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James J. Wood Diary - MMS 1144

James J. Wood, age 25, a resident of Hardin County, Ohio, enlisted in Company D, 34th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, on December 11, 1863, for a term of 3 years. The roster of this unit states that he was wounded in the Battle of Lynchburg, Virginia, June 17, 1864. He was hospitalized in Parkersburg, Virginia on July 2nd and sent home on furlough in October. He was transferred to Company D, 36th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry on February 26, 1865, and mustered out with the company July 27, 1865.

James J. Wood Diary

July 1864

July 1st.
It is 2 months today since I left Camp Toland. I have passed many hardships safely for which I feel thankful. During this time I have not been under a roof, except an old stable and shed, over springs, which was very seldom. At noon we got to Webster on R R, Grafton (4 miles) and Parkersburg. To latter place we will go as soon as we get train, which is encouraging indeed. We have left the mule train and have a little peace & quiet. Will rest tonight under roof in old steam saw mill. Dr. got butter crackers & canned peaches as provided by US Sanitary Commission which does us great good. Boys say, "God bless the noble institution." In a short time we can hear from home. Oh glorious indeed.

July 2d.
At 1:00 took train for Parkersburg, crooked road, 23 tunnels in 100 miles, arrived safely & found a nice place ready to receive us. Can see across into Ohio but I have not been to river yet. Warm day, large town & fine country for few miles around it.

July 3d.
Rested well on good bed, up early and want breakfast which is very good sign. Raining a little. Cars and boats whistling all around & it sounds like old times again. Hospital property formerly belonged to Stonewall Jackson. Very warm. Wrote to Martha once more & also to W. G. McColl for description list & letters at Charleston. Wish had them now to read. Oh how glad I'd be. Wait and they will come after while.

July 4th.
Great & glorious day of Independence. Good dinner & plenty lady visitors. Many who came to see relations. They speak very kindly to me & all the boys, giving flowers & nice things to eat, as cakes, nuts, raisins, etc. 'Tis awful hot, otherwise we are very pleasantly situated. We have noble kind attentive men as nurses. Oh that peace might again cover our land as in years long ago past when PEACE was everywhere & war no where. Science & common sense have surely united to frame & adopt the present Hospital arrangements. Everything works as if by machinery. God bless us with contentment & those we have left behind waiting.

July 5th.
Am well, hand is very painful at times, but is improving slowly perhaps. 'Tis hot, otherwise we are comfortable. I am anxious to hear from home it now being month & half since I heard from home. I hope to hear soon. Heavy Reb force on B & O RR near Martinsburg. Hunter passing through here on his way to ASSIST.

July 6th.
Am well. Wrote to Martha, kind partner Mr. Reese addressed & gave stamp without asking. Awful hot but now at 4:00 it is beginning to rain and air is cooler. Am doing as well as any one could expect. Am poor & lean as greyhound but feel well though at times suffering a good deal pain.

July 7th.
Very hot. Like to have rained this noon but failed, very dry. Am well & hearty as ever in my life though of course I do not eat as heartily as if had plenty exercise for which I long & hope to have. Others are reading letters all around and it makes me very anxious to get one from home. After while 'twill all come right I hope.

July 8th.
Fine shower last night, cooler today. Arm painful on account of trying to straighten it as it had got twisted some in sling. Am well. War master says I am getting fat and lazy & look quite well. Dinner long time behind but comes at last. We are very well, but few visitors. Busy time, waiting for letters with anxiety.

July 9th.
Warmest day of the season so far. We all hope for big rain. Sick and gave out men coming from every place. Is full and are building new tents. Not more than 1/4 will remain more than few days.

July 10th.
Clear & hot. Don't appear like Sunday, though every thing is quiet. There is such a great crowd of men here that can't see much satisfaction. They are mostly men who took no care of themselves when they got plenty to eat after nearly starving and they act, many of them, like fools yet. No church today. Chapel full of beds, too hot for visitors. At 4:00 it rains & blows awful hard. Hand sore on back, feverish, poulticed.

July 11th.
The fine rain yesterday makes it more pleasant today. Hand improving a little. I think though too slowly for certain. Ought to hear from home today I think. Will wait anxiously for the good horn. 1 month now I have suffered with the wound. Seven months ago today since enlisted. Have had some hard times & many good ones, have met with many Brothers, or men who used me with as great kindness. Hand feels pretty well today. Have not had a hard word with any one in all my travels and am resolved to do right. Wrote Martha part of a letter today & quit thinking I would get one from her tonight. I am trying to do as I wish to be done by in every sense. Will try to serve my God better than ever before in view of his Blessings of health & preservation. God bless us in heart with love divine.

