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«THE CIVIL WAR DIARY OF JOHN G. MORRISON 1861-1865 [VOL. I 30 JULY 1861 - 5 AUGUST 1862 ] [1] John G Morrison Co. A. 30th N.Y.S.V. Hunters Chapel Va ...»

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[VOL. I 30 JULY 1861 - 5 AUGUST 1862 ]

[1] John G Morrison

Co. A. 30th N.Y.S.V.

Hunters Chapel


Robert [illegible]

of New York

John G Morrison Esq.

John G Morrison on Board

the Gun Boat Carondelet Cairo ILL.

Mr. H Blasdell

Panton Vt

Mr. John G. Morrison

Co. A. 30th Reg. NY. V.

[obliterated] G. Morrison Lansingburg John G. Morrison N.York Island No. 10 Hunters Chaple Miss River Va March 30th 1862 John G. Morrison Tiptonville Tenn April 1 /62 Capt Walsh John G. Morrison Lansingburgh NY 2 [2] Hunters Chapel Fairfax Alexandria County Virginia July 30 - 1861 [6] Saturday, July 20th. Received orders yesterday to hold our selves in readiness to march after McDowell's army, which left for Richmond this last week. Everthing was ready and all hands in a fever of expectation. The sound of a horse's hoof was surely a-coming, but we were doomed to dissapointment time and again. I being on guard had every thing in readiness for an immediate start, but no order came.

Sunday, July 21st. Came off guard at 9 A.M. Had divine service at 11. During service heavy cannonading was to be heard in the direction of Faifax. About noon an orderly came [3] with orders for us to fall in at 3 P.M. and march across the long Bridge into Virginia. Three, four and five came but no march yet. At last about 8 the orders came for us to fall in, and we started for Washington. Arrived at the Long Bridge. A mounted officer rode up to the Colonel and handed him an order for us to return to our camp, as McDowell had fought a great battle at Mannasses and had completely routed them, and so thee was no occasion for us. At the news of the victory we gave three hearty cheers and counter marched and arrived back about 11 1/2 P.M.

[7] Monday, July 22nd. Raining hard, as it did all night.

Strange rumours began to come concerning the fight of yesterday. It is being whispered around that in place of a victory that we were most disgracefully beaten and that our whole army panicstricken and, utterly demoralized, had fled in al directions. Every hour through the day the news became worse as fresh bands of stragglers keep arriving and of course adding something to the thousand and one stories of the defeat and subsequent plight. Inthe afternoon the rebels took possesion of Centreville. The street of Washington were filled with stragling soldiers seeking their companies and regiments.

Tuesday, July 23rd. More yarns concerning the fight. Barney [9] Corrigan came to see us today. He was at the fight. He belongs to Ellsworth's Zouaves. He says he fired six rounds and their the Regiment broke and run. Today the enemy is in possesion of Fairfax and Munson's hill.

Wednesday, July 24th. Received orders this morning to march.

Destination not known. Every thing in readiness. In the 3 afternoon went to have a swim. Did not return until about 6 P.M.,when I found everything including knapsacks packed and some of the companies already fallen in. Got my gear and, in short order, fell in and to the air of "The Green Flag Flying," we left Camp Union behind us, passed down 14th Street, and marched for the long bridge. Here we met the 1st Minnesota coming over to reorganize after the battle.

Crossed over and about 8 1/2 P.M. I first trod the "sacred soil of Virginia." After halting and lying around Fort Runyon for a couple hours, we started again and came to a halt on for the night on the much talked of Arlington Heights. We found a couple more regiments in the same fix as ourselves. We have received orders to bivouac for the night, old [Jim? Finn? Tom?] and myself bunking under a wide spreading oak with a good fire at our feet.

Thursday, July 26th. Awoke about 5 A.M. a trifle chilled.

Gave myself a good shake, and I was right. Having nothing to [5] eat, I [read?] and I started to look for [Jem?] at 4 A.M. No drill this morning. Formed at 8 A.M. and started for Washington. On the road passed several regiments, and the most conspicious amongst them were the Garabaldi Guard, which looked splendid in their white pants, dark tunics, and hat and feather. Their [?] [?] The regiment looks quite French-like. Marched past and was reviewed by the President, Gen'l Scott, and several other officers whom I did not know.

