JOHN FREEMAN DIARY
JULY 1863 - NOVEMBER 1863 (His Capture)
July 1st 1863 Tullahoma evacuated.
Marched from Tullahoma
2nd to Decard - walked on R.R. track. Yankees trying to flank us. The rest of Brigade went on cars. All our officers had to march as they were expecting to go on R.R. and sent there horses on by servants. Rested til morning.
3rd Left Decard. Marched to Cowen 8 mi. At Cowen station in line of Battle till after night then started up the mountain. Marched all nite. While resting on mountain stampede occured from horses.
4th Crossed the Tenn. River on pontoon Bridge. Warm and rain every day. Showers.
5th Marched with short rations.
6th Arrived at Chattanooga Tenn. H. T. Rushton, R. W. Walker and Lieut W. W. Redding back to Company. I got one Letter from my wife date 8th and 10th of May.
7th Rainy (8th) Nothing of importance (9th) Went in Washing. (10th) Sick. Herd the news of the fall of Vixburg confirmed. (11th) Quiett and still at camp. Faires on Detail today all day. Cloudy and warm. Commanders of Co.s making out their parolls. 7 o,clk p.m., well and writing.
July 12th Sunday. Inspection. Bought 2 canteen sweet milk for one dollar peace. Very warm. Thunder and rain eve. Camp in uproar on account of the news being confirmed of the fall of Vicksburg.
13th J. M. Waldrip sick. Lieut. Durham sent to Hospital ____ Springs, Ga. Sergt. McRoy sick.
14th Warm and wet, sultry weather.
15th John S. Freeman rec'd a Letter from Tempy Hill, N. C.
16th Wrote a letter and sent by mail to Cousin M. A. Leigh, N. C. Bought cake $1.00, Goobers .25cts. Bought Peaches $1.00 for 1 Doz. Bought Irish potatoes 50 cts, onions 25
18th On detail to work on fortification, had toothache.
19th Toothache bad all day. Preaching by Battery man.
20th Wrote letter home. Sent it by Mr. Reyno of Tippah. Paid him 50 cts to cary it. Bought onions and c Apples.
21st Bought apples and had a pie for dinner.
22nd Wrote Letters and sent to wife, mother, and S. G. Waldrip By Maj Davis of Abbyville to the care of H. N. Rayburn. The Company sent pack of 41. Fine days for the past 3 days. A. J. Adair Detailed off. Things quiett here with many Riotts in papers from N. York. On gard Regt. with 15 men.
23rd Regt. Detailed to work on Brest works. Bought apples and flour $1.75. Fine days the last 2.
24 Washed today. Bought apple. &c. Orders to be ready to march at minute's warning.
July 25th Left camp 9 oclk p.m. Lite rain this morning. Rain all nite. At Atlanta next.
26th At Atlanta Sun up 188 mi. Rain in evening.
27th Cloudy but no rain. Bought watermelons, Honey and Molasses, Eggs.
28th Wrote letter for M. C. Watkins to Mrs. Avalen Brantley. Rain evening.
29th Wrote letter for Rushton. Wrote letters to wife. Sent them by Sergt. McWilliams, Holly Sp. Peach pie for dinner. Bought watch from Watkins. Company sent 23 Letters by McWilliams. Asbery, Hancock and W. Carter at Atlanta. Poke McKee and H. Childs ___ went and saw them. they were on their way home on furloug. (sick)
29th They gave us a list of casualties of the 42nd Miss. Regt (Gettysburg Battle) They carried the letters for us intended to be sent by Hancock from Va.
30th Inspection today. Very warm.
31st Lieut. Smith came to see us. Brought letters from home dated July 18th containing good news from home except from Fannie. She had the Neuralgia very bad.
31st Good news from Mr. Waldrip who appears to be studying about religion and eternal happyness. He wished me and James to study about eternal happiness not suffer ourselves to be led astray in the many ways of sinful temptations. I hope it may stir us up to diligent study of our Duty.
31st Went to town today on a pass. Bought some apples, peaches @ 25 ct per Doz. Bought a watch key for $1.00 Fine day. Cloudy evening, hot.
