Willoughby Whidden's Civil War Diary

- Provided by Joseph Denton Cash -


Notes by Joseph Denton Cash:

I and my wife copied the diary individually and then compared our editing and made corrections where we could.  I also photographed each page with a digital camera.  A third cousin remembered that she had it and dug it out and loaned to to me to copy.  She gave permission to let it be distributed. 

The spelling and such is exactly as the diary reads.  Notice sometimes he abbreviates, M.O. is morning of,  Some words are spelled differently from entry to entry. Night is sometimes spelled knight.  The Griffin mentioned as wounded at Atlanta is my G G G-father George W. Griffin on my mothers side.  His son is the one who married into the Whidden side.  Jesse M. Griffin married Ella Lee Whidden.  She is daughter of John Whidden, brother to Elias and Tempey. 

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Read a brief biography of Willoughby Whidden


The Diary Willoughby Whidden carried with him during the Civil War 


Page 1 


                   Febr the 17/4 

Willoughby Whidden was born the 5th day of February 1836 

left home on the 24 of July 1861 and joined State Service mustered as Confederate Service the 24 of Octr 1861 

page 2 

Drawn from the Government.  June the 9,2 pr of drawers, 1 pr of pants.  +Oct the 21 pr of shoes, pr socks 1 shirt.  Oct 4th pr of pants.  Nov 4th pr jacket.  Nov 20 1 blanket, 1 pr drawers 

page 3 

Battle of Chickamauga the 19 & 20th of Septr.  Battle of Missionary Ridge the 25 Nov A.D. 1863.  The 19 & 20 Chick Jackson the enemy came up the 10 of July falling back from Jackson the knight of the 17th of July 

page 4 

left camp & formed line of Battle Feby the 23rd 1864 in line of battle the 24 all quiet up to 12 clk the evening attack made heavy scrimishing & canonading the 25 heavy scrmishg all morning  cav raid on the right on 23rd  heavy canoning 12 oclk 25 light scrmishing the 26 the 27 all quiet and the enemy retreating

page 5

May the 7th 1864
Returned to our old quarters the 28  Remained in camp till the 7th of May and left camp for Line of Battle the 8 heavy scrimishing on the left 9 light scrimishing 10 heavy canonading and scrimishing 11 one charge 12 heavy canonading come to Resacca on the 13 fighting on the 14 & 15 on the 16th moved on to Calhoun

page 6

on the 17 moving on to Ladore heavy scrimishing on the evening of the 16 & 17 and at knight we marched al knight camped on the 18th near Kingston the 19 heavy scrimishing at Cassville on the 20 moved back to Cartersville camped on the 21 3 miles of Carterville also the 22 we marched on the 23 on the 24

page 7

still marching and met the enemy at Dalis and checked them and remained there the 25 heavy engagement in the evening on the right the 26 on the 27 heavy scrmishing Bates division charged the yankee Breastworks on the 28  evening 29 scrimishing and several charges during the knight 30 light scirmishing also the thirty first June

page 8

June the 1st 1864
he 1st yankee left there Breastworks 2nd light scirmishing our division moved on the right 3rd light scirmishing the 4th all apparently quiet the enemy moving to the right the 5th all quiet the 6 still moving to the right the 7th all quiet alson on the 9 10th scirmishing and canonading 11th dito the 12 heavy scrimishing and canonading 13 light scrim and verry

Page 9

rainy a.k. On picket 14 heavy scrim and can 15th and a charge in evening 16th heavy can and Fla Brig charged to the left two oclk fell back 3 miles 17 fortifying 18 lay in the breastworks and heavy scrim and can all day also the 19th fell back one and a half miles and Fla Brig in Reserve 20th heavy picket fight for a hill and heavy art and 21 hard

page 10 

scrim & artilery duel 22 Hancock wounded Hoods corps made charge 23 hard scirm and heavy can all along the line 24 light scirm very little artilery 25 scirmishing and some canonading from the mountain on the 26 light scirm Fla Brigade moved one mile in support of Cheaturns Div 27 the enemy made a charge on

page 11

Mannes an Vorns Brigades and were repulsed with much loss Fla Brigade was brought to the breastworks under heavy artilery firing 28 lying in the trenches sharp shooting going on from our works 29 an armistress and no firing in our fromt till one aclk and the enemy burying there dead 

