The Civil War Letters of Alfred Edward Waldo (1844-1864) of Stoughton, Mass.

Many thanks to Col. "Chuck" Hanselmann for supplying transcriptions in 2006 from his collection.

[Note: All letters were transcribed by Col. Hanselmann with the original misspellings and language for a true transcription. The letters reveal Waldo, who may, or may not have been a hero, does not smoke or drink, to be, nevertheless, a flawed human being. Alfred’s father was known to be a virulent racist and the son appears to share some of his father’s views. One of many things to consider as one reads these letters is whether or not his two and one half years at war changes him, or makes him any more sympathetic to African-Americans. Some of his observations and language are racially offensive to modern readers. Please note that for the sake of the reader some words have been omitted in their full spellings for this reason].

ALFRED EDWARD WALDO, (Corporal - Co. E. 35th Reg., Mass. Inf. Vol.) was born at Stoughton, Massachusetts March 13, 1844; died at Armory Square Hospital, Washington, D. C. June 7, 1864, due to “from wounds received in battle [Spotsylvania Court House]”. He was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery [Section 27 - Grave # 786]. He enlisted Aug. 11, 1862 at the age of 18 years.  He was the son of William P. Waldo (1810-1895) and Mary (Talbot) Waldo (1821-1903).  Alfred's father William was born at Royalston, Vermont May 19, 1810; died at Stoughton July 26, 1895 , age 85 yrs. 2 mos. 7 dys., due to old age and heart disease.  Alfred’s mother Mary was born in Stoughton June 14, 1821; died there April 14, 1903 , age 81 yrs. 9 mos., due to old age.

There is a memorial stone for Alfred at the Pearl Street Cemetery in Stoughton.  The following are the transcriptions for the gravestones in the lot.

In memory of the sons of / Wm P. & Mary Waldo, / ALFRED EDWARD / Born Mar 13, 1844 / Passed to Spirit life; / June 7, 1864 from Armory / Hospital Washington, D.C. / Buried at Arlington Heights / SAMUEL AUSTIN / Born June 7, 1848 / Passed from earth life / July 8, 1868.

Alfred's memorial stone at Pearl Street Cemetery in Stoughton (at Left), and actual gravestone at Arlington National Cemetery (at right).

[If you interested in a higher resolution color image please email me]

The War Diaries of Alfred E. Waldo are in the possession of the Stoughton Historical Society and are being transcribed verbatim.


- 1862 -

Camp Stanton , Lynnfield Aug. 18 (1862)

Father & Mother,

I arrived here in season Tuesday. I found our company had changed their Quarters to where the 33d Regment formerly were which left for the seat of war. Thursday our Regt. is full. Part of the companys have been mustered in and ours will be this after noon . We expect to go South the last of this week or the first of next.

We have been expecting to come home on a furlough all of us and the captain said he would get one for us but the orders came this morning to grant no more furloughss for a longer period of 4 hours which would do us no good as we could not come home. The capt will do all he can for us. We have got some first rate officers. The Stoughton boys presented Capt. Niles with a handsome sword Sunday morning. The presentation speach was made by M.B. Hany. Sunday we had meeting here in the fornoon by the chaplain of the regiment. There was many persons here yesterday. the Stoughton boys all slept in one tent. There is 24 in ---- last night. You had better believe we have some pretty nice times here. You would think it was pretty hard to live as we live but you can not find one but what likes it. For breakfast we have bread & coffee for dinner bread & meat for supper bread & coffee. I am on guard to day. I went on this morning and shall be on 2 hours and off 4 till tomorrow morning. I got me a book to carry my letter paper & etc in.I must go on guard now.

So good bye,


Uncle Samuel Capen is here I shall send this by him

Camp Stanton Aug. 20th 1862


I want you to get some blue flannel and make me 1 pair of flannel shirts. I want a collar large enough to turn over. I want a pocket on the right hand side and a button on it so that I can button it up. I want them made good & long. Where you button up the bossom I want as many as 5 buttons put on. I want you to get them done so that you can send them in by Satuday morning. Send them by express if you cannot send them any other way. If you get one of them done and have a chance to send it here by any one send it for this one is getting dirty. I can have some from the government but they are not very good ones. You can get help enough to do them up quick. If you send them by express Direct to A.E. Waldo

35th Regt. Camp Stanton Care of Capt. Niles.

The 32 Regt. went to day. Ours is the next one. They will try to get it off tomorrow but I don't think they will get it off this week. You must get help enough to make them up quick if you have to get a dozen to help for they will get us off as soon as they can.

Edward Waldo

P.S. If you want to come here you can come in the first train from Stoughton and get here at 10 oclock and start from here at 3 and get back at night.


Munson Hill Va Aug 25th,1862

Father & Mother,

We left camp Stanton on the 22nd and came to Boston by the way of Salem . We marched through the principal streets with our packs on our backs & 3 days rations. We have many in our company that have been in the service before and they say that they never had a harder march before. About 5 o'clock we started from Boston in the Fall River cars and arrived there about 10 o'clock & then we took the steam boat for New York . We had a first rate ride. It is about 200 miles. I went to sleep pretty soon after we got aboard and did not wake up till morning. There was some of them seas sick. We got to Jersey City which is oposite New York about 9 o'clock . We then started for Philadelphia where we arived about 5 o'clock at night. We then went and had some supper and then started for Baltimore and arrived there the next morning which was Sunday. We then marched through Baltimore where the 6th Mass was mobed. We went to the Soldier's home and had breakfast and then we started for Washington which is 40 miles from Baltimore . We arrived there at 2 o'clock and took dinner in a building which was made to feed Soldiers in. We then went around the city. I went to the capitol. It is a very large building. It is more than 10 times as large as the State House at Boston . George Gill and I was going around Washington . We met an officer that wanted us to show our passes. We told him who we were and he let us go but it will not do for persons with uniforms to go around the City. After we got rested we were ordered to get ready for a march and at 5 o'clock we started and marched 9 miles. There was a great many out of the regiment that fell out on the side of the road but there was not many from our company. I am as tough and hearty as can be. We are across the Potomac and in the enemy's country. We have orders not to go out with out our side arms. You need not answer this because I expect we shall go to Alexandria .


Hunters Chapel, Fairfax County , VA.

Aug. 27, 1862


I have just received your letter that you wrote before I left Camp Stanton . We arrived on Munson Hill Sunday night after dark. We did not pitch any tents that night but slept on the ground all of us. Yesterday we moved a little father south and pitched our tents. M.B. Hanse said if any body wrote home to tell them that he had earnt his bounty. There shot from the camp next to ours yesterday morning by the rebels. There is but a few here but there is some of them here as spies. The water here is not so cool as it is in Stoughton but we have some here that is not very bad. When we are on the march I fill up my canteen and drink out of it till it is warm and then put in some pepper and it get about as warm as boiling water and tastes some like Cayanne tea. Alexandria is about 3 miles from here. Gen. McClelland's army is there. We expect orders to march from here. We do no know where we shall go. Send me a paper once in a while. I want to know some of the news. Aunt Lucy Porter said she would write to me if she knew where I was. If any body wants to write to me Direct: Co. E. 35th Reg Mass. Vol. Care of Capt. Niles, Washington D.C. and it will be sent to me where ever I am. So they need not wait for me to write. I sent my Carpet bag home by a man and he left it to George's. I guess the people of Virginia wish they had not left the union. I have not seen a fence since I came across the Potomac as far as the eye can reach which is many miles you can see nothing but encampments. We have not had our meals very regular for the last few days but now we shall have enough and a plenty of it. We went and got Green corn and some potatoes yesterday morning out of a field near here and it tasted rather good. There is any quanity of peach orchards here. Before we got to Philadelphia we saw the persons harvesting their corn. I guess that the corn that is here now is the 2nd crop. I send some Southern money.


I like out here first rate. lt is pretty warm days & cold nights.


Leesboro , Md.

Sept. 8th 1862

Mother & Father,

I received your letter the other day. I have seen the 12th Regt. Gen. Bates stopped with us last night. We have been on the march since Saturday. The whole army is on the move. I can not tell any news as my letter will not go if I do. I left my napsack with my extra shirt and pants & hat and things in it in Virginia . We all left them. We have our over coats & blankets with us. I have my cayenne pepper with me. Nathan Foster was wounded in the last battle. There is but 800 men in the 12 Regt.

The rebels are but 2 miles from us they say. I may not write for some time but you can write to me just the same. They will not probably send them letters from here for a short time. Tell Mrs. Pennyman that I do not know what I should do if it was not for her needle book. I have been on picket guard some. We have all we can eat by just cooking it. We can get any thing we can find - pigs, hens, peaches. You may send that flannel sometime but not at present.

I am in a hurry now.

Edward Waldo



Top of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Sept. 14th 1862


Since I last wrote to you we have travelled a great many miles. Last Friday we marched the fartherest that we had any day. We went about 20 miles since then. We have been with in a few miles of Jackson 's men driving them towards the Potomac . Thursday night our corps drove the enemy from the city of Frederick and that night we entered the city and the next day we took up our march towards the Blue Ridge the rebel army retreating before us. They have the advantage of us in one respect, they being on the mountain and firing down upon the federal army but we have drove them over the mountain towards Harpers Ferry and if we have got an army on the other side of them I think that we have got him but I can not tell. Burnside commands this corps. Before we left Virginia we all threw our knapsacks away and the other day I threw my woolen blanket away. Now all I have to carry is my rubber blanket and over coat. I can manage as well as any of them now. We have no tents but have to lay on the ground. We have not had but a few rainy days. It rained but one night since we started from Virginia .

I want you to send me 2 oil silk bags to carry my Sugar & Coffee in when you send that flannel. I want them to hold about a pint a piece and fixed some way so I can tie them strong and send me 3 or 4 postage stamps. I do not want more than 4 because they will get all sweaty and stick together I can not get them here tell Lucy that I will answer her letter as soon as I at a time. I must stop now for we have orders to march. The Artillery are fighting now,

so good bye.

I am as smart as can be and like first rate.



Pleasant Valley Washington C. Md.

Oct 23, 1862

Father & Mother,

I received a letter from you night before last and another one last night with 2 dollars and 35 cents in it. I also a short time ago received one with them bags in it. they are Just what I wanted. I had nothing but paper and that was not very good to keep sugar in and it is pretty scary around here.

You wanted to know who marched next to me in one of your letters and I forgot to tell you at the time. Capt. Niles marched at the head of the company the orderly Sergt. next to him then came the front ranks of the Company in which was L. J. Madden who was 1st Cpl. Cpl. Chas. Cook. Cpl. Bartlet and I. ln the 2nd ranks was Isiac Hunt. David Beals and 2 men from Easton . David Beals was wounded slightly in the elbow and heel & P. Hunt was wounded also Sunday night. They were both side of me when we were in line of battle in the Wednesday fight. The Capt. and orderly, Cpl Cook, Cpl. Bartlet were all wounded and Cpl Madden went to the hospital. He said he was slightly wounded so it picked them off all around me. Cpl Madden is detailed to stay in the hospital as 2nd Steward. Lieut Palmer is dead. When we marched over the mountains to this valley we had a pretty hard march. We got on the top of the mountains and I thought that this was pleasant enough but since we have been here it has been pretty cold. There was I week that I wore over coats all the time. We always put them on nights. If we should come home I think we should get into bed with our clothes on, it will be so long since we have taken them off.

Sunday I drew me a wollen blanket & haversack & Canteen in place of those I lost in battle. My boots are about ready to be taped. lf I could get them fixed they would last all winter but we can't get any such thing done here. I left the best pair of stockings in my knapsack. I have worn one pair out and just drawn a pair from the Gov. I should like to have you get Grandmother or some one to knit me a pair and a pair of mittens with a thumb and fore finger on them and then if you send out a box of stuff after we get into winter quarters you can send them. That cayanne pepper was good. Capt. Niles used to take a drink of cayanne out of my canteen once in a while. He said it made him feel stronger when he was on the march. Chas. Upham has sent Gus a box. lt is on the way now. He put in a box of cayanne pepper in it. I have got some made into tea sitting side of me now. When I am dry, I take a swallow. I received a Courier and 3 Journals from father this week. You wanted to know what papers I wanted. Any kind that you happen to have. They are all good here if they are a month old. You wanted to know if we marched in the streets. I guess you would think they were Streets. I cannot describe them. You would think it was impossible for a team to go in them. They do not keep them in repair here. I guess they were not made in the first place.

Frederick is the best looking place I have seen since I left Baltimore . lt is first rate farming land here. I should like to own one here but I should want n[---]s enough to work it. There will not be so many abolutionists when this war is ended as there is now.


--dont know the name of this place, Virginia

Oct 29th 1862

Father & Mother,

We are in Virginia once more. Last Sunday morning our company went on guard about half a mile from Camp. lt was a cold rainy day. We were then in Pleasant Valley (the name pleasant than the valley). We had the worst cold night that we ever had on guard there, rainy sleet and the wind blew very hard. We have just had orders to march in half an hour and must leave now and pack up my duds.

Oct 31

We have marched about 10 miles further on. After we left Pleasant Valley we marched about 10 miles through Knoxville to Berlin where we crossed the Potomac on a pontoon which was put up in place of a large stone. One that the Rebels tore down when they left Maryland . We marched a little ways and then stopped for the night. We built a large fire and all laid around it the same as I have seen pictures of Indians with their feet towards the fire. You wanted to know if l kept a Journal. I do some of the time. Our company was on guard yesterday and last night 2 companys went out on picket. Genl Burnside is in our camp most every day. he is a first rate fellow. Any one would know he was by the looks of him. Ferrero our Brigadier is not so pleasant looking. He is one that is in his elements if he can only get into a fight. At Antietam he took the guns away from some of his soldiers and fired them himself.

You said that you send me something to eat when it got a little cooler. I shall not be sorry to see it coming. Yesterday l saw for the first time since I left Mass a pie. lt was one that was sent from Weymouth and l would have given almost any thing to have had a piece of it. Gus has got a box on the way and l guess we shall live a spell it. ls one that Chas Upham sent and it will contain some pretty nice. The pies that they make around here are made of Apples and they have no sugar or molasses in them. The bread here is 25 cents a loaf. They make brown bread. Milk is 10 cents per qt. and you can not get any at that. I have had none but once and that was 2 or 3 nights ago.

