Civil War Diary of
Thomas "Tom" Dunham
of Lake Pleasant

Generously donated by Russell Dunham and George Prentice!

New! - Service records of the men listed in this diary
are added at the bottom - Donated by Joanne Murray

According to the 1890 census for the town of Arietta, Thomas Dunham served from 13 Aug 1862 to 10 Jun 1865 in Co. D, 4th Hvy Artillery, and is apparently living with his brother, Cyrus.  In 1892 he is living in the town of Hope.  His lineage is provided at George's site given below.

This diary is refered to in the History of Hamilton County, p.84., by Ted Aber and Stella King.

Page 84 states: "They talked of the diary kept by the dark haired, twenty-one-year-old Tom Dunham during spring and summer of 1864 while his Company D, 4th Regiment Heavy Artillery had engaged in the Battles of the Wilderness, of Spottsylvania Court House, Hanover Court House, Cold Harbor, Piedmont, Va., and at Petersburg."
George Prentice: My wife's connection to the Dunham family can be found at: Covert-Dunham-Prentice History

AGE 21




February 22  Major Shutwell relieved of the command of Ft. Cuige by Major Halt

March 11  Inspection by Col. Harder of the War Department.

May 4  Left Culpepper this morning at one o'clock marching with 1st Corps crossing the rapidan at noon. resting for an hour and pressed on. All quiet nere Chansellorsidle.

May 5  The 6 Corps passed this morning guarding ammunition train. skermishing began at 11 a.m. bringing on a general engagement. Gens Grants and Meads headquarters nere.

May 6  Called out 2 a.m. reported to Headquarters of the 5th Corps. A terrible battle is being fought today. lay in line of battle all day. advanced to front line and rifle pit at night. 1st Batallion engaged. Lieut. Walker, Co. C. killed.

May 7  The ball opened this morning by an advance of the rebs but were repulsed by Batteries opening on them. This is our first day under fire. took a severe shelling from rebs but none of our co, were hurt.

May 8  Marched with train last night till midnight. 7 a.m. found us again on the march in the direction of Spotsylvania the whole army seems moving and fighting is more distant.

May 9  On picket last night in woods nere our train moved in afternoon 3 miles back to main road. 2500 rebl prisoners passed us today. drew 5 rations.

May 10  the battle continues though at some distance off. Gen. Sedgewick killed last nite by sharpshooter. Gen. Wright succeeds him in command of Co. Corps.

May 11  Nothing special today. fighting still continues but lay in reserve nere wagon train and put up tent for first since leaving Culpepper. Weather warm and showery.

May 12  Great battle fought today capturing 6000 prisoners and 18 canon. marched with train fournoon 5 miles and to the front P.M. near Spotsylvania. Rainy.

May 13  Rainy last night. slept in cornfield without tent. Musketry firing all night are nere 5 Corps Hospital packed up 2 p.m. and advanced one mile.

May 14  Wether rainy not constantly but habitually packed up 10 o'clock last night & marched with batteries, very mudy, finding outselves this morning nere the river hard fighting.

May 15  Cool & cloudy all quiet today. Heavy showers p.m. and roads in bad condition.

May 16  W. (?) have pitched our tents and lay nere the river Ny and 2 miles from Spotsylvania, our batteries shell the rebels at dark.

May 17  No news and all quiet along the lines except picket firing. Are having pretty good rest.

May 18  Our batallion joined the 15 AndCo. NYH artillery under Col. Ketchum and advanced to line of trenches. Sharp artillery engagement relieved p.m. and fell back nere our old position.

May 19  This morning found us on picket  our picket line attacked and drove in 5 Bn D Co in reserve but ralied and held the enemy in check till reinforcements came up. 80 D lost (?) killed, 25 wounded and 5 missing.

May 20  Enemy fell back last nite leaving their dead on the field and 608 prisoners advanced to field and built line of rifle pits. They were after our wagon train and prisoners say that Ewells whole corps was in

May 21  Slept in our pits last night and went on picket today. Picket line evacuated p.m. and getting out were surprised to find the army all gone we being rear guardd and fired on by guerillas, lively marching.

May 22  This morning finds us nere Luiney Station. our Batallion being still ahead of our Co. marched some 10 miles today being rear of our corps the 5th. roads good.

May 23  marched as flankers today with train arriving at the North Anna River 3 p.m. Skermishing lasting till after dark crossed the river on pontoons but was not in the fight.

