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Liberty Warner Papers: Transcripts - MS 624

Correspondence from Liberty Warner - October - December 1861

Mid-October 1861

[Nicholasville, Ky]
[Mid October 1861]

My dear ones at home.

I am well. I have not had a sick day yet, excepting a little looseness of the bowel for a day or two. [Illegible line] very well and none of our men have been in the guard house excepting Elder Skinner, Junior. After leaving home we staid in Camp Vance for 4 or 5 days. Thurs morning we started from Findlay on an old rickety railroad. We ran 15 or 16 miles on it at about the rate of 3 or 4 miles an hour, head car coming off the track 3 times. Some of the boys would go off and run along side of the train. [Illegible line] this was the geared-up oiled lightning train. At the end of this road we took (Cory is the place we changed tracks) Another track, changed engines and went like the wind. As we passed the citizen's towns everybody cheered and waved handkerchiefs. In some towns the Irish and Dutch wimmen would come out and fling their dirty dish soap, much to our amusement. When we arrived at Kenton we found a fine dinner spread out before us. We made no objection, so we filled our crops. In my travels from Camp Vance to Camp Denison I saw many fine farms, but the equal of our Wood County corne is not to be found. Some of it is pretty large in the ear, but the stalk is small, 5 or 8 feet is the Findlay average.

Friday morning we arrived at Camp Denison. This is a very large camp. There are about 6 or 8 thousand men here and regiments passing through every day. There are two batterys of brass rifle canon and Cavelry and one Zuave Reg. We ware thronged here with old Dutche and Irish wimmen, crippled niggers, beggars, young ones selling pies and cakes. We occupy the time in all sorts foot races, boxing, wrestling, etc. The last named is shut down on as one man got his leg hurt by it. The best foot race I saw was between a man who had one leg taken off up close to his boddy and a sound man and now who do you suppose beat. I will tell you it was the one-legged man. He made some flying leaps of his old crutch. The boys jerk a good many cakes and pies from the grocers. I see one fellow try it. On one day his pie treasury was an old motley black Dutch woman who happened to catch at it, so she sent her big black bread molder into his greedy chops. Didn't he hurrah some though. It is a very common thing to see some soldier going it lickety split with a cake in his mouth and a Dutch or Irish specimen at his heels.

Here I happened to find that little Rose boy with the red mark on his face. He is a little smaller than I. Our arms are rifled muskets and shoote minnie balls. The 2 flanking companys have Enfields, but they do not shoot as far as our muskets. Yesterday we tried our muskets at a target, 14 balls hit it. I happened to be one of the luckey ones to hit it. Thursday we started for Kentucky. We took the cars & went to Cincinatti. We got off of the cars and marched up front. It's here we crossed the river into Covington. We stopped there 3 hours. Meantime, the ladies brought out bread and butter, hot coffy, water to fill our centeens, etc. Some ladies took the soldiers home and gave them all the supper they could eat. Union people came out and we were all right. The locomotive whistled and the 21sters were off all night. We jogged on pretty good time and morning found us way down in old Kentuck. Every corner crossing we met sambos. About noon we found ourselves 70 miles from Tenesee line in Lexington. We stopped there 2 hours or more, rite by the Insane assilem. Of to the right of us towered the stately monument over the dust of Henry Clay. Here we learned of a tragedy that occured here a few days ago. A seseshionist tried to poisen some soldiers. He was arrested and as they were taking him to prison a butcher came along with his meat and inquired into the matter. When he learned cause, he sprang onto the sesesher and cut his gullet from ear to ear. Hurrah for the Union butcher. We are now in Nicholasville, 40 or 50 miles from Tenise. Don't know where we go next. Please write.

Nicholasville, Jermain Co., Ky
1st Reg Co H, car of Captain Caton

Write soon as you get this

[ON LEFT MARGIN]

No more running of bridges, guards are set every 1/2 mile.

