Charles Hadsall Diary

A soldier serving in Co. M, 2d Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery

February 1865

Wednesday, February 1, 1865

It was a clear warm day and nothing transpired on the picket line that was of any importance. We got up a good lot of wood for the next relief. Then we sleaped a few hours. We got relieved at the usual hour — 4 o’clock. I went in camp, eat my supper, then built a fire and some chestnuts. Then I went to writing. I found out that Isaac had been here to see me but of course he did not and went to his home. My tongue is very sore now and has been for a few days. They say it hain’t so that commissioners came from Richmond with Blair.

Thursday, February 2, 1865

It was a clear, mild day. This morning William [C.] Davis moved in with me. We fixed the bunk so we both could sleep on it. I cooked about a quart of beans which were very good. I put some butter in them. I didn’t go far away for I looked for Isaac here but he didn’t come. The rebs tried to gobble our pickets this morning about 3 o’clock but couldn’t come it. They kept firing till daylight. I got a $1.00 order on the sutler to get paper and envelopes. Davis was on picket. I got the Herald of the 30th. We got four day’s ration of sugar this morning.

Friday, February 3, 1865

Lyman ("Lime") Frantz (1839-19XX) did not serve in the 2nd PA. Heavy Artillery. He was drafted into Co. A, 104th PA and was posted on Bermuda Hundred not far from Charles' company. Lime was from Kingston, Pennsylvania and was married to Laurinda Maria Pembleton. Maria's brother, Martin Luther Pembleton (1846-1915), also drafted into the 104th PA, was a frequent correspondent with Charles & Isaac Hadsall. In the 1860 US Census, Frantz is enumerated in the J. P. Schooley household employed as a farm laborer.

Lyman (“Lime”) Frantz (1839-19XX) did not serve in the 2nd PA. Heavy Artillery. He was drafted into Co. A, 104th PA and was posted on Bermuda Hundred not far from Charles’ company. Lime was from Kingston, Pennsylvania and was married to Laurinda Maria Pembleton. Maria’s brother, Martin Luther Pembleton (1846-1915), also drafted into the 104th PA, was a frequent correspondent with Charles & Isaac Hadsall. In the 1860 US Census, Frantz is enumerated in the J. P. Schooley household employed as a farm laborer.

It was cloudy and rained a little after 3 o’clock. I started on picket about that hour. In the forenoon I was up to see Lime [Frantz] and Martin [Mudge]. I staid till after dinner, then Lime came home with me. I wrote a letter to [his wife,] Maria [for him] and put in his diary that he sent [a letter] home. Then me and him finished the chestnuts that I got from home. We had a nice time together chatting about home &c. He didn’t go home till I went on picket. There was heavy firing at Petersburg today. I got a quire of writing paper.

Saturday, February 4, 1865

It was a clear warm day. We had a nicer time picket that we expected. I was on reserve post at the railroad. I made me a coffee pot full of Coco for breakfast. That was good. I sleeped a good deal during the day. We got relieved at the usual hour. I went in camp and washed. Then got two loaves of bread and took a good supper. I bought a paper. It stated how that three rebel commissioners had went to Fort Monroe. Their names were Alexander H. Stephens, Robert Hunter, John A. Campbell. We only hope they will make peace.

Sunday, February 5, 1865

Lucius Marshall of Battery M, 2nd PA Heavy Artillery

Lucius Marshall of Battery M, 2nd PA Heavy Artillery

It was clear and cool today. I was detailed in camp guard, Marly came down & made me a long visit. He had a letter from home. All was well. We wrote one to Edward. I got two letters — one from H. Sands and one from home with the box receipt and I answered it at night. [Lucius] Marshall handed me a dollar. [William C.] Davis was on picket. They say Carpenter Sands is dead. Everything was quiet — only the rumors that Sheridan was advancing on Richmond. It is late and cold so I will make this do and go to bed.

Monday, February 6, 1865

It was clear and mild. I came off guard and eat my breakfast. Then I fixed a box and the chimney so it would not smoke. Then I wrote three letters — one home [and] the others to Henry and Allen. There has been heavy firing off to the left of musketry most all day [Battle of Hatcher’s Run]. There has some of the boys made application for a furlough. I got my hair cut and shaved by Charles Smith. I stewed some of my peaches and berries and got in a lot of wood for night. [William C.] Davis came in at the usual hour and we had a good supper.

