Diary of Joseph W. Crowther
Co. H. 128th NY Vols.
|The last thrashing given Early by the Army of the Shenandoah taught him an enduring lesson as well as the other rebel generals under him. The Valley was also too much devastated to make it a comfortable place for wintering. The service performed by Sheridan and his men was just what Grant designed, and this compelled the confederates to remain at New Market where they could easily retreat east of the Blue Ridge. It was with quite a strong feeling of security that our infantry settled down in their camp at Ceder [sicc] Creek on the 21st of October….For days the army was occupied in clearing the battle-field and in doing heavy picket duty, having learned the wisdom to ever be on the alert. The weather was becoming quite cold, especially the nights. The wagon trains with extra clothing were hailed with delight.
On the 7th of November, the so recent battle-field witnessed the peaceful maneuvering of the nineteenth corps as Emory passed it in review before Sheridan. …
During the three days in camp our forces were building light breastworks. Each morning at 3 o’clock, Emory continued to turn out h is men under arms where they remained in line of battle until daybreak to guard against a surprise. The men now began to suffer much on the picket lines because of the bitter cold (Hanaburgh, 171-173).
Commencing at the 9th of November 1864.
We was called up about 2 hours before daylight and formed a line of battle and stacked arms with orders to get our breakfast and be ready to march at daylight. At daylight we fell in line and received orders, not a man to leave camp, for we would march at 10 a.m. A Division of the 6thh Corps that had been encamped about 2 miles out in our front had come in.
At 10 a.m. we fell in line of march. We marched about 10 miles and went into camp again.
10th. We was called up as usual before daylight under arms. A detail was made from the regiment to go out foraging. At 2 p.m. we got orders to strike tents and be ready to march at a moment’s notice. Got a letter for W.W. Marsh from Zacheus Marsh.
At 3 p.m. we again fell in line and marched about a ½ mile to the flank, formed a line and stacked arms and pitched our tents. All was quiet that night.
11th. We was turned out under arms before daylight as usual. At 1 p.m. we got orders to fall in line under arms. This was from a report that came from the front that a squad of our cavalry had gone out after forage and come in contact with a Division of rebel cavalry advancing on us. We stood in line of battle a short time, then went to our quarters with orders to hold ourselves in readiness at a moment’s notice.
After dark we got orders to stay in our quarters and to have our equipment where we could get them in a moment. All was quiet through the night.
12th. We was turned out under arms before daylight as usual this morning. Co. H had to go to work on the breastworks at daylight. We got orders to strike tents and pack up and stand under arms. It was reported that the rebels was in force between Middletown and Newtown. At this time our force was at Kernstown. Our cavalry commenced skirmishing with the rebel cavalry which lasted until about 3 p.m. We then got orders to discharge our pieces and reload. The report is this afternoon that the rebels hold Newtown in force. More or less skirmishing was kept up at that night.
13th. We was called up as usual before daylight under arms. At 9 a.m. an order was read all along the lines that our cavalry had drove the rebs back 2 miles beyond Front Royal and captured 2 pieces of artillery and caissons and a number of prisoners about 150 and a number of wagons. This was a very cold day.
Received a letter from S.J.C no. 1. Wrote to S. J. Crowther no. 4.
14th. We are still at Kernstown. At 4 p.m. we got orders to strike tents. We then fell in line and joined our Brigade and marched to Winchester and stopped there for that night. We was to guard the supply train to Martinsburg.
15th. At 6 in the morning we again fell in line and deployed along the wagon train and marched to Martinsburg 22 miles from Winchester. We got to Martinsburg at 5 p.m. and went into Camp on the east side of the city.
|During the afternoon of the 13th our entire brigade received orders to strike tents and march to Martinsburg as escort to the supply train. We marched to Winchester and bivouacked for the night. The next morning we started at seven o’clock with a train of empty wagons, five miles in length, and reached Martinsburg at sunset, after a fatiguing march through ice and slush. After waiting two days we returned with a heavy loaded train of supplies to Winchester, and at this place guarded the train for two more days (Hanaburgh, 173)|
16th. We drawed clothes.
1 shelter tent
1 pair drawers
1 pair boots.
Received a letter from Robt. Johnson. The evening of the 16th I received a box of tobacco for Wm. W. Marsh.
17th. I run around all day selling tobacco. But it was a very wet day.
18. Selling tobacco. At 3 p.m. we got orders to be ready to march at a moment’s notice. Left with John Cheney
2 gross tin foil
1 ~do 3oo smoking
1 doz 6oo smoking
19th. We was turned out at 4 o’clock in the morning to be ready to start with the train at daylight. We got to Bunker Hill about noon. Here we halted for a train to pass us going to Martinsburg. We got back to Winchester at 8 p.m. We marched through the city and went into camp for that night.
20th. We was called up at daylight. Our regiment was detailed to go and guard the train to Kernstown. Then returned back to Winchester. Rained all day.
21st. We still lay in camp at Winchester. It was a very cold stormy night.
22nd. We got up in the morning and found the ground covered with snow. At 7 a.m. we got orders to strike tents and be ready to march. About 10 a.m. we got orders to put up our tents again. The rest of our Brigade went to the front this morning. Received a letter from S.J.C. no. 2.
23rd. We broke camp at Winchester and marched to the front and went into camp on our old camp ground.
24th. Thanks Giving day. Big thing. Turkey for dinner sent from the north.
25th. Very cold and frosty. We are still in camp at Kernstown near Winchester.
26th. All is quiet in our front. The enemy is said to be at New Market in force. Their pickets is at Edinburgh.
Wrote to S.J. Crowther.
27th. Sunday morning inspection.
Wrote to Robt. Johnston.
Wrote to S.J. Crowther.
28th. We are still at Camp Russell at Kernstown near Winchester. We have to turn out under arms every morning before daylight.
29th. We got orders to drill. Company drill 2 hours each day.
30th. I was on detail to out side the lines with 2 teams after brick for Gen. Grover’s headquarters. Received 2 letters from S.J.C. Received a letter from H. C. Swords.
1st. We are making preparations to build log huts.
|In the afternoon of the 20th we marched back to our old camp at Kernstown, where we began building log huts to protect ourselves from the cold. The winter weather came early this year and it was an unusually severe season. Snow was lying on the ground. Wood was scarce. Logs for our huts had to be hauled with log chains from one to two miles over the frozen ground. After much laborious work our huts were completed. The cracks between the logs being “plugged” with mud, and the chimney in like manner, the buildings were almost impenetrable to the cold storms that swept over the country. At one end of the cabin was an open fireplace with a cheerful wood fire that made the interior of the “shebang” delightfully warm and cozy, and served as a place to prepare our meals of coffee, fried bacon, beans, rice, etc., etc. We now looked forward to the comfortable enjoyment of the long winter evenings (Hanaburgh, 173-4).|
2nd. Received a letter from Sarah J. Crowther. No. 5.
Received a letter from Charles E. Knapp.
Wrote to Chas. E. Knapp.
Wrote to S.J.C. No. 8.
3rd. We are at work building our log houses.
4th. Worked on our shanty.
5th. Went on picket all was quiet along the lines.
6th. Relieved from picket.
7th. We went to the woods to cut more timber.
8th. We got 2 loads drawed to camp.
9th. Went to the woods and got another load of timber to finish our shanty with.
Received a letter from S.J. Crowther. No. 6.
Received a letter from James Crowther.
Received a letter from Eliza A. Crowther.
10th. We got up in the morning and found about 6 or 7 inches deep of snow.
11th. Worked on our shanty.
12th. Sunday. Quiet warm through the day.
Drawed clothes. I drawed
1 pr. Drawers
1 ” socks
Wrote to S.J. Crowther No. 9.
13th. Very cold day.
14th. No duty. Received a letter from S.J. Crowther No. 9.
Received a letter from Chas. E. Knapp.
15th. No duty. Nothing of importance occurred.
16th. We got good news from Gen. Thomas. A salute was fired all along the lines of 100 guns.
Wrote to S.J. Crowther No. 10.
17th. I was on picket at 3 o’clock p.m. 100 guns was fired at Camp Russell for Gen. Thomas victory over the rebel Gen. Hood in Tennessee. Also cheering was kept up that day and nearly all night.
18th. We was relieved from picket.
Our knapsacks that we stored at Baton Rouge La. the 22nd of March came to Camp Russell. But my knapsack did not come still.
The 8th Corps left Camp Russell.
19th. We got a stove that cost us $11.00 which made it very comfortable in our log house.
20th. We had our shanty in good running order and we thought we was as comfortable as if we was at home. But this was our luck in the evening of the 20th we got orders to pack up and be ready to march at 5 o’clock the next morning.
Sgt. Charles Wilbur came to the regiment at Camp Russell.
21st. At 5 o’clock in the morning we broke camp and marched to Winchester. We carried our stove with us. It was a very stormy morning. We went into camp near the city. The ground was covered with snow. We got a few boards together and soon put up a shanty. Put up our stove and made ourselves as comfortable as possible.
|“On the 21st of December we were ordered to Winchester to relieve a brigade of the sixth corps doing picket and fatigue duty. Without exception this was the most wretched day the regiment ever experienced. A cold rain fell in the morning. In the afternoon a driving snow-storm set in. In the midst of this we marched to Winchester. The mercury fell almost to zero. When we arrived within a mile and a-half of the town, orders reached us to encamp. In emulation of our ancestors at Valley Forge, we scraped away the snow and tried to pitch our tents, but found it well nigh impossible to drive the pins into the frozen ground. “After much labor,” continues Lieutenant Benson, “Captain Sincerbox and myself got a tent partly up, and lay down under our blankets on the frozen ground and tried to sleep. But the snow and the sleet driving through the ends of the tent, drove us out with blankets and cloethes frozen hard as boards. After midnight a little wood was hauled to the camp, and a few fires started” (Hanaburgh, 174)|
22nd. It was a very cold day. Our regiment had to furnish pickets every day which made duty quiet heavy.
