John Hewitt

Biographical Sketch here.

The transcript of John Hewitt’s diary and the images from it shown here are through the courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library.



A Sketch by John Hewitt on the inside cover of his 1863-4 Diary; Clarke Historical Library


Jan 1 1863 — New years. I went over to the 14th and had buckwheat cakes and hot whiskey for dinner.

[Jan] 2nd [1863] — Mustered for pay after which company drill & Parade.

[Jan] 3rd [1863] — Company Drill.

[Jan] 4th [1863] — No Inspection. Dress Parade at 4 PM.

[Jan] 5th [1863] —  Parade at 6 PM.

[Jan] 6th [1863] — Company Drill.

[Jan] 7th [1863] — Company Drill, Battalion Drill and Parade.

[Jan] 8th [1863] — At 11 am, our Grand Division was reviewed by Gen. Burnside.

[Jan] 9th [1863] — Company Drill at 10 AM. Battalion Drill at 2 pm. Dress Parade at 4.

(Jan) 10th [1863] — No drill today on account of rain.

Sun [Jan] 11th [1863] — No preaching on account of rain. Inspection of Arms but no dress parade.

[Jan] 12th [1863] —  Company Drill, Battalion Drill & Dress Parade.

[Jan] 13th [1863] —  Gen. Inspection at 9 am. Battalion Drill at 3 PM. Dress parade.

[Jan] 14th [1863] — Company Drill. Inspection of Arms & Dress Parade.

[Jan] 15th [1863] — Company Drill, Battalion Drill & Parade.

[Jan] 16th [1863] — Company Drill at one. Also marching orders.

[Jan] 17th [1863] — No drill today.

[Jan] 18th [1863]  — No preaching nor inspection.

[Jan] 19th [1863] — No drill. Times very dull. Parade. The boys tore down a Rebel’s barn just to hand in.

[Jan] 20th [1863] — 9 am orders to be ready to move at 11 am. Marched at 4 PM and got 3 miles from camp. At 7 o’clock it was raining.

[Jan] 21st [1863] — Rained most all day. Tough marching — mud 6 inches deep.

[Jan] 22nd [1863] — No move today on account of mud. Prospect gloomy. Rations short.

[Jan] 23rd [1863] — Troops return to their respective camps.

[Jan] 24th [1863] — Rec’d four months pay.

[Jan] 25th [1863] — No drill of any kind. Rather short for rations. No preaching.

[Jan] 26th [1863] — No drill. Parade at the usual hour.

[Jan] 27th [1863] — Rained most all day. No Drill or Parade.

[Jan] 28th [1863] — Snowed all day. Official information of Hooker taking command.

[Jan] 29th [1863] — Nothing going on owing to the severe storm.

[Jan] 30th [1863] — All quiet along the lines.

Feb 1 [1863] — Regimental Inspection at 10 am. Preaching at 3 PM by Elder Seage.

[Feb] 2nd [1863] — Company Drill, Battalion drill & Parade.

[Feb] 3rd [1863] — No drill or Parade. Very cold. Burnet got his bass drum today.

[Feb] 4th [1863] — Weather still cold. Great rush for pies.

[Feb] 5th [1863] — Commenced snowing about 7 o’clock. Formed on the Color line for inspection but it was postponed on account of the cold. orders to be in readiness to move.

[Feb] 6th [1863] — No Drill or Parade.

[Feb] 7th [1863] —  No Drill. Our camp is one complete bed of mud.

[Feb] 8th [1863] — Company Inspection at 9 am. Our Brigade drew soft bread for the first time in nearly six months.

[Feb] 9th [1863] — This morning a detail of 100 men went to U. S. Ford on fatigue duty.

[Feb] 10th [1863] — All quiet along the lines.

[Feb] 11th [1863] — Rained nearly all day.

[Feb] 12th [1863] — All quiet.

[Feb] 13th [1863] — Fiester & Smith were arrested for coming out on guard mounting without blacking their shoes.


Some of John Hewitt’s Artwork from his diary; Clarke Historical Library

[Feb] 14th [1863] — Inspection of quarters by the Colonel.

[Feb] 15th [1863] — No Inspection today.

[Feb] 16th [1863] — Dull in camp. No drills or parade.

[Feb] 17th [1863] — Snowed all day. No guard mounting.

[Feb] 18th [1863] — Rained all day. No guard mounting.

[Feb] 19th [1863] — Rained nearly day. No guard mounting.

[Feb] 20th [1863] — Very pleasant today.

[Feb] 21st [1863] — Our boys returned to camp at one o’clock.

[Feb] 22nd [1863] — At 12 o’clock, salutes were fired in honor of Washington’s birthday.

[Feb] 25th [1863] — Stewart’s Cavalry made a demonstration in our rear. Orders to be ready to march.

[Feb] 26th [1863] — Rained all day. Nothing worthy of note occurred.

[Feb] 27th [1863] We decorated our camp with evergreens. Our pickets driven in today.

[Feb] 28th [1863] — At 10 AM our Regt were mustered for pay.

March 1 [1863] — Rained in forenoon. Inspection at 3 PM dress parade.

[March] 2nd [1863] — Regt went on picket. Very pleasant today.

