Battle of Suffolk

April, 1863

10 We were to leave this morn but the order was countermanded as the enemy were reported near. We all fell in and stacked our arms on the parade ground. From April 10 to May 4 the battle and siege at Suffolk, Virginia occurred. The Federals had increased troops in this area and the Confederates were concerned about another march toward Richmond. Confederate General James Longstreet was sent to engage the Federals. The focus of this was at Suffolk, southwest of Norfolk. The New York 99th and Eugene Goodwin were in the line of battle during this period. The engagement turned into a stalemate and General Longstreet withdrew his troops on May 4.

11 A fine day. At about six P. M. the long roll was beat. We fell in and occupied the rifle pits in the front of our camp. The enemy were seen two or three miles off.

12 A fine day. In the pit all night. Was detailed for color guard yesterday. Still in the pit. A shower in the eve.

13 Cool and cloudy. Toward night one of the 130th N. Y. who was near me was shot by a secesh sharp shooter. They are opposite us in pits and holes.

14 Cool and pleasant. Heavy firing from our gun boats through the night. A company of our S. Shooters went across the creek on a skirmish. Three got wounded: one mortally, it is thought. We don't know if any of the rebels were killed or not. We still stop in the pits.

15 Rather rainy and very disagreeable in the intrenchments.

16 A pleasant day. Nothing unusual occurred.

17 A fine day. Two of our companies and 6 of the 130 N. Y. V. went across the creek on a skirmish. They were out about two hours. The rebels were in rifle pits on the side of a hill. We could not dislodge them. We had three wounded and one killed. I think a few secesh were killed. According to Official Army Records, written on April 17, "Since April 11, when the enemy first appeared in our front, the regiment has occupied the rifle pits between Batteries Rosecrans and South Quay. During that time it has been under a continual fire from the enemy's sharpshooters."

18 A very pleasant day. Was to town and to the 11th P. Cavalry. The enemy's bullets fall quite thick in our camp. One man of Co. G. got wounded in the leg while in camp.

19 A fine day. Was taken sick yesterday with a billious attack. A man of F. company was wounded in the calf of the leg while standing in his tent. 150 men and 6 pieces of heavy artillery captured this eve. A bilious attack is an attack of biliary colic, usually caused by gall bladder problems. It may also refer to a more generic digestive problem.

20 A little cloudy. A man had a bullet pass through his neck; it went in at his mouth. He was just looking out of the rifle pit.

21 Feel quite unwell today. Matters are as usual. Bullets still fly about camp.

22 Still a little firing with rifles and cannon. Rainy.

23 Still rainy. Reinforcements continue to arrive.

24 Bad weather. Pleasant toward night.

25 Quite pleasant today.

26 Still very pleasant.

27 A very lovely day. Rec'd a box from Benj. Soder, N. Y. City, containing 1 watch, tobacco, cigars, and paper.

28 Matters as usual. Quite rainy.

29 Damp and rainy. Nothing new. Pleasant in the afternoon. Rain at night.

30 Rainy and disagreeable. Mustered in today for two months more pay.

May, 1863

1 A very pleasant day. Our reg't went out on a skirmish. We lost about 60 men, wounded and killed. The enemy was more strongly posted than ever. Our artillery played smartly. I think they did some excution. According to the publication, The Union Army, Vol. 6, p. 824, "This was an incident of the siege of Suffolk. Gen. Terry ordered the regiment, commanded by Col. D. W. Wardrop, to reconnoiter the enemy's rifle-pits and a sharp skirmish ensued, in which the Union loss was 4 killed and 42 wounded. Of the wounded 9 afterward died. The enemy's loss was not ascertained".

2 A very pleasant day. Some bullets a flying. No one hurt today. Some of the wounded died today.

3 A fine day. On our front the enemy is quiet. A large force (Federal) crossed the Nansemond (Petersburg) and are fighting. The Nansemond River runs north from Suffolk into the James River.

4 Fine day. Several deserters have come in. The rebels have left. Our reg't was ordered out first as usual. We went about two miles and sent out scouting parties. Deserters continue to come in.

5 A fine day. Attended funeral of Chas. Fish, shot in a skirmish on the 17th. His body was left and buried by the rebels with a notice on the head board. Private Charles Fish and Eugene Goodwin were members of Company F, New York 99th.

6 Rain last night. A heavy mist all day. Attended funeral of Color Serg't Daniel Dix. Sergeant Dix was wounded on May 1. He also was a member of Company F.

7 Cloudy and somewhat cold and rainy. Still on the same ground. Matters as usual.

8 Still cold and rainy. Staid with Mr. Potter in the hospital part of today.

9 Cloudy and rainy. Nothing new.

10 Very fine today. Warm and nice. In the hospital attending to Potter.

11 A very warm day. Moved camp today. Near the 11 Pa. Ca'ly. Took logs and all. Felt very unwell. Staid in the camp of 11th Pa. Cavalry.

12 A fine day. Nothing unusual. Had a sort of a chill and fever. Felt very bad indeed.

13 Another fine day but I feel very unwell. Expect to move again.

14 Moved again today. Felt very sick. After we got to our camp ground (a short distance) felt so unwell, and as it began to rain, I went to the hospital.

15 A fine day. Staid at the hospital last night. Was ordered to join the company but was unable to go out with them. The 19th Wis. went along.

16 Warm and nice today. Feel a little better. Expect to have a chill tomorrow.

17 A lovely day, only quite warm. Still feel quite unwell. Nothing unusual occurred.

18 A pleasant day. Matters as usual.

19 Still very pleasant. Nothing new.

20 Fair weather. Matters and affairs as usual.

21 A very warm day. Went over to 11th Pa. Cavalry. Saw some released prisoners who had been at Richmond. At this stage of the war, prisoners could be exchanged and released from prison. The Libby Prison in Richmond was notorious for its harsh conditions.

22 A very warm day. Felt a little better. Nothing new.

23 Still very warm. Took the cars and went out to Windsor near the Blackwater to join the reg't. Windsor and the Blackwater River are about 10 miles west of Suffolk.

24 A slight skirmish on the front. Still very warm and dusty. The forces fell back about six miles toward Suffolk. The rebels did not trouble us.

25 A little cloudy today. A slight rain: not much. Everything quiet. Got along quite well.

26 About noon began to fall back to within 4 miles of Suffolk. Made ourselves comfortable about dark, but at ten o'clock started for Suffolk.

27 At daylight started out again. To a place 4 miles from Suffolk in the forks of the R. Roads.

28 About noon started again for camp and got paid in the evening. A warm day and awful dusty. A rumor afloat about our going away.

29 A fine day. Sent $20.00 to my sister. Had a letter from her. She wrote that my brother Edwin, at the battle of Fredericksburg, was taken prisoner May 1, paroled May 15. The battle at Fredericksburg took place on December 13, 1862. The battle on May 1-4, 1863 was near Fredericksburg but is referred to as Chancellorsville. It was a major Confederate victory. Brother Edwin Goodwin was a member of the 3rd Maine Infantry.

30 A fine day. Nothing new.

31 A fine day. After inspection went to the camp of 11th Pa. Cav. to the dedication of their chapel. Had a good time.