Gus & I went off and came to a house. We went in and asked for some milk and she gave us 3 pints of skim milk and a piece of bread and we went into it. I had some cider the other day it yesterday. I bought a half of a cow's liver and had a good supper off of it and I shall get a number of meals from it. I had to pay 25 cents for it. I have not been to camp since yesterday. lt is about 9 o'clock now A.M. I have not been to breakfast yet. We are oblidged to walk our beat all time but we do not mind that after dark. There is a log---- here about 20 feet long and 2 feet through at the large end. lt lays along side of my beat. I had a good fire here all night and sat on the end of it.

I do not know when you will get this for as the Army of the Potomac is on the move. They may not send the soldier's letters very often. You can write just the same and I will write just as often as I can. I should send home for a pair of boots if I knew where I was a going to be but we are likely to move any time night or day. We can't tell one minute where we shall be the next. l will not send at present.


Sulpher Springs. Va. Nov 14th, 1862

Father & Mother,

I have not received a letter since Oct. 27th. I suppose that there is some on the way but we have not had a mail lately and I do not know when we shall get one. The story is that we have had 70 teams of this Division cut off by the Rebels and if they have the mail may possibly be in one of them. We have had nothing but coffee and meat for 3 days. No Sugar, Salt or hard tack. We have had plenty of meat. We have drawn some from the Government and we have been out and killed hogs and cattle so we have plenty but it would come handy to have a little salt and stuff to go with it. The people that live here have to pay 1 dollar a pound for coffee & 75 cents for salt. We have been as far as Jefferson and stopped there two days. We were pretty near the Rebs then the first day that we were there. We had to strike tents and pack our bundles in one pile and leave a man from each company to guard them and we then were drawn up in line of battle and the prospect was that there was going to be a battle. There was heavy cannonadeing heard in all directions but after we had stood for an hour or 2 we were ordered to pitch tents and make ourselves comfortable. We stopped till yesterday morning when we were called up about 10 o'clock and ordered to get ready to start and we marched back 3 or 4 miles from Warrington Junction where there is a rail road and we may possibly draw our regular rations again.

This is a very handsome place. There was a battle here last month which you, I suppose, have heard of. There is one establishment here that is capable of accommodating 4000 persons. One of the buildings is all tore to pieces. They are stone. There is a bathing house that is fixed up in good shape. The sulpher spring is in a building a purpose for it and it has got a large Marble statue that must have cost a large sum but since yesterday morning the soldiers have knocked it all to pieces. I drank some water out of the spring yesterday it tasted as brimstrong as could be. They say that it is good for persons to drink but I should rather be sick than to drink it. This morning since I have been writing some of our teams have come in with provisions and a mail has also come. there is a two bushel bag full for this regiment so I expect some letters as soon as they have been sorted out. I wrote a letter to Lucy the other day and I had ought to have wrote to Aunt Lucy Porter and Helen before. If you see them tell them that I will write soon and I expect to get before a great length time where I can write more regulary as the army cannot move as soon as the rainy season commences. I have just got a letter from home with 1 dollar in it and I guess it will come handy. I expect to have some to send home some time. We were mustered for pay more than a fortnight ago but have not got it yet and may not for a month. I also received the papers that you sent. Mother wanted to know if I had been sick. All the sick I have been has been caused buy the fresh meat which has given the whole regt. the Dia— I dont know how to spell the rest of it. Gus had a box come the other day. We had to march and carry the things. Gus wanted you to tell his folks that he was smart. I will write as soon as I can.


Near Fredericksburg , Va.

Nov 25th 1862

Father & Mother,

I received your letter last Friday also the letter that had the mittens in it which I was very glad of. The Journals came and the Courier so I had quite a mail. I wish I could have as large one every time.

When I last wrote to you I was in Sulpher Springs. Since then we have marched about 50 miles. We have been on the march 4 weeks since we left Pleasant Valley . I suppose you have heard that our Lieut Col. and Adjutant were taken prisoner. They were taken the next day after I wrote to you before. The Rebel cavalry 2 or 3 regiments of them made a dash and drove our pickets and took them. That day we were sent out on picket. The next day we laid in camp and the next we were ordered to move and the infantry had gone and the rebels planted 3 cannons and commenced shelling our baggage trains and the 35th was ordered back as a rear guard and our batterys commenced shelling them. We marched back to Sulpher Springs. The rebel shells were falling all around us and got to the rear of the wagons and marched behind them till we got them out the way. There was but one man in our Company that was wounded that was Sergt. Beals. He was wounded in the leg slightly. Lieut. Baldwin who was wounded at Antietam is Capt. of this Company. He is now at home. Lieut. Hudson has been in command of this company now is 1st Lt. and 2nd Lt. Ingalls is now at home. M.B. Howens orderly Sergt. untill yesterday.

We have been in camp on a hill on this side of the Rappahannock . Fredericksburg , Virginia which is quite a city lies the other side of the river and is in the possession of the Rebels. Our pickets are on side of the river and theirs on the other. They talk to each other. The rebels ask our pickets how we like bull run and our men ask them how they liked Antietam & L. Mountain . Yesterday morning we moved about 1 mile further back. They say that we are going into winter quarters here but I do not know whether we shall or not.

I should like to have 2 shirts made and them good lend ones and have double backs in them and you can send them when you send the box. I should rather you would not send the box till I write for you to send it. I want a pair of sewed boots, good long legs to then. I guess that 11's will not be any to large. I want them pretty bad. There was one man in this company that had a pair of boots come by mail for 62 cents.

I am growing fat as can be. I eat all I can get form the Gov. and some some besides. There was one day that we had a bull, cow, calf, & hog, besides what meat we drew from the Gov. in this company and we devoured it all before it spoilt. lt is thanksgiving day after tomorrow. I suppose we shall have all the Hardtack & Salt & Horse we can eat that day.

I here that there is some of the 9 months men that have gone into winter quarter to home have they? I wrote in the first part of this letter the names of the officers but wrote them wrong. The officers themselves expected to come into this company until this forenoon. They have just been promoted Capt. Preston, 1st Lt. Stickney who is now acting Adjutant. Ingalls will be 2nd Lt. if he ever comes back. You wanted to know if my side troubled me where I fell in front of White store. lt does not. I am well in all respects only I am a little lazy. Gus has not been in the hospital after the battle of Antietam . He was not very well but will weigh as much as a good size hog. lt would make you laugh to see us eat. lf we were to home we could not even eat after our own folks but now we can eat after anyone in the regt. lf one has a little soup in an old black dish that he does not want all he has got to do is to let the rest know and they will dig into it like a mess of hens. I have got the letter that had the needle book in it.

There will be more democrats home if the army ever come than ever went from Mass. They alter their minds pretty fast. You need not say much about it but there is the largest part of the army that think it will never be settled by fighting.


Camp near Fredericksburg Va

29th Nov, 1862

Father & Mother,

Last night I received a letter from you with 5 10 cent Gov stamp in it also one from S A and Helen. I should like to have 3 or 4 letters every night. I got the Courier every week. There is a number in the company that read it. They think considerable of it. I do not know what they are going to do with the army this winter. The papers say that we are going on to Richmond but they will have to go faster than they are going now. I thought that I had seen a good many soldiers before but I have never seen any side of what can be seen around here now. I did not know there was so many people in the world. There has been some rain and such mud. You never see as there is if it rains 2 or 3 days you can not move. lt has been good weather now for a week. I did not know it was so late. I must stop now for I am to go on guard. I will write tomorrow.

Sunday Nov 30th

It is very pleasant today. We are getting more rations than common now. Aqua Creek landing is 7 miles from here and there is a train of cars running from here to there and as long as we stay here we shall get enough to eat in a short time. I do not see how in the world they get as much as they do. I guess it would make your eyes stick out to see the number of troops that is here. We are great thieves here but not so large ones as the old Regiments. Last night 2 or 3 of us went to the Quartermasters and when the guards back was turned took a box of hard tack which weighs 50 Ibs and carried it to our quarters. We don't mean to starve as long as there is anything to eat. Thanksgiving day was as pleasant as any day ever was but I have had food more pleasant on that occasion. We had hard tack and coffee without sweetning for breakfast and the same for supper with a little sugar. For dinner we had hardtack and pork and I want you to have a good fat turkey and plum pudding for next thanksgiving day and I will be there for my share of it and more too.

We are all agoing to fight South. Til then if they want us to and then we shall commence to fight the N. l am having a pretty good time here. Get up in the morning about 6 o'clock and eat all I can get for an hour or 2 and then lay around and drill a little read and write do the chores etc. til dinner time then put on my afternoon clothes and go a visiting and look around til night. Then come home to supper and go into the woods and get some wood and make up a good smart fire in front of our tent and lay down and take some comfort of our lives. We always sleep down stairs in the winter but shall move up again in the spring. The 11th N.H. regt. in our brigade has not been in a single fight. lt has come out since we came and it has lost a number of men by death. lt has burried one most every day lately. I do not know of a single one that has died in our regt. unless he was wounded. The 16th Regt. Mass Vol is right side of us also the 11th. The 16th John Turner was in. He I suppose is dead now. Mark Morse is in the 11th. He was here yesterday. I did not hardly know him. He was as fat as a goose. lt was the first time that I ever saw him but what he was drunk. This is a first rate place for them that drink and use tobacco for they can not get either. Thanksgiving day Geo. Tower was here. He is in the 20th. I see some one that I know most everyday. I like them mittens first rate. They came in handy last night handeling the cold gun.



Near Fredericksburg

Dec 21th 1862

Father & Mother,

It has been rather more than a week since I wrote you much of a letter but I have been pretty busy for a short time past for a week after I last wrote to you I was on picket on the banks of the Rappahannock. We got the water that we used out of the river. On the opposite bank the Rebel picket is stationed. They were about as far off as Mr Uphams house. There is no picket firing. They are just as good friends as the Union soldiers are. After we had been there a week we were paid off up to the 31st of Oct. so they owe us most 2 months pay now. They paid us off at night and the next morning we had to pack up to go into battle. They commenced shelling the city. We started with all of our money with us in all probabily there was about $15000 with us. They shelled the city all day and we did not go across the river that day and May or Fay of Chelsea came to get the pay of the Chelsea boys and I put mine in an envelope and he said he would put it in the office at Washington . There was 20 dollars you must write if you get it. That night we went back to camp and started again the next morning and crossed the river. We remained that day on the bank of the river also that night. We got plenty of flour and molasses in the city. The Rebels threw in a few shells but did not hurt any body. There is hardly a house in the city but what has a cannon ball or more in it. The next morning the battle infantry commenced and a hard one it was too. They shoved in brigade after brigade but they were mowed down by the hundreds. This battle took place just the other side of the city. They have it very strongly fortified and their grape shot makes sad work with our men. Gus was killed. He lay up side of a board fence and a cannon ball came through the fence killing him and 2 others. It took his left leg right off up next to his body so it only hung by a piece of skin it was bound up but he lived but a few minutes. We did not drive the rebs an inch that day. The battle field had more dead and wounded than any that I have seen yet. The next day they carried our wounded across the river all day and that night. A soldier by the name of Wright and I went into one of the houses and slept. We got up in the morning and went down where we left the Regt. and it was gone and the pontoon bridges were taken up and the city had been evacuated by our forces during the night and there amongst the Rebels. We did not know what to do, whether to try to get across the river or stop and get taken prisoners but we decided to go across and get a boat and put her for our lines. Wednesday there was men detailed from all Divisions that were in the battle to go over and bury the dead under a flag of truce. I was detailed for our company. I went over & buried Augustus and marked the grave so that if there is a chance and his folk wish to they can get his body. I should like to have you send me 1 of my shirts by mail and a pair of stockings. They charge an awful price to the center. if you could find a chance to send them to Randolph you could send them for most nothing. Let them toll them up. Geo. Hawes had a shirt, Gloves, & a pair of stockings come for only 7 cents and there has 3 or 4 pairs of boots come for 64 cents a pair in the company. If you send them by express they may not get here for a month or so. I threw my shirt away and have none.


- 1863 -


Near Fredericksburg Jan. 4th [1863]

Father & Mother,

I received a letter from you Thursday and my shirt came boots came and a letter from Martha & you with a 50 cent stamp in it.I was very glad to receive them. Our regiment has been on picket a number of times lately and the last time I thought I would get an excuse and I went to the acting Col. which is Capt. Andrews and and unbuttoned by coat and showed him that I had not got any shirt and my boots were all worn out and told me to go to Surgeon Lincoln and get a shirt. I went there and and he gave me a blue one and it will be just the thing for an under shirt now I like this shirt first rate. My boots had to go around the whole company and be examined and they passed. They all said that the one that made them knew how to make boots. You have no Idea how different my feet feel now. You spoke about sending me some soap. The company have got as much as a dozen bars that they would give away if anyone wanted them and salt any quantity of it. We draw such things when we are in camp any time to speak of.

We had for dinner to day stewed beans. I have got a pint dipper that I have to eat out of. I had it full for dinner and I have got an other one that I am going to warm up for supper. We do not draw but one dipper full but I am on pretty good terms with the cook and when that was gone he slapped in an other dish full. For supper the company are going to have rice and they will get some molasses on it. When I was home I used to like rice but out here I do not eat any. I shall draw my molasses and eat it on hard tack.

I found a lead pencil in my shirt (the one I am now writing with) and a box of pepper. The pencil that I had is most used up and this one came handy and the pepper also for Gus had his in his haversac and I had rather be woth out most anything else than pepper. All my vitules that I use pepper with it and before I go to bed I very often have a good drink of cayanne tea which I was always fond of.

You wanted to know what became of Augustus things. His money he sent home at the same time that I did.

He enlisted before I did therefore he got more pay. We were all paid up to the 31st of Oct. He received I believe 24 dollars & some odd cents and I think he sent home 24 dollars to Chas. Upham. He had a 50 cent stamp left. We all sent home most all of it for we were all drawn up in line of battle in front of the city over 500 hundred guns minute firing into the city. You can not imagine the noise that they made, one continual rpar all the time and we expected every moment to be into the hot work ourselves so we got rid of the greenbacks as fast as we could for if we did not we thought the Grey Backs might get them that night. We went to our camp again and started the next morning for the city and Saturday we had a pull at the cards. Sergt. Hawes is orderly and it was his business to take charge of the property of those that are killed. He took the 50 cents and what few little things that could be got that night and I suppose will send them to his folks. You wanted to know if we had to carry off the things of them that were killed. The rebels saved us the trouble. there was not but a very few men that had a thing on their bodies. Not a thread of any kind. Gus had on all of his clothes but a shoe.