23rd. Myself and Corporal John Fitzgerald and 21 men was detailed on permanent duty in the city at Post Quartermasters. We had our quarters in a large hall. We had very good quarters. Our duty was to guard horses and ambulances: hay & grain & wood. We was under Capt. Mann.
Wrote to S.J. Crowther and sent home a memorial of our Company and Regiment.
Wrote to Chas. E. Knapp and sent him my likeness.
24th. I was up to camp. Some of our boys had boxes sent from home and I had a good Christmas dinner.
25th. Christmas day. We enjoyed ourselves very well considering our circumstances not having any money nor any thing else but government rations.
Wrote to S. J. Crowther No. 10.
Wrote to E. A. Crowther.
Wrote to Zacheus Marsh.
26th. We got news that Gen. Sherman had taken Savannah.
27th. Wrote to Wm. F. Correll
It was reported that the rebel Col. Mosby was shot and had died from his wound. Today our cavalry brought in 2 pieces of artillery and a number of prisoners.
28th. They are making permanent details from our regiment nearly every day. The duty is very hard at the regiment the men goes on picket every other day.
1 pair socks.
29th. Very cold day.
Grain is coming back from the 1st Division at the front to the post.
30th. The 1st Division came from the front through Winchester on their way to Stephenson’s Depot.
|On the 30th of December, the whole of the nineteenth corps, the most of whom had been in their huts at Kernstown, broke camp and moved back near Stephenson’s in order to be nearer the base of supplies. Here at Camp Sheridan, comfortable quarters were built in which they remained during the rest of the Winter (Hanaburgh, 175).|
Wrote to S.J. Crowther No. 11.
31. We sat up and saw the Old Year out and the New Year in at our quarters in Winchester.
Let Geo. T. Deacon have a pair of boots.
1st. To commence the New Year we are in the City of Winchester.
2nd. Nothing of importance occurred.
3rd. Wrote to S.J. Crowther.
Received a letter from S.J. Crowther no. 10.
4th. Went up to the regiment and got my Descriptive List from Capt. H. H. Sincerbox.
5th. Drawed 1 pair pants on my Descriptive List at Post Quartermasters at Winchester Va. At 4 o’clock p.m. I Received an order that all detached men of the 3rd Brigade 2 Division 19th Army Corps should be relieved and report to headquarters. So we went to work and cooked a pig that we knocked over in the streets the day before and packed our knapsacks and was waiting for further orders.
This morning our regiment and Brigade passed through Winchester to Stephenson’s Depot to take the cars for Harpers Ferry.
|But on the 6th of January, we, with the whole of Grover’s division, broke camp and marched to Stephenson’s, where we arrived at 11 A.M. We now bade farewell to the nineteenth corps and took cars, in the afternoon, for Harper’s Ferry, which we reached at sundown. Here we were stowed upon the cars of the Baltimore and Ohio railway and set out for Baltimore (Hanaburgh, 175).|
This morning J. Armstrong and George T. Deacon came to see me. They was going home on a furlough.
6th. At 11 a.m. I got orders to report to the courthouse with the whole guard and wait there for further orders.
6th. At 3 o’clock all the different squads had reported to the courthouse and we all fell in line and marched through rain snow and mud about 5 inches deep. We marched within a ½ mile of the depot when we met an officer coming from the depot saying that our Brigade had left the depot and that we could not get on board of the cars that night and gave us orders to stay in a large brick building and remain there until morning. It was lucky for us that we stopped in the building for it was a very stormy night. This building previously had been Gen. Emery’s headquarters and there was every accommodation and plenty of wood to dry our clothes and keep warm by. This house was between the 2 picket lines so that we had to put out guards around the house.
7th. At 9 o’clock a.m. we fell in line and marched to the depot. It was storming very hard. We had to stop at the depot until 2 p.m. While we stopped there we confiscated a box of Navy Tobacco and a box of oysters and 2 boxes of condensed milk and 1 box of apple jelly and a cheese belonging to a sutler. We lived high for a few days.
At 2 p.m. we embarked on the cars. We went about 12 miles when the locomotive with 8 or 9 cars broke loose from us and left us about 2 miles in the rear and we near nothing about. We supposed the cars had stopped for something however they thought enough of us to come back after us. We had to lay at Charlestown some 6 hours on account of some delay of the other trains.
|Most of the cars were open flats, a few box cattle-cars being reserved for the general’s staff and the officers. It was a ride never to be forgotten. With no protection from the fierce winter wind that swept over the train and whistled through the snow-clad forest on either hand, there was the most intense suffering by all. Some of the men built fires on the floors of the cars, burning holes almost through the thick wood. After a six hour’s ride through this freezing atmosphere, we arrived at Baltimore at 8 P.M. of the 7th, and went into barracks at Camp Carroll (Hanaburgh, 175).|
But I had my stove with me and I put it up in the car and made ourselves very comfortable. We laid down in the car and went to sleep. The
8th of the 8th we found ourselves in Harpers Ferry. We then went to the Soldiers in Harpers Ferry. Here we drawed 2 days rations. We stopped in Harpers Ferry that day and night. That night myself and Francis Marston went to a private house and slept on the carpet.
9th. We was to take the cars early this morning. We got up and got our breakfast and at 4 o’clock we went to the depot. We had to wait until 8 o’clock at the depot. We then embarked on the cars for Baltimore. We crossed the bridge and laid on the track on the Maryland side until 9 o’clock. We arrived at Baltimore at 5 p.m. We then marched to the Soldiers home. Got our supper and turned in for that night.
Wrote to S. J. Crowther.
10th. At 11 a.m. we are still at the Soldiers home at Baltimore Md. Wrote to Geo. T. Deacon. At 2 p.m. we fell in line and marched to our regiment Here the whole Brigade was in barracks.
11th. The 2nd Brigade left Camp Carroll and went on board of transports. I packed up a box and sent it home containing
1 pair pants
1 ” drawers
1 pair gloves
1 hat band
1 tactics book
1 account book
1 shoe horn.
This box was sent to the express office.
12th. Received a receipt for it and sent it to S.J.C. Got orders to have all the Brigade baggage ready to go the depot and go on board of ship.
13th. At 12 o’clock we left Camp Carroll Baltimore and marched to the steam ship wharf and went on board of the Steam Ship Snownoda the 128th and 159th NY Vols. and the 24th Iowa. And Gen. Grover and staff all went on board of the Steam Ship Snownoda.
|Remaining [at Camp Carroll] until the 13th, we then packed up and marched to Henderson’s wharf, where in company with the 24th Iowa and the 159th New York, we embarked on the steamship Snownoda. The whole of Grover’s division was on transports and steamed down the Chesapeake (Hanaburgh, 175-6).|
14th. At 6 o’clock we left the dock at Baltimore. We arrived at Hampton Roads at 10 p.m. and cast anchor. Laid there until the morning of the 15th.
15th. The morning of the 15th we went into to dock at Fortress Monroe and took on board 10 days rations.
Wrote to S.J. Crowther while laying at the dock at Fortress Monroe. At 5 p.m. we left the dock at Fortress Monroe and pushed out to sea.
|We anchored off Fortress Monroe at 10 P.M. of January 14th, and felt quite at home in these waters as we re-called our long stay at this place near the beginning of our army life. The next day, taking on a supply of provisions, we put to sea at 5 P.M. with sealed orders (Hanaburgh, 176).|
16th. We was off Hatteras. It was quite rough.
17th. At 2 o’clock the morning of the 17th our Steamer stopped. We saw flashes of canons and heard heavy firing. At first it was supposed to be a vessel in distress. It was afterwards supposed to be our gun boats off Charleston or Wilmington. At this time the sea was heavy and very windy.
18th. We saw land at daylight in the morning. The sea was quite calm. This morning we saw several other vessels that had left Baltimore 2 and 3 days before we did. They was laying here waiting for a pilot. We stopped here a short time then got a pilot. Quite a number of the other vessels went back to Hilton Head. Our vessel and the Steam Ship Hudson New York went up the Warsaw Sound and entered into the Savannah River about a mile below the city, the river being full of obstructions between that and the mouth of the river so that it was not safe for a sea going vessel to go in at the mouth of the river. Here we cast anchor and a river steamer came to us. Gen. Grover and 2 of his staff went on board of her and went on up to the city. We laid at anchor that night.
We had one man died on board and was buried on the bank of the river. He belonged to the 176th Regiment NY. The land on each side of the river was very low & marshy once apparently nothing but sand. The weather was warm and pleasant. But commenced to rain in the evening.
|At 11 A.M. of the 19th, after a stormy voyage, we arrived off the mouth of the Savannah River. Finding we could not ascend the stream owing to some obstructions, we were rodered to Ossaban sound. We sailed along the sound some fifteen miles, but could get no further, owing to the heavy draught of our ship, and were obliged to anchor and wait for lighters (Hanaburgh, 176).|
19th. We still lay at anchor in the bay at an entrance of the Savannah River. It was a rainy day and night.
20th. At 9 o’clock a.m. we got orders to get ready to disembark from the Steam Ship Snownoda. At 10 a.m. we got on board of a river steamer and went up the Savannah River. We got stuck in the mud which took us about 2 hours to get under way again.
