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Roll-up Traveling Writing Device Id’d to Connecticut Soldier – KIA at Port Hudson

$525

Roll-up Traveling Writing Device Id’d to Connecticut Soldier – KIA at Port Hudson – Leather covered roll-up writing surface, with a blotter-like green, paper lining, covered, on the exterior side, by a thin leather wrap; this writing surface is attached to a wooden box, which is also covered with the same thin leather; there is a wooden tray inside the long, rectangular box, that would be used to house pens, pencils and ink. When we obtained this device, we found, in the writing utensil tray, in the box part, a Civil War period, hand written note that stated – “Owned and used by Eme(o)ry A. Mosman / Amherst / Mass.” Research has revealed that Emery A. Mosman, once a resident of Amherst, Massachusetts, enlisted in Company A, 25th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, on August 12, 1862. With his regiment, Mosman was dispatched to the Gulf area, where he would be killed, while acting as a scout, near Port Hudson, in Louisiana, on February 15, 1863. This writing tablet is in excellent condition, with the leather covering in overall excellent condition, as well, with some minor loss on one end of the box. This is a poignant reminder of the tragic toll of the Civil War.

Emery A. Moseman

Residence Canton CT;  Enlisted on 8/15/1862 as a Private.  On 11/11/1862 he mustered into “A” Co. CT 25th Infantry  He was Killed on 2/15/1863 at Near Port Hudson, LA  (Supposed killed) He was listed as: * Detached as scout (date and place not stated)

25th CT Infantry
( 9-mos )

Organized: Hartford, CT on 11/11/62
Mustered Out: 8/26/63 at Hartford, CT

Officers Killed or Mortally Wounded: 3
Officers Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 4
Enlisted Men Killed or Mortally Wounded: 26
Enlisted Men Died of Disease, Accidents, etc.: 61
(Source: Fox, Regimental Losses)

 

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Army

Comment

Dec ’62 Mar ’63   Grover’s   Army and Dept of the Gulf New Organization
Jan ’63 Aug ’63 3 4 19 Army and Dept of the Gulf Mustered Out

 

CONNECTICUT
TWENTY-FIFTH REGIMENT C. V. INFANTRY.
(Nine Months.)

WRITTEN BY COLONEL GEORGE P. BISSELL, LATE OF THE TWENTY-FIFTH  CONNECTICUT VOLUNTEERS.       THE Twenty-fifth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers (Colonel  George P. Bissell), was recruited in Hartford and Tolland  Counties in the fall of 1862.  The regiment was composed of the  very best material, being almost exclusively young men impelled  by a patriotic motive, and from the first took a high stand for  efficiency and good discipline.       Later in its history, when it had been tried in marches  and battles, it was thus described by Adjutant-General Morse in  his report to the Legislature for 1864:       “This is one of the best of our nine months regiments, and  bore a conspicuous part in the advance upon and campaign  preceding the fall of Port Hudson.  By the bravery always  displayed on the field of battle and the patient endurance  manifested on many long and arduous marches, it has won for  itself a high and lasting reputation.”       The Twenty-fifth was mustered into the United States  service November 11, 1862, and on the 14th sailed from Hartford  for Centerville, L. I., to join at that rendezvous the Banks  Expedition.  The muster-roll showed 811 men, thoroughly drilled  and well appointed, except that they were without rifles, which  were served to them on the ship after their arrival in the  Mississippi River.       The regiment embarked November 29, 1862, in two divisions- one division of five companies, under command of Colonel  Bissell, on the steamer “Mary Boardman”; and the remainder,  under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Stevens, on the steamboat  “Che Kiang.”  The destination of the expedition was unknown  when the vessels sailed, and the sealed orders were not to be  opened till the ships had sailed twenty-four hours to the  southward and eastward.  The orders, when opened, were found to  be simply to report at Ship Island, off the mouth of the  Mississippi River, allowing a call at Dry Tortugas for coal, if  necessary.  The ships duly arrived at Ship Island, and  proceeded at once up the river to New Orleans, where they  arrived on the 14th of December.  On the 16th the “Mary  Boardman,” with several of the other ships, went on to Baton  Rouge, where they arrived the next day.  The “Che Kiang” landed  the left wing of the regiment at Camp Parapet, just above New  Orleans.  Thus the command was unfortunately divided.  I say  “unfortunately,” for the discipline and experience of the  separate and separated wings not being alike, made it difficult  when they finally came together, weeks after, to bring them  into harmony and full efficiency.       The forces landed at Baton Rouge after a brief bombardment  of the city, and the Twenty-fifth (five companies) went into  camp, first on the United States Arsenal grounds in the city,  and later near the cemetery, back of the city, where, after a  long delay, the left wing joined the Colonel’s command, and the  regiment was once more united and in fighting trim.       The regiment was first brigaded under General Halbert E.  Paine of Wisconsin, a most noble and brave officer; and  afterwards with the Thirteenth Connecticut, Twenty-sixth Maine,  and One Hundred and Fifty-ninth New York, under Colonel H. W.  Birge of the Thirteenth Connecticut, as Brigade Commander–an  officer of rare ability and bravery, and a disciplinarian of  the best stamp.  Under his command the Twenty-fifth served  during its entire term of service.  He led them in many battles  and marches; and while he was strictness personified, he was so  magnanimous, so brave, so reasonable, and so thoroughly a  soldier, that the men worshiped him and would follow him into  any fire; and now that he has gone they revere his memory.       The first work of the regiment was on the first advance on  Port Hudson, March 10, 1863, when Colonel Bissell, in command  of his own regiment, two detachments of cavalry, and a regular  army battery, occupied Bayou Montesano, constructed earthworks,  and built a bridge across Bayou Sara.  This bridge was designed  by Sergeant William Webster of Company I, after a West Point  engineer had despaired of the job.  The regiment was then seven  miles in advance of the army, and in a very exposed and  dangerous position.  This position they held under a frequently  severe fire till the army came up, when they joined the column  and went “on to Port Hudson.”  They were in the front of the  land forces when Farragut sailed by the forts in the  “Hartford.”  From the banks of the river, the Twenty-fifth  witnessed this grand bombardment, and the burning of the  frigate “Mississippi” in the night.  When the “objects of the  expedition had been accomplished” (to use the words of General  Banks’s order), the regiment returned to Baton Rouge, passing  one wet and dreary night in “Camp Misery”–a night which will  never be forgotten by any man who was there, nor will any  member present forget the noble act of Quartermaster John S.  Ives, who, almost dead himself, rode his almost dead horse into  Baton Rouge and brought out to the men coffee and sugar, which  they managed to prepare over small fires, and which, no doubt,  saved many a man his life.       After a short stay at Baton Rouge, the army made another  advance on the west bank of the Mississippi, starting March 28,  1863, marching with frequent skirmishes, sailing up the  Atchafalaya Bayou, and landing at Irish Bend, where the  regiment engaged in its first real battle April 14, 1863.  The  severity of this fight may be judged of, as we read in the  Adjutant-General’s Report the report of the regimental  Adjutant, thus:       “Our loss, as you will see from the accompanying return of  casualties, has been severe, being in all ninety-six killed,  wounded, and missing, out of about 350, with which the regiment  went into action.”       The “missing” was only one man, leaving ninety-five killed  and wounded.  From this point the regiment marched up to within  six miles of the Red River, and of this march the regimental  reports speak thus:       “What with our loss in battle, details for special  service, and the numbers who have given out on our very severe  marches, this regiment is much reduced and has to-day only 299  men present, of whom but 248 are fit for duty.  You will thus  see that though this campaign has been eminently successful,  driving the enemy before us through the entire valley of the  Teche, from its mouth to its source, it has also been most  trying upon the troops.  Four engagements and 300 miles’ march  in twenty days, call for proportionate suffering which cannot  be avoided.”       During May and a part of June, the regiment was actively  engaged in the siege of Port Hudson, and was constantly under  fire in the trenches and in the various assaults on that  stronghold, leading the advance on the 23d of May, when a  junction was formed with General Augur’s column, which  completed the investment of the place.  During all the siege  the regiment was constantly in the front, and finally  participated in the glories of the surrender of the fortress on  the 8th of July, having been in constant arduous duty, marching  and fighting, since early in March.       After the surrender of Port Hudson the regiment returned  to Donaldsonville, where it encamped till the expiration of its  term of service.  I sent to General Banks and offered, for  myself and for my command, to remain longer in the department  if our services were needed; but he replied that there would  probably be no more fighting, and thanking us for our offer, he  issued an order returning us to our homes; and the regiment was  finally mustered out at Hartford August 26, 1863.       In closing this brief sketch of the history of the gallant  Twenty-fifth Regiment, a few words may be allowed in praise of  the good and true men of whom it was composed.  With very few  and unimportant exceptions, they were of the best sort of men  who were ever banded together for the defense of their country.   They submitted to rigorous discipline cheerfully, they marched  promptly, and they fought bravely and determinedly.  A review  of official records shows that the regiment was complimented  over and over again by Generals Grover and Birge for the  extraordinary promptness with which it always moved, for its  entire reliability in any emergency, and for its bravery, as  shown time and again, in battle and under severe fire.  The men  never faltered in long marches, and never wavered under fire;  and there never was a time when their commander would have  hesitated to lead them against overwhelming odds–into the face  of an enemy ten times their number.  Ever ready, ever active,  ever pushed to the front in times of danger by generals who  wanted efficient service and who knew a good regiment when they  saw it, the Twenty-fifth was an organization of which the State  need not be ashamed.  When it was in the field it was an honor  to the army and to the volunteer service of our country; and  now that years have rolled by, the heart of many a survivor  swells with just pride as he says to his children and  grandchildren, “I was a member of the Twenty-fifth  Connecticut.”       ENGAGEMENTS.  Irish Bend, La., April 14, 1863. Port Hudson, La., May 25 and 26, 1863. Port Hudson, La., June 14 and 15, 1863. Brashear City, La., June 23, 1863. Bayou Boeuf, La., June 24, 1863.