May 24  the 6th Corps has come up lay nere Gen Warrens Hq. Heavy canonaiding down the river opposite the 2d Corps. Squads of prisoners are coming in.

May 25  Advanced with artillery brigade and lay in reserve. Sharp skirmishing and heavy canonaiding 4 p.m.

May 26  Showery. Co. D. reserve picket last nite on picket xxx today up the river and nere the smoking ruins of an old house. fell.back at dark and army recrossed the North Anna, halting at midnight at Carmel Church. drew rations. very mudy

May 27  Ten oclock found us on the march and not halting only long enough to make coffee till 1 oclock at night. over half the company having fell out by the way side.

May 28  7 a.m. again on the march order from Gen. Warren against stragling. rather dusty. passed King William Court House crossing the pamunky 5 P.m. pitched tents nere Gen. Warrens HQ.

May 29  Wether clear, 9th Corps passed this morning, advanced 2 p.m. with arty. brig. Sharp. skermishing. left the fifth corps at dark and joined our regt. again in the 2d Corps. marched with them till one o'clock at night.

May 30  Out this morning early and dry rifle pits under fire of sharp shooters. were shelled while getting our tools. xxxxxxxxxx Cassion of one battery nere exploded our old flag stall shot off sharp canonaiding after dark.

May 31  Berdan sharpshooters drive the rebs from their first line. 1st Batallion from 6th Corps join us today our Co. D detached to serve mortar battery and went in position at dark.

June 1  Came out of the work at midnight last night and lay nere our old position. Osborn wounded. packed up and marched at dark very dusty halted and lay nere train at 1 o'clock.

June 2  On the march again this morning with Battery & trains halted at noon and find ourselves nere Cold Harbor. Hard fighting but were not engaged. Lieut. A. Bradt returned to our Co.

June 3  Advanced to front 2 miles and put 4 mortars in position firing 85 rounds withdrew at dark. S. Loury wounded. advanced again 10 p.m. and worked hard all night to get in position.

June 4  Pretty tired from carrying mortars and ammunition nere half mile. threw a few steels. the rebel artillery opened on us p.m. but  done no dammage as all went over. Lieut. Wm. Ball came to Co.

June 5  Rebs tried to charge last night but could not make it work lines not over 20 rods apart, were shelled as usual but were short of ammunition and did not return the salute. sharp Infantry skermishing.

June 6  This is third day in the trenches at Cold Harbor and is unsafe to stand erect. the woods in our rear took another shelling 2p.m. and 9 p.m. brought us a shower and a va11y of bullets.

June 7  Pretty quiet. last night and slept good. flag of truce sent in at 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. to bury the dead killed on the 3 of June which still lay between the lines

June 8  All quiet  today till noon when skermishing commenced as usual artillery played in pretty sharp. our ammunition has come today.

June 9  Drew rations pork beens potatoes apples, vc, pork, even being a rarity, took shelling from rebs mortar battery returned the compliment. no dammage except H. Whitney & Joe Harvey slightly wounded.

June 10  Getting rather tired of huggin the trenches so long. moved with two sections of Battery at night, half a. mile to right on the line. leaving Capt. Jones with the xxxxxxxxx remaining two.

June 11  Have a little more liberty in our new position being xxxxxxxxxxxx farther from the rebs line. 200 ? threw a few shells at rebs battery not answerd. built a bombp?

June 12  9 a.m. found our 4 mortars out of the works and on the march the other 2 with Capt. Jones can not get out till dark. Marching in rear of 2d corps, train halting midnight nere Cedar lane.

June 13  Tether cool. I marched Doly passing Nero Kent Court house and halting at Ciascun Creek. Country very woody and inhabitants scarce. went in swimming

June 14  No marching today except crossing Disscan creek or black run
where the train went into park again.

June 15  Good sleep last night train delayed by laying pontoons across the Chickahoming crossing at 4 p.m. marched till 11 p.m. passing Charles City, N.H. nere the Jame

June 16  distant canonaiding advanced to the James just above Fort Powhatan

June 17  Dry and dusty. 8 ocIock found us on the march, parking 11 a.m. hauling out again 4 p.m. marching till dark when we rested till 11 when we halled out again and marched till 3 a.m. of the 18

June 18  Woke up this morning and found ourselves nere Petersburgh and to learn the sad news of Capt. D. K. L. Jones' death. killed yesterday by sharpshooters. our refit. engaged this morning. advanced 3 p.m. withour two mortars to the very picket line.

