The Journal of Private George Hoenig
of the Wisconsin 26th Regiment


This is the Journal of George Hoenig, which dates April 5, 1864 to July 10, 1865. This journal was written in an old german dialect and has been translated by Dieter and Erika Schirmer of Germany.

April 1864

5.
Madison. Now we have arrived here safely.

10.
Camp Randall. Already 4 days in the camp and already on picket [guard duty]. My father was here the day before yesterday. We will ... ... ... on the 14th leave to join the regiment.

Camp Randall. Still here. This morning we had a rainstorm, Iím on picket again. Today, for the first time in my life ...

Camp Randall. Today is Sunday. ... ... ... to the regiment, the weather is good.

19.
South Indiana. .... at 2 p.m. we left ... It is now 4 p.m. I have picked some flowers.

Nashville, Tennessee. We have arrived here without incident and tonight we will sleep in a soldiers home. The countryside is beautiful. We especially enjoyed the tunnels [railroad] in Kentucky. We have not seen much of the destruction caused by the war, but the countryside seems to be deserted. 6 p.m.. The sun is setting. Behind this house is a hospital, where many runaway slaves are staying. They appear to be in good spirits. Nashville is a quite pretty town, only the streets are not as wide as ours in the North. There is an incredible amount of traffic in these streets, which is mainly confined to military transport. Negroes are as numerous as whites here, and it seems that many soldiers are stationed here. Tomorrow we will continue our journey to the regiment.

Stevenson, Alabama. Last evening at 7 p.m. we left Nashville. We had to spent the night on top of a freight wagon. The moon was shining brightly, and the breeze was blowing warm, therefore we could see the battle fields of Murfersboro [Murfreesboro] and Storm River [Stones River]. We did not cover more than eighty miles that night, and arrived shortly before dawn. The first hills of the Cumberland Mountains Range. At 6 a.m. our train passed through the long tunnel, 2200 ft length. Here everything is wonderfully green. The fruit trees are blooming and the landscape is romantic. Today I saw the first Negro soldiers on the march. There was one Negro officer, all the other officers were whites. The regiment was on the way to Chattanooga.

Look Out Valley. Yesterday at 11 a.m. we arrived at White Sand, where the 26th Regiment was supposed to be stationed. But they had already marched away in the morning, so we traveled to this point and were cordially welcomed by the regiment at 3 p.m.. Myself, Matuschka, Zirn and Gall had to pitch our tent under the supervision of Sergeant F. Rollberg. Our regiment is located just beneath the Mount Look Out, from where the rebels had been driven away by our people. Cataniga is about four miles from here. This region is splendid. Rocky hills alternate with beautiful valleys. The Look Out is 2200 ft. high.

27.
Look Out Valley. We already have to drill, we received our rifles yesterday, and it is said that we will march soon. The temperatures are already high. The Tennessee River runs at the bottom of the Look Out. Today I have written to my parents.

Look Out. Yesterday a maneuver took place here with 2 brigades. On the drilling ground I saw a so-called chameleon, that's a lizard which can change its color.

After drilling we got 40 live shells. This morning we had an inspection and in the afternoon we will probably have to drill again.

May 1864

This morning at 7 a.m. we left the whole 3rd Brigade and the old camp at the Look Out Valley. Marched across the Look Out, and are now 15 miles away from Georgia. On the way we saw the graves of many fallen soldiers and the camouflage equipment of the canons under the trees. I was not tired by the march.

Georgia. Today is Ascension Thursday. Yesterday, the whole brigade marched to this place. The rebels are located just 5 miles from here. The weather is nice and the air is warm. I wonder how my family will spend this day at home?

Georgia. The whole Cumberland Army is on the move, yesterday and today we marched to the South. The rebels are retreating before us. The weather is warm and the country is nice. There is hardly a man to be seen here, women and children more often. This morning Hooker and Sickles inspected our regiment, and just now Kilpatrick.

Sunday. On the march to Tunnel Hill, where the rebels are said to be positioned.

Yesterday we were here, as we were the day before yesterday, today we will come under fire.

7 a.m. Yesterday afternoon we had an encounter with the rebels. Our company waded through a creek and fired from covered position on the rifle pits of the rebels. Finally the enemy was driven back and we occupied the breastworks. Fritz Stollberg was shot in his leg while wading through the creek, otherwise we got through fine.

11.
Georgia. On the march to Rome. We drove the enemy back in front of us. Apparently,

General Grant has beaten the rebels in Virginia. The soldiers are full of hope that the war will come to an end this summer. At the moment prisoners are marching past, they look awfully ragged.

Georgia. Yesterday and today there was violent fighting on the front. We are in the line of fire here. The enemy is withstanding fiercely, and our regiment will soon come into action, our outposts are already engaged with the enemy, and they are entrenched in breastwork 1000 steps away from us. Several bullets have already passed closely over our heads. It seems that the rebels have no artillery. We are still 15 miles away from Rome. The shooting is very strong at this moment. Our adjutant [aide-de-camp] just read a dispatch to us from the Potomac Army, declaring that Grant, after a four day battle, has beaten the rebels, capturing 30 cannons and a whole division. A message which caused a very positive mood among us. 5 p.m., the battle raged on. Our regiment is still holding its position. Up to now it has lost 8 men. The enemy is fighting desperately, but it seems that he is weakening at the left wing. Our artillery is aiming well. We are in the center, where we have not yet been attacked, but the snipers of the enemy are harassing us.

