6 Handwritten Diaries Jennings Farmington Me Civil War Vet. Battle Of Gettysburg For Sale
Up for sale are 6 handwritten diaries and all of them belonged to Civil War Veteran Asa Jennings of Farmington Maine. They represent the years, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890 and 1891.
“Asa Jennings was a native of New Portland and a farmer by occupation. After a residence of several years in Wilton, he removed to Farmington, which has since been his home. Like his father and grandfather was a patriot and soldier, entering the United States Service in 1862 (August 18th to be exact) as a private, Co. G 17th Regiment, Maine Vol. Having a special faculty for hospital work, he was transferred to that branch of service. At Gettysburg he was attached to the First Division, Third Corps Hospital, having a surgeons charge of several hundred disabled soldiers for some days, his duties until the end of the war when he received an honorable discharge after nearly three years of service on March 16th, 1865. He applied for a pension in 1872.”
Except for a handful of blank pages the diaries are nearly full of handwritten entries. There are your general farming entries of course but plenty of other entries concerning his travels (including a nice trip to Massachusetts to see the sites in 1890) time spent with his family and friends, elections, events concerning the Civil War Veterans, and much more. I’ve taken several excerpts from each diary to give you a better idea of their contents…..
“Cloudy with some snow in the A.M. but clears off warm and pleasant at N. Joseph Jennings died here 15 years ago today, aged 81 years….Hazy. Town meeting today and we elect E. Dyer, S. Craig and G. C. Perkins selectmen and Love Ames S. Committee….I expect to go to Roscoe Chaney’s funeral today. From the funeral I went to Uncle Luther Chaney’s who is very sick. Bought a hat for two dollars……Attend the Republican caucus and was chosen delegate to the congressional convention at Auburn June 8. Spent for cheese $.20 and for brown bread $.10….Fair but rained a little in the night. I got to Dis. Convention at Auburn. Pay $2.00 for ticket. Nelson Dingly nominated. I pay $.50 for dinner. I stop with D. Eaton over night…..I attend the State Convention as a substitute for the delegate of Franklin Plantation. J. R. Bodwell was nominated on first ballot for Governor. Came home……The Third Army Corps meets at Gettysburg to celebrate the anniversary of the great battle fought there…..Very hot. J. G. Blair, General Gibson and Senator Blair speak on the political issues of the day at the village. A very large gathering…..Cloudy but does not rain till night. Mr. James M. Mosher was buried today. I conducted the funeral. Levi Mosher pays me for the use of the buckets, $1.50……”
“Cloudy and snowy all day with 4 inches of snow. Albert moves to the village preparatory to attending the Normal School. Father died here 16 years ago today…..Cloudy having snowed 2 inches in the night. P. and my wife and Mary attend the campfire at Grand Army Hall. I feed J. Y. Morton’s cattle. My wife stays at the village…..Fair. Roads adrift badly. Josie, wife of Joseph Albert Jennings died aged 39 years….Byron’s wife has a son born about eight in the morning. Weight 12 pounds. Mrs. J. Y. Morton is sick with scarlet fever…..S. School at George Hully’s. Present 16. I am sent for to go to the village and take care of Albert who is sick from inhaling too much ammonia gas…..Memorial Day. Address by Maj. S. C. Belcher. I served as Chaplin. Service in Music Hall and at the cemetery. Dinner and supper by the Relief Corps at Grand Army Hall. I and Betsey came home…..My wife and I got to Phillips to Franklin Veteran Association reunion. Tickets $.75 x 2 = $1.50. Staid at Silas Gormer’s…..”
“Cloudy with quite an amount of drifted snow. Betsy is feeling a little better. I get some medicine of the Dr. for her and some for me. I get some loaf sugar $.10…..Cloudy then fair but snow at night. Mary’s Birthday. I go to the village and take dinner with Capt. Merrill. Go to Dr. Gifford’s and get some medicine for Betsy, $.50…..Ending with rain at night. Robin’s and sparrows make their appearance. A son is born to Mrs. & Mr. J. T. Morton. The house on the Alexander Hillman farm was burned…..I go to the village and get the tires reset on the wagon. I get my pension check cashed and let A. E. J. have $25.00. I have my hair cut…..Rainy in the forenoon. I go to Conference and do a lot of errands. Also attend caucus and was chose a delegate to the Co. Convention. I get medicine from the Dr. for my wife…..County Convention which I attend and the nomination are Senator E. Merrill, Sheriff A. Sylvester, Com. J. Webster, others fill their own vacancies….I attend the Veterans Association at the fairgrounds. Stop all night. Take dinner E. P. Merrill’s. Supper on the grounds, $.25 + $.10. Rains from 8 P.M. till 6 A.M……Election of President. We here cast four votes for Benjamin Harrison. Levi P. Morton who prove to be elected….Fair but not much sunshine. I go to the village. I buy soap and a toothbrush, $.23. The Republicans celebrate the election of Harrison in a splendid manner. B. is 37 today…..”
