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Doering, Willoughby H.
Civil War Diary of Pvt. Willoughby H. Doering, of Carryall, Paulding Co., Ohio, kept while serving in with Co. C, 68th Ohio Infantry Regiment, 1861-1863

12mo pocket diary, 366 manuscript pages, with 26 pages of memoranda and cash accounts; dated 25 November 1861 to 14 January 1863; pocket diary for full year of 1862 plus partial dates for 1861 and 1863; bound in limp leather with flap, three days entries per page; diary is used for the year 1862; however, our author also uses the memoranda and cash accounts section at rear as pages for the 1861 and 1863 entries, which are dated 25 November to 31 December 1861 and 1 January to 14 January 1863; entries written mostly in pencil, some ink, in a legible hand; very faintly inside front board is inscribed “W.H. Doering.” A check of the roster for Company C shows that our diarist is Willoughby H. Doering.

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A good war-date Union soldier's diary kept by Pvt. Willoughby H. Doering, Co. C, 68th Ohio Vols. covering Doering's time in service from November 25, 1861 through January 13, 1863. The time period when he kept this diary, Doering was a private. During the time covered in this diary, the 68th Ohio headed to the front from Camp Chase, Ohio, to help capture Fort Donelson, besiege Corinth and Iuka, and went to Mississippi to help to protect Grant's supply base at Holly Spring.

       Capt. Willoughby H. Doering (1837-1878)

Willoughby H. Doering was born about 1837, the son of Joseph Doering (1810-1870) and his wife Eliza Huffman (1813-1886). Joseph Doering was originally from Pennsylvania and moved west to Ohio. In 1847, the Doering’s left Miami County, Ohio and moved to Paulding County, Ohio, where the canal craze was taking place. The family were considered pioneers in the area and Joseph Doering is found as a farmer at Carryall, Paulding, Ohio, in 1850 and 1860. After the death of Joseph Doering, his son George appears to have taken over the farm in 1870, while Willoughby married and moved out.

On 3 August 1856, at Fort Wayne, Indiana, Willoughby married Margaret Saylor and they had two children (Charles Adrian and Eliza Catherine). His first wife died, and he was married a second time to Merica Hill on 15 April 1866 in Paulding County, Ohio. With his second wife he also had two children (Callie I. and Maggie Alice). Before the war, Willoughby was a farmer in Carryall, Ohio, living with his wife and children.

When the Civil War begun, Pvt. Willoughby H. Doering enlisted with Company C on 7 November 1861, at Camp Latty, Napoleon, Ohio. He mustered into service for 3 years on 13 December 1861. He entered military service as a private and was appointed 1st Sergeant on 16 December 1863. He was later promoted to 1st Lieutenant on 26 November 1864 and to Captain 11 January 1865. He mustered out with his company on 10 July 1865.

Doering’s brother, Pvt. Matthias S. Doering, served with the 132nd Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, and died of pneumonia in June 1864.

After his military service, Willoughby worked for a hub and spoke company, and along with others he was building a dam to repair a lock on the canal, the dam broke, water rushed through, he was stuck underwater and drowned. He was 41 years old and left a widow and four children. He was buried in Riverside Cemetery, Antwerp, Paulding Co., Ohio.

       68th Regiment Infantry

The Regiment was organized at Camp Latty, Napoleon, October to December, 1861. Moved to Camp Chase, Ohio, January 21, 1862, thence ordered to Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 7, Attached to 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, Military District of Cairo, February, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of the Tennessee, to May, 1862. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, Army of the Tennessee, to July, 1863. Unattached, District of Jackson, Tenn., to November, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Right Wing 13th Army Corps, Dept. of the Tennessee, to December, 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 17th Army Corps, Army of the Tennessee, to July, 1865.

