Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 31-Friday
     Charly and Ann came up to camp accompanied by Mr & Mrs Wing, Mr. & Mrs. Louger and little Gus. they brought up to us a dinner of Baked Beans. the best dinner I have had in Camp yet.
     Got a letter from Jane this morn and answered it.
     Company E. lost a man last night he belong in Athol, Mass. Leaves a wife and 2 children.
     Provisions are being put on board the Constitution this morning for our trip to Ship Island. it is supposed.
     Went down to Charlys to stoppover night wrote a letter to S.W. Stickney for him. I hope it will do what he wishes it to.
     Lovrien was down to the Fort and stopped over night also. [Illustration]

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 30-Thursday
     Unpleasant this morning wrote home to wife and also got a letter from there.
     No dress parade on account of the inclemency of the weather also no drills.
     It is reported that these two Regiments are at last under sailing orders. I hope it is true for I am impatient to get to our destination and know what we are to do.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 29-Wednesday
     Very pleasant to day and quite warm very different from our weather at home. one can hardly realize that there is at the present time about 18 inches of snow on the ground there.
     We have to day our first Batt-allion drill this afternoon the first one since we arrived here and a very good one con-sidering the difficulties under which we have to labor.
     I hope we shall get sometime to our destination and know what we are here for and what authority we are to have to act under.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 28-Tuesday
     Wrote home again to day to Jane
     Weather fine, warm and quite pleasant.
     This morning had fine squad drills of our company under Sergeants and we overlooked it ourselves. drill on the beach where it is hard and good footing. the men grumble some but they will growl and in earnest to. I am afraid before they get through their job for there is no childs play about it. and they will find thus the work must be done & without gruwling. and more than that they will find that rations will be short sometimes and not very good at times. [Illustration]

The following was written under the heading of January 23rd, though in error and should have been placed with the above entry on January 28th.

     January 23-Thursday
     Weather very pleasant to day.
     This morning we had a fine drill by squads this afternoon. repeated the dose by Company on the beach.
     Wrote a letter to Jane this morn and should like very much to get one from her. for I would like to hear from her everyday. but I must fain satisfied myself with what I recieve, though since I have arrived here I have got a very liberal quantity but one is never satisfied. especially when away from all his friends, and it makes one feel well to read a letter although it may even be and old one.
     The above is a mistake. I mistook the date on my wall Memorandam Book. I took 28 for 23rd . Weather has cleared up. Lieut. Wiegel was here to day. had the first drill since we landed. Capt. Shipley is Officer of the day. I wrote to Jane this morning. [Illustration – Ship Island Mar. 1st ‘61]

Friday, January 27, 2012

January 27, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 27-Monday
     Warm and pleasant day
     Capt Shipley and myself went down to Fortress Monroe and got Charly. and went up to Newport News. Saw Dr. Bradley and his wife on board the boat. he tells me he is at the present time boarding on the boat and that he is done at Newport News. and is going to Fortress Monroe. he is looking better than I have seem him since I have known him.
     I was much disappointed in the appearance of Newport News. it is now all log huts. the Reg’t there having gone into winter Quarters. Gen. Mansfield has the command there now. and Col Pierce the hero of the Bethel fight is in command of a Regiment. the place mounts a heavy Battery of 4 Guns which commands the River and they say there. they are capable of throwing a ball 6 miles. on the land side they have an embankment thrown up, and a moat some 10 feet deep all around it this is defended by Brass field pieces of from 10 to 24 [---] it looks as though the place could hold out against great odds.
     We returned to Fortress Monroe and took tea with Charly then started for our own Quarters. met Capt Brown of our regiment and Capt. Blake of N.Y. 99th went back to the Fort and called on Lt-Col Marshal of N.Y. tenth. and Capt. Cartwright. of Union Court Gaurd. had a fine time. returned to Camp about 11 O’Clock at night.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     On Board Ship Constitution,
     Hampton Roads, Va., January 26, 1862.
     I have just come aboard to wash and change my clothes and find a leisure moment to write to you. It is a week to-morrow since we went into camp on the neck of land which connects the Fort with the main land. We have had a severe time. It rained constantly until within two days. The troops went ashore for exercise in the morning, and at noon the Colonel sent for the camp equipage. Every one was completely wet through and many lay outside their tents in the sand that night. All worked in the rain the next day, trying to get into a comfortable situation, and we have been doing so ever since. A great many of the Maine Regiment are sick; also some of our boys. I should think two hundred in all. I have worked very hard, providing rations for the men and sending over the camp equipage. The Colonel seems to like me. The tide came up so high last night that all the tents were struck and we went farther up in to the main land, to the woods. A part of the men camped in a graveyard.
     I have made an application for a transfer. The Colonel and Captain signed it and then sent it to headquarters. It was refused. An order came from Washington to grant no transfers from one department to another. The Captain then ordered me to my company. I saw him about it and thought of going to Washington to speak to the General, but he is expected here soon. Lieutenant Weigel is here and he says I shall come out all right. I hope so. I have received my two months' wages. The next time I write I shall know where I stand. I am well. Why haven't you written?


