February 18, 1863

[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.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]


February 17, 1863

2-17[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

February 16, 1863

2-15[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.”

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]


February 15, 1863

2-15[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.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection]


February 14, 1863


Oliver Otis Howard

Headquarters 2nd Divn
2nd Corps. Feb. 14. 1863
Near Falmouth Va.


It is getting pretty late and we have had reading and prayers, but I can’t go to bed without telling you that I have thought much of this day 8 years ago, since then how much of experiences in the retrospect.  You seem just as young, just as beautiful, and I think a little more so to me now.  There is so much freshness in our lives.  I would like to lover-like to pay my addresses to you tonight.  Never mind the wedding dress, nor the tiny slippers, nor the choir cake.  To me it would be a wedding night if I were home even without the bonfire.  Goodnight.

Oliver Otis Howard to his wife, Elizabeth Ann Waite [Oliver Otis Howard Papers]


February 13, 1863

[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.”

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Mss. Collection]

February 12, 1863

Hd Qtrs 8th Regt Maine Vols Hilton Head S.C.

Dear Mother:

Sometimes I come across a piece of poetry that I wish to save, same as is your habit. Cut it out and lay aside. Enclosed i send you several such. The African’s song in Whittier’s “At Port Royal” does really make us turn away. “With a secret pain, and smiles that seem akin to tears, to hear the wild refrain.”

And the last verse in “Jonathan and John” quite comes up to my standard.

God’s price is high. We have held our blessed government too cheaply. Strange, we never could realize it’s value!

I should not have a peaceful moment if I did not think that after passing through an awful trial we should have the good old government and we never can except by the entire suppression of the Rebellion and ‘As’ every element and cause. Even then I fear there will be a mistaken party at the North who shall have been converted to this idea that a stranger government is necessary, forgetting that while the lack of executive power invited the rebellion the attachment of the people to it and their patriotism was a sufficient shield against all attacks and forgetting for that this suppression, and then Rebellion is not worth a possibility. […]

Affectionately your son, William

William McArthur to his mother, Sarah (Miltimore) McArthur [McArthur Family Papers]

February 11, 1863

[Louisiana] Wednesday.  Sat up till about 2 o’clock this morning preparing the packages of money that the men wished me to send home for them by Express.  This morning went down in town & put the money in the Express office—five packages, amounting in all to $1932–$275 of it for men out of the Col. & the balance, $1657, for the Officers & men of the Company.  I sent $200 of my own money to Pamelia in the package to Father—Lt. R. sent $202—Lt. J. $200 to his wife.   Sent $464 to Hon. Isaiah Stetson, of Bangor, to distribute for men belonging to several towns.   Sent $785 to H. K. Dexter, E. Corinth, including $202 for Lt. R.–$210 for Dr. Huckins, & $45 for two men of other companies.  I was glad the men sent so much home, for it will do the families a great deal of good.  Several send their money by mail, & I think there will be at least $1800 sent by us all.  This afternoon have been arranging my Clothing account.  Corp. Spooner began to cook for us today, as our darky[!] cook has disappeared.  Put a letter in the mail for Pamelia, & inclosed a note to Father, informing him of the remittance by Express.  This afternoon while on Batt[alion] Drill, as the Co. were firing blank cartridges, Ellis Smith carelessly discharged his gun with the muzzle close to Corp. Jordan’s head, the powder & wad being blown into the flesh, making quite a wound, though if properly cared for it will not be likely to prove very severe.  It is very wonderful that more accidents have not happened from the carelessness of the men, while using ball cartridges.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Mss. Collection]

February 10, 1863

Head Qrs 2n Divn
Near Falmouth, Va

My dear brother [Rodelphus Gilmore]
It is my turn to write again, almost doubly so, as Rowland sent me your last to him. It is a bright warm morning like some April day in Maine.
Otis is sitting upon a Military Commission for the trial of a Rebel citizen who was with a party of Rebel soldiers who fired upon some of our troops. It may cost him his life. Otis is the President of the Comn. It consists of several Generals and some 3 or 4 Cols. The Comn sits at the Phillips house and Otis is going round by the 3d Maine. Continue reading

February 9, 1863

[Louisiana] Monday.  Got to work on Clothing return in morning, when the Colonel came in with our Co. pay rolls which I had made out the last of December, & said the men must sign them as soon as possible, as the payment was here ready to pay off the reg. immediately.  Sent out for the Company to come in from drill, & spent the forenoon in getting them to sign.  Lt. R. then took the rolls & went out where Lt. J. & some of the men were on picket—got their signatures, & returned.  I then went down to the hospital & had the sick men sign.  All were able to do so except York, who was too feeble.  I found Gorham Gould much better, & contrary to my expectation, able to sign his name.  While in the room with Gould a young man by the name of Bragdon of Dover, belonging to Co. I was taken with an epileptic fit, and died in a few minutes.  Thus suddenly our men taken away.  May we all give heed to the warning, “Be ye also ready.”  I found Corp. Varney, who has appeared lately to be gaining, feeling very much discouraged about himself.  I have always felt much interest in him, & have had strong homes of his recovery, but fear that in his present despondency the case is at least a doubtful one.   I also found Albert Brown taking a discouraging view of his case—said he was growing weaker, was losing his appetite, & that his diarrhea had set in again.  I wish to do all I can for the comfort of these sick men but can be but little in their present situation.  If they could have the care and the little luxuries that they would have at home I believe they would get well—as things are here their cases are discouraging.

Diary of Isaac Winslow Case [Miscellaneous Mss. Collection]