Andrew J Hall Diary in pdf format

The Diary of Andrew J. Hall

Andrew J. Hall was born in Epsom, son of Benjamin Hall and Polly Wells. Around 1858 he left Epsom for Illinois where he married Sarah J. Poynter, and had two children. He resided in Lebanon, Illinois and in July of 1861, he enlisted in the U.S. service at Summerfield, St. Clair County, Illinois. He started a diary when he entered the service, and this diary found its way to the Special Collections department at the library at the University of New Hampshire. They were kind enough to offer a photocopy of it, which has been transcribed and also re-written to make it easier to read. Below is the revised version. Click here for the direct transcription.

This book belongs to A.J. Hall
Lebanon, St. Clair County, Illinois

I enlisted in the U.S. service at Summerfield, St. Clair, Il, July 8th, 1861. I left Summerfield for Camp Butler in Springfield, Illinois august 21st, 1861. Stopped at east St. Louis over night and took the cars. On the 22nd am, arrived at Camp Butler at three o'clock pm, and was sworn into U.S. service, and bought a horse for one hundred and twenty five dollars on the 26th of August. Received our saddles and receipted for them at thirty-five dollars on the 30th of August.

Left Camp Butler on the morning of September 4th, took the cars at James town on the great Western R.R., changed cars at Decater Junction of the G.W. & S.C. R.R., arrived at Carbondale Jackson County, Illinois at eleven o'clock pm. No arrangements had been made for our comfort. We tied out horses in the woods back of town without any feed for them, and without any supper for ourselves. Some of us got into an old school house for a shelter. I took one of the seats for my bed and rested as well as circumstances would admit.

On the 5th our camp was selected in the timber joining the town, our camp was names Camp Logan. I belong to Co. E, 2nd Regiment of Illinois Cavalry. On the 11th of September we had everything ready for a move at daylight - it was raining very hard and continued to rain all the forenoon after a muddy and fatiguing march of eleven hours. We arrived at Camp Nason near Daquoin on the S.C.R.R. On the 22nd of September, we left camp Nason for Metropoles on the Ohio River, twelve miles below Paducah.

On the night of the 22nd we camped near Blairsville. On the 23rd we camped on the Saline Creek, and on the 24th camped near Viana. Nothing of interest has occurred on our march until tonight when we came into Viana. We found several Union flags proudly floating over the town and three salutes from a cannon was fired as we entered the town. This was cheering to us for we had been traveling a country where the inhabitants strongly sympathized with the South. They gave us many a sour and surly look.

After we had camped for the night, a German came into camp and reported that we would find the road blockaded by rebels 14 miles from Viana on our next days march. Our men were also stating that they had seen the trail of a large gang of horses across the road several miles back in the woods before we got to Viana. We also remembered that for the last 25 miles, nearly every house was vacant. Sometimes we would see some woman and children, but no men. This began to look suspicious and began to create considerable excitement. Some thought that the trail we had seen was a company of mounted rebels that were watching our movement. It is necessary here to state that our force amounted to about 940 men (cavalry) commanded by Col. Noble, and our arms consisted of forty carbines and about cartridges enough to load them once. These are all the arms that we had to defend ourselves with - this is what caused the excitement.

We could have been whipped very easily. Some expected that we would be attacked before morning. Some were in favor of keeping their horses saddled so as to be ready for a retreat in case we should be attacked; others declared that they would fight with clubs and die on the spot before they would leave the ground. As for myself, I did not approve of the management. I thought it was not right to take us into the enemy's country without arms. I was not the least excited, for I did not think that we were in any danger. I went to sleep with my head on my saddle and had a good nights rest. I woke up in the morning and found everything all right.

Lieutenant Col. Hogg, with twenty men, scouted all night, but discovered nothing unusual. On the 25th we took up our line of march and arrived at Metropoles and camped at the Old Fort Massac, a little above Metropoles, on the bank of the Ohio River, twelve miles below Paducah, Kentucky. No provisions were made for us. We had to buy bread and meat for our supper and sleep on the ground without any straw, the ground being very wet and we only had one blanket. We could not sleep very comfortably. We were in this condition four nights, then we got some straw to sleep on. Soon as we came into Metropoles, our boys got a secesh flag from a yawl, which was soon distributed among the boys.

