Favorite Genealogy Websites


All information contained on this site is subject to errors. If you have any corrections please notify us at Thank you.
  • Diary of George Rice Vanzandt





    I am typing this just as it was written.
    The property of
    LT. George Rice VanZandt
    Upland, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
    George Rice Vanzandt
    2nd Lt.. Co. B. 203rd P.A.
    Vol R.P. Vol.
    December 7, 1864
    We left camp in front of Richmond about 5 o’clock in the afternoon having rained very hard in the forenoon the roads were very muddy. We marched to Point of Rocks on the Apamaticks where we arrived about 2 o’clock in the morning – halted until daylight, December 8th marched to Bermuda 100 there took the transport IDAHO for fortress Monroe where we arrived about on o’clock.. Dropped anchor in the Rhoads layed there until the afternoon of the 10th of December, the sea being very rough making a great many of the men sick. While ashore I went into the fort after getting the rations aboard we steamed out into the stream where we are now staying.
    December 11, 1864
    This morning was very calm and continued so until afternoon about five o’clock when it commenced to be windy and continued increasing into a heavy gale, freezing very hard. About 1 o’clock in the morning of the 12th of December a large schooner tangled her cable acrossed ours and had to slip it to get away just as she let go an another Schooner came broad side up against out bow staving a hole in the Schooner’s side She made fast to our boat until about 9’oclock in the morning when she was towed away by a tug. The sea was very heavy all day Orders came to put 2 company’s on board the Transport Rolic. We raised anchor steamed to her, troops getting aboard. We steamed back to our old anchorage where we lay until 3 o’clock in the morning of the 13th when we raised anchor and steamed out of the bay and around into the Potomac. Went up as far as Seivil or Seurl Point where we turned about and sailed down to Cherry Point Light House where we dropped anchor until 9 o’clock in the morning of the 14th when we raised anchor steamed the River passing Charles Point Light House about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Steamed out into the Atlantic Ocean sailed all night passed Cape Hatres daylight in the morning of the 15th continued on our course until we got opposite Wilmington, North Carolina where we stopped, floating about on the ocean.
    December 16, 1864
    The 16th still floating opposite Wilmington N.C. 17th Still floating opposite Wilmington 18th still floating opposite Wilmington, 19th Still floating opposite Wilmington. December 20th ran short of coal and water – ordered into Beaufort to get a fresh supply. Arrived opposite Beaufort about 8 o’clock at night dropped anchor for the night, the sea very rough
    December 21, 1864
    21st December daylight raised anchor signaled for a Pilot-one came and we steamed into the harbor between Morehead City and Beaufort, Fort Makin is at the south of this stream. A very fine Fort mounting some 40 or 50 guns. It is night and the men are buy putting coal out of the Schooner into our ship.
    December 22, 1864
    22nd December . Today I with several other officers were ashore in a small boat- went up to Morehead City which is about 1 mile from the landing, bout some bread at hospital. Came back took dinner at an eating saloon by the landing, after dinner Capt. Brook McCuen, Cook, Lt. Duncan Mulheran and myself went over to Beaufort in a sale (or small) boat which is almost three miles stayed until about half past four when we came back to the ship. The sea was very rough coming back. The weather calm and cold.
    December 23rd 1864
    Today the weather was clear and pleasant, went to Morehead City had a very pleasant time. Capt. McCuen, Capt. Smallwood and Sergt. Dick went for a small scow. Took it out along the each, filled it wth oysters, brought them to the ship. The boys had a fine sport with them. Had some stew for my supper.
    December 24, 1864
    Today clear and cold everything passing off very agreeably about 2 o’clock in the afternoon raised anchor and put to sea. Arrived opposite Cape Fear Inlet where we are ordered to stop about 2 o’clock being Christmas Eve. We had very jolly time, singing, drinking b——— —- and good draft ale.




    December 25, 1864
    Today was a very beautiful clear day, the sea very calm. This was a day to be long remembered by all that was on this expedition. There was (were) about 40 gun boats shelling at one time. They silenced a few batteries along the shore.
    Left camp on the second Expedition January 2nd. Marched with 2 miles of Bermuda Hundred where we arrived a little after sunset in Asmped (as-mped) for the night It being very cold and snowing though being in deep woods it shielded us from the storm. Left the woods at dusk 4 marched to Bermuda – embarked on the steamer Tonawanda about 10 o’clock we went down below city point anchored all night
    January 5 went to Fortress Monroe layed there until sometimes in the night when we started for the ocean
    8th steamed in Hateau inlet dropped anchor layed until the morning of the 9th when we again put to sea – dropped anchor off Beaufort the afternoon of the 11th about 7 o’clock in the morning of the 12th raised anchor along with the rest of the fleet – all got underway about 10 o’clocl. All sailed along very quickly arriving at New Inlet at daylight on the morning of the 13th. The gun Boards commencing to shell the woods above the beach 9 o’clock troops began to land
    *** On another sheet that had no bearing on the diary, must have been after September 10, 1864 when he was promoted to 2nd Lt.
    Left Chester (PA) Thursday June 1st 2 o’clock arrived at Baltimore 5 1/2. at 6 started for Fortress Monroe arrived at Fort 6 o’clock on the 2nd. Left Fort 9 o’clock for Norfolk where we arrived about 12 put up at the Atlantic House until 8 on the morning of the 3rd for Newton (Newtown) arrived at the Sound 6 o’clock.

    Post to Twitter

    Published on December 20, 2009 · Filed under: George Rice Vanzant, Uncategorized, Vanzandt Miscellanous;

4 Responses to “Diary of George Rice Vanzandt”

  1. I’m trying to piece together my grand father Harry Moorehouse Van Zandt 1855. His Parents were
    George 1820 and Sydney Matilda Criswell Van Zandt. He had a limestone quarry in Newton Hamilton, Juniatta County, Pa. My George may have died In Civil War. I found Sidney as widow in 1880. All I have is verbal stories no documents. Supposed 5 brothers got Donation land in Pennsylvania after Revolutionary War service. My father Robert H. van Zandt is supposed buried in a Van Zandt cemetery in that Juniata area. Does anything here sound familiar to you.
    One of the nuts, Tatiana Van Zandt Palm Beach, Florida

  2. Pwggy mcConnell said on

    I was given a copy of the above diary entry. , My grandfather was name George Rice Van Zandt

  3. sally van sant said on

    As the historian of the Van Zandt Society I have info on George V, Sydney Matilda Criswell etc. Please contact me at the above email.

  4. Still loving for information on my grandfather Harry M Van Zandt 1855
    Buried Newton Hamilton Cemetary. father George Mother Sydney Matilda

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge