Sergeant Nathan W. Haynes - Diary of October 1862

 

October 1, 1862

Nothing worthy of note occurred today.


October 2, 1862

A part of the Regiment was detailed to go on picket duty again today. The Regiment is so much reduced that there are not men enough left to do camp guard duty properly and leave men enough for the other necessary details. A report was circulated through camp that commissioners were on their way from Richmond to Washington to prepare terms of peace. Good news if true but there is room for doubt.


October 3, 1862

Immediately after breakfast we had the order to prepare to be reviewed by President Lincoln. Got in line at half past nine o'clock. [b]Marched about half a mile to get onto a piece of ground suitable for the occasion. Took positions as brigades, closed in mass. Remained in the burning sun two hours before old Abe made his appearance. He was greeted with a salute of 21 guns from Martin's battery and with deafening cheers from the different brigades as he appeared in front of them. He road in front and rear of each Regiment giving us a fine view of him. We were not required to march in review so after he had reviewed the division we marched back to camp and were dismissed. Had quite an increase to our numbers this evening, sixteen of those left behind sick joined the company about dark. Among the number was one that we never expected to see again. He deserted us last February and why he has turned up again is a mystery to me. We have got quite a respectable company now but not very effective as most of them are unarmed. We provided for the hungry fellows as best we could in the matter of rations then left them to seek out their own lodgings.


October 4, 1862

Nothing of note has transpired today. Have been kept in readiness to fall in for a general inspection. That we might not be disappointed we were ordered out on dress parade about four o'clock pm which ended the duty for the day.


October 5, 1862

This being Sunday we had nothing to do but keep in readiness to fall into line whenever the inspecting officer should make his appearance but as he did not come the Col. took us out to drill in battalion movements for a while.


Monday, October 6, 1862

Had the order to fall in and stack arms in the company street and be ready to fall in at a moment’s notice for inspection. Remained in quarters all day but no inspecting officer came near us. Went on dress parade at the usual hour.


October 7, 1862

Were ordered into line at nine o'clock am for inspection. We did not have to wait but a short time, were inspected by a Lieut. Col. from General Porter's staff. Were dismissed and just got off our equipments when we were ordered to fall in double quick. I really thought something was up but it was only to see how quick the line could be formed which was done in four and a half minutes from the time the order was given. An order was read in regard to straggling then were dismissed again. There seemed to be something amiss with our pickets this afternoon. We were first disturbed by the report of four or five heavy guns from one of our batteries then the order came to detail more men to strengthen the picket. About five o'clock pm went out on dress parade but it was turned into a battalion drill. The sharpshooters were excused from participating in the maneuvers of the Regiment but not dismissed. After going through a few movements the Regiment was dismissed but the Col. appeared to have forgotten us as he left us standing in line till I was sent to report the oversight. Heard nothing from the picket up to this time nine o'clock pm.


October 8, 1862

It has been as warm today as many days in July. It required but very little exertion to start the perspiration freely. Have been out to a squad and company drill in the forenoon and dress parade in the afternoon. Nothing new from the pickets.


October 9, 1862

Immediately after breakfast the Regiment was ordered out without arms or equipments. Were marched a few rods to the left of our encampment to clear up a piece of ground to shift our camp. We had got the rocks all gathered in heaps when our further progress was stopped by the major of the Burdan sharpshooters who came out and claimed the ground so we were ordered back to quarters to await further orders. Had our usual squad and company drill, in the afternoon had a dress parade and battalion drill. While the Regiment were drilling as a battalion our company was marched off by itself and drilled as a company. Just at sunset one of the batteries fired a few shells over into secession but received no reply.


