The year 1865 from the diary of Alonzo Clapp

Sunday, January, 1, 1865 - A cold but pleasant day. Called at 3rd Division Head Quarters and spent a few minutes pleasantly. We are in camp about 4 miles in direct line from Petersburg.
Duty is quite severe on the men. The two picket lines are in plain sight and great vigilance is required.

Monday, Jan. 9, 1865 - Our picket lines were attacked this AM & 12 men captured. Julius Fixe and Sentner of "I" (company).

Monday, Jan. 16, 1865 - The regiment was inspected by Col. Hyde. It was in fine condition.

Sunday, Jan. 22, 1865 - Started from Patrick Station for home. Took the Jas. T. Brady at City Point. The fog was so dense that they were obliged (to) lay up part of the night.

Monday, Jan. 23, 1865 - Foggy morning. There is considerable ice in the Potomac. Could not leave Washington. Went to the President's Levee & saw many notables.

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 1865 - Left Washington at 6 PM.

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 1865 - Arrived in New York at 6 AM and left at 7 Am. Arrived in Syracuse, 8 PM.

Thursday, Jan. 26, 1865 - Arrived in B'ville about 9 AM. Found C. well & charming. (C. is his fiance.)

Friday, Jan. 27, 1865 - Attended a party at Mr. S.M. Baldwin's.

Saturday, Jan. 28, 1865 - Started to go home but could not get through as there was so much snow.

Friday, March 3, 1865 - Rainy. Was detailed to take charge of the Division Working Party on Fort Fisher. (Upon Butler's repulse at Fort Fisher, Grant immediately relieved Butler and sent a new expedition under General Terry that captured the Fort. It looks as if Clapp's Division was put to work to rehabilitate the Fort for the Union army, but it also looks as if one of the forts in the line around Petersburg was named for Fort Fisher.)
Capt. Wilkins, Brigade Officer (of the) Day. Went to the 3rd Division. All were noisy on the return.

Thursday, March 23, 1865 - Still no letter from C._____. I hope she will not write me again.

Friday, March 24, 1865 - Sent "List of Casualties" to:
Charlie Lockwood
Emory Clapp
C. C. Clapp
Dr. H.C. Clapp
Miss Hamilton
Miss Silverman
Miss Cowdery
Miss Julia Boughton

Saturday, March 25, 1865 - The rebs attacked the 9th Corps about 4 AM and captured part of their line. The firing was very heavy. We broke camp about 7:30 & remained in the works till about 2 PM. Then moved to the left of Fort Fisher and our division advanced, capturing the picket line & went on to near their works & fell back to the captured line & later the 1st Division advanced on our right. Lt. Col. Dwight & two men were killed and 13 men were wounded. There was heavy fighting to the left.

Sunday, March 26, 1865 - We captured yesterday 3000 prisoners & 10 battle flags on the whole line. I am very lame & sore from yesterdays work.

Monday, March 27, 1865 - Went out to support the picket at 4 AM and came in about 11 AM. Had two men wounded. I am very lame yet from the effect of Saturday's work.

Tuesday, March 28, 1865 - Went with the regiment to support the pickets at 4 Am. Came in at 8 AM. Capt. Walpole mustered at Lt. Col.

Wednesday, March 29, 1865 - Were under orders and ready to move all day. The 5th, 2nd & part of the 24th Corps are moving to the left and there is some firing.
We went on the picket line at 4 AM for the third time in succession. Went to the top of the signal tower and watched rebs (for) some time.
Peach trees are in full bloom.

Thursday, March 30, 1865 - Heavy fighting early this morning to the right and more or less during the day to the left.
Rained hard part of the day. The evening was delightful. Did not hear from friend C. as I hoped.
There is prospect of severe work tomorrow. During the evening we got orders and a plan for a charge at 4 AM tomorrow followed by another suspend(ing) it and then came several others. Not much sleep.

Friday, March 31, 1865 - Some fighting both to the right and to the left.

Saturday, April 1, 1865 - Were sent on the evening to charge the reb skirmish line on our brigade front. Orders were changed and we formed with the Corps for a charge. All were in position at 4 AM. There was considerable picket firing on both sides while we were forming. The artillery firing to the right was terrific from 1 to 3 AM.

Sunday, April 2, 1865 - Waited from 4 Am till near daylight formed in rear of our intrepid skirmish line. Just a little before light, the whole Corps advanced, the 3rd division on the left, then the 2nd and first on the right. We broke their line, advanced to near the S(outh) S(ide) R. R. Then went to the left about 4 miles (and) met the 24th Corps. Then went back to Petersburg and had a lively skirmish all the way to the river. We lost 8 men & one officer.

Monday, April 3, 1865 - OUR SKIRMISHERS ENTERED PETERSBURG AT DAYLIGHT & our forces entered Richmond at 8 AM.
We marched west from Petersburg about 10 miles and camped at 4 PM. The army is in the HIGHEST SPIRITS. RICHMOND IS FALLEN.

