Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
James A. Dickinson
Scope and Content
Photocopies of the James A. Dickinson material was donated to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in 1990 by descendants of the Dickinson family.
James Alpheus Dickinson, born May 22, 1849, Sandusky County, Ohio was the youngest son of Rudolphus and Marguerite (Beaugrand) Dickinson. The Dickinson and Beaugrand families were among the earliest pioneers to settle in the Sandusky region. Rudolphus Dickinson became prosecuting attorney of the county and was a member of Ohio's Board of Public Works. In 1846, Dickinson was elected to Congress and re-elected in 1848. In March of 1849, two months prior to the birth of James, Dickinson died in Washington, D.C. At the age of thirteen, James ran away from home, enlisting as a first class cabin boy in the U.S. Navy in May of 1863. The greater portion of his one-year enlistment was spent aboard the gunboat Tawah on the Mississippi River. Following his service, Dickinson attended Notre Dame (1866-1869). He eventually returned to Fremont to practice law. Family data states he also practiced medicine in North Carolina. Around 1880, Dickinson moved to Washington, D.C. and entered government service in the Treasury Department and later, in the Department of Labor and Commerce. In 1886, Dickinson married Hattie Platt in Washington, D.C. Dickinson was the father of two daughters: Mrs. Areme Bennett and Mrs. Marguerite Bruckner. Dickinson died in Washington, D.C. November 12, 1922. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of a photocopy of Dickinson's diary and memorandum book kept during and shortly after his Civil War service, miscellaneous Dickinson/Beaugrand family data, funeral notice of Rudolphus Dickinson, a letter written by Dickinson to a Sandusky County, Ohio friend during the war, and a photocopy of a watercolor portrait of Dickinson taken in his sailor's uniform (ca. 1863-1864). The Dickinson diary is that of a bright, young boy seeking adventure as well as his manhood amidst the chaos of war. His daily entries (May 1863 to May 1864) provide an excellent perspective of a sailor's life aboard a gunboat of the Mississippi River Squadron during the Civil War: He offers factual data about crew size and composition, armament, duties, combat, food, equipment, living conditions, other vessels, and stops along the Mississippi, Cumberland, and Tennessee Rivers.
A typed transcript of the diary from May 14, 1863 to May 27, 1864 appears below.
Photocopies, 1863 to 1990
Diary: May 14, 1863-May 6, 1864 and online transcription
Memorandum Book: May 24, 1864-Sept. 17, 1865
Memorandum Book: [Diary entries through May 27, 1865] and online transcription
Letter to Joe Batig from James A. Dickinson: May 10, 1864
Correspondence re: Beaugrand estate claims, 1849-1856
Miscellaneous notes re: family data
Funeral notice of Rudolphus Dickinson
Print of watercolor portrait of James A. Dickinson in U.S. Navy uniform
Obituary of James A. Dickinson from Fremont Daily News
News-Messenger article with Dickinson diary excerpts
James A. Dickinson Diary
May 14, 1863 to May 27, 1864
May 1863 June 1863 July 1863 August 1863 September 1863 October 1863 November 1863 December 1863
January 1864 February 1864 March 1864 April 1864 May 1864
May 14th 1863
Found a handbill in a farmer's wagon. It said recruits were wanted for the 113th O.V.I . The recruiting office is in Cleveland, Ohio. I spoke to Will Deal and Leo Bruner and they promised to run away and enlist. We will go tomorrow night if we can raise the spondulics.
May 15th 1863
Sold a lot of old iron and some lead and some copper to Charley Thompson. Sold some rags to Mr J. D. Botefur Esq.. Raised two dollars and eighty-five cents all told. Bought ten cents worth of peanuts and Leo Bruner, Will Deal and myself eat them up. Leo bought cigars of ake [sp] Lesher and we smoked and talked about going to the war. Leo and Will Deal will start early tomorrow morning and walk to Clyde where I will meet them on the cars.
May 16th 1863
Left home on the twelve o'clock train, arrived at Cleveland at half past three on the afternoon. (Did not find Will or Leo at Clyde or anywhere else. I guess they backed out.) Went to Uncle Marshal's office and got directed to 4½ Bank street. Tried to enlist in the 113th Ohio Infantry. Officer wouldn't take me. I am not big enough for a soldier, they have all drummers they want and my lips are too thick to play the bugle. I went and enlisted in the Navy anyhow, as a first -class boy and we are going to Vicksburg to take the place.
May 17th 1863 (Sunday)
Today is Sunday and it is awful lonely. I have been loafing around all day watching the girls. Did not even look at a church and got Tight [sp] in the bargain. Bought a plug of tobacco which I am going to chew because all sailors chew tobacco. There is about twenty other fellows enlisted. We get our grub at the City Hotel. I slept there last night.
May 18th 1863
I and another fellow named Douglas Cannon, who came from Erie and enlisted, went to a store and had our measures taken for a suit of Navy clothes. I enlisted under Lieutenant Cottle as powder monkey for the term of service of one year. One of the boys who enlisted a few days ago is a girl. Lt. Cottle sent her home when I told him she was a woman.
May 19th 1863
They had a Union Mass Convention here yesterday and I saw Mr. Jack Harris, Mr. Downs, Flavel Downs and a lot of others from Fremont. There is about forty of us now. We paraded the streets yesterday and I met Uncle Marshal. I tried to dodge but he saw me.
May 20th 1863
We went up to the doctor's today to get examined and we were all pronounced sound after a careful examination. I sent some papers home to John and wrote a long letter to Mother. Saw Uncle Marshal and told him Mother gave her consent to my enlisting providing I went in the Navy. He told Lt. Cottle that I was not fourteen years old yet. I enlisted as sixteen years old.
May 21st 1863
I received my Navy clothes to-day [sp]. They fit me tip top. I sold my old clothes to a jew and got $1.50 for them and I spent it right off. I went up to Aunt Ellen's house to-day [sp] and saw her and Nellie and Marshy. Went down to the Lake shore this afternoon and had the rules and regulations of the Navy read to us. They are pretty tough.
May 22nd 1863
My birth-day [sp]. I am fourteen years old today. Got Lt. Cottle to give me a furlough for three days. Started home at four o'clock this afternoon; reached there at half-past seven found the folks all right. Had not received my letter yet.
May 23rd 1863
Went white bass fishing to-day [sp]. Caught one and two sago bass and a perch. Went over to Botefur in the evening, Alice was not to home; saw Mary and the rest of them though. I wish to thunderation I had seen Alice. My sailor suit has set half of the boys crazy and they all want to go in the Navy.
May 24th 1863 (Sunday)
So to-day [sp] is Sunday. It is hard work to keep a diary. I went to low Mass today and to high Mass too. Went to Vespers and after Vespers I went boat-riding [sp]. Had a real nice time. Was going over to Botefur's this evening but changed my mind and stayed at home with Mother. I am going away again tomorrow afternoon. Went up to the dam this afternoon and catched crabs.
May 25th 1863
I went up to Vene Kelley's to-day [sp] and saw Alice. She felt bad because I was going away. I promised to write to her and she promised to write to me. "We shall meet-but-I shall miss him." I did not go away on the noon train but had to wait until six o'clock. Went down to Uncle Peter's office and he gave me $5.00 to pay any travelling [sp] expenses. Mother and Joe Laforce went to the depot with me. Got to Cleveland about nine o'clock and found out the boys had left for Erie, Penn. followed them and got here at two o'clock this morning.
May 26th 1863
Got to bed at Brown's Hotel about two o'clock this morning and slept until ten o'clock and went on the Michigan. Got on the Michigan just in time to save myself from being put down as a deserter. I am rated as a first-class when we were mustered in. Took dinner on the Michigan. We left Erie at half-past one and got to Cleveland about six. Changed cars, got a supper of bologn [sp], bread and coffee and went to Monroeville. Got to Monroeville about eight o'clock and went right on to Columbus.
May 26th 1863 [Second entry for the date]
Got to bed at Brown's Hotel about two o'clock this morning and slept till ten then went on the Revenue Cutter Michigan. Got on the Michigan just in time to save myself from being put down as a deserter. Was mustered in and am rated as a first-class boy. Took dinner on board the Michigan and left Erie at half-past one o'clock in the afternoon. We got to Cleveland about six o'clock. We had a big supper of fried bologna, baker's bread and strong coffee. Changed cars and went to Monroeville.
May 27th 1863
Got to Monroeville about eight o'clock. Lt Cottle left us at Cleveland and we all felt bad over it especially me and my chum Erastus Sherman who lives a Chagrin Falls. At Monroeville we switched off and went right on to Columbus where we changed cars and went to Cincinnati where we got our breakfast this morning.
May 28th 1863
Got our supper in Evansville last night. Changed cars again and laid there a long time. Passed through part of Indiana and part of Illinois. Saw some very nice people who gave us sandwiches, pies, milk and friedcakes [sp]. We had our supper in Centralia to-night [sp] where we once more changed cars. I hooked two big pies and a piece of ham and my chum hooked all his pockets full of apples. One of the men saw us, but the boys said they would break his arms and legs, so he was scared and kept this mouth shut.
May 29th 1863
We arrived at Cairo Illinois at half past five this morning. Went right on the Receiving Ship "Clara Dolsen" and got our breakfast. After dinner to-day [sp] we drew our hammocks and clothes-bags. This is a pretty big boat and has lots of material of war except cannon. There is only one cannon on the boat. It is a "long to,." thirty-two pounder and is mounted on the forecastle. It is for the officers to drill with.
May 30th 1863
A fresh breeze swept down the river last night and I slept colder than the dickens. It rained and I did not have any blanket. I fell out of my hammock five or six times last night. I do not believe I can learn to lay in one all night without falling out of it. All the seamen of our draft, also the landsmen, left for the lower or iron-clad fleet. They numbered forty-five. The boys numbering 20 are left behind. Cairo does not look like much of a place from the Dolsen and I guess it is not either.
May 31st 1863 (Sunday)
This is Sunday. This morning we were all mustered forward and the roll called. Sold my necktie this morning to the old "soft-tack" peddler for fifty cents and bought some milk and gingerbread. It almost makes me sick to eat the nasty salt-pork [sp] and pilot-bread [sp], but I suppose it is no use to feel bad over it as there is no one to blame but myself. The second Cleveland draft got here and came on board to-day [sp].
