On board Steamer “Chasseur”
Hatteras Inlet, Jan. 26th, 1862
I again take my pen to address a few lines to you, thinking you would like to receive letters of different dates although at the same time. We still remain in the Inlet as when I last wrote you but are expecting to go over the inside bar and land somewhere in “Dixie.” Today is the first fair day since our arrival and for the last week we have had a terrible storm at time endangering many of the fleet by causing the vessels to drag anchor and to smash into each other. For the last three or four days there has hardly been a time but what there were two or three signals of distress to be seen flying but of course no relief could be given them until after the abatement of the storm. I think that there has been no accident to any person happened and none very disastrous to the shipping. There was a regiment put ashore here and pitched their tents but the wind drove the sea over the beach and they had to gain solid ground by wading through the water about four feet deep. It was rather tedious considering the state of the weather but they went through it all safe. It is four weeks today since I came on board ship and I am now finally very anxious to again place my feet on “terra firma” although we enjoy ourselves quite well on ship board.
A gun boat arrived about an hour since from Fortress Monroe and we expect she has letters for us. We shall soon know. There is but four companies aboard this steamer, viz. A, D, F and I. The rest are aboard of a bark and a schooner; I think four companies upon the former and two upon the latter. The signal corps were given up as lost but this morning it is said that the bark can be made out outside the breakers. The signal corps are detached from the different regiments to give signals in time of engagement. I do not know whether the Zouaves are lost or not – certain it is they are not in; such things are kept from us. I think they are sent somewhere else to garrison some fort already in our hands, because they dare not trust them in an engagement with their officers for they have sworn revenge upon them. This is only my opinion.
The weather here at the present is quite cold but nothing like a northern winter. Eatables are brought from the Sutlers boat but are held at rather high prices; apples $.05 to 10 cents each, figs .02 to .05 each, raisins $.20 per pint, [?], Oysters, Turkey Peaches, tomatoes etc. in quart cans from $1.50 to $2.00, Current, Plum, Rasberry, Grape, Pear and Strawberry jellies $1.50 to $2.00, sweet crackers $.15 per dozen and everything else in the same proportion.
The steamer brought no letters for our regt. The steamer L.R. Spaulding from Port Royal to New York lay in here through the storm. I do not know as they will let her leave until after we get away. We have received no mail since we first arrived and no mail is allowed to leave so that we are pretty effectually shut out from the world.
The fleet is composed of over 100 sails in all but a few, perhaps half a dozen, have sunk or been wrecked. This is a large steamer and they have been throwing ballast out of her to make her as light draught as possible. Is Mr. Stockwell living? I heard a short time since that the Dr. had given him over. Alonzo wrote me that he was going to move in the spring. I think he will do well to keep Public House.
Is Mr. Holbrook going to leave Tarrifville? I have heard so somewhere. I have forgotten where. How do Mr. Sexton’s people take Henry’s death? Have they sent to Annapolis after his body? How do Mr. Brown’s people take Duane’s death? Love to all.