Justus E. Gale to Family

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Mr Chas. J. Gale
Elmore Lamoile Co.Vermont


8th Regt. Vt. Vols. Co. AAlgiers La.August 31st 1862Dear Brother Charley & all the rest.

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I take my pen once more to write you a few lines to let you know that I am well & hope these lines will find you the same blessing. Since I last wrote to we have had quite a time. last thursday morning at 2 O’clock our Co. Co. C & a Co. of Massajusetts Cavalry & a detachment of two 12 pounder Howitzers belonging to our regiment was routed up got our breakfast and made ready for a reconoicence up the river. we got ready and got aboard the cars & at 4 O’clock we started up the rail road. we moved on all quietly for 6 miles when all at once the hind train was stoped as suden as if it had run against Terriferma. there was not much excitement created in the car that our Co. was in; it being the hind car on the train, but was soon ascertained that we had met with quite a smash by runing our train into the train before us. the train before us was run by a Southern engineer who has appeared to bee a union man and we have considered him as such until we got smashed on the cars. it was foggy so that the man runing the hind engine could not see ahead

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any distance and first he new he was right upon the other train and that was stoped and had hung out no signal light blowed the whistle nor nothing else. it stove the engine up pretty hard threw three cars of from the track and smashed them up so that we rolled them over into the ditch. but with all this smash there was no one injured except two or three very slightly. this hindered us til noon then we was ready to go ahead again. at half past one we took shanks horse and marched onward til sundown we stoped at the Court house for a repast of what ever we could get hold of. we soon found geese, turkies, chickens, sheep and some small beef. at half past 4 the next morning we began our march again. I have got a morning paper I am a going to send you which will give you a discription of what we done that day better than I can write it although there are more items that might bee mentioned. after we turned our course home ward it would have made your eyes stuck out to seen us manovered with rebels property. we had take a good many horses & mules a going up. but coming back we got on to the horses and what hadent got sadles took the first they could find and away we went into the pastures & fields & drove all the horses, cattle, mules, sheep and every thing we could find out to the road and on we went. when we got dry we could stop and get any thing we wanted from watter

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up to old new England. milk eggs swine & whiskey was plenty. I had a nice poney to ride home she was just as gay as a peacock and was broke to ride to. more than that it was a rebel Gen horse, or had been. come night we stoped and dressed some sheep and cooked for supper had some coffee and started on again. we travailed all night and til stoping and geting whatever we see wanted to make us comfortable by the way. about eight O’clock in the morning we had some 5 or 6 miles further to go; so some of us thought a good breakfast would go verry well and we rode up to an old planters house and called for some breakfast. we found a bread cart called up there so just rode up to the cart took out some bread called for some milk; so they took us into the house brought on some fresh meat, homany bread, butter and milk and we went at in double quick time when we got enough we thanked them, mounted our horses an galoped off. we got back to camp they thought it was quite a caravan; for we had mules and horses cattle & sheep mule teames horses & caagies of every kind from gigs to 4 horse teames, some loaded with soldiers, some bagage, and any amount of negroes with teames & on foot. there is nearly 1,500 blacks in camp now; and we have sent nearly as many up to General Phelps. when the rebels grumbled any about our taking all their property we just told them

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to reconsile them to it a little, that if they dident dry up before long that we not only would take their property but we would take them with it and burn their buildings into the bargain. the property we captured broberly is worth from 75,000 to 100,000 dollars besides the slaves that come in with us. This morning we find ourselves some sore & lame but are good for another march which we brobable shal have soon. I had an opportunity to try my musket at the rebels but they was so far off and was skedaddling so fast that I couldent see wether any of them halted or not. I saw one that got his leg broke and lay side of the road. Capt. Grout & Capt. Foster done well by their men they are good managers in an engagement & so was the other officers that was with us. I havent seen Chas. Cooper for a number of days dont know but he is doing well the rest of the Elm ore boys are well as common. we are signing another pay roll to day for another two months pay. we shall get 4 months pay to once when they get round to it. I havent got any letters since I last wrote; I hope you wont write without you want to; for I have got a most learnt how to get along without letters. remember me to Lymans’ folks. my love to all so good by for this time

we probable killed from 12 to 30 rebels in our big battle.

yours with respectJ. F. Gale