange trees and small houses. very few mansions. It took us all afternoon to pitch our tents. Jessee, Alonzo, George Simons, and Danial Stiner bunk with me.


Thursday Jan. 8, 1863 - Nothing important to write today. Was on guard up to 9 and 4 hours in the evening. The corporal of the second relief brought a man on my beat for me to guard. I told the man to go to his tent and he went. He was to carry a long rail on his shoulders and not to stop a minute. Our cartroage (sic) boxes and belts were distributed tonight. I slept very good. It has been warm tonight, the warmest we had had since we have been here.


Friday, Jan. 9 - Come off guard 9 oclock. This morning the men are packing their knapsacks, rolling their blankets, and getting ready for the march. We had 2 days rations and 40 rounds of cartriages delt out to each man. After much delay we started and marched up to the boat that was to take our stores and knapsacks. All hands went to work and loaded up the boat. We marched about 10 miles to a place called Kinstown and stopped for the night.


Saturday, Jan. 10, 1863 - Awoke in the night. It was raining hard. We were laying on the piazza of a Secesh house. the rain was dropping through in our faces, which was rather uncomfortable, but we slept very good for all that. About 8 oclock we started on. It was awful heavy traveling. We were almost tired out when we stopped. I was sick when we started. We encamped for the night on a large sugar plantation in St. Charles parish. We all had the molasses we could eat. I have a severe headache.


Let me explain a word the soldier uses. "Secesh" is a shortened form of "secessionist" or rebel, southerner, or Confederate - or that which pertains to them. So a "Secesh house" is simply a house owned by a secessionist or local southerner.


Sunday, January 11, 1863 - Last night I was reported sick by the orderly last night but I did not go to the hospital. I slept with Jesse and Alonzo under a shed. In the morning we all got a piece of hoecake about as large as a biscuit and some molasses. As soon as we got through we fell in line and started on. We stopped a very few minutes every 2 or 3 miles. It was warm all day. The quatermaster went ahead and brought back some rations for us. We arrived at our camp in the evening. Tired out. Slept good.


Monday, Jan. 12 - Awoke much refreshed and went down to breakfast which was very good. When we arrived at camp last we found our tent up all ready to bunk in. We was not sorrow for we were completely tired out. Daniel fixed it. Spent the day washing our clothes and fixing our tent. We all are enjoying ourselves tip top. Oh, camp life is gay here on the bank of the Mississippi. The boats are going up and down all day. Shot at at target. Came within 8 in. of bullseye.


Tuesday, Jan. 13 - Moved our tents and floored them in the afternoon. We have drilled some today. We had rice and molasses for dinner today. It was excellent. We spent the day sitting in our tent reading and enjoying ourselves as best we could.


Wednesday, Jan. 14 - Awoke as usual and fell out for roll call. We were a little to (sic) late and the orderly reported us to the captain. We had meat, crackers and coffee for breakfast. We had Batallion drill and dress parade at 9 oclock. We drilled until noon. Then we ate dinner and went out on Company drill. We did not stay out long for it commenced raining and rained all night. I wrote 3 letters in the evening. 1 home, one to Kate, and the other for Daniel H. Stiner. Slept good.


Thursday, January 15, 1863 - Awoke earlier than usual. the rain stood in puddles in our tent. Alonzo laid in one. We expected our tent to blow over in the night. It rained a blew a perfect gales. We did not drill any today on account of the rain. Spent the day writing letters home or to A____ E_____. We had salt pork and crackers for dinner. We sent 8 letters from our tent today. The Laurel Hill, a riverboat, arrived here in the night with lumber for the officers tents.


Friday, Jan 16 - Drilled as usual today. Nothing important to write. The river is raising very fast. We had to move our cooking establishments almost every day.


Saturday, Jan. 17 - Went out on Batallion drill and drilled until noon. After dinner I was detailed for poliece duty and reported at the Adjutant's tent. We had to cut away brush and clear away the rubbish in front of the officers tents. I was taken sick about 3 oclock and went to our quarters. Jed Tomkins gave me a spoon full of pepper and took me to his tent and covered me warm. I slept there all night.


Sunday, January 18, 1863 - I am awfull sick. The regiment was inspected this morning. It is very gloomy here today. It rained some in the night. When we awoke our tent was full of water.


Monday, Jan. 19 - Rained all forenoon pretty hard and then cleared up nice. There was no Batallion drill today. I am taking my medicine of the doctor for --- (entry ends there)


Tuesday, Jan. 20 - I am very sick. Did not drill today.


Wednesday, Jan. 21 - Did not drill any today on account of being sick.. Bought a bottle of sweet oil for my gun. It cost 60 cts.


Thursday, Jan. 22 - Was awakened by the Revilee and fell out for roll call. After roll call breakfast. Eat my breakfast and went to the Hospital tent and got my medicine. When I got back the company was formed for Batallion drill. Fell in on the left with my fixings on. We marched about ½ mile to our parade ground. We practiced some on loading and firing and changing bayonets. Got back to camp at noon and ate our dinner.


Friday, jan. 23 - Went out on Batallion drill and drilled until noon and were pretty tired. Ate dinner. About 3 oclock went out on company drill. Lieut. White drilled us in Skirmishing all afternoon.


Saturday, Jan. 24 - Awoke earlier than usual and prepared for Knapsack Inspection. We were to be inspected by a U.S. Officer, but he did not come. Went out on dress parade and than on Batallion drill. the Maine Regt. were out drilling. They made a splendid charge. We drilled until noon. Some of the officers that were left behind in New York arrived last night. Capt. Tomlinson was on a boat with Sutters stores. Landed here this morning. Spent the afternoon in washing and cleaning up.


Sunday, January 25, 1863 - Was awakened by the Revoilee and fell out for roll call. After breakfast fell in line for a general inspection by a United States Officer. Marched over, formed a line and were reviewed by Brig. General Nickerson, after which we were inspected. The officer inspected our rifles first; afterwards our knapsacks. As soon as he got through we marched to camp and got our dinner. Went on guard at 3 oclock. Was on the 1st relief post guarding a wood pile. There was a fire on my beat.


Monday 26 - Came off guard 11 oclock and went and got my dinner. We went back as soon as we ate our dinner, cleaned our guns and laid until Guard mounting. After Guardmounting, we marched up the levee a ways and fired at the target. I fired a little to high. The Captain has got John Simmons handcuffed and gag(g)ed for threatening to kill him. We slept very good last night on account of standing guard the night before. It rained all night hard.


Tuesday 27 - Did not drill any today at all it was so rainy. Laid around in our tents most of the day. Towards night a boat arrivered and landed 2 or 3 men of the Maine Regt. Each man of our Co. drew a loaf of bread for all day.


Wednesday 28 - Arose as usual and went down to breakfast. We got a cup of coffee and 4 wormy crackers for breakfast. We did not relish them much. About 9 oclock we went out on Batallion drill and drilled until noon. It was an excellent drill. The Major praised us a great deal for drilling so good. After dinner 2 men came in front of our tents with apples to sell. The boys upset the basket and stole almost all of the apples. Companies A & H went out on picket this morning about 15 miles.


Thursday 29 - Went out on Batallion drill as usual. The Major drilled us until noon. We were pretty tired and hungry when we got back to our tents and ate dinner with pretty good relish. About 3 oclock our company went out on skirmish drill and drilled until night. Lient. White went out with us. He drilled the 1st platoon the longest. I suppose they needed it the most. (I was in 2nd.) We drew a cup of flour for our super and made some fried cakes.


Friday 30 - Arose as usual. After breakfast we went out on dress parade and Batallion drill. The Colonel was in command and put us around the Gule until noon. After Guard mounting Co. G. went out again on skirmish drill. An Artillery company was out drilling. they made a splendid show. They went through movements of loading and fireing. They could do it up Brown. We had a parade at sunset. All had to fall out with his equipments on.


Saturday, January 31, 1863 - Went out at dress parade. We are to have no Batallion drill anymore on Saturday. Spent the day washing our clothes and preparing for Inspection for the morrow. We had bread for breakfast and rice, also coffee. (And bread & beans for dinner.) Spent the afternoon writing and fixing my gun. Jesse D. Wood went to the Hospital this morning.


Transcribers Note: By mid-February they are beginning to die of illnesses.




February 1863


Sunday, February 1, 1863 - Went out on dress parade and Regimental Inspection. About 9 oclock, our guns and cartiage boxes were inspected first. Then our knapsacks. We got through just at noon. In the afternoon went on guard on the 3rd relief post 3. As I was walking my beat thinking of home and the good times I have had out in Berne a dog suddenly commenced barking. It sounded as near like Ira Engle's as it could and almost made me homesick.


Monday 2 - Was on guard 4 hours in the night. One of the guard(s) had to do double duty. It changed the number of my post from 3 to 5, but I was satisfied. A prisoner escaped from the Guard House in the night and left for parts unknown. He was confined for stealing 500 dollars of the storekeeper over the levee. He was a hard case. Came off Guard about 4 oclock. I thought the relief would never come around. It took so long to mount Guard but it came at last. As soon as I was relieved I took a shot at the target. Mann, of Co. C was the best shot.


