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 2, 2013

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

Md. Heights, Aug. 2, 1863.

Dear Family:

Yours of July 20th and 27th arrived, the first we have had for a great while. We are enjoying the comforts of the old place on the Heights. At first it seemed lonesome, after travelling about as we had; another thing, the place was full of filth, the two regts. our Co. relieved, were the filthiest set of men I ever saw, that is if the neatness of their camp would be a proper thing to judge by. They tore bunks in barracks and built huts out doors. We are now alone by our selves, shall get things to looking as they did before, if work will do it. We did not go to Washington, neither did I want to go, Major R. was appointed for this post. He went to Washington to fill an order for guns and amunition; while there he saw Genl. Halleck, he said that he had decided to keep this Batt. here, so we took our old places. We have now four 24 pdrs. Brass Howtz. and two 30 prd. parrotts. Killed a man yesterday, getting up one of the latter; he belonged in Co. H. John B. is dead, he died while in N. Y.; he was one of the men detailed in the 5th U. S. Art’y. Geo. Bricket is in the same Battery, we expect them back every day. There will be no need of your getting a map, we shall probably stop here the rest of our enlistment, unless we are put off. (It is well enough to put in.) I wish you could have seen this battalion when it first got back, rather a rough looking set; after eating so much salt pork and the hot days with it, a fellow would sweat well; when I wiped my face it was covered with nothing but pork and grease. Of course I looked clean when we came to a halt for the night! but then it did not hinder our sleeping. How different the affairs of the country look now from what they did a month ago. Lee defeated in Penn., Pemberton at Vicksburg, Gardner at Port Hudson and Bragg in Miss. I can assure you it has wrought a new feeling in the men; before all was defeat, but now it is victory. It pleases the men to see some of the men who were drafted; you may talk about its being a disgrace to be drafted, I say good enough for them; they would make a great fuss if Uncle Sam did not protect them and now they haven’t got courage to help him. These men of course cannot think much of their country. Captain, you are not forgotten yet; many times a day. you are spoken of. This is what D. W. got off where Capt. II. heard him. “Pity we haven’t got one of Bradley’s old coats, in place of our commander now.” On evacuating this place, I lost everything, now I want you to get up something and send to me. I thought for shirts you might get some cotton ones, such as you used to make when I was small, chequered ones, cut like a wool shirt. I think they would do best over the old flannel ones I am now picking up; but if you think best to get flannel ones, do so. Be sure and get flaps long enough. Another thing, I want stockings; the boots you sent last fall I have on now, but the tramp has played them out, got about ten holes in each. Do you think best to get a new pair now, or wait till Nov.? or won’t it pay at all? Can get them here for $6, but poor ones. Shoes $3.50. I must have something to my feet soon, so write in next what you think best to do. I will see what Jerry wants and let you know. Dont fail to make some kind of an answer, so I shall know what to do. Army clothing of the above named articles are very poor and high. Shirts $1.46 and are good for nothing. Much love to all.                     Your


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