At 2 p.m. we arrived at the City of Savannah Ga. We took our quarters in the Savannah rail road depot. It rained hard all day.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther.
|In the forenoon of the 20th, the troops and stores were transferred to river boats, and we made another start for Savannah, which we reached at 4 P.M. and disembarked. We now marched to the Central railroad depot where we were quartered, to await the arrivel of the rest of Grover’s troops (Hanaburgh, 176).|
21st. We are still at the depot waiting for orders.
Rained hard all day.
22nd. We had our Sunday morning inspection at the depot.
Rained all day again.
Gen. Kilpatrick came in on the train.
23rd. We are still at the depot. The rest of our Brigade joined us at the depot.
Rained all day again.
24th. We are still at the depot. Fine day for the first we have seen since we came to Savannah.
I went up town to look around the city.
Very cold night for this country.
25th. We are still at the depot waiting for Sherman’s troops to leave so that we can take their quarters. The weather has been so bad that they could not march.
26th. At 8 o’clock this morning we got orders to sling our knapsacks and fall in line. We marched through the city and went into camp on the south west side of the city. There had been no troops encamped here so that we had to build up shanties. But we soon got boards together and got our shanties up. It was a very cold day and night the citizens in this place say that they have not had such cold weather in a great many years.
|On the 26th we moved to the northern part of the city, and enjoyed the luxury of camping in tents, in a beautiful grove. Within a few days we had passed from the severe weather of the Shenandoah, back to the Sunny South, and found this place far preferable for winter quarters (Hanaburgh, 176).|
27th. We worked on our shanty. A part of the 20th Corps left here today.
About 10 p.m. a fire broke out in the city. Supposed to have been set on fire by some of the citizens. The fire engines was all there and put it out. Meanwhile another fire broke out on the other side of town that also was set on her by some citizens of Savannah that was favorable to the rebels. This was a very large fire. It burnt down some 3 or 4 blocks, also a store house that had in it a great many shells that had been captured from the enemy. There was several killed and wounded by the explosion of the shells.
The citizens saved but very little of their frustration. The pieces of shells flew for a half a mile in all directions so that they had all that they could do to save themselves. The fire engines could not get near enough to the fire to do any good on account of the shells bursting.
I was at the fire. It was a terrible sight. The fire was stopped running from building to building about daylight the next morning.
28th. I was detailed to go on picket. We could hear the shells explode in the ruins all day long and several through the night.
It was a very cold night. It froze ice a half inch thick.
29th. We was relieved from picket at a 11 o’clock a.m. Since the great fire there has been a great many torpedoes and shell and large quantity of powder found in different buildings in all parts of the city. It seems that a portion of the citizens intend to destroy the city if possible.
The guards has orders to arrest all suspicious persons.
30th. Worked on our shanty to make it more comfortable.
31st. The duty is heavy on the regiment just now. The men has to go on picket every other day or on patrols. The rest of the time they have to work on the breastworks.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther.
1st. Wrote to James Crowther.
Wrote to Chas. E. Knapp.
2nd. Nothing of importance occurred.
1 pair shoes
1 pr drawers
A great deal of smallpox in and about the city.
4th. Nothing of importance.
5th. Sunday morning inspection. Went to church for the first time in 6 months.
Received 3 letters from Sarah J. Crowther. No 12, 13, & 14.
Received a letter from James Crowther.
Received a letter from Wm. F. Carrell.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther.
5th. Wrote to James Crowther.
6th. Detailed to work on the breastworks. James Armstrong returned to the regiment. Brought me a package from my wife also a package from Eliza Ann Crowther.
7th. Cold rainy day. We put up a stove in our shanty. Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther and sent her a 25 cent Confederate note.
8th. Wrote to E. A. Crowther and sent her a Confederate note. Wrote to James Crowther and sent him a war song.
9th. Received of Geo. T. Deacon $300 [I thought sure that must be only $3.00, but try as I might, I see no decimal point!]. Went on picket on the Thunder Bolt Road we had strict orders to keep a good lookout for a cavalry raid.
10th. We was relieved from picket at 2 p.m.
Good news in the papers concerning peace.
Received a letter from E. A. Crowther.
11th. Very fine warm day.
12th. Sunday morning inspection. Went to church in the morning.
Received a letter from Sarah J. Crowther No. 15.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther and sent her $20.00.
Wrote to E. A. Crowther.
Wrote to Wm. F. Carrell.
13th. We got the news in the Savannah papers that Lieut. Gen. Grant was again under motion on the 5th Feb. the Army of the James to cooperate with him commenced to build a fort near the cemetery a part of it to be on the burial ground. Several graves was taken up for that purpose. But that order was revoked and was to build the fort elsewhere.
14th. Rainy Day.
Wrote to Chas. W. Lucas Co. G. 54th Regt. NY Vols.
1st Brigade Gordon’s Division
Wrote to Samuel Marsh.
Gen. Sherman’s movements giving the rebels great anxiety.
One of our scouts came in and reported that the rebel cavalry was in force 8 miles from the city.
15th. A heavy detail was made to work on the breastworks.
16th. I was detailed with a squad to work on the breastworks.
17th. Nothing of importance.
We had orders to turn out under arms at each roll call. Also to have dress parade by order of Brevet Major Gen. Grover. We had an oyster supper the night of the 17th.
Heavy cannonading heard down the river.
18th. News reached us that Gen. Sherman had gained a good position near Charleston S.C.
19th. I went on picket. I had the river post on the whiskey line. At 12 o’clock at noon there was 100 guns fired. We soon learned that it was a salute for Gen. Sherman’s victory at Charleston.
20th. Relieved from picket.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther No. 1.
21st. I went down in the city to visit some of my old acquaintances.
22nd. Washington’s birthday. It was celebrated by firing the National Salute, the guns being manned by staff officers. The salute was fired between the hours of 12 & 1 p.m. The salute was displayed in the park. All the bells in the city was rang from 12 until 1. The salute was also fired at Fort Pulaski. The flag & collars flying at the heads and center of all the different regiments also at all the headquarters through the city. Also a ration of whiskey was given to all the troops by order of Gen. Grover. Music was played by the band in the city park until sun down.
23rd. Received a letter from S.J.C. dated Feb 14th and No. 15.
Wrote to S.J. Crowther No. 2.
24th & 25th. Nothing of importance occurred.
26th. Sunday morning inspection. Went to church in the morning. News reached us that Wilmington was captured, with 4000 prisoners. Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther without number.
27th. Went down to see some of my old acquaintances and had a good time.
28th. We was mustered for pay for the months of Jan & Feb. Wrote to James G. Bennett.
March 1st 1865
1st. I was detailed on post guard in the city.
At a. 11 o’clock a.m. our Brigade Received marching orders. At 6 o’clock p.m. we was relieved from duty by the 2nd Brigade.
2nd. Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther No. 3 and sent a ring for Miss Mary Lucas.
Received a letter from E. A. Crowther.
Wrote to Eliza A. Crowther.
Our Brigade is still under marching orders expecting to march ever moment. The night of the 2nd we still remain in camp.
3rd. We are still in camp.
Received 2 letters from S.J.C.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther No. 4. Drawed 1 pair of socks.
We are still in camp at Savannah the night of the 3rd.
4th. President Lincoln commenced his new term as president of the United States.
At 5 o’clock p.m. we got orders to prepare for a General Inspection.
5th. At 1 o’clock p.m. we got orders to have our knapsacks packed and be ready to march at a moments notice. Also that the officers tents and baggage must be at the dock at 2 p.m. Also that we must have everything packed and be ready to march at 5 o’clock the next morning. That afternoon I went to church, but on my arrival back at camp I found the tents all down. They had Received orders to break camp and at 5 o’clock p.m. we fell in line and joined the Brigade and marched to the steam boat depot and embarked on board of a steam boat, where we laid at the dock until the next morning.
6th. At 6 o’clock in the morning we left the dock and proceeded down the river. We stopped a short time at Fort Pulaski. We arrived at the dock at Hilton Head at 11 o’clock a.m. At 12 o’clock we pushed out again and lay at anchor in the bay. At 10 o’clock that night the Steam Ship Ericsson came along side of us and we then went on board of her. The steam boat then left us. The Steam Ship Ericsson laid at anchor until about noon the 7th when we hove anchor and pushed out to sea. After we had been out some 6 hours we had quite a storm between 5 & 6 p.m. We was off Wilmington. At dark we pushed out to sea from the coast, it being a rough and stormy night.
|On the 3d of March orders came to be ready to march at two hours’ notice. With all preparations made, we waited until the 5th, when at 5 A.M. we struck tents, marched to the river and embarked on the steamer Wyoming. The next morning we sailed for Hilton Head, S.C., where we arrived at noon, and soon proceeded up the sound, and awaited the arrival of an ocean transport. At 10 P.M. we were transferred to the steamship Ericsson and at two o’clock of the 7th, put to sea again under sealed orders. … The storm having abated to some extent, but amidst heavy fog, we arrived off Fort Fisher at noon of the 9th, and anchored. The Colonel commanding receiving orders at this point to proceed to Moorhead City, N.C., we put to sea again at 2 P.M., only to find similar rough weather awaiting us (Hanaburgh, 177-8).|
9th. At 1 o’clock p.m. we hove in sight of land. We run in to the bay near Fort Fisher and cast anchor at the mouth of Cape Fear River, hoisted our pilot flag and laid at anchor.
10th. This morning a small boat was sent to shore where we Received orders to report to Morehead City. We then hoisted anchor and pushed out to sea again. It was a very stormy day and very rough sea.
11th. Arrived off Beaufort in the morning. Sent a small boat to shore for orders.
At 10 o’clock a.m. the small boat returned to the ship with a light draft transport to take us over the bar. We disembarked at Morehead City thence took the cars the same evening for New Bern on the North Caroline R.R. arriving at New Bern at midnight where we again disembarked and fell in line and stacked arms near the depot made our coffee and turned in for the night.
We Received news that General Schofield had taken Kinston and that he was driving the rebel Gen. Brag and his army pell mell.
|The forenoon of the 11th found us off the coast of Beaufort, N.C. where we anchored. About noon the regiment was transferred to the steamer Detroit, and reached Moorhead City at sundown. Immediately we were stowed in cars bound for Newbern, N.C., and reached this point at midnight. We bivouacked in the public street, the boys helping themselves to the nice new picket fences to cook their coffee. Grover was ordered to this place to join Schofield, in order to open communication with Sherman’s army, which was advancing toward this coast. Wilmington had been taken on the 22d of February by our forces. Then Schofield sent a force under Cox, to open the railway from Newbern to Goldsboro, on the south bank of the Neuse. A rebel force had been met under D.H. Hill and considerable fighting took place on the 8th, 9th and 10th, on the south side of the river. The confederates had then retreated to Goldsboro in order to oppose Sherman’s progress (Hanaburgh, 178).|
12th. Sunday morning. At 8 o’clock we fell in line and marched to the barracks where we passed that day.
13th. We was turned out at 5 o’clock in the morning to get our grub and orders to be ready to march at 7 o’clock. We had inspection of guns, ammunition & at this time we learned that our regiment and the 17th NY Vols. was detached from the Brigade to the post at New Bern and the rest of the Brigade went that day to Morehead City. At 9 o’clock we got orders to have our knapsacks packed and be ready to march. At 3 o’clock p.m. we had spades and axes presented to us and fell in line and marched some 4 miles from New Bern where we stacked arms put out pickets and stopped for that night in a pine woods.
|On the 12th, our brigade went into barracks at Newbern, but the 128th was detached from the brigade for the purpose of building a corduroy road between Newbern and Kinston. We left Newbern on the 13th for this constructive work, marched five mile and bivouacked for the night. From the 14th to the 28th of March, we were engaged in this wearisome work of road-making through the pine forests and marshes, in order to facilitate the transportation of troops and supplies. The 29th found us in camp, with the work completed, five miles from Kinston (Hanaburgh, 178).|
14th. This morning we was divided up in companies and commenced to work on the road. Our company got our work done that was laid out for that days work and marched about one mile and joined Co. B. where we again pitched our tents and stopped for that night. This was a rainy night.
15th. We worked on the road until 4 o’clock p.m. when we again broke camp and marched about a mile where we joined to the regiment and went into camp again for that night. This was another wet night. This night our rations was up.
16th. We stopped here until our rations come to us. At a 11 o’clock a.m. we broke camp and marched some 2 miles where we went into camp again. We done no work to day.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther No. 5.
17th. The left wing of the regiment did not work this day.
Wrote to Eliza A. Crowther.
Wrote to James Crowther.
18th. The whole regiment worked on the road in the forenoon. News came to us that Gen. Schofield and Sherman had formed a junction near Goldsboro.
19th. We was out of money and tobacco. Our Capt. H. H. Sincerbox sent to New Bern and had a box of tobacco sent to him. He let each man have a plug. I had 1 plug 75 cents.
We had our Sunday morning inspection in the pine woods 10 miles from New Bern.
At 10 o’clock a.m. 2 teams came to us from New Bern bringing us 3 days rations, also our rations of Whiskey.
At 12 o’clock that day we broke camp and fell in line and marched about 8 miles then went into camp again. The right wing of our regiment marched some 5 miles in advance of us this day to fix a bridge in order that a train could pass going to Schofield’s army containing officers baggage.
2 cavalry men passed us from the front. Bring the news that Gen. Schofield’s army was to move this morning.
20th. We worked on the road as usual. No news.
21st. We worked on the road in the forenoon. At 1 o’clock p.m. we broke camp and fell in line and marched some 3 miles and went into camp again, the right wing being still in advance of us. It being a wet night we got an extry ration of whiskey.
22nd. We worked on the road until 3 o’clock p.m.
Wrote to Francis Marston.
23rd. Got our breakfast and fell in line and marched some 2 miles where we joined the right wing of our regiment. Here the left wing had a ration of whiskey, then the whole regiment fell in line and marched about 2 miles when the left wing halted and worked about ½ a mile of the road, then fell in line and marched about a mile in advance of the right wing where we went into camp again for that night.
At midnight the woods was on fire all around us. We was turned out and burnt a space all around us so that the fire could not get into our camp. The right wing at this time was about a half a mile in our rear. They was obliged to move their camp about midnight on account of the fire.
24th. We worked on the road in the morning. At a 11 o’clock a.m. we broke camp and marched about a mile and went into camp again.
The night of the 24th I was on duty guarding the rations that came to us that night from New Bern, also over the whiskey. At this time we was about 25 miles from New Bern. We got the news that Gen. Sherman had had another fight at Bentonville. In the commencement of the fight our forces was repulsed but afterwards whipped and drove the rebels badly, completely routing them.
25th. We broke camp at 10 a.m. and marched about a mile and went into camp again. This day our company did no work. A number of the boys went out foraging and brought in considerable fresh meat. We heard of some guerrillas being near us. Some of the boys went out that night to look after them but did not see them.
26th. Sunday. We got orders to work that morning and finish a place in the road so that we could go on. We worked but it went against the grain. It was reported that there had been seen about 100 guerrillas in our advance and that we was to work this day in order that we could join the regiment that day in case they was attacked by guerrillas. At 10 o’clock p.m. we broke camp and fell in line and marched to a place called Dover Station. Here we joined the right wing. This place was fortified. It had been fortified by the rebels. Here we went into camp. A part of the construction corps was at this place.
26th. Wrote to S. J. Crowther No. 6.
27th. Commenced our work as usual on the road. We worked until 10 o’clock a.m. At 1 o’clock p.m. we broke camp and marched some 2 miles and went into camp again. The left wing stopped back to fix a bad place near the saw mill and to build a bridge.
We have very warm days but cold nights here for this time of year in this country. We got our whiskey ration in the evening.
28th. We was out of rations. We worked up the road until 10 a.m. then went to camp. We did not work any more that day on account of our rations not coming to us. They was due to us this morning but did not get them until late in the evening. But some of the boys went out foraging and brought in all the fresh meat that we could eat.
Received a letter from S.J. Crowther dated March 17 and No. 19.
4 of the boys from our company was out foraging. They came in contact with 6 deserters from the rebel army and brought them in.
29th. At 9 o’clock a.m. we broke camp and marched about 1 mile when we halted and commenced to work on the road. The regiment at this time was deployed in companies in different places along the road for 2 miles. Each company worked about 2 hours that day which completed the road to what is called the old Battle Ground. It is where Gen. Schofield fought his hard battle. This place is 5 miles from Kinston. We went into camp on the old Battle Ground that night.
I spent about 3 hours in going over the Battle Ground.
At 7 o’clock that night we got orders to report to Kinston the next morning.
Tonight we received the news by the way of Kinston through rebel sources that Gen. Grant had had a battle with Gen. Lee and that he had captured 15,000 prisoners and that Gen. Lee was evacuating Richmond.
30th. We was called up by the beat of the drum at 5 o’clock in the morning with orders to get our grub and be ready to march. At 6 o’clock we fell in line of march and marched to Kinston where we stacked arms, with orders to pitch our tents. About one half of the tents was put up when we got orders not to put up our tents, but that we should remain there about 1 hour. So we passed that hour in making our coffee & when we again fell in line and marched down the rail road about 2 miles to the steam boat depot on the Neuse River and what is called the Long Bridge on the North Carolina R.R. Here we went into camp. At this time they was expecting a cavalry raid at this place as there has been a rebel cavalry force been seen between Kinston and Goldsboro. Here we got orders that not a man should leave camp, also to have roll call twice a day, also that the regiment should turn out at half past 4 o’clock every morning under arms and in line in case of an attack by the expected cavalry.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther No. 7.
|On the 30th, we marched to Kinston, where we arrived at 9 A.M. We were now ordered to guard the bridge over the Neuse River. We continued at this guard duty until the 8th of April (Hanaburgh, 178).|
31st. We was turned under arms according to orders. Today our Regiment furnished guards to guard commissary stores & we received news that Major Gen. Sherman had returned to his army again after a visit to Washington and that he made a speech to his men saying that if they had as good success as they have had that all the men would be home in less than 3 months.
April 1st 1865
|“On the 1st of April,” says Irwin, “Schofield’s force, composed of the tenth corps, under Terry, and the twenty-third corps, under Cox, was re-constructed by Sherman as the centre of his armies, and designated as the army of the Ohio. The next day the troops of Grover’s division, then in North Carolina, were attached to the tenth corps, re-organized into three brigades and designated as the first division; the command being given to Birge, and the brigades being commanded by the three senior Colonels, Washburn, Graham and Day.” This placed the 128th under Day, in the third brigade. It is of interest to know that we thus became, for a brief time, a part of the tenth corps and of Sherman’s famous raiding army(Hanaburgh, 182).|
We are still in camp at the steam boat depot guarding commissary stores. Also at garrison, it being a base of supplies for Gen. Sherman’s army, also Gen. Schofield’s.
2nd. We had our Sunday morning inspection as usual. Heard from the front all was quiet along the lines. Large wagon trains is constantly coming and going to the front taking stores from this depot.
A gun boat arrived here today from the James River. Our duty is very light at this place.
3rd. Got an order to turn in our axes and spades with the supposition of going to the front or to report back to New Bern soon.
4th. Received a letter from Sarah Jane Crowther No. 19. Received a letter from E. A. Crowther. Capt. H. H. Sincerbox sent to New Bern for Tobacco for his Company as they was all about out of money, and could not get tobacco. I got from him one package of smoking 75 cents. Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther No. 8. Wrote to Eliza A. Crowther.
Myself and E. Lodge went to visit Kinston. It is like all other evacuated Southern towns and cities about used up.
5th. Our guards was relieved and we again surmise that we are about to move again to the front, as we have just received marching orders.
6th. Marching orders countermanded and we are still in camp on the Neuse River and expecting hourly to be attacked at this place by rebel cavalry.
We received the news from Grant’s army that after 3 days hard fighting before Petersburg and Richmond. Gen. Grant occupied the 2 rebel strong holds. Also that he had captured 25,000 prisoners and 500 pieces of artillery. Also that the rebel Gen. Lee with his army was in full retreat towards Harrison’s Farms in the direction of Lynchburg.
Received the news that the 17th Corps had had an engagement with Johnston’s army and that he had captured a large number of prisoners.
It was reported that the guerilla O’Connor was captured also 5 of his gang.
A great many of our wounded soldiers passed down the rail road to day, also 500 rebel prisoners.
7th. Large quantities of wounded is still coming from the front on every train.
At 7 o’clock p.m. we got orders to put on our equipment and sleep with them on, also to have our guns so that we could put our hands on it at a moment’s notice, as a raid was anticipated by some 400 rebel cavalry that had crossed the Neuse River 10 miles below this place. They also captured and destroyed by fire a steam boat, 1 schooner, and a barge.
8th. All was quiet through the night. We was turned out under arms as usual in the morning. At 10 o’clock a.m. we fell in line and discharged our guns.
News from Grant that he was in full pursuit after Gen. Lee in the direction of Lynchburg.
At 4 o’clock p.m. I was detailed on guard over commissary stores. At 7 o’clock we got marching orders and we was relieved from duty by the 23rd Mass. Vols.
Received a letter from Jas. Crowther.
9th. We was turned out at 4 o’clock in the morning and received orders to break camp and be ready to march at 6 o’clock. At 10 o’clock the orders for marching was countermanded with orders to remain here until further orders.
At 1 o’clock p.m. we got orders to report at the depot at Kinston. We then fell in line and marched to Kinston. We stacked arms at the depot and waited there for further orders.
At 5 o’clock p.m. we got orders to march to the outskirts of the town and go into camp for the night. We 7 o’clock p.m. we are comfortably in camp at Kinston. At 9 o’clock p.m. we got orders to break camp and march to the rail road depot to take the cars for Goldsboro. The right wing of our regiment got on the cars but the cars was so crowded that the left wing of the regiment could not get on board. Therefore we made ourselves comfortable at the Kinston depot the remainder of that night.
|We broke camp at daybreak the 9th of April, but did not move until 1 P.M., when we marched to Kinston, and lay in the depot awaiting transportation until nightfall. When the train did arrive, it was found to be so heavily freighted that only the right wing of the regiment could get on board. We of the left wing were obliged to remain in bivouac. There being no prospect of transportation for us, we proposed to march to Goldsboro, N.C. Every man was anxious to move forward. We, however, delayed until nine o’clock of the 11th, when we started with three days’ rations, and made thirteen miles and halted at Mosely Hall (Hanaburgh, 181).|
10th. We was turned out at 5 in the morning to be ready to take the first train up.
At 8 o’clock a.m. a train came up. But it was heavy loaded so that we could not go up on that. A part of Gen. Sherman’s army left Goldsboro this morning towards Raleigh.
At 3 o’clock p.m. we are still at the depot waiting for transportation. At 4 o’clock p.m. we got orders to go into camp again on the same ground as the night previous with orders to march the next morning to Goldsboro with a Battery.
11th. We was turned out at 5 in the morning. Here we drawed 3 days rations. The 175 NY Vols. was also to march to Goldsboro with this Battery. The 175 NY and the Battery commenced to march at 7 o’clock this morning. We stayed to draw our ration. At 9 o’clock a.m. we fell in line and marched after them. We marched about 6 miles when we stopped and stacked arms in the road to eat our dinner. We stopped one hour for dinner then fell in line of march again. That night we went into camp at a place called Mosley Hall. Here we got the news of Lee’s surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia. The 175 NY and the left wing of the 128th NY and the Battery all was encamped together this night at Mosley Hall. The remainder of Gen. Sherman’s army left Goldsboro this morning.
|We were on our way again by six the next morning, and, with pace quickened by enthusiasm, we reached Goldsboro at 5 P.M. The great surrender of Lee had taken place on the 9th. The news made the men wild with joy. (Hanaburgh, 181).|
12th. We was turned out at 5 o’clock in the morning. At 6 o’clock we fell in line of march. We marched until 11 o’clock a.m. when we halted for dinner. This morning we marched 10 miles. Here we stopped about 2 hours, when we again fell in line of march. We arrived at Goldsboro at 4 o’clock p.m. Here we joined the right wing of our regiment and went into camp for the night. On our arrival at Goldsboro we received an old Savannah mail. Received a letter from S. J. Crowther dated Jan 8th and no. 11. Also one dated March 12thno. 18. Also received a letter from Charles E. Knapp.
We had just got our tents pitched when we was ordered to fall in line to hear an order read. This order was that the rebel Gen. Lee had surrendered the entire Army of Northern Virginia to Gen. Grant at Danville, Va.
April 13th 1865
At 8 o’clock this morning we got orders to move camp. We cleared up a camping ground, then commenced putting up our shanties and as fast as we got them up we moved into them. By 4 o’clock in the afternoon we had a fine camp.
About dusk this evening Capt. McGuire and some 4 or 5 men was outside the picket line in an old camp with a team after boards to build shanties with. They was captured by some guerillas. One or 2 of the men made their escape and brought in the news.
At detail was then made to strengthen the picket line in case they should attempt to capture a portion of the picket line.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther no. 9. We have been transferred to the 10th Army Corps. We are now in the 1stDivision 10th Army Corps.
April 14th 1865
14th. Wrote to James Crowther. Reported that some 10 of our pickets had been captured by guerillas at the picket line. Drawed at Goldsboro NC 1 pr of pants, it being the first article I have drawed since the raise of clothing.
April 15th 1865
We got news this afternoon that Gen. Stoneman had captured Jeff Davis and his Cabinet near Danville Va.
We got orders this morning to be ready to march at 4 o’clock the next morning. Our pickets and all the men on duty was relieved.
At 3 o’clock p.m. this order was countermanded and our pickets put out again.
Wrote to Charles E. Knapp.
This evening the news came to us that the rebel Gen. Johnston had asked permission from Gen. Sherman to cease hostilities until he had an interview with Gen. Lee in regards to surrendering his army. All detached men and officers returned to camp.
April 16th 1865
We had our Sunday morning as usual.
Wrote to Sarah Jane Crowther.
I was detailed on picket.
Received a letter from Sarah Jane Crowther, No. 19.
Received a letter from Eliza A. Crowther. Wrote to E. A. Crowther.
News came into camp that the rebel Gen. Johnston was about to surrender his army.
We also received the news that President Lincoln & Seward had been assassinated. But this report was not official.
We rebuilt our shanties and shaded the camp with pine trees. We have now a beautiful camp.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther No. 10. News through the papers that Jeff Davis wanted permission from Gen. Grant to leave the country on his parole that he would never again return to the United States. But this was refused to him.
Captured another guerilla which proved to be the chief or leader of the band that captured and shot Captain McGuire, also a private of the 175th NY Vols.
We had the news that the rebel Gen. Johnston had surrendered to Gen. Sherman this morning all the rebel army on this side of the Mississippi River.
Received a letter from James Crowther.
April 19th, 1865
We had an official order read to us to day that hostilities had ceased and that a declaration of peace would be brought about as soon as time would permit.
Wrote to James Crowther.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther No. 11.
The soldiers in camp are all in good spirits with the hopes of soon been again at their homes.
We are still in camp at Goldsboro, NC. The most of our regiment is now on permanent duty. Our camp is policed every morning and duty is been done as usual.
Prisoners, deserters & stragglers is constantly coming into our lines. The most of them take the oath and are free to go to their homes.
April 21st 1865
|But this joy, as it reached our ranks was soon mingled with deep sorrow. After spending a few days in cleaning up our new camp at Goldsboro, and getting things brushed up somewhat, we went on dress-parade to hear the following order read.
Abraham Lincoln died this morning at twenty-two minutes after seven o’clock.
EDWIN M. STANTON,
21st. Today we received the official news of the assassination of President Lincoln and the attempts of Secretary Seward and Son. President Lincoln was shot the evening of the 14th of April while at the theater and died at 7 o’clock the morning of the 15th. As soon as the news reached here nearly every house in Goldsboro was dressed in mourning. It seemed to affect everybody. On the receipt of this news the soldiers all seemed to be more anxious for the war to keep on than to have peace, until every traitor in the country was slayed.
A number of guerillas came to our lines today and give themselves up.
Received a letter from S.J. Crowther, no. 20 and dated April 12th.
Wrote to S. J. Crowther no. 12.
The weather is very warm but we have showers about every day.
Got 16 letter stamps from Francis Marston.
Today we received the news that Mobile was in our hands. Also the capture of 2000 prisoners at that place.
Guns was fired every half hours at this place for 24 hours for the death of President Lincoln. Today a large detail was made from our regiment to go to New Bern with prisoners and bounty jumpers.
April 23rd 1865
We had our Sunday morning inspection as usual. Went to church at Goldsboro. No news of importance today.
24th. Lieut. Gen. Grant and Gen. Meigs the U.S. Quartermaster passed through this place on the first train this morning on their way to the front.