Aug 1st Wrote letters to Gorge Hill and wife, sent by Mr. McGraw near Holly Springs to care of Wilson Parkin.
2nd Sunday. Went to preaching in Town at Baptist Church. Herd good sermon but did not enjoy it like at home in times past. Rain Eve for 2 days past. Went to church at nite, did not enjoy it much for fear ______.
3rd Drill this morning. Bought 5 1/2 lb bacon (mess) at $1.30 per lb. At Masonic meeting, warm and rain.
5th Lieut durham back to Co. Drill morn and eve. Drew 2 mo pay $32.
Aug 6th Drill morn and Eve. rain &c. Conly Watkins got letter from M. Watkins, N. C. Herd Aunt Tillithy Honeycutt was dead and several other _____. Wrote letter for Sam Rushton. (7th) Wrote letter to wife. Sent to Holly Springs by Wheetly Sadles to care of T. B. Parker. Lodge meeting today.
Aug 8th On gard police, 12 men 2 Corpls. Nothing of interest occured.
9th At Masonic meeting in morng. At church in Town 11 o'clk, Methodist. Herd good sermon. Loge met in evening. I conducted.
10th Drill as usual 5 times as _____. Went to town. Bought paper for boys and lite bread. Wrote letters home to wife, S. G. Waldrip and family. Howard Falconer came in the 8th.
11th Sent Letters home by Mr. Wilson care of Rayborn Wyatt.
11th J. S. Freeman sick. Hot weather. Dan Tate back to Co.
12th Sent letters home by Williams. Paid 50cts to carry them. 2 letters.
13th On gard round town to press horses for Artilery service. Rec'd a letter from A. T. Fitzgerald, Orange Court House, Va.
13th Col. Benton left for home on furlough. Very warm and dry.
15th Wrote letters to wife and Bill and Henry. Sent them off 16 by Capt. Dancy.
16th Sol Cox came to see us Sunday. Went to church in town. Herd organ in church. Presbyterian. Capts. Houston, Dancy and Lt. Rutherford left for home to gather conscripts and straggles. John Freeman sent to Hospital sick. Preaching in camp twice in the evening. Good sermon (Baptist Hard) and Presbyterian.
16th Went back to town to church. Rain and thunder hard.
17th Wrote letter to A. T. Fitzgerald. Sent by mail. Preaching in Reg. B. J. Carson. A good sermon. Prayer meeting at night when weather will admit, warm and some rain.
18th On gard at well and garden with nine men and one corpl in charge. Things pass quietly. C __
19th Faris sick with colic
20th Wrote letters to wife and S. G. Waldrip and family and mother. I sent them by Mr. J. H. Sandage who came to see Walker and Pat Wright on his way home with sick son. Weather cool for last 3 days.
20th Wrote T. M. Bloodworth Letter. Drilled squad yesterday.
21st Fast and pray day kept. I went to church in Atlanta. Thunder and lite rain evening.
22nd Saturday, went to town, bought some writing paper. Had orders to be ready to leave. Cook rations.
23rd Left Atlanta 7 o'clk a.m. on cars. Pretty day, hot on cars. I, Jones and Rushton had co. baggage in charge. Got off cars 11 mi from Chattanooga. Camped til morning (Soldiers & negro got things broken on trip)
24th Camped 1/2 mi from R.R. on Chickamongo River, cleared off camp ground, put up tents, fair warm day.
25th Review. Went in washing.
26th Wrote letter for Conley to N. R. Watkins.
27th Nothing new. Having fine time going in washing every day.
28th Lt Redding & men on detail.
29th Review. Dry and cool since we been to this place. Orders to cook 3 days rations.
30th Sabbath. Preaching in Camp. Baptising by Dr. Tisdell. Baptist. 71 candidates belonging to Ark. Vol. A beautiful site to me, fine pleasant day.
Aug 31st Mustered for pay. Things quiett in camps. No monies. Herd good sermon at night by Dr. Tisdale, warm meeting. Lt. Durham, Watkins, Hunter, Smith and R. H. Garriot on Ord Gard. Weather dry and cool. Lt. Redding and his men back to Co.
