The Civil War Journal of
1st Lieut., Co. G, 28th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers
Little Rock, Arkansas
Typescripted from the original holograph by
Jan. 1st 1865 Little Rock, Ark.We had quite a pleasant day, though it was somewhat cool for comfort. We had no Company Inspection in the morning, because we had Inspection and Muster together the day before. The Captain went down town in the forenoon, expecting to take Dinner with Major White, having received an invitation several days previously, but the Major was not at his boarding house, and the Captain returned and helped us eat our Oyster Dinner, for the boys bought four cans of cove oysters for our New Year's Dinner. Lorn Chandler came to me and told me that he was plain Lorn Chandler again, he having seen the order from the War Department discharging him from the Service on account of physical disability, and later in the day I saw the Order. He wanted to sell me his revolver, and I did not know that I might buy it for Harry Smart, as I was owing him $50.00 and he wanted a revolver. I did not attend Church but remained in Camp and employed the time as usual, in writing etc. The ring that I commenced and nearly finished the day before, I polished up, intending to send it to my wife in a letter that I was writing.
Jan. 2nd Little Rock, Ark.We had a real nice pleasant day, such a day as we might look for in April in Wisconsin, only more pleasant underfoot. Nearly every man in the Regiment was on Duty, there being 150 at work on Fort Salomon, and the rest on other duties. In the A.M. Lieutenant Chandler came to me and took up my offer for his revolver, and I let Harry Smart have it, and took up a note of $50.00 that he held against me. Edward Thomas agreeing to pay him $21.00 that he owed me. I still owed Smart $1.00 and whatever interest he might charge for the use of the $50.00. Colonel Gray sent me an invitation to go over and spend the evening with him, as he had procured a keg of ale - but that consideration did not have as much weight with me as with some, and I sent an excuse instead of going myself. Bastin spent the evening with me in my Quarters, the Captain being at Gray's Quarters. We received a small mail toward night, and it contained one letter for me from Alvarus, which I answered in the evening. During the day I finished a letter that I was writing to Almira and I enclosed with it a gutta-percha ring that I made on New Year's Eve, expressly for her. I made the ring of a gutta-percha button, and it was the first one I ever tried to make. We could not obtain a later paper, nor learn any later news.
Jan. 3rd Little Rock, Ark.We had another beautiful day, as warm and pleasant as any Spring day in Wisconsin. I took the men not on Duty in the morning, and went over and went to work on the Mens' Quarters, and remained with them until noon, when we returned to Dinner. During the forenoon I signed a petition to the Governor of our State, asking him, in case our Regiment should by any means become filled up, to promote Captain F. N. Stevens to a Field Officer instead of Captain James A. Williams. While I was at the Adjutants Office, the Colonel wrote a recommendation for 1st Sergeant O' Brien of Company "H" as 1st Lieutenant of the Company in place of Lieutenant Chandler. I also filled out a blank account of Deceased Soldiers for the months of October, November and December, but the Captain told me there were none for those months, when Blanchard died in October - so my work had to be done over again, and I turned it on to Donaldson, as I did not have the necessary papers there. In the afternoon the Captain, Corporal Peck and Privates Bowers, Daugherty, Finley and Walton went down the river as escort on the Steamer Chippewa for a load of brick - distance 30 miles. The men worked on their Quarters, but I did not get there until they were just quitting for the night, as they did not have the necessary tools. I commenced to make a gutta-percha ring to send to Sarah, but did not finish it. In the evening Lieutenant Chandler asked the privilege of passing the night on the Captain's bunk, and I gave it to him. Soon after Murray asked the same favor, but I told him that Chandler had the start of him. Both of them and Lieutenant Bennett called at our Quarters in the evening as did Alick Mc Neill. He and Murray and Chandler remained until a late hour, when the Sergeant Major and acting Company Sergeant, both drunk, came along and the company broke up. Chandler was anything but sober, and soon after lying down, was asleep, when I finished a letter to my wife that I had commenced before their arrival.
