Dawes Diary

Our sincere thanks to Dawes descendant Eric Jelle for the above photo of Captain Edward Dawes




Written in May 1863 as he was returning from service in the Civil War. The diary was written on the blank pages of a leather bound Smith & Monroe catalogue. The book is about 3 1/2 X 5 1/2 inches and about 1/2 inch thick. It contains pockets for railroad tickets, cards and stamps and an unlabeled pocket.

This diary transcribed by his Great-Grandaughter, Barbara Barnes Lippencott. Thank you Barbara for figuring out all those faint letters and words!


May 15th 1863

Left Lagrange on 1 oclock train. Country looked natural. Missus Spencer was surprised to see a hog between Germantown and Memphis.

Myself, Maj. Niglas Lt Baker and Lt Covice put up at Gayoso House Room was very warm, over a furnace drunk some Lager Went to officers Hospital returned went to bed had dysentary all night


Staid in Memphis found Dr. G. W. Harris at Gayoso by Special Invitation Visited him and family in the evening 10 o'clock. Took Hack and returned to Hotel. Mr. A Farris H. Young and Clara, Lts. Baker and Cover returned to La Gran got permit of Genl Hurlbert to bring my horse, Got Custom House Permit. Got myself and horse aboard boat after settling at Hotel 48 hours $5. poor board James H. Young came aboard and stayed till boat cut loose Found Dr. John Poindexter Surg 15th Regt on boat Coming home on furlough Quite Tight ........., Boat Blle Memphis Shoved off at 5 1/2 PM, had a warm room uncomfortable booking, Very bad in bowels all night.

Sunday 17th

Feel Quite unwell Someone Stold my hankerchief Walked out on boiler deck Wind took my hat off Soldier loaned me a cap Most too small though Very cherie fellow, Stoped where Steamer Majestic was burned took on Large Chain, Stoped at Hickman took on fine lot of Tobacco I am having some fever and coughing My tonsils are Sor and Swelled Maj. John Sohn today but don't feel well

Steemer May Forsyth started out from Memphis right behind us lost Sight of her about dark haven't seen her Since Stopt at Columbus about an hour boat taking on freight arrived at Cairo about dark got off my Valise took it to tavern Was so weak I came verry near giving out Went back boat Moved up to Wharf got my horse off

Took him to Stable which I found by kindness of a Capt who had another horse Went to St. Charles put away my Valise got a biece of Brofs (?) for it Went to bed Slept and having to get up Concerned with my bowels

May 18th

Got up early this morning after breakfast got Provo Pass Got Custom House permit when The Citizen a little Stern Wheel boat came along I ran to the boat found she was going to Cincinnatti Engaged passage ran to the Stable got my horse galloped to the Hotel paid my bill got my Valise put it in a Cab and loped to Steamboat She is badly torn up going through the Yazoo Pass ........and verry dirty from being in govert Service and not being thoroughly cleansed. Stopt at Md City and took on a lot of sick Soldiers I was in such a Hurry I forgot to get feed for Old Tom Must get Something else first place I stop On board is Dr. John Poindexter and Capt. Burrel and McCaleb who I have been told is dishonourably discharged with Stoppage of five months pay


Was verry unwell all Night last Night, This morning got the tooth ache right bad, got some Morphia from Dr. Poindexter, hope it will ease my bowels and tooth too. There was a verry heavy fog last night boat had to lie by or we would have reached Shawnee this Morning by breakfast. Reached Shawneetown 3 o'clock Started home next morning Rode to Mr Dickeys 13 miles


Started after breakfast Reached Coleman Minors with Chills and fevers. Went to bed fever got a little cool got Minor to take me home in a buggy

Sick all night

22nd Felt better ate Strawberrys

23rd Still felt better Settled off with Jesse B Porter and Hanry Harrowood

24th Felt Verry Unwell

25th Was Verry Sick Suffered a great deal with Erysipelas in Head Sent for Doctor Bromban took physic Made me Verry Sick

26th Slightly better though verry Sick Dr. T S Mitchell and another Dr I forget his name Paid me a Visit and Several Neighbours

27th Still feel better Still taking Medicine


This diary was kept in a small bound ledger-type book. On some of the pages there were lists as follows.
p. 150 p. 151 p. 152
Quinine Santonine Bats Drops
Opii (or Okii.? ) Eupurpurin Pomade
Tinct Ver Viride Bals Copavia Castor Oil
Senna Nit Silver Terpentine
5 pts. Nitre Sug Lead Linaments
Chloroform Catechu (Catechn ?) Condition Powders
Sulph Aether Nut Galls Pills
Nit Acid Ext Logwood Cinamon bark
Tinct Mur Iron Muriate Amonia Ess. Cinnamon
Pyroligneous Acid Carb Magnesia " Peppermint
Oil Anise Red Lead Resin
Croton Oil Cochineal Eps Salts
Tannin Cream Tartar Ext Sassaparilla
Sulph Morphia Camphor Breast Pump
Red precipitate Worm Candy Injection Pump
Chlor Pottassa Ink Hooks for turnkey (?)
Nit Pottas Muriate Lin  
Iodide Potassa Godfreys Cordial  

Dr. Edward Dawes Album