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Aquilla Standifird’s Civil War Journal - Part Five

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Another Standifird.

June 12th: (Opposite Vicksburg) Two rebs swam the river last night and the corporal of the guard brought them and turned them over to us. They were wet but did not seem to mind it but very little. One of them while sitting by our camp fire drew out of his picket a picture, saying I have drownded my girl. I asked to let me look at is as I wanted to see a confedrate girl. He passed it over to me and after looking at it I said what is your girls name. He said Sarah Standifird. I told him that Standifird was my name. He looked at me as if he thought I was joking but some of the boys told him that was my name. I then asked him where she lived and he told me they above Yazoo City and he thought they come from Harden County, Kentucky. I told him she was probably a distant relative as there was where my father and uncles lived at one time. Sent the prisoners to the rear under guard. Relieved this evening and arrived at our camp, but found the regiment had moved to the upper landing. To dark to find them, and camped. Go the regiment in the morning.

June 13th: (Young’s Point) I and others of my company spread our blankets on an old bridge over a bayou, we watched the shells from our mortar (a short distance below) until late. The shell could be seen or traced by the burning fuse. They would go up and up making a circle like a rainbow. Pulled out early this morning and arrived at camp for breakfast. Wrote a letter home today.

June 14th: (Young’s Point) This morning a brigade of infantry and some cavalry and one battery started out to Richmond, Louisiana to assist other troups in running the rebs from that vicinity. They have been hanging around ever since the battle of Millikens Bend, giving our pickets some trouble.

June 15th: (Young’s Point) The cannonading is terrific in the rear of Vicksburg desertion from the rebs is of every day occurance. They say that their officers say that J. O. Johnston is going to attact our army in the rear and then yanks will have to get.

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Richmond - Destroyed
(From: The Civil War, An Illustrated History; pub. 1990)

June 16th: (Young’s Point) Some of the troups returned, that went out the morning of the fourteenth. They say they routed then burnt the town of Richmond and nearly every thing between this and the Mississippi. Possibly they have exagerated the burning part some what.

June 17th: (Young’s Point) Heard of the death of Sergeant S. B. Gardner. He was wounded on the seventh. Invasion at Millikens Bend. He was a good soldier. Perry Tullis arrived from Iowa today. He gave us the news from home, Wayne County, Iowa.

June 18th: (Young’s Point) A detail for packet was made but was relieved. Orders came for us to go the war of Vickburg. A lot of prisoners are taking transport for up the river. The two prisoners [Standifird] captured at picket post the 12th is with them. They came and bid me goodbye. They appeared to be pretty clever fellows for rebs. We marched aboard the boat leaving some of our company sick in camp.

June 19th: (Young’s Point) On board boat this morning. Laid at the landing all night. Started up the river about seven o’clock and up the Yazoo and landed and marched past General Grant’s head quarters to the rear of Shermans and McPhersons Corps. to our brigade and back again to our place where we have wanted to be for some time. We have been away from the brigade since May 18th. We, this evening, camped in a hollow and hillside. The water here we get out of the springs fairly good, when first taken out, but when it stands a short time it is very unpalatable and can almost say nasty.

June 20th: (Rear Vicksburg) I concluded to look around and see what was in front over to our right about twenty rods is some thirty-two pound rifle gun claimed to throw a shell five miles. To the front was several batteries all sending shell at the rebs. Breast works of the rebs on the hill, above us is a row or breast works occupied by our troups, and still in advance of that is another parapet and much nearer the intrenchment and forts of the rebs to get out to the advance works. Go by the way of a zig zag ditch, the dirt thrown from the ditch to the front making a very fair protection from the many bullets fired from the rebs. Forts in front, from our outer in intrenchment. We can see the enemy’s line of breast works and forts in front and to the left and right as far as can be seen. And when a person is looking, he has to be very care full that he doesn’t get a bullet from some ever watchful rebs. Afternoon went over to headquarters and got my discharge as First Seargeant. In the evening our company was detailed for picket.

June 21st: (Rear Vicksburg) When we climbed over our works last evening the rebs fired at us but did not it any one. Which caused us to scatter rather quickly to be agreeable, and agreement between the two contending armies was that neither should fire on the pickets. Both sides start our from their intrenchments about the same time and when they came within two or three rods of each other they were to stop and both hold their positions until called in. In the morning at day brake. I suppose the rebs thought we were pushing out rather early –would get to near a pile of dirt. At daylight we fell back on the other side and the boys commenced shooting at anything suspicious, and the supposition was they were at the same business judging from the amount of singing bullets passing over our heads. Relieved this evening and returned to camp. Made out pay roll and my muster in roll.

