Coit, Charles M. (1838-1878) to his family
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC03603.308
Author/Creator: Coit, Charles M. (1838-1878)
Place Written: Petersburg, Virginia
Type: Autograph letter signed
Date: 10 August 1864
Pagination: 2 p.
Summary of Content: Requests more ”light reading” and remarks on having read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Writes that he has received his new horse. Notes that 56 of the 100 recruits sent from New Haven have arrived and are about to begin training. Writes about the condition of the new recruits, saying that not one was American, but rather Irish, French and German. Comments that it seems his valise and papers have fallen victim to an explosion during delivery.
People: Coit, Charles M.
Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877
Full Transcript: In a hole about 1 mile from Petersburg, Va. Augt 10, ’64 , , Dear All, , Yours of the 5th, Friday evening, recd last night How I would enjoy being with you away from all blue coats brass buttons & every thing else pertaining to Uncle Samuel and breathing the pure air on the Pomfret hills forget for a time that there’s anything so unnatural and wicked as war. I am almost longing for some forward movement, something to wake me up. I think for a few months longer life in the pits would destroy all the mental powers tho’ we might still exist in the body Do send me all the light reading that’s fit to read that you can. One of the men picked up a pamplet edition of ”uncle Tom’s Cabin” & that was indeed a ”feast of reason & flow of soul” to me for two whole days. If I could only sleep as many do I could bear it better but now seeing them asleep only makes me mad. From sun rise to dark I cannot shut my eyes, the heat & flies both request me to keep awake & either one I am bound to obey. The fly net you sent me I am using constantly but these flies bite through shirt & even pants - that last - pants - is rather stretching it tho’ but I am confoundedly hot now & I must stop writing & stir round so as to start the perspiration for I cant stand this. Camp Augt 11, 1864 Have just returned from riding my new horse and a bully animal he is. I think I ought to name him Grant he’s such a strong beast and his movements are all so strong & easy and show such power. He’s a marvel for a U.S. animal - rather lean from hard service he has seen - the largest horse that I ever bestrode & our horse men say the best horse in the Regt. You understand that I draw him from the Government stables without any cost to my self. Another item of news. Last night we recd - fifty six - substitute recruits out of - one hundred - sent from New Haven. Have been busy to day assigning them to companies &c It’s not a very favorable situation for receiving recruits but we are glad to get them even here & hope for more. They are a fine body of men physically but I fear the education of their moral powers has been most sadly neglected. Of the one hundred names borne on the Roll not one was American. Mostly Irish, French, & German. I guess we can work them in if they don’t all desert. We can’t here keep them under guard. Thunder & showers - Several days since I sent to Norfolk for my valise & box, to day the messenger returned without either. He applied first to smith & co. they had not seen either, at the Norfolk Express office, ditto, at Express office at Fortress Monroe he was told that it had been forwarded to city Point and at city Point the Agent informed him that my Express matter with every thing else had probably gone up in the great explosion of which the papers have ere thus informed you. I shall hold the Receipt a few days and make such inquiries as I can & then if nothing comes of it shall send the Receipts to George & let him try to collect something from the New Haven office. I should suppose they would be liable if they send to city Point when the goods were directed to a firm at Norfolk. Have been hindered & mail is going , Love Chas
Keywords/Subjects: Civil War;, Military History;, Union Forces;, Union Soldier’s Letter;, Soldier’s Letter;, Children and Family;, Library;, Uncle Tom;, Abolition;, Slavery;, African American History;, Transportation;, Recruitment;, Immigration and Migration;, Military Supplies;, Woman Author;, Literature and Language Arts;
Sub Era: The American Civil WarOrder Image