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Civil War Diary

John Miller
Emmitsburg Area Historical Society

Dairy of Joseph E. Wible 1861-1862, Part 3  (Read Part 2)

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.

Friday, Oct.18 - This afternoon those killed in the action at Harper's Ferry were buried in the cemetery at this place with the honors of war. It was a very solemn sight to see five persons put into one grave. The fifth one was one that died here at the hospital of some disease contracted previously. The corpses of those that were shot in the action wore a smiling countenance. This is a very rainy night.

Saturday, Oct. 19 – Today is very damp and warm. This afternoon the company went to Monocacy Creek a few miles below this place to wash themselves. It was a very muddy side. It is still damp and rainy.

Sunday, Oct 20 - Was at Church three times today. This has been a very dull day.

Monday, October 21 - Today has been very cool. Have been on guard today. The Wisconsin "boys changed their camp today but still remain our neighbors. We had a skirmish this evening, a man of our own called "Legs".

Tuesday, Oct. 22 - Today the Wisconsin Regiment left for the Potomac River where General Banks’ Column is now engaged with the enemy. It is very cool and has rained very hard today. The roles of the Camp have been made very strict today. No one is now permitted to come in without the escort of a soldier.

Wednesday Oct. 25 - This has been a very cold and windy day. Went up town with, a friend this evening to take tea and returned in time for roll call. We had quite a disturbance in our happy family today arising from the ingentlemen liness of Maxwell I. Coble, after which we decided to hire a cook and dispense with quarreling.

Thursday, Oct. 24 - We moved our tents today about twenty rods [16 ˝ feet/5 ˝ yards] from where we were before. This evening First lieutenant of Cole's Company took out a squad of about seventy-five men among which were a number of our Company. Lt. Colonel Dennis directly after sent several squads after us to bring back but it was some time before they found us all.

Friday, Oct. 25 - Today has been very cool. Nothing new has happened today.

Saturday, Oct. 26 - Was at Monocacy Creek this afternoon. We found the water very cool. We saw some very pretty black curls behind a piece of fine furniture. One of our Sergeants was court-martialed today. The charges against him were circulating false reports and prejudicing the men against our First lieutenant. After a tedious hearing he was honorably acquitted.

Sunday, Oct 27 - Had preaching on our camp grounds today by Rev. McCord a Methodist minister. His text VIII Chap. Jeremiah and 22 verse. Was on guard today so that I was prevented from going to preaching this evening. The weather is getting very cool tonight.

Monday, 28th - Had an election for Corporal today (28th). About half the Company ran for the office. George Sponcler was elected. The vote showed Sponcler 34 - Trostle 24. We now drill six hours every day, commencing at eight we drill until eleven o’clock; dine at twelve, at half past twelve we have drill on foot for one hour. Commencing at two we again drill on horseback until four, and at five we have dress parade.

Tuesday, Oct 29 - Today I acted as cook, rather an unpleasant duty to cook for ten men. There is ten of us in our mess and we have our names arranged alphabetically and commencing at the head we cook alternately.

Wednesday, Oct 30 - Took a trip to Frederick Junction in Company, on horseback today. Two companies of the Wisconsin Third are there at present. It is about three miles from this place.

Thursday, Oct 31 - Today we had an inspection and a parade around town of the whole forces encamped here. The Regiment made quite a creditable appearance. Our pay-roll was made out and sent to Washington today. We expect to get our pay in a day or two.

Friday, November 1 – Today we are in another month. It is now over two months since I commenced soldiering, and I am not tired of it yet. We went through the regular routine of drilling today. It commenced raining about eight o’clock this morning while I was standing guard, which made it very unpleasant.

Saturday, Nov. 2 – It has been raining and very cold all day today. The wind has been very high and tonight it still blows with increased violence.

Sunday Nov. 3 – Went to Church today, both morning and evening. We had a preaching in camp this afternoon. The weather has been clear and cool today.

Read Part 4

Read more about Emmitsburg in the Civil War