JOHN FREEMAN DIARY
JANUARY 1863 - JUNE 1863
Jan 1st Left Shelbyville late in Eve.
Marched to Wartrace, took cars for Murfreesboro.
2nd. At Murfresboro. Battle field early daylight. Slung Knapsacks and off in line of battle all day.
January 1863 Memorandum
3rd Rained, herd picketts fiting.
4th Left Murfreesboro midnight, marched through mud and water all the night and the next day.
5th Camped cross the Duck River at Shelbyville. Rested all day fine.
6th Fine clear day.
7th Marched to Alson, cloudy.
8th Rested, light snow and cold, very hungry, short rations of ____ corn bread, not sifted.
9 and 10th Counter marched back to Shelbyville nite of 9th, me and Rushton went out in country about 2 mi and got a good supper, sweet milk, warm bread and pork and fruit, paid 50. ct, had a dark time, got back safe.
12th Put up tents, Inspection
15th Rained nite
16th Very cold and light snow and windy
17th Rec'd wages 2 mos. $22. Settled up with the mess.
15th Herd of Snipes wife being hung. Meadows of Chulahoma being shot. Old Mr. Dean whipped and gold to the amt. 14,000$ taken from him.
17th Sent J. A. Hargis Va. letter.
18th Preaching by Ball of 41st Miss. Regt., Sabbath, good preaching.
19th Levi Smart came to see us. Ate dinner. Cloudy. Faires on gard.
20th Wrote letters and sent home.
23rd Went to see Levi Smart and ate dinner.
23rd Mustered for pay.
24th Wrote letters home. Cloudy, rain
24th On gard round Regt.
25th Wrote letters to wife, Pa and all the ____. visited Levi Smart and Taber.
26th Settled up all my mess.
27th Sent letters home by ___ of Coldwater depot, Miss. Built chimney to our tent, cold and cloudy.
Jan 29th Paid for brick for chimney. 1.$ per hundred.
Jan 30th Marched from camp only few minutes notice without rations, went some seven miles on Murfreesboro Pike. Nothing happened of interest. Cold. Lay on corn stalks. Slept but very little. Back to camp next day.
Feb 1st All quiet, nothing of interest happened.
Jan 31st Bob McKee, J. Tate back to Co. 30th Jan.
Feb 1st On gard round Regt. Rain.
2nd Wrote letters home
3rd Drew bounty 50.00$ and 2 mos. wages 70.
4th Jas M. Waldrip and Billy Griffith back to company. M. C. Watkins lost PockBook and money, some near $95.00 offered a reward of ten dollars to finder.
5th Finished knitting first pr Gloves
6th On police gard. Herd Heflin was dead by letter sent to Co. of our Reg.
7th bought pies 30 for $10.00
8th Levi Smart and Bro-in-law Tabor visited us, ate dinner with us.
9th Brig. drill by Brigadr. Gnl. Waltham, 1st time, warm and pleasant. Wm. Aiken came back to com. Rain 10, 11,12. Quiet. Pleasant weather.
13th On gard Reg. W. Aiken left for Home.
14th Cloudy and windy, bought hominy 65 c
15th Herd from home by letters sent to Lt. Durham and Sargt. McKee from their wives. Some good news ---- had reports of Capt. Bowens conduct. Saw Dr. Rayford. Herd from home, my family all well, but s. pox in _____.
16th Out on out pickett duty 7 miles on Englesville Pike. A. J. Faires sick
17th Rain last night, warm and windy today
18 Rain last night, warm and cloudy today, on gard watch for signals.
19th Fals alarm. We left at 2 in nite, went 4 miles on line till noon
20th Clear and cool, back to tents
21st Faires rec'd letter from his wife, all well, date 28th Jany.
Feb 23rd Left for camp Autry back at town. Jacob had tooth pulled out. Warm
24th Col S. Bentin returned to his Reg. We serenaded him. He gave a short discours. Very glad to see him. Went to see Levi Smart. Saw letter from W. W. Smart.
25th Wrote letters home and sent by H. Falkner.
26th Rained all day hard.
27th Warm. I washed clothes and person
28th On gard. Muster for pay.
March 1st and 2nd Mild and pleasant.
