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Fallen soldiers at the Battle of Gettysburg.

On August 12, 1882, Freedom Sanborn of Sanbornton, NH enlisted in the 12th New Hampshire Regiment in Belknap County. After this, and under the command of the Union Army, he traveled from Laconia to Washington DC and from there into battle. He was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3, 1863, when a musket ball passed through his throat and shattered his windpipe, preventing him from speaking aloud for one year. As a farmer, he settled settled with his father at the bay. On October 1, 1883, at the age of 32, he died of a heart disease induced by his army experience.

Reprinted From Sanbornton Historical Archives


Aug. 12
- Tuesday - Enlisted in the Belknap County Regiment.

Aug. 25 - Monday - Went into camp at Laconia.

Aug. 30 - Saturday - Got a furlough till Monday.

Aug.31 - Sunday - Went to meeting, heard White Preach.


Sep. 1
- Monday - It rained hard all the afternoon. Was on guard a little while in the forenoon. Guard was not on in the afternoon.

Tues. 2 - A cold day, the wind blew hard.

Wed. 3 - Warmer, got a furlough until Friday morning at six o’clock.

Thurs. 4 - At home - Helped father cut clover piece.

Fri. 5 - Went to Laconia at 6 o’clock and started for Concord. Got there and found our quarters all fixed up - went into them.

Sat. 6 - Drilled in the afternoon. Was examined in the afternoon and I passed.

Sun. 7 - Went to church in the forenoon. Loafed around the camp with Fred in the afternoon.

Mon.8 - Went over to the city and was mustered into the service of Uncle Sam.

Thurs. 11 - The 11th left camp for Washington. Got our uniform and $25 of our State bounty.

Fri. 12 - The Company marched to the City about 9 o’clock and fussed around till 2, got one months pay and came home.

Sun. 14 - Went to Union Bridge to meeting. Fred hooked this book, went to his house to supper.

Tues. 16 - Came back to camp.

Thurs. 18 - The folks from Laconia came down to see us and brought us a dinner.

Sat. 20 - Went home - Stayed at Sanbornton Bridge.

Sun. 21 - Went to church and heard Rev. Dr. Young preach.

Mon.22 - Bid good bye to the folks and went to Concord again.

Tues. 23 - Went to the City and got the rest of out State bounty.

Thurs. 25 - Col. Potter took command of the Reg. - had an inspection from 4 to 6 pm.

Fri. 26 - Had our colors presented to us and got orders to leave for Washington tomorrow.

Sat. 27 - Left Concord at 8 o’clock. We passed through Manchester and Nashua to Worchester and got our dinner. Passed though Norwich and took the Steamer City of NY at Allyn’s Point - went across the sound, and got to Jersey City at 2 o’clock. Left there at 8:30.

Sun. 28 - Passed through Trenton - arrived at Camden at 1:30 pm. - Arrived in Phil at 3:00.

Mon. 29 - Left at 6 and got to Baltimore at 3 am. Got our breakfast then waited till 2 pm and started for Washington. Had one man shot soon after leaving Baltimore. Rode all night, got to Washington at 3 am Tues.

Tues. 30 -Arrived in Washington (3 am). Got a miserable breakfast and started for Arlington Heights at 10 - Oh how hot it was. A lot of our men fell out and had to be carried the rest of the way.


Wed. 1
- In camp at Arlington Heights, weather is hot as love in haying time.

Thurs. 2 - Moved our camp about a half mile.

Sat. 4 - Was detailed for special duty. Went about 2 miles and chopped wood. There was about 130 men of our Reg. went - cut about 20 acres.

Sun. 5 - Got orders to move our camp. The Col. got it put off till tomorrow.

Mon. 6 - Moved our camp about 2 miles.

Thurs. 9 - Marched to Washington and changed our guns and then back again about 20 miles, guess I was tired when I got back. Got a letter from home.

Fri. 10 - Was detailed for guard duty. It rained in the night. Got orders to pack up and be ready to move, but did not go.

Sun. 12 - Wrote home.

Mon. 13 - The Regiment was reviewed by Gen. Whipple. Got a letter from Laconia.

Tues. 14 - Battalion drill in the forenoon, weather a little cooler. Got another order to pack up and start but didn’t go.

Wed. 15 - Arthur Sanborn from Cavalry was here. Wesley went into the hospital. Wrote to Lydia.

Thurs. 16 - Weather dry and hot. Got orders to pack about 7 o’clock in the evening. Packed and then went to sleep and got about 3 am Fri.