Jan. 4th Little Rock, Ark.We had another most beautiful day, though it was quite cool in the morning. I went over to the new camp to assist the boys about their Quarters, and on my way I mailed a letter to my wife, and enclosed some specimens of crystalized quartz. In the afternoon I remained in our Quarters until four O' clock, when I went over to the new camp again for the purpose of learning what kind of Company Fund Report was required, but acting Adjutant Hopper did not know much more about it than I did. After returning, I gave Donaldson instructions in regard to it, and he was to make it out the next morning. During the afternoon I wrote Sarah a letter, nearly finishing it. In the evening Edwards brought me $20.00 he having sold a revolver for me for that amount. Fred Harrison and a friend (I think) named Edwards called for an hour or two. Tom Chandler came back late in the evening in company with Lieutenant Bennett, both a good deal intoxicated. I asked Chandler to take a Diary that I had written full, to Wisconsin for me, and he took it, and a copy of Casey's Tactics. I got him to bed and to sleep as soon as I could, and then sat down to write. The things that Chandler was to take for me, were addressed to the care of Vernon Tichenor. The crystalized quartz in the letter, I gathered while on picket Dec. 30th 1864. After Chandler went to sleep, I finished a letter to Sarah, and wrote a short one to my wife relative to the things I sent by Chandler.
Jan. 5th Little Rock, Ark.I was up at 4:30, and before 6 O' clock had seen "Plain Tom Chandler", as he termed himself after being discharged - off for the cars, and eaten my breakfast, so I took charge of the Fortification Detail from the old camp, and reported to Captain Smith, according to the orders I received the night before. The whole detail was 150 strong, and we marched with them to the Ripley House, to report to Captain Wheeler, Chief Engineer of the Department but by the time we were there it was raining fast, and after waiting awhile, and no one appearing to whom to report, we returned with the Detail to the new camp, when Gray ordered us to await orders from Brigade Headquarters. Captain S. went over for them himself, and we were relieved. It was nearly noon when we reached our Quarters, and we were glad to get in out of the rain. At two or three O' clock the Captain was quite sick. I finished the ring I was making for Sarah, and just at night I went down town and got small bills for a Twenty, and paid the Captain the $6.00 I borrowed from him to pay to Chandler. In the evening Dave Hunter called at our Quarters with Captain Slawson and Lieutenant Bennett, but I was not acquainted with him, and no one was mannerly enough to make us acquainted. He was Adjutant of the 35th Wisconsin, which was at De Vall's Bluff. He was quite a smart appearing young fellow, but he had the vulgar habit of swearing to excess. At night I learned that Chandler left his overcoat behind and that he wanted me to express it to Waukesha for him.
Jan. 6th Little Rock, Ark.It was still raining in the morning, but after a time it turned to snow, and it snowed until about noon, when it cleared up quite cold. I remained in camp until toward night - by which time I had written a letter to my wife in answer to two that I received from her about noon - so I walked down to the Post Office and mailed it. I also brought eleven packages of good envelopes for 20 cents per package. I gave one to King, let Bowers have one, and the rest I put away for my own use. The mail that brought my letters from Mira brought us no good news and we could not learn any from any source, though it seemed time to hear further from Sherman and Thomas. In the evening I was detailed for picket duty for Jan. 7th - but I did not think it my turn, and I thought of going up to the new camp to inquire into it, but finally concluded to let it go until I came off. Hopper did not seem to know his business at all, but I did not know but I might judge him wrongly. I grew still colder in the evening, and was uncomfortable enough in our tent.
Jan. 7th Little Rock, Ark.I was up and had my breakfast with the boys before daylight, and not far from 7 O' clock started for the new camp to report at Headquarters as Officer of the Picket Guard. After going there I had to wait some time for Guard Mounting, but the call was finally beat, and Lieutenant Hopper officiated as Adjutant for the first time. He made blundering work of it, but all of us recollected that it was his first experience of the kind. Division Guard Mounting was dispensed with until further orders. for which I was very glad. We relieved Lieutenant Watts and his Detail not far from 9:30, and when I divided my Detail, to send part to the intermediate posts nearer the river, Watts objected to my manner of dividing the Detail, but I gave him to understand that he might divide his Details to suit himself, and that I should exercise the same privilege. The Brigade Officer of the Day visited us not far from 2 O' clock P.M. and again at 5 O' clock in the morning, but the Division Officer did not visit us at all. The orders about passes to citizens were a little more strict - only orders from Reynolds and Solomon being good. We were also ordered to turn back all claiming to be Rebel Deserters and to admit none such within our lines. I learned from the passes presented, that Solomon was Post Commander, and that Major White was Provost Marshall. It was stated, and the rumor was general - that a Rebel Brigade, 1500 strong commanded by acting Brigadier General Logan (a Colonel) were a short distance outside our lines - under a flag of truce, desiring protection as Deserters - but that General Reynolds had sent to Washington previous to taking action in the premises, for instructions from the War Department. I spent the day pleasantly in reading etc., and slept well at night. Sergeant Schnider being my bedfellow.
