Aug 1. Heard a sermon by a Methodist minister from Florida. He also read in the Macon paper (copy from the N.Y. Herald) that an aggreement that would affect a speedy exchange had without a doubt been made. Good news to us. Aug 2. A few prisoners came in from Gen. Shermans army. Report a terrible battle fought on the 28th of July in Atlanta. Terrible shower in the PM. [transcribers note: The next few entries appear to be from 1865 or after.] Sep 7. Three detatchments went out of the prison on their way to our lines for exchange also some sick. Sep 8. Some more prisoners left for exchange as we expect. Sep 13. Left Camp Sumpter in the morning at sun rise. Took the cars for I do not know where. Sep 14. Arrived in Augusta early in the morning. Sep 15. Arrived in Kingsville. Sep 16. Arrived at Florance, went into the prisoners camp. Sep 17. Slipped the guard with ___ of my friends and am now on my way to our lines. May God prosper us. Sep 18. In the woods living on sweet potatoes and beans. Traveled all night. Sep 19. Stayed in the wood all day. Traveled all night. Sep 20. Stayed in the wood all day and traveled all night. Met an old colored man who proved to be our friend and gave us a good supper and bread to carry with us. Sep 21. Stayed in the wood all day and traveled all night. Rained hard. Sep 22. Stayed in the woods all day and traveled all night, rained very hard. Sep 23. Stayed in the woods all day. Traveled all night. Sep 24. Stayed in the woods all day. Traveled all night. Sep 25. Stayed in the woods all day and traveled a part of the night. Sep 26. Stopped in a peace of woods all day. Traveled all night. Sep 27. Stopped in a peace of woods all day. Came very near being discovered by a man hunting. Evening set out on our travel, only traveled part of the night. Sep 28. Stopped in the woods all day and traveled all night. Sep 29. Stayed in the woods all day and traveled all night. Lived high to-day on raw potatoes, cabbage and sugar cane. Sep 30. Stayed in the woods all day and traveled all night. Passed through Charlotte and around the Danville rail-road. Oct 1. Stayed in the wood all day and traveled but a short distance during the night on account of the dark and rain. Oct 2. Stopped by a haystack through the day and night. Oct 3. Stopped in a peace of woods, rained hard. Ventured to approach a house and found that they were union people. Was treated very kindly by them (seems like home). Oct 4. Stayed in the woods all day. Evening went out to look for meat and potatoes. Oct 5. Stayed in the woods all , was treated very kindly by the union ladies. Evening took our leave of our friends and started on our journey, with all the information that they could possibly give us. Also a four haversacks full of bread and potatoes. Oct 6. Stayed in the wood part of the day and traveled through the woods part of the day. Rained very hard. Oct 7. Reached the Catawba river early in the morning, river very high from the recent rains. But set to work and made a float of rails with grape-vine withs and floated over. Traveled all night. Oct 8. Stayed in the wood all day, came very near being retaken. Started out on my journey and was taken prisoner before going two miles. Treated very kindly. Oct 9. Was taken to Simonton, about 17 miles. Rode in a bugy. Put in jail. Treated very kindly by the people of the jail. Oct 10. Took the cars at Simonton for Salisbury. Passed through Charlotte. Arrived in Salisbury at eleven PM. Was safely landed in the Salisbury prison. About ten thousand prisoners in the prison. [Oct 11 through Nov 24 there are no entries that appear to be from 1864.] Nov 25. A brake made in camp by the prisoners. Several killed & wounded. Myself wounded very slightly on the arm. But very few if any made their escape. transcribers note: There are no further daily entries in Mr. Owens diary. Under the memoranda pages in the back are several lists of mens names with what appears to be pay received or perhaps owed. It isnt clear what he was documenting. We would never know whether or not he survived prison & being wounded were it not for the extra entries he made that are either dated or appear to be from 1865. For example, he made the following entry on the page for Thursday, July 28, 1864. Feb 22nd left Salisbury Prison, Feb 27th arrived in our own lines & exchanged. Friday the 4th left Wilmington on the steamer Rebeka Barton. Friday the 10th arrived at Annapolis Md. On the page for Thursday, August 4, 1864 he wrote January 27th, 1865. My friend Henry A. Pierce went to the hospital. Very sick. transcribers note: The following was written on the page for Sunday, August 7, 1864: To Cousin Will May you my friend be ever blessed with friends selected from the best and in return may you extend a gem of love for every friend. Friendship is a lot to few assigned The ofspring of a noble mind. A general warmth that fills the breast Whats better full, than are expressed Let memory oft times bare thee back to other days almost forgot and when you think of other friends that love thee will forget-me-not. M.J. Owen transcribers note: On the page for Friday, August 26, 1864 Mr. Owen wrote the following; S.T. Pierce, Norwich, Schemango Co. N.Y. My beloved brother in Christ (Henry A. Pierce) died February 7th, 1865 in prison at Salisbury, N.C. As he lived so he died. A faithful Christian trusting fully in Christ & having perfect peace of mind. transcribers note: The following letter was with Mr. Owens diaries: Addison, June 10, 65 My dear friend, You will not be surprised at this mode of address, for you already know that I honor myself by counting our true, brave, noble soldiers, not only among my dear friends, but among my brothers! The evening after the little visit with you which I enjoyed so much, I met a very lovely young lady, one of my particular friends, to whom I mentioned you, and my fruitless efforts to obtain an Atlantic for your perusal. She was interested at once, and immediately said Send him my March number. I would like to have him read it. So I walked home with her, and brought away the magazine, and I should have mailed it without delay, only that I wished to write this little letter to send with it. When you have finished the Atlantic you will please return it to me, as Miss Bonham is keeping the numbers to be found. I hope you will enjoy reading it, and that I shall sometime have the pleasure of talking it over with you. I am afraid that your own memories of Andersonville transcend all the horrors described there. God bless you abundantly for all you suffered. God bless you for that noble saying, I would not have suffered less for my country! I declare when I think I have talked with, saw & shaken the hand of one of that hard land of martyrs, one of those dear sufferers for whom I would willingly, if I know my own heart, lay down my life, it sends a thrill through all my frame. And when I suddenly remember that the doors of those Southern prisons are all opened now, I can only call upon my soul, and all that is within me to bless and praise His Holy Name who hath wrought this wonderful deliverance. I would like to know your plans with regard to your future life. I think you will decide to go to school, and I hope you will. A man who has felt himself starving for an education, will never be satisfied without one. And, pardon me for saying that I hold you worthy of all the happiness an education, or anything else this life can furnish. My sister was sorry to miss your visit. Let us hope to see you here again at no distant day. With best regards and heartsick good wishes, Truly your friend, Mary A. A. Dawson Mr. Wm. Owen Jasper, N.Y. Transcribers note: William Owen kept up a diary in 1866 until March 26 when the entries became very sporadic. He moved to his sisters in Westfield, Pa where he worked in the woods, continued to attend his prayre meetings & apparently cut a lot of wood for his sister's household. He took Mary's advice & enrolled in the Old Union Academy, starting his studies on January 10, 1866. He, quite naturally, made note of the weather at that time (snow & hard traveling etc). While in town he met some of his soldier friends & the topic was, of course, the recent war. The question discussed was resolved that Gen Sherman is deserving of more praise than Grant. On Feb 3rd he sent Newton Rhinevautts affidavit to him for to get his pension. On Feb 7 a young lady by the name of Nora M. Barbery, from Miltown, Tioga Co. Penn. wrote him the following: When I am in a distant land and you these lines do view, remember they are from a friend who often thinks of you? On March 20, 1866 he writes Some strange birds ___ or shot. Said to be swans or wild goose specie. No one knows what they are. The wonder of world. * * * * * * * * * * * * * Transcribers final note: And so we take leave of William Owen, Co K, 86th New York Volunteers, a man who saw a terrible carnage, was wounded three times, imprisoned in a hellish place yet never lost his faith in God, and did his duty for his country.
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