Civil War Journal of Samuel Oliver Bereman, page 12
In the 4th Iowa Cavalry
March 3-March 14, 1864
Left camp this morning came down to Vicksburg & got aboard the transport "Constitution" where we have lain all day and will probably not leave till morning.
Home ward bound at last! Started up river this evening at three oclock. There are 500 of our regt, on board - besides a part of the other regts, and a battery.
Stopped four hours to wood & take on cotton.
Arrived at Helena Ark, this morning, This is a very slow boat. We have been sixty-five hours coming from Vicksburg when we went down last spring.
Got to Memphis at two oclock last night and lay by till nearly noon today, unloading cotton molasses &c.
Passed Fort Pillow at daylight this morning, raining.
Arrived at Cairo Ill. at two oclock this after noon. A good many of the regt, left us here to visit their friends in the east. Also three cos. went by R.R. from here.
Left Cairo early this morning. We passed several small villages today and I noticed that at every one and at almost every house on the river the old Flag and handkerchiefs &c. waved by fair hands in token of welcome. How different from the reception given us by the Southern belles! I noticed also high bluffs on either shore contrasting with the low level banks of the southern States.
March 12th 1864
Arrived at St. Louis at one oclock last night and lay over until six this evening, when we got on board to Packet Sucy Bertram and started up river. The citizens of St. Louis gave us a dinner and made other demonstrations indicative of their pleasure at seeing us "returning from the war", all of which we duly appreciated and all that sort of thing. This is beginning to look a little more like America!
Arrived at Keokuk Iowa at 11 oclock at night. We had to get off the boat & take lodgings in an old deserted house till morning.
"We're home at last." Got on the morning train at Keokok, went to Ottumwa, where we got on the evening train bound for Mt. Pleasant, where we arrived at 8 oclock. Found a large crowd at the Depot through which I made my way & made tracks for home.