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    Civil War Diary of Union Sergeant George W. Early, 89th Regiment of Ohio Volunteers. 3" x 4.75" Perpetual Diary (New York: A. Liebenroth & Von Auw, 1862), bound in black leather covered cloth, kept by George W. Early, a sergeant in the 89th Regiment of Ohio Volunteers. Diary entries, at least those through August 18, match up to the year 1863, while double entries for both 1862 and 1863 begin on August 19, 1862, the day Early enlisted in the 89th Regiment, and run to September 1, 1862, where they are 1862 entries only through December. Early's diary entries, most written in pencil, record weather, daily routines of camp life, movements of his regiment, and military news. This is an interesting diary that offers a glimpse into the daily life of a Union soldier serving in West Virginia and Tennessee during 1862-1863.

    Early's diary begins in August 1862, when he enters the service and then proceeds to document his daily activities in various camps and his regiment's attachment to the Kanawha Division, the District of West Virginia and then to the Department of the Cumberland. Early's regiment arrived at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, at midnight of March 3, 1863. The next day Early's diary entry noted that the Confederate attempt to retake the fort from Union forces was defeated by the 83rd Illinois Regiment under Colonel Abner Harding. Early visited the battlefield afterwards as recorded that he saw "heaps of Rebels." On February 5, Early was still at Fort Donelson, where he claimed the Union fleet consisted of "44 Steamers and 6 gun boats" and that "160 Rebels were buried at Donelson." From Fort Donelson, Early's regiment moved to Nashville, where he visited the town and on February 8 visited the "Tomb of J. K. Polk."

    From Nashville, Early's regiment moved up the Cumberland River to Gallatin and then Carthage, Tennessee. On March 25, 1863, Early's regiment and the 36th Ohio Regiment marched to Rome, Tennessee, "Surrounded the town & waited till morning to search for rebels." Finding none the next day, the troops moved on to Middleton, Tennessee, where they "captured mail, 4 horses 3 rebels." On April 14th, outside of Middleton, Early wrote of a small skirmish with Confederates. "Commenced firing at pickets at 10 oclock. Skirmished till 2 oclock....Co. E. all stood well."

    On July 7, 1863, Early, writing from a camp in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, between several entries that noted his trouble with dysentery, recorded the good news concerning the Battle of Gettysburg and the successful siege of Vicksburg. "Good news from the East. Lee whipped badly....Captured 30,000 prisoners in the East. Vicksburg is ours."

    While camped at Alexandria, Tennessee, Early noted the first birthday of "Sammy B. Early", his son, on April 24, 1863. Three months later, on August 6, 1863, Early recorded the death of Sammy "1 year, 3 M, 13 D" old. In an entry dated August 12, Early wrote that he had "Read Sad news of Sammy. Oh! What grief....Oh! how gloomy." The next day, still grieving, Early noted that he received a letter from his wife, "stating the death of my son Sammy. What a hard stroke to us. Oh! Could I only have seen him, but alas! He is with his Redeemer. May God have mercy on my wife."

    Condition: The cover is worn and the three-quarters of leather-covered cloth binding is split away from the spine. Internally, the dairy is in good condition and very legible.

    More Information:

    George W. Early joined the 89th Regiment of Ohio Volunteers at age 26 on August 19, 1862 for a three-year term of service. He was appointed a sergeant on August 26. On April 16, 1864, Early transferred to Company H, 16th Regiment of Ohio Veterans Reserve Corps. He was mustered out of the Union Army on July 15, 1865 at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

    The 89th Regiment of Ohio Volunteers was organized at Cam Dennison, Ohio, and mustered for three years of service in on August 26, 1862. The regiment was attached to the Army of Kentucky, Department of the Ohio; the 2nd Brigade, Kanawha Division, District of West Virginia, Department of the Ohio; the Army of Kentucky, Department of the Cumberland; and various brigades and divisions of the Department of the Cumberland. The regiment participated in a number of engagements, including the battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Kennesaw Mountain, and Peachtree Creek, and the Siege of Atlanta.

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    October, 2016
    19th Wednesday
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