March, April 1863
March 1st leave Camp Bliss and march 15 miles to McCulloughs Springs, road terribly bad yet. On the 2nd cross James River and march 28 miles to Ozark. Early on the 3rd resume march 15miles to Lockport--on the 4th still on the road (L.B. and myself join Company while here on march)--march some 15 miles east of Hazelwood to Camp Bloomington--remain there till the 14th, march again eastward and bivouac 8 miles west of Martsville. Resume march on 15th of March and by 4 p.m. reach camp on Elkcreek. April 3rd leave the beautiful camp at Elkcreek--march 12 miles to Robadeaux Creek and on the 5th march 15 miles to Big Piney River, build bridge and cross same day 13 miles to Spring Creek. On the 6th march 15 miles to Little Piney River and here remain in Camp Totten until afternoon on the 23rd, when we strike tents and go 10 miles to Rolls--from there take cars on the 24th for St. Louis.

We arrive there by evening and go into camp back by Arsenal grounds. Remain there till evening 25th when at 9:30 p.m. we were ordered aboard the Ocean Wave for Camp Girardeau--land there about 3 p.m. on the 26th of April. Company A and B get stationed in Fort Bliss for support of siege guns--at 2 a.m. of the 27th get ordered to Fort "C" and remain there under arms that day and the next also, but evening of 28th receive marching orders--march all that night--next day and following night through swamps and creeks, over hill and dale till evening of 29th when we bivouac along roadside.

May 1863
On the 30th have reveille by 3 .am. start at 4 and by 8 cross Castor River on a floating bridge, built by us, -- reach Bloomfield toward evening May first. Start from Bloomfield at 7 a.m. still in hot pursuit of Marmaduke and his forces, march till midnight--Early next morning heavy firing ahead, quicken up our gait and reach Chalk Bluffs on the St. Francois River about 10 a.m., having marched 8 miles. Companies A and K were immediately deployed as skirmishers along the river bottom--rest of Regiment supported battery. As there was considerable firing on extreme left, the casualties of the Regiment, one lieutenant killed and several slightly wounded-but having no proper means to cross the river in further pursuit, we turned about and marched back to Bloomfield, reaching there on the evening of the 3rd. On May 4th bury Lt. Eaton of Company H and later marched to Camp Girardeau on the 6th, again having marched in 5.5 days 140 miles over some of the worst roads in Missouri. May 6th resume march again with 20th Iowa in lead--37th in center and 26th Indiana in rear--the Iowa boys smarting under former practical army jokes vented on them made the assertion they meant to be 2 hours ahead in camp of the 37th, therefore started about 10 a.m. at a pretty lively pace, but Major Payne having reported their intentions to us we kept up with them, in fact, crowded them as close as we could, their ambulances being pretty well strung out which kept us back, but about 2 p.m. when near Little Piney River, the road wound around the bluffs or banks till it came near a wide fording--the 20th kept the road, while part of left wing of 37th Companies A,B,C, and D plunged into creek waist deep, forded at different places, thereby coming out on main road, under cheers from all behind us, not only ahead of our own Regiment, but also ahead of the colors of the 20th Iowa--thereby vindicating our soubriquet of "Illinois Greyhounds" and by p.m. went into camp not only to dry off by also to rest on our laurels.

Remain at the Cape G. till the 8th when we go aboard another steamer and reach St. Louis again by noon of the 9th. Remain in St. Louis till morning of the 14th meantime participating in the celebration of the anniversary of taking of Camp Jackson in May '61 by General Lyons. Also getting new clothing which we sadly needed. On the 14th went aboard the cars for Pilot Knob and go in camp there on the 15th southwest of town and while there we received our shelter tents.

June 1863
June 3rd leave Pilot Knob and after a 20 mile march camp near Farmington--resume march on June 4th march and camp close to St. Genevieve, on the 5th embark on the Transport Hannibal and on the 6th start down the river, reached Millikens Bend and Young Points on the 11th. From there start up the Yazoo River to Haines Bluff, but are ordered back and on the 12th land at Youngs Point, LA. The same day start across the Point and get to Opposite Warrentown, then on the 13th are ferried across to Mississippi side and land in rear of Vicksburg. From now on the fat of the city is only a question of time, as our arrival closes the gap left open so far.

The extreme left, being a sandy flat and low ground, was used by them as their means of communication. On the afternoon of the 14th we advanced to within one-half mile of enemy's works and commenced immediately to entrench ourselves, throw up breastworks and in short participate in the siege in all its different details, in fact more so than troops here longer, as most generally on half the men fit for duty were in the trenches, while the other half were on fatigue duty during night. July 1863 From July 1st till noon July 3rd, we advanced our works considerably , then occupying ground that was in possession of the Rebs on our arrival. On the afternoon of July 3rd, while flags were being displayed in front of our pits, the boys immediately fraternized, exchanged news, tobacco--coffee and hardtack and as we knew their time had come we felt genial toward them.

After firing of evening gun, the cry along the front was "Hunt your holes" and in less time than it took to say it--Rebs and Union men were in their respective places of shelter again but kept rather quiet during night. On the afternoon of the 4th of July we entered the city and by that, ended another act in the great drama of the slaveholders rebellion. Vicksburg with all its garrison, guns, ammunition and other stores was in our hands and thereby the great highway of trade and traffic North and South, the Mississippi was virtually opened again in all its length, and by it, our forces were released to pitch into the enemy at other needed places-- in fact the backbone of the rebellion seemed to be broken (though said backbone was a rather stiff and extensive one).

