8 May 1862

Newbern, N.C.

Thursday, May 8th, 1862

Dear Sister,

Yours of the 27th is just at hand and as I have written no letter home for some time I hasten to reply. When I last wrote you, we were among the sand hills of Bogue Island where a spear of green grass was a curiosity and where sand flies and fleas seemed as if to foreclose mortgages upon your carcass, but now “thank fortune” we are once more in an inhabitable country where everything is calculated to make one enjoy himself. The ground is carpeted, the trees are covered with foliage and both upon the ground and trees abound. We left Bogue Bank about a week since, taking an old schooner for Carolina City and from thence “the young wheelbarrow”, a small stern wheel steamer taken from secesh, to Morehead where we arrived in the P.M. We spent the night in the R.R. depot, which by the way is situated over the water, and took the steamer “Highland Light” for Newbern where we arrived about 5 P.M. and after spending the following night upon the boat were landed upon the opposite side of the Trent from Newbern. We are encamped about ¾ of a mile from the city upon the bank of the Neuse in a very pleasant locality.

We received our new Sibley tents yesterday and are much pleased with them. They are perfectly round with a center pole about twelve feet high and a ventilator at the top. The diameter of the tents at the bottom is about twelve feet and they accommodate only twelve.

Every few days our pickets are driven in (about twelve miles below here) by some secesh cavalry. Several have been killed and some taken prisoners. To prevent this in the future, Gen. Burnside has ordered several thousand cavalry to be sent on to scour the country and look up the scattering rebels. The first detachment arrived Tuesday and the others (35 schooners in all) are said to be between here and Hatteras.

There is an excellent daily published here by the Union troops which gives all the news current in this quarter. I will send you one the first opportunity. The steamer last night brought in the news that Yorktown was evacuated. “Query,” where will they make a stand next?

Capt. Hoyt is well and with his company. He has had a pretty tough time of it. This is the first place I have been in this state where the land looked as though it would pay for cultivation, but here it looks as if it might raise large crops of corn or tobacco.

In some of my letters I have spoken of getting a discharge but as I am well at present and likely to continue so I, of course, shall and cannot get one.

The troops are busily engaged in building a railroad bridge over the Trent (where the rebels burnt the old one) and in a short time R.R. communication will be open throughout the whole extent of the road.

The checks of the state bounty are ready and will be given out today or tomorrow.

I received last mail the first No. of “The News Letters.” I suppose they are plenty with you although quite a novelty here. When I head that the Conn. had been so high I thought that you must have had some trouble with water in Weatogue.

Write soon and often. Letters from home are getting to be a scarcity with me; in fact, letters from any place are not as plenty as they were. I used to get at least 4 each mail, now sometimes one and sometimes not any. I made out to get three today, considering myself lucky.

I am glad you sent a box of things although I am well at present. Are farmers planting yet? Are trees leaved out? How is Grandmother suited with the change? I heard Col. J.A. Tuller did not like Alonzo coming onto Grandmothers’. Is that so? Give my respects to all inquiring friends. Have you received the money I sent home? I sent it with Lieut. Marsh’s directed to Anna(?). There was $25.00 of it. Send some stamps.

Direct Newbern

Yours etc,

O.C. Case

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