     After dinner. 

     Dr. Bradley is Surgeon for the contrabands at the Post. Colonel French and Miss Shipley have the measles; they caught them from the boys. I had some beans this morning which had been baked in the ground, and they were nice. W.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 26-Sunday
     Warm and pleasant this morning. this being our inspection day our program is as follows.
     First 9 A.M. formed a line on he beach for inspection by Col. French and Major Paine then marched down by the Flank a short piece and attended to the reading of the Army Regulations as with Articles of War by Col. Major and adjutants. after this some sentences by Court Mar-tial at Fort Treble at Port-land, Maine in 17th Infantry and some very severe ones to. one I remember in par-ticular the man loses his pay through his term of service except enough to pay the washer woman & shelter. besides 3 months solitary confinement, and hard labor the balance of the period left him from his enlistment.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 25, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 25-Saturday
     Clear of towards morning very pleasant and quite warm we hear that in Massachusetts there is from 18 inches to two foot of snow. that is much different from what we are getting here from the weather seems more like April.
     Brought back our tents and once more pitched our encampment on the beach how long it will be before we are obliged to leave I do not know but probably when there come another storm. [Illustration – Ship Island Mar. 3st ‘61]

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Saturday, January 25, 1862
     Struck our tents and went back
     To our camp again with everything

     In confusion.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 24, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 24-Friday
     The hardest storm I think that I ever saw. Rain & Blow almost a hurricane Brent Johnson and myself went down to the Fortress. Charly urged us to stop over night but I told Captain I should come back. and we done in had to wade in water almost over my Boots in some places found some of our tents gone and find out on arriving that we were ordered to move by the Col. for fear the point would be overflowed our tents were pitched in the Soldiers burial ground and the men used grass for pillows but did not many of them find it out untill next morning.
     Captain and I staid down in our tent and run the risk. did not strike on the
Cooks tent went to sleep and awaited the results.
     Got a letter from home this morning from my wife.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Friday 24
     A Strong day with high winds
     And very cold.  the tide coming
     In higher than common.
     We expect to have to move
     Had to strike tents and pact [sic]
     For hills.  we struck tents in
     Woods & in uneasy they was
     Had a hard disagreable cold

     Night of it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Steamer Constitution

Image available at: Sons of the South

     Transporting the 30th Massachusetts from Boston to the South for war should have been a fairly straightforward operation.  A number of other units that would ultimately be sent to the same area where the 30th would end up simply employed civilian forms of transportation such as steamships hired for use by the government.  An example of how the process should have worked out can be seen with the transportation of the 9th Connecticut Infantry on board the Steamship "Constitution" (depicted in the image above) on November 21, 1861.
The commander of the ship itself was Capt. Fuller, a veteran of the wave, and some 50 years of age. It was stated that the government was paying $2,000 per day for the use of the Constitution. (1)
      A description of the sailing accompanied the above image in the December 7, 1861 issue of Harper's Weekly.


WE publish on page 780 an illustration of the EMBARKATION OF THE TWENTY-SIXTH MASSACHUSETTS AND NINTH CONNECTICUT REGIMENTS ON BOARD THE STEAMER "CONSTITUTION," which is to sail shortly for a Southern point, to land an expedition to be commanded by General Butler. A correspondent of the Herald thus described the arrival of the Constitution at Boston :

The expected steamer Constitution arrived at half past ten this morning, and as she rounded up to the end of Long Wharf an immense concourse of people gazed in admiration at her perfect model and the beauty of her lines. She reached this port last night, but anchored off the lower light until morning.

She made the trip from New York in twenty-nine hours and ten minutes, and so thoroughly did she work that her engines were never stopped from the moment she started until she anchored at Boston. This, in a new ship, is almost unprecedented. She is the largest ship ever built on this continent, and the largest wooden steamer in the world; but she hardly rolled at all, although it blew a perfect gale during the whole of her passage.

