Albert J. Barnard, 11 September 1862

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Camp Chapin
2 miles from Baltimore
September 11th 1862

Dear Lewie,

My last letter was closed in considerable of a hurry as while writing, the call to fall in was sounded. After forming line, the companies were dismissed and the officers ordered to report at headquarters when we received orders to have two days rations cooked and hold ourselves in readiness to march at an hour’s notice. But we are still here and but five companies have arms. The rest of the arms are expected here today.

We have a very pleasant camp and plenty to do. The camp is laid out, the company streets running east and west, the officers tents at the east end of the streets looking west. As I have the left of the line, my company has the south side of the camp.

Night before last, Will Seymour, John Higgins, and I went to the Eutaw House and took a bath and had our hair cut close. I think mine is a little shorter than yours was. I tell you, it is comfortable and saves some trouble.

I don’t think much of my lieutenants and think they will soon be ousted. Let me say here, don’t enlist as a private on any account. Do not accept any position lower than Orderly [Sergeant]. Camp duty is mighty hard, although we have some nice times. You ought not to accept a position lower than 2nd Lieutenant. Lieutenant Gray and I went to the city last evening—he to buy a haversack and I to buy a hat. I find since I had my hair cut that the sun finds its way to my neck without. any trouble. Gray has slept with me in my tent for the last two nights and at present I mess with him and his officers. They have a first rate cook. I find it is very necessary to have a servant and the first good man I find, I shall hire.

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Gen. John E. Wool (1784-1869)—a “little bit of a dried up old man.”

I wish you would send me those enlistment papers (that I gave you to seal up) if you have not already done so. Send them immediately by Express, Mark them “valuable, to be called for” and advise me when you send them. I had written this for when the surgeon sent for me to march the company to his quarters to be vaccinated. Some of the men made a great fuss.

Please write me often and send lots of papers. I must now close as the “Office of the Day” (Charlie Wadsworth) has ordered the company streets put in order for inspection, I suppose by Gen. Wool who, by the way, I saw down street the other day. He is a little bit of a dried up old man.

Give my very best love to Mother. Ask her to write me a good long letter. Also remember me to all at 79 Swan Street and all enquiring friends. Write soon and direct.

Capt. A. J. Barnard, 116th Regiment NYV, Baltimore, Md.

Gray sits beside me writing home. He says, “Tell Lew I am going to write him soon.” Gray and I are about the busiest men in camp as there is not a man in either company who understand the drill so we have to do all the work. Yours, — Al