This letter is dated May 8, 1861. It was written from Camp Taylor near Cleveland, Ohio and signed "Sumter." The letter appeared in the Toledo Daily Herald & Times on May 10, 1861.
FROM CAMP TAYLOR.
CAMP TAYLOR, May 8, 1861.
EDITOR HERALD & TIMES:
Dear Sir:--The weather as awful, but that is no news, for no doubt you have had a few small showers at Toledo. The continued rain is a serious drawback upon us on account of our inability to drill, but we turn the bad weather to the best advantage in having officers' drills three times a day and thus prepare the officers to instruct their men when the parade ground gets dry enough to drill.
Our Regiment, No. 14, this morning unanimously recommended Gen. Hill to the Governor, for the position of Brigadier General. Each company, officers, commissioned and non-commissioned and privates, signed a memorial urging Mr. Hill's appointment. This is a fitting and well deserved compliment to Gen Hill for his arduous and patriotic labors in assisting to instruct volunteers, officers and men, as well as for his untiring efforts to get our regiment formed, organized and creditably established in this camp. It is the earnest desire of every man in the regiment that he may be appointed and we appeal to our people at home to unite with us in securing his success. The General is averse to having the application made, but we feel confident that if the position is tendered to him he will not feel at liberty to decline it. The North West is entitled to one of the Brigadiers, and General Hill's location, high qualifications and peculiar fitness for the position, point to him as the man for the place.
Some "High Private" in the Bryan company who has more desire to create a sensation and make mischief, than he has to tell the truth, has been writing to the Williams County Leader, published at Bryan, scandalous libels upon everything pertaining to the camp. His letters are a disgrace to their author. His statements about the barracks, blankets, bundles of straw and the living, are utterly destitute of truth. His story about two men being killed, one by a negro, are each a falsehood. The barracks are well filled with soft sweet straw and are dry and comfortable. Every man in the camp has a blanket, and if at all unwell, is furnished with extra blankets, medical attendance and every other attention needed. Fresh beef, salt beef and pork, potatoes, beans, excellent fresh bread, good butter, coffee with plenty of sugar, salt, pepper and mustard, are furnished every day. Any man who finds fault with the accommodations and living of this camp is a grumbler, or does so from a desire to make mischief.
The truth is, that the young gentleman who is the author of the communications to which I have referred, has performed very little duty, been permitted to eat most of his meals at a hotel, spend his evenings in the city and sleep wherever he pleased. He has been especially favored by his captain and all the officers of his company; but in my opinion, he will be compelled to perform the practical duties of a soldier in the future. He is evidently sorry he has volunteered and would like to get out of what he considers a bad scrape, if he only knew how to do it.
The great body of our men, the entire regiment, with a few exceptions, volunteered and left their homes to encounter the hardships and face the dangers of stern war to maintain their government and defend their flag against the assaults of rebels and traitors, and their patriotism and courage have not been wilted by a few days of camp life and camp duty.--They are soldiers, brave and true, ready, willing and eager to render their country the services they volunteered to perform, and are not to be discouraged by the whining and pitiful falsehoods of chicken hearted heroes who expect feather beds to sleep on and servants to carry their muskets and knapsacks. The health of the men is as good as could be expected. There are twenty-one cases of sickness reported in our regiment this morning, but most of the cases are colds, chills and measles.--There is not a single case of serious illness within my knowledge in the whole camp.
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