Braddocks Fields Pittsburgh
March, Friday 14, 1862
Weather clear and cold in the morning weather is very refresh--cloudy in the afternoon, rainy. This was a sad and sorrowful day to me. A loadstone was resting upon me never experienced such sadness in my life. God grant I may never experience another such day--the parting scene! No tongue nor pen can vilate? It requires more than ordinary nerves and the fortitude of a soldiers age, one convinced of his duty. A volunteer to sacrifice his all for his country I bid farewell (about 9 am, never expecting to see any of them on Earth again) to my nearest and dearest friends in B T. (Father Mills on parting remarked I was a pretty good boy therefore he had nothing to say to me -) Mary S. M. presented me with a cane and bottle of molasses of her own handy work. Mrs. M. C. B. presented me with a nice blank book. I purchased Nan a Philopoena present in the City About 5 p.m. I bid my dear sister, Mama, her husband Rev Hill and Wm. D. Holland farewell. At a P. R. R. station-- Hard! Hard! Indeed was it to separate as I thought forever bound for a distant climate and land As I passed by my dear friends were Nancy Kerchief and arriving at Greensburg K. M. handed me a nice present (needle cushion) from Miss Kate Russel also a letter from Mama and sister.
Harrisburg Camp Curtin
March, Saturday 15, 1862
Weather very cloudy and sultry rainy all this was very wet muddy and disagreeable weather. Armed in the Confederate of the Keystone State about 3 am remained at hotel until morning not a minutes sleep or rest lost last night. About 9 am we were marched to Camp Curtin." Roundhead recruits from Pittsburgh was composed of six men Wy. Inc. J. R. McClure, James, McIlvane, Wm Saunders, L. D. Wilgus and myself not a mouth of dinner did he receive in camp and a filthier camp a more loathsome rendezvous for troops I ever seen in the years experience The Commonwealth should not issue us any clothing save a blanket unless we were examined and the Affairs had not time to examine us. Consequently, our stat never furnished us anything save a blanket - though we were entitled to the whole outfit slept with L D. W. on the soft side of a pine board tonight. We are being treated last soldiers life a hard one.
March, Sunday 16, 1862
Weather very cloudy warm and sultry indicating rain. John McClure, Jim McIlvane, Bill Saunders, Lorenze (L. D. Wilgus) and me got a pass and to Harrisburg for our baggage we left at the Hotel found everything undisturbed as we had left it. Remained in town until about 4 P.M. When we returned to camp on our return we met a squad of men who were ordered to move on the morning train for the Port Royal, S.C. for N. Y. We were also ordered to return and accompany them often arriving at camp. We did so often partaking in a very poor supper. Returned to the city and reported ourselves at 8 P.M. Remaining and patiently waiting the hour for the train to start. Passing the time as best we could though no rest or sleep was in rescue for us.
Aboard the Cars, New Ark New York
March, Monday 17, 1862
Weather cloudy and clear alternately everything fore a winter appearance grand white with snow. We left Harrisburg bound for New York City. Now 3 ½ a.m. made the best drive and the mist comfortable can or smoothest road I ever traveled on. I imagined we were moving about 40 miles an hour. Arrived in N. Y. about 11 a.m. N. Y., Pittsburgh R. R. to day for the first time in my life did I any lived the Keystone State New Jersey being first on the list after crossing the line had a grand and delightful time aboard the cars. We marched along Broad Way and was the laughing stock of the misses oweing to our filthy or unsoldiery appearance. Only partly enforced we quartered in the filthiest hole I was ever in. Oh! how uncomfortable I was-who can imagine? McClure and I broke on run the guards and went to Barnums Museum clearly the most and interesting and [?] place of amusement I ever visited it was $50 dollars to see it N. York contains the first buildings I ever saw.
New York City
March, Tuesday 18, 1862
Weather clear and cloudy alternately though the [day] and was very warm and cold a calm sea breeze. Breeze made it rather uncomfortable. Bill Saunders attempted to sneak the guards to go into the City was caught and lodged in the Grand house. John McClure and me were prepped in and we took a stroll over the City especially on Broad Way to see the pretty ladies and the fashions and sights generally! Was well high lived and we returned yet has well refraid for my walk. New York City pleases my fancy better than any city I ever saw; One can see more sights and get more of everything for many expanded than any place I ever saw but I must in justice say I never saw poor people until I arrived in N. Y. I wrote a letter to Jonathan.
