Diary of Adjutant George Jones
of the Wisconsin 26th Regiment


Written by George W. Jones
Adjutant of the 26th Wis. Volunteer Inf.
Donated by his daughter Miss Clara Jones

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Sunday, January 1, 1865

In camp near Savannah, Ga. Once more after so long an interval of neglect, I commence journalizing the events of my life and for at least the rest or my time as a soldier, I promise not to neglect my little pocket Diary. New Years Day has passed and has brought with it no item of particular interest. For a time so far South as tho, the weather is decidedly cold and disagreeable. We are laying under marching orders and probably will cross the River in a few days.

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Monday, January 2, 1865

Marched at 7 A. M. and after waiting at the dock in the city until noon, when we went on board of a small transport ( The Planter) and had a pleasant boat ride among the point of Green Island. In about an hour landed on the shores of North Carolina, the birthplace of Lecfsion. While the Planter returned for the rest of the Brigade, we improved the time in cooking and eating a dinner office and coffee. About 3 O'clock the rest of the Brigade arrived and we took up our plantation, we came to a pine forest and after proceeding in, a little ways, we came to the camp of the ( I think) 4th. Infantry which had preceded us in invading the air lands of S. G. two days before. It was already dark- we - arms on the side of the road. We made ourselves happy over the cup of rice and coffee

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Tuesday, January 3. 1865

There was a reconnoitering party of 50 men went from the regt. today. They had not gone much over a mile from camp, when they met the enemies pickets. Then our boys drove for nearly a mile, when they supported by their reserve, hits their ground. As soon as Co. Winkler heard the firing, he went out to support the previous detail with 20 men. On arriving at the "Field of action" he immediately sent out a flanking party. The 'Johnnies' soon "smell a mice" and "skedaddled". as it was getting late, our boys, pursued but a little way and then returned to camp with nobody hurt. Near our camp are two fine houses which have lately been deserted by the chivalrous owners. The natural growth of the trees here are chiefly red piny, interposed with here and there a live oak, palmetto or cedar - but the hand of art has embroidered many more beautiful shrubs among which the Magnolia ranks as king. It is indeed a many more beautiful shrubs among which the Magnolia ranks as king. It is indeed a combination of branches with its dark green leaves so thick it is velvety in such profusion as to almost hide from the misgiving grew the larger blossoms of dark red that rival the rose in display of - and all thru the winter.

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January 4 1865

This morning we "backed" up and marched about a mile further in a northeasterly direction, and camped in a large open field on "Hardees Plantation". Saw in the vicinity several old earthworks built I believe in 1861 at the time our fleet was threatening Ft. Pulaski. This plantaion does not look as if it had been under cultivation for the past two years. The owner I believe is Co. Hardee who was captured at the battle near Atlanta on the 22th of July last.

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Thursday, January 5, 1865

The Colonel and Major went out reconnoitered today in command of an attachment of 150 men from the regiment. They went out to the scene of the skirmish on the 3rd. Not meeting with any resistance went on some four or five miles further and not seeing any enemy, they returned to camp and reported the REBELS all gone. Orders were given the boys today to build comfortable quarters as we should probably remain here several weeks, I do not place much confidence in the latter part at best.

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Friday, January 6, 1865

A dull rainy day, with no news whatever stirring except it be vague rumors of the bombardment of Ft. Fisher by Admiral Porter. Wrote a letter home and sent it by this afternoon mail.

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Saturday, January 7, 1865

Cleared off last night and this morning cleared and cold, with a stiff northwest breeze, reminding me of - in my cold Northern home. The day passed idly by without and item of interest occurring. It seems an age since I last heard form my dear Parents.

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Sunday. January 8. 1865

A dispatch in the "Cavannah Republican" this morning, stating that Putler had returned to Fortress Monroe with his expeditionary fleet "all safe" and that Porter was still thundering at the walls of Ft. Fisher. Commenced building a new house this afternoon. The sky was overcast for the greater part of the day with light fleecy clouds and the wind changed from N.W. to N. E. which foretells rain.

