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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:53 am 

Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:04 pm
Posts: 2
Does anybody have any PDF or any berdan sharpshooters dairies???

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:00 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 230
Location: Old Northwest (Michigan)
Sutone and Fellow Sharpshooters:

I would suggest using a Goggle or other engine search: "USSS or Sharpshooter diaries" and try your luck. I have found portions of USSS diaries published online.

James Mero Matthews diary (Soldiers in Green) compiled and edited by the Richardson Round Table (ME), is available for sale. Matthews' diary is the only one published in its entirety. However, you will find his entries range from richly detailed to sparse to cryptic.

I have found similar trends among other sharpshooter diarys. In terms of battles, sharpshooters wrote a lot about their first encounter with the enemy, but hardly anything afterwards. Diary entries (and letters to family) tend to have the same frustrating phrase: "the newspapers can tell you more about what happened during the late battle than I can. While newspapers did write about the 'big picture', critical details about what the Sharpshooters did in pivotal actions at Gettysburg, Chancellorsville, and the Overland Campaign is particularly vexing. By its very nature, combat is a disorienting and traumatic experience; no matter how well traiined or seasoned the soldier. So it is little wonder that they recorded only the most basic information as time went on. The letters by Sgt. Frank Cobb (Co. C 1st USSS) written after his return as a POW (Sept 1864) are particularly poingnant. All of his entries emphasize his loneliness and the realization that all of his friends, tent-mates and comrades were either dead, disabled or discharged. Cobb's seond to last letter notes he felt "surrounded by strangers"; only 6 of the original 101 Company C sharpshooters were present for duty when discharged at the end of their term of service.

Over the years, I have been very fortunate to have friends let me examine original, unpublished USSS diaries that have confirmed important details: when green uniforms were issued, packed up and sent away prior to campaigns, when reissued; when photographs were taken; Adams express boxes arrived from home-what was in them; what the men ate on campaign and camp; tent-mate names, casualties in the Mess or company; police and picket duty, etc. Matthews book covers these details nicely and gives you a good place to start.

Hope this helps.

Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad Mess

PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:20 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:50 am
Posts: 57
Location: KOP, PA
Where might that book be found to purchase?

Pvt. Jeremiah Boring
Company B, 1st USSS Regt.

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