Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 30-Wednesday
     Weather warm and pleasant as usual.
     At Quarantine 9 ½ morning wrote letter to Jane this morning John getting better. A little rain at noon.
     The scenery along the river is very beautiful. Orange groves in abun dance. some magnificent Plantation along river but few signs of friends along the whole route. The first time I ever saw a plantation being worked is to day I have seen a number and they all seem content-ed and happier no doubt than if free and have the care of life to contend against no care no trouble when their days work is over dance and sing and then you see a Negro con-cert in reality.
     Dr. Cleavland exasperated Col Dudley and many other Officers of our Regiment, by giving a very strong Abolition speech and I am in favor of having a stop put to it, it is not right we are not Slave catchers, or liberators when we come to that I must go home, it is the Union as it has been, and Abolition of Slavery. I want and the majority of our Regiment are the same Col Dudley is a thorough Dem-ocrat. and will not fight for Niggers any more than I will and we are not alone.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Wednesday 30
     Fine day.  Genl Inspection.  we started
     Up the river again this morn.  it is
     Very fine and beautiful.  there is some
     Very large & fine plantations along Up the
     River.  there is some very large sugar
     Fields with any amount of slaves of both
     Sex at work.  the scenary here is the
     Finest i ever see.  2 large gunboats
     Been down cheering as they went
     Which we returned with interest.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
     April 29, 1862. All aboard and steamed up the river. Beautiful views of orange groves. Negroes on the banks waving bandannas. Arrived at New Orleans May 1. Disembarked May 2 and quartered in the Odd Fellows' Hall and Lafayette Square near by. I was so weak I did not go ahead with the regiment, but reported later. I went to the top of the building to a hall used for the sick; lay on the floor over night. The next morning made up my mind I must get out of there or I should die, so I crawled down; bought a milk punch, which braced me. I continued to use this medicine, and got well, after which, aside from my duties, I enjoyed my stay in the city very much.
From a Letter:
     Mississippi River, Opposite Fort Jackson, April 29, 1862.
     When I last wrote you found me at the head of the Passes awaiting the reduction of the Forts. Yesterday they surrendered and a steamer took us in tow the same afternoon and we arrived at the Forts at 6 o'clock. Our regiment and the 12th Connecticut came up the river, while the remainder went around in the bay on the east side to cut off retreat. There was a mutiny at Fort Jackson and two hundred and fifty, being" loyal, deserted. They were cut off by our troops, as I have indicated. Fort Jackson is built of brick and is surrounded by a moat. As the Fort is situated on low ground, it can be flooded inside. Fort Philip consists of earthworks, thrown up along the river. Our fleet cut the chain and passed up, through, under heavy fire. They took Fort Peru, farther up, killing all, so the sailors had to go ashore to bury the dead. To-day we were landing for both Forts, when General Butler came down the river and said all must re-embark and sail for New Orleans immediately. Hurrah! The fact is, the soldiers are impressed into the service and are held by traitorous officers. The commander of the Fort, named Colonel Duncan, escaped. The garrison was made up of soldiers from the Irish and Italians, not many true Yankees. After they had surrendered the officers blew up a floating battery, and it is rumored they will be hanged for doing that. The soldiers say the officers, when they were in action, stood over them with loaded revolvers and would shoot them if they did not fire. It is very warm here and I intend to put up at the St. Charles Hotel, ana will drink your health. New Orleans must be ours! Hurrah! I am well and in good Spirits. Plenty of alligators. I have seen the papers of March 30; later than that, I know nothing. I hope the army of the North are going on, that we may meet them. Our shells did good execution on the Forts, where they fought bravely. We lost one boat going up, when the chain was cut. Hoping my next will be from New Orleans, I am


2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 29-Tuesday
     Weather fine warm and very pleasant but a tremendous heavy dew. The worst I ever saw wet my blanket way through
     Farley and No. America came up and anchored opposite the Forts. we lost a man overboard from the No. America Boats went out but could not save him. when a man once falls overboard in this river he is lost and no power can save him the current is about 5 knots per hour.
     Met [---] Metcalfs brother here a prisoner of war he has lived south some 15 years and is a bitter Secessionist curses Mass. and the Northern Abolitionist says Mass. is a d-d Abolition State and I think about the same. but thank God I never voted anything but a through Democratic ticket and am not ashamed of it.
     Capt Shipley is command of Fort Jackson quite an honor for Phalanx. Capt Manning Battery with us and one squadron of Calvary without horses with us Lt. Perkins is in Command.
     We find the Fort mounted 71 Guns captured about 500 stand of arms in this Fort do not know what is in the other one. Everything is in a most dirty condition. I can not see how white men could live there it is 6 or 8 inches deep in Stagnate water in some places. Commenced taking inventory of Stock. but are ordered away to New Orleans which is said to have surrendered to Commodore Farragut. the 26 Mass Vols. are to have command of Quarantine and the two Forts. and we are going on to the Crescent City. General Butler came down and went into the Fort as we were leaving. 5 O Clock P.M. I got a letter for John to day but none for me.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Tuesday 29
     Fine morn.  we are on our way up the
     River.  a member off Co K was drowned
     This AM.  we have got orders to proced
     Up to N Orleans.  dropt anchor off Quart
     To leave provisions for our troops.
     There is about 200 prisoners there
     The QWF[?] has passed us with the
     12th Conn.  it is very slow going up
     The river the current runs so swift