Fri. 17 - Got our breakfast and started for Washington - arrived about 7 o’clock. Took the cars, came back toward Baltimore, turned off about 10 miles; from there came up the river toward Harper’s Ferry.

Sat. 18
- Stopped at Knoxville, 2 miles from Harper’s Ferry at 2 in the morning; stayed there all day, camped there that night.

Sun. 19 - Marched about 3 miles to another camp in the rain. Wrote home.

Mon 20 - On guard. The weather warm in the day time and cool in the night. Baggage wagon came in, having been 9 days on the way.

Wed. 22 - Windy as the old Harry.

Fri. 24 - A division inspection in the afternoon. 8 Regiments and 2 batteries of Artillery. Struck out tents at 9 o’clock and marched 5 miles to Berlin.

Sat. 25 - At Berlin all day doing nothing, a hot day.

Sun. 26 - Packed up and crossed the Potomac at 10 o’clock. Marched a mile then hauled up, our Co. was detailed for picket duty. O how it rained.

Mon. 27 - In Va on picket. McCellan army crossing the river in three places. A big thing about to take place.

Tues. 28 - Marched again 2 miles and pitched our tents.

Thurs. 30 - Another march 10 miles into Va.


Sat. 1
- Wrote home. Heard heavy firing all the afternoon.

Sun. 2 - On the march again.

Mon. 3 - Marching

Tues. 4 - March

Wed. 5 - Got tired out and marched behind the Reg. with the sick ones.

Thurs. 6 - Sick. Rode on an ambulance. Snow in the afternoon.

Fri. 7 - In the hospital, did not march.

Sat. 8 - The Reg. marched 2 miles - I rode.

Sun. 9 - Got some better and joined the Co. Laid still all day near Orleans City.

Mon. 10 - Wrote home. A warm day. News came that Fort Darling was taken.

Tues. 11 - Marched 5 miles to Waterloo.

Wed. 12 - Got our mail, 2 letters from father and 4 others. Wrote one home.

Thurs. 13 - Gorden Sanborn came over to see me, guess I was glad to see him. Weather warm and dry.

Fri. 14 - Gorden came to see me again, had a good long talk with him.

Sat. 15 - Had orders in the morning to be ready to move in light marching order in 5 minutes, but did not go at all. Heard firing in the forenoon.

Sun. 16 - Commenced our march to Fredericksburg. Marched 6 miles to Washington.

Mon. 17 - Marched about 10 miles, within 2 miles of the Rapahanock Station on the Orange and Alexandria Railroad.

Tues. 18 - Marched to Cool Spring where there is a copper mine. Went out 2 miles on picket.

Wed. 19 - The Rebs tried to cross a creek about a miles from where we were stationed, our battery formed in line and we were drawn up in line behind it for more than 3 hours - sent out one Co. as skirmishers, but was not attacked, marched 7 miles.

Thurs. 20 - Camped within 9 miles of Fredericksburg. It rained all day - guess our pleasant weather is over.

Fri. 21 - A little warmer and fair weather. Mail came but did not get any letter.

Sat. 22 - Marched about 5 miles in the mud. Some awful mud holes on the way. Got into camp about dusk.

Sun. 23 - Roll call at 4 o’clock. Got our breakfast and started about 9, marched about 5 miles and went into camp about 2 o’clock, within 4 miles of Fredericksburg.

Mon. 24 - In camp on the Railroad to Ayria Creek. Wrote home and went over to see Sam and Gorden in the evening.

Tues. 25 - The Col. thought we needed a little drill so he drilled us in battalion drill 2 hours in the forenoon and 3 in the afternoon - It rained in the night.

Wed. 26 - Old fighting Joe Hooker reviewed our division in the afternoon. Had to march 2 miles for review. Got news that there is to be no more fighting for 15 days - hope it is so.

Thurs. 27 - Thanksgiving day in N.H. Had some steamed beans for my Thanksgiving dinner. Wrote home. Ben Weeks was buried at noon.

Fri. 28 - Battalion drill in the forenoon and afternoon. The Col. is drilling us pretty sharp about numbers - commenced running.

Sat. 29 - Drill in the forenoon. Sam and Gorden came over to see me.

Sun 30 - An inspection at 9:30, dress parade at 5. A pleasant day.


Mon. 1
- Our Co. on guard. Was on from 6 till 8 in the morning. In the afternoon went on guard at Gen. Whipples quarters. Got a mail - no letter for me.

Tues. 2 - Company drill in the forenoon. Moved our camp across the railroad into the woods. Fair and warm.

