Diary of Sergeant James Little
of the 6th Regiment, New York Volunteer Cavalry
Contributed by Terry Schliewe
Great Great Granddaughter
James Little was born in Glasgow, Scotland on April 10, 1838. He was the second
of ten children born to John and Elizabeth Little, seven of whom would survive
to adulthood. James' father had immigrated from Scotland to the United States,
with his family in tow, sometime after James was born. They came to join
relatives in New York in 1843, settling in Franklinville where John became
the postmaster. James' boyhood days were spent in Olean, N.Y. and Franklinville
but he left the area at the age of 16 to seek his fortune. In 1854 he went
west to Minnesota and in 1857 took a pre-emption in Olmstead County.
When the Civil War broke out he returned to New York and enlisted in the Sixth
New York Cavalry. James first position in the regiment was as an Orderly Sergeant.
This job was explained by his future brother-in-law in a letter to his sister:
The Orderly has to call all rolls, form the company into line when they go
out on a drill or duty, make out a report to the Surgeon of the sick and take
those able [to walk] to the Surgeon's tent, detail and mount guard every morning,
make a monthly report to Headquarters, make requisitions for rations, and a
thousand and one other things, besides he has to be present at drills, dress
parades, and etc. His place is on the right of the company in the rear rank
- the Captain occupying the front rank - the other Sergeants are in the rear
of the company on a line with the Lieutenants. ...the pay of an Orderly sergeant
is $20 per month. 1.
Sergeant Little served with the Sixth New York throughout the war and took
part in most of the 143 battles and skirmishes of the regiment. Although he
had three horses shot out from under him, he managed to escape with only one
serious injury. That happened when his horse was wounded, he was thrown from
the saddle while his foot was caught in the stirrup and he was dragged a ways.
Sergeant Little kept a diary during the last year of the war, in the winter
of 1865 he wrote, Weather very cold. Had to sleep alone and liked to froze
...Not any wood where with to build a fire. Snowed and was pretty cold. Had
a very pleasant sleigh ride with our worthy friend, Stiles. Went down through
town several time, fast horse, of course, making a mile in (?) if not less.
Later he wrote, Commenced raining about 10 AM and rained all day. Ground very
wet. Wind north, making it uncomfortable on account of smoke. The wind coming
down the stove pipe in puffs. ... Beyond all question the coldest night of
the year, at least the water froze harder. Or rather the ice in our tent was
thicker this AM than any previous morning this winter. And in April that year
he reported, Heard Old Abe was assassinated yesterday evening while leaving
Ford Theater, also Secretary Stanton. ...Dark - Old Abe is dead. All exhibited
sorrow at so great a calamity. All quiet throughout the lines.
After the war Little returned to Minnesota and in 1867 he married Mary Oaks.
He was employed as a grain buyer at Lake City where he and Mary lived for five
years. In 1878 they moved to Canby MN and settled on their old homestead in
Hammer Township. There they farmed the land and raised six children. James
died in 1912 and his wife in 1927.
Weather very cold. Was at Winchester, VA. Nothing particularly going on that
indicated the day a Holiday more than any other day of the year. A funeral,
a boy of Mrs. Anderson’s, died last night. Wrote a few letters. Gust
MCCLURE came from home. Arrived last night. Folks all well. The New Year
appears with very brilliant prospects from a military point of view and correspondingly
gloomy for the Confederacy. Another year of such war must tend to discourage
Weather very cold. Had to sleep alone and liked to froze. Don’t like
this sleeping alone, particularly such cold weather. Believe a few such night
as last night would make a man think seriously of a bedfellow. I believe that
it would be a great incentive to look upon the feminine with a view to matrimony.
Suppose they are excellent bed warmers but somewhat expensive. Had no wood,
consequently no fire in our tent. A good excuse to call on the Misses GRIM.
Weather still cold. Slept alone last night. But from having made up the bed
(the first time for a week) did not get so cold as I did last night. Not
any wood where with to build a fire. Well, I guess will run into Mrs. GRIM
and bask in the smiles of her lovely daughters. Troops moving to go into
winter quarters. They ought to have waited until spring. All quiet through
Not so cold this a.m. Went down to Stevenson’s Station. Snowed and was
pretty cold while coming back. Nothing new, all quiet. Had a very pleasant
sleigh ride with our worthy friend STILES. Went down through town several times,
fast horse, of course, making a mile in “sometime” if not less.
Quite pleasant today. Thawed so as to take off the sleighing. Got a box containing
nuts, candy, butter, can fruit and tobacco from Mins (?) Bob. All quiet,
nothing stirring or exciting.
Quite moderate today. Commenced thawing quite early. Commenced raining about
10 a.m. and rained all day, sometimes raining very hard. Stopped raining
about 8 p.m. Ground very wet. Wind north making it uncomfortable on account
of smoke. The wind coming down the stove pipe in puffs. It drove me out,
a good excuse to call on our neighbor Mrs. GRIMS. Abandoned the tent about
dark and transferred myself to Mrs. GRIMS. Received a letter from Yours Truly.
Damp cool but no rain. Commenced snowing about 10 am. Heavy snowstorm with
high wind. Wind from the west. Very changeable weather. Snowed and blowed
till about dark, then commenced freezing. Think it the coldest night that
had been this winter. Still have to sleep alone. Will have to procure a cat
or something that would have a tendency to depart warmth. Was in and had
a very loud talk with Mrs. ANDERSON. She can’t see anything, only through
the medium of Confederate eyes.
Very cold and clear. Beyond all question the coldest night of the year, at
least the water froze harder. Or rather, the ice in our tent was thicker
this a.m. than any previous morning this winter. Got to be quite pleasant
toward noon. Went out to Division Headquarters. Was over to CAMPBELL SULLER’S
tent. Saw Bob and had quite a pleasant time. Got back at 4 p.m. In evening,
wrote a letter to Yours Truly. All quiet. They say that MOSBY is dead hence
so much quiet.
Warm and pleasant this a.m. Almost spring weather. Got a letter from BABE,
all well at home. Nothing transpired that is worthy of note.
Everything covered with sleet. Trees all hanging with icicles. Very slippery
under foot. Think it would be very very difficult traveling under even a
half a head of steam. Even difficult with a steady ‘tap’. Received
a letter from Washington in regard to Mrs. FREE’S money. Think it lost.
Wrote a line to T. M. and Mrs. F in regard to the matter. 10:30 p.m. Warm
with a very high wind from the southwest.
Weather cool but quite pleasant. Thawed a very little. Mr. COOMBS started for
Washington. Was downtown in the evening and got the first paper. News in
the papers very meager. All quiet.
Weather very beautiful. Bob was down from the front. Received a canteen of
the “Cratur” from GODDARD. All quiet. MULDOON WILSON and the
others from our regiment came up from the brig.
Weather fine. Was down to Stevenson Station. Got back about 3 pm. BILLY WING
got back from home this evening, and stayed all night with us. Also had MULDOON
WILSON and two others that cam up from the brig to be mustered. All quiet.
Quite cold. MULDOON and those fellows were mustered and returned to Lovettsville.
Went down to the station with them. Quite cold. Chilly outing. No news, all
Clear and cold. Got to be quite pleasant as the day advanced. Had turkey for
dinner, good at least. Bob came in today. In the evening wrote a letter to – Yours
Truly. Was in to our neighbors, Mrs. GRIM and sat in the sunshine of her
beautiful daughters for a few hours. No news, all quiet.
Clear and cold but grew pleasant as the day advanced. Nothing new in the papers.
All quiet, 9 p.m. Clouded up and looks like a storm.
Very pleasant. Bob and Stiles became slightly inebriated. Heard of the capture
by our army and navy of Fort Fisher and surroundings. D.D. PARKER on the
part of navy and GENERAL PERRY on part of land for us. News quiet encouraging.
MAJOR TALLMAN and COOMBS arrived in town.
Very pleasant. Received a letter from JOHN LITTLE and one from EM. News of
yesterday confirmed. Good! Wrote a letter to EM. Bob goes home today. Everything
is lovely and the goose hangs high.
Cold and clear. Was quite busy making out vouchers. In the evening was over
to MRS. RYDER'S at an oyster supper. Suppose I should say we had a very pleasant
time. Were all strangers to me, and no one to introduce me so we passed the
time by saying “nothing” and looking very wisely. Really enjoyment.
Snowed a little towards 9 p.m. beat a French retreat, I said “nothing
to nobody” and left the party.
Cool and clear. Beautiful day. 8 p.m. bands discoursing their best strains.
All is lovely and the goose is high.
Sleet and hail quite icy. Sleet fell most all day. Got to be two or three inches
deep. Received an ambrotype of Yours Truly. All quiet throughout the lines.
Cool and damp. Wrote to SL, SLK and home. All quiet. Running around with sleighs.
Very damp and very much like a thaw. Rained quite hard. Fellows running around
with sleighs. Did a little work, not enough to hurt me. All quiet. No news.
Quite frosty. Froze very hard. Sleighing good in the park in town. Did a little
work today. Wind from the west and very high and cold. Received a letter
from the S.A. Society and answered it. All quiet, no news.
Very cold. Froze very hard. Clear with bright sunshine. Cold all day. Nothing
new in Military circles. General impression is that the Confederacy is nearly
played out. Good sleighing. Yankees improving the time. Seems to be no lack
of ladies to make the sleigh rides agreeable. All quiet.
Very cold day. Had not much wood and had to go into our neighbors. Was over
to our boarding house until 9 p.m. Then came over to MRS GRIMS where we had
some oysters. Very cold.
Coldest night of the season. Cold enough for Saturday, 50 degrees. Labored
not very much. Drew cuts with BARD to see which was the laziest of the two.
Drew the longest straw. BARD the laziest. Not the laziest man that ever was
but the laziest man I ever saw. Nothing new. All quiet. The Army of the Shenandoah.
Awful cold, equal to our northern climate. Sleighing still good. Incurred the
eternal displeasure of MISS JULIA SYDER for calling her pet cat a Thomas
cat. The cat is really a historic one for we made her the subject of a few
verses in which we sing his virtues and prowess to the tune of the “Old
Oaken Bucket”. Twas really a rich joke. Sorry to think that when one
says “Thomas Cat” it is improper and shocks the ears of the delicate
females modesty, how becoming.
Weather not frosty but still cold. Rather dull business keeping a diary these
very dull times but suppose it is necessary to say something so I will remark
that we arose from our couch not with the sun but at nine o’clock. “Early
to bed and early to rise is bad for our health and gives us red eyes.” Wind
high at 9 pm and from the west. Have had very high winds for a number of
days. All quiet.
Cold, clear and pleasant. Thawed so that the snow melted considerably. Went
over in the evening to MRS SYDER’S. Bob came to see me. Bob quiet salubrious.
Nothing new, all quiet.
Quite warm and pleasant. Thawed all day. SGT WILSON was up from Lovettsville
for the purpose of getting mustered. Was reading one of MISS GRIM’S
books – the Initials – quiet interesting. All quiet in the valley.
Very fine morning. Pleasant all day. In evening was over to MRS SYDER’S
then came over to the saddling tent. Boys all on a high. Got very “salubrious” myself,
had lots of milk punch. Was a grand preview of the Cavalry of the Valley. All
Very pleasant but some colder than it was yesterday. Hair pulled come this
a.m. Does not pay to get drunk. Nothing pleasant in the beginning, nothing
pleasant in the middle, and all that were ever drunk will testify that there
is nothing particularly pleasant or agreeable in the ending of a drunk. All
quiet as usual.
