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9th Maine Infantry

Item LTR-8609
August 18, 1862 Ira W. Bisbee
Price: $185.00


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

Fernandina, Florida, Aug 18th 1862

Dear Father,

I received your welcomed letter last Eve, dated July 27th, and you may imagine that I was glad to hear from you, and to know that you seemed to be getting along so nicely. My health is very fast improving. I am enjoying very good health and have been for the last month. I am hearty rugged and of the best courage. My cough has left me mostly. Once in a while I hack a little but not very often. So I think that I am alright. I have been as well for the last month as I have since I enlisted. I suppose you will think that I must be a little out of my head, but it is just so. I see by your letter that our town has raised 31,00 (or at least voted to) for the volunteers that enlist. I think about as you do about buying patriotism. I think it is buying it very dear too – but never mind, if we can’t have it one way we must another, for men we must have, and I should think that every able bodied man that ever calculates to enlist I should think now was the time, especially those that you have to buy, for the Lord knows you give them enough in our town. I see too that our friend neighbor at last has returned. I should like to be there about two hours. If I did not give him hail Columbia it would be because I could not. But I will not get off some of Han Warrens big words so I will stop. But I do sincerely hope he will have to shoulder his musket and step in to the field before Richmond. Whether he can eat pork or not and live on nothing but hard bread and pork for six months. I guess I am getting rather hard on Mr Pulcipher and will stop at present. Well, father, what do you think about war news in general? As for me, I do not know anything that is going on, only what you write to me and what I get from some of the papers. But as near as I can find out, Gen McClellan has not proved himself to be such a general as he had ought to have been in the place he has occupied. I see that Gen Halleck is put in head of the army of the United States. I hope he will prove himself true-blue to the Union and put things along as fast as possible and I think he will, for he is a desperate old fellow and has done a good thing so far. But I think that Gen Pope is one of the best of the generals we have had in the army. He has done the thing up very brown wherever he has made a strike. And I should think by your letter that he has got a good portion of our army under him. I received a letter from Enoch Whittemore last night. He wrote me a beautiful letter, I tell you. He says he was in the seven days fight before Richmond. He did not state how many of his Regt was killed. But his brigade was in the hottest of the battle all the time. He says Richmond might have been ours if it had not been for some very bad mismanagement amongst the generals. He writes that he is well and has been ever since he enlisted. I see that Frank has met with a mishap by falling from a fence and hurting his arm very bad. It makes the tears roll down my cheeks when I think how much the poor little fellow must suffer with it. I hope that it will soon be restored as good as it was before. Tell him I am very sorry that he has hurt him and I wish I could step in and see him. You seem to think that you would like to have me step down and just give you a lift in haying.

I should like to very much if so I could. But I suppose that Cal can do as much work as I used to. I hope you will get along well with your haying. Be sure and not do too much so to make you sick. I wrote you sometime ago that I would try and get my discharge if I could. The Capt has made out two of our men discharges and they are going on the steamer that came in last. He says that he shant let me go home for I am about the toughest man he has got in his company. Lieut Heald is going home on the first steamer. You must go and see him when he gets home if he ever does alive. But I do not know as he will get home alive for he is very sick and low. I sent you two gold dollars some time ago in two letters. Have you got them or not? If you have written about it I am not aware. But I am aware that you never will see them, for it has been sometime since I sent them. I had not ought to send them in the mail, but I have not received my box yet. I should have got it last night. But they have had orders to open every express box that comes and they did not have time to open all the boxes before this steamer left. So our express is at Hilton Head. I received 3 postage stamps in your letter and was very thankful for them. But I am short of paper and must draw to a close.

Good bye, From your Son,
Ira W. Bisbee