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Home We are now in Camp on a confiscated plantation

Home  We are now in Camp on a confiscated plantation
Home  We are now in Camp on a confiscated plantation
Home  We are now in Camp on a confiscated plantation
Home  We are now in Camp on a confiscated plantation


Sunderland, John
Sunderland, John
Sugar growing--Louisiana--History--19th Century
Mississippi River
Original letter: ink on paper, 4 p.


Plantation Camp
April 1th, [18]64
We are now in Camp on a confiscated plantation rented from the gouverenment by a *** it containes a 1000 acres.  We had orders Tuesday the 29 to pack up every thing and be redy to starte at a moments warning but did not get orders to start until Wednesday after noon and then we marched down to the whearf and waited for the boat until sundown[,] so we had to load up after dark but we got ready to start at 5 AM for up the Mississipi[-] a distance of 80 or 100 miles[.]  so we are now about 200 miles up the mississippi river[.]  we arrived here just at sun down last night and unloaded and marched back from the river about 1 mile and picked over horses in a nice white clover field[,]  the clover is all in bloom now[,] and then went to bed rite in the rear of ower [our] horses and took my first nights sleepe on the ground[,]  I sleep first rate.  This morning we had ower breakfast around a camp fire the captain and all the oficers with us[,] it consisted of hard tack pork and coffee.  This morning they ishued [issued] us our round of cartriges for ower revolvers[.]  The first they have ishued since I have ben with the regiment and while I have writing they have ordered 20 of ouer bois [boys] out on picket[.]
April 3th  
I take this present oportunity to resume my writing to you.  Well another week has roled round and I am able as yet to write another letter to you[.]  But I have seene a little more of soldering withen the few days past [-] night before last I was poot [put] on picket for the first time and every thing past off well with me[,] but on the oposit [opposite] side of the camp from me we had ower pickets drove in after dischargen [discharging] their pieces at the rebels and then we sent out a scouting party of a 100 men and they retuned last night bringing 2 priseners with their horses[.]  they was all that they see on the scout and them was gorilles [guerrillas] drest [dressed] in citizens clothes and we think there is a  band of gorilles quartered around here some wheir[.]
Well last night ower pickets was drove in again and we was all ordered up to arme and equip ower selves and be redy to fite the enemy but no rebels came so we was ordered back to bed again and we think that it was a falce alarm[,] but the picket say that the rebels got so close to them that they could heare them tock [talk] but could not see them[,] so they fired at them and the enimy reseumed the fire and they scdalded [?--skeedadled] into camp[,] but they was green soldiers like myself and I think that they was more scard [scared] than hurt  for every thing is quiet and still this morning.
Well I keepe a seeing something new every day[.]  yesterday I was all over a nice large shugear [sugar] house where they make shugar out of shugarcain [sugar cane] and a splendid sight it was[.]  in the first place the cain is ground up and the juse [juice] is prest [pressed] out of it and runs into two roses [rows] of kittles [kettles] and keepes running from one to the other and runs out into cares [?--cars] from the last kittle and the cars run down between two rows of traughs [troughs] and they run the shugar off out of the car into these traughs to cool and drain the molases off and then it is redy to barell up for market[.]
Well mother I think that if I get home safe that I shall never be sory for I have seene enough now to pay any body for their time and I keepe a seeing more and more every day and if we kepe [keep] a traveling as fast as we have I think that we will get all over the U.S. before my 3 years is up.  I have not received any letters from you yet the last one that I got was the one that had the tea in, and I have received an answer to a letter that I wrote to the burgh [?--Ogdensburg] since then[.]  so I begin to think that you do not write.  no more at present[.]  direct as you have before to washington D.C.  we are now a good way apart about 5,000 miles so write often and write all the news and how you get about at home[.]
This from your son
J. R. Sunderland


Rights Management: 
Original materials may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (more information).
Date Original (Precise): 
April 1, 1864


Digitization Specifications: 
Scanned at 600ppi on Epson 1000XL scanner as 48-bit RGB uncompressed TIFF images. Images resized to 960 pixels wide, 150 dpi, and saved as JPEG (level 10) in Photoshop CS5 with Unsharp Mask of 60:1.
Date Digital: 
October 3, 2011