The Diary of Lafayette Rogan
Edited by John H. Hauberg
The following is copied from the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, March 1941 issue. It is copyrighted by them and is used here with their permission. You may visit their website at http://www.prairienet.org/ishs/
The James Rogan family moved to Ripley, Tippah County, Mississippi in the fall of 1847 and were prominently identified with the life of the community for many years.
Although the diary does not say, Lafayette was a 2nd Lt. in Co. B 34th Mississippi Infantry. He joined on Feb. 26, 1862, the date given in the introduction. L.H. Rogan joined Co. B of the 34th Miss. on the same day and was killed at Perryville. I assume he was a brother. In the 1850 census of Tippah County in the James Rogan (age 52) were the following sons; Richard 16, John 12 and Leonidas 9 (probably the L.H. above). Lafayette was not found in the census. Also on the census was a daughter Margaret age 6. A Margaret Rogan married George W. Brooks in Tippah County Dec. 13, 1860. A George W. Brooks enlisted in Co. B 34th Miss. Infantry May 8, 1862 and was serverly wounded at Perrysville. Perhaps he died of his wounds. I believe James Rogan was the Judge Rogan who was a Judge in Tippah County during the Civil War. Lafayette returned to Ripley after the war and was in business in Ripley.
Introduction by John H. Hauberg
The most interesting addition to the history of "Rock Island Barracks" - the Confederate prison on Rock Island - that has come to light in many a year was discovered at Tacoma, Washington, a year ago. While visiting relatives there we met Mrs. Albert H. Hooker, Jr. (Mary Rogan Huntington Hooker). In due course of conversation came the inevitable question: "Where is your home?" "Rock Island, Illinois," we replied. "Rock Island!" she exclaimed, "My great-grandfather, Lafayette Rogan, was a prisoner in the Confederate prison at Rock Island in the Civil War."
Then Mrs. Hooker told of the diary her great-grandfather had kept; she said that it had recently been copied by her grandson, Lafayette Rogan Jones; that she would permit me to read it; that I might have a copy; that I could make two copies, one for the Illinois State Historical Society. Later the family gave their consent to its being written up for the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society.
We found that the diary covered ninety-three pages of letter size paper, double-spaced typing, and that while its author was imprisoned from December 5, 1863, to the end of the war in 1865, the diary for some reason covers only the full year of 1864.
Mr. Jones, to whom we are indebted for performing the task of deciphering the diary - some parts being entirely illegible - added the following short sketch: Lafayette Rogan was born January 21, 1830; died, November, 1906; married Ellen Jane Hunt at Ripley, Mississippi, 1858; enlisted in the Confederate Army at Ripley, Mississippi, February 26, 1862; captured, November 24, 1863, after the Battle of Lookout Mountain; imprisoned at Rock Island, December 5, 1863; released after Lee's surrender.
Location of the prison, its environment and a bit of history are in point: Rock Island is an island in the Mississippi River, practically due west of Chicago. It is at the foot of the Upper Rapids - the "Rock Island Rapids." The cities of Moline and Rock Island border the island across the slough on the Illinois side, while Davenport faces it across the main channel from the Iowa shore.
The foremost men in the Confederate cause, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, Albert Sidney Johnston, Joseph Eggleston Johnston and others of the South had spent time here, the three last mentioned as soldiers doing their first military service against Black Hawk and his "British Band" in 1831-1832. Robert E. Lee came as a lieutenant in the United States Engineers' Corps in 1837, to survey the Rapids and prescribe plans for curing their hazards to navigation. While the thought that these prominent comrades had been associated with the place probably gave little or no comfort to a prisoner, there were, however, Democratic newspapers which cursed the Union government in a way that must have had some approval of the unfortunate prisoners. For example: "Republican Corruption: The republicans do not seem to be contented with plunging the country into horrible civil war, breaking down civil liberty and bringing financial ruin upon the Union, but they exceed in wickedness and corruption the most profligate capitals in the World." There was plenty of this kind of anti-war, anti-Lincoln material in some of the local papers, though in justice to the Argus, from which the above is copied, it should be added that their slogan was "The Union must be restored."
The Tri-cities - Moline, Rock Island and Davenport - presumably had their share of southern sympathizers. Then there was another class who were of southern birth who had a heart for the prisoners, though their personal loyalties were with the North, such as the Buford family, mentioned frequently in the diary.
This family had commissioned officers on both sides of the conflict, and General John Buford of Rock Island is credited with having selected the site for the Battle of Gettysburg and having opened the battle. The P. L. Mitchell family of Rock Island found sons of old Kentucky friends here and they acted as gobetweens in delivering to the prisoners contributions which came up from the folks in the South. A number of others are mentioned in the diary, and there were those, found in every community the country over, who cannot rest while others are suffering unnecessarily. They concerned themselves with a wide variety of service, such as supplying food, clothing, Bibles, Testaments and on to the point of aiding escaping prisoners.
While it appears that at no time was the prison population up to capacity of the barracks, there was a world of hardship to be endured. At first it was the cold, with many deaths from pneumonia, there being recorded 53 deaths from that disease in December, 1863, the first month of the prison's use. In January there were 66 deaths from the same disease, 51 in February, 18 in March, and 11 in April. Meanwhile, smallpox had broken out in terrible proportions, with 52 deaths from that disease in January, 1864, 147 in February, 127 in March, 38 in April, 10 in May and 1 in June when the plague, as such, disappeared.
The readiness with which many of his fellow prisoners took the oath of allegiance, and even enlisted in the Federal Army, shocked Mr. Rogan's fine sense of loyalty and caused some of his keenest grief. Then there was a period when they were short-rationed, and in his diary he says that the men were eating dogs.
Perhaps the most uncompromising critics of the prison management, food, sanitation, hospital care, and such, were the Federal inspectors, who made periodic visits, and insisted that things must be right. Along with criticism, they freely gave praise where praise was duly earned, and, in this connection, placed the Rock Island Confederate prison in the ranks of the best conducted military prisons in the United States.
We regret that lack of space in the Journal forbids the use of the whole diary. In order, however, that an unbiased account of Mr. Rogan's prison life may be given, we are copying in full the first two months of the year, and the full month of August, and then a lot of scattered entries. The reason for choosing January and February is that they are typical of the entries from January to the first week of May. August is typical of the material from the first week of May to the end of the year, i.e. an almost continuous line of discussion of news of the war and rumors thereof.
Mr. Lafayette Rogan Jones, who originally had the diary copied, adds the following explanation: In the preparation of these copies, care has been taken to use the author's own spelling, abbreviations and punctuation so far as possible. All but a few lines of the manuscript having been written in pencil, seventy-four years ago, in the most delicate and precise script, some passages were undecipherable. This accounts for the blanks found herein. For the same reason there may be errors.
The following is a complete copy of the Rogan Diary
The Diary of Lafayette Rogan
January Friday 1 1864
The coldest day I have ever felt. Thermomater 30 below zero. Letters from Cos. Sue. It says "Express Co. refuses to carry for prisoners." This made my heart sink lower still than the mercury. A friend had been written to who could probably give me some assistance. I must go draw rations.
Tis bad to be a prisoner but worse to know that malice can go so far. ------ public carriers to such an extreme that they refuse to carry for pay any article for Rebels whose sole dependance is on the charitable people of a hostile country. The cold is as severe as yesterday but rations must be had.
The cold abates but little. I suffer greatly for blankets. Many fellows have no blankets yet & are very thinly clad. Such men suffer terrible. We sleep by reliefs and fill each bunk heads and tails fashion. I fear that disease and death will be the result of all this suffering. Deaths have already occurred from freezing.
Robinson, Perry and King received a New Year's dinner last night (a purchase from one of Abe's suttlers). I was invited to the repast. I enjoyed it hugely. Meats, cake, pickles, pies, cheese, oysters, fruits and milk constituted the bill of fare.
The feast has not ended yet. The supply of good things is not yet exhausted. To night we have the same bill of fare we had last night. One month ago the date of our arrival we had "Hard tack" only, but that was good to us. We were ravenously hungry.
This cold weather is not just suited to Southern Constitutions. I and the ration detail have had to stand in the open air from 1/2 hour to a whole hour daily to get what we all eat - yet there is some relief - We miss inspection which is quite a bore - so much time is consumed at it.
(January) Friday 8 (1864)
A terrible ague today. Mr. W. B. Pettit of Ginnesseo, Ill. called today to relieve my wants. He furnished socks, shirts, pens, ink, paper, envelopes & stamps. What a relief to feel clean and imagine that one has no lice on him.
I feel very sore - the effects of that awful ague yesterday though I don't feel sick. I attended as usual the drawing of rations. It was a cold job but I got through quite well myself, but some of the detail cried with the pain produced by the cold.
I escaped a shake today without the aid of Quinine, whisky or other stimulant than red papper in my beef and potatoe soup, which by the by, was superbe - Napoleons chief cook could not excell it in flavor and nutritious qualities - no joke but honest truth.
Capt. Collins Com(missary) of Pris(oners) came in this morning and called for me. Asked for a specimen of my writing - brought me out, paroled me to the limits of the Island and set me to making up the record of the prisoners. Quarters are comfortable and while I remain out here I shall not suffer. I shall sleep in old Qtrs. for a while.
The new Qrs are vastly more comfortable than the old. It is however a streach of concience for me to think it right to work for "Uncle Sam." Hoping that my health and perhaps my life may be preserved by the change I will continue it until I am ordered back to prison.
There is much labor before me if I am kept in this office. Hope I am doing no wrong in consenting to writefor these folks. I think I can be of advantage to my fellow prisoners while I remain in this office.
(No further entries until)
February Monday 1 1864
Today Tom Hunt and I have brought out our blankets and henceforth I hope shall remain outside the prison enclosure except to visit the boys occassionally. I have fears that small pox will spread amongst us and sweep us from the earth and our friends.
