Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 28, 1862

Sketch from the 1862 Diary of Richard Elliot
the image and diary can be found online at:
2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 28-Friday
     A very warm I may add a hot day. the sun beat down upon us very hard. And we have had the hardest days work since we came here. some of our men are obliged to leave the ranks from the heat and fatigue.
     Our line was formed at 8 ½ A.M. for review and inspection the 26th Mass, 9th Connecticut, Maine 12th and last but not least 2nd or Eastern Bay State Regiment 1 Quadroon of Mounted Rifles on foot and Essex Battery of Mass. we marched in review at Quick time. and from thence to our Company parade ground were dismissed for about 10 minutes and then called into line line for muster and inspection Gen. Phelps called the names from the muster roll and then went through with the inspection our men were all properly accounted for and all but 2 present in line or Hospital. Captain was in his own Quarters and could not come out his health does not seem to improve any as yet.
     I today have written to Jane and have also sent a letter I wrote some 2 or 3 days since.
     Lieut and some of our men are building our cook house this afternoon.
     We to day hear that the N.H. 8 Regiments are on there way here and that George Ayer is in the Regiment as a 2nd Lieut. another old Phalanx.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Friday 28
     Fine day.  got up at 4 Ock and went
     To cleaning guns Brasses equipments
     And brushing up to lookin well
     As possible for general inspection
     By Genl. & Phelps.  took breakfast
     And fell into line it was very
     Hot and we had a hard march of
     Over 5 miles in the heat & sand
     The old Gen inspected all 4 of the
     Regts.  he appears like very nice
     ???.  the lighthouse was lightt
     Up to night for the first time
     Since their land was taken possession
     Of by us.  there was a member of
     Co. C buried yesterday it was a very
     Impressive sight.  there is a number
     Sick yet in the hospital the nicagura
     sails for Key west & N York tomorrow

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 27, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 27-Wednesday
     Weather this morning very warm and muggy. last night a little after midnight we had the most severe thunder showers I ever saw it seemed like very like the rapid and heavy discharges of a large body of artillery. Rained tremendously it seemed like pouring water upon our tents.
     The Undaunted is to day discharge ing her cargo of horses. which arrived in excellent condition 130 horses she started with and lost only 4 on her voyage and then by disease. The Colonels is in very fine condition. A.T. Murry arrived in the ship.
     But in command on Battalion drill this afternoon. Bill got home from the woods this afternoon and brought the balance of his lumber.
     Eastman seems a little better Capt about the same. I just percieve that I have made a mistake this days memoranda. Should be for Wednesday February 26th instead of today.
     Our new uniform pants have been delivered to day. I have receipted for a pair from the Quartermaster for myself to day they are very pretty.
     No school this evening on account of our muster rolls not being finished. The condemed things are more trouble to us than all the money to be recieved on them will pay for.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Thursday, February 27, 1862
     Fine again.  they have got the horses
     All onshore.  they are in good order
     After a 21 days passage.  they are
     Building the wharfs out further
     So that large ships can come up
     And unload.these is a great deal
     Of bussness of all kinds going on
     Here.  tomorrow is general
     Inspection for the whole brigade

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 26, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 26-Thursday
     Weather this morning very warm & quite pleasant.
     Last night I sat up until ½ past 12 O Clock making out our pay rolls and have not get them finished yet tomorrow is our muster day and they must be finished at all events.
     Today has been a sad day with us in our company for the first death has occurred in our company. Daniel C. Eastman died this morning and at 4 O Clock P.M. we buried him under arms a soldiers life not a soldiers death he died of Typhoid fever and has been a very sick man for some time past. The 26th Regiment Band played us to the burial place. 2 horses and a wagon running gear served as a hearse. An escort of 8 men and Corp. Thos. England escorted the procession to the grave and fired 8 blank Cartridges were fired over his grave our company marched by the Flank as mourners Officers in the rear. Lieut L. & myself were alone from our Company but Lieuts Johnson & Fuller of Comp F. accompanied us in our solem mission.
     The afternoon and evening was devoted by the Company to cleaning up Equipment and getting ready for inspection and muster tomorrow.
     Capt Shipley seems no better & the Doctor does not seem to know what his trouble is any more than a boy three years old would of the same thing.
     This evening we were called into the Colonels tent and some free hints about our tomorrow labors given us for our benefit and the appearance of the Reg’t.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Wednesday 26
     Another fine morn after on[e?] of the
     Most terrific thunder storms i ever
     Knew.  my hand lame yet and no drill
     The ship undaunted[?] Capt[?] Elliott
     Arrived with horses i went and see
     Them landed it was done by hoisting
     Them over the side of the ship in
     A sling and swimming them on
     Shore.  The captain of a brig got a
     Duckling[?] this PM.  it is very hot

