1863-64: Pocket Journal of Alexander M. S. Dunn, Co. A, 53rd Ohio Volunteers


Recruiting Poster & unidentified member of 53rd OVI

These diaries were written by Alexander McCloud Stevly Dunn (1843-1927) while serving in Co. A, 53rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry (OVI) during the American Civil War. Alexander (or “Aleck”) was the son of Andrew Dunn (b. 1805) and his first wife, Sarah Wilson, who married in 1835 in County Tyrone, Ireland. In 1843, they emigrated to the United States, Andrew’s wife well along in a pregnancy that culminated in Aleck’s birth “at sea.” The Dunn family settled in Allegheny City near Pittsburg where Aleck was raised.


Margaret Ellen (Teeters) Dunn in later years

By the time Aleck was 16, he had married a woman named Margaret Ellen Teeters (1841-1926)—two years his senior. They set up housekeeping in Camp Creek township, Pike county, in south-central Ohio, some ten miles north of the Ohio river. It was from this location where Aleck, with his older brother Robert J. Dunn, enlisted in the 53rd OVI. Within two months of their departure from Ohio, the 53rd OVI found themselves in their first major battle at Pittsburg Landing—better known as Shiloh—where they had 7 killed and 39 wounded. Their next major campaign started in the spring of 1863 after a year’s service, which is where the diaries begin.

There are three separate diaries that span the period from early June 1863 until a few days after Aleck was wounded on 30 August 1864 while skirmishing near Atlanta. His cryptic diary entry that day read: “Drove the rebels. Got wounded. Shot in the right knee on the skirmish line at 3 o’clock. Same night. Leg cut off.”

Presumably Aleck was sent home not long afterwards and was discharged from the service. In the 1870 US Census he was still on his farm in Pike county, not far from his brother Robert’s farm. By 1880, however, Aleck and Margaret had moved to South Webster Village in Scioto county where Aleck became the proprietor of a hotel that he kept for the next couple of decades. In 1900, he was still in Scioto county but gave his occupation as a Pension agent—perhaps helping other veterans and their families receive the pensions they deserved for their service. Aleck died in 1927.

For the readers’ convenience, I have posted Aleck’s diary in dark blue font and I, where I thought it helped, also posted excerpts from the regimental history by John K. Duke (published in 1900) in light grey font.


The Vicksburg Campaign & Siege of Jackson, Mississippi

The 53rd Ohio left La Grange and arrived in Moscow, Tennessee, on March 14, 1863. They found the city in flames and the residents impoverished. Together with the 70th Ohio and Bouden’s battery, the 53rd occupied the town and settled in for three weeks.


Left Moscow June 6 [1863]
Left Memphis June 7
Got on the boat [June] 8th
Got off the boat [June 11th] and went into camp 15 miles up the Yazoo river at Haine’s Bluff

14 June 1863—pleasant day. Went and killed a beef.

15 June 1865—cloudy and looks like rain. Working on breastworks on Haine’s Bluff. Raining.

16 June 1863—laying in the tent. Wrote a letter. Rain in the afternoon. The regiment is out. Went a fishing & did not get a bite.

17 June 1863—laying in camp and taking medicine. Cloudy and rainy. Some troops landed here today.

18 June 1863—fine day. Laying in camp. Wrote a letter home. Nothing going on today.

19 June 1863—fine day. Working on the breastworks. Very warm.

20 June 1863—fine day. Laying in camp reading the testament.


Alexander M.S. Dunn’s well-worn Bible carried throughout the war

21 June 1863—fine day and nothing going on. Read the testament and laying in the tent.

22 June 1863—fine day. Got marching orders. Start at 12 o’clock tonight with three days rations.

23 June 1863—fine day. Marched today out near Big Black river.

24 June 1863—fine day. Marched 25 miles to Big Black [river] and back again. The men very tired and sore.

25 June 1863—fine day. On guard at headquarters.

26 June 1863—on guard at headquarters. Got relieved.

27 June 1863—one shower of rain today. Very warm. Laying in camp. Had four calls per day.

28 June 1863—fine day. Went a blackberry hunting in the afternoon and got a bucket full. Reading in the testament in the forenoon. Read seven chapters.

29 June 1863—fine day. The regiment got paid today two month’s pay.

30 June 1863—very warm. Laying in camp reading the testament and other books. The boys spending money fast and not getting much for it.


1 July 1863—fine day. Laying in camp and writing letters.

2 July 1863—fine day. Chopped down timber. Very warm.

3 July 1863—fine day. Very warm. Fixed up our bunks in the evening. Looks like new. Moved our camp.

4 July 1863—Camp Neeley. Got orders to march. Start at 4 o’clock in the evening. Marched within one mile of Big Black river and camped in a cornfield. Marched 10 miles.

[On July 4th, we were under marching orders for Black River. The march was principally after night, owing to the intense heat which prevailed. When we reached Black River our brigade was in the advance. When nearing what had been a ferry we were met with sharp firing from the enemy; we swung into line of battle and returned the compliment vigorously. How to cross and dislodge the enemy was a puzzle to Colonel W. S. Jones, who was temporarily in command of the brigade. The pontoon bridge was miles to our rear, so it was expedient that some mode of crossing be improvised. The first thought was to plunge in and ford the stream but the cool judgement and executive ability of Colonel Jones taught him that it might not be a fordable stream. In the meantime the rebel skirmishers were making it hot for us….[the ferryboat was found and made serviceable to transport the troops across]. Pg. 106-7]

5 July 1863—fine day. Marched nearer to Big Black and got in line of battle ready to fight at any minute. Detailed to stand guard at headquarters.  W. S. Jones [Wells S. Jones] Col. and the name of the house is Jones. Deployed as skirmishers and advanced to the river and laid all night in the [battle] line.

6 July 1863—fine day. Got relieved off picket ad crossed Big Black river and skirmished. Now in camp and very tired and wet with sweat.

7 July 1863—fine day. Orders to march at 4 o’clock p.m. Marched 5 miles. Now it is thundering and raining hard and we are stuck in it.

8 July 1863—fine day. After the hard rain, the boys is all very wet and fixing up to march. We are now near Jackson.

9 July 1863—marching orders came to start at three o’clock p.m. Marched 6 miles and camped in a pig meadow.

[On July 9th, as we were advancing, we met General Sherman army corps coming from Vicksburg to join with us at Jackson. On the evening of the 9th, when within about four miles of Jackson, a brisk cannonading was opened upon us. This caused a halt for the night. The 9th army corps, General Burnside commanding, came up during the night. Pg. 108]

10 July 1863—marching orders to start at 6 o’clock. Now has started. Throwed out as skirmishers. Skirmished through a big corn field and nearly [   ] out. It is very warm. No grub at all, Now positioned near the enemy. Started to skirmish at 2 o’clock driving the enemy before us. Now in camp. Raised the flag on the college in the evening. Very heavy firing in front.

[On the 10th our division moved out to the left of Jackson, and within sight of the enemy’s skirmish line. Between us and the enemy’s fortifications there was a stretch of at least two miles of open field. Our line of battle was formed with the 53rd and the 70th Ohio in front; the remainder of the division to move in columns in our rear…. As we moved forward we drove the enemy’s skirmishers… Steadily we moved on and were meeting with opposition, but not more severe than we had frequently encountered, if as much so. We had just concluded that the army was retreating, and that we were perhaps fighting a division or two covering the retreat, when to our consternation, we were saluted with a roar of musketry and a fusilade of shot and shell from their cannons which let us know without a moment’s warning that out thoughts as to evacuation were a delusion. But steadily we pressed on, contending for every inch of ground until night closed in upon the scene. We camped in line of battle, just where we halted. Not much sleep was indulged in, however, as the batteries from the enemy’s fortifications shelled us throughout the night. All night we were like ducks dodging thunder. Pg. 109]

11 July 1863—fighting and skirmishing with the rebels. Laying under fire of the rebel batteries. Three of our men get wounded and their names are M. P. Doston [Dodds?], J. H. Dosten [Dodds?], and B[enjamin] H. Hammond. 

[On July 11th, as daylight ushered in the Sabbath morning, they opened the battle with artillery fire which was terrific and effective. This had a tendency to disorganize our line to a limited extent. While under this fire two inexperienced Indiana regiments broke in full retreat, but were checked and returned to their proper place in line of battle before any further demoralization set in. The position occupied by the 53rd was particularly hot, and the firing was destructive. During the hottest of the morning’s fight, one company of the regiment was moved out in front and deployed as skirmishers not to exceed four hundred yards from the enemy’s line of fortifications. The shelling from the enemy’s guns that day will never be effaced from the memory of those present. Pg. 110]

12 July 1863—hear skirmishing this morning in front. Fine day. Have to keep on our [  ] day and night. Cannonading commenced at 7 o’clock and last one hour and then stopped. The rebels still shelled. Some skirmishing. Still fighting.

13 July 1863—heavy skirmishing in front. One man got killed in the 70th [Ohio[ Regiment with a shell in camp. The rebels shelled our pickets. Cloudy day. Looks like rain in the evening. Our sick boys came to the regiment today. Got a letter from Josh Simmons.

14 July 1863—fine day. Heavy skirmishing in the front. Noon, a flag of truce went in today. Firing is ceased until 4 o’clock. Now 5 o’clock. Cannonading has commenced and skirmishing.

[July 14th. The cannonading this morning was not so brisk, but on the skirmish line there was constant firing, and at times so pronounced as to partake of the form of battle. During the afternoon a flag of truce came into our lines, requesting an armistice for four hours; we to bury the dead and care for the wounded within our lines; the enemy to do likewise. This was agreed to… During this four hours of intermission of battle, our boys and the Johnnie rebs met at the skirmish line upon the most cordial terms and traded and exchanged not only compliments but coffee, salt and the like, with our enemy for tobacco. Pg. 110]

15 July 1863—cloudy and war. Heavy skirmishing in front. Some cannonading going on. The boys is all in camp waiting with notions for fight to come.

[July 15. Tremendous cannonading and the roar of musketry continued throughout the day, but, so far as our part of the army was concerned, was not so disastrous. They seemed for the last day or two to be over-shooting us; but a limited number were killed or wounded during the day. Pg. 111]

16 July 1863—orders came at 3 o’clock a.m. to get ready to march. We got ready and marched to the rifle pits in front and got in them. Stay to 9 o’clock a.m. and got relieved and went back to join the brigade. When we landed in camp, fighting commenced with the pickets. Our men drove the rebs with some loss. I don’t know whether the rebels killed and losses is greater than ours or not. Now in camp one mile from the pickets. Perhaps we will get to stay over night but it is doubtful for this is the second time that we had camped here now. I found the knives in the [  ].

[At about 2 a.m. of the 16th we commenced maneuvering, changing positions and reforming lines as we expected at attack or charge from the enemy… We were disappointed, however, in an attack, and we learned afterwards that the enemy was then making preparations for retreat. During the afternoon, two regiments of our troops attempted to storm a position of the rebel’s fortifications, and such cannonading and roar of musketry followed that it almost shook the heavens. Pg. 111]

17 July 1863—fine day. Jackson is evacuated. Marching orders came to start at 12 o’clock. Started at two. Now tearing up the railroad. Tore up some mills. Now in camp. Looks like rain. The boys is all tired. Killed a little pig in the evening and had it for supper. It was very sweet.

