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lead image test

157 years ago, a Hoosier from Monroe County began a diary that he would keep almost daily as he fought for the Union in the Civil War.

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

Meet Peter Thomas Matthews

Peter Thomas Matthews was the oldest of 12 children. He was born in Surrey, England and moved with his parents and siblings to the United States in 1849, when he was 8 years old. 

His father, John Matthews, founded a successful quarry business in Ellettsville with his sons. Peter worked in the quarries both before and after the Civil War. 

Peter was 20 years old when he enlisted in the army and served as a drummer in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band. 

The Diary

Matthews' diary was donated to the Monroe County History Center in early 2018. 

Diary entries provided by the Monroe County History Center. Special thanks to Clay Stuckey for his extensive research on the Matthews family. 

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Read the Diary Entries

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July 15, 2019

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July 15 quote from civil war diary

Civil War Diary: 'Just Before Sun Rise We Were Started By Reveille'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 14, 2019

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July 14 quote from civil war diary

Civil War Diary: 'We Came Away About Eleven Leaving Them In Their Glory'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 13, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Arose Early And Bathed In The River Before Breakfast'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 12, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Our Brigade Was Reviewed By Gen McDowell'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 11, 2019

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July 11 quote from civil war diary

Civil War Diary: 'Congress Passed A Bill Discharging All Reg't Bands'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 10, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Had A Rehearsal In The Woods'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 9, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Dress Parade This Morning Instead Of Afternoon Makes It More Pleasant'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 8, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Reid & Willis Copying Music From The 14 Brooklin Band'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 7, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Had A Good Swim In The Rappahannock To Day'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 6, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Very Sultry Playd For Gardmount Dress Parade'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

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July 4, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Thus Passed The Memorable 4th Of 62'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 3, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'It Is Cloudy No Duty To Day'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 2, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'I Preferred Lying In Bed Till The Rain Abated'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

July 1, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'We Were Inspected And Mustered For Pay This After Noon'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 29, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Services Was Very Short Only A Prayer And Benediction'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 28, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'It Seems That Freemont Doesn't Like The Idea Of Being Superseded'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 27, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'We Were Over To Play For The Theatre Again This Evening They Played Toodles'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 26, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Rehearsal In The After Noon Then Brigade Gardmount At Night'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 25, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'At Sun Down We Started For The Theatre'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 24, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'The RR Bridge Fell...I Saw It All Go It Made A Very Loud Report'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 23, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Had Another Bucket Of Lemonade About Drank It'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 22, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Made Two Buckets Of Lemonade I Done My Share Drinking It'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 21, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Band Invited To The Fredericksburg Theatre'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 20, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'John Gilbert...Drank Something Which Rather Deranged Him'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 19, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'A Rehearsal This Evening On War Path'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 18, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'The Gov't Issued Fresh Bread To Us'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 17, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'All Hands Gave Three Rousing Sailors Cheers For The 19th Indiania'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 16, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Bourbon & Segars In Indulge In Only The Latter'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 14, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'The Col Had Us To Play Him A Farewell Tune For A Few Days'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 13, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'The Other Regts Held There Selfs In Readiness To Reinforce If Need Be'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 12, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'We Played For Regtl Gardmount'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 11, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Crews Of The Gunboats Stationed Here Could Be Prevented From Shelling The D—d'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 10, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Reveille At Day Brake'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 9, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'A Small Mail Arrived This Morning Received A Letter From Home'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 8, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Marching Orders Came The Companies Were Dismissed'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 7, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Some Of Our Boys Went To Town...They Say It Is A Nice Little Place'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 6, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'There Was Reported To Be 15000 Rebels A Short Distance From Warrenton'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 5, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Came Across Some Papers But Have Had No Mail For 9 Days'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

June 4, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'The Wagons Could Not Cross The Streem To Get Provisions'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary while serving in the 19th Indiana Regimental Band in the Union Army during the Civil War.

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