Picketing – “Camp Stevens” S. C.

 

May,                                                    Thursday 1,                                                     1862

 

“May came in like a Lion” Weather very cloudy, warm about sun rising before being relieved. Rather cool for the climate the remainder of the day. Early in the morning we were arrested by the sound of oars; a skiff approached containing two male slaves with their wives.  I never in my life saw any one so much scared as they were. Women hid their faces trembling with fear on putting their feet on ? one grasped the Sergeants hand fell upon his knees exclaiming “God bless you Massa” (Tim told him to arise and not worship him) said they had been a month and eight days on the road in making their escape hid in the swamp during that ? said all the “Secesh” had gone to Yorktown on Sunday last.  We fed them and entertained them as best we could and I never saw any persons appreciate favors like they did.  I never saw any living souls so happy as they were. They were sent to the Generals headquarters – We had a tremendous heavy rain shower- We had a feast of berries as usual for supper.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Camp Stevens South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Friday 2,                                                          1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately very pleasant weather Sam Fowler and I took a ride in a “Dugout” to Smith’s plantation. We bought some eggs and radishes from the stores – I wrote a letter to T. N. S. – Bill Simcox and I visited the Sea Bank plantation in the afternoon saw the Regimental Sein and the boys of Co. F replacing it for use. He brought a Bouquet from Lea Brooks farm the presented the bouquet to our highly esteemed Captain Wm T. Templeton, found plenty of dew berries on the very our. After returning to Camp we went to the Creek and took a good bath after which again we went to Smith plantation got some more radishes – I spent some time trying to teach the slaves – took another swim.

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

Camp Stevens – On Picket

 

May,                                                    Saturday 3,                                                      1862

 

Weather clear very few if any clouds to interfere with “Sols” course. The cool and enchanting pleasant breezes are very much enjoyed making the weather very pleasant. I went on Picket about the usual time I was posted at the third post from headquarters with John McClure John Brice and John Stevenson. The identical post I done my first picket duty at I read several chapters in my Bible gathered several pints of dew berries Lieut. Ocher was in command of the Pickets – We were obliged to go to headquarters for waters as the water in our spring stank from some cause unknown stagnated to much for use . We had a mess of sweet potatoes for supper. Countersign was “Benham”.  News come from some wives that the Union army were in possession of “Yorktown” “Richmond” and “New Orleans”.  3000 killed at Jubilee.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

On Picket – Camp Stevens

 

May,                                                    Sunday 4,                                                        1862

 

Weather clear and very warm in the forenoon; but cloudy in the afternoon with a cool refreshing breeze which made it pleasant and agreeable weather; I came off Picket about 9 a.m. I never in my life was annoyed so much as I was last night on Picket by swarms of gnats filling ones ear and singing a dizzy which was anything but pleasant or agreeable. Also mosquitoes paid us their respect cries of vanity – Returned to camp, washed, ate breakfast and went out berrying had good success gathering berries.  Inscribed my initials in a meeting house after dinner and finished reading 2 hours Epistle under a large live Oak. Took a good bath in salt water changed clothes – water in a splendid condition – A small mail came today.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

May,                                                    Monday 5,                                                       1862

 

