Description

    Union Soldier's Diary of Martin V. B. Hutchison, Co. K, 67th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Leather bound pocket book, 3" x 5.75", 112 pages (1 blank); Martin V. B. Hutchison's diary (85 pages devoted to diary) from May 4, 1864 through March 3, 1865, the day he was mustered out of the service. Hutchison [spelled Hutchinson in the records of the regiment], from Pottsville, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, was mustered into service as a corporal in Company K, 67th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry in March 31, 1862 for three years. He was mustered at on March 3, 1865 at the completion of his term of service.

    Hutchison's diary entries provide an interesting daily account of a soldier who was present at several important Union campaigns and battles during the final year of the Civil War. The first entry is dated May 4, 1864, when the non-veterans of his regiment, now attached temporarily to the 138th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, were on their way to fight in the Battle of the Wilderness which took place on May 5-7. On May 6, Hutchison wrote that "heavy fighting in the Wilderness. Our Division relieves the second." The next day, May 7, he recorded "Still fighting...fell Back in the night." The next day Hutchison and fellow soldiers made their way to Spotsylvania Court House, where they erected fortifications. His brief entries for the next several days highlighted the intense fighting amidst heavy rains that took place. May 9: "Put up breastworks laid in them all day. The Enemy keep up firing all day." May 10: "Charging on Both sides and heavy cannonading." May 11: "Still laying in the Entrenchments heavy Skirmishing on the line. Rained all day." May 12: "Rained all day heavy artillery fighting hard charging on Both Sides drove the enemy out of their Entrenchments a mile." May 13: "Rained all day and all night. Put up Breast works and hold them all day." May 14: "Rained nearly all day. Drove the Enemy out of their works then turn the Breast works in the night."

    A week later, skirmishing was still taking place around Spotsylvania Court House. On May 20, Hutchison wrote that he and his men were still "laying Behind our works at Spottsylvania some picket firing." On May 22, he recorded that the men "started on a march on the strait to Richmond." Of course, Union troops would not reach Richmond for almost another year. There were other battles to fight, including Cold Harbor, which occurred from May 31 to June 12, 1864. Hutchison's regiment arrived at Cold Harbor on June 1 and commenced constructing earthworks and then "was ordered out side of them. Massed the Division and charge in the afternoon drove the Enemy and captured Many." June 3 saw the heaviest fighting of the engagement, as Hutchison made clear in his entry for that day. "Drawed in 4 line of battle heavy Fighting. Enemy made a charge but where [sic] Repulsed. Rained all day." Fighting continued on and off to June 12. From June 17 to 19 the regiment participated on the first assault on Petersburg, Virginia. Hutchison wrote on the June 17 that he and his fellow soldiers "left camp in the Morning for the front. Went in Camp for a while then moved to the Breast works." His entry for the next day indicated that the troops were "ordered out side of the works to make a charge before daylight but Countermaned [sic] the Enemy Pickets fire on us. Came back as a Reserve and all day then ordered to the Breast works." Unable to capture Petersburg, the Union forces settled in for a long siege.

    In late June, Hutchison and other non-veterans rejoined the rest of the 67th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, which was attached to the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 6th Army Corps. The regiment was ordered to City Point, Virginia and then embarked on transports to Baltimore, arriving there on July 9, 1864 to serve as a rear guard at the Battle of Monocacy in Maryland. From August to December of 1864, the regiment was assigned to the Army of the Shenandoah and participated in General Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign. On September 19 the regiment was involved in the Third Battle of Winchester. On that day Hutchison wrote that the Union force broke up camp at 3 o'clock in the morning and marched "towards Winchester. Started fighting at Opqnon [Opequon] creek and drove the Enemy to Winchester in the afternoon drove them out of Winchester and captured many after the Battle." The regiment was engaged in the Battle of Fisher's Hill several days later. On September 23 Hutchison recorded that he and his fellow soldiers "laid in the Breast Works until the afternoon then moved to the Reight [sic]. Made a charge at 5 o'clock and drove the Enemy out of their Breast Works at Fishers Hill." Another battle awaited the regiment in mid-October. On October 19 the Battle of Cedar Creek took place and Hutchison wrote on that day that the regiment "broke up Camp in the morning before by musketry from the Enemy drawed in line of Battle then fell Back but soon turned the day and drove the Enemy. Captured a great many."

    Hutchison's regiment remained in the valley during the rest of the year and then joined Union forces in front of Petersburg, where it participated in the ongoing siege of that town. Hutchison's final diary entry, March 3, 1865, the day he was mustered out of the service, is blank.

    Condition: Text block is separated from binding, but remains sound with only two loose pages. Leather binding is worn and chipped with some loss of leather; leather piece that holds flap in place is missing.




    More Information:

    The 67th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was organized during the summer and fall 1862 in Philadelphia and mustered in on March 31, 1862.  The regiment left Pennsylvania on April 3 for Annapolis, Maryland, where it was attached to District of Annapolis, Defenses of Baltimore, Middle Department, until July, 1862.  The regiment was then attached to the 8th Army Corps, Middle Department, Annapolis, until January, 1863.  In January the regiment was attached to the defenses, Upper Potomac, 8th Corps, until March, 1863. In March, the regiment was attached to the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 8th Corps, until June, 1863. In June the regiment was attached to Brigadier General W. L. Elliott's Command, 8th Corps, until July, 1863, during which time the regiment participated in the Battle of Winchester, Virginia, and subsequent retreat to Harpers Ferry, June 13-15.  During the battle many men of the regiment, outnumbered and surrounded, surrendered. About 75 men escaped and arrived at Harpers Ferry (the captured men, sent to Libby Prison and then to Belle Island, were later paroled and rejoined the regiment in October).  On July 5 the regiment joined the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 3rd Army Corps, Army Potomac, and were involved in the pursuit of General Robert E. Lee for most of the month. In March-April 1864, the non-veterans of the regiment were temporarily attached to 138th Pennsylvania Infantry. In April, the veterans of the regiment were attached to the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 6th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac.  During May 5-7, 1864, the non-veterans attached to the 138th Pennsylvania Infantry saw action in the Battle of the Wilderness and Cold Harbor from May 31-June 12, and participated in the assault on Petersburg on June 17-19 and subsequent siege of the town until July 6, when it was ordered to Baltimore to provide support in the Battle of Monocacy on July 9.  From August to December 1864 the regiment was attached to the Army Shenandoah as part of General Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign, and during that time participated in the Third Battle of Winchester, the Battles of Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek.  The regiment remained on duty in the Shenandoah Valley until the end of the year, when it joined Union forces in the ongoing siege of Petersburg and the pursuit and eventual defeat of General Robert E. Lee's army.  The regiment mustered out of service on July 17, 1865.



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