Letter written by Henry Welch, corporal in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his aunt and uncle from Near Sandy Hook, Maryland, October 11, 1862

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Letter written by Henry Welch, corporal in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, Company K, to his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Tanner, from Near Sandy Hook, Maryland, October 11, 1862: a machine readable transcription


WASHINGTOND. C. (District of Columbia) (Washington, District of Columbia)
Sep [day and year unclear]

Mr Frank [... gap ...]
South Grand? (South Granville)
N.Y. (New York) (South Granville, New York) (Washington County, New York)

PAGE IMAGEUnion and Constitution [figure]

PAGE IMAGE Oct th 11..1862.. ..Near..
Sandy..Hook.Maryland (Sandy Hook, Maryland) Dear.. Aunt (Tanner, Franklin (Mrs., Polly C.)) (Tanner, Polly C. (Mrs. Franklin Tanner)) and Uncle (Tanner, Franklin) .

It was with great
pleasure that I received your letter. I am
well and getting along firstrate (first rate) I should
get along better if I got more letters so you
must write oftener. instead of writing I
would like to shake hands with you and sit
down in your pleasant and comfortable
kitchen and have a pleasant chat with you
such as we use to have. I remember the stories
you told about what happend (happened) when you
were about my age how you went
to spelling school with that chap and
how a certain fellow had a paper pined (pinned) on
his coat and set on fire it was to (too) bad but
I cannot keep from smiling to think how
he must have looked. Uncle Franklin (Tanner, Franklin) I
have not forgot what you told me about
your going after water and stoping (stopping) to that
house to rest and how the pigs come a long