Today is Whit Sunday. Yesterday the battle continued into the night and started again early this morning. Last night we built rifle pits at our position, but having finished them we had to leave them. Now, the whole division is on the march in order to outflank the enemy.

Yesterday at noon our brigade started a bayonet attack on the enemy, who were laying behind breastworks, but it was driven back, due to the disorder in the other regiment. Our regiment repeated the attack three times, but was always beaten back. During the second attack I was separated from my regiment and joined the 19th Michigan. This regiment made an attack and set their flag on the breastwork of the enemies. I stayed with this regiment and the 102nd New Yorker for one hour during the biggest hail of bullets. When the fire ended, I looked for my regiment, which I found at 6 p.m. Our losses were severe, as our regiment lost 70 men from 400. Of my friends Philip Winkler was deadly wounded. This day was murderous for our people. The battle was fought 4 miles west of Tilton, Georgia. 2 p.m. The battle is over and the enemy is fleeing. The last fortifications of the enemies are behind us. We have gained many guns and lots of ammunition. The rifles, they have left behind, had all been destroyed. This morning I saw a horrible sight, this is, the burial of the dead, what kind of responsibility must one assume to cause such a bloodshed. The whole road is covered with dead horses, clothing, broken weapons, cartridge pouches, etc., these are the marks of an army in retreat. The countryside is beautiful, so is the weather. I spent the whole day thinking of Milwaukee.

17.
Cossawattee Creek. Last night we marched until 1 a.m. in bright moon shine. The enemy is pursued by our cavalry. During the march we found many wounded and dead, that the enemy had left behind. 13 prisoners were brought in today. They seemed to be very content with their captivity. They are tall slim figures with blue eyes and dark-blond hair, very intelligent and educated, they all come from the area of Longstriet [Longstreet] Corps [base]. They say that the strength of their army amounts to 60.000 men.

18.
Yesterday afternoon we began marching till 10 p.m. and today we are already on our feet since 2 a.m. We (the 26th Corps) form the left wing of the advancing army. Guards were placed at the houses of the rich farmers to protect their property, while the property of the poor people was confiscated. Oh, justice! !

Yesterday we marched, and reached the rearguard of the enemy. We built breastworks and stayed within them. This morning we marched forward in battle format and drove the enemy before us, up to this point, where we built breastworks once again. The enemyís cavalry is very close in front of us. We are awfully exhausted after the long march. Cass Valley. Yesterday a battle took place here, but our regiment didn't come under fire. Apparently, the rebels have lost a lot of people. Good news has also been received from Virginia.

21.
Yesterday I got a letter from Milwaukee. Today is a day of rest.

Today is Sunday, but it is not noticeable here. Tomorrow we are to start the journey to Knoxville. The temperature is very high and we are all exhausted.

Today is my birthday, but I have never before celebrated it in this way. Since yesterday we are on the march to Atlanta, we still have 28 miles to go. Yesterday we crossed the Judah River on a pontoon bridge. The enemy is directly in front of us. We got good news from the Potomac Army. Today I am nineteen years old. There is a thunderstorm in the heavens.

Yesterday evening, after a strenuous march we encountered the well fortified enemy, which was already being engaged by the 2nd Division. An attack was carried out immediately by our division. At about 5 p.m. our brigade came under fire, which was truly terrible. We held our assigned position until 1 a.m., after which we were relieved. Our regiment lost 40 men, but that is few in comparison with regiments which lost twice as many or three times as many. Our corps must have had many losses, because we could not set up any artillery. Today the battle was once again taken up by the 4th Corps, but the fire is not as fierce as yesterday. Our regiment is in reserve, where we are waiting for our rations. Our wagons cannot cross the river. Yesterday there was strong thunderstorm with rain. The rebels still hold their position. This place is called Burnt Hickrey.

We are still here, the whole front line is full of breastworks, which we have erected. The 4th Corps is to the left of us. All 7 corps of General Sherman are here.

This morning the rebels greeted us with case shots. We advanced and relieved the 1st Brigade, which lay behind rifle pits. Apparently our troops have captured 40 canons. A lot of prisoners were brought in, but our losses are also considerable. The weather is fine. The whole area is a dark forest.

Today is Sunday and I am in front of the breastwork on picket. The bullets are whistling around my head in a shameless manner.

Yesterday evening at 11 p.m. the enemies made a desperate attack on our wings, but were driven back. We are still in the breastworks. Today I sent a few lines home.

31.
Yesterday we were relieved and today are in reserve.

June 1864

2.
We are now at the left wing of the army and will probably relieve the 4th Corps.

3.
We are still here in reserve. Yesterday we had to march through horrible rain and stormy weather. The weather is still overcast.

5.
Itís Sunday today. Nice day at home, but not here. This day awakes a longing for home in me, which we left two months ago. The weather is slowly clearing up after a long period of rain. The rations are fairly scarce.

7.
Today we are located on a hill. Yesterday evening we had to build breastworks deep into the night, moreover we felt what the word hunger means.

