October 30, 1863


We have passed through another encounter with the enemy and providentially have escaped unharmed. My Corps left Bridgeport on Tuesday the 27th and marched some fifteen or sixteen miles encamped at a place called Whitinder. You can hardly imagine a rougher country – rocks, hills and mountains with deep valleys. We met with coal miners on the top of the high peaks with an arrangement of a car, tramway and rope to let down the coal. [Illegible name] had a log-house […] one large woman and several small children. How poor, how filthy, how ignorant the people are. One abandoned house at the Depot was pretty fair. It had two rooms. We had it swept and a fire built. With [illegible] well out and some misgivings about the enemy we had a fair night. […]

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

October 29, 1863

New camp.  Moved back into the woods early this morning, and pitched our tents.  Go in with Trick & Farr, Pratt & Frink having been detailed to work on the rail-road.  Noble has been off a week.  Shall be glad when he gets back.  Am more and more disgusted with members of our company than ever.  They are a set of ignoramuses, a few excepted.

We have a fine camping ground.  The men have pitched tents on a ridge in the woods, fronting the east, our rear towards the rail-road.  Line officers in our rear, field in the rear of them, and on a knoll in the extreme rear is the hospital.  This is a beautiful growth, water and wood are convenient, and upon the whole it is the best ground we have had for an encampment.  Reports come today that we are to remain here on the left flank some time, but of course can not tell.  Officers and men hope so at any rate.  A fine day, notwithstanding the appearance of rain last night.  Afternoons cool.  Am writing at the Dr’s.  Have had a good chat with him.  I miss society very much.  Think as much of that now as I did victuals last week when I longed for something besides hard bread & pork.  Now for my quarters to retire after toasting my feet.

Diary of Edwin Emery [Edwin Emery Diaries and Memoir] 

October 28, 1863

In Camp.  Detailed for guard last evening and have been on duty today.  During the night enjoyed the camp fires instead of walking my beat.  Very cold last night.  Water froze in my tent.  Rations today.  Never saw the boys so eager for them as they were tonight.  Beeves[!] killed today, of which everything was eaten except the hide and offal—even the lights and tripe were used.  Great scarcity of tobacco in camp.  Men even gave up their rations for it.  Order read on dress parade prohibiting gambling and obscenity in camp.  This is a step in the right direction, one which every honorable man ought to uphold.  It is reported that Gen. French ordered us back to our old camp last night, and again this morning, but Gen. Birney objected.  There was no need of our coming here, I believe, but now we are here I want to stay, so much better is the ground than the cold, damp ground of our old camp.  Fine day though cold.  A little overcast tonight.

Diary of Edwin Emery [Edwin Emery Diaries and Memoir] 

October 27, 1863

New camp near Catlett’s Station.  Last night after enjoying a walk and social chat with the Dr. and calling upon our Lieut. Richards, I returned to my quarters with the  intention of having a good night’s rest.  My intention was of no account, for about ten the bugle said “pack up,” and we were routed.  We marched over to this camp by the pleasant moonlight, through woods & mud, and drawing up in line, lay down for the night.  Gen. French probably feared a rebel raid, or was drunk, perhaps sober is his uncommon condition.  We are near the “Jersey settlement,” a small village, so called, on account of being settled by “Jerseymen” (New.) It is a commanding position on a ridge, at the foot of which is an extensive plain over which the enemy must come to drive us, unless it flank us.  Wrote to Sawyer & Ed. Smith today.  Cannonading heard during the  forenoon while we were on the hill just above our present situation.  This afternoon pitched one tent down on the side of the hill in front of the woods near the brook.  A very fine day.  Got a little cold last night, otherwise, am in good health and spirits.  Relish my food.  Have enough hard bread, pork, and coffee, but other eatables would not be objectionable.

Diary of Edwin Emery [Edwin Emery Diaries and Memoir] 

October 25, 1863

West Point

Dear Father,

I received your letter of 21st. on 24th inst., Saturday. I think this new arrangement will be a great deal better.

In your Sunday letter you seemed to be pained on account of my getting so many demerits. I am very sorry for there is no danger at all of my being found and the demerits don’t amount to much, it may through me down one or two files in General Standing. I don’t care much about getting my standing by demerits. I hope you will feel easier about my demerits hereafter.

You want me to send my weekly marks. I will send them to you when I can remember them though you can not tell how I am getting along by  them any more than you could if I should send you so many Hebrew letters.

Do you have letters from Charlie often? I wish you would tell me what town he is in, I have forgotten. I will write him as soon as I find out.

There is nothing new here.


Malcolm McArthur to his father, Arthur McArthur [McArthur Family Papers] 

October 24, 1863

Headquarters Eleventh Corps, Army of the Cumberland, Bridgeport


We received a letter written to Chm. and mailed Oct. 16 – It had reached him in eight days and I am glad to hear Jamie is so well and you say nothing of Guy’s illness so I presume his fever too was soon over. “Ruby has a little cough” to keep company with papa I hope nether will last long. This is a cold damp place, more so than Augusta it seems to me. […]

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

October 23, 1863

Treasury Department, Third Auditor’s Office


Agreeably to you your request in your letter of 17th inst. I have caused an examination to be made and find that you are not charged on the books of this office. I cannot certify that you are “not indebted to the United States” as it is impossible for me to know what liabilities exist against officers for money or property the receipts have not yet reached this office, or may be contained in accounts not yet settled.

Your letter has been referred to 2d Auditor for reply as to Ordinance.

Auditor to A. S. Buchanan [Alexander Simms Buchanan Civil War Collection]