Tabler's Diary for January-June 1863

(Edited for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.)

Thursday, January 1st
The battle going on with great desperation.  The Enemy repulsed.  The weather cloudy, cold and rainy.  Now the conflict now raging on the left, by Breckenridge’s Div., against Crittenden’s force.  Rain.

Friday, January 2nd
This cloudy and rainy morning finds itself beaming amid the terrible roar of battle.  A whole brigade of Rebs charged our center, only to be repulsed with desperate slaughter, never to regain, the Rebels being worsted.  Rain.

Saturday, January 3rd
The pickets firing briskly, while ever and anon cannonading would break forth in fearful tones of madness, causing the whole Earth to quake, and feint on our left to cover their flight.  Cloudy and rainy.

Sunday, January 4th
Murfreesboro evacuated.  The Rebs left in the darkness of the night.  The town taken possession of our troops, and all has flown, leaving the spoils in the hands of the Federals.  Cloudy and cold.

Monday, January 5th
All quiet at Murfreesboro.  Cannonading heard in front, on the Shelbyville Pike.  Our forces operating on their rear, but to no purpose.  We are still behind our fortifications, which we erected for defense.  Weather cloudy.

Tuesday, January 6th
Left our breastworks, and marched through the isolated town to a place one mile south on the pike, near Stones’ River, where we pitched our tents and cleared away a place for a camping ground.  Weather cloudy and cold.

Wednesday, January 7th
Our camp takes the name of Camp Bradley, who is now commanding the Brigade.  Our old commander, Roberts, fell on the battlefield of Stones’ River, while cheering forward his men.  Our Col. was next in command.  Raining.

Thursday, January 8th
Camp all quiet this day, cleaning up around our tents.  Our camp guard has been done away with at present, which was for so long a time a drudgery and fatiguing part of our duties.  Weather cloudy and cold.

Friday, January 9th
All quiet in camp.  Murfreesboro all quiet.  Indications of rain, and a blustery day.  My health good at present.  I have been blessed with health and strength all along, thanks be to God from on high.

Saturday, January 10th
All is peaceable along the line in front.  No indications of a Rebel to be found.  All have fled, and sought refuge into the more souther regions of the South.  Weather cloudy, and raining again.

Sunday, January 11th
Cannonading is heard in front, and we are drawn up in line of battle on our Company ground.  But, as nothing in the shape of a Reb made its appearance, we stacked arms and went inside our tents.  Cloudy.

Monday, January 12th
Called up in line of battle this morning, at four A.M., preparatory for an attack, remaining here for about one hour.  When no sight of the Enemy coming, we broke ranks and made ourselves comfortable once more.  Weather cloudy.

Tuesday, January 13th
Camp Bradley all quiet.  Our camp is situated on Stones’ River, called so in consequence of its rough and stony course.  Fixing up our tent, to shelter us from the cold, damp winds of Spring weather.  Cloudy.

Wednesday, January 14th
Went out on picket, to watch for the stealthy Enemy.  All is quiet along the line.  The rain is falling in torrents all the day long, but we must grin and bare it.  The river rising rapidly.  Two hours on post, and four off.

Thursday, January 15th
Came off picket all cold and wet, hungry and mad, and partook of a warm cup of coffee, which revived me up again.  All was silent on the line last night, no appearance of the Enemy.  The day passed off quiet, so I lay in the tent.

Friday, January 16th
This morning, as I rose to answer to my name at the calling of the roll, I beheld the ground all covered with snow, a rarity here in these parts this time of the year.  Weather cold and cloudy.  The health of the boys tolerable.

Saturday, January 17th
Quietude prevails over the camp this day.  Sitting in my tent, whiling away the long lonesome hours that accompany so many soldiers, who are so far from home.  Weather cold and cloudy.

Sunday, January 18th
The Sabbath Day, that there is so little regard for in the Army, passed quiet and respectably.  Our Chaplain back in Nashville on duty, therefore we have no preaching on the Sabbath Day.  Weather cloudy and cold.

Monday, January 19th
All is quiet in camp, this day of Our Lord, 1863.  The river going down.  The boys drawing Army clothes.  The weather growing more mild and moderate.  Cloudy this day, and some symptoms of rain.

Tuesday, January 20th
It fell our lot to go on picket this day, when we picked up duds and walked.  No demonstrations made on the lines this day, all was quiet.  Raining slowly.

Wednesday, January 21st
Came off picket this day.  The greatest quietude prevailed along the lines last night.  My health is very good, our Company as well.  The rain has turned to snow this day, and things begin to look gray.

Thursday, January 22nd
Camp Bradley all quiet. This day has been devoted, as a general thing, to cleaning up camp and fixing things comfortable, for the weather’s somewhat cold, making it unpleasant in our old Sibley tents, which are well worn.

Friday, January 23rd
The camp is active this day.  Things are becoming more lively, as the camp growed older, and the soldiers revive in body and spirit.  The sky has become clear once more, and the sun shines out bright.

Saturday, January 24th
Nothing of much importance this day, things are going on as usual.  The daily bustle of camp is not abated.  The old routine of camp life is going on, as in days that’s past by and gone.  Some indications of rain.

Sunday, January 25th
This is the Sabbath Day again, and all is well – nothing going on still, no services.  Our Chaplains have all been detailed or left on furloughs, that we don’t have any meetings, and it is rather dry times.  Weather clear.

Monday, January 26th
All’s quiet in camp, this day of Our Lord, 1863.  Our regiment went out on Battalion Drill, and maneuvered in splendid style and true battle-like form.  This was the most important feature of the day.  Weather cloudy.

Tuesday, January 27th
I woke up, and heard the rain spattering on the old tent. It continues to rain all day.  No sign of any Rebs about here.  Our picket lines are never molested.  This day passed off quiet in camp.

Wednesday, January 28th
This Wednesday morning the cold ground is covered with snow, which makes things rather unpleasant, especially for us who are unprepared for the Cold Neighbor.  The camp has its usual performances of duty and drill.

Thursday, January 29th
This day finds us most all froze up.  The ground is as hard as if it were in the colder regions of the North.  It makes my bothersome nose cold, and my weary feet feel well their need of their shoes.  W. cloudy.

Friday, January 30th
Put on our accouterments this morning, and went foraging for the purpose of getting feed for our animals.  We met with some resistance 8 miles from here.  We had an artillery duel with them, got our forage and returned, not having but one man hurt.

Saturday, January 31st
No day of rest this time, for this day we go on picket, to watch the live long night, the cold ground for our bed.  All was quiet along the line during the day.  The weather cloudy and having an appearance of rain.

February 1863

Sunday, February 1st
Came off picket this morning at 8 A.M. All was quiet during the night. Was on picket near the Shelbyville Pike. Our men fixing the bridge that was burned across Stone’s River. Weather rainy.

Monday, February 2nd
Camp Bradley all quiet. Nothing of importance to write today. Rations coming into Murfreesboro by the carload. There is now a monstrous heap of hard bread, and more coming in daily. The weather cloudy

Tuesday, February 3rd
Picket again this morning. We have but one division to guard one-quarter of the great area of ground around the town of Murfreesboro, this being our turn for picket often. Weather clear and cold.

Wednesday, February 4th
Came off picket duty, but no rest – went out 5 miles on the Shelbyville Pike, to help protect a forage train that has been attacked by the Rebels. We went out on the double quick time, but the Rebs fled at our approach.

Thursday, February 5th
Nothing going on in camp this day. We are permitted to rest. Another forage train going out on the Salem Pike. There’s a train going out daily, for forage for the mule teams. The weather boisterous, cloudy and snowing.

Friday, February 6th
Another day of rest for the weary soldier. Everything in and about this place is passing off with the utmost quietude. No telling how long it will remain so. The weather is clear and cold this day.

Saturday, February 7th
This Saturday nothing but the old routine of camp is going on this day. There is 8 men of us in one mess. We have a debate this evening, which is a pleasant pastime as well as an intellectual improvement. Weather clear.

Sunday, February 8th
Nothing going on this day, but strict discipline is observed.  We must turn out for roll-call three times a day, in a soldierly-like manner. If not, extra duty will be the result. Weather fine and clear.

Monday, February 9th
Nothing of importance going on.  I have nothing to say this day, but I must fill up with something  if it is nothing, nor any other man.  The heavens is overhanging with heavy clouds, promising rain.

Tuesday, February 10th
This day of Our Lord 1863 we went out on picket on the west branch of Stone’s River, one mile and a half from camp.  No signs of any Rebels to be seen, all passed of quiet.  Weather cloudy, and some symptoms of rain.

Wednesday, February 11th
Came off picket, and had a refreshing breakfast, and lay myself wearily down in my old straw bed, for to take a rest.  All was quiet along the picket line last night.  The weather clear and pleasant.

Thursday, February 12th
This day we went out foraging on the Salem Pike, about ten miles from this place.  The roads very muddy, and the day rainy. We got our forage, however, and returned without molestation.  A very irksome task indeed.

Friday, February 13th
This day our whole Brigade went out to Salem, about four miles south-east. Here to remain, and be on picket for seven days, off and on in turns. Then to be relieved by another Brigade, which will serve the same time, and be relieved. Weather cloudy.

Saturday, February 14th
This morning we fixed up our dog-tents. These tents are calculated for two men.  They are very handy, and cleaned up. Our bunk and equipments ready for inspection. The weather clear and pleasant. No trouble on the line.

Sunday, February 15th
Our camp all quiet at Salem. Cleaning off our new campground. Mr. Thompson, Mr. Burns and myself took a stroll off through the woods. Was called out this afternoon, for the purpose of drilling.  Raining.

Monday, February 16th
Well, last night it rained so hard that the water flowed into our little tent.  We lay into it until we were compelled to evacuate the place, and set up the remainder of the night.  Had Co. Drill.

Tuesday, February 17th
This morning, we moved our tent out of the mud and water, but the rain fell in torrents all day.  Well might we move our tent, for last night we were drowned out again, and got up and set on a log all the balance of the night, and my Old Pard put off to the picket line to a fire.

Wednesday, February 18th
This morning the sun rose clear, and the ground soon began to dry off, and the day was warm and pleasant. So we went to work and made a bunk of rails, determined not to be drowned out again. All quiet along the line.

Thursday, February 19th
Camp at Salem all quiet. The boys got hungry and went out in search of fresh meat. They killed a fine fat two-year-old, and brought in same, for the satisfying of those of us who were entirely out of meat. It went off like hot cakes.

Friday, February 20th
Drilling is the order of the day. Company Drill in the forenoon an hour, Battalion Drill in the afternoon two hours. This is a beautiful place to drill.  It is a nice clover field, covered with green clover. Weather cloudy.

Saturday, February 21st
Everything is passing off quietly at this place. It commenced raining again, and I was detailed for outpost duty at the old bridge at Stone’s River. And got all wet, but only to dry off again. All for my beloved Country.

Sunday, February 22nd
The day passed off quiet, the weather clear and cold.  Stood round the fire most all day, talking over matters and things, remembering this day as the anniversary of the birth of Washington. Had a warm discussion or two, and then lay down for the night.

Monday, February 23rd
The sun rose clear, this morning, our campground muddy and unpleasant. My health is good, thank God.  No molestation yet, by the Rebs who have been threatening us for some time, at this place and others as well.

Tuesday, February 24th
Today our Regiment was called upon to accompany a forage train for forage, and a rough time we had, through the mud ankle-deep, wading streams and jumping ditches, and striding over logs.  We at last reached the place, and got forage without molestation.

Wednesday, February 25th
We were this day relieved from our picket duty at Salem, by a brigade from Davis’ Division. We were glad to be relieved, and marched back to our old camp, near Murfreesboro. Found it alright. The weather cloudy.

Thursday, February 26th
No rest for the weary, our Regiment is detailed for picket duty again. All is quiet along the line, the Rebs not made their appearance yet. Our station is on the west side of Stone’s River. The weather rainy.

Friday, February 27th
Returned to camp. All was quiet on the line during the night. This may not be very interesting to my readers, but I am assured it will be to me. The weather cloudy, and has the appearance of rain.

Saturday, February 28th
General Inspection and Muster is the order of this day. Our guns and bodily appearance and accouterments must be in perfect order and neatness. Everything passed off quietly. Weather rainy and disagreeable.

March, 1863

Sunday, March 1st
This day, March the first, our Regiment went foraging again out on Salem Pike, and pulled corn to fill the wagons. Got the privilege of riding for the first time. Weather cloudy.

Monday, March 2nd
Now we was paid off four month’s pay. I sent my money home to David and Nathaniel Tabler, the amount of thirty dollars. This squares Uncle Sam and I, up to January 1st. The boys got tight, and camp guard is established.

Tuesday, March 3rd
We received marching orders this day, to go on a scout to a place called Eagleville, to see if there were any Rebs there, as we heard of. Our election, for the roll- of- honor men, came off this day.

Wednesday, March 4th
Started on our march this morning at 8 A.M.. Went as far as Salem and halted a short time for the Cavalry and Artillery to come up, then went to within two miles of Eagleville, where we camped for the night.

Thursday, March 5th
Rose at four o’clock this morning, and started.  Our Cavalry went ahead, came in contact with some of the Enemy and routed them, taking 40 prisoners and all their camp equipage.  No one hurt on our side.  Here we camped for the night.

Friday, March 6th
We this day marched 5 miles towards Franklin, where we halted and our Regiment was detailed for picket, and remained overnight. Raining very hard, and the roads muddy. Cannonading at Spring Hill.

Saturday, March 7th
This day, commenced moving again at 12 o’clock, and marched across towards Franklin again, 6 miles west of Triune, where we drew D. rations and marched on a distance of ten miles, where we camped on top of a large hill.

Sunday, March 8th
Started at sunrise for Franklin, to assist General Granger and his small force to operate against the Rebel General Van Dorn, who has been making demonstrations on that place. Reached Franklin at 2 P.M., and remained for the night.

Monday, March 9th
Rose this morning early, and marched through the town on our way south. Routed a nest of Rebels at Spring Hill, and followed on their track. Got into some honey beehives, upset them and eat some honey, and got the bellyache.

Tuesday, March 10th
Rose and started after the Rebs. Overtook them within five miles of Columbia, and halted and formed a line of battle on a high hill, in sight of the Enemy. Rained nearly all day long, very hard.  Was all wet and cold.

Wednesday, March 11th
This morning our artillery commenced shelling the Enemy as they were crossing Duck River or Rutherford Creek, but our General was too slow, and the Rebs made their escape across the creek to Columbia. We lay here all day long.

Thursday, March 12th
Got up at five this morning, and took the back track for Franklin again. We reached here late in the evening. This was a march of 20 miles. We did not like it much, D thing, the Rebs got away.

Friday, March 13th
We started forward again this morning, for Murfreesboro. Marched through Triune, and camped two miles south of Nolensville Pike, having made a march of 12 miles. The weather clear and pleasant.

Saturday, March 14th
Started early this morning for Murfreesboro. Passed through Eagleville on our way, and reached our old camp late in the evening, tired and weary after a long march of 28 miles. The weather clear and pleasant.

Sunday, March 15th
This morning the sun rose on us in the old Camp Bradley. This scout was very hard on the boy, it being so wet and muddy. And marching on the pike so far, I wore out one pr. of shoes and pretty near my own carcass.

Monday, March 16th
All’s quiet on our side this day, no sign of the Rebels about this place. I don’t know how they are getting along about this time, but I suppose they are all right on the goose, so may it be. The weather clear and pleasant.

Tuesday, March 17th
On picket this day of Our Lord, my Co. and Co. H. We do duty together now, both Companies being so small that it renders their service insufficient for the position they occupy. But now we are about equal to any of the others.

Wednesday, March 18th
Came off picket this morning, tired and sleepy and fatigued and jaded out. Took a warm cup of coffee, lay down to take my ease. All was silent on the line during the night, no Rebels to be seen or heard tell of. All have disappeared.

Thursday, March 19th
Moved camp about a mile down the river. The whole picket line drawn in, in order that the line may be easily protected, and the duty not so laborious. This day was spent fixing our new camp up in shape.

Friday, March 20th
The sun rose clear this morning in this camp. We are right on the bank of the river, that is, our Regiment and the 42nd. This is a pretty place for a camp, and much care is being taken to fit it up nicely.  All was quiet during the day.

Saturday, March 21st
Now there is firing on the picket line in front. We are called out, the whole Division in line of battle. One Brigade crossed over the bridge in double-quick time, and encountered the Enemy, and drove Him back, with but little loss on our side. Weather cloudy.

Sunday, March 22nd
Yesterday, after driving back the Rebs, we returned to camp quietly and in order. They fled in haste, and were no more heard of. This day we are on picket again, and a few shots are exchanged in diverse places, but to no purpose. Weather clear.

Monday, March 23rd
We were reviewed today by General Rosecrans and Staff. The scene was a delight. The whole Div. was out on parade. It took one-half day to accomplish this object, and it was to see that every officer and soldier was in the best of trim.

Tuesday, March 24th
All is quiet in camp this day. I lay myself down to rest on my bunk made of barrel-staves.  Raining steadily, with the appearance of increasing towards nightfall. My health is generally good.

Wednesday, March 25th
Camp Drill is the great feature of the day. Our Company now is commanded by H.A. Buck, that in the first place was Orderly Sergeant. The boys enjoy themselves very well, playing ball and pitching horse shoes.

Thursday, March 26th
Went out to Salem again this day, to take our turn of picket duty for five days, our Brigade this is.  We pitched our tents in a beautiful grove. The two Regiments 22nd and 27th went out first on the line.

Friday, March 27th
Nothing going on at this place today, all quiet along the picket line. The boys, six in number, went out to a house and confiscated a horse and a mule for our services.

Saturday, March 28th
This morning the sun rose bright and shining, but soon became overshadowed by a dense fog, which soon brought forth rain. No symptoms of Rebels this side of Eagleville, ten miles from this place.

Sunday, March 29th
Last night there were a few shots fired on the picket line in front, on the pike, but the result not known. Not any cause or reason for it, is the general opinion. Weather cloudy and cold.

Monday, March 30th
This morning the 51st and 42nd went on the line, to watch for the stealthy Enemy. The day very cold for this time of year in the South. The vegetation not much more forward here, than in the North.

Tuesday, March 31st
This day we returned to our old camp on Stone’s River, relieved by the First Brigade of General Davis’ Division, McCook’s Corps, Army of the Cumberland. For a rarity, it snowed for us today. 

April, 1863

Wednesday, April 1st
Called out for Battalion Drill this morning, Capt. McWilliams commanding. We had a good drill, and this is April Fools Day. Who would have thunk it, April Fool, hee hee, April Fool.

Thursday, April 2nd
Today we had a grand Brigade Skirmish Drill across this clover field. Our artillery was out too.  It was a grand sight. We performed without charging anything. Weather clear.

Friday, April 3rd
Putting things through this forenoon, Battalion with guns and belts, leaving the cartridges and box in camp. This afternoon is Dress Parade, and General Orders read, and Courts Martial, and such like.

Saturday, April 4th
The utmost tranquility reigns throughout this whole camp this day. The trees are beginning to put forth their green leaves, and everything in Nature smiles. On picket line again. All quiet along the line.

