1862 Letter by Private David E. Hoxie, 10th Massachusetts - Alexandria Convalescent Camp - Schooner Collides with Steamer Bay State


1862 Letter by Private David E. Hoxie, 10th Massachusetts - Alexandria Convalescent Camp - Schooner Collides with Steamer Bay State


Item No. 2741669

An interesting 1862 soldier letter written by Private David E. Hoxie of the 10th Massachusetts Volunteers. Writing from the convalescent camp near Alexandria, Hoxie discussed his and his father’s attempt to secure a discharge from Lieutenant Colonel Joseph B. Parsons. Hoxie must have been home on a furlough or medical leave because much of the letter discusses his multi-leg journey to Alexandria via New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, a collision at sea, and the familiar faces he met along the way. His condition must not have improved greatly, because Hoxie is listed as having been discharged in March 1863. The letter reads:

Camp near Alexandria Va
Nov 25th 1862

Dear Parents & Sister
You have been looking for a line from me before this perhaps, but when I tell you of all that has happened to me since I last wrote you, you will not wonder at the time that has elapsed since you last heard from me. I received a letter from Esther and Father last wednesday morning in which Father said he was going to see Col Parsons again about my discharge &c. I was sorry it happened just as it did that I had to leave Camp Day the same afternoon that I received the letter for if I had not perhaps I need not have come on at present into this Camp which is anything but pleasant but if I can get on to the Regt. soon I don’t care.

Lieut. (formerly Sergeant) Bishop is here and one of our privates (Howe) also a number (30) belonging to other companies of the 10th.

I left Camp Day as I said before last Thursday afternoon. Went to New York by Fall River route from Fall River by Steamer Bay State about 8 A.M. Came in collision with a schooner, knocking away her bow sprit and cutwater and smashing in one wheelhouse of the Bay State and making a hole in the boiler, but doing no other damage except frightening some of the passengers on board. (There was 26 soldiers besides a Lieutenant and Captain of the 21st Regt. came on with me.) We arrived in N.Y. about six A.M. and marched to the Battery Barracks where we staid until 3 P.M. the next day before we could get transportation. About noon I asked a boy if he knew where 42 Park Place was. He said yes. I gave him ten cents and a note to Uncle Sylvester. In about an hour he came back with a note from him in which he said he would come and see me before four o’clock. He came about 3 and staid until 5.

He told me Henry Bates had been in to see him since he received my note and that the 52 were at the City Hall.

About 6 o’clock the Captain came in and said we would not go on until ten the next day, so I started off for the City Hall. Arrived there went in and inquired of some ladies there where the 52d Mass were. They said they had gone to Franklin St Barracks. I turned to go out when a man came in and inquired for them. I turned around to see if I knew him but did not. He wanted to know if I belonged to that Regiment. I told him I belonged to the 10th. He asked where I was from and said he came from Northampton too. His name was Jones. Uncle I said he knew him. Did you? His Father was Nat. Jones.

Well, we went on to Franklin Street and found the boys all right and enjoying themselves. Tommy was writing a letter. Gene was drinking coffee when I went in and, appeared to feel pretty well notwithstanding he lost the quarter masters berth. The East & West Hampton boys were somewhat surprised to see me, but I was more surprised to hear of Bliss as Captain. But I was glad he did get a commission.

I made the 52d boys quite a visit then went back to the Battery Barracks again. It was about nine when I got back, but I took it into my head to go over to Brooklyn.

You know Brother the Howard Avenue Ferry is near Castle Gardens.

I had never been over but I inquired my way along and at last found the right place. Willie was at home. The rest were out but came home soon. I staid over night and went over to N.Y. with Willie. We started for Philadelphia about 3 P.M. Arrived there about 7 P.M. Took supper there at the volunteer refreshment rooms and staid till 3 A.M. when we started for Baltimore. Arrived there about nine Sunday morning where we had to stay until nine Monday morning. In the evening I went over to Mr Clarkes and saw Carrie and Julia.

We came on from Baltimore in a freight train and were until 4 o’clock P.M. coming to Washington (40 miles).

We came over to Alexandria yesterday morning and are now in the convalescent camp a little way out from Alexandria on the Orange and Alexandria R.R. There are men here from nearly every Regiment in the U.S. service.

I hope to get off soon but may not go for two months and may go in two days. If you have any news to write or if not you may write. If you have seen Col. Parsons or the Doctor and have sent a letter to Cambridge, it will go to the Regiment.

If you write direct to D. E. Hoxie Co. C. 10th Mass. Vol. Post Hospital near Alexandria Va.

I have no more news to write so will quite for this time. Please write soon.
Your aff. Son & Bro. Ned

The letter was written on seven pages of 5” x 8” stationery (two sheets). A portion of the second sheet was removed for some other purpose, but no writing from the letter is missing. It is in very good condition with light foxing and toning. Creased where originally folded.

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