E. Lee Bell Diary

You can read the full transcription of Bell’s diary below. This was transcribed and edited by Timothy Elliott.


Erasmus Lee Bell, a Confederate Soldier

OBITUARY from Confederate Veteran Magazine (1920): LIEUT. E. LEE BELL –

Seldom have I ever felt so called upon to pay a tribute to a loved and honored comrade as has come to me by the death of Lieut. E. Lee Bell, who died at his home, in Lynchburg, Va., on August 1, 1920, at the age of seventy-seven years.

He was a native of Page County, Va., and a member of Company K, 10th Virginia Infantry; and when the tocsin of war in 1861 resounded over the hills and through the valleys of his State, he, then but eighteen years of age, was among the first to volunteer in defense of his country and entered the ranks as a private, rising by promotion to a first lieutenancy.

In the battle of Cedar Mountain, August 9, 1862, when every officer of the company down to corporal, was killed or wounded, he then, as corporal, became the commandant and discharged the duties incumbent upon him with heroic courage and marked ability until the return of his captain in February, 1863.

On May 12, 1864, he was captured in the battle of Spotsylvania Court House, together with the entire division of Gen. Edward Johnson, and on the 20th of August, 1864, he was one of the six hundred Confederate officers at Fort Delaware who were selected under a fictitious charge of retaliation and sent to Morris Island, S.C., and placed in a stockade directly in range of the Confederate guns in Charleston Harbor firing upon the batteries of Gregg and Wagner of the enemy. For forty-three days, together with his comrades, he endured this crucial ordeal of impending danger, spurning the preferred offer of the oath of allegiance to the United States to regain his freedom, thus adding luster to the character and devotion to his righteous cause.

While a prisoner at Fort Delaware Lieutenant Bell enlisted in the service of the lord Jesus Christ, and loyally and faithfully he exemplified by his walk and conversation to the end.










War Diary

Lieutenant Erasmus Lee Bell

Prisoner of War

May 12, 1864-June 15, 1865

A Faithful Soldier of the Confederacy

A Faithful Follower of the Christ

Saturday, March 19th, 1864: Being my 21st birthday I have made many good resolves – one, the most important, is to read my Bible more frequently. Was promoted to 1st Lieut. to rank as such from 25th Feby. Quietness prevailed in Camp.

Sunday, Mar. 20th: Inspection in the morning. M.G. Printz[1] was released from the guard house. Had a very interesting prayer meeting at night.

Monday, Mar. 21st: Was a very cold blustery day. I bought a watch, paid $150 for it, $110 cash and my due bill for $26.66 2/3 new currency.

Tuesday, Mar. 22nd: Officers recited to Capt. Yancey. It commenced snowing at 1 P.M. & was snowing at late bed time. Had a meeting of the Lyceum[2] at night. The question was “Which is the greater disseminator of virtue, man or woman?” Decided in favor of man. A.B. Fleming and A. Tobin[3] were sent to the hospital. The issue of rations to officers commenced.

Wednesday, Mar. 23rd: Snow a foot deep. There was a pitched snow battle between the 10th Va. and 1st N.Y. Regt. M.L. Young[4] ret. [returned] to the company.

Thursday, Mar. 24th: Another recitation by the officers. Some of Co. [Company] K.  on guard.

Friday, Mar. 25th: Was a terrible day. It hailed and rained all day. I made application for a leave of absence. Mr. Corbin cut my hair.

Sat. Mar. 26th: A damp gloomy day with occasional Showers. Drew six dough pans. Had a meeting of the Lyceum.

Sun. Mar. 27th: Was a pleasant sunshiny day. Had Inspection by Brig. [Brigade] Inspector. We had a very animated discussion on the subject of love, after twilight. Al. Wood[5] returned from furlough.

Mon. Mar. 28th: Mr. Sam Buracker and Eugene Flinn paid us a visit.  T.L. Price and E.A. Singers[6] ret. From furlough. Heard speaches [speeches] at night by Gov. Vance[7] of NC, Genls. Johnson & and Stuart & and several Colonels. E.M. Pitman[8] was retired.

Tues. Mar. 29th: Was a rainy dreary day – Nothing to break up the monotony of Camp.

Wed. Mar. 30th: Another rainy day. S. Judd[9] returned from furlough. A meeting of the Lyceum again at night.

Thurs. Mar. 31st: E.M. Pitman started home. Siram Kite returned from furlough. Al. Wood was made Corpl. [Corporal] to fill the vacancy occasioned by the absence of Jim Mathes[10].

April, 1864

Fri. 1: Nothing to relieve the monotony of Camp – Rainy.

Sat. 2: Recitation by the officers. Snowed nearly all day, but melted as fast as it fell. Had a meeting of the Lyceum.

Sun. 3: Prayer meeting in morning, rest of the day quiet.

Mon. 4: Went to Morton’s ford on picket. About noon it commenced snowing & snowed till just before sun down and then it commenced to rain, was a real winter evening.

Tues. 5: We waked to see a continuation of the previous day’s rain, and it rained all day, but we were comfortably quartered in Dr. Morton’s dining room by a glorious fire.

Wed. 6: Raining in the morning but cleared off by 8 A.M. Our Co. went on picket, all was quiet.

Thurs. 7: A North Carolinian was wounded on the picket line. Our Co. was relieved and came back to the comfortable dining room.

Fri. 8: Was fast day and I am glad to say it was pretty generally observed. All very quiet.

Sat. 9: Was an awful day, it rained & blew incessantly. Most of our Co. had to go on duty and many of them, who had been in service since the beginning of the war, said it was the worst night they had ever been on duty.

Sun. 10: The Rapidann[11] was overflowing its banks, it was said to be higher than it ever had been before. ‘Twas a beautiful morning but rained in the evening.

Mon. 11: We returned to Camp, had an awful muddy walk. It was the most pleasant picket for our Regiment that we ever spent at Morton’s ford. All had comfortable quarters.

Tues. 12: Was a very pretty day. Nothing transpired of importance.

Wed. 13: Newton Robertson spent the day with the Company. Had the usual drills.

Thurs. 14: A protracted meeting commenced in our Regiment. Will Gibbons and Eugene Flinn spent the day with us. Parson Jones paid us a call in the evening. He is a good man and a patriotic man, I think.

Fri. 15: Another rainy day. Dr. Flinn returned to the Regiment. There was quite an interesting meeting at night and several seekers after their soul’s salvation. Thank God I was made to confess my sins and ask forgiveness.

Sat. 16: Rained again. Many, by their actions, said they were determined to give up their sinful ways.

Sun. 17: Had services at 11 A.M. and again at night. I gave myself unreservedly to God and felt peace to my soul.

Mon. 18: T.S. Weaver was retired. Meeting still in progress.

Tues. 19: Had the regular drills. Meeting still going on and great interest manifested by all.

Wed. 20: Had two battalion drills and for a rarity Col. Warren took charge.

Thurs. 21: I visited Orange Courthouse, bought a piece of music and sent it to Ella. An order was read at dress parade telling us of a victory at Plymouth, N.C. We captured a Brigadier General and 2700 men – some negroes.

Fri. 22: The Fort Pillow affair was confirmed – 600 out of 700 were slaughtered, 100 taken prisoners. I went to see Capt. Colsten. Meeting still in progress.

Sat. 23: No drill. General clean up day. Mr. Grayson arrived in camp on a visit. All very quiet.

Sun. 24: Was a beautiful, clear day. A party of 10 or 12 of us went up on Clark’s Mountain with Mr. Grayson to view Yankee camps. Could see a good deal. Will Hampton visited us.

Mon. 25: Had a nice march of 6 miles to have bayonets fixed on the guns. Was a delightful day. Forrer[12] and A. Borst got to camp in the evening after a very long absence.

Tues. 26: Mr. Grayson left for home. A delightful meeting still going on. Many converts this evening. Thanks be to God!

Wed. 27: All the tents have been sent to the Quarter Master. An indication of an early move. Meeting still going on.

Thurs. 28: Nothing to pervade the quiet of camp except the preparations being made to go on picket.

Fri. 29: Marched again to Morton’s ford on picket.

Sat. 30: A very dull day along the banks of the river.


May, 1864

Sun. 1: I had quite a feast in the way of letters. Prayer meeting in the Regt. at noon & preaching at night. F. Huffman left us to go to camp with a furlough in his pocket, was to wait for his man to return.

Mon. 2: I went out on duty at 8 A.M. Quite a storm in the evening. All quiet along the lines.

Tues. 3: Many rumours [rumors] in regard to the movements of the two Armies. I got off of duty at 8 A.M. F. Huffman and Tilman Weaver started home – Weaver quite sick.

Wed. 4: Our Brigade left Picket post and joined the Div. at Zoar’s Church[13] – Camped for night near Locust Grove and cooked up two days rations – ready for the fight.

Thurs. 5: We met the Enemy near Wilderness Tavern[14]. Johnson’s Div. & Warren’s Corps opened the fight. It raged furiously all day and there was occasional firing at night. Loss was heavy on both sides. Our Co. had eight wounded. Vis. Corporal John Atwood, G.C. Robertson, John Martin, Jas. [James] Martin, G. Price, Jas. H. Cook, E.A. Singers & Sergt. Grayson.

Fri. 6: We strengthened out fortifications and laid in line of battle all day. Hard fighting on our right by Longstreet’s Corps.

Sat. 7: Our Brig. moved a little to the right in the morning & remained quietly in line all day. Early did some very hard fighting on our left. We moved to the right nearly all night.

Sun. 8: We continued to move to the right and formed a line of battle at night near Spottsylvania C. House [Spotsylvania Court House], and built fortifications all night.

Mon. 9: Very little fighting along the line. We were perfectly still all day.

Tues. 10: We had a very hard fight in the evening. Doles Brigade gave way & our Div. had to retake the breastworks. Joseph Wood lost a hand. I was on skirmish all night.

Wed. 11: Busy building breastworks all day. Some very heavy fighting along the line. Our flag was ret. to us – was lost the previous evening.

Thurs. 12: Genl. Johnson with most of his Div. was captured by Hancock’s Corps. 3 officers and 21 men of our Co. were Captured in the works and 3 men on the skirmish line. Al Wood was killed. We camped at night in an old field near Fredericksburg, Men & officers were separated [separated]. Rained all night long.[15]

Fri. 13: Marched via Fredericksburg to Bell Plains, a distance of about 16 miles, where we were put on board the Swan – Anchored nearly all night. Saw plenty negro soldiers.

Sat. 14: Sailed all day, anchored at night at Point Lookout where 100 officers stopped.

Sun. 15: Reached Fortress Monroe at night and stayed there a portion of the night. Changed boats in the evening – got on the Salvoa.

Mon. 16: I, as well as many others, was awfully sea sick. Passed Cape Henlopen[16] a very pretty place and anchored for night near the mouth Del. [Delaware] Bay.

Tues. 17: Landed at Fort Del. about 11 A.M. and after being searched were marched to barracks where we were very hospitably recd. [received] by many Bro. officers. I was given a nice dinner. Genl. Schoepf[17] commands the prison.

Wed. 18: Occupied the day in looking around and in writing for money to English, of Alexandria Virginia.

Thurs. 19: Had my clothes washed. Wrote a letter. Went to prayer meeting at night.

Fri. 20: Beautiful day. We suffer for something to eat – too long between meals. Breakfast at 8 ½ A.M. dinner at 4 P.M. For breakfast we got bread meat & coffee for dinner bread, meat & soup.

