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  (transcriptions only)

Technical Details
Manuscripts of the American Civil War
Introduction
 

What follows is a list of Civil War related diaries and journals from the manuscript holdings in the Department of Special Collections, University Libraries of Notre Dame. Diaries included in the drop down menu to the left, or highlighted in the list below, are accessible online as images and textual transcriptions.

  • THOMAS BENTON ALEXANDER DIARY. 1861-1865. 1 vol., 13 cm., 59 leaves, with 118 pages of manuscript entries in Alexander's hand. Thomas Benton Alexander (1839-1928) was a native of Henry County, Tennessee, and was working as a farm laborer in Maury County when, in October 1861, he was mustered in to Confederate service. From 1861 to 1865 he served as private and sergeant in the Maury Artillery Battery and the 1st Tennessee Heavy Artillery Regiment, Company B (3rd). Alexander was captured and paroled three times, having been present at the surrenders of Fort Donelson, Tennessee (1862); Port Hudson, Louisiana (1863); and Fort Morgan, Alabama (1864). The diary includes dated entries ranging from June 1862 to May 1865; undated entries probably extend back to 1861. Much of the narrative content was written during the last year of the war; among the subjects treated most extensively are the Confederate defense of Mobile in the summer of 1864 and Alexander's subsequent imprisonment at Elmira, New York. MSN/CW 8003-1.
    [Introduction, Images & Transcriptions]

  • DAVID B. ARTHUR DIARY. 1862-1863. 1 vol., 15 cm., 47 leaves, with 90 pages of manuscript entries in Arthur's hand. A diary kept by David B. Arthur (b. 1837) as 1st sergeant and 2nd lieutenant in Co. I, 20th Wisconsin Infantry. Arthur was a lead miner, from Beetown, Grant County, Wisconsin. He was mustered in to the 20th Wisconsin in August 1862 and served in that unit for the duration of the war, ultimately rising to 1st lieutenant. The diary includes dated entries ranging from 20 October 1862 to 12 June 1863; during this time the regiment was attached to the Army of the Frontier, serving in Missouri and Arkansas. Arthur's entries describe three distinct expeditions or campaigns, the most important of which culminated in the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas (7 December 1862). MSN/CW 8001-1.
    [Introduction, Images & Transcriptions]

  • THOMAS J. BARB DIARY. 1863. 1 vol., 14 cm., 18 leaves, with 37 pages of manuscript entries in Barb's hand. Though the author of this Confederate diary never identifies himself by name, the manuscript can be attributed to Thomas Jacob Barb (1842-1899), of Batesville, Independence County, Arkansas. At the time the diary was written Barb was serving in Archibald Dobbin's 1st Arkansas Cavalry (CS). Entries extend from 18 June to 11 September 1863, and provide accounts of several key engagements in Arkansas, including the attack on Helena and the defense of Little Rock. MSN/CW 8002-1. [Introduction, Images & Transcriptions]

  • JAMES BOARDMAN DIARY. 1863. 1 vol. partly printed, entitled Pocket Diary for 1863; 13 cm., 66 leaves, with 121 pages of manuscript entries in Boardman's hand. James Boardman (b. 1833) was a resident of Salem, Olmsted County, Minnesota, who from 1861 to 1865 served as corporal and sergeant in Company B, 3rd Minnesota Infantry. His diary contains daily entries ranging from 1 January to 31 December 1863; entries for 16 days are lacking. Included are descriptions of the siege of Vicksburg. From August through December Boardman was away from the regiment, convalescing from an illness contracted at Vicksburg. MSN/CW 8000-1. [Introduction, Images & Transcriptions]

