Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

Downing’s Civil War Diary.–Alexander G. Downing.

April 1, 2013

Diary of Alexander G. Downing; Company E, Eleventh Iowa Infantry

Wednesday, 1st—It continues warm and pleasant. All is quiet. I went up town to the division quartermaster to buy provisions for the officers, the captain giving me the money with the order to purchase ten days’ provisions. When I returned the captain noticed among the items of the bill “20 lbs. codfish,” and exclaimed, “Why, Alexander, what in thunder are you going to do with salty codfish? You have enough to do the whole company, and there are but three of us!”1


1 There was some suspicion that the codfish deal was some April Fool business, but I declare that it was all done in dead earnest. But I began to figure that it was a pretty large ration of codfish for ten days and the matter having been noised about, I was not very careful to lock the codfish in the mess chest. The boys soon found out where they could find codfish after night, and at the end of a week it had all disappeared. I was thankful.—A. G. D.

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