Monday, December 2, 2013

Letters from a Maine Soldier - Part 4

For Nelson Jones, a few months have now passed since his last letter home. His unit, the 3rd Maine, part of the Union Army of the Potomac, has been in training and preparation under Gen. George B. McClellan since the demoralizing defeat at Manassas, Virginia. Nelson, along with his fellow soldiers, are slowly being trained and drilled to perfection in the art of war. As he writes this letter from the 3rd Maine's winter camp near Alexandria, Virginia, his thoughts again return home in Maine.

Ed. Note: All spellings and syntax are original, except any notations in brackets. The blanks represent unreadable or undecipherable words and phrases.


Camp life, Army of the Potomac - writing to friends at home (Library of Congress)

Camp Howard Va Jan
                                   25 62
Dear mother I seat my self down
to day to write you a few lines
to keep my self out of idleness,
and let you know I am well as
usual although I have been afflicted
with a bad cold for the past 2
weeks and has made me feel sore
all through my body but it is
getting better slowly and it has
been awful weather here for 3
weeks past it has rained nearly
every day and knight and the
wind is full _ ____ ___ all
the time but it has cleared up
to day and look like fine weather
for a time I hope when you receive
this you will be well and all the
rest of the folks and blessed
with good weather and know[?]
you are I would like to be at
home this muddy weather and
have some enjoyments that awates
one on any return sutch as aples
hogshead and potatoes my mouth
waters for them to eat I have
made arrangements now so I can
send you twenty dollars every two
months regular and long as I am in
the service it is called an allotment
roll and is an act of the president
so it will not cost me anthing
to send it and have to run know
risk either it will be paid at augusta
and sent to somervill[e] me just the
same as here and I shall have 6
dollars coming to me and it is all
I want for as long as I have money
there is ways to spend it and if
I was a prisoner in richmond
you get it just the same why I
done this was because if we were
in a place where I would not send
it you would have it to help
yourself with and so forth
and you will need it all most
likely to pay taxes and cloth yourself
so I sent 20 dollars to Silas
so on after I was paid of and sent
it by express or the colonel did for me
and I paid him for it and that
has has got by this time I suppose
and I sent him a box with a new year
present in it 3 weeks ago but have
not herd from either expect to the
next weeks for that that was in
the box was worth near as mutch
as the money I want Silas to
be sure and right soon as he gets
them and let me know if he receives
them or not I suppose you have
a pretty hard time this winter with
little ____ and abra going to school
+ Hannah to but the little is
good I know and wont be mutch
trouble to you but get along easy
as you saw and not work two
hard Silas wrote amelia badly had
the whooping cough I am sorry for
her and hope it will go easy as possible
with her for they have just one little
______ ___ ____ I will close soon
and write a few lines to father for he wrote
to me so often but that is nothing I suppose
he has __ gone deaf to do but dont
work to hard and keep a little good
medford in the jay for cold weather
Abra the same to yourself & also
Hannah be good to father and & mother
and help them all you can and
you will reap your reward for it
I will close as my hands tremble
so I can hardly hold onto my pen
please write when you receive this
and all the news give my love to Silas
& mary and kiss the little bab for
me once and little lilie so
I am N W J
to Mother
---------  [writing continues on the left, right, and bottom  margins]
this picture is to hang
wh in the cornfield

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