|Zophar Skinner's diary for the year 1863|
|inside cover of diary|
Co. C. 2nd reg. R.I. Vols.
Valley Falls, Rhode Island
Enlisted June 5th, 1861.
2nd Brigade 3rd Division 6th Corps"
Below is a transcription from the diary for July 1 - July 5. I have tried to retain original spelling, spacing, and punctuation.
Wednesday, July 1
"Showery all day. drawed one days rait-
ons. packed up at six this evening and took
the road to Gettysburg and marched all
night. Gen. Wheaton took command of ou-
e Division this Evening"
Thursday, July 2
"Plesant all day stopt one hour for bre-
akfast and one for dinner. passed tho-
rgh Middletown and arrived at Gettys-
burg at three this afternoon. distance
was 42 miles."
Friday, July 3
"Cloudy all day. got up at two this mo-
rning and got breakfast. Our brigade was
detached to the 12 Armee cops. went to
the right of the line of battle and back
again. sharp shelling by the rebels.Charles
Powers was killed this afternoon by a shell".
Saturday, July 4
"Showery all day. got up this morning at
7 and went to the front reserve for pickets
the rest of our Brigade was digging rif-
le pits. relieved at half past seven th-
evening by the 10 regiment Mass Vols".
Sunday, July 5
"Showerly all day. got up early this m-
orning and joined our Corps. rested a sho-
rt time and started after the rebs they ha-
ving left during the night. halted at d-
ark. Distance five miles. my Company was
detailed as rear guard".
The Union Army, under General Meade's command pursued the Confederate Army as they moved south back into Maryland and then across the Potomac River and into Virginia in the days following. Zophar's unit crossed the Potomac on July 19th. It is hard for me to imagine what this young man saw and experienced during the Gettysburg battle and throughout the War. The diary does not reveal Zophar's emotions or state of mind but is very straightforward. What a time he lived through.... And in the end, I wonder if his little brother Henry was grateful or envious that he was too young to go to war like his older brothers, Zophar and Joseph.