UNION SOLDIER DIARY OF PRIVATE GEORGE M. BARNETT, 97TH OHIO INFANTRY - MORTALLY WIA AT KENNESAW MOUNTAIN

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'PERPETUAL DIARY’, 1863. Published by A. Liebenroth & Von Auw. New York, 1863. Owner inscription, front eps: “Diary of / George M. Barnett/ Co. B, 97th [Ohio] Regt. / 2nd Brigade 1st Division /21st Army Corps/ Department of the Cumberland..” Black leatherette flap diary, 4.75” x 2.875. Diary is disbound, leatherette exterior exhibits wear. Written mostly in ink w/some pencil. Ink splotchy in spots. Text almost completely legible. In protective sleeve, accompanied by documentation.

George Barnett enlisted at age 19 as a private in Co. “B”, 97th Ohio Regiment, 9/1/1862. He was mortally wounded at Kennesaw Mountain on 6/22/1864, and died at New Albany, IN, 7/19/ 1864. He was buried in the New Albany National Cemetery, Gravesite: B-661.

The 97th Ohio was organized at Camp Zanesville, OH, in August 1862, mustered in August 1862 and served in the Western armies of the Ohio and Cumberland, participating in the Battles of Perryville, Stones River, Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge, followed by Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign, and the Battles of Franklin and Nashville. It was mustered out in Nashville in June 1865. During service it lost 94 men killed and mortally wounded and 161 by disease for a total of 254.

Barnett’s diary runs three dated entries per page, running six lines each. His handwriting is cramped, and faded and sometimes difficult to decipher. As with most soldiers with these sorts of diaries, his entries consist of brief phrases, generally alluding to troop movements, the weather, army chow and things in general. His seriousness is indicated by his string of entries, scarcely missing a day. Included are following entries from the Battles of Stones River, the Tullahoma Campaign, Chattanooga & Missionary ridge.

Stones River:

Jan. 1, 1863—"Laying in a Cedar Grove on the Battle field. But little fighting was done on the left except artillery fighting. The day was clear and pleasant.”

Jan. 2—“Built breast works in the Cedar Grove. Rebels attacted out on the left at 4 o’clock…Our regt. crossed the River in the evening. The day was clear and cold. Commenced raining at Nine o’clock.”

Jan. 3—“Out on picket within sight of Murfreesboro without fire and without any thing to eat. Moved back to the rear, forded the river. Resting all day. Very cold.”

Jan. 4—“…The news came in that the Rebs had retreated. Ever quiet in camp. The day was clear and cold.”

Jan. 5—“Regiment came in off ____ Island and I took a walk over the Battle Field. Saw heaps of the dead and the sight was awful. The day was warm..”

Tullahoma Campaign:

June 24—“Started on the march at 1 o’clock. Marched 12 miles and incamped in a cornfield. Went for potatoes. Rained all day.”

June 25—“Marched 6 miles and incamped three mills from Braidsville. Went on picket. Rained all day. Kolds was very bad.”

June 26—“Came in off picket. Laid in camp the heat of the day. Was in the Woodruff Cave. Rained all day.”

June 27—"Left Camp at 12 o’clock. Marched two miles to the Big Hill. Worked all day pulling the wagons up the hill. Rained all day.”

[Missing diary pages—June 28/July 3]

July 4—“We laid in camp all day. Had a roll call every hour. A number of rebels came into our lines and gave themselves up. The 8th Indiana battry fired a salute of 32 guns. Very dry Forth.”

Chattanooga, Lookout Mtn. & Missionary ridge:

Oct. 27—“Tuesday came off picket in the morning. All quiet along the line . Palmer’s Division crossed the River. Had a fight Near Lookout Mountain.”

Oct. 28—"Wednesday Laid in Camp all Day on half rations. Heavy cannonading all day on Lookout Mountain. We could hear musketry in the evening.”

Oct. 29—“Thursday laid in camp all day on half rations. All quiet except cannonading on Lookout.”

Nov. 23—“Laid in camp in the forenoon and marched out in the afternoon. Drove the rebels about a mile. Our regt. did not lose any men. Went on the skirmish line at dark was relieved….”

Nov. 24—“Laid in the line all day. No fighting was doing in front of us all day. There was a heavy fight on Lookout…”

Nov. 25—“There was some skirmishing was done in the morning and at ten o’clock we charged on rebels on Missionary ridge. The fight was terrific. Our regiment lost 18 killed and 126 wounded. We then had a fight on Pigeon Ridge at dark and lost heavy.”

Nov. 26--“We camped two miles from Chickamauga River. Our company was sent on picket. We sit there until 4 o’clock and had orders to come back to camp…”

Nov. 27--“…Went to see John Perry in the Hospital. The boys was all getting along…We got orders to march.”

 

Solid diary of 97th Ohio private present at Stones River, Tullahoma, and Chattanooga, later mortally wounded at Kennesaw Mtn.

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