Sat. 21: A kind Bro. Off. [Brother Officer] gave me a blanket. We got along very well. All the “old fish”[18] are very kind [to][19] us. I have already made some agreeable acquaintances.

Sun. 22: Heard a very excellent & impressive Sermon by the Rev. Dr. Handy[20], from the text – “He that overcometh shall inherit all things.” Rev. XXI: 7[21].

Mon. 23: Nothing of interest has transpired. Prayer meeting at night.

Tues. 24: Sold my watch for $12.50 in greenbacks. Bought plenty good things to eat from the Sutler[22].

Wed. 25: Recd. a letter from English containing $10.00.

Thurs. 26: Rained all day fast. Had prayer meeting at night.

Fri. 27: Breakfast Coffee bread & pork. Dinner Soup bread & beef. Recd. a nice contribution of clothing from Mrs. Lurman 59 Franklin St. Baltimore, Md.

Sat. 28: Bought a carpet bag to contain my new clothes, paid $1.75 for it. A very pleasant day. Prayer meeting & exortation [exhortation] by Capt. Sanford. 30 citizens of Fredericksburg Va. brought in as prisoners.

Sun. 29: Breakfast Coffee bread & beef – dinner Soup bread beef & potatoes. Preaching by Dr. Handy. Prayer meeting at night. Bible class organized 75 members.

Mon. 30: Some prisoners allowed to go out to bathe. Prayer meeting at night.

Tues. 31: Breakfast Coffee bread & pork. Dinner Soup bread & beef. Prayer meeting & exortation by Dr. Handy at night.

June, 1864

Wed. 1: Breakfast Coffee bread & bacon. Dinner Soup bread & beef. General inspection by an Inspector from Washington. Prayer meeting and exortation by the Rev. Dr. Handy.

Thurs. 2: Since the inspection of yesterday orders have been posted showing what is to be allowed prisoners. They are to have no more sugar and coffee.

Fri. 3: Breakfast – bread & beef only. Dinner Soup bread & beef. Prayer meeting & exortation by Dr. Handy.

Sat. 4: A beautiful day. Prayer meeting and exortation by Capt. Harris.

Sun. 5: Was given water with our bread and beef at break. [breakfast] – Preaching [by] Dr. Handy. Text 6th Chap. 5 Verse Genesis.[23] Bible class at 5 oclock P.M. Prayer meeting at night & exortation by Capt. Sandford.

Mon. 6: Troops left here for the front – 5th Maryland: 157 Regiment Pa. Militia took their places.

Tues. 7: Cheering news in the papers from the Confederacy. Prayer meeting at night.

Wed. 8: Preaching by Dr. Junkins – Gen. Jackson’s father-in-law[24], at 11 A.M. and by Dr. H [Handy] at night.

Thurs. 9: Yankees reported to be in the Valley. Am rather depressed in spirits at the thoughts of my home being in the Enemy’s lines.

Fri. 10: A general cleaning up & whitewashing of barracks. Prayer meeting and sermon by Dr. Handy.

Sat. 11: Same old fare – for breakfast bread & beef dinner soup bread & beef. Preaching and prayer meeting.

Sun. 12: No meat for breakfast, only bread and water. Preaching at 11 A.M. by Dr. Handy and again at night. Bible class met at 5 P.M. Have very interesting meetings.

Mon. 13: A big roll call at 5 P.M. Prayer meeting at night and sermon by Capt. Sanford.

Tues. 14: Saw some of the Regiment carrying crackers. The guard was very cruel in their treatment of them. I saw a young fellow by the name of Douglas bring the blood trickling from an old man’s head with his bayonet. It greatly exasperated many of the officers who saw it.

Wed. 15: Grant reported across the James River – Considerable excitement when the papers came in. Prayer meeting at night.

Thur. 16: 48 officers came in from Fort McHenry. Prayer meeting at night.

Fri. 17: A lot of officers came in again. Preaching at night by Capt. Sanford.

Sat. 18: Petersburg Va. reported to be in possession of Grant, but of course we don’t believe it. Preaching at night by Dr. Handy.

Sun. 19: 13 officers taken to the Fort – Cols. Preaching by Dr. H. at 10 A.M. and at night.

Mon. 20: Everything very dull. Preaching by Capt. Sanford.

Tues. 21: Fare continues the same – very poor, but the trio is living very well on their little money. Preaching by Dr. Handy. Text 4th Chap 7th verse Isaiah. Prayer meeting at night.

Wed. 22: Prayer meeting at night, & exortation by Capt. Harris.

Thurs. 23: Breakfast – bread & beef – Dinner – soup, bread & bacon. Prayer meeting and exortation by Capt. Sanford.

Fri. 24: A number of officers were taken out of the barracks to make up the 50 to be sent to Charleston. Col. Martz among the number.

Sat. 25: 42 officers came among us from the front and 650 from Point Lookout. A change in eating arrangements, We were marched into the dining room by file, and shameful to say, to find spoilt beef.

Sun. 26: Preaching at 11 A.M. by Dr. Handy. The ordnance of baptism was administered to quite a number at 5 P.M. I was among the number. 30 were recd. into the church and communed.

Mon. 27: Much speculation about the 50 officers who started for Charleston yesterday. Went to prayer meeting at night. Capt. Harris exorted.

Tues. 28: 20 copperheads[25] were brought in. They were from Missouri. Preaching by Capt. Harris & prayer meeting at night.

Wed. 29: Nothing transpired during the day. Preaching by Lt. Thomas at night. Wrote to Nannie Strickler for Lieut. Mauck.

Thurs. 30: Preaching in the morning and prayer meeting at night.

July, 1864

Fri. 1: We pass off the time only by writing to the boys of the Co. and other friends in reading and attending services morning & night.

Sat. 2: The Surgeons who started a few days ago for Dixie were brought back – would not send them through for fear some information would leak out. Preaching by Dr. Handy at 11 A.M. and again at night.

Sun. 3: Bread only for breakfast. For dinner Soup bread & beef. Preaching by Dr. Handy. No news of any interest.

Mon. 4: A national salute of 36 guns fired. Gen. Ewell[26] reported to be at Martinsburg. Rebs [Rebels] in high spirits.

Tues. 5: Were all called out and search made for money, watches, etc. – this is the second time. Preaching at night by Capt. Harris.

Wed. 6: Dr. Handy fainted in the midst of his sermon & had to be laid on his bed.

Thurs. 7: The roll was called of [off] all according to rank. Were kept in the sun an uncomfortably long time, and it was so late when we got off that no services were held at night.

Fri. 8: Counted and searched by Lieutenant Wolfe, a good for nothing fellow and several Sergts. All canteens several sword belts, etc. were confiscated.

Sat. 9: Col. Jones, who was on last evening shot by a sentinel, died at night in the hospital.[27] Two sermons at night – one by Dr. Handy & one by Capt. Sanford.

Sun. 10: Preaching again by Dr. H and Capt. Sanford. Bible class met at 5 oclock P.M.

Mon. 11: Good news from Early in Maryland. Another general roll call.

Tues. 12: A new mode of calling the roll instituted this morning. It is now called by Div. every Div. to itself. No preaching today.

Wed. 13: Notice has been given that there will be roll call every morning between 8 & 9 oclock. Preaching at night.

Thurs. 14: News by the grape-vine good. Our forces confronting Washington and Grant repulsed.

Fri. 15: Nothing to write but roll call and preaching at night.

Sat. 16: No papers allows to come into the barracks. Preaching by Capt. Harris.

Sun. 17: Preaching in Divisions 24 and 26 at 11 A.M. by Capt. Sanford and Lt. Thomas. Bible class at 5 P.M. Episcopal service at 4 P.M. Preaching at night by Lieut. Thomas.

Mon. 18:  Fare the same old 7 and 6 – For breakfast bread & bacon dinner Soup bread & beef. Preaching by Capt. Harris.

Tues. 19: Nothing to note, only roll call in the morning and preaching at night.

Wed. 20: Breakfast – bread & bacon – Dinner – Soup bread & beef. Preaching & prayer meeting at night. About this date Capt. H. & I recd. $15.00 each and a nice box from Dr. Thompson – two shirts apiece from Miss K.

Thurs. 21: Breakfast – bread & bacon, Dinner – Soup bread & beef. A lot of prisoners came in from Point Lookout.

Fri. 22: Joe Johnson[28] reported to have been relieved from his command, & his reported successor is Genl. Hood. Preaching at night by Capt. Sanford.

Sat. 23: Breakfast – bread & bacon, Dinner – Soup bread & beef. Preaching at night by Lt. Thomas.

Sun. 24: Breakfast – bread & bacon, Dinner – Soup bread & beef. Preaching at 10 A.M. in Divs. 29-31 & 34 by Lt. Thomas & Capts. Sanford & Harris. Bible class at 5 P.M., and preaching at night by Chaplain Evans.

Mon. 25: Breakfast – bread & beef, Dinner – Soup bread & beef. Rained nearly all day very dreary. Preaching at night.

Tues. 26: Breakfast – bread & bacon, Dinner – Soup bread & beef. Meeting for organizing a Christian Assocition [Association]. Preaching at night.

Wed. 27: Breakfast – bread & beef, Dinner – Soup bread & beef. Constitution and By-laws of the Christian Association adopted. President, Vice-President, Secretary & Treasurer elected. Sermon at night by Capt. Sanford.

Thurs. 28: Fare – Same as yesterday. Preaching at night by Capt. Harris.

Fri. 29: Rations still the same. The usual morning prayer meeting. Preaching at night by Dr. Reed. Papers again today.

Sat. 30: Heat very oppressive. Rations have been the same again today. Prayer meeting in the morning. Preaching at night by Lieut. Thomas.

Sun. 31: Preaching in Divisions 22 & 34 at 10 A.M. by Lt. Thomas and Dr. Reed. All field & staff officers called and 16 taken out. Preaching at night by Chaplain Evans. The day was very warm. Evening as usual found very many taking shelter from the sun on the shady side of a high fence.

August, 1864

Mon. 1: Rations continue the same. A meeting of the Association in the morning. Preaching at night by Dr. Reed.

Tues. 2: Rations still the same. Papers today report that Chambersburg was burnt by General McCauslin[29] on the __[30] day July. Preaching at night.

Wed. 3: Two C.S. [Confederate States] Officers said to have drowned in trying to escape. Preaching by Capt. Sanford.

Thurs. 4: Papers contain no news of any importance. Rained all night. Preaching at night by Chaplain Evans. One or two officers brought in, captured near Chambersburg.

Fri. 5: Nothing for breakfast but a piece of dry bread. The Surgeons called out but returned again to barracks. Preaching at night.

Sat. 6: Exceedingly warm, – no news of interest.

Sun. 7: Preaching in Div. 28 by Dr. Handy. Meeting of Bible Class as usual. Fare very indifferent.

Mon. 8: No meat today, a potato at each meal in lieu of it. Papers report that the 50 officers sent to Charleston were exchanged on the 2nd inst. [instant][31]

Tues. 9: No roll call. Ins. [Inspection] by off. [officer] from the War Dpt. Prayer meeting at night.

Wed. 10: Breakfast – only a little bread. Sutler ordered closed. Not allowed to write anyone but members of our respective families. Preaching in Divs. 29 & 34 by Capt. Sanford & Lt. Thomas.

Thurs. 11: Breakfast – 4 crackers, Dinner – Soup crackers & meat. Preaching at night.

Fri. 12: Crackers again for breakfast. Great excitement – 600 to be sent to Charleston, it is said, tomorrow. Preaching at night in 31 & 34.

