Optional page text here. Sgt. Major Bluford A. Cameron

Sgt. Major Bluford A. Cameron

BLUFORD ALEXANDER CAMERON died sometime after July 4, 1863 in Monroe, LA during Civil War. He married MARTHA CAROLINE HUFFINESS, daughter of FRED HUFFINESS and POLLY JONES.
BLUFORD ALEXANDER CAMERON wrote a diary "CHRONICLINGS OF A JOHNNY REB" where he wrote a daily account of his life on the move.


Commenced acting as sergeant Major 15th Aug 1862 and the appointment was sanctioned by the Col. on the 23d Aug 1862.

Aug 2d The Battalion left camp Know and traveled 12 miles [Arkansas]
Aug 12st Camp Dansby, came 17 miles through Louisville.
Aug 22d Camp Gates. Came 15 miles up with 21st Battalion.
Aug 23d Rested at Camp Gates and had grand dress parade.
Aug 24th & 25th came 14 miles each day.
Aug 26th came 12 miles, came through Camden in Regimental order, stopped 1 1/2 hours in town.
Aug 27th, Camp Holmes ca,me 17 miles through low country.
Aug 28th Camp Warm Water , came 12 miles, better land, a little rolling.
Aug 29th Cap Saline, came 2 1/3 miles through Princeton, a nice village, on through a corner of Hot springs county. The first half of the way was hilly and rocky, the other flat and dusty. Camped on the Saline river.
Aug 30th Remained in camp and washed up.
Aug 31st Camp wood. Came 14 miles over very dusty road but it threatened rain smartly this evening.
Sept 1st Camp Colby, came 18 miles to Cam Texas.
Sept 2d Left Camp at 5 o'clock and went through Little Rock across the Arkansas 18 miles to Camp Swinney.
Sept 3d Left Camp Swinny at 5 o'clock, went 13 miles to Camp Holmes.
[Here is a blank page in the note book also a lapse in time from Sept 3d 1862 to May 16th 1863.The Chronicler spent this time on a furlough with his wife and children who were at the home of her father, Frederic Huffines, in the eastern part of Cass Co. near the city of Jefferson which was at the time, the metropolis of east Texas]
Left Jefferson at 12 o'clock the 16th of May 1863. Came 2 miles and a man belonging to Capt West battery got drowned.
May 17 Left Port Caddo at day light. Me the Fleta and heard the Feds had retreated from Alexandria. Arrived at Shreveport about 5 o'clock reported to the P.Q[?]M. was put under Capt Gasaway or Galway to await further orders.
May 18th Passed the day in camp and loitering about the town.
May 19th Went in the forenoon and saw the gun boat Webb and larger guns at the fort. The afternoon I spent in camp writing to my dear Martha [his wife].
May 20th I passed the F.N. [fore noon] in camp by writing a letter to father and family. In the A.N. [afternoon] went to the funeral and burial of the only son of General Taylor.
May 21th Spent F.N. in cooking and about 12 o'clock down the river to our Command near Grantico on the Osceloa,
went down about 20 mi and lay by for the night.
May 22, Started on down the river at daylight and went on till about 12 o'clock when the boat stopped to take on some provisions and I got a fine treat of sweet milk. Jim [Jim Huffines, a brother of wife] was sick today so we slept in a house to night.
May 23d Rested pretty well and we had like to have been left as the boat started very early. We came on down to Acamta about 10 mi. when we saw our trains. we did not stop here but went on to Grand Ecare where we stopped and stayed till 3 o'clock when we were back to Acamta. Got here just before dark, when the most of the boys went out to their commands and who belonged to Haws Brigade were camped near the river. Jimmie and I got our supper and slept in the gallery.
May 24th Took breakfast at the tavern Then went to camp and prepared rations till about 12 when the Texas came down and we were put on her and went on down to Alexandra. Got there about 10 o'clock at night and were kept on her till morning when we drew and cooked up two days ration
May 25 We got on shore and prepared breakfast. We were then ordered to bring our blankets on shore, then drew and prepared two days rations. I was taken a little sick before day and dysentery and remained so till 12 o'clock eating nothing. We expected to get with our command here but learned to our sad surprise that it was down the river and 40 mi. We were sent across the river about 3 o'clock on the Texas to encamp a place called the Cold Spring to wait further orders. But still feeling unwell, stopped in at a private house and spent the night.
May 26 I was served with a cup of coffee before I arose from bed soon got up and felt some better. Breakfast came quite late, but was very good when it came. The gentleman would not have anything for my staying with him. I then went to camp, found it a very nice place for encamping. a large spring of good water. I spent the day in lolling about and sleeping. this was the first night I lay out since we left home. I lay under some trees by myself. We got some washing do to day.
