The Diary of Pvt. Charles E. Comstock
Co. G, 34th Indiana Volunteer Infantry

Excerpts from May 16-17, 1863

The following excerpts are from the diary of Charles E. Comstock. According to information provided by his great-grandson, Charles M. Chisholm, the 18 year old Comstock enlisted 11 September 1861 and served as a private in Co. G, 34th Indiana vol. infantry. [Spelling and punctuation (obviously) per the original.]

Fryday May 15th (1863)

Took oup our line of march at 5 Oclock AM advanced four miles (to Clinton) and then took the Vicksburg road went about four miles to Bolton found the Enemy here Hory & Osterhouses  Divisions formed in line of Battle remaned so for about three hours, did not make an attack 5oclock P.M camped for the enemy have evacuated Bolton Depot.

Saturday May 16th

Battle near Black River Bridge [sic Baker's Creek] – We feel in line this morning at 6 Oclock and marched about four miles towards Black River Bridge found the enemy at 9 a.m. and skirmishing took place amidiately, at 10 am all of our division (Hovys)was engag’d with the enemy Hovys Division engage the enemy for three hours under a heavy and terifect fire before reinforcements come up This division lost in killed and wounded 1340 At 4 pm we was reinforced and drove the enemy back as far as Black River his loss is verry heavy 11th Ind and 29th Wis chare on one of the enemy Batteries and took it 34th Ind lost in killed and wounded 70 men Co G lost one mortally wounded Henry Corkins.1

Sunday May 17th

Our Brigade (McGinneses) Remanes on the Battle Field I am on Guard at the Hospital Heard cannonading at Black River Bridge at 7 am Reported that our forces have taken it – Our men are all busy burying the dead &c.

Monday May 18th

We are all busy burying the dead Co G on pickit

1. I am now of the opinion that Henry Corkins was not a battlefield death, but was mortally wounded at Champion Hill and died on either the 20th or 21st of May.   His remains are reportedly interred in the Vicksburg Natl. Cemetery,Section O, Grave 3556.  His name, unit designation, location (Champion Hill) and date of death are also inscribed on the family monument in the old Roanoke Cemetery, Roanoke, Huntington County, Indiana. 

    The diary excerpts comport with other accounts, to the effect that the 34th Indiana was assigned burial detail and remained behind as Grant advanced upon Vicksburg. 

Steve Williams
Roanoke, IN

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