April-May, 1861 Jacoby Journal Index Jacoby Soldier's Profile 16th OVI Home Page July, 1861
Journal of Samuel Lay Jacoby
Private, Company C
June 1, 1861 to June 30, 1861
Web Author's Notes: The following was transcribed from the journal of Samuel Lay Jacoby, a private in Company K of the 90-day 16th OVI. The transcription was made by descendants of the soldier and kindly provided to this website by Erica Joan Jacoby, great-great granddaughter of Pvt. Jacoby.
Pvt. Samuel Lay Jacoby

Journal of Travels

June 1st Saturday
Last night was cool but the day is very warm
nothing unususal occured today. There was a report that a part of our Wheeling Company were scouting In our vicinity and coming across a couple or three of rebel scouts they made chase and succeeding in capturing two of them, the other they fired upon killing him immediately the Ball striking him in the neck. A few more troops came in today and it was thought that we would be sent to dislodge a party of the enemy @ Phillipi a small town about 15 miles from Grafton. we packed up strapped on our Knapsacks loaded our guns and were drawn up in ranks when the order came that we would not go as none of us were very anxious to march that distance we were not much disappointed. We are well quartered too @ Grafton
the Ladies of Grafton are the most beautiful of any place that I ever saw
they are also amiable and when I marry if I ever do I think I will get a Virginia wife.

Sunday June 2
A fine pleasant morning
we had crackers and pork for breakfast. I stood on guard for two hours after Breakfast but as the sun shone out bright it was quite pleasant. 23-Hund. of our men left for parts unknown to me. I attended Church this morning but they only had Sabbath School. quite a party of our men went on a scout this morning but have not returned yet.

Monday June 3rd
Our scouts returned early this morning without seeing anything any worse looking than themselves. we learned today that the men which left here yesterday were destined for Philippi which place they captured together with four Hundred stands of Arms forty Horses Camp Equipage Knapsacks etc. there was about fifteen hundred of the enemy all but ten or twelve of whom succeeding in making their escape. Col. Kelly was dangerously wounded in the breast while in the act of leading his men into the town. It seems that he was shot by a man standing in his own door. some of the men said that the rebel had an hundred Bullets fired through his body for the act. We rec'd 6 pieces of Cannon and our Overcoats today from Columbus. I have been very sick today. I have scarcely sat up any. Lou Estinghausen has been sick with the mumps. the boys are in good spirits

Tuesday June 4th
I passed a very uncomfortable night with a severe headache but feel better now. several of our men are sick. our quarters are very unhealthy being in the Machine Shop filled with dirty Machines, coal cinders, oil and all manner of filth, so that it is almost impossible to keep clean. We were roused up last night about two O clock by an alarm of "the enemy" and "expecting an attack," immediately. We were so much used to this sort of thing however that I merely got my gun capped it, and leaned it up against the Machinery behind me, in reach, together with my ammunition, an I then laid down again. the rest followed my example some sleeping on their "Arms" and in a few minutes all was quiet. once more leaving the Sentinels to watch for the enemy, it being none of our business. We, however, were not molested. We have good Rations now, consisting of Pork Beans, good Bread, crackers, coffee, rice, Potatoes, sugar, etc, in abundance. A party of our men were sent to Phillipi to guard some Provisions. It has been raining nearly all day but has slacked up now.

Wednesday June 5th, '61
The rain just poured down last night and the picket had a very uncomfortable time. Sergeant Estinghausen and myself were removed to the tavern today where we are more comfortable. Our men are putting up their Tents and changing their quarters
I do not feel well and can not write much today. Our company left last night @ dark for Phillipi but for what purpose I do not know as I was left behind.

Thursday June 6th
I was awakened this morning by a brilliant Virginian sun shining through our window upon us. it is a most lovely morning and as I sit @ my windown my eye wanders far over the beautiful Landscape and it is beautiful, too lovely to be marred by the ravages of war as I sadly fear it may be. On all sides except the Valley through which runs the railroad the place is surrounded by high Mountains which are covered to their very summits with dark green forests so dense that you cannot get even a glimpse of the ground except here and there a cultivated farm which look, high up on the Mountains side, like Garden spots, and the eye seems never to tire as it wanders over variegated scenery. At the first glance as you approach Grafton it does not seem to be a place of any importance but as you pass into the town and note the branching R. Roads its immense Foundry to which is attached a car and Locomotive Shop. when you see the Splendid Depot with heavily-loaded trains Constantly arriving and see a dozen Engines standing on the tracks ready to start at moments notice, then situated as we are in an enemys country you will think that the small town of Grafton only one Hundred and ninety eight miles from Harpers ferry is of some importance. At present the most of the soldiers have left town and the place has an air of quietness which I have not here before observed and as I sit @ my shaded window while the sun pours down his melting rays outside and I listen to the hum of the busy insects, the walking to and fro in the house, the clucking of Poultry and other familiar voices a sense of drowinefs comes over me, a soft melancholy, such as I have often felt on quiet Sabbath Mornings in a far off Home and my mind wanders back to the pleasures which I then enjoyed and to the comforts which I will know no more. Henseforth my Home is to be the broad World to wander hither and thither like an unquiet Spirit sad and lonely, for to me there is no enjoyment where there is none that I love, and far distant from Kindred and friends I shall soon be forgotten. I feel very lonely today. The Company to which I am attached being gone and I am here alone 800 miles from friends and the spot which I once called Home, an utter stranger in a strange land.