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 25, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 25-Tuesday
     Lieut and his gang have gone back into the woods and are to finish up their work to day and I hope we shall have a cook house that will pay for the work.
     The undaunted a transport from Boston arrived here this noon with horses and com-missary stores, she has no mail on board I hear. I have finished my letter and am going to send it by way of New York tomorrow. I hope I shall get something from home soon for I am getting impatient to hear from there.
     Our payrolls are as yet unfinished and I believe we are to have it decided to night how they shall be. Major Watson does not want to pay from enrollment but it is our due and we must have it from some source.
     Our school still defered another night.
     Today for the first time have had command of our Company in Battalion drill, and had fine drill and enjoyed it very much. our drill circuited off from line into column and all the movements embraced between, such as breaking form right and left, to front and rear, right about, and into line wheel.
     Eastman to day seem a little more comfortable. to day some hope of his recovery. Capt still remains about the same. My Rheumatism is better.
     Weather has been fine all day warm but now at evening there is a very dense fog and it is quite cool in fact very chilly.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Tuesday 25
     A fine morn.  have got a lame
     Hand and cannot drill 1 of our
     Men shot a beef today in the
     Woods at the head of the island and
     We had soup for dinner went over
     And saw uncle Ben and got some
     Doughnuts a ship & brigg got in to
     Day with provisions for the army
     A poor Devil shot his finger off this
     AM. got our pants & canteens today.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 24, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 24-Monday
     Warm and pleasant. Lieut and his party have gone, went of at 7 O Clock.
     A man from Camp has shot of one of his fingers this morn and now while I am writing I can hear him making a terrible noise while it is being am-putated.
     Captain is no better and I am now in command while Bill is away. in the woods cutting timber for a cook house.
     I was up to Gen. Phelps getting some information about our pay rolls. but it seems to be a very complicated affair and I do not know nor can form no idea how it will terminate.
     Eastman is no better do not think he will live but a short time longer. have to furnish watchers for him every night. he has been a very sick man Typhoid Fever. has been sick since we arrived at Fort Monroe first with measles now with this vile disease.
     Lieut Lovrien towed down one raft of logs to night and goes back in morning for more.
     Captain does not seem any better and I have a slight touch of Rheumatisn in my limbs to night but think I shall work it of soon.
     No school this evening but our time is to be devoted to the making out of samples of master rolls for Gen. Phelps inspection.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Monday, February 24, 1862
     Another fine morn i went and got
     A few shells on the beach we all enjoy
     Ourselves very well we have 3 drills a
     Day of 1 hour each.  it is a hard place
     To drill in on account of the sand
     We are all quite black i am in tip
     Top spirit but should like to hear
     From home but must have
     Patience.  O Lord[?] yes.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 23, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 23-Sunday
     A very fine day one of the best since we have been on the Island.
     Had services to day by our Chaplain. Dr. Cleavland a very fine discourse.
     I took the Company out on Line. Leut Lovrien is getting ready to go up in the woods to cut timber for a log home for a cook house. he has got a large life boat and a waggon cover which John Ives & Pete Butterfield have rigged into a sail. takes with him provisions for 3 days.
     The Rhode Island has arrived and brings a report that Burnside has taken the navy yard at Norfolk, but we do not put much dependence on these reports that have been brought here for the last 2 or 4 days. [Illustration]