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 28, 1862

Engraving of Forts Jackson & St. Phillip on the lower Mississippi below New Orleans, 1862.
Engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862.
Image shared at Wikipedia
Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
     April 28, 1862. Went on up the river, opposite the forts. A detachment was sent to one of the forts. I went ashore to Fort Jackeon. It was well shattered.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 28-Monday
     Weather fair –
     Reported landing of Butlers forces 6 miles above Fort Jackson. or rather Philips on the other ride of river New Orleans side.
     Gun Ferry boat came down & Reports surrender of both Forts and wants 5 companies of our Regiment to go up and hold them. Gen. Phelps says too us up and take the whole Regiment of Companies go on board the Gunboat of which number 6 is one of the lucky ones and she tours the North America also. this is at 10 A.M. we run up in sight of the Forts and the Gunboat leaves the transport and proceeds up to the Forts. two river boats loaded with prisoners who have attempted to escape are up against the Bank of the river. having been brought to by a Gun from the Harriet Lane. landed our prisoners at Phillips under charge of a gaurd. the Flagg was run up at 3:20 P.M. amid the Cheers of Navy and army.
     Company was the first in each Fort having landed left Lieut Whitcomb in charge of the prisoners and Major Whittemore Comps H & G in Fort Phillips. we go on board Gun boat and proceed across river to Jackson and take possession there. it was so filthy we could not go inside but lay out over the moat on the bare ground what little time we slept. their are some 700 prisoners in all. the big Ram was blown up by the Naval officers. after the articles of surrender were all signed we have them in close confinement. The Fort had plenty of ammunition and stores to last them 6 months but their men were tired of war and mutinied. the Fort was blown all to pieces inside. The Bastion completely demolished 2 or 3 casemates broken completely through.\

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Monday, April 28, 1862
     Fine again.  the men are all rejocing
     At the news of the surrender of the forts.
     After a seige of 9 days.  rather tough that.
     We have a steam gun boat alongside
     To tow us up the river.  good.  part of
     The regt & the 4th Battery went on
     Shore in to the forts and hoisted our
     Flag, about 3 Oc, the PM.  the rebels
     Tried to blow up the forts but did not
     Make out.


Friday, April 27, 2012

April 27, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 27-Sunday
     Warm and pleasant as usual.
     Our usual Sunday Inspection this morning. the men are all looking finely and doing well considering their long confinement on board ship.
     Gunboats to day have been going up the river 5 or 6 have gone up. but none come down to bring us news. I do wish we could go up and see what they are about and if we can judge from appearances Gen Phelps & Col Dudley are both anxious to be doing something besides laying here idle. Gen. Phelps says if the Rum[Ram] comes down he thinks we can take it. at any rate we will make the trial. and I think he would. For he does not know the meaning of the word fear, and is as cool us a piece of ice on a 4th of July.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Sunday 27
     Pleasant again.  there was a fire raft
     Went down the river this morn but done
     No harm.  the rebels hate to come to terms
     But the Maj Gen wont wait for long for
     Them.  the men all well considering
     Had inspection by the Colonel.
     Divine worship this PM we expect
     To be in the Queen City of the
     South within a week.  that means
     New Orleans.  Oh Yes.  i guess.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 26-Saturday
     Quite pleasant very warm.
     Funeral of the two men who died yesterday services about two O Clock P.M. they were buried on shore at the head of the passes on the banks of So. West pass and had a soldiers burial discharge of mustering on their graves. all the honors that can be paid to a poor soldier who dies away from home.
     John is quite sick to day Capt much better is Officer of the day.
     A large fire raft came down upon us last night but fortunately the current took it to one side of us so it done no harm. It floated down and run aground on the flats. it was composed of the hulk of a large vessel of some kind coppered and copper fastened. filled with cotton & tar and other combustible materials
     News from up river is as slow as ever nothing having been recieved as yet to order us up river. Recieved quite a variety of papers dates Mar 26th the latest by the Lewis Yesterday.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Saturday 26
     Fine again.  there was 2 deaths on board
     yesterday.  a member of the MRR, and
     One of Co G of this regt they were taken
     On shore and buried.  we had funeral service on
     The ship.  their graves were marked with
     Head Boards with their name &e, there is
     A gang of men on shore to cook 4 days
     Rations.  the rebels have sent 2 flags of
     Truce, but the Com. wont yield a hair.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 25-Friday
     Weather fine warm and very pleasant on shore in good old Massachusetts how I would enjoy it. but then there is nothing to make one life pleasant. home, friends, all away. no I will not say friends for I trust I have some good ones in our Regiment, but old friends. far away, and worse than all my wife away and no letter coming to me from her keeps me continually thinking and worrying about her.
     This morn when going on Deck the first thing that meet our eyes is our Mortar fleet all at anchor close by or I may say some at anchor below and the rest coming down river slowly with the tide it cannot be a [---] but still it seems so strange. Gunboats coming down at noon. Sloop of War Portsmouth also down. And all go by us and in answer to our hail we get the same reply nothing new. it seems very strange
     Gen Phelps came on board and is going to make our ship his head Quarters.
     Lewis came up river reports Steamer Wallace sunk. hands all saved. Lewis has Vermont Battery on board. stopped and got some wood from us and as usual coming alongside stove her wheelhouse all to pieces. Lewis leaking badly, is going round the point with her Battery by order Gen Butler.
     1 Capt Meatons men and 1 of Capt Reads Cavalry died to day.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Friday, April 25, 1862
     Fine day the french man of war went
     Out yesterday the mortar fleet came
     Down from the forts last night having
     Got their job done.  Brig Genl
     Phelps took quarters on board the ship
     last night.  Com Porter has demanded
     An unconditional surrender of forts
     There is a number of gun boats here the
     Man of war Portsmouth lay just
     Below.  the Lewis is here taking wood.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 24, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 24-Thursday
     Weather warm but pleasant
     A Great Explosion seen this morn in the vicinity of the Forts.
     Whitcomb on gaurd duty to day. The companies to day have the day to wash their clothing and them selves Saxon down this morn and says we have whipped them. Our fleet went by at 3 this morning under a Galling fire from both Forts with a small loss Ram Manassas sunk and their boats taken Varuna of our fleet sunk went down with colors flying and dis-charged her last broadside while ½ under water.
     Savage tied in the rigging for refusing to do duty.
     Services to night as usual our victory called out an extra burst of patriotism and elo-quence from our noble Chaplain. and a fresh prayer for our dear families at home.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Thursday 24
     A fine morn.  there is good news from
     Our fleet this morn they have got
     Above the chains, and took both
     Forts.  Maj. Gen Butler has been on board
     All hands busy picking lice & washing
     Clothes we expect to be landed soon.
     No more news from the fleet yet
     The Steamer PC Wallace was sunk
     Last monday outside the pass.

