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Keely Family Collection

Transcript of
George Keely Diary
Hospital Steward
13TH Maine Infantry
1861 - 1863x


[December 7] - [Pages 1 and 2 of the diary are missing; therefore, the December 7, 1861 entry is carried over from Page 2. As a result, page 3 has served as the book cover and suffered much damage and is extremely difficult to read. About down the page you can see Dec. 8 inscribed].

[Dec. 8 - continued from Page 3] - squad to a long meeting a Cong. Or Bap preached a lecture. We heard a private make a few remarks F. W. B ---- ---- Blake good after ask our Major ---- ---- ---- appointed a prayer meeting in a holy communion with Jesus. Was kept awake til near 12..

Dec. 9 - Drilled P.M. our Capt. & Lieut. were doing what they could for our future situation. Stiller at night.

Dec. 10 - Rainey P.M. Boxed ---- with W. [William Keely]. Marched out on parade ground & heard remarks from our Capt that was to be but owing to smallness of squad & other reasons our Capt is thrown out & we go into Capt. Swan's Co. say having Goodwin as first Lieut. Neglected duty wrote to L. [Louisa] had some nearness to God & was enabled to rebuke him.

Dec. 11 - Had a sweet communing with God eve Attended prayer meeting & was permitted to give my testimony for Jesus. Major H conducted the meeting & the spirit truly was there.

Dec. 12 - Read A.M. Drilled P.M. Held caucus for Sergeant - drilled had some nearness to Jesus.

Dec. 13 - Hos [?] Major H spoke to me about assisting in the mail department was examined by the surgeon by strapping my feet & asking a few questions. M. [Morning] began to attend to the mail P.M. we were marched over to the statehouse & sworn into the U.S. service. The Lord was merciful to me.

Dec. 14 - Attended to my duties as Postmaster went over to the city with the mail & over to the cavalry ground P.M. heard that Charleston, S.C. had been burned by the negroes obtained some nearness to God.

Dec. 15 - Went into our tents. Obtained clothes & dressed got uniform a ----- ----- ----- part of a war sermon ever attended P.M. very good in bed. The Lord was indeed present Blessed be his name sawed wood for the first time lent Sunday kept P.M. after eve we began to have prayer in an hour. What a Sabbath.

Dec. 16 - A very hard day. Went to the city 3 times neglected duty had a real good wash in the morn in the K. river for Uncle Sam neglected to supply us with water eve Undertook to go the city but was stopped by the guard because I did not give the countersign right. I soon learned & passed took telegram & letter to the Col. Dow found him at Major H stayed a little while during wh Mrs H entertained.

Dec. 17 - about as usual.

Dec. 18 - Meeting in eve very good bless the Lord. Took a long walk & found a nearness to God.

Dec. 19 - Review in eve the 14th , 15th Calvary & 13th Regts. marched toward Augusta.

Friday 20 - took walk up a long walk & found a nearness to God. received bundle from home.

Dec. 21 - Capt. Small paid our rations. L.

Sunday Dec. 22 - This day seemed the most like Sabbath of any yet passed here. Bless the Lord for it. A squad of us went to a ----- meeting in the city where we heard some very good remarks from fight P not as one that beateth the air. P.M. read some & went on dress parade eve went out to prayer meeting in the city had a pretty good one but not like the regimental meetings ought not to have gone but to have stayed to our van [?]

Dec. 23 - A heavy snow storm. ----- ----- ----- ----- commenced in the night have a letter from L after [remainder of entry is illegible].

Dec. 24 - The storm broke safe ----- ----- ----- ----- during the day received news we should not be paid off. My health continues good. How merciful God is.

Dec. 25 - Some cough but yet God is good no meeting tonight. God grant that they may not be broken up. I find myself far from God O'Lord for Jesus sake help me unto thee.

Dec. 26 - Rose at 1 to 3 began a letter to L. Wrote to Dr. B. & sent for medicine. Neglected secret prayer & so lost the presence of God was sworn at by one of my own Company. I deserve & his anger. We attended prayer meeting got a little revived.

Dec. 27 - As usual & ----- from God. Sent book to L.

Dec. 28 - W.[William] went home to recruit. Obtained letter for our caps finished letter to L & sent papers found myself far from my Redeemer.

Dec. 29 - Dressed marched with a squad to Bapt. Ch. a good sermon from Olson because of unbelief P.M. marched with the Reg't to hear Mr. Blake. Thy word have I hid in my heart yet I neglected duty spent too much time in vanity O how far from God I am. O for a closer walk with God!

[Date entries skip forward to January 14]


Jan. 14 - Found sweet communion with Jesus yet neglected his word eve P.M. very good. The Spirit was surely present quite sleepy but enjoyed ----- meeting.

Jan. 15 - Received letter from L & finished one to her. Lost 2 of hers how careless & found neglected duty was sick last week with a boil found some nearness today lost some time during the eve.

Jan. 16 - Heard we were to be paid off slept rather late O Lord do help me to live unto Thee.

[diary entries skip forward to Jan. 22 or 25]

Jan. 25 [22?] Again found wanting have neglected to write also other nicer say things. The cavalry were partly paid off today did not get any mail P.M. A hard storm felt too well satisfied with doing my duty without my soul being in it when will this lukewarmness be past found within me a disposition to be too light & trifling jesting too much.

23 - Received letters from dear Louisa one from Rev. Watson [?] [remainder of entry illegible].

24 - Received letter & bundle from home by Mrs. Woody.

