• New York 8th Cavalry Sergeant Jerome's Diary Provides Details During Fortification Of DC Early In the War; Later Taken POW

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    HIRAM JEROME was 22 when he enlisted at East Carlton, NY, as a Private. He was mustered into F Co. NY 8th Cavalry on September 20, 1861, and mustered out on December 8, 1864 at Rochester. He was later appointed sergeant and listed as missing in action on August 1, 1863. It is believed he was a prisoner of war.

     

    The 8th was an important regiment, participating in more than 130 battles and skirmishes and lost 13 officers and 92 men killed in action. Battles included Gettysburg, Antietam and the final Appomattox campaign.  The 8th has a monument at Gettysburg.

     

    Offering two diaries, one being Jerome’s Civil War diary covering the first half of 1862 (in pen and pencil) and the second a family diary for 1864.  Also included is a photograph, purportedly of Jerome, although we haven’t been able to confirm that.

     

    First diary is 3 x 5 with entries through the end of May and clearly identified as being that of Sergeant Hiram Jerome with Col. Crooks, commanding. During the period of this diary, the regiment served in the fortification of D.C. and the Department of the Shenandoah, traveling to Harpers Ferry and nearby Charlestown.  Wonderful details seen through the eyes of and experienced by a private who was promoted to sergeant.  Jerome was taken prisoner at one point, but later released.

     

    In part, “Camp Selden [Washington, DC]: “Went to the Georgetown Cemetery Oh, it was splendid...Built a cook house this morning...George Ackey started for home this morning with a discharge...

    Called the roll this morning & very stormy...Three inches of snow this morning, put 14 men in the guard house, went on roll call...Eat supper with the captain...had chicken from home...the captain paid me $2...I went out to ride...Stole a bottle of brandy...Very sick this day, had a high fever, sleep with the captain...went to the hospital...Our company done guard duty today. I was not able to do duty so I am left alone...Presented captain with a saddle today...Went to the headquarters with the major...Captain went with us. Rode [horse] Bristol...Bill Howell got into a fight and was sent to the guard house...My partner Samuel Sanford went to the Columbia Hospital & 4 others with him...A funeral this morning & a hard wind blew down the tents. Hard time for soldiers...Capt. Gallott started for home today on a furlough of eight days...Quite a stir in this place of troops. The boys visited over the river to Balls Bluff...Rained all day but we crossed over to VA...got our dinner...called on Jenny Gray...Visited Col. Paxans, then of the Rebels, and took dinner at Mrs. Grays...George Armstrong went with us after the capture...Released from picked duty this morning. Had a good bath. Visited the Point of Rocks with Gibbetts in a boat. Capt & Maj went along...George Armstrong has gone to visit the Point of Rocks...After dinner, the major ordered these men with myself to guard [?] station to guard commissaries, 2 miles from Camp Markell...Started for Harpers Ferry...Went to Charles Town....Rebels all around...

     

    The second diary is a family diary, dating from January through December of 1864.  Diarist unknown, but there is a reference to Hiram Jerome visiting. Every date contains details of everyday life including family illnesses, visiting friends, sleigh riding, saving seeds, planting onions, picking and canning cherries, attending church and not being able to attend church due to bad roads.  “Went to the schoolhouse to hear a lecture...from a refugee from the South...Little Willis is dead...Pvt Jerome visited...”

     

    Second diary is in pencil and the writing is light.  The first diary by Hiram Jerome is in ink and pencil and is very readable.

     

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