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Aquilla Standifird’s Civil War Journal - Part Two

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Pontoon Bridge
From: Library of Congress

Dec 25th: Christmas wrote a letter to dear wife then went down to the river and saw a pontoon bridge for the first time. We have a very nice camping ground.

Dec 26th: Drilling and policeing the quarters and picket duty the order.

Dec 27th: Company detailed for picket go out this evening.

Dec 28th: Returned from picket. The night was very dark and the tall pine timber very thick, which make it nororiously lonesome on picket post. This part of Missouri is very hilly and rocky. All the redeeming quality of the county is clear water and pine timber.

Dec 30th: General inspection and mustered for pay by General Boyd.

Jan 1st 1863: Moved across the river and camped to protect the pontoon bridge from a possible attack by the rebs.

Jan 2nd: Warm pleasant and still.

Jan 3rd: Moved camp today about one half of mile toward the river, John Frilton detailed on the engineer squard. He is staying in my tene, we cook our grub and bunk together and are getting along fine. He is a royal good fellow.

Jan 4th 1863: Guard review by General Davidison.

Jan 6th: And unusual large amount of pickets called for. The rebel General Marneaduk and his command is reported not far away. The Cavalry occasionally has some trouble with them.

Jan 8th: Brigade drill.

"We’ll hang Abe Lincoln on a sour apple tree!"

Jan 9th: Marching again, and down thru the town ordered to. The roads was in a very bad condition and the artillery in advance of our regiment worked the mud up and made it in bad shape to march over on foot at least. After marching through heavy pine timber up and down hil for about fifteen miles, we camped. Three of the boys of the company went out foraging on their owe account and got caught by 3 of the Boyd’s guards. The boys had killed a hog and had it dressed and was about ready to return to camp when caught. There were three to three the guards wanted them to go to headquarters south____which the boys refused to do unless first they would let them take their meat to camp which they reluctantly agreed to do. When they arrived at camp the boys of the regiment crowded around them pushing the guards back, and the 3 foragers was soon lost to the guards. One of the guards came to me and wanted me to point out the foragers. I told him there was in the company, pick out his men, but he could not do it the boys had in the mean time changed coats and hats and did not look like the same fellows. The guard went away mader then 3 wet hens. I had fresh pork for supper.

Jan 10th: Ordered to return over the same winding road of yesterday. Passing the old camp ground we vacated yesterday morning going about 2 miles from it and camped.

Jan 11th: Some of us went back to the old camp this morning and got the sick that was left there the morning of the 9th and brought them to our present camp called Emanicepation.

Jan 13th: Company C and G arrived, they was left at Patterson to guard the fort until some State Militia took their place. Received marching orders the evening.

Jan 14th: Raining this morning, but it does not hinder us from moving out. We leave several of our company behind, sick. Lieutenant J. B. Ormsby with them. It was useless to move them to this cap for they will have to be sent to the old camp again until they can get sufficient escort to take them to Rolla, Missouri. There is quite a number left from the different regiment. We had very bad roads today and the teams did not arrive until 10 p’c p.m. They had winding road to travel.

Jan 15th: Commeced snowing about midnight and this morning we had an additional blanket of about 3 inches thick over us. Put up our tents this morning which makes it more comfortable than out of doors. There is one consulation we have plenty of wood, and we don’t hesitate to burn it if it happens to be a rail.

Jan 16th: Marched today the snow did not add to the comfort of the ten hour tramp. Camped in and old field and used rails for fuel, had some straw for a bed. There is near here a spring called the Falling Spring. The water from it is used for milling purposes. They use an overshot wheel, the water falls several feet before it strikes the wheel.