Tuesday, April 4, 1865 - Marched 10 or 12 miles toward Berkville (Burkeville). Heard Gen. Sheridan in the distance. Bivouacked about 8:30 PM.

Wednesday, April 5, 1865 - Marched at daybreak, 3rd Division leading the Corps, 3d Brigade leading the Division. Drew rations of the 5th Corps. Came up to the rebs and found the 5th Corps & Cavalry in position near Jettersville.

Thursday, April 6, 1865 - Advanced at daylight and found that the rebs had left. Followed hard all day & came up to them at little Sailor Creek. The 2nd Division was in rear of the Corps and were too late to be engaged though we Double Quicked about a mile. Our success was complete. We captured about 10,000 (men) and 30 battle flags, 16 pieces of artillery, 10 general, officers, including Ewall, Geo. C. Lee, etc., etc.

Friday, April 7, 1865 - Marched at 7 AM. Crossed the Lynchburg R.R. at Rice's Station and went to Farmville where the rebs burned the bridge. Waited till dark before crossing the river.
The Cavalry skirmishes most of the way. They suffered considerably near Farmville.

Saturday, April 8, 1865 - Marche at 11:30 AM. Went towards Lynchburg. Made 12 or 15 miles and halted at 11:30 PM. Heard righting ahead most of the PM.

Sunday, April 9, 1865 - Marched at daylight. Passed New Store. Capt. McGinley found Col. Ould, the reb Commissioner of Exchange, with all his (branches?). Halted at 11 AM 5 miles from Clover Hill and 8 or 9 from Appomattox C. House and received the announcement that Gen. LEE HAD SURRENDERED. I never witnessed such excitement. The whole army was wild. It is the greatest day of the war. The surrender includes all the Army of Northern Virginia.

Monday, April 10, 1865 - Lay in camp all day. Went to the front & had a pleasant visit with several officers of the rebel army.
Adj't Moses and I visited several families of the poorer class. All were rejoiced at the prospect of peace.

Tuesday, April 11, 1865 - Marched at 6 AM. Our regiment was left along the road as house guards. We are protecting property. (He originally wrote, "trying to protect") Bivouacked about 2 miles from (Kerdstown?) (Curdsville?).

Wednesday, April 12, 1865 - Marched at 6 AM. Passed Farmville and marched about 4 miles and bivouacked for the night.
Passed the evening very pleasantly & spent the night at Mr. Watkins house. He has 4 very pleasant daughters. They play and sing fairly.

Thursday, April 13, 1865 - Marched at 7 AM in the rain. It had rained hard all night. Went 2 miles beyond Burke Station (now Burkesville) and went into camp.

Friday, April 14, 1865 - President Lincoln was assassinated this evening.
Moved Camp.

Saturday, April 15, 1865 - Heard in the evening of the assassination of Pres't Lincoln and Sect'y Seward. It is the severest blow the army could have sustained.

Sunday, April 16, 1865 - A pleasant day. Adj't Moses and I went to Mr. Flokes and made a very pleasant call.

Monday, April 17, 1865 - Captured flags were delivered at A(rmy) H(ea)d Qr.

Tuesday, April 18, 1865 - The regiment was inspected by Major Selkirk.

Wednesday, April 19, 1865 - No work done today on account of Pres't Lincoln's Funeral.
Went to Mr. Folkes.
Miss Mary Elizabeth is finely educated & hightly accomplished.

Friday, April 21, 1865 - Called Mr. Folke's

Sunday, April 23, 1865 - Marched at 5 AM. Made 22 miles and bivouacked near Keysville. It was a hard march. The land is better than most in VA.

Monday, April 24, 1865 - Marched at 6 AM. Made about 24 miles & bivouacked at the Staunton river. 2d division led. Passed through some good country.
We are meeting many officers & men form Johnson's army.

Tuesday, April 25, 1865 - Marched at 6 AM. Reached the Bannister (river) at Halifax C.H.

Wednesday, April 26, 1865 - Marched at 6 Am. Halted at dark. Col. Hyde is appointed Military Governor of Danville and we are to lead in (to Danville) tomorrow.

Thursday, April 27, 1865 - The Brigade marched at 4:30 AM. Made 18 miles & arrived at Danville soon after 10 Am. One of the best marches on record. I had charge of the bridge at the entrance of the town, and arrested all stragglers of the Corps. The inhabitants are glad to see us.
A yankee paper was published before night.

Friday, April 28, 1865 - Warm. I had charge of the stragglers till noon when I turned them over to Major Miln, Provost Marshal. Went into camp. Made Major Sutherly's acquaintance and he is a man and a splendid gentleman. (This appears to have been a rebel officer).
The people generally seem to be thoroughly conquered.

Saturday, April 29, 1865 - Am picket officer of the Day. I am making many pleasant acquaintances.

Sunday, April 30, 1965 - A beautiful day. Was not relieved from picket till 1 PM. Took dinner with Major McClish. (McLeish? A rebel officer?)
The people here are pleased with the deportment of our Corps.

