Civil War letters from David B. Sleight to various members of his family.
David served as First Lieutenant of Company I, 150th New York Infantry.
He was killed in battle just before the end of the war, at Averasboro, North Carolina, on March 16, 1865.
TRANSCRIBED AND EDITED BY LOREEN WELLS AND DEBBIE WILTSE
1st Lieut. David B. Sleight
Camp Millington Baltimore Monday noon October 27th 1862 Dear Brother, I have just received and read your letter I had received no news from home before for more that a week & had commenced to get a little excited about it but after reading your letter felt better about it. We have had about as bad weather as possible for a couple of days, very rainy cold and windy enough for a small hurricane & as we by the superior wisdom and foresight of our commanding officers are encamped in a cornfield we as completely stuck in the mud as ever McClellan could have been Yesterday (Sunday) was a day well calculated to give any person the blues at home by a good fire to say nothing about sitting out here in the mud with the expectation of having our tent blow away any minute. This is the first of our really unpleasant experience since we have been here & I am glad to say that it is at an end for the present for the clouds have broken away and the sun comes out quite warm & pleasant now I dont want you to understand that I have been homesick or had the blues in the lightest degree for it is not the case I made a resolution against anything of that kind before I left home I have enjoyed very good health & spirits ever since I left home the day of leaving was a hard however I assure you Dick & I have had a floor laid in our tent and a bunk built & filled with cedar boughs for a bed & with some blankets we bought in Baltimore we manage to sleep very comfortably. As for the fare any one can have the best by paying for it. Lieut Titus & I board most the time now at a house near by the Camp We get good hot corn cakes every morning which is as good fare as anybody could wish for As for work we have an abundance of that so we can never lack for exercise having to drill ourselves every day besides drilling our men Tomorrow we are to drill in Gen Emorys Brigade to which some of both Cavalry & Infantry ten Regiments are attached. Our Captains being mostly pretty green have considerable difficulty in getting their companies through it. As very little is required of the Lieutenants I have experienced no difficulty in performing my part. I wish you might be here to see the Brigade manouvre it is quite an imposing sight I assure you Our Regiment I am sorry to say in my humble opinion is not a first rate one. Although there were nearly a thousand mustered into it at Pokeepsie we left there with little more than eight hundred men & I think quite a large number will get discharged for disability before the winter is over We ought to have two hundred & fifty men more sent to us from Dutchess to make us a good Regiment I advise you not to shoulder musket & knapsack however & I think my judgment in this respect worthy a little respect This advice is only to you you need not give it to any one else that has an idea of doing so I did not suppose that you had however a serious one. It still seems to be a common opinion that we shall winter here or at least on this side of the Potomac. It must have been a very bad time I think for you to be off duty with a sore thumb with all the work that must be going on at this time your work must be pretty well advanced however if you are so nearly done husking already. Do your best for the Union or Abolition ticket whichever it may be called even if it makes the war last the full three years longer. I am willing to stay if necessary You say nothing of a draft Is there likely to be one in Dutchess. I don't see any reason why it should be so dull among the young people at this season. Has not Annie Downing had a Party yet I thought that close at hand when we left I am very sorry for the accident that happened to that skeleton or rather the outlay that will be necessary to have it repaired for I suppose money is rather a scarce article now. Dont have any more expense put on my wagon than is necessary. I suppose Mother will foot for that for I consider the wagon as hers now As for having my horse pricked again you may have it done if you don't mind the trouble providing father makes no objection be sure of that first Calroy promised to do it for nothing if it was necessary again Use him as much as you wish only keep him in good condition & not expose him nights You dont say whether you have driven him with yours yet or not Has he got entirely clear of that distemper & cough yet. See also that he is properly shod. Dick received his overcoat & I my fatigue sack Saturday and a note & bundle from Sarah & Alma. My sack I paid for so that has not to be done My over coat has not arrived as yet neither the box you spoke of from Uncle Aleck & Mr. Sterling Such a thing would be very fine so soon after the weddings I sincerely hope it will come About those Photographs I would say that I have stood for some new ones in Baltimore which I shall send on if they are good enough If anyone desires those of the last pattern you may order them of Roberts & give them to whoever wants them & I will pay for them when I get able I can get better ones here though I have no doubt. I want as many as wish them to have them That was a severe loss for John Howard I suppose he feels probably able to bear just at this time The drums have just beaten for Battalion drill so I must harness up leave the finishing up of my letter until that and Dress Parade is over which will be about night. Monday evening. Give my love to all inquiring friends tell them I often think of them and that I am enjoying very good health & spirits. Do not forget to give my most sincere regards to Miss Augusta & tell her it does a soldier a great deal of good to be remembered by friends left behind Ed Van Wagner makes a very good soldier now he has to stay in Camp He and Aleck Rogers want to be remembered to you Aleck has been appointed head cook of our company & I must say he does well He is excused from guard duty and drill thereby I was detailed for Officer of the Guard this evening for twenty four hours commencing tomorrow morning at eight o-clock It is a hard duty requiring the Officer to be at his post constantly for twenty-four hours without sleep & hardly time to eat. It dont come often however Company I is in a very good condition at present. Cal Abel I believe you are aware was made a Sergeant not a very severe one however Give my love to every member of the family individually commencing with, Mother, Father Cheery (by the way I would like much to see him again) & Margaret not forgetting Tunis and tell Margaret that a bundle of wedding cake would taste good way down here. The 1st Lieut is out to night so I can give you no word from him. He is well Your loving brother David Direct your letter to Lieut D.B. Sleight 150th Reg. N.Y. V Camp Millington Baltimore & do it soon again too We expect to be mustered the United States service next Friday by Col. D. C. Littlejohn of Oswego _______________________________________ Tuesday morning Dear brother soon after closing my letter to you last night Co I & K were ordered to strap on their knapsacks and march We soon got ready & after a march of five miles or so we halted at what is or was used as the Baltimore County Fair Ground where now find ourselves as a guard over the conscripts of Baltimore & their vicinity or their substitutes than whom a more villainous ill-looking set of men could hereby be scooped together I am now acting as Officer of the Guard We shall probably be kept here only a day or so before being relieved We have no trouble only to keep these fellows from running away There is no from for they have no means of doing injury if they wished Address me at our old Camp the same as before David ______________________________________ Camp Belger Tuesday Dec 23rd1862 Dear Brother Your letter of Friday last I received yesterday. For the first time since I have been a soldier I am excused from duty. Saturday night in some way I contracted a severe cold which seemed to affect mostly my head & eyes and being detailed for Officer of Guard Sunday night con- cluded I would go on duty (for sickness is so common here among those detailed for guard that a man gets no credit for being sick at that time) but the brightness of the campfire together with the smoke so inflamed my eyes that I was obliged to get relieved in the morn- ing. Yesterday they were quite painful but this morning they are considerably better so that I can write though perhaps I ought not We have not yet received orders to go to the assistance of Gen Burnside though I expected we should have as soon as I heard of his repulse. I don't give up the Union yet because of his repulse though it will undoubtedly take more time and more lives than though he had been successful at first. You must not get discouraged yet there is still plenty of ground for hoping that it will soon come right. You begin in good time to get off the hay I suppose you are looking forward to a scarcity of help next spring and want to get it out of the way. How agreeably disappointed we would all be if the war should be over and all hands of us get back home by the first of April next Those small pictures of mine must be very poor indeed if they are not rec- ognized. I enclose two more of the cards which I believe are all you asked for I am unable to tell yet when our barracks will be ready but I think you and Sarah will be safe in making your arrangements to visit us early in January. You will have to invent some new kind of Parties now if the mite parties are over or you will have a complete stagnation in your society. You have killed hogs have and my black one amongst the rest. It seems queer that all those things should be going on there (pressing hay & c) and I not have a hand in it. Does pork bring anything this winter or does Father keep it in the cellar as he did last. I suppose he dont get enough for it to pay his taxes as he used always try to do for they must be about double what they usually are. I should like to know what his taxes all counted amount to. I suppose perhaps there will be a little against me for some of my personal effects no mil- itary fine however. I have just been out to see a jumping match. Tom Rogers beats every one that has jumped against him so far. Aleck is now out of the cook house and Wm Stillwell is in his place. It is not a very valuable or desirable situation I am glad to hear so good an account of my horse. He must begin to look worth the money I paid for. It seems you have sold neither of them yet. I am very much obliged to you for the good care you are giving mine this winter. I suppose the pair together is a little more than one man can hold comfortably when they feel well I should like to try them however for I have not driven a horse or rode in a wagon since I left Dutchess County. Christmas is close at hand & I suppose you have something extra on hand for the holidays. I suppose they will be the same here as all other days. I received the Eagle from you last week but the last one has not come yet Lieut T. in good health is somewhere about the camp. The Capt has not had his pictures taken yet so I cannot send you one nor of the Col. either. Remember me to all friends. Wishing you a Mery Christmas I remain your affectionate Brother. The last Eagle has just arrived. D.B. Sleight P.S. Mothers letter of yesterday has just arrived. Dont let her have an idea that I am going blind because while I admit having sore eyes they are not as bad as they often have been before Give one of the photographs to Leb Conklin with my best respects David _______________________________________ This picture represents the Regiment on Dress Parade. The Adjutant has just taken his place in front of the Colonel and says: “Sir, the Parade is formed.” Explanation C. Colonel. L.C. Lieutenant Colonel. M. Major. A. Adjutant. B. Band The line of men in front of the ranks represents the position of the Line Officers (Captains & Lieutenants) each in front of his own Company. Those in the rear are the file closers or Sergeants. S.S, Sentinels a line of which is hosted around the Camp at all times night & day D is the position of your Cousin David with Captain Broas on the right and Lieutenant Titus on the left of him. Company I. being the fourth from the right when in line of battle 1 Colonel's tent. 2, Lt Col's. 3 Majors 4 Adjutant's 5, Quartermaster's C Chaplain's 7 Hospital. 