Jan 17th: Todays march was through some of the roughest country we have yet traveled over. The road is over rocky ridges along narrow valleys. When in the valley the mountaires on either side rear their rocky heads far above the tree tops. Arrived at Eleven Point River this evening. Some of the advance got across by driving teams in and making a bridge of the wagons. But the weather was so very cold it nearlly paralized the teams and they had to pull out. Colonel Kinsman and a detail from the regiment, cut some long poles or small trees and dropped them in the river holding one end on the bank letting the swift current swing the other end against a large rock out in the streams when three of four laid side by side some one would go out and drag them on the rock when the first was build lain from both sides. Ropes wer used to pile logs across for the center ties. Which made a narrow bridge and a very risky one to cross unless you have your nerve with you. Went into camp and will not cross tonight. After night climbed the hill and took a view of the camp which made a grand appearance with it hundreds of camp. Fires in the valley below.

Jan 18th: In crossing the pole bridge of yesterday evening construction, one of our company Joseph Cavinder got a dizzy and fell off the poles and drowned. it was very icey and the water run very swift. Some would not try to walk but crawled across. The body of Cavinder was not found, his brother James and others watched for sometime but concluded that his gun which was slung over his shoulder would prevent him from coming up to the surface of the water. Arrived at Alton a 4 p.m. and went in to camp.

Jan 19th: Alton is a small place it is the county seat of Oregon County and has a very fare courthouse. The country here is more level than any we have passed through for some time.

Jan 20th: Our rations are rather short and the commissary outfit between here and St. Louis some place. Have to depend on foraging for supplies, sometimes enough and other times very short. In camp today January 21st.

Jan 22nd: The boys are out foraging every day bringing in more or less. We have run out of salt and fresh meat.

Jan 23rd: Brigade drill today the General seemed please with the 23rd Iowa.

Jan 24th: General Benton’s command, started for West Plaines today. Company A and B were detailed to Vanduser to guard the supply train. Colonel Kinsman was arested for refusing to go in command of them. It was a majors command and not a colonel. Lietuenant Colonel Glasgow went in command of them.

Jan 25th: Detail sent out to forage and they straggled from the command and was caught by the rebs and paroled. So they say. Their story is not believed and if take prisoners again there parole would not do them any good. they should not leave the command. Ordered to march in the morning.

Jan 26th: Left Alton marching in a southwest direction and camped at Mill Springs. Some of the boys had quite a time foraging for grub.

Jan 27th: In camp today. A forage team sent out was fired at by guerrillas, but not anyone hurt. The mill here was used today to grind corn for troops there is always someone that can run a mill among the many,

Jan 28th: Started for West Plaines going a northwest direction camped in the woods.

Jan 29th: On again and very windy, came to some fine farms this afternoon. Saw where Benton command was camped, we camped about sundown. One of the Colonels was arrested for bringing a horse.

Jan 30th: Moved forward again and when near West Plaines we met 6 companies of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry. Saw cousin Edward Breshal and several other old acquaintance from Iowa. We marched through the town and about one half mile south and camped. General Mureen Division is here. The town is rather dilapidated condition at this time.

Feb 1st: Division drill weather very cold. Three Companies of Regiments were detailed for forage duty. We went out west about ten miles. Our scouts the Cavalry had some trouble with mavericks cavalry one of our cavalry was running so fast by the rebs he lost his hat. We got corn by getting it out of the field and filling the wagons with hay, corn and fodder and arrived in camp all right but very cold, while eating supper two of the boys got into a racket. When I told them if they did quiet down extra duty would be required of them. They quieted down.

Feb 4th: Sunday very cold.

Feb 7th 1863: Not quite so cold today got marching orders again.

Feb 8th: Started toward Eminence, we are birgaded with the 21st and 22nd Iowa, on the move all day.

Feb 9th: Arrived at Thomasville at 3 p.m. Thomasville is one fork of the Eleven Point River, not much town however.

Feb 10th: In camped today. The 3 Iowa Cavalry passed and camped a short distance from us.

Feb 11th: Dress parade this evening orders to move tomorrow morning.

Feb 12th: On the move over a very rough country getting in the hills again.

Feb 13th: After climbing up one hill and down another and repeat. We arrived at Current River. Several miles above here we crossed it going out. We camped in the edge of the timber near the river and near a fine bottom farm. Wood was plenty but rails handiest and they were dry.