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June 1st 1863
Drew blankets today. I also drew one pair pants, one cap, one necktie, one blue over-shirt [sp] and one pair of socks. A draft arrived from Chicago this morning; there were boys and men from Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. Went in swimming in the wheel-house [sp] of the boat.
June 2nd 1863
We were each furnished with a cup, pan, and a spoon this morning. Our breakfast consists of a quart cup of coffee and all the hard-tack we can eat, which is not much for me. For dinner we had salt pork and beans while for supper we had beech-leaf tea and hard-tack all of which will make me stout in time I suppose, If I do not cave in.
June 3rd 1863
The programme [sp] of our grub is about this way: we get fresh beef and potatoes Wednesday and Sundays: salt-pork [sp] and bean soup Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays: salt beef and dried apples Monday and Fridays. Now and then we have scouse for breakfast.
June 4th 1863
A boy fell overboard today but grabbed and held on the rudder while a man named Jack Sheppard jumped overboard and held him up until the dingy came around and picked them up.
June 5th 1863
A Buffalo draft came onboard this afternoon, numbering about 25 men most all New Yorkers. There is about 45 white men and 60 niggers aboard of this craft. Four men and three boys were drafted on the Argosy [sp] this afternoon. Wrote a letter to my mother. The monitor-ram Osage came up this afternoon.
June 6th 1863
Some more men and boys were drafted on the Argosy this morning. I was called out as one of them, and as soon as I heard my name called I sneaked away to the stern and made my way into the after-hold. My chum McCellan (Erastus Sherman) brought me a plate-ful [sp] of salt-pork [sp] and thick bean soup this afternoon. Found a broken barrel of hard-tack [sp]. Eat lots of it dipped into molasses which I hooked.
June 7th 1863 (Sunday)
Came out of the hold last night after silence was piped and turned into my hammock. Did not sleep good and fell out of my hammock three or four times. Turned out pretty early this morning and went back into the hold. Mac brought me some dinner. They hunted all over the boat for me. They think I fell over board and got drowned. The Argosy [sp] draft went down this afternoon.
June 8th 1863
Joined my mess at breakfast this morning. Officer gave me the devil when I was reported to him. Had to roll a 68 lb ball on a crack for four hours. Nothing when used to it.
June 9th 1863
My back is nearly broken. I had to roll the blamed old ball four hours more to-day [sp] for missing inspection last Sunday. Besides, the officer of the deck would not let me go in swimming this evening.
June 10th 1863
A nigger called me a ball-roller this morning and laughed at me. I hit him with a marling spike and had to roll that dam [sp] ball once more, for two hours. _____ nigger had to roll it for four hours for starting the fuss.
June 11th 1863
Mac and I cut down the nigger's hammock last night so that his head got a bully bump on the hard deck. They are now building a turtle-boat near the wharf. It used to be a middle-wheel ferry-boat called the Fanny. She is not a very large boat.
June 12th 1863
Wrote a letter to Alice Botefur, also wrote one to Sis. Mac, myself, Walter Johnson, Lemiel H. Cook, Tommy Connors and four or five other boys swam to the Kentucky shore to-day [sp] and played Indian for two or three hours. Walked up to the point and swam back again. Officer of the deck said he would punish us tomorrow.
June 13th 1863
All of us boys who swam ashore yesterday except Mac, had to roll balls today for four hours. Mac cannot swim, so Johnson and I carried him ashore by letting him hang to our shoulders.
June 14th 1863 (Sunday)
Inspection to-day [sp]. The fleet chaplain visited the Dolsen to-day [sp]. He has a nice little gig manned by ten little boys under twelve years of age.
June 15th 1863
Another Cleveland draft came onboard yesterday morning and among them was Johnny Thompson, the old Captain of the B.I.C., also Henry Anderson, a brother-in-law of Henry Lesher. Wrote a letter to mother. The crew went to work this afternoon and hoisted five thousand mortar shells out of the hold into the ordnance boat New National which lay alongside.
June 16th 1863
Six thousand soldiers, commanded by Major General A.E. Burnside, arrived here to-day [sp] from Cincinnati. About three thousand rebel prisoners from about Vicksburg came up to-day [sp] on transports. Monitor ram Osage left for Vicksburg. I and seven other boys and eight men were drafted on the new gunboat called the Fanny. We pumped all the bilge water out of the hold.
June 17th 1863
Been hard at work all day. Cleared the decks of all rubbish and scraped the decks of pitch, tar and paint. Our boat is a stout looking little craft with the sides fourteen inches thick. The bow _________ is eighteen inches thick with rolled plates of iron two and a half inches thick. The stern is fourteen inches thick with an inch of iron. There is no iron on the sides. We have two thirty-pounder rifled Parrott [sp] cannon, four twenty-four pounder smooth-bore shell guns and two twelve pounder rifled Wiard steel guns. The Wiard guns were not mounted so we had to mount them ourselves.
June 18th 1863
Another man [sp] came onboard to-day [sp]. This boat's name is "Tawah". Tug Myrtle towed us out in the stream. Forty-five men and boys came onboard. Henry Anderson is one.
June 19th 1863
Firemen and coal-heavers appointed. Steam was raised and we steamed up the Ohio River to within two miles of Mound City and then returned to anchorage. Officers said the boat went bully.
June 20th 1863
Laid to wharf boat this morning and took on cutlasses, boarding-pikes and Enfield rifles; also cannon and rifle ammunition, fire buckets and all equipments. We have come down to strict rules now. Have to turn out when "lash hammocks" is piped and lash with seven turns and a hitch. And we dare not even whisper when silence is piped fore and aft. The Mississippi is awful muddy and it made all of us sick to drink the water.
June 21st 1863 (Sunday)
First inspection on the Tawah. Passed Island No. 10, New Madrid, and Fort Pillow and arrived at Memphis. Coaled up and at half-past seven this evening started on our way again down the river. Stopped at Peyton an hour - shoved out and kept on.
June 22nd 1863
Arrived at Helena, Ark. this afternoon. U.S.S. General Bragg lying at anchor in the River. Stood guard last night on the hurricane deck. Went away in the cutter to the Mississippi shore and got some blackberries. Exercised on great guns for two hours.
June 23rd 1863
All hands piped up at four o'clock this morning. I was on guard on the fantail last night. Commenced coaling at ten o'clock this morning and kept it up until nine o'clock this evening.
June 24th 1863
At half-past seven this morning we cast loose from the barge, shoved out and stood up the Mississippi. Drilled at great guns for two hours to-day [sp], also had practice at fire-quarters and repelling boarders.
June 25th 1863
Passed Memphis at noon. Made for a coalbarge about three miles above. A lot of troops are encamped on the heights below the city - maybe the 72nd is among them. Took on 300 bushels of coal and started on.
June 26th 1863
Passed steamers Nonpareil, Jack-o-Lantern and Sallie List with U.S.S. Ranger. Arrived at Island No. 10. Passed two other gunboats there at dusk, but did not find out their names. Drill to-day [sp] same as usual. Had false alarms of fire to practice the boys.
June 27th 1863
Passed Hickman this morning. Expect to reach Cairo tomorrow noon. Passed the Glendale, Belle Memphis, tug Myrtle, tow boat Brown and U.S.S. Forest Rose. Adam Saufferhelt fell overboard this evening but was picked up by the cutter.
June 28th 1863 (Sunday)
Arrived at Cairo, on blue water, this afternoon about two o'clock. Saluted the Neoshe by dipping our colors. Laid into the coalbarge and took on about 800 bushels of coal. Knocked off at nine o'clock this night.
June 29th 1863
Stood sentry last night at forward Port gangway. This morning steamed out into the stream and cast anchor. Washed decks twice to-day [sp]. Scrubbed paintwork and scraped guards.
June 30th 1863
Laid in to the Naval wharf-boat and took in stores and some more ammunition. Capt. Phelps left with his buck nigger steward. Capt. Jason Goudy came onboard and assumed command of the Tawah. Officers are divided into two messes wardroom and steerage. Charles Newton, a Wisconsin boy, is steerage steward with Tommy Conners and I for pantrymen.
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July 1st 1863
Stood in and lashed to the Naval wharf boat this morning and took on 3000 rounds of cannon ammunition and 30,000 rounds of Enfield cartridges. We also took on a lot of hard-tack [sp], dessicated [sp] vegetables and canned meat for some other gunboats.
July 2nd 1863
Arrived here at Paducah about ten o'clock last night. This is one of the finest cities in the South (in a hog's eye) according to Cairo papers. It is about the size of Sandusky city. We are anchored almost opposite the fort.
July 3rd 1863
Weighed anchor and started up the Tennessee river for the Muscle Shoals. We are assigned to the Tennessee River fleet. Have just found out that we are going to Ft. Henry. Tommy Conners is put in the wardroom. Stood guard last night.
July 4th 1863
We are tied to a coalbarge off Ft. Himon about a mile and a half above Ft. Henry on the opposite side of the river. Arrived here last night. Gunboats Exchange, Key West, Fanny Barker and Robb are lying here. We fired a salute of 101 guns. Port watch went ashore this afternoon and got lots of great big blackberries and some spring water.
July 5th 1863 (Sunday)
Muster and general inspection this morning. Our crew numbers 77 Officers and men. Exchange, Key West and Fanny Barker started up the river this morning for Savannah. Each boat has forty miles to patrol. The Robb started down with the mail.
July 6th 1863
Some forty of the men with two officers, in the boats, started down to Fort Henry in the morning. Got back in the afternoon. When going back to their boats from the fort some bushwackers [sp] belted away at the boys without doing any injury. The boys returned the compliment.
July 7th 1863
We steamed down to Fort Henry to learn the results of yesterday's powder burning. Found lots of blood stains in the brush back of the fort, which shows that someone got hurt. Found a Mississippi waist belt.
July 8th 1863
The Robb returned about three o'clock this morning bringing mail. I received a Catholic Telegraph. On guard on fantail last night Anderson and Billy Houck kept me company after silence was piped, squatting on the fantail and spinning yarns until after four bells.
July 9th 1863
Started up the river to-day [sp], landed at the "bend", where Capt. Goudy went ashore for sometime. On his return we pushed out and kept on to Perryville where we made another landing. Afterward steamed up to Turkey Island where we anchored.