(In ink) Mr. W. B. Pettite brought a lot of clothing, Books &c for me today - the gift of my Cos. Mrs. Sue Markell. These articles make Tom and I very comfortable. (In pencil) The Testaments I will distribute when I got in the prison.
To day I have been very sleepy having sat up later than usual last night. Nothing to render my restraint more tollerable has occurred to day. New clothes change the outer man but cant cure the desire to be in Dixie.
From some unknown cause I have felt less sad today. Tommie Tate a good little boy belonging to our regiment is dead. A sympathiser, Mr. Crampton of Davenport, in a modest way, asked Rowland for his name which he tacked on a bundle of clothing and left it for him while he was out. Good man.
I learn of a story of HughRogan who fled from County Antrim for rebellious conduct towards the british Govt. leaving Patsy his wife and Hugh an infant behind. After 10 years absence and seven years of war with the Govt. from which he fled he determined to return for the dear wifeand boy. Arriving in Philada. he met an Irish woman and a young man - asked if they were off the ship and their names. Yes and me name is Patsy Rogan and its me thats Hugh was his reply.
To day has passed without an occurence of special interest. Save that a Judge Grant of D. formerly of N. C. and classmate of Hon. J. Thompson of Miss with whom he once came near fighting over the translation of some latin. If the difference in size was as great then as now the fight would have been unequal.
To day - went into prison inclosure to see boys - found all well in No. 9 well. All of B Co. well except I. G. Bills who I dont think will live long. Two cases of S. Pox sent from No. 9 this week. Sgt. Cooke No. 1 sick - Afraid to see him thinks hehas S. P. Testaments to T. Neely and Bill P.
"All quiet today" externally but the internal commotion is great. My heart aches for liberty to give my dear wife a full exposure of that weighs on my mind and troubles the heart. Oh, that I could once more have her society and that of my precious boy and breath Southern air.
To day like all its predecessors of late has been spent in writing for the Commissary of Prisoners and in offering prayers to Almighty God for my early release and return to Country and family. Navy Roll of 664 traitors to our country completed to day.
No news today from home- When shall I get a letter from the dear wife who suffers so much in mind on my account. I wish she knew how comfortably situated and then she would be less troubled about my condition.
My blood was made to tingle as it rushed through its veins, when a deserter from Tennessee boasted of the desertions from the Tenn. Regts. I suppose he thought he was talking to Feds. alone but when I expressed the hope that all such would meet their deserts; his eyes were opened and his toung stopped.
This day has passed without any occurrence of note. Judge Grant was over. Those of the prisoners who do not desire to go on exchange sent in their names to day. Many will refuse to be exchanged hoping to be paroled. I hope they will get dissapointed and have to remain in prison.
Liberal donations of clothing continue to be made by the good ladies of Ky. Ten. and by kind friends who do not reside far from this place. Mrs. Buford of R. I. is active in procuring necessaries. Miss Kate Perry of Ky. has been here for weeks as a ministering Angel. God bless all such and send more.
Work - Work - Work all day long for me to day - How often I thought of home country and Dear Wife, boy, Fathers, Mother Sisters and the bright prospects which once were spread out before me. But I will not repine for God's hand has shielded me thus far and I trust will do so through all.
High hopes of an early exchange have filled my mind today. An exchange would be almost as an announcement of peace to us. Peace is desirable but liberty is more so. Boxes from K. P. again today.
Kind friends send many articles for the sick and needy Rebs. God bless all such. Lieut Layton takes great pains to deliver all articles and deserves many thanks for his arduous labors in behalf of the prisoners.
More relief for the needy Rebels from unknown sources. I fear that many if not all the articles sent fall in to hands which are greedy and clothe many who are unthankful. Many seek contributions who are now deserting our cause.
Home again! Home again! Oh, when shall I be there? When shall peace be re-established again & good will be to all men. No letter from home and dear ones there yet. God bless them.
Opposite our office the ice gave way and for a time promised the complete opening of the great "father of waters" but below the icy bridge was too strong to yield to the moving mass from above and soon all became a huge pile of great sheets of ice. Teams were crossing the river today. Quite a supply of good clothing from friends received today.
Quite a number of ladies at Hd. Qrs. Mrs. Buford, Mrs. Judge Grant and others. Our old friend Crampton brought some books for the prisoners and some delicacies for the sick. A large fire in Dport - to night. Tom had a letter from Lt. Moody which notified us of Adjt Millers escape.
Visited Barrack to day and found all our Regt generally well. Small-pox increasing alarmingly fast. I gave out some testaments sent to me by Cousin Sue M.
This day has been one of but little interest until Tom recvd a letter from Mewt sayingall were well at home. Glad news which has had a most joyful effect upon me. I shall now expect daily a letter from my dear Ella's own hand.
A letter from Sam M. Duffield of Phad. last night. One from Cos. Sue this morning. Testament & Psalmsfrom Miss Lusa Smith of Dport. Cigar from an unknown lady - Bessy Grant sent for my coat to mend it. Cousin Sue says she has sent me a New Years Gift - It has not been recvd. yet.
To day has been devoid of interest Home, home, sweet home - Country and Country's cause which the loved ones from whom I am separated, have filled my thoughts to day. When shall I see dear wife and boy and behold my country free and independant & at peace?
This day has been interesting in that the icecame floating down the river in sheets acres large. The unevenness of the river banks caused the ice to pile up on dry land in heaps as large as a good sized house. It was truly magnificent to behold - It displayed the power and grandure of Gods works. The R. R. bridge finally checked the ice &c.
Two years to day since our company effected its organization. It once numbered 91 now alas 35 only can be accounted for as members. Only 5 have been killed, about 5 died from wounds. The others have been discharged or have been swept off by disease.
Ladys in to day by the score, enquiring after the needy. God bless all who contribute to the comfort of the needy fellows who are so unfortunate as to be made prisoners of war.
This day has not been spent as I would liked to have spent it. I would like more quiet - to go to church with my wife & boy. I would like also to be a free man before next Sunday. Good news from Dixie to night Unto the Most High let praises & thanks to day.
The ice to day appears to be making a desperate effort to get away & the people of Dixie may look out for an invasion from the north. I trust it will be harmless to all except our foes.
March Tuesday 1 1864
March has opened most beautifully. The day has been bright and pleasant - not so with me. Gloom and darkness have overshadowed my heart the day out. To God I have given thanks for all blessings and to Him I resorted for relief from the darkness which hung about me. $22 recvd.
My petitions to the God of Heaven and earth have been answered. Not withstanding new restrictions are now cast about us I feel more happy. My heart was made to rejoice over two letters from my dear Ella. I read and re—read her sweet letters. She is cheerful my boy is well - God be praised for it.
March Thursday 3 1864
The river was cleared out yesterday. Today the ice piles on the banks are falling in and floating by - Saw another B today. Answered Ella’s letter - Haven’t felt well— Sent some Testaments inside - Bought tobacco for the boys of B. Co. The news from my Dixie is cheering. I pray God to give us aid & strength to achieve our Indep. But his will be done.
(Mrs. B. &d.)
This has been one of the most quiet days I have had - I have thought continually of home & its dear attractions--of my country & its cause - I thank God for the late successes to our arms - we have but to trust in him and do our duty & all will be well -- a present from a friend today who requests to be remembd.
Interesting objects—--ladies presented themselves at the office this evening. They have been kind benefactors of the prisoners. One of Ky’ s noble daughters was of the number - May Ky’s proud sons now struggling for liberty receive every attention from fair hands & generous souls down in Dixie.
This had been the most quiet Sabbath I have spent in last 3 mo. I have read the Bible - Wrote to Col. B & c. A friend told us that though not immenseley rich he had every-thing he wanted & if we needed money or anything else to let him know it. He did not want us to feel any hestitancy in calling on him — He might be simarly situated. I trust not.
March Monday 7 1864
The weather is delightful — Hope this mild weather will continue -the mortality amongst the prisoners is terrible. Over 800 have died up to this date — Telegram says Sherman was defeated at Chinky with a loss of 15,000 men & the complete breaking up of his army - I pray God that it is true, but can’t credit the rept.
Looking back over the occurrances
of the day I am unable to think of one worthy of note - Except it be that
more clothing was received for the needy from the charitable people of
Davenport - I begin to see the end of the rolls at which we are at work
7 deaths reported as having occurred on yesterday - K.P.
Today has been the rainy day - More rain has fallen the last 24 hours than during the whole time of our residence here. I have seen more rainfall in Miss. in a few hours than we have had since we camehere. No letter from home or elsewhere. I am getting blue again. 4 deaths yesterday.
The Steam Boat Bill Henderson went up today - Letter from Stitt today & to my great joy one from Pa - Dick at home - Will return to his command early —-
The weather is again getting cold, ice is forming on the river but a boat dared to try make a trip to some point and I presume will go all right.
March Friday 18 1864
High winds whirl firecely around the office but thanks be to God through the Kindness of Col. Johnson we have comfortable quarters & do not feel it’s chilling blast to our detriment –
The cold is getting more intense — Murcury 12 below zero.
Wrote a letter to Ella today. I hope I shall not be disappointed in hearing from her many days longer. I would be much better contented if her letters would reach me once a week. I trust that an arrangement for exchange can be made.
Weather moderating considerably. A letter from cousin Sue -She has been sick — her bro is going to be married - Has had a letter from knoxville - Many changes have ocurrred since I was there.
A letter from James - News mostly anticipated by letter from Pa. Pickney I presume thinks it rather hard to enter the service after having furnished a substitute. The signs I regard as good.
Fine weather now. Letter from Lt. Stitt - Wish I could get one from Ella. One word from home sweet home. How much I desire to see my dear Ella & our boy and be in my home & in my country again –
March Thursday 24 1864
Four mos since we were taken captive. God in his goodness & mercy has spared my health whist disease is sown broadcast amoung us - My life whilst hundreds of my fellow prisoners have died far from home & friends - Unto Him will look for deliverance from all evil
March Friday 25 1864
The fine spring-like days continue & I have noticed to day that the birds are actually beginning to "peep."I have done but little work today - Have thought of home & how happy it once was & strange, is to - did not depress me, for all that made it happy has been spared.
