The Sesquicentennial Diary Blog of Cyrus Forwood, Delaware Civil War Soldier Cyrus Forwood Diary Blog Home Visit the Delaware Public Archives' Website Visit the Delaware Sesquicentennial American Civil War Commemmoration Website

Archive for April

April 28, 1862: William Mahan Shot in Arm

Saturday, 28 April, 2012

Diary Entry:
William Mahan “A” Co. shot in the arm whilst attempting to cross the line of sentinels.

See the scanned diary page.

More Information:

According to the Delaware Compiled Service Records, William Mahan enlisted in the 2nd Delaware Regiment, Company A as a Private on May 21, 1861, in Dover, DE. He was 33 years old and was 6 feet tall with dark complection, blue eyes and dark hair. Born inCecil County, Maryland, he listed his occupation as a blacksmith and a cooper.

Mahan’s service records shows that he spent much of the war in the hospital. He must have been recently released when the incident that Cyrus wrote about occurred since records show he spent March and April 1862 sick in the hospital.

An injury report shows that Mahan suffered a “fracture of right humerus with shortening” in May 1862. Beginning in May 1862, the Patterson Park U.S.A. General Hospital listed him on the Hospital Muster Roll.  By spring 1863, he was well enough to serve as a hospital attendant, and in October 1863 he was transferred to the Invalid Corps.

April 25, 1862: Received Pay

Friday, 27 April, 2012

Diary Entry:
Recieved $26.00 pay to March 1st 62.

See the scanned diary page.

The April 25, 1862, issue of the Delaware State Journal and Statesman made note of a practice of attempting to defraud the U.S. Treasury by tearing U. S. Treasury notes and suggested the best way to handle said notes:

The practice of mutilating Treasury Notes by tearing off the corners and cutting pieces from them for the purpose of defrauding the Treasury by making up an entire bill out of the detached pieces, has grown so common that the Treasury Department has resolved not to redeem any bill at par unless it is whole, and to deduct one dollar for every tenth part of a note torn off, and in that proportion for larger amounts removed. The best way to deal with these mutilated Treasury Notes is, for the public to refuse to take them; just as they refuse to take clipped and punch coin. By refusing to take them, the loss will fall upon the rogues who originated the practice.

April 23, 1862: Left Camp Andrew

Monday, 23 April, 2012

Diary Entry:
This morning we left Camp Andrew, or Stewart’s Grove as the place was formerly called. I was detailed with seven others to look after the commissary stores and therefore had to remain in Camp Andrew until near 3 o’c. P.M. On my way to our new camp at Ft Marshall, Ft Murray, Snake Hill or Potters Hill, whichever it may be called, I visited Pattersons Park, which is garrisoned by Co. “K” of our Regt. The Park is a pleasant place. It is used partly as a hospital. 62 Regts. are represented there by sick and wounded soldiers.

On my arrival here (Ft Marshall) I found Companies “B,” “E,” “F,” and “H” were quartered in the Ft. and “A,” “C,” “D,” “G,” and “I,” in quarters outside. The hill on which the Ft is built commands the city, the River, Ft McHenry, Federal Hill, and Pattersons Park. The fort is an earthwork, mounts 33 guns of 42, 32 and 24 pounds each.

See scanned diary pages 13 and 14 and a map of Cyrus’ Progress.

More Information:
After staying at Baltimore’s Camp Andrew for nearly a month, Cyrus received orders to move to Fort Marshall in the eastern part of the city.

Fort Marshall occupied the precipice known as Snake Hill, Murray’s Hill, or Mount Washington near the intersection of Foster Avenue and Conkling Streets.

At one point Fort Marshall was armed with from 50 to 60 guns of 32- and 42-pounders, in addition to Columbiads (large-caliber, smooth bore, muzzle loaded cannon). No traces of the fort remains today and it is now the site of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

During the Civil War, part of Patterson Park became Camp Washburn and a hospital (Camp Patterson Park) was also established there.

Sources: Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Digital Collections History of Maryland by John Thomas Scharf

April 19, 1862: One Year Ago

Thursday, 19 April, 2012

Diary Entry:
One year ago to day the memorable riot occurred in Baltimore. What a wide difference there is between the two days. To day the Stars and Stripes were floating everywhere through the City. One patriotic citizen displayed 34 flags on his house. I was in town this evening. I have made very pleasant acquaintances in Baltimore.

See the scanned diary page.

More Information:
Following the firing of shots on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteer militiamen to assemble and protect Washington, DC. Southern sympathizers in Maryland worried that Lincoln was actually gathering troops to occupy their state and force it to remain in the Union.