Tuesday, February 7, 1865

It was a cold stormy day. Snowed and rained. I staid in my tent and read and I wrote a letter to Isaac Dymond. There was a hard fight on the left yesterday so they say and that the 5th Corps advanced eight miles. There is[n’t] news in the papers of any account. [William C.] Davis went on picket and after he went off, I tore down a old tent and got in some wood so now I have a hot fire and it has stopped raining. The wind blows hard. Me and Davis made some candy today. Candy-making is his trade when at home.

Wednesday, February 8, 1865

It was a clear, mild day. The ground was covered with ice in the morning. After breakfast, I went over to see Isaac and just as I got to his house, he had started off on a mule. He came back with me and we read my letters from home and talked of his new home, about his feather bed &c. I was invited over. I am on picket tonight. We went out at the usual hour — 3 o’clock. I was down to the steam sawmill. They had a circular saw. I got a letter from Jennie Rush. It was a moonlight night.

Thursday, February 9, 1865

It was a cloudy day but not very cold. There was nothing going on while I was on picket — only there was hard shooting at Petersburg last night. We see the rebel shells burst. We got relieved at the usual hour and I had a good supper. Then I drew some new clothes — a whole suit. Then me and [William C.] Davis cut wood for night and [John B.] Mott gave us a candle. Then I went to writing. [Jacob] Schmaltz has sent in applications for a furlough. There hain’t any papers came this week so we don’t know the news. The johnnies are looking for peace soon.

Friday, February 10, 1865

Hadsall refers to the fire in Philadelphia that occurred on 8 February 1865. The fire originated about 2:30 A.M., in Washington Street, near Ninth, where there was an open lot on which Blackburn & Co. had between two and three thousand barrels of petroleum stored on account of various owners. The Philadelphia Bulletin: "The blazing oil that escaped from the burning barrels poured over into Ninth Street and down to Federal, filling the entire street with a lake of fire, and igniting the houses upon both sides of Ninth Street for two squares, and carrying devastation into Washington, Ellsworth, and Federal streets, both above and below Ninth Street."

Hadsall refers to the fire in Philadelphia that occurred on 8 February 1865. The fire originated about 2:30 A.M., in Washington Street, near Ninth, where there was an open lot on which Blackburn & Co. had between two and three thousand barrels of petroleum stored on account of various owners. The Philadelphia Bulletin: “The blazing oil that escaped from the burning barrels poured over into Ninth Street and down to Federal, filling the entire street with a lake of fire, and igniting the houses upon both sides of Ninth Street for two squares, and carrying devastation into Washington, Ellsworth, and Federal streets, both above and below Ninth Street.”

It was clear and moderate. I was on a fatigue detail today. We carried abatis for the picket line. I got a Herald in the morning of the 8th. It had some accounts of the advance on the left. The Reb peace commissioners returned to Richmond through our lines the 5th. They didn’t make peace. At evening, we went in camp, got supper, and drew three loaves of bread. Then I drew another shirt and a pair of stockings. I traded hats with Beam for one of U. S. beavers even. There was a great fire in Philadelphia.

Saturday, February 11, 1865

It was a clear, mild day. I bought a paper in the morning and there was nothing else a going on so after dinner I went over to see Isaac. He was not at home. He had went over to draw rations. The old man invited me in so I waited till he came back. Then we had supple and I concluded I would stay all night. We went to bed at nine o’clock. We had a nice visit with the girls. They were very nice folks. I was on dress parade this morning and there was orders read stating that there would be no more furloughs.

Sunday, February 12, 1865

It was cold and windy. Middling clear. I rested well last night with Isaac. We didn’t get breakfast till eight o’clock. Then I went back to camp. I had missed roll call and inspection but [Sgt. William H.] Wetherbee made it all right. I answered Jennie Rush’s letter. Then I went and got shaved. It got colder and colder so I got in plenty of wood for tonight. I baked me buckwheat cakes for supper. They were very good. [William C.] Davis staid over to the Co. last night and our fire smokes so I guess I will quit. All is right. Sundays are not much respected.

Monday, February 13, 1865

It was cold and clear but not so windy as yesterday. I wrote a letter home and I got a paper in the morning. There hain’t no news of any importance — only that I was on picket — if you call it important. We went out at the usual hour. I got on post with [Edward] Jones and Lewellen. We had a nice moon light night. There was five johnnies came in last night. I seen the President’s message and his account of the interview of the Rebel Peace Commissioners and what Congress was a doing about it.

Tuesday, February 14, 1865

It was a clear, warm day. Very nice to be on picket. Everything passed off smoothly and we got relieved at the usual hour. I went to camp, found everything all right there. I had a peruse at the Montour American. There wasn’t much news. Company A left today for Fort Fisher or some other seaport with ten or fifteen day’s ration. B. F. Everett was Captain and J. Buckley Lieut. There is a going to be a change in our camp before long they say. There wasn’t no papers here today that I see — only the Christian Commission.