It is stated that her capacities will be severely tested in carrying three thousand soldiers, but I am assured by Mr. Culver, who was the assistant superintendent in building her, that she can carry that number with ease and comfort. She is of 3500 tons burden. (2)
     The November 16th edition of The New York Times offers yet another description of the Constitution.
The new ocean steamship constitution, which has just been completed for the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and intended for the passenger traffic between Panama and San Francisco, leaves to-day at noon, for Boston, from her anchorage opposite Canal-street. She has been chartered by Gen. BUTLER to convey a portion of his Division from Boston to some, as yet, unknown point on the Southern Coast. Her great capacity and, at the same time, her moderate draft of water when loaded, render her one of the most desirable steamers afloat for transport service. She will probably accommodate comfortably more passengers than any ship of equal tonnage which has ever been constructed in this country. By the use of her Sewell's condenser -- a patent arrangement -- over 30,000 gallons of fresh water daily can be made from salt water while lying in port. Besides her wheel condenser, site has a Normanby apparatus of large condensing capacity. Her tanks hold over 20,000 gallons. The ship is 350 feet in length, over all, 45 feet breadth of beam, not including paddle-boxes; 32 feet depth of hold and 40 feet deep from upper deck. Her engines were put in at the Novelty Works, under the supervision of Mr. EVERETT, and is a master-piece of work. The walking-beam weighs 30 tons. The cylinder is 105 inches in diameter, and stroke of piston 12 feet. Diameter of air-pump 4 feet 10 inches. Stroke, 6 feet. Diameter of circulating pump 4 feet 2 inches, stroke 4 feet 9 inches. She has 4 main boilers of 32 feet length and 13 feet 3 inches in diameter. There are also 4 single return boilers of 40 inches diameter, and one auxiliary boiler to drive the donkey-engine, giving her very great boiler capacity. The diameter of shaft is 23 inches, and diameter of paddle-wheels 40 feet out-side of buckets. She is in command of Capt. FLETCHER, one of the most experienced and popular of commanders, her engineer being Mr. VANDERBILT, long and favorably known in ocean steamship service. During the trial trip on Thursday the machinery worked with the greatest case, and gave entire satisfaction. She attained 14 revolutions with 20 pounds of steam. The Constitution was built by WM. H. WEBB. from models and plans by Capt. SKIDDY, who superintended her construction from the laying of the keel to her launching, assisted by Capt. ALLEN MCLANE. (3)

     For the 30th and units joining it on board the Constitution the situation should have been a straightforward passage just as the 9th had encountered.  At the time when the 30th prepared to leave Boston it was fairly large regiment, and its men did not yet know that they would be met by several delays...both before and after they actually left the city.

Jan. 2, it went on board "The Constitution" at Boston; sailed on the 13th, and arrived at Fortress Monroe on the 16th, with 926 men and 25 officers, under command of Acting Lieut.-Col. Jonas H. French. On the 20th, it disembarked, and went into camp. On the 2d of February, it re-embarked, sailed on the 6th, and arrived at Ship Island on the 12th of February. Hero it went into camp, and, on the 9th of March, was joined by Company K, Capt. Cook, with 96 men. (4)
      The delays that kept the Constitution and the 30th from sailing and later being held over at Fortress Monroe were caused largely by a disagreement between Gov. Andrew of Massachusetts and General Ben Butler who raised the Division to which the Eastern Bay State Regiment (later 30th Massachusetts) belonged.  The disagreement lay essentially in Gov. Andrew not believing that General Butler had the proper authority to raise regiments within his own state (more will be written on this topic in a future post).  Before this ship could depart from Boston the issue was beginning to make its way from a military issue to one being covered by the civilian press.  A post from the Boston Post (January 12, 1861) reprinted two days later in The New York Times gave some details on the surrounding events.
Published: January 14, 1862
From the Boston Post, Jan. 12.

Considerable public excitement was caused on Friday and Saturday by the unpleasant rumors, too freely circulated, relative to Gen. BUTLER's expedition, and by the shirting character of the programme announced. It was allowed that a temporary delay had occurred in Die sailing of the Constitution, and that measures had been taken to disembark the two regiments of infantry and one company of artillery that had been aboard of her for a week,but beyond these facts all was mystery. The probability that the Government had an idea of changing the destination of the troops from Ship Island to some more important point, and the decided folly of keeping 2,500 men cooped up aboard a steamship in our harbor at an expense of $2,500 per day, strengthened the belief that the delay was temporary only, and that, the "Butler Expedition" was by no means "to be broken up."

In accordance with the dispatch ordering the Maine Regiment to Camp Chase and the Eastern Bay State to Fort Independence, measures were taken to unload the great ship and disembark her troop, in order to give her up at the end of a month, allowing but about Six days' time. A portion of Col. FRENCH's regiment, comprising several companies, were accordingly sent down to the fort by a tugboat Saturday, with a load of camp equipage, provisions, &c., and another was all ready to go, when an order was received, late in the afternoon, countermanding the former, and ordering the departure of the troops immediately. The troops and munitions were brought back from the Fort, and those who had a furlough till Monday had it remanded, indicating that "a movement was to be expected" at once. The Sunday Herald said: "Meanwhile Gen. BUTLER was under stood to have started for Washington, Gov. ANDREW was booked for the same pilgrimage, while Col. SREPLKY had gone to Lowell to await' his regiment. Telegrams were cent the pilgrims to return," &c., &c. The steamer was to have sailed yesterday, but her departure was postponed until this morning on account of the storm. It is stated that Gen. BUTLER will first go to Washington, and then join the troops at Forties Monroe.

The following are the rosters of the regiments aboard the Constitution:

Lieutenant-Colonel, JONAS H. FRENCH, Boston; Adjutant. Charles A.R Drimon, Salem; Surgeon, Charles W. Moore, Boston; Assistant Surgeon, A.F Halt; Quartemaster, John M.G. Parker, Lowell; Sergeant-Major, Selden H. Loring, Marlborough; Commissary-Sergeant, H.W. Fay, Boston; Quarter-master-Sergeant, H.W. Howe, Lowell; Hospital Steward, Joseph Davis, West Medford.