Monday, May 1, 1865 - Pleasant. Strawberries are ripening.

Tuesday, May 2, 1865 - Pleasant. Went across the river and went into the country.

Wednesday, May 3, 1865 - Cool & Pleasant. Went into the country. Called at Mr. Williams.

Thursday, May 4, 1865 - A shower. Many of the people seem quite reconciled to the reestablishment of the government. A few are bitter.

Friday, May 19, 1865 - Went with Dr. Knapp and called on Mr. Strickland & saw the Misses Avery, natural curiosities, both having white hair & red, rabbit-like eyes.

Saturday, May 20, 1865 - Took the cars at 4 Am for Richmond, but did not leave Danville till 9-1/2 AM.
Danville affords good opportunities for going into business. Have made some very pleasant acquaintances. Major Sutherland, Mr. Rison & Thos C. Williams are some of them.

Sunday, May 21, 1865 - arrived at Manchester about 2 AM and went into temporary camp. Richmond had immense water power.

Monday, May 22, 1865 - Spent a good part of the day in Richmond looking at the sights. The destruction by the late fires is immense. The equestrian statue of Washington is a fine thing. Henry Mason and Jefferson are good.
Many goods are arriving from the north. There was a very heavy rain during the night.

Tuesday, May 23, 1865 - Remained in camp till towards night when I went to the City.

Wednesday, May 24, 1865 - Moved at 5 AM. Were reviewed in the city by Gen Hallock.
Camped near Hanover C.H.

Thursday, May 25, 1865 - Moved at 5 AM. Marched about 18 (?) miles & camp at Chesterfield Station.

Friday, May 26, 1865 - It rained hard during the night and all day. Marched about 8 miles in the hard rain. I am not well and stopped at Miss Tompkins. Miss Maggie J. Tompkins, Phipps, Caroline County, Virginia.

Saturday, May 27, 1865 - Rained most of the day. The Corps did not move. I staid in the house most of the day and remained during the night.
The streams are very high.

Sunday, May 28, 1865 - Our brigade moved at 10-1/2 AM. Marched about 18 miles & camped near Fredericksburg. Passed over ground that we passed over about a year ago on that ever to be remembered campaign.

Monday, May 29, 1865 - Camped on Marye's Heights & went over the field on which so many were killed and visited the town.

Tuesday, May 30, 1865 - Moved at 5 AM. Marched about 19 miles

Wednesday, May 31, 1865 - Moved at 5 AM. Our brigade leading the Corps. Marched about 16 miles & halted about 11-1/2 AM.

Thursday, June 1, 1865 - Warm. Moved at 6 AM in rear of Corps. Made about 15 miles & camped near Fairfax C.H.
Got a mail and am very much disappointed at not getting a letter form friend C.

Friday, June 2, 1865 - Marched at 6 AM to near Bailey's Crossroads & camped. A very warm day.

Saturday, June 3, 1865 - Moved camp a short distance. Very warm.

Wednesday, June 7, 1865 - Went to Washington on a pass. Got some things and looked at the town. The Corps is to be reviewed tomorrow.

Thursday, June 8, 1865 - Started at 4 AM and marched to Capital Hill by way of Long Bridge. Started at 9 up Pennsylvania Avenue. The reviewing officers were on the stand in front of the White House.
The day was very warm. Many men fell, overcome by heat. It was terribly severe.

Friday, June 9, 1865 - A fine day.

Saturday, June 10, 1865 - Went to Washington and saw the NYS agent. Returned in the evening.

Sunday, June 11, 1865 - Company Officers commenced their muster out rolls.

Monday, June 12, 1865 - Sent Cap't J.M. Gere one hundred dollars.

Tuesday, June 13, 1865 - Warm. I do not feel well.

Wednesday, June 14, 1865 - Rained some.

(Some time subsequent to the above entry and the next, Major Alonzo Clapp died in a Hospital in Washington, D.C.)

Thursday, June 22, 1865 - Deposited with Dr. E.M. Everleth by hand of Dr. E.A. Knapp, Ninety dollars for safe keeping. (This last entry written in a strange hand).


Alonzo Clapp grew up on a farm north of Oneida Lake. He became a school teacher, teaching for some years in Baldwinsville. He then became a school Supervisor, charged with visiting school houses in a district, inspecting them. Maintaining standards and encouraging teachers. About the time when the war started, he was serving as principal of the Onondaga Hill school, but was prevailed up by his Baldwinsville friends to enter the service in a company being formed there. He finally enlisted as a lieutenant.
As his diary shows, he suffered from ill health several times during his service. Probably, he was not very robust and the military life subjected him to freezing weather, extreme heat in summer, little sleep and frequently little or no food and that badly prepared. He seems to have been very conscientious and often served in place of other officers who had gone to Washington to see their congressman in attempt to gain promotion.
Alonzo's death may have saved him from going south after the war to try his luck there. He writes of the fine farming country and of good business opportunities in some of the later entries. He seems to have been able to get along well with Southerners.