Near Deerfield, Va
Friday Feb. 3rd, 1865
Went from Buffalo Gap to North Mt. signal station, thence with Calhoun [first name unknown] to his father-in-law’s, Mr. Crawford enroute to Jack Mt. signal station. Spent the night at Crawford’s near Deerfield – snowed and sleeted nearly all day. Could do no signal duty today in consequence of snow etc. – very disagreeable ride but spent a very pleasant evening and night. Nothing of interest transpired today.
Siron’s House Jack Mr., Va
Saturday February 4th, 1865
Travelled from Crawford’s near Deerfield today, a distance of thirty (30) miles to Jonathan Siron’s at foot of Jack Mt. crossing the Shenandoah and Bull Pasture Mt. and Shaws Ridge which is between the two and crossing in succession the following streams, to-wit: Calf Pasture, Ramsey’s, Shaws’ Fork, Cow Pasture and Bull Pasture Rivers - through McDowell. Spent the night very agreeably at Siron’s. Did not have time to stop at signal post on Shenandoah Mt. Clear and pleasant day. Most of the snow that fell yesterday thawed today. A good deal of ice along the road in some places.
Jack Mt. & Siron’s
Sunday, Feb. 5th, 1865
Went with Sergt. Vermilion [R.A.] & Loper [W.S.] on Jack Mt. today. Stayed on Mt. several hours & returned to Siron’s. It snowed a little early in the morning – clear rest of day but very cold and windy especially on the Mt. Sent Taylor [J.M.], Loper and J.W. Siron to Panther’s knob early in the morning to get a point as intermediate station between Jack Mt. & Franklin. Succeeded in getting communication & sending some messages. Spent evening very pleasantly with some Highland girls at Siron’s and went at night to Taylor’s & Mrs. Siron’s to see some girls and returned to Siron’s and spent the night pleasantly.
Captain Wilbourn leaves early the next morning with Sergeant Vermilion and eventually returns to Staunton. On February 10, 1865 Captain Wilbourn is investigating the desertion of one of his men and to get more information he “Telegraphed to Siron’s at New Market, and Srgt. Wynn [William T. “Billy”] at Millboro.” This is the last reference to Siron in his diary. I found a Jonathan Siron who married a Christina Ann Yeager on October 8th, 1840 and lived in the same general area described by Captain Wilbourn. Could this be Joel’s parents living near Jack Mountain while Joel served as a local signalman with Captain Wilbourn? If this makes any sense, let me know.
By the way, my book (Perseverance - A Biography of Captain Richard Eggleston Wilbourn: Chief Signal Officer, 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia) has much more information about Captain Wilbourn’s diary account during the close of the Civil War.
Walter Earl Waddell