Now [that] our Former campaign is over with, our Regt. looks very bad. But today we are all feeling very good on our return to Baton Rouge. I notice a number around camp Dead Drunk.
We had a lively breakfast in our tent. This [was] composed of Warm Biscuit & Butter, something not very common for soldiers to partake off.
We are having fine times. No Drill, no picket, Duty Nothing, only roll call.
We received our mail this evening. I got one letter from wife. One of my tent mates is very ill, C. B. Newell.
[Corporal Charles B. Newell enlisted August 1862 at Watkins NY & mustered out with company September 1865 at Fort Jefferson FL.]
This is very fine weather & we are enjoying ourselves better than any time in this state. Wrote one letter to Mary [perhaps his younger sister, Mary McElroy].
A small [batch of] mail arrived to share [with] the 161st Regt.
I was detailed from the Regiment today with six men to guard the quartermaster Stores at [the] wharf in this town. I have moved my clothing & equipment.
The weather very warm & it appears to be very unhealthy in this town. Our sick & wounded Soldiers [are] conveyed from the Hospitles to the cemetery by cartloads every day.
[Colonel] Harrower started for the north today. He is going by way of the ocean.
Co. B. signed their clothing Bill for what we have had the last 4 months.
I went to the U. S. general Hospitle [probably the U.S. General Hospital in Baton Rouge] this morning & visited B. F. Beals. Found [him] getting along finely & in the Best of Spirits. But it is a Horrid Sight to go though (through) the Diffferent Wards.
[Bartlett Beals, enlisted at Watkins, NY, was wounded in action July 13, 1863 at Cox Plantation, and mustered out with the company, September 1865, Fort Jefferson, FL].
It is understood who is to go home to Recruit for the Regt. No one from Co. B. Surgeon Darling lost his chicken.
We learn that our River Boat has been fired on again by the Rebels Not far above Port Hudson. [There] is supposed to a squad of guerrillas that is doing the mischief.
[Guerrillas are small groups engaging in irregular warfare especially as a member of an independent unit carrying out harassment and sabotage].
There is nothing worthy of note today. Except we say that we are living as good as any Soldier need ask for.
This is an extremely hot day. Our men are dying very fast in the hospitles.
I Received a letter from uncle Wm Defree [?] today & answered it before it got cold.
Much to our surprise Col. Harrower Returned from New Orleans. He got Disappointed on going by way of sea. Lieut. G. R. White also Returned.
[1st Lieutenant George R. White; disability discharge 23 July 1863]
It is one year today since I volunteered to serve U.S. We had general Reveille [a signal sounded on a bugle to call soldiers to duty] this morning
Some person was so vile as to hawkstrike [perhaps he meant someone swooped in and stole] Old Surgeon Darling’s chicken again today.
[Lewis Darling, age 58, enrolled on September 9, 1862 at Elmira NY as Surgeon; disability discharge April 13, 1864]
I was detached from the Regt. this morning to relieve Corporal Peck at the wharf which is a good thing for me.
[Wallace H. Peck, enlisted August 1862 at Watkins NY, mustered out with company September 1865 Fort Jefferson NY]
The guerrillas made a raid on the union Darkeys that [were] employed on [the] west shore. Killed 4, took 15 prisoners & took two teams [?]
The 4th Regt Of Native guards [were] transported down the [Mississippi] River today. Found one dead Darkey in the River this this morning.
[The Louisiana Native Guard were the first officially mustered black regiment to fight for the Union and the only unit in the Union Army to have black officers as well as white]
Reme Hopt fell over Board & Narrowly escaped from Drowning. I arrest two men & sent them to the provost marshall [head of military police in camp] and he sent them to jail.
[Reme Hopt enlisted September 1862 at Bath, NY, and mustered out with the company September 1865 Fort Jefferson FL]
The 13th Army Corp is moving Down the river to N.O. [New Orleans] from Vicksburg. I think we will move before many Days.
I Disposed of Thomas Franklin (from Elmira, NY; in Company R) today & got Peter Storms (from Elmira NY; in Company C) in his place. I received a letter from Wm. Furman this a.m.
[Thomas Franklin enlisted October 1862 at Elmira NY & deserted December 10, 1864, Memphis TN. Peter Storms enlisted August 1862 at Elmira NY and had a disability discharge June 20, 1864 in New Orleans]
We Received papers from St. Louis Today. The Boats are Running quite Regular on the [Mississippi] River at present.
The first Brigade received orders to be in Readiness to march. Will probably leave in 3 or 4 days.
Today the 161st is turning their knapsacks & tents over to the quartermaster.
The 21st ind. Battery [Indiana] left Baton Rouge today & went Down the River on Boats.
The Rebs fired on Steam Boat Julia on her way from Vicksburg to B.R. [Baton Rouge] and wounded two men. A Rebel Colonel [was] arrested at the wharf tonight.
We are Relieved today at the Wharf Boat & we sold everything we had in shape of cooking utensils which amount to one Dollar each man.
The month of August has been the pleasantest month I have seen in the Service. I have had very easy time,s but Now they are over for a while as we are about to start on another campaign. We don’t know where or what our Destination will be. But are almost sure off Something not very pleasant.
Sources: http://civilwar.org, wikipedia,; http://ancestry.com; https://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/rosters/Infantry/161st_Infantry_CW_Roster.pdf