August 6

As I expected, I hadn't more than nicely gotten asleep when the bugle sounded the assembly, and in less than thirty minutes we were on the march for Frederick Junction; arrived there about midnight; got orders to make ourselves comfortable for two hours, and then take the cars for Harper's Ferry, but did not start until about noon; saw Grant at the Junction; looks like fighting ahead; is probably arranging the campaign in his car with others.

August Sixth

Very soon after, the Essex was seen approaching under full steam. Stevens, as humane as he was true and brave, finding that he could not bring a single gun to bear upon the coming foe, sent all his people over the bows ashore, remaining alone to set fire to his vessel; this he did so effectually that he had to jump from the stern into the river and save himself by swimming; and with colors flying, the gallant Arkansas, whose decks had never been pressed by the foot of an enemy, was blown into the air.

Captain Isaac N. Brown


The “Arkansas” destroyed, 1862

Judah P. Benjamin born, 1811



August 6, 1863

Thursday. We drew five days' rations to-day, the first time in most three months that we have drawn rations in bulk. Company savings commence to-day. (Note. I don't remember what this statement refers to. L. V. A.). This will add to the duties of commissary sergeants. Their accounts must agree with the regimental commissary, his with the brigade commissary, and so on through each department up to the quartermaster general. If errors are found it is safe to say they will come back to the company commissary, for he has no one below him to pass them along to.

Walter Loucks came back to the regiment this morning. His discharge was not granted and he is greatly disappointed. He looks as if he had lived in the shade, he is so white. Our faces are so black it don't seem as if we would ever be called white again. Poor Walt, he has had the best of it lately, but he suffered enough last winter and spring to make up for it. Now he will have to take it with the rest of us and it will be hard on him for a while. The mail leaves to-day. I have four letters, and some money for father, to go.

August 6, 1842


The bishop has changed my appointment from Assam to Cuttack. The different towns I shall have under my jurisdiction are Midnapore, Balasore, and Poonee. Midnapore is situated eighty miles south of Calcutta, and Cuttack two hundred and forty. Poonee stands on the coast a little to the south of the great plain of Juggernat'h, which forms a part of my district.

We expect to leave Calcutta next week, and shall go down the river as far as Ooloberriab. Here we shall quit the boat for palanquins, and shall travel by night, it being too sultry to proceed by day. At Midnapore we shall stay for a few days at the judge's house, whilst I look about for one. Here we shall probably remain about three months, and shall then proceed to Poonee. Whichever of the two towns I discover to be the pleasantest and most agreeable I shall make my permanent abiding-place, only travelling occasionally to each of the others. Every one tells me my station is one of the healthiest in Bengal. Midnapore, standing on a high hill, will be best for the wet weather; Poonee, on the sea, for the hot months; and Cuttack, with a nice sea-breeze, for the winter.

The principal dangers we have to apprehend on our journey to Midnapore are the dacoits, or mountain robbers, the tigers, and the sudden swelling of the rivers from the rains.

Now, I must tell you a little of our mode of life here. At half-past five in the morning we have a cup of coffee, and then go out for a ramble. It is the only hour in the day in which it is possible to walk. If we were to go out for half an hour in the middle of the day it would most likely cause our death. At seven we take a cold bath, and pour great jars of water over our heads. I used to enjoy bathing in England, but here it becomes the greatest possible luxury. After this is over we read or write until nine, and then breakfast. At two we have tiffin, which is lunch, with plenty of meat. At five in the afternoon we have an hour's drive, at half-past seven we dine, at nine tea, and to bed at ten. These are the regular Indian hours, but as soon as I have a house of my own I mean to dine at three.

When on any occasion I ask for a glass of cold water it is brought to me with a lump of ice in it. This is excessively refreshing in a country like this, where the thermometer is at 90°. It is brought in shiploads from America. At new and full moon there is what is called a "bore" in the river Hoogly, that is, the tide, instead of coming up gradually, swells up in one large wave. When I saw it the other day it rose thirty feet in height.