May 28, 1863

29Sunrise Thursday.

Reg. formed line near the Depot, stacked arms & the boys made coffee for breakfast.  I wrote a short letter, in pencil, to Pamelia, soon after we stacked arms, & put it into the office.  Just before I mailed it the Chaplain brought in a late mail containing a letter for me dated May 11 from Pamelia, & having sealed mine, acknowledged the receipt of hers on the back of mine.  Mother’s health was much improved when P. wrote, for which I desire to be truly grateful to God.

Drew & delivered to the men a lot of clothing, consisting of 10 prs  trousers, 20 shirts, 32 pairs stockings, 5 blouses, 6 pairs Bootees.  Our baggage has been going aboard an ocean steamer, with the boxes that were sent down here from Baton Rouge in April.  [Blank space for name not inserted] came over from the Hospital to see us this forenoon.  He is looking well, but is quite lame.  He says our men are all doing well.  Sgt. Joseph Wing was very imprudent in eating, which caused his diarrhea to return.  I have no doubt that he thus shortened his days, if he did not actually kill himself.  Geo. Davis took charge of his effects, & sent them to his father.   Went on board the Fulton [steamer] just after dinner, our baggage having been stowed on board in the forenoon.  The 26th Me. & part of the 52nd Mass. came down from Brashear in the afternoon train & came aboard about dark, but the boat did not leave till after midnight, Maj. Brackett, Lt. J. & myself accepting a stateroom, & had a good nights rest.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 27, 1863

28Wed.

Crossed to Brashear in the morning, got breakfast, & then went to see the boys in the Convalescent Camp.  After this, went to the Island Hospital & saw Edwin Young—found him better than when he left Opelousas.  The Dr. & nurse both spoke encouragingly about him.  His diarrhea is checked, though he still has remittent fever.  Returned to Berwick, & at 2 o’clock the Reg. crossed the river, & stacked arms near the 26th Maine.  We expected to wait until tomorrow, but about sunset orders came to pack up & take the cars for Algiers tonight.  Got on board at 10 o’clock, but did not leave till after 11.  Arrived at  Algiers about sunrise.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 25, 1863

24Monday.  Turned out at 4 o’clock & got breakfast—the orders being for our Reg. to take the advance & start at 5.  Only four passes to be given to a Company to ride on the teams.  We marched through Franklin without stopping there, & halted at one o’clock under some wide-spreading oaks 3 miles below Franklin.  The forenoon was very hot, & the road dusty.  Have had but 3 rests in the 15 miles.  Many men fell out & I for one did not wonder at it.  I was tired myself, & gladly heard the word “halt.”  Started again at 3 & marched through Centreville, & to a fine smooth field a mile beyond (3 miles from last halting place) where we halted for the night.  Having two hours of daylight, many of the officers & men took a good wash in the bayou.  Had fresh beef & pork for supper, which was cooked & eaten in good season.  We are camping 6 miles from Franklin, & about 22 from Brashear, which place we expect to reach by Wednesday noon.  As I write this (7 o’clock) the 41st have just dashed by towards Centreville, & the report is that the train has been fired on this side of Franklin, & several of our men killed.  Continue reading

May 22, 1863

21Friday.

Started at 6 a.m. & after marching a mile were ordered to put two men with each wagon, & having thus “deployed” our Company, Lt. J., Capt. Wood, & myself got on a baggage wagon, & “took it easy.”

The plantation where we camped is the largest we have seen, having immense fields of corn & cane growing, all of which is growing well, the negroes having remained till now on the place; but this morning, they are joining in the “Exodous,” leaving home for they know not where.  There are said to be more than 200 teams loaded with negroes in our train, & nearly 100 Army wagons.  Many of the negroes, male & female, are on foot, & there are constant acquisitions, making to the train.

Stopped at noon in a beautiful oak grove on the border of the Teche, & cooked dinner.  Here for the first time a party was detailed to drive in cattle to be slaughtered for rations, a thing that ought to have been done all along.  The Col. being unable to ride on horseback on account of a fall yesterday, gave up his horse to me for the afternoon, Lt. J. starting with his little mare.  The Quartermaster states that there are now 400 wagons in the train, which must be near 4 miles long.  The ride across the prairie this afternoon was a delightful one, & I was even better pleased with the Country than with that on the march up.  Halted about 5 o’clock, & the fresh meat—beef & mutton—coming in early, the men had ample time to cook a good supper.   Slept finely on the ground.  Heard heavy guns in the night in what we supposed to be the direction of Port Hudson.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 20, 1863

19Wednesday.

