Diary and memoir of a Confederate soldier, railroad laborer, and shop owner from Grafton. The memoir begins with Mugler's birth in Alsace-Lorraine in 1838, and covers his immigration to the United States; enlistment in the United States Army in 1851; military duty in New York, Boston, Rhode Island, Texas, California, and the Washington Territory where he participated in the expedition against the Yakima Indians as a member of Company B, Third Regiment, United States Artillery, under Phil Sheridan; and his return to Orange County, Virginia, where following the passage of the Secession Ordinance he enlisted in the Thirteenth Virginia Infantry serving as chief musician. The memoir concludes with Mugler's military career during 1861-1862. The diary covers the remainder of his military service, 1862-1864, and his confinement as a war prisoner at Elmira, New York, 1864-1865. Following the war, Mugler returned to Washington, D.C., and eventually gained employment with the National Cemetery Corps, working at various Virginia battlefields. While in Virginia he served as a delegate to the Virginia Republican Convention of 1867. He worked at the National Cemetery at Grafton and for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, eventually becoming superintendent of painters on the Road Division in West Virginia. After 1874 he worked briefly as a self-employed painter, and then opened a paint and hardware store in Grafton which he managed until the end of his life. Subjects include the Battle of Mine Run, the retreat from Antietam, the Battle of the Wilderness, prison life at Elmira, New York; reconstruction in Virginia; railroading and the railroad towns of Keyser, Oakland (Maryland), Parkersburg, Fairmont, and Wheeling; the strikes of 1877; interviews with Generals Ord and Sheridan; the Murphy Temperance Movement and W.C.T.U. activities; the Liberal Republican movement of 1872; the Greenback Party; the Chicago World's Fair of 1893; political figures such as John S. Carlile, John G. Carlisle, John T. McGraw, John W. Mason, Frank Hereford, John E. Kenna, John A. Logan, James G. Blaine, and "Sockless" Jerry Simpson.