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100th New York Infantry

Item LTR-5637
April 18, 1863 Charles E. Walbridge
Price: $145.00


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

Folly Island, SC
April 18, 1863

Dear Brother,

I think received a letter from you about a week ago and one from Minnie, Annie and Harry at the same time. I cannot find your letter and am not certain about having received it. You must excuse me for being so outspoken and must not imagine from my remark that your letters are not precious to me. But lately, we have been bumming around so much and everything is so topsy turvy that it’s hard for one to keep things straight.

I wrote a letter to mother the other day giving a detailed account of our doings. I mentioned at the tail of it that we were once more upon the noble isle of Folly. Nothing unusual has happened. We use extraordinary precautions against a surprise. We detail three companies every night to go out and support the pickets. Las night Company H was in the duty. We had everything nicely fixed I can tell you and I was almost in hope that a few rebs would come over so that I could get pay for the men I had wounded and captured. The enemy are in very strong force on James Island. When we returned to this Island, it was intended to evacuate but day before yesterday, the authorities concluded to hold it so I suppose we will be here some time. I believe we are to be reinforced. There are now but four other regiments on the island. All of them smaller than the 100th and a battery (of course it is needless to remind you that the figures which I gave you especially in the letter to mother, should not be generally known).

The weather is very warm. It almost reminds me of Harrisons Landing. If it were not for the sea breeze. I don’t know what we should do. The island is mostly wooded, has a sandy soil, with some swamp land. We have very good water which is a great benefit. The 100th are camped about the center of the island. The 39th Illinois occupying the camping ground which we had when on the island before. Which is about a mile further up. We are greatly annoyed especially in the evening and nights by a species of sand fleas or gnats. They torment one terribly. When I came off picket at the head of the island, my hands and wrists looked as if I had some contagious disease. The bites swell up in great white bunches and smart for five or six days after they are inflicted.

I expect we shall get a mail today or tomorrow. It is more than a week since we had one.

It seems perfectly natural to be on duty with my company again. I really enjoy it. Being detached for a few months has broken the monotony and it seems like commencing a new quarter at school, to start in again.

I don’t suppose there is much prospect of my getting the position of A.Q.M. If the attack on Charleston had been successful, I should have had much more hope. But I hardly think the department at Washington will feel like bestowing any favors on the department at present and I don’t myself think it deserves any.

I have not seen a paper of later date than the 1st. Though there is a paper in camp of the 7th and one at Headquarters of the 8th. The Herald of the 7th they say contains an account of the landing of the 100th on Cole Island. Captain Payne was telling me that he saw in one of the papers an account of a very extensive bead, not in Richmond. If such riots get into fashion in the confederacy, goodbye to the present administration.

We received orders yesterday to make out muster rolls to send to the Provost Marshal General for the purpose of having the regiment filled with drafted men. The same order has been sent I suppose to the whole army. I think the drafting policy is the true one and much better than the plan of offering bounties. I also am decidedly in favor of putting the drafted men into old regiments in preference to making new regiments of them.

I am much please with Wilhelmina’s photograph. She has changed considerably since I left you. I presume I shall find a great change in all the younger members of the family when I get home. I suppose the 21st will reach that consummation devoutly to be wished in a short time now. From all accounts I expect they have never recovered from the cutting up they got at Bulls Run, Antietam, etc. They were a splendid regiment once.

I hope you will excuse all imperfection in this. As I did not sleep over one-hour last night and only laid down two hours and I have not slept any today.

Give my love to Mother, the Butlers, and all the rest of the family. I will write again soon.

Yours Truly,

C. E. Walbridge

P.S. Do you know whether Jake Davis was in the Keokuk during the bombardment and whether he got off safe, if he was? The Keokuk is visible at low tide off the point of Morris Island; the rebs attempted to meddle with her yesterday morning. But our blockading fleet drove them off. Remember me to Captain Dye; if you haven’t spoken to him about the mess chest, don’t do it.