July 10th 1863
Raised anchor at 8 a.m. and went up to Clifton then returned. Stopped at Carollville for two hours, then went down to Tom Cade's landing tied to bank and sent out pickets. I was on fantail guard last night.
July 11th 1863
Started down the river yesterday evening. Shot at a flock of buzzards with one of our 24's
and killed some of them. Rounded to at Ft. Himon. Everything all right.
July 12th (Sunday) 1863
Went ashore and up to the fort. The soldiers practiced at an old house about a mile and a half off, with their cannon. Got all the blackberries I could eat and a messkettle full besides. Stood guard on forecastle last night. Capt. Phillips the scout went ashore and killed two beares [sp], one of which he gave to us.
July 13th 1863
Robb came up last night with the mail. I got two Telegraphs of first part of June. Received news of capture of Vicksburg with 30,000 prisoners by Grant. Also that Gen. Meade with the Army of the Potomac had licked Lee like the devil at Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. We fired a salute of 34 guns.
July 14th 1863
Nothing of much account. Stood fantail guard last night for Charley Newton who had the chills. I would just as leave stand guard as sleep these warm nights. Coaled - 800 bushels.
July 15th 1863
Stood guard on fantail last night - relieved Twitchel. Our scouts came in with eleven prisoners. Raised anchor this afternoon and started up the river.
July 16th 1863
Stopped at Perryville an hour. Stopped at Turkey Island No. 2. Capt. went ashore and hunted for two hours but did not kill any. Old Jack Martin killed two big fellows and gave one to our mess. Had some for dinner.
July 17th 1863
Anchored two miles below Cade's landing last night. Weighed and steamed to Cade's this a.m.. Cast loose about ten and steamed up the river. While passing under the Bluffs below Carollville we were fired into by a body of rebels who slapped it to us for ten minutes before we could get out of the current and elevate our guns sufficient to hit them. We then gave them such a dose of shells and shrapnel that they everlastingly lit out. We were "at quarters" in less than a minute from the boatswain's "pipe". A M.M. Weave was slightly wounded in the handed [sp] and Wm. Mozzington (Asst. Engineer) in the right calf of the leg by a splinter. Anderson was washing [sp] on the guards and came near being hit, several balls striking close to him. I was a little scared but quickly got over it. Anderson tried to sponge his gun with water but Goudy stopped him.
July 18th 1863
After the riot yesterday we steamed up to Carollville then to Clifton where we cleaned our guns and washed down decks. Weave and Mozzington are all right. Rifle drill.
July 19th 1863 (Sunday)
Muster and General Inspection. Captain Phillips came on board to-day [sp]. He is going East looking for Rosecrans' army. Started down the river this morning. Stopped three or four places.
July 20th 1863
Got here (Ft. Himon) this afternoon and coaled. Twenty ____ went out on a scout. Ranged about six miles then returned. It is ten o'clock and I am tired and hungry.
July 21st 1863
The little stern-wheeler attempted to leave without permission. She was almost opposite Ft. Henry when missed. Captain Goudy immediately threw a shell to her from one of our steel guns which brought her to in a jiffy and brought her back.
July 22nd 1863
The Muscle left this morning convoyed by the Key West (No. 32). Weighed anchor and went up the river. Were fired into at the "bridge" by some rebs who were in the bridge-house. Cleaned them out quickly. One of the pilots got a ball through his cap. Shelled the woods considerably. Sent a party ashore but they found only three dead rebs. Anchored in midstream.
July 23rd 1863
Went ashore to bury the Johnnies but they had gone. Got four bullet-holes in our smoke-stacks yesterday and our wooden sides were well peppered. Found and destroyed two canoes and a raft.
July 24th 1863
Got back to the post at six this morning found the fort abandoned and the coalbarge sunk. Wrote a letter to mother. Laid in to the barges and commenced pumping. We raised two of them, the Exchange coming down finished with us, the others.
July 25th 1863
Towed the five barges out in the stream. The Robb came up, no mail for me. She was fired into last night and hit eight times - rifles. Started up the river. Robb guarding the barges.
July 26th 1863 (Sunday)
Stopped here (bridge) yesterday afternoon. Last night quartermaster Miles reported a number of men gathering in the bridge house. Our watch was on with Adams for officer of the deck. Gave them twelve shell and they evaporated. Been cutting and hauling wood all day long.
July 27th 1863
Thirty men went out on a scout this morning to a place called Dick Davis' about 13 miles away. Picked up five of Davis' "groundhogs" who were armed to the teeth. About a mile from the boat this evening we were fired on by guerrillas but no one hurt.
July 28th 1863
Started up last night and when ________ Island was reached landed Mr. Adams with twelve men. They will scout down and meet us at the bridge. An extra wash day for those who were ashore yesterday.
July 29th 1863
Adams came on board this morning with three prisoners - one wounded in the arm by an Enfield ball. Went up this forenoon. Met Fanny Barker - she turned. Met Exchange - she turned. We all went up to Culp's landing and anchored.
July 30th 1863
Key West came down last night and anchored with us. At sunrise about 200 men from our four boats started off to capture a rebel conscripting party. Were met about two miles from river and driven back in disorder. When boats got range the rebels were quickly driven back and scattered. Will Symonds wounded in leg with a pistol ball.
July 31st 1863
Quite a number of rebs were killed or wounded so a deserter says who came aboard this morning. He is slightly wounded by some of our spherical case shot. Washed decks. Went down the river.
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August 1st, 1863
Cut up two canoes and a large raft. Went ashore in the cutter seven times to-day [sp]. Took on a family of refugees who were burnt out and want to go North.
August 2nd, 1863 (Sunday)
August Second! What fun I used to have at home on this day. Today it was observed by eating hardtack and salt-pork [sp], and scrubbing down decks, instead of being at home stuffing myself with cake, pie, apples, beer, cider, etc.
August 3rd, 1863
Stood guard, last night, on Hurricane deck. Arrived here at bridge last evening. Key West & Exchange coaled and started for their stations this forenoon. Robb started down, Fanny Barker started up this P.M..
August 4th, 1863
Coaled this morning. Started up about one o'clock P.M. leaving Paw Paw to watch the coal-barges.
August 5th, 1863
Standing guard this A.M. over the rebel officers on the Hurricane deck, I felt faint and keeled over - was prostrated by heat. Was pretty well doctored up by the surgeon who gave me some genuine Chicago sanitary.
August 6th, 1863
Surgeon says I was sunstruck yesterday. Am on sick list. Was my guard last night but escaped it by the sunstroke.
August 7th, 1863
On sick list. I am satisfied. Stopped at Culp's Landing where some niggers informed us that rebels were below (Wilson's) ____ bend. Started down and run across a large camp of them which we speedily shelled-out [sp].
August 8th, 1863
Still on sick list. Patrolled from Culp's to bend 57 [?]. Took on three refugees, two of whom, Isaiah Watkins and Charles Wolford, enlisted each for one year. Both had been laying out for six weeks, Watkins with a rifle bullet-hole in his arm.
August 9th, 1863 (Sunday)
On sick list. Went up seven miles above Clifton. When returning were fired into from Clifton Hydraulic Works. Shelled them out and demolished, completely, the remains.
August 10th, 1863
Took on sixty cords of wood. Cap Wheat's rebs made a dash on our pickets, drove them in and captured Powers. By the time we had our arms and were formed, they were gone.
August 11th, 1863
Finished wooding. Got off of sick list in time to help wood up. Went up to Clifton and returned to Cades'.
August 12th, 1863
Powers swam over to the boat about four o'clock this morning . He got away from Wheat's men night before last by pretending to be lame. Mr. Adams with thirty men went out on a scout to-day [sp].
August 13th, 1863
Mr. Adams and squad returned last night. They were attacked by some of Wheat's men near the cave and driven back but managed to bring in Wheat and one of his men. Mr. Adams was singed by a rifle-ball but no one else was hurt. Went up to Carollville. Col Simms, rebel artillerist, prisoner on parole, came on board to report at Paducah for exchange. Started down the river to the bridge where I hope we shall have some rest.
August 14th, 1863
Met the Robb coming up. She came alongside and took us in tow. Bushwackers belted at us few minutes ago (12M). Gave them a few canister. Arrived here (bridge) this evening. Are coaling by watches.
August 15th, 1863
Finished coaling at half-past three this A.M.. Took on 65 tons, 700 cwt. and did not work hard either. Lay down on deck and slept for an hour or so. Turned to, washed down decks and had a rousing swim before breakfast. Robb went down yesterday. Had inspection of clothes. Mended and washed.
August 16th, 1863 (Sunday)
Pawpaw went up this morning. I got two Telegraphs, also a letter from brother John. Anderson got two or three letters and six illustrated papers from Wes Vandercook..
August 17th, 1863
Robb came up bringing two more barges of coal, Col Simms and another mail. I got two Illustrated [sp], some stamped envelopes, letter paper and a letter from mother.
August 18th, 1863
Key West, Exchange & Fanny Barker came down this afternoon. The Barker struck a snag up near Florence and leaks badly. Took on fifteen tons of coal and started up.
August 19th, 1863
Stopped at Matthews' last night. Sent out a party this morning who arrested the old man and his son. Homart and I guarded them to the boat. Started down again.
August 20th, 1863
Arrived at the bridge this A.M.. Matthews and son were sent over on Fanny Barker. Barker went down to Cairo for repairs.
August 21st, 1863
Coaled up snug even to the bunkers. Put up extra pilot-house plates. It is said that Wheeler is once more along the river. Sent Cap. Wheat and 23 other prisoners on Robb and started up with Exchange and Key West.
August 22nd, 1863
Parted with other boats at Perryville. Went through W. Perryville and found about 500 old flint locks and squirrel-rifles. Searched E. Perryville, but uselessly.
August 23rd, 1863 (Sunday)
Forty men and three officers went out about ten miles yesterday afternoon and got back this A.M.. Captured 23 rebels. Had a little skirmish with no damage to our side. Of the prisoners, six are awful pot-guts, two are blind of an eye, one has but one arm, five are going on crutches and canes, one has the consumption, two have been bed-ridden eleven years in the aggregate, one just recovering from an attack of malarious fever, one had both legs broken by a fall from a horse and the balance are sound. General inspection.
August 24th, 1863
Still anchored of [sp] Matthews. Stood guard over prisoners last evening. Went ashore in the cutter five times to-day[sp].
