Digital Collections @ St. Lawrence University

Sister Emma I thought I would write a few lines

Sister Emma  I thought I would write a few lines
Sister Emma  I thought I would write a few lines
Sister Emma  I thought I would write a few lines
Sister Emma  I thought I would write a few lines


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


Camp Jackson
Martinsburgh Va Feb 5th 1863
            Sister Emma
I thought I would write a few lines to you and I want you to answer it yourself, as soon as you have time.  I hope you are having a good school this winter, and that you is trying to learn as much as you can.  I want you to write what studies you study this winter, and how you get along with your music.  It is snowing today, and it looks as though we were a going to have some sleighing.  I have not seen a sleigh this winter.  I wish I was at home to go to a party once this winter.  You must have such fine time.  They do not have such things here.  I believe that they have not had any such around here any way.  I wish I could go to a dance. 
Home, well I have waited long enough for an answer to my last so I will write another for fear you may think that something is wrong with me.  I am well and tough as ever.  I have not had many letters for the last three or four weeks.  I was on picket this week one day, and the Charlestown road where I saw union lady, it being the first union lady I have seen since I came here.   I have seen quite a number of young girls a [and] women  since I came to Martinsburg but they were some of those firey (seesh) which seem to look upon a yankey as being beneath the black slaves of this country.
            Feb 6th
It is just six months to day since I enlisted and last night  I was arrested and put it in the guard house, for not being present at roll call.   It was quite stormy and I was down in company B with one of noncommissioned officers and he said that thare would not be any rool calls so that we need not be in any hurry.  It was not long before a sergeant with a file of men came after me, so I had to stay in the guard house till this morning.  I was a little vexed for this reason that I should be reported and the officer was not, for he was obliged to answer as well as myself.  But never mind.   I will have revenge if it is not till the last day I am in the army.   If I live I will show them a trick worth two of those that they placed on me.   I have some rather bad news to write.   One of those Tyler boys died this morning at a private house.   It was the youngest one, he was taken sick with the measles about three weeks ago.   Before he got through with them, he was taken with the long fever which he has had twice before but this time he was taken.   Thare has been I think 18 cases of measles in this regiment and there has been three cases where they turned into a fever and they have all three died.  Tyler makes that 4 that have died in our company and 28 that have died in the regiment. 
Thursday morning

This afternoon I went to dig the grave of David C Tyler it being the first grave that I ever helped to dig.  I am tonight watching with the corps he died at a private house in this place.  The people are real good union people.   There is three others of our company sick here now.   Davids brother would not go up stairs to sleep tonight, not even with me so the lady of the house has had his bed brought down for him it being a moveable bed fit for one man to sleep on.   She also brought out a dish of apples and passed them around and then she passed around some good apple pie, the best I have tasted since I left home.   I have also seen three cutters and one double team pass by with bells which taken with the pie reminds me very strong of home and some of the good times I have enjoyed about there, and I hope I may yet see them again.   About 5 o’clock tonight I heard of George Black .  He died in the hospital at Harpers Ferry I believe on Tuesday last.   I believe I wrote you that he got his discharge and came here from the hospital at Cumberland to get his papers which ware all made out and had been to Washington and signed and he was to have started for home in a few days at best as soon as the boys would get some things ready that they wanted to send but now he is in the grave.   But it is only where we have all got to go sooner or later.   And I do not know how soon I shall have to go but if it is my lot to die here why so be (Doctor skin) __ can’t save me if he wished to.   But I do not think he would try very hard.   He never has tried very hard yet to save any one for I think if the last two boys had proper care when they were first taken down here might have been alive now.  No more.  Write soon D.W. Sunderland


Rights Management: 
Original materials may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (more information).
Date Original (Precise): 
February 5, 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 28, 2011