June, 1861 Jacoby Journal Index Jacoby Soldier's Profile 16th OVI Home Page
Journal of Samuel Lay Jacoby
Private, Company C
July 1, 1861 to July 31, 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

Monday July 1st
The Doctor seems unusually active this morning cleaning and clearing up in and around the Hospital. I suppose that it will not be moved again untill our time is out. And I expect we will have plenty of Lady Visitors every day which accounts for the bustle around. It rains here on the Mountains about every day which makes it very cool and nice. in the morning it is foggy and cloudy and about noon it commences to rain and continues for about an hour or two and then it clears up and we have a pleasant afternoon. The Northern troops are pouring in here in great numbers. I heard last night that there was Eighteen thousand at Phillipi and two thousand at Grafton with about a thousand or two here. we are in Preston County. the fifteenth are getting their pay today and we get ours next week. We are looking for an attack here shortly. if we do they will "lean us out" in short order.

Tuesday July 2nd/61
Rowlesburg seems very dull today as all of the 16th have been ordered away from here. a few of the fifteenth are left to guard the place. The Boys were busy getting their uniform Pants last night and this morning. It seems to be the opinion generally that there will be a heavy fight at Beverly or Huttonsville before long and we are waiting with breathless expectation to hear the result. The affair at Phillipi although considered by our Boys of the 16th as a trifling affair seems to have passed through "the length and Breadth of the land" and almost every newspaper contains a different account. I have seen many men that were there and as far as I can learn the facts are briefly thus. At about 3 oclock on Sunday afternoon of June 2nd Our Company rec'd orders to get ready to march immediately. Accordingly we packed up everthing, strapped on our KnapSacks and fell into ranks. being told that we were to march to Phillipi we waited with impatience for an hour when we enjoyed the mortification of learning we were to stay and some of the troops but lately arrived would supercede us, as we had been the pioneers so far, we, that is the Springfield greys and our Company felt rather wolfish, but we had to digest our indignation the best that we could and see the rest go. Col. Kelley assumed command of the detachment consisting of a part of the 16th Ohio a Regt. of Indianians and the rest Virginians. at Webster 4 miles from Grafton they the 16th and Indians taking the direct route, while Col. Kelley with his Virginians went on to get in the rear of the enemy agreeing to commence the attack at four o'clock in the morning, supposing that of cours that would give them time to meet @ Phillipi. Col. Kelley's command had to march a distance of nearly thirty miles and as it rained nearly all night it proved for men unaccustomed to such fatigue about as hard a march as could be imagined and when four o'clock came Col. Kelley failed to "come to time". on the other side the men were waiting with the greatest impatience and at a quarter past four, fearing that the enemy would retreat without giving them a shot, the Indians, could restrain themselves no longer. The Cannon were unlimbered and about fifteen shots sent crashing into the town. The enemy instantly fled with the utmost precipitation. just as Col. Kelley with his tired men came in sight, but too late to head the fugitive. The Col. Immediately took command of the whole and was riding into the town at the head of his troops when he was shot in the Breast with a Revol. In the hands of a rebel, by the name of Sims, a quarter master, about 40 Horses five Hundred stand of Arms, saddles, Uniforms etc. in all a considerable amount was captured. Col. Kelley has since almost entirely recovered although I saw his death published in a Newspaper. General McClellon has his Headquarters at Grafton but seems to "Keep his own councel" as nobody finds out what he intends to do. We have reliable information that our troops have advanced upon the enemy. they are nearly surrounded and when the attack is made there will be some hard fighting done, as they are strongly fortified in their position.

Wednesday July 3rd/61
It has not rained any today and I have felt miserable. We had news of an engagement this morning @ Huttonsville which resulted in the loss of 30 of the rebels Killed 300 made prisoners and 3000 dollars in specie, we heard that there was going to be a fight today positively and no mistake. But the day is so pleasant that I guess they have put it off. I have written home today to Tyre.

