23rd Georgia Infantry

Diary/Memorandum of William L Fisher Co. K 23rd Ga

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Diary of William L Fisher
Company K
23rd Georgia Infantry
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During The War Between The States
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Covering Time Period
July 22nd 1861 thru August 26th 1863
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William Fisher was the grandfather of Mr. Charles Wesley Lindsey Sr. through whose courtesy this verbatim copy was made possible
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Memorandum
by
William Fisher
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1861
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July the 22nd 1861
I having previously joined a volunteer company went to Blairsville and helped organize the Company and elect our officers after which time we stood in readiness to march to camps at a day’s notice
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August the 12th
I cut my foot with an axe and was unable to travel for two months
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Aug 22nd
The Co. marched for camp McDonald, Ga. but I rode to town, saw them leave, then returned home
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Aug31st
The Company was mustered into service for the war into the 23rd Georgia Regt. by Capt Wm Bacon, A.Q.M., of the C.S.A.
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Nov 9th
I left home to go to Camp McDonald, I got there and was mustered into service
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Nov 11th
The 23rd taken the cars for the seat of war
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Nov 14th
We landed in Richmond Va. taken up to camp and drilled regular
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Nov 30th
We moved to Bloody Run, now called Chimbarazo Hospital
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Dec 10th
We got on board a steamboat (The North Hampton) and sailed down James River to Kings Warf
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Dec 14th
Marched to Yorktown and Camped
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1862
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Jan 7th
Nathan Sullivan died Jan the 7
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Jan 30th
I taken a Conjestive Chill
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Jan 31st
Went into Winter quarters that we had built ourselves of pine loggs we had snug cabins with brick chimney
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Feb 11th
We were assigned to a Battery
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March 4th
Thompson Nix died of fever, and was carried home by W L Howard
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Mar 7th
Navy fight at Newport News, the federals defeated, 3 Yankee Gun Boats sunk
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Mar 21st
I was carried off to Buglars Hospital with the fever where I staid 12 weeks
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April 3rd
Went to Hospital in Williamsburg
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Apr 5th
Started for Richmond to Hospital. The bombardment of Yorktown began
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Apr 7th
I got to Chimbarazo Hospital and began to mend rapidly The siege of Yorktown continues
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Apr the 22nd
I went to Yorktown and reported for duty. I now soon became familiar with those Missiles called Bomb Shells
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May the 3rd
After destroying all our Stores and Artillery that we could not carry off we retreated under cover of night, Leaving the Peninsular in the hands of the Yankees. We made our way towards Richmond. We were all mad at having to leave our fortifications without a general Engagement but we afterwards found that the retret was a wise piece of business
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May the 4th
We stood in line of battle day and night, at Williamsburg. Wet, Bad weather
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May the 5th
The Battle of Williamsburg, Va., the Muddyest time I ever experienced in life
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May the 6th
Left the field en rout for Richmond having done 3 days without any thing to eat, we were very near gone up the spout on several occasions
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May the 7th
Battle of West Point, Yankees repulsed
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May the 13th
P.Y. Sason died in Richmond
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May the 16th
The Army got to Richmond and made a stand. Formed a line of defense and began fortifying
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May the 31st
Battle of Pines began
23rd Suffered heavy loss, loosing 18 killed and 69 wounded, Co. K’s loss was as follows: Capt A Young, Corpl George Lewis, Privates J.N. Stiles, W.P. Bryan, and R.P. Daniel wounded, and S.K. Moore killed – we lay on the Battle field that night
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June the 1st
the Battle ended late that evening, but we again rested upon the battle field, having driven the enemy across the Chickahomany River we here gained a glorious victory but it cost us dearly, the ground was drinced with Freeman’s blood.