8 Tent of Lieuts Titus & Sleight with Capt Broas' on left facing their Company street. This is the way all Camps are laid out. * Camp Belger, Baltimore, Wednesday, Dec 24, 1862 Cousin David, Mother writes to me that you have not forgotten me and have been inquiring about me so I will write you a letter. You will see by the picture that we are living in tents now and that we have a very nice Camp. Barracks have been built for us and we shall soon move into them. The Barracks are long wooden buildings something like the County House only they are built around a square. They have good coal fires in them and will keep the soldiers very comfortable this winter if the Government doesn't order us away. One of the soldiers fell from the roof yesterday breaking his arm and otherwise injur- ring himself but I guess he will recover. We have not yet been in a battle for the Government keeps our Regiment here to keep this bad city of Baltimore in subjection so I am in but little danger of balls or bullets at present. We have plenty of work if we have no fighting for the soldiers have to be drilled every morning and afternoon when not stormy. You remember me to your father, Cousin Mary & Harris and all of your brothers. I hope they are all well and having nice times this winter. I am excused from duty at present having very sore eyes and a bad cold but my * eyes are much better so that I shall go to work after today, tomorrow however is Christmas and I suppose the drill will be omitted. Wishing you a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year I remain your affectionate Cousin To David B. Sleight David Van Wyck _______________________________________ Woodbine, Carroll Co Maryland Wednesday December 31st 1862 Dear Brother I received your letter last Sunday but as I had just mailed a letter to mother concluded to wait a few days before answering it. We yesterday received orders about noon to pre- pare to march immediately to some place of course we knew nothing of where and accordingly packed up the most valuable part of my property not knowing whether I should see Camp Belger again We got ready as soon as possible and marched down to the depot of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad where it transpired that it had been intended to send us to Harrison's Island on the Potomac to guard the passage of the river but from some cause perhaps the Colonel's management the order was changed so that we were distributed along this railroad one company at a place to guard the most important bridges & points most likely to be attacked by the Rebel Cavalry which is was understood was making another incursion into this state. Woodbine the name of the place which fell to the lot of our Company is in Carroll County about forty miles from Baltimore and the same from Harpers Ferry and I should judge several miles from any place and compares rather favor- ably than otherwise with the neighbor hood of the pond hills in Dutchess The place consists of about half a dozen small white-washed houses a post office & store & is also a depot The importance of this is that there are two crossroads here one of which leads directly to the Potomac about twenty-five miles distant. We were set out here last night about two o'clock dark & rainy & the prospect was not very cheering. We after a while succeeded in finding a small unoccupied house which we took possession of after putting out our guard. We left a guard of our own men at Camp Belger. which sufficient reason to think that we shall return there & it is still the head quarters of the Colonel & Quarter master. How long it may be before we re- turn I of course cannot tell it may be in a few days or it may be several weeks I write as I supposed you & Sarah were coming to Camp Belger next week You have better wait & hear further before you come for I think you would not enjoy a visit at this place. We may get our share of the turkey dinner as we have daily communication with our head quarters. I am quite well again and totally comfortable under the circumstances Direct letters to Camp Belger D.B. Sleight ____________________________________ Belger Barracks March 21st 1863 Dear Brother I overlooked your letter in answering mother and now proceed to make up for it You requested me to order some more of your photographs but I have done nothing toward getting them as you neglected to send me the number of the negative As soon as I can get that I will order them for you. PH started for Washington this morning to stay two or three days. Lieuts Titus and Marshall have been detailed for duty in the Provost Marshals of the Department which is located in this city. How long they will be there I cannot tell probably for a considerable length of time. I have pretty much recovered from the cold I complained in my last letter though not yet on active duty. There is no news of importance with us except that the measles are making considerable headway in the camp. Cal Abel has sick for several days and this morning the measles are out most beautifully I enclose the photographs you request. I am sorry you gave that one I selected for you away for I cannot send you another good one I sent one to Wm Broas through the Capt. Weather cold and the ground covered with snow. Yours truly D.B. Sleight _______________________________________ Calvert Hospital Baltimore Thursday May 21st 1863 Dear Brother I received your letter on Tuesday last the first I had heard from home since I left almost three weeks but I can make allowance for your being very busy planting and plowing during the time. I am glad to hear that you are done planting for the pressure of work will be over now for a while. It always used to be a great relief to me to get the planting over and I supposed it is equally so to you. Mothers letter came yesterday She said you have not heard from from me for quite a long time an makes no men- tion of Father's having received a letter from me with twenty dollars in it for Cashs wife. I mailed such a letter to him on the 10th of this month at the same time with one from Cash to his wife in his care and if not received up to the time of mother's writing (the 18th) I am led to think it is lost. If it has been received I wish you would let me know about it as soon as possible for Cash will be in a fever till he hears from it. I am pleased to hear so good an account of the appearance of grain and grass with you this spring and also that you have turned my horse to grass for I think he will improve rapidly on it and will be better off without grain this summer than with. I suppose you have the news in regard to the Pennsyl- vania Militia tendered the Government by Gov Austin who are willing to volunteer in service of the United States on condition that they shall not be called on to fight (unable, are they not) In case they are accept- ed and they possibly will it would seem that the services of the 150th would be dispensed with in these parts. still dont let any of you worry yourselves about it yet for there is no certainty of our going and there seems to be a certainty of our staying if Gen Schenck can keep us for he says the 150th Reg. suits him and he more than that means to keep it here. Of course he did not tell me so but I have it from very satisfac- tory authority. Many of the officers have their family at the barracks and are settling down as if for three years of the war It is impossible to know anything to a certain- ty beforehand in this business all I can do is to give you the facts as the are and let you judge for yourselves and at any rate you need not consider us quite as good as off from Baltimore yet a while Dick has not got his papers yet but thinks he will be able to get them in time to get home Saturday next. You seem to think the draft pretty sure to come but I am still in hopes it may be avoided some way. You speak of a number of dis- charged soldiers being about Dutchess Do any of them talk of reenlisting. there will probably a recruiting officer sent from our Regiment very soon to see if something can not be done in that line. It will probably be Capt Gildersleeve whom you are acquainted with I believe and if you find it convenient I would like for you to ask him out home with for a night or so. He is a fine man and a particular friend of mine. It was news to me that McAllister had been taken. I am very glad to hear it for he was a sly rascal but a pretty good soldier when here. I picked up a recruit here last week who promises now to make a very good soldier. I suppose you have obtained my large photographs before this from Nan. I enclose a vignette which you may give to Mary Peters when convenient. The weather here is rather dry and to- day it seemed warm and nothing in the way of news from the rest of us. Your affectionate Brother D.B. Sleight _______________________________________ Belger Barracks Baltimore Tuesday June 9th 1863 Dear Brother I received your letter Sunday quite a long time since I have written to you but I can make al- lowance for your being extra busy just in these days so I must not expect letters from you as often as in the winter. My hospital had to be discon- tinued for want of patronage and last Friday I received orders to march with my command to Belger Barracks where I have been since that time and prob- ably shall stay for a while to come I am Officer of the Day to-day and find it a convenient time for writing as there is very little to do more than than to be in the harness for twenty four hours. The weather here is the same as you complain of quite cool and very dry. I am sorry to hear that the crops are likely to be injured by the drouth with you for full crops are needed to keep up the war and pay taxes. The farmers here are in the midst of their haying now though I think they cut their grass entirely too green. Last week Thursday we had a pic-nic out at the Relay House About fifteen couples of us chartered car & taking our band went out in the morning stayed the whole day. We found a nice platform all ready and had as nice a time as is possible outside of Dutchess County. I am very sorry not to be able to attend at Beekmanville on the fourth of July. Yesterday I headed a strawberry Raid and a very successful one it was too. I started in the morning with four men of our company and went over the the other side of the Potapsco about six miles from our camp and returned in the afternoon with fully a bushel and a half of very fine ones. It is the greatest country for strawberries I ever saw whole fields of fifteen or twenty acres of them growing without and cultivation more than the first setting out. We are living mostly on strawberries and milk at present. I am boarding with Mrs. Broas now and have everything just as nice and good as at home. I wish you had a bushel or so of our strawberries. Taking things altogether it is just about as pleasant and comfortable here now as it can be any- where away from home. Our Reveille is at half past four AM and all the work and drills of the day are before eight in the morning and after five in the after- noon so we have all the middle of the day to do as we please. If you were only near enough I could help you have corn everyday most. I suppose you have all had a good time with Dick since he has been there. Poor Henry Gidley I did not think he would go so soon when I saw him last. I am pleased to hear so good an account of my horse. I would like to have you train him to trot to the skeleton whenever you get an opportun- ity with moderate drivers. It always seemed to me he must make a trotter with proper training. If you can get him to trot nearly as well as your horse you ought by all means exhibit them at the fair as matched horses. You would be pretty sure of a premium and quite likely sell them for a high price. Dont hesitate to sell mine but let him go whenever you can get price enough. I should not care to take two hundred dollars for him however unless Father thinks he has more horses than he wants to keep. You had better give Joe's grey a try with him when you get a chance. Dan Dubois is at home on a furlough now he hopes you may see him. My love to all the family Brother David _______________________________________ Belger Barracks Baltimore Wednesday June 17th 1863 Dear Mother Thinking you will prob- ably hear some wild stories from this part of the country soon I take this oppor- tunity to write the true situation of affairs with us. Yesterday the Rebels were rumored all around us doing all sorts of damage. had taken Westminster where we had a guard stationed, burned Harrisburg and finally they were said to be within seven miles of Baltimore Our Regiment would undoubtedly have been sent away several days ago only it was so scattered about as not to be available, but yesterday about four o'clock the Col. received orders to call in his men with all possible despatch leaving a very small guard only at the most important places and after he got them all together to march to some place he knew perhaps but the rest of us did not find out. The Regiment all got together sixty rounds of ammunition and three days rations were given to the men and by dark we were ready to march and we did march, marched down to Gen Schenck's Head quarters where we got orders to march back to our quarters and hold ourselves in readiness to turn out at a moments notice. We arrived safely at ten o'clock without the loss of a man everybody much disappointed at not having a fight and here it is morning again and all quiet yet and more than that all the rumors that we heard yesterday are contradicted. We are under marching orders however and as we are in a situation to do service now we may march somewhere to-day but I think it is unlikely. Baltimore is in an almost defenceless condition if the Rebs can attack it in force now they might surely take though the guns of Fort McHenry and Federal Hill are all ready spotted to burn and batten down the city but I think now there is no danger to be apprehended. Dont believe all the wild stories you may hear from this quarter now. I will keep you posted up to the best of my ability. If we leave here it will probably not be perman- ently unless we should accidentally get gobbled up and taken south and that you know could only be done by a vastly superior force. In case of a march I shall be well provided for between Kate and Mrs Wedell I shall have all the eatables I can carry. I received your Sundays letter yesterday. Now remember dont believe only what you hear from me. I feel just like a fight and shall be rather disappointed not to have and it looks like being disappointed now I think. We turned out five hundred men or more after leaving guards at important points so we can show a pretty good front. All quiet at this time, sunrise Wednesday June 17th Yours affectionately David _______________________________________ Fort Marshall Friday June 19th 1863 Dear Brother As you will probably hear we have made a move. I take first opportu- nity to give you the particulars. Our move is little more than a change of base which we accomplished without the loss of a man. We received our orders Wednesday afternoon to move with all our property to this place started about six o'clock P.M. arriving here about dark. the distance being about six miles from Belger. the Fort being already garrisoned we were marched into an adjoin- ing field were we lay down under the pro- tection of the big guns on the bare ground. with not so much as a bush or tree over us but happily the night was warm and the weather dry so we rested tolerably well and without an attack from the Rebs which was anticipated. Yesterday forenoon the Col. received orders from Gen Schenck that he might return to Belger in the afternoon and that the "7" N.Y. would relieve us in manning and guarding the fort. The "PA"7" arrived in Baltimore yesterday about noon It appears and stacked their arms and were dismissed for a bust and failed to get here to take our place so that we might return to Belger and as our supplies and camp equipage had been sent back to Belger we are mostly destitute last night being rainy we all had to do as well as we could to find shelter I luckily secured one tent that had been left to us and passed the night in com- parative comfort. In the meanwhile Col. Siefferts of the 7th knowing the beauties and comforts of Belger and also the barrenness of this (for there is not a tree or bush and the weather has been so dry that the grass on the slopes of the fort is mostly dried up) sets himself to work to cheat us out of Belger entirely and go there with his patent leather Regiment claiming that we were supplied with tents and they were not yet and sundry other magnificent reasons and with what result we have not learned as yet this morning for it is only a little after sunrise. That is the way things stand now the 150th against the 7th or Col. Ketcham against Col. Siefferts. If Col. K. is beaten (and he thinks he will not be) it will be the first time but things look rather against I think. If the Government wants to put us into service why we are all ready but to be nosed out of our good quarters by those white kid fellows is not to be endured without at least a remonstrance. The 150th wants to be led out against the 7th right away they are so mad but they the 7th have rather the best of now This fort is built in a commanding eminence mounts thirty three guns and is just about opposite Fort McHenry across the bay and which it commands. In case of an attack it will be the first place towards which the Rebs will direct themselves but there seems no danger of that now for the Raid seems to be growing daily of less im- portance. I shall write again soon as convenient and keep you posted if we ever get back to Belger it will be in the course of today We have seen or heard nothing of the "Bully Way" My horse must be improving wonderfully if you have the face to ask $250 for him, you say nothing about his improving in speed but I take it for granted. I hope yours may not be seriously injured. I will close for the present and see if I can scrape a breakfast together of some description. Be careful not to believe all the rumors you may hear of the 150". Just give credit to what I write and that only. Patiently waiting further develop- ments I remain Your affectionate Brother D.B. Sleight _____________________________________ Baltimore Md. Monday June 22nd 1863 Dear Brother Supposing you must begin to feel a little curiosity in regard to our present situation I take this the first opportunity since leaving Fort Marshall for writing to you We came all right out of that Fort Marshall scrape Col. Ketch- am outgeneraling the 7" N.Y. on the Belger Barracks and the matter was compromised with the 7" by allowing them to go to Fort Federal Hill a very nice place and sending the garrison of that place to Fort Marshall which pleased them as well as it would have pleased us to have had them go to Belger Barracks. We returned to Belger Friday evening very glad to make that our head- quarters again. The excitement is very high here just now although I cannot perceive that there is any cause for apprehending immediate danger. The streets are barricaded all the way round the city with hogsheads of tobacco old hogsheads filled with earth and stone old wagons carts and anything to obstruct the streets. I am at present on duty with our company in charge of these defenses. have been since three o'clock yesterday morning and a hard service it is too hardly any chance for rest nor a place for sleep How long it is to last I cannot tell but I hope not long. The past week has been about the hardest ex- experienced since I have been in the service and it seems nothing much accomplished either. After all that has been done it seems as though it will be almost a pity if the Rebs dont make a dem- onstration on this city. All the negroes men to be found about this vicinity are taken up and set to work without ceremony on the fortifications which are now being thrown up all round the city. About four thousand thus impressed were at work all day yesterday (Sunday) and are still at it. There will be forts and rifle pits enough in a day or two but so very few men to man them. The 7" NY is the only reinforcement sent here as yet & they go by the name of paper soldiers and are little thought of here whatever may be thought of them elsewhere. I am sitting on somebody's doorstep writing for want of a better place as so much noise around me that I can hardly tell what I am about so I wont write any more except that I think we are in no danger of an attack for some days yet and probably not at all. Direct your letters as you have done only always be sure to put on the num- ber of the Reg. & the state it is from & it will come wherever I may be. Your affectionate Brother David B. Sleight _______________________________________ Hdqrs 150" Reg. N.Y.V. 3rd Brigade. 1st Division 12" Corps. Army of the Potomac. Camp near Warrenton Junction. Thursday July 30" 1863 Dear Mother Though I have very recently written home I will do so again having plenty of time Since arriving here on Sunday night last we have made no move & it is quite possible the Army of the Potomac will make one of its long halts here as supplies for the army are easily forwarded & communication with Washington rapid & direct. De- tails have been sent from all the Regiments to the states in which they were raised to obtain the conscripts necessary to fill them up to the maximum strength and it is possible we are to await their arrival but I have so little faith in the draft being enforced from the numerous delays and postponements we hear of that I think we shall have a long time to wait if we wait for them. The first mail received by us since we have been in the Army of the Potomac via Wash- ington came, Monday night & I was delighted on its distribution to find five letters for my- self. Yours & Alick's & one from Uncle Alick one from Nannie & one from James E. & was very glad to hear all were well & the Rebellion put down in the city of New York. That is certainly the most outrageous proceeding that has taken place since the war commenced. Last night I received two letters from Sarah one dated the 12th the other the 22nd. Tho I am sorry to hear is again suffering from sore throat. I think I have received all the letters sent to me since we left Baltimore. If any are there they will soon be forwarded to us. You need not refrain from writing fearing that I do not receive the letters. No two that I have received scarcely have been directed alike though they all come straight we can have a mail nearly every day so long as we are here & I hope none will come without a letter for me Last night I also received a paper The Poughkeepsian containing a letter written by me to Sarah after the battle of Gettysburg. Now if this had been done by any one but W. I should certainly have been very indignant as it is sup- pose I should feel complimented that it was considered presentable to the public. As it is I prefer it should not be done again good or bad it will be sure to call forth ill-natured criticisms. While in the pursuit of military notority I prefer to let literary alone. The hard work and discomforts we have been obliged to undergo in the late active campaign will be considerably lessened now that communica- tion with Washington is easy and a battle not imminent. Old soldiers who have been two years in this army tell us it has been the hardest cam- paign the have experienced rather a severe initiation to us greenhorns but we will know how to value rest now if it is allowed us for a while. Our arrangements for getting enough to eat are none of the best yet however. Dick & I take to our hard tack & salt pork when we have it as naturally as though we had been brought up them still something else if only for a change would be very desirable. Brown sugar we also consume in large quantities & it satisfied hunger as well as anything we can get and makes but a small bulk to carry. Coffee we also use con- siderably. I am hoping if all remains quiet for a while the Sutlers will be allowed to come up with us again. Dont try yet to send any box to us This is solely a military railroad and is now being used to its fullest capacity by the Government & I doubt if private property would be carried at present. neither do I think passes would be given to any of our friends to come to see us. You inquire about my clothes, my valise I left in the Sutlers charge our Regimental baggage wagon was so full and he is not allowed to come up & one box of clothing in Mr. Pudney's store in Baltimore. If they cannot be sent to me soon I shall order them sent home and wear government clothes. My dress coat was so heavy and warm that I exchanged it for a privates jacket that I picked up just before the battle at Gettysburg & it was stolen from the wagon before I could get where it was again so I am without a uniform coat & shall have to order a new one when I can Capt Broas received sick leave for forty days from the 1st of July He is unfortunate to be sick at this time & you must not be uncharit- able with him. He has courage enough to go through a battle but lacks the strength to carry him to the battlefield Any one of the many hard days march we have had would use him up I think. I suppose you have received my letter asking for postage stamps. I am out now & they not to be obtained here. My love to all & remember write often. Dick & I are both entirely well he received a letter from his father last night Yours most affectionately David ____________________________________ 150" Reg. N.Y.V 3rd Brigade 1st Division. 