Wednesday, February 15, 1865

It was a cold rainy day. In the morning I went at it and cleaned my gun for inspection but there was none. I got a paper, then I went up to see the boys in the 104th [Pennsylvania]. I staid till three o’clock. Wetherbee had to report to the Co. for Orderly Sergeant. [Asher M.] Bragg takes his place here. There was 11 johnnies came into our boys last night. It is reported that sixty came in on the line. This was the day set for the draft of 300,000 men if they don’t volunteer. [William C.] Davis, my buddy, is very sick. The U. S. Christian Commission left a large assortment of religious papers here today.

Thursday, February 16, 1865

It was a cloudy, warm day and I was detailed for guard, to report at the Second Battalion for guard mount. There wasn’t no dress parade. We was sent back to our camp and went on guard as usual. [William C.] Davis was taken to the hospital. Now I am alone. There was nine johnnies came in at one post last night. I bought the Herald this morning. William Wood set up a bake shop near headquarters a few days ago. While I am writing this, I hear musketry on the left. I just heard the reb pickets shoot five shots as their deserters. It is very dark and sprinkles of rain.

Friday, February 17, 1865

It’s a cold, rainy day and very muddy. Between one and two o’clock last night, the rebs charged on our picket line but got repulsed with a goodly number left dead between the lines. In the fuss, twenty-one deserted of them. I seen at headquarters there was one or two wounded in the Illinois Vols. I got a paper stating that Sherman is at Columbia, S. C. I spent most of the day in camp. Nothing of importance did transpire. I stewed a dish of dried fruit. There was a monthly inspection today. I sent Davis’ shirt to him by __vals. I came off guard this morning.

Saturday, February 18, 1865

It was clear and mild. I done nothing — only stay in the tent and read and write till nine o’clock when we fell out for inspection and I was on picket. An noon, Col. Shauber [?] brought me a letter that Isaac sent with father’s photograph in it. Is taken well, we think. The Christian Commission talked and prayed to us this afternoon. After we had fallen for picket, there was four of us got on a post — [Henry] Dubbs, Frazy [Charles Frazer?], [George] Langan, and myself. We found us some holes to get in for we expected an attack and there was at ten o’clock.

Sunday, February 19, 1865

There has been a beautiful Sabbath — clear and warm. The boys [ex]changed papers with the johnnies but there was no news. North Carolina troops were in front of us. There was nine johnnies came in last night was what caused the firing. We got relieved at the usual hour. I went in camp and eat my supper, then I went to the stream and has a wash all over and put on a new suit of clothes. Now I feel better. Just before dark, Henry Beam [of the 104th Pennsylvania] came in and spent part of the evening with me. The picket line was reinforced tonight. They expect an attack.

Monday, February 20, 1865

It was a clear, warm day. I help cut wood in the morning for the cooks. There was dress parade and battalion drill in the forenoon. After dinner, I went up to the 104th P. V. [and] found them all well. I got a paper stating that Branchville [South Carolina] was taken by our forces the 8th. Deserters say that the rebs are about to evacuate Richmond. I got Charles Smith to do my washing. I got a letter from H. A. Rush. We drew three days ration of soft bread and five days of bacon. Everything has remained quiet. No news. The butter lasted till today.

Tuesday, February 21, 1865

It was a clear, warm day. We had dress parade this morning as usual and there was battalion drill. I staid around camp all day until picket time. There was a salute fired of one hundred guns for the capture of Charleston by Sherman. They say Wilmington is ours. There was eighteen johnnies came in last night and we expect more tonight. I spent the most of the day in reading. I finished the Second Book of Samuel. We came on picket at the usual hour. I got on a post with two dutchmen of B [battery] and I wrote this after I got on post so you see.

Wednesday, February 22, 1865

It was clear and warm and there was a salute fired at Petersburg in honor of Washington’s Birthday. There was four johnnies came in. Battery F — detached men — came to this camp and put up new quarters. Battery L relieved them. Several of the boys are trying to be transferred to the 1st U.S. Light Artillery. We got relieved at the usual hour. Isaac had been here to see me and left word for me to come over. We have good news — if true — that we will have artillery next summer. I took the old half soles off my boots today. I got dry, clean clothes today — pants, shirt, drawers and stockings.