Near Fredericksburg Va Jan. 11th  [1863]

Father & Mother,

I received a letter from you last friday morning I got one from William Capen yesterday. I wish I could get one from some one every morning. I have not received one from James Albert or Frank yet. Do you know what regt. James Albert is in? What regt. is Alphonso Burrell in? I have not seen him but Luther Bryant told me that he had seen him once.

We are in camp at the same place that we were before the battle. We have nothing but shelter tents yet. We have been under marching orders for over a month now. When we shall get off I know not. Gen. Sturges Commanding this Division is in command of the Department of Washington and they say that we shall go there to do guard duty. I hope we shall for if we do we shall be likely to have good comfortable quarters but we can not tell much by what we here.

The 11th N.H. regt. is in this brigade it is a new regt. The Battle of Fredericksburg was the first one that they was ever in. Robert Fisher, Ed Fisher's son, belongs to them. I don't know as I ever wrote that he was here before. He was wounded in the last battle. I saw him on the battlefield wounded through the calf of the leg.

There was a barrel of dried apples that came to the Co. from Randolph day before yesterday. I tell you we can make sauce out of them that will make the hard tack go down a little better. We drew a ration of onions yesterday. We got 5 a piece. It is the first ones that we have drawn. I had a good plate full of fried ones for breakfast. It rained pretty hard last night when I went to sleep I could feel it spatter through the tent a little.

Last Wednesday we went on picket down to Falmouth . We go about once a week. It was pretty cold that night. (I think it is to bad to have so many men stand out on picket. They might make some arrangements with the Rebels and let them stand one night and we the next and not have us both together). Gen Ferrers and Staff are now at home on a furlough (at New York ). Do Augustus folks ever say anything about sending for his body? I heard that Charles Upham was coming out after it. Has James Osgood got home yet?

We have to bring all of our wood two or 3 miles and water is pretty handy now for they have dug another spring but I have been after water for the cook sometimes and have to wait two hours. I am going to get a pass someday and go and find the 12th regt. I have not seen them since the night before we went into battle. That night they stoped side of us and Gus & I went over to see them. They were all smart then and Capt. Ripley looked fat and healthy but he was wounded and I have since heard that he was dead. Lieut. Whitman stopped here one night since the battle. He had just come out to join his Regt. and was looking after it and found this one.


Near Fredericksburg

Jan 18th 1863

Father & Mother,

I received a letter from you Friday morning. As usual the courier comes every week and it gets pretty well worn before it gets through the whole company. We had orders Friday to have 3 days rations cooked and be ready to march yesterday morning but we did not march yesterday and today being Sunday I think we shall not go before tomorrow. lt is very cold here today and was yesterday. The water froze in the camp kittles side of the cook fire.

You wanted to know where I tented now. I stay in the cook tent for the present. I am assistant cook. We have got a tent with the sides boarded about 2 feet high with cracker box boards and our tents put on the top of that and a fire place made of logs in one corner so it is quite comfortable and now we have got to move and leave it.

I hope we shall not move a great ways in this weather for we shall have to lay out nights. The ground being froze, we can not drive any tent pins. We drew some dried apples from the Gov. the other day and I have some apple sauce to wash down my hardtack. I do not have any duty to do now only to help the cook and we cooks have enough to eat such as it is.

Phinney Burrell came over here to see me the other day. He looks just the same as he always did only a little darker complexion same as the rest of us. The other day one of our company died an he was buried with the honors due to a soldier. The brigade band and the whole regt. turned out and there was a squad of men detailed out of ther company under the charge of Cpl. Thayer to fire a volley over his grave.

The officers had a regular drunk here last night chaplain and all. They kept us awake all night. They sang till about 12 o'clock then they turned in and a fight they have not had one before since New years night. Capt. Preston the commander of this company is a very nice man. I like him full as well as I did Capt Niles and I thought that he was as good as any one could be. Lieut. Stickney is our first Lieut. He has been acting adjutant of the regt. He is a nice little fellow.

You wanted to know if Sergt. Hawes gave me any thing out of his boxes. I will tell you. Gus you know had a box come and George Hawes had all of his molasses and Sergt. Hawes had some of his things but he never gave Augustus or I any of his things or any of the rest of the company. If you know his father you can know what he is as far as money is concerned. I like him. He will do as much for me as he will for any one but he will not give any thing that costs money.

George Hawes had a box come the other day that was as large as a boot box. lt cost 4 dollars to get it here there was 20 mince pies in it and some other stuff. You can keep this to yourself.


Near Fredericksburg , Va. Jan. 25, [1863]

Father & Mother,

I recieved your letter yesterday morning. It came one day later than usual. If it bad not been for the bad weather that we have had for the last few days you would ere this have heard of another great battle at Fredericksburg. Who could have come off victor? I do not know. It have been a tough battle and if we got whipped there again, I think that it would have done as much towards settling this war as it would if they got whipped.

The whole Army of the Potomac marched by our camp last Tuesday amongst the rest was the 12th regt. which is in Franklin 's Grand Division. George Bates was eating a piece of nice cake which he had come in his box. I saw E. Clark, Isaac Burnham, Leonard Holmes. That night it rained and the next day the whole army was stuck in the mud and have been marching back ever since. The 35th did not have to move because we are near the city and could march there and there in season to fight the same day but the next day it rained all day and night and our regt. had to go on picket and they had a pretty hard time of it.

There was one man in company B was drowned in the river. it was very dark and he fell down the bank and they did not get his body till to day. The Government lost a great many horses & cannon. It takes 16 mules to draw as much as 4 would draw in good weather.

The Rebels have got stack up on the other side of the river on a large board printed in large letters, "Burnside stuck in the mud".

Arabella you said wanted to know about the money that Gus carried out with him. He did not have 2 dollars when he got to Washington and I owed him 75 cents and I paid him at Camp Whipple and he was all out of money then. He got one hundred and fifty dollars, 30 dollars of that he paid towards getting a grave stone for his mother and he went to Livingston to see that girl up there and that cost him 25 or 30 dollars and he owed some and put it all together he did not have much when he got out here and it is lucky that he spent it and had the good of it.

I think we shall remain here for the present now and if you want send out a box you can. If you do, send one I want you to put in 1 pair of stocking, 1 pair of suspenders, a little cheese & molasses & sugar tea, one cake of chocolate, some corn starch, butter and if that does not fill it up put in what you have a mind to. I don't want you to send another shirt. I have been so long with but one I should not know what to do with an extra one as I have no knapsack to carry any thing in. I have got a new pair of pants, a cap, and handkerchief hung up in my tent. They have been there a fortnight. I am saving them to go into battle with. If we had moved this week I should have put them on but as we did not I shall wait til we have orders to move again. If you send a box put in a comb & towel. I never smarter in my life.


You write Lois & Everlyn on that letter and give it to them.

Now I have got my new boots I don't care if the mud comes knee deep. I guess I can out of it.


Near Fredericksburg

Feb. 1st 1863

Father & Mother,

I received a letter from you Thursday night containing a 50 cent stamp. It is very pleasant today but rather muddy. lt storms about 2 or 3 days a week and it keeps muddy all the time.

Last Tuesday our regt. went down on picket. lt rained all day and night till about 4 o'clock the next morning. Then it began to snow and the men came in Wednesday morning most froze up being out all night. And Thursday morning the snow was six or eight inches deep and some of the men were all covered up in their little shelter tents. That little painter, John Gill, that worked for Samuel Capen is in this Company. He is a Cpl. and his father in law is in the Weymout Company which is the next Company to ours.

The first 3 or 4 days of this week I made all of my meals out of raw pork and vinegar & hardtack but yesterday and day before I have had slapjacks & sugar & potatoes & steak. I suppose old fighting Joe Hooker is in command of the army now and they will give him a good chance to get whipped then he will resign and after they have all resigned I dont know what they will do then. Gen. Sumner is in command of the right Grand Division of the army of the Potomac (the one that this Brig, is in) and Gen. Franklin is the commander of the Left Grand Division. They say have resigned and gone with Burnside but I dont know how true it is.

The Government owes this regt. just three months pay today. I do not know when they will pay us off. We were mustered for pay the 1st of Jan. and shall be again the 1st of March.

We are in camp at the same place that we have been since we evacuated the city and I don't see but we shall stop here for a long time to come but I can't tell. We have to bring our wood 2 or 3 miles. lt is mostly pine. This regt. keeps 10 or 12 six mule teams carting all the time. We have got a good fire place in this tent it being the cook's tent. We have all the wood we want to keep warm. There is an old man that lives close to this camp that owns the land around here. He owns 700 acres. lt was all fenced with rails (there is no stone here to make fences of) and well wooded.(He) had a good drove of cattle mules & horses and a lot of slaves and a good house and all he has got left now is his house and 1 cow and his land. There is not a stick of wood on it or a fence or nothing to make one of. That is only one case. lt is so over the whole of Virginia . The people will have to wait a good many years before they can go to farming here again.

I am going to have some hard tack and molasses for supper and I wish I had some of those mince pies that you wrote of to top off with. lf you get this before you send the box put in something to make bread rise.

Edward Waldo

Camp Near Fredericksburg Va.

Feb 8th 1863

Father & Mother,

I received a letter stating that you had sent a box and last Friday. l received one with a twenty five cent stamp in it the same day I received one from James Albert & James Osgood and Saturday one from Grandmother. James Albert is about 20 miles from Memphis . He has been in the service about 16 months.

James Osgood is in the hospital at Chester , Penn. The surgeon has found the ball but does not dare to remove it. lt is in so bad a place. He says he had suffered a great sight with his wound. He said sometimes he would rather have died than not. The Dr says he will get his discharge.

I suppose before you get this we shall be on the move way down south in the land of cotton. Thursday night we had orders to pack up and be ready to march but it began to rain and they were afraid that they would get stuck in the mud so we are waiting for it to dry up a little. The men will not have to march far this time. The depot is but 1 mile from here that is where we shall take the cars for Aqua Creek and there is transports there waiting to take us to Fortress Monroe and from there we shall have a ride to Newbern North Carolina or New Orleans or some of them places I don't care where they go with us. Any where to see some of the world. They have took us all over Vairginia 2 or 3 times all ready. That part of it that the Rebs would let them.

The order came the other day that 2 men out of every hundred men fit for duty could have a furlough and go home. There was 7 going out of this Regt. and we all drew lots and it fell on our cook and he got all ready to go and I was to be head cook while he was gone but as we had orders to move the order was countermanded in this brigade, but in all probability there will be some of the Stoughton boys home from the 12th or some other regt.

Last Thursday Lieut. Ingalls, our great Lieut. as we used to call him came back. He is promoted to 1st Lieut in Company. P. He is the largest man we have in the regt. and Lieut Palmer (who died at Antietam ) was very small. That is why we used call Lieut. Ingalls our great Lieut. and Lieut. Palmer our Little Lieut. Sergt. Wales also came back. They found it rather hard to stop in our quarters after being to home 4 or 5 months. lt rained very hard at the time that they came. Friday we drew a loaf of soft bread a piece weighting 22 oz. I eat mine for supper with some molasses and some coffee and could have eat a good slice out of another one if I could have got it. We had got a brigade bake house a building out of logs and the oven had come and in a few days we expected to have soft bread instead of hard but yesterday we tore it down and burnt it to cook with as we are going off. I suppose Old Burnside is going to command this corps. lt is his old one. They call this the fighting corps.


Direct your letters as before till I write to direct different.

Newport News , Va

Feb 14th 1863

Father & Mother,

I have had quite a little ride since I last wrote to you last. Monday morning we started from Falmouth Station in the cars from Aqua Creek. The regt. went early in the morning and I went 2 or 3 hours later with the baggage. When we got to the creek, the regt. had gone aboard the steamer Lousina and had gone out in the stream. We were taken out to her with the baggage about dark. She was pretty well crowded. The officers occupied the state rooms and the berths were all full of the privates. The cook and I spread our blankets in the lower cabin under one of the tables and we had a bully place onboard of her 2 nights and one day. We came at anchor off Fortress Monroe early Wednesday morning and about sunrise we started for Newport News which is about 7 miles from the Fortress which can be seen away off in the distance. When I came off of the wharf the first man that I saw was Dan Tolman. He is keeping a kind of store here. Things can be bought here quite reasonable instead of what they could near Fredericksburg . Butter that we used to pay 60 cents per pound can be bought here for 30 and cheese for 20 that used to cost 40 and 50 and apples that used to cost 5 for a quarter can be bought 15 for the same price. The soldiers if they had been paid off I guess would live. We draw soft bread now. We drawed some dried apple and I have soft bread and apple sauce now.

The most of the old Cumberland which was sunk by the Merrimac last year justs sticks above the water and the Congress that was burnt at the same time to the waters edge is still visible and this stick which I put in here is a piece of her. The Moniter lays off to the mouth of the James River and a number of gunboats and war ships. They are expecting the Merrimac No. 2 down the river every night. if she is coming I should like to have her come while we are here so we could see some fighting and not be in it. I do not know how long we shall stay here but I hope we shall stop here a spell. lt is a first rate place. lt is not so muddy as it was where we came from. I went about 2 miles the other day and got some oysters. This is where they get all of their oysters. There is any quanity of boats out in the stream raking them.

My box has not come yet. There was 40 that came for this regt. night before last and 50 more last night but mine was not with them. I expect it is down to the Port and it will be along in a day or two. I got a letter with a comb in it. lt is a first rate one to comb the lice out with. And I got another one also with a 25 cent stamp in it and this morning the cook put 25 more with it and we got a skilet and we can fry slapjacks in good shape now. We used to fry them on an old plate. I should not wonder If both boxes came to once. I had a piece of pie and some doughnuts out of Sergt. Saul Thayer's and a piece of pie out of Sergt Houl's and the man that I tend with (the cook) is and old warrior. He was in the Regular army when the war broke out in Mexico and was there 2 years and when the rebellion broke out he went out as one of the 3 months men and now he is out as one of the 3 years men and he thinks if he gets home now he shall stop there and go to war no more. You must direct my letters to Fortress Monroe and they will come through sooner than to go by Washington .


I dont know as you can read this but when I get to writing I do it in a hurry



Newport News . VA

Feb. 21st 1863

Father & Mother,

Night before last I received a letter from you and L. A. I have also had one from Grandmother & Lucy. Last Wednesday night both of the boxes came and there was not a thing that was spoiled or jammed at all. And I am living pretty high now, for a private. I am still cooking.

