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25th Maine Infantry

Item LTR-9746
May 14, 1863 Charles S. Sweetser
Price: $125.00


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

Chantilly, VA
May 14th 1863

My Dear Sister,

I received your letter in good time, day before yesterday I think. I should have answered last night so it would have gone today but the Chaplain had a meeting in our street and he came and wanted everyone to come. I went, for no one think of refusing to do anything for him. So your letter will not go until Monday I suppose. I will write this sheet full and to write as much more as I may have opportunity. I think I see signs of our going home. The truth but I don’t want you to put too much dependence on it. We have been ordered to clean up our dress coats and those that have none or have very poor ones have got to draw new ones.

We also have to drill now, battalion drill, every day. But not on Sunday. You may write as many letters as you a mind too. For it I don’t get them, they will only go to the dead letter office and there is no one there that knows you. If I want that money I will tell you now and I will send you an envelope directed and you can put it in, seal it up and make them believe that it comes with number express. I don’t think I shall want it but I may. I shall probably know the next mail. The last mail I got only one letter (not 4) and you may guess who that was from and you may also guess how J. China would have felt if he had not received any. But many thanks to you for such a good one and length was also combined with quality. In the first part of it, you seemed to feel some anxiety about my health. It was excellent for I never was better in my life than at the present time. I have had my hair cut, close to my head, not more than ½ inches long, any of it. The boys say it looks tip top but I have not looked in the glass to see. I know that it feels marvelously fine. I am in hopes it will grow out heftier and curl some. Money is very low with me or I would have a picture taken for you. There are two artists here. They don’t take very nice ones but will do. One of them is the same that took Mike’s and min. I hope this will find you in better health than yours left you in. I don’t blame you for not being sick when there was to be fair. I reckon J. China would like to have been there with his companions in arms. (No pun intended). I feel the smallest degree of curiosity to know what you and Lee bought for me. Something useful I hope. For Lee Mann should put away childish things. I have put away my watch for another, not a hunter case and I don’t expect it is as good as the other one. But it is as new and is a very pretty one. The old one was a good time piece but the case was poor and opened so hard that I don’t believe you would have done anything with it. I got some money to boot and I may sell this one if I ok. I will buy you a new one if you don’t skedaddle with my filthy one. But I don’t fear that much at present. Perhaps you may after the regiment gets home. I would like to call around and see the people in that vicinity once more and then perhaps I may be a soldier again. If I could get a sergeant’s berth I would come back again. But there is little fear of that.

So you may give yourself no uneasiness on that account. I still continue not to hear from the widow. If she thinks J. China will write till he get one, she is slightly mistaken. Or else J. C. is not supposed to recognize that article called beans when viewed at a proper distance.


I send you some flowers. I don’t know where they grew. The trees are all green here and the apple trees have all blossomed out, if fact everything is lonely and the goose has attained a proper attitude.

Yours with respect,

Charles S. Sweetser