July 1862

July 1, 1862

In school. Had seven boys. At Dodge’s. The people in town do not like me very well, I should judge from what they say.

July 2, 1862

In school. Down the street. Writing.

July 3, 1862

Woodruff’s company came in. Saw Mr. [James A.] Martin. He wants me to go in the [Treasurer’s] office tomorrow. At Dodge’s.

Luke E. Barber

July 4, 1862

Did not see [James] Martin & I cannot go. At Dodge’s. I don’t think they like me very well. I don’t care if they do not. Mr. Graves made me a present of five dollars. At Mr. [John] Wassell’s. Paid me. Had a long conversation with him. Called on Mr. [Luke] Barber. Had a pleasant call.

July 5, 1862

Down the street. Saw Mr. [James A.] Martin. I go Monday [to the Treasurer’s Office]. About all day, wrote some. I gave a soldier a coat & three dollars. Bought [Charles] Anthon’s Classical Dictionary for 6 dollars. The price was $7.50. Got lager for 50 cents with [George] Dodge. Caught at it by Ashley & Fulton. I may get into trouble by it.

July 6, 1862

Sunday. At church. Mr. Keer preached. Well. Came down on those who backbite & accuse. Reading Dickens. Took nigger in garden after supper.

July 7, 1862

Down the street. Got passport. Went to Dodge’s. Miss Eddy got mad & left Grave’s and went to Dodge’s. [Mrs. Elizabeth] Hempstead paid [her school bill]. Got four dollars to get silver for George Dodge. Left Little Rock [at] eleven at night.

July 8, 1862Traveling through a rough & little cultivated country.  Got to Hot Springs about sundown. Few houses. Looked about. There are several springs that come out of the side of the hills. [The] heat [of the springs] varies with the season [but it] is hot enough to boil eggs in a few minutes when it has been dry, but [the water] is cooler after a long rain. It has not an insipid taste like boiled water. It is in a rocky valley.

July 9, 1862

Page from RLG Diary, Arkansas History Commission

Started to the Chalybeate Springs, 3 miles [away]. Met a good reception [when we arrived]. Working. The hot springs does not look as the pictures of it is. There are several bathing houses where you can take a hot shower bath or a steam bath. The water seems to come out of the side of the mountain. The hills are covered with wood, rock, slate & free stone – mostly slate.

July 10, 1862

Working in office. Gave a dollar for whiskey. [Capt. Oliver] Basham is a clever, funny fellow. The springs here are chalybeate & one little one Sulphur. [There are] several bathing houses. [Governor] Rector came here; we have to move to Washington [Arkansas]. The Feds have taken Duvall’s Bluff.

July 11, 1862

Friday. Working. Joe Reeside is a great fellow. Col. [C. W.] Board laughed like a wild stud horse at a story Joe told.  Reading Arabian Nights.

July 12, 1862

Working part of the day. Basham went to the springs. Reading Arabian Nights & sleeping. Henly playing cards & wins a good deal. Won over 40 dollars in a short time. After supper, walked to [Hot Springs] with Henly [and met] [Captain Oliver] Basham there. We all got drunk. I paid $4.00 for a bottle of whiskey. Rode on horseback behind Basham. He lost 100 dollars. Miller knocked me down after we got back.

July 13, 1862

Pages from RLG Diary, Arkansas History Commission

Sunday. Saw [John] Brisbin in town last night. Feel sick today. Warm & worn-out by my last nights. I may lose my place. But it can’t be helped now. Reading Arabian Nights.

July 14, 1862

Working. Feel badly. [John] Brisbin came in afternoon. Reading [The] Pickwick [Papers by Dickens].

July 15, 1862

Tuesday. Working. Feel little better. Hard work. Mr. [James A.] Martin came.

July 16, 1862

Rained today. Mr. [James A.] Martin paid [us].  George Dodge joined the Woodruff’s Battery. We hear that McClelland’s [sic] army at Richmond [Virginia] surrendered & lost about 85 thousand men, that they have left Arkansas entirely. It may be so, but we cannot tell. It is pleasant here, rocky and steep.

July 17, 1862

Working hard. Nothing new.

July 18, 1862

Finished the big Warrant of Hindman’s. Been working on [Capt. Oliver] Basham’s salary – over 5,000 dollars. Took a bath this morning. Playing scuffling [poker] with Joe Reeside & Mr. [James A.] Martin. Capt. Basham got [us] some whiskey. Was a little tight.

One of over $5,000 dollars worth of Arkansas Treasury Warrants signed on July 18, 1862 by Oliver Basham while in Hot Springs, Arkansas with Goodrich. Basham, Goodrich, and the others celebrated the day’s work with a bottle of whiskey.

July 19, 1862

Read part of Pickwick [Papers] & Arabian Nights alternatively. [Capt. Oliver] Basham left today & [a] General [and] a clerk. Not much to do. Feel tired out.

July 20, 1862

Sunday. Reading. Read a novel, The Prairie Guide [or, The Rose of the Rio Grande a tale of the Mexican War, published in 1847] by Newton [Mallory] Curtis. It is laid in the time of the Mexican War. The guide is a young man, handsome & well made, [who] is attached to the army under [Zachery] Taylor. [He] is sent as a spy & liberates a young girl, put in prison by the man she would not marry. The guide was taken again & condemned to be shot but the girl liberated him and he is taken back to his own friends at the Rio Grande by an Indian. After she goes there & they are married.

