Hiram E. Leonard Diary, January 21 – 27, 1863

21st Wednesday  rather a fine warm day but some cloudy & muddy.  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home by Hoyts about 8 got home before 9 & soon went to bed sick Caroline & Eliza went home started in the stage about 9 & went on cars to Babcocks Grove, Ed Brown killed hogs today.

22nd Thursday  rather a cloudy muddy disagreeable day & rained at night I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 by Hoyts, got home at 9 & went to bed before 10 nearly sick.  Dr Wellman & Col Warren went to Chicago started about 12 from store Henry Pollard got to Chicago.

23rd Friday  A damp muddy disagreeable day & night.  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 by Hoyts got home at 9 & soon went to bed sick.  Dr Wellman got home from Chicago.

24th Saturday  a damp cloudy morning but cleared off & was a pleasant night & froze some.  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home by Hoyts about ½ past 8 & soon went to bed about sick.  Henry Pollard or Wyman got home about 8 oclock tonight from Bowling Green Hospital for the Army.

25th Sunday  A fine pleasant day some hasey towards night was froze to the morning but thawed out before noon & was all muddy, I did my choars was round home all day called at Hoyts in evening came home at 8 & went to bed at 9 nearly sick.

26th Monday  rather fine weather for the season, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 8 ½ by Hoyts & went to bed about 10 nearly sick with a cold.

27th Tuesday  rather fine weather for January but bad going  I did my choars was at the office all day & in evening came home about 8 ½ by Hoyts & went to bed about 9 ½ nearly sick.  Caroline came home today about her Father came with her & went to James Browns.  She was about sick & cross.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, January 14-20, 1863

14th Wednesday  Some muddy & damp  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 9 & went to bed about 10 nearly sick.

15th Thursday  more cool & freezeing  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 9 & went to bed about 10.

16th Friday  rather a cold raw day & rough.  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 9 & went to bed about 10 sick.

17th Saturday  rather a cool raw day did not thaw.  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home about 9 & went to bed about 10 sick. Charles Bartholomew died in the army at the tunnel this side Galetine Tennessee.

18th Sunday  rather a fine pleasant day & thawed some.  I did my choars went to office about noon came home ½ past one & found Wm McNelly & wife here, & they started for home ½ past 4 Frank started for home about 5.  I went to office & Hoyts in evening came home a little after 8 & went to bed a little after 9 nearly sick with a cold etc.

19th Monday  rather fine weather for winter, I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home by Hoyts about 8 got home about 9 & went to bed about ½ past 9 nearly sick  H Pollard left bowling Green for home.

20th Tuesday  rather damp muddy disagreeable weather.  I did my choars was at the office all day & evening came home by Hoyts about 8 got home about 9 & went bed before 10 about sick.”

Warrenville and the American Civil War: December 1862

On December 5th, 1862, Warrenville residents faced the community’s first Civil War death.  The bells of the Baptist Church rang 20 times as Ashley Carpenter’s casket was carried to the cemetery.  The procession was long and emotional, as the town had turned out en masse to say good-bye to the 20 year old.  Sarah, Ashley’s mother and Colonel Warren’s sister, never fully recovered from the loss.  She wore a picture of Ashley on a necklace for the rest of her life.  Adding to Warrenville’s grief, Ashley’s fellow soldier Freddie Cooper died on December 28th of diphtheria after being left at the military hospital in Bowling Green.   Ashley and Freddie were the first of 17 Warrenville men who died during the four year war Civil War.  At least 157 DuPage residents were killed, 34,834 from Illinois, and over 600,000 Americans lost their lives in the War.  The American Civil War is still the bloodiest U.S. war to date.

Please join us on Sunday, January 27, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. for “1863 in 48 minutes,” at the Warrenville Public Library.    To register, visit the Information Desk, call 630/393-1171 x100 or register online at http://www.warrenville.com/programs/programsadult.htm.  We will open our exhibit “1863” when the Historical Museum & Art Gallery reopens on Sunday, February 3rd from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Ashley Carpenter, Warrenville’s First Civil War Casualty

The following excerpts taken from Ashley’s mother, Sarah Warren Carpenter’s notes written in 1895 will fill in the gap between his last entry and his death on November 30, 1862, in Scottsville, Kentucky.

