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6th Vermont Infantry

Kimball Collection

Frederick Marius Kimball - 1863 Diary

July 1 - Tis now 10AM & we have not moved & no appearance of it today. Officer of the day. We have a monthly return to make out. Orders to move at a moments notice. Hear cannonading off in the northwest near Penn. I judge these to be hard fighting.

July 2 - At 12 oclock midnight last we marched. Performed the longest march we ever made in one day. We moved back toward Westminster till we reached the turnpike two miles from town & then turned toward Penn. Gettysburg the scene of action. Reached the battlefield at 5AM a distance of about 35 miles. Marched to the extreme left & took position. The roar of artillery & muskets is deafening.

July 3 - We got some sleep last night & twas welcomed after so hard a march with no rest the night before. There was hard fighting last night about the time we came onto the field. The rebels make a desparate charge upon our forces & were repulsed with heavy loss. Many prisoners were captured. Had a conversation with some of them. The 3d Vt Brigade was engaged yesterday & tis said they did well. The Vt Cavalry passed us today. Saw Crane. We learn the joyful intelligence that Vicksburg is taken. God grant it may be so. We are in support of the 1st Mass Battery all day. Shells fly over us. There has been hard fighting all along the line all day. There are all kind of rumors as to our success, but im fine, we are giving it to them hard, taken many prisoners. Report is that Longstreet was killed yesterday. Our Gen. Reynolds was killed the 1st day of the fight, the 1st.

July 4 - Not much fighting today. We remain all day in support of a battery. The enemy are falling back in great haste. We shall persue them & already some of our forces are on the move. Heavy details have gone onto the field to bury the dead. Many of our own brave men have fallen, but the enemy's loss is immense.

July 5 - Rains. At 10AM we move - pass over a portion of the battlefield - the sight was awful. In many places the ground is literally covered with dead rebs. Many a miserable wretch bit the dust. They have left thousands of their wounded. Every building for miles around is full of them. Their loss is immense. Our victory was at every point. We came up with their rear guard near Fairfield & had a skirmish. Our Brigade led the advance. Our batteries shelled them off. We pressed them hard, but night came on & we had to seace operations til the next day. Rainy

July 6 - This morning early we moved & took a better position in the woods. No advance made in the AM - only with Cavalry. Many rebs coming into our lines & giving themselves up. They look miserable, many ragged & barefoot. Robert Lee will report his invasion of the north before he gets back into Virginia. Already we must have killed, wounded & captured more than thirty thousand of his army. Tis to be a glorious thing for our cause. This PM we moved on. The rebs falling back. Passed through Fairfield and about three miles toward Md. Our company was sent forward to picket on the road. Here we remained till 9PM when the whole corps is ordered onto Emittsburg, Md. Our regt is advance guard. We march about 6 miles.

July 7 - We camp at 1AM today - 2 miles beyond the town. Rains today. We have with our division about 100 rebel prisoners taken. At 10AM after rations are issued we move toward Frederick but after about 10 miles we turn off & go over _____ Mountain. I never experienced a rougher or harder time in a march. Twas dark as Egypt. Rained in torrents. The road narrow, rough, & full of rock, mud knee deep. Yet we still plod on up the mountain. I never knew so many to fall out & who could blame them. Whole regts fell out. We did not go only to the top. When we stacked arms, what there was of regt. & waited til daylight. This at 1AM. I never passed a more miserable night. O how it rained.

July 8 - At 5AM this morning we moved on down the mountain & to Middletown Md where we encamp for the day at 10AM after a march of about 10 miles. Rained all the way. Clears off the PM. We get dry, dry our clothes & blankets & feel better. We are 45 miles from Gettysburg the scenes of battle - made long marching. The 2d Vt Brigade come in. They are in the 1st Corps. See many of my old friends. They were in the fight & nobly sustained the honor of their State & the reputation the 1st Vt Brigade has already won. Glad they have had a chance at battle. The 12 Vt has already started for home. Our brigade was fortunate indeed in not being in the immediate engagement.

July 9 - Visit the 15th Boys this morning. We move over South Mountain at 6AM for Boonsboro about 8 miles. Encamp not far from town at 11AM. Passed the 10th Vt on the way. Saw Capt. Damon. This is the first time I have seen this regiment. We are now having an afternoon of rest & the first save yesterday for along time. Hope to get mail. We were in Boonsboro last fall. Glorious news of the surrender of Vicksburg. The Rebels must feel rather down. The mail has come & I get 6 letters & 1 Standard - Sue & OH

July 10 - This day we moved at 5AM from Boonsboro toward the enemy. At Funkstown our Brigade led the advance & our regt. was deployed as flankers. With cavalry we followed & drove them back three miles clear to the town. After the regt assembled, my company & Co. K were immediately thrown ahead as skirmishers & I've remained on the skirmish line all day. About noon we were strengthened by three more Companys of the Regt. & advanced & relieved the Cavalry who fell back having used all their ammunition. The rebs charged upon us three times with three lines of battle & were repulsed handsomely each time. Our boys fell back not an inch. I never saw braver men. Before the rebs gave up their charging we were strengthened by a part of the 3d & 4th Vt Regts. Robert Lee will find out that the Vermont Boys have a word to say to traitors.

