We [were] ordered tonight to have 3 days cooked Rations in haversack by daylight tomorrow morning. We also Received our mail, and Received a harsh letter from my wife. Set up all night to answer it.
161st Regt. left Baton Rouge at 7 p.m. on the steamer Gen. Banks. Start Down River. During the night, bugs got so thick on the water, [the] Boat was obliged to lay to until Sunrise.
We arrived at New Orleans about noon & Dropped anchor in [the] middle of the River. Here we will wait for further orders.
Weighed anchor at 3 pm & left N.O. [New Orleans] passed fort Jackson [Fort Jackson was about 70 miles south of New Orleans on the west bank of the Mississippi River] at midnight. The weather is fine & our voyage is pleasant thus far.
We arrived at the Bar at 3 this morning anchored until 10 o’clock. The the whole fleet started out at Sea pointed westward. We lost sight of land about one o'clock
At sunrise we hied to & Company's A. B. & D.[were] ordered on Board the gun Boats, Arizona & Satchem. Run W.S.W. [west south-west]
[The USS Arizona joined the gunboats Granite City, Sachem and Clifton in the attack on Sabine Pass, Texas that resulted in a defeat for the Federal forces and the loss of USS Sachem and USS Clifton.]
At Sunrise we find ourselves in sight of land on the coast of Texas. Night finds us in Sabine Harbor where we anchor over night.
The Clifton crossed the Bar at the Break of day & fired a few shots at the Rebs Battery. [The gunboat] Sachem crossed at 7 o'clock, [The gunboat] Arizona got aground & did not get over until 10 then continued. Whole fleet got in the pass at noon.
After the Repulse of our fleet the Boats all left. The Arizona ran aground & Remained there until midnight when she got off & crossed the Bar.
Co. A & B [were] conveyed from Arizona in small boats to the Blockades. Owasco [the USS Owasco] this morning. At noon the Owasco starts for New Orleans. The Sea is very rough.
After a stiff Breeze all night & Rough sea we have a pleasant morning. [We] are Running 7 knots per hour. 4 pm we came in sight of a ship load of soldiers under a flag of Distress [and] took her in tow.
We arrived at South west pass at 3 o'clock today & crossed the Bar & made our way up towards New Orleans.
We arrived in N. Orleans at 3 o'clock this morning anchored in middle of river. At noon Co. A & B [were] shipped over into Algiers [Algiers, Louisiana located on the west bank of the Mississippi River] & Bivouacked. Terrible hot day. Received our mail.
161st Regt got 4 months pay today Which comes very acceptable. There [are] very loud times in camp.
I mailed one letter for wife today.
I sent $40 [about $755 in today's dollars] to wife by Adams Express. We have received orders to get Ready to go on the cars to Brashear City [Brashear City, Louisiana, was later renamed Morgan City].
161st Regt got on the cars at Noon and left for Brashear City) which is 80 miles from Algiers. We arrived at Brashear at sunset & bivouacked for the night.
Today we moved across the Bayou into Berwick [near Brashear City] & pitched our tents but no more than got [that] completed when we [were] ordered to pull up & move a short Distance.
This morning our whole Regt was sent out on picket. We are having a very pleasant time, only the weather is quite cold.
We [were] Duly Relieved from picket this morning & Returned to camp. There is a large force of troops collected at this place for some purpose
1st Division left Berwick today & marched 5 miles west & pitched tents on Smith’s plantation. There was A number of Rebels took Dinner here today but they have fled.
Smith's plantation. We have pickets out about 1 mile around as there has been some firing on the lines this morning but to no account.
I am on camp guard today. This is not a very pleasant place as there is no water to be had only at the Bayou & that is to brackey [brackish] to use for cooking.
Everything is pleasant with us today except the scarcity of water. We hear that the Rebs [are] in our front at fort Bister [possibly Fort Bisland?] Mailed letter for wife.
Union Cavalry returned from Franklin [near Brashear City] to our camp with 4 Rebel prisoners. Did not find much trouble in getting to Franklin.
Gen. Franklin had 12 men Detailed to execute one of those Rebs that was caught yesterday. He proved to be a guerrilla, therefore he was executed on the spot.
[William B. Franklin, born 1823 in York, PA, graduated first in his class at West Point. His performance in battle was far from stellar, saw defeat at the Battle of Sabine Pass, Texas on September 8, 1863, and resigned from the Army in 1866.]
The 1st & 3rd Brigades left Smiths plantation at 4 o'clock this morning, marched 15 miles along Bayou Teche & bivouacked in a field where the weeds [were] higher than our heads.
[A brigade was made of 4-6 regiments; one company = 50-100 men; 10 companies = 1 regiment.]
In the field Near Fort Bisland Our Cavalry captured 3 Rebel Soldiers & one captain. Newell Hamlin & me caught 175 clams. Tonight we see Rebel campfires.
161st Regt is on picket duty today. I went across the Bayou & got haversack full off sweet potatoes. 3 Regts. from our Brigade went out after forage today.
It began to rain last night about Dusk & Rained very fast all night & all day today. We did not get Relieved until one o'clock. Camp is a complete mud hole.
The Rain fell very Briskly all night & continues as yet today. Our camp is in a horrible condition.