civil war diary

Society Saturday: Found Diary of Sgt. Jesse Hyde

Found in a house which descendants of the civil war veteran never lived in, Library Director Stephen Baylor explains how the diary of Sgt. Jesse Hyde came into the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society’s possession…

civil war diaryA few years ago a diary written during the Civil War by a Sgt. Jesse Hyde of Company H, 1st Kentucky Volunteers was discovered in an attic of a home on the far end of the Grandview Road. The book was in sad shape and the ink was beginning to fade. The diary was given to our founder, Marietta Roth, who brought it to our library. It was obvious the book needed archival care but the question was where. After checking with the University of Washington and the Washington State Archives, it was suggested we try the Kentucky State Archives. Sure enough, they were enthused to receive the document into their care. The document was scanned and we were sent copies. The scanning process made the writing legible for the most part so we sat down and began transcribing it. SVGS member, Kay Crabtree, spent many hours doing the lion’s share of the work. The document is now available for all to see at the Kentucky Historical Society’s digital collections. You can find it quickly by googling KYhistory.com and typing Jesse Hyde in the search window. The website shows the original document alongside our transcription. A printout of the transcript is also on our library shelves. The call number is R-725-026. Jesse Hyde never lived in Arlington. He passed away near Yakima in 1908. Although he never lived in the area there is a local connection that might explain how the diary came here. Jesse’s widow, Ethelinda and her sister Minnie, lived for a few years in Bryant. She would likely have had the opportunity to give the diary to Daniel Baker, another Civil War vet who at one time lived in the house where the diary was found. The website, Fold3, was very helpful in tracking down information about Sgt. Hyde’s service in the War of the Rebellion. If you have Civil War ancestors you will likely enjoy learning from Jay Fonkert CGSM. Jay will give a presentation on Using Military Pension Files to Fill Gaps in Family History at our Northwest Genealogy Conference at 10:15 on Thursday, Aug. 18.