Wed. 3 - No drill today. Fixing our quarters all day. Got a mail, no letter from home. Wrote home to find out the reason why I didn’t get any letters.

Thurs. 4 - Battalion drills. When we got got in found a mail had come in with letters from home, one wrote the 7th and one the 20th of November. Co. drill in the afternoon.

Fri. 5 - Went out to drill and it began to rain so we came in again. It snowed and rained all day and was as wet and nasty as it could very well be.

Sat. 6 - An inch and a half of snow on the ground in the morning. Did not drill on account of the snow.

Sun. 7 - Inspection at 10. Tried to write home but it was so cold that I could not write. A cold frosty day.

Mon. 8 - A little warmer. Snow thawed a little - finished my letter home and wrote to Wes. Drew a pair of pants, a pair of drawers, and a pair of socks.

Tues. 9 - Weather a little warmer. Have been in the service 3 months today.

Wed. 10 - Co. H on guard. Had an inspection and they gave us 20 extra rounds of cartridges. Weather growing warmer every day.

Thurs. 11 - Got orders to march. Left our knapsacks and marched over toward Fredericksburg. Our folks tried all day to cross the river but did not do it. Bombarding Fredericksburg.

Fri. 12 - Marched down to the river. The Rebs shelled us when we came in sight; killed one man and wounded 3 others. At night we marched back a piece and laid down for the night.

Sat. 13 - Crossed the river and was held in reserve in the city all day. Fighting a little way out of the city all day. A hard battle, neither side seemed to get the day.

Sun. 14 - Not much fighting today. The rebel batteries and our exchanged a few shorts. We laid in the streets of the city ready to move if wanted.

Mon. 15 - The fighting about the same as yesterday. Weather warm, snow all gone. We laying in the street waiting for orders.

Tues. 16 - Last night we was marching all over the city, first in one place and then in another, and about daylight we marched across the bridge and back to our old camp. Wrote home.

Wed. 17 - In our old camp. An inspection in the afternoon. Did not make out much at Fredericksburg; rather got the worst of it.

Thurs. 18
- Company drill. Got me a rubber blanket. A letter from home dated the 11th.

Fri. 19 - Was on guard at the depot. A cold night.

Sat. 20
- Got a letter from Lydia. Colder than thunder. George Odell came over to our camp to see us.

Sun. 21 - Inspection at 10. Went over to see the Cavalry boys in the afternoon.

Mon. 22 - Our Co. on guard. I was on at the General’s quarters. A little warmer. Wrote home and got a letter from Fred.

Tues. 23 - On guard at the Gen. till 7 o’clock. A warmer day, warmer than it had been for a week. Wrote to Fred.

Wed. 24 - Company drill from 11 till 12. Making fireplaces and fixing up our quarters in the afternoon.

Thurs. 25
- Christmas day. Did not drill.

Fri. 26 - A Division drill in the forenoon. I was excused from duty to do my washing, so I did not go out.

Sat. 27 - A Battalion drill from 10:30 till 11:30, dress parade at 4. Weather warm as September in New Hampshire.

Sun. 28 - Inspection and dress parade as usual. Chaplain preached to us from the text “Remember the Sabbath Day,” and as soon as we got in from meeting, we was ordered to fix up our quarters better.

Mon. 29 - Battalion drill from 10 to 12. General review from 3 until dark. I don’t see why I don’t get letters from home.

Tues. 30 - Grand review at 2 o’clock. John P. Hale, U.S. Statesman, was present.

Wed. 31 - Last day of 1862. Drew a dress coat, etc. Was mustered for pay, but guess it will be some time before we get it. This winds up this book, and I guess I will send it home to the folks, hoping it will find them well and that I shall be with them before long.


Thurs. December 11
- A Battle going on at Fredericksburg. We are laying on our arms, listening to the roar of the guns. It is now 11 o’clock and we are within one mile of our batteries. They are hid from us by a hill. Oh what a roar - there is not one-half second intermission. The noise resembles a big thunder shower in haying time. The noise of a big shell going through the air at this distance sounds exactly like the roar of thunder.

Tues. [January]12
- We marched down to the river side. When we got most there the Rebs opened fire on us from their Batteries and sent the shot and shell flying around our ears rather faster than was agreeable, but one took effect and that only wounded 3 men of Co. B. We are lying on the banks of the river now 3 o’clock, the Rebs throwing shells and we dodging them. Not very pleasant weather.

Freedom Sanborn -1862.