Warm and pleasant until 3 pm when it commenced snowing, finally got into a
sleet. Very icy at 9 pm. Was over to MRS. GRIM’S. Old fink beat me
at dominoes. Also Miss G beat me a few games. About 8 pm went over to MRS
Warm and moist. Very pleasant all day. Water ran or rather snow melted as to
make the water in all the water courses & gutters of considerable depth.
Air is full of important rumors of peace. Hope that it may not all amount
to idle rumor and go off into effervescence. 9 pm wind very high from the
west. All quiet.
Very windy blew very hard all night and quiet cold. Wind high all day. Thawed
a very little. Nothing new. Wrote a letter to Yours Truly. All quiet.
Very pleasant, thawed some. Very warm for winter. Rumors of peace have all
vanished into thin air. All quiet.
Snowed all day. Very severe snowstorm. Snow about a foot deep. All quiet. No
Cold and clear. Sun came out and was quiet pleasant. Sleighs in great demand
and above par. Some queer looking turnouts there is among these institutions,
can hardly be classed as common “kings”. A dry goods box or clothesbasket
or crockery crate are (with runners on them) first class, “gay”.
Received a letter from MRS C A F. Answered it. All quiet.
Very cold day. Moved over to second division. Awful cold. All quiet.
Very cold. One of the coldest nights this winter if not the coldest one. Very
well located at these headquarters. Serenaded by the band daily or rather
twice a day. All quiet.
Quite pleasant, thawed a little. All quiet. Peace bubble has burst leaving
it more quiet than usual, only the calm that precedes the impending storm.
Very stormy and blustering. Very cold. Went down to town. STILES got back last
evening. Very disagreeable riding for more comfortable sitting by the fire.
Clear and very cold, clear all day. Thawed a little in places exposed to the
sun. Officers of the Staff on a bender this evening. Somewhat hilarious,
quite noisy. The General being absent accounts for the milk in the coconut
or whiskey in the canteen. All quiet, no news.
Very cold and frosty. Got to be quite pleasant. Went down to town in the afternoon.
All quiet, no papers.
Weather some warmer. A snow squall in the morning which, towards noon dwindled
into an icy sleet. Afternoon foggy and damp. Had a severe attack of toothache,
a decayed molar. Used it very roughly. Suppose it all necessary to keep us
in mind of our mortality. If any heavenly visions could be seen by us poor
mortals, the toothache hath power to dispel them and bring us back to the
realities. All quiet.
Quite pleasant, thawed considerably. Sufficient to us up the sleighing. Was
downtown this pm. Heard no news. Did not call at MRS LANGLEY’S or MRS
GRIM’S. Got back about 3 o’clock. Heard that the gallant hunter
takes unto himself a beautiful bunch of female loveliness in the person of
MISS WYNDALL. More properly speaking, MR HUNTER this evening will take unto
himself a wife. Splendid match. JAY GOTHAM’S this same hunter. Hurrah
for the Union.
Warm and thawing. Quite pleasant until about 2 pm when it commenced to rain.
Rain turned into snow. Snow heavy and wet as rain. Nothing special in the
papers. All quiet.
Snowed about 6 inches last night. Snow is very soft. Thawed pretty much all
day. Was down to town. Nothing new. All quiet.
Quite pleasant. Thawed pretty near all day, roads quiet sloppy. Report that
a hundred or two of this division were captured yesterday while out on a
scout towards Snickers Gap. From what I see and from reports, there are a
good many of the Reb’s deserting. Was down to town. Came back about
half after eight. Freezing a little. All quiet.
Very clear and pleasant, quite warm. Some drunken Staff Officer burst in the
door of our room after we had gone to bed. CAPTAIN CRAWFORD is his name.
If any private had been half as drunk he would have tied to a tree for at
least four hours. He raised ned generally. Staff are enjoying themselves
exceedingly in the absence of the General. When he gets back the order of
things will be changed so that we can report all quiet.
Very pleasant and clear. Thawed all day. Froze some in the evening. Quite busy.
News in the papers of the fall at Charleston, SC. Received papers, FRANK
LESLIE’S waver, besides dailies. 12 pm, sat up late to read the papers.
Warm and pleasant. Commenced raining at about 4 pm and still wet at 10 pm.
Salute fired today in honor of the day and the fall of the succession West
Charleston. Military news very good. All quiet.
Warm and pleasant. In afternoon it rained and was quite wet. News of the fall
of Charlteston confirmed. All quiet, nothing new.
Warm and pleasant. Very beautiful day. Was down to Wincester and saw the folks.
Folks all well. Another salute fired today. Suppose that Wilmington has fallen.
All quiet. Received three letters. Two from Yours (Truly) etc., and one from
Wet morning. Drizzling rain pretty much all day. News of the fall of Wilmington
confirmed. All quiet.
Wet and muddy. Some activity among the Calvary in anticipation of the coming
move. Orders to move tomorrow. Was downtown and got a “square meal”.
Wet and muddy. Mud very deep. Calvary moved today but no intimation of whether
they are going. All quiet.
Warm and pleasant, but very muddy. Was downtown. All the boys had moved out.
Looks very delicate. All quiet.
Warm and pleasant but cloudy. Mud from bad to worse doth continue. Nothing
unusual, all quiet.
Wet and rainy. Mud almost fathomless, horrible. With difficulty that a horse
could travel off from the pike. No news of importance. All quiet. GENERAL CHAPMAN
Still wet and rainy. Went downtown in pm. Heard no news. All quiet.
Rained pretty much all night. Cool and clear this am. Wind very high. Was down
to Wincester. All quiet. Mud horrible. Received a letter from LIB (?) SMITH
and also one from Yours Truly. No special news in the paper.
Very fine day. Mud dried up a little, enough to make it quite stiff. Was downtown
and called at GRIM’S and Larry boys. Wrote to LIBB and FRANK.
