Available for sale, and in select stores! starting June 2023. $16 each, discounts start at two at: The Outer Coast.com

Produced by Rebecca Poulson in Sitka Alaska

Printed in Juneau, Alaska U.S.A.

Printed on heavy, vellum surface Natural color paper

Features original wood engravings, scratchboard drawings and watercolors of Alaskan beaches, botany, fishing boats and Alaskans by Rebecca Poulson

Poetry and quotes by Alaskan poets John Straley, Caroline Goodwin, and Ishmael Angaluuk Hope, Maine poet Jefferson Navicky, and Lew Welch, Walt Whitman, and James Joyce, on the theme of the Future

Gardening Reminders for Southeastern Alaska

Calendar for all of 2025 on last page

Nature Anniversaries

A Tidal Odyssey: Ed Ricketts and the Making of Between Pacific Tides, by Richard Astro and Donald Kohrs. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis, Oregon 2021.

Between Pacific Tides, by Edward F. Ricketts and Jack Calvin, is a guide to the ecology of the Pacific coast intertidal zone, first published in 1939. This remarkable book is still in print, and A Tidal Odyssey is a well researched and richly illustrated biography of author Ed Ricketts and the story of how the bookcame to be.

A Tidal Odyssey is a fond and uncritical portrait of Ricketts, which is its weakness but also its charm. In addition to his contribution to ecology, Ricketts influenced a wide group of writers, artists, scientists, and intellectuals, especially novelist John Steinbeck. This book also aims to correct the picture of who Ricketts was beyond Steinbeck’s character Doc in Cannery Row.

Ed Ricketts crossed over between art and science. This was encouraged at the University of Chicago, which at the time he attended had a “sociological orientation to ecological investigation.” He moved to the central California coastal community of Monterey in 1923, supporting himself and his family with a biological supply business. Nearby Stanford University Hopkins Marine Station was part of Ricketts’ scientific world, while neighboring Carmel, an artist’s colony, nourished his creative side.

The co-author and photographer of Between Pacific Tides was Jack Calvin, who was to live most of his life in Sitka. Ritchie Lovejoy, who made the line drawings, was a writer and artist. Calvin’s wife Sasha Kashevaroff Calvin and her sisters, from Sitka, were also creative and intellectual. Tal Kashevaroff was married to Ritchie Lovejoy, and Xenia Kashevaroff, a book artist, sculptor and performance artist, married John Cage, who was to become famous as an avant-garde composer. Another Sitka connection is Ricketts’ talented daughter Nancy, long a Sitka resident.

Stanford University Press accepted Between Pacific Tides in 1931 but it was not until 1939 that the book appeared in print. The main obstacles were that a similar guide was already in print, and that the Great Depression was under way. After 1935, the delays were related to the massive effort required to compile and edit the book, especially the detailed list of species, complete with an up-to-date bibliography on each. In November 1936 Ricketts lost his lab, which was also his home, in a fire. It was a huge emotional setback and took a lot of his time and energy to rebuild.

Some authorities on Ricketts and his times attributed the publishing delay to resistance by Walter K. Fisher, the head of Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station, because Ricketts was not an academically qualified biologist. However, Astro and Kohrs show that Fisher always respected Ricketts as a “collector of considerable experience,” and that his concern was over who the audience would be, and whether they’d be more interested in a straight identification guide to marine life.

A Tidal Odyssey discusses the battle over whether or not to “popularize” science, but the examples given, such as the description, by Ricketts and Calvin, of hermit crabs as the “the clowns of the sea shore” haven’t aged well and are not what help connect the reader to the magic of nature. Between Pacific Tides was to have been one part of a comprehensive guide to the coastal ecology of the entire Pacific Coast, but Ricketts did not live to see this project accomplished. He died in 1948 when his car was hit by a train.

Ricketts was passionately interested in meaning, and in bringing art, literature, nature, and experience together into a “unified theory” of existence, but his philosophical writings are hard going and were consistently rejected for publication. His friend Joseph Campbell did manage to bring world myth into a single framework, but he had to pick and choose myths to fit his theory. Maybe that’s why Ricketts’s letters and other writings are still interesting today, because his approach did not allow simplifying his ideas into one theory.

Between Pacific Tides is famous for its ecological approach, unusual for its time, in which creatures and their evolution are an integral part of the environment, and of communities of other creatures. Astro and Kohrs quote Ricketts that “everything is an index of everything else . . . and that to understand nature means to discern the relationship of its constituent parts.” But reading it today, what stands out is how Ricketts and Calvin didn’t talk down to their readers. It isn’t dry and hard to read, like many scientific papers, but it isn’t dumbed down or oversimplified, either. Ricketts and Calvin invited readers to make their own connections to nature and to life, not just to get new information, but to generate insights and to experience joy.

A Tidal Odyssey is a portrait of perseverance and curiosity, and an engaging view into a time and place when people wrote novels with insights from biology and studied biology with insights from philosophy. This is relevant today because then, as now, scientists sometimes lose sight of the interconnections of nature as they pursue ever more specialized work and technical methods.

Scientists can forget that science is inherently cultural. Humanities scholars, too, can lose sight of the way human societies depend on the non-human world. By taking us into the world where Between Pacific Tides was created, A Tidal Odyssey reminds us that rigorous science is essential for understanding society, and that the humanities are a necessary foundation for the practice of science.

This approach could be wonderfully productive for us now, as the humanities continue to lose ground in education, and the sciences are the lesser for it.

Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska by Alaska Native Languages Center

By Rebecca Poulson

I’d like to acknowledge the Tlingit people, the owners and stewards of this land from time immemorial. Also, all of this is a work in progress and I would be grateful for any comments or corrections.

First, who was Alexandre Andreevich Baranov and what was his role in Alaska’s history?

Documents from his time were written from a certain perspective, and Baranov’s own writings were meant to put himself in a good light to his superiors. His 28-year career in Alaska was filled with complicated conflicts and what led up to them, and the motivations of the various parties, are impossible to fully know. That said, thanks to the quantity and variety of recorded observations, and scholarship based on them, we do have a good general idea of the man and his life in Alaska.

Alexander Baranov came out to Alaska in 1790 at age 44 to work as a manager for the Golikov-Shelikov fur trading company. This was in the second phase of Russian colonization. The first phase, from the 1740s into the 1780s was unregulated and violent, primarily of the Aleutian Islands and mainly for sea otter, by multiple independent fur companies. Unangan people fought back but Russians were all armed men, while the Unangan were defending elders and children and had no where to go. This had a devastating impact on the Native people of the Aleutians.

By the time Baranov came out, it was the next phase of colonization. Only a few companies were left and they relied on the forced labor of Unangan, Chugiak and Sugpiak men, who hunted sea mammals from baidarkas or kayaks. The Russians compelled others to provide food and gear for the Russian enterprise.

The Golikov-Shelikov company’s leader, Grigorii Shelikov, who hired Baranov, had a vision of permanent colonization of North America as a New Russia. Shelikov and his company brutally conquered Kodiak Island, with the idea of using the Native inhabitants as his forced labor work force. In 1799, this company was the basis of the Russian American Company, with a monopoly on trade and authorization to colonize North America on behalf of the Russian government.

In the 1790s Baranov’s projects were to consolidate control of Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet, build some ships, and send out fleets of Native hunters for sea otter. This period was full of conflict, which included struggles with a competing company and with Native people on the mainland, but also within the company – between and among leadership and employees, both Native and Russian, with clergy and with Russian naval officers sent out to assist the enterprise. Shipwrecks were constant, which caused deaths directly and through starvation and scurvy when supplies did not arrive.

In 1796 Baranov negotiated with the Yakutat leaders to build a fur hunting base and an agricultural colony at Yakutat. His goal was to claim the North American coast down to Nootka on Vancouver Island. Behind this effort to claim territory was the goal of sustaining profit – they were running out of sea otter in western Alaska. In the later 1790s he sent fleets of hunters into southeastern Alaska, returning with thousands of pelts.

It is important to remember that North America was entirely owned and defended by Indigenous civilizations; southeast Alaska was Tlingit America. Also, the international maritime fur trade had started in the 1780s and by this time, the 1790s, was at its peak, and Sitka was a popular port, where maritime traders, mainly from the United State and England, participated in the preexisting Northwest Coast Indigenous trade which moved goods throughout Northwest America.

In 1799 Baranov negotiated with Kiks.adi leader Shk’awulyeil for a site for a fur hunting base at Gajaa Heen, north of Sitka. In 1802 a multi-clan Tlingit alliance destroyed this fort, and killed most of the hunters, over an accumulation of insults and crimes. It took until 1804, two years later, for Baranov and other employees on a few small ships, and some 800 Native hunters, in baidarkas, to meet up in Sitka Sound with the Russian frigate Neva.

The Kiks.adi, the primary clan of Sitka, meanwhile moved from their main fort at Noow Tlein (now also called Castle Hill) and built a fort called Shiskinoow at the mouth of Kaasdaa Heen or Indian River. This fort was nearly impenetrable, but, in a firefight between a canoe and a boat from the Neva. the Kiks.adi lost a canoe of gunpowder, and its crew of young leaders, There was a standoff with neither side able to inflict damage on the other, then finally the Kiks.adi evacuated Shiskinoow in what is called the Kiksadi Survival March and built a fort at Point Craven. The following year, 1805, Tlingit leaders made peace with the Russians, which included allowing the Russians to stay at Noow Tlein.

From 1804 until 1867 the Russians maintained a colony at Sitka, which grew to around 900 residents. From 1808 Sitka was the Russian American Company’s headquarters. Alexander Baranov was chief manager of the company until he was relieved from duty in 1818. He died at sea on his way back to Russia.

The Tlingit clans were always in control of all of their lands. Clans built immediately adjacent to the Russian town in 1829 into one consolidated settlement, but they had never left the area. Russians had no choice but to maintain good relations with Tlingit leaders. In 1855 a dispute led to an attack on the fort in which several Russians were killed, but the Russians instead of retaliating, blamed their manager and worked to make peace.

The Russian settlement at Sitka worked for both Tlingit and Russians. Even though their profits came mostly from southwestern Alaska, and they did not control southeastern Alaska, what mattered to the Russian American Company was to establish a claim to the coast in regards to other European nations and the United States. Tlingit clans benefited by having another market for furs, in addition to Americans and English. (Regional clans soon forced Russians to stop doing their own hunting.) Clan leaders also gained by supplying food and other products and sometimes working for the Russians. Very few Tlingit people converted to Russian Orthodoxy. There were some marriages between Russian men and Tlingit women.

Most of the people living in the Russian settlement were of mixed Russian and Unangan or Sugpiaq heritage. The Russian American Company was about resource extraction, not settlement, due to government policy as well as the Company’s need for profits. There were fewer than 1000 ethnic Russians in Alaska, total, over the entire period of Russians in Alaska.

From the historical documents, which include his own letters, it seems Baranov completely identified with his employer’s goals of profit and empire, and was absolutely focused in their pursuit, not sparing himself or anyone else. He does not seem to have been the kind of leader who took care of his people, judging by the various rebellions including murder plots, including one in Sitka in 1809. Instead, he led with force and charisma. Chaotic and potentially deadly confrontations in 1815 (when he was 68 years old) between Baranov, an American and a British trading ship and a Russian navy commander, that culminated in Baranov giving orders to fire at a departing Russian ship, hint that even later in life he was less diplomatic than most people.

His achievement was to hold Alaska against other European nations, and to bring in profit to the company. This came at a high cost in lives, and the colonies turned out to be expensive to maintain and impossible to defend, and were transferred to the United States in 1867. While he was certainly an unusual person, the myth had to be created.