Feb 14th: Crossed the river this morning on some logs. Passed largest spring I ever saw. It looked like a small river boiling out from under a moutain. We camped this evening near a cave, I, Lieutenant Evans, Sergeant Little and others. After all was quiet went on a exploring expedition, we some distance in the cave a stream of water ran through or rather out of it. Found some nice rooms, the water dripping from the ceiling of lime stone rock, causing a substance to form looking like icicles. Some reaching to the floor and making a white column, and a drip above would from a basin on the floor from one to three feet high. Returned to camp very well satisfied with our trip.

Feb 16th: On the move this morning. Some of the 3 Iowa Calvary caught a reb last night and he tried to get away this morning and was shot. We passed where he was laying. Arrived at Eminence and received four months pay.

Feb 17th: The calvary passed us this morning going advance, marched to day and camped near another cave very much larger than the other one we visited. There was a dozen or more went in we found it much larger and deeper than the other, and thousands of bats from the appearance they must have been there for ages. As we went out we met the Colonel and others going in to explore the inside of the earth. We went in at 8 and cam out at 11 p.m. in three hours.

Feb 18th: Moved out again marching up a creek, crossing it several times. Several of the boys got their feet wet. Camped in valley.

Feb 19th: On the move, our company in advance Snowed all day which made it anything but pleasant. Slip sideway, forward, but we thought mostly backward. We camped near a little town. Got some meat, Company E was put under arrest for taking it by force. We had a bed of hay and slept fine.

Feb 20th: Marched again this morning and went into camp about six miles North of Pilot Knob. J. Silas Farnsworth and John Rankin got leave to go to Arcada to see some of the sick in hospital there of our company. We got in a wagon with six mules attached and a good teamster to drive and pulled out. The roads were fearful, but arrived at Ironton before night and walked to Arcada to the hospital and stayed all night. Saw M. McKankin and others of the company. They seam to be improving.

Feb 22nd: Got out early this morning and went and got something to eat. Then stared on our return, arrived at Ironton and found Ed Borshar there and we went back together as far as his camp and they had pulled out for Ironton and left him. He followed after them and went on to camp.

Feb 22nd: In camp today but move again tomorrow. Got letter from Anna and her picture.

Feb 23th: Marched to Iron Mountain and went into camp.

Feb 24th: Camp at Iron Mountain or at the foot of the Surrie. We found some trouble in getting a smooth place to lie down. The ground is covered with small rocks. They are very heavy they contains quite a percent of iron. There is a small town here the inhabitances principally Irish, and their chief employment is working at the furnace here and getting out iron oar and converting into pig iron.

March 8th: For the last several days has been spent in drilling out to the 3rd Calvary camp, and they are often with us which we very much enjoy. We sometimes tramp around and over Iron Mountain and loaf around the furnace watching them mold pig iron. Some of the boys got rather top heavy from the effect of bad whiskey.

March 9th: Pulled up this morning and started for St Genevieve. We met the Third Calvary, they are ordered to Arcada. Bid Ed Broshar and others good bye. We are traveling what was once a plank road but it is badly worn and many of the planks gone. We crossed the St. Francis River, from appearance it is subject to over flow. The banks seemed low in proportion to the size of the streams. All streams in this country has to be forded. They don’t bridge streams in this country. We passed through Farmington in the evening. It is one of the richest little towns seen in this part of Missouri. The soil here is a redish cast, and they say produces fine wheat. Camped about two miles from town in an old field.

March 10th: Passed through a little town by name of Valley Forge. Part of the road today was very muddy. Camped this evening in the timber.

March 11th: Moved out again and arrived at St Genevieve. Passed through and above town and went into camp in a nice little grove on the banks of the Mississippi. Went in camp about 1 o’clk p.m.

March 12th: I and others went down town. Climbed the high bluffs and took a view of the town the river and surrounding country. Returned to town went to a hotel and got dinner. Saw some tipsy officers at the table. Their actions and apperance was disgusting. Returned to camp, orders to move in the morning.

March 13th: Marched down to the river and got aboard the Steamer Champion. The first Missouri Battery was also taken aboard. It took so long to get horses, wagon and camp equipment aboard. The boat did not start down the river today.

