[Louisiana] Had the monthly Regimental Inspection at 10 o’clock—inspection by the field officers of the Regt., and not “by one of the General’s staff,” as we expected The men appeared better than on any other occasion of the kind. In the afternoon the tents 7 grounds were minutely inspected. After this I went down to see our sick men in the Hospital—found them all apparently improving except Gorham Gould. He had evidently failed since I last saw him—his mind has been wandering at times for a day or two, though he recognizes me & talked quite rationally a part of the time. He told me what I had never suspected, that he thought he experienced religion when seventeen years old, but of late years he had gone far astray—said he was ashamed of the bad language he had indulged in. He told me his mother & sister are Christians, & no doubt are praying for him. I told him I had long prayed for him, that if it was God’s will he might be restored to health, and if not, that he might be prepared for death. I presented his case at the prayer meeting this evening, asking the brethren to remember him at the throne of grace. May the Savior manifest himself to him, and if he has ever been a child of God, may he be brought back to the fold from which he has wandered so far, and if he has never been born again may he be led by the Spirit to cast himself wholly on the mercy of God and find true joy and peace in believing.
[Louisiana] Wednesday. Rec’d a mail from the North. Had a letter from Pamelia, written in journal form from Jan. 1st to 9th, on which day it was mailed. All at home were well and prospering—the Good God be thanked for his mercies and loving kindness. May I be more devoted to his service, and live more to his glory.
Evening. At 12 o’clock our Brigade (1st) under command of Col. Wilson formed in line in the road between the camp & the river, & marched through several streets of the town, & out to the field opposite to our old ground, Camp Banks. Here we marched in review in columns of companies before Gen. Grover. After this Review was over we returned through the streets down by the Penitentiary, & thence back to camp, arriving about 5 o’clock. Our Reg. had only about 400 men out including officers—the other Regts. Having a few more each I should think.
[Louisiana] Tuesday. Rained hard last night & this forenoon, preventing the Grand Review of the forces which was to have taken place before Gen. Auger this afternoon. Had a Battalion drill in afternoon, but I have done no duty for the day, have a diarrhea. Have been issuing clothing to the Company, & this evening orders are issued to have all the men furnished with good suits, if they are not yet supplied. Extra clothing, baggage, & ordnance stores are to be stored at this post, which looks like a forward movement soon.
[Louisiana] Monday. Engaged a newly escaped Contraband to do our cooking. He is a mulatto, twenty-six years old, a native of New Orleans, by the name of Victor. He has lately lived with a rebel master about five miles below here, on the other side of the river. He appears intelligent & speaks French as well as English, though he cannot read. Was a house servant at New Orleans, but of late has worked at coopering. His wife came here before him, & on his arrival last Sunday found she had linked her fortune with another!
[Louisiana] Saturday. Pretty languid and weak today, though not sick. I find that I have little physical strength here in this country, even when I feel otherwise pretty well, and think the same is true of nearly all in our Reg. The men were busy all the forenoon washing clothes, & this afternoon have been clearing up a parade ground in part of the encampment. The weather is mild this evening & the men are feeling pretty well. I think the health of the Reg. is improving.
[Louisiana] Friday. Well, the order came this forenoon to strike tents & move to ground just north of our present location, & some hundred rods distant. We began packing up at once & got our tents pitched again about 2 o’clock. The new spot is better than that we left, as the ground slopes down & can thus be more easily drained. It appears to have been a kind of common, perhaps used to pasture city cows. Old rotten stumps stand here & there, & tall woods & thorn bushes abound. With a little labor, therefore, we can put the ground in tolerable condition for our purpose. It is doubtful whether we shall be permitted to stop here long, as this is the ninth complete remove we have made within about three months! After all it makes little difference, as “the nine months are going on,” as the boys say on almost every occasion. Some fresh beef reached our camp soon after we had got the tents pitched. Two hind quarters came to our cooks & were put under a tent cloth near the fire. A short time after the Quartermaster called me aside & said: “Capt. C., they are hunting for some fresh beef that has been killed today. I thought I would just mention it to you!” I lost no time in putting the boys on their guard, & it was soon disposed of—ways that I think the rebels are hardly “up to.” Small quantities were put under tent floors, & one quarter cut into several pieces & put in a pork barrel by the cooks fire & covered with salt pork! If the owners are keen enough of scent to find it there, & can identify it, of course they will get it.
[Louisiana] Jan. 21st. This morning orders came to have knapsacks packed & ready to sling at any moment for a move. Went out after a company inspection of arms & had a short skirmish drill. Came in at 11 ½ o’clock & at once detailed ten men with spades & picks to go down near the Blind Asylum & work on the ground that we are to occupy next as a camping ground. Held ourselves ready all the afternoon for a move, but the order did not come. We expect tomorrow early in the morning—have now occupied this ground nine days & it is about time for another move. A report has spread in camp today that there is to be a general examination of the Officers of the Reg., & a pretty rigid one, and all those not “passing muster” are to be discharged. It was said that some dozen officers of the 26th Maine have already been rejected on examination. This evening, on conversing with a member of the 26th I learn that there has been some talk of sending one or two obviously incompetent officers before an examining board! So much for camp stories.
[Louisiana] Jan. 19th. Commenced raining last evening & rained hard during night, & all this forenoon. Cleared off this afternoon, & this evening the stars are out clear & bright. Went down & saw the men in Hospital in afternoon—found most of them doing well.
[Louisiana] Jan. 17. Another very cold night, about like our Maine weather the middle or last of November. Last Monday night was very warm, & we had a warm rain Thursday; but the change since then has been greater than we often have at home at any season. This morning the ground was frozen considerably in low spots, & ice formed a quarter of an inch thick on small puddles of water. It is not strange that men get colds & coughs at such times. Had a Reg. inspection of arms & clothing this P.M. by the Lieut. Co.. & Major. I have made out a “certificate of disability” for Franklin Holbrook today, but there is some doubt about his getting a discharge, though I think he is very anxious to have one. He has been in Hosp. all the time we have been here. I have had a dry hacking cough for some days, though it is not very troublesome. Otherwise I feel very well.
[Louisiana] Jan. 16th. Am acting as “Officer of the Day” so have done nothing at drilling today. The Lieuts. took the Co. out this forenoon & this P.M., have gone on a Brigade Drill. Last night was very cold & this morning the ground was frosty, & some ice was to be seen in low spots.