Sat. 13: Names of 600 called this morning and notified to be ready to leave in the morning. Preaching by Capt. Sanford.

Sun. 14: Great excitement about our (the 600) leaving here. All anxious to go. Preaching at 10 A.M. by Lt. Thomas. Episcopal service at 4 P.M. Preaching at night again. Rations better.

Mon. 15: The 600 were called out the roll again called, and we were formed in 4 ranks between two lines guard counted & then dismissed with orders to hold ourselves in readiness. Preaching at night by Lt. Thomas.

Tues. 16: Still here in great suspense. A Surgeon came in from Camp Chase[32]. Preaching at night by Lt. Carter.

Wed. 17: Rumor says that the 600 are to go to Hilton Head, and that we are only waiting for a guard and gunboats.

Thurs. 18: Still anxiously waiting to start (we fondly hope) on exchange. Many conjectures as to what we may have to undergo. Preaching at night.

Fri. 19: Everything upside-down with the 600, expecting to start away every day. Prayer meeting at night.

Sat. 20: Bid goodbye to my friends that remained behind & among the 600 left our barracks about 2 P.M. Marched out to the wharf got aboard the U.S. Steamer Crescent. Sailed till night and anchored in Del. [Delaware] River near its mouth. Capt. Prentice was in charge of us & the guard. We are buoyant with hope.

Sun. 21: Weighed anchor about day light and sailed till about 10 A.M. when we anchored again in the ocean to wait for a convoy. Sailed again at night. Many seasick.

Mon. 22: Sailed all day & night – Passed Cape Hatteras[33] some time in the night. The day was a beautiful one.

Tues. 23: Many of our number very sick, we have to stay in our bunks nearly all the time and they are only 6 feet long & 2 feet deep & just wide enough for 4 men to lie in. Only 20 allowed to go on deck at a time. The water very indifferent. Rained nearly all day.

Wed. 24: Ran aground near Cape Romain[34] about 3 oclock in the morning – got started again about 10 A.M. We would have attempted to make our escape if the gunboat had remained out of sight just a few minutes longer. Anchored off Charleston about dark.

Thurs. 25: Weighed anchor about day and arrived at Hilton Head about noon Some time. The view from the boat is pretty – the Head and Freedman’s Village both in sight.

Fri. 26: Still at anchor near the Head. Prentice and his gang, who will be long remembered by the 600, were relieved by a guard from 157 N.Y. Infty. Capt. McWilliams in charge.

Sat. 27: Still lying at anchor – not much prospect of getting away very soon. We were all moved to another boat ‘long side till the Crescent could be scrubbed out. I have written home telling them they may look for me soon. The water is awful.

Sun. 28: All sick and wounded sent to Beaufort to the hospital. Charlie Chadduck among the number. Rations very good – nice light bread & bacon.

Mon. 29: Still at anchor. All were sent up on the top deck till the boat was scrubbed again. Sun was very hot. Drew good rations of bread bacon & pickles.

Tues. 30: Very clear & warm. Many rumors afloat – Some say we will be placed on Morris Is. – others think we will be exchanged yet. Papers aboard. Sheridan reported falling back to Harper’s Ferry and Genl. Early advancing.

Wed. 31: Still on the Crescent & no visible signs of moving, but report says the Capt. of the boat has orders to move at daylight in the morning. All in good spirits. Had Soup for dinner. Heavy storm about dark for 2 hours.

September, 1864

Thurs. 1: The captain recd. written orders to move and hoisted anchor and started about 10 A.M. Anchored in sight of Charleston Sumpter [Sumter], Morris Is. &c [etcetera] about sunset in the evening.

Fri. 2: Laid still all day. We occupied the day in watching the fire from the guns on Sumpter and Forts or Batteries Greg and Wagoner. Saw two shots strike Sumpter.

Sat. 3: Still lying at anchor in Charleston harbor. Truce boats met today in sight of us, all were in high glee thinking it would tend to our speedy exchange, but we heard nothing at all from them after they separated.

Sun. 4: Great excitement about exchange – Many rumours afloat. All the guard treat us very gentlemanly, but our suffering is intense, heat terrible & no water fit to drink.

Mon. 5: No change as yet, but rumours say we will not be here 48 hours longer. Very heavy storm from 8 to 11 P.M. – Boat very rocky.

Tues. 6: Were rejoiced to see them cooking our rations in the evening preparatory to our going ashore in the morning. No water aboard all day. Rain & storm in the evening and many went on deck and caught rain water to drink.

Wed. 7: Early in the morning report said that the Capt. of the boat said that when we got off of his boat we would go aboard our own boat, but, soon, to our chagrin, we saw a negro guard formed for our reception on Morris Island. We were landed about 10 A.M. received by Col. Hallowell[35] & his Regt., and the 154th  [54th] Mass. Col. Troops[36] [Massachusetts Colored Troops] and marched along the beach for about 3 ½ miles where we found quarters in tents surrounded by a stockade & immediately between Batt. [Batteries] Greg & Wagoner. Lieuts. Boddie & Jenkins and I occupied one tent. Rained in the morning.

Thurs. 8: Very little done by us except fix up our tents better. A few shots passed over us from Greg & a few in reply from Sumpter. A few spoilt crackers for rations. Wrote home in the evening.

Fri. 9: Beautiful morning. For breakfast 3 crackers, for dinner the same with a small piece of meat – crackers all mouldy [moldy]. A shell burstid [burst] over us and threw some pieces inside.

Sat. 10: Usual quiet was resumed this morning. I spent a portion of the day washing my clothes. Had a Sutler in from whom we purchased cakes, stationery &c. Rations of spoilt crackers and a little cold rice.

Sun. 11: A printed circular for the government of prisoners was carried to each tent, it prohibits us from purchasing any luxuries at all except in cases of sickness. Rations very poor – crackers full of worms. A gun disabled in Greg Some men wounded & a horse killed.

Mon. 12: Everything very quiet. A N.Y. paper says that Atlanta was evacuated on the 1st Sept.[37]

Tues. 13: Beautiful day. Reports says the Yankee officers in Charleston are being fed on bread and water, and hence the reason of our indifferent fare.

Wed. 14: No firing. It is reported that Petersburg has been evacuated. We don’t believe these reports yet it is not pleasant for us to hear them.

Thurs. 15: Breakfast 1 cracker & a little piece meat. Dinner, 2 crackers, a gill[38] of Soup and a little vinegar. Supper 1 cracker and a little meat. Very quiet – no firing.

Fri. 16: Rations 4 ½ crackers a little rice & a little meat. All the rations we get are cooked without salt. Some little firing.

Sat. 17: Crackers full of worms and Soup full of sand. No news. Very little firing.

Sun. 18: Rain and considerable storm in the evening. Rations indifferent and scarce – crackers full of worms.

Mon. 19: Beautiful day. Bought some eatables from the Sutler. Rations worthless – For breakfast 2 cr. [crackers] & a piece of meat – Dinner 1 cr. and something they called bean soup – we didn’t see the beans. Supper rice & meat, rice full of sand, no bread of any sort.

Tues. 20: Rations 4 crackers & a little meat & soup. Some little firing.

Wed. 21: Rations no better, those who have had no money to buy with are nearly starved.

Thurs. 22: About 10 A.M. we were surprised at being called out to march to the wharf. All were highly elated at the prospects of exchange. We marched to the wharf was put on board the “Gen. Hooker” and transferred to an old schooner a short distance from the shore, where we remained all night.

Fri. 23: We saw, from the deck of the Schooner, the truce boats meet. As soon as they separated we were landed again & marched back to the stockade – the worst looking set of men I think I ever saw.

Sat. 24: Heard of the glorious capture of 2500 or 3000 cattle by Genl. Hampton from the rear of the Yankee army. Date of the capture, as given by Yankee papers 15th or 16th of Sept.

Sun. 25: Beautiful morning – little cool. Rations 3 crackers a little meat, soup & rice.

Mon. 26: Rations as indifferent as usual. Several contemptible Yankee officers who visited us said we were getting more than their prisoners were, but we knew better.

Tues. 27: Rations a little improved today. No news for us at all. Plenty of reading matter and I enjoy the quiet very much.

Wed. 28: Was quite warm. Rations same as yesterday.

Thurs. 29: Lt. Martin procured a parole to go through and effect a special exchange. We hear there is to be a truce next Saturday.

Fri. 30: Fine shower of rain in the morning – the sun very hot afterwards. Rations issued at noon for a day except a little soup & rice Soup at dinner rice at supper. 5 crackers & about three ounces of meat for a day.


October, 1864

Sat. 1: Rations issued as they were yesterday. Weather clear & nice. Exchange rumuors afloat. Some firing today.

Sun. 2: Very warm today. No firing except one shot early this morning.

Mon. 3: We regret that we have to believe that our forces under Gen. Early have been whipped in Valley[39]. The fight near Winchester was on the 19th Sept. & the one at Fishers Hill on the 22nd Sept. Our losses are reported to have been 12 pieces of artillery and 2000 men captured – killed and wounded not so heavy. Also heard of little fights at Waynesboro, Swift Run Gap and Weirs [Weyers] Cave, in all of which we were successful. Rations shortened one cracked today. Some firing this eve. Truce boats met today.

Tues. 4: Very warm today. No news from the meeting of the truce boats yesterday except by the grapevine, that says a lot of boxes came through for us.

Wed. 5: A nice lot of tobacco and Provisions recd. that was sent to us by the good folks of Charleston. Much of the provision was spoilt. No supper given us by Yanks.

Thurs. 6: Lived very nicely on Charleston goodies. Very small rations issued us. Some letters for our off. but none for me.

Fri. 7: Furious shelling last night. Some Mortar Shells fell in the pen – great excitement.

Sat. 8: Rather cool this morning. Some firing from a new battery near Wagoner – No reply from our guns.

Sun. 9: Very cold. Men suffer much at night for the want of blankets. All the Govt. blankets were taken from us when we were landed that was not found by Capt. Prentice. Firing from both sides.

Mon. 10: Still very cool. Rations as usual – 4 crackers ½ pt. [pint] soup ½ pt. of rice without salt & a small piece of meat.

Tues. 11: Still cold. Heavy firing from Sumpter at a Mowi-[40] that ventured too near.

Wed. 12: Cool and clear. Remarkably quiet – no firing from either side.

Thurs. 13: No bread at all today. Mush in lieu of it and that full of worms – hard living indeed.

Fri. 14: Mush again. Morning cool but the day pleasant. No firing – All quiet.

Sat. 15: Cool and cloudy today. The Federal officers have been moved away from Charleston & rumour says we will leave here in a few days. Mush and rice without salt. I reckon we would most starve if it wasn’t for the little we buy.

Sun. 16: Since our arrival on the Island 3 of our number have died, viz. Lt. Calloway Tenn. Lt. Peak, Ken. Lt. Cowper, N.C. Drew rations of crackers today.

Mon. 17: Capt. McCoy called over at our tent and sit a while –  told me of his acquaintance with the Miss Pitmans and Miss Sallie Rhodes. A negro Sentinel fired at one of our offs. by order of a Yank Lieut. because he was a little slow in moving when ordered.[41]

Tues. 18: Rations today the same as usual only the crackers are not quite so wormy. Firing today from both sides. Rained all day – Very cool.

Wed. 19: Firing today again from both sides. Papers state that Sheridan has been ordered by Grant to destroy all property in the Valley.