[March] 3rd [1863] — Very dull in camp.

[March] 4th [1863] — Very cold & blustering.

[March] 5th [1863] — Regt returned from picket.

[March] 6th [1863] — Dress Parade at 5 o’clock.

[March] 7th [1863] — Rained all day. Dress Parade at the usual hour.

[March] 8th [1863] — Inspection of quarters at 10 am by the Colonel. Parade at 6.

[March] 9th [1863] — Rained this forenoon. Company Drill at 2 PM. Parade at 5.

[March] 10th [1863] — Very unpleasant. No drills. Inspection of arms.

[March] 11th [1863] — Brigade Inspection at 9 am. Inspection of Arms & Parade.

[March] 12th [1863] — A game of Ball comes off between the 44th New York & the 4th Michigan.

[March] 13th [1863] — Cold & blustering.

[March] 14th [1863] — Very pleasant today. Inspection & Parade.

[March] 15th [1863] — Preaching by Rev. Seage.

[March] 16th [1863] — Played a game of Ball. Dress parade & Inspection of Arms.

[March] 17th [1863] — Today was celebrated by the 9th Mass performance. Commenced at 9 am. Mock Dress Parade. Climbing greased pole. Horse & foot racing. Two men are badly injured by being thrown [off] their horses.

[March] 18th [1863] — Played a game of Ball in the forenoon. Raised a flag pole in the afternoon.

[March] 19th [1863] — Ball playing the order of the day. Parade at the usual hour.

[March] 20th [1863] — Snowed all day.

[March] 21st [1863] — Rained all day.

[March] 22nd [1863] — Company Inspection at 9 am. No Preaching.

[March] 23rd [1863] — Company Drill at 10 am. Battalion Drill at 2 PM after which the 14th boys joined us in a game of Ball.

[March] 24th [1863] — Company Drill at 10 am. Brigade Drill in the afternoon. Parade after which a game of Ball.

[March] 25th [1863] — No drill today at 12 o’clock. Orders were rec’d to be ready to march at a moment’s notice. A large force of Rebels seen in front of our picket line.

[March] 26th [1863] — Rained in the forenoon at 2 PM. Was reviewed by Gen. Meade.

[March] 27th [1863] — Company drill at 10 am & 2 PM after which a game of Ball.

[March] 28th [1863] — Rained most all day. Inspection at retreat.

[March] 29th [1863] — Very windy. Brigade went on picket.

[March] 30th [1863] — The boys of the 14th come over and played Ball all day. Dance in the evening.

[March] 31st [1863] — Snowed this forenoon. The bands of the several Regts met to practice for Review. Dance this eve.

April 1st [1863] — Considerable amusement today. I got fooled — bit of a piece of soap for cheese.

[April] 2nd [1863] — Practice by the Brigade Band. Our boys and the 14th joined in a dance.

[April] 3rd [1863] — Company & Battalion Drill. Also a game of Ball.

[April] 4th [1863] — Very cold. No drill nor parade.

[April] 5th [1863] — Snow six inches deep this morning. No preaching.

[April] 6th [1863] — Company Drill of which Co. K challenged Co. E for a game of Ball & got beat.

[April] 7th [1863] — Our Brigade was reviewed by President Lincoln.

[April] 8th [1863] — The whole Army was reviewed by President Lincoln & Gen. Hooker.

[April] 9th [1863] — Company Drill at 9 AM. Regt Inspection at 2 PM after which [we played] a game of Ball.

[April] 10th [1863] — Company Drill & Dress Parade. Ball playing.

[April] 11th [1863] — Ball playing all day. Our pickets were driven in.

[April] 12th [1863] — Company inspection at 9 AM. At 12 o’clock our Division was reviewed by Gen. Montague of Sweden.

[April] 13th [1863] — Our Cavalry broke camp at 5. This morning the Infantry followed the orders. Were countermanded the same day.

[April] 14th [1863] — Rec’d pay of Uncle Sam. The 5th Corps received marching orders. Dance tonight.

[April] 15th [1863] — Rained all day. The cavalry advance to make a raid on the enemy’s rear.

[April] 16th [1863] — Great preparations are being made for the coming march.

[April] 17th [1863] — Battalion drill & dress parade.

[April] 18th [1863] — Regt. inspection at 10 am in the afternoon. Ball playing.

[April] 19th [1863]  — Very pleasant today. The boys are very quiet which generally is not the case on the Sabbath.

[April] 20th [1863] — Rained all day about 5 o’clock. Sperry of Co. B was laid in his last resting place.

[April] 21st (1863) — Rain.

[April] 22nd (1863) — The officers played a game of Ball. Considerable excitement.

[April] 23rd [1863] — Game of Ball between officers & privates.

[April] 24th [1863] — Very pleasant. Ball playing the order of the day.

[April] 25th [1863] — No Drills. Plenty of ball playing.

[April] 26th [1863] — Regt. went on picket. Had Brigade Guard Mounting.

[April] 27th [1863] — The Army of the Potomac on the advance. Marched to Hartwood Church & encamped for the night.

[April] 28th [1863] — At 10 am we again took up the line of march. Went about two miles beyond Ellison’s Ford. Nothing of importance occurred.

