Skip to content Skip to navigation


Blog entry

May 1864 seems to be a bit of a lull in the action for Abiel. There's no particular movement toward getting him into a new regiment, though much of his activities involve helping assemble companies to more to the front. I've added a couple of cross-references to Wikipedia on battles and persons, but I haven't had the time to do a really systematic annotation of his references to the war. Abiel hears of significant battles and troop movements almost as they happen, but it's still "news" and not "life" at this point.

I'm swapping around the Tuesday and Wednesday blogs this week due to the disruptions of vacation travel. In March 1864, Abiel is spending much of his time escorting troops and prisoners from place to place. Arrangements for his promotion continue as well as plans to rejoin his original regiment. (As we will see next month, those plans fell through for reasons beyond his control.) And in this midst of all this, there is time to enjoy and comment on some more theatrical performances in Washington.

The diary entries for April 1864 are full of weather and some of the harder parts of army life. Mixed in with escorting troops and prisoners, delayed pay packets, and games of billiards, there's an account of the predatory results of mixing hardened deserters with convalescents on a transport ship and trying to sort out the aftermath when they arrive. And there's an account of an execution interrupted with what must have been a rather cruel pause in the proceedings.

I'm still considering whether I want to continue posting teasers for Mother of Souls now that it's out. They don't serve the same purpose now that people can actually go read the book, and it's getting harder and harder to pick interesting selections that don't include significant spoilers. So while I'm thinking about what I want to do with Writing Blog Tuesday, it seemed a good time to do a year-end summary of what I've produced this year. At this point, everything that's going to be published is out there.

When I was double-checking something against the printed version of the text, I discovered that the computer file I'm working from didn't have the diary entries for January 1864, only the two letters. So here are the diary entries. (In the published version, the letters and diary entries are interleaved by date.) A more systematic look suggests that this glitch covers the first half of 1864 (the contents of a specific journal) but not later periods (when the "memorandums" were on loose sheets, sent home included in letters).

This continues transcripts of my great-great-grandfather Abiel Teple LaForge's Civil War diaries and correspondence. See here for earlier material and background. The site there contains the original transcripts. The versions I'm posting here have been lightly edited for spelling, but especially for punctuation and paragraphis to add readability.

I hadn't thought of the symbolic echoes when I decided to use the Wednesday blog slot to return to a project I keep meaning to get back to. How could I? I didn't expect the context for those echoes to be so bad.


Subscribe to LaForge