SERVICE.--Investment and capture of Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 12-16, 1862. Expedition toward Purdy and operations about Crump's Landing March 9-14. Battle of Shiloh April 6-7. Advance on and siege of Corinth, Miss., April 29-May 30. March to Purdy, thence to Bolivar, and duty there until September. March to Iuka, Miss., September 1-19. Battle of the Hatchie or Metamora October 5. Grant's Central Mississippi Campaign, operations on the Mississippi Central Railroad, November 2, 1862, to January 10, 1863. Reconnaissance from LaGrange November 8-9, 1862. Moved to Memphis, Tenn., January 20, 1863, thence to Lake Providence, La., February 22. Moved to Milliken's Bend April 10. Movement on Bruinsburg and turning Grand Gulf April 25-30. Battle of Port Gibson May 1. Forty Hills and Hankinson's Ferry May 3-4. Battle of Raymond May 12. Jackson May 14. Battle of Champion's Hill May 16. Siege of Vicksburg May 18-July 4. Surrender of Vicksburg July 4, and duty there until February, 1864. Expedition to Monroe, La., August 20-September 2, 1863. Expedition to Canton October 14-20. Bogue Chitto Creek October 17. Meridian Campaign February 3-March 2, 1864. Morton February 10. Veterans absent on furlough February 20-May 8. Moved to Cairo, Ill., May 7-8, thence to Clifton, Tenn., and march via Pulaski, Huntsville and Decatur, Ala., to Rome and Ackworth, Ga., May 12-June 9. Atlanta (Ga.) Campaign June-9-September 8. Operations about Marietta and against Kenesaw Mountain June 10-July 2. Assault on Kenesaw June 27. Nickajack Creak July 2-5. Chattahoochie River July 5-17. Howell's Ferry July 5. Leggett's or Bald Hill July 20-21. Battle of Atlanta July 22. Siege of Atlanta July 22-August 25. Flank movement on Jonesboro August 25-30. Battle of Jonesboro August 31-September 1. Lovejoy Station September 2-6. Jonesboro September 5. Operations in North Georgia and North Alabama against Hood September 29-November 3. March to the sea November 15-December 10. Siege of Savannah December 10-21. Campaign of the Carolinas January to April, 1865. Pocotaligo, S.C., January 14. Salkehatchie Swamps February 2-5. Barker's Mills, Whippy Swamp, February 2. Binnaker's Bridge, South Edisto River, February 9. Orangeburg, North Edisto River, February 12-13. Columbia February 16-17. Battle of Bentonville, N. C., March 20-21. Occupation of Goldsboro March 24. Advance on Raleigh April 10-14. Occupation of Raleigh April 14. Bennett's House April 26. Surrender of Johnston and his army. March to Washington, D.C., via Richmond, Va., April 29-May 20. Grand Review May 24. Moved to Louisville, Ky., June 1, and duty there until July. Mustered out July 10, 1865.

Regiment lost during service 2 Officers and 48 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 249 Enlisted men by disease. Total 300.

       Sample Quotes from the Diary:

“Nov. 25, 1861. Company C organized on the 25 day of Nov. I enlisted on the 7th day of October. We left Antwerp on the 26th of Nov in the night at 2 o’c. Arrived at Camp Latty November 26th at 7 o’c. in the morning. I went back on furlough on the 28th day of Nov. Returned to camp on the 4th day of Dec. in the morning…”

“Dec. 25th 1861. Well today was Christmas and we had a very good time. We had a picnic by the citizens of Florida. Our company was treated just the same as was the company from that place. The company that were treated by them were marched out on the bank and there cheered by them and in return we cheered them twice and all us sung to them the song of the 68th Regiment…”

“Dec. 31 1861. We have had dress parade every day with exception of one since I last wrote. Yesterday we had a court-marshal of several men for the offense of immoral conduct. I will give the manner of punishment when informed of the same…”

“Jan. 25, 1862. This morning Joseph Longbery received his offices and I was appointed his stead. A new regiment just came in. The boys had a jolly time breaking through guard.”

“Jan. 26, 1862. 10 o’c. A.M. we have just been out on parade. After parade we had a prayer by the Chaplain. H. McCann pulled off his stripes today.”

“Jan. 30, 1862. Today I was down to town. Had a good time. Was in the state prison. There were about 1000 prisoners. Was in the state house, was also in the museum…”

“Feb. 8, 1862. This morning the ground is frozen and we have had a good drill this morning. The Col. told us to be ready to march at an hour’s notice. Ben Shirley’s cousin cam in camp.”

“Feb. 12, 1862. Last night we went up the Tennessee river intending to go to Fort Henry but we turned back…”

“Feb. 13, 1862. This morning we are running up the C.B. our fleet No. 17 boats including gun boats, 5 in No.”

“Feb. 14, 1862. This morning we landed on the south side of the Cumberland Bever, moved up to within a half mile of the battleground and there deplored as guards.”

“Feb. 15, 1862. This morning at sunrise a severe battle commenced, lasted about three hours, a great many killed and wounded, same commanding all day, another heavy battle this evening.”

“Feb. 16, 1862. This morning we eat and started for the battlefield, got half way, was informed of the surrender. Marched up in to the battlefield, saw many strange things.”