Clear and warm. Reported that GENERAL SHERIDAN had captured GENERAL EARLY and
the greater part of his command. Hope that SHERIDAN was to early fro him
this time. Mud still unfathomable. And tough as the best army beef. Major
returned this evening. All quiet.
Clear and pleasant. Was downtown and spent a few hours in the society of charming
ladies. Mud still deep but drying quite fast. All quiet.
Warm and pleasant until near dark when it commenced to rain. 8 pm raining quiet
hard. Rebel prisoners from Stanton arrived today. Some 1600 in number. GENERAL
EARLY’S whole staff said to be among the lot. Some 14 officers. Did
not see them but those that did say “a harder looking set they never
saw. Some barefoot and the greater part very ragged.” Poor devils,
they will have a rough time in this storm. Fortunes of war!
Warm and damp. Rained considerable last night. The General was out last night,
staff all dead drunk Never fails when he is absent. Suppose it is all right
but how it looks. Was down to Wincester today, no news, all quiet. Nothing
Very pleasant. Clear and cool with some wind. Officers drunk as usual last
night and quite salubrious tonight. Otherwise it is through the day very
quiet. No news.
Pleasant and clear. Froze last night quite solid. Was downtown. Wind high from
the southwest. All quiet, no news.
Very pleasant. Mud dried considerably. Was downtown. MR GROVES was successful
in obtaining CHARLES FREE’S body. Twas very much decayed. Flesh all
off the skull and face, could not be recognized only from the peculularities
of teeth. Recognized boots and clothing. All quiet.
Very warm and pleasant. Was downtown and brought up remains of CHARLES FREE.
Nothing new, all quiet.
Very warm and pleasant. Was downtown. All quiet. 10 pm. Wind very high. South,
cloudy and looks like rain.
Wet and rainy. Rained pretty near all day. Roads again quite muddy. All quiet.
Very wet and rainy. Rained nearly all day. Rain very heavy in the evening.
Great talk of a dance at Headquarters on next Tuesday. White kids with the
officers are all the rage. Special messenger going to Baltimore for the prerequisites
to a killing outfit for staff. All quiet.
Clear and cool with very high wind. Preparations still go on for the great
dance. Lumber obtained for the floor. Not much of a St Patrick’s Day
in this army. Very few were under the influence of spirits of departed saints – did
hear of a few that humbled themselves so far as to roll in the mud. All quiet.
Clear and cool. Mud drying up rapidly. All quiet.
Warm and pleasant. Was downtown, very pleasant day.
Warm and pleasant as May. Preparations for the dance still going on. Stroke
of the axe and click of the hammer renders the air ? otherwise all quiet.
Cloudy and warm. Looks very much like rain. Commenced raining in the pm. Went
downtown, got quite wet.
Rained nearly all night. Cool and windy this morning. Had to go to Camp on
foot. Saw CURTIS boys in First Division, all well. Officers all drunk today.
Champagne bottles standing around the house in platoons. Had a couple of
races. In the last race, the Major fell from his horse and badly banged
up. Were all
drunk today, “Yours Truly” included. Otherwise all quiet.
Wet and cloudy. Wind very high from west. Some rain and snow. Cool and wet
in pm, rained quite hard in evening.
Cool and damp with clouds and wind.
Cool and cloudy with high wind towards eve. Very chilly. General races today.
General and several others ran their horses. Afternoon the officers went
down to Stevenson’s to a race. As ususal, they all cam back very salubrious,
so much so that several of the dignitaries had to be helped to bed. All quiet.
Pages missing here.
Damp and cloudy. Rained in pm. Had orders to march, was nearly all night getting
ready. Was in town. “Richmond is ours” is all the talk.
Marched at 10 am. Quite muddy and raining. Went as far as Winchester where
we parked for the night. Army all moving out but on knows where.
Still in camp in Winchester. Continues wet.
Still at camp town. Orders to move tomorrow at 11 am to Berryville.
Moved at 11 am to near Berryville. Very fine day for moving. Got into camp
about 6 pm. Camped about two miles from B on the summit Point Pike.
Very pleasant this am. All quiet.
Cool and cloudy. Looks much like rain. Two men killed last night while on picket
near Berryville or in town. One wounded and some captured. Commenced raining
at present writing at 10 pm. All quiet.
Wet, raining, quite muddy. Twenty seven years old today. All quiet in this
department. Great news of surrender of LEE’S Army.
Wet and muddy. Went to Winchester. Got back abourn 10 pm. All excited about
Cloudy but no rain until 4 pm. Raining at 9 pm.
Clear and cool towards evening. Quite chilly. Was out for eggs. Got 5 dozen
for 50 cents per dozen. Military prospect all lovely. All quiet in this department
of the military theater.
Very beautiful morning, warm and clear. Pleasant all day. All quiet.
Wet and cloudy. Had orders to move at 12:30 pm. But after a few hours battle
orders were countermanded. Rained quite hard till about 1 pm, then cleared
up and was quite cool. Heard OLD ABE was assignated yesterday evening while
leaving Ford Theater also SECRETARY STANTON. News at one time was that STANTON
was dead and OLD ABE’S life despaired of. Dark – OLD ABE is dead.
Cool and pleasant. President died yesterday at 7:22 am. All exhibitied sorrow
at so great a clamity. All quiet throughout the lines.
Cool and pleasant, quite cool all day. All quiet. Rebs coming in and surrendering
in considerable numbers.
Quite warm and pleasant. Command went down to Millwood to arrange terms for
surrender of MOSBY and command, no terms agreed to. Accepted three days cessation
of hostilities for purpose of considering terms. Mobile captured and JOHNSON
said to have capitulated to SHERMAN but not definite. All quiet.
Very warm and pleasant. Went to Winchester. Country full of Lee’s returned
soldiers. Met columns of them on the road. All happy to get home.
Cloudy and looks like rain. Started for Berryville about 10 am. When I arrived
B Division all gone. Went towards H. F. found them about 10 miles from Sandy
Hook on road back to Washington. Did not learn where they were going.
Came back to P?ville, MD. Wet and cloudy.
Clear and warm. STILES and STONE went to City Point. Nothing new.
Very cold for April. High wind, dust in clouds. Wrote three letters. Disagreeably
cold. Most as bad as winter.
Warm and pleasant. No news, all quiet except at Dismount Camp. Quite a row
Very warm like summer. Orders to move tomorrow. Some of the dismounted men
left today. Heard our Division returned to Washington.
Started towards Washington. Marched as far as the river Monocacy (?) where
after crossing river camped for the night. Another route planned through
Adams Station on B & O railroad, Jefferson, Petersville, Buckeysville.
Day very warm. Animals suffered with heat.
Started at 7 am. Morning clear and warm. Enroute came through Urbanna, , Hyattsville
and to near Rockville where we camped. Weather very warm, a good many animals
played out. Heard that JOHNSON had surrendered.
Warm and cloudy. Looks very much like rain. Orders to move a 7 am. Got started
about 8 and came through Rockville. Crossed the Navy Yard. Arrived about
8 pm. Went into camp near race courses. All drunk. Heard that BOOTH was captured
and JOHNSON surrendered.
Very warm in am. Heavy shower in pm. Orders in papers relative to discharge
of volunteers say we go to Port Tobacco (MD) on Monday.
Cold and wet. Rained very hard. Lay in camp all day.
Got ready to move at 7 am but did not get started until near 10. Very heavy
rain. Mud very deep. Marched down the Potomac through Prince George County.
Piscataway (MD). Camped below Piscataway about 3 miles.
Started about 7 am. Weather cold and windy. Quite chilly last night. Arrived
at Port Tobacco (MD) about 12 pm.
Still at Chapel Point (MD). Very warm. Boys at Dismount Camp very wild. Baptised
some of the officers, gave them a good dunking. Some of men got away, say
they are going home.
Very warm. Went down to landing and got some shad. Nothing new. Command not
Very warm. Warm as summer. Nothing heard.
Pleasant and warm. One of the heaviest thunderstorms last night that I ever
heard. Still laying around passing away time like an animal and one of the
laziest kind. Days as long as weeks. No news worthy of noting.
Very warm. Lay around, sometimes asleep and sometimes moving around, in the
laziest possible manner. Anyway to kill time. Time drags along the slowest
at any time since we have been in the service. No news.
Warm to excess..
Warm. Was over to Dismount Camp. All 1862 men called for. Nothing new.
Warm this am. Quite cool towards evening. Nothing new.
Warm and pleasant.
Rained very hard in night. Colder today.
Sat 5-13-1865 Next pages missing.
Warm and pleasant, warm, nothing new.
Very warm. Cavalry arrived at Washington. Rained towards night.
Very warm. 1st and 2nd Brigade of Dismount Camp packed up for Washington.
Very warm. Dismounted men on the move. Rained in afternoon. All quiet.
Showery all day. Say we will move tomorrow for surety. Roads in bad condition.
Orders to move in morning at 4 am.
Got up at 3 am. Packed up, ready to move. Damp and sultry. Got ready to move
at 5 am. Went through Port Tobacco (MD). Marched about 20 miles. Roads very
bad. Went into camp about 1 pm.
Cool and pleasant. Arrived at Ginsboro Point about 9 am. Where we waited for
orders. Orders to go about noon. Moved through the city and then went to
Blandensburg where we went into camp near the depot.
Warm and pleasant. Trains passing every 15 minutes all loaded with passengers
going to see the grand review.
Warm and pleasant. Went over to see the 154th Regiment and saw the boys.
Very rainy. Rained all day and very cold.
Rained all night and still raining this morning. Rained all day today. Was
up to our company, boys all well.
Clear and cool this am. Roads very muddy. Went over to camp, boys all well.
Orders to move in morning. Go 4 miles west of Alexandria. News that KIRBY
SMITH had hurd (?) through trans miss dept (?).
Moved at about 8 am. Weather very warm. Went up to Pennsylvania Avenue to 23rd
Street where we found WARREN G’AY 10” V R lo Company G. G’ay
looks very hard up, only a shadow of his former self. Got into camp near
Cloud Mills about 4 pm. Camped near where we were 3 years ago June coming.
Officers seem to be dilatory in getting papers out for E2 men.
Warm and pleasant and hot! War waiting for MAJOR KING near all day. Nothing
Very warm. Cavalry being mustered out quite briskly. A good number went out
Very warm. Was at work all day making out papers for MAJOR KING. Got through
Very warm. MAJOR KING went away this am. Went over to 104. Found them near
Balls across the roads. Stayed about 5 hours. Saw MAJOR FULLER AND COOMBS
also SOM BROWN. Very hot.
Sultry and very hot. Went down to Alexandria. Awful hot.
Very warm. Wrote some letters. Hot to the superlative degree.
Cloudy and looks much like rain. Foggy but no rain. Very hot.
Cloudy and cool. Looks like rain. No rain but foggy. Quite cool no as to be
Warm & murky but did not rain much. Slight shower in pm. Very warm. Went
up to the regiment 62 boys not off yet.
Very warm. 62 boys not off yet was up to regiment. Quite a thunder shower while
up to regiment. Rained quite hard.
Very warm. Started up to Company. Stopped at Brigade Headquarters with Sgt
MULDOON. Sgt SMITH wanted me to go over to Brigade 16 LM dept. Told him would
be up tomorrow.
Went early to Sgt SMITH. Issued clothing to regiments. Then went to Alexandria
for lumber. Got wet coming back.
Quite warm and pleasant. Lay around all day. 62 men of our regiment were paid
off today. Some started for home immediately.
Warm and sultry. Slight rain.
Very warm and sultry. Most oppressive day of the summer.
Warm in am. Rained in pm. Was up to company.
Some cloudy. Rained some. Reported to company then went down to STILES establishement.
Cool and pleasant. Was posting books for Company. Appointed Quarter Sargent, “big
Very warm. Did a good washing. Caught cold and felt old. 9 pm. Felt very bad,
Was very sick all day, lay abed all day. Quite hot.
Some sick today. Rained right smart. Said we are to be consolidated with 15th
New York. Boys do not like it.
Rained very hard today. Saw WES BABCOCK. At night went down to STILES and stayed.
GEORGE CHANDLER and ASK BARD were there. Only two boys from Franklinville.
Not so warm as usual. Orders to move to camp of the 15th. My boys held out
for more time and would not go, finally got them out.
Quite hot. In evening went down to STILES. Had to come right back to make out
muster out rolls for ? of company. Got fairly to work when whiz zip, the
bullets flew quite briskly. The 15th acted very cowardly. They kept firing
at us nearly all night.
Am, life was no safer than in old Rebel times gone off.
Very warm today. Making out rolls and discharges.
Very warm. Was making out muster rolls.
Fine day till towards 2 pm. Worked on rolls all day.
Very wet. Rained very hard.
Very hot day. Was mustered out.
Went over to Washington where we were paid. Got our pay and started for New
York City. Arrived at New York.
Arrived at New York about daylight. Put up at Sov?.
Started early for Hudson River Railroad Depot but was not in time for the ?
? train as far as Peekskill where we waited for Poughkeepsie train. Train arrived
at 12:46. Weather very warm. Arrived at Hamburg about 2 pm. Crossed Hudson
River in a skiff. Arrived at MRS FREES about 3 pm. Went through Marlboro afoot.
Quite damp and rainy. Rained considerable. Was very dry and much need of
rain. Was down to Marlboro. On our way down, called on MRS WYGANT. Saw
All quiet in rural district.
Quite cool and pleasant. Was up to Baptist Church at Savilton.
Cool and pleasant. Started for home. Went up to Poughkeepsie. Stayed two hours.
Took express at Poughkeepsie for New York at 1:45. Arrived at New York at
Took 6 pm express at New York City. Riding all night. Binghamton at daylight.
Cool and very pleasant. Arrive at home on stage at 6 pm. People at Franklinville
very undemonstrative. All quiet.
Quite pleasant. Spent the day at home and around town. Wrote some letters.
Warm, but cooler the last few days. All quiet in town. War declared in Sugar
Town. Saw some of the wounded arrive. Blood seems to have been shed quite
freely. Resorted to the satisfaction of the ?ar. Interesting ?.
Very warm. Was up to Mr McCaa’s. All quiet around town. Milbanery Association
through ?. Furnished my share of the news and was duly accredited therefore.
All quiet in town. Weather comfortable. GUS AND SHUMAN arrived in town today.
Warm. Went to church and heard Rev McV discourse --- forgot, tedious as usual.
Spent the day by calling around. Milenary shop included in round. All quiet.
Chapter of locals small.
Made the “rounds” as usual. All quiet. No accidents, no births,
no deaths, no weddings. Consequently the chapter of social items is small,
Hot with good breeze. Went to Olean. Arrived at Olean at 3 pm.
Olean is still where it used “to was”. Lay around until 1 pm. Then
started for home. Arrived about 4 pm. Weather cool, like fall.
Quite cool, like fall weather. Nothing unusual around town.
Cool and cloudy. Went downtown at 9 am. All on the qui vive to see the circus
come in. Natives all out. Curious collection there. Natives are. Commenced
raining in am. Rained hard.
Very wet and rainy. Did not go to church. Stayed in the house nearly all day.
Weather very wet and cold. Weather such as can be produced by any other county
but Cattaraugus. Genuine Cattaraugus County weather.
Cool and pleasant. Cool enough for October. Nothing unusual in line of gossip.
Cool and clear. Was helping old lady (his mother) color cloth all day.
Warm and pleasant. Looks some like rain.
Some cloudy, not very warm. Rained considerably enough to spoil haying for
a day or two.
Cleared up and was something of hay weather towards night.
Quite pleasant. Was up to Shapirns, quite warm coming home.
Was warm and pleasant. Was at church. Sermon was not one to wake the world
to a sense of its inequities but – did very well to lull one to a comfortable
Pleasant. VAN AMBURY exhibited his wonderful collection of wild animals to – no
doubt – an admiring crowd of natives.
Warm with indications of rain. Rained considerably. Had a invitation to go
down to Cadiz. Pled sore toe and laziness, besides muddy roads.
Was warm and pleasant. Invitation to go to Cadiz was renewed by AD MCCLURE
but could not see the ? of sore toe and laziness. The young ladies think
returned (soldiers) are curious fellows and cannot appreciate their endeavors
to get up something to amuse them. Perhaps it is so?
Very warm. Went up to ? Naplies. Took tea at MRS MCCAA’S.
Very warm. Spent the day in going to and from the village. Weather inclined
to be showery in pm.
Sat 7-29-1865 missing pages.
Wed Aug 2, 1865
Weather pleasant. Started for the west. Took express at Cuba. Arrived at ?
at 4 pm.
Arrived at Cleveland (?) about 8 pm. Arrived at Toledo about 12 or 1 am.
Thu Aug 3, 1865
Warm and dusty. Traveling. Arrived at Chicago about noon. Had to wait until
10:20 pm for train. Went into the sleeping car and was oblivious until after
Fri Aug 4, 1865
Weather wet and showery. Arrived at Dunbrith (?) about 7 am. Crossed over the
Father of waters. Had to wait until 10 am for train west. RR west from Dupre
(?) in wretched condition from Illinois. Arrived at Waverly about 5 pm.
Sat Aug 5, 1865
Weather fine. It parted from Waverly early. Arrived at MR BRODINS about noon.
Went our chicken shooting in pm. Mr B killed nine. Yours etc none, but got
Sun Aug 6, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Went over to DUTCHMAN’S to view the depradations of
a wolf that had been ? sheep. He killed 2 and disabled 3.