June 19. This morning found our picket line a strong line of battle. our battery three nere 200 shell today most of them striking the right spot and bursting the right time distance 200 yards

June 20  Gave them a few rounds this morning not quite so noisy as yesterday. packed up 5 P.M. and moved to the rear with battery and lay nere the rebel works captured the 16

June 21  Very warm. marched to the left today some 5 miles with the ammunition train and Co. L severe fighting, 2 Corps engaged fell back with train one mile at dark

June 22  Hot and dusty drew a quite variety of rations under marching order and are laying on our Oars. the 12 NY Battery was captured today.

June 23. Are nere Army HQuarters. Our regt is in the front, 11~ mile distant. Sharp skermishing kept up all day.

June 24  Wether dry and water scarce. heavy canonaiding in the distance probably on the James river. Skermishing kept up as usual.

June 25  let go of the train today and moved down to edge of woods and pitched tents. Cooking and eating is the order of the day with us but all getting rested pretty good.

June 26  Hot and sultry. slight shower unusually quiet  Rev. Mr. Burhart Charley's father gave us a short evening
June 27  leather cooler. the usual artillery and picket firing otherwise all was quiet. drew plentifully of rations.

June 28  the army seems to be resting on its oars. the sutlers are with us again which looks like seeing the paymaster before long. 1st Sarge Fryer reduced and H.C. Delong acting.

June 29 Wether cooler and pleasant. Picket firing has almost ceased in front. the cavalry expedition under Gen. Kantz and Gen Wilson has just returned having torn us the southside railroad.

June 30  All quiet today except the usual booming of canon picket were mustered today by Col. Alcock

July 1  the wether has become quite hot again. pretty sharp skermishing and artillery last night. News unimportant.

July 2  We are realising all the benefits of the sunny south xx for it is very hot. all is comparatively quiet in f nt. the usual iron and lead compliments being exchanged.

July 3  Drew plentifuly of rations and if we are not growing fat it is not the Governments fault. packed up at night and moved to the right 1 mile no troops nere except Hasps

July 4  Weather fair things being to look like a permant camp no special demonstration on the glorious fourth, although Baldy Smith is tossing shell into Petersburgh at regular intervals of 15 minutes.

July 5  Continues hot and dry all quiet on line of the Appomattox digging springs the order of the day. drew vegetables from the sanitary commission

July 6  Very hot. the resignation Secretary H. P. Chase of the Treasury Department xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx the appointment of Wm. P. Tessenden. the rebel Gen Ewell is on a raid in the Shenandoah.

July 7  The artillery men and picket have done a pretty good days work today allowing me to be judge. the pirate Alabama was sunk off the coast of France by Capt. Winslow

July 8  Inspection xxxxxxxx & members of detachments turn in their guns an hours drill this morning. great excitement in Pennsylvania as the raiders are among them.

July 9  Cool and cloudy on detail with 20 from our Co. and the same from L Co. reporting at the supply train four miles distant building stables for Coma.

July 10  Pretty quiet. The 2nd Corps is on the move or a part of it. Finished the stables and returned to camp.

July 11

July 12  Wether very hot. Received orders to strike tents at midnight but no move for us today although the Corps seems to be on the move.

July 13  moved this morning two miles to right where the train went into park again. our regt were marched out of the trenches after leveling them. 4 from the rest were sunstroke.

July 14  All quiet. train is parked on what we call the (stumpy lot) great exceitement in Maryland is invaded by rebels under Early Breckenridge and Lillmour. Gen Wallace defeated by rebs at battle of Monocacy.

July 15  Wether continues hot and dry. Fort Stevens in the defences of Washington attacked by the rebels but were repulsed by the veteran 6th Corps.

July 16  the 2d Corps seems to be mostly in camp. rebels capture the Northern Central Railroad between Washington and Baltimore. Maj. Gen. Franklin captured on a train but escaped.

July  17  Gen. Grant still re ains his hold on Petersburgh, although the rebels are making great havoc in Maryland. Rebels burn the residences of Governor Bradford and of Postmaster Gen. Blair.

