This letter is from Jane Richardson’s great-uncle Hiram Chambers, who enlisted in the Civil War from Worcester, MA. Transcribed by Lisa Shea. Let her know of any errors you spot.
Camp Kalerama, D.C.
I now seat myself to finish my last letter the excitement is now over and I can write with more comfort than I could before. I left off before when we were approaching New York the City of Cities we landed amongst the shiping [sic] after we landed we were not allowed to go outside of the depot so we did not get any view of the city at all we got there at about 11 o’clock so we and we did not get anything to eat till after 3 o’clock so we went almost 24 hours without anything to eat and then it was nothing but a slice of ham big as three fingers and a little hard bread that is hard work and poor pay about 5 we started for Amboy to take the cars for Philadelphia we arrived in Philadelphia about 5 the next morning here we got a meal of vituals for the first time since we left Worcester in Philadelphia they furnish every regiment that goes through with as good a meal as any man ought to have.
We staid there some 3 or 4 hours 3 of us went up to the uper [sic] end of the city and the such splendid sights splendid buildings with out numbers then we came back and went into the navy yard and saw cannon upon cannon balls upon balls there we saw them buildings a very large man of war it was the largest ship I have seen it was a good deal longer than our house is.
After we left Philadelphia we were on the road to Baltimore and Harpers Ferry I was taken sick right after leaving Philadelphia and so did not get much of a chance to see the country as I had to lay down on the seat every once in the while but what I did see of it was splendid. We arrived in Baltimore in the Afternoon about 5 O’clock we marched up the principal street about 1/2 a mile the Col. gave the order to halt then load at will some of the folks looked terrified but then we ment to stand firm and sure and be prepared and although I was hardly able to hold my head up I carried my knapsack gun and accoutriments [sic] with 12 rounds of ammunition for 3 miles having eat only a little since I left Phil.
In the evening we started as we supposed for Harpers Ferry in cattle cars and they were not Passengers but cattle cars great was our surprise to find ourselves the next morning about an hour after getting up in sight of the capitol at Washington after we got into depot or rather stoping [sic] we got out and marched about a mile up by the Capitol and to Pensylvania [sic] Avenue to our quarters where we stoped [sic] till next morning when we started for our present place of place of [sic] encampment which brings us up to the present time hoping this letter please you I bid you adieu.
From you [sic] loving son,
Direct your letter as follows and I shall be sure to get it where ever I am
Hiram A. Chambers
HeadQuarters of 15th Reg MA M. Co. C. Washington DC
Please give these directions to Marilla
I suppose you have received my other letter there was $3 in it.