May 27 To-day I still felt better. Passed the F.N. in camp. In the A.N. went down to the river and saw part of Gen McCullock's Brigade
come down. And we came back we got our clothes come on to camps and we and our friends, Echols and Smith, built us an arbor to sleep under.
May 28, Spent the night very well and still felt better on arising. After breakfast we went down to the river to our friends in Co. Waterhouse's regiment, found them all we except Dolley who was left at Pine Bluff sick. Came back, got dinner and about 4'oclock A.M. saw Randall's brigade start, McCullock's started too but I did not see it. Spent the night in camp and our shed of bushes.
May 29 I got up early and went about breakfast. While getting it brother James came to camp. And as soon as we ate a bite we went down to the command, found the most of the boys well and rejoined the command. Wrote home and to Father and soon took the march toward the Mississippi river and came out 6 mi. After resting and eating supper Jimmie [Jin Huffines] and I went over to the regiment and saw our friends [Our battalion was still detached and will remain so]. Came back and lay down but I did not rest well to-night as I had a very sever toothache most all night.
May 30 We arose 3 early owing to having to cook 3 day's rations. Here we had to leave all except one blanket and one suit of clothes to the man and one spider and mess pan to the mess. we then took the line of march for Little River distance about 20 mi. We got there about 2 o'clock and found boats waiting to take us on. On the way we heard great news: That there was about to be war between the U.S. and England. To-day's march fatigued me very much. We got on the boats late in the evening and the boats started just at dark.
May 31st Rested tolerably well last night as I got room in the cabin. The boat started very early as it stopped a little while before day. Came on down to Trinity at the mouth of the river. Here we over took the Brigade stopped a few minutes then all started up the Tensas. Just here the Little River, Black river, Ouachita, and Tensas rivers all unite. We went up the Tensas to within 30 mi of Vicksburg, where the division went ashore. The Tensas is a fine stream for its size. We got up about 10 o'clock and learned that McCulloch's Brigade had been in an engagement and drove the Feds to their gunboats but lost 2 men killed and 2 wounded.
June 1st 1863 I was put on guard before daylight and saw McCullock's and Randall's Brigades cross back on a bridge formed of steam boats. We have heard the report of the cannon at Vicksburg all the morning. We remained here in camp all day. To-day we hear that the Feds had lost 25000 killed on the field at Vicksburg and 5000 at Post Hudson. This evening there was a fatigue party of about 200 sent out from the Division to prepare the road for the Division next morning.
June 2d Took up the line of march about sunrise. The whole Division marched together to-day but only marched about eight miles at the bridge on a certain little bayou. Had a pleasant march as it was a little cool this morning. Had great sport in catching two large coons. I went to the regiment to-day found Charley some better. [Charley was the Rev. Charles Goldberg, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister and a chaplain in the army. He married a sister of the wife. Goldberg after the war founded the First Presbyterian Church in Texarkana]
June 3 Rested moderately well through the night. Review at 3'oclock and we started on the march at daylight and passed through a wild bottom till we came to Mason's bayou, a very good road. We marched about 15 miles and camped on the bayou. I got very tired to-day. We heard loud cannonading till late at night, suppose to beat Vicksburg.
June 4 I rested tolerably well last night. We were roused very early and started on the march as soon as Randall's brigade passed. Marched up the bayou about 8 miles then turned to the right and marched 6 miles toward Richmond. There was one company from each Regiment and one from our battalion sent on to guard some bridges, John Park camp up this evening and informed us of the death of Joe White. I gave out to-day, had to stop and rest.
June 5 I did not rest well last night as I was so fatigued yesterday. Got up early prepared to march. We marched only 3miles and camped till 5 o'clock in the evening. We had to stop till a bridge was finished. We only marched about one mile across the river and camped in the thicket on the river. I was put on guard last night to guard the best water I have seen.
June 6th Lay in a thicket last night and rested tolerably well. Marched about 8 mi near Richmond and stopped till 7 o'clock and cooked 2 days rations. Our forces took several prisoners to-day.
June 7 We left camp at 7 o'clock last evening and marched till near 10 o'clock distance about 10 mi. We then slept on the bare ground near our guns. We marched on the Young's Point, distance about 12 mi. where we found the enemy encamped. As we advanced we drove the pickets. We had a very hot time. Some men fainted and a great many others came fear being exhausted. Our Brigade took Fed prisoners, 4 negroes, 4 mules, 1 horse and killed 2 men. Got one horse killed and one man wounded in the hand. We went retreated in order as their camps were protected by their gunboats. We retreated about 5 mi across Willow Bayou and stopped.
June 8 We received orders last night after stopping that we must march at noon rise, so we dropped to sleep but were soon ordered to march as the enemy was approaching with a superior force. We marched on back till we came up with Randall's Brigade about sunrise. We stopped here till evening when we went on to camp near Richmond.
