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Civil War Diary: Sham Battle Has 'Artilery Fireing Scurmishers & Sharp Shooters...Highly Exciting'

March 31 - Civil war diary page with a quote typed on it

(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 31, 1862

A pleasant sunny day this after noon there was General Brigade Drill at Baileys X Roads It was very interesting them fought a sham [illegible] battle Artilery fireing Scurmishers & Sharp shooters [illegible word crossed out] thrown out Battallions charged bayonets with a yell—wich was highly exciting as an officer was talking pleasantly with Genl King he said if he had a regt of sharp shooters his Brigade would be completed Gen King said my men are all sharp shooters

Check back for the next entry on April 2. 

Diary entries provided by the Monroe County History Center.

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