Monday, July 21, 1862 - Am urged by the Military Committee to accept a Captain's commission and am sorely puzzled to know what to do. Duty urges me to go. Taste, inclination and interest hold me back. I know not what to do.
Tuesday, July 22, 1862 - Joshua B. Davis is to get up the company here, which is a decided relief to me.
Monday, August 4, 1862 - The war excitement is high, enlisting goes on very rapidly. I worked hard all day at making out enlisting papers, and at mustering in the men. They are fine men.
Tuesday, August 5, 1862 - Worked at enlisting men and directing friend Herrick's wedding cards.
Tuesday, August 12, 1862 - Accepted a First Lieutenancy in Co. A, 3rd Onondaga Regiment.
Friday, August 30, 1862 - Commenced my experience in camp life.
Saturday, August 30, 1862 - Packed up for my departure for the seat of war. It was a gloomy day.
Sunday, August 31, 1862 - Started from Syracuse to Washington with the 122 reg. Of N.Y.S.V. We had a very pleasant ride to Albany. We went to New York on the H.R.R.R. Arrived at N.Y. at daylight.
Monday, Sept. 1, 1862 - Arrived in New York at daylight and we marched to City Hall Park and took breakfast at the barracks. We got our arms, Enfield rifles, which took all day. In the evening we left on a boat for Amboy. Then we took the cars for Camden where we arrived at daylight after a hard ride in freight cars.
Tuesday, Sept. 2, 1862 - Rode from Philadelphia to Baltimore in freight cars. Found all enthusiasm until we came near Baltimore. In the suburbs of the city there was much enthusiam & but little in the central parts.
Wednesday Sept. 3, 1862 - Went from Baltimore to Washington on the car with the Company.
Thursday Sept. 4, 1862 - Marched from Washington to Long Bridge, waited long, and then we bivouacked on the Potomac just above the bridge.
Fortifications extend as far as the eye can reach on the other side of the river and columns of troops are visible and moving trains of wagons are passing each way. The bridge cannot afford ready passage. Cavalry is passing in. We have witnessed from morning till night great movement of all the paraphanalia of war. A large river lies below the bridge and one gunboat is above.
Friday, Sept. 5, 1862 - Yesterday, after starting to cross long bridge we were ordered to halt for further orders. At night, we received orders to go back and to go near chain bridge in Maryland, a much safer place. Our for(mer) destination was a much exposed position. On our way to our camp, we passed Sumner's Corps & saw Capt. Pettit's boys. They h(ave) received marching orders. These are the most exciting times. The troops all looked as though they were worn out. We pitched our camp and seemed quite at home.
Saturday, Sept. 6, 1862 - We commenced drilling for the first time, and received orders to be ready to move in 45 minutes. We started at 4 o'clock PM and after a rather severe and exciting march till about 9 o'clock, we bivouacked by the road side for the night. After dark, the bayonets were fixed and the guns were loaded and we move on without a (sound) except in low tones. The Col., in order to try us, ordered, "Halt - Front Charge". Many boys were badly frightened.
Sunday Sept. 7, 1862 - We marched on a few miles in the morning and encamped near the Potomas Chapel. In the PM we had preaching by Chaplain Nickerson and a dress parade.
Monday, Sept. 8, 1862 - Was officer of the Guard and had a hard time. Was up all night. Heard firing - The first real battle sound at three o'clock tomorrow morning and at 5. It proved to be at Poolsville where there was a smart skirmish between ours and the rebel cavalry.
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 1862 - This morning early we received orders to move soon. We started towards Poolsville and had a hard march and encamped at night in an open field and were on short allowance. The boys found some potato and corn fields and made out fairly.
Wednesday, Sept. 10, 1862 - This morning we received orders to march in 10 minutes. The boys grumbled but fell in briskly except three who were out foraging. They were left. We had a hard march. When we first drew up in line at Poolsville not more than 300 men were in place so many had lagged. We were soon ordered on and went some four miles and camped in a wheat field. The owner is a hard old man and is said to be a secessionist.
Thursday, Sept. 11, 1862 - This morning we fell back two miles and encamped near Noland's Ferry. It is rainy but we are ground of last Monday night. The trees are badly marked. We expect to hear the sound of arms any moment now. Horsemen are riding to and fro. Something is evidently in the wind. At night we moved to Noland's Ferry.
Friday Sept. 12, 1862 - We are this morning encamped at Noland's Ferry. Several hundred cavalry and at least on piece of flying artillery has gone out. We have considerable firing today. I am bearing camp life, or rather marching life well and am enjoying (it) quite well.
Saturday, Sept. 13, 1862 - Pleasant. Drilled in the Am at about noon we received orders to march in ½ an hour and we started toward Point of Rock to a place thought to be about 8 miles from P. of R. From early in the morning all day we have heard distinctly heavy firing in the direction of Harper's Ferry. We camped for the night in a late rebel camp and the boys found many little things left by the enemy. The 2nd place we have staid two nights.
Sunday, Sept. 14, 1862 - A lovely day such as many of the Sabboths have been that I have enjoyed so well at home. At 4 O'clock we were aroused and ordered to be ready to march at 6. We started toward the firing which continued all day and was very heavy (in the) PM. We traveled through a fine country in the midst of which was Adamstown (?), a small village and then asceded the Blue Ridge and enjoyed a beautiful view of the valley through which we had passed and in a few rods we looked on a more beautiful view west. The Harpers Ferry Gap is beautiful. We halted a short time at Jefferson and marched 7 or 8 miles in the evening making 14 miles at least for the day. We encamped at Burkettsville with a large force and an enormous baggage train. Our forces are reported as having the advantage. We have just taken 3 days rations.
Monday, Sept. 15, 1862 - A beautiful morning. Were aroused at 4 with orders to be ready to move in ½ an hour. Cannon opened early, being the 4th day we have heard the roar of guns. Burkettsville is the place at which we camped. Here we saw the first horrors of war. 50 wounded men were in the church and one dead one outside. On the way up the hill were 100 or more dead. One wounded man's brain was running out of this skull. Another's left lung protruded considerable and they were still living and uncared for since yesterday. More than 100 men killed. Our men made a most daring charge up the mountainside from Burkettstown (sic). We camped between the mountains in the way it is supposed that the enemy will take. And we expect them momentarilly and are ready for them.
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1862 - Were aroused at 4 and were ordered to be ready to move at any moment. Many rumours are afloat. One is that Harpers Ferry had been taken by the Rebels with 10,000 prisoners. Towards night the report was disputed. About 9 o'clock PM we were ordered to fall in and when all ready to march were ordered to rest in place. All laid down in their places and remained on their arms until 4 o'clock next morning. There was heavy firing just after dark to the north.
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 1862 - Were aroused at 4 o'clock and started about 5 ½ for Harpers Ferry where we arrived about noon and started up Elk Ridge which overlooks the Ferry. When nearly up, we received orders to reinforce McLellan.
We went to near the battlefield making a day's march of over 20 miles, and it was a hard one. The firing was heavy most of the day. We reached camp late. Brownsville and Roh(r)ersville are between Harpers F. and the battlefield.
Thursday, Sept, 1862 - Were aroused before 3 o'clock and were moved onto the battlefield, and rested. During the most of the day till 3 PM, the sharpshooters kept up a continuous firing. We are supporting the artillery of our division. From 3 to 5 there was a cessation of (firing) for burying the dead. At 5 the firing by S. Shooters (resumed). Oh! What sights we have seen today! Men wounded and killed lying in all directions. Some of the old soldiers make out well rifling the pockets of the dead. Rifle ball(s) fell thick all around us. Hundreds of guns, cartridge boxes, traces, etc., etc. are strewn in all directions. One house on the rebel ground contains about 30 ball holes and 100's of rifle ball marks.
Friday, Sept. 19, 1862 - Last night I heard pickets firing much of the time. Were aroused early, having slept on our guns and expected to engage in the fight. The enemy fired a few guns, one ball passed directly over my head, the first that came so near. It struck just in the rear of our reg(iment). It was soon ascertained that the enemy had skedadled and there was no chance for a fight. I spent part of the day looking over the battlefield and what sights(!) In one place near a burying ground, it looked as though nearly a whole regiment of the enemy had been swept down. Acres of ground are literally strewn with dead. There are many more of the enemy than of our men on the field. I(t) was found that all the army had crossed into Virginia. We marched through Sharpesburgh, a village of about 1100 inhabitants and found almost every house marked by cannon shot.
