Catherine Stowell, our ancestor, was born in Burlington, New Jersey, and moved with her family to Grand Rapids, Michigan. The following are excerpts from her diary between 1862 and 1867 when she was between 18 and 23 years old. (The excerpts are found in notes taken by Betty Daniells. I have no idea who has the original diary. Following clues from the diary has been an adventure. Surprisingly, we were able to identify James as James Lothian, who fought for the Union in the Civil War. He was wounded at the Battle of Petersburg, but died a month later after having his leg amputated. We don’t know how he is connected to the family, but he doesn’t appear to be a relative. It is possible that he was a suitor for Catherine’s sister, Annie. We learned that Carey’s sister’s family, the Escotts, and Catherine’s family were members of the Baptist Church and shared a pew. This is where Carey and Catherine met. JW)
July 26, 1862 James and Loucinda and Mrs. H. and myself went into the country to Mr. Baxter’s after Annie and Mary, had a fine time, stopped at Ada, and got home about 7 o’clock in evening.
July 26, 1863 I was taken sick with my throat.
Jan. 30, 1864 James came home, was very much surprised to see him, next day spent the afternoon and evening.
Catherine Stowell Daniells
Feb. 1, 1864 James called before starting to Muskegon, stayed til Friday, called Friday and spent the evening.
March 12, 1864 James started to join his regiment, arrived there on the 17th, was gladly received by his company who had been urging his return. He was immediately placed in command of the reg., as the Lieut. Col. had been wounded.
June 16, 1864 James was wounded while leading a charge upon Petersburg, after lying 13 hours, he was removed to Alexandria by order of Lieut. Col. H. H. Wells. He had his left leg amputated but died upon the 12th of July, just four weeks after receiving the wound. His body was taken to Breadalbane C. H. by his parents who arrived a few days after he died.
July 3, 1864 Class of 1864 graduated at Luces Hall. I was invited to a festival in the evening given in honor of the class but was not able to attend. I was unable to graduate with my class on account of sickness during the past year.
Feb. 8, 1863 My friend Mary and myself were baptized in Grand River by P. Vanwinkle (pastor). We were received into the church upon the first Sabbath of March. God grant that we may be faithful until we are called home.
Oct. 20, 1864 A great republican mass meeting, large procession. Three cheers for honest old Abe of the west.
Oct. 22, 1864 A great Democratic mass meeting, large turn out.
Dec. 12, 1864 There is still much fighting going on. Day by day new homes are desolated and many, many hearts broken. Grant, Oh God, this cruel war may close, that those who have not tasted of the bitter cup, which this rebellion has mingled, not be called to drain its bitter dregs.
March 13, 1865 Today is my birthday. I am 21. Oh! How much of my life has been spent in sin. God grant that my future may be spent in his service.
April 3, 1865 Richmond was taken today by our forces together with several thousand prisoners.
April 9, 1865 Gen. R. E. Lee surrendered to Gen. U. S. Grant.
April, 10, 1865 A day of great rejoicing throughout all the loyal cities in the United States.
April 14, 1865 Tonight between nine and ten o’clock President Abram Lincoln was assassinated, shot through the head. Upon the same night, Secretary Wm. H. Seward was assassinated while confined to his bed, cutting his throat. The son of Sec. Seward was also knocked down senseless. His head was badly bruised.
April 15, 1865 Every city and nearly every house in mourning.
May 28, 1865 Attended church today for the first time since July 26, 1863. Feel very thankful for the privilege of again worshiping God in his house.
June 2, 1866 Was examined today and received certificate for teaching.
June 4, 1866 Commenced teaching today in the Union School at Cold Brook.