[April] 29th [1863] — Started on the march at 7 o’clock. Arrived at Kelly’s Ford 10 am after a forced march of three we arrived at the Rapidan. Forded the river & camped. Some prisoners were taken.

[April] 30th [1863] — At half past six, we left the Rapidan & pushed forward to meet the rebels. Arrived at Chancellorsville at 12 o’clock.

May 1st [1863] — Left Chancellorsville at 11 am. Marched two miles below U. S. Ford & countermarched. Our brigade was cut off & marched & countermarched from 6 o’clock till 4 o’clock the next morning.

[May] 2nd [1863] — We rose at sunrise and went to building defenses. Skirmishing commenced at 7 o’clock. The engagement became general about noon & lasted till near night.

[May] 3rd [1863] — At 4 am the fighting was renewed lasting till 12 o’clock. Fredericksburg Heights were carried by Gen. Sedgwick’s command. The battle on the left center was very desperate.

[May] 4th [1863] — No fighting on the center till toward night when our Brigade charged the Rebel works. Heavy fighting on the extreme left. Gen. Whipple was killed this morning.

[May] 5th [1863]  — Very quiet along the lines. No fighting except by the sharp shooters. Our wounded were taken over the river. About 10 PM Hooker commenced a retreat. Very bad roads.

[May] 6th [1863]  — The retreat continues. Roads in a horrid condition, After a hard march though mud and rain, we arrived in our old camp.

[May] 7th [1863] — Today the boys are cleaning their clothes & equipment. Inspection at 1 PM.

[May] 8th [1863] — Drew soft bread and had a game of Ball.

[May] 9th [1863] — Very pleasant. Guard mounting at 9 am. Parade at 5 PM.

[May] 10th [1863] — Regimental Inspection at 9 am. Preaching at 11 am.

[May] 11th [1863] — Dress parade at 5 PM after which a beautiful war horse [was] presented to Col. Jeffords by the privates of the Regt.

[May] 12th [1863] — At 12 o’clock the Brigade assembled to escort the 14th to the cars — their time being out.

[May] 13th [1863] — Very warm today. No drill. Parade at the usual time.

[May] 15th [1863] — Company drill at 3 PM. Dress Parade.

[May] 16th [1863] — Dress Parade.

[May] 17th [1863] — Grand guard mounting at 9 am. Company Inspection. Preaching by Rev. Melon of Perin.

[May] 18th [1863] — Very warm. Parade. Company drill.

[May] 19th [1863] — Company drill. Parade at the usual hour.

[May] 20th [1863] — At 8 am the Brigade went on picquet.

[May] 21st [1863] — All quiet.

[May] 22nd [1863] — All quiet.

[May] 23rd [1863] —  Regt came in from picquet. Very warm.

[May] 24th [1863] — Grand guard mounting & Company Inspection at 9 am. Preaching at 10.

[May] 25th [1863] — Rec’d orders to tear down our old quarters & build new ones.

[May] 26th [1863] — Finished our tents by 6 o’clock today. No Parade.

[May] 27th [1863] — At 4 PM our Brigade was reviewed by Gov. Blair of Michigan after which we returned to camp & the Gov. delivered a speech to our regt.

[May] 28th [1863] — Regt. was payed off this forenoon. At 1 PM rec’d orders to march.

[May] 29th [1863] — Left Hartwood Church at 6 am. Arrived at Kelly’s Ford at 3 PM.

[May] 30th [1863]  — Today the boys have been busy in fixing up their quarters.


Some of John Hewitt’s Artwork from his Diary; Clarke Historical Library

[May] 31st [1863] — Very pleasant today. No divine service.

June 1st [1863] — Companies A & D went on picquet.

[June] 2nd [1863] — Detail for picquet & fatigue duty.

[June] 3rd [1863] — 9 am the boys returned from picquet.

[June] 4th [1863] — Another detail for picquet + fatigue. Col Jeffords put in command of the forces guarding the ford.

[June] 5th [1863] — Rumors of a Battle at Centreville. Orders to be in readiness to march.

[June] 6th [1863] — Companies I, C, H, & E went on picquet.

[June] 7th [1863] — Orders to march. Company inspection.

[June] 8th [1863] — About 5 o’clock am, Rev. Seage was shot by some of Mosby’s Cavalry but made his escape.

[June] 9th [1863] — 1 am, the Engineer Corps threw a pontoon bridge across the river. A part of Stoneman’s Cavalry attacked the rebels. All result not known.

[June] 10th [1863] — Mail captured by guerillas.

[June] 11th [1863] — Company inspection.

[June] 12th [1863] — Detail went on piquet. Very warm.

[June] 13th [1863] — 6 pm orders to march. Started at 9 o’clock. After marching 8 hours, we arrived at Morrisville & rested for the night.

[June] 14th [1863] — Left morris at 11 am. Some guerrillas were captured. Halted at 7 pm near Weaver’s Mills.

[June] 15th [1863] — At 5am our division on the move. Very pleasant marching until 10 o’clock. Then it was so hot that a great many were sun struck. At 2 PM, halted at Manassas Junction.

[June] 16th [1863] — Our Corps stayed at the junction all day. Water very scarce. Regt. went on piquet at 6 PM.