Sept. 28th. I must state that since we have been at this camp we have been having hard bread and it was full of worms. The boys had become very much dissatisfied. They thought they were imposed on and they were determined to oppose the insult, so they formed a funeral procession of about twenty-five or thirty men and started with a barrel of wormy crackers towards the river to bury them. Before they got to the river there were two or three hundred soldiers in the procession. The crackers and worms were buried together in god order, then another barrel was taken to the quartermaster's tent and turned out on the ground, and three groans were given the quartermaster. The processions then marched back in front of the Colonel's tent. One of the soldiers made a brief but eloquent speech. Three cheers were given for the speaker and three groans for the quartermaster, and they then retired to their quarters.

Sept. 29th. A yawl with two barrels of whiskey was taken from the Kentucky shore. The whiskey was turned out into the river.

Oct. 1st 1861. Nine prisoners were taken by our men in Kentucky today.

Oct. 3rd. We left Camp Massac early in the morning for Cairo. After a march of forty miles we arrived at Cairo about sundown. No arrangements had been made for us. We had no tents with us and nothing to eat until eleven o'clock at night. As for myself, I went to bed without any supper. I slept in a wagon and had a very good nights rest and was awakened in the morning by the rain beating down in my face.

Oct. 4th. We went into the barracks that the 9th Regiment Illinois Volunteers occupied in the three months service. We were completely wiped out of these quarters by the fleas. They were so numerous and so hungry that we could not stand them.

Oct. 8th. We moved our camp one mile above Cairo near the Ohio River. It is called Camp Noble.

Oct. 18th. I got a furlough for ten days to go to Summerfield, St. Clair County, Illinois.

Oct. 19th. I took the cars on the S.C. R.R. , went to Ashley, took the hack for Nashville. From Nashville I rode in a wagon in Company with Joseph Pointer, Lowrin Hull and Malanklin Hull. Arrived at home 8 o'clock pm and found my family in good health and every on the place in good order.

Oct. 28th. I left home to join my Company. I took the cars at Lebanon, changed cars at Odin, took the S.C. R.R., arriving at Cairo two o'clock in the morning of the 29th. On the 23rd of October, Companies D & E went aboard the steamboat Memphis, ran up to Caledonia and took aboard Company C. They then crossed the river to the Kentucky shore opposite Caledonia, then proceeded to the farm belonging to Jasper Turner, a Colonel in the rebel army, took forty eight mules and returned to Cairo the same day.

Nov. 25th. We moved to Birds Point, Missouri, and camped one mile west of Birds Point in the timber.

Dec. 1st. Three rebel gun boats came up the river and fired several shots at Fort Holt, but did not do any damage. The batteries at Fort Holt returned the compliment and one of our gunboats gave them chase, but the rebels retreated down the river. Our boat, after a short chase, returned to Cairo.

Dec. 3rd. One rebel gunboat came up the river near to our battery as was safe for them and threw three shells at Fort Holt. The shells fell into the water before reaching the fort.

Dec. 4th. A detachment from Companies A, B, E & F was sent to Charleston, Missouri to capture some secesh cavalry that was reported to be there, but on arriving at Charleston, we found that they had left. Our force amounted to about one hundred and fifty men under the command of Major Bush. Charleston is about 14 miles from Birds Point.

Dec. 6th. Four o'clock pm, we had orders to be ready in our saddles at six o'clock for a march and to report at headquarters at Birds Point. Every man that could go was mounted at the time appointed and in good spirits. We remained at headquarters until seven o'clock, when a force of thirteen cavalry companies had collected. We were then ordered to Belmont to surprise a rebel camp and take some batteries that were supposed to be there. The night was quite dark, and the road very muddy which made it very disagreeable traveling. When we got to Belmont, we found a line of battle on the old battleground and within three hundred yards of four rebel gun boats, but they were not aware of our being there or they would have been very likely to have fired on us. The place was thoroughly reconnoitered, but no enemy or batteries were to be found. We got back to our camp at eight o'clock the next morning.

