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The Diary and Letters of Abiel Teple LaForge 1842-1878

Transcribed, edited, and annotated by Phyllis G. Jones (his great-granddaughter)

Copyright © 1993, Phyllis G. Jones, All rights reserved

November 1864


Tuesday November. 1" 64.  Up & breakfasted at 6 A.M. took my leave of the kind people.  John took me up to the cars.  We parted with many kind wishes and I was whirled away from friends whose kindness will ever remain fresh in my memory.  At Hornillsville I got on the wrong train and instead of stopping at Andover had to go on to Wellsville and staid all night.


Wednesday 2"  Took the 12" NM. train & came to Andover then came up to my dear sisters.  found all well but mother  she has put her shoulder out of joint by an accident but is very cheerful.  I was very much delighted to see them all.


Thursday 3"  Wrote to Lieut Cox to let them know where I am.  This evening I was going up to Perrys but Mr. & Mrs. Nelson Crandall came over also Miss Clara so I must of course stay and entertain them so did not go up.


Friday 4"  I went up to Uncle Stephen Clarks from there after tea up Perrys wher I stop all night  Dell. Eaton stays with me.


Saturday 5".  Went to church to-day  then up to Mr. Nelson Crandalls  Miss M. Livermore and Dell. Eaton were also there.  our evening was an exceedingly pleasant one.  Clara entertained us with the piano.  did not retire until 2 A.M. 6"  Dell staid with me.


Sunday 6"  Spent the day at home  rains some still.


Monday 7".  Promised Dell Eaton I would go home with him from the election to-morrow.  Wrote to Uncle John LaF.


Tuesday 8".  Was down to Andover and put in a full Union Ticket.  Lincoln for President, Fenton for governer.  had to swear my vote in   then could not get any body to swear to my age, so done that part myself too.  Rained nearly all day,   no trouble at the polls so had no occasion to use my revolver which I took with me.  Rained all the time while we were going up to Mr. Eatons.  Mr. Eaton said he would stay in town until the reports came from New York as to the way the election went.


Wednesday 9".  Dell and I called on Mr. Rosebush and took dinner, then went down to Mr. Remingtons.  from there to Elder Kenyons where we took tea after which I went up to Mr. Slocum Livermores and Dell stoped and brought up Miss M. Crandall.  we passed the evening pleasantly until nearly midnight when as the old people did not retire we concluded we would so came home.  I found the doors fastened and tried to get in at the window without waking any body but did not succeed as my sister heard me.  rained all day.


Thursday 10"  Staid at home until evening then went up to Stephen Clarks,  from there up to Perry Potters.  made arraingements to go to Wellsville with Mr. Clark to-morrow.  Windy and cold but not rainy to-day.


Friday 11"  Up and had breakfast before day light and about 7 A.M. started with Stephen and his wife and doughter to Wellsville.  had a cold ride.  did not succeed in getting a pair of boots for which purpose I started.  Got a piece of cloth for Mrs. Eathan Green  she wanted me to take the money for it   could not think of it.  When we got home found that Sherman Crandall had came home from Alfred Centre to see me and left word for me to call over to his house to-night  went over and found a prayer meeting there,  after it had broken up had a good visit.  staid all night. cold day snowed some.


Saturday 12"  Attended church  the Elder had to illustrate one of his points by relating a dream which he had about seeing a man shot.  he said he "supposed it was caused by hearing Mr. LaForge relate the proceedings of the shooting of two men which he had witnessed"  after church went to Mr. Crandalls again.  Sherman, Dell, Bill Clarck and myself had been expecting to go to Alfred this evening but the snowstorm which commenced this morning had continued all day so we concluded to have a party at home.  Sherman went out with the sleigh and got the girls arround to come, so we had an exceedingly fine time  lot of good singing and other enjoyment,  did not break up until the wee hours of the morning.


Sunday 13"  Sherman went back to Alfred.  I rode home with him.  the first sleigh ride of the season.  I sent my dress coat down to Andover to Mrs. Green to get it fixed.  Macky took it down and brought it back.


Monday Oct. 14.  Thawed very little to day.  quite good sleighing  This evening I took the cutter and went over to Mr. Crandalls.  Miss Clara and myself spent the evening at Mr. Rosebushes.


Tuesday 15"  Snowed a little to-day.  wind very cold, drifted some to-night.  William Clark and I went up to Mrs. Cooper and found Miss Cooper and Miss Chadwick at home,  passed the evening very pleasantly.  beautiful moonlight nights now,  I should just like to spend them in sleigh riding but the ladies think it is too cold.


