Posted on Oct 2, 2012 in 1862 | 2 comments

November, 1862 – Steaming South

Typical steamer used during the Civil War.

Beginning Location:  Silver Lake, Indiana on furlough.  Regiment stationed at Camp Morton near Indianapolis.

Nov. 13

Left my family for Camp Morton in company with my wife and H. Brown and Mrs. Croft.  Went to Warsaw, parted with my wife about 2 o’clock with sad feelings but resigned to my fate, trusting in God for strength to endure all the trials of camp life.

Nov. 14

Arrived at Camp Morton about noon in time to draw my pay from the government. Found all the boys in good health but down in spirits on acct of confinement in camp.

Nov. 15

This morning rainy and muddy in camp and some excitement on account of a disease said to be the black smallpox and talk of desertion, on that account 19 left camp without leave.

Nov. 16

This morning 3 more leave for home, G Sherbundy, A Freesera, A. Bear.

Nov. 18

Passed out of Camp Morton in the city of Indianapolis on business.  Vist Br. Bellman of the 54 regt today.  Police guard sent for members of Co. I absent without leave.

Nov. 19

This morning got up at 5, rainy and muddy all over camp. Health good, 28 men on roll call, noon and still raining.

Nov. 20

Got up at 4 in the morning, weather and sky cloudy but no rain.  Marched to arsenal and exchanged guns.  Marched into camp about 1 o’clock, prepared for dinner.  Went to city another time.

Nov. 21

Prepared for leaving for Memphis Tennessee.  Left Camp Morton at noon for the Terrihut (Terre Haute?) and Indianapolis RR for Cairo Illinois.  Left the city about sundown, passed through Terrihaut at night.

Nov. 22

This day travelled all day on the cars.  Got to Cairo about 8 o’clock at night.  March aboard a steamer for Memphis.

Nov. 23

This morning left Cairo at 5 for Memphis, passed Columbus, passed a man of war, next New Madrid, went about 5 miles & tied up to shore for the night.

Ironclads off Cairo Illinois


Nov. 24

This morning took in anchor about daylight and launched out into the river for Memphis.  Sun rose with splendor this morning.  Sun hot, passed an ironclad gunboat with 12 guns, passed Oceola Ark, passed Ft. Pillow, arrived at Memphis 10 at night.




Nov. 25

This day left the boat, march to camp where we slept without tents. Our gunboat captured a rebel steamer with 400 prisoners.  Went to bed at night on the ground without tents.

Nov. 26

This morning sun rose bright and pleasant though air cool.  Last night bright and air cold.  Camp in a bustle and under marching orders.  Left camp for Hollow (Holly?) Springs about noon, march 10 miles, passed three burnt bridges and 5 burnt dwellings, slept without tents, frost.

Nov. 27

Left camp early, passed several burning buildings, stopped for dinner, saw Br. Henry in Sherman’s division which passed us while at rest.  Ordered up in line and left our resting place, traveled about 6 miles and camped.  Health rather poor having taken cold.

Nov. 28

This day left camp about 10 and passed Spring Creek and Byhalia and burning houses, cotton gins and presses, fences and everything combustible.

Nov. 29

This morning pleasant and warm.  One of the guards shot 2 fingers off.  So far we have ben in 7 states, Ind., Ill, Ky, Tenn, Ark, Missouri, Miss.  Wrote 2 letters home.  Saw Henry.  Health good, camped on a high hill near Pigeon River.

Nov. 30

Weather still pleasant, struck tents at 8, crossed Pigeon River in Miss.  Close to camp, went 10 miles and camped at Camp Chulahoma.  Last night had tremendous thunderstorm and rain.  Had the cholera morbus, better this morning.


Ending Location:  Camp Chulahoma, near Holly Springs, Mississippi



Fort Pillow

Terre Haute and Indianapolis Railroad

Black Smallpox 

Desertion in Civil War Armies

2 Responses to “November, 1862 – Steaming South”

  1. Neil Leslie says:

    Steve, I linked to this blog in my own genealogy and family history blog:

    • esteban says:

      Thank you for linking to my blog. I appreciate your thoughts and comments very much. Strangely, I saw your comment on the day that I’m visiting Charles’ home county in Indiana. I spent the afternoon in the Kosciusko County Museum looking over hundreds of pages of family research that a distant relative collected and donated to the museum. They believe that my g-g-grandfather’s original diaries are there somewhere, although we couldn’t locate them. I wrote about the day on my personal blog at

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