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Civil War Diary: '3 Of Our Boys' Hurt By 'The Worst Roads You Ever Saw'

peter matthews diary cover

(Becca Costello, WFIU/WTIU News)

157 years ago, a Hoosier from Monroe County wrote about fighting for the Union in the Civil War in a diary he kept almost daily. Peter Thomas Matthews was 20 years old when he enlisted in the army and served as a drummer in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band. 

Follow along as we publish his diary entries in real-time on the day they were written. 

Read the first entry here. Learn more about Matthews and read all former and future entries here

Editor's note: We have left Matthews' words as he recorded them, which means spelling and punctuation may not conform to modern standards.

March 18, 1862

A pleasant Day broke up camp again about 3 PM—the Brigade moving its [illegible] position for Embarking on transports Stopt at Dusk before reaching Alexandria before we had our supper ready had to continue the march so struck tents again and got under way in the Dark passed the suburbs of Alex—marched till 10 oclock over the worst roads you ever saw 3 of our Boys of our Regt got hurt by one of the teams running away—Camped in an open field on the ground where the Lincoln Cavelry deserter Johnson was Shot Our Baggage wagons failed to reach us so we had to pass the night (and a miserable cold one) without tents or our Blankets but very little fire we could find no wood the Col with us it was a Bad night for us after a tiresome march to ave no sleep in the morning we moved about 2 miles farther on were we Could get wood & water—beyond the Fairfax Seminary rained in the evening

Check back for the next entry on March 22. 

Diary entries provided by the Monroe County History Center.

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