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

Post image for Army letters of Oliver Willcox Norton.

Army letters of Oliver Willcox Norton.

October 28, 2013

Army letters of Oliver Willcox Norton (Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers)

Washington, D. C,

Oct. 28, 1863.

Dear Sister L.:—

I have just time to tell you the result of my examination, which came off yesterday. Just as I expected, the result depended on the surgeon’s verdict. Before the board I passed without trouble, unless study be trouble, and I hope I satisfied the doctor that I could see a commission. It tried my eyes to do it, though, I assure you of that.

I tried this morning to find out my fate. I could not satisfy myself, but those who pretend to know the ropes and who have heretofore been correct, say I am booked for straps, “First Lieutenant—First Class.” If so I am content. It was what I worked for. Many of my comrades here express surprise that it was not a captaincy. I am not surprised, and should not have been if it had been second lieutenant. It is no boy’s play to satisfy that board that you can make even a lieutenant.

However, it may be all moonshine and perhaps I am rejected after all, but if I am, the surgeon did it.

I return to the army to-morrow, and in the course of a week or two I shall be officially notified of the result, when I will lose no time in informing you. I hope to be able, if successful, to get leave of absence for a few days to come and see you. You would be glad to see me, wouldn’t you? My letters from the army haven’t been sent up. No doubt there is one or more there from you. If there is not I shall think you don’t care much about me, anyway, and shall not care to come home.

Previous post:

Next post: