Item Description: Letter, 18 January 1864, from Edwin W. Sampson to his parents and siblings when he was an officer in the 145th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. In it he discusses the quality of life with the Union camp and various goings on and discusses some of what his family wrote to him in previous letters.
[Item transcription available below image]
Camp at Oakgrove near Shepardstown
Monday January 18th 1864
Dear ones at home
I received your letter of the 13th ? last night. I am well and hope that this will find you all the same.
I wrote you a letter yesterday afternoon. So I haven’t got much of any thing to write about today, but as I have not anything else to do I thought that I would try to write away a short line in writing to you hoping that the practice with the pen will repay? me for both paper and stamps.
It cornered to rain this morning and is poring down both steady and fast. It really looks as though we are going to have another (real?) wet time of it. It is quite warm. Colnol Brown takes comand of the Brigade to day. I rather half wish it was the Regt but yet I wish to see him a high a possible for he deserves it for he’s a thorough soldier. Dinor time.
After dinar. We had a good dinor it taist quite home like. It was a kind of a beefe stew with dumplings in it. We have a nice citchen and dining. Room Oakley is cheaf cook Beebe is taking care of the captains horse and asists Oakley. You may laugh but we have one of them Virginia Bake ovens a stove pot covered with a big heavy lid and you cover it up with coles. So we have rost meete and Oakley says that he will bake us some biscuts or Salaraty’s cakes, but I can tell ? he can do it or not. better after he trys it. We have buckwheat cake every morning for breakfast. ? ? started for home to day on a social furlough of twenty days to get his teeth fixt. he lives near. Edinbiuro’s C.B. Captain Hamlin lives sleeps and eats with us but he has the ? tent up over at head quarters which he uses as a office. he has nothing to do with the company at all that is in my command altogether. I will draw two dollars out in May for every month that I command the loo?. There is about fifty two Privates six corporals two sergeants and one captain and one Liet or two Leits and no captain. goes out of the Regt every day on Picket and about twenty even on camp guard and just about the lame ? every other day for Brigade Guarde. That is calling us very heavey for duty but we have only got to go a very little wages to get to the Picket line. Which makes it a grate deal pleasanter then it was last winter for we always had to get up before day light last winter and then did not get out to the Picket line before noon, and now they can sleep until after day break and then where the able picket before nine o’clock Libbie I am sorey to hear you talk so discouragingly about playing the Guitar and singing. But keep on you will probably lirn yet and if you dont you can lirn all the rest of the family. Thare can be some musical started out of some of them. I am sure for they can most all sing if you cannot. I hope that I will ? some good playing and singing when I come home ? that is if it ain’t to quick? I am glad to hear that the 111th Regt have enlisted again and I hope that they may get thare ranks well filled up while home thare on a furlough. although they will get a grate many men in their Regiment that would of come into this Regment if they had not of enlisted and gone home. They are a good Regt and deserve a warm welcome home I hope that they will ? some of them copperheads that are usualy blowing about thare and thare is no doubt ? they will if they open their heads. I will be under the necessity of drawing this to a close as I hyaven’t nothing more to say and it is getting late and I have got to make out a ? for clothing Camp and Garison equipage right of Evans received a letter from Daniel Farer and answered it yesterday. It has held up from raining just now but I will soon comence again soon. . if you can judge by apearances you need not think that I am short up for paper because I sent this torn sheet but I well knew that I could not fill this. We have plenty of paper Uncle Sam ? wishes it for us. I wish that you would tell Henry to write. I don’t think that it would hurt ? the least but I will bet you all a most ?tionate good bye. From your loving Son and Brother
Edwin W. Sampson