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151st New York Infantry

Item LTR-8931
1863 Amos B. Currier
Price: $225.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 8 pages, written in period ink.

Lafayette Barracks
Baltimore 1863

To My own Dear Amanda,

I received your kind letter today noon. It done me more good than all the beefsteak Johnny and I had for dinner and we had some that was good too. We have good times here eating. Clark and Johnny come here and I go to the quartermasters and get right what I want and they cook it. I have got a stove with a griddle in it so we can cook all we want and eat all we want so you see we will not starve as long as Johnny and Clark is with me and if you will come you can board with me and I will trust you for your board until you get your pay but I have given up all hopes of you coming when you commence to talk about your clothes not being good enough to come here with. I will tell you that you do not want anything but calico for that is all they wear here on the ground and when you go downtown you have got all you require. I think but if you think not do not come for I feel bad enough now without seeing you but I should first wage if you should come and feel as though you had nothing fit to wear but Amanda if you was as lonesome and wanted to see me half as bad as I do you, your traveling days would not hinder you from coming to see me. For I probably you will not have as good a chance to visit me as now until the war is over and I hope that will not be long for it has got to be settled soon. You do not know half that is going on by reading the Tribune for Horace is nothing but a Damn Black Republican and wants this war to go on until they kill all of us off and then the Republicans will say they have done our duty as good union men but if they was all of my opinion there would not be one of them left in one month from today. That is a large fill for I am but if he will tell the truth he will agree with me on that. You tell him if he wants to be convinced of the truth of my assertion to enlist for one month and come to Baltimore. That is all I want to make him a good Democrat all the days of his life. You must read all the papers you can and you know nothing. The cause of this cursed war. All you want to bring with you if you come is what you have got and that is two sheets, one pillow and one quilt and as far as board is concerned you can live with me for if you want to see me half as bad as I do you, you can put up with most anything but we can cook all we can. Eat on my stove it will not be as easy as it would be at home but a soldier has got to put up with a great many things he could not at home. My tent is a large wall tent and I keep it as clean as need be. So you will not be at any expense only coming here and I think I can get you work so that you need not be homesick. I can draw my rations and do now most of the time more than you and I could eat but do not think that I am coaching you to come for I would rather never see you than have you come and get the blues. We shall probably stay here all winter so the Officers think. If you was here tonight you can have some poached eggs and beef steak with John and ABC. John has just come with all of them and one pound of butter if you will come I will go and get some oysters too. We expect to get our pay Tuesday or Wednesday but I shall not believe it until I see it but the Colonel told me this morning we was sure of it.

Then if you think you could put up with my fare I should be very happy of your company but if not do not come. I have nothing to do but stay here in my tent and work. Just as I please. So I could be with you all the time or that is if you could think it would not disgrace you to be with a government Armour. I have the authority to keep every man out of my tent if I chose. I do not have to go on Deeps Parade nor go to Roll Call nor be on inspection. I am detached from all company duty only as I wish but the Lieutenant will not let me take my stripes off as Corporal for he says he wants one good corporal that he can depend upon and the major tells me it may help me sometime so I wear them. Yet you asked me why I have to go and guard Colonel Grays Corps and I will tell you the officer that had the Body in charge wanted a good smart looking Corporal and chose me out of all the Regiment. So I went for it. Wanted to ride four miles and back. I was not forced to go. It was partly on my own account that I went . I have got the good will of every officer on the field and the Quarter Master thinks there never was such a mechanic as I am (he is fooled some). You asked me where my anvil and bellows was. They have not come. Yet we got the bill of them four weeks ago but they are left behind but all the rest of the tools are the best I ever used. I have to go two and a half miles to do all the horse shoeing, but if I do one horse a day it is all right. It is the largest horse shoeing you ever saw. There is 14 horse shoers. They do nothing else. I am going down there tomorrow to make a Cleaver for the QuarterMaster that will weight 14 pounds. A big one that I am going to have old Barnes to help me. I hope that will be the last job I will have to do before the rest of my tools come. My thumb is better but it will always be crooked. It stands right out. But hope it come all right yet it hurts me worse to write than anything else I can do. You will say that is an excuse but it is so. It hurts me to hold my pen. If you should see it you would say so and my writing will show it. John and Clark are in here cooking supper and John is razing the very Devil. So I can’t hardly think what I am writing about. I told you I should not write until tomorrow but I got back from Fort McHenry sooner than I thought and I thought you would not scold if I wrote today. We have got four of our men in the Hospital. Orderly Smith, William Walkley, Henry Valentine, Charles Cole. But they are getting better. The health of our Regiment is very good. I have been most sick for the last two weeks with a hard cold but am all right with the exceptions of a gathering in my head but it has broken now. So I am getting all right now. It has run more than one quarter since it broke. I will talk with Frank tomorrow about that rent and let you know in my next. If you come, I can tell you all for I cannot think half what I want to write. That note of Swifts. I think there is two dollars I have got on it but it does not matter what there is for he told me he would not pay anything but dancing and out of the Barn. I told him he could take it and stick it in his (a____). I am about done with all the Swifts if you can get anything out of him you will do better than I can. All you want to do to get the money on that allotment is to put your name on the back of it and go to the Bank and draw the money. If you should think of coming to see me I wish you would let me know what day you will be here. You can come from Elmira here in 18 hours. So you can find out what time the Harry Burgh train leaves Elmira and you can telegraph to me so I can be at the depot when you come. That is the way all the regiment have done. I got four deserters and fetched them in and put them in the guard house. It will go hard with them. I am afraid they have taken off Charles Hieb stripes and put him in the ranks again. He feels very sorry about it. There is a good man in the same way I would not have the Colonel’s order my stripes and put me in the ranks. Not that they are worth so much but the thought of having my name read out on Deeps Parade it would cut ABC some. It is now dark and we have been to supper and John and Clark have gone over to Lieutenant’s quarters. As I am left alone and will try and finish this. Tell Ida I am getting her a bone ring made for her. As soon as I get it made, I will send it to her with lots of love with it. I have got two rings and am going to send to you the one with two hearts on is yours. The other is for Susan if it will fit her and she can get what she is a mind put on it to suit her fancy. The bones was given to me by a prisoner that was taken at Bull Run Battle. He was taken at the same time Gary Reading was and put in the same cell with him at Richmond and he found the bone while there and got them partly made while there. They are not anything very good but the best I can send you.

This time if you do not see fit to wear it you will keep it for my sake. I will answer all your questions when you come. This from your ever loving Amos

I received one letter from you. It made me feel very bad. I will send you the piece of it in this. John has come in full of the very Devil. I think you did not mean what you wrote if so you done me harm but hope it was a mistake for it has worried me a great deal. Please explain it in your next. A. B. Currier