Thursday. Had morning drill from 7 to 7.45—then from 9 to 11. In afternoon, the whole Brigade marched to Camp Banks to be reviewed by Genl. Augun. We though[t] our Brigade made quite a decent appearance, tho’ one Regt. Was not able to bring out more than about 200 men—a whole Co. being out on picket, & other men on post guard. Our actual strength now, we suppose to be about 300 men besides commissioned officers. These frequent reviews & inspections are supposed to portend “a move,” in some direction. The forces here have been increased of late by the arrival of Cavalry & Artillery, besides which several mortar vessels have come up the river within a week.
Tuesday. This morning at 7 o’clock Gorham H. Gould died at the Reg. Hospital. He had been there nearly all the time since we arrived here, & had been brought almost to death’s door, but three weeks ago appeared to have taken a new lease of life, and gained rapidly, for a week or more, & I had great hopes of his ultimate recovery. After a few days, however, he began to fail again, & has gradually wasted away. He was buried this afternoon not far from Mitchell & York. Being Officer of the day I was not able to leave to attend his funeral. Lt. Jerrard has given up today, & this evening has gone into town with strong symptoms of measles. He will stay at the house where his brother, J. F. Jerrard boards, & will thus be more comfortable than he would be either in quarters or hospital. We have looked anxiously for the mail today, but for some reason it is kept back. We are to have a Reg. Inspection tomorrow at 10 A.M.
Monday. Finished & mailed letter to Mother. Spent forenoon in making “Final Statements” & “Inventories of effects” of York & Mitchell. Del[ivere]d one copy of each to the Adjutant & mailed one to the Adj. Genl. at Washington, keeping one myself. We also rolled up the clothes in snug packages, to send home. Shall wait a few days, & if the three men that have been recommended for discharge get their papers soon, shall send the things north in their care—if not, shall have to send them by Express. In afternoon had a Batt[alion] Drill. No mail has come up, but as it has reached N.O. it will probably reach us tomorrow.
Saturday. 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.
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.