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.

January 21, 2013

Diary of US patent clerk Horatio Nelson Taft.

Washington Wednesday Jan’y 21st 1863

No snow storm but a cold, windy, rainy day. All last night it seemed to pour down, and as the wind drove the rain against my window I could not help thinking of the thousands of poor Soldiers who must be lying on the ground with only a partial shelter from the storm, and had I been as young and vigorous as I was twenty years ago I should have felt almost guilty as I drew the covering around me in my warm bed, so comfortable and secure from the hardships and dangers which I should have felt it my duty to share in the present crisis. Capt Swan called at the office and staid a little while with me. My roommates insist upon my having charge of the Room and Signing my name first to all documents. Well, neither the responsibility or the labor is very great. I went to hear Geo Vanderhoff read this evening at Willards Hall. He read from “Les Miserables” & “Oliver Twist.” The opening of the former and the trial at “Arras,” and the Courtship of Mr Bumble and Mrs Corney from the latter. It was most admirable. He excels Murdoch in giving all the delicate touches of feeling by countenance and gesture, his face expressing as much as his words, but his voice is not as clear and distinct as Murdochs. Yet he is evidently a more cultivated and better educated man. The Hall was full altho it rained. There is nothing new today. We as yet know nothing from below or whether the army has moved. Wrote quite a long letter to H. N. Jr, counseled him in reference to his Reading and Studies. Memory was like an elastic bag &c.

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