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In the Bill Family Collection at University of Connecticut is an impressive diary kept by Arminius W. Bill (last name sometimes spelled "Bills") during the Civil War:

http://collections.ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/350002:118  Bill diary (volume 2) from January - March 1862 (34 pages)

Arminius Bill, of Sheffield Illinois (50 miles southeast of Rock Island) enlisted in Birge's Western Sharpshooters, Company C, in December 1861 as a Private. Two years later, the young man (obviously well-educated) was promoted to Hospital Steward; and by the end of the war, was acting as 2nd Assistant Surgeon for what was now re-designated as 66th Illinois Infantry. The diary is an impressive collection of daily events, information gleaned from newspapers, analysis of events (and predictions of "what will occur next" ...along with several hand-drawn maps, remarkable for skill and accuracy.) Then-private Bill describes helping destroy the railroad bridge, just south of Fort Henry; participation in the Operation against Fort Donelson (with action against a Confederate battery, silencing it); enduring the bitter cold for two nights before the fort surrendered; enduring severe diarrhea following capture of Fort Donelson (and describes Surgeon prescriptions that attempted to cure that ailment -- in particular, the treatment that worked.)

Page 31 illustrates Arminius Bill's awareness of "important Civil War events," as all significant events 20 SEP 61 - 28 FEB 62 are listed.

Page 32 describes in detail "life in camp at Union-occupied Fort Donelson," and subsequent march to Metal Landing for Smith's Expedition.

An important record of the Fort Donelson operation -- and Birge's Sharpshooters -- (that somehow ended up in Connecticut...)

Ozzy

 

 

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