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Elmira Prison Camp OnLine Library
Personal Information:
The Diary of William Grambling

[The following document was supplied by Edward Byrne While it is not my custom to offer editorial comments on works placed in the Library, I am going to make an exception here. When I first read the diary, I was under the impression that the writer was an older man. However, the author was only 21 when he began the journal. It took him through the stay at Elmira. Marked by humor, sadness, and some strong observations on the current state of affairs, the Grambling diary is a very important work when studying the camp.]

The following excerpts are from a diary kept by Wilbur Wightman Grambling after he was wounded and captured as a Confederate soldier in the Wilderness campaign and while in prison in Washington and in Elmira. A copy of the Macon, Ga., Southern Christian Advocate in Mr. Grambling's possession carries an obituary of W.W. Grambling. The newspaper, dated Jan. 25, 1871, said W.W. Grambling was born March 30, 1843, in Spartanburg District, S.C., son of Andrew P. and Elizabeth Grambling. After being captured in the Battle of the Wilderness, he spent 15 months in a federal prison camp and while there contracted pneumonia. He died in Leon County on Dec. 3, 1870, apparently from the effects of this disease, the newpaper said.

The daily diary was kept in ink (some of the entries being badly faded). In the front of the diary is this entry, "W.W. Gramling, May 25th. 1864. Colonial Hospital, Washington, D.C." Inside the back cover are some arithemetic calculations and the entry, 'I-want-to-go-home-so----bad."

Please Note: All spelling and grammatical errors are as they were written by the author of the diary.

The following introduction to the diary was printed in the Chemung County Historical Journal, March, 1975:

A Rebel's Diary of Elmira Prison Camp
by James P. Jones and Edward F. Keuchel

On May 6, 1864, Wilbur W. Grambling, a young Floridian serving with the 5th Florida Infantry REgiment of the Army of Northern Virginia was wounded and taken prisoner during the Battle of the Wilderness. Grambling spent the duration of the war in prison camps in the Washington, D.C. area and Elmira, New York. During most of this period he kept a careful diary of his experiences. Inside the back cover is the plaintive notation of a homesick youth: "I-want-to-go-home-so----bad." Although the Grambling family has lived in Florida since before the Civil War, this diary was not found among family papers until 1861. It is presently in the possession of Mr. O.I. Grambling of Tallahassee. In 1971 Mr. Clifton Paisley of the Graduate Research Office of Florida State University learned of the diary while researching the agriculture history of Leon County. He transcribed the diary and obtained a copy for the Florida State University.

Wilbur W. Grambling was born March 30, 1843 near Spartanburg, SC. Not long afterward the family moved to Florida and settled in the Tallahassee area. During the Civil War Wilbur and his brother Irwin enlisted in Company K of the 5th Florida Infantry Regiment assigned to the Army of Northern Virginia. In early May of 1864 the 5th saw action in the opening days of the Wilderness Campaign. Grambling returned to his home following his release in July, 1870, at the age of 27, reportedly from a repiratory ailment incurred during his prison days. Following are extracts from the diary starting with the day of his capture.

Friday, May 6, 1864. Went into battle 2 o'clock. Wounded in the right arm and taken prisoner. Sent to rear in great pain. Had ball out and wound dressed. About 600 prisoners with me. Uncle Joe with the regt., wound in shoudner. Cay, Carter, Aldridge, Barry, Felkel, Haines and Snipes are prisoners. [1]

Ed. Note [1]: Of these members of K Company, 5th Florida Infantry, captured with Grambling, James M. Carter died at the prison camp on October 11, 1864. Chemung County Historical Society, "List of Confederate Soldiers Buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, New York." "Uncle Joe" was his father's youngest brother.

Saterday, May 7, 1864. Went to Hospital 1st Div. 9th Army Corps. Wound dressed and doing well. Started to rear but cut off by Moseby. Camped on Rappadan River. Considerable uneasyness fraid Mosby will make a dash on them.

Sunday, May 8, 1864. Came back by Chancellorsville and camped near Fredericksburg. All fair weather and wound doing finely. Got on the road to Moseby again today and had to turn back. I have been wishing he would recapture me. Did retake one from my regiment.

Monday, May 9, 1864. Arrived at Fredericksburg only this morning. Established hospital in a Presbyterian Church. Nothing to eat but hard bread, coffee, beef, and tea and every two or three days 2 oz. boiled beef.

Tuesday, May 17, 1864. All quiet. Weather fair. Three butter crackers for supper. Wound still improving. A great many vague rumors among the Yankees in regard to their successes. They have had it read to them on dress parade that Richmond was theirs.

