Civil War Diaries
of William Owen, Co K., 86th New York Vols


March, 1863



Mar 1. And so winter has gone and the 
first day of spring has arrived. Stayed
in camp all day. Read letter from R G 
Wentworth also from S. Vaughn. Wrote
letter to R G Wentworth. Attended prayer 
meeting in the evening at Capt. Bakers
office. Wrote letter to __________.

Mar 2. A warm and pleasant day. Worked 
at cleaning the street. Had a good visit
with an old friend from the 35 N.Y. Vols. 
Tried to get a pass to visit the 107 N.Y. 
but the Col would not approve it on 
account of drill tomorrow.

Mar 3. Rained a little so that we had no 
drill. Obtained a pass of ______ Col
Chapman for myself and friend Wm Stuart 
to visit the 107 NYV on the following
day. Attended prayer meeting in the evening 
at Segt Blanchets office. Felt the love of 
God in my heart.

Mar 4. Went to the 107th Regt, NY with 
my friend W Stuart to visit some friends
from. Samuel Kinney all right had a good 
visit. Stayed all night, weather clear
and cold.

Mar 5. Returned to camp, my friend Samuel 
Kinney came back with me. Stopped at Brooks 
Station and found another old friend, J K 
Robinson of the 35th Regt NY Vols. My tent 
mate, L ___ went home on furlough. Capt 
came back to the Co. from home. evening 
attended meeting. Sermon by Chaplain Holt 
Oh Lord revive thy work.

Mar 6.  Went on picket on the north side 
of the Rapahanock and about three miles 
from camp. In the evening went in the wood 
with my friend Melborn Homes of Co F and 
had a season of prayer, rained some through 
the night.

Mar 7. Yet on picket, everything quiet 
along the lines. Detailed on a communication 
line in charge of a relief of thirteen men. 
Weather rainy and somewhat disagreeable 
but here I find that I am too apt to find 
fault with the weather which God rules.

Mar 8. Still on picket, cloudy and rainy. 
Spent the day in reading my bible and
talking and praying with friends. In the 
evening attended prayer meeting in the
wood. Only five were present but God was 
faithful to his promise.

Mar 9. Relieved from picket at 12N and 
returned to camp. Found Charles____ very
sick. The general health of our Regt not 
very good. Recd a letter from Cousin
Melisa in the evening wrot the same to 
Sister ____.

Mar 10. Stayed in camp all day. Wrote 
letter to Sister Margaret. In the evening
attended prayer meeting in the chapel. 
One of Co K expressed a desire to become
a Christian. If the Lord be for us who 
can be against us.

Mar 11. In camp all day. Inspection of 
arms by a Capt. of Brig Gen Whipples
staff. In the evening attended meeting 
in the chapel. Sermon by Chaplain ____
___. Oh Lord revive thy work.

Mar 12. Stayed in camp all day. Co drill 
in the forenoon and battalion in the
afternoon. Wrote letter to the 1st Free 
Will Baptist Church in Cameron, to
which I belong. In the evening attended 
meeting in Chapel.

Mar 13. Stayed in camp all day. Co drill 
in the forenoon, in the evening attended 
meeting in Chapel, sermon by our chaplain 
(____). ___present your bodies a holy 
sacrifice unto the Lord.

Mar 14. In camp all day, review by Brig 
Gen Whipple, ordered to be ready to go
on picket tomorrow morning at seven AM. 
Wrote letter to Cousin Melissa _____.
Weather pleasant.

Mar 15. Everything all ready and went 
on picket seven AM. Such are the Sabbaths
that the soldier is obliged to spend away 
from home and the church. Oh Lord bring 
this unnatural war to a close.

Mar 16. Still on picket, snowed a little, 
recd a letter from my old friend (F S
Hubbard) also one from Mr. Vaughn. Evening 
went in the wood with my friend Segt
H B Seely and had a season of prayer.

Mar 17. Yet on picket. Heavy cannonading 
about ten miles up the river. Stonemans 
cavalry said to have crossed the 
Rapahanock and fighting the enemy.
Nineteen prisoners sent to our lines.

Mar 18. Relieved from picket in the AM 
and returned to camp. Reports that we
have taken six hundred prisoners in the 
PM. Wrote letter to B CWood. James
Crole my tent mate returned from home 
on furlough.

Mar 19. In the AM was detailed on a court 
marshal as witness for G L Peck of my
Co (K). Court adjourned twenty four hours. 
PM grand review by Maj Gen Sickles,
wrote letter to Mr.Vaughn and the same 
to Cousin E O also wrot to the editor of
morning star for book.

Mar 20. Went to Col Bormans head quarters 
as witness on trial of G L Peck.
Snowed hard near all day. In the evening 
attended meeting in Chapel. Sermon by
Chaplain Watts, wrote letter to---

Mar 21 Stayed in camp all day. Wrote letter 
to----, rained most all day. Evening 
attended a debate, was one of chief dispudents. 
Question resolved that hatred is stronger 
passion than love. Decided in my favor 
(The negative).

Mar 22. Attended meeting sermon by Chaplain 
Watts. In the PM attended an organization 
meeting for our Regt. 22 enrolled their names, 
12 desired the ordinance of baptism. In the 
evening attended meeting, wrote letter to
___Hubbard.

Mar 23. On guard at Commissary department. 
In the PM attended debate. Question resolved 
that the oppresion of the soldier makes more 
sorrow than slavery. Evening attended meeting, 
sermon by Chaplain Watts.

Mar 24. Stayed in camp all day. 170 men went 
on picket-out of our regt (86 NY). Wrote 
letter to a friend in _____. Evening attended 
the Va Phila_____, which was organized by the 
boys of my Co (K).

Mar 25. Went about two miles from camp to get 
a load of wood. Wrote letter to Sister Hannah. 
Attended prayer meeting in the evening. Read 
letter from ____NY. 

Mar 26. On camp guard. Recieved letter from 
Sister Margaret, answered the same and sent 
a dollar in money to her. In the evening 
attended the Va Philanathien. Question for 
debate, resolved that _____punishment 
should be abolished. Decided in favor 
of the negative.

Mar 27. The boys returned from picket. Wrote 
letter to Annie _____. Evening attended 
prayer meeting in Chapel. Oh how good it is 
to serve the Lord and feel that you have 
an inheritance with him.

Mar 28. In camp all day. Rumor that the 
Army of the Potomac is about to make another 
advance across the river. (Rapahanock). 
Interesting news from Tennessee.

Mar 29. Attended meeting in the AM, sermon 
by Chaplain Watts. In the PM attended the 
_____ also the ordinance of baptism. Was 
attended by Chaplain Watts, seven here 
baptised. Evening attended meeting, sermon 
by said chaplain. Feel the love of God in 
my heart.

Mar 30. Inspection of arms & quarters in 
the AM. PM had a grand review by Govener 
Berry of ___. Evening attended meeting 
in the chapel. Recd a book, life of 
Eld. John Colby.

Mar 31. Went about three miles from camp 
after wood. Evening attended meeting,
sermon by Chaplain Watts. Truely God was 
with us and who can prevail against
us. One backslider reportedly return to 
his fathers house. Thank the Lord!

Maintained by Sue Greenhagen. E-mail: greenhsh@morrisville.edu