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June 2nd
We returned to Camps tired and sleepy and not far from being hungry, we were soon piled about on the ground asleep and resting our selves from our fateague after which we regulated our selves and drilled regular
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June the 25th
There having been skirmishing for several days along the frontiers. Both Armies got in earnest today and the 7 days fight began which is termed the Great Battle before Richmond
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June the 26th
Battle of the Chickahomany Swamps
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June the 27th
Battle of Mechanicsville in the morning, J.R. England and E.B. Shastain, wounded. Yankees torn into jiblets Battles of Gaines Mills and Cold Harbor in the evening at the latter place I got wounded about one hour by sun
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June the 27th
The Battle of Cold Harbor was one of the most desperate ever fought, but at the right time Stonewall came in in their rear and Completed a glorious victory to Southern Arms, but the siege is not yet ended, I lay on the Battle Field that night
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June the 28th
I made my way to the 4th Georgia Hospital in Richmond 17 miles from where I was wounded. The Battle of White Oak Swamps were fought today
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June the 29th and 30th
The fighting was general, the Yanks were retreating slowly
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July the 1st
Battle of Malvern Hill, Here both armies fought like heros from Daylight to Dark with but little result. But the Yankees left under cover of night and went to thier Gun Boats
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July the 2nd
Our Army now returned to Richmond Crowned with Victory for which they had dearly paid. In this fight our Co. lost 2 killed Viz: J.C. Patterson, and Joseph Hays – and J.R. England, E.B. Chastain, R.A. Hays, Alfred Adams, N.D. Nicholson and myself were wounded, the hospitals in Richmond and else where were crowded with wounded. Everybody have their hearts and hands both full.
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July the 4th
I got a furlough for 60 days, but did not get off home today
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July the 5th
I taken the cars for home at 4 pm.
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July the 6th
At 8 am I landed in Raleigh, N.C. and being unable to travel any farther I went to the Peace Institute Hospital where I stayed four weeks in a suffering condition. 4 days of that time I were insensible from weakness and suffering together
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August the 1st
I left for home at 5 pm
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August 2nd
Got to Columbia and stayed all night
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August 3rd
Got to Walholla, S.C., and left the railroad
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August the 4th
Hired a hack and driver to take me home, and went to Clayton, Ga.
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August the 5th
Got to Hiwasseeville
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August 6th
About 4 o clock pm, I landed home. I was very weak and unable to stir but very little for a good while but I mended gradually untill I was able to go where I pleased. It is unnecessary to say anything much about what happened while I was at home on my object was only to bring to mind in days to come these things which happened while I were from home, and let it suffice to say that I had my furlough purlonged and stayed at home 5 weeks and one day before I left for Camps again.
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1863
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Jan the 7th
Very early in the morning I shouldered my bundle and set out alone on foot the Railroad, to go to the Seat of War, and not being used to traveling I only went to Dahlonga, that day where I taken the hack and landed in Atlanta the 10th. Left the 11th, left Augusta the District of Columbia the 13th , before day passed Raleigh 13th after night, got to Richmond, Va. the 12th at 12 o clock stayed there that night left at 4 next morning landed at Guinna Station at 2 o clock pm and after walking 5 miles mostly through camps I landed at the camp of the old 25th, where I rejoined my command but not being able for duty I done no military duty of any sort what ever not even so much as to answer my name at Roll Call.
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Jan the 19th
it being decided among the officers that there were no hope of me being able for duty soon I got a Surgeon’s Certificate of Disability for a furlough and went before a Medical Examining Board and were examined but the decision of the board were that I should go to a Hospital for Medical treatment.
Jan the 19th
But as the Small Pox were raging at that time in Richmond I choosed rather to remain in Camps than to risk my fate in a General Hospital, and my hand still being in an ulcerated condition it could not be rightly ascertained where the Battle was envelloped which Rendered the Extraction very dangerous. So I taken up my abode in Camps where I remained, as you will see for a considerable before I left the Army. I was now unable for Duty of any kind. I therefore spent a large portion of my time in pursuing the country, viewing the old Battle fields. I would be improper here to relate the condition of our Army at this time. The Confederate Army at this place numbered about 120 thousand men, who were encamped or rather posted on a line of defense 28 miles in length, i. e. from Port Royal to Culpepper along the Rappahannock River . besides scouting parties for miles in each direction who were daily skirmishing with Federal Cavalry.