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Sunday 23
     A fine morn no work today
     But inspection after that i
     Went over and saw[?] Uncle Ben he
     And i got some sheals on the
     Beach.  the new london brought
     In another prize and started
     After some other shes caut a distear[?]
     Had divine service this PM.
     By our chaplain his name is
     Cleaveland from lowell a fine man
     See a large fire across the river
     This has been a hot day but we have
     Cool evenings & heavy dews which
     Wet our tents through like rain.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 22, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     Camp Thompson, Ship Island, February 22,1862.
     I have an opportunity to write. I am now in excellent health and live like a king. My mess comes handy, we have a boy to cook. The New London brought in ten sloops which were all oystermen, all loaded, they looked queerly enough, tugging them along. I went out and bought a barrel of them and had a stew, gratis, for dinner. Chaplain Cleaveland has arrived. We are building a large building, fifteen
feet by twenty, for the Quartermaster's stores. We heard of a great victory gained by Burnside, — three thousand prisoners — also of another in Kentucky. A gunboat has captured a steamer loaded with cotton, named the Magnolia. The engineer tried to blow her up and was scalded to death.

Yours until the next,

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 22-Saturday
     Weather in morning very warm and pleasant. Afternoon showery and quite cool.
     This is the anniversary of Washingtons birth day. we celebrate by having salute and all 4 Regiments drawn up in Regimintal line music playing Hail Columbia & Star Spangled Banner. Troops marching to their company Quarters while the music is playing Yankee Doodle.
     Dr. Cleavland from Lowell, our Chaplain arrived on the Saxon yesterday. I met him today and he is looking hearty.
     I went down to the Fort & saw Gen. Skerry and passed an hour very pleasantly. thought I must celebrate so I went into Reeds and bought a little of Champagne Cider.
     No drills to day since morning one hour from 8 to 9 company drill. formed in line while firing a salute of 34 Guns from the Fort.
     Those steamers prizes were loaded with Oysters. Today we got 2 bags of the oysters and they were indeed a treat. Though it was hard work opening them, with an old knife.
     Bill got 2 hachets, an axe, 150 foot of rope and some few other things

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Saturday 22
     Washingtons birth day and a fine
     Morning good news from our
     Army in the west only one drill
     Today with a regimental parade
     And 33 guns in honor of the day
     A large Bark in sight this AM.
     Our men all being washing and
     Ironing.  our captain and a guard
     Of men went and got a lot of
     Oysters from one of the prizes
     And we had quite a good time
     With them they tasted better
     Than the oysters we have at home.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 21, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 21-Friday
     Weather very pleasant and warm almost a June morning at home.
     7 A.M. New London in sight with 8 or 9 small vessels in tow the story is this, the Captain ran into a small port and sent his men out in small boats and took these small vessells. he had only 8 men left on his crew, when 2 rebel steamers hove in sight and took after him, he run untill thought he should lose his men and prizes to. so he turned and chased them. they took to their heels, in turn after he had chased them out of sight he returned and took possessions of his prizes and brought them into this port.
     The name of the vessel taken in yesterday instead of Galveston was Magnolia it seems the engineer undertook to blow her up and was killed, and one of the mates, the Captain is also dead. all three were buried here yesterday.
     The Saxon arrived here this morn with provisions. she returns tomorrow. I have written to Wife and sent by her.
     Gunboat arrived here with stirring rumors. a great fight in Kentucky a large numbers of prisoners & a decided victory. Also Burnside has taken Roanoke Island and some 5,000 prisoners and is marching on Norfolk, meeting with great success.
     They also say that Manassas has been evacuated by the Rebels in order to regain Kentucky. All this comes through Rebel sources.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Friday, February 21, 1862
     A fine morn the steamer new
     London come in this AM with
     11 small craft she had taken as
     Prizes the Gun Boat Saxton come
     In about 10 Ock she brought a
     Large mail some of our men
     Has letters from home but there
     Was none for me i wrote a
     Letter for ??? to send by the axon[?]