June 9th I rested tolerably well as I had my blanket, got some washing done at 50 cts a garment and wrote a letter home and one to Father. I spent the evening in camp. June 10th Rested only moderately well as we were disturbed by some showers of rain. We marched off early and had very wet, muddy time of it as it commenced raining on us directly we started. We went about 5 mi on the road toward Delhi when were ordered to turn back. We went to cap through mud and water shoe-mouth deep. It continued to rain on us most of the day so our camps were very da.
June 11th We had a very bad time last night as the ground was very wet. and it continued to rain some after night. It remained cloudy till 9 o'clock this morning when it faired off. Charley came over to see us this morning. We remained in camp to-day doing nothing, only resting and waiting for the ground to dry off.
June 12 I rested last night better than the night before as the ground had dried off some and it was clear. Had inspection at 9 o'clock after which I went up to the hospital to see the wounded men of McCullock's brigade. I saw the ball taken out of a man's head and then went up to town tot try to get something for brother James to eat, could get nothing except two slices of boiled ham. When I got my dinner I met the battalion coming up the guard the bridge as I went back to camp. We heard loud cannonading at Vicksburg last night. June 13th Rested pretty well last night. Passed the day in camp doing nothing but fixing up shanties.
June 14th Sunday I was detailed and sent up the bayou 5 mi to shuck and shell corn. Carried to to mill and ground it on an old horse mill with our own team, and I took sick before we started back but managed to get back to camp about dark, ate a bite and lay down but did not sleep much till late in the night. N.B. I bought a chicken this evening but had to give it back as I could not make change. Jimmy got some good pears and I ate four of them.
June 15 This is another memorable day. I did not get up till breakfast as I felt bad I had not rested well on account of the dysentery. I got up, washed my face, came back and ate a few spoons of bee soup about which time it was reported that the Federals were advanced upon us. We were ordered immediately to take our things to rear of the cap and form a line of battle in front. Which were done as speedily as possible. About this time the whole brigade was formed in battle array. Culberson Regiment crossing the bayou, Bonner's battalion was stationed at the bridge in the ditch--Young's and Hubbard's Regiments were stationed on this side. Soon after which the Federals commenced shelling Culberson's Regiment when they charged their lines killed many and losing two killed and getting a few wounded. Wm. Watson of our company was wounded in the should. The sick boys after loading the wagons retreated with the wagons back toward the Tensas. It was first expected that we go back only a few miles or so, but the retreat continued near 10 miles across the Tensas. The retreat was composed of loaded wagons, puny soldiers several females most of which were on foot making their way through the mud as it was naturally muddy and to add to muddiness it rained a shower upon us. There were 4 or 5 wounded men on litters carried by their comrades. When we came to the Tensas we found Gen Tapman's Brigade stationed ready to reenforce our Division. The General pressed all the Enfield rifles belonging to the puny boys of our division. Just after crossing there was a pretty tight shower of rain but I got under a gin house and kept dry. About this time began feeling smartly worse. My dysentery being worse and my bones ached. I went down the bayou 1/2 mile and camped. Just about dark the doctor came along and gave me a dram of brandy and soon after I got a cup of coffee both of which helped my feelings considerably and I rested tolerably we under the boughs of an oak. Our retreat was followed up by our active soldiers and they were followed by McCulloch's Brigade. During the evening we learned that Capt. Bonner's Co of Culberson's Regiment lost 12 men who were left on the other side of the Bayou and the Regiment lost 4 killed and a few wounded. Our forces burned the bridge before they left. The Federal Pg 15 managed to cross the bayou, burned Richmond and some of their cavalry followed up McCulloch's and attacked him at a bridge 4 miles of the Tensas, when McCullock killed their commander and several others but lost a lieutenant and a few privates. All crossed the bayou and camped on the south side. Wm. Sullivan of our company who was detailed off in the morning failed to get into camp. June 16th We were roused at three o'clock. The Division was just put on march as soon as possible and marched on toward Delhi to a bayou 4 miles of Dehli and camped in a very nice bottom. I got a dram of laudanum from Dr Guinn this morning which eased my pains and I felt better through the day. This evening I bought 3 small chickens fro $2.00 bo8iled one and made soup of it which eat finely.
June 17 My illness grew worse. pains increase so I ate but a few bites of bread the whole day. The Division was put on the march early this morning, marched 1 1/2 miles past Delhi, camped and I with all the others who were not able for duty were sent back to Delhi, put on the cars and sent to Monroe. we got to Monroe just before dark, when the sick were hurried off to churches and such places as had been prepared for the, some got something to eat to-night and others none. We had rough sailing on the cars and I had ridden Charley's horse from camp up to Delhi. June 18, I got into a church and slept on a bench, that is what little I slept as I suffered very much with pains in my abdomen and a got fever. My fever cooled down smartly about day and about 8 o'clock I got a pill of opium from a Dr which relieved me. I wrote a letter to father this evening to send by Judge Henderson as he is in. We remained in the Monroe church to-night. June 19. Rested only moderately well last night. We were sent some coffee, bread and baked apples by a citizen lady. I wrote a letter home and one for Wyley, during which our friends Rogers, Billy Giviens, and young Ellington called in to see us. Rogers brought me a letter from father. About 12 o'clock and ambulance was sent for us and we were taken to the hospital where the wounded were put in a room but were soon after moved to another as the doctor wished that for an office.
