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Samuel McClain Papers: Transcripts - MS 640
May 6,  Parysburg, Ohio
I take this moment to inform you that we are all well. We expect to go the Clevland today. I have my fotograph taken, which I send to you. We expected to get to come home today, but the orders was countermanded and we cant get no ferlow now. We expect to go to Fortress Monro. Give one of my pictures to Jane and one to brother. No more at preasant. I'll write again when we stop again. I can't tell whare my postoff. will be yet.
P.S. We expect to go to Camp Chase to rendavous. I was just down to the railrode and saw the 68 Regt. go threw. It is unsertain whare we will go yet. I expect that it will be impossable for me to get home on Saturday. Tell Laura & Libby & Annie to be good girls\r & kiss Willie for me. Will give my postoffice address as soon as I get to our destination.
Columbus, May 7, 1864
We left Perysburg yesterday at 5 in the eavening and arived at this place at 6 o'clock this morning. All well. We are camped in the barrak but we are under marchen orders at this time. We expect to go to Camp Chase soon. I would of come home on ferlow from Perysburg if I had of known that we had to move so soon, but the ferlow is played out for a while. I'll not finish this until we move to camp.
May the 8
Moved to camp. All in camp safe and sound. We will be musterd in to the U.S. servis today. It is roomered that we will be sent to fortress Monrow. Thare are about 20 thousand men in this camp now. Thare about seven hunderd Reb prisiners in camp. I have but little to write until we are musterd to the servis. When you write, direct to S. McClain, Camp Chase, Co.D, 64 Batalion O.V.M. in care of Capt. John McKee. Forward.
I must close for the mail is agoing out. Write soon.
Saml McClain to wife & family.
P.S. Direct as above.
Fort McHenry, 15 May 1864
Dear Wife and Family,
We arived at this place today, the 15. We left Camp Chase on Thursday. We ware on the road four days. We came the same road that we came from New York. We had good luck with the exception of one man fell off the cars and was killed instantly. He was from Wiandot County. He belonged to our Regt. We got the prais of being the best Regt. that ever past threw Pittsburg. We had a good supper in Pittsburg & in Harisburg and in Baltimore. Also we past threw Baltimore without any trouble. It is a big place. We got our arms in Columbus. I got a drum and Finly Barton is piper, so we will have no gard to stand. We are in a fourt and live in a barax. This fourt is situated on Chesipeak Bay, you can see by refuring to map. We can see the vessles in the harber. It looks like old times. That all tonight.
I lit my candle tonight to write a little more. I wrote to you from Camp Chase & also from Columbus. I sent you a map. We expect to stay here in this fourt for some time. It is a pleasant place. We are all well with the exception of Henry Barton. We left him in Baltimore. I sent my overcoat home with John Clark to Westfield to Tailors Store. If you get a chance, send out for it. I drew a blanket and thought that I would not need it. I just now killed a bedbug and thare are lots of lice in the barax. Turn over good night.
Supper over and I'll finish tonight, for the mail leaves early. I have not had my close off since I left home. I received four letters that you sent with Mr. Scott and was glad to hear from home\r & to get the hankerchief & to hear that you was all well. We ware welcomed all along the road by the women & children, the white hankerchief & flags waved in all dyrections. In Baltimore thare are about as many blacks as thare are whites, all mixed together. I can't see it. Marlind is a fine looken state, but the women is not as good lookin as they are in Wood Co.
When you write, direct to
Fort McHenry, M.D
144 Regt O.V.I Co.I
in care of Capt. John McKee
Our Company is changed to Co.I. Kiss the children for me, tell them to be good...[illegible]
[LETTER FRAGMENT] Camp Parole, May 18, 1864
We are all well at presant, with the exception of H. Barton & S. Jankins we are
P.S. Write soon
S. McClain to
[No.6] Camp Parole, Annapolis, M.D.
May 25, 1864
My Dear Wife,
I seat myself this pleasant morning for the purpose of writing you a few lines, but I am sory to say that I don't write this letter in anser to any letter that I have received from home, for I have not received any as yet, but I am looking every moment for one. I am grown very ancious to hear from home. This is the sixth letter that I have wrote home. I sent my picture in one of them to you. I wrote a letter to John a few days ago. When you write, let me know John's postoffice adress, also Aunt Elisabeth McClain's postoffice in Jeferson County. I want to write to her.
I can say that my health is good and I am thankful for it. Thare are sevarls of the boys in our company that are on the sick list, but non dangerous. One of our men was sun struck, but is giting better now. We left Henry Barton in Baltimore sick. I have not heard from him since.
This is a very pleasant place here. We received one company of reinforcements today. We will get along some better now.
Capt. McKee just now come in with a lot of letters for the boys, but Sam did not get any. I was so mad that I puled one hair rite out of my head. I hope I will soon get one, for I am ancious to know how you all are giting along & how father and Will is giting along with the work. I would rather be thare with them to help do the work than to be here. We can't do much good hear for ourselves nor no one else. I like soldering very well if it ware not that my thoughts are always on my duty at home and I always have fears that som of my family are sick or not injoying themselves as I would like to have them do. If I could know all the time that all was well at home I could injoy myself better, but that is impossible, so I have to do the best that I can under the sircomstances and hope that all are well. I hope that this wicked and uncald for rebelion will soon be to an end so we can come home whare our preasants are so much needed.
I was down to the Capital of this state yesterday to see the place. It is situated on the Cesipeak Bay about 20 miles east of Washington. It is a miserable looking place. The streats are so narow that 2 wagons can hardly pass on the streats. I saw clover out in ful bloom in the medows. They will mow next weak heare. They have not planted corn here yet. The woods are as green here now as in Wood Co. in July.
