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Diary of Lafayette Rogan

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Was poking around the internet, looking for diaries and letters, and ran across one that may be of interest to SDG members: The Diary of Lafayette Rogan, Second Lieutenant, 34th Mississippi, Co. B (Tippah Rebels).


On investigation, the 34th MS (sometimes called the 37th Mississippi) began recruiting in February 1862; but was not fully organized until after the Battle of Shiloh. The regiment, under command of Colonel Samuel Benton, was assigned to defense of Corinth in April, and fought in the Battle of Farmington on May 9th (during Halleck's Crawl to Corinth.) After the evacuation, the 34th Mississippi moved with Bragg's Army to Chattanooga, and was engaged in the Battle of Perryville; the Battle of Chickamauga; and the Battle of Lookout Mountain.


It was during the November 24, 1863 Battle of Lookout Mountain that Lieutenant Rogan was captured, and soon found himself in the new POW Camp at Rock Island, Illinois... and began his diary.


His story is of interest, on many levels:

  • the diary is well-written, clear and engaging;
  • the subjugation to bitter cold and rampant illness are fully described;
  • the response of local citizens to 'Rebels in their midst' is not what you might expect;
  • there are 'incidents' of shootings at the camp, I was unaware of;
  • Lafayette Rogan was tasked with compiling the Prison Record for Rock Island: it is his hand writing, recording every entry.

For me, having made frequent visits to Rock Island Arsenal while growing up, and familiar with the POW camp location (and surprisingly large cemetery), but not familiar with the story...  This diary, and its associated connections to the Prisoner Records, truly brings the experience home.


The diary, POW Records, and 34th Mississippi Infantry Regiment records are accessible below.





http://www.arsenalhistoricalsociety.org/museum/docs/diary1.pdf     Diary of Lafayette Rogan


http://www.arsenalhistoricalsociety.org/museum/docs/diary2.pdf     Diary (Part 2)




http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~mscivilw/muster34.html     34th MS Inf Regt

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