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Duren, Charles M. to his Father, March 7, 1864 about Olustee - Jacksonville, Fla.  - Transcript

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Title:
Duren, Charles M. to his Father, March 7, 1864 about Olustee - Jacksonville, Fla. - Transcript
Creator:
Duren, Charles M. 1842-1875
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1864

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University of Florida
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[Different handwriting on top]
Olustee
No 225
Mailed P. Royal Mch 12
Recd Mch 17

[Letter]
Out Post Picket
Near Jacksonville
Florida, March 7, [18]64

Dear Father
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
[enemy] hands.

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
and run.

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.

Shameful
Must bid you adieu
Much love to all
Affcl'y Your Son
C.M. Duren

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
reconciled.

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.


C.M.D.










Transcribed by Nicole J. Milano, University of Florida, 2008.




Full Text

PAGE 1

[Different handwriting on top] Olustee No 225 Mailed P. Royal Mch 12 Recd Mch 17 [Letter] Out Post Picket Near Jacksonville Florida, March 7, [18]64 Dear Father 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 hast y examination of the contentstook 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 [enemy] hands. 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 tightbut 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 wanteddont think its too large. The books are very acceptable. Reading is called for on every side. Not just now tho, for we are al l very busy, all are on duty. The Doughnuts were good. Did taste splendid. Please ask mother to thank Mrs. Godfrey very muchfor me the linen and cotto n 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 youof 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 smallbut can wear them with thin so cks very well. If I was to have another pair should wi sh 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 answeri ng several letters written to him asking him to send papersetc.now he has gone hom e 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. Osbornwho 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

PAGE 2

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 d eal 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 we ll as "Seymore" [Seymour]. They have the latter under arrest. Tis not sohe is on duty here and has not been placed under arrest at all. He is in commd of a Division. The trut h of the whole affair is that Gillmore sent orders to SeymoreNot to bring on an enga gementbut wait for an attack from enemy. Seymore did not receive the order untill [ 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 w ould have looked upon the affair with wonder and disgust They gave it as one reason that their horses were all shotmen all shot away from the guns. Anot her that they were not supported that the regt in support broke and run. Can not say as to the latter I did hear that one white reg t. broke and runbutI saw the Limbers and Cassons fully horsed and men enough to drive them leaving the field without their guns. Shameful Must bid you adieu Much love to all Affcly Your Son C.M. Duren P.S. About the box sent in DecNo one I know feels the loss half as much as myself The dressing case something which I wanted very mu ch, 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 reconciled. I have made close inquiries written to Express Co. several time[s], and have been compelled to come to conclusion that the whole thing was lost on board the ill-fated steamer Edwin Lewis. C.M.D.

PAGE 3

Transcribed by Nicole J. Milano, University of Florida, 2008.