Edgar Josiah Noble

Edgar Josiah Noble (1839-1924) enlisted as a corporal in Co. K of the 4th Michigan Infantry on 20 June 1861 for 3 years. He was wounded in action in August of 1863. He re-enlisted on 29 December 1863 and was wounded again on 5 May 1864 in the Battle of the Wilderness. He was discharged for disability on 20 August 1865.

Edgar was born on 21 January 1839 in Newstead, New York. He was the son of Ensign Noble (1802-Aft1880) and Amanda Duncan (1804-Aft1850). The Noble family moved from New York state to Goodrichville, Genesee County, Michigan, in the 1850s.

This partial 1863 diary kept by Cpl. Edgar Noble is made available to this site through the courtesy of Tom Splain.

Pocket Diary 1863

Sergeant E. Noble, Co. K, 4th Michigan Vols.


Saturday, January 10, 1863 — Falmouth, Va.

Monday, January 12, 1863 — Kelly’s Ford, Va.

Friday, March 13, 1863 — Gould and I made a visit to Berdan’s 1st Regt. Sharp Shooters. Took over grub with us. Found them as we expected — a set of thugs. They made an attempt to steal our overcoats but we prevented it.

Wednesday, April 8, 1863 — Dover

Saturday, April 25, 1863 — Returned to the regiment today. Found the boys all right with orders to march with eight days rations.

Sunday, April 26, 1863 — Today the regiment has gone on picket. I was left in camp. Have written 4 letters. Expect to march tomorrow.

Monday, April 27, 1863 — Broke camp near Falmouth. Marched in the direction of the river. Encamped near he Brick Church in a large field.

Tuesday, April 28, 1863 — Took up our line of march at twelve o’clock P.M. Marched 15 miles and encamped for the night. Rained all day.

Wednesday, April 29, 1863 — Crossed the Rappahannock and Rapidan. Captured 160 prisoners. Rained hard all day. Encamped near the Rapidan River. Rained all night.

Thursday, April 30, 1863 — Started at 8 o’clock. Rained in the forenoon. Marched to Chancellorsville. Stopped two hours. Then advanced two miles. Fell back to the corners and encamped for the night.

Friday, May 1, 1863 — Broke camp at ten/ Went eight miles to the fords and returned. Marched backwards and forwards all night in line of battle with flankers thrown out.

Saturday, May 2, 1863 — Stayed all night where we encamped for the night. Threw up breastworks to protect us from the fire of the enemy.

Sunday, May 3, 1863 — Laid in line of battle all day. Heavy fighting in the forenoon and most all night. 11th and 12th Corps fell back one mile.

Monday, May 4, 1863 — Were sent out to try the strength of the rebs. Advanced nearly one mile. Found the rebs in force and fell back. 1 killed and 11 wounded.

Tuesday, May 5, 1863 — Was attacked twice by the rebs but repulsed them both times. Rain commenced to fall at dark. Rained all night.

Wednesday, May 6, 1863 — Started at three o’clock. Marched to United States Ford. Returned and acted as rear guard. Reached the old camp at three o’clock. Rained all day.

Thursday, May 7, 1863 — The old camp looks rather gloomy this morning. Have no rations — only what we pick up. Many of the [boys] are sick. It is still raining.

Monday, May 11, 1863 — Today Bill Smith made some Hoe Cake and it was good but rather heavy. He thinks it will stick to the ribs well.

Tuesday, May 19, 1863 — Our Corps was reviewed today by General Meade. The weather very warm and sweaty.

Wednesday, May 20, 1863 — Left camp at 9 o’clock. Went on picket. Took three days rations with us. The weather very warm and pleasant. Received a letter from L. N.

Thursday, May 21, 1863 — Weather warm and pleasant. Are on the reserve today. Received a letter from Alex Crane. Also a paper from an unknown friend.

Friday, May 22, 1863 — Were relieved this morning and returned to camp a little the worse for wear. Received a letter from L. N. today.

Thursday, May 28, 1863 — We received orders at noon to be ready to march at a moment’s notice with three days rations. Did not start until three o’clock. Marched 10 miles and encamped for the night.

Friday, May 29, 1863 — Started at 7 o’clock. Marched 16 miles. Camped at Kelley’s Ford. The weather very hot.

Saturday, May 30, 1863 — Went to the river this morning and had a good swim. Saw some of secesh friends on the other side. Weather pleasant.

Sunday, May 31, 1863 — Went on picket. Went about three miles to a ford on the Rappahannock. Found our sesesh friends quite friendly. Had some fish and strawberries for dinner.

Monday, June 1, 1863 — Are still on picket. Went down the river this morning and destroyed a boat belonging to the rebs. The weather warm and pleasant. Exchanged papers with the rebs today.

