This letter was written during the US Civil War by Zadoc I. A Batterson, cousin to Hiram A. Chambers of the 15th Regiment Massachusetts, Company C, out of Worcester. He wrote it home to his family. The letter was dated December 29, 1861. I was given permission to document these letters by my dear friend Jane Richardson. Hiram was Jane’s great-uncle.
Here is the full transcript of this letter. I’ll note I added punctuation and paragraphs to make it easier to read.
Civil War Letter of Zadoc I. Batterson
15th Regiment Massachusetts Company C
December 29th 1861
Camp Footer Poolesville
December 29th 1861
Dear Father and Mother –
I take this opportunity of writing to you to let you know how I and Hiram get along here in camp. You probably know that I did not have time to see you before we left Worcester for Camp Cameron as we did not get in till nine and had to go to the office and back to the Depot at twenty minutes of ten.
We stayed in Cambridge two nights and then started for Washington. We had a pretty hard time in coming out, having to sleep on the floor with no blankets. That is the time my shawl came in plug (?) but we got here at last and found our boys down on picket. They came home the day after Christmas and we worked it so that Hiram and I are in the same tent. On Christmas we had an oyster supper. I feel the best that I have for a good while. I think I am heavier than I ever was before.
In regard to Hiram money, I guess he has spent most all of it. He has bought a pair of boots which cost him 6 dollars and a number of other things that cost a good deal out here. Most all the boys spend nearly all their money at the Sutters and up town. In regard to card playing I do not think there is 9 men in the company that do not play card for many he has not played any since I came out here.
I just came in from meeting the Colonel, read a hymn, and read two or three prayers and the Benediction. It does not seem as if I had been away from home more than a day or two.
I wrote home last Sunday. I have not had an answer yet.
Give my respects to all inquirers and let Julie know that I am well as I am getting tight and cannot write too often.
Hiram is on guard now. If she comes back he can write some answer soon.
From your son,
Zadoc I. Batterson