William S. Speer Diary 1863

Following is the diary of William S. Speer of Guernsey County from 1863:

Jan. 1—Pretty day, no excitement in camp.  A.M. Law and I husked some corn in the evening to get the husks for a bed.  This is the way I spent New Years.

Friday, Jan. 2—A pleasant day but has the appearance of rain.  A.M. Law and I are making cornbread today.

Sat., Jan. 3—Rained hard all day.  Got orders to move across the Tallehatchie in the evening.  It rained hard during the march.  The regiment got lost in the dark and did not reach the camping ground until 8PM, had to sleep in the mud and had an awful time generally.

Sabbath,  Jan. 4—Spent most of the day fixing up the camp, the weather very pleasant and received orders to march at 12 PM..

Monday,  Jan. 5—Marched to Valley Spring and arrived there at 10 PM, rained all night.

Tues.,  Jan. 6—Marched from Valley Springs to Cold Water, day pleasant, camped at Cold Water for the night, received a letter from home, also one from Jimmie — reports all well.

Wed. , Jan. 7—Marched from Cold Water to Davises Hills, day pleasant, distance 12 miles, camp situated on the bank of Wolf River.  Lt. Raimsey [Rainey]received his commission as Ma[jor] of regiment.

Thurs., Jan. 8—Day pleasant, most of boys received presents from home and all in the greatest glee, wrote a letter home and sent for some articles needed.

Friday, Jan. 9—Received orders to march for Moscow, started at 11 AM and marched 12 miles, camped within 4 miles of Moscow.  Camped in a beautiful grove, spent a pleasant night.

Sat. Jan. 10—Pleasant day, started at daylight for Moscow, arrived there at 8 AM.  Set up camp, fixed up better than we had for some time.  William Porter, Sam Dickson and Gen. Wagstaff arrived at the regiment from the Smallpacks Wash. at Chefsrd and reported James E. Fleming and Eric Glen dead which cast quite a glum over their comrades.

Sabbath, Jan. 11—Day very pleasant, something similar to May day in Ohio. Nothing of importance.  Mail came in but got no letter.

Monday, Jan. 1—Marched from Moscow to Lafayette

Tues. Jan, 13—Rained primarily all day.

Wed, Jan. 14—Snowed all night and is still, snowing, very disagreeable in camp.

Thurs., Jan. 16—Ground still covered with 3 or 4 in. deep, still cloudy, quiet in camp.

Fri. Jan. 17—Snow still on ground, thawing some last night, its a very cold night. Signed the pay roll.

Sat. Jan. 18—0rders to march—marched to Germantown, distance of 16 miles.

Sun. Jan. 19—0n the march by day.  Light raining and very disagreeable, marched 15 miles, arrived at Memphis at 12 AM.  Our camp was laid out on the east of town.

Mon., Jan. 20— Host of the day was spent in fixing up the camp.  Received a letter from home, one from Stuart S. and one from James G.—informed me that all was well.

Tues. Jan. 21—The regiment was paid of 2 months which made some of the boys feel tolerably well.

Wed. Jan. 22—Nothing of particular, expressed home 85 dollars, wrote a letter to Jim and one to Stuart.

Thurs. Jan. 23—Weather rather hazy and unpleasant with some rain.

Friday, Jan. 24—Took a trip to the city.   Spent most of the day there. Weather still heavy and drizzling rain.  Drew a new pair of pants.

Sabbath, Jan. 25—Still drizzling rain, received a letter from home and answered it.

Mon.  Jan. 26—Still raining and very muddy. Nothing of importance going on.

Tues. Jan. 27—Still well, nothing of importance going on.   I am on guard today at the Division train.

Wed. Jan. 28—This is a cold morning, just came off guard.  Milt Turner cussed me to hell and back again this morn.  which I will not forgive him for I have always used him like a gentleman but will do it no more.

Thurs, Jan. 29—Clear and cool.  Andy and I built a chimney to our tent.  Chidy is not well.  Mail came in but nary a letter for me.

Fri. Jan. 30—Still cool but pleasant.  Nothing of importance going on in camp.

Sat. Jan. 31—Cool and pleasant in the forenoon, commenced raining in the afternoon.  I am on camp guard — looks like I am going to have a wet time.

Sabbath, Feb. 1—Drizzling rain, mail came in, no letter for me yet.