Good news from Dixie. Forrest is victorious at Union City - God speed him on his errand of patriotism & enable him to rid Tennessee of her oppressors.
From Mrs. Buford I received a coat & shirt, the gift of Mrs. Jno. McCom of Lexington - she requested a written acknowledgment of the receipt - I gave it paying a tribute to the old coat and the Women of Ky.
More good news from Forrest. Paducah was destroyed by him. Bright prospects of an exchange. Camp Chase prisoners under marching order & think they are homeward bound -- Oh, for an Exchange or a Parole.
My friend the quandam Jew was so happy over the receipt of the Photographs of his whole family that it made me happy to witness his joy & hear his happy toung - A confederate prisoner now confined here gave birth to a boy child today.
The story of the birth in prison has been magnified and transmorgified from a puppy to a baby - The truth however, did not come out until the story appeared in the daily Argus of Rock Island.
But little work appears now to be before me & if I am not returned to Barracks I expect sometime to read & exercise my inginuity in making trinkets to remind my friends in after years of my present condition.
Friday 1, 1864
No fun today — but all work isdone & nothing except what comes up daily is before me.
A dul gloomy day has this been. I have felt so lonely that I almost want more work to do..
The dull weather continues. Rain is falling tonight. The Bufords came over — brought a coat to exchange for the one I have before recvd. This one did not suit them & they insist that I must have a better fit.
April Monday 4 1864
My time has been spent to day mostly in novel reading. The rain continues & it is cold & very gloomy. I have been very mad to day & gave vent to my passions in an officers presence. Neil Dows villainous lies the cause.
Good news tonight - The news that an exchange had been concluded & approved by Genl Grant made us Rebs quite joyful - The boys must have heard the news by some means & that too before we got it. Letters from home do not reach me but I hope I shall now reach home ere long.
I think I discover in Sickles visit to the "Reclaimed Territory to try to reconcile the people to the U. S. Govt." the beginnings of the end of the war. I believe that could Tenn. Ky. Ark. & Ia. be induced to ceceed from the C. S. A. (confederate States) that the others would be let go - thinking that they too would ultimately return - If they are found loyal tothe C. S. as I think they are further affronts will end.
Shirts, socks and pants with books were presented to us to day by Mrs. B. I have been working over the rolls & records to find out errors in the number of N. C. I am very anxious to hearfrom my dear wife & boy - I hope I shall soon see them.
Rain, Rain, patter, patter, blow, blow, has been the order of the day I have again spent the day in seeking for the errors which I endeavored to discover yesterday - I cant make it right -the Rolls & books dont correspond.
All day I have toiled over the Rolls and record looking for the errors & now think I will get the returns alright this time.
This day has been spent in finishing up the Monthly returns. This has been a fine day & I, after my labors were ended sat about writing to my dear Ella - I fear my letter will render her unhappy if it reaches her — for I had the blues when I wrote.
I have worked but little today & have felt quite unwell all day I have felt very nervous & weak & scarcely able to stand on my feet I have some fears that I may be going to be sick.
Have suffered much today from sore eyes — Hunt I fear is going to have quite a spell - toung coated head aching con-siderable fever. The morning was bright & beautiful but the day has been cold and disagreeable --
Eyes better - Hunt has more favorable symptoms - no fever at night Quinine & McLeans Liver pills administered which I think will cure him - I have been employed at the orders of the prisoners -Weather still cold and cloudy.
April Thursday 14 1864
Hunt about right again. Weather very disagreeable — rain & hail.
Hail & Rain again. The news of the capture of Ft. Pillow appears in the morning papers - Trust that Forrest Operations may force the enemy out of Tennessee & be the beginning of a brighter page in our history - God grant it may be the beginning of the end.
Had a visit today from Judge Low of Iowa who once lived in Ashville Ala & was a firm friend of my father. He is much of a Republician & thinks that we will be compelled to give way to the gigantic preparations now being made for our final defeat.
This day has passed off very quietly. Nothing of interest has occurred to make a note of - We will soon have an opportunity to get our pictures taken.
Today an inspector from Washington visited this Post and gave us the glad assurance that an exchange was not far distant. I humbly pray to God that he may be correct in his opinion about the matter.
This has been the only fine day that we have had in April & fire has been required to make one comfortable in the house even today.
April Wednesday 20 1864
The weather continues fine throughout the day - News of a decided victory near Shrevesport over the enemy under Stone & Ranson. It is bewailed as a terrible disaster & Stone is badly abused for his defeat - I pray God that these victories will continue for us.
Have not felt well - been nervous throughout the day - No item of interest to note except a change in the weather. The morning was bright & lovely at 6 P.M. Thunder lightening & rain & the prospect is for a rainy night R.I.N.R. 54
Have felt unwell again today but have been at work all day. The Stars & Stripes for the first was unfurled at these Head Qrs. -I have not the slightest objection to its waving over a free North, but I have serious objections to its waving over a subjugated South.
For some cause or no reason all clerks at Hd. Qrs. & at the Provost Marshalls were returned to Bks. I was not surprised at the event. It is what I have looked for - I was made happy this morning by the receipt of a letter from my dear Ella - the danger of taking Small Pox is greater - but I pray God to protect us all in our changed condition.
April Sunday 24 1864
Gloomy weather - Rain all - If the clouds chilly rains of today are any index of the time we paroled Clerks are to have since our relief our change will not be by any means an agreeable one. This day five months we fell into the enemy hands.
Today has been gloomy above & below & nothing has occurred to cheer a poor fellow. Most of the day has been a blank.
Today we had the finest day of all it has been warm & bright & I have gayer & happier than on any since I have been a prisoner. I had a letter from Col B which gave me considerable hope -its tone was what I had needed.
Good news from N.C. & rumors of a great Victory in VA have cheered us greatly today. Our change of circumstances is, (I begin to feel) a great relief. Rumors of an exchange have also contributed to our …
Satisfied that the Va news is a fabrication & that that from N.C. is correct & even better than is here believed. I feel freer in prison than while on parole. Havenothing to do but to be present at roll calls & inspections and to avoid details or pay someone to take my place when I am detailed. Another man shot at today but was missed.
April Friday 29 1864
It has rained almost continually & the day has been cold &cheerless. No means of out-door amusements can be adopted on such days & such a continual clatter of toungs-whistling, singing, speech—making, dancing, hollowing & c & c renders it impossible to read with any degree of pleasure.
Again have we been made to rejoice over the news of exchange & this time we are confident that there is no mistake. We surely will leave this place before many days and 0’ how gladly will we receive orders to march homeward & how thankful to God are we for His Kind protection over us here.
May Sunday 1 1864
Spent the forenoon in reading Morning and Night watches -Attended divine service in Main Avenue. An Episcopal Clergyman officiated & the congregation joined in the responses. The Post Chaplain Mr. (blank) was introduced - No allusion to our relations to the US was made. The prayer for the President of the US was omitted.
One of the dull days. Not one since our return to prison has been so blank. Not a rumor to disquiet or excite our dull spirits tis cold too. Cold enough for a February day in Dixie. Overcoats have been in requisition all day - Have taken cold.
May Tuesday 3 1864
Spring struggles hard to make its appearance; but Winter is stubborn & resists with uncommon force the death to which it must ere long yield - My cold does not improve - It has made me feel quite unwell today.
Spring appears at last to have made its advent. Warm, gentle, bright, shining & balmy she comes to drive away the sad & bitter traces of a terrible winter. Alas how many hearts have been made desolate by the awful severity of the winter? How many wounds made which can never be healed? Letter from Cous. Sue.
A bright day - with a nice shower at the close. Wrote to Ella - Good news from Ark. Genl. Marmaduke captures 240 wagons 7 pieces Art. & 1000 prisoners. Washington N.C. falls into our hands - Yanks claim a victory on 9 & 10 Apl. Claim 1000 prisoners & 9 pieces Art. Banks at Alexandria. Rebs advancing on Newton N.C. Hard nut the Yanks ...
From various sources we get the rumor that we are to be sent away for Exchange very soon. The papers say Grant has begun a forward movement. I pray God to give us an overwhelming victory over his hosts - one that will bring peace. An order to shear & Shave wasgiven today. Complied with generally.
May Saturday 7 1864
Rains. 5 men escaped. Va battle said not to have commenced. Grant reported in Lees rear Lee in his entrenchments at Orange C. H. Reports that Kirby Smith fell upon Banks Red River Fleet at Alexandria & destroyed 10 gun boats & transports. Ohio Dem. favor unconditional recogntn of C. S. Nail the sentiment on their banners & clear the deck for action. Yanks alarmed about something.
Others escapes reported. Contradictory reports from Va. Lee falling back — 4 hours fighting without anything decisive - 2 days with heavy loss on both sides - Siegle marching thru West Va. on Weldon R. R. From trans - Miss, we have it that Steel is fleeing from Price and Marmaduke — K. Smith presses Banks Polak, menaces Vicksburg & Natchez — Quantrell in Kansas with 3000 men. Rain - Warm -
Rumors & rumors of rumors Federal Defeats & Confederate disasters. Don’t know what to believe. Hope victory awaits Lee & his brave troops but the many contradictions brings fear between us & hope. A kind & sympathetic letter from a little female friend in Davenport.
Continuance of rumors throughout the day & most of them of an unpleasant character for Rebs. At night the load of sadness which has rested on our hearts began to feel lighter as we heard that the defenders of Richmond had not been defeated. Still later rumors were to the effect that Lee was a victory with many thousand prisoners. All is yet doubt and suspense with us.
