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.

November 30, 2013

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

November 30th. 1863.

Our rations touch the starvation limit, and still “the song and the jest goes round.” Not a murmur, not a word of complaint. We simply “gird up our loins” a little tighter. Our fare now is one-fourth pound per man of a mixture made up of coarse black flour, bran and unbolted corn meal; beef in proportion; not half as much as a man would eat, even of that vile stuff, at one meal. Night before last our pickets were driven in and sixteen of our boys captured. Last night an attack was made on Fort Saunders. We had expected a night attack and were on the alert. About 9 o’clock our pickets were driven in and the ball opened. It was “fast and furious” while it lasted, but was soon over. The Rebels lost about one thousand in this assault.

Dr. Crosby, our Regimental Surgeon, has been to General Ferrera and got me detailed for hospital service, and has given me charge of a ward in the City Hospital. The doctor says he has discovered in me the “sympathetic touch,” more soothing to irritated nerves than opiates. That is the way he puts it.

Our doctor has the poetic temperament, although one would hardly suspect it by his looks. But he is kind and tender to the sick and wounded, and skillful in his profession.

It is rumored Grant is organizing a force to send to our relief. God speed him on his way, for we are on the verge of starvation.

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