Justus F. Gale to Sister

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New Orleans 8th RegVt. Vols. Co. AMay 15th 1862Sister Almeda.

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I wil take my pen to write a few lines let you know that I am yet alive and in the land of the living; our regiment left Ship Island the 7th we came to the mouth of the Miss. River and there anchored and waited til the 3d day for a steamer to tow us up the river; we landed here the 12th our quarters are in some cotton press buildings which are answer our purpos verry wel; we have meat and coffee and hard crackers for rat- ions. you wil brobable hear about how this place surrendered without any fighting. the people here seem

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to be verry friendly to us so far although there are many that are rebels as much as ever. Stephen and I went out yesterday into the City and had quite a walk through the City; we traviled about three hours through the heart of the City and met no one that done or said a word to us but what was all propper and right; this City is quite a pleasant place; with there is some verry pretty streets and buildings. it is located on the right of the river as we came up; it is on a low piece of land which I should think nesicarily must be verry unhealthy through hot weather in July and August; as we came up the river we saw a great many things that interested us much; we saw some verry han some land and fine crops of corn potatoes and sugar cane;

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I saw corn and potatoes from 18 to 24 inches high. the cane is some larger than these are; I saw some slave plantations that if they wer in Vermont where we could carry them on in our way of doing buisness I should like to own; perhaps you would like a discription of a slave plantation. you wil generaly see a large nice house and bildings verry pleasantly shaded with fruit or some other shade trees with a verry pretty yard around the door: a short distance from these are small huts or houses which the slaves occupy some of these are quite comfortable looking little hou ses; at half past six or seven they was going out to their work perha ps from 25 to 100 would go stringing along through the field; I saw some fields of cane I should think of 4 or 5 hundred acres all growing nice.

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there is a large amount of woods back a little ways from the river we came past fort Jackson & Philips they looked as though they must have been hard to have taken as I suppose they was. I believe our fleet kept up a constant fire upon them for 4 days and a half before they give up; they done but little damage to our gun boats; there are several large gunboats lying here where they can shel the City in a short time if necisary; General Butler has seized an amount of beef and pro- visions that wer going to the rebel army and is distributing it among the poor of the City; I saw a large col- lection of women and children yesterday with their baskets pressing to get their share of the provisions as though they wer pressed hard with hunger. provisions are verry scarse here flour is 20 dollars and none hardly at that.

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I think by what I can see and hear that we shant stop here a great while but we dont know when we are a going to move til the order comes be ready: and then we dont know where we are going only as we guess at it; I think we shal work up the river further as the weather grows warmer. it is dry warm weather here yet but not so warm as I expected to see before this time. I was on guard day before yesterday there was a soldier shot by one of the guards while I was on but a few rods from where I was standing guard; he went acrost the guards beat the guard ordered him back but he refused to come and went at the guard with his knife; the ball went through his hip he is alive but think it doutful about his recovery

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they dident blame the guard for he only done what he was ordered to do if necisary; I suppose Charley is hard at work getting in the crops. I wish I could help them but cant. I hope they wil find some one else to help them; I received your letter of the 29th and was glad to hear from you all; I have been looking for another but havent got any more yet. you must not be scairt if you dont hear from me verry often for it takes so long for them to go and we are moving around so much that it dont look verry favorable for writing. we havent got any pay yet and I dont care but little about it here: I have got some money yet plenty of paper and stamps. the letters you wrote 29th of Marc I got the 29 of April. I dont think of much more to write

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of interest but if I could see you and talk with you I could spend some time in teling you of senes I have beheld since I left Vermont and many other things which we would like to talk about. my health is good most of the time I nor none of the rest feel quite so keen as we did when we boarded to Mr Keelers at Hyde Park but if we had such food as we had there we should bee all sick or dead in little while with no more exercise than we have some of the time. give my love to all and remember my wel wishes are for you all. excuse this poor letter for my head is to much confused with nois to write to day direct your letters to New Orlea ns Louisana. write often. I shal write as often as I have a chance to send.

the Elmore boys all well

yours respectfuly J. F. Gale
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I have been trying to think of some thing to send to you but cant get any thing that I can send that wil do you any good so have concluded to send you a little picture that there was in a New Orleans paper that I bought to read; printed May 13th called the daily true Delta quite a strong union paper I send you this to show my will and you must take the will for the deed.