Tuesday 3 - Arose as usual and fell out for Rollcall. After we got through Alonzo and me went back to bed and stayed there until breakfast was ready. Went out on dress parade and Battalion drill and drilled until noon. The regiment is learning very fast. So say officers of the 14th Maine. We drew our blue pants today. They are very good ones. Fell in for company drill about 3 oclock. The orderly drilled us. He said we marched the best today we ever have.


Wednesday 4 - Went out on dress parade and Batallion drill. The Major drilled us. He did not keep us out very long, it was so cold. Lieutenant Bennet has gone up to Baton Rouge to see some of his acquaintances in the 91 Regt. It commenced raining about noon and rained all night about. George A. Simons and Elias Nashold got a pass from the Captain and went up to the Sugar House and got 3 canteens of molasses. We had an awful thunder shower about 5 oclock. We slept very good.


Thursday 5 - Awoke about 5 oclock and fell out for roll call. It is bitter cold this morning. We had no dress parade or Batallion drill today on account of the rain. I spent the day lounging about in our tent.

Friday 6 - Awoke as usual and fell out for Rollcall. It is a splendid day. Had Battalion drill as usual. The men did not pay very good attention, but the Colonel dismissed us early. Some of the boys said he was drunk; at least he had been drinking some. Had skirmish drill in the afternoon. Like it pretty good. Joel Wilson came to my tent about 6 oclock and wanted to know if I was going up the river with them on a scouting expedition. I told them I was. We got ready and started about 7 oclock. We got out on post 3 and went up the river about 6 miles. (Thare was 5 of us.)


TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: The so-called "scouting expedition" that the five men go on that night turns into tragedy. This will be revealed in the diary entries that follow for the next several accounts. You may have to "read between the lines" to understand just what took place, and why.


February Saturday 7 - Lieutenants Bronson and Lintener came up to the house where we had David Gathan and dressed his wounds as best he could and took him down to camp in a baggage wagon. We got there just as Revillee was beat. We took Dave to the Doctor's tent and then went to our quarters. About eight oclock Lieut Vance came down to my tent and told me to report at his tent, which I did. Went up to the guard tent and found Joel Willson and the other boys already thare.


Sunday, February 8, 1863 - I am still in the guardhouse. Joe Willson and myself slept under one blanket and slept very good. The mail came up from New Orleans in the night but brought no letters for me. David Gathan is no better. A guard wnt up to the place where he was shot and araested the man that shot him. The regiment is on Inspection now (Company inspection). One of the Maine boys have just come in the guard tent. He is confined for leaving his beat.


Monday 9 - Awoke about 6 oclock and got ready to go down to breakfast. We all went down under one guard. We got a cup of coffee and a piece of condemned beef for our breakfast. We drew a loaf of bread for all day, but eat it about all up for breakfast and dinner. We had beans for dinner. Spent the afternoon reading a book entitled The Blue Flag. It was first rate. David Gathan is a very little better.


Tuesday 10 - Nothing important to write today. Do not feel first rate. The officer of the Guard would not let us go down to supper, but it brought up to us. A boat arrived in the night with Quatermaster stores for the regiment from New Orleans.


Wednesday 11 - Arose as usual. Went down to the river and had a good wash, after which I felt better. As I was washing, George A. Simons came up and tol me Alonzo had got a letter from home which said Armilla Bedell was dead. Oh, but that was sad news indeed. But we must all come to it some time or other. A boat with the 26th Maine on board went up to Baton Rouge this morning. The troops are gathering in large numbers up the river to move against Vixsburg (sic).


Thursday 12 - (writing faded, almost illegible). Still in the guardhouse. A.G. Ludden brought up my meals. We are enjoying ourselves tip top reading and writing letters home, etc. Brigadier General Nickerson has gone down to New Orleans to see about moving his brigade.


Friday 13 - Arose as usual. Went down to the camp and got my breakfast. Captain Filkins is officer of the day and Lieut. Bennet officer of the Guard. I signed the payroll this afternoon. There is over $31.00 coming to me.

Saturday 14 - Awoke as usual 6 oclock. Went down to the river and had a good wash. Went to our meals today. Captain Mac Roberts is officer of the day. Liuet. Bronson of C Co. is (the rest of the entry is too dim to read).


Sunday 15 - Still in the guardhouse. I am getting pretty well used to it. The regiment was out on Inspection this morning. About 4 oclock a heavy shower came up. It thundered and lightninged awfull. Joel and myself made our bed and laid down. A man was brought in the guardhouse for fighting with the Negroes. He said that if he got out he would kill the (one) that struck him. Captain Tomlinson took out one of his men this morning (W.E. Becker).


Monday 16 - Awoke about 5 oclock and found one of the prisoner(s) by the name of Hodgers had escaped. Nobody knows when. About 9 oclock the seargent of the guard came after Joel Wilson, Alonzo Hempstreet and myself and took us over to General Nickerson's quarters. He gave us a good talking to and sent us to our tents. Helped cary wood up to our cook house. One large stick. 3 men have died out of the regiment today Seargt. Brigman. Co. B, Corporal Baranger, Co. H, and one of Co. C.


Tuesday 17 - Arose much refreshed by a good night's rest and fell out for roll call. Went out on dress parade. No Battalion drill today. It commenced raining about 9 oclock and rained all day. Spent the day reading and writing a letter to Stephen Dodge.


(Transcriber's Note) - Way in the back of the little book is a page which explains why he was in the guardhouse for over a week. This supplement is dated February 6, 1863 as follows:

Went up to the river on a foraging expedition with 4 of the Co. C men. Their names were Joel Willson, David gathan, Hempstreet and Folka. We went up 5 miles to a large plantation after chickens. The Negroes broke open the hen roost and were getting the chickens out when the overseer came to the door and fired at us. He hit David Gathan in the face and wounded him bad. We carried him about a mile to a Negro House and sent for the doctor, but none came. 2 Lieuts. From Co. C came up with a wagon.


Wednesday, February 18, 1863 - Went on dress parade as usual. No Batallion drill today. Went on guard 3 oclock on the second relief post 17. There has (been) quite a number of boats stopped here. Today a large gunboat went up to Baton Rouge about 7 oclock. The Iberville came up from New Orleans with the paymaster and quartermaster. Shower about that time. We made a large fire in the rear of the Guard Tent and laid down and went to sleep. Got my first letter from home today.


Thursday, Feb 19 - Spent 3.60. The paymaster is busy paying of the Regiment. The boys are quite jubilant. They are spending it about as fast as they received it. Came off guard 1 oclock and fell inline with our company to be paid off. We marched over to Col. Ainsworth's quarters. The roll was called and as each man's name was called he steped up and received his Green Backs as the boys call them. The gunboat 291 came down the river about 7 oclock with a splendid Band on board. They played several tunes.


Friday 20 - Arose as usual. I don't know as I slept any better for being paid off yesterday. I did not as much as dream of it. Sent 20 dollars home by Adams Express Company. Alonzo, Dan Stiner, Elias Nuskold, and Jerome Ecker sent theirs home with mine. 95 dollars in all. A large gunboat went down today.


Saturday 21 - Went out on dress parade as usual. We have had no Battalion drill this week. Do not feel very good today. Raised our tent and fixed it up some. A shower came up towards night. We had to all of us fall out to fix the levee. The water is raising very fast and will soon overflow our camp if a better levee is not built.


Sunday February 22, 1863 - It is Washington's birthday today. Arose earlier than usual and got ready for Inspection. It is very mudy. We got in line about 9 oclock and were inspected by our Lieutenants. Went to meeting about 11 oclock. Some of the men were almost forced to go to meeting but I for my part would like to go every day if it were possible. Bought an egg of Jesse for 5 cts. And boiled it for dinner. The Negroes are busy building a levee on the west side of camp.


Monday 23 - Went out on dress parade 9 oclock. Capt Harris was in command of the Regt. As he was the seignor captain on parade. Had a short Battalion drill after parade. It was a very good one. Had company drill after dinner. Geroge A. Simons & Daniel Stiner were on guard this afternoon. Henry A. Crary came to our tent about 9 oclock and wanted to sleep there. Jesse was much opposed to it but after a great deal of needless talking he was accomidated.


Tuesday 24 - Went out on drill and dress parade. The companies formed in their own streets and marched out at the tap of the drum, formed in line of Battle. The Colonel was waiting for us and marched us over the levee. Had quite a good drill. Alonzo and myself bought ½ doz. Eggs for 75 cts., and had quite a good dinner. I am on guard this afternoon on the 2nd relief post 17. Did not sleep much.


Wednesday 25 - Came off guard 1 oclock and got our dinner. Do not feel first rate today. We are expecting a large mail from New Orleans. The major and Chaplain intend bringing it up. Our Lieut, Colonel has resigned and the major takes his place. We are satisfied with the exchange.


Thursday 26 - Went to the doctors this morning. He told me to keep as quiet as possible and excused me from all duty. A boat arrived from New Orleans with part of the 24 Maine on board and some commissary stores. The Major and Chaplain came up this morning with the mail for us. I got a letter from Libbie R. Engle. Spent the day reading my testament and writeing a letter home. Another boat, the Eastern Queen stopped here with the rest of the 24th Maine about 5 oclock. It commenced raining just dark, a heavy thunder shower.