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Monday, January 9. 1865

Finished and moved into my house today and consequently am now ready for marching orders. A camp rumor in circulation that General Butksford is on his way to his department to take command of the 20th corps. I trust it may prove time. Several light showers of rain fell this morning and this evening it is very dark and dreary.

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Tuesday, January 10, 1865

Heavy showers today, accompanied with thunder. Still no mail and no news. Wrote a letter to R.----

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Wednesday, January 11, 1865

Passed the greater part of the day reading " The Grinnell Arche Expedition". Cloudy but no rain.

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Thursday, January 12, 1865

Cleared off last night and this morning the sun rose clear and beautiful if air unclouded sky. Rather cool this morning but at noon the shade was eagerly sought for. Played several games of chess this evening with Fred and is all except the last came off "Second Best"

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Friday, January 13, 1865

A beautiful Clear day without a cloud in the horizon. Received a letter from home dated Dec. 27th. What a relief to hear once more that those who are near and dear to me are still well and happy.

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Saturday. January 14. 1865

There was Company drill this afternoon, the first in a long long time, Rev, John Keilien, our new Chaplain arrived this evening and for the present is to - with Charley. He is in belief, and Evangelical Lutheran, and speaks but very little English.

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Sunday, January 15. 1865

Chaplain Keilien delivered an interesting sermon to the Regt. from the text found in 2 Corr. 5th Chapter, 19th to 21st verses inclusive, This is the first time service has been held in the 26th since being in the field.

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Monday, January 16, 1865

A dull cloudy day. Played several games of chess and wrote a letter home. Rec'd orders this P.M. to march at 8 0'clock A. I. tomorrow, but the order has since been revoked as far as concerns the 26th Wis. and the 136th N. Y. as these 2 Regts. are to remain as train guard.

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Tuesday, January 17. 1865

Our Division marched toward Hardeeville today, and the first division moved out from Savannah and occupies the vacated camps of our division this evening. Had a good meal of raw oysters today, the first in a long long time. We march tomorrow at 8 A.M.

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Wednesday, January 18. 1865

Marched this morning at 8 1/2 O'clock. No item of interest occurred during the day. We passed 2 or 3 deserted homes and a few small clearings but for most of the way the road led through a heavy pine forest. Reached the little village of Hardeeville about 1 O'clock P. M. and camped on the left of the Brigade having made about ten miles.

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Thursday, January 19. 1865

A very disagreeable and rainy day. Beat Capt. Grinmeyer at 2 games of chess.

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Friday, January 20. 1865

Still continues to rain. The roads in this flat country are already almost impassible, and the present campaign is at a "standstill". Hardeeville is a small country village of about a dozen wood houses, everywhere surrounded by a pine forest. Formerly there was a depot of the Sav. & Charleston R. R. Line. The Rebs have taken away all the rails and burned the ties here, probably they will use the iron to rebuild the Ga. road. The "Yanks" have torn the depot down to build themselves a house of.

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Saturday, January 21. 1865

Rain, Rain, rain and nothing but rain.

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Sunday. January 22 1865

Though there were a few stars visible on retiring last night yet the first sound that greeted my ears on awakening this morning was the dismal "patter of the rain" on the roof. Rained all day. The roads now are a perfect - sea of water.

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Monday. January 23. 1365

Am happy to chronicle the fact of enjoying a fine clear day. From the north consequently quite cold.

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Tuesday. January 24, 1865

Had dress parade this evening. Rec'd a letter from R.- dated Nov. 22nd mailed answer. A Reconnoitering party mounted on mules went out on the Robertsville road to under the command of Major Lacknor.

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Wednesday. January 25. 1865

The reconnoitering party returned this evening having been near Robertsville.
They met a small party of Rebel, but they gave no serious resistance, Maj. Lacknor reports a brigade of Rebel cavalry to be camped near Robertsville.

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Thursday. January 26. 1865

A fine clear day, Dress Parade this evening. If this fine weather continues we will probably march in a few days.

