“Was awakened this morning by 3 a.m. by Ensign Terry. Found I was April fooled. There has been a great deal of sport today and nearly all on board have been made April fools. Turned out my Guard today by order of the Captain as General Banks was coming on board. He did not come, however, and the officers in the ward room were continually asking me “how Banks was?” etc., so I got the Messenger boy to come into the ward room and tell me that the General had come on board, which he did (the messenger), and every officer got up and went out onto the quarter deck to see him. Of course no General being in sight they came back and I have no been plagued by them since.”
-Diary entry for April 1, 1864 by Frank J. Church, commander of the Marine guard on the USS Black Hawk, Admiral David Dixon Porter’s flagship, afloat off Alexandria, Louisiana.