Wednesday, May 18, 1864. A great many wounded came in last night from the front. I asked Dr. to let me walk out for recreation but would not allow me even with a guard. Reports from the front say the forces attacked with bayonets. They repulsed or captured a force including our battery of artillery, their report.

Saturday, May 21, 1864. Arrived at Washington this morning at daybreak. Now in hospital on the north side of town, is called Columbian Hospital. Saw Abe Lincoln's house. Very comfortably situated. Baked bread, coffee, meat, apples, some corn meal and sirup. Another cot to lie on.

Sunday, May 22, 1864. A beautiful morning. Shower rain at noon. Health good and wound doing well. I see negroes riding out in fine carriages with their driver sometimes a negro. Man & a white woman riding together in a carriage with a negro driver. Frequently see them walking together.

Monday, May 23, 1864. Everything the same. Saw President Lincoln and Lady pass yesterday, just saw them on their hack and could not tell how he looks. He passes here nearly every day. [I] die here nearly every day. Wrote a letter to Pa and Irvin today.

Thursday, May 26, 1864. Rainy all day. 200 more wounded came in. Papers are full of vain rumors. Lee is still retreating and nearly cut off from Richmond, Jeff Davis is captured by Grant and paroled. Don't know whether he will be summarily hanged or not. Some believe it, therefore are all very jubilant.

Tuesday, May 31, 1864. Every thing quiet today. The weather fair & pleasant. My health good, wound doing well. Some ladies in today to see Col. Manning. Brought him some grub. Still at Lincoln Hospital. Now what composes it is a buildinig 100 feet long & 25 feet wide forming a triangle and a large number to tents. In all I suspose there is over 3000 wounded here and perhaps 200 rebs. I think this is nearly the last place in creation. It is right out in the open field. It is so very hot. I understand that 18,000 men are to leave here tomorrow for the front. Yanks still in good spirits & are looking up to Grant expecting him to crush out the rebellion this summer. If he does it by the 5th of June will be nominated as candidate for President. He won't do it.

Friday, June 24, 1864. Very fair and warm this morning. Sold $10.00 in gold for $18.00 in greenbacks & bought 1 plug Tob., 2 boxes of matches & per suspenders this p.m. Suffering good deal with backache again. The boys all keep in pretty good spirits so far.

Wednesday, July 6, 1864. Weather fair and pleasant. No change in things generally as I know. The wounded are most all doing very well. Some cases of gangreen which I think will be fatal.

Thursday, July 7, 1864. Very fair and pretty day though quite warm. No change in things generally, good deal of excitement about Frederick and Hagerstown, Md. Our forces making pretty good headway. Last dispatches state all the rebs have recrossed the Potomac. Men here sick.

Firday, July 8, 1864. The 8th day of July has passed & nothing has transpired worth note nor to make the day memorable. It has been a rather fair day and quite warm & sultry. The Yankees can't ascertain what force we have invading them with nor their whereabouts.

Sunday, July 10, 1864. The day has passed off very quiet. Nothing of note occurred. It is reported that our boys drove the Yankees 18 miles, killed Gen. Wallace and captured one other general--forget his name--and are now within nine miles of Baltimore. I think Washington is threatened pretty strongly this morninig.

Monday, July 11, A.M. Great deal of excitememt. Won't allow any one to go out of the ward. Ward master got his repeater on caused from the invaders say they have just about got Baltimore and are coming now to take Washington. Foiled in my plan to escape. Sent part of my party off. Wrote to Irvin. P.M. Things have got a little more quiet. Reports say that they are fighting within six miles of here at Fort Manassas.

Tuesday, July 12, 1864. Fair~& pleasant this morning. Left today at noon & arrived at the old capital prison. They are very strict here. Won't let you get close to the window. Eat twice a day. Quite a dirty place, just alive with chinches one or two out at a time. Think I will get along.

Saturday, July 16, 1864. Every thing quiet today. Nothing occurred worthy note. My principal amusement is looking at the women pass. Some very pretty ones~in the city of Washington. Quite a lot of cavalry are passing just now. Weather moderate.

Sunday, July 17, 1864. Today seems a great deal like Sunday & I can't help thinking of home and wishing I was at Old Pisgah. Every thing remains about the same. A funeral procession passed. It was a member of the fire company. Five very pretty young ladies passed by in a carriage and one of them waved to me which is frequently the case.

Tuesday, July 19, 1864. Weather quite fair & not very warm. Our room is about 25 or 30 ft. square and has 42 men in it. Pretty well crowded about 600 or 700 prisoners. Prospects are good to be sent away soon but can't judge to what place. Rations are very short, 2 meals per day & is rumored that we will only get one hereafter.

