Description

    [Siege of Vicksburg]. Union Soldier's 1863 Diary of William H. Stoddard of Company C, 10th Iowa Infantry. Stoddard uses a small, leather-bound notebook, 2.75" x 3.75", and generally writes in pencil. His entries, which date from June 1 to November 22, 1863, vary in length from a few lines to a full page. Present during the siege of Vicksburg, the first part of the diary covers the siege, in part: "... Tuesday Eve, June 2nd. Out in front all day, very warm, we fired about 100 rounds to the man at the rebels, very hot artillery firing only occasionaly; several shell fell near our men today, from our own guns, bad management of bad shells. Relieved by the 93rd Ill. At 8 ½ p.m. Returned to the company and found my valise had come up from the river. Wednesday 3rd. Clowdy and hot. Gov, Kirkwood inspected here today. Gov. Came, also Senator Wilson and Gen'l Packer, made a speech, had a good time. Rebs heard cheering and throwd shell into our camp aver my head as I was writing, Wen out to the battery in charge of Co. C and was reserve for 24 hours. Thursday 4th Out in front, hot clear, and dusty. Bullets whistling over head, our company relieved at 8 P.M.... Wednesday 17th, In camp all day. S. Conant wend down to the river to carry the wounded boys their furloughs. Thursday 18th. Weather hot and clear received a mail this P.M., no letters from home... went out with a detail at night, throwed up earthworks. Got through and came into camp at one o'clock. Friday 19th. In camp - very warm. Way of Indiantown called on us. Wrote a letter to my mother. Just a month since we came into the line whish is siegeing Vicksburg. Saturday 20th. Cannonading commenced all along the line at ½ past four this A.M. Troops all under arms in line... Friday 26th Co. D. out on the left and ½ of Coo. C. and ½ of Co. A. out on the right in charge of St, Van Dorn. Are having a very good time here. Marched to rear about 12 miles to McCalls farm and bivouacked... Tuesday 30th Breakfast at 5 A.M., orders to march at 6 o'clock. Clowdy, not quite so warm this A.M. Marched at 8 A.M. Went out on the the Bridgeport (Ala.) road about four miles and bivouacked at about 9 o'clock. Passed Penna., N.Y., Mich., Ohio, and Ind. Troops belonging to the 9th Army Corps..."

    After Vicksburg, the 10th Iowa marched towards Tennessee, and writes almost daily. The last third of the diary recounts the company's participation in the Chattanooga Campaign: "Monday [October] 19th Orders to march at 8.A.M., struck tents at 9 ½. Borrowed fifty dollars... Marched to Iuka and camped about 1 mile out of town on the south. Thirteen months since battle of Iuka... Saturday 24th. In camp near Dixon, Alabama. Cold and clowdy. Camp alerted by the pickets firing in the night... Thursday 29th. Marched at 6 A.M. clear and pleasant. Cannonading and musketry in front. Arrived at Chickasaw at 1 ½ P.M... Sunday 1st Nov. 1863. Orders to strike tents at 6 Oclk moved out to landing and commenced crossing bridge at 7 A.M. Clear and cold, quite a frost this A.M. 10th Iowa crossed at 7 P.M. Bivouacked on west side of Tenn. River. Monday 2nd Marched at 5 ½ A.M. on Gravel Springs road. Arrived at Gravel S. at ½ past 11, continued marching until 6 P.M. when we arrived at Cypress Creek 25 miles from the place we started from this morning & three miles from Florence, Ala. Went on picket guard, very hard as we are all very tired and foot-sore... Saw 17 Reb. prisoners going to rear. Wednesday 4th Started out at 6 ½ A.M. our Regt. is rear guard today, very warm at 10 A.M.... Tuesday 17th. In camp all day, orders to march at moments notice. Wrote a letter to Sue E. Wednesday 18th. Mchd at 8 A.M., crossed the Tenn. River at Bport on pontoon bridge, mchd 10 miles and camped on Tenn. River. Recd mail today, letters from home dated 10th Nov. Thursday 19th. Mchd at 7 ½ A.M. Came to Lookout Mountain, passed up valley and camped at 9 P.M. Regt on rear gd in close proximity to Rebs now. Expect hard work soon. May the Lord help us and sustain us in every hour of time. Manu tired and foot-sore tonight. Friday 20th Up at 2:00A.M. mchd at 3 oc about 3 miles and took positions in a valley running east and west from the Reb lines. Went into column and my division stacked arms and made doffee. My feet are very sore hardly able to go. Laid all day in the valley north-west of Chattanooga expecting orders all the time to move and cross the river when we expected a fight with the rebs in getting our position... Sunday 22nd Eve. In camp near Chattanooga. Amost beautiful Sabbath evening tonight. We expect to make an important move and all are preparing for the struggle that is expected then. Oh! Oh! That we might all be prepared for what awaits is, for many of us may pass from the land of the living ere another bright morning dawns... W.H.S." This is Stoddard's last entry.

    William H. Stoddard enlisted in July of 1861 as a private. He mustered out a Captain in September 1865. A full typed transcript is included.

    Condition: Leather binding has heavy wear. Back spine of notebook is detached from cover, but rear pastedown remains secure. Largely written in soft lead pencil, so rubbing and smudging throughout, making some entries difficult to read.


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