  • THOMAS KEMP CARTMELL DIARY. 1864-1872 (bulk 1864-1866). 1 vol., 32 cm., 127 leaves, with 252 pages of manuscript entries. 1 manuscript enclosure (1 page). Thomas Kemp Cartmell (1838-1920) was the seventh child of Mordecai and Eliza Campbell Cartmell of Frederick County, Virginia. He was raised on his father's 600-acre estate near Winchester, called Retirement. During the war Cartmell served the Confederacy in a number of administrative, military, and intelligence capacities. The diary postdates Cartmell's active service; kept at Retirement, it includes entries running from November 1864 to October 1866, with several earlier and later memoranda. An initial section (14 November 1864 to 10 February 1865) contains diary entries that, by subsequent standards, are short and sporadic. A second section (2 April to 9 July 1865) contains prose meditations on war, home, and youth. The third and most important section contains regular and often extended entries running from 1 March 1865 to 11 October 1866. These contain much on the Cartmells' efforts to keep Retirement financially viable—it was sold by Mordecai Cartmell in 1868—as well as a good deal of domestic and social content, including the author's courtship of Annie Glass Baker (m. 22 November 1866). There is also commentary of a political nature, especially as the narrative proceeds and Cartmell makes his antipathy to "Radical" elements plain. Notable, too, are several long entries from early June 1866, describing the reburial of a "patriot cousin" in the family graveyard, and a ceremonial procession in Winchester honoring the Confederate dead. Acquisition funded by Robert and Beverly O'Grady, 2010. MSN/CW 8018-1-B to MSN/CW 8018-2.

  • WILLIAM CLINE DIARY. 1863-1864. 1 vol., 12 cm., 123 leaves, with 213 pages of manuscript entries in Cline's hand. William Cline (1830-1899) was a resident of Waverly, Pike County, Ohio when he enlisted in Company B, 73rd Ohio Infantry on 14 October 1861. He was captured at Second Bull Run (30 August 1862) and did not rejoin his regiment until April 1863, spending much of the intervening time at home. In January 1864 he was detailed as brigade blacksmith and attached to Company H, 136th New York Infantry. He transferred back to the 73rd Ohio in March and mustered out on 31 December. The Cline manuscript includes two distinct narrative segments. The first is a 53-page memoir, perhaps derived from an earlier diary, in which Cline describes his service to August 1863, including an extended account of the Gettysburg campaign. This memoir was most likely written in July-August 1863. The better part of the volume consists of 134 pages of dated diary entries running from 20 August 1863 to 5 October 1864; for most of this time the 73rd Ohio was attached to the Army of the Cumberland. Typical entries range from 20 to 75 words, and describe several major engagements as well as the entirety of the Atlanta campaign. Also included in the volume are 26 pages of non-narrative material, including accounts, song lyrics, and a copy of a tombstone inscription. MSN/CW 8007-1. [Introduction, Images & Transcriptions]

  • MARTIN FLIPPIN DIARY. 1862-1863. 1 vol., 15 cm., 119 leaves, with 225 pages of manuscript in Flippin's hand. Martin V. Flippin (1840-1889) was working on his father's farm in Nottoway County, Virginia prior to mustering in to the 1st Virginia Light Artillery Regiment (CS) in 1861. The diary at hand contains daily entries running from 29 June 1862 to 23 February 1863; most are one full page (roughly 70-90 words) in length. From the diary's opening until late July Flippin was stationed on the defenses of Richmond, as a member of the Virginia Henrico Artillery Battery, Company B. After a month's furlough at home he reported to Petersburg, Virginia, where he remained stationed for the duration of the period covered by the diary. In October 1862 Flippin was assigned to what he calls "Young's Company" (i. e., the Virginia Halifax Light Artillery Battery). Because Flippin's units remained mostly in reserve, the dairy recounts little in the way of active campaigning (though it does describe a scout to Southampton County, Virginia in September 1863, and a movement into North Carolina in November). There is much on camp life, socializing in Richmond and Petersburg and other recreational activities, and news of the broader war. Acquisition funded by Robert and Beverly O'Grady, 2008. MSN/CW 8013-1-B.

  • WILLIAM HUTCHINSON DIARY. 1864. 1 vol. partly printed, 13 cm., 122 leaves, with 183 pages of manuscript in Hutchinson's hand. William Hutchinson was born ca. 1843 in Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, the son of a cabinetmaker. During the war he served for three years in the 1st Battery Massachusetts Light Artillery, mustering out a private in August 1864. Hutchinson's field diary contains short entries for each day from 1 January 1864 to his return home on 2 September. From January to early May, the battery (attached to VI Corps, Army of the Potomac) was in winter camp at Brandy Station, Virginia. From May to July it was involved in the Overland Campaign, seeing action at Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. In July the battery moved to Washington, and thence to the lower Shenandoah before Hutchinson's mustering out. Individual entries from May to August are more substantial than those made in winter camp, but do not typically exceed 50 words. The diary also includes assorted memoranda and three drawings. MSN/CW 8016-1.