Saturday, July 23, 1864. Left Washington 1 o'clock for Elmira. Arrived at Baltimore at 7. A great many spectators on the street. Got off the cars at Mountain House on Howard St and turned down Franklin. At franklin House drew rations and left at 8 o'clock.

Sunday, July 24, 1864. Traveled all night and find we are 170 miles from Elmira. Corn crops are very sorry. Wheat is gathered. Oats is pretty good. Traveled through Catskill Mountains up the Susquehanna River. Crossed is 20 times. Got here 6 o'clock.

Monday, May 25, 1864. Raining all day. Very sloppy. Elmira is noted for pretty women and a good many of them. The prison is about 10 acres square with barracks inside large enough to hold 112 men each. This is Barracks No. 3 commanded by Major Colt. [2]

Ed. Note [2]: Barracks 3 consisted of 35 wooden buildings each about 100 feel long, 16 feet wide and high enough for two rows of bunks. Thomas E. Burne, "Elmira's Civil War Prison Camp: 1864-65," Chemung County Historical Journal, 10 (September, 1964), 1279.

Tuesday, May 26, 1864. Weather fair and pleasant. I have got a position in the kitchen as a waiter and have much work to do and get plenty to eat. There is 6 of my Regt. here and 4 or 5 of the 2nd Regt. None of my company.

Wednesday July 27, 1864. It is fair & quite warm today. Though the nights are quite cool. We eat twice a day, morning at 7 o'clock & evening at 3 o'clock. Our camp or Barracks are surrounded by mountains, not very high ones though.

Thursday, July 28, 1864. About 600 more prisoners came in this morning from Point Lookout. I guess they will all be brought up here. They are looking bad. Some so poor they look like it is hard for them to navigate. One-half barefooted. [3]

Ed. Note [3]: Of the 4,425 prisoners in the camp by the end of July, all except Grambling's contingent had been transferred from Point Lookout on Chesapeake Bay. The Point Lookout prisoners were generally, as Grambling describes them, in poor condition. See Byrne, "Elmira's Civil War Prison Camp, 1862," and Clay Holmes, The Elmira Prison Camp: A History (New York, 1912), 20-26.

Tuesday, Aug. 2, 1864. This has been a very wet and rainy day. Everything is very dull. We have heard no news today. I am getting very tired of prison and am growing more so every day. The thoughts of staying here all the winter and perhaps till the war ends makes the time a great deal longer.

Friday, Aug. 5 , 1864. No news today. Every thing perfectly quiet & dull as is natural in prison. Weather remains fair and quite warm. Everything seems to speak in favor of the South. The prisoners are expecting an early exchange or parole.

Thursday, Aug. 11, 1864. Every thing very quiet & have rumers of exchange pretty soon but it don't amount to anything, only a falsehood. My health is still improving. Am taking salts in broken doses. My blood seems to be very thin.

Friday, Aug. 12, 1864. This is a beautiful day. The sweet little birds are chirping from branch to branch. There are a great many rumors but I don't pay any attention to these, Dear Friend, when what you do remember is the Guns.

Sunday, Aug. 14, 1864. Quite fair and pleasant today but Oh! I can't help wishing I was there to go to old Pisgah. [4] I will never forget the dear spot, every Sunday about 11 or 12 o'clock. I say Pa is at church now. Received a letter from him today. All is well.

Ed. Note [4]: Pisgah Methodist Church in Leon County, Florida, built in 1859, is still the scene of Grambling Family reunions.

Friday, Aug, 19, 1864. Fair and pleasant today. Suffering very much with jaw-ache. Tried to have an old root extracted & instead of getting it broke a good one off at the gumbs. Recd. a letter from Irvin today. He was well, also one from Washington. Have some clothes on the road.

Saturday, Aug. 20, 1864. The exchange question is still being agitated very much. Report says (said to be reliable) commencing 10 th Sept. all over plus to be paroled & all to have 60 days furlough on our return. Still suffering good deal with neuralgia. Morgan of Co. D died today of Chronic diarhea.

Friday, Aug. 26, 1864. No change in things generally. It has been a~very pleasant day. Little rain this evening. Neuralgia is about well. Received the clothing today that i have been expecting from Washington. Very well pleased. No fine clothing nor provisions are allowed to be brought in --all that come are confiscated.

Saturday, Aug. 27, 1864. Wrote Miss Thomson today. Report says that Lee made a flank movement on Grant & fully demoralized his army. The news generally are very cheering. More rain this evening, I am feeling very well now.

Sunday, Aug. 28, 1864. Another Sabbath has past and I stil find myself here in prison, making five weeks in this place which seems like 5 months. Time pass off very slow. Notwithstanding, I am pretty comfortable. Wished myself at Ma's cubard today as I often do.