[June] 17th [1863] — At 6 am we left the junction & marched to Gum Springs. Our cavalry had a skirmish.

[June] 18th [1863] — Need to remain at Gum Springs till further orders. Rained this afternoon.

[June] 19th [1863] — Left Gum Springs at 2 o’clock. Marched to Aldies and camped for the night.

[June] 20th [1863] — Stayed in camp all day. Rumored that our suply train was attacked by guerillas.

[June] 21st [1863] — 3 am our division fell in with light marching orders & went to Middleburg to support the cavalry.

[June] 22nd [1863] — Friday our forces fell back from Middleburg. The 2nd Brigade covered the retreat.

[June] 23rd [1863] — Brigade returned from the front at 9 am.

[June] 24th [1863] — About 6 PM the boys came in from piquet. Very pleasant. All quiet along the lines.

[June] 25th [1863] — Rained towards night. Heavy firing in the direction of Bull Run.

[June] 26th [1863] — At 6 am the last Division of the 5th Corps left Aldies for Edward’s Ferry. Crossed the river into Maryland & camped for the night.

[June] 27th [1863] — At 6 o’clock we were on the march. Stopped 2 miles from Frederick City. Beautiful country. Crops in a good condition.

[June] 28th [1863] — The Pennsylvania Reserves reported to the Corps for duty at 9 PM. The Brigade went on piquet.

[June] 29th [1863] — Left Frederick at 9 am & marched to Liberty — a distance of 11 miles.

[June] 30th [1863] — Marched from Liberty to Union Mill.

July 1st [1863] — Left Union Mills 10 am & marched to Hanover. Cooked supper and marched to Cherryville & camped. A glorious reception was given us by the Ladies in all the towns we passed through.

[July] 2nd [1863] — Having marched 120 miles in 5 days, we took a position near Gettysburg. Here we met the Rebels & the battle was terrific. Here Col. Jeffords was run through with a Rebel bayonet while attempting to retake the colors which were captured.

[July] 3rd [1863] — Col. Jeffords died today at 4:15 am.

[July] 4th [1863]  — A very quiet fourth although we had plenty material for celebrating.

[July] 5th [1863] — A few patriotic citizens visited our wounded and many luxuries were brought in by the Ladies.

[July] 6th [1863] — The people are very kind to our wounded & bring in all sorts of dainties.

[July] 7th [1863] — All busy today fixing up hospital tents.

[July] 8th [1863] — The wounded are getting along finely.

[July] 9th [1863] — Some members of the Christian Commision arrived today with clothing for the wounded.

[July] 10th [1863] — Went out in the country and had a dance. Had a good time.

[July] 11th [1863] — Cleaning hospital the order of the day.

[July] 12th [1863] — Preaching by a celebrated divine from Baltimore.

[July] 13th [1863] — It is rumored that our forces are falling back.

[July] 14th [1863] — Our hospital was visited by some Ladies from Adrian. One of them was an old acquaintance of mine.

[July] 15th [1863] — Nothing of any importance had happened today.

[July] 16th [1863] — All quiet. Went down to Gettysburg & killed a beef.

[July] 17th [1863] — The Pioneers have been busy today building bunks for the wounded.

[July] 18th [1863] — Went to singing school & went home with Capt. Homer’s daughters.

[July] 19th [1863] — Divine service at 10 o’clock. At 11 am, the ambulances arrived to take away slightly wounded.

[July] 20th [1863] — At 2 PM, more wounded were taken away. No news from the army.

[July] 21st [1863] — All quiet.

[July] 22nd [1863] — All quiet.

[July] 25th [1863] — Very warm today. Prayer meeting at 8 o’clock.

[July] 26th [1863] — Some of the Ladies from the neighbors visited the hospital.

[July] 27th [1863] — Nothing unusual going on.

[July] 28th [1863] — At 2 PM a detail of cooks, Pioneers & nurses was made to stay at the Hospital & I had to stay.

[July] 29th [1863] — A business day in camp.

[July] 30th [1863] — Very dull today. Prayer meeting tonight.

August 1st [1863] — At 9 am the last of the wounded were taken away.

[August] 2nd [1863] — Dull today.

[August] 3rd [1863] — At 6 o’clock the detail started for Gettysburg & at 3 o’clock bid adieu to Pennsylvania.

[August] 4th [1863] — The boys are busy today exploring the City. At 5 PM we took the cars for Washington.

[August] 5th [1863] — At 9 am, left the Soldiers Retreat for the Convalescent camp.

[August] 6th [1863] — About come to the conclusion that a convalescent camp is a nuisance.

[August] 7th [1863] — Very warm today. Saw Geo. Kenyon & John Porter.

[August] 8th [1863] — Hope we shall get out of this damned hole soon.

[August] 9th [1863] — At 8 o’clock we left for Alexandria. An awful warm day. Took the cars & were soon with the army once more.

[August] 10th [1863] — At 7 o’clock, the detailed men were paid off.

[August] 11th [1863] –Very warm today. Parade.

[August] 12th [1863] — For the first time [in] a week the weather has been comfortable.

[August] 13th [1863] — Rain today. Parade at 6 PM.