Saturday 25 - Find at present a hungering after God O that a flame of a sacred love might be kindled in my heart!

Jan. 26 - Mustering Day. A poor Sabbath went for mail A.M. was on fire guard last night P.M. misspent part of the holy Sabbath felt a need of being alone with my God & took walk to find a place went into a fine grove 1 mile from camp & after some little time of sorrow found my Savior to the joy & rejoicing of my soul. Spent the eve humbly as I ought O that I might become consistent.

Jan. 27 - Rose rather late but in time for roll call went over to city ----- with the mail no Bangor mail my belly seems to be very God! Ought to have written to L today. The train did not come in on account of the snow storm yesterday & a high wind today with a crust, very cold, Spent eve in Capts tent rather cold in wind because of neglect of duty. O draw me near Thy self.

Jan. 28 - Rose at 5 wrote a letter to L ----- cars did not get in till 4 A.M. A snow. Peter called over went again P.M. called over to the 15th Reg't very tired some trouble about a dispatch P.M. good did not hold that communion with God I ought.

Jan. 29 - Rose too late Peter got med[icine] of Mr. Barker for W. train late & mail did not quite do my duty. A poor day.

Jan. 30 - Felt anxious about L had a letter from her which relieved me some did not find time to reply.

[no more diary entries until Feb. 16, 1862]

Feb. 16 - Sunday before last heard a good sermon A.M. P.M. went down to Hallowed communion Sabbath we heard Father Ingraham at the Insane Hospital. Part Sabbath. Heard Father Ingraham but slept during sermon P.M. heard our Chaplain Rev. D. H. Moore [Henry D. Moore] for the first time liked him much.

Feb. 14 - [Keely has suddenly reverted back to Feb. 14] - Began to pay off the Reg't Bro't an important dispatch to the Col. Who was troubled at the price of express & promised to get another man in my place.

Feb. 15 - Co. K paid off received 13.86 from U.S. sick so as not to carry the mail. Thursday the Reg't went over to the state house to receive their colors. Present[ed] by S. M. Small on behalf of the State. The Augusta band led.

Feb. 16 - Sunday - Spent the day very unprofitably to my soul in preparation for our move on Tues.

Feb. 17 - Monday - was very busy purchasing articles & doing errands packed my knapsack & slept an hour or two and rose at 4 got breakfast struck tents at 5 & marched to the depot took the cars it seemed as if the knapsack would pull my shoulder off left the depot at 8 . Mr. Bicknell postmastser & others gave me quite a lot of stationary & envel. God raises me up friends wherever I go. Blessed be his name received a few letters wh[ich] I distributed the boys were in very good spirits & were continually cheering as the cars past the towns at Brunswick met my old class mates & others spent more money than ought.

[no entries from Feb. 18 - Mar. 19, 1862 - the following were out of sequence in the diary and have been placed correctly here]

Mar. 20 - Mississippi arrived at the Matanzas with the rest of the 13th Regt within a gun boat bringing also part of 8 N.H. [New Hampshire] Regt & 31st Mass[achusetts] Regt went to the wharf on fatigue duty carrying boards P.M. Battalion drill rinsed out clothes.

[bottom half of page blank]

Sun. Mar. 23 - had to work part of the day shoveling P.M. wrote in L's letter eve at meeting tent 2 very good my soul much strengthened.

Mar. 24 - drill as usual wrote in L's letter. Co. K escorted the colors of the Regt for dress parade eve wrote in L's letter.

Mar. 25 - a poor day a fight between our vessels & the enemy's the first I have heard any heavy firing for about 3 hours eve felt poorly in mind How far short I come of being a Christian a good meeting but not engaged.

Mar. 26 - Drill as usual on duty about rations. Battalion drill wasted a good deal of time wrote in L's letter the New London chased off some rebel vessels yesterday.

Mar. 27 - drill started about 10 with haversack canteen revolver & 18 cartridges (fired off 16 hit nothin) (found it rather pleasant among the trees) for the east end of the island arr[ived] at about 12 partook of a dish of tea & fried pork & hard bread not relished well. The ground is somewhat swampy covered in the centre with pitch pine trees scrub oak & ? trees.

[top section of next [age illegible until] - various kinds of flowers, a long grass & rushes and a sort of palm leaf.

[bottom half of page blank]

[next two pages entirely blank]

Apr. 4 - Our Captain came much to the joy of our company.

[Apr.] 5 - drilled a little in bayonnet exercise got permit with 6 others to go to head of island had a pleasant time caught a crab & roasted him fired 36 times with my revolver at a mark & birds.

Sunday [Apr. 6] - wasted a good deal of time a poor Sunday sang & read heard a short sermon from Mr. Blake praise to.

Apr. 7 - Drilled as usual some little trouble between Capts. B & &S & S & S wasted some time over a senseless story began letter to Henry B. was enabled to all my duty better for wh[hich] I desire to be thankful. One of our tent mates R. T. Jordan very sick with rheum. Fever did not my duty to _____ find my soul luke warm R.J.T. is just alive Ralph Jordan died about 8 1/2.

Apr. 8 - a stormy windy day a drill A.M. read & sewed on cap cover acted as one of the guard to the grave in R.T.J.'s funeral. A solemn occassion eve P.M. a good meeting but very sleepy.

Apr. 9 - had very hard drill from 7 till 11 had poor fare helped dig a ditch to draw off the water from parade ground by which I was saved from shoveling manure & grand review. A review of all the troops on the Island took place at 3 of 15 regiments and batteries & others find myself very low in religion here been in a very bad state of mind.