[During the afternoon our brigade moved out along the line of the Mississippi Central Railroad. Our business was to tear up and burn several miles of the road… It rained very hard during the night but notwithstanding that fact, the heavens for miles around were illuminated by the burning of the city of Jackson. Pg. 112]

18 July 1863—cloudy day. Working on the railroad, Tore up two miles and burnt the depot on the road. Now in camp eating corn. Moved back one mile and camped for the night in a nice grove. Detailed for guard at the colonel’s tent.

[July 18th. We had just completed our mission on the railroad, having destroyed some twenty miles together with station houses, one hundred bales of cotton, and one flour mill, and were now retracing our steps to Jackson. Pg. 112]

19 July 1863—fine day. Marched from the camp up the railroad back to camp near Jackson and camped for the night. Orders came to be ready to march in the morning at 6 a.m.

[July 19th, our regiment marched to Jackson. Pg. 113]

20 July 1863—clear and hot. Camped two miles from town. Started at 6 a.m. and marched through Jackson to Pearl river and went in swimming. the whole brigade went to wash. Had a good sleep and feel well. Received five letters—four from my wife, one from sister Martha. 

21 July 1863—fine day. Laying in camp in the forenoon. In the afternoon went two miles after corn. Got the corn and had a fine supper.

22 July 1863—cloudy and hot. Laying in camp. Cooking today. Marching orders came to march on the 23rd towards Vicksburg. Start at 3 o’clock a.m. In the evening looks like rain. Thunder and lightning today.

23 July 1863—cloudy and hot. Marched. Came 10 miles to a town called Clinton and camped in the woods. Stacked arms in an open field across the road from our camp. Got fresh meat for supper. Killed a hog. The boys is all in good heart. Looks like rain. Thunder and lightning. Perhaps it will rain soon.

24 July 1863—dry and hot. Marching. Came 14 miles and we camped in the woods on the left side of the road. The boys is very tired and fell out of ranks and sat behind. Hard marching is done.

25 July 1863—clear and hot. Marched six miles. Crossed Big Black river and camped in the woods. Went in camp at 10 o’clock p.m.

26 July 1863—laying in camp. Went to the river and took a swim. I read some in the testament. Raining in the evening very hard. Some of the boys out for corn and some for meat. C[yrus] Steward for corn, J[ames] Y. Maxwell & E[lijah] Carter foraging and the rest cooking and catching water.

27 July 1863—raining in the morning. Clear in the afternoon. Moved our camp and got our knapsacks & some of the tents. Carrying boards and fixing up our quarters. received a letter form home.

Between Campaigns at Camp Sherman on Black River in Mississippi

28 July 1863—rained in the evening. On picket, Got very wet. Two miles from camp. Our tents came out and although sick man, R. A. [   ] came to us. Wrote letters—one home, one to Martha.

29 July 1863—fine day. Clear and hot. Got relieved off picket and paid a debt. The boys is all in good heart.

30 July 1863—fine day. Laying in camp. Washed my clothes and fixed a place to hang the haversacks and canteens. Went after corn a mile and got some. Wrote a letter to Eliza. The boys is all in fine spirits.

31 July 1863—fine day. Laying in camp and carrying board and put up a table. I fixed up the bunks. Detailed in the afternoon to dig a drain along side of the tents. Went after night for a load of boards. Peaches for supper.


1 August 1863—fine day. Rained in the afternoon. Laying in camp. Got three letters. Wrote Jane. Got one from home, 1 from Mary, 1 from Sam McCracken. Cleaned up our quarters for our mess. On picket. J[ames] Y. Maxwell, L[ycurgus] Mechliny, M[oses] P. Dawson. Three sold to razors.

2 August 1863—fine day. Rained in the evening. Went and cut a bee tree and got some honey. Madde up our tent ready for a inspection today. Looking for Grant to come. Ready to fall in at any time. No general came. Dress parade in the evening—the first for a long time.

3 August 1863—fine day. Detailed to clean up the camp. Went down to go in a swimming and did not go in. The boys is all merry.

4 August 1863—fine day. Went after peaches four miles. Got as many as three could carry. Came in and had some. E[lijah] Carter and M[oses] P. Dawson was my partners. A fine shower of rain fell on our way back. Small shower fell in the evening.

5 August 1863-–fine day. Hunted for a mule to go a foraging after peaches but did not get one. Laid in camp all day. Read several chapters in the testament. Dress parade in the evening. Wrote a letter home.

6 August 1863—showers of rain in the afternoon. Laying in camp reading the testaments. Read several chapters. Went to hear preacher in the evening. A fine sermon was preached. Some of the mess our foraging—E[lijah] Carter, C[yrus] Steward, M[oses] P. Dawson is the three. Came back and had some.

7 August 1863—showers of rain fell today. Laying in camp reading the testament. Went to meeting in the evening. Feel very mean today. Don’t know how to put in the time.

8 August 1863—fine day. Laying in camp reading the testament. After dinner, took a nap. Preaching in the evening rather prayer meeting. E[lijah] Carter and L[ycurgus] Mechliny is out after peaches and got some. Received a letter from home and wrote one home on the Lord’s day. Wrote one home. Came to the conclusion to quit tobacco.

9 August 1863—Sunday. Fine day. On picket. Cut myself in the right leg on picket down the river. Four of our mess on. J[ames] Y. Maxwell, L[ycurgus] Mechliny, [Moses] P. Dawson.

10 August 1863—Monday. Fine day. Got relieved from picket in the morning. Nothing goes on in camp. My leg is sore but  don’t appear to be getting worse. Preaching in the evening.

11 August 1863—Tuesday. Fine day. Laying in camp. Nothing going on. Read several chapters in the testament. Dress parade in the evening. Did not get out, My leg is sore. Went to prayer meeting this evening.

12 August 1863—Wednesday. Shower of rain in the afternoon. Went out after peaches 6 miles. Got some. Nothing strange going on. E[lijah] Carter was my partner out on the scout.

13 August 1863—shower of rain in the afternoon. Detailed for picket. Went out to the post and was not needed. Got my toe mashed and then came to camp. Nothing strange going on in camp. Read some in the testament.

14 August 1863—Friday. Fine day. Went after peaches three miles. Got some. Sold some. Thunder and it appeared like rain. The boys all well. [   ] has got the ague. Got one foot poisoned—the right foot.

15 August 1863—Saturday. Fine day. Laying in camp reading the testament and papers. Shared the mess in the evening. Drilled in the morning. Very strict orders given to stay in camp. Got sore feet—one poisoned.

16 August 1863—clear in the forenoon. Showers in the afternoon. Laying in camp reading the testament. Received a letter from Mary Brooke.

17 August 1863—Monday. Fine day. Laying in camp. the company drilled in the morning and evening. Did not drill. My feet is poisoned. Hard for me to walk. Read several chapters in the testament. Wrote two letters—one home, one to M. G. Brooks. Shower of rain in the evening.

18 August 1863—Tuesday. Clear in the forenoon. Shower in the afternoon. Laying in the camp reading the testament. 

19 August 1863—Wednesday. Fine day. Laying in camp reading and sleeping. Feel lazy. On dress parade in the evening.

20 August 1863—Thursday. Cloudy and showers all day. Laying in camp reading and smoking and laying around. A fine shower in the evening.

21 August 1863—Friday. Laying in camp. read some in the testament. Received a letter from home.

22 August 1863—Saturday. Fine day. Detailed for camp guard. Read some in the testament & in the news.

23 August 1863—Sunday. Fine day. Got relieved of guard. Wrote a letter home. Read some in the testament. After dinner, took a nap. Feeling well. Can’t complain in the least.

24 August 1863—Monday. Fine day. Laying in camp. Battalion drill in the morning. Company drill in the evening. Read some in books and papers. Went to the commissary and bought a ham that was pretty near rotten. Dress parade this evening.

25 August 1863—Tuesday. Fine day. Cool and cloudy. Drilled Battalion in the morning & company. In the evening, dress parade. Read some and passed the day as well as I could.

26 August 1863—Wednesday. Fine day. Drilled company drill. In the evening, dress parade. Nothing strange going on today. Two of our boys is going to start home in the morning on sick furloughs.

27 August 1863—Thursday. Fine day. Detailed on fatigue duty. One of our mess, J[ohn] H. Darlin left for home this morning. Laying in camp after cleaning off some ground around the quartermasters. read some in papers.

28 August 1863—Friday. Drilled in the morning. Commenced rain at 10 a.m. Wrote a letter  home. Read a chapter in the bible laying in the tent. Rained all evening. Now it is night. Still looks like rain. Ceased raining awhile between 12 o’clock and 6 p.m.

29 August 1863—Saturday. Fine day. Laying in camp. Had a scuffle with E[lijah] Carter near some but little. Some of the boys out on picket.

30 August 1863—Monday. Fine day. Had inspection of arms in the morning. Read some in the bible. Took a fine sleep.

31 August 1863—Monday. Fine day. Went a foraging after cotton. Got 200 bales and as many water melons as I could eat. On our way back, got fired into by guerrillas. We soon answered them with our fire. Got back at dark. Went out five miles. Received a letter from home.

[From August 9th to 30th, 1863 we remained in camp doing but little or no duty. Sickness prevailed to a great extent, and we lost three men in our regiment by death. Pg. 114]


Purported to be dominos owned by Dunn and carried with him


1 September 1863—Tuesday. Fine day. Wrote a letter home. Got paid. Got one hundred and four dollars. sent 5 in a letter home.

2 September 1863—Wednesday. Fine day. Detailed for picket. On post with E[lijah] Carter, M[oses] P. Dawson, R[obert] J. Dunn, and Corporal A[lexander] B. McBride.

3 September 1863—Thursday. Fine day. Got relieved off picket. Fixing up our camp. got it in pretty nice order. This is a new camp. Lent fifteen dollars to A[lexander] B. McBride.

4 September 1863—Friday. Fine day. General review in the afternoon by Sherman. Nothing going on in the forenoon. Review at 3 p.m.

5 September 1863—Saturday. Fine day. Laying in camp. Nothing going on. Today wrote a letter to Mary.

6 September 1863—Sunday. Fine day. Detailed for picket and went to post and came back. Review at 3 p.m. Received two letters from home.

7 September 1863—Monday. Fine day. Detailed for picket. Started at 7 a.m. and did not get on post till 12 a.m. Wrote a letter home.

8 September 1863—Tuesday. Fine day. Got released at 8 a.m. Nothing going on of any importance.

9 September 1863—Wednesday. Fine day. Detailed on fatigue duty. Worked down near the river bottom leveling the ground. Review at 3 p.m. Did not go on.

10 September 1863—Thursday. Fine day. Went over to the 70th [Ohio] regiment. Nothing going on today. The furloughed men came back. C. Dodds, C. W. Rodman.

11 September 1863—Friday. Fine day. General review at 3 p.m. got back after night. Nothing going on. Sent 50 dollars to my wife. Get a letter from home.

12 September 1863—Saturday. Fine day. Laying in camp. Wrote a letter home. No strange news today.

13 September 1863—Sunday. Fine day. Laying in camp. Preaching at 10 a.m. read some in the bible. Dress parade in the evening.

14 September 1863—Monday. Fine day. Company drill in the morning from 6 to seven. Battalion drill at 3 p.m. Very hot. Looks like rain. Cloudy. No rain today.

15 September 1863—Tuesday. Fine day. Detailed on camp guard. Standing at the colonel’s headquarters.

16 September 1863—Wednesday. Fine day. Got relieved at 8 a.m. Inspection at 10 a.m. Got news about Little Rock falling.

17 September 1863—Thursday. Cloudy. Fine shower of rain fell. Review at 3 p.m. Drilled. Got back at dark.

18 September 1863—Friday. Fine day. Went after grapes & got as many as we wanted. Went outside of the pickets a mile or better. General review at 3 p.m.

19 September 1863—Saturday. Cloudy and cold. Very chilly cool wind. Nothing going on. Wrote a letter home. Read some in the bible.

20 September 1863—Sunday. Detailed for picket on furthest from the camp. Acting corporal. Fine day. Got a letter from home.

21 September 1863—Monday. Fine day. Got relieved at 7 a.m. Wrote a letter home. Took a nap. Report that the rebels is advancing on this place.

22 September 1863—Tuesday. Fine day. Laying in camp. Helped to put up a swing in the [ ].

23 September 1863—Wednesday. Fine day. Got a letter from home. Review at 3 p.m. The boys all busy a reading [about] Morgan’s Raid.

24 September 1863—Thursday. Fine day. Went down to see about running a race with a horse. Nothing strange going on.

25 September 1863—Friday. Fine day. Wrote a letter home. General review and drill at 3 p.m. Got back after night.

26 September 1863—Saturday. Fine day. Detailed on camp guard. Standing at headquarters. Orders to get our clothes ready to march. Wash them and be ready to start at once. received a letter from home. The sick is all sent away to the railroad. Get a letter from A. D. Teeters.

27 September 1863—Sunday. Fine day. Orders to march to Branchville. Started at 11 o’clock a.m. Marched 8 miles and camped at a church six miles from Branchville. Received a letter from Mary Brooke.

28 September 1863—Monday. Orders to start at 5 o’clock a.m. Marched six miles to Branchville. Some rebels in our rear but none in front. Had a big mess of sweet potato for dinner. Marched back two miles on this side of the church and then camped there 12 in the night. Commenced raining at 2 a.m.

29 September 1863—Tuesday. Rain commenced at 2 a.m. Started for camp at 1 p.m. Got into camp at daylight and rested to 10 a.m. and started for Vicksburg. Marched 8 miles and camped for the night. Still raining and all wet but done the best that we could.

30 September 1863—still raining. Started to march at daylight. Got to Vicksburg at 11 a.m. Went into camp waiting on the boats. Expect to come in the morning. Still raining. 


1 October 1863—cloudy and cold. Laying [in camp] waiting for a boat. Clear in the afternoon.

2 October 1863—Friday. Fine day No boat. Get tired waiting for one. Nothing going on. Detailed on camp guard.

3 October 1863—fine day. Got relieved at daylight. No boat yet. The boys is all well. Four of our regiment started up the river out of our brigade.

4 October 1863—Sunday. Fine day. Putting the wagons on the boat. The regiment got on at last at 2 p.m. Left Vicksburg at 7 p.m. The boat caught on fire at 9 p.m. Continental boat.

5 October 1863—Monday. Fine day on the boat. Getting along fine.

6 October 1863—Tuesday. Fine day. Past Napoleon [Arkansas] and the mouth of the Arkansas river in the morning. The boat making good headway. The wind is high. Get to Helena at 8 o’clock in the night and tied up to morning. Too dark to cross the bar. The river low. Detailed on guard.

7 October 1863–Wednesday. High wind. Left Helena at daylight. Get over the landing fine. Stopped for to get wood. The boat anchored at 11 in the night. Got relieved in the evening of guard. 

8 October 1863—Thursday. Fine day. Got to Memphis at ten o’clock. Get off and started in the fort and had to go back on the boat and went to town. Went in camp back of town.

9 October 1863—Friday. Fine day. Laying in camp. Went to town in the afternoon. Wrote a letter home.

10 October 1863—Saturday. Fine day. Laying in camp. Wrote two letters—one home and one to M. G. Brooke. Nothing going on. F. Killson came to see me.

11 October 1863—Sunday. Fine day. Started from Memphis at 2 o’clock and marched to Germantown 15  miles and camped for the night. Went in camp at 6 o’clock.

12 October 1863—Monday. Fine day. Left camp at 5 o’lock a.m. Marched to Mount Pleasant 19 miles and camped in an open field. Had plenty of hog for supper. One of Co. got shot in the head but not killed.

[Mathew S. Lyons, a member of Co. F, 53rd OVI, received a terrible wound during the day….a mińie ball in the left brow… Pg. 115]

13 October 1863—rain in the afternoon. Marched 20 miles. Camped on Wolf river. Detached on picket. Orders to start at 6 in the morning. Killed a hog for dinner. Camped on Wolf River. 

14 October 1863—Wednesday. Fine day. cloudy. Started to march about 6 a.m. Got released off picket at 6. Marched 15 miles. Camped near creek. Came through La Grange.

15 October 1863—Thursday. Cloudy and the sun shines a little. Marched 14 miles to Pocahontas and camped for the night. Hard marching. Very windy. Now twenty miles from Corinth.

16 October 1863—Friday. Fine day. Started to march at 7 o’clock. Marched 15 miles. Camp near Shewalew [?] in a open field. The roads is bad—muddy. Crossed the ____ river & two _____.

17 October 1863—Saturday. Fine day. Started to march at 7 a.m. Marched through Corinth 14 miles and camped three miles from [   ]. Signed the pay roll to get paid. Got paid 26 dollars. Heavy rain commenced at dark. Rained hard. Received two letters from home.

18 October 1863—Sunday. Fine day. Clear. Orders to start to march at 8 a.m. Orders countermanded. Start in the morning at 5 a.m. One of our furloughed men came back. F. Anderson.

19 October 1863—Monday. Fine day. Started to march at 6 a.m. Marched one mile. Stopped an hour or more and got into the wagons. Came to a village and camped for the night. Came 7 miles.

20 October 1863—Tuesday. Fine day. Started from Landale at 6 a.m. Marched to Burnsville and stopped for dinner. Started after a hour’s rest. Marched to Iuka. Now in camp. Marched 16 miles. The boys in good spirits. Some bother with our knapsacks hunting them. Found mine and all is right.

The Chattanooga & Knoxville Campaign


21 October 1863—raining in the forenoon. Working at the division commissary. The whole regiment is at work and on guard at Iuka. Got 3.00 dollars expressed home. Got relieved of duty.

22 October 1863—cloudy and cool. Detailed on duty at the Quartermaster’s Department helping to load wagons. Move to our camp on the other side of town. Wrote a letter home. Got through at 12 p.m.

23 October 1863—raining and cold. Orders to march to Eastport. Marched 8 miles. Now in camp at Eastport on the hill on the Tennessee river. Hard marching—muddy.

[On the 23rd we resumed our march to Eastport on the Tennessee River and crossed the river under guard of gunboats, which had been dispatched here to protect our crossing. Just as this point some of our officers rejoined the regiment from their furlough, fresh and with many a loving message from the large hearted, loyal people of the North. (pg 116)]

24 October 1863—cloudy and cool. Went three miles up Bear Creek and killed a sheep and brought it to camp. Had some for dinner. On picket the company is on. Our mess is down at the east side of town in a house. Fine times we have.

27 October 1863—fine day, Started to march at 8 a.m. Crossed the river all night. Had a fine mess of honey for dinner. Moved our camp from the river to [a camp] three miles from the Tennessee river. Marched three miles. Killed a hog in town. Took it out of the pen. Got a letter [    ].

30 October 1863—Friday. Commenced raining at 7 a.m. Washed two shirts. Got them dried before the rain came on. Rained all day. Nothing goes on. Helped to take a bee gum. Got stung several times.

[On the 30th we reached Florence, Alabama. pg. 116]


2 November 1863—Monday. Left Florence at 8 a.m. Marched 16 miles to [   ] Springs, crossed Shoal’s Creek, seven miles from Florence. Now in camp. Killed a hog for supper and got some cabbage and a mess of honey.

[On November 2nd we crossed Shoal’s Creek, marching through a beautiful country abounding in springs and forage, all of which we greeted with a “thank God,” and did ample justice to each. pg. 116]

3 November 1863—Tuesday. Started to march at six o’clock a.m. Crossed a stream—don’t know the name—passed Rodgersville. Now in camp in an open field. As usual, got a hog. March 15 miles.

[On the 3rd we led the advance upon the line of march, and after marching 12 miles went into camp for the night. pg. 116]

4 November 1863-–Wednesday. Fine day. Started to march at 6. Came through a village by the name of Bethel. Now in camp at Prospect. Marched 20 miles. The boys is all tired and I am tired and sore.

[On the 4th we continued our march through streams and over mountains, not camping until 10 p.m.]

5 November 1863—Thursday. Rained. Left Prospect at 7. Marched 6 miles. Waded a clear creek and camped in an open field. Got a hog and other things and some rabbit.

[Marched at 6 a.m. on the 5th. Rained all day. We forded Ritching Creek, waist deep, going into camp at noon. pg. 116]

6 November 1863—Friday. Fine day. Marched 8 miles and camped at a stream. Got two geese for supper.

[On the 6th we took up our line of march at 11 a.m. and camped ear Elkton for the night. pg. 117]

7 November 1863—Saturday. Fine day. Marched 11 miles and camped three miles and a half from Fayetteville. Went to get some bees and got stung in the face several times. Sold 1.00. Crossed Swam Creek.

[On the 7th we marched ten miles and camped at 3 p.m. [pg. 117]

8 November 1863—Sunday. Fine day. March 6 miles to Fayetteville. Camped on the [Elk] river 2 miles from town.

[November 8 was Sunday…we marched through Fayetteville, a town of about 2,000 inhabitants. We crossed Elk River here on a magnificent stone bridge, and camped at 12 m. pg. 117]

9 November 1863—Monday. Laid over at Fayetteville. Went to the creek and killed a hog. The weather is cool. The day is clear.

[On November the 9th we…rested, remaining in camp throughout the day. pg. 117]

10 November 1863—Tuesday. Fine day. Started to march at 6. Marched 10 miles to Solomon [?] and camped.

[On the 10th we took up our line of march at 8 a.m., marching 20 miles. Out hardtack was exhausted and no supply train near. The troops, however, were in excellent cheer and condition. pg. 117]

11 November 1863—Wednesday. Started to march at 6. Marched 12 miles to Decherd. Came through Winchester. Crossed Bolens fork or river.

[No bread for breakfast on the 11th, but we marched eleven miles, passing through Winchester and camping in view of the Cumberland Mountains. pg. 117]

12 November 1863—Thursday. Fine day. Orders to start at 6 a.m. Started at 7. Marched across a large hill and came 7 miles. Camped in the woods after dark.