“In ’62 our oldest son Ashley and a boy that had lived in our family 12 years, Robert Corlet, 4 years older than our son, enlisted.  We hoped then the war would soon be over –the regiment was first in Chicago, then at Dixon and then back to Chicago –before leaving Dixon our son was sick so he obtained a furlough and came home for a few days, then they were sent to Kentucky –he had only been from home 2 months –when Ashley was taken sick from hard marching and exposure.  We received a letter from the physician and surgeon of the 105th, Dr. Potter with whom we were well acquainted, saying Ashley is sick –we obliged to push on south, I leave him in the hands of a good physician –and whatever the result, Ashley is all right –he has the confidence and respect of the whole regiment, and is every inch a hero –We soon received a dispatch sent to his brother Philo Carpenter –whose son brought it to us at 11 oclock at night –and at 2 o’clock that morning he was on his way to Chicago hoping to take the morning train south –but could not get his passes and his money changed in time, so had to wait till the evening train –when he arrived at Bowling Green he hurried on to Scottsville as fast as possible, he found Ashley just alive, but past speaking –though they thought he knew he had come had been looking very anxiously for him.  They started as quickly as possible expecting to travel all night, hoping to meet the morning train at Bowling Green but there was a severe thunder storm in the night and they had to stop at the house of a rebel –they arrived in time but it was because the train was delayed 2 hours–the young friend that took care of Ashley was left at Bowling Green sick he only lived 2 weeks–On arriving at Chicago was met by friends, took him to the undertakers and the next forenoon about 40 of our relatives went to see the remains–my husband had three sisters and a brother and I had three sisters living there at that time.  (my husband came home that night and the next afternoon two of my sisters came out with the remains, funeral Friday.  Ashley was the first one of our regiment to be brought home and in a very short time 14 soldiers were laid in our little cemetery at Warrenville.  There was a great many palliating circumstances connected with our son’s sickness and death.  Two of the Captains took great pains to find him a nice place; they got him in to a good union family, merchant in the place, members of the Baptist Church, and their names were Carpenter.  They had 5 sick soldiers at the time they gave him the parlor and took excellent care of him–my husband became very much attached to them–and before the war closed they came up and made us a visit, and we visited them–we corresponded with them as long as they lived, and do yet with the family.  Robert went all through the war and came to us with consumption, lived 5 months.”

Hiram E. Leonard Diary, November 30, 1862

30th Sunday  rather a fine cloudy day with the ground covered with snow, spit snow in evening, I did my choars was at the office in morning & at Hoyts came home before noon & choared round some etc called at Hoyts in evening came home about 8 & soon went to bed, Wm McNelly came here about noon & went away a little before 4 & David & the rest left soon after for home.  Ashley Carpenter died today at a Mr Carpenters in Scottsville in Kentucky.  Carpenter got there a little before he died & started home with him in afternoon.  John Billings & Cooper came with him to Bowling Green.”

Civil War Diaries, November 20, 1862

Ashley Carpenter Diary Entry:

“Nov. 20  Resumed camp duties again this morning.  We had most a valueless company drill in the forenoon, so many conflicting commands.

Gave Geo Tucker one dollar to buy paper for me in Bowling Green as he is going there tomorrow.”

Hiram Leonard Diary Entry:

20th Thursday  rather a fine day.  I did my choars & husked all day, N Derry & McNelly in forenoon Derry & Beardsly boy in afternoon, at office in evening came home about9 & went to bed.”

Civil War Diaries, November 19, 1862

Ashley Carpenter Diary Entry:

“Nov. 19  I got an excuse from Duty & spent the forenoon in writing home.

I drew up a resolution that was signed by the tent occupants, charging three (3) cents for every oath to be appropriated for tent benefit.  It rained by spells during the day.  Took in 24 cents for swearing.  I recd a letter from Mother & Eva in the evening.  We got the intelligence that Lieut Adams was at Bowling Green with a wagonload of budgets & boxes for us boys.  The distance is but 25 miles.  Our Col has dispatched a team for him.  One box of things was smuggled through by the teamsters, also some letters.”

