Digital Collections @ St. Lawrence University

I am now about giving a little description

I am now about giving a little description
I am now about giving a little description
I am now about giving a little description
I am now about giving a little description


Sunderland, Darwin
Sunderland, Darwin
Albany, NY
Original letter: ink on paper, 4 p.


Albany Barracks         Jan. 14, 1862

I am now about
giving a little description of our barracks and of our living.  1st I will endeavor to describe our barracks.  They are large 4 story brick building some 200 feet long by 40 wide and these are divided of into room large enough to contain 100 men with sleeping bunks.   Each bunk will accommodate 3 persons which leave them a blanket to lay on and two over them so that we sleep very comfortable.  I have not slept cold a night yet.   2nd I will endeavor to describe the wooden or rear barracks where we were stationed first.   They are wooden buildings 500 feet long by 24 wide 1 story high divided of[f] into apartments large enough to account over 200 men and each building will accommodate 1100 men and there is 2400 men stationed here now but I do not know how long we shall be here.  They say we shall go in two or three weeks.  In the 3rd place, I will describe the kitchen.  That is a room about 30 by 40 feet.  In it are six large boilers as large as your Chasldro kettle in which our victuals are cooked.  They cut up the meat into pieces and throw it into these kettles and then they turn a faucet let a stream of water on and when the kettle is full they throw in a pan of salt and [heat] it up and let it boil and then it is taken out and the meat cutters take it and cut it all of[f] from the bones and then it is thrown in to barrels to keep warm till used.  After it stands till they are afraid it will spoil then they make a soup of it.   We have pudding and molasses two or three times a week as you make it at home  They heat three of these kettles full of water and then they turn a little faucet and let a small stream  of water run in and one takes the pudding stick on one a pan of meal and they go at it.   It takes about an hour to to make a kettle full.   They use about 15 barrels of meat and three hundred loaves of bread and 25 bushels of potatoes a day here.   In the 4 place we will go into the mess room.   This will seat six hundred men at a time in them.   There is places to wash our dishes.   We do not wash our own dishes yet.    We appoint waiter for that.  5th will now give you a little sketch of the routine business of a soldier here.  I will give you my experience since Jan 1st.   On this day we marched down to the city to see the governer and to pace through the G-- place of residence while he stays here which is a very magnificent building.  There is some very nice buildings here.   One very large and beautiful church.  At six the drum is beat to wake up the soldiers. At a half of past it beats for breakfast.   At 9 for company and squad drill.   At half a past 12 is for dinner.    At 2 for battalion Drill.    At half-past 4 dress parade.    At six supper and at nine the ______ and then at half a past nine every light is to be blown out.  On the first went to the city.    On the 3rd stood guard--- nothing more but the general routine till the tenth  Then I was on guard duty.  13th  on guard.   On the night of the 10 I went to a sabbath school concert where they had 300 singers and the band of the 76th regiment now station hear  It was in Twerdel hall.   They estimate the audience at between 4 & 5000 people and the girls were all dressed in white with a red white and blue sash and a most every singer had a flag and they had about a dozen large flags.   It was the most splendid thing I ever saw.  Soldiers admission was 15 cents, citizens 25 cents.  Last Saturday and Sunday it thawed and what little snow we had went of.   On Sunday night it snowed a little so that there was about as many sleighs as wagons used  To day it is snowing and there is a prospect of having good sleighing.    We have not had any cold weather hear to speak of.  The father of one of the boys that came hear with us came this morning after him and he has gone now to see the officers.   He is a pretty smart looking man and I guess that he will make things snap.   He is smart enough to anyway.  The Col. has got back.    He came yesterday and the Capt. saw him but did not get any satisfaction and he has gone to see him again today.


Jan. 17th/ 62

Things have come to a crisis and I will endeavor to finish my letter.  If we have to stay Moshier is our Capt. now and Briston is Ordly Sergeant.   Bristol could not get a furlow [furlough] for any of the boys except Mr. Thomases son.  His Father was hear and it was hard work for him to get one.  Mr. Bristol leaves for home to night and he will not stay more than 4 or 5 days and I want you to go immediately to see him and see what you can do about getting me away from here, for next week we start for Dixie and you know that I never enlisted for Infantry and I do not think I ever shall go.   I do not want to lose my time here.  I want to get home on a furlow [furlough]and then wait till I get my pay or else I want you to take steps to get me an honorable discharge.   There were 13 hundred men went away from hear this afternoon.   They are to get their pay in New York.  I have not felt so well for the last week as I did before.   I never can endure this kind of a life.   I have not seen a well day since I left home.  If I do not get away hear I know I shall get a discharge.   When we get down south we are a going to key west in Virginia and according to what the boys say that have been there I do not think that I can stand it two months there.  I want you to be sure and go and see Bristol and if he won’t do anything  just go and see Mr. _____ and see what he thinks.   I expected to have been at home now two weeks ago but here I am and no better off than then.  Do not tell everybody what I have written.  It is growing dark and I must quit.   Write as soon as you get this and let the worst be know

                                                                        No More at present
So good night from your son
Darwin Sunderland
Direct as before



Rights Management: 
Original materials may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (more information).
Date Original (Precise): 
January 14, 1862


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: 
September 26, 2011