Use the smaller-sized text Use the larger-sized text Use the very large text

Historic Diaries: Emily Quiner, 1863

Click the date to read the full entry and further historic details

  • Sept. 27, 1863: Emily's Final Diary Entry
    [...] When I came home at noon, Nellie met me at the gate telling me that Pa had received our transportation papers. I was very glad to hear it at first, and went to work immediately to get my trunk...

  • Sept. 26, 1863: Familial Opposition
    At home until four o'clock, then went up to see the Governor. I wished to find out whether or not he would give us transportation if we should not obtain it of Gen. Pope. He told me that as soon...

  • Aug. 31, 1863: Plagued by Indecision
    Did not feel very well this morning. Went up town. Saw Joe Curtis, an old friend, at home on furlough. He goes back in a few days. Got a new calico dress. Several friends called upon me today. It seems...

  • Aug. 30, 1863: Back on Familiar Ground
    Went to church this morning. Mr. Goodspeed of Janesville preached for us. He gave us a very good sermon. Staid to Bible Class. It seemed good to be in our old church once more. Mr. Campbell came to see me...

  • Aug. 29, 1863: Compliments from the Governor
    Saturday 29th Rose this morning with a strange feeling at finding myself at home, not very well, did not eat any breakfast, unpacked my trunk, made me a white apron, and wiped the dishes, then dressed and went up town....

  • Aug. 28, 1863: Centralia to Chicago to Madison
    Friday 28th Rose early this morning after a passable night's rest, dressed as well as the motion of the cars would allow and went into the other car. It is very cold indeed, not much like the weather we have...

  • Aug. 27, 1863: Nearly Shipwrecked outside Cairo
    Thursday 27th We had quite a fright early this morning. I think between two and three o'clock I was awakened by a loud crash, and afterwards we heard screams and the boat stopped suddenly. We rose immediately, hastened on our...

  • Aug. 26, 1863: Homeward Bound
    Wednesday 26th Rose early after a good night's rest and after dressing, finding no one in the cabin, went out upon the guard. It was very cold. We passed Fort Pillow in the night. After breakfast I read a short...

  • Aug. 25,: 1863: Tearful Goodbyes
    Tuesday 25th We went up to the office immediately after breakfast to see what the prospects were for going home. Mrs. Burke went with us, Mr. Smith said that it was very probable that we would go tonight. We made...

  • Aug. 24, 1863: Decorating Her Ward Before Departing
    Monday 24th At home all day making wreaths of evergreens for my ward. A young sergeant of the Guard by the name of Andrews helped me. He is quite a fine fellow and I liked him very much. I have...

  • Aug. 23, 1863: Emily's Last Sunday in Memphis
    Sunday 24th [23rd] At home all day. The girls went to church this evening. I remained at home. Mr. Casey spent the evening with me. Dr. Nelson called this afternoon and we analyzed a flower which we found yesterday, which...

  • Aug. 22, 1863: A Frolic in the Country
    Saturday 23d [22nd] It looked like rain this morning, but cleared up before noon. I staid in my ward all day until noon. We started for the [Orphan] Asylum about two, a couple of gentlemen from the Small Pox Hospital...

  • Aug. 21, 1863: Another Quiet Day
    Friday 22d [21st] Received an invitation today in common with the other girls to a picnic at the Orphan Asylum. In my ward most of the day. Did not go out in the evening....

  • Aug. 20, 1863: More Soldiers Depart
    Thursday 21st [20th] To my great surprise and also very much to theirs, five of our convalescents received furloughs and started home today, this leaves us only 7 men in the ward beside the nurses. I am glad to see...

  • Aug. 19, 1863: A Party in a Cemetery
    Wednesday 20th [19th] We went out to the Small Pox Hospital today with Cordy Reynolds. Went all over it, also to the Catholic Cemetery where we rambled around an hour or two, accompanied by the sexton, an old Irishman and...

  • Aug. 18, 1863: An Empty Ward
    Tuesday 18th More of the boys went today. The house looks very lonesome. I have been at home all day....

