MINIATURE DIARY FOR 1865
Published annually by Higgins and Kellog,
123 and 125 William St. New York, N. Y.
I have a transcribed diary my Great Grandfather Melville Hamilton Porter,born in Sullivan in 1844, kept after his release
from a Confederate Prison in 1865. He was living in Sullivan, Ashland Co. at
the time, many of the names and places are in Ashland or Lorain Co. I would
like to share it with you. Hopefully you will find an ancestor or two, as
there are quite a few people named. It is a small book so the entries of
necessity were short and days were skipped. I think it will be fun to see how
many people in it can be identified. I would very much like to know more
about these people.
Melville Hamilton Porter, enlisted in the Union Army, August 25, 1861, at
Cleveland, showing his age as 20 (he was actually 16y 8m), for a three year
hitch. There is little record of the first of his service; he was sick in a
hospital at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, Feb. 28, 1862, and was a private Company
M and Company D, 2nd Regiment Ohio Cavalry. He reenlisted February 1864 at
Knoxville, Tenn., receiving a bounty of $400, and gave his address as
Brooklyn, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.(?) He was made Corporal in May 1864,
retroactive to Feb. 1, he also corrected his age, showing it as 19.
He was among those captured at Reams Station, VA, June 29, 1864. He was taken
to Richmond as a prisoner, and sent, on July 16, to the Confederate prison
camp at Andersonville, GA. He was transferred to another camp in North
Carolina in early 1865, where he was paroled at N. E. Ferry, NC on Feb. 26,
1865. He was discharged at Camp Chase, Ohio, June 7, 1865.
First entries are in space in front, not part of daily record:
Clothing drawn in 1864 by me before I was captured Jan.
socks 2 pr. 2
Tuesday Jan. 3
socks pr 2
Drawers pr 2
Paid for sheep - gave for 266 $744.00
Recd. for 100 $400.00
Feb 16 Drew rations of pork -- first taste of meat for 8 long months. It was delicious, you bet.
Feb Fri 17 - March out and took cars to Florence for Wilmington (NC) in eve.
Feb Sat 18 - Arrived Wilmington and crossed river and marched out to country and camped - took cars at 9PM for Goldsboro - got most there and took hack truck.
Feb Sun 19 - 8AM finds (?) at Wilmington again and rebs say we will be paroled today. Can see shells burst over city - took cars in eve for Goldsboro.
Feb Mon 20- arrived 7AM at G. again. Marched 2 miles to camp. Got food rations of salt horse and meal, some sweet potatoes.
Feb Tues 21 - stayed here
Feb Wed, 22 - Moved camp 1/2 miles in woods.
Feb Fri 24 - Have very good rations since leaving Florence of salt horse, beans, meal.
Feb Sat 25 - signed parole papers today and took cars in night for Wilmington, which place our men captured on 22nd.
Feb Mon. 27- Crossed river last evening and camped with Schofield's Army - marched to W. 10 miles which used me up entirely - drew rations.
Feb Tues 28 - Rainy and disagreeable all day.
Mar 1 Wed. - Went on a propellor P.M. (?) to go north but do not today.
Mar 2 Thu - Started 8 A.M. down Cape Fear River. Passed Fort Fisher and entered the briny ocean - the first time I ever saw it.
Mar 3 Fri. - but I am so sea sick with diarrhea and fever that I can't enjoy the trip.
Mar 4 Sat. - Sailed up the Chesapeake Bay today and anchored at night at Annapolis.
Mar 5 Sun - Got off boat A.M. and went out to college Green Barracks and drew a suit of clothes and went to the bathroom and washed.
Mar 6 Mon - Drew $125 ration money took cars in eve for Baltimore.
pages blank to Friday, April 14, 1865, evidently home on furlough
April 14. Fri. - Went to Ashland to attend a meeting of rejoicing over our great victories - fireworks in eve - remained over night.
April 15 Sat. - Came home today - heard the dreadful news of Lincoln's death today. A terrible thing has befallen our country in the death of our beloved President.
skipped to May 5
May 5 Fri, - Went to New London to a show to see a hippopotamus.
May 12 Fri. - (?) went to Polk and took cars for Columbus, (?) from Gallion, arrived and went to Charlie's - stopped at Yolingers.-
May 13 Sat. - Went to camp and reported - found Homer and stopped with him. Went to Co. B.
May 15 Mon. - Drew my compensation money today.
May 17 Wed. - A lot of paroled prisoners came in today.
May 20 Sat. - Are waiting very impatiently to get discharged _ don't get very good fare here. More prisoners came today.
May 21 Sun. - Left my knife in cookhouse and lost it.
May 22 Mon. - A lot of Co. B. 20 boys came today from prison.
May 23 Tues. - We drew vittles and rations today to cook for our selves.
May 24 Wed. - Young officer and I went to town and played hell in shape of drinking brandy - bowling and went to opera.
May 25 Thu. - bought a trunk and knife today. Came to camp.
May 27 Sat. - Bought an alligator pipe and 3 toothbrushes for $1.50; also $2.00 worth of ivory concerns for sisters.
May 29 Mon. - A real riot turn this eve, several hundred made a raid on fence and destroyed some. Two wounded one mortally. HRC MLC
June 4 Sun. - Walked to river 1 1/2 miles and went in swimming, first time for season .
June 6, Tue. - Mustering officers came today and are making out our discharges. Went to river swimming.
June 7, Wed. - Signed the payrolls and was mustered out - not got our discharges yet. Are made out.
June 8, Thu. - Expected to get our pay today but did not.
June 10, Sat. - Another raid on the fence this eve, destroyed some. We had one man wounded. Can't get our pay.
June 13, Tue. - Got release papers today and went to town and got my pay $78.20 more than I expected. Bought $50 watch and a new suit of clothes. Went to theatre.
June 14, Wed. - Came to Wellington today on eve train and stopped at woods all night.
June 15, Thu. - Came down to Sullivan in stage.
June 18, Sun. - Went down to Millers and saw Juliette. She came home with me.
June 20, Tue. - Went out to Buggles to get charries- 15 qts. Went to W, Chambersburg to take Juiliette and went after her and took a ride in eve.
June 24, Sat. - Went to Troy to get Breezy and went riding with Lizzie.
June 25, Sun. - Uncle Nat went home today. Olive Johnson was buried - married today. John Hubler is the happy man - it was a very sorrowful event for me but circumstances were such that I could not help it.
Uncle Nat, Nathaniel Porter, b.1801 Fairdown, County Down, Ireland
I enjoyed the diary, especially the comment about my ancestor, John Hubler,
and the marriage to his second wife, Olive Rosina Johnson, at Sullivan.
Thanks so much for sharing this.
Tom Neel, New London OH
June 27, Tue. - Went to Savannah to anniversary - took Vince - got a whip.
June 28, Wed. - Si Johnson's cows got in our corn and ate it up and he denied it, but it was prooved against him. Went down and asked Julliette to go to ride with me.
June 29, Thu. - Got the harness together and the machine fixed today and fixed up to mow.
July 1, Sat. - Johnson's cows in again and finished the corn.
July 2, Sun. - Annie Shaler attended church and Sunday School - wrote a letter to Si Johnson - delayed one to Julie - wrote one to Annie Shaler.
July 3. Mon. - Terrible warm - went after Julia P. in the morn. - attended celebration and dinner - very good. Then went to Sudies in eve. to Elmers. Danced 7 times - very good time only very warm.
July 4, Tue. - Came home a.m. leaving_____(?). Took Julia to Millers. Broke my whip coming home - spent $6.50 - quite sleepy today.
July 5, Wed. - had new potatoes and peas today.
July 6, Thu. - Jean Crist, Father went down to mow 2 acres for Gould and broke machine. Mower in shop.
Father, Hamilton PORTER b.abt 1820-1882)
July 7, Fri. - Got wagon down and made rack for it. Played dominoes with Sis - lost two games.
Sis, either Lillian or Myra, Lillian m. Dr. S? HART, Myra m. ? DURHAM
July 8, Sat. - Took Viney down to Hubler in p.m. - very good visit - went riding with Lizzie in eve.
July 9, Sun. - Attended meeting a.m. and eve and Sunday School. H. Bailey arrived.
July 10, Mon. - Father went to Ashland - very wet weather so we can not hay at all hardly. Sent for a book on Grammer -.10 ¢
July 11, Tue. - Pa mowed in P.M. in a ten acre field , quite cool today
July 12, Wed. - Raked hay today - had Rawley and Mr. H. Shaw to haul in P.M.
July 13, Thu. - Raked hay today. Russell and H. Shaw hauled in P. M. with our team and Bills and Sol with his.