Our Army were well clothed and shod at this time and also received a reasonable allowment of rations, the troops were generally in good health and all in the finest of spirits and willing to meet the enemy at any time when they were called upon so to do – But there was one thing we lacked which were badly needed and that were tents, the weather was cold and disagreeable and we had to take it soldier fashion just like I did and a host of people only we could build large fires and stand around them when we were not on active duty. There was only thier narrow stream off 150 to 200 yards wide which separated us from the enemy who were strongly entrenched on the opposite bank of the River but there were no picket firing going on and we were permitted to talk to our enemies at our leisure, there force at this place was much stronger then ours, about this time General Joe Hooker taken command of the Army of the Potomac.
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Jan the 20th
The Yankee Balloon was raised for the first time since the Fredericksburg fight which caused us to suspect that an engagement was soon to take place
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Jan the 21st
our Quarter Master, having awakened to his Duty and brought in our money we drawn 6 months wages today, besides some of us who have been absent for some time drawn much more I received $156.00 Dollars wages and fifty dollars bounty
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Jan the 25th
We all having money plenty and nothing to do we spent a great portion of our time in foraging through the country and going to Guinnia Station which was our nearest market and in a few days were all out of money
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Jan the 26th
Cannonading was heared verry heavy at a distance off. Continual skirmishing was going on among the Cavalry and the Yankees had been selecting a place to lay a Pontaon Bridge which made us think we had something on hand to do, we cooked up Rations but no fight
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Feb the 19th
The snow melted fast. Some rain and mud from zone 7
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Feb the 20th
We haveing got tired of cooking out of doors and comeing to the conclusion that the best was as good as any, we laid today and built little chimneys to our tents which proved to be a cash piece of work
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Feb the 21st
All reports from the front were verry favorable which kept us in good heart the Yankees kept on thier own side of Jordan, verry well at present
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Feb the 22nd
There fell today the deepest snow I ever witnessed at dark. It would average 2 feet deep
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Feb the 23rd
We had a snow fight with Gen Rodes Brigade 2 of the 19th Ga. got their arms broke, several eyes were put out. I received the news today that I got (after I left home on my last voyage) from father or any of my folks. The rest of the month we had bad weather and nothing of interest transpired
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March 1st and 2nd
Beautiful weather over head. The Regt went out on Picket I remained in camps
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March 3rd
I carried ration to the Co. I received a letter from home which brought me the sad news that my brother Joseph was dead. He died the 14th of February
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March 4th
I bought a load of sweet cakes and carried to the Regt on picket
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March 5th
G.M. Bowers returned for Duty
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March 6th
A fine time for sitting around the fire Porching corn and telling lies
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March 7th
Lt. B.B. More returned to his command haveing recovered from a wound received at Sharpsburg Va. the 17th of Sept. N.J. Nicholson come in from home
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March 8th
Capt Young returned from home, 9th and 10th all quiet and peaceable. Both in front and rear
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March 11th
G.W. Justice returned to Camp A.F. Rosers returned from home, we draw 2 months wages again today
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March 12th, 13th and 14th
Fine weather camps were inspected a monthly report made and Briggade Drills were regular. W.L. Howard returned
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March the 15th
I was permitted to view the old Battlefield near Fredericksburg I saw many things of importance but battlefields are so common that I will not describe one here now
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March the 16th
You remember that I was chahered during my stay at home and today I was restored by a Court.
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March the 17th
Lt. W.G.L. Butt, started home on a 30 days furlough, there were a brisk skirmish up the river. The Yankees forced back with heavy loss considering our loss were slight none killed. I haveing got tired of carrying that Yankee Ball in my hand I went to our Surgeon (Tom Young) and had my hand split and the Ball taken out it give me considerable pain but it was soon over thus I had carried an ounce Ball in my hand from the 27th of June 62, until the 17th of March 63 making 9 months lacking 10 days, my hand mended rapidly and soon got me
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March 18th
I was 21 years old today but I had a long jump of being free my hand of course was very sore
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March 19th
Wm. Miller was brought to Camp
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March the 20th
Another day of snow

March the 21st
The Regt on picket. All quiet
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March the 26th
Fine weather verry much resembled spring. Heavy cannonading was heard a long ways off in the direction of the Ocean the result of which I never learned
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March the 27th
This day was set apart by the President of the Confederate States for past time. Humiliation and prayer. All Military Duty was suspended with an All sermon was preached by Parson Higpen of the 6th Ga Regt. Hoff our Co, Deserted for the first, since, we went on
March the 27th
Thus the Ice was now Broken and Desertion became regular. An eveil which could not be broken, here is the names of those four Deserters. G.H. Burnett, James Hix, Isaac Edwards, and N.D. Nicholson
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March 28th to 31st
Bad unsettled weather it was a hard case to keep warm and rations to hand. Nothing of any degree of importance transpired
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April the 1st
W.B. Sason returns to camp as a Recruit. Mustered in by A.L. Daniel who returned to Camp today
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April 2nd to 5th
Bad weather no stirring done of note
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April the 6th
Another snow
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April the 7th
R.A. Hays returned to camps
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April the 8th
Our knapsacks were Branded
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April the 9th
A.B. Grady returned from Hospital
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April 10th to 13th
All Quiet
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April 14th
Joseph Harrison was transferred to our Co.
