Elijah Nelson Doughty's Civil War Diary of Travels

March 1865

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March 1: Marched at the usual hour. Traveled 25 miles and camped five miles below Pawnee Ranche. We have a splendid camping place. The weather remains cold and disagreeable. The wind and the weather change suddenly and is now snowing like the devil.

March 2: Traveled 25 miles and camped on 32 mile creek. Wood very scarce now, nothing but red elm. It is commenced snowing again and is too cold for all intents and purposes. I often think how much more pleasant it would be if I was at home with my wife [8] and dear little boy [9].

March 3: Snowing again like the devil. Layed over all day.

March 5: Revilee at 3:30 A.M. Marched at 6 A.M. Traveled 36 miles and arrived at Ft Kearney [10] at 3 o'clock. We camped on the island of the Platt [11]. Had plenty of wood by carrying it over the ice.

March 6: Yet in camp, cold and unpleasant. General inspection by Major Armstrong. Known as the best Regt. in the District by the inspection.

March 7: Reville at 4 A.M. March at 7 o'clock. Traveled 17 miles, camped on the Platt [12]. The weather is allmighty cold and snowing. We faced the wind and storm today. Quite a number of the Regt. got frosted and I was one of those ones.

March 8: Marched at 7 A.M. Traveled 16 miles. The weather cold and stormy.

March 9: March at the usual hour. The weather was cold. Traveled 16 miles and camped on an island. No timber except a few willows.

March 10: Marched at the usual hour. Traveled 24 miles and passed Cottonwood Springs. Camped a mile and half above. Had plenty of wood and a nice camping place.

March 11: Still in camp. Mess one brought 3 sacks of flour.

March 12: Yet in camp. Inspection by Col. Plumb.

March 13: Yet in camp all day. Nothing of importance transpired.

March 14: Yet in camp. Snowed last night.

March 15: Reville at 5 A.M. March 12 miles, camped on the prairie. No wood, the weather warm and pleasant.

March 16: Reville at 4 A.M. Marched at 6. Traveled 24 miles. Camped at the foot of Offallens Bluff [13]. No wood, used buffalo chips in place of wood. The warmest day since we left Riley [14].

March 17: Reville at 5 A.M. Marched at 7. Traveled 25 miles. Camped near the Alhalie Station [15]. Such wind was never witnessed. The sand flying thick. We could not see twenty feet in front of us at times.

March 18: Marched at the usual hour. Traveled 25 miles and camped near the Lone Tree Ranche.

March 19: Marched at the usual hour. Traveled 24 miles and camped near Jules Berg [16], Colorado, territory at the old Laramie crossing of the south Platt. Two companies of the 7th Iowa stationed here and six pieces of artillery. The battery goes with us on our Indian expedition.

March 20: Lying in camp, sleeping to day. This is what we call a day of rest.

March 21: Still in camp. The ice is thick in the river. The 7 Iowa battery starts over the river and has trouble, drowns one horse and mule.

March 22: The 11th Regt crossed over and camped on the north side of the south Platt opposite Jules Berg, Colorado, territory where we will remain for several days. I was detailed as foreman to unload commissaries. We let a sugar barrel fall accidently though done intentionally and burst. We got plenty of sugar to eat. Grub is just ready so I will close the 23rd of March 1865.

March 23: Lying in camp and the weather warm and pleasant. Plenty of good pitch wood to burn. We move camp three miles up and north of the river. We have a Star Spangled Banner the institution I hope to die under.

March 24: Still in camp. The weather changed last night and now the wind blows hard and cold from the north east. We have small fires made of pitch pine and buffalo chips. It is a hard way to live but, we are used to the same. We have just been to grub and feel very well now. Eating a little hard tack, sow belly and coffee, this with a little blue beef constituted our eatables. Plenty of snow to be seen on side of mountains. We draw rations today. This is a nice level country and plenty of jack rabbits and prarie dogs to be seen galloping over the plains. Our company team is now gone for wood to be drawn from the quarter master at Jules Berg, Colorado, territory. I have just eat a snack of unwholesome eatables. The wind still blows hard and the snow flies thick, it is now about three o'clock in the evening. The mail came but, I have received no letter. I am detailed for guard tonight. The wind blows hard and the snow files thick and fast. The boys are all in their tents to shun the miserable dust that fills the air.
     Now 600 miles from home, out on the wild and windey plains, deprived the privelage of associating with a kind and loving wife and one of the sweetest little boys in Kansas.

