Moving Friday, May 5, 1865 Reveille at half past two marched without breakfast at three A M Expecting to cross the river and stop for breakfast but a team run off the pontoons and got our bridge out of repair so we stoped at the river for breakfast little after daylight crossed the Roanoak river had just rain enough to lay the dust and make the air cool the best roads I ever marched on cross the state line at half past six A M Stoped three times through the day to rest Marched twenty five 25 miles timber mostly oak white and black some pine Water plenty and good crossed M Herron river about noon just 20 miles from the Roanoak 15th A C left our road and went to the right P M quite warm many of our recruits tired out and had to stop in the shade Camped about four P M in a good place
Moving Thursday, May 4, 1865 Cool and Pleasant Marched at Eight AM only went about five miles when we were ordered to stop as the fifteenth corps had to cross the Roanoke river on our road and had got in ahead of us and were laying pontoons I got my jacket fixed cost 75 cts tis now four PM we have orders to move at six looks very much like rain I guess we must get some supper Marched at six PM but only went about three miles and camped for the night one mile from the river waiting to get the pontoons down and as we were deficient in pontoons had to use an old flat boat and three or four old bataux [a flat-bottomed boat] which caused some unusual delay passed the third Division tomorrow we will take our place in the center of the A C [Army Corps]
For additional information about the XV Army Corps, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XV_Corps_(Union_Army)
At last, the troops finally had orders to break camp and head north. In a deposition dated March 30, 1888, Isaac stated: We had to march very hard. We did the hardest marching of my service on this march. It was a kind of a race for Washington.
Thursday, April 27, 1865 reveillee at Daylight with orders to move at 7 AM at about 8 AM marched for our old camp 2 miles west of Raleigh where we arrived about 11 oclock and as we had left guards to look after things found all right hoisted? up our chebang and we are now ready to enjoy soldiers life once more to the accounting to Genl Blairs statement we now may expect to march from some point in the vicinity of Richmond in a few days Genl Schofield is to remain here to finish up the business with Jo Johnston we expect the [illegible word] to garrison the place as they are nearby all Negroes [rcvd?] of course and fit for nothing else and not for that in time of danger
Wednesday, April 26, 1865 reveilee at day break with orders to move at six hurried breakfast and just got knapsacks packed when the order was countermanded tis a real pleasant morning I have just been taking a walk down the road thinking how a day or two ago our hearts beat light with the hope of a speedy settlement of our National difficulties but now it seems prospects are not so bright we have nothing reliable but a day or two may set things all right again lay in camp all day 2 passenger cars went out this morn having on board Genls Sherman Schofield Howard and Blair are supposed going out to hold another conference with Johnston cars came in this eve at 8 Genl Blair announced Johnston surrendered great rejoicing firing small arms bursting Canteens and playing of brass bands
Saturday, April 22, 1865 cool and pleasant I went to the spring and done some washing also cut young pines and set them in rows in our Co streets we have now as nice a camp as there is any need of Rebs are getting very plenty around here coming from both Lees and Johnstons armies all appear anxious to get hold of a mule or horse and it seems to make but little difference how dilapidated the condition of the animal is so he can walk many of the boys in grey who a month ago were in arms against us are now daily loitering through our camps picking up old saddles or bits of harness fixing to work for their living
Friday, April 21, 1865 pleasant but rather windy there are various rumors afloat even at this early day as to our destination when we move from here some say to Harpers ferry and some to Fredric City and some to our old Department on the Miss [Mississippi] River and also that we will move inside of ten days I think we will at least stay here till we hear from Washington City in the paper here to fore printed in Raleigh called Raleigh Conservative is still continued under the name of Progress and like the Richmond Whig claims to be a loyal sheet its sentiment and moral tone generally is greatly chagringed since coming under yankee domination
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