1st Things quiett still at camp. Preaching by Rev. McFaren at nite. Recd letter from A. T. Fitzgerald, Orange C. H., Va.
2nd Preaching by Rev. McFaren and Tisdell. Warm and interesting meeting. Dry weather.
3rd Brigd Drill. Preaching Dry weather
4th Battalion drill Dry weather
5th On guard Regt.
6th Sunday preaching. By Episcopal. Saw 16 Baptised by Rev. Tisdell in Chickamauga Creek, Tenn. Orders to cook rations. got letter from J. S. Freeman, N.C.
7th Lying round in camp all day. Detailed with Infirmary Corps and Rushton. Left camp at 7 o clk p.m. Marched till midnight. Very dusty.8th Rested till 3 o'clk p.m. Mar. till ___
9th Marched all day. Camped. Got to Layfuett, Walker Co., Ga. Dusty
10th Rested all day. Continued dry
11th Left Lafayett. Went 5 mi out to meet Enemy But did not fite. Marched back to Lafayett and cooked rations. Dust over shoe deep.
12th Left Lafayett 2 o'clk p.m. Lite rain. Marched North 8 miles to met the Federals. Saw some wounded C. S. Soldiers. Horses. Marched till after nite. Camped in Line Battle.
13th Up at 4 o'clk morning. Saw sines of Battle. Marched about from one place to another till night. Rested till morning.
14th Marched back to Lafayett, without coming in contact Enemy.
15th Rested all day. Very hot and dry.
16 Stayed at Lafayette. Drew rations
17 Marched from La 8 mi Dir Chatt. Camped at or near Old camp meeting ground. Rested very well.
18th Cloudy and cool and very dusty. Come in contact with the enemy in evening. Had a rite smart fite. Drove them from the field. Corpl. Childress and Jessie Fulmer wounded. 25 of Regt wounded. nun killed. Several bad wounded died.
18th Waded creek. Stripped off all but our shirts. Fine looking site.
19th Battle opened in earnest. Heavy heavy firing of small arms But little canonading. Our Brigd. fought _____ valiantly. Bro. Jacob wounded in arm flesh. J. H. Brown in wrist. Wilie Childress badly in the side. I got him in an out house. could not get the litter back in time to carry him off. Had to leave him in the house till night. He become exposed to both fires, ours and the enemy's and 2 balls or shells passed through the house and set afire the bed that was in the house. We got him off to Div. Hospital at night. L. H. Childress supposed to be wounded and captured. Sergt. G. W. McKee badly wounded in thigh. Jas. Patrick stuned by being hit on his Gun breach. Glanced off and hit his Pockett Book and mashed it. S. P. Martin, P. H. Wright, Gillispie and some others stuned by shells. Lt. D. M. Childress badly shocked Eve. Maj Pegram badly wounded in side.
Sept 20th 1863 Sabbath
20th Frost morning, very dry and dusty Fighting again severely, the heaviest canonading I ever herd. also Infantry. Our Brigd in a gain. Hungry and Dry. Command by Col. Reynolds of 30th Miss. Regt. and Col. Reynolds received a mortal wound in the first charge. He died the next day. Coxe of Co. F killed. Several wounded. Evening in again being the fifth time commanded by Capt. H. J. Bowen. Went on and become exposed to too heavy fires from the enemy, had to fall back 1/2 or 3/4 of mile. the Regt. became very much demoralized, hard to rally but was rallied and kept in line but did not go in any more. Corpl J. C. Baxley captured of Co. II, Col. Scales of 30th captured. A good many captured from Regt.
20th Fairis barefooted. (Jim or Jno) sick. Was not in fite today. Dry and dusty. Reynolds Col. dead. Camped in the Branch. Very cold. Yankees retreated back to Chattanooga.
21st Drew rations. Very hungry. Calm day. No fiting. Enemy gone. Saw some awful sites.
21st Col. Saml Benton back to his comdg. Walked about on battlefield. Still dry and very dusty. Water very scarce. 2 miles off or more. Marched in direction Chattanooga.