Thursday, February 23, 1865

It was a cloudy, rainy day. I went over to see Isaac & got my dinner which was pretty good. I got back to camp at three o’clock and signed the clothing roll. I found out that Mart [Mudge] had been here and at supper time [William] Barnum came and stayed till evening. It is reported that Sherman was shot in the streets of Charleston. I hope it isn’t true. There is a piece in the Inquirer of the 29th about our regiment of its good discipline. They say that our fellows did shell old Petersburg most awful yesterday. There was a good deal of picket firing last night. They say several [deserters] came in our lines.

Friday, February 24, 1865

It was a cloudy, mild day and I got a Inquirer this morning. It is full of news and having a map on showing Fort Sumter with the Stars and Stripes floating over the ruins. I staid around camp all day reading and writing. One of Mart’s buddies — a corporal — was here to see me. I was detailed for picket. We went out at the usual hour. I got on the first post above the railroad with [Joseph M.] Crawford and one of Co. K. It remained cloudy at night. We drew __ days ration of soft bread. The paymaster has arrived and are paying in this Department.

Saturday, February 25, 1865

It was cloudy with a very heavy mist turning to rain near sundown. Everything was quiet till near dark when there opened heavy firing in front of Petersburg which sounds like fighting very much. We got relieved at the usual hour. When I got in camp I found a buddy and I got a letter from mother and [sister] Elizabeth. They are all well. Belden Bailey and John Hardin is wounded. I haven’t seen no papers today. The boys was exchanging papers with the johnnies. Their papers state that they are putting every slave fit in the field.

Confederate documents reveal that Victor Braud (a.k.a. George Calvin Duke) served in the "foot cavalry" under Stonewall Jackson in the 7th Louisiana Hays Brigade from the first Battle of Winchester, Va., to Antietam, Md., to Jackson's death at Chancellorsville and beyond. His military career as a "tiger" ended with his capture at Falling Waters following his last battle in a gray uniform at Cemetery Hill, Gettysburg. Union documents reveal that five months later, he enlisted in Philadelphia as George Duke from Baltimore, in the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers. While wearing a Union uniform, Duke's service took him to South Carolina, Florida and finally to the Bermuda Front of Richmond, Va. [Source: Research of Dr. Benjamin Duke -- George Duke's g-grandson]

Confederate documents reveal that Victor Braud (1846-1923), seated with GAR cap & ribbon in 1890 photograph (a.k.a. George Calvin Duke) served in the “foot cavalry” under Stonewall Jackson in the 7th Louisiana Hays Brigade from the first Battle of Winchester, Va., to Antietam, Md., to Jackson’s death at Chancellorsville and beyond. His military career as a “tiger” ended with his capture at Falling Waters following his last battle in a gray uniform at Cemetery Hill, Gettysburg. Union documents reveal that five months later, he enlisted in Philadelphia as George Duke from Baltimore, in the 104th Pennsylvania Volunteers. While wearing a Union uniform, Duke’s service took him to South Carolina, Florida and finally to the Bermuda Front of Richmond, Va. [Source: Research of Dr. Benjamin Duke — George Duke’s g-grandson]

Sunday, February 26, 1865

It was cloudy most of the day but pretty warm. My buddy left and built him a tent. I got a paper. It stated that Fort Anderson was ours the 19th. We had inspection. Then after that I got shaved off my whole beard. Then I went up and seen Martin [Mudge]. Lime [Frantz] was on picket. George Duke [104th Pennsylvania] took a walk home with me. We had a nice time chatting over old times when he was a Reb and I a Yank and the battles we was in &c. I wrote a letter home today. It has been a nice Sabbath. One of the Christian Commission was here talking to us and issuing his memorials. I haven’t had any fire today.

Monday, February 27, 1865

It was clear and warm. There is good news in the papers. Wilmington is ours. We had a dress parade this morning. The band was present. We are the first company now. I staid near camp all day and cleaned my gun & equipment for muster tomorrow. Lieut. [William] Gee says we are going to get our pay too. What time I wasn’t busy in my tent, I was pitching quoits for cherries. I got a letter from Henry Sands near Hatcher’s Run. He is well. [William] Barnum called in a few minutes toward evening. Tine [Valentine] Smith have me a bottle of Jamaica. This is ration day. The bands are playing. [John H.] Bowen has returned to the company.

Tuesday, February 28, 1865

It rained most all day. We was mustered by Major [Benjamin F.] Winger at nine o’clock. There was no news today. It’s rumored that Sherman is whipped pretty bad. Solomon Moyer was here. I am detailed for picket tonight. We got a loaf of bread for supper. I staid in my tent and read as usual. We was told yesterday that we would get our pay today but it hain’t come yet nor hain’t likely to yet. Our picket line was reinforced. We expected an attack. We also think they are going to evacuate Petersburg.

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