Camp Crain Baltimore
Sept 18th 1862
I suppose you have heard by way of Lute the reason why I have not written before & it is with some diffculty that I now take my pencil to let you know how Hen has been getting along for the last week or 2. as far as Grub is concerned I have lived high & in fact have been continted ever since I inlisted, living on Salt Beef, commonly called Red Tape, but which we call Salty Horse or Salt Mule Pea Soup which I could eat every meal,1 Boiled Rice & poor Molasses hard Bread & good Coffee to wash it down & I suppose it's for making so much of these good things that I have been visited by these Jobrs comforters in the shape of 2 Felons one on my left hand which I had opened last week & another on the end of the little finger of my right hand which I had opened Tuesday. so you see I have had a fine time of it sleeping what I could in the daytime & awake most all night but my hand is most well now & I shall go on duty in 2 or 3 Days from which I have been excused about one week. still I never enjoyed better health or was in better spirits & I long for the time when I can take my Rifle and drill with the rest. we left Camp Belger a week ago last Tuesday & I suppose Lute has written something about it. well you know we had a hard march the day we left Boston & we had a harder one the day we arrived at Baltimore & marched to Camp Belger. well one week ago last Tuesday we left there for this place but being misguided marched 20 miles before we got here many fell out & when our Company came on to the ground there was only 30 men in it. I was one of the 30 & as our Co was detailed for Guard had to stand Guard from half past 9 PM untill half past 11 & from half past 3 until half past 5 AM. Please ask Father if he thinks as he did before about wearing out 2 of me ha! ha! I should like to know what Johnny's up too just now? I don't forget him or any of the little ones down to Charlie but it does seem as if they neglect me for I have had only 2 letters since I have been here one from you & one from Carrie Lowe which I appreciate very much and shall answer as soon as convinient & possibly can I have written 2 letters to Abby Noyes & one to Lewis but I have recieved no answer &I have a mind if they do send one to send it back. if not I have less to answer & less Friends — too many Friends are dangerous — I hear Father has gone down east I hope he will have a good time. if he don't its his own fault but why didn't you go? I suppose you'll say could'nt afford it. didn't I leave some money at home & didn't I tell you to use some of it? How will you mind me but things will come square one of these days when Hen gets home. I suppose Johny will go Nutting soon & after Barberries I should like to help him but as I cant perhaps I can eat some of them. When you send a Box I hope you will send some Barberries fixed as I tell you. put the Barberries in when the Molasses is candied that is, what you send for me. We have had some good news lately from the Main Army & there has been the hardest fighting yet & I may say the most successful & not far from us either. some of the men have jokingly thought that the Army which had the laziest men would conquor as more men have died from disease & hard work than anything else but it don't look much like it now & I think that we shall all be home soon but I want a shot yes I want to have a chance to kill a few of the Rebels. I was on Picket last week & fired my Enfield at 200 yds nearly hitting my mark so I guess Ill do them justice. I want John & Hattie & Caddy to write to me & tell Father to write. Give my love to all inquiring Friends. Give my love to Lydia & no others.
Hoping to hear from you soon
I remain as ever your affectionate Son
Lute is well & will enclose a few lines John Crossman _____ & Ch Hunt are well & send their love
Co I 38th Reg. Mass Vols Rowhattain Baltimore Co Md.
1Like Cpl. Cook (August 24), Henry writes favorably of the military diet. The regimental histories tend not to: "We reached Washington about two in the afternoon, August 24, and went at first to the barracks near the Capitol, where another meal was offered — a feed this time, not a collation, and further proof that we were now to be classed as Government live stock — the slop-coffee in wooden buckets and old boiled horse, could not be stomached; some, however, worried down a crust of sour bread buttered with patriotic words; it went down hard, nevertheless." (from the 35th, Mass. Vols.)