Albert J. Barnard, 22 September 1862

Camp Belger
September 22, 1862
8 A. M.

Dear Mother,

I received your letter dated the 16th last Friday evening. It is a real treat to get such a good long letter from home. I have received all the letters you speak of, I guess all that you have written have found me. The fore part of ast week I was very busy, making our clothing acount which is my reason for not writing. Will try and do better in futire.

you ask me what I sleep on. When I first came, I used to spread my rubber blanket on the ground and cover myself with my (Mrs. Jewett’s) blanket, and roll up my coat for a pillow. But now I have a tick filled with straw, and a rubber pillow. The tick Capt. Sizer [of Co. G] gave me. The pillow I gave two dollars for. The rubber pillows are real nice when the air is out—they take up so little room.

I have just sent a squad of men into the woods to cut some poles to make me a bedstead. It is made by driving four stakes into the ground and then placing two poles lengthwise, then laying barrel staves across them. This makes a gay old bed. There is but one objection to this—that is that it will crowd Gray out of my bed, as the tick is a single one. It did very well while on the ground but won’t hold two now. But then Gray has a tick and he is going to have it filled.

As things look now I guess we will stay in this camp some time but there is no telling.

Will Seymour has received one, or two boxes from home. I am at a loss to know where he will put all his things when we move. If you have an opportunity to send some cake or any such thing that we can dispose of, I should like it, but don’t send anything for me to carry and don’t send anything if you have to pay express charges. The other day I felt as if I would give anything for a piece of mother’s nice cake, but I presume we are better off without it.

Will and I went down to the city on Saturday. Had a very pleasant time. Started for camp about eleven; took a bunch of steamed oysters and crackers, and returned about four. His tent is about one hundred and fifty feet to the right of mine We (Gray, Will, and I) are together several times every day. We all enjoy camp life. It agrees with all of us. We are all growing fat.

Yesterday after inspection, Capt. Sizer and I borrowed horses and rode to Druid Hill Park. It is a lovely place, about 5 miles around it, said by some to be pleasanter than Central Park, N. Y. Got back in time for services, which were held in a pleasant grove on a side hill, just north of our camp. The color bearer (sergeant) and one of the color corporals of the regiment, were chosen from my company; these are always supposed to be the best men in the regiment. Therefore I consider it quite a compliment. There is always one color sergeant and eight corporals to a regiment.

Yesterday Capt. Gardner of the 21st, wounded in the arm, and a Captain in one of the Mass. regiments wounded in the head, were brought into our camp. they will stay here until they get well. Both severe wounds but are doing well.

I see by one of the Baltimore papers that you have had a large fire in Buffalo. Should like to see the particulars.

We all like Col. Chapin very much. He is a much better officer than we supposed. He hives his orders splendidly and handles his men like a veteran. Major Love—he too is a bully officer. We have got a fine regiment and very few poor officers. But they won’t be permitted to stay long. Two of them, I regret to say, are in Co. B. I guess they will both have to leave this week. Willis, the 1st Lt. is a disagreeable fellow. The men don’t like him at all and he can’t learn military. When I returned from Baltimore Saturday, he was drilling the company. As soon as they saw me, they gave me three cheers. Corbett (the 2nd Lt.) is a very clever, good sort of a countryman, but he can’t drill and never can learn. I feel very sorry for him. The Colonel says I shall have John Dobbins just as soon as he can arrange matters. I hope that will be before long. Capt. Sizer’s tent is next to mine and he, and John, I believe, are old friends. Lt. Corbett has just taken the company out to drill. As the boys passed my tent, they beckoned for me to come, but it is too hard work for me to drill them all the time.

Tell Lewes that package has not come to hand yet. Presume it is all right but think it is a good while coming. Give my love to Granda and tell her that i wish I could step in some morning and say how’d’do. Please remember me to all my friends and tell them I should be happy to hear from any of them.

Will Seymour has just passed by with his company on the way to the parade ground. He makes a good officer and the men all like him. He is very kind to the men and always has an eye to their comfort. I must not spend too much time letter writing so I will close. With love to all who may enquire for me, not forgetting your own dear self, — Albert

I send Wadsworth’s photograph which please keep for me.