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Robert A. Boyd Civil War Notebook-Diary
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Boyd Diary Top Level 

January 1st 1865- The Great feast given to the Army Northern Va. by the people of Virginia.

Today the sky is clear, weather, windy and cold. I did not improve this, the day (Sabbath) "God hast blest" by attending His church; but had to remain in camp (near Petersburg) all day, to attend to the business of the company. The Capt. is away at Church; 1st Lieut. in Hospital and 2nd Lieut. in Petersburg, leaving me in command. Got through my morning duties about 11 o'clock. Ate dinner about 1 o'clock, salt beef, salty as brine, for dinner with turnips. Whole dinner rendered unfit to eat by the salt in the beef. After dinner read four or five chapters in the Proverbs of Solomon; turned out the men not on pass to go after wood, up the canal, in a pontoon boat. Whilst they were gone two classmates of mine, at the V.M.I. came in camp to see Lt. Beckham, Sergt Prince and myself, all graduates of the same Institute. Good friends that came to see us were 1st Lt. Roller of Engineers & Sergt. Mayer Grigg of Artillery. They did not find Lt. -B in camp. Stayed but a short time. About 6 p.m. the men came with the wood. Ordered all effective men in camp to assist in bringing it to the quarters from the boat. Ate supper a little after 7 p.m. Had toast bread and butter & coffee, which I enjoyed very much, not having anything fit to eat in several days. Retired at 10 o'clock. Before retiring, read the evening lesson in the Episcopal Prayer Book; also the Evening Prayer. My servant - Henry listening attentively holding the candle for me. This prayer is beautiful. It is the height of my ambition to be a child of God; a disciple of Christ. R.A.B.

Chesterfield County. April 3rd 1865
We of the 1st Eng. Reg. left Petersburg 2nd April / 65. Army evacuated Petersburg on the night of the 2nd. On the night of the 6th we reached the High Bridge, for this day we marched harder and thru more bushes, branches, creeks, & c. than was ever done before, I reckon since the war. We were several times drawn right in the line of battle and were pushed hotly by the enemy all day. Some five hundred weapons had to be left in the hands of the enemy and were burnt by them. This was a memorable day in the history of this war.

April 11 1865
The (1st) First Engineer Regiment of the A. N. Va. was this day drawn up in line of battle on one of the heights of Appomattox County near the Appomattox river. Whilst in this position with our guns cocked, rather at a ready, a yankee trooper came galloping up to our front and through mistake was shot down, he and horse. We understood him to ask us to surrender. Soon afterward we were ordered not to fire until we received special orders to that effect. This order was passed along the lines. All this was done with the view of making sure negotiations for a surrender. Sergt. Haines, the color bearer of the Regt. carried a flag of truce to a Yankee officer on our front, from Col. Talcott; soon afterward some Yankee officers came up and saw the Col. Then we were ordered brought to attention and marched down this height over on an opposite one where the Gens. Lee, Longstreet & other genererals all were found dismounted making negotiations for a surrender us I. A. N. Va. surrendered by Gen. Lee April 9/65. There has been a great deal of suffering on this retreat for want of bread.

Tuesday night- 11th April/65
1st Eng. Reg. received their paroles. The band played "Hail to the Chief."

Headquarters Army Northern Virginia, April 10th/65. General Orders No. 9
I. After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to surrender to overwhelming numbers and resources. I need not tell the brave survivors of so many hard fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to this result from no distrust of them. But feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that would compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest - I determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those *who have endeared them to their country men. By terms of agreement the officers and men can return to their houses and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed and I earnestly pray that a merciful God will extend to you his blessing and protection. With increasing admiration for your constancy and devotion to your country and a grateful remembrance for your kind and generous consideration for myself, I bid you all an affectionate farewell. Signed R. E. Lee, General
*whose past services have endeared them to their country men,

April 13th 1865.
This day I reached Charlotte Court House, after a wearisome march, from Appomattox Court House, where the Army of Northern Virginia was surrendered. On the retreat from Petersburg to Appomattox C. House, I suffered extremely as did also the whole Army, from rapid marching. R. A. Boyd

The following entries are notes written in the back pages of Boyd's Diary: 

