Newport Barracks

Oct 26th [1862]

Dear Brother Wallace

I take my
pen in hand to write to you in
answer to one that I received
from you baring the date of
Oct 19 which came to hand yesterday
I was glad to hear from you
and to hear that you was
well your letter found me
in excelant health enjoying
life as well as usul groing fat
evry day we have plenty to eat
and drink a privilage that a
soldier cannot alwase have
we had baked beans for dinner
and you now that I am not
at all bashful about eating
when thare is beans around
I must stop writing now
for it rains and our house leaks

[page 2]
so bad that thare is not a
place large enough to sit down
in without getting wet for it
rains rite smart. it has stopt
raining and I will try and
finish my letter thare was a
new regment went by a few
moments ago they stod out on
platform cars in the rain they
went by here when the rain
pord rite down it made us
fellows feel pleased to see
them stand out in the rain
it was the forty forth and the
third and fifth are in beaufort
I have ben trying to make
a ring to send to you I have
got one partly made and
let Chauncey have it to finish
he can finish a ring better
than I can he is pretty good
marking bone most all of

[page 3]

the boys get him to mark
their rings for them I am
to lasy to work a great deal
this is the place for fellows
to live that do not like to
work we are to lasy to cut
wood enough to burn thare
is plenty of good fat pine
wood within a few rods of
our dore the trees here are
fatter than your best pine
stumps Chauncey is on
picket to day it is a wet
disagreable day thare was
preaching here this fore noon
I did not go I had wrather
ly on my bunk if you can
call it a bunk it is two or
three ruff bords laid acrost
a couple of sticks no straw
nor nothing but one blanket
I have not slep on a good

[page 4]
bed but once since I left home
that was when Chauncy and I
went to beaufort we went to
the hospital and staid
all night with some friends
thare I slept on a white bed
if a soldier can get a board
to sleep on he is contented
they cannot allwase get that
it is eavning now I am writing
by torch light I have to write
by spells for it has rained
so that I could not write
the shanty leaks bad when it
rains hard it is about eight
oclock now the boys have jest
got threw gamblin they have
not played as long as common
to night they play almost
evry night I look on some
but never played for money
in my life nor never shall
we recived the recipt for that barrel
yestarday Wallace I want to have you take good care
of that old shop for thare is not
a day but what I think of what
good thing I have spent in that old shop
[Added at top of page 1]
I want to have you
write after and let

me no what

is goin on in

old southwick

tell birney

to write to I

will answer

all the letters

that you

from your brother Alfred Holcomb
[2] This letter Alfred wrote the day before I wrote my
last one but he was off on picket so I did not know it

and it was

This leaves me well tougher than a boild Owl

couldent be sick if I wanted to dont believe one

could pound it into me with a club
[page 5, Alfred’s letter to his brother continued]
you spoke about falling in
love with some of these southern
girls do not worry yourself
about that fore thare is not
a woman in all north carolina
that I would snap my finger
for I have not seen one yet
but what looked pale and
sickley and had either red
or white hair and chawed
snuf and that is a nough
to turn the stomach of a dog
I shall wait till I get home
to old massachusetts before
I pick out my girl I believe
that I can find one thare that
suits me one that does not
chaw snuf [bak?] onley think
of it go to kiss a girl and
have her mouth all coverd
with snuff it farley makes
[page 6]
me gag to think of it
no wonder our northern
girls despise tobacco chewers
and smokers I for one will
never use the nasty stuf here
is the place to use it to if
enny whare thare is not hardley
a man but what chews and
smokes you will see little
boys and even girls begin tobacko
it sickens me of tobacco and
lickor to see what brutes some
will make themselves with the
use of it I do not use a bit
of lickor when that I feel well
george has left of[f] using it you
cannot get him to drink a
drop he says that he will
not drink a bit as long as
he stays in the army unless he
is sick. he has stuck to it
for a good while and I hope
[page 7]

he will stick it through
he say that he feels better with
out it and he looks a great deal
better I was on picket when Chauncey
rote and sent the order for our
monney I ment to told him to
tell the boys that I sent them
part of it to buy them som
boots for winter and i give
the wrest to father to do what
he is a mind to with we got
paid in all bills I have not
had a cent in change since
we wer paid it is all shinplasters [2]
and sutlers tickets the boys
must of had some fun in
willises watermelon patch
I would like to of ben with
them I have not had a good
meal of watermelon this
year when you write again
let me no wheather you
[page 8]
got all of my pictures
or not I sent two by mail
and one in that box we
expect that box that you
sent evry day we received the
recipt a good while ago
Mr horner is getting along prety
well he does not complain
eny he appears to like first
rate ward is as happy as
a clam he likes unkle sams
flat cakes so well that he
is eating them all the time
the bigest part of the recruits
are getting pretty homesick
they are beginning to talk
of goin home so quick we old
solgers laf at them and tell
them that home is a fool to
this place I guess this will
do for this time from your
brother Alfred Holcomb

  1. Added by Chauncey Holcomb across top of pages 2 and 3
  2. Shinplasters were paper money of low denomination
October 26, 1862


Co. F, 27th Massachusetts Infantry
Residence (County): 
Hampden County, MA


Residence (County): 
Hampden County, MA


From State: 
North Carolina
From Municipality: 
From Note: 
Newport Barracks


To State: 
To County: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

Ken Gardner
Transcription Date: 
August, 2014
M. Ellis
Proof Date: 
October, 2014

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