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    [Atlanta Campaign]. Diary of Union Soldier Harvey Pease. A small 1864 diary, 3" x 4.75", belonging to New Yorker Harvey U. Pease, along with some enlistment and mustering documents and personal mementos. Pease enlisted as a private on October 9, 1861 and was mustered into the New York 1st Light Artillery, Battery M. He served the entirety of his 3-year enlistment and went on to re-enlist in the Veterans Volunteers on February 6, 1864. He survived the war and was mustered out of service in June 1865. Pease's diary provides an excellent, concise record of Pease's Corps during the Atlanta Campaign and other small engagements.

    The beginning of Pease's diary is rather sparse, with mostly one-word descriptions of events or place names where the unit was travelling. From January 1 to mid-February, he was stationed in Bridgeport, Alabama before travelling north to Ohio. Through early April he spent a lot of time moving from Ohio to Alabama before ending in Tennessee (in preparation of the move on Atlanta). On April 28, he wrote from Lookout Valley that they had "one of the fiercest fights on record. The 3rd Division of the 20th Army Corps com. by Gen. Butterfield. It was a beautiful sight, grand and awful. No one killed but one rabbit demoralized."

    The army set forth towards Atlanta a few days later, chasing after the Confederate army under General Johnston. Throughout the month of May, Pease provided details of the progress of the Union army. On May 4, he wrote, "On the march toward Atlanta. Very hot & dry marched until four & camped on the banks of the Chickamauga creek. Expect to fight on the morrow. The boys are ready but they dread the rise of tomorrows sun." Four days later, on May 8, he continued, "Army of the Cumberland in line of battle, expecting every moment to hear the cannon of the rebel Johnson [sic] open the fight. Occasionally a gun is heard in the distance and then all is silent again." Moreover, the following day, "...Good news from the Army of the Potomac. Grant driving Lee before him."

    Following the Battle of Resaca, Sherman continued his pursuit of the rebel army as he pushed toward Atlanta. After a great deal of marching, the Union soldiers were able to camp in Cassville, Georgia for a brief, well-earned rest. Pease wrote on May 22, "75,000 soldiers lying here enjoying a three day rest after a weary march of 21 days, and one Battle. We start tomorrow morn to finish the campaign. Long hot sultry days are before us, but who will falter now? Not the Red Star oh no..." On the 23rd, the army was "on the march again but Oh how hot Hot it is. Soldiers drop by the way. Some struck dusty. Crossed a branch of the Alabama on pontoons." The march through Georgia's countryside was grueling and Pease could not help pining for the comforts of home. He wrote on May 25, "...This march is very hard on the soldiers and I sometimes wish that I were at Home. An intense longing to get away comes over me, but Hope says take courage. I endure it all without a murmur. Afternoon run into the Rebs. Sharp engagement."

    By mid-July, Sherman had crossed the Chattahoochee River and was at last within reach of Atlanta. On July 19, while "Before Atlanta", Pease and his fellow soldiers "felt in good spirits for we are within two miles and a half of Atlanta. Division [illegible] in the woods, reserve support for the front line of battle." The next day, July 20, saw the Battle of Peachtree Creek, where the Confederates attempted to separate and attack the Army of the Cumberland as it crossed Peachtree Creek. Pease wrote described the day's engagement, "Moved out early this morning with the Division. Whole line advancing...some cannonading & skirmishing. About one oclock the battle commences a bloody engagement. Darkness came at last & the full moon rose and looked down on pale brows & hearts that were still in death forever."

    Finally, Atlanta was captured on September 2, 1864. The following day, September 3, Pease and his fellow soldiers moved into the city to find that General Hood had destroyed much of the munitions and military supplies during the evacuation. He wrote in the diary, "In Atlanta!!! Old Battery M lies in the long coveted City, with the whole Corps. Sherman on ahead calling Hood after him toward Macon. Cannons muskets shells shot provisions by the heaps burnt." He went on the next day, writing "...Prisoners coming in at the rate of thirty a day along our Division. Railroad cut. Got us mail. Plenty of tobacco & cigars." After the tiring four-month campaign, Pease was enthusiastic about the Union victory. He wrote on September 5th, "Rebel army of the S.W. demoralized & broken up. Campaign ended gloriously."

    The last entry of the diary is a display of Pease's hope in the swift conclusion to the war. His entry on December 31 reads, "Last day of another year, and the last hopes of the Southern Confederacy dies with 1864. Four near years have dawned while I have been in the Army, and this 1865 will end the war." This small archive also includes additional papers belonging to Pease along with a G.A.R. 1861 Veterans Medal, a G.A.R. Department of New York, Rochester 1875 Delegate Ribbon, with two cufflinks, a silver ring, and four buttons from Pease's uniform.

    Condition: Diary cover has usual wear, inner pages are toned throughout. Other documents have some toning and fold creases. Medal, buttons, cuffs and ribbon are in good condition.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2018
    25th Thursday
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