Justus E. Gale to Father
Mr Jonas Gale
Elmore LamoileCounty Vt
March 28th 1862Dear Father
I wil try and bisy my self after so long a time of delay and absence a short time to
let you know that I am well at the present time although I have been some seasick
since I have been on my voyge. we left New York harbor the tenth and went out ten
miles and anchored over night: then set sail for Ship Island it has now been eighteen
days that we have been on the broad atlan tic. there was fifteen days that we were
out of sight of land. yesterday morning we came in sight of one of the Bahama
Islands, and this mor ning we are in sight of an other. when I left N. Y. I felt
quite wel but had not sailed but a
few hours before I began to be sea sick and to vomit which lasted for seven or eight days, and left nuthing but my boots but what I threw up. during this time I eat but little but soon felt like makeing it up. there are four Companys of infantry and the Artilery Co. on this vessel which makes us rather thick for comfort specially on the account of cooking. our food has been as good as could be expected for the accomodations for cooking. this vessel is an merchant vessel fixed over for the purpose of car- rieng soldiers which is not so accommodating as some. our food is salt beef and port & occasiona- lly some beans or pea soup which is verry good and hard bread. we have had contrary winds most of the time since we started
which makes it hard sailing how much longer we shal be a going I cant tel but you can look on the map and see for your self where we are & what our course is. it is now warm as the last of April in Vermont. the boys are anxious to get on to land where they can have a chance to stir around and get some fresh watter to drink for the watter we get on the ship is poor and but little at that. when I got over beaing seasick I was weak some what down hearted but now I feel nearly as wel as ever and my stomach feels the clearest it ever did for I heaved up a goodeal of gall and nasty stuf from my stomach I have not seen any verry large sea monsters yet one of the mates caught a blind shark one day that was over seven feet long which was quite a fish.
I saw quite a scool of black fish this morning a scooting over the watter. I have heard some tel of seeing whales but I have not seen any thing of the kind yet and hardly think I would like to be at sea a great while for the sake of seeing one. wel Father here I am a gerat ways from home perhaps it looks farther to you than it does to me but as I write I can behold the same sun and at eave can see the same moon & stars that you behold at our home. but what is better than all the rest we can trust in the same hand to protect us & worship the same God as though we wer at home together. I am trying to live the same religeon only I am trying to live nearer the side of my Savior that I was when I was in Elmore. I am truly thankful for the blessing of good health while away from home.
I hope that these lines wil find you enjoying the blessings of health and religeon I think much of you at home and of the work & buisness at home & hope that it may not be long before I can be there to help you but do not know how that may bee. I have heard nuthing from the army for a good while but hope when we get landed we shal find out what is going on. there has been but verry little rain since we have been on the wat ters. there was quite a gale about twenty four hours which made the boat rock as though it was going to tip over but was all safe I supp- ose at least I felt safe.
Ship IslandApril 6th 1862Dear Father
I find my self this pleasant Sabbath morning in sight of the Island. we came in sight
of it last eave. had a verry pleasant view of the camp and tents as we passed by last
eave as they was all lit up. since I wrote the former part of my letter it has been
verry pleasant weather and have had a nice sail. our craft is enjoying good health
with a few exceptions. my health is good but think a little exercise would be good
for me. I dont know whether we shal go ashore to day or not. there is a steamer going
out for N. York this after noon so I can send this to you.
the Island looks as though it was a pleasant and healthy place they say there is plenty of good water there. the rest of our reg. got there yesterday a few hours before us. but we had not seen them since we left N. Y., also a part of the 7th came in yesterd ay. it is warm as June in Vermont. we havent heard the news yet or what is going to be done with us. there is anoth er small Island in sight of here. I dont think of much more to write this time and as I have some other letters to finish and but little time to do it please except this and answer it as soon as you get it: and write all about your health and the affairs at home for I am axious to know what is and how you are getting along.
direct your letter to Ship Island 8th Vermont Reg.
In care of Capt Grout.
Charley Cooper wants I should tel you to tel his people that he is wel and all right but hasent time to write this time. the rest of Elmore boys are all wel and appear to be enjoying them selves wel. my love to you my dear Father and all the rest. yours in haste,
Justus F. Gale