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117th New York Infantry

Item LTR-10013
September 8, 1862 George R. Waid
Price: $245.00


Original Civil War soldier's letter. 4 pages, written in period ink.

Camp Battery Cameron
4 miles West of Washington

September 8th 1862

Dear Sister Laura,

As I have a few leisure moments, I thought I would devote them to you. For I know of no one more deserving of it. I suppose of course you have heard that I had enlisted and gone to war long ago. I should have written you before about it. But to tell the truth, I haven’t had time. For ever since we left home August 22nd, we have been on the continual move from one post to another. Until at last, we have settled down here, or at least our Company has and have been here 5 days. How much longer we will stay, nobody knows, not even the Colonel.

After we left Rome, the first place we stopped at of any note was Albany. We arrived there Friday evening, August 22nd, 9 o’clock. After we got off the cars, we marched down to the wharf. Took the Steamboat for Jersey City, arrived there Saturday night at just sundown. Took the cars for Philadelphia, passed through Newark, NJ, a place of 72,000 inhabitants and some other of but little note. At last, we arrived at Philadelphia at just 4 o’clock Sunday morning. There we were given a fine breakfast by the Ladies of that place. After that, we marched through the City, about 3 miles, to the Depot. At last, we started about 9 a.m. for Baltimore. We arrived there Sunday night. Took supper at the Soldier’s Saloon. About 9 in the evening, we took the cars for Washington. We arrived there at 3 o’clock Monday morning. Went into Barracks and slept until 5 ½. Got up, went up to the Capital, saw Abe, the White House and some of the greatest specimens of art in the world. After a while, we got orders to march to Georgetown Heights, a distance of 7 miles, which we accomplished in about one hour and a half. It was all the way up hill, very hot and dusty. About ½ of the men fell out of the ranks and lay down beside the fence completely tired out. But I stuck by my men and we were the first company on the grounds. But the march proved to be too much for me. And I was taken with palpitations of the heart. Was pretty sick for 3 or 4 days. But am now getting better and will be able to do duty in a few days if nothing happens. I have been appointed first Corporal by the Captain. Which gives me a good many more privileges than a Private soldier. Besides a chance for promotion. I received $140 bounty money and gave most of it to Father. The remainder I took with me for my own use.

I have bought me a rubber blanket to spread on the ground or wrap around your shoulders when it rains. I have had some trouble with the teeth ulcerating and as soon as the swelling does down on my face, I will get my photograph taken and send it to you. Give my love to all of Libbie’s and Uncle Elliott’s folks. Write to me often. Give me all the news and tell me where to direct to you. I intended to have visited you before I came away. I packed my trunk, took the cars, got to Rome, tried to get a furlough, as I had been promised, but the Colonel said it was impossible. That we had orders to move in three days, so I could not go. Henry is only 10 miles from me. But the military laws are so strict that I can’t go to see him, no he me.

Now write often and believe me to be

Your Affectionate Brother,

George R. Waid

P.S. Direct to Washington, DC, 117th Regiment, New York State Volunteers, Company H, Care of Captain Stevens and I will get it.

You will have to write immediately or perhaps I will not get it. Now goodbye again. Until the Union and peace is restored.

G. W.