Apr. 10 - Drilled as usual went for rations eve wrote in H. R's letter Mr. Carter quite sick with lung fever a poor state of mind.

Apr. 11 - drilled wasted time a heavy storm with thunder & lightning spent a good deal of time in vain talk my thots turn oftener towards home than before. May God graciously permit us to meet on earth.

Apr. 12 - Went up to head of Island walked all the way round it caught two crabs got rushes or palmetto leaves.

Apr. 13 - while getting ready to go out to inspection was called on to do special duty and worked all day unloading coal from the Joho to the Louis had a good.

[Apr]. 14 - 15 - received 2 letters & papers from home wrote one for Mrs. Carter and to father began one to L

[Apr.] 16 - read wasted some time neglected both meetings.

[Apr.] 17 - felt quite smart made a set of shelves helped bring up wood eve wrote in L's letter ----- -----.

[No entries from April, 18, 1862 through August 12, 1862]

Aug. 13 - received letter from home. Dr. Meserve spoke to me about acting as steward.

Aug. 14 - began a letter to L.

Aug. 15 - finished & sent it with 2 stamps.

Aug. 16 - Put up Powders and cleaned gun eve wrote in Abby's letter. Had a better week spiritually for wh[ich] I would bless God.

Aug. 17 - Sabbath did not feel a warmth of soul. Put up Med.[icine] A.M. P.M. slept & read eve had prayers in hospital & then meeting God was present Bless His Name.

Aug. 18 - Put up my med[icine] and both? as usual was mustered at 10 by order of Gov. P/M. took out a broken tooth purchased some bitter honey foolish fix up my bunk made a hasty pudding eve read not any spiritual life today Lord lead me in the way everlasting [end of sentence missing] my morn[ing] duties but did not accomplish so much as I wished P.M. read the papers cooked apples eve rec[eived] letters from home & L most truly have I neglected them and her.

[no entry for Aug. 19]

[Aug.] 20 - usual duties P.M. wrote letters to Abby & Hattie & H. Hight helped move the Drs things up because of an expected attack of the rebels but none came.

[Aug.] 21 - W and I had a little quarrel of words P.M. Co. C reinforced us from Fort Pike & I had plenty to do. Began letter to J. Turbody.

[Aug.] 22 - finished J. T.'s letter was kept busy over some Latin words P.M. picked over a few beans for the cooks fixed S. H's bedstead bathed eve began a letter to L & mind a little better but find I am given to suspecting & much selfishness. Surely I need a new heart.

[Aug.] 23 - read instead of writing as I ought surely it is invain to go about to work and ones own righteousness P.M. wasted the afternoon in sleep also neglected for the day wrote in L's letter read into Sunday Sabbath.

[Aug.] 24 -At my devotions felt there was indeed need of my - of my crying unto God for a new heart put up and read P.M. read & slept til I had meeting 6 present Jesus indeed showed himself present blessed be his name read in the life of a [Mr. Carvom?] O that I were even as he was wrote in L's letter. This has indeed been a good Sunday to my soul. Blessed be God.

[Aug.] Mon 25 - How I have erred today and gone astray. Spent my time in reading an unprofitable book when I ought to have been writing Fourfeited and again but off duty surely procrastinated the ----- of time.

[Aug.] 26 - Slept little during ----- ----- at the door neglect duty one sin leads to another. Put up my med[icine] bathed brought up med[icine] for Dr he came soon after to get his things having had a telegram to report at N.O. [New Orleans?] cooked hasty pudding eve the same & showed me about the med[icine] wrote letter home A.M. sent one to Louisa & a paper to Lizzie ----- communion (around common?).

[Aug.] 27 - dealt out med[icine] bathed my heart pained me much so slept P.M. received letter from Mother and Abby ----- papers began letter to Dr. Bailey. Got letter of ----- of Lieut Linscott ----- -----.

Aug. 28 - did but very little today send Dr. B's letter till evening when the 8th N. H. [New Hampshire] Steward came for his things after some trouble got most of the things transferred to our use he left the next A.M. .

Aug. 29 - helped take account of Baker's things put room in order read got bottle of medicine for the blood from Mr. Green Contraband eve began letter L's mind poorer yet.

[Aug.] 30 - cleared up my med[icine] shelves wrote in L's letter P.M. cleaned up gun & eve read.

[Aug.] 31 - prepared for inspection but a new Surgeon Dr. Sanger came & detained me put up med[iciness] & guns P.M. made up pills & wrote in L's letter eve had a meeting 7 present and a good med for Rob I thank God finished L's letter my spiritual condition today has been poor my soul being far from God till eve when he graciously appeared yet there is a distance O for a closer walk.

Sept. 1 - Sent letter to L attended surgeon's call & put up medicine & gave P.M. read eve read & wrote letter to Warren & Lucy mind communion.

Sept. 2 - Put up and gave medicine did not bathe on account [next two words illegible] read made up pills read eve read a poor day.

Sept. 3 - read with usual duties.

Sept. 4 - was unwell. Quantities of shot were found in the moat thrown there by the rebels read & slept. T. Small had a hysterical attack which continued all night.

[Sept.] 5 - Not quite well read most of the day eve began letter to Dr Libby mind poor.

[Sept.] 6 - mail only 2 papers no letters what does it mean hospital stores came unpacked them bathed P.M. read & wasted time eve read O for more of a will to serve God.

[Sept.] 7 - Another misspent Sabbath did up my work slept P.M. read in a novel & committed double sin began letter to L eve meeting 11 present. W not. Had a good meeting but sin took away much enjoyment. Wrote in L's letter that I might live pious(?)

