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6th Vermont Infantry
Frederick Marius Kimball - 1863 Diary
June 1 - Very warm. Windy & dusty. Send a petition to Gen. Howe that the sentences of these privates of my company, which prohibits them from their pay may be revoked. Hear our new band play. Drill the company in skirmishing.
June 2 - Drunken officers. O spare me from this baneful vice. Receive a kind letter from Aunt Mary.
June 3 - A very little rain last night. Sun dries off. Drill the company in "bayonet exercise." Brigade dress parade at 7PM. Music is an elevator of the soul. Receive by mail two Standards from Carl.
June 4 - Warm. Drill the company. Something up. The division called under arms at daybreak this morning. Batteries hitched up. One goes off. It has just repaired 5PM. Tis rumored the rebs tried to cross at _______ this morning. A letter from Jeff K.
June 5 & 6 - Very warm again today. Orders to be ready to move at any time with three days rations. We move. Break up camp abt 12M. March directly toward the Rappahk where we have crossed twice before. Our brigade is first that steps first on the other side. Affect a landing without much loss. Part crossed in the pontoon boats. I took about 100 prisoners. ____ immediately deployed skirmishers. Our brigade was the only force across til 3PM today. Our regt. on the skirmish line all day-continual firing. Fifteen of our boys wounded & three killed. I had some narrow escapes. They fire at me many times, but thank God I am unharmed. They shot very careless, but one of my Co. was wounded; we were fortunate. Come off the line at dark, relieved by the 3d. Get a letter from Cousin John.
June 7 - Very quiet today, scarce a gun fired. We support the skirmish line. The mail is brought over & I get a letter from Sue & a ___of slips from home. I have no idea of ____ move. What is intended or expected to be done. Think though it a feint. At dark tonight we are relieved by another division & come this side to rest.
June 8 - We are now this side of the river awaiting orders. I have no conception of what will be done. Write home & Sue. Go out on the bluff & with a glass I can see the rebel lines-skirmishers. Our fellows last night threw up a long line of rifle pits.
June 9 - Very warm today. We do not move. The 3rd Division is still doing the skirmishing & no advance made. Are only holding them & strengthening our position. A detail tonight goes out from our brigade to work on the entrenchments. News of hard fighting at Port Hudson. Nothing of importance from Vicksburg. God grant us success. Officer of the day.
June 10 - Heat almost intolerable. We still remain on the bluff today. "Berdan's sharp shooters" are on the skirmish today & are doing a good thing. The rebs will find that we can shoot as close as they. Last night the enemy opened a cannonade & threw some shell as far as here. The mail has just come & I hope to get some letters. A standard is all. Detail out to work on the rifle pits.
June 11 - Cloudy. Looks like rain. Write to the Standard. Cavalry fight up the river. Entrenching still going on. Skirmishing. Heat almost intolerable. We remain on the bluff below Falmouth, yet receive orders to be ready to march at any moment. No mail for me tonight.
June 12 - Nothing new. Do not move today. A great siege gun is being planted on a bluff near here to shell their entrenchment. We are making the position strong. I think the intention is to hold it. The mail brings nothing for me. Why don't I get a letter?
June 13 - Before the day gets warm I write to Aunt Mary & cousin John Kimball. Remain here through the day & at 9PM in the rain & mud march to Potomac Creek - 8 miles. Do not camp till 3 oclock in the morning. A good many of the boys fall out.
June 14 - This is my birthday. We remain on the dry & hot sand all day that the trains may pass till 9PM at night when we take up our line of march toward Alexandria. Hookers army is all on the move. The enemy are again invading Maryland.
June 15 - We marched till 4AM this morning, then rested only one hour on the banks of Aquia Creek & again we move with hardly any rest till we reach Dumfries when we stop for the night, making 25 miles from Potomac Creek with but little rest. Many fell out by the way - sun shok. Found a tired march.
June 16 - March this morning at 4AM & make good 20 miles to Fairfax Station. The day was very warm but not so hot as yesterday. We rested about 2 hours near the camp of the 14 Vt. See no boys that I know. Hope we shall see the 15 Vt. Go into camp about 9PM. Hard marching. The papers give exciting news.
