Note: The early part of the diary from August through December 1861 which follows next was lost and recreated from my great-grandfather's memory when he transcribed his diaries in 1915. The daily diary begins on January 8, 1862.
Punctuation and spelling from the original are retained. Numbered headings have been added to identify specific events, etc.
The firing on Fort Sumter, April 12th, 1861, launched the United States into Civil War. The Fort was evacuated on the 14th of April and twenty-four hours later President Lincoln called out the militia of the country to the number of seventy-five thousand for three months service. Six regiments were called for from Illinois. I was then living with my parents on a farm near Wyanet. A company of volunteers was quickly raised in our town and hastened to the State Capitol at Springfield. The response to the President's call had been so prompt that the quota of the state was full when the company from Wyanet reached the capital. The company returned home greatly chagrined that they were not permitted to fight, bleed and die for their country.
On the 10th day of July, 1861, President Lincoln, by the authority of Congress, called for five hundred thousand volunteers for three years or during the war. I had not thought at that time of enlisting because I thought the war would soon be over, and because I had been in poor health for a few months and did not consider myself able to do military service, but when the brave General Lyon fell in the Battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri, August 10th, 1861, I was convinced that we had entered upon a life and death struggle for national existence, and that it was every man's duty to respond to his country's call.
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