With that as my backdrop I want to continue with Will's journal entries as he gets closer to actually getting into the fight. Here we are back in May 1861. We get an idea, too, of Will's religious leanings.
We Drilled All Day
Last night we stopped at Red Rock; got a sight at Captain Ogg’s sweetheart, pretty good looking. I suppose he thinks so.
Today we traveled from Red Rock to Oscaloosa [60 miles east of
], quite a pleasant journey. We cheered every lady on the road, the Boys all in good spirits. Even cattle & horses came running to the roadside, seeming to cheer the Stars & Stripes. Indianola, Iowa
Last night my company stayed at Oscaloosa; the citizens gave us the very best of accommodations. I enjoyed myself very well; kind faces caused me to think of friends at home.
We left Oscaloosa at for Edenville. From thence to Keokuk on the cars, ran over two cows. Arrived in Keokuk , a pleasant journey.
SATURDAY, JUNE 1
Last night was my first night in quarters. Heaving some hay scattered on the floor, the whole company, consisting of one hundred and seven men, all slept together side by side.
Although unaccustomed to such fare, I slept sound, and the company generally enjoyed the same blessing.
My health good.
It rained last night. Got up at ; left quarters. Went to hotel for fear of building falling; it did not fall.
Went to church at Good sermon by Rev. Engles, M. E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church. At the same place at 1 ½ P.M., discourse to Volunteers by Rev. Corkhill [?], patriotic & sentimental.
I drilled all day from to , 1 ½ to It is very hard for one to drill all day that is not accustomed to such things, a very warm day.
This evening the 2nd Regiment made a grand parade on
, commanded by Colonel Curtis.
My health is good.
We drilled from to I got very tired & hungry.
Cheering intelligence from Virginia, rebels put to flight, munitions and provisions captured.
This afternoon two regimental parades.
Friend Dr. Bevington from Winterset came to see me. I wish more friends would do likewise. Health good.
All right today.
Drilled 2 hours this forenoon. This afternoon we have for sport and well is the time improved. All manner of shine [trick or caper] & tricks are being played among the company.
City is alive with people, it being market day.
I took a bath in the
I enjoy excellent health; this I deem a great blessing.
we were marched to the river where the company took a bath in the mighty waters of the
, this the warmest day this summer. Mississippi
I went to the landing and hailed three companies of Volunteers from northern
Drilled 4 hours this forenoon.
This has been a remarkable [sic] hot day. Capt. Ogg drilled us 5 hours this forenoon, but this afternoon we are privileged characters, and, all manner of shine is being played by the Boys.
Lieutenant Clark read the Articles of War to the company, solemn thing to swear to.
This morning at we were examined with regard to our bodily strength and diseases; only two of our company were rejected. Five men refused to take the oath and disgracefully deserted the company. However, they were hissed out of the company.
Today we were sworn into
service for three years. I felt solemn on the present occasion. United States
This morning I went to class meeting at the M. E. Church,
. Here I heard the testimony of old & young, those who have enlisted under the banner of our Lord Jesus Christ, as well as under the banner of their country. Such things are cheering to the Christian soul.
June the 9th con
I went to church at , discourse by Rev. Engles on the
Douglas’ memory. I did not endorse the sermon in every particular. Douglas did not do the good that he might have done for his country, he being the founder & destroyer of the Compromise. He was undoubtedly an office seeker & would almost sacrifice principle for one. Yet, the last two months of his life was true to his country. Missouri
At I attended Sabbath school. Quite a number of scholars were present. The whole school was conducted with credit to all. My prayer is that they may prosper.
DEATH TO TRAITORS!
At I attended Divine service at the Catholic Church. This building is well constructed & it, being decorated with fine drawings and images of Christ & the Virgin Mary, gave it a grand appearance.
The members, on coming in, knelt to the Virgin. The choir chanted the Vesper Hymn, while the old priest responded, standing amid 24, lighted candles, with 2 boys on each side to put on and take off his long robe. The choir discoursed the best music I ever heard in the state of
My health is still good.
