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10th Massachusetts Light Artillery - Captured at Reams' Station - NEW

Item LTR-10556
March 1, 1863 William E. Endicott
Price: $245.00


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


March 1st 1863

Dear Mily,

Just a week ago today, you were writing to me. It was snowing with you and Oh! My! How it did snow with us. We stumbled out at noon and fired a salute of thirty-four guns in honor of Washington’s birthday. What is it about ages passed? Anything like this [small drawing of corral and horses]. Tell Aunt Hannah that the rings shall be forthcoming as soon as I can get a good piece of horn. I read a good story the other day about an Irishman who owned a worthless watch but managed to sell it by representing that it “never deceives him.” A day or two after the purchaser reproached him with ling. He excused himself by saying that it had never deceived him because he “never depended on it.” I don’t know whether I told Mary Allice that I did want her photograph or not. Well, I do. Tell her so will you. Tell her that I desire her to make my heartfelt apologies so Sarah Ames for my extra ordinary forgetfulness and tell her I will make it all right when I get m next dozen. I must write mother now so goodbye.

W. E. Endicott

Dear Mother,

Your last letter was a good long one. I will do as well as I can in return. Never be afraid to send a little cinnamon. It does not harm and may do some good. Grandmother guessed right the first time and it was fleece wool. I shall want you to give me as full an account of Mr. Chamberlain’s importation of books as possible. I guess that my Smithsonian books will arrive after a while. There is no hurry about then at any rate. I mean to write Aunt Patty today if I can get time. My object is to get Henry Billings or someone else in that vicinity to collect a few eggs for me this summer. I wish you could let Marion go to Mr. Alger’s. I can bear half the expense just as well as not. I have allotted ten dollars a month of m pay and I would a good deal rather have you put it to such a use than to any other. I shall have no use for the money while I am in the Arm and when I am discharged, as we all shall be soon, I can make as much as I shall have any need of. Send Marion by all means. You don’t say when the school is to begin.

I get along very well in my Greek; John ditto in his Latin, which he recites to me every night.

If Marion does go, I want her to study French now and Latin and Greek bye and bye.

I think, and always have thought, that Sanford Billings was a little beyond hid depth. He seemed to just rely upon his popularity in his own town, more than upon his own abilities. His choice of a name for his school seemed to bespeak rather a soft head. I have come out in a new character since my last letter. I have been a lawyer for about six hours. Having been “retained as counsel for defendant” in a court martial of which Acting Brigadier General Jewett as the President. There were two charges and four specifications against the prisoner William H. Martin. He plead guilty to the specifications and not guilty to the charges. I spent four hours in examining the witnesses and proved the prisoner’s innocence of both charges. I had everything to carry on myself as is according to military law. The court consisting of a brigadier, a colonel, two majors and three captains, having nothing to do but to write down the questions and answers, which I asked and my witnesses answered. The president and Captain Sleeper have since complimented me on m conduct of the case. So much for my first appearance as a lawyer. I must say to you as I have twice said to Mary, that it is no improvement to stick the letter to the envelope on the inside. It detracts rather.

Now I must enter upon a dark subject. An extraordinary flight of crows. About four o’clock every afternoon, they begin to come along and keep up a continued flight to the Sou ‘Lou’ East for two hours and a half. I made a calculation as to their numbers the other day, by counting the number that past a given point in a minute and estimated that there passed that day 63,000 crows! What would Massachusetts folks think to have all those make a descent upon the cornfields? What in the world does Lars want if Captain Tacker’s place? Floytrap is not a darkey but a Dane from Copenhagen. Papers seem to come pretty regularly now. I got an Ohio paper from M. C. the last mail. I suppose the Copperhead is Daniel Falter. That would be about his style of talking. I have yet to see the first taint of copperheads in the Army. However much it may prevail among the civilians. It isn’t so very bad to be on guard in the storm, snow or rain. Turn the cape of our coat over our head, face your back to the wind and it is very comfortable. The stories I tell are mostly from the Waverlys and a book that used to be in our library some years ago called “Evenings at Woodlawn.” It is a good time when I am on guard to repeat any Greek verbs and so do I.

Your affectionate son,