We had our monthly inspection this forenoon.
The 6th and 7th Regiments of Cavalry arrived in Baton Rouge with 40 Rebels and a large Number of Horses and Contrabands. They were 16 days on the Road from Memphis to this place.
We had inspection this morning as usual. Mrs. Dudley appeared in front of the Brigade in her full uniform.
The weather [so] is extremely warm that we have to Dispense with our Drill today.
There is Nothing of note today again in camp. The weather is very warm.
Corp. Turner of Co. B died today with chronic diarrhea. He had been unable to do duty for four months.
[1st Corporal David E. Turner died May 6, 1863, at Baton Rouge. Source: J.W. Merwin, Roster and Monograph, 161st Reg't, N.Y.S. Volunteer Infantry. (Elmira, NY: Gazette Print, 1902), p.26.]
Our Mortar Boats were towed up the river toward Port Hudson today. I am on Picket [and] am in a very pleasant place Near a catholic graveyard.
They have been throwing a few shells into P. H. [Port Hudson] from the Mortars from a distance of about 3 miles.
The fire is renewed again this morning from the mortar Boats on P. H. [Port Hudson].
Sunday morning after our usual inspection was over we Received orders to hold ourselves in Readiness to march at an hour Notice.
We [were] ordered this morning to be Ready to march at 4 o'clock tomorrow morning.
Our Brigade formed line at 4 this morning & left at sunrise. Marched 18 miles towards P. H. [Port Hudson]. Co. B. & H. C. [were] rear guards. But oh the Dust.
Beach grove. Wednesday. The 7th Illinois cavalry Routed a Regiment of Rebs in our front. Killed 2 captured 16 & put the Remainder of them into confusion.
We are camped in a handsome grove. There is a large field facing us, with woods on three sides.
It is very showery today, which makes it very unpleasant for us as we have nothing but our ? Blankets with us.
The Rebs drove our pickets in at one oclock today the ? Roole was Beat. We was soon formed in line & advanced one mile & the Rebs fell back to their stronghold.
We are still at Beach grove expecting orders to move forward. The day is very warm & the nights [are] quite cool.
Co. B. & G of 161st Regt went out a scouting. We traveled about 8 miles & returned to camp with 4 Deserters from the 174th Regt.
Our Brigade advanced within about 3 miles of the Rebels works & fired Several Shots from our heavy guns in order to Draw them out into action. But did not succeed [and] we fell Back to Beach grove again at sunset.
Coln [Colonel] Paine's Brigade came from Baton Rouge today with five pieces of artillery.
We have Received orders to have Rations in haversacks sufficient for 8 days & march tomorrow morning at an early hour.
[Charles Jackson Paine was born in Boston, MA, graduated at Harvard in 1853 and made a considerable fortune in railroad enterprises. During the siege of Port Hudson he commanded a brigade. Source: Wikipedia.org.]
We left Beach grove at sunrise & marched to Store plains where we met the Rebs & gave them a warm Reception. The engagement lasted 8 hours.
We Rested on the Battlefield without being interrupted last night. About 11 o'clock the Rebs Sent in a flag of truce to get permission to bury their Dead. It was granted them until 11 o'clock today.
161st N.Y. Regt. Left the Battle field last at Dusk & went out on the Clinton Road to do picket Duty At Night I am posted in the wood with 8 men. It is raining very fast.
Colonel Dudleys & General Paine's Brigades left Store plains this morning & moved towards Port Hudson. I was not relieved until 9 oclock.
161st Regt is lying behind a piece of woods about one mile from the Rebels works. We was ordered up very near their Batteries last evening to make a charge. But night came on so we had to fall back again.
This morning there is a call for 30 volunteers from each Regiment to take the lead tomorrow to storm the fort. The call is very soon filled & volunteers to spare.
The 18th N.Y. Battery got in position this morning & opened a steady fire on the fort. 161st supported it until 9 o'clock (continued...)
Today [we were] under fire 4 hours. The enemy is behind their entrenchments while we have Nothing But the Bushes to protect us.
Today our Regiment is lying in a Deep Ravine to support the 21st Indiana Battery. The Shot & Shell has bored over us all day But have not done much Damage.
This [is] an unusual hot day & many of our Yanky Boys [are] played out & have been sent back to Baton Rouge & many more are get the led? fever.
161st Regt is supporting a battery again today. Our artillery is firing into their fortifications from all sides. We have their guns nearly all silenced.
Remarks on the past month
Our Regiment has some more actual service During the past month than ever before & have went through more hardships. But the time has not appeared Near so long as it did when we was in camp.
Our proceeding from the 27th of May or a part of them until the surrender of Port Hudson may be seen in the latter part of this Book.