Monday, Feb. 2—Detailed to go to the city for  hay, and corn.   John Ledmin and I bought a barrel of apples.  Mail came in.  I got a letter from brother John.

Tues. Feb. 3—Very cool, we drew new tents, which made us very glad.

Wed, Feb. 4—Still cold, wrote a letter to John, detailed to go on picket tonight, began snowing in the evening.

Thurs, Feb, 5—Still snowing, the ground covered 3 to 4 in. deep.  Came in off picket—pretty cold place when the boys informed me there was a letter for me of interest and found it was a letter from Jimmie.

Fri. Feb. 6—Still cold, snow still laying on the ground.  Ordered to get ready for inspection.  Had inspection in the afternoon by the general inspector.

Sat, Feb. 7—Snow still on ground, wrote a letter to Jimmie and received one from Dave H. and George Boles.

Sabbath, Feb, 8—0n guard at the Division train, traded places with L. Nogt and went on camp guard in the eve.

Mon. Feb, 9—Very pretty day.  Mail came in—no letter for me.  Wrote a letter to Dave H. and George Boles.

Tues. Feb. 10—This is a wet day.   I wrote a letter to Jimmie.

Wed, Feb. 11—0n guard at the division train.  Stood camp guard in the night. It began to rain about 4 AM.  I never saw it rain harder.

Thurs. Feb, 12—A heavy, misty morn., cleared off in the afternoon.   Bill Porter built a new chimney to our tent.   Andy was mort and I was tinder.   John Edgar acted as overseer. 

Fri. Feb, 13—John E, and I chopped a load of wood and had it hauled in.  Mail came in but not letter for me.

Sat, Feb, 14—Rained most of the night—still raining, has the appearance of raining all day.  I am on guard at the Division train,  Mail came in.  I got a letter from Stuart.

Sabbath, Feb, 15—Had company inspection in the morning.  Wrote a letter home,.

Monday, Feb, 16—Pretty day,  Morning clouded up and rained in the afternoon.  I got a letter from Jim Galbrath.

Tues. Feb. 17—Still drizzling rain, wrote a letter home.   Mail came in—got no letter.

Wed. Feb, 18—Pretty day, received orders in the evening to be ready to march by 6  AM.

Thurs. Feb. 19—Haven’t marched yet.  Mail came in, no letter for me yet.

Fri. Feb. 20—Received our pay in the forenoon, expressed $15 home.  Marched to the river and got aboard the boat in the eve. 

Sat. Feb. 21—Still aboard the boat.  Mail came in.  I got a letter from Father and one from brother John.

Sabbath, Feb. 22—Left Memphis in the morning—very cold, quite disagreeable on board.

Monday, Feb. 23—Arrived at Lake Providence about noon.  Landed and went to camp in the evening.  Fixed up quarters.

Tues. Feb. 24—Cloudy, has the appearance of rain.  Wrote a letter home. 

Wed, Feb, 25—Nothing of importance going on in camp.  Wrote a letter to John.  Had rain in the afternoon.  Has the appearance of a wet night.

Thurs. Feb. 26—Rained through the past night — still raining very hard.

Fri. Feb, 27—Cleared off, warm.   Captain Munson came to the regiment on a visit.

Sat, Feb. 28—Pretty morning.  Detailed to go foraging — went about 8 miles.   Found loads of corn.

Sun. Feb, 29—Very pretty morning.  Mail came in and I got a letter from home and one from Jimmie and wrote one to Lib.

Mar. 2—Very pretty morning,  I was detailed to go on picket.

Tues. Mar. 3—Pretty day, came in off picket.  Found the boys told me they had a letter from home for me which pleased me mightily.

Wed, Mar. 4—Pretty day.  I am weak.  Today wrote a letter to Jimmie.

Thurs. Mar. 5—Pretty day — no excitement in camp.

Friday, Mar, 6—Still pleasant, has appearance of rain, wrote a letter to Father and one to brother John.

 Sat. Mar, 7 ________ through the day, had a game of ball.

Sabbath, Mar. 8—Very pleasant.   Had a sermon in the forenoon by the Chaplin of the [regiment].  Sermon in the afternoon by Rev. Dickson Henderson of Ill., formerly of Ohio.