12th Army Corps. Kelly's Ford ^ south of the Rappahanock Saturday August 1st 1863 Dear Brother I received your letter of 27" on Thursday last but it was to late to answer that night & the next morning (yesterday) march- ing orders were issued at an early hour. We took up line of march for the Rappahanock which we struck at Kelly's Ford at half past nine P.M. camping on the northern side last night and coming on a pontoon brite at daylight this morning. We are now six A.M. lying on the south bank. (the 12" Corps) skirmishers have been sent ahead but have discovered no enemy for nearly a mile ahead as yet. It is quite possible we may have another 4" of July here soon though I hardly think our Generals intend to bring on a general battle. It is probable that the enemy if here at all are in only small force. It is not likely that I can mail a letter very soon but I will have one ready for the first mail that goes out. I am sorry we would not have a remained at Warrenton Junction long enough for Father to have made me a visit though. I hardly think he would have been able to have arrived our lines without strong influence at Washington to obtain a pass. I would like very much to see him but cannot advise him to make the attempt to come yet. As for wants I dont know what I want most. I crossed the river this morning with ten cents in my pocket and nary a lick in my knapsack. One of our men how- ever has a surplus of money which he wishes me to take care of for him so dont send me any for the present. I dont want but a little at a time. As for clothes I have plenty of them in Baltimore which I can give any one directions to get when they come. Government clothes are good enough to wear here however in the dirt & mud and cost but little. I have lost my dress coat however & think it hardly best to be without one so I wish you would get cloth enough for a coat & vest of Titus & sons for me and take it to Seward & Hoyt to make up for me but not to forward it until further orders from me. I think if they cut it after the measure they took of me last Oc- tober it will make a better fit than the last meas- ure they took for I have shrunk considerably since I was home in order to get down to fighting weight Though I may never order the coat sent on here tell them to make it up in good style. One thing more I need now is a pair of shoulder straps as a pair costing seven or eight dollars is rather out of place on a coat costing a dollar & a half I think Sarah could make me a pair that will do & if you see her before I can get a letter to her I wish you would ask her. I will enclose a pattern. About a half a yard of gold lace a quar- ter of an inch or less in width with about four inches square of blue cloth (not too dark) is the material necessary You can get any other young lady to do it if more convenient and perhaps mother might They can be enclosed in a newspaper and sent by mail. If any one should make the attempt to come on & want to know what to bring I would say any- thing to eat will be very acceptable; a barrel or less of sandwiches for instance Dick & I could dispose in a short time with the greatest satisfaction the first meal that goes out but anything to eat will not come amiss. My last postage stamps too will be used on this letter but if my letter has been received requesting them I suppose I shall not be long without. Dick & I divide whatever we have so he is no better off than myself. This is the poorest country I ever saw noth- ing but what government furnishes to be had and that not always when wanted even cold water for several days past could not be found in sufficient quantities and water when found was warm and muddy. The water in the brickyard creek between Manchester & Pokeepsie is about a fair specimen of what is to be found here & such streams are few & far between. The river is close by now but it is fairly thick with mud. Happily for me I am not a hard drinker & it makes less difference to me than most others. I am glad to hear so good an account of my horse so long as you report him fat I shall feel that he is well used. It seems we were not disappointed in thinking he would make a good one though he did not improve very rapidly for the first three months while I was home. So far as selling him is concer- ned you may use your own judgment for you can tell better there than I can here. You are in a new business buying oxen but perhaps you meditate going to farming yourself much as you have always disliked it I will await further developments before closing in the meantime I remain your Affectionate Brother David J.B. Pudney also has a cotton coat for Dick. Get it if you stop there but don't stop on purpose. You will be unable to drink this water without something to flavor it or it will sicken you. ____________________________________________ Hd'q'r's 150" Reg. N.Y.V. 3rd Brigade 1st Div- ision 12th Corps Camp near Kelly Ford Rappahan- nock River. Monday August 3rd 1863 Dear Father Since writing to Alick in regard to your coming down to make me a visit af- fairs have assumed a different aspect. We recrossed to the north bank of river last night and have gone into Camp with the expectation of remaining here for six weeks or two months and the probability is that you could get here with little or no difficulty. I have talked with Colonel about it & he says come on as soon as you are ready. A letter from Nelson or Baker will without doubt procure you a pass from the Secretary of War which is all that is needed Your route will be over the Orange & Alexan- dria Railroad to Rappahannock Station which is about three miles from our Camp to westerly I hardly know what to ask you to bring but first I will request you to come liberally supplied with greenbacks for if our Paymaster does not soon make his appearance and square up, the affairs of Richard & myself will soon come to crisis, a supply of postage stamps is also needed to keep up with the demand on us for correspond- ance. I have clothing enough in Baltimore which I think I shall get after a while so you need bring me nothing in that line except three or four pairs of stout unbleached white cotton half hose. Government shoes are better than boots to wear here so nothing in the boot & shoe line is needed. It will probably not be advisable to encumber yourself with too much baggage but all you can bring in the eating line will be most acceptable and whatever else you do dont fail to supply yourself with at least three days cooked rations for there is no village here nor a private house where anything can be obtained so you will have to board & lodge with us & I fear you would not thrive on hard tack & pork. A few sandwiches if you can bring them will relish as well as anything to us and pickles or something of that sort we have been hankering after for a long time. Jelly or preserves of some kind would also help to make the hard tack palatable but I'll trust to mothers judgment to send something good but I suppose you will be able to bring but little anyhow. Something like rasp- berry vinegar to put in the water would also be very nice your baggage though will undoubtedly have to be inspected for liquor or contraband goods before you land on this side of the Potomac. Dick thinks if you will let his father know you are coming he will come with you. Dicks wants are about the same as mine and besides them he wants a pair of the cheapest 1st Lieut shoulder straps and some of the same kind of stockings as for me. Dick is out just now looking for something to eat so I will not close until he comes in. It will be a good time for you to come down now for we are quiet and can have the benefit of your visit but we can promise nothing in the way of a fight for en- tertainment. I am hoping that we may have some Sutlers among us soon now so that we can get a little more of a variety in the eating line than we have at present. I have a box of clothing in Baltimore at the store of Mr. John B. Pudney 209. Baltimore Street. My overcoat cape is the most important article in this box & if you should make a stop in Balt. I would like to have it brought along but it is not very important just now the weather will be warm enough for a month or two without it and in that time shall be able to get it in some way. My valise which is of importance to me is in the charge of the Sutler Walt. Wodell whose address is Care of Shriver Bros. 376 Balt. St. Balt. & it is likely that is where the valise is. It has my name on the bottom. It is likely that Walt will join us again soon and will perhaps bring it with him. Don't discommode yourself to stop for these things you will probably have a load without them & I can get them soon enough some other way. I prefer you come loaded with supplies from home. One thing I came near forgetting. We each want a couple of light woolen shirts a good article all --- of dark color they will cost from 2 1/2 to 3 dollars a piece If we should be suddenly moved from here we will send a letter to Washington for you so you may inquire for one there. Dick also wants a good haversack if his father it will be use ful for you to carry some of your things in. Dont forget something to drink. Dont fail to come soon I want to see you much Yours David [last 2 lines up the side of the letter] ________________________________________ H'd'qrs 150" Reg. N.Y.V 3rd Brigade 1st Division 12" Army Corps Kelly's Ford Thursday August 18" 1863 Dear Brother As it is some days since I have written I will write a few lines this morning though I have but little more to write than the old stereotyped phrase of "all quiet on the Rappahannock". The heated term for the present seem to be past & today it is raining with the appearance of settled rain. Dick is out on patrol it to day an unpleasant day fortunately for me I came off that job yesterday morning. I am looking for father now every day though I have received no word as to when he was coming but from your letter judged that he should be along this week surely. Paymaster though daily ex- pected has not yet arrived & financial affairs rapidly approaching a crisis (Later) As I looked out at this moment a wagon stopped before the Colonels tent and out stepped the Paymaster with his trunkful of green- backs, much excitement throughout the Camp!!! Capt Gildersleeve does not yet arrive with those conscripts so I suppose you have hardly experienced the draft yet. There is still a great deal of sickness in our Reg. though less than a week ago. We are particularly short of officers & I am shunted around from one Company to another as they are destitute of officers and am one of the few that have not become sick. I have to attend to the signing of our payrolls and can write no more D.B. Sleight _______________________________________ Tenn Water-tank near Normandy Tuesday Dec. 8th 1863 Head-quarters Cos. H & I Dear Brother Your letter of Thanks giving written at the Mill was duly received and only five days in coming. You must have carried some days after it was written as it was not mailed until the 30th. Your letters are the only ones I have received from home as yet and I begin to think it is time I heard from my remittances to Father the first one sent nearly three weeks ago & the last about two weeks since. I suppose of couse some of you will let us know as soon as possible after it is