October 28, 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 on Civil War Voices we return to the diary of Leon Countian prisoner of war Wilbur Wightman Gramling in Elmira, New York. Gramling’s diary entry today was short, but for good reasons:

Excerpt from a transcript of Wilbur Wightman Gramling's diary (Collection M88-70, State Archives of Florida).

Excerpt from a transcript of Wilbur Wightman Gramling’s diary (Collection M88-70, State Archives of Florida).


Thursday, Oct. 27, 1864. Cloudy all day but no rain though quite pleasant. Uncle Joel arrived here today and is in very good health. He has been in Washington. No news of interest.

“Uncle Joel” was Joel F. Gramling, brother of Wilbur’s father Andrew Gramling. Both brothers had relocated with their parents to Madison County, Florida from South Carolina around 1845. Joel F. Gramling had been a member of the 5th Florida Infantry like Wilbur, although he was a member of Company “D” rather than “K” like Wilbur.

Wilbur’s uncle had seen a lot of action, and he picked up a few wounds along the way. He was wounded in the right leg on September 17, 1862 at the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg), which resulted in his being furloughed from military service for a time. He later returned to the Confederate military, but was wounded again at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 6, 1864 and taken prisoner. This was also the date Wilbur Wightman Gramling was taken prisoner, but the two were quickly separated.

Through earlier entries in Wilbur’s diary, we learn that Joel Gramling followed much the same path as his nephew after his capture. He stayed in several hospitals in the Washington, D.C. area before being transferred to the prisoner of war camp at Elmira, New York on this day in 1864.

For more information about Florida and Floridians in the Civil War, check out the related resources below. Also, check back with us tomorrow for another edition of Civil War Voices. We’ll be heading back to northwest Georgia to check on Floridian soldier William McLeod as his unit heads north to join Confederate General John Bell Hood’s Tennessee campaign.

Related Resources on Florida Memory:

Related Resources at the State Archives of Florida:

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