Thursday, December 15, 2011

1861 December 15 Camp Franklin

Dear parents

I received your last letter in
due time and was glad to hear you was well
and getting along so well much better than
I expected. I have not got my picture taken
yet for every time I have been out
to the psaloon [photographic salon] it has been full I shall get
it taken as soon as I can I want to get
my new dress coat first we are expecting
them every day. We recieved your basket I
knew it as soon as I saw it and the bag
of apples Phebe Nash sent and also thoes that
James Strout sent and all the rest that
was put in for us. I do not think it will
pay to send the basket back and it is very
usefull to us to bring chips and wood to

[page 2]
burn if you need one you can buy it cheaper
than I can send it home. I am glad to hear
that Walter is so much interested in taking
care of the calves and other things and I
am also glad he has got some new boots to
wear t his winter and I hope he will continue
to be a good boy. I have mad arraingements
to send $8 dollars per month to Portland
by the paymaster to be on interest untill
it is taken out it will be in the hands
of the city treasurer I thought this
would be the safest way to get my money
home some of our boys have lost money
by sending it home in a letter and if
you need any money you will have to
make out a reciept and get some one to
sign it so he may know you are the
person and you can send or go yourself
and gt the amount of 8 dollars per month
I may have some more to send home
if I do I shall send it in a letter
I believe I wrote to you that we got into our
log tents with our canvass tents over them
for a roof if I did not I wrote to

[page 3[
James Strout about it they are as tight
and warm as any house we are all four of
us writing to day for we have something
of rare importance to write. I witnessed
a scene last Friday that was solemn in the
extreem it was this a man shot for desertion
I will tell you the particulars as far as I
know This man enlisted last Aug in the
Lincon cavalry from N.Y. and one day he
was out scouting he managed to escape
from his comrads and made his way twords
the rebels lines. he met an officer which
he thought was a rebel he rode up to the
officer and told him his intention and
gave information that would be of
great advatage to the rebels the officer
then arrested him and brought him back
he was tried condemned to be shot on the
day of execution he rode round in front
of all the Regts in this division in an
open carraige with his coffin then he was
marched to an open space in view of all the
troops and shot there was twelve men picked
out of his own company to shoot him

[page 4]
there was about 8000 troops present besids the
spectators this man formally belonged in
Louisianna I expect there will be a picture
in the paper about it and if there is I shall
send one home. This man belonged in our
division and we were all called out to witness the
scene he was shot on our drill ground in sight
of our camp I believe this is the first man
that has been executed for desertion in the
army of the Potomac. I recieved a little billet
in your letter I supposed from Albert
Strouts girl I have written a few lines
to her and I want you to send it
to her Every thing remains quiet an in
regard to the war in this division of the
army We are expecting Capt. Bucknam
to be here every day and after he gets here
Spller Spiller is going home. I could
come home for a short time but it would
cost me about 50 dollars and I cannot
afford to spend cost so much besides
it would not be much satisfaction for
I could not stay but a short time
therefore I shall not undertake it. We
are all well except Silas Estes he is
quite sick and Levi Small I think
they have got a fever. I have no more
news to write at present so I will close

H. M. Cash

The deserter was William Johnston, Co. d, 1st N.Y. Cavalry, executed December 13. The execution was pictured in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Magazine.

Hiram M. Cash. Private, Co. K, 5th Maine


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