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Anxiety is, obviously, a genetic affliction. ...

Updated: Mar 27, 2023



October 8, 1862

Fort Preble, Portland, Maine



Dear Father and Mother,

I take an opportunity between drills to write you a letter. I have been here about long enough to expect one. I have written three and received none and I begin to feel anxious about the money I have sent. You must have received the 5 dollars that I sent by mail, if it did not miscarry.


We are healthy all that left Flint. I am growing heavy every day but I got off about my money affairs. I sent 15 dollars by express. I feel safe about that for I have just such a document as I sent home, so if the money is not drawn at one end of the journey it will be at the other.


I have not received the advance pay promised for one month but they say I will get that when the first pay day comes, but don't think that I think all about business and nothing about home.


My mind is there more than it ought to be for my own comfort, although I can't say exactly that I am homesick. I done all of that I mean to before I left home. The mail can come from home in 3 days at least, and I have not heard from you (...) And ma was not very well when I left.


There is 4 boys here by the name of May that come here with us that has lost their mother since they came here. I never saw boys that looked so down-hearted in my life.

We drill about 6 hours a day and cleaning buttons and epaulets and eating takes up 3 fourths of the time. No more till after forenoon drill. Frantz let kitty be.


We have got through drills and I will finish writing. We were in Portland last night and a party of Maine volunteers who thought it would be a nice notion to clean out a couple of regulars pitched in, without a word, only a refusal to drink or, rather, treat and one struck me in the face and we should have got a whipping if it had not been for my comrade's revolver. I must have one if I can after next pay day for 12 dollars.

Your affectionate son and brother, Josiah

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