  • JOHN W. LANGFITT DIARY. c1865-1885. 1 vol., 36 cm., 59 leaves, with 99 pages of manuscript entries in Langfitt's hand. John Wesley Langfitt (or Langfit) (1843-1909) was born near Candor, Washington County, Pennsylvania and raised near Taylorstown, in the same county. In August 1861 he was mustered in a private to Company A, 100th Pennsylvania Infantry. Langfitt remained on the regiment's rolls until July 1865, though his service in the field ended in May 1864, when an ankle wound suffered at Spotsylvania led to the amputation of a leg. The manuscript in question is a postwar copy, in Langfitt's hand, of "memoranda" or diary entries set down during the war. While Langfitt occasionally adds editorial commentary, most of the entries appear to have been copied more or less as written. Entries appear for almost every day from 26 January 1863 to 8 September 1865, with the notable exception of a 50-day period after Spotsylvania. Individual entries seldom exceed 50 words, and are often significantly shorter. During the time covered by the entries the 100th Pennsylvania was attached to the Union IX Corps, serving with the Army of the Potomac (to March 1863, and after April 1864); the Army of the Ohio (March to June 1863, and August 1863 to April 1864); and the Army of the Tennessee (June to August 1863). Mention is made of the sieges of Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi (June-July 1863) and the Knoxville campaign (November-December 1863). Entries from July 1864 to war's end pertain to Langfitt's hospitalization and convalescence in Philadelphia. There are also entries relating to Langfitt's postwar life; these comprise about 15 to 20 per cent of the volume, and date mostly from 1873-74. The manuscript cannot be dated with precision, though it appears to have been compiled over a number of years, probably in the two decades after the war. MSN/CW 8008-1-B.

  • ALFRED MOORE DIARY. 1864-1865. 1 vol., 16 cm., 55 leaves, with 67 pages of manuscript entries, mostly in Moore's hand. A pocket diary of the daily calendar type, kept by Lt. Alfred Moore during his service in Co. I, 11th Virginia Cavalry. Moore (b. c1836) was a farmer from Fairfax County, Virginia; he joined the Confederate army in 1861 and served for the duration of the war, in three Virginia cavalry regiments. Moore kept the diary for around 5 1/2 months. Despite several missing leaves, entries have survived for most days between 12 September 1864 and 11 February 1865. The typical entry is around 50 words; a few, written in an extremely fine hand, are substantially longer. At the diary's outset the 11th Virginia, of Thomas L. Rosser's Laurel Brigade, was attached to the Army of Northern Virginia, around Petersburg. But within weeks the brigade was ordered to the Valley District, to confront Sheridan; it would remain in the area of the Shenandoah until March 1865. The diary provides a detailed account of Moore's movements during this period (which were not always consistent with those of the regiment: he was sometimes on detached duty, and left on furlough on 28 January 1865). Among the events that figure prominently in Moore's narrative are: Wade Hampton's famous cattle raid into Surry County, Virginia (14-17 September 1864); the Shenandoah Valley campaign of 1864-65, including the battles of Toms Creek (9 October 1864) and Cedar Creek (19 October 1864); and Rosser's successful raid on Beverly, West Virginia (11 January 1865). The diary itself was originally the property of an unidentified member of the 1st D.C. Cavalry (US); Moore must have acquired it on the September 1864 cattle raid. The original owner was responsible for a few brief entries, mostly dating to July and August 1864. Acquisition funded by Robert and Beverly O'Grady, 2007. MSN/CW 8010-1. [Introduction, Images & Transcriptions]

