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    [Thomas H. Ruger]. Edwin G. Fay's Aide-de-Camp Diary spanning the months June 1864 through June 1865. Edwin Fay was a twenty-three year old, recently promoted second lieutenant when he began his journal on June 2, 1864, by reporting to Gen. Thomas H. Ruger as his new aide-de-camp. What follows is a day by day account of the movements of Ruger's brigade until his transfer the Army of the Ohio in command of a division.

    When Fay joins Ruger's staff, the brigade is on the move during Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Within four days, they encounter the enemy: "June 6/64...met some rebel cavalry...Your brigade was leading. Col Hawley with his regt was ordered forward as skirmishers..." And again on June 11: "Moved about two miles...Rebels shelled us some killed two men...the rebels infilading [sic] our line." The brigade continues their slow march toward Atlanta, skirmishing throughout the Kennesaw Mountain area.

    On July 20, the brigade took part in the Battle of Peachtree Creek.: "Moved in the morning at seven (7) oclock, crossed Peach Tree Creek, quite a fight in the afternoon. Maj Baldwin...wounded, Col Colgrove also." Two days later, Fay records that they "...met the rebels and went into position o Marietta road, one mile from Atlanta." They slowly advance toward the city over the next few days, meeting resistance the entire way and by August 1, they find themselves "Laying in line of battle about ½ mile from Atlanta." On August 16, rumors are heard that "...the Rebels were massing on our corps..." and on August 18, "Rebels opened lively with Artillery..." with the Federals following suit the next day: "Our Batteries opened at 4 oclock and...kept it up for an hour." On September 2, the 107th NY reaches Atlanta: "Heard a devil of a racket in the night in the direction of Atlanta. Sent 107th NY out in that direction...Brigade went in to Atlanta just at dusk." The city surrendered that day.

    On November 6, Gen. Ruger was offered the command of a division in Gen. John Schofield's Army of the Ohio. He was ordered to Nashville where he arrived on November 11 "...at day light. Assigned to Comd 2nd div 23 A.C." On the 15th, Ruger "Assumed command of 2nd Division..." The division took part in the Battle of Franklin on November 30. Of the engagement, Fay writes: "Arrived at Franklin at day light. Went into position on right of Columbia pike. Cox on left, Kimball on right Rebels commenced charging our line at 4 oclock. Borrowed one wing 101st Ohio from Kimball and put it on right of Strickland Brig withdrew our line at midnight...started for Nashville." The defeat of the Confederate army at Franklin was a disaster from the South. Schofield was able to withdraw back to Nashville and link up with Gen. Thomas and his Army of the Cumberland.

    The diary continues much the same way until April 12, 1865, when "...the news of Lee's surrender..." reaches them. The good news continues with "...some talk about Gen. [Joseph] Johnston surrendering..." On the 16th, Fay reports that a "good deal of racket over in 20th A.C. over rumor that Johns[t]on had surrendered." The celebration is tainted the following day, however, when "news came of the death of President Lincoln." Fay records that on April 18, "News came that President Lincoln was all right. Sherman meets Johns[t]on at 12 oclock. News confirmed in afternoon that President Lincoln was dead." Official notice of Johnston's surrender comes on April 27.

    Aside from some light toning and bowing of the front board, the diary is in fine condition and is packed with information. Edwin G. Fay was mustered out of service in Washington D.C. on June 5, 1865.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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