1861 October 30 Camp near Alexandria of the Fifth Maine Regiment

Dear Father I recd the letters Mother & William wrote to me or the 24th &30th & was glad to hear from home once more but I felt bad when I came to that part of Mothers Letter that said that I wrote in my last to you that I wish you would not write such foolish stuff because I did not mean anything by it what I meant what I ment[sic] by it was this you know when you wrote to me in your last letter to me you said something about fixing that box just as though I was six or seven years old & that day was A very dull day & I felt out of sorts that day & I suppose that was that Made me write that, there is nothing that I can write about Just now only that we are at work on a Fort here which is named Ward & I do not know why it is call so last night I received a new blanket which is a warm one Just as I am writing to you there is A Cavalry Regiment passing by this Camp From Washington & they are firing A salute at fort Ward this fort is most dun & has 12 Guns on it & there is Guns that keeps cumming to be placed on it every day the first named after General Lyon is most dun and the fourth of Maine is building another one about a mile from it when this was finished this part of Virgnia will be nothing but Forts tomorrow is the day to be paid off and if they pay ours off I shall send some of my money to you I am gone to get me A pair of boots & A pair of Gloves & there is A great many little things that I want to get but I shall send you home some of the money Because I told you so & I wrote to George I should I hope you wont think hard of one for writing that to you because I did not mean anything by it I want you to tell Mother I have made up my mind to go in the ranks & not be A cook for any one & tell Mary Wallace that I would not care if I did hear Mr. Cox & tell Mother that I answered the Letter that she wrote to me Just after I wrote here that I was gone to have my discharge, From your affectinate Son Joseph Leavitt I have just received two pair of drawers I have blotted this letter but I Cant afford to write another one

Letters from Joseph Leavitt and his brother George were copied into a ledger by their father John Leavitt in October 1865 “because they are of value to me and I was fearful that they might get mislaid.” Both boys were mortally wounded int he war, George at Second Bull Run, August 30, 1862, and Joseph at Spotsylvania, May 18, 1864. Presumably the third brother William survived the war.

MSS 66

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