Friday. 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.
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.
Wednesday. 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.
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.
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.
[Louisiana] Wednesday. Weather more pleasant, but camp ground terrible muddy. In the forenoon the men were ordered to raise up their tents & raise the floors higher from the ground—boards & joist being furnished for the purpose. I went down to town in morning to get my boots tapped, but could not get it done. Visited the Hospital. Found most of our men gaining but York was very sick, & will not probably live more than a few days. In afternoon, after the men had got their tents fixed up, had a short Batt[alion] Drill. Finished a letter to Pamelia, & wrote one to cousin Maria Snow, in answer to one from her inclosed in Pamelia’s last.
[Louisiana] Tuesday. Rainy all day. Had no drills or inspection. Have spent most of the day in the tent, writing, & preparing Company papers. Am trying to arrange my Co. accounts so that if I live to make another “quarterly return“ I may do it with less labor & perplexity than I have been able to do the last. I turned over to the Col. today 8 guns & sets of accoutrements belonging to sick men who are not likely to use them for a long time. This relieves me from the trouble of keeping them in my own hands, & from the danger of losing them. I now have but three sets in my hands, & hope the men to whom they belong will soon be able to take them again.
Last night some of our Cavalry pickets were fired upon by rebel cavalry, & one of our men shot in the ankle, breaking the bones so badly as to make amputation necessary, which has been performed on him today, in the Genl. Hospital. Continue reading
[Louisiana] Monday. Cloudy in morning. Lt. J. drilled company in firearms. Self writing. In afternoon had Regimental Inspection by Lieut. Brown, which took till nearly night. This evening attended School of Instruction for Officers, by Capt. Denslow, of the N.Y. 6th, subject “skirmishing.”
[Louisiana] Sunday. Had no military orders to do. Services in forenoon. Sermon by Mr. Wardwell—a good faithful, practical discourse. Weather cloudy & warm. This evening it is raining again. Prayer meeting at Quartermaster tent. I have not attended. The Col. told me today that we are to turn over our tents & be furnished with “shelter tents”. This looks like a move into the field. It may come within a few days. It is said that the Brigadier, General Dwight, has arrived & is to take command—hope he is a different man from Col. Wilson.
[Louisiana] Friday. Being “Officer of the day,” I have had a pretty poor chance for working on clothing return, & have made progress in it. This evening have nearly finished it, & hope to get it off my hands tomorrow, if possible. The first of the evening attended the school of instruction for officers, & since that—it is now about midnight—have been busy at my return. The weather is again showery, & promised to be dull tomorrow—if so, the Reg. Inspection that is ordered will probably be postponed. Nothing of interest has occurred today, & as I was [illeg. word] a large part of last night think I will “turn in.”