Monday, February 20, 2012

February 20, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 20-Thursday
     Weather in the morning rather cold and windy at about noon it grew warmer and quite pleasant, thus we have one hour storming violently the next hot enough to roast a person alive.
     We drew this morning our first ration of soft bread which was very acceptable to our men I find for hard bread they have become heartily sick of seeing.
     Drill in morning from 8 to 9 in manual.
     Today we have taken to repitch our tent and floor it over, we have made of boards a circle about 2/3 of the size and have succeeded in getting bricks enough to fill the balance. and whole new bricks the Island seems to be full of them. probably brought here by the rebels and buried when they found they were to lose possession of it.
     The South Carolina came in this P.M. towing the Galveston loaded with Cotton if rumor is true. it seem the Galveston is one of the fastest vessels own by the so called Southern Confederacy and runs or did run from Mobile to New Orleans but this time she was caught by a boat much slower than herself it seems she had no steam on when taken.
     5 O Clock P.M. the Pensacola has at last arrived. she did not lose her guns as was reported but had them taken off in some small vessels that came from the shore she has the mail on board.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Thursday 20
     A fine morn but rather cool a
     Fire in the tent very comfortable
     Went over to see the battery boys
     Had a job blacksmith work for
     The cook the paymaster arrived
     Yesterday and we expect some
     Money soon had white bread this
     Morning.  2 Large gun boats come
     In this morn one in tow of the
     Other.  report says she is a prize loaded
     With amunition taken by the colorado
     And that Enginer in trying to
     Blow her up got scalded so that
     He died and will be buried here
     Tomorrow.  theirs a steam frigate
     In sight supposed to be the

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 19, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 19-Wednesday
     Weather very warm & muggy. a kind of an August day in Massachusetts.
     Gunboat San-de-lago de luba. Arrived —
     Our drill to day is in the facings and marching without arms school lesson for tonight is on the manual.
     Sudden change. shower and has grown suddenly very cold. a man is not comfort-able with an overcoat on. wind seems to blow right through our clothes.
     Quartermaster Webb got injured badly this P.M. a barrel of sugar was being rolled from on board the Lewis. the men lost their hold and it rolled on to his legs. and gave him a very severe sprain. [Illustration]

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Wednesday 19
     A fine morning.  my 42d birthday
     I put my knapsack on and reported
     At head quarters and was sent back
     Cleared.  had a heavy shower this
     Afternoon.  not any duty today
     An officer in the 2d regt. got
     Hurt to day by a barrell of beef
     Rolling on his leg.  the constitution
     Sailed yesterday with the mails for
     Home.  the N Gordon[?] sailed on an
     Excursion this PM.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 18, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 18-Tuesday
     In fatigue & Police duty with the whole Company to day. our first duty was leveling up the encampment and filling holes. 2nd getting a requisition of lumber 6400 feet of boards. and 1400 “ of old lumber to build Quartermaster store house. bringing these boards from wharf to camp on our mens shoulders. 3rd pitching tents for Colonel & Major lugging stores for commissary.
     The Conant boys out with knap-sacks fully equipped for Shirks drill for not turning out at roll call.
     Gun boat arrived to night with Paymaster Watson and his company of money deliverers on board. they report the Pensacola run aground on Florida reefs where she lay some 7 or days, stove a hole in her bottom. and they were com-pelled to throw over her guns and everything of any weight in order to get her off.
     By order of Col French the Officers of E.B.S. Reg’t. (of nobodys any without any authority or legal right or in other words the unorganized mob from Massachusetts) attend School for the instruction of said Officers. Lesson to night on the manual of arms as far as Aim. had quite a variety of ways for the manual, not laid down in Hardee

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Tuesday, February 18, 1862
     Still rainy.  just come off
     Guard duty.  next 24 hours
     Nothing but police duty and dress
     Parade went up to the sutlers
     And when i came back was checked
     By sargeant.  Knapsack drill for
     The first time tomorrow.

Friday, February 17, 2012

February 17, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 17-Monday
     Relieved at 10 A.M. Rained in torrents and look as though it had just commenced it has stormed every day since we arrived except the one we landed.
     3 Rangers deserted last night in a small boat, belonging to the Constitution it is supposed they have gone over to the rebels, one of them is a nephew of Jeff Davis.
     Two men transferred to our company from Company B. names McIntire & Bailey
     Lieut Lovrien getting much better he went up on the beach and with a squad of men and got some logs for fire wood.
     The carpenters have gone on board the Constitution but she has no appearance of sailing as yet.
     The English Steamer has started for New York, 6 P.M. the weather so rough she put back to port.
     The 2nd Lieut of the Essex Battery has resigned he is a Frenchman. there seems to be a considerable dis-satisfaction among the officers stationed here.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Monday 17
     Storming yet our company
     Has to do guard duty to day
     This is the rainy season
     Should think we a great
     Deal of thunder & lighting
     The heaviest i ever knew.
     There is a large lot of vessels
     Of every description laying
     Off in the harbor.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 16, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 16-Sunday
     Inspection of Company Quarters Captain and Lieut both used up and our Company on gaurd duty.
     Stormy and very bad day for duty our duty is more for a school than any other purpose.
     Nothing transpired worth noting I remained until 1 O Clock went to Quarters and turned in slept soundly until morning. [Illustration]

