This morning finds me unable to do Duty. Our monthly inspection comes off today. Everything appears Dreary in camp. We expect an attack by the Rebels as they have showed themselves near our camp.
Dudley Brigade practiced on firing this afternoon with Blank cartridges. We fired 10 Rounds each, One of Co. G. got his ear shot off. This has been very interesting for us.
[Nathan Dudley was born in Massachusetts, was a Brigadier General in the Army, and served as an aide to Major General Banks.]
Considerable excitement in camp, thinking we will have to March from here this week. All Sorts of Rumors. Capt. Brown went to NO [New Orleans].
Things are very Dull. Every man appears to be Down in the mouth thinking of what we have before us. But the [cry] is, Port Hudson must fall.
Today we had a Real Sham Battle. The cavalry succeeded in Breaking our Ranks once only, but they made several charges on us. We practiced street firing with Blanks.
This is a very rainy day so there's Nothing going in Camp.
As it is Saturday we have no drill but Spend the [day] in cleaning up around our quarters. Big excitement in listening in the cavalry. 5 o'clock I am sent to unload boat.
We had a very Slight inspection this morning after which we Received Orders to be Ready to march at 12 hours Notice.
We Received Orders at 10 o'clock tonight to Be Ready to March tomorrow morning at 6 o'clock with 2 Days Rations. Up nearly all night a cooking.
We [were] all in line at 6 this morning instead of marching as we [were] ordered. We had a grand Review. [Were] dismissed at 11 o'clock with orders to Be Ready to march at a moments Notice.
The 32nd Brigade was reviewed separately by Gen. Banks in heavy marching order. Some of the first Division left for P.H. [Port Hudson] today.
[Major General Nathaniel P. Banks was a former governor of Massachusetts and the Commander of the Union Army in Louisiana during the Civil War.]
We are under Marching orders yet with 3 days rations in our Haversacks expecting to leave every hour.
[A haversack is a small, sturdy bag carried on the back or over the shoulder, used especially by soldiers and hikers.]
The 2nd La. Regt. [Light Artillery Regiment] went up the River within a short Distance of the enemy's Batteries, captured a few Prisoners, and Returned at Dusk tonight.
The 1st & 3rd Brigades left Baton Rouge this a.m. at 4 o'clock, marched 12 miles towards Port Hudson and there camped the Remainder of the Day and night.
The gunboats opened on the Rebel Batteries at 2 o'clock this morning. They kept up continual fire until 5 when the Hartford & __ got past their fortifications & the ships was Blown up.
[Admiral Farragut’s fleet attacked Port Hudson around 11pm on 14 May 1863. He started out with 7 ships and 5 were disabled during the battle. The Hartford was the flagship of Admiral Farragut. The other ship that got through was the Albatross. Both the Hartford and the Albatross were damaged. Charles might have been referring to the two ships that made it past Port Hudson and the other ships in Adm. Farragut’s fleet that were disabled.]
Montisenio [Monte Sano] Bayou. We arrived here yesterday at 2pm & Bivouacked in the Wood on the Bank off [the] Bayou. We had a hard march on Double quick & I have been exposed to the rain all night.
We [were] all called up at one o'clock this & ordered to cook 2 Days Rations. At 4 we fell in line of Battle & then Remained until 9 when the Rebs attacked our Pickets. We advanced & Drove them Back.
We had a good Rest last night and are Now Ready to march again. Noon. We go "to. B. K. Hay" in camp one hour. Take the boat go up the River on West Shore.
Near P.H. [Port Hudson]
We Landed about 2 miles below Port Hudson at 8 o'clock last night. Stacked our guns & Stacked our guns & slept behind them all night. The gun Boats have been firing all Day into the Rebel Fort.
At 3 o'clock the long ... was sound through our lines & we were marched forward opposite the Rebel Batteries. But could not Draw their fire.
I am on Picket today. Went out last night did not get relieved until tonight. There is no firing from the Boats to Day at all.
Everything is quiet With us today & we are having quite fine times. Have all the Fresh Beef we want to eat & not much to do.
It commenced raining last night & continues yet this morning. We had a ration of whiskey this morning & some of our company got tight & made fools of themselves.
Co B. went out on picket this morning. We learn that the Rebs have cut the levee so we are surrounded by water so Cavalry went to Boats for the Rebs.
About midnight the contrabands Began to come in our lines where where we are on picket & when we was relieved we had 55 all sorts & sixes. They had traveled through water five miles.
[Contraband was a term commonly used in the US military during the Civil War to describe a new status for certain escaped slaves or those affiliated with Union forces. The Army & US Congress determined they wouldn’t return escaped slaves who went to Union lines & classified them as ‘contraband’. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraband]
Our Brigade got on Boats at 2 o'clock this morning arrived at Baton Rouge at Day Dawn.
We are in our Camp today and much against our will we have company Drill.
Gen Banks [General Nathaniel P. Banks] orders was read to us tonight on Dress parade in respect to Sending Negroes Back to their owners or Sending them to work on government plantations. Today I was appointed Corp [Corporal].
We have Sunday inspection again as usual, [were] Dismissed at 11am.
Our mail arrive again today our monthly came up at 9 oclock this mor[ning].
There is Nothing of Note today, only usual Duty.
We have had quite some excitement & have fared pretty good. So the month of March has passed off quite quick and seemingly. But still we are looking forward with anxious hearts for Something better to come. But as for me, I am Satisfied for the present.