Company A -- Captain, H.C. Welles, Cambridge; First Lieutenant, W. Greene Howe, Cambridge; Second Lieutenant. C.F. Whitcomb, Cambridge. Company B -- Captain. C. Blanchard, Lowell; First Lieutenant, James Parson, Lowell; Second Lieutenant, E.A. Fiske, Lowell. Company C -- Captain, S.D. Shipley, Lowell; First Lieutenant, Wm. F. Lovrien, Lowell; Second Lieutenant, R.A. Elliot, Lowell. Company D -- Captain, Marsh A. Ferirs. Boston; First Lieutenant, B.P. Fox, Boston; Second Lieutenant, N.R. Reed, Lowell. Company E -- Captain, Robert B. Brown, Boston; First Lieutenant, John Kinneor, Boston; Second Lieutenant, W.H. Gardner, Boston. Company F -- Captain, T.A. Crowley, Lowell; First Lieutenant, Burt Johnson, Lowell; Second lieutenant, A.H. Fuller, Boston. Company G -- Capt, D.S. Yeaton, Lawrence; First Lieutenant, F.H. Whiltier, Lawrence; Second Lieutenant, F.M, Norcross, Lowell, Company H -- Captain, John A. Nelson, Hartford, Conn.; First Lieutenant, Henry Finnegas, Boston; Second Lieutenant, Wm. B, Emerson. Company I (Fire Zouaves) -- Captain, Eugene Kelty, Boston; First Lieutenant, Geo. Barker, New-beryport; Second Lieutenant, Jas. W. Claiborne, Philadelphia, Penn.

Attached to this regiment by order from Head-Quarters:

First Division -- Captain, S. Tyler Reed; First Lieutenant, Jno. Cowen; Second Lieutenant, Benj. Pickman, Salem.

Second Division -- Captain, James M. Magee; First Lieutenan, A.G. Bowies; Second Lieutenant, P.D. Allen, Salem.

Captain, H.A. Dunvage; First Lieutenant, Solon A. Perkins; Second Lieutenant, E.E.H. Sturtivant.

Colonel, GEORGE F. SHEPLEY, Portland; Lieutenant-Colonel, William K. Kimball, Paris; Major, D.R. Hastings, Lovell; Quartermaster, H.N. Jose, Portland; Adjutant, Edwin Lesley, Limerick, Assistant Surgeon, J.H. Thompson, Orono; Chaplain, Joseph Colby, Gorham; Sergeant-Major, John W. Dana, Portland; Quartermaster-Sergeant, Charles D. Webb, Portland; Hospital Steward, Sargent P. Coe, Portland.

Co. A -- Captain, Gideon A. Hastings, Bethel; First Lieutenant, Elbridge G. Bolton, Portland; Second Lieutenant, E. Goddard, Rumford. Co. B -- Captain, Geo. H. Chadwell, Portland; First Lieutenant, Chas. F. Little, Portland; Second Lieutenant, S. Bolivar Wiggin, Portland. Co. C -- Captain, Chas, C.G. Thornton, Scarboro'; First Lieutenant, Wm. W. Deane, Portland; Second Lieutenant, Horatio Right, Scarboro'. Co. D -- Captain, Elisha Winter, Dixfield; First Lieutenant, Henry E. Waldron, Pern; Second Lieutenant, Christopher C, Richardson, Dixfield. Co. E -- Captain, Enoch Knight, Bridgton; First Lieutenant, Horace Eastman, Lovell; Second Lieutenant, H.S. Lowell, Windham. Co. F -- Captain, Seth C. Farrington, Fryeburg; First Lieutenant. Abbot Cram, Orono; Second Lieutenant, Edward H.B. Wilson, Orono. Co. G -- Captain, Moses M. Robinson, Portland; First Lieutenant, S.B. Packard, Auburn; Second Lieutenant, Wm. B. Skillin, Yarmouth. Co. H -- Captain, John F. Appleton, Bangor; First Lieutenant, D.M. Phillips, Gorham: second Lieutenant, George Webster, Bangor. Co. I -- Captain, M.R. Fessenden, Portland; First Lieutenant, S.F. Thompson, Bangor; Second Lieutenant, Coombs, Bangor. Co. K -- Captain, Geo. Washburn, Calais: First Lieutenant. James S. Cleaves, Calais; Second Lieutenant, Samuel M. Eaton, Gorham. (5)

(1) History of The Ninth Regiment C.V. (Chap. 3, p. 54).
(2) Harper's Weekly (Dec. 7 1861)
(3) The New York Times (November 16, 1861)
(4) Massachusetts in the rebellion: a record of the historical position of the commonwealth, and the services of the leading statesmen, the military, the colleges, and the people, in the civil war of 1861-65. (p335)
(5) The New York Times (January 14, 1861)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 22, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 22-Wednesday
     Still stormy and we all wet through and have been since we landed it seems as though it never would cease.
     Nothing doing to day except repitching our tents. the first time we have had an opportunity to do it since we landed. to day our pins have come ashore Stoves and funnels.
     Got a letter from my wife giving the particulars death. I wish I had have known it before we left Boston. I would have gone up at any rate. and have stopped for a day or two. and have regained the Regiments at this place.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Wednesday, January 22, 1862
     We dont have very hard times
     Here we cannot drill much
     On account of the sand.  this
     Is a great place for sudden
     Showers or[?] thunder & Lighting