October 18, 1861

Lexington Oct 18, 1861

As I move along I find time to look about and see the country. (Remembering that I wrote to you but a few days since, I had neglected to state the condition and health of myself & comrads. But I am not sure you got my letter. I will tell you we are well and harty. There has been no deaths, few accidents, and but little sickness. I am always well, can stand marching with any of them. We marched 15 or 16 miles day before yesterday. Some of the boys complaned of sore feet, my own being all right. I sold my fine shirt and boots to a nigger and got a pair of stout government shoes, pants, blouse, overcoat, hat, underclothes. We feed principally on sea-crackers hard enough for sidewalk, at least they are hard. Plenty of side pork or beef sometimes ham, plenty of coffy brown and grind yourself. Whiskey will get into camp through the [Illegible line] guardhouse is the penalty for getting drunk. Niggers are plenty as you could wish, nasty, dirty, greasy ragged things. I have enough of the colored folks down here. I would not care about them being any plentyer North than they are. We are in the City of Lexington, about 100 miles south of Covington. We occupy the fairgrounds. A battery of 10 or 12 guns, I think they are 6 and 12 pounders, also occupy one side of the grounds on the left of us. 2 Reg. of Kentucky boys are stationed. Yesterday we visited the monument erected ...

October 29, 1861

[Near Hazel Green, Ky.]
Oct 29, 1861

Dear ones at home,

I received your letter yesterday, Oct 28th, and you cannot tell how glad I was to hear from home. We are well. We have just stopped a few days after a long march of 7 days. We expect to go farther in a day or 2. The 2 Ohio Reg. had a fight a few days ago in Hazle Green. They routed the sesesh, murdered 7, wounded some. 1 man on our side wounded. The officers and men think the war will be over by next spring, we'll be paid off and sent home. Some of the boys talk of getting home by Christmas, which I think is rather doubtful. It may, however, be as soon as we get into winter quarter or sometime during the winter we get home furlough, 2 weeks or so.

I want you to write as often as you can. James Burchstead sends his respects to Uncle James' family. In our mess we include J. Barstead, R. Buffum, C. Grundy, T. Custer, J. Bullis, Barbers 4 and self, all well and healthy. No deaths have occured in our Reg, but 1 in our Battery who died yesterday of fever. We are under Gen. Nelson at present. He is a great fat fellow.

This is a hard place. I have become fully disgruntled with the profanity & vulgarity of the soldiery and do not fall in with it all, not 1/2 as much as I did at home. Now I must say to you that flying reports are about, but you must not care for them, for we have had no fight nor do I know that we will have one.

Write soon.

Liberty P. Warner, Co H 21

November 29 or 30, 1861

[Lexington, Ky.]
Nov 29 or 30, 1861

After the fatiguing marches of old Kentuck we find a little rest just 5 miles south of Louisville Ky & rejoice in our good helth. I have got as touch as whalebone and do not expect sickness. We all stand the weather verry well. There has been no snow here yet. It is just spitting little once in a while. 10 minutes ago it spit snow, now it rains. I sit here in my tent thinking of you all so far away & makeing my pen talk to you the best I can. I do not know but you think I sleight you in not writing oftener, but such a country as Big Sandy Valley and Mountain don't afford material for such busines & the soldier that marches 500 miles or more don't get time you know. Short stops in a place & o line of mail except that we furnish ourselves. And I have marched every step the Reg has, a thing that few in the Brigade can say. There is about 30 or 40 thousand troops here and if they get enough without us some say we go to Camp Denison. No more for a time.

70 thousand men here (that is within 40 miles of here) lots more coming. There are no less than a dozen or two of extra brass bands here. We have on hand ready to distribute lots of warm winter clothes. Now as you all a better chance to write to me than I have to write to you, write often.

December 1, 1861

[Camp Buell, Ky.]
Dec 1, 1861

We expect to be paid 2 months wages in a few days. Please let me know how you come on with your work and your need of money, tax, etc.

Write soon, write all of you. If I had but the chance when we were at Prestonburg I could have sent home lots of sesesh spoils of all descriptions.

It is a hard place here, for I suppose you know the scrapings of the world are collected here. I for one keep clear of it.

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