Ann Mildred (Jones) Cummings kept this journal on her trip from Maryland to Brownsville in 1865

October 15th: Left Adamstown, Maryland, yesterday, the 14th, at one o'clock In the afternoon: arrived safely at Grafton at half past one in the night. We were all very tired and slept soundly till half past five this morning, when we were roused up to take the cars to Parkersburg. After taking a hurried breakfast, we took the cars for this place (Parkersburg), arrived here without an accident at one o'clock this evening. Mamie and baby were tired out, baby fretful, and Mamie wanted to go home to my Aunt Lizzie's house. Here we find the river so low 'tis hardly navigable, so we have concluded to stay here 'till morning and take the cars to Cincinnati. It will be hard on the children, but we have no alternative.

7 P.M. Have just returned from a walk through Parkersburg: not at all pleased with the place: 'tis a dirty, dilapidated looking town. We scrambled up to the top of the mountain, to the fort that overlooks the whole city, that we might have a good look at the town. Mr. Cummings and myself both get covered from head to feet with burrs and Spanish needles for our pains. Happened to remember that Mrs. Bradford lived somewhere here. Inquired her whereabouts and called to see her. She looks older, but very natural. We had only a few minutes to stay with her, as we had already been out sometime, and our children were alone at the Hotel. We went also to the petroleum wells. The distance from Grafton to Parkersburg is 104 miles, and the poorest country and meanest looking people 1 ever saw.

OCTOBER 17th: Left Parkersburg yesterday, the 16th, on the seven o'clock train, and arrived here at Cincinnati at seven o'clock at night - distance 176 miles. Took an omnibus (slightly crowded, only 18 inside besides quite a number of carpet bags, etc.) for the Burnet house: 'tis the most stylish hotel I was ever in. We will stay here 'til seven o'clock tonight, then take the express train for Cairo.

"NOON" Have just come in from a walk about the city of Cincinnati. Went to the Museum. Saw there a very curious thing called a "mermaid". It had a head something like a fox, with a fish's tail which It stood upon, two arms with something very similar to hands attached to them, coming out from the shoulders, and two little fins below the breasts. It stood about the height of Mamie.
The only accident so far, we have lost one of Charley's shoes, and have had to buy him a new pair, and I tore my dress very badly getting into the crowded omnibus. Mr. Cummings has now taken Willie, Charlie and Lizzie out for a walk in town. He will take them to the Museum.

OCTOBER 19th: Left Cincinnati on the 17th at half past 6 o'clock at night, on the cars, for Cairo, traveled all night and until 2 o'clock yesterday: then changed cars at a railroad station (little town Odim), stopped there until 10 o'clock at night, waiting for the connecting train, which we took at 10 o'clock at night and arrived here at Cairo at 6 o'clock this morning, the 19th. Very comfortable last night, as we succeeded in getting a sleeping car; but the night before I had to sit upright all night with the baby in my arms, the car was so crowded that I couldn't move at all, but I nodded so unmercifully I was afraid I should dislocate my neck. We will probably have to wait here (at Cairo) till 4 or 5 o'clock this evening, for a New Orleans packet. We are having a splendid eclipse of the sun this morning, a total eclipse. Ourselves and everybody else is looking through smoked glasses, and everybody and everything is exceedingly bilious.

Noon. Have been out for a walk in Cairo. Tis a low, muddy place, but very much built up and improved in the last 10 years.

Oct. 20th. On board the packet CONTINENTAL, for New Orleans. Came on board yesterday evening at 6 o'clock and started down the Mississippi this morning at daylight. 'Tis a very nice packet, with fine accommodations. Quite a number of women and little children on board. I hope we will have a pleasant trip.

Oct. 21st. Noon. Fast on a sandbar. Mamie and baby both sick with a cold. Have pains in my joints and feel right unwell. Think I will take a dose of medicine.