[On the 12th we marched at 9 a.m., crossing a chain of the Cumberland Mountains near Cowan’s Station. There was no forage for beasts and in consequence a large number of mules died from starvation and over-work. It was not unusual to see trees as high as the animals could reach, barked and eaten for food. To a casual observer, our movement through this particular pass would have seemed to be impossible; yet, inspired by patriotism and love of home, we surmounted every obstacle and slowly pressed on. Night overtook us in the pass and we camped in the road… The pass [behind us] was strewn with broken wagons, caissons, camp equipage and dead mules. pg. 117-8]

13 November 1863—Friday. Fine day. Came over the mountains, March 7 miles. Camped in an open field near a mansion. Went a foraging and got nothing.

14 November 1863—Saturday. Left camp near Andrew’s Station at 6. Marched 7 miles and camped for the night and drawed lamb. Our company went on picket back to the rear.

[It began to rain about 5 o’clock on the morning of the 14th. We took up our line of march at daylight, reaching Andrew’s Station at 9 a.m. We crossed the State line into Alabama and camped four miles from Stevenson. pg. 118]

15 November 1863—Sunday. Fine day. Marched 14 miles. Camped near Bridgeport. Came through Stevensonville. Received a letter from home.

[On Sunday, the 15th, we continued our march, passing through Stevenson and camping one mile from Bridgeport. pg. 118]

16 November 1863—clear and cloudy. Laid in camp at Bridgeport. Wrote a letter and shaved. Wrote letter home. Drawed a pair of shoes. Orders to be read to start at sunrise.

[Throughout the 16th we remained quiet. pg. 118]

17 November 1863—Tuesday. Fine day. Started marching at 6. Marched 20 [miles] and camped in the woods. Got in camp at 8 p.m. The boys is tired. Crossed the Tennessee River and Battle Creek.

[On the 17th we moved at daylight, crossing the Tennessee River at Bridgeport on pontoons. We rested at Nickajack Cave where saltpeter was manufactured for the rebel arms, and camped near Trenton, Ga., after a hard day’s march of twenty-three miles. pg. 118]

18 November 1863—Wednesday. Fine day. Marched four miles to Trenton, stopped and shelled the woods. Fired some 8 or 10 shots with the cannon. I was looking for a fight but there has none been yet. We camped for the night at Trenton all night. Can see the rebel smoke at their camps.

[On the 18th we marched at 6 a.m., forming in line of battle as we neared Trenton. At 11 a.m. our batteries were shelling the woods in our front, dislodging the enemy and also causing demoralization and horror among the innocent women and children in the village. The 53rd was among the first regiments to enter the town and expel the enemy. At night the cam-fires of the enemy upon Lookout Mountain were plainly visible. pg. 118-9]

19 November 1863—Thursday. Fine day. Went out on a scout four miles down the valley and seen some rebels on the hill. Got back at 8 p.m. in camp.

[On the 19th the 53rd Ohio and the 97th Indiana were ordered to reconnoiter as far as Lookout Mountain to ascertain the obstruction, if any, and, as far as possible, gain some idea of the forces in our front. In our movements we were compelled to ford creeks waist deep several times. But few shots were fired at us, and those without serious effect. We returned to camp at 9 p.m.. when several of our boys, supperless and drenched to the skin, were detailed for picket for the night. pg. 119]

20 November 1863—Friday. Rained in the evening. Put up shanty. Went in the night after chickens and did not get none.

[On the 20th we remained in camp during the day. It began to rain early in the evening, and rained all night. pg. 119]

21 November 1863—Saturday. Rained near all day. Left Trenton at 7 o’clock, marched 10 miles and camped. Made mush for breakfast. We are out of rations. Pretty scarce times.

[The rain continued on the 21st but we broke camp at 7 a.m. and marching all day in the rain, camped near Lookout Mountain. our pickets and the enemy’s were only about forty rods apart. No tents, no rations, no sleep! pg. 119]

22 November 1863—Sunday. Fine day. Started to march a.m. P.M. marched 8 miles, crossed the [Tennessee] river. Camped in an open field. Got in camp at 8 p.m. Got a letter from home.

[Sunday, November 22, …orders were received to have 100 rounds of cartridges and three days rations issued to the men. We commenced marching at 1 p.m. over rough country, crossing the Tennessee river at Chattanooga on pontoons, and camped for the night near the river. pg. 119]

23 November 1863—Monday. Looks like rain. Heavy skirmishing going on. Cannonading in front. Laid in camp in an open field back of town.

[On the 23rd we remained in camp all day. Heavy cannonading was heard in our front. pg. 119]

24 November 1863—Tuesday. Raining. Crossed the river and advanced one mile. The rebels ad some little skirmishing. Our company is skirmishing. Got relieved after dark and came to camp. Had the throw up breastworks. Worked near all night. Ate up lamb. The boys all tired and hungry.

[At 6 a.m. on the morning of the 24th we moved out of camp, reaching the river at 7 a.m. There was fighting on the opposite side of the river. The troops were crossed upon pontoons. The pioneers were busy constructing a bridge across Chickamauga Creek. Three miles from Chattanooga our brigade was ferried across the river in pontoons. Brisk cannonading was heard all along Gen. Hooker’s line. A battery of our own division opened out briskly as we marched out and took position upon a hill near Mission Ridge. Our line was shelled to some extent in response, but a twenty-pounder was run out upon the line and soon silenced the enemy’s guns. As night settled down upon us, we abandoned our guns and took to the spade, pick and ax, and built fortification in full view of the enemy’s camp fire. pg. 120]

25 November 1863—Wednesday. Fine day. The fight is going on. Our brigade is kept back. In the afternoon went & supported a battery. Got along fine. 

[A general engagement opened early the 25th all along the line. At nine a.m. the First and Second Brigades engaged the enemy. The wounded were carried back in large numbers, including quite a number of field officers, General Corse being of the number. Our line was advanced and gained the railroad. The 53rd was detailed to support a battery and received its full share of shot and shell. The Third Brigade, of which the 53rd was a part, suffered severely and lost several men in battle and a considerable number were also taken prisoners of war. Later in the day a general advance was ordered all along the line and Lookout and Mission Ridge were taken. We returned from the support of the battery late at night and went into camp. pg. 120]


Battle of Missionary Ridge

26 November 1863—Thursday. Fine day. After the rebels. They are on full retreat. Marched 12 miles. Got some prisoners. Had a fine time. Got some corn meal and chickens for supper. Started at daylight. Got in camp in the woods at 8 o’clock at night.

27 November 1863—cloudy and cool. Still after the retreating rebels. Stopped at Graysville and took dinner. Got a letter from home. Camped all night at Graysville. Commenced raining at dark.

[As we continued our pursuit of Bragg, everything along the line indicated heavy fighting. Reaching Graysville on the Western Atlantic Railway, we camped for the night. The prisoners and wounded were brought in all night long. The total number of prisoners corralled during the night near the camp was 500. pg. 121]

28 November 1863—still raining. Quit at 12 M. Our regiment went to tear up the railroad. Our company is left to guard the camp. Got a letter from home. Orders came to march in the morning.

[On the morning of the 28th, we engaged in the pastime of burning a mill and a machine shop at Graysville. We then marched out on the railroad leading to Ringgold, tore up the track for several miles, burning the ties and capturing some cars. …Then pushed on to Graysville to which place our brigade returned and camped for the night. It was very cold, so much so that the boys could not rest, they were compelled to move about to keep up the circulation. pg. 121]

29 November 1863—Cool. Started to march at 7. Marched through a town [Cheneway?]. Marched 15 miles. Went in camp after dark in an open field. We are scarce of grub. Camped near Cleveland.

[On Sunday, November 29th, we marched 21 miles upon empty stomachs, there being no rations. We camped for the night one mile from Cleveland. pg. 121]

30 November 1863—the wind is cold. Tore up some of the railroads before we started to march. Left Cleveland at 10 o’clock. Marched 11 miles near to Charleston and camped in an open field. Out of grub and don’t know where to get any.

[On November 30th our wing of the army marched to Salton, destroying the railroad as it proceeded. This section of Tennessee was extra good. The population was fairly loyal. We camped near Charleston. We were still without hardtack. pg. 121]


1 December 1863—wind cold. Marched 16 miles. Came through Charleston. Crossed the high walled river at Charleston. Camped near Athens. Came through Riceville six miles from Athens. Got into camp at 9 o’clock p.m.  I was detailed to forage. Got some corn meal and flour.

[Early on the morning of December 1st, The Tennessee valley resounded with huzzahs from the Yankee throats at the glimpse of our wagon train. Many a one with tears in his eyes, reverently looked up and thanked the God of battles for the kindness, hardtack, coffee, etc., included. The rations were issued, breakfast was had, after which, at 11 a.m., the army proceeded upon the line of march… We passed through Charleston and Calhoun. The Hiawatha River divides this town. Continuing our march, we passed through Riceville and camped, after marching sixteen miles during the day. pg. 122]

2 December 1863—fine day. Wind cool. Left Athens at six a.m. Came past a town next named (never knew name). Marched 20 miles. Camped at Philadelphia. Got into camp at 7 in the night.

[On the morning of December 2nd we passed through Athens… This was a town of considerable dimensions, with good public buildings, churches, and school houses. A short distance from the town we came upon a force of the enemy’s cavalry and had a brisk skirmish… We passed through the town of Sweet Water and camped near Philadelphia, Tennessee, after having marched 20 miles. Pg. 122]

3 December 1863—fine day. Marched 10 miles to the Tennessee river and camped. Water hard. Wait to cross. Came through. Killed hog today. Crossed the river. Our company had to dig roads to 11 o’clock at night. Got a letter from home.

[On the morning of the 3rd we passed through Philadelphia. The town was noted for its large springs, affording sufficient water power for manufacturing purposes. Our army proceeded on to Morgantown, crossing the Holston River after night. We went into camp after having marched 10 miles. Pg. 122]

4 December 1863—fine day. Detailed to make roads at the river. Laying over at the river. Moved our camp out in the woods.

[On the morning of the 4th we moved out about one mile and camped. The remainder of the day was occupied in bridging the river. To assist us in bridge-building we were compelled to tear down some fine residences. We are now plainly in sight of Smokey Mountain and Blue Ridge. Pg. 122]

5 December 1863—fine day. Left Morgan at 5 a.m. Marched 18 miles to Maysville and camped. The boys is all tired.

[We marched at daylight on the 5th, passing through Marysville, Blount county. The women in the village were intensely loyal, shouting, weeping, and praying at our approach. After having marched eighteen miles we went into camp. Pg. 122]

6 December 1863—fine day. Laid over at Marysville.

[December 6th was Sunday…and was observed as a day of rest, save and except that the boys took occasion to wash clothes and body… Pg. 123]

7 December 1863—fine day. Orders to march at 7 a.m. Marched 18 miles and camped near Morgantown. We are on the backtrack.

[On the morning of the 7th there was rejoicing in our camp, for news was received that Longstreet, at the approach of our advance, had silently folded his tent during the night and was retreating southward, thus relieving Burnside at Knoxville… This campaign having relieved the siege of Knoxville…General Sherman decided that it was best for our army to retrace its steps and return to Chattanooga, which we did almost over the same route. Upon our first day’s march toward Chattanooga, we made eighteen miles and camped near Morgantown. Pg. 123]

8 December 1863—cool. Rained in the afternoon. Left Morgan[town] at 6 a.m. Marched 12 miles and camped in the woods. Killed a hog.

