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1864 Civil War Union Soldier's Diary with Extensive Fascinating Entries

Lot Number 1146

Quantity: Bid Starts: 01/30/2017 12:00:00 
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From the trenches of the Civil War comes this fascinating original soldier's diary. Published by Rodney Wallace & Co of Fitchburg, MA, this "Pocket Diary 1864" is filled with the extensive pencil notations of a trooper in the service of the Union Army under General William Farrar "Baldy" Smith, commander of the 18th Army Corp as part of the Army of the James which was in turn commanded by Benjamin Franklin "Beast" Butler. The events detailed took place in 1864-1865, for the most part in eastern Virginia north of the James River, but also toward Petersburg. Among the numerous entries are references to Generals Grant, Meade, Butler and Smith. In 1864 the Army of the James was engaged in Grant's famous "Overland Campaign" to take the Confederate capital Richmond and the surrounding trench warfare that continued into 1865.

This 3x5 diary is bound in black leather and remains in above average condition with moderate age-appropriate wear, with just one printed almanac page being detached but present. As expected of a one-hundred and fifty year old document, the pencil writing shows varying degrees of fading from light to moderate, but generally the entries are discernible as the author displays exceptional penmanship. Many of this unknown soldier's accounts are headed by place locations such as Smith's Station, Wilson's Landing and Yorktown among others. Petersburg is also noted several times with reports of nearby firing coming from the direction of that city. Other detailed notes concern a 6/15/64 attack on the "V.R.R." which was most likely the Virginia Central Rail Road, the 18th Army Corps and the 130th Ohio Volunteers, along with day to day routines, reports of "pickett duty", "fatigue duty", rifle/artillery fire, enemy attacks, troop movements and Christmas festivities. Also included is a report of two deserters being executed by rifle fire and a list of casualties.

Military buffs will truly treasure this fine first-hand accounting of actual Civil War events as noted in concise language by a veteran campaigner.

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