Well the Bugle for roll call has not
sounded so I will write a few more lines. I have got one half a ream of
this paper, had to pay one dollar and seventy five cents for it. So you can
see whether it costs me anything for my letters.
I want you to be as good as to your word
and write to me once a week. Direct to Alexandria untill I name some other
place. I wrote to Lottie a long time ago and have been wondering why I did
not hear from her again. I thought I told her where to address. If you
forget you can direct to Washington, D.C. Be shure & put the Regít &Co.
and it will come. I got one letter that went to the 44th Regít
instead of the 64th. So you see that they will find the owner
after a while. Well the bugle has blowed so I will have to Halt.
Friday night Feb. 14th Today is
Valentineís day and have received no letters. Things move on here just the
same as though none of our little Co. had died. The dead here are soon
forgotten. Today we have had another of those doleful tunes played for our
Regt. & the N.H. Regt has lost or sent one home. At first it seemed hard to
see a band play for the dead. But now I have gotten partly used to it. We
can tell the time just as quick as you can tell by the sound of the church
bell. But some way or another it donít sound near as lovely.
Well I declare that everlasting bugle has
sounded. How I hate it. Jim has been in here so I did not begin to write
quite soon enough. Tomorrow I am on guard. So I donít know when you will
get this letter.
Sunday night Feb. 16th, 62
Well, sis I am at it once (again). What would you say to a short
description of a weeks work. If you think you have time to read it I will
try to give a short one. So here goes. Monday the 10th. It was
a beautiful day. The ground was frozen. Orders was issued to have knapsack
drill. So we packed our knapsacks & at 8a.m. the Brigade started out west.
Marched five miles to a beautiful parade ground, stacked arns & rested a
short time. Then the Brigade moved a few rods in line of battle, then about
faced and marched back to our quarters. I carried all of my things except
my blanket and stood it first rate. (Ebe Burk took all of his things out of
his and straped a pair of pant on top of his knapsack for his overcoat, so
he stood the jaunt very well.) After dinner had Battalion drill. While we
was on dress parade saw a grand sight, such as we have not seen since we
left Elmira. It was four Ladies on the grounds. In the evening wrote a
Tuesday 11 A.M. drilled by Brigade, fired
two rounds of blanks. P.M. went over to the hospital. I have told you
about that. In the evening wrote a letter. The weather was cold.
Wednesday 12 Hospital again. The weather was fair. Charles Waters died at4
P.M. Thursday 13th Louis died. [Louis C. Sheldon] A.M. drilled
by Co. Lieut. P. was our Cap. After dinner escorted the Corps off from the
lines. At dark we received news of a grand victory in Tenesse. Loud
cheering & music by the Brass Bands. Received one letter. Friday 14. Sent
five Valentines. A.M. drilled by Co. P.M. drilled by Brigade with blanks.
In the evening wrote a letter. The weather was fair. Saturday went on
guard. It snowed hard all day.
The night was very cold. Did not get near
the stove untill four oíclock this morning. Staid there untill seven then
went on untill nine, came off, Shot our guns off at a mark. The 64th
beat the whole brigade. Mine was the seckend best. Came to my tent, bated
all over, eat double rations. Cleaned my gun, slept about one hour. Since
then I have had a terrible headache. But I shall be all right in the
Sunday and I am writing to you. The guards
in the guardhouse at night amuse themselves by throwing cattriages in the
stove, singing songs and spinning yarns. But the worst of it all is we
canít sleep any in cold weather. I got my name picked for not being out
quite quick enough at the turning of the guard for the first time.
But the officers of the day did not put me on extra duty. Monday morning
17th Bless the Lord. It rains so we will not have drill. The
folks may talk about its being unhealthy in camp. But I know that standing
guard kills more privates than all the rest of the duty he does, fighting
and all. Some of the boys has volunteered to go on the gun boat expedition
on the Mississippi. I had a greta mind to go but thought I would not.
Sixty or seventy has left our Regt this morning. They expect to be gone
three months & then join us again. I hope (if we have got to fight) the
weather will be so that we can move before long. You wanted to know my mess
mates. Well here they are, Wellington C. Hugaboom from Versailles. He is a
first rate boy 26 years old. Henry G. Van Vlack & George Van Vlack, both of
them from Versailles 24 & 22 years is their ages. Ed McCutcheon has been
with us. He was from Gowanda (&) is the best boy in our Co. But he is
hospital steward now.
About those thing of mine, I donít care
what you do with them. If this war last six months I shanít want any of
them. My health now is first rate. But when a man is taken down he donít
stay more than a week or two. Now donít let what I have written trouble you
in the least. There is time enough to mourn when you have to. If we
continue in gaining ground in a month as fast as we have this past week I
think the Secesh will be pretty near played out, but canít tell. White man
mighty uncertain. Give my love to all my friends far and near. Tell them
to give my best regards to all the folks in S. that enquire after me. I
shall expect two letters from you before I write again, unless I am sick.
Direct to Alexandria, Va. The same as before. You may look over the mistakes
and mark them if you please.
From your Brother
Low private in the seckend plattoon in the front rank.