October 10, 1862

This has been a very comfortable day. The sun has been hid and a cool breeze stirring. A good day to drill and we improved it this forenoon. Has been trying to rain all day and finally succeeded towards night, dress parade was dispensed with on account of it. There was a slight disturbance near the regimental headquarters this afternoon. A sutler came into camp with bread to sell but not being able to deal it out fast enough the men began to help themselves. This caused a commotion and Col. Barnes commanding the brigade came down and confiscated the whole load. This move was condemned by the officers of the Regiment most severely. No news today.


October 11, 1862

Has been wet and cold all day. No drill, nothing but fatigue duty and camp guard. Six privates and a Cpl. were detailed from our company to go on picket.


October 12, 1862

Has been cold and dreary, rained by spells all day. Had the usual Sunday inspection come off this forenoon. Dress parade as usual which closed the duties of the day.


October 13, 1862

Another dreary day. Nothing has disturbed the quiet of the camp today. Have been through with the necessary drills and dress parade. Our pickets came in about noon, no news.


October 14, 1862


Cleared off quite pleasant but cool. We begin to shiver in anticipation of spending a winter among the mountains. Cold weather seems to be approaching fast and we are ill-prepared for it, some of us with no overcoats or underclothing. We feel the need of both nights and mornings for they are very cool but we are in hopes to be provided before we are made to suffer much. Nothing of importance has transpired in camp today.


October 15, 1862


Continues cool. Nothing but the usual camp duty has been required of us today. The men were all provided with poncho or shelter tents and it has been quite a busy time with them this afternoon in pitching them and making them comfortable. We think unless the government furnishes boiled oil that they will be but a poor protection for us. We received a mail this evening, the first for a week but was so small that there were many long faces caused by disappointment. No news in regard to Army movements.


October 16, 1862

When we turned out this morning we saw a column of troops passing our quarters going towards the river accompanied by two batteries. Don't know how long they had been passing but saw the rear of the column in a few moments after I got up. Heard the report of heavy guns in quick succession about seven o'clock am some miles distant so concluded that the advance had passed here some hours since. Expect every moment to be called up to follow on after them. Evening we still remain in camp. Have been through with the duties of camp as if nothing had occurred. The firing has been very spirited all day, it ceased at dark. Then heavens artillery opened on us giving us instead of a shower of grape a copious shower of rain. About sundown we got orders to have one days rations in our haversacks and be ready to march at a moment’s notice.


October 17, 1862

No disturbance during the night. It had cleared away and was a beautiful morning. Went through with our daily exercises as usual. Have not heard any firing today, neither have I heard the results of yesterday's skirmish. About nine o'clock pm the troops returned from across the river. As they passed me I made some inquiries in regard to their reconnaissance but as each one had a different story to tell I could gain nothing satisfactory.


October 18, 1862

Have been on guard all day. The captain has been to Sharpsburg, the first of his leaving camp since we came here. We have had an accession to our numbers in the person of second Lieut. Smith who was left behind at Washington sick. No news, all quiet in camp.


October 19, 1862

Warm and pleasant. No duty or drill today, nothing but the weekly inspection. All quiet along the Potomac.


October 20, 1862

It was very cold this morning. The cold raw mountain air crept into our slim apologies for tents so there was but very little sleep after three o'clock am. There was no objections to drill at double quick this forenoon. About one o'clock it began to be more comfortable. The Regiment went out on battalion drill about four o'clock this afternoon. As we cannot participate with them we are left in camp at such times. No dress parade.


October 21, 1862

Not quite so cold this morning as yesterday. Had quite a stiff frost last night, the first of the season. Sgt. Ward and five privates went out on picket again this morning. We think they had better send this Regiment out and keep us here, it would save considerable detailing. The duties of the day passed off as usual. Quietness prevails throughout the camp.


October 22, 1862

Was woke up at an early hour by the wind shaking our frail tenements as if it were bent on the destruction of them. It continued to blow furiously all day. Went out to drill but it was difficult to hear the orders and it proved unsatisfactory to all of us. Nothing worthy of note transpired today.


October 23, 1862

There has been but little wind today but has been very chilly. But very little done in camp today. The pickets returned this morning about nine o'clock. No news today.


