Sunday, November 4, 2012

1862 November 5

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

Wed 5th. Wrote letters – rode to Emory Hos.  Cap  Hill   ten miles. Crossing
long bridge met Rev. Mr. _ who sd. the 2nd. Pa. Cavalry were still
waiting for me as Chaplain – Called on Mr. Hilgard – gave me maps
found – Cook dead & buried - & his brother just breathed his last –
Nicholson.  apparently dying with measles all – others convalescent
some – most – nearly well – one with typhoid better – spent about four
hours there – talking – counselling comforting them & others fr. other
Regts   Saw some fine sweet looking ladies ministering to
the wants of the soldiers.  One however of dift. stamp excellent
disposition but not judicious came up & implored my help –
“for what” – “Why I want you to persuade these men to lay by money
& have themselves embalmed!”  I told her I had rather they
would take care of their souls than their bodies.  The idea
of urging men to that, & yet she meant it well, I know,
turned my horse homeward – reached Long Bridge – it was

broken & no travel – went back by way of Georgetown
Stopd. for hasty dinner at Mr Hilgards – It was dark as I
came out of his house – my horse (not tied) was gone, I saw
down block, up the alley – enquired for Provost Marshalls
Office   took course up street.  Saw a dark object   crossed over
there stood old Speed – I tied to a post – I mounted & galloped
back to Camp – pretty tired – ridden some 25 miles
little dash of rain on way home.  Sent for Nicholsons brother,
talked to him about his brother – made arrangements for him to go
in & see him tomorrow.  On way in met Gen Casey & staff
going out to review.  Saluted & part.

Brothers Martin and William W. Cook

As Mr. Hilgard gave Butler maps he may possibly be the German-American engineer Julius Erasmus Hilgard (1825-1890), acting superintendent of the Coast Survey, who constructed maps and charts for the Union army and navy during the Civil War.

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 12935

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