“President Harrison will be inaugurated today. Town meeting today, elect H. Titcomb, F. E. Dyar, F. C. Perkins selectmen. I am sick. Do not go….the above is the record of the fourth instant put here by mistake. Betsy is very sick and the Dr. comes and gives her relief. Mrs. Greenleaf sits up with her……Rested poorly last night. Albert comes home from Kent’s Hill where he had been nursing scarletina patients. I stepped out of doors the first time since taken sick….My wife is failing rapidly. I go after Albert….My wife died at 2:25 P.M…..I go to the village to make arrangements for the funeral. I get $15.00 from the bank. I get ______$.25, I get affidavit from G. E. Dillingham (I scanned the pages above concerning her funeral)…..I go to the village and attend a lecture upon the battle of Gettysburg by J. F. Chase. I buy 2 tickets = $.50. I get a card from Mary…..I go to the village at night and witness the marriage of A. E. Jennings and Mrs. Nellie M. Morton at the Exchange Hotel by Rev. Hugh Elders. I receive 25 memorial cards and a letter from Mary and one from Sabrina and her husband…..”
(In the memoranda portion of the 1889 diary he writes this…)
“January 10th, 1889. I with the Post attend the funeral of L. N. G. Jenkins of Temple who committed suicide while insane. Some fifty of the Post attend. He was a G. A. R. man, a member of the Congregational Church, a trustee of Agricultural Society and a good man.”
“I start for Lewiston, fare $1.90. We had a crowded time on the cars but found Mary and the friends well except Mrs. Eaton and Mr. Foss who have the rheumatism. I pay for barbering, $.35…..The baby takes more notice this morning. Josie is quite poorly. Dr. L. comes and thinks the baby has liss (?) fever. I receive notice of the acceptance of my pension claim. Mrs. Jones is here today…..Memorial Day. A good day. A good turnout. A good address by Rev. W. F. Berry on the part women took in the war. Everything past off pleasantly. We have a picnic dinner. I carry a box of doughnuts, $.50….I go on to Masker Hill to see some aged and sick people and was happily surprised to find a meeting there. Uncle Wm. Mosher, 88, is quite smart. Aunt Bosilla feeble but gaining…..Mary and I visit the Kearsarge lying in the harbor of Boston. It was this vessel that the gallant crew that destroyed the Alabama. It was a very interesting visit, $.25 a ticket = $.50…..Mary and I go on the excursion to Plymouth. We saw many interesting places and relics among them was Plymouth upon which we had the privilege of stepping. Five tickets $2.00…..B. and I start for Milford but fail to get on to the train and have to wait till 10:55. Ticket $.77. Mr. Ebon Brown met us at the depot at Milford, escorted us to his house to dinner after which I went to Mr. D. A. C____ where I spent the night……”
“I went to the village to get affidavit of my disabilities from the time of my discharge till the present time. Capt. Wm. Fene (?) gave one. I paid $.50….I pay $.70 for potatoes. John S. Morton died this morning. I assisted in laying him out. I pay $.15 for grass seed and sow it on my lot in the cemetery. I pay $5.50 for pants and vest…..I attend Memorial service and march to cemetery and help decorate the graves. Address by Capt. Fairbanks of Bangor. I pay $.11 for a G.A.R. button…..I attended the C.C. at New Sharon and have a very good meeting today. I find the roads very dusty and the air very smoky. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Elder and good…..Albert and family are here making a family reunion of all the children and grand children and one nephew…..I start late and go to Chesterville to the Co. Vt. Association. It was not a success owing to the death of Mrs. Webster and the rainy weather. Expenses $.35…..”
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