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Pease, Harvey U.
Manuscript Civil War Diary and Ephemera of Pvt. Harvey U. Pease, bugler, of Battery M, 1st Regiment of New York Light Artillery, kept while on the “Atlanta Campaign” and “Sherman’s March to the Sea,” 1864

12mo pocket diary for 1864, 183 manuscript pp., bound in original limp leather, with flap, two days entries per page; worn at edges, entries written in pencil, in a legible hand; includes an additional 37 pp. of memoranda, notes and cash accounts at rear which includes a list of officers, soldiers, battles, etc., with remarks; ownership inscription on front flyleaf “Harvey Pease / Battery M / 1st N.Y. Artillery.”

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Also included with Pease’s diary are the following 2 photographs and 8 ephemeral items:

1 - sixth plate tintype photograph, of Pvt. Harvey U. Pease, with label “Harvey Pease at end of Civil War,” not dated, circa 1865 (not in uniform), in contemporary embossed thermoplastic case.

1 - black and white photograph (2 ½” x 3”) of Enoch Pease (1794-1882), father of Pvt. Harvey U. Pease, labeled, but not dated, circa 1860s-1882.

1 - membership card for Harvey U. Pease for membership in Company B, Infantry of the 66th Regiment, 29th Brigade, 8th Division, New York State Militia, enlisted “December 12, 1857,” measures 4 ¾” x 3 ¼”.

1 - military enlistment paper for Harvey U. Pease for three years military service, dated Wilson, NY 9 Oct 1861, partially printed and completed in manuscript, signed by Pease and the local Justice of the Peace, measures 7 ½” x 6 ½”.

1 - military discharge paper for Harvey U. Pease, dated 5 February 1864, measures 8 ½” x 10 ½”. He was discharged from his initial 3-year enlistment and re-enlisted as a “veteran.”

2 - Grand Army of the Republic cloth ribbons: 1 colored red printed “Post / Peter A. Porter / No. 126 / G.A.R.”; the other colored blue printed “G.A.R. / Dept of N.Y. / Delegate / Rochester”.

1 - Grand Army of the Republic medal, “Grand Army of the Republic / 1861 / Veteran / 1865.”

1 - metal pair cuff links, labeled “Grandfather Shover’s cuff links.” (Presumably Henry Everett Shover (1812-1893), father of Pvt. Harvey U. Pease’s second wife Margaret Rebecca “Maggie” Shover).

4 - metal buttons, labeled “Button’s from Father’s army uniform,” presumably from Pvt. Harvey U. Pease’s Civil War uniform.

1 - plain metal ring, somewhat rusty, neither labeled, nor engraved.

Pvt. Harvey U. Pease (1841-1917)

Harvey Usher Pease was born 19 August 1841, in Wilson, Niagara County, New York, the son of Enoch Pease (1795-1884), a farmer, and his wife Eliza Ann Douglas (1800-1849), both born in Maine. Harvey was 18 years old when the 1860 Census was taken and was enumerated living at home in Wilson, New York with his parents and working on the family farm.

     As a youth Pease appears to have joined Company B, of the 66th Infantry Regiment, 29th Brigade, 8th Division, New York State Militia. (A card in this collection shows that he became a member on 12 December 1857; the date that the company was organized). When the Civil War began, Harvey was prepared for military service. He served during the Civil War as a private with Captain John D. Woodbury’s Battery M, 1st Regiment of New York Light Artillery Volunteers. He was enrolled on 5 October 1861 to serve three years and mustered in on 19 November 1861 at Albany. Pease was discharged from service on 5 October 1864 at Bridgeport, Alabama by reason of re-enlisting as a veteran. On February 5, 1864, a sufficient number of the original number of Battery M signed papers to "veteranize," and a few days thereafter sixty-three men were mustered out of their old terms of enlistment and mustered in for a new period of three years. Pease appears to have been one of these men who were ‘veteranized.” He was eventually promoted to full bugler and served till the end of the war.

     Battery M was recruited principally by Capt. Geo. W. Cothran at Rochester, Albany and Lockport, New York. It served in and around Washington, D. C., from November, 1861; in Williams' Division, 5th Corps, Army of Potomac, from February, 1862; in the Army, Department of Shenandoah, from April, 1862; in the 1st Division, 2d Corps, Army of Virginia, from June 26, 1862; in the 1st Division, I2th Corps, Army of Potomac, from September, 1862; in the Artillery Brigade, 12th Corps, from April, 1863; in the 1st Division, 12th Corps, from November, 1863; in the 1st Division, 2Oth Corps, from April, 1864; and in the Artillery Brigade, 20th Corps, from July, 1864. It was honorably discharged and mustered out, commanded by Capt. Edward H. Underbill, June 23, 1865, at Rochester.

