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36th Pennsylvania Infantry - NEW

Item LTR-8696
February 4, 1862 Isaac B. Tubbs
Price: $225.00


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

Camp Hunt
February 4, 1862

Mr. Chas Wilson


Yours of the 29 ultimately came to hand the first inst and as I have nothing to do today no one to bother me I will answer it and give you a little idea of what is a going on and how the land lays and how much there is to the acre. Our company left for the Picket line this morning at 7 o’clock am and will not return till tomorrow at 10 p.m. and as I was blessed with the good luck of being a camp guard yesterday and last night I am one of the unlucky ones to miss the pleasures of picket duty this time. Our company had not been out on picket for 42 days till this morning. Our regular turn is every 20 days. Picket duty is called the hardest part of a soldier’s life but if I never came across any thing worse than that I think I will get through alright. The duty is not as hard as Camp duty only being exposed more to the weather and likewise to the enemy. But we care but little as none for the latter and in fact for neither. We had almost made up our minds that snow was a stranger to this place. But it has come at last. It commenced snowing yesterday morning about 8 a.m. and continued to snow till about 10 a.m. The snow fell about 5 inches. Then it commenced to rain and hail. It continued in that way till one p.m. then it got very cold and cleared up and froze as hard as rock lightning and this morning the sun came out with all the brilliance of a summer’s morning and a good part of the snow has gone off. But the wind begins to blow and it is getting colder and I think it will freeze up tonight again. As I told you snow was almost a stranger. There is one thing that is not a stranger to this land. That is mud. We have had mud about 4 inches deep for to wade through for about 3 weeks. This is enough about the weather.

Nathan Garrison, Washington Banhorn and Han John Rasonse paid us a short visit. They came on the 30 __time and left for their homes this morning. We all were much blessed with the visit paid us by the said gentlemen. But they came in a bad time for to do anything on account of the mud. But they seem to be pleased with what they did see. But they thought they would not want to be soldiers for our houses were too small and a little too dirty to suit them.

It is well enough for them to think so for it would not do for all to like soldiering as well as I do unless there would be none at home or else there would be no soldiers. I can’t tell which. Perhaps you can. The health of the soldiers is good for my part. I never enjoyed as good health as I have this winter. So far my weight is 143 pounds formerly 142. This I think speaks well for Uncle Sams rations. There is not one in the company but what has gained from 10 to 40 pounds since we crossed the Potomac. There is but one out of the whole regiment in the hospital. There are four on the sick list out of our company, but none of them dangerous. They could do duty if they had enough energetic spirit about them to drive away that home sick fever. Which is a common disease amongst soldiers, especially in this infantry for there is nothing to be seen. But Uncle Sam learns and his boys, if we were in some town where we could see once in a while a pretty little lass, I think there would be no such disease as home sickness in our camp. But we have not that pleasure here. We have here no sleigh bells nor nothing to amuse us but the sound of the drum and the roar of the cannon. We look around us on every side we see a broken country once inhabited by one race of beings but now desolate and almost forsaken by the former inhabitants but now thickly settled by the U.S. boys. They left their houses, furniture, barns, grain and hay, cattle, hogs and field of corn all left to the care of the soldiers and you can rest assured that they assumed the responsibility left to those first without much urging. We first came on this sacred soil where we pitched our tents, it was a wilderness. But now you can not see hardly a tree standing inside of our lines and the biggest part of the stumps have been cut off the second time. Our wood is hauled to us about 2 miles distance and most of the houses that are around here have been torn down and the timber used to build huts and the boards for flowers. I think it would do you good to come down and see this land then you could form some idea of the destruction of an army of men. All I can write will not give you much if any idea of the destruction of an army of men. But just imagine if there was a body of men of 40,000 come up the creek there and pitch their tents and go to work to cutting down apple trees, peach trees, tore down houses, burn up all the rails and in fact destroyed everything that would obstruct their progress and then look around and see thousands of acres of land with a tree or a fence rail on it then you will have a pretty good idea of this country where we are now. I am glad that this army is not in the old Key Stone State but this is nothing to be comforted. What it will if this war should continue much longer. We have but one thing to do yet with this state and then we will be done with it. That is to dig it up and put every rebel under there in it and then level it off and then we will be ready to return to Pa. If we don’t get under this old VA soil in the attempt to finish up. Well I have already written more than I intended to and perhaps more than you will care about reading. But you know that every fool can write foolish sheets of hope, full of foolishness. So on this grounds I claim the right and title of being excused. Yours truly,

B. Tubbs
To Chas Wilson Maj Gen
Commanding the US forces along Huntington Creek

My love to all