25 March to 1 May 1864

After the Peninsula Campaign in the summer of 1862, the 30th Pennsylvania participated in nearly all of the major battles in the Eastern Theater, including the Battle of Gettysburg — the hometown of many of the regiment’s members. Unfortunately, Harry has left us no record of these events, though Henry Minnigh’s book tells us that Harry suffered from sunstroke during the Peninsula Campaign and that he was absent from duty for all of 1863. The diary, acquired in April 1864, picks up with retrospective entries from late March 1864. The regiment was still encamped in the vicinity of Bristoe Station, Virginia, where it had spent the winter.


Begins March 27 1864

March 25th 1864 — Doc [Henry Elden] ¹ and I was on picket today. It rained all night. After we were relieved we went to camp to get some supper and sung a few songs. Doc carried me over a run and when he got about the middle he commenced laughing and let me down in the water.

March 27. Wrote a letter to Sue today.

April 7th — The veterans returned today.

Page 8

April 18th ’64 — Took a chance in a pair of boots today at 50 cts a chance and won them.

Page 9

I wrote this with my left hand (M. Elliot)

I wrote this with my right hand (Margaret Elliot)

Margaret Elliot, Taneytown, Carroll Co., Maryland

Bertha Shoemaker & Edna Kehn, Edna Erb [?], Westminster

Page 10

April 16th 1864 — Doc & I was out [on] picket today. It rained in the morning.

[April] 20th — Was shooting at a target this forenoon and made a centre shot. In the afternoon we had regimental drill.

[April] 27th — Had company drill this morning and bayonet exercise.

Page 11

April 28th ’64 — Had company and regimental drills and received two letters from Emmitsburg. Was on picket and relieved from duty about three o’clock in the morning.

April 29th — Left Bristoe Station today at noon and marched to Warrenton Junction. Arrived there by sundown and camped in an open field.

[April] 20th — Marched to Brandy Station and camped three miles above it and was mustered this evening for pay for March and April.

May 1st [1864] — An order was read to us this morning stating that we are to be mustered out on the 8th of June. Had dress parade.


¹ H. N. Minnigh’s book (pg. 175) reveals that Henry W. C. Elden’s nickname was “Doc.” Henry “was recruited 26 July 1861. The recruiting officer (Sergt. Minnigh) refused to accept him, being only 16 years of age, but he followed to camp, and reporting his age as 18 years, was mustered in. Though “Doc” was an excellent soldier, we must nevertheless record the fact of his being reported a deserter, not having returned to the company, when absence with leave expired. August 30. ’63, he was sent back under arrest, having been absent from July 6, ’63. Charges were necessarily preferred, but by a special request made by Capt. Minnigh, he was released from arrest and all charges were withdrawn, on the 29th of Oct, 1863. He re-enlisted as a Vet. Volunteer December 29, 1863. At the battle of Bethesda church, June 30. ’64, he was taken prisoner, (See page 37,) and endured the horrors of Libby, Andersonville and Florence prisons, and died at the last named place, but we failed in securing dates.” [Excerpt From: H. N. Minnigh. “History of Company K. 1st (Inft,) Penn’a Reserves.” iBooks.]

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