May Wednesday 11 1864
Conflicting reports reach
us. Most plausible of which is that Lee is falling back. Yanks do not rejoice
- evidently do not think Grant has made much - Butler claims to have defeated
Hill. I fear that Butlers operations are forcing Lee back. I tremble for
May God help us & give us victory --
All is doubt as to the result in Va. Yanks evidently do not regard the affair as being a victory for them - as signs of rejoicing here abouts - Flag at half mast - Grant, Sedgwick & Wadsworth with 3 nameless Gens. reported dead .constant prayer is that God will give our armies courage & strength to resist & defeat the invader.
News of an unpleasant character reaches us. The enemy claim to have taken 50,000 prisoners. The number is doubtless extravagently exagerated, perhaps they yet have no cause for exultation - I have all along been prepared for defeat; but I nevertheless nurtured to hope that victory would be given us & I pray God to make defeat - if it must come - victory.
Little news which is calculated to encourage us with the result in Va. reaches us, true some of the papers acknowledge defeat to Grant, but others claim a brillant victory for him. I suspect that bogus dispatches are made up especially for our depression. I think if a victory had been achieved they could not refrain from rejoicing. O God in Thee is our help. In Thy will we trust.
May Sunday 15 1864
Today all US buttons and tails of all govt coats were cut off. Our news is that Lee in the Providence of God has driven Grant back. The loss is reported enormous - blood is said to have run 6 in. deep. Yankee off, try to depress us with a report that Grant has captd 40 pct. Art & 48,000 pris. and is still capturing by brigades &c &c &c.
Papers of this date say all prisoners captd prior to the 7th inst are exchanged. I trust it is not false — Nothing from Lee & Grant. That Johnson has been defeated near Dalton we begin to believe. Yank claims 5,000 prisoners Reports placing defeat at the door of Thomas & giving old Doc the 5000 prisoners are also rife.
All day a perfect dirth of news - Reports of Federal defeats & Confederate reverses both in Va & at Dalton were rife after roll call. Suspect that things in VA. are to our advantage & that nothing has been done in Ga. Great vigilance on the part of the Yanks to keep papers from us - Not successful in their efforts it is believed.
Flag raised in our sight. National salute fired - a febble huzza — Lee at Spotsylvania. Sherman repulsed - Forest thought to be in Shermans rear. Chattanooga & Bridgeport with all intervening & all stores at both places destroyed by him - Not disposed to believe the report.
May Thursday 19 1864
A call for 300 ... Recruits which I presume was about filled. But most of the gentry are sorry fellows - Sherman’ s defeat & Forrests exploits still asserted. Polk said to have taken Vicksburg with 4000 prisoners.
Johnson reported falling back below Kingston. Other reports say Sherman is endeavoring to escape byway of Knoxville. Papers say Port Hudson, Natchez and Vicksburg have fallen into our hands. Butler claims victory over Beauregard. Acknowledges to have lost some of his brigades & to have retired. Grant is thought to be retiring. Claim to have fought Leeon 18th. Entire loss on both sides 100,000.
Lee & Grant have had
more fighting. Grant has been unable to move Lee. Loss heavy.
Do not hear from home. It causes much anxiety to be so long without a letter, though I suppose I should not expect one.
Preaching at 3 o’clock by Mr. Gracy. Nothing of a definite character from Va. Sherman’s advice to Kingston confirmed. Vicksburg said to a certainty to be in our hands. I yet fear defeat but pray for sucesss. Panic among prisoners & Garrison tonight caused by some rolling barrel with rocks along hill.
May Monday 23 1864
Loss of 27,000 in 5th Army Corps is admitted by Yanks on 21st -Final results still a matter of doubt — Lee admitted to be the greatest Genl of the age. Conflicting reports from GA - Sherman at Rome Ga — Kingston - & near Atlanta & in full retreat to Cumberland Gap. R. R. in E. T. destroyed - Prisoners expected here - feed badly cold troubles me.
Six mo. a prisoner — no immediate prospect of exchange. News from Va. is encouraging. Grant at last reported falling back. Lee 15 miles NW. of Spotsylvania in fortifications. Grants loss over 100,000 - Same conflicting reports from Ga. Weather cold cloudy & disagreeable.
May Wednesday 25 1864
All important dispatches supressed - Yet a rumor is current that Sherman & Johnson had fought at Resacea without any decisive results. Whether Lee or Grant is making a retrograde we can’ t decide. Some assert that Lee has given away while others assert the reverse.
Am. Gazette 24th confirms destruction of Bridgeport & says M-boro is surrounded. Forest pickets at La. Morgan (?) Resacea prisoners re-captured. Leeat Chan.ville Chi Times 25th says Lee falling back Beauregard repulsed by Butler. Some paper says Congress sent a committee to Grant to inquire what had become of the 100,000 he had lost. Confed losses at Resacea 3600 Yankee 4800 Walthall.
May Friday 27 1864
News from Va. leaves us in doubt as to the results of the battles there. Sherman’s HDQ’s at Dalton. Rumor places Nashville in Forrest’ s hands with 82 Pc Art - Loss 1000. Banks surrendered with 8000. Expe-dition of 8000 men 20 Gun Bts & transports captured on Red River. Butler retires with loss of 8000. 160 prisoners from Little Rock.
Saturday 28 1864
Morgan captured 132nd Ill 100 day troops 300 prisoners arrives -rumors concerning Nashville not credited. Banks escapes with 5000 pris. Capture of RiverExpedition thought to be true - Lee between N. & S. ann Rivers. Grant sends flag of truce & ambulances to Chancellersiville for dead & wounded. Why is it. 37 Iowa to go to Memphis. What for.
Yanks claim to be nearer Richmond than our forces butsay Lee has a strong position from which it will require three or four days to dislodge him. Think he will be compelled to give Grant a fair fight or stand a seige at R. Dispatches are however contradictory.
Johnson at Dallas Ga. - Why is it? Is Sherman after Selma - is he after retreating via Rome. Grant moving by his left crossing Pannicky (Pamimky). Breckenridge at Hanover C. H. in force not sufficiently acquainted with the geograph to form an idea as to whether Lee or Grant is given back. Yanks say Lee is fooled. Talk of an ex-change. Gold 180 3/4.
May Tuesday 31 1864
The only news I could gather to day is that gold is 193½. Go it ye greenbacks. I would that I would hear from home again but suppose while battles are almost daily occuring before Richmond that no letters are allowed to pass the lines. God give us victory and peace and reunion with our loved ones.
June Wednesday 1 1864
Storm & Escapes last
night. Reduction in rations. Molasses cut off 2½ lbs. soap for 1000
The day spent in reading a novel --Delaware or the Reuined Family -Innocent exculpated gently punished lovers married the poor are made rich &c. An other escape this afternoon.
Not a single item on which I can rely as being at all probable. As on all days when no news is circulating. I have been calculating the probabilities of getting off for home & praying for a letter from my dearest Ella & Boy.
Extravagant rumors are floating about today giving Lee 40,000 prisoners captures in Pa. Ky bend. Grant believed to be in Chickahomony swamp —— Lee in his entrenchments at Richmond. Victory rested with Lee at the same point two years ago. I pray God to give it to him again.
News concerning position
of Grant & Lee confirmed. Rumors also that Lee had flanked Grant &
now ha his Hd Qrs at White House.
Violent headache all this afternoon. I fear I am going to be sick.
June Sunday 5 1864
Have been sicker today than I remember to have been in 20 years. Headache, backache, pains in bowels - High fever, sore throat, stupor &c &c. How depressing to think of a sick bed without loved ones to minister to ones wants.
Am better today, yet have been compelled to keep to my bunk. Neck grows sorer & I fear is going to give me trouble. Have taken 4 Blue pills which with the Quinine which is to follow I hope will break up my fever. Yank alarmed about an outbreak by the rebs. Say that a deep laid scheme has beenreported by some of their “doves” “Moonshine.”
Feel better still. If I
could only hear from home I would I think be almost well. Yanks claim to
have fort Darling. Say they attacked Lee & were compelled fall back
a little. Fight with Johnson —- losses 5,000 killed & wounded - captured
60 prisoners. Morale of J’s army excellent.
Malitia called out to quell fight between citizens of Dport & the farmers around. Price of provisions cause.
Have felt very badly today. Report says Butler has capitulated surrendering all 20,000. Grant East of Rappahannock. Sherman at Chattanooga after being badly whipped. Lincoln asks armistice for 90 days. Davis replies take your troops off Confed. Soil. L. refuses (refers) matter to …
June Thursday 9 1864
Man killed by sentry last
night for asking to go to privy -—another shot today. No circumstances
warrant such a line of conduct towards us.
Butlers capture appears to be confirmed. I am still very sick. Medicine seems not to have the desired effect.
Have suffered greatly today — -had two fits of vertigo this morning--fever all day. Have heard no news today. Tom had letters from home all well. Oh how much I pray to be returned to home & my family.
Have been very sick appear not to be improving in any respect -Some Strawberry for Mrs. Judge Grant which are the only thing I have been able to eat for a week. (writing unusual)
Went to hospital today with erysipilas.
Found hospital pleasant place & began to improve.
Loose part of my hair and beard. Disease spreads again. In some places it appears to be arrested.
Erysipilas almost checked & if it does not again break out I shall soon be able to return to barrack.
Pain again today. Disease hard to arrest.
June Friday 17 1864
Letter from Ella today —- all well. The letter did much to revive my spirits.
Recvd a kind note from Mrs. Buford today expressing sorrow at my illness & asking if I want anything. Begin to improve.
Feel better today. Take all my beard off today. Changes my appearance wonderfully.
Doctor consents to my returning to Bks. Disease broken. Am very feeble. Did not get off from Hospital.
Returned to Bks. this morning. Am not as stout as I thought —-have had to keep to my bunk nearly all day. Many of the boys did not recognize me.
Feel much better today — I think I shall soon be as stout as usual. Two prisoners shot today without the least provocation. One dead. Gold 2.03. News generally of a character to cheer us.
Hunt quite sick today with fever. Grant & Sherman both claim to have advanced some after heavy fighting. Losses not stated. Gold quoted at 225 & 229 which don’ t look much like Grant or Sherman either were likely to accomplish their ends.