Thurs. 20: Recd. orders to be ready to move in the morning at day light. Drew 3 days rations of crackers and bacon. Rebs all delighted at the idea of getting away from Hollowel [Hallowell] and his negroes. Considerable firing.

Fri. 21: About daylight a sentinel shot at a man at the spring and wounded two in a tent nearby. We left the stockade about sun up marched to the wharf and got onboard 2 old steamers, half of our number on each & proceeded in the direction of Fort Pulaski, Ga. Sailed all night. Are guarded again by the 157 N.Y. Vol.

Sat. 22: Ran into Savannah River just at daylight and anchored in sight of the Fort about 9 oclock A.M. Spent the day in anxiety & suspense.

Sun. 23: About Noon all on the Schooner with Myself were landed & marched into the Fort. We were given 5 crackers and a cup of rice to last us till tomorrow at noon.

Mon. 24: Active preparations are being made to render us comfortable. Other off. came in at noon.

Tues. 25: The day is quite gloomy. Rations much better than at Morris Island.

Wed. 26: Recd. tidings of another big battle in the Valley. The N.Y. Herald says we were successful in the early part of the day, capturing 5000 prisoners & 18 or 20 pieces of artillery, but that in the evening Genl. Sheridan arrived on the field turned the tide of battle & whipped us badly driving our forces before him & making wonderful captures of artillery. The battle took place at Cedar Creek on the 19th Oct[42]. 7 crackers issued us today. All still hopeful of being exchanged before Christmas.

Thurs. 27: Rations pretty good – as much meat as I want and from 8 to 10 crackers a day. Soup always for dinner.

Fri. 28: We got our Bunk up today. Capt. Grayson and Lts. Eastham Mauck and Crisp & I occupy it. It will be much better than sleeping on the floor – All will have them in a day or two. Rations tolerable – rice soup for dinner.

Sat. 29: Capts. Lewis & Hall went on exchange yesterday & the boat brought back tobacco &c for us from Charleston & we got it today.

Sun. 30: Prayer meeting today conducted by Capt. Harris, tt was the first public service we had since we left Del. I spent most of the day in reading my Bible.

Mon. 31: Bunks are all in & only blankets are now needed to make us quite comfortable. Truce boats meet at Savannah now instead of Charleston. Only 25 are allowed to go outside of the Fort at a time.

November, 1864

Tues. 1: The prisoners are layed off in Divisions of 100 each & a chief elected to each Div. Capt. Barnes has been made chief of the 4th Div. One man is allowed to go to the Sutlers twice a week from each Div.

Wed. 2: Rations of light bread, a loaf a day to the man. Capt. Cantwell appd. [appointed] Postmaster Genl. Rumour says the sick & wounded are all being exchanged.

Thurs. 3: Many rumors, but no reliable news – the dull very dull. Rations as usual.

Fri. 4: Four cooking stoves have been brought in for our use. Volunteer cooks to each stove to make coffee bake biscuits &c &c. Grape says we are soon to do all of our own cooking.

Sat. 5: Things going on as usual, only 25 men allowed to go out at once. Rations of crackers one day & light bread the next.

Sun. 6: Report says there are now 10,000 sick & wounded pris. [prisoners] at Hilton Head for exchange. Our party has very nearly given up all hope of exchange this faul [fall].

Mon. 7: The exchange grape confirmed. 1000 are to be delivered a day commencing today.

Tues. 8: We can see the boats going up the Savannah loaded down with Pris. All very quiet with us.

Wed. 9: We can see nothing going on but the delivery of Confederate Prisoners, or at least we can see them on the boats going up the Savannah river.

Thurs. 10: Very cool & damp. No news at all today. Rations continue about the same and they are pretty good I think compared with what we got at Morris Is.

Fri. 11: Our mess had some biscuits & flour gravy for dinner – all was very nice. Rations today were 7 crackers meat & soup. Lieut. Burney died at the hospital at night.

Sat. 12: The news is that Lincoln has again been elected President of the U. States. Six months ago today we were captured. I am reading “Banter’s Call”, an interesting work. Rations of light bread & crackers alternate daily.

Sun. 13: Another of our number was called from earth today. His name was Fitzgerald. Disease was mental. An exhortation by Capt. Harris.

Mon. 14: Boats still passing up the river daily carrying Confederates. Grape says we will be exchanged as soon as they are through with the sick & wounded, but we fear it will not be so.

Tues. 15: No grape in today. Had a new sort of soup for dinner today. I don’t know whether pigs would have eaten it or not, it wasn’t fit for men to eat.

Wed. 16: No news of interest. I washed my clothes in the morning.

Thurs. 17: Nothing going on at all. The grape has even been still today. Rations continue about the same, we could eat more than we get, a good deal.

Fri. 18: Beautiful day. The exchange grape us running higher than usual.

Sat. 19: All hands were ordered to fall in line out in the yard, and to our surprise 200 of our names were called & we were ordered to be ready to move in a half hour. There were many conjectures as to what was going to be done with us. All ready, we marched to the wharf & got aboard the Canonicus[43] about 3 oclock P.M. Were guarded by a squad of the 144th N.Y., and anchored in sight of Hilton Head just awhile after dark. Got plenty to eat but were so crowded that we slept very little.

Sun. 20: Morning found us still aboard the Canonicus surrounded by various luxuries which, all that had money, were to enjoy. I had plenty of oranges & other things to eat. About 3 oclock P.M. we were landed marched through a considerable village and about ¾ of a mile to where we found our old Morris Is. tents ready for our reception. I went into Col. Manning’s Division with Lts. Mauck and Long for my tent mates. Drew a day’s rations of sugar and coffee (but only by mistake). Rained nearly all night.

Mon. 21: Weather cool & damp. 3 roll calls today – the first one about daylight. Good rations today – Sugar coffee bread bacon & soup. Wood & kettles are furnished to do our own cooking.

Tues. 22: Still cool & damp, we turned our tent today so that the mouth of it faces sunrise, it is much better. No sugar & coffee today!

Wed. 23: Lt. Mauck and I built a chimney to our tent out of sod, and went out & got wood and grass – the grass to sleep on. We made a good bed & had a good fire to sit by at night. Very cozy.

Thurs. 24: No news – Exchange grape played out. I miss Dave & Charlie – Capt. Grayson and Lt. Crisp very much.

Fri. 25: The news is that we are to be moved to barracks near the Pro. [Provost][44] Marshal’s Qrs. [Quarters] on tomorrow morning.

Sat. 26: Recd. orders early to be ready to move at a moments notice. All ready we moved to the Pro. Marshal’s yard where we found quarters very much resembling an old livery stable outside. Inside, on each side of a spacious hall, were cells about 6 feet square, four men were assigned to each cell. Lieuts. Mauck, Long and Donaghe[45] are my Cell mates. Weather cold.

Sun. 27: Rations pretty good here, so far. Coffee was given us for breakfast. Only 20 are allowed out at a time from each house – making 40 out. The 200 hundred are in two houses about 100 to each house – some few in Hos. [hospital] – The hos. is directly over us.

Mon. 28:  Commenced cooking our own rations again and they are very short too – only 7/8 of a loaf of bread a day and a little meat & soup. They issue us a ¼ pound of meat raw and they say they give us 14 oz. bread, but we think differently and we do know that all we get is not near enough for us.

Tues. 29: Rations of crackers bacon beans rice & grits issued today for 10 days – 7 crackers for a day – all very short.

Wed. 30: Col. Folk Capt. Perkins & 4 others escaped last night by cutting through the floor. It is quite cold and we suffer terribly – are nearly without blankets and not allowed any fire at all in the Barracks. Get a very limited supply of wood for cooking purposes.

December, 1864

Thurs. 1: Nothing of interest to note. We seem nearer out of the world here than at any place we have been yet – get no news at all, hardly.

Fri. 2: The officers that escaped a few nights ago have been brought back and put in a dungeon with convicts Negroes &c.

Sat. 3: All the escaped officers returned to the barracks – released from dungeon this evening. All the Yankee citizens and convalescent Sols. [soldiers] organized & armed for the defense of the Post. Gen. Foster preparing to make a move.

Sun. 4: Guards very strict today. Troops all left the Island except a small guard for the Prisoners.

Mon. 5: Fighting near Pocotaligo bridge[46].  A pt. of corn meal issued today in lieu of bread & no way providing for cooking it. Some baked it in the Ashes some fried it and some made mush. We made mush.

Tues. 6: No news from the fight farther than from one Regt. which, it is said, went in with 640 men & came out with 180. The day has been exceedingly cold & we without fire or blankets. Some are suffering greatly.

Wed. 7: Nothing reliable from the fight but we are encouraged to believe, from what we hear, that the Yankees have got a good whipping.

Thurs. 8: 10 days rations of hominy was issued, and we get besides that ¼ lb. meat and ¾ lb. of bread per day.

Fri. 9: Hilton Head paper in today. The Yanks admit a heavy loss but of course claim a victory. 7 of our wounded brought in Pris. today.

Sat. 10: No news today. Weather more pleasant again.

Sun. 11: Prayer meeting conducted by Lieut. Finly. The guard have very strict orders today.

Mon. 12: We are prohibited from purchasing anything from the Sutler or anyone else. One of the guard was put into the Guard House for selling a pie to one of our officers.

Tues. 13: No reliable news, we think. Sherman is said to be in possession of Savannah.

Wed. 14: 27 of our number left for exchange, under the head of sick and wounded. Much excitement prevailed. No wood to make Soup – fare very scant. Cold & damp.

Thurs. 15: No meat issued today & they say we are to have no more. Rumour says Fort McCalister [McAllister][47] has been taken. Had wood to boil soup today.

Fri. 16: No meat again – We are reduced to bread & water – get ¾ lb. bread a day – We do have free access to the well of water yet.

Sat. 17: We got enough wood today to cook the hominy we had on hand. We had bread & fried hominy for dinner dry bread for supper.

Sun. 18: Bread & water only today. Prayer meeting at night led by Capt. Lewis – Lt. Finly sick.

Mon. 19: We had the last of our grits for dinner today. Nothing to look forward to now but the 14 oz of light bread & water. God help us!

Tues. 20: A salute of 13 guns was fired. Gen. Sherman & staff said to have visited this place. No news. Rations – bread and water.

Wed. 21: Rations issued today for 10 days – 10 oz. corn meal and 4 oz. light bread per day and about one pint of pickle for ten days – get about ¼ enough salt to put in the meal. We had scrabbled bread for supper.

Thurs. 22: Very cold indeed. We sleep none at night in consequence of the cold and can only prevent extreme suffering in the day time by taking plenty of exercise.

Fri. 23: Not quite so cold today but the wind is very disagreeable. We made mush for breakfast over a fire in the spit box in our cell. Nearly all had a little fire in their cells but the Yankees soon made us put them out.

Sat. 24: Still quite cold. About 40 officers were brought in that were captured around Savannah and at Fort McCalister [McAllister]. Some few of them were Naval offs.

Sun. 25: How different this day has been spent from Christmas days gone by. Only mush & pickles to eat. Prayer meeting at night conducted by Lt. Finly.

Mon. 26: Suffered much from hunger – The allowance for four men is about what one would consume if he had it. The pickles are not fit to eat yet we wash the mush down with them.

Tues. 27: A little mush for breakfast & only about half enough bread for supper – forced to go to bed hungry, yet I am thankful that I am as well off as I am & believe that something good will yet grow out of all our bad treatment.

Wed. 28: Thunder & hard rain in the morning – could not make our mush till near noon, but it cleared off and the evening was very pretty.

