Joseph L. Akerman diary

About the Digital Collection

Diary of a Union soldier in the 2nd Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteers. Enlisted August 1862 in Boston. Entries begin at Fairfax Station, Virginia on January 10, 1863. Subjects include lack of religious services in the regiment; his hospitalization in 1863; detailed descriptions of the hardships of army life; food; development and maintenance of camps; guard and picket duty; camp drinking. Entry for April 10 describes review of brigades by President and Mrs. Lincoln and their two sons, accompanied by General Joseph Hooker. Late April and early May entries describe the unit's march to Chancellorsville and the ensuing battle. Akerman was sick during the battle and his diary describes the bad hospital conditions. Diary ends June 26 when Akerman arrived in Washington by ambulance. Akerman apparently had a wife named Mary and a child named Josey.

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