In camp nothing of note has happened
We had inspection this morning. After it was over I wrote a letter to wife and then went up to the Battery. Peter & me went up on the top of building.
I was detailed for picket today and was dismissed did not have to go.
I went to the celebration and heard the Declaration of Independence read and heard Chaplin Jones deliver an oration. At 12m went to the Battery and saw the Bay pier the ? salute.
[William E. Jones, age 35, enrolled at Baton Rouge, LA to serve 3 years, and mustered in as chaplain, April 23, 1863; mustered out with regiment, September 20, 1865, at Fort Jefferson, FL; commissioned chaplain, April 1863, with rank from February 23, 1863; source: https://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/rosters/Infantry/161st_Infantry_CW_Roster.pdf]
Sergeant Pope & me went fishing this morning caught a fine mess. Then I went to work & altered my pants & after that was done I made a qulepitcher [?] ring.
Ordily (?) Ellison & Sergeant J. B. Davidson left the Regiment today on account of sickness. I spent the most of the day in making finger ring. Wrote letter to father.
[John B. Davidson, age 28, enlisted August 1862 at Watkins, to serve 3 years; mustered in as corporal, Co. B, September 1862; promoted sergeant, December 31, 1862; discharged July 26, 1865 at hospital, New Orleans, LA; source: https://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/rosters/Infantry/161st_Infantry_CW_Roster.pdf]
Denning & me got up one o’clock this morning & went fishing. I spent the afternoon in shaving the men in Co. B. 2 ocean steamers anchored in the bay this pm
[Chauncey Denning, age 32, enlisted August 1862 at Hector, to serve 3 years; mustered in as private, Co. B, September 1862, mustered out with company, September 20, 1865 at Fort Jefferson, FL; source: https://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/rosters/Infantry/161st_Infantry_CW_Roster.pdf]
I am on guard at post Commissary. The weather is extremely warm. About midnight the watch on the steamer ? found a dead Darkey afloat in the River.
I was relieved this a.m. at 8 o’clock.
Me and Denning went fishing at 2 o’clock this morning caught a fine lot. The weather is very warm. The thermometer stands up to 115 degrees.
I am in camp today. Benjamin Smith & me fixed up a barber chair & shaved 5 or 6 men. Took a short nap. Got my sulfur & then went on parade and then went fishing.
I am on commissary guard today. It rained hard only until eleven o’clock.
The Steamer Clyde arrived here this morning with our mail. I caught a fine lot of fish today sold $1 ($14.71 today) worth. Our Regiment had inspection this pm in heavy marching [ordered] by Capt. Prentice.
[William R. Prentice, age 24, enrolled August 1862 at Jasper, to serve 3 years; mustered in as sergeant, Co. H, September 1862; as first lieutenant, March 1, 1863; as captain, September 16, 1863; mustered out with company, September 20, 1865 at Fort Jefferson, FL; source: https://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/rosters/Infantry/161st_Infantry_CW_Roster.pdf]
I went fishing again today sold 70 cents ($10.29 today) worth and lost Denning’s line. Co. F & a detail from each company in the Regiment went up the river this evening to be gone 30 days.
I went fishing again early this morning. Sold 60 cents ($8.82 today) worth. Came in quarters at 7 am & went barbering. Made 50 cents ($7.35 today)
In camp today fixing fishing tickle. And using the best means I can to kill time. We had Sunday morning inspection at 8am.
Denning & me went fishing again today did not have much luck.
The orders for drill [were] renewed again today we have to drill 3 hours today. I am pestered with sore hand so I can’t drill.
I went to the surgeon and got excused from drill on the strength of my sore hand. Shaved 12 men. [Ate] my dinner and so concluded the [day]. The Gen. Banks arrived from New Orleans.
I mailed a letter for Hattie this today. I am on guard at the commissary today. The Banks left here at 11 am.
I was relieved this morning at 7:00. Came in my quarters got some breakfast and slept nearly the remainder of the day.
In quarters today. Have shaved a number of the men and drilled one hour and a half. There are all sorts of Rumors through the Regiment about going home, but all false.
Had Sunday morning inspection at 8:00. In camp all day.
On guard today at the commissary. The thermometer stands at 105 degrees.
Chancy and me went up the River today and returned at 3 o'clock.
The 161 Regiment received orders to report to [Tortugas] immediately. We left Apalachicola at 5 o’clock and got on board Steamer McCullum at 10o’clock at the West Pass.
We left West Pass at 4 o’clock this am and sailed out to sea. The is very pleasant and we glide along handsomely.
The sea was quite rough during the night but is calm this morning. We arrive at [Dry Tortugas] at 3pm and land & took quarters in the Fort [Jefferson].
[Fort Jefferson is a massive, unfinished coastal fortress located on Garden Key (formerly known as Bush Key) in the lower Florida Keys within the Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles west of the island of Key West; source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Jefferson_(Florida).
I have spent this day in cleaning my gun fixing bunk & barbering. 7pm now I am going to take a walk around the fort.
I am on duty today for the first time in Fort Jefferson. [Dillistin] and [Vanduzor] [were] detailed to go to Key West to do duty. Then I wrote wife a letter.
[Legrand Vanduzor, age 23, enlisted at Torry, to serve 3 years, and mustered in as private, Co. B, January 14, 1864; mustered out with company, November 12, 1865 at Tallahassee, FL.
Israel Dillistin, age 36, enlisted September 3, 1864 at Avon, to serve one year; mustered in as private, Co. B, September 6, 1864; mustered out with company, September 20, 1865, at Fort Jefferson, FL.
There [have] been several details made for daily duty today and we have drawn 10-day rations.