Brown leather Confederate diary of Benjamin M. Seaton, 5.5 x 7.5, housed in a hardcover presentation folder and slipcase. A solider in the Tenth Texas Infantry, at thirty years old, Seaton was amongst the elder soldiers. Spanning a period of three and a half years, this diary contains accounts of some of the most significant battles, including the Atlanta Campaign. A member of Company G, Seaton saw action in nine major engagements and several skirmishes, but what fascinated Seaton the most was not the conflict, but the maneuvering tactics that followed, which he writes about with eager fervor.
A few entries of note are as follows, including Seaton’s original grammar, vocabulary, and spelling:
January 11, 1863: “Sunday 11th—at 8 A. M. the [gunboat] fireing commenced again and kept up vary study all day and at 10 A. M. small arms commenced and was kept up untell 4 P. M. when the white flag was run up on our wright wich we was vary sory to sea but nevertheless it was so so we were ordered to stack arms and was marched down to the river bank and a strong guard placed around us fer the knight. We are prisners of war.”
January 12, 1863: “Monday 12th—we lay thar on the bank untell late in [the] eaving when we went on one of ther boats to start to Yankadom. I was vary sick fer several days on the boat—no correct time of anything will be ceapt. We went up the Missippi River to Louisville [St. Louis] some 600 miles by water and thar our officers were taken from us and sent to Camp Chace [Chase] in Ohio near Columbus and the privets went up to Aulton [Alton, Illinois] some 50 miles and thar taken the cars [railroad] for Chicago to Camp Douglas som 250 miles by railrode. Arrived thar on the 28th—vary cold and snowing—sevare cold weather. The troops suffered a grate deale—it made a grate meny sick and caused a grate many deaths in the command. We cold git no correct news while we remained thar—we wer treated tolerable well about as well as we cold exspect prisners of war to be treated.”
The last journal entry on April 24, 1865, ends abruptly, giving no information as to his destination or plans after the war. He concludes the diary with a list of soldiers, noting their status as “died” or “transferred.” Ending as abruptly as it began, Seaton, over the course of the entire war, makes no mention of his home, family, or friends, making this account acutely intriguing as the memoirs of a seeming ghost. So little information from the Tenth Texas Infantry has come to print, making this diary exceptional in historical essence and value. Scattered light toning, soiling, and pencil notations throughout the text, and the expected wear to the cover, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by the book, The Bugle Softly Blows, containing a complete transcription of the diary, along with information regarding Seaton’s regiment, published by the Texian Press. RRAuction COA.