At one p.m. I was detailed on picket on the Raleigh Road. There was not less than 200 persons, men, women and children, passed the my post into Goldsboro to draw rations.
25th. At 10 a.m. I was relieved from picket. I was taken with a severe attack of dysentery.
April 26th 1865
I was quite sick.
At 12 at noon we got orders to break camp and march to the depot, which we did at 5 p.m. We embarked on the cars and went within about 3 miles of Smithfield when we got off the cars and took Shanks horses the rest of the distance and stopped at Smithfield Station that night.
27th. At 7 o’clock this morning Co. H was sent back on the cars a distance of 10 miles to a place called Boon Hill where we relieved a company of Indiana troops.
|On the 27th of April, the 128th received orders to guard the railroad between Goldsboro and Raleigh. Boarding the train at 4 P.M. we reached Smithfield shortly after dark and bivouacked. During the next forenoon the regiment was separated into companies, to be stationed along the line of the road. Lieutenant Benson says his company (“H.”) was ordered to Boonhill, N.C., twelve miles distant. “At Boonhill,” he continues, “we had tents pitched, and threw out pickets on the main roads. I secured quarters for Captain Sincerbox and myself in a house near the depot, and was kept quite busy furnishing transportation to paroled men of Johnson’s army, who were making their way home.” This work was of brief duration, however, as on the 1st of May, the regiment again assembled at Goldsboro, and on the 2d, returned by train to Moorehead City (Hanaburgh, 205).|
Lieut. Gen. Grant & Gen. Meigs passed through this place today on their way back from the front.
Our duty at this place is to guard the station.
Today we received the official report that the rebel Gen. Johnston had surrendered the army under his command.
April 28th 1865
I was some better of the dysentery. But was very weak and thin in flesh.
This afternoon we received orders that we was to report back to Savannah.
April 29th 1865
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther no. 13. Today is my birth day. I am 32 years of age.
We had Sunday morning inspection and was mustered for pay for the months of March & April. We have now 8 months due us. At 2 p.m. we received marching orders.
Received a letter from S.J.C. no. 21. Also one from E.A. Crowther. Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther No. 14.
Capt. McGuire’s body was brought in to Goldsboro and buried. He had 7 balls in his breast and his throat cut from ear to ear and was badly mangled.
May 1st 1865
At 7 o’clock a.m. we broke camp at Boon Hill. The regiment was relieved the night previous and passed through here on the cars to Goldsboro through the night.
At one p.m. we took the cars for Goldsboro. We arrived at Goldsboro at 3 p.m. and marched to our old camp ground and went into camp for that night.
2nd. We was turned out at 2 o’clock in the morning and marched to the depot where we laid until 7 a.m. when we embarked on the cars bound for Morehead City.
While we was running between Kinston & New Bern a car loaded with hay got on fire from the sparks from the locomotive. They stopped and put off the hay. The car was not injured but the hay was all burnt up. We arrived at Morehead City at 7 p.m. and went into camp.
Received 2 dollars from Wm. H. Althouse.
3rd. Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther No. 15 and sent her 1 dollar. Wrote to E. A. Crowther.
The 2nd Brigade of our Division went on board of transports to day. At dusk we got orders to be ready to march to the dock at daylight next morning.
4th. We was turned out at daylight with orders to be ready to march. We broke camp and at 10 a.m. we fell in line and marched to the steam boat depot and embarked on board of the Steam Ship Thetis. At 2 o’clock p.m. we left the dock at Morehead City, NC, and pushed out to sea, accompanied with 4 other transports: the Steamer Constitution, the Star of the South, the Neptune and the Steamer Tonawanda. These 5 vessels had on board the 2nd and 3rd Brigades of our Division on board bound for Savannah, Ga. All the regimental horses and a number of mules and wagons was on board.
|The 4th of May found the regiment again on a transport, the Thetis, and putting to sea with pleasant weather. The whole division was in this movement (Hanaburgh, 205).|
May 5th 1865
We are out to sea. We have fine weather but heavy winds. We was in sight of the other vessels the most of the time. I was on duty on board of the vessel to keep the men from smoking below.
6th. We arrived at the mouth of the Savannah River at 4 o’clock p.m. Here we laid to a short time.
At 5 p.m. we took on a pilot and went up the Savannah River. The tide being down we had to cast anchor in the river about one mile below the city for that night.
7th. At 6 o’clock in the morning we hoisted anchor and sailed up to the city and disembarked and marched to the rear of the city near the city park. Here we stacked arms, with orders to rest and to be in readiness to march at a moment’s notice. It was a mystery to us why we had to come back to Savannah, and we was all very anxious to find out our whereabouts, or rather our destination. About noon we fell in line and marched a short distance and went into camp.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther no. 16.
Wrote to James Crowther.
Wrote to Charles E. Knapp.
|On the 6th, we reached Hilton Head, passed up the Savannah River, and anchored, during the night, below the city. The next morning we steamed up to the wharf, disembarked, and went into camp near the prison, where picket and camp duty was performed for three days. (Hanaburgh, 205).|
Myself and Francis Marston packed up a small box to send home. The box was addressed to Mr. Robt. Marston and contained 2 over coats, one woolen blanket, 2 pair of gloves, 3 [illegible], one hymn book, 2 shells, 2 pipes, one needle book, 1 small stick.
May 9th 1865
Sent a box by Adams Express Company addressed to Robt. Marston, Newburgh, Orange Co., NY.
No news of importance.
A detail was made from the regiment to go out to cut timber to put up quarters for us outside the breastworks.
At 9 o’clock p.m. we got orders to be ready to march at 3 o’clock the next morning.
We was called up by the beat of the drum at 3 o’clock a.m. with orders to be ready to march at 5 a.m. At 6 o’clock. We got orders that we could store our knapsacks if we choosed to do for we was going on a long march. A few stored their knapsacks at Savannah, but the most of them threw away and destroyed all that they did not want to take with them. I stored a woolen blanket with the expectation of never seeing it again, as we have always lost everything that we have stored heretofore.
At 9 o’clock a.m. our regiment and the 24th Iowa Vols. formed in line of march and joined the 2nd Brigade and commenced our long march. We marched 13 miles this day. A very heavy thunder shower came up just as we was going into camp, and it rained very hard all that night.
|At 9 A.M. of the 11th the 24th Iowa, and the 128th of Day’s Brigade, with the other brigades of the division, started for Augusta, Ga. We marched thirteen miles and bivouacked in the pines. On the 12th, we made twenty miles over a very sandy road. The next three days were but a repetition of the preceding (Hanaburgh, 205).|
May 12th 1865
We was turned out at 3 o’clock in the morning. We got our grub and commenced marching at half past 4 o’clock in the morning. It was overcast until 10 a.m. when the sun came out very hot. We halted at 11 o’clock a.m. for dinner after marching 9 miles. At 1 o’clock p.m. we fell in line of march again. This day we marched 16 miles and went into camp for that night.
We was turned out at 3 o’clock in the morning, and at 4 we fell in line of march. At 10 o’clock a.m. we arrived at Sisters Ferry after marching 8 miles. Here we stacked arms, with orders to pitch our tents, also that we was going to stay here until morning. A detail was made from each regiment to unload some commissary stores off the boat, also to load them on the wagon train that was with us here at Sisters Ferry. All sick and sore footed men was put on board of the steam boat and went up the river to Augusta. P.m. My tent mate and myself went out black-berrying. They was very plenty.
Sunday morning we was turned out at 3 in the morning as usual and at 4 fell in line of march. We marched 13 miles and halted at half past nine for dinner. At 12 o’clock we again fell in line of march. We marched 21 miles this day and went into camp at 5 p.m. at a place called Black Creek. This day was a very hot day.
We was turned out at 3 o’clock in the morning. Got our grub and fell in line of march. We marched until 10 o’clock a.m. then halted for dinner after marching 13 miles. At 1 o’clock p.m. we again fell in line of march and marched until half past 4 p.m. then went into camp for that night. This day we marched 22 miles. We had been in camp about half an hour when we received 2 dispatches: one of them was that Jeff Davis had been captured and the other was for 3 Regiments to report to Waynesboro and there take the cars to Augusta.
Jeff Davis and his wife and some of his Cabinet was captured at Abbeville, Wilcox Co., Ga.
May 16th 1865
We was turned out at 3 o’clock in the morning and fell in line of march at 4 o’clock as usual. We marched 18 miles and halted at 11 a.m. for dinner. At this time the rest of the troops was about 4 or 5 miles in the rear. At 1 o’clock p.m. we again fell in line of march. We marched a short distance when we halted at the wagon train and drawed 1 days ration which detained us nearly an hour. At 2 o’clock we again commenced to march. This afternoon we marched 10 miles making for that days march 28 miles.
We arrived at Waynesboro at 8 o’clock that night. Here we stacked arms and made our coffee & at 10 p.m. the drum beat for us to fall in line again. We fell in line and marched about 1 mile to the depot and embarked on the cars for Augusta.
We arrived at Augusta, Ga., about 1 o’clock the next morning of the 17. The distance from Waynesboro to Augusta is 33 miles. We disembarked as soon as we arrived at Augusta, fell in line and marched to the rear of the depot and turned in for the remainder of that night.
|Shortly after we started on the 16th, a courier arrived with orders to force the march and push on to Waynesboro, a distance of thirty miles, by sundown, in order to reach Augusta the following day. He also brought word that “Old Jeff, the Arch-Traitor” had been captured. We reached Waynesboro at 7 P.M. well worn after this very fatiguing march with heavy burdens. At 11 P.M. we boarded a train for Augusta, and reached the city, at an early hour, the next forenoon, taking up our quarters in an old cotton-press. The regiment was now ordered to furnish guards to protect the property of the government in various parts of the city (Hanaburgh, 205).|
We turned out when we got good and ready, and got our grub and pitched our tents, and then we was home again.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther, No. 17.
At 7 o’clock p.m. I was detailed on duty on commissary stores down at the river.
May 18th 1865
While on duty at the river I crossed the river to visit a place called Hamburgh, South Carolina. Between 1 & 3 o’clock p.m. we had a very heavy hail storm at Augusta, Ga.
At 3 o’clock p.m. I was relieved from duty. Today about 100 men was detailed from our Regiment to guard cotton in different parts of the city. No more picket duty to be done only on the main roads. There is more rebel soldiers here than union. The rebel soldiers or the most of them is glad the war is at an end and are anxious to hear of Jeff Davis being hung.
May 19th 1865
We broke camp and went into cotton warehouse, which we used as barracks.
A detail was made from the Regiment on detached duty at a powder mill just outside the city. In going about the city today I came in contact with 2 rebel soldiers that was at the Battle of Fishers Hill, Va., and had a long talk with them. They gave the regiment that advanced as skirmishers great praise. This Regiment was the 128th NY Vols.
May 21st 1865
Sunday. Went to church. It was a very hot day. We had inspection in the evening.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther.
Wrote to Charles E. Knapp and sent him a Confederate bill.
Wrote to James Crowther and sent him a Confederate bill.
We are still in barracks at the Georgia & Savannah R.R. warehouse. Today I went to the cotton factory. The factory is running every day. I was also to the top of the city tower.
Received a letter from Wm. F. Carrell.
Wrote to Wm. F. Carrell.
No news of importance occurred.
May 25th 1865
We are still at Augusta, Ga. Today I went out to visit some of the boys at the powder mill outside the city.
May 26th 1865
I went out to the Augusta race course. No news.
There was a great colored mass meeting at the city park at Augusta, Ga. The meeting was addressed by Rev. Dr. French. He made a very lengthy speech. His discourse was on the freedom of slavery. Also advice to the colored race in regards to their freedom.
We had our Sunday morning inspection. Then went to church.
Received 2 letters from S. J. Crowther.
Wrote to S. J. Crowther no. 18.
May 29th 1865
The steam boat Governor Troop left this city this morning for Savannah loaded with cotton. Some 12 men was detailed from our Regiment to go down on her as guards. She got about 10 miles down the river when she took fire and was completely destroyed. The guards and all the white persons jumped over board and was saved. But there was quite a number of colored persons on board the most of them was burnt or drowned. The guards lost their guns and equipment and everything except what they had on their backs. It was reported that there was a union officer asleep in the cabin and was burned to death.
Drawed 1 blouse.
1 pr. Shoes.
Wrote to James Crowther.
May 30th 1865
No news of importance.
Went about the city to pass away the time.
This morning the 1st Brigade of our Division left Augusta, Ga., on foot for Savannah.
June 1st 1865
Went to church, it being a day of prayer set apart by the President of the U. States.
P.m. a colored mass meeting was held at the city park.
Received from Sarah Jane Crowther a letter dated May 1st and no. 22.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther no. 19.
No news of importance.
The weather is very warm.
I was detailed on permanent duty at the Post Commissary in the city of Augusta, Ga. At 8 o’clock p.m. a fire broke out. It was a very large brick store house at the Waynesboro & Savannah depot. The building was built to the ground.
June 4th 1865
A fire broke out this morning near the cotton factory. There is some talk of us leaving this place and return to Savannah.
5th. The Regiment had a General Inspection today.
A detail was made from the Regiment to go to Savannah to bring up the Regimental baggage.
We received orders to be prepared for a General Inspection.
I saw an order in the paper that all white troops that their time was out prior to October 1st 1865 was to be mustered out of service as soon as possible.
6th. We was prepared for an inspection and expecting the General around every minute all day. But the General did not get around, so that we was not inspected.
P.m. General Inspection and review of all the troops in the city of Augusta by Brevet Brig. Gen. Molineux. While the troops was in line an order was read to them stating that all the troops whose time expired previous to the 30th of Sept. 1865 was to be mustered out of service. Also another order was read that the 22nd, 24th, & 28th Iowa and the 128th and the 131st Regt. N. York Vols. was to leave Augusta for Savannah as soon as they could be relieved. Gen. Molineux made a short speech to the troops congratulating them that the time had come at last when they could go to their homes again and see their families and friends once more.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther no. 20.
HEADQUARTERS, POST AUGUSTA,
GENERAL ORDERS No. 11.
In compliance with orders from Headquarters Department of the South, the following regiments, whose terms of service expire before the 30th of September, will prepare to rendezvous at Savannah, with a view of being mustered out of the service: 22d, 24th and 28th Iowa, 128th and 131st New York.
Officers and men, I congratulate you that the time has at last arrived when you may return to your homes and families, and once again resume the peaceful avocations of life.
You have faithfully and bravely fought for your country, and can always bear in your hearts the proud consciousness of having done your duty.
I, who have had the honor of fighting with you, can testify to your valor and good conduct on the field–your obedience to orders and discipline while on the march and in camp.
In thus bidding you good bye, on your approaching departure to your distant homes, let me express to you my thanks and appreciation of your soldierly behavior–and the hope that you and your families may enjoy the peace you have so gloriously won.
EDWARD L. MOLINEUX,
The commanders of all the Regiments that was to return home received orders to day to have all their papers made out so to be ready to be mustered out of service at short notice.
June 3rd 1865
Taken from the papers. That final peace between the North and South was again established.
The first man killed in this war was Daniel Howe of NY at Fort Sumter.
June 8th 1865
It was reported that we was to stay at Augusta some 10 days longer until other troops got here to relieve us.
I went to the St. Paul’s M.E. Chapel in the evening.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther no. 21.
News of the surrender of all the forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department under the command of the rebel Gen. Kirby Smith. Also the news of Gen. Kirby Smith being shot by a major in the rebel service. They had some words about some cotton and could not agree.
Also news of a great union mass meeting at Savannah.
9th. Reported that we was to report at Savannah by the 15th.
June 9th 1865
This evening I went up town to visit a citizen.
10th Drawed 5 days ration. The weather was extremely hot but nearly every afternoon we have a heavy thunder shower. Brevet Major Gen. Grover relieved from duty at Savannah by Brevet Major Gen. Birge.
1300 regulars have arrived at Savannah.
We are expecting to be relieved at Augusta now every day.
An official report that the rebel Gen. Early died of disease at Lynchburg, Va.
11th. Sunday went to church. Went out to take dinner with a citizen.
June 12th 1865
We are still at Augusta, Ga., expecting troops here to relieve us every day.
News that troops left Savannah marching up to Augusta on the 9th inst. to relieve us.
13th. Sgt. Althouse was detailed to go to Washington to copy a muster roll from the old original muster roll so that we could be mustered out at Savannah.
14th. We are still at Augusta. The troops coming to relieve is from our Brigade except one colored Regiment. They are said to be about 1 days march from this place.
Some of the officers arrived here this morning by the boat.
The night of the 14th some of the boys of the Iowa Vols. made a ball. It was in one of the buildings that we was guarding. They danced 1 set then the ball was broken up.
I was relieved from duty at the Post Commissary at Augusta, Ga., and reported to my Regiment.
This morning a colored Regiment arrived here. P.m. the 125th, 150th & 176th NY Vols. arrived at Augusta to relieve us.
June 16th All our Regiment was relieved from duty in the morning and we got orders to have our knapsacks packed so as to send them down on the boat.
Also orders to be ready to march at 5 o’clock p.m.
June 16th 1865
At 5 o’clock p.m. we fell in line of March. The 131st NY Vols. joined us and at 5 o’clock we commenced our line of March from Augusta to Savannah.
We marched 6 miles then went into camp for the night.
Reveille at 3 o’clock in the morning. Fell in line of march at 4. We marched 10 miles when we halted and stacked arms for dinner, with orders to be ready to march again at 4 p.m. This was a very warm day. But a heavy shower came up which made it much cooler and we fell in line of march at 2 o’clock p.m. and marched 10miles making for this day’s march 20 miles and went into camp about 5 miles from Waynesboro that night.
Sunday June 18th 1865
We was turned out at 3 o’clock in the morning and fell in line of march at 4 and marched until half past 9 o’clock a.m. after marching 11 miles, when we halted for dinner. At 3 o’clock p.m. we again fell in line of march and marched 5 miles and went into camp for the night, making for this days march 16 miles.
June 19th 1865
We was turned out at 2 o’clock in the morning and fell in line of march at half past 3 and marched until 10 o’clock a.m. when we halted for dinner. This morning we marched 14 miles.
At half past 3 o’clock p.m. we again fell in line of march and marched 7 miles which made for that days march 21 miles. It was a very warm day. We had a very heavy shower in the evening.
We had reveille in the morning at 2 o’clock and fell in line of march at half past 3 in the morning and marched 10 miles then halted for dinner at half past 9 o’clock a.m. with orders that we should lay over at this place until next morning. This night I was detailed on duty at the Commanding Officer’s Head Quarters, which was at a planters house. It was a very wet night, but I had very comfortable quarters in the planters house. I also took tea with the planters family.
June 21st 1865
At half past 2 o’clock in the morning we turned out and fell in line of march at 4. We marched 14 miles and halted for dinner about 11 o’clock a.m. We had a very heavy shower and lasted until evening, which made it very bad marching. Although it was still raining at 4 o’clock p.m. we fell in line of march and marched 7 miles through the rain and went into camp at 6 o’clock that evening. This day we marched 21 miles.
