Civil War Diaries
of William Owen, Co K., 86th NYSV


April, 1863


Apr 1. Took a walk with my friend Mr. Pierce. 
Talked on the subject of religion. Evening 
attended meeting,sermon by Chaplain Watts. 
Three backsliders expressed a desire to return 
to their fathers house, where there is bread 
___ to spare.

Apr 2. Went on picket about three miles from 
camp. Feel rather poor in body but my soul is 
alive unto God-thank his name for his goodness 
unto me, so unworthy as I am.

Apr 3. Still on picket. Weather warm and pleasant. 
Afternoon had a sweet time of communion alone 
with my savior in the wood--evening attend debate.

Apr 4. Still on picket. Went in the wood with 
my friend Gilbert Ashley, read in the bible, 
had a season of prayer. Evening had a sea. of 
prayer with my friend Asa _____. Thank God 
for praying friends. Snow fell about 8 inches deep.

Apr 5. A dismal morning of snow, deep and still 
falling fast. ____ that ____ incident to the 
soldiers life. Relieved  from picket and returned 
to camp. Evening attend meeting, sermon by Chap. 
Watts. Had a heavenly time. 

Apr 6. Attended conference meeting in the AM. 
Wrote letter to Sister Hannah. Received letter 
from sister Orisa. Evening attended meeting in 
the Chapel-sermon by Chaplain Watts. Feel the 
love of God in my heart.

Apr 7. Was inspected by the President of the 
United States. Weather cold. Evening attended 
meeting in Chapel. Sermon by Chaplain Watts. 
Surely the Lord is with and who can be 
successful against us.

Apr 8. Grand review by the President (Lincoln). 
Over fifty thousand passed in review before him. 
It was a splendid sight. Ladies on horseback 
with the Maj Generals. Evening attended meeting. 
Sermon by Rev. Mr. _____. ____ of the American 
___ society.

Apr 9. Stayed in camp all day. Weather very 
pleasant. Evening attended meeting in the 
chapel. Sermon by Chaplain Watts on the 
pleasantry of the Christian faith. One more 
of my fellow soldiers are gone. (died last night).

Apr 10. In camp all day, very pleasant . 
Evening attended meeting in chapel. Sermon 
by Ch. Watts (funeral sermon).____ man that 
is born of woman is of few days full of 
trouble. Read letter from-----.

Apr 11. Division drill (or show fight). 
Had picture taken and sent to sister
Orisa. Detailed to go on picket tomorrow. 
Went out in the evening with my friend ____ 
had a season of prayer. Read letter from 
Cousin Will, answered the same.

Apr 12. Went on picket-Such are the Sabbaths 
that the soldier must spend. Very warm, 
appearance of rain. evening rained.

Apr 13. Yet on picket. Clear and pleasant. 
A reconoitering party sent out to attack 
the enemy. General movement anticipated 
soon. Our army in the finest condition 
& best spirits that it has been since the 
war commenced.

Apr 14. Yet on picket. The army all under 
marching orders with eight day rations. 
Soon we expect to meet the enemy and may 
the Lord go with us for the sword of the 
Lord is mighter than of Gideon.

Apr 15. Relieved from picket at 11 AM and 
returned to camp. Rained hard all last 
night and is raining still. Am very well 
soaked. Evening attended meeting, four 
of my comrades started to serve God. 
Thanks be to his holy name. Wrote
letters PM.

Apr 16. _____ no complete marching order. 
Received pay of the government $52.00, 
paid by Major Oakley. Wrote letter to 
Sister Margaret. Received letter from 
the First Free Will Baptist Church.

Apr 17. Inspection of arms in the AM. 
Three of the boys of my Co(K) went home
on furlough. Sent $52.00 to John Shawl, 
also $25.00 to father. AM division drill. 
Saw the baloon up viewing the Rebbel 
encampment.

Apr 18. In the AM wrote letter to 
Sister Orisa. At one PM attended meeting,
went out with my friend Charles ____.
Had a good talk. Brig ___ drill in the PM.
Weather pleasant.

Apr 19. Attended meeting in front of the 
Co. tent. Sermon by a stranger, Chaplain 
__ ___. In the PM attended meeting at the 
same place. Sermon by Chap. Watts, 
evening had a season of prayer with my 
friend James Smith.

Apr 20. AM went to Stonemans Switch. __ined 
some report that Gen Segil has taken 
Gardensville. Evening attended meeting in 
hospital tent. Had a good time, felt the 
presence of God. Several ____for prayers.

Apr 21.  All the boys but forty ____ gone 
on picket. Stayed in camp all day. Wrote 
letter to my old friend Albert Hubbart. 
Charles Brown of my Co (K) ______. Evening 
attended prayer meeting in Capt. Bakers office.

Apr 22. The boys yet on picket. Stayed in 
camp all day.  A lonesome time. Evening 
attended meeting at the Christian communion. 
Three large tents now filled. A---member 
stayed for prayers.

Apr 23. The boys still on picket. Rained 
hard all day, stayed in camp. Evening
attended prayer meeting in Capt. Bakers office.

Apr 24. The boys came in from picket. 
Still raining. Obtained a pass and went
to _____creek to look after Charles Brown 
(a deserter). Reurned to camp. 

Apr 25. Went to the river to view the 
Rebbels with my friends Gilbert ___&
_____. In the end of a large brick building 
counted forty ____ball holes. PM wrote 
letter to First Free Will Baptist Church, 
Cameron. Read letter from Cousin ___.

Apr 26. AM attended meeting in front of 
the Col tent. Sermon by Chaplain Watts.
Blessed are the people whose God is the 
Lord. PM attended social or conference
meeting. Evening  after _____ in the 
hospital tent. Sermon by Chap Watts ___
and the word grew & multplied. Excelent 
sermon.

Apr 27. AM grand review by Maj Gen Hooker. 
Very warm and pleasant. Some of the troops 
moving. ______ went home or started for home. 
Evening attended prayer meeting. Received 
orders to be ready to march at AM early 
hour on the following day.

Apr 28. Everything packed up ready to march. 
Fell in line at two P.M. and took up our 
line of march. Marched about eight miles 
down the river and bivouaced for the night. 
Weather wet & rainy.

Apr 29. Still cloudy and rainy. Cannonading 
present seven AM.  Marched about one half 
mile and formed line,____ tents. PM on guard. 
Reported hard fighting on our right. 

Apr 30. Hookers order tell us that the 
Rebbels have got to come out of their
entrenchments and fight or fly before us. 
Took up our line of march one PM and
marched till one in the evening. Fifteen 
miles, prayers said.



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