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William A. Spaulding Diary

William Spaulding was born in Maine. He was a clerk living in Monticello, Wright County, Minnesota when he enlisted in the Second Minnesota Battery of Light Artillery in January of 1862. He enlisted as a private, was promoted to corporal April 5, 1863 and to sergeant on June 13, 1865. He was 20 when he enlisted. He had dark eyes, brown hair and a sandy complexion. He was 5' 8" tall.

Spaulding was a member of the Second Battery's Christian Class, a religious study group formed by some of the men in 1864.

Spaulding kept a diary during at least parts of the war. He noted when and where he moved, complete with the times left and arrived. His comments are brief, but point to his daily activities and mentions names of others in the Battery. At one point, he drew a symbol that appears to be the Masonic emblem in his diary. Several times, he mentions going to "Lodge" in his diary and in 1890, he was living at the Masonic Home in Minneapolis.

The typed transcript of Spaulding's diary is included here. The original is in the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. It is two small volumes, both in very fragile condition, faded writing on darkening paper. Best efforts were made to type accurately the contents of the diary, but Spaulding seemed to have an aversion to punctuation. He mostly used dashes instead of periods and capital letters appear randomly. The diary was typed as close as possible to represent what Spaulding wrote.

(NOTE: This Document is in PDF format)

William A. Spaulding Civil War Diary