8.
Today we had a dayís rest, but tomorrow we march.

10.
The march, which was supposed to take place yesterday, will take place today, just now the sergeant major is walking around shouting: We march at 9 a.m. The weather is fine. I received a letter from my parents on the 8th.

11.
Still at the same place, we are in reserve. Within in the last 24 hours I have had half a cracker to eat, there is a thunderstorm on its way.

13.
Yesterday and today (Monday) there has been a terrible thunderstorm, all the roads seem to be without foundation, it is still raining.

15.
We are still here, the fire in front of us is quite fierce. The weather is fine once again. The placeís name is Big Shanty.

We had to move forward yesterday at 2 p.m., at 6 p.m. we encountered the rebels. The line of fire was in front of us. We were in the second line, made an attack and threw the rebels back. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. we were under the shrapnel fire of the rebels, but all their shells detonated behind us, in that they flew over us, but still 3 men from our regiment were wounded. This night we rested with the rifles in our arms and this morning we built rifle pits.

We are now 2 miles away from Atlanta and the rebels have left their rifle pits in front of us, enormous entrenchment, which were erected long ago. Today is Sunday, it has been raining for 2 days with the prospect of more. Early yesterday morning there was a large artillery shelling between our and the rebelsí batteries.

Yesterday afternoon our regiment got into a fight, during which our company lost two men. Among these was unfortunately Wilhelm Matuschke. He was wounded on both hands, which grieved me a lot, because I feel deserted now. This morning we were on picket here. Last night I got a letter from my parents.

22.
Wednesday. Near Marietta on the battle field. Today was again a bloody day. At 12 a.m. our brigades charged at the enemy, we had to run across a wide open field. We crossed it with a shout of hurrah and entered the forest, where we captured the forward trenches of the enemy and forged ahead up to 300 yards from their trenches. Our regiment was covered with glory, but lost about 60 men, among them 10 men from our company. I was, praise and thank the Lord, not injured, but the bullets had never whizzed past my head so close. 2 steps away from me Johann Steil was shot dead.

June.  Yesterday and today we are lying behind breastworks and the enemy is directly in front of us. The bullets fly over to us, but one will get accustomed to it. The rebels have experienced quite severe losses here. We are positioned not far away from the place, where we were last under fire. Many rebels were buried by our troops here. The weather is moist and the air oppressive. The 17th Corps arrived here yesterday.

No ammunition. We are still positioned here. Today is Sunday. Yesterday afternoon our batteries fired on the Lost Mountain, where the rebelsí canons were located. The cannonade was great and could be seen well from here. We will probably stay positioned here and hold the front. The weather is hot and the sky cloudy. Today three months, or a quarter of a year, have passed since my draft call.

Still in reserve. The artillery engaged the enemy yesterday. The heat is awful. The sun has set. Evening is on its way. We've just gotten marching orders and will presumably march all through the night.

Our march is delayed, but our company has therefore to go on picket tonight.

30.
Last night we were on picket. I fired off a shot. 5 enemies came, they defected to us. A lot of volleys of shot were fired to the right of us.

July 1864

We are still located at the front, it is dangerous here. The bullets are continuously crossing our breastworks. Two of our regiment already got severely wounded. I received a letter from my parents yesterday. They are very down hearted.

On the march this morning the enemy had given up their strong works in front of us against all our expectations. With the sunrise our army started deploying. The trees between the enemy entrenchment were shot to pieces and shredded in an impossible to believe manner. At 8 a.m. the rebels began to shell us, but they were quite quickly silenced, after they had killed and wounded some of our people. Our 1st Division continued the march to Marietta and we turned right and marched southward to this place, where we are now in battle array. Today many prisoners were brought in. On the way over here I saw splendid manors. The surrounding is nice, only the heat is oppressive. Today is Sunday.

4.
This morning we and the 73rd Ohio Regiment made a reconnaissance and came back to the camp at noon during incredible heat. We didn't see any enemies, but instead many raspberries, and set about relishing the wonderful taste. There has been continuos heavy shelling all day to the left of us. The great day passed like any other day. But today we will be issued rations.

This morning we are lying on a hill about two miles from the Chattahochee River. The rebels are retreating across the river. There is a lot of shooting in front of us. We marched here yesterday in the incredible heat, due to which many of our people collapsed with complete exhaustion. The countryside is mountainous. The rebels have deserted excellent entrenchment. It will be a hot day today in every respect.

We marched about five miles to this place yesterday afternoon. The country is very mountainous on this side of the river. On the opposite side the land seems nice and flat. The river is approximately two miles from here, but there are still enemies on this side of the bank. Again and again many prisoners have been brought in. They are all dressed in gray and are looking quite done in and ready to drop.

9.
Our camp here lies in a deep valley and we will probably get our pay here for the next few months. It is said that a part of our army has already crossed the river. The weather is warm.

On the Chattahochee River. Finally we have reached it, the long desired river. Our picketers have driven the enemy here today. Now it is evening and I am on picket. Beyond the river there is wide open land with some farm houses. Also, one can see, if one tries hard enough, the forts and entrenchment of the enemy. The area is pleasant, it rained a bit today and it is still warm.

Last night I had to go on picket from 12 p.m. to 4 a.m., during the night our line started to advance to the banks of the river, where then, at about 9 a.m. they engaged in a conversation with rebels on the opposite river bank. They reached an agreement not to shoot, and the soldiers left their entrenchment, as well as the rebels. I also went up, and watched as a few of our boys threw off some of their clothes and swam, loaded with coffee, through the not so broad, but torrential river. The rebels gave them tobacco for coffee and our boys swam back undisturbed. During this affair one of the man from our company was almost drowned. This game took quite some time, until the enemy in the forts on the hills sent some bullets among us, and we fled back into our rifle pits. Soon afterwards they sent some greetings of shells, but fortunately they did not hit anybody. At noon we were relieved and marched here, in very high temperatures - about three miles - to our camp. It seems to me that the Southerners are also weary of fighting.

Today we moved into our summer quarter, erecting it was very cumbersome due to the heat. In the evening I refreshed myself with a bath.

14.
Today I had to go on picket again. Yesterday I got letters from home. The weather is unchanged.

15.
On picket. Last night there was an horrific thunderstorm with heavy rain. We stood sentry from 4 a.m. till 7 p.m.. The firing has now stopped and we are having a relaxed chat with the Finneys. Our boys were bathing in the river, as were the rebels. In the afternoon we sang German songs and the enemy listened attentively. The weather is warm, right and left of us there is fierce shooting with cannons and rifles, because the rebels are trying to destroy our bridge heads.

16.
Today there was a general inspection, everything went well.

Today is Sunday, in the morning there was the usual company inspection, and we've just got marching orders, destination unknown. The weather is fine. There was heavy rain last night.

18.
Yesterday we were marching in bright moonshine late into the night. At 8 a.m. we crossed the Chattahoochee River on two pontoon bridges. Today our division combed into the forest across a length of 5 miles, where we encountered the 4th Corps and laid down [in wait] for the night.

19.
We waited quietly here for the day.

Yesterday was a bloody day again. After having marched several miles in the morning, we encountered the enemy at about 1 p.m.. Our ... drove them back across a cornfield to higher ground. Then our brigade rejoined the 4th Corps and rested in the cornfield. At 3 p.m. suddenly the message came that the enemy was approaching the line of fire. At once our regiment had to get up the hill, cross over it into a small valley, where, hardly upon arrival, the enemies made an attack. The first came to within 10 steps of our regiment. But then they received a strong volley of fire, which immediately threw them back. Our people pursued them and drove them back over a fence. There we held out, till we were relieved by the 73rd Regiment. Until about 9 p.m. our side kept up a heavy fire. That night I brought back wounded rebels, the whole area was covered with them, lying there. Then breastworks were built and at 1 a.m. we received the rations. This morning the dead rebels were buried, most of them were from the 23rd Mississippi Regiment. We lost about 44 men through deaths and casualties, and captured a rebel flag, white with a red field and a silver star. More than 50 rebels were buried by our regiment alone, among them Colonel Drake from the 33rd, a huge guy with a red beard.

23.
Yesterday we were marching again one mile up to here where we threw up new breastworks. In the evening the rebels shelled us. We have four cannons within our regiment. The spires of Atlanta, 2 ½ miles away, can be seen. The place where the battle took place on the 20th, is called Peach Creek. Afternoon. We have changed our position once again. Beside the 1st Division we are located behind Dulgars batteries. The bombardment of Atlanta has started just at this moment. Heavy cannons are booming directly in front of us.

24.
Georgia. Today is Sunday. A cool wind is blowing through the fir trees. Last night we had to build rifle pits till 1 a.m. The enemies are shelling vigorously. Some shells have detonated very close to us. I am lying here on two planks with my field pack under my head as a pillow. Fragrant fir branches lie in my small tent, and I will now prepare sugar water for myself and celebrate the Sunday. Memories of the good days at home. Today I once again reflect very much on the past.

25.
Nothing of importance, the rebels shelled us last night and today. Weatherís good.

27.
Yesterday strong rebel artillery. Weather overcast. Marching orders.

29. Yesterday was a grim day, in front of us the enemies attacked the right and the left side. McPherson is supposedly dead. The rebels fired on us with shells. Some of the projectiles riddled through the 12 feet thick fortifications. In the evening new marching orders arrived.

Yesterday we marched a long distance to our right wing, under high temperatures. At this place the 16th, 17th and the 15th Corps fought a large battle on the 28th of July. A large number of dead rebels are still lying around unburied. Many of them are completely blackened. The survivors came out with black flags.

31.
Sunday. Marched here yesterday. We are now at the outermost wing and have built strong entrenchment. Last night I was on picket. This afternoon our brigade undertook a reconnaissance during heavy rain, I was hardly back at the camp, and had to go on picket again.

August 1864

On picket, we are standing one mile in front of the entrenchment. I survived the night and now Iím in reserve. Weather overcast and rainy.

2.
We are here resting here undisturbed. Weather fine, yesterday I received a letter with tobacco.

3.
Marched again yesterday afternoon. Weather warm, we are in our old position from the 27th of July.

Changed the position two times already, and have been on duty a lot, still in the center. Built entrenchment the night before last and yesterday morning. It is rather restless here. The rebels are shelling us with 64-pounders from their forts outside Atlanta. Weather is overcast and hot. Our right wing controls the Wacon Railroad.

It rained last night. I have to go on picket tonight. Today was Sunday, soon one will forget this fact.