Hiram Leonard Diary Entry:

19th Wednesday  A damp cloudy morning & day & muddy I did my choars was at the office the most of the day came home about 9 & went to bed about 10, old Mr. McNelly came at supper.”

Civil War Diaries, November 12, 1862

Ashley Carpenter Diary Entry:

“Nov. 12  The morning gun was discharged at 3 ½ oclock.  After roll call I lied down & slept again until daybreak.  We ate our breakfast–& were given five minutes to strike our tents in.  We were in readiness a half hour before we started.  After we left camp we traveled along leisurely stopping at every mile for the wagon train that moved slowly ahead.

The mist fell all day long & we reached Scottville at five oclock of our 2nd days march from Bowling Green.  The county through which we came was heavy timbered & uneven.  And the wood was full of men, women & children that had gathered along the roadside to see the army pass.  One thing I have observed among the mend in lower Ky. that they are all pale countenanced, bleached & sickly looking.  And if I was to express an opinion of them, it is this.  That they are either deserters of one army or the other, or have been discharged from the service & are convalescent.  After we had arrived at Scottsville I went immediately after an armful of straw.  While passing by a House with Robt. Fred where they had pies to sell, we committed our first crime of “reaching.”  They would not change our bills, we had not change, so we took the pies & our departure.  When we got to Camp I found myself detailed with 18 of our boys to guard our Division Cattle.  Thus I was deprived of my straw & tent, that I had so nicely prepared.  We went one mile upon a hill-side where the cattle were.  There was a fence on one side only & we had to guard on three.  We built three fires on the three sides & set two men to guard at each at a time.  We cooked some rice in our cups & made some coffee, & I got to bed on a pile of cornstalks & slept very well & the frost stood on our blankets when we awake.

Hiram Leonard Diary Entry:

12th Wednesday rather a fine day for Nov. but cool I did my choars was at the office all day & in evening came home at 9 by Hoyts got home at a little after 9 & went to bed at 10 Frank wen to Aurora & Paw Paw.”

Civil War Diaries, November 11, 1862

Ashley Carpenter Diary Entry:

“Nov. 11  The morning gun broke our slumber at 4 oclock.  And we commenced early to arrange for the coming march.

At 7 oclock we were stepping at the tap of the drum.  Our whole brigade.  The entire Division consisting of three brigades went out at different times to different points.

We went in an easternly direction from our camp three miles south of Bowling Green.  We struck the main road about 4 miles from camp that leads from Bowling Green to Scottsville.  We passed through some beautiful country when we first left camp.  Most of the land was heavy timbered–principally ceder.  A few chessnuts & some majestic oaks were scattered there.

My feet never were much tenderer than they have been today but I walked all the way & carried my complete load.  We filed off to the left & pitched tents in a hollow.  The fore part of the night was spent in writhing with rheumatism.  We went into a grove that was nearby & gathered some leaves to lie on.  It rained a little toward morning.”

Hiram Leonard Diary Entry:

11th Tuesday  rained some rather fine weather for the season.  I did my choars was at the office some & choared round some came home by Hoyts about 8 ½ got home at 9 & went to bed about 10.  Frank started for Aurora & further & came back as it rained.”

Civil War Diaries, November 4, 1862

Ashley Carpenter Diary Entry:

“Nov. 4  Today is our Election day at Home.  I wonder if old Tommy keeps sober to-day.

This is a beautiful day for marching, save the dust.  On we marched through the dust reaching Bowling Green at 4 oclock completing the 150 miles in just ten days.  I walked every step of the journey save 1 mile at which time my feet were blistered so badly that could not walk.  We went 3 miles beyond the town before we could find a camping ground.  The citizens here say that 150,000 soldiers have passed through here within four days.

I learn that Henry Bird [Ashley’s cousin] went out of her yesterday with Genl Mitchell.

I was sick all night with a fever, did not rest very well as the ground felt unusually hard.  Recd two letters from Home.”

Hiram Leonard Diary Entry:

4th Tuesday  rather a fine day for the season.  I did my choars was at the office some went up to election with Dr. Wellman in forenoon & drew some corn about 4, was at office in evening came home at 9 & soon went to bed.”