June 22nd: (Rear Vicksburg) Went over this morning and got mustered in a Second Lieutenant (Charles Manhold muster in officer). On my way out to heard quarters, I saw a large oak tree that was used as a look out. Holes bored and pins put in so it could be climbed. Got our tents and camp equipage something we very much needed.

June 23rd: (Rear Vicksburg) I succeeded in getting my tent set up after digging the side hill down using the dirt to level up with. When set up moved in and commenced to keep house. Detailed for picket again for tonight. On our way out this evening and near the advance rifle pits a shell from a gun of one our batteries threw a shell and it exploded a few feet above and to our right, parts of the shell going in front of us.

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Vicksburg: Rebels and Yankees alike dug into hillsides during the siege.
(From: The Civil War - An Illustrated History; pub. 1990)

June 24th: (Rear Vicksburg) A very disagreeable night dark and rainy. Our troups and the rebs was in a few feet of each other. They quite often traded with each other when not too closely watched. Orders is against having communication whatever with the enemy. After our pickets were sent out I saw a group of officers between the two lines but was too dark to see who they were. The Colonel came along soon after and said it was General Pembuton and staff and for me to keep a sharp look out, it being dark and rainy they might try to make a brake on some part of the line, which they did away to our extreme left. Could hear it quite plainly.

June 25th: (Rear Vicksburg) Went on duty this morning. Working a squad of negros, they are old and middle aged, all ex-slaves. They work and talk, telling their experience as slaves if it is half as bad as some represent it, it was extremely cruel. The blacks simply finished up what is left undone during the night. Troups is worked at nights, the rifle pits we are constantly pushing toward the rebel forts and parapets. We aim to work up to our pickets. Under the agreement we can work at nights and not be molested. How General Grant go Pembuton to agree to this picket business is beyond my comprehension. General Pembuton could gain nothing by the agreement. This afternoon on our left at three o’clock the intention is to blow up one of the reb forts. The funnel is dug under the fort and all will be ready. The troups will all be in the rifle pits and all batteries will be turned loose. My instructions was to have my squad to lie down and when the signal was given, one of the first shots fired from our guns struck the dirt on top of our rifle pit and just over where the blacks lay. They acted like they would crawl in the ground they would leap over one another hunting for a safe place. It was laughable to see how frightened they were. Sent them in this evening and brought out soldiers to work to night.

June 26th: (Rear Vicksburg) The later part of the nights is quite chilly which makes very disagreeable for ones to be on duty for twenty-four hours. Captain Lewis of the 11th Wisconsin goes on duty this morning and I will go on duty tomorrow morning. The attempt to make a lodgment when the fort was blown was a failure or at least nothing gained and the same old thing is going on today. The same work, the same duty. Not feeling very well today.

June 27th: (Rear Vicksburg) On duty today, warm and sultry and there are more sick than usual. Paying the regiment today. I got 19 days pay from the 11th of April until the first of May. But did not get the one month and 11 days pay due me as 1st Sergeant.

June 28th: (Rear Vicksburg) Captain Lewis goes on duty this morning and I can get 24 hours rest if it were possible to get rest. The misquitoes are always ready to bit us soon as nights shadow appear and keep it up until the sun shines again. I am feeling very unwell.

June 30th: (Rear Vicksburg) Can hardly go this morning. If I do not get better, I can not go on duty again. This afternoon had to go to camp, could not keep up any longer. Some other will have to be detailed in my place.

July 1st: (Rear Vicksburg) Have the chills and fever, was too sick to write yesterday. A good drink of water is not to be had, and I often get mighty thirsty.

July 2nd: (Rear Vicksburg) Warm and sultry. Shook, got the ague and then the fever comes up, and then makes me feel just miserable.

July 3rd: (Rear Vicksburg) A flag of truce was seen on the rebel works about 10 o’clk, and firing ceased. It came out carried by Reb. General Brown and Colonel Montgomery. They asked for an armistice of a few hours with the view to arrange terms for the surrender of Vicksburg. Their terms sent out by General Pembuton to General Grant--was not accepted by the latter. General Grant’s terms was unconditional. This ends the day. The question is what will they do tomorrow.