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter Dated 4/21/62:
     April 23,1862. Fighting still going on, but with what success I am unable to say. A gunboat passed yesterday with one mast shot away: she was going down to the hospital. A sad accident occurred last night. Captain Durivage fell overboard about 1.30 o'clock. No one saw him, but the sentry heard a splash and sung out, but the Captain sank to rise no more, the current here is so swift it took him under. A gloom prevails. Tell father to see Homer Bartlett and Joseph White regarding my commission. The mail is going out.


2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 23-Wednesday
     Gunboat Saxon down river brings no news. says the rebels are sending down five rafts upon our fleet. one came down last night the ruins of which passed by our vessel this morning about 125 foot long. The boats send our small boats and tow them away and tear them apart.
     Capt Shipley sick to day. John Foster sick also men getting sick every day from laying aboard ship.
     Services to night as usual prayers and singing Dr. Cleavland never forgets our wives and families at home. neither does he forget his country’s cause.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Wednesday 23
     A fine morn.  but hot.  they have been
     firing to night up the river, Capt
     Durivarge of the L[?] Cavalry fell over
     board last night and was drowned.
     No news from the fleet above.  we all
     Had a bath to day which we needed as
     We were getting some dirty & lousey on
     The ship.  there is a boat alongside
     With stuff to sell of all kinds.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 22-Tuesday
     Weather warm and pleasant but remarkably warm.
     Lieut Johnson and I on gaurd to day. We as yet get no news from our fleet but hope to soon for our men are getting discouraged at their long stay on Shipboard & I am very tired of it to say the least.
     To night we have had the most painful occurrences of our trip a sad and melancholy affair the loss of Capt Harry A Durivarge a Gentleman and a true Solider a man who was loved and esteemed by all who knew him both as a soldier and a Gentleman. It was on my tour of duty. I heard a Sentinel cry a man overboard but he did not know where he fell from. or could not tell me anything about it. he heard the splash and cry as he fell. but that was all. I sounded the alarm and went astern. But nothing was to be seen. and he never rose to the surface of the water again. and was never more seen, it was a sad thing and one I shall never forget. it is a loss to our Regiment although he does not belong to it. and a sad loss to his Father who doats upon him. he was his favorite son. and a particular friend of Gen. Butlers. was an aid to him at Fortress Monroe his Father was Francis A Durivarge the Poet.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Tuesday, April 22, 1862
     A fine morn not quite so cool as it
     Has been.  the battle still raging at the
     Forts.  we are getting tired of stopping
     Here right where we can hear the
     Battle and have no chance to help.
     There is boats come alongside with
     Oysters to sell.  they are the largest
     I ever see.  Our captain sent us a ???
     Of ginger cakes this morn.  Bully for him
     I bought a dipper of baked beans
     Of the cook for 10 cts.  they werefirst
     Rate.  the missisippi has gone up
     Towards the forts.  we had bean water
     For dinner.  a pint of beans to a
     Bucket of water.  rather too rich
     For soldiers.  there was a gunboat
     Went down this morn.  the battle
     Still raging

