July 18, 1863

All quiet.  No orders yet for moving.  Pontoon train passed up today, towards Potomac.  Looks like an invasion.  Hope we may……  Am confident if we do we will succeed.  Boys all think living on the good things in Pennsylvania much better than beef and flour here.  Reinforcements arrived at or near Winchester.

Diary of A.M. Riddle [Civil War Miscellany]

July 16, 1863

Orders to be ready to move at 6 o’clock.  Battery ready.  Left camp at 7 o’clock.  Marched 6 miles to a camp just beyond Darksville.

Richmond papers of the 14th in camp.  Very bad news.  Vicksburg gone, Port Hudson rumored to have fallen.  Very bad spirit manifested by some of the boys who think times look very blue.  I think this should nerve every man to do or die.  Heavy cannonading.

Diary of A.M. Riddle [Civil War Miscellany]

July 13, 1863

Very little skirmishing along the lines.  Raining all the morning.  Think we will not have an attack today.

3 o’clock P.M.  Left [illegible] to report to Major Braxton with 3 Caissons on Williamsport road.  Did not find him until I got on pontoon bridge.  Crossed and went into park about 1 mile from bridge at 11 o’clock.  Raining very hard.  Remained here until daylight.

Diary of A.M. Riddle [Civil War Miscellany]

July 11, 1863

7-11Saturday.  My time was occupied mostly in reading books from the Circulating Library—Reade’s “Live me little, love me long” and one other.  The doubt about our uniforms still continued.

Kenyon got a letter from Major Gen. Robbins in the afternoon ordering the Q. M. Gen[eral] to uniform us, but he made some technical excuse.

We were marched to and fro a great deal from one place to another, but did not succeed in effecting anything.

Diary of Horatio Fox Smith [Civil War Miscellany]

July 10, 1863

7-10Friday.  Everything is so dull that our present at the Recruiting Office seemed unnecessary, so Cas and I called at the Circulating Library on Westminster St. and drew out two standard fictitious works, Scott’s Ivanhoe and Dickens’ David Copperfield.  I devoted my whole time from ten o’clock in the morning to two the next morning, to reading Copperfield for the hundredth time, and found it as interesting as ever.  It is one of my favorite books, the characters are portrayed so finely and the narrative is so full of interest that I never can lay the volume aside till I have devoured it all. Continue reading

July 8, 1863

7-8Tuesday.  My valise having given out in some unaccountable way, I proceeded to the lockmaker’s and endeavor to get it mended, but the worthy artisan did not consider himself competent to fix it and I returned with confusion of face to No. 47.

Wright and I were instructed by our friends the recruiting officers to procure passes for the South Ferry and with this object in view, we visited the Adj. General and other officials, but did not succeed in obtaining our papers.  At last, however, we reached Maj. Pierce and Capt. Tetlow who expressed a perfect willingness to all us to go.  We embarked on board the tug-boat Am,[erican] Union under the protection of Tetlow, Capt. of the College Company, who is a splendid fellow.  He is called the first scholar in his class, and ought to be an Alpha Delta.  He told me that our Society stood first in College, and the Delta Kappa Epsilon next.  The Omega Lambda Chi are hard, the Psi Upsilon digs.  He did not tell me why he had not joined any society.  Our boys afterward told me that while he always expressed a preference for Alpha Delta Phi he had never concluded to join any Secret Society.

We had a very peaceful trip down the bay.  There is some beautiful scenery along the shores but we miss the hills of Maine. […]

Diary of Horatio Fox Smith [Civil War Miscellany]


July 5, 1863

7-5Waking rather late, I bid my friends goodbye and left for the seat of war.  Found Wright at the Parker House and while talking with him was accosted by [George Newton] Jackson (graduate Alpha Delta Phi).  Wright had just left three Williams Alpha Delts whom he met in the street, fellows full to running over with the true Alpha Delta spirit.  I went with Wright at his request to see the colleges again and also to Bunker Hill for the first time, up the 358 toilsome steps which lead to the tower from which Boston, Cambridge and Charlesto[w]n with all their historical and pleasant associations are plainly seen. Continue reading

July 4, 1863

7-4 SheaRectoGettysburg

Dear Father and Mother Brother and Sisters

I will write a few lines to you This being the last that I ever shall write I was wounded with a mimie ball the second day of July in the left Brest but I die like a hero [inkblot] that I have done my duty in defence of my country It is a glorious death to die Most all of our Co is killed or wounded it was a hard fought Battle but our men are victorious their was been no fighting to day tell the folks that I dies a glorious Death

I must close Good by now and forever

Weep not for me, S B Shea





7-4 SheaVerso[verso]

Gettysburg July 10 /63

Mr Shea This letter you Son rote it was the last he ever had the privilage to tell you he fell Your Son don his whole duty to his God and his cuntry and he diede with his Sences and he did not apear to sufer much He was struck in the left Brest and I think it past through his Lunge He had as good care taken of him as could be expected placd where we are I have done all I could for him and all the rest of our Com but he like some others of our Com, could mot Live with the Best of care he diede the 9th of this month at [illegible] in the evening and was buried this morning He did not say anything about home Poor fellow he has Fought his last Battle died like all true Soldiers. I was wounded the same day he was buy slight. I now am attending on the rest of our company, it is a horred sight to see some of them, we buried poor James Heal this morn with your Son, he likewise died at four yesterday eve he I think did not sense anything he was left of the field for dead, and the fourth day after the fight I reconised him and tried to bring him too but failed he never tasted anything for eight days I tried to get some down but could not and he died the eight day after the fight our Loss is heavy and we all done our duty nobely and our core Saved the Battle So dead Sir I say with your Son if we [illegible] all fall we die like heroes to save our Beloved Country and thank God we have come [illegible]ctorous with great victory.

With respect to you I write this to you to let you know how he diede and we buried him well. Jesse Mitchell Co K 19th Maine Vol

Samuel Beal Shea and Jesse Mitchell to Shea Family [Civil War Miscellany]