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

Post image for Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft.

Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft.

April 7, 2012

Diary of US patent clerk Horatio Nelson Taft.

Monday April 7 1862

Rain last night and mud this morning. In the office as usual. A fire broke out this morning on the corner of the Ave & 7th Street, it has been burning most of the day. Six stores and one Hotel were destroyed before three o’clock. Willie came down to the office before three to go home with me. I took him down to see the fire, he was some frightened at the noise and confusion. It has snowed most of the day and no wind so the fire did not burn very rapidly. All the engines were there, but the efficiency of the fire department was not much. Went down to the “National” to meet some gentlemen with S Seely of NY to examine Models & Drawings in reference to Iron covering for Ships of War. Staid till 1/2 past 10. We had the corrigated Iron in question. We think that there must be “something up” down the River as since 9 o’clock two messengers have called at our door with Dispatches for Comodore Smith from the War Department, perhaps the “Merrimac” is out again.


The three diary manuscript volumes, Washington during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865, are available online at The Library of Congress.

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