The myth started early on, with Baranov himself, in letters to or that he knew would be read by his superiors, defending himself against accusations of cruelty to the Native people of the Aleutians and Kodiak, and blaming others for the many conflicts and adverse events. One example was when 115 hunters, on their way back to Kodiak from Sitka in 1799, died after eating paralytic shellfish poisoning-tainted mussels at Poison Cove in Peril Strait. He claimed in a letter that they had had plenty of provisions with them (for a journey of hundreds of miles, this is hard to believe) and so had no need to be eating mussels, making it seem like it was their own fault.i

His first biographer, Kiril Khlebnikov, was a long-time employee of the company who met Baranov at the end of his career and did his part to establish the myth of Baranov as a noble character who overcame great odds, including opposition by lesser individuals, giving a positive spin on actual events and laying the blame for everything on someone other than Baranov. One example is Baranov’s disastrous assault on the Tlingit fort in 1804, against the advice of the experienced Captain Lisianski of the Neva; in Khlebnikov’s account the failure of the assault was the fault of everyone but Baranov.ii

In Baranov’s era, the company’s profits, its very existence, relied on forced labor by Alaska Native men, who were Unangan, Chugiak and Sugpiak, from the Aleutians, the coastal mainland and Kodiak Island, hunting sea mammals from slender skin boats. Scores of hunters died on the expeditions, which extended into southern southeast Alaska, and the operation resulted in extreme hardship and starvation for those left at home. Those who couldn’t hunt also had to work for the benefit of the company, by getting food and making gear. The Russian Orthodox spiritual mission that first arrived at Kodiak in 1794 took the part of these Native workers, in a prolonged conflict between the church workers, certain employees, and a naval officer, against Baranov and his top assistants. In 1800-1801, some of the Kodiak villages refused to go on that season’s hunt. Baranov and his second in command put it down ruthlessly, beating and threatening to kill those who refused.

Foreign expeditions and traders, as well as some Russian observers, consistently described the exploitative treatment of Native people by the Russians in the Aleutians and Kodiak, that went to the point of starvation. That the company relied on forced labor, that this took an enormous toll on the Native population of Kodiak and other places, and that Baranov was ruthless in crushing rebellion are an inconvenient, and yet fundamental, aspect of his career that his biographers smooth over, justify, or ignore (and still do, in at least two biographies published this century).

According to Khlebnikov, Baranov “took wise and decisive action to put down the mutiny,” which would have spread and led to the loss of “everything they had achieved.”iii

This aspect of the myth was elaborated in H. H. Bancroft’s History of Alaska, published in 1886. At every point, Baranov is depicted as being in the right, bold and wise. The accusations of mistreatment of Native people and Russian workers are dismissed as “unfounded,”iv or “exaggerated.”v The authors assert that “As for the natives his influence over them was unbounded, chiefly through the respect with which his indomitable courage and constant presence of mind impressed them.”

Most of the section of Bancroft’s book on the Russian period was written by Ivan Petroff, a remarkable translator and writer, but also, as revealed in a 1968 article by Russian America scholar Richard Pierce, a serial fabricator. Pierce says that Petroff generally stayed close to the Russian sources, but did include a completely fabricated journal of a Russian Orthodox missionary, Father Juvenal. Most of the account of Baranov’s activities follows Khlebnikov and the official History of the Russian American Company by P. A. Tiknmenev. But the most vivid scenes are new. Father Juvenal’s fabricated journal describes Baranov joining in singing hymns “in the same hoarse voice with which he was shouting obscene songs the night before, when I saw him in the midst of a drunken carousal with a woman seated in his lap.” The section on Baranov ends with a passage from Washington Irving’s book Astoria, a quote supposed to come from the American trader who was involved in (and partly instigated) the chaotic events at Sitka in 1815, taking Baranov’s drinking and his irascibility to a heroic scale: “if you do not drink raw rum, and boiling punch as strong as sulfur, he will insult you as soon as he gets drunk, which will be very shortly after sitting down to table.”vi

Bancroft’s book was the main reference for Alaska’s Russian history for the next 90 years, until Limestone Press and others started publishing translations of original documents from the Russian era. Bancroft’s history was copied and freely embellished by writers throughout that period, further establishing the myth of Alexander Baranov.

C. L. Andrews published his book Sitka in 1922 and slightly revised it in 1944. It is aimed at the visitor to Sitka. While his portrayal of Baranov is clearly based on Bancroft’s, he adds incidents and detail that do not seem to have any basis in anything but his own imagination, or perhaps was lore handed down among the Russian descendants at Sitka.

The material he adds is about the relationship of Tlingit people to Baranov. Andrews exaggerates the hostility of these “strange, warlike, shrewd people”vii and portrays Baranov and other Russians as staying at Sitka only with their superior ability: “the Tlingits who howled at Sitka’s gates were utterly without conscience. Some of them came nearly every day to search for some unguarded and accessible means of attack, but Baranov was never off his guard.”viii “The Tlingits who slunk down through the tall spruce timber that surrounded the stockade hated him, but they feared and respected him. They felt he had superhuman power. They never caught him napping. They had destroyed Old Sitka, and butchered the people; they came to his portcullised gate and asked to come in. Baranov looked at them with level eyes.” He showed them his defenses, and “Not one of them dared to plot an attack while Baranov ruled at Sitka.”ix

This portrayal is an important change from previous accounts: In reality, Russians never had enough military force to not have to work to maintain diplomatic and trade relations with Tlingit leaders. If Tlingit leaders had wanted them out, they probably could have, but there was no reason to. Tlingit leaders did force out three, different Hudson’s Bay Company posts on the mainland that infringed on interior trade. The character of the relationship between the Russian American Company and Tlingit clans is clear in their letters to and from Sitka, published as A Construction History of Sitka, Alaska as Documented in the Records of the Russian American Company.x This is an important part of the myth: that Baranov was so superior to the Native people that he could hold them off with a much smaller force in spite of the Native people being extremely dangerous and unremittingly hostile, a worthy adversary.

Andrews enlarges the difference between the Russians and the Tlingit people. In the Russian documents of the period, Indigenous people are portrayed in their relationship to the goals of the company, as workers or as “hostile” and obstacles to expansion. But, in order to achieve their goals, Baranov and others on the ground had to have some understanding of their adversaries’ motivations and goals.

In Andrews’ portrayal, however, Tlingit people are reduced to a cartoon. Sometimes the “savagery in their blood would boil,”xi although the “Aleut” Native people were “gentle and indolent,”xii another stereotype.

While not directly to do with Baranov, Andrews paints a picture of the success of Russian occupation at Sitka that survives to this day. Russian captain Fyodor Litke described Russian Sitka in the late 1820s in detail, describing the hospitality of the governor, the gardens, food, and workshops. But Litke also told about the precarious nature of supply for the colony, and the shortage of manpower.xiii Andrews leaves that part out, giving the impression that Russian Sitka was better off than it was. He elaborates on the grand social life in the “castle,” and quotes a ghost story from travel writer Eliza Scidmore.xiv

Scidmore, in her Alaska, its Southern Coast and the Sitkan Archipelago of 1885, also used Litke, and also exaggerated his portrayal. From Litke’s telling that Sitka foundry cast some bells for California, she writes that “the bells of half the California mission churches were cast at the Sitka foundry.” She also tells of the courtly life in the “castle.” Litke wrote how firearms were a popular item of trade by the Russians to the Tlingit at this time. That certainly does not fit the myth, and so also gets left out of Andrews’ and Scidmore’s narrative.

Travel writers and tourism promoters brought the myth to a polish, none more than Barrett Willoughby in her Sitka, Portal to Romance published in 1930. “Here from his stockaded log castle on the Keekor, Alexandr Baranov, dare-devil little Iron Governor of the fur colonies, once ruled the North Pacific, and spun a web of power and commerce that reached to every corner of the world.” “Death lurked every moment outside the stockade where hordes of murderous Thlingets prowled, watching for any slackening of vigilance on the part of the Russian sentinels; but within that new world castle flowed wine of regal vintage, silks and velvets billowed in the candlelight, jeweled swords and gold-laced uniforms glittered, while the merry company, scorning danger, danced their minuets to the tinkling music of the clavichord!xv

We can’t talk about the myth of Baranov without mentioning Hector Chevigny, and his Lord of Alaska, published in 1942. It is fantasy, elaborating the myth of Baranov as a Western action hero, fighting his inferiors, bad priests, resentful officers, as well as the Natives, his faults the heroic ones of drinking hard and of having a common law wife. Chevigny freely invents incidents, dialogue and descriptions, the most outrageous of which are too offensive to repeat.

The myth of Baranov is that he was a hero, conquering and bringing “civilization” to dangerous Native people in spite of the obstacles of the many inferior people he had to deal with, from debauched promyshlenniki (the Russian equivalent of Voyageurs) to “meddling priests.” The essential elements include the savagery and hostility of the Tlingit people; Baranov’s ability to subdue them with superior courage and intelligence; and the glory and romance of the “castle” and the industry and sophistication of Russian Sitka.

How does this myth survive today? I see it continuing in two main strands: one is the notion of essential difference between European and Indigenous people. This stereotype, that Native people are mysterious and savage, not thinking or analytical, survives as the stereotype they are in harmony with nature, their culture timeless and natural, so that Native people are vulnerable to harm simply by “contact” with “modern” “Western” culture – a “clash of cultures” rather than what it was, a clash of economics and power. Also, the notion that Tlingit culture thrived because of abundant natural resources, just depending on nature to provide, rather than a recognition that Tlingit success is due to technology and organization, just like Russians or any other successful civilization.

The second strand, related to the supposed superiority of the European, is in the notion that Baranov and the Russians conquered the Tlingit against the odds, and that they held all of what is now Alaska.

Documents from before and after 1867 show that the Russian hold on southeast Alaska was weak. By contrast, the occupation of the United States in 1867 was much stronger.

Americans in 1867 believed that Native Americans were fundamentally different and weaker, “savage,” the racial bias behind Manifest Destiny, the Indian Wars and the forced removal of nearly every single Native American onto reservations. In the later 19th century they saw the condition of Native people, after they had been removed from their lands, and after suffering high mortality in relation to this, as due not to their treatment but due to something inherent to being Native. (This aspect of the myth, that the negative consequences of colonization (social disruption, stress, high death rates, lack of wealth) are due to the Natives themselves and their fragile culture, that it was inevitable they would die out from “contact” unless missionaries intervened to save them from their own culture, is the foundation of US government and missionary beliefs about Native people in the 19th and 20th centuries.)

In 1867 the Americans denied Alaska Native people citizenship, and pushed them out of the economy, and demonstrated their power by destroying the Kake̱ villages in 1869. Then when the economy picked up in the 1870s, canneries and mines seized resources with impunity. The Transfer of Alaska to the United States was a catastrophe for Alaska Native people. (That’s not to villainize or valorize anyone, but to state what happened.)

The irony is that with growing awareness of the impact of racial bias of the American era, the myth of Baranov is strengthened and even added on to: the strength of the United States government is mapped back in time onto the person of Baranov, who becomes a one-man colonialist oppressor of the Tlingit. The Russians were oppressors of Native people in western Alaska, with overwhelming force over many decades of the 1700s, but that is not as glamorous as supposedly conquering the “warlike” Tlingit, with a tiny force, in a single battle. The stereotype is that the mechanism for Baranov’s supposed victory is the inherent difference between Europeans and Indigenous people.

This narrative, or myth, is everywhere in Sitka, in signs at our parks, in our museums, on websites, and emerged, of course, in the 2020 debate over removal of the statue of Alexander Baranov in the center of town.

One sign in Sitka tells how “Local Tlingit fished, hunted, gathered food, and traded salmon, seal oil, and herring eggs with other Native Americans. But this peaceful place was once at the heart of a fierce conflict.” It goes on to say that Europeans and Russians came after sea otter and that the Russian American Company established outposts. This gives the impression that Tlingit culture was what was in conflict with the European trade in sea otter, rather than being a conflict over power and resources. It does not mention the substantial trade Tlingit leaders conducted, before Russians ever arrived, with Europeans and American traders, on Tlingit terms.