Saturday, Sept. 20 1862 - Marched back through Sharpsburgh and started for Williamsport. The stench of the battlefield is almost unendurable. One wounded rebel still lay by the side of the road near where he was yesterday. He is wounded in the head and is insensible. We went to Williamsport. We found a rebel force and formed several lines of battle. The skirmishers found them about 20 rods from our front. The enemy fired two volleys and several shells. Wm. R. Hunn was slightly wounded in the thigh. A shell exploded near us and 3 pieces struck near me in different directions, one within 10 feet. A ball struck within 6 inches of my head and one struck the ring from my sword and let it down. Our skirmishers found that the Rebs had superior artillery force and that they were getting position so as to rake us by a cross fire. We were ordered back and "about faced", fell back in line of battle, ½ or ¾ of a mile and rested in a small wood where we remained on our arms and (were) very quiet till morning. Our artillery shelled the woods some and the rebs shelled the town. Two of the Long Island men were wounded. One died soon after.
Sunday, Sept. 21, 1862 - A fine day and it proved a day of rest, though the forepart was a day of vigilence. Chaplain Nickerson preached his second sermon. I spent part of the day writing to phelps Shumway. We all had a good rest. We learned this morning that the enemy has fled across the river.
Monday Sept. 22, 1862 - A fine day. Did little till 4 o'clock when the tow (two?) ½ first Co's went on picket. There were no rebels in the vicinity, hence picketing afforded a good chance for foraging and all enjoyed it much.
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 1862 - Pleasant. Remained on picket duty till about 4 pm. Had breakfast at a planter's house, the third meal I have (had) at a table since I left Syracuse. About four we received orders to report to camp immediately. We hurried there and found the camp broken up and our regiment gone. We soon overtook them and moved on in a southwesterly direction to within a few miles of dam no. 4.
Wednesday, Sept. 24, 1862 - Rained a little. Still remain where we camped last night. Spent part of the day in writing and part of it in drilling. The boys drew shelter tents.
Thursday, Sept. 25, 1862 - A fine day. Spent the day drilling. We are now drilling in loading and firing. The rebels are in force across the river. Couch's division is nearly all here now. Above 8,000 men are present. The Division includes about 12,000. The first frost.
Friday, Sept. 26, 1862 - A heavy frost. A fine day. 8 to 8 ½, officer's drill, 8 ½ to 11 ½ , company drill; 2-1/2 to 4 or 4-1/2, Battalion drill, 5, Dress Parade, Smith's Division, or at least a portion of it, passed here this morning.
Saturday, Sept. 27, 1862 - Was officer of the Guard from 3 PM.
Sunday, Sept. 28, 1862 - Moved our camp.
Wednesday, Oct. 1, 1862 - We have heard firing occasionally all day which became heavy just at night.
Friday, Oct. 3, 1862 - The Division was reviewed by Pres. Lincoln. We marched about two miles to a good field for review and formed in three lines. Old Abe rode up and down the lines and left with ceremony. Kearns, Franklin and some say McClellan accompanied him.
Saturday, Oct. 4, 1862 - Drilled in the forenoon, and went with 30 men on picket.
Sunday, Oct. 5, 1862 - Went to Church and was called out by the officer of the day.
Wednesday, Oct. 8, 1862 - Was officer of the Guard and arrested 4 of our men for running the Guard.
Friday, Oct. 10, 1862 - Rained some. We have at 10 am to move immediately. The orders were soon modified to be ready to move on a light march with two days (rations). Everything was packed and made ready for a movement. Part of the division moved in the PM and more of it in the night. Reb. Cavalry 3000 strong crossed the river and went into Penn(sylvania).
Saturday, Oct. 11, 1862 - Rainy in the morning and cold during the deay. We had the usual drills. This has been a cold unpleasant day.
Sunday Oct. 12, 1862 - Cool. Were aroused about 1 o'clock this morning & ordered to get breakfast and be ready to move in an hour. We started in time but were soon turned back. Spent most of the day, except when on duty, writing.
Monday, Oct. 13, 1862 - Cold. Are still under orders to be ready (to march) at a moments warning.
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 1862 - Pleasant. We were called up at about 5 o'clock this morning and ordered to fall in. The Regiment formed in line of battle, stacked arms and got breakfast and waited orders all day. About noon, the artillery changed position to between us and the river. I have suffered much with headache all day.
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 1862 - Were again formed and got ready to march at 9 AM. At 3 PM went on picket. My post extended nearly to the river.