Jan. 8th Little Rock, Ark.There was nothing to indicate that it was the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, but I thought of it almost as soon as I was up in the morning, which was as soon as it began to be light. It had clouded up during the night, and we were glad that we were just going off instead of on Duty. We were relieved by a Detail in charge of Captain Slawson, about 9:30, and it was about 10 O' clock when I got into my Quarters again. It kept quiet all the rest of the day, only writing letters to my wife and to Melinda. The boys were working on their Quarters all day, and they got along so well that even Colonel Gray praised them for their smartness. We rather expected mail, but none came, though we learned that a boat had come up White river. The Captain made arrangements for messing with Captain Stevens and Lieutenant Alvord - and I learned that Old John had gone to cook for General Salomon.
Jan. 9th Little Rock, Ark.It had rained most of the night, and was still raining hard when I got up in the morning, but before bed time at night it had changed to snow and it snowed all night. It was not very cold, but it was cold enough to make a good fire one of the requisites of comfort. In the forenoon I took the two letters that I had written the day before, to Mira and Melinda - down to the Office, and then I called at the store of Tichenor & Company to see Fred Harrison, as he was clerking for them. I came across the Captain and returned to camp with him, and then we sent down town by Lougheny - the Captain for the January Number, and I for the December Number of Harpers' Magazine. In the afternoon we were visited by Joseph Harding, formerly a member of Company "F" of our Regiment (a Sergeant) and reduced to the ranks for stealing Colonel Gray's coffee pot while we were down the Pass - and finally discharged for physical disability while we were at Helena. He hired to the Government to chop wood, and while in that employ on an island three miles above Helena, he was captured by the Rebel Forest, and taken to a Rebel prison. He was removed from one prison to another, and was not finally exchanged until some time in December 1864, when he was exchanged at Charleston. His wife had in the mean time run away with another man, and Harding had not been to his old home in Wisconsin (Waukesha). Mr. Peake also visited us, umbrella in hand and remained more than an hour. He seemed to think that a Cavalry Expedition might start out from Little Rock some time in the winter or spring but that there would not be a large Expedition of Infantry. I spent nearly the entire day in our Quarters, employed in reading and writing. We received a small mail, but I was again disappointed at not hearing from my wife, nor from any of my friends. We obtained a Cin. Com. of the 3rd, but it contained no news.
Jan. 10th Little Rock, Ark.It was still snowing in the morning, and the ground was covered to the depth of a couple of inches, but as it cleared off about 11 O' clock the snow rapidly disappeared, and overhead, we had quite a pleasant afternoon. I finished a letter that I had commenced to my wife, and walked down to the Post Office and mailed it. I did not feel very well, and lay down, and the next thing that I knew, it was night. I having slept a couple of hours or so. My head ached, and I felt very dull and lifeless, but I thought it was partly owing to sleeping in the day time. Later papers came in, but we did not obtain any, though the Captain was down town to see Major White just at night. The boys worked on their Quarters what they could, and King slept in them at night, they being nearly completed. The Captain consulted Colonel Gray in reference to having timber hauled for our Quarters, and the Colonel said we could have two trains provided we manned them, though all the other timber had been hauled by Regimental Details. The Captain was mad, and I was not pleased.
