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Robert S. Dilworth Papers: Transcripts - MS 800

Robert S. Dilworth - Personal Journal: May 13 - June 14, 1862

May 1862

Camp Taylor, Huntsville Al
May 13th 62

Guards detailed for today Officer of the day Lieut Kerry [Curry] acting Capt of Co H. Officer of the guard Lieut Anderson of Co D. Co E is on picket. From Co G 26 privates and one corporal.

Capt Cusac was detailed to conduct a guard with a train of wagons to Columbia for provisions and clothing. G.W.Brooks & J.W. Cumerine left for home this morning via of Shelbyville & Murfreesboro. Prisoners and wounded are constantly arriving. Corinth surrounded by the federal troops.

Camp Taylor, Huntsville Al
May 14th 62

Guards detailed, officer of the day Capt Canfield of Co K, Officer of the guard Lieut Porter of Co G, from Co G 21 privates & one sergt, Co F on picket today, no expedition today, warm & cloudy.

Camp Taylor, Huntsville, Al
May 15th 62

Guards detailed, Officer of the day Capt Vantine, officer of the guard Lieut Dilworth of Co G., from Co G 21 privates, Co D on picket duty. 300 rebels laid in wate [wait] for to capture our train of wagons enroute to Columbia but being forewarned of the danger Capt Cusac with his men took them prisoners. More wounded brought in (Secesh)

The officer in charge visited me at 11 1/2 PM & was much pleased with my guards. The officer of the day did not make his rounds. A very pleasant night beautifully clear & serene. Nothing of moment occurred through the night.

Camp Taylor, Alabama
May 16th 62

Guards detailed, officer of the day Lieut Kerry of Co H., Officer of the guard Lieut Lamb of Co B., from Co G 21 privates, Co C on picket. The day clear & hot. Color line established at 11 1/2 AM taken in 2 PM dress parade 6 PM. H.B. Apger in the guard house for stealing paper from a citizens boy. Walter Burns of Co B & one of Co F had their rifles tied across their shoulders and sit on a high bench for falling on sleep on post while on duty as a sentinel. 2 men one from Co B & one from Co G was put on double duty by Lieut. Lamb for firing their pieces in quarters. Abram Kortright [Courtwright] of Co. B was caused to carry a large pole 4 hours for remaining out of camp 1/2 hour over time. The boys all swear vengeance on Lamb. Another attempt to cross the river by the rebels has been frustrated by our troops and a lot more prisoners taken. Col Norton, Col Harris of the 2nd Ohio, Capt Walker and an other Capt of the 2nd Ohio under arrest for------------etc. John Helt, Jacob Krouse, John Mull, William Edwards, George Montgomery all of Co B, on double duty by Burt Lamb.

Camp Taylor, Alabama
May 17th 62

Guards detailed, Officer of the day Capt Stoughton of Co A, officer of guard Lieut Lamb of Co B., Co A on picket. Nothing of importance occurred through the day. Dress parade at 6 PM. Retreat at twilight, tatoo 8 PM and lights out and all quiet at 8 1/2 PM.

Camp Taylor, Huntsville, Al
May 18th, 62

Guards detailed, officer of the day Capt Canfield of Co K, officer of guard Lieut Porter Co G, not a fair deal. There are 8 Lieuts who have not been on duty since he was on.

Co F on picket, guards mounting 8 1/2 AM. Sabbath morning clear calm & beautiful. Inspection 10 AM. One pass given to 4 men to attend church in Huntsville, Sergt Sholty, Corp Waltman, J.A. Dyche & Corp Mitchell of Co G. Capt Thomas being absent & Lieut Porter on duty. I have to remain with the Co to day. Nothing of note occurred today. Rained all afternoon. 10 men detailed to conduct another train to & from Shelbyville, Tenn.

Camp Taylor, Alabama
May 18th 62

Capt McMahan of Co C officer of the day, Officer of the guard Lieut Channey of Co E, Officer in charge Capt Stoughton of Co A, from co G 15 privates & one Corp. Color line established at 11 1/2 AM and taken in at 2 PM. No dress parade in consequence of so large a detail.

Camp Taylor, Alabama
Tues May 20th 62

Guards detailed, officer of the day Lieut Kerry of Co H, Wiley of Co C., Co G on picket. Capt Cussac has not returned from Columbia yet. Very rainy untill 9 AM when it ceased and the sun shown out and the day was fair. We were post on old J.C. Calhouns property. They had any amount of milch cows and the boys did not lack for milk, onions, lettuce & etc & etc. We were relieved at 5 AM of the 21st by the 2nd Ohio boys. We arrived at camp at 6 AM.

