Diary of Sargeant McCullough

Wednesday June 1st Intensely warm. The Yankees are again in motion to day, and A.P. Hill is in pursuit. Last night a detail from the Battalion was sent out to throw up breastworks for the M_d Battery. A slight shelling has been going on, at intervals, through the whole day.

Thursday June 2nd Still continues warm. This morning, about one oclock, we were awaked, and marched to Mechanicsville, where we arrived about day break, enamped here a short time, marched three miles, encamped in a dense woods -- we were moved again half a mile farther, to the shade of a few straggling pine trees. Here we remained 'till our division reached us, when we took out position in the line. Marched again, through an intense and suffocating heat and dust, to Gain's farm (the old battle field) Saw some partially exhumed Yankee [frames?] Just as we arrived on the field, our boys charged the enemy's line and broke it. In the afternoon, about twilight, we were moved forward as the support, Echols Brigade, which charged the enemy in his fortifications and drove them in disorder before it. We remained on the field all night in a drizzling rain. About dusk, Gen. Breckinridge and staff rode up on a small hill & a short time after he retired, two heavy lines of battle advanced and took position just in our rear.

Friday June 3rd Changeable. Last night the enemy made several final demonstrations against our lines, but were easily repulsed. This occasioned however, the formation of our line of battle each time. The enemy this morning, about [4?]1/2 oclock, made an assault in three heavy columns against our fortifications, and by reason of overhwhelming numbers, compelled our men to retire. They fell back in great disorder upon our Battalion, when we had to charge and right [nobly?] was it done. One we went across the ravine, up the hill, and drove them, although superior in numbers to us in confusion and with great loss across the breastworks. I fell wounded by a sharpshooter ten yards from the entrenchments, but had the satisfaction of seeing the bluebellies lying in heaps in front of me. Was carried off the field by Hillman & Johnson whom I detailed for that purpose & had an exceedingly unpleasant time in going through the wet and tangled undergrowth and marshy woods, the enemy shelling us furiously. My wound was dressed by Dr. McGill, of Hagerstown. Marshal Kane was in my farm today. Services were also held in the barn today. Private [Hurley?], of my Company, was killed just before the charge.

Sunday June 5th Weather the same. Was removed from the barn to the ambulance, and fainted whilst they were putting me in. Was taken to the train, & about dusk, arrived in Richmond. After a very rough ride, arrived at Chimborazo Hospital where I passed a comparatively comfortable night. Was placed in ward (M) Div. No. 2.

Monday June 6th Clear & very warm. Passed a very disagreeable day, by reason of the suffocating heat. Had an injection operation performed on me today, and fainted while I was up. Changed my under clothing today the first time for four weeks. Made application to be transfered to ward M, Div. No. 5. I am at present in ward M, Div. No. 2.

Wednesday June 8 Clear. My wound pains me a little more than usual to day, but the medicines have been taking for days past are, at least, beginning to rectify my bowels & head. Passed a very uncomfortable & restless night.

Thursday June 9 Warm & windy. My wound pains me a great deal today. It has commenced to [mor?]. Sent a letter of 9 pages home. Enclosing one Photograph. Bought a piece of sponge to day for my own individual purposes. Private [Chilcutt?] of my Co. came to see me today.

Friday June 10 '64 Clear. [Kautz's?] Cavalry 6,000 strong, made a bold and determined attack upon Petersburg on yesterday and at one time, had our entrenchments, but were finally driven back by the militia. My wound pains me severely at times.

Saturday June 11 '64 Still clear & warm. My wound gave me more pain today that it has at any time, since I have been wounded. There was a Hemorrage of my wound today. The holes are enlarging. Capt. Torsch came to see me today.

Sunday June 12 Clear. Capt. [McAleer?] came to see me today. Had an egg-nogg & a lemonade made for me today. Heavy firing has been heard all day in the direction of the army. Wound [?] very freely today. My pants, which I thought were lost, came in today. Took a very severe cold in my face last night.

Monday June 13 Clear. Grant is reported falling back to the White House & Ewell marching for the Valley. My wound is improving slowly.

Tuesday June 14 Clear. Awoke this morning with my head & throat so stopped up that I could scarcely talk. This is caused by the nature of the medication I am taking. I am excessively weak today.

[Source: Sgt. McCullough Civil War Diary, Accession #2822, Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, Virginia]