Got up this morning & went down to the bayou to wash, & came back pretty well tired.  Ate a light breakfast, & spent the forenoon in the house.   Feel pretty well, but quite weak.  At noon, orders were given to be ready to march at 4 o’clock.  At some roast pig at dinner, with good relish.

Shall put my pack on the team, & try to march with the Company, but expect to get pretty tired, as I feel quite weak.  Had a vomiting spell after dinner, & being offered a horse, concluded to ride.  We left camp at 3 ½ o’clock, and reached Barre’s landing at 8.  The men made coffee by the fires of the 26th Me. that had been encamped there two days.  I camped down without eating or drinking anything.  Walked the last two miles, letting Capt. Gilman ride.  We are to march to Brashear City, & expect to be about 8 days on the route.  Are ordered to start as early as six every morning, & march about 15 miles a day, stopping ten minutes each hour, & two hours in the middle of the day.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 19, 1863

18Tuesday.  Got up before roll call this morning, & feeling much better than I did last night.  Took my third blue pill & went out & took my morning wash, ate only gruel for breakfast.  Took a dose of salts by the Dr’s advice, & kept [to] my room most

Of the forenoon.  Still feeling pretty well.  Wrote a letter to Mother, finished Nellie’s, & put in a short acc’t. of Edwin Young for Pamelia, inclosed all in the same envelope, addressed to Nellie.  Mailed Holbrook & Staples final statements to Adj. Genl, Washington.  We expect to leave this place for Brashear City tomorrow.  George went out this morning & brought in a fine roasting pig, which he soon dressed, & Betsy the Col’s Cook roasted nicely.  My appetite for roast pig is strong, but shall not indulge it to any great extent, as my diarrhea still continues

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 18, 1863

18Monday.  Ate a very light breakfast & only flour gruel for dinner & supper.  My diarrhea continues, & have felt sick at the stomach this afternoon.  Took a couple of opium pills, & just before supper a small blue pill, the first I ever took I think.  Commenced a letter to Nellie but felt hardly well to finish it.  Took another blue pill about dark, & went to bed & slept soundly.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 15, 1863

15Friday.  A beautiful day after the shower of last night.  Had Co. Drill this forenoon & Batt. Drill, inspection & dress parade in afternoon.  Spent most of the day in reading Darby’s description of Louisiana, a book published in 1816, which I found in the house.  Several of the boys went up the bayou (Courtableau) & got a couple of hogs for the Company.  But little meat is issued by the Commissary,–about half rations of fresh, & a very little of salt port—no salt beef.  The balance is made up by the men themselves, shooting their own cattle & hogs in the woods.  Double rations of salt were brought in the train, for this purpose I presume.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 13, 1863

13Wednesday.  Had a Batt. Drill of an hour just after breakfast.  The men did admirably, making few mistakes in the movements.  Spent most of the day on my quarterly return of Camp & Gun Eq[uipment] for the last quarter.  Intend to finish it up tomorrow, if possible, & have it off my hands.  Had a very slight shower yesterday & the clouds this p.m. look like rain.  A smart shower would be very acceptable; have had no rain to speak of since the heavy shower at Franklin.  The weather in the middle of the day is quite hot but we get a fine S. W. breeze every afternoon which is quite cool & refreshing.  Yesterday our “Cavalry” under Lt. Putnam started with a provision train for the front.  His Company is made up by details—Baker, Blanchard & Ramsdell going from our Company.  Just before night a soldier belonging to the 1st La. came in with torn & soiled clothes, saying that he was fired upon by the rebels five or six miles up the bayou & escaped by running his horse into the bayou, & then when his horse got stuck in the mud, taking to the woods & after a roundabout journey, reached here.  He said there were both cavalry 7 infantry, & he observed among them several prisoners.  We suppose them the have been Dr. Jordan 7 four men who started with him this morning for head quarters.  As they must have been some distance behind the train that started yesterday, they could easily be captured by any small body of guerrillas.  The Col. at once sent notice of the affair to Col. Chickering at Barre’s landing.  Worked on my Qu[arterlyl] Return till about midnight.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 11, 1863

12Monday.  No orders to move have yet come, & we are still encamped where we stopped Saturday night.  No salt meat of any kind has been issued to the men for several days & but short rations of fresh, but the boys have.  Made up the deficiency in the last by “detailing” swine in the neighborhood of the city.  Spent most of the day in reading.  In afternoon had a Reg. inspection of arms & ammunition, & a dress parade at 5 ½ o’clock.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]