Weather cloudy and very warm – Immediately after breakfast I started out in search of berries gathered some three fruits returned to Camp and went berrying again to gather some to take to town.  Assisted in gathering a mess pan full – Returned to Camp at dinner and went swimming while bathing.  The 50th Regt. P. V. arrived from “Beaufort” to relieve us from Picket duty. I say all of us would much prefer to remain here than go back to “Beaufort” – commenced that march for “Beaufort” about 11 am stopped at “Grey’s Hill” “Col. Amstrongs” headquarters.  Remained here about an hour.  After the arrival of all the Companies, marched to Salt Water Bridge and continued marching.  Didn't arrive in Camp at “Beaufort until about 5 p.m.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Tuesday 6,                                                       1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately and very hot the hottest weather I ever experienced in May. I visited the city today and purchased a tin cup from the only white man found in all South Carolina by the Union Army.  I also bought a plate and spoon. I went out in the woods for pelis and forks to improve our Marque Brigade Drill at 4 p.m. by Captain Hazard Stevens (General’s son).  This was decidedly the largest and hardest drill I have yet experienced. Col. Samuel Leasure complimented the “Roundheads” very highly for our perfection at drilling. He also gave the “Brass Band” quite a “puff” for their improvement. Last but not least our health as a Regt. ? 8 men in the hospital- 8 but 5 really sick. Col. was just arrived conflicting tonight.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Wednesday 7,                                                 1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately though pleasant – I received a letter from sister Mona. R. A. M. Inc. B. M. and D. N. S. which revived any spurts and made me cheerful and happy. I commenced writing a letter to A. L. Fisher but did not get time to finish it. Brigade Drill at 4 p.m. Company A. was displayed as skirmishers our drill was “short and sweet” – At Dress Parade the Colonel informed us that Gov. Curtin had tendered him two new 60 lbs (weight of one) guns and also that he expected to get them for the Regiment. Col. also informed the “Roundheads” there would be a concert at the Camp of 8th Mich. Regt. for the benefit of the widows and orphans of the killed of their Regt. I attended “Hilanders Band” made the music.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Thursday 8,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately very warm though the cool refreshing sea breeze made it very pleasant. I was on Regimental Guard today. Lieut. L. H. Pentecost was officer of the guards. I was on the 3rd relief as usual and stationed at the last post No. 28. Lorenze was also on guard duty. Countersign was “Washington.” We could not sleep at night owing to swarms of the detestable gnats tormenting us the “live long” night enough really to warn the patience of a “Teb” Niho wouldn’t soldier or live in the “Sunny South” where insects of every size shape and form came up and of the “sacred sound” or 2 very almost say grew spontaneously.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Friday 9,                                                          1862

 

Weather on the whole rather cloudy during the day though the sun shone at intervals at sun setting threatening rain. Finished Fishers letter put it in the office. Rumored through Camp that “Yorktown” Va. had been evacuated and that the Rebels had fallen back to ‘Richmond”. Also that Jeff Davis’s “Nigger” Coachmen had come over to the Union Army reporting that Jeff was sending money to France. Also saying that if they were defeated at “Yorktown” they were “done gone up” I doubt all the above reports – such is Camp life something to get out of our excitement and it will run through Camp like “wild fire” I received a letter from E. L. M.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Saturday 10,                                                    1862

 

Weather clear and very pleasant delightful cool and refreshing sea breezes during the whole day. Company A (or rather a member of the Company who professed to know something about playing Cricket) went to the Mich Regt. to play Cricket and returned badly beaten. I received a letter from Bro Jared containing some shoe strings. I wrote a letter to R. A. M. and one to Maria. We were idle today--no duty in drilling save Dress Parade – Lieut. Cohen took squad of men down to the river to bathe. I was among the number – Received orders to prepare for inspection of arms and knapsacks at 2 ½ p.m. tomorrow.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Sunday 11,                                                      1862

 

Weather clear and very hot and sultry today not the least breeze “brewing” to day - I spent the day in idleness and suspense impatiently awaiting the hour for inspection reading but little owing to the state of my mind and the excitement of a green soldier preparatory to inspection. After inspection we were moved (without arms or accoutrements) to the Episcopal Meeting house where we heard the scriptures expressed by the Chaplain of the Hilanders 79th N. Y. Regt. Rev. 22nd Chap. 16 and 17th verses was his text--a very good closure of the kind .  He is quite a fine looking man and an eloquent speaker.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Monday 12,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and very warm – We had Company drill in the morning Captain commanding.  After drill I wrote a letter to E. L. M. putting Maria’s and Rachel’s also in the office. I sent a specimen of South Carolina flowers in each of them as they are found growing promiscuous over the ground. I was down in town today – Brigade drill at 4 p.m. . Neither Colonels Leasure or Armstrong were present to drill us. Capt. Danson commanded the Regt. at Dress Parade. Gen Hunters order was read making it a military verity to forever abolish African slaves in the Department – order dated “Hilton Head” April 27th, 1862. Camp Guard abolished by order of Col. Leasure today – went swimming.

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Tuesday 13,                                                     1862

 

Weather cloudy very warm and sultry in the forenoon but we had a cool refreshing sea breeze in the afternoon to revive our spirits – Thirty five men were detailed from Company A. for quarter guard. Lorenze was among the number since the detail was made.  I stand at the head of the Company. We have only three reliefs and but three men on each relief. I was on the third relief posted at the guard house the most loathsome duty a soldier has to perform. Duty to guard his Bro soldier during part of the bayonet – was guarding an old sailor “Jack” of C. H. About 400 Negroes were taken to “Hilton Head” yesterday Gen Hunter intends making soldiers of them.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, S. C.