June Friday 24 1864
Hunt better today. No fever. Gold 2.08. Rumors of Confederate success at Fort Darling over YANKY fleet. Nothing from Johnson. 700 prisoners arrived this morning -- from Johnson & Morgan.
Hunt gone to hospital - Don’t think he will be much sick. Something to eat today from Mrs. Buford & Mrs. Kingsby. Took descriptive roll of new prisoners.
Went bathing in River. Much pleasanter outside of prison - Good breeze & shade with everything very green - High fever again in afternoon -sore throat — fear I am going to be sick again. More prisoners today.
No fever today Whalen (?) captures & burns 7 supply trains in Sherman’s rear. Note from Hunt. He is improving & thinks he will return to barracks in a few days.
Some currants, raspberries, lemons, cake & preserves. I suppose from Mrs. Grant.
Have been quite sick again today. High fever headache nearalged in Eyes and teeth — fever cool at night. H P Hill makes an attak on Yanks puts them in confusion kills & wounds 1500 captures 1000 & resumes his place in Lees line of battle.
No fever today. Note from Mrs. Grant dated 25. Gold 2.36. Sherman makes an unsuccessful attack looses 2 to 3000. Our loss small-Yanks claim all RR to Rmond to be cut. Say G. Has Lee by the throat & intend to strangle him. Sheridan is attacked between White House & J. Riv.
Miss fever again today. Hunt returns from Hospital. News of Sherman Repulse confirmed. Yanks now say they have not cut all the roads to R. They got whipped on Weldon R.R. 1 Brigd captured.
July Friday 1
Notwithstanding I miss fever I •feel very badly - Paper of 30th contains no news — all dispatches are of a contradictory character, so confused that nothing can be gathered from them. I begin to feel very anxious to hear from home - Gold closes at 245.
But little improvement in my health, though I am free from fever. I have been unable to get any news from any quarter that is at all reliable. Pillow is said to have captured 1800 Yanks & 18 pcs Art at Ripley Miss. (Pillow is 250 miles from that pt.)
Gold declines to 190 in consequence of Fessendens appointment. I imagine Brokers have more to do with it than F. Can’t stay so low many days. A Yank killed last night in a fray with other Yanks. Am better today.
Yanks in Davenport had a celebration & at night had a display of fireworks. News is unimportant. Rumors of exchange are again afloat. They are without any foundation except that a call for men who don’t want to be exchanged.
Ewel defeats Hunter captures his Art & trains & is within 10 miles of Potomac. Grant is burning Petersburgh. Sherman occupies Marietta -flanked Johnson. Gold closed 2.35. Health improves. No letters from any quarter. Think my letters are intercepted both ways. Lincoln will order dft for 500,000.
July Wednesday 6 1864
Hooker, Hurker & McCook killed on 27 June - failed to move Johnson. Ewel at Harpers Ferry. Kirby Smith & Taylor said to be east of the Miss going to Johnsons relief U. R. Corps ordered from here to defend Washington. Gold 270. Hope Grant & Sherman will have to pull up stakes and move back.
U. R. Corps does not go. Sherman is said to have Marietta. Am disposed to discredit it. Yet fear that it is true. Ewels strength is variously estimated from 4000 to 30,000. Yanks appear to be somewhat puzzled by this move but I fear that it will prove of no avail in defending Richmond.
The occupancy of Marietta by Sherman is confidently asserted. Say that Atlanta must soon fall. Grant has 100 pcs Art. in position before Petersburg. Some brilliant move it is claimed is on hand. What is it? Ewell in 1½ miles of Frederick Md. Can be seen driving of horses & cattle. Gold. 2.75.
Fighting at Frederick; Ewell retires. Yanks do not claim a victory. Say that a considerable part of Lees Army is in Maryland. Gold 2.70 to 2.75. I pray God that he will prosper our cause & give us victory but his will not mine be done. Something to eat from Mrs. Grant.
No news today. Heavy rains last night & this morning. Day spent in reading.
July Monday 11 1864
Sherman flanks Johnson & causes him to retire to Chatahoocha River. Captures 2000 prisoners. Ewell takes Frederick Md. Feel better today than I have felt at all since I have been sick.
Rebs burn Gov Bradfords home in 4 miles of Baltimore. Destroy York & BW & P Railroads. Capture trains take all Yank Art. & wagon trains & 1000 prisoners. Great alarm but say they can manage it without weakening either of their armies..
Ewell in 9 miles of Washington. Considerable alarm felt - begin to think that it can’ t be managed so easily as at first supposed. Nothing heard from Grant. Will he have to leave Richmond? Forrest is reported to have taken Athens Ala.
At Baltimore reports are rife that Washington has fallen. Most reliable news is that skirmishing is going on near the place. Papers say our force is large & but feeble resistance can be offered. Weak force & Many sick & wounded. Forrest reported killed at Ribley in fight with Smith.
Paper of today says that Ewel is recrossing the Potomac. Fighting occurred within four miles of Washington. Large numbers of cattle have been brought out by our forces. Has the object of the campaign failed or has all be accomplished?
July Saturday 16 1864
The recrossing of the Potomac by our forces is confirmed by the papers. It is also reported that Petersburgh & Atlanta have both fallen; yet neither report is believed. The supplies brought out of Maryland are said to be very valuable.
Intensely hot & very sultry, with a perfect derth of news, but any quantity of “grape” of any & every quality. The Yanks appear to have made the blockade effective again. It will not remain so long. No letter from home yet. It is time for one again, I am anxious.
What is said of yesterday may be repeated for today not an incident to enliven us.
Pleasanter today. Papers come again. Sherman south of the Chatachoocha. Johnson at Atlanta. Nothing from Grant. Missouri Malitia going over to Confederates. Guerillas in Ky. Feel pretty nearly free of rheumatism today.
The weather is still pleasant - News of yesterday confirmed -our forces reported to be going into Maryland again. This time with heavy artillery. The intelligence concerning Ky & Mo. is said to be creating much excitement in those states.
July Thursday 21 1864
No news of any interest is afloat today. I am suffering from rheumatism. One prisoner kills another without provovation. Still cool and pleasant.
Almost cold enough for frost this morning. H. Greely & Commissioners from the Confederacy meet at Niagara and talk about peace. Confederates ask passports to Washington which are granted on conditions which are not acceptable.
Tis said that our commissioners propose to treat upon the basis of a reconstruction and the freedom of the slaves actually freed. They deny it. Lincoln asks reconstruction and the freedom of all slaves. He sends commissioners to Richmond — object unknown - Gold 2.54.
This is a quiet day and spent chiefly in reading D’Aubigne” History of the Reformation under Luthers preachings. Yanks claim victory at Winchester, Tupelo, Hilton Head and Atlanta. Had a letter from My Dear Ella — all in good health — may God soon unit us as an unbroken family.
The sad intelligence of Richards death reached me today. The three younger brothers have given their lives for their country. To us it appears a heavy sacrifice but God’s ways are to us unscrutable yet his requirements are just. We have a consolation — he was a professor and died for liberty.
July Tuesday 26 1864
Any number of rumors of which give us victory. Newspapers speak of a heavy fight at Atlanta and claim a federal victory. Their account of it however does not convey to my mind the idea that their loss was less than ours. I think too the Tupelo and Pontatoc are ours.
Hunter and Averill defeated. 2 Brigds are captured by us. Yanks banish Geo women beyond limits of US and others are to be kept this side of the Ohio River. Letter from Cos. Sue. She has been sick -gives particulars of Richards death.
Defeat of our forces Atlanta
confirmed by dispatches of today. Say Hood losses 6000 theirs 3500
Sickness is rapidly on the increase. Flux is the prevailing disease from which many die.
Lee and Grant fighting. No particulars given. Trust that victory awaits us. The conspiracy in these US is attracting considerable notice and much alarm is felt by the tyrants who lord it over a subjugated and maddened people.
Hood reports of the battle at Atlanta claim victory with many prisoners and some of the enemys guns. Butler ... heavily Thursday and Friday. Sherman holds his position. Letter of 27 June from dear Ella. All well. Richard died 24 May.
July Sunday 31 1864
Not a word of news today. I have suffered severly from Rheumatism and have not otherwise felt unwell. I felt that I am to have trouble with this disease during my stay here.
August Monday 1 1864
Shermans operations have not been satisfactory. Atlanta to be speedily invested. The principal fort at Petersburg blown up & first line of entrenchments taken. Ewel destroys Chambersburg PA by burning. Making shirt studs of shell. Hands & shoulders give me much pain.
Grant repulsed after taking the 1st line of works. Federal loss 5,000 ours heavy. Negro division behaved badly - Nearly all of its officers killed. S. C. Regt. burried almost entirely by explosion. Nothing from Atlanta or from Ewel.
Further particulars from the Petersburg fight but no other engagement. Nothing from Atlanta. Copperheads & Militia fight in Montgomery Co. Ill. Cops. victorious. Other bands of C. heads said to be cutting up both in Iowa & Ill.
Southern papers claim 10,000 prisoners at Petersburg. Lincoln & Grant in consultation at Fortress Monroe. Mead superceded. Hooker ordered to Washington. Exchange going on in trans Mississippi Department. McClelland …
McCook captures 500 wagons & 500 Prisoners which are retaken with 2300 Fed. prisoners & 4000 horses by Gen. Rains after a desperate fight. Hood reinforced by two divisions from VA & two brigades from Mobile. 250 men burnt (?) Chambersburg. Our loss at Petersburg 800. Ewel at Martinsburg. Confederate Cavalry in Maryland.
The news of yesterday is
confirmed only by todays paper. Various rumors are afloat but cant be traced
to any reliable source.
The Yanks call for a Reb. to hoist their flag which has gotten out of order. - They want the pole 120 feet high climbed.
A complete dearth of news to day - Finished reading 2nd Vol of the reformation by D'Aubegni. Those times were such as tried mens souls. Rome was strong but drunk with sin gloating blood & all sinfulness.