On a park website, the story of Tlingit people begins with how they relied on the ocean for their food, and ends with “In 1821, the Russians invited the Tlingit back to Sitka. They intended to profit from the Tlingits’ hunting expertise and, more importantly, to put an end to the occasional Tlingit raiding. For the duration of Russian occupation, the Kiks.ádi lived in the village, an area just outside the stockaded town. They supplied the colonists with furs and food while the Russians introduced them to their culture through education and religion. But cannons were always trained on the village, and the Russian stockade was closely guarded. The 1804 Battle of Sitka was the end of open Tlingit resistance, but the Russians were safe only so long as they were vigilant.” This could have come directly from C. L. Andrews.

This distorts the actual relationship between two groups equally engaged in trade, in an ever evolving push and pull over power and economic benefit. It reinforces the stereotype of Tlingit people as unchanging and natural, and the power and benevolence of the Russians. Again, very few Tlingit people converted to Orthodox Christianity in the Russian period, and, the only school for Tlingit people was in the very last days of the Russian outpost, and was located outside the stockade.

On another sign, at a different park, the cause of the Battle of 1802 is laid to “clashing cultures:” “the RAC and the Tlingit held contrasting beliefs about land and resource ownership. As RAC employees settled here, tensions escalated between these disparate cultures, setting the stage for conflict.”

(To be fair, the signs date from around 2013.)xvi

In 2020 Sitkans debated the removal of a statue of Baranov in front of Sitka’s Centennial Hall. The statue was a gift to the town by a local family. Just before its dedication in 1989, someone sawed the nose off (it was later repaired). The statue displaced the Tlingit canoe that was originally in front of the building in 1967. Many in Sitka saw the statue as inappropriate, in such a prominent place, because it does not reflect Sitka’s history or identity, and offensive in ignoring Sitka’s long Tlingit history. (The statue was moved into the museum, with the blessing of the family of the donor.)

The myth of Baranov came up in statements by people wanting to keep the statue, who claimed that Baranov brought civilization to the Native people. But some supporters of the removal also relied on the myth, stating that Baranof stayed through force, against the will of Tlingit leaders and oppressing local people. Baranof thus goes from being an epic hero to becoming an epic villain, when what we need is to put this fellow back into the context of history, and to bring Tlingit history to the fore.

It is hard to get away from a narrative we grew up with and accepted as fact. We need a new narrative, based on historical scholarship, that includes Tlingit history. (A part of the myth, that survives today, is that Native people have no history. Bancroft wrote, “what a land is this of which to write a history? Bleak, swampy, fog-begirt, and almost untenanted except by savages – can a country without a people furnish material for a history?”xvii) We can all question language, concepts and assumptions. We need a new, more complete narrative, that does not glorify the mythical, conquering European.


Dauenhauer, Nora Marks, Richard Dauenhauer, and Lydia T. Black, editors. Anóoshi Lingít Aaní Ká / Russians in Tlingit America: The Battles of Sitka, 1802 and 1804. (Seattle and London: University of Alaska Press and Juneau, Alaska: Sealaska Heritage Institute, 2008), 138


Kyrill Khlebnikov, ed. Richard A. Pierce, Baranov, chief manager of the Russian colonies in America (Kingston, Ontario: Limestone Press, 1973), 48


Khlebnikov 34


Hubert Howe Bancroft, Alfred Bates, Ivan Petroff and William Nemos, History of Alaska 1730-1886, volume XXXIII of The Works of Hubert How Bancroft. (San Francisco: A. I. Bancroft & Company, Publishers, 1886) , 361


Bancroft 449


Bancroft 517


C. L. Andrews, Sitka, The Chief Factory of the Russian American Company (Caldwell, Idaho: The Caxton Printers, Ltd, 1945), 62


Andrews 43-44


Andrews 44

xKatherine L. Arndt and Richard A. Pierce, A Construction History of Sitka, Alaska, as Documented in the Records of the Russian-American Company, 2nd Edition (Sitka, Alaska: Sitka National Historical Park, National Park Service under Cooperative Agreement with the Department of Anthropology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2003)


Andrews 64


Andrews 67


Frederic Litke, A Voyage Around the World, 1826-1829: Volume I, To Russian America and Siberia, trans. from French edition by Renee Marshall, with a parallel account by E. H. Baron von Kittlitz, trans. from the German and with an introduction by Joan Moessner, ed. Richard Pierce, Alaska History Series no. 29 (Kingston, Ontario: Limestone Press, 1987), 43-69


Andrews 74-78


Barrett Willoughby, Sitka, Portal to Romance (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1930), 10

xviNPS interpretation being out of date: a 2011 study “Imperiled Promise” by the Organization of American Historians found that historians are mainly employed in cultural resource management, and are not included in the process of developing exhibits. Museum and Visitor Center Exhibit Planning, Design, and Fabrication Process flow chart at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/hfc/upload/EX-PD-Prod-Charts-R.pdf


Bancroft vii

In addition to translations of accounts from the time, I’m relying on Petr Aleksandrovich Tikhmenev, A History of the Russian American Company, trans. and ed. Richard A. Pierce and Alton S. Donnelly (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1978), and Andrei Val’terovich Grinëv, Russian Colonization of Alaska: Preconditions, Discovery, and Initial Development, 1741-1799 trans. Richard L. Bland (Lincoln, Nebraska and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2018) and volume two, Russian Colonization of Alaska: Baranov’s Era, 1799-1818, trans. Richard L. Bland (Lincoln, Nebraska and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2020).

Theater Sets 2022

In the summer of 2022 I was Scenic Designer for the Sitka Fine Arts Camp 3-week Musical Theater Camp production of Mamma Mia. The small scale of the program meant that I was also Scenic Charge, Master Carpenter, and, along with the other six technical theater adults, an instructor for the seven Fine Arts Camp Technical Theater-track students.

Mamma Mia set designed (and built, and decorated) by Rebecca Poulson

This year that expanded staff meant I did not have to put in so many hours working alone! and, the students had the benefit of a one-to-one ratio of instructors to students. That was really fun, seeing the students just eat it up, the excitement of getting to do real things, in a beautifully-equipped theater.

For me, also, it was glorious to have a lighting designer as artistic and skilled as Terry Eikleberry. Elle Campbell, the Technical Director, is an incredible teacher, creating a space where students are valued and can grow as they get real skills. The Videographer and Audio Tech, Andrew Rutledge and Joe Burke, are also skilled and willing carpenters and a joy to work with. Sharon Morgan, our Costume Designer (and, being a tiny program, also the creator of the costumes) is absolutely phenomenal. She not only nailed each character and the era (1990s, y’all) but created beautiful compositions of color and form. The technical crew is rounded out with Lauren Petrocelli, our Sound Designer.

On stage, the incredibly talented Josh Euten, who also is a mean set dresser, was Stage Manager, Zeke Blackwell Director, Chris Coffey was Music Director, and Erin Coffey the Choreographer for a cast of 23 young performers. The technical theater students, Amelia DeSentis is a natural at carpentry and a joy to work with, Campbell Pillifant operated the light board, Hal Sufrin helped with sound, Kade Kompkoff, Lee Orozco, Téa Neilson and Aren Bucheit did it all but specialized in scenic painting, with a shout out to Téa for finishing the courtyard “rocks” and washing a lot of brushes! I really enjoyed working with these young people, seeing them grow, and enjoyed their spark and willingness to interact. For decorating the stage deck, I gave them paint and tools and techniques and had them try it out, they chose the treatment they wanted, and they did it, going up to the balcony as they worked to see what they liked. I helped with the “Beach” because it was a trickier technique, but that was it. They and a community volunteer painted the dock, beautifully, again all I did was show them some techniques and give them the paints.

More crew: Susan Reed and Misaki Saito rehearsal pianists, Shannon Haugland Audio Assistant, Haley Aronow was Props Master (and Master of Bougainvillea!), Rhiannon Guevin Vocal Coach, Jordan Phillips Acting Coach, Diane Cervelli Assistant Choreographer, and volunteers Reese Gasque, Noatak Post, Julien Riviere, Linda Mae Kristofik and Christina Van Den Hoogen helped out the scenic crew (and that was fun too, seeing these folks stretch), and Isla Morgan, Carole Knuth and Lisa Moore were Costume Assistants. In the Pit Band in addition to Susan and Mikaski, Alicia Jeffrey and a young man from Anchorage were on keyboards, Chris Coffey played drums, Abe Landa and Austin Patterson were on Guitar, Julien Riviere played Bass and Ethan Zawodny did the Percussion.

Earlier this year I volunteered to design and build sets for the Sitka Community Theater production of Clue and the Young Performers Theater (an after school theater program run by the Sitka Fine Arts Camp) production of Matilda the Musical. It is really fun to design sets and utter bliss to work with and collaborate with other people, tho tbh next year we need more volunteers in the program! In this post-pandemic year we are still figuring out how to get the word out!

Those doors got a work out! So many rooms! It was very fun, the actors really did it up. I designed and built and decorated the set (all those doors . . . ) with assistance from the students in the after-school Young Performers Theater technical theater class and community volunteers, Shannon Haugland produced, Sotera Perez directed, Elle Campbell did lights and was Technical Director, and the YPT tech students did tech! We also had a gajillion really cool props by Jack Peterson.

Matilda the Musical was the play done by the high school students in the Young Performers Theater program in April 2022, directed by Zeke Blackwell. I volunteered to design and build and decorate the set, with assistance from parents, Technical Director Elle Campbell, and the technical theater students in the after school Young Performers Theater program! Elle Campbell did the lights, we had a pit orchestra which sounded amazing, with Music Director Hannah Cummiskey conducting, and Choreography was by Melissa Hantke. Since it was such a small workforce (and cast), I combined the students’ desks with the alphabet cubes they use for one of the songs, the set consists of just three platforms and four mobile flats, three of which reverse to show a corridor of “Chokeys.” I didn’t get a picture of one of the flats, that had Matilda’s bedroom on one side and Miss Honey’s shed interior on the other.

Available for sale, and in select stores! starting mid June 2022. $16 each, discounts start at two at: The Outer Coast.com

Produced by Rebecca Poulson in Sitka Alaska

Printed in Juneau, Alaska U.S.A.

Printed on heavy, vellum surface Natural color paper

Three original wood engraving prints, a scratchboard drawing, rubber cuts of ravens, and seven original watercolors by Rebecca Poulson

Poetry and Quotes by Alaskan poets John Straley, Caroline Goodwin, Robert Davis Hoffman, and Rhonda Bowen, and a quote from John Muir, on the theme of humans

Gardening Reminders for Southeastern Alaska

Calendar for all of 2024 on last page

Wilderness Anniversaries

Here is a list of boats built in Sitka.

These come from several sources: the main one is the annual Merchant Vessels list, published by the government of every registered vessel in the United States. Vessels over 5 net tons (capacity) have to be registered, that’s something like 30 feet for a motorized vessel. That list has the use, the size, the material, the power, the owner, how many crew, and the place and year it was built.

Individual records, which used to be in Juneau, have more information like the name of the builder. I found cards for many boats there.

Other boats that were too small to require documentation were called Number Boats, because they had their commercial fishing number on them instead of a name. That would be the original old time trollers. A lot of the old wooden trollers now were built as seiners or long liners.

Another source was newspapers, but Sitka didn’t have a newspaper for all the years when boat building was happening, especially the late teens.

A main source was interviews I did with fishermen and boatbuilders and their relatives, in 1988 and the early 1990s. Herman Kitka had an incredible memory. Of everyone I talked to, his information was corroborated completely by other sources.

I would love more information, more boats, details and corrections. More information about the builders are in Boatbuilding Part 2 and Boatbuilding in Sitka Part 3 on this blog.

Boat name              year         register    builder

                                doc.         length

Lulu                                         1916?              John Bahrt for John Sarvela?

St Louis                                                           Hope, Scotty Jennings?

Storm King                                                     Simpson and Willard for Willard

Kingfisher                                                       Hope

Bumble Bee                            1922                Bob and Percy Hirst

Bubbles                                   1920s?             John Bahrt

Anita                                       1928                T. F. Demidoff for self and son-in-law

William                                    1909    34        Peter Simpson for Rudolph Walton

Dreadnaught                           1915    34.5     Simpson for Geo. T. Myers Co., for James Kuenz

Necker Bay                             1915    35.5     John Young Sr. and Frank Kitka sank 1964

Nicholai                                   1915    32       

Active                                     1917    44        Andrew Hope, George Howard for themselves and               sons

Albatross                                 1917    39        Simpson for John Cameron sank Necker Bay 1930               or 31

Alms                                        1917    36.2    

Billy G.                                   1917    36.2     owned Bill Grant

Baranoff                                  1918    37.5     Simpson for Ralph Young, Sr.

