The Diary of George Richardson Crosby
* I made no corrections to the Diary of George Richardson Crosby. From the dates July 31, 1863 - September 1863 Crosby was on leave which explains his diary entries about his family.
May 8, 1863
went to camp. opened [Thomas] Brigham’s Box and found this book, suspenders, to packs envelopes and two quivers paper. regt at Warrenton Junction [Virginia], Co F & M at Vienna. got Boots fixed for 5 cents. Hub Pierce whiped the Infantry man. Hooker on this side of the river.
May 9, 1863
pleasant. stewed two kettles beans, baked some (No. 1). Grazed my
horse the first time. Heard the news that Hooker had crossed the
May 10, 1863
pleasant. wrote to Helen. drew ten days rations. nothing to do.
May 15, 1863
went on guard No. 1. stood at hospital at night. guard over Co M dead marks all the men in camp. Colonel ugly as the devil. got leter from Brother.
May 19, 1863
warm [and] pleasant. got leter from home. drew two days rations.
saw Ed Redington, Lieut. in the VT 12th. saw Sergt. Jennie of the16th. had two drinks of whiskey.
May 21, 1863
pleasant. on guard from half past three til five. the birds sang incessantly, never heard so much bird singing in Virginia.
May 23, 1863
verry hot. got mail and made a new bunk with [Samuel] Hinkley.
received a leter from home on the 20th. on horse guard tonight.
Colonel right on his disipline.
May 24, 1863
warm and p[leasant]. wrote home, sent Co records and maps. wrote
to Brother. year ago today started on Bank’s retreat and charged through the Rebs at Middletown [Virginia]. preaching in camp, did
not attend. got pants and coat.
May 27, 1863
pleasant. drilled most of forenoon. afternoon dismounted under
Segt. Smith. laid down in the shade. did not draw sabres from scabard.
May 28, 1863
pleasant. went on division horse guard last night with two hundred
others, called out at eleven o’clock. Colonel ordered off the wash
men because he regretted that he paid for his washings in government rations.
May 31, 1863
pleasant. arrived at kettle run at 6 o’clock in the morning. our boys
out here had a sharp fight yesterday. charged on one piece of artilery, took it with ten prisoners, killing several. our loss borey Co H killed
and twenty five wounded. go on picket to night.
June 2, 1863
pleasant. nothing to do, built a bunk. no news, everything dull. a
horse got loose last night and ate up four day’s rations of my bread.
June 6, 1863
pleasant. started at four o’clock A.M. on scout the thouroughfaire
gap [Virginia]. saw five rebs but [they] skedadled. returned at five
P.M. another detatchment came from Fairfax, nine from our Company. thunder shower at night.
June 11, 1863
cloudy with some rain. we arived at Bristow [Virginia] last night
about seven o’clock. verry tired with horses worn & pailed. brought
in two bush whackers, they are old offenders but we have caught
them at last. they will be hanged or shot. go on picket tonight, the
rest of the Brigade go on scout.
June 12, 1863
verry warm and uncomfortable. chased two rebs this morning while
on picket, didn’t catch them. month’s pay-money ran short, our
Company did not get paid. Co C & M did not get paid.
June 14, 1863
pleasant. Hooker’s army all passing us, been going all day. been paying my debts, paid to day. wrote home to day, shall not send until tomorrow. part of our Co on picket.
June 27, 1863
cloudy. whole brigade drunk. all out of rations but can buy plenty of bread. left the gap at five o’clock P.M. whole 5th and 11th Corps
came up and relieved us. came back as far as Jeffersonville. turned to the left, passed through middletown [Maryland] 11 at night. the ladies seranaded us with patriotic songs and the bands played. We were received with great enthusiasm, waving of flags and white handkerchiefs. Quite a contrast to our reception in Virginia towns.
