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Vermont Artillery
Third Battery Light Artillery
Diaries/Letters

Civil War Diary
Eugene W. Rolfe, Tunbridge,
3rd Vt. Light Artillery Battery

Sunday, Jan 1. [1865] [1865]

Attended two services today and a pray meeting in the evening. Mrs. L. Searle and I wrote to Oscar F. Marston, James Cram, Rose Hill Sprout came this evening.

Monday, Jan. 2. [1865]

A dull day. Went over to Uncle Earl's in the evening and had more than a pleasant time. Nli(?) Came back with us and at a late hour we were told that it was time honest folks were a bed. Must have been a mistake for we did not go to bed and we certainly were very honest. 'Tis said that there is fun in funny things. Received a letter from Carl tonight.

Tuesday, Jan. 3. [1865]

Nli and his mother visited here today. Nli and Charlotte, Lib and I went to Chelsea and took dinner to day. "Melvin," Dr. Orville gave me a certificate of Disability and swore to it before Jeremy C. Howe today.

Wed. Jan. 4. [1865]

Hired a team of Wm. R. King and went to Chelsea to get Justice Certificate of the County Clerk, Lyman G. Hinkley. Visited cousin James and Uncle David Rolfe.

Thursday, Jan.5. [1865]

Sent a certificate to Cap. ?N. B. Bates, Commanding at Lincoln Hospital, Washington, D.C. Received a letter from Oscar Marson and James Cram from Fort Hudson, Miss.

Friday, Jan. 6. [1865]

A hard snow storm prevails but Hutchins, Lib, Charlotte and I went down to the church and had a jolly sing. Write to Carl Cushman and to C. E. Marston. Visit at J. W. Smith's this evening.

Sat. Jan. 7. [1865]

The heavy snowstorm of yesterday was succeeded by a blow today. Receive a letter form C. L. Marston. Am somewhat homesick today and wish that I were back with the boys at City Point. 'Tis strange, but very strong, the feeling of fraternity there is for one's comrades in danger; it is as if we were of one family, so strong the tie.

Sunday Jan. 8. [1865]

The funeral services over the body of Julian Foster who died at a team corral in Virginia were held at the church today. Rev. Mr. Powers, a Universalist preaching the funeral discourse.

Attended prayer meeting in the evening; Tucker stated that he felt for everybody's salvation; objection; was made.

Monday, Jan. 9. [1865]

Took one of Wm. P. King's and carried Lib home, found the girls in charge the old folks having gone to St. Johnsbury and opportunity was improved - a very large attendance at the meeting and more or less experience. Received a letter from Carl today, he is in good spirits.

Thursday, Jan. 10. [1865]

It is snowing fast and we are having "lots of fun." Saw and put to bed the V.M. and other orthodox saints.

Wed. Jan. 11. [1865]

Rose early, (10 A.M.), and Lib and I went to Northfield visited Almira Sprout, and A. W. Steele; I saw Poll Russell and got a scent. Got back to the Old Homestead at 11 P.M. and find the old folks there.

Thursday Jan. 12. [1865]

Started for home at about 3 P.M., arrived there at 8. Have a hard cold and much soreness of lungs. A very lonesome ride and nothing from Boutwell's Spring House to E. Randolph.

Friday Jan. 13. [1865]

Wrote off the words to "Vive L' America" and the "Royal Proclamation" for Bette and Lib. today.

Sat. Jan. 14. [1865]

Snow falling fast again this morning. Write to C. L. Marston and began to get ready for my return to the front.

Sunday, Jan. 15. [1865]

Wrote to Elvira in Morse Code today. Attend church services and prayer meeting.

Monday, Jan. 16. [1865]

Visit Sue Hayward and Nell Ring today. Uncle Cyrus Marston and family came tonight.

Tuesday, Jan. 17. [1865]

A very busy day. Dell and I got a team and went up to Mrs. John Lee's, found Katy, Ross, Jim and Marvin there. Played Philopena and was beaten by Kate. Exchanged an iron handled knife with Kate for a handkerchief.. Ginger snappers.

Wed. Jan. . Jan. 18. [1865]

Adelbert got a set of combs and I as pin (for a philopena) and revisited the Leeman's this evening; Kate and I visited Wesley Smith. I went down and stayed with Adelbert tonight, this making the third night when the third of the "wee sma" hours found us awake. Am more than ever convinced that Katie is to be a cousin of mine.

Thursday, Jan. 19. [1865]

Ed Hutchins, Hib, Farnham and I went up and had the long promised sing with Juliette McIntosh.

Friday, Jan 20. [1865]

Walked to So. Royalton this morning and took the train for Montpelier but, being late, stopped at Northfield tonight with S. W. Steele, found Vi there and also Nell Wellington; had so good a time going home with Nell did not return but stayed through the night. Had too many interviews this morning but managed to get them into a bundle so as to keep. Very much inclined to like Northfield and wonder why it was not developed before.

Saturday Jan. 21. [1865]

Taking the 10:20 train, north, I went to Montpelier and visited Carl at the Sloan Hospital; ate dinner with him; had a "Hard-tack soup" that reminded me of Battery 17 and the same sort of soup compounded by Carl and myself. After dinner Carl took a French Pass and we both took the first train back to Northfield getting there at 4 P.M. Found a newcomer named Ella Wellington, at Steele's. Carl played the violin and we had, music, butternuts and warbling. Carl discourseth much comfort to Ella. Eli Sprout to Vi and myself attended to Nell. There being various good and sufficient reasons for so doing we sit up and talk-talk-talk. There is much frostiness in the outer atmosphere this evening.