Camp Taylor, Huntsville, Al
Wednesday May 21st 62

Guards detailed, officer of the day Capt Alban of Co F, Officer of the guard Lieut Bumpus of Co I. Co G has no guards to day. Co I detailed as pickets. Wet & louring [lowering] today. Capt Cusac and the train have not arrived yet. Considerable uneasiness as to their safety has, and is being felt in regard to their safety.

J.A. Hill 2nd Sergt of Co G arrived her last eve after a journey of 20 days. Color line 11 1/2 AM taken in 2 PM No dress parade to day.

Camp Taylor, Huntsville, Al
Thursday May 22nd 62

Capt Walker & Col Norton relieved from arrest and their swords returned unto them. Guards detailed, officer of the day Capt Canfield of Co K, officer of guard Lieut Chaney of Co E, Capt. Walker officer in charge, from Co G 15 privates one sergt. Lieut Monroe, of Co F verry sick. Report of the rebels McClelen repulsed at Richmond with great slaughter. The rebels say after the victory at Corinth they will pay Louisville Ky a visit and from then on to Cincinnati & from thence to St Louis. Nothing further occurred worth noting.

Camp Taylor, Al
Friday May 23 rd, 62

Guards detailed, Officer in charge Capt of Co A 2nd Ohio Vol, officer of the day Capt McMahan of Co C, officer of the guard Lieut Wood of Co I, from Co G 15 privates one Sergt, one corp. Capt Ewing [Matthew Ewing] exchanged. Wet & louring all day. 60 or 70 prisoners exchanged with the Col of the 42 Geo.

Camp Taylor, Alabama
Sat May 24th 62

Guards detailed, Officer in charge Capt Stoughton of Co A 21st O.V., officer of the day Lieut Kerry [Curry] of Co H, officer of the guard Lieut Patterson of Co K, from Co G on picket 25 privates 2 Corp & one Lieut R.S.D., on picket guard on field guard 8 privates. I was on picket guard with 27 men of my own Co & 23 from Co K, one Sergt & 2 Caps from Co K. Mitchell visited me 4 times and Sill 2. Our boys under the conduct of Maj Strong arrived this evening. They has a nice little brush with the rebels at Winchester where they took 5 prisoners & killed about 40 captured a few guns & 20 horses, we had 9 taken prisoners 4 from our regt and 5 from the 2nd Ohio. Nothing of importance occurred during the night. Lieut Monroe of Co F & Mr Eckles of Co F left for home this morning.

Camp Taylor, Al
Sun May 26th 62

Officer in charge Capt Walker Co B, 21st O.V., officer of the day Capt Ewing of Co D, officer of the guard Lieut Wiley of Co C, Lieut Porter of Co G officer of picket guard and relieved me, from Co G 5 privates. The rest is being fitted out with new clothes. I have just returned to tent after hearing a splendid sermon preached by Mr Gaddis, Chaplain of the 2nd O.V. from the text one thing is needful and Mary has chozen that good part which shall not be taken from her. The text was well handled. He preached a very appropriate & practicle sermon. When he speaks he cries aloud and spares not. Declares the whole council of God whether sinners will hear or whether they will forbear, rightly dividing the word of truth. He preaches to officers as well as privates. The day and night passed off quietly.

Camp Taylor, Alabama
Mond, May 26th, 62

Officer in charge Capt Stoughton Co & officer of the day Capt Cusac of Co G, officer of guard Lieut Allen of Co D, Co. I on picket, Capt Valentine, Lieut. Wood, Lieut. Bumpus with Co. Orders were received to march to Athens, Al with 2 days rations and one cooked. Tents are being struck and all possible preparations are being made to leave the most beautiful camp we have yet occupied.

Athens May 26th 62

We arrived here this even at about 5 PM after a verry pleasant ride by rail from Huntsville.

Athens May 27th 62

Guards detailed, officer in charge a Capt of the 18th O.V., 65 men, 4 Sergts, 4 Caps & 2 Lieuts, detailed as a picket guard. Lieut Wood of Co F & Dilworth of Co G. We were posted at our respective places at about 10AM.