received for the men are anx- ious about it as well as myself. The Regiment still remains in the same place I found it and it looks quite certain that we shall stay here for the winter. The Army of the Cumberland has been doing considerable in the fighting line recent- ly but our Division has had no share in it & the threatened Raid by Wheeler's Cavalry appears to have been abandoned. We are now in the midst of a heavy rain which may have the effect of put- ting a stop to active military operations though I hope Grant may go on with the good work which he has commenced The weather until now has been very nice except that it was rather cold unusually so for this section. I am sorry that my horse has the distemper he will hardly recover from it in all winter & may prevent your selling the pair for a good price. Dick is well pleased with his chain. the Sutler has lately imported a lot of steel chains from Louisville but has nothing that will compare with ours in heavy style. Capt. Broas left us last week but I believe I wrote of that in my last letter Company I is as yet under the command of Lieut Titus and without a Captain This is a dull place to write letters from but I will try to write as often as once a week. My love to all the folks and write soon. Yours truly D.B.Sleight P.S. Mother's letter mailed the 2nd Dec has just come. I wish you could get over the idea that the letters you send me are never received. She says the check has arrived safely. I would like to know if they are cashed readily by the Po'keepsie banks. if not I will take no more I shall write to mother in a few days. David _______________________________________ Head-quarters Companies G&I 150" Vols Garrisons Bridge Tenn Jan. 15" 1864 Friday Dear Brother It is some days since I have written home and a great many more since I have been written to from there. It is now two weeks or more since I have received a letter from any of you & unless you can show that it is the fault of the mails I shall think you very neglectful Mother's letter of Dec 26" is the last I have received Larch's letters come regularly and why not yours if any were mailed. There has nothing of importance transpired with us the last few days except the transfer of some of the 145" to our Reg and the mustering in of several new 2nd Lieuts in consequence. Link Humiston now occupies the position lately vacated by the subscriber. He was mustered in last week. We hear that Lieut Moon- ey is to bring on a hundred or so more so that Co. Ketcham will soon have quite a large army again. The weather is milder than when I last wrote the snow is all gone and the frost mostly out of the ground. You are I sup- pose enjoying good sleighing and the attendant gayeties. You will probably hear from me again after I receive a letter or two from some of you in the meantime I remain you affectionate Brother David _______________________________________ Headquarters Companies G & I 150" NY Garrisons Bridge Tennessee Sunday Feb 7" 1864 Dear Brother Your letter of Jan 28" has just been received. I am not in the way of making calls on Sunday evening as I used to be and as you are now probably and find it a good time to attend to correspondence. I has- ten to make amends to you if I have done you injustice in accusing you of neglecting me but could not well help thinking it was so when I had writ- ten you three or four letters and in the meantime received none. Probably time passes more rapidly with you than me & ten days or two weeks with- out a letter is hardly noticable. To do justice I will say now that your last letter is a good long one and full of news. You could hardly have been sorry that the sleighing was good for with milder weather your horse will not be so wild besides you must have been about out of sleighs. I think Father should have had an word of two of admonition to put in about the time the last one met its fate. Is it the quality or quantity of the oats you feed this winter that makes your horse so wild The Grey Junior so far as I hear conducts himself with propriety I suppose he is father's sporting horse but I should think that hardly enough to keep him in subjection I dont hear that you have the two together to sleigh at LaGrange and the vicinity seems to have entirely broken loose this winter I am glad of it for if the President get men enough to fill the quota with the additional 200 000 added some of the young men may not be situated so as to have a good time in a long while again probably though Congress will leave a way for those that want to, to get off I should not experience the least particle of comfort if you and all the rest were to de- prive yourselves of any good times because some of the rest of us are not able to do the same. If the President gets all the men required by the last call in the field next summer there will probably be considerable of a dust kicked up in the Confederacy before another winter comes and some of us may be able to get home by that time not as Veterans on 30 days furlough but as free and enlightened citizens of the Empire State. John Conklin is going to patronize LaGrange is he? Well if LaGrange will patronize also he will do well enough I suppose although some folks don't like his wife. You must have been in the January thaw when you wrote and un- usually necessary one. The weather here is not as pleasant as it has been. It feels very much as if some Northern Copper- heads were blowing their cold breath down this way still the ground is dry and the roads good and it seems that there is nothing to prevent active mil- itary operations unless it is the absence of so many of the Veteran Regiments on furlough. Dick receives the Daily Eagle pretty regularly but a New York daily or weekly would be very acceptable for they are hardly to be seen here. I received a letter from Cal Abel to-day. he is at Alexandria. thinks of going in The Invalid Corps. My love to all Affectionately Your Brother David _______________________________________ R Kenworthy 5.00 Mrs Jas Kenworthy 1.00 Mrs Ed Chatterton 2.00 Lewis Smith 1.00 John Curnale .50 _______ $9.50 [all of the above sideways next to return address] Headquarters Cos. I & G 150 N.Y.V. Garrisons Bridge Feb 17" 1864 Dear Mother We dispatched our team (six mules & a huge wagon) at day- light the next morning after we heard of its arrival at Normandy to bring our box up and it arrived here safely about the mid- dle of the afternoon. We commenced an investigation of its contents immediately and the pleasure I experienced in opening boxes & packages was second only to that enjoyed in times gone by in examining the contents of my stocking on Christmas or New Year morning. The box had not been "inspected" on the way here and with one or two trifling exceptions the contents were is as good order as when packed. A little white earthen jar, filled with jelly that looked like the one Aunt R. brought me when I was home was broken but its breaking did no damage to anything else. The vinegar had run off from one jar of pickles but was soaked up by the many papers used in packing & the syrup had run out of one jar of raspberries but not to the detriment of anything else. The coffee-pot full of butter was of course all right. You showed excellent judgment in not putting in anything of a perishable nature. Very many roast turkeys have been re- ceived by different ones from home and besides being so tender they could hard- ly be lifted out of the box they also spoiled nearly all the other contents of the box. Yesterday I took Company I down to Normandy where the Paymaster was in readiness to pay us the greenbacks due for services rendered the U.S. during the months of Nov. & Dec. last. We were paid and returned again in the afternoon all right and I found a good dinner ready from the contents of the box which after the march was particularly agreeable. I have some money to send to Father as usual after pay-day but will wait a few days as Capt. Titus is expecting to go home soon and send by him. He made application for a leave of absence last week and probably will get started in a day or two & possibly may get home before you get this letter. He expects to be absent about a month. Col. Ketcham also goes home in a day or two. A few days ago I received word from Norman- dy that by coming down there I could see a person who had quite recently shaken hands & had a long talk with my Father & Mother. As I have before stated I was there yesterday & found that Maj. Smith was the individual above re- ferred to & had a long conversation with him. He reported you both well and more than that, in first-rate spirits. Many are going home now but people that will get sick & be absent so long must not look for favors of that sort. I have lately been making the acquaintance of some of our neighbors & find some of them quite sociable. One family in particular the Woodbury's. Mr. Woodbury is a minister and they are formerly from Mt Ash They have a daughter-in-law living them a very pleasant & agreeable young lady I called there one afternoon last week and was prevailed on to stay to tea & quite in the evening. Mrs. W. had a good deal to say & ask about my mother and would not have touched on a more interesting subject to me than that. She has a great deal of sym- pathy for mothers with sons in the army. Charles Wilson's box directed to me came through safely but the turkey was no good. All are well with the exceptions of Milton Odell he has not been well since he came from Virginia. He seems homesick & discouraged. You may not think that a very serious disease but I fear he will not live through the spring if he dont get better soon. I would not have this mentioned so as to be heard by his folks. I have $20. for his family. Yours affectionately David I received fathers letter yesterday [up the side of letter] _______________________________________ Headquarters Detachment 150" N.Y.Vols Garrisons Bridge Tenn, March 12" 1864 Dear Brother Your letter of March 3rd is just received & as there is nothing to interfere I answer at once for I believe it is now almost two weeks since my last letter to you. Capt. Titus has not yet returned and is now three days past due but I suppose he has been delayed on the road for which due allowance will be made. I expected him surely last evening and sent two men to Wartrace to meet him but he failed to arrive. You do not mention the receipt by Father of a check for $242, that I mailed to him the 20" of Feb & I conclude it has not been received though there had been ample time before your letter was written. Nothing has as yet transpired in regard to what part the renowned 12" Corps is to take in the coming Campaign or whether it is to remain quietly where it is to protect & keep open the communications. A rumor was published in the Nash- ville Union yesterday that Gen. Grant wanted to carry the war chiefly into Virginia & that the 11" & 12" Corps would be returned to that benighted region. If there is one place in the world that the 150" in a body detests more than any other that place is Virginia & I sincerely hope we may never set foot on its soil again but there is no getting away if it is so order- ed. I am sorry to observe that La Grange still remains in political darkness as deep as ever. Fortunately her vote on the question of making N.Y. soldiers voters though absent from the state is not decisive & I have no doubt that measure will be carried. James E. seems to doubt the policy of allowing soldiers to vote but I am satisfied that as things stand now Abraham Lincoln can get more of their votes than any other man in the United States & if that is so I am sure it is policy to make them voters I suppose you begin to think about commencing farming operations soon you certainly have had a gay winter & ought to feel like work again. I think you must feel rather comfortable that you are out of the draft again. It is rather rough to turn Capt Platt out after he has done all the work. I am pleased to hear of the good condition of the Greys. It will be strange if you do not have some big offers for them this spring and be careful that you keep price enough on them. I am not surprised that Warren W. & Mary Peterson are married though the circumstances attending may be surprising. We are in our usual good health. Yours truly D.B.Sleight _______________________________________ Headquarters Detachment 150" N.Y.Vols Garrisons