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13th and 30th Maine Infantry - Lincoln Conspirators

Item LTR-309
May 28, 1865 Dexter Jewett
Price: $395.00


4 page original Civil War soldier's letter, written in period ink and war dated.

Camp on the Arsenal Grounds
Washington May 28, 1865

Dear Mother,

I suppose you think it strange because I have not written to you before but as we are now guard the road that the men who are trying the conspirators travel to the penitentiary to prevent anybody from picking them off for there have been a great many threats made against them.

We have but a very little time to write for there are thirty five men on guard out of our company which has only forty five men on duty. The rest being detailed somewhere else. We were relieved last Sunday to go on the big review on Tuesday and it was a big thing. The streets were crowded with thousands of persons and about every housetop. When we passed the Capitol we kept a stiff upper lip for some of our big generals were there but I managed to look sideways and the square in front of the Capitol was crowded with the fair sex which made me look all the more. After passing the Capitol we marched up Pennsylvania Avenue past the President’s residence and we were double quicked past there and we had the name of doing the best of any of the troops for it is hard work for a large body of men to go at such a rate without missing step but we were cheered considerablely. After the review we started for camp but on going through one of the streets the ladies requested Col Hubbard to halt us which he did and they passed us sweet pies, cakes, coffee lemonade and as much as we wanted. After that we went to camp.

The night before the review we had a dress on the grounds where we bivouacked and General Custer complimented us highly. He said that we were the best drilled regiment that he ever saw in the U.S. service and that is something for him to say. He is the queerest man for a general that ever I saw. He has got long hair that reaches down to his shoulders and is curled and he wears a large slouched hat. He looks more like a Quaker than any thing else but he is a smart cavalry general.

I don’t know whether they are going to discharge us or not but there is a story that we are going home on a sixty day furlough but I don’t believe it is true. I have not had any papers nor letters from anyone for a long time and I have to think that you all believe there ever was such a chap as Jewett anywhere.

I must close now so good bye for the present.

From your son
Dexter Jewett
Co H, 30th Maine Volunteers
Washington, D.C.