22nd By Yankee Hospital. Saw many camp and sines at Hosptl. Camped near Chickamauga.
23rd Drew Rations. Col. Benton comdg. Marched on in direction Chatt. Some pickett firing
and some canon.
24th Uneasy about knapsack. Still in Line of Battle. Frosty, dry and dusty. Well and hearty.
J. H. Freeman
Sept. 25th On Pickett, wrote letter to wife sent by Mr. Alexander. Paid him 50 ct (drumers ____)
Heavy picket fiting
26th Rec'd letter from wife. Our Pickett drove the enemy in Jas. M. Waldrip hit by spent bul
26th John S. Freeman came back to command. Corpl Childress back to Co. On Duty. Beautiful
27th Calm, Resting on hill. Missionary Ridge in plain view of Chattanooga.
28th Faris back to Co.
29th Conly and the other detail of suply train back. Wrote a letter for Rushton. Herd our wounded
was getting furloughs home.
30th On Pickett. Cloudy
1st Relieved from on pickett. Rainy day alday long, the first for a long time.
2nd Clean and cool
3rd Went to Chickamouga Creek to wash for the first time in two month. Very dirty indeed.
4th On Pickett things still and quiett. Wrote letters to Mother and sisters, my wife and Father-in-law (Sent by Harrison)
5th Relieved from off pickett. Canonading slow and steady. Recd letter for J. W. Freeman from his
wife. (6th) Still and Quiett.
7th Some rain. Our Reg. on Pickett
8th Clean and cool. Herd from Sergt. G. W. McKee, Lt. Durham, Brown and Durley all doing well.
9th Enemys shells us. One fell near us but no one hurt.
10th On pickett again.
11th Herd from G. C. Hunter by letter. President Davis on review. Things quiett. Clear fine weather. Herd preaching today in 30th Regt. by the Rev. Tisdell.
12th Snipes, Smith and Shaw came to see us from home. Brought me letter from Bro., wife. Jacob stated that he got home on the 1st Oct, found all well and wrote me a very flattering letter about
my wife and children.
13th Reported that Wheeler had burnt 400 waggons of the enemy with supplys.
14th Snipes and Smith left Co. for home. Sent letters by Smith. Postage stamp $1.00 gr gr paper.
Lt. Durham at waggons. Things continue still and quiett.
15th Rainy for last 4 days.
16th Sent letter to wife, Buttons and little hand ruler by Mr. Moon. He did not leave when the others did.
October 1863 Events &C.
16th Lieut. Durham back to Co.
17th Foggy morning. All quiett.
18th On pickett. Rainy and cool. Wrote letter to wife. Sent home by Mr. Jack Shaw. plesent evening
19th Beautiful morning. Saw a Pickett of the enemy meet ours and talk some minutes. Pickett lines
in 300 yds of each other. T. P. Phillips shot his wrist accidently in coming off pickett.
20th Relieved from pickett. Day nice. Got letter from D. M. Baxley, Lagrange, Ga. Phillips sent to
21st Preaching at nite.
22nd Moved over the Ridge Wrote Baxley letter. Hosptl, Lagrange. W. E. Durly back to Co. Warm.
23rd Rainy. Some shelling last night. Bought 1/2 gal peas $2.00
24th Signed paroll. Preaching at nite by Chaplin 30th good sermon
25th On pickett. Cloudy and cool. Relieved in evening. Quiett.
26th Cooking utensils brought to Regiments, Skillit lost.
27th Washed clothes. boiled first time in 2 months. A good w. T. M. Boodworth sent to Hospital.
28th On detail after rations. Sold watch 60$ Bought knife. Moved off to rite wing.
29th On pickett short notice. Fiting last night on extreme left.
30th Off pickett. Rainy day. Drew two month's pay $34.00
31st Mustered for pay and commutation
Nov. 1st Herd preaching twice today. Sabbath. Saw one baptised. Herd from J. M. Childress, Lt.
2nd On pickett. Cloudy and some shelling and fiting on left.
3rd Relieved from pickett. All quiett. 2 men of Co. C Deserted from there post. Went to enemy.
