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Thompson, W. S. (fl. 1862-1865) [Civil War pocket diary of W.S. Thompson]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01838.01 Author/Creator: Thompson, W. S. (fl. 1862-1865) Place Written: various places Type: Autograph manuscript Date: 1862 Pagination: 1 v. : 176 p. ; 15.4 x 9.6 cm.

Summary of Content: Approximately 70 written pages of entries, followed by blank pages. Describes picket duty and the army's moves in the Peninsula campaign (May-July). Breaks off in mid-July, as Thompson notes joining the crew of the steamship "Suwanee" as chief engineer. Memoranda after 30 December summarizes his mustering and service. Wrap-around black leather cover. Selected excerpts: 9 January: stationed at Camp Pierpont 3 January: left for Bristol on a 10-day furlough mid-January: on picket and camp duties at Camp Pierpont 17 May: "Inspection & Review by Gen McClell[an]. Weather very warm" 23 May: "Grand Review & Inspection by President of U.S. & Secy of Navy compl[i]mented the Division by saying we were best looking set of men he had seen since the war" 4 June: "Rainy Day. Bridges across the Rappahannock all coming away. Capt Clark & Curtis detached to oversee the rebuilding of them" 8 June: "Marching Orders to join McClellans Corps near Richmond" 9 June: "Shipped from Fredericksburg…" 18 June: "Left camp near Fair Oaks at 6. am and arrived at camp near Richmond at 1 oclock PM. In sight of the enemy exchanged several shots with them during the am. Rain in the morning." 20-25 June: on court-martial duty, trial of Col. Hayes, who was acquitted. 27 June: "Gaines Mill on Chickahominy. Fighting commenced…." [Battle of Gaines' Mills (First Battle of Cold Harbor)] 13 July: "Left wharf Harrison Landing…"

Background Information: Thompson appears to have been mustered into service on May 29, 1861 from his hometown of Bristol, Pennsylvania. He joined the 3rd Pennsylvania Regiment at Camp Washington. He seems to have left ...the army to join the United States Navy in 1862, serving as an engineer first on the "Sussana," and then the "Atlanta" in 1864-1865. See More


Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Battle of Cold HarborBattle of FredericksburgSoldier's DiaryCivil WarUnion ForcesSteamboatNavyMilitary HistoryMilitary CampPresidentLincoln's CabinetUnion GeneralMilitary LawBattle

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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