Frederick J. Sorber pocket diary while serving as Sergeant, then Captain, in Company E, 29th Pennsylvania Infantry. Sorber’s service brought him throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Tennessee. He includes recollections of the Battles of Harper’s Ferry (September 12-15, 1862), Chancellorsville (April 30-May 6, 1863), and Lookout Mountain (November 24, 1863). He frequently tracks the miles he marched with his troop. He also notes two instances when he witnessed executions of deserters; the first on June 19, 1863, involving three men, William Grover (Gruver), William McKee, and Christopher Krubert; the second on September 18, involving two men, William Smith and another man. The diary entries are not all Sorber’s; there are frequent entry in another hand. Transcription available. Provenance given in cover letter to transcription.
George R. Snowden diary, July – December 1862, with Company I, 142nd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, gives an account of the difficulties of recruiting the regiment, the politics of getting elected as officer, camp life while building Fort Massachusetts (later Fort Stevens), at the Frederick, MD, hospital, at Warrenton and Acquia Creek, and action in Battle of Fredericksburg and its aftermath. Transcript excerpts by Snowden.
John M. Butler Civil War diary, 1862-1863, during his first year of service with the Ohio 101st Volunteer Infantry and his capture and imprisonment (transcription available), with letters, 1862-1864; Allen Butler pocket diary and scrapbook with letters home, 1918, while serving with 313th Infantry, 79th Division, military papers, and photographs; Frederick Y. Butler military papers, 1940’s-1950’s, photographs. Jay Cooke snapshots, and other family objects and ephemera. John M. Butler joined the Union League on November 19, 1866.
John N. Parker pocket diary, September 1861-August 1862, while serving as a Sergeant with the 4th Regiment Rhode Island Infantry. The diary documents Burnside’s expedition to Hatteras Inlet and Roanoke Island in North Carolina (January 7-February 8, 1862), the Battle of Roanoke Island (February 9, 1862), the Battle of New Berne (March 14, 1862), and the siege, bombardment, and capture of Fort Macon (March 23-April 26, 1862).
In 1865, Corporal James Tanner was a disabled Civil War veteran working as a clerk in the Ordnance Bureau of the War Department and living in an apartment next to the Peterson House in Washington, D.C. On April 14th, President Abraham Lincoln was shot during a theatre performance at Ford’s Theatre. The mortally wounded President was taken to the Petersen House. Because he had stenography skills, Tanner was called into the Peterson House. While Lincoln lay dying in the bedroom, Tanner sat in the parlor and recorded eyewitness testimony as given to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and David Kellogg Carrter, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia. The interrogation of the witnesses took place between midnight and 1:30 A.M. “In fifteen minutes I had testimony enough to hang Wilkes Booth, the assassin, higher than ever Haman hung” noted Tanner. While still in the parlor, Tanner transcribed his shorthand notes into longhand, finishing his task at 6:45 A.M. Tanner returned to his apartment and, dissatisfied with the quality of the first transcription, began a second copy which he left with an aide of Stanton’s at his office in the War Department. Tanner retained the original testimony. The copy deposited at the War Department was lost. In 1905, Tanner’s son took his father’s first transcription and mounted each sheet on linen and bound them.