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Vermont Artillery
Third Battery Light Artillery
Diaries/Letters

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

April 1 [1865] [1865]

There is pretty sharp firing of on the left. I am feeling pretty well. George Ordway was over here today. I had a little trouble with (code) tonight. It come out all right. The bands are playing very fine tonight. That ---- of a fight tomorrow.

April 2 [1865]

We were waked up at 1 o'clock this morning. We struck tents and packed up at half past 4. The 6th charged on the works to the left of Fort fisher. They captured -- and then swung around and split lees forces down his right wing out to --- run. Cornered and captured the battery. then returned and were followed by the 29th and 25th. Our guns were ordered out and they led the lot. We drove them out of every Ft but one lonesome they clung to that. The ground is covered with dead & wounded. I have seen about 1200 prisoners today . The 29th and 2nd cps --- --- are out here. ---- turn in every direction were played out.

April 3rd [1865]

The rebs evacuated Petersburg last night. The Cap and --- went all through the city. We were ordered to City Point with 24 pieces of captured artillery. The cap has command of that and the --- arty consisting of 9 ball we sent down to --- station. And taking the arty we started for Cty Pt. We met any quantity of refugees. --- two or three others went over into Petersburg when we got to the 8th cps… --- ground we saw about 20 dead men. They were cut up awfully. When we got out to cty pt this broken couple of --- sluggered back a couple of miles and back til catched up with the battery. We got into Cty pt at 6 pm. We have got some good quarters near where we here --- fall.

April 4th [1865]

I wrote a letter to father today. Him an account of the fight. I received a letter from father tonight. We are getting somewhat ---. There was over 2000 prisoners passed by here today. And about 40 pieces. The prisoners were taken in the gutters and cellars of Petersburg. There was a dispatch came in from Grant today saying that Lee had surrendered with from 16 to 16000 prisoners. General Johnson has also surrendered. We have not heard particulars there are a lot of batteries coming in this evening. The wagon train that the Captain has command of isn't here with us. I got a photograph of Fortis tonight.

April 5th [1865]

It is very pleasant and quiet today. there is nothing to disturb the almost universal quiet except the whistle of the locomotives on Grants RR. And the steamers as they pass up the Appomattox to Petersburg within sight of our camp. I went down to the river and went swimming. I wrote to --- sending with Milo. I sent a photograph of --- BERT swan gave me a ---- of himself today. He used to belong -- company of 13 VT. Beans for dinner.

April 6 [1865]

It is a little inclined to be rainy today. I went out and help scour the guns this morning and fix poles to hang the hames on. I got a letter from father saying my box started last Thursday. I also got letter from herb, --- , and Lib. We drawed 5 days of sugar of soft bread. Mackerel and some codfish. They gave us --- for supper. I have got a hard toothache tonight.

April 7 [1865]

It is cloudy today. My tooth continues to ache in a pretty smart manner. I wrote to Lib today. There is a great number of the boys gone up to Petersburg today. It rained this afternoon.

April 8 [1865]

It is a clear, warm , sunny day. I am on guard today on the first relief. After I came off at 10am I went down to the commissary. We get 3 kilos of pork, one of beef, 1 of sugar and beans, 60 pounds of coffee, 11 of tea, 17 boxes of hard tack. One days rations of codfish and two of soft bread. --- mailed a shirt and a pair of socks for me today. We drawed a set of new sabres tonight. After this the guards had got to wear sabres all the time, night and day. I received a letter from ruth ---- tonight

April 9 [1865]

It is warm but windy today. I had to stand on five hours extra this morning on account of line operations. I wrote to Charlotte today. Six men and a corporal were detailed for a guard at headquarters. We had tea for supper. I received a letter from Carl tonight and 5 papers from home tonight. There was a dispatch came into headquarters tonight stating that Genl R. E. Lee had surrendered with 100 pieces of arts and 30,000 prisoners there was cheering and firing till midnight. I sent a photo of Milo to Charlotte.

April 10 [1865]

It is rather rainy today. I went over to the engineer camp and picked up a good portfolio, a spider and several other things. I wrote to rev e. Holden today. Filled two sheets of commercial note. I received a letter from father and Charlotte tonight. They just received my letter of the 31st. The gun boats in the river fired a salute this noon because of Lees surrender. There is a report here that Johnston has surrendered. We drawed ten days rations of sugar tonight.

April 11 [1865]

It is cloudy today but does not rain much. I have layed in my tent the most of the day and read. Carpenter got a NY herald containing the official announcement of Robt E. Lees surrender. Food. Theres a report here that we are to go to Richmond as a ----- patrol.

NOTE: From here on out. I'm just going to write "weather" and "letters' because its getting redundant.