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     Head Of Southwest Pass, Mississippi River, Miss.,
     April 21, 1862.
     My last was written the day before my departure. The following regiments comprise the expedition: the 26th, the 30th and the 31st Massachusetts, three Western, two Connecticut, and four batteries. Our regiment is on the ship North America, three on the Great Republic, one on the E. Wilder Farley, two on the Mississippi and one on the Matanzas. We were towed to sea by steamers and ordered to report to Pass A'Lutre, thence ordered to Southwest Pass. All crossed the bar with help of steamers, except the Great Republic. There is sixteen feet of water over the bar, and she draws nineteen. Going up with a fair wind, we enjoyed the scenery. The water is very muddy. The ground, as one enters the passes, is low and swampy, covered with tall grass, and reminds one of a western prairie, with a narrow river winding through it. The distance from the mouth of the river to the head of the Pass is fifteen miles. Pilot Town is situated about six miles from the mouth of the river. The buildings here have piazzas on each story and are very quaint looking. A vessel passed us on the way down, and stated that bombarding was to begin that day. Soon after, firing was heard, and smoke could be seen, which has continued ever since. We are anchored twenty miles distant, awaiting the reduction of Forts Jackson and Philip. This morning we heard from a gunboat that a breach had been made in the walls and a lot of cotton fired, inside the Fort. The gunboat brought down nine wounded seamen and conveyed them to Pilot Town, which is to be used as a hospital. They have sunk one mortar boat. They have a chain just above the Fort, supported by rafts and anchored boats, also fire-rafts, which are sent down on our fleet, if a near approach is made. Fort Philip is not so strongly fortified, but the one commands the other. Last night our boats were to advance and cut the chain, after which our fleet can surround the Fort and obtain a better position. Firing has been continued day and night and it is a hard fight. The army can do nothing until the Fort is captured and that cannot be stormed, as no landing can be made. Last night, at 11 o'clock, a row boat hailed us and called for a line. The river runs very fast here; the boat drifted astern onto another boat which was floating by a line from our ship. The row boat was rapidly filling with water and was in a very dangerous position, being run somewhat under the other. We soon found that it was General Butler and his Aid who were in the partially swamped boat, and all possible speed was made in lowering a third boat to take them aboard. It was a very narrow escape for them. And such confusion as there was on both ship and boat, I never saw. After the third boat was lowered, they scrambled aboard. I tell you, they shook and trembled like leaves. They had been going from one steamer above us to another alongside, and the water swept them down on us. I don't know how long we shall remain here, probably until the Fort is captured, and then we shall occupy and advance.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 21-Monday
     Weather warm and pleasant to day.
     We are to day having a little target practice from Quarters Deck. the Col. having got a few rounds of Cartridges, to give the men some idea if estimating distance. and the use of sight. some make very good shots. and some make very poor there is a great chance for improvement in nearly all. besides instruction for the men it seems to relieve the monotony of ship life which is getting very irksome. in fact we are getting to think that we are attached to the marine Corps. I for one shall be glad when we get off Shipboard for good. and once more settled on land where we can live natural and seem like men and have some health for it uses up our men to be crowded on a ship so long. Firing continues as usual but we get no news.
     Services to night as usual. Dr. Cleaveland is getting along on to Abolition a little to strong to suit us. and is in my opinion should be stopped for we are not here to fight for the freedom of Slaves. when we come to that I for one will resign and go home.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Monday 21
     A clear morn a great coat comfortable
     Maj Gen Butler come near being swamped
     Alongside our ship.  there has been firing at
     The fort all night we had a fine dinner
     Of seawater[?] & hard bread yesterday we
     Are all getting tired of the old[?] ship as
     We are all crowded together like a lot of
     Hogs.  the ship is old and dirty.  all we have
     Had to eat since we left the island is
     Salty water, Hard Bread, Beans & Peas
     Water & poor coffee.  the steamers
     Saxon & Lewis got in ship island
     There is a bark arrived here from Boston
     To night loaded with Shells &c. for
     Our fleet.  she has some other stuff
     Cakes, Nuts &c.

