Tuesday, March 12, 2013


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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

1863 February 13 New Bern, N.C.

[from the diary of Jesse Calvin Spaulding, Co. F., 25th Massachusetts]

Feb 13
Did not drill to-day.  Have felt very un-
easy and want to be at  home.  Made
out Thompsons descriptive list as he is going to the
hospital.   Phineas has been putting up a cookhouse
It has been pleasant to-day.  this evening Frank
Adams has been in here and we have been talking
of home

MSS 11293

1863 February 13 camp near Falmouth

[from the diary of Captain Jonathan B. Hager, 14th U. S. Regulars, returning from mustering duty]

Feby 13  I was glad to see the officers nearly all of
               whom I had not seen since last summer.
               I found myself the senior officer & of course will
               assume the command of the regiment.

MSS 9044

1863 February 13 Dumfries, Va.

                                   Dumfries, Virginia
                                      Feb. 13th 1863
Dear Mother
                             Your kind and wel-
come letter came safely to hand yester
day and I thank you for it.  I was
truly glad to learn that you were well
and prospering at home.  My health
remains good and I do not think it
will change as camp life seems to
agree with me.  I wrote you a letter
but a few days ago and I have not
much news to write you now none
of importance only we received our
pay yesterday for two months $28 for
me. - I  have nearly Six months due
me but could only get two of them
We are promised pay again some time
in March.  I have nearly fifty dollars
that I can send you, and you can
get it by going to Lanark and pay-
ing Expressage.  Perhaps I shall buy
some Boots and clothes so that I cannot
send you more than fi forty dollars
I shall send you all I can.  I want
you to pay Shimer and Gregory some
if you can possibly spare it.--------

[page 2]
The Col. says that we will
go to Washington soon to do
Provo - guard duty If we do
then I shall get my mail
regularly and perhaps we will
have easier times  I hope so
any how.  Our Company has
been detailed to go to Alexandria
or Washington to get some extra
horses for our Regiment.  We start
to-morrow morning at 8 oclock
and will go up the Potomac on a boat
and probably will be gone for sever-
al days.  After we return I will
write you again.  The Postage Currency
is taken in place of silver in all
cases and for any thing   We use
it as change.  Believe me Mother
Your Affectionate Son
W. H. Redman
Mrs. Catarine Redman
Please Write Soon
No Sale Mother- - No Sae  It will be
the beginning of a separation of the family

[In right hand margin of page 2]
Mother I want to know whether you ever received a likeness
that I sent you from Wmsport?
dont forget to write me

William Henry Redman, Co. C., 12th Illinois Cavalry

MSS 7415

1863 Feby 13-15 Mississippi River

               Mississippi river
                   Feby 13th 1863
My Dear Parents
                    We have at last
reached the River of rivers
Last Monday afternoon
took on board Pilot about
forty five miles from the south
West Pass and about mid=
night anchored out side the
    Providence has favored us
wonderfully.   we only had one
severe gale.  The bunks on the
Starboard side of the ship were
broken down, but fortunately no
one was hurt very bad.
The vessel shipped several seas.
I was in the Second mate's
State-room in the lower berth
the water came in but did

[page 2]
not not wet me.  I thought
however that it was best to
make tracks & I crawled
into the main cabin and
lay upon the floor until
day light & then after the
sun had risen the scene
was grand beyond description.
The saddest part of our
voyage was after we had passed
great Abaco Island when we
had to bury one of our comrades
at sea, and after we got
into the Gulf we had to bury an
other. one has died since we
started up the river and was
carried ashore this morning
about five (5) miles above fort
Philip. we have none very
sick now.
  Now for our voyage up the
river.  Tuesday at sundown a

[page 3]
tug took us over the bar and
we anchored about two miles
up the channel of the river.
Wednesday morning cool and
pleasant a boat came along
side and I was glad to
see Geo. Smith, he had come
down from Ft. Philip 35 miles
up river, to get Birney, they
had heard that we were on
the bar and could not get
off.  Thursday morning very
pleasant and warm, the
tug fastened to us an
we steamed slowly up the
river. got to Ft. Philip last
night about dark, five miles
above the Forts, we came to
anchor in quarantine this
morning the medical officer
came on board ad about
8 oclock we again got under

