Letter from Bisbee, Ira W.

Soldier: Bisbee, Ira W.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 9th Infantry
Home State: Maine
Date Written: Saturday, November 1st, 1862
Location: Fernandina, Florida
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Camp Life, Commanders, Comrades, Eastern Theater, Family, Patriotism, Politics, Rumors
 
Dear and beloved Parent,

The mail has at last got in and I received two letters from you and they was heartily received by me for it had been some time since I heard from you, and I felt very anxious to hear from you. One of your letters was dated Oct. 12th, the other Sept. 28th. One had two postage stamps in it, the other had three, and I thank you many times for them for they come very acceptable to me. And when I think that I have got such good and kind parents to send me anything that I wish, it makes my heart leap for joy for the love I owe to them. It was very sad news to me indeed to hear that one of my old schoolmates had left this world for a better land, one that was so promising in the youth of life. Many, many hours I have enjoyed a youthful circle with her presence, but alas, she is gone, gone and left the family circle never again to return to enjoy the presence of many acquaintances and friends. My heart is very sad while I write these few broken lines to you, and you must excuse all bad writing and mistakes. I see in your letter that Lieut. [Benjamin F.] Heald has got home and that he is quite smart. I am very glad to hear such news from him for I was afraid that he would never see home alive, and I presume that he has told everything just as it is, but Sergt. [Isaac] Bonney I will not say anything about for he is a recruiting officer. I have been to dinner and feel considerable braced up and will try and finish my letter. I came off from picket guard this morning and did not sleep a wink last night, and I feel rather dull today. We have a hard time when we go on guard for the flies bite so we canít sleep, nor do anything else in peace, but while I think of it I will tell you a little promotion that happened a short time ago in our Com.[pany], but I presume you have heard of it long before this time. The Capt. reduced F.[rank] Denham to the ranks and has seen fit to put me in [as] Corporal, so donít you think that I am quite smart? I did not calculate to write to you anything about it at present, but there is so many that write home lies that I thought I would just tell you so you might get the right of it. And furthermore, the Capt. told me when he gave me my warrant that if I had been well all the time that I was sick at Hilton Head, I might have been a Sergeant now. I do not tell you of this to brag off, but to let you know that I am thought some of here in Florida. But I will not say much about that now for I may get broke myself, and then I should feel bad. But as he has seen fit to put me in Corporal, I shall try to do my duty faithfully, and do the very best I can, and I may have a better chance by and by. Do not let anybody see this will you? (this is my request) Well I suppose you will want to know how we are all getting along as a Regiment. We have some little difficulty once in awhile (that is the officers do) but nothing serious yet. Col. [Rishworth] Rich and Col. [Horatio] Bisbee does not set by each other as they ought to be, but get along very well as yet. Col. Bisbee is what I call a very smart officer and is military, and the Col. does not seem to be quite so much, but we all like him very much for he is a regular old farmer, and is not afraid to speak to a private. But I presume that you will get all the details of things in general, and it will be useless for me to write anymore about it. Calvin wrote to me some time ago that he would like to have me send home my picture if I could conveniently. I canít get it taken short of 3 dollars and very poor at that, and I think that is too much to pay. You well know that I do not have too much money to spend for things that I must have, but if you think it best I will try and get it taken. I see in your letter that there is a Com.[pany] of seasick fellows at Haleís Mill, and about that drill and that some of our neighbors and relations are engaged in it. What do they calculate that they are a going to do, or what seems to be their intention? I do wish that Com.[pany] F could be there about two days. I hope the next news I shall [get] that they are all done away with, and everything be quiet for it is bad enough to go away from home and fight (much more fight at home). I see in your letter that Uncle Wm. Walker is dead. Indeed it was news to me and sad news too. Poor man, gave his life for his country. It is hard to part with friends and relations in this accursed war, but alas thousands and thousands are falling every day in the battlefield and by disease. When is this abusive war a going to close, is our country going to ruin or not is hard for me to decide. I do not know but what you will think that I am some discouraged about this time, but you must remember that my courage is first rate and I am bound to be so at all times. Let things come back for if a man does not have any courage in this show he might as well be dead as any way. You spoke about me writing to Aunt Francina. I will write this very day with the greatest pleasure, and write her a good long letter. I see that Esther thinks that I write more letters to Cal than I do at her. I do not know but [if] I do I will try and do better hereafter. I will write her a letter this afternoon. My health is first rate. I am tough as a bear and get along well with my duty that I have to perform. Our old Sergt. has got back that went home recruiting and fetched with him 39 recruits so we shall have some more recruits to fill up our companies, and there is about one hundred more on the way here so we shall have a pretty full Regt. when they all get here. What has become of Henry Tuell? Tell him I will be after him with a stick if he donít write to me soon for I wrote to him and wife a long time ago and he has not answered it yet. But I must draw to a close as my sheet of paper is about full. Good bye with great Respects.

From your Son,
Ira W. Bisbee
 

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