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

February 22, 2013

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

Md. Heights, Feb. 22, 1863.

Dear Family:

Yours found us all well. This is the anniversary of the birth of Geo. Washington. We had an order yesterday to hold divine service at 10 o’clk A.M. together with a dress parade; but we had a severe snow storm last night and it has snowed ever since, the hardest we have had. Sergt. R. applied for a furlough; but the Major refused to forward it, on the ground that several had received them and have not been heard from since. T. is trying to get one; went over to see the Gen’l yesterday, but got no definite answer.

Capt. has not been heard from since keeping a hotel! The news seems to be a little more encouraging; we must have a defeat or victory at Vicksburg and along the Charleston coast. The papers speak of English and French mediation in our affairs, but I don’t know as it will amount to any thing. Last night they spoke of the French Army in Mexico; they have had several defeats and I guess they will have to work hard to get a good substantial position any where in Mexico. The boys say that Capt. Bradley and Genl. McClellan are their men. What do they think of the way Gov. Andrew used Genl. McClellan on his late visit to Massachusetts? The boys don’t have a very good opinion of his doings; in fact he is not liked amongst the troops. Now I will give Mother a little news, or rather answer some of her kind questions. I kept money enough to pay up old bills and a little on hand. We both kept $5 a piece; you see Jere only draws $12 a month to my $13. We fare as well as can be expected; in fact we have all we can eat and more too. Draw fresh beef and no salt or corned, keep twelve days rations ahead. To give you an idea of what we have (and you must judge the cooking; but we think it good, Cyrus Messer is cook now). Well first, we have coffee, Bread, fresh beef, with some that we salt, Bread of the best quality, potatoes, dried apples and molasses, and a soup twice a week; have vinegar, salt &c. as much as we want. I should like to write to all of my relations; but some times I don’t feel like answering letters and then it stops. I hope I shall be able to correspond with Home, as I may well call it, once a week. Love to all.

Leverett Bradley, Jr.

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