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|The following is from the diary of 1st Sergeant Samuel A. Clear, Co. K, 116th Pa Volunteers. The enteries are from March 1865.
Wednesday, March 1st
We stood at the works all night. I was relieved off guard at 9 A.M. Had Dress parade as usual. Things quiet in front.
Thursday, March 2nd
Rain again this morning. I rains as easy as rolling off of a log. Corporal Alex Chisholm returned to duty from furlough to day. No strange news from Uniontown. The same old rigmarole, stand at the works, dress parade, &c.
Friday, March 3rd
Still it rains. I went on Picket and here I am on reserve and I find it a not very nice place as the rain is falling fast. Our tents do not do us much good as we left them in Cam. The rain slacked up this evening.
Saturday, March 4th
We had a beautiful little shower this morning. We was relieved and returned to camp at 11 A.M. and found things all right but damp.
Sunday, March 5th
No rain to day. The sun is making up for lost time and is drying the mud up fast. The boys are laying around in groups enjoying the sunshine. The same old rigmarole.
Monday, March 6th
This has been a beautiful day. I took a walk around the depot, had Brigade Dress parade this afternoon. All quiet in front.
Tuesday, March 7th
Another fine day. I am sergeant of Camp guard, had Brigade Dress parade, we stand at the works to night.
Wednesday, March 8th
It rained all night and is still raining this morning was relieved off guard, we had to stand on the works all night.
Thursday, March 9th
Our Division, the first, fixed up and moved to the rear and was reviewed by Genl Meade, Warren and Humphreys. The men looked nice. We returned to Camp at dark and at 9 O'Clock our regiment was paid off. All quiet along the line.
Friday, March 10th
Rained all last night. I came on picket at 9 A.M. and am on the reserve. Hailed and rained all forenoon, cleared up nicely this afternoon. One man of the 64th was shot for desertion at 12 O'Clock, rather unhealthy to desert.
Saturday, March 11th
This is a fine morning, returned to Camp at 11 O'Clock. Went over to the depot to the Photograph Gallery, sit for a negative. All quiet to night.
Sunday, March 12th
This is a beautiful sabbath afternoon, usual Sunday morning inspection. Alex Chisholm and I went to the right of the line to Fort Sampson and Gregg. They are splendid forts and well manned. Sampson has the twin sisters, Two large Black pieces and several others not so large. Gregg also has nice Artillery pieces and would give the Johnnies a warm reception if they should want to pay us a visit. The Rebs are very well behaved lately.
Monday, March 13th
Went over to the depot and set for an ambrotype. I also got weighed and puled down 187 1/2 #, 10 # more than I ever weighed before. The weather is very nice this month. The boys are living well now on Sutler Struff.
Tuesday, March 14th
This is a fine morning, I am sergeant of the guard. We have to go to the Brigade Head Quarters to mount guard, they inspect us very close. The Sutlers are all ordered to the rear. That means the Campaign is soon to be opened. We sit up all night at the works. There is great speculatio as to what we will do among the boys. Five Hundred tales afloat and none of them from any reliable source, but we will soon know.
Wednesday, March 15th
We was relieved at 9 A.M. off guard. Have orders to send overplus clothing to the rear. I sent one overcoat, one Dress Coat and one Blanket. The other boys the same -- All this means to be ready at a moments notice to stir up the old Rebs once more and give them the finishing touch. I hope the troops are all fat and hearty, and I think almost ready for anything Genl Grant asks at their hands. All quiet along the line.
Thursday, March 16th
Wind and rain last night and very disagreeable this morning. In the afternoon had skirmish Drill. The boys do pretty well for the practice they have had. I think we will have more practices before long. By the way things are getting very lively. Brass bands are playing, troops drilling all the time, a continual going here and there by staff officers.
Friday, March 17th
St. Patricks Day in the morning, and it is a fine morning, weather beautiful. This is the daoy of the "Irish Brigade Jubilee." Corpl Alex Chisholm and I got leave of absence and went back to Corps Head Quarters. We found thousands of troops there and men busy putting the finishing touches to the race track &c. &c. We found a nice track like a Fair Ground track, but here they had four hurdles built three feet high across the track and between these hurdles a ditch three feet deep, fout feet wide and feet long [sic]. A large platform filled with Officers and judges and about twenty ladies. Also a good brass band. At ten O'Clock the horses and riders came in. The Col of the 7th N.Y. Dutch led the way on a large Black Stallion, Capt Brady with a fine horse and a Zouave Lieutenant came next, and then others came and arranged themselves in line, and then the word was given and away they go. Some went over the hurdles and ditches, some flew the track and ran through the crowd of soldiers. A sergeant of the 69th New York was trampled to death and half a dozen others badly wounded. The Ambulance was hauling dead and wounded away all day. The second round the Black Stallion of the Dutch Col fell over a hurdle and broke his neck and both arms of the Colonel. They sent the Colonel to the Hospital, rolled the dead horse out of the and went ahead as if nothing had happened. Corporal Chisholm and myself sith in the Head Quarters carriage of Genl Meade on top of the hill four hundred yards away and we was hardly safe there, as one horse flew the track and nearly run though the warriage we sit in. I never seen such a time. Capt Brady beat them all, his horse carried him over nice and he kept his seat like he had grown there. On they went, horses flying the track, running over the spectators, falling over the hurdles, into ditches, breaking arms, legs &c. We soon got tired and came back to camp. Never did I see such a crazy time. I will have to alter my mind if I ever go to see another Irish fair.