9.
Yesterday entrenchment were built all night. Yesterday thunderstorm, today mist and rain. The rebelsí snipers are harassing us a lot. Yesterday a man from the A-Company was killed, today one man was severely wounded.

11.
Yesterday the line was moved forward again. I was occupied with building, continuos heavy rain.

12.
Yesterday night we built entrenchment again. The weather is fine. Horrific artillery fire once again today.

14.
Today is Sunday and last night I was on duty building earthworks on the outpost line. The weather is overcast and warm.

Today we had a company inspection and are still positioned here, the weather is warm. Our railroad connection to Chattanooga is said to be cut off.

16.
The outposts are firing strongly. We are lying on a hill here, and are exposed to bullets despite the rifle pits. It is a miracle that nobody was killed up to now. It is said that the rebel's cavalry has blown up Tunnel Hill and has occupied Dalton, thus we are cut off from Chattanooga. I am waiting longingly for a letter from my parents.

18.
We are positioned here undisturbed, our mail has not arrived in the last 3 days. There is fierce firing to our right.

20.
Today the mail has finally arrived after 5 days. I received letters from my parents. This morning I was at the station on the river to buy bread, these are now hungry times for us again. But there was no bread, so it was a 10 mile march for nothing. Itís raining.

21.
Today is Sunday. We got some liquor, which put us all in a merry mood. Weather overcast.

22.
On picket. Last night it poured with rain, which was very uncomfortable for those of us who were on guard. The weather is clearing up.

25.
I am feeling ill, did not sleep last night. The locomotive with the letters came just at the right time yesterday.

Last night we silently left our positions outside Atlanta and marched to the banks of the Chattahoochee River, where we built rifle pits today. I ... myself a bit, but on the whole I am feeling better now.

28.
Today is Sunday, but I had to work very hard in the morning. Yesterday the rebelsí cavalry and 4 light artillery made an attack on our position and captured several outposts of the 2nd Brigade, killed several from our brigade and then withdrew. We are positioned on a hill directly on the river and have a wonderful view. Slocum is now our corps general, and will lead our division.

29.
Today I received a letter from home with tobacco and a handkerchief. Weather fine.

30.
I am now here on picket.

31.
On picket. This morning 300 men from our brigade and Captain Fuchs went on a reconnaissance. At about 7 a.m. we heard heavy firing in front of us, they have probably met with the enemy.

September 1864

This morning at 5 o'clock we left our camp at the riverside and marched through woods and bushes in the direction of Bury until we reached Atlanta, where we entered the town in the afternoon without any resistance. Now we are stationed in the middle of the town. The boys have forced open several stores and supplied themselves with tobacco. There are lots of Germans here.

We have now erected our camp at the southern side of the town, nearby a fort, of which there are a lot in the vicinity of the town. Rain.

8.
The army under Sherman is returning from Jonesboro and has taken 6000 prisoners. Today I am on picket.

Sunday morning. The bells of the town are ringing so wonderfully, yet at best will [desire] one cannot go to church, for one has to clean the rifle.

14.
Atlanta, on picket, the weather is fine.

18.
Sunday, itís raining.

Yesterday I was in the town, only a few townsmen can be seen. The military traffic is as dense as it was in Nashville. The weather is gloomy, it is raining.

24.
On picket. It is very boring. The weather is overcast.

Yesterday our division had a review in front of General Slocum, which was successful. We are still positioned here. The weather is clear and cool.

October 1864

Yesterday I was on picket. Last night it was raining heavily. Our connection with the..... is cut off once again by the Rebel General Wheeler.

Yesterday I carried out construction work on the fort tower. We have been completely cut off from the North for the last 8 days. Hood's army is advancing from behind. We are shortening the fortifying lines of Atlanta. 12 forts were built. The weather is fine.

10.
On the Chattahochee River. The day before yesterday, we marched to the river bank. The weather has turned cool. On the 6th of October we got pay. I got 16 dollars.

18.
The day before yesterday I finally received a letter after a long time. The weather is fine. Today a raid of the rebelsí cavalry harassed our outposts, and they took more than 100 horses and donkeys, which were on the pasture, as well as some packs. Tomorrow at 7 a.m. we go on a 3 day foraging tour. We are still at the river.

At noon we arrived back safely after a sixty miles march. We followed the river upstream to Roswell. There we loaded 32 wagons with corn, and returned via Marietta. The rebels have burnt a train 5 miles from here.

27.
Once again back from a 3 day foraging tour, we took along 50 wagons and were 4 miles past Roswell. The weather was fine. The rebel's Home Guard are strongly harassing us. Today it is raining.

November 1864

1.
Today we are back from a foraging tour.

2.
Today it is raining. Matuschke came back to us today.

5.
Today I am on bridge guard. The weather is fine. As it is said, our Corps will march, destination unknown.

8.
Today is the great election day. All of age may vote. In our Corps there were twelve votes. 9 for McClellan and 3 for Old Abe.

Yesterday I was on bridge guard again. The day before yesterday the Georgia Home Guard attacked Atlanta, but were driven back. The cannonade could be clearly heard. The weather is fine.