Friday June 7 '61
I was awakened this morning about 7 oclock by Lou calling to me to get up for fear I would sleep myself to death. It is not often that I enjoy The luxury of a good Blanket on a clean floor and when I do I try to get the worth of my money. I am in perfect Health nor for aught that I know to the contrary @ least I feel first rate and I have actualy talked Lou into good spirits to say nothing of a stray smile now and then. I think he will recover only give him time. we had a sharp time in camp last. there was a general alarm caused by some unknown persons firing upon the picket guard which caused a universal excitement although no one was injured but cries groans and shrieks from our frightened men, rent the midnight stillnefs of the air. today our men took the precaution to place three of our cannon upon the hill back of the town in order to "give 'em jesse should the enemys appear". Lou and me are pretty well armed in our room having two Muskets with eighty rounds of cartridge, two bayonets and a Bowie knife, besides a revolver which we have not got, but I am afraid that we could not fight much because here we are living in a house for three days and eating toast Bread raw Beef and Chickens corn Bread and such Knick-Knacks which would spoil any one. Our company has not come back from Phillipi yet and the Colonel conjectures that we may have a fight here in the course of a week but let it come we are ready to run.

Saturday June 8th
I awoke this morning feeling quite well but now I feel as if a 32 had struck me on the head from an attack of the Mumps. I rec'd a letter from Dresden this morning and another this evening
all were well and enjoying themselves. A party of us started for Phillipi but on reaching Webster the Colonel sent two of us back on account of ill health. I have not heard from Home in the east for nearly three Months

Sunday June 9th '61
I awoke this morning with the pleasant conviction forced upon my mind that I was unable to leave my tent. and of course today I will know nothing of what is going on in Camp. Captain Mills called in to see me while on his way to Phillipi. my appitite is dreadful poor I ate part of a cup of coffee and cracker this morning and Lemmonade for supper and tomorrow morning I think I will have cold water Boiled.

Monday 10th
I was so sick all day that I could not hold up my head scarcely. The Doctor has been to see me twice and of course gave me the usual medicine a nice dose of physic.

Tuesday June 11th
No better yet. Doctor has been here twice again today.

Wednesday 12th
Today does not find me improved in Health as far as I can perceive. I have been taken to the Hospital where I have the best of Medical attendance. It is fun to be here and see the various manevres going on around. in one place a man will be mending the seat of his comrades pants in another a mock Captain will be drilling a giving all sorts of queer orders which are obeyed in the same spirit and so it goes from morning till night.

Thursday June 13th
Nothing of any consequence transpired today. Gen Carrington made a speech here last Sunday and presented a fine Banner to the Regiment. I am still confined to the Hospital tent but am some better
I rec'd two letters from Home day before yesterday and one from Dresden
those from Home were real God-sends not having heard from there in so long a time. Martin is the truest friend I have in York State.

Friday June 14th
My head feels very badly this morning and like a "Dandy it is considerably puffed up". A person never knows how to appreciate good health untill he loses it and he never knows what it is to have big feelings untill he has the mumps Sergeant Estinghausen was over today for the first time
There is a great variety of deseases among the men. some have sore fingers, some sore legs, some the Headache, some Laziness, but the most are troubled with the Heartache

Saturday June 15th
I am a good deal better than I was when I was sick. We have such good living that we are all getting well very fast. we have a change of diet from hard Crackers to sour Bread and then Bread alone for a spell sometimes we have Pork
We have a change on that for we have it raw for a spell and then we fry it and so keep changing and of course we make out pretty well. The climate is rater singular here in the Morning the Thermometer will stand @ Eighty in the shade
The Thermometer stood @ 95 today in the afternoon By 6 o clock and keep going up untill occasionally it gets to One Hundred and twenty
in the hottest part of the day. At four O'clock P.M. it got to about Eighty five in the shade and the night will be so cold that a person needs heavy clothing to keep comfortable. I sleep cool with a blanket and heavy shawl over me. Our camp is in a Wheat field on the bank of the Mongahela River. I do not think that Virginia Is noted for any peculial Industry of its people by way of Agriculture for I never saw such poor crops in my life.