Bridge Tenn April 19" 1864 Dear Brother I experienced the very rare pleasure last night of receiving a letter home. Your letter written Sunday the 10" & mailed the 12" arrived here on the 18" being just six days on the way nothing to complain of in that time certainly. Sarah's arrived at the same time but if there was any dif- ference yours was a little ahead. You retain the impression that you write quite frequently but I am inclined to think you do not keep a strict account of the time of mail- ing or writing of your letters, which I do. The last letter I had from you until last night was mailed the 21st of March & the next one the 12" of April, if that is not over three weeks then I can't figure straight & in the meantime neither Father or Mother had written. These are the plain facts of the case. I make no comments. I think you must have a lot of postage stamps on hand that have no gum on the backs for the stamp has been lost off nearly every letter that has come from home for a long time, by close exam- ination the place where the stamp has been can be seen but post office officials don't always stop to look for that no letters however have been lost from that cause. I expect I shall hear soon that it is a very long time since I have written to any of you to which I answer the time is less than the interval between my letters from home and I ask has any one written to me without receiving an answer after sufficient time has elapsed that will be proof enough that letters from home are not lost as you seem determined to think, but enough about the subject of letters I don't write all this complainingly but to let you know just how it is & I agree not to be over particular during plowing time No important movements have taken place since I last wrote except in the red- tape department. Considerable organizing & reorganizing has been going on of late but all the troops along here are stationed as they have been all winter & though under marching orders since the 1st of April there are no more signs that we are soon to march than there were two weeks ago. The 12" Corps and the heroic Dutchmen of Chancellorsville fame who "fought & ran away & thereby lasted to fight another day" known as the 11" Corps have been consolidated and will hereafter be known as the 1" Army Corps. Gen Hooker takes command of the new Corps & our old Corps Commander (Slocum) whom we are very sorry to lose goes to Vicksburg. Hooker is considered a fighting man & is perhaps as good a General as we could have though from all accounts I guess he takes a little too much stimulus on trying occasions. The new Corps must number I think from twenty-five to thirty thousand men and ought with good management make some impression on the Confederacy this summer. There seems no hurry about com- mencing active operations here though the weather is cold and rainy & the season very backward. People are just planting corn here now & there is not sufficient grass to form good pas- ture yet, Milton Odell died in the General Hospital at Tul- lahoma on the 8" instant of Chronic Diarrhea. He will be a great loss to his family I suppose. He seemed to have par- tially lost his mind for some weeks before his death would walk round the neighborhood to procure things the he was expressly forbidden by the Surgeons to eat unless he was continually watched & was otherwise very imprudent but his disease was one from which a soldier rarely recovers. I sent my overcoat home by Wolven not but what I may occasionally need yet but the summer campaign would probably ruin it if it was not entirely lost for it is rather a heavy thing to lug on a hot days march and to bulky to put in my valise and strapping it outside would be about the same as throwing it away. It was a present from Father so I feel quite anx- ious to preserve it through if I can and I wish you would ask Mother or Sarah to take care of it from the moth The cape I sent home by Dick which he left at his Fathers and it can be got from there any time if it has not already. The things that came from Baltimore I do not care particularly to preserve unless it is the blanket but I suppose they will all be useful some time or other to somebody. The coat I think is rather too seedy to be of any more use to me while in the army. Letters may be directed to the 12" Army Corps for the present as consolidation has only been made on paper as yet. We are all very well. Your brother David _____________________________________ Camp near Cassville Ga Friday May 20" 1864 Dear Brother As we are enjoying once more the luxury of an afternoon's rest I will make the at- tempt once more to write you a letter as my last was so nearly a failure. Your letter written Sunday the 8" last was received to-day so you see we receive our mails about as regularly as ever though it is difficult to get one off from here. The Rebels made a stand at this place yesterday threw up some defenses & the prospect was good for another fight to-day. Our Division came up to the village about the middle of the afternoon yesterday and after much manouvreing & skirmishing the artillery & infantry was got into position about two hours after dark so that it was expected we could give them a dressing out to-day but when morn- ing dawned we found no enemy at hand they had evacuated the town during the night not daring to face the music they expected would open on them to-day. This has been quite a nice little town but now is little bit better than a ruin. The people foolishly abandoned their houses here when the Rebels retired & as a consequence a house has been stripped to-day by the d---d Yankees. Our men are living on pigs, chickens too & everything else they could lay they hands on here supplied themselves with handsome bed-spreads coverlets & are parading around with parasols umbrellas, fans and sundry unmentionable articles of wearing apparel. If the foolish people had stayed in their houses very little if any damage would have been done but with no one to remonstrate they did not know where to stop & it is not much wondered at if our soldiers have little charity for the sympathizers with the Rebellion after what they have just been through. The Rebel leaders have brought the people to think the Yankees took no prisoners now but kill indiscriminately all that fall into their hands which I suppose in a measure accounts for the terror with which our advance in- spires the people. It was evidently very far from the thoughts of the people that Johnson army would be obliged to fall back from Dalton & it seems to have been the general impression that he would again regain the whole of Tennessee from our hands. Our army is advancing in three columns by different roads towards at Atlanta. Either of the columns is supposed to be enough of itself to contend with Rebels if they turn at bay and as the others advance they would soon find themselves flanked again & be obliged to continue their retreat. They are reported to have made another stand at Altoona a few miles ahead where there is another range of mountains and they have strong fortifi- cations. I do not know what chances there are for flanking that position but presume it can be done with men enough & I think we have for this army is immense. If the rank & file of the Rebel army would but see it altogether once I think they would exclaim with the "coon" "Don't shoot Mister Yankee & I'll come down". I thought I saw war on a large scale last Summer but it could not compare with this & this army is only well handled & I think it is in good hands nothing the Confederacy can now get together can stop its progress. Our greatest danger I suppose is that our communications may be cut off. The hundreds of miles of Railroad from here to Louisville is not a very safe channel through which to feed an army like this " without feeding we soon go to destruction. We hear glorious news from the Army of the Potomac but don't feel safe in believing only moderately of it for from past experience we know we all hear too much at first. The news is read for effect at the head of all the Regiments as it is received. Rebel prisoners we took last week say it was announced to them in the same way that Lee had driven Grant back into Maryland and would soon have our army then annihilated but we don't believe all that either xxx I suppose it is too late now for me send any advice about the selling of my horse for your customer would not condescend to keep a deal of that sort pending for a month or more. I don’t object to his being sold at $300 even and would advise you to let him go by all means if you can get $350 or more. I don't suppose he earns his keep and am not unreasonable enough to want to be kept Let him go quick at even $350 or at $300 if it is thought advisable. You must know better about it than I can & I'll engage to stand to Father's judgment whatever it may be. (Three drummers are having a good time playing on a piano in a house just back our camp I wish when you have a chance you would send word to Cash's wife that he is all right he can not write very well now & is anxious to send word home. Dick & I are living high to-day. My intelligent contraband seam ed a setting hen this morning which made us a luxuri ous dinner & for supper we have part of a hog they foraged from some quarter. I took my coffee in a china gilt edged cup that Frank brought me & had milk to put in it too. We have also captured a two year old colt on which to pack tents & blankets as you see we are rich to day and make the most of it for tomorrow we may get nothing better than powder & ball for dinner. Excuse a mixed up letter there is so much to write I don’t know how to get it in. Write & keep writing David _______________________________________ In the Field Ga. Sunday July 10" 1864 Dear Brother Capt Titus made me a call yesterday morning bring- ing with him your letter of June 26". I am still with the guard of the wagon train and don't see him very often now Since I last wrote home we have made another advance without any fight however the enemy having fallen back to the north bank of the Chattahoochie Our lines encircle them in the position they now hold, both flanks of Sherman's army resting on the river with one or two Corps to spare to cross and make a demonstration in the rear when our general gets ready but the weather is so warm that operations cannot be carried out on very briskly though there is no prospect of its ceasing al- together for a while and it ought not until we have At- lanta if we can get it & I think it will take something more formidable than Johnstons army to prevent it. It is only eight or ten miles from the river to the town. Kinesaw Mountain and Marietta fell into our hands by the last advance perhaps the newspapers had them taken a long time ago but they were not until the 8" of July. The 4" was quieter with us than the last though considerable gunpowder was burned. the 150" has not been under fire since I was detailed away from it (on the 26" June). After the fine prospects in the spring I am very sorry to hear that you are suffering so severely from drought it will be an unusually serious matter to have the crops cut off in the present state of affairs. You have a pretty high price on the Greys but I suppose they are as well worth it as many other teams that sell for as much. I received you new cam- paign paper last week it is very good. There is still no pros- pect of getting our pay & I shall have to write for more money this time for what I have will hardly last until I can receive more from home. Ask Father to enclose $15. as soon as convenient after the receipt of this letter. I owe Theodore Wicks a few dollars for government clothing & rations he has let me have and he agrees to have the money come at his own risk if I will send for it. I can receive by the 1" of August if no accident happens to it I think I suppose you have received my letter asking you to send envelopes. It takes my last one this morning to enclose your letter & it is almost impossible buy or borrow one here. All is quiet this morning Truly yours David ____________________________________ Camp near Atlanta. Thursday August 11".1864 Dear Brother It is ten or twelve days since I have written home rather longer than usual but I have been looking for a letter from some of you for several days past and so have delayed writing but will do so no longer though of course