Justus E. Gale to Sister and Mother
Miss Almeda. A. Gale
Brashear City8th Regt. Vt. Vols.Co. A.Nov. 25th 1862Dear Sister
I recd your kind and welcome letter of Nov 5th last eavening and was glad to learn
that you had got smart enough so that you could write to me; I have been thinking
much about you & Mother & Samantha since you have been sick & have waited
with anxiety to have you get smart enough so that you could write to me again. I have
thought a great deal about the home and friends I left but one short year ago - and
now what a change has taken place; first I left to go to protect our country
our liberty our freedom, & our all. In a few months from this when all was well as usual for aught I knew Mother & Charlie were taken sick – and even before this news reache me Dear Charlie was already laid in the Silent grave - and if I had heard by the next mail that Mother had followed him it would have been no more than I expec ted to hear then - when Mother was so sick; soon after this news came to me that Samantha was also sick and then you were taken sick and have had a hard time with the rest and now I only hear that you are all in nearly as hard circumstan ces as have been in since the mi ddle of August. I hardly know or I may say I do not know why it should be thus – but the Lord knows for what purpose he thus afflicts - and let us trust in him who doeth all things well & for our good
I suppose you will see by the head ing of this letter that we have m- oved again since I last wrote home. We are now seven miles further up the railroad toward Texas or at the end of this road. This is a sm- all place (some larger) than Elmore City) situated on a small bay - and on the other side of the bay is another small collection of houses; this place is called Burwicks bay; the other side of the bay is occupied by the rebels - although there isent only now and then a few seen sticking their heads out of the cain or woods; Theire is two or three gunboats laying close by us - so I think the rebels will not chose to meddle with us much. I saw several prisoners yesterday that was taken by the 21st Ind. regt. before we got here; they was pretty hard looking soldiers - they had-
I will sent you a little ring made out of a bone such as we knaw the meat of from.
ent any thing about them that looked like a uniform – nor I havent seen one yet that had on a deacent uniform; these men I saw yesterday had on verry thin poor ragged clothes - some of them are entirely barefooted and the rest are not much better; the citizens are many of them barefooted or round with some old scuff on that I wouldent wear down to the brook to wash my boots; this I know to bee the truth for I have seen it with my own eyes, When our men first took this place they said that tobacco was eight dollars pr pound and only once place where they could get any at that. Our Co.& Co. H are quart ered in a store which makes us good quarters; It is a very pleas ant place here for Louisania to afford.
(J. F.Gale) I will write the rest to Mother
Tell Ruby to break the rebels good shape – for what I break I calculate to break so they will stay broke.
It is with pleasure that I seat my self to write a few lines to let you know that
your welcom letter found me enjoying good health even as you
desired when you wrote to me. I am enjoying myself first rate down here – but my mind
is often made solemn when I think what hard times you are having at home and how much
I am needed to help at home while there is so many there sick. but let us keep up
good spirits and I hope that the time may soon come when we shal enjoy each others
society - and should we never meet again on Earth I hope we shal meet those that have
gone before us to Heaven.
I wish you could look into our quarters & over our camp and see what was a going on among the soldiers – and the position that diferent ones occupy; I think it would bee a scene of some interest to you; Out door you would see the sentinals walking their beet – some playing ball some pitching quaits. some going too and fro to the Suttlers shop or other places of amusement. and some in their quarters reading playing cards, and still others writing to their friend, and when you got along near the corner of the room you would see that old boy Jut sitting up on the store counter in a chair writing on a little cubbard that he made to kep his dishes in – the same looking little urchin – but has learnt a goodeal of develtry by being in percuit of the pleggy rebels & their property.
The Elmore boys are all so as to be about. Stephen & Wesley have been a little unwell for a few days past but are better now – I guess they will bee all right in a day or two more.
It is a pleasant warm sunshiney day here – I am writing in my shirt sleaves without
any fire in the room and the doors & windows open throu gh the room – and am warm
enough I presume there is quite a contrast between the weather here and up there; I
recd a letter the 23rd from Em Taft, wrote the 9th She said that there was a foot
& a half of snow there then. We have enough to eat and are fairing well - we dont
have near so much guard duty to do as we did to Algiers. we probable have got through
stoping at Algiers - but have got full as good a place.
I think I shall worry you before you get through reading this. give my respects to all enquire ing friends. give my love to Samantha and except the same your self; write as often as you can afford to; I will close for this time;
This from your Son. to his Mother J. F. Gale