 

 

History of the 25th Regiment – Connecticut Vols.

Rockville, Conn.
Past Commander and Chaplain of Burpee Post, No. 71, G.A.R.

 

THE TWENTY-FIFTH REGIMENT

Connecticut
Volunteers

IN THE WAR OF THE REBELLION

 

History, Reminiscences, Description of Battle of Irish Bend, Carrying of Pay Roll, Roster.

 

PUBLISHED JUNE, 1913
PRESS OF THE ROCKVILLE JOURNAL
ROCKVILLE, CONN.

 

Brief History of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers,
from the pen of Colonel George P. Bissell.


 

Experiences and Reminiscences of Samuel K. Ellis of Rockville,
who went out as a Private
in Company G, Twenty-fifth Regiment.


 

A Complete Account of the Battle of Irish Bend,
Given by Major Thomas McManus.


 

How the Pay of a Regiment Was Carried to New Orleans
by First Lieutenant Henry Hill Goodell.


 

GEORGE P. BISSELL
Deceased
Colonel 25th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers.


 

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TWENTY-FIFTH REGIMENT, C. V.

The Twenty-fifth Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, (George P. Bissell, Colonel), was recruited in Hartford and Tolland Counties, in the fall of 1862. The regiment was composed of the very best material, being almost exclusively young men impelled by patriotic motives, and from the first they took a high stand for efficiency and good discipline.

Later in its history, when the regiment had been tried in marches and battles, it was thus described by Adjutant-General Morse in his report to the Legislature for 1864: “This is one of the best of our nine months’ regiments and bore a conspicuous part in the advance upon, and the campaign preceding, the fall of Port Hudson. By the bravery always displayed on the field of battle, and the patience and endurance manifested on many long and arduous marches, it has won for itself a high and lasting reputation.”

The Twenty-fifth was mustered into the United States service November 11, 1862, and on the 14th sailed from Hartford for Centerville, L.I., to join at that rendezvous the Banks Expedition. The muster-roll showed 811 men thoroughly drilled and well appointed, except that they were without rifles which were later served to them on the ship after their arrival on the Mississippi River. The regiment embarked November 29, 1862, in two divisions;-one division of five companies under command of Colonel Bissell on the Steamer Mary Boardman; and the remainder under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Stevens on the Steamer Empire City. The destination of the expedition was unknown when the vessels sailed as the sealed orders were not to be opened until we had sailed twenty-four hours to the southward and eastward. The orders, when opened, were found to be simply to report at Ship Island, off the mouth of the Mississippi River, allowing a stop at Dry Tortugas for coal if necessary. The ships duly arrived at Ship Island and proceeded at once up the river to New Orleans where they arrived on the 14th of December, 1862. On the 16th, the Mary Boardman, with several of the other ships proceeded to Baton Rouge, where they arrived the next day. The Empire City landed the left wing of the regiment at Camp Parapet, just above New Orleans. The forces landed at Baton Rouge after a brief bombardment of the city and the Twenty-fifth (five companies), went into camp first on the United States Arsenal ground in the city and later near the cemetery, back of the city, where after some delay the left wing joined the colonel’s command and the regiment was once more united and in fighting trim. The regiment was first brigaded under General Albert E. Payne of Wisconsin, a noble and brave officer, afterwards with the Thirteenth Connecticut. The Twenty-sixth Maine and One-Hundred and Fifty-ninth New York, under Colonel H. W. Birge, of the Thirteenth Connecticut, as Brigade Commander, an officer of rare ability and bravery and a disciplinarian of the best stamp. Under his command the Twenty-fifth served during its entire term of service. He led them in many battles and marches and while he was strictness personified, he was so magnanimous, brave, reasonable and such a thorough soldier, that the men worshiped him and would follow him into the face of any fire. Now that he is gone they revere his memory.