13.
Sunday. At this moment the 15th Corps is marching through here on its way to Atlanta. We will follow the day after tomorrow, and then Sherman will make an attack with four corps (15th, 17th, 14th and 20th) to the South of us, target unknown. We go along with our people, and demolish the railroad behind us. We have to reach the coast. The weather is fine.

In one hour we start marching. Yesterday night we destroyed the railroad between here and Atlanta.

15.
Yesterday we marched to Atlanta to our old position.

Yesterday at 11 a.m. we left Atlanta and marched all night in the direction of Augusta to this place (Storm Mountain).

18.
Social Circle. We have torn up the rail road. This little town is just 40 miles southeast of Atlanta. The weather is fine.

Today at noon we arrived at Madison, a small and pretty town near the Augusta Rail Road, where naturally our boys were foraging vigorously. The country is pleasant and the land fertile.

Yesterday at 2 p.m. we left Madison. We are continuously on the move the last 7 days. The weather is overcast with rain. The roses are still blooming here and many other flowers.

22.
Yesterday we passed through Edlo during rainy weather. The soldiers and wagons were covered with mud. We are still 30 miles from Milledgeville, the capital of Georgia. It got pretty cold overnight.

Milledgeville, Georgia. We entered the city without meeting the enemy. Many Negroes are following our army. The whole black population is full of joy about our advancing. The area is rich and charming. Most of the white people have fled from the town. It froze tonight.

25.
Yesterday at 3 o'clock in the afternoon we left the Oconce River at Milledgeville and marched continuously all night. Now we will start again.

26.
Stephansville, Georgia. We have just entered this pretty little town 30 miles Southeast from Milledgeville. The way to this place lead through several swamps. The weather is fine.

27.
This little town is called Sanderville. Today is Sunday. The weather is warm.

28.
Davisboro. Last night we marched till 12 p.m., we have just crossed the Oggeechee River.

29.
Here we are positioned some miles away from Louisville. The weather is gloomy.

30.
Yesterday we passed through Louisville. The country around here is very swampy. The bridges leading through the swamps have all been destroyed. The weather is pleasant. Big crowds of Negro women and children are following our army. Today is a day of rest, I am on picket. We are still 110 miles away from Savannah.

December 1864

2.
Yesterday I was sent foraging, and am still not back with the regiment. The country is very swampy.

Sunday. Yesterday afternoon we crossed the Savannah and Augusta Rail Road. To the left of us gun fire, the weather is warm and nice.

6.
We have just had a break for lunch and are approaching the border to South Carolina. The country is swampy.

10.
The day before yesterday we passed through Springfield, yesterday we had to build roads. Strong cannon thunder can be permanently heard. We are still 16 miles from Savannah. 7 p.m. 5 miles from Savannah. The 17th Corps is already lying in front of us in entrenchment, this morning we crossed General Harrisons's plantations, where the rebels had entrenched, but they had already been dislodged, strong gun fire in front of us.

11.
Sunday. Our brigade is still positioned at the Charleston-Savannah Rail Road. We have just got the order to advance. The 14th Corps is just passing us. The weather is fine.

13.
Yesterday our company was foraging on the Savannah River. We could see the spires of Savannah. The Jonneys are shelling us.

From time to time the rebels throw grenades at us. Their fortifications are made from cotton packs. Our communications line is said to be open, so that we have a connection with the North, now we have got nothing else to eat except rice. The weather is fine and warm.

17.
Yesterday I was on camp guard. Today the first mail in a long time arrived at our regiment. I got a letter from home. Also a bearer of a flag of truce went to the enemy.

18.
Sunday. The weather is murky.

20.
We are still here. Yesterday we've got the first crackers.

In Savannah. Yesterday, during the night we had to build forts and in the morning the rebels were gone, they had dismantled their canons and abandoned them, we moved into the city immediately. Savannah is a pretty town. We found lots of rice and tobacco here. The jubilation of the soldiers was terrific. There were also several prisoners taken.

25.
Sunday and Christmas Day. We have now set a good camp and decorated it with green trees. Today is the glorious holy day, we had an inspection. It was a gray day, bitterly cold, now it has improved.

27.
Yesterday we got marching orders, but we are still here.

28.
We are still here, it is raining heavily, last night there was a thunderstorm.

30.
Today our corps had a review before General Sherman. The weather was fine. An extraordinarily amount of Negroes are presently in Savannah.

31.
This morning we got marching order, we have just crossed the channel and are staying on the island. There are still rebels on the other side of the river.

January 1865

New Year. In the old camp. Yesterday in the afternoon we marched back to the old camp, because it was too stormy for building a pontoon bridge across the Savannah. I was sent on ahead as guard. When I came back, the1st Division had already broken camp, we organized ourselves as well as possible, built up the old fire places and stayed overnight here. It was pretty cold.

2.
South Carolina. This morning we suddenly got marching order, we crossed the Savannah in a cargo steamer and marched 5 miles inland.

5.
Smith Plantation. S.C. Today 145 men of our regiment marched here to get some river boats. The houses are deserted.

9.
Now we have pitched winter camp. The weather is overcast and warm.

13.
The weather is fine. There was no mail for a long time, we are still here. Today I was issued with a hat and pants.

15.
Today is Sunday. This morning we had a sermon from our Chaplain, it was very enjoyable for me.

17.
Marching order, I was issued with a shirt, a pair of stockings, and a food bag.

20.
On the 18th we marched here to Hardeville on the Charleston Rail Road, a small nest. The rail road was torn up by the rebels, and the rail tracks were taken away. Today I am on picket, last night there was rain.