[Sept.] 8 - Made up Pills slept P.M. washed towel & kerchief finished letters to D L & L eve finished the novel began Sunday.

[Sept.] 9 - Made up pills bathed P.M. finished John Brown cook supper eve killed rat & one night before mind..

[Sept.] 10 - did my usual duties P.M. slept oiled gun cooked eve began French with W. had some talk of the future What the Lord would pray us do. But we must wait & see.

Sept. 11 - A very poor day. Dr. Sanger left & Dr. McKinley arrived a southerner very different AM oil but no letter or papers for us. What does it mean the Chaplain was here a little while fished bathed made up med[icine] read eve French talked mind worse.

Sept. 12 - Another poor day put up med[icine] bathed P.M. read a foolish story eve wasted surely my righteousness will never save me neglected spiritual duties eve built [air] castles. Why do I so?

Sept. 13 - P.M. med[icine] bath P.M. mended eve wash mind.

Sept. 14 - Sunday a better day than usual. Bless the Lord. Was enabled to have a good frame of mind a part of A.M. read religious papers but bible too little P.M. took walk with J. M. Howes feeling dead & cold but on praying together the Lord appeared bless his name eve had a good meeting with a goodly number O my soul bless the Lord.

Sept. 15 - Usual duties P.M. began letter to L eve read but too late.

[Sept.] 16 - bathed read P.M. read Dr came up & read eve letter from home & Peter C. but none from dear L what does it mean.

Sept. 17 - read the doctor came up & spent A.M. slept a little sleep during the night P.M. read eve French neglected duty.

[Sept.] 18 - Put up med[icine] A.M. bathed P.M. read French eve read newspaper & French. The state of the country looks rather dark. May God look upon us in mercy.

[Sept.] 19 - everything seemed to go wrong yet I have felt ----- in body bathed P.M. talked with Cor[poral] Perkins & W & Johnson took the Dr to see the doings of the Yankees in shape of dried vegetables & eve French.

Sept. 20 - Alone in my room. How my heart yearns for those I love even for that one I love. A busy day this to the neglect of my God the week has gone quickly have tasted but little of the sweets of Jesus O for a closer walk with God. Wrote in L's letter.

Sunday Sept. 21 - Another Sabbath has past almost another month this has been a poor day & a good one for my soul. All day there was an aching void within the world could never fill took walk I tried to pray but I seem to have no words P.M. talked with the Dr. eve 14 in meeting & a good meeting bless the Lord felt that indeed the Lord was present & that to the joy & rejoicing of my own soul.

Monday - Sept. 22 - A.M. Helped the Dr. make out a requisition for medicine. P.M. the Col sent out pickets 10 miles with a week's rations made out duplicate requisition found a blessed nearness to Jesus eve wrote in L's letter how my heart yearns for her. May we meet.

Tues. bathed P.M. finished L's letter wrote to Peter C. eve French

24 - Dr. sick down to see him sick call down to see Dr. P.M. Down to Dr's good news from Franklin's division Hooker whipped Lee also one of the Picket brot down two prisoners eve French last night got letter from home

25th - got the sick boys off to Fort Pike bathed P.M. wasted time in talking read eve help the boys to hospital gave mail to 4 negroes read mind common.

26th [28?] - was much disgusted with the southern spirit by the Dr ordering a negro to take his hat off made pills wrote letter to Father P.M. wasted some time in talking read eve -----.

27th - Bathed made out sipor? wrote in Father's letter spent the day all together unprofitably.

Sunday - Sept. 28 -yesterday A.M. the Dr made some Blackstrap for the negroes made up pills read & thought over my condition it seemed but surely should be overwhelmed with sin & should not be able to withstand the assaults of Satan but surely should not trusting in my own strength but after a while. I be thought of my Savior who was fully able to ----- all P.M. read attended meet. 9 present a good meeting eve copied off hymns my mind better. Our pickets took a prisoner.

29 - read most all day & in the eve the new steamer came & in her 2 ladies at the {wharf?] my heart turns sick spent eve foolishly in reading a novel at about 11 the garrison were aroused by a false alarm but it turned out nothing.

30th - W. went to M.O. heard good news from the North of the war bathed monthly inspection but was not got off obliged to go on read & finished the novel spent a good part of the P.M. with Dr. in talking of medicine?.

Oct. 1st - Wednesday - fired off my gun wh[ich] I loaded on turning out right before last did but little during the day. Cleaned gun & revolver & cartridges eve good news confirmed a great battle in Virginia our side victorious a less battle in North Miss. & Rosecrans victor. God be praised for his mercy.

Oct. 2 - Received letters from home L dear L felt my drawn out in thankfulness to God received invoice of med. Bathed read L's letter the best received read Bathe Gave Mr. Powers his discharge eve began letter to L talked with Hooper & W.

Oct. 3 - Gave Mr. Powers his discharge read & wrote P.M. finished dear L's letter eve made out reports sat with sick half night.

Oct. 4 - made up pills bathed P.M. began to pack to remove to other building did not hit med right so probably caused the death of a negro's child. May God forgive me & restore it. The child died at 8 eve.

Oct.5 - tried to sleep but could not sat up part of night attended funeral of child & meeting enjoyed it less than usual remind poor Orinsin?.