Jan. 11th Little Rock, Ark.It was quite cold in the morning, but it was clear, and soon after the sun arose it began to thaw, and before noon it was real muddy, though it was frozen stiff in the morning. I received and order the night before to report as Officer of the Day at 8 O' clock A.M. at the New Camp, but not thinking it exactly a fair thing to detail an Officer for such Duty before he got moved into the camp. I sat down before going to bed and wrote the following note, addressing it Jan. 11th at our Headquarters:
I have been quite unwell all night, and being under the operation of pphysician do not feel in a fit condition to walk over to the New Camp this morning. If you will excuse me from acting as Officer of the Day, you will much oblige etc. In the morning the circumstances mentioned in the note were really true, as I took physician upon going to bed, and really did not feel well. I sent the note to the Adjutant by Sergeant Donaldson in the morning, and it had the desired effect, as Captain Murray was detailed as Officer of the Day, and acted as such. A Detail of Non Commissioned Officers went out in the woods to cut and haul timber of Quarters for the Captain and me, but the teams were so poor that they obtained only about half enough. The Captain saw and talked with Adjutant Kendrick, and he gave it as his opinion that when an expedition should start out in the spring. General Salomon would be left in command of the post, with part of his Division, and he thought our Regiment was likely to remain behind with General Salomon. I wrote a short letter to Mc Kee, and spent most of the day in reading etc., not even going down town during the day. It was a real bright, pleasant day, and I was in excellent spirits. Fred Harrison called, and we had quite a chat together, and at noon he was tto startfor De Vall's Bluff again, his place with Tichenor and Company having been filled by a Clerk from Memphis.
Jan. 12th Little Rock, Ark.We had another beautiful day, keen and bright, and the ground frozen in the morning and thawing up toward noon so as to be quite muddy. The Captain had charge of the Fortification Detail, and was away from the Company all day - and every Private subject to Detail was on Duty. There were a few Non Commissioned Officers left, and in the afternoon they went out in charge of Donaldson and cut another load of timber for our shanty, and Harry Smart hauled it for us. I finished a letter that I was writing to Mira, wrote a note to Fowler & Wells, 389 Broadway, New York, for a book called Mysteries of Man, a treatise on general phsiology etc and I enclosed $1.50 - the advertised price of the book. After, I went down to the Post Office and got a ten dollar bill broke by buying 50 cents worth of stamps. I mailed my letters, and a book entitled Bell Frelawney that Chandler gave me before he went home. A drunken fellow - a citizen from Fort Smith, wanted me to drink with, and when I refused, insisted upon having me take a cigar. I took the cigar, put it in my pocket, and after supper Captain T_______r (probably Capt. Willis Tichenor - ed.) smoked it. The old fellow had a lot of gold and silver, and he showed it as carelessly as though there were no danger of being hit on the head for it by some money needing villain. I had a silver half dollar that the Captain gave me at Pine Bluff to get made into a ring - and the bar tender gave me a couple of quarters for it. I saw Lieutenant Kowing down there, and at his request I signed a petition to Governor Lewis, praying him to promote Captain T. N. Stevens instead of Captain James A. Williams, in case either should be promoted to the Field. I also signed the Captain's name to Higley's Commutation papers as he wished to present them to General Salomon for his approval, and the Captain being away. The Captain heard that the 2nd Division had been ordered to New Orleans by General Canby. A part of the Company nearly half - moved over to the New Camp.
Jan. 13th Little Rock, Ark.We had quite a pleasant day, though it clouded up and threatened to rain ttowardnight. Two teams reported to us in the morning to move our things to the New Camp, and before noon the Captain and I went over. We took our things to Captain Smith's Quarters, but I made arrangements to sleep in the Quarters with the men, as I had no bunk. The boys commenced our Quarters in the P.M. and Jake Heaton commenced a bunk for me. We received a mail in the evening, and I received four letters, two from Mira, one from Luriette and one from Mary and Helen. Mira's were real good letters, and her letters did me a great deal of good. I was very glad to learn that she was so cheerful and well, and that Baby was getting along so grandly. Mira wrote about spending Christmas and New Year's with me so far away, but I sincerely hoped that it would be the last time she would have to write of the way she spent those holidays to me, for I hoped to spend them with her in the future.
Jan. 14th Little Rock, Ark.I took breakfast at Captain Stevens's Quarters with him, Captain Tichenor and Lieutenant Alvord at our new mess in the morning, and then reported as Officer of the Picket Guard at Guard Mounting, and took the Detail out to the line at 9 O' clock. We relieved Lieutenant Watts and his Detail, and at 11 O' clock the Brigade Officer of the Day came around. He also came again in the afternoon, and made his Grand Rounds a little after midnight. It looked like rain in the morning, but it cleared up about night, and we had a clear, bright night, and real cold too. I visited the intermediate posts toward night, and gave them the countersign, which was Island 10 - the Parole being Pope. I lay down with Billy Smith at night but between the Officers of the Day and the cold I was kept awake all night, not sleeping at all, but dozing a few minutes once or twice. But I had quite a pleasant picket tour, notwithstanding. The Captain started off with a Detail of 70 men in the morning at 7:30, to guard a lumber train to and from the saw mmill but was dismissed at Division Headquarters. The Colonel ordered Battalion Drill in the P.M. which lasted about two hours. I escaped it by being on Picket.