March 14th: Left St. Genevieve this morning arrived at Cape Girardeau. The battery was taken off and we went on down the river passing Cario at dark. Passing Columbus, Hickman, Belmont and pass Island No. 10 about 10 o’clk a.m. Marched, arrived at New Madrid at 12 m and found the 38th Iowa Infantry got off the boat and went in camp.

March 16th: Warm and pleasant. The country in the immediate vicinity is very good and probable very productive or at least it has that apprence. The town of New Madrid is a small place and at this time business is also small. The inhabitance are principally rebels or at least a person would suppose they were from what I heard a woman singing. We’ll hang Abe Lincoln on a sour apple tree.

"I wonder if they thought of when they passed the Ordinance of Cessation"

March 17th: Lieutenant Colonel Glasgow arrived from St. Louis with orders to go to Vicksburg and will move as soon as we can get transportation.

March 18th: I and others went up to town and took a look at the very much dilapidated place it shows the marks of war.

March 19th: Went out to the rifle pits dug by the Federal Troups arriving the night so that they could storm the post occupied by General Pillow. The Union transfers under General Pope succeeded in routing them and this place fell into the hands of the Federals.

March 20th: Waiting and watching for transportation. A marine brigade went down to day.

March 21st: Boat arrived, the White Cloud. Got aboard, started down bout sundown.

March 22nd: Arrived at Memphis Farm at ten p.m. Waiting on board for further orders. Got permit to go up town. Memphis is a very nice place high and beautifully situated. Found the city park and it’s surroundings very fine. A monument created to the memory of General Jackson stood in the center of the park. On the monument was engrave with the words, The Federal Union must and shall be preserved. While the city was occupied by the rebel’s some person or persons had tried to erase the word Federal from the monument.

March 23rd: On board boat waiting for orders.

March 24th: Left Memphis this morning, arrived at Helena at 8 p.m.

March 25th: On board boat, got permit and went out in town. The lower portion of the town is under water. Went up to Fort Curtis it is on high ground. The fort has guns of large caliber. I heard that the other six companies of the 3rd Iowa Calvary were here. Went up to their camp and saw several of the boys of Company A. Brother Edward T. Standifird was a member of that company but was discharged about the time I enlisted. The Boys seemed healthy and very well and satisfied. They went in the service in 1861.

March 26th: Visited by Hanlin and Elliott of the 3rd Calvary on Board boat. (Old friends)

March 27th: Some more of the boys of the 3rd Calvary came aboard and staid until we started. 11 o’clk. a.m. moved out and down the muddy Mississippi. The watter is very high and there is a large portion of the valley under water. The levees is a protection but in many places broken and the water comes through and covers the los lands. We passed the mouth of White River about sun down and Napoleon at dark.

March 28th: Passed Providence this morning the levee was cut at that place and the water was rushing through at a fearful rate. The water was as high as 6 feet around the houses. Landed at Millikens Bend, Louisana, marched out about one mile and went in to a camp.

March 29th: Camped in a very find country. Fine plantation and negroes of all colors and sizes.

March 30th: Went out to a plantation today. It has at one time been very fine. It’s stately mansion and lawns of evergreen of several varities, its dozen negro guards and large cotton gins. Black smith shop and carpenter shop, but war has left its mark on everything. I wonder if they thought of when they passed the Ordinance of Cessation.

April 2st 1863: Pleasant weather warm and a dry camp.

April 3rd: The last five days has been spent in drilling and looking around. Some sanitary goods arrived today for our company from Iowa in charge of Marsh Nelson a discharged soldier for the 4th Iowa Infantry. He was wounded at Pea Ridge in the hand. Battalion drill this afternoon. I was in command of the company – got along very well. It was my first experience as a company commander on a battalion drill.

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Vicksburg, MS - Levee & Steamboats; Wm. R. Pywel, Photographer
From: Library of Congress

April 4th: Went down to the levee and boat landing. Saw several boats, some discharging army supplies. It is a busy place.

April 5th: Inspection at ten a.m., preaching at 2 p.m. by Captain Roach.

