July , of course, was the month when the Union Army took control of Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi. The Mississippi Marine Brigade began the month at Goodrich’s Landing in Louisiana under the command of Col. Alfred Ellett causing disturbances to keep additional Confederate troops away from Vicksburg.
George tells of the violence taking place around them with buildings being burned and even the bodies of some of those involved in battle. Here is his post from July 1, 1863 from Goodrich’s Landing with words and punctuation changed for easier reading.
Wednesday, July 1, 1863
As we had no opportunity to muster yesterday, we did the job today. Captain Wright was buried this morning. He was killed yesterday during the fight. Furthermore, of the casualties of yesterday’s experiences, the rebs burned every building through the county as far out as we went and they burned some Negroes and the bodies of some white officers. After muster, we left Goodrich’s Landing and ran down to port near Vicksburg and anchored. There is a continual roaring of artillery from both parties at the lines.
This is the original entry in George’s diary with no corrections.
Wednesday. July. 1st. 1863.
As we had not the opportunity to muster yesterday we done up the job to day. And Capt, Wright was burried this morning he was killed yesterday dureing the fight And futhermore of the casualities of yesterdy’s experience is that the rebbs burnt every building through the county as far out as we went and they burnt some negros and the bodies of some white officers after muster we left Goodridge landing and run down to port near vicksburg and anchord And there is a centinuel roareing of artilery from both parties at the lines
Life on the Mississippi Marine Brigade can be purchased on Amazon or eBay or by contacting the author at email@example.com .
During the month of June, the Mississippi Marine Brigade spent most of the time around Vicksburg. Several times during their time here, they mentioned being at Snyder’s Bluff. So on a recent trip to Mississippi, I attempted to drive to Snyder’s Bluff by following signs along the road. This is the road I ended up on. The road as you can see is quite narrow and when I came around a bend and met a truck full of logs, I decided I better head back where I came from. Thanks to Pvt. George Painter, I had a little adventure that day.
Here is a post from George’s diary for June 1, 1863 from Snyder’s Bluff, Mississippi. I have only changed spelling and punctuation for easier reading.
Monday, June 1, 1863
This morning at the early hour of 3 o’clock we started from Snyder’s Bluff and ran down the Yazoo to the Mississippi River. We landed on the Louisiana side and buried a man belonging to the Baltic. Then we started up the river and continued on during the night.
Below is the actual entry from George’s diary with some misspellings and little punctuation, but still very readable.
Monday. June 1st. 1863.
This morning at the early hour of 3 we started from Snyders bluffs and run down the yazoo to the Mississippi river and landed on the Louisana side and buried aman belonging to the baltic then we started up the river and continud on dureing the night.
Life in the Mississippi Marine Brigade – The Civil War Diary of George Painter can be purchased on eBay, Amazon, or by contacting the author at firstname.lastname@example.org
Discover how Private George Painter, a Civil War soldier from Richland County, Ohio spent 1863 in the Mississippi Marine Brigade. George faithfully wrote in his diary every day during 1863 to report on his military service.
It all begins when General Alfred W. Ellet organizes the brigade and finds that he needs more men for a successful operation. He then decided to recruit members from the local convalescing hospitals with promises of light work. An ad in the Cleveland Daily Leader stated:
The service will be an easy one – no camping out, no carrying knapsacks, and very little marching. The boats will be furnished with good cooks and bedding. Soldiering under such circumstances will be nothing but fun.
George Painter had just recovered from two hospital stays for typhoid fever and was in the St. Louis area where it all began. So it perhaps seemed a good choice for him to join this obscure Union fleet to continue his military service.
George Painter was born on April 2, 1842 to Hamilton and Matilda Painter. He grew up on a farm in Richland County, Ohio. He was named for his father’s brother. George had five brothers and one sister and the family attended the local Methodist Episcopal Church.
When the call for volunteers came in 1862, George and two of his brothers enlisted and were soon sent to Cincinnati to begin their time of service. Nearly 320,000 Union soldiers came from Ohio.
During the winter of 1862, the Mississippi Marine Brigade was being formed in the St. Louis area by General Alfred Ellet. Finding enough recruits to man the ships became a problem, so he went to the hospitals in the area to find convalescing patients who would be strong enough to manage ships on the Mississippi River.
George had been in the hospital with typhoid fever and the promise of not having to march daily, carry knapsacks, or sleep in trenches must have encouraged him to join the brigade.
As he traveled down the Mississippi River and its tributaries, George wrote daily of what was happening on the boat and sometimes in the war.
“Life in the Mississippi Marine Brigade” has finally been published after a couple years of research, writing, and rewriting. The book is based on a diary of George Painter for the year 1863.
The story begins when my son had the opportunity to purchase the diary through his antique business. Since he knows that mom enjoys writing stories about true events, he challenged me to turn the diary into a book.
My first challenge was to transcribe the words of George Painter exactly as he wrote them. Included were his original words, some misspelled, as well as punctuation and grammar as George wrote it while traveling down the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
When I shared a page of the early transcription with friends, they felt it was too cumbersome to read in its original writing so suggested that I rewrite it in a smoother English style that would be easy to read.
My final decision was to use them both. In the book, the original written by George has been placed in a box while the easier to read section is above it in italics throughout the book.
My comments and additional information are written in regular print wherever it seemed to be needed for clearer explanation of events.
My hope is that you will find the diary easy to read and enjoyable.