Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14, 1862

Qr. Master Sergt. Howe:
From a Letter:
     February 14, 1862. Friday. I worked hard all night unloading, as also did Parker, and the boat has just left for the wharf. The wind blows and she has drifted ashore above the wharf. We brought out four hundred and fifty thousand muskets, cartridges and a large amount of shells. We expect ships with stores every day. The sutlers have sold out nearly everything. Robert Read and William Wight came aboard; they are looking fine, and have a nice store. Read is making money fast in his sutler's shop. A bakery has been set up and the men buy soft bread every other day and night. Four or five of our boys have died of fever since arriving; they caught cold at the camp at Fortress Monroe. I saw a rifle ranger boy last night who was dying; it seemed sad, probably he has a kind mother at home who is unaware of this. I was just told that the 26th Massachusetts Regiment were to take possession of the island fifteen miles to the west of this, towards Mobile.
     Our wood comes from the upper end of the island and a chopping party goes out every day to cut it, then it is rafted down. There used to be a large brick house on the island, which was destroyed when the rebels evacuated. Our boys are digging bricks out and making cooking ranges. No alligators or coons yet. Two rebel boats came along the main shore yesterday on their way from New Orleans to Mobile; our gunboats headed them off and they returned; they come down once in a while and show a little fight. A schooner with nine men, belonging to us, took an English steamer which was loading at Matanzas with cotton, she had five hundred bales aboard; is built of iron and is valued at five hundred thousand dollars, all told. She would have tried to run the blockade.
     Seventeen of the mechanics are going home, Colonel Butler says so many are not needed. I am feeling tip-top and shall not be homesick; not that I do not think of home and friends, for I think of you all every day, but I feel like this, that I can take care of myself, and only hope you won't give yourselves any anxiety about me. If other troops come along I don't think we shall stay here long. I haven't been inside the Fort yet. It is poorly built. The main land is from twelve to fifteen miles away. 

 

2d Lieut. Elliot:
Diary:
     February 14-Friday
     Weather cold windy and stormy very fortunate we arrived here as we did or our passage would have been a hard one and probably dangerous.
     Wrote a letter to Pond, Charley Kimball and done up a parcel and gave to Mr. Kimball to give Jane for me when he gets home. Some 18 of the Mechanics are going to return home in the Constitution.
     One of the men who came out with us for the Battery has died and was buried to day. the 26 Reg’t. Band played for the funeral. the coffin drawn by two horses and covered with our countrys flag. followed by the members of the Battery passed here about 4 O Clock P.M.
     We have had another accident here to day while getting our baggage on shore by the Lewis she ran aground and in their endeavors to get her up to the wharf the Hauser slipped and one man was quite ser-iously injured. he now lays insensible his name was Hopkins and he was Boss Waggoner of the Maine 12th.
     We wrote to Westford Selectmen about Gilsons State Aid. also to S.W. Stickney about allotment rolls of the same.


Corlp. B. B. Smith:
Diary:

     Friday 14
     We? very pleasent turned out at
     Sunrise took breakfast had no
     Drill today but dress parade at
     At 2[?] Ock.  there was 2 of the Maine
     Soldiers died and was buried yesterday
     They died of the measels.  One 4th
     Mass Batt died and was buried
     This PM.  he came with us is
     The ship with us and belonged to
     Andover.  he had a lung fever.

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