August 25th, 1863
Heaved anchor, catted and rigged down in four minutes, thirty-seven seconds, having [sp] out 15 fathoms chain. Steamed up to Clifton then went down to Carollville and anchored.
August 26th, 1863
Started down this morning. Hurricane deck took fire from smokestacks. Burned a hole ten feet square. Put it out in less than no time some officers were scared.
August 27th, 1863
On guard on Hurricane deck last night. Bushwackers fired at boat. Had my gun at support when a ball struck the Enfield and glanced off just burning my left fore-arm. Lamed my wrist some. At post again.
August 28th, 1863
Excused from all duty to-day. Exchange came down this A.M.. Her cruising on this river is ended. Too bad, Old Boat.
August 29th, 1863
Exchange left for Cairo. We are all sorry to part with the Exchange. It is said too that the Tawah is going to leave, perhaps for Port Hudson. I hope not. Robb came up.
August 30th, 1863 (Sunday)
Muster and inspection. Went down to Fort Henry. Went ashore twice in the cutter.
August 31st, 1863
Sent out a squad who captured 17 guerrilas[sp] and killed three about six miles from the landing. Returned to the post (bridge).
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Sept. 1st, 1863
Coaled last night and started down the river with Robb lashed alongside. Anderson says we are going to Red River. I hope not.
Sept. 2nd, 1863
Got to Paducah this morning (1:30 A.M.). Pawpaw has just started up Tennessee for the bridge with mail. Key West left for Cairo this A.M.. Had rather be at home than go on the Mississippi again.
Sept. 3rd, 1863
Robb left for Mound City this A.M.. Went ashore thirteen times in the cutter and once in the gig. Capt. Goudy read a report of our patrol of the Tennessee. He said we had destroyed seven flatboats, three log and three board rafts and 213 canoes.
Sept. 4th, 1863
Weighed anchor last night at eleven o'clock. Started for Cairo. Arrived here at 4 A.M.. We are anchored opposite Louisiana House. Laid in to barge at 7:30 A.M. to coal. Finished at 12:30 and then took on our provision. Finished that at 5:30.
Sept. 5th, 1863
Took on some boarding-pikes and battle-axes, also 100 solid parrott shot. Started down the river. Passed Hickman at dusk. Received 13 new men.
Sept. 6th, 1863 (Sunday)
Passed New Madrid last night, Mound City this forenoon and reached Memphis at 7 P.M.. Laid in to a barge and tied ____ for the night.
Sept. 7th, 1863
Stood guard on the barge last night. Commenced coaling at 9 A.M. and finished at 5 P.M.. Some of the crew got ashore on liberty and we are now 9 P.M. waiting for them.
Sept. 8th, 1863
Mike Hughes and Jack Martin came on board about 10 P.M. and were black listed 40 days for overstaying their time. Started down 11:30 P.M.. Reached our old acqnaintance [sp], Helena, at 5 P.M..
Sept. 9th, 1863
Started down early this A.M.. Reached the mouth of White River this P.M.. Gunboats Lexington, Queen City (Capt. Goudy's old boat) and Benton iron-clad, are lying here.
Sept. 10th, 1863
Battle of Lake Erie. Wonder what is going on at home. Do they miss me. My! What heaps and heaps of fun I would have. Weighed anchor and started up White River this A.M., bound for Duval's Bluff. Awful crooked river. Just passed Clarendon.
Sept. 11th, 1863
Passed wreck of Durnal [?] sunk short time ago. Passed Crockett's Bluff, also St. Charles. Arrived at Duval's Bluff at 4 P.M.. Three gun boats just went down.
Sept. 12th, 1863
Linden, Naumkeag, Hastings, Cricket, Marmora and Kenwood are lying here as are also about 25 transports. Lots of blue bellies ashore. Engineer Lynn went ashore taking ( our dog ) Whiskey with him. Whiskey got lost and seeing the Tawah in the stream. Jumped into the river and out to her and around her until he was noticed and taken on board. The transports have each a calliope and have all been tooting this evening.
Sept. 13th, 1863 ( Sunday )
Muster and general inspection. Rated as a landsman from to-day [sp]. Some of the crew went ashore on liberty. Wrote letters all day.
Sept. 14th, 1863
The army pickets were firing away quite lively last night. Some guerrilas prowling about most likely. Exercised our great guns.
Sept. 15th, 1863
Hastings went down the river this afternoon. We went down this evening and are still ( 9 P.M. ) on our way.
Sept. 16th, 1863
About 2:30 A.M. heard cannonading. At 3 A.M. came on the Hastings who was engaged with a lot of Johnnies. They quieted down at our first broadside. Nobody hurt on Tawah but think that a sailor or two got shot on the Hastings.
Sept. 17th, 1863
Cleaned great guns. A squad went ashore at this place ( Erskine's) early this morning, scouted about and got but muscadines and persimmons. Went up river.
Sept. 18th, 1863
Got to Duval's Bluff last night. Juliet came up this A.M.. Was fired into last night on her way up. News has just come here that the rebs have captured a transport, sunk it in the channel at St. Charles and are trying to blockade the gunboats up the river. If that is what they are up to I think the cavalry will "hoop em up" if necessary. Entire crew went ashore after wood.
Sept. 19th, 1863
Went up river to Little Des Arc to get lumber for soldiers' barracks at the Bluffs. Fired at from the village while taking on lumber. Landed 65 armed men and drove the bushwackers out of the village dropping several of them on the way. Jim Rooney wounded slightly in arm. Returned to the Bluff.
Sept. 20th, 1863 ( Sunday )
Reindeer came up this morning. Rattler went down last night and was fired upon at St. Charles. Port watch (except Newton, Martin and myself ) went ashore P.M..
Sept. 21st, 1863
Queen City, Springfield, Juliet and Tawah went down the river to St. Charles. Were fired into by infantry. Did not discover any batteries. Sailor on Queen City shot.
Sept. 22nd, 1863
Hastings and Romeo arrived this P.M.. They were fired into at or near St. Charles but no one was hurt. Both boats have their bunkers full of coal. Cut wood by watches. It is all green and extremely difficult to carry down to the boat.
Sept. 23rd, 1863
Three hundred men from the fleet were in the woods to-day [sp] felling fire timber. Got 75 cords of it on Tawah. Did not wash decks to-day [sp]. Stood guard on forecastle, Homart on fantail, Newton on Hurricane deck.
Sept. 24th, 1863
Went up to Des Arc with transport Rose Hamilton. When five miles below Des Arc, on the return, Rose H. was fired into by concealed rebs. Tawah quickly advanced and repulsed assailants. Mate of R.H. was shot through breast and cutter called away when firing was going on. Two bullets struck the cutter and one splintered the blade of my oar. Got back to Bluff all right.
Sept. 25th, 1863
Received a bully good letter from Joe Batig. It came by way of Little Rock. Mate of Rose Hamilton was shot through the breast but will live. Surgeon's steward McGavran had a bullet-hole through his clothes. Been chopping and lugging wood all day.
Sept. 26th, 1863
Took on 30 cords of wood. Cricket came up last night. She was fired on but no one hurt. Chopped by watches. Our ( Port ) watch killed a bear, a big brown fellow.
Sept. 27th, 1863 (Sunday)
Had bear meat for dinner. Starboard watch had liberty. Some came back pretty full. Wrote a couple of letters - one to Mother. Took on twenty cords of wood. Linden and Marmora went up the river. Bob King and Adam Soufferhelf captured by guerrilas.
Sept. 28th, 1863
Juliet, Ranger and Cricket went up the river after the Linden and Marmora did. Springfield, Reindeer and Queen City went up this morning. We started up this afternoon after wooding up.
Sept. 29th, 1863
Passed several of the boats coming down last night during my watch. Passed the Queen City and Cricket this morning. Broke up nine canoes. Anchored below Des Arc. Are going down.
Sept. 30th, 1863
Fired into twice last night. Returned the compliment, of course. Nobody hurt on Tawah. Broke up three canoes. Arrived at post this A.M. . Found Q.C., S., L., M., C., and Ranger. Q.C. just going down the river. Cutting and hauling wood all day.
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October 1st, 1863
Enlisted six niggers - runaways. They were assigned as coal-heavers. Hastings came up. Wooding up again.
Oct. 2nd, 1863
Wooding up. Wood-cutters saw a panther and tried to kill it but did not succeed. A lot of the soldiers left for Little Rock.
Oct. 3rd, 1863
Rattler went down with some transports. One of the boys killed a blacksnake eight feet long. Haul our wood a mile.
Oct. 4th, 1863 (Sunday)
Muster and Inspection. Port watch had liberty. Tommy Connors brought me some mucadines. Caught a catfish this evening that weighed about twenty-five pounds. Everbody is fishing now-a-days. Nights are getting cooler.
October 5th, 1863
It is rumored that the rebs have stopped the channel at St. Charles. The "boys" had mule races while ashore yesterday. Guess I will go ashore next Sunday if we are on post duty.
Oct. 6th, 1863
The Carondelet and Pittsburg, ironclads, came up this A.M.. Tyler, Lexington, Exchange and Faron ( lately Fanny Barker ) are here. Wrestled wood-pile as usual.
Oct. 7th, 1863
A large number of soldiers came in from Little Rock. I hear they are making considerable of a fort ashore. Woodpile.
Oct. 8th, 1863
Carondelet and Pittsburg went down this A.M.. Newton, Soufferhelt, Hellen and myself swam to the east bank of the river. Were detected by O.D..
Oct 9th, 1863
Tried to get on sick list. No go. Carried my hammock four hours last night for swimming ashore. Newton, Soufferhelt and Hellen kept me company. Whole crew put on half rations.
Oct. 10th, 1863
Started down river at 10 A.M.. Got to St. Charles at 3:30 P.M.. Were fired on and had a skirmish. Did not last long. Tawah struck by a shot or a shell on starboard forward casement. No damage. A splinter, loosened by a musket ball or a canister shot, pierced my cheek and had to be cut off and pulled through. It loosened a tooth and cut my tongue. Dr. pulled tooth. Sent squad ashore. They found four dead rebs and one wounded. Let him go. Started up again.
Oct. 11th, 1863 ( Sunday )
At post ( Duval's Bluff ). Muster and inspection. Jaw awful sore. Tongue is lacerated, so it hurts me to talk. Got on sick list this morning. Niggers were terribly scared yesterday - one fainted away when balls came whistling in portholes and gangways.