[Note from typed transcription: "Seems to be a few pages of diary missing; no memo. from July 11 to July 23. J. H. W."

July 23.
Cool and pleasant. Caught cold going without coat and have headache today. Received letters from John Wood and Jonathan Shaw dated 17th, mailed 20th. Letters do me more good than anything else can. Am always anxious to get them.

July 24.
Hot and dry. Singing school [Sunday School?]. Sermon at 3:00 wrote Jonathan, got Martha's dated 20th and sent a few lines to her in Jonathan's as reply. Bad cold and headache. Seven months today we had Christmas at Pap's.

July 25.
Feel first rate. Cold getting better I think. Raining nicely. Wrote John W. Turner a short worthless letter. Cool pleasant day, hear of hard fighting at Bunker. God bless the poor sick and wounded.

July 26.
Pleasant morning. Pleased to receive Martha's letter of 22d. Seven months since I left home. Oh how many dark scenes I have witnessed and yet a great many pleasant recollections come upon my mind. Wrote Martha. Great and happy privilege to hear that all are doing well at home.

July 27.
Hot day. Am well and contented. No list from Regt. since their fighting. Went out after dinner two hours and walked about 2 miles in all. Got back tired down flat. My weight is 138 lbs. When left Charleston 169. Have gained a good deal in two weeks. Am weak and no mistake. Took a look at camel backed engine. God bless and protect friends at home.

July 28.
Very hot this morn. Am well. Got J. Hodges letter. Will not forget him for it neither. Answered him after dinner. C. J. Durea of Gallipolis Private co. A 91st loaned me a blouse. $353 unpaid, wife Cyrena E. Durea, Gallipolis, Ohio. No descriptive list yet and no prospect. 'Tis a glorious thing that soldiers are often brothers. We learn how to pity and favor.

July 29.
Desperately hot and sultry today. Am well and in good spirits. Received Martha's letter of 23d & 24th, mailed 26th and answered as well as I could. The boys are lively and have a great deal sport despite sores and headaches. No prospect of furloughs for awhile. Gen. Crook taken full command Dept. No news of importance to write.

July 30.
Hot as usual. Am well. Attended funeral of soldier at 2:00 Chaplain done the ceremony & military style. Dr. Safford, Assistant Surgeon came and commenced duty. Everybody has friends to visit and to see them nearly but those from North Ohio, we will go up there one of these days and see them MAYBE.

July 31.
Splendid sermon at 10:00 desperately hot and dry enough to burn up. Am well as ever in my life. Wrote Martha sheet & half. This day ends another month. Lord help us to spend the next better than I have this. Preaching at 6:30 Matthew 6 & 33. Splendid.

August 1864

August 1.
Hot as can be almost. Temp. 97 at noon in shade, at 4:00 heavy rain and still continues at dusk. Apple cutting to make pies for tomorrow. Steward said I might peel a few with my teeth. They were good apples and I have done my duty. Our fare improves every day now.

August 2.
Raining finely today. Got Martha's letter of 26th & 27th, inst. Why 'twas so long coming I can't tell. Not post marked at all. Have been here one month.

August 3.
Cool & pleasant. Grass looks nice and 'taters will have to grow. Did not get expected letters. Am well & in fine spirits as ever. Dan Horn took French leave [unauthorized leave] & went home. I will stay my time out first.

August 4.
Pleasant day. Preaching at 10:30. Good sermon. Chaplain sick, sent a man in his place. Got Martha's letter of 30th & answered it immediately as best I could. Appearance of rain again. Am still trying to be contented but it keeps me busy to stay in a place so confining.

Aug. 5.
Am well and hope to remain so. Am growing awfully tired of laying around here doing nothing. Have not exercise enough for health.

August 6.
Hot and dry. Am unwell. Got Martha's letter of 2d. Am glad I am still remembered. Sent in application for furlough today. Boys brought good apples from Ohio. Militia called & brought out today. Lord reward those that are kind.

August 7.
Desperately sick last night with Cholera. Better today having no cramp. Sore and awfully sick from taking so much hot & strong medicine. Wrote Martha.

August 8.
Sick & sore. Not able to be up any at all. Inward fever suffering for water all the time. Hot. I almost roast lying in bed.

August 9.
Feel a little better this morn. Think I will soon be up now. Got Martha's letter of 5th & 6th this morning containing $5. My friends make of me a pet.

August 10.
Am improving slowly. Up a little. Wrote Martha again. Oh how glad I am that I have this privilege. Post Militia drafted today and balance sent home as reserve. 40 sent to Regts.

