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Front eps author inscription, in ink: “AD. J. Jones/ Co. B/ 24th WI/ Aug. 15th 1862—A.J. Jones/ Milwaukee/WI.” Small black leatherette diary w/ flap (torn), 5.75 x 3”, written primarily in ink. Covers exhibit wear and rubbing at the extremities, front flap torn. Inner pages displaying soiling, and are somewhat fragile. Entries for the month of May are mostly indistinct, while the remainder of the diary remains fairly if not entirely legible. Overall condition (for service diaries of this kind), good plus, w/solid narrative content.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1839, Adoniram J. Jones was a resident of Milwaukee, WI when he enlisted as Corporal in Company “B”, 24th WI on 8/15/1862. He served through the war and was mustered out at Nashville, TN, 6/10/1865. He was a member of GAR Post #59 in McLeod County, MN. Jones died in 1928 in Hennepin County, MN and is buried in Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.

The 24th Wisconsin served exclusively in the western theater, was first attached to the Army of Ohio, and was engaged at the Battle of Perryville, KY (Oct. 8, 1862) and in the pursuit of Bragg’s retreating Confederates. Confederates following the October ’62 Battle of Perryville. Posted at Nashville, the regiment then marched to engage at the Battle of Stones River, Murfreesboro, TN, Dec. 30-Jan 3, 1863. Corporal Jones commences his diary on January 1st, the day after his unit had sustained 86 killed and wounded and lost 99 as POWs.

Beginning with at Stones River, his diary goes on record regimental activities through the remainder of 1863, including the Battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga culminating in Missionary Ridge. During this year, the 24th WI was attached the 20th Corps, Army of the Cumberland, and later onto the 4th Army Corps. During 1864 it would participate in the Atlanta Campaign, the October pursuit of Hood Confederates into Tennessee, and in the Battles of Nashville and Franklin (at Franklin the 24th was most conspicuous, prompting Gen. Stanley to remark: “I will not say the 24th Wis. Saved the battle of Franklin, but they had a great deal to do with saving it.”)

And, though his diary records only one year of their service, Adoniram J. Jones, a highly articulate Corporal, marched with them all the way. Mustered out in Nashville in June 1865, the unit lost during service, 111 killed and mortally wounded and 90 men by disease for a total of 201.

Diary Text:

Stones River. Following the regimental losses of the previous day, Jones’ January 1st entry reads as follows:

“We were woke up at 2 o’clock and marched at 4 o’clock. Our regt. was held as a reserve. ; in the afternoon our company was detached to guard prisoners…We had more heavy firing to day the Rebs met with a very heavy loss to day. I will just state that this is the Battle of Murphreesboro which is going on and has been for the last 4 days.

Jan. 3—“A dull wet day not much firing to day. The Rebel prisoners are in very bad condition being without blankets and short rations. We dealt them out 2 ears of corns apiece. We are also on half rations though we don’t suffer so much.”

Jan. 4-5—“ No firing. The enemy are evacuating. Our troops have advanced and are in possession of Murfreesboro. This ends on of the bloodiest battles of the present war. I hope to God I may never see Another such a sight as I seen on the battlefield.”

The 24th WI remained posted at Murfreesboro through June. During this stretch Corporal vents his opinions and robust personality, providing interesting tidbits of regimental camp life.

Jan. 12—“I Learn that most all of our Captains having seen enough of war have tendered their resignations. They don’t want to see another battle.”

Jan 18, Sun.—“I went over to the 36th Ill Regt & heard a good sermon, the first in five months.”

Jan 19—“Our regt. started this morning for Hansville as a guard to a wagon trains, I not feeling well remained at home or in Camp rather for I wish it to be understood that home & Camp are two different places. Our Capt. left for Mil [waukee], his resignation having been accepted he is no loss to the company.”

Jan. 25—“We have a company cook now which just suits me as I hate this thing of fooling over a fire continually.”

Feb. 3—“Our Regt. went foraging to day I was detailed to go with the wagons. I was arrested for gobbling a gooses though I received no punishment…”

Feb. 12—“I received a letter from Aunt Mary…She wants me to seek a promotion but from what I have seen I consider it more honor to serve as a private through this war than as an officer though f course an officer is to desired but the means of obtaining even berth of a corporal are so humiliating that I wouldn’t stoop so low. For instance in our Co. one or two privates have been promoted on acct. of building chimleys for the & other like dirty work.”

Feb. 26—“I saw a man drummed out of the 36th Ill. It looked rough. I prefer being shot out of service to being drummed out.”

Mar. 3-4—“Our Colonel got back last night. We are all glad to see him, as have what faults he may, no one can impute ( impugn) his bravery…We started this morning on a Grand Reconnoisance our whole division being out our cavalry captured about 60 prisoners & 15 wagons we passed a good many rebel picket fires.”