Oct. 22nd. Sunday. We are steaming along nicely; only stuck on the sand 2 hours yesterday, when we were pulled off by another boat. Mamie very sick last night, with a high fever. She is some better this morning, but very fretful, and baby too. We lay at Memphis all night last night. A large family from Virginia came on board on their way to Texas.

Three o'clock p.m. 3 hours ago. Charlie was scalded very badly. He ran against a waiter coming up with a tureen full of soup, and got the whole of it spilled in his face, neck and breast; and arms. When I first saw his condition, I certainly thought he was burned to death; but thank God he is now easy.
He is terribly blistered on his face, neck and breast; one side of his face and ear is dreadful looking. There are some burns on his hands and arms; he is lying on the bed stripped of his clothes and covered with sweet oil and flour, Mamie is better today.

Oct. 23rd. We are now lying at Vicksburg, putting off freight; have been here two hours. Mr. Cummings and myself have been taking a walk through the city. We are surprised to see so little damage done the town during the long siege they had here during the war. Charlie is sorer today than yesterday. He is dreadfully burned. I fear the consequences. He is fretful and feverish and no wonder. "Poor little fellow." Mamie and baby both sick with a cold; both very fretful, but everybody is kind and anxious to assist us. Oh dear! I am so tired.

OCTOBER 24th: The Captain says we will get to New Orleans tomorrow. Poor little Charlie is no better. Poor little fellow, he has to sit with his head on one side, and in one position all time. He has eaten nothing for two days, but WILL sit up. Mamie and baby both better. The Virginia lady is nursing baby for me, as she has a baby a a little older and has plenty of milk. She is going to Texas from Virginia. They have been broken up there by the war. They have four children, a niece and a nephew along. Poor lady, I feel very sorry for her, she looks so sad. The ladles we are traveling with are all so friendly and sociable; we are divided into two parties though, The North and The South.

OCTOBER 25th: 10:00 A.M. NEW ORLEANS. We landed here at 8 o'clock yesterday, came off the boat in a shower of rain, at a boarding house, where we are now stopping. Baby quite ill last night - severe cold and high fever: some better this morning. Charlie a little better this morning, but can't hold his head up straight. I feel very uneasy about him. Mr. Cummings and Lizzie have gone up to cousin James Brewers', expect to start for Texas tomorrow morning. I don't expect to get a chance to go out in the city much, if at all, on account of my sick children and no nurse. Have given baby a dose of Caster Oil. I felt like parting with old friends, when I parted with my travelling companions: they were all so friendly and kind. The lady and family from Virginia in great distress, her husband drinking, gambling, and fooling away his money. The poor wife! Oh! how I pitied her. They are broken up. Have left a comfortable home, and are now going to Texas to seek another. There are 5 small children, a niece and a nephew. There name is Poeg. I felt so sorry to leave them In such distress. Trip on the Continental, from to Cairo to New Orleans, 8 days (from Friday morning 'till Thursday evening). 'Tis now 14 days since I started from home.

OCTOBER 26th: 10:00 A.M. Cousin Sophia, Nick and Mamie came down to see us last night. Mamie has grown tall, but thick; something like Lizzie. They took Lizzie and Willie home with them to spend the night. Dr. Williams called to see us this morning before breakfast, he is a real Brewer too. Nick brought the children home on his way to his place of employ. Nick is a good, affectionate youth, my favorite, I think. That boat for the Brasos left yesterday evening, we will go on the next, if we can. Charlie is too sore to travel, and the baby not well either. Mr. Cummings has gone out to inquire for the next steamer that is to leave and secure passage, if possible. Board here six dollars per day, cheapest rates we have paid since we left home. We are very comfortable.

OCTOBER 27th: Sunday Morning. This is the third Sunday since we left home. A large fire was only two blocks from us last night, went around to see the ruins this morning. The fire engines were still pumping away on the ruins, as the fire was not yet quite extinguished. Cousin James, Mamie and Joe all spent last evening with us. Cousin James looking much better and more cheerful. They are going to have their children all christened in the Episcopal church today. We expect to leave here for the Brasos Tuesday. Charlie's burns healing very slowly. He still carries his head on one side. I am very much afraid there is some contraction of the sinews in his neck.