[On the morning of the 8th we crossed the river at Morgantown, marching ten miles and camped. Pg. 123]

9 December 1863—fine day. Started to march at 9. Marched 10 miles and camped at Madisonville. Got eleven chickens for breakfast cooking in a big kettle.

[On the 9th we marched ten miles to madisonville and camped. Pg. 123]

10 December 1863—fine day. Left Madisonville at 9 o’clock. Marched 15 miles and camped at Athens.

[On the 10th we proceeded on our line of march and moved some fourteen miles, camping at Athens. Pg. 123]

11 December 1863—fine day. Went out a foraging and got some honey [and] two chickens. Got our dinner. In the country, shot at a mark. Was away from camp 4 miles. The regiment laid over at Athens today.

[The next day, the 11th, we remained in camp and rested. Pg. 123]

12 December 1863—rained in the afternoon. Moved our camp to the other side of town and put up bunks.

[On the 12th we broke camp early and moved but a short distance and camped. Pg. 123]

13 December 1863—rained in the morning. Cloudy all day. Went out and killed two hogs and wounded 3. Fetched one in and left the rest. Read some in the testament tonight.

[During the 13th we remained quiet. Pg. 123]

14 December 1863—Left Athens at 7. Came through Riceville. Marched 15 miles and camped at Charleston. Went out and killed a hog.

[Early on the morning of the 14th, we took up our line of march and proceeded some 15 miles, camping for the night at Charleston. Pg. 123]

15 December 1863—left Charleston at 7 and crossed the Hiawassee river at Charleston. Came thru Cleveland. Camped two miles from that town in the woods. Our company went on picket. Went out a foraging and got nothing.

[During the 15th, we passed the 11th Army Corps, marched ten miles and camped near Cleveland. Pg. 123]

16 December 1863—left Cleveland. Marched through [____ville] and marched 18 miles. Hard rain before we went in camp. Camped in the woods 10 miles from Chattanooga. Very wet.

[On the morning of the 16th we got up drenched with rain and marched fourteen miles, soaked to the hide; and did not go into camp, owing to the bad roads and weather, until 9 p.m. Pg. 123]

17 December 1863—orders to start at daylight. Marched 10 miles and camped three miles from Chattanooga. Went to town and got drunk on the way. Treated in town.

[Near nightfall of December 17th we camped near Chattanooga. All of our regiment…did not reach camp until during the day on the 19th… The march from Memphis to Mission Ridge and Knoxville and back to Bridgeport was the longest consecutive march of a large body of troops during the Civil War. The part of it in East Tennessee was of unequaled severity. They marched some 100 miles in five days. Pg. 124-5]

18 December 1863—fine day. Windy and cool. Marched 11 miles. Came through Chattanooga. Camped at the forks of the C. and Trenton Road. Hard times to get wood and grub for the first three days rations.

19 December 1863—marched 25 miles to Bridgeport and went into camp. Got four letters; one from home, one from Liza, one M. Brook, one from [Ball?].

20 December 1863—Sunday. Laid in camp. Wrote a letter home. Went down to the depot. Got one pound of cheese. Paid 50 cents. Moved our camp in the rise and signed for clothes.

21 December 1863—fine day. Laying in camp. Wrote a letter to Eliza. Drawed clothes— overcoat, socks, hat. Washed my clothes in he night. 

22 December 1863—fine day. Wrote a letter to J. Ball. Signed the pay roles. Laying in camp. No strange moves today.

[Until December 22nd we remained in camp with nothing occurring worthy of note. Pg 127]

23 December 1863—laid over. Went to the depot. Got paid 26 dollars. Orders to march the next morning at 8 o’clock. Camped in the woods.

[On the night of the 23rd of December…we were called up at the hour of midnight and paid, the first time for several months. Pg. 127]

24 December 1863—started to march at 8 o’clock. Marched 10 miles and camped at Stevenson in an open field. Went after night and stole a tent from another regiment. Went to town and got drunk.

[During the day of the 24th we moved our camp to Stevenson. It was a cheerless Christmas eve to most of us. Pay day had not reached us in time for our remittance to cheer and brighten the hearts of our loved ones at the North, but the outgoing mail carried hundreds of dollars northward. Pg. 127]


The Alabama House in Stevenson, Alabama—perhaps this is where Dunn “got drunk” on Christmas Eve 1863

25 December 1863—Christmas. Cloudy and cool. Detailed to draw grub at division headquarters. Bought a pocket book. Price $1.25. Rain in the evening.

26 December 1863—raining. Left Stevenson. Marched 17 miles. Camped at Scottsboro. Went out a foraging. Got nothing.

[December 26th we marched some 17 miles to Scottsboro, Alabama, and took up our winter quarters. Pg. 127]

27 December 1863—showers of rain. Went a foraging. Got two hams. Went two miles. Laid off camp part of the day. Sent off a little treasure.

[On the morning of the 27th the rain was descending by the bucketful and we had no shelter. Notwithstanding this downpour we laid off our camp. It rained continuously throughout the day. The wagon trains came up, but our blankets and provisions were saturated. From the 26th to the 31st we were engaged in building our winter quarters. Our camp lay at the base of the mountain along the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. The mountain was covered with a growth of cedar and this we utilized for our winter quarters and for firewood. Pg. 128]

Home on Furlough & Between Campaigns

1 March 1864—at home on a furlough. At the fire enjoying myself as well as I can by talking to the old woman.

2 March 1864—still at home. My furlough is up today but I don’t mind of going back on account of sickness.

3 March 1864—still at home enjoying myself as well as I can sporting with the old woman and the girls.

4 March 1864—still at home sporting and putting in the time as well as I can and as comfortable as possible.

5 March 1864—still at home. Took my wife a visiting to uncle Joseph Gray and stayed there all night. Went after my boots. Got a pair at Aberdeen. Paid $7.60 for them at A. J. Mitchell’s.

6 March 1864—started to Dick’s on a visit [with] my wife and Aunt. Stayed there all day. Went home in the evening. Had a fine buggy ride.

7 March 1864—thinking of starting to camp. Started at 3 o’clock in the evening. Fetched two recruits [Kilgore brothers] with me. Got on the boat at 8 o’clock. Hated to leave home very bad. In fact, I would rather stayed.

8 March 1864—now at Cincinnati. Went through town hunting a mustering officer. Could not find any. Had to take my men out to camp to get them sworn in. the boys was glad to see me and I them.

9 March 1864—Camp Dennison, Ohio. Laying in the barracks and running around some but don’t feel right. Got the diarrhea and studying about home. Wrote two letters—one home.

10 March 1864—Camp Dennison. Raining and muddy running around. Putting the time in the best way I can. Still got home on my mind. I diarrhea is some better. Drove off the [   ].

11 March 1864—Camp Dennison. Running around putting the time in the best way I can. Writing and reading. J. K. [John Kilgore] & Jo. K. [Joseph Kilgore] got mustered into the service. Cold and cloudy.

12 March 1864—Camp Dennison. Running around. Wrote a letter. House clean and warm. Feel very lazy. Tired of this place.

13 March 1864—Camp Dennison. Cold and cloudy. on camp guard around the barracks. Looks like it wold snow.

14 March 1864—got relieved off guard at 10 o’clock. Orders to be ready to march in a minute’s warning.

15 March 1864—left Camp Dennison. Went to Cincinnati. Stayed there  to after dinner. Got on a boat [   ] and went to Louisville. Cold weather.

16 March 1864—Louisville, Ky. Got off the boat. Stayed in the barracks to saving. Went to the depot to get on the cars and had to come back to quarters and stay all night. Cold.

17 March 1864—Left Louisville at 3 o’clock on the cars. Rode all night. Cold and the cars crowded. The boys is all funning.

18 March 1864—Nashville. Got off the cars at the8 o’clock. Went in a yard to stay. We can get [   ].

19 March 1864—Nashville. Laying around nodding and putting the time in the best way I can. Wrote a letter. Have fine day. Cool wind.

20 March 1864—Nashville. Went to church. Read some and laid around. Put the time in the best way I could. Cool wind. Sunshine.

21 March 1864—Nashville. Running around putting the time in the best I can. Cool wind. Sunshine.

22 March 1864—Left Nashville at 3 o’clock. Marched 6 miles and camped in the woods. Hard marching on the pike. Fine weather.

23 March 1864—Started to march at seven. Marched 15 miles and camped in a field along side of the pike. Fine weather. The boys all has sore feet. Dusty.

24 March 1864—Marched 15 miles and camped at Columbia. Crossed Duck river at the town. The boys all has got sore feet.

25 March 1864—Left Columbia, Tennessee. Marched 15 miles to Linnville and camped. Sore feet and tired [   ]. Came off picket at daylight.

26 March 1864—Left Linnville and came through Pulaski. Marched 8 miles and camp in the woods at the side of the pike. My feet is lame.

27 March 1864—Left camp, crossed Elk River at Elkin in the wagons. Marched 7 miles and camped. Tired. 

28 March 1864—Left camp at 6. Marched 23 miles to Huntsville. Went through the town and camped one mile from town on the side of the hill. Tired and sore. Route hard and mean all day.

29 March 1864—Huntsville, Alabama. The regiment started to Scottsboro on the cars. Left three companies — A, B, & F to guard a train of wagons. Start in the morning. Cool and cloudy.

30 March 1864—Huntsville, Alabama. Laying around. Intended to start with the train but put it off to morning. Read some in the testament. Fine day. Wrote one letter to home.

31 March 1864—Left Huntsville. Guarding a wagon train in the afternoon. Was rear guard. Came 17 miles and camped. Bad roads—muddy and hills and swamps. This month is put in in a good way.


1 April 1864—Left camp. Cloudy. Got on the railroad and went ahead of the teams. Marched 24 miles. Camped by ourself in an old still house. Six of us. Cloudy and raining.

2 April 1864—Left our old house and came to Scottsboro. Got five letters. Wrote one home. Got four from home. Came three miles in ahead of the teams. A long train. Fine day. Sunshine.

[On our return from the veteran furlough to Scottsboro we had little or no duty, excepting that of guard duty, and that principally guarding the railroad extending southward from Louisville, Ky., to Nashville, Tenn., and from Nashville to Chattanooga. It was an almost broken line of troops. Pg. 131]

3 April 1864—Scottsboro, Alabama. Fine day. Wrote a letter to G. W. Bader [?]. Inspection of arms at 10 o’clock. Nothing going on at present. Read several chapters in the testament.

4 April 1864—Scottsboro, Alabama. Cloudy and misting. Wrote all day. Detailed on guard duty a foraging ahead of the train part of the time. Read some in the testament. Wrote a letter to S. T.

5 April 1864—Scottsboro, Alabama. Got relieved off guard and detailed on fatigue duty. Wrote a letter home. Clouds and cool. Fixed our tent some. Wrote a letter to T. Lowell [?]

6 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Fine day. Cooking for the mess. Nothing strange going on [  ].

7 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Fine day. Wrote a letter to A. W. Greg [?]. Battalion drill in the forenoon and company drill in the afternoon.

8 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Cloudy. Sprinkling rain. Washed some clothes. Wrote a letter to P. Dunn [?]. Read some in the testament.

9 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Battalion drill in the forenoon. General review in the afternoon. Cloudy and raining. Some writing songs.

10 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. On camp guard. Fine day. Cool wind. Wrote a letter home. Read some in the testament.

