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6th Vermont Infantry

Kimball Collection

Frederick Marius Kimball - 1863 Diary

April 1 - April Fool. Cold morning & windy. Complete the letter I was writing last evening. Work on rolls & reports. Brigade review this PM. Get my valise I sent for by Carl. Also things from home. Write home this evening. Cold day & night. Tis now 10PM & I'll go to bed-so good night.

April 2 - Complete the ordnance report. Battalion drill at 3PM. Write cousin Leucretia. High winds all day. A perfect gale this evening & dirt flys. Tents hard tied. Have a game with Sgts Nye & Stiles. A band of music is now serenading Capt. Randall. Lt. Col. Hale has returned from Vt. Rec a letter from Sue via Wright. May God bless thee my darling. Lt. Col. Hale is all right.

April 3 - Calm this morning. Sergt. Wilson leaves for home on a furlough. Also Capt. Ainsworth & Lt. R-k. The division reviewed this PM by Maj. Gen. Hooker accompanied by any quantity of Maj. & Brig. Generals. The troops appear finely & batteries also. ____ saluted Gen. Hooker & he returned it. Capt. Bird has returned.

April 4 - The Herald speaks of a fight the Vt. Cavalry have had with the enemy & that Capt. Flint was seriously wounded. The weather has been very stormy & cold for this season. One year ago now twas very warm. The inhabitants say it has been a heap of years since we have had so late a spring. High winds & it begins to snow.

April 5 - The ground covered with 4 inches of snow & still snowing at 9AM. Write to the Standard. Receive a letter from mother. The sun comes out, snow melts away; nearly gone at night. Have dress parade & addressed with a few remarks by a Mrs. Howe. Write home. Visit Capt. Carl a while.

April 6 - Nothing new. President visits the army today. He reviews troops at Falmouth. We expect to see him tomorrow. The 3d have gone on picket. I go over to visit Sergt. Hatch. Receive a Standard. Often in thought do I visit the land of my nativity, my own darling Sue. Receive to prepare for review tomorrow at 8 AM, orders.

April 7 - We formed at 7 1/2 AM for a review, expecting to march to Falmouth to be reviewed by "Old Abe," but the order was countermanded & we only had a hard brigade drill. I learn the President has returned to Washington. He was up in a balloon last night & I reckon he got scared. Battalion drill this PM at 3. Anxious to have the mail come-hope to hear from Sue.

April 8 - At 8AM we form line & march to Falmouth 5 miles where we were reviewed by the President. He had not returned as I had heard. There were three comps. on review. I had a good sight of our national Administrator. He was escorted with a splendid cavalcade. Get back to camp at 2PM. Receive a letter from Sue & AH.

April 9 - Inspection at 10 1/2 AM by Capt. Brown Inspector General. Make out master rolls for the muster tomorrow. We are to be mustered to know the exact strength that our ranks may be filled with drafts. I expect soon to see the "conscript" closing up. Mail a letter to Sue.

April 10 - Mustered at 10AM. Brigade drill at 3PM. Warm day & about the first. Write A. H. The mail tonight brings me a letter from father & one from my Sue. God bless her. Father writes me that Rob Welker is discharged. Private Stickney of my old company has been promoted to Corporal.

April 11 - This day "officer of the day." Detailed by the Adjt. My duty is to keep order & cleanliness in camp & have anything done that will add to the comfort of the men or beauty of the camp. I have had out in all about 75 men to police the camp. Beautiful day though windy. Brigade dress parade about 5PM. Read the report on the conduct of the war.

April 12 - Sunday morning is pleasant, still think a storm is brewing. I love to dwell on thoughts of my native land and its happy scenes. Thoughts of my devoted Sue are foremost in my mind. I grasp my pen & write her. May God spare us to meet again & live happy in each others love. For this my darling girl I pray.

April 13 - All eyes are turned toward Charleston. Report is current that the Rebs have all left the other side & our cavalry have crossed. I doubt it some. We have begun to fix up our camp by turnpiking the streets & setting out evergreen. It looks nice. Halsey has come to pay the brigade for 4 months. Pays our regt. today. 8 PM our Co. just paid. I get $84.85 beside $60.00 alotted.