[August] 14th [1863] — Regt. Inspection at 3 PM. Parade at 5 o’clock.

[August] 15th [1863] — The musicians received some new drums today.

[August] 16th [1863] — Very still today. Dress Parade.

[August] 17th [1863] — Band practice. Very pleasant.

[August] 18th [1863] — Dress Parade at 6 PM.

[August] 19th [1863] — Very pleasant. Parade at 6.

[August] 20th [1863] — Battalion drill at 5 PM. Parade at 6.

[August] 21st [1863] — Battalion drill at 5 PM. Parade at 6.

[August] 22nd [1863] — The 24th Michigan Band played for us on parade tonight.

[August] 23rd [1863] — The 24th Michigan Band played for us on parade tonight.

[August] 24th [1863] — We were informed that five deserters were to be shot on the 26th.

[August] 25th [1863] — We were informed that five deserters were to be shot on the 26th.

[August] 26th [1863] –An order countermanded the sentence of the deserters giving them 3 days of grace.

[August] 27th [1863] — An order countermanded the sentence of the deserters giving them 3 days of grace.

[August] 28th [1863] — A general cleaning of camp today.

[August] 29th [1863] — At 2 PM we witnessed the execution of 5 deserters from the 118th Pennsylvania. An impressive scene.

[August] 30th [1863] — The Regt went on Piquet for 3 days.

September 1st [1863] — The Regt went on Piquet for 3 days.

[September] 2nd [1863] — Regt came in from Piquet. Rec’d a new stand of colors.


Some of John Hewitt’s Artwork from his Diary; Clarke Historical Library

[September] 3rd [1863] — Parade at 6.

[September] 4th [1863] — Cool today. Company drill.

[September] 5th [1863] — Parade at the usual hour.

[September] 6th [1863] — Inspection at 10 am.

[September] 7th [1863] — Battalion drill & Parade.

[September] 8th [1863] — Company drill at 10 am. Brigade drill at 4 PM.

[September] 9th [1863] — Company drill & Parade.

[September] 10th [1863] — Battalion drill.

[September] 11th [1863] — The race course finished.

[September] 12th [1863] — Horse racing the order of the day. Major Hall beat Col. Guina [Guiney] out of $100.

[September] 13th [1863] — Early this morning a detachment of cavalry & artillery crossed the river and attacked the enemy but with what success is not known.

[September] 14th [1863] — Company Drill at 2 PM. Parade at 6. Pay Master arrived at headquarters.

[September] 15th [1863] — Company Drill at 10 am. Brigade Drill at 3 pm. Rec’d marching orders.

[September] 16th [1863] — At 3 o’clock the Corps fell in & marched to within 2 miles of Culpepper. The Pay Master commenced paying the Regt.

[September] 17th [1863] — Reville at 5 am. Got our breakfast & was on the march at 7 o’clock. Went into camp 2 miles of Culpepper.

[September] 18th [1863] — Rained all the fornoon. Between 2 & 3 PM, we witnessed the execution of a deserter from the 12th New York.

[September] 19th [1863] — Weather very cool. Boys are busy building their tents.

[September] 20th [1863] — Regt Inspection at 10 am after which we rallied on a corn field.

[September] 21st [1863] — Cavalry went to the front today.

[September] 22nd [1863] — Boys still busy putting up their tents. Heavy firing in the direction of the Rapidan.

[September] 23rd [1863] — Heavy frost last night. Weather cool.

[September] 24th [1863] — Troops have been on the move all day.

[September] 25th [1863] — Dress Parade at 5 PM.

[September] 26th [1863] — Very cool today.

[September] 27th [1863] — Divine service at 10 am.

[September] 28th [1863] — 1st Division was reviewed by Gen Cooley (?).

[September] 29th [1863] — Very dull in camp.

[September] 30th [1863] — Regt. returned from Piquet. Parade at 5 pm.

October 1st [1863] — At 2 PM our Brigade witnessed the punishment of a deserter from the 32nd Massachusetts. He was shaved, tattooed & drummed out of camp.

[October] 2nd [1863] — Brigade drill.

[October] 3rd [1863] — Com[any Drill at 10 am. Battalion drill at 2 pm. Parade at 5.

[October] 4th [1863] — Regt. Inspection at 9 am. Divine service at 11 am.

[October] 5th [1863] –Very cool. Battalion drill & Dress Parade.

[October] 6th [1863] — Company drill. Battalion drill & Dress Parade.

[October] 7th [1863] — Battalion drill at 2 pm. Brigade drill at 3 pm.

[October] 9th [1863] — Dress Parade.

[October] 10th [1863] — At 10 o’clock the general call sounded. We struck tents and was on the march at 5 PM.

[October] 11th [1863] — At 5 am reveille was sounded and we march to Beverly’s Ford.

[October] 12th [1863] — At 5 in the morning we took our pontoon on the Rappahannock.

[October] 13th [1863] Between 1 and 2 am, crossed the river [and] resumed the march. About 7 went into camp near Cattlets.

[October] 14th [1863] — At 3 AM we were up and ready to move. 7 o’clock the Rebels attacked the 3rd Corps. At 2 PM we stopped at Bristoe. The Rebs shell our rear. We went back & captured 700 prisoners & a battery.