Tuesday, June 2, 1863 — Weather warm. Heard today that Grant had been defeated. Some of our pickets were taken last night by the rebs.

Wednesday, June 3, 1863 — Weather pleasant & warm. Remained in camp all day. Done some washing. Went over to Battery D to visit a friend in the evening.

Thursday, June 4, 1863 — Weather very hot. Thunder storm at night. Remained in camp all day.

Friday, June 5, 1863 — Very pleasant. Remained in camp all day. Have orders to be ready to march at a moment’s notice.

Saturday, June 6, 1863 — Went on picket. Took one days rations. Very pleasant in the morning. Rained in the afternoon. Heard today that Fredericksburg was evacuated and that Grant had taken Vicksburg. McLean [was] field officer of the day.

Sunday, June 7, 1863 — Was relieved this morning by the 62nd Pennsylvania Volunteers. Returned to camp. Got in about 8 o’clock. Received a letter from L. N., A. B. & I. E. today. Had meeting today.

Monday, June 8, 1863 — Remained in camp all day. Some cavalry crossed the river today.

Tuesday, June 9, 1863 — More troops crossed the Rappahannock this morning. Hard fighting all day & cavalry and artillery engaged. All returned to camp today. Loss said to be heavy in both sides.

Wednesday, June 10, 1863 — Are still on picket. Rained this morning. Had some strawberries for breakfast.

Friday, June 12, 1863 — On picket yet. Heavy cannonading up the river this morning. Some of Hookre’s scouts crossed the river today. Weather warm.

Saturday, June 13, 1863 — Were relieved today by the 63rd. Got orders to march soon after we got to camp. STarted at dark. Marched 8 miles and encamped for the night.

Sunday, June 14, 1863 — Broke camp at noon. Marched 16 miles and encamped for the night near the railroad.

Monday, June 15, 1863 — Broke camp at daylight. Marched to Manassas Junction. Encamped for the night. Some of our men were sun struck and died. Heard today that Lee had crossed into Maryland.

Tuesday, June 16, 1863 — Went on picket in the afternoon. Stood until three o’clock in the morning.

Wednesday, June 17, 1863 — Broke camp at 9 o’clock. Reached Centreville at noon. Awful hot. Men die by the road side. Reached Gum Springs about sundown and encamped for the night.

Thursday, June 18, 1863 — Weather hot. Thunder shower at night. Remained at Gum Springs all day. Done washing today. Hear that Lee is in Pennsylvania.

Friday, June 19, 1863 — Cunningham and I went out on pass. Returned at 5 o’clock. Regt. had left us. Gone to Aldie. We went about three miles and staid all night with Miss Mary Cross.

Saturday, June 20, 1863 — Came up with the regiment this morning at Aldie. Remained at this place all day.

Sunday, June 21, 1863 — Got orders to march at three o’clock. Marched 7 miles. Passed through Middleburg and stopped in a field near the battlefield. Remained all day. At night went on picket about 1 mile. Hard fighting all day. 10th Michigan took a battery.

Monday, June 22, 1863 — Cavalry fell back. We got orders to fall back about noon. Rebs follow us for two hours. Fell back as far as Dover. Remain on picket all night.

Tuesday, June 23, 1863 — Returned to our old camp bear Aldie. This morning drew two days rations. Remained in camp until night. Then went on picket about three miles.

Wednesday, June 24, 1863 — Were relieved from picket and returned to camp. Sent mail this morning — the first in 11 days. Fixed my tent and done some washing today.

Thursday — June 25, 1863 — Weather pleasant. All quiet along the lines today. Drew two days rations. Wrote two letters.

Friday, June 26, 1863 — Broke camp at 9 o’clock, crossed the Potomac at Edward Ferry, went three miles and encamped for the night. Rained all day.

Saturday, June 27, 1863 — Broke camp at 6 o’clock. Marched 13 miles. Rained all day. Encamped for the night near Frederick City.

Sunday, June 28, 1863 — Weather pleasant. Remained in camp all day. Done some washing. Received mail. Went on picket at dark.

Monday, June 29, 1863 — Broke camp at 4 o’clock. Marched sixteen miles. Passed through Union town. Encamped for the night near _____.

Tuesday, June 30, 1863 — Broke camp at daylight. Marched 35 miles and encamped for the night near Union Mills. Rained in the forenoon.

Wednesday, July 1, 1863 — Rather rainy. Marched to Hanover. Remained two hours. Marched to Oxford and encamped for the night.

Thursday, July 2, 1863 — Marched to Gettysburg. Remained in line of battle until three o’clock, We then [were] sent to the front. Lost heavy. Colonel killed. McLean wounded.

Friday, July 3, 1863 — Went with the captain to the hospital near the battlefield. Remained till three o’clock. Then went to Middletown. Hard fighting all day.