Wednesday, Aug. 31 1864. Last night & this morning was cold, the coldest weather I ever experienced in August. It is quite pleasant this evening. August has been tolerably pleasant and pretty rainy & cloudy most all the time The news generally has been quite cheering. Most all the prisoners are looking forward for an early exchange, also are expecting peace soon. The last report (which are many in regard to exchange) is that Jeff has agreed to exchange the Negroes for the men that have enrolled their names to take the oath of allegiance to the U.S. Thomson is sick with pneumonia. Also Wilford with fever, both in the hospital. My health has been good except neuralgia. The rest of the company are well & doing as well as could be expected. So ended August.

Thursday, Sept, 1, 1864. Good deal of excitment in town last night caused by the nomination of McClellan for President. Quite a number of guns were fired. Weather remained the same as everything else does. No change in anything.

Saturday, Sept. 3, 1864. Weather still remains cool and cloudy, but no rain. Seems be more like November than September. Rumer says Atlanta has fallen with 20,000 prisoners, also that Lee has lost 15,000.

Sunday, Sept. 4, 1864. It is reported that Lee has whipped Grant again & driven him 6 miles. He calls for reinforcements, will have to retreat if not received. Papers advocate a retreat. I think more about home Sundays than any other day, not only home but old Pisgah ch house. Long to see the dear spot again.

Saturday, Sept. 10, 1864. Rumor says that the exchange is to take place between the 15th & 25th of this month. I cant put much faith in it though I hope it is true. Still fair & very pleasant. We have pretty strict orders. Have to be very careful what we do or how we act.

Friday, Sept. 16, 1864. This has been the most pleasant day we have had in some time. Fair & not cold. There is no news today. Wrote a letter to John T. Desellum for Blanket, draws, pants socks and money. Some rumers about the wounded & sick being sent off.

Monday, Sept. 19, 1864. No news today, only reported that John Morgan is killed which I hope is false. Am quite unwell today with chill and cough bordering pleurisy. I think my right breast is very sore. Had a little fever yesterday and today. Nothing I think serious yet.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 1864. Reported that Gen. Rhodes & Gordon are killed & 15,000 prisoners captured. Am little better today but feel quite bad yet. Men are dying up very fast, average 16 or 18 per day.

Thursday, Sept. 22, 1864. Have got about well again though my breast is very sore yet. The exchange & parole question is being agitated again. Great many are taking the oath. Weather same. Read a letter from Irvin. Is dated the 15th.

Friday, Sept, 23, 1864. There is no news about today. Weather fair & pleasant. Am feeling some better. Wrote to Irvin today. Men are dying very fast, from 15 to 25 per day.

Saturday, Sept. 24, 1864. Surgeons have been round today examining the sick and wounded, they say to parole them. Weather very pleasant though a little cooler this evening. Health improving. I long to get back in Dixie.

Sunday, Sept. 25, 1864. There is no news today whatever, and the day has passed very dull and silently. Has been fair and cold as cold can be without freezing. I think seems like December at home. I have got about well again except cold and cough. Exchange question is very much agitated.

Saturday, Oct. 1, 1864. No news of interest stirring today. Weather is cloudy & very cold and unpleasant. Don't expect to sleep much tonight as I only have one blanket to cover with and it is quite thin. Don't see how I am to live this winter without more cover.

Wednesday, Oct. 5, 1864. Weather remains the same. No news at all. Received a letter from & wrote to Mr. Desellum today. Taking names for clothing this evening. Health remains very good.

Friday, Oct.7, 1864. A.M. Fair and pleasant. 25 army men made their escape last night by tunneling. [5] They got 25 horses. Commenced 19th of Aug. They dug 64 ft. No news today. Report says the sick leaves in the morning. P.M. cloudy but no rain. Still hauling wood.

Ed. Note [5]: This was the famous October tunnel escape which culminated weeks of stealthy burrowing by the Confederates. Ten prisoners succeeded, not 25 as Grambling relates. Eight of the ten made their way south and the other two traveled north to Auburn, New York, where they worked and saved enough to later return to the South. A total of seventeen prisoners escaped from the camp during its period of operation. Byrne, "Elmira's Civil War Prison," 1287; Holmes, Elmira Prison Camp, 170-86.

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 1864. Elmira Gazette states that all prisoners captured up to June are to be exchanged except those captured by Butler in front of Petersburg. The sick and wounded have got off at--last near 2000. They seemed to be very cheerful.

Thurday, Oct. 14, 1864. No news stirring today. Fair and quite cold. Received a letter from Mattie today of Sept. 17th. All well as usual. Rave not caught any of the men yet that made their escape.