Corpl. B. B. Smith:

     Sunday 16
     Storming yet no drill today
     All the men that wished had the
     Priveledge of going to the
     Catholic church.  after dinner
     Took a walk up to the fort the
     Boys were all well.  Uncle Ben is
     First rate.  One of the MBR[?]
     Is to be buried this PM He
     Died after we landed from Ship

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 15, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 15-Saturday
     Very Stormy and extremely cold. the boys from the 26th Regiment say it is the coldest it has been since they have been here.
     Lieut Lovrien on fatigues & police duty for the day. here our gaurd duty keeps a gaurd on duty most of the time for 12 hours.
     One of the Rangers died on board the Lewis last night his disease I have not been able to find out.
     The Niagara just came in towing a small schooner the story here is that she sailed boldly up to her and gave Nigara 2 or 3 shots supposing her to be the Constitution but she got slightly mistaken the Niagara opened her ports and gave her a few shots which took out her mask she surrendered and the Niagara took her in tow and brought her into this port.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:

     Saturday, February 15, 1862
     We have had a hard storm a regular
     Norther.  very cold & rainy with high
     Winds There was 2 men hurt very
     Badly yesterday while at work
     On the wharfe i went with
     A squad of men today bricks to
     Floor over the captain tent
     After getting the job done the
     Captain treated to 3 pies

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 14, 1862. Friday. I worked hard all night unloading, as also did Parker, and the boat has just left for the wharf. The wind blows and she has drifted ashore above the wharf. We brought out four hundred and fifty thousand muskets, cartridges and a large amount of shells. We expect ships with stores every day. The sutlers have sold out nearly everything. Robert Read and William Wight came aboard; they are looking fine, and have a nice store. Read is making money fast in his sutler's shop. A bakery has been set up and the men buy soft bread every other day and night. Four or five of our boys have died of fever since arriving; they caught cold at the camp at Fortress Monroe. I saw a rifle ranger boy last night who was dying; it seemed sad, probably he has a kind mother at home who is unaware of this. I was just told that the 26th Massachusetts Regiment were to take possession of the island fifteen miles to the west of this, towards Mobile.
     Our wood comes from the upper end of the island and a chopping party goes out every day to cut it, then it is rafted down. There used to be a large brick house on the island, which was destroyed when the rebels evacuated. Our boys are digging bricks out and making cooking ranges. No alligators or coons yet. Two rebel boats came along the main shore yesterday on their way from New Orleans to Mobile; our gunboats headed them off and they returned; they come down once in a while and show a little fight. A schooner with nine men, belonging to us, took an English steamer which was loading at Matanzas with cotton, she had five hundred bales aboard; is built of iron and is valued at five hundred thousand dollars, all told. She would have tried to run the blockade.
     Seventeen of the mechanics are going home, Colonel Butler says so many are not needed. I am feeling tip-top and shall not be homesick; not that I do not think of home and friends, for I think of you all every day, but I feel like this, that I can take care of myself, and only hope you won't give yourselves any anxiety about me. If other troops come along I don't think we shall stay here long. I haven't been inside the Fort yet. It is poorly built. The main land is from twelve to fifteen miles away. 


2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 14-Friday
     Weather cold windy and stormy very fortunate we arrived here as we did or our passage would have been a hard one and probably dangerous.
     Wrote a letter to Pond, Charley Kimball and done up a parcel and gave to Mr. Kimball to give Jane for me when he gets home. Some 18 of the Mechanics are going to return home in the Constitution.
     One of the men who came out with us for the Battery has died and was buried to day. the 26 Reg’t. Band played for the funeral. the coffin drawn by two horses and covered with our countrys flag. followed by the members of the Battery passed here about 4 O Clock P.M.
     We have had another accident here to day while getting our baggage on shore by the Lewis she ran aground and in their endeavors to get her up to the wharf the Hauser slipped and one man was quite ser-iously injured. he now lays insensible his name was Hopkins and he was Boss Waggoner of the Maine 12th.
     We wrote to Westford Selectmen about Gilsons State Aid. also to S.W. Stickney about allotment rolls of the same.

