YOUR CART 0 items - $0.00
Roll over image to enlarge (scroll to zoom)

12th Massachusetts Infantry

Item LTR-8039
November 6, 1861 Ezekiel P. Bourne
Price: $225.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink.
(Old archival tape on some folds)

Camp near Seneca, MD
Headquarters 12th Massachusetts Regiment

November 6 [1861]

Dear Brother,

As I have a few moments to spare, I will write you a few lines to let you know that I am well. We are building entrenchments at General Banks’ Headquarters. We heard good news last night form General Banks. Last night he camp into camp and said that the Secret Expedition had taken Beaufort Harbor and were marching on to Charleston. If we did not give 3 rousing cheers, then I will give in. Captain said it might be only a rumor. But when the papers came in and confirmed the report, the boys in camp built bonfires and had a good time all around. Colonel Gordon and his officers were at our Headquarters and I guess they had a good time up there. I hope the next time we hear from the fleet, that the flag is floating over Charleston and Sumter.

We are going to start some time today for Rockville, 10 miles from Washington. It is a long piece to go in one day. I believe they talk of having the whole Division move there. As it is getting so bad here that you cannot hardly get along in the roads. Mud up the hubs of the wheels. The ground is red here and it sticks to your clothes like wax. Our clothes look rather dirty, as we have been digging in the dirt all since we have had them. Five wagons have gone to Frederick City after coats and pants for us. So we shall have new ones by the last of the week. Perhaps we shall get a pair of drawers. They are the only thing of under clothing we have not got yet. Gloves, we have go to get ourselves. I sent to Charley if he can, to send me a pair. We are to be paid off this week. I am going to buy a pair of boots, as it is impossible to get around in the mud without them, and the rest I shall send home.

The town of Weymouth tried to get clear of paying us what they agreed to. But they could not get a vote. We shall draw it till the 9th of March. Who are elected in Cohasset this year?

The order came to us this morning from the Colonel for every man to have his pants mended before Dress Parade or had a knapsack drill of 2 hours. You ought to have seen them on Dress Parade. Cloth is a scarce article. Some had red patches on and some black ones on blue pants and they looked like the old Harry. Webster came by our tent when the boys were mending them and Charley Jones says, I wonder where I can get a pair of good pants. I would not say a word about the price if they were only good. Colonel says, you will all have new ones this week.

General Banks and his bodyguard were at the parade. They wear red pants, blue jackets and red and white turban. They wear leggings and they are all French. They look splendid. Banks works on the entrenchments with his coat off and sleeves rolled up, straw hat on. You would not know him. But when he is on his horse with uniform on, he looks like a General. We got 600 blankets from Boston this morning.

E. P. Bourne