Sunday, April 5th
This day, the Sabbath, nothing going on but the usual routine of camp performance. This is Inspection of Person, Arms and Accouterments, and whomsoever nevertheless notwithstanding.

Monday, April 6th
Drill again.  Here is a beautiful place for drilling, and our Generals are determined that we shall not be wanting in the drilling line of military discipline.  It is good exercise for the boys, makes us eat hearty.

Tuesday, April 7th
Well if I write nothing but Battalion Drill, I will be telling untruth. We have Battalion Drill whenever we are not doing anything else. Battalion Drill this day. I have so much to say about Battalion Drill, you may wish to know just what it is.

Wednesday, April 8th
Battalion Drill again. Battalion Drill is when the Regiment is all drilling together, going through those movements that are most essential in battle. Today, while we were out drilling, Co. K. graded up their street.

Thursday, April 9th
This Thursday, the 9th day of Our Lord, 1863, the 51st Ill. Vol. went on picket, to watch as the Old Crane does, while the others are busily engaged helping themselves, or taking their ease, unconscious of anything that is going on about them.

Friday, April 10th
Came off picket this morning at the usual hour. Nothing but the shrill noise of insects, and croaking sound of the monster bullfrog, heard on the line last night. Weather clear, warm and pleasant.

Saturday, April 11th
Saturdays we do not drill, Sundays also. This day we are cleaning up the camp of the dirt and filth that is so common among the camps. Dress Parade this evening.  The air mild, healthful.

Sunday, April 12th
This day, Sunday, we had Company Inspection, as usual, in the morning, then nothing to do the remaining portion of the day, but reading and writing, and eating and sleeping, and heard a sermon preached by our Chaplain.

Monday, April 13th
The sun rose beautiful this morning, and the drums soon beat to fall in for Battalion Drill. This takes up the forenoon. In the afternoon is Dress Parade, then supper, then go and lay down until further orders.

Tuesday, April 14th
On picket, 51st , my post was on the bank of the memorable Stone’s River, near the Shelbyville Pike. There were a few shots exchanged during the night, but I guess whoever he was he shot at a mule. Casualties not known.

Wednesday, April 15th
Came off picket, of course, and I can’t tell what all else. I believe I will wait until tomorrow, and see what will turn up. At any rate, there is nothing transpiring worthy of note here today.  The weather is clear and cool.

Thursday, April 16th
Well, this is our day for Battalion Drill. I tell you, this Army is getting drill enough, if that is all they need. This place will never be forgotten by me while I live, for its Battalion, Brigade and Company Drills.

Friday, April 17th
This day we had something new, if I don’t care what I say, Battalion Drill. This afternoon our Division General Sheridan was presented with a beautiful sword, saddle and pistols. I was up to see it. Weather clear.

Saturday, April 18th
All quiet on Stone’s River. Had hard tack and sowbelly for breakfast, and Battalion Drill for dinner, and Dress Parade for supper. Suitable for a soldier, or any other man who can’t help it.  Weather clear.

Sunday, April 19th
This Sunday went to meeting, and heard a well-preached sermon by the Col. of the 73rd Regt. Ill.  This is a smart man, and just the man for to command a regiment. Had Inspection also. Weather warm and pleasant.

Monday, Aril 20th
This day is our turn to go to Salem again. Off we go, with bag and baggage, this time to stay six days instead of five. We relieved the 2nd Brigade of Gen. Johnson’s Division. The 22nd and 27th went on post first.

Tuesday, April 21st
Today the 51st and 42nd relieve the other two. Here we only have one night’s rest each for six days, then we suppose we will be relieved and return to our old camp again. We have two Quaker Guns on the Pike to scare the Rebs. They think they are cannon.

Wednesday, April 22nd
Quietude prevails through the vicinity of Salem and Murfreesboro.  A Brigade went out scouting on this that we are doing guard on.  They have met with no resistance as yet heard from.  Weather cloudy.

Thursday, April 23rd
The sun rose clear, high over the tree tops, and bids for a pleasant day. All is quiet along the line.  The soldiers in good health and fine spirits, and ready for any emergency.

Friday, April 24th
I don’t know what to write for this day’s transaction, this is an old story, but it’s new. All is quiet along our picket line at Salem. Came off the line this morning. Weather warm and pleasant.

Saturday, April 25th
Packed up and left for our old Stone’s River Camp at 10 A.M., and arrived at the same at a quarter-past-eleven, having marched 3 miles. Our same old relief relieved us this time, as heretofore.

Sunday, April 26th
Cleaning up the old camp, which has been exposed so much since our absence. Washing clothes, and such like soldierly necessaries. Writing those letters of which I should have wrote, only for the inconvenience of after days.

Monday, April 27th
This day our Sibley tents were taken from us, and in turn was given two halves of what they call, when it is put together, a Shelter tent. It’s just large enough for two persons, each taking care of one-half. We put it together and got into it, but felt rather cheap.

Tuesday, April 28th
Last night it rained very heavy, pelting down upon our little tent as if to sever it into pieces, but it withstood the battle nobly, and came off conqueror in the end, keeping the two lonesome weary subalterns free from the pelting rain.

Wednesday, April 29th
Our camp field of little tents looks beautiful. I and my Old Pard, Edward Burns, are enjoying ourselves with all the boys here. I almost forgot, we had Battalion Drill. Weather cloudy, and symptoms of rain.

Thursday, April 30th
Went on picket this morning at 7 A.M.  Met with no trouble there.  All quiet throughout the whole region.  On post under a large, nice Peach tree, with no fruit on it.  Watching for Rebs, but none made their appearance.

May, 1863

Friday, May 1st
Last night, while on picket post, I heard a few shots fired out on the Pike, then the fierce barking of dogs, and hurried scampering of horses. But the result I am loath to make known. Returned to camp and found everything in its place.

Saturday, May 2nd
This day we must get ready for Inspection, Brigade Inspection, with knapsacks on. Well, in short, all harnessed up, ready for show. Co. K. was the most respectable looking Company in the Regiment. Weather cloudy.

Sunday, May 3rd
This day I heard two sermons preached. Tended class meeting and Bible Class. I was also over to see the boys in the 86th Ill. Regt., First Brigade of our Division. Appeared out also on our company street for the usual weekly inspection. Weather pleasant.

Monday, May 4th
A warm day this. My Pardner is on fatigue, helping clear up the Regimental Color Line, while I am taking my ease inside the tent, reading and writing. All is quiet on the picket line. Weather rainy.

Tuesday, May 5th
Heavy rain last night, the air cool and damp this morning. This is Brigade Drill this day, not Battalion. We kept in line beautifully, while marching in battle-array across the 80 acre field.

Wednesday, May 6th
This morning cool, with occasional showers. Enclosed our camp with Cedars, making things look green. Last night there was one of the Cavalry Vedettes killed by the Enemy, while on watch on the Shelbyville Pike. Weather cold and rainy.

Thursday, May 7th
Went this morning out on the picket line, no disturbance out there, all passed off quietly.  Two hours on post, and two on reserve post, and then four back at the main reserve.  This day I was rained on again.

Friday, May 8th
Came off picket in good health and fine spirits. There was some firing last night on the Middleton Road. Very dark, all night. Very conflicting news from the Rappahannock, and rather unsatisfactory weather, cloudy.

Saturday, May 9th
This is the anniversary of our defeat at Farmington. I sent my dress coat to Nashville, for storage.  Stirring news from the Army of the Potomac. Nights cold, and days warm. Nothing interesting going on today, camp quiet. My health good.

Sunday, May 10th
This morning had Company Inspection at 9 A.M. We heard that Richmond had fallen, and gave three cheers for General Hooker and his Army.  Went to hear our Chaplain this afternoon. He spoke well. The weather cloudy.

Monday, May 11th
Brigade Drill in the forenoon, and Dress Parade in the afternoon. We were highly honored by the visitation of some Chicago ladies, the first I’ve saw of the fair sex (since I left home) of the North. Weather warm.

Tuesday, May 12th
Nothing of importance transpired this day. Going through same old camp performances, such as roll call three times a day, Brigade Drill, Dress Parade and ... Went to class meeting this evening, had a pleasant time.  Weather cloudy.

Wednesday, May 13th
Got up in a hurry, and got ready to go on picket. My post was in the same place as before, under the old barren Peach Tree. Here I spent another turn of picket duty, in the utmost care. It rained on me too.

Thursday, May 14th
Returned to camp this morning, weary, worn with care, and took a warm drink of coffee, and felt better. All was quiet along the line last night. Dress Parade this evening.  Weather rather unpleasant. I don’t feel real well.

Friday, May 15th
This is a day for all Creation, including the rest of mankind. Brigade Drill for two hours, then Dress Parade in the evening. I don’t feel very well, but able for my duty. Weather warm.

Saturday, May 16th
Well I guess we will have to Drill again. Drill the Officers, I mean. Since the great battle, there has been men promoted that did not know anything about military, and they must be drilled. Weather warm and pleasant.

Sunday, May 17th
We had Inspection of Arms and Equipment. No news of importance from the Army of the Potomac. All is quiet along our lines. The air is mild and pleasant, the Sun beams out warm and pleasant.

Monday, May 18th
I was, this morning, unable to go with the Regiment on picket, the first time for several months, and I hope it will be the last time. Nothing the matter, only I eat too much. I have taken a dose of salts, and I guess I will come all out straight.

Tuesday, May 19th
Returned to camp this morning, the Regiment did, and all is quiet. My health is mending.  Murfreesboro is getting a business place, and why should it not be, as the whole Army’s supplies casues to it for distribution.

Wednesday, May 20th
Brigade Drill this pleasant morning, just to settle our breakfast, that’s all. And it did that too, for we were drilled in the chargings, and double-quicked it most all the time we were through the exercise.

