Thursday, August 30, 2012

1862 August 31 Camp Chase, Arlington Heights

Sunday [1862]
                                       Camp Chase Aug. 31st
                                       Arlington Hights
[The following is written perpendicular to above.]
Direct to 15 C.V. Co A Washington D. C.
As we don’t know how long we shall stay here.

Dear Sister Helen,
                                       Supposing you
are anxious by this time to know
how we all get along and how
far we have got.  I will spend
a little time in penning a short
account of our Journey  –
     We left New Haven Thursday
morning at 10 oclock (that is we
were ordered to “fall in” at 10 –
and had to stand with our Knap-
sacks on for 2 hours – went aboard
of the cars at 12 oc arrived at
N-York about 4 oc   I saw Elbe as
soon as the cars stopped – we fell

into line and marched down 4th
Avenue and Broadway to Jersey ferry
it commenced raining very soon after
we started from the terminal and it
poured for about ½ an hour and
we were completely soaked in a short
time     it was a tedious march for
it was the first time that we had tried
the Knapsacks and they are mighty mean
things I can tell you – we went aboard
the boat and took a “bee line” for
South Amboy   got there about mid-
night and went aboard the cars for
Philadelphia and got there at 4 ock
in the morning we “unslung knapsacks” and
took refreshments there then we loaded
right up for Baltimore where we arrived
at 7 Friday eve   there we had refreshments
also and slept on the platform in
the depot until 3 Saturday morning
then we loaded again for Washington
and arrived there at 4 o’clock P.M. and
had refreshments again then we “slung

knapsacks” and marched down Penn – Av –
and over long bridge and onto Arlington
heights – we got here at about 7 oc and
were about tired enough to lay right –
down we slept on the ground with
nothing but our blankets but it was
the easiest bed I ever had considering
the state of my under pinning at that
time we pitched our tents this –
morning and are now under cover –
and very comfortable – it was a
very tedious journey for us all but
I stood it better than I expected –
we marched about 6 miles in N. York
about 2 in Baltimore and 7 from
Washington   We are 4 miles from Falls
Church – Chas Linsley and several
others fell out on the march and
had to have their knapsacks carried
on the baggage but your cousin Jim
stuck it through till the last –
     It rained all last night and has
rained all to-day   we slept in the rain

last night – but to-day we have canvas
to get under –
     Nothing very strange happened
on our way here.  I enjoyed the
ride very much but the walking
part was awful – we saw soldiers
camped along the route some in
barracks some on picket duty and
some guarding the rail roads – cavalry –
artillery – infantry – and every other kind
of “horned cattle”… -
     Now for the last few hours that we
have spent on “Sacred soil” –
     When we were crossing long bridge we
heard constant firing in the direction
of Manassas and soon found that
terrible fighting was going on then
between Pope – Burnside – and Stonewall
Jackson – we saw baggage wagons
ambulances & artillery pass our camp
till late in the night and then
the firing ceased and this after-
noon we learn that S. Jackson –
has surrendered with 30,000 men
Bully for Bull Run   Ms. 2

[This letter continues on page five with date of 31 Aug. ‘62 noted in pencil.]
The 14th C.V. were in the fight but
we haven’t learned any of the particulars.
     About 800 Prisoners passed our camp
last night on their way to W – ton
and tomorrow all the others will
be brought by and there will be
some cheering for Pope and Burnside
you can bet --- “Little did I think
that I should be so near Chas real fighting
so soon but I don’t know as I care
how soon we are ordered off – All
our boys felt pretty gay over the
late news and all are ready to
be led into the fight.  -  Our arms
are here and with the exception of
drilling we are all right for fight
          I will just tell you a few
things that I want before I forget what
they all are – In the first place tell
Father I wish he would get me that
Pistol or one just like – for we are –

in parts now where it may be useful.
Capt. Bassett came to me just before
we packed up at New Haven and
told me that if I had got a Pistol
I might carry it if I would keep it
dark but he said he didn’t want
me to let any of the boys know that
he told me so – and he said that
I might want to use it – Eugene carried
his and Aaron has sent for his –
remember that it is the smallest size
of Pondi patent and I want 100 cartges
and a holster – and if you can get
one I want a tin case to carry my
eatables in   these haversacks stink of
tar so that they spoil every thing
that we put in them   Geo Flint has got
one and they are a good thing –
[sketch of tin] made of tin  Geo got his in
                        Meridian and perhaps you can
get one ready made, and I wish you
would send me a pair of stout
slippers to wear evenings   my feet

get so hot and sore that I must
have something to change   that leather
pair of mine will go I guess and
please send me a few stamps as they
are a hard thing to get down here.
          I  cant think of half that I
want to say    I could write 16 pages
if it was quiet and I had a good
desk but writing on straw and have
about 100 humming and howling
around is very hard and I am so
excited over the firing and late
news that I can’t keep the shell
and muskets out of my head –
     I wish you would write me often
I will tell you where to direct
every time that we move, and I
will write every time that I can
get a chance but we are pretty
busy and will have to drill most
all the time now -   Please make those
things into a small bundle and forward
by express – Has Hattie gone home

yet.   I hope you wont be lonesome when
she is gone, you must try to make
yourself contented – don’t make
   “         unhappy thinking that I am
dying down here for I am enjoying
myself pretty well – of course I should
like to see you all but I don’t want
to go home until I have done my
duty.  I want to just gaze on them
Seceshers a few times and help finish
this rebellion up and then If there
is any thing left of me I shall be
very glad to go home, tell Chas that
he must write and let me know how
he gets along in the Navy   tell
Hattie to write when she gets
home if she has not gone –
     Did Father get that Bundle and
50 Dollars that I sent up by Mr. Hull
to leave at Wilcox’s.  I should like
to have him write sometimes if
he can find time between school
meetings – I must stop now
Give my love to Hattie my Regards to
all my friends and to all the boys

[The end of this 8 page letter is written at the beginning of page 5.]  
tell George that I will write to him sometime
     with love to all & dry up
James H. Howard, 15th Connecticut

[transcript by Mary Roy Dawson Edwards]

MSS 12668

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