[page 4]
way, the day has been pleasant
but rather cool.  we have seen
the remains of five fats &
wrecks of steamers used &
destroyed at the taking of the
Forts.  we have passed former
plantations to-day, could see
them at work gathering the
came have passed some splendid
orange orchards could see the
oranges on the trees we go
so close to the bank that
we can smell their fragrance-
a boat came alongside
loaded with oranges. they were
the best I ever tasted.
this evening we have anchored
close in shore as it is very
foggy.  the tug has a ship
on each side & a schooner
behind so you see we do

[page 5]
not make very rapid progress.
the other ship has part of a
Regt. that were wrecked on
Florada Reefs. no lives were lost
I believe.
   Saturday Feby 14 1863
We started this morning again
and have been slowly making
our way up river, expect if
nothing happens to reach the
city about nine o'clock
this evening. we have passed
some very large plantations
today, the negroes appear to
be loyal & glad to see us
They jump up & down clap
their hands, & roll over.
We ran so close to them to-day
that a negro threw some
oranges on board.
It will be thirty five days
to morrow that we have

[page 6]
been aboard this craft.
I have got enough of the
sea. hoe we shall go
home by land.
 Sunday 15th inst
   This has been a pleasant
day, we are anchored opposite
the lower part of the city, the
Col. has gone ashore Y we
shall probably know our destination
to night or n the morning.
This afternoon Elder Blokes came
on Board.  he came up the
river with B[?] & two or
three officers that went ashore at
the Forts.
Evening it rains quite hard, the
Col. has come on board.  we go
ashore in the morning and go
into U.S. Barracks to recruit a
while & then go up river
this Regt. is assigned to

[page 7]
Nickerson's Brigade which is
this side of Baton Rouge the
Col. did not remember the
name of the place.
The mail leaves  here to
morrow at 4 o'clock P.M.
and one is expected to arrive
You must write every week.
for the mail comes quite
  I will write you a letter
George soon, you must consider
this as partly your own
You can write often & it will
be a good exercise for you
   You direct to
       New Orleans
24th Regt
                   Banks Expedition
                  Yours Truly

Charles Plummer Morrill,  24th Maine

MSS 11031

1863 February 13 Norfolk, Va.

             Camp 7th New York Battery
                   Norfolk, Va. F 13th 1863

                         My Dear Wife
Yours of the 8th received and perused
And as there is not time like the
present for improveing opportunity
I have embraced it And although
there is not much News to write
to you in regards to the war Yet I
think I can make out a Letter
of City doings For the last 3 or 4 weeks
more or less every Night we are startled
from our slumber by the ringing of
Bells and the whole firmament lit up
as if in one Blaze of Fire This of
course accounts for the Bells ringing
soon we told that a large Fire
is raging in the City - and that it
is the work of the Incendiary
Night before last 10 Buildings where[sic]

[page 2]
laid in ashes  Last night again another
the particulars I have not yet heard
This is what the Secesh call Lincoln
work  But my idea is that this
property is owned by the Secesh
and heavily insured at the North
for ever and above its value they
then set fire to it to obtain the
insurance  Two of our Boys have
Deserted us and gone over to the
Rebs their names are Caleb Bush
of Dutchess County and one S Kelley
one we have heard from He is in
Fredericksburgh in the secesh army
In a few Days Rufus H King will
be in power then may we expect
something new The Weather is
again growing Cold  Alas what
changes we have seen one Day very
warm the next more than cold
well never mind warm weather

[page 3]
for us will come soon enough
and some how or other I dread
it  All is Quiet at Suffolk as far
as we can learn But the most of
our expedition are [centered?] now
on Savannah & Charleston if they
fall then may we expect something
else soon Keep me posted if Jim
goes to the C[?] let me know
the full particulars As yet I
know have had no opportunity
of getting my picture taken when I
do you shall know Remember me
to mother Father and the rest of
my friends  My Love to you and
my boy take good care of yourself
and him  Your Loving Husband
'                         Edward Shepard
when the 19 regt get
to Fortress Monroe I
intend visiting them

[letter written for the barely literate Sheppard of the 7th New York Light Artillery by another soldier]

MSS 12631

1863 February 13 Newport News

[from the diary of the Rev. Francis E. Butler, chaplain of the 25th New Jersey]

Fri 13. Cool, clear, distributed papers & temperance tracts
thro. whole regt, took stroll – made sketches of map –

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 12935