Oct. 6 - moved down to new hospital & busy with my duties. I received letters from Julie's Aunt Louisa home & U G ? Lizzie answered L's letter

[no entries for Oct. 7 - 9]

[Oct.] 10 put up pills read

[Oct.] 11 pills made out report. Attended Dr. showed him L's picture told of my trip to Arostook felt a more earnest resolve to serve God

Sun. Sabbath [Oct.] 12 - a very poor day walked. A.M. wasted 2 hours in sleep & talk eve finished account of my trip to Aroos. told how I became acquainted mind po[o]r..

Monday Oct. 13 - made up pills after attending surgeons call Dr. sick slept P.M. began letter to L showed Dr. her picture told my religious experience in eve fixed up room felt better in mind.

Oct. 14 - Outfit for hospital came unpacked & arranged the med[icine] eve spent till 11 m in reading a miserable novel at dark took a cold bath.

Oct. 15 - Put up med[icine] P.M. bathed.

[Oct.] 16 - sick with a cold took sweat P.M. read & entertained Dr. eve read him to sleep.

[Oct.] 17 - bathed practiced with revolver P.M. had a talk with Howes and made up pills ----- eve read Dr. to sleep meeting.

Oct. 18th - Received letter from L & home was much out of sorts most all day L's letter moved me. W's actions troubled me. Read the papers from L P.M. Got permission from Col to use the boat went resolutely to duty & the devil left me paddled up the bayou & fired revolver at some birds & back got some ----- to send L eve read to Dr. mind better bless the Lord.

Oct. 19th Sunday - Spent part of A.M very poorly laughed at others desecrating God's holy day spent in my room a good part of the rest of the day slept a little after dinner read Carvasse's life good took walk with W eve attended meeting very good O'that the Lord would bless our meeting .

Monday [Oct.] 20 - Very busy all day wrote letter to dear L 70 contrabands came from ft. Pike read to the doctor.

[Oct.] 21 - Drew rations for hospital P.M. had a talk with Johnson exalted with the letter eve talked in [Doctors?] rooms witnessed a most disgraceful [next few words illegible] by a false alarm. God is great very answered my unworthy petition for guidance.

[Oct.] 22 - Bathed quite busy P.M. took ----- eve witnessed the skinning of an alligator thot of dear L

[Oct.] 23 - Very busy all day in preparing med[icine] & giving them & attending Dr. eve ought to have attended meeting but earthly thing were foremost received letter from dearest Lulie the best yet. How unworthy am I of her. May God indeed bless her & grant the desires of her heart.

[Oct.] 24 - a poor day had a cold so did not write as I ought. I must be more attention all eve talked away the precious time.

[Oct.] 25 - Neglected to send papers or letters to my friends. What has come over me. A great deal to do with much running so that I have been almost distracted.

[Oct.] 26 Sunday - was able to have some time to myself & to look above P.M. spent in reading & too much light conversation thot seriously of leaving the stewardship but on second thot decided not eve stayed away from meeting had on the whole a better day than last Sunday

[Oct.] 27 - Made up Saturday's report P.M. busied myself about the roll of hospital & so forgot med eve read to Dr. & wasted time talking when I ought to have been writing. Why am I so forgetful of all else but the present .

[Oct.] 28 - busy as usual making out rolls & etc. false alarm a cow killed.

[Oct.] 29 - finished my rolls finished letters to Abby & Louisa felt some little fire in my heart. Bless the Lord for that.

[Oct.] 30 - Go the signature of Col. B. to rolls received order from Capt. to appear on inspection on the morrow read began to fix up equipments eve took walk with Dr. & talked with him. Lt. Col. Hesseltine came.

[Oct.] 31 - got ready for muster & inspec[tion] P.M. not very well read oiled gun Col. Hesseltine came to the Hospital.

Nov. 1 - Not very well P.M. drew for Hospital made out reports eve false alarm.

Sunday Nov. 2 - Rainy ----- dispensing the med[icine] ----- read P.M. Received sheets & pillow cases from N. O. ----- eve wasted the time on talking & that on politics. A poor Sabbath for my soul.

Nov. 3 - My liver troubled me a good read & passed a good deal of time in idleness. O why is this.

[Nov.] 4 - felt more of love for dear Lulie. What a difference in the two girls. God has greatly blessed me thus far eve fished but got none.

[Nov.] 5 - Badger Philip came into Hospital and cook wrote a little feeling on account wasted a good deal of the day Received letters from home & Louisa began one to her spent eve sinfully in talk. Shall I ever be anything.

[Nov.] 6 - wrote in L's letter T. Small died at 12 helped lay him out talked with the doctor eve spent in talking.

[Nov.] 7 - had a mess with Dr. M attended funeral of T. Small talked away a good deal of the day eve read & felt better.

[Nov.] 8 - Dr. S. E. McKinley struck a negro with a cord wood stick as big as my wrist wh[ich] set me all a fire the Col. Hesseltine brot me the negro that his arm might be dressed wh[ich] I did. Quite low spirited all day.

[Nov.] 9 - I'm but little better now than yesterday a poor Sabbath wrote in L's letter & finished felt better talked with W in A.M. & took walk P.M. My heart far from God.

[Nov.] 10 - Spoke to the Dr. about being released from Hospital duties. Made out report talked with Johnson on the same went in ----- to the point eve spoke to Col. Hesseltine about being released from Hospital duty all preferred not to.

[Nov.] 11 - received special order to be released from Hospital duty got discharge from the doctor went hunting with William eve went to see negroes dance feel better than yesterday for which I bless God.

[Nov.] 12 - Squared up at Hospital P.M. moved up to quarters eve got letters from L. G------ & Louisa a change in tone.

