Civil War History


page 1 of diary

page 11 of diary

page 21 of diary

last page 30 of diary

The Leaders:
The Politicians

Jefferson Davis

Above: Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy.
Below: Abraham Lincoln of the Union.

Abraham Lincoln

Charles Terry Saxton
The American Civil War

A War Diary

Previous Page      Next Page

page 9

Diary of Charles Terry Saxton, 90th N.Y. Volunteers, from January, 1862 to August, 1863.

Sunday June 1st, 1862

              The first day of summer. Well, I don't see that it is much different from what it was on the 12th of Jan, the day we arrived. The leaves were as green, the flowers as beautiful and the fruit as plentiful as now. Oh, how I long for the vigorous reign of winter again. There was regimental inspection today which lasted a couple of hours.

Monday June 2nd

              Our Co buried the first one whom it has lost by death. Poor John Wager had received his discharge signed by the hand of the great destroyer. He enlisted to fight the battles of his country and came down here to die not amid the terrific excitement of the bloody battle field, the roar of canon and the rattle of musquetry sounding his requiem, but by the wasting burning power of fever. How can we do him more honor than by saying, he died in his country's service. 'Requiescat in pace'.

Tuesday June 3rd

              Am on provost today, Corp of the 3rd relief.

Wednesday June 4th

              Received this morning letters from mother and Arvin Rice. Answered mother's later.

Thursday June 5th

              Am Sergeant of the central guard. Was put on for being absent from roll call. I made out the guard report as the Lt requested me to do so.

Friday June 6th

              It rained very hard all of last night and we took off nearly all the guard. It has been equally rainy and squally all day. The rainy season appears to have commenced in good earnest.

Saturday June 7th

              Have been on police at the central guard house. It is very rainy and the water comes through our tents in a very uncomfortable manner. A mail has arrived, bringing letters from JB and Aunt Lib. News came of the taking of Richmond. The paymaster is here.

Sunday June 8th

              Have written to Rice and Aunt Lib. Very pleasant.

Monday June 9th

              An Ord'ly Sgt of the 47th was accidentally shot by a Corp of our regiment. He was crawfishing on the south beach, and the Corp was out shooting, when his gun was discharged in some way and the bullet went through the Sgt's head, killing him almost instantly.

Tuesday June 10th

              If this life isn't dull I don't know what is. If it were not that I have plenty of reading matter to occupy my time, I believe I should die of ennui. Well we must take life as it comes.

Wednesday June 11th

              The light artillery were firing at a target placed on an island something over a mile distant this morning and made some pretty good shots. Received this morning a letter from Willie Brown. Have written to JB.

Thursday June 12th

              Am on police guard today. Very rainy. Received a letter from mother with two dollars and some stamps enclosed, also a paper from Rice

Friday June 13th

              Very rainy all night. Came off guard at 8. Received pay this afternoon - $46.39, $5.61 having been deducted for extra clothing. We start for Tortugas tomorrow.

Steamer Ericsson, Saturday June 14th

              We spent the forenoon in packing up and at noon 4 Cos of us - B C D and F, commanded by Lt Col Tenelli, started for the wharf. The rain was coming down in bucketsful and the road was covered with water and mud over 2 inches deep, which we had to paddle through with all our goods and chattels on our backs. As soon as we got to the wharf we embarked on the Ericsson, a steamer which was originally built to be moved by one of Ericsson's caloric engines. At about 5 o'clock we started for Tortugas, which is 60 or 70 miles from Key West. We struck a rock a little while ago so hard that the old craft shivered in every timber. Our Co is on the 2nd deck and we have the floor to sleep on.

Port Jefferson, Sunday June 15th

              We arrived here some time during last night, and this morning hauled up within a few rods of the shore. Viewing the island from where we came in, it looked like an immense fort built right out in the ocean. We landed this afternoon by means of a scow, in the midst of a heavy storm. We are quartered in Fort Jefferson. I am on guard for the night.

Previous Page              Top of Page              Next Page

Civil War History

Reasons for the Conflict:

     In 1860 slavery still existed in the southern states of the USA, even though it had been abolished in most of the rest of the world more than a generation before.

      Many Americans believed that it was time that it be abolished in the USA as well.

      This was the primary issue of the American Civil War, though there were other issues relating to how strong ties should be between individual states and the Federal government.

Key West, Florida, 1861:

      Located where the gilf of Mexico meets the Atlantic ocean, Key West was of enormous strategic importance in upholding the blockade against the southern states. It was also used to train new recruits.

the blockade of the South

Mrs AH Wilcox of
Barrington Street.
Rochester, N.Y.

originally typed up the diary of
her father, Charles Terry Saxton,
and preserved it for posterity.

Trees of London        A James Wilkinson Publication ©