Journal of Dr. Henry W. Candsell
April 28: After breakfast, by cars to Madison. Saw Dr. Wolcott and Governor Solomon. Talked over my appointment. Governor ordered my commission to 3rd Wis. Battery of Artillery, and letter to Dr. Wright, medical director at St. Louis. To St. Louis for supplies.
Gave Mr. Watson 1/2 gallon W. Supper, breakfast and bed at the American House.
April 29: By cars home 1 P. M. Dinner, etc. Fixing chest, making purchases, and arranging matters all afternoon and evening till 11 o'clock.
April 30: John's birthday, 26. Very busy all day, packing up, settling matters, etc. Paid rent. $40. Wrote to Mr. Nichols, sent $32 for taxes, and to Black River Falls, $7. Packing up all evening till 11, to bed, perhaps for the last time at home.
May 1: Up at 6. Writing. Gave my wife $110, for house rent, wood, etc., took $105 in pocket, and $200 to deposit in the Farmers' and Millers' Bank, Milwaukee. Breakfast at 8 1/2. To depot, Ellen, Walter, and Clara with me. Bid my wife good-bye at home, the others at the cars. Paid in $200, as above, and took certificate of deposit to my order. Cars to Chicago, Sherman House at 5^. Supper, round city a little. Very cold, and at 11:45 by cars t0 St. Louis. Took a Sleeping car. Bad roads, much jolting.
May 2: On cars, Alton & St. Louis R. R. Breakfast at Springfield. Arrived at St. Louis at 1 P. M. Everrett House. Dined at restaurant. Saw Mr. Cheney at his office, and Dr. Wright, medical director, about supplies for hospital. Made out requisitions, which he signed, and sent to Dr. Alexander, medical purveyor. St. Louis theatre in the evening, to see Booth as Romeo.
May 3: Everrett House, St. Louis. At medical purveyor's all morning, then at quarter-master's for tents and pass. Met Major Pettit, Captain Griffith and others of 1st Wis. Calavry. Heard Dr. Gregory was turned out for incompetency, and Dr. Lord for other reasons. Had my amber-type taken—$4, and sent same by express home. Steamer Continental in afternoon. Took state-room and had baggage removed there. Making little purchases in evening. Had tea at restaurant, bed on board at 9J4, very tired and warm.
May 4: St. Louis. Saw quarter-master about stoves, and attended to getting same on board. Wrote to my wife and sent papers. Breakfast at restaurant, and lunch on board. Left St. Louis (Sunday). Fine evening, and nice ride down the river. Had on board 17th Ohio Infantry.
May 5: Mississippi River, steamer Continental. Up early, breakfast at Cairo at 8. Hot cup and saucers. Paducah at 2 P. M. Coaled. Walked around town a little till 5. Off again. Fort Henry 12 P. M. Ordered under arms Rebels being round, but did not show to us.
May 6: Tennessee River. Fine day, warm. Good run up. Pittsburg landing at 5 P. M. On to Hamburg. Landed troops, and remained there all night.
May 7: Hamburg, Tennessee. On steamer. At 6 drove to Pittsburg. Breakfast there. Found some of our battery boys at landing. Got out stores and baggage. Loaded up and started for our camp about 9 miles off. Reached there at four. Put up tents. Supper with Captain Drury.
May 8: Camp Shiloh before Corinth. Up at 6, wet and cold, at first, soon warm, then hot. Fixed up and saw sick boys. Opened supplies and attended them. Put two in hospital. Appointed Walter Dean steward. Found stores all sound. Went in afternoon to attend some sick in 13th Kentucky.
May 9: Camp. Breakfast 6 1/2, coffee, bread and sausages. Sick call at 8. In afternoon went to attend a poor sick nigger. Gave him medicine. Dr. Swartzwelder, our regimental surgeon, called on Major and Col. Barnett also. They were glad I had come. Usual camp duties all day.
May 10: After sick call went to see the poor nigger again. Better. Then took two sick boys in ambulance to steamer "Sam Gaty" (?) chartered by Governor of Wisconsin to fetch Wisconsin's sick home. Met Dr. Wolcott on road, and found Drs. Reid, Boyce, Redell, Dr. Farr, General Wadsworth, on board, also Judge and Mrs. Wording of Racine. Sent off boys. Looked for some of my stores, left behind at St. Louis, but could not find them. Drove Dr. Redell, Dr. Reid, and Dr. Farr to camp with me. Dr. Farr my guest. Supper, etc. and gave him my bed. Slept in hospital.