Dora B.H.                               1918    33.8    

Elsie                                        1918    34.4

Esther                                      1918    38

John D.                                    1918    35

Moonlight                               1918    41        Simpson for Deep Sea, Edward Grant bought   boat              still fishing

Olympic                                  1918    37.6     Frank Kitka for self

Zingo                                       1918    35.1     Frank Kitka for John Joseph, Deep Sea                                  Salmon Co. burned 1954

Busy Bee                                 1919    35.5     Frank Kitka for George T. Myers (cannery) 

Dermott I                                1919    29.6     William Grossman for self

Eagle                                       1919    34        Simpson for Frank Joseph, Pyramid Packing                         abandoned 1965

Katharine                                1919    39.6     Simpson for Deep Sea Salmon Co., Dick Harris

Louise                                     1919    37

Mary Ward                             1919    37        Simpson for Deep Sea Salmon Co, George Ward

U and I                                    1919    36.2     George Howard for George Davis rebuilt 1947 still fishing?

Margaret P.                             1919    36.2    

Hudson                                   1929    40

Smiles                                      1929    32        Simpson for Ralph Young, Sr.

Atlas                                        1922    39.7     Frank Kitka for self, only big boat

Carrie                                      1922    31.9     Kris Norholm for George Rice (plumber)

Mary J                                     1922    36       

Lituya                                      1922    30

Lornty                                     1923    33.3

Progress                                   1923    43.2     Hope, Howards for themselves still around?

Janice                                      1924    32.3

Laeso                                       1924    30        owned George Banvard (store owner)

Comet                                     1926    37        Peter Kitka rebuilt (original from Puget Sound)                    abandoned 1957

Optimist                                  1926    37.1                

Biorka                                     1927    42        Hope built for Rudolph Walton, Pyramid Packing   

Persevearance                          1927    39        Johnnie? Lawson, owned Thomas Sanders, burned 1944

Valo                                        1927    33.9     burned 1949

Starlight                                  1927    39.2     Hope for Peter John, Pyramid Packing  wrecked 1955

OK                                          1929     40       Johnnie Lawson for David Davis        sank 1966

Pyramid                                   1929    38        Hope for Pyramid Packing

Trosky                                     1929    34        Hope

Chatham                                  1929    38        Hope?

Neptune                                  1930    36        Hope and William Pavloff

Buddy                                     1931    28        Hope – his troller

Two Brothers                          1934    35        Simpson for grandsons

New England                          1935    38.3     George Howard Jr. for George Ward    burned 1963

Sophia                                     1936    36        Adolph Thomsen for self

SJS                                          1937    42.8     Peter Simpson and Rudy James later called Miss                  Linda

Admiralty                                1938    44.1     Hope for George James

Eros                                         1938    38.6     Adolph Thomsen for self

Fin Fin                                     1938    30.8

Betty K.                                  1940    34.2     George Howard started

Roamer                                    1940    33.9     Louis Johanson at Goddard

GGK                                       1941    33.      

Sisu                                         1941    32.4

Laverne                                   1942    31.4     Hope?

Neva                                        1942    40.6     Hope with Herman Kitka, for Todd, later his boat

Princeton-Hall                         1942    61.7     Hope, Kitka, Howards, SJ students

Tamara San                             1942    49.8     Hope for Hans Peterson

Hope                                       1944    41.5     Hope for Henry Yrjana

Martha K

(North Cape)                           1944    43.3     Kitka

Sally                                        1944    38

SJS II                                      1944    49.4     Hope for Presbyterian Board of Home Missions

Allanah                                    1945    51.1     Hope, Richard Peters, Al Rotluff for Fred Brandes

Denny Jo                                 1945    50        George Howard started, finished Stanley Sutton for John Townsend

June K                                     1945    43.4     George Howard for Charles Bennett, Hood Bay

Minnie R                                 1945    34        A.F.Rowley and sons

Polaris                                     1945    37       

Her-Highnes                            1946    32        Earl MacDonald, at his home

Junior                                      1946    38.1     Sitka Marine Railway for Emil Taug

Laverne II                               1946    39        Richard Peters

Martha K

(Empress)                                1946    45.7     Hope for New England Fish Co.

Mom                                        1946    37

Myrth                                      1946    37        Sitka Marine Railway for Rudy and Myrth Sarvela

Pop Rowe                               1946     31.1    (Pop Rowe sold salvaged sawmill to SJ and ran it a  year)   

Shirley M                                1946    37        Sitka Marine Railway

Skeeter                                    1946    37        Dave Hallock on Baranof Street

WRJ                                        1946    37        Sitka Marine Railway for Wally and Earl Johnson

Alrita                                       1947    38.7     Sitka Marine Railway for Albert Wallace

Jenny                                       1947    33.4     George Howard and Andrew Hope

Patricia Mae                            1947    45.1     Hope for John Young

Pt. Cravens                              1947    38.1     Sitka Marine Railway for Jimmy Walton

Sharon-Ann                             1947    35.9     Rowley?

Sonja                                       1947    45.1

Gota                                        1950    36.6     Hope, George Howard, Richard Peters for Pete                     Anselm, then Oscar Isaacson

Satchem                                  1952    30.9     Hope, Herman Kitka for Cap Anderson

Chuck A Nan                          1955    35.8     Sitka Marine Railway (Al Rottleff and Herman                    Kitka) for Earl MacDonald (originally the                             Stephanie)

Vali                                         1961    31.2     Hope, Herb Hope, David Howard for Roger Lang                (Hope=s son-in-law)

C-Rae                                      1962    45?      Paul Morgan

Wendy                                    1965    33.9     Howard Brothers

Peril Strait                               1967    32        Harry Jimmy for self

Chancy                                    197?    45        Gary Erb

Annette                                                           Harry Jimmy

Amanda Rose                                                  Gary Erb and Jack Rheinwaller

Andrew Hope (center) poses at the bandsaw, probably in the shop of Scotty Jennings just north of the ANB Founders Hall in Sitka. Jennings’ shop was a former hand-pack cannery. Image from a glass slide in the collection of the Sitka Historical Society.

I hadn’t taught the high school camp for years, and it was incredible how fast they caught on and were just so hungry to learn. It was very rewarding, intense, and heartbreaking to understand that even in normal times, they are not getting what they need, as far as being seen, being able to make things and respond to the world – and how much they have lost, the past couple years now, how mature they seemed, they have had to grow up fast.

We all need to support our young people, give them space and permission to be young people.

At Sitka Fine Arts Camp you don’t have to have ever done any art. In Alaska and probably other places art classes, if they have any in school in the first place, don’t teach drawing from observation. Fine Arts Camp classes are basically college classes, except in an hour a day for a couple weeks! these kids worked so hard.

Drawing and Watercolor

We worked outdoors, from the model, drew still lifes, and copied master watercolor landscape paintings as we learned the conventions of landscape and how to manipulate watercolor.

We had some very challenging exercises, like drawing a model, in a landscape, using water media or marker.


We did drypoint etchings, rubber cuts, wood cut, stencils and monoprints, and even wood engraving:

In 2021 the Sitka Fine Arts Camp held a very special camp, at half capacity, with amazing students starved for art and being together. It was intense, rewarding, and heartbreaking what our kids have lost the past years. We all need to love our kids!

The classes I taught were Printmaking, Drawing and Watercolor, and Graphic Novel. At some point I’ll try to scan and upload some of the comics but for now, some of the prints and drawings:


The camp runs two weeks, so days to work is about 11 1́/2. Woodcut is a lot of work, we also did rubber cuts, monoprints, stencils, collagraphs, and etching on both metal and plexiglass. Creativity is never a problem.

Drawing and Watercolor

We focused on what students wanted to work on, and did a lot of work outdoors, from a model, and finally of flowers. These kids worked so hard and were so focused. One day we were at the beach drawing, and a young deer, whose habit it apparently was to cut through the beach at that tide, came right up to our group, and after hesitating, made his way through the group. Of middle schoolers. Who were absolutely calm and thrilled. Not a typical group of young people!

Here is a panorama taken by Asa Dow from the summit of L’úx or Mt. Edgecumbe. Are the labels correct? Let me know!

Also, Harbor Mountain is properly Taxgu, and Mount Verstovia is really Kanéisdi Shaa. Sugarloaf (not labeled here, left of center of second picture) is actually Tawool Shaa, and Gavan Hill (also not labeled, it is to the left of Kaasdaa Heen, or Indian River ) is properly Tsísk’u Goojí. Do you have more?

By Thom Montgomery

George Knapp’s diary was transcribed by my uncle Thom Montgomery. It is a remarkable document, by a teenager who was no saint. I gave this to my daughter and her friend for a home-school American history class, when they were about the same age as young George Knapp.

The Diary of Private George Knapp of Illinois
By Thom Montgomery

Sixteen when he enlisted and seventeen when he re-enlisted, Private George Knapp was proud of his service in the 44th Illinois. From encampment near Rollo, Missouri in January, through the Battle of Pea Ridge and ending with the engagement at Perryville in October, 1862, his diary records the mischief and mayhem of war. A son of the Rev. Jacob Knapp, Baptist evangelist, a stem and highly moralistic man, his son’s service record and escapades did not meet with his father’s approval. The diary was allowed in the home only after several pages of gambling debts had been removed.

January Wednesday 1 1862
Commenced taking care of the Major’s Horses, like it first rate. Had rather a dull time after all. Went to Lee’s Bogardus tonight.

Thursday 2.
Went to town today, had the best dinner I ever ate. 25 cts. Jurked a pair of boots & shoes. sold the boots for Three dollars & the shoes for one.

Friday 3.
Had a letter from Sarah B. today. wish she would not write to me any~· I had to waste my time writing to her. I sware!.
1 Only days later he has his photograph taken to be sent to her in an exchange.

January Saturday 4, 1862
Went out to shoot at target this fore !1QQ!1. went a riding this evening & had a frrm ride.

Sunday 5.
Went to the fore mile cave today. got lost & was half scared to death. Got some curiositvs, saw a pretty Girl on my way home & got acquainted with her.

Monday 6.
Layed around the tent all day. Wrote a number of letters, & received one from A.K. 2 a friend of mine. got the horses in this old log stable.

January Tuesday 7, 1862
Went up to town & got a good Oyster dinner. Didn’t cost me anything. one of our mess hooked a ham of fresh pork.

Wednesday 8.
Got a letter from the Major. No news, concerning war. I wish that we could have a fight before long. It would be amusing.

Thursday 9.
Went up town and got my likeness taken, & sent it to Miss B. & expect to receive hers in return. got hold of a good story book this morning.

2 Unidentified at present, but most likely A. Kennedy.

January Friday 10, 1862
The Parson sent me up town for meet. I saw some new recruits. they were green enough. Jim the cook has gone home. I have to cook now until can get another.

Saturday 11.
Mary came to cook for us today. The Major sent us a Mess Chest. it arrived tonight. it’s a fine one.

Sunday 12.
Got a letter from mother tonight. intend to answer tomorrow. some talk of our Reg. being sent to Chicago for guards to the prisoners. went to meeting.

January Monday 13, 1862
The Major came back today & brought Vet & Hank 3 with him. I was very much surprised to see them.

Tuesday 14.
I went back to my Company not being wanted any more. went all over camp with the boys.

Wednesday 15.
Vet & Hank were both sworn in & drew their uniforms. I went out with the company on drill.

3 “Vet” is Sylvester Paine, “Hank” most likely Henry Colbey, private, who was to die at Keytesville,

January Thursday 16 1862
I was detailed to carry water for the Company today. its pretty hard work. answered a lot of letters this after noon.