Sunday Jan 22. [1865]

Snow falling fast but I did not mind it for V. M. kept me awake until late (H.A.M.) and then there was an endeavor to get Warren and myself out of bed at a later hour, but we reversed the motion and took Mart and Vi in. Uncle Allen and Aunt Kate came down this morning. Carl left Warren's to take Night Express, at about 3 A.M. but did not get away until noon.

Monday, Jan. 25. [1865]

Went over to Mcintosh's Vosi's and had a negative taken, Photographs to be $3.50 per dozen. Took three P.M. train south but did not get to So. Royalton until 10 P.M. and then walked home. Snow falling fast and there is a heavy fall now upon the ground.

Tuesday, Jan.24. [1865]

Play dominoes with Ed Hutchins; sell him my rubber blanket for $2.00 to be paid to H. A. King. Went over to F. J. Clark's and tried his new piano.

Wed. Jan. 25. [1865]

Rec'd of H. A. King $2.00 on account of E. W. Hutchins; sent E. A. Voss, Northfield $1.75 dozen photographs. Charlotte and myself called by request at Rev. E. H. Alder's this afternoon. After ten Ed. Hutchins and I went up with W. f. McIntosh and stayed until about 2, singing with Wib, and Juliette, having a very pleasant time. Stayed at E. H. Foster's and slept with Ed. Hutchins.

Thursday Jan. 26. [1865]

Make some farewell visits. Let J. A. Reynolds have a woolen blanket for $4.25 Visited with Mr. & Mrs. E. H. Alder this evening and had a very pleasant time. Vose sent me 5 photographs today, gave one to Sue Hayward.

Friday Jan. 27. [1865]

Wrote to Lib enclosing a photograph to her and also one to Rose Adams. Attended a school exhibition given by Wilbur F. Rowell's pupils a the town hall this evening. Hutchins thought that the heavy artillery was out, after this I bid them all goodbye and started on my return trip to Washington, /Web and Herb going with me to So. Royalton. A bitter cold night. Received a dozen cigars from Ed Hutchins.

Saturday Jan. 28. [1865]

Left S. Royalton at 6:30 A.M. and got into New York City at 10 P.M. Took the horse cars to 196 Broadway then walked down to a Courtland Oyster House and got my supper. Met Sue Demaris here. Morey of Chelsea and another chap interviewed, (to their sorrow), a Chatham Street House. I was well cared for until 12 when I crossed to Jersey City and started on for Washington. Did not find Morey and his chum but learned afterwards that they were left in an alley in the morning minus the most they carried into their Chatham St. House. It is pretty cold this evening but not so savagely so as was the morn.

Sunday, Jan. 29. [1865]

Crossing to Jersey City I took the train and at daylight found myself in Philadelphia. Crossing the Susquehanna from Perryville to Havre de Grace, we found it full of ice and the ferryboat with nearly 20 loaded cars was nearly a half hour crossing, running very slowly. We did not reach Baltimore until past 1 in the afternoon; leaving some of our train here and more at the Relay House we made better time and reached Washington at 3 P.M. I walked up to the Lincoln Hospital and was assigned my old bed (no. 22). Reported myself to Capt. Gates and was told that I might have had an extension of my furlough. Was quite hungry and therefore well pleased to hear the supper call but I thought of home and mother's pantry when I saw the spread-there was actually a slice of bread some stewed apple and a cup of water-this last was called tea. I interviewed the sutler and purchased oat pies. Sit up as long as I can keep awake to write to mother.

Monday Jan. 30. [1865]

A real beef stew, bread and coffee for breakfast. Is the country safe? Unpack and repack my knapsack taking out and storing in my bed all my papers, books, etc., then carry my knapsack up to headquarters and store it away for future reference. For dinner we had the same as for breakfast; for supper, bread and cheese with tea. Attended a temperance lecture by Hen. M. Price of Iowa at the chapel this evening.

Tuesday Jan. 31. [1865]

The country is safe but our breakfast was superb-hard tack and stewed worms. A company of artillery is having a mounted drill out on the plains north of the hospital. I get homesick watching them. Apply to Capt. Gates for a transfer back to the battery. He refuses to let me go and details me as a clerk at his headquarters. Some of the boys from Camp Stoneman have plowed a few acres of the plains south of the Camp and now have a good skating ground that is well covered with soldiers with a sprinkling of ladies from the city. A man may imagine his life to be worth much to himself and may, possibly, think that the world at large has an interest I his existence-this afternoon one of several men engaged in breaking mules, (there is a corral containing 3,000 near here) was instantly killed by a kick fro one of his mules. From a party of ladies and gentlemen? Standing near him come many sympathetic Remarks2,such as "Oh-Only a mule driver." "No friend of Mine." "Some low creature probably." Once can but pity the world, its anguish is so great at the lost of one man's life. Two regiments of cavalry came out for drill at 3 P.M. and soon the plains are surrounded by carriages from the city. In the crowd I see many officers from the Metropolitan and Willard Hotels-they are much too pretty for scars. For dinner good soup, potatoes and roast beef. Dried apple-stewed, and bread for supper. Write letters to Herb, Wib, McIntosh and to Elvira Cram today. Sent a Photograph to Wib.


Diary Continued Back to Introduction


Contributed by Eugene L. Rolfe, Las Vegas, Nevada, great-grandson of Eugene William Rolfe.