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Civil War Diary: 'Compared With This Days Experience We Ave Been Playing Solider Hereafore'

a quote from peter matthew's diary

(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 15, 1862

The ever-be-Remembered Day—Preparations for march were all made last night and at about ten oclock we began to move towards Alexandria it being understood that we wer to take transports for “Down the River As we began to move the rain began to fall not gently but in torrents and unceasingly till we halted after a sixteen mile march near Alexandria The boys generally were in the Best of Spirits and seemed to mock Elements for there warring Of course we were wet thoroughly drenched but what of that A soldiers life is always gay—we Built us a huge fire and warmed—Drying was out of the Question Compared with this days experience we ave beenplaying soldier hereafore, we pitched our tents in the woods on the muddy ground and lay Down hopeing for Rest and Sleep me and Earl Reid slept together [illegible] Part of this night

Check back for the next entry on March 12. 

Diary entries provided by the Monroe County History Center.

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