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 20, 2013

Diary of US patent clerk Horatio Nelson Taft.


Washington Tuesday Jan’y 20th 1863

A cold raw wind all day. But Capt Swan and myself started about noon for Fort Gaines and vicinity, which we visited and returned to the City about 5 o’ck. I saw a number of Lyons people attached to the 138th. Fort Gaines is a very small affair but is situated on quite a commanding eminence mounting five guns (32 pounders). As we could not get a conveyance back from Tenallytown as we expected we walked back to Georgetown having rode up there in the “Bus.” We walked altogether at least 5 miles. I think I shall sleep well tonight. A thousand rumors are afloat in reference to the movements of the Army of the Potomac. But nothing is public or reliable in reference to any movement as yet. But something is going on. We shall know what soon. We did not see Maj E. P. Taft or lady as they started for Lyons today. He on furlough of thirty days. Capt Swan goes back to his Regt on Thursday next. Geo. Vanderhoff does not read tonight as I expected but tomorrow night. I was in at Willards awhile, officers of the Army quite scarce. The Hotel is full of strangers who come and go all the time so that it is full of new faces almost every day. It is decidedly the Hotel of Washington. It is said that the Proprietors make $1200 pr day from six to eight hundred guests, who pay upon an average at least four dollars pr day. It is inclined to storm tonight. I think we will have a snow storm tomorrow.

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