New! 89 Page Booklet. Extracted from a rare 1886 book, "On the Home Front: a Civil War Diary" relates happenings in Augusta, Virginia, before, during and after the Civil War. While the original book, "Annals of Augusta County, Virginia" appears to have contributions from a number of sources, the Civil War portion of the book is credited to Jos. A. Waddell, who kept a diary from July 20, 1861 to April 17, 1864. To provide a broader picture, we have included excerpts from the years leading up to the war, and during the reconstruction period, although these are not in diary form. The new booklet is printed on 60# opaque paper, with the print size enlarged to fit the 8 1/2 x 11 size. The front cover is a parchtex card stock, protected with a vinyl sheet. The booklet begins with "Chapter XII", the years 1844 to 1860, and gives a general picture of what was going on in Augusta County in the years leading up to the War Between the States: The war between the USA and Mexico, road and rail transportation improvements, the Irish Rebellion, establishment of Mossy Creek Academy, a convention to revise the State constitution, the great snow storm of 1857, reaction to the John Brown raid at Harper's Ferry, church establishments, and the voting record of Augusta County in Presidential Elections. "Chapter XIII", "Augusta County and the War of Secession -- 1860-62" covers: meetings held in November 1860 in reaction to South Carolina's move toward secession, the State Convention in February, initial military officers of the Fifth Regiment, Staunton as "an important military station and a great depot for army supplies," the organization of various military companies, and the vote for the "ordinance of session" on May 23rd. Waddell's diary commences at this point and continues through the next several chapters, with explanatory material added as necessary. He tells of the sick and wounded soldiers who poured into Staunton, letters and other messages received from the battlefields, troops passing through the county, "ludicrous mistakes", wild rumors, prisoners of war, election results, etc. Here are two sample entries from 1862: Tuesday night, June 17. -- *** Soldiers are constantly going from house to house applying for something to eat. They threaten us with famine, and tonight I was obliged to refuse a request for supper, lodging, and breakfast for five who applied in a batch. The commissary is well enough supplied, but the men like something better than camp fare. The more respectable soldiers fare worse than others, as they do not forage to the same extent. Friday morning, August 1. -- This morning, while sitting in my office, I heard a sound of lamentation. Upon going out I found the noise proceeded from an upper room in the courthouse. A negro woman informed me that it was a soldier crying because he had to go to the war! He was brought in under the conscript act. Poor fellow! Although I pitied him, there was something very ludicrous in his wailings. Several men and women stood in the street, some laughing and others denouncing the recruit.
Augusta Civil War Diary, VA
Sources: Annals of Augusta County, Virginia or Diary of Civil War Home Life in Augusta County Virginia
Authors: Jos. A. Waddell
Original Publication Year: 1886
Original Publisher: Louis H. Everts
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