Thursday, Oct. 16, 1862 - Went to the Potomac while making the rounds of my posts today. The Maryland bank is very high and rocky here. The towing path is moason work as far as I cold see. There is heavy firing in Virginia all day, probably about in the direction of Charlestown.
Friday, Oct. 17, 1862 - AM not feeling well. Capt. Brower went out on picket, which left me in command of the company.
Saturday, Oct. 18, 1862 - Was sick enough all day to be in bed. Attended to battalion drill and to policing the camp. About 4 PM received orders to have the company fall in for a light march. We started about dark, went through Downsville & about 4 miles through Williamsport, quite smart little place, and some 8 miles further through Clear Spring (600 inhabitants). A mile and a half beyond, we encamped for the night. I was obliged to fall out soon after we passed Williamsport and rode to Clear S(prings) in an ambulance.
Sunday, Oct. 19, 1862 - Did the hardest Sunday's work of my life. Started soon after sunrise, went back through Clear S(prings) and took the road to Hancock 12 or 13 (?) miles distant. The road was mountainous till we reached the C & O canal. Fairview, a point on the mountains over which we passed, afforded a fine prospect of the surrounding mountains. The canal reminds me of home but it does not compare with the Erie. There is no business done on it at present. It was a hard day's march. Arrived near Hancock just before dark.
Monday, Oct. 20, 1862 - The nights are very cool and uncomfortable. We all lay very quiet most of the day.
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 1862 - Our camp equipage came up this morning and all went ot fixing for camping. Cleaned up the camp area and went to putting up the tents when orders came about 2 PM to march in an hour. The movement commenced about 4 PM. The night was dark and some rainy. About 9 PM we camped near Fairview about 7 miles from Hancock. Many fell out. The rebels are reported in force across from here, Fairview.
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 1862 - Did not move. Our tents came up and we put them up about 1 ½ miles from Fairview. The weather is cold and unpleasant. Men have suffered since we left Downsville from want of tents. A large share of the regiment came up this morning having fallen out on the dark march last night.
Thursday, Oct. 23, 1862 - Were routed at 4-1/2 this morning with orders to be ready to move at daylight.
Friday, Oct. 24, 1862 - Remained in camp at Cherry Run and drilled.
Saturday, Oct. 25, 1862 - Drilled and got ready for inspection tomorrow. Our troops captured 21 of Stuart's cavalry including a Capt. & Lieut.
Sunday, Oct. 26, 1862 - A very rainy day and cold.
Monday, Oct. 27, 1862 - Monday morning at 5 we were aroused and ordered to march at 7. We marched all day and camped south of Williamsport in the woods where we had a Skirmish a few weeks ago.
Tuesday, Oct. 28, 1862 - Tuesday we drilled and policed the camp.
Wednesday, Oct. 29, 1862 - A fine day. The regiment was inspected. Moved from Williamsport to Downsville and got on the ground at 8-1/2 o;clock. We are detailed as baggage guard.
Thursday, Oct. 30, 1862 - Changed camp again and put everything in fair order.
Friday, Oct. 31, 1862 - Were called up at 2 in the morning and started at ½ past three. Got on the road and waited till nearly daylight. Our regiment acts as wagon train guard. Passed through Brownsborough, an enterprising Village of about 800 or 1000 inhabitants. Halted about 11. The regiment was mustered and we moved on beyond Rohersville and bivouacked on the road to Crompton's Gap. We must have marched about 15 miles.
Saturday, Nov. 1, 1862 - Turned out at 2 o'clock AM and started for Reslin (?), about 12 miles distant. Many of the men got no breakfast till we arrived. We passed over the battlefield of South Mountain before daylight. Franklin's Corpse (sic) or the 6th army Corp was all in the same (vicinity?) last night. We hear heavy firing in a southerly direction.
Sunday, Nov. 2, 1862 - Lay at Berlin all day. The whole division lay there. The Ponton bridge was crowded to its fullest extent all day. It is surprising what an immense number of troops are now moving. The movement commenced a week ago today, and has continued all the time. Yesterday they put on the 3rd planking. (Presumably upon the pontoon bridge). We heard heavy firing all day. It was at Sickers (snickers) Gap and at Union.