A Lieut Cap and 10 men at the chief avanues leading to and from the city. A sergt and 5 men were posted at the less important posts. At 2 PM a colored man from Elk River came to me with information that the rebels 1600 strong were crossing the river. They had encamped on the west side of the river the night before and had constructed boats and were crossing & this colored man starts away and bore the intelligence to me. I sent him to the provost marshal and he and Col Norton provided against an alarm. The news had been conveyed to them that all the force has been ordered away with the exception of the 18th O.V. and they made calculations to attack the place and take it, but as it would be the 21st O.V. had come in, an a messenger gave them the information and they post poned their visit. We had a rather close watch through the night. I was relieved at at 10 AM of the 28 May 62.

Athens, Alabama
May 28th 62

From 21st Regt. 65 men 4 Sergt & 4 Caps for pickets. Our camp was moved while I was on picket from the fair ground to a wood south south west of town.

Col Jim has applied for a furlough & Col Norton has handed in his resignation, on account of bad usage toward him self & officers on the part of Gen Mitchell.

Wednesday May 28th, 62

The thermometer stood at 106 + 108 + 105 + 4 & 7 from 10 AM till 3 PM.

Athens May 29th 62

Officer in charge Capt Walker of Co B, Officer of the field guard Lieut Anderson of Co D, from Co G 4 privates. Co's E & K went out on the railroad towards Decatur to guard a bridge and the railroads.

Camp Mount Beautiful
14 miles north of Athens

May 30th 62

At 7 PM of the 29th we left Athens, Co's G & I. Company I was left at the bridge 10 miles north of Athens & ordered to fortify their position. They are situated at a high bridge 70 feet in height and about 200 feet long. We took up our position 4 miles north of Co I on a hill which over looks the surrounding country and commands the railroad & valley 2 miles to the north. This morn looked in calm, beautiful & serene, our position is one to be desired on the west side of the RR which connects with the Memphis & Charleston RR east of the Tenn river near Decatur & which runs to Nashville Tenn. The valley beneath us is covered with corn & wheat as far as the eye can disern [discern]. Harvest has commenced in earnest the wheat will be all cut next week. The cars has just arrived bringing rations for us. The boys captured 2 hogs of the Secesh denomination. Lieut Porter went back on the train to Athens.

Camp Mount Beautiful
May 31st 62

Roll call & guns stacked & preparations being made to receive the rebels cav. We have commenced building a fortification. 3 PM & the thermometer stands at 108. Maj Strong is with us this afternoon. 4PM & the thermometer stands at 106 deg.

June 1862

Camp Mount Beautiful
Sabbath June 1st 62

Once more we can have a Sabbath & a Sabbaths privileges with the exception of preaching. All nature is smiling, under the refreshing dew of heaven which showered vegetation last night. The day is one of peace hear in our little band (Co G) We have once more a day of rest, we rest from our arduous task of fortifying. The day as been one of natures own days. This afternoon Lieut Porter & James Ward built them a shanty[;] they were they only one who did not rest. Nothing occurred to break in upon an silent & powerful response save the songs of birds and an occasional shrill call of the peafowl.

Fort Wood, Camp Cusac
Mond June 2nd 62

The morning as usual calm & beautiful. This is an other day of toil trees being felled and logs cut and placed in our already formidable breast work. Nothing more than usual to day. The evening louring. Another hard days work is done, another resting time begun.

Fort Wood
June 3rd 62

The morning broke in wet & louring, verry disagreeable indeed. Not much work to be done today. Wet all day to day with the exception of a few intervals.

Wednesday June 4th
Fort Wood

Rather damp this morning but cleared away toward noon. But was raining at intervals all day. Not much work done today. Col Norton and Major Strong payed a visit & complimented us on account of the fortifications. He says that is the best he has seen. That is something to brag on aint it. I think so.

Cleared off this evening and is very beautiful near all nature is smiling after the recent showers. The birds are singing the corn is fairly cracking it grows so fast.

Fort Wood
June 5th 62

The day is warm rather hot for me, it gives me the spring fever. I have finished my cottage which I have builded just inside the blockade. Our breast work is now as high as a mans shoulder. The cars has gone down to the river, Elk River, where Co D & H posted to guard engineers & mechanics whilst they build a large bridge over the Elk. The bridge will be very high. It will be 1/2 mile long. I am going back to Athens when the cars come back for to draw rations & to get my trunk. The cars are coming & I must get the letters all together and be at the track or they will not wait for me.