Friday 27 - Sick all day. Spent the day reading and lounging about in the tent. Drew 2 pairs of drawers of the captain. The boys are preparing for Inspection, cleaning their guns and plates, etc. Bought a bottle of currant jelly for 75 cts. A heavy shower came up towards night. It thundered and lightninged awfull to behold.


Saturday 28 - Arose as usual and went up to the doctors. He told me I was worse off than I imagined and excused me from duty. The boys went out on Inspection this morning and were mustered into 2 months pay. The captain sent for all the boys that were not mustered in to come up to his tent, which we did. The men of the different companies all formed in line and were mustered in by the Colonel. I fried some potatoes for dinner. They were excellent. Got a letter from home today. It was all spoiled. It was on a mail steamer that sunk.






March 1863


Sunday, March 1, 1863 --
Arose as usual, fell out for roll call. Went to the doctor again this morning. Was excused from duty. The boys went out on dress parade, then on Inspection and to meeting. They were in line about all forenoon. After dinner Elias Hashold and myself went up to the Maine Regiment and got some pies. We bought 2 ½ apiece for 50 cts. I sold one for 30 cts. And ate the rest. They were excellent. It don’t seem like Sunday today. It is a splendid day, warm and pleasant.


Monday, Mar. 2 --
Went out on dress parade and Battalion drill. Had a pretty good drill. It was my turn to stand guard this afternoon, but I wasn’t well enough. Went out on the levee to see the Negroes work. They are very ----- workers. A courtmartial is sitting at the Headquarters for the trial of a Lieutenant of Co. C, 24th Maine, and others.


Tuesday 3 --
Went out on Battalion drill as usual. It was tip top. Came off drill and commenced to write a letter to Libbie R. Engle, but had to stop and help clear up the street. Went up to the 14 Maine and got 1 doz. of oysters, and made an oyster stew. It was just gay.


Wednesday 4 --
Arose as usual and fell out for roll call and then for breakfast. 9 oclock we went out on dress parade and Battalion drill. The 24 Maine went out ahead of us. They are very slow on the march and in their movements. The Regiment did first rate. Thare was 2 men from Alban thare looking at us and the boys did their best. Lieut. White took us out on skirmish drill after dinner and instructed us in the bayonet exercise. Enjoyed it very good.
(Note-- “Albam: means Alabama.)


Thursday 5 --
No Battalion drill today on account of fixing our street and tents. Had company drill after dinner. It was tip top.


Friday 6 --
Commenced raining about 8 oclock and rained all day. Spent the forenoon writing a letter to Libbie R. Engle. Had beans for dinner. Did not eat any. It is raining very hard now. Bought about ½ lb. Of cheese and some herring for 25 cts. I heard tonight that thare was a large mail at New Orleans for us. The Chaplain went after it.


Saturday 7 --
No Battalion drill or dress parade today. Spent the afternoon writeing a letter home. After dinner help George A. Simons box his knapsack. Daniel Stiner caught a lot of fish in the pond. They are nice ones. 12 oclock P.M. were awakened by the long drum and fell in line as fast as possible. We counted off and then started on the double quick for the parade ground and formed in line of battle. The Major gave us the order to load and fire and we done it up Brown.

Sunday, March 8, 1863 --
Arose as usual. Had some fresh fish for breakfast. They were excellent. Got ready for Inspection about 8 oclock. Were inspected by Lieut. White. Went to meeting 11 oclock. The Chaplains did well. After dinner our company went out in the field and fired at the target. There was some good shots. As soon as we got back to camp the orderly detailed Richard Wood and myself to fix the levee. Worked untilll night. This Sabbath was not kept very good.


Monday 9 --
Went out on dress parade without our cartridge boxes. The Colonel sent us back after them. Marched out in the field. Formed a line of Battle. Each Company put up a target and fired 4 rounds each. Our target was perfectly riddled with balls. The Colonel gave us the praise. He said we did the best of the fireing. The 21st New York Battery arrived here this morning. It looks like a good one.


Tuesday 10 --
While eating breakfast was taken suddenly with a severe pain in my back. It almost took my breath away. Went up to the doctors as soon as I could get there. He gave me 3 pills and a mustard poultice and told me to keep quiet. There was no use of his telling me that I could not sit, stand, or lay down with anything like comfort.


Wednesday, March 11 --
Do not feel any better. Finished writeing a letter home.


Thursday 12 --
(No entry)


Friday 13 --
Do not feel any better, yet. Did no duty at all today.


Saturday 14 --
Arose feeling much better than yesterday. Went up to the doctors. He asked me if I could do light duty. I told him yes. He told the Sargt to put me on light duty such as cleaning up the streets. We spent the forenoon building ourselves bunks. After dinner went to work on police duty. It is rumored that Co. H have been attacked by the rebels. Co. D has gone over to reinforce them.


Sunday, March 15, 1863 --
Arose at Reveille, got ready for Inspection and General Review. Were inspected in the company streets by our Lieuts. White and Bennet. The regt. Got in lineabout 10 oclock and marched over to the parade ground. Were reviewed by Acct. Brigadier General Nickerson and staff. The 14th and 24 Maine and the 21st New York Battery were out with us. General Nickerson gave us the praise of marching the best on Review, the 177th N.Y.S.V.




Monday 16 --
Arose as usual, got my canteen and went up to the gate after some milk. Did not get any. No Battalion drill today on account of the rain. It is very hot this afternoon. Had company drill after dinner.


Tuesday 17 --
Went out on dress parade as usual. No Battalion drill today. The Colonel excused us to fix our street. Bought a quart of milk of a corporal in Co. C., and had a tip top breakfast.


Wednesday 18 --
Arose as usual and went up after milk in Co. C. street. Got ½ pint for 5 cts. A corporal of Co. C. had a fit in the ranks on dress parade. No Battalion drill today. Co. B. are gradeing their streets. Spent the afternoon fishing. Paid 20 cts. For 3 hooks and a line. Did not catch any fish. Spent 35 cts. George A. Simons went out on picket towards night.


Thursday 19 --
No Battalion drill today. Part of our company struck their tents. The Contraband are gradeing our streets and ditching them. The mail arrived here this noon on the Louisiana Bell. I received a letter from home dated March the 1. Went on guard 3 oclock on the 1st Relief post 24 at the Commisaries of the 24 Maine. Had some onions given me by a boy. They were excellent. Bought some fish and cooked them for dinner. They were tip top. Spent 25 cts.


Friday 20 --
Came off guard 5 oclock and went up to camp after my breakfast which consisted of a cup of coffee and some pieces of hardtack. While I was eating Captain Filkins came down to our street and told us to take down our tents, which we did in a hurry. Stood guard from 9 untillll 11. Bought a fish line for 15 cts. Spent the last of my money today.


Saturday 21 --
Went out on dress parade with our dress coats and blue pants on. We received orders to pack our knapsacks and be ready to march at 4 oclock. The remainder of the 21st Battery and a squadron of Cavalry arrived here about 3 oclock. They are to march with us up the river. The boys are all ready for a fight and are determined to do their duty, live or die. (Those are my sentiments.)


Sunday, March 22, 1863 --
Arose as usual. Had a dress parade at 9 oclock. After dress parade stacked arms and went to our quarters. In about an hour the regiment got in line and marched on Board the Louisiana Bell and steamed up the river. Stopped at Co. A. camp and took them aboard. Got of the boat just dark and marched about a mile to a large Sugar House where we staid the night.


Monday 23 --
Awoke very much refreshed by a good night’s rest and ate breakfast which consisted of a cup of coffee and some hardtack. Commenced raining 8 oclock and it has kept it up all day. The Advance started ahead and our regiment next marched bout 9 ½ miles in mud from 4 to 6 inches deep. Stopped for the day at a large plantation. Our company quatered in an old cooper shop. I am wet as a rat. At least my feet is.


Tuesday 24 --
Did not rest but very little. Caught a very bad cold in the night. The regiment was in line a 6 oclock. The Adjutant rode along the line and told those that could not march to step to the front. Myself and 3 others of our Co. stepped to the front. Quite a number from the other companies stayed after the regiment left. We walked about ½ mile to the boat. Went in a deserted mansion and got some papers and books. I have a severe headache and fever.


Wednesday 25 --
Reached Bonnet Carre after 9 oclock in the night. I was asleep when the boat stopped, but was awakened by some of the boys. Put on my equipment and walked down to the camp. Found my tent had blown over. Jesse D. Wood was in the orderlies tent. I staid there all night. Today I have put up our tent and made a bunk and I have been to the doctor today. He said I had a fever and told me to keep still as possible.


Thursday 26 --
(No entry.)


Friday 27 --
(No entry.)


Saturday 28 --
Wrote a letter home today with the particulars of the march.


Sunday, March 29, 1983 --
Arose as usual. The Chaplain arrived in the night with the mail. I got a letter from home. The regiment arrived here about midnight. Richard Wood was wounded in the head by a party of Garrillas. The boys had a skirmish near Meat River with the rebels. They killed one of the 14 Maine, and wounded 1 and one of our men. One of the scouts went out afterward and said we had killed 10 and wounded 20 rebels.