Tuesday, Oct 18, 1864. Still fair & pleasant. Papers says that Sherman's army is completely annihilated. Jeff Davis speaks very cheeringly to the soldiers. I had a mess of cabbage & Irish potatoes today.

Wednesday, Oct. 19, 1864. No change in the weather & no news of any kind. The general health of the prisoners are a great deal better. Instead of 15 to 20 it is only 5 to 10 per day & it seems to be the general impression that we will winter here.

Thursday, Oct. 20, 1864. Weather somewhat unsettled but no rain. Frost every morning though the weather remains quite moderate. Prisoners are generally pretty well supplied with clothing, shoes especially.

Friday, Oct, 21, 1864. Papers state that England & France have recognized the independence of the Confederacy. Nothing else new.. Weather remains the same. My health is still very good.

Sunday, Oct. 23, 1864. Cloudy but no rain today. My health has generally been good ever since I have been captured. Read my Testment almost every day. They have a Library here now & I have a book reading. The title is the Story of a Pocket Bible. Very good.

Monday, Oct. 24, 1864. More tunneling been going on but were reported by some galvanized demons. Would soon have been through. Weather cloudy but little rain. Wrote to Miss Ida Duncanson today.

Tuesday, Oct. 25, 1864. Reported in camps that Grant has given up Petersburg and is falling back to Washington. My health remains very good. Weather very mild, fair & pleasant. The people of Elmira has kept the old cannon pretty busy today.

Monday, Oct. 31, 1864. Weather warm & wet. We have a very good market here. The principal articles of trade is apples, cooked cabbage, Tobacco, clothing, potatoes, knives &c. Officers have tried several times to break it up but have not succeeded & are not likely to. Received a letter from Mrs. Sawyer yesterday. Boxes of clothing &c, and money are being sent in daily to the men from their relatives & friends but I am somewhat among the unfortunate. The way I spend my time. 1st. Set the table & then clean up afterwards, then 2nd read & knock about until 3 O'clock & 3rd it is dinner, which I have to take an active part in, working after the rest.

Monday, Nov. 7, 1864. Weather fair & pleasant. It is very changeable, one day freezing, the next almost boiling. Comparatively no new dispatches today. Tomorrow is looked upon as the great day. General impression is that it will be a close run between Abe & Mc.

Tuesday, Nov. 8. 1864. Nothing has occurred today more than usual. Far as I know it is quite still for election day. Generally thought that it will be a close run between Abe & Mc. rather in the latter's favor.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 1864. It is reported that Lincoln is a head as far as known. Little hopes of an exchange. Health good, weather fair & quite pleasant.

Thursday, Nov. 10, 1864. Weather remains the same. Some of the boys have been flanking [6] potatoes and the Yanks stopped the ration of all until the interested parties were found out. They soon came to light.

Ed. Note [6]: The "flanking" mentioned by Grambling refers to stealing. Prisoners working in the mess hall frequently "flanked" rations, eating what they wanted and selling the surplus. Stealing food was a serious offense which could earn the culprit either confinement in the guard house, confinement on bread and water, the sweat box or the barrel shirt. Byrne, "Elmira's Civil War Prison," 1292; Holmes, Elmira Prison Camp, 338. See December 13, 1864 entry for Grambling's mention of his stay in the guard house, but not listing his offense.

Friday, Nov. 11, 1864. Great speculation about the election. Some say that Lincoln is elected & some say Mac. Very fair but some colder though pleasant. Great many boxes packages of clothing come in daily for the rebs.

Monday, Nov. 14, 1864. Have not heard who is elected yet for president--it is a very close run. I believe it inclines to be in Lincoln's favor. Weather unsettled. Little snow & very cold. Health generally very good.

Friday, Nov. 18, 1864. Weather cloudy & warm. Fresh report about exchange. Officers are getting tighter on us every day. Keep trying to break up our market but cant quite outwit. Rebels are too smart at every point.

Saturday, Nov. 19, 1864. Unusually pleasant today & fair. seems to be no doubt but Abe is reelected. Health improving. Everything very quiet in camp. Bought a blanket today for 75 cents.

Monday, Nov. 21, 1864. Cloudy and warm. No news. Am quite well. I have been repairing my bunk all day whittling up plank. [7] Today I'm nearly finished.

Ed. Note [7]: Prisoners frequently whittled pine boards and used the shavings as mattress stuffing.

Tuesday, Nov. 22, 1864. Cloudy and very cold. Had a pretty good snow last night. None yoday. It is reported that Gen. Lee is killed, but I don't believe it to be true. Have new cool stoves in the mess room now. [8] Have finished fixing my bunk.