Dec. 9th. Went to a sale about 8 miles from Birds Point to hunt stray horses.

Dec. 11th. At daylight we started from camp in pursuit of rebel cavalry we expected at Charlestown. Our force amounted to about two hundred men under the command of Major Mudd. We went into Charlestn at double quick time. The rebels had left and gone west. We pursued them and overtook some of them at Bertrand, six miles west of Charleston. We found five of them under a grocery, they had their arms with them. Their horses and mules were hitched to a fence at the grocery. One man and his rife and mule were found in a smoke house. On hearing that some of them were in a distillery half a mile from Bertrand, a small party started for the distillery. Three men were in advance and saw two men with arms mount their horses at the distillery and start for the swamp, which was but a short distance. Our men halted them several times, but the rebels paid no attention. Two of our men pursued them at full speed and chased them into the swamp. The rebels dismounted and each one took a tree and fired at our men. They killed one man and one horse, the man belonging to Company B, the horse to Company E. We took 13 prisoners and some arms and horses and mules and returned to our camp the same day.

Dec. 14th. Our horses were kept saddled all night expecting that our camp would be attacked.

Dec. 27th. Moved to Cairo and camped two miles above Cairo on the bank of the Ohio River. We had just got our tents fixed up so that we could be more comfortable than we even had been before. We have been in this camp two days and now we have received orders to pull up stakes and move to Paducah, Kentucky. Our orders are to move tomorrow morning.

Dec. 30th. We left Cairo by steamboats and arrived at Paducah late in the afternoon. No arrangements had been made for our comfort. No campground had been selected for us. We were marched to some vacant houses that some Kentucky soldiers had occupied some time previous. The houses were dirty and filthy and not fit for stables without cleaning out, but our men wanted shelter and they contented themselves as well as they could. Some slept on the floor, some under wagons, others sat up all night rather than to stay in such filthy quarters. As for myself, I got on top of a wagon that was loaded and tried to rest. I got to sleep but only for a short time, for I had only one blanket with me. When I awoke I was about half froze. I went to a fire in the house, but the disagreeable smell soon drove me out. I again tried the wagon. I got a little sleep, but I was again forced to leave my bed on account of the cold, so I sat up the balance of the night by a little fire out of doors. Our officers put up at the St. Francis Hotel.

Dec. 31st. Before we could get to strike our tents, we were ordered to muster. Before the review was over, it was after twelve o'clock. We then all pitched in getting up our tents and to get something to eat. We have not had anything to eat since we left Cairo, except some dry bread that we took in our haversacks. We got our tents up and had our supper and felt two hundred percent better than we did this morning.

Jan. 1st 1862. Last night we slept on the soft side of a plank, but we were so tired that we could sleep on anything that was clean. This day I dined with Lieutenant William Britt and Lady of the Company F, 9th regiment Volunteers, one of my nearest neighbors when we are at home.

January 2. We have got a floor in our tent, which we find first rate to keep our bodies off of the cold ground.

Jan. 3rd. We moved our camp about four hundred yards. We have got our horses in stables for the first time and we have got a fire in our tents, the first fire that we have ever had in them.

Jan. 6th. We scouted all day on the Cairo and Paducah Road and the Paducah and Columbus Road, and Paducah and Loversville Road. We went about ten miles on each road.

Jan. 9th. We have received orders to be in our saddles at three o'clock with six days rations. At three o'clock we were ready, but the order was countermanded. We are to start tomorrow morning at eight o'clock.

Jan. 10th. We were ready at eight this morning with six days rations ready for march and a fight. The streets of Paducah were lined with soldiers (cavalry, artillery and infantry), but we were again sent back to camp and to be ready at eight o'clock tomorrow morning. The streets of Paducah are in a very muddy condition, for we have not had a fair day in two weeks.

Jan. 11th. The order was again countermanded; our orders are to hold ourselves in readiness at an hours notice.