 

May,                                                    Wednesday 14,                                               1862

 

Weather very cloudy in the forenoon threatening rain. We had a very heavey rain shower in the afternoon very warm weather – I came off guard about the usual time at breakfast and went to the Episcopal Meeting house and wrote a letter to Bro. Jared and one to Inc. B. M. sent some cotton southern mess and live oak in the letters – I was idle all day being excused or exempt from drilling just coming off guard duty. The Old Colored Woman brought us our clean clothes – I traded my “Hard tack” to Inc. McClure for his “soft” bread consequently I can always have light bread instead of “hard tack” hereafter. Terrific rain storm at night leveling a number of tents to the ground--ours among the rest took up our abode in the church.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Saturday 15,                                                    1862.

 

Weather very cloudy in indicating rain ,sparingly rain in the forenoon – Company drill by Lieut. Cohen in the morning. Weather in the afternoon clear and cloudy alternately and very hot – The rain storm last night was the most terrific I ever saw.  Lightning thunder and rains in Dixie baffle description. It cost us considerable time and later in the forenoon re-erecting over marquce thoroughly saturated with water very heavy and difficult to handle. Brigade drill at the usual time Lieut. Cohen commanded the Company – made a mistake while drilling.   Col. L became angry riding up “said he would get Cohen a pair of leather spectacles and Co. A. where they would not spoil the Battalion.”   Negroes brought a Secesh gun boat from “Charleston” to “Beaufort” turned today.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, S. C.

 

May,                                                    Friday 16,                                                        1862

 

Weather very cloudy and one not acquainted with the climate would consider it rather cool for the climate though very pleasant – I wrote to M. L. M. and D. N. S. – Nine Negroes brought a Secesh gun boat carrying 6 guns from “Charleston” arrived at Beaufort last evening the most intelligent Darkey’s I have yet seen in Dixie. I saw three or four of the Darkey’s today gave us the particulars of their adventures – managed things admirably – Yesterday at Dress Parade Col. L. told the “Roundheads” but meaning Co. A. that Camp Calif., could have and yet not be smart” as we cheered and hollered on the skirmish line. Orderly Ed. Bauman drilled us in the morning – Brigade drill at the usual time both Colonels were present.

……………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, S. C.

 

May,                                                    Saturday 17,                                                    1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately very hot when old sol had an opportunity to shine in all his glory un-interrupted. I was engaged the greater portion of the day cleaning my gun-- a terrible job. Wm. A. Lewis and I went swimming in Beaufort River – visited the Camp of the Hilanders and Michigan Regiments.   Hilanders are more tidy clean and neat in their camp than any Regt. in the Brigade. I visited the Baptist Meeting house to day first meeting house in Beaufort – Put “Nan’s” and Daren letter in the office Dress Parade at 6 p.m. – I was on the top of the Episcopal Meeting house on Cupulo.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Sunday 18,                                                      1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately intensely hot when clear. I went to the Baptist Meeting house to attend services “Hiland” Chaplain officiated choosing 26th verse of 22nd chapter of Exodus as his subject – After service I returned to Camp ate dinner and took a stroll through the woods along the Shell Road over the Plantations near by found in my travels several Magnolia trees,  flowers in bloom the first I ever saw. I did not know them Darkey’s said it was Laurel the Magnolia is the most fragrant flower that grows about the size of a large goose egg. W. H. Lewis, Lorenze and me went bathing in the evening – I attended Prayer Meeting at night – We had a review and inspection of arms and knapsacks by Col. Leasure the Col. also inspected the Camp afterwards – We had a heavy shower of rain in the evening.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Monday 19,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and very hot – John Stevenson and I went for Magnolia flowers we found some beautiful ones. I made Capt. Templeton a bouquet. We had aour morning drill – Brigade drill at the usual time the Engineer Corp were practicing in their line of business by throwing a pontoon bridge over a swamp. We remained out until 8 p.m. awaiting the completion of the bridge but were obliged to return as we come without crossing the bridge or swamp – in the mean time while waiting we stacked arms and prepped the time gathering black berries as the ground was literally covered and we fared sumptuously. I was absent from roll call for the first time – I received a letter from David K. M. Mother and sister also one from M. C. Bell.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Tuesday 20,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and intensely hot especially in the forenoon I wrote a letter to Mother. I read the letter of the Major of N. C. directed or addressed to the Flag officer of the U. S. N. when the unconditional surrender of the City was demanded. It was decidedly the most cool, independent, insulting letter I ever read – Regimental drill to day Colonels Leasure and Armstrong both present. A squad of boys went down along the beach to bathe but it happened to be low tide and we returned disappointed.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Wednesday 21,                                               1862

