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Vermont Artillery

2nd Battery Light Artillery
Extracts from Civil War Diaries of
W. H. Flint, Leicester, Vt.

(Diary continues from 1861)

Dec. 27-Jan. 31 - Drills - guard duty - trips to city.

Feb. 1 - Promoted to 1st Corporal.

Feb. 5 - Rec'd our knapsacks, canteens and blankets before this each soldier had his own bed clothing he brought from home.

Feb. 6 - To Boston and on board ship Idaho.

Feb. 7 - In Boston Harbor, Capt. L.R. Sayles ordered to report in Burlington.

Feb. 8 - Set sail for Ship Island, Mississippi. First time many of the boys were ever on shipboard.

Feb. 9-28 - On board ship Idaho sent letters home on picket boat.

March 1 - Came in sight of Key West.

March 2-7 - On shipboard - hard winds, waves seem mountain high.

March 8 - In sight of land during day - ran aground in night.

March 9 - At night all but 33 men in each company went ashore on Ship Island. I was left on board in charge of 2nd Vt. Battery men. We worked all night getting the provisions out of the bottom of the ship.

March 10 - Quantities of government stores unloaded - thrown overboard then ship was towed into the harbor without much damage to her. With the exception of being seasick for a short time I enjoyed the trip from New York.

March 11 - I went back on ship Idaho again and brought off what things remained that belong to our battery - went into camp.

March 12 - In camp on Ship Island, Miss. which is one complete body of sane as far as the eye can reach with the ocean howling on all sides of us. It is dreary enough.

March 13 - Went with squad of men to other end of Island after wood. Carried wood all day to beach to be towed to camp; was out all night and was taken sick in the night.

March 14 - Came back to camp at noon the wind blowing hard - sound of ocean deafening.

March 15 - High wind and tide reached out camp every tent blown down - had to get out in hurry - saved baggage but much work for a while - sadder lot of fellows never seen than those of 2nd Vt. Battery - cold & wet through after getting our tents on high ground I made my way in the dark to a Mass. regt. and they gave me shelter for the rest of the night.

March 16 - Two men buried here to-day - first soldiers funeral we had ever seen and "many tears could be seen as the brave boys were laid to rest away from home and kindred in the white sand on Ship Island."

March 17-April 8 - Drill - inspection - unloading cannons.

April 9 - Ship Island - whole division reviewed - B. F. Butler in command - "a grand sight extending for miles up the Island."

April 10-12 - Drills - fitting shells at magazine.

April 13 - Promoted to sergeant to-day in lace of F. W. Noyes who was discharged.

April 14 - Orders to march - rec'd my warrant at 6th sergeant to-day from Col. Stephen Thomas of the 8th Vt. regt at this time. - 2nd & 3d batteries belonged to the 8th regt.

April 15-16 - Looking for boat to go to Ft. Jackson - filled shells.

April 17 - Embarked on steam boat Henry Lewis.

April 18-19 - Steam pipes burst and repaired - could not run long after repairs - fired I guess as signal of distress - dropped one of our 20# guns (parapet) to help hold the boat as anchors - were not sufficient.

April 20 - Steamer Saxon towed us to mouth of Mississippi. We could hear firing at Fort Jackson.

April 21 - Saxon took us up the river to where our fleet was anchored firing at Ft. Jackson and St. Phillip.

April 22-27 - On board Henry Lewis - on shore for wood to fire boilers - troops transferred from Great Republic to gunboat Colorado, etc.

April 28 - On Henry Lewis in sight of Fort Jackson. Rebels set fire to & blew up a steam boat & floating battery. After bombarding Forts Jackson & St. Philip for 6 days and nights Farragut on the morning of Apr. 24 about 3 A.M. passed the forts.

April 29-May 1 - In river at quarantine above Ft. Jackson - filled shells part of the day - passed Magnolia plantation.

May 2 - Arrived in New Orleans - disembarked at once & went into position on wharf on Levee.

May 3 - Encamped near Canal St. battery remained on levee - took stroll about city.

May 4 - Battery ordered to U.S. mint - went into camp there.

May 5 - Quartered in U.S. mint - steam board Henry Lewis sunk to-day. When we think about the old shell, the bursting of the steam pipe the rough weather and our voyage on this boat we thank God that we arrived here safely.

May 6 - Took a stroll about city - placed under arrest on my return - Capt. Chase has come to have me reduced to the ranks.

May 7 - Released from arrest to-day by order of Capt. Holcomb - no reason given for my arrest - I asked no questions - went down to Evans House to see Lieut. B. N. Dyer.

May 8 - Sergeants rec'd side arms to-day - My detachment with one other ordered to St. Charles Hotel to do guard duty - Gen. Butler had headquarters there. We stationed one piece on each corner facing St. Charles St. and we were quartered in the basement.

May 9-17 - Guard duty - drilling - went for shot & ammunition.

May 18 - Went to U. S. mint with morning report - went to Custom House on drill.

May 19 - Went with morning report to U. S. mint headquarters.

May 20 - My detachment by order of Gen. Butler detailed to convey some confiscated liquors to his rooms in Hotel. It did not all reach him - all of the boys kept what they would with safety conceal - while Gen. Butler was enjoying the good things of the city, we boys had our fun.