(8 o'clock at night). Mrs. Kingsberry, Mrs. Watson, and Miss Ellen Kimball and Mrs. Porter have all been spending the evening with me: all seem so delighted to see us. Mrs. Watson is on her way to Brownsville and will go over with us. Her husband is our old family physician: they have been away from Brownsville six years and are now going back there again.

OCTOBER 31st: Have no certainty as yet of when we can get transportation for the Brasos, Old friends calling to see us all day long. I went out yesterday for a short walk. Goods and furniture enormously high and groceries too, in fact everything is dear. We have bought nothing yet. Cousin James Brewer and all of his children, except Dr. William, were christened in the Episcopal Church Sunday. Cousin Sophia was christened a short time ago. Some of the family came down to see us every day. Dr. William is nursing Charlie's burns for him. He is very kind indeed. Charlie is still very bad. Mr. Cummings thinks he is too sore to start with yet. Lizzie is going this morning to get her tooth drawn - she has 4 to be pulled. Poor little thing. I have promised to let her go up to Cousin James; this evening and stay until tomorrow, as a reward. Tomorrow is the first of November and all Souls day, which is a great day here with all denominations. Everybody that have friends buried here deck their graves or tombs with the greatest care, in fact expensively, with wreaths, flowers, handsome vases, in fact ornaments of all kinds. Mrs. Porter has invited me to visit some of the cemeteries with her. I think I will go. 'Tis a general holiday thru out the city. Dr. Willie has been here this morning; says Charlie's breast must be burned with caustic as it is full of false flesh. The rest of his bums are healing.

NOVEMBER 2nd: Yesterday as it was all Saints Day, I went with Mrs. Porter and Mrs. Kingsberry to visit one of the cemeteries only, as there was such a crowd there we could hardly get in and when in, scarcely get out again. The graves were all, or nearly all, very richly decorated: at night a number of candles are lit on the tombs, which looks very pretty. Last night I went out with Mr. Cummings to look at the moon and a drop of water, thru a microscope. I was highly gratified with the sight indeed. Have been out this morning to look at some furniture. Everything is high: stove from forty up to one hundred dollars, bedsteads from 55 to 100 dollars etc. We have bought nothing yet.

NOVEMBER 3rd: Have been here one week yesterday and still uncertain as to when we will get away. Charlie is much better. Dr. Willie is exceedingly kind; comes once or twice a day and dresses his burns. I appreciate his kindness. He thinks they will heal up now without much more trouble. It will be two weeks, day after tomorrow since he was scalded.

NOVEMBER 4th: Friday night and we are here still, Went out this evening to get my photograph and Mamie's - don't think we have succeeded in getting good ones. Will go tomorrow and take Charlie and Mamie both and have them taken over again. Lizzie had two teeth drawn yesterday, will have two more drawn before we leave here. I also took her to a barber shop and had her hair cut very short. Had her hat altered and trimmed very prettily. Baby has a severe cold. Am very grateful to Dr. Willie for his kindness, and attention to Charlie, indeed. Have just heard of the death of Mrs. Dye, our old neighbor of Brownsville, it makes me feel quite sad.

Nov. 6th. - Sunday morning - 'Tis quite cold this morning. Baby's cold very bad; Not for that would have gone to cousin James to spend the day. Lizzie and Mamie have gone up with Nick to spend the day. Our boat has not come yet. It is now twenty-two days since we left home and it may be two weeks more before we get home. There has been so many and such severe storms at sea lately that I feel very nervous about going to sea.