     & Very high winds.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 21, 1861

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 21-Tuesday
     Storm this morning does not seem to have abated any. everybody is sick and cross. we have our encamp-ment staked out and have made some vain endeavors to strike it or pitch it I should say. but this morning it is no easy kind of a job for it is nothing but sand and very deep and we find some difficulty in making pins hold at all. Charly was up a few minutes this morning, looking same as ever good natured and easy.
     The Officers went on board Con-stitution for our dinners but it is more than they are worth at least to me to go after them and I think I shall live here on company rations rather walk so far through the sand for them for it is very tiresome and what is good enough for the men is good enough for me.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Tuesday 21
     All clear again.  what a look-
     ing lot everything mixed
     Up in confussion.  we have
     Got all right at least There is
     A large lot of negroes here who
     Once were slaves there is some
     Smart wide awake ones and some
     Regular drones among them
     There is a chance to buy cake pies
     Sweet potatoes and other things

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 20, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
     January 20, 1862.
     Disembarked and lay round on the neck of land which runs back from the fortress. In the meantime I tried to issue stores and tents to make the boys comfortable. High tide drove us back into a graveyard. General Wool won't recognize us, so we must get along until General Butler and Governor Andrew settle their trouble in regard to our organization and appointment of officers.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 20-Monday
     Pleasant and quite warm this morning this morning we disembarked or rather were let out of prison on to the beach for a sunning as the Colonels says. afternoon the order came for us to go and get our tents and Camp Equipage we commenced getting them at about 3 P.M. about 5 P.M. then suddenly came up a very severe Thunder Shower. and as a consequence we are all well wet through to our skin and our best uniforms wet through. dark over taking us before our tents got along and then no pins with them it began to look rather hard, when we hit upon the expedient of putting them up and using our bayonets for pins. after working for some time we suceeded in getting up 5 and turned in all wet as we were for a little sleep about 12 at night some rice and sugar came from our prison and was dealt out to the men. the first thing they have had since morn-ing except a little hard bread they had brought in there haversacks. Adjutant Dimon slept with us in our Quarters and, no distinction seemed to be made between Officers and privates for this night for all were glad enough for any kind of shelter.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Monday 20
     A fine morn we got orders
     To go ashore.  the men all aboard[?]
     The jump.  went ashore in
     Small steamer.  pitched our
     Tents to the right of the fort
     It began to rain and thunder
     And lightning before we got
     Them up.  we got wet to the
     Skin.  what a good bath is the sea

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 19-Sunday
     Morning very pleasant but I find any quantity of mind if this is the sacred soil of old Virginny as the niggs say. I think the soil of Massachusetts is still more sacred.
     Baked Beans and Oysters was my breakfast this morning at Brother Charleys. then went down to the Hygea Hotel and saw Mrs Bent. she was very glad to see me. gave me a bottle of Brandy & Peaches which look quite nice and no doubt they are so. I went on board about noon after having a very hard time to do so. for I could get no boat but at last went on board with Col Shepley. Kinnear also was with me.
     We saw a horrid sight on our way to the Wharf or rather on the Wharf. a team which had been drawing cannon to the wharf on the running gear of a heavy wagon. drawn by 4 horses one of the axles broke down and the horses started on a gallop up the Wharf. we had to jump in order to save our own lives. the man all this time hanging on with his hands around the pole. and still holding the reins. he ran some way, and was at last stopped by a Zouaves of the N. York 16th the man was not killed, but very badly hurt. the hair all worn from his head where it had come in contact with the mud. he was taken up and carried off. and we have heard no more from him.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Sunday, January 19, 1862
     Fine again not ashore yet
     The men are quite uneasy
     They want to go ashore and
     Have a wash.  we are getting
     Rather dirty with more
     Passengers than we started
     With by Thousands lively &
     Scratching times.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     Fortress Monroe, Va., January 18, 1862.
     ...No doubt you are anxious to hear from Warren, accordingly I will write. We are still on board, waiting for orders. The more I see of this, the greater humbug I think it is. A fortnight has passed since we came aboard. The men and the officers are discontented. Last night, the men broke open the ship's stores and got liquor, a row followed, several were put in irons, one or two injured. I went ashore Friday and stayed all day; enjoyed myself finely. Ate a hearty dinner of baked beans with the boys. Everything about the Fort looked natural. The boys are all well, but wish to get away from the Fort. The company has been changed to a Flying Artillery Corps. They are to have six rifled pieces, drawn by horses, and will go into the field next spring. It will take some time to learn the drill and obtain an outfit. The boys live "like fighting cocks " now. I suppose you have seen George Pray. He will be here in the morning. A flag of truce went up to Norfolk to-day. The report is that General Wool sent word to have all the women and children leave the place, which would lead one to suppose that an engagement is to take place soon. Some think that Burnside's expedition has gone there by way of Hatteras, and our war vessels are to go down Elizabeth River; but it is impossible to tell. Our Major, Charles J. Paine, arrived from Washington to-day. Parker is no longer Quartermaster. G. C. Easterbrook supersedes him. He is from Worcester, Mass. Parker feels well; he will probably get something as good, if not better. Captain P. A. Davis is attending to my transfer. Gus Ayling, of the 7th Battery, stayed aboard with me last night; he had an influential uncle in Boston, who helped him to his new position. We expect orders to sail every morning when the Baltimore boat arrives.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 18-Saturday
     Becoming very pleasant and quite warm.
     I went on shore to day. went to Charlys and had supper with him and Ann. also Mr. Briggs had a fine supper of fried oysters and Beef Steak. and although Charlys habitation is not according to our Northern ideas of a tenement or a house. but still it seemed at that time a home almost for it really seemed natural little Gus is as happy and merry as possible. I had have been fortunate enough to have got on shore yesterday I should have seen Georgette & Emma. I would certainly have liked very much to have met them.
     Went in and slept with Nell in bed. played serichre until quite late and had a fine time enjoying myself as well as I could anywhere away from home wife, friends and all a man has to care for. [Illustration]