The other day Phinny Burrell came over here. He is in camp about a mile from here. This whole Brigade have got A tents. There is 5 in each tent. The cook & I have a tent by ourselves. There is a boat that runs to the Fort and to Norfolk and all the places of notority and the men can get a furlough and go to any of these places free of expense. We draw a loaf of soft bread per. man every day weighting 22. oz. I generally eat 1 for supper and one for breakfast and about a half one for dinner. That would be about 55 oz per. day of bread besides the rest of the stuff. I am as fat as a hog. I don't believe you would know me if I should walk into the house some night.

I don't know what the Abolitionists are a going to do with us now. I do not care much I should like to stop here my 3 years. lt is a nice place. lt would be like going down to Nantasket and spending the summer. Some say part of this corps is going to Norfolk and part to the Fortress and we stay here to do Garrison duty and some say the whole corps is going to Newbern and others down on the Penisula. I think that they might as well let us stay here as any where. I think that we shall do as much good here as any where.

You can not find 5 men in the regt. but what are death on the Administration. They say that they never will fire another gun at the Rebs. They were willing to fight till they had got to fight to free the n[----]r and when it come to that they think it is time to stop. it is not only so in this regt. but in all of them.

There is about 3 or 4 hundred thousand 2-years men going home between now and June and I can't see how the goverment are a going to get men to take their place. As for taking the n[----]s to help them, they will be rather poor if they are all like those that I have seen when the shells have been flying around thier heads. They would run and yell and fly around as if they were half killed. I should like to see a n[----]r brigade go into battle once. I don't want any of them to get hurt but I should like to see them run a little.

I get the Courier regular every week and it tells the story about as it is the whole company have to read it. I like my suspenders first rate. I have got on a new suit and feel as big as can be but it is a darned good place to get lousy out here. I have to go and take off all of my clothes and pick all over everyday. lf I did not they would crawl over me all night and I could not sleep. I was the first one that had them. lt was Sergt. Hawes, the officers and all have them. I have got so I could not do without them.

If they keep us here we shall have a good time and if they send us to Newbern we shall have a good ride so let them go it


Newport News . Va.

March 1st, 1863

Father & Mother,

I received your letter Thursday night with one dollar and twenty cents in it.

There is no chance here at present to get my picture taken but there may be sometime. lf we stop here some time I may go down to the Fortress or to Norfolk and I can get one taken there. I dont believe you would know me. I never was so fleshy in my life. I have not been weighed lately but I guess I weigh about 200 Ibs. We draw onions and potatoes and soft bread an dried apple, molasses once a week and we are living like princes. I received a letter from Mr Chase night before last. I shall answer in a few days. If you have a chance to send word to Joe & Frank tell them to write to me.

I believe I wrote to them last our Lt. Col. Caruth and Adjutant Nath. Wales who were taken prisoner at Sulpher Springs have got back and Adjutant Wales is Major now. We all like Col. Caruth first rate and always did but the men do not care if Col. Wild never does come back. We have to black our boots every day and clean up and look slick as we can.

Col. Walter Harriman of the 11th N.H. which is the next regt. to ours in this brigade is nominated for Gov. of N.H. I believe, I hope, he will get elected. He is a nice man. He does not feel above the privates as some officers do. If I should go and speak to him he would take just as much notice of me and more to than he would if a commissioned officer spoke to him.

Our Chaplain preached his farwell sermon today. He has got his Discharge and starts for home tomorrow. His health is not very good. I hear that Lt. J. Madden has got his discharge and gone home. He has been in the hospital in Washington for some time past. I have not heard from Henry Munk since you wrote that he had started to join his regiment.

We have not a very large company at the present time. We have about 19 men for duty. There is some difference between that and 101 the number that we started from home with. We draw rations for 38 making about 19 that are home sick and one thing and another.

One night since we have been here we had a great snow storm. lt snowed most all night and toward morning it began to rain. We did not get up very early and after it had got to be pretty light I turned over and went into a pond of water all over. The snow had stopped the ditches all up and the water came into our tent six or eight inches deep. lt took all the next day to get things dried up but we came out all right in the end.

What do the think of the conscription act in Stoughton ? So the wide awakes all coming out to render help fight a little Loranus said he hoped Elijah & Sanford would have to go and get their ears used. I should like to see a good company more come from Stoughton . I should like to have them put in this brigade if they were the right ones.



Newport News Va.

March 8, 1863

Father & Mother,

I received your letter as usual last Thursday evening. We are still at the old camp enjoying ourselves as well as we can. We have all sorts of weather here in the course of the day. Some days it will rain like June 2 or 3 times and such rain you never see in Mass. We had a very hard thunder shower this morning but it has cleared off and is very pleasant now.

Out on the left of our brigade we have a large market place where 50 or 60 teams come every day from Hampton loaded with all kinds of stuff which they sell or swap off to the soldiers for rations of coffee and the like that they have left over their rations. I suppose that the Gov. has to pay 35 or 40 cents per. pound for coffee now.

I received a town report last night also a letter from Frank. He is still at Fairfax station. lt is very muddy there. He has been sick with a slow fever about 3 weeks but did not go into the Hospital. William is to work in the commissary department so I suppose he can live like a king. Frank says Joe is as tough as a little cuss. I should like to have you send me a school report when they get them out. I like to read all such things as them.

My razors I could not tell where they are. They may be in that little closet in Lucys porch or up stairs in that closet or on the shelf over Grammie's butten door next to the stairs, but I could not tell for certain if he find them he must take good care of them.

The apples and potatoes in the box were not froze a bit. I should like to have about a barrell of such apples set up in one corner of my tent. I think I would eat a few of them.

There is a number of minors in this Company and their folks draw a dollar a week from the town where they enlisted and their folks are not dependant on them for support either. These is Edgar Hawes and Geo. P. Gill both of North Stoughton . Williamson Gill is the father of Geo Gill and every body knows that he is not dependant on any of his children for support and the town-of Stoughton are paying him a dollar a week for his son. I don't see why they are not obliged to pay you the same for me, if they refuse to pay it at first they will of course try them again

I have been in the service now 7 months and it would amount $28.


Newport News , Va.

March 13th, (1863)

Father & Mother,

I received your letter last Wednesday with my birthday present in it. lt is my birthday today and as I had spare time I thought I would write so you will get this earlier than common. I expect to send home some money before this month is out but I may not get paid off. We were mustered for pay the first of this month. The first of this month, they now owe me fifty two dollars up to March 1st.

They had a fight down to Suffolk yesterday and rather got the best of our troops and today the 3rd Division of this corps went down to reinforce them. lt is about 50 miles from here. The troops in the fight yesterday were under the command of Cocoran. The 3rd Division were in wooden barricks and the talk is that we shall go into the place where they came out.

The other night a rebel boat came in sight and when we got up the next morning the old frigate Minnisota which is one of the blockading fleet and has been stationed in Hampton roads was down in front of us and has remained there ever since.

I do not see Daniel Tolman very often. I do not go out of our brigade much. I have not seen D.A.B. yet. It is rather cool here all time being so near to the water.

Sergt. Samuel Thayer of this Company started home on a furlough last Tuesday to be gone 10 days. We have to cook for about forty men at present.

I am going to send home a short piece that I see in the papers about the way that they use the n[----]s in the army. There has been many a warm day when soldiers were sick to my knowledge and tried to get into an Ambulance and it would be full of great fat lazy n[----]s that were able to walk out here. lf a fellow has a black face he can go any where without a pass. Alphonso Burrell was not cooking at all the last that I heard from him. He had rather do duty in the ranks. He may have gone at it again by this time though for I have not seen him for quite a while. I have not received any letter from Charles Upham yet but I have the town report about the box. I have got a new knapsack and can carry some things now when I am on the march and I should like to have my other shirt and it will cost more to send it by mail than it will to send a box and if Chas. Upham wants to put in some things you can send one if you have a mind to and put in my shirt and old double brested vest if you can find it. I can not tell where it is. A little salt fish or 2. piece of roast pork would not taste very bad. If you send it get it off as soon as you can conveniently so that I can get rid of it before we have orders to march from here. We may not get from here this summer and we may go before tomorrow night, we can't tell. The whole of the 2nd N.H. regt. they say have gone home on a furlough. They were camped side of us at Falmouth .


Newport News , Va.

March 22nd, 1863

Father & Mother,

I received your letter Thursday eve. We are still here having a first rate time. I received a letter from Chas. Upham also one from Joe the same night that I got yours. The 29th regt., the one that Phinney is in, started form here yesterday. The rest of his Division went a day or two before. About a fortnight ago, Genl. (Edward) Ferrero our brigadier general was appointed commander of this post and the 21st Mass. , 51st Penn ,and 51st N.Y. regiments all went into wooden barricks and the 11th N.H. and this regt. expected to go every day. And the prospect was that we should stop here quite a while but the prospect has altered some now and I expect before you get this that we shall be on the move again. They say we are agoing Tenn. and I rather think we are. I may get out there and see James Albert yet. I dont care how much they send us around if they only let us ride. Sergt. Samuel Thayer of this Company was to home on a furlough of 10 days. He got back today. He lives in Milton near Blue Hill tavern. He saw a man there that inquired after me. He had black whiskers and wore a black hat. I thought it was Scott and he described the man with him and I thought it answered the description of Ben Atherton.

It snowed here one night and day and yesterday the water was running a stream by our tent and last night if I waked up in the night you could hear it roar like a river.

They captured an infernal machine from the rebels the other day on the James River . lt is long and looks like the mast of a ship. They opened a hole in it and took out 14 Rebels. lt lays out in the water in front of here now.

The remainder of our knapsacks came the other day but mine did not come. lf it did somebody smarter than I was got it. Augustus's came and there was a receipt in it from Dr Gifford that I will put in this and you can give it to his folks. I also forgot to send that piece about the n[----]r and I will put that in this also. We play cards here all night some nights and in the day time to sometimes. We drew new shelter tents yesterday officers and all. They have got to carry their tent on their back as well as a private. There have been two cases of scurvy in this Company. One of them a man from Randolph died and the other Cpl. Young from East Stoughton . The last we heard from him he was in the hospital at Washington .

They can't tuck any of their sicknesses on to me. I am as tough as a door nail and likely to be till I get home. I ain't got but about 2 years and 4 months to stop now. Joe will be a lucky fellow if he get off without hearing some of them blue pills (that the darned Rebels fire) whistle. He will be pretty likely to have a chance this spring.

I saw Dan Tolman the other day. He is as fat as can be and dresses up too.


Paris, Kentucky

April 2nd, 1863

Father & Mother,

I received a letter from you the last time the day before we left Newport News . We left there one week ago today and have been one the move night and day ever since. We went aboard the Gov. transport John Brooks about five o'clock last Thursday and arrived at Baltimore about Friday noon . We remained on board till night when we marched through the city and took the cars for Pittsburg , Penn. We kept on our way all night only when the engine stopped to take on wood and water. The next morning it began to snow and snowed all day. We passed through a number of cities amongst them was Harrisburg the capitol of Penn. and towards night we arrived at Miflin where we had a dish of coffee furnished by the citizens of that place about 9 Oclock we came to the city of Altoona where we were treated to another dish of coffee and Sunday morning about 9 o'clock we came to Pittsburg which is the last place of any account in Penn. There we were taken to the city hall where we were furnished by the people of that place with a good dinner of soft bread and dried beef apples and coffee. After dinner we took the cars for Cincinnati , Ohio where we arrived Monday night. We were treated to coffee twice along the route and when we got to Cincinnati we were taken to the Market and had a first rate supper of bread and beef, ham, pork, boiled eggs, apples, coffee, onions, lemon pies. When we got through eating and got ready to start again on our Journey about 3 o'clock . We then took the ferry and went across the Ohio River to the city of Covington which is in Kentucky (it is a very large city). lt was near 4 o'clock then. Some of the boys spread there blankets on the side walk and others built up good camp fires in the street and passed the time away til day light. lt began to snow a little and it did by spells all day. At night our Lt Col commanding the regt. got us into a hall and we had good quarters for the night.

Wednesday morning we started on the Kentucky central R.R. and arrived here about 7 o' clock. We were ordered to stop in the cars, but some of us went out and got into houses that were empty and barns etc. Sergt. Hawes, Wright, Faunce & I found an empty building that was just built. The floor was boarded all over with the exception of a small piece at one end and in that place we built up a good fire and had some coffee and a good nights rest till morning. This morning we put up our tents near the city and here we are at the present time. Lexington is about 10 miles from here. Some say we are going there. We are sent here to protect the union folks from the Guerrillas (I guess that is the way to spell it) that travel around the country here. The 29th is doing Provost duty in this town they say but I have not seen Phinny Burrell since we left Newport News .

If we had not left the day that we did from Newport News I think I should have got my box and should have got it on with the baggage. lt will come some time I expect. You may direct your letters for the present 35th reg. 2nd Brigade 2nd Div. 9th A.C. via Cincinnati , Ohio ,and I guess it will come to me


Winchester , Ky.

April 19th, 1863

Father & Mother,

I have received 3 letters from you since I last wrote. I got 2 of them last night and Friday. We have not got but 2 mails since we left Paris , (the place that I last wrote to you from) which we did the next day after I wrote. The day we left we marched 23 miles to Mount Sterling . We made a forced march of it because we had to go through a Rebel country and we did not want to stop till we got to our destination. There was but six men that came up with the Company and some of them had to have their knapsacks carried on the teams. I went through with mine on my back. When I leave my knapsack I shall leave myself with it. I left my blankets at So. Mountain when we were agoing into the battle and I never got another for about 2 months and the one that l have got now I mean to hold onto or less I shall stop with it. I think I can stand a march about as well as any of them. You thought when I came out here I would be sick on account of the hot weather and hard marches but I ain't dead yet.

