November, 1863 Linn Diary Index 16th OVI Home Page January, 1864
Diary and Letters of Thomas Buchanan Linn, Drummer, 16th OVI
Excerpts from the Diaries
December, 1863
Web Author's Notes:
The following excerpts were transcribed from the diary and letters of Thomas B. Linn, a drummer in the 16th OVI. This transcription was kindly provided by John M. Pierson who obtained it from Mary Bavender.
Pvt. Thomas Buchanan Linn

Tuesday, Dec. 1, 1863

The 69th Indiana came up this morning on another vessel. Our ship can not cross the bar and the troops go from this vessel to a smaller one to go to the shore. Run in as close to the shore in Carvello Pass (Pass Cavallo) as we could and then took to the surf boats run to shore and waded out.

Wednesday, Dec. 2, 1863

Charley Wallick, Frank Wilson and I went down to the beach and took a bath in the bay. Commenced a letter to Uncle Frey for the Republican also one to Lizzie. Unloading ship and go aboard for my drum. Pitch our tent anew. Short of grub.

November 24, 1863 - letter from T.B.L. to Uncle A.B. Fry (for the Holmes County Republican newspaper)

Thursday, Dec. 3, 1863

Finished my letter to the Republican and sent it to Uncle Frey. Rained this afternoon. Raymond Fenner had a chill this evening. Sam Frizell was stung with a Stingerett today.

Friday, Dec. 4, 1863

Our regiment sunning in the bay today. Our company this evening was not watching them. Have a bad cold.

Saturday, Dec. 5, 1863

Raymond Fenner and I take a walk on the beach and gather shells. Battalion drill and dress parade this afternoon. Go fishing with seine in the evening - have bad luck - catch no fish.

Sunday, Dec. 6, 1863

Rained this afternoon. Fenner and I take a walk on the bay beach this evening.

Monday, Dec. 7, 1863

Finished my letter (No. 2) to Lizzie. Had my hair cut to please Col. Kershner. Long drill this afternoon.

Tuesday, Dec 8, 1863

Drill all afternoon. Looks very much like a North-Wester tonight but it does not come.

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1863

Wrote to Father, Lizzie Shera, Ike McCullough and Jake Hostettler. Drill as usual. It has been a pleasant day.

December 9, 1863 - letter from T.B.L. to Father

Thursday, Dec. 10, 1863

Drilling. Long drill this afternoon. Our regiment and the 114th Ohio drill together. Weather warm and pleasant.

Friday, Dec. 11, 1863

No drills today except dress parade. Fenner and I go to beach this morning to gather shells - found some nice little ones. John Edgar was read out and fined the price of coffee he stole from commissary.

Saturday, Dec. 12, 1863

Rusia and I went to beach for shells. Battallion drill this afternoon. Flag of truce at the picket line. Came down in a boat from up the bay. Company out this evening on patrol duty, to arrest men who straggled off to see the rebel flag of truce boat. Arrested men condemned to march four hours.

Sunday, Dec. 13, 1863

Wrote to John F. Linn. Regimental inspection and inspection of quarters by a strange Lieut. Colonel. Commenced a letter to Lizzie. Very windy - could hardly beat off at dress parade. Steam ship St. Mary's at the wharf.

Monday, Dec. 14, 1863

When we got up this morning we found ourselves covered with sand blown in on us by the North-Wester last night. Signed the payrolls this morning and were paid off tonight after dark. Received a large mail this morning - I only got a Republican and a New York Observer.

Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1863

Rained a little and blew a great deal today. Wrote some in letter No. 3 to Lizzie. Recruits paid this evening.

December 13, 1863 - letter from T.B.L. to L.S.

Wednesday, Dec. 16, 1863

Finish my letter to Lizzie, put shells and songs in it - "Answer to When this Cruel War is Over" and others. Wind rises and is blowing a gale from the North-West. Had to take our tent down about eight o'clock tonight to save it from being torn to pieces.

Thursday, Dec. 17, 1863

Passed an ugly night and this morning are covered with sand. Charley Wallick and Harry Myers went into the other tent in the night. Wind still blowing as hard as ever. Some of Co. A's tents torn to shreds. Wind goes down about noon and we fix up our tent - put cattle skins up at the ends and threw up the sand all round the tent. Fixed up nicely now.