Thurs. 29: Very cold all day. Much grape in – Thomas claims to have whipped Hood and captured 17,000 Prisoners 20 Gen. offs. and 50 pieces of artillery.[48] Genl. Ed. Johnson[49] said to be a Pris. again. Another Pro. [Provost] Marshall in Pratt’s place – Pratt gone to the front. The new P.M. (Maj. Thompson) permits us to go in & out at will. We are guarded about half the time by the 34 U.S. Cold. Troops[50]. [Colored troops]

Fri. 30: Weather very cold – men suffer from cold & hunger.

Sat. 31: Weather has moderated a little but the wind is very disagreeable – rained too today.

January, 1865

Sunday, January 1, 1865: I am still a prisoner at Hilton Head, S.C. & have asked God for grace to sustain me in every trial whilst in prison & to fit me for every duty. The coldest day there has been this winter. Rations issued for 10 days and nothing but musty corn meal & pickles again, & 4 oz. of bread per day. The bread we usually get all at one time & we make it last us two days.

Mon. 2: Weather considerably moderated since yesterday. I sold a hdkf. [handkerchief] & towel & bought a qt. Molasses and some flour. – Fared very sumptuously for a day. Preaching by Lt. Finly.

Tues. 3: The most pleasant day we have had for a week but still cold. Lt. Long & I made another raise bought some potatoes, lard, soda & coffee from the Sutler, who is again allowed to sell to us. A cat was eaten today by some of our party.

Wed. 4: No news of interest today. Grape is that the late captured officers are to rec. [receive] full rations, but that we are to grin & endure funky meal & pickles. Cats all the go.

Thurs. 5: All very quiet today. Lieut. Mauck & I got some nice shavings for our bunk today – great improvement. Corn cakes for breakfast – Mush for supper.

Fri. 6: A large mail recd. today. We are getting along very badly on the rations.

Sat. 7: 40 Privates & Citizen Pris’s [prisoners] left the pen today. The supposition is they are going to take the oath. Lots of exchange grape in today. A rat eaten by some of our number.

Sun. 8: Cold & disagreeable day. The late capture got full rations today – They drew bread meat beans grits rice & soup. No change at all in our rations. More Pris. took Oath.

Mon. 9: Rained all day – very cold and disagreeable.

Tues. 10: No news – Still cold & damp. Drew another 10 days rations of meal & pickles. Fresh fish getting lots to eat.

Wed. 11: A salute of 15 guns fired – Said to be in honor of the arrival of Genl. Sherman. No news.

Thurs. 12: We had a little meat for breakfast – the first we have had since 14th Dec. Lieut. Long getting Hos. [hospital] rations – has diarrhea. Lt. Mauck has sore mouth.

Fri. 13: Beautiful day. No news at all in the prison.

Sat. 14: Blustery and cold today. The exchange question is being agitated again, but we have nothing reliable.

Sun. 15: Lieuts. Mauck & Long both very unwell. Mauck traded corn bread for light bread today. Prayer meeting at night by Lt. Finly.

Mon. 16: Nothing at all new today. Everything very monotonous.

Tues. 17: More officers came in today – captured at Savannah. A national salute fired at 9 oclock P.M. said to be for the capture of Fort Fisher. Georgia reported to have become weak kneed.

Wed. 18: No news at all today – sick folks getting better.

Thurs. 19: Rained all day & night. No news of any importance.

Fri. 20: Report said in the morning that Lt. J.W. Davis of the 20th Va. Cav. was going out to take the oath. Col. Manning Capts. Perkins, Kitchen & Campbell and Lieuts. Akers & Caison were put in a dungeon for seizing him & cutting off his stripes & buttons. He (Davis) went out of the barracks in the evening.

Sat. 21: Raining & very cold. Several deserters have come into our midst & have applied for the oath. We have another 10 days rations of sorry meal & pickles, that is some have the pickles, others refused them. We have 40 oz. flour in lieu of bread.

Sun. 22: Raining & cold. Grape in that our rations are to be improved by the addition of ¼ lb. meat & ¼ lb. potatoes. L.B. Doyl [Doyle] Lt. 5th Va. Infty. has gone out among the oath takers – they Yanks & Negroes are all mixed up together. Preaching at night by Lt. Finly – Text John 14 chap. 7 verse of John.

Mon. 23: Nothing of interest to note – Weather damp & cold.

Tues. 24: The petition [partition][51] was taken down between our room & that occupied by Lts. Bedford Benson Eakins & Allen for the accommodation & comfort of all. We have a stove in the room and are very snug.

Wed. 25: Most of the men think this the coldest day we have had. We are very comfortable by the little stove – do all our cooking on it. No other rations yet.

Thurs. 26: All my Mess, myself included, very unwell. The change to a stove room though very pleasant has proved a disadvantage to me, I believe.

Fri. 27: Drew ¼ lb. of Salt beef and ¼ lb. of potatoes. Have been 43 days without any meat issued us, and for 36 days corn meal Pickles and a little salt & 4 oz. light bread or flour per day was everything that was issued us & a part of that time we were not allowed to buy anything.

Sat. 28: Early this morning all the late capture left us. It is supposed they are to be sent to a Northn. [Northen] Prison. 75 privates, it is said, took the oath rather than go. We find the meat & potatoes a great help. I have suffered all the past week very much with my throat, a blister was put on it last Monday & it drew a solid blister. Soreness external.

Sun. 29: Morning cold and windy, but it moderated and the afternoon was pleasant. Fried beef for breakfast.

Mon. 30: Beautiful day. Six out of 8 in our room sick. No news.

Tues. 31: Drew 10 days rations of Meal flour Pork & Potatoes, 10 oz. Meal, and 4 oz. of each of the other articles per day. All fell a little short this issue.

February, 1865

Wed. 1: The most pleasant day we have had for a Month. All remarkably quiet.

Thurs. 2: Another beautiful day. Nothing to note. No grape at all.

Fri. 3: Rained all day & most of the night. Weather very changeable – Men all suffering with colds.

Sat. 4: Most disgusting peace news. The Yanks all say the Rebels have given up & that Sherman is moving again.

Sun. 5: Beautiful morning – it causes many thought of home. Services at night cond. [conducted] by Lieut. Finly.

Mon. 6: Weather very changeable. Much cooler than yesterday & rained most of the night.

Tues. 7: Rained all day – very cold in the evening and at night. Heard of an attack on James Is. Also heard of the death of Capt. Yancy.

Wed. 8: Negro guard on today. Nothing of interest to note.

Thurs. 9: Another dull day and very cold. My throat is well & I am all right again.

Fri. 10: Rained today, but is rather warmer than it has been for several days. We are making out pretty well with rations now.

Sat. 11: Another 10 days rations issued, the same as before except Pickles – more of them issued this time.

Sun. 12: Beautiful day. Newspaper reports say a general exchange has been agreed upon. Preaching by Lt. Finly.

Mon. 13: Weather quite uncomfortable – cold again. Lieut. Long up in the Hos. waiting on the sick. No news at all today.

Tues. 14: No news of interest except the report of the fight on James Island of the 10th inst[52]. Cold & windy.

Wed. 15: Beautiful day. Cols. Manning Council and Christian were sent for by Col. Woodford & informed that an order had been recd. to exchange the immortal 600 and that we would be exchanged in a short time, & that whilst we remained here we would rec. full rations. Of course, we were highly elated by the news. Col. M. & party were released from close confinement on the strength of it. I wrote home giving the news.

Thurs. 16: Great excitement about the exchange news. The day beautiful.

Fri. 17: Windy & cold. All sorts of reports today – one is that a guard has left here to bring the Fort Pulaski prisoners. A mail recd. Today – but none for me.

Sat. 18: It is reported today that Charleston has been evacuated. No news about exchange today. W.C. Campbell, Lt. in 25th Tenn. Infty. died in the Hos. about 10 oclock P.M.

Sun. 19: Evacuations of Charleston confirmed – All the guns around fired today. Services at night conducted by Lt. Finly.

Mon. 20: Pleasant day. Exchange is all the topic. A letter from Del. states that the exchange is going on at that point. All here are in high spirts. Full rations issued for 8 days, consisting of flour meal bacon pork beans peas & soup. We have been retaliated upon for just six months.

Tues. 21: Lieut. Mauck commenced getting Hos. rations this morning. Report says we are to be paroled to the Is. – can hear anything at all though, now.

Wed. 22: I employed myself in the forenoon washing my clothes. A national salute was fired for some unknown cause. I visited Lt. Long in the evening (he had been in the bed only 2 or 3 days) and left him just before sun down thinking he was getting along very well, but to my great astonishment I was called upon at night to witness his death – He died about 9 ½ P.M. Disease – chronic diarrhea.

Thurs. 23: Rainy most of the day. Lieut. Long was buried at 1 oclock P.M. Several of his Bro. Masons & Odd Fellows & I attended the burial. Had short services at the grave.

Fri. 24: Remarkable quiet prevails today. – Some grape afloat, but not much.

Sat. 25: Weather damp & rainy. Exchange grape running high again today. Another mail in, but no letters for me.

Sun. 26: I spent the morning in reading the Bible – read the book of Daniel. Wrote to Lieut. Crisp in the evening. Heard an excellent discourse at night from Lt. Finly on the 22nd and 23rd chaps. Revelation.

Mon. 27: Could hear heavy cannonading all day in the direction of Savannah. Weather very damp and rainy. Wrote to Mrs. Long last Saturday – forgot to make note of it that day.

Tues. 28: Cannonading again today in the same direction as yesterday. Rained most all day. Were informed in the morning that we were to be sent to Fortress Monroe in a few days to be sent through Grant’s lines on exchange. Maj. Thompson gave the information and told us at the same time that he was authorized by the Maj. Gen. to say that if any did not want to be exchanged they would be sent North, to N.Y. We all went to the Pro. Marshall’s office & gave our names rank Place of capture &c but there were very few who said New York. – Not one of the old fish, I don’t think.

March, 1865

Wed. March 1: Maj. Thompson reported to have gone to Pulaski to see about getting those prisoners there ready. Weather cloudy & damp. Recd. 2 letters from home one from Ma & one from Sister Amanda, they afforded great comfort.

Thurs. 2: Very busy all day washing my clothes & cooking rations preparatory to starting to Fortress Monroe for exchange. Boat went for Pulaski prisoners today. Weather Cloudy & cool.

Fri. 3: Spent the day in great suspence [suspense] – We had expected to get off at 10 A.M. & after that time were very restless. Rumours flying all day.

Sat. 4: A day memorable as one upon which President Lincoln again takes his seat for another 4 years. We had almost despaired of getting away again when about 3 ½ P.M. we were ordered to get ready at once about 4 P.M. we marched to the Dock and were put on an old boat, the Ashland from which we were transferred to the Illinois – a first class vessel. Met with our Pulaski Friends, but found some of them in a terrible condition and one (Lt. Eastham) missing – was left at Pulaski in a dying condition. Two of our party stayed back for the oath, viz: Lt. Cameron of Tenn. & Lt. Foly of Miss. making in all 4 out of our 200. Ten officers from Pulaski took the oath and got off at Hilton Head.

Sun. 5: Our sick were brought aboard about 10 A.M. and about Noon we hoisted anchor & were off. A great many were sea sick. I suffered very much with a sore throat but was not sea sick. The names of 10 Pulaski officers who stayed for the oath are as follows – Col. J.A. Baker N.C. Capt. W.H. Craft Tenn. J.G. Kelly Capt. MO. Capt. C. Minor Texas Capt. J.M. Mulvany S.C. – R.C. Gillispie Capt. Texas – Lt. M.A. Douglass Tenn. Lt. Wm. Halliburton MO Lt. C.D. Covington Tenn. S.S. Adkins Privt. KY Capt. Wm. Baily of Fla. was left sick at H. Head – not able to be moved, and he was as much elated at the exchange news, if not more so, than any of our party – Poor man.