I have not cooked any since we left Newport News . While we were on the move to Kentucky we had no need of a cook and since we came to Mt Sterling we have had nothing to cook that we drew from the Gov. so I have done duty as a private. We have not drawn for the last 13 days 3 full days rations but are getting enough now but I have not suffered for the want of food much nor I never mean to while we are in such a country as this. It ain't like old Virginia is one of the handsomest parts of the country I have ever seen. I have been on picket duty about every other day since I came here and the mutton and fresh pork had to take it. The hogs out here and in all parts of South and West they don't keep in Styes but they run in the road or any where have a mind to. We would go out about 10 o'clock and get a hog killed and skinned (for we have no hot water to take off the bristles so we skin them) and all dressed off about 11 and take turns and go to some house and get dinner up and save the pig to carry into camp. We get all of our meals in the same way for the 24 hours that we are on picket. The last time that I was on l ate supper at a Rebel woman's house and she was one of the greatest I ever saw she and her mother both her mother was about as old and looked just like grandmother. I got there at 5 o'clock and stopped til after 9. It was a very nice house and they had things in great style, n[----]r waiters, etc. I stopped in the parlor til supper was ready and then we went into the dining room and took supper. We had silver forks and the cups & plates were china and other things to corresponde to eat. We had fried ham, warm biscuits and butter, slapjacks, tea & white sugar, sweet milk and buttermilk. lt is always the fashion to have butter milk on the table here. When I came off (I told her l was agoing to write home that I ate supper with one of the hardest rebel women) I ever saw She sent her respects to you and told me to tell you that she tried to plague me a little. Friday morning we came to this place which is about 20 miles from Mt. Sterling . We were paid off yesterday up to the 1st of March. I have sent home 48 dollars. lt was put into a bank here and a draft taken on a New York bank on the 1st and it will be sent from N. Y. to the Mass state treasurer and he will send it by express to you.


Paint Lick, Ky.

May 9th, 1863

Father & Mother,

I received a letter from you last Satuday night and I should have written to you before but since then we have been on the march. We started from Winchester last Monday morning and we have come through Lexington and Nicholsville and a good many small towns. We have traveled about 100 miles since Monday morning. We crossed the Kentucky River last Wednesday. We are now about 15 miles from Richmond, Ky. where I suppose we shall march the next tramp we take. The 29th Mass is down on the Cumberland and I suppose Phinny is with them. I expect we shall go into Tenn. also before long. They will show us all over the country before we get home I guess.

Isaac Newton Lemfield [Linfield] spent a few days with us while we were at Winchester. I was not very well while he was there. I had a Diareah.

The government allows us 42 dollars for clothing per year and at the end of the year at the last pay day. lf they have had more than that amount it is taken out of the last 2 months pay and if they have not had that amount, what they have not had is paid them with the last pay.

I suppose old Hooker before now has had a terrible battle near Fredericksburg. I think he will either use up the army of the Potomac or the rebel army. It is expected that Rossecrans army has engaged the enemy before this and Banks is giving it to them in his department. The Rebel prisoners that are taken here say that the Rebs are in a starving condition and they are the most ragged of any I have ever seen.

Corn and potatoes are up high enough to hoe here but they dont know any thing about hoeing here. They do all of their work here with horse and plough and cultivator.

At Nicholsville I stopped and had dinner. We had roast turkey, fried ham, warm bread and butter, baked beans, peach sause, molasses, onions, tea or coffee, it was a private boarding house.

I get the Courier every week. I suppose the next mail I shall get a letter from you. I expect we shall get one to night.

Henry Monk is in the hospital at Washington. He was coming to the regt. and he was taken sick and had to stop. Direct to Lexington, Ky.



Lancaster, Ky.

May 10th, 1863

Father & Mother,

I received a letter from you this morning. We marched back to this place at an early hour this morning. I do not know where we are going. Some say that we are to report to Cincinnati and if we do I guess that they will send us to Fredericksburg but can't tell. I threw away my overcoat this morning and I will send home a small piece of the collar and cape and let you see what kind of holes the Rebs make with their darned bullets. The news here tonight is that Hooker has recrossed the Rappahannock with 70,000 fresh troops and has taken Lee's army. And while he was fighting Gen. Dix went down the Peninsula and took Richmond, but it is to good to be true. I have not time to write any more at present. I wrote a letter yesterday.

Direct your Letters to Lexington, Kentucky.



On board the Steamer Imperial on the Mississippi River

May 11th, 1863

Father and Mother,

I have not received a letter from you this week but suppose there is one on the way but it will take it some time to catch me. 1 week ago yesterday at 6 o'clock P.M. we left Stanford, Ky. for Nicholsville a distance of 35 miles and got there at 4 o'clock the next day being 22 hours marching 35 miles. We then took the cars for Cincinnati where we arrived the next day about 10 o'clock. We then had a good dinner and about dark we went aboard the cars on the Ohio & Mississippi R.R. and went to Cairo,Ill. We had to go through the states of Pa. Ill. We arrived at Cairo which is situated on the Mississippi & Ohio Rivers. Sunday morning and we remained there all day and Monday about 4 o'clock we embarked on this steamer for Memphis, Tenn. We have got stuck on the sand bars twice and that has hindered us some. We shall get there tonight.

We passed Island No. 10 yesterday and Fort Pillow this forenoon.

Yesterday I went on to the Missouri shore and today onto the Arkansas shore and to night I shall go onto the Tenn. shore at Memphis. From that place we are going down to help them take Vicksburg. They can't do any thing without the 35th has a hand in it. Before we get to Vicksburg we shall pass the line of Louisiana and Vicksburg is in Miss so I shall get a glimpse of a good many states. We shall see some more before we get back again.

Henry Monk joined the regt. at Nicholsville and is now with us. He looks as smart as can be.

It rained very hard last night. We had one of the heaviest thunder showers that I ever saw. lt has rained some today but it is very pleasant now and hot as tophet.

Monday I received a letter from Hellen. Monday night The Mass 4 regt. of 9 months men is at Port Hudson and some other Mass regiments and we may see some of them before they get home. We are Just a going to stop we have got oppossite the city and the mail is going back and I must stop.

Direct all letter for the present to

35th reg. 2nd Brig.

2nd. Div. 9th A.C.

via Cairo, Ill

Lancaster, Ky.

May 17th (1863)

Father & Mother,

I received letter last night from you. I have got one every week. I dont think that I have had a letter written to me but what I have received and the Courier comes regular every week. I have not missed but one of them and that was while we were over to Fredericksburg (on the 13th of Dec.) There was one that I never got.

We are having a pretty good time here. I suppose that the crops are as forward here as they are in Mass. in the middle of June. We are about as far south as Richmond, Va.

I suppose Hooker got a drove back at Fredericksburg but I guess that the Rebels lost a good many men as well as himself. If the 11 corps (Gen. Howards) had not ran like darned fools before they had fired a gun I guess that Old Hooker would have given it to them good as it was I suppose they have lost one of their best Generals that they have got (Old Stonewall.)

Last Friday we had orders to be ready to march at a moments notice but ain't gone yet. We were agoing down on the Cumberland and reinforce Gen. Carter but he has whipped the Rebels under Marshall and I think we shall not have to go now. You wanted to know if I washed my shirt. I do some times and hire it done some. This morning they wanted me to help cook for the Company again but I think I shall not. I shall keep on doing duty in the ranks. By helping cook before I lost a chance where now I might be earning now 17 dollars per month instead of 13. I think I shall stick to the ranks now. I saw last night by the papers that the spies that were taken by the 35th while at Mount Sterling were hung on Johnson's Island. The 21st Mass, are there now. I heard that the Rebs came in and drove them out and the Rebels were afterwords drove out by the 21st and they still hold the place.

The farm that we are on now was owned by a rebel who burnt his house and then went south at the breaking out of the rebellion. lt was sold yesterday. There is 1100 acres of it and it is better looking land than you can find in the east. I should like to have you send me out a war map if you can find one that I can carry in my pocket.

Does Samuel Austin go to school this summer? I suppose that Newton Lemfield has been to see you before this. I am as smart as can be now. I was not very well when he was here.



Camp near Crab Orchard

May 24th, (1863)

Father & Mother,

I received a letter from you Friday night. We were then at Lancaster but yesterday morning we packed up and took three days rations and started for the Cumberland River where the rebels were about making another raid into this state from Tennessee, but we got as far as this place and the order was countermanded and we are to remain here today and I guess we shall go back to Lancaster. It is the hottest weather I have ever see since I have been out here. It is just nine months ago to day since we came to Washington, so now we have got but about 2 years and 2 months to stop. There is some 9 months troops in our Division whose time is out the 7th of next month. The 9th N.H. Vols. of this Division are all excused from duty. We left them at Lancaster down in the woods. They have all been vaccinated and their arms are so sore that they can hardly lift them to their head. One company have got the small pox.

That John Diamond that used to be in the Dramatic club in Stoughton with Henry Johnson & Major Dutton was in company J (the Dedham Co.) of this regt. He was taken sick at Newport News and was taken to the hospital at Hampton near Fortress Monroe and has since we came to Kentucky died. Col. Carruth has just told the men that Vicksburg has been taken. The news has just been brought in and is official and is to be read on dress parade tonight and Gen. Carter of the army of the Cumberland who sent for us to go and reinforce him does not want us and says the the rebels are retreating before his army so now the Mississippi river will be under our control and Texas where the rebels get the most of their cattle will be cut off from them. I saw in a paper that contained a list of the wounded in the late battles on the Rappahannock that J.S. Waldo of Company C 3rd regt. of Wisconsin Vols. was wounded. I suppose that is cousin John. I have been through the 3rd Wisconsin regt. a number of times but did not know what Company or what regt. he was in. When Burnside got stuck in the mud last winter that regt. stopped on our camp ground 2 or 3 hours and I went and tried to find out if there was any Waldo's in it but I suppose I did not go into the right company.


Stanford Ky.

May 31st, 1863

Father & Mother,

I received your letter yesterday morning with the cloves in it. We marched to this place last monday night. We started from Crab Orchard about 1/2 past 7 and arrived here about 12 o'clock at night. We were pretty well used up when we got here. The 11th N.H. regt. led us off and they had their napsacks carried and the 35th kept up to them and had theirs on their back. I don't know how long we shall stop here. We expect to move every day. There was a pontoon train went past here day before yesterday. lt was going to the Cumberland river so I suppose that our troop are a going to make a movement across there. There is a large flour mill near here so we get some flour. They grind 150 bushels of wheat every day. We have to pay 3 1/2 cents per pound or about $6 per barrell. There is also one of the finest springs of water here that you ever saw. lt is in a cave of solid stone that is about 40 feet square.

Lieut. Col. Carruth who has been in command of this regt. ever since Col. Wild was wounded at So. Mountain has received his commission as Col. He is making the officers tread around pretty lively. The officers that were promoted before he got his commission as Col. went through Col. Wilds hands and he says that there has been a good deal of wire pulling to get folks into office and now he says he shall have the handling of it and if he cannot find any Sergants that are fit to hold commissions he shall take them out of the ranks.

Night before last a Sergant of one of our companys who was a going to have a commission was reduced to the ranks and I guess he will make them step around pretty lively. The strawberries and green peas are pretty thick here now. Peas are 25 cents a peck.

You wanted to know who took Sergt. Hawes' place. lt was Sergt. Thayer. He is a first rate fellow. The Company all like him. He was out in the 12th reg. about a year and was taken prisoner and got his discharge and was to home about 2 weeks and came out with us.

I have not got this book of mine wrote through yet but it is getting pretty well worn out and if you will send me out one like it and some wafers I will send it home. I am on guard today at the commissary that is where Lt. Hawes stops.


I am going to have some slapjacks for supper my tent mate and myself. My tent mate is Corporal Wright.  


Camp in rear of Vicksburg 

June 18, 1863

Father & Mother,

We have received no mail since we left Ky but expect one every day. Last Friday we left Memphis for Vicksburg near which place we arrived Sunday morning. We landed at Shermans Landing and remained till Monday morning when we we sent across the bend that the Mississippi makes in front of Vicksburg on the Louisiana shore where we crossed the Mississippi and went on to Grant's left but he did not want us so we came back and stopped over night and the next day we went up the Yahoo to Haynes Bluff and we are now in the rear of the city between there and the big block river where Johnson is reported to be. I think that Grant has got the rebels cooped up there where they will have to surrender. Our sharpshooters are within 150 yards of the city and they can't work their guns in the day time because we pick them off as fast as they show their heads. Our big guns and morters are at work all the time firing on the city so there is considerable noise here all the time.

There was 3 men that went into the Yazoo river the other day and one of them was bit into in the middle of his body and one of them had his arm bit so it had to be amputated and the other one has not been heard from since. This was done by an aligator .

It is very warm down here now. We can not get any water but river water and the Surgeon says that is better for us but I should like to have you send me a little piece of ice and I will send you back some blackberries. There is large quantities of them here. I have just got in from picking them. I got 2 qts in all. I wanted to eat and was not gone but a little while. I put a little sugar on them and they go pretty well on hard tack.

I suppose that James Albert is around here somewhere but have not seen him yet but expect to every day.

When we were marching to this place the western troops all along the road asked what troops we were and we told them 35th Mass. and they say "what you doing way down here." I suppose that the 9 months men are coming home most every week now. I saw the place where Gen. Butler dug the canal across the bed in front of Vicksburg there was a Mass. regt. at work there diging that.

I suppose that Phinney is here somewhere but I do not know where.



Jackson Miss. 

July 18th, 1863

Father & Mother,  

I have received two letters from you since we came to this place. One of them I received last Satuday forenoon on the battlefield while we were supporting the 1st Brigade who were out skirmishing with the Rebels. The other one I received last night. I believe I wrote to you last 4 of July we were then in the rear of Vicksburg . The night of the 4th we started for Old Johnson who had been hovering in our rear ever since the seige of Vicksburg had been commenced. We over took him the next day at the Big Black River and since then we have been fighting him every day and night until yesterday when the 35th who were in the front went into the city and planted our Flag up on the breast works the first one and then went double quick and placed them on the capital.

We have lost but 1 man killed and but a few wounded in our regiment. We took about 500 prisoners. We have had a pretty hard time since the 4th. lt has been very warm and we have had to be up night and day. We have been in the front 5 days since we got to Jackson and three out of the five we have had to stand behind trees and stumps night and day within 1/4 of a mile of their fortifications and if we stuck our head out in sight in the day time they would send by our heads something that would make us draw it back pretty quick. And their siege guns would rattle their grape and cannister with a solid shot and shell that has the trunks of trees off by the cord— but they did not drive us off. lf he had stopped one day longer we would have had all of them prisoners but they took to their legs and old Grant is after them and old Johnson is putting for Mobile as fast as his legs will carry him and 10 to one if Grant don't catch him before he gets there.

I think that we shall start for Vicksburg where we shall take the boats for Ky tomorrow but do not know. Lieut M. B. Hawes was instantly killed about 2 miles from the Big Black river by the falling of a tree while he was riding at the head of his supply train. He was going to report to his company the next day our old Quartermaster having got back.

