Diary of Private William R. Murphy
Co. E, 16th Kentucky Infantry
William R. Murphy enlisted 10/18/1861 at Camp Lee, KY as a Private in "E" Co. 16th Kentucky Infantry. He re-enlisted on 2/22/1864 and mustered out 7/15/1865 at Company Shops, NC from where they returned to Louisville.
His diary covers March 12 to December 31, 1864 and includes Sherman's March to the Sea, the Battle of Resaca, the Battle of Franklin, and the Battle of Nashville. Included is a full typed transcript. Much of the diary is the daily life of an enlisted man. Notes on the weather, attending a burial, camp life, mention of other soldiers and his officers, the activity of the Confederates, marching and locations. Highlights include news of Grant and Stoneman' s battles. Entries of May 1864 tell of skirmishes with "the Rebs". He was hospitalized in early June and helped care for the wounded. July through August has combat narrative of the fighting around Kennesaw Mountain, Marrietta, and Atlanta. He notes the death of General Morgan and reports as fact on September 29 that Gen. Grant has been killed! He had also reported the death of General Hood. He is in Sherman's March to the Sea. He writes of being engaged with the Rebs in their river crossing on November 29. Jn December he writes of the "...hard battle at Franklin...".
The diary is an approximately 3" x 6" pocket calendar for 1864. No art or flourishes but clear entries and in solid condition with wear to the near complete cover, some pages appear water stained, does not obscure the text. The writing is clean and legible with varied fading depending on what he wrote with.
The 16th Kentucky Infantry mustered in Jan. 27, 1862 and March 1864 found them in Louisville, Kentucky, In April the regiment marched to Knoxville, Tennessee and then Georgia to join Sherman's army for the Atlanta campaign. The regiment participated in the battle of Resaca May 13-15, 1864, in which it lost 3 killed and 28 wounded. It was engaged in the numerous battles and skirmishes of that campaign; Cartersville, Etowah river, Kennesaw Mountain, crossing of the Chattahoochee, around Atlanta, Jonesboro, and many other places. When the pursuit of Hood was abandoned and Sherman started his March to the Sea. The regiment was sent to Tennessee and was severely engaged at the crossing of Duck River on Nov. 29. At the Battle of Franklin November 30, 1864, it suffered seriously with 83 killed, wounded and missing. On December 15-16, 1864, the regiment was engaged in the Battle of Nashville, attacking the left flank of Hood's army. The Regiment moved on finally to Fort Fisher, N. C. They engaged in severe fighting on the south side of Cape Fear River. The Regiment mustered out at Company Shops, NC June 1, 1865, and then returned to Louisville, KY.