Letter – William Morse, 18 November 1861


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Letter written by Private William H. Morse of Company C, 3rd MI Infantry, to his wife Lucy, from Fort Lyon, VA. Morse is glad to hear from his wife, and claims he will write her as often as she wishes. He says they are about to sign their pay rolls, and should get their monthly wages soon. He writes that camp is quite dull, and he has not seen much fighting in Virginia. He expects most of the winter fighting will take place in South Carolina. He asks about his son, and updates Lucy on family friends. Morse describes his dinner, remarking on the price and quality of food. He concludes by asking for photographs of his parents. A note on the side mentions that Johnson Whitney will likely be his company’s captain.

-Page 1-

For Lyon Virginia Nov 18th/61

Dearest Wife

I just read your kind letter and was very glad to hear from you it gives me great pleasure to have you write so often I should think you would get tired of reading my poor letters but as you dont I will write as often as you wish, your letter found me in good health as ever and I hope this will find you the same we are signing the pay rolls today I think we will get our pay within two or three days at the outside and and then I will send you some money

-Page 2-

I have no news to write this time times are quite dull here this fall I am afraid I shall not see much more fighting in the state of old Virginia the most of the fighting this winter will be done in South Carolina by the appearance of things at present it is quite cold here now there is a cold wind here all the time we wear our overcoats all the time we are quite comfortable you need not worry about me we have got our winter tents and got a stove in it so that things look quite like home tell father not to try to scare me about my dear baby I could

-Page 3-

not live without him take good care of the dear little lamb but I need not caution you for I know you will ben and george [?]arrot are well one of the boys that came from lowell is getting his papers to come home I think I will send all of my old letters home by him to you as I have no good place to keep them and I would not have one of them distroyed for anything if I send them I want you to take good care of them for we will look them over together when I come back wont we I saw Julia the other day she is well

-Page 4-

I will now resume writing I had to stop writing to go and eat my supper we had Bread and molasses and tea for supper I some times buy half a pound of Butter I dont buy much for it is so dear Butter is worth 25 cents a pound here and very poor at that it is firkin Butter and you could smell it forty rods milk is ten cents a quart and half water at that the folks around here try to cheat the soldiers out of all their money all they make out of me they are welcome to a good sised apple is worth five cents and every thing else in protion proportion tell father not to forget to send his and mothers likeness for I make great calculation on it I shall have to stop writing for this is all the paper I have got excuse poor writing and mistakes write soon

good by

To [???] Dear ones Forever Thine


PS Kiss Bub for me

-Page 4, Crosswritten-

When you write tell me wether Joseph has left the rapids or not

-Page 1 & 4, Upside down at top –

We have not got a captain for our company yet we expect Johnson Whitney will be our Captain

William H. Morse, age 24, enlisted with Company C of the 3rd MI Infantry at Grand Rapids, MI on June 10, 1861. He was wounded by a gunshot to the knee at the Battle of Fair Oaks, VA on May 31, 1862. The regiment lost 30 men killed, 124 wounded, and 1 missing. He was sent to a hospital in Philadelphia, PA, but later died there on August 8, 1862.

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