11 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Got relieved off camp guard. Fixed our tent. Put up bunks. Find day. Drilled in the afternoon (co.).

12 April 1864—Cloudy & sprinkling. Wrote a letter to A. S. T.  Helped to dig a grave. Went to the [    ]. Again cooked.

13 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Fine day. Warm. Battalion drill in the forenoon. No drill in the afternoon. Read some in the testament. One of our mess taken to the hospital. E. C. [Elijah] Carter]

14 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Fine day. Wrote a letter home. Battalion drill forenoon. The brigade was brought out to Colonel to make his farewell speech. Fine day. 

15 April 1864—Cool and cloudy. On camp guard duty. [?] Tent in the same fix.

16 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Get relieved of camp guard. Detailed on picket on the railroad. East cool breeze. Sun shining. Sprinkling rain. Feel sleepy.

17 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Got relieved of picket. Came to camp. Raining in the evening. Heard a sermon preached. Read some in the testament.

18 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Wrote a letter to J. T[eeters].

19 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Got a letter from home. On detailed duty cleaning up the headquarters. Cooked. Drilled company. Fine day.

20 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Wrote a letter home. Helped to get timber to make church benches. On dress parade. Fine day. Nothing strange going on. The boys is in good health.

21 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Got a letter from G. W. B.  Wrote one to the same. Battalion drill in the forenoon. Co. [drill] in the afternoon. Raining in the afternoon.

22 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala.  Got a letter from home. Wrote a letter home. Fine day. Washed some clothes. Went to preaching at dark at the 99th Indiana.

23 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Detailed on picket. Went on General Review first and then on picket. On post No. 2. Cloudy. Looks like rain.

24 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala.  Fine day. Went to preaching at 2 p.m. Got relieved [  ] in the morning. Preaching at dar. Dress parade.

25 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Fine day. Warm. Took a walk on top of the hill. J. Y. [Maxwell] in with me. The [regimental] quartermaster [Lt. Edward G. Morrison] is dead. Preaching at dark.

26 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Got two shirts. One letter from home. Wrote a letter home. Preaching in the evening. Read four or five chapters in the testament.

27 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Excused of duty. Detailed to hep put up a shade around the church. Read some in the testament. Preaching in the evening.

28 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Got orders to be ready to march at a minute’s warning. Wrote a letter home. Did fix up our knapsacks but did not start cooking today. Preaching this evening.

29 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Wrote a letter to J. B. D.  Fine day. Orders to start to march at six in the morning.

30 April 1864—Scottsboro, Ala. Wrote a letter home and one to my sis E[liza]. Ordered to be ready to march at 6 a.m. in the morning.

The Atlanta Campaign


1 May 1864—[Sunday] Started to march. Left Scottsboro at 7 o’clock. Marched 10 miles and camped in the woods. Got two letters—one from A. S. T. [and] one from sister Eliza. Went to preaching in the evening.

2 May 1864—Camp near Stevenson. Marched 10 miles. Went into camp in an open field.

3 May 1864—Left camp at 7 o’clock. Marched 14 miles. Crossed the Tennessee river. Camped 2 miles from Stevenson in an open field.

4 May 1864—Left camp at 8 o’clock. Marched 12 miles. Crossed Running Water. Camp near Running water. feet sore and tired. Camped at White Sides. Starving on half rations.

5 May 1864—Chattanooga, Tenn. Left White Sides at 7 o’clock. Marched 15 miles and camped in Lookout V. near Mission Ridge. Got two letters—one from home [and] one from S. T.  The boys is tired and hungry. Out of grub.

6 May 1864—Gravelly Springs. Georgia. Marched 10 miles. Got three letters—one from home, one from A. B., [and] one [from] A. G.  Warm and dusty.

7 May 1864—Left camp. Marched 10 miles. Marched to 1 o’clock at night and camped in a cornfield. Tired. Marched slow. No signs of the rebels yet.

8 May 1864—Camp near Villa____. Marched 12 miles. Came through Gordon’s Gap. Warm. Marched southeast. Dusty. The boys is wearied some. E[lijah] Carter, John Darling & I went and killed a calf in the corn-brake.

9 May 1864—Camped near the railroad. Marched 8 miles looking for the rebels, hearing the firing in front. There was a skirmish on this ground.

10 May 1864—Camp near the railroad. On picket. The company is out. Raining some. Tore up the old letters. Skirmishing in front. On post north of camp. Expecting the big fight. Out of rations—very hungry. Rained hard at night.

11 May 1864—Got relieved of picket at 9 o’clock. Went on the left of the division and had to come back to the brigade. Went after dark. Helped to get a box of crackers. Hungry.

12 May 1864—Left the old division. Got transferred to the Second Division. Advanced our line. Now on the right and rested.

[About this time our regiment was transferred from the 4th Division, 15th A.C. to Morgan L. Smith, 2nd Division, 15th A.C., Lightburn’s 2nd Brigade. Pg. 133]

13 May 1864—Out on the skirmish line. The regiment fighting. Drove the rebels. Got five men wounded [in the] company, none killed as I have heard. Heavy skirmishing. Regiment lost [in] wounded 38.

[The 53rd [Ohio] was upon the extreme right of the Army of the Tennessee; its right flank resting near the Oostanaulu River. We stayed under fire for some time in line of battle, while our skirmishers were advancing, feeling of the enemy’s line. When the command rang out, “Forward! Guide right! March!” the battle [of Resaca] was on. In our advance we were exposed to the fire of the enemy in front and right flank from a stockade across the Odstanaulu. The muderous flank fire killed only a few, but wounded many… In moving forward the 53rd and 37th Ohio Regiments were halted at the edge of the field, while the remainder of the corps was being lined up to our line of battle. [Sitting ducks, the regiments] moved forward and drove the [rebel] skirmishers from their position in front of us and took it ourselves… We held our ground and remained there until the night. For four long hours we were under a galling fire and suffered severely; our men going down all around us, and a constant stream being carried to the rear for treatment. We withdrew a short distance under cover of darkness and lay upon our arms all night; but in full view of the enemy’s camps. Pg. 135]

14 May 1864—Charged the rebels works. and took them. Heavy fighting in the evening on the skirmish line. Out for all night. No fighting after nine o’clock p.m.

[Heavy skirmishing commenced at 4 a.m. the morning of the 14th. Companies E and K of the 53rd were upon the skirmish line under command of Captain Galloway. About noon the captain received instructions to advance the line of skirmishers which we did and to within about 100 yards of the skirmish line of the enemy. It was ordered that our brigade, with that of Giles A. Smith, should charge the rebel fortifications at 4 p.m. It was also understood that at the proper signal, the skirmishers were to pour into the rebel line in their front…. The brigades moved “double quick” and with a yell and with such a deafening roar of musketry that commands were useless…we soon drove the enemy from their line of fortifications, occupying them with a shout and Old Glory planted upon the works. The fighting and firing was kept up until 6 p.m.  but we had gained our position and their works, and in full view of Resaca. Our losses were heavy. Pg. 135]

15 May 1864—Got relieved of the skirmish line. Laid in the rifle pit all day. Skirmishing going on along the line.


Inside the Rebel Works at Resaca

16 May 1864—Near Resaca. Went into the town. The rebels left last night and this morning marched 5 miles after the rebels. Got our knapsacks. The enemy is in full retreat. Got two letters—one from home [and] one [from J. Teeters.

[on Sunday, May 16th, the fighting was continued; our batteries shelling their works. Our regiment, however, did not do much. On the 16th we were relieved by the 37th Ohio for rest and needed sleep. The enemy evacuated their forts during the night; their rear guard firing the bridges…. We then passed on to Resaca…. We took a large number of prisoners. In their haste, they had left their dead unburied upon the field. Pg. 135-6]

17 May 1864—Started to march at six. Marched 8 miles skirmishing with the rebels. Got in line of battle. Some prisoners taken in front. Camped 12 miles from Rome. Heavy fighting on our left. The boys is all tired [and] wants rest.

[On Tuesday, May 17th, we were pursuing the enemy in the direction of Rome, skirmishing as we went…. Heavy fighting was going on to our left. We camped late at night. Pg. 136]

18 May 1864—Camp in the works on the left of the [   ]. Rode in the waggons. Wrote a letter home. Marched 5 miles and camped on a hill. Left with the Battalion. The rest went on.

[We remained in camp quiet during Wednesday, the 18th, until 2 p.m. and then moved, passing through Adairsville. The march was continued through the night and until 4 a.m. Pg. 136]

19 May 1864—Started to march at 5 o’clock. Hard marching to pass the [wagon] train with the battalion. March 10 miles. Camped near Kingston. Fighting in front. The rebels is still on the retreat. Fine day. Tired and dirty. Helped to skin a hog.

[At 6 a.m. on the 19th, we were again upon the line of march and finally camped within two miles of Kingston. There was heavy skirmishing throughout the day. Pg. 136]

20 May 1864—Kingston, Georgia on picket. Wrote a letter home. Got relieved at dark. Laying around a few days to rest and recruit up. The cars is running to this place. The first train came this morning.

[On the 20th, we remained quiet all day. The railroad trains came up from Chattanooga with supplies. Pg. 136]

21 May 1864—Kingston. Fine day. Wrote three letters—one to M. D., [   ]. Laying in camp. Went in a swimming. Took a good wash. Got a letter from home.

22 May 1864—Kingston. Fine day. Wrote three letters. Read one chapter in the testament. Went over to the 70th Ohio Regiment. Warm today. Rumor that we will leave in the morning.

23 May 1864—Camp at [Kingston]. Got a letter from Eliza V. Left Kingston at 7 o’clock. Marched 15 miles and camped in a bottom on a creek. Got the diarrhea and headache. Very near gave out. The boys is all tired, warm, and dusty.

[On the 23rd, we moved at 6 a.m. and continued our march until we had gone some 20 miles and then camped. Pg. 136]

24 May 1864—Marched 8 miles. Came through village named [Vanworth]. Camped in the woods. Came through Vanworth—a small village. Heavy rain in the evening. Had fresh beef.

25 May 1864—Left camp, marched 8 miles. My birthday—21 years old. Sick. Taking medicine. Had to fall to the rear. Fighting on our left.

[On the 25th we marched at 8 a.m., and went into camp after marching ten miles. There was heavy cannonading on our left. As sundown or soon after, wile in camp, we were summoned to assemble and ordered to move and re-inforce General Thomas. We marched until 11 o’clock and again camped. Pg. 136-7]

26 May 1864—Dallas [Georgia]. Fine day. Advanced our line to Dallas. Marched through [town], taken by surprise with the rebels. Heavy skirmishing in front. [I was] sick [and] left in the rear to carry buckets and keep up as near as possible. [Marched] near 4 miles.

[Thursday, the 26th, we marched at 9 a.m. There was skirmishing in our front. We were then advancing on Dallas. The maneuvering in our approach to and capture of the town was magnificent… We steadily advanced, driving the enemy in our front, passed through Dallas…but a short distance beyond the village…we were soon under a brisk fire. We immediately swung into line of battle and were hotly engaged… The 53rd was in the advance, as usual, received the first shock of battle and suffered correspondingly. We held our own until late at night; slowly but surely advancing—the enemy just as stubbornly retreating. Pg. 137]

27 March 1864—Near Dallas. Fine day. Heavy skirmishing on the line. Sick but with the company. The company came off the skirmish line at 10 [o’clock]. Some cannonading.