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Friday. January 27. 1865

Passed the day in reading Lasso. It now has a double interest for me-besides its own mitmisic worth as a gem of literature, it was a favorite & a gift of my nearest and dearest friend of former years- Edward Tremlese who now rests in the cold grave. I never read a line of his pages without thinking of him. I can hardly realize the awful truth that I never again shall see him on earth.

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Saturday. January 28. 1865

A clear cold day. Water was frozen in all the little ponds last night, as thick as a silver dollar. Re'cd a kind and interesting letter from my old friend G - U. The loss of so many companions and friends within the last year, makes those that are left, doubly dear to me and a letter of friendship as received with gratitude. l have just received orders to march at 7 A. M. tomorrow.

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Sunday. January 29, 1865

Reveille at 1/2 past four this morning and at 7 O'clock we started again on our Northward march. Traveled vary fast & without any interruptions, the cavalry through which we passed was for the greater part of the way, a wilderness of pine. I saw one occupied house today. Camped before dark in a large corn field. I am tired & weary as we marched bout 20 miles today without a dinner halt. .Just rec'd orders to march in the morning at 7 O'clock.

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Monday, January 30. 1865

Just as the sun was peeping above the horizon our bugler sounded the "forward" and we were again on the move,. The air was cool and bracing and we marched without a moments halt until we reached Corps Leo Otis at Robertsville, some seven miles from our starting point. Camped a little to the N. E . side of the village. The country through which we passed was mostly under cultivation, but the inhabitants have all fled, leaving their houses and in many cases their furniture to the mercy of the 'Yanks"

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Tuesday. January 31. 1865

Moved through Robertsville this morning and camped in a large corn field about three miles from Sisters Ferry. Robertsville is a little larger than Hardersville, with a fine church and splendid shade trees. The "Chivalry" have nearly all left. The chief productions of the surrounding country for the past year appears to have been corn and cotton.

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Nothing until Friday. May 5. 1865

Left Camp at 5 O'clock this morning, Marched steadily until about noon when after crossing the Northeway River, stopped an hour for dinner. Marched about a mile further. The extreme heat made the horses give out on the road. So we went into camp having marched 19 miles. The country through which we passed not much cultivated timber, mostly red and white oak. Saw one field of wheat just heading out.

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Saturday, May 6. 1865

Marched this morning at 5 O'clock, there was just rain enough last night to lay the dust and for a couple of hours it was cool and pleasant. We struck the south side railroad at Black and White Station. The old 6th Corps are at present scattered along the line of this road. Marched about 14 miles and camped a little after noon in a pleasant pine grove.

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Sunday. May 7, 1865

Left camp at 4 1/2 O'Clock, Traveled on by roads through the woods nearly all day. Crossed the Appomattox on a pontoon bridge about two mile below Bivels' Bridge. The north bank of the river at the crossing is very low and flat for a distance of nearly 1/2 mile back and bears evidence of having bean overflown with the spring freshet. Camped near Cloven Hill a little after noon having made about 18 miles.

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Monday, May 8, 1865

Was on the move at about 5 O'Clock this morning. Passed through the little village of Clover Hill which seems to have been chiefly important for it's coal mines. There is a railroad connecting this place with the Richmond and Petersburg railroad. Marched about 17 miles and comped in a pine woods about 7 miles from Richmond. The supply were went to Manchester to load supples to last us to Alexandria. This may be the end of out on to Richmond movement having mad 170 miles in 9 years.

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Tuesday May 9, 1865

Moved camp a mile or two nearer town today. Rode to Manchester this afternoon and bought a stock of goods for our mess. Lutherans areas thick as in a box brisket. Rained quite hard last night and as a consequence the layer roads are very muddy. We have orders to march tomorrow. We are to pass through Richmond in review by General Halleck. Had a splendid supper and among other treats fried Irish potatoes. General Sherman arrived this afternoon.