[October] 15th [1863] — At 3 am we went & 3 am we were on the march again. Went within a mile of Fairfax.

[October] 16th [1863] — Rained all day. We remained in camp till 5 PM when we took up the line of march for Centerville.

[October] 17th [1863] — Remained in camp all day.

[October] 18th [1863] — 5 am we were again aroused from our slumber & made for Fairfax again. Orders to put up quarters. This was soon countermanded and we packed up and went to Chantilly.

[October] 19th [1863] –At 7 o’clock our Corps left for Fox Mills. Our Regt. & the 32nd were detailed as wagon guards.

[October] 20th [1863] — At 2 PM we were on the march. The wagon train stopped. In camp all day and I had a chance to look over the Bull Run Battlefield. There were a great many skeletons laying on the top of the ground.

[October] 21st [1863] — Left Gainesville at 7 am and joined the Brigade near Buckland.

[October] 22nd [1863] — Remained in camp all day.

[October] 23rd [1863] — All quiet in camp today.

[October] 24th [1863] — 4 ½ o’clock, left the vacinity of Buckland & established camp near Auburn.

[October] 25th [1863] — At 3 PM our Brigade changed camp.

[October] 26th [1863] — Nothing of importance going on. Firing heard near Warrenton.

[October] 27th [1863] — All quiet along the lines. Parade at 5.

[October] 28th [1863] — Drew soft bread today.

[October] 29th [1863] –The Regt. cleared off the color line after which we had dress parade.

[October] 30th [1863] — 4 am our Corps up and were on the move. At 9, reached the Warrenton RR at 12.

[October] 31st [1863] — Mustered for Pay today. Drew hard tack that had no worms in [it] for the first time in 3 months.

[November] 1st [1863] — Regt. inspection at 10. Divine service at 12.

[November] 2nd [1863] — Moved camp at 10 o’clock. Got a miserable camp.

[November] 3rd [1863] — Troops on the move at 10 am. Our Regt. and the 9th Mass went on picket.

[November] 4th [1863] — Troops still on the move. Very quiet in camp.

[November] 5th [1863] — All quiet.

[November] 6th [1863] — Regt. came in from Piquet.

[November] 7th [1863] — Gen’l Bartlett took command of our division. On the move at 7. Reached Rappahannock at 1 PM.

[November] 8th [1863] — At 7 am our squad awoke, ate breakfast, slung knapsacks, and pushed for the front. Our Corps was gone. We pursued them and overtook them at 12 am. Went into camp at 5 PM.

[November] 9th [1863] — Very cold today. At 2 o’clock it snowed a little. At 3 PM our Division was drilled one hour for yelling hard tack at Gen. Bartlett after which we struck tents and marched to Kelly’s Ford and camped for the night.

[November] 10th [1863] — Our division was on the move at 9 am. Marched on and camped between Morristown & Bealton Station.

[November] 11th [1863] — Weather cold & windy.

[November] 12th [1863] — Weather moderating.

[November] 13th [1863] — A detail out of the Regt. went on Piquet.

[November] 14th [1863] — Another detail for Piquet.

[November] 15th [1863] — About 9 am we were startled by the booming of cannon in the direction of the Rapidan. [We] soon learned that Kilpatrick tried to cross the river but the Rebels declined having visitors so they disputed his passage.

[November] 16th [1863] — Cold & windy. Parade at 5 PM.

[November] 17th [1863] — Parade at 5 PM.

[November] 18th [1863] — A detail went on Piquet.

[November] 19th [1863] — At 7 am we left the vacinity of Bealtons and formed our corps.

[November] 20th [1863] — Busy all building quarters, General inspection at 3 PM.

[November] 21st [1863] — Rained all day. Very gloomy in camp.

[November] 22nd [1863] — Very pleasant today. Parade at 4 PM.

[November] 23rd [1863] — Parade at 4. Rec’d orders to march at 8 PM.

[November] 24th [1863] — 7 am we were on the march. Went a mile from camp and the orders were countermanded. We about faced & went back to our old quarters. Could not move on account of rain & mud.

[November] 25th [1863] — Weather growing cold. Our band rec’d 5 brass drums [horns?] & one Bass Drum.

[November] 26th [1863] — At 9 o’clock we broke camp, crossed the Rapidan, and went into camp near Chancellorsville.

[November] 27th [1863] — At daylight we started on the march. At 10 am, Mosby’s Cavalry attacked our train [and] captured some wagons & prisoners.

[November] 28th [1863] — Marched to Robison’s Tavern & layed in the mud all day. Went into camp about dark.

[November] 29th [1863] — At 6 am the 5th Corps advanced and formed a line of battle near Mine Run. In the afternoon we were informed that our Corps would storm the Rebel works at sundown.

[November] 30th [1863] — At 1 o’clock our boys were called up and told to be ready to charge at 8 am. No charge was made.

[December] 1st [1863] — About dark we commenced a retrograde movement. Arrived at the Rapidan about 12 o’clock and camped for the night.

[December] 2nd [1863] — At 8 am we were again on the march. Halted at Stevensburg & stayed all night.

