Transcribed by Nancy Neal, NancyENeal@aol.com
Note: This letter is interesting on a number of fronts, regardless if one is researching the Braddock family or not as Nancy and I are. This letter was a letter home from one of the many Islanders that fought in the American Civil War. Charles mentioned two more Islanders fighting there, Wm. Morrrison and Edward Ramsay. It is fascinating reading - not much detail on the actual war, but a lot about Maryland and the circumstances of its residents during wartime. This letter was given to Nancy by Muriel Hooper Blanchard who passed away July 1990. I want to thank Nancy for sharing it with us! Dave
Camp Bean in M.D. Oct. 4, 61
[This date would make CE about 22 yrs old,]
I thought I would write you a few lines today to let you know that I am well and hope these few lines may find you the same. I suppose you would like to know what kind of a country this is, well to begin with it is very hilly, very much like the Island, they raise plenty of fruit but this was rather a poor season for apples, but a good one for peaches, all kinds of fruit grow here the soil is very poor and very stony, they raise but very little small grain, corn is the principal crop. There is not many grain in this state to support the inhabitants through the coming winter, sufferings here this winter among the poor class of people will be very great, there is more poor here at present than I ever saw in my life. This is a great state for cotton and iron factories, this rebellion has caused them all to be stoped it has thrown thousands out of employment. There is a large iron factory close to our encampment which is now standing still which employed three hundred men b- - - - - of all kinds stoped in our Camp ground of an evening, there will sometimes be over a hundred poor men, women some peddling pies and milk, some bread and begging washing, they come to get our clothes, wash them bring them back in fact they depend on the soldiers for a living, this winter the volenteers or soldiers are draped very different from others that I saw in frock coats, our caps, pants are fine black broadcloth, we have ------ suits our first was slate uniforms grey pants -------- jackets we got a new suit of black two weeks ago from government, we got three suites a year, fifteen dollars a month and at the close of the war we get 100 dollars and 160 acres of land the hundred dollars is bounty money. We get besides this each man receives in money five cents a mile for every mile he travels with the regiment from the place he inlisted and back again, we have traveled now about 2000 miles we started from Wisconsin and travelled through Mich. Indiana, York State, Pennsylvania and we are now in M.D. our next move will be into Virginia there is some talk of going very soon, the weather here now is hot now as it would be in the middle of summer on the Island. I have been in fourteen different States I have seen a great many beautiful city and places, the city of Baltimore is the largest I ever saw, we was there seven days, it is the second largest in the United States, there is not a wooden building in the city, the houses are built of brick and stone, it is a splended city. It would take me a week to relate all that I have seen let alone write it. I have not seen John Hooper for nearly two years he was then in Iowa but two persons from the Island one of them probly you know his name is Edward Ramsay from Bedeque the other is Wm Morrison they are here in this regiment in Camp +o? that I have left there six years ago if we live through this war we are coming back together, this regiment's composed principly of men from Maine and Canada upper and lower parts, I am called to go on duty so I must finish give my love to all and except of mine.
C. E. Braddock