1862 Letter by Private David E. Hoxie, 10th Massachusetts - Anxious for News of Burnside's Expedition

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1862 Letter by Private David E. Hoxie, 10th Massachusetts - Anxious for News of Burnside's Expedition

160.00

Item No. 5361374

An interesting early war letter written by Private David E. Hoxie of the 10th Massachusetts Infantry. Writing from camp near Washington, Hoxie wrote of the endless boredom of a soldier’s life. General Ambrose Burnside’s Expedition along the North Carolina coast was well underway, and Hoxie remarked how anxious the boys were to hear of the Expedition’s progress, writing, “since we hear there was only a few killed we are feeling pretty gay once more.” He lamented that the 27th Massachusetts, a newer regiment than his 10th, had been “first to go into a fight.” While he was envious of the troops fighting with Burnside, Hoxie was still appreciated the relative luxury of spending the cold winter months housed indoors in the camp’s barracks. “We shall feel bad to leave our houses and go into tents again,” he wrote, “but if we can see a rebel soldier or rebel flag we won’t complain.” The letter reads:

Camp Brightwood
Washington D.C. Feb 20th / 62

Dear Mother
Raining, raining all day long. No drilling and nothing at all to do except lay abed. Oh dear this is a lazy life sometimes. At others one has about all he wanted to do, Every night about half past six or seven o’clock if you were to drop into our barracks you would see as many as twelve out of sixteen men writing letters. Night, or rather, evening is a peculiar and good time to write for it is not so still during the day and we generally work on our guns getting them clean and keeping them so. If one cares anything about trying to make a good soldier her will make it a point to keep his gun & equipments clean & bright. One of the company were excused by the Col. from Grand guard because their guns looked so well. I think however this company will not be very soon for there are a few who do not care for anything only for time to pass away.

We are having gay times in camp now hearing such good news every day. But I will refer you to A.L.E. [Private Lewis Endicott, also of Hoxie’s Company C] letter in the next Gazette for all that. He was reading it to us the other night. He always writes two or three letters every evening and if I could write as fast & as interesting as he does I should think it a pleasure.

We were for a few days very anxious to hear from the boys in the Burnside Expedition but since we hear there was only a few killed we are feeling pretty gay once more.

One of the boys in my bunk has a brother who was dangerously wounded in the thigh & another has one who was wounded in the arm severely, not dangerously.

None of the boys have received letters yet from Roanoke but are looking for one everyday. Has Mr. Witherell heard from John yet. When I came here into the 10th I did not think that new 27th would be the first to go into a fight. It does seem as if we were only kept here for a show & to play soldier. We expect to have a great time the 22d of this month. It is reported in Camp that this Brigade & perhaps Division is invited to visit the city. How true it is I know not, but if it is true & we do go, we shall have a hard time of it before we get home. Home I said. Well it does seem like home now. We have been here so long and have so good barracks. We shall feel bad to leave our houses and go into tents again, but if we can see a rebel soldier or rebel flag we won’t complain.

I have written to Charlie Judd but do not know as I directed it right & he may never get it. You will see by Enicott’s letter that some of our boys are going out to Cairo to win their laurels. The day they left the Col. went around and asked each one if he had any money & treating them just as he would his own sons he talked to them like a Father, gave them ten dollars to get refreshments on the road, and says he, Boys Give a good account of yourselves. Would every Col. do as much for his men as he did? No.
Yours &c.
Ned

The letter was written on four pages of a 5” x 8” stationery sheet. It is in excellent condition with very little foxing or toning. Creased where originally folded. There is a tear along the centerfold, extending from the bottom about 2”.

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