Diary Entry from Lockney, James B.

Soldier: Lockney, James B.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 28th Infantry
Home State: Wisconsin
Date Written: Thursday, October 29th, 1863
Location: On the march toward Archidelphia
Correspondence Type: Diary Entry
Subjects: Camp Life, Comrades, Daily Life, Politics, Secesh, Slavery
Link Source: http://pws.cablespeed.com/~jshirey/CivilWar
On the march toward Archidelphia
Thursday Oct. 29 1863

Last night I talked awhile to those men who came in day before yesterday from the S.W. part of the state about 120 miles distant. Many of them wish Slavery abolished & slaves out of the country as they said it was the cause of the War, and the Curse of our Country & the foe of the body of the people--the poor whites. They knew the Slave masters got up the war expressly in the interests of the institution, & with no real cause from the Government or the North. The country through which we travelled today was even poorer than from L.R. to Benton, & more uneven. It began to rain about M. & I was fortunate enough to keep my rubber off my Knapsack so I did not get any wet as I carried it. We got to Rockport in Hot Springs Co. 23 miles from Benton & 25 from Archidelphia. We stopped about one mile beyond the small village. As I did not touch or taste the whiskey most of the boys were some wet. they got some whisky for the first time since Jany. 22. Some trouble & much noise was the result. King took my share. We slept under our rubbers as it looked like rain.

On the Return to Benton
Friday, October 30, 1863.

About midnight it began to rain & continued till about 10 A.M. We stood about the fires of rails & let the rain fall which it did quite heavily. About 10 we started back & had some difficulty to get some of the teams out to the road. Some of the battery got stuck fast in the field, so they had to hitch two mule teams on with the horses. The boys last night had some whiskey distributed which caused much trouble & noise & some few quarrels in Camp. We marched about 12 or 15 miles & camped in a field where we burned many rails as we made a way to dry our blankets & Coats which had got wet During the day Cos. B. & G. acted as rear guard The Country is very poor, both the soil & people. The timber is pine, oak, sweet gum persimmon &c. soil very sandy, water plenty.

On the March to Benton, Saline Co. Ark.
Saturday October. 31 1863

Last night both McNeill's, Gilbert, McKee King & myself slept with our feet to the fire & I slept well though the night was cold & frosty. Today was very sunny & bright. We were Mustered this morning & I cleaned my gun which had been loaded several days & it got wet in the rain last night, so I had to draw the charge as I feared it would not go if we had a fight. The 9th Wis. today was in the rear, & the 3 Iowa battery was between it & our regt. We started at about 11 A.M. 7 reached Benton about Sundown. I bought several pieces (7 I think) of gingerbread at a dime apiece & sold some to King & Gilbert. We could not get a loaf of Bread in the town tonight. some of the boys bought supper for .50 cts. but this I think is too high for such as they can get. At Saline River we passed the Rebel Gen. Fagan's home, now all torn to pieces & wrecked I am very well.