Thursday, 21st—There is one train a day over the railroad. It is a combination train, and comes in at 6 p. m. and departs at 8 o'clock in the morning. The train does not run at night for fear the track might be torn up, as the rebels are so near. Some very hot weather [...]
Diary of Alexander G. Downing; Company E, Eleventh Iowa Infantry
Wednesday, 20th—Nothing of importance.
Tuesday, 19th—We received orders that two companies are to go out every three days about four miles east of the camp, to guard the railroad at the deep cut. On the third day they are to be relieved by two other companies from the regiment. It is a dangerous place to be on picket.
Monday, 18th—We are having some very hot weather. Since coming to Bolivar, each man is permitted to cook his rations in his own way, and so every man has a frying pan of some sort, and a tin peach can in which to boil his coffee. One man in our company, "Long John," as the [...]
Sunday, 17th—Nothing of importance. We had company inspection early this morning. Because of the hot weather, all men not on duty stay close to their tents in the shade.
Saturday, 16th—Ten men from each company are detailed every morning to stand on picket, while the others patrol the railroad tracks. The first thing we do is to form a line of battle every morning at 4 o'clock.
Friday, 15th—There was a very heavy rainstorm last night. We pitched our tents and built the bunks in them today, and are again quite well settled in camp. This is my birthday—twenty years old, and I have done a hard day's work, setting up our tent and building bunks, after having been all night on [...]
Thursday, 14th—The Eleventh Iowa was ordered to move across the river, which we did this afternoon and went into camp on a low piece of ground. Our regiment is to guard the railroad track for four miles. We have to go on duty every other day and have to see that the rebels do not [...]
Wednesday, 13th—The weather is very hot. I was on camp guard today when one of the guards suddenly became sick. I was number 24 in the first relief, and the man next to me, number 25, got sick. He called out to me, "Corporal the guard number 25.'' It then became my duty to repeat [...]
Tuesday, 12th—We just learned that Ebenezer McCullough of Company E died of chronic diarrhea at Corinth, on the third of this month. His home was at Davenport, Iowa.
Monday, 11th—I wrote a letter home today and sent a ten dollar bill in it. I am sending home nearly all my pay from the Government, with the understanding that father is to keep it for me.
Sunday, 10th—We had company inspection this morning. We received orders to sweep the camp twice a day from now on. Our new chaplain, Chauncey H. Remington, conducted preaching services in the evening on the regimental parade ground.
Saturday, 9th—The weather is very hot and during the day the men not on duty keep close to camp. There are some fine orchards in this locality and we get plenty of fruit now, as all orchard guards have been removed. The men are given passes and every day four or five from each company [...]
Friday, 8th—No news of importance. The officers are having considerable trouble in keeping the boys from getting through the lines. We have regular brigade guard to keep the men in camp, yet every day a few slip through when the guards are walking in opposite directions. But now, every morning at guard mount, the officer [...]
Thursday, 7th—Nothing of importance. Everything is quiet in camp. The rebels are not giving us much anxiety yet, but our officers are not napping; a strong picket is constantly kept in line.
Wednesday, 6th—I went on guard again. The boys are having high times today; all having plenty of money, they are making it lively in camp. But those on guard duty are having hard work because of the hot weather; for with dress coat buttoned up, all accouterments strapped on, and carrying musket at right shoulder [...]
Tuesday, 5th—The Eleventh Iowa drew two months' pay today. I received $26. We are able to purchase most any kind of goods needed, right here at Bolivar only two miles from camp.
Monday, 4th—I slipped out today between two guards and going up the river about a mile to a bakery near a mill, I bought a dozen apple pies. I returned safely to camp and sold the pies to some of the boys for double what I paid for them. Orders are very strict against absence [...]
Sunday, 3d—When the sick call was made this morning, I went to see the doctor for the first time. I was threatened with fever and the doctor gave me three "Blue Mass" pills and marked me off duty for three days.
Saturday, 2d—I was detailed on brigade guard this morning, but was taken sick while at my post and was relieved at 11 a. m.
Friday, 1st—All hands are at work cleaning up our camp. We have a very pretty camping ground right on the bank of the river. The entire Crocker Brigade is in this camp and is in command of General Crocker.
Thursday, 31st—We started at 8 o'clock this morning and arrived at Bolivar at 12 o'clock noon. We went into camp two miles east of town on the banks of the Hatchie river. Our camp is in a fine piece of timber, well shaded. I was almost played out when we arrived in camp; the weather [...]
Wednesday, 30th—We camped on a large "secesh" plantation last night. The owner of it being a general in the rebel army, we made ourselves at home, killing all the cattle that we wanted and taking all the honey that we could carry away with us. We started at 8 o'clock this morning and marched fourteen [...]
Tuesday, 29th—We got on the right road and started at 8 o'clock this morning. We marched twelve miles and bivouacked for the night. The weather is extremely hot and the roads are very dusty. Orlando Stout of Company E fell out of the ranks today, and getting too far behind, was taken prisoner.
Monday, 28th—We struck our tents and at sunup started on our march for Bolivar, Tennessee. Our guide took us on the wrong road and we countermarched about ten miles, thus not being far from our starting point. The guide was tied and taken back to Corinth. It is very warm and the roads are dusty. [...]