Tuesday, January 22, 2013

1863 January 9th Arlington Heighths

Arlingtons Hights Jan 9, 1863
Dear friend Ellen
I now seat myself to write a few lines
thinking you would like to hear from an
old Soldier and Schoolmate. I have been
trying to get a chance to write to you for more than
a month, but having so many letters to write
and so little time to do it in, that I could not
possibly get a chance. I was on guard last night
and did not get any sleep. I feel so dull
that I just cannot write a very good letter.
If I do not you must excuse me. I am well
and contented, although there is a great
many that would give all their old boots and
shoes, to get home and not mutch to blame
especialy thoes that is unwell. there is about
a hundred sick ones. I do not think mutch
of our doctors. they do the men more bad
than good, a mans life is not considered worth mut
ch out here. we have now moved into warm

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winter quarters and live quite comfortable
great many got cold by moving into
warm quarters and then going out in
the cold with their coats on, and have had a
bad Cold, but have now got over it they
drill us very hard lately and Christmas they
drilled us two times in the forenoon with
our knapsacks on, in the afternoon two
hours with them off. they found that they
was  hurting the men and have  hastily
put a stop to it. we was turned out News
years night, about 12 Oclock, by hearing
that the Rebels were within a short distance
of us, and afterwards found out that it was
done to see how quick we could turn out,
I shall always remember that night
I suppose you go to school. I would like
to be at home, to go this winter what
times we would have, I cannot help
thinking of the last winter I and
Bob went to School how we used to
carry on--

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      never mind I will make up for
lost time next winter. I have not
sowed all my wild Oats yet, by
the way do you have eny Singing School
eny whare this winter how often I have
wished as I lay in my bunk at night
if I could be at home if not more
than one night to go to singing School
do you have any meeting up to the old Brick
School hous Sunday nights. I can
 almost fancy that I can see the people as
sembled together as they used to when
I was at home owing to the short space of
time I must draw my letter to a close
I send my best respects to you and all
the rest of the folks, so good by
        From your friend
              James E. Maston

MSS 14761

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