Capt. Buxton’s last writing. He was killed in battle. The diary was found in his pocket and soon sent to his wife according to his request found at the beginning of this book. His pencil is still in its place.

"This diary was sent to Mrs. Buxton who died several years ago at the home of an aged aunt. About 1920 it was found in an old desk which was being sold at auction. The finder was a member of Old No. 4 Chapter, D.A.R. who gave it to Stephen A. Spooner, a member of Lincoln Post, G.A.R. of Charlestown, N.H. who had known Capt. and Mrs. Buxton. I am Comrade Spooner’s daughter, also a member of Old No. 4 Chapter D.A.R. I am sending the diary for the Civil War department of the Adjutant General’s office of Vermont."

- S. Abbie Spooner

Diary of Capt. Charles Buxton
11th Vermont Volunteers, 1864
From the Collections of the Vermont Historical Society (*S MS 973.78 B986)
[Transcription by RMM, 2003]

Capt. Chas. Buxton, 1st Vt. Arty.
Charles Buxton, Capt. 1st Arty., 11th Vt. Vols., Comd’y Battery “G”

Please return this book to Mrs. Sophia W. Buxton or Mrs. N. B. at Charlestown, N.H. or to Mrs. N. Buxton at South Londonderry, Vt.

May 12th 1864 Had orders to march to the front at 4 o’clock marched to the city took the boat for Bell Plain got there about 4 o’clock P.M. camped for the night & drawed rations

13th marched from Bell Plain in the morning for Fredrksburg got there and camped for the night before crossing the river

14th marched early in the morning towards Spottsylvania a hard road to march camped on the road at night & marched in the morning & came up with the 6th Corps at night at Spottsylvania they was shelling the Johneys in front when we got there this was the first we had seen of fighting

1[7]th went on picket for the first time J.W. Daniels Darling & John L. Patterson was wounded by the bursting of a shell brought into camp by Patterson who put fire into it Maj. Fleming was on picket with me had charge of the line

18th the picket line was withdrawn at day light & then marched to the right of the Army where there was a engagement near Spottsylvania Court House in the Wilderness & then marched back to the right & camped near the place we left in the morning go into camp about 4 o’clock P.M.

19th marched after the rebs [in] the morning after two miles march halted after forming a line of battle & then the Pioneers comensed to build rifle pitts 19 a general turnout to work on rifle pitts worked all day at night had orders to be ready to march at a moments notice but did not go untill about 10 o’clock P.M. then to our right about 1 mile into some rifle pitts made during the day lade on our arms all night

20th laid in camp all day could see the rebs from our camp was not much firing

21st Eaton with 56 men was detailed to go to the left to build some works some firing in our right had a brisk fight about 5 ½ o’clock the rebs advansed on the pitts that we was in in the morning with [3] lines of battle I think the Johneys got punished very bad marched at 9 o’clock P.M. & marched all night

22d marched untill 10 o’clock without hutting but once for 30 moments got to Gunnels Station at 11 o’clock staid here 3 hours got dinner marched untill 5 o’clock stoped for coffee there marched about 2 miles then camped for the night at old C.H. the troops was all very tiard

23d marched untill 12 o’clock halted & isued rations the men found a lot of tobaco marched after two hours halt marched untill 8 o’clock got on the battlefield just as the firing had seased they had a sharp engagment got a lot of prisoners & drove the rebs acrossed the North Ann river very tiard

24th marched one mile then got breakfast staid here all day the 3d Battalion went on picket I did not go was sick

25th felt rather sick think I will get into a ambulance but did not march only about 3 miles had some rain at night the Regt throwed up breastworks I slep in a barn could not eat any thing

26th quite sick had a hard shower came back to the Regt about 10 o’clock & started for the ambulanes at 11 o’clock A.M. with a lot of men got up with the ambulances about 6 o’clock the army recrossed the north Ann got into a ambulance & rode all night

27th rode all day in the ambulance quite sick did not halt until 9 o’clock P.M.

