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7th Indiana Infantry

Item LTR-5843
April 26, 1863 Theodore Longwood
Price: $155.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages written in period ink.

Camp 7th Indiana
Saturday, April 26th 1863

Dear Sister,

After so long a time I will try to write you a short letter as it has been some time since I have written you a letter. You will understand that I have got to the regiment. I left the hospital on the 11th. Then I stayed at the Camp of Distribution until the 21st on which day I started to the regiment. There was nothing of any note transpired on my journey more than I had a very pleasant trip on the boat while it was ploughing its way down the Potomac to Aquia Landing. From there we got on that is known by the name of Rockland which landed at Bell’s Landing. From there we marched to the regiment, the distance of about one mile from there.

I wish you could have been here when I came in the tent. Mort was on his back almost asleep when I stepped in. I woke him up. He was very much surprised when he woke to see me standing in front of him. We laughed and cried both at once. You never say two boys as we were. We have had very pleasant times talking about old times. He asks me questions until he gets tired and then to rest him. I would commence my clatter and keep him answering questions until he had no peace. And then the next he got hold of my knapsack and there was nothing in it that was not seen by him.

Then to get me acquainted with a soldier’s life. We got orders the next morning to get three days rations ready and prepare to march. We got into line and before we had time to execute the order. It was countermanded and we returned to camp where we are now. We are still under marching orders and we are liable to be called away at any time.

It has been very stormy for the last two or three days. Nearly all the boys that stay in our tent are out on picket. There is but three in here now – Mosh, James Tinker and myself. The pickets have to stay out 5 days at a time. It will be my time in a few days.

Our camp discipline is very strict. The first thing we have to do in the morning is to blacken our boots, clean our guns and get ready for inspection at 7 o’clock a.m. Company drill at 9 o’clock and dress parade in the evening. And then that has their gun and clothes in the best order is released from fatigue duty for that day and those that does not keep their guns bright has to do all the sweeping about the camp. I will give Morty praise for he keeps his gun and clothes as neat as a pin and all the officers and privates would do anything for him. He always does his duty as a soldier and by doing so he gains friends every day.

I wish you could see our little tent. I know you would laugh to see us cooking a pot of beans and eating our own bread and dinner. I am well satisfied with the soldier’s camp life. We have about 55 men in our company and about 45 able for duty. All is quiet here now.

Doubleday’s Division made a quite successful reconnaissance on last Tuesday. They went to Port Royal and crossed the Rappahannock and captured several rebels and some important papers and returned yesterday.

Morty got a letter from William last evening and one from Carrie and also a pretty letter that Willie sent to him. Ort says he will answer them in a few days. I would write one to Carrie and Willie today if I had time. I will have to be in haste for it is almost time for our dress parade. When you write again, please tell me if you ever got the three pictures I sent you. Morty and I sent our pictures to Ma this morning. I have not had a letter from Aurora since the 16th of February now. As I have nothing of importance to write, I will close for the present. Please look over all mistakes and I will try and do better next time. Please write soon. I still remain your affectionate brother as ever.

Yours truly,

Theodore Longwood

Dora is released from hospital and gets back to camp.