(Fudg and Hudspeth)
4th Beautiful and warm day
5th Cloudy and rain. Recd letter from Jacob and Matt sister. Jacob sent certificate for
extension of furlough. Said we mite look for him about 10 Nov. Also a letter from George
Still. Folk generally well and doing well. Sent letter to wife by Reyno 50 ct 5 and 6 on
7th Sent letter to wife by Mr. Baxley. Left ____ on Brest Works on Missionary Ridge at 5 o'clock.
Marched round about way 8 or 10 miles camped about 10 o'clock at night on hill. Had
Bad road but good weather. Fell in branch.
7th A. J. Faris left on detail and sick.
8th Sunday Beautiful day. Shelling from Lk. Mt. On guard at house. Arrested 2 men Sent
9th cold and clear. Signed paroll
10th Cold and clear. fixed up tents
11th Cold and clear. Orders be ready to leave We have drew no meat rations for 2 days.
12th Clear and tents struck to leave. Mess settled up to date.
12th Left camp. Marched round and about several times and ways. Evening taken up the Mt.
By Summer Town good. R. Camped on top Look Mountain. Drew meat rations.
12th Wm Buzzell fell and hurt himself with log wood badly. Camped and rested very well.
13th Orders to be in line at day lite Stayed in line 1/2 hr, Broke ranks and soon commenced
cleaning up campground. Smart stir among officers. Beautiful day.
Nov. 14th Cloudy and warm. Wrote a letter to George Still. Sent it to him by Mr. Norman near
15th Sabbath. Beautiful day. Herd preaching in 30th Regt. by Chaplin. Left camp early in evening
and marched back round Lookout Mr. through Summer town, a place showing sines of the
cruel war. Camped on side of road all night waiting orders. Cloudy and cool.
16th Marched on round the west side of Lookout and relieved a Brigd. from pickett. the enemy
shelled some of the last brigade, wounded one man in the arm. Shelling more or less every day
From both sides. Went on pickett. Post duty in evening. Pickett lines, one on one side of
Lookout Creek and one on the other. No firing among the picketts. Yankees very anxious
to talk and barter for tobacco. Very friendly indeed. Lines about 20 feet apart.
17th Relieved from pickett post in evening. Nothing transpired on pickett of interest. All quiett
and Yankees are pleasing and full of traffick as ever. But we had orders not to hold any
communication with them Whatever.
17th Jacob W. Freeman Back to Co. after nite. Very glad to see him. Sat up nearly all nite talking.
Mr. Durley come with him.
17th Rec'd letters from Wife, Sisters Mary and Sister Martha and family also one from Bro W. Ovid Mabry. Very glad to here such good news. Lt. Childress and Wm. Aiken back at the Waggons
17th H. Durley come to see us.
17th O the revival of thoughts of the past blessings I have enjoyed in days past by and gone never
more to return. O God thou only knows the feelings of my poor heart when hearing of home,
loved and Dear ones left there after an absence of 18 mo. and 7 days. O, Shall I be able to praise
my God as I desire for the many blessings I have been permitted to enjoy in so long an absence
From home. No! I am such an unworthy sinful creature I can never serve him as I would in this
life. O may I be permitted to praise him through a boundless eternity through Jesus Christ is my humble prayer.
Nov. 18th Clear and cool. Jacob gone back to Waggons after clothes. Cannonading on the left.
Things quiett on Lookout till 12 m.
19th On pickett out post. Warm.
20th Cloudy and lite rain. Relieved from pickett. Nite rainy and warm.
21st On detail. Very wet. things quiett. Wrote and sent Mother letters, to H. Waldrip, Also wife, W. Ovid Mabry and Sisters. H. Durley leaves for Waggons and then home. Sent this book. Not
right. Will today. H. Durley delivered this Book home.
End of Diary
John Henderson Freeman's military records from the National Archives show that he was captured by Federal troops on November 24, 1863, just three days after sending his diary home.
His name appears on Roll of Prisoners of War in both Louisville, KY and Rock Island Barracks, IL.
He was paroled at Memphis, TN May 25, 1865.