Mon. 6: Moved all day. Sounded Cape Hatteras just after night. More sick men than “enough”. I suffered terribly with my throat – couldn’t eat with the least degree of satisfaction. Dave was very sick.

Tues. 7: Boat ran nice & smooth, got into Chesapeake Bay about night and anchored at Fortress Monroe just before 12 o’clock at night. All in high hopes.

Wed. 8: Laid at anchor till very late in the evening then sailed up into the Elizabeth river and anchored near its mouth till morning. Many rumours all day but there was some despondency exhibited at evening.

Thurs. 9: Sailed early in the morning up to Norfolk and anchored in the middle of the river between Norfolk & Portsmouth. The latter is the largest place. Boat took on water, & commenced putting on coal in the evening.

Fri. 10: Morning found them still putting on coal and they only finished about 10 P.M. Many of the Prisoners have been allowed to go ashore & see their friends & others have had their friends to see them, so the trip has benefitted them if we are not exchanged. Some of them got nice suits of clothing.

Sat. 11: We left Norfolk & Portsmouth and soon were past all hope of going up the James. Hearts sank within us for we soon saw that we were again bound for Del. Anchored about midnight near the breakwater.

Sun. 12: Two of our number died and were thrown over-board last night, or I believe only one was put over-board – Lt. Edwards. Lt. Dillard was brought along shore & buried. All day was occupied in getting us from the boat to the pen. Found most of the 10th well. Lt. Shenk is in Hos. with small-pox.

Mon. 13: Rations today about as they were when the 600 left here last summer. Breakfast bread & bacon – Dinner bread bacon & soup. Heard of a victory over Gen. Schofield. Our forces captured 1500 prisoners & three pieces of artillery. [53]

Tues. 14: A very pleasant day. Heard of Hampton’s victory over Kilpatrick, capturing 1500 men & horses artillery wagons &c &c[54]

Wed. 15: We are very unpleasantly situated on an under bunk – catch all the dirt from above. Rations, bread meat & soup – quantity very limited.

Thurs. 16: Sick in the hospital – those from the dept. of the South are dieing [dying] very rapidly. Lieut. Boddie died today. 7 of our number have died since our arrival here. Went to preaching at night.

Fri. 17: Grape says the 600 are to be the first officers exchanged from here and that we will go through soon. No other news.

Sat. 18: Heard of the death of Lieut. G. Shenk, Ensign of the 10th Va. Infantry. He died of small-pox. Lt. Mauck & I moved to an upper bunk – are much more comfortable.

Sun. 19: The 22nd anniversary of my birthday. I can scarcely realize that I am 22 years old. I finished reading through the Old Testament. Heard two sermons one in the morning and one at candlelight. Weather delightful. Rations very small.

Mon. 20: A real summer day. I did some washing & wrote to Papa. Went to prayer meeting at night.

Tues. 21: Another beautiful day. The paper today states that negroes were being enlisted in our service rapidly. No news of any consequence. Prayer meeting at night in Div. 25. A grand concert held for the benefit of the sick & destitute without means. I, being destitute myself, didn’t attend.

Wed. 22: Had an equinoctial storm – the wind blew down the fence, between the officers & Privates, near the wash house. I went outside & witnessed Catholic service (for the first time in my life) in a church. The discourse was interesting.

Thurs. 23: Capt. Grayson recd. a check for Ten $10.00 Dollars from Mrs. Howard. The weather very cold & disagreeable – the wind very high. No news.

Fri. 24: Another cold & windy day. Rations very short & only two meals a day. Capt. G. very much complaining with sore throat. The papers contain no news of any consequence.

Sat. 25: The weather a little more pleasant. The papers on the Phil. Age is said to contain an account of a victory over Gen. Sherman in which Johnson [Johnston] killed and wounded 3000 and captured 8000 – most glorious news if it be true.[55] Had prayers in our Div. before bedtime with a view to keeping it up.

Sun. 26: Had two Sermons, one at 11 A.M. by Capt. Harris & the other at night by Capt. Sanford. Stirring grape that France had recognised [recognized] the Confederacy forming an alliance offensive & defensive[56] with her. Prayers in the Div. at night, led by Capt. Nelson. I derive much comfort from the enjoyment of religious exercises here.

Mon. 27: A beautiful day & just to think of our being penned up by Yankees. No news of any importance. Received $10.00 from Zeph English, making $30.00 he has sent me since my capture. Capt. Kincannon prayed with us at night.

Tues. 28: Roll call & inspection of every Div. at 10 A.M. when we have to have everything at the head of our beds. Capt. Kincannon[57] prayed with us at night.

Wed. 29: A cloudy day, commenced raining at night. Preaching in Div. 29 by Lt. Moore from a text in the 6th verse 1st Chapter Jonah.

Thurs. 30: Rained all day without any intermission. The paper today contained Gen. Lee’s official report of the fight of the 25th inst. – the Fort Steadman affair,[58] from which we were glad to learn that Gen. Terry was only wounded. He had been reported killed. He, Gen. Lee, didn’t say anything about losses on either side farther than that we brought off 500 prisoners. An interesting debate in 22. The question debated was as follows, Were our Forefathers justifiable in their conduct toward the Aboriginees[59] [Aborigines] of this country.

Fri. 31: Rained again all day – very muddy. 110 officers brought in that were captured the 25th at Steadman.

April, 1865

Sat. April 1: The papers full of news from around Richmond & Petersburg. Our loss on the 25th Mar. supposed to be about __[60], the enemy’s perhaps not so heavy. I have heard some news from Page through Lieut. Funkhouser.

Sun. 2: Sermons by Capts. Everett & Harris. Prayers have been held in the Div. before bed time every night but one since the system was adopted.

Mon. 3: A beautiful day. Tremendous cheering at night by the Yankees over the reported fall of Richmond. Papers give an account of a heavy fight which they say took place Saturday resulting disastrously to us.

Tues. 4: Official despatches [dispatches] from Lincoln in today’s paper confirm the reported fall of Richmond, Weitzel’s[61] negro troops having entered the city at 8 ¼ A.M. the 3rd inst. A salute of 100 guns fired at this place. The Yanks very jubilant. Old Schoepf in to see us today whilst the Salute was being fired, I suppose, to see if we were much depressed.

Wed. 5: The Committee on “Introduction” met this morning & agreed that each one of us would go around once a week hunting out members of the church from among new prisoners & try to influence them to join the Christian Association. Preaching at night in Div. 22.

Thurs. 6: I went around to the different Divs. and found 13 who gave me their names to be proposed to the Association for members. Many of them seemed very devoted Christians & I hope all are. Another grand entertainment tonight by the benevolent Musical Society. I have never attended.

Fri. 7: The weather damp & lowering. Rations the same as when I last noticed them. The Christian Association met at night in Division 34. Lt. Co. Hardiman presided. About 25 were accepted as members. Capt. Sanford was announced Chaplain of the Association for a term of 3 months.

Sat. 8: Nothing going on in our pen. Capt. Grayson recd. a letter from Dr. Thompson saying that he would send him a check for $50.00. Services at night in 37.

Sun. 9: Heard two sermons one by Capt. Harris & the other by Capt. Sanford. Capt. S. took as his text the 8 chap. 28 ver. Romans – “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose” and preached a most excellent sermon. Rumors that Gen. Lee has surrendered.

Mon. 10: The report of Gen. Lee’s surrender of the Army of No. Va. to Gen. Grant has been confirmed, and a Salute of 200 guns was fired here today. The times are really quite gloomy and many of our number are very low. The check from Dr. Thompson recd. today all right.

Tues. 11: I saw this morning the paper of yesterday containing all the communications that passed between Gens. Lee & Grant prior to the capitulation of Lee’s army. Officers and men to retain their side arms (private) and all private property, and to be paroled to go their homes, – paroled till properly exchanged. All the talk in here now is about what will be done with us. Prayer meeting at night in 31.

Wed. 12: Weather rainy & disagreeable. Not much news from the armies today. Lt. Funkhouser called in the evening and stayed with me till after prayers in the Div.

Thurs. 13: The day clear & pretty. Capt. Grayson recd. a lot of books from Miss Annie Howard. Among them was many little religious works, those he gave to me. We had a letter from Lauck in the evening.

Fri. 14: A beautiful day. All the field officers were called out with their baggage but returned again in a few minutes – no reason given for fooling them. Had crackers for dinner – 3 to the man – they are given us in lieu of bread about once every two days. The rations are not improved.

Sat. 15: Great consternation with the Yankees – early in the morning news came to the Island of the Assassination of Pres. Lincoln & Sec. Seward[62]. Lincoln died (it is said) at 4 A.M. Sec. S. yet alive but recovery said to be doubtful. Several others were severely wounded at Mr. S’s house at the same time. Our men treated very insultingly by the Yankees and all that were on parole were sent to the barracks. Genl. confusion.

Sun. 16: Two sermons, as usual on Sunday. Much excitement with many about the condition of things. A gun fired every half hour during the day – mourning for Pres. Lincoln. No mail since Friday, we are very anxious to see the Enquirer. I saw the Phil. Age of yesterday, brought from there by one of our officers who was there on parole.

Mon. 17: Weather very beautiful. No mail called today. A few letters were brought in by a Sergt. who said the mail would not be given out till after the burial of the President. A letter from Winchester brought in by the Sergt. contained Hancock’s order in circular form to the people in the vicinity of his lines telling them of the surrender of Gen. Lee and calling on all the soldiers to come up & be paroled on the same terms as Lee’s army. Moseby not to rec. the benefits of the parole[63]. Heard a lecture on astronomy at night.

Tues. 18: All said in the hearing of some of our officers that it would depend upon the result of an investigation now being made whether we would get any more mail; None at all given out!

Wed. 19: Sutler shoped moved – or at least the stores were moved to another house yesterday evening; open & all right this morning. No mail given us again. A salute or something of the sort fired from the Fort in the morning & again late in the evening – supposed to be mourning for the President.

Thurs. 20: The Sutler shop moved, in truth, this time. About 50 men lifted it up and carried it some 40 yds. We got the Phil. Inquirer today for the first time since last Friday: it contained no news of any importance. It was filled up with things pertaining to the assassination &c. It also said that the President would be sent to Ill. [Illinois] to be interred.

Fri. 21: Nothing transpired of any importance. No mail given us again. Papers came in but contained no news.

Sat. 22: Weather tolerably good. Get crackers as rations now altogether. Anxiously expected to get mail today but was disappointed.

Sun. 23: Gave out the mail in the morning, there was quite a lot of it, but I did not get a letter. Field & Staff officers had to move down to the galvanized barracks. Preaching at 11 A.M. and at early candlelight.

Mon. 24: The flag was raised to full mast. The papers contained the agreement entered into by Genls. Sherman & Johnson [Johnston]. Pres. Johnson did not approve it & sent Grant to direct active operations against Gen. Johnson [Johnston].

Tues. 25: All was quiet – nothing at all unusual going on. I wrote to Papa & sent the letter to Miss Sue Pitman.

