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 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]

May 9, 1863

10Saturday.  Turned out & got breakfast before daylight, but did not start till after sunrise.  I staid behind nearly two hours making a descriptive list of Edwin Young, & writing a letter to secure lodgings & board for him at Brashear City, where he is going.  He has never entirely recovered from the sickness he had at Baton Rouge, & now has a chronic diarrhea that is reducing his strength.  He might get a discharge if the Medical Director were here, or even our own Surgeons, I think, but nothing can be done as things are.  After getting through with Edwin I mounted one of the Chaplain’s horses & rode on in company with him after the Reg. but did not come up with it till we got to Washington—five miles from Opelousas.  Here the Reg. turned into the woods but the side of the road & stacked arms.  We hear today that Commodore Porter is at Alexandria with a portion of his fleet, & that we hold the place.  We are to stop here till the arrival of a large provision train from Barre’s landing on the Atchafalaya 12 miles from here.  We are to go to guard the train to Alexandria, about 90 miles from Opelousas.  Just before dark we marched through the streets to a fine smooth field in the suburbs & encamped for the night.  The officers lodged in a fine house that had been deserted by its late rebel occupant, (Dr. Prescott) & where we found beds & mattresses to lie upon.  A well of excellent water was found in the yard & fence rails afforded fuel.  Much of the splendid furniture of the house still remained, defaced though, by rude hands.  A large lot of valuable books lay scattered about the house, exposed to mutilation & plunder.  Had a good night’s sleep & did not turn out till after sunrise.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 7, 1863

9Thursday.  Got into line about 6 ½ o’clock passed through Vermillionville (about 24 miles from New Iberia) & to a beautiful grove on the plantation of M. Mouton, father of Gen. Mouton of the rebel army.  Lt. J. & I took dinner in the mansion with Col. J. & his staff, Col. of the 114th, & some other officers—each contributing something for the table—the dishes being found in the house.  The men were allowed to help themselves to sugar, ad libitum, & did help themselves to geese, chickens &c. about as they listed.  Started again at 1 ½ p.m. & marched some seven or eight miles & camped.  Plenty of fresh beef was soon brought in by the hundreds, & frying pans were in great demand, & in constant use till late in the evening.  Lt. J. & self slept on the ground—most of the men pitching their tents.  Many of the men are pretty footsore but I have stood the march well.  The weather has been cool & comfortable.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 6, 1863

8Wednesday.  Reveille beat at 3 o’clock this morning.  Turned out & had a warm breakfast of baked beans from the Co.  Commenced the march just before sunrise.  The road for the first two miles was very dusty, but after that we marched across the prairie, & there being a cool north wind blowing we got along very comfortably.  The 114th N.Y. marched ahead of us, & we halted about 10 o’clock in a fine grove of China trees 10 miles from New Iberia.  Made coffee & ate our dinners & then many of us lay down in the shade & took a nap.  Started about 2 p.m. & marched across the prairie about seven miles further.  Stacked arms before sunset & permission being given to draw fresh meat, the boys soon brought in fresh port, & young pigs enough for all.  Corp. Herrick went out with Houston & got a fine veal calf, but as we had made a supper on fresh port, kept the veal for breakfast.  Lt. J. & Myself camped down in our blankets without any tent & slept well in spite of the fleas that tried their best to keep us awake.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

May 3, 1863

5Sunday.  Attended Sabbath School at the Methodist church at 9 o’clock.  Only about 20 scholars present.  The teachers all ladies, & no man present but the Superintendant & the preacher.  Just before the close the roll of the School was called, 10 classes & about 50 Scholars’ names on the roll I should judge.  At 10 ½ [a.m.] attended meeting in the same house.  Preaching by the Methodist minister from Rev. 21: 3d & 4th, subject “Heaven.”  The sermon was written & was a very good one.  The Singing was Congregational—hymns—“There is a land of pure delight”, “Jerusalem my glorious home”–& to conclude “Lord dismiss us with they blessing.”  In the Sabbath School as well as the meeting, the Congregation knelt during prayer—think everyone in the School, Scholars & teachers knelt.  Notice was given that there will be preaching every Sabbath—next Sabbath by the Chaplain.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

April 30, 1863

27Thursday.  In forenoon finished the case of Theodate Melancon.  The witnesses called by him for the defence really knew little about the matter he was tried for.  Their testimony being introduced chiefly to prove that the prisoner told them he was going to the negro Capt. to get back a couple of horses that the gang had taken from him.  After getting through with the witnesses, he made quite a long statement through the interpreter, asserting that the negroes compelled him to go with them, & that he escaped from them as soon as he could safely.  Two members of the Commission decided him to be guilty of that part of the  Specification that declared him to have unlawfully joined a band of armed negroes with whom he proceeded to St. Martinsville for the purpose of plundering, & as they were on a majority, they sentenced him to “Six months hard labor with a b all & chain attached to his left leg.”  I felt obliged to vote “Not guilty” on both charged & specifications, there appearing to be ground for a very reasonable doubt in regard to his guilt, & I felt bound to give him the benefit of it.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]

April 29, 1863

26Wednesday.  Spent the day as a member of a Military Commission appointed by  Genl. Emory, consisting of Col. Jerrard, self & Capt. Long, of the 52nd Mass.  Maj. Lieber of Gen’l. Emory’s Staff, Judge Advocate.  Engaged all day, trying the case of a creole named Theodate Melancon, who is charged with leading a gang of armed negroes in plundering & outrage on the citizens of St. Martinsville.  Examined a large number of witnesses who all testified that the prisoner was with the gang, which was commanded by a negro named Pierre—that they were all apparently in liquor, & that on being fired upon by the people in the village of St. Martinsville when their leader & another negro was killed, the rest took to flight.  The prisoner was not seen when the gang was fired on, & was arrested on the prairie a mile east of the Bayou while apparently trying to escape.  He was alone, the negroes having fled in other directions.  The witnesses were nearly all French & their testimony had to be interpreted to the Court.  The case was not closed today and from all the testimony thus far, it seems probably that the accused, as he claims to have been, was compelled by the negroes to join them.   Tomorrow is the day of “muster for payment,” but the Col. has decided to omit it.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]