June 30, 1863
cloudy. started at six this morning. passed through Hanover [Pennsylvania], before we got through we were attacked in the rear. we had a sharp fight which lasted about three hours. they shelled us & the town. Hanover is a pretty plase. The ladies brought edibles of all kinds to us, they gave us wine and everything that the country affords. Camp at night.July 1, 1863
warm. left Hanover 10 A.M. our squadron in advance, passed through Adamstown [Pennsylvania]. captured 12 prisoners. crossed the Susquehanah, went most to Carlisle [Pennsylvania]. countermarched, came back about 12 miles, camped. In our yesterday’s fight all that I know of extent is I saw 60 prisoners & 11 dead but we had more prisoners and more killed. we drove them out of town & held the town they took 2 A.M.
July 2, 1863
pleasant. started 7 went to Adamstown [Pennsylvania], stopped two
or three hours. went to Hunterstown [Pennsylvania]. had a fight with Stewart’s cavalry, drove them. Fight lasted about four hours. they are fighting terribly on our lines, after our fight we went to a little village near Gettysburg. we found thousands of wounded, they were digging pits to bury the dead.
July 3, 1863
cloudy today. went on to the left wing, fought all day. our Brigade
lost heavily, we charged on infantry. I have not learned the extent of
the loss yet. had one man killed from our Co and one wounded. it is
strange that the whole Co was not killed. [I] shot one reb, shot at several many more. retired about two miles and camped for the night.
July 5, 1863
arrived at Gettysburg this morning three A.M. Captured about
eighty prisoners without fireing again. some gave themselves up. we
were able to get the train agent through Hagerstown [Maryland].
went within some miles of wiliamsport [Maryland], our divison captured twelve men and a train of cavalry wagons. came back to Boonsboro [Maryland] 12 at night & found rest of the Brigade.
cloudy. left Boonsboro 7 A.M. passed through Frankstown [Pennsylvania]. went to Hagerstown. had a hard fight at eight hours with the rebel sharpshooters, infantry & cav. we lost very heavy, our regt broke but they had reason to. they took four good men prisoner but slaughtered them terribly. they flanked us but we had out our batery. fired grape & canister, killing them by the hundreds. our brigade is badly cut up. we caused the rebs to burn their train. took a few prisoners and got away no sooner dusk. camped within firing of our artillery.
July 7, 1863
rainy. started this morning went to Boonsboro & stayd until night.
went on picket at daylight. know now much of our regt lost. our Co
lost six taken prisoner in the fight yesterday. we have had no rations for a long time, have to buy everything. the teams cannot get to us.
July 8, 1863
rained all night, got wet. the enemy advanced on us this morning
nine o’clock. we fought them all day. they came near getting the best of us but about eleven at night we charged them and drove them three miles. our battalion charged on a battery. our regt lost three killed.
July 31, 1863
last night was the first time I slept in a bed for most two years and [did] not sleep well.
August 2, 1863
this is the first time I hear my little girl speak. she was not afraid but kissed me and called me Papa. she is pretty and grown much more than I had calculated. in the afternoon I went and helped bennet Butter. At night I went with Hellen for milk.
August 4, 1863
today I went to Lyndon with Hellen and Addie, stayed with at
Myram Miller’s in the afternoon. I was mighty glad to see the old
Boys and we had a jolly good time. I had more quetions asked than I could answer in a week. in the evening went to Charles’s and stayed all [night].
August 7, 1863–August 10th, 1863
all this time enjoyed life so well that I could not trust my diary.
August 11, 1863–August 15th, 1863
this diary is of no act when I am enjoying life so much.
August 16, 1863–August 20th, 1863
September 26, 1863
arrived in NY this morning six o’clock. went to Barnum’s in forenoon. afternoon went to theater. verry tired at night, went to bed at eight at the soldier’s union relief association. verry lonesome, did not sleep verry well.
September 27, 1863
pleasant. verry homesick. went down to battery and to the wharf and saw the Rusian fleet. in afternoon attend religious services. felt unwell, went to bed early. sick all night, did not sleep much.
September 29, 1863
lounged around the city. saw plenty of officers drunk. went to Georgetown and got Tom’s [Bartleff] Box at the Express office. sick of Washington and every other plase but home. I should like to see my folks today.
rained some. wrote to Fred Miller. cooked beans. had the proposition again read to us to reenlist. the inducements are verry tempting. I want to do so but am afraid my folks will not agree.