3rd Wrote letter home, sent by R. Sharpe.
4th On ____. On gard in Jas Waldrip's place. He is sick. D. M. Baxley and Pat Wright back to Co.
6th Out to meet the enemy on Eaglesville Pike but did not have to fite. Cavalry drove them back, taken some near 2 thousand prisoners. Baxley saw some of them. Van Dorn captured.
7th Out on pike, warm, showers.
March 8, 1863 Back to camp. Well and got letters from home which was brought by Capt. Bowen -- Dated Feb 17th. Good cheering news, all well and doing well. Bowen and A. W. Childress, R. Childress, Jimy Waddell and Henry Garriett back to Co. Waddell not well. Recd 2 shirts, pr Gloves, 2 pr socks from wife.
10th Wet, rainy all day and night. Orders to cook 2 days rations. Be ready for attack.
11th On post Pickett, clear and pleasent.
12th got good breakfast for 25 cts in silver at Rob Freeman's, no kin as know of. got good dinner for 50 cts. Confederate.
13 Clear and warm
14th Wrote letter, Sent to Granada by mail to Wm Bell for forwarding.
15th Cloudy and warm. R. Freeman taken sick. Chill.
16th Bob very sick. Out of mind.
16th Back to Camp Autry, plesent day.
17 and 18th R. Freeman died 3 1/4 o,clk this morning. buried very well as warm and plesent. Wrote letters and sent home by Capt. Miris of 10th Miss. Reg. to care of Mr. Baxley.
Tribute of Respect. Robt Freeman was taken Sunday morning, March 15 with aching limbs and back severely. About hour by sun he was taken with a chill, lasted till near 12 o,clock m. then followed a fever. He was very restless and slept but little during the night, complained good deal. Up early 16th by day, vomited. I asked him if he was any better. Said his head and back ached (wood kill him). He then lay down. At morning report call he told the O. Sargent he would not go to Dr., did not feel able to walk there. Shortly after, the Dr. came to see him and he was out of his mind, both senseless and speechless. appeared easy not appearing to try to talk or notice anyone at all. He would not take medicine. And at 6 o,clock he would keep getting up. and kept scratching himself and appeared to be uneasy turning over, poor bark. About 2 o/clk p.m. we left for Camp Autry near Shelbyville. It will be remembered the Reg. was out on pickett at the time. I helped put him in waggen. It was warm beautiful day. He lay still while in waggen to camp. I helped take him out of waggen and put him in tent on good dry straw and blanket. He became very restless, would not lay still but little and we had to hold him from getting up until morning of 17th, when the Dr. gave him medicine to make him easy and lay still. He lay still the most of the day, sleeping most of the time from affect of medicine.
18th About midnight he got worse off and commenced to having spasms and continued to have them till he died. Had very hard ones on till he died at qr. past 8 o,clock morning of 18th. He died off very easy while before he died he livened up and looked like he was going to speak and looked very natural. And he wore a smile when a corps. We combed his hair and put clean clothes on him and put him in a nice poplar coffin and buried him on hill south of Shelbyville, 1 mi. in an old field in good deep grave, very nicely, evening 3p.m. It ended the career of one of the true southern soldiers of 34th Miss. Regt, Co. II Bowen Rebbels. Peace be to his remains. J. H. Freeman
He left $83.50 Confederate money.
(Submitter's note: Robert Freeman was J. H. Freeman's step-father).
20th Cloudy. Rec'd letters from wife and sister Martha. Good news, all well. One from J. A. Hargis.
21st On gard and bought Pies @ 25 cts $3.50
22nd At Prayer meeting in 30th Reg.
24th Cloudy and rain. I have severe cold.
28th Read account in Shelbyville Daily Rebel of capture of 8000 Federals by V_____.
29th Court House burnt.
30th Review of troops. Cold and snow.
31st A. Faires and Jones on pass in Country. Bought some eggs and butter for mess.
Apr. 1st Drilled. Acct of capture Feds 600
2 Pleasant Drill
3rd Col. and windy
3rd Herd Bob Childres dead
4th Wrote letters and sent home by Lt. Brown of Co. F., W. E. Durley sent to Hosp.
