Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bates Letters - June 19, 1862

Camp Lincoln Va.
June 19th 1862
Dear Parents,

I suppose you got the letter I wrote two days ago and know the reason of my not writing for the past two weeks. I didn’t care about the confinement in particular, but I [two missing words] of the “battle of Fair Oaks,” a thing I am sorry for; well, if I was out of the fight I was out of danger, too. This is some consolation.

I enclose a copy of charges, which my captain sent to me before I was tried. If you can read the writing you will see what I was in the guard-house for. I would like to send you a copy of the proceedings of the court martial too, they would be worth reading. There was some talk yesterday about going to Richmond this morning, but it is so quiet this morning I think it has blown over. Last evening, or rather, in the afternoon there was some lively firing in the direction of New Bridge (underlined), and I hear one hundred of our men got land-torpedoed, but like Davy Crockett’s coon “I am inclined to doubt.” At any rate you will know what was about as soon as I do, probably. For there are so many stories told in camp that nothing is believed untill (sic) we see it in the papers or in reality. An order was given yesterday to the army for five days rations to be packed ready to start at any time. I suppose the Grand Army (underlined) is about to start, for it is time something was being done besides throwing up dirt (underlined).

The weather is terribly hot, I think, but very few men are sick, suppose it is owing to the flies and mosquitoes being so thick and voracious. The mosquitoes are commonly called gallon-sippers (underlined) here and I think the flies should be called two gallon (underlined) sippers, for they have twice the power of suction that mosquitoes have. Perhaps they think the order for rations applied to them and they are getting five days ahead, the torments.

I want to write a letter to Julia today, but I don’t know whether I can or no. I have started to twice and was too lazy to finish. I must get a book and read. Brave spider story; Try Again (two words underlined).

Give my love to all and expect me home when you don’t expect me (underlined).
Affectionately Charles E. Bates

I will write it of myself.
Violation of 9th Article of War
In this, the said Charles E. Bates did positively refuse to take care of a horse belonging to Co “E” 4th Cavalry when ordered to do so by 1st Sergt Edward Fitzgerald C of C Etc.

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