Pocket Diary of Assistant Surgeon Robert P. Davis, 84th Indiana Regiment.

Rare Civil War Pocket Diary Kept by Assistant Surgeon Robert P. Davis, 84th Indiana Regiment

Pocket Diary of Assistant Surgeon Robert P. Davis, 84th Indiana Regiment.

[DAVIS, Robert P.] .


Item Number: 132395

The Civil War pocket diary of Assistant Surgeon Robert P. Davis, 84th Indiana Regiment. 16mo, original wrappers, the diary is printed with blank three days per page, entries have been recorded intermittently beginning on January 1, 1863 and include brief accounts of skirmishes at Resaca, Hooker’s rescue of the Indiana Regiment and reports of duties and the diarist’s own illness: May 27: “I am on duty at the Hospital handing instruments for amputation.” The next day: “At same duty as yesterday.” June 1: the sick and wounded are moved to a more permanent hospital and their field tents are moved to the left of the line.  The diarist was very ill himself during March and April of 1863. Three memorandum pages and one Cash Account page have injury reports with name, company, and injury (“Bowels Sever[e];” “Killed;” “L. side and arm – Sever[e]”, etc. Two more pages have mileages between towns, mostly in this part of Tennessee. Robert P. Davis was born in Lawrence, Ohio in 1836. The family was in Linn Co., Missouri about 1850 and in Randolph, Indiana about 1860. Davis enlisted as a 1st Sergeant in the Indiana 84th Volunteer Infantry in August 1862. He seems to have spent much of his time as a hospital steward. He mentions a few times in his diary that he was assigned to take sick soldiers to the hospital. By the end of the war (April 1865) he was promoted to Assistant Surgeon. In near fine condition. A rare and desirable first hand account of America’s greatest moral, cultural, constitutional, and political crisis.

The 84th Indiana was organized in the late summer of 1862 around Indianapolis and Richmond, Indiana. It mustered into service on Sept. 3 and sent to Covington, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, to defend against a threatened invasion by Kirby Smith. It was sent to Point Pleasant, West Virginia a month later where it waited for six weeks before moving to Catlettsburg, KY where it made winter quarters. In February, the 84th was sent to Louisville and then on to Nashville. It spent most of the remainder of its enlistment going from one Tennessee town to another. It fought at Chickamauga in September. In January 1864 they were sent to Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga. In May 1864 they joined Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. By October they left Atlanta and went back to Chattanooga and on to Nashville eventually. Besides Chickamauga and Lookout Mountain, they fought at Kennesaw Mountain, Nashville, Buzzard’s Roost and other smaller battles (eg. Tunnel Hill, Pine Mountain). The regiment is mustered out in June 1865.

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