“Feb. 18, 1862. Today I have been in the tent all day. I am still sick. The regt is camped on a hill south of the town. Several of the boys have the measles. I am in a small tent on the flat.”

“Feb. 20, 1862. Today, Sargent Nasan was detailed with 30 men to unload boats. Boys think that the rations captured at this place made them sick.”

“Feb. 22, 1862. This morning is again raining…three darkeys came into camp. We hired one to cook. He borrowed Peeper's rubber [blanket]. Went out to get eggs never returned.”

“Mar. 27, 1862. Today the weather is nice. Clear. Buried 2 men, one private Co. I, one private Co. A. They were buried with honors of war. G. Wm. Forder is stil sick. I have been cooking for two days.”

“Apr. 1, 1862. Today we heard cannonading up the Tennessee river. The weather is still very warm. Today we had a company in the forenoon and Battalion drill in the afternoon.”

“Apr. 3, 1862. This mo9rning we were informed of the death of a private of Col. H. Got orders today to be ready in the morning at 8 o’c. to start to a review”

“Apr. 5, 1862. Today the weather is clear and warm. This morning had a skirmish up the R. Our brigade was all ordered out except the OI Regt. But returned in the evening without learning any news.”

“Apr. 6, 1862. This morning when we arose we heard the firing of infantry and soon after commenced the old canon to talk some, 12 o’c. and still fighting.”

“Apr. 7, 1862. Last night a continual firing was kept up by our gunboats and this morning the battle commenced as vigorously as the day before. It is now 10 o’c. P.M. and they are still fighting as hard as ever. 3 o’c the enemy has commenced retreating.”

“Apr. 8 Yesterday evening at 4 o’c. the firing had ceased or got out of hearing. Lieut. Col. Came in camp from the battle ground reported the enemy on full retreat. This morning there is heavy canonading up the river.”

“Apr. 23, 1862. This morning we formed in line of Battle at ½ past 3 o’c. and stood till day light, our pickets had a small skirmish with the Rebel cavalry this morning. Weather warm and clear, had Co. inspection.”

“May 11, 1862. Weather nice report of a battle on the left wing near Corinth, commencing yesterday, heavy cannonading this morning, it is almost time for inspection which will be at 9 A.M. Dress parade and divine service.”

“May 25, 1862. Weather clear and warm. Had inspection this morning. Lieut Banks very sick. No comm officer able to take charge of Co. 8 men from each co detailed to build bridges and make roads.”

“June 16, 1862. Today I was over in the town at Bolivar all day had stripes put on my coat sleeves. Wm. Anderson was put in guard house for wearing drawers.”

June 23, 1862. Two cavalry men shot by secesh citizens. Cavalry went out again and caught four of the chaps.”

“July 4, 1862. This morning everything and weather nice and warm. Raised two flags and fired 34 rounds with cannon. Had a speech by Col. of the 53rd Ind.”

 “July 13, 1862. This morning we started after some cotton with 44 wagons got 130 bales cotton and 6 loads of corn. Then returned to camp. During the night the regiment out to capture some cotton burners.”

“July 14, 1862. Today our teams again went out after cotton. Teams returned with 160 bails cotton.”

“July 19, 1862. Lieut Col. came back today having commission as Col. Pickets drove in, soldiers got into line of battle in great haste.”

“July 23, 1862. Rained very hard last night. Co. C was taken 1/2 mile beyond the picket to lay in ambush for some guerrillas.”

“Aug. 30, 1862. A brisk skirmish took place this morn between the Rebels and part of the 2nd Ill. Cavalry, 9th Ind Battery, 20 and 78 Ohio Infantry. Lost 2 Co’s. out of 20th OVI. Call up Ill Cavalry.”

“Sept. 1, 18962. Another skirmish at Merdan Station today. Loss heavy on the Rebels side, small on Federal side. Loss Rebels killed 117. Federals killed 9. wounded not known.”

“Sept. 2, 1862. This morn Co. C out. It were ordered into Fort Fry. We are hourly expecting an attack by the enemy. One of the canon is pointed towards the court house.”

 Sept. 19, 1862. This morning finds us camping on the road to Bernsville. Had a skirmish but found only five rebels. Took them prisoners. This even we marched within three miles of Iuka. Camped for the night.”

Oct. 5, 1862. This morn soon as we had eat our breakfast we were formed into line and moved forward. The artillery opened fire and we were rushed into battle which lasted about six hours.”

Oct. 6, 1862. This morn we are still on the battlefield. I went to the river to [get] some water. Saw several of the dead. Crossed over the river. About 5 P.M. started for Bolivar with prisoners.”