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Mixter, Calvin Symmes (b. 1832) [Civil War diary of Calvin S. Mixter]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06583.02 Author/Creator: Mixter, Calvin Symmes (b. 1832) Place Written: various Type: Diary Date: 1863 Pagination: 1 v. : 413 p. ; 12.5 x 8 cm.

Signed diary including printed almanac and eclipse calendar in the opening pages. Mixter, a member of the 22nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, begins his 1863 diary as his corps returns to Stafford County, Virginia, from a reconnaissance to Ellis Ford, Virginia. Writes from various location throughout 1863. Includes various military details, mentioning that General Joseph Hooker superseded General Ambrose Burnside 26 January 1863 as commander of the Army of the Potomac. Frequently mentions writing letters to his wife and children. In March, discusses his application for a commission. Discusses the officer selection for the 54th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, and states that he hopes to obtain the adjutant position for the 14th Regiment, also an African American regiment. On 27 March, reports that Confederates are evacuating Richmond and Fredericksburg, Virginia. Records that President Abraham Lincoln reviewed his corps 7 April. Relates daily events, including several illnesses he attributes to drinking well water. Records the anniversary of his marriage 17 August and his birthday 27 August (states that he is 31 years old). Completes an application for a commission to lead United States Colored Troops 7 September. Attends the execution of a deserter 18 September. Reports seeing a procession of African American Odd Fellows on 9 October. The end of this diary includes account ledgers and other notes. Bound in original leather with a front clasp. Blank diary was printed by D. B. Brooks and Brothers, Salem Massachusetts.

[Draft] [Excerpts:]
[interior blank page:] Calvin S. Mixter / 22nd Mass Regt / Jan 15. 1863
[20 Jan:] ...the regt moved with other troops in the direction of Hartwood church with the intention of attacking the rebel forces on the south side of the Rappahannock...
[24 Jan:] ...the movement has failed on account of the muddy state of the roads...
[26 Jan:] Gen. Hooker superseded Gen. Burnside in the command of the army today
[25 Feb:] There was a considerable force of the enemy at the front this P.M. Our cavalry pickets were driven in...
[17 Mar:] St. Patricks day was generally observed by the Irish regts...and large numbers of officers and soldiers were more or less intoxicated
[18 Mar:] Yesterday an attack was made on the enemy near Kelley's Ford...
[GLC TO FIND DATE:] Spoke to Lt. Col. Sherwin in regard to applying for a commission in the 54th Mass...Col. Shaw of the 54th Mass. [advised] that the officers for the regt. had already been selected...Gov. Andrew had left to Col. Shaw the appt. of his staff...
[26 Mar:] This P.M. there was a review of the 1st Division. 5th Corps by Maj. Genl. Geo. G. Meade. I went to see it...Had a fine opportunity to see Maj. Genls. Hooker & Meade and Brig Genls Griffin, Sykes and Barnes...
[27 Mar:] It is reported that the rebels are evacuating Fredericksburg and Richmond...If true the skies are brightening for the Union
[07 Apr:] The President reviewed our Corps (the 5th) today About 1/2 past 2 o'clock P.M. he rode by our camp accompanied by a large number of Generals and staff officers
[08 Apr:] Today the Infantry of the Army of the Potomac was reviewed by the President. It was the grandest affair of the kind I ever saw...probably at least 75,000 men...
[30 Apr:] They [passing divisions] brought a report that Hooker had isssued an order saying that he had accomplished all that he intended; that the enemy were so situated that they must either retreat or come out and fight...
[03 May:] The [AMA?] part of our forces attacked the rebel fortifications in the rear of Fredericksburg...and about now they drive the enemy out... [Battle of Chancellorsville]
[07 May:] reported that the enemy had left their position across the river and had gone towards Richmond...
[24 May:] This P.M. an official announcement of the capture of Vicksburg by the army under Genl Grant was recd and read to the regt. which created a great deal of enthusiasm
[09 Jun:] Heavy skirmishing going on across the river all day [Battle of Brandy Station?]
[03 Jul:] This P.M. several hundred rebel prisoners were brought in. There has been heavy firing all day and tonight quite a number of wounded belonging to the 3rd Corps were brought into town [probably from the July 1 Battle of Gettysburg]
[04 Jul:] Several thousand rebel prisoners arrived today. The report is that both sides have lost heavily in killed & wounded
[17 Jul:] We are again in Old Virginia. The news today from the South & Southwest is very encouraging
[15 Aug:] It is rumored that the whole army is to fall back to Washington & vicinity
[21 Aug: list of statistics regarding Mixter's regiment, including killed in action - 4 officers, 84 men, and died of disease and wounds - 3 officers, 98 men]
[25 Aug:] ...deserters (substitutes) from the 188th Penn Vols...are sentenced to be shot
[26 Aug:] the men create a lyceum and Mixter is elected president; topic of discussion:] 'Is the abolition of slavery essential to the restoration and preservation of the Union.'
[29 Aug, lyceum topic of discussion:] 'Is it advisable for the govt of the U.S. to employ negroes as soldiers.' The discussion was animated...This P.M. deserters...were shot in the presence of the division. It was a painful sight to see them following their coffins, the band playing their dirge, and then to see them executed...
[07 Sep:] Wrote an application for a commission in U.S. Colored Vols.
[08 Sep, lyceum discussion topic:] 'Were the Indians wrongfully treated by the early settlers of this country?'
[09 Oct, in Washington, D.C.:] Saw a procession of colored Odd Fellows who made a fne appearance
[17 Oct:] Troops are being sent to the front...There are rumors tonight of another battle on the Bull Run battle ground...
[25 Oct:] Visited the Congressional Burying Ground
[09 Nov:] A large number of wounded arrived from the Rappahannock
[14 Nov:] Last night I got but little sleep as several of the wounded men were in such pain that they kept groaning all night. One of them died at 4:45 this A.M...he was the first death I ever witnessed
[25 Nov:] For the last day or two there has been some cheering news from Gen. Grants army at Chattanooga which makes loyal men feel glad and secesh feel sad
[27 Nov, the day after Thanksgiving::] Recd a box from home [turkey, plum pudding, etc.] ... gave a part to the contrabands
[02 Dec:] At noon the statue on the dome of the Capital was finished
[07 Dec:] Some of the officers of the Russian fleet visited the Hospital
[09 Dec:] At noon went to the House of Representatives to hear the President's message read

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