  • John Crowder reported from daily duty with Q. M. March 14/65.
  • Harrison detailed with Q. M. March 16/65.
  • Wagner reported 3th March
  • Thomas R. furloughed 9th March/65
  • Candle abs. without leave since March 15 also Furcson.
  • G. Whitchuns - died August 8th, 1864.
  • Rush J returned from absence without leave March 29/65.
  • Hodges, Bigby, Grant Johnson, and Moone, 5 returned from S. Mile March 29/65.
  • S. S. White furloughed 14th Feb 65 for 30 days charged with Gun & in Riddes care.
  • Bittle G. W. furloughed Feb.
  • Tate reported to Com. from on extra daily duty at Hospl. Feb 19/65.
  • Sergt. Tieny on pass seven days from 26th Feb.
  • Warren on detached service by S.O. No. 34 Hd Qrs End Troops Feb 24/65
  • Wagner reported to co. 3rd March/65
  • Sergt. Prince furloughed 13th June 1865 for 18 days. Returned 1st Feb 1865
  • Sergt. N. C. Beckham furloughed 31st Jan 1865 for 15 days
  • W. W. Mirth furloughed 31 Jan 1865 for 15 days
  • B. Johnstonon pass 48 hours took effect 31st Jan 1865
  • Poire furloughed 15 days from Jan 15th 1865
  • McKinney on pass 48 hrs from 9th Feb 1865
  • Lt. Beckham on furlough from 10th Feb 1865
  • Private Burger died on 3rd Feb. 1865
  • J. B. Prince promoted from Sergt. to Lt. Jan. 19/65
  • Died on the 16th of December 1864, Morton B. Easley, a Private of Co: K 34th Va. Infantry, Wise's Brigade, from a wound received in front of Petersburg on the 8th of the same month, while assisting in placing chavaux-de-foure in front of the, or rather our works. He died the death of Christian, prepared to meet his God. Although his wound was incurable and he knew that his last hours on earth were drawing rapidly to a close, he calmly and sincerely met his passed off from earth as an infant would to its place of repose. Among his last requests was, that his one and only sister be told that he has been a good soldier. Such has been the career of this gallant boy.

Turned into Ord. Report For January 1865 February.

To J. B. Prince, Srgt.
1 Canteen
1 (Canteen) Strap
1 Haversack

Charged in final statement

1 Knapsack, 1 haversack, Canteen & Canteen Strap

[illegible] recruit to one Cartridge Box Feb. 11/65


Rec'd from Ord: Sergt. in January 1865 in April
3 Guns & 1 Gun = 4
3 Can Boxes & 1= 4
3 Waist Belts +1= 4
4 Wipers
4 screws
80 rounds Cartridges

Turned in to Ord. Sergt.
1 Gun + 1 Gun = 2

To [illegible] Sergt April 2/65
2 axes
1 shovel

to Ord Sergt Ap 2/65
1 cartr box
1 W. Belt
1 cart pouch & c.

  • Lt. Beckham owes me for hire of servant for December $6.25. I settled with Capt. Derrick for Dec.& Jan. for rations bought Feb 20/65.
  • Lt. Sully due me $53.25. $10 to September acct. Borrowed $5. Dec. 27th. Servant's Hire Sept.- $5.
  • J.B. Prince promoted from Sergeant to Lieut- Jan 19th/65
  • N. Butt detailed at Engr. Depot Feb 16/65
  • $53 + 20 = $73 due me for servant's hire Dec./64, $6.25 Loan to me Paid me on Jan 19th $20. Due me now $79.25- $20= 59.25
  • Burgin sick/ furloughed 27th Jan 1865 - (30) days
  • Worsell (sick) furloughed 27 Jan/65 (30) days
  • Sergt. H. C. Beckham furloughed Jan. 31st 1865 for (15) days
  • W. W. Smith furloughed Jan 31st 1855 (15) days.
  • Wagoner & Doyle should be charged with one knapsack, one haversack, canteen & canteen strap Dec. & Nov. Pay Rolls
  • Rausch Henry furloughed 27th Jan./65 for 15 days. Not the 25th Jan.
  • Jno. Hamilton furloughed Feb. 8/65 for (30) days.
  • Sergt. Beckham ret 17 Feb.
  • Ledbetter on pass 10 days Feb. 19/65
  • Anthony sick furlough 30 days
  • [eligibile] 21 March
  • Hamilton [illegible] 21 March

From Richd. Boyd, Sr. Meck Co. Va. to R.A. Boyd C. Army

(To R.A. Boyd, 1st Sergeant Co. "D" 1st Va. Engineers)

Christmas Box, 1864

2 Hams
2 Geese nicely cooked & dressed
1 Piece smoked beef
1 Opossum
2 1/2 lb. Peas
1 lb. Potatoes
1 lb. Turnips
3 gal. Molasses
2 Doz. eggs
1 Peck Walnuts & Hickory nuts
2 Rich S. Po. Pies
1 Doz. Puffs
78 Biscuits
5 lbs. Butter
1 lb. Sugar
Brandy 1 qt.
3 Doz. candles & 3 lbs. soap

Sergeant one Belt
Heartless "(one belt)"
Johnston "(one belt)"
Seeds "(one belt)"
Murtno "(one belt)"
14 C. Boxes Belts
9 guns with [illegible]
6 (guns) no [illegible]
Rev. G. Vidvak
Surg. Call 6 1/2
Fatigue (call) 7
Orderly (call) 7 1/2
[illegible] 8
Tattoo 7
Sunday Inspection 9

Dec. 27 Turned into Ordinance Sergeant

4 Gun Slings
1 Knapsack

Knapsacks charged to Creary & [illegible]

Dec. 8 1 Box Belts
Detail 11 men
Seeds 40 Cartridges
1 Gun
1 Cartridge Box
1 Cap Pouch
44 Caps & Belt 

Bittle 24 Cartridges
1 Cartridge Box & C. Pouch
1 Gun & Belt

Sergeant 1-13 Cartridges, 36 Caps, 1. C. Box, & Belt & Cap Pouch new

Thomas 41 Cartridges & 21 Caps 1 new

Bagby 39 Cartridges & 16 caps
1 Gun wiper - 1 Gun

Martin 39 Cartges. & 39 caps.
1 Gun
Heartless 40 Cartridges & 24 Caps. 1 Gun

Johnston 38 Cartridges
21 Caps - 1 Gun Wiper & Gun

Cornuss 29 Caps & Cartridges
1 wiper & wrench - 1 tube gun

Morquin 40 Cartridges, 75 Caps
1 Gun Wiper & screw & screw driver

McKinney 4 Guns 4 Boxes
1 40 Cartridges 39 Caps 1 Gun 1 screw driver

2 Lewis, 30 Cartridge and Caps 1 Gun

- 34 Cartridges, 40 caps, 1 Screw driver & wiper & tube

- 40 Cartridges & 40 Caps, 1 tube


(1) (3) Button Case

(1) Leiber on Self Govenment:

Napoleon at St. Helena.

(3) Notes on Travel & Life

L (16 1/2)

Lord Chatham's works & Burkes.

Irving's Works F. 171

History of U.S. By Bancroft

Dr. Sherlock's discourse upon death.

Dr. Scott's in his first Book of Christian Life

1 lb Turnips, Peas & Potatoes

1 Piece Soap

Opossum, Hickory Nuts & Walnuts

Provisions, Turkey, Brandy, eggs

Molasses, Meal, Flour, Apples

dried Peaches, Cherries, Tomatoes,

Tobacco. BW Shon for Division about provisions.

12 candles Comfort & [illegible]

2 lbs sugar & Butter

Clean Watch

Extra Duty Corpl. Shirra  & Tate

1 Bennett

2 Crowder

3 Leslie

4 Pharasse

5 Smithe

6 Thomas R

7 Williams

8 Vines

1st Relief


1 Moore (S)

2 Benjamin (S)

3 Coleman (S)

4 Thomas (C.S.)

5 White

6 Vines

7 Martin

8 Hartless

9 Green

2nd Relief


1 Baker

2 Butt

3 Candle

4 Cruness

5 Smith

6 Reeves

7 Woonell

3rd Relief


1 Cruness

2 Dearcroff

3 Grant

4 Johnson B.

(Nov. 19) 5 Lewis

6 Livemay 

7 McKinney

4th Relief


1 Winder

2 Tibbs

3 Furcron

4 Rush

5 Harrison

6 Johnson

7 Kidd

8 Rausch

dropped Jan. 1865 Retr. 8 mo.

