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Civil War Diary

John Miller
Emmitsburg Area Historical Society

Dairy of Joseph E. Wible 1861-1862, Part two  (Read Part 1)

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Thursday, Sept 19 - The picket guards with which the town was surrounded were withdrawn today.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 o’clock.

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 (cont’d) - 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.

Tuesday, Sept 24 - Our men returned from Washington today with the horses. They brought two hundred and eighty horses for the saddle and thirty six for wagons. Both men and horses were very fatigued.

Thursday, Sept 26 - The horses were divided among the companies today. We got 76 horses.

Friday, Sept 27 - Today has been a very wet and stormy day. It commenced, raining last night and rained all day, and about noon it became very windy, upsetting tents, and unroofing many of the stalls in which we have our horses. It is rather cool this evening and has the appearance of clearing. This is the day we were to be presented with a flag by the ladies of Emmitsburg and vicinity but as the day was very bad they did not make their appearance but have promised to be here on

Saturday, Sept 28 - This morning we received from the ladies Union Association of Emmitsburg and vicinity a wagon load of provisions consisting in part of butter, peach butter, pickles and a variety of other things. I was at prayer meeting tonight at the barracks. The meeting was carried on exclusively by the soldiers, one of which delivered quite an interesting lecture.

Monday, Oct l (Note; Monday was September 30) - Today has been a very busy day in our Company. The ladies of Emmitsburg brought the flag today, There was quite a number of ladies that came with the flag. Some very pretty ladies and others not so pretty but all passable.

Tuesday, Oct 2 (Should be Oct 1) - Today the balance of our horses were selected and all distributed among the Company. The horses were divided by lot, and everybody seems very well pleased with their luck in drawing. My luck was to get a small sorrel.

Wednesday, Oct 3 (Should be Oct 2) - Today we drilled for the first time on horse back. In my opinion we were very successful for the first time.

Sunday, Oct 7 (Should be Oct 6) - Was on guard yesterday as well as all last night and at this hour, six o’clock, am not yet relieved. This is a beautiful morning and it has also been a pleasant night unusually warm for this time of year. It is so pleasant that a person can sleep out all night on the ground without cover.

Monday, Oct 7 - Tried hard all forenoon to get my horse shod but did not succeed. This afternoon at one O'clock we started for home to be there for the election tomorrow. We reached Emmitsburg about five O'clock in the evening and fed there. About seven O'clock we started for home again rain pouring down all the while) and reached Gettysburg about 9 O'clock and marched up town (to the music of a bugle) single file. We marched to the diamond and retired to our respective abodes.

Tuesday, Oct 8 - Cloudy, damp morning indicating rain. Remained about home all morning. After dinner went up and deposited my vote after which I took a short ride to the country. Partook of a few apples, drank a little cider, played with the children, bid goodbye and returned home.

Wednesday, Oct 9 - Exercised my "family horse" a little this morning and then prepared to leave. Left home at 11 O'clock for Emmitsburg where we met the balance of our men, remained there about half an hour, then marched through the principal streets when we left for Frederick. About five miles from Emmitsburg while passing a house some persons standing nearby hurrahed for Jeff Davis. A drove of turkies being in a field nearby, our men made a charge on them capturing six of them (the turkies), Arrived safely in Camp at 8 o'clock P.M., tired and hungry.

Thursday, Oct 1O - Cloudy but pleasant. The Connecticut 5th Regiment arrived in town in the morning and went on the Williamsport Turnpike. About an hour after marching thru town, they came back and encamped three miles south of town. A light battery attached to the Regiment also returned and put up at the Wisconsin camp where they are now. Several Secessionists were arrested during the day some were discharged. One of our men brought a captured gun into Camp. He having captured it from a Secesh in Middleburg, Carrol Co.Md. The evening was damp and disagreeable, very unpleasant.

October 11, 1861 - Camp Thomas - Another pleasant day has ended and our many tents have been pitched "one day's march nearer home". The 13th Massachusetts Regiment and Indiana 12th arrived about 5 o'clock this evening. The former encamped on the Fair-Ground around the barracks. The latter along the Hagerstown turnpike, a short distance from the city. Everything is tranquil and quiet in our Camp tonight. Some are singing good old Methodist hymns and others are amusing themselves in different ways. The 13th Massachusetts Reg. were on dress parade this evening an excellent band in attendance.

October 12 - Camp Thomas - Another mis-spent day has passed into eternity. I feel rattier sad this evening. Human nature seems very frail and demonstrates from day to day, and this day to me in particular, that we are all subject to many changes. There is no stability in our nature, often as I caused to shed tears for the disappointments caused by the recklessness of the human race, yet it teaches us to look to a higher source for comfort, the source from whence all blessings flow. The 12th Indiana and 13th Mass. Regiments left today for Williamsport along with a battery of two guns manned by thirty men. Last night was a very cold, rainy night, the most unpleasant night we have had yet. The rain came through our tent in places; the first time it happened since we have been in it. We had a review of the whole Regt today marching through the principal streets of town.

Sunday, Oct. 13, 1861 - Stayed at home from church today to cook dinner, but this evening went to Church and slept while the preacher delivered his sermon. We do not drill on the Sabbath.

Monday, Oct. 14 - Today all the infantry that was in our camp left for another place, out of town a short distance. Everything seems quiet and altogether different since their departure.

Tuesday, Oct. 15 - Today has been a very pleasant day.

Wednesday, Oct. 16 - Today we moved our tents and are now in our new home. About twenty yards from where we were before encamped.

Thursday, Oct. 17 - There was a fight at Harper’s Ferry yesterday in which engagement, there was 4 killed and six wounded, all of which belonged to the Wisconsin Third. It is reported that about one hundred and fifty of the rebels were killed, amongst which was one of their Colonels. There was about five or six hundred engaged on our side, while on their side there was about two thousand. The killed and wounded were brought here to the hospital today. The wounded seemed very cheerful and are doing well.

Read Part 3

Read more about Emmitsburg in the Civil War