Letter from Ramsay, Charles S.

Soldier: Ramsay, Charles S.
Allegiance: Union
Unit/Service Branch: 44th Infantry
Home State: Ohio
Date Written: Monday, December 9th, 1861
Location: Camp Platt
Correspondence Type: Letter
Subjects: Camp Life, Commanders, Comrades, Emancipation, Family, Friends, Wife/Girlfriend
My Dear Wife,

Having finished eating my dinner which consisted of soup and hard crackers and having a few leisure moments, I thought I would write you a short letter. After I had written my last and mailed it, yours of 26 to 29th Nov. arrived. In it you said that you received my letter in regard to my fingers suffering those cold mornings. You sent word to another to knit me a pair of gloves. It was not for want of gloves that they suffered for I had as warm a pair as I could use but notwithstanding, they were cold. I am very much obliged to you and my dear Mother for those sent me. They will come in very well but if it discommoded Mother any to knit them I am sorry that she was put to that trouble.

This is a most beautiful day. The sun shines warm. Indeed I am so warm that I am sitting in the shade without either blouse or vest. This is the fifth day in succession we have had of just such weather. The mud is beginning to dry up and things present a more pleasing appearance much to my gratification and that of the whole regiment. I never enjoyed such weather to my recollection in Ohio at this season of the year. Indeed it appears more like May than December.

This afternoon we had practiced for a couple of hours. I went across the river with Captain Cummings. Had quite a pleasant walk. Could hear the birds singing so sweetly and everything was so beautiful that I enjoyed it very much indeed. Someplaces the grass is very green and on such days as we have had for a few days past, it does not seem like winter was here. How long it will continue so very pleasant I am not able to judge.

Yesterday (Sabbath) Forenoon we had review and inspection of arms. The review is nice. The flag was placed at the north side of the parade ground. The companies formed in line of battle facing the colors, the officers being in line four steps in front of the regiment. The colonel , the reviewing officer, rode up and took his position by the colors. At command of Lieut. Col. the whole regiment presented arms, the officers saluted and the band played "Hail to the Chief". The regiment wheeled by companies to the right, the band commenced playing Hail Columbia and marched around passing in front of the colonel. As each company passed the officers saluted the Colonel. After the band passed the colonel we wheeled around facing him and continued to play until the whole regiment passed. We then ceased to play and waited until the regiment came around again and we then played a quick tune for them to pass by at quick time. It looked fine indeed. After review we had inspection of arms, that is what we all dispise for we have to stand put until the whole regiment has been inspected which is not very interesting. Got through in time for dinner. After dinner Jerry Bair, Joe Minich and I went down to the landing to see some sick from the regiment leave. James Kurtz of Springfield was among the number. After the boat left we concluded to take a walk. We started out the road running south from camp, walked until we got to the picket at a little creek, got permission to pass, walked some considerable distance until we came to a large brick house. We concluded to go in and see if we could not get some apples to eat. They had none but a man there said if we would walk up to his house he would let us have some. As we started out more for a walk than anything else, we would go. It was about a half mile further up. We got some nice apples and then started for camp. When we arrived just in time for dress parade. We expected to be there a half hour before but they had changed the time beginning at four instead of half past four.

Alex Sykes and Jno Gibney went to Malden this morning. The boys all like to go down there to get something good to eat. Alex received a loaf of bread from and traded half of it for some butter to Sam Torrence. I got a slice of the bread with butter. I tell you it tasted like home. The butter was made by Sammy's Mother, old Mr. Barnett's wife and was tiptop.

One of Captain Schaffer's men died last night at the hospital. His folks live near Dayton. I believe they are going to send his body home.

It is reported in camp that they found the body of Captain Bell down near Charleston. They dragged the river here to recover the bodies but could not succeed. He floated down that far. I presume his body will be brought to camp for internment.

We are expecting Mr. Frye up by the first boat. It will be here this evening. It left Cincinnati last Friday. I am in hopes that I will receive some letters from home. Am growing more anxious every day in regard to you and will until I know that all is well. I wish I was with you but that cannot be. I do not see much prospect of our getting out of here this winter. They are building a large building for storing provisions in. It is to hold one hundred ---- and rations. Some regiment will have to remain here to guard them. If we could have such weather as this all the time I would as soon stay here as anywhere else the same distance from home.

I am well and never had better health in my life than I have enjoyed since here though there are a great many in the regiment conplaining and some seriously sick but the order has been given to go and practice and I shall have to close. Remember me to all with my best respects. Write soon and often.

I remain as ever, your affectionate husband, Charlie (Ramsay)