October 12th, 1863
Took on 100 cords of wood this A.M. and went up nearly to Des Arc - then returned. Starboard watch went ashore to indulge in target practice. Port watch drilled.
Oct. 13th, 1863
Port watch went ashore for target practice. Jack Martin and I, being on blacklist could not go with them. Starboard watch drilled with rifles. A Cherokee Indian came on board to enlist but Capt. Goudy would not accept him.
October 14th, 1863
Started down this A.M. with Sallie List, a transport. We are on quarter rations to-day [sp]. Mr Adams gave me some genuine old "Chicago Sanitary" this evening. He got it from McGavran. River looks pretty.
October 15th, 1863
Caught up with Pittsburg this P.M.. Taken off of sick list. Broke up a canoe. Bushwacker sent a rifle-bullet into the pilot-house. Writing letters.
Oct. 16th, 1863
Took "cut-off" and came out of Arkansaw [sp] river this A.M.. Scraped about 300 bushels of coal out of a barge, then anchored out in the stream. Sallie List went on her way rejoicing. Wrote to Mother.
Oct. 17th, 1863
Started up this A.M. convoying transports Champion No. 4, Wheeling, Lady Franklin and Doane No. 2 . A company of actors and actresses en route [sp] to Little Rock are on the Lady Franklin.
Oct. 18th, 1863 (Sunday)
Guerrilas [sp] attacked transports, right below Lawrenceville. We fired into and speedily dispersed them. Two men shot on Lady Franklin. Theatre [sp] company came on Tawah this evening.
Oct. 19th, 1863
Officers had a dance in the ward-room [sp] last night and everlastingly hustled the actresses around. One of them is a good singer. She sang "The Long, Long Weary Days" so feelingly that it made us all homesick. General quarters were called at three o'clock A.M. and we were dressed at our stations in no time at all. It was no attack, only Capt. [?] wished to show off. As we rounded the bend below Bluff we let fly our eight guns as a salute. This made the boats on post call to quarters and raise steam - thinking it was an attack. Cut wood.
Oct. 20th, 1863
Starboard watch cut wood. They cut a new path through the cane-brake. Whiskey went ashore with some officers, got in a fight with another, bigger dog and licked him. Cold last night.
Oct. 21st, 1863
Entire crew cut wood. Backed twenty cords about a mile. Hauled some with mules and cannon trucks. Hastings and Falcon had out wood parties.
Oct. 22nd, 1863
Hauled into shore and wooded up by means of our small boats. Started up the river. Stopped at Mother ______'s landing. Officers bought chickens, sailors traded off salt for sweet potatoes.
Oct. 23rd, 1863
Struck into Big Black and went up as far as we could. Had a skirmish on the way. Returning we were fired into three times before we reached Des Arc. Andrew Miles hit in the face by a bullet.
Oct. 24th, 1863
Went up again. Fired into at Cherokee landing - had a lively time and whipped rebs. Cock of No. 1 Port broke, so Cummings fired it repeatedly - using a hammer. No. 4 Port kicked out of breaking twice and was dismounted. No one hurt.
Oct. 25th, 1863 (Sunday)
Started down last evening and got to the Bluffs this A.M.. Inspection and muster. Starboard watch on liberty.
Oct. 26th, 1863
On post duty. Nothing doing.
Oct. 27th, 1863
Forest Rose came up. We received five barrels hardtack, one of beef, one of pork, a gross cans mule meat and some desiccated vegetables. On full rations.
Oct. 28th, 1863
Moved in and anchored opposite the Bluff. Lexington came up. Conestoga left for the Tennessee. Tyler is also going. Randolp [sp] came up. Marmora got into a fight and was licked.
Oct. 29th, 1863
Hastings came up. She has been newly repainted and repaired all over.
Oct. 30th, 1863
Cut wood all day long. Part of the Hastings crew were ashore at the Bluff working on a new fort.
Oct. 31st, 1863
Put on half rations again. All except the cutter's crew went ashore after dinner and worked on the fort. We (cutter's crew) hauled wood from east bank to the boat. Ferried twenty loads.
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November 1st, 1863 (Sunday)
Pickets of 114th Ill., coming off duty towards morning, fired off their guns and three balls hit Tawah - one going through port-hole. Two bullets lodged in Hastings' woodwork. Capt. Goudy taken pretty sick. Went ashore on liberty. First time in nearly six months. Went up to where rifle-pits are dug. Saw earth works being built by the tars.
Nov. 2nd, 1863
Received a letter from home. Entire crew cutting wood. Commenced hauling late in afternoon. Quit at 9 P.M..
Nov. 3rd, 1863
Piped up hammocks at 4 A.M.. Hauled wood until 7 o'clock. Laid into shore after breakfast. Bridged with small boats and planks. Port watch hauled - starboard watch wooded up. Finished at noon, then steamed slowly up the river.
Nov. 4th, 1863
Got to Des Arc at 10 P.M.. Took on about 8000 feet of lumber. Broke into a number of stores. I got a supply of envelopes and writing paper for my share. Started down this afternoon.
Nov. 5th, 1863
Got here this morning. Discharged our cargo of lumber. Been ashore all day chopping wood.
Nov. 6th, 1863
Piped up at 4 A.M.. Wooded until 8 A.M.. I was sent on Hastings for its mail. We started down. Passed Rocksoe, Crockett's Bluff, St. Charles and Clarendon. Are going it lickity-switch. Fired at from west bank this evening. Fired back.
Nov. 7th, 1863
Reached mouth of river about 10 A.M.. Struck a snag coming out. I was standing outside casemating on bow. Knocked me headlong into the water. Came near being sucked under by the wheel, but Jim Ryan pulled me out. Wooded and started up.
Nov. 8th, 1863 (Sunday)
Inspection and muster. Got to Helena before daybreak. Mined for coal through eleven feet of clay. Bank caved in on us four times. Just finished at 9 P.M..
Nov. 9th, 1863
Started up this A.M.. Bully! Going where we can get something to eat. Three weeks of half rations is enough, especially when working hard all day.
Nov. 10th, 1863
Got to Memphis last night. Laid in to a coalbarge. Got some hardtack. Coaled . Purser's Steward Morlan left us here, a young New Yorker taking his place. Mr. Morlan has been ordered to another boat.
Nov. 11th, 1863
Received mail from an unknown (to me) boat. Passed U.S.S. New Era. Anderson tells me there is a Fremonter on her. C.E. Hillman gave us a mail in passing. I got two Telegraphs, a Tablet and a letter from Joe Batig.
Nov. 12th, 1863
Passed New Madrid this P.M.. Passed the Ohio Belle, Belle Memphis, Wild Waggoner, Naugatuck, and Echo.
Nov. 13th, 1863
Arrived here (Cairo) 11 P.M.. Coaled then steamed up to wharf boat and took on provisions. On full rations again. Got a letter from John Botefuhr and one from Alice Botefuhr. Got a volume of Gleason's Literary Companion, two extra copies of the same two Leslies and one Harper.
Nov. 14th, 1863
Tied to wharf-boat last night. Anchored out in stream today. Scraping and painting all day. Finished.
Nov. 15th, 1863 (Sunday)
Muster and Inspection. Laid in remainder of provisions, some more ammunition, coaled then started up Ohio River. In our cruise up White River we destroyed 13 canoes, 16 rafts, 4 flatboats and two other conveyances.
Nov. 16th, 1863
Got to Paducah this A.M.. Received 13 new men from the Dolsen while at Cairo yesterday. Tyler here, been trying for nine days to get over the bar.
Nov. 17th, 1863
Started up Tennesse [sp]this A.M.. Met Conestoga near Birmingham. Delivered her mail and kept on. Passed Ft. Henry then Ft. Himon. U.S. troops again in Himon.
Nov. 18th, 1863
Passed Bridge & Bend last night, - Culp's Matthews' this A.M.. Carollville, then Clifton .Got to Saltillo - a small place - after dark. Wooded. Signals of distress. Found Hastings on a bar. Pulled her off. It was Hastings who beat us here by two days. Tied to Hastings and started up.
Nov. 19th, 1863
Reached Savannah at daybreak. Hastings cast loose and anchored. Guerrilas [sp] burned west side of town yesterday. A rebel deserter came onboard to enlist, but was rejected. Passed Pittsburg Landing.
November 20th, 1863
Passed Crumps and Hamburg. Sighted Eastport 6 A.M.. Anchored and delivered mail and dispatches at 8 A.M..
Nov. 21st, 1863
Wrote to Joe Batig. Sent one dollar home for stationery. Pickets on other side of the mountain firing because rebels tried to desert. About 10,000 men here.
Nov. 22nd, 1863 (Sunday)
Hastings and Pawpaw brought up a convoy with 5000 soldiers. Two zouave regiments are here. Rebels fired at us from east side of river. Shelled them and killed two men off a transport chopping wood.
Nov. 23rd, 1863
There was a grand review this morning which looked nice from the boats. Pickets have been firing all day.
Nov. 24th, 1863
Pickets firing most all night. Called to quarters three times during the night. Once the artillery got at it and two or three shell exploded in our neighborhood. We threw twenty shell back over the hills.
Nov. 25th, 1863
Rebels leaving pretty fast. Slight picket firing last night. Long wagon train with 9000 soldiers left for Bridgeport. Four batterys [sp] left with them. A Tennessean named Martin Van Buren Siewel came on the boat and enlisted for two years.
Nov. 26th, 1863
A large number of troops left this A.M. and another body this P.M.. All for Chattanooga. Laid into coalbarge.
Nov. 27th, 1863
Rest of soldiers left this A.M., coaled Gun and other boats started down river. Peosta leading, Tawah bringing up rear, other G.B.'s interspersed through convoy.
Nov. 28th, 1863
Passed Savannah this A.M., Chalk Bluff at breakfast, Saltillo and Point Pleasant, arrived at Clifton while at supper. Three companies 17th Tennessee Cavalry (Union) are building a stockade here.
Nov. 29th, 1863 (Sunday)
Kade Bridge at sunrise, Paducah about sunset. Found Key West anchored opposite fort. Gunboats anchored in line, transports left for Cairo.
Nov. 30th, 1863
John Martin got liberty and came on board drunk. Received a novel from J. H. E. Botefur.