July 11 - Our regts that were engaged suffered a good deal loss. Our regt. had about 25 killed & wounded. Geo Partridge & Moses Abbott were killed, poor fellows. They were good soldiers. George is the first of our Glover boys killed. One of my Co. was killed. Craig, a good boy & soldier, & 4 wounded including "Ego." Yes, I was stung this time & I am thankful tis no worse. Was hit in the thigh with a rifle ball. Last night I was taken to the Hospital established in an old barn, where I am today the 11th as comfortable as I can be with my painful limb. Two of the wounded died last night. Two have had limbs amputated.

July 12 - This day all the wounded were taken from the hospital near Boonsboro to Frederick Md, a distance of 20 miles. O wasn't I glad when we got there after being jolted far in an ambulance. Still I look upon what I suffered as slight - compared with many poor fellows with much worse wounds than mine. I am thankful that I am able to get up & can hobble around a little. Lt. Correll of the 2d is with me. He was wounded in the foot. I can but thank God for his wonderful preservation in the hours of danger. He has kept me through many a bloody scene.

July 13 - I am now in a U.S. Gen. Hospital at Frederick Md suffering from my wounded limb. The Surgeon in charge has examined it. I think the ball must be in my leg, yet I hope to be able soon to return to my regt. I have been unable to write in my diary for three days & will now go back & fill up. It rains today.

July 14 - In hospital in Frederick Md. Tis lonesome & I am tired of lying here. Wish I might get home & see my friends. Now that I am off duty I shall try to get a leave of absence, though twould be hard for me to ride now. Wound is very painful.

July 15 - I feel lost away from the regt.

July 16 - See the surgeon in charge with Lt. Correll to learn if we can get a leave of absence. He says he will give us an order to report to Baltimore & from there we can go home.

July 17 - Leave Frederick for Baltimore at 1PM. Get in & report to Lt. Bliss & have no trouble in getting my leave of absence & stay at the Guy Hotel tonight.

July 18 - Get two months pay. Make some purchases, but could not get about much. Start for New York at 1PM & get in at 10PM. Stay at Lovejoys Hotel. I suffered much riding in the cars.

July 19 - This morning I learn from the directory that where cousin Hazen lives I I get carried there. Glad to meet them. Stay with Hazen & his wife all day. Call in a surgeon & have my wound dressed. Twas very good & I was felling worn out & tired by riding as far.

July 20 - Reunion with my Cousins till 3PM when I take the train to Springfield. Arrived at 6PM. Had a very good visit as could be under the circumstances with Cousin Austin, Ben, T.C. & Hazen & wife. They are doing good business.

July 21 - Ride today from Springfield, Mass to Barton. Get very tired. Meet S. Robinson on the cars. Rained most all day.

July 22 - Arrived home at last. Came in last night. Have suffered a great deal with my wound in my way. My limb is lame & painful. I cannot find words to tell my joy of seeing my parents. Everyone in to see me & inquire after myself & friends in the army. I shall have to go back to fill up my diary for 6 days.

July 23 - Have visitors all the time. Glad to see my friends once more - How glad. Have not been out any for I am so lame. My wound pains me a good deal, though it is doing as well as I can expect. Happy to meet my friends once more. Sue I long to see.

July 24 - Dr. Bugbee examines my wound & by probing it he gets out a piece of a ball. It must have been an explosive bullet.

July 25 - Today I go to St. Johnsbury. I have to go. Come home at night. Well tired & my limb paining me good.

July 26 - Visited by good many friends. Jeff, Martha - Napoleon carries in to Church & home in the PM. With but small churches handy any are there. Write to Capt. Carl & Capt. JH Spencer Washington & to sisters Martha & Ann.

July 27 - Today I have hobbled up into the village a little way for the first. Get tired & my limb painful. Have a good visit with Mrs. Strong.

July 28 - Ride some today. Am feeling better now that I can ride round. Visit to Mrs. Hibbard & her family in the AM. In the afternoon I am privileged with ____ for the first time, since I got home. A good visit with my dear friend M. A. Hardy.

July 29 - The days wear away in time. Tis lonesome in Glover now. Write Lt. Correll, Lt. Kinney & Cousin Hazen Kimball. Visit Mrs Williams. Got my allotment filled of $77.00.

July 30 - All day lonesome indeed it is. Write to J B Page.

July 31 - Go to St. Johnsburg. Having some photographs made by _____. A letter from JHS Signal Office Wash.

1862 diary

1863 diary:





Letters to the Editor

Additional Material

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