  • Aug. 17, 1863: Departing by the Hundred
    Monday 17th Today has been a very busy day with us, a large number of the boys went home on furlough. We went down to the boat to see them off. It made me homesick to see them start. We...

  • Aug. 16, 1863: "Getting Used to Almost Anything"
    Sunday 16th Very warm indeed today. Went to church this evening for the first time in my stay in Memphis, went to the Union Church, it seemed to be a Methodist Church, unfortunately with Southern principles, so that Uncle Sam...

  • Aug. 15, 1863: Ice Cream Galore
    Saturday 15th Spent the day as usual in my ward. Fannie & I went to market this afternoon. There were a large number of people present. It was very warm indeed. These Saturday afternoon markets are a great curiosity to...

  • Aug. 14, 1863: Uneventful Day
    Friday 14th A warm day. In my ward all day. Men are getting ready for home, they were paid off today. We were intending to go out tonight, I had an invitation to go and get ice cream, the other...

  • Aug. 13, 1863: Unwelcome Visitors
    Thursday 13th In my ward all day. Louise & Jenny went out walking tonight. I did not go, went to my room and went to bed. I had just got into a comfortable doze when Lou came in and said...

  • Aug. 12, 1863: A Party and A Move to New Quarters
    Wednesday 12th Warm today. In my ward all the forenoon. Some of the boys are expecting to go home on furlough soon. We had a little party this afternoon of Wis. boys, Johnny Reed, John Bausard [indecipherable] Homer Jones, Wm....

  • Aug. 11, 1863: A Shipment from Home
    Tuesday 11th Lou & I went to market this morning. Mr. Smith went with us. After breakfast went up to the office to see if Mr. D. had any letters for us. I got two from home. In my ward...

  • Aug. 10, 1863: Opium and Death
    Monday 10th In my ward and Ward B all day. There was a boy about 19 in Ward B who has been under the influence of opium for two days so that he was perfectly stupid and could not be...

  • Aug. 9, 1863: An Amputation
    Sunday 9th Today passed as usual. In my ward most of the time. James Farrell, a Wis. boy, had his finger amputated the other day, and his hand is very much swelled and inflamed, he has been up stairs. They...

  • Aug. 8, 1863: A Day in the Country
    Saturday 8th In my ward most of the day. Walt Judson came today at five o'clock with a hack and took us out to Elmwood Cemetery, a beautiful place. I never enjoyed anything in my life more than I did...

  • Aug. 7, 1863: Sick and Tired
    Friday 7th A very warm day. I went into my ward before breakfast but was obliged to leave it soon after and lie down. I did not get up until afternoon. At home this evening....

  • Aug.6, 1863: A Marriage Proposal
    Thursday 6th Mr. Smith left for Vicksburg today, Lieut. Billings & Lieut. Townsend called upon us this morning. The former is on General Solomon's staff and will go up the river with him on furlough in a few days. He...

  • Aug. 5, 1863: Jeremiah Rusk
    Wednesday 5th In my ward all day. A man who is in Ward D, Lou's ward, died this morning immediately after having an arm amputated. His father and mother have been here for some time. Went up to the Officer's...

  • Aug. 4, 1863: Hospital Routine
    Tuesday 4th In my usual routine of duty today. Men are doing well. Did not go out today. Some of the gentlemen connected with the Hospital called this evening....

  • Aug. 3, 1863: Hoping for Furloughs
    Monday 3d In my ward all day feeling miserably. The men are doing well. They will probably get furloughs, at least a large number of them very soon. I shall be glad to have them go as I think it...

  • Aug. 2, 1863: Depressed and Discouraged
    Sunday 2d In my ward all the morning. Dr. Nelson asked me why I did not go to church. I plead want of time, but fear that want of inclination might also have formed a good part of my excuse....

  • Aug. 1, 1863: A Gentleman Caller from Home
    Saturday August 1st Capt. Pitman of the 23d called to see us this morning. He is going to Madison on furlough, we were very glad to see him. In my ward most of the day. The men are all getting...