April 12 [1865]

Weather. Milo has gone to Petersburg today. We have done nothing but to clear guns and --- today. There was 1700 rebs passed by here this forenoon and this afternoon

There were 9000. 15 colonels and General Ewell. We had guard mount, 5pm tonight. I am on guard for the night and tomorrow on the 3rd relief is quite rainy tonight.

April 13 [1865]

Weather, Ed clap and five men were detailed to take 26 horses from our battery out to Sheridan. They took 4 days rations with them. Letters. He sent me -- of the Band of hope. Rubilee brought up a lot of the Richmond ---- today.

April 14 [1865]

Weather. We were inspected by a Captain of a regular Battery, a --- Major. He inspected quarters but not ---/ after inspection, I laid down and went to sleep. When I woke up my head ached very bad. I went out and vomited, came back and laid down again. I was excused from dress parade, roll calls until tomorrow noon. Swen put in a pass for himself, Crawford, and me. Letters.

April 15 [1865]

Weather. Milo got a letter from his folks last night. Our box arrived. The express was $3.85. I wrote to herb and to albert today R.S.V.P Respondes sil vous plait. Answer if you please. I got a letter from father tonight.

April 16 [1865]

Letters, weather. We had a grand old inspection today but it gave an awful headache and a slight case of the chills. I was excused from dress parade and roll call tonight.

April 17. [1865]

Weather. I went down to the commissary this forenoon. We drawed nothing but soft bread. In the afternoon, we had mounted drill. At 5 o'clock I went to guard mount. The Capt was out became near putting me on wheel drill but I went up to his quarters and he excused me when he found that I had been on duty all day. I am on the 2nd relief. Charles Guptil is corporal of the Guard.

April 18 [1865]

Weather. I went on guard at 7 but I had to wear my jacket buttoned up and my sabre belt buckled tight around me. When I came off post --- I had to go to bed and cover myself up with blankets and then I took a shaking after the chills passed off. I was hot feverish and my head ached…--------

April 19 [1865]

Weather. I did not go out to roll call this morning as my head ached some yet. At twelve o'clock our guns had to go over to headquarters and fire 21 minutes --- in respect to President Lincoln whose funeral is to be at twelve today. Food. Letters.

April 20 [1865]

Weather. I had quite a hard chill this morning and this afternoon I am very feverish and have a hard headache. Sergeant Marsh excused me from duty this morning. Two of the boys that went out with Clapp got back tonight. Simon Pomeroy was promoted to a corporal tonight. Vice Ed Savage resigned. Pomeroy is a one year man. Food. There is a report that Grant and Johnson have been killed.

April 21 [1865]

Weather. I am feeling better today but am some feverish. I went to the Surgeon this morning. He gave me some pills and excused me from duty. The 1st division of the 9th corps passed through here today. They went aboard --- boats and started for Washington.

April 22 [1865]

Weather. Letters. I went to the surgeon this morning. He excused me from all duty.letters. Katy is married to Carl. The --- is cousin Kate. Letters.

April 23 [1865]

Weather. I went to the surgeon this morning. He excused me from duty today. There is an inspection today but I did not go out. The 2nd division of the 9th corps came down her tonight. I see Col Randall, Prentice, Glines and Wm Stock. Prentice came over to see me tonight. They are expecting to go home on discharge furloughs.

April 24 [1865]

Weather. I went down to the commissary today and got twenty lbs of potatoes for Carpenter today. Letters. I am feeling well today. Moss Baxter was up here tonight.

April 25 [1865]

Weather. I swapped off a new fly(?) for and old ---- of Rebel --- and a lb of tea. Letter. I sold my drawers to swan today for 50 cts. He did not pay me. We have brigade guard mounts to man. Mrs Baxter was here today. Swan has got his speech.

April 26 [1865]

Weather. Swan and I were elected to go to the commissary. This morning. After we got through there we went down to the point and stand there till noon. We had a brigade --- parade today. They fired ¼ hour guns through the day and at night they fired 2 minutes guns. The second division of the 9th corps went aboard transports with the reserve battery of the same corps and went to Washington. Food

April 27 [1865]

Food. They are firing minute guns today. I am on guard tonight. 2nd relief. On at 8 and at 2. There was orders read at dress parade that we were to have a lb of tobacco a month furnished to us.

April 28 [1865]

Weather. letter. I bought a --- of flour containing 6 pounds tonight. I came off guard at 4. Guns were fired in honor of the surrender of Johnstons surrender today.

April 29 [1865]

Weather. Letter. I am on water police today. Commissary draw. Letter. There was an order read at dress parade tonight containing the news of Johnstons surrender.

April 30 [1865]

Weather. I went out on inspection at ½ pat 9 today where I took Rubilees horse to water. We went down by the hospital. The --- now just out. At one we went out and were mustered by a ___. food. Letter. The herald contained and order from the Sec of War ordering all troops to be discharged as soon as practicable. I am not feeling very well tonight.


Diary Continued Back to Introduction


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