you could feel no anxiety for me so long as I am in the Mule Department. According to my book and you know I keep a careful account it is almost a month since I have received a letter from you though in the meantime I have to acknowl- edge the receipt of your newspaper and a package of first rate envelopes very much needed. This reminds me that I have more wants that can best be supplied by mail from home for even with plenty of money here to buy of sutlers should any come up by and by a poor article costs very much more here than a good one sent from home with postage added. I saw a whole suit of clothes that came from New York last week postage only $1.48 clothing however comes at less cost than other articles such as to- bacco &c and remember also when you address a package to me leave off the Lieut for enlisted men have the use of the mail at a very much cheaper rate than commissioned, that is if the fraud don’t hurt your conscience too much. Don't forget to keep up a supply of postage stamps. Perhaps however I may be know as an officer in the Pokeepsie P.O. in which case it will make no difference about the address. Packages should be care- fully put up and marked on the outside "Cotton or woolen cloth- ing, paper, envelopes or whatever it may be. I am most in want just now of a black felt hat, don't care particularly about its being full regulation size only be careful to get the best quality and one with a good wide brim, and a military cord for the band if it is to be had in Pokeepsie if not I'll make the old cord do. My last hat Dick got for me when he was home in the spring cost $4. with the cord I advise you to take it to Capt. Broas to put it up for mailing and please enclose in it a good strong pocket-comb I expect you will think my wants are many and never supplied but remember home is the only place I can get any- thing, in this line, from now. Atlanta is not taken yet neither can I hear that we are making very rapid progress toward taking it. Gen Stoneman and part of his command I suppose you have learned were caught by the Rebels making a raid last week. Our heavy guns are banging away at the town every day & the pickets are picking one another off whenever a chance offers but further than this there seems to be nothing going on. Since I came on duty here there have been several changes among the officers of the guard so that I am now left senior officer with a command of over two hundred men equal to many of our Colonels I expect a Major will be sent soon though to take the command. Hope to hear from you soon. Brother David _______________________________________ Camp near Atlanta, Ga. Saturday, Aug. 20” 1864 Dear Brother I have the pleasure to acknowledge the re- ceipt to-day from you of a quire of letter paper and a package of envelopes both in good order though the wrapper of the envelopes was broken. The Rebel cavalry has been playing the mischief with our Railroad for a week past & in the meantime we were without a mail but all is right again now and supplies are coming up in time to prevent men from being put on short allowance of rations though the animals have been for several days past. I observe you are not quite pasted yet in mail regulations for you sealed up the envelopes at both ends and paid eighteen cents postage on it while the paper weigh ing twice as much open at the ends cost but four cents postage. It is also proper to mark any package mailed, on the outside, so the contents may be known. I should have been glad to have found a letter in one of the envelopes but I suppose it was not convenient for you. The mil- itary situation remains the same as for the two or three weeks past. Our Corps has been under marching orders for three or four days and it was supposed some new flanking operations were on hand but the order to march does not come and there are no further developments. The weather is pleasant and the army is getting along quite comfortably. You seem to take the coming draft quite cooly though I can hardly think you mean to serve if drawn Substitutes it appears are almost impossible to get and then at most outrageous prices. James C. & Uncle David too are in the same boat do they take no measures for security? or do you think after all there will be no draft. It is about ten days since I have received a letter from home it ought not be many more. A letter from Sarah came to-day. She says Mrs. V.V. is making a sensation among you this sum- mer. Splendid, is she not! but an unmitigated flirt. Give her my regards when you see her. How do the Greys stand the dry weather and scarcity of forage. If they are in good condition I think a brother of mine must turn out a dashy equipage at pic-nics to. I hope I may get be able to enjoy the use of them though I can hardly say I think the time is close at hand. Is Col. Ketcheom likely to be nominated for Congressman this fall. It is rain- ing & I can write no more Brother David P.S. My last letter to Sarah was directed to Pokeepsie by mistake Please send a few two cent postage stamps _______________________________________ Atlanta. Ga. Monday. Sept 5" 1864 Dear Brother I received the hat and comb mailed Aug 26” this morning in good order. I had begun to think that some of the raiders in our rear had gobbled it up. It was reported yes- terday that Wheeler's Cavalry had taken Bridgeport destroyed the great railroad bridge over the Tennessee besides burning all the Government stores at that place and an immense amount of officers baggage left behind last spring for want of transportation in the field. My valise with all my good clothes were stored there and have shared the common fate I suppose The story however is not confirmed this morning and we begin to hope there is no truck in it. The burning of the railroad bridge would be a great calamity to the army here. Long before this letter reaches you, you will have heard that Atlanta has been taken by the Yankees. The Gate City has fallen into our hands and we have shut the Gate, what effect the shutting of it will have upon the Con- federacy remains to be seen. The place has been considered of almost vital importance. now that it is taken will it prove so. The honor of first occupying that city fell to the 20" Corps left behind by Sherman while he made demonstrations in the rear by which the Rebels were made to fight or evacuate or both. A recon- noisance sent out by Gen. Slocum (now commanding our Corps) on the 2" developed the fact that the Rebels had left the town the night before and on the afternoon of that day Slocum occupied the place with his Corps without firing a gun. The wagon train followed the next day making the occupation complete. The star-spangled banner now waves over the forts and public buildings of the city. There has been hard fighting between Sherman's & Hood's armies in which the latter has had the worst of it though we have not yet learned particulars but that Atlanta is taken you may rest fully assured. The city decidedly the best one I have seen south of Louisville though in some portions of it there is scarcely a house that is not more or less shattered by shot and shell. The inhabitants had bombproof cellars made to live in when the shells come thickest. The captures in men and munitions of war are not as great as might have been expected. What is the reason I do not get letters from home. My last was received the 23"of Aug. the hat mailed the 26" got through so a letter would I think if it had been mailed. I don't know that there is any chance for this letter to go through now if what we hear from the rear is correct but I'll write and send it any way so that you shall know as soon as possible that I have the hat. I think this makes the fourth letter I have written to you since I have received one from you. I wonder if my letters from home are not getting lost again like they did one time last winter. Perhaps it would be better to mail them at Salt Point I receive letters through that office regularly once a week, never lost one that was mailed there. We hear that McClellan & Pendleton are the nominees of the Chicago Convention. I fear the Republican Party is doomed to defeat if it dont wake up and show a little enthusiasm about the matter. Nobody seems to take much interest the matter any way. I cant hardly tell whether the Eagle is for the Administration or against it & even as great a party man as you are have not a word to say. The Administration will not get much support from the Army if it is not paid soon, men especially those that have families dont like to go eight or nine months as we have without pay and thousands of soldiers are so tired of the war they would vote for Val. if it would bring peace any quicker. I want it under- stood that I am as strong a Lincoln man as ever. If we don't reelect him we knuckle so much to the Rebellion. Hope I may get a letter soon. Yours affectionately David ________________________________________ Atlanta, Ga. Sept. 11" 1864 Dear Brother The first mail we have received in ten days came to-day bringing your letter of Aug 28" enclosing sundry articles the most important of which was a ten-dollar greenback. I am much obliged for the invitation to the Picnic but for the reason that it took place yesterday think I'll not be able to attend. The arrival of the greenback is timely. I hope to soon be able to send back enough to make my account good for Gen Sherman has ordered that army will stop here to be rested, clothed, paid off & refitted for a winter campaign. A winter cam- paign will be something for this war but if it will bring the war to end any sooner let us have it by all means. I think the people at home are getting anxious for a peace so anxious I fear that they would be willing to accept a poor one & the peace-at-any-price party is likely to be triumphant in November if the friends of the Administration don't wake up soon. I can hardly say that I am surprised if James E. has left the party he has been a little queer for some time past yet I can hardly think he has turned Copperhead completely. I am as anxious for peace as anybody but I am particular what terms we get it on. It is very cheering to hear that the quota at LaGrange is so nearly filled and you are safe from a draft. What sort of men have you got? Will they be likely to get to the army and serve in it or are they of the kind that are kept expressly for filling quotas with regardless of filling the army. Atlanta still remains in the hands of the Yankees and for a week past there has been no fighting here. To morrow the citizens left here will be assisted to remove with their effects inside the Rebel lines for Uncle Sam does not propose to furnish them rations to live so long as we may occupy the city. Will our Railroad cut so frequently it is almost impossible to keep the army supplied, so far however rations have been plenty enough but there is no grain for the horses and mules. I accompanied a train of wagons out in the country a short distance last Friday after a quanti- ty of cotton that was reported to be there. We found about a hundred bales which worth from five hundred to a thousand dollars each was a pretty valuable haul. Uncle Sam has all the profits of such things. I am glad to hear that you are able to keep Picnics going in spite of war, peace & politics. I have heard from several quarters the Agricultural Picnic was a great success and very creditable to the managers. You saw none but the elite I suppose a the Campbell Picnic things are done up in style over there. I think you con- clude wisely not to exhibit the Grey horses at the Fair this fall they have been shown there about enough, though I suppose they were never more worthy of it than now if they can get up the speed you mention. I have in previous letters acknowledged the receipt of the paper & envelopes, the handkerchief and hat in fact everything that I have sent for by mail has been received. The hat is an excellent one. Eight dollars is the price of a felt hat here of inferior quality and without a band so you see what is gained by having one sent from home. The shirts Cpt. Broas sent I have not received yet. My overcoat I should like to have if a safe opportunity offers to send it which is not likely. If active operations are to be kept up all winter a Govt. coat will do and be lighter to carry Truly yours David _____________________________________________ Atlanta Ga Oct 25" 1864 