Sperry, Lyman Bell (1838-1920)
Title: [Diary of a Union soldier, Company B, 98th New York Volunteers, who participated in the Petersburg Campaign]
Pongo Bridge is noted on the inner front cover, but this diary was created in various places. Contains a meticulously records of the events of 1864. 8 January, records that General Butler (possibly Benjamin Franklin Butler), is to have entire charge of prisoners. On 12 January, discusses corresponding with a girl named Olive who he misses greatly. Mentions parades 17 January and 15 February. Mentions General James Hewett Ledlie, from Staten Island, New York 30 February, and on other occasions throughout the journal. Travels to New York in March, reaching Albany 3 March, and New York City 7 April. On 11 March, mentions tapping trees for sap. 10 April, attends a colored church on Bleeker Street, New York City. In April, returns to Virginia with other soldiers. Discusses battle near Petersburg in June. On 15 June, writes "Marched by Gen'l Butlers HdQrs crossed the Appomattox on Pontoon & had marched a couple miles when picket firing commenced in front... Colored troops in front... drove enemy from breast works... " Detailed 19 June to serve as Sergeant Major ("again"). Also on 19 June, records a soldier being "drummed out of camp with the label of Coward on his neck between guards, previously having his straps & buttons cut off..." Notes being fired on intermittently by Confederates through the month of June. Discusses heavy battle 31 July, possibly referring to the Battle of the Crater. Writes "But it was heart rending to witness the scene Those who had been deadly foil in life lay side by side." August 7, reports that Mobile Bay, Alabama, is occupied by Admiral David Farragut's forces. 18 August, reports heavy firing in the rear of Petersburg, and mentions that General Gouverneur K. Warren flanked the enemy (Battle of Globe Tavern). Mentions heavy firing 18-21 August. Has a high fever through most of August. 2 September, receives news of the capture of Atlanta, Georgia. 29 September, mentions crossing the James River for a surprise attack on an enemy camp (later known as the Battle of Chaffin's Farm). Notes that the camp was captured with checkers still on the checker boards and fires burning. 30 September, captured Confederate battle flags and 300 prisoners. 6 October, mentions many Confederate deserters coming across Union lines. 7 October, hears firing and news of Union troops being repulsed. Participates in the Battle of Fair Oaks 27 October. Writes 8 November, noting that it is election day. Travels to New York, and reports that his troops resent being so close to home without being able to visit (14 November). 31 December, hopes to muster, but is denied, and requests to served the remainder of his time as sergeant major. Final pages contain account information. 14 printed pages at the beginning, including an 1864 calendar, rates of postage, and a table of stamp duties. Includes Sperry's name and rank on the inner flyleaf. Includes a dedication on page 4. Includes 400 pages containing handwritten text. Frequently refers to "Olive" and "Harlan." Bound in leather.