Hiram H. Barton to [Melissa Barton]

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Fort Monroe VaSept 11th 1862

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I now take the oportunity to answer your letter that I received some time ago but I dont know what to write now I dont know where we was when I wrote last I see by your letter we was at Harrisons landing we stayed there till Aug 16th and started the land rout down the James River and across the Chicah- omana to Williamsburgh and Yorktown through little and big Bethel to Hamp- ton we are near Hampton between that and the Fort it is about a mile from here to the Fort I don’t know how long we shall stay here if the rebels go into Pa we may have to go for this Division is all Pa and NY troops if we are taken away there will have to be some more sent here to guard the fort for there is but few others here

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this place has no good water the land is so flat it is warm and very poor tasting we found good water the most of the time while up the Peninsula water was hard to find on the march down here it was dry weather the dust was 6 inches deep some of the way and blew so that you could not see 6 feet from you the trees about a rod each side of the road was covered it looked like a heavy frost, there is some large fields of wheat and corn along the river we had a plenty of corn the peaches were not ripe but there was a good many green ones eat They expected we would be atacked the first day we was guard of the baggage we formed in line of battle and loaded our guns and marched on a while and formed in line again till the train come up and got partly past then we would march to another field and form in line again we was in line of battle half of the time The next day the 96 was advance guard of the baggage train they got in an awfle

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hurry and marched so fast and did not stop to rest I could not keep up I had the Rheumaties in the knees caused by the janders for I had only got over them The Dr thought I was going down the river on a boat but I wanted to go with the Regt he said if I was careful he did not know but I would stand it but I found it a hard case but I got through after a while and am well now I dont know but marching would fetch it on again I hope we will get to better water this here will be in the winter I have writen to Theador to find out where he is I have not heard from him since we started the papers say the 34th was in the fight at Bulls Run Thomas Covil of Ticonderoga in the 22 NY S V [Co. G] was shot dead there No doubt it looks as thought the Union army was not doing nothing anything but but they can come and do what they can and see if they can better it

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there is a good chance for all all that wants to come I[f] you see any one that is a good fighting man send him to the recruiting office for information I know that a man within gunshot of the Canada line with a newspaper in his hand and in a cool shad[e] can make his own calculation and have it all come out right but let him come there and have 100,000 me[n] to manage and them strung along a line of 7 or 8 miles and they cant have it all right if they have a greater number of rebels to face McClelans army was like fencing a farm with half rails enough they would fence half of it and do it well but to put them clear around it wont stop any thing and that was the case with us the rebels brought their force all to one point and before the men could be got their from each side the first ones was all cut up and if they had broke through it would been the ruin of this part of the army Our Regt is in the 3d brigade Co G is no more we are in Co C G and C together makes the largest Co in the Regt the reason we was broke up we had no officers Lyman Morhouse is dead he died soon after the battle of fairoaks I have to sit on the ground or napsack and write on my lap so excuse this poor scratching

Hiram H. Barton