May 11: At camp. Up at 6. Dr. Farr breakfasted with me. Sick call as usual about 12. Then Lieutenant Livingstone, Dr. Farr and I on horse-back hit country towards Corinth. Very hot and dusty. Had some beer and lemonade. Saw some of the advanced lines, General Wood's division. Back at 1 P. M. Tired and stiff, not having ridden on horse-back for thirty-two years before for even one mile. Rode about twenty miles today. Lunch, then drove Dr. Farr back to landing. Saw Dr. Wolcott and about 200 sick Wisconsin boys on cots going home. Wrote to Ellen yesterday. Letter goes to-morrow.
May 12: After sick call, to see nigger with Captain Drury. Then to see regimental surgeon, then started with Bacon in ambulance to Pittsburg, to send him home. "Sam Gaty" just gone. Sent him back in ambulance, and remained myself to find a boat for Savannah, up and down from Hamburg to lower landing, but could not get one. Supper on "Uncle Sam," bed on Cheeseman. Tired and hot. Skirmishing this morning, Pope's division.
May 13: Pittsburg landing. Breakfast on "Uncle Sam." AH morning looking for boat, at noon found the "Thomas" going down to Cairo. Went on her to Savannah. Saw three of our sick boys in the hospital there, three having gone home on the "Gaty" and two having died in hospital. Lent them $5. Think they will be well enough to come back to camp in a week or so. Dinner and tea at hospital with surgeon, and at 10 P. M. the "Gladiator" went by and took me on board. To Pittsburg and Hamburg. Slept on boat. I had breakfast at—
May 14: Pittsburg landing. Found my missing stores on "Gladiator." Waited till 3 P. M. for ambulance. Sent stores on wagon and turned over large cooking stove to medical purveyor. Camp at 6 P. M. Tea. All well, but camp gone forward, except my tents, 1 1/2 miles. Attended sick boys. Saw chaplain. War news good in East, under McClellan. Our camps all quiet except skirmishes in front. Must have another fight soon.
May 15: Camp. Sick call as usual about 10. Three in hospital, pretty sick. Diarrhoea and camp fever. Made them some of my strong coffee and had well attended to. Moved to new camping ground in forenoon. Cheese spoiled, beef mouldy, so damp. Night all quiet.
May 16: Camp duties as usual. Boys better, a little. Reading papers, writing, etc. Not quite so hot. Shows for rain. To bed early, tired, and ate up by flies.
May 17: At 3 in the morning, Captain U. S. orders to move toward front directly. At 6 breakfast, and all hustle to camp at 7. All left but Lieutenant Purdy and the medical department, hospital, etc., which remained behind, not having teams enough to take all at once. Very hot day, and flies dreadful. They poisoned my hands and face, leaving large lumps. About 11 sick remained behind.
May 18: Sunday. Camp as usual. Not so hot. Flies worse. Attended to usual duties the whole day. In evening, teams came for us to go to-morrow. Lieutenant Purdy had tea with me. No signs of a battle yet, but guns heard occasionally.
May 19: Up at 6 1/2 A. M. getting ready. Breakfast, packing up tents. At 10 left camp for new ground. Hot and dusty. Very hard ride of five hours brought us to new camp about three miles from the front. Pretty well shook up on cross-ways. Sick also. Pitched tents again and had tea about 6. All square again, nothing hurt. Heavy firing of cannons on both fronts this evening.
May 20: Sick call as usual. Made out morning report and took same to Colonel. In afternoon rode on horse-back with Dr. Swartzwelder to the front lines and dismounted. Walked in to the open fields and saw Rebels fire many times from the opposite side of lot 1/3 mile at our boys (picketts). Seeing us, they soon fired at us, and one ball nearly struck the doctor, and the next came within a yard of me, so we retired behind the trees and returned home soon after. Heavy rain and thunder all night. Many of our boys killed and wounded last evening and two today.
May 21: Camp duties as usual. In afternoon wrote long letter to my wife and sketch to Walter. Not much firing today, except picketts. Our boys throwing up breast-works.