Pg 17 June 20. Rested tolerably well last night but have vomited twice. The Dr. gave me guanine this morning which caused me to seat and kept off another fever, but I have suffered with my back. We get plenty to eat. June 21. Rested only moderately well but have been better to-day, have no fever but have lain on bed closely as I felt quite weak. I took a dose of quinine this morning and bought me $1.00 worth of whiskey which I used as toddy. Well fed to-day. George Kite has been very sick to-day. I heard that Gen walker was going to make another attack.
N.B. This hospital is superintended by two fine ladies. To-day is Sunday but has passed like many other Sundays in camp.
June 22. Rested moderately well last night but was up some with George. I have felt tolerably well, only have been quite weak. Our friend Kite died with a congestive chill about 3 o'clock A.F.[?] I have just heard that Walker's whole Division started to attack the enemy at Lake Providence [God grant us success and spare my friends]. I got Washing done to-day at 12 1/2 cts per garment. Kite was buried late this evening.
June 23 Rested moderately well last night. after breakfast I went to the P.O. but got no letters, bought some milk and eggs to-day, and passed the day about the house.
June 24 Was up waiting on a sick man last night, felt a little sleepy this morning though I have been to the P.O. again with the same result. Wrote a letter to Mrs. Kite. Bought three peaches for 21 cts. Heard that 13 Feds came to Delhi last night with a flag of truce.
June 25. Slept cool and pleasant last night in the portico. After the breakfast went to the P.O. no letter. I saw A. J. Allen who gave me a letter form Father. All well. I was given three cucumbers this morning. I saw Lieutenants O/Brian, Orr and several others of the Regiment. I heard to-day that Gen Johnson had whipped out Grant's army. I wrote a letter to brother James Cameron and Jimmie Huffines. I have not felt quite as well to-day as yesterday. I spoke to the Dr. relative to getting a discharge but found there was no chance here yet.
June 26th Rested very well last night and have felt better to-day. I heard to-day that Walker would make an attach to-day. Bought to sheets of paper from Mrs. Grewes for 2 cts. Wrote a letter to Capt. Cox for Wyley. Commenced a letter to father, and a friend gave me 2 sheets of paper and old negro gave me 15 cts postage money.
June 27th It was too warm to rest well last night. I finished=shed the letter to father, mailed it and bought me 8 small beets for 15 cts. got them cooked for dinner, spent the day about the hospital. Heard the Feds made another attack on Vicksburg, but drew off with a loss of 10000, and that Grant was recrossing Big Black river on pontoon bridges.
June 28th Rested Tolerably well. after breakfast I went to the Roman Catholic Church and heard the priest preach. Came back wrote a letter for a friend. In the evening I went to the depot and saw several of the boys from the Regiment, saw the prisoners and negroes which were taken by Parsons. came back and commenced acting as nurse.
June 29th I got up early this morning and went about my duties as nurse. After breakfast I wrote a letter for Caldwell and one for myself.
In the evening Charley came in and informed me that the boys were well. I then went around with him to see the sick boys of the Regiment.
JUNE 30th rested very well last night. got up and cleaned up the room, after breakfast did some writing. Went up to the trains this evening and got some letters for the regiment. I heard to-day that Parsons had taken 600 more negroes and that our forces were fighting the Feds near Providence
JULY 1st 1863 Got up early and went with Charley to the depot. Came back and took another nap and after breakfast Dr. Furness tole me I could commence my duties a sward master. I passed the day about the hospital. This evening the cars brought in 180 negroes and 15 Federal officers. I heard this evening that our Brigade would come here tomorrow. A. Coley and Wm. Blair came in sick.
JULY 2d. Rested pretty well last night, went early to the general hospital to draw provisions. I learned that General Smith would be in town to-day, and he has countermanded the order for the troops to come out here and go to Alexandra. been quite busy to-day and feel quite fatigued.
JULY 3d Felt pretty well to-day and the usual routine of business of the day. Late in the day Brother James and Capt. Cox come in telling me they were on the way home. I wrote a letter by Charley and informed the Capt of my position. Charley told me the boys were well.
JULY 4th Charley staid with me last night and I went to the train and got my knapsack. Passed the day in the hospital but felt badly in the evening.
He must of died shortly after July 4th since that was his last entry. We know that he died there or on his way home because he never made it home.
Source: Saralyn Trusty

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