Ed. Note [8]: The coal stoves were a welcome addition to the camp. All in all 150 coal stoves were purchased for the camp. Byrne, "Elmira's Civil War Prisoner Camp," 1286.

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 1864. Weather broken & a little snow. Very cold. I am well except a severe cold. N.Y. Papers say Gen. Lee is kill. Beauregard has taken the oath & Jeff is not to be found. wrote to Mrs Sawyer and Mr. Wagener.

Thursday, Nov. 24, 1864. No news stirring today. Very strict with the men now. Dont allow the men to bring their rations out of the messroom. Two men were caught tunneling last night.

Friday, Nov. 25, 1864. All quiet along the line today. Fair & pretty warm. Good deal of snow on the ground. Wrote to pa today There is between 7000 & 8000 men in here and about 4000 have applied to take the oath. I am some better this evening.

Saturday, Nov. 26, 1864. Cloudy & a little snow. N.Y. Herald say that Mullord has gone to prepare terms of exchange to Jeff which not doubt he will accept, also that Lee has whipped Grant again, capturing 20,000 prisoners. It predicted that all of us will doubtless eat our Christmas dinner at home.

Thursday, Dec. 1, 1864. No news again today. Weather fair & pleasant. Health very good. Up roar in the cook house. I will try & give a minute description of our camp quarters & surroundings vicinity as well as possible.

Saturday, Dec. 3, 1864. Weather remains the same, No news. On the South Side is the old river bed holding water. Along on the north bank is the cookhouse and mess room & apothocaries &c, then a street 30 ft wide, then a row of Barracks 30 in another street same width.

Sunday, Dec. 4, 1864. Every thing remains the same. Next is two more rows of barracks. Along the north side in the west half is the officers quarters, gate in the center along the west side are the Hospital Barracks & kitchen, seven in number.

Monday, Dec. 5, 1864. Everything the same. Maj. very strict. On the north side of the camp is part of the city, two observatories, 1 regt. in camp & mountains dotted with country farms. On the east side is the principal part of town, depot & another regiment in camp & one 4 gun battry.

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 1864. Our new Maj. is very tiranical. Had a fight in the ward. Mountains also on the east. On the south side is Susquahanah River, broad plain & mountains, slaughter house & farm house &c.

Tuesday, Dec. 13, 1864. Cloudy and very cold and little snow. Had my first trial in the guard house. Was put in last night. Given nothing but bread and water. Two pieces of bread today. Pretty lousy hole.

Wednesday, Dec. 14, 1864. Weather has moderated a great deal. Released from the guard house this evening.

Monday, Dec. 19, 1864. Cloudy but quite pleasant. More prisoners came in today from Washington. Good many cases small pox. Three have died. Prisoners are very sickly as a general thing. My bed fellow Cay is sick with pneumonia.

Tuesday, Dec. 20, 1864. Fair and very cold. Everything is frozen hard. No news again today. Am in very good health. Cay is not any better. The rebs are enjoying themselves daily scating on the pond in the south side of the camp.

Friday, Dec. 23, 1864. Fair and still very cold. Uncle and myself are well. Smallpox still raging. Some 30 cases and about 5 have died. Rules are very strict in camp. Not allowed to go out much at night. Cay is worse today. Took a fresh cold last night.

Saturday, Dec. 24, 1864. Weather fair & has moderated a great deal. Jeff Davis has poisoned himself, Bob had whipped Grant. There is 40 cases of smallpox, 4 have died. Prospects are bad for Christmas.

Sunday, Dec. 25, 1864. Fair and very pleasant. Christmas but it seems no more than any other day. ground is melting which makes it very slippy. Today is The snow on

Monday, Dec. 26, 1864. Cloudy, warm but no rain. It is reported that Savannah has fallen with 20,000 prisoners. Quite sickly in camp again, from 15 to 25 die a day. [9] Small pox is growing worse every day. Wrote to Mrs Sawyer.

Ed. Note [9]: In the period December 1-26, 230 prisoners died in the camp. Chemung County Historical Society, "List of Confederate Soldiers."

Thursday, Dec. 29, 1864. Heavy snow last night. Colder today & a little snow. Started to school today. Am taking French lessons. No news. My health remains good. Getting Sunday school lesson, 1st Chapter Acts of the Apostles to 16th verse. Nearly know it.

Saturday, Dec. 31, 1864. I feel thankful to the disposer of all things for favored as I have been since I have been a prisoner for I have got enough to eat ever since I have been a prisoner except while I was at Fredericksburg, Va., and the old Capital Washington City about ten days each. I have had enough clothing also all the while. Upon the whole I have not fared much worse than in Dixie.

Tuesday, Jan. 3, 1865. Weather has moderated. A great deal from reports. Confirmed my vaxination has taken finely. Very sickly in camp now. Progressing pretty well in French.