Monday 30 --
Feel very unwell today. E. Nashold cooked some more mutton for dinner. It was very good. Alonzo and George A. Simmons have left our tent. They are going to tent with Elia and Jerry Nashold. William Merselis is going to tent with us.


Tuesday, March 31, 1863 --
Do not feel much better this morning. I am so weak and no appetite. I cannot eat anything but dry toast. Have been to bed all day nearly. The Captain is getting sick, but he is around with his men. He is liked better today by his Company than any in the Regiment. He is an excellent man.

April 1863


Wednesday, April 1, 1863 --
Went out on Battalion drill. The major was in command. Drilled untill noon. Feel pretty tired. Did not have any Company drill this afternoon. General Nickerson and Colonel Ainsworth have gone to New Orleans on business. It is a splendid day, a good beginning for April.


Thursday 2 --
Battalion drill as usual. Went out on Company drill after dinner. Was very cold and chilly. Came back and went to bed. The orderly told me I would have to go on guard. I told him it was impossible. He cursed and swore and called me a dead beat. I did not care for what he said. Went up and got some medicine of the Hospital Steward.


Friday 3 --
Did no duty today. Laid in my bunk all day. Took medicine evry 2 ½ hours, small pills. Corporal Dan Webster of Co. F caught 3 very large catfish this afternoon. Signed the pay roll this morning. It has been a very beautiful day. Clear as a bell.


Saturday 4 --
Went to the surgeon again this morning. He gave me the same medicine for today as yesterday. Did not eat anything untill almost 3 oclock, then toasted two slices of bread and eat part of it. I have just herd the paymaster has arrived from Baton Rouge. How true it is I do not know.


Sunday, April 5 --
The boys are busy (preparing) for Inspection. They went out on dress parade, then Inspection, and then to meeting. I was asleep all forenoon and very sick. William Merselis went on guard this afternoon.


Monday 6 --
Arose as usual. Went up to the surgeons. Took two pills. Was excused from duty today. Went down in the woods and cut some sticks to hang our blankets on.


Tuesday 7 --
Did no duty today. I think I am gaining slowly. I am still quite weak. Wrote a letter to Albert G. Gardiner, Troy, New York.


Wednesday 8 --
Wrote a letter to Amos W. Ball’s wife, of Berne. The mail arrived here about 2 oclock. Alonzo got two letters and several papers. G. A. Simons got a letter from Mr. Ludden. No letters for me. It said in Alonzo’s letter that the folks were getting up a box to send to us. I hope it will arrive soon.






Thursday 9 --
Was on light duty today. Went out on dress parade and swept up the street. That was all the duty I done today. A flag was presented to us by Mrs. Lieut. Merrihue. The presentation speech was made by our Colonel.


Friday 10 --
Went out on Battalion drill. It was an excelent drill. Came in to camp about 12 oclock. Had fresh meat for dinner. Company drill 2 oclock. Sargent Wood had charge of the Company. The Orderly is sick. The captain went down to New Orleans this morning.


Saturday 11 --
Went out on dress parade with light blue pants. No Battalion drill or Company drill today. Spent the day reading and preparing for Inspection. John Blackman, a member of our Company, died this morning. We burried him in the soldiers burying ground and 8 men fied 3 voleys over his grave.

(Transcribers Note: As the heat increases, with all of its attendant health dangers, this grim scene is to be repeated many times in the young soldier’s life in Louisiana.)


Sunday, April 12, 1863 --
Went out on regimental Inspection. Were inspected by the Colonel and his staff. We stood out in the hot sun two hours with a heavy knapsack on. Out Lieutenant gave us “order arms” and the Major was mad as a hen. He told us to “shoulder arm” and remain in that position until farther orders. Got through about noon. A large mail arrived this morning, but brought none for me. Went on guard this afternoon 2nd Relief post 12. In the road the musketoes were very thick.


Monday 13 --
Came off guard 8 oclock and went down to Camp and got my breakfast. The Office of the Guard told us to go back to the guard house in one hour. I did not go untill about 10 oclock. Came of guard 2 oclock and went down to Camp. The Louisiana Bell arrived here with Quatermaster stores about 3 oclock. After Guard Mounting went over the levee and fired at the target. Stopped at the store and tried to get some corn for Jesse, but could not. Bought gingercake for 5 cts. Hardtack today.


Tuesday 14 --
Our Regiment formed in line about 9 oclock and marched over in the large field. The General and his staff were out and ready to give us a good long Brigade drill which lasted untill noon. The Captain came up from New Orleans just noon. Had a short Company drill about 4 oclock. Had hardtack today. The captain says thare is a large mail for us at New Orleans.


Wednesday 15 --
The mail arrived here in the night. It was distributed after breakfast. Jesse got a letter from Thomas. It said they had started a box the 30th of last month for us Berne boys. It is about time it was here. Had Brigade drill again today. It was a severe one. Company drill at 4 oclock. The Orderly was in command of the Company. We drew bread this morning. It is about time we had it more regular.

Thursday 16 --
Arose as usual and fell out for rollcall. Had coffee and hardtack for breakfast. Went out on Brigade drill. Our Company divided up. Part of it joined Co. C. I was in that squad. Drilled untill noon. Beef soup for dinner. I did not eat any. Company drill 4 oclock. Lieut. J. White took us out. Had an excelent drill. He did not keep us out long. Company B has lost another man today.


Friday 17 --
Went out on dress parade 9 oclock. We expected to have a Battalion drill, but were mistaken. It was Brigade. Drilled untill about 11:30 (illegible) and then went back to camp. As we broke ranks Lieut. Bennet announced to us that Charleston was taken by our forces. I hope it is true. We burried 4 men of our Regiment today, one of Co. B, one of Co. D, one of Co. K, and one of Co. E. It was a solem scene. A mail arrived in the morning. No letters for me. (Alonzo got one.)


Saturday 18 --
Went out on dress parade at 9 oclock with light blue pants. The men looked tip top. No drill today. Went on guard on 3rd Relief post 11. Two boats stopped here about 9 oclock. The Louisiana Belle and the Iberville. A squadron of Cavalry came up on the latter. The Louisiana Belle brought Quatermaster stores. A barrel of sugar was broke open getting it off the boat. I got about 4 lbs at least.


Sunday, April 19, 1863 --
Commenced raining about 6 oclock. I was relieved 4 oclock and went down to camp and got my breakfast. Oh, how it does rain! I am wet as a rat. Came off guard 4 oclock and went over the levee and discharged my musket. A lieutenant of the 24th Maine was Officer of the guard, and a good fellow he was. Cleaned my gun and got ready for retreat. Fell out without our guns or equipment. Had rice and hardtack for supper.

(Transcriber’s Note: The reason he went down in the field and fired his gun was that it was the only way you could unload those muzzle-loading rifles; and a person did not keep a loaded rifle in his quarters.)


Monday 20 --
The paymaster arrived in the night on the Louisiana Belle. He paid the 24th Maine first. Next the 21st New York battery. He got through paying the 14th Maine just night. He will pay us off in the morning. Attended the funeral of Robert Douglas, a member of our company. Corporal Thomas spoke on a portion of the 91st Psalm. We have had no drill today. Hardtack today as usual. We expect mail from New Orleans evry day.


Tuesday 21 --
Went out on dress parade as usual. Had a short Battalion drill after parade. The paymaster has gone up the river to pay Co. A. and Captain Reid’s cavalry. Company drill 4 oclock. Drilled about 1½ hours. Arthur Haswell of Co. B was burried this afternoon. He was formerly a resident of Knox. Theodore House, a young man from Cohoes, spoke on a portionof Scripture and made a smart prayer.

Wednesday 22 --
Went out on dress parade with dress coats and light blue pants. No Battalion drill today or company drill. Our company was paid off about 12 oclock. I received 6 dollars. A great many were dissatisfied with the alotment roll, but it is better for us not to have so much money. Ate supper with Alonzo and George A. Simons. They had some Minute pudding. It was tip top. Charles Hochstrasser came in from picket today, fat as a bear.


Thursday 23 --
Had Battalion drill about 9 oclock. The 24th and 14th Maine and the 21st Battery New York were out drilling. It has been a very hot day. Came back to camp 11 ½ oclock. Do not feel well this afternoon. The Capt. excused me from Company drill. Captain Filkins says our box is in New Orleans. Another of Company B men was burried today.


Friday 24 --
Went out on Battalion drill as usual. Drilled untill about 11 oclock. Went on guard after dinner on 3rd Relief post 13 in the road. The 2nd Relief most of them had to stand 4 hours. I only had to stand 2 hours in the night. The Officer of the Guard is very strict. It has been a very hot day. A mail came in the night for us. I recieved a letter from home dated April 9th.


Saturday 25 --
Came off guard 4 oclock and went down in the field and fired my gun. Bought a basket of blackberries of a boy for 60 cts. Took them over in our street and sold them. Sold 60 cts worth and had all I wanted to eat for supper. Our box has come at last, all safe. Got a letter from home.