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Dec. 1st, 1863
High wind all day. Awful time washing down decks. Steamboat Science capsized while rounding to below Middle Island. Crew picked up by Brilliant's boats
Dec. 2nd, 1863
Brilliant, St. Clair, Forest Rose and New Era (Cumberland River boats) left this A.M. for their own station..
Dec. 3rd, 1863
Key West came up this A.M. Got a letter from Alice. Started up river again. It is getting colder.
Dec. 4th, 1863
Robb caught up and on. Anderson got a letter from Lesher, one from Aliss Elderkin, one from his brother John and two from his sister. I got nothing.
Dec. 5th, 1863
Robb and Key West went down to Cairo. Hastings left once more for the lower fleet. Exchange passed down. She was up to Florence. Noticed four shot-holes in her and her woodwork and chicken fixing pretty well marked by musket balls.
Dec 6th, 1863 (Sunday)
Got here this A.M.. Pawpaw went down river. Laid in and cleaned out the coalbarge. Had usual inspection.
Dec. 7th, 1863
Did not wash decks. Weighed anchor at eleven o'clock and started down. Chopped three canoes. Pretty cold.
Dec. 8th, 1863
Passed Ft. Henry this P.M.. All quiet along the Tennessee. Quite a wonder I confess. Still cold.
Dec. 9th, 1863
Got here (Paducah) this A.M.. Received a pretty good letter from Bub. His address is Baptist Church Hospital, Alexandria, Va. He has been there since Oct. 9th.
Dec. 10th, 1863
Tried to go on shore. Refused because so many come back drunk. Now I will get drunk as soon as I can. Nineteen of crew in the hold in irons for drunkenness. Capt. Goudy sent three horses to his home near Cincinnati, by the Ohio Belle. Went ashore in cutter twelve times. Went to Ohio shore once.
Dec. 11th, 1863
Wrote to mother. Received a letter from Joe Batig and one from John Botefur. Rather cold. Went ashore in the cutter.
Dec. 12th, 1863
Answered Joe Batig's letter. Took particular pains with it. Went ashore in the cutter six times.
Dec. 13th, 1863 (Sunday)
Muster and inspection. Got liberty and went ashore. Found a Catholic church which let out just as I got to it. Took dinner at a restaurant. Paid fifty cents. Got aboard at 6 P.M..
Dec. 14th, 1863
Weather awful sharp. A bad day for me. Called away in cutter early this A.M.. Ran up and down on the levee until I got tired then went into a rum den and drank two glasses of rum. Made me drunk, I puked on the deck and could not stand up. Anderson got Isham (nigger) to clean it up, but I was caught and my warrant as coxswain taken away from me. I am now degraded to 1st Class Boy. Wrote a letter.
Dec. 15th, 1863
Went ashore with the Purser this A.M.. He bought about three pounds of candy in addition to his other purchases. The old ogre is trying to gain Captain Goudy's favor by petting his child. It nearly broke his heart, though, to spend that dollar for candy.
Dec. 16th, 1863
Started up Tennessee at 9 A.M.. Slight fall of snow. Weather sharp with no sound. Broken up three canoes and a flat boat. Enlisted seven months ago this day.
Dec. 17th, 1863
Wrote to John. Fifty of us went ashore on a scout at 3 P.M.. Found nothing. Returned at 10 P.M. and got under weigh [sp].
Dec. 18th, 1863
Anchored at bridge last night. Could hardly raise anchor this A.M.. Parols slipped three times; once John Coyle was thrown against forecastle hatch nearly breaking his back. John Stevenson saved cable from paying out entirely by catching and bitting it while running through hausehole like lighting.
Dec. 19th, 1863
Got here (Clifton) all right. Went up to Point Pleasant and sent out a scouting party. Returned at dusk bringing nothing. Tied to landing.
Dec. 20th, 1863 (Sunday)
Inspection of clothesbags. Cast loose and steamed up the river to Savannah. Destroyed a raft near Chalk Bluff.
Dec. 21st, 1863
Washed decks with boiling water from the boiler. Pretty cold. Started down but came back and again tied up.
Dec. 22nd, 1863
Started up during the night. Got to Pittsburg Landing this A.M.. Destroyed two large and three small boats (canoes) just below the Landing. When we destroy canoes we hoist them on bow of boat, chop them up and use for firewood. Rafts and flatboats served in same way.
Dec. 23rd, 1863
Left Landing A.M. got to Clifton this evening. Broke up three more canoes. On fantail (guard) last night. Tawah to do post duty until the water rises on Green Bottom Bar. Tawah draws 5ft. & 1in. forward.
Dec. 24th, 1863
Wrote to Bub and to Alice Botefur. Wish the Robb would come up. Believe I would get some mail.
Dec. 25th, 1863 (Christmas)
On dirty, nasty, mean, stinking slobbering, snotty, rotten post duty. Pretty cold but getting warmer. Had a dance last night.
Dec. 26th, 1863
Stood guard last night and managed to get asleep. Adams, who was Officer of the Deck, caught me at it and gave me a good scare, but did not report or arrest me.
Dec. 27th, 1863 (Sunday)
Tried to wash decks this A.M. but water froze as it touched the decks. Captain Phillips left for Nashville with three of his men to testify on some guerrilla trials.
Dec. 28th, 1863
Have two prisoners aboard whom we are to execute as soon as it gets warmer. Meanwhile they are fattening for the sacrifice. Pawpaw came up this P.M.. She was fired into near the Bridge. Run ashore, made a dash up the bank and captured eleven rebs.
Dec. 29th, 1863
Went ashore in cutter twice this P.M.. Cutlass drill this morning.
Dec 30th, 1863
Stood guard for Charley Newton last night. Ground-hogs says rebs are to try to burn or sink the coalbarge to-night [sp].
Dec. 31st, 1863
Entire watch stood guard last night. Rebels would have met with a warm reception. Bought a chicken for 25 cents all in greenbacks. Dressed and cleaned it. Anderson says he will stuff and roast it for me.
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January 1st, 1864
Stood guard on forecastle last night. Froze nearly to death, could hardly hobble in after being relieved. Timmy O'Keefe, who relieved me, was slow about turning out. He has, therefore, to do extra duty for a week. Anderson roasted my chicken and I had a bully meal. I can not walk.
Jan. 2nd, 1864
Just about able to limp around on crutches: dam [sp] fine beginning for a New Year. Am on sick list.
Jan. 3rd, 1864 (Sunday)
Inspection and double muster. Feel better, but my feet, Oh ____. Did not sleep good last night. Got permission to sling hammock over the stove.
Jan. 4th, 1864
Went ashore with three other cripples: John Coyle, Dave Thomas and Larry E. Laing. Paid 25 cents (Confederate) for a bowl of bread and milk. Pawpaw left.
Jan. 5th, 1864
Doctor says toe-nails will come off. Key West came up. No mail for me, Wrote to Alice and to John Botefur.
Jan. 6th, 1864
Wrote a short and sweet letter to Bub. Scolded him for not writing oftener. Got around without crutches. Weather moderating fast. Coaled. Am on sick list.
Jan. 7th, 1864
Coaled this A.M.. Washed decks with scalding water. Started up river.
Jan 8th, 1864
Shot the two guerrilas [sp] (Thompson and Simms, or Simmons) at Point Pleasant at 10 A.M.. One died like a man, the other like a dog. Returned to Clifton.
Jan. 9th, 1864
Key West went down. Put off sick list but excused from washing decks or coaling.
Jan. 10th, 1864 (Sunday)
Quarter-deck inspection at 10 o'clock then muster at great guns. Took on 500 bushels of coal. Stood guard on coal-barge last night. Wrote to Joe Batig. Started up river this P.M.. Been dancing all the evening.
Jan. 11th, 1864
Stopped at Point Pleasant last night and tied to landing. Sent out a squad. Had a good chase for nothing, but had a little skirmish when returning to the boat. Geo. W. Myrick wounded in leg.
Jan. 12th, 1864
Returned to Clifton last night. When coming down captured five guerrilas [sp] who were crossing in a canoe. Ball taken from Myrick's leg this A.M.. Anderson is sick with fever and ague. He talks of reenlisting. Guess I will too.
Jan. 13th, 1864
Key West came up this morning. Got a letter from Alice. Peosta came up.
Jan. 14th, 1864
Got two Telegraphs and a Messenger by the Peosta's mail. Cold again. Nothing stirring but the beef and pork.
Jan. 15th, 1864
Key West went down this A.M. Peosta went up this P.M.. Pretty cold. Capt. Goudy went down to Paducah on Key West to meet his wife and child. Answered Alice's letter and wrote to Mother. Hammock day.
January 16th, 1864
Washed down decks. Returned to full duty. Wrote to Bub, John, Martha, Eugene, Joe Batig, Wesley Vandercook and J. Botefur.
Jan. 17th, 1864 (Sunday)
Pawpaw came up last night. Stood guard on Hurricane deck. Anderson and Allensworth did five hours extra duty for not being present at "pipe down hammocks"
Jan. 18th, 1864
Stood guard on forecastle last night. Anderson had two and a half hours on Hurricane deck on the hammock business. Laing had some for hooking molasses.
Jan. 19th, 1864
At General Quarters this A.M.. Charles Tole, 2nd loader and pike of No. 1 Starboard, hit against Charles Newton, 2nd sponge 4th loader of No. 1 port. Tole's pistol went off the ball entering right calf just below the knee. Severe.
Jan. 20th, 1864
Getten [sp] warmer. Washed decks. Finished making a shirt, commenced a pair of new-pants. Patched old shirt and pants.
Jan. 21st, 1864
Washed Hurricane, Quarter and Gundecks and holystoned the guards. Pretty cold. Stood guard on the Hurricane deck.
Jan. 22nd, 1864
Key West came up. Peosta coaled and went down. 1st Asst. Lyinn went home on a furlough. Mr. Haines went down to Paducah on Peosta. Took on 495 bushels of coal.
Jan. 23rd, 1864
Started up the river. Got into a fracas with lot of rebs behind the bank to the right of Saltillo. Cleaned them out in short order. Geo. Taylor wounded slightly in wrist by a splinter. Got to Savannah this P.M..
Jan. 24th, 1864 (Sunday)
Had a good dance last night. Stood guard on Hurricane deck. General Quarters after muster and inspection. Capt. Phillips came on board this evening.
