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    Description

    A Confederate diary recording the Battle of Gettysburg and the Siege of Petersburg

    [Gettysburg]. Confederate Diary of Thomas J. Luttrell of Company "B", 40th Virginia Infantry. Approximately 80 pages, 8" x 4", a make shift diary made up of blue ledger paper. Entries date from June 14, 1863 through December 18, 1864 and includes an entry noting the Battle of Gettysburg. Luttrell wrote his name and unit on the cover, adding his address: "Post Office / Farnham Church / Richmond County, Va." Late-war Confederate diaries are scarce, and few narratives for Luttrell's brigade have survived. His diary gives us a day by day account of his regiment's movements leading into the Battle of Gettysburg, as well as daily entries during and after the Battle. Also includes great content regarding the Siege of Petersburg.

    In small part [Luttrell's misspellings and lack of capitalization are maintained, but periods have been added]: "June 14th, 1863. A.N. Va. Left breastworks at Fbg. About 2 oclock PM & stopped at night near Mareys hills [June] 15 - Marched from Mareys hill about 9 in morning. sufferd from heat & encamped about sundown about 3 miles beyond the battle field of Chancellorsville. our brigade cought [sic] some Yankees in Stafford this morning [June] 16 - Started early, crossed Jimanna ford about 9 am & marched in three miles of Stencesburg - distance 17 miles. pleasant today. [June ] 17 - Marched one mile above Culpepper C.House. the weather is very warm. encamped on Hon. J.S. Pendletons farm about 12M in afternoon Lt. Ficklen & several of our Co. had a very pleasant bath &c. [June] 18 - Weather hot. marched to Woodville at the breaks of the Mountain in Rappahannock Co. heavy thunder storm. took supper with Mr. Welch. Distance of march 18 mls. [June] 19 - Marched through Sperryville & L. Washington & encamped at flint hill on foot blue ridge. [June] 20 - Marched over the mountain. passed through F. Royal at 3 PM. Crossed the Shenandoah & stopped near the river. heavey [sic] rain &c... [June] 25 - Crossed the Potomac. past through Sharpsburg & encamped for night at Hagerstown. rainey [sic]. met with several ice bergs [Union sympathizing ladies?]. [June] 26 - Still rainey [sic] In six miles of Penn, crossed the line & encamped near Weinsborough. inhabitants alarmed. bad behavious in our troops. plundering &c. [June] 27 - March through Weinsborough, march a muddy road of 15 miles & stopped beyond Greenwood on Balto turnpike in Africa. [June] 28 - Lay over today. inspection this morning. dress parade this evening. strict order about plundering &c. [June] 29 - Cloudy & rainey. Marched at 11AM through Funkstown to north side of South Mountains at the foot of which is Cashtown. [June] 30 - Orders to march to Gettysburg. marched 4 miles. learned the Northern Army was advancing on that road. fell back to Cashtown to cook rations &c. expect a big fight tomorrow. July 1st - Our Corps in motion at 6AM. Heaths division in front. Archers Brigade in front of Division. in line of battle at 9 AM. Our Company was deployed as skermishers. A.N. Bramham killed. R.H. Garland wounded in foot. our Brigade fought well & took three stand of Colours. Enemy badly whipped. We have town. Yankee Genl. Reynolds killed. [July] 2 - Our Division in reserve today. Ordered at 9PM to support Andersons heavey [sic] Artillery fight. a portion of the Army engaged in afternoon. a drawn battle. [July] 3 - All quiet till 1 0 clock PM when our whole line of Artillery opened on the Yankee works. After two hours hard cannonading the line of infantry charged their position & failed to carry it. We fell back tour position. Tom Tune & James McNeale wounded in hand. [July] 4 - Lay in line of battle till night when we fell back & marched on a mud road two miles beyond Fairfield. I suffered much on this march. We halted about sunrise." Luttrell's daily entries continue through his regiments retreat from Gettysburg.

    He continues to record all skirmishes and engagements through December 18, 1864, including the Siege of Petersburg: "[July] 30 [1864] - Marched for Petersburg about noon. suffered greatly it being very warm. returned to our old position that night. during the day enemy blew up a portion of works in front of Petersburg. charged the line but were repulsed with heavy loss. [July] 31 - all quiet today [August] 1 - Our brigade releaved [sic] Colquits to night near the center of the line and near the point of Grants mine. Negroes in our front." Luttrell underlines the latter for emphasis. The Siege of Petersburg had the largest concentration of black troops in the war, and suffered heavy casualties. Luttrell's daily entries continue: "[August] 13 - Skermishing & morter firing. Our morters did splendid shooting. One shell blew up three Yanks... 15 - Our brigade has been out to witness the shooting of Wm & Richard Drake, members of Co. C 40th Va. These men are brothers and were both shot at the same moment for desertion... 18 - Enemy reported to have possission [sic] of Weldon RR. We leave camp about noon to meet them. Charged at 4 PM [4 is edited to read 2 PM] repulsed 3 lines of battle. killed a great many & took 300 prisoners. Our loss heavey [sic] but nothing to that of the Enemy. the enemy charged us about 6 PM & were repulsed with heavy loss. D Crallee, J Bunn & R Vanlandingham killed. Thrift, Lt George Chilton & 8 or 10 others wounded in regt. about 9 oclock we returned to breastworks in front of town. Col. Lyell wounded. [August] 19 - It has been raining very hard at intervals during the day. We commenced fighting this PM at 4PM. charged the Yanks & took 2 strong lines of works, but not being supported on the right were compelled to give up the second line. Mahone has benn doing big work on our left. prisoners taken. I was wounded while in action on cheek, left about 8PM & can give no more particulars from the front. Was taken to division hospital [sic] had my wound dressed & from there to Corps Hospitle [sic] at which point I reached about one o clock at night." On August 28, Luttrell reports that he "returned to the brigade infirmary."

    Luttrell survives the War, and the lot includes several photocopies of news articles regarding his post-war political activities and notices of his death and funeral in 1885. Also included is a typed transcript of the entire diary.


    Condition: Front and back cover have heavy wear and soiling, in keeping with having been carried in the field. Entries are written in pencil and ink, with lead smudging occurring on a few pages. All entries are highly legible. The binding is hand-stitched with string.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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