Justus F. Gale to Sister

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Camp HolbrookJan 11th 1862Dear Sister

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I received your letter of the sixth and was glad to hear from you. I am wel as common although I have had some cold for a few days but feel quite well now. I was on guard day before yesterday had a very comfortable time except one two hours it snowed all the time I was out but was not cold. yesterday it rained some and this morn it is pleasant and nice. theire is now six Companys here and more coming to day. yesterday at four O clock we went out on dres parade for the first time. we have got our guns and knapsacks our knapsacks are a light square box about

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sixteen inches sqare by 4 1/2 or 5 thick with canvas sides and an oilcloth on the out side and a chanel under it to put a coat or what you please. this is put on our back with straps over our shoulders and down under our arms and hich to the bottom of it. it weighs about 3 pounds. as regards my washing I have done it my self and have sheet iron stoves in our tents & a good fire. we are in tents or rather houses that are made of pine which can be taken down and up in a few minutes that are 16 by 24 ft & with bunks enough for 70 men to sleep in. there is two in a bunk Steave and I are together & the rest of the Elmore boys are in the same tent we sleep five tear deep with only about 18 inches between the bed above & the one below. we have a straw bed with a tick and our blankets and over coats to put over us. our foder is rather better than it was. I found in the Worcester Co Brother Udal & Ben

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& Luther Morse & George Wheat and was glad to see them Udal is one of their seargeants. I forgot Ed Drown he is their Orderly seargant. my clothes are some of them here which I shal send up in Wesleys valice. my valice & some of my clothes I left to Montpr to Wm Huntingtons and a pair of Boots of Wesleys. there is a bout 25 of our Co down to the Hospital sick with the Measles, none from Elmo Our Captain has gone home to day dont know how long he wil be gone. I think we shal stay here 2 or 3 weeks longer and then after all the stories we shal go to ship Island at the mouth of the Mississippi River. I belive it is forty miles from land the island is 9 miles long & 4 wide. I was very glad to find some money in your letter although I had got envelopes paper & stamps before I received that. the boys wil divide as long as they have any thing to divide before they

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wil see him suffer. I gues that I have had to stop writing many times as you did but not for the same reason we have had to dril considerable for a few days, & now the boys are getting ready to go to the village with the Lieutenant to look round a little while. I am a going to get my Potograph taken before I leave here if I can with my Uniform and gun. I believe you wanted to know if I was homesick. I often think of home and the folks at home but havent seen home sick yet but presume I shal when I get down to that dessolate Island. we enjoy camp life better the more we get together & get aquainted. I want you to tel Father that I dont want my Sleigh lent unles to some one that is rearly in a streight and wil be carful & not much at that. tel Lyman & Myra to write as soon as they can. I want some of you to write all about the buisness and affairs and all of the news. give my love to Wilbur and Bro ther Chases folks & all the rest of the folks. Direct your to Camp Holbrook 8th Vt Reg Co A and it wil come to me. I gues we shal start from here about the first of Feb. but dont know. excuse all yistakes.

J F Gale