173 NYSV Port Hudson, La
Aug 16th 1863
My Dear Mother
Here I am in my tent perspiring like a trooper owing to the tremendous heat which Southern Sun pours down upon us from soldiers with relentless vindictiveness. The heat would be intolerable during the night time were it not for the storms which regularly discered every afternoon refreshing "man and beast" and layers of dust just enough to make the ground hard and firm when the (anep) parade takes place at 530P.M. There are some 325 men fit for duty in the Rgt. and we have about 30 more sick, most of them are suffering from fevers and a slight attack of the Cough de Soleil . Resulting from the contamination arising from the hundreds of dead horses and mules which are decaying inside the works. There are 130 absent men sick and also several officers. Many of the men and officers are also absent on detached duty. Of officers and enlisted men in the Rgt is 624 thus you see we have quite a little family to take care of. I am pleased the appearance of the men and they are well selected and through meeting much by way of drill, discipline and general morale still are as a whole good. Much better than the average of Rgts and are far ahead of any in our immediate vicinity. Col Peck being in cd. of the Brigade and cd. Of the Rgt devolves on me and I find plenty to do and keep busy from morning until (tattoo). The works which the Rebels threw up are of earth are in make places one of sufficient strength to keep a large force at bay, the citadel as it is termed is of pecular strength and has full cds of the approach protected
from N.Orleans. The taps of the (North) are full of furrows which are made by our shot and skills from the Gunboats. The bluffs near the line are very high and afford excellent situation to plant guns to fire on (rebels) coming up or down the river
and the rebels are not alone in seizing the ( ) situation are judging from the number of their forces of ( ?Anderson??) scattered around . They must ( ) appreciate to a certain ( ) of the place in a military point of view ( ) .
Col Pecks Hd M are a miles distance from my Rgt and as I meet with him I have____ miles to ride every day and it is something of a task in this hot sun. I have a beautiful little sorrel pony which I purchased very cheap. It is named "Dulphun" and would be a fine one for some litle girl to ride on, like "Lilly". It is just as gentle and kind and gets up a right smart gallop when needed but its usual gait is easy lope like a rocking chair. I am used to the larger horses Dolphun is the ( ) of me and a beige bay horse ( ) .
There are lots of negro soldiers here and they look totally ( ) well just non are....drill pretty well, in time they will be able to stand an arduous campaign or not. I can not tell. It is amusing to see them try to salute me as I ride by they try to be respectful and salute accroding to the regulations, but not one in fifty even presents arms as he should do. The ( ) _________ long has left hand up to the right shoulders and makes a salute with every finger spread wide apart. One negro soldier saluted me yesterday who did it so awkwardly he bore a hand like a small (bear)
and fingers as long and wide as small straw paddles. I could scarcely keep myself from smiling. Then he descended his hand like a butcher chopping meat…
I assume and hope that you are all well_____ It is a great while since I have heard from you. I think the last time I have heard was last June. I have written several letters to you on my voyage. I want you to
send me a paper containing the names of those drafted in Worcester. I saw Col.Kimbal of the _3 Mas a few days _______________ of the death of Col.Mand of the 15 Mas at Gettysburg. I thought much of Mand and from what I have seen of him considered him a good officier and man, his death no doubt will be much felt by his numerous friends in Worcester. Col. Kimball had just left the hospital in N. Orleans and looked thin and feeble. His Rgt was to start last week and I presumed it has left by this time, up the river.
This morning I had a critical_____________ of the Rgt I have enclosed some of my official documents which I wish you would read and let them read on the Hill, and then let Uncle Andrew see them. My acting Adjutant Lieut Greene is a fine little fellow and a good soldier. He was a prisoner at the Bull Run and confined for 11 months in Southern Prisons and we are
united by a common line of sympathy for our mutual sufferings in Prisons.
Muskitoes are thick enough here and were it not for a long and excellent muskito bar which I have over me nights to protect me I should be tasety almost. How is grandpa, mom, I have enclosed a short letter for him_______Please deliver to him wtih my love together with love to Aunt Julia and Lydia and to all the rest of the family on Green Hill. Also to sister Sarah and their baby _______ when you write, kind regards to Joseph _______. ________ you knew him and tell him that I should be glad to have him write me ( ) .
My address is Lieut. Col ( ) 173 NYSV
19 th Army Corp
Dept of the Gulf