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.

October 8, 2013

Diary of US patent clerk Horatio Nelson Taft.


Thursday Oct 8th 1863

There has hardly ever been so dull a time (for news) as for the past week or two. There seems to be nothing going on in the Military line that we hear of that is worthy of especial notice. But we are expecting to hear of important events at Charlston and at Chattanooga in Tennessee. Another Bombardment of Charlston and another Battle by Rosecrans is daily expected. In the City all is very quiet. It abounds in Theatres and other places of amusement but I have not attended any place of the kind for a long time. I have no taste for spending money that way. I usualy take a long walk after leaving the office at 3 o’clock, return to Dinner at 5 o’clock. We usualy sit at the table about three quarters of an hour. Col Chesters wife and two daughters came yesterday and are now with him at Doct Munsons where I board. I do the honors at one end of the long table carving &c while Mrs Munson sits at the other with her coffee or Tea urn. One of the old boarders is an old bachelor, Dr Waters. He is about Sixty years old, is constant at his meals, always gets his morning paper before breakfast and always expects to be asked for the news. He was born here and lives from his money & rents. I take a “pipe” with him occasionaly in his room, much to his gratification. Col Chester is also an old boarder there and a man much after my own heart. His lady sits at my right hand betwen me an her husband. She is a very pleasant and sociable lady. Mr Fowle is a new comer from Newark NJ, formerly of Boston. He is Machinist at the Treasury where they have a great deal of very nice machinery for getting up the Treasury notes, fractional currency &c. He put up the geometrical Lathe which engraves the borders & backs of the Bills and all the fine line geometrical & cycloid figures. The Lathe cost five thousand dollars. Fowle is one of the best Mechanics I ever knew, can make anything from a Patent Lever watch to a Steam Engine. He built the most of this Lathe (formerly). Mathimatical and Astronomical Instruments are in his line. He has a beautiful Telescope Rifle of his own make.

There was a great crowd on the Avenue this afternoon. I went to the Bulletin Boards of two or three of the “Dailies” but could see nothing like news. I called to see Sallie. She is expecting to be confined very soon. Chas has gone today to Carlisle P.a. with Sick Soldiers of the Regular Army, will be back tomorrow if nothing happens. He and his wife are on E St at Miss Bolees Boarding house at $68.00 pr month for one room and board. Mr Woodward, wife & son are at the same house. Chas thought the price was more than he could afford to pay and Mr Woodward (the Father in law) agreed to pay a portion of it if he would come there and enable them all to live together and sit together at a private table. He seems to have taken them into great favor latterly. As he is sick, it may not be a bad thing for them. I am getting up a letter balance combined with a Calendar and pen rack. I called at Woodruffs to see about today. He is making a specimen for me. I have a model which I have made mostly in my room. I intend to get it Patented

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