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    1863 Soldier's diary with Gettysburg content

    Civil War Diary of George W. Ball, Company D., 4th Vermont Volunteer Infantry, for 1863. 2.75"x 4", small black cloth bound pocket dairy. Ball has entries on 57 of the 128 pages in the diary. Ball's first full diary entry was on January 30 and his last was made on July 8, two days before his death.

    George W. Ball (1842-1863) was born in Sutton, Vermont. He enlisted in the 4th Vermont Volunteer Infantry on August 16, 1862, and was mustered in on September 22, 1862 as a private in Company D. He was killed in action at the Battle of Funkstown, Maryland, on July 10, 1863.

    The majority of Ball's entries mention the weather and his daily activities in camp, such as drills, dress parades, and picket duty. His unit was part of VI Corps of the Army of the Potomac, which was under the command of General Joseph Hooker. Ball's diary entry for April 3, 1863 reads, "Grand Review by Gen Hooker & Parson the hole [sic] Cor [sic] was thare [sic] a butiful [sic] day & a grand site [sic] to behold." The VI Corps participated in the Chancellorsville Campaign that spanned April 30-May 6, 1863. On April 28, Ball wrote "started on a march 11 AM encamped with[in] 2 miles of Fredericksburg." The entries for the next several days mention fighting engaged in by his corps, which fought Confederate troops near Fredericksburg. On April 30, Ball wrote, "commenced firing 4 PM the Rebs commenced it heavy at 5PM." The next day's entry included more on the fighting, "vary [sic] heavy firing 4 PM. 6PM we moved out in line of battle." Fighting continued on May 2 and May 3. On May 4, Ball wrote "the Rebs on us we had to move our men....I think the Rebs have ben [sic] reinforced [sic]." The next day he wrote of the Union retreat "We started on a march in the morning...march 64-5 miles & incamped [sic] vary [sic] tired & all worn out."

    The VI Corps also participated in the Battle of Gettysburg. Ball's diary entry for July 2-4, 1863 reads, "we started on a march at 12 last night. We marched 30 miles we are in PA. The fiting [sic] is hard our men are driving them...the hardest fighting I ever had....We layed [sic] all knight [sic] in line of battle comensed [sic] firing 5 AM...went on the skirmish line Gettysburg." He wrote on July 5 that there was "prity [sic] smart fiting [sic] on every one. The Rebels fell back last knight [sic]....We advanced a bout 5 miles today captured a lots of prisners [sic] today." As Union forces pursued the rear guard of General Lee's retreating Army of Northern Virginia, they met and were defeated by Confederate forces at Funkstown, Maryland on July 10. Ball's last entry occurs two days before he died, when he wrote "7 AM comensed [sic] rains hard as I ever saw it. We are wet & hungry in the mudd [sic] to our knees." The diary is accompanied by a hand-written transcription.

    The 4th Regiment, Vermont Volunteer Infantry was a three-year infantry regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It served in the Eastern Theater, predominantly in the VI Corps, Army of the Potomac, from September 1861 to July 1865. It was a member of the Vermont Brigade.

    Condition: Internally the pages are in good condition; the text block is separating from the binding, with wear to the back cover. The band that holds the binding flap is separated from the binding.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    14th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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