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Gottshall, Samuel G. (1841-1902) [Diary of Samuel G. Gottshall]

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04564.01 Author/Creator: Gottshall, Samuel G. (1841-1902) Place Written: [various] Type: Diary Date: 1861 Pagination: 1 v. : 64 p. ; 20 x 13.2 cm.

Summary of Content: An unbound manuscript signed. Entries run from 11 July to 31 December. Throughout the diary, Gottshall describes his march through Baltimore, Maryland, his arrival in Washington D.C. following the Second Bull Run, soldiering, camp life, and describes the battle at Drainsville, Virginia. Gottshall tells of several accidental shootings including a discharge of a soldier's gun that was thought to be from a rebel soldier, and of another Union soldier accidently blowing his arm off. Writes on 1 September 1864 of General Benjamin Butler taking two forts near North Carolina. States, General Butler "took three hundred [prisoner], thirty two officers, one hundred cannons, a few men wounded none killed, took one hundred stand of arms & a great deal of amumition [sic] & provision..." Later he writes of a rumor regarding Confederate President Jefferson Davis being dead (Jefferson Davis died on 6 December 1889). Gottshall comments on the popularity amongst the men of General George McClellan's decision to suspend all work on Sundays. On 8 September, writes "Went on fatigue duty, but were stopped after an hours work, as Genl McClellan ordered all work to be suspended with on sunday, which was very gratifying to us..." The next day writes of a private who was sentenced to be shot for sleeping at his post while on picket duty. Writes that 26 September was a "day of prayer of humilation [sic] & fasting, issued by the President of the United States. Drilling was suspended with by order of Major Genl Mcclellan." Also comments on deserters writing, "A member of Comp. A left the camp yesterday was captured and brought to camp & put under arrest & must wear the [hopple] for his punishment... A member of Comp. A left camp last Thursday was captured in Georgetown with 3 Negroes & put in jail..." Writes on 4 October, "at this morning at .8. A.m a member of th [sic] 6 Reg Pa... cut his throte what [causet] the circunstances we doo [sic] not no he wors found in his quaters emediately after it happened by the orderley sergeant and the sergeant who fount him axed him friend who cut youre throte he could not anseer the question enny more but he raised his rite hand and [troped] it on his brest to motion that it wors himself it raised a great excitement in the camp he wors buyred at 4. P.m... [sic]" On 20 December he describes the Battle of Drainsville. Writes, "...and th [sic] rifle Regt called the bucktails left dare camps just at brake of day and marched .13. miles to a town called dranesville to whare we was fireed on by the enemy we was halded at wonst and farmed in a line of battle the fight continued on .1. hour and.48. [minucd] hevy firing we got six of our men killed and thirty five wounded the No of rebels killed 100 and .73. and .30 wounded besites what tha [sic] took along with them...[sic]"

Background Information: Gottshall enlisted on 24 July 1861 at the age of 19, listing his occupation as a "plasterer." He served in the Pennsylvania 19th Volunteer Cavalry. Contacted measles while on march and spent December-January 1863 ...in a Washington hospital with complications resulting in a medical discharge 19 January 1863. He re-enlisted on 22 July 1863, returning to the 19th PA Cavalry until he was mustered out 6 June 1865. Received a pension due to war illnesses.See More

People: Gottshall, Samuel G., 1841-1902

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Subjects: Medical HistoryCivil WarMilitary HistoryUnion ForcesSoldier's DiaryWashington, D.C.BattleInjury or WoundWeaponryMilitary ProvisionsMilitary CampSecond Battle of Bull Run (Manassas)Union GeneralPrisoner of WarArtilleryAmmunitionConfederate General or LeaderDeathDeath PenaltyMilitary LawReligionPresidentPresidential Speeches and ProclamationsUnion GeneralDesertionAfrican American HistoryPrisonerSuicideConfederate States of America

Sub Era: The American Civil War

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