Corlp. B. B. Smith:

     Friday 14
     We? very pleasent turned out at
     Sunrise took breakfast had no
     Drill today but dress parade at
     At 2[?] Ock.  there was 2 of the Maine
     Soldiers died and was buried yesterday
     They died of the measels.  One 4th
     Mass Batt died and was buried
     This PM.  he came with us is
     The ship with us and belonged to
     Andover.  he had a lung fever.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 13,1862. Thursday. There are a number of prize vessels around the island; some are valuable, others worthless. All the horses which were sent out, have been lost; I say all, for very few were saved.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 13-Thursday
     Wrote home to Wife this morning to send by Kimball who is to return in the Constitution. some 16 to 18 mechanics are going home.
     Found the heat rather severe for the head went down and got a [strun - ?] at the expense of 25 cents find it an improvement.
     Lieut Lovrien is on gaurd duty to day. we are building ovens and having a general fix up to day and trying to have an en-campment in some decent shape but do not know how we shall succeed.
     Capt Browns men struck a rich streak to day, digging for bricks they brought to light a lot of china, plates, saucer and other kitchen utensils. Quite a relic of Southern Chivalry.
     2 Rebel Steamers in sight to day cruising around to find out what we are doing I suppose. Our Gunboats went in pursuit but their search was useless.
     Got our orders from Brig. Gen. Phelps. programs of drills and duties. Our camp is named Camp Thompson in honor of Col N.A. Thompson of Boston.
     Col Farr, Geo Davis, Capts. Warren, Dickersman & Lieut Lamson, Chaplain Babbidge, had quite a tea party.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Thursday 13
     A fine morn the men all in fine
     Spirits turned out to roll call at
     Sunrise had breakfast and then i
     Took a walk over to the fort there
     Is about 200 belongs to the Battery
     I see a Blacksmith here that i
     Used to know in[?] ??? years[?].  we have had
     No duty today but fix up our
     Camp. Dug a well by going 8 ft.
     This is a find place for water
     Each company having a well
     Of their own.  There is a Bake
     House here belonging to government[?]
     We have Soft Bread every other
     Day.  Had a dress Parade this
     PM.  the men looked very
     Well considering our voyage

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 12, 1862. Wednesday. Did not come in sight of land yesterday, but about 7 o'clock to-day made Chandler's Light, and soon after saw shipping in the distance, which proved to be at Ship Island. When we were within half a mile distance, our regimental flags were displayed and the starboard and port guns were fired. Large numbers were on the beach, anxious to have an interview. The island is not as barren a place as I expected, although it is sandy where the encampment is. We weighed anchor and the boats put off for the shore. Colonel Butler came aboard. As soon as orders came, I had to spring and work the rest of the day, getting the tents ashore. Father came aboard towards night; he looks fleshy and sports a moustache. The troops were all landed during the afternoon and the tents were pitched. I went ashore in the evening. Father has a little wooden shanty which he occupies for sleeping and storing goods. His clerk stays with him. I remained with father all night and went aboard in the morning and worked all day, discharging cargo.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 12-Wednesday
     8 A.M. Land ho Chan de Seur Islands in right this is a chain of Islands that run out from the Main land some 20 or 25 miles in length.
     8 ½ Ship Island in full view a it appears from this distance like a huge snow drift fully inhabited there is a large amount of Shipping around it and to my eyes from this distance it looks quit pleasing to my eyes.
     Came into the harbor about 11 O.C. A.M. Col. Jones came on board & was as pleased to see us as if we had risen from the dead. it seems us through they had completely given us up.
     3 O Clock P.M. disembarked had my first ride on a Missippi flier boat a prize taken from the rebels a huge clumsy looking affair side wheels and an independence boiler for each wheel.
     Lieut Lamson of the 26 Reg’t came down and invited us that is Capt Shipely and me, Lieut. up to supper with him we had a fine supper of hard tack and salt jawh mixed with Sardines a rarity indeed.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Wednesday, February 12, 1862
     Another fine morn men all
     In good spirits and anxious to get
     At the end of our voyage saw a
     Large number of birds such as
     Gannetts Gulls Pelicans & others
     About 8 Ock made land on our
     Starboard bow.  appeared to be an
     Island with a lighthouse on it
     Next about 9 Ock made land on
     our starboard bow which proved
     To be Ship Island.  Dropt anchor
     Opposite the island.  we had 3 Rows-
     ing cheers from those onshore.
     There is a large number of
     Vessels of all kinds here in the
     Harbor.  We left the good Ship
     About noon and landed at
     The wharfe where i met some
     Old friends as soon as i landed
     I went on a tramp up to the
     26th Mass and the 9th Conn when
     I got back Uncle Ben was
     After me and very glad to see me
     He began to think we was
     Not coming.  I went and took
     Dinner of Soft Bread & Soup.
     The boys were very glad to
     See me and like to have shook
     My arms off.  this is altogether
     A different place from what
     I expected to find.  it is all
     Sand with no grass trees or
     Anything green but soldiers
     This afternoon we pitched our
     Tents and went to housekeeping
     They have a kind of fort here
     Called fort Massachusetts the
     4th Battery quarter here.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 11, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 11, 1862. Sunday. I have packed my clothes, previous to landing. We expect to arrive to-night.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 11-Tuesday
     Nothing transpired today worthy of note very still and pleasant as it has been since we landed.
     Night 11 O Clock. was interrupted in our game of Euchre by the Champions. for 10 games in which Crowley & myself were the winners by 9 games. by a Bacchanalia revel of almost ½ the Bummers of the Regiment drinking Rum and singing until 1 ½ O Clock.
     they had a mock trial by Jury of J.M.G. Parker for underlying what properties vinegar but in reality was whisky and poor at that. Fuller Judge Advocate McGee & Wells Council