Mon Aug 7, 1865
Very pleasant. In pm went over to Wilson’s Grove for wine for MR NAPIER.
Weather very warm while going over prairie. Got back from Wilson’s Grove
about 6 pm.
Tue Aug 8, 1865
Very warm and pleasant. Started about 4 am for MCGregors Landing. Went about
Wed Aug 9, 1865
Rained very hard early in am. Rainy all forenoon. Layover on account of rain.
Thu Aug 10, 1865
Came to McGregor, IA. Arrived about 10 am. Had to wait for boat until 4 pm.
Went over to Pra Du Chien and remained until 9 pm.
Fri Aug 11, 1865
Cool. Arrived at Winona about noon. Car (Train) to leave for Rochester at 3:20
pm. Went over to the Franklin and had dinner. Arrived at Rochester at 6 pm.
Went to orks State House and put up for the night.
Sat Aug 12, 1865
Very warm. Started for Farmington about 10 am. Very warm traveling. Arrived
at Farmington about 2 pm.
Sun Aug 13, 1865
Very warm. Went to church. Heard MR. JENKINS. Remarks very purnile.
Mon Aug 14, 1865
Warm. Lay around. Visited some people. Very busy harvesting.
Tue Aug 15, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Worked for John in harvesting. Bound wheat in pm.
Wed Aug 16, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Was driving on reaper for John. Cut some wheat in am and
oats in pm.
Thu Aug 17, 1865
Warm and clear. Driving reaper for John cutting oats.
Fri Aug 18, 1865
Warm, some cloudy. Looks like rain. Was tinkering and stacking from header.
Sat Aug 19, 1865
Cloudy. Commenced raining early. No harvesting today. Was up at MR K and MR
Sun Aug 20, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Was at meeting. No preacher, but had kind of class meeting.
Each one relating their experiences. Entertaining and edifing.
Mon Aug 21, 1865
Cloudy and wet. Went to Rochester. Rained very hard in pm.
Tue Aug 22, 1865
Harvesting for John.
Wed Aug 23, 1865
Harvesting for John.
Thu Aug 24, 1865
Harvesting for John.
Fri Aug 25, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Harvesting for John. Was at MR BAKERS & HODGES.
Sat Aug 26, 1865
Very warm – hot. Harvesting at MR LITTLE’S.
Sun Aug 27, 1865
Very warm. Went to church and heard the REV SEDGWICK. Sermon very tame.
Mon Aug 28, 1865
Weather fine. Worked for John on header.
Tue Aug 29, 1865
Weather fine. Worked for John on header.
Wed Aug 30, 1865
Weather fine. Worked for John on header.
Thu Aug 31, 1865
Weather fine. Went of a fishing and fruit excursion.
Fri Sep 1, 1865
Weather fine and hot. Worked for John on header at MR HODGES.
Sat Sep 2, 1865
Very warm and fine. Went up and finished MR HODGES wheat in the am.
Drove reaper for John in the pm.
Sun Sep 3, 1865
Warm with high wind. Went to church. Heard Rev MR BLAIN of Methodist order.
Sermon average .
Mon Sep 4, 1865
Rained heavily in the night. Considerable rain fallen in the course of 12 hours.
Cleared up this am. John went over to Plainview. Was doing nothing all day.
Tue Sep 5, 1865
Warm, some cloudy. Was up to LEW EVERETTS and SAM ROBINSON’S.
Wed Sep 6, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Went down by the river after grapes and plums. Had very
Thu Sep 7, 1865
Cloudy & looks like rain. Was stacking oats for John. Worked one half day.
Commenced raining about 2 pm.
Fri Sep 8, 1865
Cloudy and cool. Was a funeral of GEORGE BAILEY’S boy. Started for Lake
City about 2 pm. Arrived at Lake City about 10 pm.
Sat Sep 9, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Stayed around Lake City until 5 pm. Came as far as Boston
House and stayed all night. Rained hard in night.
Sun Sep 10, 1865
Cool and clear. Started for home from Boston House about half past 8 am. Arrived
home at 4 pm.
Mon Sep 11, 1865
Warm and clear. Worked at haying for self in pm.
Tue Sep 12, 1865
Worked cutting grass for self.
Wed Sep 13, 1865
Warm with signs of rain. Haying for self until middle pm. When it rained, rained
Thu Sep 14, 1865
Wet and foggy with indication of rain. Doing nothing.
Fri Sep 15, 1865
Clear and cool, haying for self.
Sat Sep 16, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Was hauling oats for John.
Sun Sep 17, 1865
Warm. Was at church heard Mr Blains farewell.
Mon Sep 18, 1865
Clear and pleasant. Commenced threshing for John. Run out 500 bushels of oats.
Tue Sep 19, 1865
Cool and pleasant. Threshing wheat for John. Weather good. Run out 300 bushels.
Weather continues fine.
Wed Sep 20, 1865
Still threshing wheat for John. Weather good. Run out 300 bushels and over.
Thu Sep 21, 1865
Still continues fine. Threshing wheat for John. 300 bushels and over.
Fri Sep 22, 1865
Weather cool and fine. Good weather for threshing. Threshing wheat for John.
300 bushels and over. Wheat good.
Sat Sep 23, 1865
Cloudy in am. Cleared up and fair all day. Was threshing for John.
Sun Sep 24, 1865
Very warm and pleasant. Was at church and heard REV SEDGWICK expound for the
3rd article of faith – Baptist. Very warm. Was up to K’s. LOUISE
sorely affected with toothache.
Mon Sep 25, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Worked for John trashing.
Tue Sep 26, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Worked for John half day thrashing. Afternoon layed around.
Wed Sep 27, 1865
Warm and pleasant. Lay around, did nothing. A few showers through the day.
But not enough to stop business.
