April 20, 1865

Thursday, April 20, 1865  cool and pleasant   we fixed up our Chebang and built a good shade of pine and cedar boughs   we are fixed real nice   I was on fatigue duty this AM   Genl  Shermans whole army is laying here and close by Jo Johnstons army lays NW of here about 30 miles near Chapel Hill   Killpatrick’s Cavalry patrol the line in front and between the two armies  the Army of Tennessee lays just in rear of the cavalry and between them and Raleigh   Schofield’s 10th and 23 corps hold Raleigh near and right   Slocum’s Ky [illegible word] 20th Corps army of Georgia occupies the left of the line

April 19, 1865

Wednesday, April 19, 1865   warm and pleasant   had a fine thundershower last night.   clear now   we police our ground   had circular read from our Adjt [adjutant] stating Sherman and Johnston had agreed on terms subject to the approval of the authorities at Washington   we feel better   have orders to stay in camp may move at any moment   move at noon 6 miles and camp 2 miles west of Raleigh near the NC RR   our camp is an open field  we have no very good facilities for fixing up as lumber is scarce   we expect to stay here some time at least until a reply comes from Washington City accepting or declining the terms prescribed for the surrender of the Confederacy

April 18, 1865

It is hard to know how the soldiers took the news of President Lincoln’s assassination.  Were they shocked, saddened, or angered by the news?   Isaac made only a minor comment about it in this next passage.  He would make only a few additional comments in future journal entries.  Perhaps their experience with the horrific side of war jaded them.   This is all Issac wrote when he heard he news.

Tuesday, April 18, 1865   cool and pleasant   a train of 2 passenger cars went out this morn loaded mostly with officers  supposed Gen Sherman and Staff going again to confer with Johnston    no especial news relating to the assassination of the President, but report only seems to confirm previous statements    the cars came in this eve after dark    raining like jehv [Jehovah] no news    all of the boys seem down hearted and dispirited not that we have any particular reason for it   only we get no news and all are anxious to know what Genl Sherman and Johnston are doing in the way of surrender

April 13, 1865

Thursday, April 13, 1865   reveillee at 2 ½ AM   orders to march at five relieved from picket and report to reg before daylight   march 17 miles move slow and roads bad   till noon we lay still about two hours middle of the day and get dinner  rain part of AM   official order from Gen Sherman read confirming the report of yesterday, but no particulars   the report is that Lee’s army is to be paroled   we don’t like that part of the news   it smacks to much of Vicksburg, but may be all right   camp at sundown 16 miles south east of Raleigh   the boys are all eager to press on after Johnston   we think when we get him the thing is wound up

April 12, 1865

Finally, news arrived that Isaac and his fellow soldiers had been waiting for.

Wednesday, April 12, 1865   reveillee at day light with orders to move at 7 but as roads are bad do not get started till nine AM   before we start get news said to be a dispatch from Gen Grant to Gen Sherman to the effect that Lee had surrendered his entire army to Gens Grant and Sheridan at Appomattox Court house on the 9th  inst    great rejoicing among our troops and if this is true we have cause for rejoicing   roads very bad   we are all day in getting 4 miles   have all the road to corduroy   camp at sundown    I am detailed for picket    as the night is warm we pass the time quite comfortably  all highly elated over the good news which we think is true

April 9, 1865

Sunday, april 9, 1865   Warm dry and windy   I have ague today and judge of my surprise to wake this morning and find that box of clothing laying at our feet in the chebang   after we left cars last night orders came to unload everything and load the cars with sick and wounded to go to Newbern   so we nocked the box to pieces and took our clothes out   expect to move tomorrow   will through away a pair pants  2 overcoats and a shirt   wont load myself down   expect to have a real run after Jo Johnsons rebels   had gen inspection and dress parade at Smiths headqrs in the evening  I did not attend   wrote to Jabes in Leightons letter

April 8, 1865

Saturday, April 8, 1865   Warm and dry   tried again to send our clothes off  carrying box through town   had worn out a good pair shoes running to different officers for papers &C&C [etc.]   News from grant   lees total loss 40,000, guns 500   grants loss 7000, 2000 killed and 4000 prisoners and wounded   Sherman gets orders to move on Johnson  reads [?] order to boys

Information in these posts is taken from Isaac's journals and speeches written between 1861 and 1923


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