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17th Connecticut Infantry

Item LTR-8816
January 14, 1862 Isaac L. Mead
Price: $185.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 6 pages, written in period ink.

Stafford Court House

January [14] 1862

My darling Essie:

Let me tell you about the way you direct your envelopes. You commence so near the right hand and that you don’t have room to write plain. Beside it looks bad to see all the writing crowded down in one corner. You should write the name in the center of the envelope. I mean the center both ways up and down or sideways. Then there is plenty of room to write the directions underneath. You can write “to follow regiment” at the left hand corner. I think you can improve in your capitals if I tell you how. On one of the envelopes before me the capital I is made this way. I or something like it. Now how does this look. I haven’t made a good one but you can see what I mean. Make this part straighter. I so fashion and a little heavier than you write. Then you can make them this way sometimes. Make them more like this L or L. Make your capital C this way. Let Lucretia give you a writing lesson in capitals. Now about the box. It came yesterday afternoon. I got Husted to help me unpack it. The boots fit just right. The boys think they are very nice. I shall wear them awhile to get them fitted to my feet. I roasted an apple for supper and it tasted very good. The cakes I do not relish very much. I suppose on account of my not being well. When I get better, no doubt I shall like them first rate. As for my health, I have a little better appetite than I had once. I am still in the Captain’s tent. I feel very comfortable here. I don’t sleep very well at night. I get tired lying on my side. The night before last there was a disturbance in camp in consequence of whiskey sold by the sutler. Quite a number of shots were fired but no one was hurt. Captain called out the Company in a hurry. They stacked arms in the street. I am afraid some of the good things in the box will do me no good as I have just heard that we are to march soon. I hope it is not so but it may be. Mr. Scofield had a box come when mine did. His was a little larger. He had bread and butter, honey, apples, a large frying pan, a coffee pot and tin pail. I shall prize my pail. Such things are very handy in cooking. We used to laugh at the Ohio boy for carrying so much tin ware but we find it is a good ideas as tin is light to carry. I have made two or three meals of toast wet in salt and water and roast apple. Nothing seems to tastes so good as roast apple. The doctor told Lieutenant Haight that apples and vegetables are what the soldiers need as they are inclined to scurvy. I have some sores in my mouth. How about the baby’s name? I didn’t write what I thought about “DeWitt Isaac” for I thought it was such a homely name that you didn’t mean it. I will propose a name “George henry”. Now you think up another and let me know and I will say which I like best, yours or mine.

It is my wish that you would name the baby just what pleases you. I haven’t been with him and don’t know how he looks. Perhaps I could name him better if I should see him.

I received your letter and Lucretia’s last night. Give me a hint of what it was I said to you when we took that sleigh ride last winter.

From your affectionate husband,

15th I didn’t get my letter in the office yesterday so I will write a few lines today. My head aches some today. I suppose in consequence of not sleeping well for two or three nights.

The doctor has given me something to make me sleep tonight. Yesterday we heard that we are to move from here. We are afraid of marching orders. They may not come in a day or two. Mr. Ryington, the editor of the Norwalk Gazette, is here for a few days. Yesterday, I tasted of one of the Christmas cakes and it didn’t taste at all good. Nothing tastes so good as roast apple or toast. If I were well no doubt the cake would go tip top. I am very highly favored. I have things for my comfort here in the Captain’s tent. I think I shall be all right in a few days. Write and tell all the news. Tell all about the children. Tell about the wagon house and everything else.

From your affectionate husband,


P.S. Send a pocket handkerchief by mail, newspaper, postage.