28th rode in the ambulance quite sick crossed the Pamumkey about 2 o’clock camped on the banks of the Pamunky River found the best spring I ever saw came out of the bank as high as my head as cool as any one could wish

29th in camp all day staid with the Surgons

30th marched with the ambulance got up with the Regt about 10 o’clock had Horace carry my blanketts at night got some mail got rations laid all night without blanketts as I lost the Co & Horace got the first whisky since we left Washington

31st the 3d battalion went out on a reconacance was on the picket line all day I was on the reserve advansed at 5 o’clock & then laid on our arms

June 1st 1864 Retreated at 2 o’clock A.M. & formed a line 2 miles in rear of the old one did not stay here long marched like horses untill 9 ½ o’clock halted for ½ an hour got to Cold Harbor at 5 o’clock went onto the field & surpoted a battery B. [T.] Wood was wounded in the foot

2d went out and put up breastworks in the morning at 4 o’clock the rebs fired some canister at us when we was at work at 11 o’clock we was relieved by the 8 N Y Reg’t when we was going out C[orpl] H M Cor[lew] & Daniel Higgins hut their legs shot off the suply train came up came round to the right [came] and put up some rifle pitts rained most all night slep in a house

3d formed line of battle & advansed at 4 ½ o’clock into the 3d line of works one of Gen Brooks staff killed had supper at sundown had a great deal of fighting during the day & some at night marched to the left of the line about 2 o’clock

4th do not feel very well put up my tent looks like rain [n]ot much firing only artillery rained some about 5 o’clock & sum in the night got rations here

5th laid in camp all day at 8 o’clok P.M. went to the front rifle pitts the rebs fired some as we was releaving· Private William Harwood was killed on picket had two letters from wife

6th laid in the rifle pitts all day had a letter from wife Sergt Scott was wounded in the head the deal was buried in front of our lines at night there was some fighting about 4 o’clock P.M. was up all night

7th quite brisk firing all day left the front lines & came back to the rear at night into our old place the baggage wagon came up and we had a chance to change our cloths we got rather dirty the first chance that we have had to git to our baggage since we left Washington

8th laid in the rear all day had clothing issued got some sleep & got rested not much firing today had a letter from wife & wrote to her had a flag of truse out do not know what for

9th laid in the rear pitts all day the sharpshooters fired at us some had to keep low all day rather warm day

10th laid in the rear pitts all day had a good dinner of beans & had apple sauce for supper feel first rate some of our Regt killed by sharpshooters

11th at night we moved out into another one & put up some good shades for quarters Lt Col Benton went to the hospital

12th [Ora] Howe was shot was buried Lt [Macumber] officaled at the burial Lt Bemis got his discharge wish it was mine marched from the rifle pitts the rebs throwed some shells after us as we left marched all night made coffee at 4 A.M. stoped one hour

13th marched all day crossed the Chicka[hominy] my feet was very soar today camped in the woods

14th marched about 5 miles towards Harrison Landing & camped I went on picket the Battalion went to Harrison Landing on fatigue was relu

15[th] Lt Hubbard gave me a good breakfast got me a coalt today was withdrawn at 6 o’clock & joined the Battalion at Harrison Landing where they was marking a plank road to the [pontoon] Diggins was put in arrest by Templeton

16th marched to the rear in the morning for guard while the Army crossed the bridge saw the [8] Vt [Leigt] Battery marched at 5 o’clock to river crossed it at 9 o’clock marched all night towards Petersburg I stood the march very well had [sun] gin to take along

17th marched all day came up with the Army at 5 o’clock where they was fighting in a woods a good place to camp are about 2 miles from the city at 6 o’clock Burnsides Corps made an advance & took a position was put in command of the 8 Battalion Maj [Hayston] went to the hospital

18th laid in the sun all day expecting to march evry hour but did not had a great deal of firing with artillery some musketry can see the city very plain from our camp