Monday, Nov. 3, 1862 - Turned out at 4 AM and at 7 o'clock were in motion. It took till noon to get the train across the bridge after we got possession of it. There was a great rush to get the use of the bridge by the different train masters and some quarreling. We were the rear guard and it was slow getting along there was such a rush. We moved on toward Union, about 12 miles. A cold windy day and night and we had no shelter.
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 1862 - Started before light and found slow starting of the great crowd. Passed Goose Creek Meeting House and Union and camped a mile or t(w)o beyond Union. The first platoon of our company had a trying time beating a train. The master of the other train brought up his men and ordered them to load and fire on our boys. Our boys loaded but the others refused to fire. Our boys held the gap.
Wednesday, Nov. 5, 1862 - Moved a few miles slowly. Was separated from the rest of the division and went through the fields a mile or more and halted for the night near a splendid residence. The premises were strictly guarded by our soldiers.
Thursday, Nov. 6, 1862 - Marched some 10 or 13 miles and camped in a wood on a hill near White Plains. It was a hard day's march, there was so much halting and delaying. The whole brigade was train guard today. The whole train guard foraged more than the articles of war will allow. Many turkey, chickens and geese paid the penalty of belonging to seccessionists. Cold. I have a severe cold.
Friday, Nov. 7, 1862 - Cold and the snow fell two or three inches deep during the day. Lay in camp and tried to keep warm. A good many sheep were killed about the country. I was officer of the guard.
Saturday, Nov. 8, 1862 - Cold. Lay all day at White Plains. Troops and trains passed from early in the morning till night. Hear firing in advance. I am not feeling well.
Sunday, Nov. 9, 1862 - Cold! Freezing cold. Started out 6 am and moved on to New Baltimore some 4 or 5 miles? Camped on a side hill in the woods in sight of Warrenton. McClellan's H.Q. I lay abed all the rest of the day. I fear that I shall be sick. Hear firing.
Monday, Nov. 10, 1862 - Warmer. There are many rumours in camp about McClellan. He passed the camp 3 times (and) twice we were turned out to see him. Burnside, Franklin and several other Gen'ls accompanied him. Things look now as though we might accomplish something if our leading military officers are in earnest. We hear firing again. I think this is the 9th day in succession that we have heard firing.
Tuesday, Nov. 11, 1862 - Still lie at New Baltimore, a place but little larger than Hardscrabble and almost deserted. We hear firing. McClellan is superceded by Burnside. Many are much disappointed in the change. Some are pleased, but regreted that it should take place in the midst of a great movement, which it must necessarily delay.
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 1862 - Everything seems at a standstill.
Thursday, Nov. 13, 1862 - We are employed at the usual drill of camp. No time is lost in preparing for the work that seems to be before us.
Friday, Nov. 14, 1862 - Pleasant. We have a very sightly place for camp. The sense woods of the first of the week had given place to cleared fields. Acers (sic) are cleared of timber. We are burning the finest hickoreys.
Saturday, Nov. 15, 1862 - We expected to move this morning but did not. Drilled in the forenoon. The boys washed, PM. Heavy firing was going on in the AM. We expect to move tomorrow morning. Augustus Cady is very sick. (Apparently and enlisted man in his company). (Second) Lieutenant (Herbert S) Wells is some sick. AM feeling tolerably well.
Sunday, Nov. 16, 1862 - Rained some. Left New Baltimore early in the morning and marched all day. Myself and 25 of our company acted as pioneers of the Corps. Maj. Gen'l Newton followed us. Gen'l Cochrane and Adj. Gen'l Russell went before. We had lively work taking down fences. We went through the fields, most of the way. I think that we went not more than 3 miles of about 14 on the road. We passed Castell's Station & stopped near Weaverville. Saw Gen'l Burnside several times, also Franklin. Like Burnside's looks.
Monday, Nov. 17, 1862 - Started at 6-1/2 and made a good march. Camped within 20 miles of Fredericksburg in a pine shrub wood. These two day's march have been made through a beautiful level country, very sparsely inhabited and not well cultivated. Many fields are uncultivated. We see very few citizens. Lieut. Wells in not well.
Tuesday, Nov. 18, 1862 - Started in the morning and marched till about 3 o'clock. Crossed Aquai (Aquia) Creek and stopped a hour 2-1/2 miles from Stafford Courthouse and 11 miles from Fredericksburgh.
