Posted on Oct 16, 2012 in 1863 | 0 comments

Diary: February, 1863 – Picket Duty

Soldiers from Ohio enjoying a meal of hardtack

Beginning Location:  Grand Junction, Tennessee


Feb. 1

This morning wake up and find it raining.  Read a portion of Scripture.  Clears off at noon, write a letter home, pleasant and clear, turns cold at night.

Feb. 2

This morning very cold and continues so all day.  Build a chimney to our tent and write a letter home.  Take Scott to the hospital.

Feb. 3

Very cold and disagreeable this morning, with a heavy wind from the north.  Receive a letter from home.  Co. I went on picket to relieve a Co. of the 6th Iowa.

Feb. 4

This morning very cold and disagreeable all forenoon and afternoon.  Commenced snowing, wind in the SE.  Write a letter to my wife and children.

Feb. 5

Still snowing this morning.  Cold and very disagreeable.  Health of the reg’t poor.  My back very lame this morning. Receive a letter from my daughter Irena.

Feb. 6

This morning very frosty and clear, moderating at noon.  One of Co. H buried today.  Rheumatism in my back and knees.

Feb. 7

This morning wind in the south with indications for a thaw.  Noon warm and muddy.  Saw 2 of J. Hickerwell’s boys, James and John. Lieut. Kirkpatrick taken to the hospital.

Feb. 8

This morning rather pleasant – visited Capt. Heath of the 46th Ohio Reg’t, and old scholar of mine and saw several others that I used to be acquainted with in Mercer County.

Feb. 9

Cloudy and look for rain.  Visited the hospital this morning.  Wrote a letter to my daughter Irena.

Feb. 10

This day rainy and wet.  Wrote a letter home to my wife and one to Robert.  Jacob had a visit from G. Fryar of Mercer Co., Ohio.

Feb. 11

This morning appearance of clearing off and pleasant.  Clear at noon and very pleasant.  Another of the soldiers of Co. G, 12th reg’t dies.  Receive a letter from my wife and one from my boys Jess and Robert.

Feb. 12

Wake up this morning and found it raining very hard.  Health good except for the Rheum. in my back and knees. Finished letter to wife and children. Am 6 months in the service. 2 men taken up to take home.

Feb. 13

This day was pleasant and rather warm for the season of the year.  Write a letter to my family.  Afternoon spent in camp, rather lonesome.

Feb. 14

[…] to 17 years had gone by of my life.  My thoughts carried back to the place where I lived when first married.  Write a letter to Irena.  2 more of our reg’t buried, one of Co. H and Co. D. (Added note in the diary:  May mean 17 years married, see Feb. 20)

Feb. 15

Last night we had very heavy thunder and rain but clears off in the morning, afternoon very pleasant.  Co. I goes on picket south of the Junction today.  Commenced a letter to my wife.

Feb. 16

This morning cloudy and cool. Finish a letter for my wife and write one to J. H. Flitcraft.  One of Co. E men buried today.  Receive a letter from home and from Mary, Gerty and Jane.

Feb. 17

This morning wake up in good health and find it very foggy and cloudy and remains so during the day.  Write 2 letters one to Mary E. and L. J. Jontz.  Dern of Co. D. died.

Feb. 18

This morning still continues wet and disagreeable.  Visit the hospital in the forenoon.  Do. D. looses their teamster W. Custer.

Feb. 19

This day pleasant but very windy.  Co I. went out on picket south of the Junction.  Today helped to get wood for the Co. in company with D. Bolin, P. Meyers and L. Cutchal.  Wrote a letter to my wife.

Feb. 20

This morning got up and found it very pleasant and continued so during the day.  Another man dies out of Co. K.  Write a letter home to my wife.  18 years today since I was married, how the situation changes.

Feb. 21

This morning wake up and find it raining and cold.  Drew 5 days hard bread today.  Our Sergeant Major was buried. Wrote a letter to my father.

Feb. 22

This morning very cold and disagreeable and continued so all day.  Felt much cast down and in trouble.  Received a letter from my wife and one from J. W. Hawley.

Feb. 23

This morning went out on picket on the RR from the Junction to Holly Springs.  Stood on post this night for the first time.  Today one of Co. B’s men was buried.  Commenced a letter to my wife.

Feb. 24

Still on picket 4 miles from camp.  Had a good breakfast and a splendid pone* for dinner with pork.  Wrote more to my wife.  Went out foraging but got nothing.  Go. G buried a man today.  Saw negroes bailing cotton.

Feb. 25

This day rather disagreeable and wet, raining nearly all day.  Still on picket on the Miss Central RR.  Health good.  2 men buried today.

Feb. 26

This morning still wat and rainy.  Co. H relieves us and we start for camp through heavy thundershower and plenty of mud.  Write a letter to my wife.

Feb. 27

This day very pleasant and warm for this season of the year.  Wrote a letter to J. W. Hawley.  Feel very lonesome today.

Feb. 28

Weather still pleasant and warm.  Health good except rheumatism in back and knees.  Mustered for pay, 4 months pay due.  Received a letter from my wife and one from H. Ankerman.


Ending Location:  Grand Junction, Tennessee  (No significant movement this month)



Corn Pone and Jonnycake

Soldiers Pay in the American Civil War

Civil War Medicine


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