Oct. 31st 1861
I received your kind letter yesterday, and I can assure you that I read it with the greatest pleasure. I had begun to think that you had forgotten me as I had written home twice – once as I arrived (& had waited impatiently for an answer), and once since I have received two from Ariel and I concluded from what he wrote that you had not received mine.
Our camp is full of rumors as to when we shall leave, some saying confidently that we shall not leave this week or until the tenth regiment arrives which we are expecting very soon.
I was up to Jamaica last night to hear a lecture delivered by our chaplain; it was one of the best that I ever heard. I think it was superior to Dr. Holland’s. It was delivered for the benefit of the regiment, the money to be appropriated towards purchasing a library for them.
We are treated much better here than in Connecticut by the citizens. They think there is nothing to good for the soldiers. We are treated with respect wherever we go, and apples and turnips are free to us, that is if we can run the guard or can get passed off, which is not often.
There is a house upon the corner of the camp, and the man gives the regiment permission to get all the turnips we are a mind to pull, perhaps we do not improve the privilege, but if you looked in the cook’s boiler just before dinner you would not think so.
I expected to go upon knapsack drill this morning for not being back to roll call last night. I was so much taken with the lecture that I did not think about the time until it was nearly through, when I asked a person what time it was and he said 1/4 past nine, it was no use then to start for camp as it was after roll call, I stayed around until about 11 O’clock and then went back to camp and ran the guard. I have heard nothing about it this morning and some of the boys said my name was not called. I spoke to the Capt. about going, he said if I could find the Lieut. and get off, it as alright. I could not find him, but Capt. Beuth [may be Patrick K. Ruth of Company B] was the officer of the day and he let me off on his own responsibility.
News here is a scare as hens teeth so you must not blame me for not writing any. The whole regiment has been examined, we had to march in before the Dr. and our Capt. minus all our clothes and be subject to a thorough examination; he questioned me pretty close about that breaking out on my shoulders – there is hardly anything left but the scars. I guess that if he had seen it two months ago I would have gotten thrown overboard, but I told him it was nothing but a little breaking out and had not been there a great while. I do not know how many there is thrown out of our company; some have 8 or 10 thrown out but I think that there will be but 2 or 3 out of ours but I do not know.
Excuse the composition of this letter, but there are 2 or 3 in our tent playing on their violins, and it is full of spectators. I am on water guard today (that is fetching water) so that I have considerable time for myself. I am rejoiced to hear that Simsbury is making and is going to get up a company. Why did they not do it before? How does grandmother do? Benejah is in the tent while I am writing. Simsbury folks all well. Hall is afraid he shall be thrown out on account of some scars upon his legs. He does not tell them at the time he examines them, but you can generally tell by the questions he asks.
I wish you would send me one dollar, postage stamps would be handy anyway. I had some things to buy in H (Hartford) and here that I could not do without, paper, satchel, book and some other things; besides when we came here for the first day or two we did not get much to eat and spent some for victuals, but we have more to eat now then we know what to do with. I spent some money foolishly on some pies and cakes. Write soon and give me all the news. Love to all.
Yours with best wishes,
Goodbye for the present.