Friday, Dec. 18, 1863

Calm today - sun out and weather warm again. Have a battallion drill this evening. Boys yell when dismissed and are recalled into ranks to be lectured by Col. Kershner.

Saturday, Dec. 19, 1863

Drill this afternoon, as usual the 16th and 114th drill together. Mail in this evening. Received letters from Billy Fleming, Ike McCullough and Lizzie and a Republican of Nov. 12th.

Sunday, Dec. 20, 1863

A regimental inspection this morning. Wrote to Lizzie. Wrote to Mr. Parsons.

December 20, 1863 - letter from T.B.L. to L.S.

Monday, Dec. 21, 1863

Wrote to Ike McCullough and for George Adams to his Mother. Had no battalion this P.M.

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 1863

Fenner and I took a tour of the camps in search of writing paper this forenoon. Got a dollars worth of stamped envelopes. Bought some paper off the battery boys. Battalion drill this afternoon. Mail in and received letters from Mother, Aunt Nancy Tidball and Hen Levingston.

Wednesday, Dec. 23, 1863

Battalion drill this afternoon as usual. Write to Bill Fleming tonight.

Thursday, Dec. 24, 1863

Battalion drill this afternoon Companies commanded by sergeants. Wrote a few lines to Mother. Christmas Eve and a great many of the boys on a bender tonight - full of Commissay whiskey. Wrote to Kasandra Ross.

December 24, 1863 - letter from T.B.L. to Mother

Friday, Dec. 25, 1863

Christmas day. No drill and everyone trying to enjoy himself. Received flour and had some nice doughnuts made of it.

Saturday, Dec. 26, 1863

Drawing clothing today. Drew pants and blouse. Raining part of today and wind rising. Blowing very hard from the west. Lieut. Boling with us tonight.

Sunday, Dec. 27, 1863

Our tent stood last nights storm first rate. Wrote letters to Aunt Nancy Tidball, Hen Levingston and Tillie Bell. One year ago today we were on the Yazoo river and the battle of Chickasaw Bayou was opened. The most disastrous for our regiment we were ever in.

December 27, 1863 - letter from T.B.L. to Aunt Nancy Tidball

Excerpt from from the Wooster Republican newspaper

abt. December 27, 1863 - newspaper article from the Wooster Republican including letters from Capt. Hamilton Richeson and Col. John F. DeCourcy

Monday, Dec. 28, 1863

Spent today in making out a list of my letters written and received in the year 1863. I find I wrote 161 and received 123 letters - 38 more written than received. Battalion drill and dress - parade as usual. Colors escorted out to the field with music for battalion drill. One year ago today we were fighting at Chickasaw Bluffs. George Henderson received his death wound.

Tuesday, Dec. 29, 1863

Finished my record of letters written and received in 1863. New movements were made at Battalion drill this afternoon. Steam-ship St. Mary's at the wharf. One year ago today the dis-astrous charge on Chickasaw Bluffs was made. A sad day for our regiment. Big mail in - received letters from Jake Hostetler, Cy. Martin, George Smith, Becky Powers, two from Lizzie, two from Home, two Republicans, a quire of writing paper and a pack of envelopes.

December 30, 1863 - letter from T.B.L. to Father

December 30, 1863 - letter from T.B.L. to brother Ezekiel

December 30, 1863 - letter from T.B.L. to Mother

Wednesday, Dec. 30. 1863

Rained some this forenoon. Battalion drill this afternoon. Buried Charles Myers our Drum Major this evening with the honors of war. Eckle and Lemmon here again with their sutler shop. Wrote letters to Father, Mother and Zeke - one sheet to each. Wind raises tonight and is blowing a Nor'Wester.

Thursday, Dec. 31, 1863

Very cold and wind blowing from the North West all day. Wrote to G.W. Smith. Lieut. Boling came over to sleep with us tonight. Pickets expected to be attacked last night. Our scouts were driven some forty miles by rebel cavalry. Reported 150 infantry were taken prisoners. They had gone up the Gulf and landed to drive cattle down. Went too far up and were cut off.

November, 1863 Linn Diary Index 16th OVI Home Page January, 1864