Gen. Canby (?) orders the exchange of 30,000 prisoners. Recvd a box of tobacco a dozen cigars & a paper from Mrs. Jones of N. York - had to pay $1.25 extra express charges.
Yankee Monitors (2) are said to have passed Fts. Morgan & Gains & are shelling Mobile. Times characterise Grants campaign as the most disastrous ever made against Richmond and pronounces it a failure in toto G. thought to be with …
Three Monitors & 14
Gun-board have passed Fts. at Mobile. One sunk. 2 of our … are captured
1 sunk - Mobile is in great danger.
Should it surrender Hood & his army are in great peril. Must leave Atlanta or finally capitulate to our terrible foe I fear.
The news from Mobile is said to be exagerated. Longstreet is said to be marching to Hoods relief with 30,000 Confeds marching on Cumberland Gap.
The news from Mobile gives Fts. Gains & Powel to the enemy - with guns & 600 men - why such disasters? They but cause reverses when otherwise they would not occur.
I am in the shirt stud & breast pin business. Have sold $1.50 cts worth - & yet have a dollars worth. It has required two weeks & a 50 ct. file to do this - Stock & cash accounts show $2.00 clear profit. Time being out of the question.
Our city of 8,000 souls has been much rejoiced to day over a false rumor of an early exodus. No news has reached us. I have felt less rheumatism to day than any day since I was attacked - Have some symptoms of diarrhea.
Have been increasing my stock of shell jewelry to day. Three days fighting at Atlanta on 6, 7 & 8th inst Hood reports our loss as being insignificant. The Yanks say loss on both sides is small. "Times" says the reports of the surrender of Ft. Gains & C are obtained from rebel
No further news from the front except that affairs begin to assume a threating attitude in the Shennandoah Valley. Grants withdrawal is still asserted. Armed resistance to Lincolns draft is threatened by the Copperheads of Indiana & the entire Northwest. Troops are being distributed over the country to enforce it.
Five regts. at Chicago supposed to prevent the assembling of the Cop. Hd. Convention. Gov. Seymore refuses to furnish any more troops - A meetingat Chicago declares their opposition to the draft & say if they must fight it will be for the constitution - Yank loss at Atlanta stated at 500 & also at 2,500.
Grant moves from north side of James river - gains some advantages which Yanks appear to think will increase the chances of the capture of Richmond - Early reinforced & Sheridan falling back. Grant cuts a canal. Mobile not in much danger - Wheeler at Dalton.
Sheridan at Winchester fortifying Yanks - think Lee must withdrawto his fortification at R(ichmond) or recall Early as they are now in 6 miles of the city - Wheeler is reported at Dalton - Filmore & Seymore of ct. spoken of democratic nominees. Nothing from Atlanta.
Letter from John Gray at Camp Chase - wants money - Wheeler fights at Grayville. Strail (?) killed - Steadman wounded - result not given - Valandigham says if we dont want to come back let us go - Lincoln will do as well as a war democrat.
Answered Grays letter - Read the history ofthe reformation - tried to get some news but none is afloat - Order from Com. Gen. of Prisons prohibiting us from receiving supplies from friends & from buying anything to eat & c.
Nothing in the way of news to day from any quarter - Have beenat work in shell to day - Mostly at finishing up some studs which I had formerly made - Now have 5 sets ready for sale - The trade however appears to be dull now & I may not find sale for them.
Fabulous rumors about Grants defeat at Malvern Hill & consequent retreat from before Richmond & also of Shermans retreat from GA are circulating to day. Some even say that they have read the accounts in the "Journal." I don’t credit either. Negro recognized by C. S.
Forrest enters Memphis, captures most of Fed. offs there - releases prisoners - destroys commissary stores remains eight hours. Fight in P & Weldon R. R. Yanks loose 3,000 - driven back two miles reinforce & retake the field. Rumors of the capture of Tullahoma & many prisoners.
Yesterdays R. I. Argus says volunteers were called for at Moline & 83 enlisted for a few days to guard us. 6,000 troops are now said to be here. Apprehensive of an effort to release us - Warm times anticipated at the democratic convention next Monday - 0, for some action that will give peace.
No news to day - Continuance of unreliable rumors about affairs at various points. The Chicago Convention now attracts our whole attention. The result of which we expect to have much influence on the war. We hope for war here to give us peace at home.
A reb dresses in Yankee uniform & effects his escape by boldly walking out of the prison gate. Make a … of shell. The news from the outside world has not reached us to day - Weathercoolish during the entire day - two blankets are required for covering at night.
Richards escape reported this morning - a raid upon us took 5 blankets from Rowland & I. 3 of them our own property. Fight in Valley of VA - result not given - Heard of Col. Bentons death. In him we lost a gallant leader, a good friend, an excellent man & the country a noble defender.
This day has been wholly without news. All eyes are turned now to the Copperhead convention hoping that peace will follow its action. Another raid this morning this time for federal uniforms. No discovery in our Bks. I expected to have lost a shirt but didn't.
Sherman is swinging round to Macon road. Hancock makes a raid in same direction is successful in destroying train & capturing prisoners and Art. All of which we afterward recaptured. Yankee loss on Weldon R. R. Heavy and they are driven back after five charges from our forces.
Letter from my dear Ella as late as 15th inst. All well - Carrie gives a description of the fight in Memphis. Fought all around their house. Five bright lights in the heavens tonight. They appear something like the tails of comets but disappeared after half an hour.
September Thursday 1 1864
Times 31st says McClelland and Pendleton are the nominees of the convention and that it passed harmoniously. 30 states were represented. Early is retreating from the Shenandoahvalley. Battle imminent at Atlanta -Lee will probably attack Grant on Earlys return.
This day like many others has
been without a rumor to give us joy or produce despondency with us.
At times when every soul is eager with expectations for the news from the outside world the fates appear to combine against us to keep it without the prison bounds. The platform is said to be inside.
Any quantity of rumors afloat today about disasters to our cause none of which deserve credit. Papers say it is rumored in Washington that an exchange has been resumed. Shermans communications said to be disturbed and must fight or retreat from Atlanta.
Yanks claim Atlanta has been taken. The circumstances have not trans-pired as yet at least so far as we have been able to learn. The day has been dull, cloudy, cool and disagreeable. Have had the blues all the afternoon.
September Monday 5 1864
The fall of Atlanta is said to be confirmed in papers of the 4th -Said to have been taken on the 27th August.
The fight on Weldon RR is said to have been severest of the war. Yank loss between 20,000 and 30,000. Ours equally large. We hold the R.
Nothing today except contradictory reports concerning the fall of Atlanta - Yanks claim 26 pcs Art, and 1,000 prisoners. Whilst the Times is said to dispute the whole story and give to Hood a decided victory over Sherman. I have discredited but now believe that the place is lost to us.
Atlanta and its fall is the only news talked of amongst us. Many discredit the report and some assert even that Morgan is the author of it all and also of a dispatch which sayd he is killed.
Still the fall of Atlanta is the only news which the papers give us -Sherman official dispatch has been published giving particulars. I trust that good may come of it thought I can’ t see it unless good is to result from our defeat.
Mr. Dickinson killed 18 Aug. by 6 Ten. Fed ... Early Whips Sherman in the Valley. Has R R & Telegraph communication with Richmond and intends staying where he is. Expects to keep the B&O RR torn up during the remainder of the war.
September Saturday 10 1864
Extracts from Mobile papers a genl. Exchange has been agreed upon. God send it is my prayer. A letter states that Capt Hubbard and Adjut were killed recently.
Exchange news ran high all day but at night our hopes were dissapated by a peep at the papers which say the Commissioners had not agreed.
Yanks make a call for volunteers offering $100 for year as bounty and promise not oppose them to the rebel Army.
September Monday 12 1864
The heart grown sick & the soul sinks within me when I see so many deserting our cause. From 1,500 to 2,000 of the prisoners here will enlist for frontier service. A Yank officer stole a watch fob from a fellow prisoner to day.
My estimate of those who desert us and join the US is probably too great. Reported the fact that Henry Sousens (?) had stolen the fob chain. Don’ t know what can be made by it - The Commanding Officers however will know that those who come in the prison rob us.
Wrote to my dear wife yesterday.
Shall look daily for letters from her as it is now about time a dixie mail
was at hand.
The exchange seems to have played out again and another winter is before us in this cold latitude.
September Thursday 15 1864
The Yanks appear to have lost all care for humanity except so far as the negro is concerned. If my Government can’t effect anythingfor me I must begin to devise some way of escape from prison
This has been another day entirely devoid of interest in the way of news. The traitors continue to give their names to federal officers as being desirous of enlisting in the US Service. Oh when will men be true to justice.
The news of the day is devoid of interest save that Sherman in his infamy has ordered all citizens from the fallen city of Atlanta to leave. Every day brings new credence of Yanky infamy, degradation and utter loss of shame and self-respect.
Has been cold and disagreeable all day. Too much so to read with any satisfaction. No news floats. The frontier fever still rages among the vile traitors to our cause and country.
Cool weather again yet not so disagreeable as on yesterday. A letter from my dear Ella today -- all well — - how happy it makes me to hear from her and my boy from whom the fortunes of war have so long and so cruelly…
Last night I was constantly dreaming of my dearest ones so far from me and planning some way to get to see them — once I was so near that I saw my boy looking out of a window with eager eyes to catch the first glimpse of me as I was expected home.
September Wednesday 21 1864
Our Calvery capture 2800 head of cattle large number of horses and a regt in Grants rear. Rumored that Yanks have been driven from Weldon RR and that Early has been driven out of Shenandoah Valley. French and Confeds vs Feds and Mexicans fight on Rio Grands ... for Feds
Early defeated --- losses 3,000 prisoners 15 flags—-retreats through Winchester--- great jollification at Rock Island --- 20 guns fired last night—- 30 rebs. capture 2 steamers on Lake Erie. 2 Confederate P-—tins on the lake Federal train captured at Ft. Smith.
