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Vautier, John D. (88th Pennsylvania)

John D. Vautier, 88th PennsylvaniaSOPO Editor’s Note: The John D. Vautier (88th Pennsylvania) Diary from June-September 1864 is presented here with the express written permission of Todd Leiss, who runs an excellent site on the 88th Pennsylvania:

Descendants of the 88th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment

Todd was given permission by John Vautier descendants Bob Weaver and Phyllis Weaver Bickley to use the diary as he sees fit, so the diary also appears here with their implicit, if not explicit, permission.

Note that John Vautier was wounded in the hand at Cold Harbor on June 3, 1864, which is where this diary starts.  When Vautier compiled his diary into postwar notebooks, he utilized Captain Charlie McKnight’s diary from Co. K to keep tabs on what the 88th Pennsylvania was doing.

Also note that Vautier wrote a regimental history of the 88th Pennsylvania, History of the 88th Pennsylvania Volunteers in the War for the Union, 1861-1865, after the Civil War.


Civil War Daily Diary of John D. Vautier, Philadelphia, Pa , “a little past 17” when he enlisted in the 88th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, Company I

After John’s death in 1912, the diary was passed down to daughter Amy Vautier Weaver. Upon her death in 1950, Amy’s daughter Ruth Weaver passed the diary to John’s youngest daughter, Alice Vautier Fairweather. After  Alice’s death, Alice’s family donated the diary to the Civil War Library in Carlisle, PA where it is currently located.

Transcribed by Phyllis Weaver Bickley, great grand daughter of John Vautier, from digital images of the original diary taken by Tim Antosy and provided by Todd Leiss, who are also 88th descendants. Comments are enclosed in [brackets] and italicized.


John D. Vautier writes about being wounded at the Battle of Cold Harbor on June 3, 1864 in the very first passage in this set of diary entries.  His diary entries take on a dual nature from June 4 through August 13, 1864.  The top half of each entry is John’s own, discussing where he was and what he was doing during his convalescence.  The bottom half consists of entries taken from Captain Charlie McKnight’s diary, and added later by John to flesh out the regiment’s experience while he was gone. I’ve taken the liberty of clearly separating each entry into its two constituent parts so readers better understand what is going on during the impacted time frame.


Diary of John D. Vautier1:


  1. Vautier, John D. “Private John D. Vautier Diary.” Descendants of the 88th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Ed. Phyllis Weaver Bickley. Todd Leiss. Web. 30 Dec. 2015. <http://www.old88thpvi.com/the-eighty-eighth-documents.html>.