Yesterday we received news that the Feds captured at Richmond was reduced to the number of 10,000. We do not know the facts yet.

Very warm. The [quartz] crystals come from [Mt. Ida in] Montgomery County, just west of this county. That [county] is rocky and mountainous. Sulpher springs are in it. Near here they get fine whetstones. At the springs here, near where the chalybeate comes up, there are several others. One of them contains a good deal of sulpher; the others do not taste like the chalybeate. They killed a scorpion here & its tail turned blue and greenish. It was cut in two and the head part would run for some time. Reading One in a Thousand or “The Days of Henri Quatre” by whom I do not know. Good.

July 22, 1862

Working. Reading Gilbert Gurney.

July 23, 1862

Working. Bernays came along today & left some segars with us.

July 24, 1862

Working all day. Reading Gilbert Gurney. Finished it. I do not know by whom. Good.

Joe Reeside & I [were] talking today. He does not think he is treated as he should be after fighting for the South. He is a Yankee. His family is worth several hundred thousand dollars – so he says. He is vexed some. I suppose I shall have to leave here in a short time from what [James] Martin said. He meant a joke that I should leave & go clerking somewhere else with a drove of dogs. But I took some of it in earnest.

July 25, 1862

Working. Feel sick. Rainy in afternoon. Last night read Volume of Miss [Fredrika] Bremer’s, Father and Daughter. Nothing new.

July 26, 1862

Working nearly all day. Rest holiday. Joe [Reeside] and I talking on matters & things. Finished the second volume of Melmoth the Wanderer. Pretty good but many parts dull.

July 27, 1862

Sunday. Pleasant. Miller was playing poker last night & got badly beaten, & withal flew into a passion & threw the cards out of the window. Took a walk on the mountain with Joe [Reeside].

July 28, 1862

Working. Warm. Nothing new.

July 29, 1862

Working. Packing to go.

July 30, 1862

Packing. Got the wagons and left about sundown & came half a mile & camped.

July 31, 1862

Traveling slowly by ox team. Rough road, but sometimes the scenery is picturesque.


It is believed that Goodrich is referring to Woodruff’s Battery which was mustered out after the Battle of Wilson’s Creek but called back into service in December 1861. The unit was known at various times as Arkansas 3d Field Artillery Battery, Arkansas Pulaski Artillery Battery, Arkansas Little Rock Battery, and Marshall’s Field Artillery Battery.

John Wassell (1813-1881) was a Little Rock attorney and native of England. His wife, the former Margaret Spotts (1815-1895) was a native of Delaware.

With the war in Arkansas, civilians were required to get a passport to leave Little Rock.

Goodrich and the others appear to have been assisting the Arkansas State Treasury Office issue treasury warrants (currency). It seems evident that Governor Rector had the State Treasury operations relocated from Little Rock to Hot Springs due to the threat of the Federal invasion. Rector and other members of the state government returned to Little Rock on July 14, 1862 after the threat subsided. Goodrich and the Treasury employees returned two weeks later.

Oliver Basham was the Arkansas State Treasurer from February 1861 to April 1864. During much of this time, the portly administrator served as a Captain in the First Regiment, Arkansas Mounted Rifles. He was killed in September 1864 at the Battle of Pilot’s Knob in Missouri during Price’s last invasion into Missouri and Kansas.

Col. C. W. Board served with the 34th Regiment, Arkansas Militia.

Possibly Carlisle Henly, a 23 year-old carpenter from Little Rock.

Probably John Brisbin, a 34 year-old tin & copper smith in Little Rock. John served in Company A [the “Capital Guards”] of the 6th Arkansas Infantry with Goodrich.

No record of Confederate service can be found for Joe Reeside on the Civil War Soldiers & Sailors website. Perhaps Joe was somehow related James and John Reeside (father and son) who were from Maryland and made their fortune in the express business. According to an article in the the New York Times, 30 November, 1906, “The Confederates seized the Reeside properties in the South, and the family placed their loss at $10,000,000.”

2 responses to “July 1862

  • Beverly Basham Kinley

    Thank you for publishing this diary. I am a Basham and find all-things Olinver (Oliver) Basham to be very interesting. This insight into his personality was fascinating!!!!
    His proper name was “Olinver” (strange) but, I suppose had a nickname of “Oliver”.
    Please message me if you ever have any more Basham info.

    • Patricia Grell

      Hi, Beverly

      I’m a great-great grandaughter of Olinver Basham, and like you, I was fascinated by the personal details about him in the Goodrich Diaries. My maternal great-grandmother was Hannah Basham McKennon, and my maternal grandmother was known as Basham McKennon Brice Davis. She chose Basham as her first name, rejecting her own given name, Delia. My family and I recently visited the Old State House in Little Rock where Olinver was appointed Treasurer and Pilot Knob, Missouri where he is buried. Send along any Basham stories that you have to share. Hope to hear from you soon.

      Patricia Grell

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