Diary, Alva Cleveland, 1862 (Ms2009-113)

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Diary, Alva Cleveland, 1862 (Ms2009-113)


The diary of Alva Cleveland, a 57-year-old soldier who served as an orderly with the 1st Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry. The diary covers March to July 1862 while Cleveland's regiment was stationed around Nashville, Tennessee, and in northern Alabama. In the back pocket of the diary are several sewing needles and a lock of brown hair. The diary does not indentify whose hair it is.
Cleveland writes that he and George enlisted to 'take up arms in defense of that liberty that our fathers fought to Establish (sic).' Due to his position as orderly, however, Cleveland appears to have done little actual fighting. He was most often at the rear of the regiment, tending to and assisting in moving the sick and wounded when the camp moved. He frequently writes of staying behind as the mobile portion of the regiment moves forward and, when they are separated, notes his concern for his young son.
Cleveland's diary entries are lengthy narratives on camp life, moving camps and marches, records of letters and money sent to and from home, and most commmonly, stories of people he meets along the way. He tells detailed stories of positive and negative encounters with Union and Confederate supporters. Although Cleveland prvides some accounts of skirmishes, he does not record any particular battles or battle reports.




Bibliographic Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Alva Cleveland Diary, Ms2009-113, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.



Cleveland family., Wisconsin and Cleveland, Alva, b.1805, “Diary, Alva Cleveland, 1862 (Ms2009-113),” VT Special Collections and University Archives Online, accessed March 29, 2023, https://digitalsc.lib.vt.edu/CivilWar/Ms2009-113_ClevelandAlva_Diary_1862.