Collection 113 - William H. Storrs Diary, 1862-1864
Creator: Storrs, William H.
Provenance Note: Original diary kept by William H. Storrs was donated to Special Collections by H. S. Batchelder of Bozeman, Montana on May 8, 1964.
Historical Note: William H. Storrs was a New York born shoemaker living in Marietta, Ohio who enlisted in the 77th Ohio Volunteer Infantry. Initially enrolled as a private in Company B, Storrs was almost immediately promoted to regimental commissary sergeant on January 25, 1862, and accompanied the regiment on its march to Fort Donaldson, Tennessee. The 77th formed part of the Union forces at the battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, April 6-7th, and the subsequent advance on Corinth, Mississippi. In August of 1862 the regiment was ordered to the military prison at Alton, Illinois where they served as guards until July, 1863. Storrs and his comrades next transferred to Arkansas where they eventually formed part of General Frederick Steele's expedition to Little Rock in September, 1863, and the occupying garrison of the city afterwards. In March of 1864, Storrs was put on detached duty with the Little Rock garrison's commissary department and did not accompany his regiment on its march with Steele's Camden expedition. While on this expedition most of the 77th Ohio was captured at the battle of Mark's Mills, Arkansas. Storrs declined to reenlist when his three year enlistment expired on January 25, 1865. His residence and activities thereafter are unknown.
Content Description Note: The William H. Storrs diary (January 21, 1862-September 27, 1864) sporadically covers his activities preceding his 1862 enlistment through his 1864 march from Little Rock to Pocahontas, Arkansas. Many of the entries appear to have been written in retrospect, and two lengthy gaps are represented: from August 21, 1862 to July 31, 1863, and from December 18, 1863 to September 19, 1864. Important events discussed in the entries include detailed description of the battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, the advance on Corinth, Mississippi, and return to Memphis, Tennessee in the spring of 1862. The 1863 march from Helena, Arkansas to Little Rock and subsequent occupation of Little Rock are also described with some detail. Entries concern troop movements, weather, fellow staff officers of the 77th and camp conditions. Other Arkansas locations mentioned in the diary include DuVall's Bluff and Brownsville.