Diary of Joseph W. Crowther
Co. H. 128th NY Vols.
This is the Civil War diary of my great-great-grandfather, Joseph W. Crowther. Born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, he immigrated to Dutchess County as a boy with his family. In 1962, he and his twin brother enlisted in the 128th N.Y. Infantry.
Volume 1 of the diary is in the private collection of Jim Phillips of League City, Texas. It covers the period from his enlistment until August 1864.
Volume 2 of the diary is Manuscript #330 Virginia Military Institute Archives. Preston Library. Lexington, VA. Used by permission. Photocopy obtained from Dean Thomas. The first page bears the date of Feb. 1st 1865, and Savannah Ga. From the handwriting, it would appear that he there purchased a new leather bound diary, and transcribed the entries from Nov. 9th to that point. Names of regimental members have been checked against the muster out roll published in D. H. Hanaburgh, History 128th N.Y. Vol. Inft. August 1862-July 1865(Poughkeepsie, NY: Enterprise Publishing Company, 1894), pp. 256ff. The diary begins three weeks after the Battle of Cedar Creek. It was the unit’s last battle–though of course, they had no way of knowing it at the time.
In transcribing, I chose to correct most spelling errors and to spell out most abbreviations. I’ve added minimal punctuation to make portions more easily readable. But I have left his grammar uncorrected. People mentioned most frequently include his wife, Sarah Jane Crowther and his sister, Eliza Ann Crowther. For more on Joseph Crowther, follow the link on the navigation bar to the descendants of James Crowther. There is also a link to a page where you can read more about the history of the 128th.
Mr. Joseph W. Crowther
Dutchess County, NY
New York State Volunteers
August 20th 1862
Joseph W. Crowther enlisted on the 20th day of August 1862 under Lieut. Mase. at Matteawan, Dutchess County, N.Y. On the 25th of August mustered into the company at Camp Kelly, Hudson, Columbia County, N.Y. Company H. 128th Regiment.
25th. Received our Clothing.
27 Went home from Camp Kelly to Matteawan.
29 Returned to Camp Kelly
30 Presentation of flag & colors to the 128th Regiment.
31 Signed for County Bounty $25.00
& State Bounty 50.00
Mustered into U. S. service
Sept. 6 Left Camp Kelly for New York. Left New York for Philadelphia
7 Left Philadelphia for Baltimore
8 Arrived at the camp ground at Baltimore, Laurel Hill camp.
9 Left Laurel Hill marched about 4 or 5 miles & back to another camp called Camp Millington.
8 Received our arms at Camp Laurel Hill
12 Went out on picket about 4 miles from camp.
[Next follows a list of letters he wrote to his wife, each numbered, and letters he received. He sent home rings, money, pictures, songs. Since these are referenced in the body of the diary, I’ve omitted the list]
18 Went out on picket duty on the Washington Road.
19 Co. H. brought in while on picket a squad of paroled soldiers.
22 Inspection of guns & knapsacks.
23 Got new tents. Had my likeness taken. Received a letter from Sarah Jane concerning William’s death.
24 Received 1 cap & 1 pr shoes
28 Sent 2 likeness home received a letter from Sarah Jane stating that William was not dead.
Wrote to D. P. Coan. Inspection of arms and knapsacks.
29 Raised a flag & had a speech from the Chaplain of the Regiment.
[STAMP] Wrote to William Hedden. acktion [?] day in the city of Baltimore. Got orders to hold our selves in readiness. Received a letter from Sarah Jane.
10. Got orders to be in readiness for a march. Struck tents & marched to the Baltimore & Pennsylvania R. R. Depot. Slept on the pavements that night waiting for the cars. At 6 o’clock in the morning we went on the cars. Arrived at a place called Hanover that night. There was plenty of union people there. They give us all that we could eat. Plenty of apple butter we filled our haversacks and got on board the cars again then went
12 to 13 On about 16 miles further to a place called Gettysburg. We formed square in the center of the town. At night we went to the outskirts of the town on picket. While there we got news the Rebs had crossed the river back again.
14 Got orders to form the Regiment. and march to the R. R. Depot which we did & got on the cars to go back to Baltimore. On our way back we stopped at Hanover & got something to eat again. Then went on again when we got to Hanover Junction we was obliged to stop on the Rail Road track in the cars 2 days. We was short of grub there.
16th. We left Hanover Junction. We arrived in Baltimore and that night we encamped on our old camp ground Camp Millington. When we got there we found the 150th Regiment. New York State Volunteers encamped there.
17th Went to see the boys in the 150th Regiment.
18. Set out trees around our camp.
19 Sunday inspection of guns & knapsacks.
21 We had a Brigade drill. The 128th & 150th New York & 110th NY & a Pennsylvania Regiment.
23 Received a pair pants.
24 Sent home the picture of the camp.
28 Brigade drill
29 Got orders to keep ourselves in readiness for a march.
31st Inspection of guns & knapsacks and mustered for pay.
1st Brigade & Regimental drill
2 got orders to be in readiness to march & inspection of guns.
3 inspection of guns.
4 Brigade drill
5 Got orders to strike tents at 10 o’clock a.m. at 11 o’clock to sling knapsacks. Marched down through the city to the steam boat wharf where we went on board of a steam boat which took us out in the river to the steam ship Arago. She laid out in the Chesapeake Bay & all the tents provisions horses & everything that belonged to the 128th Regiment. 3 companies of the 114th N.Y. came on board with us.
6th We still lay in the Bay loading from the other steam boats.
7th Commenced to snow early in the morning & snowed until night. We still lay in the Bay living on 9 hardtack a day & a pint of coffee.
7 Received a letter from William F. Correll & one from Sarah Jane.
8 We still lay in the Bay on board of the Arago.
9 The steam ship Arago set sail for Fortress Monroe.
Arrived at Fortress Monroe.
12 Left Fortress Monroe the next day for New Portnews [Newport News]
13 We had a drill & inspection of arms on board of Arago. Here we saw the Monitor and the ship Cumberland. The Cumberlandwas sunk in the mouth of the James River. The Monitor and some other gun boats was there.
13 Wrote to Sarah Jane.
13th We went on shore at Newport News and drilled. Came on board again at night.
14. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
15th. Went on shore at Newport News to wash ourselves & clothes. Col. Corkran & brigade came to Newport News and encamped there while we was there we went all through their camps.
16th. Wrote to Sarah Jane & sent her $5.00
17th The regiment went on shore.
18th Signed pay roll and received pay $17.75.
19 Went on shore & drilled.
20 Went on shore
22 Went on shore & got our clothes washed. Received a letter from Sarah Jane. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
23 The steam ship Arago took us back to Fortress Monroe. Arrived there the same day.
24 We had a drill & inspection on deck.
25 Drill on deck
26 Drill on deck.
27th Thanksgiving Day. Went on shore at Fortress Monroe. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
28th Went on shore.
29 Got orders to get the tents off the ship & take them on shore.
30th We encamped at Camp Hampton, Fortress Monroe.
1st We had Battalion drill. Took the Co. to wash in a mud puddle. Received orders at 11 o’clock at night to be in readiness to march.
2 We struck tents & marched to the dock and put everything on board of the steam ship Arago.
2 Wrote to Sarah Jane.
3 Received a letter from Sarah Jane.
Wrote to Sarah Jane.
4 Set sail on a secret expedition about 10 o’clock at night got out sight of land.
5th Out on the ocean
6th ” ”
7 ” ”
8 Still on the ocean
9 Saw land of Florida coast
10 Still sailing on the Florida coast. Had a drill on board while sailing.
10 Got out of sight of land.
11 Out at sea.
12 Out at sea.
13 Saw land in the morning.
13 Arrived at Ship Island at 11 o’clock a.m. and left Ship Island at 3 p.m. the same day.
14 Sunday arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi River. At 11 o’clock passed Fort Jackson. At 12 o’clock arrived at quarantine and cast anchor.
15 Took the sick on shore.
16 The whole regiment went on shore at the quarantine. We took our quarters in a brick storehouse.
17 A general wash day
20 A general inspection of guns, knapsacks.
21 Sunday inspection
22 Co H. had a oyster supper.
23 Company drill. Steam ship Arago left quarantine.
24 Company drill.
25 Christmas day no duty
26 Company drill
27 Wash day
29 Company drill
31 Inspection & signed pay roll. The end of the year 1862.
1st New Years Day. No duty.
2 Battalion drill a.m. & skirmish drill p.m.
4 Sunday inspection & got orders to pack knapsacks. At 11 o’clock p.m. slung knapsacks and marched on board of the steam boat Laurel Hill and sailed up the Mississippi River.
5 Arrived at Camp Chalmette the old Battle Ground and there encamped 5 miles below New Orleans.
6 Very cold day
7 Frosty morning
7 Signed pay roll
8 No duty
9 I went to New Orleans. Received 2 months pay for Nov & Dec. $26.00.
10 No duty
11 Inspection of guns. Received 2 letters from Sarah dated Dec 3 & 5.
12 Battalion & company drill. Wrote to Sarah.
13 Battalion & Co. drill.
14 No duty rainy day.
14 No duty rainy day. Froze Ice 1/8 of an inch.
16 On guard duty cold day.
17 Froze Ice 1/4 inch thick.
18 No duty but dress parade [in margin: wedding]
19 No duty
20 On guard duty
21 Co drill
22 Co drill
23 No duty. Wrote to Sarah.
24. No duty. Very warm.
25 Inspection of guns & knapsacks
26 No duty.
27 No duty
28 No duty but dress parade.
29 Co & skirmish drill.
30 Skirmish drill
31 Wash day.
1st Inspection of guns and knapsacks
2 On guard duty. Received marching orders.
3 No duty. In readiness.
4 Still in camp and drilled skirmish drill
5 Still in camp. Waiting in readiness. Cold day. No duty.
6. Co drill. 3 o’clock got marching orders again.
7 Struck tents & went on board of the Laurel Hill & went further up the Mississippi River.
7 Arrived at Camp Parapet about noon and pitched tents. Co H went out on picket duty and returned back the same night through some mistake.
8 Went out. Picket duty.
9 Inspection & dress parade.
10 Visited the 26th Conn. Regiment.
11 Battalion drill.
12 Battalion drill
13 No duty. Wrote to Sarah & to Johnston & Wm. Lee.
14 Brigade drill
15 Co. inspection
16 Co. drill &c.
17th Co drill & got a letter from Sarah.
18 No duty but dress parade.
19 Battalion & Co. drill
20 Battalion & Co. drill.
21 Wash day. Rec’d 1 shirt 88 c.
22 Sunday inspection
23 Battalion & Co. drill.
24 Guard duty
26 No duty
27 No duty. Made a vest for James Thayer.
28 No duty but dress parade. Mustered for pay.
1st Sunday inspection
2 Battalion & Co. drill
3 Battalion & Co. drill
4 Took down our tents
5 Went on guard.
6 Benjamin Crowther went to the Hospital and I was detailed to at the Hospital to take care of him and others in the 3rd ward as nurse.
7 Cleaned the Hospital. Ben not any better.
8& 9 About the same.
10 About the same
11 & 12th. Worse
13 & 14th Worse.
15th Ben was a little better
16 Worse again
16 I was quite poorly myself.
16 Ben became worse
17 Ben very low
18 Not expected to live
19 Benjamin died at 2 o’clock p.m. He was sent to the city to be embalmed. Then to be sent home by the expense of the company. He was the first that had died out of Co. H. 128th Reg.
Benjamin Crowther. Born in England April 29th 1833. Died in the Hospital at Camp Parapet, March 19th 1863 Near New Orleans L. A. with the Typhoid Fever.
March 17 I was quite sick with the fever.
18 No better
26 No better. Received a letter from Sarah and 1 from Ben’s wife.
31 I was some better.
1st I was worse again with the fever from April 1st to the 12th. Quite sick.
13 Some better. Wrote to Sarah.
18 Quite smart [Not sure if I have that right]
18 The regiment got marching orders at 10 o’clock a.m. the regiment left camp and marched to the lake & then took a steam boat at Hancocks Landing. 2 steam boats the right wing on one the left on the other along with 1 Co. of the Vermont Battery from thence to Fort Pike.
19 From there went up a small stream woods on both sides the Col. called for 20 men from the left wing to go through the woods. They captured in the woods 25 bales of cotton 45 barrels of tar 224 bar of rosin and 1 steam boat named A. G. Brown and burnt 1 schooner & 2 sloops up this Bio. at 2 o’clock Sunday night came back to Fort Pike.
20th The regiment went up the Pearl River and sailed until daylight when they reached a place called Gainesville. They all went on shore and deployed some into the woods others through the village. Meet with no rebels there.
22 returned back to camp again.
30 Held as a day of prayer.
1st Mustered for pay. Wrote to Sarah Jane and sent her $5.00. Wrote to Ben’s wife and sent her $2.00.
1 The Capt. sent to Ben’s wife $22.85 cents.
4 Not very well.
5 Wrote to Sarah Jane.
9. The regiment. went to the city.
10. I was quite sick with the fever again.
12 The regiment got marching orders. The regiment marched in the morning. At this time they went up the Jackson RR. to Ponchtoolia.
13 The 128th had a brush with the Rebs at Brasur City.
13 Wrote to Sarah Jane.
19 The regiment got back into camp again.
20 Wrote to Sarah Jane and sent $15.00. The regiment got marching orders again. They left camp at 9 o’clock the night of the 20th.
21. Shipped on board of steam ship at New Orleans & went up the Mississippi River to Port Hudson.
22 May 1863. We was on our way up the river.
22. After disembarking formed line of march through woods. The road was very muddy. Marched until 7 p.m. when we stopped for the night. 7 miles in the rear of Port Hudson.
23. We moved forward with some skirmishing the enemy retreating. We passed a board put up by the Johnnies saying, “Look out, Yanks. This is a hard road to travel.” At 1 p.m. Co. H. & Co. F. was sent forward as advance guards to skirmish by the right flank.
24th. Heavy cannonading was heard from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. by the union batteries. We then made another long move forward arriving in an open field we formed a line of battle was formed.
25. We was quietly waiting, the enemy’s shells falling near. 6 p.m. we moved forward near 1/2 mile to support 2 pieces of artillery.
26. We was ordered to advance. This we done under shot and shell from the enemy’s work’s.
27 Sherman & Dow was absent for a time. There was no one to give orders. Colonel Cowles took command of the brigade. He was leading the column forward when he was pierced with a piece of a shrapnel shell. He died in half an hour. His last words were, Boys have I not done my duty, tell my mother I died with my face to the enemy. Captain Keese then took command. We advanced under a galling fire from the enemy batteries. The advance became very difficult over burning trunks of trees and in the face of the galling fire as we drew the mouth of the enemy’s guns. The whole assault was so carried out by piece meal the enemy was allowed time to rush their troops from one point of assault to another within their lines of works. Massing their forces against each separate column. The loss in the 128th was 2 officers and 21 enlisted men killed, and 3 officers and 97 men wounded. 1 officer and 5 men missing.
28th on the 28th of May the skirmishers and batteries began firing at daybreak and continued until 8 o’clock when an armistice was effected. At this time we carried off the wounded and buried the dead. We were also kept busy every night throwing up breastworks.
7th. The night of June 7 Sunday was spent throwing up earthworks and planting some guns behind them nearer the enemy.
9 Our Regiment moved forward and supported a battery along the picket line. This we done under sharp firing from the enemy’s guns. The 11th a feint was made on the enemy. We soon received a reply in the shape of whizzing bullets also grape shot.
12th We were throwing up earth works for a battery within 400 yards of the rebel’s works. We could hear the enemy talk within their lines. At 2 a.m. we was heard and opened on us a galling fire of artillery and musketry.
13th. Our batteries near by opened fire upon the enemy. Banks had ordered all the guns to open fire at 11:45 a.m. Every gun and mortar of the Army and Navy to open Port Hudson until 2 p.m. when a flag of truce was sent in by Banks demanding the surrender of the garrison, which was firmly refused. At 6:30 the firing began again along the picket lines. On the 28th May Banks fixed his headquarters in tents at Zoungo (sp?).
14 Orders reached the 128th to be ready to move. Coffee & rations also whiskey were issued to the men. At 2 a.m. our brigade started on a march. We reached the junction of the Mount Pleasant landing at sunrise and was drawn up in line of battle.
At 2 p.m. of the 11th we were ordered in line after leaving our knapsacks, to be brought by the wagons. We left the place.
15th We embarked on the transport. St. Charles. We went down the river to Donaldsonville. We had quite a brush at or near Paincourville in this we lost 56 killed, 217 wounded and 186 missing. Here we rec’d on the 24th our larger tents. Here we done quite a bit of foraging. August 2nd we left Donaldsonville. Marched about 12 miles to Hickory landing. Here we done picket duty. 19th got orders to march with 2 days rations. We march about 9 miles inland from Plaquemine. Here we was mounted to do videt [sp?] duty.
20th we was back into camp doing Picket duty.
