Commissary Sergeant Daniel E. Hedden kept this diary (62 pages) while serving with the 6th Ohio Cavalry Regiment between October 1, 1862, and July 28, 1863. He described life in camp, discussed military movements and developments in the war, and reflected on his visits home and his relationship with a woman named Emma.
Hedden began his diary in Centreville, Virginia, on October 1, 1862, and stated his intention to maintain an account of his time in the Union Army. He wrote regularly for the next several days, and afterward composed entries sporadically until July 28, 1863, just before the completion of his military service. The diary includes entries from Chantilly, Virginia; Washington Creek, Virginia; Farmington, Ohio; Potomac Station, Virginia; Washington, D. C.; and other locations. Hedden commented on aspects of military and camp life, such as food, accommodations, and his relationships with other soldiers (including his brother Robert, an officer). On multiple occasions, Hedden mentioned rumors or news respecting the war, movements of the Union and Confederate armies, and his thoughts on political matters. He spent several days on furlough in late October 1862, and wrote a brief account of his travels through Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, as he made his way to his home in Farmington, Ohio. Daniel Hedden also wrote about his feelings for a woman named Emma, though he later broke off the relationship.
In his first entry, Hedden reported seeing a group of four slaves and two white children pretending to skirmish, reflected on the institution of slavery, and considered the role of the war in the "death struggle" over slavery (pages 6-8, October 1, 1862). He also related an incident of a soldier who sustained a concussion in an accident and suffered memory loss (pages 53-54, January 7, 1863).