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
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
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
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
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
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
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