The news from Early grows darker today. Yanks now claim 3,000 killed and 5,000 prisoners — Have driven Early 30 miles -— 7 Generals killed -— The news was bad enough at first but grows as it gets older. I must think it greatly exaggerated.
A regt of Contrabands arrived at this port for garrison duty. One man to four companies for roll calls. Taking names of disabled men for exchange. Men unable for duty will be held Sherman & Hood exchange 2000 prisoners Sheridans victory I think will dwindle down to almost nothing after all.
Yesterdays papers say that Earlys defeat is fully confirmed and that he has met with a subsequent defeat at Strausburgh. The contrabands have not yet come on the parapet. We hate it but I suppose we must submit to this indignity as we have to others.
8000 Southern men to day are guarded by their slaves who have been armed by the Tyrant. One of our number was killed & two others wounded last night in cold blood. Mobile surrendered. Camp Chase prisoners charge the parapet & escape.
A rumor aloat today that Lincoln issues a peace proclamation pro-posing to give solemn guarranties that the rights of the south shall not be molested if the confederacy will return to the union but Lee must keep what he has stolen from a people who can fight for their rights.
Forrest takes and destroys Elk River Bridge. Price in Mo and creates considerable excitement. Lincoln refuses to see the Yankeeprisoners exchange commissioners. Mobile ... taken. Hood marching with large force for Alabama line. Negro shoots at prisoner.
Forrest at Pulaski drives Rousan (?) steadily before him -- has been reinforced by Wheeler. Price thought to be advancing upon St. Louis -fears entertained that he may crop in to Ill. Frontier men are soon to be taken from amongst us. Letter from Gray. Negro shoots.
This is the sadest day of all the days of my prison life. 15 men deserted us andtake up arms against our cause. Oh how depraved the men of the present generation are become. Self, home, parents, dearwife and children are abandoned for the sake of a few oz of meat and bread - God forgive.
October Saturday 1 1864
Have spent today in idleness and consequently had the blues. Surgeon in inspecting the afflicted for exchange. A letter from my dear wife --all well —— I replied immediately. Felt less sad after reading Ellas letter. Tom is on parole again -- will go out in the morning.
October Sunday 2 1864
Four rebs escape last night. Tom is out. I shall not see him again soon. Will not fare so well now. Negro declares his Southern proclivities - is taken under guard from parapet. His name is Saml Craig of Ky & says he was drafted. A Reb walks out at the gate after Roll Call.
Quite a number of rebs broke out of the pen last night climbed over the fence cut through & dug under - four were retaken- others I dont know how many are yet out. Two from No. 9. The boys from Walthalls Brigd. are yet OK. Nigs all right.
Other unsuccessful efforts at escape last night. 2 escape to day. Rumors that an exchange has been agreed on for 27,000 of the oldest prisoners on hand. I don’ t regard it as at all reliable - I have the blues every day. Weather very disagreeable.
The exchange news has again died out. Rumors of a fight at Richmond in which the Yanks lose heavily — Result unknown to us. Price making quite a fuss in Mo. I fear he will not effect much in that quarter -3 escaped prisoners captured and returned to Bks today.
October Thursday 6 1864
The fight at Malcolm Hill appears to bring in the discomfiture of Genl. Butler. Don’ t think the fight .... Forrest demands surrender of Confederates. Dalton is the .... One Corps of Hoods Army (?) captured north of the (?) of the Chatahoochie River.
Rowland ... but … at the gate and returned plus a ball and chain and minus his Federal Uniform. Grant defeated and … Shermans Communications…
Exchange news runs very high this afternoon. ... states that the Confederate Govt. having agreed to exchange negroes. A genl. exchange has been effected. The particulars of the late fight at Richmond are slow reaching us. Enough is known however to satisfy us that Grant has met a defeat.
The exchange news is very encouraging. The prospects appear that we will soon follow the sick and wounded, some of whom it is understood will .... I fear however that we will be disappointed again.
From every quarter that we get news the situation appears to be more flattering than at any time recently. It is thought that Hoods operations in Shermans rear will necessitate his retreat from Ga. I trust that that little army of Tennessee will be victorious.
October Tuesday 11 1864
But little news from any quarter today. Papers are but a reprint of those before received. Target shooting by a battery at Camp McClelland. At first we thought that Yanks had achieved a victory somewhere. But such appears not to have been the case.
Making preparations in Rock Island for a Republican mass meeting on tomorrow. Price caused much alarm in Mo. Fourteen men taken out today and call extended for more. Five leave our Barracks. 180 have gone to the calf pen.
Desertions continue to occur to the enemy. 5 left our bks & probably as many as 200 have gone to day - Brown of Ga. replies to Sherman that the difficulties which he will encounter in his _____ will be great - All hands went to R. I.
H ... at ... captures 3000
Wheeler (?) destroys Q.M & Corn, stores there. Price crosses Mo. River.
Lee whips Grant. Sheridan on the retreat - 500 Rebel at Bloomfield, Iowa.
Richmond reported taken. Out again today waiting for commissary of Prisoners. I did not learn very much outside. Papers inside confirm the news of Hoods taking Rmd & Wheelers (?) operations at ... & Forrest at Eastport, Miss. Disables five transports and captures Ar. & 28 prisoners.
October Sunday 16 1864
Called out again today. Had my hands full of work. The news from Dixie is very cheering but I do not credit it. Hood is said to have captured 5 Army Corps of Shermans Army at Atlanta is in our hands (?) again.
I learned nothing today. Obtained leave to send a letter forward to my Father by Mr. Wesly who is going on exchange in a few days. I wish all of us were going but I see no hope of it soon.
Hood at Rome. Wheeler takes Marietta & destroys the Corn and Qm. stores there. Price is crossing the Mo. River. Lee is reported to have whipped Grant again Sheridan is on the retreat - 500 Rebs at Bloomfield Iowa.
Hood is marching toward Lafayette. Sherman claims every point ever held by him -- is following Hood up closely. Hoods position apears to me to be one of great danger. Must result in a brilliant success or a terrible disaster.
Fine day and some news from Price. He appears to be having things pretty much his own way in Mo. Marmaduke is reported at Cape Girardeau. I trust that things will eventually work to our advantage and give us a speedy peace.
Rainy dull day and not a word of news from any quarter. We are all anxiety and suspence about Hoods position —— don’t know what to make of it -—has he anyone behind to annoy Sherman — what is he after?
October Saturday 22 1864
Fight in Valley of Va. Longstreet defeats Sheridan & captures 20 pieces Art. —— is subsequently defeated and looses 43 pieces Ar. and a large number prisoners and is in full retreat and in disorder. Times don’t credit.
News of yesterday is confirmed by the Lincoln papers but the Times persists in the idea that it is one of Stanntons victories on paper.
No news today.
Went to Sutters today to
buy something to eat but did not find it.
Layton says he intends having myself and those who go out with me paroled 1st of next month. I fear he won’t succeed in his effort if he makes it.
I saw Mrs. G. & Bessie and ate apples.
Nothing of interest has occurred today —— have seen no papers and consequently know nothing of what is doing.
The proposition said to be in consideration by our people to put negroes in the field and free those who fight through the war meets with the approval of the prisoners here if it is deemed necessary by our Govt. Anything before subjugation
October Friday 28 1864
Federal claim that Price has been defeated in Mo. by Pleasanton loosing 2000 prisoners and all his artillery except one piece for which he has no ammunition. Say he retreated 92 miles in 48 hours -- don’t believe a word of it.
Quite a sensation has been created amoung the prisoners by a report in the papers that each Government feeds its prisoners -— also by a report that we in future shall be allowed to receive anything that may be sent to us and buy what we have money to purchase.
Grant with his entire army on the move — has six days rations - is making demonstrations against Lees right — claim 300 prisoners and to have driven our forces from positions held at advanced points. Holt escaped yesterday.
No news today — rumor that Grant has taken and hold South Side Railroad. The last two mails from Dixie have failed to bring me any letters. I am getting anxious to hear from my dear ones again.
November Tuesday 1 1864
The news from Grant shows that he has made another failure at taking Richmond. As usual he accomplished his object it being to ascertain whether Lee was evacuating Leesburg as he hadbeen informed.
November Wednesday 2 1864
Today has passed leaving no news from any quarter to discuss among ourselves. Rebs continue to escape from the prison by some means. How or by what hole I am unable to learn.
The news begins to bring to light the pleasant fact, that Gen Grant has met with a disaster from Lees brave boys. I expect that Genl to retire from Virginia after the election. Don’ t think he can winter around Richmond.
To my very great satisfaction I am again paroled tothe Island and now have good food and comfortable quarters from which I hope I shall not be driven again whilst I remain a prisoner. I have to work for my living though.
The News Column is filled up with political dispatches from various quarters -— but little war news is given being deemed of less importance than the election of the great head of the army of the US.
This has been an unpleasant day in that we had nothing to do but expect something all the time a very uneasy situationto be placed in. The news from Hood is so meager and enveloped in so much mystery that it is difficult to know his whereabouts, but we infer that he is across the Ten. River and has designs upon Nashville and that Sherman will evacuate Ga. soon.
November Monday 7 1864
We have no news today. The weather has been fine but at night rain begins to fall and the morrow bids fair to be a fit index of the result of the election which will assuredly be Lincoln re-election. Like the day which will be dark, dreary, cold and cloudy — the times will also be.
Today has been a very rainy one. The election in this vicinity has passed off very quietly and entirely the satisfaction of the Lincoln Party. The cops are wofully defeated
November Wednesday 9 1864
Election returns from all qrs indicate that the people of the north are yet mad. I believe that Mr. Lincolns re-election is however our ultimate salvation as a free & independent Confederacy of States. His rule will be iron & his yoke galling. Change will come.
Heavy loss of public stores to our enemy at Johnsonsville -— also of transports and Gunboats at same point. Hood said to cross the Tennessee River. Thomas in his front and Sherman in his rear. I trust in Providence for good results.
