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Lovejoy, John M.
Manuscript Diary of Pvt. John M. Lovejoy, of Roseboom, Otsego County, New York, kept while serving in Co. G, 121st Regiment New York Volunteers, 1864-1865

12mo pocket diary, 192 manuscript pages of diary entries, plus 36 pp. of miscellaneous notes and cash accounts; entries dated 1 December 1864 to 25 May 1865; 6 July to 12 July 1865; 22 July 1865; and 17 October 1865 to 24 October 1865, bound in original limp leather with flap, one day entry per page format; binding worn and scuffed, entries written in ink, in a legible hand. The entries for December 1864 are written in the section for December 1865; part of the miscellaneous pages are accounts dated from 1882, unclear if they are Lovejoy’s notes, or not. The front inside flyleaf is inscribed “Private John M. Lovejoy / Co. G. 121st Regt. N.Y.S. Vols. / His Diary for 1865 / Purchased at Cooperstown / November 17th 1864 / Cost $0.80 at Ruggels.”

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Pvt. John M. Lovejoy (1843- aft 1880)

John M. Lovejoy (1843- aft 1880) was born in Roseboom, New York on 25 May 1843, the son of Andrew Lovejoy (1790-1850) and Sally (1805 – aft 1880) of Roseboom, Otsego County, New York—some 50 miles west of Albany, not far from Cooperstown. He attended school until he was 16 years old (1859), then went on a farm to work.

During the Civil War, Lovejoy left the farm and enlisted as a private on 7 August 1862 at Roseboom, to serve three years in Co. G, 121st New York Volunteers. Company G was principally recruited from Herkimer, Herkimer County; Cherry Valley, Lovejoy’s hometown of Roseboom, Decatur, Middlefield, Westford, and Worcester, all of Otsego County. According to enlistment records, John stood 5 feet 7½ tall, had red hair and blue eyes. He was a farmer by occupation.

Lovejoy was mustered in on 23 August 1862. John’s older brother Allen Lovejoy (1839 - aft 1905) mustered into Co. G, 121st New York Volunteers at the same time as his brother. John was transferred to Co. C, 22nd Regiment Veterans Reserve Corps in January 1865. He mustered out of military service on 3 July 1865 at Cleveland, Ohio.

Within a month of mustering in, John M. Lovejoy was being held in reserve in the fields below South Mountain while the battle thundered through the peaceful valley. When his regiment moved on to Antietam, John and his brother, Allen, were placed on hospital duty in Burkittsville, and remained there for over three months.

It is said that John M. Lovejoy performed splendid service with his regiment at Winchester, Fisher Hill, and Cedar Creek; was wounded at Charleston, 21 August 1864, sent to Baltimore, Maryland and was soon after transferred to Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia; while in Philadelphia he received a furlough for twenty days. He returned to his regiment 25 December 1864 was promoted to corporal and acted as Color Guard to the regiment until 25 June 1865 when he was discharged from military service at Hall’s Hill, Virginia. John and his brother Allen both survived the war, and both witnessed the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in April 1865

Lovejoy returned to Roseboom after the war, returned to farming, married Cynthia Allen, of Roseboom, had two children, but he never fully recovered from the effects of his wound, and in 1870 left the farm and went into general agency business; at one time being found as a painter. He applied for an invalid pension in 1879.  He joined Upton Post (G.A.R.) at South Valley as charter member; served as Adjutant for seven years and Quartermaster two years. He was a Justice of the Peace for ten years at South Valley, New York.

In 1900, his wife Cynthia, applied for a widow’s pension, thus Lovejoy would have died sometime between the 1892 NY State Census and the 1900 U.S. Census.

        Brief History of the 121st Regiment Infantry "Orange and Herkimer Regiment"

Organized at Herkimer and mustered in August 13, 1862. Left New York for Washington, D.C., September 2, 1862. Attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 6th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac and Army of the Shenandoah, to June, 1865.

SERVICE.--Maryland Campaign September 6-22, 1862. Duty at Sharpsburg, Md., until October 30. Movement to Falmouth, Va., October 30-November 19. Battle of Fredericksburg, Va., December 12-15. At Falmouth until April, 1863. "Mud March," January 20-24. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Operations at Franklin's Crossing April 29-May 2. Battle of Maryes Heights, Fredericksburg, May 3. Salem Heights May 3-4. Banks' Ford May 4. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 14-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 2-4. Pursuit of Lee to Manassas Gap, Va., July 5-24. Duty on line of the Rappahannock and Rapidan until October. Bristoe Campaign October 9-22. Advance to line of the Rappahannock November 7-8. Rappahannock Station November 7. Mine Run Campaign November 26-December 2. Campaign from the Rapidan to the James May 3-June 15, 1864. Battles of the Wilderness May 5-7; Spottsylvania May 8-12; Spottsylvania Court House May 12-21. Assault on the Salient, "Bloody Angle," May 12. North Anna River May 23-26. On line of the Pamunkey May 26-28. Totopotomoy May 28-31. Cold Harbor June 1-12. Before Petersburg June 17-18. Siege of Petersburg to July 9. Jerusalem Plank Road June 22-23. Moved to Washington, D.C., July 9-11. Repulse of Early's attack on Fort Stevens and the Northern Defenses of Washington July 11-12. Expedition to Snicker's Gap July 14-23. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley Campaign August 7-November 28. Near Charleston August 21-22. Battle of Winchester September 19. Fisher's Hill September 22. Mt. Jackson September 23-24. Battle of Cedar Creek October 19. Duty in the Shenandoah Valley until December. Moved to Petersburg, Va., December 9-12. Siege of Petersburg December 12, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run, February 5-7, 1865. Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Assault on and fall of Petersburg April 2. Sailor's Creek April 6. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army. At Farmville and Burkesville until April 23. March to Danville April 23-27 and duty there until May 24. March to Richmond, thence to Washington, D.C., May 24-June 3. Corps Review June 8. Mustered out June 25, 1865. Veterans and Recruits transferred to 65th New York Infantry.

