Rufus Dawes (1838-1899) was just 20 years old when the war broke out. He rose from captain of a company of Wisconsin lumberjacks to colonel of the 6th Wisconsin Infantry and a leader of the Iron Brigade. The first volume of his diary is not a daily journal but rather contains long narratives of the battles of Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and other engagements, written soon after they happened. The second volume consists of daily entries from July 1860 through June 1862. Both volumes document what it was like for a young man to be thrust into authority amid great challenges and horrors. After the war, Dawes became a merchant in Marietta, Ohio, and served a term in Congress. He also wrote a memoir, Service with the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, that describes the entire war and is available online in this collection.