[On the 27th, at 4 a.m. the fighting was on, and it continued throughout the day. We were exposed and suffered severely. We formed a line of battle across the Dallas and Marietta Railroad. The 53rd was at an angle in the line. We were further advanced than any part of the line on either side, and lay in a semi-circle at this road. Pg. 137]

28 May 1864—Dallas. Fine day. Laying in the rear of the regiment. Sick. The rebels charged on our lines and got repulsed with a heavy loss. 5 killed and wounded out of our regiment. Our sick sent to the division hospital. Got to the hospital at 11 o’clock at night.

29 May 1864—Hospital moved east of Dallas. The sick rode in a wagon. Was tired when we got out. The rebels made a charge on our men. Got repulsed. Read some in the testament. Laid down tired and weary.

[Sunday, May 29th was principally occupied with skirmishing, cannonading and burying the dead—our own in separate graves with wooden head-stones…Usually the enemy’s dead were buried in trenches, ranging from ten to fifty in each. Pg. 141]

30 May 1864—Hospital. Getting better. Read some in the testament. Taking medicine—pills and salts. Heavy skirmishing in front.

31 May 1864—Feel some better. Worked a little pulling weeds, cleaning up ground for a hospital. Some tired. Heavy skirmishing in front. Wounded still coming in out of all regiments. This ends this month at hard times.


1 June 1864—Hospital. Sick. Taking [pills?]. Have to take six tonight between sunset & sunrise. Moved the hospital on better ground. left of the road. Worked some pulling weeds cleaning off ground to set tents for the wounded.

2 June 1864—Hospital. Still laying around. Sick. Feeling some better today. Rained hard. Got some wet. Hain’t to take any medicine this day. Glad of that. Heavy skirmishing on the lines.

3 June 1864—Hospital. Feel some worse. Troubled with pain in the head. Bones aches. Rained some showers. Wrote a letter home. Skirmishing going on in front.

4 June 1864—Hospital. Feel about as usual. Bones aching. Pain in the head. Had oyster supper for dinner. Eat hearty of the soup. Few crackers. Some showers of rain. Cloudy and cool. Moved in the tent. Tent full. Wrote two letters—one to E.V. and one to J. B.

5 June 1864—Hospital left for to march to the railroad. The rebels is evacuated here. Rode in a wagon, Hard way to carry sick about. Take no medicine today. Feel as usual. Came 10 miles and camped in a field. 

6 June 1864—Acworth, Georgia. Got here at 12 a.m. Feel very sick. A headache. Came 7 miles. Took a walk though too tired and weak.

[On the 6th we march at 6 a.m. going some seven miles and camped to the east of Acworth. We had been out of provisions for twenty-four hours… Our trains came up late at night and rations were issued to us. Pg. 142]

7 June 1864—Acworth. Feel some better. Still at the hospital. Got a letter. Wrote 3 letters and commenced the 4th. Feel weak. Been walking about some. Went to the regiment and back. Made me tired. Got letter from G. W. B. & from home.

8 June 1864—Acworth. Left the hospital ad came to the regiment. Got no grub. Hungry. The 17th Corps came up. The company on picket. Wrote a letter to D. Bean.

9 June 1864—Acworth. Got orders to march at 6. Did not start. Wrote a letter to A. Gray. Feel worse. Took a dose of salts. No grub. Fine day.

diarypg10 June 1864—Camp near Big Shanty Station. Marched 5 miles. Some skirmishing with the rebels in front. Formed our line. Putting up breastworks in the woods. Feel some better. Marched in ranks. Hard haul.

[On the 10th, we marched to Big Shanty Station and took our position for the night and threw up fortifications. Pg. 142]

11 June 1864—Big Shanty Station. Some skirmishing in front. Orders to be ready to march at a minute’s warning. Rained hard in showers. Got our breastworks up.

[Saturday morning the 11th, it was raining. The railroad came up in the evening. Pg. 143]

12 June 1864—Big Shanty Station. Wrote two letters. Wet day & wet laying in our huts. Went out to spy around. Seen nothing. Skirmished [  ].

13 June 1864—Camp near Big Shanty. Moved to the front. There is a line in front of us. Wet day. Drawed grub. Got a letter from home of the 2nd. Went to the division commissary and got some meat & crackers.

14 June 1864—Camp near Big Shanty. Wrote a letter home. Inspection of arms. Some skirmishing in front. Talk of making a charge. Got a letter from home. Wrote a letter home.

15 June 1864—Camp near Big Shanty. Moved on the left. Heavy cannonading going on. Drew rations. Can see the rebs.

16 June 1864—Camp near Big Shanty. Wrote a letter home. Heavy skirmishing in front. The rebels shelling us. Our division moved to the right 1 mile. Went in the rifle pits. Relieved the 17th Corps.

[On the 16th there was heavy skirmishing and we marched to the right to support General Osterhaus… At dark we relieved a regiment of the 17th Army Corps, taking their place in the fortifications. Pg. 143]

17 June 1864—Big shanty. Laying in the rifle pits. Heavy skirmishing in front. Heavy cannonading. Went back for beef. Came when the firing was the hardest. Made a [   ]. Raining hard.

[The enemy opened fire upon us early on the morning of the 17th. We were compelled to keep close to the ditch, as the shot and shell were flying thick and fast. After our batteries got into position, they soon silenced those of our enemy. We made a feint and with a yell started upon a charge, giving our enemy plenty of grape and canister, which together with the roar of musketry, created consternation in their ranks, but accomplished nothing. P. 143]

18 June 1864—Big Shanty. Wet day. Still on the line in the rifle pits. Went back after [  ]. Skirmishing generally in this place.

19 June 1864—Went out on the skirmish line and went into the rebels works. Drove some rebels on the mountain. West day. Rebels is shelling us. Killed 1 man. Drawed grub—3 days rations.

[On Sunday, the 19th, the enemy retired to Kenesaw Mountain leaving the pass between Kenesaw and Lost Mountain open. From their mountain position they opened up a murderous fire. We made an advance on their works while it was raining in torrents…. We took lodgment at the foot of the mountain and had control of the pass. Pg. 144]

20 June 1864—Lost Mountain near Big Shandy. Heavy cannonading all along the line. Raining in the evening. Looking for the rebels to make a break here. Got into little shanties.

21 June 1864—Lost Mountain. Heavy cannonading on the right. Rained hard. Went on picket on reserve, 5 companies out of our regiment. Went over to the 70 Ohio.

[It was still raining the 21st. The enemy are fortified on the mountain. Five of our companies were on picket and it still rained in torrents. One of Company C’s men was wounded. Pg. 144]

22 June 1864—Lost Mountain. Got relieved of picket at 5 p.m. Heavy cannonading. Shells flying over us from both sides. No man hurt as I know. Nice day. Sun shining. Warm.

23 June 1864—Lost Mountain. Wrote a letter home. Heavy cannonading. Fine day. Heavy skirmishing in the evening. Warm day. Cloudy. Looks like rain. Last night had to get in line [   ]. Got a letter from sis.

[On the 23rd the force upon the mountain opened with all the artillery they had, but as our line was near the foot of the mountain, the shot and shells flew over and beyond us. Pg. 145]

24 June 1864—Lost Mountain. Wrote a letter to Mary. Went out on the skirmish line about 5. Rains from 2 to 6. Got relieved at dark. Got a letter.

25 June 1864—Kennesaw Mountain. Wrote a letter home and  started another. Fine day—hot. Heavy skirmishing on the line.

26 June 1864—Kennesaw Mountain. Orders to march. Wrote a letter to A. S. T. Fine day—hot. Orders to march at dark. Don’t know where. Supposed to be on the right. Read some in the testament. Started at dark. Marched 1½ [miles] to right. Got there at 12.

[On the night of the 26th we received orders to march to the right of the army. We marched around on the rear of the Army of the Cumberland and went into camp late at night. Pg. 145]


Battle of Kennesaw Mountain on 27 June 1864

27 June 1864—Kennesaw Mountain. Orders to pile knapsacks. Then [  ] was on hand charged the rebs works [and] carried the first line. Our company on skirmish line. Got relieved at night. Our loss heavy—killed and wound 65.

ken[On the 27th, was informed that General Sherman’s old division, of which we were a part, would unsling knapsacks and prepare to assault the rebel line at the right of Kennesaw Mountain. The second brigade was formed in two lines, the 53rd on the right of the front line. It was supported on the second line by Colonel Parry of the 47th Ohio. When we got ready to make the charge, we passed through the line of the Army of the Cumberland and over their works and down through an open field into a thickly wooded bottom; all the time being under fire of the rebel artillery from Kennesaw Mountain, and their line of battle and the line in rifle pits at the far edge of the woods. The advance through this brush was slow and difficult, and was made at great loss to our men…. ordered the men to take the rifle pits. They were manned by the 63rd Georgia Regiment and seemed to have as many men in them as we had. But we charged and in a hand-to-hand fight took the rifle pits… We took about a company…of the rebels as prisoners. Pg. 146]

28 June 1864—Kennesaw Mountain. Got out of bed, eat breakfast. Orders to march at a minute’s warning. Went back to the rear. Resting today. Went and took a wash. Feel some better after washing. Cannonading going on and skirmishing.

29 June 1864—Kennesaw Mountain. Laying in camp. Went over [   ] to the 70th [Ohio]. Wrote a letter home. Cool. Looks like rain. Heavy cannonading and skirmishing.

30 June 1864—Kennesaw Mountain. Quiet laying in camp. wrote a letter. Got one. Went and viewed the rebels works on the right. They was cut up. Not much skirmishing today.


1 July 1864—Kennesaw Mountain. All pretty quiet tonight. Today not much fighting going on. Wrote a letter to J. B. T.  Went on a visit to the 70th [Ohio]. Fine day. Warm & clear.

[On July 1st nothing occurred worthy of note excepting an artillery duel throughout almost the entire day. Pg. 147]

2 July 1864—Left Kennesaw Mountain. Ordered to march at 4 o’clock. Marched 10 miles to the extreme right. Hot marching. Got a letter from home. Rained in the evening. Looking for the rebs to make a charge.

[On the 2nd, at sunrise, we took the roadd and marched seven miles, passed the 4th, 14th, and 20th Corps, relieving the 23rd Corps upon the extreme right, leaving Kennesaw Mountain in our rear. We spent the night erecting earthworks. Pg. 147]

3 July 1864—Borden’s Mill. Hot. We made a charge. Drove the reels. Our loss 28 wounded. Tired. Got relieved and we went back to the works. Co. rested.

[July 3rd, we moved one mile in advance of our works and then the shot and shell were too much for us and we retreated half a mile to escape the shelling. We reformed and advanced again across the field under a terrific fire, our men falling by the score. Again we raised the yell, and this time gained their works. The 53rd, 30th, and 54th Ohio regiments bore the brunt of this engagement. The 53rd lost 36 killed and wounded, and was relieved after night by the 16th Army Corps… Pg 147]

4 July 1864—Rough Mill, Ga. Wrote a letter home. 16th Corps made a charge. Marched 2 miles. Throwed up works southeast of the mill. Skirmishing in front. Cannonading light. Took a wash at the mill under the fall of the dam.

