Basil H. Messler Diary, page 17

May 17-20, 1864

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back with a Capt of 12th got good news from him concerning Grant on the Potmac[sic] &C... got the Boys on Board went up town in the evening got me 2 arm chairs and 1 stool and a Gallon Bottle &C.. got back they was taking of our Horses and putting on mules and wagons all confusion The Town all on fire and the hardest(?) I ever seen No fire bells to ring no sound of the roling engins and noisy firemen to be heard Nothing But the sparking fire and the soring flames and the crashing of slate roofs &C..

Wednes Morning aroused By the Bugler at 4 o'clock and all Busy our Cav'lry left at five and I went up town got a pall[sic] of water and 4 more Books and at 7 we left the smoking ruins of the City and run down tied up at a Plantation I supose the Gen. wanted some Chickens and Egg's for his Dinner we then went down to Liverpol Hights and raid them at 6 P.M. our Cavl came in site and at 7 P.M. some of the Boys came on Board so ended the day I read most of the day in a Religious Book called The Young Man From Home &C..

Thursday Morning I went in yaul(?) to a plantation and got a Bucket of water and 9 A.M. we steamerd up and ware off again. Landed at Hances Bluffs at 2 P.M. I was on gard and at 3 P.M. we shuved out and run down to Vixburg landed at 7 P.M. I then went on Guard came of[sic] at nine and went to Bed and was about plaid out.

Friday Morning 20th Went up town got some light Bread for "Than" G. as he had to have light diet and I thought it would not hurt me to eat light Bread also Than having the Brasiloid at the time at 4 P.M. I went down the river a 1/4 of a mile to visit the 11th Ill. Cavl. then went up to the Washington Hotel read the Chicago Times through got my Supper and returned to the Boat at 9 P.M. and Chatted on the News of the day and the suckcess[sic] of Gen Grant in the east and one thing another &C..