There is but three from Stoughton left in the Company now and one of them Edgar Hawes of No. Stoughton but Henry Monk and I stick by yet.


Rear of Vicksburg , Miss.  

July 29th, 1863

Father & Mother,

We have got back again to our old camp ground in the rear of Vicksburg . We arrived here about noon last Thursday and now are awaiting transportation for Cincinnati . All of the transports that were here have gone to Mobile with Genl. Grant's army. We started from Jackson the 11 of July and we had a pretty hard time coming back. We were on half rations and it was very warm and water was very scarce. There was a good many of this corps that dropped down dead in the ranks owing to the heat. Although we drew but half rations I lived pretty well. I did not draw any rations on the march. I got my living out of the Secesh on the road. We had peaches, figs, hoe cake & molasses, honey and such stuff. We would go along til we came to a good looking house and go in and tell them what we wanted and they would set their n[----]s to work and cook it up. We went to one place and they had about 10 or 12 hives of bees. One of my tent mates and myself thought we should like a little to help a hard tack down so we asked the man of the house which hive was the best one and he said that he guessed that there was not much in any of them but we were not going to give it up. So we went and got a good pile of cotton (there is pleanty of cotton in this state) and set it a fire and got it to smoking then went and picked out a good hive and smoked the bees out and we had a nice mess of honey.

I did not have a very heavy load when I came into camp last thursday. Everything I had was my pants, shirt and cap, Gun & equipments. I lost everything else and my boots I had to throw away. They were all worn out and hurt my feet pretty bad. I came all the way from Jackson bare footed (about 60 miles). (I drew some shoes from the gov yesterday).

I suppose that before this they have drafted in Stoughton Henry Monk. Had a letter Sunday and it stated that there was to be 144 drafted from there. Warren Monk and John Guild of Stoughton have been drafted from Boston . I should like to have you send me a list of the drafted men of Stoughton . I suppose that they had a pretty hard fight at Gettysburg , Penn. I hear that the 12th Mass. suffered considerable. The Sergt. Major told that they were going to fill up the old regiments with the drafted men. lf so, I suppose that some of the Stoughton boys will come to this one. I am glad that I am out here now and not have to be drafted. I can have the fun of seeing some of them drill out here in this warm weather. I should like to have you send me a book the name of which is "School of the Guides". lt is a Military book and will be found in Boston, where they keep D. Van Nostrands Military Publications. I should think that they would be likely to keep it these time at any book store.


J D. Van Nostrands Military Publications

School of the Guides



Covington Ky.  

Aug 16th 1863

Father & Mother.

I recieved the last letter that I got from you in Miss, we have got back in old Kentuck once more and we are very glad of it you dont know how much better the water is here I never drank so good water in my life as we get in this state, while we was in Miss, we had nothing but cistern water and that was very scarce, when we got to the Big Black, following old Johnson Tip he in his retreat filled up the most of the cisterns and we had a very heave shower as soon as they crossed the river and if it had not been for that we should have died with the thirst this water ran into the holes and ravines and this was where we got our drink there is no springs in the state. We left there 1 week ago last Thirsday and arrived in Cincinnati last friday we had a very pleasant ride up the river in the boat and from Cairo we came on in the cars. We was furnished with refreshments along the rout which was very acceptable to the Soldiers. There was about 48 soldiers that died per day for the last week that we stoped in Miss. out of this corps, we did not loose a man out of this Co with the exception of Lieut Hawes. While we were at Memphis Term, the old 4th came in there on the Steamer No. America . our boat was cuallng up then and I did not get a chance to see any of the boys but Ben Phillips he looked as tough as an ox. when we arrived at Cario we stoped there one day and the 4th arrived there just before we left. I saw Charles Eaton, Henry Johnson, Gil Bell, George F. Littlefield and Charles Littlefield of E. Stoughton .  David Ward was there but I did not get a chance to see him. They thought that they had seen pretty hard times, but I guess if they had been marched around as the 9th Corp has They talk as if they had been in some pretty hard fights But I guess if the 1st one that they went into they had left 300 of there comrads on the field and other fights in propotions would think that they had seen harder times.

I recieved a letter from Ellery while I was in Miss. and I will answer it soon.  I also have recieved one from James Albert he is at Corinth Miss now. I have not had one from Georges folks this good while. I saw a list of the drafted men from Stoughton the other day. I have been as tough as could be ever since we left Kentucky . I think the climate of Miss. agrees with me but I dont want to stay there if it does. I have not heard whether or not you recieved the money that I sent home or the Journal.



Camp Nelson , Ky.  

Aug 26th, 1863

Father & Mother,

The next day after I wrote to you last we started from Covington for Camp Nelson which is near Hickman Ridge about 20 miles beyond Lexington. We are pretty tired. We came all the way over the road as guards on a train of wagons,all the way from Cincinnati which is about 120 miles. The rest of the Brigade came up in the cars. We have not got but 5 commissioned officers in the regt. now. Our Adjutant is promoted and we have three Lieuts. which is all of the commissioned we have with the regt. now. There is but 3 Sargents, 2 Corporals besides myself, and 20 privates in the Company and there is some of them that are not fit for duty. Sergt. Howland is in command of the company.

This whole army Corps is all used up and will probably stop here a short time and get recruited up a little.

We have had enough to eat between Cincinnati and this place. We have got a little sheet Iron pail that will hold about 3 qts. and Sergt. Angies, Cpl. Farince Morse and myself manage to get potatoes and onions enough to make it full of soup with the help of a little piece of pork or a chicken and we 4 make out to have a pretty good supper to go to bed upon as a general thing. It is pretty cool here now or it seems so to us. I have got no blanket yet or coat but go in my shirt sleeves and when it comes night I lay down on the ground with my head on my cartridge box and go to sleep. We are going to draw clothing tomorrow and we shall all look like new recruits. A few days before I left Miss, the Lieut. reckoned up my clothing account and it amounted to about 35 dollars. The Gov. allows 45 and that would make 10 dollars due me and then they allow 10

dollars more for the clothes that we lost at So. Mountain & Antietam which would make 20 dollars due me. But the clothing books were all lost in transportation from Mississippi to Kentucky . and as the government has no account of it, they will have to give us the whole 45 dollars or nothing which they will do on the next pay day. lf they do not allow anything, I shall draw my 45 dollars worth this year. I will warrant you they will owe us 52 dollars in a few days now. I expect they will pay part of it this week and if they remain here the other 2 months soon.

I wrote a letter to Samuel Austin last Sunday at Paris . Paris is the first place that we stopped the 1st time that we came into Kentucky .

What do they think about the war now at home? Do they think that it looks any more like settling it up?



Camp Parks , Ky.  

Sept. 2nd, 1863

Father & Mother,

I received your last letter last Saturday. I should have wrote to you last Sunday and shall every Sunday if things will permit, but as I wrote to you before the Army Corp is all worn out and you would have thought so if you could have seen them a week ago in clothes as well as in body. But now they have got all dressed up and look as slick in regard to clothes as they did when they first came out and when they will have a little rest they will be all right. I am as well as any of them and for the last week I have felt kind of lazy and have been laying around not knowing whether I had better be sick or not but I concluded that I would not and I am all right again now and got an appetite like a hog.

We can get a plenty of apples, peaches, pears, watermellons, potatoes, onions, eggs, chickens, at pretty reasonable prices and we have some of them once in a while.

Lieut. Stickney of this Company is at home on a furlough and he may possibly come to Stoughton before he comes back. Col. Carruth is also at home and a good many more of our officers.

I did not hear of Phinny's death till I saw it in your letter. I have not seen anything of the 29th Regt. since we left Mississippi . The boy that worked for Lieut. Hawes after he was promoted is dead. He died last night. He has been with the regt. ever since it came out. He came out as Capt. Andrew's servant and was thought a great lot of by the regt. He came very near being killed when Lt. Hawes. was. He was hurt very bad at that time being on the seat with him the time.

You wrote to know if they were agoing to send home Lt. Hawes' body. They will not unless his folks send for it. I do not know where he was burried as he was not with the regt. at the time of the accident but was with the wagon train.

I expect old Burnside is doing a great thing in East Tennessee . He has got across the Tennessee River and driving them like time. He has none of the 9th Army Corps with him. lt is the 23rd which is composed mostly of western troops. Henry Monk was left at Cincinnati . I suppose he has gone now to camp Dennison where he can get another furlough if he wants one as all of the sick in this corps is to have one.



Camp Carruth Crab Orchard 

Sept. 28th,1863

Father & Mother,

I received you letter last Tuesday and I suppose I shall recieve another one from you tomorrow. We get a mail here every morning with the exception of Monday and Sunday the stage does not run so we do not get one the next day. I have just got back from Mount Vernon where I have been since last Tuesday with a detail from this Regt. and one out of the 51st P. V. repairing the road over which Burnside's supplies goes. Mount Vernon is situated in the Cumberland mountains and the road that leads over them is the roughest one that ever was. I like to go out on such excursions as those for we generaly get all we want to eat of that that is good. We find any quanity of hogs & sheep in the woods and it don't take but a few minutes to dress one of them off. We do not stop to heat water and get the hair off but take the hide and all off.

Some of the boys here have got houses all built up in good shape. They are clapboarded and shingled. I have not built one yet but shall soon if we stop here. I don't like to work well enough to get one all built and then have to leave it. Sergt. L.G. Thayer our orderly Sergt. and I tent together. He expects to have a commission soon. lf our Col. was here I guess he would have got it before this time. He came out in the 12th Mass. as a private and was taken prisoner at Winchester , Va. and was in the Libby prison at Richmond 3 or 4 months and then was paroled and got his discharge. When the 35th was got up he enlisted in this Company and came out as Corporal, was promoted to Sergt. at Falmouth , Va. and when M. B. Hawes received his commission he was promoted to orderly Serg. and in a few weeks he will have some shoulder straps on his shoulder. I call that going up pretty fast. Do you ever here any thing from George Hawes from No. Stoughton that used to be in this company? He got his discharge from Disability.

George Gill came back to the company last Friday.

He has not been with us before since we came into Kentucky the 1st time. He is as tough as can be. lf you see Mary Crofts you can tell her about him. He used to live there and she used to think a considerable of him.

Henry Gill is at camp Dennison , Ohio . He will get his discharge I guess.

It is pretty cool here nights but very warm day times. I must stop now I have got to clean up my old kill devil for inspection. The General is agoing to inspect us this afternoon.



Tazewell, Tenn. 

Oct 15th, 1863

Father & Mother,

It has been just 15 days since we left Crab Orchard. We started with 8 days rations in our haversacks and we were pretty short on for rations before our 8 days rations were out for we can not get 3 days in them. When our 8 days were out we were at London Ky. There we drew nothing but half rations and have not since. lt is one of the roughest roads that ever was and they can not get but a small load on a team.

We have had a plenty of apples it is one of the greatest countrys that you ever saw. I go out every night and get a peck to eat for me and my tentmate and they are all gone when we get ready to march in the morning. Some one in the company goes out every day and gets a hog or 2 and we have fresh pork for breakfast most every day. You must not think when we draw half rations that we do not have anything to eat for we are not the boys to let the Grub lay around the country and starve to death. lf Uncle Sam don't give us enough to eat, Johnny Reb. must.

I have not had a very heavy load to carry on this march. I had got a new lot of clothing overcoat and all and when we had orders to go down here I thought I should have a pretty hard time of it and was going to send my overcoat home. lt was a new one that I never put on but my tentmate Sergt. Thayer is in command of the company and has his baggage carried and I put all of my things with the exception of my blanket into his knapsack and they go with his and I am glad now that I did not send it home for it is pretty cool nights here. We came here last night and are agoing to stop here all day today and rest and tomorrow we go on to Knoxville where we shall get in the course of two or three days. We came through Cumberland Gap yesterday. That is where the States of Ky. Tenn. & Va. come together. When we were marching through we halted to rest and I sat down on a stone in Va. had one foot in Tenn. and the other in Ky.

Parson Bronlow came past here yesterday. He looked about the same as he did when I saw him in Bridgewater. He was going on to Knoxville where he is going to start a paper again. The name of which is the Rebel Avenger. I have got no letters since we left Crab Orchard and I do not expect to get any til we get to Knoxville. The mail went by the way of Nashville.


Knoxville , Tenn.  

Oct 20th, 1863

Father & Mother,

We arrived at this place yesterday and we were very glad to get here. We had been on the march 19 days and the country that we came through was very rough and mountainous and it has rained a great many days and it was a very hard march. This is quite a large place. There was before the war broke out a great lot of business done here. The town being situated on the Tennessee River and it is navigable for Steamboats up to this place. Chattanooga is on the same river about and fifty miles from here. I expect to start for there tomorrow morning.

We got the first mail that we have received for about a month yesterday. I received a letter from Mother dated at Royalton and one from L. A. and 2 from you. Has your foot got well yet? Which foot is it that is sore your, right or left one?

Last night we drew 1/2  rations for the next 3 days. I ate all of my hard tack for supper and for the rest of the 3 days I have got to get my rations from somebody besides Uncle Sam.

I have just got back from town. I saw the house where Parson Bronlow lives and where his daughter hung the Stars & Stripes, and when the Rebels came to pull it down she took a musket and pointed it to them and threatened to shoot the first man that laid his hand on it and they went off with out touching it. This happened when her father was in prison.

I also saw the building where old Parson Bronlow used to print his paper when he was thrust into prison by the Rebs.

Provisions are pretty high in this place now. Bread is 50 cents per loaf, coffee $3.00 per. pound, sugar 30 cents and other things in propotion. Butter is 1 dollar.

I expect old Hooker with part of the army of the Potomac is down with old Rosecrans and part of Grants army is there, and Burnside is on his left flank. So I suppose that they have got men enough to see to Genl. Bragg buy this time. The 9 corps is down there all but this Division and we will go tomorrow I expect. I suppose that Mother will be home by the time you get this letter. I am in good Health.

Edward Waldo


London, Tenn. 

Oct. 26th, 1863

Father & Mother,

We received a mail yesterday. I received a letter from you and one from Joseph & Frank.

We arrived at this place Friday night about 8 o'clock. Genl. Burnside came on in the cars with us. He looks as though he had not seen very hard times. I have not seen him before since we went down to Vicksburg.