5 July 1864—Wrote a letter. The 16th Corps charged the rebels. Drove them. Marched 2 miles. Supported the 16th. Throwed up breastworks southeast of the mill on a rise. Hot weather. Took a bath by the mill.

6 July 1864—Camp near Chattahoochie river. Warm. Laid over. Cannonading going on three miles from the river. Looking for orders to march ever minute. Staid [?].

7 July 1864—Camp near Chattahoochie river. Wrote a letter home no. 2. Laid over. Warm and dry. Cannonading going on in front and skirmishing. No signs of moving. Dress parade in the evening once back from under fire in the rear.

8 July 1864—Near Chattahoochie. Orders to march at 12. Orders countermanded. March at 4 p.m. Marched 3 miles, took our position on the line [with] skirmishers in the front. Now we have had a few days rest in the rear, we must go again.

9 July 1864–2 miles of Chattahoochie river. Moved our camp a short distance. Throwed up breastworks. Warm weather.

10 July 1864—Chatttahoochie river. The rebs left their works [and] crossed the river. Orders to be ready to march at minute’s warning. Did not move. Went to see the rebels works there in the evening. Cool today.

11 July 1864—Chattahoochie river. Marched 6 miles to the right. Went on picket. Company went into camp beside the road on the left side. Got three letters. Wrote some. Two of the mess out—T. Meckling and I.

12 July 1864— Got relieved of picket at 5. Orders to march at 5. Marched 7 miles. Camped near Marietta. Wrote two letters. orders to march at 2 in the morning. Tired out. Warm.

13 July 1864—Marietta. Started to march at 2 a.m. Marched 8 miles and stopped to stay till 5 p.m. Started to march 5 p.m. to the factory. Hot and tired. The name of the factory is Roswell’s. 3 miles from river.

14 July 1864—Roswwell, Ga. Marched from the town, crossed the Chattahoochie river, went in camp near the river. Marched 2½ miles. Warm. Heavy rain at dark. Got our shanties fixed up in time. Getting ready to put up H.

15 July 1864—Near Roswell. Threw up breastworks. Got a letter. Went to the Chattahoochie river and washed shirts, socks, body. Warm working on the works.

16 July 1864—Roswell, Detailed to work on the works. Still laying near camp awaiting orders. Went over to the 70th [Ohio] Awful hot today.

17 July 1864—-Roswell. Marched 8 miles. Camped in the woods. Left the river at 6 a.m. Warm. Some skirmishing in front. Went into camp at 12. Clear out a [  ] line.

18 July 1864—10 miles from Roswell. Marched 8 miles. Took the A & M Railroad. Tore up [   ]. Got a letter from home. Cool & pleasant.

19 July 1864—Decatur. Took possession of the railroad, tore up and burnt same. Marched 8 miles. Camped near Decatur at the edge of town. Skirmishing going on & cannonading in front. dress hog for supper. Apples and onions. Quite a [?].

20 July 1864—Decatur. Started to march. Advanced our lines. Drove the enemy 3 miles. Heavy skirmishing. Warm day. 2 miles of Atlanta. Cannonading heavy. Went on the skirmish line, A. B. & K companies. Fixed up works to [   ] behind. Rebs keeping up a heavy [fire?]

21 July 1864—Camp near Atlanta. Still on the line skirmishing. Advanced our lines. Got relieved at dark. Heavy rain in the evening. Got some wet.

22 July 1864—Camp near Atlanta. The rebels fell back. Our lines advanced. Heavy fight in the evening. Rebels charged and drove us. We reclaimed the works and batteries back. Rebels repulsed all along the lines. Rebels got the worst of it.

23 July 1864—Near Atlanta in front. Skirmishing going on. Looking for the rebels to charge our lines. Carried a fire by frame house in our front. Had to stay at the works all day. Our losses are 22 killed, wounded 19, prisoners 21, total 41.

24 July 1864—Near Atlanta in front. Looking for the rebels to attack us every minute but did not come. Fixed the breastworks. Put in a new row of pickets. Skirmishing in front.

25 July 1864—Near Atlanta. Laying in front looking for the rebels to attack us every minute but did not come. Some cannonading. Tired of laying around.

26 July 1864—Laying near Atlanta. Received two letters…warm and clear.

27 July 1864—marched to the right. Camped in an open field. Tired….

28 July 1864—heavy battle. Got put on the skirmish line. Advanced our lines on the rebs and drove them in. They charged and drove us a piece before battle commenced. Put [?] and held our ground. Repulsed the rebs. Lost no men. Very tired and sore.

29 July 1864—-Camp on the battleground. Looking for the rebels to try to come charging. There is other troops now in front of us. Got a letter from sister. I wrote one too. Near Atlanta. Went over the field. Seen dead rebels.

30 July 1864—Near Atlanta. Fixed to take other troops places in the front lines. 14th Army Corps…

31 July 1864—Near Atlanta, Ga. Laying in the ditches. Ordered to keep on our niggers. Wrote a letter home. Got up a panic or to what the rebels was come fell into line [  ] no rebs came. Rained near all day. This is three months that we have put in on this campaign and o signs of it being over. During the three months, charged on the rebel works 3 times & recaptured 2 … and had several battles, skirmishing near all the time. This is a hard campaign on the soldiers and weary.


1 August 1864—Near Atlanta. West of town laying in the ditches. Wrote a letter for [Elijah] Carter. Went in the evening and worked in some works. King for the rebels to charge on us. Some skirmishing going on.

2 August 1864—Near Atlanta. Moved our line up to the skirmish line—the works that we throwed up last night. Skirmishing going on along the line. Fixed the works . Wrote a letter home. Hot two.

3 August 1864—Near Atlanta. The skirmish advanced. Got driven in.  Our company went out on the skirmish line [and] drove the rebs. Held the ground. Got hit on the arm. Got relieved at 11 o’clock.

4 August 1864—near Atlanta. Laying in the ditches waiting for the rebels to charge on us. Got into line several times. The rebs shelled some. Hit the ranks once.

5 August 1864—near Atlanta west laying in the ditches. Skirmishing going on in line. Our company in trenches. Wrote a letter home. Warm and cloudy. Went to the rear to see the 70th Ohio. Some cannonading going on.

6 August 1864—near Atlanta west, laying on the line. Heavy cannonading in the evening. Could not hear nothing but cannon and shell this afternoon. Some skirmishing going on.

7 August 1864—Near Atlanta laying in front. Went over to throw up works on the skirmish line. Warm and cloudy. Some cannonading going on and skirmishing. Sunday some stiller. The cannon not so much fighting. Rebs in sight.

8 August 1864—Near Atlanta. Laying in the front lines. Went at 7 o’clock out to the skirmish line. Throwed up breastworks.. Going to move out in the morning. Rained hard. Sheltered under our gum blankets but some leaks.

9 August 1864—Near Atlanta in front. Moved up a quarter of a mile in sight of the rebs. Put up some shelter. Throwed up works. 

10 August 1864—Near Atlanta laying in the front lines. Working on the [breast]works. Got pretty good works throwed up. Detailed to go on picket. Went on picket. Cloudy. The rebs shelled us. Some hot.

11 August 1864—near Atlanta on front. Wrote a letter home. Came off picket in the night. Sick. Feel some better. Taking medicine. Capt. Daily got killed. D. Lawson wounded. Got a letter from L. W. B. Warm. Heavy skirmishing afternoon. 

12 August 1864—near Atlanta. In front. Started a letter home. Sick. Taking medicine. Heavy skirmishing going on. 

13 August 1864—Near Atlanta. Laying in front. Wrote a letter. Sick. taking medicine. W[illiam] Waldron got killed. Advanced. Took some prisoners.

14 August 1864—Near Atlanta in front. Sick. Taking medicine. Some skirmishing going on. Cannonading. Got up a panic that the rebs was coming but they did not come. Read some in the testament. Warm.

15 August 1864—near Atlanta in front. Got a letter from home. Sick. taking medicine. Skirmishing in front all along the line. Warm. Looks like rain.

16 August 1864—West of Atlanta in front. Wrote a letter home. Warm, The rebs shelling hit the works one or twice. No harm done. Skirmishing along the lines.

17 August 1864—West Atlanta in front. Skirmishing going on, The rebs shelling us. No harm done. Hit the works but did not hurt. No one on guard at headquarters. Showered between 10 and 12.

18 August 1864—West of Atlanta in front. Drawed grub. Helped to carry food. Wrote 2. One in forenoon. After noon, charge on the right. Can’t tell what success.

19 August 1864—West Atlanta in front. Made a faint. [Do] not know what success. Rained in the evening. Roused us out of our beds Cover placed. Water high. Heavy rain. Skirmishing all along the line. Heavy Cannonading.

20 August 1864—West Atlanta in front. Went on the skirmish line at 7½. Rained a very heavy shower. wrote a letter home. Got two recruits. A[ndrew] Lawson [and] [William] Wartenbee. 

21 August 1864—West Atlanta in front. Was on picket. Got relieved at [ ] o’clock. Got a letter from home…

22 August 1864—West Atlanta in front. Wrote a letter home and wrote one for E[lijah] Carter. Skirmishing in and all along the line. Stay close to the works. I got two  [ ].

23 August 1864—Near Atlanta in front. Got a mess of recruits. J. McMurray. Skirmishing all along the lines. Was on guard at headquarters. I stood two hours. Rebs shelling heavy and fast.

24 August 1864—West Atlanta in front. Skirmishing all along the line. Heavy cannonading. Ordered to go on picket. We are [   ] and dog tired laying around.

25 August 1864—West Atlanta front line. Got a letter from home. Wrote a letter. Very warm. Dry. Clear. Was going to move back. Did not go. Two more recruits. H[ugh] A[dams] and A. D.

26 August 1864—West Atlanta front lines. Wrote a letter. Moved off the lines. Marched all night to the right. Marched 10 miles. Tired. Sleepy. The rebs shelled us when we went to leave the lines. The boys stopped & slept.

27 August 1864—West Atlanta. Marched all last night. Tired and sleepy. Went into camp at 12. Went on picket in a big bottom. Sleeping…

30Aug6428 August 1864—West Atlanta. Marching. Came off picket. Sleepy. Marched to the railroad 8 miles. Went out on a scout 1½ [miles[ in front. Find some rebs. Did not get to shoot at them.before night. We got in tired.

29 August 1864—West Atlanta. Marched 10 miles and camped. Tired. Drove the rebel cavalry. Ration cars plenty eat a good fill up. Cook the mess. All sick but we have the things to carry.

30 August 1864—West Atlanta. Marched. Drove the rebels. Got wounded. Shot in the right knee on the skirmish line at 3 o’clock. Same night. Leg cut off.

31 August 1864—West Atlanta. Hospital moved. Hauled in the ambulance about 5 miles. Put up tents. Laid on the ruts to I was sore. The grub that I had to eat was hard tack. Rest well. No pain with my wound. So this ends the month of August. Hard times I have seen in this [month].

1 September 1864—Hospital near the rebels lines. The rebels advance on our men. Got in sight. Had to move the hospital out of range of the cannons. One shell came through the tent. Moved 1 and ½ miles.

[End of diary]

One thought on “1863-64: Pocket Journal of Alexander M. S. Dunn, Co. A, 53rd Ohio Volunteers

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