Private Louis J. Watkins 1st Maryland Cavalry Co.A C.S.A.

I recently had the chance to look over the wartime diary of Louis Watkins, a trooper in Company A of the 1st Maryland Cavalry. This diary is held by the University of Maryland Library. Watkins was a resident of Clarksville, Maryland in Howard County when the war broke out. While Watkins enlisted September 15th, 1862, this diary mostly covers events in the fall of 1864.  Below are several entries in Watkins diary:


A passage written by his brother as it appears in the diary:

In the danger of battle(,) in discease (sp) + all sickness my prayers are for thee. Although we may differ in opinion never for one moment shall the brotherly love I bear for thee change.

remember me  W. B. W……….


A passage dated September 16th shows the anger of the 1st Maryland Cavalry as there is an attempt to consolidate them with Harry Gilmor’s 2nd Maryland Cavalry:

Great excitement prevailed in the 1st MD cav today caused by General Lomax sending a petition to the Hon. Scty of War and approved by Lt General Early for the consolidation of the 1st MD cav with Gilmore’s (sp) battalion of cav with the following officers

Maj Hearry (sp) Gilmore for Colonel,  Capt G.(ustavus) W.(arfield) Dorsey of Co. K for Lt Col  and Capt George M(alcom) Emack of Co B 1st MD for MJR

The 1st MD commanded now by Capt William I Rasin (of Co E) entered a solomon (sp) protest against the consolidation + forward it to his excellancy President Davis. The 1st MD cav has gained for itself an enviable reputation under the skillfull leadership of the late gallant + lamented Lt Col Ridgely Brown and does not wish that name to sullied by connection with the disreputable band commanded by MJR Hearry Gilmore (sp)


And lastly a passage dated October 12th shows how the common soldier endured suffering:

Cav moved over the Massanuton (sp) cupp (?) to Luray thence to Milford. Our command was ordered back to Luray about one oclock at night. We mounted and moved in that direction. The night was bitter cold and the soldiers were poorly clad. No overcoats. We suffert (sp) very much. A great many of the command pulled to the woods built a fire and spent the night.

Published in: on July 13, 2009 at 11:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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