Chelmsford Historical Society
Daniel P. Byam, January 1865

Sunday, January 1st, 1865

On guard the first day of the year. Quite mild and pleasant. Written to Newell; received a letter from Maynard at Georgetown. Hear bully news from Sherman; he captures Savannah, Ga.

Monday, January 2nd, 1865

The commanding General gave a holiday to all the Soldiers. Waitt and I went up town, but it was rather dull with no money. Written to Maynard. Very warm.

Tuesday, January 3rd, 1865

Several of us boys went up town to get our horses, and after we came back we heard the glorious news that we were to be paid. Went up to Hdquarters; received only 2 months' pay and no bounty; it is a shame, a downright one, but we had to put up with it. Very warm.

Wednesday, January 4th, 1865

Meserve and I went up town; we sat for our pictures; stopped in the St. Charles; had a gay dinner–trout. 50 new horses arrived for the Signal Corps. A gay and lively time in the Barracks last night. Meserve and I bought us a hat. Grant arrives from his furlough. Very pleasant.

Thursday, January 5th, 1865

Cloudy and rainy. Capt. P. has charge–he is to scare the boys–not much, I guess. The North America that left here a week ago, was sunk on her trip to New York, 197 lives lost. A lively old time in camp; all gay and happy.

Friday, January 6th, 1865

A beautiful day. The boys getting things ready to leave; changed pictures with Meserve and Allen T. Holmes. A lively old time at the Penguin, 17th Ohio boys and S. Corps, all right.

Saturday, January 7th, 1865

Harry Waitt and Meserve and about 50 boys left for Memphis; was sorry I could not go. They went off in fine spirits (some ardent). Expect to stay here now some time on guard. Sergt. George T. Wedge had gone; he has been with us ever since we left Georgetown–a fine fellow.

Sunday, January 8th, 1865

Inspection this morning. It seems very lonesome now the boys have gone, but there are a good many left. I lodge with Taylor Brown.

Monday, January 9th, 1865

Very rainy. The river is 5 feet higher than the street. 50 guns fired in honor of the 150th anniversary of the battle of New Orleans.

Tuesday, January 10th, 1865

On guard. Quite cold; received two letters from home, 1 from Mary Bean; wrote to Mother and sent a paper.

Wednesday, January 11th, 1865

Quite cool. Written to Everett. Exchanged pictures with Wiley and Hildreth and Taylor.

Thursday, January 12th, 1865

Sabre drill. Very cold. Very lonesome in camp.

Friday, January 13th, 1865

Flag drill this forenoon. Richmond and Holmes had a box from home. I had some mince pie. Sent Harry's box to Memphis, Tenn.

Saturday, January 14th, 1865

On guard; quite warm. Evening Star arrives from New York. Exchanged pictures with Burrit and Weeks and Emerson.

Sunday, January 15th, 1865

Inspection this morning by Capt. Pigmen. Warm and rainy. Star brought no mail. F_______ S______ on the job with the mail.

Monday, January 16th, 1865

Very warm. Received a letter from home and 1 from Lysander and some papers. Capt. Walker has been sent to his Regiment.

Wednesday, January 18th, 1865

Another general inspection today with knapsacks. Hope they will find out what we have got by and by. Had a pass in the afternoon; went up town; went to the Pydras market; got a custard; very warm.

Thursday, January 19th, 1865

Sabre drill this afternoon. Very warm and rainy. Hear of the boys up River.

Friday, January 20th, 1865

Written to Mother and to Lysander. Every man had to send in a specimen or composition to Capt. L. Don't know what it was for.

Saturday, January 21st, 1965

Very rainy all day–disagreeable enough. A nice little fight in the Barracks tonight. On guard again.

Sunday, January 22nd, 1865

Had a pass; went up to camp distribution to see Chellis, but the –– went up to T_____toward Carrollton.

Monday, January 23rd, 1865

Very warm. Inspection today, another one tomorrow, for those that their arms were not in good condition.

Tuesday, January 24th, 1865

Several boys arrested for going through an apple stand. Pretty lively old times in Picayune Press.

Wednesday, January 25th, 1865

30 boys arrested for being down at the Crescent Beer Garden Saturday night. Written to Mary Bean.

Thursday, January 26th, 1865

On guard; quite cool. Steamer Yazoo arrives from New York. Capt. Pigmen is relieved. Good!

Friday, January 27th, 1865

Lieut. Strong, arrives from Georgetown to take command of the camp. Pretty cold and rainy. Tom Gilson came back from Mobile Bay, is keeping house with me; hear from Harry up to Memphis; billy place.

Saturday, January 28th, 1865

Inspection every night. Rough on the lads. Pretty cold nights.

Sunday, January 29th, 1865

Another Galling inspection today by Lieut. Strong. Received a letter from Harry. They are having gay times at Memphis. Went to church this evening, to Dr. Newman's church; preaching by Brig. Gen. Rengold. Splendid preaching.

Monday, January 30th, 1865

On guard again. Report that 50 men are going to leave soon. Am bound for anywhere out of this place; it is getting worse and worse. Received a letter from home and papers from Lysander. Cloudy, but no cold.

Tuesday, January 31st, 1865

Very warm; written home. It is 10 months today since I enlisted. Another grand inspection today. Went aboard the French frigate Mercer.

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