Tensions in Baltimore were already high before the 35 rail cars of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts troops arrived at the President Street Railroad Station  from Philadelphia on April 19. The troops needed to transfer to the Camden Street Station, 10 blocks away, to continue traveling south to Washington, and there was no easy way to get there. Some of the soldiers were transported by horse-drawn rail cars, while four companies of the 6th Massachusetts Regiment marched in formation across the city. Both groups were met with southern sympathizers shouting support for the Confederacy, throwing stones at the soldiers, and otherwise blocking their routes through the city.

At one point during the march along Pratt Street, a shot rang out. The inexperienced, frightened, and armed soldiers on foot opened fire on the crowd. Mayhem ensued. Approximately fourteen people died and many more citizens and soldiers were wounded.

Eventually all of the soldiers reached the Camden Street Station, and departed for Washington by train, with the help of Mayor George William Brown and Police Marshal George P. Kane. Civil unrest continued through the night after the troops left as southern sympathizers destroyed railroad bridges in and around Baltimore, effectively cutting it off from neighboring cities.

Mayor Brown sent telegrams to President Lincoln asking that no more Federal soldiers be sent through Baltimore due to the unrest. An awkward peace settled on the city as northern troops were directed to avoid the city going forward.

Ultimately, Maryland remained in the Union, but the state had no shortage of Confederate supporters. In striking contrast to Cyrus’ experiences in Baltimore the following year, few buildings displayed United States flags in April 1861; Confederate and Maryland state flags were reportedly much more common.

Sources: Maryland in the Civil War by Harold Manakee, Maryland Voices in the Civil War edited by Charles W. Mitchell.

April 17, 1862: In Town

Tuesday, 17 April, 2012

Diary Entry:
In town again this evening.

See the scanned diary page.

April 13, 1862: Church on Fayette Street

Friday, 13 April, 2012

Diary Entry:
I was in Baltimore this morning. Went to Fayette St. Church. The first time I have been out in town since our arrival in Baltimore. I saw an Undertakers sign on the 1st Story of a house and a Dancing Masters sign on the 2nd Story.

In town again tonight, the first pass I have yet had at night. Went to Seaman’s Bethel: going in, some little boys wanted some soldier buttons. one of them wanted five. gave one a tin and the other a bone button. boys thought they were not the kind they wanted.

See the scanned diary page.

More Information:
April 13, 1862, was a Sunday and Cyrus spent the morning at a church on Fayette Street. Although we don’t know which church he attended, Fayette Street was only a few blocks away from Camp Andrew.

Seamen’s Bethels were established in port cities as a cleaner and more moral alternative to waterfront dives and sailors’ boardinghouses. Although every city’s Seamen’s Bethel was  different, many of them had libraries, boarding rooms, and common areas for sailors and other visitors. Baltimore’s was built in 1826 and operated by the Seamen’s Union Bethel Society of Baltimore .

Sources: Seamen’s Missions: Their Origin and Early Growth by Roald Kverndal

April 11, 1862: Snow and a Salute

Wednesday, 11 April, 2012

Diary Entry:
Six inches of snow this morning, which is more than we saw at any time during the winter. This evening Battery L fired a salute of 34 rounds in honor of the recent victories.

See the scanned diary page.

More Information:
Battery L of the 1st New York Light Artillery had been stationed at Camp Andrew in Baltimore since late-February 1862, and remained there through most of May. Battery L, also known as Reynolds’ Battery, was organized in the fall of 1861.

It’s hard to say what victories in particular Cyrus was referring to in this diary entry. He may have been thinking of the Union victories at Forts Henry and Donelson in Tennessee that occurred in February or of the more recent  Battle of Shiloh on April 6 and 7.

The Battle of Shiloh took place near Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee, 22 miles north of Corinth, Mississippi, an important intersection of the railroads in the region. 23,746 men were killed, wounded or missing from both the Union and Confederate armies during the battle. Shiloh showed that the war was probably going to be drawn out and deadly. The battle also made it possible for the Union to eventually gain control of Corinth and the major railroads in northern Mississippi.

Cyrus and the soldiers at Camp Andrew may also have heard news of the Union victory in the Battle of Fort Pulaski, near Savannah, Georgia, on April 10 and 11, 1862. The Federals used 36 guns placed in 11 batteries on nearby Tybee Island to bombard the walls of the fort until the Confederates surrendered. The battle was significant because it was the first use of rifled artillery to destroy a masonry fort. Victory at Fort Pulaski also meant that the Union could close Savannah as a port and extend their blockade of Atlantic coastal cities farther south.