Wednesday 16"  Clear and warm enough to thaw considerably  spent the P.M. at Perrys.  Mrs. S. A. Potter and myself took the buggy and went to the Sab. Meeting HOuse to a singing school.  very pleasant evening and I enjoyed myself greatly.  the ladies were very complaisant as they always are up here.  about 10 when we got home.


Thursday 17" Nov.  Opened somewhat rainy.  I took the buggy and went over to Mr. Eatons and got my revolver which has been there ever since election.  Stoped at Mr. Crandalls on my way back to bid them good bye.  as I start for Washington to-morrow.  I got a letter from John Clemence also one from W.J. Fuller.  John sent his own and wifes photographs.  both want me to come back that way.


Friday. Nov. 18" 64.  Bade my kind friends at Andover good-by and the 12.20 P.M. train for Elmira.  felt prety sad for a while.  My thoughts were taken from my parting for a while by a flirtation got up by a couple of young ladies who got on the cars at Aldie. and off at Horsehead,  they were fine looking and very richly dressed,  my first impression was that they were lewd characters but I soon became convinced to the contarary,  as soon as I found they were determined on a flirtation, why of course I was in for it.  We did not leave Elmira until long after dark as a train had got off the track and delayed us.  snow all gon,  last's nights rain melted it.


Sat. 19"  Arrived at Washington just at dark.  went to Willards and put up,  got supper then went to see                played Crosby, former Chief Clerk of Camp Distribution went with me.  house crowded,  after play returned to the hotel and went to bed,  has rained all day.


Sunday 20"  Still raining  I was going over to Camp but it rained so I concluded not to.  Went to the opera to night  it was for the benifit of the Friendless womens society.  Beaugureau was there and stayed with me all night.


Monday 21"  Went over to camp to-day  found myself quite a lion there,  returned at night  brougt Beaugureau along  went and saw the "Gamester" played after which lunched and retired to my room where we had a game of chess although it was past midnight  I was beaten.


Tuesday 22"  Run upon Lieut. or rather Capt Burrows of the 6" Maryland.  I knew him a short time (about an hour) last spring.  he is a splendid fellow.  to-night he and I went to see the Seven Sisters played,  then I went home with him,  we had a game or two of Euchre  also checkers and then retired,  very cold, ground frozen.


Wednesday 23"  Was introduced to Capt. "Late Lieut. Cushing, of the Ram Albermile notoriety,  he is a young looking man  his long light hair making himn look almost boyish,  there is something about his face which shows a strong determination to do a thing once undertaken.  With Capt Burrows I visited some young ladies on Capitol Hill they are friends of the Capt. and very fine ladies,  spent a pleasant evening.  Made Cap. stay with me to-night   Genl. Grant is here stopping.


Thursday 24"  Thanksgiving was more generally observed than I ever saw it before.  places of business closed.  Places of amusement were crowded.  I accordance with a pressing request from Col. Elison. Quartermaster of the Dept. I dined with him at 5 P.M.  Was introduced to Col. Stephenson and another Col. of the regular Army,  also several other officers and citizens,  there was ten of us gentelmen present.  We had Rost turkey, duck, and pig, Brandy, Whiskey, and several kinds of wine   finished with segars and stories  I passed so pleasant an evening that I forgot I wanted to leave at 8½ until past that time.   when I went down to the hotel I found Burrows had been there and left a note for me to meet him to-morrow at 10 A.M.  I left a note for him stating I could not as I left for the front at 6 A.M.  I must go back as there is but two company officers left for the whole ten companies  the rest are either wounded, killed, prisoners, or on leaves of Absence, so I must return as am duty bound.


Friday. October (should say November) 25" 1864.  Had breakfast and started from Willards on the 6½ train  arrived in Martinsburg just before sundown.  I went and stayed all night with our Regimental Q. M.  We went to spent the evening with some ladyfriends of his, the Misses Cookes with one of which I am prety sure he is in love.  They have been having considerable rain here as is evident by the state of the streets.  I forgot to mention that these young ladies were very rich once but were burned out by the Rebs on account of their Union sentiments.


Saturday 26".  Had breakfast and reported to the Genl Commanding to be sent to the front.  four ambulances loaded with officers also eight mounted officers (among which was myself) and five wagons of thanksgiving things escorted by one hundred cavalry were to go up,  we started at 10 A.M.  had a fine ride, expecting an attack every little ways from Mosebny,  he did not see fit however,  us officers had some wild races and lots of fun,  when in about 6 miles of Winchester a staff officer and I rode on ahead and galloped into town at least three miles ahed of the escort,  we had eaten our dinners by the time the rest came,  then we came on up to Kernstown where Genl. Sheridan now has his Head Quarters.  I found the Regt. by dark having ridden over 30 miles between the hours of 10" and 4. and making necessary stopages.  Rained this P.M.  Officers and men were as delighted to see me as I was to see them,  my arms are sore shaking hands, and I am sore all over from the ride,  it is the first I have had since I was at camp Distribution and am not used to it   of course, the horse I had is the lamest of us two I bet.


Sunday 27".  Very pleasant day,  had time to look arround   we are laying in a very pleasant position arround Kernstown,  the hills are well fortified and our posishion strong.  The men have excellent quarters for winter being most of them in little log houses which they have built.  I have been looking all arround  Lt. Cox my old messmate are going in togather.  he has a good log house built about 9 x 14 feet, a good fireplace, and very comfortable quarters.  1" Lt. Robinson, 1" Lt. Snyder, acting adjutant. 2" Lt.s. Cox and Hall commanding companies, not a Capt. in the Regt.  the boys are all looking fat and saucey.  Co. I hardly knew how to express their joy.  they say it is much better than pay day to see me back.  Wrote to Col. McKelvy  also to John Clemence.  I cannot send the letters for several days.  I will not write to my sister until I have a chance to send it.


Monday 28".  Rained last night but has been very pleasant to day  I was detailed as Brigade officer of the guard,  the brigade guards are all mounted togather now,  my duties have ben light,  I only had to make my rounds once or twice.  I made a certified invoice to-day and sent my ordnance report in,  it had been sent back for it (the invoice).  I wrote a letter to Mrs. P. J. Hawley, informing her of her husbands being missing on the march from Martinsburg to Winchester, we had Brigade Drss Parade to night. it is a big thing.


Tuesday 29"  Warm pleasant day,  the air smokey like indian summer  Snyder our Act. Adjt. was away and I had to act as Adjt.  I had to be on horse back,  we had Brigade drill and parade.  I find it much more pleasant being mounted than on foot.  I have made my Ordnance Report for the first part of the 3" Quarter/64.  that and my duties as Adjt has kept me buisy up to this time 9.25 P.M.


Wednesday 30"  Still warm and clear.  My conscience if this weather continues we shall have another fight.  I dont believe Genl. Sheridan can lay still if the weather will admit of his moving.  the climate is too uncertain however at this time of the year to trust much to it.  the rumor still continues that we (the 3" Corps) is to leave the Vally,  of course we all hope such will not be the case, but it is only hope.  Col. Trueax, 14" N.Y. Vols. who was dismissed last summer has been reinstated.


LETTER   Hd. Qrs. "I" Co. 106th N.Y. Vols.

Near Kernstown Va.  Wednesday Nov. 30" 1864

My Dear sister and Friends

I should have written you before but the mail which leaves tomorrow is the first one which has left since I have been here,  I stoped in Washington from the night of the 19" until the morning of the 25".  I had a splendid thanksgiving dinner with Col. Elison the Quartermaster of the Department of Washington,  there was several distinguished persons present,  still how gladly would I have exchanged the Col's. table for yours on that day.  I was interrupted in my letter for dress parade,  it is now nearly 9 P.M. but I will finish as I am sure you would like to hear from me,  I heard that there was but two company officers left in the Regt. so I would not stay in washington but hastened to the front.  We are having very pleasant weather here now,  the air is soft and balmy,  if you are having the same up there it must be your indian summer.  Our camp life was somewhat varied to-day by a squad of four native women passing through here,  they had came in through the pickets and were going to Sheridans Hd. Qrs. to make some request.  one of them was very prety   if the rest know when they are well off, they will let her do all the talking, for beauty has a great effect on an old soldier.  To day a recruit of Co. A. was in my quarters  he claims that his wife can foretell future events, also those which have transpired; to test the matter I have written her the following questions.  Am I a native of this country?  Am I married, have I or shall I have children?  Are my parents living?  Has my lawsuit commenced?  if so shall I be successfull?  When these questions are answered I shall inform you of the answers.  Anything to pass the time.

When you write you must be sure to inform me how the boy prospers  also how mother is getting along.  My love to Janey, Martha, Joe, Mother, and Perrys people.

I am sleeping on boards now, with only a slight cover over me, still I sleep much sounder than when I was sleeping on your soft beds.  I am now where the wind can come at my nose, which seems to be a great satisfaction to that important member, and has a soothing effect on all the rest.    

I remain your ever loving Brother.

A.T. LaForge

  Lt. Comdg "I" Co. 106" N.Y. Vols.


You can hardly imagine how pleasant and pleased the officers and men were to see me.  they all knew I had influence in Washington and supposed I would stop there,  they could hardly see how it was that I would not stop there when I could as well as not.

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