  • July 31, 1863: Death of a Friend
    Friday 31st In my ward early. A warm day. Lou & I went to the office this morning. Mr. Smith was not there. We waited a long time for him, as Ms. Davenport said that he had letters for us,...

  • July 30, 1863: Medicines and Mimosas
    Thursday 30th In my ward all day. That old lady went home last night. Mrs. Brown, wife of one of our sick men in my ward, is here taking care of her husband. Billy, our medicine man, was sent to...

  • July 29, 1863: A Grieving Mother
    Wednesday 29th In my ward early. Immediately after breakfast the Ward Master came to tell me that there was a lady below who wished to see me. I went down and found it to be the mother of the man...

  • July 28, 1863: Heat and Death
    Tuesday 28th A warm day. We went up to Mr. Smith's office to get some things from a box which came from Wis. The man whose mother I wrote to last week died today, he was not quite sensible when...

  • July 27, 1863: Ice Cream!
    Monday 27th In my ward all day. Went out in the evening to get ice cream. Very warm....

  • July 26, 1863: Bread and Socializing
    Sunday 26th Sunday morning again, it does not seem much like it here. I have not been to church since I have been in Memphis. I am so busy during the morning that I cannot get ready by church time...

  • July 25, 1863: A Wound and a Trifle
    Saturday 25th At home all day. Clark is getting along well now, I think he will recover. I have two Wisconsin boys in my ward, one of whom was wounded in the foot, he is from Manitowoc. His name is...

  • July 24, 1863: Death from Typhoid
    In my ward most of the day. We all went up to Mr. Smith's office. He had just been down to see the boat off, which Fanny went in. She had been there waiting for the boat to go ever...

  • July 23, 1863: Emily's Sister Gives Up
    Thursday 23d Mr. Smith came up this morning and said that if Fanny wanted to go home, she could go up with Mr. Hicks and Lieut. Cantwell today. They were going directly to Madison. She has been talking of going...

  • July 22, 1863: Death and the Theater
    Wednesday 22d Warm today. Rose early. Went to my ward this morning, found that my poor Virginian had died during the night. The nurses were with him when he died. They said that he died easy. I am sorry for...

  • July 21, 1863: A Dying Virginia Boy
    Tuesday 21st In my ward all day. Cool and pleasant, men doing well generally. I wrote a letter for one man to his wife. He is a Virginian dying of chronic diarrhea. He says his wife is only 17 years...

  • July 20, 1863: The Memphis Marketplace
    Monday 20th Fanny, Louise & I went to market this morning at five o'clock. There is a very nice market here and we see a great many green things. I enjoy it very much. This morning I saw an old...

  • July 19, 1863: The 17th Infantry
    Sunday 19th Warm today, men in my ward about as usual. In my ward all the forenoon. Sunday is Inspection Day here and a general cleaning up has to take place in the morning. This afternoon Mr. Smith came with...

  • July 18, 1863: A Walk Abroad
    Saturday 18th Louise & I took a long walk this morning, went as far as the Soldier's Home, a very pretty place. We had a great deal of fun going out & back. There are so many comical things in...

  • July 17, 1863: A Visit to the State Agent
    Friday 17th Went to my ward as usual. Did not feel very well today. A little blue. I shall have to go out more. Fanny, Louise & I went up to Mr. Smith's office this morning. It rained after we...

  • July 16, 1863: Bitter Tears
    Thursday 16th A warm day, it rained about noon and cooled the air somewhat, a real tropical shower it was, the rain coming down in sheets. I enjoyed it, but I guess some of the boys who lay under the...

  • July 15, 1863: "God Pity All the Mothers"
    Wednesday 15th Warm today. In my ward all day. Mr. Smith & Mr. Sweetland of the Adams Hospital came this afternoon to have us go up to the Officer's Hospital to see a Wisconsin Captain. I did not go, the...

  • July 14, 1863: Signs of Improvement
    Tuesday 14th Pleasant & cool this morning. Men about as usual. Kent is better this morning, ate quite a breakfast. I do wish he could get well. Clark is getting better slowly. I think he may get well, he seems...