Friday 17.
Vet & I went up to Rollo today to see John Akin 4• found him at the Hospital. pretty sick. was glad to see us. we got a good dinner & came back to camp.

Saturday 18.
Billy Johnson 5 Died last night. poor fellow. he was only sick a week. little did he think 10 days ago that he was so soon to die.

January Sunday 19 1862
I am on guard today & am hindered from attending Billy’s funeral. the Parson is preaching close to me so I don’t loose that.

Monday 20.
Jurked pie & cake enough to do the whole mess from a dutch poeddler. the old fool chased one of the Boys into his tent & lost everything he had.

Tuesday 21.
Hank hooked a Barrel of Cider out of a peddlers wagon & the Company had enough for two days. bully for the new recruits.
4 John Aiken, Private. Enlisted August 1, 1861, re-enlisted as veteran January 1, 1864, mustered
out September 25, 1865.

January, Wednesday 22, 1863
Went out on a Batallion drill today & had a hard one of it. some talk of going to spring field.

Thursday 23.
Layed in the tent all day. I read a story. It was a good one, too. the teller of it was the Man 0 Wars, Mans Bridge.

Friday 24.
Slathers of mail tonight. I got 4 letters. one from em, 1 from Pa & Nellie & the other was from A. K.

January, Saturday 25, 1862
A whole platoon of us went out to the 12 milke caave & had a Jolly time. it was the grandest sight I ever saw. got to camp all safe.

Sunday 26.
Went to meeting all day. was a little unwell at evening. Bob Cordin 6 was Buried today. he died in Camp Hospital.

Monday 27.
Expect that we will have to go to Arkansas before long. strange reports in camp concerning Price.

5 Unidentified at this time. Does not seem to have been a member of George’s company.

January Tuesday 28, 1862
The report is that the Rebel force are all within 30 miles of us. an expedition was sent out to the Gasconade river. Came back & reported plenty of Game.

Wednesday 29.
Great excitement. orders to march, in the morning. orders countermanded. Jeff & Asbury 7 went to the Hospital.

Thursday 30.
Very cold today. snow hard. carried water for the mess today. got two letters from home today, & answered them this morning. Joe Champ 8 very sick.

January Friday 31, 1862
Went out on a Batalion drille this morning. very cold today. expect to march soon. Had a good game of Eucher in the evening, with Vet & Hank.

February Saturday 1
Fine day. Troops have been passing here all day today. we received orders tonight to march tomorrow. the mud is deep, & it is very bad marching. we are going to Springfield.

6 Unidentified. Does not seem to have been a member of George’s company.
7 Jeff and Asbury Abbott, privates from Winnebago, Ill.
8 Joel Champlin from Rockford.

Sunday 2
The UWRR station at 8 Ock marched to the Gasconade & camped. very stormy day. hard march. Pleasant eve. had a good supper.

February Monday 3, 1862
March 12 Mi. Crossed river. hilly country, poor place to camp. Vet shoot a deer. rode his pony in the river. he nearly went down stream. Big Pi1y.

Tuesday 4.
Went on a head of the Reg. camped early & in a good place. made a bridge over the rubido pass a small stream. marched 14 mi

Wednesday 5.
I marched in the ranks. we crossed the Gasconade today in a fury. camped at 1 Ock. had a pleasant game of Euchre.

February Thursday 6 1862
Here we are in Leebnon. we have seen some flne country. got a good camping place. Marched 14 mi. expect to stay on till Monday. Price within 20 mi.

Friday 7.
We are still at Leebnon. had a good rest today. I got a good dinner up today. The boys got a hog. wrote a letter to Ma tonight.

Saturday 8.
I was surprised this morning by the Major calling on me to take care of his Horse. he discharged Geo .9 & I went. fme weather. pay tomorrow.

February Sunday 9, 1862
Was payed $26 today. we march at six in the morning. expect a fight §QQJ;l. Cornol came back tonight. Horse sick.

Monday 10.
Started for Springfield at six this morning. Marched 18 mi. & camped on Segals farm. Walk all day. very good going.

Tuesday 11.
Started early & marched to Webster. I got a chance to ride & am now waiting for
my company in a town. 10 Ock & I have got to camp.

February Wednesday 12, 1862
Started early & marched within 10 mi. of Price. had a little fight with the enemy
pickets. one killed & 5 prisoners.

Thursday 13.
Marched at 5 in the morning. got to Springfield at 12. Price gone. we are boarding
at a wid dow ladies. 2 prisoners here. expect to fight tomorrow.

9 George Attwood from Burritt, Illinois. Actual discharge date was January 19, 1862.

Friday 14.
Started at 6 Ock. Mar 14 mi. Saw a dead reb bel. camped early. The cavehy made
a charge in the evening.

February, Saturday 15, 1862
Marched all day the same as ever. camped early. passed a small town Casville on
the 16 ofFeb.

Sunday 16.
Started at 12 ock tonight. Marched 25 mi. I had to stay behind with the Majors
Horse. caught up at night. camp at a small town. Caseville.

Monday 17.
Marched at 8 Ock. came 15 mi. & camp in Arkansas. A river close at hand.
expect to fight tomorrow. got lots of prisoners.

February Tuesday 18 1862
I went a head of the Reg. today. AllO & I went up to the Battle ground. saw a
great many dead Horses & some men. Mar. 8 mi got a good camping ground.

Wednesday 19.
We laid over today. A1 & myself went out scouting. got a hog 2 bbl of Molases
ham & pork. saw some pretty girls.

IO Probably Alman Gifford of Rockford.

Thursday 20.
Mar 10 mi the teems did not come up till 12 Ock. did not put up the tent.
scouted a little. got a good dinner.

February, Friday 21, 1862
Laid over today. A1 & I went out into the country. got a good dinner & some milk.
the quarter mess gave us a load of apples tonight.

Saturday 22.
No orders to Mar yet. It is 8 & no breakfast. the niggers overslept this morning.
this camp is called Osage creek camp. Went over to see the prisoners.

Sunday 23.
The same as usual. ve:ry warm. turned cold toward night. More prisoners. Wrote
home. went to meeting in the morning.

February, Monday 24, 1862
Fine weather. no orders to march yet. The parson discharged Geo. Fleming11
today. A1 has gone out scouting. expect him back soon. Vet learned to smoke
today to perfection.

11 Unidentified.

Tuesday 25.
Here I am 14 mi from camp on a reconniscence. this is the most beautiful
country I ever saw. 4 caves in sight of the door. I am waiting for dinner. soon will
be on the road.

Wednesday 26.
I got into camp just after sun down last night. had a pleasant time altogether.
There is a general Inspection this morning of everything.

February, Thursday 27, 1862
Well, I have had a hard ride today. I have been 8 miles beyond place I went day
before yesterday. got a good dinner. saw a wounded man. was shot by the Rebels.

Friday 28.
I received a number of letters today. nothing of interest. very warm. almost hot.
had a division drill.

March, Saturday 1, 1862
Was mustered in for pay. I bought 4 watches today. sold them & made 15
dollars. Marching orders.

Sunday 2.
Marched at 4 Ock. went 10 miles in the woods & camped in a very poor place. it
is awfull cold. 4 in. of snow … no orders to march.

Monday 3.
Mistake. left out a day. Stayed in camp all day.
No orders yet. A1 & I got to horses & went out into the woods. we rode 8 miles. got
our dinner and started back. I got a good lot of this. Much warmer. some
rain in the night.

Tuesday 4.
Went after forage in the forenoon. in the after noon A1 & I got our horses & rode it
4 mi. got acquainted with a Secesh woman. the Colonel arested A1 for going out.

March, Wednesday 5, 1862

(Editor’s Note: entries from March 5 through March 7 are in pencil and virtually
obliterated. Pages dealing with dates March 8 through March 19 are missing.
These dates cover the Battle of Pea Ridge, which George recaps at the end of his
journal. The daily diary resumes on March 20.)

March, Thursday 20, 1862
A1 & I went out into the country 10 miles. passed a number of Secesh hospitals.
came near being taken once. Gen. Black a Rebbel died today. was wounded in
Pea Ridge Battle.

Friday 21.
Stayed in camp today. it has suddenly turned cold & the snow fell last night 4
inches deep. read a lot of papers last night. no news from the Rebbels.

Saturday 22.
Layed in the tent with nothing to do. read some old papers. no news in them. The
report is that we have been reinforced by Cavalry & Infantry. looks suspicious.

March Sunday 23, 1862
Went over into Arkansas & down to the big Sugar. From there over to Fents creek
& from there home. Got a good diner. Saw some splendid cenery.

Monday 24.
I was taken down with a hard chill this morning & I have had a high fever & a
severe headache all day. The Corlonl & Major were both arrested today. 12

Tuesday 25.
I have been very sick all day but feel a little better tonight. The camp report is
that our Suttler & the paymaster are on their way to us. No War news.

March, Wednesday 26, 1862
Steve13 & I went into the Country, we got our dinner. Two chickens & a goose. I
am still ailing. My neck is very stiff & sore.

Thursday 27.
Went up to the Company & eat breakfast with the Boys. First-rate soup. The
paymaster has come & we are to be payed off soon.

12 Unable to locate a record of this arrest, or of the court martial referred to in the April 3 entry,
but on August 20, 1862, Col. Charles Knobblesdorf of Chicago was dismissed for disability, and
on August 21, Maj. Thomas Hobart resigned.
13 Stephen B. Hicks, drummer, from Rockford. See photo.

Friday 28.
Still in camp. A1 & I went up to Keetsville in the morning. This afternoon we were
payed 26 dollars. I shall send home 40. Or SO. Dollars.

March Saturday 29 1862
I bought a watch of Floyd Babcock14 today for 10 dollars & sold it again for 15 to
a fellow in Co. H. pleasant weather.

Sunday 30.
There was a Division Inspection in the forenoon. I went up on the hill to see
it.They formed a good line, our Brigade being on the left flank.

Monday 31.
We are still in Camp Huffman & there is no telling when we will leave it. I bought
a bushel of Appels & made 1.00 dollar.

April Tuesday 1, 1862
It was a rainy dricely day although it is very warm. I received a letter from Pa
today. I answered it & sent home 40. Dollars. I also wrote to J. Akinsls. He is at
Leebanon. No War.

Wednesday 2.
Went up to Keitsville & back by way of Kings. Sold my watch.There is some
chance of my getting the Ambulance to drive. Rained very hard last night.

14 Of Rockford.

Thursday 3.
Very pleasant but warm. I bought Gusses16 watch today. The Court Martial17 is
to come. off tomorrow. No War news.

April, Friday 4, 1862
The Major went early to the Court Martial. AI & I were left alone all day. Our
Company & Co. B built a dam, & we have a flne baithing place. Oliver & Sels
went home yesterday. Took my pony.

Saturday 5.
The Western Army marched at 6 Ock & camped 18 miles from Rock springs, a
pleasant day: Our teems were all out after forage & the men had to carry their

Sunday 6.
Off at 6 again, some of the teems came up in the night. We camped on flat creek.
Mar. 20 miles & carried Knapsacks. rainy.

April, Monday 7, 1862
Laid over because of the high water in the James river. I lost 14 dollars playing
Chuck Luck & Chuck luck it was, too. Very pleasant weather. got our tent pole

15 John Aikens of Rockford.
16 Sgt. Gustavus Freysleben from Pecatonica, Illinois.
17 Probably of the Colonel and the Major, whose arrests were mentioned earlier.
18 Privates Oliver and Charles Rogers from Pecatonica, Illinois.

Tuesday 8.
Marched at 8 & camped at Galena. was· crossing the river all night & two days. I
had my horse stolen, found the Horse, but lost the saddle & bridle.

Wednesday 9.
Left Galena at % 8 Ock. Marched 11 miles & camped in the handsomest valley I
ever saw. only 12 miles to for sidesl9. rained all night.

April, Thursday 10, 1862
Marched at 8 & camped at For-Syth on the White river, saw the most beautiful
cenery that ever was. we marched 14 miles & had Headquarters in an old house.

Friday 11.
Rained all day. We stopped in forsyth. expect to march in the morning. was
playing Chuck luck. just won my money back. have swore off. mighty cold.