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Wednesday. May 10. 1865

Our orders for marching were countermanded this morning at daylight and we remained in camp all day. It seems that General Sherman scouts the idea of having his army reviewed boy General Halleck and we are to simply march in Company column through Richmond without giving General Halleck the honor of reviewing us.

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Thursday. May 11. 1865

Started on our Alexandria march at about 11 O'clock this morning the 14th Corps having the advance. General. Devlin's division of the 24th Corps was paraded on the principal street in Manchester reaching nearly the whole length of the town and received us with " present Arms ", bands playing, and their hearty cheers. Marched through the heart of Richmond, passing by "Castle Thunder" "Libby Prison" the Capitol, City Hall. The equestrian bronze statue of Washington in the Capitol Square is the finest on ever saw. Camped at Nish, 3 miles from town

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Friday, May, 12, 1865

Marched this morning at 7:30 but bad roads occasioned by the heavy rain of last night we made but very slow progress. Crossed the north branch of the Chicahommy and Stoney river. Passed over the battle field of Shepherd Hill where Gen'l. E. B. Stuart received his mortal wound about a year ago.

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Saturday, May 13, 1865

Left Camp at 6 O'clock this morning. Crossed the Fredericksburg Railroad at Ashland, which is pretty little town of about a dozen houses. Crossed the South Anna on an old trestle bridge and the New Fond River on a bridge of rails. The original lumber of the country seems to have been had-wood, but in many places what once was tobacco fields, are now covered with a thick growth of ferns, some of them a foot in diameter. Camped at 5 O'clock P. M. having made about 19 miles.

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Sunday May 14, 1865

Marched this morning at 6:30. Crossed the Little River and the North Anna - latter on a pontoon. Passed through a tolerable fertile country thickly inhabited. Crossed the IA. Central railroad at the noon and just at evening caught a glimpse of the Smoky Summits of the Blue Ridge. Camped at dusk, having marched 19 miles.

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Monday. May 15. 1865

Left Camp at 6 0'clock this morning. Crossed the Mat. La. Po. & N .Y. Rivers ,Passed through Spotslvania C. H. which is a little town of some dozen houses now full of air holes and ventilation caused by Yankee Artillery about a year ago. Marched along Lee's former line about 2 Miles westwardly when we turned to the North, Passing through a part of the wilderness- the Fricksburg and Gordoneviller plant road about 5 P.M. and after marching westwardly some 2 miles- on the Chancellorsville battle field, near the remains of the Villa having marched nearly 20 miles.

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Tuesday. May 16. 1865

Took a ride over the ill-fated field when we (the 11th Corps) were so badly defeated 2 years ago. Every spot seemed as natural and familiar to me as the dear yard at home. Distinguished the graves of 1 or two 26th boys, but by far the greater part are buried here or there over the field without a board to mark their resting place. I overtook the column at U. S. Ford, crossed the river on a pontoon. Marched by the way of Hartswood Church to within about 9 miles of Caletts Station , having made 22 miles.

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Wednesday, May 17, 1865

Started at 5 O'clock this morning. Marched in a very - course, passing a little to the right of Weaverville and Caletts Station and camped at Bernardsville having marched about 18 miles. The country through which we passed today is mostly grass grown common, the Army having burned all of the fences. The sod however is very fertile and splendid that in many years this section will again blossom as the - under the system of free labor.

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Thursday. May 18. 1865

Reveille at 2:30 this morning and marched at 4:30, we, being the leading division. The country through which we passed today with the exception of the first 4 or 5 miles is but little washed by the savages of war. The weather was very warm indeed and the marching very severe on the boys. Passed through Fairfax Station and camped about 4 P.M. 14 miles from Alexandria having marched in a very - about 19 miles.

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Friday. May 19. 1865

Very heavy showers last night, but cloudy and cool today. Started early and after marching about 4 miles stuck the "poke" out. Here we soon ran into the 14th Corps. and had to wait for them to get out of the way after noon. Camped at 2:30 about 5 miles from Alexandria. Rode to town this afternoon in company with the Major. The city has changed but very little since I was here 18 months ago.