Aboard the Oriental
March, Wednesday 19, 1862
Weather clear and pleasant. Happy to say we left our filthy prison in the City about 10 a.m. went to the dock and got aboard the steamer Oriental. After removing an hour and a half or two when a cannon was fired all being ready we commenced our journey on the briny deep sound for S. C. The ocean was calm and the ship run smoothly over the waters but the farther we went out to sea the more the waters were troubled and during the night vessel did not run smoothly. There were two or three companies of Yankees aboard Rhode Island and Mass. Batterymen aboard consequently we [seventy] being in the minority fared very poorly. Yankees stole our guns. It was first the first time in my life on guard to guard our possessions.
Aboard the Oriental And on the Ocean Sailing
March, Thursday 20, 1862
Weather very cloudy anything but pleasant or agreeable The waters were troubled very much all day and we dry-landers would call it a very hard storm at sea but doubtly sailors viewed it in a different light. Nine tenths of the passengers were seasick and I had the exquisite pleasure of experiencing what I had heard so much about and read of so often ( sea sickness). The passengers generally agree almost universally. Aboard we became very pertinent when the storm was raging praying God to presence them in the harm of danger when all expected to be swallowed up by the Mighty. Many I thought were inviting Gods wrath after serving the Devil all their lives they offer themselves to their Creator whose death no expectation any moment. The sight on deck was magnificent beyond description to see the huge innumerable waves running their courses as God directed. The works of God are truly grand and much to be admired striking one with awe No land was visible to day.
Aboard the Oriental Out on the Ocean Sailing
March, Friday, 21 1862
Weather cloudy and dreary in the morning but eve long old sol came forth to shine in all his splendor which was very cheering to us. No land was visible to us today and to one accustomed to it on to who never before was so far away from Mother Earths arms and was a sad and dreary sight. One appeared lost To day we were sailing against the wind all day consequently did not make as gain head way as we otherwise would have done. Although our steamer was a craft with seven propellers able to cope with the waves, quite a large number of porpoises were seen to day swimming along side the ship. Yankee Officers were shouting at them--very large apparently the size of a man would jump five feet above the surface of the water. The vessel rode over the waves to day which was much pleasanter than a [?].
Aboard the Oriental Oriental
March, Saturday 22, 1862
Weather very cloudy and cold a strong now cold sea breeze was the cause of the cold weather. Our vessel was obliged to contend with the wind all day. Consequently we made poor speed although the water was very smooth considering the wind and breeze raging all day. No land was visible to me to day although a number of the soldiers just before dark imagined they saw land but I really believe it was all imagination. I know there was none visible to me. We ran near by a sail vessel to day which hoisted the stars and stripes as we propped all aboard jived in giving three hearty cheers for the glorious old emblem of our nation. Our spirits were revived by the sight.
Aboard the Oriental Hilton Head Beaufort
Saw Clark McKeever in the hospital sick
March, Sunday 23, 1862
Weather clear and cloudy alternately warm and delightful change of the climate We landed at the dock of Hilton Head S. C. about 11 a.m. and by sacred soul of Dixie were very tired and weary of our adventures at sea We had [a] great and exciting time aboard last night. Unable naming the Blockade as our ship did not step or pay any attention when signaled by the blockading squadron a shot was fired through our rigging. Passengers aboard cried Rebel Pirate hence the scare and rush to jump over board. This was the third scare aboard the Continental I saw my old T. H. S. schoolmate Inc. T. Martin at landing on Hilton Head Saw the Palmetto tree a beautiful tree. We remained at Hilton Head about two hours. When we got aboard a steam boat bound for Beaufort about 1 ½ p.m. a beautiful city Round heads were on picket got a pass and took a stroll through the town.
Beaufort S. C.
March, Monday 24, 1862
Weather very cloud and cold for this climate I thought although the Darkeys say March is the coldest month in the year and Sept. the hottest. I slept for the first time in my life in a bed last night nothing under me save board. I did not sleep but rolled all night. I thought the soft side of a board would kill me or rather that my knives would cut through the skin. I wrote a letter to sister Elizabeth and one to Mag C. Bell. I took Mayor Russel Errett his package was insisted to call frequently and get the Pitt. Papers. His office was in a splendidly finished home I called on Chaplain Brown but he was down in town. Roundheads returning to camp. Bob Taggard introduced me to Captain Templeton. I was also introduced to one of our Lieutenants--I dont remember which one. Ceher I believe also to Morris McKeever and several other members of the Company. I was very much pleased with the captains appearance actions A marquee was erected for us The captain called and congratulated and entertained the boys as they received a Company boy from home.
Beaufort S. C.