Regiment lost during service 14 Officers and 212 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 4 Officers and 117 Enlisted men by disease. Total 347.

         Sample Quotes from the Diary:

“March 29, 1865

Cloudy and dusty. Was in camp all day. Sailsberg and Croward are on picket. It is reported the 2nd and 5th Corps have moved. The 25th A Corps is said to have moved post here today. Heavy firing has been heard on the left in direction of Hatcher’s Run. There will soon be hot work. We are all packed up but to strike tents with orders to be ready to move at a moment’s notice. Lt. Frank Piper returned to day from leave of absence. Some of the 51 Ny Eng. have moved…”

 

“March 30, 1865

Last night about midnight it began to rain and continued until this afternoon. This evening it has cleared off. However, terrible heavy firing of mortar and artillery was kept up last night some time in the front of Petersburg. The long roll was sounded in camp and all was astir. According to all accounts a regular stamped was got up on the picket line last night. There was been hard fighting on the left today. Reported that Sheridan has the south side R.R. ‘Nothing Official’…all quiet now.”

 

“March 31, 1865

Rainy in the A.M. Cleared up during the day. Windy this evening. Last night at 10 we packed up and struck tents hard orders to charge (4 Corps at daylight). Orders was countermanded at about 1 o’clock and we pitched tents again. The Regt went out to support the picket line at 3 o’clock. Guards not relieved been packed up all day and arms stacked. Trains ready and teams harnessed, still we do not go and I hope we will not. We are ready. We have no news from the two days fighting on the left.”

 

“April 1, 1865

Weather pleasant. Had orders to prepare for sundry inspection, some artillery firing on the left today Tonight the teams are harnessed and stores all loaded I think and attack is expected tonight. I think they will find a few Yankee if they come. God be with us and be our guard and support. Bought a paper .10 cts. Candles .25 cts Rec’d two mails…I hope all will be quiet tonight. Gold help our army.”

 

“April 2, 1865

Pleasant at daylight. This morning we charged the Rebels in front of Ft. Fisher and broke their entire line. Then we went to the support of the 9th Corps and have lain all the P.M. in the mud in the Rebels works taken by the 9th Corps this morning. A great victory today.”

 

“April 3, 1865

Pleasant all day. At 2 o’clock this morning we began at one line and skirmished into Petersburg and soon the city was full of Union soldiers. Lee is in full retreat, went to camp and got our knapsacks and then marched until 10 o’clock at night. I am very tired.”

 

“April 4, 1865

Pleasant but warm. Marched hard all day, passed through a place called Berksville. Had the orders read that the City of Richmond was occupied by our troops yesterday morning. Thank God for Victory. We may expect hard marching now.”

 

“April 5, 1865

Pleasant quite cool this evening. Marched all day, halted at noon & drew a day and a half rations to night we are one mile from the Danville R.R. 42 miles from Richmond. Reports are that the Rebels are entrenched on our right. If so, we will have work tomorrow.”

 

“April 6, 1865

Rainy in the A.M. Clear in the P.M. moved back to the rear about three miles and then advanced and crossed the R.R…Gen’l McKenzie marched hard all day. I fell out at 2 o’clock. Excused by Maj. At about 4 o’clock the old 6th became engaged, a hard fight and splendid Victory. A Croward, J. Sherman, & G. Shay was killed. D. Lowell and Corpl Eldret was wounded.”

 

“April 7, 1865

Rainy part of the day. Began our march at 8 this morning and marched hard all day. Heard fight ahead of us. Halted for the night at 11 o’clock. Near Farmersville. Drew rations of whiskey today. Head the 123rd Ohio Regt was all taken prisoners. I feel sorry…”

 

“April 8, 1865

Pleasant all day. Marched all day and till 10 o’clock. Tonight. We are now at or near New Store, Bartholomew Co., VA. Drew 3 days rations & have orders to make them last us 6 days. I think we will have hard times we have marched 15 miles today. Saw where about 200 Rebel wagons have been burned. Bought 20 cts of sugar.”

 

“April 9, 1865

Pleasant marched about 12 miles to near Clover Hill Church. Halted at 4 P.M. and Gen’l Lee at 5 P.M. surrendered his army to Gen’l Geo. G. Meade.”

 

“April 10, 1865

Rainy part of the day. Lay still all day & have had quite a rest. We are to move back tomorrow to form a base. Sent out mail. Wrote to mother, cousin Alzina Allen, and to brother Allen.”