Sunday, October 27, 2013

Letters from a Maine Soldier - Part 3 - "I am in hopes to see you all...on the rock bound shores of maine"

In General McDowell's stead, President Lincoln named Pennsylvania native George B. McClellan to head the army and turn it into a well-organized fighting force. The soon to be named "Army of the Potomac", including Nelson's own 3rd Maine, settled down to train and drill around the defenses of Washington, D.C. Near the end of September, Nelson took the time to write this letter home:

Flag Hill Alexandria Virginia
                                Sunday Sept 22 1861
Dear parents I seat myself down to pen a few
lines to you to let you know I am well and hope
these few lines will find you the same I rec’d your
last letter wendsday knight yous silas and maries
and was very happy to hear you were all well and
sorry to hear of Joseph Canidas sad death you said
he sat out to go as hare on a blanket is different then what
I heard for a fellow told our company that was there at th
time and saw it as he stated he said, the boat got in
to new york in the evening and laid of from the warf
til morning a short distance and abot nine a clock
Joseph wanted to get a shore and as none was allow
to go he got on a hawser and started for the warf
in the evening and some lighnar aboard he got about
half way when he fell of and they instantly lowered
a boat but before they could get to him he arose
to the top waved his hand three times and went
down they got hooks hooked him up and there
was still life in him and they rolled him in a ___
but he died in a few minutes he has got rid[?] of
a toilsome and troublesome life here and dangers in
the bargain his folks must feel very bad about it
for he was their whole support I would like to
see you all to day very mutch I often think of home and
you all as one father mother brother and sister but
 I cannot at present ___ when the sign comes right I am
in hopes to see you all and shake the friendly hand
once more on the rock bound shores of maine. 

A View of Alexandria, Virginia During the Civil War
I suppose you are now about harvesting your corn and gathering your
apples and would like to help you a little someday father
I suppose you find it rather dull work doing your work
alone but I cant see as I cant help you any this fall but
some of the boys have gone home that is under 21 as their
father wrote to the colonel and he discharged them but I
do not wish to go home as soon as this by know mean
I feel as well as usual this fall and have held
my own decently well to when I left maine I weighed
179 and now I draw down the scales to 150 pounds
I have grown slim and tall since I came here and
I dont think you would know me if you should
se me nor mother I would I would like to have them
pies to knight first rate and you may send one
a mince pie and a few apples a pair of stockings and
so forth if you are a mind to for it would go a little
better then salt ___ does all the time you spoke
about hearing that we dont get clothes enough to wear
that is not so for we get any quantity of clothes but
our stockings that we get aint very good and our
toes get out pretty often but then black stockings I brought
with me is good yet only the toes is work sore[?]
and I have got to ____ them up a little I would
not give one pair of your stockings for 3 pairs of
these things had I sent you a little present last week
it was 20 dollars and colonel howard sent it
by express and it cost me 8 cents only and I want
you to write soon as you get it so to let me know
you got it I directed it to you and if you dont
get it the express is good for it you know mother
write me a line when you can and tell me the
news I sent you all the money I had but 1.00 and
that is all I want if I only had a ____ of paper
and I am going to get some tomorrow barry
was out to the firt last knight on guard and
our picket shot seven[?] rebels and took twelve prisoners
ther is battle about every day in the southern states
and our men come out victorious in all and
takes a good many prisoners but I expect you hear mor
about it then I do I was on picket guard last friday
and about 3 quarters of a mile from then and I could
take a spy glass and see patches on the ass of their
trousers and they was rayyed as you please. Emma I should
like to see you very mutch and talk an hour or
two with you and your little babe here I should
like to see her sweet little darling I knoe she must
be winning now for she was when I left and so
cunning to scan write often and all the news.
Abra I will write you a few lines as you are the
titman and tell you to be a good girl and __
at school all and take good care
of your little niece and write to me often
and all the news I was glad you got
that little trunk I sent you good
care of it and keep it for my sake and __
the shirts made up against I conehone
I shall have to close soon as it is after
dark and ther is a good deal of noise
in the tent among the biys there has been
about 20 discharged out of this comp
regiment to knight and start in the morning
I shall write to Willard this week
and tell him about a soldiers life
I will close by requesting you to give my
love & best respects to all the nabors
and friends From  N W Jones
To All At Home
                Direct Washington
                D C 3 Reg

                Co I

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