Letter from Chauncey
to his mother Selissa Pond Joslin, January 12, 1862

    Selissa Pond Joslin Born January 31, 1809

  

    Died September 12, 1882  in Springville NY

                                                 Headquarters General Summers Camp California

                                                1st Brigade Commanded by General Howard

                                                64th Regít Jan. 12th 1862

Well dress parade is over and I can write a few more lines before dark.  Well we left Washington last Tuesday morning.  We had six hundred mules to draw our luggage so we soldiers only had our guns and rations to carry.  We marched twelve miles in the forenoon.  On our way we passed through the city ok Alexandria & saw the top of the house that Elsverth was shot in.  But there is no sign of rebbles there now.  But it is some consolation in seeing where they have been, if we canít get a shot at them.

Candlelight.  Wells Hugaboom cooked the supper for himself & Henry Van Vlack.  Then George and I had to cook ours.  So now it is pretty late.  James P. [Pettit] has been in hear quite a spell this evening.  He is the only one of the officers I really like.  He seems just the same as us.  He told us tonight we could get our pay Tuesday or Wednesday.  Tomorrow we have a chance to fix up our tents.  We intend to build a stack pen about three feet high & set our tents upon it.  Then we will have plenty of room.  I presume you think that these tents are cold.  Well they are not Ė Nor do they leak any.  The inspector was through our Regít this morning.  He said it looked very well for the for the time that we had been here.  Lieut. P. thinks that we will be hear something to next month.  Our artist has got his tent up, so when we get our pay I will send you one more picture.

            But mother, I think that it would be pretty hard work & a great deal of trouble to send home my remains if I should be killed or die with sickness.  It wonít matter but little where I am buried.  You would feel worse if I was sent home than you would if I was buried down here.  I donít know how much it would cost.  I think you had better use the money for things you need.  If I was in your place I would get me a new dress with that five dollars that Mrs. Sawmill Allen gave you.  If I can get some of the money that I have lent out in this Co. I will send you enough to buy you a new dress & tie or three pairs of shoes.  I owe Mrs. Nia over twenty dollars.  Then there is the Asylum debt, [probably Orphan Asylum Cattaraugus Indian Reservation] but I shall let that be until the last one.  I donít see how I can help in that place any.

            I am very glad if Will has quit drinking.  I hope he will be a comfort to you and father.  I may never return.  I am willing to die in defence of my country if it is necessary.  But I donít want to die in a hospital.  I came here to fight and if the 64th ever has to fight I want to be in with the rest of them.  Tell Will I wish that he would write to me often.  You folks at home donít know how pleasant it is to get a letter now and then.  If you had to write under as many inconveniences as we soldiers do I would not blame you for not writing.  If we are not smart enough to steal or find a board then we have to write on our knapsacks.  But somehow or another I have got the knack to get a board or anything else if it is to be had.  If a soldier finds anything he want it is not called stealing for him to take it.  Yesterday I was on guard inside of the lines.  My post is where the barn used to be.  ĎTis not built yet but the boards and the shingles are there.  During two hours I found about four quarts of corn so we have popcorn.  Then after dark I went to the quartermastersí tent and found three loaves of bread and quite a decent sized piece of pork.  So Today we have lived.

            Well, ma, I have filled two sheets & as I have not slept any since night before last I think that I had better halt this time.

            Please give my respects to all of my friends & write as soon as you can to your own son

                                    Chaunce

                        Direct to Company A

                        64th N.Y.S.V.

                                    Alexandria, Vir.

                        Care of Capt. Washburn