Thursday July 4th
This has been the dullest fourth that I have ever experienced. there is nothing at all going on here and not the least excitement. There was some talk of having a dance at the tavern in the evening but I guess it has fell through with. I do not gain much in strength and I think I will not do duty before we get to Ohio.

Friday July 5th/61
One day seems just like annother now passing by in a dull monotonous unchanging round. Sundays not excepted. We hardly hear a gun fired to break the Sabbath-like stillness. Occasionally we hear from our friends but not often. The Camp of the 16th is about 3 miles from here on the pike road. it has been fortified.

Saturday July 6th/61
We heard that our men from Phillipi were going to join us before long. The doctors tells me that my soldiering is done for this 3 months. There is a few slave in this place. At the Tavern opposite the Hospital they have two or three "Wooly Heads" Some of the fifteenth captured a "Secesh" Captain a day or two since at his own house and after mounting him upon his best horse they escorted him to camp from whence he was sent to Grafton for trial.

Sunday July 7. 1861
We made out a poor Breakfast this morning it consisted of hard crackers a morsel of cold Boiled meat and poor "Coffee" while below the doctors and cooks are revelling in good Bread and butter, Beef-steak, milk and everything else that a person could wish for to make him comfortable. Why is it that common Soldiers must live and be treated like dogs. the dogs we left at home would scarcely touch the food that has been given us since we have been in Virginia. we have not seen a potato in our Camp nor tasted a vegetable of any kind. I do not wonder that men get sick. the only wonder is how they can maintain their cheerfullness under such circumstances, we have forty sick at one time and with good food and proper care I am certain that not one half that number would have given out. the much talked of Uniform for our regiment has not come yet and we have got the name of the ragged 16th among the other troops. nor have we received a penny of our money. I would not blame them if they did rebel

Sunday July

Monday July 8th
All is quiet today at this place. But in Camp all is activity. Our men have moved from Phillipi to attack the rebels at laurel-Hill and as the only way by which they can retreat is down the Turnpike road our men are on the "quivive" to give them a warm reception they have got 1 cannon and a Breast-work as high as their heads directly across the road and are otherwise prepared.

Tuesday July 9th.61
There is nothing of any importance going on to day unless it is to the guard on duty for it is raining beautifully not like the eastern showers. but it just pours down in torrents or vast sheets so dense that you cannot see a hundred yards. persons that are out get wet here in a shower. We sick men are on the same old round of Physic and diet which latter consist sometimes of a change from dry bread and tea to coffee and dry bread

Wednesday July 10th/61
We have news of interest to us today. not as you may suppose, news from home, but military news. The fifteenth regiment will leave for home on monday next to recruit for three years and I suppose that ours of the sixteenth will not long delay. one of the boys is very sick of lung fever and is not expected to live. he is from Conshocten Co. our living is not materialy changed although I had wine for dinner with my Bread.

Thursday July 11/61
The man that was sick died last night he was an inmate of our room. This morning a Lady arrived from Ashland Co Ohio for the purpose of Nursing the sick. She is whole-souled woman and we will fare better than we have since I have been here. She has promised that at least we shall have it clean and that will be some advantage.

Friday July 12th/61
Yesterday we received information that our men were within a mile and a half of the enemy at Laurel Hill and we expect that there certainly will be a fight before long. We had a pretty poor Breakfast this morning. we had dry dry Bread and rancid meat, but a mouthfull at that. Meat that a dog would scarcely touch. I know that such food is detrimental to sick men but our cooks cannot be persuaded of the fact.

Saturday July 13th/61
After a great deal of growling like "dogs over a bone" we managed to get a tolerably good Breakfast of dry Bread and coffee with two mouthfuls and a half of poor meat. Our regiment marched to Laurel Hill last night and we expect to hear from there very soon. tomorrow. we will be taken to Oakland in Maryland where our regiment will all unite and we will join our Company
Our Lieut, was over to see us yesterday but did not stay long.

