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Civil War Diary

John Miller
Emmitsburg Area Historical Society

Dairy of Joseph E. Wible 1861-1862, Part One

Itís a historianís dream to uncover new information not yet published. Last year I received a dairy about a member of Company C, Coleís Cavalry from my good friend Mark Dudrow. This dairy came to him by the owner, who gave us permission to transcribe, and include it in the Coleís Cavalry section of the Emmitsburg Historical Society. I thought it would be a great idea to allow our readers to read day by day accounts of an average cavalryman. I want to thank Susan Disinger for allowing me to transcribe Wibleís diary for our archives and for allowing me to share this with you.

August 28[27], 1861 - Left home yesterday in Hornerís Cavalry Company for Frederick where we are to be sworn in. Reached Emmitsburg at half past four where we still remain. We were very well received here. At Mrs. Stanwell's house opposite the hotel where we stopped early in the evening, they struck up the Star Spangled Banner and we all drew near to hear better and, perhaps more especially, to see the pretty girls which were out in numbers and made themselves very agreeable.

August 28, 1861 - Frederick City- Arrived here at about 2 Ĺ o'clock, had a hearty reception by the people, who gave every sign of loyalty to our glorious old banner. The receptions we received will long be remembered. In Creagerstown we were received with substantial patriotism. A gentleman there, but formerly from Emmitsburg, treated us to as many melons and crackers as we could eat.

August 29, 1861 - Today has been wet and gloomy but it cleared off late in the afternoon. In the evening Joe Wills and I went to Church. There was a soldier buried here this afternoon.

Friday, August 30, 1861 - Today has been very warm. We had a little sprinkle this evening but it soon cleared off again.

Saturday, August 31 - Today has been cool and very pleasant. We had our measures taken for our uniforms today; also, got in several recruits. Three companies came in camp today of which one was cavalry. We had quite a scene in Camp today. There were several Secessionists who came in Camp today and our boys happened to recognize them, and such a bowl I have never heard. They commenced firing at them and they took to a "double Quick" and made an inglorious exit from Camp. They were Secession delegates to a nearby convention.

Sunday, September 1, 1861 - Left Camp about nine O'clock this morning and after taking a short walk, went to Church and enjoyed myself very much. I went to prayer-meeting in the afternoon and in the evening went to preaching again.

Monday, Sept 2, 1861 - The weather has been very pleasant today.

Tuesday, September 3, 1861 - has been a very warm day. We had a little rain this evening.

Wednesday, Sept 4 -This day has been exceedingly warm. I felt rather indisposed today, but feel quite well this evening. The soldiers of this Camp are quite sociable. We drilled but twice today. We have a dress parade every evening. There was (sic) seven recruits brought in today by Mr. Maxwell of the vicinity of Emmitsburg. Our men were glad to see them. Our men were glad to see them. Our Company will now soon be full.

Sept 5, 1861 - This is an unpleasant rainy day. There was four-teen of our recruits come in today.

Sunday, Sept 8, 1861 - I had to stand guard today. It has been a very warm day. We had preaching in the Camp today.

Monday, Sept 9 - I feel very tired after having been on guard for twenty four hours. We got two more recruits today from Gettysburg and this evening we were mustered in. Recruits axe steadily coming in.

Wednesday, Sept 11 - This has been a rainy and very disagreeable day. About the time we were ready for dress parade it commenced raining in good earnest. We had quite a scare in our boarding house today. They were late with their dinner as usual, and some of the men broke in and took possession. They got in the kitchen and ransacked the whole house. The proprietor ran for a guard and the cooks ran and hid themselves, but no guard came so we proceeded with our dinner unmolested. Although it is rainy and very unpleasant out, still we are very comfortable in our quarters. There is four of us in our tent at present, and I find everyone more pleasant than I anticipated. We have very soft boards to lie on with a blanket spread under us.

Thursday, Sept 12 - We had quite a lively time both in town and in Camp today. The weather today has been very fine. This day has been celebrated both by the Civil and the Military. The American band was out in full bloom. There was several of the companies in Camp went up the street and when they returned they were gaily decked out with flowers. There was also a flag presentation in the morning to Capt. Glessnerís Company. It was small but it was very beautiful. There was several very patriotic speeches made.

Friday, Sept 13 - Today has been an exciting one in Camp on account of some Wisconsin soldiers coming to town. About noon there was two cavalry companies passed through town on their way to Williamsport, and in the evening, about eight o'clock there was a full regiment of infantry come to town where they are still encamped. The cheering from our camp was terrific. They are dressed in grey uniforms and look very lively. They have a splendid band along with them.

Saturday, Sept 14 - Today has been a beautiful one, although last night was very cool, yet the days are very warm, the Wisconsin band is discoursing some very good music tonight.

Sunday, Sept 15 1861 -Went to a Love Feast this morning and enjoyed myself very poorly. After that I went to the German Reformed Church and slept during the delivery of the sermon. In the afternoon there was a squad of five of us went to the country in search of fruit. We were at several houses and got about as many peaches as we wanted to eat. All the houses we stopped at were Secession; nevertheless, they treated us very courteously.

Monday, Sept 16 - This has been a very warm day. I noticed this afternoon, a man, carrying a kettle on his back with a stick running through the handle of it, as a punishment for some misdemeanor, which is a very common punishment around here.

Tuesday, Sept 17 - This has been an exciting day both in Camp and in town. The Wisconsin Regiment, which has been lying here for some time, has been doing good service to the legislature; they have arrested twelve or fourteen of them already and are still going on with their good work. This course of procedure took many of them by surprise, and has caused great indignation among the Peace Party men. They have them cooped up in the barracks surrounded by a strong guard. There was a sad accident happened in Camp this evening. While several men were examining some old guns, some of which were loaded, one was accidentally discharged and shot a man, standing nearby. The ball entered his breast and came out at his back. He died immediately. He belonged to one of the Sharpsburg companies, and is said to have been a very fine young man.

Wednesday, Sept 18 - Today ten of the caged Secessionists were moved to Fort McHenry. They were placed between four files of soldiers and sent to the depot and from thence to Fort McHenry. The remainder were discharged on taking the oath of allegiance. It looked very comic to see them trudging along between, files of soldiers with their carpet sacks in one hand and their cane in the other and their mouths a little awry. It was a comic adjournment of a legislature.

Thursday, Sept 19 - The picket guards with which the town was surrounded were withdrawn today. Nothing unusual happened today.

Friday, Sept 20 -There was nine more Secessionists brought to the guard-house today. Such scenes are causes of great excitement in I saw several of our friends from Gettysburg today. I have been standing guard this afternoon and will be on guard till tomorrow at ten oíclock.

Saturday, Sept 21 - This day turned out to be a very rainy day. Our tent is as snug and dry as we could wish and we all feel as content as if we were in a parlor, while the rain makes music on our tent.

Sunday, Sept 22 - Today has been unusually cool. It remained quite cool all day. I went to preaching this morning with a squad under Sergeant Maxwell, went again this evening. Were at the Methodist both morning and evening.

Monday, Sept 23 - The weather has moderated considerably today. Our Captain returned home from a furlough this morning. I was out in the country today with, friends, Wills and Buckingham, for fruit found it very scarce, and the people rather reluctant to give, but got as many as we could eat.

Monday, Sept 23 (contíd) - Today has been very quiet and very especially. There was a negro cowhided in Camp today for brining whiskey to the soldiers. After being whipped he was sent from Camp.

Read part 2

Read more about Emmitsburg in the Civil War