19th laid in camp all day very quiet Sunday some firing in front part of the 2d Vt was discharged had a letter from my wife marched to the picket line at night & mad rifle pitts all night

20th laid in the pitts all day left them at night to join the rest of the Regt on our left

21st left the pitts at night & marched all night towards the left

22d marched round some did not go far made an advance but did not find any rebs think they have got better works farther in the woods broke my bottle of whiskey but saved it

23d 327 men & 18 officers & Maj Fleming taken prisoners on the [Weldon] R.R. Capt Beattie took the R.R. but did not hold it long went out and made rifle pitts at night & had to make them rather lively too

24th left the pitts we made & came back about 2 miles & had a chance to rest & sleep all night was put in command of a part of the first Battalion had two letters from my wife

25th laid in the rifle pitts all day got some whiskey was relieved of command of the first Battalion [Capt. Walker’s in command] the baggage waggon came up got out a bottle of whiskey

26th a quiet day for Sunday John Wester & I went out in the woods & had a good time at drinking quite warm today

27th laid in camp all day was detailed on picket at night rained some got wet some before we got to the line had a good place was on the reserve & slep all night

28th went out to visit the picket line found a house that the boys was charging on put on a guard there was one woman & 7 children one girl I should think about 17 years old & I guess that one of the babys belong to her

29th the Regt went down to Reams Station at night we got rations today news that the rebs had cut off our Cavelry force on picket all day had an inspection in camp good thing to be on picket theas times

30th the Corps came back to about one mile of our line & then went back to the front on the picket line all day a good place sleep evry night

July 1st 1864 on picket line all day got rations the boys killed a ox so we had some good fresh meat wrote to my wife some fighting on our left think it is our advance on Petersburg

2d on picket all day had my pants washed washed me all over feet first rate herd that the Corps came back last night and wen [over?] into camp to the left of where they left

3d was relieved from picket in the morning came in camp & commensed my muster rolls took my meals with the Q.M.

4th worked on rolls all day think I will not go to the 4th of July

5th worked on rolls all day

6th worked on rolls all day more work to make a roll here than at Fort Slocum

7th mooved about one mile to the right onto the old camp we left before the Corps went to Reams Station got my rolls done & commensed on my returns

8th got my returns done & sent them to the Dept Lt Diggins was ordered to appear before a court martial

9th made some ordanance papers had orders to be ready to march at 9 o’clock P.M. to go to Charles City point was sick when we got there had to wait to go aboard boats to go to Washington

10th got aboard our boat about 8 o’clock P.M. the Ellen S. [Ferris] anchored about 9 o’clock for the night had a good bed to sleep in the first time that I have slep with my cloths of during th campaign

11th stoped at New Port News for the men to baith had a good time here Capt. W.H. Chapin good time

12th got to Washington at one o’clock marched for Fort Stevens saw Geo Miner went on the picket line at night rained some in the afternoon went in front of our lines & brought in a wounded man N.C. troops the rebs all retreeted in the night

13d our line was close to Mrs Ellis house there was 4 shots through it & any quanity of miney balls was relieved from picket line at noon had a good dinner here marched towards Poolsville did not feel very well fell out about 2 o’clock in the morning & went to sleep & slep untill morning

14th did not feel very well started after the Corps got into an ambulance got up with the Corps at night [---] at Poolsville

15th staid in camp all day hung a spy at 12 o’clock M. was detailed on picket at night had a good place slep all night no enemy

16th left the picket line in the morning did not git any breakfast or dinner at 3 o’clock stoped & made coffee forded the Patomack at Whites ford stoped in at Leesburgs then marched through the place at 5 P.M. a hard days march halted about 3 miles beyond the town

17th had a chicken for breakfast one that Wait Howe carried all day in camp all day very warm wrote to wife & to mother did not get any mail the 3d Div came up with us here

18th marched in the morning for Snickers Gap passed through H[ambleton and] Purslesville [passed through] the Gap at sundown the rebs was just crossing the river we was shelling their rear & took some of their train & some cattle hard days march

19th in camp all day got orders to moove but did not go went to the top of the mountain to see Chas. Clark

20th crossed the Sheandoah river at 9 o’clock [---] marched about 6 miles towards Bonivill & stoped the rest of the day recrossed the river at 9 o’clock P.M. marched all night without halting passed Pursillsville

21st marched all day got halted only once [during] the day to [mark] coffee for one hour

22d col[d] morning marched all day passed through Drainsville got almost to Lewisville camped about 9 o’clock

23d marched in the morning came to Tnnletown & camped

24[th] in camp all day a lot of folks from the city out to see the Brigade Col Warner Fred Perry Capt Long Suttler Stratton &c.

25th rained untill about 11 o’clock marched for Fort Slocum got there about 4 o’clock took supper with a Capt of one of the 100 days Regt

26th got orders to march to the front about 3 o’clock marched towards Rockville halted at 9 o’clock for the night

27th marched at 4 o’clock was guard for a train passed through Rockville & Chambersburg Clarksburg to come up with the Corps at night & camped

28th was assigned to the Vt. Brigade marched in the morning passed through Hyatts Town Urbana halted at Manoxy junction for coffee staid about 3 hours then forded the Manoxy River went to the left of Fredrick marched untill 11 o’clock camped at Jeffisonsvill I & Capt Burrows fell out about 1 mile in rear of our camp at a house & got some bread & milk & staid all night

29th got up & got some milk for breakfast got up with the Regt just as they was starting passed through Jeffison at sunrise passed Sandy Hook & crossed the Potomack about stoped in Harpers Ferry about 1 hour then came to [Hall] Towns hights & camped

30[d] marched at 10 o’clock P.M. crossed the Potomack marched about 7 miles towards Jeffison halted about 2 o’clock for some rest most of the Corps had fell out

31st marched about 10 o’clock for Fredrick there about 75 men sunstroke in the Corps a very hot day did not march fast the Brigade was not as Regt was not as large as my Co was when we left for Bell-Plain halted near Fredrick at 6 o’clock in a good grove was only 20 men in the Co when we halted but some came up during the night

August 1st 1864 said in camp all day I got some whisky the boys got some pies buiskett & milk wrote to my wife very warm day

2d our Q.M. got some clothing & some hatts went down to Fredrick with Clark saw Mr Veach

3d marched about 6 [A.]M. for Rockville crossed the R.O.R.R. at lime kiln switch halted at 11 o’clock for dinner staid here all day

4th in camp all day wrote to wife & A.M. Swain

5th marched at 9 o’clock P.M. for Manoxy Station reached the station at 2 o’clock A.M.

6th took the cars for Harper’s Ferry reached the Ferry at 8 A.M. crossed the river marched to Boliver Hights halted made coffee then went on the Hall town Hights & camped in a grove

7th in camp all day had an inspection

8th had some clothing issued to the Regt arranged tents in line in camp all day

9th in camp all day had a inspection had a letter from Hattie warm day

10th marched in the morning up the valley passed through Charlestown saw the C. H. where John Brown was tride his jale & the field where he was hung rained some towards night got within 3 miles of Bunker Hill camped for the night most of the Regt went on picket Lt Turner & 23 men from Battery [G]

11th warm day marched all day camped near B[erri]ville one of the Johneys killed here by our picketts

12th marched all day passed through Newtown & Middletown halted for the night near Ceder Crick some firing by our picketts & some by our Artillery boath lines in sight of our camp

13th marched to about ½ a mile of Strausburg & halted in a woods went on picket down in the town of Strawsburg at 11 o’clock P.M. the line retreated back to Ceder Crick & formed a new line was on the reserve with the detail from the 11th Vt some firing when we re[c]ived the line

14th went in the picket line with the reserve at 9 o’clock was on the line all day had my quarters at Mr Stickneys House at 5 o’clock the line mad an advance on the rebs drove them back through Strausburg Capt Wales was wounded came round & camped for the night very near where we left when we made the charge did not get our line formed untill about 10 o’clock then I laid down and slep the rest of the night