July 18  Wether cooler our regt. are in camp nere here. have the rebl calls daily. Presidents call for 5000 volunteers for one two or three years ? rose to 263 1/3.

July 19  the long wished for rain has come at last and how refreshing it seems. the rebel raiders have left Maryland with their booty. they may run across Gen. Sheridan before long.

July 20  Cool and cloudy, pretty sharp artillery firing on the right, Probably at Fort Clinton nere the Appomattox river

July 21  All quiet, the heat has abated the usual artiller practice continues.

July 22  On police duty at arty brigade HQ very sharp skermishing toward dark In front Burnsides Corps the 9th

July 23  Wether continues war some very hard fighting at Atlanta under Gen. Sherman. Gen. McPherson from Ohio killed. reb. Gen. Joe Johnstone relieved by Gen. Hood.

July 24  Rather cooler today. Cos. D&L were both on detail building redoubt for a battery on left of line.

July 25  Rainy last night on detail again finishing the works for battery

July 26  Wether fair and roads good. 2d Corps is on the move will probably hear from it in a few days. moved with train and mortar battery some two miles toward City point

July 27  one oclock today found us on the march again moving some two miles nere the point where we encamped. Shart musketry.

Service Records for Names from "Tom" Dunham's Diary

Bradt, A.; Lieut (Returned to Company 2 June 1864)
Bradt, Abram G.
Enlisted 24 Nov 1861 at Balston Spa, NY, age 21
Sgt. Batt'y D, 4th NY HA
Mustered out 11 Dec 1864 at Alexandria, VA

Burhart, Charley (His father gave sermon 26 June 1864)
Burghardt, Charles
Enlisted 8 Sept 1862 at Schenectady, NY
Pvt. Batt'y D, 4th NY HA
Wounded (date and place not stated)
Died of wounds 17 April 1865 at Annapolis, MD

Burhart, Mr. Rev. (Gave sermon 26 June 1864; see Charley)

Delong, H.C. (Acting as 1st Sgt. 28 June 1864)
Delong, Henry C.
Enlisted 24 Nov 1861 at Ballston Spa, NY, age 23
Pvt. Batt'y D, 4th NY HA
Promoted Corp. 28 Oct 1862
Promoted Sgt. 20 Mar 1864
Promoted 1st Sgt. 6 June 1864
Mustered out 17 Dec 1864

Fryer, 1st Sgt. (Reduced in rank 28 June 1864)
Fryer, Philip C.
Enlisted 27 Aug 1862 at Albany, NY, age 23
Pvt. Batt'y D, 4th NY HA
Promoted Sgt
Promoted Pvt. (reduced to ranks)
Promoted 1st Sgt. 13 July 1863
Mustered out 3 June 1865 at Alexandria, VA

Harvey, Joe (Slightly wounded 9 June 1864)
Harvey, J. B.
Enlisted 3 Sept 1862 at Northampton, NY, age 18
Pvt. Batt'y D, 4th NY HA
Mustered out 3 June 1865 at Alexandria, VA

Jones, D.K.L.; Capt. (Killed 17 June 1864 by sharpshooters)
Jones, D. K. Smith
Enlisted 9 Jan 1862 at Ballston Spa, NY, age 24
2nd Lt. Batt'y D, 4th NY HA
Promoted 1st Lt. 1 July 1862
Promoted Capt. 30 May 1863
Killed 17 June 1864 at Petersburg, VA

Loury, S. (Wounded 3 June 1864)
Lowry, Henry
Enlisted 4 Jan 1862 at Ballston Spa, NY, age 22
Pvt. Batt'y D, 4th NY HA
Mustered out 7 Jan 1865 at Petersburg, VA

Osborn (wounded 1 June 1864)
Osborn, Haney S.
Enlisted 28 Dec 1863 at Centerville, NY, age 24
Pvt. Batt'y D, 4th NY HA
Wounded 15 May 1864 (place not stated)
Discharged for disability 29 May 1865 from Harwood Hospital, Washington, DC

Whitney, H. (Slightly wounded 9 June 1864)
Whitney, Hartwell H.
Enlisted 28 Dec 1863 at Edinburgh, NY, age 21
Pvt. Batt'y D, 4th NY HA
Died of disease 27 Sept 1864 at Washington, DC

Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:36:37 PDT
Copyright © 2001-4:  Russell Dunham & George Prentice
Copyright © 2004:    Joanne Murray (service records)