Skip to main content

Fred Walster diary

Identifier: BUSC-2004-003

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of one diary from 1865 written by Walster and transcribed true to text, meaning all grammatical errors and misspellings replicate Walster’s original writing. The diary has been digitized and is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collections.

The diary begins with Walster rejoining his regiment in the Shenandoah Valley after returning from a furlough. Subsequent entries include information such as, weather conditions, rations, attending church meetings offered by the Christian Commission, letters sent or received, occasional poems and serving on picket duty while encamped. In April, Walster was hospitalized at Jarvis Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and diary entries over the next three months record his recuperation, various medications given him, and helping other patients in the hospital. His most notable entries written during this time are about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, and Walster’s reaction to that event and those involved with the assassination. After his discharge in June, the diary continues with his civilian life, and includes entries about the weather conditions, visiting friends and family, attending church and other social activities, and working as a clerk. The last entry was written on December 31, 1865.

The back of the diary contains financial accounts indicating his spending pattern, and a summary of his military service from his enlistment in 1862 through his discharge in 1865, which includes a furlough home in June 1864 due to sickness and remaining there through the end of the year. He also identifies locations where his regiment was stationed at, such as Alexandria, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and New Orleans, Louisiana. The flyleaf and endpaper contain names, addresses, calculations, and an upside-down American flag.


  • 1865


Biographical Note:

Frederick Walster was born in 1842 in Bavaria and in 1859 at the age of sixteen immigrated to New York State with his mother, Catherine, and siblings, Christian, Conrad, and Catherine. His father had passed away in 1857. The family lived in Fort Plain, Montgomery County, New York.

In August, 1862 Fred Walster and his brother Christian (who died of typhoid pneumonia, in October, 1862) enlisted in the Town of Minden, Montgomery County, New York, as members of Company E, 153rd Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry. Fred was twenty-one years old and enlisted for three years. After the war he returned to his home in Fort Plain. He passed away on July 13, 1870.


.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



In August, 1862 Fred Walster (1842 - 1870) of Fort Plain, Montgomery County, New York enlisted as a member of Company E of the 153rd Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. This collection consists of one diary from 1865 documenting Walster’s military experiences, hospitalization, and return to civilian life. The diary has been digitized and is accessible from the New York Heritage Digital Collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 2004.


New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957. page 4. Frederick Walster.

1860 U.S. Federal Census. Minden, Montgomery, New York, page 82. Frederick Walster.

153rd Infantry Regiment Unit Roster. New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, page 140. Frederick Walster and Christian Walster.

New York, U.S., Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts, 1861-1900, page 381. Frederick Walster.

U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865, Frederick Walster.

U.S., Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865, Frederick Walster.

U.S., Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current. Frederick Walster.

Frothingham, Washington. History of Fulton County : Embracing Early Discoveries, the Advance of Civilization, the Labors and Triumphs of Sir William Johnson, the Inception and Development of the Glove Industry : with Town and Local Records, Also Military Achievements of Fulton County Patriots Salem, Mass: [Higginson Book Co.], 1892.
Guide to the Fred Walster diary
2005, updated 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Binghamton NY 13902 USA