Sunday June 16th
I am much better this morning. my throat is sore yet but beyond that I do not feel very bad. we had dry bread and coffee for Breakfast, which in truth does not make a man feel very amiable, especely when there is better close by. the Soldiers will be in such poor condition that if they ever get in a fight they will not be worth anything. I heard one man say that he has lost twenty pounds since he had been in Camp. I do not think that any of our Officers will be Napoleons. They are too small ever to make great men
There is a great deal of sickness in Camp at pres. and it appears to be growing worse. the Hospitals are all full. The Church Bells are ringing merrily this morning and remind me of Home very much, and of the times which I used to have "fixing up" on Sunday Mornings. Our fixing is quite limited @ present being confined simply to washing our hands etc. Clean shirts are out of the question. Thermometer @ 90.

Monday June 17th
A fine pleasant morning. There is a crowd of men @ the Hospital for medicine I should think that half Of the Camp were unwell by the way they come in. The Colonel gave orders last night to get ready to start for Cheat River and Every Body packed up every thing and hurried it on Board the cars only just leaving the Tents standing and we are still waiting for orders to strike them. and it is probable that we will keep waiting for a day or two yet. it was one Grande Military move and worthy of the genius that contemplated it. there was @ least some Cheat about it if we did not see Cheat River.

Tuesday June 18th/61
Tis a splendid morning the sun shines brilliantly with not a cloud to be seen
All Nature seems lulled to sweet repose and war seems to be no part of the programme all around is peaceful and quiet
the hum of busy labor is again heard arising from the forge and the workshop and the Husbandman once more returns to labors of the field and all around us they may be seen toiling in the fields of waving corn. The fields of Wheat are rapidly ripening beneath the genial rays of the enlivening Sun, and as the heat grows oppressive the Grand old forests look enviting with their dark green verdure and cool shade. But a short fifteen miles from here @ Phillipi different scenes are enacted. 7000 of our men lie encamped there making preparations for an attack from the enemy by throwing up Breastworks and so forth and the Village rings with the din of Warlike music.

Sunday June 23rd
very sick

Thursday June 27th
We move to Cheat River today. they want to send me home.

Friday June 28
Several of our men of the Sixteenth left for Home on account of sickness. there is Eight of our own Company here in the Hospital and I expect that we will go next. There was an insurrection in the 16th yesterday on account of not getting their pay and clothing several were discharged and sent Home. it is a beautiful place with splendid mountain scenery. we are now @ the verge of the Alleganies 100 miles from Richmond

Saturday June 29th
Every thing is quiet in Rowlesburg. not much signs of war. there was quite an excitement last night in consequence of a train coming in from the East filled with men but it was nothing after all we had news that our men were going to attack the secessions @ Beverly last night or this morning but we have heard nothing from them yet. and I think it is all a Humbug
I began to sit up a little And walk around.

Sunday June 30th
I am quite smart this morning but cannot walk around much yet. They had a bit of a fight @ an election a short distance from here yesterday. One of the fifteenth was killed and annother wounded 2 "secesh" were killed one a lieutenant, two of their Horses were shot and two captured by our men. It is very Healthy here on the Mountains although 40 of our men are sick but tis no wonder from the fare which they get. we sick men in the Hospital only get dry Bread and poor tea 3 times per day. Two of our Surgeons went to the Election to see the fun go off. When the fight began our Head Surgeon of the 16th walked around in his Shirt Sleeves telling the Boys not to shoot too high
The other Doctor had some difficulties to surmount He started for the Election on a Mule but on the road they had some disagreement the mule thought they were going wrong and the Doc was equally positive that they were right. the result was that each was resolved to have his own way Doc wanted Mule to go his way and Mule wanted to go his own way without Doc. finally Mule set the Man of Physics down in the road and left. I suppose they compromised the matter in some way or other as I believe they arrived at their place of destination and all the sixteenth came back unharmed. They are making preperation to send the dead man back to Mansfield where he lived. There was another man shot today by accident in the shoulder and Brought into the Hospital

April-May, 1861 Jacoby Journal Index Jacoby Soldier's Profile 16th OVI Home Page July, 1861