Monday, Mar. 9—Clear and cool through the day.  Clouded up and rained in the night.  I am on camp guard.

Tues. March 10—Still drizzling rain, very disagreeable under foot.   I am cook today.

Wed. Mar. 11—Very pleasant.  Mail came in.  Got a letter from Mother and one from Billey S. and Lee — wrote a letter to Jimmie.

Thurs. Mar, 12—Still pleasant — had company drill.

Fri. Mar. 13—I am on picket with co. boys and Corp.  Moor is our corp. This is a beautiful day.  But we are at the hand of Providence.  This is the first time that I at _________ Providence and  _________ that if ________ Providence everything will be brought to our hand.

Sat. Mar. 14—Just came in off picket and I had a pleasant time on picket.   I stayed 4 hours in the night. Mail came in and I didn’t get any letters.  We got orders to have our transports ready to be put aboard the boat by 6 AM.

Sunday, Mar. 15—It is raining this morn.  We are ready to march with 3 days rations in our haversacks, struck tents about 11 AM and fell into line about  1 PM.   Marched to the river, went aboard the Gladiator and spent night very pleasantly.

Mon. Mar. 16- Still aboard the boat awaiting orders.  Co. A was taken off to exercise themselves.

Tues. Mar. 17—Still aboard, have orders to go up river 4 miles and hunt a camp.  We landed about 1 PM and camped on the Louisiana [s]ide.

Wed. Mar, 18—We have a nice camp, I was detailed on picket.

Thurs. Mar. 19—Just came off picket—had a very good time—stood 4 hours in the night, mail came in and I got one letter from home.  I was cook today,

Fri. Mar. 20—Warm and pleasant, mail came in, I got letter from Jimmie and I answered it.

Sat.  Mar. 21—Very warm but pleasant, I was on fatique seating of a drill ground.

Sun.  Mar. 22—Warm, has the appearance of rain.   Got orders to have 3 days  rations cooked and in our haversacks ready to go aboard the boat at a minute’s warning.      As we went into in rough ____________ had everything packed and ready for action we fell into line about 6 PM and marched to the river.  Went aboard the Gladiator and had a wet night.  It blowed in and wet our blankets considerable.

Mon. Mar. 23—Still aboard the boat, run down the river in the night.  Landed this morning at where they call Eagles Bend and went back up the river to Lake Providence after the tug and two flats.  We headed on Lake Providence and met the Superior Gen. Lagous headquarters, coming down wheeled around and came back with them.  Received letter from Jak, Pop and one from brother John. 

Tues. Mar. 24—Will board the boat—waiting orders—I wrote letter to brother John.  Heard a speech from Gen. Legget — rubbed copperheads at home.  He gave them hail from the word go.  We have orders to land in morning at 6:00.

Wed, Mar. 25—Landed this morn. at 8 at Eagles Bend, marched 1 mile and camped in the wilderness to await orders.  The regiment has their arms stacked and ready to march at a minute’s warning to reinforce Sherman. 

Thur. Mar.  26—We have orders to pack up and march back to the river and go aboard the boat and go up the river to our old Camp 4 mi. above Lake Providence.  We arrived at our old camp at 7 PM and found everything upside down.

Fri. Mar. 27—Fixing up our camp, fixed up very well.  I am cook today.

Sat. Mar. 28—Very pleasant day.  Wrote a letter home, no excitement in camp.

Sabbath, Mar. 29—Last night a very stormy night.  Took John R, Wilson, Bill Porter, Andy Law and myself all we could do to hold our tent while John Edgar staked it down.  It still continued windy through the day.  Mail came in and I got a Guernsey Times from home,

Mon. Mar. 30—Still cool, all standing around the fire and having a good time in general.

Tues. Mar. 31—Cleared off, warm.  Got a package of papers from Lib.

Wed. Apr. 1—Still warm.  Wrote a letter to Lib.  I am cook today.  Mail came in-one from Jim and one from Stuart.

Thurs. Apr. 2—Very warm, having a good time in camp, no duty to do.

Fri. Apr. 3—Pretty day, I was detailed on fatigue.  Went up to Lake Providence and helped to load 400 bales of hay.  Came back to camp and found 2 letters for me — one from Jimmie and one from George.

Sat, Apr. 4—Wrote a letter to Jimmie and patched my pants and wrote a letter to George.

