1 January 1864,
I do believe that in a few more months that this cruel war will end and there will be peace restored once more to our distracted country and peace and tranquility once more reign…but I can’t tell when that glorious day will come and there is one thing that I cant get right into my head and that is this that our government is a going to be so mean as to keep us new recruits for three years when we was all enlisted and mustered into the service of the United States to fill up the old 81st Regiment, one year of which has expired…last night I was on picket and while I was on post there was 3 men tried to what appeared to me to be their intention to pass me and to get inside of our lines for the purpose of burning the mills at this place. We hold military possession of the same and if they were to be destroyed the government is responsible for the same…I challenged them to halt…I had my gun cocked before I challenged them and I immediately fired my gun at them as best I could but I think that I did not hit any of them, but the way they run was a caution to a snake. I reloaded my gun right in the spot where I stood and saw no more for the night…
John W. Boston of the 81st Ohio Infantry, Company G
Boston mustered into Company G on 6 September 1862 and mustered out on 13 July 1865. The 81st Ohio Infantry formed the center of a decisive charge during the Battle of Atlanta that destroyed Confederate resistance.
Source: eBay, March 2011 auction