Quite a disturbance in the company today about a communication written by a member of the company to the Indianola Visitor.
3rd Regiment made its first regimental parade today on Main & Johnson Sts. This is considered the finest regiment in town.
May God preserve my health through the war.
Lieutenant Clark drilled us 4 hours this morning.
My friend Wm Swan was taken down with the Lung Fever. He is very bad.
This afternoon the memory of
Douglas was celebrated. The regiments were on parade; 10,000 people were present. Speeches were presented.
May God get me through life & save me in health.
I visited my sick friends at the hospital this morning; found them improving in health.
While there, I visited the museum. Here I found things of interest. I saw petrified bodies, all kinds of beasts, fowls & fish. I also saw skeletons, limbs & parts of bodies of men. Things brought me into solemn meditation. W.C.N.
At last night orders came for the 1st & 2nd Regiments to repair to
, stating that there had been a battle there. The city was in the highest pitch of excitement. Hannibal, Missouri
At the 2nd Reg. took a steamer for
. At the 1st Reg. did likewise. All in the best of spirits, success to them. Missouri
Nothing today any more than Governor [Claiborne F.] Jackson’s proclamation, calling for 50,000 men to put down the
regiments. This made my blood boil. How we want to get down there [perhaps to Boonville] to avenge the blood of justice. Iowa
Drilled 4 hours this forenoon.
Nothing to do this afternoon, but write letters. I wrote to Charley Toner,
. Clarinda, Iowa
We had the amount of drilling this morning as usual. We have certain hours to drill & certain hours for rest. Every evening the 3rd Reg. has a dress parade.
This evening we received intelligence from
that the Missouri Union Guards at were attacked by the enemy. Chillicothe
The drum beat at the usual hour, at I went to the Catholic Church. The service & responses were in Latin. The sermon was in English.
At I attended United Presbyterian Church.
At 2 ½ P.M. I attended Sabbath school.
For continued remarks, see page 128.
While at the Catholic Church, it occurred to me that it is possible that so much ignorance & superstition can exist in an enlightened nation as this. But it certainly is so. And how shall we stop it?
By the formation of law.
, for the first time since my arrival in the city, I attended the United Presbyterian Church. While these scenes of my youth passed over my mind as dreams of the slumberer, it being the church I was raised in.
Text was 1st John, 4th Chapter & 5th.
1st – The world is to be overcome.
2nd – The wicked is termed the world.
3rd – Everything that obstructs the Christian on his way to Heaven may be termed the world.
4th – The means by which the victory may be achieved.
Not having material, I did not take the he__s all down.
I trust we may have Divine service all the time we are in the army. So far, I have attended church so far & expect to so long as life & health permit.
Nothing of importance transpired today, the same routine every day in drilling.
I have a bad headache this afternoon; I trust it will not continue.
 Perhaps Will is referring to Federal General George B. McClellan’s encounter in the mountains of western
: “On June 3, in the first land engagement of the war, McClellan routed a sleeping Confederate camp at Virginia Philippi,” Robertson, James I., Civil War : battle ground for a nation, Virginia and Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1991, pp. 28-29. This encounter became known as the “Philippi Races” The Time chart History of the Civil War, London , James R. and Weiner, Roberta, Editorial Consultants, Arnold : Lowe & B. Hould Publishers, 2001, p. 35. Ann Arbor, MI
 Stephan A. Douglas, U.S. Senator (D) from
, d. Illinois 3 June 1861, proposed the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. The bill would alter the 1820 Missouri Compromise, which prohibited slavery north of latitude 36° 30’. Morison, Samuel Eliot, The History of the American People. Oxford : New York Press, 1965, p. 589. Oxford University
’s proclamation -calling upon 50,000 brave-hearted Missourians to rise and drive out the ‘invaders’- was off the press on the morning of June 12”... [ Jackson ’s] “1860 census showed about 236,000 men of military age. If only 25 per cent responded, they would more than fill the 50,000 quota...” Adamson, Hans Christian, Rebellion in Missouri : 1861, Missouri : Chilton Company, 1961, pp. 118-19. Philadelphia