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Diary of Erasmus Bassett

Erasmus E. Bassett and his brother Richard (Dick) were from Barrington, NY, a town not far from Ithaca. They enlisted in Company B of the 126th New York Volunteer Infantry on August 4, 1862.  Their father gave Erasmus a diary while he was home on leave at Christmas time that year. That diary is now a part of the archives in the Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections in Kroch Library at Cornell. (Read the entire blog post "Who is Erasmus E. Bassett")

Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

Bassett diary with cover closed.

Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

Bassett diary with cover open.

Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

Gift inscription from father to son.

Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

Pocket Diary 1863

Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

Dairy entries for Saturday, June 27, Sunday, June 28, and Monday, June 29

Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

Diary entries for Tuesday, June 30, Wednesday, July 1, and Thursday, July 2

Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

Erasmus Bassett's cash account

Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

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Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

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Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

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Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

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Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

 
Start out in the morning go about 1 mile stay till three P. M. Commence march for Frederick or through MD pass Poolsville, Barnesville stop about 11 near Barnesville on Sugarloaf Mts. March 12 miles

Sunday, June 28, 1863
 
March to Monocacy [Junction, Maryland] & pitch tent for the night. Stand it well. Hear Gen’l Hooker is relieved of the command of Army of the Potomac¹   16 miles
 
¹General Hooker is replaced by Major General George Gordon Meade

 Monday, June 29, 1863
 
Reveille at 3 A.m. Soon fall in. commence march at 10 and arrive very and much fatigued. 2 or 3 men left in cash (?)Co Sgts ordered on pickets march 32 (miles)

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Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

Tuesday, June 30, 1863

Send Dick $5.00. Pitch tents in woods near Unionville. Boys all come in.* Go to house & wash & eat. Muster. March on 1 mile and camp. Buy wool hat for $2.00 at Unionville. March 1 mile

*The long hard march of the 29th left many stragglers along the way. This day of only marching 1 mile allowed stragglers to catch up.

Wednesday, July 1, 1863

Leave camp at 7. Go to Taneytown 6 ½ miles. Ordered back 3 miles then march within 5 miles of Gettysburg and stop for the night, been fighting at Gettysburg

Thursday, July 2, 1863

Start towards Gettysburg at 4 A.M. Arrive near town at 6 ¾ A.M. Form line of battle. 39th NY go out skirmishing, lose several...


12 O’Clock at night I find my Brother Erasmus lying dead where I took this from his pocket.

R. A. Bassett**

**Captain Richard Allen Bassett, brother to Erasmus E. Bassett referred to many times in this diary as “Dick” wrote home of the incident, “I thought of George [another brother who had died at Antietam] and then think of Rapsy [Erasmus] falling so near him. I could not help weeping.”

Richard marked his brother's battlefield grave and later Erasmus's body was sent home for reburial in Barrington.

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Carolyn "Biddy" Martin

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