Lieutenant Richard C. Shannon of the 5th Maine Infantry was assigned as aide-de-camp to Major General Henry W. Slocum, commander of the First Division, 6th Army Corps, in March 1862. Although a well-educated young man, he was still learning his profession as a staff officer in August and September 1862.

Shannon left behind some wartime diaries which, although not especially dramatic as narrative, offer insight into his day-to-day experience in the field.

Of particular interest to me is this field notebook/diary he had with him on the Maryland Campaign.

It is a flip-page style that he probably carried in his pocket, and he used it both as a traditional diary – writing a brief summary of each day’s activity – and as a working notebook to keep orders, names, maps, and other things he needed to remember.

I’ll pull out some pages to give you a flavor, here. Click on any of them to expand for easier reading.

I should be doing something else, but got pulled off track by a trooper of the 3rd Indiana Cavalry, James Williamson, who was killed in a little-known cavalry skirmish at the Quebec Schoolhouse near Middletown, MD on 13 September 1862.

His regiment’s historian, former Corporal William N. Pickerill wrote a fascinating account of that ‘desperate little cavalry battle’ for a newspaper in 1897, and put it in his regimental History in 1906. Because of him, I’ve spent the last couple of days putting names and faces with some of the men who were there.

The Antietam Cemetery History has him as Daniel Mibbon, 18th New York Infantry (thanks Western Maryland’s Historical Library/WHILBR!). It’s Dan’l Mibbon, N.Y. on his stone.

Frederick hospital records list him as Daniel S. Milborne, 13th New York (thanks National Museum of Civil War Medicine!).

He doesn’t appear in the rosters for either of those regiments or any other New York unit, for that matter (thanks New York State Military Museum!). Nothing close.

A little more digging, though, and voilà!!

Under or near this stone in the Antietam National Cemetery lies David Spencer Milburn, late Private, Company D, 13th New Jersey Infantry. A 26 year old farmer, he was mortally wounded on 17 September 1862 just over a month after enlisting. He died in a hospital in Frederick on 2 October.

I hope his descendants can still find him!