The first work of the regiment was on the advance on Port Hudson, March 10, 1863, when Colonel Bissell, in command of his own regiment, two detachments of cavalry and a regular army battery, occupied Bayou Montesano, constructed earthworks and built a bridge across Bayou Sara. This bridge was designed by Sergeant William Webster of Company I, after a West Point engineer had despaired of the job. The regiment was seven miles in advance of the rest of the army and in a very exposed and dangerous position. This position they held under a frequently severe fire till the remainder of the army came up when they joined the column and went on to Port Hudson. They were in the front of the land forces when Farragut sailed by the forts in the Flagship Hartford. From the banks of the river the Twenty-fifth witnessed this grand bombardment and the burning of the frigate Mississippi in the night.

When the object of the expedition had been accomplished (to use the words of General Banks’ order), the regiment returned to Baton Rouge, passing a wet and dreary night in Camp Misery, a night which will never be forgotten, nor will any one ever forget the noble act of Quartermaster John S. Ives, who rode his tired horse several miles to Baton Rouge and brought out to the men coffee, which they managed to prepare over small fires and which no doubt saved many a man’s life. After a short stay at Baton Rouge, the army made another advance on the west bank of the Mississippi, starting March 28th, 1863, marching with frequent skirmishes, sailing up the Atchafalaya bayou and landing at Irish Bend, where the regiment engaged in its first real battle, April 14th, 1863. The severity of this battle may be judged of as we read in the Adjutant-general’s report: “Our loss, as you will see from the accompanying returns of the casualties has been very severe, being in all, ninety-six killed and wounded out of 350 with which the regiment went into action.”

From this point the regiment marched up to within six miles of the Red River and of this march the regimental report speaks thus: “What with our loss in battle, details for special service and the number who have given out on our very long and severe marches, this regiment is much reduced and has today only 299 men present of whom but 248 are fit for duty. You will thus see, though this campaign has been eminently successful, driving the enemy before us through the entire valley of the Teche, from its mouth to its source, it has been very trying upon the troops. Four engagements and 300 miles march in twenty days call for proportionate suffering which cannot be avoided.”

During May and June the regiment was actively engaged in the siege of Port Hudson, and was almost constantly under fire in the trenches and in the various assaults on that stronghold, leading the advance on the 23rd of May when a junction was formed with General Auger’s column which completed the investment of the place. During all the siege the regiment was constantly in the front and finally participated in the glories of the surrender of the fortress on the 8th of July, having been in almost constant, arduous duty, marching and fighting since early in March.

After the surrender of Port Hudson, the regiment returned to Donaldsonville, where it encamped till the expiration of term of service. Colonel Bissell sent to General Banks and offered himself and his command to remain longer in the department if our services were needed; but he replied that there would probably be no more fighting, and thanking us for our offer, he issued an order returning us to our homes. The regiment was finally mustered out at Hartford, August 26, 1863.

In closing this brief sketch of the history of the gallant Twenty-fifth Regiment, a few words may be permitted in praise of the good and true men of which it was composed. With very few and unimportant exceptions, they were of the best sort of men, who were ever banded together for the defense of their country. They submitted to rigorous discipline cheerfully, they marched promptly and they fought bravely. A review of official records shows that the regiment was complimented a great many times by General Grover A. Birge for the promptness with which it always moved and for its bravery as shown time and again in battle and under severe fire.

Ever ready and always pushed to the front in time of danger of an attack, the Twenty-fifth was an organization of which the state need not be ashamed. When it was in the field it was an honor to the army and to the volunteer service of our country, and now that fifty years have rolled by the heart of many a survivor swells with just pride as he says to his children and grandchildren: “I was a member of the Twenty-fifth Connecticut.”

In closing this brief sketch of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, of which Colonel Bissell is the author, you will see that he was very proud of the men under his command and if you could have seen him drilling his regiment at that time, as I still see him in memory, you would know that he fairly worshiped them. I am sure the men would have followed him into any fire against overwhelming odds. And now he is gone, the men that are left cherish his memory.

 

INTERESTING REMINISCENCES AND EXPERIENCES BY SAMUEL K. ELLIS.

In opening the subject of my experiences as a private in the War of the Rebellion, I hardly know how to begin as this is the first time I have attempted to write at length upon this subject. I earnestly hope that all those who read this little book will excuse all grammatical errors.

Fifty years have come and gone and as my life has been spared to see the fiftieth anniversary of my army life, and as I kept a diary during my term of service in the War of the Rebellion, I thought it no more than right and just to myself and descendants that I leave in book form some of the many experiences I saw and passed through during that time. It seemed to me that it was a grand opportunity on this the fiftieth anniversary to do it, if I ever did. Hoping that this account of my army life may be highly appreciated and prized by my children and grandchildren and any others that may be interested, I will endeavor to give a complete account as I saw and recorded events.

I was a Vernon Center boy but was working in the town of Glastonbury, when the war broke out, with Hubbard and Broadhead at teaming and farm work. At this time the gloom was deep but the people were not discouraged. At the request of the governors of eighteen loyal states, President Lincoln, on July 2nd, 1862, called out three hundred thousand men for three years’ service, and on August 4, ordered a call for three hundred thousand men for nine months. At this time it was hard to tell what one’s duty was, but I had made up my mind to go and of course I have never been sorry, as I look back and say with just pride that I was one who went out to help save our Republic from dissolution and preserve civilization itself on this Western Hemisphere from destruction.

