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14th New Hampshire Infantry - Wounded at Opequan, VA

Item LTR-5938
June 1, 1864 John W. Sturtevant
Price: $225.00


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

Camp 14th New Hampshire Volunteers
Camp Parapet, Louisiana

June 1st 1864

Dear Friends at Home,

In camp again and under canvas once more. It seems good and old fashioned. You know I am always best satisfied in the field. This playing citizen, living in houses and doing officer work when you are a soldier never pleased me. Yesterday, we of the 14th were all relieved at Headquarters and returned to our Regiments. Adjutant Wright and Captain Berry went with me down town and got our pay yesterday. After that we looked around the French part of the city below Canal Street. It is an old fashioned place and makes me think of pictures I have seen in Geographic’s of cities of Europe. Jackson Square is a beautiful place. Some of the finest flowers that I ever saw. We did not come up to camp until this morning. So this is my first day in camp since we left Harpers Ferry. Our hours of duty are as follows: Reveille 5:30 am; breakfast 6; drill from 7 to 8; dinner 12; supper 5; and dress parade 6; Battalion drill from 6:30 to 7:30. I have just come in from Battalion drill and am as hot as a fire. I presume we shall get away from line by Sunday or Monday for Marganzia. Muster all hands are ready and anxious to go. For we shall be 200 miles farther North and on higher and more healthy ground. I have made every arrangement to go. Have gotten a nice camp bedstead made which I shall take. The thing that will humble us most will be the absence of mail and the daily newspapers. How fortunate. Thank you as by the last mail, I had eight letters and all of them very interesting. Two from you and written the 15th and one the 16th acknowledging the receipt of all my letters up to May 5th. I was glad to hear from you and home and to learn you were all so well and getting along so finely. Don’t you think we are better off “primarily” more than ever before? Providence seems to smile on us truly. The Sutler has sent you a draft in Boston for the $200.00, which you will probably have received before this. I shall send him $50.00 of my last month’s pay as soon as I decide in what way to send it. I think more of my boys will get a sick furlough and I shall lend them the money to go home. They will send it to you after he gets home. I have to pay back John Woodward $5.00, which his folks will pay you and you can keep it for your birthday present. You don’t know how often I think of you and how anxious I am that you shall not work yourselves to death. Take things easy and enjoy yourselves. I got your Sentinels, all of them. Also a Journal and Springfield Republican. Al sent me some papers and also Horatio. I had a letter from Lizzie T. and one from Stine, one from Al and one from Sergeant Gerauld at Washington. I read the extract from the Journal concurring Fort Bunker. It is an insult to every officer in the Regiment. Frank was dishonorably dismissed from the service by General Banks. He went to Washington and with his father and Senator Allrich, both of them mean and scoundrels, succeeded in getting the President to revoke the decision and then got “Perley” to telegraph it to the Journal.

No officer ever was accused of selling or using the rations of enlisted men and the whole thing is a lie. I wish you would take pain to brand it so. Your thought is unfortunate that we came to New Orleans but in view of the trouble fighting in Virginia. I think you must have changed your opinion. You must have no fears of the rebs doing anything in this Department at present. They are finding enough to do to try and take care of Grant in Virginia and Sherman in Alabama. Everything looks finely for us and I think this campaign will be the last. I need not tell you that one gallon of whiskey would last me a year instead of a month. I have never seen anything yet to make me regret the pledge H. and I made you before we left home. But on the contrary I am growing stronger in it every day. I have with me some whiskey and brandy which I confiscated while P.M.. We shall take it up the river with me to give to the boys if they need it. Tell Father I find no difficulty in inspecting Cavalry or doing anything else that turns up. I guess I am some like Mother. You will see by letters I have written that I have received your letter by Horatio containing an account of Caleb’s death. Tell Father to go on in his good work of leaving off chewing of tobacco. I wish you would send me a statement of my finances. I am very careless in monetary affairs. If my reckoning is right, I have $350 and $50 in the bank besides my 200, now on the way making $600.00 in all. H. and I are getting the right idea of living and are trying to save instead of spending our money. I built a great many “airy castles” of going into business on my capital when the war is over. I am sorry Linda Warden was so unsuccessful. If she had set herself up at auction then would have been more of a crowd. Remember me to all the friends who inquire after me. Its getting late and the mosquitoes are thick and I must take a bath before I go to bed so I will close. Our mail does not go until the 3rd, so if anything new occurs I will write some more.

Ever your affectionate Son,

J. W. Sturtevant

Direct as usual to New Orleans