October 24, 1862

Had orders to prepare and be in readiness for inspection at nine o'clock am. We were ready at the proper time but the order was countermanded so we were not inspected till this afternoon which ended the duty for the day.


October 25, 1862

It has grown gradually cold since morning until it has the appearance of a Northeast storm. The picket guard was formed from the Regiment and marched to their post at seven o'clock am; five from this company went with them. Nothing worthy of note has transpired today.

October 26, 1862

We had the order to prepare for inspection which was to be at nine o'clock am but before that hour arrived it commenced to rain so that it was past nine. We returned to our tents to wait for pleasant weather. While waiting we were startled by the report of artillery. It has been so long since we have heard anything louder then musketry that we were anxious to learn the cause so we chose one of our tents crew to go out in the rain to relieve our anxiety. It was found to be from Martin's battery. It appeared that a party of rebels came down near the river to get some stray cattle but were driven back. One of our company met with an accident today that will deprive him of the side of his jaw for some weeks. He was at work among the horses when one of them lifted his feet rather high and kicked the man square in the face, breaking his lower jaw in two places. Towards night the cooks had orders to cook three days rations of meat and the men to put the same amount of rations in their haversacks and be ready to march at any moment. We expect to be called up during the night to go somewhere as it is the sort of weather that the 22nd usually takes for long marches. Nine o'clock pm continues to rain.


October 27, 1862

We are here yet. Think the officers concluded it was too cool so we can rest easy. It had ceased raining but had not cleared away when we turned out this morning but was very cold. It cleared away about nine o'clock and the wind began to blow cold and increased in fury and coldness until four o'clock pm when it died away leaving the air several degrees colder than was this morning. It is expected that we shall move tomorrow for a certainty.


October 28, 1862

It has been as quiet today as if no move was intended. Has been more mild today but a cool evening.


October 29, 1862

Has been very pleasant. The sick of the Regiment were taken off this afternoon so now we have reason to think we shall move soon but no orders to pack up as yet.


October 30, 1862

Commenced preparations to move early this morning. Very few of us thought we should get started today and paid but little attention to what was going on in the Regiment. We began our cooking operations as usual, got a mess of beans ready to put into our army oven when the bugle sounded for us to pack up. Many were the imprecations of the men at being obliged to throw away the most agreeable dish we have. The old members being used to this style of disposing of rations on the eve of a march said nothing but the new recruits thought it very hard, and so it is. Whenever the order is given for a march if there are any rations at the regimental commissary they are served out to the companies for them to lose as it is well-known that the soldiers cannot carry them. I don't know but this is right and has a tendency to make a soldier more loyal to a government that allows such proceedings but I think it will take the remainder of my term of service to convince me. Formed the line of march about five pm, took the direction of Harpers Ferry. It was a clear moonlight evening and we got along finely. We had some hills to climb which made us rather leg weary. Otherwise we were in good condition when we arrived at a camping ground at about nine o'clock in the evening and spread our blankets to lie down on the cold ground to rest.


October 31, 1862

Turned out at an unusually early hour. My limbs were so benumbed with cold that it was impossible for me to sleep so I sat down by the fire and past the time till daylight. We did not start till past ten o'clock am. Our march today has been one of interest to all lovers of wild and picturesque scenery. Many were the expressions of wonder and amazement as each new scene appeared. Our route lay along the foot of high jagged rocks towering hundreds of feet above our heads on our left and on our right lay the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Potomac River. We had an excellent opportunity to examine every object of interest as we marched only a little way at a time and made long halts. It was near night when we crossed the river at Harpers Ferry. This is a place of wild and romantic grand and picturesque scenery situated at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. After crossing the Shenandoah marched very fast for three or four miles when we halted for the night. The men appeared more fatigued than is usual after a steady march all the day longer. Think the cold will not keep us awake this night.