Jan. 15th Little Rock, Ark.We were relieved at about 8 O' clock in the morning by Lieutenant Bingham, and by 10 O' clock I had eaten my supper at Captain Steven's Quarters, and Bill Young had shaved me, and I was comparatively clean and comfortable. The day was real pleasant, and if it had not been for writing a letter to my wife I should probably have gone to Church, but as it was I spent my time in camp. We had Dress Parade at 4 O' clock P.M. and the Captain not feeling very well, I went out in command of the Company. Hopper formed the Parade for the first time, and it passed off as usual. After it was over the Colonel took charge of the Battalion and drilled it in wheeling by Battalion, but as the Companys were not equalized - it passed off poorly. He made a mistake in giving his first command, as he thought there were only 8 companys, when there were 10, I told him of his mistake, when he corrected it and we formed close column by Company on the 10th Company. He was finding fault with me for not forming on the 10th when his order was to form on the 8th. The Captain was too sick to eat any supper. Alick Mc Neill was up to the Company and he said our Brigade was to remain at the Rock while the Advance Move was being made in the Spring.
Jan. 16th Little Rock, Ark.I had breakfast before 7 O' clock in the morning, and just as I finished eating, the Fatigue Call was beat, and in ten minutes a Detail of 135 men and Captain Murray and myself were on our way to Fort Salomon to work on the fortifications. We commenced by remodeling a short string of breastwork in front of the fort, and in the afternoon we again remodeled it again, the Engineer having in the mean time seen Captain Wheeler Chief Engineer. We returned to camp at 11 O' clock for our dinners, went back a little past one O' clock and finally returned to camp at about four P.M. It was a splendid day for such work, being bright and dry, but it was rather chilly standing around.
In the evening I remained at Captain Stevens's Quarters until Roll Call, and I saw him play Napoleon's game of Solitary, with cards. Every thing went on as usual in camp, and I found an order for General Inspection the next day at 10 O' clock A.M. by Captain Barns of the 27th Wisconsin Division Inspector General.
Jan. 17th Little Rock, Ark.I got up in the morning feeling first rate, as I had a splendid night's sleep with Mr. Moore. I got the Company in as good shape as I could for Inspection, and at 10 O' clock the Regiment fell in at the tap of the Drum. Captain Barns of the 27th Wisconsin Company "I", I think, first went through and inspected the clothing etc., of the men, when we stacked arms, unslung knapsacks and rested until the Inspection came around to inspect arms. Lieutenant Watts of Company "D" called his Company to attention, and without slinging knapsacks proceeded with the Inspection. He made several orders not to be found in any Tactics - and made several ludicrous blunders that gave sport to the whole Regiment. Among other orders, Captain Smith had it that he gave the following: "To the rear open order - Back over your knapsacks - March." All the Officers and a good many of the men saw it or heard it, and I concluded that Watts had not heard the last of it, as the boys so delighted in bringing any such thing to his recollection. I got through with it first rate for me, and Captain Barns praised the condition of our arms - but thought we needed some new clothing. I explained it on the ground that the Quarter Master did not fill our requisition for clothing, so that we could not help ourselves. The Captain was some better, but still too sick to be on duty. The boys worked on our Quarters and got along with them pretty well. Gill got along well with the chimney, and Moore, Dan and some others finished the roof. It was a fine day, and the Camp was quite dry and pleasant. In the evening I learned that Gray and Williams had had a formal reconciliation - and that Gray took it for granted that Williams was to drop the prosecution of the charges against himself, but Williams boasted to to others that Gray had counted without his host, and that he should pprosecutethem, and beat Gray too. This coming to Gray's ears, he concluded not to speak to Williams any more.