Jan. 13th. Twenty-five of us under Lieutenant Babcock, went on a scout. We went ten miles from Paducah on the Cairo Road, then crossed over to the Loversville Road, and returned to camp. When we started out in the morning, it was very cold. We suffered very much and were compelled to walk to keep from freezing our feet. When we were about eight miles from camp, on our return, it commenced snowing and the wind was in our faces and blew so hard that it nearly blinded us. When we got into camp we found that we had orders to march in the morning at eight o'clock with eleven days rations.

Jan. 14th. Our march is delayed until the 15th.

Jan. 15th. Our force of about six thousand (cavalry, artillery and infantry) left Paducah and marched a south course in the direction of Mayfield. The road was rough and frozen hard with a little snow and a sleeting rain and hail, which was still falling. This made it very disagreeable and uncomfortable traveling. Out march was very slow on account of the condition of the roads. We left Paducah at ten o'clock am and camped at sunset in the timber about twelve miles from Paducah. We kept ourselves off the ground by carrying rails from a fence and placing them close together. It made rather a rough bed, but we managed to sleep some. At the present time I am sitting by the fire to get warm and let my bones rest. It is about 12 o'clock at night. My fellow soldiers lying by my side on the rail bed, and I am writing by fire and moon light. The sky is once more clear.

Jan. 16th. At eight o'clock we took up our line of march towards Mayfield. The weather was very cold and the ground frozen hard. The road was sol slippery that it was very difficult for our horses to travel for they were smooth shod. The day passed without any excitement. Our advance guard went into Mayfield and had a little chase after one rebel who poked spurs to his horse and made good his escape. The guards shot several times at him, but missed the mark. We camped one mile of Mayfield. We jay-hawked hay enough to make us a good bed, the first bed her have had since we left Cairo. Mayfield is in Graves County.

Jan. 17th. At eight o'clock we continued our march. The weather was cloudy and cold in the forenoon today and rainy late in the afternoon. Company E was the advance guard. We had not traveled more than two hours when we came in sight of five armed mounted men not more than four hundred yards distant. When they discovered us, they ran through a cornfield into a thicket. Our men fired several shots at them as they ran, but did not hit them. We caught four of them; one got away. We took them along with us. At night they took the oath to support the constitution and were set at liberty. This day we traveled east. Our right flank scouting party sent a messenger to us that they had discovered a company of rebel cavalry about two or three miles from us. Companies E & F started in pursuit at double quick time. When we had rode about three or four miles, we met our scouts returning. They had frightened the rebels away and captured one mule. We camped in the woods about 14 miles from Mayfield.

Jan. 18th. It commenced raining before daylight and continued to rain all day. We moved only about three miles on account of the muddy condition of the road. Our baggage train could hardly get along. The soldiers plundered a house belonging to a strong resesch who had been aiding in the rebellion.

Jan. 19th. Lay in camp all day on account of bad road.

Jan. 20th. Moved about five miles and camped. Major Mudd of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment was in advance of the column for the purpose of engaging forage. He stopped at a house of Mr. Gardner, who is a wealthy farmer and a merchant, and inquired of young Gardner if he could get corn fodder of sheaf oats for some cavalry horses. Young Gardner took the major for a southern soldier and said that he could have all that he wanted and that his father had gone to Murry and had taken his rifle along with him to kill some Union soldiers that were expected to come that way. Mr. Gardner came home in the night and was taken prisoner and his store was broken open by the soldiers who helped themselves. Some horses were taken and his rifle also.

Jan. 21st. We commenced our march this morning very early and camped at night neat the Tennessee River. Four Companies of the 41st Illinois Volunteers and four Company of the 2nd Cavalry Illinois Volunteers were the rear guard when near the Tennessee River we heard sharp firing about one mile ahead. We supposed that the advance was engaged with the enemy. We were ordered to examine our arms and have them ready for we might be ordered forward or attacked in the rear. After the firing had been kept up thirty or forty minutes, we learned that the firing was nothing but the first Brigade firing their guns into the river.

Jan. 22nd. We remained in camp. Received seven days rations.

