Contents of the Diary

Support Materials:
Links to maps & photographs.

Please click on a title below:

Book I, Section 1:
Rumors of War
From “Long Ago” to Early 1862
“…the sky is over-hung with dark war clouds. We feel the force of coming evil as if some terrible calamity was going to come to happen that no power on earth can prevent.” 

Book I, Section 2:
“I heard the cannons roar…”
February through April 1862
“When I heard the cannons roar and the guns popping and the horses screaming it seemed as if everything was lost. It was terrible heart-rending. It was too much for my poor little heart to stand.”

Book I, Section 3:
Wreckage in its Wake
May 1862 to January 1863
“When the Yankees marched away, we were left entirely without any protection. We were left to the mercyless (sic) raiders whose aim was to steal and destroy everything in their path.”

Book II, Section 1:
“We were booked for more trouble.”
Spring 1863 to Early 1864
“If we had to die we would die fighting. So I got the shovel and the other girl got the tonges,–then we waited.”

Book II, Section 2:
“In the Hands of God”
Early 1864 to Winter 1864-65
“Men locked his family in the house and set fire to it  This made my brother so furious …he raised a squad of men… and drove the Torries down the river.” 

Book II, Section 3:
“Afraid for night to come…”

April 1865 to April 1866
War’s end brought no peace for Elsie’s family: “At night when we laid down on our beds to rest we never knew what the morning would bring forth. We only could watch and pray and hope for the best.”

Book III, Section 1:
“Condemned to be hanged…”
April 1866 to January 1867
“I saw Brother Joe standing there and Mother had her arms around him. She was crying and Pappy was standing there looking down. I ran back into the house and told Margie that they had hung Jim.”

Book III, Section 2:
“We waited in silent prayer…”

“Joe … took a sledge hammer with him to the jail.”

Book III, Section 3:
“My poor, grief-stricken mother…”
1868 to 1869
“…her own heart was torn and bleeding. She was like a ship without a rudder tossed by the angry waves of a stormy sea.”

Book IV:
Epilogue: “Only two left…”
1869 and beyond
“As the years have gone by all of my brothers have passed away except one. We two are the only ones left of nineteen children.”

Published on September 14, 2009 at 7:45 am  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. John. Just wanted to say that besides enjoying the diary immensely, I think you have done a great job on this web site. It’s a fitting tribute to your ancestors and the diary.


    • Thanks, Jim. Every time I work with the diary, a thought flashes to mind of your SDG post on the day you got into the archive where they store the Wisconsin battle flags. You know how special it can be to reconnect with your ancestors in a tangible way.

      • John, I have a part of page 1, page 2 and part of page 3 from Book Four. I am missing the beginning of page 1. Have you seen these?

      • Good to hear from you, Patti. Hope you’re doing well. For some reason known only to my Aunt Elsie, she started Book Four in the middle of a sentence near the end of Book Three. The information you’re looking for is on the last page of Book Three.

      • Thank you so much! My late hubby was CD (Rickman) that made some posts. He so treasured his copy of this diary and I also have cont’d to treasure and keep it. He did not have Book 3, so I am excited to have found it. He also had a copy where someone had retype the diary (Book 1) making it easier to read. Have the other books been transcribed as well?

      • Patti, I really enjoyed knowing CD and was quite saddened to learn of his passing. In reading his obituary, I realized that he and I may have been distant cousins in law. It appears that his mother’s maiden name was Glover. I had a cousin, Mildred Tidwell, who married Hershel Glover. They were members of the church in Shiloh back in the late ’40s and maybe early ’50s. I think he worked for the Park Service at Shiloh at that time. CD and I had some great times together, both online through the Shiloh Discussion Group and in person roaming the fields of Shiloh together. I never would have gotten my hands on the diary without CD’s help. He and I had a great time searching for the diary and finally discovering a copy in the Memphis public library.

        The part of the diary that has been re-typed is from the Hardin County Historical Society’s quarterly magazine. I don’t see much evidence online that it’s still being published, but I may just be looking in the wrong places. At any rate, they published the diary in two installments and re-typed the whole thing. I managed to get my hands on a PDF of the first half and was able to pull that text out of their publication. I never got a PDF of the second part. If I can find my printed copy, I’ll try scanning it to see if I can put the whole thing together in a more readable format.

      • I would like to have it, if possible. Thanks, Patti

      • I’m sorry, Patti, but I’ve looked through my files and can’t find a copy of the Harding County Historian with the second half of the diary. Do you know anyone who might have a copy? It would be the First Quarter 2010 edition.

      • Not off the top of my head.. I no longer live in Hardin County…If I am able to locate someone with a copy, I will let you know.

  2. Oh boy, John. I am loving this. It will be so helpful for me when telling 4th or 5th graders the story of Shiloh. Thank you for sharing. Can’t wait until I have the time to just pore over it. Blessings on the project.

  3. I wish my old computer woul pull up the diary. I can’t wait until I can read all of it. My people lived on the battlefield before the battl started.

  4. I loved it! A precious documentation of civil war ancestors. Maps/pictures/GPS were all valuable additions. What grammar & faith for a 9-yr old, & during such trying times!


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