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Letter from Chauncey
to his sister, Sylvia
February 14, 1862

    Sylvia Pond Joslin Born April 2, 1833

    A teacher and painter who never married.  She worked at the Thomas Indian School in Cattaraugus County NY.

    Died August 13, 1919 in Springville NY

 

            Well the Bugle for roll call has not sounded so I will write a few more lines.  I have got one half a ream of this paper, had to pay one dollar and seventy five cents for it.  So you can see whether it costs me anything for my letters.

            I want you to be as good as to your word and write to me once a week.  Direct to Alexandria untill I name some other place.  I wrote to Lottie a long time ago and have been wondering why I did not hear from her again.  I thought I told her where to address.  If you forget you can direct to Washington, D.C.  Be shure & put the Regít  &Co. and it will come.  I got one letter that went to the 44th Regít instead of the 64th.  So you see that they will find the owner after a while.  Well the bugle has blowed so I will have to Halt.  Good night.

            Friday night Feb. 14th  Today is Valentineís day and have received no letters.  Things move on here just the same as though none of our little Co. had died.  The dead here are soon forgotten.  Today we have had another of those doleful tunes played for our Regt. & the N.H. Regt has lost or sent one home.  At first it seemed hard to see a band play for the dead.  But now I have gotten partly used to it.  We can tell the time just as quick as you can tell by the sound of the church bell.  But some way or another it donít sound near as lovely.

            Well I declare that everlasting bugle has sounded.  How I hate it.  Jim has been in here so I did not begin to write quite soon enough.  Tomorrow I am on guard.  So I donít know when you will get this letter.

            Sunday night Feb. 16th, 62  Well, sis I am at it once (again).  What would you say to a short description of a weeks work.  If you think you have time to read it I will try to give a short one.  So here goes.  Monday the 10th. It was a beautiful day.  The ground was frozen.  Orders was issued to have knapsack drill.  So we packed our knapsacks & at 8a.m. the Brigade started out west.  Marched five miles to a beautiful parade ground, stacked arns & rested a short time.  Then the Brigade moved a few rods in line of battle, then about faced and marched back to our quarters.  I carried all of my things except my blanket and stood it first rate.  (Ebe Burk took all of his things out of his and straped a pair of pant on top of his knapsack for his overcoat, so he stood the jaunt very well.)   After dinner had Battalion drill.  While we was on dress parade saw a grand sight, such as we have not seen since we left Elmira.  It was four Ladies on the grounds.  In the evening wrote a letter.

            Tuesday 11 A.M. drilled by Brigade, fired two rounds of blanks.  P.M. went over to the hospital.  I have told you about that.  In the evening wrote a letter.  The weather was cold.  Wednesday 12 Hospital again.  The weather was fair.  Charles Waters died at4 P.M. Thursday 13th  Louis died.  [Louis C. Sheldon] A.M. drilled by Co. Lieut. P. was our Cap. After dinner escorted the Corps off from the lines.  At dark we received news of a grand victory in Tenesse.  Loud cheering & music by the Brass Bands.  Received one letter.  Friday 14.  Sent five Valentines.  A.M. drilled by Co. P.M. drilled by Brigade with blanks.  In the evening wrote a letter.  The weather was fair.  Saturday went on guard.  It snowed hard all day.

            The night was very cold.  Did not get near the stove untill four oíclock this morning.  Staid there untill seven then went on untill nine, came off, Shot our guns off at a mark.  The 64th beat the whole brigade.  Mine was the seckend best.  Came to my tent, bated all over, eat double rations. Cleaned my gun, slept about one hour.  Since then I have had a terrible headache.  But I shall be all right in the morning.

            Sunday and I am writing to you.  The guards in the guardhouse at night amuse themselves by throwing cattriages in the stove, singing songs and spinning yarns.  But the worst of it all is we canít sleep any in cold weather.  I got my name picked for not being out quite quick enough at the turning of the guard for the first time.  But the officers of the day did not put me on extra duty.  Monday morning 17th Bless the Lord.  It rains so we will not have drill.  The folks may talk about its being unhealthy in camp.  But I know that standing guard kills more privates than all the rest of the duty he does, fighting and all.  Some of the boys has volunteered to go on the gun boat expedition on the Mississippi.  I had a greta mind to go but thought I would not.  Sixty or seventy has left our Regt this morning.  They expect to be gone three months & then join us again.  I hope (if we have got to fight)  the weather will be so that we can move before long.  You wanted to know my mess mates.  Well here they are, Wellington C. Hugaboom from Versailles.  He is a first rate boy 26 years old.  Henry G. Van Vlack & George Van Vlack, both of them from Versailles 24 & 22 years is their ages.  Ed McCutcheon has been with us.  He was from Gowanda (&) is the best boy in our Co.  But he is hospital steward now.

            About those thing of mine, I donít care what you do with them.  If this war last six months I shanít want any of them.  My health now is first rate.  But when a man is taken down he donít stay more than a week or two.  Now donít let what I have written trouble you in the least.  There is time enough to mourn when you have to.  If we continue in gaining ground in a month as fast as we have this past week I think the Secesh will be pretty near played out, but canít tell.  White man mighty uncertain.  Give my love to all my friends far and near.  Tell them to give my best regards to all the folks in S. that enquire after me. I shall expect two letters from you before I write again, unless I am sick.  Direct to Alexandria, Va. The same as before. You may look over the mistakes and mark them if you please.

                        From your Brother Ga-nah-da-yien-doh

Low private in the seckend plattoon in the front rank.