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    [Siege of Port Hudson]. Joseph F. Kinsman Civil War Diary giving a near day by day account of his service with Company 'D', 48th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during a nine month enlistment. The diary begins October 1, 1862, just one week after he was mustered into the regiment, and continues throughout his term of service, the final entry being January 6, 1865. Kinsman, who was only eighteen at the time of his enlistment, was stationed near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he participated in the Siege of Port Hudson during the summer of 1863.

    Kinsman and his regiment left New York bound for Louisiana on January 2, 1863, as his journal portrays: "...left at 4 P.M. Bound for Fortress Monroe [Virginia]...Jan 12th Went to Fortress Monroe...wrote my name on the great Union Gun that ways [sic] 51.375 lbs...Saw Gen Dix and Staff..." They continued their journey south, finally reaching the great Mississippi River on January 31: "...on our way up the Missippi [sic] River, passed fort Jackson & Phillips...Ship Montibello stopped with small pox and ship fever...Feb 3d...Went up the river to Baton Rouge...Feb. 9th...heard heavy firing down the river..."

    By the end of the following month, skirmishing in the vicinity of nearby Port Hudson was increasing: "March 25th...heard heavy firing in the direction of Port Hudson...April 6th...expected an attack that night...April 14th...'Queen of the West [a former Federal gunboat captured earlier by the Confederates]' taken...the Rebs. abandoning Cliftonville...May 9...Heavy firing on the Port Hudson no response as yet...May 13...Report Port Hudson is evacuated..." The last entry before the regiment leaves to assault Port Hudson is made on May 18: "Started 12 ½ P. M. this day for Port Hudson." Here begins a gap of nearly two months during which the Union Army surrounded, assaulted, and ultimately occupied the port town from May 22 until July 9. Presumably he left his diary behind to join in the fight. His next entry occurs on July 16, where he writes: "Came back to Baton Rouge. Sick from Donaldsonville had fight there on the 14th inst. fell back..."

    The remaining entries discuss life around camp and his return journey to the North. His last entry as a soldier occurs on September 3, 1863, where he writes: "...Mustered out of the service of the U.S." The three remaining entries were done as a civilian. The remainder of the journal consists of genealogical data, bits of poetry, and lists of goods purchased with their respective prices. The diary itself is in very good condition and provides a fascinating and intimate look at life in the Union Army in the Lower Seaboard Theater.

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    Auction Dates
    December, 2012
    8th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
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