December 19, 1863
great excitement today about reenlisting. the captain of the first Brigade read the order to us and I think the regt will go home. went on picket at Mitchel’s ford. got leter and diary from home. sold the diary for 30.
December 25, 1863
went on picket at Cission’s ford. our Co at reserve. got a verry interesting letter from home, it was a little sample of my correspondence that I ever received. I guess my folks don’t think mutch of me [reenlisting] but they can’t stop me.
December 29, 1863
pleasant again. relieved by the 5th Mich. got three leters from home.
two of them have been on the road a long time. I got a leter [on] the
29th that was written since they were. we found the boys in camp all
reenlisting. got leter from Brother.
December 30, 1863
went to station. saw Brother, he has enlisted. I enlisted from the town of Andover [Vermont]. expect to get five hundred dollars town bounty that will help my folks a great deal
Memoranda section, dated January 1, 1864
It is pretty muddy and bad weather for a man about to enlist for three years but the money is what I must have for the benefit of my wife and child. I am anticipating nine hundred dollars bounty from town and government.
December 31, 1863
rained all day hard. wrote home to selectmen of Andover. sent certificate. a detach[ment] of our regt went on picket. I will try to keep my diary next year in better style than this.
Memoranda section, dated January 4, 1864
first snow of the season fel today, about an inch. I am verry anxious
to hear from Andover. no mail on account of the railroad being disturbed somewhere between here [and] Washington.
January 12, 1864
put adition on chimney. afternoon cut poles for horse stable. Worked verry hard. got leter from andover saying that I should get no town bounty.
February 23, 1865
wrote to Andover. I have heard that they were going to pay me a
February 28, 1865
mustered for pay and signed the payrole. it is a snowy day. wrote
leter for Peterson to his folks. wrote another leter to the selectmen
of Andover. Snowy day.
March 1, 1865
pleasant but some cold. got leter from home, Hellen is sick. got a
leter from the selectmen of Andover. they are going to pay me fourteen dollars town bounty when I am mustered out of service.
April 16, 1864
rained most all night last night. rainey day. relieved from guard at
eight this morning. pickets relieved today. Gen. Kilpatrick took a parting leave of us in person today. he has command of Gen. Sherman’s cavalry.
June 9, 1864
showers. men are dying at the rate of sixty every twenty four hours,
mostly of scurvy and diareah. thousands have not even a blanket for a cover. water is poor and dirty. fighting occurs several times a day, alas for human depravity.
May 29, 1864
I am weak and nearly sick. spent my last three dollars for a quart of
beans. prisoners are dying at the rate of twenty five per day. eight or ten hundred more prisoners today.
June 1, 1864
sick today, in great pain. have gotten a severe cold and [it] settled all over me. heavy thunder shower at night, got wet.
June 14, 1864
cold and rainey. the camp is getting muddy. the rheumatis bothers
me a good deal. Tuttle is verry hard up. the rebs found an other tunnel today. drew bread and meat again today. many are making their escape and the guards go with them.
June 15, 1864
over a hundred died in the last twenty four hours out of the hospital and camp. this storm kills many. about a thousand more prisoners came in today. stormy but warmer. drew bread. I have got the Rheumatis to that I can hardly walk.
June 18, 1864
It was a verry rainey night last night and the same today. I have so
mutch pain in my hips and legs that I can sleep but little at night. The time seems verry long to me. more prisoners today.
June 19, 1864
Showery today. I am sick, have got the diarhea and the rheumatis.
went to the Doctor, got six pills and a powder. more prisoners. drew
rice. my apetite is poor, I feel hard.
July 29, 1864
showery. a few more prisoners from Sherman’s army. I am verry
weak and nearly sick. the stockade is getting nearly as crowded as it was before the adition was put on. our cup is spoiled so that we
[have] nothing to cook in but a half canteen.