Saturday 12.
The Army is building a raft across the river. I expect we will have to go to Little
rock. Our cook20 was taken sick & went to the Hosp.

April, Sunday 13, 1862
Fine weather. went to meeting in the afternoon. AI went a foraging & got a good
Horse for Boys. crossed the river & got some good things to eat.

19 Forsyth. See following entries.
20 Unidentified. It is noteworthy that the regiment’s food handlers had little luck: Commissa.cy
Sgt. Henry Adams of Rockton had died the previous October, January 10, “Jim the cook” had

Monday 14.
The Court Martial commenced this morning at 8. all the officers went. it is held
upon Bull Creek. 10 miles from ForSyth. got into the river & had to swim out.
got mail. 3 letters I got.

Tuesday 15.
The Court Martial is adjourned until tomorrow. I wrote letters all day. Our rations
are reduced to one half. nothing for supper. Rainy.

April, Wednesday 16, 1862
The officers are all gone to Court. expect to be gone all night. Nothing under the
sun to eat but parch Corn. all the troops are gone, except our division. fme

Thursday 17.
No breakfast. The folks all came back at noon. I kooked a sack of rice & we had
the best supper I ever ate. I went 10 miles for milk & Eggs to make a pudding.

Friday 18.
AI, Mike fulmer21 & myself went over the river to get a dinner & the pickets
arrested us. We was kept in the guard house. all had a cup of coffee & a piece of
bread for supper.
gone home ..

April, Saturday 19, 1862
The Regament had a regular drunk today in honor of Easter Sunday. Our
Suttler came in last Knight & they got plenty ofWhiskey. Only $2 ea. a Galon.

Sunday 20.
Rained all day. very cold. Stayed in camp & done nothing & a little of
everything. The river is up very high. plenty of provisions.

Monday 21.
The teems all went over the River after corn & they have got to stay all night as
the ferry is broke. pleasant day.

April, Tuesday 22, 1862
The Ferry sunk & one Capt. & 3 privates were droned & one Butternut. A wench
& Slittle Niggers were saved. We march tomorrow. pleasant.

Wednesday 23.
Marched at six. we started on the Springfield road but soon turned off among the
hills. Mar. 15 mi. & camped in a splendid place. I got me a butternut suit out of
secesh wagon in White river. Black Jim22 died last night.

21 Mike Fulmer of Durance, Illinois.

Thursday 24.
Marched at 5 in the morning & camped in an old camp called Camp Short of all
things. I got a good dinner & rode the Coronols horse. Our Reg. Mar. a head

April, Friday 25, 1862
Off at 5 & % Ock. We marched behind. I walked all day. we made some 18 miles
& camped on a large creek, the name of which I do not know. Got into camp
early. Vets23 very sick.

Saturday 26.
Marched at 5 in the morning & passed threw splendid pine forrest all day. Mar.
23 miles, very warm. a great many horses & muels died on the road. No Forage of
any kind.

Sunday 27.
Oh! Will I ever forget this days march. No, never can describe the horrible feelings
I experienced while dangling over that precepis. We mar. 6 miles & oh! what
cenery & bad roads.

April, Monday 28, 1862
Marched at 4 & a %. A very pleasant day. the country is more thickly settled &
we have plenty of forrage. Marched 20 miles. we are going toard Kansas.

22 Unidentified.
Tuesday 29.
We marched 25 miles & camped in Pilot Knoll a town of 8 houses, 3 Barns &
some 40 pig pens. Sargent Hicks24 returned tonight. We lay over tomorrow to be
mustered for pay.

Wednesday 30.
We rested today & were mustered in for pay. there was a General Inspection & a
Dress parade. I went after Pork.

May, Thursday 1, 1862
Orders to be prepared to march at a moments notice, but no notice came, so we
have two days rest. the other Brigades marched at 3 Am. Mail came in at dusk.

Friday 2.
Marched at 4. We made 26 miles & camped on a large streem. We intend to go to
Batesville tomorrow. expect some fun. walked all day.

Saturday 3.
Started at 2 Ock in the morning. Marched 40 miles & camped in Batesville. got
stuck a number of times. rained all day.

May, Sunday 4, 1862
I went all over town today. we are a going to stay in this visinity a few days. this
is the prettiest place I ever saw. we are on white river.

23 Sylvester Paine, a cousin who lived well into the 1920s.

Monday 5.
We moved out of town 2 miles to a better camp. it is very pleasant weather &
Batesville is the handsomest place I ever saw so I am content. I received 3 letters.

Tuesday 6.
As flne a day as ever dawned. a man in Company A was accidentally shot. the
bail passed threw his Hart & killed him instantly.

May, Wednesday 7, 1862
We received the news of the Capture of Memphis & Corinth today & also that
Arkansas has come back into the Union. we are still in this camp.

Thursday 8.
We marched at six in the. morning. Our Brigade was all day crossing the river &
the last of us crossed the morning after.

Friday 9.
Marched at 8. went some 8 miles & received orders to go back to St. Louis. We
about faced & got all across the river by 10 Ock the same night.

May, Saturday 10, 1862
We w:ere off at 7 in the mom. marched 14 miles & caught up with Asboths
division. we are to be under his comand hereafter25. very Hot. Majors got a Nigger
to wait on him.

24 Sgt. Isaac Hicks of Rockford.
25 After Batesville and before May 26th, the company was placed in Col. Osterhaus’s Brigade. As
a general, As both had comanded one of the four divisions under Brigadier General Samuel Ryan

Sunday 11
Caught up to Asboths Brigade at 4 ock & camped. the Nigger left & went home.
we are to stay here a few days. Terrible hot.

Monday 12
No orders to march yet but expect to leave in the morning. it is almost rosting
hot. there is a division drille in the after noon.

May, Tuesday 13, 1862
Marched at 2 Ock this morning. went 15 miles & camped on Strawberry creek.
very hot & unpleasant marching. a splendid place to swim.

Wednesday 14
Marched at 12 in the night & camped at 2 P.M. I marched in the ranks all the
way. we crossed Sp.ring river & camped on Red point Branch. had a fme swim.

Thursday 15
Started at 5, marched 24 miles & crossed Black river. Expect a fight before
long. Camped in Vandorns old camp. we stood all day.

May, Friday 16, 1862
(Note: The entries from this date, the 16th, through Wednesday the 21st are too
faded for full decipherment)
Curtis at the Battle of Pea Ridge, the other three divisions being commanded by General Franz

_ & camped _ at 1 _ . Vet & _ went a mile
river to scout the ferry _ & 9 0 were drowned. Very _ .

Saturday 17 Marched at 5. Made 25 miles & crossed the St. Francis river. L. Ohalleran has come to cook for our mess. there is no forage for the Horses but plenty of grass &.

Sunday 18
Revile at 5 A.M. & on tneroad at 5 (sic). Marched 12 miles & crossed Black
river Branch. camped on the bank & we all had a good swim.

May~ Monday 19, 1862
Marched at 3 in the morning. C _ & forward to _ nsville. The s we crossed _ in a swamp. Marched 26 miles & camped in the wilderness. 50 mi. to the .

Tuesday 20 Started at 5 passed threw _ t_ville t_s. Hoget & R _ .
Marched 30 miles & _ about _ . rained all day long.

Wednesday 21 Marched at 2 A. M. Crossed White water & cmaped on its _ . Our Suttler
came up _ 28 Dollars. rainy & cold. Sigel and Colonels Jefferson C. Davis and Eugene A. Curtis.


May, Thursday 22, 1862 Marched 20 miles & reached Cape Girardu at 12 & was received with a salut of Canon. Expect to go down the river in the morning. Good .

Friday 23 Worked hard all day loading & left the Cape at night. Reached Carlo at 11 Ock & laid up untill morning. signed the payroll & drew pay this week.

Saturday 24 We left Cairo early this morning & are now steaming up the Ohio for the Tenesee river. Two men were drowned yesterday.

May, Sunday 25, 1862 Steamed up the Tenesse all day. no more accidents. passed a number of small towns. heard several canons during the day. Was payed two months pay. also.

Monday 26 Landed about the middle of the afternoon & by dark were comfortable. Camped on the banks of the Tenesse 25 miles from Corinth. very fine weather. 26

Tuesday 27 We were obliged to lay over today for the want of transportation but expect to leave in the morning. The Gun Boats went up river.

26 Between May 26th and 29th, the 44th was advancing toward Corinth and the Rebel position. On the 29th, the Rebels retreated. At the time, the 44th was assigned to Pope’s command. Their camp on the 26th was at Pittsburg Landing.

May, Wednesday 28, 1862 Started at 3 P. M .. & marched all night. had a very good road but hardly any water. I fell out & slept till morning & then caught up.

Thursday 29 We marched onto the field of action at 11 A. M. But did not have a chance to shoot a gun. within 3 miles of Corinth. can hear the rebels laugh & talk.

Friday 30 Comenced Bombardjng the Rebels early & at 10 A.M. they comenced retreating. we are now on the road after them. allmost into Corinth now.

May, Saturday 31, 1862 25 Advanced within a few miles of the enemy lines & lay consealed in the bush all day. I went into one of their old camps & saw a number of dead men & got a sack of Sugar.

June, Sunday 1 We fell back a mile & camped. there was a false alarm this morning. rained all day. some pretty heavy Canoading early in the day but none in the afternoon.

Monday 2 Morning dawned clear & pleasant. Marched at 3. Made 15 miles & camped without water. I rode in Tim Collins waggon.27

27 Listed as Theo Collins. With the 44th from August 1, 1861 to mustering out of 1865.


June, Tuesday 3, 1862 Marched at 7 in the morning & camped on the South side of riam.28 Came threw all the Reb bel Camps. Mudhole water. Major officer of day.

Wednesday 4 Marched at 4 P. M. had nothing to eat since we started. had to leave the Baggage. Rained hard enough to wet all the Boys threw. Mar. half the Night.

Thursday 5 Came back to town & camped. part of our things came up & we rode out to get a little to eat. very warm. some mail.

June, Friday 6, 1862 Laid in camp all day. expecting to March or fight every moment. the men were all put to building breast works. the day passed and nothing exciting.

Saturday 7 We marched last night at dark & camped this morning within 5 miles of the Secesh camp on the railroad. some light Scurmishing. poor water & hard crackers. 28

Sunday 8 No news. a slight scurmish With the Pickets. very warm weather. No flour to eat & we are all half starved. wrote letters all day & got a few in return.

28 Possibly Rienze, Miss. See below.


June, Monday 9, 1862 It is a very pleasant day. Jeff is cooking beans for dinner. Bean soup I mean, excuse me. I reckon I made a mistake. 29

Tuesday 10 The Rebbels have run off again & I expect that we will have to leave here soon if not before. had a division drille in the morning.

Wednesday 11 Jeff cooked beans for dinner. it is evening & I have [been] examining a large boil that has been: bothering me for two days. Marching orders.

June, Thursday 12, 1862 Marched at 7 in the morning & camped in Rianze30

Friday 13 I was up early to roll call. The Boys pulled up our tent stakes & the tent fell over last night at 12. I have been all day cleaning my gun.

Saturday 14 We put up our tent this morning. went out on Company drille in the fore noon & in swimming after dinner.

29 This sounds as though Jeff Abbott had read this entry and made complaint. 30 Rie nz1., M1′ ss.

June, Sunday 15, 1862 We changed our old camp for a new & a great deal worse one today. our Company was detailed to guard the Battery today. received old mail.

Monday 16 28 It is very hot. Came off guard at 12 A.M. I bought a cheese for 12% dollars & sold it for 15 today. expect a fight soon.

Sunday 17 The Army are building breast works & have got a good share already finished. Went to drille in the morning. a slight rain.

June, Wednesday 18, 1862 Went out on drille in the morning & at 4 P.M. was detailed for Picket-Guard. had to stand on the railroad. heavy rain.

Thursday 19· Came off of guard at 9 A. M. the Regament went out on Brigade drille in the morning & had a Regamental inspection, at night.