25 Mounted some of the 128th Regiment for scouting parties.
26 Received a letter from Sarah Jane Crowther dated August 15th No 8. Should have been No. 9.
27 At Plaquemine yet.
28 Wrote to Sarah Jane. Wrote to F Marsh. Got marching orders at 7 o’clock on the 28th.
29 Shipped on board of the steam boat Arago. Arrived at Baton Rouge at 1 o’clock and pitched tents on Camp Franklin.
August 30th. No duty. I saw Wm Marsh in the Gen. Hospital.
31 Mustered for pay.
1st Wrote to Rebecca and sent her the certificate of Ben’s death.
2. No duty fixed the boys clothes
3 Gen inspection
4 Moved camp to the east side of the city.
5 Went to the theater in the evening.
6 Sunday went to church. Wrote to Mr. Gitchell.
7 Wrote to Wm F. Correll.
8 Wrote to Sarah Jane.
9th We are at Baton Rouge. On the night of the 9th Sept we was called out and drawed up in line ready for an attack. The reb cavalry attacked our out posts.
10 Brought in some reb prisoners.
11 No duty. But dress parade.
12 Inspection by Col. Smith.
13 Sunday inspection.
14 No duty. Sent a paper to E. A. Crowther.
15 No duty.
16 Sick. No duty. Signed the payroll.
17 Received at Baton Rouge 2 months pay. For the months of July & August. Wrote to Sarah Jane and sent her $20 by Mr. John Shotsbury also sent 2 Bibles and a likeness.
18 Wrote to Sam Marsh.
17 Brigade review.
18 Sent by Mr John Shotsbury to Mrs. Sara Jane Crowther 1 watch 1 ring 1 peach basket and a cotton ball.
19 No duty but dress parade.
20 Sunday inspection
21 Went on picket.
22 Received a letter from Mrs Crowther and 3 papers from E. A. C.
23 Company drill a.m. Battalion drill p.m. Got light marching orders. We was called out to support a battery at night. Wrote to Sam Marsh and sent him 2 papers.
24 At 10 o’clock relieved from duty. Wrote to Sarah Jane and sent the Col. likeness.
25 Expected an attack on Baton Rouge. Our whole regiment was called out.
26th at night went on picket
27 Went out on picket at night.
28 On picket at night
29 The artillery and rese … pickets drawn in. No duty rainy day.
20 No duty rainy day. William W. Marsh wrote to his father to send him a box. Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther.
1st Went on picket duty
2 Relieved from picket
3 Brigade revue
4 General inspection
5 Battalion drill
6 Battalion drill
7 Went on picket duty
8 Battalion drill
9 Battalion drill
Wrote to Sarah Jane and to Z. Marsh.
10 No duty But dress parade
11 Battalion drill
12 Battalion drill
13 Went on picket. Received a letter from Charles E. Knapp.
14 Come off picket. Received letters from Sarah No 15, 16. Received 4 Papers from Sam Marsh all containing tobacco.
15 Battalion drill
16 Co drill a.m.
16 Sent a book to William A. Crowther by mail.
17 Not well
18 Excused from duty
19 No duty. Brigade revue.
20 Excused from drill. Rec’d a paper from Sam Marsh with a pare of gloves in it
20 Received a letter from Sarah Jane stating that Father died on the 3rd of October at 2 o’clock. 1863.
21 Skirmish drill
Wrote to Sarah Jane
22 Excuse from duty
23 Cold rain. Alford Smith died. Buried the 24th Oct.
24 No duty. Cold day.
25 No duty.
26 Excused from duty.
27 Built a stove in the tent. No duty.
28. Excused from duty. Received 2 newspapers from E. A. Crowther. Rec’d a letter from Samuel Marsh.
29 Wrote to Sam Marsh. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
31 Excused from duty. Mustered for pay.
1st Excused from duty
2 Excused from duty
3 No duty
4 Excused from duty
5 Co H got marching orders & go to Plaquemine. Struck tents in the morning and waited all day and night in the Co street waiting for a boat.
5 Wrote to James Crowther.
6 Marched to the steam boat dock. All day and night.
7 At 10 o’clock we left Baton Rouge for Plaquemine. Arrived Plaquemine at 1/2 past 11 a.m. and marched into the village and pitched our tents.
7 Sent a paper to Sarah Jane Crowther with a breast pin enclosed in it.
8 Fixed up our tents good order.
8th Wrote to Sarah Jane
6 Rec’d at Baton Rouge
2 pare drawers
2 pare socks
1 pare shoes
9 Inspection & wrote to Wm F. Correll.
10 Went on picket. Rec’d 2 letters from Sarah Jane.
11 Relieved from picket. P.m. drill.
12 Wrote to Sarah. P.m. drill.
13 Wrote to Z Marsh. Wrote to Sam Marsh.
14 Went on picket.
15 Wrote to Eliza A. Crowther and sent her a ring.
16 No duty.
17 Sent on picket duty.
18 Co H rec’d marching orders.
19 Waiting for further orders.
20 The marching orders countermanded for they expect an attack at Plaquemine.
19 We went out hunting niggers to throw up earth works on the levee to plant 2 pieces.
20 Rec’d 2 papers from E. A. C.
Nov 19th Rec’d a letter from Sarah Jane Crowther without number. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
20 Went on picket
21 Came off picket. Worked on the fort. Wrote to E. A. Crowther and sent her Col. Smith’s likeness and a ring.
22 Sunday still at Plaquemine.
23 Worked on the fort. Wrote to Z. Marsh. Wrote to Sam Marsh.
24 Went on a [….] to Indian Village.
25 No duty.
25 Wrote to E. A. Crowther.
26 Thanksgiving day. Went to church. No duty.
27 Went on picket.
28 No duty. Wrote to Sarah and sent home 6 rings also wrote to William.
29 Sunday no duty. Wrote to Sarah Jane and sent 6 rings.
30 No Duty.
Dec 1st Went on picket.
2 Relieved from picket.
3 Mounted 30 men of Co H 128 Regiment. Rec’d 1 horse saddle, v.
4th Worked on the fort.
5 Worked on the fort.
6 Went on picket mounted.
7 Sunday Gen inspection.
8 Worked on the fort. Raised a flagstaff inside the fort. Wrote to E. A. Crowther.
9 Went out as cavalry picket. Rec’d a letter from Sarah.
10 Went out to drill mounted. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
11 Went on picket at night.
12 no duty.
13 Sunday wrote to Samuel Marsh. Wrote 2 letters to Zacheus Marsh.
14 Signed payroll a.m. Received 2 months pay $26.00. Sent on picket.
15 Wrote to Sarah.
16 No duty
17 No duty
18 Went on picket on the Indian Village road.
19 Got marching orders to go to Baton Rouge. Turned our horses over at night. Went on board of the transport.
20th Arrived at Baton Rouge. Marched up to the —– regiment and got our tents about half up when we got orders to move our camp. Co H camped by itself.
21 Fixed up our tents. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
22 Expressed $18 to Sarah Jane Crowther.
23 Tailoring for the boys.
24 ” ”
25 Christmas day.
26 No duty
28 Detailed to load stores on steam boat.
29 Co Drill. William Marsh wrote to his father and sent him $20.
30 n. Wrote to Sarah Jane. Sent home a flag.
31 No duty. Mustered for pay.
1st No duty
2 Went on picket
3 Sunday no duty. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
4 No duty. Wrote to Robt. Johnston. Sent 2 rings to Sarah.
5 No duty. Snow storm very cold.
6 Guard duty at night
7 No duty. Very cold. Wrote to E. A. Crowther and sent her a ring.
8 No duty. Rainy day.
9 Went out for wood.
10 Went on picket. Wrote to Sam Marsh.
10 Wrote to Sarah and sent 2 hair rings.
11 No duty
12 Wrote to Sarah Jane and sent paper discrap [?]
13 No duty Fine day.
14 Expected an attack. Co H deployed in rifle pits to support a section of Battery. All the troops was under arms but no attack was made.
15 At night guard duty
16 No duty. All the troops rec’d orders to fall out under arms one hour before day.
17 Rec’d a letter from E. A. Crowther
17 General inspection. Wrote to E. A. Crowther
18 No duty
19 Co & Battalion drill
20 Went on picket
21 Brigade revue
22 Co drill. Fine spring weather.
23 Co drill. Wrote to Wm. F. Correll.
24 Co dirll a.m. PM Brigade review. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
25 No duty. Trial.
26 Co drill a.m. PM Brigade drill. Wrote to E. A. Crowther concerning Ben’s Body.
27 Wrote to Sarah Jane and sent a book to her.
28 Co drill a.m. Battalion drill p.m.
29 Co & Battalion drill.
30 No duty
31 Sunday inspection. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
2nd Raised a flag staff.
3 Raised the flag. wrote to Francis Walte [?]. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
4 Co drill a.m. Received a letter from Mrs. Crowther No 35. Went to the express office to see about money expressed December 22.
4 Wrote to Mrs. Sarah Jane Crowther and sent the receipt of the money expressed on the 22 Dec.
5 Co drill a.m. Battalion drill p.m.
6 No duty
7 I was on permanent duty guarding 2 pieces of artillery.
7 Rec’d a letter from James Crowther. 2 from S. J. Crowther &1 from Charles Knapp & 1 from Z Marsh.
8 Wrote to James Crowther
9 Wrote to Sarah Jane
10 Wrote to Z Marsh. William sent for box.
11 Fine warm weather. Still on permanent duty.
14 Wrote to Sarah Jane.
16 Received 2 letters from Sarah Jane Crowther.
17 Wrote to Sarah Jane and sent her the History of the Regiment.
18 Very cold, and had quite a snow storm.
19 Quite cold.
20 The weather is warm.
21 Very warm. Rec’d a letter from Sarah Jane.
22 Washington’s birthday. Election Free State Nomination. Salutes Fired in the morning by the regulars. Salutes fired by the 18th New York Battery at 12 o’clock and at 6 o’clock p.m.
22 The 128th & 186th NY Vols. and the 38th Mass Vols had a brigade dress parade. Wrote to Sarah and sent her a history of the regiment. Circus at Baton Rouge.
23 Still on permanent duty.
27 Mailed a small book to Sarah the History of the 128th Regiment.
28 Sunday very warm day.
29 Cold rain.
1st Cold and rainy
2 Received a letter from Eliza Ann Crowther. Received a letter from Robt Johnston. The regiment had a knapsack parade.
3 Wrote to Sarah. Wrote to E. A. Crowther. The regiment drawed shelter and had a brigade drill.
6 Still on permanent duty. Wrote to Sarah Jane. 4th Wisconsin Cavalry man shot a city son.
7 The Cavalry went out & a scout met with about 20 rebels.
7 The rebels drove in our wood trains. The 4th Wisconsin [“West Consin”] Cavalry and the 186th Regiment NY Vols and the 38th Regiment Mass Vols went out on a scout.
8 The Cavalry went out on a scout and when they had got about 5 miles out they found a party of rebs in ambush. They allowed the advance guard to pass and fired into the column killing a Lieut. and wounding 2 privates.
8 Our Cavalry was overpowered and had to retreat. As soon as possible the whole regiment of Cavalry and the 128th NY Vols and the 22nd Kentucky was upon the rebels track. The cavalry chased them about 10 miles scattering them in the woods. Killed 1 man and took 2 prisoners.
9 The cavalry went out on a scout. Saw about 20 rebs. Killed 1 and took 2 prisoners.
10 Still on permanent duty.
12 Heavy rain
13 Sent to Sarah Jane a picture or memorial of the regiment.
14 The weather is very fine. The rebels came within sight of our videt.
15 Got orders to hold ourselves in readiness for a march.
16 Turned in our scales. Wrote to C. E. Knapp.
15 Drawed 2 pair socks
17 Still under marching orders.
18 Orders to cook 3 days rations.
20 Still under march orders. Wrote to Robt. Johnston
21 Wrote to Sarah Jane and sent a paper with a handkerchief enclosed in it. Signed pay roll. Sent 3 letters to Charles E Knapp.
21 Received pay $26.00.
22 Expressed 15 dollars to Sarah Jane. We are ready to march. Packed our knapsacks and sent them to the fort at Baton Rouge.
22 Wrote to Sarah Jane.
23 Struck tents at 9 o’clock and fell in lien. Marched to the regiment. There the whole regiment fell in line and marched to the river & went on board of the transport Laurel Hill. The 38 Mass and a regular battery accompanied us. We arrived at the mouth of the Red River about midnight.
24 Passed the mouth of the Black River about 11 o’clock. Commenced to rain at 1 o’clock and to be quite cold. Passed Fort DeRussy at 2 and arrived at Alexandria at 11 o’clock the night fo the 24th. Stayed on board until morning.
25 Went on shore at Alexandria at 10 o’clock on the 25th.
PM Marched about 2 miles out of the town and pitched our shelter tents in a large corn field. The 38th Mass with us.
25 Saw John W Pyers. He is in the 2nd NY Veteran Cavalry the 23rd they took 300 rebels prisoners about 3 miles from Alexandria. Troops coming into Alexandria all the time.
26 Still in camp in the corn field near Alexandria. Received 2 letters from Sarah Jane and 2 from Correll. But before I have time to read them we got orders to strike tents and pack up for a march. At 11 o’clock a.m. struck tents and marched across a corn field on account of their being so many troops marching on the road.
At 12 o’clock we arrived at the east side of the city and pitched our tents. The 13th Army Corps & the 16 & 17 Army Corps passed through this city on their way to Shreveport. Our Brigade is to be stationed at Alexandria.
26 We are quite comfortable in our camps in shelter tents.
27 All quietly in camp in our shelter tents at the city of Alexandria. Wrote to Sarah Jane. The 16th Army Corps has a brush with the rebs on their way to Shreveport. Took about 500 prisoners.
28 We are still encamped in our shelter tents at Alexandria. Col J Smith searched a house & found 500 dollars in gold and a great deal of silver. Also guns &c.
29 The coming in to take the oath.
29 Wrote to Sarah and sent 2 bills confederate money.
30 No duty
31 Wrote to E. A. Crowther. Wrote to Wm. F. Crowther.
30 30 rebels swam their horses across the red river at Alexandria and gave themselves up.
25 The rebels burned a steam boat and captured the crew they paroled the soldiers.
31 Had a dress parade in the street.
April 1st at 5 p.m. rec’d orders to strike tents and move camp. We marched to the outskirts of the city about the center of the city and pitched our tents.
2nd Went on picket
3 Relieved from picket.
4 Detailed on fatigue duty at the river. Rec’d a letter from Sarah Jane. Received a letter Mrs. Lois Storms.
5 Wrote to Sarah Jane & sent a $5 confederate bill.
5 Wrote to Lois Storms.
6 Detailed on fatigue duty.
7 No duty. Rain.
8 Went on picket.
9 No duty. But dress parade.
10 Sunday. Inspection. Wrote to Sarah Jane. Wrote to E. A. Crowther.
10. 2 bodies taken up by order of Gen Grover and buried in military honor. Sent Sarah Jane a 1 dollar confederate bill.
11 Co drill. At 11 o’clock a.m. got marching orders to be ready in 2 hours notice.
12 AM Co. drill. Drawed 1 pr shoes. Sent a paper to Gov Martin Shea and enclosed a watch cord in. Rec’d news that Gen Banks got repulsed.
13 Still at Alexandria
14 I was detailed to go to the river and help to unload boats. At 5 o’clock we were ordered to report to our regiment’s. Rec’d marching orders at 1/2 past 6 o’clock p.m. We marched up the river about 3 miles then embarked.
14 Struck tents at 6 a.m. marched about 3 miles up the Red River above the rapids where we lay on the bank of the river about 6 hours then embarked on board of the Chenango a US transport.
15 Started up the river about daylight bound for Grand Ecore. We reached Grand Ecore about 10 p.m.
16 At 2 in the morning we went on shore and stacked arms remained on the bank at the until 3 p.m. on the 16 then we crossed the river on pontoon bridge and marched about a mile and encamped in a thick pine woods.
17 Nothing of importance occurred. Myself and 3 others from our Company was detailed on duty at Gen Burge Headquarters. Wrote to Sarah while at Burges headquarters.
18 The 128th Regiment worked on breastworks.
19 We was called out at 4 in the morning under arms expected an attack. We remained under arms until daylight when we was dismissed. Got our breakfast then commenced to work on the fortification. After noon got marching orders and to have 3 days rations cooked.
20 Still waiting for orders. Nothing of importance occurred.
21 Drawed 1 more days rations. At 5 p.m. fell in line and marched about 27 miles and rested.
22 Marched again at 1/2 past 11 a.m. Halted at 8 p.m. for the night.
23rd. Commenced marching at 6 a.m. After marching from 3 to 4 miles our advance cavalry was fired into and the advanced of our army was attacked by a force of rebs. The 2nd & 3rd brigade was ordered to cross the Cane River and surround the enemy. We forged the river we was about up to our waists in water. The cavalry skirmished and infantry with them until about 3 p.m. when we charged on them and skedaddled them from their positions. They was on a high bluff. They had an excellent position. But they skedaddled when we charged on them like a pack of blood hounds after a lot of runaway slaves. The 128th Regiment was the first in the charge. We had in our regiment 10 wounded 2 of which died from the wounds. Charles Willer wounded in the head slightly. James J. Heroz wounded in the thigh. George Van Vorhis wounded in the wrist. John Barton wounded in the head and neck. He died from his wound. He enlisted in our regiment. and our company in May 63 at Camp Parapet. After we had made the first charge and scattered them we again fell in line to charge on another hill. We charged but there was no rebs there.