Sunday July 14th
Last night we were got ready and put aboard of the cars with all of our effects ready to start for Oakland when Gen. Hill came in with a host of troops and ordered us to remain. a portion of us slept in the cars and the rest in the House
300 infantry and 200 cavalry were started for the Breastwork
It is reported that our men commenced the fight @ Laurel Hill this morning. the men that marched last went to Union this forenoon @ a double quick this portends something.

Monday July 15th/1861
We left Rowlesburg yesterday afternoon and arrived a little before sundown. We were removed from the cars to a large Dining Hall which had just been finished. it is a splendid room and would be a capital place for dancing. we sick men talked some of having a dance but finally gave it up. Oakland is situated away up on the top of the Alleganies in Allegany Co. Maryland, and is noted chiefly as a summer resort for the Southerners, on account of its elevation and cool breezes. at present southerners are scarce but there are about five thousand Northern men here to test its salubrious climate. the rebels have suddenly vacated the premises at Laurel H. probably thinking that it is good for the Health to move often in hot weather. About two hundred were unfortunate enough to delay untill the ragged 16th came up, probably they wished to inquire after the health of our gallant men. hearing no doubt that some of them were sick. But our red-shirts dirty and ragged as they were could not think of parting with their neighbors and with true Soldier like hospitality, they resolved to divide with them to the last crumb although they did not have anything very good themselves. accordingly they invited the hungry rebels into their own Camp where they are still entertaining them to the best of their ability, even placing guards around to see that they do not come to any harm. If they can possibly share our regiment , I presume that we will go home before long as we are getting out of clothes, and have been out of money this good while.

Tuesday July 16th/61
Grafton. We were rudely roused from our refreshing slumber on our luxuriant couches of soft Pine boards last night about 12 oclock by the information that we were to pack up and get ready to leave, instanter – we packed accordingly and got aboard the cars which left immediately for this place. Seven of us had to take a special train for want of accomodation We got along very well untill we got to Rowlesburg, where we were switched off and left till morning. after various trials and Hardships we finally arrived @ Grafton where we stay.

Wednesday July 17th
Grafton. We have good food here. I got almost a cupfull of Coffee this morning besides a piece of bread, dry of course but better for the Health on that account, the marching for the sixteenth Regt was countermanded and they were ordered back. our own company is still at Phillipi and I think they will remain there untill we leave for Home which will be in a few days. that is if our bright hopes are realized, and we see nothing to the contrary
I missed my medicine today

Thursday July 18/61
Grafton. We are just doing as we please now about fifty men are quartered in a new brick house just outside of the guard line and we have liberty to go just where we please. some visit the town and get good dinners from the Citisens, some go and fish, without catching anything of course, except a cold, some shoot at a mark, at which sport they suffer exceedingly in consequence of the collisions which often happen between their guns and shoulders. No company yet.

Friday July 19th/61
Grafton. we had a strong reinforcement to our Hospital last night. the three months men have nearly all got well since we heard that we are to go home soon. It is surprising how rapidly I increased in strength as soon as I got the news that our Company were coming to Grafton. I have entirely recovered. there was sixteen more prisoners brought into town last night, making in all about forty
poor fellows they look down hearted enough. we got one Slave direct from Georgia

Saturday July 20th/61
There is considerable stir in town today. the 3 months men are going home as fast as they can get cars to convey them away. some are going to Parkersburg and some to Wheeling. we boys in the Hospital have a great many speculations as to whether we will go home or wait a spell. there is a different story every half hour. Our Capt. called to see us the night before last while on his way to Columbus. we have not recd our uniforms yet.

Sunday July 21st
The 15th Regt started for Home this morning by way of Parkersburg. the 16th is still at Oakland waiting for cars. At least 7 companies the other 3 companies are somewhere in the country around Laurel Hill or between here and Phillipi or @ Webster or @ Beelington or some other place in Virginia. Grafton is in a perfect uproar today with troops coming in and troops going. and Engines running around
there is no less than 25 or 30 Engines standing on the track. we are in suspense.