Weather clear and cloudy alternately with a very cool and refreshing sea breeze – I replied to M. C. Bell letter – There was no drilling today and we were idle.  A rumour was circulated that we had marching orders.   Dress Parade was at the usual time. After Dress Parade I went swimming.  I never found salt water in so good condition as on this occasion--tide also was favorable. After returning from bathing I attended Prayer Meeting  had a very pleasant meeting. Chaplain of 50th P.N. made a few remarks. I returned to Camp just in time for Roll Call at “Tattoo”

.………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Thursday 22,                                                   1862

 

Weather cloudy threatening and indicating rain but we had no rain today.  I asked for and received  the first pass today! Granting Wm. A. Lewis, Inc. France, Frank Rise, Lorenze, Geo W. McClellan and me came to visit “Ladies Island” but unfortunately we were disappointed as we could not get berries or hue a skiff to cross the river. I went out the “Shell Road”  for magnolias – got a cane – I sent several petal and leaves in a letter to Mother and M. C. Bell. We had Company drill by Captain Templeton. He put us through the flint mill – I read a couple of travels – Captain Templeton announced to the Company that in a few days arrangements could be completed with Mr. Barn (Sutler) so that the members of the Company could get anything they wanted without money on the Captain account – I went swimming.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Friday 23,                                                        1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately with a cool pleasant refreshing sea breeze to revive the spirits of anyone – I had a pretty severe sore throat all day – tried several methods to cure but received little or no relief from any or all.   The “Awkward Squad” were drilled alone in the morning under the shade of a huge “Live Oak”.  It was a long and tedious drill. We  had Brigade Drill at the usual time – Company A was thrown out as skirmishers.  Colonels Leasure and Armstrong were both present – Colonel Leasure warned the boys not to associate with the “Nigger women” hereafter in times past as the Darkeys had received order to shout wherever came.   – Co. A. had a splendid dinner of new potatoes today some as large as hen eggs.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina                   

 

May,                                                    Saturday 24,                                                    1862

 

Weather cloudy indicating rain in abundance. Rain fell during certain intervals of the day – Heavy rain shower during last night. I had severe sore throat and headache.  We had a skirmish drill in the morning – I put my gun in good order for inspection.  28 men of Company A went on picket – Dress Parade as usual Company A did not return out – Hilander Brass Band played at picket mounting I never heard such delightful music by any band--one appears almost carried away.   We heard cannonading all afternoon in the direction of “Hilton Head”.  Rumored that President Lincoln is there but I doubt it.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Sunday 25,                                                      1862

 

Weather cloudy, very cold and disagreeable for this climate at this season of the year. I should think raining fast when we awoke and continued to rain for some time an exceedingly cold rain for this climate – Lorenze and I were detailed Picket but our lot fell in town. Lorenze was on 1st relief and I was on 2nd relief standing from 10-12 and from 4-6 p.m. Eleren Olvey was Corporal of our relief. I saw corn in tassel today – I attended a religious ceremony by the nature slaves and I was utterly astonished to see that a civilized nation tolerated much less sanctioned such disgusting performances on the Lords Day.  Ah, such blasphemy in the sight of God yet the ignorant creatures think and believe honestly that they are worshiping their Creator – such is the fruits of slavery in the United States.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Monday 26,                                                     1862

 

