28th Maine Infantry
November 2, 1862
Jerome B. Knapp
4 pages, original Civil War soldier's letter written in period ink and war dated.
Fort Schuyler, Nov 2nd/62
I busy myself a few moments this beautiful day to inform you of matters and things here. I am well and enjoy myself first rate and have since I enlisted. I am quite poor for me. I don’t weigh only two hundred and ten. Quite thin but I guess I shall stand it.
We left August a week ago yesterday, intending to go to Washington. But it was reported that the measles was in our Regiment, so we were detained here for further orders. We shall leave before long, I expect. But where we shall go I don’t know. There is some talk that we shall go to Texas under Gen. Banks. We had a very rough time in coming here. We came to Fall River in the cars. There we took the boat for this place. It was gull stormy when we went on board. Soon the wind began to blow and the waves ran very high. But the worst of all, the boat leaked. There was about four feet of water in her.
She was an old boat that had been condemned. We sailed through the night by keeping the pumps going all night. We were saved. I knew not of our danger until the next morning. The soldiers were not permitted to go below and the officers did not let us know our danger. I knew it was rough but I expected the boat was tight.
It is very pleasant here today. I am seated in one of the portholes. Behind me is a ten- inch Columbiade. If it should go off, I fear it would hurt me a little. Before me is the beautiful bay on which is floating the Great Eastern, the greatest water craft ever known. It belongs to England. It is quite a sight to see it. Things look new and strange to me here.
I see nothing that looks like home. But I am delighted by so much excitement and the new sights that I see. Yet often is my mind carried back to the scenes of my childhood -
to the times when we went to school in the old schoolhouse. Yes, I think of my schoolmates and regret that I am not where I can associate with them. I wonder how you and Lewis get along. Did you have a good time to camp meeting? I wish I had been there. I saw Mary to Augusta and was sorry you did not come too. But I must close for the bugle is sounding for dinner. Write as soon as you get this and direct to:
J. B. Knapp, Co. A, 28th Me Regt
From a true friend,
Your letter will follow me if I’m not here.