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Civil War Diary: 'This Day One Year Ago Presd. Abraham Lincoln Was Inaugurated'

A page from peter matthews' 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 4, 1862

This Day one year ago Presd. Abraham Lincoln was Inaugurated—One short year he has made a man immortal--unexpected news greeted the Regt this morning Sergeant-Major Snyder died last night or rather this morning last evening he wrote a letter home stating that he was well.  What astounding news will it be wen them when they Receive his Dead body He was taken with hemorrhage of the lungs in the later Part of the evening and literally bled to Death how suddenly are we reminded of Death’s grim presence He cometh unannounced Then should we be prepared at all times to answer the dreaded summons at any time. For he cometh in the day and the hour ye know not of”

Check back for the next entry on March 9. 

Diary entries provided by the Monroe County History Center.

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