  • July 13, 1863: A Dying Soldier
    Monday 13th Rained the forenoon, made it very cool. Went to my ward as usual. Men getting along very well. Did not go out tonight. One of my men very sick. He cannot live, he is an Ohio boy, he...

  • July 12, 1863: Inspection Day
    Sunday 12th My first Sabbath here. When I went down this morning, found the boys in [? mine] cleaning the floor, and after breakfast they changed the clothing of the men and also the beds. This is always done Sunday...

  • July 11, 1863: A Discouraged Soldier
    Saturday 11th In my ward early. Clark better today. I talked to him a long time about his home and friends, told him I thought the doctor would give him a furlough and send him home as soon as he...

  • July 10, 1863: The First Death
    Friday 10th Dreaded to go to my ward this morning, the air is so bad there. There are some very sick men here and they require my constant attention. I already feel very much interested in some of them, some...

  • July 9, 1863: Fits, Swollen Feet, and Nerves
    Thursday 9th Rose this morning at the sound of the bugle at five, dressed and went down to my ward. Went around and said good morning to all my men, attended to the giving out of the breakfast, fed one...

  • July 8, 1863: Emily's First Day on the Job
    Wednesday 8th Started immediately after breakfast to see Dr. Irwin Langeon, General of Hospitals here. He immediately engaged us for hospital duty and gave us our papers. We visited the Jackson Hospital and afterward the Gayoso, where we were engaged....

  • July 7, 1863: Caught in the Rain
    Tuesday 7th Excessively warm. We had a nice shower, however, in the forenoon, which cooled the air somewhat. Louise & I started out this P.M. to go up town. We were going to the Union Hospital. It looked very much...

  • July 6, 1863: Magnolias and Mottoes
    Monday July 6th Another warm day. We went up town this morning, visited the park, which is an exquisite little bit of greenery, teaming with squirrels which are so tame that they will eat from your hand here. I saw...

  • July 5 , 1863: Emily's First Day in Memphis
    Sunday July 5th A terribly warm day. We went up to the office after breakfast and staid two or three hours. Had a splendid shower while there, a regular tropical deluge, which passed leaving the air apparently as hot as...

  • July 4, 1863: Arrival at Memphis
    Independence Day! And we floating down the Mississippi! Who would have thought it, on such an errand too? It was very warm this morning. I sat down immediately after breakfast and wrote a long letter home to be mailed at...

  • July 3, 1863: Onto a Mississippi Riverboat at Cairo
    Passed the night comfortably. The stopping of the cars early this morning awakened us. Found ourselves standing still in an interminable swamp with two or three feet of water as far as you could see on either side of...

  • July 2, 1863: Janesville to Cairo, Ill., by Train
    Came into Chicago at 6 o'clock & I took breakfast at the hotel, stopped about two hours and then started for Centralia. We had a very long, warm, tedious ride, and arrived at Centralia at 8 o'clock. I am...

  • July 1, 1863: Departure and Delay
    Rose early, ironed, packed trunks, dressed myself, went up town and did a great many other things. We went up and had our pictures taken. Found that the omnibus had left, when I got home. Quite a number of...

  • June 30, 1863: Last-Minute Preparations
    Up early this morning, having a great deal to do, getting ready for so long a journey. We are to stay two months before coming home. James Chapman & Lou Richardson are going also. There is quite an excitement...

  • June 29, 1863: The Invitation to Go South
    29th At home today. Went up town in the afternoon. To meeting in the evening. When I got home Mr. [George C.] Smith was there. He is going to Memphis tomorrow. He wanted us to go with him to take...

  • June 28, 1863: A New Start
    Sunday June 28th 1863 Another long gap in my journal, and I promised myself at the last that that there should not be another if it was in my power to prevent it, but such are human resolves. ......

  • About Emily Quiner's Diary
    Emily Quiner (sometimes found as "Emilie" in surviving records) was a young Madison woman who decided in June 1863 to go to the South and work in a Civil War hospital for wounded soldiers. She had been teaching school and...



  • Questions about this page? Email us
  • Email this page to a friend
select text size Use the smaller-sized textUse the larger-sized textUse the very large text