Jan. 25th, 1864
Twenty-five armed men went ashore on the east bank, took a five mile tramp and burned about 300 bales of cotton. Skirmished all way back to boat. No one hurt on our side, although there were some close shaves.
Jan. 26th, 1864
John Henry and Mr. Adams went ashore and came back a little top-heavy. Both fell into the river and were fished out-damp.
Jan. 27th, 1864
Washed clothes. Two ex-Confederates came on board and took the oath of allegiance. Bought corn pone and fresh butter from an old negro wench.
Jan. 28th, 1864
Being fresh meat-day a squad was sent ashore to kill a critter. Did so and managed to steal a lot of eggs and chickens. Our mess got ten chickens and a lot of eggs. Saved our beef for tomorrow.
Jan. 29th, 1864
Ground hogs complained that we stole chickens, eggs, butter and honey yesterday. Mr Neave searched mess chests and found honey in the niggers mess. Niggers did not go ashore yesterday and do not know how the honey came there. Neave did not understand how we came to save our beef until to-day [sp]. Fastened to landing and took on thirty cords of wood. Anchored again in the stream. Went ashore thirteen times in cutter. Picked up and destroyed a canoe.
Jan. 30th, 1864
Went ashore six times in cutter and once in gig. Went down this P.M.. Getting colder, wind changeable and gusty.
Jan.31st, 1864 (Sunday)
Got to Clifton 2 A.M.. Muster and Inspection at 8 A.M. after which took on 400 bushels coal, then went down to Cade's sent out ten scouts who were out four hours.
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Feb. 1st, 1864
Scrubbed hammocks. Colder than blazes - nearly froze my fingers off. Peosta came up and brought two new officers, ensigns, and five men for us. Men are fresh from Receiving Ship and New York.
Feb. 2nd, 1864
Went down. Met Robb above Perryville. Received another new officer, a master's mate, and a mail. Robb has been away more than a month. Visiting every fleet in the squadron. Taylor returned to duty.
Feb. 3rd, 1864
Stopped at Reynoldsburg last night and anchored. Fired into about daybreak. Returned compliment setting fire to a house.
Feb. 4th, 1864
Dropped down to Waverly landing where some 100 soldiers with one cannon are stationed. They were skirmishing all yesterday with rebels. Washed clothes.
Feb 5th, 1864
Fired on for about an hour last night. Commenced again at daylight when we speedily drove them out of the bushes. One of our men got hit in leg by a small splinter. Getting decidely warmer.
Feb 6th, 1864
About fifty soldiers crossed the river, found three dead rebs. Scouted but were driven back to river and under the bank. Tawah swept the bank with shells until steam could be raised, then drove the rebs away and brought soldiers home.
Feb 7th, 1864 (Sunday)
Went down. Stopped at "Bend" where Goudy went ashore to see sweetheart but did not stay long. Went down to Bridge, took on fifteen cords of wood then anchored out in stream. Destroyed two canoes.
Feb 8th, 1864
Started up this P.M.. Passed "Bend", N.W. Road, Waverly Landing, Reynoldsburg and Perrysville, 135 pounds of steam and wheel making fifteen revolutions per minute.
Feb 9th, 1864
Got to Cade's this A.M.. Run aground three times in consequence of fog. Took on 65 cords of wood then steamed on to Clifton. Destroyed 16 canoes, two rafts this trip.
Feb 10th, 1864
Pawpaw went down last night. Key West went up this A.M.. Robb went down this P.M.. Stood guard on fo'casl [sp] last night. Laid into coalbarge this P.M.. Having a dance this evening.
Feb 11th, 1864
Coaled ship. Took on 984 bushels then washed down decks. Feel awful tired. Key West came down, was fired into.
Feb 12th, 1864
Peosta came up. Received a Messenger. Anderson got several Illustrated papers. Fired into three times to-day [sp].
Feb 13th, 1864
Took on 400 bushels coal. Started down river. Only 92 days more to serve.
Feb 14th, 1864 (Sunday)
Anderson, Newton, McClelland (Sherman) and myself will re-enlist providing we get a bounty and a furlough. Muster and inspection.
Feb 15th, 1864
Passed Birmingham early this A.M.. Got to Paducah at breakfast hour. Had to drop anchor with mouth full of coffee. Scrubbed hammocks.
Feb 16th, 1864
Lemuel H. Cook, Jem. Rooney and I went ashore on liberty. Cook and Rooney got drunk and fought the provost guards. We licked some of them, but were put in guard house. Adams got us out, and Neave put us all in irons.
Feb 17th, 1864
Rooney and Cooke got their irons off. So we stove through the bulkhead into the forward hold leaving Homart be guard an empty crib. Cook got sick and was taken out of irons.
Feb 18th, 1864
Irons taken off this P.M.. John Martin and Maurice Fitzgerald put in double irons, Joe Minor put in single irons. Pawpaw and Robb with two coalbarges in tow went up this P.M.
Feb 19th, 1864
Transport Major Anderson brought up mail. Coaled and started up. Fired into about six miles above Birmingham. No one hurt.
Feb 20th, 1864
Anchored at Bridge about 3 A.M.. Rebs fired at us until daylight. Skirmished all day but did not go ashore.
Feb 21st, 1864 (Sunday)
Started up about midnight. Passed Waverly, Reynoldsburg, etc., etc., stopped at old West's and captured chickens, bee hives, homespun cloth, eggs etc.. Passed Peosta at Matthews'.
Feb 22nd, 1864
Washington's Birthday. Got to post last night. Robb, Key West and Pawpaw anchored in line of battle. They were skirmishing all yesterday. Man on Key West shot dangerously in back. One soldier shot severely in thigh.
Feb 23rd, 1864
Rebels recommenced this P.M. from the woods and a log house. Sent away two boat loads who crossed the river, charged up the bank, drove rebs out of house, burned it, and returned with one man wounded.
Feb 24th, 1864
Key West and Pawpaw went up this P.M. but without a parting salute from our friends of the west bank. They also honored us in like manner.
Feb 25th, 1864
Filled our coal bunkers and steamed down the river this evening. Weather is clear and gritty but not too cold.
Feb 26th, 1864
Stopped at West's this A.M.. Sent out 25 men. We destroyed the iron-works and returned safely to the boat although skirmishing vigorously a great deal.
Feb 27th, 1864
While passing Cuba Landing this A.M.. A guerrila [sp] rode down to river bank and blazed away at a crowd of us who were out on the guards. Pistol ball struck me in the knee inflicting a slight wound.
Feb 28th, 1864 (Sunday)
Feel sore and stiff about the knee. Did not get hurt much as ball was almost spent - broke the flesh and burned it some. Got here (Paducah) 4 P.M.. It is rumored that Forest is making for this place.
Feb 29th, 1864
Leap Year day. If I was at home maybe some girl would propose to me. Got a letter from mother. Also two Telegraphs and two Messengers. Answered mother's letter. Boys holystoned guards. I am on sick list. Key West and Robb came down.
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March 1st, 1864
Peosta gone up with mail. Commodore Shirk is on here and has hoisted his pennant. Flagship Blackhawk passed downed the Ohio. Did not stop here.
March 2nd, 1864
Received a letter this A.M. from Joe Batig. Transports Gen Lytle and Gen Buell passed down. Got aweigh this P.M. and started up Tennessee.
March 3rd, 1864
Passed Reynoldsburg this A.M.. Got a salute from Johnnies just below Waverly. Returned it with interest. Pilot had a narrow escape. Passed Culp's Landing.
March 4th, 1864
Got to Clifton this P.M. Peosta and Pawpaw here. Key West came in an hour after we did. Key West went down with three empty barges.
March 5th, 1864
Commodore Shirk transferred his flag to Tawah this A.M.. He visited al the cripples and had word for each. He made a thorough inspection of the boat and was greatly pleased to find everything so ship shape.
March 6th, 1864 (Sunday)
Started up at midnight. Stopped at Point Pleasant and wooded. Steamed to Saltillo, turned and came back to post. No general quarters to-day [sp], but we showed Commodore Shirk how to handle rifles.
March 7th, 1864
Key West came up this A.M. with transport S.C. Baker which will be convoyed to Florence. Capt. Goudy returned. Got a letter from John Botefur and one from brother John.
March 8th, 1864
Took on 320 bushels coal. Ten men from this boat detailed to shoot three guerrilas [sp] captured by Pawpaw.
March 9th, 1864
Put off sick list altogether. Wrote to Joe Batig. Wrote to mother. Dick Vallette is shipping men in Fremont for the Navy. Joe, Hi, Betts and Baldy Quinn are going.
March 10th, 1864
Wrote another letter to Joe Batig. Key West came down, coaled. Robb went down.
March 11th, 1864
Key West delivered over 140 prisoners brought down from Muscle Shoals. Also twenty deserters from rebel army, three of whom enlisted on Tawah. Key West left this A.M..
March 12th, 1864
Started up A.M.. Were bushwacked for over two miles and skirmished for an hour. No one hurt.
March 13th, 1864 (Sunday)
Took on 35 cords of wood at Hamburg this P.M.. Went ashore at White's Bend and burned about 200 bales of cotton.
March 14th, 1864
Started down last night. Had a fight at Savannah with about 200 rebs. We licked them like hell and continued on our way.
March 15th, 1864
Got to Clifton this A.M. and lashed to a coalbarge. Capt. Goudy was hurt in the arm, slightly, yesterday.
March 16th, 1864
Peosta and Pawpaw, with Baker, went up this A.M.. Pawpaw came down this P.M.. Was fired into at Saltillo by a large body of rebels. Key West went down.
March 17th, 1864
St. Patrick's Day in the Morning. Started up at 5 A.M.. Came in sight of Saltillo at 7 A.M.. Rebels carrying off goods. Opened on them and drove them. They rallied and we had it pretty hot for a while but finally scattered them just as Peosta came down around the bend and chimed in on the last verse. We covered the landing while Peosta's crew went ashore and destroyed flour, salt and bacon left there by the Baker. Peosta's crew buried several dead rebels and left others unplanted. Kept on up river with Peosta an [sp] Baker.
March 18th, 1864
Stopped at about forty places to-day [sp]. Broke up several canoes. Just passing by Pittsburg Landing.
March 19th, 1864
Left Peosta and Baker at Hamilton and went down. Fired into opposite Pittsburg Landing, at Savannah, Chalk Bluff and Saltillo.
