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Civil War Diary

John Miller
Emmitsburg Area Historical Society

Dairy of Joseph E. Wible 1861-1862, Part 5 (Read Part 4)

Saturday, Nov. 23 – It rained all last night, and this morning it commended snowing a little after which it cleared off. We had two trials today at electing a Second Lieutenant, but were not successful in either ballot. The first ballot [Albert] Hunter received 41 votes and Walker 34 and the second Hunter 43 and Walker 32 after which the election was postponed until the week following. It requires 45 to elect.

We have had quite an exciting time this afternoon. There was a man undergoing a pretty severe punishment for some small offence and the man becoming exasperated, relieved him, which in turn exasperated the commanding officer and he set half the men in camp at work to find him – twenty of our company was ordered out on horseback to guard the different roads leading from town. I was one among the number sent out. I was under Sergeant McMillen out at the junction of the Gettysburg and Woodsboro roads. We were relieved about eight o’clock, the prisoner having been found in camp. We had a very pleasant time while we were on picket duty this evening. We met a very pleasant young lady who promised to bring each of us a pie next week and I am now anxiously waiting for the pie "in prospective".

Sunday, Nov. 24 – This morning was clear and cold, but about eleven o’clock it commenced snowing. The snow continued to fall afternoon and this evening it cleared off again. Was at Catholic Church this morning and this evening at the Methodists Church.

Monday, Nov. 25 – The weather has been very changeable today – for awhile it snowed and inclination to snow, but at last came to the conclusion to do no more than be cold and disagreeable. We took (that is the Company) a ride down the Baltimore Pike this afternoon and many of our fellow got pretty well "in".

Tuesday, Nov. 26 – Today has been cold and warm by turns. We succeeded this morning in electing A. [Albert] W. Hunter our Second Lieutenant. Hunter received forty-nine votes, was declared by the Major, elected and he has now entered upon his duties, with the good wished of the company. He seems disposed to be very accommodating.

Wednesday, Nov. 27 - It has been raining nearly all day and very cold. Our camp is very disagreeable and muddy – went to bed without roll call tonight.

Thursday, Nov. 28 – Today was ushered in with music and the firing of cannon – it is Thanksgiving Day. No services in camp and no permission to go to town to church.

Sunday, Dec. 1 – The weather today has been cold and cloudy, but cleared off this evening. I went to the Methodist Protestant Church this morning, and this evening went out with a church squad but instead of going to church went with Mr. Knott to see several young ladies. We spent a very pleasant evening.

Monday, Dec. 2 - Today dawned upon us warmer than usual but toward dinner time the weather became uncommonly cold and still remains so. Spent a tolerably pleasant time with those young ladies in whose society I reveled last night. The clouds have appearance of snow tonight. We drilled on the pike both forenoon and afternoon today.

Tuesday, Dec. 3 – Today has been uncommonly cold. Went down to the pike today to meet General Banks who camp up today with his Body-guard in advance of his division which are falling back in this direction. General Banks rode at the head of about one hundred cavalry. We went down to the Federal Junction where several regiments were in the act of encamping.

Wednesday, Dec. 4 – Today has been very pleasant – the sun shinning nearly all day. The regiment which has been encamped here with is left today. They went about two miles from town and encamped in Worman’s Woods. Captain Curles’ Cavalry Company left here for Hagerstown this afternoon. We escorted them about a mile out of town. The town is very much crowded with soldiers today. So much so that a person can scarcely get along the street. Went out in town this evening with Mr. Knott’s to call on the ladies, remained till near nine o’clock then returned to camp.

Thursday, Dec. 5 – Today has been very pleasant. The Maryland First passed through here today at noon. Tonight the Wisconsin Third came to town and camped in a field adjoining us. Henry Buckingham one of our messmates received a box of nice things from home today. We all enjoyed the good things very much and the kind donors have our sincere thanks.

Friday, Dec. 6 – This has been an uncommonly warm day and has again loosened up the congealed mud in camp greatly to our dissatisfaction. Went out on dress parade this evening to encampment of the First Regiment of the Potomac Home Brigade. The 28th New York, the 5th Connecticut and the 46th Pennsylvania Regiments passed through here today at noon. They are a fine looking set of fellows.

Saturday, Dec. 7 – We took a trip to a camp on the other side of the Monocacy along the Baltimore pike this morning. There were ten of us detailed this afternoon as mounted orderlies for Generals Williams and Hamilton, five in each squad and a corporal to each. Plummer has command of our squad and Longwell of the other. We reported ourselves to General Williams and then returned leaving one of our men behind to make the necessary preparations for our long visit.

Sunday, Dec 8 – We arose this morning about the usual time and commenced our preparations for our long journey to General Williams’ Headquarters where we arrived about nine o’clock a.m. We soon had our tents pitched and were ready for duty. The Quartermaster gave us a very nice official Marker and our Company sent us a small tent which we use for a kitchen. Our provisions arrived here about one o’clock today when we immediately set to eating to our heart’s content. Today has been uncommonly warm. We are still very much pleased with our General and his staff.

Monday, Dec 9 – Today has been excessively warm. I have carried two dispatches today and both to the same place – to the Adjutant, 46th Pennsylvania. Bill McIlhenny and I accompanied the General and Staff this evening on a ride to a neighboring farmhouse. We returned about eight o’clock. Our 1st. Lieutenant paid us a visit today.

Tuesday, Dec 10 – This morning opened upon us cloudy and rainy but soon gave way to better weather.

Saturday, Dec 14 – This has been a beautiful day. We were all ordered to be ready by eleven o’clock to accompany the General and his Brigade about four miles from Camp for a review by General Banks and Staff. The Brigade performed very creditably and I think to the satisfaction of both General Banks and Williams. The Michigan Cavalry passed along the road while we were drilling – there was about twelve hundred of them – a very fine, stirring body of men. They encamped a few miles from town on the Emmitsburg pike. We got back from the review about six o’clock cold and hungry.

Read part 6

Read more about Emmitsburg in the Civil War