July 14, Fri. - I raked, Pa mowed pm for Rowley. Finished raking 10 acres.
July 15, Sat. - Commenced raining at noon. We got all hay in but one small load in field.
July 17, Mon. - Pa mowed pm about 5 acres. I mowed corners.
July 18, Tue. - Paw mowed for Newton. I raked all ours and ___(?) hauled p.m. not over 1/3. I cocked some.
July 19, Wed. - Rained very hard a.m. Our stack survived. Uncle Nat came P.M. traded Old John for a young mare - gave $40.
July 20, Thu. - Threw off top of stack and loaded stack and I put on a little dry hay. Went Johnsons and bought 4 sheep and 11 chicks for $16.50.
July 21, Fri. - Nat and I spread nearly all the hay a.m. but it commenced raining so we quit. Biggs hauled one load p.m. but then it rained - the hardest rain in the eve we have had this summer - it was terrible.
July 22, Sat. - Raining today.
July 26, Wed, - Had Garret to help us today in hay field.
July 27, Thu.- Rained so we could not work - went to Johnsons and got 200 dollars Andrew owed me - $16.25 interest. Andrew went home.
July 28, Fri.- Had a hard storm p.m. A dance at Bills in eve. I attended with Miss Nellie Hubler - was repulsed by Carrie. Had a very good time but a small croud.
July 29, Sat.- Rained so nothing done.
July 30, Sun.- Attended Sabbath school - wrote to chum.
July 31, Mon - Finished up our hay, all but putting one load of hay on stack - have 3 stacks, about 12 tons and both barns full.
Aug. 1, Tue. - Finished our haying, and brought sheep from Munholland.
Aug. 2, Wed. - Oiled old harness and mowed D. Crists door yard.
Dow CRIST b.1840 s/o Abner CRIST and Anna Maria CLUTE
Aug. 4 ,Fri. - Went to Amhurst today. Set for some photo paper in Oberlins.Called on Nellie and lost my wraps. Stayed at Townes all night.
Sarah Ann Gertrude Towne, 1825-1859, Melville's mother, so this was probably her relatives)
Aug. 5, Sat. - Went to Conneat to a concert and Frank and I went to the river to go on a pleasure ride but did not go.
Aug. 6, Sun.. - Went to Sams today and stayed all night.
Aug. 7, Mon. - Went down to Huntsfords and stayed until eve. and then took Hannah and Hattie to the river.
Aug. 9, Wed., -Went to hear Wilsons Minstrels.
Aug. 10, Thu. - Went up town with ladies - bought me a suit of clothes $33., also some curb bits and an album
Aug. 11, Fri. - Went up town today and in eve played Old Gedge for ice cream - lost but once.
Aug. 12 Sat. - Boat started at 8 A.M. for river. Arrived at 3 pm and found my horse.
Aug. 13, Sun. - Went up to Townes a.m. and found my horse there and bridle.
Aug. 14, Mon. - Pa and I hunted over Black River and Archer for sheep and concluded not to buy and stayed at Huntsford.
Aug. 15, Tue. - We came home and arrived about 3 P.M. and started back to get the sheep.
Aug. 16, Wed. - Bought 421 sheep for $755.25 - 30 of Farn Porter $60, 213 for $410.00 got them together at Townes.
Aug. 17, Thu. - Started early for home - drove 14 miles got sheep in and then went back to Rills field to stay, and had to sleep in barn and had bread and butter for supper - I am very tired.
Aug. 18, Fri. - Got home about 11 A.M., terribly warm and dusty.
Aug. 19, Sat. - Played chess with H. Chandler - beat him and got beat once. Beat Dan one.
CHANDLER - Hiram B. s/o H.& M. died 1867 age 22y
Aug. 20, Sun. - School concert today. I am going.
Aug. 22, Tue. - Went to last of school concert. Stopped along way and was fired at.
Aug. 23, Wed. - Took out the lambs today - several were castrated.
Aug. 24, Thu. - Sold Parmenter 37 sheep for $111 - ditto Hubler 10 for $38
Aug. 28, Mon. - Pared the feet of our sheep today and doctored lambs.
Aug. 30, Wed. - Went to a Jack-O-Lantern show in eve with Nellie. 6 years ago today my mother died.
Sarah G. TOWNE, buried Old Sullivan Cemetery. Thank you, John Bush for all the work that must have gone into transcribing all those cemeteries on the Ashland County site. There are others listed there that are most likely some of the people in the diary.)