Weather cloudy appearance of rain but only a very little sprinkle fell – I was relieved off Guard Duty about 6 a.m. Weather exceedingly cold I should think for the climate reminding me of the weather in Penna. Company A drilled as skirmishes in the morning – Brigade Drill as usual I was exempted from both as I just came off Picket duty – I took a stroll in search of wild plumbs but was unfortunate returning minus plumbs – found a few berries.  I cleaned my gun in the afternoon and it was rumoured that mail has arrived at “Hilton Head.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Tuesday 27,                                                     1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately very pleasant and warm quite a change from yesterday – Company A had a skirmish drill in the forenoon commanded by Col. Armstrong and Lieutenant Pentecost – Brigade Drill as usual Col. Leasure commanding “Roundheads” were put in battle line practicing firing and I was annoyed all day with toothache-- very poor company.   Wm. H. Lewis, Wm. Sanders and I visited the “Hilander Band” quarters each engaging a badge made of a quarter dollar containing initials of main Co. and Regt. – It was rumoured through Camp that the steamer “Oriental” which brought the Awkward Squad from N. Y. was wrecked but that passengers and all aboard mail were saved. Heard cannonading at “Fort Sumpter” went swimming but [?].

…………………………………………………………………………………………........

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Wednesday 28,                                               1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately a very hot day last night the heavies dew fell I ever saw in “Dixie” or any other place – My teeth were still growling or ackeing [aching] a little to day – Skirmish drill as usual in the morning without a Bugalier – Brigade Drill at the usual time – We were put through the fighting maneuvers General Stevens was present Colonels Leasure and Armstrong were also on the field – Some of the Company were out swimming or fishing they caught a shark and brought it to camp some of the boys cut off the head and burned it cleaned the body and cooked it it was as clean and white as any fish meat I ever saw I ate some and relished it as much as any fish I ever ate save trout – We received orders to hold constantly in readiness to move at any moment.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Thursday 29,                                                   1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately and very hot in the respect like yesterday – 40 picked men were taken out of each company of “Roundheads” to stand at 6 a.m. for the “Ferry” or the “Main Island”. The 50th Regt. P.L. preceded them last night. Our boys went as a reserve or support to the 50th P. C. – Wilgus and others were offended that they were not among the 40 chosen to assemble the remainder of the “Roundheads”. Col. Leasure read orders to us to prepare our clothes and hold ourselves in readiness to move aboard a boat at 4 a.m. on the morrow – I wrote a letter to sister Elizabeth telling her of our orders. The Adjt. notified us we would not leave until Saturday for want of trumpets.  I was put on double duty loading cunny – any stores down in town to take with us – I received a letter and likeness from R. A. M. also one letter from Mama.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

 

May,                                                    Friday 30,                                                        1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately and very hot – I answered Mama and Rachel’s letters.  Lorenze and I were in town writing letters in a school or meeting house – were returning to Camp for dinner when we heard for the first time the “Long Roll”.  There was hurrying to and fro about this time immediately fell in ranks we were ordered to get our canteens.  Col. Armstrong commanded the Roundheads.  Capt. Templeton the Co. We marched out the “Shell Road” about 6 miles expecting to have a brush with the Enemy as it was rumored they had driven our troop off the “Main Land” area of the Ferry. The sun was intensely hot and the march was very severe – men struggled considerably.  Col. halted, formed the men in lines and asked any one to step out of ranks who could not go alone.  I did not see a single man walk out to be sent to the rear – I believe I was never so hungry in my life – We halted under the largest live oak I ever saw for dinner awaiting orders – I carried Celifs picture near my heart as I loved the original – I never ate a meal that did me so much good in my life after remaining here some two hours we returned to Camp – Orders for going aboard the boat continued.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beaufort, South Carolina

May,                                                    Saturday 31,                                                    1862

 

Weather clear and cloudy alternately intensely hot “May went out like a Milton”.   I took a stroll out in the woods to look at the Picture.  I received Oh! how my spirits revived it brought to memory the happy joys and pleasures of the past we spent together. I took a farewell look with scenes of salutes.  I enclosed Celifs likeness in a letter to Mama as I feared I would leave it and the Rebels would get it. I put my gun in good order for any emergency. I assisted our men to carry and erect our Marquee again but once we had it pushed we received orders to pack knapsack.  We did do and took a last refreshing swim I fear in or at “Beaufort” about 10 p.m. Company A was ordered to fall in then marched down to the dock and got aboard the boat – All the boys were as merry as a marriage belle – went to “Hilton Head” and got aboard the gun boat “Bianville” remaining all night stationary.

………………………………………………………………………………………………