Thank Smithe

1st Relief

Sergt. Tirny

Sergt. Prince

Corporal Bittle

Sergeant- Nov. 14th

Alsonon command

1 Doyle

2 Cramen

3 Lewis

4 McKinney

5 Wilder

6 Hamilton

2nd Relief

Sergt. Jordan

Corpl. Brown

" Hodges

Wagner returned under guard by Col. Talcott Nov. 8th 1864. Sent to Mayer Bridgefort (Nov. 8th 1864) Corporal Bittle in charge.

Nov 9. Turned over to Ordinance







White, Coleman, Thomas B - arrested Oct 27 Returned 29th

Neidham & Linsay ordered to St. Peters as teamsters Nov. 12/64.

Private Sargeant deserted hospital Nov. 14, 1864

Isbell sent to Gen. Reg. Hospl. Nov. 19

Lewis & McKinney left 20th Nov. Returned 24th Nov. Sent to the Bridgefort G. O. House.

Smithe sent Reg Hospl. Nov. 26.

Sargeant reported 28th Nov from hospital.

Moore on furlough 27th Nov.

Anthony reported Dec. 2nd fr. hospl.

Miller reported from Hospl Dec. 12

(Dec. 21)

Anthony 1

1 Bigby

2 [name crossed out]

3 Crump

4 Grant

5 Johnston

6 Sargeant

7 Seeds

8 Martin W

9 Hartless

10 Thomas B


1 Hodges

2 Tibbs

3 Wornell 

4 Baker 

5 Pharess

6 Cruness J

7 Rush

8 Johnston B

Moore sent in Baker's place Dec. 30/64

Bittle Sent in Detail Dec. 9th

1 Anthony

2 Baker

3 Butt

4 Coleman

5 Crump J

6 Crump K

7 Candle

8 Deerdorff, Thomas R.

9 Green

10 Harrison

11 Johnston B

12 Bidel

13 Ledbetter, Corny

14 Martin D

15 Moore

16 [illegible]

17 Rausch

18 Rush

19 Reeves

20 Hedford

21 Smith

22 Tibbs

23 Vines

24 Frescron

25 White

26 Wornell

27 Winder

Smithe 28








2 cooks


Crump H 

2 cutters




Mess Acct- Oct- 1864

Oct. 13 For vegetables By Lieut. Sully $2

For Molasses by Boyd $3 1/2

Accept assurances of my highest consideration & respect

J. Leslie furloughed 28th Dec/64 15 days

Corpl. Brown furloughed Dec. 11 10 days, Returned 22 Dec.

Baker furloughed Dec. 29th 10 days

Corpl. Schemer & private Deardorff & Candle abs. without leave Dec. 28 (sick)

Smithe on furlough Dec. 24th 15 days

Hamilton put under arrest Oct.

Rush B. E. sent to Genl. Recvg. Hospl Nov. 2

Reeves furloghed Jan 5th for 15 days.

Ledbetter (furloughed Jan. 5th) for five days.



Borrowed of Mr. Watkins Jan 2nd, 1865 $150- Pd.

deposited with Lester & Co.

Oct. 13 -30
Oct. 29 -50
Nov. 30  20

Nov. 30 due for 1/2 qt.

Payment $ 1.50

Dec. 3rd $ 30

Dec. 3rd Retd. 7 spades, 5 shovels, 6 picks

Dec. 8th, 1864 Corpl. Wyman in charge 5 axes

Coleman 1 axe

[illegible] 1 axe

Dec [illedgible] 12 shovels

1 picks

1 axe



Nov. 19th Jackets issued

Prince 1

Bosgeian 1

Seeds 1

Smith 1

Tibbs 1

Wornell 1

Windor 1

Johnston F 1

Candle 1

White 1



See about Morton's letters & clothes. Got a handkerchief for Julie.

Memorandum for watch key, valice key, [illedgible] lines, 1 box [illigible]

Gave Miller 1 gun & accoutrements

6 Jan 1865