1865. Hardcover. Item #31128
18, 110, pp. Original full calf stamped in gold on the front panel. The first 18 pages are printed and include instructions to the delegates. The rest are handwritten pages: pp. 1-87 are the actual diary, followed by annotations and remarks on specific soldiers (pp. 88 to 110 – but many of these pages are empty). The last four pages contain annotations on Sherman's Army. Hoyt, a Presbyterian reverend, reported for duty on May 25, 1865 and was assigned to the 14th Corps, General Sherman’s Army. A few pages into the manuscript, the author suggests there could be a family connection between he and Sherman. He then proceeds to vividly and ably describe the following two and half weeks of army life. Hoyt recounts poignant stories of soldiers finding strength in Christ; the overtaking sorrow after President Lincoln’s death; the last wishes of a dying soldier in Atlanta; a train of prostitutes following the army and their “smoky quarter” in Nashville; everyday life in the encampments (food, spartan accommodations, laundry scenes, etc.); his visit to the National Cemetery, which “has been nearly filled from the hospitals of Washington during the four years of the war”; being threatened because of racial incidents by mobs of soldiers, some of whom were intoxicated; the desolation he felt looking at the hills around Washington, D. C, that made one “imagine himself in a new country just cleared of forests, not yet plowed, fenced, and furnished with houses, instead of being within three miles of the capital city of the U. S.”; their lack of access to the latest news that he notes was more readily available from newspapers in his hometown of Orange, NJ than close to the action. Hoyt makes mention of Generals Baird, Davis, Howard, Sherman, Slocum, Gregory and refers to Forts Slemmer, Totten, Saratoga, Thayer, and Lincoln. Spine and endpapers recently redone, a few small burn marks on some of the leaves. A compelling, because both singular and representative, account of soldiers’ lives during the last days of a war that tore apart families and the social fabric of a young nation.; Octavo.