March 25: Remaining in camp. The wind has changed to the south and blows strong. Has the appearance of a heavy rain storm. We have eat our grub. Our company teams has gone across the Platt [17] to Jules Berg after blue beef for us, shaved heads. This is general wash day. I want to wash some myself but unless the wind falls I don't think it will amount to much to wash. Snow still visible on the mountain side. It has rained all day. Very disagreeable. Our tents blows down. It is getting late and no dinner yet. Our cooks have just commenced getting dinner. A few bites of anything in the eatable line will be relished with a good appetite. Our commissary Serg. is just dressing some blue beef. I have received no letter yet, but hope I may this evening. The boys are all in their tents to keep dry. I have eat a cold snack, a quart of strong coffee, half gill of strong grease, couple of slices of old Ned and now have taken refuge in my little tent which affords me great pleasure as the rain now falls fast and cold. Our horses is in the shape of a rainbow, but not quite as beautiful you may bet. We are now having fun, about six hundred miles from home and nothing to cheer us but a wild lone and solitary country.

March 26: Still in camp and it is snowing for all intents and purposes. One of the most sever storms since we have been on this march. We have not been out of our tents since yesterday only on urgent business. Our horses almost froze to death.

March 27: Still in camp. Snowed and blowed until this morning. For the last 70 hours we have been compeled to remain in our tents, wrapped in our blankets to keep from freezing to death. Acknowledging our tents, a poor make shift but the 11th Kansas cavalry this morning came forth from what we have considered a living grave called tents, after seventy hours confirement in those little tents without anything to eat. but by the grace of God we are spared to view the sunlight of another glorious sun which was hailed by many a glad heart for we had almost come to the conclusion that our days were ended but with renewed strength and faith we proceed to cook a few more morsels to gratify our empty and eager stomach.

March 28: Still in camp the weather remains cold. We have been grazing our horses or trying to graze them. The ground is white with snow, the snow is melting some. Our command has just killed five beeves for this command. I suppose we will leave here in the morning for Laramie [18]. I have received no letter since at Cottonwood Springs, Nebraska territory. I have written a dozen I suppose. It is near twelve o'clock. The cooks are getting dinner. We have just been after wood about three miles and carried it on our backs. After we leave here we will find no timber until we reach Mud Springs the distance of seventy miles. We are now camped on Pole Creek and from the best information I can get there is not one pole on the stream for the distance of seventy or a hundred miles where the said stream runs into the mountains. There we find plenty of pine. This country affords the best natural roads I ever saw and these are the only good quality this country possesses. It is now getting late and we will probably be up soon in the morning to make a start for the mountains or Laramie which is at the mountains.

March 29: Reville at 6 A.M. Traveled 18 miles over snow. The weather being cold and camped on Pole Creek [19] and I don't suppose there was a pole on the creek for two hundred miles where it comes out of the rocky mountains. It gets a little warmer this evening and melts the snow. Twenty mules and horses Alkalied and died in a short time. We have now eat our supper, killed a few antelope and seen hundreds. We are enjoying camp as well as we can. The boys are all well.

March 30: Marched at the usual hour. Traveled 20 miles and camped on the same pole creek we did last night. The weather moderates. We receive mail. I get no letter though I await a letter with patience.

March 31: Revillee at four A.M. Marched at 6. Crossed Pole Creek, traveled 28 miles over a rugged and mountainous part of the world. The snow from 6 inches to five feet deep. Went in camp at Mud Springs, Colorado territory. A few of the 11th Ohio soldiers quartered here. Men who was captured from John Morgan while making his raid through Indiana and Ohio. We are getting out grub ready for disposal.

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Calendar for March, showing the days of the week

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8. Sarah Jane Blacker Doughty, they were married in 26 Nov 1860. Return to reading

9. George Doughty, born about 1861. Return to reading

10. Nebraska. Return to reading

11. The Platte River runs from west to east across Nebraska and through the town of Kearney. Return to reading

12. River in NE. Return to reading

13. This is more than likely present day O'Fallon, NE which is on the north side of the South Platte River. Return to reading

14. Riley, KS or Fort Riley, KS. Return to reading

15. There is a present day town of Ogallala, NE about 30 miles west of O'Fallon, NE that may be the place where they camped on March 17th.Return to reading

16. Julesburg, CO. Return to reading

17. South Platte River. Return to reading

18. Laramie, WY. Return to reading

19. This is probably Lodgepole Creek in Nebraska. Return to reading

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