I fear I have been wandering from my subject already but I could not help giving expression to the thoughts that were burning within me. Yes, I was a Vernon Center boy, my father moving there when I was sixteen years old. I enlisted September 2nd, 1862, in Company G, Twenty-fifth Regiment, C.V. Our company met in Hartford, near the old State House (what is now City Hall), on the morning of September 8th. We marched down to camp before noon on that day, but instead of finding tents to sleep in we found a string of barracks long enough for a thousand men. I want to tell you how they looked as I remember them. They resembled the cattle sheds that we see nowadays at our fairs, except that they were built with three tiers, instead of one. The bunks were made for two men, one above the other, about four feet wide. Of course we had to have a little straw to lay over the “soft side” of the boards. This building I believe we named “The Palace Hotel” because of its “great beauty and comfort.” I wonder if you can imagine how tempting those bunks looked after leaving the good beds that we had been accustomed to. I think there were some pretty homesick boys that first night in our new quarters, if I remember correctly. But the food! Well, I don’t think I had better say much about that, for I had been a farmer boy and I think I had the advantage over some of the boys, as I knew what it was to rough it and go without my dinner in the winter time when the days were short and I would be out in the woods all day chopping, or drawing logs with an ox team.

We left our old camp ground on November 18, 1862, with flying colors, to the tune of “Dixie” and “The Star Spangled Banner,” and other patriotic airs. But all this did not occur without many tearful eyes, for the streets were crowded with friends and loved ones that were to be left behind. We pulled out of the dock at the foot of State street on the steamer City of Hartford about four o’clock in the afternoon. We arrived at Williamsburg, L.I., early the next morning, and the good people of that city treated us with all the sandwiches and coffee that we wanted. We marched about ten miles, with a portable bureau or what you might call a knapsack on our backs, before one o’clock that day, to the Centerville race course. We pitched our tents and made things as comfortable as we could for the night as you must know it was quite cold weather, it being the last of November. There is no place that reveals the real character of a man so quickly and so clearly as a shelter tent in an army on the field. All there is in him, be it noble or base, strong or weak, is brought to the front by the peculiar experiences of the soldier. The life of a soldier in camp is tedious and wearisome, but when a regiment starts for the field under a government not prepared for war (ours was not), the real trials of the soldier begin. When our regiment arrived at the camp at Centerville, after a march of ten miles, we found that no provision had been made for us,-and it now being the last of November. In the small hours of the morning Colonel Bissell drilled the regiment on a double quick movement on the race course to warm us up. The regiment was ordered to embark on November 29. The Twenty-fifth regiment was to have started on Saturday when lo! just as we were drawn up in line preparatory to a start, General Banks’ orderly gallops up, bringing an order for Companies C, D, F, and G to remain behind and go with the Twenty-sixth Connecticut. Here was a pretty fix, for tents, baggage, and everything had already gone. To add to our troubles up came one of the hardest rainstorms, such as only Long Island can produce. As there was no other place, we were compelled to quarter in the old barn which was later turned into a guard house, where we slept on bare boards. Not a wisp of straw had we to lie on, for it was so rainy we could not gather any.

On the evening of the fourth of December, we received marching orders, and at about 8 o’clock, we were very glad to get away from this forsaken place, which we did in a hurry. We arrived in Brooklyn about 12 o’clock that night and I assure you it was no easy matter to find a place to stay till morning. It was a long cold December night. The men got places wherever they could find them. I and several other comrades stayed with a Doctor Green. We were up early in the morning and the doctor wanted us all to stay and have breakfast with him, an invitation which we accepted with thanks. I wrote a letter to my mother while there.

On the morning of the fifth of December we embarked on the steamer Empire City with the Twenty-sixth Connecticut Regiment. The men of the Twenty-sixth were in the hold of the vessel while the Twenty-fifth men took a deck passage which we didn’t appreciate especially at this season of the year, December 6th. We left the Atlantic Dock, Brooklyn, at six o’clock that morning. We hadn’t been out long before the water became quite rough and the steamer plunged and rolled dreadfully which made the soldiers very sea-sick.

December 7th was dark and boisterous and the good old ship creaked and swayed on the mighty deep. By the way, I hadn’t been sea-sick since we left the Atlantic dock, but I could not help laughing, the first day we were out, to see the guards of the vessel from stem to stern lined up with anxious sea-gazers, their knees knocking together, their countenances ashen and a very intimate connection evidently existing between the stomach and the mouth. Even my risibiles were aroused though myself not entirely insensible to the attractions of Neptune.

December 8th. It was Sunday and when daylight came it brought with it a calmer sea and a more jolly set of soldiers, although the water was several inches deep on deck. That day was spent, as all others, without any religious exercises so we had nothing to do but watch the porpoises, of which there had been a great many in sight all day.

We had been out of sight of land since the previous day at noon. Well, we had found out where our expedition was going. It was going to sea. One thing was certain, we were going pretty far south.

December 9th. The weather had become quite fine. The boys had, most of them, gotten over being sea-sick. As the Twenty-sixth boys began to feel as though they had rather be on deck than down in that dirty hole, we were in pretty close quarters, for I think there were as many as twelve hundred men on this old unseaworthy ship which had been used as a transport in the California trade for a great many years. So I was told by Harlan Skinner, who went out as Sutler’s clerk of the Twenty-fifth Regiment. (He was a brother of Town Clerk Francis B. Skinner of Rockville and went to California on board of her in 1849.)

December 10th. We were still out of sight of land. Some of us might be imagined reading the Bible or some other interesting book and others were lying asleep on deck, while the rest were watching and wondering where we were going to land, I suppose.

December 11th. It was much warmer, and very pleasant. We were still out of sight of land. Spying an English vessel, we ran up the Stars and Stripes and they ran up their flag to let us know that all was right. Some of the boys sang out, just for a little fun, that the old Rebel gunboat Alabama was in sight.

December 12th we came in sight of the coast of Florida. We had seen the trees and the snow white beach about all day. We also saw several lighthouses. The porpoises and flying fish attracted a great deal of attention and when a school came in sight, all eyes were turned upon them.

December 13th. It has been very pleasant and there has been a smooth sea, consequently we have had a very pleasant day’s sail, with a cool breeze. We have been out of sight of land all day, and we long to be on shore once more. As we are so dove-tailed in, when we try to lie down at night, we get very little sleep.

December 14th, Sunday. We were now in the Gulf of Mexico and there had not been a living thing in sight all day. We had a sermon preached on deck. The text was, “Thou shall not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain.”

December 15th. We arrived at Ship Island at noon and found about the most God forsaken, miserable hole, man ever got into. The sand was ankle deep everywhere. And such a lot of Negroes; shiftless, lazy dogs, black as the ace of spades and twice as natural. But the little “nigs” kill me outright, they looking so much like a lot of monkeys, I know of nothing so comical. I could sit half the morning watching them and hearing them jabber.