Wednesday, Jan. 4, 1865. Cloudy & a little snow and very cold. Health very good. Arm is pretty soar & is still inflamed. Had quite a fight in my ward this morning between Dunn & Harper about insulting language.

Thursday, Jan. 12, 1864. Weather remains fair and moderate. I am progressing in my French pretty well. Small poc still raging. Carry new cases to the hospital every day.

Monday, Jan. 16, 1865. Weather broken and quite cold. We have had no coal to keep the fire today. No school today. Got the scab knocked off my arm today. Oh it looks quite bad. [10]

Ed. Note [10]: Crude vaccinations were not uncommon. One observer reported that among the prisoners from Point Lookout "in arms of some of them there were great soars, big enough, it seemed, to put your fist in." Byrne, "Elmira's Civil War Prison Camp," 1293.

Sunday, Jan. 22, 1865. Had considerable snow again last night. Not very cold. Reported that the authorities have agreed to parole all prisoners. Am not feeling very well this evening. My feet are frost bit again. Lady in camp today.

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 1865. Cloudy but not very cold. Recd. a letter from Matt yesterday. All well but for several deaths. No school today nor no news of interest. All dull.

Thursday, Jan. 26, 1865. Cloudy, no snow nor rain and not very cold. Reported that Buffalo was burnt last night. Supposed to be done by the raiders from Canada. Every thing is quiet. 2000 prisoners sent from Point Lookout. Worked on bunk today.

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 1865. No news today. Getting bread again. My rations reduced. Cloudy but weather moderate. Prisoners say all the officers were drunk at Fort Fisher. As a general thing this has been a very pleasant month considering the latitude though there has been snow on the ground all the time. Good many days the ice did not thaw one particle. Health has been good and also rations pretty fair. Prisoners are generally in pretty good spirits though the exchange question has died out entirely.

Thursday, Feb. 2, 1865. Fair and quiet pleasant and beautiful senery. Mountains all around & perfectly white with snow. Received box & contents today from Mrs. Sawyer & a pair of girls drawers (astonishing).

Sunday, Feb 5, 1865. Very~blustery and unpleasant. Thank god the exchange is about to commence at last--have been taking names today. Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas & Missouri are to go first with the sick.

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1865. A.M. cloudy & moderate. No person allowed to go to Dixie who has applied to take the oath, I entertain very good hopes of getting back soon. Col. Moore says it is a general exchange. France seems to be meddling with affairs. P.M. snowing very fast.

Sunday, Feb. 12, 1865. A.M. Received a letter from Pa today, not very cold but quite unpleasant. Catholic priest preached today.

Monday, Feb. 13, 1865. Weather fair and pleasant. At noon 300 sick & 200 wellmen leaves this evening in an hour or more. Are now calling the roll. Reported that they will continue to send fast as possible.

Thursday, Feb, 16, 1865. Reports say there is 1000 to go next load, 600 sick & 400 well also Va. and N.C. will be the last exchanged. Am anxious for my time to come. am afraid they will only exch three thousand & stop & leave me here.

Friday, Feb. 17, 1865. Weather very moderate & fair. I have pretty reliable information that the Comdg officer has recd orders to clear the camp as quick as possible. Trust to God it is true. Great deal of sickness.

Tuesday, Feb 28, 1865. Another load of 500 signed the paroles today. Don't know when they will get off. Have a load of sick made up also. Hope I will get of soon. Trust to Providence. An unfair way of sending them off. Just whoever has money to buy his way out can go. Some sent an application to the Col. and got off in that way. Great deal of sickness in camp now and the smallpox is more fatal. Great many deaths, from 20 o~ 30 every day out of about 7000 man. More now than there was last summer and fall when there was some 10,000 here.

Friday, March 3, 1865. Weather remains the same. All quiet in camp. No rain today. Almost crazy, I want to go to Dixie so bad. Still live in hope if I die in despair.

Sunday, March 12, 1865. Oh me! So lonesome can hardly keep back the tears. So long since I have seen amy of my associates., Hope my imprisonment con't last always.

Monday, March 13, 1865. Weather quiet moderate. Reported that 13,000 of Earley's men are captured, also that 17,000 of Sherman's surprised old Jube. I don't believe either report. As the saying is those tales have not got any hair in them.

Friday, March 17, 1865. Weather remained the same. River is still rising. Is all over camp 4 or 5 ft deep, in cook house & some of the wards. Moved out all the sick and commissary stores to higher place. Commence fall in it at 6 o'clock.

Saturday, March 18. River has fallen nearly to its old water mark. Mess house 7 & cook houses 4 in deep in mud. Had a bad time cleaning them out. Some houses washed away.