General Grant and Pembuton met at 3 o’clk, but did not come to any agreement but there was no more firing from either side.

July 4th: (Rear Vicksburg) Surrendered today. The second reply or proposition of General Grant to General Pembuton was agreed to and our troups marching and took possession. The Johnnies stacking arms. The Stars and Striped floats over the courthouse. It has been a long and bloody siege and we are all thankful it is over

July 5th: (Rear Vicksburg) The 14th Division of our army Corps started for Jackson this morning. Our regiment went what few were left in all about 100 rank and file. The report came that Jo Johnston is fortifing that place, and the intention of holding it. He will probably have to move on when our troups arrive there. I did not go. Could not walk 2 miles.

July 6th: (Vicksburg) A terrible storm of rain and wind today. I am about the same as yesterday.

July 7th: (Vicksburg) Moved down to the regimental hospital. Found it quite a walk. Cooler today.

July 8th: (Regimental Hospital, Vicksburg) Not gaining much and grub doesn’t taste good.

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Civil War Ambulance - Unknown location
From: Library of Congress

July 9th: (Regimental Hospital, Vicksburg) Sent an ambulance for me and, I came to the Division Hospital.

July 10th: (Division Hospital) Some better this morning. This hospital is very large or at least the tent is a large one, and the cots is as thick as they can be and have room for attendents. More or less die every day.

July 11th: (Division Hospital) About same as yesterday.

July 12th: (Division Hospital) Sitting up some today and wrote a letter home. A Minister came to me and said that one of my company was dieing and wanted to see me. I went with him and found Sergeant Lewis Smith. He tried to tell me something but he was too near gone, and I could not understand him. Something he wanted me to do for him, but could not speak so it could be understood. He was a good boy and a good soldier.

July 13th: (Division Hospital) Can walk around a little. They are sending a large amount of the sick to other hospitals up the river. Some as far as Keokuk, Iowa.

July 14th: (Division Hospital) I have not had a chill since I came here but so weak that I can scarcely walk.

July 15th: (Division Hospital) This hospital is going to be broken up. Some will be sent up the river, some to the Corps Hospital and others to the company.

July 16th: (Division Hospital) Waited sometime for an ambulance to take me and others to camp. But none came and I walked down to the camp with a man from Company B.

July 17th: (Vicksburg) The camp is on very low ground. When the regiment started for Jackson everything was left in charge of those that were unable to march. I got my tent moved up on the side hill. It is much cooler, drier, and gray, but the little ants is a pest at all times. Got their feet in everything.

July 18th: (Vicksburg) Reported that Jackson has been evacuated by the rebs and our troups has taken possession.

July 19th: (Vicksburg) Feel some better today. General Lawler and staff came in today can expect our regiment in a few days. There is more of the regiment here than out in the Jackson department.

July 20th: (Vicksburg) I am improving some in health. The regiment is on the improve, they’re gaining in number, the sick returning for duty.

July 21st: (Vicksburg) In camp and all quiet but very warm.

July 23rd: (Vicksburg) I and Morrison Collins got a couple of horses and rode out in the country and brought some fresh butter, or at least they said it was. I don’t believe the trip out in the country, riding in the hot sun was good for me.

July 24th: (Vicksburg) Shook with the ague again.

July 25th: (Vicksburg) Our regiment returned but stopped but a short time. Marched down near the river, a short distance below the Vicksburg land and camped.

July 26th: (Vicksburg) Got in an ambulance came down to the regiment - on the way down saw the caves that were dug for protection from shot and shell during the siege. The city is very dirty and very much battered up.

July 27th: (Vicksburg) Stormed today- blew over a number of tents and things generally, but did not shake any harder than I did and I had the fever also.

July 28th: (Vicksburg) Moved camp on higher ground. Had another doctor today, detailed from another regiment.

"How well a person can appreciate home."

July 29th: (Vicksburg) Orders came that a limited number of officers sick would be given a leave of absence and I was one of the few. The Surgeon gave me a certificate for a leave of absence. The Colonel signed it. Colonel Stone commanding the brigade signed it. General Bentons Divison commanded and General E. O. C. Ord Corps commander, then there was a delay General Ord sent it to General Grant for his approval.