  • GEORGE H. MURPHY DIARY. 1865. 1 vol., 13 cm., 29 leaves, with 53 pages of entries in the author's hand. George H. Murphy (b. c1836) was a native of Martinsburg, Berkeley County, Virginia; he was practicing law in that community, in the Eastern Panhandle of what would soon become West Virginia, at the outbreak of war. His diary contains daily entries written between 1 March and 13 April 1865, when Murphy was serving in the Shenandoah Valley as a lieutenant in Co. D, 23rd Virginia Cavalry Regiment (CS), then attached to Early's Army of the Valley District (Lomax's Division, John D. Imboden's Brigade). Entries range in length from about 30 words to over 200; the volume also contains memoranda and other notations in Murphy's hand, some of war date and some post-war. Even as Murphy was leaving his home in Woodstock, Shenandoah County, to rejoin the army after winter furlough, Early was routed at the battle of Waynesboro and effectively eliminated as a fighting force (2 March 1865). The subsequent entries chronicle Murphy's movements around the Valley over his final six weeks of service, ultimately with remaining elements of the 23rd Virginia Cavalry under Lt. Col. Charles T. O'Ferrall. O'Ferrall disbanded the regiment on 14 April. Acquisition funded by Robert and Beverly O'Grady, 2007. MSN/CW 8011-1. [Introduction, Images & Transcriptions]

  • JOSEPH H. PRIME PAPERS. 1858-1881 (bulk 1863-1865). 126 letters, 3 diaries, and 24 documents and other manuscripts. Joseph H. Prime (1841-1911) was a native of Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire, the son of Joseph Prime and Mahala Vickery. During the Civil War he served as corporal in Co. F, 13th New Hampshire Infantry (September 1862 to October 1863), and as 1st lieutenant and captain in G and F companies, 7th Regiment Infantry, United States Colored Troops (November 1863 to May 1865). The majority of the letters in the collection were written by Prime to his wife, Hannah Snell Prime, in Center Barnstead, Belknap County, New Hampshire. Twenty-four of these letters date from his time with the 13th New Hampshire; 80 date from his subsequent service with the 7th USCT. The latter regiment spent the winter of 1863-64 in camp at Benedict, Maryland, before being shipped south for service around Jacksonville, Florida (March to July 1864); Hilton Head, South Carolina (July 1864); and Jacksonville again (July to August 1864). They were then attached to the all-black 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, X Corps, Army of the James, campaigning around Petersburg. Prime was wounded in the shoulder at Chaffin's Farm (29 September 1864), and spent most of the next six months in various Virginia hospitals, due to the wound and a subsequent case of rheumatism. On 16 March 1865 Captain Prime was appointed provost marshall of the division (now 2nd Division, XXV Corps), in which capacity he served for the duration of his service. The epistolary accounts of Prime's war are supplemented by several diaries, with entries of varying length running from the beginning of 1864 to 1866. The collection also includes more than 20 records, mostly relating to Prime's service in the USCT and to his pension. MSN/CW 1012-1 to MSN/CW 1012-154.

  • WILLIAM B. RHODES JOURNAL. 1864. 1 vol., 16 cm., 105 leaves, with 211 pages of manuscript in Rhodes's hand. William B. Rhodes (1834-1907) was a native of Warwick, Kent County, Rhode Island; prior to the war he was engaged in the jewelry manufactory business. He served in the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery from 1861 to 1865, as 1st lieutenant in Batteries G and D (to 1864) and captain of Battery E (April 1864 to March 1865). The volume in question bears the inscription "Book No 15 of a private journal kept by Wm B. Rhodes . . . ," and was clearly maintained in the field. It bears daily entries running from 20 March to 13 October 1864, during which time the regiment was attached to the Army of the Potomac's VI Corps (to July) and to its Artillery Reserve. The volume thus includes Rhodes's account of Grant's Overland Campaign, from the Wilderness to Petersburg. Entries average one page in length (perhaps 125 words), and tend to restrict themselves to accounts of local military matters, especially within Rhodes's battery. MSN/CW 8015-1-B.

