The actual name of the creator of this diary is not to be found, but here are some details about the diary. The first entry in this diary is dated July 4 1864.The place is Clarksville, Tennessee. Concluded that the birth day of our national independence would be a good time to commence keeping a memorandum had a celebration entire command formed and marched in procession through town and to the grove had flag presentation. The diary continues, with mainly daily entries. The writer mentions drawing rations for men that were absent "on the scout". The writer mentions interesting details of his camp life before this company went on the road later.
He went blackberrying one day. Another day he explored the Dunbar caves.
He went on horseback rides a couple of times for pleasure. He bought a mosquito bar to put over his bunk. There was a photocopy of the diary that accompanied it when I originally received it, identifying it has a cook's diary, but I believe the diary to be written by somebody with more authority and who did things that might be associated with an officer rather than a private.The writer mentions drawing bread and going after bread. There were a couple of times that the battalion wagon was broken and he had to get bread by horseback, one time forging the Red river. He mentions when men went out on on various missions, scouting and looking for confederate guerrillas. Stevenson a number of times. Other names he mentions is is Sergt Brady, Sergt Peel, Lieut Clark. Beginning the July 29 entries get more interesting. He mentions that Lieut Gamble with fifteen men went to Nashville with Cattle. This would have been Lieut John C.
Gamble, first lieutenant of the company. Gamble's biography found in a History of the State of California and Biographic Record of Oakland and Environs by J. Guinn relates this same event. He was captured by a band of guerrillas and later escaped. Friday, August 12 is the last entry in the diary that is ink.After that the writing is in pencil, and light, and often hard to read, but could possibly be photographically enhanced. Often dates are omitted and just days of the week: Monday, Tues, Wed. However he discusses scouting , and pursuing Confederate Guerrillas and other missions undertaken by Lieut.
Clark, Lieut Stevenson, Captain Cutter, Sargt Brady, to the forage train, to the Nashville Pike, and more. With the transition to pencil entries, he appears to be on the move. He appears to be in a group of men that were ordered on some type of mission more than once, and ended up in Hopkinsville at some point.
While there he saw the body of Confederate Colonel Thomas G. Woodward, (who was killed in Hopkinsville on August 19th 1864). He seems to somehow have been involved in the event that was related to Woodward's death. He also mentions the Colonel Johnson and going to Cadiz (Kentucky).
One entry describes about completely surprising the group of the enemy and taking about 40 prisoners. And that General Wilson went then to clean them out, (the ones that got away). The main body of the diary consists of around 26 pages The first 15 pages are in ink and around 11 are in pencil.The pages in pencil are very light in places and hard to decipher. The pages in ink are pretty legible. It appears that the writer was in camp when he wrote the entries in ink and on the move when he wrote in pencil. There are other pages with writing in pencil before after the main body of the diary. The diary is pocket-size and measures 3" x 5". On a page before the main diary there is a list of cooks he apparently hired in April and June of that year: Jane and Lucy. On a page before the main diary there is a list entitled Co D Men: Haskins, Bratt, Brady, Jones, Pinkerton, Smith, McFate and Wetterlee, and there were indeed men by those names in the the 83rd Infantry Company D accoding to a roster list I found online.
There's also a list called Co Co Men: Wilcox, Sawtell, Rouse, Alley, Griffin, Marry, Mitchell, Crozier, Barnum, McReynolds, and McNamara. The roster list I found online include most but all of these names. There also a couple pages in pencil at the beginning that are illegible.
At the back is a list he people to which he wrote letters and a list of people from which he received letters. There are some pages that appear to be cut out, even in the main body of the text, but this does not appear to affect the continuity of the entries, so perhaps these pages were cut out prior to the writing of the diary entries.
This diary has loose pages and fading. The leather exterior is torn and chipped. It was probably carried is a pocket or saddle bag during those momentous months in Tennessee and Kentucky in 1864. All Dancing Eye Books items are packed with care to help assure their safe arrival. The item "83rd Illinois Infantry Civil War Diary 1864 From Clarksville TN Area ORIGINAL" is in sale since Saturday, February 1, 2020.This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Documents". The seller is "coreopsisz" and is located in Dixon, Illinois.
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