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Tuesday 11
     A fine morn with a cool breeze
     From the NW fresh winds
     We have had a fine passage
     So far.  the men all anxious
     To see ship island.  i have had
     A light touch of rheumatism
     For the last few days the ship
     Is agoing first rate we expect
     To have a sight of S island by
     Morning.  this is a good day for
     Washing & airing clothes

Friday, February 10, 2012

February 10, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 10, 1862. Monday. We entered the Gulf Stream at 5 o'clock. Pleasant. Passed Key West and could see the Fort on it. Understand that there are some seven thousand troops stationed there. Made Tortugas Island at sundown. I have lain on deck most of the day, enjoying the sun and the sea breeze, I pity you New Englanders, shivering with the cold. I saw turtles and sharks to-day. Squall and rain at night.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 10-Monday
     7 O Clock in sight of Key West also Fort Taylor in fine looking Fort in the distance. Pilot Boats in quite a number hover around us this morn.
     The sea this morning is heavier than at any time since started from Fortress Monroe. 12 M. storm but very short. it has had the effect of softening the sea and it is much more pleasant than before.
     8 A.M. passed from light house on outer Coral Reef. this house is built on the ruins principle as the one destroyed on Minot ledge some years since.
     2 P.M. [Dry Tortugues - ?] in full sight also Fort Jefferson a very large structure said to contain within its walls 114 Acres of land.
     We have now 10 O Clock P.M. quit a heavy sea and and wind on and our Boat pitches in beautifully.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:

     Monday 10
     Fine day passed Cape Florida about
     3 ock.  passed in sight of Fort
     Taylor.  Coral Reefs in sight all
     Along shore passed a lighthouse
     On our starboard just after
     Breakfast passed the lighthouse
     On key west point.  the coral
     Reefs on florida coast look very
     Pretty.  large turtles seen along side
     The flying fish very plenty.
     Had 3 pilots come off to us this
     Morning but they was not wanted
     As Our pilot knows the coast
     All along here about 11 Ock saw
     A large steamer to starboard of
     Us supposed to be a california
     Packet.  weather looks rather
     Squally and showery.  after dinner
     Had a wash in fresh water
     It was quite a luxury.  passed
     Fort Taylor morn.  just after
     Dinner made fort jefferson dry
     Tortugas light on our starboard
     Bow had quite a hard blow for
     A short time.  we have not made
     So many knots as on other days
     On account of head currents in
     The gulf but expect to be in
     Sight of ship island by tomor-
     row afternoon if nothing happens.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 9, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 9, 1862. Sunday. Land in sight, Florida Reefs. We passed Jupiter Light at noon. Made two sail, one a sloop of war; she was too far away to speak, so we ran up our flag. A number of the officers have subjected themselves to the barber and left him with sand-papered heads and faces. I have a sunburnt nose and face.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 9-Sunday
     Commence with the weather very hot in sun but a fine air which makes it quite comfortable outside.
     I had a fine bath this morn and feel much invigorated thereby.
     Saw what was supposed to be the spout of a whale this morning also a number of Sharks hideous looking monsters. some Black fish also playing around us. 8 O Clock A.M. Land the Florida coast expect to make Florida Reefs tomorrow
     Services on deck this A.M. by Chaplain from Maine 12 Regiment. did not know it until it was over.
     Captain is quite slim. lame in his joints similar to troubles I have just got through with. our Comp is quite healthy but 3 or 4 been very sick since we started.
     1 O Clock M. overhauled an American Man of War under a head of steam only supposed to be the Pensacola. 4 P.M. any quantity of small schooners on our track. 10 P.M. Revolving lights on Cardinas Reef a fine affair this is about 100 miles from Key West.
     Our Officers to day have most all got a hair cutting and shaving mania. Clipped heads and mouth beards must now be worn or a man is nowhere.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Sunday. February 9, 1862
     Another fine day we had a
     A sight of 2 pelicans and other
     Foul flying over and around
     The ship.  the pelicans are a
     Very large bird with a pouch
     Under their upper bill to
     Carry their food in.  a large
     Shark was seen this AM had
     Divine service on deck this PM.
     Had a good shave and wash see a Ship
     To forward of us.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February 8, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 8, 1862. Splendid day. We make twelve miles an hour. There is no sail in sight.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 8-Saturday
     Feeling this morning a little more natural than I have for some days past.
     The weather is fine very warm in the sun but a mild wind blowing from off shore that is very refreshing it is hard indeed to realize that it can be so cold and dreary at home though cold and dreary as it may be how much pleasure it would give me to be able at this minute to look in upon my quiet home in which has been so much of sorrow of late.
     We are getting along finely on our excursion for it is so pleasant I can call it by no other name scarce a ripple on the waters. 12 M. 50 miles below Savannah on the Georgia Coast.
     Tonight we were agreably entertained Robert Dale. a Scotchman in our ranks by singing of some old Scotch airs intermingled with characteristic Irish songs of which he is a very good singer and he is as well aware of it as anyone else. we enjoyed it much.
     7 ½ O C P.M. Capt Crowley & myself sat down to take part in the performance of a challenge accepted from Lieut. Kinnear and Reed to this effect the best out of 20 games of Euchre. in which Crowley & myself came out the victors by one game.
     11 O C P.M. Stripped to the drawers and shirt Kinnear & myself had some little amusement by boxing and other performances when we went to bed and slept well until morning. in spite of the heat. which was oppressive. many slept on deck in the open air.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Saturday 8
     A very fine day and all hands
     Wide awake and up to all kind
     Of games to pass away time
     I have been leaning over the
     Ship watching the flying fish
     Skim over the waters they look
     Very pretty.  they are about the
     Shape and size of our smelts
     But larger

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February 7, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 7, 1862. We are now in a warm climate. Passed a steamer bound for Port Royal with the United States mail aboard. Porpoises can be seen in our wake. We are sailing eleven miles an hour. The weather looks squally. We crossed the Gulf Stream at 4 o'clock.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     February 7-Friday
     My health this morning is rather poor having a very bad cold and suffering from bad pains in my bones and limbs.
     We are now making good headway. the weather being fine and all things now in favor of our making a prosperous and speedy voyage. the men all begin to have a cheerful look and care seems banished from among us.
     Our voyage thus far has been marked with no events worth recording except the one refered to yesterday.
     1 O Clock P.M. off Cape Fear we are now under a tropical sun and a genial atmosphere all is beauty and one scene of pleasure around us. one can now realize to some extent the beauties of the sea. [Illustration]

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Friday 7
     Made the edge of the gulf stream
     We have the company of a
     Lot of porpoises at the side
     Of the ship jumping and
     Frolicing like alot of puppies
     We are getting towards warmer