March, Tuesday 25, 1862
Weather clear and cloudy alternately though pleasant this was the warmest day we have had. Sure my annual in Dixies Land might being Cove and apparently getting colder to cold to enjoy the sweet repose sleep affords one. Being idle today I wrote E. L. M. a letter, visited Chaplain Brown before requested, accompanied by John Stevenson gave the Chaplain the package I brought him from Pittsburgh. I was introduced to Col. Daniel Leasure Col mad murder if inquired about Westmad and Camp. My relatives and His Chaplain took us to his room and entertained us for some time dis____ the [?] by climatic soldiers duties and concluded by giving us some very good and useful advice on administration in regard to our duties and if we passed by it we will be benefited in every way We thanked him and were cordially invited by both he and the Col. to come back offering us any assistance they had in their power to assist.
March, Wednesday 26, 1862
Weather clear and cloudy alternately very warm like my weather in the Keystone state. We recruits were still idle no uniform yet furnished these who come north into them We were taken to the Surgeons office and our physical condition examined although ours could scarcely be called an examination. Our tongues were shone and some ten or a dozen questions asked us. This constituted our examination I need scarcely say none were rejected although several seriously feared they would be sent home. Only one at a time has admitted in the office for examination A number of the 8th Mich. Regt was buried to day with the honors of war Hons.
Beaufort, S. C.
March, Thursday 27, 1862
Weather very cloudy and very very intensely cold I thought. For this climate reminded me of March weather in the Keystone state-I thought it was cold enough to snow perhaps too cold for that but from noon I gradually became warmer until night and one night or darkening prevailed it was pleasant. I copied two secesh letters today. One was written in a practical style both exhibiting the characteristics of the inhabitants though the contents were rather of a smutty character. One was written by a lady relating her experience. I accompanied the Regt. and to drill only as a spectator visited the rebel first building to define Beaufort strolled along the beach until we arrived at the outer pickets when I was stopped. I saw and found several oysters though not cattle being confused of the sun and low tide. Also strolled through or over the town--a wealthy aristocratic city; got some cotton.
Beaufort, South Carolina
March, Friday 28, 1862
Weather clear and very warm--a delightful day reminding me of our June weather at home or July. The heat had a very debilitating affect on me none being acclimated. Consequently I felt indisposed to perform any duty if called upon-especially drilling. I fear I made a useful mistake in chasing the climate especially out this late season of the year. I fear Ill only rue or regret it once all the days of my life; almost or altogether washed too. I had heeded my friends advise before being here but to determined soldiers in the accused state of South Carolina or die in the attempt I insisted Brigade drill today. Wrote a letter to Bill Holland also to A. L. Fisher sending him a secesh letter found by a Roundhead and picket.
Beaufort, South Carolina
March, Saturday 29, 1862
Weather cloudy and very warm today Lorenze (L.D. Wilgus) and I went down to town to day visited the Dock and saw the Donkeys work. The negroes are slaves of S. C. and are the most ignorant degraded set of human beings I ever saw. Resembling in talk and actions, more a collections of budavs than of negroes in shape and form and resembling or reminding me of northern negroes such is the fruits of slavery. I was scanting them Seuel Messa told them Yankees would cut off their hands and cut up their bodies and eat them would send them all to Cuba apart them in a pit bury them alive I asked them how they liked Uncle Sam as a Master, all replied that they were delighted with him they made some very strange inquiries about Uncle Sam of my boy. They wished to know if Uncle Sam was as big a man as me? I was at a lost to reply to such questions knowing my inability to explain to them what he meant by that term I wrote to W. S. Brllock also to R. A. M. got our tent partly flamed to day.
Beaufort, South Carolina
March, Sunday 30, 1862
Weather warm and cloudy my very sultry and foggy and smoky all day Went to the Episcopal Meeting house and heard one Chaplain preach from Peter 23 verse and 6th chapter a Presbyterian sermon . I spent my day reading my Bible and the testament all night I attended Prayer meeting on Camp in the left portion of the Regt. Chaplain Brown afterward said it was well attended (quote) and interest being exhibited by the Regiment or men generally. The Chaplain made some very appropriate remarks and a minister of Puritans were offered up to the Live and Living God Prayer meeting was also announced for Wednesday night.
Beaufort, S. C.
March, Monday 31, 1862
March went out like a lamb. Weather cloudy and very hot reminding me of June weather in Penna. Lorenze and me went out to see the artillery drilling it was grand and [?] us. I wrote a letter to Jn. B. Martin. W J. L. and D. N. S. sending each a rebel letter the first mail since my mail was received to day General Hunter visited Beaufort to day but remained only a short time. I did not see him as he returned to Hilton Head. This was just the kind of weather that gnats flourish best in. They annoyed me and all of us very much enough to the patience of a job. I found a Secesh testament and my name in it sent some specimens of King Cotton in my letters.