[Nov.] 13 - drilled slept served began letter to L eve attended meeting Col. Hesseltine spoke felt better than usual.

[Nov.] 14 - helped haul up boat wrote letter to L P.M. went on guard taking S. C. Hooper's place slept but little during night.

Sat. [Nov.] 15 - lay down in A.M. P.M. talked read bathed got ready for inspection eve G. J. Perkins spent the eve with us by wh[ich[ I was prevented from writing.

Sunday [Nov.] 16 - Spent in reading & at noon felt some ----- eve attended meeting enjoyed it much bless the Lord.

Monday [Nov.] 17 - finished letter to L & sent wasted time A.M. & read P.M. read eve talked with W of old times.

[Nov.] 18 - On guard read anecdotes for the family more spirituality than usual A.M.

[Nov.] 19 - drilled P.M. cleaned gun drilled enjoyed a most splendid sunset eve began letter to [Hattie?]

[Nov.] 20 - on guard sent letter to [Hattie?].

[Nov.] 21 - neglected Lulie played ball read drilled eve wasted.

[Nov.] 22 - rode up to New Orleans over a very bad road arr[ived] about dark slept in the wagon.

Sunday [Nov.] 23 - went to meeting at 1st Presbyterian Lafayette Sq. There 121 good walked out on Levee eve slept in wagon.

Monday [Nov.] 24 - did up errands rode to the fort.

Tuesday [Nov.] 25 - on guard read arr. Post [Part?] 4.

Wed. [Nov.] 26 - began letter to L received letter from home & aunt L & dear L.

[Nov.] 27 - Thanksgiving on guard.

[Nov.] 28 - almost wasted the whole day eve spent with G. J. Perkins.

[Nov.] 29 - on guard.

[Nov.] 30 Sunday - had a good bless the Lord studied on Acts. P.M. had to reason with Mrs. Howes.

Dec. 1 - on guard wrote in L's letter.

Dec. 2nd - sent letter to Louisa & home & papers scoured gun P.M. helped shell oysters finished gun eve cleaned up for inspection.

[Dec.] 3rd - had inspection by Inspector Gen. Col. Dudley 30[th] Mass[achusetts] Regt. On guard on post G had a good time with -----.

[Dec.] 4 - read P.M. clean up gun eve prayer meeting good

[no diary entries for Dec. 5 - Dec. 23]

[Dec.] 24th - was discharged from Hospital where I had been sick a week began school for negroes of wh[ich] the Col[onel] spoke to me yesterday as wild as young colts finished letter to L.

[Dec.] 25 - Christmas kept school half day eve had a very good meeting found more of a nearness to God than sometime before for which I would bless God.

[Dec.] 26 - continued school very discouraging prospect but will do my best. A very sore throat took some med[icine] of the Dr. for it. Drilled with the Dr. in Hospital P.M. very noisy school heard that Burnside had been whipped hope not very to hear from L & the North eve Gov. Perkins spent with us felt poorly in body but some nearness to God

[Dec.] 27 Th - school as usual A.M. P.M. fixed up my things for inspection eve received letter from home & L Sunday.

[diary entries stop for 2 pages - then skips to Mar. 20, 1862 which has been moved here to correct chronology]


Jan. 14 - Received a letter from Louisa stating that she is near the point of death. Answered immediately. My hopes all blasted now. I know I have no abiding place here & no continuing city. The Lord will be done & not mine. May I seek to be more & more conformed to that will felt sorely afflicted.

Thursday 15 - had no school A.M. on account of the rain eve had an excellent meeting one S. C. Hooper resolved to leave the rebels & join us. God is good to us in our trial.

16 - Held short session today of the cold, being the coldest day of the season. Drilled on the water battery guns eve reading also during the day what papers I could get hold of. Have received much consolation for my great loss since receiving that last from dear L. Now, I trust in Heaven.

17 - read papers kept school cleaned gun P.M. read idled some time mail arrived read from dear L so the Lord has been very good to me but what a wayward child I am also read letter& papers from home.

Sunday 18 - no Bible class A.M no meeting P.M but spent most of the time reading & some discussion with W. eve had an excellent prayer meeting.

19 - began letter to L sent her paper & an order for the handiman to her had no school on account of rain .

20 - read Revelations thro' & felt the need of a deeper study of the word held short sessions of school on account of cold drilled A.M. on the basket gun P.M. infantry eve wrote in dear L's letter.

[Entries for 21 and 22 reversed in diary]

22 - Expected Gen. Sherman Inspector Gen. of this corps got ready & waited all day eve he came a salute of 11 guns was given the companies formed in line & inspected outside the fort.

21st [Keely apparently got the dates of the 21st and 22nd reversed in the diary] - heard La Croix was dead he is at rest. P.M. or J.M Howes was detailed to go to the city after the corpse finished letter to dear L & wrote one to A.

23 - Drilled on the big guns from 8 to 9 had no school 2 companies of Negros came & slept in casemates.

24 - had school A.M Harper's Special Artist came in the boat over to the city an oyster boat came in.

22nd [again Keely seems to confuse date entries] - J. M. Howes left for the city at 5 o'clock met a team about 3 miles from the fort sent down ward by negro Geo. A sergeant & 3 men were sent up & bro't down one more prisoner & 2 or 3 dollars worth of stuff found a boat a couple of men were sent to bring that round by water one sent after the man & team who was bro't down in the eve.