Mar. 12--…”I suppose we are bound for old Murfreesboro. We are in Granger’s command he says we are the greatest thieving division in the Army of the Cumberland. He has a heavy guard around us. It was laughable to see the guard try to stop the boys gobble corn fodder.”

Mar. 14—“I came near getting into a scrape by speaking of the cowardice of our Major who was standing within hearing. He looked sharp but no doubt his conscience united with me in accusing him and so he kept his peace…”

Apr. 21—“At 5 o’clock…our company went on picket, the remainder of the regt. were held as a reserve. Kingsland of our Co. shot his hand off while on post. It created quite a sensation along the line.”

19-20 June—“The papers state the rebs are getting up in old Pennsyl [vania}…heard good new from Vicksburg stating that Johnston had been repulsed with terrible loss.”

July 11/15—“We hear rumors every day of victory (at Vicksburg) but they need confirmation”…There was a mail this morning but nothing for me had full report of the fall of Vicksburg in the Winchester Army Bulletin a newspaper printed by the “bluecoats”

Aug. 8—“Started for Bridgeport this morning…I had a wash in the Tennessee in plain sight of the butternuts on an island midway between the two shores. They have burned this end of the beautiful bridge that spans the noble river.”

Battle of Chickamauga entries

September 14—“We are on the move again to day, the whole Corps taking one road, they are pretty badly mired…”

Sept 17—“We march about 20 miles our general course is toward Chattanooga, passed down Stebbing Gap. Had a long talk with Uncle Enos last night. It does one good to see his relations so far from home. The boys say he looks like me.”

Sept. 18—“We marched about 5 miles & went into what officers told us would be a permanent camp…at 8 PM we were called out and marched all night. Roads awful dusty.

Sept. 19—We are 18 miles from Chattanooga with every prospect of a fight. We double quicked 5 miles to day to with in one half miles of the battle. The 3rd Brigade filed by us & went in and in less than 15 minutes had met with heavy loss. I sent a letter to mother. I think we are going have a big battle. God speed the Right.

Sept. 20—“Were woke up at 3 o’clock. At noon we double quicked to the front. Formed under fire but had to fall back on acct. of our support giving away…”

Oct. 3—“Very fine day. Got all my clothes washed. Had some of the pesky graybacks. We have occupied so many rebel encampments in the Cause.”

Oct. 4—“…I feel much better. Have had no shakes (the “ague”) for 5 days. I hope the rascally disease is beaten off for good this time.

Battle of Chattanooga/ Missionary Ridge entries

Nov. 23—We were ordered into line at noon & the whole Corps advanced to the picket line driving in the rebel pickets. The prospect is that we will have a big battle.”

Nov. 24—“We moved farther to the left before daylight & laid still all day. A dull could day. There was very heavy fighting on Lookout Mountain which was cleared or nearly so of the Rebs.”

Nov. 25—“This has been an eventful day. Toward noon we moved to our position of Monday. About 3 O’clock we advanced to within one mile of Mission Ridge. In a short time we knew what we had to do which was to charge across an open field to the ridge & then up the Ridge. With slow & measured tread we started midst a shower of shot & shell from the Rebs. Many of our brave boys fell as they reached the ridge but the toughest part was ascending the Ridge, but the boys were encouraged by the sight of the fleeing Rebs. We cleared the ridge, capturing a great deal amount of commissary stores & guns, which we turned against them as they fled like sheep. It was a glorious victory. We lost our Captain. He was killed soon after commencing the ascent. It will be a terrible blow to his young wife. We have 5 men wounded and 2 killed.

Final entry

Dec. 31—“One year ago this morning we were double quacking to the front to take part in the Murfreesboro battle where our Co. lost one half her number of men. Since that time we have been in two more great battles. Chickamauga and Missionary ridge, in which we have lost one half of the remainder. I earnestly hope the coming year will be a lighter one upon us. It has emphatically been the hardest years work I have done and don’t want to do another one like it.”

In conclusion, it should be noted that Corporal Jones was a prolific letter writer who maintained a vast correspondence with the folks back in Wisconsin—even to the point of including a page of dated correspondence. On one other miscellaneous page—Military item--he h takes the trouble lists the table of pay for regimental officers, extras included. To wit: Colonel, $222—Lieut. Col., $198—Major, $179—Captains, $120—First Lieutenants, $110.50—Second Lieutenants, $105.50.

In all, a fine soldier diary. Corporal Adoniram J. Jones of the 24th, was a sharp soldier, serving in a gallant Wisconsin regiment. [In General Sherman’s opinion, Wisconsin troops were the best of his Western boys. The toughest, the most disciplined & least unruly]. Excellent Western theater/ Wisconsin collectible. A brief amount of internet research material is included. [JP]








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