Letter – John Daniels, 13 August 1863


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Letter written by Private John S. Daniels of Company B, 2nd NH Volunteer Infantry, to his siblings, from the camp at Point Lookout, MD. Daniels tells his siblings that he has time to write due to the current foul weather. A terrible thunderstorm came up the night before and blew over several tents. Daniels asks how the draft is faring in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and wonders if any of his family members have joined. He says that he has plenty of rations, and describes the food he has been eating recently. He also describes shooting “Grays” at Gettysburg, comparing it to shooting ducks. Daniels mentions that he will receive his monthly wages soon.

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Camp of 2nd N.H. St. Mary’s Co.

Point Lookout Md. Aug 13th 63

Dear Brother and Sister

As it is rainy, and I havent much to do I thought I would write you a few lines and let you know I am alive and about as cross as they make them.

Here I am in the land of milk and Honey, without a cent of money, every think a plenty, and pockets all empty only one old handkerchief an old jack knife and an old wallet with Mt in all the partings. but never mind. if I dont have it I wont spend it. for they wont trust the and with a Pint of Whiskey out of their sight. but I can fool them once in

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a while. make them believe I am a big mans son, or some big Generals waiter and then they will trust me, and I guess they will mistrust me one of these days if I milk their cows as much as I have since I came here but they are most all Secesh here and I dont know as there is any hurt getting their milk is there?

We had one of the awfulest thunder showers I ever dreamed of last night it Hailed and the wind blew and such thunder and lightning I never saw or heard. down came tents and away went things that were in them. the old Drs. tent blew over and he got as wet as a drowned rat. wernt I glad? some lay and hung onto their tents to hold them up, and some let them go and lay and took it. but mine is lik the wise mans house the wind and storm dont affect it.

Well Frank how is the draft going on in Mass and N.H. have they drafted in N.H. yet and who are the lucky ones I know that are coming? dont I hope it will be some of my

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Cousins! I wish I could pick the men from Hopkinton wouldnt I make some of the secesh start?

Well! I dont know as I have much news to write now. for it is only a few days since I wrote to you. My health is better than it was a week ago. I have got so I can eat a good share of my rations. if I can have plenty of [???] and milk to go with them. I went the other day and got about 4 Qts of damsons, and I go round and beg sugar to sweeten them, and it make very good eating. or would if I had some of Marms Butter, and some Pumpkin Pie to top off with—————— I heard from George a few days ago. he wrote me Father had a sore hand and couldnt work. have you heard any thing of it? I hope it wont be sore for long for it is a bad time to have sore hands now.

How is Tyler getting along now? did he go Trouting while he was in N.H. and did he shoot any Stripers while he was there. he aught to have been out at Gettysburg, and he could have had some Grays to shoot at. I had a

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good chance to try my skill there. got so I could fetch one nearly every time. I dont think I wasted as many shots as I have before now on a gray [duck] at Home.

I want you or Tyler to send me a box of Maple Sugar any where from 25 to 50 lbs I would send home but you can get it cheaper and better in Boston Market than they can there, and they have it all packed ready to send you might mail it over a little and mark on it Keep dry. and send it by express send a bill of it and what you pay per pound Express &c and I will send you the pay for it as soon as we are paid off. they say we are going to be paid next week. if we aint we will the first of Sept and then we will get four months pay.

Direct to John S. Daniels

Co. B 2nd N.H. Vols

Martins Brigade Washington D.C.

Point Lookout, MD

Love to all, write soon and remember your Brother, (write when you send the Box


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I will send you a shell or two that I picked up when I were out on picket would send you more if they were [dentures?]

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When you write home tell them I am well and shall write before long if I can get any paper and stamps. I sent the last stamp I had today but guess I can get one to send this, and I dont want to write any more till I get some answers.

John S. Daniels, age 21, from Hopkinton, NH, enlisted on August 9, 1862 at Hopkinton as a private in Company B of the 2nd NH Infantry. He was wounded on June 3, 1864 at Cold Harbor, VA, and discharged at Concord, NH on May 17, 1865. Later Daniels became a member of G.A.R. Post 120, Lowell, MA. He died March 12, 1910.

Letter – Bainbridge Wadleigh, 10 December 1864


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Letter written by New Hampshire senator Benjamin Wadleigh from Milford, NH. It is addressed to “Charley” and was among a group of letters identified to Charles Wilkins of the 1st US Infantry. However, at this time Charles had been dead for over a year. It is possible the letter was intended for Charles H. Bell instead, Wadleigh’s successor in the senate. In it Wadleigh asks the recipient why he has not responded to any previous letters, blaming a “Mrs. C” for taking up all of Charley’s time. Wadleigh then goes on to discuss politics and the war.

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Milford, NH, Dec. 10, 1864

Dear Charley:

    Why do you not write me? I would like to know what reason you can give for such an unconscionable delay. I have been expecting to hear from you every day but have uniformly been disappointed. I begin to think that the time which you gave to your friends before is now occupied by Mrs. C. That is all right, but drop a line now & then if you can.

    Things are jogging along here in the same old fashion. We are listening intently to hear the shout of Sherman’s men when they reach the coast of the Atlantic. It is now nearly or quite time to hear from him. I do not believe that there is anything to stay his triumphant march, & that the Rebel reports of his disasters are only whistling to keep their courage up. When he does get through I shall expect to see Grant reinforced and Richmond taken.

     Today we are having the first snow storm of the season. There are many indications that it will stay, and that we shall now have sleighing continuously. I don’t care how soon it comes, for we are more comfortable here with snow than without it in cold winter weather. At Washington you can’t have the luxury of sleigh rides.

     I suppose that by the time this reaches you Renel

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Durbee will be in Washington. You must get acquainted with him if you want to know common sense and homely shrewdness incarnate. Renel is the most original man in N.H. today. I should like to be present at the interview between him and Old Abe.

     It now looks as though Fred Smyth would be nominated for governor, and Rollins is absolutely certain of the Congressional nomination. I suspect that we shall have a hard fight next spring in which the main issue will be the financial management of this state, and the general government. They say that the “nuterified” are made to believe that they can carry the state, though such a belief indicates a vast amount of faith and hope. And through an amount of faith equal to a grain of mustard seed might have been sufficient to remove mountains in Christ’s day, the article must have been a good deal purer than any which our McClellanites have now.

     Gen. Marston is to be a candidate for congress in the first district. He could get almost anything he wished if he had not such a violent, ungovernable temper, of which innumerable anecdotes are told. As it is I hardly think that he will get it though it is possible.

     In this town the democrats profess to be well satisfied with the president’s message. Even Dr. Stickney commends it and said yesterday to Fordyce, Hutchinson, & myself,

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that he sees nothing in it which any reasonable man can object to. I think that it is a model state paper for the people. There is no indirectness, evasion, or “high fulutin” about it. But there is an honest manliness which is sublime. God bless old Abe. I say, and so do the people.

     But I have but little time and many letters to write. Let me hear from you. Remember me to Ordway, Ned and “last but not least,” your wife. Tell Tom to write me. Write soon.

                                Yours truly,

B. Wadleigh

Bainbridge Wadleigh was a Republican United States Senator from New Hampshire. He attended Kimball Union Academy, studied law, and began practicing in Milford after he was admitted to the bar in 1850. He served as a member of the NH House of Representatives for several terms before being elected to the US Senate in 1873. He died in 1891.