The Civil War Diary of Henderson George
Diary 1863


  AUGUST 1863  
Saturday Aug. 1st.
On board steamer; leave landing about mid-night. About three P.M. arrive at the mouth of the Yazoo; we are now steaming up the muddy waters of the Mississippi.
Sabbath Aug. 2nd.
Steam all day; occasionally pass a gun boat patrolling the river; no annoyance from guerrillas.
Monday Aug. 3d.
Steaming all day; saw a bear on shore scratching in the sand; pass a fleet of gunboats at the mouth of White River; Lie to for an hour on account of broken machinery; during the day pass Helena, Arkansas. Three of us are quartered on a raised temporary platform opposite a little window opening into the boat kitchen; cultivate good terms with the cook by slipping him each day our rations of whiskey; so each day about noon he would quietly slip to us through the little window a generous pan of hot biscuit, roast beef,and potatoes, with other vegetables; we are living on the "fat of the boat." Our position on the raised platform just large enough for three of us was isolated from observation of the boys who must subsist on hard tack and coffee; otherwise they might have become envious and given us away. So we had good living on the boat while the trip lasted. Would say I have never swallowed a ration of whiskey in the army.
Tuesday Aug. 4th.
Arrive at Memphis Tenn. about noon; boat coaling; will not leave here until tomnorrow.
Wednesday Aug. 5th.
Leave Memphis at seven o'clock A.M. Pass Fort Pillow, also Forts Wright, and Randolph. Fort wright is about seventy miles above Memphis.
Thursday Aug. 6th.
Boat lay to during the night; proceed at day break; at six P.M. pass Island No.l0. We are now within about sixteen miles of Cairo.
Friday Aug. 7th.
Arrive at Cairo about ten A.M. Disembark; board cars on the central Illinois R.R. Train leaves Cairo about ten P.M.
Saturday Aug. 8th.
Arrive at Sandoval about two P.M. Change cars to the St.L. and C. R.R. and pull out eastward, our supposed destination is Cincinnati Ohio.
Sunday Aug. 9th.
Arrive at Cincinnati O. at four P.M. After supper on hard tack and coffee march across the Ohio River to Covington Ky. Occupy soldiers barracks for the night.
Monday Aug. l0th.
Remain in Covington until four P.M. Board cars on the Kentucky Central R.R. and proceed south.
Tuesday Aug. 11th.
Arrive at Nicholasville, Ky. about nine A.M. March to Camp Nelson, arriving there about four P.M. Encamp.
Wednesday Aug. 12th.
Resting in camp.
Thursday Aug. l3th.
Resting in camp.
Friday Aug. 14th.
Move camp about two miles; beautiful place; it is said we are here to have a few days rest to recuperate from the wearing effects of the Mississippi campaign and the long boat and rail journey returning. Our journey northward was begun July 21st. We have therefore been sixteen days making the trip. Our traveling accommodations both on board the boat and cars were very uncomfortable; our troops suffered much hardship. Almost every man was to some extent affected with malaria we contracted from mosquitos, and the bad water of the Bayous in Mississippi. Several of our men have sickened and died suddenly since we arrived here. I am now feeling quite well again, although somewhat indisposed before starting north.
Saturday Aug. 15th.
To-day I was appointed to the position of clerk and orderly in the Brigade Commissary Department under Lieutnant Jefferson Justice. This will be an agreeable change from the ranks.
Sabbath Aug. 16th.
Doing nothing--resting. Brother Samuel left for home on a fifteen day furlough.
Monday Aug. 17th.
Doing some clerical work in the Commissary Office tent.
Tuesday Aug. 18th.
To-day I have been at the camp of the 79th.,N.Y.V., collecting money from the officers for commissary supplies sold them on credit during the Mississippi campaign.
Wednesday Aug. 19th.
Lying quiet; resting.
Thursday Aug. 20th.
Lying quiet; resting.
Friday Aug. 21st.
Lying quiet; resting.
Saturday Aug. 22nd.
Lying quiet; resting.
Sabbath Aug. 23d.
Formal receipt for commissary supplies signed by Captain Bell; instructed to telegraph Lieut. Justice if teams are furnished; if no teams telegraph Captain Curtain to let Lieut. Justice know.
Monday Aug. 24th.
Doing some office work; was out at the 79th.,N.Y.V. collecting.
Tuesday Aug. 25th.
Lying quiet; as Dr. Taylor and I were walking along near our quarters about 11 o'clock A.M., we were startled by a terrific explosion near a point abot one hundred and fifty yards in front of us, which we at first took to be a rebel shell; the whole camp was alarmed with the thought that a rebel force had surprised us. On investigation was found to have been a stroke of lightning; it made a hole in the ground much like a shell.
Wednesday Aug. 26th.
Doing some office work.
Thursday Aug. 27th.
Orders received this P.M., be ready to march to-morrow morning at daylight.
Friday Aug. 28th.
March at daylight; arrive at Camp Dick Robinson after noon; bivouac for the night; distance marched ten miles; this is our old campground of last April.
Saturday Aug. 29th.
March at daylight and encamp at eleven o'clock at a point about three miles east of Lancaster Ky. About ten miles march.
Sabbath Aug. 30th.
March at daylight; arrive at crab orchard about 11 A.M. distance marched ten miles.
Monday Aug. 31st.
All quiet; wrote some letters to home and friends. Troops encamp as if to stay a few days. There is no enemy force at this time in Kentucky.