The brigades then fell in line and marched to the Cane River crossing where we stopped until 10 a.m. 24th when we again fell in line of march. We marched about 3 miles when the army was again drawed up in line of battle and halted until 4 p.m. when we again took the line of march and marched until a 11 p.m. when we halted and stopped for the rest of the night.
25 At 11 a.m. we again took the line of march that day we marched through the pine woods. Burned every thing we came to. Destroyed a great deal of cotton. We arrived at Alexandria at 9 p.m. and rested for that night. When we got to Alexandria the gun boats were shelling the wood on the north side of the river.
26 After breakfast we fell in line and marched to our old camp ground. Gen H. J. Smith was fighting in the rear the most of the way on the retreat.
27 Nothing occurred of importance. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
28 At 3 p.m. got orders not to leave camp and to be ready to fall in line at a moment’s notice. At 4 p.m. we got orders to put on our accoutrements and heave our equipment in readiness to fall in at a moment’s notice. The report was that the rebs was close to our pickets and that they had drove in our pickets. The infantry and artillery was formed in line of battle.
Wrote to Sarah Jane Crowther and sent her the details of our battle and sent her 50 cents.
We have had orders to turn out under arms every morning since we came to Alexandria. Today scouts and pickets was drove in. Reported that the rebs sent in word for Gen Banks to leave or to send out the citizens out of the place for they intended to come in. We then got orders for not a mean to leave camp but to be ready at a moment’s notice.
About noon there was a line of battle formed around the whole line and skirmishers thrown out and the 19th Army Corps was held as a reserve. We was then ordered to put on our accoutrements and be in readiness at a moment’s notice. Expected an attack. But no attack was made. At dark we was ordered to take off our accoutrements. But be in readiness. All quiet through the night.
29 Turned out under arms as usual before daylight. The line of battle drawn in. Nothing of importance occurred the 29th.
29 My birth day 31 years of age. General inspection.
30 Detailed made from each company from our regiment to lay a pontoon bridge on the river. Mustered for pay. Rec’d a letter from Samuel March and one from Sarah Jane Crowther.
1st Considerable skirmishing going on. The 17th Army Corps reported had a battle the other side of the river.
2 Detailed on guard. Reported that the rebs was at Fort DeRussey and that they had sank 2 of our Mississippi transports and a gun boat. Wrote to Sam Marsh.
2nd Brigade 3rd division went out came in contact with a force of rebs routed them killing about 70 of them.
3rd Nothing of importance occurred. Building locks in the river in order to rise the water so as to get the gun boats over the falls.
4th Nothing of importance occurred.
5th We was called out at 1 a.m. we got our hardtack & coffee then fell in line & marched to the Headquarters. The 156th Regiment. NY Vols accompanied us and the 75th Regiment NY Vols.
When we had got to our out pickets we learnt what we had to do. The rebs had followed us down and they had put out their picket line and it was rather too close to our line of pickets. Our job was to drive them back and put our picket line out farther. We drove them back and stationed our cavalry pickets about a mile beyond where the rebs had their line. We had some quite heavy skirmishing after we had drove them back we waited until the cavalry was [on] Station. We then fell in the rear and out after light. Waited there to see if the rebs would attempt to regain their line again. Also for a colored brigade to release us to act as a reserve. We returned to camp at 5 p.m. We was escorted in by a brass band. Arrived at camp at 8 p.m. we was under command of Col James Smith acting Brigadier Gen.
5th Gen A. J. Smith was out with the division captured a large wagon train and a number of prisoners. Considerable cannonading going on down the river. By a small force that left Alexandria the 4th.
6th. Nothing of importance except the troops was throwing up rifle pits and hearthworks loading boats, working on the dam to get the gun boats through.
6th Lieut. Col Foster returned to camp he left this place on the 4th for New Orleans accompanied by Col Sharp also our mail carrier. Col Sharp was captured and Simion Briant our mail carrier also the mail. They was on board of a gun boat. Lieut Col Foster was slightly wounded. He escaped by swimming down the river. The rebs is said to be in strong force at Fort DeRussy.
7th We was called up by the long roll at 4 a.m. Got orders to get our hardtack and coffee and be ready to fall in line
of march at 5 a.m. We reported at the headquarters at 1/2 past 5. The order was that we was to go out foraging accompanied by the 38th Mass Vol and 200 cavalry of the 6th Mass Cavalry Formerly the 31st Mass infantry.
Commenced to march at 6 a.m. We marched about 9 miles when we came to the rebel scouts. Our cavalry drove them. Our Co. was then sent to the front as skirmishers when we had got out about 14 miles we came to a Plantation where we commenced to load wagons. Took another road to another plantation and succeeded in filling our wagons. 2 companies of the 128th Regiment deployed and formed a picket line until the wagons got loaded. Here we charged on a lot of young pigs each of us returned with a half of a pig a piece also with our haversacks full of sugar. At 1/2 past 5 p.m. we fell in line of March to return to camp.
7th Our company was rear guard. Arrived in camp at 10 p.m. Sharp firing was going on about 2 miles to our right. Gen A. J. Smith was fighting with the rebels and he was giving them fits.
8th. I was detailed to unload coal off the boats. Worked until 1 o’clock that night.
9th. This morning the dam broke way. 5 of the gun boats got down. Great many soldiers working on the dam and on the boats.
9th. I was detailed to work on the boats. Worked until noon. Reported that the river was again open. That our gun boats had drove the rebs from their positions on the river. The whole army seems to be making preparation to move. Men that was not able to march was to go on the boats to guard the boats. At 10 a.m. received marching orders to be ready at a moment’s notice.
9th Saw John W. Pyers at our camp at Alexandria. Gen Sherman reported to be at the mouth of the Red River in considerable force on his way up the river. Mailed a letter to James Crowther from Alexandria.
9th Banks’ Army at Alexandria on 2 thirds rations. All but fresh meat. Detailed on fatigue duty.
10 Nothing of importance occurred.
10th details made above every hour to work on the dam & unload & load boats, &c.
11th At 3 a.m. we was called out by the long roll to be ready to march at a moment’s notice. We got our coffee and drawed 2 days rations. Struck tents at 1/2 past 4 a.m. and fell in line and marched to headquarters there joined our brigade and commenced to march. We marched about 7 miles then altered orders from our officers that we would have time to make coffee. Stopped there until 1 p.m. when we again fell in line and marched back about 3 miles and encamped in a cornfield. The whole 3 brigades 1st, 2nd, & 3rd brigades, 2nd division. 3rd brigade under command of Col James Smith acting Brigadier General. The division under command of Gen Grover.
May 11th 1864
11th Our pickets was drove in at this point on the night of the 10th.
12th At 4 in the morning we was called out under arms. Remained so until daylight. Our pickets was disturbed a little but held their ground. 9 o’clock a.m. the whole division is still encamped on a plantation where we remained for that night.
At 5 p.m. I was detailed on picket and at 7 o’clock p.m. the long roll beat and in a few minutes the whole division was in line of battle. But no attack was made as was anticipated. All all quiet through the night.
13th 6 a.m. we was relieved from pickets and reported to camp. They had all struck tents and was ready to march. We took up the line of march at 7 a.m. we marched about 6 miles when we came to a piece of woods where the rebels had cut down trees and fell them across the road. Cleared the way and on. It was ever warm and the dust in the road was about 3 inches deep. We marched until 1/2 past 3 and encamped for the night. By this time our gun boats was coming down the river they all get over the rapids on the 12th.
14th At 5 a.m. we took up the line of march. Our brigade was in the advance Our cavalry had some quite hard skirmishing today in the advance.
14th At 6 p.m. we went into camp for that night at Scragey point where the rebs captured our boats and mail. A great many found their letters strewed on the bank of the river.
15 At 9 am. we again commenced to march. After marching some 5 or 6 miles when we commenced driving the enemy before us. We drove them about 3 miles when they made a stand upon an open plain and tried to show fight.
15th Our whole infantry was formed in line of battle. But we were not needed for the rebs had skedaddled. We marched near 2 miles double quick when we was again drawed up in line of battle, the rebs having halted on a large plain below Marksville. We marched in line of battle until dark and rested for the night in line of battle.
16th We was up and in line of battle at 1/2 past 3 a.m. all was quiet through the night.
16th At 5 a.m. the army commenced marching in line of battle the rebs made a stand and opened on us with artillery but our artillery soon got into position and returned the compliments. The rebs stood their ground for about 2 hours when we flanked them on their left and they then skedaddled. This was a very heavy artillery fight. We chased them for 6 miles when they took a crossroad in the woods and got out of our way the best they could.
