afternoon, March 8th. 1864.
over my unanswered letters this afternoon I found a letter from
you dated Feb. 9th. Whether I have answered it or not I am not
certain & for fear that I have not I will write. I would sooner
answer each letter that I get from home twice than miss answering
one. Letters from home have been a very scarce article with
me for a long time. I think that they now average about one
a month & I am expecting for them to stop altogether. If such
becomes the case I shall have to submit for I cannot make any
of you write if you do not wish to do so.
I am enjoying
very good health & this is a beautiful afternoon, warm & comfortable,
but at present Plymouth is a very lonely place to me. The Regt
left on last Friday morning for Newbern I believe, but what
object they were they were ordered there for neither they nor
anybody else here knows. Either the QM or I had to stay behind
& he concluded to go so I had to stay. Two Regts went from here,
the 101st P.V. & the 16th Conn Vols. It is said that newberne
is threatened again by the rebels. But I know nothing positive,
their going away has left this place in a rather defenseless
condition. There are not over eight hundred troops here now,
& a considerable part of them are North Carolinas, & how much
they can be depended we do not yet know.
came in yesterday, says he came from Goldsborough & that there
are but few rebel troops in the state. Don't believe him as
all the news that we have had for the past month shows that
the rebels have been concentrating a force in this state probably
he was sent in to deceive us in hopes that we would relax our
vigilance & become an easy prey to the rebels. If such was the
object it won't work. We are prepared night & day to do all
that our numbers will permit towards defending this place. If
you have ever been left at home when all the rest have gone
away, you can have an idea of how solitary this place is now
that the Regt is absent.
do not come back I expect a large & troublesome job in moving
all the baggage up to them. They went in light marching order,
everything of the baggage kind was left behind. I expected to
be at home long before this time & we had pretty good reasons
for believing that we should start this week, but it is all
knocked in the head now. In fact I have not the least idea when
we shall go.
Bombshell had a narrow escape last week. She went up the Chowan
river & while she was gone the rebels got below her and planted
a battery upon the river bank. The rebels thought that they
had her safe enough. They sent a flag of truce & demanded her
surrender, But Brinkerhoff her commander could not see the propriety
of such a proceeding, he refused & kept up the river out of
the reach of the rebel guns, The next day the gunboats Southfield
& Whitehead went to his assistance, they arrived at the rebel
battery just before dark & were warmly received. A few shots
were exchanged, but night coming on both sides quieted down.
In the morning the gunboats opened in earnest & the rebels left.
The Southfield bursted her hundred pounder & its fragments wounded
two men. No other damaged was received. The Bombshell is quite
famous since her escape.
her commander is considered a brave man. He is a German & is
most terribly wicked. Wednesday morning March 9th A boat has
arrived but has brought no letters for me. The Regt went to
Newbern, got on to another boat & immediately came back to Roanoke
Island, where they now are. Reports say that the rebels are
threatening this part of the state & I suppose that is the reason
that the Regt has been sent to Roanoke. What will turn up time
alone can tell.
a beautiful morning. About like a May morning in Penna., But
though it is so warm & pleasant I would be willing to exchange
it for Pennes frozen hills for a little while anyway & I rather
guess that I would be willing to let the exchange remain for
good & all. We have been having quite a number of thunder storms
lately. Last night when I went to bed it was lightning rapidly
in the south.
considerable sickness here still. The fever & ague still continues
in force. I had something of a chill last night. The first that
I have had for five months, but I think that I have stopped
it I took 10 grains of quinine before I went to bed. I feel
pretty well this morning. We have 2 companies of the 2d Regt
Mass heavy Artillery here now. They are a hard set. Nearly all
foreigners. Came out for the large bounties. A great many of
them have been sick since they came here. It is amusing to hear
some of them that are Irish talk about their enlistment. They
will say "Only sax wakes in this country & enlisted in the Massachusetts
waty artillery" I must close for this time.
love to all-- good by
E N Boots
Q. M. Dept.
101st Reg P. V.
you a rebel stamp. If I ever should be so unfortunate as to
be taken prisoner you can send me a letter & this stamp will
pay the rebel postage.