Sunday, April 26, 1863 --
Went out on Company Inspection 9 oclock. The Captain praised us a good deal for looking so clean. He said he was not afraid to have Brigadier General Sherman inspect us. Was detailed for guard again this afternoon. Camp Guard 2 Relief post one. The mail arrived here today. I recieved a letter from Susanah. Finished writing a letter home. Bought a postage stamp of J. S. Wood for 5 cts.


Monday 27 --
Came off Guard 2 oclock. Went down to my tent and went to bed. Do not feel very well today. Stewed some dried apples for dinner. They were excelent. It has rained about all afternoon. Datus J. Cole is not expected to live. He has got the fever.


Tuesday 28 --
Went out on Battalion drill 9 oclock. Drilled untill noon. It was very warm. Attended the funeral of Datus J. Cole 3 oclock. He was a member of our company aged about 26 years. He was sick only about 4 days before he was taken Sick. He was as healthy a man as we had in the ranks.


Wednesday 29 --
Went on Battalion drill. As it is the last for this week the men feel very good over it. Drilled untill noon. Attended teh funeral of one of Co. K men 4 oclock.

Thursday 30 --
Went out on dress parade. No Battalion Drill today. The mail arrived here this morning. I received 3 letters. One from home, one from Libbie R. Engle, and one from Stephen Dodge. Spent the day loungeing about the tent. Today was set apart by the president as a day of Thanksgiving and prayer, and is to be strictly observed by all the armies in the United States.


May 1863


Friday, May 1, 1863 --
About 8 oclock slung knapsacks and marched over in the field. Were inspected by our Colonel and Lieut. Colonel. Got back to camp about noon. Lieutenants White and Bennet inspected our knapsacks, after which we broke ranks. No drills today. 5 oclock P.M. the regiment formed in line and were mustered in for 2 months pay.


Saturday 2 --
Do not feel well this morning. Went to the surgeon. Was excused from all duty. No drills today. Alonzo is quite sick.


Sunday, 3 --
Am on light duty. About 12 oclock P.M. the long roll was beat. The regiment was in line in about 5 minutes ready for action. Brigadier General Nickerson rode along the line and spoke a few words. He said 900 of General Grant’s Cavalry had cut their way through the enemy and were in Baton Rouge.


Monday 4 --
Arose feeling rather tough. Swept up the street and then went up to the Surgeons. He gave me No. 4 mixture and a No. 2 pill, and excused me. Eat an egg for breakfast. The Battalion drills are 5 oclock P.M. instead of in the morning. Had my hair cut by Mathias Hook.


Tuesday 5 --
Eat 2 eggs for breakfast. Went out on dress parade. Felt very bad and had to come in before they got through. Did not have any Battalion drill untill 4 oclock P.M. Sent up to the store with Johny Springer for 1 doz. eggs. A Brigade Hospital is in process of erection at the cost of the United States Government. It is just what is needed. Frederick Brickner and Jedediah Tompkins are detailed as carpenters. They work 6 hours a day.


Wednesday 6 --
Went to the surgeons again. Was excused from all duty. Went up to the Gate after some onions after dinner. Did not get any. Eat part of a cup of blackberries at the hospital. Stopped on the return at an old womman’s and 9 warm biscuits for 30 cts. Had a good supper.


Thursday 7 --
Arose as usual. Boiled 1 egg for breakfast. On light duty today. Went on dress parade, but no drill. Boiled 3 onions for dinner and stewed some apples. They were excelent. About 3 oclock orders came for the men to pack their knapsacks and be ready to march at a moment’s notice. They formed in line at 6 oclock and started on. They went on board the Morning Light, a river steamer, and steamed up the river, destination unknown.


Friday --
Was awakened by the Orderly who wanted to know if we were going to sleep all day. Told him I guessed not. Dressed and helped clean up the street. After going to the surgeon’s, proceeded to cook my breakfast, which consisted of one egg and some flour-gravy. Also tea, which was tip top. Worked at the cookhouse part of the day pileing wood and carrying away rubbish. It is a very pleasant day, clear as a bell.


Saturday 9 --
Arose before Reveille and went to sweeping up the streets with the help of smithy. Had it half swept by the time the orderly got out of bed. Boiled 2 eggs for breakfast and some potatoes for dinner. They were good. Had Inspection 9 oclock A.M. Were inspected by Capt. Harris and Lieut. Philips, Co. F. William Marselis pricked a Coat of Arms on my arm this afternoon. It feels rather lame, but I am satisfied as it is.


Sunday, May 10, 1963 --
Arose as usual. Wrote a pass for Daniel Stiner and myself. The Capt. signed it. Got ready and went outside the lines. Went up to the New York store, done some tradeing amounting to $1.00. Got back to camp about 10 oclock. Went on guard 4 oclock at the Hospital, 1st Relief post 2.


Monday 11 --
Arose earlier than usual. Went down the river a fishing. Had very bad luck. Lost part of my line and 2 hooks without getting any fish in return. Stood guard from 10 to 12. Went up to the store and bought 2 lines and some other articles amounting to 50 cts.


Tuesday 12 --
Caught a large catfish before breakfast and broke 3 hooks (a pretty good hour’s work). A large mail arrived this morning. Letters for all the boys. I received one from S.P.B. spent the afternoon reading papers. Our Adjutant, Richard M. Strong, died today.


Wednesday 13 --
Fell in line for Inspection 9 oclock. We were inspected by Lieut. Brainard. Co. B was detailed for Brigade Guard 3 Relief post 1 on the levee. Bought ½ pint milk for 5 cts. he boats were comeing and going. The Morning Light brought down 4 wounded, 3 of our Regiment and one of the 14 Maine. It also brought down two Rebel prisoners.


Thursday 14 --
Went down to breakfast about 6 oclock. Boiled 1 egg. Bought some young potatoes for 10 cts. Cooked some for dinner. They were excelent. Our relief went on guard 2 oclock. It rained a terrible shower as we were being posted. Got as wet as a rat. Bought some articles at the store amounting to 15 cts.

Friday 15 --
Went a’fishing early. Did not catch anything. Lost part of my line and 2 hooks. The mail arrived about 6 oclock on the steamer, Time & Tide. No letter for me. Good news from General Hooker’s army. If true, they have taken Fredicksburg and part of Stonewall Jackson’s army.

Saturday 16 --
Arose at Reveille and got ready for Inspection, but we did not have any. Two men were burried of our Regiment this afternoon., 1 of C. D, the other of Co. f. I was one of the bearers. Frank Cortney, one of our Company died this afternoon. Was sick only a short time.


Sunday, May 17, 1863 --
Boiled some young potatoes for breakfast. Bought 2 fish balls and some onions at Co. E cookhouse for 15 cts. Went to the funeral of Frank Cortney and one of Co. C men. Was one of the firing squad. Elias Nashold came down from the Regiment this morning. They are at McGills Ferry now. Bought a bottle of milk for 15 cts. up near the bakery. Spent 30 cts.


Monday 18 --
Arose as usual. Got ready for Inspection but did not have any. Ater dinner went out on a pass, bought some sweet potatoes and some other articles amounting to 7 cts. Was cautioned by the Captain to have our guns in readiness for an attack. The orderly woke me up about 11 oclock to stand Guard. There was some picket fireing about 12. Our regiment or what was left here of it, formed in line on the levee and staid all morning.


Tuesday 19 --
About 4 oclock we broke ranks and went to our tents. Capt. Filkins and a squad of men went up and arested Old Luke, as he is called, and brought him down to camp. Was passed out by the Officer of the Guard. Bought some chese and milk amounting to 40 cts.


Wednesday 20 --
Nothing important going on. Attending the funeral of 3 of our Regt. 10 oclock a dispatch came for the Brigade to pack up their bagage and get ready to start for Baton Rouge. The men are glad to get away from here, it is getting so unhealthy.


Thursday 21 --
Was called up by the long roll or rather the Assembly, 1 oclock A.M., and went on board the Morning Light bound for Baton Rouge. It was a splendid day. The scenery along the river was delightfull. Arrived at Baton Rouge 5 oclock. Formed in line and marched up to the penitentiary where we were to stop for the night.


Friday 22 --
Arose about 5 oclock and got our coffee and hardtack. The Brigade got in line about 8 oclock and started for Port Hudson. The 1 Negro Brigade bought up the rear. Marched 16 miles and encamped for the night. I was nearly tired out when we stopped. Jessie Wood and myself slept on the bare ground with a rubber blanket under, and one over us. It rained some in the night. Spent 10 cts.

Saturday 23 --
All quiet along the lines this morning. About noon heard some very heavy canonadeing in the direction of the Fort. 5 oclock P.M. started on. March about 1 ½ miles where we formed a line of battle at the double quick. Some of the boys threw away their coats and haversacks, tired of carrying them. Encamped for the night in front of some captured rebel earthworks. Sept very good.


Monday 25 --
Arose much refreshed. Drank my coffee and laid down to rest. After dinner our regiment was ordered on an expedition. We started in quick time through the woods and marched about 1 mile w(h)ere we were fired upon from a rebel fort. We all passed over without any accident to the river, but on our return Jacob Sherman of our Company was killed by the explosion of a shell. Two others mortaly wounded.


