[Different handwriting on top]
Mailed P. Royal Mch 12
Recd Mch 17
Out Post Picket
Florida, March 7, 64
Yesterday noon was a gala time on the picket line. The barrel arrived and I had four of
my men bring it out to me. There were four of us officers at this Post [and] we all
gathered around & it was opened. Made a hasty examination of the contents-took out a
few things which I wanted here, put the head in again, and sent it to our Camp. I thought
it hardly safe to keep it here for if Mr. Reb were to come down, and we have to fall back
which of course we would do, the barrel and all would be likely to fall into enemie
You would be pleased to look upon such a scene as the opening of such an express from
home. All join in the pleasure, all as interested as the owner. It was splendid. All came in
first rate order. The Sausage meat tasted a little bad-can was not air tight-but would
not be noticed, at least by such hungry ones as we are. Not hungry for food exactly but
for something besides Army rations. The knives and forks are beautiful. Table cloth also
is fine, just what I wanted-dont think its too large. The books are very acceptable.
Reading is called for on every side. Not just now tho', for we are all very busy, all are on
duty. The Doughnuts were good. Did taste splendid. Please ask mother to thank Mrs.
Godfrey very much-for me the linen and cotton are very handy to keep. Am very glad
of a Diary have lost all reckoning without one.
For all this Dear Father I am indebted to you-of course I intend to transmit to you the
amount you expend for me, but still I have much to thank you for.
The slippers are a little small-but can wear them with thin socks very well. If I was to
have another pair should wish them a little larger.
I have received no pay since Oct 31. There has been some delay, rascally delay about my
discharge and final statements, which enable me to receive final payments as enlisted
man, and bounty.
Capt. Bell of Co. C. 24th M.V. delayed answering several letters written to him asking
him to send papers-etc.-now he has gone home on leave of absence with a part of
Regt., and thus it is delayed until the last of this month probably. I have seen Col.
Osborn-who was surprised to hear that Capt. B. had not attended to it. Col. O. is doing
all he can to hasten the settlement. Says if he can not find the papers he will certify that
they have been signed etc by him, which will enable me to get paid. Capt. B. has acted
very mean. He has taken this mean, low, way of revenge, or spite. He has tried hard
three different time to get me back to the company but has been defeated each time, and it
occasioned him some chagrin. When I see him I shall just tell him what I think of him.
The Boston Journal comes regularly, and affords me a great deal of interest. Coming
from the office direct I get news a good deal later date than any one. Was much
interested in the account of the reception 24th Mass. Expedition to Florida etc. I can not
tell you half should like to about the flurry down here. If I could sit down with you for a
little time, could & would tell you a good deal but cant put it on paper.
The press are pretty severe on Gillmore as well as "Seymore" [Seymour]. They have the
latter under arrest. Tis not so-he is on duty here and has not been placed under arrest at
all. He is in comm'd of a Division. The truth of the whole affair is that Gillmore sent
orders to Seymore-Not to bring on an engagement-but wait for an attack from enemy.
Seymore did not receive the order until [sic] nearly his whole force was engaged. After
receiving these orders he got his troops out as well as he could.
The most disgraceful of all was those two regular batteries, going in and losing their guns
as they did. Why some of our Volunteers would have looked upon the affair with wonder
and disgust. They gave it as one reason that their horses were all shot-men all shot
away from the guns. Another that they were not supported that the reg't in support broke
Can not say as to the latter I did hear that one white reg't. broke and run-but-I saw the
Limbers and Cass'ons fully horsed and men enough to drive them leaving the field
without their guns.
Must bid you adieu
Much love to all
Affcl'y Your Son
P.S. About the box sent in Dec-No one I know feels the loss half as much as myself.
The dressing case something which I wanted very much, a sponge etc., then made by my
Mothers hands, the little mementoe [sic]from Carrie. I would rather given a great deal
than to have these lost the hat, coat, etc. Need much, but then what can I do but to be
I have made close inquiries written to Express Co. several timess, and have been
compelled to come to conclusion that the whole thing was lost on board the ill-fated
steamer Edwin Lewis.
Transcribed by Nicole J. Milano, University of Florida, 2008.