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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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true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true true

April 22, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Spent The Night One Side A Burning And The Other A Freezing'

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.

April 21, 2019

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April 21 quote from civil war diary

Civil War Diary: 'It Was An Act Of Cold Blood Murder'

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.

April 20, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'We Never Have Our Preaching Or Sabbath Devotions Of Any Kind'

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.

April 16, 2019

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April 16 quote from civil war diary

Civil War Diary: 'Ther Treated Us Quite Gentlemanly As Ther Always Do Wen We Serenade'

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.

April 15, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'The Rebel Cavalry Made A Dash'

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.

April 14, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Lots Of The Boys Are Putting In There Time A Fishing'

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.

April 13, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'This Has Been A Beautiful 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.

April 12, 2019

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April 12 quote from civil war diary

Civil War Diary: 'The First Hoosiers We Have Seen'

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.

April 10, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Slept Sound And So Sweetly Notwithstanding Wet Blankets Or Clouds'

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.

April 9, 2019

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April 9 quote from civil war diary

Civil War Diary: 'It Has Been The Most Dismalist Time I Ever Experienced'

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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April 6, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Went In Sight Of Were The Hardest Fight Was Of The Battle Of Buls Run'

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.

April 5, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'We Passed At Least A Hundred Dead Horses'

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.

April 4, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'We Struck Tents & Marched Towards Manassas About 3 Miles Out'

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.

April 3, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'I Beat The Drum Willis The Cymbals'

Peter Matthews wrote about a beautiful weather day on April 3, 1862 while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War.

April 2, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Today There Was A General Litter Drill For The Musicians'

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews wrote about learning how to stop the flow of blood from the brigade surgeons with his fellow regimental band mates.

March 31, 2019

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

On this day in 1862, a Hoosier from Monroe County wrote in his diary about a sham battle with his regiment.

March 30, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'A Most Disagreeable Day Rain Rain'

Hoosier Civil War soldier Peter Thomas Matthews wrote in his diary about yet another rainy day on this day in 1862.

March 28, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Todays Paper (Herald) Speaks In The Highest Terms Of Commendation Of Our Appearance Yesterday'

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews wrote in his diary about a positive newspaper article about his Union Army regiment.

March 27, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Our Regt Never Marched So Well The Boys In Good Spirits This Morning'

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews wrote in his diary about a general reviewing his regiment.

March 25, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Assembled At Fort Ward...For A Review'

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews of Monroe County, Indiana wrote in his diary about a review with more than 70,000 troops.

March 23, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'The 14th Mass Are Guarding The Things'

On this day in 1862, a Hoosier from Monroe County wrote in his Civil War-era diary.

March 22, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Our Boys Pass The Time Of Making Laurel Wood Pipes'

On this day in 1862, a Hoosier Civil War soldier wrote in his diary about a rainy day spent with his regiment.

March 18, 2019

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

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews wrote about an exhausting day marching with his regiment to Alexandria.

March 17, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Been Quite Busy Fixing Up Quarters'

On March 17, 1862, a Hoosier from Monroe County wrote in his diary while serving in the band for the 19th Indiana Regiment.

March 16, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'We Went For Fort Craig The Roads Very Bad'

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews wrote in his diary about traversing bad roads to get to Fort Craig with his Union Army regiment.

March 15, 2019

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

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews wrote about a long day marching sixteen miles in the rain with his Union Army regiment.

March 14, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Seen Horrible Things' At Bull Run Battlefield

On March 14, 1862, Peter Matthews wrote in his diary about seeing "horrible things" at the Bull Run battlefield.

March 12, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Fine Weather Serenade Gen King And Our Col'

On this day in 1862, a Hoosier Civil War solider wrote in his diary about the weather and playing with his Union Army regimental band.

March 11, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Agreably Surprised To Find That We Did Not March In The Night'

On this day in 1862, Hoosier Peter Matthews wrote of his gratitude about not marching all night in his diary.

March 10, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'We Pitched Our Little Tents Tired And Worn Out With Our Long March'

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews of Monroe County, Indiana wrote in his diary about an 18 mile march in the middle of the night.

March 9, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'The Regt Returned From Picket At Noon'

On March 9, 1862 a Civil War soldier from Monroe County, Indiana wrote in his diary.

March 4, 2019

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

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews wrote in his diary: This Day one year ago Presd. Abraham Lincoln was Inaugurated—One short year he has made a man immortal.

March 2, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Packed Knapsack In Ready Ness For A March'

On March 2, 1862, Peter Matthews wrote in his diary about an inspection where he and his fellow soldiers were praised for their neatness.

March 1, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Gen King Requested Us To Serenade The Ladys'

On this day in 1862, Hoosier Peter Thomas Matthews wrote about playing with his regimental band during the Civil War.

February 28, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Expect Marching Orders Soon'

On this day in 1862, Peter Thomas wrote in his Civil War Diary: Expect marching orders soon we are to hold our selfs in readiness to march wen the weather permits.

February 24, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'I Never Saw [The Gale] Blow So Hard In All My Life'

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews wrote in his diary: Calm this morning went to woods and cut a load of wood about 10 clock it began to Blow a furious gale. Pyles tent blew down.

February 22, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Washington Birth Day'

On this day in 1862, a soldier from Monroe County, Indiana wrote in his diary about celebrations for George Washington's birthday and an accident that left another soldier wounded.

February 21, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'Spent The Rest Of The Day In Reading And Writing'

On this day in 1862, Peter Matthews of Monroe County, Indiana wrote in his diary: Took a Bath today Played at the Col Quarters in the evening Spent the rest of the Day in Reading and writing.

February 19, 2019

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Civil War Diary: 'More Rain Rain Rain'

On this day in 1862, Hoosier Peter Matthews wrote in his Civil War diary: "More rain rain rain"

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