Title Pocket Diary for 1862. Containing a Blank Space for Every Day in the Year, Cash Account, Memoranda, &c.: 1862 Civil War Union Soldier and Musician Uriah Johnson's Manuscript Diary: Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, 6th Regiment Band [with] Two Ambrotypes, Four CDVs, and One Glass Plate Photographic Negative
Book Condition Good
Jacket Condition No Jacket
Publisher Published Annually for the Trade 1862
Seller ID 2197326
Published Annually for the Trade. 1862. Flexible leather binding with leather closure over fore-edge, cloth protective bands designed to cover top and bottom page ridges affixed to rear endpaper, all edges gilt. A diary bought in Camp Pierpont, Virginia in 1862 by Uriah Johnson, a member of the band for the sixth regiment of the Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps. He enlisted at the age of 17, on August 27th, 1861 and served for three years in several different companies until his final discharge on June 13th, 1865, at which time he was a 2nd lieutenant. He was present at the Siege of Richmond and other important engagements. Also included: two ambrotypes (one of the diaries; another of him and a relative, possibly his brother); cartes-de-visite of Abraham Lincoln, Uriah Johnson's grandfather (labeled in pencil on reverse), Mollie (labeled in pencil on front edge), and Uriah Johnson (this last mounted on a piece of cardstock); and a glass plate photographic negative. One ambrotype is housed in a wooden case with a clasp, the other is in one half of a similar case (the other half is not present).Manuscript diaries from the American Civil War are scarce, and each shines a unique light on the conflict. This example provides a charmingly innocent account of events, which underscores how young and inexperienced many of the soldiers fighting in the American Civil War were. There are also detailed accounts of day-to-day activities. The first passage displays the sort of optimism one would expect from a young man who volunteered: 'In Camp Pierpont Virginia. A beautiful day nice and warm. Camp very quiet more so than usual. Still considerable talk about the Battle of Drainsville is heard wherever we got that was the first Union victory on the Potomac, and the Boys all feel proud of it...' In the second week of January are five consecutive entries in which Johnson explains that soldiers are expecting their pay, which finally arrived on January 11, 1862: 'Received our pay $42.50 for two months service November and December.' He was quick to put it to use: 'Bought lumber to build winter quarters of a farmer paid him 2 cents a foot for boards' (Jan. 13). Other passages provide an immediacy not found in many accounts of the war: 'We are living without tents and expecting an attack every minute...' (March 11), and Johnson relays news as it is received by the camp: 'We have cheering news that Mannassas is evacuated and our forces now have possesion of the strongest Rebel hold'.One memoranda page provides a firsthand account of the Battle of Drainsville on December 20, 1862: 'The Battle of Drainsville was fought Dec the 20th 1862. Our loss was eight killed while that of the rebels is suposed as near as can be asertained one hundred. The number of the killed in our Regiment was three and fourteen wounded two severely the remaining slightly.'Keywords: EPHEMERA DIARY AMERICAN HISTORY MILITARY CIVIL WAR SIGNED Condition Notes: Diarist's name on front and rear endpapers, entries on daily diary pages, nearly all written in from January 1, 1862 to June 28, 1862, with notes on two other daily pages (seemingly chosen at random), a couple memoranda pages, and the 'summary of cash account' page, manuscript record of service (in the author's hand, so likely something he wrote for personal reference) laid in. A book curse is written on the front free endpaper: 'Steal not this book my honest friend for fear the gallows may be your end.'