April 14 - Settle up my mess account & also sutlers. We get orders to be ready to march tomorrow morning with light days rations which the men have to carry in their knapsacks. Pack mules are to carry officers shelter tents. We are to have rapid marching. I am detailed to go on picket with a detail to relieve a part of our regt. that they may prepare for the march.

April 15 - Last night a hard rain set in & it rains now 8PM! Rained all day which will immediately delay Hookers plan. Relieved from picket by the 20th NY about 12M & get into camp completely drenched through. Our tents have been sent off & we are rather bad off in consequence. I get in with some of the boys.

April 16 - Tis very muddy this morning. No move today yet we are in constant expectation of marching orders. I expect there will be a battle within two days after we advance. May we be successful. May God protect us. In Him I will put my trust. This day one year ago well do I remember. It was our first such experience in battle. This PM the regt. is all at target practice.

April 17 - Still under marching orders though today we do not move. When we shall I cannot tell. May God crown our arms with success! We get sad news from Charleston. Something must be done. The Regt. practices target shooting. Receive a letter from my beloved Mother & from A. H.

April 18 - No move today. In constant expectations to march. Brigade dress parade at 4 PM. The officers of the brigade hold a meeting at brigade headquarters to make arrangements for raising a band for the brigade. It will be accomplished & ____ Adams is to be their leader. Receive a letter from Sue.

April 19 - Calm & beautiful this morning. Write home & to A. H. Attend divine service at 5PM on the parade ground. No appearance of a movement more today than ever. Write to my devoted Sue. I send mother $5.00. I see the "new moon" at my right shoulder.

April 20 - Nothing new. Lt. McClary is discharged. Rainy. Capt. Chase & I have a chat in his tent-Bird Capt.

April 21 - Cloudy. Battalion dress in the PM. Col. Barney has received orders from Gen. Sedgwick to move our camp to get in a better place. No letters tonight. Some furloughed men start for home.

Aril 22 - Lt. Backus leave of absence has come & he starts for Vt. also Sergt. Harriman. Move our camp back abt 4 rods onto dryer ground, yet it hardly payed the ____ Sergt. Burroughs.

April 23 - Rained during the night & rains most of today. Write a letter for the Frenchman-to his gal. Read a dime novel. Have a game of cribbage with Capt. Dwinell. Yours truly Oliver Ditson. Colder tonight & windy.

April 24 - Cold for this latitude. Write a letter for Louis Shontell a Frenchman of our Co. Read a romance. Rainy day generally. Receive a letter from father. Moonlight. Write home. How do you do Joe Hooker?

April 25 - "Officer of the day" Arrange us for inspection. Inspection by the brigade inspector. Receive a Standard containing a letter from FMK. Write A. Evening. Out some. Receive a letter from my devoted Sue, also one from friend Chase. Heaven bless thee darling Sue.

April 26 - Beautiful day. Write my beloved Sue. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Read. Have dress parade & divine services at 5 oclock PM. The King of day goes below the western hills to give day to other regions & _____ its fair successor sheds its melow light when the sleeping world

April 27 - Beautiful day. Very warm, at last the warmest we have had. I go to the deguarrie artist, but he was so full he could not take my picture. I would like it to send home. Get marching orders to be ready to move tomorrow at an early hour with eight days rations. If we go, go it is, I am ready as ever.

April 28 - First day on the move. Break up camp at 12M. Move toward the Rappahannock abt 5 miles & encamp abt a mile from its banks. The day is rainy. Tis a general movement & I have high hopes that it will result in great favor of our cause. Tonight the pontoons are to be thrown across the river.

April 29 - At an early hour we move to the river. The exact spot where we crossed four months ago. "The light brigade" crossed in the pontoons, supprised the rebs & drove them from their rifle pits on the opposite bank. Gen. Brooks division has crossed & the skirmishers are driving the enemy back. Only our Corp is here. The day is foggy & rains.

April 30 - Foggy & rainy. We hold the enemy here the same, our pickets advance some. ____ Corps is upon our left. I think this is only a feint here while the main attack is to be on our right by Hooker. We hear a rejoicing report from him that he has crossed with 3 Corps & is getting in the rear of the rebs. May God give us success in this great attempt.

1862 diary

1863 diary:





Letters to the Editor

Additional Material

Diaries transcribed by Frederick's 2nd great-grandson.