22.
Today is Sunday, it is still raining. At last I received two letters from home. This morning there was a sermon.

26. Today I returned from picket. Wilhelm Lautz, my tent-mate, brought sweet potatoes, a goose and lard back from his incursion, from which we prepared ourselves a good meal.

Sunday. Behind Robertsville. Today we had an 18 mile march. The road was rather subsided. The weather is good, we came across lots of swamps.

Today we marched 8 miles. It is said that we are on our way to Augusta.

February 1865

Yesterday I was foraging, we looted 42 cows and calves for the regiment. Today we marched about 18 miles to the vicinity of Loadeville, where some cavalry is positioned, a skirmish took place. Our division was drawn up in line. The rebels hastily retreated. The road is subsided in many places.

4.
On the march, the weather is somewhat better again, the country seems to be rich, there is a lot of foraging, a lot of plain land for farmers.

7.
Still on the march. Now we have crossed the Combahee River twice. The day before yesterday I was foraging, last night on picket with heavy rain. The rebels give up their good positions easily. We have crossed many swamps, the weather is bad.

10.
Blackville. We are tearing up rail road tracks for the last 2 days. A lot of cotton has been burnt.

11.
We are near the Edisto River with Davisís Brigade. 3 days long our division demolished the Augusta and Branchville Rail Road to 5 miles beyond Williston. The weather is fine.

12.
This morning we crossed the Edisto River, whereby we had to wade, up to the knees, through ice-cold water.

14.
Yesterday morning I was on picket. We crossed the North Edisto.

16.
Yesterday I was foraging, during which a shout came twice: "The rebels are coming", which immediately caused a panic among the foragers. The weather is overcast. We are two miles from Lexington Courthouse.

18.
Yesterday we came into the vicinity of Columbia, which is said to have been seized by the 15th Corps. The whole army is close by. Last night I was on picket. The weather is fine.

19.
Sunday. Yesterday we crossed the Saluda River, today we will probably cross the Broad River. The 14th Corps is marching in front of us. The weather is good.

21.
Today at 2 p.m. we passed through Winnsboro, which had been partially burnt down by our troops and yesterday we crossed the Broad River on pontoons. The weather is clear.

23.
Yesterday for Washington's birthday, we marched 17 miles. In the evening I came on picket duty, at 1 a.m. we crossed the Wateree River at Rocky Mount.

Rain since 3 days, the roads are miry. Yesterday we had to repair the road, which we did by paving it with bricks. Today is Sunday and the weather is still gloomy.

March 1865

The weather is overcast and from time to time it rains. We are marching towards Chesterfield, the roads are getting better, but the country is poor.

4.
North Carolina. Yesterday we passed through Chesterfield C. H. and today we crossed the town border. Tomorrow is a day of rest.

5.
Sunday. On picket, the weather is fine. Roar of cannons to the right of us.

7.
This morning at 2 a.m. we passed Cheraw C. S. C. and half an hour later we crossed the Pee Dee River. At five o'clock Captain Luntzt and 11 man were captured at a mill while foraging, among them A. Guth from our company.

On the Little Pee Dee. Rainy weather for the last three days and the potential for even more. The smoke from the pine wood makes us as black as Negroes.

12.
Sunday. To Fayetteville, the weather is better. Yesterday we covered 20 miles from the Rock Fish River to here, where we arrived at eleven o'clock. Today we have a dayís rest.

The day before yesterday we paraded through Tatteyville [corruption of Fayetteville or an error ?] a pretty little town on the Cape Fear River. Yesterday our brigade had a fight with Wheeler's people, we withdrew, as the enemy was too strong for us.

17.
Yesterday was another hot day. At about 10 a.m. we met the enemy 20 miles north of Fayetteville, who was already engaged by Killyntrickís cavalry. We sent out skirmishers at once and were engaged all day in heavy fighting. Our division captured a battery of the rebels. We drove the enemy back a mile and built entrenchment in the evening. Our division had heavy losses, our regiment has 7 casualties and 11 wounded. We are now pursuing the enemy, who had given up his fortifications during the night. The prisoners stated, that they were belonging to Hardinís Corps. The rebels left about 200 wounded behind at Ebertsboro.

Sunday. Yesterday we marched all through the night. We crossed the Black Creek, by which we had to wade through the water again. The country around here is very marshy.

Yesterday evening, after having marched for 15 miles, we came under fire. Our regiment was placed in the second line, then we advanced. For 2 hours we were exposed to the most heavy rifle fire, during which we had to lie in a swamp. In the night we went back from the lines a bit and built rifle pits. It seems that this morning the rebels have left our front. We are 20 miles from Goldsboro Bentonville Battle Ground. The weather is fine, our regiment lost 10 men.

Yesterday we marched at the left wing. Killyntrickís cavalry joined the army and we built strong breastworks. This morning we were on a reconnaissance and at noon we left our breastworks and are now in reserve.

23.
Yesterday, the rebels left the breastworks in front of us. We are now on the march to Goldsboro. Last night I was on picket.

