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    Historically Significant Civil War Diary From Andersonville Prison This is absolutely one of the most interesting and moving Civil War diaries that you will find. This lot consists of the over 100-page handwritten Civil War diary of Sgt. Sylvester Porter, member of Company L, 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry, as well as letters and two ferrotypes. Porter's diary begins on June 27, 1862 with the Battle of Gaines Hill and concludes on August 23, 1864, the day after his death at the infamous Andersonville Prison. A fellow prisoner took over the diary after Porter was too ill to continue it. Included with the diary is an annotated typewritten transcription, making it very easy to read and study. We feel that it would honor Sgt. Porter's memory to pull some quotes from this landmark journal, starting with his capture. "Monday Oct. 12th (1863): Crossed the Rappahanock went into Camp. Pitched our tents. Remained there for a few hours, when we were ordered back to Jefferson. Took possesion of the town and held it until about 4 P.M. when we were ordered to fall back. The enemy by this time had thrown a force in our rear and cut us off from the River. We resisted them for a long time, but as there was only the two (2) Regiments of us we were overpowered by--Ewells Corps., when all that were dismounted were taken prisoners. The mounted men cut their way out. We were then marched back to the rear, and put under Guard we suffered a good deal from Cold as all of our Blankets and Coats were on our Saddles. Thursday Oct 15th: Left Gordonsville a little before daylight for Richmond. The Road was pretty bad and the cars ran pretty slow. We arrived at Richmond about 3 P.M. when we were marched to a Tobacco house and there put away for safe keeping." (This "Tobacco house" is Libby Prison.) "Tuesday Nov 3rd: Some of the boys cut the Buttons off their clothes, and sells them for Bread. Pretty hard times in Rebeldom. Friday Jany 15th (1864): The Sun has now disappeared behind the Tree Tops and I am still a Prisoner of War But we ought to be content in our position in life, allways Pray and never faint. I read the 1st and 2d Chapter of St. John today. Friday March 11th: ...Arrive at Henderson "Ga" about 12 O'Clock at night. Where we are put into a field containing some 6 or 8 Acres with a fence some 12 feet high Hewed Logs set on their ends in the ground. Passed through large swamps." (This is Andersonville Prison.) "Tuesday June 14th: Rain nearly all day and Cool. A great many of the men are compelled to Lye out in the rain and mud without Blankets or anything else to Shelter them. Tuesday June 21st: ...More Prisoners arrived. A Great many dead laid at the Dead House in the morning They Haul them off as if they were logs of Wood. Monday July 11th: ...Six of our men were hung today inside the Camp. I saw them all hang at one time. The Charge preferred against them was for murdering some of our own men in camp. Saturday July 16th:" (Written by John Hughes.) "Thomas Brandon and myself carried Sylvester to the Doctors and back. The weather was so warm that he fainted on the way. Sylvester gave us Permission to keep his book for him until he gets well. Tuesday Augst 23d: To Day I examined the Sick List and found Sylvester's name on the Dead List. He died on the 22d of this month. The Day is warm and Pleasant." (This is the last entry.) An incredible collection containing many names, dates, battles and comments. Worthy of research and even publication. One of the 1/9th plate cased tintypes included is of "Uncle" Sylvester Porter, the other of "Grandpa Berger," another Civil War soldier. The diary pages are on lined journal paper and in generally fine condition with some expected roughness and soiling. A vintage leather document pouch is also included.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2005
    22nd-23rd Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,155

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