Dear Brother Your letter of Sept 23 was received several days ago but till now I have had no opportunity for answering it. The few troops now left to hold this city are kept almost constantly at work now, the de- fences of the city built by the Rebels are too extensive for a small force to occupy consequently new ones have to be built which enclose only the part of the place most important to us and this requires vast amounts of labor and then to keep the mules and horses alive raiding parties are frequently sent out long distances into the country to procure forage so though we have no fighting now we get but little rest. We returned last night from the most fatiguing trip of all. A raiding expedition that had started out two days before with a train of wagons about ten miles long sent back for reinforcements having got the idea that the Rebels contemplated capturing part of their train and accordingly Rugers trotting Brigade was ordered out to their support. Just imagine you self taking a little foot excursion from Poughkeepsie out into Connect- icut by way of Washington Hollow (not stopping there for refreshments) with your rations and bedding on your back and returning by way of Pawlings & Beekman most of the way over a bad road without bridges dust three inches deep on the average doing nearly the whole trip in twenty-four hours and you will have a pretty good idea of what our last jaunt was. We saw no Rebels to amount to any thing and lost no wagons bringing all back well loaded with corn. Our communications are open once more with a few miles of wagon transportation between here and Chattanooga and it is to he helped the Rebels may be kept away now until our Commissay Department down here gets to be a little better stocked than at present. I received mothers letter yesterday of the 5" Oct which I will answer soon and will say now for her benefit that my health has not been so good at any time since we left Tennessee last spring as now. I think the Confederate army will soon give up its efforts to starve us out of this country so that we shall probably have a season of rest as it is rather late in the season for Gen Sherman to organize another campaign though there is no telling what he may do he is such an uneasy mor- tal. We have not yet heard fully the result of the elections of the 11" of Oct. though enough to convince us that they are likely to go for Lincoln in Nov. and if they do his election is safe enough I suppose. “Male” friends here are not as jubilant here as they were before. Of course you will not fail to elect Co. Ketcham to Congress let what will hap- pen. The 150" gave him a pretty good lift. James E. gave me to understand in his last letter that he should go for Ketcham and did not say he was for McClellan so I hope you may be mistaken in thinking that he was. Contrary to my expectations the 150" gave Lincoln a good majority. Samorel men I observe got their candidate at the County Convention which suited you I suppose. My horse is in good order I suppose as you make no mention to the contrary. We are now it seems on the home stretch of our time and as it grows shorter I feel more interest in keeping him. Do your best on the 8" of Nov. My regards to all inquiring friends. Brother David _______________________________________ [Have no beginning to this letter, it just starts like this:] and we were ordered to return to the Georgia side. As we turned about to return the Rebels attacked us and while the Reg was covering the rear Col. Ketcham was wounded not very dan- gerously but so that we shall lose him again for a few weeks. With a few other casualties we crossed the river and marched to the city on the 22nd and are now camped in the suburbs in a magnificent grove of live oaks. The weather has mostly been very fine about like September at home but to-day there is quite a cold blast from the north & I find an overcoat necessary for comfort. South Carolina I suppose will next received Gen. Shermans attentions and that quite soon. Probably he will start out on another cam- paign by the 15" of Jan. or sooner if the army can be clothed and made ready. With Charles- ton only one hundred miles distant he cannot content himself here many days. Tomorrow the 20" Corps is to be reviewed. I wish very much you might have seen a review when visiting the army it makes a most imposing spectacle. It is so long since you had written to me before that you need posting up in regard to my address. The 11" & 12" Corps were consolidated last spring & form the present 20" Corps. We are still in the 1st Div. but 2nd instead of 3rd Brigade. A simple & sufficient address however is to the "150" Reg N.Y.V 20" Army Corps". I suppose Mother gave that Thanks- giving Dinner as promised for as far as I was con- cerned she could hear nothing good or bad. If the army should stop long enough in a place to mean it is possible to get a leave of absence I shall apply for one, at present in the absence of my distinguished Captain I am commander-in-chief and sole officer of Company I. (the 2nd Lieut. being on detached ser- vice) and it would be useless to apply. Give my love to Aunt E. & Vannie Your affectionate Cousin David To Josie Wheeler _______________________________________ Camp of 150" Reg. N.Y.Vols Savannah, Ga. New Years Night 1865 Dear Brother Yours of Dec 20" was received last night the first I have received from you since the middle of October. I suppose you thought it useless to write while Sherman's Army was on the road to destruction as the Copperheads would have it for U.S. mails do not run on that route but now that you know we are safe and sound in Savannah you should let them come thick and fast to make up loss time. The Copperheads I suppose are sadly disappointed that the Army was not annihilated in its way to the coast. If the United States had a few more such insane Generals as Sherman the Con- federacy would soon be cut up in pieces so small they could make no more resist- ance to the Federal arms. I wrote to Mother last Sunday and since then nothing note- worthy has happened except a review of the army by Sherman. The 20" Corps was reviewed on Friday and made quite an imposing display tattered & torn as was the clothing after the long march. New fortifications are now being made around the city so that a small force can hold it and it is expected that as soon as the army can be made ready that South Carolina will receive Gen. Sherman’s attentions. The Republican Party did remark- ably well at the last election all over but with the result in LaGrange I am most astonished. I think you must have brought a powerful green- back influence to bear to achieve such a result. You will know who to run for Supervisor next spring if Mr. Howard is in town. You did well for Col. Ketcham too. The Col is recover- ing from his wound quite rapidly but I suppose will go home for a while before he returns to duty This is a very convenient place to return home from but no leaves of absence are granted except for the sick & wounded for the reason I suppose that the campaign is to be continued again in so short a time. You speak of Capt. Titus but don't mention his whereabouts. Has he been held for duty in Gen Thomas Department or did he return from there by way of home and stop over the Holidays. On account of some impor- tant official documents pertaining to the Company I should like to know whether to expect him soon or not. I am very much in want of a pocket knife and wish you would send me one by mail as soon as convenient. I don't want a fancy article but something good and strong not too large two blades enough. Put it up in a little paper box and it will come safe enough I think. I think our mail line is now regularly established and will be much safer on the Atlantic than on the long railroad from Louisville to Atlanta. I am glad the greys are still in good order if they will only stay so for a year longer. I hope to derive some benefit from them. Give my regards to those Pleasant Valley friends. I am very glad to be remembered where so far off. New Year's is about past but there has been nothing to distinguish it from other days except the consumption of an unusual amount of whiskey. I have a large amount of business writing to do now & cannot write long letters. Wishing you a Happy New Year I remain Your affectionate Brother David P. S. Send me also a pair of light leather gloves something that will fit well ____________________________________ Belger Barracks Monday Jan 12th 1865 Dear Brother I received your letter written last Tuesday on Saturday evening a long time in coming but perhaps it was not mailed until some days after it was written as I suppose in the bad travelling you speak of you do not have communication with Pokeepsie every day. We are all together here yet not having been sent out for guard duty about the city. The Paymaster is expected to- morrow & I suppose as soon as the Regiment is paid again the order will come. I don't know know whether or not our company will be sent out but as seven or eight of the ten companies have to go our chance is pretty good to go. Our rooms in the barracks are just about finished & if we have to go out for five or six weeks we shall not have much good of them. Our Orderly Sergeant in company with Capt. Wood- on started for Dutchess last week after Ed Van Wagner received a dispatch from home to-night informing him of the death of his uncle and desiring him to come home He is trying to get a furlough but I hardly think he will succeed for they are only given on the most urgent cases. It is about time my letter was mailed if it goes today so I must close without quite filling the sheet. William Stillwell has been quite sick with quinsy sore throat but has got over the worst now I think As to myself I am as well as ever. You write about your weighing a hundred & forty pounds. I can beat that just twenty five pounds. Your affectionate Brother DBSleight _______________________________________ Camp of 150" Reg. N.Y.V. Parysburg S.C. Jan 25" 1865 Dear Brother A steamer came up yester- day morning bringing a mail the first one received in a long time in which was your letter of the 9" and mothers of the 5" of Jan, also the package containing the gloves & pocket knife. The knife is just what I wanted. The gloves rather heavier than was needed still they will be the more servicable for it. At the time I last wrote the weather was very bad & I had the blues more or less, but it has finally cleared off and looks considerably brighter again. We have a rumor this morning that the capture of Fort Fisher will make a change in Shermans plans and that as soon as the roads are practicable we shall return to Savannah or Port Royal and take a new start. There is no prospect at any rate of going ahead on this route for some days to come. We are now experiencing the coldest weather we have seen thus far this winter. Last night there was quite a hard frost but the sun shine quite warm to-day again. I really envy you when you mention sleighriding after the grey horses. They must make an elegant turn-out with the little cutter. This is now the third winter that I have not had a sleigh ride so it would be quite a novelty. How about that young bay horse I have not heard any thing at all of him. I think he must be old enough for use by this time. I am sorry to hear there is a division in the society of LaGrange & hope it will not be a permanent one perhaps Mrs. Robert Titus will get reconciled to the people of LaGrange after living there a while. I thought her a very pleasant lady when she visited Belger Barracks. Aleck Rogers would like to have you take care of his gun if you can find out where it is but I would not take much trouble about if I were you for his relations will think you only want to keep in case he never returns. I am afraid this last draft will fetch some of you who do want to come though you may dodge it some way as the others were. There is considerable talk around now about peace but I cannot see that it has any foundation for it all comes from one side. The Rebels show no more signs of coming to terms than heretofore. This is a very dull place here I will close my letter for the present and if anything noteworthy happens before I can mail it will add a postscript. Yours truly David
Monument at the Grave of Lt. David B. Sleight
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