Fort Wood
June 6th 62

I had a very pleasant ride to Athens yesterday eve, where I arrived about 2 PM. When I went to get off the cars I did not think of my flycoat which I payed 10 dollars for and it is gone. I had a nice time last eve. I went out to camp & put on my fix ups & took a stiff through town. It looked natural to see the old tents standing there but when I went in to them and found them empty it cast a shade over my mental faculties, so I did not enter an other until after night when I went in to my tent and wrote a letter to my sister. This morning the clouds threatened rain, but did not rain. I had my trunk & some camp equippage conveyed to the depot where I awaited the cars until 1/2 past 8. The train returned from Huntsville & I put my stuff onboard and left for Fort Wood where I arrived 1/2 past 9AM. We commenced dividing the rations and had not got them issued when we received a dispatch that the division train was being attacked 4 miles from the river & 25 men, one Lieut & one Sergt was ordered to take the cars and run down to their assistance. They went, they had 4 miles on the cars & 4 miles to walk.

Theodore Baughman was drowned in Elk River yesterday whilst bathing. He has not been found yet. We have finished our pay rolls & will send them off tomorrow. We are to be payed off next week. Our blockade is finished.

Fort Wood, Alabama
Sat June 7th 62

Lieut Porter & the boys which were with him got back a little after dark. They got down in time to save the train. The cavalry kept in the mountain after they saw the reinforcement come. Clear cold & windy. Nothing of importance occurred worthy of notice.

Fort Wood, Alabama
Sab June 8th 62

How calm, how beautifully serene & pleasant does the day of the Lord appear, all is quietness serenity, all is peace & tranquility in the natural world to day. Oh! That the political world was the same. I feel the hand of God in this, placing us in so quiet, so peaceful a place away from the bustle of camp with not [nought] to disturb us. No sound breaks in upon the stillness of nature save the song of the birds and the song of the colored man as he wends his way to see his sweet heart (as he calls her) How happy this sable race appears to be. Nothing of note occurred through the day.

Fort Wood, Al
Mond June 9th 62

This morn is a like beautiful. The roll has been called & guns stacked. Breakfast over. You might see the colored man returning to his masters premises and ploding his way to his daily task (or labor). The cars have come in from Huntsville. Just see the boys running down the hill to get the mail. Quite a good mail today. Business is so that I must go to Athens by the backward train. It is now dinner time & J.S. Robb (our cook) has the dinner ready. Good light corn bread (bot of a Negro) ham, eggs, honey, stewed plumbs, rice & new milk constitutes our repast, a rather rich dinner for a soldier, do you not think so? But the train is coming & I must meet it so good by until morning.

Fort Wood, Alabama
Tues June 10th 62

As usual clear & hot. But to finish yesterday's journal. I took the cars at 1 PM and left this fort for Athens where I arrived in 3/4 of a hour after leaving my place in the mountains. We stopped 2 on the way, once at the quarters of Co I & once at the watering and wooding station. I was met at the station by Dr Detwiler now hospital steward.

He informed me that our boys which were sick at the hospital would like to to see me so I accompanied him to the hospital. Two of our boys have the measles and were nicely spotted. I then went out to camp and transacted my business and then went to town. where I put up for the night. This morning I drew the rations and had them all ready for the cars. The train came at 8 1/2 and arrived at 9AM and arrived at Fort at 9 1/2 . The usual routine of this day ensued. I received a letter from my Lois. I was so glad that it appears as though I were with her side by side relating the history of my travails. When I get back I will not have to relate my history & we can talk about what will be more interesting to me about the present and future and not about the past. Won't that do dearest one? The day passed off quietly but rather cool.

Fort Wood, Alabama
We June 11th 62

Clear and sultry this morning. The cars came in bringing a small mail but I got none. How pleasant to sit up this high hill and look down on our neighbors. Harvest is over corn looks well. Cotton looks hard. The farmers say they will have 4 or 5 bushels of wheat to the achor [acre] this year. Their largest crops are 10 bushels of wheat & 40 of corn to the achor. They do not know how to farm. If we could have our farming utensils here I could show them a thing or two, about farming. I do not know what they will do for something to eat in a month or two. If this war would stop at present the people of Dixy would suffer for want of provisions. I would much rather be setting by the side of my Lois relating these things than to do so as I am doing at present. But I will be by her side soon (no intervening Providence)

Fort Wood , Alabama
Th June 12th 62

The morning broke in clear and sultry after the eclipse of last night. The moon was a total eclipse commencing at 11PM of the 11th June, middle of the eclipse 1 Hr & 1 Min AM of the June 12th etc, etc. Oh! But it is hot to day, mercury standing at 100 at 10 AM & 103 at 2 PM. Cars came in with mail, one letter from my Lois to day which I answered immediately. The boys are busy at the ring manufacturing. I have a very nice ring of my own make. I am going to get a set put in the top and a diamond in the place on each side and have the initials which bind us together in one, F.L.T. F for Friendship L for Love & T for truth. These are my sentiments are they yours.

