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Diary, February 1864-January 1865

 File — Box: 1

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

The Basil H. Messler diary, 1864-1865, includes a single volume containing Messler's diary entries during his time in the Civil War. Messler’s diary spans from late February 1864 to late January 1865. It mainly describes the non-combat life of Messler and his fellow soldiers. The Mississippi Marine Brigade patrolled the Mississippi River between Canton, Illinois, and Greenville, Mississippi, protecting local plantations from Confederate raids. Messler describes several raids and a battle. For the most part, however, he focuses on day-to-day events, including patrolling on the scout boat, looting and burning conquered towns, picking berries, shooting and butchering cattle, getting a haircut, visiting other regiments, celebrating President Abraham Lincoln’s reelection, and acting as a bodyguard for southern female college students. Later entries discuss a debilitating illness that kept him in and out of the hospital and taking a great deal of medication for several weeks.

Also included are preservation photocopies and transriptions of the diary and a folder of biographical information on the Messler family, including Census data.


  • Creation: February 1864-January 1865


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.


From the Collection: 0.2 Cubic Feet (/ 1 box)

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Copies

The Basil H. Messler diary has been digitized, transcribed, and made accessible in Digital Special Collections. To access this content, click on the diary's title below.

Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States