Jan. 23rd. We commenced our march down the river road towards Paducah. We traveled about fifteen miles and camped after night. The soldiers was very much dissatisfied because they could not have an opportunity to attack Fort Henry, for we were within twelve miles of it.

Jan. 24th. We marched eighteen miles.

Jan. 25th. We commenced our march early in the morning and arrived at Paducah at three o'clock pm.

Jan. 27th. Company E, under command of Lieutenant E.F. Babcock, left Paducah for a scout at 4 o'clock pm, got back the 28th at 1 o'clock am with three prisoners, one gun, one drum. We traveled about seventy miles.

Feb. 7th. Twenty-five of us scouted all day.

Feb. 13th. Company E left camp at two o'clock in the morning on a scout and returned at 5 o'clock pm.

Feb. 14th. An attack is expected on Paducah. It is reported that a large body of soldiers is marching in this direction from Columbus. A close watch is kept. The picket guard is doubled on all the roads.

Feb. 21st. Went to the hospital.

Mar. 2nd. Left the hospital, obtained a furlough from March 2 to March 30.

Mar. 3rd. Arrived at home.

Mar. 31st. Joined my Company at Columbus, Kentucky.

Apr. 3rd. A report came into camp that the rebels was setting up their tents within three miles of us. Fifty of us were ordered our to attack them. We went out on double quick time, but found nothing in the shape of secesh. Somebody had cot scared at nothing.

Apr. 6th. Went on a scout to Millborn, Kentucky. There we got a guide and went three miles into the country and took some furniture from a secesh that he had stole in Columbus. The property belonged to a lady from New York. The property was identified by our guide (Mr. Green), who was guardian for the lady. We also took six horses and one mule and returned to Columbus. Millborn is a nice little village and the inhabitants are nearly all Union loving people. They rejoice to think that they have got rid of the annoying secesh soldiers. We got into town about noon and we were all invited to dinner by the citizens.

Apr. 7th. Ten of us with Captain Lipton went to Belmont to get some secesh property, but we did not accomplish our design. The place was so much overflowed with water that we could not get around much. A great many horses are still lying on the battleground. Some of the cannon balls are to be seen and shells that did not explode.

Apr. 12th. Two companies, E & F, went to Clinton, Kentucky and hoisted a Union flag on the Courthouse. The people of Clinton had said that a union flag should nor be put up in that place, but we put up the flag and no one tried to prevent us from doing so. Clinton is 18 miles east of Columbus. We got back to our camp about sunset. It rained hard all day, we and our horses were very much fatigued.

Apr. 13th. One o'clock am, we had not been in bed but a few hours when we were called up and ordered to pack up everything that we could not carry on our horses, and put them on a steam boat to go to Hickman, which is about 15 miles down the river. We soon got our trumpery on the boat at ten o'clock am. We commenced our march by a circuitous route, which we were obliged to do on account of the bridges being burned between Columbus and Hickman by the rebels when they evacuated Columbus. We went to Clinton and camped for the night, our Union flag was still proudly floating to the breeze on the courthouse that we hoisted the day before. I was on picket guard that night. Early Monday the 14th, we commenced our march and got to Hickman about 4 o'clock pm. We traveled about 25 miles that day.

Apr. 15th. I was paid for January and February.

Apr. 27th. Companies E & F went to Union City, then on to the Obine River and burned a railroad bridge and tressel work to prevent the rebels from getting supplies from Union City. Returned to camp the 30th.

May 1st. About eighty of us left camp provided with four days rations. We left Hickman Hickman at noon and camped at sundown at Troy, Tennessee, 20 miles from Hickman. The next morning we continued our march southward at twelve o'clock. We came to the Obine River 17 miles from Troy. We intended to go on some twenty miles further, but could not cross the Obine on account of high water. The backwater of the Mississippi had overflowed the Obine bottom for two miles wide. There was a small ferry at this point, but was not sufficient to take us across. This was 18 miles from the Mississippi, a little below New Madrid, but on the Tennessee side. We captured five southern soldiers. One was Lieutenant Steward of the Company I, 22 Tennessee. The others were privates in the same regiment, except one that belonged to the artillery. We got some muskets, tents, canteens, and one cutlass powder and knapsacks &c. We got back to camp the night of the 3rd and were quite wet, for it rained all the afternoon.