Sabbath, Apr, 5—I have been a good boy all day.   This is the Sabbath day.  Got orders to prepare for inspection but it is now 3:00 and the inspection has not come yet.  The boys are writing to their girls as they have many lovers! I wrote a letter home.

Monday, Apr. 6—Again ordered to be ready for inspection. We were ready  only in the morn.  The inspector did not come till in afternoon.  He thought we looked very well.  Mail carne in — got  letter  from Uncle  Will.

Tues. Apr. 7—Very pretty day.  The boys are playing ball.  This day one year ago I was on the battlefield at Shilo[h].  Wrote a letter to Uncle W.

Wed. Apr. 8—Very pretty day.  The whole third division assembled at the landing to hear speeches on the Nigro orgination [Negro organization, USCT?].   We heard sppeches from namely agitant Gen. Thomas and Gen. Logan.   Gen. McPherson, Gen. March,  Col. Legget, Col.  Stevens — all excellent speeches,

Thurs. Apr. 9—Very pretty day.  Mail carne in. I got one letter from Jimmie and one from Lee and one from Matthew,

Fri. Apr, 10—Still pleasant, wrote a letter to Jimmie and one to Mat and mustered for pay. 

Sat, Apr. 11—Very pretty day.  Had drill in fournoon.  Wrote a letter to Lee.  Had something for dinner — potatoes for instance, boiled with the hide on — peeled and sliced, also buns boiled, coffee and hard tack and smoked saw belly.  Have also two very nice yeast  [bread]— loves rising in oven — which are about ready to put to bake — we will have them tomorrow. Private Thomas Walters has received or about to receive a commission from the Adjutant Gen. of U.S.  for to take command as 2nd Lieut. on a Negro Co., under the new organization policy of arming the Negroes.  They said when Col. Chander told him he said he was highly honored.

Sun. Apr. 12—I am on guard,  very pretty day.

Mon. Apr. 13—Last night a very wet night—just came off guard

Tues. Apr. 14—Still wet and cool.  Mail came in and I got letter from Mother.

Wed. Apr. 15—Very pretty day.  Wrote a letter to Mother, received our pay. Got orders to have 2 days rations cooked and in our haversacks ready to march at a minute’s warning.

Thurs. Apr. 16—Still in camp—expecting orders to march.  Expressed $30 home.

Friday, Apr. 17—Very pretty day.  Still in camp expecting orders to march every minute.  Got orders to strike tents about 6 PM, fell into line about 7, and marched to landing, went aboard the Minehaka and ran down to Milligans bend in the night.  Had a pleasant trip.

Sat. Apr. 18—Landed at Milligan’s bend about 8 AM — marched 1 mile and stacked arms and got a good supply of boards , but the assembly was blown, and then we all fell into line to hunt another camp.  We then marched 3 miles and camped and John Edgar.  Andy Law and I are now itching in our tent — cracking jokes.  We have our quarters fixed up in good order truly for us.

Sabbath, Apr. 19 — Pretty day, have a very nice camp.   I am on guard at Gen. Logan’s headquarters. Wrote a letter home.

Monday Apr. 20—Just came off guard and ate my dinner, very warm day —  have the spring fever.

Tues. Apr. 21— Cloudy, has the appearance of rain.  I am detailed of fatigue to go to the boat.  To roll cotton bales for protection against the rebel batteries while we run the blocade.

Wed. Apr. 22—Have orders to be ready to march by 7 AM with two days rations in our haversacks and one in the wagons.  We marched  about  9 miles and camped in a beautiful meadow — came here for the purpose of making road.  We worked 4 hours today.

Thurs. Apr. 23—At work this morn. at 6:00 and worked till 8:00, then rested til 10:00,  Then worked until 12:00 then stopped for dinner and went at it again at 1:00 PM, worked till 3:00, then went to our quarters for the day.  Had a game of ball, then roll call, and then went to bed and fought the mosquitoes until morn.

Fri. Apr, 24—Very warm day.  Put the forenoon in rafting rails across the bean to the new road, worked in the afternoon hauling rails,  Mail came in the eve.  and I got nary [a] letter.

 Sat. Apr. 25—Have orders to be ready to march as soon as our brigade comes up.  We were early in the morn.—did not get started until 4 in the evening and marched 1 mile and camped for the night.