This town is on the Virginia & Georgia railroad about 40 miles south from Knoxville. the road runs to Chatanooga and the Rebels hold the road at Philadelphia and we have got to drive them from it the report is that there is about 30,000 of them at that place now. They have been fighting here every day for about a week sometimes we drive them and then they drive us. we drove them 20 miles the other day (Saturday) and yesterday they drove our men back to within 2 miles of this place. There has none of the 9th Army corps had any fighting to do with then yet but when we get at it I expect we shall clean them out. we have been expecting to have to go over there every day but they have not called for us yet.

We are on half rations yet and shall be I expect till we get this road opened. I went out about 2 miles yesterday morning and this morning and got my haversack full of potatoes each time and I have just had a dinner that tasted just as good at this time as one to home woulda The country around here looks same as it did at Falmouth, Virginia. We are in camp on the east side of the Tennessee River and the town is on the other side and looks some like Fredericksburg and its Fortifications. When it rains it is very muddy indeed, more so I think than it used to be there.

In every army corps in the army there is a signal corps who are stationed around on the hills between the battle ground and the Commanding Generals Headquarters. One of them will be on the battle ground with his flag and another will be on a hill in sight of the one that is on the battle ground and another on a hill over looking the former and so on and one of them will be at Headquarters, so by the motion the commanding General can see and give his directions if he is miles away from the scene of action. There is one of them on a hill in the distance that can be seen from my tent as I sit here writing and if I could only read the motions of the flag I suppose I could tell you some news either good or bad. Sometime ago you wrote about sending me some boots, shirts &etc. but I was so far away that I thought I would draw from the government but I have got on a Government shirt. lt is so short that I can not keep it in my pants and I should like to have you send me some shirts by mail and I will get along with Government shoes this winter. I guess it will not be very cold away down here I guess in the day time. I have got to the bottom and I will stop.



Lenoir, Tenn.

Nov. 1st, 1863

Father & Mother,

We evacuated the town of London last Wednesday. The troops commenced leaving the town Tuesday night but all of the troops did not get across the Pontoon til about 10 o'clock Wednesday forenoon. Our Regt. was the one that took up the Pontoon bridge. We had got it about half taken up and the planks carried about a mile over behind the hills and were to work with all of our might to get the remainder of it up before the Rebs. came into the town and in came about 40 or 50 of them on horseback with a flag of truce. They came in that way so that we should not fire on them. After they went off we expected that they would try and stop us from taking up the rest of it but they did not and we got it all up and on the cars before dark and then went into camp on this side of the river for the night. lt rained all day and it was very uncomfortable being out.

This place is situated on the Tennessee River about 6 miles farther north than the town of London but our pickets go down the river as far as that place. Burnside's Headquarters were on the hill back of our camp til yesterday when he took the cars and went on to Knoxville. The Tennessee River is just over the other side of the hill and the rebel pickets are on the other side of the river. There is details out of our Brigade that go over there every day to get cattle & etc. We do not draw any salt meat here all fresh. We get 1 loaf of bread a day about as large as a good size biscuit, a spoonfull of sugar a day and about a spoonfull and a half of coffee and a little piece of fresh meat.

Night before last we were called out into line of battle and stopped there about an hour. The rain poured down in torrents and we were pretty well drenched through before we got into our tents and we had to lay on our arms all night.

The report here is that Meade and Lee have had a fight and Lee has got a good whipping. We don't get much news down here. lt takes a good while to get the mail through. After I get done writing I am agoing to go out and see if I can find some good fat hogs some where if I can get a pass from the Major. There is a plenty of them the other side of the river and I don't want Johnny Reb. to get them all. I have got a letter to write to Henry Monk at camp Dennison and one for Morse of this company. I have all of his letters to write and read for him as he can not write.

It takes about a month for a letter to go home and to get an answer to it and I guess I shall get this Memorandum wrote over by that time and if you will send me another one when you get this letter I will send this one home.

Who is agoing to keep school this winter? Is George Agent? Who have they chose for Governor? I suppose they will have a new one before you get this.

The 1st Division is building winter Quarters at this place but I expect the 2nd will go Kingston & Knoxville.



Knoxville, Tenn. 

Dec 19th, 1863

Father & Mother,

I have been waiting to get a mail before I wrote again. I wrote a letter the day that the Rebels left here and I suppose you have received it before this time. We got a mail yesterday and I received 6 or 7 letters and some Courier's. I have got my mittens and they were just the fit. I have wished that I had a pair a good many times since the Rebels had us surrounded here. I have not got my memorandum or shirt yet but I guess that I have got all of the rest of the letters. I received Emma & Bett's letter before we retreated to this place. I shall answer Frank's letter soon now and should have done so before if there had been any chance to have sent it. You wrote in one of your letters a good while ago that Henry Gill had sent home his Picture and you did not see why I did not send mine. But you know that he has been spending a few months in or near the city of Cincinnati at the Hospital where he could have it done. lt just as well as not and I am away down in the woods of Tennessee where they never heard of such a thing as a picture. I will have it taken as soon as I have a chance to. I received a letter from Charles Upham a few days ago and I answered it day before yesterday.

There is no vacancy in this company now or in the Regiment. lt has got to be so small now that they will not allow only 2 commissioned to a company, a Captain or 1st Lieut.

I wrote to Charles Upham that I would take a commission in any regiment. I expected ere this to have been promoted to sergeant. When I was promoted to Corporal. (in Aug last) Capt. Stickney (then Lieut and in command of this company) told me that within three weeks that I should have a Sergt.'s berth, but he expected that our orderly Sergeant would be commissioned and I would have taken his place, but owing to the smallness of the Regiment he did not recieve his promotion.

They are forming regiments to go into the Veteran Corps I see in Mass. (3 or 4 of them). I did not know but through the influence of some of the influencial men, I might obtain a commission in some of them, (that is the way that most of the officers got there commissions).

We were surrounded here in this place 17 days. We had 4 battles with the enemy on the retreat to this place. The loss in our regt. was but 2 killed and 12 wounded and a few taken prisoners. The largest one was at Campbell Station. We fought there from noon till after dark and the Rebels came very near getting us all surrounded. They came down on the sides of us in 3 or 4 lines of battles but old Burnside got away from them with his little Corps. They outnumbered us by thousands. I never saw so many of them in my life on the battle field.

We have had to go on picket say this morning at 4 o'clock and stop till tomorrow at this time and then we would have to go into the rifle pits and stop till 4 the next morning and then go on again (we did not pretend to eat but 1 meal per. day).

Our regt. has made 2 charges since we were here and we drove the enemy out of the Rifle pits both times.

The last charge that we made I was struck by a piece of shell that was nearly spent on my skin. lt bruised me a little and that was all (so I guess that they don't mean to kill me after all). I am tough and well and can eat all that I can get. I think that I grow tougher & tougher every day. I have got to the bottom of my paper and it is most dark and I will stop.




Blanes X roads, Tenn. 

Dec 26th, 1863

Father & Mother,

I have not received any letter from you since I last wrote a week ago. The last letter that I received from you was dated Dec 7th. My memorandum or shirt has not got along yet but I expect them every day now. I have got my memorandum all full and am keeping it on paper now.

I received a letter from Elmer yesterday and have just answered it. I will send it home in this.

We are encamped in the woods where we can keep a good fire. the Rebels left here last Wednesday. I do not know which way they have gone. We do not draw but 1/4 rations from the Governmant but we have a chance to go out into the country and buy a little something. We do not have much to do at present but we have had enough to do for the last month to make up for it.

I expect that we shall leave this state this next week. I do not know where we shall go. I think that we shall come back to Kentucky and we may go to Washington and go off on another expedition

I got a goose and some potatoes & onions and set up all night Christmas and Sergt. Thayer & myself had a good soup before we went to bed. lt is the first time that I have got filled up this good while.

Henry Monk came back to the regiment just before the fight at Campbell Station. The day before I believe, and Henry Gill came back last week. They are both well.

It is rainy today and I am sitting up in my tent and I can not sit up strait and it makes my back ache and I do not know as you can read this scribbling. I have just wrote a good long letter to Elmer.

We have just had notice that James Osgood has gone into the invalid corps. lt came to day.

How many has Stoughton got in their quota now? I should like to be there and get the bounty.

Some of the old regiments in this corps that have been 2 years are enlisting for three more. I wish that this one had been 2 then we could enlist again.

For breakfast this morning I had some hearty pudding & molasses. lt was as good a meal as I ever ate.

Our Major has gone home on a furlough and the Col. is to home now and the regiment is in command of Capt. Lyons who used to be an orderly Sergeant in the 12th regiment.

At Knoxville the other day I saw a lot of Rebel Prisoners sweeping the streets. I suppose that that is to make them pay for their board as we have to support our men that is to Richmond.

You wrote that William Capen talked of enlisting. Has he done so yet? lf so, what regiment is he going into?

I wonder how Mr. Chase likes to be a soldier. I guess he will find it is not quite so easy a life as keeping school.

I was a going to write to Frank today but it rains so I shall have to put it off as it is rather uncomfortable writing in the rain in these little tents.

I have not had a letter from Lucy since we were down to Miss. I believe. Why don't she write a wad or two once in a while.

It rains so I will not write any more.




- 1864 -


Blanes Cross Roads, Tenn.

Jan. 4th [1864]

Father & Mother,

I should have written to you yesterday, but I came in from picket in the morning and being up all night I was rather tired so I turned in and had a good sleep instead. (We having been on picket 60 hours).

I have not received a letter from you since the one dated Nov. 7th. We have not received any mail for about 10 days. I hope we shall get one before a great while. It is rather lonesome out here in the woods when we get none for there is no way that we can get any news. We do not know any thing that is going on. They say that we have got old Longstreet surrendered here some where but we can not see any rebels where we are on picket or can not see any body that has.

I am living pretty well now but I cannot thank Uncle Sam for it for last night we only drew one and one half cans of corn for a days ration but we draw a little sugar and coffee now and then. The citizens near here charge 25 cents per. qt. for meal but I have not paid only 10 for any yet. I went out the other day about 6 miles out side of the picket and got a peck of meal and some dried apple and molasses and we have got so that we can cook about equal to the Boston cooks now I guess. We put in a little lye made out of ashes and we can make a cake as light as can be. I dont know but I shall have to get a receipt book for cooking. For dinner yesterday I took some meal and some dried apple and mixed them together and put them in a bag and boiled it the same as you would a suit pudding and when it was done we ate it with molasses on it and you had better believe it was good. Sergt. Thayer went out yesterday and got half bushel of meal and has just got in and I guess he and I will live for a few days to come if we do not draw any rations.

The 21st Mass. Regiment has all of them reenlisted but about 10 or 12 of them and they start for home tomorrow when they will get a furlough of thirty days and them that don't reenlist will be transfered to this regiment. The 51st P.V. of this Brigade have all enlisted and will start for home in a few days.

I hope my memorandum will come before a great while for I have to write on letter paper now and it is not so heavy as a book. I expect that it will come in the next mail. And my shirt also It was pretty cool here. New Years day the people around here say that they do not very often have any colder weather here.

William Hudson of Randolph who formerly went to Sumner School and you may remember him perhaps, he belonged to the 29th Reg. and the same company that Phinney Burrell did, was shot two or three weeks ago for desertion and forgery.

Tell Samuel Austin that he must write I have not received a letter from him this good while. I answered Emmes & Netts letter a few days ago.

I suppose that it is pretty cool there now. I was telling some of these old farmers what cold weather and large snow storms we have some times in Mass. and it made there eyes stick out a rod. They think that they are having right smart spell of weather here now but they reckon that it will be a heap warmer here soon.

I suppose that today is the last day that they have to get volunteers and will have to draft now if they have not got their quota. Elmer wrote me that he thought that they would get them in Stoughton



Ering Station, Knoxville , Tenn.

Feb 5th, 1864

Father & Mother,

I received your letter with the cayenne in it but have not got my shirt yet. Yesterday I received a letter from Charles Upham I answered it to day.

We have been in camp here since I last wrote to you. The other night about dark we were ordered to pack up and march in light marching order. We went across the river at Knoxville and stopped over night. They expected that the Rebels were agoing to make a raid but they did not and went back to our old camp the next morning.

We are waiting here expecting every day to start for the North. The report is that we are to go to New York to be recruited up to 50,000.

We draw 1/2 rations now instead of one fourth. Tonight we have drawn some tea which is the first for about 5 months. I do not use any sugar so I swap it off for coffee with Henry Gill and when we draw I get quite a little bag of coffee. I am agoing out tomorrow and swap it off to some of these Farmers and get some meal or something for it.

Charles Upham said that they had got their quota in Stoughton so I suppose that they will not be afraid of the draft.

There was an old Farmer shot near here the other night. He was a Rebel and used all of the means that he could to get the young men around here into the Rebel army when the war first broke out and a good many of them ran off into Kentucky and enlisted and their regiment is here now and they expect that some of them shot him. There is but three regiments in this Division now. The other one all have gone home on a furlough. We are under the command of Gen. Wilcox. The Brigade is under the command of Lt. Col. Collins of the llth N.H. Vol.

I am well as ever I was in the world. This is a very healthy state. The Surgeon does not have but very few callers now mornings. I hope we shall get where the mail goes regular.



Camp of the 35th Mass Vol. Knoxville,Tenn. 

Mar 20th, 1864

Father & Mother,

I received a letter from you yesterday with Horaces' picture in it. lt looks very natural.

We came to this city yesterday en route for the East. We had stopped here so long I had made up my mind that this Corps would stop here all summer but the order came at last and we will be off I guess shortly.

We have been up to the front for the last two weeks which was at Morristown which is about 42 miles from here. We marched from there in two days and went around through the woods so that the other troops here would not get demoralised and think that we were falling back, but it seems that they have fell back as far as Strawberry Planes since yesterday morning and I do not know but we shall have to go and drive the Rebels back again to Morristown before we get out of it. If the 9th Corps is small it's name is worth more than 50,000 men. lf the Rebs. hear that the Corps is coming they take to their legs as fast as possible.

It is not decided yet how we shall go. We may march from here to London a distance of 28 miles and then take the cars and go by the way of Chattanooga and Nashville or Memphis; or we may march over the mountains to Nicholsville a distance of 190 miles and then take the cars for Cincinnati. I do not know but I may get a furlough and come home if we get East before my commission gets along. I do not know when it will come but I shall expect it any time between now and the 1st of May. lt is liable to come now any day.