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April 15th
Nothing strange
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April 16th
D.E. Harkins returned from Hospital
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April the 17th
The weather now became so intensely cold that sitting by the fire was generally preferable to any kind of duty
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April 18th to 20th
All Quiet with the exception of Scourging around the fire
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April the 21st
Lt. Britt returned to Camp
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April the 22nd
Nothing strange transpired
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April the 23rd
Very strong indications of an early engagement now began to manifest themselves. Coariors were seen sailing at the rate of speed from one head quarters to another. Arms were inspected and fixed in order. 40 Rounds of Ammunition were issued to each and every man
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April the 24th
Everything progressed as usual
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April the 25th
Capt. Young tendered his Resignation
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April the 26th
All went to Church
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April the 27th
R.P. Daniel Elected Lt. in our Co. there was a good deal of smuggling among our officers today
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April the 28th
Now opens the great 8 days Battle with Chancellorsville. Early this morning even before Day the Yankees were crossing the river near Hamilton’s Crossings below Fredericksburg and against 9 o clock they had landed 20 thousand troops, over with their Pontoon Bridges we gave way and let them cross some cannon nading was carried on today.
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April the 29th
The Battle so long looked for now opened our Army were all placed in position and by 8 o clock the show was opened. The fight began about Port Royal and ascended up the River. The Yankees were all landing a large force. Below Culpepper near Wilderness Tavern thinking to flank our Army. But we were wide awake as you will soon see. Night left us on the Battle Field
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May the 4th
Both Armies began the morning with renewed vigor and it appeared that both sides were in good earnest and that each one were determined to hold the field or die. The Dim of the small Arms were not Diminished in the least not even for a moments time from the Dawn of Day until 4 o clock in the evening when the Yankees began to get thier eyes wide enough opened to see which side of thier Bread was buttered on. And all of a sudden they taken a fright at some thing or another when thier lines gave way and a fox in a poultry yard never caused so much kicking and squalling as General Lee caused among the (Heroes) Constituting the army of the Potomac Night Fall. Pound the Yankees with more commanders then men if possible so soon as the Yankees got out of my way, I went over the Battle Ground, I must confess that I never saw dead men before
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May the 5th
The Yankees haveing recovered thier presence of mind Ralleyed to Squad of about 150 thousand men and come back fool like to try us again this morning but they soon found that we was what never failed and if every any thing was what never failed and if ever any thing was done just right we paid it to them today. We soon get them to going towards the river. We now paid them up with our artillery and Cavalry and at night we had them hemed on the Bank of the river and our lines extended from the Rear below the River above them and night alone prevented them from getting the capture of Hooker and his Army for we now had them confronted and thier Ammunition was near exhausted and had we known thier position we could have captured thier hold Army. But we made a very nice to start and it kept cannon nading all night
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May the 6th
No sooner did the Dawn of Day appeared through the line and made a desperate charge upon our lines but they found that the Southern Boys was awake early as it was and a Courier from the Right Informed us that thier attack was a point to call out attention and that they were recrossing the River as fast as they could on thier Pontoon Bridges so we pushed forward our Artillery captured the Detachment that covered thier retreat. Destroyed two of thier Pontoon Bridges and made some close passes at the 3rd we captured many wagons and pieces of Artillery and sent old fighting Sol and the Remainder of his Army clear out of reach and 36 pound Parrot guns and thus ends the great 8 days fight about 2 o clock in the morning.