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Saturday, May 20, 1865

Remained in camp all day, No new ---. The boys are all jubilant over the prospect of soon going home. Helped out the officer of the day, lay out-camp ----. Almost forgot to mention that Gov. Lewis paid Regt. a flying visit today.

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Sunday, May 21, 1865

Rained nearly all day. Rode down town for a little while, no news stirring. Read a 1etter from the G. once more.

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Monday, May 22, 1865

Still raining and dismal. I fear the roads will be very muddy for the review tomorrow and next day, Received a good letter from home this evening and also one from R.

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Tuesday. May 23. 1865

A beautiful bright cool day, Occupied the time in reading newspapers. Should have been much pleased to have witnessed the review of the Glorious Old Army of the Potomac today, but must be content seeing Sherman's army reviewed tomorrow. We now have orders to move at 5 O'clock A.M. tomorrow, After the review we are to encamp on the other side of Washington. The knapsacks and equipment are to be transported in wagons.

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Wednesday. May 24. 1865

Broke camps 5 A.M. this morning, Crossed the long bridge and said farewell to old Virginia. The review was the grandest one I ever witnessed in point of numbers, both of spectators and troops, but I have seen much better marching, than was executed by mass today. This probably to their being in ------ columns closed in mass which is a poor formation to exhibit good marching, nearly every horse was had displayed the glorious old Stars and Stripes. The people manifested in every way their appreciation of the Army,

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Thursday, May 25, 1865

After the review yesterday we reached about 3 miles from town and encamped near at Ft. Lincoln in a dense forest. Rather rainy and dismal this morning. Helped the officer of the day layout camp, hope this will be the last camp of the 26rh as we expect to muster out here. The daily papers give us more honor than we deserve in the accounts of yesterday review.

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Friday. May 26. 1865

A dismal rainy day with no news stirring except it be the aspect of blank muster out rolls now an order that this army would be paid before 1eaving here.

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Saturday, May 27, 1865

Cleared off today and there is now a prospect of fair weather once more.

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Sunday, May 28, 1865

Most of the officers of the regt., in town today, Received a supply of blanks from the Adj. Genl. office.

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Monday May 29, 1865

Work is now crowding fast as the sooner we get our necessary papers completed the sooner we will go home.

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Tuesday, May 30 1865

Went to Washington today, Visited the Patent Office. Capitol, & Smithsonian Institute. Think I never spent a day of my life more beneficially. The architecture sculpture and painting exhibits in the Capitol is truly magnificent. The painting which most struck my fancy was the battle of Chasultyseck, and the sculptor of the dying Tecumseh could not be excelled in expression even by life itself. Space forbids a mention of the sights to be seen.

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Wednesday, May 31, 1865

Was very busy all day helping make out the muster out rolls of the regiment. Have scarcely time to make a not in my journal without informing on the house of sleep, and it is now near midnite. Very warm and fine day.

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Thursday, June 1 1865

Very busy all day.

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Friday, June 2, 1865

Nothing to journalize but the dull routine of work at the muster papers.

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Saturday, June 3, 1865

A calm quiet Sabbath. This afternoon we in company with the other Wis. Regiments of the Army of Georgia turned out to receive ex-Gov. Randall, who is now Asst. P. M. General. We marched about 3 miles and drew up in square Gov. Randall was introduced by General Hobart the ex Gov. made rather a vague speech, not very interesting to the boys, we returned home concluding that considering the heat and clouds of dust which we had to endure, that we had paid rather dear for the whistle.

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Monday, June 5, 1865

Went to Washington today. I drew my pay as an enlisted man on my "final statement." Very warm indeed.

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Tuesday, June 6, 1865

Quite cool today. The Company officers have now got their rolls abut done and there is prospect of our getting home next week.

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Wednesday, June 7, 1865

Saw Capt. Beecher this morning and he days it will be at least 5 days before he is ready to examine our rolls. There was an order in circulation today stating that all officers wishing to remain in the service should at once make application accordingly.