Wed. 26: We were called & told by Capt. Ahl that an order had been recd. from the war department to send on at once alphabetical rolls of the prisoners showing who and how many were willing to take the oath. The roll was called down to the G’s with the results as follows: Yeas 243 Nays 279. I recd. a letter from my Ma mailed at Shepherdstown by a paroled soldier – was much rejoiced at hearing from home. 300 more prisoners came to this place – Oath offered to them outside & only two took it but a great many sent out applications asking to have their decisions altered the same evening.

Thurs. 27: The calling of the roll continued today, ending in the S’s with the Yea’s ahead. Nothing else of importance going on today.

Fri. 28: Concluded calling the roll of all today. Report says 1680 ans. – Yea – willing to take the oath. 15 or 20 more prisoners came in tonight. Wrote to Ma thro. [through] Miss I. Teach.

Sat. 29: No. [Notice] given at night to A.B.C’s to be ready to ans. roll call at 4 ½ A.M. Sunday. Many doubtful as to their duty if the oath is offered again.

Sun. 30: There was a meeting of Va. offs. in Division 34 – Those who had said No – to exchange views as to the answer we should give if we were again called upon to say whether or not we could take the oath. Lt. Col. Moseley was called to the chair and in turn Captains. Dickinson, Carrington, McCue, Swan, Baumgardner & others were called upon & expressed their opinions. All of them except Capt. Dickinson was of the opinion that we could take the oath without forswearing our allegiance to the Confederacy & that the condition of Va. made our duties due to her paramount to every other consideration. I was at preaching at night.

May, 1865

Mon. May 1: Waked up in the morning and found it pouring down rain & the ground very muddy. It cleared off in the evening. Dave recd. a letter from Sonnie saying that he Ed Singers & W. Tobin had answered to the oath in the negative. I heard some speaking at night in Y.H.S. Barracks upon the question of the oath and the general feeling seems to be that we should take it & go to our homes to do what we can to ameliorate the condition of our people. May God guide & direct us aright in the matter! Lieut. Mauck recd. $20.00 from a gentlemen of the same name in Ohio. Sonnie’s letter told us of Vin’s marriage. She wont have to prescribe to Hallocks order of the 28th.

Tues. 2: We were called upon again to answer Yes or No to the question, Will you take the oath? Capt. Grayson & I answered this time in the affirmative, thinking we could accomplish nothing at all by staying here longer and might do something to aid our people at home. Had bose [Bose] call today for the first time in a long time. Went to prayer meeting at night in Div. 28. 159 officers here out of 2252 have refused their assent to take the oath. I wrote to Son Lauck telling him our decision.

Wed. 3: Nothing going on today in our pen, grape says some of the privates left for their homes today. I wrote Em Rigdon. Went to preaching at night in Div. 27.

Thurs. 4: A beautiful day. Nothing going on at all in our pen. Some few of the old galvanized are being sent off now each day.

Fri. 5: I recd. a letter from my sister Manda giving me a heap of news, but some I had already heard. I answered her letter at once as requested. There was another concert tonight. Boxes are being recd. again by a good many.

Sat. 6: Rained very hard in the morning – cleared off very pretty in evening. No mail given out today. Grape says we will get off from here next week.

Sun. 7: Got yesterdays mail this morning. I got a letter from home which gave me much pleasure. Went to hear preaching in the evening.

Mon. 8: Very warm in the morning, in the evening commenced raining and continued all night. No news of any interest in paper. Went to prayer meeting at night.

Tues. 9: Rained all day without intermission. I spent the day in reading “Startling questions” by Ryle[64]. No news of interest in the paper again today.

Wed. 10: Cool & disagreeable day. Rained at night. No news.

Thur. 11: Grape ran very high – Genl. Schoepf has returned. Saw Miss A. Mallery a little while in the evening, wasn’t permitted to go outside to see her. Recd. a letter from Manda & one from Mattie.

Fri. 12: Have been a prisoner 12 months today. A beautiful day. Wrote a long letter to Mat. Recd. letters from Sonnie & Ed. Sonnie’s informed us that John H. was home – We were very much surprised indeed to hear it. I attended the meeting of the Christian Association at night.

Sat. 13: Very warm day. Prayer meeting in our Div. at night. Received a letter from Sam Judd written from Fauquier county.

Sun. 14: Heard two sermons, one at 11 A.M. & one at night. Lieuts. Finly & Cobb were out in the morning & saw a dispatch saying that Pres. Davis had been captured in Ga. on 10th.[65] Finly left for his home in the evening, on the oath.

Mon. 15: Today’s paper confirmed the capture of Davis. No other news of any importance. A few were called out today to take the oath.

Tues. 16: Davis’ picture in womans attire in todays paper. Our Div. was whitewashed. Recd. a letter from Mr. Cator of Baltimore telling me to make my wants known, which I did at once & applied for a permit. The weather beautiful.

Wed. 17: I went out to answer to the name of Capt. E. Bell. An order had come here for his release, but no such man is here. I found out that a permit had been sent to Mr. Cator. Saw the oath administered to nine or ten privates.

Thurs. 18: Weather blustery & cold. Nothing important to note.

Fri. 19: From several letters received in the pen this evening, we are encouraged to believe that we will soon be released. Col. Clark delivered an address, taking for his subject “The Mission of the Confederate Soldier”.

Sat. 20: Showery all day. No news.

Sun. 21: Rained at a rapid rate in the morning. Heard two very good sermons.

Mon. 22: Gen. Wheeler, three of his staff & 2 Colonels of President Davis’ Staff arrived here today. They contradict the statement of the Yankee papers that Davis had on a dress at the time he was captured.

Tues. 23: Wheeler and the several Staff officers that came in with him were taken out today – don’t know for what purpose. Our mess commenced getting extra rations from the dining room today.

Wed. 24: No news of any importance today. Recd. a letter from my Pa which was very satisfactory.

Thurs. 25: Encouraging news about our release contained in letters received this evening. I recd. a lot of clothing from Mr. B.F. Cator of Baltimore. I wrote to him acknowledging their receipt and asking him to send me $10.00.

Fri. 26: Again no news in the papers. I have suffered considerably for three days. Am a little better this evening. Col. Hinton delivered an address at the meeting of the Association on “The best Course to Prosperity and Happiness.” I was told by 2 or 3 that heard it that it was a splendid thing.

Sat. 27: It rained nearly the whole day. No news of any consequence.

Sun. 28: Had a moderately pleasant day. I went to Div. 35 and heard Capt. Thomas preach at 11 oclock, & at night Sanford preach in our Div.

Mon. 29: The paper states that Genl. Kirby Smith has consented to surrender upon the same terms that were granted Gen. Lee. An order today from War dept. to release those who have been sentd. [sentenced] for War.

Wed. 31: Nothing occurred worthy of note yesterday. About 50 offs. left today on special releases, among them our chief Capt. Cummings. I have signed several petitions for release, and have written to English & Mr. Mallery in behalf of Dave & myself.

June, 1865

Thurs. June 1: A summer day in reality – a very warm – Regular old routine of things going on. No news at all in todays paper.

Fri. 2: The Christian Association met in the evening & resolved to have the first Annual Meeting at Nashville Tenn. on the first Wednesday in October, 1866. Dr. Handy was declared Pres. of the Association, Lt. Col. Hardiman 1st Vice Pres, Col. Hinton 2nd & Capt. Sanford 3rd. Adjt. Law was made corresponding Secretary & Adjt. Boyle recording Secretary.

Mon. 5: Twenty-odd officers got off and among them were 6 of the old 10th viz: Capt. Melhorn, Lts. Washie, Mangy, Huffman, Ginheen and Mauck. Very warm indeed.

Thurs. 8: Nothing has occurred worthy of note since Monday till today. Today, the President’s order for the release of all enlisted men & all officers below the rank of Major, prisoners of war except such as held commissions in the U.S. service or who were graduate of West Point. Recd. two nice long letters from miss Annie Mallery & their papers. She has been very kind indeed.

Tues. 13: About 300 officers left this morning – all below the rank of Major who were captured before 1st Jany. 1864. Several other got off yesterday on specials. I am all ready & anxious to get off.

Wed. 14: About 400 Enlisted men sent off, and a few on special orders from the officers Barracks. John T. Harris & Henry Propst were in to see us.

Thurs. 15: Early in the day 22 off. (Myself included) were called out. We met with many of our acquaintances among the Enlisted men who were out to take the oath at the same time. We left old Del. just before dark – were on the boat all night.

Fri. 16: We arrived in Balt. [Baltimore] at 7 A.M. & put up at the Howard House. Dave & I spent the day very pleasantly in the City. Dined at Mrs. Tyson’s 222 Chas. [Chase] Street. Returned to the Howard at night, where we found Crimp Chapman. Dave and Crimp went to a circus, while I wrote two letters – one to Miss A. and the other to C. Crisp.

Sat. 17: We left Balt. for Harper’s Ferry by the 9 oclock train in the morning – arrived at the latter place about 2 P.M. and at Stephenson’s Depot about 5 P.M. where we commenced our civil career by riding to Winchester in an omnibus with two finely dressed Negro Ladies. Four of us Viz:, Dave, Ben Grove, Robt. Funkhouser & E. Lee Bell stopped for the night at Parkins Mill, 5 miles this side of south of Winchester – Hospitably entertained.

Sun. 18: We walked to Mr. Jessie McKays to breakfast, where we found Johnny Chapman with a wagon. He kindly offered to bring us home & we most graciously accepted his offer. Stayed with Bob Funkhouser all night.

Mon. 19: I said Goodbye to my soldier friends and arrived at my dear old home about 4 oclock in the evening – May my reception in the bright world above be as characteristically joyful as it was with the dear home folks.

July, 1865

Mon. July 10: Since my return home my time has been given principally to visiting & to friends at my own home. I have been enjoying myself, but not so much as I anticipated I should.[66]















Names of all who died of the 600 from the time we left Del. till the time we left the department of the South.

Lieut. R.C. Bryan    of Tenn.           Died at Beaufort.

Lieut. W.P. Callahan    “                  “ on Morris Isl.

Lieut. J.C.C Cowper of N.C.            “          “        “

Lieut. Frank Peak [Peake]              “           “       “

Capt. J.B. Fitzgerald      Va.             “     Fort Pulaski

Lieut. J.L. Birney            Ga.            “         “        “

Lieut. W.C. Campbell    Tenn.        “     Hilton Head

Lieut. John Long            Va.             “        “        “

Capt. M.J. Bradford      Mo.           “      Fort Pulaski

Capt. A.M. King             Va.            “        “         “

Lt. E.A. Rosenblam        “               “        “         “

Lieut. T.J. Goodloe       Tenn.        “        “         “

Lieut. C.C. Lane             N.C.          “         “         “

Lt. M.J. Burgin[67]             “              “         “         “

Lieut. R.W. Legg            Va.           “         “         “

Lieut. C.B. Eastham  10 Va.          Died at Pulaski 7 Mar.

Six left at Pulaski sick. It is thought they must die. Capt. Baily was left at Hilton Head. Dr. Connelly thinks he died the day they left.




“Charity”, in the language of St. Paul “Suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not, charity wanteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no Evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, hopeth all things, Endureth all things. – Charity never faileth.”

It is not within the power of man to improve upon this matchless definition of this chief of Christian virtue.

It will be seen that mere benevolence, or generosity, although an Essential element, is not the whole of that great virtue. “Though I give all my goods to the poor, and have not charity, I am nothing.” The simple giving of alms is but a small part of the Sacred Mission of Charity. Too often have the feelings of the necessitous been harrowed up by an ostentacious [ostentatious] distribution of alms, that never would have been bestowed had there been no other eye but God’s to witness the gifts.