[December] 3rd [1863] — Left Stevensburg at 8 am. Crossed Rappahannock River and went into camp near Bealton.

[December] 4th [1863] — A detail went on guard at the station.

[December] 5th [1863] — A fight front 400 prisoners taken.

[December] 6th [1863] —  9 am we went to work building quarters.

[December] 7th [1863] — The boys are going in for winter with a will.

[December] 8th [1863] — Our camp begins to look quite comfortable,

[December] 9th [1863] — The work still goes on. Log houses show themselves in every direction.

[December] 10th [1863] — The boys have got their [winter] quarters about completed and are preparing to enjoy themselves for the winter.


Some of John Hewitt’s Artwork from his Diary; Clarke Historical Library

[December] 11th [1863] — All quiet along the lines.

[December] 12th [1863] — Rained some today.

[December] 13th [1863] — Rained this forenoon. Parade at 4.

[December] 14th [1863] — Very pleasant. Drew clothing.

[December] 15th [1863] —  Parade at 4 PM.

[December] 16th [1863] — Pay master arrived at headquarters today.

[December] 17th [1863] — Rec’d pay from Uncle Sam. Skirmished Kettles River. Rebels repulsed.

[December] 18th [1863 — Rec’d pay from Uncle Sam. Skirmished Kettles River. Rebels repulsed.

[December] 19th [1863] — The major of the 32nd Massachusetts was captured by guerrillas today.

[December] 20th [1863] — Staff officers doing their best to get the men to re-enlist. Company inspection.

[December] 21st [1863] —  Rebel cavalry near Warrenton.

[December] 22nd [1863] — Parade at 4.

[December] 23rd [1863] — Parade at 4.


A sample of Hewitt’s handwriting; Clarke Historical Library

[December] 24th [1863] — Efforts still being made to have the men re-enlist.

[December] 25th [1863] — A dull Christmas in camp. Some 15 or 20 were mustered as Veterans. A good many of the boys were on it.

[December] 26th [1863] – Had a war meeting today & some fine speeches but I am not going to re-enlist.

[December] 27th [1863] — Rained all day.

[December] 28th [1863] — Mud ankle deep in camp.

[December] 29th [1863] — The veterans are having a burn tonight.

[December] 30th [1863] — The cars run off the track today. No one hurt.

[December] 31st [1863] — Goodbye 1863. It has been an eventful year. Mustered for pay.


[January] 1st [1864] — Seven of my brother blowers swore in for 3 years more today.

[January] 2nd [1864] — The 16th Michigan passed here on their way home. Weather cold. Several of the boys returned from furlough.

[January] 3rd [1864] — The boys are going for Veterans quite fast.

[January] 4th [1864] — 10 am it commenced snowing [and] continued till night. Col went to headquarters to see about the Vets going home [on furlough].

[January] 5th [1864] — Orders to join the 6th Corps this morning countermanded. More snow.

[January] 6th [1864] — A part of the cavalry that went scouting returned. The officer of the day reported a man supposed to be a spy.

[January] 7th [1864] — All quiet in camp. Weather very cold. No Parade.

[January] 8th [1864] — No news from the front. No parade.

[January] 9th [1864] — Very dull in camp. Weather cold.

[January] 10th [1864] — All quiet along the lines.

[January] 11th [1864] — The Veterans of the 4th Michigan were to be paid today.

[January] 12th [1864] — The guerrillas made an attack on Gen. Switzer’s headquarters but were defeated.

[January] 13th [1864] — Frank & I went rabbit hunting today.

[January] 14th [1864] — There is a dance out to Gruns tonight but it is too windy to go.

[January] 15th [1864] — Weather very pleasant but horrid going under foot.

[January] 16th [1864] — Very pleasant but muddy. Went over to Goodell’s tent & had a sing.

[January] 17th [1864] — Windy today & very dull in camp. Busied myself most all day reading.

[January] 18th [1864] — Rain and mud by the wholesale. Very dull in camp. I am Color Orderly today. Did not much of anything to do.

[January] 19th [1864] — Very dull in camp. Cold wind from the southeast. Very bad going yet but freezing fast.

[January] 20th [1864] — Weather cold this morning but moderating. I went out in the country.

[January] 21st [1864] — All quiet in camp. Went down to depot. Considerable sport.

[January] 22nd [1864] — Case Ketchum & myself went out in the country visiting. Had a good time.

[January] 23rd [1864] — Went serenading up to Capt. Martin’s. Had a tip top good time.

[January] 24th [1864] — Sunday and very dull in camp. Weather very pleasant.

[January] 25th [1864] — Had a great time serenading. Went to Capt.’s Barnes & Bordel.

[January] 26th [1864] — Went over and give Col. Switzer a call & had a tip top time.

[January] 27th [1864] — Weather very warm & pleasant.

[January] 28th [1864] — Went up to Lieut. Westfall’s & from there down to Capt. Snider’s serenading.

[January] 29th [1864] — Had a dance over to Liberty tonight but it broke upon a crow.

[January] 30th [1864] — Weather very damp & gloomy.

[January] 31st [1864] — I went up to see John Farley to day & had a good visit with him.

[February] 1st [1864] — Weather still damp & gloomy.

[February] 2nd [1864] — All quiet along the lines.