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 1862 - Rainy. We are lying today about 2-1/2 miles from Stafford Court House. Men are without rations and it is said that we (are) waiting for the supply trains. We are 10 or 11 miles from Fredericksburgh. I am officer of the guard. New is favorable.
Thursday, Nov. 20, 1862 - Rainy! Rainy!! Men are on short allowance and we are still waiting. I find that many good men in the army have more confidence since the removal of Gen'l McClellan. Rations are short.
Friday, Nov. 21, 1862 - Rained till 7 or 8 this morning. Went out on picket & a dismal day it was, too. Mud everywhere and water in all ravines. Non but the highest boots saved feet from getting wet. A new line was established which took till 4 PM. We were stationed as a reserve about a mile beyond Garrisonville at a church.
Saturday, Nov. 22, 1862 - Cloudy, but no rain. Returned from picketing about noon, a hungry set of men as rations were short. Found a day's ration in camp.
Sunday, Nov. 23, 1862 - Pleasant but cold. The coldest night THAT WE HAVE EXPERIENCED.
Monday, Nov. 24, 1862 - A cold morning and a pleasant day. Hear firing in the direction of Fredericksburg. We were inspected by Gen'l Cochrane. Lieut. Wells is not well.
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 1862 - Rained some and a rainy night. I do not understand why we are waiting here.
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 1862 - Went out on picket on another wet morning. Went some 4 miles. Was stationed on the frontier. All had their pieces loaded. The night was very cold.
Thursday, Nov. 27, 1862 - Came in from picket duty. Three of my men did provost duty outside the lines. Our men wrong the inhabitants of this part of the country very much. The property of the rich (which by the way is few here) is protected. The poor are robbed and I think must suffer. Many have kept themselves hid from the rebels to avoid the draft.
Friday, Nov. 28, 1862 - Cool and pleasant. There is a rumour that this division is to join Bank's expedition.
Saturday, Nov. 29, 1862 - Cool and pleasant. I have almost entire charge of the company as Lieut. Wells is not very well, and the Capt. Leaves it to me mostly. There are to be several changes in the line officers of our regiment. I think the changes are not fairly made.
Sunday, Nov. 30, 1862 - Pleasant. Inspected the Company.
Monday, Dec. 1, 1862 - Drilled.
Tuesday, Dec. 2, 1862 - Pleasant.
Wednesday, Dec. 3, 1862 - Drilled. Received orders to move in the morning.
Thursday, Dec. 4, 1862 - Started at 8 for some place to us unknown. Progressed slowly, AM, faster PM. Crossed the Fredericksburg & Aquia Creek R.R. and bivouacked at the south of Potomac Creek. I was tired.
Friday, Dec. 5, 1862 - Started early and stopped PM in a rain storm which turned to snow and it became cold before morning. We camped in a thick pine and red cedar wood.
Saturday, Dec. 6, 1862 - Cold, Cold. Worked all day at raising up my tent. The snow is about 3 inches deep. The boys have been busy.
Sunday, Dec. 7, 1862 - Cold, Cold. Worked hard all day for the first sabboth of my life. I worked with a purpose. It was necessary to keep warm. I banked up the tent and built a cedar bough fence around the yard.
Monday, Dec. 8, 1862 - Cold. The temperature is well suited to the latitude of home at this season.
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 1862 - Milder, so as to be comfortable in the middle of the day. (In the) PM received orders to be ready to move at any moment tomorrow. 20 extra rounds of cartridges were given out and there is every indication of severe work soon.
Wednesday, Dec. 10, 1862 - Pleasant and not so cold. AM Officer of the Guard. Did not move as we expected.
Thursday, Dec. 11, 1862 - Were aroused at 4 in the morning and ordered to move in 40 minutes. (Short notice, indeed!). Started and marched several miles by moonlight. Cannonading commenced at Fredericksburg about 5 o'clock and continued very heavy till after we arrived there. We took position so that guns were being fired both in our front and rear. AM officer of the guard. Consequently commanded the rear guard. The artillery practice on our side was beautiful indeed. The rifle guns threw shells with the precision of a rifle. About 4 o'clock PM, the roar was tremendous. Our forces fired into and burned some of the houses in Fredericksurg. Quite a force crossed the two bridges below the city after dark and most of them came back. A cannonade is a grand scene. I suffered much from the cold an exposure, being on guard.
