Charles F. Bancroft to Smiley Bancroft

Primary tabs

Page: of 4
Download: PDF (8.22 MiB)
Camp Griffin VaTuesday P.M. Dec. 31stDear Father,

Page 1

This PM as there is no Brigade drill I will try & write another letter to you hoping that I may be able to get it done before the week is out & 2 or 3 others too. I was sent off last Sunday morning with 20 men from our Co as our detail on picket guard & when I got in to camp Monday AM I found a letter from you & was of course glad to find it You say that you are driven to straits for news & it is just so with me. you get more news & particulars in the Palladium than I can find here yet as to the minutia & minor details of camp life, of course I am situated to inform you on such matters to a greater extent probably than the papers can, except what the letters from the soldiers afford. And another thing many people suppose that the boys here have as much as half of the time to write if they had a mind to. now with me it is no such thing, for I write when I can always but to give you an instance of my chances, Sunday I was sent on picket & then I wrote part of a letter to Nancie, came in Monday at 1/2 past 10, & as the pickets were excused from drill the rest of the day I thought I would do some washing so I went to work & washed a pair of drawers

Page 2

& 4 pair of stockings & then washed myself all over & changed my clothes & by that time it necessary to get some rails for wood, & after we had cut it up then came dress parade, & then I got pretty busy making a milk toast out of some milk that I got in the morning & the evening was used up in getting ready for the inspection today wich is the inspection & mustering preparatory to paying off, & to day there are no other drills & I have washed 3 woolen shirts & now have got to writing & soon will be dress parade & then we must get our rails & cut wood. I can hardly realize that it is winter in Vt & the snow is flying and that you are breaking roads & getting up wood driving Bill in the sleigh with bells jingling but suppose it is so. Now it is a warm sunny day & last Sunday made me think of a pleasant day in potatoe digging time. The ground here is bare but frozen in the mornings & some days, but it is said by people that snow & cold weather here held of longer than usual. I wish I could see you then I could talk a lot & tell you more than I can write any way. I wish you could come out here & see the country and what is going on &c The country nearly as far as the eye can reach is dotted with tents & I do not know

Page 3

what we are laying here doing nothing so long for, but I suppose to hold the Rebels in check & let the Fleet do the work & when things further south are done up to suit govt. then we shall do our part but if any one had told me before I left home that there would have been no fighting before this time I should of course thought he was gasing, & it would have been hard to have made me believe but what I should have been in a battle before this time but now the call for dress parade is beating & I must stop & get on my equipment & be ready to fall in. Well Father here it is in the AM of New Years Day Jan. 1st 62. New years day & I will try to finish this. last night we had so much company that it was almost impossible to write. I wish you all most heartily a happy new year & would like to be at home to day to wish it personally & perhaps shall be next year, but I do not know what to think of things they move so slowly that I sometimes think that we shall serve out the 3 years before we see home. If a year from now does not bring the termination of this war then we shall not see Vt until June/64 in my opinion. but I hope it will be different You make some inquiries about our Officers & I think that I I cannot write what I choose about them. I guess if I do not

Page 4

write worse than they talk here that I shall not be hurt. We have some good Officers & some mighty mean ones You remember seeing at St. Johnsbury one Dr. Platt he is Capt of Co B & a perfect scamp he is too, also the same is the case with Capt Atherton of Co. C they are arbitrary & there is not much military about them Our major is, to speak plain, a most egregious fool & green horn. he is very fond of making arrests & a great many here hate him most cordially. You recollect that Will Bancroft said that Major Worthern of the 1st was a perfect stinker & it is some so, he is however a very good Officer but is not liked so well as Col. Stoughton he swears dreadfully on Brigade drill. Our Col is a splendid Officer & the men think a great deal of him he swears some but he does not make such mean work of it as Worthern does Father I want to write you a mighty long letter for I want to get the weeks talk into it but you must not think hard if I do not answer all your inquiries for I think of more than I can get into 8 pages & some times forget to answer all you ask. Capt Laird is liked well. Monday after we came in from picket he went to the Col & got us excused from all further duty that day & was the means of getting all the pickets excused. now they come in later than formerly as there is a new arrangement & it would be hard for us to drill most all the PM & I think he used us well in so doing I had rather drill under him than under our Lieuts as he is not so hard on drills by the way our 2nd Lieut. Brooks has left us & gone to Washington on detached service, & we generally sorry for he was a good Officer. But I will stop now a while & commence a letter to mother. I have got a paper fixed out giving you the power of attorney to draw my state pay of 7 dollars per month which I hope you will do & apply it as you think best. let me know in your next if you are getting wood to market & how the Oxen look, & what you are doing generally let me know how your money matters are & if you can make a payment to Natt Coburn in the spring where did you plough last fall & did you stake up my little plum trees Write soon

Yours Truly,C. F. Bancroft