April 6th: Pleasant weather, and duty light.

April 7th: Lieutenant James B. Ormsby returned for a few days service and is talking of resigning on account of poor health he complains of stomach and lung trouble.


parade.gif (18615 bytes)April 8th and 10th: Grand review by General Grant, General McCun and General Logan, General McPhison and General Carr. It was the grandest sight I ever saw. The ground was level and plenty of room. How many thousands was in review I cannot tell, but it took us sometime to pass the reviewing squad of officers. We belong to the Fourteenth Division of the thirteenth Army Corps commanded by Brigadier General Eugene A. Carr, First Brigade consisting of the 33rd and the 99th Illinois and 8 and 18th Indiana, and its U. S. siege guns. Our brigade the 2nd is composed of four regiments, the 21st, 22nd and 23rd Iowa and 11th Wisconsin and the 2nd Illinois Light Brigade commanded by Michael R. Lawler. The 9th Division was commanded by Peter J. Ostirham. The 10th by Andrew J. Smith, and the 12th by Brigadier General Alva P. Houby. Total number of troups in the 13th Army Corps about 25,000 thousand corps commanards by General John A. McBlernard.

April 11th: Lieutenant J. B. Ormsby got his resignation accepted and will start for home this morning. I am promoted for 1st Sergeant to 2nd Lieutenant. James Roe and Joseph Bland arrived from Iowa. They got a furlough when we was camped at Iron Mountain.

April 12th: Start on the march this morning at 10 o’c. The country over which we came today is very productive. Cotton appears to be the principal staple of the plantations. It was quite warm today and many of the boys threw away their over coats or was given to the black that lined the road just come to see the Yanks, they said, arrived at Richmond, Louisana about 3 p.m. Our company was detailed for probe guard and went down in town and camped in a large store room. It requires about half of the company to do guard duty to protect the citizens and their property. We had calles from all over town which kept us on the move most of the night.

April 14th: Raining today and very muddy.

April 15th: General Smith’s Division passed through in the rain. We feel rather comfortable with a good roof over us. The citizens are reb from top of head to the toe nails. They think we will never take Vicksburg.

April 16th: Our Division moved out, but we did not start with them. We were relived by a Kentucky Regiment at ten a.m. and lit out after the regiment and came up with them as they were going in camp near the levee in a cotton field.

April 17th: (Camp Carr) We can hear cannonading telling us the direction of New Carthage and Lieutenant Evans walked quite a distance down the levee. Saw some Ohio Regiment. Returned and signed the payroll.

April 18th: Warm and pleasant and everything looks like summer. The boys enjoy the bright sun and warm weather. Some of our camp equipage came up. It was left at Richmond. Wrote a letter home to Anna.

April 19th: Heard today the Garrison of Rebs at New Carthage had left by the way of Perkins Landing to Grand Golf where they will probably make a stand, but as we are going down that way we will find out if the rumors be true or otherwise. Negro go. A boy that has been with us since we were in Missouri, and has been cooking and foraging where grub was short, for Lieutenant Evans and Captain Glasgen tried to burn some powder by pouring it from a paper on a live coal of fire, but he let it run out rather fast and it ran up in the paper. There was a flash and a colored boy with a burnt face.

April 20th: In camp warm and pleasant. Health of the company excellent.

April 21st: Not so pleasant, rained and made it muddy. Received a letter from home and answered it. Possibly not have the opportunity soon again. Commenced paying our regiment receiving two months pay. It was 9 a.m. when we got ours. I received $60.00 Marching orders received, go in the morning.

April 22nd: Started at an early hour, down the levee about two miles and came to a barge and crossed over on barge or large flat boat using oars to move the clumsy floater, after going some distance, we landed near the river and above Carthage. Marched down through and camped 5 or more miles below Carthage on Perkins Plantation. This place has been very fine at one time the house was burned. It is said, by the owner for fear it would fall into the hands of our troups. He need not been in such a hurry, some of the boys could accomodated him.

Right.jpg (1401 bytes)Part Three

Left.jpg (1408 bytes)Part Two

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