Civil War Diary of Charles Lepley

103rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, Company E

January 1, 1864 - September 2, 1864



July, August and September 1864


Friday, July 1, 1864

An addition to the Stockade is finished to day and 49 detachments are taken out into it

A verry hot day I saw large new tomatoses (sic) in camp for sale to day

Great excitement again about an exchange Commencing of the 7th inst.

Saturday, July 2, 1864

Warmest day yet

Was over in the new stockade to see "Weber, Ellis & Kennedy

Reports in Camp that the guards say Richmond is in our hands and is (in) Peterburgh

Sunday, July 3, 1864

Had Roll Call this morning verry hot

no excitemnet here about the memorable (4 crossed out) Fourth of July

The paroled officers are Reported to be here to witness the Exhange which is to commence on the 7th

Monday, July 4, 1864

Warm and clear till toward (evening crossed out) noon and we had 2 fine showers

The Rebles are Reorganizing the Detachments in Camp The 44th(? 47th) is changed to the 96 Everything is quiet

Tuesday, July 5, 1864

To day 13 thousand (line is crossed out)

Wednesday, July 6, 1864

blank page

Thursday, July 7, 1864

Have the Diarhea to(day) and feel bad

The Exchange passed off verry quietly too(sic) day. But the 16th is certain

Friday, July 8, 1864

Worse to Day

Saturday, July 9, 1864

Rain to day Very bad last night

Sunday, July 10, 1864

blank page

Monday, July 11, 1864

Six Raiders that were Sentenced to be Hung were Executed to day

Am Better

Tuesday, July 12, 1864

Am great deal better M Myers was taken to the Hospital

Verry warm

About 300 prisoners were brought in to day Grants Army

Reports that the parole Commences the 16th inst according our paper

Wednesday, July 13, 1864

Still some better Verry Hot day

Thursday, July 14, 1864

[blank page]

Friday, July 15, 1864

Verry warm This day and all quiet

Saturday, July 16, 1864

Not so well these days

Sunday, July 17, 1864

The Rebs fired 2 cannon as a signal for all troops to fall in in Readiness for any Emergency.

Monday, July, 18, 1864

Prisoners were brought in Captured 7 miles other side Atlanta

Tuesday, July 19, 1864

Reports in camp that “Shermans Cavalry is at Macon

Report also that Atlanta is in our possion and The Rebel “Johnson is Relieved of his Command

Wednesday, July 20, 1864

Great excitement about “Genrl Shermans Cavalry Coming to Release us

The “Rebels are fortyfying and Renforcing the guard

Heard a Sermon preached in Camp this evening. Preaching has been kept up for over a week

Thursday, July 21, 1864

The Rebs are Bringing woman and Children here from Atlanta and are hurying up works of defence around the Camp and Car loads of Soldiers are arriving to day

Am still no Better of Diarrhoaa

Friday, July 22, 1864

Several Hundred prisoners arrived to da from Grants army with no verry encouraging Reports

Middling Cool and pleasant

Saturday, July 23, 1864

The Old Story of a parole to commence on the 7th is Strongly Revived to day

Reports that the Commissioners of Exchange met at Wilmington on the 20th and agreed on a Parole of 3 months and then exchange This is the Coolest day since we have been in here Feel worse to day

Sunday, July 24, 1864

A Cool Breeze is going to day last night was Remarkably cool. Not so well to day

Monday, July 25, 1864

Very Cool and cloudy with a few showers

A man was Shot by the guard

Tuesday, July 26, 1864

Got some pills to Day am pretty Bad

Over a Hundred prisoners Came in from Grants Army

A large Tunnel was discovered to day 14 feet deep

Negroes are Employed to fill it up

Wednesday, July 27, 1864

No Better to day taking some more pills

Another man shot by the guard

The excitement about Parole is still kept up

Thursday, July 28, 1864

About 500 Prisoners were Brought in to day from Shermans army Captured within 1 mile of Atlanta

A shot was fired over Camp by the Rebs to prevent a Break being made by the prisoners

Friday, July 29, 1864

Several Hundred Prisoners Came in this morning

feel Better to day The sky is Cloudy and Threatning Rain Middling pleasant with a low breeze that arises eery morning about 9 oc or 10 oc

Saturday, July 30, 1864

I feel not better Diarrhoa bad

Reports that a Cavalry Raid is at Macon shelling the town

Great Excitement about Exchange

The Rebels are Building Forts and Mounting Guns

Sunday, July 31, 1864

Am worse to day

Cloudy all day and a Shower in the Evening

[on same page written in hand]

The 1st Aug

Col Winder and Capt “Wirs and a Minister visited the Camp

The Minister Red an extract from the NY Herald that the Commisioners had met 3 times and it was hoped had agreed upon an Exchange

Monday, August 1, 8164

A little better to day Cloudy and Cool with a little Rain Nights pretty warm

Tuesday, August 2, 1864

Not so well today We had a heavy Shower of Rain this evening

The Sick are being taken out ot the rate of 4 to a Detachment Such as are not able to take care of themselves

