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

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06583.03 Author/Creator: Mixter, Calvin Symmes (b. 1832) Place Written: various Type: Diary Date: 1864 Pagination: 1 v. : 273 p. ; 16.7 x 8 cm.

Signed diary including a printed image, an eclipse calendar, a mileage chart, and postage rates in the opening pages. Mixter writes from various locations, including Washington, D.C., during 1864. On 12 January, accepts appointment as 1st Lieutenant Adjutant, 3rd Regiment North Carolina Colored Volunteers. Reports to serve under General Edward Augustus Wild on 21 January. On 14 May reports "Cheering news continues to arrive from the Army of the Potomac. Our losses have been severe, but the rebel are being driven back." Discusses the events of battle preparation and an extended period in camp near Fort Powhatan, Virginia. Reports seeing President Abraham Lincoln and General Ulysses S. Grant on 21 June 1864. States that on 3 July, his wife informed him he had been reported as being killed. In August, reports being diagnosed with malaria and receiving treatments of blue mass and quinine. On 28 October, writes a note to Sergeant O. A. Hendrick suggesting that a commanding officer completes an application to muster out Mixter, on account of his absence from military duties for over sixty days. On 10 November, states "the newspapers reed today confirm the report of the re-election of Prest. Lincoln by an overwhelming majority" following Lincoln's campaign against George McClellan. Receives his resignation 9 November and plans to appear before a board of medical examination. On 23 November, returns home to Boston. Final pages include account ledgers and a quote reflecting the Dred Scott decision. Referring to African Americans, the quote states "They had for more than a century before been regarded as being of an inferior order and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations ... " Bound in original leather with a front clasp.

General Wild was noted for raising African American troops during the Civil War, and for his leadership of "Wild's African Brigade."

[Draft] [Excerpts:]
[15 May:] Went to Div. Hd. Qrs. Saw Brig. Gen. Hincks The previous reports of cheering news were confirmed
[16 May:] This noon a scouting party under Lt. Cunningham was attacked by the rebels a short distance beyond our pickets. The troops here (City Pt) were ordered under arms & preparation made for a fight, but the enemy were not in force. Our loss was about 6 or 7 in killed, wounded & missing.
[17 May:] Genl. Kautz cavalry returned from another raid having destroyed several bridges &c. They were accompanied by a large number of contrabands out of whom we shall get a lot of recruits
[20 May:] There has been very heavy firing going on all day up the river. At night 80 additional men were sent out to reinforce the picket...
[06 Oct:} It is reported that Capt. Foster...is killed and Lt. Col. Chamberlain & several officers & men of my regt are wounded
[09 Oct:] The regt. was in the fight of Sep. 30. Our loss in killed and wounded was about 20

[Additional Excerpts:]
appointed 1st Lt. & Adjt. of 3rd Regt. N.C. Colored Vols...8 orderly sergts. (white) arrived...Lt. Col. Chamberlain came to camp...sentinals very ignorant of their duties...regt. became the 37th U.S. Col'd Troops...squadron of cavalry was sent toward Kempsville...sent out a party of pioneers... considerable picket firing...men turned out promptly and admirably...[near Petersburg:] scouting party...was attacked by the rebels...heavy firing going on all day...heavy cannonading in the vicinity of Gen. Butler's position...attacked by a force of rebels under Fitz-Hugh Lee...firing from the gun boat in the river...outer fortifications around Petersburg had been captured...visited the 56th, 57th & 59th Mass. [which] had lost heavily...2nd Corps advanced and seized the South Side Railroad...went on board the Monitor at 7:30...vote for President Lincoln 29 McClellan 2...saw the Wachusett and her prize the rebel pirate Florida...

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