11 November 1861

Camp Hicks

Annapolis Nov. 11th, 1861

Dear Sister,

I received yours of the 3rd enclosing stamps Saturday and I also received yours of the 31st forwarded from Jamaica and one of the 8th last night so I now have three letters from you since I last wrote. I received one from Ariel Saturday together with two papers. I answered Ariel’s Sunday and as I had written to Alonzo the day before I thought I would wait until today before I answered your three. The last letter I wrote you was mailed Perryville; Did you get it? As to the number of letters I have received from you I cannot now tell as I lent my portfolio to Benejah; when he had finished using it he handed it to Capt. Burpee; the Capt. Says he handed it to someone to give to me, and that is the last he cares about it. I had my paper, envelopes, and other “fixins” in it but thanks for the postage stamps; with them I bought some more. We had a very pleasant trip down the Chesapeake arriving at Annapolis Tuesday night where we were quartered in a college where we stayed two nights and one day. Thursday we marched for camp, pitched tents and stayed overnight. It is situated one and one half miles from the city, upon an elevated piece of ground, near the camp of the 10th Conn, 25th and 27th Mass, 51st N.Y. and a N.H. regiment. Friday about 11:30 as I had my gun all taken to pieces, I heard my name called and was told (by Corp Ellwood from instructions from Lieut. Hoyt) to pack my knapsack and take all my traps [?] to report for special duty to be gone perhaps one day or perhaps three weeks and report at ½ after twelve. You can guess I had to scratch around some to get my things packed, my gun put together and dinner eaten and be ready in time. There were nine privates and one corporal from each Company and three Sergeants and three Lieutenants making by and all one hundred six men. When they came to inspect arms there were a few guns that were a little rusty, the owners of those guns were thrown out, the Lieutenants saying they wanted none that were not sure every time, but I thought that the owners did not feel very bad about it. The general belief was that we were going on picked duty somewhere. We marched to the city, halted before an old brick building and were marched in and told that those were to be our quarters. The duty assigned to us was to patrol the city in squads of ten, arresting all soldiers without a pass or any drunken or disorderly ones. Our quarters are a large room with a large old fashioned fireplace, with benches all round the outside and gas [light?]. In the room where the officers stay there are some old revolutionary relics consisting of bayonets, long hooked swords and other things. In the room where we are quartered are some portraits of the first settlers. We are on duty 4 hours and off 8.

The relief that I am in is on from 11 to 3 night and day. When we are not out on duty we go when and where we have a mind to! So you perceive that we are priviledged characters. This city in the north would hardly get the attention of a village; there is not a name to a street or number on a door in the city; the streets are overgrown with grass and overrun with rubbish except the ones that lead to the camp, those are traveled by army wagons.

The houses are one and two stories high but are all old, some were very good ones in their day but that was long ago. I do not think there is twenty signs in the city and doubt whether there is a store that does as much business as Mr. Wilcox’s in the place. There are no three houses in a row in the streets and many look like hogpens. I do not believe there has been ten houses built in as many years, in fact, it looks like a city one hundred years old without any improvements having been made.

There are a few churches that are nice in the inside and they are the only nice looking buildings there are here, except the Capital, but more of this another time. It is stated that we are put out of Burnside’s brigade and probably we shall be left to guard the city. Of course, we are much gratified at the southern news.

About those mittens, I do not see how I can use them because in going through the manuel of arms, we have to use our fingers. I am sorry it is so as you have been to the trouble of knitting them for me. I shall want a pair of gloves by and by, but you need not trouble yourself about them. If you ever at any future time should wish to send me anything you can forward by express. I hope mother is not much hurt by her fall but I wish you would write how she is as I will think of her until I hear again. Alonzo’s baby sick again. What appears to be the matter? I do not want you to worry about me at any time as there has not been a night since I enlisted but what I have slept well except when on duty when I usually keep awake. Simsbury boys all well the last time I saw them. There is a report in or rather from camp that we are all going in the brigade. I am wholly indifferent as to whether we go or stay. We have the best of quarters here, but come to think I guess I should like to see more of “Dixie Land.” I never enjoyed myself better in my life than I have since I enlisted. I should like to know what Sam [?] finds so disagreeable in being a soldier. We are daily looking for the particulars of the taking of Port Royal and I presume ere this reaches you full particulars will have been received. When you see Ariel tell him to let you see my last letter, the same with Alonzo. How is Joe’s Co. getting along?

I have not been to camp since I received your letter. When I do I will try to inquire out Sylvanus Wilcox. Love to grandmother, Father and Mother. Respects to all inquiring friends.

Yours ever affectionately,

O.C. Case

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