🎋Andrew Siegler’s Diary(Nine Days Of War)🎋… submitted by Frank

A man holding a bow standing next to an old cannon.

This is a Civil War Diary written by Andrew Siegler under Buford’s Cavalry beginning
June 27, 1863, and ending July 4, 1863. The little empty diary was given to Andrew by his
parents with the following note:
To Andrew,
For your journey through war, so we can read about it.
-Ma and Pa, 1863
June 27, 1863
Our Cavalry, Buford’s, has been following an army from Blue Ridge since this morning. I
know fur shure (for sure) that it is Confederate. Everything is looking good, I enjoy the
scenery.
June 28, 1863
We were almost spoted (spotted) by the army today, I think that Lee is leading that
army.
It is a very pretty day today but there is talk of a battle happening soon. I’m worried.
June 31, 1863 (Probably June 30)
I’ve been so busy the past two days that I haven’t had enuff (Enough)time to write in my
diary. We had orders today to go straight to Gettysburg. On the way there the
Confederates saw us and stopped ded (dead) in ther (their) tracks. We are going to wait
here at Gettysburg until the South attack (attacks) us.
As soon as we got to Gettysburg, we had to run off an (and) fire at an approaching
brigade. They fled and we reported back to our division.
It is very hot today. I have to go set up camp now.
July 1, 1863
I woke up to a big BANG! this morning. All hell was breaking lose (loose) around me.
Our whole division was running to McPherson Ridge to fight the Confederates. We did
not have any aid so far and we almost got blown to smitherines.(smithereens). My friend
Joe got shot and killed today at the battle when two brigades came and charged down
the hill at us. But we stood our ground, firing quickly, knocking down those rebels like
they were target practice. Late in the morning we were relieved by, a Federal infantry ,
but as soon as he got close to the front line he was shot and killed. But, then one of our
brigades captured Archer, a rebel brigade leader. We also captured more than 300 men
this morning. Archer is the first General the Union has taken since Lee took command
of the South. But, mid-afternoon we had to scramble to Cemetery Hill because we could
not fight off the mass of men coming at us on McPherson Ridge.

Rumor has it that we have lost more than one half of our men in the first day of battle.
Late this afternoon, I took a shot at the Southern leader, Ewell, but alas, I hit him in his
leg, wooden leg. Now, we have huge reinforcements on the hills around us and the
outlook is good. Yesterday’s beautiful scenery has started to become wasteland due to
the battling.
I thought of Rosie today. I can’t wait to get home so I can ask her hand in marriage. I
feel down for her sister , Mary, because she was to marry my friend who was shot earlier
this morning.
July 2, 1863
On Benner’s Hill, a group of Confederates fired at us but we picked them off, most of
them, and also their leader. At the same time, Ewell had his men charge us, but they
were only partly successful. Then, a huge mass of men charged at where we were
stationed. They were so close to us that I only had a chance to fire 3 shots. Most of the
time I was throwing rocks and hitting rebels with the handle of my rifle. I captured one
man, he is sleeping right now. There was another man. I clubbed him in the face right
before he died. He had this look of complete fear, and he had every right to be afraid.
The question is, did I have the right to take his life along with several other lives. I’m tired, I’ve fought from 8 A.M. to 10 P.M. I think I will go feed the raccoon by my
tent.
July 3, 1863
We have been given orders to go to the southern tip of Cemetery Ridge. When we got
there 15,000 rebels were charging at us. We were firing up a frenzy and the
Confederates started to diminish, but they kept coming. When they got close, they
started falling like flies. They had four leaders, one dead, one down, one advancing, and
one retreating. The advancing one had about 200 men with him and he was at the wall.
He yelled out some commands but I couldn’t make it out. He started climbing the wall,
then I picked him off, right in the face. Guns were going off like crazy. It was confusing.
July 4, 1863
We are celebrating two things. One, the fighting’s over! We won. The other is that it is
the 4 th of July! We’ve been taking the extra gunpowder and we’ll have fireworks tonight!
There is no mention of Andrew Siegler’s future battles or if he made it through the War.
This short record of nine days of fighting only gives us an idea of what really goes on in
battle. General Sherman once said, “War is Hell!” This is still true today!
*Brig. General, John Buford, Commanded the First Cavalry Division, Cavalry Corps,
Army of the Potomac. He is generally credited with determining the importance of and
holding the ground near Gettysburg for the coming battle. Buford commanded two
brigades, consisting of somewhere between 2700 and 2950 cavalrymen. This seems a
small force considering the statement made by Siegler that there were “15,000 rebels
charging at us!” Numbers become distorted quickly in the thick of battle!

I found this old diary a few years ago and just recently found it while going through
some paper items I had collected through the years.
Andrew Siegler was a member of the 10th Regiment, New York Infantry in the Union
Army. He was in Company F and C.
He entered as a private, and his rank out was private. Nothing is known of his private
life.

1 Comment

  1. Brandon Royal on August 17, 2023 at 3:16 pm

    Great war story from quite a long time ago!!