A Guide to the W. R. Coffee Diary, 1863
W. R. Coffee was a soldier in the U. S. Army during the Civil War. On April 7, 1863, he discovered the diary of another Union soldier from Albany, New York, in a Fredericksburg, Virginia, field and continued its entries for five months. Both soldiers were stationed at Fredericksburg and saw President Abraham Lincoln and General Joseph Hooker during an April 1863 visit to the camp.
Consisting of two typed transcripts, the W. R. Coffee diary, 1863, documents the daily life of two Union soldiers during the Civil War. The entries of the unnamed soldier begin January 1, 1863 and end April 6, 1863. Coffee resumes entries on April 7, 1863 and continues through September 27, 1863. Both soldiers discuss their activities and living conditions in the U. S. Army, including the weather, illnesses, the health of horses, the availability of food and mail, the soldiers’ movements, combat witnessed, and visitors to the camp, including President Abraham Lincoln. Coffee also used the diary to keep a record of his finances.
This collection is open for research use.
W. R. Coffee Diary, 1863, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by archives staff, 1940.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers