Elijah Nelson Doughty's Civil War Diary of Travels

May 1865

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May 1 A. D. 1865: Summer morning. We have eaten our breakfast and now feel quite well. Our horses have been sent out on herd in charge of Sergt. J. W. Whitman. The herd has got stampeed and is now running but I don't suppose they will make much of a stampeed in this case.

May 2: The weather remains like summer. The boys are swimming Deer creek. The water cold as snow. We have guard mount drill once a day. The boys makes a skift out of a beef hide and quite a number of the boys has been ducked by the use of their new skift. Deer creek remains high. The mail is expected tonight. I have written one letter to my wife today.

May 3: The weather remains warm and the grass begins to grow. The mail comes this evening and I received six letters, three from my wife, one from Father [48], one from Tom Seal [49], and one from cousin Phebe Nelson [50].

May 4: A.D. 1865: Warmer yet today and lazy weather for shaved heads. Our boys who was left at Riley came up with the mail party except a few to wit: B. F. Norton, W. H. Norton, N. H. Norton, Grerry W. C. Haselwood, S. Barker, J. A. Norton and James Hames. The above named soldiers will be discharged. the water still keeps up.

May 5: This morning a detachment of thirty men from each Co., of the Regt. starts to Powder river [51] on a ten day scout to break up some Indian villages which are said to be out there. It snows and rained here last night and consequently the weather is quite cold today.

May 6: The sun shines out brilliant and nice this morning. We have eat our grub. Have our horses out on heard and now I attempt to pen down the passing events of the day. J. D. Seal starts with the mail to Ft. Laramie in charge of five men. Col. Moonlight passed here this evening going on to the Headquarters of the Regt. at Plattsburg.

May 7: Nothing of importance transpired. The wind is blowing like a storm all the time which is generally the case out here. It has succeeded in blowing down quite a number of our tents and in those that are not down the dust is so thick we can hardly breathe.

May 8: Nothing strange transpired. It is quite cold. Has the appearance of a storm. Hails a little this evening and turns colder.

May 9: Snowed last night and is still snowing. We have eat our grub and again taken refuge in our poor though quite comfortable tents considered by us at this late hour. It is now night and the snow has fallen all day and looks like winter.

May 10: The sun shines out brilliant this morning, again assumes the appearance of summer. The grass went up the spout last night you bet. The snow is fast melting this nice morning.

May 11: Remains quite cold. I went fishing but caught no fish. It gets warmer this evening and has the appearance of spring again.

May 12: Warmer and more pleasant. Received good news from the east. Expecting to be ordered back to Ft. Leavenworth soon. The mail leaves in the morning.

May 21: Moved camp forty miles and camped at the foot of the Rocky mountains on a small stream called Muddy [52]. Nothing of importance has passed since the above date. Deer Creek was attacked the same evening we left by one hundred and twenty-five Indians. Captured the herd of the 11th Ohio and killed one soldier belong to A. company, 11th K.V.C. who was on scout under commander Col. P. B. Plumb.

May 22: We are laying around camp. The boys are rolling rocks off the mountains which is fine sport. I cooked me a mess of greens for dinner and they were splendid. We have plenty of wild onions every day to eat for a change of diet.

May 23: Remaining in camp as lazy as ever waiting with paitence an order to start for Leavenworth which we will receive in a few days. The mail left this morning. I write a letter to my wife in Jefferson county, Kansas [53].

May 24: We have eat our grub. Have our horses out grazing and are laying in our tents to shun the hot sun that comes down here.

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Calendar for May, showing the days of the week

Please click here for a text version of the May calendar,
or here for all graphic calendars

48. His father was Rev. Joseph Doughty and believe he and his 2nd wife Jennetta Buster were in Kansas at this time as the list of marriages he performed in Jefferson County began on 4 Oct 1863. Return to reading

49. This may have been a cousin from his father's side. Tom Seal's Mother was Martha Doughty. Return to reading

50. Elijah's mother's maiden name was Catherine Nelson and her father, Elijah's grandfather, was Elijah Nelson. Although not in the family tree at this time, Catherine more than likely had a brother who had a daughter named Phebe Nelson. Return to reading

51. Powder River is a town 33 miles west of Casper, WY. Return to reading

52. A little over 40 miles southwest from Casper, WY down Hwy 220 past the site of Sweetwater Station and Devil's Gap, is a place called Muddy Gap, elevation 6,250 feet. Return to reading

53. As Jefferson County, KS is where his father, Rev Joeseph Doughty lived, Elijah's wife may have been visiting or lived there while he was gone. Return to reading

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