transcribed and contributed by Roberta Senechal
Camp Benton, Fredrick County Sept. 24th, 1861
Since I wrote you I have had a turn of Diarear, but I am better now. I felt quite slim yesterday. I think I shall have a good chance to send a letter to you to day, so I improve my moments. I have been out yesterday and today to see the men shoot that did not shoot when I shot. General Landers was there to see them shoot and he wanted the Captain to pick out ten of his best shots tomorrow to go to the River to pick off some of the Rebel Oficers and I hope I shal be one of that number. We are going to practice one half mile to morrow. Charles Greenwood is driving one of his teams in the 20 Rigement. He wants me to write he is well and doing well, and Willey that lived on the Munion place is driving team in the Same Rigement. I wrote you all about my close excepting one Pr. Of draws. Them I just took out since I have been writing this letter. I want you to write to Mother as soon as you can and let her know how I get along. We took one man near the River. We suppose him to be a spy. He gave signals to the Rebels every night by Candles. In his chamber he would lite his lamps and stand before them and give signals across the river.
The officers are very strict with the men here; they are not aloud to drink a drp of spirit or go off the Campground. I feel very well today and I hope you enjoy the same blessing. Write Mr. Russell and let him know where & how I am…The Rhode Island 3d Batery are with us and the Mass. 15th, 19th, 20th & 2 Misigan, 1st Minesota and a number with in a few miles; the 13th & 2d, are within 9 miles of here. We like General Landers first rate. I have been and bought some paper & pen & ink this fore noon. You must excuse my envelopes for they was the best I could get today. I wrote to have you direct your letter to me Care of Capt. John Saunders, Sharpshooters, attached to the 20 Rigement Mass. Vol., Washington D.C.
I think there will be a battle soon and if there is, I think it will be a final Battle, but we do not know but very little about it, only we can guess, that is all.
Corn and Potatoes and vegetables are not so forward as it is in Mass. I think they must have planted very late, but the corn is a later kind than our Corn is. We had some Bake Beenes for Breakfast and roast Beaf for Diner, something we have never had in Camp here before. Tell James I have not had to buy any tobacco until this morning. Tell him I will write to him soon. What is Nathan a doing this fall? Does go a fishing any? Tell Asabel & William I would like to see them out here first rate. All our men seem very anxious to get a shot at the Rebels.
When I was in Washington City I went into the Capitol and up on the top of it which is very high. The top is not finished yet. It is a very large building…The Hogs are all round in the streets round the Capitol. When we came through Baltimore we had no trouble. The Captain saw one man in a Chamber that was just a going to throw a junk Bottle at him, but he drawed his sourd and he dare not throw it. Captain said if he had, he should have gone up after him.
From Your ever Trew