Wednesday. Started on the march up the bayou about 7 o’clock towards New Iberia, towards which the enemy are retreating. About 60 prisoners marched with us under guard of a Co. of the 26th Me. We marched till between 11 & 12, when we halted at Harding’s planta[t]i[o]n, the junction of the road with the straight road from Franklin. Here our Reg. rec’d orders to return to Franklin to do provost guard duty, while the rest of the Brigade pushed on in pursuit of the retreating rebels. We halted an hour for dinner, then marched back by the shorter route, & reached Franklin about 3 p.M. Pitched our tents on the sidewalk, in front of a fine house standing back from the street. Cooked our supper & [two illeg. words]. Just after dark the 3 Cos. That were left at Brashear city marched up the street in command of the Major. They came be steamer to the place when Weitzel began the fight on Sunday, about 12 miles below here, & marched from there this afternoon. They left Brashear Tuesday afternoon.
From our boat there seemed to be a pretty sharp skirmish going on, but as we were a mile distant, could not see much but the smoke of the guns.
Our big guns soon sent some dozen shells into the woods to the N. of the landing where the Laurel Hill was lying, & seen the firing on shore ceased. Probably there was only a small force of rebels.
We landed about 8 A.M. My Co. the first of our Reg. to go ashore (only the 7 right Cos. Having come from Brashear City)—we soon marched up through a rough road through the woods & cane brakes, to a plantation about a mile from where we landed. Continue reading
Saturday. Had Co. inspections at 7 o’clock. A. W. Lovejoy, who arrived yesterday morning from B. Rouge, was taken back in an ambulance, with several other men, to the hospital at Bayou Boeuf. Took his gun & equipments with him. Shores is to stay here in convalescent camp—he took Lovejoy’s half of a shelter tent. Wyman is determined to go with the Co., tho’ he is not very strong. Troops are going across the river all the time, & we are waiting orders to “fall in” for the same purpose. Just before noon the Col. sent our last payrolls to be signed by the men. He all of our Co. sign who are with us, & returned the rolls to the Col.
At 2 o’clock fell into line in marching order, and soon after marched down near the boat landing, stacked arms, & here I now write (3 ½ o’clock). The Reg. are lying & sitting on their knapsacks, while others are embarking & we don’t know as we shall be called for till night. About sunset made fires & got supper, then pitched tents & turned in. At 10 o’clock were roused from sleep & ordered to embark. Seven companies from the right (the other three Cos. In Laurel Hill) went on board the gunboat where we found only room to sit down on our packs. I got a leaning place & slept quite comfortably till morning.
Wednesday. No beef has yet arrived for the Regt., & only pork & bread enough are on hand for the day, so at present two days cooked rations are out of the question. Sent for storage the box of Co. cooking utensils & my large mattress, so that we now have nothing on hand but what we are to take with us when we march. A small mail arrived from N.O. bringing Northern dates of the 26th of March, but there was nothing for me from home. Rec’d notice from the Marine Hospital, New Orleans, of the death there, on the 27th of March, of Stephen S. Buzzell, of consumption, & of the discharge from service of Albert Brown, on the same date, on surgeon’s certificate of disability.
Saturday. This morning all the companies of the Regt. marched down to the railroad & brought up the tents, cooking utensils, & other baggage, & then pitched the tents on the ground we occupied last night. Got the cook’s things out of the boxes & got a warm meal for the men, the first “regular meal” they have had since Monday. Had dress parade at 5 o’clock.
The weather this weak has been the most delightful we have experienced since we have been in the state. The sky has been entirely cloudless nearly all the time, the sun was out but not oppressive, & a gentle breeze from the West most of the time, while the evenings made light by the full moon, and just cool enough for comfort in our ordinary clothes, have been charming indeed. I am almost reconciled to the country, & were it a land of freedom, of free schools, free speech, free churches, & live, industrious, enterprising, moral & intelligent New Englanders, and were all the near friends I have comfortably settled here, I don’t know but I would consent to fix my own residence even here in this land of cotton & cane!! Continue reading
Turned out & got breakfast before daylight. Our boys had dug a “bean hole” before night, & for breakfast had a fine lot of baked beans. Started at 7 & marched down through the same rich country that we have been passing through for two days. Reached Thibodaux, quite a pretty village, about noon, but made no stop there. Saw huge piles of baggage that had been landed from the steamer. Kept on to the R. R. Station, three miles distant, & camped in a field a little to the south of it. This was the hardest day’s march of the three, & several of my Co. dropped behind & sat down by the woodside between Thibodaux & the camping ground. I could not blame them, for we were hurried along at an unreasonable pace. The last four miles I carried the knapsack of one of my men, & the last two miles the gun of another. I was glad when we got the order to halt, though I could have gone further without giving out! I went & had a pretty thorough wash, & felt better for it. My feet have stood this three days march wonderfully—have not raised a blister or chafed the skin in a single place, while many of the men have very large blisters on the bottoms of their feet that give them great trouble & pain. Sergt. North has gone very lame today, tho’ he never complains.
About sunset we had orders to pack up & be ready to take the [railroad] cars in ten minutes! We struck & rolled up tents, & got ready to go, but were at last ordered to pitch them again to start at 6 in the morning.
Had a good nights sleep, but the men got up rather tender footed, and went limping about camp as they have not been obliged to do before.
Sent off the tents & baggage to the steamer “Empire Parish” late in the afternoon, & pitched shelter tents to spend the night in. the weather today has been cool, & this evening there is a very cold wind from the north. Stowed ourselves in the little tents & passed a tolerable night, tho’ some of the men suffered with the cold. The Chaplain returned yesterday from B[aton] Rouge & informed me of the death of Corp. Titcomb. He died at the Measles Hosp. & the Chaplain attended his funeral. Lt. Richards took charge of his effects & will send them to Titcomb’s uncle in Bangor. Wrote a letter to T. H. Wiggin of Levant, informing him of T’s death, & giving him some account of his sickness. I also wrote to Mrs. Gerald in regard to the sickness & death of her husband.
Finished my letter to Father, & sent it off.
Had a Reg. inspection in the morning & no other duty for the day. No religious services, the Chaplain having returned to baton Rouge yesterday. Wrote a long letter to Father in [the] afternoon.
At Donaldsonville the Bayou Lafourche flows out of the main river to the S. W. & South entering the Gulf considerably to the west of the principal mouths of the Mississippi. We are to march from this place to the N. O. O .& G.W. Railroad, near Thibodaux, some thirty odd miles distant, our tents & baggage to go by steamer.
Spent a quiet day in camp, the only exercise being a short Batt. Drill in the afternoon.
Took my place on the Court Martial, Col. Bissell, 25th Conn. Reg. President. Tried several cases, & adjourned till tomorrow at 9 o’clock. The Reg. moved to a firm spot on the other side of the road, but a short distance from the mud hole that we have lived in for the last three days. When I got back to camp everyone looked cheerful, & certainly the grounds we occupied were the pleasantest we have had since we came to this place. The grass was fresh & green, & there were several fine shade trees that contributed much to the beauty of the spot. On our way to camp this afternoon I went to the Measles Hospital & saw the men of our Co. who are there, Lovejoy, Shores & Sawyer appeared to be doing well, but Farmer looked poorly, & thought he was losing strength. Titcomb had got pretty well over the Measles but had an attack of Erysipelas in his face & head, & I fear he will not recover. I talked with the Assist. Surgeon in charge, & asked him to try to get them removed to the Genl. Hospital. He said he would try to have it done.