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Saturday 18
     Rather Rough.  the same
     Old thing not landed yet.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17, 1862

2d. Lieut. Elliot:
     January 17-Friday
     To day we have had a large number visitors principally from the Richardson Light Infantry from Lowell, among the rest were Nell. Charly was on gaurd and could not come.
     I can not get on shore to day but shall try and do so tomorrow if possible for I want to see Charly and a number of the members of that company

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Friday 17
     Fine morn still abourd the
     Ship.  the [men?] are rather uneasy.

Monday, January 16, 2012

January 16, 1862

Fort Monroe 
Image Online at:
The Fort Monroe Authority
Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 16, 1862. Thursday.
     Weighed anchor at 7 o'clock and again made for the Fortress. We soon saw Cape Charles, then Cape Henry. All came on board to look around. Some of the officers fired at ducks. Lieutenant Norcross fired and a ball passed through his finger, but don't think he will lose it. A fleet appeared ahead of us which proved to be a lot of schooners belonging to the Burnside expedition, carrying horses and luggage. We gave and received cheers. We dropped anchor and the Colonels have gone ashore. Oh, I must go and see the boys. Later.—The Burnside expedition sailed two days since. It is thought it has gone to Pamlico Sound. All are now writing home, if I have time I shall write more. The Colonel has come aboard. We shall stop a day or two. Captain Davis and Lieutenant Fifleld came aboard and took dinner with us. The R. L. I. is to be changed into a Flying Artillery. Corporal Hartwell has gone North to recruit.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 16-Thursday
     Morning very pleasant weighed Anchor at 7 A.M. and sailed for Fortress Monroe. where we arrived at 11 ½ a.m. as we came in we passed the Pensacola. and a number of Men of War.
     As we came up to the Fortress the crew cheered us and we returned but not strictly in Man of War style.
     Briggs came on board and informed me that my wifes father died on Sunday. the day before we left Boston. Charley or Nell I have not as yet seen but shall no doubt before I leave here.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Thursday, January 16, 1862
     Made land Hampton Roads were [sic]
     Arrived opposite Fortress Monroe
     About 10 ock [sic].  dropt anchor and
     The Colonels went onshore, and
     See the commander of the fort.
     There is a large blockading
     Squadron here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 15, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 15-Wednesday
     On account of bad weather that is foggy and rainy. we were obliged to lay to and wait until daylight before proceeding on our voyage. there is not anything to write of interest but I find it rather monotonous being on the water and seeing nothing but the same things over and over again. but tomorrow we Shall arrive at Fortress Monroe tomorrow and there we shall have a change for a day or two.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Wednesday 15
     Another fine day but rather
     Rough.  this suits me first
     Rate.  the ship goes along
     Finely about 12 miles the

Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 14, 1862. Tuesday.
     Stormed all day. Quite monotonous. No land in sight. At night we came to a standstill, it was so foggy. There are heavy swells, we sail slowly, stop often. It cleared up a little at noon. Saw two sails on the port bow, land on the starboard, supposed to be Cape Charles. Made towards it, direction southwest. , It grows thick again. Stopped and cast anchor. We are about thirty miles from the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, anchored in eight fathoms (48 feet). It seems as if we might have been in, ere this, and owe the delay to the fact that twenty-five dollars per day is paid for the use of the steamer. I saw four whales, two passed on our starboard side, quite a sight. The Colonel continues sick. I am O. K.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 14-Tuesday
     Morning fair and pleasant really I have enjoyed our trip this far.
     Our boys are feeling the effects of Sea sickness in its much hideous forms. some of them have hardly left their bunks since starting from Boston but keep down in that hold where they are continually breathing that confined and impure air. when if they would come up on deck they would feel much better then they do now.
     Tomorrow we expect to make Fortress Monroe. and then I shall see lots of friends I suppose for there are a number of my acquaintances at that place especially in the Richardson Light Infantry.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Tuesday 14
     Out of sight of boston and the
     Islands.  a fine day.  some of
     The Boys begin to feel sea

