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The Civil War Journal of
Seymour Gilbert

1st Lieut., Co. G, 28th Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers

Typescripted from the original holograph by
H. Wayne Overstreet
Further editing and background research by
M. Alan Overstreet, MA, MLIS

BARBARA L. FRISBY, 1927 - 1983

Who, by preserving the original holograph journal of her ancestor and then graciously sharing his story, will always be indebted to by generations of historians of the Civil War.

Copyright 1983 by H. Wayne Overstreet [first typewriter typescript] and 1993 M. Alan Overstreet [first computerized typescript] (second revision).


It is important to note the provenance, as much as possible, of this manuscript. The original owner of the holograph journal was Barbara L. Frisby, a wonderful lady who realized the importance of preserving this record of her ancestor but hadn't the means to do it herself. During the early 1980's Ms. Frisby allowed H. Wayne Overstreet the privilege of copying the original journal and eventually publishing it. Ms. Frisby died in 1983 well before the publication could ever be realized. The original journal seems to have disappeared at the same time. H. Wayne Overstreet's brother Alan has been involved with academic historical research in one form or another since 1977 and was genuinely pleased to be involved in helping to bring forth this work.

As mentioned above, apparently the original journal is no longer available to check spelling, punctuation, and accuracy of transcription, therefore we have compiled the journal as we have it now and have done what research was possible to verify events and people. This is a somewhat awkward method of publishing a non-fiction work, when there is no way to verify, but the importance of the document to research on the Civil War demands that we go ahead, with the above qualifiers.

We continue with the hope that eventually the holographic original will surface again some day and be put into an archive for scholarly study. We do this with thanks to Ms. Frisby for her great contribution.

Sincerely, H. Wayne Overstreet and M. Alan Overstreet


The year was 1864 and major events of American history were being forged in a war of a nation not yet one hundred years old; a nation at war with itself. The record of those events having been written in blood are somewhat less faded than others by the annals of time and rightfully so. Many of the campaigns and battles of the War between the States were considered "glorious" by those who were there to recount the tales, but only by those who lived. The glory of these events was in the cause and the victory, but not in the price paid for those achievements. A greater achievement to the individual may have been the mere survival of those hard and desperate times, further compounded by war.

The journal of Lieutenant Seymour Gilbert is the true story of a survivor. A very moral young Union Officer, the Wisconsin-born Lieutenant Gilbert chronicled his day to day life and thoughts while in the service of his nation. The manner in which he lived, his moral and religious convictions and his complete devotion to family may have been the keys to his survival, moreover they are the pillars of honor.

After more than a century, this personal diary has been wrenched finally from the encroaching dust of oblivion. May other lost chronicles of the history of our forefathers also emerge someday.

This shall be known when we are dead,
And left on long record,
That ages yet unborn may read,
And trust and praise the Lord.
PSALM 102 13-21/6

Journal of Lieut. Seymour Gilbert
Nov. 1864 | Dec. 1864 | Jan. 1865 | Feb. 1865 | Mar. 1865 |

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