October 9, 1864: Wilbur Wightman Gramling Diary

The following post is part of an ongoing series entitled Civil War Voices from Florida. Each day in October 2014, Florida Memory will post a document from the collections of the State Archives of Florida written exactly 150 years before that date, in October 1864.

Today we return to the Union prisoner of war camp at Elmira, New York to check in on Wilbur Wightman Gramling. As the weather turns colder, his concerns about surviving the winter resurface:

Excerpt from Wilbur Wightman Gramling Diary (M88-70, State Archives of Florida).

Excerpt from Wilbur Wightman Gramling Diary (M88-70, State Archives of Florida).

Transcript: Sunday, Oct. 9, 1864. Had a light snow last night. Is cloudy and very cold today. I am quite unwell today. Have had a little fever all day. Wrote to Irvin today.

 

The “Irvin” Gramling refers to was his older brother Irvin Watson Gramling, who had enlisted along with Wilbur in Company K of the 5th Florida Infantry. Irvin had been captured in July 1863 while fighting at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He was detained briefly at Fort McHenry in Maryland before being sent to Fort Delaware, where he remained until the end of the war.

Battle flag of the 5th Florida Infantry, in which both Gramling brothers were members of Company K. The flag is now in the possession of the Museum of Florida History (photo date unknown).

Battle flag of the 5th Florida Infantry, in which both Gramling brothers were members of Company K. The flag is now in the possession of the Museum of Florida History (photo date unknown).

Wilbur mentions writing to Irvin or receiving letters from him frequently in his diary. Since both Gramling brothers were detained in camps far from home and apart from each other, this correspondence must have been heartening to receive. The original Wilbur Wightman Gramling diary later came under the ownership of Irvin’s family. Irvin’s grandson, Owen Irving Gramling, Jr., donated the original Gramling diary to Florida State University in 1971.

Check out the related resources below for more information about the Civil War in Florida, and come back tomorrow for another edition of Civil War Voices from Florida, when we’ll return to the Georgia coast to hear from Confederate sailor Robert Watson.

Related Resources on Florida Memory:

Related Resources at the State Archives of Florida:

Related Resources in Print:

 

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