Aug. 31, Thu. - An old sheep died, went to L. Goulds and got some corn, and went riding with Nel.
Sep. 1, Fri. - Terrible hot for Sept. Sold 160 lambs to Marsh for $560, 2 sheep died, lambs died from effect of castration.
Sep. 3, Sun. - Attended Sunday School and went out larking.
Sep. 4, Mon. - Doctored one sheep and took 15 ewes over to Mrs. Mullhollands.
Sep. 11, Mon. - Doctored our sheep again, and salted them. Called on Mrs Sweets in the eve - had a pleasant time.
Sep. 12, Tue. - Father went today Amhurst.
Sep. 13, Wed. - Hiram C. and I started for Columbus to the State Fair. Arrived in Columbus about 4 p.m. , put up at Unison $2.50 a day.
Sep. 14, Thu. - Went out to fair ground twice today and to see Stan Rice's Show. Fair did not amount to much - quickest trotting 3.6.
Sep. 15, Fri. - Went out to fair in a.m., but heard the 2nd Cavalry had come and we went down and I saw all my buddies.
Sep. 16, Sat - Came home today and was rather dull.
Sep. 18, Mon. - Bought a buggy for $103 - a Wicon and Hook.
Sep. 20, Wed. - Had school enrollment tonight.
Sep. 21, Thu. - Writing school - $2 a scholar.
Sep. 25, Mon. - Worked all day on our sheep - Got the foot rot bad.
Sep. 28, Thu. - Saw some ___(?) and just there by chance. Dow Crist and I went to Wellington to the fair today. I saw a very good trotting horse on ring.
Sep. 29, Fri. - Took Nettie to fair today. I saw Hannah and Hattie and Sam and wife - came home with us. Went to dance in eve. at Bill's house. Marion and wife came with us.
Hannah, d/o Nathanial PORTER and Hannah KNEELAND
Sam, b. 17 July 1836, Lorain, s/o Nathaniel PORTER and Clarissa KNEELAND, m. Martha FOSTER, 25 Oct. 1857
Marion W. PORTER, born August 1842 in East Amherst, OH, only child of William PORTER and Mary Ann BUTLER. Marion was married to Laura Seville FREEMAN, daughter of Stephen V.R. FREEMAN and Laura WOLCOTT.
Bill, probably William PORTER, Marion's father and Meville's uncle
Sep. 30, Sat. - Rained so did not go today.
Oct. 1, Sun. - Went in company of Carrie V. to Huntington to a concert in eve.
Oct. 3, Tue. - Went with Joe Spencer and Jennie Clouse to Mr. Sweet's to rehearse dialogue by us. I together with Bords and Miss Jennie Sweet.
Oct. 4, Wed. - Started for writing school but called at Mrs. Crists and found Misses Jennie and Susie Sweet, Grace Chapman, Cynthia ___(?), so I spent the eve there - doctored sheep up here.
Oct. 5, Thu. - Attended writting school after milking 5 cows. Thrashed today, and hauled straw had about two bushel oats and hauled a load of pumpkins from west piece.
Oct. 6, Fri. - Attended writing school this am - met at Clauses to practice our piece before writing school.
Oct. 10,.Tue. - Last night of writing school.
Oct. 11, Wed. - Trotted with O. Johnson's horse today and beat him bad.
Oct. 12, Thu. - Went to Mr Garnetts in Spencer to a dancing party in eve. Went to Luther Gordos to get some corn but did not get it. Pa and Vern went to Ashtabula.
Oct. 13, Fri. - Did not awake until 10 am - Went to Ashland to fair - took Julia Porter - saw the baloon and a pair of perfect horses. Saw Azure Dancer. Had the honor of accompanying Carrie Vernon to Wilson's concert. Also am calling on her this evening.
Oct. 14, Sat. - V. McElvery - Had the honor of accompanying Carrie Vernon to Wilson's concert.
Oct. 15, Sun. - And also am calling on her this eve.
Oct 16, Mon. - And also the pleasure of attending a dance in the company of Dewitt Rodgers. Went to Kilies in Huntington and got a cover to put over cistern.
Oct. 17, Tue. - Called at shop in eve. Played dominoes with Dunlop and Bills for cigars, and Dow Crist beat one in dishes.
Oct. 18, Wed. - Mr. Jackson married today by Pa.