Friday, April 20, 2012

April 20, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 20-Sunday
     A stormy day. slow drizzly rain all day very uncomfortable day no pleasure at all we can not enjoy the Deck at all.
     Although stormy it has proved one of the most eventful days since we came to anchor.
     A Gun Boat came down with 7 men belonging to gun boat Oneida who were wounded by the bursting of a gun. and were carried to Pilot town on So. West Pass where they have established a naval Hospital a temporary one for present uses. Called for all Surgical instruments and items we have on board for use of navy
     To night we had quite an exciting time on board. Gen. Butler, and Lt. Kinsman of his staff were coming up from Pilot town in a gig of the Mississippi undertook to come on board of our ship when there being no rope for them to catch and hold to keep their boat fast the tide took her down stream and on top of our boat which lay astern she ran athwart her amid-ships and nearly filled with water. and they were both fast and no getting away. the boats filled rapidly and in a few minutes more it would have been Gen. Butler last and our Expedition would have a new commander. We succeded in lowering a boat and rescuing him from his perilous situation. Capt Collins seemed to have lost his senses and were it not for his mate we would have done nothing at all. The mate is a smart fellow and to him Gen Butler and Kinsman owe their lives.
     Capt Collins was excited so that he struck Lieut. Dean in the breast very severely. and is condemned by all the Officers on board for his harsh and very violent temper which he exhibited so strongly in this case. he has treated us like so many dogs ever since we have been on his ship.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Sunday 20
     Easter Sunday and very pleasant there is
     No news of importance from above.
     The steamer Jackson & Matanzas have
     Gone down to the G Republic to try
     To get her over the bar.  there is some
     Hard fighting at the forts.  the troops
     Are anxious to get landed somewhere
     There has been a number of vessels going
     Up and down the river.  it is cold enough
     For a great Coat.  this is not much
     Like Sunday.  we had devine service
     On the quarter deck this PM.  the
     Steamer Matanzas has got back
     From down the river.  no news.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April 19, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 19-Saturday
     A very pleasant but warm day as usual.
     This is the anniversary of our riot in Baltimore it would be well celebrated could we only march into New Orleans but we must wait for a few days longer before that pleasure is allowed for us. no doubt but it will be soon and it remains to be seen, wether that murderous scene awaits us there.
     Gunboat Winona came down the river but brings no news from our fleet. she has one hole though her cutwater made by one of the enemy shots. it shows that all their lead is not thrown away.
     Great Republic can not get over the bar and she in company with Saxon and Matanzus go around the point and land their troops in the rear Fort St. Phillip and be ready for an attack in rear if needed. 26th and Western Reg’t are on board with 31 Mass. Farley and us stay here to go up river.
     Our boys who have a fancy that way enjoy themselves by pulling against the tide of the Mississippi in Captains Gig. Capt Ferris, Wells, Lieuts Howe and some others & they make quite a boat club.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Saturday, April 19, 1862.
     Fine again.  it is a year today
     Since our troops left the North
     For the seat of war, washington
     It is hot and pleasant here the
     Birds are singing marrily,
     Among them is the mocking & Canary
     Birds.  got under weigh again and sailed
     Up to steamer missisippi and dropt
     Anchor astern of her the jackson come
     Down the river and took Butler &
     Staff on board & went up the river.
     The saxon went down this PM.
     There is all sorts of stories concerning
     The fight at the fort.  we can hear the
     Guns from the fleet.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 18, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
     April 18,1832. We came to anchor at the head of. South-West Pass, Mississippi River, where we remained until the navy captured Forts St. Philip and Jackson. We were crowded, had little to eat, dirty, lousy; our only excitement was watching the shells at night during the bombardment.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 18-Friday
     Weather very warm but pleasant
     All we find to do to take up our spare time is watch and hear the reports from our Guns up to the Forts. smoke can be seen very plainly and it shows us that Commander Farragut an Porter are by no means idle. we get no news from them yet and do not know what success they are meeting with but put all our trust in them. after we get the Fort, New Orleans is ours without a doubt.
     We are getting along slowly are now at the head of the passes and going slowly on.
     Matanzus and Gunboat Jackson have gone down after the Great Republic. she is so large she cannot get over the bar.
     Flashes seen to night very distinctly and the reports heard more distinct than at any time previous.
     We get up on top of the Wheelhouse and hear Dr. Cleavelands patriotic sermons and good prayers for our Country, our homes, Wives Mothers, Fathers, Brothers, Sisters, and at the same time hear our Guns boom away in the distance. the Flashes going though the Heavens like lighting. it forms a picture must be seen to be appreciated. and one that thrills threw a true Patriots bosom with feelings of admiration and love for both God and his country.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Friday 18
     A fine morn.  the ship going
     Slow under short sail.  about
     8 Oc. got sight of some of our
     Vessels ahead took a pilot from
     The colorado and proceeded
     Up through the mouth of the
     River.  now we are in the
     Father of rivers.  the water
     Looks muddy but tastes cool
     And good a large lot of
     Small islands, covered with
     Bushes & shrubbery and large
     Number of birds of all kinds
     It is pleasant to see land
     After on a sand bank so long
     The men all busy cleaning up
     Births.  this is a regular old
     Tub of a ship.  we have just
     Passed a small rice plantation
     With its cabins around it.
     We also passed a small village
     Called pilot town.  it looked
     Quite pleasant, with the
     Union Flag flying.  the
     Missisippi has passed up the
     River with Butler & Staff
     On board the ship is at anchor
     The wind is to light for her to
     Sail against the tide which
     Runs about 5 knots the hour.
     There is a report that they are
     Bombarding fort jackson.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 17-Thursday
     Laying to nearly all day at Pass a Santos pass waiting for other transports to come up to us. After dinner the Matanzas and Farley arrived and we get under weigh for So west pass up which we are to go.
     We can hear the reports of our Fleets guns very plainly from where we are now situated and we are fast coming nearer to our work all our men are impatient to get a chance to build for this Regiment a name and if we land in the rear and march on the Fort no doubt we shall earn it and dearly to.
     Services and prayers to night on Quarter Deck by Dr. Cleavland Singing by our Officers among whom we have some very good singers. Dr. Cleaveland is a fine man. and speaks right to the point, so that all men can understand what he says and its meaning.
     Oh if I could only hear from my wife at home to night I should feel a great relief. but I shall see a great change when I reach there no doubt it must be so her Father gone. a man I loved as well as if he as mine own Father. My Mother and her dear little family I have not heard from very lately either and they are doubtless worrying about me. but Jane will write them and give them all the consolation in her power for she has a kind heart God bless her and the day that made her mine for life.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Thursday 17
     Fine again we all turned
     Up again on [?] deck with all
     Our equipments on a fine
     Open action on a crowed ship
     About 12 Oc.  we were set
     A drift by the steamer with
     Orders to sail to the Bar and
     Wait for orders.  at 2 Oc. got
     Orders to sail for the S W Pass
     Had the wind on our quarter
     And made slow progress.
     A great number sea sick

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 16-Wednesday
     Pleasant weather for our voyage.
     Got under right about 5 O Clock A.M. under tow of the Saxon most all day. No news but now commences another monotonous life for of all life’s to lead a soldiers on a transport is the hardest. no comfort, no pleasure but plenty of grumbling, poor food & ½ enough at that. sailors and soldiers always hate one another and try to annoy each other all they can.
     Officers seem to have a regular bill of fare consisting of poor ham & hard bread with some slops which they call coffee and tea.
     Our Routine on transport consists of Roll Call at 6 A.M. Breakfast all 7 A.M. Gaurd mount 9 A.M. (which has 1 Captian Officer of the day 2 Lieuts. of Gaurd, 3. Serg’t. 3 Corp’l. and 45 men. a very strong gaurd for Shipboard) Roast beef 12 M. Inspection in full Marching order at 6 A.M. and 4 P.M. supper at 6 P.M. Tattoo 9 P.M. taps 9:15 P.M. we have as many calls as we would in camp and our Police duty is more than in any camp. We manage to keep busy all the time nearly. All Officers are to be present at roll call in full equipment.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Wednesday, April 16, 1862.
     A fine morn.  we all turned
     Up on deck in heavy marching
     Order.  i felt rather stiff &
     Old after sleeping on the floor
     With a knapsack for a pillow
     Had Hard bread and cold water
     For breakfast a first rate
     Breakfast for a dyspeptic
     Had coffee hard bread and salt
     Horse for dinner.  and[?] again
     The Missisippi made fast[?]
     To us and about 12 Oc turned[?]
     Round the point about 10 Oc
     We started off with a fine
     Moon for a light the other
     Transports are all on their
     Way.  there is 7 in all.  ships
     And steamers