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Thursday, June 8, 1865

Too warm to work, so I idled away my time as best I could. Time seems to go very slowly now that I can almost count the days I am yet to remain in the service.

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Memoranda in last page of Diary


Capt. Fullerton Dr.   Paid to cash $20.00

Gustav Piollberg Dr.     to Gold Pen 2.50

Lambert Weiss Dr.      Paid to cash  1.30

Chris Fransz Dr.             to cash  .80

Lt. Hensel Dr.              to cash 20.00

John Carey Dr.              to cash 10.00

Cyrus Shafer Dr.             to cash 2.50
 
Martin Abbott Dr.            to cash 3.00

Jos. Monrean                to cash 10.00

Louis Roeder                         3.00

Carl Schuh                           2.00

Carl Andrews                         1.00

Carl Wresle                          1.00

W. Wehe                             10.00

Carl Krueger                         5.00



Bills Payable

Samuel Meyers     42.50

Chas. Gottschlk   10.00 Pd.

Jos. Monrean       5.00 Pd.

A. Fullerton      10.00 Pd.



Cash Account

Jan. 6 - 4# sugar        pd. 1.05

       7-5# Hard Bread   pd. .50

      11-1# sugar        pd. .30

      11 - Corps Badge   pd. .80

      15 - Raisin 1/2#.      .50

      15 - Washing       pd. .10

      19 - Tailoring     pd. .75

      19 - 2# sugar      pd. .35

      23 - 1 cont. syrup pd. .35

      26 - Washing       pd. .30

      26 - Hard Bread    pd. .30


Feb. Amount brought over  pd.$5.25

     17 For Fountain Pen  pd. 1.00

     25 Washing           pd.  .15

     

Cash Account - March 6.40

Cash Account - April 6 - Major Lackne Rec'd $20.00

                         April 10  -    "         "        "    
     7.00

                         Total Expense for mess   $72.15

Cash Account - May 1 Cash      pd. 5.00

               May 3 Sundries  pd. 4.10

               May 4 Ham       pd. 1.00

               May 5 Sundries  pd. 1.50

               "        "      pd. 6.70

               May 6    "      pd. 2.00

                      Fodder   pd. 50

               May 10 Major Lackne rec'd 10.00

                   10 Carl Winkler rec'd 2.00

                   10 Sundries     pd.  10.95

                   11 Lunches      pd. Cons   4.95

                   12 Eons         pd.  5.10

                   15              pd. 10.45

                   18 Dr. Lub           4.50

                   22 Sundries in Alexandria pd 16.15

                   22 Co. Winkler rec'd 20.00 pd 15.55

                   22 Major Lackner rec'd 20.76

                   29 Sundries      pd 34.58

                                                                
 (Paid 131.53)

Cash account June 1-8 Sundries pd. 28.20

                  8-20   : "     "    27.00

                                      --------

                                      $55.20



Memoranda

   G. Jones in o/a with clothing   Jan. 6 - 1 Uniform Hat   $1.80

                                                  Jan. 15  2
pr.. flannel drawers 0.00

                                                  Jan. 15  1
pr. Trousers  4.15

                                                  Jan. 15  1
pr. Boots -----

                                                  Jan. 25  1
lined pack coat 3.25



Hq mess ofs with B ny ben

   April 6  Col. Winkler      $11.24

                Maj. Lackner  $11.24

                Capt. Fuchs   $11.24

                Lt. Kilien    $11.24

                    Jones      $2.45

                            ------------

                              $47.41



Dr. Acct. for April    Major Dr. $42.00 Ch. Dr. $26.00  Adjt.
$26.00

Dr. Acct. for May Col. Dr. $27.70  Major Dr. $32.73 Ch. Dr.
$36.72 -36.72

June 13 th Major Dr. to Cash 10.00

Total Expenditures of Mess Foods

       April 6 -

       May 9th  - $92.95

      Credit Acct for April   Major $28.00

                  for May     Major $30.70 Col. $32.00