   During the course of the war, Battery M saw action in some of the major battles and conflicts, including: Battle of Winchester (May 1862); Battle of Cedar Mountain (Aug 1862); Second Battle of Bull Run (Aug 1862); Battle of Antietam (Sept 1862); Battle of Chancellorsville (May 1863); Battle of Gettysburg (July 1863); Siege of Atlanta (July-Aug 1864); Bennett’s House (Apr 1865); amongst many others.

    The diary offers much on the Atlanta Campaign of the summer of 1864. April-Attached to Artillery, 1st Division, 20th Army Corps. The battery was issued with six 12-pound Napoleons; May 1 to September 8 - Atlanta Campaign; May 8-13 - Operations about Rocky Faced Ridge, Tunnel Hill and Buzzard’s Roost Gap; May 14-15 - Battle of Resaca; May 19 – Cassville; May 25 - New Hope Church; May 26-June 5 - Operations on line of Pumpkin Vine Creek and battles about Dallas, New Hope Church and Allatoona Hills; June 10-July 2 - Operations about Marietta and against Kennesaw Mountain; June 11-14- Pine Hill; June 15-17 - Lost Mountain; June 15 - Gilgal or Golgotha Church where the battery lost one man killed; June 17 - Muddy Creek; June 19 - Noyes Creek; June 22 - Kolb’s Farm where the battery lost one man killed and one mortally wounded; June 27 - Assault on Kennesaw; July 4 - Ruff’s Station, Smyrna Camp Ground; July 5-17 - Chattahoochee River; July 19-20 - Peach Tree Creek; July 22-August 25 - Siege of Atlanta, assigned to Artillery Brigade, 20th Army Corps, the battery lost one man killed in the works before Atlanta; August 26-September 2 - Operations at Chattahoochee River Bridge; September 2-November 15 - Occupation of Atlanta, Captain Woodbury resigned; November 15-December 10 -March to the sea; December 10-21 - Siege of Savannah.

    After the war, Harvey returned to Wilson, New York, where he continued to work as a farmer. He married first Lucretia Mitchell (1845-1873) and together they had two daughters, Ann Eliza Pease (1870-1875) and Katie “Hattie” Pease (1871-1951). Harvey shows up on the 1875 New York State Census for 1875 living with his parents and his daughter Hattie, his wife and first daughter having died.

    After his first wife’s early death in 1873, Harvey was married a second time to Margaret Rebecca “Maggie” Shover (1850-1902) on 30 September 1875. She was the daughter of Henry Everett Shover (1812-1893) and his wife Rebecca Misner (1815-1877).

    The 1880 Census shows Harvey and his family living in Wilson, however, when the 1900 Census was taken, he was now living with his wife and children in Indiana, working a farm in Center, Marion County. By 1900 there were four children born to Harvey and Rebecca: Charles R. Pease (1876-1957); Emma B. Pease (1878-); Neil Hazel Pease (1880-1979); and Lafayette F. Pease (1885-1967).

    He was active in the Peter A. Porter Post Lodge, of the G.A.R. at Wilson, New York. Pease went west to Missouri in 1889 to see about seeking a veteran’s claim, which may be how, or why, he ended up in Indiana. Pease is mentioned in the Buffalo Evening News of 27 December 1889 as taking up a claim in Missouri and that he would soon be moving his family there. Harvey filed for a veteran’s invalid pension in July 1891. After relocating to Indiana, he became active in the Indianapolis G.A.R.’s Major Robert Anderson Post, and was elected commander in 1914.

    After surviving the Civil War, Harvey suffered a fractured skull when he was run down by an automobile, he died on 4 June 1917. He was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana. He was listed as a retired farmer on his death certificate.

       Sample Quotes from Diary:

            Pease’s entries while in camp are beyond terse, however, when engaged in battle or at the front his entries capture the events he witnessed succinctly and crisply.

“February 6, 1864

Reenlisted for the war as Veterans Volunteers at Bridgeport, Alabama, 3 years from today.”

“May 3, 1864

Started at sunrise and marched in a southernly direction until four o’clock with the entire corps and that night slept on the battle field of Chickamauga.”


“May 5, 1864

On the march toward Atlanta very hot & dry marched until four & camped on the banks of the Chickamauga Creek. Expect to fight on the morrow. The boys are ready, but they dread the rise of tomorrow’s sun. We have the right of Thomas’ Army, 20th Division.”


“May 7, 1864

Rouses up long before the break of day and leaving our knapsacks behind, started for Dalton, found the Rebs four miles of Dalton, but a slight skirmish with Cal. Camp near Tunnel Hill.”


“May 8, 1864

Camp Trickum, Georgia. Army of the Cumberland in line of battle, expecting every moment to hear the cannon of the rebel Johnson open the fight. Occasionally a gun is heard in the distance and then all is silent again.”