25 Sunday - Inspection. Attended Bible class had an interesting time P.M. had a meeting in the loft a good one too eve usual meeting dragged a little tho' a deep feeling & a good number present. Sergeant Ann's saw a sail enter the bayou out of which the other boat was brot & was sent to over haul it but could not find it. At the same time 2 men were sent up by land but found nothing.

26 - kept school all day drilled P.M. our scholar showed so bad a spirit was obliged to punish him severely with good effect Sunday night began with J. M. Howes to study Revelations which has occupied our attention which at leisure since. Friday P.M ----- M. La Croix was buried.

27 - A cold rainy day A.M cloudy P.M had no school drilled P.M. began letter to dear L.

28 - kept school all day drilled P.M drilled wrote in L's letter.

29 - School A.M. drilled P.M had no school received a welcome letter from dear Louisa eve had a good meeting but 5 present felt a nearness to God.

30 - Had no drill got ready for inspection had school.

31 - School monthly inspection & review.

Feb. 1 Sunday - a good day Sent letter to L began to read the Bible by course.

[there are no entries for Feb. 2 through Feb. 7]

8th - did not feel the near to God A.M P.M at meeting felt a greater nearness after supper while thinking on the duty of entering the ministry if my life is spared. The Spirit seemed to overwhelm me & I felt that I must yield wholly to Jesus & renew my covenant with him. Then I felt a peace I have not known for over a year now. I can truly rejoice in God my Savior. Blessed be his name. eve had a good meeting felt a freedom wh[ich] I have not had for a long time

Monday 9th - felt a peace from God such as the to his beloved but alas I did that which He could approve of in reading when I ought to have some something else & so passed an unprofitable day

10 - began a letter to L fixed up writing desk read eve wrote in L's letter school as usual

11 - wrote in L's letter school read wrote eve Perkins came in wrote. Wrote a letter for D. Carter [?]

12th - school eve 104 turned[?] ----- ----- after the officers came in & discussed the merits of the school & wrote in L's letter eve meeting few present but a good one found God present but self in too great a measure ----- to get letter from dear L & all.

13th - School wrote in L's eve found the Savior very near & dear blessed be his name

14th - School made candle stick P.M. fixed gun works finished L's letters finished ring & sent it & flowers to L eve commenced committing to memory Matthew talked an eventful week both of bliss and sin.

15th - Began to clean bath [?] last night dreamed of L have been in darkness today having felt but little the presence of Jesus. Inspection had not a good feeling towards my brother attended bible class Rom. 4.14-25interesting committed the 51st Ps[alm] read in True Manhood took a short nap & felt better colored meeting P.M. good eve a pretty good meeting but dragged some after meeting committed 23of Matt. Felt that the[e] had not been wholly unprofitable.

Monday 16th - Sent L's letter & paper to Dr. Bailey fixed coat sleeve school better order this week P.M. fixed other sleeves & began letter home school quite full about 40 present & considerable interest missed committing my chapter helped the Sergeant dispose of 2 rats caught in trap had a pretty good day felt some gratitude & trust to my Creator.

Tuesday 17th - committed 3d & 4th of Matt. Sent letter home felt more of a trust in Jesus. School opened with reading & prayer had good order P.M. Sang with Howes & examined rules of music read in True Manhood had some fervor in my devotions & delight in reading in God's word began letter to L eve S.A.? Hooper called a little while after wrote in L's letter.

18th - had a nearness to God this morn at devotion read True Manhood school better order P.M. had a nap finished L's letter read Sch. Mail letters from Father Mother & Abbey but none from Louisa eve read letters arranged the acc. Of letters rec'd & written. Could not sleep for nervousness so had some good thots & committed the 5 of Matt. Got asleep about 12

19th - rose at 6 read Bible & True Manhood. Began to wrote off my old journal School find a gradual improvement P.M. devotions read True Manhood a book to be studied. Wrote in journal. Felt somewhat unhappy or low spirited. All day read paper eve led meeting and a glorious sitting together in Jesus we had blessed be his name I understand why I was depressed now.

[February] - Friday 20 - rose at 6 read bible wrote in journal School P.M. finished first sheet of journal & sent letter to Louisa fixed oven seat in bunk school eve read prayers & neglected more important duties could not sleep so finished papers Farmer & Illustrated News got to sleep at about 12

Sat. 21 - Rose at 6 had my Devotion at wh[ich] tried pray in earnest for a fellow soldier Gould in Hospital God in mercy saved his soul finished fixing bunk School. Taught them verses from the Bible called on Gould found him weaker had a good bath in my bunk & washed floor. P.M read in True Manhead felt effect of last nights sleeplessness. At noon got some things at Sutler. Cleaned gun & brasses mended & packed knapsack eve paid up a few little debts & squared up acct. began letter to Rev. Carpenter of Houlton, Maine. Found much nearness in endeavoring to pray for Gould today as well as other objects . Blessed be the Lord for the week has not been altogether unprofitable.

Sunday 22 - Rose at 6 got ready for inspection wh[ich] took place at 8 discussed the bible lesson 5 Roman with Wm in wh[ich] he took the ground that we rejoiced - in hope of giving glory to God oh the grace within us T___ it read. Had a very interesting lesson discussed some at noon P.M. called down to hospitable led meeting had a good number read first part of Christ's sermon on the mount & the 16 Psalm to them made some remarks having freedom had to report J. Dunn & C. Reynolds to Col for disturbing meeting read Advocates for the most interesting of any read eve attended meeting read part of 12 Mark we had a heavenly sitting together in Christ Jesus blessed be his name had freedom a good day.