May 22: Hot morning, having rained again all night, with heavy thunder. Attended sick as usual. Captain out to the front. Battle expected soon. Round officers tent this morning.
May 23: At 3 in morning all started by orders from head-quarters to leave camp directly for the extreme front, as a fight was looked for today. Up and saw to things at 4 A. M. All but sick left with guns and one day's rations, but no tents. At 6 it rained, and rained all day and all night too, but no fighting except picketts. Some men came home in the evening.
May 24: Rained all night. Breakfast. Attended sick and sick of three other batteries yesterday, Dr. S. having gone to front. Our tents, and all but sick in hospital went also. Writing, reading, and fixing for moving to-morrow morning.
May 25: Sunday. After breakfast, teams and ambulance came. Loaded up and drove to camp. About three miles. Found them in the open lot. No shade, but airy. Fixed up and all settled by three P. M. Tea early, and had sick all comfortable. Not much firing today.
May 26: Camp in front of Corinth. Up early. Much skirmishing, heavy guns and picket firing. Rode round with Lieutenant Livingstone to see Captain Purney and Dr. Smith. 5th Battery, our troops, now cover all the open space lately occupied by rebels, about 2]/z miles long, and 1^2 to 2^ miles wide—an immense army, with many batteries and rifle pits all around. Picketts advancing all the time, and regiments pushing out still farther every day. Much skirmishing all day. Not much gun practice. Ordinary hospital duties in afternoon and evening. Letter from my wife, Walter and Clara.
May 27: Up early. Sick call as usual. Captain Dillon called in morning, having arrived in camp from New Madrid yesterday afternoon. 6th Battery. Very hot in afternoon. Wrote a long letter to Ellen, and sketch of camp. Attended sick. Troops advancing little more each day. Some firing at intervals, but no engagements. Fine weather.
May 28: About 9 A. M., heavy firing in Pope's division. All the regiments ordered forward. Artillery also, ours included. At 10 I followed, having got all my instruments in readiness for business, but all the firing was in Pope's division, opposite ours, and two miles distant. Rode there and saw infantry charge, and heavy shot and shell practice on both sides, a shell from the Rebels bursting high above the trees. Too high altogether; but very beautiful to see, as I stood about Yx of a mile on a hill, sideways to both. Home, dinner, and in afternoon walked again to same spot, and saw a great deal of similar firing in same spot. Saw General Pope, General Buell, General Nelson many times in various places, and General Hallock also, riding from place to place. At home 6, very tired. Firing had ceased for the day.
May 29: At three A. M. the great "Baby-waker" fired a signal which was answered by all the other large guns in the various divisions, indicating a fight to come off. All the troops under arms all night. Expecting an attack, but none came all day today. All our troops gaining ground by degrees, and much skirmishing among picketts. Heavy fighting going on in Pope's division. Rode over there this afternoon, and all around, as far as our pickets extended, saw three large seige guns fire shells into Corinth, about three miles distant, and then went to our batteries. Pope's division, that had been firing all day at a Rebel Battery, rode right up to our guns. Saw the Rebel battery about 1/2 mile off. I went to a well for a drink just in front of our guns, where, before I could get the cup to my lips, saw a great flash of fire, jumped off of my horse instantly, and in about 2 or 3 seconds, the shell came screaming over my horse's head, but too high by 12 feet to hurt us. Kept out of range a yard and I took my drink and waited a little while the Rebels fired 4 more shells in very quick time, but without effect on our guns, always too high. It getting dusk, no more firing, and I came home. Tea, attended sick.
May 30: Up at 5. Sent to the front by ambulance to one of our boys. States he has broken his arm and leg. Took out traps to set it, but found he had only dislocated his wrist backwards, and sprained and bruised his ankle. Brought him to hospital tent and fixed him up all right. Heavy firing both fronts, and a great fire and smoke at Corinth. At 8 heard that the Rebels had fired the town and left it, our troops following. After sick call rode over on horse-back as quick as possible, and entered the town with others, including Generals Pope and Hallock. Found they'd only blown up arsenal and burned depot, but had to leave before burning any more. Found very little left behind in houses or stores, but got a few things from one store, and doctor's office.