Wednesday, March 22, 1865. Little sleet and rain today, reported that the load on which my name was is broken up. I think it true. They have made up another load of the first on the rolls as we came here. I am knocked out.

Monday, March 27, 1865. Very fair & pleasant. Boys are catching fish today out of the creek. Catches some quite nice perch. Tried my hand but met with no success. Nothing new. All quiet.

Tuesday, March 28, 1865. Weather remains the same. Everything quiet. Papers say Lee attacked Grant thinking his strength was weakened to reinforce Sherman & was repulsed with a loss of 5000 or 6000 men while Grant only lost 500 or 600 men.

Wednesday, March 29, 1865. Very pleasant weather. Every thing very quiet. Discharged from the mess because they were dissatisfied with me but simply good union men. Bob Lee whiped. room today, not to put in some

Thursday, March 30, 1865. My birthday, 22 years old. A very wet morning. More of the waiters discharged. No news about when and more men will leave for Dixie. I think not before next week. Have made one more effort to get off.

Friday, March 31, 1865. Still cool & raining. No news of importance. I hope the Yankees are satisfied now they have discharged all the rebs who were waiters in the mess room and put in oath takers or good union men as they call them. The winter is about over now and it has not been so very hard. I have tuffed it out very well. Cant say that I suffered any either from cold or hunger for which I am very thankful. Have been blessed so far. Tried to get off on the next load but I think my chances are very slim. Liut. Smith said the rolls were full. Wards are all consolidated into 30. Mine is still lE.

Monday, April 3, 1865. Weather same. Reports say that Richmond is evacuated & that it will be a month yet before the Baltimore road is repaired. Commenced work today.

Monday, April 4, 1865. A.M. fair and pleasant. Richmond gone up. 12,000 prisoners, 50 pieces artillery. P.M. cloudy and little rain. Nothing new.

Monday, April 10, 1865. Tolerably pleasant today. Reports say, it is published on bullitenboard that Lee has 8urrendered his army also that we are to be paroled immediately.

Tuesday, April 11, 1865. No change in things generally. Still rumors & seems to be confirmation of the surrender of Lee & army. Some seem to be glad, some sorry.

Wednesday, April 12, 1865. Cloudy & rainy. Papers give a list of officers captured, Gen. Finegan one of the number. Great many are confident we will all soon be paroled.

Thursday, April 13, 1865. Seems to be settled that Gen. Lee & Army has surrendered of Grant. Some seem to rejoice while others lament the capture of so noble an army.

Friday, April 14, 1865. Great rejoicing throughout the U.S. Great exultation & blowing in the papers. fairly growing picture. Richmond is entirely destitute of provisions. Recd. Federals with great joy.

Saturday, April 15, 1865. Excitement has only begun. Abe & Seward was murdered last night, first rumer that a Virginian, lastly S.s. clerk Rumered that all Rebel officer at Washington were killed.

Sunday, April 16, 1865. Cloudy and Quite cold. Lincoln's murderer is supposed to be one Booth. Johnson to his seat yesterday at 2 o'clock. Seward considered dangerous. The assassin not apprehended yet.

Monday, April 24, 1865. Weather fair & cold. Great excitement. Took the names of all citizen oath takers, all who willing to take the oath & those who won't take the oath. I am still a R E Reb.

Tuesday, April 25, 1865. Fair and very plesant. Nothing new. Johnson has not surrendered yet. He & Sherman has been negotiating terms of peace. Lines extend from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. Washington authorities disatisfied. All armes to be turned over to state authorities just as before the war.

Wednesday, April 26, 1865. Fair & pleasant. Still great excitement. Most all have applied to take the oath & I was weak enough to do so also. Sorry for it since try and & live in the hopes that it will prove for the best.

Thursday, April 27, 1865. Warm & broken. A thunder & shower reminded me of old times very much. Am feeling troubled today, afraid I have done wrong.

Friday, April 28, 1865. Weather broken. No rain & tolerably cool. Latest dispatch is that they commence paroling Monday, Virginian's first. Don't place any confidence in the rumor. Health good, smallpox departed

Saturday, April 29, 1865. Another thunder shower. Otherwise fair and pleasant. No news today. All very quiet. Bought some leaf tobacco. These are very dull and all have on hand.

Sunday, April 30, 1865. All quiet. Reported a load leaves tomorrow for Baltimore. There has been a great deal of excitement this month, the whole confederacy has gone. Sad to think of but might be hope.

Friday, May 5, 1865. Fair & warm. No news of importance. Everything quiet. Wrote to Pa of the great improvements going on in camp, and fixing up quite a garden.