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    Civil War Diary and Bible of Vincent E. Donnan, 26th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. 1) Diary. 2.75" x 4.75", 138 pages (23 blank; several pages have been removed); pocket diary, bound in black leather with flap. Diary published for the year 1861, though Donnan recorded entries beginning in November 25, 1862 through June 20, 1863. Entries are mostly in pen. 2) Bible, entitled The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (New York, 1855). 2.25" x 3.5". Pocket bible, bound in black leather with flap. Diary has ownership inscription "Ervin V. Donnan", though he is listed as Vincent E. Donnan in the roll of the 26th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. With: ADS. "Vincent E. Donnan." One page, 7.5" x 6.75, Chickamauga, Georgia; September 26, 1863.

    Donnan's first entry in his diary, dated November 25, 1862, recorded that his regiment arrived "at Camp near Nashville, Tenn.," where it remained until late December of that year. His entries report on camp life and the activities of his regiment, the weather, military news, and his own activities, specifically as they relate to his duties as hospital steward, before and after his promotion to that position.

    Donnan's entry for December 8, 1862, mentions punishment for a fellow soldier who deserted. His sentence consisted of "his head to be shaved to forfeit his pay from the time of Desertion (which was January 18, 1862) up to the present...& do hard labor." During its time near Nashville, things were relatively quiet for Donnan's regiment, except for such incidents as recorded by Donnan on December 17, when he wrote that a man "was shot last knight [sic] by the Sutler of the 3rd Regt. Ky. Vol. while in the act of steeling [sic] ...died in a few moments."

    On December 27, 1862, Donnan's entry mentioned that "Our Regt, is in the advance, took Lavern [Lavergne, Tennessee] , lost nineteen wounded, one died the same knight [sic] ...took possession of a very fine house for hospital." Two days later, on December 29, Donnan recorded that "The Army is advancing & driving the enemy. Advanced within five miles of Murfreesboro where they stood their ground." On December 31, after the Battle of Stones River, Donnan reported that he had been captured temporarily, "Hearing firing all along the lines. The right is broken & thrown into confusion. Rebel cavalry dashing threw [sic] capturing our Hospital, friends, sick, wounded, etc. It was my misfortune to be taken. Fortunately for us our cavalry resqued [sic] all after a hard skirmish." The battle continued for several days, with Donnan's entry for January 1, 1863 noting that "Great slaughter on both sides. Our Regt. suffered very severely. The wounded are pouring in very fast." On January 3, he wrote, "Skirmishing all day until evening when a hard fight took place.... The enemy were driven back." On the 4th, Donnan recorded "Heavy cannonading in the center commensed [sic] just at dark which lasted over an hour. Quite a number killed & wounded. The enemy made a charge but were repulsed." Donnan's regiment was stationed at Murfreesboro until June 1863. During this time, according to his diary, Donnan was working in the camp hospital. On February 24 he wrote that "Dr. Roarer of the 3rd Ky. Wants me to get transferred into that Regt. for hospital steward. I intend trying it. I asked Dr. Stimmel to release me from duty here which he refused to do." Four days later, on February 28, Donnan's entry includes more of the position of hospital steward. "Dr. Stimmel & I had quite a talk. He told me he would give me the Steward Ship providing the man he wanted could not come. I have an opportunity of getting the position in the 3rd Ky. Regt. Dr. Roarer is very anxious for me to come." Donnan was actively pushing for the transfer, as his entry for March 5 indicates. "I went to see Cap. Ross about my transfer. He thinks it can be affected easily." But it was not to be, as "Dr. Stimmel was ordered to his regiment immediately. Dr. Dumicher is to take charge...he says I must stay, though greatly to my dissatisfaction." After performing duties of hospital steward, Donnan finally received good news concerning his sought-after promotion to that position. His diary entry for March 28 included this passage, "Dr. Stimmel told me he would give me the appointment of Hospital Steward. It was quite unexpected." On April 3, Donnan wrote that "Dr. Stimmel recommended me today for Hospital Steward." Donnan's promotion was finally approved and on April 23, Donnan wrote that "My appointment as Hospital Steward was read to knight [sic] on dressparade. It is to date from the first of April."

    Donnan's regiment fought in the Battle of Chickamauga on September 19-20, 1863, where Donnan was captured. He was paroled on September 26, after signing a document in which he swore "that I did not bear witness against the Confederate States government not help, aid, or assist in any way directly or indirectly by assisting in any branch of the Services of the United States Government until regularly exchanged as a prisoner of war, and that I will report to the Commandant of the post at Atlanta Georgia as soon as the sick and wounded of the United States prisoners of war, whom I am only paroled to attend shall no longer require my service."

    Vincent E. Donnan joined the 26th Ohio Volunteer Infantry on June 13, 1861 at age 20, and was mustered in at Cam Jackson, Ohio, as a corporal on June 15 in Company C, made up of enlistments from Morrow and Delaware counties. He was reduced in rank from colonel to private on December 1, 1861. Donnan was promoted to Hospital Steward on April 20, 1863. He mustered out of service on October 21, 1865.

    The 26th Ohio Volunteer Infantry was organized at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio, on June 8-July 24, 1861. The regiment served in West Virginia until January, 1862, when it was transferred to Kentucky, and took part in the siege of Corinth and battles of Perryville and Stone River, losing one-third of its men in the latter engagement. It fought at Chickamauga, sustaining heavy losses, and again at Mission Ridge and Lookout Mountain. The Regiment re-enlisted on January 1, 1864, and joined Sherman's Atlanta campaign, participating in the battles of Resaca, Kennesaw, Peach Tree Creek and Jonesboro. It later took part in the battle of Nashville, and pursued the enemy to the Tennessee River. After the war the 26th Ohio served in Texas until the 21st of October, 1865, when it was mustered out.

    Condition: The parole document has the usual folds, several tears and two loose pieces; document is pasted to another piece of paper and heavily toned. Condition is brittle and fragile. Diary's cover is rubbed and worn; internally good. Bible's cover worn and rubbed; internally good.


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