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
     April 15, 1862. The regiment embarked on board the ship North America and on the 16th we left with everybody else on the expedition.

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 15-Tuesday
     This morning we got our final orders and at 10 O Clock are ready to go on board. We leave behind 2 men sick and 4 discharged to go home on undaunted.
     Commence going on board about noon Saxon put us on board North America Capt Collier and at 6 O Clock we are all on board find our Quarters are rather small and if we are to stop long think a great deal of sickness must come.
     Officers are Quartered in Steerage and fed by the Captain of Transport.
     I went on shore with orders for Col Dudley and returned by next boat.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Saturday 15
     We had a terrific storm of rain
     And thunder Lightning and high
     Winds last night this morn it
     Was very cold a fire being needed
     For comfort.  there was 22 gun
     And mortar boats left here this
     Morning to join the fleet in the
     Mississippi i paid 1 Doll for tobacco
     I have seen a number of Roosters &
     Hens to day.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

April 14, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     Camp, Ship Island, April 14,1862.
     I received your box and letter all right. Seven regiments are going down to Southwest Pass to-morrow, possibly ours. I hope I shall not be left behind. I expect Fort Jackson will be the point of attack. I received a letter from George Pray, dated March 15. All well. I sent a letter and my white shirts by the "Undaunted," in care of Lieutenant Claiborne, who will call on you. Governor Andrew refused to commission him, as he was not from the State of Massachusetts.
Yours till after the battle,


2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 14-Monday
     Pleasant day once more all is bustle and confusion about embarking on transport North America.
     All baggage packed up and to be turned over to Quarter master. Officers carry only blankets, Rubber Coat and 1 change of Clothing. Leave our trunks behind us.
     After getting all ready find we do not go on board until tomorrow. Had a severe drill this afternoon boys all feel well and eager for the fray. bound up the Mississippi it is supposed New Orleans is our destination.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Friday, March 14, 1862
     A Stormy day i wrote a few
     Lines to send home with my
     Money.  sent 40 Dolls[?] by Deams[?] & Co
     Express.  the tide is very high
     Coming within a few feet of our
     Tents the island is getting rather
     Thick settled almost inhabitants
     Enough for a city.  Butler is
     Expected here soon.

Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     April 13, 1862. A regiment has gone on to Biloxi to clean out a Mississippi regiment for this reason: we sent over a flag of truce yesterday and it was fired on when it was returning. General Williams' Brigade has been ordered to be ready to start at a minute's notice. I am O. K., but you may expect to hear from me as on the move before long.


2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 13-Sunday
     Once more under marching orders it is supposed for New Orleans as our fleet has all gone up there some days since.
     Drill in afternoon through the wet sand and a pretty wet drill it is. our Regiment has got worked up to a very nice thing. we can drill as well as most any of them who are much older than we are and it is rather remarkable. for we have had to work against everything but have usage. that we have had plenty of.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Thursday 13
     Got paid off last night i had
     55.45[?] cts. due me.  we had this
     Fornoon to write our friends
     I wrote a letter to send home
     By the fulton which sails
     This noon with the mail the
     Good Steam Ship Constitution
     Arrived yesterday with 3 regts
     On board from NewPort News
     They are landing to day they are
     A hearty looking set of men they
     Are the 4th Wis. 6th Mich. & 21st
     Indiana Regts. they were fired
     Into by the rebels from Sewalls Pt
     But not hit.  the men are all
     Busy writing home and sending
     Thier money.  a large steamer come
     In to day the harbor is full
     Of Vessels of all kinds a storm brewing

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 12-Saturday
     Great Republic and Idaho blown on shore last night but not damaged very badly. this morning is very pleasant but quite cool.
     3 men killed by Lighting in 31st Mass Regiment. one man knocked down while standing gaurd, at the Wharf. Comp K of our Regiment.
     Kanawha came in with 5 prizes. small schooners loaded with cotton.
     Washington reported wrecked on coast just down Island she is supposed to have a mail on board for us. I hope so. Quartermaster 7th Vermont under arrest.
     New London is with 2 prizes loaded with Molasses.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Wednesday 12
     Rather a cool morning the
     Pay master has begun to pay off
     Our regiment Our company
     Have signed the pay roll and
     Will be paid off this evening if
     Nothing happens.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 11-Friday
     We this morning received marching orders. packed up our baggage and got all ready. 40 rounds Ball Cartridges given to each man. look like fight a little but we cannot tell.
     Afternoon came up a heavy storm. Thunder & Lighting Tents blown down. Artillery had to move all their horses up on our Regimental parade ground to keep them out of water and from drowning. 3 or 4 pools of water on the Island between our Quarters and the Wharf. It is a very hard storm.
     Impossible to drill any to day on account of the storm. [Illustration]