Thu Sep 28, 1865
Warm and pleasant but very windy. Stacked hay in forenoon. Worked for MR HODGES
in the pm threshing.
Fri Sep 29, 1865
Rained very hard in night. Worked for HODGES threshing.
Sat Sep 30, 1865
Clear and pleasant. Worked for HODGES threshing.
Sun Oct 1, 1865
Clear nice day, did not attend church. Was not any preaching.
Mon Oct 2, 1865
Clear and warm. Was threshing for Mr HODGES. Some frost last night.
Warm and clear. Some frost this am. Was threshing for Mr HODGES.
Clear and cool but no frost. Warm through day. Was threshing for Mr. KIMBALL
Was warm and clear, weather very fine. Was threshing oats for KIMBALL.
Weather fine. Was threshing wheat for KIMBALL. Amt threshed 241 wheat.
Weather fine. Was threshing for KIMBALL. Amt threshed tonight, 676 oats, 111
oats, 674 wheat.
Weather fair and warm. Was at church and heard the REV SEDGWICK expound from
an article on faith.
Warm and fair. Was threshing for KIMBALL.
Warm and fair. Was threshing for KIMBALL.
Warm and fair. Was threshing for KIMBALL.
Cold and showery. Was doing nothing.
Warm and pleasant. Was doing nothing.
Warm and pleasant. Was doing nothing.
Warm and pleasant. Was doing nothing.
Warm and pleasant. Was doing nothing.
Wet this am. Rained considerable in the night. All quiet. Rained nearly all
Cold. Was down at Rochester. Got back a little after dark.
Weather cold and windy. Worked for JAMES WILLIAMS and for MR A BAKER at threshing.
Saw eclipse of sun.
Cold but good weather to work. Was working for STEVE BAKER at threshing.
Cool and pleasant. Was working for Steve B. Both his oxen at 125.
Cold and cloudy. Did not go to church. SEDGWICK preached.
Cold and cloudy. Commenced raining at 11 am. Was threshing for BAKER until
rain. Rained remainder of day.
Rained all night and raining this am. Rained nearly all day.
Cool and cloudy, no rain. Commenced plowing for self, plowed all day.
Wet this am. Cleared up or rather stopped raining about noon. Plowed in pm.
Very cold tonight. 10 pm. First snow of the season, merely a flurry.
Froze very hard last night. Did not go to work very early on account of frost.
Plowed all day. Snowed hard or nearly all of the pm. Snowing briskly 8 pm.
Snowed about 4 inches last night. No business today. Sat near the stove all
Cold and disagreeable but no storm. Did not go to meeting.
Very cold. Froze hard last night. Did not get to plowing until afternoon. Weather
more moderate in pm.
Froze hard last night. Cold this am. Did not get to plowing until 11 am. More
moderate in pm.
Weather more moderate. Plowed all day.
Weather quite fine, plowed all day. Quite pleasant.
Cold. Could not work until noon. Plowed all pm.
Cold and windy. Did not go to church. Stayed in the house nearly all day.
Froze quite hard last night. Cleaned up a load of wheat for ? in am, plowed
Clear and cold, was plowing.
Clear and cold, was plowing.
Clear. Cold in am but pleasant in pm. Plowing.
Froze hard last night. Clear and cold. Plowing in forenoon & worked for
MR HAINES at threshing in pm.
Clear and cold. Froze very hard. Was threshing for MR HAINES.
Clear and moderate. Went to church.
Warm and clear. Weather fine, was threshing for HAINES.
Weather fair. Was threshing for HAINES.
Warm. Weather beautiful. Broke the mashery in pm.
Cloudy and cold. Went down to Rochester with John. Got back about 8 pm. Very
dark and chilly.
Weather cleared up. Clear and cold. Went over to HAINES and helped him.
Clear and cool with wind from south. Bought some trees from SABIN. Buried them
per instructions. Was plowing.
Clear and pleasant. Was at church. REV MR MASON from Rochester delivered the
Clear and cold. Was plowing.
Clear and cold. Was plowing.
Clear and pleasant. Roads dry and dusty. Went over the Zumbro to look at some
timber. Got back about 3 pm.
Clear and warm today. Some frost last night. Was plowing for John. Some trouble
with fire in pm.
Warm and pleasant. Was plowing for John.
Warm & clear. Plowing for John.
Clear and cool. Went down to Rochester in pm with GEORGE BARD & JOHN PORTER.
Did not get started from town until about dark. Came up with MR HAINES. Oxen
plowing for John.
Snowed some last night, about 2 inches. Was plowing for John.
End of diary except for a few pages with figures on them as follows:
Feb 10, 1866
Seth Murray paid $5.00, Alex Perkin $5.00
Mar 1 paid for board $4
Mar 4 Sundries $1
Mar 9 Collars $.50
Mar 11 Washing $.50
Mar 13 Fixing boat $.50
Little girls $.75
Mar 14 Odds n Ends $ $1.00
Jim Henry $1.00
Mar 20 wares $1.00
Mar 21 Whiskey $1.25
Mar 22 Received for horse $25.00
Apr 1 Rec’d St Ball $120.00
Bill Stone pd $1.00
Apr 22 Stiles $20.00
Apr 25 Whiskey for boys, $3.00
Apr 28 Sundries
Received $190.00, paid $ 34.00
April 4, 1866
Started from Chicago for Omaha, arrived Omaha April 8.
Cash account May
3rd tobacco $.50
4th shad $1.50
5th potatoes and bread $1.50
8th sob & c papers $1.00
11th potatoes and produce $.50
20th sundries $10
25th sundries $5
Total paid $18.00
Aug 4, 1866
Received from Uncle Sam $2,000 cash. Paid Mrs Oaks $10.00.
Aug 6, 1866
Worked for John Little half day lathing.
Aug 7, 1866
Worked one day, also 8th through 11th.
Back to 6th Cavalry Regiment
During the Civil War
New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
August 9, 2006