Harpers Ferry Va
Aug 31st 1862
I received your letter from home and was glad to hear from you all, so soon,
Yesterday I received the Tribune. If you would Just as soon send me the weekly papers the Republican & Democrat I would much rather have them, as I see the New York papers the next morning after they are printed. The News Boys bring them into camp every morning at 6, so we are not much behind you as regards news.
I think this week there will be change of officers, Non Commissioned of course Our 2nd Lieutenant Granger1 from Sodus, was taken sick at Auburn, and could not come with us & I think it will be doubtful if he comes at all, if not that will [suit] me. The Captain told one of our Boys that there was to be a change in the corporals. We have two from Lyons that are regular Sap heads not fit for any Office, they are to be reduced or brought down lower, I am certain that I shall not, as I have been called on for duty several times when it was not my turn,
I have been Corporal of the Guard twice & Copr. of the Picket today, three one week, considering there are eight Corporals. The other day I was Corporal of the Guard, there was one over me & one under me The Officer of the Guard put me no. one, as he said I knew more about the work & gave me the change of the Guard.
Today Rank Corporal of the Picket Guard, Stationed of the Winchester Road, about three miles out [ ] responsible of the Posts, as men have been Shot at several times lately, here. I reported my men first and my place was Guarding one of the streets in the Village but I asked to have it changed to this place, where there would be something to do.
I have [found] Picket duty in the night is that to allow no one to pass us or cross the Track, If they refuse to stop when Hailed to take them Prisoners and bring them to the Ferry, Yesterday some of our boys brought in a Contraband, he was taken to the Colonels tent. He says the Jacksons Forces are within 5 miles of the Ferry, scouring the woods.
This I know that within a quarter of a mile of our camp there are Gurillas, as Signal lights are seen every night. All that separates the mountain from us is a little stream of water, I care not how full they are, I am not afraid.
We are within about 5 milesof Charl’stown, on the Winchester RR. I am sitting in my little tent now writing this, I just having relieved a man. The night is the time. A Picket’s duty is to lay down flat on his Stomach keep wide awaken not to whistle smoke speak out loud, and keep a good look out [slow], and lonely business.
On Friday night it was reported that Jackson was coming. 5 rounds of Cartridges was distributed to every man. I tell you some of the Guard was frightened that night every little noise disturbed them.
Enclosed I send you a Picture I have taken yesterday, It is a good picture, all but the Face it is all the kind they take here. I think I shall send Sarah one this week.
The boys think everything of Capt Holmes2 & Lieutenant [Moon], they gave them $65 to get each of them a Sword in N Y. Capt H cried when he thanked the Boys.
We see but little of Chaplain Brown3. There are almost a bushel of letters a day sent from this Regt short packets were distributed to us also stockings, Shirts & drawers. I shall not do my own washing as long as we are here & can get it done. I tell you we live all together different now. Mr Crowl is our Cook. Today we are going to a Farm house to get our dinner, it will be a change. Hoping to hear from you soon with love to Maggie Rosa Charlie & Mother
The boys all well
T Hooker has been sick
2 Sebastian D. Holmes September 9, 1862 August 15, 1862 Discharged June 27, 1864.
3John N. Brown September 9, 1862 August 15, 1862 Mustered out with regiment June 3, 1865.