Private J. McClelland 1861 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT CIVIL WAR DIARY, JOURNAL AND MUSTER OF THE NEW YORK STATE MILITIA ANSWERING PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S CALL TO PUT DOWN THE INSURRECTION
ALBANY, New York 1861 Good+ Manuscript
On offer is a significant 1861 Albany, New York, REPUBLICAN ARTILLERY COMPANY, 25th REGIMENT, Company A, New York State Militia [NYSM] handwritten Civil War diary and journal completed by Private J. McClelland. On April 15th, 1861 President Lincoln called on the States to provide 75,000 militia men to meet the call of insurrection for a total of 3 months of duty. The 25th Regiment, Company A, NEW YORK STATE MILITIA was called up to answer President Lincoln request. This sensational artifact begins April 22 1861 to May 25th, 1861, nineteen pages text. For the most part it is written in one hand, in ink, starting with a list of all the officers and enlisted men (including musicians.) A total of 82 privates, 4 Sgt., 10 musicians, 4 corporals, 1 Capt. (J. Fredendall) and 3 Lieut.s (Myers, Pechim and Stackhouse.) Handwriting is very legible. It also lists 3 of the soldiers who died (including a Sgt. who started a diary of this company and died before completing it]. Research suggests this is not that diary but most likely a source that may have been used by McClelland. The diary is not in chronological order since there are early written references to June 1861 and then later May, 1861. The author was most likely was using recollections and written notes of the Sgt. who passed away as mentioned in this written account. This very scarce early Civil War diary highlights a meeting with President Lincoln, some fighting early in the war as the 25th took part in the advance into Virginia and occupation of Arlington Heights, May 24, 1861 and capturing rebel pickets, etc. Here are some snippets: "They left Albany on 4/22/1861 for Washington D.C. for 3 months. Did trench work at Arlington Heigths, Virg. starting June 20." "On April 28th marched to Casperi's [?] House. Tuesday, the 30th, the troops were visited by "Abe the President" and Seward. On May 4th sworn to service to the U.S. service to May 23rd. On the 23rd moved into Virginia with 14,000 other troops and arrived at Roach's house..who at 4 a.m. took out a pistol and was subdued by the troops. At 8 a.m. saw 2 cavalry pickets who attempted to flee, were captured and brought under guard and marched to Washington." "The Rifle Co., being in the rear of the regiment kept on the raid to Harper's Ferry instead of turning to Alexandria as the regiment did." "On May 25th, a report went to Washington that they were being cut to pieces and Sherman's battery came over a long bridge, flying to our assistance." This leather bound ledger style book was used as the diary/journal, along with some Masonic information since McClellan was the treasurer of a Masonic Temple in Wadsworth, N.Y. A scarce first hand account of the early Militia and its duties and battle in the Civil War. There are also some bit of ephemera including a few newspaper clippings found in the diary relating to McClellan as a Mason.