Tuesday 26 --
Nothing unusual going on today. The regiment is resting. Some canonadeing very heavy towards the right. Our company was detailed for picket. Went on post about 5 oclock.


Wednesday 27 --
The picket was ordered to advance and to act as skirmishers to the left and in front of the batteries. Commenced fireing about 10 oclock, and fired all day. I fired my amunition all away. On picket again tonight. Do not feel very well. Our Regiment lost a great many men today. Our Colonel and Lieut. Col. are wounded. Lieut. Williamson is killed, shot through the head.


Thursday 28 --
A negro womman gave me a chicken. (illegible) cooked it on shares. It was excelent. Stood guard all day. Capt. Filkins came up from camp this morning. Feel very tired and sleepy. Lieut. White put me on post without any relief untill morning.


Friday 29 --
Was very glad when it began to get light. Co. J. have come up to relieve us from picket. We are to report to our regiment in front. Started from the picket post about 1 oclock and marched down to camp. Got our rations and then went on to our regiment. They are quatered in the woods oposit the Batteries. A very heavy shower came up most night, which wet us through. Slept very good.


Saturday 30 --
Feel very much refreshed by last night’s sleep. The enemy threw a few shell’s at us, but hurt nobody. Thare has been some canonadeing today. No Infantry movements.


Sunday, May 31, 1863 --
It is not a very quiet Sabbath. Our Batteries are shelling the fort and Batteries of the rebels. The mortar boats are playing on them prety sharp. I wonder what is going on in Berne tonight. I would give anything to know.

June 1863

Monday, June 1, 1863 --
Very quiet this morning. The enemy throw a few shall occasionally. Our forces are planting Cargo siege guns to bombard the fort. William P. Bell was up to where the 91st are stationed. We saw Mat all and several from Berne. Edmund Bell was killed on the night of the 28th. The enemy tried to break through their lines and were repulsed.


Tuesday 2 --
Our Company are detailed to go on picket to relieve Co. K. The enemy sharpshooters are continuously fireing at our men. The 21st New York Battery have planted their guns within 200 yards of my post. They make something of a noise, I’ll bet you. C. Sulivan of Co. F was wounded by a fragment of the enemy’s shell.


Wednesday 3 --
Company H relieved us from picket about 10 oclock. Was not sorry. About 3 oclock 6 companies were ordered to support the 21st N.Y. Battery, and as it afterwards proved, to throw up earthworks. About 7 oclock the 1st relief went to work. Thare was 64 men to a relief, and e relieves, each working 2 hours at a time. The works are for a 4 gun mortar Battery. Slept very little.


Thursday 4 --
Worked on the entrenchment part of the day and night. The mail arrived here this noon. It brought 2 letters for me dated the 10th and 18th of May. Major General Banks road past us towards night. The enemy’s sharpshooter fired at him pretty sharp. Madison Ball came down to see us from the 91st. He is well and looks as natural as ever. He has seen some pretty hard times.


Friday 5 --
We are still working on the fortification. Do not feel very well today. Went after some blackberries. They are very large and sweet. Had some boiled ham for supper. It was tip top.


Saturday 6 --
Nothing unusual going on today. Some canonadeing. Worked on the earthworks all day.


Sunday, June 7, 1863 --
Feel very unwell today. Did not go to work as usual. The men are hard at work on the earthworks. The sabbaths are not very well spent in the army, especially times of war. I would like to write home, but cannot at present.


Monday 8 --
Stayed in my tent all day. We were called up in the night or about 4 oclock this morning. The enemy tried to drive in our pickets but did not make out. Barnes’ Battery shelled them some. There is a rumor that the 24 Maine and our Regiment are to report at New Orleans on the 20th. I think it is untrue.

Tuesday 9 --
Some canonadeing. Our army are getting ready for a big battle, planting heavy guns, etc. Went to the surgeon this morning. Stopped along the road comeing back and ate some blackberries. Who would have thought one year ago today that I would be as near Port Hudson as I am at the present time.


Wednesday 10 --
Arose much refreshed. Drank my coffee without sugar and got ready for Inspection which took place about 9 oclock. Our mortars have thrown several shells into Port Hudson and Batteries.


Thursday 11 --
About 3 oclock 6 companies of our regiment were ordered up on the right about 3 miles to build a 12-gun battery. They had to roll cotton bales about 400 yards. They built it of sand bags and cotton bales. I was detailed to guard the stacks and did not work any.


Friday 12 --
The Regiment got back to their stacks a little before daylight and marched back to Headquaters. Stacked arms and rested a few minutes, then went back to support Barnes’ Battery. Feel very tired and sleepy.


Saturday 13 --
About 9 oclock orders came for our companies to join the regiment at Headquaters immediately, which we did. We formed in line of battle and were given the order forward. Guide center. March. We advanced to the edge of the woods and staid in line during the bombardment which lasted about an hour. We then marched back to camp and stacked arms.

(Transcriber’s note: By June 11th the young soldier had run out of ink and could get no more. So he continued his writing in pencil.)


Sunday, June 14, 1863 --
Arose about 3 oclock, drank our coffee and got ready to march. Formed in line and were marched to the extreme left. The whole of the 2nd Division arrived about daylight. We then understood what it was, for we were to make an advance on the fort. The bombardment commenced early. The 1st and 2nd Brigades suffered severely from the Enemy’s grape and canister. A grape shot struck in front of me and bounced over my head. Also all around us.


Monday 15 --
No fighting of importance going on today except skirmishing. Colonel Byran of the 175th N.Y. and Major Bogart, 162nd N.Y., were killed yesterday. The Enemy have thrown a few shells over us today. Companies A, B, C, and F have gone on picket to the front.


Tuesday 16 --
Very quiet today.

Wednesday 17 --
Nothing unusual going on today. Very little fireing. Received orders to march towards night. Our Brigade marched about 2 miles and stacked arms. The 14th and 24th Maine worked all night. We were held as a reserve. A large shell from a mortar boat exploded a short distance from us in the night.


Thursday 18 --
Commenced work about 8 oclock carrying sandbags up the hill. Worked all day. Rolled a large quantity of cotton bales up on the hill. The enemy have thrown several shells at us today. Mortaly wounded one of Co. H men and a negro slightly in the foot.


Friday 19 --
We are building a Battery of 18 guns about 200 yards from the enemy’s works. Thare is an agreement between us not to fire untill it is finished unless we give each other notice. The rebels are strengthening their works.


Saturday 20 --
Still hard to work at the battery. Thare has been some heavy fireing on the right today. The gunboats have thrown a few shell in the enemy works. Some of them burst as soon as they were out of the gun, throwing pieces of shell right into our own forces.

June, 21, 1863 --
Did not work any today. Feel very unwell.


Monday 22 --
A large mail arrived here this afternoon. It brought 2 letters for me, one from Mother, and other from Susan dated the 31 of May and the 7 of June. Was very glad to hear from Home that all the friends were well, etc.


Tuesday 23 --


Wednesday 24 --


Thursday 25 --
Have been quite sick all eek without any prospect of getting much better. No fireing of importance so far this week. The troops are resting and diging entrenchments. Several deserters from the rebels have come in lately. The six left companies have gone out on picket. They started 6 oclock P.M.


Friday 26 --
The gunboats and Batteries opened on the fort 2 oclock P.M. and kept up the bombardment with slight intervals untill light. The 18 gun battery did good execution on the fort. Our 4 right companies supported it.


Saturday 27 --
Our men were not relieved from picket last night. Our batteries have kept up the fireing all day mostly.


Sunday, June 28, 1863 --
Some fireing today. Several deserters have come in today, mostly of Miles’s Legion. Did not go to the doctors. About 8 oclock went out on picket. It is a delightfull night. We could see our mortar shells explode in the fort. The enemy threw a few shells occasionally.


Monday 29 --
It has been a very hot day. We had to stay in our rifle pit most of the time. As soon as we would show ourselves the sharpshooters would fire at us. Towards night went down to the spring and filled 2 canteens. Had a good wash also, after which felt much better. Was relieved from picket about 6 oclock and orders were received for our Brigade to move to the left.


Tuesday 30 --
Laid in the trenches all night. There was an attempt made to get posession of the enemy’s rifle pits, but the troops wre not supported as they should have been and were ordered back. We had several killed and wounded, most negroes. It has been a very hot day. Several of our Regt. were sunstruck. An attach was ordered towards night. We moved our regiment up quite a distance, but the order was countermanded.


July 1863


Wednesday, July 1, 1863 --
(Last night) Our Regt. was ordered down in a ravine to rest. We were glad of it, for we were very tired and sleepy. Slept good. Spent the day in the ravine.


Thursday 2 --
Nothing important to write about. 6 oclock P.M. the rebels commenced to shell our Battery and the ravine. We were forced to seek safety in the rifle ptits as the shell(s) burst rather too fast to suit us. Stayed in the pits about 1 ½ hours, then went back to the ravine. Was not disturbed again that night.


Friday 3 --
Went to the surgeon. Was excused from duty. (Had a fever.) Went up in our old camp and laid down. Orders came for our Regiment to march for Springfield Landing.


Saturday, July 4 --
Independence day, but how differently spent on the battlefield than at home. Thare has been some very heavy fireing on the right today. The National Salute was fired again and again. Do not feel very well.