[February] 3rd [1864] — Went up to Lieut. Westfall’s tent & had a practice.

[February] 4th [1864] — On Orderly for the Colonel. The weather very pleasant.

[February] 5th [1864] — Weather still fine.

[February] 6th [1864] — Weather damp & rainy. Heavy firing in the direction of Brandy Station.

[February] 7th [1864] — Went out in the country & had a dance. Had a good time.

[February] 8th [1864] — All quiet along the lines.

[February] 9th [1864] — All quiet along the lines.

[February] 10th [1864] — Dull in camp today. Major Hall went home this morning.

[February] 11th [1864] — Nothing of importance going on. Very windy. Dress Parade.

[February] 12th [1864] — Quite a number of convalescents returned to the regt. today.

[February] 13th [1864] — Went over to the Battery serenading. Had a good time.

[February] 14th [1864] — Orderly for Col today. Very windy.

[February] 15th [1864] — Dull & murky this morning. Considerable snow fell this afternoon.

[February] 16th [1864] — Snow all melted away today. Weather still cold.

[February] 17th [1864] — All quiet in camp. Very cold & windy today.

[February] 18th [1864] — Weather still cold & windy. Went out to Brown’s tonight to an oyster supper.

[February] 19th [1864] — Quite comfortable. Played Ball most all day.

[February] 20th [1864] — Weather fine. Played ball most all day. Rec’d two month’s pay this afternoon.

[February] 21st [1864] — All quiet along the lines. Ball playing the order of the day.

[February] 22nd [1864] — General drill of Artillery at Corps Headquarters. 32nd Massachusetts returned today.

[February] 23rd [1864] — Weather fine. Ball playing & foot racing all the rage.

[February] 24th [1864] — Horse racing & foot racing prevails.

[February] 25th [1864] — The veterans started for home [on furlough] this morning. Two companies from the 32nd Massachusetts joined us.

[February] 26th [1864] — Very pleasant. Boys playing ball the best part of day.

[February] 27th [1864] — Pleasant but windy. Dress parade.

[February] 28th [1864] — Pleasant in forenoon. Cool & windy towards night. Preaching at 11 AM.

[February] 29th [1864] — All quiet along the lines. Parade at the usual hour.

[March] 1st [1864] — Rained steady all day. Snowed this evening.

[March] 2nd [1864] — Very pleasant & quiet in camp today. No Guard Mounting or Parade.

[March] 3rd [1864] — All quiet in camp. Went after logs to build my tent up higher.

[March] 4th [1864] — No Guard Mounting or dress parade.

[March] 5th [1864] — Ruport & myself have been building up our tent today. Have it nearly complete. No Parade.

[March] 6th [1864] — Inspection, preaching & dress parade.

[March] 7th [1864] — Very pleasant today. Went out target shooting. Dress Parade at the usual hour.

[March] 8th [1864] — Rained the most of the day. Did a job of tattooing for John Dickerson.

[March] 9th [1864] — Very pleasant today. More recruits arrived. Playing ball the chief occupation.

[March] 10th [1864] — Damp & rainy all day. A severe thunder shower in the evening.

[March] 11th [1864] — Some rain today but quite pleasant for all that.

[March] 12th [1864] — Very pleasant today. Charley & I did some washing. Had quite a fuss with the officers tonight.

[March] 13th [1864] — Sunday. Pretty quiet with the exception of a few drunken men in camp. No preaching. Dress parade at the usual hour.

[March] 14th [1864] — Nothing of any importance going on in camp. Parade at the usual hour.

[March] 15th [1864] — Quite cool today. Considerable snow fell about noon. 5 Rebels were taken today.

[March] 16th [1864] — Cold & cloudy all day. There is to be a dance at corps headquarters tonight.

[March] 17th [1864] — Nothing of importance going on in camp. Some of the 32nd were drunk tonight.

[March] 18th [1864] — The Paymaster arrived today & we rec’d 2 month’s pay. The Regt. laid in line all night expecting an attack from guerillas.

[March] 19th [1864] — Very pleasant today. Skirmishing near Rappahannock.

[March] 20th [1864] — No inspection today. Preaching at the usual hour.

[March] 21st [1864] — Pleasant but rather cool. Went down to the railroad & had quite a time with the Micks.

[March] 22nd [1864] — Cold & windy all day. Commenced snowing about three o’clock. 3 or 4 inches on the ground this eve & still snowing.

[March] 23rd [1864] — About 8 inches of snow on the ground today.

[March] 24th [1864] — Snow going off very fast. Went out in the country & had good time tonight.

[March] 25th [1864] — Rained most all day. The sick of the Regt. were sent off today.

[March] 26th [1864] — Very pleasant today. Not much going on in camp.

[March] 27th [1864] —  General Inspection. Preaching at the usual hour.

[March] 28th [1864] — Played ball over to the Battery most all day.

[March] 29th [1864] — Rained all day & all night. Very dull & muddy in camp.

[March] 30th [1864] — Some rain this morning but cleared off cold and windy. No Guard Mounting or Dress Parade.

[March] 31st [1864] — Quite pleasant today. Got a new pair of Bones & Tamborine. Went up and serenaded the Adjutant.