July 30th: (Vicksburg) George Dean and others of the company are on the sick list.

July 31st: (Vicksburg) Very warm and disagreeable and the water is very bad. Waiting for the return of my papers.

Aug 1st: (Vicksburg) My leave came. Waiting for a government boat, but none came today.

Aug 2nd: (Vicksburg) I will not wait for a government transport, but will pay my way on the Steamer Emma, fare eleven dollars to Memphis. While on the boat here at landing, thought of the short time it had been since we were picketing on the other side, looking through a glass for the Johnnie’s. We also saw women walking the street apparently indifferent as to danger from bursting shells. Still at the land and I went to bed.

Aug 3rd: (Aboard Steamer Emma) Left the landing at one this morning. An Orderly a Sergeant of one of the company of the Eleventh Illinois Cavalry fell over board and drowned. He and one of his company was sleeping on the pilot house deck. The boat whistled on the approach of another boat coming down the stream. The warm water from the whistle falling on his face while asleep, frightened him and he jumped up and went overboard. The boat stopped and sent back a boat to hunt for him but he was not found. I am feeling some better today.

Aug 4th: (Aboard Boat) Arrived at Helena at 10 o’clk, went to bed. Still somewhat impared in health.

Aug 5th: (Aboard Boat) At Helena this morning taking on coal, moved out about 7 o clk and arrived at Memphis in the afternoon. Got in a carriage and rode to the Jefferson Hospital. Saw Farmsworth, Boon and McMasters of our company from then to the Hardwick Hotel.

Aug 6th: (Memphis, Tennessee) The mosquitos were extremely numerous, fought them all night. After breakfast I went down to the pay master and drew $106.00 pay, then went and bought some things. From their to the provomarshall office to get a pass. From there to the hospital. Silas Farmsworth does the cooking for the matron and her lady assistants and he had a splendid dinner. After dinner Silas went with me to the hotel and got my things. Paid my hotel bill two dollars. Started to the landing met Frank Sturgeon of our company – he was wounded at Black River. Arrived at landing, bid Silas good bye and got aboard J. D. Perry, left Memphis at five o’clock p.m.

Aug 7th: (J. D. Perry) The fair from Memphis to Cairo $10.00. Passed island No. 10 at 5 o c p.m.

Aug 8th: (Cairo, Illinois) Arrived here last night at 2 o c a.m. got aboard car for Centralia. Fare $3.35, got a ticket to Centralia to Burlington by way of Mindota.

Aug 9th: (Mindota, Illinois) Arrived here at 12 last night. Sunday and no trains running today.

Aug 10th: Got aboard train at 1.30 this morning and arrived at Burlington at 6 a.m. and at Ottumwa at 11 a.m. Got my dinner and took track for Drakesville and arrived home at 5 o clk at Fathers, wife and baby staying here.

Aug 11th: (Drakesville, Iowa) How well a person can appreciate home. After an absence of one year and five days. It has been a busy year for me, marched and traveled by rail and boat several hundred miles. In 4 battles and the siege of Vicksburg, we often had pleasant camps, but part of the time laid down in snow and often in rain without tents. Often hungry and cold but such is war,.

Sept 15th: (Home) Since I have been at home I have had my leave extended 30 days longer, and I and wife and Ida has been up at our home in Wayne County. Visiting G. M. Housley, E. Jennisons and Miranda Christopher, Luseatta Christopher (sister) Eleanor Danielson (sister) and Mary Housley. Saw my place which looked desolate in the daytie. While there went out west of Clio in the timber with E. Jennisons and J. W. Tabler to get plums and while out there had a chill. We drove from Drakesville to Wayne County in carriage. Got one horse and Robert Housley furnished one and he drove, he visited his son G. W. Housley while up.

Sept 16th: My leave will expire soon and I will start out on my return to the front. Father takes me to Ottumwa and Anna will go that far with me. He going to take some wheat to the mill at that place. When we arrived, Anna and I did some trading while Father went to the Upper Mill, but he could not get his grinding done there and returned and we went with him to the Lower Mill. He was told he could have his grinding done by morning. I and Anna stayed at a near by house. Father slept in the mill.

