Letter from Orlando L. French to Lydia French

ReadAboutContentsHelp

Letter written by Orlando L. French to his wife, Lydia French, during his service in the Civil War.

This is a scanned version of the original image in Special Collections and Archives at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt.



Pages That Need Transcription

p.
Needs Review

p.

In camp at Murfreesboro Tenn April 5th 1863 Dearest Lydia I received yesterday your letter written last Sunday and I also received one from Eph + Emily for all of which I am very thankful but in yours I find a few things that want answering I do not like what Carpenter sais to you I can not will not like it - that he expected you would work for him as long as I was gone by which it would seem that all he wants you to stay there for is to work for him and that you have got to work whether you are well or not now that smells a little too strong of selfishness and if that is his feeling on the subject I want you to have there if it takes all I can to keep you He shall not make a slave of you if I can help it By the way Emily writes that Mother and Jane talk of going east this summer and that if they do you are going to live with Elvira now I think this an argeeable arrangement and hope it can be brought about but if this should not happen there is one thing you must abandon and that is the idea of housekeeping unless you

Last edit 12 months ago by LibrarianDiva
p.
Needs Review

p.

2 can get convenient rooms in a house with some good family then you might posibly enjoy yourself better but it would cost you more but if you are satisfied that your happiness will be in-creased do no hesitate on that account There is one other little sentence in your letter- although you did not write it I know -I reads something like this- that I probably find other society down here that I can enjoy myself with better than I could with yourself - now I dont think you wrote a word of that it was just a slip of the pencil but if you did write it I want you to take it all back and ask my pardon and do it very humbly too I have a great deal to write about this time but I am affraid it will fail to interest you but if it does not-you may consider that you never got this letter Last tuesday March 31st our regiment was ordered to Salem and the Colonel invited me to accompany him which I did and something of ^what I did and thought and saw you will find here recorded in the form of a diary which I took down while gone Salem March 31st 1863 the regiment received orders this day at 12 M to be ready to march to this place

Last edit 11 months ago by LibrarianDiva
p.
Needs Review

p.

3 at two P.M. with four days rations and by invitation of the Colonel thought I would be one of the party and see what was to be seen and hear what was to be heard We are here to relieve Sheridan division and two brigades of our division are here What the precise object of keeping a force stationed here is more than I can tell: we are about three miles out from the advance pickets of the grand army and are here alone that is two Brigades -there is no doubt a good and sufficient reason for our being here but none that I have questioned on the subject are able to tell me what it is As we came in here to camp an officer rode along at full speed from our left saying to the Colonel ------- that the enemy was coming in force and that they had driven in the pickets on the extreme left- he looked and acted very much as I do when I am excited in fact battle scared but that could not have been the matter with him - notwithstanding this we staked arms and the command pitched this shelter tents and the 59th Hq one of our brigade went on picket Tomorrow night it will be our turn and of my experience in picketing for the first time

Last edit 11 months ago by LibrarianDiva
p.
Needs Review

p.

4 I will write hereafter on occasions of this kind the Head quarters team always accompanied the command by which the Colonel always has his cooks and tent with him and to day -- he has kindly taken me under his wing to eat at his table and sleep in his tent and to night we retire with orders to be up in line before day break to prevent any surprise as this is an advanced and exposed position and draws frequent skirmishes and attacks from the enemy and when our regiment was here before they were surprised in the morning by a line of battle of cavalry in their rear that they saw fit to leave after firing one round April 1st The Colonel had his command up in line before day break and I had my command of three six mules trans up and harnassed ready for any emergency but day dawned and the sun crawled up through the trees in the timbers in which we are camped clear and warm and no enemy appeared to disturb us- It is now 9 oclock A.M. of April fool day and my mind naturaly wandered back to my boyhood days when the arrival of this period of the year was an event of great importance and I recall many little scenes where all our strategy and subterfuge were brought into requisition to expect an april fool of a brother and notwithstanding we were ever on the alert of the many times we were victimized with the rest - but those day + the present afford a strong contrast

Last edit 11 months ago by LibrarianDiva
p.
Needs Review

p.

5 4 oclock P.M. I went back to camp to day after the mail found Dr Warner of Dixon there but no particular news from home and no letters for me- contrary to our expectations we do not go on picket to day so we are laying here with nothing to do and plenty to eat Thursday noon April 2nd--- This morning at ten oclock our regiment went out on picket and I went along to see them place the guard It takes two regiments to make the entire picket and they are placed in a circle and our Regt makes half of the cirels + is divided into four stations and the ranking officers of the squad is the commanding officer and here he makes his head quarters his outposts are then numbered and squads are sent out under charge of a Sergeant or Corporal who relieves those already there - this is all that has been done at this time and the Colonel had returned to camp where he can stay only making his grand rounds three or four times in the twenty four and on these trips when he visits every picket to see that he is at his post and doing his duty I shall accompany him and will report according-ly by the way the stations are only about fifty

Last edit 11 months ago by LibrarianDiva
Displaying Page 1 - 5 of 20 in total