August 11.
As hot weather as I ever felt. Am gaining a little strength I think. A still man & a wise head. Don't talk too much and others won't know you are a fool. Militia sent home 'till called for again. Government allows 85 [cents] per day for each man to Com. Sergeant. He can't help but make money fast. 20 left today for Regts. Threatening rain. Have cool air since 3 o'clock.

August 12.
Clear cool morning, no rain. Feel very much like myself again. Hope by careful management to still improve. Got Martha's letter of 7th and 8th. Hot.

August 13.
Feel quite well this morn. Appearance of rain. J. T. Rose gone. Had splendid melons as ever ate today. A few furloughs came in tonight. My turn may come yet some day.

August 14.
Preaching at 10 AM. Good & impressive. At 11:00 commenced & rained hard an hour. Am doing fine, well. Reading "Path of Life" noble book. Cool & pleasant afternoon. Singing, sermon at 6:30 Isaiah 1st & 2d. Wrote Martha today.

August 15.
Foggy & cool. Feel better than have for two weeks & do hope it will last. A clever man brought load melons who would not take pay from wounded men. I helped eat several at this price. Took walk over town in evening.

August 16.
Hot as ever again this morning. Good apples at same price as melons. Headache a little. Feel well after breakfast. Several fine showers after dinner. Have got too lazy to walk almost. Staid up till 1:00 with Collins for company. Applications forwarded today.

August 17.
Cool & cloudy this morn. Feel first bumcombe [?] 8 sent to Regt. Hope something of interest may occur that will be worth writing about. Contented. Had another apple cutting day.

August 18.
Cloudy & cool. Am well & hearty. Got letters from Pap and Martha of 14th. Glad to hear from home again. Nothing does me so much good. Wrote Pap intending to do all. Apple cutting again. Reading Ely's Journal in Richmond. Finished.

August 19.
Cool & raining all day. Staid on watch till 1:00 last night & have headache & feel unwell. Am not as well used to losing sleep as I have been. Oh how long shall I remain a prisoner here? Lord bless those far away.

August 20.
Pleasant day and am well. Apple cutting again. Tried to do ample justice to them as they were excellent. Took my first bath in Ohio River. Does more good than all the good things we eat. Boys leaving for Regt. I have to stay.

August 21.
Cool & nice. Rained very heavy showers last night. Another Sunday finds me lying here doing nothing. I hope soon to get privilege to go away. Will try do right & be content & happy. Sermon at 10:30. Job 36:18. Wrote Martha and all the family, preaching at 6:30, 1st Timothy 7 & 8. Showers & cool. Raining this evening. Oh how guarded I ought to live while surrounded with so much vulgarity & wickedness. Up with sick all night. Raining all night.

August 22.
Raining this morning. The ground is well soaked and the river will be up and navigation open. Cleared off at 10:00 21 sent to Regts. today. Day passed off pleasantly. Reading "Weems Life of Washington".

August 23.
Cool, foggy morning. Martha's letter of 17th-18th came to hand at 9:00 Oh how much good it does me to hear that all are living at home. Sorry to hear that some are sick. Am growing more tired of this place. Hope to leave soon.

August 24.
Very warm again. Feel tolerably well. Nothing worth noting occurring. Reading most of the day. Happy & contented.

August 25.
Rain last night. Cloudy today. Wrote Martha & for description list. Fine music tonight by citizen boys, violin & bass fiddle.

August 26.
Cool & cloudy this morning. Eight months now since I left home and friends. I have seen enough of this thing to induce me to try to do right that trouble may not follow. Martha's letter of 21st came to hand at 9:00 cool all day, up all night, rained heavy.

August 27.
Very cool but clear this morning. Expect to hear from home again today. Received Jonathan Shaw's letter of 21st. Ladies visit us from Ohio. Very cool.

August 28.
Still cool & pleasant this morning. Feel well except having caught cold. Wrote Martha again. Oh happy privilege. Sermon at 10:00 Isaiah 40:31.

August 29.
Very cool and I feel first rate except pain in left side from bad cold. Am tired doing nothing, will try to do right. Got Martha's letter of 24th tonight. Should have had yesterday morning for no mail good satisfaction in everything. It does me good to get such letters.

August 30.
Foggy & cold. Feel splendid. Nothing occurring of any importance. Am lying around reading & passing the time as pleasantly as I can under the circumstances.

August 31.
Cold early this morning but as the day advances it is getting warmer. I was up 'till 1:00 and feel a little sleepy. Wrote to Martha again everything I could think of any account & a good deal that was of no account at all. Today ends another month. She goes out coolly as if insulted. Mustered for pay but have no Descriptive list. Went to the table for dinner and done well. I hope to feel as well every day as I do today. Then I get along all right. Have been nearly three months off duty now and am of no account yet. 4 left for Regts.

MMS 1144 - James Wood Diary Index
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