Sept 17th: (Ottumwa, Iowa) We ate our breakfast with the people we stayed with and Father came in and they would have him eat also, saying to him you must eat some of my fried fish, which was very fine. The great hearted lady would not take a cent for our night lodging. She was loyal to the soldiers and to the country. Father hitched up his team, loaded in his grinding, I bid them good bye and they started for home and I took train for Keokuk. Arrived here and reported to hospital for medicine.

Sept 18th: (Keokuk, Iowa) Called on Dr. D. T. Fagler and he said I could not return to my regiment yet. That I was not fit for duty and that it would take me sometime to recruit sufficient for duty. I concluded to try for a discharge.

Sept 19th: (Keokuk, Iowa) This morning recommend for a discharge by Dr. Cleaver, but he seemed to think I would get all right in two months or possibly more.

Sept 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd: (Keokuk, Iowa) Just trying to get well.

Sept 24th: (Keokuk, Iowa) Dr. Fagler said I would go home for four weeks and will start in the morning at 7:30, and am glad to do so. Home is better than any hospital.

Sept 25th: (Keokuk, Iowa) Jacob Tabler carried my carpet sack to the depot and I got aboard cars and arrived at Ottumwa at twelve n. The stage to Drakesville was gone, but met two old friends Michael and William Baldridge and roade as far as Fathers with them. Got here at 11 p.m. and found all well.

Sept 26th and 27th: (Home) Drakesville, Iowa.

Sept 28th: (Home) Rev. Glanville and family stayed at Fathers last night.

Sept 29th: (Home) H. Musingo stayed over night, he is and old acquaintance.

Oct 1st: (Home) Father and Mother had visitors, Mr. and Mrs. Sales had quite a pleasant time.

Oct 2nd: (Home) Speaking today at the Christian Church between Captain Moore of the Second Iowa Infantry Republican and Harve Durilavy, Democrat. I and Anna and sisters Tabetha and Rachel went down and heard them. Durilavy was on the wrong side. The sympathy was with Captain Moore.

Oct 3rd: (Home) Rained this morning and turned cool. Tabetha and Anna gathering apples this afternoon, some appearance of frost. My Father and Mother, William and Rebecka in fair health.

Oct 5th: My leave has expired and I will return to Keokuk today. Alfred Medaris of the 3rd Iowa Cavalry is going, David his brother, is going to take him as far as Ottumwa in carriage, and I will go with them. Bid Father, Mother, sisters and Anna and Baby goodbye. We arrived at Ottumwa got our dinners. Bid Dave goodbye and Alf and I took the 2 o clk train for Keokuk. Alf had a chill on the way down, and left him at a hospital nearer than the Estes where I was stopping.

Oct 12th: (Keokuk) John W. Baird came in to see me he is on the way from St. Louis. He lives at Drakesville.

Oct 13th: (Keokuk) Cool and gloomy today. Elections a great majority of the soldiers voted. Some few that was not certain of their loyalty did not vote. Some Irish got in a row with some soldiers, the former got in the cooler. I voted the Wayne County Union ticket.

Oct 17th: (Keokuk) Have been unwell for a few days. Lieutenant Adbel C. Trust is in the hospital here. He tells me he is going up home today. He lives at Drakesville or near there.

Oct 18th: (Keokuk) Sunday church bells rings and the streets are very quiet.

Oct 19th: (Keokuk) The busy workman commences his weeks labor, and the lofer to his useless occupation.

Oct 21st: (Keokuk) Got a letter from Anna and Beth, sister.

Oct 22nd: (Keokuk) Harrison Taylor came in to see me. He is on his way to his regiment the 37th Iowa. He lives near Father.

Oct 25th: (Keokuk) Having the ague every day.

Nov 7th, 8th, to 19th: The same old thing. If ague can’t make a person feel miserable do not know what can.

Nov 20th: (Keokuk) Three of the boys of my company started for the regiment this morning. F. A. Sturgeon, J. F. Browning and J. W. McMasters, got one half dozen pictures taken. Felling better again after taking 60 grains of quinine, 20 grains at 6 and 20 grains at 12 o clk and 20 grains at 6 in the evening.

Nov 21st (Keokuk) My two room mates are Sergent J. N. Dennis, and Corporal G. W. Erwin of the 38th Iowa, crossed over the river and went out as far as Oakwook. Got in a wagon and returned to Hamilton and got our dinners, paid 20 cents each. Then crossed over again and at hospital. Got a letter from Captain Evans. He has been promoted to Captain since I left. Captain Glasgow resigned, and I will loose my chances for promotion by being absent from the regiment.