PAGE IMAGE and tiped (tipped) over your jug and broke the handle
off that was poor for you and [Tho.]. but I will write
no more nonsense now. I suppose you want to know
how we live down here. our things they call
tents are about four feet square with buttons
on three sides so we can button them together
there is three in our tent Leroy Barnard (Barnard, Leroy)
and Horace (Horace) so our tent is eight feet long
so we stretch it over a pole and button the
other peice (piece) across the rend leaving the
other end open you can judge how big a house
we have I will not write about our vituals (victuals)
all I will say is that I wish you could see
some of them. There is a range of mountains
on each side of us they had a battle on one of
them we could go up there and see some
awful sights bodies lay there with
just enough durt (dirt) to cover them
the hands and feet in sight. but if
this war is not closed in less than
three years we shall see sights more
awful than that we get no more war news
than you do and I guess not so much
PAGE IMAGE Tell Grandfather that I will write to him
as soon as I can get a chance and that I hope
that he is right about my [ever?] being from
my past. and I hope that it will never be
said that I played the sneak down here
even if it were to save my life for
we are in a place where we must do
our duty whether it be life or death
but I hope that it will not be death to
any of us. We of course c'ant (can't) tell how that
will be but if it should be my fate to
die on the battle field I will try to
submit to it cheerfully. and say let
God's will be done. and I will try to be ready
at his call. you can hardly imagine the
evels (evils) and temptations of camp life but
thanks to the good advice of kinds frinds (friends) for
I have taken that advice and have not been
influenced to do anything you would not have
me do yet. there is very few in our camp
any but what burn out their piece of
candle playing cards. there is not another
PAGE IMAGE tent in our company but what they play cards in.
The Captains not excepted. Horace (Horace) and Leroy (Barnard, Leroy)
are two as good fellows as can be found
and we are bound to stand by each other
as long as life lasts. there was one of our men
shot his thumb off yesterday morning
he was on guard. he was standing by a
stump he said that his gun stood on
the stump and he dropped it and went
to ketch (catch) it and it went off. some think
he done it aperpose (on purpose) to get a discharge. the
sump (stump) was not over six inches high I
d'ont (don't) see how he could have done it.
his name was John Mccoy (McCoy, John) .. our regement (regiment)
is a going out on picket by company our
company has not been out yet they take their
turns. our turn will come next week we
shall have some fun then the rebels are
around here. there was four rebels over
in a barn a few rods from here one of
them had his leg shot off he has since
died and the rest have gone I don't whare (where)
as it rains I guess I will write another sheet
PAGE IMAGE It's evening and I write on a box with
Leroy (Barnard, Leroy) our bayonet is our candle stick
you must not expect much on this sheet
but I will do as well as I can. I did not
tell you how we cooked our rations Mar[tin?]
Bouker (Bouker, Mar[tin?]) and. Ed Tompson (Tompson, Ed) cook them when we
have them we have not had any thing
since yesterday morning but sea biscuit
and coffee with out any sweetning (sweetening) you cant
think how hard they are. when I first saw
them I had no idea they were to eat but I soon
found out they were to eat and eat they
must be and eat they are they go tough. I
d'ont (don't) expect you could bite one any more than
you could bite a stone. but there is nothing like
getting us (used) to these things. there is a good deal
talk about enlisting in the regular army they
give an $100 and [60?] days furlough quite a number
of our boys say that they will enlist
about fifty enlisted to day from a
regement (regiment) just north of us for 5 years
PAGE IMAGE a rather short time to chaw these
biscuit I take it. I think on the whole I wont
enlist. what do you think about it. I think
I hear you say nary enlist Smith (Smith) and
Philo (Philo) are well and seem to be contented
I and Smith (Smith) have been over to a [sutters?]
tent it was about half a mile to get some
paper and envelopes they would not chang (change)
a bill unless we would take fifty cents
worth of trade so we have to just about give
away half our money to get a chance
to spend the rest. I s'pose (suppose) you have heard
that we stopped at Fredrick city when we come
out here we staid (stayed) three miles west of the city
one day and night so Horace (Horace) and I thought we
would take a walk out on a rebel camp ground
Captain Warren (Warren (Captain)) passed us by the guard and
we went over the hill down in the woods and
sit down where the rebels had their tent pretty
soon the patrol guard six of them came
along and rode up to us and wanted to see
our pass we told them we ha'vent (haven't) any pass they said their orders were to arrest all
PAGE IMAGE soldiers found out side their camp guard
with out a pass. we opened our eyes some
I think for we did not think much of being
took back to the city and cour martialed
we told that we were passed out by our
oficer (officer) they said that it made no diference (difference)
but they said they would not arest (arrest) then
but told us to go back and not go out
again without a pass they rode on and we
skedadled (skedaddled) back to camp on double quick.
perfectly satesfied (satisfied) with walking out with
out a pass. Thair (There) says tell Jim Wilson (Wilson, Jim)
that the rows in the orchard run the (the)
way the paddys dog did. all about
I heard that you had chief up there I am
glad of it I always wanted you to own him
write and let me know how he works
and how the mulies get along and all the
news up ther (there). we have some fun down here
when Billy Mitchell (Mitchell, Billy) gets started Billy (Mitchell, Billy) says
theres not but two privates in our company
and that one of them has runaway (run away) and
the other skedadled (skedaddled) he says the 123 (123rd Regiment, New York) will
PAGE IMAGE make Jackson  (Jackson, Stonewall (General)) s army (General Jackson's Army)  skedadled (skedaddled) over these
mountains so fast they will tare (tear) the bark
of (off) half the trees. that when these boys approched (approached)
the enemy fleeth I hardly know what else
to write. I had my hair cut yesterday I wish
you could see how I look. Horace (Horace) thinks
I had better get a file and have the rest of
it filed off. I look like time but Hod (Hod)
thinks he will have his'en (his) cut tomorrow
h'ed (he'd) look well to I think. but you know
I d'ont (don't) care as there's no girls down here
its in a fare (fair) way to grow out again before we
get back. but Aunt Polley (Tanner, Franklin (Mrs., Polly C.)) (Tanner, Polly C. (Mrs. Franklin Tanner)) I must close and
put up my things and shut the door I guess
I will leave it open seeing I have nothing to
hang up over it I would like to sleep in that
snug little chamber of yourn (yours) tonight wouldent (wouldn't)
it seem good. Tell Truman (Truman) I am waiting an
answer from that letter I wrote to him give my
love to our folks and save a part for yourselves
tell John (John) to writ (write) my tent mates send their
respects to you I send my respects to Perry (Perry) and
Louise (Louise) and all the rest around there

From Henry (Welch, Henry)

..write soon

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