Diary entry by Matthew Marvin of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, written from the 1st Minnesota’s camp at Stafford Hills near Falmouth, Virginia. On April 14 Marvin received detailed orders to march “with 60 rounds of catridges & 3 days rations in haver sacks & 5 days rations of hard bread Sugar coffee & Salt in Knapsack & 5 days fresh beef on the hoof & by way of cloth to keep one Shirt Drawers & socks & to pack the surplus & turn it over to the Q.M. [Quarter Master] for Storage”. The next day it rains so much that water comes through the tents and the day after that rumors about crossing the river circulate camp while “the boys amused themselves with playing ball & pitching quoits”*.
Later in the week Marvin returns to more normal camp duties, appearing before the Board of Examination, going on dress parade, and writing letters. On the 19th Marvin writes that “Corp Martain & I procured a pass and went down oppaset Fredrics[burg.] the rebs have all of the streets fortified & all along the canall they have rifle pits[.] The rebs are fond of fishing I guess”. Marvin gets his view across the river at Fredericksburg from the Falmouth cemetery** and records the inscriptions on a few headstones while there.
On Monday April 20, Marvin writes:
There is nothing astir in camp Except that the Sutler was selling wiskee purty freely on Orders supposed to be written by the Officers & Provo Guard Shut him up[.] He had permission to sell on Orders & was all rite[.] Weather rain all day[.]
See the week’s worth of entries by Marvin: 1863-04-20_Marvin_14-21combined
*Quoits: a game like horseshoes where a quoit (an iron or rope ring) is thrown over a stake. http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=quoits
** Isaac Taylor, also of the First Minnesota, visited the same cemetery Marvin visits. See page 242 for a transcription of Taylor’s diary entry on January 9, 1863: http://collections.mnhs.org/MNHistoryMagazine/articles/25/v25i03p224-257.pdf.
Citation: April 14-21, 1863 Diary entries by Matthew Marvin, Diary notes and memos. Matthew Marvin Papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [P2355 box 1]