Sherman burns Atlanta destroy the Railroad from Chattanooga to Atlanta and marches for the seaboard. This road will be hard to travel. He must fail if he proceeds without communication with Nashville.
Dispatches still represent Sherman marching eastward. Snow falls tonight
November Sunday 13 1864
All work suspended today and I am absorbed by thoughts of my dear ones so far from me and whom I may never see again. My prayers for peace for no more bloodshed and for home and its dear ones are daily offered to Heaven.
Morning breaks beautifully after a slight snow which Saturday and Sunday. The news of the day has lost all interest to us. In fact we get nothing which is reliable except an occassional hint from Hood whose present position is to us here inexplicable.
The capture of the Florida is causing much speculation as to what neutral powers will have to say in the matter. The papers neither condemn or approve the course of their naval officers and should the greatpowers of the earth demand a surrender it will be made.
Great results predicted
from Shermans grand movement -- All is however conjecture with reference
to his intention.
We shall see what we shall see, when time developes his intentions.
Nothing of any interest for us in the papers today. Election returns fill all the columns -Vague hints as to what Sherman and Grant expect to do and boast that Thomas can whip Hood back are thrown out.
November Friday 18 1864
Desertion and treachery of a US Naval officer on the Miss River is made public. Magruder threatens Steel -— no apprehension felt by the Yanks about him. Gn Mc is too weak.
Fine day this. All is doubt yet as to Sherman and Hoods intentions. Hood is where he can intercept Sherman if he moves on Savannah or Mobile.
Sat today for Photographs. A letter from Cos Sue & ($?) in it. When will I get one from my dear Ella.
Bad, blustery day and not a thing to cheer us. Nothing ... souther account ... Breckenridges ... in ... hopeful expectations ... I trust our papers may give the true state of affairs.
Very cold and great quantities of ice in the river. A few days of such weather will close the river up ... prison will suffer much. Oh that our exchange could be effected.
Speculations as to what Sherman and Hood will do fill the papers. Gen. Hood can’t go forward and that Sherman has no …
The weather moderates and
... very pleasant compared with that of a few days back.
Prisoners expected. Where they come from I don’t know. No word from home yet. A few Old point letters.
November Thursday 24 1864
565 prisoners captured in MO. ( ?) arrived this morning. Nearly all claim to be conscripts. Some ... Federal pickets. I suspect ... they are democrats and even ... to prevent them from ...
The river is lower than ever seen having fallen 3 feet in the last twenty-four hours. The weather is again bad and winter appears to be setting in with earnestness. Wehave no news from any quarter
The river is still low and one prison is without water ... how ... to be without a sufficiency of food and drink and confined in a prison. The boys are actually killing and eating all dogs(?) that go into (?) prison. Too bad indeed to be thus reduced to ... trate.
Engaged this morning in finishing up the .. . copy of rolls of the prisoners ... on the 24th. The weather ... is for the worse ...has been quite pleasant and continued cold is not upon us yet.
Went again to the artists to get my pictures and he said he ... got a good negative. The day is fine and pleasant, feeling and looking like an April day in Dixie and causes me to sigh for that …
Have felt badly all day and have done but little work today. We watch for news from the land we love and the boys who defend it but can obtain nothing which is reliable --only such as suits is published.
November Wednesday 30 1864
Hood occupies Shelbyville -— is said to have been repulsed at Columbia. Will anything good come from his move. Troops have been sent from Richmond to Gas.
December Thursday 1 1864
Thomas evacuates Columbia and retires upon Franklin. I think this rather a doubtful victory for Mr. T and am satisfied with the fact that Hood meets such repulse. Hope he may get more such.
Shermans march through Geo. is yet surrounded in mystery to us. Hope he will yet get checkmated in his efforts to reach the shore - I hope at least that he will be much damage.
Hood meets another repulse at Franklin - Loss 6000 to 2000 on Federal side —Thos. retires from Franklin and falls back upon Nashville when Hood follows up. I think our loss much exagerated.
O How cold and dull. Nothing to read. No Church to go to. No wife and boy to talk with but confined in this cold region with no communication with friends at home. 2½ months without a letter.
Busy today dull care is driven off but no bright streaks for us today. We can’t see a ray of hope for an early return to our home after just one years confinement.
December Tuesday 6 1864
Hood entrenching within two miles of Nashville — Situation in Geo is looking brighter — Think Sherman may reach the coast but much crippled by his great move.
Hood still before Nashville and quiet. Forrest reported across the Cumberland. I don’ t think Hood will attack the city but I think he will retire upon Murfreesboro (?) and there make himself fast securing all in his rear.
Sherman appears to be in trouble down in Geo. His advances and flankess get flogged. Will have to concentrate his entire force to reach the coast and defeat may overtake him yet ere he reaches his goal.
News from Sherman and Hood gives no new facts. The weather is getting intensely cold. The river closed last night. Small Pox has appeared in the prison again. Great suffering is in store for our poor boys here.
Much colder. Snow storm last night. Skating among the boys in front of the office. Tom is leaving. Porter has a heavy fall head striking first.
Miserably cold. Nothing to read and no news. Thinking all day about the disagreeable life a prisoner of warleads. Offer prayers to Heaven for my loved ones, my country and for my speedy return to them.
December Monday 12 1864
No abatement in the cold - How fortunate I have been in being able to secure comfortable Qrs. How much those confined to Prison Bks. -— short allowance of food and clothing suffer now. O God our Father wilt thou care for them.
Very cold yet. The news from Hood is not such as I would like to hear. Has met a repulse at Murfreesboro. Sherman is yet last to the Yanks. I trust he may pay well for his efforts to destroy us and desolate our country.
Forrest has crossed the Cumberland below Clarksville. Nothing from Hood no mention ofthe repulse at Murfreesboro did it take place? Sherman within 15 miles of Savannah. 20,000 Inf Large ...A few days will develop all. Yanks claim successful raid in Vas.
Yanks have news that Sherman captured Savannah on the 10th. Richmond papers of the 12th don’t mention the fact. He may get it but did not have it then.
Fighting at Nashville Yanks claim 17 ps Art, and 1500 prisoners and decided advantages. If the official dispatch of Stanton is true Hood must be worsted in the affair. I trust though that all will be well with him when the action closes.
Thomas fails to send any news of further fighting at Nashville. I fear Hood got too much there. Think he should have taken Murfreesboro and not remained at Nashville so long. A beautiful day but sleet falls tonight.
December Sunday 18 1864
Thomas dispatches that he has whipped Hood badly taking large numbers of prisoners and many pieces of Art with a loss on his side of 300. A canard as to his loss at least and gives evidence that Hoods loss is exagerated.
Thomas claims that Hoods loss is even greater than at first represented by him. He also corrects the error in his dispatch and says his loss is 3000 not 300. I fear that Hoods defeat is very disastrous. Gen M.P. Lowery killed.
Sherman takes Ft. McAtisler (?) and now has communication with the fleet through Ossoban Sound. Savannah is said to be invested and I fear is to fall, if it does Mobile and Charleston will also go Wilmington and Richmond will share their fate.
Hood is still on the retreat having lost heavily in men with most of his Ar. His Army is said to be woefully demoralized and to have cast away arms and everything which impedes flight.
Foot withdraws from C. S. Senate. Makes heavy charges against the Administration for removing Johnson —— says Davis and Congress is about to establish a despotism unequalled by anything the world has ever seen.
December Friday 23 1864
A frolic at Hd Qrstonight. I do not participate. Hood has pontoons across the River. 10,000 prisoners have been exchanged and arrangements are trying to be effected for the exchange of all prisoners.
Loss of sleep caused by
the frolic last night has made me feel desperately dull and I have done
no work all day. The weather is disagreeable too which adds to our low
Hopes have been entertained that I would be at home tomorrow.
Though dissapointed in having a Christmas dinner with my boy at a family board I have not found the day altogether devoid of pleasures. The Post Sutler very kindly furnished us with mince pies and a goose and a …which we had well prepared and enjoyed much.
The day is fine. Sun shining and ice melting before it but the military situation looks dark for us. Savannah is no longer ours. Charlestown, Mobile and Wilmington must fall and Richmond will follow unless God gives strength to us.
December Tuesday 27 1864
I have never felt despondent under reverses until now. I fear that our people are not as prayerful as formerly. Othat every knee was bent before God & that every heart would in faith - full faith - implore Him for His blessing upon our cause if it be a good one.
I have ever felt that I would cheerfully accept the result of this contest believing that God wont cause it to end to our ultimate advantage & to His eternal glory. I pray for a speedy coming of the end. I pray for a release of all prisoners & their return to Homes & families.
Days in prison are so like each other that they fail to give items to record. The only thing that I have had to vary the monotony of to day is some exercize on the ice. I buckled on a pair of scates & tried to learn the art which appears to be one of great amusement.
On the ice again to day - make little progress in learning. I can stand up pretty well but cant go forward at much speed. Think I can learn by constant effort.
A letter from Judge Lowe of Keokuk to day referring to my parole about which he has written to Mr. Lincoln. Judge Wright of Iowa has a son in one of our prisons. & I have strong hopes that I shall be able to bring about an exchange between him & myself.
the year ends, still hoping and praying for the exchange or parole which
never came. Mr. Rogan leaned heavily on his religion. It is to be hoped
that he never lost faith, for his was a very dark path, both through the
war and following it. The cause for which he offered his life, for which
he was willing to give his all, was lost. Four Rogan brothers and a brother-in-law
in their enthusiasm and patriotic ardor had enlisted in the Confederate
Army, and Lafayette alone of the five survived the war. His home was sacked
and burned by Federal soldiers. "And when he returned to Mississippi,"
writes his daughter, Mary Rogan Jones, "with everything gone, he (was)
the only man to take care of his brothers' widows and orphans (their) negroes
and his own (family). He met the burden like a good soldier and had little
time to think of the discomforts of his life in prison."
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