Michigan in the Civil War

Browse by Name: Fitzgerald, Michael W.

Fitzgerald family

Diaries (March 21, 1863-Dec. 21, 1864), written by Michael W. Fitzgerald of Company C, 81st New York Infantry. He gives very brief daily entries about the weather; drills; dress parade; inspections; picket guard and guard for a wagon train after rations; the excitement of the boys over re-enlisting for another three years; pay days; and preaching by the Chaplain. They move camp for a short distance, and "had a good time of it." They went into the country after corn husks for their beds; worked on the new camp grounds; and attended a temperance lecture by the captain.

Then the 139th New York Regiment came to relieve them as they start for home. They go to Norfolk and board a ship for Fortress Monroe; to New York City where they go to a theater and to a minstrel show where they "had a gay old time of it." They buy new clothes--"the money does fly." The regiment is reviewed by General Burnside, then they board the cars to Albany where they had a parade and "ran around town buying things." Again on the cars they make a stop at Syracuse, then home to Oswego where they receive a warm welcome, a good supper, and spend the night in the fort. Fitzgerald later lived in Caledonia, Mich.