5th Sunday. Went to country. Got dinner at Mr. Young's, paid 1 dollar. Evening, wrote Martha and B. Waldrip letter, and herd good preaching 5th of Aprl. Large crowd in attendance.
6th Left camp for out pickett duty. Beautiful spring day.
7th Bought canteen sweet milk for $1. Jno Childress very sick, Pneumonia.
9th J. L. Freeman and A. Adair back to Co.
10th Rec'd Letters from home. Wife, S. G. and family, also Mother and Sister.
10th On gard at Ord. Waggons
11th Jno Childress sent to Hospital. Levi came to Camp. Had some dour Doc for dinner. bought cakes and pie. Pretty spring weather.
11th Lt. R. Y. Bowen was at camp. Lt. Rayburn gone to Hospital.
12th Rain last night. Jones of Co. D. died very suddenly. Mess of Doc for dinner. Herd Col. Wright was at camp. Jno Childress ______. David and Levi went to see him. bought 100 walnuts for ,50.
Aprl 13th Back to camp, plesent day.
14th Wrote letters and sent home by Lt. R. Y. Bowen of 19 Miss. Regt. Rain in the evening. Col. Wright came around to see all the Regt.
Apr 13th R. Y. Bowen left for Miss. Sent mother Bob's money by him $83.00
Apr 13th Jas Steward and Jno Magraw sent to hospital sick
16th Review by Gen Bragg and Poke, large crowd of Spectators.
Apr 17th Parson Freeman died very suddenly
18th Capt. H. J. Bowen Recd letter from Hospital stating W. T. Hunter died last Sept 5th 1862. died at Columbus, Miss.
19th Went to country, got butter milk 1 gal, me and Faires for 2$. Cloudy and light rain. Preaching in evening at camp. Good sermon.
20th Mess of Poke sallet for dinner
21st Lite rain, no drill.
22nd Recd 2 mo pay, also 2 mo pay for R. Freeman $22.
23rd Taken all our tents but 3 for the Co. Pretty weather
25th Went fishing, didn't catch any
26 Wrote letters, sent home 27th by Howard Falconer of Holly springs, Miss to Mother and Sisters, S. G. Waldrip and family.
27th Moved from Shelbyville 4 mi west on Lewisburg road. Cloudy.
28th On Gard, Brigd Prisoners
29th Recd orders to cook three days rations. Pretty day.
30th Musterd for pay. Washed clothes.
May 1st Left camp at 9 o,clk p.m. Short notice. Marched till 2 o,clk at night then rested.
2 Marched till 12 m. Camped in ____ 4 mil of Lewisburg in Marshall Co. in beautiful grove on creek near good spring water. On gard at nite, Ordne and Hedqrs. Saw Jasper Yarbrough, a very small man 3 ft 7 in high, 23 years old, weight 72 lbs, a school teacher.
3rd Pretty day, taken good nap sleep.
4th Preaching at nite by Jno Hooten (C.P.)
5th At Masonic meeting
6th " "
6th Cloudy and very cool. Good many of the co. got letters from home By Jack Evans of 29th Reg.
7th Dispach read on _____ of great victory gained in Va.
8th Cloudy and still, very cool. We are having fine chance of wild mustard sallet
9th Pretty day. Ben Tucker came to camp. Brought letters for some of the boys.
7th Preaching by Jno Hooten C.P.
10th Services twice. Fine attendance. Ladies in attendance.
May 10th News of Van Dorn's death. Also Cowan's div was gone to Vixburg, Miss. Beautiful weather 11th, 12th and 13th.
13 On gard. News of Lt. Rayburn's resignation accepted. Also Readdin gone home on furlough. Held election for Lieut. D. M. Childress Elected. Rev. John McFarren preached at night good sermon, larg crowd
14th Preaching by Ewing, Presbyterian. At night preaching by Orman. A. J. Faires got pass and went in country foraging
15 Sent off letters home by a Mr. Smith of 29th Regt to Mother, Sisters, W. G. Aiken and S. G. Waldrip and family and wife.
15 Washed clothes and person
13 Majs Strickland and Jessie Fulmer gone on Waggon Detail permanent.
14 Capt. Bowen, H. L. Strickland and Fulmer returned in a few days to camp ______.
May 14 Capt ___ C. G. detailed back to Shelbyville to ___ fortifications.