After the review we were marched straight back to our encampment without a halt, and as the day was very warm and dusty, several of the men were compelled to fall out by the wayside. It tired myself verry much also.

[11] July 29. The whole company went on picquet this evening to the falls church road, Augustus Denisard and I being stationed together. Seen nothing all night. Have since heard that the Black Horse Cavalry drove in our mounted piquets about an hour after we left.

–  –  –

August 2nd. Co. D brought in a prisoner, whom they thought was Sessesion spy, but when brought before Gen'l Mansfield turned out to be a reproduction of Harvey Birch on a small scale.

August 3. I went on guard yesterday morning.

Received a letter from home and a paper from P. Flynn. Traded off last night and went on picket with the company, Denisard and I being together the same as before and with the same result.

August 4. Bought 100 of tickets from the sutler to pay an

–  –  –

August 5th. Instead of going to church yesterday, I went into the woods and gambled. Came out 2.25 winner.

August 6. Passed yesterday the same as the preceeding day with the like result.

August 7th. Went on picket yesterday morning, to be gone 24 hours.After I got to my post, staid there about an hour, then went on an independent scout toward Falls Church. On the way went into the house of Mr. Charles Mix. None there but a colored woman, a slave. In the course of the talk, she said she would like to go North. I told her she had stay where she [12] is. She said that nothing was as dear to a person as their liberty and their family. She told me that her husband and 5 of her children were taken away some time since and she did not know what had become of them. She said that present owner was a good man and never whipped his slaves the same as some masters do. She told me that down in the cotton country the slaves under some masters had more work than they could do in the day and if they did not have it done, [ he would ] tie them up and give them 30 lashes and then tell in the bar rooms that they had to punish one of their servants for being lazy, and such is slavery. Returned this morning and heard that the regiment was under arms all night, expecting an attack whichdid not take place, but we are under marching orders. The rebels drove in our pickets at Alexandria where they rallied and drove them back.

August 10. Went on guard yesterday morning.

Came off this morning. Nothing of importance occurred during the last 24 hours.

August 13th. Went on outpost picket yesterday morning to be gone 24 hours, Joe McHenry and I being together. Chris Williams and I went to an old farmer's house where we bought some milk - we were paid yesterday - at the very moderate rate of ten cents a quart and some peaches at the rate of 4 dollars a bushel (they don't know how to charge in this country). It commenced to rain about 6 P.M. and continued steadily until [13] 1 A.M. this morning. Stopped a man yesterday named Throckmorton and demanded his pass, which he produced and then commenced telling us about his affairs. His elder brother commands a troop of [Prussian?] calvary about 6 miles from here. He came down last [night?] with his troop and destroyed his peach orchard worth 1000 dollars, run off 5 slaves, and completely gutted his house and took 3 horses and left word that he was coming down next day to destroy his

–  –  –

August 15. Went on guard yesterday and about 11 o'clock the report came in that the rebels were advancing by the way the [Chain?] Bridge.

Three companies from our regiment went out immediately, ours amongst them. I traded with [Clarck?]. He done my guard and I went with the company in his stead. Went ahead 3 miles and stopped at a church of some sort the 24 hours. Had a pretty good time. It looked kind of sacreligious to see fellows playing bluff on the pulpit and smoking and sleeping n the pews. Saw nothing but heard that they chased the pickets of the Boston 9th Irish Regiment.

Sent 9 dollars to my wife yesterday in a check on the Bank of America, which the chaplain was kind enough to get me.

[14] August 16. Washed my clothes. Had just got done when it commenced raining, which has every prospect of continuing for some days, as it usually does down here. This is a queer climate.

August 17. Drills and parades, the same as usual.

–  –  –

August 19. Sunday.

Battallion drill at 5 A.M. Nice way of keeping Sabbath, and our Colonel, a deacon of a church to boot. Church at 10 o'clock. Did not go, though. Played poker instead. Rained pretty much all day. Clothes not dry yett.

August 20. Went on special duty this morning, which duty was to help to build a fort, back of Fort Corcoran.