Thursday, May 21st
Well I don’t  know who I will write for today, but anyhow, we had to drill three times. Skirmish Drill, Company Drill and Brigade Drill. Then there is some talk of marching orders. Weather clear and healthy. I am able for duty again.

Friday, May 22nd
Going on picket this pleasant morning. All quiet along the line, but all our Regiments of our Division ready to march, with three day’s rations in Haversacks, to reinforce our troops at Franklin, if need be. The Rebs attack Franklin, but are repulsed.

Saturday, May 23rd
All quiet along the whole line. Yesterday the Fourth Regular Cavalry surprised and captured almost a whole Rebel camp. Their Commander got away, but fled in his night-clothes. 200 men and 400 horses captured.

Sunday, May 24th
This morning, I with others were detailed to go and work on the fortifications. The order was countermanded, and we returned to camp, to do it some future day.  My health is good again.  The weather warm and dusty. A rumor of a great battle in Mississippi.

Monday, May 25th
Went this morning and worked hard all day on the west side of Murfreesboro, ditching the Convalescent Camp, and cleaning up generally. I sweat like a pack-mule all day, and the ground being dusty, the wind swept the dust over clouds all day.

Tuesday, May 26th
Went on picket this morning, as usual. A few shots fired, but not at the Enemy. Good and reliable news from the Army of the Mississippi of Grant, giving them their cheese down there, closing in on Vicksburg. W. warm.

Wednesday, May 27th
Came off picket this morning, at the usual hour. All was quiet on the line last night.  The weather warm and pleasant. More glorious news from General Grant’s Army. Got a butter-cracker, as my portion of a quantity sent to the Regt. by the Chicago Ladies.

Thursday, May 28th
This day we were excused from drill, that we might fix a shack over our tents, to keep the Sun off, for it is getting warm. The bombardment of Vicksburg going on.  The weather cloudy, and some symptoms of rain.

Friday, May 29th
Last night rained. This morning, we marched to Salem again, and relieved the pickets that were here, in good season. Nothing of importance to write today, but all quiet along the Salem picket line.

Saturday, May 30th
Went out on the line this morning at 5 A.M., and relieved our other two Regiments. Took our old post on the Pike, by the brick house. Nothing strange transpired since our former visit. Raining today.

Sunday, May 31st
This is the Sabbath Day. Returned to camp, behind the breastworks made of logs. The timber most all cut off here. Had a pleasant meeting in the woods. My health is good. This is a rainy day. All quiet at Salem.   

June, 1863

Monday, June 1st
Went out on the line again, my post into a wheatfield with no fence around it. There’s  deep feeling of anxiety among us here, of the fate of Vicksburg. All is quiet along the picket line at Salem.

Tuesday, June 2nd
This morning there rose a heavy thunder shower in the southeast, and passed over, wetting us completely. We were relieved from our Salem picket today, by the First Brigade of our Division. We returned to old Camp Shaeffer.

Wednesday, June 3rd
This morning, all commotion. Got orders to get ready to march immediately, with three day’s rations in haversacks, four in knapsacks, and five on the wagons. But, did not march this day.  All is peaceable on the lines.

Thursday, June 4th
Cannonading along this morning. We are all ready for the attack, with twelve day’s rations. Old Secesher, whoever he was, thought he would draw off and wait awhile. No casualties worthy of notation. Weather mild.

Friday, June 5th
We rose bright and early this morning, folded our blankets and got ready for the march, and lay down on the Old Bunk, until dinner-call was beat. Then waited and waited, until evening came on.  And, as we have learned, lay down for the night.

Saturday, June 6th
Took charge of the cooking, and to serve one week. No marching yet. All is quiet today, the news from Vicksburg very encouraging. The Rebel strongholds hold out heavily, against Unconditional Surrender Grant. All quiet on the line.

Sunday, June 7th
All quiet on the Cumberland. Appeared on Inspection, with full uniform. The war news generally favorable and interesting. Witnessed the earnest occasion of the baptism of 24 late converts, that put on Christ’s Uniform in the Army.

Monday, June 8th
This pleasant morning there is a deathlike silence throughout the whole camp, as similar to a calm before a great storm. Battalion Drill in the forenoon, Dress Parade in the afternoon, and meeting in the evening. Weather cloudy.

Tuesday, June 9th
All quiet in Camp Shaeffer this day, and all passed off very well. But for some mismanagement of the Commissary Department, I fell short of bacon to cook for the men. We went without for two days, then the twelve day’s issue was run out, and we drew rations again.

Wednesday, June 10th
This day was mostly spent in Reviewing. Our Brigade was Reviewed by the Col. commanding.  Weather blustery and rainy. All quiet along the line. War news from the south interesting and encouraging. Bombardment of Vicksburg going on favorable.

Thursday, June 11th
We heard this day, that the Rebel stronghold on the Mississippi was in the possession of our troops. Brigade Drill in the forenoon, and Skirmish Drill in the afternoon. All quiet along the line. My health very good.