Friday 20 I went over to the 36th today & had a _ stamped on my arm. our boys went out & got two pails of Black bercys.


June, Saturday 21, 1862 Had a Brigade drille in the forenoon. Our Company was detailed to guard the Battery. I got all the ripe Black bercys I could eat.

Sunday 22 Went down to Swim in the morning. AI & Ste31 got tight & we had a great time. I went on Picket at 4 Ock. had a lonly time.

Monday 23 Was relieved from guard at 4 P.M. Capt. Saben32 came back today. We expect an attack every hour. the Rebels are advancing. ~warm. poor grub. June,

Tuesday 24, 1862 Worked. all night & all day on the breast works. The Rebels have halted some 8 miles from here. we expect them on every day.

Wednesday 25 Morning dawned bright & clear, but we had a splendid shower before night. I received a letter tonight from my friend33 & it was truly cheering to read.

Thursday 26 Our Company was detailed to Guard the Battery today. There was considerable firing on picket last night. very warm. 31 “Ste” Stephen Hicks, drummer, from Rockford.

32 Captain Luther M. Sabine.

30 June, Friday 27, 1862 The most of our troops have made a forward moove today. our Battery went & we were relieved. our Regament mooved to a new camp.

Saturday 28 The morning dawned cloudy. after drille I went after Black berrys & got 12 quarts. it rained all the time I was gone. troops have been passing all day.

Sunday 29 I was detailed for Police Guarde at 9 A. M. · & the Company went on Picket in the afternoon. received news that Richmond was taken by the Rebels. June,

Monday 30, 1862 Was relieved at 8 A.M. had a very lonesom time. nothing to do, the Company came in from picket at 6 Ock P. M. & we had a good supper.

July, Tuesday 1 The first day of July dawned bright & cleare. we were mustered in for lll!Y· we received a large mail last night after dark. I got three letters.

Wednesday 2 Troops have been passing here all day under the command of Gen. Jeff Davis. Jeff Abbott came back to the company, cooked all night. on an allarm. a scurmish at Boonsville.

33 May have been a letter from Asbury Abbott, who had remained behind at Lebanon, or from


July, Thursday 3, 1862 Thursday I went on guard at 9 A. M. & was lucky enough to get out of picket, as The Company went on picket, at the same time. No news from the Rebels.

Friday 4 I was awakened, by the roar of Canon, as a Salute. We had a review in the morning, & was entertained in the after noon by speeches from different officers.

Saturday 5 I was reported sick today. I am bothered with a large Bile, on the jaw. Our Company went to Guard the Battery received letters from home.

July, Sunday 6, 1862 The Company came in at 9. & at 3 p. m. had to go out again. there was a false alarm & we had to keep our cloths on all knight.

Monday 7 Was reported again. Bile worse & a high feaver. we had three hundred men detailed for fatigue today. they built a long line of breastworks.

Tuesday 8 I played poker all day. at night all of us boys went down to the creek & had a swim. one of our men shot his hand on guard. A.K. or Sarah B. previously mentioned.


July, Wednesday 9, 1862 Nathan Randle came up to the Regament.34 The first time he has been with us since we left camp Elsworth. J. Akin won a watch on a Raffle.

Thursday 10 Have had a change & have got our old mess back together. played considerable poker & slept for the rest of the time. opened the Bile & it run a pint.

Friday 11 Went to work on the entrenchments & T.A. Collins stuck a pick axe through the back of my hand. the doctor done it up.

July, Saturday 12, 1862 My hand is very sore, still. I think it will be well in a few days. Co. C buried a man today. he killed himself eating new potatoes.

Sunday 13 Otir mess killed a pig this morning. We had Rost Beef for dinner & Rost Pig for supper. Jabe35 & I went & got some milk.

Monday 14 My hand is better. JS36 got some Turkeys yesterday & we had Rost Turkey for Breakfast. The Company went to guard the Battery.

34 Nathan Randle could be either Nathan Rundell, Corporal, from Rockford, or Nathaniel Ramsdell, private, also from Rockford. 35 Colonel Jabez B. Jennings of Winnebago.


July, Tuesday 15, 1862 I stayed in camp all day. received two dollars from A. Hart for watch. all I expect to get. N.J. Wilson is voted cook for Mess 3, Co. G.37

Wednesday 16 I went out into the Country 5 miles today. got some berries & ripe Apples. a good dinner & half a bushel of Potatoes & rode to camp on a Cavelry Horse.

Thursday 17 It rained all Night & all the morning. our tent blew over in the middle of the night & we had every rag soaking wet.

July, Friday 18, 1862 I went over to the picket post & Washed my clothes in the forenoon & answered letters in the afternoon. Got a canteen full of Milk.

Saturday 19 Took Steves38 Breakfast over to him on picket & got a pail of Black Berrieys. Went to the creek in the afternoon & got two Canteens of Milk.

Sunday 20 I stayed in camp all day & read 14 Chapters in the book of Mathew 39•

we had a heavy rain. all night last night & the day is very cloudy.

36 Likely·James Sherman ofBurritt. 37 Adam Hart, mustered out in 1865 as a Sergeant, and Nathan Wilson, private.


July, Monday 21, 1862 Stayed in camp untill noon & then went out & got some Milk & Blackberries. The weather is warm & clear. No news from the Rebbels.

Tuesday 22 I stayed in my tent & read & wrote all day. There was a divison drille today. My hand is most well & I shall soon do duty.

Wednesday 23 I went on guard with the Company at nine Ock. Battery Guard. I received two letters from Home .. No news.

July, Thursday 24, 1862 Came off of guard at 9 & a % this rooming & occupied the rest of the day in answering letters. A Capt. was thrown from his horse & mortily hurt yesterday.

Friday 25 Went on police guard this rooming. a rumor in Camp that we are ordered back to Arkansas but I don’t believe it4o. a little rain.

Saturday 26 Came off of guard at 9 A.M. & went out of camp with Vet & Ames D41, got a basket of Appels, tomatoes & Peaches. Went on dress parade at 6 P.M.

38 Stephen B. Hicks of Rockford, drummer. 39 14 chapters represents half of the book of Matthew.

35 July, Sunday 27, 1862 Stayed in my tent nearly all day. received a letter from S. B. we drew 6 days rations. S. P. Searls42 got a pail of milk. very warm.

Monday 28 I mounted the Picket G. this morning & got post 5 on New Station. I feel a little unwell. Oruy two Bugalers to mount the guard this morning. H’s43 has gone to the river.

Tuesday 29 Came off of guard at 9 A. M. & stayed in camp all day. we had a fme Dress parade at night. now news.

July, Wednesday 30, 1862 I went out into the country a few miles & got a Basket of fme peaches & Appels. Cleaned my gun in the afternoon.

Thursday 31 The teams came back from the river & Hicks brought back two cheeses. We draw new clothes tomorrow. 4 0 He was right. The next march was to Cincinnati.

41 Sylvester Paine and Amos C. Delaney, musician, from Lynnville. 42 Stephen P. Searls, private, from Winnebago. 43 Stephen B. Hicks, above mentioned.


August, Friday 1 I went on picket guard today. got post No. 1. Had a good Book to read. pleasant Weather & no rain.

August, Saturday 2, 1862 Came off of guard at 9. drew new Clothes today & expect to be payed off soon. there was a Brigade inspection today.

Sunday 3 The General Inspection came off at 7 & % Ock. & we had a general cleaning out of the camp. Collins sentenced to a Court Martial. 44

Monday 4 Had a Batalion drille in the morning & Dress parade in the aftemoon. General Asboth45 has resigned.

August, Tuesday 5, 1862 Went out on a general review & came very near being sunstruck. was inspected by our new General Rosincratz46. Most dead with the heat.

Wednesday 6 On police guard. Company A have got a vaulting bar & are having great fun. I received a letter from home. very warm.

44 Collins’ court martial must have gone well for him, as he remained with the regiment until its muster out in 1865. 45 One of the four commanders at Pea Ridge. A second commander, Colonel Jefferson C. Davis was involved in. a rather strange episode. See entry for September 29th. 46 General Rosecrans officially assumed command in October 1862.


Thursday 7 Came off of guard at 9 A.M. & stayed in camp untill night. The Battery officers tied one of their men up & gaged him & we cut him down.

August, Friday 8, 1862 There was a Brigade Drill today & our officers showed their ignorance. I went to the creek & had a good swim in the evening.

Saturday 9 I missed drille this morning & was put ori extra duty for it. S.I.S. 47 got caught & put in the guard house. the weather is hot. Sunday 10 I was detailed for police guard. We had a Man to gard from Co. A. I had a
good time & got a bushel _ _

August, Monday 11, 1862 Came off of guard at 9 A.M. A.A. 48 & -. _ went into the country & got a lot of peaches & Appels. Jeff49 & I have built us a little house for ourselves.

Tuesday 12 Stayed in camp all day excepting to drill in the morning, was detailed to guard the river tomorrow. start at 5 A.M. Austin R. is not expected to liveso.

47 Stephen Searls. 48 Asbury Abbott. 4 9 Jeff Abbott


Wednesday 13 Started for the landing early this morning & camped at the place I slept in going out & the Regament _ left on _ .

Friday 15
A. Hart & myself are cooks for the whole. Nothing. Jean tierilus 51transferred
today. I have caught a bad cold & this evening I have a considerable feaver. No
hay yet.

Saturday 16
Have felt very bad all day & tonight I have got a high Feaver. I think that I shall
go to the post doctor tomorrow. No Boat has arrived yet & we are to remain here
one day more.

August, Sunday 17, 1862
No Hay has come yet. I felt some better this morning & so did not go to the
doctor, but I am worse tonight & think I shall just step over & get some
medicon. We had all kinds of fruit for dinner.

50 Austfu Rising. He survived, but was discharged in October 1862, probably as the result of
wounds received in October.
51 These two words are almost indecipherable and may or may not represent a name.

Monday 18
I feel considerable better. we went in swimming to get a barel of rum that a
Suttler throwed overboard but did not get it. The weather is quite cool.

Tuesday 19
The teamsters all went down to the creek & got hay off of a sinking barge. It
rained some here last night & has been quite chilly all day.

August, Wednesday 20, 1862
We was ordered to hitch up & start for camp but the orders were soon
countermanded & we are to remain here longer. The Hay was taken by the
Rebels coming up the river.

Thursday 21

An expedition has gone down the river to try & get the Hay the Rebels captured.
The weather is very warm & I have got a high feaver. Ed Bristol52 went to camp
for the letters.

Friday 22
The Boat- City came down the river. The 14th Wis. Reg. leave this place for
Corinth & the 81 Ohio take their place. There was a little man come in here last

52 No Ed Bristol appears on the official company rostor, but an Ide bristol, age 39 in 1860, lived in Aona Township, Winnebago County, Illinois. He was a farmer born in New York.

August, Saturday 23, 1862
I have not seen the little man yet, but the boys say he is smaller than Tom
Thumb. I feel very bad today. received a letter from home & one from Sarah.

Sunday 24

Chub53 got kicked by a mule. It did not hurt him much. We started for camp in
the· afternoon. intend to camp in the old place.

Monday 25
Started early & got into Rienzia at 4 Ock. The Regament had been payed up &
the Capt. had our money for us.

August, Tuesday 26, 1862
I felt very bad this morning & was reported. got some pills & think they done
me good. the weather is very warm. I got two letters from home.

Wednesday 27
The Captain payed me this morning. My head is very bad but I managed to
write one letter. I had to take a large dose of quinine.

Thursday 28
I was reported sick this morning but think I feel some better tonight. The
Regament went out on drill at 5 A.M.

August, Friday 29, 1862
There was a Brigade drille. I was not able to go out. the Rebels drove in our
pickets & killed two men. I had to take a great dose of quinine & I can taste it

Saturday 30
I received a letter from home today. no news. I was vecy lonesom in the tent all
day & nothing to read. there was no Company drill. the weather is vecy damp.

Sunday 31
There was a Regamental inspection at 7 A.M. & after that we was mustered in
for pay. Company drill in the afternoon & Dress parade.