Had to march about 8 miles to get to it. Had to pick and shovel all day yellow clay and hard pan and had to go at it without any breakfast, none ready when we started away from camp. The fort had to be finished by the 24th of this month. Don't think it possible to do it. Detatchments from all regiments of our brigade. The first clear day in a week. Clothes pretty dry when I came back. Heard whilst out there, the Seceshers were throwing up earth works in the neighborhood of Falls Church. Col. [Kerrigmar ?], I heard, went to Gen'l McClellan for leave to drive them out. Not granted. Reason why - might bring on a battle. Forgets Fort Sumter.

Parallel case, all right, I suppose. Saw the brother of Jackson (him that shot Ellsworth). He lives back of Fort Corcoran.

6 August 24. Received orders to shift our encampment and to be ready to march at 7 A.M. All ready and tents struck at the [15] appointed time, but millitary-like did not start until 1 P.M.

Had to march back to Arlington Heights to consolidate the brigade. Pitched our tents and made outselves comfortable.

Saw Gen'l McDowell. Think he would make a good pugilist.

August 25, Sunday. Went down to Potomac to bathe. Whilst gone had dress parade and whilst the colonel had the men on the ground said we had better have meetings, the only way to get the men to church. Not a very religious regiment. More packs of cards used than prayer books. Plenty of tracts around. Better save the money and buy rifles for the men.

Heard the articles of war read this afternoon, rather a sleepy operation. Must be did, though.

August 26, Monday. Had a review today. Two brigades was inspected by Mr. President and Secretary of State and Gen'ls McClellan, McDowell, and their respective staffs. Handsome man, McClellan. Eye like an hawk. Looks wide awake. Don't think they can fool him. Keeps his own counsel. Don't think Beauregard will know much of his plans. Evidently knows his biz. Says we must have blue uniforms. Shows his sense there, as the Army is dressed now. They look like the London beggars. Motley is their wear. Another good idea of his keeping the officers and men from hanging around the gin mills in Washington. He should have a court of examination called to [16] examine these volunteer officers, both regimental and company. through their facings. I don't wonder at the disgraceful affair of Bull Run. Nothing else to be expected.

Men good enough, officers not worth the lace on their coats, but it will learn the government something.

August 27, Tuesday. The rebels drove in our pickets this noon. Killed one of the 25th. We received orders to hold ourselves in readiness to march at a moment's notice to Arlington Mills, where the 25th lay last week. The rebel's pickets come in there now.

August 28, Wednesday. Lay on our arms all night in expectation of being called out. Slept good and sound all night as I usually do. I received a package of things from the little woman at home and a verry nice pipe and for all of them I am truly thankful. It is a good thing to have somebody at home to remmember a fellow when he is far away.

August 28th,Wednesday. The rebel kicking up quite a noise with their guns out beyond the railroad. Heard they had a battery erected on Hall's Hills, which commanded Ball's Crossroads and the battery which the 35 have erected as well 7 at Fort Corcoran. God help Washington if ever we are driven from Arlington, for what is its salvation now will be its ruination then, but it is hardly probable that such a thing will take place. Received a long letter from my little wife, which pleased me, but some of its contents made me very mad.

[17] It would not be good for somebody if I could have got to Lansingburgh after I read it.

August 29, Thursday. Went on guard. Have orders for muster and inspection to take place on the morning of the 31st.

–  –  –

September 1st, Sunday. Went to the meeting which is held every Sunday under the name of church for the second time since enlisted. It went against the grain, though. Had a good ramble this afternoon through the woods and missed dress parade thereby. Asked the colonel to let me go to the Mass.

9th. Said I could go after I went to his church. Did not like it, but had to put up with it.

September 2nd, Monday. Drills and parades the same as usual.

Wrote a letter to my wife.

September 4th, Wednesday. Went making roads through the woods. Received a letter from home. Heard through the papers that Jeff Davis was dead. Don't believe it, though.

Reason why - the Devil is good to his own. Expected a fight all day, holding ourselves in readiness to march at a moment's notice. Had orders to fill our canteens with water and to stow away 2 days' provision in our haversacks and to be ready to [march] at a moment's notice through the night, Had orders to have two days' cooked provisions on hand. I think there is a fight looming up on the horizon and I think it will burst up pretty soon.

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