As Findley Barton & myself ware coming from the city yesterday, we could hear the cannons firing on the Potomac near Washington very plain. I can't till wheather it was a battle or good news. I calculate to go to Washington some of these days to see the place & see Abe Link.
I will not finish this letter ontil I get one from home. I hope that I'll not have long to wait. I'll stop now ontil we go out and practis on the drum awhile. So good bye.
No letter yet, but I hope that I'll get one tonight. It is araning all day here. I must tell you what we have to eat. We have pleny such as it is. We have fresh bread, beef, pork, potatoes, molasses, rice, beans, beets, vinegar, peper, salt and coffee, sugar, etc., but not all at one time. I get plenty to eat. Some of the boys grouls about it, but if they had to eat what I have had to eat they would be satysfied.
Findley Barton & myself have very easy times. We have to practis three hours per day, the rest of the time we can do as we please, but the rest of the boys have prity hard times. Will may be glad that he did not come, for he could not perform the labor that is to do here. They boys have to stand gard all night. I have no garding to do.
May the 28.
Pleasant morning. I am happy to say that last night Capt. J. McKee came in at 9 o'clock last night and brought severls letters to the co. and I was one of the luckey ones. You can't imagion how glad I was to hear from home. Your letter bore date May the 22. Tell Nan & Jane that I am truly glad that they thought enough of Sam to drop him a line. I have not got your first letter yet. I was glad to hear of my friends all bin well. I was glad to hear that my boy is agrowing so fast. I feel much better since I heard from home. I hope that I'll get letters regular now. Your letter come threw in 5 days. I wrote a letter to Laura on the 25. I sent in it 2 brest pins & one pair of sleeve butons. I also sent her a paper. I sent my picture to you some time ago. I expect you have received it ear this. I want you to writ all abot the farming next time you writ if you plese.
We are orderd to have all our bagage & knapsacks & equipage on this morning at 8 o'clock for revue & inspection. 10 o'clock a.m. Just returned from revue & our drum corps are all right. We have bin cleaning our quarters this morning. We are quarterd in a building 85 feet long and 25 ft. wide. We have to keep the barax nice and clean or go to the gard house. We keep everything nice. You know that I am a nice man, thats whats the matter.
Fin B. is my wife. We sleep togather and eat togather & talk togather. Fin did not get any letter. He feels bad about it. He is a writing today. Eugene Bassett did not get any letter. He is well, you tell his folks. Tell John Kolen that his man is all right. James Kerr is well & giting along fine. I. Vanhorn is well.
I am making some rings. I'll send them in my next letter. I could get lots of things to send home, but we can't send them threw the gard. I can get blankets here for one dollar a piece. I'll try to bring some home with me. We have 18 days of our time in today. Our time will be out on the 18 day of August next. I expect we will stay here ontil our time is out. Now Lucinda, if you are punctual in writing often to me often the time will pass of faster and more pleasant. Believe me it makes me feel happy to hear from home and to hear about my wife & little ones, for they are on my mind all the time. I am not home sick, but it would be more pleasant to be at home with my family than to be here in this old slave state.
If I have good health all the time the time will soon pass. If I could only do my work at home and stay here to, I would be contented, but I am all the time thinking that father & Will has to much to do etc. and I can't help them to do it. You must not pitch in to the work to strong and get sick. Take as good care of yourself as you can under the sircumstances & be sure and take good care of the babies. Be sure and give my boy all that he can eat ontil I come home and than I will take charge of him myself. You must do the best that you can and I'll do the same. You must let the rest see this letter. My respects to all. My love to you and the children. Kiss Willie & Annie for me. Please write soon & often. I know that you have a poor chance to write, but do the best you can and I'll be satysfied.
I will bring my letter to a close by biding you all good bye. Excuse all mistakes.
From your husband,
to L.A. McClain
and babyes to.
P.S. Direct Camp Parole, Anapolis, M.D.
Co.I 144 Regt. O.N.G. in care of John McKee
[No.9] Camp Parole
May 30, 1864
This morning I'll endever to pen a few lines in answer to yours which came to hand, but not in due time. It lay over at Ft. McHenry some time, but it has come at last. I was glad to get it, for it gave me information about the planting of the corn etc. I have not as yet received the letter that you said the children had wrote apeace in. I hope it will yet come threw, for I would like to read it.
Fin and myself got a pass yesterday and went out and went to the Chesipeak Bay and took a swim. We went threw a old slave holders farm. It was a hard looking farm. We went to the house to by some bread to eat, for we ware hungry and a good ways from camp. When we got to the house the darkeys came out and said to us "hous do sa". We told them that we wanted some bread. They said they had nothing but de cow cake to eat, so we did not by any. We went to camp. The darkeys run away from their masters and comes into camp and we keep them to sweep & to cook for us and when Massa comes for darkey we don't let darkey go. We tell Massa to go home. Most all the sitisons are Rebs about here. Fin and me found some cows in the woods. We tryed to milk some of them, but they would not stand for us, for they are always bin milked by darkeys and we ware not quite black enough yet for dad.
June the 1.
This is a pleasant morning. I will give a description of this camp. Thare are 2 hundred and twenty buildings and they are all the same sise and all built aloke and all the same sise. The sise is 85 ft. long & 35 wide. The camp is laid out in streets as nise as a city. It is a butiful camp. I begin to like the place. We have plenty of good water to drink. Thare is several good springs. I think this is a healthy place. I am expection a letter today with your fotygraph in it. I wrote to you day before yesterday and sent the children some rings in the letter. I will answer every letter that I get and you do the same. Write soon and don't forget nothing more. My love to all. I am well. I hope this will find you all well.
S. McClain to
L.A. McClain & babies.
P.S. I send a ring in this.
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