Sabbath, Apr. 26—Have orders to be ready this morn. by 8:00 to be on the march.  Marched 9 miles and camped.  Had appearance of rain but did not rain much.

Monday, Apr. 27—0n the march by 6 AM.   Began to rain about 8 AM.  Continued to rain more all day. Marched 10 miles and had a very muddy tramp. Camped for the night as luck would have it we found plenty of boards and fixed up a comfortable bed for the night and had a good rest.

Tues. Apr. 28—Ordered into line by 7 AM, stacked arms and went back 1 mile to help our teams out of the mud.   We soon got them out, and then went back where our guns were stacked and laid their until 2 PM, then fell into line and marched 10 miles and camped as we thought for the night.  We fixed down our beds and laid down for a night’s sleep but did not get to lay long.  We were ordered up at half past 12 AM to be on the march by 1 AM.  We were on the road at the appointed time.  Were detained on the road by the teams—did not get over 1 mile by daylight.

Wed. Apr. 29—Gave us time to make a little coffee than on the march again.  Marched about 14 miles. Camped about 8 PM, the boys are all very tired and very sore feet.  Got a good night’s sleep.

Thurs. Apr. 30—Woke up at 3 AM and ordered to draw 3 days rations and be ready to be on our road again by 5 AM.   We were out at appointed time.  Marched to river about 4 miles and landed at the landing till night.  Co. A was detailed on picket.  We did not like that very well but we have to do a great many things in army that we don’t like to do but have to abide with it—that’s whats the matter.

Fri. May 1—Came in off the picket and began to get our breakfast.  Had not more than begun till we were ordered into line, then marched to the boat.  Got aboard the Forest Irene and ran down the river 12 miles and landed on the Mississippi side.  Laid near the landing till 12 PM and we were then ordered into line and marched to the battlefield about 10 miles, and took our position about 12 PM.  We stacked our arms and laid in line till morning.

Sat. May 2—Ordered up at daylight to get our breakfast and ordered into line about 8 AM and started in pursuit of the rebels.  Marched 18 miles and chased them very close but did not get a crack at them.  We laid over in the heat of the day and marched in the night. Camped at 10 PM in the night.

Sun. May 3—Ordered into line at 7 AM again in the pursuit of the scoundrels. They showed a little fight in the morning but we had not more than got into line till they split for tall timbers.  We run them miles to a bridge on Black River and we were about 1 hour too late to catch.  They all got across but the rear guard and they were trying to cut down the bridge.  Our advance shot three of the buggers but the rest all got across and bothered our pickets all night.   They shot one of the 20th Ohio boys while working at the river. We were ordered into line in the night but didn’t move.  We laid down and let them shoot away.  They bothered our pickets most of the night — our batteries shelled them some through the night.

Mon. May. 4—We slept till sun up.  The pickets still exchanging shots.  Some of our boys took their guns and went down to the river bank and tried to get a shot at them.  We got orders about 7 AM to pack up and go back a little ways to the edge of the woods to a shade  — our brigade rounded the assembly.  Then they got our position and began to shell us.  We fell into line and got out of their range as soon as we could but not till after they had thrown several among us but we had the good fortune to get away without getting one hurt.  We marched back to the woods and stacked arms and layed down to take our ease.  Our batteries shelled them some and soon silenced them.  Henry sent a letter home.

Tues. May. 5—Still laying in same spot awaiting orders.  No move today, no excitement-spent most of day in washing up our clothes.

Wed, May. 6—Still laying in camp.  Our company is on picket today.  This is a cool day.   Mail came in— I got a letter from Mother and one from George.

Thurs. May. 7—Came in off picket at 9 AM.  Have orders to march by 10.   Did not get started till 11. Marched miles and camped in the wilderness.  Wrote a letter home but did not get it started. 

Fri. May. 8—Still laying in the woods. Finished my letter.   Was detailed on picket three hours in the night.

Sat. May. 9—Have orders to march by 10 AM—didn’t start till 1 PM.  Marched about 6 miles.  Our regiment was rear guard.  Had to go very slow. Didn’t camp until 10 in the night.

Sabbath, May 10—Started on march by 7 AM, marched 1 mile than filed off in a grove and stacked arms and layed down in the shade till 1 PM. Then we were called to attention and filed left out on the road, marched 10 miles, marched through Utica and camped in the wilderness.  We have been living on half rations.   The boys have go[t] their haversacks pretty well cleaned.

