January 1 - Baton Rouge, La.
Every thing is quiet in our camp today except a few noisy drunkards. It is not a very happy New Year for me.
The 30th Mass Regiment landed on the west bank...this morning, to keep the garillies from firing into our camp.
I am on guard today. We are visited with the Starkest lighting and the Loudest thunder that I have ever witnessed. Rain falls in torrents.
The 30th Mass pickets was driven in this afternoon. The alarm was given on the east side of the River. It was very frightening for a short time, but did not amount to anything at last.
The Gunboat Essex went up near p.H. this morn and fired 6 Shots at their Rebel Works & then made her way back to Baton Rouge.
Mr. Caitire came in our camp selling poultry. Some of the La. BCGs robbed him of 3 turkeys, caused his team to run away. Five of them were put in prison for 8 days.
Today is my first on picket. We are about one mile from camp. Lieut. Clask is officer of the picket guard. One little turkey came in our lines, had traveled 2 days.
[A picket was an advance outpost or guard for a large force. Ordered to form a scattered line far in advance of the main army’s encampment, but within supporting distance, a picket guard was made up of a lieutenant, 2 sergeants, 4 corporals and 40 privates from each regiment. Picket duty constituted the most hazardous work of infantrymen in the field. Being the first to feel any major enemy movement, they were also liable to be killed, wounded or captured and the most likely targets of snipers. Picket duty, by regulation, was rotated regularly in a regiment. From http://civilwarhome.com]
We returned to camp at Noon. Noting of note has transpired in camp since we went out. I feel very careless after being up all night.
This is a very stormy day which makes it very unpleasant in camp. Most all of Co. B. is in their quarters, writing letters.
We are all busy making our quarters as compatible as we can.
A false alarm was made in the camp today to try our nerve. 161st Reg't was in line for battle in less than 5 minutes of alarm was given. We get the greatest praise.
We [were] all called out in line this morning at 4 o'clock and stood with arms until six, expecting an attack by the enemy.
I am on picket again. Today the weather is very fine.
We returned to camp this morning and found some Mail here for us that was directed to Long Island. The weather has changed; it is cold and disagreeable.
This is the Coldest day we have been in this Hab.
The ground froze some last night. It is very cold today when compared with other days heretofore.
Nothing of Note today, only the weather continues cold and no one got out unless he is obliged to.
I received a letter from wife and one from father today. Syrivres Schuyler was buried today. It was the most solemn funeral ever attended.
Everything is very Dull in camp today. There appears to be Nothing to encourage anyone. But I never felt better in my life.
Part of Co. B. in picket today. George Lacy & Charles Wilson are missing. It is supposed that they have deserted.
Chester Welch came with me to live today, or rather stay instead of live.
161st Regt. moved about one miles from the River today. We have a very nice camp. I Received a letter from ?
Today we Drawed Bleu pants <?>. I have [been] at work Near all day enlarging our tent.
General inspection takes place at 8 oclock this morning. Col. Dudley is our acting Brigadier General.
General Dudley drilled our regiment 2 hours today. It is the first he has drilled us. He does it up right smart I reckon.
Nothing more than usual camp duty today.
On picket today a second faster. Col Wright and me are on post together. It commenced raining at 4pm. It rained tremendously all night and was very cold.
I sent out to a sugar mill this morning and got a canteen full of molasses and domerigas <?>. We did not get relieved until near night.
Grand review today. One of the Mass men was that on picket last night.
Today we have regimental inspection, which does not come very welcome to any of us.