Report say they are to be taken to our lines at Hilton Head to the Hospital

They are dying at Rate of 50 and 60 per day

Wednesday, August 3, 1864

Another Yankee was shot by the guard

Seven or eight hundred sick were taken out to day it said by some a train load was taken away

Verry Hot these days

Reported that Gen Stoneman was captured at Macon

Thursday, August 4, 1864

No sick were taken out to day

No Roll Call

A few prisoners were brought in Shermans Army

Friday, August 5, 1864

About 100 more prisoners were brought in from Shermans army They Report Atlanta surrendered

About 100 sick were taken out to day such are not able to walk

Feel worse do day

Saturday, August 6, 1864

A little Better to day

Another Yanke was shot today

No sick were taken out

A Macon paper stated that 2 train loads of Yankee sick passed though there

Sunday, August 7, 1864

Verry warm to day and I feel worse with Diarrhoea

The Exchange excitement has considerably abated and all is quiet

Monday, August 8, 1864

Warm and Cloudy and and Heavy Rain about 4 oc

The Exchange story is Revisited this morning

21 men were sent from Here for our lines

Three men were sent with Petition to our Government for our speedy Release.

Tuesday, August 9, 1864

A few more Prisoners were brought in to day from Shermans Army none are arriving from Grants Army

Another Heavy Rain this Evening which caused about 40 Rods of the Stockade to fall and no little excitement among the Rebs

Am some Better

Wednesday, August 10, 1864

Another Heavy shower this Evening

Feel better to day

Macon papers in Camp to day state “General” Wessel has been Exchanged with our line officers and Great Hopes are had of our speedy Release.

Sick call to day I went to the Doctor for Diarhoa and sore mouth

Thursday and Friday, August 11 and 12, 1864 are blank

Saturday, August 13, 1864

The Excitement about Exchange is verry (sic) high

The Quartermast tells some are to leave here on Monday That the Exchange is going on as fast as possible

Sunday, August 14, 1864

Verry Hot and Heavy Rain is the Evening Rations are verry scarse in Camp

Pork selling from 20 to 30 ctc a Ration

Monday, August 15, 1864

Verry hot to day

Started to the Doctor but gave out and came Back

About 600 sick were taken out 1

It is [in?] the Herald and Phad. Inquirier that Genrl Wessle and the Rest of our field Officiers are Exchanges

Verry feeble to day

The most Beautiful Rain Bow I ever saw just at sun down

Tuesday, August 16, 1864

Clear this morning and very hot through the Day

Saw an Artist taking a Picture of the Camp on both sides of the Brook from Post No 17 at the lower side of the camp today. Verry warm in the afternoon

Our Rations tonight are Ration cooked Beans Ration corn Bread and 1 full Ration of Cooked Beef No news of importance

Wednesday, August 17, 1864

Clear this morning and very warm through the day and suffer considerably with heat these days There was about Thirty (30) Prisoners came in today from Different parts of the army. They bring no late news that can be considered reliable

Rations tonight 1 Ration cooked Beef corn bread & of very good cooked Beans

Thursday, August 18, 1864

Clear this morning as usual and about as warm through the Day as has been for some days back

Nothing strange or very important going on that I can hear of

The Cars have been running very busy for the last 48 hours

Probably they are laying in the next ten days Rations for us

Rations Cooked Beans corn Bread of Cooked Beef 1 Ration

Friday, August 19, 1864

Cloudy this morning but soon cleared off

The air grew very hot & sultry as the day advanced

We had a heavy shower of rain about dark & good prospect of putting in a wet night

Rations tonight 1 Pint cooked beans ration corn bread ration cooked Pork and ration cooked beef

Saturday, August 20, 1864

Foggy this morning the fog lifted about 8 o clock A.M. and came down again about 11 o clock A.M. in the shape of a heavy shower of rain

Wet and uncomfortable all afternoon Prospect of a wet damp night

At Dark One of our Co WW Davis Received a Letter from home this evening the first that has come yet here

Rations cornbread beans, cooked Beef and a smell of cooked Pork

Sunday, August 21, 1864

Cloudy and very foggy this morning The air feels Damp & cool and kept about the same all Day. There is no news in camp that can be considered Reliable probably because there was no Prisoners came in today

One drew no Rations toight except about (?) ounces of corn bread half cooked that and water had to make our Supper

Monday, August 22, 1864

Foggy this morning and very damp but quite pleasant through the Day. We had to fast this morning till about 10 o clock & then we drew a double Ration of cooked Beef and Beans We drew Ration corn Bread cooked Beans and a pretty good Ration of cooked Beef in the evening.

No news of any kind that may be considered Reliable tonight.

Tuesday, August 23, 1864

It’s quite foggy this morning but warm Kept warm all day. There has no late taken Prisoner came in and of course a stagnation in late news although all kinds of rumors are constantly afloat in the camp but They are not worth listening to.

Rations cooked Beans corn Bread and 1 good Ration cooked Beef

Wednesday, August 24, 1864

Clear and pleasant this morning. Warm through the Day. Richard C Wick [Co E, 103rd PA Vols] Died last night at 9 O clock he has been ill for about a Month.

Abour 100 Prisoners came in today they report Kilpatrick out with the Cavalry on another Raid Where hs is going to is not known.

Rations cooked Beans corn Bread and a small ration cooked beef

Thursday, August 25, 1864

Clear and very warm all Day There is no late news or strange ones either in Camp Nothing going on inside the camp except the Issuing of Rations to the Prisoners that takes up almost the entire Day now.

Our Rations this Evening is 5 spoonfuls Molasses Ration Corn Bread and about pint of Cooked Rice Starvation indeed almost

Friday, August 26, 1864

The sun rose very clear this morning The Day was hot and sultry. There is no news of any kind afloat today. One of the so called Regulators while the Rations were being issued today struck a Man over the head Breaking his skull and killing him almost instantly.

Rations corn bread cooked Beans and 5 spoonfuls Molasses

Saturday, August 27, 1864

Clear and warm all Day. There is nothing special as yet going on that I can learn. Still a great deal of talk of Exchange but all talk to us so far I would like very well to see something doing but I am still content to wait longer.

Rations tonight corn Bread cooked Rice 1/3 raw Beef

Sunday, August 28, 1864

Clear this morning and very pleasant all Day the sun is not too hot or the air too cool to feel well

There is a great many stories going todayt about us being exchanged soon some of them appear to have come pretty strong yet they may be false

Rations tonight cooked Beans in forenoon

corn Bread in afternoon

1 Cooked Beef in afternoon

I guess that is all

Monday, August 29, 1864

Cloudy and very cool last night & this morning Kept cool all forenoon but changed and got warmer at noon very warm in afternoon

Soloman Moses Died last night about 8 Oclock of Dysentery

There is nothing new in Camp that I can hear of all old stories

Rations Ration corn Bread

Ration Cooked Beans and a very little Pork

Tuesday, August 30, 1864

Clear and very warm all day There is still some talk of a speedy Exchange Some say that the Papers state that the Commisioners have met and agreed on a General Exhange of Prisoners on both sides but I do not know how it is all we can do is to wait and hope

Rations cooked Beans Beef in forenoon

corn Bread in afternoon 1 Ration cooked Beef at Dark

Wednesday, August 31, 1864

Cloudy this morning but soon cleared off and got quite warm was warm the remainder of the Day

We can hear nothing but talk of Exchange but so far there is more noise than Proof”

We are getting very tired of this place our rations are so small at present

Rations corn Bread !/2 cooked Beans 1 Ration cooked Beef & a little smell of Pork

Thursday, September 1, 1864

Clear this morning but pretty cold for this time of year The Musketoes are very bad at night they torment us so that one can hardly sleep A Serg’t of Detachment killed a man on the North side by stabbing him last evening

No late reliable news

Rations Cooked Rice & Beef in forenoon each

Ration corn Bread in evening with some Pork

Friday, September 2, 1864

Very cool last night but clear this morning and very (sic) all Day

The Rebels took out some of the Colored Soldiers this evening it is said that they were formerly Slaves I do not know it (sic) that is true of not

This like everything else looks like Exchange to us

Rations tonight 1 Ration cooked Beef

Ration cooked Beans

Ration cooked corn Bread

This fills the page




This is the last daily entry in the Diary. Charles died September 11, 1864 of Dysentery. He is buried at Andersonville, grave # 8405



The pages for September 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th are missing.


The pages for September 7th, 8, and 9th and blank.







On pages for September 10th and 11th and for September 14th and 15th the following poem is written. Pages for 12th and 13th are blank. The ink is very faded and difficult to read:


When our country called for men we came from forge & store

From workshop, farm and factory our broken ranks to fill

We left our quiet happy homes & ones we loved so well

To vanquish all our Union foes or fall where others fell

Now in prison drere we languish & it is our constant cry

Oh ye who yet can save us will you leave us here to die?

The voice of slander tells you that our hearts were weak with fear

That all or nearly all of us were captured in the rear

The sores upon our bodies from musket ball & shell

The missing legs and shattered arms a truer tale will tell

We tried to do our duty in sight of God on high

Oh ye who yet can save us will ye leave us here to die?

There are heart the hope still beating in our pleasant northern homes

Waiting for the footsteps that may never never come

In southern prison pining meger pale and gaunt

Growing weaker weaker daily from pinching cold and want

There brother, sons and husbands pine and helpless captives lie

Oh, ye who yet can save us, will ye leave us here to Die?


From out our prison gate there’s a graveyard close at hand

Where lie 12 thousand Union men beneath the Georgia sand

Scores and scores are laid beside them as day succeeds to day

And thus it will be ever till all shall pass away.

And the last can say when dying with upturned & glazing eye,

Both love and faith are dead at home, they have left us here to die.



This is a slightly different version than was given to me by Cousin Eliza. Do you suppose he was able to send a copy out , perhaps written on those missing pages, or gave them to someone to take with them? This poem has apparently showed up in various prisoners writings and who knows who the original author was.



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