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

Post image for War Diary and Letters of Stephen Minot Weld.

War Diary and Letters of Stephen Minot Weld.

April 24, 2015

War diary and letters of Stephen Minot Weld

City Point, April 24, 1865.

Dear Hannah, — I received several letters from you last night, several of them complaining of my short letters and my want of enthusiasm for Lee’s surrender. To tell the truth, we none of us realize even yet that he has actually surrendered. I had a sort of impression that we should fight him all our lives. He was like a ghost to children, something that haunted us so long that we could not realize that he and his army were really out of existence to us. It will take me some months to be conscious of this fact.

In regard to the brevity of my epistle, I can only say that I have nothing to tell about. I have got a splendid mule, which I am going to take home with me, if I can. He is the finest animal I have ever seen.

Last Thursday we received orders to move to City Point, and from there to Washington. Part of our corps has already moved and we are waiting for transportation. We shall probably move to-morrow, having reached here yesterday afternoon. Last Wednesday, the day before we moved, I went up to General Miles’s headquarters. First I went to Second Corps headquarters and then with Charlie Whittier to General Miles’s. While there, about forty negroes came in from Danville. General Miles ordered the band out, and told the negroes that he would hang every one who would not dance. About seven refused to dance, saying they were church members. The rest went at it tooth and nail, gray-headed old men and young boys. I never laughed so hard in my life. From General M.’s we went to General Barlow’s, who commands the 2d Division. We amused ourselves with a galvanic battery which General B. has for his health. From there we went to General Meade’s headquarters, where I had a very pleasant talk with General M. Saw Theodore Lyman, who is probably home by this time. He was very kind to me indeed, and gave me several articles of clothing which were very acceptable. Had a very nice time there indeed, and had a very pleasant reception from the staff. When my men saw me on my arrival, they gave me 9 cheers and then 9 more, etc., etc. I tell you this because you asked me.

We had quite hard marching, making 63 miles in a little over 3 days. The story is that we are going to Texas, that we are to be sent home for 6 months to be disbanded by that time, in case we are not wanted, etc., etc. No one seems to know what we are going to do. If we have a good camp in or near Washington, perhaps I will let you come down there.

Previous post:

Next post: