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6th Vermont Infantry
Frederick Marius Kimball - 1862 Diary
F.M. Kimball 1862
Camp Griffin VA. Jan 15/62
From this date I endeavor to keep a journal for at least one year if life be spared me. I will recall up what I can of the past four months. I enlisted to serve our country in her perilous state the 28th day of Sept. A.D. 1861. Rendesvoused at Montpelier & was there mustered into service of the U.S. the 15th of Oct. Two days, after being _______ our Reg. started in high spirits for the seat of war. The ride & boat I enjoyed very much. Arrived in Washington the Monday night following-remained there & on Capitol Hill three days & then slung knapsacks & marched to our present encampment where we arrived late in the evening tired & hungry. Distance about 12 miles; crossed Chain Bridge & planted our camp upon the sacred soil of Virginia. My own health is good. Many in the Reg. have fever & are sick. Nearly forty have gone to their long home, including seven of our company, D. "Peace to their ashes." They have fallen patriot soldiers & may posterity cherish their memories.
Of our Reg. who have died, 5 were privates, one corporal & 1st Lieutenant G.H. Phelps, a noble fellow & true soldier and beloved by the whole company.
Feb. 2d - Since writing here before, two more of our company have gone to their long homes. Charles Brewer & Davis Albee. They sleep beneath southern skies, thave died in their country service.
May God hasten this unholy rebellion to an end and restore the goddess of liberty to her throne.
Our field & staff officers I think are worthy of the position they hold.
I love the girl upon whos likeness I am now gazing.
Sunday March 9 - Our forces have taken the railroad to Vienna & tomorrow our regiment goes out to guard it with 48 hours rations. I find it bad to be incumbered with unnecessary luggage & have therefore today burned 38 letters which are but part of what I have before destroyed. I was sorry to do it but I found I must.
April 6th - I can but leave the historian to record the events of this battle in which we are engaged, the Vt. 6th. The siege of Yorktown continued cannonading & skirmishing kept up along the line from Yorktown to James River.
April 16th - The 16th Ap. Was an eventful day to the Green Mountain Boys. History can but record it. Many a noble fellow fell.
May 1st - Well do I remember one year ago the 28th of Ap. This is May 1st & for the past month we have seen service. Alas can it be that Binie Bickford is dead. He died Ap. 30. It seems like taking a brother from us. He was a good & noble fellow.
Sept 10th - We learn the sad news of Orange Williams death-another gone.
Oct. 19th - Alas that Henry Folsom is no more. He was long a school & classmate & I esteemed him highly as a friend. We are dying creatures & may we live prepared to go hense, to meet our god.
Dec 22d - This year has nearly rolled its cycle away & numbered with the past. Many are the scenes & changes I have passed through.
One year ago I would have thought it impossible to have gone through so much. We have performed many long & hard marches, endured hardships & fatiegues and exposures-have participated in eight engagements with the enemy. First at Lees Mills-April 16th, at Williamsburg-May 5, at Golden Farm in front of Richmond-June 27th. At Savage Station-June 29th. At White Oak Creek-June 30th. At South Mountain Md-Sept 14th. At Antietam-Sept 17th and at Fredericksburg-Dec 11th &15th inclusive. Through all these the God of battles has kept me safe & unharmed. And I can but give praises to heaven for this watchful case.
Our regiment-has lost-since we bade adieu to Camp Griffin, March 10, more than two men is killed and wounded; and yet at no time or place have I ever known it to fail to perform its every duty. I believe our regiment has never done that of which our State can be ashamed.
Dec 31 - A.D. 1862 is now no more. The great volume of the most-remarkable, eventful and momentous year in American history is closed. A new calendar is dawning upon us, which will more distinctly mask a new epoch & which will more decisively shape the future of the globe, through all coming time. May its close find our country in a state of peace, our _______ stocked & our homes made glad by the soldiers return.
Plenty & prosperity abounding throughout our whole land. Slaves no longer slaves, rebels no longer rebels. May God speed that hour when the North & South shall again be one. When this, our country, shall be immutable, when the world shall see that a people can govern themselves. When a republican government can stand & when in strength, power, enlightenment, prosperity and freedom we surpass all the world.
Letters to the Editor
Diaries transcribed by Frederick's 2nd great-grandson.