Jan. 18th Little Rock, Ark.We had another beautiful day, and the warmest for a month. After breakfast I went down town to our Division Commissary Store and bought a barrel of onions for $7.85 and a pound of green tea for $1.50. Captain Smith's Mess took half the onions, but I had to go down the second time before I got the things up to camp. By the time I got back to camp the mail was distributed and I found one letter from Mira, written on the 5th & Insts. My family were well, and matters about as usual at home. There was no very important news in the papers of the 12th but there were rumors of small fights at Dardanelle and Laneburg, with results in our favor, but nothing reliable, and no particulars. I felt real well, but I had two or three bad sores on my left leg - and I did not know but it might be the old outbreaking of my former trouble with that leg. Gill almost finished the chimney for our shanty, and Heaton hung the door. The chimney drew first rate, and we made calculations upon moving into our shanty the next day.
Jan. 19th Little Rock, Ark.We had another splendid day, and I did not forget that it was just two years and five months from the time of my enlistment. I spent two or three hours in the course of the day in learning a game called Napoleon's Solitary, and I succeeded in getting through with it a number of times. Our shanty was finished in the course of the day, and about night the Captain and I moved our things into it, and we found it quite comfortable. I received a letter from my wife, and one from Alvarus, the former being written on the 8th and 9th. My family were well, and I was glad to learn that Dan Ewer had been doing a mean thing with the widow of Nat Ross - and that he paid, or agreed to pay $350.00 to settle it. I spent part of the evening in Captain Steven's Quarters, and then finished a letter that I was writing to my wife. About 9 O' clock William Young and George Church came into our Quarters with a long board that they had "drawn" somewhere, and which Bill intended to finish the bottom of my bunk. I did it first rate, and I felt as though I had a place of my own to sleep once more. During the day a summons was served up on the Captain, Corporal Cullen, and Harry Smart to appear at Gray's trial at 9 O' clock A.M. on the 23rd Inst.
Jan. 20th Little Rock, Ark.I reported at Guard Mounting at 8 O' clock and by 9 O' clock we were out on the picket line, and lieutenant Watts and his Detail were relieved. We had not been there long before I received the following communication from Colonel Gray. It was dated Headquarters 28th etc. and addressed
To the Officer of the Picket
He signed it officially, and I presume though he had done a very fine work. I went to the intermediate posts and warned the men to keep on there guard and be prepared to receive him should he visit them. He did not visit our line, but I heard afterward that he visited our Camp at one O' clock, but that he only stayed a few minutes. The Regiment had been in line and waiting for him, and looking for him for three or four hours, and they were glad to be relieved. The Brigade Officer of the Day visited our post at 2 P.M. and again about 5 in the morning, but the Division Officer did not visit us at all. We had a pleasant day, and as it only misted a part of the night, without raining, I got along very well, and slept most of the night. In the evening Vosburgh brought out a letter for me from my wife, written early in December, it having lain by somewhere. I was glad to receive it, old as it was.
Jan. 21st Little Rock, Ark.When the Officer of the Day visited us at 5 O' clock A.M. he inquired to what Brigade we belonged, and when I told him, he said there was a March in store for us, as our Brigade was ordered on a March, and were to start Monday morning but we afterward learned it was Sunday morning, and the time was fixed at 7:30 Sunday morning. Lieutenant Alvord relieved me at 9 O' clock, and about the time I had finished eating my breakfast he had also been relieved, and was back in camp. Everyone was soon getting ready to start on the March the following morning, and in the afternoon I went down town and bought a box of 50 lbs of hard bread - paying for it $4.00 it being to take with us to eat on the March. No one seemed to know where or in what direction we were to go - some thinking we were going toward Fort Smith, some toward Camden, and some again to and beyond Pine Bluff. I wrote a short letter to Almira about noon, and another of about equal length in the evening and one to Alvarus. The evening was very dark, and a fine mist felt, rendering it still darker and more disagreeable. I had some sores on my left leg, and I was afraid that they would bother me on the March, but I washed the sores, and put on some salve I got of one of the Hospital attendants.