Dec 1st: (Keokuk) Met Samuel Fouts an old Drakesville acquaintance and stayed with him until he started down the river. He is on his way to St. Louis. Came across James E. Moore one of my company. He is on his way to the regiment. I, J A Tabler, J. E. Moore and Alic Perkins went out this eveing and got some oysters, had a good time.

Dec 2nd: (Keokuk) Perkins, Moore, Tabler starts for the regiment today, I wish I could go with them but the doctor says not yet.

Dec 3rd: (Keokuk) While down at the depot saw Mrs. Birk. She is on her way to Benton, Arkansas to see her husband, he is in the 3rd Iowa Cavalry. She is and old school friend, went to the same school at Drakesville.

Dec 4th: (Keokuk) Saw today another old neighbor C. R. Medaris. He was on his way home from Indiana. Commenced boarding at a hotel, bout know how I will like it but probable as well as hospital grub.

Dec 10th: (Keokuk) Going home again today got twenty days leave. Dr. Taylor has been very good to me. He has extended my leave from the regiment every twenty days giving me medical certificate of disability. Sending one to the war department, and one to the Colonel of the regiment. Took train for home arrived at Ottumwa. Got on stage in company with Sam Fouts (he was on his way home from St. Louis) and two other passengers, and arrived at Fathers at 10 p.m.

Dec 11th: (Home) Brother Edward and his wife Sarah E. was at Fathers. He was discharged from company A 3rd Cavalry and is now living in Wayne Co. They are down on a visit. We intend enjoying the short time together to the full extent.

Dec 12th: (Home) We went to the Methodist Church in the morning.

Dec 13th: (Home) Went to church took the wagon, snowed today.

Dec 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, & 19th: (Home) Spending our time visiting old friends and they visiting us, seen quiet a number of old schoolmates.

Dec 20th: (Home) I, Anna, Edward and Sarah visited with the family of C. R. Medaris.

Dec 21st: (Home) Haulled some wood or went along with Father and Ed, snow deep.

Dec 22nd: Father butchered hogs today. Samuel Brooks and William Collins helping Edward and Sarah intends to starting home in the morning.

Dec 23rd: Edward and wife started for home this morning at an early hour. In the afternoon went to the school house and came home with sister Beth.

Dec 24th: (Home) I and Anna visited fired at Drakesville.

Dec 25th: (Christmas) We had a good dinner I had much better than I had one year ago today near VanBuren on the Current River in Missouri. Went to the funeral of Miss M. Tayler, and I Anna and the girls went to the Christen Church.

Dec 26th: (Home) Expect to return to Keokuk tomorrow. This will be my last trip home while in the service, will soon start to my regiment. I am getting quite strong again. The parting will only be from the fact I am going much farther away from home. Went to church this evening.

Dec 27th: Father will take me as far as Ottumwa horseback. Bid Mother, Sisters and Wife and little daughter good bye. Father and I found it a very disagreeable day rained and snowed. When we arrived at the river across from Ottumwa the ice did not look safe for horses and Father did not cross. I bid him good bye and he started on his return home, and I crossed the river into town and stopped for the night at the Ottumwa house. I thought of Father and his disagreeable ride. I am under many obligations to him for his kindness to me, also to wife and child while away from home.

Dec 28th: (Ottumwa) Living about 12 miles north west of here, my sister Sarah Sears lives (near Kirkville) would like very much to visit her but my time to report at hospital is nearly due. When I arrived at the hospital I found that Sergeant Dennis and Corporal Erwin had moved to a room in the North Side Hospital and that W. & J. Thomas of Company K of my regiment had moved in. They are very good boys. Got my medical certificates made out.

Dec 29th: (Keokuk) Wrote a letter home this evening. Heard D. Juett lectures on temperance.

Dec 30th: (Keokuk) I would like very much if I could return to the regiment. Guess I will go when the doctor gives me a discharge from the hospital and not sooner. But the thought of leaving grieves me. The thoughts how long will it be before I can see dear ones again.

Dec 31st: (Keokuk) The last day of the year and it is very stormy and the snow is measured deep. This year our army’s has been very successfully gaining greatly on the enemy. It surely is only a question of time until they will have to surrender but how long we can not tell.

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