December 16th. We arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi River. A pilot came aboard and took us over the bar in the river in compliance with the rules of navigation. We had a very pleasant day’s sail coming up the old Mississippi. We saw many half clad slaves on the banks who seemed much pleased to think that Massa Lincoln’s soldiers were coming to set them free. We arrived in New Orleans, La., on the 17th of December and got our fill of oranges and victuals before the peddlers were stopped from supplying us.

I want to tell you here what a beautiful sight a sunrise and sunset is at sea. There is something very fascinating about it.

We arrived at Carrollton, just above New Orleans, and went ashore at Camp Parapet, on the morning of December 18. We pitched our tents in the afternoon and were very glad to be on land once more and have room to lie down at night.

This completes my narrative of our sea voyage which I certainly have never forgotten, after having such an experience as I had on a vessel crowded to its utmost capacity and a deck passage at that.

December 19th. We have cleaned up, washed our clothing and are drying it upon our backs, thereby saving the trouble of hanging it on the bushes to dry.

December 20th. We received our rifles and now I suppose we shall have to put on our accoutrements and get right down to drilling in the manual of arms.

December 21st. I was on guard for the first time at Camp Parapet. I am beginning to find out that camp life in Hartford, Connecticut, was quite different from camp life of instruction at Camp Parapet, La.

From this date I shall omit many of the dates and unimportant events of camp life, as one day we drill the next have inspection, so every day brings us many troubles.

Christmas Day. We don’t expect a very elaborate dinner. No doubt we shall be thinking of the good things our friends and loved ones are having at home. Such was a soldier’s life fifty years ago.

December 30th. Wrote a letter to mother and put some small magnolia leaves, a magnolia bud, a live oak, a cypress and several other varieties into it which I have in my possession to this day. I had an exquisitely fine sympathy with vegetable life in all its forms and especially with trees.

I wrote at that time: “The country charms me with its magnificent lemon and orange groves. The trees are perfectly bowed down with their weight of fruit. Upon my word, I am in love with the Sunny South. I think when this cruel war is over and I can find my affinity, I shall settle down in this beautiful country for life. But I am not thinking much about that just now, for the girls are not much in love with the Union soldiers. The ladies here wear secesh cockades in their bonnets and it is really amusing to see the curl of the lip and the contempt of countenance with which they sweep by us. Of course it is no wonder, when we take into consideration the way they have always lived, and thought that they were fighting for a just cause.”

The object of our expedition was to cooperate with General Grant in the reduction of Vicksburg, but General Banks did not know until he arrived at New Orleans that Port Hudson was fortified and manned by almost as large a force as he could bring against it, or that fifty miles west of New Orleans was a force of five or six thousand men ready to move on the city and cut his lines of communication the moment he moved up the river. In addition to this he was furnished with transportation for only one division of his army and instructions from General Grant. There was only one thing that could be done and that was to destroy the Confederate Army west of the Mississippi; before he could, with safety, leave New Orleans in the rear, and advance on Port Hudson. Therefore, concentrating his army at Donaldsonville, we marched across the country to Burwick’s Bay and followed up the Bayou Teche to Alexandra, on the Red River, to the Mississippi. We advanced upon Port Hudson from the north.

On the 15th of January, 1863, our regiments at New Orleans were sent up the river. We went on board a little steamer, called the Laurel Hill at about eight o’clock in the evening. We arrived in Baton Rouge about one o’clock on the sixteenth of January and had our tents pitched before night. We were brigaded with the Thirteenth Connecticut, the Twenty-sixth Maine and the One Hundred and Fifty-ninth New York, under Colonel H. W. Birge as brigade commander. These regiments formed the Third Brigade of the Fourth Division of the Nineteenth Army Corps, General Grover division commander.

January 25th. We were now in the presence of the enemy and the position assigned to the Twenty-fifth was on the extreme left in advance and we were getting our first taste of active service.

January 26th. Our camp was about half a mile from the town, just on the edge of a dense forest and cypress swamp. Last night I went out on picket duty for the first time in Baton Rouge. General Payne warned us that we must look out for the enemy. In the afternoon the officer of the day came running his horse out where we were on picket and ordered us to stand by our arms for there was danger of an attack. Toward night we had a man badly wounded and he was sent to the hospital. During the night there was a great deal of firing upon the out-posts. We certainly thought there was going to be an attack and half the camp was up all night.

January 27th. I came in from picket in the morning. We were relieved by the Twenty-sixth Maine. We fired off our rifles at a target and started for camp. We thought sometimes that Louisiana was a very “quare country,” as the Irish man said when he got lost in the woods, and ran up against an owl in a tree, and thought it was a man calling to him. The woods were plentifully stocked with game and we could hear most every sound from the hooting of the owls, growling of wild hogs, to the snarl of the wild-cat and cry of the opossum. It was also a strange sight to see the limbs festooned from tree to tree. Some of them were gigantic. The trees were covered with moss or vines that encircled them. Strange as it may seem, we gathered this moss for bedding. I wonder it didn’t kill the whole lot of us, but I think the country agreed with me, for I could sleep right on the ground under the magnolia trees with nothing but a log for a pillow, while some of our sentry kept watch.

[January 28, 1913. It is with great sorrow that I sit down to resume this narrative of my army life, for since my last writing I have lost a dear son by death. He died on the morning of January 7th, after a long and painful illness of seventeen weeks, and was laid to rest in Grove Hill cemetery on the afternoon of January 9th. Strange that this affliction should come on the fiftieth anniversary of my hardships in the Civil War, but I thought that I couldn’t proceed until I had made mention of this sad trial.]