Mon. May 11—Have orders to be ready to be on the march by 6 AM.  Marched 4 miles and camped.  Laid there all day.  Drew 2 days rations of flour and baked it on sticks and boards.  John and I went to the corral and milked a canteen full of milk and bought a liver.

Tues. May 12—Have orders to be up by 1 AH and be ready to be on the road by 3.  We were on the road on time and started on the line of march towards Raymond.  As we got within 4 miles of the town our advance drove in the enemies pickets.  We were ordered up double quick into line but they showed us nary [a] fight.  We again took the line of march and marched about 2 miles again, got in another nest of rebs.  They seemed to be a little more brave.  This time our advance guard got in drill fire again.  Into line we marched in the line of battle.  Our batteries were playing on them.  Our Gen. told us they were going to charge our batteries and told us not to give back an inch.  We resolved we would not.  They came in to us rough shod, but they run against a circumstance when they run against the old reckoned Brigade.  It soon became a general engagement—had hard fighting for over 1 hour when the rebs saw they were in a tight place they retreated.  Our men firing the fire in the _______  altho while the engagement then cleared, we got 3 wounded —namely Simon Cockings, George Ricke and S. Donelson.  We layed in line about one half hour, our batteries shelled the town and got no reply.  We then got the word forward march and marched in line of battle 1 mile and laid down to await orders.  Soon got orders to forward march.  Went a little ways, then camped for the night.  This day one year ago I started home from Shilo[h].

Wed. May 13—Didn’t move in the morn.  Laid in camp till 1 PM then again took up our line of march and marched to a small town by the name of Clinton.   Arrived there at 9 PM—distance 10 miles.  Our night was detailed on picket.

Thurs. May 14—Came in off picket about 8 AM and took up our line of march towards Jackson expecting to get into a fight.  Have 2 or 3 days of fighting before we got the city.  We hadn’t got far till we heard the cannon booming.  We were sure the ball was opened but before we got within 3 miles of the city we heard the city was ours.  When we got within 2 miles of the city we were ordered to halt.  Then ordered to file left and took a scout around through the woods to see if we could find any of the rebs.   But could not find any and marched 14 miles in all.  Camped about dark.

Fri. May 15—We thought  this morning  that we were going to get a rest as we had possession of Jackson.  We have orders to be ready to be on the march by 5 AM.  We were on the march on time.  Took back the same road we came forward on, marched through Clinton on and camped in wilderness.  Marched 17 miles.  A very hot day.   Gen. Legget  came back to the brigade today.

Sat. May 16—General Leggett takes command of our brigade this morning.  We were ordered to be ready and ordered into line at 8 AM.  Hadn’t gone far till we heard heavy cannoning in front.  We were then ordered to quicken our pace.  It wasn’t long and then we were ordered into line of battle.  It was 11 AM.   We were now into it—hot.  The battle raged furiously till about ___ PM.  Our men driving them at all points.  They had to retreat.  We had 54 men wounded and 8 killed, 6 in our camp, our Lieut. was wounded severely.  They say he can’t live.  Marched 10 miles today.

Sabbath, May 17—In pursuit—8AM marched arms and was ordered a halt, filed off in the woods, heavy cannoning in front.  Got letter from Jimmie and one from Lib.  In the evening we got orders to fall in and moved over in a field to camp for the night.

Monday, May 18—Started on the march at 11 AM, was detained on road, marched 15 miles.  Did not get to camp till 10 at night.  Boys all very tired.

Tues. May 19—Have orders to be ready to fall in by 6 AM was on the road on time.  Expect to be in the Vicksburg fight today.   We are now laying in a cane break, awaiting orders.  This day one year ago I arrived at home in old Guernsey Co., Ohio.  Very heavy fighting all the afternoon.  We drove the evening back about one mile.

Wed. May 20—We’re sill laying in same spot—some firing through the night.  We are very slim of rations and not much prospect of getting much more.  We got orders about 11 AM to fall in for a move.  We moved forward about one-half mile.  We took possession —our lines are still advancing on their forts.  Very heavy cannoning all day with some musketry—the shells come over some but not doing much harm.  One of their sharp shooters took one of the 20th Ohio boys.  We fixed down for the night on a steep bank out of their range and got a good night’s sleep.