Friday, January 13, 2012

January 13, 1862

Image Online at: 
The Virginia Historical Society
Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 13, 1862. Monday.
     We set sail at 7 o'clock a. m. Splendid morning. It took some time to get the bows round. As soon as she was headed toward the sea a salute was fired and every one was merry. A pilot went down the harbor with us, and when we were opposite Fort Warren a squad of soldiers gave us three cheers, which were responded to by all on deck. Very soon Neptune had some customers on their backs, and by noon half of the officers took their staterooms. Those who remained well had great sport playing tricks on the unfortunates. I have not been sick yet. At sundown we dropped anchor and remained there until 8 o'clock p. m., at the entrance of Martha's Vineyard Channel, to await high tide, as the water is too shallow for the steamer to pass at low water. 8 o'clock p. m.—We are now on our way again. Splendid evening. A music box, a fife, cards, reading and checkers are the amusements.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 13-Monday
     Weather fine this morning and we are to start on our voyage
     I without seeing my wife or any of my friends since I left home. and I suppose it will be a long time before I see them again.
     Along towards night I find some of the men already begin to feel the effects of the sea sickness. and I guess they will not improve any before we get to the end of our voyage.
     I hear we are to touch at Fortress Monroe. if this is so I shall have a chance to see the boys. I hope it will be so. [Illustration]

Corpl. B. B. Smith"
     Monday, January 13, 1862
     This morn got up steam and
     Left boston for ship island
     Or somewhere else we don't know
     Where.  we had a fine sail down
     By fort Warren and out to sea
     I do not feel seasick yet.
     This is a first rat [sic] ship.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 12, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt, Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 12, 1862. Sunday.
     Have been shipping our goods to Fort Independence. Three companies are aboard. At night an order came countermanding. What queer works! I shall be able to tell any box of ours as far as I can see it, we have tumbled them over so many times. It does not seem like Sunday; I should have forgotten it but for a notice given that there was to be preaching at 3.30 o'clock. I think we shall go to Fortress Monroe or Ship Island. By the way, I am twenty-one years old to-day. Oh, dear, I wish it was sixteen! I shall be an old man when the war is over, if I live. We expect to sail early to-morrow morning. Captain Paul R. George took dinner with us to-day. This will be my last until I arrive at my destination. I am as comfortable as I should be at home in the parlor. The fog is all that prevents us from sailing at this moment. Good bye.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 12-Sunday
     Still pleasant but quite cold returned on board the Constitution this morn about 10 O Clock. have had at least one nights rest. took my breakfast at Marstons in Cornhill.
     I have had no opportunity to see William or Walter Hart. since I have been here.
     Had services on board ship this afternoon by the main Chaplain. [Illustration]

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

January 11, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 11-Saturday
     Weather this morning pleasant but very cold
     I went on shore this evening to go to Lowell but missed the cars and have come to the conclusion that I will stop over night in Boston.
     Went to the Hotel and stopped over night should liked to have gone up to Lowell but am disappointed. and do not believe I shall have another opportunity. but shall take one if possible.
     It begins to grow monotonous this staying on Shipboard and not being able to get home when almost in sight of it and going away from ones home and friends for so long a time and per-haps for ever
     Recieved orders to disembark for Fort Independence this morn one Comp. D. went down in the Saxon and they came back for another load but the order has been counter manded. and they are to come back. When we sail for Fortress Monroe.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Saturday 11
     We had a fine sail down the
     Harbour to Fort Independence
     Which is a first rate place.  we
     Had just got settled when we
     Got orders to pack up and go
     Back to the ship again some
     Long faces and some laughing.
     Got back about dark.  had [just?]
     An excursion or picnic.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 10, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 10, 1862. Friday.
     Went ashore to get some cases of shoes, bought a pair of canvas shoes. General Butler came aboard and then went to Fort Independence. Returned for dinner. We are to go to the fort and await orders. A gunboat came alongside and I loaded our tents and stores on her, we move in the morning. So we have been fighting for the "Constitution" eight days and have gained "Independence!" Well, we must go where Uncle Sam sees fit to send us. News that the Burnside expedition has sailed. Expect a hard day's work to-morrow.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 10-Friday
     Another cold and wintiry day. I really think that that if we ever get into warm weather.
     Nothing new to write or say anything about this morning still in Boston Harbor now some 8 days. as long as the men should be allowed for their health to stay them but they must stay there untill they are ordered off.

