Vermont Artillery2nd Battery Light Artillery
Extracts from Civil War Diaries of
W. H. Flint, living in Leicester, Vt.
with parents - April 1861
(compiled by Mary E. Paquette, June 20, 1993)
April 8 - Commenced work on town hall in Brandon, Vt.
April 19 - Enlisted for 3 months in the first Vt. regt. in co. with Channcey Stanley then he and I went up to Leicester, Vt. there was a meeting last night held in town hall for the purpose of enlisting men in answer to a call for 75,000 men by President Lincoln. I should have been one of the first to enlist but my father was with me and objected but after talking the matter over during the night, he withdrew his objections and I promptly reported for enlistment. I will say that while my father was in sympathy with the Union cause and in favor of the call for troops he did not think I was old enough, and being a minor he disliked to give his consent, but after I enlisted, he and my mother gave me all the encouragement they could. The co. to which I belonged was under Capt. Joseph Bush. The Co. commenced drilling at once both forenoon, afternoon and evening. the town is filled with people wearing badges and talking of the firing on Ft. Sumpter [sic].
April 27 - I was sworn into U.S. service.
April 28 - Sunday Whole Co. went to Cong. church.
May 2 - Went in camp at Rutland Fairgrounds. [On this date speaks of the interest his step-grandfather, Beach took in him; speaks of his goodness of heart and how he cried when he came to say good bye.]
May 3 - Quartered last night in Rutland Armory - 10 companies all under command of Col. John W. Phelps. To-day pitched tents on fair ground - I was told to do the cooking for the Co. That kind of work not suiting me I was relieved.
May 8 - To-day we were mustered into the service of the U.S. for 3 months.
May 9 - Broke camp - went aboard cars for New York disembarked both at Granville and at Troy, N.Y. Boys welcome to everything in city. It seemed to me that this had been one of the greatest days in my life, not having ever been away from Vermont before.
May 10 - We arrived at New York City at 8 a.m. and marched directly to City Hall all the way from depot down Broadway. The streets were jammed with people, flags and banners flying from every window and the crowd shouted themselves hoarse at the fine appearance of the 1st Vt. Regt.
Every soldier wore a sprig of evergreen in his coat lapel, everything free to the boys here as in Troy. Asked and rec'd permission to visit Aunt Mary Grorncke at Williamsburg - stayed over night with her.
May 11 - On board steamer Alabama - left for Fortress Monroe. It was a delightful trip down the Bay. To many of us it was the first time we had ever been in New York or on board an ocean steamer.
May 12 - Many seasick.
May 13 - Arrived Fort Monroe.
May 18 - Quartered in Hygea Hotel.
May 20 - One of Bradford co. boys died - first in regt.
May 23 - Went with expedition to Hampton when Rebs, saw us coming they set fire to bridge. Col. Phelps rushed squad to bridge on double quick put out fire so we were able to cross.
May 26 - An alarm at camp a little east of Hampton village - shots exchanged - did not see enemy.
May 27 - Struck camp and went by boat up James River to Newport News. My co. advance guard - went into camp in large wheat field.
May 28-June 15 - Making entrenchments - responding to alarms-drilling.
Jun 17-30 - Drills - work on camp - inspections.
July 2 - Division inspected by Gen. B. F. Butler ordered out with Knapsacks on - stood in line 2 hrs in very hot sun. It was said that Gen. Butler's daughter who was with him said "Trot them round again Papa," she was so delighted with the review.
July 3-Aug 4 - Drills - dress parades - inspection - guard duty - work on entrenchments - prayer meetings - police duty.
August 5 - Struck tents on board steamer - left Newport News.
August 6 - Arrived in New York - by rail to Brattleboro.
August 7-10 - Drills.
August 16 - Mustered out after being paid by U.S. paymaster.
August 17 - Arrived in Brandon during night - met at depot by good no. of citizens and band - marched in formation round town - we're given a dinner at new Town Hall. After which the boys of Co. G first Vt. Volunteers War of Rebellion separated each having made up his mind what to do in regard to reenlisting as the war was still going on. As for myself I had determined not to re-enlist. Three months of soldiering I thought was my part in putting down the Rebellion. As I rewrite this diary after the War, I can see that I little knew what I would do, as the following pages will show.
August 18 - Sept 8 - Helping father with work on barn and on farm.
Sept 9 - Commenced work on Town Hall.
Sept 10-Oct. 21 - Working in Brandon on Town Hall.
Oct. 22 - Enlisted again for three years under Capt. L. R. Sayles in Sprayer's R.I. cavalry in company with Ed Bickford and Silas Miller. I feel it my duty to offer my services as the war is still going on and our troops seem to be repulsed - 800,000 [sic] volunteers are calls for by Pres. Lincoln.
Oct. 23-Nov. 22 - Some drilling - visiting friends.
Nov 23 - Informed that the quota for R.I. cavalry was full and that we would not be obliged to go to war. But all but two of the company enlisted then and there in what was to be the 2nd Vt. Light Artillery.
Nov. 24-Dec. 13 - Drills - visits - church - dances.
Dec. 14 - Battery rec'd uniforms - co. elected officers - lacking their votes for a commission - I took my place in the Battery as 9th-Corporal.
Dec. 22 - Drilling - visiting - church.
Dec. 23 - Went to Salisbury to see my parents. I am nineteen years old to-day.
Dec. 24 - Went to Brandon - paid $93.17 by U. S. paymaster.
Dec. 25 - Started for Lowell by way of Burlington & Montpelier. My father was in Brandon to see me off again for the War. He said that he should never see me again. I was inclined to be light hearted about it but still I had some misgivings as three years is a long time and the war was growing fiercer than ever.
Dec. 26 - Arrived in Lowell - camped on fair grounds just outside of city.
Dec. 27 - Ground covered with snow - about a foot deep. We had Sibly tents with galvanized iron tent poles with a round sheet iron stove at the bottom. The pole served as a stove pipe. With from 12 to 18 men in a tent and plenty of wood we were able to keep comfortable during the day but at night unless some one of the boys kept watch the fire went out, then there were some cold soldiers. I thought that we had a hard time in the three months service but it was a picnic compared to the experiences we were now undergoing.
Dec. 27-Jan. 31 - Drills - guard duty - trips to city.