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The diary is well-written, and the author takes time to write about life on board ship, his own sea sickness, being caught sleeping on watch, eating hardtack, waiting for mail, runs ashore, rumors circulating, desertion, boredom, entertainment, preparation for battle, battle, and the aftermath of battle. The diary covers both personal actions and ship-wide activities. We are thus able, through Gregg’s writing, to develop the ability to know the man penning this diary. In addition, the editors have done a commendable job of fleshing out and expanding the comments made by Gregg within his diary. . . .[R]eaders interested in the Marine Corps or the U.S. Navy during the Civil War will want this book in their library. It is a must-read for anyone considering writing on CSS Alabama or the Battle of Mobile Bay. (The Journal of America's Military Past)
About the Author
Wesley Moody is professor of history at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He is the author of Demon of the Lost Cause: Sherman and Civil War History. Adrienne Sachse is professor of economics at Florida State College at Jacksonville.
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The Marines would start with about 1775 officers and men with a total of about 3900 having served by wars end. A very small number compared to the 2.5 million combined US regulars and volunteers of the land forces or the 110,000 sailors. These men signed a four year recruitment with the Department of Navy, a different cabinent secretary and different set of governing rules then the War Department. Their service was on blue water around the world maintaining and protecting US interests and from October 1862, expanded to include the inland waterways of America. Private Josiah Gregg will first board ship after four weeks. His ships will seek Confedrate raiders of US shipping, attack Mobile Bay and attack Fort Fisher. There will be entries of bouts with sea sickness, awaiting letters from home, shore leave and first hand accounts of Mobile Bay and Fort Fisher. The editors notes for the most part add clarification to Private Gregg's entries and only miss on very minor details. It is a great complement to 'A Civil War Marine at Sea: The diary of Medal of Honor Recipient Miles M. Oviatt. Other Marine personal diaries to read should include 'Civil War Marine: A Diary of the Red River Expedition, 1864' (2nd Lt Frank Church) and 'The Southern Journey of a Civil War Marine: The Illustrated Note-Book of Henry O. Gusley