June 22nd 1865
We was turned out as usual at half past 2 o’clock in the morning and fell in line of march at 4. This morning we marched 13 miles and went into camp 13 miles from Savannah with orders that we should lay at this place until next morning. The road we traveled over this day was through a swamp and having so much wet weather it was very bad marching. On this days march we passed a great many rebel soldiers on their return home. They have just arrived at Savannah from New York. The most of them had been prisoners over 2 years.
June 23rd 1865
We was turned out by the bugle at 3 o’clock in the morning. We fell in line of march at 4. It was an overcast morning and rained slightly. This being the last days march we marched very fast. We marched 13 miles and arrived in the city of Savannah at ½ past 8 o’clock that morning. We then rested about half an hour then marched to the south west side of the city and went into camp.
Our knapsacks arrived at Savannah on the 20th and we got them as soon as we got into camp.
The boat that brought the knapsacks and Regimental baggage from Augusta struck a snag and was sunk at a place called Eagle Point on the Savannah River, and their knapsacks and everything was lost. Also some 4 or 5 lives were lost. On our arrival at Savannah we received a very large mail. Received 2 letters from Sarah J. Crowther, one of them was dated May 23rd and number 25. The other was dated June 12th and number 25.
I also received a letter from Charles E. Knapp.
Received a letter from James Crowther.
Received a letter from E. A. Crowther.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther.
Rained all day hard.
June 24th 1865
We are in camp at Savannah. No news. Rained hard all day.
June 25th 1865.
Sunday. We was to have inspection. But it rained hard all day so that we could not have it.
No particular news of our being mustered out of service as yet.
June 26th 1865
We was ordered to have company drill every evening form 6 to 7 o’clock.
The 22nd & 24th Iowa Vols. arrived at Savannah today from Augusta.
Heavy showers in the evening.
We drilled one hour in the morning. Company drill. In the afternoon we had company inspection. Drilled one hour in the evening. Drawed clothes. Savannah. I drawed 1 pr pants, 1pr socks, 1 haversack.
Company drill in the morning. No news of our being mustered out of service. Company drill in the evening.
We got orders in the morning to have our quarters cleaned up for we was to be inspected, both person and quarters. The day was very warm and the inspecting officers did not pay us a visit. The muster rolls was made out and sent to headquarters. But was sent back disapproved on account of some slight mistake.
We had Company drill in the morning.
Wrote to Charles E. Knapp.
Wrote to Sarah J. Crowther.
The names of all the men was taken who wished to carry home their guns and equipment.
[The following charts appear to have been written at this portion of the book at an earlier date; the entries for July begin on the next available right hand page.]
July 1st. We had no drill. The weather was extremely warm. Heavy showers in the afternoon. We are still in camp at Savannah.
Reported that Gen. Birge had gone to Hilton Head to try to get the 128th Regt. on board of the Steamer Morning Star. There is a good deal of sickness now in our Regiment.
July 2nd. We had our Sunday morning inspection as usual.
There is a great deal of sickness caused by the severe hot weather. All the troops that are camped here are taking to the hospital every day which makes the men feel a sort of blue.
July 3rd. Orders to have a General Review. We had a very afternoon but it was very warm in the evening. All the different camps sent up rockets and fired their guns until about 10 p.m. having heard the news that we was soon to be shipped north.
One of the men belonging to the 128th Regt., my company, was taken to the hospital the afternoon of the 2ndand was buried the 3rd.
July 3rd. It is reported today that we are to leave Savannah the morning of the 5th.
We singed the clothing roll today.
July 4th. We are at Savannah Ga. We had the Declaration read to us in the morning. The day was a very dull one for the 4th of July. The Fire Companies turned out which made a little excitement, also the colored Fire Company turned up. But the soldiers took the engine away from them and run the machine themselves, the Negroes marching behind.
There was quite a lot of fire works in the city in the evening. I past nearly all day in camp but went to the fire works in the city in the evening. I was rather dull for such a large city.
July 5th. We are still at Savannah expecting every minute to receive orders to pack up and go on board of transports. The weather is very hot and the soldiers are all very anxious to get north on account of it being very unhealthy at Savannah.
July 6th. The report today is that we shall not have to wait for our original muster rolls and that we shall leave Savannah in a day or two. This evening a New Hampshire Regiment got orders to go on board of transports. This of course cheers us up, thinking it would be our turn next.
July 7th. 24 men from the 128th Regiment was transported to the 54th Regt. NYV. 4 men from our Company.
July 8th. We are still at Savannah. The report is today that we shall be mustered out of the US Service on the 10th, as the papers will be all ready by that time.
This was a very hot day. It was 110 degrees in the shade. Another death in the Regiment from Co. A.
It is reported that we shall be in NY State a week from this date.
July 9th. We had Sunday morning inspection as usual.
10th. Those 24 men returned to the Regiment from Hilton Head.
11. There was 7 cases of yellow fever in camp. 5 out of the 7 died. July 14th. Heavy storm 2 steam ships were struck by lightning also a man killed in his tent by lightning.
14. We are waiting for transports.
15. We are still at Savannah.
July 15th. The Steam Ship Charles Thomas came in at 1 o’clock p.m. At 2:30 p.m. we had an order read tot he Regiment to be ready to go on board of the Steam Ship Charles Thomas as soon as possible.
We also drawed 4 days rations. I was then detailed with 10 men to guard Regimental baggage and commissary stores.
16th. At 7 a.m. the Regiment’s horses was put on board and the officers baggage. The Regiment marched to the dock at 12 and marched by Company on board of the Steam Ship Charles Thomas. A 1:15 we left the dock in Savannah with great cheering. At 3 p.m. we was at the mouth of the Savannah River where we stopped and put off the pilot on a light ship. At 4 p.m. we was out of sight of land.
Here we stopped again. They had found a man smuggling himself. Here they stopped and put him off on a pilot boat.
We had fair wind all the way down the Savannah River. About 5 o’clock there was a squall came up which made the sea quite rough.
17th. We had a rainy night. In the morning we passed Cape Hatteras. We had heavy rain while going around the Cape
July 18. and a very rough sea. We had fair wind all day until 7 p.m. when the wind changed and was dead ahead and had to take down all sails. At 8 p.m. the wind blew very hard again and the sea became very rough.
Here we passed the revolving light house which looked very beautiful.
At 10 p.m. we passed another light house 30 miles north of Cape Hatteras. It was a fine clear morning. The wind was still ahead.
At 10 a.m. the wind died away and it was a dead calm. It was calm all day and the sun sat clear. At 11 p.m. something got wrong about the engine they then put out sails again and at 3 a.m. the morning of the 19ththey got the engine to work again and we had fair wind and made good headway. The breakdown had put us back considerable. About noon we saw land. At 1 p.m. we passed Atlantic City. During the afternoon we saw land all the time. At 4 p.m. we took on board a pilot of a pilot boat off Jersey coast. At this time the sea was rougher than anytime during the voyage and the wind blew very hard. The pilot brought on board a paper with the news of big fire in New York of the Museum being destroyed.
At 8 p.m. we stopped and blew the whistle at the quarantine. About 20 minutes afterwards the reporter came on board, also the quarantine inspecting doctor.
We was all ready to go into New York. But our pilot would not run us in on account of it being so dark. So we cast anchor for the night. It rained hard all night.
20th we hoisted anchor at 4 in the morning, and sailed to the city. Here we done some tall cheering for we considered we was home again after a 3 years trip.
At 5 o’clock in the morning we laid out in the steam in front of the Battery.
The Regimental officers went on shore for orders. The morning was cool and pleasant. The friends of the soldiers well knew that our Regiment would be in New York at that time and there was a great many of them there to greet us. At 2 p.m. our Commander returned to the ship with orders to go on board of a river steamer. At 3 p.m. our ship moved up to the dock and a detail was made to unload the Regimental goods. We all went on shore and stacked arms on the dock and everything that belonged to the Regiment was taken off while on the dock we had a good reception by the city and friends. Hearing that my sister was in town I went to look for her but did not find her. But I made sure of one square meal as soon as I could get it although we had loads of fruit, melons, apples and lots of good things to eat.
At 6 p.m. we went on board the steam boat Commodore and at 6:30 p.m. we left the Day St. Dock New York City amid the cheers of a glad people, who rejoiced not alone upon the return of the boys but also over a peace established by a complete victory over wrong. We was cheered by every boat we passed.
We passed Newburgh and Fishkill Landing about 10 p.m.
21st. We reached Albany at 3 a.m. and received breakfast at the hand of the Ladies Relief Association. We soon found ourselves in camp, a word which had become almost as natural to us as home and almost with impatience awaited the necessary papers and pay before our final release. At 8 a.m. we fell in line and marched into the center of the city. From there we went to the barracks, about 2 miles out of town. Here I got tired of waiting and I went to the depot and bought a ticket for Fishkill and went home to see my beloved wife and babies. Hurrah, home again. The 22 day of July 1865.
23rd. Returned to Albany and waited in the barracks until July 26 when the 128th Regiment as an organized military body disbanded, each man bearing his certificate of discharge from a heroic and honorable service. Signed pay roll and drawed $288.58 from government then skiped for Fishkill where we had a big reception by the citizens of the towns of Matteawan and Fishkill Landing. Hurrah now a free man once more.
We reached Albany at 3 A.M., and received breakfast at the hands of the Ladies’ Relief Association. We soon found ourselves in camp,–a word which had become almost as natural to us as home–and almost with impatience awaited the necessary papers and pay before our final release. Out of an enemy’s country, surrounded by friends who were daily crowding our quarters, we tarried until the 26th of July, when the 128th as an organized military body disbanded, each man bearing his certificate of discharge from a heroic and honorable service (Hanaburgh, 209).