Camp life. Grief of a Sawyer's widow.



Date Written

Jan. 11, 1863

The following was written 160 years, 8 months, 22 days ago.
It was a Sunday.

Camp near Belle Plain Landing
January 11, 1863

Dear Mother,

As it has got around to Sunday again, I thought I would write you a few lines. I wrote to you last Sunday and I received a letter from you last Sunday night We were then commencing to build our camps. We have got them about all done and living in them. My house that I live in is eight by ten feet inside. There is four of us live in it. We have a fireplace in it so that it is quite comfortable. The officers think that we will stop here all winter. If we do make a move, they think it will be in to Alexandria or Washington. To do guard duty our camps are logged up about four feet high and covered with canvas tents. You wanted to know if Sawyer let Ward have any of his money. He did let him have fifty dollars. The rest of his money he ran through. With the things that were in his box, the Capt has sold the most of them for the money. I had a letter from Mrs. Sawyer. She feels very bad about his death and takes on bitterly and I have had two letters from his sister. She feels very bad about it too. You wanted to know what the pay of a Sergeant was. It is seventeen dollars per month, that of a Corp is fourteen. I have a very easy time now. There is only one Sergt in the Co. That is the Orderly and me. That is all the non Commissioned officers there is left of eight Corp and five Sergts. In your last letter, Nettie said she had a neck tie she would send me if I wanted it. I should be very glad of it if you have not sent my box yet. I sent for it almost a fortnight ago. It is about time for it to get here. I am greatly obliged to Walter for his letter. Tell him think he done first rate and to be a good boy and go to school and try to learn all he can and write me another letter so that I can see if he improves any. I shall have to close for want of anything to write. Write soon. Give my love to all.

J. H. F.

Scans of Letter