May 21-30 - Quartered at St. Charles Hotel - guard duty - after mail, etc.

May 31 - Went to sign payroll then embarked on the steam boat G. A. Sheldon & started for Camp Parapet near Carrollton, La. The whole battery came also.

June 1 - Landed and went into camp near river bank inside fortifications. The place fell into our hands when New Orleans surrendered. It is about 8 miles up the river from New Orleans. I went out to the 1st Vt. Regt[?]. They are quartered [sic] outside the parapet.

June 2-21 - Camp Parapet - building shelter co. street - guard duty - drills - inspections.

June 22 - Sold an old watch I had for $14.00.

June 23 - I had guard duty, etc.

June 26 - Moved our quarters to-day out into what we would call a swamp at home - breast works extend down into low grounds from the river.

June 27 - Built a bower over our quarters - cleaned up camp - made port holes in breast works.

June 28 - Cleaning up camp.

June 29 - Battery inspected to-day. I went to New Orleans, to Carrollton & back to camp.

June 30-July 13 - Guard duty - inspection - made a coffin.

July 14 - Lieut. B. N. Dyer & Lieut. Smith court marshalled - both had to go.

July 15 - To court marshall - not called on to testify.

July 16 - John W. Chase aspired to be 1st Lieut. when battery was 1st organized but Dyer was elected & Smith was 2d Lieut. and John A. Inalty 3d Lieut. There were several candidates for 4th place and I cam within 3 votes of being elected instead of Chase - this explains his dislike for them as well as me.

July 17-23 - Camp Parapet guard duty - etc.

July 24 - Chauncey Stanley and I went to Gen. J. W. Phelps headquarters & reported Capt. Chase & Capt. Holcomb of our battery. We claimed they had been taking rations that belonged to battery. Gen. Phelps talked like a father to us - gave us some good advice and promised to look into the matter. Gen. Phelps presented me with a copy of instructions for field artillery.

July 25-August 21 - Guard duty - charge of negroes getting guns into position.

August 22 - Battery rec'd sabers to-day.

August 23-25 - Drilled some men on guns, etc. August 26 - Went to sick call - first time since my enlistment - sick with chills and fever - excused from duty.

August 27-Sept. 12 - Saber practice - guard duty, etc.

Sept. 13 - Death of Joseph Matot at Camp Parapet - went to graveyard and set some headboards at graves of boys who belonged to 2d Vt. Battery.

Sept. 14-18 - Guard duty - dismounting Rebel cannon, etc.

Sept. 19 - Our Camp is about 1/2 mile back from Miss. River in the swamp.

Sept. 20 - Our mess rec'd potatoes for the first time since we left Boston last February.

Sept. 22 - Inspection - went after vegetables outside lines.

Sept. 23 - Sick again - went to Surgeon's call and was excused from duty - had chills and fever.

Sept. 24 - Excused from duty after visit to surgeon.

Sept. 25 - Rec'd some thing from home - sent in a box to W. S. Alden a comrade from Leicester, Vt.

Sept. 26 - Guard duty.

Sept. 27 - Police duty - taken sick again.

Sept. 28 - Hard sick excused from duty - in my quarters all day.

Sept. 29 - Sent for ambulance & went to hospital which was in a brick house near the river in an orange grove.

Sept. 30-Oct. 8 - Sick in hospital.

Oct. 9 - Returned to my company.

Oct. 10-Nov. 7 - Battery inspection - drills - fix up quarters - to Carrollton with reports.

Nov. 8 - Trouble with Sergt. Maj. Perry Baker - only a question of time when I would be reduced to the ranks.

Nov. 9-23 - Still under arrest.

Nov. 24 - Struck tents & marched to New Orleans went into camp at Annunciation Square. Still under arrest but after reaching the city I left camp & went down to Canal St. & back to camp. I also went to theater in evening.

Nov. 25-27 - Still under arrest.

Nov. 28 - At retreat to-night on dress parade by order of Capt. Holcomb I was reduced to the ranks after being kept under arrest 20 days for disrespectful language to superior officers.

Nov. 29 - Took my place in ranks as private.

Nov. 30-Dec. 1 - Guard duty - to Customs House - theater in evening.

Dec. 2 - Commenced practice on bugle - battery inspection - rounds - city.

Dec. 3 - Practice on bugle.

Dec. 4 - Preferred charges against Lieut. John Chase regarding unlawful appropriation of supplies, etc. - charges dismissed.

Dec. 5-17 - Camp drills - to headquarters reports, etc.

Dec. 18 - Sick with chills & fever.

Dec. 19 - Sick with chills & fever.

Dec. 20 - Chase told Sergt.. Maj. Baker to give me a pair of horses - that I never could learn to play the bugle - Baker selected pair of horses in the battery.

Dec. 21-28 - Guard duty loading the battery on the Honduras.

Dec. 29 - On Honduras lying at Jackson St. Then started for Galveston, TX.

Dec. 30-Jan. 1 (1863) - Trip to Galveston - city captured by Rebels all our fleet ordered back to New Orleans.

(Diary continues - 1863)

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