And now I must resume my story as best I can. For some weeks we had been very busy doing picket and guard duty, and acquiring the use of fire-arms. Everything seemed peaceful and quiet, but it was fearfully cold. It was very singular weather. Following every rain-storm it cleared intensely cold for several days; then it became very hot again; next we had another storm to subdue the intense heat. I don’t think these sudden changes agreed with the men for we had a large number on the sick list. Our ranks were very much reduced by sickness. Some of the companies dwindled down to about half their original number. The result was we had to work very hard; every day we had to have a large number for picket and guard duty. It was a comical sight to see the men going out on picket. First we had our overcoats and fixings, then our cartridge box and belt, then in a sling a good sized blanket and a rubber blanket, then the haversack with a day’s rations and lastly the coffee cup and canteen. The boys got up some fine dishes, although we hardly knew how to name some of them, but they were fine. I managed to get hold of some fish and made a delicious fry. Soaked it over night with some hard tack and the next morning threw the pieces into a frying pan (that our company had confiscated) along with a little salt pork; to this I added a little concentrated milk that I happened to have; next toasted some bread and poured the whole over it; why it was a dish fit for anybody. We were glad to be able to get some soft bread; at first we couldn’t get anything but hard tack and very little of that. Fresh meat we hadn’t tasted since we landed till one day, when out on picket, one of our boys caught a pig and we forthwith skinned and roasted it. You can imagine that that pig tasted pretty good after going without meat for over a month. The next day when we were out on picket, a contraband brought us some fresh eggs and sweet potatoes, but such instances were not very common. Why I became a nine-days’ wonder on returning to camp and relating my experience. We managed to get some fun out of camp life, and my health was good (about this time I was flourishing like the owl of the desert and the pelican of the wilderness). One thing we missed was books. The only books we had were our Testaments which I enjoyed reading very much, for I meant to read some of it every day. The Testament I had was presented to me, about the time we left Hartford for the seat of war, by a Vernon lady, and I have it in my possession yet. I prize it still as a great treasure.

February 22d, Sunday, Washington’s Birthday. Had inspection in the forenoon and in afternoon we had a sermon preached to us by our chaplain, Mr. Oviate, whom some might remember when he preached in Somers, Connecticut.

February 23rd. I was detailed to go on guard duty this morning for 24 hours. The day was celebrated as Washington’s Birthday and the boys had a ball game. At sunset we had a dress parade and brigade review. Most of the boys were getting pretty short of money, and if we sent any letters home we had to have them franked as soldiers’ letters. This means that soldiers’ letters can be sent without a stamp.

February 24th. Came off guard this morning; had the forenoon to myself; in the afternoon we had a brigade drill under General Birge in the unpleasant duty of reversed arms and rest, a duty which we were called upon to perform quite often those days.

February 25th. I went to the hospital with Sergeant Sam Harding of our company. It was a sickening sight to go over the hospital and see the thin and wasted sufferers, many of them stretched on the floor with only a blanket and scarce a comfort, let alone a luxury of any kind; many of them stricken down in their strength by swamp fever; and one by one they dropped off. They had not even seen the enemy. Poor fellows!

February 26th. It was a very rainy day and we stayed in our tents and cleaned our muskets. Mortar and gunboats are daily arriving at this port. We have six of the former and four or five of the latter. The Confederate gunboats are continually making reconnoissance up the river and occasionally give Port Hudson a taste of their shells. But most of them give her a wide berth and I think they had better. By the way I want to tell you how hard it was for us poor boys to get reading matter. When the New York papers arrived they commanded 25 and 30 cents apiece. You can see that we fellows had to go without, for we had not received a cent of pay since arriving here. You can’t imagine what it is to be cut off from all communication from the outer world for a week or ten days at a time as we were and during that interval hear nothing but discouraging rumors and false reports circulated by the Rebels.

February 27th. Came off guard in a soaking rain, in a very cross state of mind, but being neither sugar nor salt didn’t melt away; but I felt that I could stand it awhile longer if our hard-tack and salt horse held out as well as it had and I felt it would, for I noticed that it stood by pretty well.

Having a prisoner consigned to my tender mercy to be fed on the bread of affliction and waters of repentance until further orders, this same prisoner did at dead hour of night break from the guard-house and abscond to his quarters, did there fare sumptuously on hard-tack and salt-horse. This coming to the ears of the colonel he did get angry with the officer of the guard and sending this same officer of the guard a pair of hand-cuffs, did order to arrest this delinquent and confine him in close quarters and in this performance a spirited encounter did thereupon take place in which the offender did get upset in one corner and the officer very nearly in the other; this criminal being finally secured did create such a row he was forced to be gagged and bound hand and foot.

That the weather hath proved very unpleasant for some time raining hard most of the time when your humble servant did hope to go round and view the pretty maidens of Baton Rouge and now that our three commissioned officers not knowing better than to all fall sick at once and go to the hospital, it bringeth us many cares when we had to have Lieutenant Goodell of Company F detailed to take command of our company and that the paymaster, (that much desired individual), hath again disappointed us and we are here as usual without a cent to buy anything for our comfort or luxury of any kind.

March 7th. However, this camp life was not to last. Admiral Farragut wished to run his fleet past the batteries of Port Hudson so that we might intercept the Red River traffic and cooperate with General Grant at Vicksburg. Therefore he asked General Banks to make a demonstration behind the fortress. This movement was intended to divert the attention of the enemy. General Banks at once put his army in motion, and our army, with a squadron of cavalry and a battery of regular artillery men, commenced the advance.

March 9th. Had marching orders this morning and struck our tents about seven o’clock. And we have been here all day waiting for orders to start.

March 10th. We had marching orders this morning and left camp about five o’clock; when we got outside the picket lines, our regiment was detailed to do skirmish duty and we immediately deployed on both sides of the road and into the woods, when we came to the remnants of a bridge that had been destroyed by the Confederates. We halted here and our regiment was sent out on picket duty for the night.

March 11th. This morning we had a sharp skirmish with the enemy. One man was killed in Company I. His name was Rockwell.

March 12th. Last night one-half of our regiment stood by our arms for fear of an attack. Sergeant Benjamin Turner and myself were up together on the same post. Our army at this time was within cannon shot of the Confederate works, but they could not get their guns up in time to be of any service. We were witnesses of a terrible scene, at 1:20 A.M. Two rockets burst into the air and in an instant all the guns of the fortress lit up the darkness with the flash of their firing. The fleet replied and until half past one, the roar of one hundred and fifty guns was incessant. To add terror to the awful scene, the U.S. Frigate Mississippi, which had grounded, was set on fire to save her from capture. She was soon wrapped in flames and lighted up the sky for miles around. This good old gunboat which had been in so many battles went up with a terrific explosion. This desperate enterprise consisted of four ships, and three gunboats, the latter being lashed to the port side of the ships. But only the Hartford, which flew the Admiral’s dauntless blue, and her consort, the little Albatross, succeeded in running past the batteries. The other ships were disabled by the enemy’s fire and dropped down stream. The Mississippi, which had no consort, grounded and to save the lives of her men was abandoned and fired.

March 15th. We started at two o’clock on our return march for Baton Rouge. When we had been on our way a short time, a hard thunder shower came up, and it rained hard until we halted for camp about eight miles from Baton Rouge. It was a wet, muddy place, and we named it Camp Misery. It was very dark and it continued to rain at times during all that long dreary night. Our quartermaster, John Ives, furnished us with coffee which he brought from Baton Rouge. I think that we must have had it about every hour during the night.

DR. ALDEN B. SKINNER
Deceased
1st Surgeon 25th Regiment, Connecticut Volunteers, who enlisted at the age of 62.

I cannot refrain from speaking right here of our first surgeon, Dr. Alden Skinner, who went out with the Twenty-fifth Regiment. For it was at Camp Misery that Dr. Alden Skinner, father of Town Clerk Francis B. Skinner, contracted a cold that developed into pneumonia and resulted in his death a short time later. Dr. Skinner, after whom the Rockville Sons of Veterans named their camp, was a highly respected Rockville physician, who went with us down into that Rebel stronghold in 1862, as many in town will remember. He was a man of many noble qualities. I knew him personally, for I had lived with him one winter when I attended school in Rockville. I felt it a great personal loss, as well as a loss to the regiment when he died. I desire to express myself at some length relative to this good man who gave his life for our country’s cause fifty years ago about March 30th, 1863. He was very kind to me when we were encamped at Baton Rouge and especially when that thunder shower came up, as we were marching back from our first advance on Port Hudson. This experience was on Sunday, March 15, 1863. Dr. Skinner was on horseback and I can see him now in memory, as he was in that drenching rain, wet to the skin, as all were. That was the last time I ever saw Dr. Skinner, for he died a few days after in the hospital at Baton Rouge. He was brought home and was laid to rest in our beautiful Grove Hill Cemetery.

March 16th. It cleared off very pleasant this morning. Had breakfast of hard-tack and coffee. We had orders to march, about three o’clock in the afternoon. We marched about ten miles and went into camp on the bank of the Mississippi River. We managed to get some fence rails, build a fire and dry off, I was so drenched it took me nearly all day to get thoroughly dry. I felt much happier upon this old cotton plantation, for it was about as pleasant a place as I had seen in Louisiana. We were situated on a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, which spread out before us like a broad lake. The banks were lined with live-oak, and back of us were dense forests. Hardly had we arrived when I was detailed to go on guard duty. Pretty rough on a fellow who hadn’t slept any for about forty-eight hours, but most of us were in the same predicament. We were a pretty sleepy set to go on guard but we had to stand it, two hours on and four off, until morning, when our cavalry were driven back upon us without loss. At three o’clock, I was relieved and lying down on the ground I slept like a stone till eight o’clock when the new guard came on. Here let me say, that the thunder storm we had on a Sunday afternoon was very likely the means of saving many lives, as the Confederates, when they found that we were retreating, turned out infantry, cavalry and artillery and pressed hard upon us but the rain Providentially deterred them. The Thirteenth and Twenty-fifth Connecticut Regiments covered the retreating column.

March 17th found us still in Camp Alden, for so we had named our new camp ground. In the afternoon a half dozen of us went out on a foraging expedition. We spotted a cow, which a bullet soon laid low. When we got her dressed, we started for a sugar plantation, a short distance away. We found it entirely deserted but lots of sugar and molasses, as this had not been confiscated by the United States government. We helped ourselves and managed to get a small quantity of the sweetening ingredient up to camp, where we received a warm reception. We were all out of sugar for our coffee and also meat for soup. That was about all the old cow was fit for. We held dress parade at sunset in marching costume. I was quite ragged by this time, having torn the legs nearly off my trousers, and my blouse had been badly torn while skirmishing through the woods and cane brakes.

March 18th. Spent most of the forenoon mending the holes in my breeches. In the afternoon visited the Twelfth Connecticut regiment for the first time in Louisiana. Saw some of the Hartford boys and had a good time generally. After dress-parade went out on a foraging expedition, with several others, after fence rails, as we had to have a fire to keep warm, also to make coffee and soup. I am sure the Rebs had good reason to bring “railing accusations” against us, for I am quite certain there wasn’t a rail left within several miles of Baton Rouge.

March 19th. There was an order for inspection of arms this morning. While waiting I, with several others, was detailed to go out foraging after corn. Went out a short distance and got all that we could bring into camp. We received marching orders at nine o’clock in the evening.

March 20th. We were up early and on our way at four o’clock this morning. After a weary, hot march we reached our old camp-ground at Baton Rouge at seven o’clock. As we marched past General Banks’ headquarters he came out and saluted, while the bands of the different regiments played and we marched past at shoulder arms. That night we lay on the ground again for it was too late and the men were too tired to pitch the tents.

March 21st. In the morning we pitched our tents, cleaned up and put our old Camp Grover in order once more.

March 22nd, Sunday. We were ordered to be ready for inspection but there was none on account of some of the rifles being loaded. Toward night we were ordered to be ready for marching, and have such things as we could get along without, packed in boxes. It was raining as we were getting ready for another start. Horace Newbury of our company died last night and we laid him to rest this morning under a beautiful magnolia tree.

March 24th. In the forenoon we worked on our guns and in the afternoon we had inspection and dress-parade.

March 25th. I was detailed to go on picket duty this morning. Lieutenant Gorman was officer of the picket. The night was cool and clear and everything was quiet all along the lines.

March 26th. A beautiful morning with the birds singing merrily. I got into camp about eleven o’clock. We had orders about nine o’clock in the evening to be ready for marching. It was very rainy weather and there was very little done in camp.

March 27th. We had orders to march and all was packing and confusion. I was ordered to help put our tents and baggage aboard the boat, the St. Mary. We had all our things aboard this little craft about five o’clock in the afternoon. At last, after being over a week packing up, waiting for orders, we were on the move. We left Baton Rouge at five o’clock and reached this place at nine, (as luck would have it) in a rain-storm. Lay on the ground under the trees all night.

March 28th. We just received marching orders again. Where we were going to nobody seemed to know. I supposed our destination was Brashear City and Burwick Bay, but beyond that nothing was known. Rumor said, Texas and Red River. We took tents and all our baggage and did not expect again to see Baton Rouge.