September, Monday 1, 1862
There was a Brigad drill & a hard one it was too. I got two letters from home &
one from Charley Babcock. The cavelcy pickets had a little scurmish at

Tuesday 2
I was on fatigue duty all day. was haukling dirt out of camp. There was
Company & Dress parade in the afternoon & in the evening we all went to a
Nigger dance.

53 C. C. Coons, who transferred to Veterans’ Reserve Corps 4-30-64.

Wednesday 3
There was quite an excitement in camp. There was considerable frreing on the
left. I am on picket today & post no. 7 was frred into.

September, Thursday 4, 1862
I was relieved from guard at 9 A. M. Came to camp & had to drill the rest of the
day. We had no moor alarms. We got news that we was whipped at richmond. 54

Friday 5
We had Company drill in the morning & Dress parade at night. I ironed a shirt
today for the washing price. the weather is very warm.

Saturday 6
We got marching orders late last night & marched at 2 A.M. we camped at
Corinth & expect to go to Cincinnati. pretty hard days march. 20 miles.

September, Sunday 7, 1862
We took the cars at 7 & reached Columbus on the ‘Mississippi just at dark.
stayed in an old shed until morning. rained all night.

Monday 8
We took the boat this morning & reached Cairo at night. We camped once &
then was routed up & had to go aboard the cars where we stayed till morning.

54 The word “off’ is written above Richmond, with no apparent connection or context.

Tuesday 9
Left Cairo early & road all day. reached the Ohio & Miss. R.R. where we
changed cars & rode all night. I was taken very sick & continued so all night.

September, Wednesday 10, 1862
We passed through a number of pleasant towns & the Ladies treated us to
everything we wanted. We reached Cincinnati at 12 in the night & crossed the
river. camped in an orchard.

Thursday 11
Garretf~und me out & I went down with him. It was quite a surprise to Gabe55.
I stayed there all night & had a very pleasant time.

Friday 12
I went up to the Regament & they was all ready to march but the orders were
countermanded & they stayed in the same place.

September, Saturday 13, 1862
The Regament mooved a mile out of town & camped. I done my fatigue duty &
went to town with Get56 & stayed all night.

55 Apparently civilian friends of George’s. Not on the official company roster
56 Garret, mentioned above.

Sunday 14
Our Regament moved again three miles further. Chub & Get & I went to the
Theatre at night & had a pleasant time. The Rebels have Skedadled.

Monday 15

The Capt. gave me a pass for six days & I am going to stay with Get & Ta. Went
over to Cincinnati today.

September, Tuesday 16, 1862
We got a pass & went over the river & had quite a time. I think Gerret will inlist
in our Company. Chub went back to the Company.

Wednesday 17
We was surprised today with the news that the Regament was all ready on the
march & I have only a few moments to find them in.

Thursday 18
I went over to the depot & saw Major Hobart57, got to late for the cars. went to
the Theater in the evening & then back to Gerits.

September, Friday 19, 1862
Went down to the river & went down on the boat. we had a good ride & a
pleasant time. saw a good many troops scattered along.

57 Thomas J. Hobart, resigned August 31, 1862.

Saturday 20
Arrived at Louisville about 4 Ock. & at 8 I reported to fmd the Regament. found
it about 12 & was glad to get back. went to town in the evening.

Sunday 21
There was inspection the forenoon & preaching at 4. the flrst time in 5 month.
Dress parade at night.

September, Monday 22, 1862
We moved our camp on the south side of town this afternoon. our Company
Worked all night on the itrenchments. expect a flght soon.

Tuesday 23
I went to town this morning & had a hard time to Slip the guards. The Major
came back & the Boys gave him three harty cheers.

Wednesday 24
Buell58 came in here last night & the City is out of all further danger. the rebels
have left- we have got a flne Camp.

September, Thursday 25, 1862
I am on guard today. We went out on Brigade drille at 4 A.M. & drilled two
hours & came in with a good apitite for Breakfast.

58 Brigadier General Don Carlos Buell, a close friend of General McClellan.

Friday 26
Our Regament went on Picket guard. I got out of it. We got orders to march &
we had to moove through town. went 6 mi. & camped. the boys all of guard.

Saturday 27
It rained all day. the Reg. came in about 12. & we had to moove our cainp
again. we got settled by night. I got a good supper.

September, Sunday 28, 1862

I went down to the river & washed all day. a great many new troops came in to
town today. we are looking for the 74th Ill. every day.

Monday 29
Stayed in camp all day. strickt orders to let no one up town. Gen. Davis shot
Gen. Nelson59 & killed him instantly. we have got to go on picket in the

Tuesday 30
Our Regament went on picket guard at 6 A. M. Our Company had to stand on
posts. Jeff A. & myself was on one post.

October, Wednesday 1, 1862
We was ordered in at day break. we are going to march. Found the 74th in
camp. saw lots of old friends. marched 10 miles & camped without tents.

59 More about this remarkable incident cannot be located at this time. Davis had served at the Battle of Pea Ridge.

Thursday 2
Marched at 7 & went 10 mi. found the road blockaded & had to go back. it
rained very hard. our things were all left behind except our blankets.

Friday 3
Our Cavelry had a scurmish with the Rebels picket & we expect a fight. Our
Regament go on guard tonight. Mar. 18 miles.

October, Saturday 4, 1862

The Army came along about 8 & we fell into our place & marched 12 miles. we
formed a line of battle at 4 but the Rebels run & we had no fun.

Sunday 5
Marched at 7 & passed through Bargtown6o, a fine little town. marched 16 mi.
our teams did not come up unti113A. M. we are close on to the Rebs.

Monday 6
Marched early & passed through Springfield. There was some hard fighting
done on the advance today. I saw a number of prisoners.

October, Tuesday 7, 1862
We marched at 8 A.M. & went 9 mi. where the Rebs made a stand. we expect
they are going to fight us. very short of water.

Wednesday .8
We formed a line of battle at 6 & marched 2 mi. where the Rebels opened frre on
us & wounded 3 of our Co. the frrst frre. fit hard all day untill after dark.61

Thursday 9
Morning came & we opened frre but received no ans. the Rebels had retreated
10 mi. we took posson of the mill & camped. it rained all day very hard.

October, Friday 10, 1862
I was on guard. Jeff & I got a pair of Blankets apiece. raining still. the Business
of the day was to burry the Dead & tend to the wounded.

Saturday 11
We formed a line of Battle early in the day & lay so untill 4 P.M. when we left &
marched 5 miles. passed Gen. Michels62 Div. & went out on the advance.

Sun:day 12
We marched passed two Divisions & took the lead. Marched 14 mi. & camped
just out of Danville. the Rebels close ahead.

60 Likely Bardstown, Kentucky.

61 The Battle of Perryville, being in the Division commanded by General P. H. Sheridan. After the
battle, the enemy was pursued to Crab Orchard. The discharges of Austin Rising (October 18)
and Thomas Don of Burritt, Ill., (October 9, 1862) may be related to the “3 of our Co,” wounded in
the first fire.

October, Monday 13, 1862
Marched 4 miles & formed a line of Battle. Waited all for the Rebels to make the
attack but they chose to leave & so they went on. We came through Danville at

Tuesday 14
We came through Danvill & marched 14 mi. The Rebels close ahead. our men
took two canons from them. they burnt all the bridges on the road. my

Wednesday 15
We formed a line of Battle at 7 A.M. & advanced to Lankaster. There is
considerable flring ahead. The Rebels run & we marched 15 miles & camped at
Crab Orchard.

October, Thursday 16, 1862
We lade over today. I suppose to give the Rebs a chance to get away. I went out
into the country, & got a good diriner. No news of any kind.

Friday 17
No orders yet. laid in camp all’ day. some of the 74th boys came over to our
camp. they are pretty near played out. Wrote home & sowed all day.

62 Not identified. May be General Mitchell or General Michael.

Saturday 18
We mooved our camp today some 100 roods & Jeff & I built us a nice little
house. we had a fine fat pig for supper.

8 Oct/62
The Battle commenced early. the Reb fiting to maintain the Spring & we to take
it. We got position at 9 A.M. at % 3. the Rebels made a charge on our center but
gained nothing. We took several prisoners.

[This is the final daily entry in the diary. Remaining entries consist of the
description of the Battle of Pea Ridge, a list of names with money due (from
gambling?) and two miscellaneous notes.]

Memoranda of the Battle of Pea Ridge commencing on the 6th Day of Mar.
& ending on the 9th. 1862.
We were ordered to march at 2 in the morning. there was a great deal of
grumbling among the men because of such an eariy start but they found out
before night the whys & wherefores. My Company & two others had been
ordered out to the Indian Nation the day before & they had to march all night.
When the Companys with the stragglers were within a few miles of camp, they
were cut off by the rebels whome they expected was a hundred miles off.
The rebel Cavelry charged & took one wagon of ammunition, but our Cavelry
coming’ back at this moment ingaged them & drove them back after fighting a

63 He turned age 17.

few moments. there was 2 of our men lost & ten secest killed. This was on
Thursday. This was the frrst news we haci of a Battle & we did not even then
know but it was a scouting party so still had it been kept. A. Hobart & I was off
of the road at the time some 6 miles. after the Battle we learnt to our
astonishment that we had not been gone 10 minuets from the place, we ate our
dinner when 400 hundred Rebbel Cavehy came up to the same house & fed
their Horses. a pretty close rub.

The whole Infantry force came out to meet & escorted the victourious companys
into camp. Our men were frrst to work & very forminable breast works were
seen in a few hours. We lay without tents that night with our guns under our
heads & our Horses saddled.

Friday morning dawned clear & warm. The frrst warning we had was a cannon
ball came taring down threw the trees but did no damage. The frring was now
continuous & loos horses came thundering down over the hill from the battle.
We were keept back as a reserve in this position we were keept unti114 Ock.
when we were ordered forward. We immeaditly marched to the cene of action
deployed & scoured the woods threw. lost !1Q men but took a good many
prisoners & killed a few. the country being very rough, the woods thick & darck
in the bargin, the Reg. got scattered, but we all found ourselves together in the
morning, face to face with the Rebbels. Our cooks were busy all this time & we
relished a good breakfast of pan Cakes & a cup of coffee. Sat. 9th we went at it
at sunrise this morning. we were driven back at frrst but soon gained our
ground again at 10 Ock. the Rebels began to dissepear & at 11 they we

marched in to their camp. the persuit lasted as far as keetsville where the
Secesh broke up & scattered in every direction, all aiming for Boston Mountain.
Our Regament took a side road & marched to Sugar Creek. They then turned
around & marched back to Keetsville, & from there down to the Battle ground.
We camped here a few days & left for Sugar Creek valley & camped in the Valley
of Death where I will leave them for the present. 64

Champ $2.50
Hick .70
J.Abbott $5.00
J. Coock 5.00
S.P. Hicks 10.00
J. Vanalstine 5.00
J. Cook 3.50
J. Akin 75 2.00
N. i. Wilson 25 1.75
L. Clark 1.50
J. Wright 25 1.50
A. Abbott .75
A. Abbott 3.75
D. Horboard 2.00
J. Abbott 6.00

64 It has been said of the Battle of Pea Ridge that “Despite being outnumbered three to two, the
federals achieved a decisive tactical and strategic victory at Pea Ridge. The outcome of the battle
ended any serious Confederate threat to Missouri and led to the conquest of Arkansas.” The
Confederates lost about 1,500, the Federals 1,384. Pea Ridge National Military Park is on State
Route 71 near Pea Ridge, Arkansas, 20 miles northeast of Fayetteville.

W. Morer $13.25
C. Coon Paid 1.00

O. Rogers 1.25

O. Makepiece 1.00
S.Payne 4.00
Champlin 1.00

Who was the first white man on the banks of the Mississippi? It was Hernando

The poor Warrior “Slept the Sleep that knows no waking & was borne by good
comrades that Honored & loved him to his Soldiers grave.”

Private George Knapp was killed at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, and is buried in a
soldier’s grave there. His father’s autobiography, published in 1868, never mentions his