Chelmsford Historical Society
Daniel P. Byam, October 1864

Saturday, Oct. 1st, 1864

We have hired a N**** cook. There are 10 of us up a mess. We live on pumpkin. We draw our 10 days rations; it lasts only 8, starve 2.

Monday, Oct. 3rd, 1864

Signed the pay roll, it was made out wrong before. There is a story we get paid soon.

Tuesday, Oct. 4th, 1864

We had a gay dinner. We have got the best cook in the Shebang. Written to Hattie.

Wednesday, Oct. 5th, 1864

Steamer Continental from New York arrives in the evening. Whip Rebel prisoners left for Ship Island. They came to the levee guarded by negro troops.

Thursday, Oct. 6th, 1864

Have been up town; drew a pair of shoes, 1 shirt. Big fire in the city; burned a Government store house. Not very well.

Friday, Oct. 7th, 1864

Flag drill this forenoon.

Saturday, Oct. 8th, 1864

Was detailed for guard up to Marston's house. Had a gay time. Visited an orange grove. Had some fried frittets for dinner, beef stew for supper.

Sunday, Oct. 9th, 1864

Quite cool. Lowell and I took a walk down town. Received a letter from Lysander, 1 from Newell. Have written to Lysander. Near our quarters last night there was a dance. No wonder they are in war.

Monday, Oct. 10th, 1864

Barr and I visited the Lafayette cemetery. Some splendid monuments. The people are all buried above ground in arches made of brick, mortar and stone. The Morning Star crossed the bar today. Nice weather.

Tuesday, Oct. 11th, 1864

Received a letter from Home. Have written to Mother. Cool nights. Hear of glorious victory in Virginia.

Wednesday, Oct. 12th, 1864

Have been up town. Received a paper from Newell and 3 from Lysander.

Thursday, Oct. 13th, 1864

Written to Newell; beautiful weather; steamer due from New York.

Friday, Oct. 14th, 1864

Nothing new here; fine weather.

Saturday, Oct. 15th, 1864

Was detailed for guard up town on Marston's house. The family have left. We slept in the parlor on sofas; had a fine time. made a visit to the old orange grove, brought off a peck

Sunday, Oct. 16, 1864

Received a letter from Mother, 1 from Everett, 1 from Mary Bean and 2 papers from Lysander. Visited the Beer Garden close to the quarters (I am sorry to say it); it broke up in a general row with the 1st Indiana Artillery.

Monday, Oct. 17th, 1864

My chum, Harry Waitt, has gone; I was sorry to have him leave. He went up the river. Went up to headquarters; drew a blanket, written home. Report that 30 men and 6 officers are going to St. Louis; quite cool. Hildreth has gone to Fort Morgan.

Tuesday, Oct. 18th, 1864

Went up town, drew a jacket. Steamer George Cromwell arrived from New York.

Wednesday, Oct. 19th, 1864

16 men were assigned to officers; they volunteered. I am not going this time. They have not left.

Thursday, Oct. 20th, 1864

A clear, beautiful day. Have written to Everett. Steamer Ariel due from New York.

Friday, Oct. 21st, 1864

Meserve and I ran to the fire. It burned several N****s' houses. Last night was very cool.

Saturday, Oct. 22nd, 1864

I and 7 others have been assigned to Capt. Walker. Don't expect to leave yet awhile.

Sunday, Oct. 23rd, 1864

Am on guard. Received 3 letters, 1 from home, 1 from Sumner, 1 from Henry. Have answered S, and 1 from home. There has been a lot of horses shot on the levee; there is from 5 to 15 shot every day, and mules; they have been condemned; they are led to edge of the levee; a bullet is shot through the head; they jump into the river, float to the Gulf.

Monday, Oct. 24th, 1864

Received a paper from Lysander. Richmond, Meserve, Lowell and I went up town; had a gay time; had a bully dinner at Richelieu's; gone all day; got to camp all right.

Tuesday, Oct. 25th, 1864

Quite warm. 600 Rebel prisoners went down the river to Ship Island; they stopped on the levee some time; crowds of Secesh [secession] crowded around them as near as they could to the guard; they said they would soon be back, after they had gained their independence. Don't see it.

Wednesday, Oct. 26th, 1864

Not a thing to do today. It has rained all day.

Thursday, Oct. 27th, 1864

It cleared off cool last night. Drill an hour in the forenoon. Steamer Ariel came up at 8 tonight, mail tomorrow; Capt. Denicke has picked his men, drew their wagons; they expect to go soon.

Friday, Oct. 28th, 1864

Received a letter from Lysander; have written to him. Meserve and I went up town; had a gay time.

Saturday, Oct. 29th, 1864

Been cleaning up for inspection. Evening Star leaves for New York; hear of bully news from Sheridan; he whips Early and captures 50 guns in the valley. Very warm.

Sunday, Oct. 30th, 1864

Inspection this morning. Steamer F________and Evening Star arrives from New York. Rainy most all day; did not go out. Ball tonight.

Monday, Oct. 31st, 1864

No mail for me. Our mess broke up; the 25 boys that were at Vicksburg have come back.

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