page 12 

July the 1st 1864
a charge at knight 30 sharp shooting from the Breastworks relarm relarm at knight July the first this good day came in quietly sharpshooting going on 2nd heavy firing of canon & sharpshooting at four oclk a move anticipated at 11 oclk at knight we moved out all quiet marched till nine oclk of the 3rd and formed our line and

page 13

made breastworks the enemy came in sight some artilery were fired the morning of the 4th likely for rain but pleasant some artilery firing I had a nice cup of coffee for breakfast the evening heavy artilery firing & scirmishing news at sundown of the enemy making a flank movement we left our breastworks at 12 oclk

 page 14

marched 3 miles stacked arms 8 oclk morn of 5th there made brestworks the enemy advanced up canonading & scrim in evening A.K. on Picket the 6th all quiet as usual a few canon fired in the even 7 light scrim and but little artilery firing Fla Brig moved to the front works on the 8th on the 9th light scrim and canonading the army pulling back across

page 15

the Chattahochee the m. o. of the 10th found us in 4 miles of Atlanta all quiet where we remained till the 11th some canon and scirm near the river rec'd two mo pay 12 remained all quiet 13 could hear some scirm and canon firing 14 about the same 15th all quiet with us some canon firing

page 16

in direction of the river

16th dito 17 orders to be ready to move but did not move 18th all apparently still some firing in direction of river News of General Johnson giving up Command of Army  Hood assumes comd we moved to the right formed line of Battle at knight built works 19 scirm in our

page 17

front 20th canon firing commenced in the morning a charge made on the enemy in the evening 21 marched through Atlanta about 8 oclk Gen Hardees Corps moving 22 and made a charge on the enemy but got repulsed with ... several loss of Fla brigade Lt Collans Private Black

page 18

of Co A and K wouded & Griffin Co K 23 made breastworks left about 4 oclk in the evening and came back to Atlanta & formed near the West Point road on the 24th made more breastworks 25 still at work with out moving 26 quiet except canon firing also 27 on the 28th a charge made on our left our loss very heavy Fla Brigade

page 19

Aug the 1st
ordered out but order countermanded after going half a mile 29 some cannonading round the line 30th left our entrenches moved half mile and camp August the 1st moved round to the extreme left 2 Bates Division moved to the right center where we lay in reserve all day 3rd the 1st & 4 sent out on picket 4 made

page 20

picket works all day on the 5th the yanks drove in our vicinity at daylight sharpshooting all day Owen Anders killed one of Co V wounded the 6th heavy scrimishing A J Fisher killed 7 moved back to the breastworks heavy scrimishing 8 quiet but heavy scrimishing and artilery duel 9th 1st & 4 & 1 & 3 Fla on


picket sharpshooting all day 10th constantly a cannon firing and sharpshooting 11th scrimishing 1st &4 1 & 3 Fla on picket 12 light scrim and cannonading 13 dito 14th a few shots fired from artilery and our men communication with the yanks 15th quiet as cern... 16 ords for no communications with yanks 17 dito

page 22

18th opened fire at 10 oclk sharpshooting in our front the 4th left in reserve and went 3 miles to the left and returned after knight 19th all apparently quiet in morning some can after noon 20th some canonading 21st heavy cannon duel in the morning otherwise all quiet 22 all as usual quiet 23 quiet in front of

page 23

Bates Div cannonading on the right and left 24 1st & 3 !st & 4 on picket times usually quiet also 25th 26 some cannonading all day supposition of the yanks retreating 27 verry little firing the yanks moved from our front 28 Browns Div charge to the left 11/2 miles from Reoff & ready there made works 29 moved to the left ... Fla

page 24

Brigade went to stop a rading party made works 30 moved at sundown & arrived at Jonesboro on the 31st and found line of battle at 2 oclk  We moved forward and struck the breastworks & was taken prisoner after laying under heavy fire for two hours

page 25

Sept the 1st
lying in the rear garded by mr yank the 2nd news by the yanks that Atlanta was in hand of them we were moved two miles south of Jonesboro 3 come back to Jonesboro & camped 4th marching for Atlanta at 4 oclk and was put in the barack 5th remained in the barracks

page 26

Sept 6th still in barracks 7 & 8 9th drawing half rations S the 10th  D llth still in Atlanta M 12th  T 13.. W 14 T 15th  F 16th S 17th D 18th M 19th taken the cars from Atlanta to Reoff & Ready and was exchanged an marched one mile and a half an camped the 20th marched to Jonesboro left there in the evening on rout for the command 21 marched on for

