General McClellan's Army Arrives

March, 1862

19 Another pleasant day. Another Battallion drill. A large number of troops got here today. The 3rd Maine is coming. Quite rainy tonight. The chaplain held a social meeting this evening. I enjoyed it much. Many troops will be arriving in this area in upcoming days as part of General George McClellan's Peninsular Campaign. The plan was to march west and capture the Confederate Capital, Richmond, Virginia.

20 Quite stormy today. Quite a good many troops landed today. They all had the blanket tents. Each man carries half of one. They do well on a march in warm weather. Half the 3rd M C reg't arrived today. On guard. Countersign St. Lawrence.

21 Quite pleasant but a little rain in the eve. The company my brother is in arrived this afternoon. I had begun to think they had got lost. I had my brother, Hannibal Johnson, & Charles Gardiner, old schoolmates, stay all night with me. I got a good supper for them. His brother, Edwin Goodwin, and the other two men were members of the 3rd Maine and part of General McClellan's expedition.

22 A pleasant day. Got a good breakfast for my friends. Was over to see them again. This afternoon saw my old school mate Gorham Johnson. He is captain of a company. Saw a number of other school mates.

23 Another pleasant day. Another lot of steamers and steamboats loaded with troops have arrived. My brother and cousin George Hubbard with two others came over to see me.

24 A tolerable pleasant day. Had drill as usual. The troops are already advancing, and others continue to come. This eve called on Rev. Mr. Whittaker of Belvidere, N. J. He is chaplain to the Harlan's Penn. Cavalry. Had a pleasant interview.

25 Quite a pleasant day. On guard. Countersign Huron. Had quite a good time of it. Quite busy times. Troops are taken right up to Hampton and landed. A large lot of canal boats are here loaded with wagons.

26 Not quite so pleasant today. A little cool with a little snow toward night. Gen Wool and staff reviewed all the troops in his division today. I should think the line two miles long; about 6000 cavalry and infantry. Attended a prayer meeting in this camp in the eve.

27 A very pleasant day. A great deal of business going on in the vicinity. Unloading transports, etc. Had some drill in skirmishing today.

28 A very pleasant day. Had a pass to go to Hampton to see my brother. Saw him and had very pleasant time. Witnessed a brigade drill and saw four regiments on dress parade. Another large lot of troops arrived today. Most of them were landed at Hampton. This was an unprecedented military operation with over 100,000 troops plus supplies landed in this region. Again, Goodwin was present and a witness to this massive build up for the Peninsular Campaign.

29 Quite a pleasant day. Had to police the streets. Did not have a great deal to do.

30 Rather stormy today. Was on guard today. Countersign Cumberland. My brother Edwin came over and staid all night with me.

31 A very pleasant day. Exchanged our old muskets for the long Enfield rifles. Got another two months pay today. Sent an allottment ticket of $12.00 to my sister Mrs. G. G. Stinson, No. 79, payable in N. Y. The Enfield muskets were manufactured in England and were more effective than their older style Harpers Ferry muskets.

April, 1862

1 A pleasant day. I should have put down that I sent the allotment ticket to my sister today, as I did sent it this afternoon.

2 Another pleasant day. More troops arrived. Nothing else new. Gen. McClellan is here.

3 Another pleasant day. The troops around Hampton broke camp and advanced today toward Yorktown. There were other troops ahead at and beyond Big Bethel.

4 The troops around Hampton advanced today instead of yesterday.

5 Pleasant day. A little rain last night. Heard heavy cannonading from Yorktown all day. It was from our gunboats engaging the enemies batteries. General McClellan's large Federal army is advancing toward entrenched Confederate positions at the old Revolutionary War battlefield at Yorktown.

6 A lovely day. A little rain last night. Heard more cannonading today. Had a short sermon from our chaplain today, on the parade ground. And prayer meeting in the evening.

7 Rather cool and cloudy today. Drilled considerable. Nothing else of importance occurred. Rained in the afternoon and evening.

8 Quite rainy part of the day. On guard. I have been off eight days. I have not been off so long since sometime last fall when I had a sore throat. Countersign Galena.

9 Quite rainy today. Most of the company on picket. Had a quiet time in camp.

10 A little rain and snow this morning but the day turned out quite lovely. Today I am 29 years old. It does not appear to me that I am so old. Time flies swiftly.

11 A lovely day. The Merrimac and several other rebel gunboats were in sight all day. Sometimes quite near; in the Roads. One of their steamers captured two or three small schooners that lay near Newport News. A few shots were fired from each side, when they retired. The Roads were full of schooners (transports) in the morning, but they got outside in a hurry. The "Roads" refers to Hampton Roads, the channel between Hampton and Norfolk.

12 Another lovely day. The rebel boats in sight all day, but not so near; off by Crany Island. We did not know but what they would fire some shells into the camp. So we packed up our knapsacks so as to be ready.

13 Another lovely day. Nothing unusual occurred today. No signs of the Merrimac and her consorts.

14 Another pleasant day. Had quite a long drill. Everything quiet in this vicinity.

15 Still another pleasant day. We get six hours drill per day. It is quite wearisome as there is so much sameness about it.

16 Very nice weather. Drilled in the forenoon. About 11o'clock suddenly felt quite sick. Got excused from afternoon drill. Took some pills at bed time.

17 Fine weather. Physic made me feel weak today. Got the captain to excuse me. At dress parade we had orders to have our breakfast at four o'clock tomorrow morning, knapsacks packed, to be ready for marching at 4 ½ o'clock. I think it is a knapsack drill. Physic is a term for medicine.

18 Had breakfast early. Got on the march at about five o'clock A. M. Went out ½ mile beyond New Market bridge. The Col., Maj., & Adj. had horses, but about a mile from Hampton we halted. The horses were at loose to get a little grass. The col. could not get his and had to walk the rest of the way - - or seven miles. We were all glad of it.

19 Very pleasant today till about 3 P. M. when it began to rain a little. On guard. Countersign Santa Cruz.

20 Rather cool and rainy. Considerable rain last night.

21 A pleasant day. Nothing unusual occurred today.

22 Another pleasant day. Had to drill.

23 Went on picket. Very pleasant till nine o'clock P. M. Then it blew up quite cool. Heard considerable heavy firing from Yorktown. Only had to stand 3 hours. Countersign Springfield. The Confederates were still under siege at Yorktown.

24 A very pleasant day.

25 Had to drill. Pleasant day.

26 Quite rainy and cool.

27 Still quite rainy and cool.

28 Cool and stormy.

29 Pleasant.

30 Mustered in for another two months pay. On guard.