Camp Benton Maryland
Head Quaters 19th Mass Vol
Thursday Nov 1861
Dear Mothers, Sisters & Brothers,
we received a letter from Andrew
last night, glad you all at home are as well as usual
the letter found us the same here. we were on guard
yesterday Jake & me our turns both come together
every five or six days. Andrew wrote that Nathan
Giles was in the 20th as we had nothing to do
this forenoon we went over to the 20th as it is but
a few rods from us. Nathan was out in the woods a
few rods from his camp choping wood to [fil?] a
cabin with. we found him and talked with him
some time about the war and one thing and another
then I asked him how long it was since he
left Attleboro he looked at us and hardly
recognised us till we told him who we were
though he knew he had seen us before though
he could not make out where or when it was
we knew him when we got close to him and
heard him speak he had just been released
from the Hospital where he had been tending
[page 2]
those who were wounded in the late fight he is
well at present. he sends his best respects to you
all and love to his Mother. we are glad that
Dave and Andrew has work in the shop. you
have Dave move up there this winter and not
come out here again. as for Miss Hannah
dont have her work in the shop when it is
not pleasent or good walking. make her
stay at home and do the work and dont you
do any hard work. and dont go [hursing?]
what ever you do. you can get along
without it if not let Hannah try her hand at
it. she will want to know how bye & bye
if that young Irishman dont get killed
before he gets home. Jake wants to know if
Hattie Pierce burnt anything else but
her clothes when she caught her dress afire in
the shope. Andrew wrote about it. our
Pay master is to be here to morrow and we will
be paid Saturday on the first of next week
I guess you will get our money the latter
part of next week or the fore part of the
week after. we are going to take gold this
[page 3]
time and are going to send it by express. we are
going to get a pass if we can when we get
our money and go to Poolesville [1] and have
our likeness taken with uniform equipments & ]
gun. and send them to you. we are encamped only
about two miles from Poolesville the drums
are beating now for our afternoon drill. it is three
oclock and we have to drill till five and then
dress parade which takes a half an hour and
then our days work is over (By 7 o clock at night)
it is seven oclock now we have been to supper
and I will try to finish my letter Gen. Stone
was here while we were on dress parade he examined
our cook houses and food to see if they were
good and well cooked it seemd to me that he
looked rather sober and sorroful probaly
owing to the many murders that he caused to be
commited at the late fight [2] we caught another
Bull Run by the tail in that fight. I have seen
a Boston paper with Col. Hinks official
report of the fight one thing I will contradict
in it. it may ease your mind in regard to
Jake & me should we be in a battle the report
[page 4]
states that there were numbers of our
wounded laying in sight on the Virginia
side uncared for. when we went over
with a flag of truce to bury our dead
we found that the enemy had placed
the wounded in as comfortable positions
as possible and covered them with the
clothes that our men had thrown away
when they swam the river the night
before. they also helped us to bury the
dead and gave us what assistance they
could in every way. while we were engaged
burying the dead two or three shots were
fired from the rebel side a short distance
from us. Captain, said the rebel Col.
speaking to one of his officers, if you find
any of our men firing a gun while the
flag of truce is here shoot him down
I think Col. Hinks done wrong in fireing
shell across the river after we had left
the Island as it certainly would not
better the condition of our men who
fell into their hands in the fight and we
gained nothing by it either but I must
bring this letter to a close. the mail has come
and we look for a letter. good bye & god
bless you, give our best respects to Mrs Giles
(Lyman & Jacob)

  1. Poolesville, MD
  2. Battle of Ball’s Bluff on October 21, 1861
Date Note: 
November 1861


Co. F, 19th Massachusetts Infantry
Residence (County): 
Norfolk County, MA
Co. F, 19th Massachusetts Infantry
Residence (County): 
Norfolk County, MA


Residence (County): 
Bristol County, MA
Residence (County): 
Bristol County, MA


From State: 
From Municipality: 
From Note: 
Camp Benton


To State: 
To Municipality: 

Transcription/Proofing Info

Jennifer Felder
Transcription Date: 
May, 2015
M. Ellis,
Proof Date: 
April, 2016

Get in touch

  • Department of History
    220 LeConte Hall, Baldwin Street
    University of Georgia
    Athens, GA 30602-1602
  • 706-542-2053

eHistory was founded at the University of Georgia in 2011 by historians Claudio Saunt and Stephen Berry

Learn More about eHistory