16th After the fight we marched some 10 miles and went into camp where we had a good night’s rest.
17th. At 7 a.m. we again fell in line of march and marched about 7 miles when we reached the Atchafalaya River where we encamped on the bank of the river. At 7 p.m. we got orders to strike tents and fall in line. Our regiment and 2 others crossed Bayou Laglaze and went on picket.
18th At 9 a.m. we recrossed the bayou and went into camp again. Remained in camp until noon when we again struck tents with orders to be ready at a moment’s notice. At 9 p.m. we went on board of a steam boat and crossed the Atchafalaya River. Here we fell in line and marched 2 miles up the river and encamped for that night.
19th At daylight we were turned out fell in line and back to where we crossed the river in case we should be needed while the rear of our army was crossing the river. At 10 a.m. we again took up the line of march. We marched about 5 miles when we again went into camp.
20th. We laid in camp all day. At 5 p.m. I went on picket. At 6 p.m. the army again fell in line of march. Pickets marched in the rear of the brigade.We marched until 11 p.m. then went into camp for the remainder of that night.
21st. At 9 a.m. we again took up the line of march. We marched some 7 or 8 miles and halted 1 hour then commenced marching again. We reached the Mississippi river at 6 p.m. near Morganzer and encamped for the night. At 11 p.m. we was called up to fall in line again. We marched about 5 miles when we again encamped.
22 At 7 a.m. we struck tents and marched a short distance down the river and went into camp again near Morganzer. At night our pickets was put out and we had a good night’s rest. Here we got a mail. Rec’d 3 letters from Sarah Jane, also 1 from Wm Correll also 1 from Ch E Knapp.
23rd We are still in camp at Morganzer on the bank of the river. The troops are splitting up at this place, going to different points. The most of them take transportation.
24th. We are still in camp. Nothing of importance occurred.
25th & 26th. Still in camp expecting to leave every day.
27 Wrote to Sarah Jane. 5 p.m. I went on picket.
28th Relieved from picket. Nothing of importance occurred.
29th We had company inspection 5 p.m. got marching. We drawed 2 days rations and to be ready to fall in line at a moment’s notice.
30th We was called out at 3 o’clock in the morning with orders to strike tents and make our coffee at 4 o’clock we fell in line of marched about a mile. Then halted for the cavalry and artillery to take their position in line of march we soon got in line of march again the cavalry in the advance reported some 400 rebs ahead. But they skedaddled we marched about 7 miles when we halted about 9 o’clock with orders to make our coffee. We commenced marching at 3 in the afternoon and marched 13 miles further. We marched until 1/2 past 11 that night when we halted for the remainder of the night. This trip was to destroy a saw mill where the rebs was making pontoon bridges. The rebs fired into us while marching after dark. But each time they got a whole volley in return. We captured a Lieut and 5 men of them. The rebs fired into the 13th Army Corps which was the advance of the infantry and killed 1 Capt. and wounded 4 or 5 men. They fired on us near the rear wounded one man in the ambulance and several in the ranks none very bad.
May 31st. At 5 o’clock in the morning we got up and made coffee and at 6 o’clock we fell in line of march. On our way back we came to a house where there had just been 3 rebs taking breakfast. The man of the house was taken and 2 women. A little below this place a rebel officer and 2 men. We marched 13 miles back when we halted here we rested to make coffee &c. expecting to go to camp that night but orders came to us to remain at this place. I was completely fatigued out and the provision train came out to us with 2 days rations and myself and some others from our company got permission from Capt. Sincerbox then in command of the regiment to return to camp in the provision train on the morning of June 1.
June 1st wrote to Sarah No. 71.
1st. Just before the train left our brigade fell in line of march, crossed the bayou and marched about 6 miles. The artillery & the 75 battalion marched about a mile further out and shelled a saw mill, burned it down and the troops returned to the place where they left in the morning. Stopped at this place until about 3 p.m. on the 2nd of June. At 7 pm on the 2nd of June the regiment came back to camp.
3rd Nothing of importance occurred.
4th It rained very hard all day. Drawed 1 blouse at Morganzer.
5th Sunday morning gen inspection. Signed pay roll for 4 months pay.
6th We was paid off for 4 months pay. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
7th I expressed $45.00 to Sarah Jane Crowther. We still living in camp at Morganzer. Had dress parade on the evening of the 7th of June and new state colors presented to the regiment.
8th We had company drill in the forenoon dress parade p.m.
9 Company drill a.m. Dress parade p.m. 11 o’clock p.m. our mail come. Rec’d a letter from S J C. Rec’d a letter from Eliza Ann Crowther.
10th Went on picket at 1/2 past 7 am. Rained all day & night.
11th Relieved from picket at 9 a.m. Nothing of importance occurred only a regular routine of camp drill.
11th. Company drill a.m. At 3 o’clock p.m. we fell in line and marched up the river about 1 1/2 miles for a review of the 19th Army Corps. Just as we had got on the flat where we had the review and had just got formed in divisions by regiment it commenced to rain and we all got wet through. But we went through with the review in the rain then returned to camp.
11th I drawed 2 pr socks and 1 pr of drawers.
12th Sunday morning inspection. Rained about all day. Wrote to S. J. Crowther.
13th. No drill on account of rain a.m. Wrote to E. A. C. No. 6.
P.m. dress parade and 3/4 of an hour company drill.
14th Company drill in the morning. General review in the afternoon by Gen.
15th I was on fatigue duty a.m. and part of the afternoon. evening we had battalion drill.
16th. Morning Co. drill evening battalion drill and dress parade. Heavy cannonading down the river about 11 o’clock p.m.
16th Rec’d a letter from Sarah J. Crowther. Rec’d a letter from Mr. Geo C Johnston. Wrote to Sarah Jane Crowther No. 74. Wrote to Geo C. Johnston.
17 Co drill a.m. Battalion drill p.m. Dress parade evening. Wrote to James Crowther.
18 Co drill a.m. Dress parade evening.
19 Sunday morning company inspection. 9 a.m. got orders to be ready to march at a moment’s notice.
19th Sent a paper to Sarah Jane Crowther. At 8 o’clock p.m. we got marching orders to be ready to march on 2 hours notice. We drawed 2 days rations. At 9 p.m. we fell in line of march and marched a short distance and went on board of a transport. The whole division under command of Gen Grover. As soon as the boats got loaded with the troops infantry artillery & cavalry. We commenced to move up the river. We kept under motion until daylight next.
20th. When we had got up the river about 18 miles we landed and the cavalry went on shore. On the east side of the river. They went out some 14 or 15 miles but they saw no force. They saw some 8 or 10 rebel scouts and captured them. The infantry crossed to the west side of the river put out a picket line and stopped there until about 5 p.m. when we recrossed the river and took the cavalry on board again. At 11 o’clock p.m. we commenced to sail up the river.
21st at 6 o’clock on the morning of the 21st we went on shore at Fort Adams, Mississippi. Here our cavalry went out back in the country some 20 miles but saw no force. The infantry stopped on shore near the river but had a picket line out.
21st I was detailed to go after cattle to butcher for the regiment. at Fort Adams. There is some very high hills and bluffs near Fort Adams. About 10 a.m. our brigade was ordered to go about a mile further down the river and went on shore. We marched out about a mile and stacked arms in the edge of the woods. 3 companies was sent out to skirmish over the hills to see if they could see any thing. They saw nothing of any force whatever. At 5 o’clock p.m. we fell in line and marched to the steam boat. Just as we had got on board there come up a shower and it rained very hard for about 2 hours. At 7 o’clock p.m. the boats all fell in line and headed down the river. We arrived at Morganza LA at 10 o’clock p.m. we went on shore and marched to our camp & rested for that night.
22nd. Nothing of importance occurred. Had dress parade in the evening. Wrote to Sarah Jane No. 75.
23rd. We got orders to be ready for a general inspection. Through some delay it did not come up. We had dress parade in the evening.
24th At 6 o’clock a.m. we had a general inspection. At 5 o’clock p.m. we again fell in line and was inspected by a corps commander.
25th. At 6 o’clock a.m. we fell in line. Our whole brigade & division and joined the other troops in line. Marched to the revue ground and had a general review. We was reviewed by M.Gen. Reynolds and Gen. Emory.
Rec’d a letter from Mrs. Sarah J. Crowther. Rec’d 2 papers from Miss Eliza Ann Crowther.
26th. Co. inspection Sunday morning. Wrote to S. J. Crowther. Wrote to E. A. Crowther. William W. Marsh wrote to his father. New orders read on dress parade to fall out under arms at all roll calls.
27. Battalion drill a.m. Dress parade evening. Wrote to Chs. Knapp. Col. James Smith is said to have left the 128th Regiment.