Thurs. May 21—Still laying on bank—cannoning commenced as soon as we could—we are anxiously awaiting the orders of today’s work.  I have been detailed to dig entrenchments for our batteries.  One relief is at it now.  I am on the second relief.  Our batteries are still shelling them.  The shells are flying over our heads.

Fri. May 22—Still laying in the same old bank.  Have orders to have our canteens all filled and ready to move forward at any moment.   We fell in line and moved about 5 AM—our lines are advancing on the forts.  It is said that Sherman took 3 of their forts this evening.  We have been under the enemies’ fire most of the day.  But have not had a chance to fire on them.  The batteries have been doing most of the work.  Two of our regiment have got up within 200 yards of the enemies’  forts.  We got orders in the evening to fire down our beds and be ready to fall in at any moment.  Had a shower of rain — rained some in the night but not enough to wet us up in line.  Before daylight the cannoning commenced early.  Didn’t hear much through the night.  Continued firing all day in the evening we got orders to fall in and move our position.  We moved towards the left wing and looked for the evening to try and break out but they did not alter fit it.

Sabbath May 24—Routed up at 3 AM and stood in line till daylight.  Cannoning commenced as soon as could be — continued on till noon. They ceased the enemies’ sharp shooters.  They got to shooting at us every time we showed our heads.  About 6 PM our cannon again offered on them and soon stopped their shooting.   Finished a letter I had written to John.

Monday May 25—Laying in same fashion.  We took last night.  Firing did not commence as early as usual.  At 1 PM the enemy ran up a flag of truce which excited the boys considerably but we have not yet heard what it was for.  Wrote letter to Jimmie.  Mail came in and I got a letter from brother John.

Tues. May 26—Another pretty morn.  Cannoning did not commence as soon as usual.  Very little firing through the day, our company was detained to go up in front of their forts to stand picket and sharp shoot through the night.  We took our positions about 7 PM.  They got to sticking their heads out and the boys got to shoot at them.  They returned the compliment.  They thought that wouldn’t they got to throwing over what they call hand granades.  They are as destructive as shells from a cannon but as luck would have it — they didn’t hurt one.  We weren’t there more than 2 1/2 hours till we were ordered to go back to camp.  We were to be on the march by 10 AM.  We were soon on the road and marched 8 miles.  We camped at 2:30AM and got very little rest.

Wed. May 27—0n the march at half past six.  Don’t know where we are going.  The general opinion is we are going to the Yukon River.  I was on rear guard.  Marched about 16 miles—a very hot day.  The boys all very tired.  A great many gave out.  We camped at dark and got a good night’s rest.

Thurs. May 28—Have orders to be ready to move at any minute.  Got orders to fall in line at 2 PM but didn’t get started until 3.  Marched in the direction on their roads to church.  Hope it won’t be long till we will all have the pleasure of going to church in a free government.  We are laying here waiting until our train gets stretched  out.  On the road, all ready to march again—very warm—interfered more with the heat than we ever have yet.  Marched 10 miles.  Camped near Hams Bluff.  The rebels attacked our rear guard.  Had a little skirmish.  Took a good wash.

Monday, June 1—No move today.  Very warm, the boys all laying around in the shade. I wrote a letter to Pop but did not get to send it.

Tues. June 2—No move today.  Our team goes to the river for rations today.  I was on guard at Gen. Leggett’s headquarters.

Wed. June 3—Still laying in camp.  Nothing going on.  Can hear cannoning at Vicksburg occasionally.

Thurs. June 4—Have orders to be ready to be on the march by 5 AM.  Were on the road and marched 12 miles. Camped 2 miles in the rear of Vicksburg.

Fri. June 5—No move today.  Drew new clothes which made us very proud.  Wrote a letter home.          

Sat. June 6—No move yet.  Laying in the edge of a big cane break, wrote a letter to Lil and one to George.  Mail came in and I got a letter from Henry.  Took very well this morning.

Sabbath June 7—Still laying in the same spot.  I suppose the folks at home are about getting ready to go to church.  Here I am resting on my bed and Andy Law is laying on it.  As the boys are cleaning up their guns for inspection—as the Sabbath is set apart for inspection in the army.