Before We Begin
The following lines are a preface that Margaret prepared to set the stage for the transcribed diary. I have reproduced them here and added my own commentary in square brackets: .
- [The actual] Diary begins on page 3 of the book. 1 and 2 seem to be farm records.
- The words and sentences are transcribed as they appear in the diary so spellings may not coincide with today's spelling and grammar.
- Maps and drawings are taken from research in books and internet sources. Some are based on memories of other soldiers in the same battalion. [The original transcription included copies of web pages from “The Battle of the Wilderness Virtual Tour” at http://home.att.net/ hallowed-ground/into_wilderness.htm. As of December 11, 2008 these pages are no longer available on the web]
- Pictures and data from the battles and from Andersonville are taken from the same above sources. Photos of Andersonville were taken by reporters at that time. [These have not been included in this edited version of the transcription, though I have included photos by A.J. Riddle created in August 1864 -- RHA]
- Some of the diary was in separate pieces and so I put the diary entries in chronological order. The numbering changes for a final section which was a folded set of pages of a different size and type of paper. [These separate pages are indicated at the place where they occur in the diary – most of them were written after Harmon left Camp Sumter in the fall of 1864 and while still being held elsewhere in Georgia.]
- The meanings of some words were not familiar to me and I thought might not be to readers from today's world so I added a one page dictionary.
- Comments in parenthesis and in italics are by Haramont Anderson, son of Harmon, Granddad. These comments were in the diary at the top of a few pages that Granddad found significant.
- Underlined entries and the notes at the bottom of the pages are by me. [These have been included as endnotes when the entries provided additional information about fellow soldiers mentioned in the story, e.g., unit, enlistment date, ultimate fate while serving – RHA]
- Some letters and notes were saved in the diary and are added at the end. Two are letters to Granddad. [These were not included in the final edit as they are relevant to the family and were written from 15 to 40 years after the end of the war – RHA]
- At the end I noted what I had found out about the family history so far and traced the family up to and including Mary Anderson McKinney's offspring. [These pages have not been included in the published version of this transcription but will be in the private version distributed to the family – RHA]
- I scanned one loose page so the reader could see Harmon Anderson's handwriting. It was one of the easier pages to read as it was in ink. [This scan is included in the published document opposite the page the transcription page it reproduces: see pages 19 and 20 – RHA]
- [In my editing I added brief divider headings that match up to a degree with the service history of the 110th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. After Harmon's capture by the rebels at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 6, I have divided the diary into sections relating to the travel from the battlefield to Camp Sumter, the period in Camp Sumter, the brief period in other prisons on the way to parole, the trip home and finally the days spent at home.]