page 27

The command camped in a house 22 got to camp 23rd remain in camp all quiet 24 25 & 26, 27, 28 orders to move on the 29 Davis visiting the 24th moved at 7oclk the 29 crossed the Chattahoochee an camped marched at 7 oclk the 30 12 miles and camped Jas A Whidden belongs to the 9 Fla regt Co B

page 28

Oct the 1st
1st marched till 3 oclk and camped the 2nd marched till 9 oclk at knight an camped 3 marched12 miles camped.  Canonading in direction of Marietta 4th made works 5th still making abut.. and improving works the 6th left our works on the march camped about 4oclk after marching 7 miles of verry muddy road 7 move on 14 miles and

page 29

and camped 8th camped 1 mile of Sedar Town 9 marched 11 miles an camped 10th crossed the Coosy river and camped 11 traveled all day 12 marched all day and camped at Sugar Valley 13 ocupying our old works at Dalton and tairing the railroad left and marched for Layfayet on the 14th \15 got to Layfayet 16

page 30

left Layfaett 17 moved on an camped at Alpine 18th moved 14 miles an camped 19 marched 13 miles 20 camped at Gadsden 21 remained at Gadsden 22 marched also 23 and 24 & 25 marched across San Mountain & camped 26 moved on for Decatur 27 throwing a few shell in Decatur and scrimishing also 28, 29 left Decatur 30 marched

page 31

31st marched to Tuscumby and camped Tuscumbia and remained till the 5th and remained till the 7 and still remained till the 12th the 13 we crossed the Tennessee and came through Florence one mile and camped 14th building breastworks stoped at Florence till the 21 we marched the first snow fell the 21st

page 32

22nd marched some snow fell 23rd camp at Wainsboro for the knight 24th marched all day 25th marched and captured 40 yankees at Henry'sville 26 marched and passed through Mount Pleasant and camped two miles from Columbia and conmenced scrimishing 27 lay round the town some light scrimishing all day

page 33


the yankees fell back at knight across the river 28 some few canon firing and sharp shooting across the Duck river we rested all day 28 of 29 we crossed Duck river and scrimished all day and captured 1 batery in the evening 30 the yanks retreated to Franklin there made a stand we come up at 4 oclk and commenced fighting

page 34 

the fight lasted rapidly all knight till before day light they evacuated the place

the 1st 1864 a great many lay dead and wounded on the battlefield of both sides the rebels lay dead on the works of the yankees and some got killed it side of the works

page 35

Our men was engaged all day burying the dead and taken up the wounded Gen Clayburn was killed Brig Gen Strallss estimate of our loss 7000 550 killed dead 2 we marched in direction of Murfreesboro camp at Tryune Gen Adams & Gen Giss was killed 3rd marched 7 ½ a.m. And camped 5 miles of Murfreesboro

page 36

4th marched three miles and struck the pike leading to Knashvill commenced shelling the yankees blockhouse in the evening the enemy advanced on cavalry and infantry a fight of a few minutes ensued the Fla Brigade suffered severely 5th camped 6th moved to the old battle ground and went to making works 7 the yanks charged us and taken me

page 37

Decr       Jany 1865
prisoner and carriedme to the front 8 9 10 remained in prison verry cold and sleety 13th still remained in prison and remained in Murfreesboro till the 2 of January and taken the  cars for Knashville the 3rd lay over in Nashville 4th left an traveled for Louisvill 5th landed and 6th lay in baracks and 7th on 8th the 9th we left Louisvill passed through Indianapolis l0 an on

page 38

the ll we landed at Columbia and went in the barracks at Camp Chase Ohio remaining in till the 12 of May we had frost and ice on the 12th in the prison & released from prison on the 12 of June on the 13 of we were making ready for leaving Columbus Ohio landed at Cincinnatte

page 39

June on the 13 & 14th we left on boat for Louisville landed L.. the morning of the 15th left Louisville forNashville at 6 oclk p.m. 16th arrived at N    7 oclk a.m. 17 left N     and got to Chattanooga 18 taken the train for Cartersvill 19 marched all day 20 arrived at Atlanta 21 got to Macon left Macon the

page 40

22 for Ufala & lay over at Eufala the 23 also 24th 25 26 27 come to the Chattahoochee 28 on rout for Quincy 29 lay over in Quincy & 30 taken the train for Lake City arrived at 4 oclk