15th was relieved in the morning went back to camp across the Ceder Crick in camp all day had my cloths washed up had a letter from wife some artillery firing in the afternoon

16th in camp all day at 10 o’clock we marched towards Harper’s Ferry marched all day passed through Middletown about 11 o’clock marched all night

17th halted about 11 o’clock for dinner passed through Winchester at 12 o’clock not a very nice place dirty poor houses camped at 6 o’clock for the night was very tiard & foot soar

18th marched at 5 ½ o’clock marched halted for breakfast & dinner at one o’clock a hard march for the men they have no rations at night we got rations for 3 days saw Clark our forces got a lot of cattle & horses burnt a lot of grain

19th in camp all day near Charlestown rained some

20th in camp all day rained some

21st was detailed on a Court Martial the court did not meet for it was Sunday at 10 o’clock there was firing in front the Johneys were rather near we struck tents in a hurry and went out to support the skirmish line had a hard time of it during the day Maj Chamberlin was wounded in the morning one man of Battery [G] wounded Dinsmore at night we fell back to our old camp & at 3 o’clock marched for Harpers Ferry

22d laid in camp all day built rifle pitts in the hights laid out camp went down to Bolliver to see the Quartermaster had 3 recruits join the Co some men from hospitals

23d in Camp all day the court set today

[24th – no entry]

25th in camp all day on court got orders to be ready to march at 6 o’clock P.M. did not go

26th in camp all day worked some on clothing acounts to be ready to make muster rolls on court martial

27th in camp all day on court went to Harpers Ferry with Capt B[ourows] & Lieut Nickols the dirtest hole I ever was in worked untill 2 o’clock at night on Co Books

28th marched at 9 o’clock A.M. towards Charlestown marched to our old camp about one mile from the town & pitched tents

29th in camp all day some firing in front some of our cavelry drove back

30th in camp all day was musterd in the morning baggage wagon came up to the Regt in the morning

September 1st 1864 mooved camp to the rear about 50 rods worked on muster rolls got along first rate

2d got my rolls all rote up to the remarks Capt Bourrows got his discharge our suttler came up got orders to be ready to march at 4 o’clock tomorrow morning

3d marched in the morning halted on the Cliften farm pitched tents firing in front

4th worked on muster rolls all day some rain

5[th] went out in the night and built rifle pitts untill daylight came back to our old camp worked on muster rolls rained at night

6th had a election in the morning rained all day

7[th] worked on muster rolls had an inspection at night

8th got my muster rolls done but not compared rained some today

9th went in the morning out to Ripton after our suply train started at 5 o’clock A.M. got to the town at 8 o’clock the train came up at 11 o’clock got the train in camp at sundown I was on the rear guard helped some suttlers out of the mud got some whiskey out of them

10th in camp all day had a court today

11th in camp all day had a court but did not do much

12th on Court all day the quartermaster came up & issued clothing worked all night got orders to march in the morning

13th marched in the morning to the front about 6 miles to the Opequan River found the rebs in force went into the woods at 11 o’clock & stacked arms at 2 o’clock the rebs began to shell us the 2d shell came into our ranks & wounded Lieut Bedell & in the hand & leg he lost a finger & one leg off close to the body Hiram Smith Battery [G] had a arm taken off below the elbow & leg off below the knee got back to our old camp at 9 o’clock and pitched tents not a very hard days work

14th in camp all day court met & adjourned [sin aid] made me a wall tent out of shelter tents got a good one rained some

15th in camp all day put up my tent

16th in camp all day not very warm today had 38 recruits come to the Regt

17th in camp all day examined recruits

18th in camp all day got orders to moove in the afternoon got all packed up & ready to march when the orders came to remain in camp Quartermaster came up with clothing suttler came up got 2 letters from wife wrote to wife & to mother