Monday July 22/ 1861
Grafton Hospital. Our company passed here last night on their way to Oakland for the purpose of joining the rest of the regiment, the Officers are trying to persuade them into annothers months service but I do not think that they will succeed. our men have seen hard times and are determined to go Home. Our time is up today. We have not recd any of our pay, nor our Uniforms and I don't think the men will consent to go.

Tuesday July 23rd
The Hospital is in a pleasant state of excitement this morning. as we are getting ready to go Home. three Companies have arrived and are waiting for the rest and when they come we will leave for Ohio.

Wednesday July 24
Our Companies have not come yet and I do not know when they will get here. there is a report that we will have to stay annother month but I hardly think it true. because almost all of the three month men have gone home and it would hardly be right to keep us after doing the Hardest service we will know before long. The Wheeling people are going to give us a picnic when we go back.

Thursday July 25
I have begun to find out the secret of my sickness since, as the Measles are slowly breaking out in sight of my wondering vision.

Friday July 26
There is nothing of importance going on except that the measles are out, Boldly and fully developed. my measles stand unrivaled by any case that has hitherto made its appearance, they were a little difficult at first not liking to come out in a large Crowd it being the first appearance but were finally prevailed upon and came out with greats effect at placing people at a distance(distance lends enchantment to the view)

Saturday July 27
The Measles took a turn this morning and concluded to leave. accordingly they took their line of March disappearing one at a time, like stars from an illuminated firmament. The brilliance of my complexion has somewhat faded, and my voice has sunk to a gentle whisper, and in vain I try to eat with a ravenous appetite but the most I succeed in forcing down is a little tea and Bread (but O if I could only get something more) N.B. it is very pleasant here.

Sunday July 28
We received positive information that our regiment would be in tonight. I had a fine review of the inmates of the Hospital as the passed down to Breakfast in single file and such a set some with their hands on their stomachs as if suffering with the bowel complaint, some holding their heads together with both hands, some limping on both legs.

Monday July 29

Sunday July 2

Tuesday July 30/61
We have realy got loaded upon the Cars ready to start for Home. Of all "cutting up" that I ever saw this morning beats all. Stealing is the principal amusement although anything will answer. the Boys are pretty hungry not having had any Breakfast – but they don't seem (to) mind it any.

Wednesday July 31
Going Home. how sweet sounds that endearring word after the dangers and toil that we have surmounted. how nearly it seems to connect us with absent friends who are dear to us. and to think how warmly we will be welcomed to our dear homes once more. we wonder how many changes have taken place since we left them
whether they are sick or well how much our thoughts dwell upon the thime, so near and yet so faraway

Thursday Aug 1, 61

Ed. Note: This ends the Journal. The following pages contained these recipes and the song:

To preserve Meat fresh
Wash it lightly over with a sponge with a mixture of two thirds pyroligneous acid and one third water, the acid a kind of Vinegar has no flavor and it requires no washing.

Blacking for Boots
Mix three ounces of ivory-Black, two ounces of treacle, 1 table-spoon of sweet-Oil, 1 oz. of Vitriol, 1 oz. of gum arabic. disolved in water, 1 pint of vinegar.

Blacking for dress Boots
Beat up two Eggs well. add a table-spoonful of Spirits of Wine, a lump of sugar and ivory-Black enough to thicken.

Sixty grams of Caustic soda, a pint of water, and India Ink enough to blacken it.

Waterproof Blacking

Star Spangled Banner

O say can you see by the dawns early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilights last gleaming
Whose Broad stripes and Bright stars through the perilous fight
Oer the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming
And the rockets red glare and Bombs bursting in air
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there
O say does the star Spangled Banner yet wave
Oer the land of the free and the home of the Brave

On the shore dimly seen through the mist of the deep
Where the foe Haughty host in dread silence reposes
What is that which the breeze on the towering steep
As it fitfully blows, half conceals half discloses
Now it catches the gleam of the morning' first beam
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream
Tis the star Spangled Banner O long may it wave
Oer the land of the free and the home of the brave

--- end of journal transcription ---

June, 1861 Jacoby Journal Index Jacoby Soldier's Profile 16th OVI Home Page