Monday 23 - Rose at 4 Devotions finished letter to Mr. Carpenter wrote to Abby began to fix bunk [bunk?] School cold so held but short session. P.M. bunk school short obtained the birthday of ? of L eve S C H Falls sung a little with Howes and W. eve finished Advocate retired at taps.

Tuesday 24 - Rose at 5 devotions sewed on button & cleaned then oiled revolver. School recd letter from A & Mother & 8 papers. P.M. read letter & papers school eve wrote in Diary began letter to Louisa

25 - Rose at 4 mended socks devotions committed 16 Psalm read in newspapers & wrote in Louisa's letter. School PM call at Hospital & on Dr. McKinley PM Mr. Powers called & talk on the country studied on G(ospel) of Matt. Read school mail came nothing for me bought papers eve read them wrote in Louisa's letter some spirituality today but too little.

Thursday 26 - Rose at 5 studied 7 of Matt read Tract journal wrote in journal School P.M. took a nap & felt better read in True Manhood wrote in journal School eve had discussion with Wm in square & square in Johnson called. Attended P.M. a good meeting spoke on Col 6 to 10 had some freedom felt that the Holy Spirit was there but sang --- --- talked with Howes & retired 9

27 - Rose at 5 read finished journal School had a short session at inspection got ready for it helped wash room made out rolls for Hospital

28 - Rose at 5 breakfast at 6 monthly inspection at 7 finished rolls for Hos.[pital] heard the boat was going to the Battery Bienvenue got permission of Col & left the wharf at 10 had a pleasant ride over about half way there encountered a heavy shower. The fort is on low[er] ground than at Fort MacComb & can mount 13 guns has 4 brick buildings Magazine Officer Quarters 2 for soldiers quarters took dinner there spoke with the captain saw a moccasin snake 6 ft. of a very poisonous kind & an dead alligator 6 ft. ducks of 3 or 4 kinds large & small returning called at the tower [Le pre Bothe?] both lonely places arrived at Ft M at sunset eve finished Louisa & got papers ready

Mar. 1 - Sunday took pills last night & was not so well this morn eat no breakfast till 7 when I eat a small piece of bread with some bag tea. Most of the Contrabands went off in the steamer to work on fortifications so my School is broke up I expect a ---- P.M. meeting read some P.M. slept most of the afternoon. Called down to Hospital. Eve Attended Prayer meeting felt more for souls than usual spoke with some freedom on Romans 2:4 5.6. Col spoke on enduring hardness as good soldiers & the need of praying for the Spirit a good meeting could not speak so read Advocate & messenger.

[end of dated entries]


[March 1863 continues out of sequence in diary but is placed in proper order here]

Monday Mar. 2 - Rose at 6 wrote up journal called down to the Col[onel] about the school as there were so few so I reported for duty drilled on casement guns got thr children together when the Col[onel] thot I had better drill in the A.M. & teach P.M. bought a diary read school received the long wished for letter from Louisa. Bless the Lord for his continued mercy to us both cooked some sweet potatoes I had bought & made a supper of them eve commenced letter to Uncle George retired at Taps not so near Jesus as I ought to be.

Mar. 3 - Rose at half past 4 finished letter to Uncle G sweet potatoes for breakfast. Wrote to Hattie studied the 19 Ps read drilled on the big guns. Dinner cold bread pudding P.M. read bible & True Manhood. Gould died with the acute dysentery at 9 A.M. and was buried at 3 P.M. after a sickness of 24 days & without a hope I fear got shoes mended by Coburn supper toasted bread molasses meat & mustard. Got up wheelbarrow of wood sung with W wrote in journal. My mind in a state of unrest today on account of want of real secret communion with God. May I be drawn nearer.

Mar. 4 - Rose at 4 committed 19 Ps performed devotions had a nearness to God continued in journal breakfast beans wrote in journal drilled on big guns read Times Herald P.M. read school washed handkerchief read & finished Herald eve read story in Transcript Perkins call. Read Louisa's letter my soul would be near Jesus.

Mar. 5 - Yielded to temptation last night O why so far from God. Rose at 6 read Messenger was much affected by it & endeavored to consecrate myself anew to Jesus read in True Manhood. Began letter to Louisa drilled after the garrison were much excited by the report that a schooner lay aground about ----- miles off with rebels on board 2 boats were aground sent out & brot in 10 rebels with arms & the schooner & crew. Wrote in L's letter school bathed eve saw the prisoners & a hard looking set no uniforms but all dressed different had no meeting of prisoners & c. a better day for my soul Bless the Lord for his mercy.

Mar. 6 - Rose at 6 devotions read in True Manhood did not did not drill on account of rain read papers P.M. Had no school because of rain wrote in Louisa's letter evening finished it wrote to N. P. Kemp of Boston for a grant of Messengers & c from Tract Society& to send one to Louisa received letter from Mother & Abby A.M. a good day.

Mar. 7 - Rose at 5 finished letter to N. P. Kemp sending another dol]lar?] for the Christian Banner. Wrote to Father & Mother sent button sent letter & paper to Louisa & buttons & paper to W. H. Dodge. School taught Bible passages read P.M. clean gun & got ready for inspection read papers eve began letter to Aunt Louisa.

Sunday - [end of entries for this period]

[?] 18 - Started off early for the upper end of the Island to help get some wood made two rafts after wh[ich] dug for some oysters but found none was drafted in ____ gloves by glass by some post.

Apr. 19 - had to go on guard went down to brigade guard mounting and the picket guard.

Keely Family Collection

West Virginia Archives and History