  • CHARLES TEASDALE DIARY. [188-?]. 3 vols., 22 cm., 48, 48, and 44 leaves, with 96, 95, and 87 pages in a single hand. Charles Teasdale (1829-after 1919) was a Yorkshire native who emigrated to the United States in 1860. In May 1861 he mustered in to Co. E, 14th New York State Militia, completing three years' service and rising from private to sergeant before mustering out in May 1864. The 14th Brooklyn, as it was called—its Federal designation was the 84th New York Infantry— participated in many of the Eastern theater's major campaigns, from First Manassas to Gettysburg. From September 1862 to March 1864 the regiment was attached to 1st Division, I Corps, Army of the Potomac. The text is a first-person narrative, in diary form, of the final 20 months of Teasdale's military service (16 September 1862 to 24 May 1864). It is written in three school copybooks numbered 4, 5, and 6; volumes 1, 2, and 3 are not present. The hand is almost certainly Teasdale's own; the books appear to have been executed sometime in the last quarter of the 19th century. The exact status of the text is unclear. It may be a transcription of a wartime field diary, or it may, as seems likely, contain elements of memoir. During the period covered by the manuscript Teasdale was typically present for duty with the regiment; he saw very significant action at both Antietam and Gettysburg. His prose is literate and quite unsparing in its treatment of the horrors of combat. The length of the entries varies greatly, with the perceived import of the day's events. Accounts of major actions are typically extended; the entries for the three days of Gettysburg, for example, run to more than 2000 words. MSN/CW 8019-1 to MSN/CW 8019-3.

  • FRANKLIN YIKE DIARY. 1865. 1 vol. partly printed, 13 cm., 209 leaves, with 182 pages of manuscript entries in Yike's hand. A pocket diary kept by Pvt. Franklin Yike (1844-1905) during his Civil War service in Co. C, 87th Indiana Infantry. Yike, a resident of Richland Township, Miami County, Indiana, served in the 87th for the full course of the regiment's history, from August 1862 to June 1865. The diary contains daily entries for Yike's last calendar year of service (1 January through 25 June 1865); these describe the occupation of Savannah; the Carolinas campaign (January-April 1865); the march to Washington for the Grand Review; and the return to Indiana and mustering out. Throughout this time the regiment was attached to XIV Corps (2nd Brigade, 3rd Division). Daily entries range from under 20 to a maximum of about 75 words; each entry occupies one page. MSN/CW 8009-1.

  • JAMES H. WATKINS DIARY. 1861-1864. 1 vol., 15 cm., 71 leaves, with 143 pages of manuscript in a single hand. A field diary kept by Pvt. James H. Watkins of the 17th Virginia Infantry (CSA), with intermittent entries running from 17 July 1861 to 28 April 1864. Watkins (ca. 1836-1886) was a native of Fairfax County, Virginia. He was attached to the 17th Virginia's Co. H—the Old Dominion Rifles, raised in Fairfax—until December 1862, when he was detailed to brigade commissary as a butcher (Corse's Brigade, Pickett's Division, Longstreet's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia). He remained attached to brigade headquarters for the diary's duration. The narrative is first and foremost a short-entry chronicle of Watkins's movements, though there are more extended accounts of the major fights in which he was engaged, including First Manassas, Williamsburg, the Seven Days' battles, and Second Manassas (where he was wounded). In addition to the author's service in the Department and Army of Northern Virginia in 1861-63, the diary treats his and the brigade's participation in the Suffolk Campaign (Spring 1863), and in operations in the Western theater (September 1863 to January 1864). Acquisition funded by Robert and Beverly O'Grady, 2010. MSN/CW 8017-1.

  • SAMUEL MIDDLETON SEMMES JOURNAL. 1862-circa 1870 (bulk 1862-1867). 1 vol., 27 cm., 108 leaves, with 137 pages of manuscript entries, mostly in Semmes's hand; 2 enclosures. The "domestic journal" for 1862-1867 of the lawyer and landholder Samuel M. Semmes (1811-1867), of Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland. Semmes had long been one of the area's most successful attorneys, known for his work for western Maryland's emerging coal concerns. His brother Raphael Semmes was captain of the Confederate raider Alabama, and Samuel himself was a slaveholder and Southern sympathizer. Entries range from 30 June 1862 to 9 October 1867. Until October 1863 these are regular and often substantial; thereafter they are more occasional, though typically of good length. The entire text runs to perhaps 35,000 words. Among the journal's recurrent topics are health, domestic and social life, general business transactions and expenses, legal work, and the local impact of the Civil War. The earlier entries also include a good deal on Semmes's difficulties in retaining his slaves. MSN/CW 8020-1-B to MSN/CW 8020-2.


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