28. Battalion drill a.m. Co. drill p.m. Dress parade evening the 176th N. Y. Vols put in our brigade.
29th Battalion drill a.m. Wrote to Z. Marsh. Co drill & dress parade p.m.
30th Inspection & muster. Mustered for pay for the months of May & June. Went on picket in the morning after muster.
1st. Relieved in the morning from picket. No duty the rest of the day only dress parade.
2nd. Marching orders and 2 days rations cooked. Co drill a.m. to be in readiness.
3rd. We was called up at 2 o’clock the morning of the 3rd of July to strike tents and be ready to fall in at a moment’s notice. We fell in line marched to the boat. Laid on the bank of the river until 4 o’clock then went on board. Our whole brigade was on this boat and 1 other regiment. We left Morganza at 8 o’clock a.m. on the 3 day of July 1864. Arrived at Port Hudson at 10 a.m. Stopped there a few minutes. Arrived at Baton Rouge stopping about 15 minutes. At 1/2 past 1 p.m. we passed Plaquemine. At 11 p.m. we arrived at New Orleans.
4th. We are still on board of the boat with guards on so that the men can’t go on shore. At 7 o’clock we moved down the river and landed at Algiers at 9 o’clock a.m. the troops went on shore and encamped.
3rd Co C. and Co. H. of the 128th Regiment was detailed to unload the regiment commeserzus stores of the boat then went to camp double quick and pitched our tents for it was raining very hard.
Rec’d 2 letters from Sarah Jane Crowther in the evening of the 4th. Lieut Col Foster bought a barrel of beer for the regiment and made a speech.
4th Lieut Col Foster had his wife & son with him. In his speech he said that we was ordered to the front at Mobile.
5th. We are still in camp expecting to be ordered away every moment.
Wrote to S. J. C. No. 78.
6th. Put on a camp guard.
7th. We got paid of 2 months pay for May & June.
8th. We are still in camp at Algiers, LA.
Expressed 15 dollars to Mrs. S. J. Crowther.
8th Wrote to S. J. Crowther.
9th. Nothing of importance.
10th. Sunday morning inspection. Dress parade in the evening.
11th. We are still in camp at Algiers expecting marching orders at every moment.
Wrote to Sarah Jane.
News of the steam ship being lost. Our mail was on her. The lowest point. Wrote to Wm F Carrell.
12 Co drill a.m. After drill we fell in line and went through the manual of arms.
12th Dress parade in the evening.
13th. Co drill a.m. Dress parade p.m.
14th Co drill a.m. We are still in camp at Algiers. Wrote to Sarah Jane. Dress parade p.m.
15th Co drill in the morning. Very hot day. We are still in camp at Algiers. Dress parade p.m.
16th Company drill a.m. I was on fatigue duty p.m. unloading a boat. Very hot day.
16th Dress parade in the evening.
17 Sunday morning inspection. Very warm day. Dress parade p.m. Wrote to Mrs. Lois Storms. We had dress parade then formed square and had a sermon read to us by Dr. Andur.
18 Brigade inspection in the morning. I was on guard duty this day. Rec’d a letter from Robt. Johnston.. Wrote to Robt Johnston
19th Relieved from duty in the morning. We had quite a shower which made it some cooler. Dress parade p.m. Wrote to Sarah Jane Crowther No. 82. 9 p.m. got orders to be ready to march at 4 o’clock in the morning.
20th. In the morning got orders to pack up. A detail was sent to load the cooks things and stores on board. 1/2 past 4 o’clock a.m. we struck tents and fell in line of march and marched to the river and embarked on board of the Daniel Webster. The 128th & the 176th NYS Vols was on board of the D. Webster. We left to dock at Algiers LA at 1/2 past 6 o’clock p.m. we left the dock at Algiers at 11 o’clock we stopped at Port Jackson. About 1 hour then went on down the river.
21st We crossed the bar at 6 o’clock in the morning. Here we bid adieu to Louisiana. We was crowed on board of the ship and we was on the hurricane deck. At half past 7 o’clock in the morning we was out to se at 8 o’clock p.m. we was out sight of land.
22nd. It was a fine day. The sea was very calm. George W. Swords got a Suttler’s check. $3.00.
23rd. We had quite a shower in the morning but the sea was quite calm.
24th. We are sailing north east. We are out of the Gulf Stream into the Atlantic Ocean. Fine morning. We had Sunday morning inspection on board of ship about noon. We saw land for a few minutes of Florady. 11 o’clock a.m. commenced to rain. Rained until night. The sea began to get quite rough.
25th. At 2 o’clock in the morning it began to rain and to be quite rough.
26th. At 2 o’clock in the morning it commenced to rain. Rained until 8 a.m. Cloudy all day. I was on guard at the colonel’s quarters on the vessel.
27th. Got opposite Cape Hatteras in the morning of the 27th. Saw a gun boat at Hatteras light house. Very fine calm day. Saw land all day on the coast of Florady.
27th Stopped some 5 hours through the night waiting for a pilot boat.
28th Rainy morning. At 8 o’clock a.m. on the 28th we was in sight of Fortress Monroe. Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther on board of the ship No. 83.
Arrived at Hampton Roads. Fortress Monroe at 9 o’clock a.m. on the 28th of July we cast anchor and our Lt Col Foster went on shore to rec’d orders where to [174report to.
28th at 2 o’clock p.m. the Col returned to the ship with orders to report to Washington. We took on a pilot and proceeded up the Chesapeake Bay. Arrived at the mouth of the Potomac River. Went up the Potomac River a short distance and cast anchor until 5 o’clock in the morning of the 29th then proceeded up the Potomac River passed the Potomac Creek.
29th At 2 o’clock p.m. passed Alexandria. Arrived at Washington at 3 o’clock p.m. Went on shore at 1/2 past 3 and stacked arms on the dock. At 1/2 past 6 o’clock we fell in line of march and marched through the city. When we arrived at the White House we halted and came to a front and presented arms to the President then stacked arms and gave 3 cheers for the president of the United States then took arms and proceeded on our march. We passed through Georgetown then rested. We marched about 10 miles out in the country up the Potomac River. Arrived at the place where we was to report at 11 o’clock that night. Here we turned in for the night.
30th. At 5 o’clock in the morning we was turned out to fall in line to march to the place where we was to encamp. We marched about a mile and encampedon a hill called camp Washington. After we had got up our tents we had a General Wash in the Potomac River.
30th Wrote to Sarah Jane No 84 from Camp Washington.
30th We got marching at 3 o’clock p.m. to be ready to march at 5 o’clock. All that had knapsacks got orders to send them to the City of Washington withhe quarter master stores. I sent my Wooling Blanket in William Crerry’s knapsack. We drawed 4 days rations to put in our haversacks. At 7 p.m. we struck tents and fell in line of march.
30th We reached Washington City near the Capitol at 11 o’clock that night. We stacked arms and laid down in the street. Slept sound the remainder of that night.
31st At 4 o’clock in the morning we was called up to fll in line and march to the Washington and Baltimore R. Road Depot. Here we embarked on the cars. We went about 2 miles out when we had to stop some 3 hours for other trains to come in before we could go on.
31st We started again at 9 a.m. Went on the Washington & Baltimore Rail Road to the Relay House Junction. Here we took the Harpers Ferry Rail Road. We arrived at Monocasy at 6 p.m. and disembarked and fell in line and marched into a oat field. Made our coffee and turned in for the night. The relay house is 31 miles from Washington City. Monocacy Junction is 43 miles from the relay house and 23 miles from Harpers Ferry. We are encamped 3 1/2 miles from Frederick City.
1st. We put up our tents then went to the river and washed. The 9th of July the rebs made a raid in at this place and destroyed the Rail Road Depot and a number of houses and done considerable damage to the R. R. Bridge. The rebs was said to be 25 thousand strong. Our forces was only 5 thousand strong at Monocasy at the time the rebs made the attack. The rebs drove our troops on the 9th they buried their dead and retreated. on the 28th the rebs made a cavalry raid at this place and was repulsed.
1st The troops is now concentrating at this place. Monocasy. P.m. we got orders to be ready to march at a moment’s notice.
1st The troops coming in to this place very fast and encamping here.
2nd We are still in camp at 1/2 past 7 o’clock a.m. At 8 o’clock we got orders to have our canteens full and to be ready to march at a moment’s notice. At 10 o’clock a.m. we got orders to strike and pack up ready to march. All the troops at this place got marching orders. We waited about 1/2 an hour for orders to fall in line of march.
2nd When we got orders to pitch our tents again and at 11 o’clock a.m. we are still in the same camp.
Wrote to Mrs. Crowther No. 85. But was too late to mail it that day. Mailed it in the afternoon.
