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123rd New York Infantry

Item LTR-523
December 8, 1862 Benjamin F. Searls
Price: $185.00


4 pages, original Civil War soldier's letter written in period ink and war dated.

Loudoun Valley
Jefferson County, Virginia

December 8th 1862

Dear Brother and Sister,

I received now I will try to write just as I began to write the signal guns was fired. We were ordered out. We fell out in line and loaded our guns and stacked them and stood in line a while. Then we got word that it was a fake alarm. So we fell in to our tents. I received your kind and welcome letter Saturday. Happy to hear that you are all well. As these few lines leave me, I wish you could see me now. I am in good order. I weight today 170 pounds. That is ten more than I ever weighted before. So you see that the south agrees first rate with me. Now you want to know if I have got plenty of clothing. I have got 2 pairs of socks, four drawers, four shirts, pairs of pants, blouse coat, dress coat, overcoat and blankets and a good fire to stay by. Friday there was three inches of snow here and very cold. Saturday the wind blew and the snow flew merrily. I was on guard for the first time since I left Salem. I stood it first rate. Yesterday it was so cold they had to change the guard every hour. They generally stand two hours on and four off. I have never been left alone. While I have been sick, we five stick together like brother. Today the weather is very pleasant. It seems like spring, some happy too. We have first rate times here. Plenty to eat and drink and a good place to sleep. Uncle Sam is the man to work. Only thing $1.40 bounty, $13 per month board and clothes and a chance of getting that all for your time. Have you had better come and try it for a weak or two. Lots of fun and plenty of darkeys. Now Harriet doesn’t write to Hall anymore. It is a waste of paper. I would not come now if I could get a discharge. I like the trade first rate and only think of being in the sorry south while you are up there in the cold north. Elihu Wickes is as fleshy as I be. I have gained for two weeks very fast. If I keep on so for three years York state won’t be large enough for me to live in. I can’t think of anymore to say now. So goodbye. My love to all.

From your affectionate Brother,

B. F. Searls
9 o’clock pm

We have enlisted for the war
And we will camp in the field
With Burnside our commander
We never will yield.

The End