Albert J. Barnard, 10 March 1863

Headquarters 1st Brigade
Augers Division, Baton Rouge
March 10th 1863
3.15 P. M.

Dear Mother,

We have not gone yet and as I have a few moments to spare, am going to write you a short letter. I will now explain why we are still here. Gen. Auger’s Division is the reserve and so we wait till all the rest have gone. The division consists of four brigades of infantry—eighteen regiments—seven batteries, and a regiment of cavalry.

Our tents are all down—that is, the tents we have been using, and in their places are shelter tents. I tell you, they are funny little things. They are made in three pieces the size of an ordinary blanket with buttons on one side and button holes on the other. Each man to carry one piece so you see three men sleep in one tent. When pitched, they are about three feet from the ridge pole to the ground, are the shape of the letter A. We have to get onto our hands and knees to get into one. Every officer is allowed one tent. They are not uncomfortable, I can assure you. If it is very warm, we can unbutton the back and leave only the sides. If three are in the tent, this is the way to get out as it would be hard to get out the front unless we went in feet first. It takes about three minutes to take one down and roll the pieces for the knapsacks. The only trouble in pitching them is that the pins and poles have to be cut each time unless we can find chips or sticks nearby to pin the corners down.

The Adjutant and I went to town today and had our Ambrotypes taken. All who have seen mine think it very good. I hope you will be pleased with it. Don’t think it looks very sick, do you? Please ask Lewie to thank Gil Ketchum for the cheese. I fear I shall not have time to write him before we leave and I can hardly expect to find much after this. The cheese is spledid. I send a chunk to all the Buffalo boys besides some others. To be sure, it has been a long time on the road but we could not have received it in a better time for there is hardly anything in the eatable line that we can buy.

I forgot to number my last written yesterday. It should have been number 2. I should like to have you send me a few postage stamps as it is impossible to get any here.

I must now close to do some copying of orders for Col. Chapin. Will write again soon. The report here today is that they are fighting at Vicksburg and have been for several days. I will say here that I am going to ride when the regiment moves so you must not worry about me.

Give my love to Grandma, Grandpa, and all, not forgetting Lewie, and your own dear self. From your, — Albert