Old diary from Yorker in the 3rd PA Heavy Artillery
Alfred S. Bond had been drafted into the 166th Pennsylvania Drafted Militia in 1863. When his term of enlistment expired, he volunteered for the 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery (shown above at Fort Monroe, Va., in this old photo from the Library of Congress). He kept a diary of his wartime experiences, and his great-great-grandson graciously allowed me to transcribe the 1864 diary while Private Bond served at Fort Monroe and nearby Camp Hamilton.
Excerpts from this old diary will appear in the new book by Jim McClure and me, Civil War Voices from York County, Pa.: Remembering the Rebellion and the Gettysburg Campaign. (Colecraft Books, April 2011).
Here are a couple snippets.
Slabtown was a poor section near Hampton, Virginia. A. S. Bond frequented it at evenings to watch freed blacks celebrate their new found freedom through song, worship, and dance.
He dabbled in poetry, often with a somewhat fatalistic view of death and dying, but often tinged with his faith (sometimes overtly and confident). His emotions go through wide swings throughout the year.
Monday, April 4 – On guard again. 3rd releif. Weather cloudy with rain at night.
Our moments fly apace,
Nor will our minutes stay,
Just like a flood our hasty days
Are sweeping us away.
Friday, June 24 – Went to the fort and back. Twentyone guns fired for Presedent. Went out for blackberrys. Weather very hot.
Friday, July 1 – Went out to the Buckro[e] farm and got some apples and went a bathing. Bathing again. Went to Slabtown at night.
Sunday, July 31 – General Grant was here and the Presedent and family and part of the cabinet. I seen them all. U S Grant and Abe Lincoln are very common looking men. Would that our people wood think of that. Weather very hot
Tuesday, September 6 – Very busy all day riding. Seen General Graham. A salute was fired at twelve oclock in honor of he late victories at Mobile and Atlanta and Weldon Rail Road. Weather cloudy with misting rain
The Shrewsbury resident survived the war and returned to his wife and family.