Friday, Dec. 12, 1862 - Was up most of the night. Crossed the river in the morning. Our folks threw out skirmishers and proceeded cautiously, and about 9 AM, the ball opened on our right. About 2 PM the rebels opened batteries on our positions. Shells burst in every direction from us and ploughed the air with terrible fury. A connonading is a grand sight but mighty unhealthy. We moved to a more sheltered place and lay there for the night. Not very many of our men have been killed or wounded today. Lieut. Wells was promoted to 1st. (NYS adj. General's Report - Vol 3, gives date of rank, Dec. 3, 1862 - date of Commission, Jan. 14, 1863)
Saturday, Dec. 13, 1862 - Pleasant in the morning. The fight commenced just in front of our left with musketry followed immediately by heavy connonading. We lay near the bridge till noon. The rebels gave us the hottest cannonading on our right. Our lines were driven back on the left and we went to the front within less than ½ a mile of their heavy batteries and lay under a terrific shelling all the afternoon. Just at sundown, it seemed the earth was torn asunder so loud and continuous was the shelling. Two men in the Reg. Were wounded. Two in our company were hit but not hurt much. After dark we were withdrawn quietly from our position supporting the battery.
Sunday, Dec. 14, 1862 - Pleasant morn, but looks like a storm. Moved back at daylight and held as a reserve. The day was comparatively quiet & we wrote some letters. There was considerable scattered firing but no general engagement. We staid all day sheltered on the plain at the lower bridge. The place on which we lay was a beautiful home. This plain on which the orchard stands is one of the levelest that I ever saw. I think the rebs have our position as they frequently throw shells near us.
The preliminaries to the expected great battle are conducted with the greatest caution and regularity. Our work is done as though our Gen'ls had a "big" job on hand and were going to do it. Great care is taken not to expose the men needlessly.
Monday, Dec. 15, 1862 - Turning pleasant. Moved at 4 AM towards the left and front. Went into a sheltered position under the road ditch and back, and were kept down very close all day. Men were not allowed to rise to their feet all day. But very few of the thousands on the field were visible. The day was rather quiet. There was some firing on all parts of the field and (an) occasional volley of musketry. We were within 40 or 50 rods of the enemy line and were under the greatest suspense expecting that the battle would open immediately. Cochrane's and Newton's HQ's were near our position and there was much careful consultation. We were up and on guard till 11 o'clock PM when we were withdrawn in the most quiet manner No word was spoken by the men and orders were given in whispers. We found all the left falling back in the perfect order. We went to the top of (a) bluff & bi-vouacked about 2 AM. Our forces on (the) left commenced crossing the river about 8 PM & were all over before daylight next morning. The wind which was quite strong favored the secrecy of our movement which was well conducted.
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 1862 - Lay on the bluff opposite Fredericksburg. It commenced raining quite hard about 4 AM and we all lay in the mud without tents. Many did not wake till they were aroused in the morning though their blankets and clothes were wet through and water stood under them. We wandered around a good deal before we found a place to camp. The afternoon was fair. This morning early the rebels occupied the field left by us last night. Our artillery shelled them considerable and they scattered in double quick time. There are many rumours as to the cause of our falling back. It is generally though that we occupied a position that was completely commanded by enemy guns. 8 or 10 thousand are reported killed on the right.
Wednesday, Dec. 17, 1862 - Cold and unpleasant. Moved back towards White Oak Church and camped. Marched 5 or 6 miles to get 1-1/2.
Thursday, Dec. 25, 1862 - Had no drill. Spent the day quietly. Pleasant.
Sunday, Dec. 28, 1862 - Cold and unpleasant. Did not write as usual. Have today conceived a new idea and the more I think of it the better I am pleased with it. And if things work well, I will follow my present inclination.
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1862 - Rather unpleasant. This has been an eventful year for me a well as to the world. One of my dearest friends has changed, have had some experience as S(chool) Com(missioner) and 4 months military (experience) as Lieut. Have lost a dear sister. Several of my friends have married.
1 pr. shoes ----------------------------------------------------------$1.96
1 pr. Drawers----------------------------------------------------------.88
1 piece of shelter tent
1 pr pants
1 doz. Towels----------------------------------------------------------.94
Boots ----9.00 ------------tapping------.50-----------------------9.50
Shoulder straps -----------------------------------------------------2.25
Pistol holster -------.75-------Powder, etc. -------.44-----------1.19
Blankets -------8.50-------ink stand-------.37--------------------8.87