February 28, 1863

2-28Saturday.  A very rainy night, & this morning it is pouring steadily, with very heavy thunder.  Cleared off about noon & we had the Reg. mustered for payment & their arms & equipments inspected.  After the muster I went down into town & spent the rest of the afternoon.

Last evening I made out “Certificate of Disability” for Private Ham, S. S. Buzzell, & C. H. Houston, with a Discharge, & this forenoon they went before the “Examining Board” of Surgeons, & were all recommended for discharge—Ham for “Hereditary Phthisis Pulmonalis”—Buzzell for “Heart disease and Chronic Diarrhea”—Houston for “Varicose Veins & right knee injuries in service.”  The papers will go to New Orleans, & if approved then will be returned, & discharges for the men be made out.  Corp. Varney, who has been in the Genl. Hosp. two weeks has also been recommended for discharge, for “Phthisis Pulmonalis,” & his papers forwarded to N.O.  I have long felt satisfied that these four men would not become fit for duty again during our term of service, if ever, while if they go home soon a part of them at least bid fair to regain tolerable health which I think they never could do here, but would be likely to waste away & die like others when have been sick like them.  It is Saturday night, the last day of the month & the last of “winter,” but it seems little like winter to me.  The weather now resembles that of June at home,–the grass is growing rapidly, & the trees are putting forth their leaves.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

February 27, 1863

2-27Friday.  Soon after the death of the man mentioned above, another in the same Co. was taken suddenly sick in his tent, & in a few minutes he too died.  During the night two others died in the hospital, making four in one night.  Truly, “in the midst of life we are in death.”  Had a drill this forenoon—target practice.  I was too busy writing to go out.  Our Co. were thought to have made as good shots as any in the Regt.  I have written & mailed letters today to Mrs. Mitchell, & to Lyman Tyler, of Bangor, an uncle of Mitchell, giving them an account of his sickness & death.  Have also written to the Med. Director of the Chesapeake Genl. Hospital, requesting him to inform me of the dates of  Gardner & Wiggins decease, what effects they left, and what disposition was made of them.  Wrote to sister Sarah today, & inclosed a short note to her husband.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

February 26, 1863

Thursday.  W. A. Mitchell, of Kenduskeag, who has been in hospital since the middle of January, died last night at 8 o’clock.  He has been sinking fast for a week, having been unable to keep any food down, & having no appetite.  We buried him by the side of York this afternoon.  Thus three of our Co. have passed away since we came to this place, & men of the other Co’s are dying daily.  About 6 o’clock this evening a member of Co. K, who has been unwell for some time, while going from his tent to his officer’s quarters fell suddenly, & expired in a few moments.  About an hour after in passing the tent I saw them nailing him up in his coffin—so suddenly do men die here, & so hastily are they made ready for the grave.  This P.M. a boat arrived from N.O. bringing another mail.  No letter came for me, however.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

February 25, 1863

2-25Wednesday.  Spent the morning in writing to Pamelia & put the letter in the office.  In the afternoon went out opposite to Camp Banks for Batt[alion] Drill under the Lt. Colonel.  Gen.  Dwight rode up to the Reg. & watched our movements narrowly.  He made some remarks, criticizing pretty sharply.  He seemed determined to have things done “up to the mark”—was perfectly calm & gentlemanly in his criticisms, exhibiting quite a contrast to Col. Wilson’s manner on a like occasion.  He used the term “slouchy” in regard to the movements of some of the men, & he ‘hit the nail on the head,” for we have a large number of “slouchy” men in the Regt.  He said the men must be thoroughly drilled in the firings as of the first importance.  I for one thought his complaints just, & mean to try to improve my Co. in the points two which he took exception.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

February 23, 1863

Monday.  As there was no drill this forenoon, & the Co. were employed in clearing the parade ground.  I spent it in filling up the Muster Rolls of the Co. for Jan. & Feb., and made so good progress that I have finished them this evening, though it is now pretty late.  We have hoped to get another mail today, but none came.  We understand that one has arrived at New Orleans.  This p.m. had a very good Batt[alion] Drill, followed by company inspections.  Our men improve in soldierly appearance daily.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

February 22, 1863

Camp near Fredericksburg, Va.

Snowed, still falling.

11 A.M. leave camp for the Picket line, which we reach[at] half past two P.M.  The storm has been the worst we have experienced in the Army, blinding snow, with a strong cold wind.  Our post is six miles from camp & in sight of the residence of Samuel Wallace.  Snow eight inches deep.

Diary of A.M. Riddle [Civil War Miscellany]

February 20, 1863

Friday.  The mail arrived early & was distributed just after breakfast.  Got a letter from Pamelia, written Jan. 26th-29th & mailed the 30th.  At that time she had not rec’d any letters from me for four weeks, & supposed I had not got those she had written.  I have rec’d all that have had time to reach me, and I think all of mine will arrive in due season.  Have been writing by odd jobs for nearly a week, & this morning have put me letter in the box, but suppose it will not go from here for a day or two.  I am thankful to the kind Providence that has kept in safety all the dear ones at home.  Surely goodness & mercy have followed us all hitherto & I will try to trust our kind heavenly Father for the future.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

February 19, 1863

2-19 letterHeadquarters 2nd Divn near Falmouth, Va.

My dear mother:

After a hard rain all day yesterday and last night, we have a cessation this morning and some indication of fair weather again.

I scarcely went out of my tent, at most only into the neighboring ones here at Hd. qrs.  I have not been upon my horse since last Saturday night when I returned with Mr. Stinson, as I think I wrote you, from a visit to the left of the Army and the 5th Maine.

Otis asked me this morning whether I would not like to go with him to Philadelphia as he intends to take a Leave on ten days soon.  I told him I would be compelled to get some clothes if I did so and that perhaps I had better not go.  He said I could go if I chose and I will consider the matter meanwhile. Continue reading