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    An Iowa soldier records Sherman's March to the Sea

    Union Soldier's Diary for 1864 Recorded by William H. Stoddard, a Lieutenant in the 10th Iowa, Volunteer Infantry. The Diary measures 3.5" x 6". Stoddard writes on a regular basis, especially when there is activity. His entries include content for the Battle of Altoona, various skirmishes and chases; and detailed accounts of Sherman's March to the Sea and the fall of Savannah. Stoddard enlisted as a private in July 1861, and served the entire war, mustering out in Arkansas in August 1865.

    Ample entries as follows: "[Jan 26, 1864]... on picket duty at Steven Hd, Road... firin hear in distance. Supposed to be our cov[er]. after Roddy's Reb Cav. drawed 700 rounds of ammunition. ordered to march at moments notice. [Feb 14] marched at 8am. arrived at Chattanooga at 4pm. Camped 2 miles from town [Feb 26] clear pleasant. detailed on picket again. large number of refugees & Rebel deserters came into our line. [Apr 30] Arrived at Decatur [May 1] Detailed on Picket Guard. Plenty to do to look out for Rebs who are recoinoitering are being thrown up very fast now in expectation of an attack [May 8] The enemy attacked our pickets at 5 oclock this am. heavy firing for a couple of hours all the garrison but in line of cavalry reinforce the pickets succeeded in driving them off..."

    Stoddard is a careful recorder, and documents all troop movements. He notes on November 12: "Started for Atlanta." His narration of Sherman's March to the Sea fills all entries beginning on November 17 and continues until December 21 when he notes: "Savannah evacuated last night. Rebs crossing Savn River on pontoons. Marched from Miller's Plantation at 1P.M. Marched 13 miles arriving in camp near Savn. at 5:30. Cool clear. Large amount of heavy ordnance left by Rebs." Additional transcript from this period can be found at HA.com/6165/49039.

    Condition: Entries are made in both pen and pencil, with no smudging. The pages containing the dates September 15 through the 26 are disbound, but present. Good wear to leather binding, with small chips to the top of the spine.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2016
    19th Wednesday
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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
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