3rd. We are still encamped at Monocasy Junction in a oat field near the rail road bridge.
2nd. Wrote to James Crowther from Monocasy Junction.
3rd At 10 o’clock a.m. we got orders for the whole regiment to go out on picket.
3rd We left our tents standing and went out on picket. Wrote to Eliza Ann Crowther while on picket.
4th. Relieved from picket at 9 o’clock a.m. Got a mail while on picket. At 1/2 past 2 p.m. we got orders to pack up and be ready to march at a moment’s notice. Wrote to Zacheus Marsh. Half past 4 o’clock the afternoon of the 4th of Aug we struck tents drawed 3 days rations. Besides having one in our haversacks. And marched to the cars and embarked on the cars. Arrived at Harpers Ferry at 10 o’clock that night. We marched about a mile then rested in the road about 2 hours then fell in line again and marched up on Maryland Heights the distance of about 2 miles. The road was very steep and rough. When we arrived on the Heights about 2 o’clock the morning of the 5th here we laid down and rested until morning.
5th. We got our breakfast then fell in line along a rifle pit and pitched our tents. For the first time on Maryland Heights we can see the dust about 8 or 10 miles up the river it is reported that the rebs is crossing the Potomac in large force.
Wrote to Sam Marsh.
At 3 o’clock on the 5th we struck tents and marched to the Potomac River and crossed the pontoon bridge at Harpers Ferry into Virginia we marched to the top of the hill and stacked arms. Here we stopped for that night.
6th. We was called up to make our coffee at 3 o’clock in the morning. At 4 o’clock we fell in line of march under command of Gen. Dewhite & Gen. Emery. We marched about 5 miles to a place called Hall Town. We marched through it and encamped on the Heights.
6th We formed 3 lines of Battle and pitched our tents in the rear of each line. The rebel pickets was here at this place on the 5th doing duty. All quiet this morning.
11 p.m. I went out on picket on the Charles Town road. We was stationed about 1 1/2 miles from Charles Town. In the afternoon a woman came in our lines and said there was about one thousand rebs at Charlestown and that 2 thousand more had just come to reinforce them. We had to be up and on the look out all night. In the evening we sent out a regiment. of cavalry to reinforce our cavalry picket. All was quiet through the night.
7th. 2 rebs came into our lines and give themselves up.
Rec’d 2 letters from Sarah Jane Crowther and one from C. E. Knapp.
3 o’clock we was relieved from picket.
Wrote to Sarah Jane No. 86.
Considerable firing on the picket line through the night.
8th. We are still in camp at Hall Town.
George W. Swords wrote to C. E. Knapp.
9th. We had a brigade drill. We are now temporarily detached to the 2nd brigade 3rd division.
10th. We was called up by the beat of the drum at 4 in the morning under arms.
10th. At 5 o’clock in the morning we got marching orders. We fell in line & joined our Brigade, Division, and Corps and marched through Charles Town, the 8th Army Corps to our right and the 6th Army Corps to our left. We marched to Berryvill and halted for the night. We arrived at Berryvill at 5 p.m. The cavalry had quite a brush at Berryvill. But succeeded in driving the rebs from their position. The rebs is about 3 miles from Berryvill tonight. Capt. H. H. Sencerbox went to N.O.
11th. We was called up at 4 in the morning. Got our hardtack and coffee and fell in line of march. We marched about a mile when we formed a line of battle each corps and marched through the woods and fields all that day in line of battle. After marching some 2 or 3 hours there was heavy cannonading going on in front. At 11 o’clock a.m. we halted in the woods. By a stream to get our grub. At 1 1/2 p.m. we again fell in line of march. We marched until 6 p.m. when we when we halted to find water so as to stop for the night. We marched about a mile back to a stream where we stopped until morning. Yesterday was a very hot day. We had 8 men sun struck and died on the road.
12th we was called up by the Col at 4 in the morning to get our hard tack and coffee and be ready to fall in line. At 5 o’clock we again fell in line of march.
12th We marched until 11 a.m. when we halted to get our meat for we did not get it in the morning. The cavalry and a part of the 8 corps had quite a brush in front. They took some 30 prisoners. The day was very hot. So much so that our men fell when we got near Middle Town. We halted we had only about 1 regiment of men in our whole brigade. They fell out on account of the hard weather and fast marching.
12th. We rested until the men got up then we marched a short distance beyond Middle Town and encamped for the night. We had just got our coffee about half boiled when we got orders to fall in line and change our position. We fell in line and marched a short distance when we got orders to take our old position again which we did and stopped for the night. The 6th Army Corps had quite a brush at the Shenandoah River the rebs they crossed the river and burned the bridge after them. We took some 300 hundred prisoners. On our march from Harpers Ferry to this place we lost from the hot weather over one hundred horses and mules.
13th. We was called up at 4 in the morning and had roll call then got our breakfast. Our rations is out. But we got plenty of green corn and fresh beef without salt.
13th At 9 o’clock p.m. our provision train got in. They had been attacked by the rebs. Some few of them was taken prisoners. Some men belonging to our regiment was taken. But after being prisoners 2 or 3 days some of them got away and come back to the regiment again.
We was called up at 12 o’clock the night of the 13th to draw 3 days rations. We had 3 days rations issued to us to last 4 days. The train brought a mail to us. I did not get any.
The rebs is strongly fortified at Manassas Gap. Musketry firing heard very heavy in front.
14th. We are still in camp a short distance from Middle Town. It is reported that the rebs has got in our rear and is on their way to Washington. At 12 o’clock on the 14th we hung a rebel spy at Middle Town. At 5 p.m. our wagon train was ordered to the rear. We are still in camp expecting to move every minute.
14th We had quite heavy skirmishing in front in the evening and all day.
15th. After laying at this place 2 days we got orders to lay out company streets and clean up camp. At 10 p.m. we got orders to strike tents and fall in line of march. Just as we had got in line it commenced to rain which made it very bum marching. We marched until 7 o’clock the morning of the 15th.
16th Here we halted in the road about a mile from Winchester we laid down by the side of the road and slept until 11 a.m. when we gain fell in line and marched into a field and encamped between Mill Town and Winchester.
17th. We was called up at 2 o’clock in the morning to get our breakfast and strike tents and be ready to march at a moment’s notice. At 4 o’clock we fell in line of march. We marched to Berryvill and arrived here at 12. At noon we marched into a field and stacked arms. At this time we was out of rations and the corn fields had to suffer so we made our supper of green corn and fresh meat and turned in for the night.
18th. We got our rations and fell in line of march at 6 a.m. We marched about 2 miles and halted in the woods. Here the news reached us that our rear had a fight at Winchester and that Longstreet was following us with 50,000 men. We halted in these woods until the whole army got up.
I got 5 letters from my wife. We was turned out under arms at 12 o’clock the night of the 20th.
21st. Sunday. Regimental inspection at 9 a.m. At 11 o’clock myself and several others went to church. When we got back to camp they had struck tents and was ready to march. There was quite heavy skirmishing and cannonading on our right. We guarded the headquarters wagon train into Harpers Ferry or near there in the rear of Boliver Heights. Here we encamped on the Bank of the Shenandoah River. Heavy cannonading going on in front.
22nd. We had a very heavy rain in the afternoon. Heavy firing going on during the shower. Heavy skirmishing going on all day.
23rd At 6 in the morning we got orders to strike tents. We was ordered to the front. We marched to Hall Town to the front and stacked arms and pitched our tents and commenced to build breastworks in front of Gen Emmers headquarters. We worked on the breastworks until 8 at night then turned in for the night.
24th. We are still working on the breastworks in the forenoon. At 11 o’clock we got orders to fall in line. We joined the 159th NY Vols and the 11th Ind Vols and marched to the picket line under command of Col Mc. Here we formed a line of battle and sent out skirmishers to attack the rebel line we had a very heavy skirmish which lasted about 2 hours. We have 11 wounded and 3 killed. None of the 128th got hurt. We drove the rebs in and then fell back and halted in line of battle. But the rebs did not come out. We then returned to camp. The pickets kept up firing until dark.
Rec’d 2 letters from Mrs. Sarah J. Crowther. Wrote to Sarah Jane.
25th. We turned out under arms at 4 in the morning. After breakfast we commenced to work on the breastworks. Not much firing on the picket line in our front. Heavy cannonading to our right. The rebs was trying to cross one of the fords on the Potomac. The 6th army corps went from here to reinforce them. Our wounded was brought in about 5 p.m.
26th. We turned out under arms one hour before day light. All quiet in front except a little picket firing. We are fortifying here at Hall Town expecting an attack. It is reported that there is 40 thousand reinforcements coming up the valley to reinforce Longstreet in our front.
[End Volume One]