Soldier Boy Diary Book;




Alphabetical First Lessons Of Military Tactics.

Kept By


From September 14, 1861, to October 2, 1864.

Pittsburgh: 1867

Entered according to Act of Congress, on the thirteenth day of April, A. D. 1867.


In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Pennsylvania.


In taking up a book of any kind, your first glance is to see its form, or name set forth in it, from what source it originated, or who is its author.

First. The following pages have been filled up by me, Adam S. Johnston, its author and finisher, a member of Company D, Captain J. S. M’Bride, Seventy-ninth Regimenet of Pa. Vols. Infantry, Colonel H. A. Hambright commanding, Gen. Negley’s Brigade.

Second.  The names of camps, destinations, marches and number of miles marched during 1861, 1862, 1863 and 1864, and the fiery trials, hardships and battles personally engaged in; when wounded, and in what battle; how long absent from my company and regiment on account of wound, and my return to join them, and where at.

Third.  Capture and imprisonment; while a prisoner, confined in Smith’s and Pemberton’s buildings in Richmond, Va., on Cary street, near the well known Libby prison and Castle Thunder, and many other places of confinement, equal to Belle Island, which would make a heart, although hard as steel, melt to know how fast many of my brother soldiers’ lives were shortened and taken away by scores, yes, I would be safe in saying hundreds per day, by starvation, and want of clothing, and ill-treatment, while in the jaws and hands of the enemy in those hellish places of confinement.

Fourth.  And all the comfort or consolation on those fast wasting frames and sickened bodies had, was to lie down on a hard, rough plank-floor with the soft side of a brick for a pillow on which to rest their weary heads; which had to be stolen or pried out of the walls by some of the inmate brother soldiers or they or I would be even deprived of that privilege or comfort.

Fifth. To give you some idea of those prisons in Richmond, Va., and likewise in Danville, Va., while confined there. They consisted of a large brick building or buildings, formerly used for pressing and manufacturing tobacco by the Sunny South's inhabitants, their length being three hundred feet and twenty-four feet wide, containing three stories in height, three hundred men in each room, without furniture of any kind, and nothing but the floor to sit or lie down on, and kept without fire all the time, even in the coldest time of frosts and winter, and inhabited by the army-bug or grey-backs, and all the filth that mortal eye could discern.

Sixth. I might fill page after page with the sufferings and hardships of the poor Union soldiers, which they endured without a murmur after the misfortune defense of their of being captured when standing up in country’s rights and privileges, and then placed in those filthy and crowded prisons, which no artist can paint or human tongue describe.

Seventh. And not finished then, but time and space will not permit to go further. And now I will turn your attention to the out-starts of our camps and marches, and number of miles marched from one camp to the other, and the time of our stay in each and every camp, from the period above spoken of till my return, October 2d, 1864.

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