Digital Collections @ St. Lawrence University

Mother, I take the present oppertunity to write a few lines

Mother,  I take the present oppertunity to write a few lines
Mother,  I take the present oppertunity to write a few lines
Mother,  I take the present oppertunity to write a few lines
Mother,  I take the present oppertunity to write a few lines


Sunderland, Darwin
Sunderland, Darwin
Brandy, VA
Original letter: ink on paper, 4 p.


Camp 106th Regt. N. Y. S. Volls.
Near Brandy Va.
Dec 18th/63
I take the present opportunity to write a few lines to inform you of my present welfare. I have been looking for the last three or four days for a letter from you but have looked in vane.  The last letter I had from you was dated Dec 2nd and I have written two letters to you since I came back from the other side of the river and one to Emma, also one to Austin and I have not received any answers yet in the last letter to you[.] I sent for $1.00 worth of post stamps.  I received the papers you sent to me all correct.  It is raining to day like the old boy and it is quite unpleasant.  it is rumored here now that we shall have to fall back acrost the Rappahonnock before we can have much rest.  And I say it is to[o] bad. We have jest I got our houses done and are takeing comfort.  After our hard summers campaign it comes quite pleasan[t] to settle down and get something besides hard “tacks” and pork.  you would be supprised to see me sit down to a mess of potatoes. you have heard Prescott tell about the Irishman eating so many potatoes for breakfast haven’t you,  well I can beat him in fact I am getting fat, that is the truth of it, and it is costing something to[o] I tell you.  I bought half a beefs liver yesterday and paid $1.00 for it, other things according. But I got so sick of hard-tack and pork that I cannot eat them when I can get anything better.  I did think of coming home this winter about Newyears but they will not grant onely ten days furlow and I guess that wont pay.  now they may grant longer before spring, if I can get away for 20 days I think I will come.  Thare is to be two furlows granted at a time from a company but I believe thare is not any of our company going home at presant on 10 days furlow. it is to short. I saw an extract taken from the boston Boston Journal in our daily paper saying that General Pleasanton had been tenderd the command of the army of the potomac and that if the weather continued favorable you might look for some good results from the old army yet this fall and winter.  Then pretending to know feeling of the army he “the editor” went so far as to say the troops did not wish to go in to winter quarters, now I think he is either a fool or else he does not know anything for a person of common sence must know that any person had sooner be whare they can get down an enjoy a good fire and know where they are a going to sleep at night than marching all day and then laying down at night in the cold with no other shelter than the wide heavens above.  To think the man has not got more common sence than to make such an expression as edit such things in his paper, for ever since I have been in the army of the potomac I have not seen a time but that the men had rather lay still than march with their accootrements an neither has any other person[.] Thare is lots of jest such persons through the country that pretend to know all about the feeling of the mass of soldiers in the field but they never venture out into the army.  they are to fraid but at the same time the soldiers do not want to go in to winter quarters. I would jest like to see the man that sayes it, and I should like to have him take a trip acrost the rapihon with us when it is so cold as it was that time we crost [crossed]. But enough of this for this time I am well and have some good time although far away from friends at home and entirely excluded from the company of the Genteler sex for you know I like their company very well, but it has been some time since I saw one to speak to.  Well I must close hoping to hear from you soon[.]  I remain your son       D. W. S.        
D. W. Sunderland

Major General A. Pleasanton U.S.A.

Pleasanton was in command of the Cavalry Corps from May 22, 1863 to January 22, 1864. Perhaps Darwin had made an error.


Rights Management: 
Original materials may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (more information).
Date Original (Precise): 
December 18, 1863


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 29, 2011