Instances are numerous of men who have paraded, what they have citied their charity, through the highways and marked places, where their neighbors and kindred were actually starving around them, and there are almost countless instances of men, who have endowed collages and built churches who never gave a crust to the poor and scarcely paid an honest debt. Against this blasphemous mockery of a sacred virtue, our order (Masonic) has ever sternly protested. – She enforces [the] teachings of God, that our alms should [be done][68] in secret and not be paraded before men – that, like the deer our charities should be silent and viewless, same to those alone who come within influence. When bestowed with the hope of reward, like money put out at usury, its only reward is, the contempt of men and displeasure of God. It is also motive which prompts the gift, and not the gift itself which constitutes the merit. But the noble offices of charity take a wider scope. Charity is a principle (and not an act – acts are only its manifestations.

“Charity suffereth long and is kind.” It is that principle which leads us to bear with the imperfections of human nature – to look kindly and forgivingly upon our every brother – to lead him with a gentle hand back to “wisdoms ways”, – to rejoice with him when he prospers – to weep with him when he suffers – to impart to the mind of ignorance the knowledge which it needs, to unfold to the eye of error the sublime beauties of truth. Kindly & lovingly she supports the fainting footsteps of the widow, and throws the mantle of maternal care around the fearful orphans and when, having guided our erring steps through life, and patiently borne with our imperfections, she goes with us through the dark valley of death, breathes around our graves the fragrant breath of forgiveness, and buries in the same sepulcher with our bodies, the sins and faults which mark our lives.

By Capt. Lewis


[1] Martin G. Printz of Company K.

[2] “Lyceum” originates from Athens, Greece and Aristotle. While Lyceum was the place in Athens at which Aristotle presented his teachings, the word can also refer to the followers of Aristotle’s philosophies, or even simply a place of teaching.

[3]Andrew B. Fleming and Albert Tobin of Co. K.

[4] Martin L. Young of Co. K.

[5] Alepheus Wood of Co. K.

[6] Thomas L. Price of Co. K and Edward A. Singers.

[7] Governor Zebulon Baird Vance of North Carolina. He served as the state’s 37th and 43rd governor from 1862-1865 and 1877-1879.

[8] Erasmus M. Pitman of Co. K

[9] Samuel Judd of Co. K.

[10] According to the 10th Virginia Infantry muster rolls, the only “Mathes” in the regiment was “Frances M. Mathes”. However, there was a “James Matthews” of Company K, which was the same Company Erasmus Lee Bell served in.

[11] The Rapidan River is located in Virginia and is the largest tributary of the Rappahannock.

[12] Samuel J. Forrer of Company K, 10th Virginia Infantry.

[13] There are multiple “Zoar” churches. The word “zoar” comes from the Hebrew language and means “small”.

[14] This is in reference to the Battle of the Wilderness, which took place from May 5-7, 1864 and was a part of General Grant’s Overland Campaign. The battles fought during these few days were located in the Spotsylvania and Orange counties of Virginia.

[15] E. Lee Bell was captured on May 12, 1864.

[16] Cape Henlopen is on Atlantic coast of Delaware.

[17] Union General Albin Francisco Schoepf served as the commanding officer at Fort Delaware from April, 1863 until the end of the war.

[18] “Fish” refers to the prisoners. The old fish were the prisoners that had been at that location for a longer period of time.

[19] Bell seems to have forgotten a word between “kind” and “us”. The most likely word that should be there is “to”.

[20] Reverend Dr. Isaac William Ker Handy was a prisoner at Fort Delaware and maintained his own journal about the experience at Fort Delaware. In 1874, Dr. Handy published a 670 page book titled United States Bonds: Duress by Federal Authority detailing life as a prisoner in a Union camp.

[21] Revelation Chapter 21, verse 7 of the Holy Bible.

[22] A sutler was a travelling merchant that followed armies and sold provisions to soldiers.

[23] Genesis 6:5.

[24] Reverend George Junkin was General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s father-in-law from Jackson’s 1853 marriage to Elinor Junkin. However, his wife Elinor died in 1854 and Jackson was remarried to Mary Morrison by the time of the Civil War, which made Reverend Junkin his ex father-in-law.

[25] “Copperheads” was a term used to refer to anti-war Democrats in the Union. Because they called for immediate peace, the Republican party began to liken the anti-war Democrats to the poisonous copperhead snakes.

[26] Confederate General Richard Ewell.

[27] Dr. Handy also kept a detailed account of the murder of Colonel Elliotte Pope Jones. According to Dr. Handy’s account in his 1874 publication, Colonel Jones received no warning before being shot at. Fellow prisoners insisted that there was no justifiable cause for the sentinel, named as Bill Douglass, to shoot the Colonel. When the issue was brought to General Schoepf, the Union officers backed the sentinel and Schoepf did not reprimand the sentinel.  Captain Ahl, of the Union Army, admitted to ordering the sentinel to shoot Colonel Jones.

[28] Confederate General Joseph Eggleston Johnston was one of the highest ranking Confederate generals during the Civil War. President Jefferson Davis relieved Johnston of his command on July 17, 1864 and replaced him with General John Bell Hood due to Johnston’s string of inaction.

[29] Confederate General John McCausland burned Chambersburg, Pennsylvania on July 30th, 1864. General Jubal Early ordered the burning in response to the burnings of areas in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Although McCausland was indicted on arson charges for the burning of Chambersburg, he was pardoned by President Grant.  General McCausland was the last living Confederate general and died in 1927.

[30] The diary contains a blank space here with no visible word. It is likely that Bell meant to write “the 30th day July.”

[31] “Instant” means “of this month”.

[32] Camp Chase was located in Columbus, Ohio and was primarily used as a training camp, but also served as a prisoner of war camp. There are over 2,000 Confederate soldiers buried at the Camp Chase Cemetery.

[33] Cape Hatteras is located on the Atlantic coast of North Carolina.

[34] Cape Romain is a part of Bulls Bay, South Carolina, near Awendaw.

[35] Colonel Edward Needles Hallowell of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Hallowell became the leader of the regiment following the death of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the famous leader of the first all-black regiment during the Civil War.

[36] The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment is most famous for being the first ever regiment of African-Americans during the Civil War, as well as for leading the charge during the assault on Fort Wagner in July, 1863.

[37] The Confederate forces under General Hood abandoned Atlanta on September 1, 1864 and the city surrendered to the Union forces under General Sherman the next day.

[38] A gill is equal to about 4 U.S. fluid ounces.

[39] The Shenandoah Valley.

[40] The meaning of the word is unknown. It could possibly be a short reference to a Man O’ War ship.

[41] Likely Captain J.C. Blair of the North Carolina 1st Cavalry, as noted in a list of the Immortal Six Hundred compiled by Confederate Major J. Ogden Murray.

[42] The Battle of Cedar Creek, also known as the Battle of Belle Grove, was the last Confederate offensive in the Shenandoah Valley. Confederate General Jubal Early led a surprise attack on Union General Philip Sheridan’s camp, which was successful at first, but Sheridan managed to rally his troops and repulsed Early’s forces.

[43] The U.S.S. Canonicus was a Union ironclad ship that was commissioned in April, 1864 and it participated in both attacks on Fort Fisher, North Carolina.

[44] A Provost Marshal usually leads the organizations of military police.

[45] Lt. John A. Donaghe of the 10th Virginia Infantry, Company C.

[46] This references the beginning of the Battle of Tulifinny, which took place in Jasper County, South Carolina. The battle mostly took place between December 6-9, 1864 and the Confederates were able to push back the Union attack, despite being outnumber roughly 5:1.

[47] Fort McAllister was a key fort on the southern end of Savannah, Georgia. It was attacked by the Union army several times before it was finally captured by General Sherman on December 13, 1864. The capture of the fort allowed Sherman to easily capture the city of Savannah.

[48] This is in reference to the Battle of Nashville, which took place from December 15-16, 1864. Union General George Henry Thomas defeated Confederate General John Bell Hood, who was a former student of Thomas.

[49] Confederate General Edward Johnson was first captured at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in May, 1864. He was later exchanged and then captured a second time at the Battle of Nashville, only seven months later.

[50] The 34th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment was formed in 1864 and stayed mostly in South Carolina and Florida. George W. Brush, a captain of the 34th U.S. Colored Troops, was one of the first white officers to command a unit of all black soldiers and also a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

[51] The original diary uses the word “petition”, but Bell likely meant to use the word “partition”. A partition is something that separates two or more areas, such as a wall.

[52] This is in reference to the Battle of Grimball’s Causeway, also known simply as the Battle of James Island (not to be confused with the Battle of James Island during the Revolutionary War). Union General Alexander Schimmelfenning led the attack on James Island in one last effort to reach Charleston. Confederate Major Edward Manigault led the defense until the Union army decided to pull back. However, even though the battle was not lost for the Confederates, the city of Charleston was soon evacuated and captured by the Union forces.

[53] This is in reference to the Battle of Wyse Fork, also known as the Battle of Kinston, which took place on March 10th, 1865 as part of the Carolinas Campaign. Although Bell refers to it as a victory for the Confederates, the battle was a tactical victory for the Union.

[54] This is in reference to the Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads, which took place on March 10th, 1865 as part of the Carolinas Campaign. The Confederate goal of the battle was to capture Union General Hugh Judson Kilpatrick, but Kilpatrick managed to narrowly escape in the night in his undergarments. Although Kilpatrick managed to rally and push back the Confederates, stories spread of Kilpatrick’s escape in his undergarments and damaged his reputation.

[55] This is in reference to the Battle of Bentonville in North Carolina on March 19-21, 1865. The Confederate’s purpose of the battle was to concentrate the armies remaining in the south and push back General Sherman, but General Johnston’s efforts ultimately ended in failure. The casualty and captured numbers reported in this entry are over-exaggerated.

[56] The news was false. No foreign nation formally recognized the Confederacy.

[57] Likely Captain James Kincannon.

[58] The Battle of Fort Steadman occurred on March 25th, 1865 near Petersburg, Virginia. The battle was General Robert E. Lee’s last attempt to break the siege on Petersburg, but the attack on Fort Steadman ultimately failed and resulted in a Union victory.

[59] The natives of North America.

[60] The entry contains a blank space here, leaving out the estimated number of casualties.

[61] Union General Godfrey Weitzel.

[62] John Wilkes Booth infamously assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, while co-conspirator Lewis Powell attempted to assassinate Secretary of State William Henry Seward. During the attempt, Powell injured Seward’s son, daughter, a nearby messenger, and stabbed Secretary Seward five times, but Seward went on to recover and served in the President Johnson administration.

[63] This is in reference to Colonel John S. Mosby, who led a unit of Confederate cavalry that was famous for its successful raids on Union camps. General Winfield Scott Hancock’s orders stated that marauding bands, such as Mosby’s unit, would be exempt from the opportunity of parole if they did not surrender. Shortly after receiving Hancock’s orders of surrender, Mosby disbanded his unit. Mosby surrendered himself on June 17, 1865 and was one of the last Confederate officers to surrender.

[64] Startling Questions by Reverend John Charles Ryle, published in 1853.

[65] Union soldiers captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Irwin County, Georgia on May 10th, 1865.

[66] The war diary of Erasmus Lee Bell ends here. The following are notes written down in the same book.

[67] Bell lists this Lieutenant as “M.J. Burgin”, but the National Park Service lists the name as “John M. Burgin”.

[68] The bottom left part of the page is torn off. One word is missing and another is incomplete.