0.25 linear feet
Peter H. Musty Bound Diaries. The earlier of the two bound diaries dates from Musty's enlistment and initial period of service in the army (January 1862- September 1862) and the later bound diary begins after Musty had been discharged and returned home (June 1864- February 1865). Throughout both diaries, Musty wrote personal names and the daily entries for July 2- September 16, 1864, in a numerical substitution code. Before enlisting, Musty made multiple visits to a gypsy camp near Greensburg, where he had his fortune told and received an invitation into a tent to sing for them (January 15-19, 1862). Shortly after his enlistment, Musty was appointed as a musician (drummer) and transferred to Field and Staff duty where his responsibilities included cooking and guarding prisoners. Musty described daily life at Camp Dennison and Camp Chase in Ohio, including mentions of petty thefts such as a soldier being placed in the guard house for stealing a pie as well as someone stealing his blanket.
Although not directly involved in combat with his unit at the second Battle of Manassas, Musty was impressed by the intensity of the heavy "cannonading and musketry," and mentioned the forced retreat with the entry: "Jackson after us. I run all night - no sleep at all - cold, cold." On July 31, 1862, he described flags flying at half-mast in their camp and "canons fireing in every direction," at the news of Martin Van Buren's death.
After being invalided out of the army in 1864, Musty's diary entries again focused on life in Greensburg, Ohio. Musty spent a large part of each day playing his violin, often for two or three different gatherings on the same day. He played at "apple cuttings," parties, school programs, and oyster dinners. He serenaded neighbors, often not returning home until well after midnight. Sometimes Musty was accompanied by friends on the "basse" and drums, and on several occasions they donned "blackface" by rubbing their faces with cork only to find that it was much easier to apply the cork than it was to remove it. Musty returned to helping his father with the coopering business and began working part time at the local post office, hoping to get well enough to return to Washington, D.C., to work for the Veteran's Relief Corp. On the local scene, the town of Greensburg worked actively to prevent the drafting of local men in 1864. Instead of individual men buying their way out of the draft by hiring replacements, a committee of Greensburg citizens went to Cleveland and hired replacements for all the Greensburg men subject to the new draft. The town then set about soliciting money from all the local families to cover this communally-incurred expense. Musty made a passing mention to visiting a photographic gallery in November 1864, where he saw "movements on negatives" and had his "picture taken with motion." The December 23, 1864, entry includes four small pencil sketches of a friend named Tom, showing his progression from civilian to soldier. Musty was fond of keeping lists, and in the back of his diaries he compiled the names of soldiers he served with, people who owed him money, letters he had received, and a six page chronological list ("Memorandum") of all the girls he had accompanied home from local events between April 1860 and February 1865.
Peter H. Musty Disbound Diaries. Pages disbound from diaries span from January 1, 1861, to August 7, 1863, with some ca. 1865 entries at the end. The early entries pre-date Musty's enlistment and describe his schooling, daily activities, and work. Musty occasionally mentioned topics like slavery (January 8, 1861; February 24, 1861), and by April 1861 he began to note military activity. Throughout the rest of 1861 Musty recorded local enlistments, drills, and military news alongside his daily work and activities, providing a glimpse of local reactions to the early war effort. Entries from January to September 1862 overlap with the bound diary for these dates, but with variant wording and occasionally more details. Musty described his enlistment on February 26, 1862, and his subsequent stay at Camp Dennison and Camp Chase, providing details about daily camp life. Musty commented on guarding Confederate prisoners at Camp Chase, some who were en route to Johnson's Island (April 26-May 27, 1862). Musty described the march through West Virginia, arriving in Strausburg, Virginia, on June 21. From June to November 1862, Musty wrote from Strausburg, Middleton, Sperrysville, Arlington Heights, Fairfax Court House, New Baltimore, and other Virginia encampments, describing marches, camp life, nearby Confederates and guerrillas, and recent military encounters. In his entry for September 10, 1862, he vividly recalled his first time in battle on August 22. From April to August 1863, the collection includes copies of letters Musty wrote while at the hospital at Brooks Station, Virginia, and convalescent camps near Alexandria, relaying news of nearby engagements and activity at the hospitals. In July 1863 he began working as a clerk at the Medical Head Quarters for the convalescent camp and subsequently the Invalid Corps Head Quarters. The entries for 1865 primarily detail his health complaints. Musty included occasional references to African Americans (May 4, 1862; May 28, 1862; July 30, 1862; June 9, 1863; June 25, 1863). Other items include lyrics to a song about alcohol, an extract from the Army Herald entitled "The Fruits of Rebellion," and several pages accounting for Ohio soldiers.
Musty's letter book contains eleven of his outgoing correspondences and eighteen incoming letters from friends (both male and female) during the Civil War. It also includes poems, songs, programs of performances at the local Greensburg school from 1859 to 1861, the constitution of the Tyrocinean Debating Society, and a list of other men from Greensburg who served in the Civil War. Among the copied letters is a formal letter of complaint against Captain Thomas Graham for being intoxicated on multiple occasions while stationed at the Invalid Corps Convalescent Camp in Virginia (November 7, 1863). A table of contents for the letter book appears between pages 101 and 104.
Ten illustrations drawn by Musty during his military service are present in this collection. He drew three of these sketches between February and April 1863, when his unit (61st Ohio Infantry) was stationed near Stafford Courthouse, Virginia. Of particular interest is a detailed drawing of General Adolph von Steinwehr's headquarters and the surrounding camp activities, with what appears to be a self-portrait of Musty sketching the scene in the foreground (March 6, 1863). The illustration is on the reverse side of a fragment of a letter in which Musty states that he and all of the soldiers he knows are not fighting for "the freedom of the collord race." Another drawing from around the same time shows a soldier carrying dispatches in front of a tent, with several wooden hitching posts in the foreground. The third illustration depicts a log cabin next to what appears to be an oven while two soldiers stand guard nearby. On the reverse side of this sketch is part of a letter to his brother Francis in which Musty mentions having received a valentine from a girl (whose name he rendered in code). The fourth sketch from this period is on the back of a letter dated May 28, 1863, and shows a long tent, possibly a field hospital, with a "No Admittance" sign over the entrance. A man is visible through the tent flap with a bucket at his side. The fifth sketch (undated) shows the fortifications at Aquia Bridge, Virginia, and the surrounding countryside. Two undated sketches depict women, one drawn in pencil with the title "Going By the Gate" and the other in black, blue, and red ink showing a woman with a striped hat. An undated pencil sketch, "The Signal Flag," shows soldiers atop a house waving the signal flag, an army encampment in the foreground, and soldiers marching in the background. A pen and ink drawing captioned "Near Cedar Mountain" shows three soldiers, one on horseback and two others cajoling a balking donkey. A dialog entitled "A Quaker on an argument" includes a pen and ink illustration of two men debating theology before a fireplace.
The last two items in this collection are printed items, a black and red print of Major General John C. Frémont torn from a letterhead and a Valentine containing an illustration of a man playing his guitar for a woman that includes the following poem:
"My song is mute, the strainWhich melodized each line,My sentiments conveyTo thee my Valentine."