Expedition to the Dismal Swamp

November, 1862

1 Still very pleasant.

2 Another lovely day. Had inspection and a march with knapsack of about two miles. Went on picket at the two bridges. Had a fine time. A plenty of sweet potatoes and persimmons.

3 It still continues very pleasant. Countersign last night was Seven Pines. Everything quiet.

4 Another lovely day. Everything quiet.

5 Still very pleasant. Took dinner to two men from my tent who were on picket. Got a fine lot of persimmons.

6 Quite cool today. Some appearance of a storm.

7 Quite stormy today. Quite a snow storm last night. The ground was all covered this morning, but it soon disappeared. Some rain today. On guard today. Home guard. Countersign Highland.

8 Not very pleasant today. A little rain.

9 Very pleasant and warm today. Matters as usual.

10 Another fine day.

11 A very pleasant day.

12 A lovely day. This evening started on a march. Don't know where we are bound. But hear that it is to be an escort for a man to take a sketch of the country. Got started about 11 o'clock with three days provisions and one team. 4 companies under command of Capt. McIntyr Co. D.

13 Took the road along the Dismal Swamp Canal; arrived at the half-way house at 4 o'clock this morning. The house is half in Va. and half in N. C., 14 miles from camp. Laid down a got a little sleep. At 3 ½ o'clock P. M. started for South Mills. Got there about dark. Made a short halt and traveled till 12 o'clock. Put up in an unfinished church. The Dismal Swamp is in Virginia and North Carolina, south of Norfolk. South Mills is in North Carolina.

14 Continued the march. Went near the Camden Co. Court House, then past Currituck Co. Court House to another church where we stopped for the night. These are counties in North Carolina.

15 Quite pleasant yesterday. Had to send to camp for more provisions. The extra team overtook us about ten o'clock. At night we got to Great Bridge 9 miles from Camp. Put up at a large deserted house. It caught fire around the chimney just after we got well fixed and came near burning us out, but it was soon put out. Great Bridge is in Virginia.

16 Got into camp today about noon. Not so tired as I expected. Feet got quite lame. Carried my knapsack till yesterday noon when we put all of them in the wagons.

17 Quite pleasant.

18 A little cloudy but no rain. Part of Co ____ started off this eve on another sketching expedition.

19 On picket today. On picket guard at the R. R. station. Countersign Norfolk.

20 A little rainy in the night. Quite rainy at the middle of the day. Most of the reg't., all except those on guard, went to Norfolk in the cars to a general review. "Cars" refers to rail cars.

21 A pleasant day.

22 Rainy.

23 Pleasant.

24 Cool and cloudy.

25 Rainy. Matters as usual.

26 Cloudy & cool.

27 Cloudy.

28 Snow last night about an inch deep. Quite cold.

29 Quite pleasant today.

30 A pleasant day.

December, 1862

1 Rainy day.

2 A pleasant day.

3 Rainy day.

4 Very pleasant. Got a pass and went to Suffolk. Saw Lieut. Buttz and his father who had just arrived from New Jersey. Also saw Chaplain Whittaker and all the Belvidere boys. All were well.

5 A very rainy day. Staid in doors all day.

6 Very pleasant and quite cool. At night started for the cars but got left.

7 Very pleasant but quite cold. Very cold last night. Arrived in camp at noon.

8 A very pleasant day but the ice last night froze ½ inch thick. On guard today. Countersign City Point.

9 A lovely warm day. Not quite so cold last night.

10 Very pleasant today. Quite cold last night.

11 Still pleasant.

12 The weather as fine as ever.

13 No diary entry.

14 No entry.

15 No entry.

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17 No entry.

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19 No entry.

20 No entry.

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23 No entry.

24 All along back since the 12th the weather has been very fine. Nothing unusual had occurred. Today bought two fine hens and several other things for a Christmas dinner.

25 A fine day. I roasted my chickens. Very nice. Had a fine dinner.

26 Very pleasant today.

27 Rainy today. On guard.

28 A fine day.

29 Still pleasant.

30 Still quite pleasant. Nothing unusual.

31 Another pleasant day. On guard at the camp. Quite a cold day and night. I can hardly realize that another year has passed away. Although my surroundings have not been pleasant or agreeable, the time has passed away very quickly indeed. I have had a very little pleasure, and have had to endure many unpleasant things from my companions. The society that I have had to be in is so far different from what I have been used to that I find it very disagreeable. If I had good society or could mingle with a little once in a while, I could get along more happily. Yet I will live on in hope, wishing that I may be free from this before the close of another year. My patriotism is about worn out. Seeing how matters are managed in Washington, D. C., I don't see as we are making much progress towards crushing this rebellion. It might have been long ago if it had been properly managed. Well, good bye, Old Year. God grant that my sins of omission and commission may be buried in oblivion.