May the 6th
We stood and looked for them as long as they remained in our sight and continued to shell for the next 2 hours when the cannon nading ceased and the joyful news spread over the camp that the Battle was over and the Victory was ours there were thousands of cheers and shouts of joy assembled from every Briggade as we moved back across the Bloody Field we all felt thankful to an unseen hand that turned the fatal balls and spared our lives we now felt perfectly contented to return to our camp haveing been cut for 8 days fighting the most of the time and not eating nor sleeping but very little. We were in a good fix for refreshment for a few days so soon we could get to camp.
May the 6th
Never an Army were crowned with victory it was at this time we haveing defeated the greatest Army on the Potomac as they turned thier selves and forced old Joe Hooker and his Bully Army to seek safety beyond the opposite banks of the Rappahanoc River leaving 15 thousand dead on the field. 6 thousand wounded prisoners and 14 thousand unhurt prisoners in our hands making 35 thousand of thier Army that had fell into our hands while thier wounded uncaptured made no doubt 50 thousand in all while our loss in all was about 16 thousand we had taken 36 pieces of artillery. 50 thousand stand of small arms and many other equipments with blankets. Oil cloths, clothing of all kinds. Together with a large amount of medical Commisary and Ordinance stores.
May the 6th
We felt like we done a good weeks work we now loaded our selves with such things we desired and made our way back towards our old camping ground we haveing at least 20 miles to go along a very muddy road and we not in good plite for traveling were until 12 next day in getting to our camps we went all the way back over the battle Field, mostly Pine woods the leaves being dry the Artillery had fired the woods and burned up thousands of men leaving and thier parched bones and entrails to mark the fatal spot on which they fell while many poor fellows were wounded laying in the field had thier eyes burned out thier Hair singed off and they were yet alive. (Enough to melt the heart of a Pirate).
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May the 7th
After marching from Daylight until 12 o clock we landed, at camp Colquet the place where we had been encamped for some considerable time before the fight. We all felt like resting a few days and we were all assured that the Yankees scared so bad that we were in no danger.
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May the 8th
All appeared as calm as at a camp meeting. There were only four officers of the regt, present. Every man had done just as he choosed
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May the 9th
The detachment had been down to the rail road guarding prisoners came in today
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May the 10th
General Thomas J Jackson died today at Guinnia Station a depot on the Railroad. His death cast a Gloom over all the Confederacy for a time. But it appeared only to strengthen the determination of his men.
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May 12th to 15th
All was quiet in camps were well assured that we were soon to leave this section country the Yankees were perfectly mute. Lee was threatening a raid on Washington which caused them to concentrate thier forces at that place.
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May the 16th
I went to Hamilton’s Crossing with A. Higdon
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May the 17th
Preaching in Camps. Beautiful weather
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May the 18th
There was a General Review by the Commander in Chief every buddy was anxious to see old Bob Lee and his two daughters ride by in thier Hack
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May the 19th
Very fine weather. Intensely hot for the season. Health generally good, provisions plenty. Clothing abundant. Duty light. Every man his own officer. “Who would not be a Soldier if he had a half a Chance?” But such times as these are not peculiar to a camp life which can be proven by any Virginia soldier
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May the 20th
Orders came to go to N.C. Rations were cooked tents struck. Knapsacks packed and everything made ready for a March
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May the 21st
taken the cars at Guinnia Station and rolled out for our place of abode a place unknown to us
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May the 22nd
Changed cars at Danville Junction
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May the 23rd
Passed through Richmond, Va., and continued our ride through Petersburg where we met with some of the Regt. Patrolled
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May the 24th
Got to Goldsborough and went to Kinston that night and taken up camps
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May the 25th, 26th, 27th
Regulating camps, Digging wells, and fixing for living. The boys that had been captured were coming in very fast all that were well got in by this time
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May the 28th
James Frady died in Petersburg
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May 29th and 30th
All calm and nothing of note transpired. We were well pleased with our station. Very hot weather. Fishing was the order of the day
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June 1st and 2nd
Heavy details throwing up Breastworks
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June the 3rd
J.E. Hix started Home on furlough
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June 4th to 9th
Nothing worth attention took place. Heavy working parties along the river. Falling timber and Erecting Batteries and Co.