24.
Goldsboro. Yesterday we crossed the Neuse River on pontoons, where a Negro division was stationed. We marched here today on the Weldon Rail Road. The 23rd and sections of the 24th and 25th Corps are here.

26.
Sunday. Letters again today. We have built bunkers.

30.
It is raining, we are building rifle pits. I got issued with a pant, a field jacket and boots.

April 1865

3.
Kingston [Kinston] at the landing. On the 1st our regiment went with 280 wagons from Goldsboro to this point on the Neuse River.

5.
Goldsboro, returned here. The weather is very warm.

6.
Today our division had a review before General Moore. Richmond is said to have been taken.

9.
Sunday. Goldsboro N. C. , on picket, the weather is fine. Tomorrow we will march. Yesterday I got a hat and a pair of socks. On the march.

11.
Yesterday we left Goldsboro and in the evening our corps met up with rebel pickets. Itís raining.

12.
Yesterday after a long march during immense heat we came to Smithfield. This morning we met General Sherman, where we got the message, that Lee had surrendered with his army. We are 24 miles from Raleigh.

13.
Holy Thursday. After a long march we arrived here in Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina. Johnston is fleeing to the Southwest. The town is well fortified.

14.
Good Friday. We are positioned here, resting. The message has been confirmed, that Lee has surrendered. Raleigh is a nice town.

17.
2nd Easter Day [Easter Monday]. Yesterday night at 12 p.m. we got the message, that Johnston has surrendered with his army, which caused a shout of joy among the troops. The weather is fine.

19.
We are still quietly positioned here. Apparently Abraham Lincoln, our President, has been assassinated.

22.
Raleigh. Today we had a big review before General Sherman, the weather is warm. It is said, that we, the 20th Corps shall be discharged.

24.
Monday, we are still here. General Grant is said to be in the town.

25.
In one hour we will march. The weather is fine.

26.
3 miles from Holy Springs. I am on picket today. Johnston has not yet surrendered.

28.
Raleigh N. C. We returned into our old camp. Johnston surrendered yesterday.

30.
Sunday. We are on the march to Richmond and from there on to Washington. The weather is warm.

May 1865

2.
At the Tar River N. C. Yesterday morning we crossed the Neuse River and yesterday evening the Tar River. The country, we are passing through, is beautiful.

3.
Virginia. On the Ranook River. Today we marched 25 miles and crossed the Ranook on pontoons.

5.
Nottoway Creek. Yesterday and today we marched 40 miles. The weather is warm.

6.
Today we reached the South Side Railroad, where there are still sections of the 6th Corps positioned. It is terribly hot.

7.
We are positioned here at a coal mine 25 miles from Richmond. At about noon we crossed the Appomattoz River. It is Sunday and warm.

9.
Yesterday we marched in drill-step through Winchester, crossed the James River on pontoons and marched through Richmond, passing Castle Thunder and Libby Prison on the way. The business district of the city is burnt down. Last night there was a strong thunderstorm.

13.
Today we came through Ashland Station and crossed the South Anna River. The roads are in a bad condition due to the last rain showers.

16.
On the Rappahanock River. Last night we camped on the Chancellorsville Battlefield. The signs of battle can still be well seen. The weather is fine.

19.
10 miles from Alexandria. Yesterday we passed through the Bull Run. Strong thunderstorm and rain last night.

21.
Yesterday Governor Lewis was with us. He held a speech, and said that we shall soon be able to return to our homes. We are positioned here 8 miles from Washington in a camp, strong rain.

The weather is fine. I got issued with pants, field jacket, shirt, two pair of socks, one pair of shoes.

Today is my birthday. We had a review. At 5 a.m. we left the camp and marched to Washington over the Long Bridge. The weather is fine. Washington is a splendid city, and the Capitol is especially remarkable.

27.
We are positioned in a camp at the east side of Washington. Itís very damp weather.

28.
Today is Sunday. The weather is fine.

June 1865

5.
Pentecost, yesterday was Pentecost Sunday. We had revue before Ex-governor Randall. It was very warm. Today I was in Washington and visited the Capitol and the Patent Office.

8.
Yesterday I was on guard.

9.
Today we will be transferred to the 3rd Wisconsin Regiment.

10.
In Washington at the depot. We, the recruits of the 26th, now belong to the 3rd. Yesterday in the afternoon we left the 26th Regiment. Colonel Winkler held a farewell speech. We are now in the Baltimore depot. It is said, that we are to go to Louisville, Ky..

11.
At 10 a.m. we left Washington on the Baltimore and Ohio Railway. It is Sunday today.

12.
In West Virginia, the country here and in Maryland is very hilly, yesterday in the evening we passed through Harpers Ferry.

14.
Aboard the steamship "Nevada" to Parkersburg W.Va. We are now on the Ohio River.

16.
Louisville, Ky. Yesterday at 11 a.m. we passed Cincinnati. Now we are in Louisville.

17.
We have set camp 5 miles from the town.

18.
Sunday. Thunderstorms and rain.

22.
I have applied for leave of absence.

25.
Sunday, itís raining.

30.
In Indianapolis, In. Yesterday we were paid out and got leave of absence. The weather is overcast.

July 1865

2.
So, now we are back in Milwaukee, 15 days on leave.

10.
Milwaukee. It is raining, very boring.