Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

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Leverett Bradley: A Soldier-Boy’s Letters

August 7, 2015

Leverett Bradley: A Soldier-Boy's Letters (1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.)

1st Sergt’s Office. Co. B 1st Mass. H. A., Fort Bunker Hill, D. C,
Aug. 6, 1865.

Dear Friends:

Your last found me in tolerable good health. I am now fairly at work in my new duties. I assure you it is a different thing to have two strange companies, old soldiers at that, with the old Company to handle, from what it was before. I contend that the 1st Sergt’s position at present in the four companies is the hardest position in the Regt.; but so far I am doing finely. Four years ago yesterday, I left the old parental roof for the first time, for a commencement in life. At other times people might say I chose a very dangerous life; but a desire to be a soldier had got possession of me and I actually believe if I had not been allowed to come at that time I should have come on my own responsibility soon after. How fortunate I have been during these last four years. I have suffered but little from sickness. The hardships have been severe, to be sure, for the last year; but life has been spared. I look back at times and think how I suffered a year ago from long marches, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, and shudder at the thought of a repetition of the scenes.

A great many of the boys have acted foolishly since pay day by deserting; you have probably seen some of them. A man must be crazy that would act so. I feel as if I would like an honorable discharge after serving faithfully almost four years. I should like to know well what kind of business it was you would like me to go into, if I got a discharge. Money making of course? I should advise Jerry to give way and let George visit Washington, and shall urge his coming; he has never travelled and if he could possibly be spared I think he ought to take a short trip this way. Perhaps he has struck higher and prefers to visit Saratoga or Niagara Falls! The 3rd Regt. has not been consolidated yet; they are waiting the arrival of a company from Richmond. We all hope the consolidation will never come off. Hard feelings are beginning to exist between the two Regts. already. We are expecting daily to lose our colors, now in Washington, having the names of the battles we were in printed on it, as the guard has been discontinued. Some of their companies will probably have the honor of carrying the Colors. Perhaps it is n’t rough, but we can’t see it in that light! We are in hopes that Col. A. will be sent back to the Regular Army and N. promoted; then we would have our show at every thing.

Aug. 7. I wish it were so I could get home soon and then all take a short trip to the beach. We never went to but few places as a whole family. I board out now; about eight of us draw our rations and have a woman to cook for us, and with a few bought articles we live tolerably well. Report says we are going soon to some other station. I can see no necessity of staying here, as there is no armament.

Love to all.                                        Lev. Bradley, Jr.

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