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June 10th to 12th
Wet bad weather
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June 13th
The 23rd went out on advance. Picket for a tower of 10 days. During which time we have a fine time among the fist and fruit but had to keep a close watch for the Enemy as our Cavalry had been engaging them at this place a few days previous to this time
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June 23rd
Returned off Picket
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June 24th to 27th
Very wet disagreeable weather
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June the 28th
Beautiful Sabbath. 43 persons mostly soldiers were baptized in New River at Kingsborough
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June the 29th and 30th
All quiet
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July the 1st
Still continues to rain allmost without ceasing. This was the most confiding spell of wet weather I ever witnessed it remains day and night for 21 days
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July the 2nd
Orders came to go back to Virginia
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July the 3rd
At 10 am we mounted the Iron Horse and were soon traveling and daylight
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July the 4th
Found in Weldon N.C. Where we lay over until the 6th as there was a raid of Yankees advancing on this place
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July the 6th
Went to Petersburg Va. Camped for the night, met with those paroled from the 52nd, among whom were many of my acquantances who had been captured at or near Vicksburg
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July the 7th
Started to Richmond. The Boiler of the Passenger Train bursted 7 miles from the city we were just behind it and had to march 14 miles and camp. 8th and 9th lay in camp
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July 10th
All at a dash we mounted the cars
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July the 11th
Got to Weldon cooked two days rations and rolled on by Goldsborough and 12 o clock
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July the 12th
Found us in the city of Wilmington at the Salt Works regressing ourselves for a while then marched out 5 miles and camped
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July the 13th
Marched down the Pike Road 7 miles farther and taken regular at camps
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July 14th to 28th
Remained quiet we had but little Duty to do but had a Combustible time. Sporting on the Beach. As we were near the Ocean. Fish were plenty.
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July the 28th
Lt. Neach started home on furlough
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July 29th to 30th
No change in affairs
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July the 31st
Moved to Camp Davis 7 miles East of the Citizan Top Sail Inlet
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August 1st to 6th
Nothing worth your attention transpired. Very hot weather. Dull times
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August 7th
I was again before. Before the Medical Board in Wilmington and had another discharge started up which never returned
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August 8th
at 9 am We left for Charleston changed cars that evening at Florence and refreshed ourselves for two hours and then resumed our ride
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August 9th
At sunrise we landed in Charleston. Lay over until dark and went to James Island
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August 10th to 14th
Hot weather. The Bombardment still continues to wax worse and worse
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August the 15th
Firing still kept up slowly
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August the 16th
A Heavy Cannon nade was kept up all day and night by every gun that could be brought in position on either side. There were 1786 cannon shots struck Sumpters Walls today. Besides a Multitude at other Forts and Batteries Damage comparatively slight
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August 17th to 20th
Hot and Heavy Roared the Cannons. From our Ports and the Enemy’s gun Boats
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August 21st
Batteries held thier peach at being a day of Humiliation and Prayer
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August the 22nd
General Gilmore ordered a surrender of our works which was refused
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August the 23rd
Still continues the Intessant Firing. All non-combatants were ordered from the city
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August the 25th and 26th
No changes in affairs
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Articles of an Agreement
Between W. W. Fisher and the Subscribers
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...I W.W. Fisher, propose teaching a common English School for the term of 3 months to consist of Spelling Reading Writing and Arithmetic near the residence of James West. I also bind myself to keep a good order in School and to teach the forgoing named Sciences to the Best of my Ability.
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W.W. Fisher
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...In Consideration of the above obligation, we the undersigned Subscribers bind ourselves to pay said Fisher 5 cents per day per schollar for each Schollar annexed to our names and in the same proportion for all.
...The time made up over that subscribers we further bind our selves to pay said amount in corn, Bacon, Pork and etc. at the expiration of said school. Said school will begin on the 24th day of July, 1865.
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(Names of subscribers not given)