Nov. 8th. - Wednesday - We are still here with no certainty of when we will get away. All vessels leaving here are crowded with troops for Texas. Charlie is much better. Mamie has a severe cold. I went yesterday to cousin James Brewer's for the first time. They look very nice and comfortable at home and are all well and cheerful. We stayed to tea with them- had a very pleasant evening indeed. I have been out with Mrs. Watson this evening to visit some of the cemeteries- we went to four very elegant ones: visited the tomb of Sidney A. Johnstone of the Confederate Army. Some of the tombs here are splendid and so tastefully decorated. It seems to be a pride here which shall have the nicest tomb or grave.

Nov. 9th. Tomorrow morning at eight o'clock we are to go on board the s/s Clinton for Brasos Santiago. We have been here just two weeks today. Oh, how I dread this trip across the Gulf.

Nov. 11th. Came on board the Clinton yesterday morning and laid above Carrolton all day, taking on troops. At night we started and got to the Balise this morning at daylight. Are steaming along nicely now. Tis very calm. We are very much crowded with troops, have about six hundred on board and a great many officers families, wives and children We have all been a little sick. If it continues favorable, we will get to Galveston early tomorrow; there we put off most of these troops.

Nov. 13th. At Galveston. Arrived here yesterday noon and have been lying off here ever since doing nothing. Will leave here this evening at three o'clock, they say. I went out this morning with some friends to take a walk about Galveston. She is looking very much the worse from the war. Many of the houses have bullet holes through them. Have met several old friends here. All seem so very glad to see us. I am very impatient to be going, as our board on the boat is three dollars a day apiece, besides thirty dollars apiece passage to the Brasos. I am thankful most of the troops are getting off here.

Nov. 14th. At Indianola. Left Galveston yesterday evening and arrived here this morning at daylight; will probably lay here all day. I am so tired of this delay.

Nov. 16th. Never left Indianola till this morning; need make no calculation when traveling on government transports. Oh hear, 'tis thirty-two days since we started on this journey.

Nov. 17th. - Friday morning - At the Brasos, but not ashore as take another boat here (the Tampico) for Brownsville.

Nov. 18th. Oh mercy, what a storm we have been in and are still in. Started yesterday evening from Brasos for Brownsville, but before we got to the mouth of the river, got overtaken by the finest kind of a norther, which prevented us from getting over the bar into the river. Oh Lord, what a night; we were driven on and off the bar; just as dark as Egypt, thundering and lightning and raining in torrents. All of us had to sit up all night, as there is no accommodation for sleeping on the boat. It leaked so that every part of the cabin was soaking wet. We drove upon a wrecked schooner, with seven men on the wreck. We were fortunate enough to get them all off. Oh what cheering and rejoicing, although we do not know what will be our fate. Oh Lord, have mercy. We were tossed about at the mercy of the storm and here we are, still tossing about at sea, at noon today, and the storm is growing worse. There are three wrecked schooners right along side of us that were wrecked last night. Charlie's hat is lost over board and baby right sick and puny. Oh I pray we may get into the mouth of the river, as they are now about to make a effort to do. Oh that we may not have to pass another night in this way. We have no wood, have burnt all the Q. M. lumber and are talking now of burning all the pork and coil oil and, if necessary, the cabin of the boat. Oh that we may get in.

Nine o'clock at night at Bagdad. Thank God, we are safe on land. We have been ship wrecked. Our boat, the Tampico went ashore below Bagdad; we were carried ashore in small boats and the gentlemen waded out with the ladies in their arms and are all saved, thank God. The breakers were dashing over the top of the cabin and we had to sit on the floor and hold to things that were nailed down at the time we left the boat. I thought we would be blown over at the time we went out in the small boat. Oh, what a fearful, fearful time. I feel as if I had lived a life in the last thirty hours.

Nov. 20th. 11 a.m. On board the steam boat Tampico on our way up to Brownsville. We crossed the river yesterday morning and stayed in Clarksville all day. During the day a steam boat went round and got the steam boat Tampico off and in the evening we went on board of her again, and this morning started for Brownsville. Will probably reach there some time tonight, and this ends my journal together with my journey.