March 20th, 1864 (Sunday)
Got to Clifton at 3 A.M.. Pawpaw and Robb here. Robb had mail for us. I did not get anything. General Quarters.
March 21st, 1864
Robb started up last night. Commodore Shirk went up on her. Fired at this P.M.. Laid into coalbarge.
March 22nd, 1864
Robb and Peosta lashed together came down this P.M.. Passed by without stopping but kept on at full speed. Baker also came down, Pawpaw left. Mr Sawyer says Pawpaw was signalled to follow the Peosta.
March 23rd, 1864
Went down to Cade's. Went out to forage but were set on and driven back to boat. Returned to Clifton.
March 24th, 1864
Key West came up this A.M. at daybreak . M. Lynn came back from furlough bringing James A. Lynn, his fifteen year old son, with. He enlisted as 1st Class Fireman.
March 25th, 1864
Key West brought news that Forrest is along the river in full force, raising hell. Possibly we will catch a little of it. She passed Peosta and Robb wooding at Birmingham and Pawpaw at Ft. Himon going it lickety-switch.
March 26th, 1864
Washed boilers. Built fires and went up, stopped at Point Pleasant sent 30 men ashore. Had a fight but got back to boat all right. I came near being salted.
March 27th, 1864 (Sunday)
Tied to landing all night with strong pickets out. Went up to Savannah about 10 A.M.. Been trading all day.
March 28th, 1864
Went up to Pittsburg Landing. Capt Goudy with Messrs. Haines, Williams, Adams and thirty men strolled over the Shiloh battlefield for three hours or more. Lots of carcasses uncovered. Went down.
March 29th, 1864
Stopped at Savannah yesterday evening and tied to east bank. Kept out pickets all night and all day.
March 30th, 1864
Got aweigh this P.M. and went down. Fired into at Chalk Bluff. Quartermaster John Schultz wounded in calf of left leg. No other damage done.
March 31st, 1864
Got to Clifton last night, Key West went down taking mail. I wrote to mother, Bub and John Quinn. Holystoned the guards. Coaled this morning. Went ashore and got a new set of holystones. Getting warmer.
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April 1st, 1864
April fool day. Holystoned gundeck. Messrs. Sawyer and Adams with sixty men went over to West bank this P.M. and burned four houses and seven barns - all there was there - for affording protection to sharp-shooters. Scrubbed hammocks.
April 2nd, 1864
Robb came up this evening. Forrest with 10,000 men attacked Paducah but was driven off by the Peosta and Pawpaw after losing 2000 men.
April 3rd, 1864 (Sunday)
Got a letter from Alice. Had cutlass exercise this P.M.. Alice says that she and Mary Bixler made 280 pincushions, for the 72rd O.V.V.I. which is home on a furlough, in the last two weeks. Getting very much warmer. Will soon go in swimming.
April 4th, 1864
Got a volley from the west bank after breakfast. Schultz returned to duty.
April 5th, 1864
Wrote to Joe Batig. Gave him enough good advice to kill a horse. Had two hours of rifle and cutlass drill.
April 6th, 1864
Washed clothes. Schneitzler and Homart returned to duty. Went ashore after eggs. Did not find a dam one.
April 7th, 1864
Wrote to Sis. Hooked the paper from Tole who is getting "no better" very fast. Attended sick call but did not get off duty.
April 8th, 1864
Scrubbed paintwork on quarterdeck this A.M.. This P.M. scrubbed paintwork on gun-deck. Got clothes-bags this P.M.. I did a little mending this P.M..
April 9th, 1864
Holystoned guards and painted gun-carriages this A.M.. Patched clothes this P.M. Awful dull.
April 10th, 1864 (Sunday)
General Inspection and quarters. Port watch had liberty, but hardly any of them went ashore because there was no whisky to be had.
April 11th, 1864
Tole got out of his hammock. The ball is in his leg yet and will probably remain there forever.
April 12th, 1864
While Charles Blair (Starboard watch) was on guard on coal-barge last night his rifle suddenly went off and shattered his left forearm badly. He was removed to the Robb this P.M.. Got a letter from Alice.
April 13th, 1864
Our little Doctor with surgeon of Robb sawed off Blair's arm. Weighed anchor and started down this P.M.. Robb passed us at Matthews like a streak of blue mud.
April 14th, 1864
Passed Culp's after sunset. Stopped at "Bend" this A.M. and took on 75 cords of wood. Slowly steaming down.
April 15th, 1864
Scrubbed hammocks. Stopped awhile at Birmingham.
April 16th, 1864
Got to Paducah last night. Peosta, Key West, Brilliant & Robb anchored here. Two other gunboats went up the Ohio today. A spy was shot in front of Fort Anderson to-day [sp]. Received a letter from Father Molon. Rebels entered Paducah this afternoon but were driven out by the gunboats.
April 17th, 1864 (Sunday)
Wrote to mother. In coming up last night the Victory was fired into twice. I heard the cannonading at midnight. Williams died last night. He was wounded February 23rd at Clifton.
April 18th, 1864
Got a letter from Joe Batig. He says that Alice D. Botefur is dead. She died on the 9th inst. from an unexpected and severe attack of spotted fever. Answered Joe's letter immediately.
April 19th, 1864
Cutter went ashore 21 times to-day [sp]. Gig went ashore three times. While up Tennessee the last cruise we broke up six canoes.
April 20th, 1864
Capt. Goudy and one of the pilots went down to Cairo on the Science. Transport steamers were passing up and down thick as bees all day long.
April 21st, 1864
Cutter and gig together went ashore thirteen times yesterday and 21 times to-day [sp]. U.S. tow boat Brown went up the Ohio to-day [sp].
April 22nd, 1864
Goudy returned this P.M.. Brought two recruits with him. Took on 1140 bushels of coal.
April 23rd, 1864
Robb with two coalbarges , Peosta lashed to Key West, Tawah lashed to Brilliant, Forrest Rose, St. Clair and Fair Play, started up this A.M..
April 24th, 1864 (Sunday)
Cumberland River boats cast loose at Ft. Henry last night and went down.
April 25th, 1864
Ran into a hornet nest early this morning and had it quite lively for a few minutes. We were to [sp] much for them however. No. 4 Port kicked out of breeching.
April 26th, 1864
Jeff Stevenson (nigger) got slightly wounded by a splinter yesterday. Kept slowly on our way. Broke up a raft and a canoe.
April 27th, 1864
Got here, Clifton, last night. Robb went down about 7 A.M.. Holystoned decks and guards.
April 28th, 1864
Washed decks. A skirmish took place between the 17th Tennessee and some rebels. We took a hand in it and scattered the Johnnies. Two Tennesseans were killed and seven wounded.
April 29th, 1864
Pawpaw went down last night. Key West went up this A.M.. Peosta went up this P.M.. Heard heavy cannonading this evening. Went in swimming. Water just cool enough for exercise.
April 30th, 1864
Washed clothes this A.M.. Mended clothes this P.M.. Went in swimming this evening. Nearly all the crew in the water.
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May 1st, 1864 (Sunday)
General inspection after washing down decks. Robb came up this evening bringing us five new men. Also an elevator to replace the one broken on No. 4 Port last Monday.
May 2nd, 1864
Scrubbed hammocks. Robb brought us 50 fused shells for our pretty pollys, 300 rounds fixed ammunition for our shell guns, 100 shells for our twelve pounders and 3000 Enfield rifle cartridges. She has twelve new recruits for the other boats.
May 3rd, 1864
Key West came down last night. We took on 300 bushels of coal and started down. Had a skirmish. Got to the Big Sandy and stopped.
May 4th, 1864
Left Big Sandy this A.M.. Fired at a canoe with two men crossing the river. Shot three times with No. 1 Port and finally blew it up knocking one man all to pieces. Dropped my revolver overboard this P.M.. Will cost me fifteen ($15) dollars.
May 5th, 1864
Anchored near Perryville. Wrote to Joe Batig. Terribly warm - sweat running off of me like rain. Went swimming.
May 6th, 1864
Have some thoughts of going in the Army. Sailors do not get any bounty, nor any allowance for clothing and the pay is much smaller than that of the soldiers. Soldiers are getting big bounty now, so I believe I will be a soldier. Started last night and made Clifton this A.M..
Start of New Memorandum Book
"James Dickinson's Memorandum Book"
Note book parchased [sp] at Paducah, Kentucky May 23. ____________ was discharged off the U.S.S. Tawah May 17th in the morning A. D. 1864
May ____ memorandum
at Paducah Ky
Arrived here about three o'clock this morning on the U.S. Gunboat Key West came ashore about eleven o'clock in the morning : have waited nearly all day for some boat to come down the River and there has not any came yet "I can wait"
Onboard Pafoenger Steamer Silver Cloud going down the River stayed all night in the Contennental [sp] Hotel
At Paducah Ky took a passage on this boat for Mound City expect to be there about three o'clock this afternoon. Major General Sickles and staff are on this boat also going down.
Cai[r]o May 25, 1864
Arrived here about one o'clock yesterday staid until four o'clock and then went up to Mound City staid there all night and in the morning went to Paymaster Dun on the wharf boat and got my transportation and twelve dollars in money. I am now waiting to go off on the Cass then, ho, for home. I shall see my Dear mother once more she who has suffered for me I did not know what a mother was until I went away from her and oh it is many a time I have wished she was by my side well I must close for to day [sp]. I have procured a ticket for Cleveland by the way of Chicago and Toledo but I shall most certainly stop at Fremont I am now in the lodgeroom of the Saint Charles Hotel I shall on the two o'clock train to-morrow [sp] morning and then for Fremont
Odin Ills May 26, 1864
Left Cairo at two o'clock this morning I have got a through ticket to Cleveland Ohio by the way of Chicago Ills and Toledo Ohio got to Chicago at nine o'clock last night and immediately left for Toledo I have now been travelling ever since last sunday
May 27th, 1864 A.D.
Reached Toledo and started for Fremont about 10 o'clock got to Fremont about 11 o'clock got into Heplers "Bus" and went down home saw Ma, Sis, and Anna. John being away to Toledo. Jo Batig and Jack Botefur came to the house in about fifteen minutes almost out of breath mighty glad to see me they was walked down town with them bought a straw hat went to the lecture that evening cut quite a swell
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