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Below are images and transcriptions of selected pages of the diaries of Milton Mills. Mills' diary pages seem to be more like hurriedly scribbled notes. The entries are not necessarily in perfect order. The transcriptions are as accurate as possible. The pre-printed dates at the top of the pages do not reflect the dates of the diary entries.
These pages reflect Milton Mills' capture at the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, his imprisonment by the Confederates, his parole and transfer to Richmond, Virginia, where he was exchanged and sent to Camp Parole, Maryland, and ultimately home to Dresden, Ohio. Additional pages record Mills' return to the regiment, battling at Vicksburg, and his resignation and trip home from the regiment, then stationed at Indianola, Texas, in March, 1864.
These diaries were among the papers of Maj. Milton Mills and was handed down through his family.
Sixteenth charged the enemies works and was repulsed on the 29th Dec 1862.
30th of Dec 1862
was ordered to fork up all the money we had
Milton Mills was taken prisoner at or near Vicksburgh Dec 29 1862. Taken to Vicksburgh. Marched seven miles and landed in prison at 6-o-clock AM. Air was wet from heavy rain that fell in the evening. Went into the cell with six other officers. No bed nor blankets or anything to eat. Got some ???? and sugar. Second night was called at 12-o-clock m and paroled
to be sent into the interior of State of Mississippi.
drew rations of beef and rice ????.
New Years Eve
January 1st, 1863
Rations came about 12-noon. Boys very hungry. Nothing but ???? and bread.
Rations - bread, beef and molasses
corn bread and beef. Raining very hard all day.
the prison was used for a work shop formerly for negroes, has four rooms about fourteen by sixteen
we have one hundred and thirty three men in here, the Building is inclosed with a Brick wall about sixteen feet high
January 5th 1863 Bought in Vicksburg 4 loaves
of Bread $2.00
4 pounds Butter8.00
6 pounds Pork6.00
Peanuts 5 pounds8.00
Salt qtr pound1.00
Note: The above entry indicates Mills was, apparently, allowed to leave the Vicksburg prison and buy goods in town. A previous entry indicates the Confederates confiscated all the soldiers' money so the source of Mills' funds for the above purchases is unknown. Perhaps he collected remaining money from his fellow prisoners and, being an officer, was allowed to go into town and acquire food for them?
Captured on the 29th of Dec 1862 and Left Jackson on the 14th of March 1863 for Richmond for exchange. Arrived in Mobile on 17th. Left for Montgomery arrived 18th in atlanta on 19th. Arrived at Linchburg, Vir March 22nd Sunday 124 miles from Richmond. Arrived in Richmond March 24th, 1863
Exchanged April 12th 1863 Sunday
Left Richmond Seven o clock A.M. for City Point. Left Point on Board Steamer W. Whillden at 2-o clock P.M.
Mustered for pay by Maj. Evarts 89th N.Y. Reg. at anapolis, M.D. April 15th 1863
Commenced boarding at the American house in Anappoles M.D.
April 14th, at supper ????
Paid April 16th 1863 by Maj ???? $1262.10
Arrived at home April 25th 1863. Left home May 20th 1863.
H. C. Whitney Paymaster May 27th
Note: Mills made it home, after his capture and exchange, on April 25, 1863. He remained there for 25 days before leaving to rejoin the regiment, now participating in the siege of Vicksburg.
Left home (May) 20th
Left Columbus (May) 26th
" Cincinnati 28th
" Cairo, Ill 30th
On Board the ????? ???? Bound for Memphis
June 1st Left Memphis
on Board Steamer
Luminary for Vicksburg
Note: Ironically, Mills was transported from Memphis back to the battle at Vicksburg aboard the same steamship, the Luminary, that the 16th Ohio would take back home in October, 1864, upon the expiration of the regiment's term of service. Mills had resigned from the military several months before the regiment was mustered out.
Left New Orleans Nov 25th 1863
Landed on Descrows Point, Texas
Dec. 2nd 1863.
Note: This entry records the regiment departing New Orleans where it travelled by ship in the Gulf of Mexico to Decrows Point, Texas, on the Matagorda Peninsula, where it was stationed for several months. Mills and the regiment were on board the steamship St. Mary which, when nearing the Texas coast on November 27, encountered a fierce storm and was blown out to sea, barely surviving disaster but able to return to disembark the troops on December 1 and 2.
Jan 1st 1864
Beef ????2 50
apple Butter1 00
Bread Light1 00
Butter 5 lbs3 00
Feb 1 Potatoes Bsl3 60
Note: This list of food items was made by Mills on January 1, 1864, while the regiment was stationed at Decros Point, Matagorda Peninsula, Texas
Left Indianola Texas Feb 23rd
" New orleans Feb 29th
arrived at Key-west Florida (March) 3rd ?
Left Key west (March) 7th, 1864.
Note: Milton Mills had resigned from the regiment on February 12, 1864, and was travelling back home to Dresden, Ohio. He is believed to have resigned due to serious health issues. The two references to February were a mistake, Mills meaning to write March. No records have been found which would describe the rest of Mills' trip home after leaving Key West, Florida.
Contained in a pocket of the larger diary Milton Mills kept CDV photographs of the following officers:
Col. John F. DeCourcy
Lt. Col. Philip Kershner
Maj. Milton Mills
Capt. Richard W. Tanneyhill
Capt. Eli W. Botsford
Capt. George W. Stein
Capt. Cushman Cunningham
Capt. William Dorsey
Lieut. Bob Howell
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