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

Post image for A Soldier’s Diary — David Lane.

A Soldier’s Diary — David Lane.

February 18, 2014

A Soldier's Diary, The Story of a Volunteer, David Lane, (17th Mich. Vol. Infantry)

February 18th, 1864.

Time creeps along with steady pace, regardless of human happiness or woe. Winter has come and gone—the second winter since I bade farewell to family and friends to battle for my country, and, as I believe, for human liberty. How long the time appears; and yet, how short! When viewed in the light of sundered ties—of family connections, once pleasant and joyous, now broken—it seems an age. Oh, God, can so much misery be crowded into eighteen short months? It is not of physical ills I speak, but tortures of the mind—the heart. My only consolation is the abiding faith that we will meet again; and then how surpassingly sweet will be the reunion. If this is not to be our happy lot on earth, it is said to be “Sweet to die for one’s country.” I but go where duty calls, leaving the event with God—not heedlessly, blindly, but in trustful confidence. I see by the newspapers the Eighth Michigan regiment is in Detroit. I hope they may be made welcome by the good people of Michigan. Much has been done for the benefit of the soldiers, but the people will never know—they cannot realize—how much these soldiers have done for them in turning back, from their peaceful homes, the devastating tide of war.

There is no news—now and then a cavalry dash, but nothing of importance. A steamer is now lying at our wharf, the first since the rebellion broke out. Two more are expected tomorrow.

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