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    Description

    Union Soldier's Diary Captured and Reused by Confederate Cavalry Trooper. Originally belonging to Lt. Alexander Davis of the 39th United States Colored Troops, he records action during the siege of Petersburg. His early entries, which begin on April 3, 1846, are of a mundane nature, mostly about the weather and camp activity. Beginning May 5, his regiment engages in combat which he records: "to day broke camp very early in the morning Marched about 5 m and met the Rebs...was repulsed with a heavy loss I got out Safe one ball glased my cheak fell back a short distance." Again on May 9, "to day We put up some brest works and layed in lines of batell Waiting for them Skirmishing all along the lines general Sedwick got a [illegible] wound." On July 29, "left the Peninsula marched all night back to Petersburg supported Burnsides corps in battel." The last entry of Lt. Davis is entered the next day, July 30.

    Three days later, Confederate soldier William H. Herbert of the 12th Virginia Cavalry, Army of Northern Virginia, begins to chronicle his own experiences. His first entry, dated August 2, reads in part: "Arrived in camp this evening from the Valley of the Shenandoah found the boys all well & in good cheer. Encamped near Stone Creek Station..." On August 16, he writes: "Genl. Chambliss killed to-day...Came to where Genl. W. H. Lee was fighting...Had slight skirmish came back about 4 miles encamped for the night." September 1: "Orders last night to be ready to move at a moments warning with plenty of ammunition another fight on hand I guess..." September 10: "Capt Wilson...died this morning from wound received at the battle of Reams station." His last entry is dated Sunday, February 5, 1865, and simply reads: "Frank captured."

    While reused diaries are uncommon, they are not unheard of. It is unknown how the diary came into the possession of William H. Herbert. Most likely it was simply lost by Lt. Alexander and found by Herbert. Black case is heavily worn and coming apart in places. Evenly toned throughout with soiling along the top and bottom edges of the pages.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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