From July 5th to the 10th we lay in southwest portion of the city, gathering up ordinance and destroying their former works. On July 11th embarked for some point below, but on same evening get signaled by gunboat Arizona and received intelligence of fall of Port Hudson, the last Rebel hold on the banks of the river. On the 12th move up stream, enter Yazoo River, pass Haines and Snyders Bluff, past Sunflower Landing and halt within sight of Yazoo City afternoon of the 13th. Immediately the 37th was ordered ashore and advanced as skirmishers under cover of gunboats. Though the Rebel;s opened lively on us and boats--doing more damage to the gunboat DeKalb than to us, we were ordered back by nightfall, taking a few prisoners along (and here is where somebody blundered again, as after our recall the Rebs left) and later, about 10 p.m. when we were ordered forward again we found the place evacuated, and bivouacked in the streets of the city.

Remain in front of Yazoo City till the 16th of July, when by noon march with 5 days rations toward southeast--weather very hot and water scarce. Bivouac, then resume march on the 17th passing through Benton and reach Big Black River at dark and go into camp on east bank of river--remain there till 3 p.m. on the 18th when we march 8miles back-- on the 19th resume march again and reach camp near Yazoo River by 4 p.m. Remain there till the 21st, busy landing horses, mules, cotton, and other captured property, back to Vicksburg on the evening of July 21st, disembark on the 22nd, and embark again on the 24th, leaving Morristown on the 25th and arrive at Port Hudson on the 26th--Stay there on the boats awaiting orders till the 31st when we move into camp back of bluffs in cane brake.

August - September 1863
From August 1st to the 13th change camp twice, getting every day a heavier sicklist. Embark on the 13th and land on the 14th near Carrollton, LA. Go into camp between Carrollton and New Orleans, having more than half on sicklist. August 22nd turn out for a grand review of the old 13th Corps before General N.P. Banks. August 27th between sunrise and sunset bury 3 of Company A, and so through the whole command. September 4th reviewed again by General Grant and Banks and get turned over from the former to the latter, much to the discontent of the boys. September 5th are under orders to move again and embark and after midnight the 7th land near Morgansbend, (West LA). On the 8th start off after General Taylor and Green's forces on west side of Atchafalaya River, but unable to cross, return next day--remain around Morgansbend till September 20th doing picket duty most of time, same day move further up the river to the village of Morganza, doing same duty till noon of the 29th, when Regiment starts to assist the advance, consisting of parts of the 19th Iowa and 26th Indiana, which had been surrounded and mostly taken prisoners in the morning (it being rather misty and cloudy). The 37th was on skirmish line till evening but meantime Rebels had recrossed the river. Their forces were said to be more than 3,000 while ours in the immediate front was scarce 1,200. Their loss was 32 killed and 110 wounded--ours 13 killed and 34 wounded.
October 1863
September 30th General Dana assumed command in place of General Herron. On our return to Morganza we found the whole village and section round about in smoke and ashes. October 1st the Regiment scouted and skirmished between Bayou Sara and Atchafalaya River capturing prisoners, horses, mules and cattle. Reembarked on the 10th reaching New Orleans on the 11th--remain there in camp and get a good drilling every day till the 22nd, when, after dress parade, 3 cheers for General Dana and the Rio Grande, gave us to know what was before us.

Embark by noon of 23rd on the G. Peabody along with two troops of 1st Texas Cavalry. Drop down past Crescent--26th go down to head of passes and by noon October 27th steam through southwest pass into Gulf--on the 28th under convoy of gunboats start in regular line across the heaving bosom of the Gulf of Mexico (need I say how he exacted his tribute of nearly all of us) had fair weather and sailing on the 29th, but on the morning of the 30th it was quite stormy and rough, so much so that our rudder chain snapped and thus left the boat unmanageable--boat hands with the assistance of our boys (most of Company D being old lake sailors) soon fixed the steering apparatus with ropes, block and tackle thereby we were able to keep in our course but soon we noticed other boats having apparently worse trouble than we, as on some we could see white flags hoisted.

Morning of October 31st found us on place of rendezvous, assigned by General, where we found a dispatch boat and soon others followed till afternoon when Generals Banks and Dana, in their boats, ordered us into proper line, but 7 vessels of the fleet were still missing. November, December 1863 On the 1st of November by 4 p.m. we dropped anchor near Brazos San Diego. The morning of the 3rd the rest of the missing boats came up, and we commenced to land. November 4th our Regiment crossed the breakers and shortly afterwards in great joy, landed on the sandy beach but suffered for lack of water. On the next day started for mainland by fording Boco Chico, an inlet over one-half mile wide and over four feet deep--most all of the boys had to make two trips to bring arms, clothing and accouterments across, a trip long to be remembered by many.

After a short rest on mainland, form and march till about 9 p.m. We bivouac near Rio Grande on old battleground of Palo Alto. Remain for 2 days waiting for rations, resume march on the 8th of November and by the 9th reach Brownsville, pass thru' town and go into camp about one mile beyond. From 9th till 21st. Then receive orders to march. Company A, F and G taking the overland route with teams under Major Payne, while rest of command embark on a river steamer (Mustang). The 3 companies named reached Ring Gold Barracks on the 25th of November (ahead of those on the steamer) seizing over 80 bales of cotton--flour and other stuff. Remained here for two days. Then return to boat which was aground on one of the numerous sandbars some 30 miles below the barracks. Reaching the boat they embarked for the return, but owing to low stage of water made slow progress but finally got to Brownsville December 12th, being about 22 days on a 12 day supply of rations, but beef was plentiful along the river, also raw sugar. We remain at camp from December 12th to the 31st, receiving on the 26th a Christmas present in shape of two months pay.