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Tuesday March 11, 1862.
     Fine again the idahoe on the
     Flats yet.  they have thrown over
     5 or 600 Barrels of provisions to
     Lighten her there was a fleet
     Of mortar boats and some Gun
     Boats come here to day they are
     To join in the expedeition on
     The Missippi river we had a
     Brigade drill to day.  Col Jones
     Of the 26th went over to Missisip
     City with about 100 men and
     Got more than he bargained for
     The rebels sent him back with a
     Flea[?]in his ear Uncle Ben
     Sent his money home with a
     Letter yesterday.  Hugh[?] McGlue[?]
     Was here to see me last night
     He is in the 6th[?] Battery of Mass
     His health is first rate.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 10-Thursday
     Some 6 or 8 transports in to day lights. it is reported that they are to take troops to South West pass.
     We had 2 Glorious drills to day our Regiment improve some at every drill. and can be beat but very little, at the present time.
     Bill has at last got on board the undaunted ready to sail for home. a large number of discharged men. some Sesesh prisoners. and a number of Officers who have resigned & been sent home. I sent another letter to Jane, by Bill. [Illustration]

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Thursday, April 10, 1862
     Quite a cool morning.  there
     Was 4 Ships come in this forenoon
     I see 2 woman to day.  there is
     A rebel Forse[?] here that gave
     Themselves up.  loaded with
     Cabbage, Beets, celery, Eggs
     And other commoditeis.
     A Large Frigate anchored
     Outside this afternoon.

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 9-Wednesday
     Beautiful day to day sky as fair and clear as a crystal. though if I were at home I would call this a hot day even in our summer season there. but this climate is so different.
     Morning drill as Battalion from 10 untill 12 ½ O Clock; on firings, the Col is going to give us plenty of drilling with Blank Cartridges, so we may be ready to use the Ball when the time comes. and no doubt that will be soon. from apperances now.
     To day we had a review of the whole division nearly 16 thousand men. it was indeed a fine show. Gen Butler was the reviewing Officer. It formed a very long line covering some 3 miles or more. I should judge more but could not see the whole length of it. We had a hard march from 2 ½ until 6 ½ O Clock P.M.
     Bill’s trunk has at last gone on board the undaunted & I am glad of it. for the company will not mourn his loss.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Wednesday 9
     A fine morn.  we had a terrific thunder
     Storm last night we had a division
     Inspection this afternoon By Maj Gen
     Butler & Staff.  there was about
     16,000 troops in all Infantry
     Artillery & Cavalry, they extended
     Almost the whole length of the
     Island and looked and marched
     First. rate.  A Gun Boat arrived this
     PM.  a large fleet of Vessels here.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 8, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 8-Tuesday
     Still very windy and cold a severe change in the weather.
     Batt drill this morning in the firings it is almost remarkable how this Regiments improves under Col Dudley. it is as well drilled as a Regiment I have ever seen. Col Dudley says it is one of the best Volunteer Regiments he ever saw. and is very proud of it.
     The Hatteras came in this morn with Gen. Butler from the South and pass. an attack is to be made on Friday morning on the Forts by the Fleet. and then is no doubt that it will be successful. with such a force it would be impossible to fail. Jane would say if she was here that Friday was an unlucky day. time will tell if it proves so in this care. I hope not.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Tuesday 8
     Rather Windy.  the Vermont
     7 & 8th landed yesterday.
     There is  a camp report that
     Our Brigade is to go to Washington
     Soon there has 4 Steamers[?] & 2 Gun
     Boats arrived to day.  there was no
     Drill to day on account of the
     Weather.  the saxon got back this
     PM.  I see george ????? of andover.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 7, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 7-Monday
     Weather very warm as usual.
     My turn on Police or Regimental gaurd to day. Had a Batt drill this morning on firing with blank cartridges. fired by Battalion by Wing Company, Rank. & by file. done very well much better than was expected
     3 or 4 vessells in to day. our tides very high and a strong wind blowing from off the shore
     Js. Bohannan was down and [---]. Bills watch and chain
     Bill went up to the 26th & by good luck got it back. no knowing how soon Bill will get away from here. he is waiting for the undaunted.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Monday, April 7, 1862.
     A fine morn.  the Black Prince
     Sailed yestersday for boston the
     Gun Boat Saxon went out last
     Night with provisions for
     Our fleet in the Mississippi
     The 7 * 8th Vermont Regts are
     Landing.  there was 2 gun boats
     Come in to day.  their is a
     Report that the 16th[?] Mass
     Regt is all cut up.