“May 9, 1864

Camp in line of battle. Trickum pickets firing forenoon. Skirmishing all the long hot sultry day, but no heavy fighting. Good news from the Army of the Potomac. Grant driving Lee before him.”


“May 12, 1864

The Army of Gen. Johnson in a tight place. Our Army in the best of spirits. Bands playing and the spring campaign looks bright and glorious. On the march toward Atlanta, feel rather old.”


“May 13, 1864

In line of Battle, picket firing and heavy shooting all day.”


“May 14, 1864

Heavy fighting all day. Our battery on the field just as the darkness put an end to the fight. Marched and countermarched till ten o’clock at night then slept on the field.”


“May 15, 1864

Battle of Resaca

Commenced about 12 o’clock and lasted until dark. Rebs retreated in the night for Atlanta. Skirmishing 11 days.”


“May 16, 1864

Morning after. Rebs seem to be scarce, don’t know what’s to pay. All gone. Thomas in hot pursuit. Good news from Meade.”


“May 17, 1864

On the march toward Atlanta. Rebel Johnson in full retreat. In country through here looks good. Rye headed out; crops looks well. Plenty of ham & flour.”


“May 18, 1864.

On the march towards Atlanta, feel tip top. The Army in fine spirits. 140,000 strong, confident of success. What more is wanted? Corn up in rows. Wheat head out in places.”


“May 19, 1864

On the march. Skirmishing with the Johnnys all day. Our Corps in line of battle. Slept by our guns. Johnson falling back slowly. Slept in line of battle. Picket firing all night.”


“May 25, 1864

On the march at day light again. Reveille sounds every morn at 5 o’clock. This march is very hard on the soldiers and I sometimes wish that I were at home, an intense longing to get away comes over me, but hope says take courage. I endure it all with out a murmur. Afternoon run into the Rebs. Sharp engagement.”


“May 28, 1864

Battle of Dallas. Picket firing all day long steady heavy fighting on the right & left. Reb’s charged on our battery, oh great Rebellion how the bullets and canister sung. One-man Bundy wounded, one horse killed. Another long day gone.”


“May 29, 1864

On the battle field. Heavy firing all day. Terrific night attacks. One horse killed; one-man Smith leg broke. Battery M mowed down the Rebs with canister at a terrible rate. No sleep for me.”


“May 30, 1864

Battle still going on. It is amusing to see the boys duck when a bullet passes near them, but they are getting used to it and stand up like Vets. But many a poor fellow is falling pierced by the flying balls. One man saw a lightning bug took it for a Reb and the whole Army fired.”


“June 23, 1864

Laid all day behind the breast works, expecting an attack; but the Rebs showed not their heads. The ground in front of Battery M covered with dead rebels who fell in the battle yesterday. Loud cannonading on the left. Good news from Grant, Sherman’s A in fine spirits.”


“July 23, 1864

Before Atlanta. Skirmishing all day, about noon Rebs advanced in line but made nothing. 24 days under fire on this campaign. 24 days. 8th fight today.”





“July 24, 1864

Before Atlanta. 25th day. All quite along the line. Boom boom now & then and then a shot from a sharpshooter. About ten in the evening the whole line of artillery opened & soon the skirmishers charged with yells backed by the whole army, bugles sounding the charge and all.”


“July 28, 1864

Before Atlanta. Forenoon quiet. Afternoon right wing fighting heavily. Camp kettles flew over us too I reckon many prisoners taken deserters come in before our lines every day. Boys feel fine while the Johnnys are despondent. 29th day.”


“July 29th, 1864

Before Atlanta. Rebel Army rather low spirited. At least 20,000 of its h s been put hours de combat, since we crossed the Chattahoochee. At every charge & every engagement they leave their dead strewn thickly behind them. And now we can see the large buildings and steeples very plainly. Our boys that are dressed in blue are slowly making round it, soon she falls.”


“August 4, 1864

In the Trenches before Atlanta. Boys are getting picked off very fast by sharpshooters. Yesterday fighting on the right. In it along the lines today. Exped an attack in our front, but were disappointed. 36th day.”


“August 10, 1864

Before Atlanta. Rain every day &c. Heavy cannonading, sharp picket firing. Gen. Sherman made us a visit.”


“September 2, 1864

Before Atlanta. Grant holds the Weldon R.R. 20th Corps under Major Gen. Sherman marched into Atlanta planted the Stars & Stripes on the court house and city hall.”


“September 29, 1864

Atlanta. Appointed bugler, commenced to practice. My hopes at last realized.”


“December 5, 1864

Onward is the word. Nothing unusual today. Road lined with niggers, wenches, dogs, cows, &c. 55 miles from the coast. Getting in the neighborhood of Johnnies, forage getting scarce.”