Oct. 21, Sat. - Attended meeting - sold 7 sheep for $7.50 a head
Oct. 23, Mon. - Attended meeting in pm and did it fine. Got our sheep home today and doctored lame ones.
Oct. 24, Tue. - Father arrived with 36 bushels of potatoes - $.70 per bushel.
Oct. 25, Wed. - Worked on the cistern all day. Attended meeting and did it (?). Sold the rest of sheep today having cleared about $440 in all.
Oct. 26, Thu. - Stayed at bachelor's hall tonight and played cards all night.
Oct. 29, Sun. - Attended C. Vernon.
Nov. 3, Fri. - Rehersed in eve.
Nov. 4, Sat. - Pa bought 226 sheep today - gave $3.20 a head.
Nov. 5, Sun. - Went down to Millers pm - rode pony.
Nov. 7, Tue. - Attended sing in eve.
Nov. 8, Wed. - Had rehearsal in eve. Attended C. Vernon.
Nov. 11, Sat. - A rehersal in eve.
Nov. 12, Sun. - Attended Carrie Vernon.
Nov. 13, Mon. - A rehersel tonight - Fixed up the stage today.
Nov. 14, Tue. - Big grande exibition tonight. Went off very well - a very crowded house I took part in 5 dialogues viz "The Just Retribution", "Message and Charade"," Elopement", "Sniffle" and "For Doing Good".
Nov. 24, Fri, - Father and I went to sale down in Jackson today, but things went so high we did not buy.
Nov. 25, Sat. - Hauled 55 bushels of corn today which makes it all. Sold 100 sheep to Browns. Attended sing and Carrie Vernon.
Nov. 26, Sun. - Attended Jennie Vernon "X"
Nov. 27, Mon. - Commenced going to school W. G. Craft. Study now higher arithmetic, Mills Philosophy, Green's Analysis, Chandler's Grammer.
Dec.7, Thu. - Attended a party (surprise) at Baileys. Good time - took dinner at Hublers Thanksgiving.
Dec. 8, Fri. - Went down Mr. Nices to a party in eve - very good time - alot of her Chatham friends there.
Dec. 10, Sun. - Attended C. Vernon
Dec. 11, Mon. - Attended a surprise party at Hublers in eve. Had a dance in the eve. A very good time - Attended C. V.
Dec. 16, Sat. - Took Miss Yon to R, Bailey - went skating in eve until 11. Too many to have a pleasant time.
Dec. 17, Sun. - Quite lame today - rode up and skated awhile.
Dec. 18, Mon. - Attended a surprise oyster at David Spencers. The road quite muddy and rainy.
Dec. 19, Tue. - Received a letter from Bob Gamble.
Dec. 21, Thu. - Commenced feeding sheep hay today. Cut down stock in 10 acre lot. Have taken to smoking a pipe.
Dec. 22, Fri. - Got a load of wood from Sol Chamberlain. Worked hard on arbitration of exchange, but had to give it up without thoroughly understanding it.
Dec. 23, Sat. - A little more pleasant today - coldest night we have had.
Dec. 25, Mon. - Very warm and pleasant - had Christmas dinner at Alvin Goulds and went to an oyster supper - attended Carrie Vernon.
Dec. 28, Thu. - Attended a dance in pm, very good time only some of boys got drunk.
Dec. 29, Fri. - ( Melville Hamilton Porter b. Dec. 28, 1844, he turned 21, on this day)
Dec. 31, Sun. - George's folks up today - attended C. V. til 2 am. The year has closed at last having been the most eventful year of my life. Winter is very backward - no snow at all yet hardly. Very pleasant weather for some time, I must now close this diary and comence a new. I hope to register a more useful life for the year to come than this has been. Finis.
Persons who have my picture; C. Miller, O. Hubler, H. Porter, M. Porter, Charles M. Rader, C. Marsh McConigel, A. Bills, J. Clouse, S. Campbell, Carrie Vernon
There are some numbers for Bedles dime novels, evidently for ones he did or didn't have.
Money due me to June 1st besides clothing money $646; rec'd $678.20 at home $200
Money sent home by me to March 15, 1865
Charles Adams - $5.00; Dow Crist - $70.00; Singler - 1.75; L. Dirlam - 5.00; C. Marsh - 2.00
All but that which I do never expect to get.
Received $805 spent $405 an enormous expenditure for me.