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211th Pennsylvania Infantry

Item LTR-5926
November 18, 1864 William Reed Moore
Price: $225.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 5 pages written in period ink.

Camp 211th P.V. Nov 18th 1864

Dear Friends,

The time has come when I feel like conversing a few minutes with my dear old friends at home. I esteem it a very great privilege to converse even in this tardy way with those whom I love as dearly as I do my own Father and Mother. I tell you Uncle John and Aunt Mary and sister Emma your kindness to me will not very soon be forgotten and if I am never able fully to repay it, there is one, who has said, “In as much as ye have done it unto me,” He will never forsake you but will in this life repay you many fold and give you in the next life eternal.
My health still remains most excellent. I have not seen an unwell day nor hour since I enlisted. No one could enjoy better health than I do. The rest of our Hickory boys are all well I believe. I fact there is very little sickness in the company now. A box of goodies came to James Baker and Lambert Coon yesterday I believe. They are now enjoying the benefit of its contents.
Boxes are coming for the boys now every day. I don’t know when mine will be here but I will get one some of these days. We are still in the same place where we were when I last wrote you. I am now detached from the regiment and am connected with a Brigade of Pioneers Corps. We are encamped about 200 rods from the regt so that although not exactly in the same camp, we are yet so near as to be able to see each other almost daily. In my present position I am relieved of the very unpleasant matter of night picket duty. I have my rest regularly now and am not compelled to be out in the rain any of any account. So you see my condition is materially changed for the better.
The boys are having all the picket duty to perform that they want and I guess a little more. They are out every alternate night and these cold nights to sit up and keep awake all night with no fire, is rather an uphill business. The officers are very strict and the orders peremptory and rigid. We have good winter quarters built up and everything looks like a permanent stay. Perhaps a description of my shanty would not be uninteresting to you. It is just 6 ft by 9 and four of us occupy it. The floor is made of mother earth and the roof of muslin. The building is made of pine poles about 6 inches in diameter. The shanty from the ground to the eve is 4 ½ ft high and the roof id about quarter pitch. The door is 18 inches wide and 3 feet high, so you see I have to humble myself to enter my own dwelling. We have two beds in our house. One over the other and about 1 ½ ft above. One bed is made of boards which some of the boys “drew” the other is made of clapboard, split out of a pine tree. Two of us occupy each of these beds. I have a splendid fireplace in my house and a chimney outside which surpasses all the chimneys you ever saw (in ugliness). I made it (my fireplace and chimney) without either brick, stone or iron. For a mantle I got a small pole and strung it full of tin cans with both ends knocked out. This makes a splendid mantle. My fireplace is 2 feet wide and 18 inches high. I am now cooking some pork and beans for my supper on this model fireplace.
I dammed by house with the trowel which nature gave me, (vis) my hands. I picked up a handful of mud and standing back at a safe distance I let drive and an air hole is invariably closed. While I write this letter very heavy cannonading is going on in the direction of South Side R.R. This is no new thing however as it is kept up almost all the time.
But I close for the present.
I thank you for the paper you sent me. Write soon and tell me all about my dear friends and my dear Sunday school. I have heard the mournful intelligence of the death of my beloved dear friend Mrs. Moses.
W.R. Moore

Emma have you ever received the picture yet? I have written to the artist in Meadville concerning the matter and mother’s has since come to hand all right. Tell Mrs. McNabb that hers will be forth coming as soon as it comes to my parents. I have had a great deal of trouble about these pictures.
May God bless you my dear Sister. Still continue to pray for me that I may be a good and valiant soldier in the glorious army of our Lord. Strive to live very close to Jesus your rock and sure defense.
W Reed Moore
Co D 211th P.V.