Sunday, July 5, 1863 --
Nothing unusual going on today. Our regiment is out in the rifle pits on picket.


Monday 6 --
No Entry


Tuesday 7 --
Glorious news for us! Vixburg has surrendered to General Grant. 27,000 prisoners, 128 field pieces, 85 siege guns besides small arms, etc. are the results of the Victory.


Wednesday 8 --
There has been no fireing at all today. It is rumored that General Banks and Gardiner are consulting together about surrendering the fort. Something is going on, that is certain.


Thursday 9 --
Arose as usual. Went to the doctors. Was excused. Fort Hudson surrendered this morning 7 oclock. General Frank Gardiner surrendered to General Banks. Went over in the fort and took a general survey of things. It is a very strong place. Got several trophies.


Friday 10 --
Nothing unusual going on today. The troops are moveing down the river as fast as the boats arrive.


Saturday 11 --
Had dress parade 9 oclock, the first we have had in a long time. After this we are to have dress parade 9 oclock A.M. and Inspection 6 oclock P.M. 9 months ago our Adjutant was mustered in and part of the Regt. Our Regt. is now in the 1st Brigade 3rd Division.


Sunday, July 12, 1863 --
No Entry


Monday, 13 --
No Entry


Tueday 14 --
No Entry


Wednesday 15 --
No Entry


Thursday 16 --
No Entry


Friday 17 --
No Entry

Saturday 18 –
Nothing of importance going on this week. We have moved our camp down towards the river near the deserted Rebel earthworks. We have dress parade 9 oclock and Inspection 6 oclock. Our company came off picket tonight from down the river.


Sunday, July 19, 1863 --
Arose as usual. Had General Inspection by a U.S. Officer. Towards night signed the payroll. We are t be paid tomorrow.


Monday 20 --
Had dress parade as usual. Formed by companies towards night and were paid off. I received 6 dollars.


Tuesday 21 --
Some of the regiment came up from Baton Rouge today.


Wednesday 22 --
Started on picket about 5 oclock. Marched about 2 miles. I went on the 3rd Relief post 1. A very heavy shower came up just night, which wet us through. Did not sleep much.


Thursday 23 --
Were relieved from picket about 5 oclock. Co. A relieved us. Have bought some green corn and peaches. Also a pie and some cake, amounting to about 70 cents.


Friday 24 --
Our knapsacks came up from Baton Rouge tonight. Mine was all right. George A. Simons lost evrything. Someone stole all he had.


Saturday 25 --
No Entry


Sunday, July 26, 1863 --
Arose at Reveille. 14 boats from Vixburg came down here this morning loaded with troops. They got off the boat to have them cleaned. They are a fighting lot of men. Several Regts are from Illinois.


Monday 27 --
Had dress parade as usual. After parade went down to the river afishing. Did not catch any fish. Bought 1 doz. peaches at 15 cts. They are not quite ripe yet. Our company is going on picket tonight.


Tuesday 28 --
Came off picket 5 oclock. It has rained most of the afternoon. Corporal Qelie Lenard Harington and Edward Stephenson were on boat with me.

Wednesday 29 --
Had dress parade as usual. All quiet today.


Thursday 30 --
Arose as usual. Went down to sutler’s. Bought several articles. Got my dinner on board the John J. Roe, a western steamer. Time passes slowly here just now. I have not had any letters from home since June the 22, and I have no reason to expect any as I have not wrote since some time in May.


Friday 31 --
Dress parade as usual. After dinner went after some figs. Got as many as I could eat. It has been a very hot day.


August 1863

Saturday, August 1, 1863 --
Our company are going on picket tonight down to the Division Emisaries. It is getting dreadfull warm nowadays. Corporal Niblock, William Rice, George Reyholds, John W. Mullens, George Todd, Madison Settle & myself were out on the outpost. The mosquitoes were very troublesome.


Sunday 2 --
Were relieved by 7 of our men about 6 oclock. Went up to where the Reserve was posted and got our coffee. Do not feel very well today. Have got a severe headache and fever. Got back to camp about 6 oclock.


Monday 3 --
Went on dress parade. Was very glad when it was done. Was so very weak.


Tuesday 4 --
Worse than yesterday. Was excused.


Wednesday 5 --
No better. Had the fever most of the day and the chills about 5 oclock.


Thursday 6 --
Some better today. Very weak yet. The steamer Continental passed here with the 37th Mass. & 28 Maine homeward bound (up the river).


Friday 7 --
No Entry

Transcriber’s Note: During the early years o f the Civil War men from the North could enlist for nine months in the Union Army, and if they survived that they were honorably discharged and sent home, having served their country in its time of internal conflict. As we pick up the narrative of a soldier’s diary he is just about at the end of his enlistment term, and he and/or his unit, if several from his area had enlisted at the same time, were soon to e sent home. When a soldier’s time was up he was sent home, no matter what was going on at the time, if it was at all possible.
The young man has seen the fury of battle, the death of friends and comrades, the capture of Confederate prisoners, the fevers and other sicknesses that was the common lot with men in a strange climate, with inadequate food, malnutrition, poor medical facilities, and a host of other conditions, not part of the actual shooting war, that plagued them. He has seen war, has recorded his days and weeks of his part in it faithfully in his diary, and seems to have acquired no hatred of his enemies, but rather an understanding of their mutual miseries and situations.
So now it is August in Louisiana, and the men from the Helderberg Mountains of New York State are falling prey to semi-tropical discomforts, bad water, steaming heat, and fevers and diseases such as they have not encountered before. Probably more soldiers in the Civil War died of disease and malnutrition than on the bloody battlefields of direct encounter.


August 1863


Saturday 8 --
1 Corinth. V 23.

Transcriber’s note: (The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.)


Sunday 9 --
No entry


Monday 10 --
Went to the Hospital about 9 oclock.


Tuesday 11 --
Feel some better than yesterday. George Joise was burried today of our company. We expect to go aboard the boat this evening for home.


Wednesday 12 --
Slept very good during the night. Awoke much refreshed. Ate breakfast and got ready to go aboard the boat. About 9 oclock the regt. got in line and delivered arms and [accouterments] to the ordanance officer. They marched up to the Fort and went on board the Empire Parrish. They then came down for us. Went down to the boat, found my knapsack, and was going aboard when the regiment was ordered to get off the boat. Went back to the hospital.


Thursday 13 --
The regt are up on the hill again. The quatermaster is moveing up the bagage for a long stay to all appearances. A great many sick are being brought to the hospital. Jesse D. Wood is very sick (poor fellow). I don’t think he will live to see old Berne again. The Orderly and Corporal Hallenbeck are very low.


Friday 14 --
Jesse D. Wood is dead. He died in the night. If his folks can only hear of it before the regiment reaches Albany. I hope they will. It will save them much [he crossed out those three words and wrote:] be a sad disappointment to [entry is unfinished].


Saturday 15 --
Feel some better today, August the 15 and still in Louisiana. We might as well enlisted for the war. The western troops are all going down the river from here. Jeddiah Tompkins is dead. He died at the New Orleans Hospital of typhoid fever July 30th. He was detailed as orderly for General Banks.


Sunday, August 16, 1863 --
Did not rest very good last night. Had a severe pain in my left side. Several boats have come up from New Orleans, but none for us. A heavy shower came up towards night. Rained very hard.


Monday 17 --
Feel some better than yesterday. Two men died during the night. Also Lieut. Russia, Co. K.


Tuesday 18 --
Do not feel very well today. Have a severe headache. One of Co. A died today. Had a very sudden death about 5 oclock. Joel Willson stepped off the piaza to wash out his cup and fell down on the ground apparently in a fit. I ran to him and poured water on his face, but he lived only about 5 minutes.


Wednesday 19 --
Went to the Doctor this morning. He told me to report to my Company. About 11 oclock the fever took a hold of me. Had the chills about 4 oclock.


Thursday 20 --
Feel very weak yet, but better than yesterday. The steamer Desdre arrived at the fort this morning. She is to take us up to Cairo. Went about 5 oclock. Left Port Hudson about 8 oclock. Slept on the gangplank all night. Had a pretty good rest.


Friday 21 --
Awoke about 5 oclock very sick and faint. Drank part of a cup of coffee, eat part of a hardtack for breakfast. Passed Natches [Natchez] about 12 oclock. It is a very large city. Passed several ironclads during the day. Towards night took on board several ladies from off a gunboat.


Saturday 22 --
Arrived at Vixburg 3 oclock this morning. I bought 2 loaves of bread. About 5 oclock went acrost the river after coal. Took aboard 450 boxes witch took us untill nearly night. Went over to the city and took aboard some comisaries stores. Started after sundown up the river. Ran apast a gunboat. The boat makes good time. Ran on a snag about 9 oclock. Clark Clow fell overboard. The men picked him up with the boat, all right.

Sunday, August 23, 1863 --
Captain Filkins is officer of the day today. It is very still on board today. More like the sabbath than usual. It is my Birthday today. Passed several large boats going down. Very gloomy along the river. No villages. Once in a while a house or two.