September 3, 1864
the reason that I have left this blank space in my diary is partly because I have had nothing worth writing and partly on account of having a fellon on my left thumb which has been verry painful. in the meantime everything has gone on as usual . . . I have passed many a sleepless night in the last two weeks on account of the felon on my thumb. I can get nothing from the surgeon here for it, all the medicine I can get is cornmeal and soup. I have had it lanced twice with a broken lance[t] but it was premature. it seems as if I should go crazy. I cannot rest day or night.
June 26, 1864
verry warm. the raiders are getting to be verry bold. they take the new comers and take everything away from them, murder some in a horrible manner. there is an organized band of them of probably more than two hundred. they are city roughs, house breakers and pickpockets. several efforts have been made to put them down but to no effect. prisoners coming in every day. no news that is reliable.
June 29, 1864
the rebs have commenced today to help us get rid of the raiders. They have arrested a large lot of men and have not got through yet. the[y] are puting an adition of ten acres onto our enclosure which will be done in a few days.
June 30, 1864
verry hot. Corpl. Cook is quite sick with the diareah. they [are] at the raiders again today. they got a jeury of twelve sergts of our men to try their cases. the charges, evidence and sentinc will [be] sent to our government for approval. today finishes the first half of the year.
July 2, 1864
put up blanket. we drew new rations. nothing to cook in and it is
hard to borrow. we hear that five of the raiders are sentenced to be
hung. our new camp is nearly as crowded as the old one. water is a
good ways off and poor.
July 11, 1864
thunder shower at night. extremely hot. more prisoners. six of the
raiders were hung at five o’clok. they were proven guilty of murder,
tried, sentenced and hung by our men with the sanction of the rebels inside of our camp. they were all hung at once. the rope broke with one but he was soon put back up again.
July 12, 1864
hot as usual. more prisoners today. the men that were hung yesterday protested their innocence to the last. they were a hard lot of men and richly merrited their punishment. I do not know their names or regiments.
just a month today since I was captured. there is great talk in the
camp of an exchange or parool verry soon. they drew new rations on
this side of the brook this week. Norman mooved up with us, he and Tuttle together.
cold rainey day. rained all night. Cook went back today, he thinks
there is not [enough] room. great excitement in camp about being
parooled. report that the officers already parooled. rations [the] same as yesterday.
July 15, 1864
verry hot. a few prisoners came in from Sherman’s army. they report that the rebs are clearing everything out of Atlanta. there are petitions getting up to send to the different States praying for an exchange or release from prison.
August 1, 1864
great talk of a parole soon. the whole camp is excited but I am afraid that it is a hoax. they are taking the sick out fast. I don’t know where they are puting them.64
September 3, 1864
stories of parool and exchange are plenty[ful] . . . there is a report
that we are going to be parooled immediately, few beleive it.
September 26, 1864
rations today half pint meal half pint of rice. a great deal of talk about parool and exchange but it amounts to verry little.
September 12, 1864
this morning at daylight we were let out of the bull pen and we
[were] put into freight carrs, sixty men in each carr with one forth
pound bacon and half loaf corn bread. no man is allowed to step out of the carrs, if he does he gets shot.
September 14, 1864
six dollars got me bread enough for one meal. I was verry hungry. The sitizens say there is no exchange. arrived in Charlestown 3 this morn they travailed north. arrived at Florence 1 P.M. lay in the carrs all night.
September 29, 1864
Reb officers in camp giving the oath of Allegiance to all who whish.
about a hundred and fifty have taken it. our rations today are one
fourth pint rice, five spoonfuls molasses piece potatoe size of a walnut.
September 30, 1864
it is reported that a thousand men from this camp have sent in their names yesterday & today to take the oath of Allegiance, curses upon them. rations [to]day one fourth pint meal, same of rice, four spoonfuls beans one fourth pound Beef salt.
October 20, 1864
drew some more good molasses, three fourths pt flour, half pt meal,
some salt. lots of men are taking the oath, they are starved and froze to it.
October 2, 1864
this morning made a little gruel out of all the meal I had, three
spoonfuls. 8 o’clock [we were] ordered to pack up, mooved about a
mile to a stockade that has been prepared for us. starvation drove
me to sell the ring that my wife gave me. I bot some meal & sweetpotatoes. got a dollar for the ri