Sunday morning, March 29th. Arrived in Donaldsonville about nine o’clock last evening. Slept on the ground all night. In the morning had some hard-tack and coffee. We received a mail. I got several letters, one was from mother. I went to a Catholic meeting. Donaldsonville is an exceedingly pretty place, very old-fashioned, shingled-roofed town. A bayou extends through the center, some three hundred yards wide; it runs to the gulf and is so deep that a frigate lies in it about a mile from where it sets in from the Mississippi. The catalpa and China-bell trees were in full blossom and the pecans were leafing out. There was a Catholic church here that looked like a barn outside but quite pretty inside, as I saw for myself, and thither the people who were mostly French and Spanish, were flocking. We here enjoyed the luxury of seeing ladies, in clean white petticoats, walking the streets. And really we had to laugh, for actually those petticoats were the most home-like things we had seen for some months. “Billy” Wilson’s Zouaves, who were in our division, were placed under arrest and had their arms taken from them. They got very drunk coming down on the boat and mutinied.

March 30th. You can’t imagine how beautiful the flowers were looking. Cherokee roses, jessamines, jonquils, and a great variety of flowers were in blossom. We lived out under the trees with the rain pattering upon us. We were greatly bothered with vermin, which it is almost impossible to pick off. Campaigning evidently agreed with me, for I had gained several pounds since leaving New York.

April 1st. We were on the march very early. Our brigade went ahead as skirmishers. We went through a very pleasant country. We started about seven o’clock on the morning of April 2nd. Our company was guard of the baggage train. We went through a place called Thibodeaux, a very pretty village. We stopped “a right smart way,” from Thibodeaux, as the contrabands used to tell us when we inquired the distance of them. We were there only a short time, when we were crowded on to some freight cars like cattle and transported to Bayou Boeuf, arriving at ten o’clock at night, pretty well fagged out.

We had some awfully hot and fatiguing marches and the boys were very foot-sore. I held out wonderfully; did not so much as raise a sign of a blister, though carrying a rubber blanket, a heavy overcoat, canteen full of water, haversack, with two days’ rations in it,-by no means a small load as I found after a few miles’ march. My nose and cheeks underwent a skinning operation on our Port Hudson expedition and I felt quite badly when I found that they were again peeling.

April 3rd. We have fixed up our shelter tents, and I helped unload our baggage. The day was pleasant but Bayou Boeuf was a very unpleasant place. A comrade came into our camp from the Twelfth Regiment, C.V. His name was Wells Hubbard of Glastonbury, Conn.

April 5th, Sunday. On camp guard I was stationed in front of General Grover’s headquarters for the night. During the day we crossed over the Bayou Lefourche to the main part of the town and spent some time in exploring it. It must have been an exceedingly beautiful place before the bombardment a short time before. Many of the houses were lying in ruins. Then there was a very pretty cemetery embowered in red and white roses which hung in clusters over the monuments. I saw on some of the graves fresh wreaths of roses and pinks and on many pictures were hanging showing the weeping survivors beneath a weeping willow. Blue pinks seemed to be a favorite flower and were planted around a great many of the graves. There were some old tombstones at that place. On one was the following inscription:

“Affliction sore, long time I bore;

Physicians were in vain,

Till God did please, that death should come,

And ease me of my pain.”

Again we were all packed up and on the move at about 8 A.M. The road, in fact all the way to Thibodeaux, lay along the Bayou Lefourche, a clear and cool stream, on which our steamers were passing bearing the sick and baggage. As we wound along under the catalpa and China-ball trees, the people were out on the piazzas watching us; this seemed to be their occupation almost everywhere. Such a slovenly set you never saw,-the women with frizzled hair and slipshod shoes. They were evidently very poor. But, oh, the fine clover fields we passed. The heart of a cow would have leaped with joy at the sight; and it was just so all the way to Thibodeaux. It must have been a splendid farming country. Sugar cane and cotton fields were also looking fine. After marching about twelve miles we encamped at Paincourtville, pretty well tired out. There were plenty of chickens, pigs, and sheep running loose of which we were not slow to avail ourselves. About the last thing I saw when I had lain down for the night was a porker squealing for all he was worth and charging blindly among the camp-fires over bunks and slumbering soldiers pursued by a band of shouting men discharging all kinds of deadly missiles at him.

April 7th. We were off at 7 A.M. Still among clover fields. On our march we passed some beautiful plantations; one was especially so. It was perfectly embowered in trees, had a smooth-cut lawn. There was a fountain and some swans swimming in the pond in front of the house. On the veranda there were two ladies working and some little children were playing. It was the prettiest sight I had seen in Louisiana. It fairly stilled the boys, seeing those children, and I heard more than one tough fellow sing out “God bless them.” At another little white cottage we saw a lady whose husband had fallen in the army. She sent her slaves out where we were with pails of cool water. It was a simple act but we could not help blessing her for it.

And then we resumed our dusty way. The heat and dust were very intense; not a breath of air was stirring. We marched fourteen miles to Labadieville, and camped for the night on a sugar plantation, where we just had sugar and molasses to our hearts’ content. Early the next morning we started in a flood of moonlight that silvered the grass with dew-drops. There is something very fascinating in camping-out; the camp-fires far and wide, the hum and bustle everywhere. It makes one forget his troubles.

April 9th. We had marching orders this morning. We marched as far as Brashear City, and camped for the night. It was the hardest day’s march of all. The men staggered over the road from fatigue and sore feet. We felt better when we passed from the road into the clover field to lie down. At 6 P.M. came the order to fall in and we were ordered on board the little steamer, St. Mary. We stayed there all night,-expecting to start every minute.

April 11th. Although it was a small boat, the Fifty-second Massachusetts, the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth Connecticut, and a battery with horses, were just packed on board. Just imagine how we must have been crowded together.

April 12th. We steamed out of the bay at 9 o’clock, the Clifton flagship ahead, then the Calhoun, Arizona, Laurel Hill, and St. Mary, also several tugs. We were now under convoy of these gunboats; they were to pilot us up through the chain of lakes from Burwick Bay into Grand Lake, where we arrived about 12 o’clock. It was an extremely hot day for so many to be crowded together, and we slept but little.

April 13th. We went ashore at one o’clock. There was some firing on our picket line at night. I was detailed to go back to the lake and help bring up some rations where our forces were stationed. There was a heavy thunder shower and we slept but little all night.

I want to say here that we landed our forces, after sending out a party to reconnoitre under cover of the Calhoun, which shelled the woods while we came ashore. Our object was to cut off the retreat of the Confederates while Emory’s and Sherman’s division crossed Burwick Bay to attack them.

April 14th. On this date came the hard-fought battle of Irish Bend. We started out at daylight as skirmishers without any breakfast. When we had gone about a mile, brisk firing commenced on both sides. We advanced very fast, loading and firing as we went. When we had advanced very near the Rebel batteries and supposed that everything was going well, we were flanked by the enemy. We