Monday 24 --
Feel very unwell. The boat makes good time today. In the night we were run into by the steamer Courier. She struck us forward of the wheel house, breaking a large hole in her side. The Courier made for the shore and sank. Several horses were lost.


Tuesday 25 --
Arrived at Memphis about 11 oclock. Several officers went ashore. Went up the river. A few rode and got on some wood and coal. Left Memphis late in the afternoon. Landed at Fort Pillow and burried Madison Settle of our company.


Wednesday 26 --
Nothing of importance going on today. Passed Island No. 10 in the night.


Thursday 27 --
Arrived at Cairo about 9 oclock. Packed our knapsacks and went ashore. It is quite a business place. The Quatermaster is getting the stores and horses in the cars. The Illinois Central we are to go on. Got started about 12 oclock P.M. Burried Uzaias Hallenbeck here.


Friday 28 --
Made about 36 miles during the night. Have went very slow during the day. Stopped at several places, namely Anna, Centralia, etc.


Saturday 29 --
Arrived at Montoon, Ill. early in the morning. Changed cars. Got good passengers cars. We have had freight before this. Passed through Terre Haute and several large towns. Arrived at Indiana (illegible) about 4 oclock P.M. Ate our supper at the Barracks. Changed cars again. The 3 left companies got freight cars again. Slept very cold.


Sunday, August 30, 1863 --
Arrived at Galion about 1 ½ oclock. The citizens brought all kinds of eatables to the cars. We had more than we could eat. Early this morning we stopped at a large vilage. I was invited in to breakfast by one of the citizens. Arrived at Cleveland about 6 oclock. Took supper at the depot. An excelent one. Left for Buffalo by the Lake Shore road.


Monday 31 --
Arrived at Buffalo about daybreak. Formed a line and marched in to breakfast at the depot. Did not feel very well. The citizens done remarkeable well. We had all we wanted to eat and drink. Changed cars here (Buffalo). The Regt. took supper at Rogester. Did not go out to supper.


September 1863


Tuesday, September 1, 1863 --
Arrived at Albany about 12 oclock A.M. A delegation of firemen and a fine Band met us at Utica. At St. Johnsville a piece of wood fell on the track, breaking 3 cars very bad; also tearing up the tracks for quite a distance. Ate dinner at Congress Hall. Bought a pair of suspenders at 50 cts. Haircutting 25.


Wednesday, September 2, 1863 --
Stayed at M. Houck’s last night. Had the chills and fever. The Banquet last evening was a splendid affair. The hall was crowded with people. Bought a pr. Shoes at George Benedict’s for 2.75, stockings 50 cts, hat 2.00




(Blank pages in back of diary very faded)


The prayers arise for thee
And wheresoever thou goest
Bear gentle thoughts of me. Addie

Remember me when far away
And keep me in your mind
What others then may do or say
Think not of me unkind. L.R.Engle

When thou are lonely then remember me
When pleasant things are but a mockery
I can be with you in my sorrow
And in your lonely hours when far away.
George, friend George. Remember me
Libbie R. Engle., Berne, N.Y.


Also in the back of the Diary:

First long roll March 8, 1863.

(Translator’s Explanation: The “Long Roll” is the drummer’s signal of a call to actual battle. The role of the drummer boy, who in many cases was only 12 or 13 years old, was to move constantly with the troops and convey orders by drum beat as to what they were supposed to do as a body at any given time. They went unarmed into battle, and charged with the infantry charged, playing the drum as they went. The drum calls were, to a large extent, replaced by bugle calls in later conflicts. The “Long Roll” was the call to be prepared momentarily to meet the enemy in deadly battle.)

This soldier was a man who was meticulous about the use of his money, an example is seen here in the records he kept.)

Cash account, February

19th - 2 months & 12 days pay
Cash 31.65 received
Paid - Sundries 3.40
Sent home 20.00
Spent during month 3.35
Balance on hand (no entry)
Received -
U. S. Paymaster 31.65
Paid -
Paid sutler 2.00
Sent home 20.00
Spent during month 6.30

Balance on hand 3.35
Received 31.65, Paid 31.65

Cash Account. March
Received: Bal. On hand 3.25
Rec-d, A.P. Ludden 5.00
Paid: Spent during week 8.25
Received 8.25, Paid 8.25

Borrowed money from Capt. Filkins
Frederick Burbanks .15
Elias Nashold .05

(Transcriber’s comment: Note how carefully the young soldier kept his financial accounts, and the prices paid for some of the items he purchased. Shown here are his figures for April and May 1863, There is no record in his diary of these accounts beyond May.)

22ND RECEIVED: rec. of U. S. paymaster, 6.00
22 Crackers & cheese .25
Pies and nuts .25
Butter Crackers .10
Onions .05
Washing Shirt .05
23 Butter & segar .15
24 Oranges & segar .15
25 Lettuce .05
Letter paper .10
Pie .10
26 1 postage stamp .05
Paid Jesse .25

28 Milk .15
Washing shirt .05
30 Segars .25
Cash to balance 4.00
Rec’d 6.00 6.00


1 Cash on hand 4.00
2 Lemons & Figs .10
Eggs, 1 doz .50
Pie .25
4 Ginger & segars .30
5 1 doz eggs .50
Fish ball .05
Washing shirt .10
6 Butter .10
Hair Cutting .10
Biscuits .15
7 Butter .10
Biscuits .20
8 Eggs .25
9 Butter .10
10 Sundries 1.05
11 Lines, Hooks, etc. .50
12 Biscuits & eggs .40

(Transcriber’s note: In case you added that up and wondered how he managed that, perhaps you will recall that he borrowed some money from Captain Filkins in March.)

February 6, 1863 --
Went up the river on a forageing expedition with 4 of Co. C men. Their names were Joel Wilson, David Gathan, Hempstreet and Folka. We went up 5 miles to a large plantation after chickens. The negroes broke open the hen roost and were getting the chickens out when the over seer came to the door and fired at us. He hit David Gathan in the face, and wounded him bad. We carryed him about a mile to a Negro house and sent for the doctor, but none came. 2 Lieuts. of Co. C came up with a wagon.


Pvt. George H. Warner was born on August 23, 1845, when his father, John Warner was 37, and his mother Catherine West Warner, was 24.

They lived in a small brick house across from the Lutheran Church in Berne, N.Y.

George was 17 years old when he went off to war with the 177th New York State Volunteers infantry regiment. He died September 28, 1863, at home, from the sickness he had contracted while serving in the Union Army in Louisiana. He was 18 years, one month and five days old.

His younger brother, Peter, died in the infamous Andersonville prison in 1864, at the age if 18. He was buried at Andersonville, Georgia.

Private Warner’s regiment experienced only 42 days of actual combat. (May 25 - July 5, 1863) Except for this six-week period under fire battle was with disease, work, drills, boredom, and malnutrition.

The diary was probably a going-away gift from Libbie R. Engle, a neighbor girl in Berne, who was 17. It might be assumed that the lock of chestnut brown hair also belonged to her.

Historian Euretha Stapleton wrote in a letter to me, “When one reads between the lines it is such a sad little book. He never mentions his brother who died in Andersonville -- perhaps did not know at the time. It’s too bad more letters weren’t sent him. He longed so for news of home.” George received a total of eleven letters in eight months.


Corporal Hallenbeck X Fred Brickner
Daniel Stiner Jededia Rompkins X
Alonzo Hempstreet Capt. Harris
Abigail Engle - girl at home (Ira Engle) Lt. Phillips
Lieutenant J. White Richard M. Strong X
Captain Tomlinson Lt. Williamson X
Brigadier General Nickerson Mat (Madison?) Ball
Jesse D. Wood *(See note) X George Joise X
Mann (Co. C) William Merselis
George A. Simons Col. Ainsworth
Elias Nashold Sgt. Wood
Lieutenant Bennet John Blackman X
Joel Wilson (Willson) *(See Note) X Robert Douglas X
Lieutenant Bronson Cpl. Thomas
Lieutenant Lintener Arthur Haswell - Knox X
David Gathan Charles Hockstrasser
Armilla Bedell - at home - died in Datus J. Cole X
February 1863 Mathia Hook
A. G. Ludden Frank Cortney X
Captain Filkins Edmund Bell X
Captain MacRoberta W. E. Becker
________ Folka Jerome Ecker
Henry A. Crary Captain Harris
Jerry Nashold Libbie R. Engle - girl at home
Corporal Niblock William Rice
George Reynolds John W. Mullens
George Todd Madison Settle
Edward Stephenson Cpl. Quelie Lenard Harington
Jacob Sherman X Richard Wood
Sgt. Brigman X Cpl. Baranger X
Johnny Springer Lt. Russia X

X = Died


[NOTE: Some of the soldiers mentioned in George’s diary were not from Berne, but from adjoining townships of Knox and Wright. A few were from Schoharie County. These people were all grouped together in one area of conflict.

6o men went to the Civil War from Berne, but most of them went earlier.]

*The bodies of Joel Wilson and Jesse D. Wood, both of whom died from the fever at Port Hudson, Louisiana in August 1863, were brought home to Berne by Captain Morgan L. Filkins for burial.



The webmasters would like to thank Allan Dietz for arranging for the transcribing of this diary.