1861 [post July 21] Washington Camp Oswego

[letter fragment of an unknown Union soldier in Co. J of the 24th [New York]Regiment]

Dear wife I now sit down to let you
know that I am well and pretty
tough and hope these few lines will
find you enjoying the same blessing
you can see that my hand trembles
not with fear but it is vary hot and
I am out on picket guard about one
mil from the camp I have got
to stay here until tomoerning [sic] at
ten O clock there is one man with me
he is a stranger to me but we are
all soldiers together and Brothers
I hope I have a great deal to say
to you but cant say it all on this

[page 2]
sheet I will say all that I can
a soldiers life is a hard life to have
but we must not find any fault
or expect to live as we do at home we
came out two weeks to day on the out
side next to the enemy and have held our
place ever since we have not had
any tents to sleep in in that time
sleep on the ground rapt up in our
blankets under some tree i there is any if
not wright out in the open air it rains
very hard here when it dos rain and
that is pretty often to but we stand
it very well for all that, there is a
man that sets on the ground writing
on the same box with me he is writing
to his wife also his name is weaver
George W Weaver he lives at sand creek
or rather down below there about four
miles he has a little famely the same
as I have, we stand together in the
ranks and have agread that if one
falls in battle and the other dont

[page 3]
he that dont shall fetch the
tidings to the other famely and
his things if he can it is well enough
to have some friend by your side in
such times as these and on such business
as ours is our armies stand here a few
apart and we dont what will be
done the next time but I hope our
army will come out better the next
time if they have to fight but if it
will have be settled without any more
blood shead if it can be done honerable
but if we have to fight may we do it
like men not like beasts as the South
have our sid[e] sent a flag of truce to
bring the wounded to Washington but
but they would not receive it but
gave the man just ten minutes to get
out of the reach of their guns and
he had to run for his life I see the
waggons when they went out and when
they came back it seamed that we
could not have our wounded men to
take care of them but it was so them

[page 4]
that were there said the rascals
even fired into a church full of our
wounded that is worse the heathans
you have heard all about the battle
as much as we or or more although we
are within a few miles of the fields
so I will write something else that
concerns you more we recieved our
pay day before yesterday and to day I
have sent ten dollars to you by
express it will go to Sandy creek to
Mr Mason Halsbury and he will
send or fetch it to you I got sixteen
dollars and a half this payment and
sent you ten of it and kept the rest
of it we shall get some more the 30th
of August I expect they pay us as
they see fit we cant say our pay
is due here pay us our money and
then we have to waite until they get
ready there is one months pay due us now
the last of august there will be another
I want you to write as soon as you get
this for I have not had a letter from you
these three long weeks it seems a great while placed
as I am I may not live to get a great more
and I want you to write as often as you can
Direct your leters as you see on the other

[remainder of letter and signature missing. A George W. Weaver was in the 24th New York Infantry which had been mustered three weeks previously and at this time was posted to the defense of Washington. Presumably the unknown correspondent was in the same regiment]

MSS 8474-u

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