state of Miss August 9 1863

Well catherine to day is sunday and this is a butiful
morning Clear and worm the last letter I got from
you was dated July the 25 I get more letters than any
man in the Regtment and i am glad to get letters
from you for I am lonesome altho I have plenty of company
here but it is lazy work laying around camp but I
can go any where for three or fore miles a round for we
have fifty or sixty thousand men camped a round here
we have a nice place here to camp we have plenty of good
spring water here we have ten springs in a half a mile
here this looks like it would be a healthy camp but there
is so many men to gether that there is shore to be plenty of
sickness here we have a good many sick here in our Regt
we have three out of our Company in the hospital
Alva Hamlin Ivin Phillips and samuel H Dudley sam
has been sick for a long time he has the Piles very bad he
has had the Hecoughfs for two days but they have stoped on
him this morning but he is very bad off I dont think
he will get well for he is in a bad fix the most of the
men that is sick has the Cronic Diera it is a bad thing
to have Capt Dean died day before yesterday he
was slightly wounded at Jackson and taken the Diera
and died he was sent home last night his Coffin cost
ninety dollars there is severel men buried here
every day men will die any place My health is good
and so is Wm Steels Hen is well all but the sore eyes
[page 2]
his eyes has been tolerable sore but is getting better he does
no duty he is very hearty to eat and we have plenty here
of Bacon and Crackers & Coffee & Shuger & green Peaches
and green Corn and the boys goes out and kills a hog or cow
and we have fresh meat as far as eatables is co[n] cearned
we fare well enough I am still well satisfied and so is all
the rest of the boys one year of our time is nearly out and I
dont believe the war will last two years yet if it does
I think I will stand it for Camp life suits me very well
I have got so that I can make coffee and fry meat and wash
dishes I dont like to cook but I make a hand with the rest
I would like to be at home to see a woman a bout the house
and I think I will get home this fall for a little while
it is a long ways to go and will cost right smart but when
ever I get a furlow I will come home for I want to see you
and the children so bad that I dont know what to do when I get
to thinking a bout you and the children I cant stay in my
tent I pick up my fife to keep me from studying a bout
home for it does no good there is men that studdyes until they
get sick and then they are sure to die for trouble will make
sickness go harder with any body for my part I keep lively
and full of fun Jane wrote for William to do all he could
for me if I was sick she need not think that he would
fail to do all that he could me be cause he is the best boy
that every lived and I would do as much for him as I would
for Hen he is a brother in deed Catharine you will never know
how I felt when I was picking up the ded and wounded
at Jackson for I did not know but the next one
[page 3]
be him for he was in the front but when we met after the
fight he had his collar open and his sleeves rolled up
he was glad to see me for he was a fraid that I had not
got throug safe I was glad that Hen was not with us but
he wishes he had been there is a good deal of talk here of going
in to the regular service for three years and there is a good
many in this Regt that will go in to it But here is no dan
ger of me or Wm or Hen going I believe will sullivan will
go in to it william sullivan is a soldier every inch of him
they can go in the cavalry or artillery or infantry and get
fore hundred dollars bounty and that will cause lots of men to
Join I got a letter from Reuben Witt a few days a go
he is at Helena he was in the fight there on the forth of
July he says he never got a <scratch?> he says they killed and
wounded about one thousand of the Rebs and taken about
fourteen hundred Prisners he says they lost two hundred and
sevety killed and wounded and a bout 25 taken prisners
I think I will get a pass and go to vicksburg to see some of the
boys that is in the 58 Regt I wish I knowed the Regt
that aunt Polly smiths boys was in it might be that I
could find them she wrote the Regt they was in but I lost
the letter and forgot the Regt they was in I would like
to meet them here I beleave I have wrote all that I can
think of at this time give my love to all enqruring friends
and keep a good portion for your self
Hen got a letter from Dad and he will an swer it in a few
days Catherine still write as you have done and I will
not miss a week as long as I have a chance to send a letter
Hug[h] Gaston to Catharine Gaston
[page 4]
Well Jane steel I suppose I may address you by that
name yet you must keep single until we get home then I
would be glad to be at a wedding but if you get a good
keep in good heart don[t] trouble a bout us for we will take
good care of our selves and of one an other the boys all
wants to get back to see the girls as bad as any of the
maried men wants to see there families but they will have to
to wait until the married men goes home and back

This leaves us all well and in good sperits we are Just
done eating dinner and William is washing the tin plats
none of our dishes will brake so they are handled tolerable
rough Gard duty is light here there is no rebbels about
here and the boys has a fine time here

All of you must write to us for you dont know how
well we love to get a letter from home

Hugh Gaston to Jane Steel

August 9, 1863


97th Indiana Infantry (Co. A)
Residence (County): 
Greene County, IN


Residence (County): 
Warren County, IL


From State: 


To State: 
To County: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

Angela Stanley
Transcription Date: 
May, 2015
M. Ellis
Proof Date: 
February, 2016

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