June 17 - We do not march today. The men are allowed to rest. We are encamped about 11/2 miles from Fairfax Station. We are all very tired, for we have made long & hard marches. The mail comes in & get letters from home, Sue & Sargt. Wilson. Also a Standard. I have a mess with the officers.
June 18 - March at 5AM, go only about 8 miles & encamp about a mile from Fairfax P.H. toward Centerville. Very very warm indeed. I go down to the P.H. The Vt. Cavalry are out on a scout so I have not seen any I know, though ____ Gilman has been in camp when I was out. Their camp is near here. I see prisoners go by that the Vt Cavalry have captured.
June 19 - Rained hard last night. Do not march this day. All sorts of rumors as to where we are going. See some of the Cavalry Boys. AM Crane, ____ Gilman. Glad to see old friends. Orders to march. Do not go. Capt. Tubbs has got his resignation accepted & starts for home. The mail brings one at last, a dear letter from O.
June 20 - Rained last night. Lt Kinney is to be Capt. Lt. Backus don't like it at all, nor I. At 11AM we march for Bristoe Station where we reach at 8PM. A good deal tired - good 18 miles & to complete the thing our company had to go on picket - go guard the front. The 16 Vt. Regt. has been near here.
June 21 - Come off picket. Rainy. No appearance of moving today. Hear cannonading toward Snicker's Gap. Write to Sue & Matt. Ever of thee I am fondly dreaming. Thy gentle voice my spirit doth ____. Dress Parade. The Band plays.
June 22 - Take a bath in Broad Run Creek. Remain near Bristoe Station yet appearances are like remaining a while. Have a Brigade Drill. We hear that Gen. Pleasanton has drove Stuart's Cavalry more than 15 miles & captured artillery & prisoners. Dress Parade. No mail for some days.
June 23 - Our regiment goes on picket for three days. We go out at 7AM about 4 miles from camp. There are many bushwhackers in the vicinity. Every inhabitant ought to be arrested. We are near Manassas Junction. Close by there is a large brick mansion in ruin & in the yard about 50 rebel graves. Lt. Sperry has returned.
June 24 - On picket still. Some of the boys were out last night with the Colonel laying in ambush for an old Reb spy who lives near here, but saw nothing of him. There are some good union people here who have suffered much from the guerillas. Bushwhackers all about. Visit some of the familys around about; treated kindly.
June 25 - Go on the outposts today. Read. Write home, but cant tell when I can mail it. Having a very good time for picketing. Is a great place for change. 3PM The Quartermaster has just come out & says we are going to move tonight at 7PM. Thus it is.
June 26 - Marched last night back to Centerville, 10M. Encamped in the rain at 1AM. This morning at 4AM we again move. Have a hard march. Rains all day. Encamp near Broad Run about 8 miles from Edwards Ferry at 4PM. March 18 miles. Mail comes in. Got letters from Sue, home, Wilson & some papers.
June 27 - Move this morning at 4AM. Cross the Potomac to Maryland about 11AM. Encamp near the river. Glad to rest for we are all sore & tired. After resting Capt. & I go & bathe in the river. 5PM the 2d Vt Brigade has just passed & I see some of my old friends. Glad. Write 4 letters.
June 28 - March at 4AM. Make a long march to near Hyattsville Md. A distance of about 25 miles. Rained. Rise: grind thy limbs with steel. Maryland my Maryland and crush the invader beneath thy heel.
June 29 - March again at 5AM. Make the longest march I ever experienced. A distance of full 30 miles. Our regt. goes back about 11/2 miles to throw out a picket & at dark we move on again & do not come up with the brigade to camp till 101/2 oclock PM, tired & foot sore. One year ago we fought the battle of Savage Station.
June 30 - Move today at 5AM. March through Westminster & to near Manchester Md about 16 miles. We are now about 6 miles from Penn line. Rained. Since leaving the Rappahannock we have had as hard marching as the army ever made. Pass Mexico Hotel.
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Letters to the Editor
Diaries transcribed by Frederick's 2nd great-grandson.