Skip to main content

Diary, Marcus B. Warner, 1864 (Ms2010-061)

 Digital Record
Identifier: Ms2010-061_WarnerMarcus_Diary_1864


  • 1864


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Marcus B. Warner Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Biographical and Historical Information

Marcus B. Warner was a drummer in Company K of New York’s 184th Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. When he enlisted, he was twenty-two years old and 5ft 6in tall with blue eyes, a fair complexion, and dark hair. Previous to his short army career, he was a harness maker in business with his father in Volney, New York. He also worked as a Sunday school teacher and was very active in community and church activities, such as the local temperance society. Warner was deeply religious and enjoyed singing. He had a sister named Ett and a brother named Gus, who was enlisted in New York’s 5th Corps and served as a Hospital Assistant in City Point, Virginia, in 1864.

Warner was enlisted in Phoenix, NY on September 1st, 1864 for one year; he was credited to his hometown of Volney. The next day, he mustered into service in Oswego, NY. The commissioned officers of his company were George Wetmore, Captain; Edgar F. Morris, First Lieutenant; and John H. Gilman, Second Lieutenant. On September 16th, Company K went to defend Bermuda Hundred, Virginia. The company also served at City Point and Harrison’s Landing in Virginia.

Dyer, Frederick H. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. Vol. 3. New York: T. Yoseloff, 1959. Print.

"184th NY Infantry Regiment during the Civil War" New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs. NY Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, 3 Sept. 2010. Web. 17 Sept. 2010. .

Language of Materials


Scope and Content

Diary written by Marcus B. Warner in 1864. The diary is written in a green Allings & Cory pocket diary. In addition to describing his life as a soldier, Warner also chronicles his previous civilian life and the Union army recruitment process. Writing as a civilian, his common discussion topics include the weather, his daily schedule, fluctuating gold prices, local and national politics and elections, war news, and local community and church events. A notable entry on August 6th gives insight to his political sentiments:

The Copper Heads are getting to be quite bold they are spewing out their venomous treason against the Government at times when I hear them talk it almost makes my blood boil with rage I fairly hate the sight of them and there is many those who we would expect better things from.

After Marcus mustered into service in September of 1864, his descriptions shift to daily camp life and more in-depth war news that is sometimes accompanied by newspaper clippings. A humorous entry on October 4th details a false alarm around camp, in which a guard mistook a lone dog for an enemy attack. Warner also provides considerable insight into the religious life of a Union soldier. On September 11th, he bears witness to a mass group conversion:

I saw a gathering off at one side [....] they were holding a prayer or speaking meeting there was an opening in the center where those who wished steped fow- erd and confessed their and decla ired themselves on the side of the Lord it was very good meeting the spirit as God was there motivation was then given to those who wished religion to step forward, some twenty persons stepped forward praying was then offered and meeting adjourned until eve

Warner also goes in depth about the army’s practices concerning disease, death, and funeral processions. On October 26, he writes:

Mr. teague a member of Co C. a merchant of Hannibal Oswego Coun who had been very sick [....] He suffered much all night nearly to the time he died He was sensiless when he died At 3 oclock P.M. funeral of Mr. Teague and Mr Hall was held. procession formed in front of the hospital (which is the brick mansion of this plantation) a solemn tune was then played by fife & drum and mourners marched down to the graves (which were down near the river shore) they were then lowered in their graves three volleys were then fired over their graves. previous to this a few verses were read from the bible and a few remarks made and a prayer offered by Elder Davis procession then returned to camp, all feeling rather soleme

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US