Garth Hagerman Photo/Graphics
Garth Hagerman Photo/Graphics

Civil War Journal of Samuel Oliver Bereman, page 8

In the 4th Iowa Cavalry
August & September, 1863s.o. bereman

August 1st

Went to the R.R. bridge with the boys who are going home & brought back their horses. Gen. Steele's Div. is camped at the bridge, but Steele has gone up the river & Gen. Dennis commands it now.

August 2nd

Went down to the R.R. bridge to the Depot with Gen. Sherman where we met Gen. Grant & family and escorted them to our Hd. Qrs. Gen. Shermans family are here also. It consists of his wife a large portly lady, a roman-catholic but a good woman & loves the soldiers, a red-headed daughter about sixteen & who rides with the staff officers - especially Capt. Dayton - and I dont like him nor any body that rides out with him. Then there are two small boys, Willie who wears a Sergts. chevrons and is very smart, and Thomas who is younger & not remarkable for any thing in particular - except that he looks a deal like his sister. I have not seen much of Gen. Grant's family. They came out in a carriage while the Gen. himself rode over horseback with me - that is, he and Sherman rode together I rode a respectful distance in the rear. We have a telegraph completed from Vicksburg out to this place now. The cars have been running some time from Black River.

August 4th

On duty. Had to go down to the 1st Div. after night as usual. It is full five miles from here. Got back at 12 oclock. Gen. Lightburn commands the 2nd Div. Blair having gone up the river, & Gen. Asboth the 3rd Gen. Tuttle having gone to Iowa to run for Gov.

August 5th 1863

Our co. came back to the regt. today. Gen. Parke having gone east with his Corps. The regt. is camped within a mile of here. Winslow is promoted to Col. of the regt. & Col. Swan has resigned and gone home. Capt. Peters is Lieut. Col.

August 14th

Nothing of interest has transferred for some time until yesterday where I had an awful hard shake of the ague or some thing else! I've been unwell for some days. Lost my pocketbook with ten dollars in it.

August 26th

We had a little fun today to relieve the monotony of camp life. One of the Staff Officers had a darky hostler who ran off a few days since with one of his horses. He was found and brought back & we made an example of him. The Capt. - the owner of the horse told the corporal of the guard to take two men & shoot the darkey but told the guards privately to load with blank cartridges. He was taken out in the woods and given ten yards to start & told to run for his life. The poor fellow plead eloquently for his life but all in vain. Bang! bang! went the guns & away he went like a frightened deer never stopping for fences or brush, & that was the last we ever saw of him. I think he is pretty effectually cured.

August 28th

Col. Hammond & I went out squirrel hunting - that is the Col. shot the squirrels & I held his horse! It was too windy and we didn't kill but one.

August 31st

We were paid off today, drew six months pay - $85.00. Major Thad. Stanton is Paymaster here.

Sept. 1st

The regt. returned from their raid. They started on the 10th of August. Went to Memphis Tenn. & came back by the river. Col. Winslow commanded the expedition.

September 2nd 1863

The boys came back to day from furlough & six more of them started home. I could have gone if I had wanted to but guess I will not go till my time is out. Sol. Cavenee was one of those that went today.

Sept. 23rd

Three weeks have elapsed since my last Journalizing during which time nothing of interest has transpired in our immediate vicinity. Today the 1st Div. of our Corps is leaving. Gen. Austerhaus commands that now. The 2nd & 4th Divisions have marching orders also. It is supposed they are going to reinforce the Army of the Cumberland.

Sept. 27th

Gen. Sherman left here today with the rest of his Corps except the 3rd Div. Gen. Tuttle who remains here. Us Orderlies have to report back to our respective cos. & regt. I should like to have gone with Sherman but a soldier cannot be taken into another department from his regt. without a special order from War Dept. Col. Hammond told us that if we ever came into his department again he would have us back.

Sept. 30th

I have come down to regular hard soldiering again. Went out on picket yesterday and it rained nearly all day & night & is raining today. Pretty good introduction. There is a great deal of sickness in the regt. at present. There are only about twenty men able for duty.