Monday, January 9, 2012

January 9, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 9, 1862.
     Thursday. Nothing new. Two gunboats came up the harbor.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 9-Thursday
     No sailing orders as yet and I do not know what to think about it. it seems very strange that we can find out nothing or know nothing about our future course.
     We shall know sometime where we are and what we are doing. at least I hope so. Weather is very cold and still pleasant. [Illustration – double page]

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January 8, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 8, 1862.
     Wednesday. Went ashore and took a warm bath at the Hancock House. The English steamer sailed to-day; we fired a salute. Wrote Captain Davis, telling him to send money home and the folks would draw it from Treasurer Aid Association, Deacon Stickney, Treasurer. Pleasant day.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 8-Wednesday
     Still very cold and pleasant and but no such a thing as a sailing order has yet been recieved it is beginning to get very monotonous laying here doing nothing.
     There is nothing new to write or to say in fact we seem to be of no account to any body. [Illustration – double page]

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 7, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 7, 1862.
     Tuesday. Went ashore to see about my transfer from my company at Fort Monroe to the 30th Massachusetts Regiment. Lieutenant Weigel is to write to the Captain in reference to it. Called at the Normal School to see cousin Ellenette. Got back in time for dinner. An Indian squaw is on board; she is quite handsome, her husband is a Zouave soldier. We were obliged to handcuff a man for trying to desert. Rumor is, that we are going ashore at Fort Warren to await orders. I hope not. Some of the men were disposed to make trouble last night, but were quieted.

2d Lieut. Elliot:

     January 7-Tuesday
     Weather still continues very cold and no prospect of a change at present. if we should once start our men would feel better and be more contented but as it is there are vague insinuations about the authority by which they are holden. besides mur-murings about the State Aid this one thing alone has caused us more trouble than all the many Regiments in the field have had through their whole campaign. and I hope it may soon have an end or men are all Mass Volunteer as much as any the Reg’t that ever hailed from there.

Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 6, 1862.
     Monday. Have opened three bottles of ink, but some one has spirited them away, so use red this morning. Stormy, and the men are discontented. It seems strange that we don't move. It has become quite filthy below. Some complaint about quarters, so went down this morning and arranged them. The General is expected aboard to-day.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 6-Monday
     No very pleasant and cold still no sailing orders. when will they come. we are all anxiously waiting for them. 
     I have been waiting in hopes I could get home and see the folks once more but am afraid I shall have no opportunity I can get no furloughs for time long enough to leave Boston either too late for the cars, or have not time enough to go.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January 5, 1862

Long Wharf, Boston
Image at http://www.13thmass.org
Courtesy of the Boston Public Library
2d Lieut. Elliot:
     January 5-Sunday
     Still in Boston on board transport Constitution. no sailing orders as yet. men are grumbling about State Aid and being held illegally and all sort of stories. 
     Gov. Andrews has raised the deuce with our Regiment in fact we would have one of the best that ever left Massachusetts if they could have been used like men. But no we are treated by Massachusetts Executer as an illegally raised body of men with no rights or power and we Officers no commissions therefore no command over the men. but this it would not at the present time do to let be known. 
     General Butler says we shall have our commissions and we have recieved one months pay as Officers therefore I think we shall in the end come out right side up. for I have confidence and faith enough in his talent. and his authority in the present case. to be willing to follow his fortunes in this war. and I am agoing to if I do not get killed too soon. or die by sickness.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

January 4, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 4, 1862.
     Saturday, Went ashore this morning and stored my luggage on Long Wharf, as the Captain said no more could be put aboard, which order did not suit me very well; accordingly, I went to Captain George about it and made out to get two boxes, the most important, aboard. The rest will go on the next vessel. Mr. Stone, reporter for the Lowell Courier, came aboard to-night. He is going with us. A tug plies between us and the wharf. Had a splendid dinner today. Reading, singing, playing cards in the evening, smoking after meals, are the principal amusements just now. All are anxious to sail. Services took place in the saloon at 10.30 o'clock. Eev. Mr. Babbidge, of the 26th Massachusetts Regiment, made a few remarks. The text was from Genesis 16th chapter, the 13th verse: "Thou God seest me." The Chaplain of the 12th Maine assisted. There are a few ladies on board, Colonel Shepley's daughter and niece, and Colonel French's wife.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January 3, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     January 3,1862.
     Friday. Very cold last night. Went ashore to-day to see about the balance of the goods. Could not ascertain anything at the freight depot; accordingly went to Lowell and obtained information desired. Called at Mr. Brooke's office and bade the folks goodbye, then went home and took a farewell dinner, after which rode up to camp and saw Lieutenant Fiske on business matters. Took the 2.15 train for Boston, arriving on board at 6 p. m.

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 1862

Today we have selections from three men in the 30th:
Quartermaster Sergeant Henry Warren Howe,
2d Lieutenant Richard A. Elliot (Co. C),
& Corporal Bartholomew B. Smith (Co. A).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1, 1862

State Color (1st) of the 30th Massachusetts
Image Courtesy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
This will begin the first of our postings from diaries and letters, which will continue for the most part for the next several years to coincide with the service of the 30th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment throughout the war and into the beginning of the reconstruction period.  Today we have two sources that we will draw  from.  Given the different writers and methods of transcription, the formats of these entries may not match each other completely.