Friday, June 12th
All quiet on Stone’s River, all quiet in Camp Shaeffer. They on the east side of Murfreesboro are in good health, Crittenden’s Corps. He is on the left of the Army of the Cumberland, McCook on the right, and Thomas the center.

Saturday, June 13th
This day is a day that will long be remembered by some. Twenty-five Christian Converts.  The river bank was crowded with hundreds of soldiers, to witness the scene. No news of any importance from the South. All is quiet in camp.

Sunday, June 14th
Packed our kit, and marched to Salem for picket. We relieved the First Brigade of our Division.  And quite an accident happened to one of the men of the 27th Ill. He was killed by a limb falling from the top of a large tree. All quiet along the line at Salem.

Monday, June 15th
The weather warm and pleasant. Nothing going on but the usual observance of a soldier’s life.  Last night it rained very heavy. All quiet in front. Sargent Hills, who was wounded, taken prisoner and paroled at the battle of Stone’s River, is to report to St. Louis.

Tuesday, June 16th
This morning we appeared in Inspection. Co. K. had the best looking arms and equipments in the Regiment. A report of General Lee moving north into the State of Penn. Nothing of importance to note down today. Weather moderately mild and healthful.

Wednesday, June 17th
Some firing on the outpost, but to no avail. Nothing to tell you of today. No news from Vicksburg, but the siege going on favorably. Lee’s Army reported invading Pennsylvania. I rained on Edward  L. Tabler, Co. K., 51st Ill. Vol., but did not hurt him, as he has got used to it.

Thursday, June 18th
All here and about Salem in perfect quietude. No Rebs within demonstrative distance of this place, and if they were it would be sheer nonsense to undertake anything, for the Yankees have been growing too fat and saucy for the last four or five months. W. clear.

Friday, June 19th
This morning finds me on picket post, pacing back and forth, watching for the stealthy Enemy.  Had a mess of Dewberries, a berry not known to me before I came into the service of The United States.  Rained again, in the afternoon. All quiet on the line.

Saturday, June 20th
We were relieved this morning by the 88th Regiment Ill. Vol. from the First Brigade of our Division. We are now relieved from our picket duty at Salem. Once more returned old Camp Shaeffer, on Stone’s River. The war news from the Mississippi favorable. Weather fair.

Sunday, June 21st
All quiet in camp. I witnessed again the solemn occasion of baptism. Sixteen new converts, who had desired to be baptized. The performance passed off quietly. Our Chaplain done the solemn duty, as there was none other here. The revival going on.

Monday, June 22nd
Company K., 51st, complimented by General McCook, for their neatness and soldierly appearance while on parade. No war news of much importance this day, but what there is, is favorable. All quiet on Stone’s River. Weather clear and warm.

Tuesday, June 23rd
Got marching orders again, but did not go, and finally had Battalion Drill. Nothing transpiring worthy of note. All is quiet along the picket line in front. It is supposed we will move south, when we go, and drive the Rebel hoards from Tennessee. Weather clear.

Wednesday, June 24th
The Army moving at last, southward. Our Division and our Brigade took the lead on the Shelbyville Pike. The others followed on closely. After marching six miles, we encountered the Rebs at Liberty Gap, driving them slowly until we were relieved. Raining all day long.

Thursday, June 25th
Marched across towards the Manchester as far as Millersville. Raining very heavy. Heavy firing in front, the Enemy being driven inch by inch. All is quiet with us, Davis’ Division, and Johnson’s in the fight. The Enemy driven from the Gap.

Friday, June 26th
Heavy cannonading in front, with musketry. Prepared to march at nine in the forenoon, and it commenced raining very hard when we started in the midst of it, in the mud and water ankle-deep. After a mile’s marching, we halted for a short time, and returned to the last night’s camping ground.

Saturday, June 27th
Marched east to the Manchester Pike. Passed through Hoover’s Gap, where we had a pretty severe fight, I witnessing the graves as I passed along. Went so far as Beech Grove, where we halted , to guard the train (51st), and camped for the night. Fighting going on in front. Rained all day.

Sunday, June 28th
Rose early this morning, and set out with the wagon-train for Manchester, a distance of 13 miles.  This was a pretty wearisome march. We reach the place at 4 P.M. and stack arms, then fled like panting cattle for the river. (Duck Run) The Rebs fleeing. Rain most all day.

Monday, June 29th
Started for Tullahoma in the midst of a drenching rain. We waded creeks, paddled through sloughs with almost no end, raining all the while. After a march of 6 or 7 miles, we halted for the night, pretty tired. Cannonading in front, the Rebels flanked, and getting away.

Tuesday, June 30th
Our Division lay here most all day, marched about a mile forward, halted and made a nest of leaves for the night’s rest. Our Regiment on picket in the forenoon. Raining again today, the Enemy making their way southery, our boys chasing them.