1862 Letter - 29th Massachusetts at Newport News - Fort Henry Victory

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1862 Letter - 29th Massachusetts at Newport News - Fort Henry Victory

129.99

Item No. 8399355

Offered here is an interesting 1862 Civil War soldier letter written by Sergeant John Murrey Atwood of the 29th Massachusetts Volunteers from the regiment’s camp near Newport News, Virginia. In the letter, Atwood discusses the dreadful conditions in his camp as well as the federal victory at Fort Henry in Tennessee.

Camp Butler
Newport News Feb 9th / 62

Dear Sister

I received your letter last Thursday eve with Father’s and was glad to hear that yourself and family were all well. I am well and tough as a pine knot again. The Company were never more healthier than it is at the present time. We have only one man sick at present and he is not sick bad. We have awful weather, though, to make anyone sick. It storms nearly all the time. I don’t believe we have had a dozen pleasant days for two months and it is awful underfoot. The clay and mud is nearly ankle deep. I did not intend to write to you until next week, as there is not much to write about, but the boys in my shanty are all on guard today. I thought I had better write today, it being still here for when they are all at home a man can’t tell whether he is writing or talking half the time. I have just come in from inspection and a nasty time it was for it, for we have to lay our knapsacks right down in the mud or anywhere else so that they can inspect our clothes. We have an inspection of everything every Sunday, even to our shanty. So you see that we have to keep pretty clean. If we don’t we are told of it and like enough put in the guard house. That is all right enough if it want so some of the men would be dirty and lousey.

I suppose you have heard of the Victory at Henrys Island, for fear that will not hear of it I will just mention it. Gen. Mansfield here has just received a telegraphic dispatch stating that our troops had taken the Island with one Gen, five Cols, and any quantity of men, besides forty Cannons. This is good news and I think it is a pity that we can’t do something in this part of the state, as well as in the West, but never mind. Perhaps we shall have a trial at it yet, if they attack Norfolk as they talk of now. We have rumors of attack on our Camp here every day, but the old troops pay no more attention to it than they do to the winds blowing, but it’s fun to see and hear our new recruits. It frightens them almost to death.

I will send you that picture, but if Winnie goes home before I sent the others you can give her yours and I will send another one. There is no more in the Camp now, or I should have sent them this time, but the man is going to have some in about two weeks and then I will send them. I got the Rock and Old Colony last week but don’t know who they came from, but supposed they came from some of the family. Anyway i am much obliged to whoever sent them, as there is not anything more of importance to write about this time, I will close for this time by bidding you good bye for a few days. Give my respects to all my friends who may inquire for me. That’s all this time.

Write again soon
Murrey


The letter was written upon all four pages of a 4 1/2” x 7 1/2” stationery sheet. It is in excellent condition with very little wear to edges and corners. Little foxing and toning.

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