Jan. 22nd From Little Rock to Pine Bluff.We were up and had our breakfast early in the morning, and at 9 O' clock fell in on the Regimental Parade ground, ready to start. At 9:30 we were on the Brigade Parade ground in front of the arsenal, or between it and Saint John's College. Other Regiments were soon on the ground, and in a short time General Reynolds made his appearance, and the Brigade Band commenced to play. The 9th Wisconsin, 43rd Illinois, 50th Indiana and 33rd Iowa Infantry Regiments - the 1st and 3rd Missouri and the 1st Iowa Cavalry Regiments, the 25th Ohio Battery, and the 18th Illinois and 23rd Ohio Infantry Regiments in charge of a pontoon train were soon on the ground, but after that we had to wait two hours for Brigadier General Carr who was to have command of the expedition. He finally came, and we started out on the Pine Bluff Road. We got along very well, and early in the afternoon went into Camp about 7 miles from the city by the remains of the Mill that was burned a day or two before, the partly burned timbers being still on fire. It began to snow a short time before we went into Camp, but the teams soon came up, and we pitched a tent, and made ourselves quite comfortable. It stopped storming shortly after dark, but it was quite cold and cheerless. We had supper before dark, our Mess having received the addition of Lieutenant Watts and Adjutant Kendrick.
Jan. 23rd From Little Rock to Pine Bluff.We arose from our bed of pine boughs and blankets at Revielle - 4:30 and at 6:30 were again on the move. We were the 2nd Regiment from the front the day before, and next ahead of the Battery, but we fell back one notch, and we now were behind the Battery. We found the ground frozen, and got along very well, train and all. We made an occasional short halt, and a 15 minute halt for dinner, and at 2 O' clock we went into Camp near the Campbell Place, 18 miles from the Rock. We went into Camp so early to give the train a chance to come up, that part of the road being very bad. We collected a lot of pine boughs for our bed, built a big fire in front of our tent, ate our supper at an early hour, and made our selves as comfortable as circumstances would allow. It was real cold, and I had worn my overcoat all day. While in camp, just before night, Colonel Gray and Doctor Smith chopped a race, Doctor Smith winning it, and winning $5.00 from Lieutenant Bingham, who bet on Gray. I was glad the Doctor came out best.
Jan. 24th From Little Rock to Pine BluffWe all fell back another degree, and marched next to the rear of our Brigade. We were up at 4:30, and on the march at 6:30 again, wearing our overcoats on account of the cold. The march was conducted as usual, we had our 15 minute lunch at noon, and at 3 O' clock P.M. we went into Camp between Rock Spring and Pine Bluff, 5 miles from the spring, having marched 14 miles. We fixed up quite comfortably, and slept at night on our pine bough beds - but my head ached some, and I did not sleep very well.
Jan. 25th From Little Rock to Pine BluffOur Regiment were Rear Guard, and we did not start as early by an hour, as we had to wait for all the train to file in ahead of us. I did not feel very well, on account of my head, but I got along very well. It was perhaps one O' clock P.M. when we came in sight of Pine Bluff, and General Clayton and other officers came out to meet us. We passed through the city and went out half or three quarters of a mile on the Mount Elba Road, and went into Camp not far from 3 O' clock. Most of the Officers were soon down town, and just at sunset I went down with Mc Kowen, and then t the Post Commisary's. I ate supper with Mc Kowen, and Mc Kowen wanting to get some soft bread, I concluded to wait until it should be baked, and then go up to Camp with him. I sat down and wrote short letters to my wife, and to mother, and left them with Mc Kowen to be mailed. The bread was not done until past 10 O' clock, when Draper gave me 10 loaves, and Mc Kowen 14 loaves, and we started for camp, which we reached about midnight. It was cold, but I slept well until 4:30 the next morning.
Jan. 26th From Pine Bluff to Mount Elba.We were again the second Regiment the column marching in the same order as the day we started from the Rock. We found the roads much better than we expected. We made our usual halt for noon lunch, and at 4 P.M. were once more in Camp at Mount Elba, or on the river bank two miles beyond. My foot had troubled me a good deal during the day, and I suffered much with it. I thought of applying for a ride in an ambulance at one time, but I managed to get through. When I pulled off my boot I was surprised to see how inflamed and swolswollenwas. Our Cavalry had a slight skirmish with bushwhackers as they approached the river, and one of our men was killed, and our boys took 20 prisoners. We made ourselves quite comfortable, and noticed the new moon for the first time, and we had quite a pleasant time talking around our campfire at night.
