Galway, William Civil War Diary

William B. Galways's Civil War Diary
1 folder

Manuscript & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

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Finding Aid by: Nikki Stoddard Schofield, January 2012

Biographical Note:

William Galway mustered in at Danville, Illinois, in Company K, 125th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, on August 27, 1862. He remained in camp until September 13, when they went to Cincinnati.  From Ohio, they marched to Covington, Kentucky, and went into camp at Fort Mitchell. The 125th Illinois was put in the brigade under the command of Col. Dan McCook.   

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists of the Photostat diary of William Galway, 97 pages in length. Among the topics discussed:

On October 8, 1862, the 125th under Col. Dan McCook was attacked by Rebels.  At 4:00 p., their Division under General Sheridan were attacked by a Brigade of Hardee's men under Col. Stuart.  They fought for one hour and a half and then retreated leaving their dead and wounded on the field. On October 10, William killed “a fine goose that would not take the oath” (page 3).

On November 19, 1862, William went to the State House in Nashville, Tennessee, and saw the tomb of James K. Polk. On Nov. 21, he visited the 25th Illinois Regiment and had dinner with his brother David.  The brothers went to Nashville and heard a speech by Parson Brownlow. On December 13, William was with his brother David when he died of congestion of the heart (page 11). December 30, William reported that General Wheeler with 4,000 cavalry attacked a wagon train and took 200 prisoners and burned 110 wagons loaded with supplies (page 13)

March 1, 1863, William “went to Catholic Meeting today and enjoyed the performance very much but have my doubts about it doing one much good in a spiritual point of view (page 23). March 11, “sent 120 men to Murfreesboro to guard a train and they brought back a lot of prisoners (page 25).

May 14, 1863, William tells about the execution for desertion of Julius Mileka, Co. E, 10th Michigan (page 38). On May 17, William wrote about a private from the 8th Kansas who marched through all the camps at the point of a bayonet with a board on his back with the words “mutineer” and “thief” in large letters (page 39).

August 22, 1863, William went to Franklin to “a great Union meeting. Gov. Johnson, Judge O'Brien, Brownlow and Col Houk of East Tennessee made splendid speeches. They were all slave holders but said slavery had played out and that the first gun that was fired on Fort Sumpter was the death knell to slavery (page 60).

September 19, 1863, at Chattanooga, there was heavy fighting (page 68). William tells more about the battle on page 69. On page 70, he tells about his unit being placed in a gap in the mountains, the the Rebels making a stubborn charge, well supported by their artillery. September 28, while on picket duty, William met with Rebels, talked and exchanged newspapers (page 74). 

October 20, 1863, “Can see the smoke from the guns on Lookout Mountain from here.  The firing continued all day.” (Page 78)  November 12, 1863, “A Rebel came over to our pickets today (page 80). November 14, “Two Rebels came over last night in a small boat.” (Page 81)  November 18, 1863, “A great stir among the Generals, Grant, Thomas, Sherman, Davis, Brennan and Smith have been out there several times in the last few days.” (Page 82).

Diary entries end at page 94.  The last three pages are about the Battle of Chickamauga, including a hand-drawn map of the battlefield. 

Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.

Item Listing

Folder 1.  Diary entries consisting of 97 Photostat pages.

August 26-Dec. 31, 1862 Pages 1 through 14
Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 1863 Pages 14 through 94
Battle of Chickamauga Pages 95 and 96
Map of Battle of Chickamauga Page 97

Collection Information

Size of Collection: 1 folder, 97 pages
Collection Dates: 1862-1863
Provenance: Mrs. Donald E. Snyder, May 18, 1967
Access : The collection is open for research use.
Restrictions: None.
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in English.
Alternate Formats: None.
Related Holdings: None.
Notes: None.