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.

August 30, 2013

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

Beverly Ford, Va.,
Aug. 30, 1863.

Dear Sister L.:—

We may remain here a month yet, and we may not stay twenty-four hours. I see no present indications of a move, unless the fact that the boys begin to feel like wild colts is a sign.

The grub beats all I ever saw in the army, and last week to cap the climax they gave us beets and pickled cabbage. The latter was splendid, put up in mustard.

The late news from the south has put everybody in the best humor and camp life now is tolerable.

The last few nights have been almost cold enough for frost. The days, too, have been cool, but we shall get more hot weather soon, I suppose.

How is it that you did not notice Uncle Legrand’s name in the list of drafts? It was in Alf’s paper.

That diary I mean to send as soon as I get another. I expect it every night now. It won’t be anything great as a literary curiosity, but the most I value it for is its account of the dates of our movements. You’ll find out all about my correspondence now. Don’t let it get destroyed.

I’m very much obliged for your offer to send me berries. If you do send any, dried ones would be the best. They would last better. The “perfumery” was all right, but happily I have no present use for it. E. sent me some, too, some time ago.

The great event of last week was the execution of five deserters from our division, which took place yesterday afternoon.[1] So much better descriptions will be given in the papers, that unless you want me to I won’t try it, but will send you a paper, and if I can, an illustrated paper with a sketch in it. I saw Frank Leslie’s and Harper’s men both sketching it. If you see anything in the account about the “bugler,” that’s me. General Griffin sent for me to bugle.

[1] Note. —They were George Kuhn, John Felane, Charles Walter, George Reinese and Emile Lai.

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