May 15th Sent letters home by ___Smith of Sardis Miss.
16th Things quiett. Fine day.
17th Went out in country. got some butter and some B. milk. Ben Tucker left for home on furlough. Sent letters by him.
17th Visited by Gen Bragg. At Sunday School evening, had good dinner, ___ and sweet milk.
17th News from Va. John _____ got letter from Mike ___ stating that J. A. Hargis ___ was killed and ___ dreadful news friends ____.
May 18th Brigade drill
19th Rest day. Fine dry days.
20th Went foraging. got some buttermilk, sweet milk one dollar per gallon, 3 1/2 dz eggs 1$ per doz. 2 lbs butter 1$. Good dinner for fifty cts.
22nd Wash day. Went in swimming.
June 2 Orders to cook rations
3rd Left camp Bragg. Rain. Had muddy roads. Camp Bragg will long be remembered if I live for the camp was in a beautiful grove with good spring water handy to camp and preaching day and nite nearly all the time by preachers of different denominations and had good attendance ____strict attendance and many manifested a desire for the ____Christians and all together we had a warm feeling for which I thank God. Marched back to camp near Shelbyville and camped till morning.
4th Marched through Shelbyville and camped. Cloudy.
5th On Regt gard
June 6th Phillips sick. Snet to Hospital.
7th Our Co. drew old muskets. I have a very severe cold. Preaching Saturday 2 times.
10th D. M. Childress rec'd commission.
11th D. M. Childress taken his position in his Co. as 3rd Lieut.
11th Election held in Company I for 4th and 5th Sergts and one Corpl. Freeman, Levi Childress and B. J. Smith candidates for 4th Sergt. Freeman elected. Fort, Brown, Durley and Sanders and L. Childress candidates for 5th Sergt. Fort elected. Baxley, Levi Childress and B. J. Smith candidates for 3rd Corpl. J. C. Baxley elected Corpl. Preaching at night by the Rev. Freeman of Ala.
12th Preaching again at night by Freeman.
13th Wrote letter to S. G. Waldrip, sent it by Alexander of Blythes Battal.
14th Prize shooting for a fine gun. One man from each Regt. of our Brigade (Walthall's) D. Tate of Co. I 34th Regt. Miss. Vol. got the gun, a fine Whitworth gun valued at $500.00
June 14th On gard around the Regt.
15th Preaching twice today Sunday.
15th Jessie Fulmer and L. H. Childress had a little fist fite.
16th Drilled, very warm day.
16th New elected Sergt assigned to duty, also Corpl Baxley.
16th Thunder and rain today. M. C. Watkins shaved off my beard all except mustache.
17th Regt. detailed to chop down timber on breast works. Very warm for the past 3 or 4 days.
18th Preaching. Signed Parolls. Very hard rain in evening
19th Wilie Childress back to Com.
19th Herd of Nancy Aikins death. Good many of the boys got letters from home.
20th Had my hair shingled close by F. M. Jones. Sold ring and Cross shell for $2.00. Sold Jas. Waddell a shell ring of my make for $1.00. Sold John Freeman a cross of my make for $1.00
21st Preacher sick. Prayer meeting.
22nd Detailed to chop timber on brest works. Fine day.
23rd Soldier killed by Col Phillips. Said he was stealing his potatoes. He belonged to the 30th Miss. Regt.
23rd Recd 2 months pay. 26$. Corpl. Sent letters home by Mr. Glenn of Blythes Battalion. Sent to wife.
25th On gard and Sergt with 24 men and 11 prisoners.
26th Rain. Cook rations.
27th Left camp near Shelbyville at sunrise for Tullahoma. Had muddy road. Marched to Tullahoma 23 miles. Camped.
June and July 1863
28th Marched from Tullahoma to Alsona 8 miles rainy and muddy roads. Our Regt. 34th marched. the Balance of the Brigade road on the cars. We then worked near all night on a Fort. A false alarm in the night. Next morning rain.
29th Decard Station burned by Feds. Marched back to Tullahoma. Hard rain. muddy roads. slick.
29th D. Tate and W. E. Baxley sent to Hospital.
30th Fine morning. Looking for battle.