Gov. Andrew said in his note to the commander of this Regiment that I would have to report to Nashville and they say that we are going to Annapolis and if we get there I may get a chance to go by the way of Boston and if it comes while we are here I shall have to go direct to Nashville. Our Col. has got back and is in command of this Division. Gen. Ferrero is in command of the 1st Div. (our old Gen. and Gen. Wilcox of the corps). I have not got my shirt or memorandum do not send another one untill I know where I am agoing to go.


Annapolis, Md.

April 8th, 1864

Father & Mother,

I should have wrote before but being on the move I have not had a chance. We left Knoxville the 21st of March and arrived at Nicholsville, Ky. on the 31st a distance of 190 mile. We did not come by the way of Cumberland Gap. (the way we went to Knoxville) but by the way of Clinton, Jacksboro & Somerset on what is called the Old Kentucky road. We have marched over a good many different ranges of mountain since we have been in the service, but none that were so high and steep as these. It either rained or snowed about every other day while we were coming over the mountains and made it very hard marching, but the thoughts that we were agoing to get into a country of civilization once more made us trot on through the mud and snow with a good will. We started from Nicholsville on the cars on the 2nd of April passing through Paris on that day just one year from the time we entered it when we first came into KY. We arrived in Covington on the morning of the 3d and received a mail on that day the 1st one that we had had for a long time. I received 2 letters from you and some Couriers.

We started from Cincinnati on the night of the 3d and passing through the cities of Columbus, Pittsburg, Harrisburg and many other smaller ones arriving at Baltimore on the eve of the 6th. We were furnished with refreshments along the road and at Baltimore we had a good breakfast and supper and a night's rest at the soldiers Home. . . and you had better believe that there was some difference between having an ear of corn for a day's ration and having three good meals at a table.

We started from Baltimore on the morning of the 7th and got to this place yesterday. All of the 9 Corps is here now. The report is here that all of the regiments that was at the Seige of Knoxville are agoing home on a furlough of 7 days but I don't know how true it is.

The mail is agoing now and I shall have to stop.


Annapolis, Md.

April 17th, 1864

Father & Mother,

Day before yesterday I received a letter from you. lt is the only one that I have received since we arrived here with the exception of one from Chas. Upham. We are in A. tents. We have enough to eat once more and we have forgot that we ever suffered for the want of food. We draw for rations Soft bread, sugar, coffee, tea, beef, salt & fresh pork, hominy, rice, beans, molasses, potatoes, candles, straw, and I don't know what else. We get all of the oysters that we want. You know this is where they make them. I can eat about 3 quarts of solid ones in the course of the day.

We had a review the other day by Genls. Burnside & Grant. I have not seen Genl. Grant before since we were down to Vicksburg. He look very natural only he was not smoking. I don't think that any body ever saw him before but what he had a pipe in his mouth.

We do not have anything to do yet but to pass away time the best way that we can. Henry Monk has been promoted to Cpl. vice Charles Wild reduced. I do not know how long that we shall stop here but probably not many weeks. I do not hear anything about moving. We are in camp about one and one half miles from the city. I have been there once since we came here. lt is not so large a place as I should think that the capitol of Md. would be. Col. Caruth is in command of the regiment now. Capt. Stickney of this Company was here yesterday but is going back to Boston again. He is recruiting under orders from the War Department. He has got about 60 men for this Regiment and 20 for this company.

I have not received my shirt or memorandum yet. You need not send me another memorandum for I have got one. But I should like to have a pair of shirts and some stockings. lf sent by Adams express they will come all right. They have an office up this side of the city. We was paid off 4 months pay the other day. I shall send it home before we leave here (If nothing turns up so that I should want to use it). There was a man here from Randolph yesterday. He went back in the last train last night. lf we stop here long I shall weight about 200.


I send this paper so that you can see what we used to have to do in Tennessee.

A letter written by Albert Edward Waldo at Annapolis, Maryland - April 21, 1864 is transcribed in part with the collections of the Peace Civil War Collection at the Navarro College Archives in Corsicana, Texas.

Fairfax Court House, Va.

April 27, 1864

Father & Mother,

I have not received a letter from you since I last wrote and I have not time to write but a few lines at present. I do not know when I shall find a another chance for some time as the Army of the Potomac is about to move on to Richmond and the mail is not sent from there now. We shall join them about day after tomorrow.

We left Annapolis last Satuday and arrived in Washington Monday noon where we were received by the President & Gen. Burnside. We then crossed to the Virginia side of the Potomac where we left this morning. Our whole Corps is here 50,000 strong and it does not look much as it did in Tennessee. This is the town near the Bull Run Battlefield where Albiegaull was sick in the Hospital. lt is so dark that I can not write any more.

You need not be surprised if I do not write again very soon but will if I can. You must write just the same.


PS. I have just picked up and old piece of candle and I will mark my paper over.

You have heard I suppose in the papers about Mosby's Guerrillas who have captured so many of our supply trains and Suttler's wagons and are always scouting around in our lines. He was here today so I suppose that Genl. Lee will know of our joining the Army of the Potomac as soon as we get there and will have a good excuse for taking to his heels.

There will be a very large army when they advance this corps has 50,000, the 2nd 50,000 ,and the 1st 3d 5th & others may each have as many for all that I know. The 56th & 57th Mass. are in the Brigade with us and our Col. commands the Brigade & Genl. Stevenson the Division formally Col. of the 24th Mass. Col. Bartlet of the 57th has got a cork leg and arm both. I don't know but he would stop in the army if he lost the other leg and arm.

I am well as can be and have enough to eat which does not seem much like Tennessee. I drink about 3 qts. of coffee per. day. and you will have to have a good large coffee pot in readyness when I get home. We march early tomorrow morning.


Direct your letters now to the 1st Brigade 1st Division 9th Corps

Washington, D.C.

[Letter from his parents]

Stoughton [Massachusetts]

May 15th, 1864


Another week has passed and we have not heard from you but we shall look for a letter the coming week. we have had a cold storm most of the past week. I went to meeting this afternoon Williamson Gill told me one of the neighbors (which I suppose was his son's girl if he has got one) had a letter from Henry he did not expect. He was with the Regt. but he did not know why it is so dark. I cannot see so I must light a lamp or you cannot read what I write. I do not think of much news to write. I have not been out any the past week to hear any. I have been busy sewing straw the man and was in a great hurry for it and I had some custom hats to sew for Mrs Grey's girls so I was pretty busy all the week. Alanson was in here a few days ago. He is quite lame yet. He has not got to work yet. He thought he should have gone to work last week but did not. He does not expect to be able to do anything on the farm himself this summer. He has a horse and wagon so he can ride some. He feels rather poor. lt is so long since he has been able to earn much and the children being sick and everything so high. lt costs considerable to live. All kinds of clothing and provisions are up to the highest notch.

There has been war meetings two or three evenings of the past week but I have not seen anyone to learn the result. Frances Capen has taken rooms on Washington St. and set up business by himself in the Photograph line so we can all go and have our pictures taken. Elmer has Albert Dickerman's office and boards at home. Albert is in Boston . His New London girl's father has moved to Boston has bought a house and Albert lives with them. They are not married yet. Her father is a very rich man. I have heard he found money and Albert furnished the house as he chose. He has a very good taste for such things so I guess it was done up in good shape. She is an only daughter. I do not recollect what her name is.

Mrs Dennis is assistant teacher in the village Grammer school, Mary Manley Tucker principal. Abby Battle is the next below and I do not know who the other teachers are a Miss Rodgers teaches No 5 this term she commenced last monday and board to Elijah Capens. Saml Austin was here today. He expects to drive a milk cart for George to commence in the course of a week through East Stoughton .

I do not think of anything more to write this time so I will pass it over to headquarters and see what he can do for you this time. I hope we shall get a letter from you before writing day comes along again.

From Mary Waldo


Stoughton , Mass.

May 15th, 1864


Drafting commenced in Boston last week. I was in at one of the war meetings here one evening last week. They chose a committee to go to Washington to hire recruits for this Town's quota. On inquiry I was told that they could get veterans there. I have been informed Randolph sent on there and got her quota filled. I think I shall plant my corn tomorrow and finish up planting other things this week. Everything is so high that it stands us in hard to plant as much as we can. I see by the papers that there has been some pretty hard battles last week and week before. Avery has a family in his house. The man is brother to the Jones that lives in the John Turner house. Ezra Churchill is at work for Ira Holmes. He gets 1.50 per day and his dinner. Thomas Swan gives his Irishman twenty five Dollars per month, the brother to the girl that has lived there so long

W.P. Waldo  



Mass. Military State Agency,

Corner 7th St. & Pennsylvania Avenue,

Washington, D.C. 

May 24, 1864


W. P. Waldo Stoughton, Mass




Your son, Alfred E. Waldo, Co. E 35th Mass Vols is at Armory Hospital this City. His Arm has been amputated. He is doing well and is receiving every attention.


Yours Respectfully,


Gardiner Tufts

Mass State Agent





May 25th [1864]

Mr. William P. Waldo,

I am sure you must be very anxious to hear something of your son. I think he told me he had written to you since he was wounded. He only arrived in Washington yesterday (Tuesday) morning. He had a very bad wound in the left arm. lt bled a good deal after he got here. He is in the best Hospital in the city & under the best Surgeon Dr. Bliss Armory Square Hospital, it is the "Post Hospital". He was a good deal weakened from the loss of blood. I saw him a short time after he came in. I stayed with him until the Dr. came to examine his wounds. They gave him Chloroform & examined it themselves & I am sorry to have to tell you that he concluded it must come off. So they amputated it immediately & he is now doing very well indeed. I have been with him all day & saw him comfortably fixed for the night & I am sure he will sleep soundly tonight. He has an excelly a nurse to stay with him tonight & I gave him strict charge to watch him closely, not that I think he really requires it for I think he will sleep soundly as he has slept but little since he came in. I wanted to relieve your minds about him & to tell you that he should have the best care & attention for I have become very much interested in his case & I can assume I will do all in my power to make him comfortable. I am a visitor at the Hospital & if there is anything I can do for you shall be very glad to do it. Your son Alfred told me to address the letter to both his Parents but I had forgotten that & wrote to his father he desired me to tell you that he was doing well. Your son seems anxious to hear from home.

Direct to Alfred E. Waldo

Armory Square Hospital

Ward 2. Armory building, Washington D.C.

If I can do any thing for you, that will add in any way to your son's comfort or relieve your minds I shall be very glad indeed to do it.

Direct to Miss F. McSloan

No. 545 17th street

Washington D.C.


May 26th/ 64


We received a letter tonight from the State Agent stating you had your arm amputated and was doing well. I was very sorry to hear it was so bad but am very glad your life is spared. I am not going to write but a few lines tonight just to let you know we have heard from you. We received the letter you wrote at Fredericksburg Tuesday night. You must keep up good spirits and get able to come home as soon as you can. lf there is any thing you need that you cannot get there let us know and we will send it to you if possible. I suppose you will have to get some one to read your letters for you so I will not write much untill you can read them yourself, so good night for this time.

From your mother,

Mary Waldo



Seventh St., American House, Comer Pennsylvania Avenue and Seventh Street, Washington, D.C. 

May 30, 1864

W.P. Waldo

I got to Washington this morning at 7 oclock went to the Hospital and found Edward. He is in Armory building 3rd story a very good room. He is in good health & spirits. He had his arm amputated halfway between his elbow & shoulder. I have talked with his doctor, He says it is doing tip top. I saw the nurse dress it. lt discharges very freely.

I have been with him all the forenoon. The room is twice as large as Chemong Hall. lt is full of beds. Did not count them. The nurse is a very good one that takes care of him the best one in the room, there is about 10 of them, one woman. He is in good situation as any in the room. Two good fellows right front of him and one very low spirited one next to them. They have some fun with him. He lost an arm too. I shall stop with him a few days. He appeared to be glad to see me. All they put on to the arm is cold water keep a cloth wet with it all the time. He is next to the window. Good air all the time right by his bed.

Yours truly,

George Talbot

Seventh St. American House, Corner Pennsylvania Avenue and Seventh Street, Washington, D.C. 

June 1, 1864.

2 P.M. I went to the Hospital at 7 1/2 this morning. Edward has not had any chill since last night 7 o'clock. He had the best nights rest that he has had since he has been in the Hospital. Night before last he had the night watch get him up to have his bed made which sitting up he fainted. The watch got him down. If he had fell on to the floor it would have killed him.

He needs watching. lt is the most critical time now for 2 days that there will be if he gets over that time well I think he will be safe.

I shall stick by untill I see him out of danger. The doctor gives him special care. He is doing all he can to prevent him from having any more chills. They are very bad for him at this time.

The hospital is about 1/4 of a mile from Dan's.

Edward's nurse is a going away tomorow. He is the best nurse in the Hospital. The doctor says if he goes there was never one man so good but another was just as good and that he E. shall have good care if he does it himself.

I am a going up again at 4 P.M.

yours truly,

George Talbot

Seventh St American House, Corner Pennsylvania Avenue and Seventh Street, Washington, D.C.

June 4, 1864

Edward has not been so well bodily for the last two days. He has a poor apetite. He needs all the care that he can have. He had another Shake the 2nd inst. The medicine he takes for them destroys his apetite.

You can take care of him if you come here.

It is very hot here. Some days the themomet is 108 in the shade. I think there is not much danger from the arm now. I shall stop until next week.

Edward has been change to another bed yesterday and had his bed made. You can imagin how he must feel having to lay on his back without moving for 8 days. His back must be very sore and in great pane. I was sick yesterday, did not go to see him until 3 a.m. I feel some better today, am going after breakfast. If you write to me direct as on the envelope. If to Edward to him Armory Square Hospital 2nd ward Armory building No. 85

George Talbot



IQ Dated Wash 4 1864

Rec'd Boston June 1864.

To H Gay

408 Wash.

Send Mary Waldo here Monday.

G. Talbot



June 7, 1864


I arrived here last night about seven and went to see Edward. I found him alive. He was very glad to see me, told the doctor when he came along about fifteen minutes afterward that he should get along first rate now for his mother had come but the poor boy did not live until morning. He passed on about one o'clock without a struggle. He stopped breathing. If I had not started Sunday I should not have seen him alive. I was satisfied soon as I saw him he could not last long. He is going to be buried tomorrow at two P.M.

George will go and see him buried if he can get a permit and I think now I shall if but can not tell certain. I shall return home as soon as I get rested so it will answer. lt is not nessesary for me to write much and I will not try to write more.

Mary Waldo



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