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Available online from the University of Iowa Library are these three diaries (for years 1861, 1862 and 1863) written by 20-year-old schoolteacher, Turner S. Bailey. Working in Epworth, Iowa (about three miles west of Dubuque) at the start of 1861, his diary for that year focuses on teaching classes, the weather, and local issues... until April 15th. "Considerable excitement about war. Fort Sumter taken by the South." Beginning with that entry, Turner indicates growing preoccupation with "war fever" until enlisting in the 3rd Iowa Co. A at Dubuque on May 22nd; travelling with the regiment to
The War from the Other End of the Telegraph Sometimes a valuable diary is to be discovered, written by someone other than a participant on the battlefield. Such is the case with this diary kept by Edward Bates: Missouri politician, serious contender for the 1860 Republican Presidential nomination, and a man who years earlier served as a sergeant during the War of 1812. In February 1861, President-elect Lincoln called Bates to Washington, and on March 5th incorporated the man onto his Cabinet as Attorney General. The sections of Edward Bates’ diary most of interest: Pages
On the morning of the 6th of April, Sergeant Seymour Thompson was a twenty-year old member of 3rd Iowa, Company F, eating breakfast with his messmates, when the growing sound and increasing frequency of musket fire to the south and southwest became concerning. But with the booming of not-so-distant artillery, there was no mistake: the Federal camp at Pittsburg Landing was under attack. The long roll trilled and SGT Thompson joined his fellows in ranks for the march south to aid General Prentiss' 6th Division... but General Stephen Hurlbut halted his men well short of Prentiss' camps -- made aw