Jan. 28th Mount Elba, Ark.We remained in camp all day, the Cavalry having started out across the saline the night before, about sunset, after waiting an hour or so for the pontoon corps to lay the pontoon bridge. There was a frame work in the shape of the boat, which was covered with canvas of the same shape and these strung across the stream, and covered with planks, made an excellent bridge. Foraging parties were sent out in different directions, and Bingham went out in charge of a party of 30 men from our Regiment. When he returned in the P.M. he brought us tough old goose, and a chicken, and Kendrick brought us a turkey, which we had for supper. Complaints were made that Bingham allowed his men to break into bureaus, and to commit various depradations upon private property, but he denied it all, and there seemed to be no proof of it. My foot was very sore, and so much swollen that I could not put on my boot at all, and I was forced to keep still as I could not even go to see the pontoon bridge. Captain Murray came to our campfire, and stayed an hour or two in the evening, talking about women etc., and he might as well have admitted that he indulged in licentious practices. He did confess it, and apapparentlyithout any shame, or compunctions of conscience. Alvord also scouted the idea of virtue, as a manly gratification, and I became considerably disgusted, and expressed my mind quite freely, confessing my obligations in that respect, and claiming that they were as binding upon me as upon my wife.
Jan. 29th Mount Elba, Ark.I had nearly forgotten that it was Sunday morning until nearly the middle of the A.M. when I thought of it as I was trying to do the trick called Solitary. I at once stopped, and commenced writing my wife a letter, instead. I filled a sheet of note paper that I took from Loughney's portfolio, writing with his ink. The day passed like the pprecedingone, I moping around the fire, and nursing my sore foot, and feeling very uncomfortable indeed. The Cavalry came in toward night, some having been with the party to Mark's Mills, and I afterwards learned that he found the $40,000 or $60,000 dollars of U.S. Currency that was concealed there by a cotton speculator on the days of the fight there nearly a year before, but that it had rotted so as to be good for nothing. The owner had previously told him where it was, and he went on purpose to find it. No force of Rebels was found, and the Cavalry reported none this side of Red River except small bands. Some of the prisoners captured were known by our boys, and one of the Pine Bluff Militia was found with a pass which had expired some time previously. He claimed to be all right, but his double barreled gun heavely loaded with buckshot, told against him, and he was retained as a prisoner, and I presume as a deserter.
Jan. 30th From Mount Elba to Pine Bluff.We started back toward Pine Bluff at 6:30 A.M., our Regiment being again next in rear of the Battery. The 106th and 126th Illinois Infantry and the 1st Arkansas Light Artillery of A.D. who went with us from Pine Bluff, brought up the Rear, and the Cavalry remained behind to follow on the next day. It was a damp, cloudy, uncomfortable day, and as I rode in an Ambulance, I had to keep well wrapped up to keep warm. We went into Camp early in the P.M. where we camped on our way out, and as some of our rails etc., were still left, we were soon comparatively comfortable, though it was raining slightly when we went into Camp. I was not very tired as I rode every step of the 14 miles, but I was glad to get to the fire, and get something to eat once more. I did not sleep very well, on account of my foot, and the toothache, but I managed to pass the night. It was just six months from my muster as an Officer, and the Government was owing me six months pay.
Jan. 31st From Mount Elba to Pine Bluff.The Brass Band aroused us at 4:30 A.M. and at 6:30 we were again on the move, our Regiment being once more the second from the rear. The roads were much worse than when we went out, but there was still some frost in the ground, and we got along quite well. We were again within sight of Pine Bluff at one P.M. and at 3 we had passed through the city, and two miles out on the Little Rock Road, and were going into Camp close by Mr. Demby's and outside the picket line. Captain Stevens had stopped in the city to buy something for us to eat, Alvord was on picket. Watts did nothing as usual, and Tichenor and I selected a place, and pitched our tent for the night. Before dark Captain Stevens came to Camp, and we had ham and soft bread for supper. Some of the Officers were down town, and some time during the night Colonel Gray returned from town, from all appearances as drunk as he could well be. He had a quarrel with Doctor Smith, and as I lay where I could see and hear them, I learned that Gray was mad because he thought he saw the Doctor's black boy crawling out of his bed as he came up to the tent. Some hard words were said, but I again went to sleep before [the] jaw was ended and I did not learn the final conclusion.