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10th Vermont Infantry

Item LTR-8996
August 16, 1863 George P. Risdon
Price: $165.00


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

Brigade Hospital Near a small branch of the Rappahannock
Sunday, August 16th 1863

Dear Father and Mother and Dina,

I now take my borrowed pen and ink to write you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along well. My diarrhea has gotten better and I have gotten more strength but my lungs remain the same as ever. I am here in the hospital. We were expecting to move so they ordered one here yesterday. Last night was my first night here and I did not sleep much. There is some very sick boys here. I am expecting my discharge now but don’t expect to get it for 3 or 4 weeks. It takes a long while. It has to pass through so many hands before it gets around but I shall keep up good luck and hope for the best. I may get home by the middle of September and perhaps before. I don’t know. Well, we have been paid off once more for two months again, making ten months. I may have to send home for money to get home with. But don’t know yet. I can tell by and by. Don’t send any until I send for it. I have got all the letters that you and Dina have written to me and I have got them within the past week. I got that letter with a dollar bill and 15 stamps in it. And one with 4 stamps and some needles. And one with some thread, and a sheet of paper and envelope. And another with it, both dated the 8th. I have not gotten that paper yet and I guess that I never will get it. Well, what do you suppose that I had for breakfast this morning? I had a plate of baked beans and a dish of bread and milk. I paid 15 cents for the milk and we drew some soft bread. I scalded the milk the way I came to get it. I got up when I heard the bugle blow. Blew for roll call and got on my shoes and blouse and went over to the Company and on the way I bought my milk and got my baked beans at the Company. They had baked beans, like enough you would like to know how they managed to bake them. Well as necessity is the mother of invention, they dug a hole in the ground about two feet deep and the same in width and about three feet long. Then they built a big fire in it and hat it hot as they could and then took out the fire and put in the beans and put some old tin over the kettles to keep the dirt out of them. Then they put some rails over the hole and some boughs top of them and covered it up tight with dirt to keep the heat in and left the beans in there overnight. In the morning they took them out. Nice baked beans as you ever ate them. There is not much more room in this sheet to write so I will close by bidding you all goodbye for the time. Hoping that I shall see you all soon. I will sign myself your affectionate son,

G. P. Risdon