Apr. 5th. Joseph L __ and myself were sent to return a horse that was borrowed for a prisoner to ride into camp. The owner of the horse lives 8 miles from Hickman.

Apr. 6th. We got orders to be ready for a march at ten o'clock to go to Risdon, Tennessee, where some rebels are said to be camped. The same day we went to Jacksonville, 17 miles. We started from camp with part of six companies of cavalry, about three hundred in number, two pieces of artillery, when about ten miles from Hickman we got the report that there was from fifteen hundred to two thousand southern cavalry in the neighborhood of Risdon, and that they had taken 220 of our cavalry prisoners that were from Fort Henry. Our force was commanded by Colonel Hogg. He immediately sent orders to camp for the remaining force at Hickman to come up immediately. The next morning at daylight we were reinforced by two more pieces of artillery; four companies of Infantry and the balance of our cavalry. Our force in all amounted to about 550, but we considered ourselves capable of whipping two thousand southern cavalry. I stood picket guard all night. We camped at Jacksonville. The next morning our cavalry went on to the Obine River, leaving the artillery and infantry at Jacksonville. The ford on the river that we went to is about 12 miles from Jacksonville, On arriving at that point we learned the river could not be crossed for several miles except at this point and Colonel Hogg thought it not prudent to cross the river. So we were ordered right about and marched back to Hickman, which was a great disappointment to the men and caused a great deal of grumbling, for we all expected to have some fun.

Colonel Hogg was accused of cowardice. Some said his whiskey had given out &c. We got back to camp after dark the 7th. That day we traveled 43 miles.

May 13th. 35 of us from Company E went on a scout or rather a reconnoitering party. Information came into camp that there were some secesh soldiers in the State of Tennessee, about 14 miles from Hickman. The informant went with us as a guide.
After we had traveled a few miles, the guide was sent by Capt. Tipton on ahead, but by a different road from the one that we traveled. He was to meet us about 8 miles from where we separated and give us such information as he should learn concerning the rebels. We traveled slowly along by the railroad towards Union City. Our guide met us as was agreed upon. He said that we were within 2 ½ miles of 150 rebel cavalry. Capt. Tipton sent two men back to Hickman with a message to Colonel Hogg. The commander of the post, myself, and five others, were sent on ahead about a half mile to take a citizen prisoner, one who our guide had seen in the morning guiding the rebels about. We found the man at home and made him prisoner; also another one that was at his house. We returned to the company. We were then marched back to within five miles of camp and stopped to feed our horses. I was very unwell and tired, but it was my turn for picket, so there was no chance for rest for myself or horse. We had not remained here more than two hours when reinforcements of 250 from Hickman joined us and we mounted and pushed on to Union City, expecting to find the rebels there. We got there about 0ne o'clock at night and did not find them. We then went to Jacksonville. We got to Jacksonville at day light, finding no one there. We did not stop. We went directly to Hickman. We were in the saddle nearly all the time for 24 hours, and our company traveled about 85 miles, and part of the road was very bad. The firs day of this tramp we had one of the hardest showers, but our oil clothes were a great protection to us.

May 16th. We are under marching orders.

May 18th. Companies E, F,G, and H numbering about 200, left Hickman on an expedition down the river. I was not able to go with them. The expedition returned on the night of the 24th. They went into Arkansas opposite Fort Pillow. We had been under marching orders for three days and on the morning of the 9th of June, we struck our tents and marched to Union City, Tennessee, and camped. Our force that left Hickman was five cavalry companies, four companies of infantry, and two sections of artillery. We had been camped but a short time when other troops came in.

[end of A.J. Hall's entries]

This book belongs to
Sarah J. Hall
Wife of Andrew J. Hall
331 Pine Street
Manchester, NH

The claimant files this diary as evidence in her claim for pension and desires the diary is returned to her after the case is adjudicated.