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 6, 1862

2nd Lieut. Elliot:
     April 6-Sunday
     Had our Sunday inspection on the South Shore. under Comp commanders. it is tremendous hot day the perspiration rolls down my back in streams and stands still at that.
     Three men who were drowned were buried to day. it was a solemn sight to see them dragged away. and only a few minutes before their death they were in good health and spirits full of life and anticipating no doubt their time when they should go home.
     Had orders to day to move but they have since been countermanded.
     Lt. Fox has resigned and also Capt Ferris of Comp D. Fox’s was accepted and Ferris not.
     Lt Col Bullock read into the Regiment to day. to be obeyed and respected according to his rank.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Sunday 6
     A very hot day had to go on inspection[?]
     Leiut Colonel WM Bullock was
     At inspection he is a very good
     Looking man.  they are unloading
     Horses today they lost 3 or 4 last night
     There was a large ship & Bark come
     In this morn.  the 2[?] men who were
     Drowned were buried this PM.
     There has been 4 burials to day ????
     From the Regts on the island.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
     April 5, 1862. Lieutenant-Colonel W. W. Bullock joined us. Governor Andrew has gained the day over General Butler and he is sending out officers to take the place of Butler's appointments. It seems hard, after the old officers have recruited and drilled their men. Since landing on the island, the troops have been busy drilling. I expect we will soon depart, judging from actions. Lieutenant-Colonel French has gone on Butler's staff.
2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 5-Saturday
     Weather very warm and pleasant.
     Conn 9th arrived this morning have had a perfect success. not one Mississippi Regiment. who fired one volly of Grape Shot into their ranks. the Conn charged into them. and they ran throwing away everything they had in their flight. Their Camp was burned by the 9th and all equipage except for what the men stole and brought away with them. they also got quite a rebel mail with them. Pistols. Powder Horns. Uniforms Watches, and numerous other mementos the boys have with them.
     Capt Wm. O. Fiske was down to see us to day he is looking finely. fat as possible.
     Saxon arrived to day. With Lieut Bullock on board as Lt. Col & Lt. Appleton also. Lt. Emerson & Robinson were mustered out to day. still the changes come.
     Quite an accident happened here to day. and a race after 3 men from the Maine 12th and two from Comp G. Capt Yeaton were drowned while bathing in the So. beach.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
   Saturday 5
     A fine morn. there is considerable
     Excitment.  the New London took
     In her prize this AM. they are
     Landing Troops & Horses to day
     From the Republic.  there was
     2 Vessels come in to day.  the troops
     Have returned back from the other
     With[?] some prisoners and a flag
     It was a white body with a
     A Blue Corner and a purple border
     With a cotton plant in the
     Center.  one star in the Blue Corner.
     We are all busy getting ready
     For Saturdays inspection. they
     Say we have a Leiut Col arrived
     It looks as if we should get a shower.
     We got orders from the colonel to
     Go in bathing[?] i did not go having
     Been unwell 3 or 4 days.  there was
     5 men drowned 2 of our Regt. & 3 from
     The 12th Maine lost[?] the bodys were
     Rewarded[?].  it cast a gloom all through
     The camp.  they will be burried

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 4, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 4-Friday
     Weather very comfortable this morning.
     The Great Republic in this news from Portland she brings a portion of the main troops and some Horses. one other ship which came in with her I could not get the name of.
     Robert Dale Court martial to day he plead guilty to the charge and his sentence has not been made known as yet.
     About two hours engagement between 3 Rebels Gun Boats and the New London. right in sight of the Island. it created quite an excitement.
     Rebel Gunboat Wallis captured by the New London with a cargo of Spirits turpentine & Rosin, & 20 men.
     Batt. drill under Col Dudley to day it seems quite natural. We have lots of work on hand. making Quarterly returns of Ammunition & Clothing and everything we have.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Friday, April 4, 1862.
     The Ship Great Republic and
     Another Ship Come in this
     Morning.  they are loaded with
     Soldiers, Horses, & Stores there
     Is considerable firing this PM from
     The other shore our Gun Boats took
     A rebel Boat & ??????, she went
     Round the upper end of the island
     And therew[?] [?] shell on the island.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 3, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 3-Thursday
     Another very hot day.
     Had our usual Battalion drill this morning. but our Company drill was dispensed with on account of the extreme heat.
     Nothing has been heard from the Conn Regiment as yet A very heavy firing heard this morning. it seems to come from Rebels Gun boats & the New London. At 9 O Clock they were in sight of the Island.
     Capt Shipley on as Officer of the day.
     Batt drill at 4 O Clock under Major Paine. we had the poorest drill we have had for a long time.
     A larger loaded with coal for our naval fleet has just arrived from Phila. she was 20 day and over on the passage. she bring no mail.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Thursday 3
     Another very hot day.  i have
     Been on the sick list to day
     There has been no news from
     The soldiers on the other side
     Yet.  the soldiers in the harbor
     Have been ordered on shore again
     They disembarked this PM. there
     Was a bark Come in this PM.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 2-Wednesday
     A very warm day, as usual.
     Capt. Shipley on drill to day for the first time for a long while. Whitcomb on Court Martial.
     The 9th Conn. Regiment have gone on an expedition over to Biloxi with Mannings Battery. under the charge of Major Strong. Col J. H. Freeman has gone with them.
     No news here of any consequence everything is very dull & quiet. we are looking for news from the Conn. with considerable anxiety. are in hopes they will make a good strike.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
     Wednesday 2
     Another hot one.  the 9th Conn
     Regt. had orders to go over to
     The other side with the 6th
     Mass Battery.  they left in the
     Lewis Jackson + Hatteras

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 1, 1862

2d Lieut. Elliot:
     April 1-Tuesday
     Sun very hot but a fine breeze blowing which makes it quite comfortable out side of our tents
     The first Brigade have not all got on board. Col Dudley is sick or we should have been under orders to go with them as it is we will be left behind.
     New London is aground blown on by the wind last night she has been got off at noon. after pulling with try boat and breaking every quantity of calles and [---].
     Parker went over to Biloxi with a portion of Gen’l Butlers staff. with a little girl who was captured a few days since on board of a schooner with 2 or 3 men. the flag of truce was fired into. The party was under charge of Major Strong.

Corpl. B. B. Smith:
      Tuesday, April 1, 1862.
     A fine day.  some of the troops
     Have gone on board ship
     And lay out in the harbor
     It[?] very is very quiet[?] here