Fort Wood, Al
Friday June 13th 62

As usual clear & hot. General Mitchell called down to see us. He found that he could finish the other road from Nashville easier than this one we are guarding. He ordered the mechanics away to the bridges above Huntsville and they are now at work on said bridges. J.S. Robb took the cars & went to Athens to draw rations for us. Mercury 101 & 108 to day.

Fort Wood, Alabama
Sat June 14th 62

Warm & clear this morning. J.S. Robb returned from town this morning. 2 Negroes were taken & corts marshal them. They were condemned to be hanged and will be executed Monday June 16th 62. Their crime is one of the most atrocious of all acts. They insulted their mistress and then they ran away but were followed by the 4th Ohio Cavalry, and taken and brought to justice. The court sat at Huntsville, Alabama. General Mitchell was judge. Our train was fired into to day and killed 3 of our men & wounded 13 more. General O.M. Mitchell is rigging out a gunboat within 12 miles of Huntsville. It is a common boat & he has put a Parrot gun on board and manned the boat to command the Tenn River from Decatur to Stephenson. Who can head O.M. Mitchell no one. The word is that we are going to be taken to eastern Tenn.

Fort Wood, Alabama
Sat Jun 14th 62

Dearest Lois

With those feelings never before felt for any but your own dear little self, I address a few lines to you in the winding up of these scattered & uninteresting sketches. I have not any thing of importance to wish or that will interest you but I love to drop a line to you as often as I can. I feel in my own sphere when addressing my Lois. But I hope (before the chilly winds of the north has seared and withered the sunny south) to be seated in a little farm house 1 1/2 miles south east of McComb. Beside a little blue eyed girl (whose I am & whom I love) talking over the past & thinking, earnestly thinking of the future. Oh won't we have a pleasant eve, the eve of our first meeting? How anxiously I look forward to that happy time. I feel that, that one evening would repay me nicely for all the absent moments which I have spent so far from the side of my darling Lois. We have a nice time here since we completed our works. Although the weather is very hot, yet the cool shade & breeze blowing renders it quite pleasant. We occasionally go down to the little creek and catch little fish. We have plenty to eat here. We get eggs, milk, butter, onions, peas, honey & etc. some times chickens. We draw crackers, ham, rice, coffee, beans, flour & etc from the quartermasters department. We live well now.

The secesh fired into our train to day & killed 3 & wounded 13 men. Gen O.M. Mitchell is building or rather rigging a boat he has manned and placed a Parrot gun on a boat 12 miles from Huntsville. This is to command the Tenn river from Decatur to Stephenson. He (Gen Mitchell) is building a boat to take a locomotive and cars over the river near Decatur. We have the railroad now to Corinth and to avoid building a bridge he has contrived this boat to take the locomotive & etc over the river. There is an execution to take place on Monday night. Two negroes are to be hanged. They committed a foul & fiendish act and then skedadled but such an act could not pass unpunished, & the 4th Ohio Cav pursued them and brought them to Huntsville where they were tried by a general court marshal. General Mitchell himself acting judge. The sentence was hanging and they will swing on monday next. I have made you a ring of a clamm shell. I intend to get a set in the top & a diamond in each side and send it you or bring it. I would rather do the latter. I calculate to leave the initials of my very being engraven on the inside F.L.T. [Friendship, Love, Truth] These are the initials of the Odd Fellows, but I do not choose these on that account for I belong to no secret society whatever the name may be. I do not expect to be home for at least 4 or 5 months yet. I would go home if I could get a furlough but I can not without stooping & that I can not do. Some have gone home but my mind was never made to stoop but to aspire and I know my high minded true love will not blame me. I will come back honorably or never come. I feel that I would love to see you but I must await the powers that be. But I (as I said before) have nothing of interest to write you & I will close before I worry you. I am glad that the other pleases you so much. When I get back all we will have to talk about will be the present & future, the past will have been told. I am well & trust this may find you enjoying the richest of all earthly blessings, good health, so good by for a short time. I commend you to the safe keeping him with whom we all have to do & may your life & health be precious in his sight & may we both be spared to meet again (and I have faith to believe we will) and be joined in that holy tie which man is forbidden to sunder. Good by "dearest"; I add not but remain yours truly sincerely devotedly now in time present & to come one & undivided in the bonds which had bound us together which I trust have been approved of by high heaven.

(Love) Dearest Lois

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