March 28, 1863, Camp at White Oak Church...
"It has been very pleasant for 2 or 3 days but today it is raining hard again with heavy thunder, that will delay us a few days again. I am glad that my Little Boy points out his fathers likeness & thinks so much of it & it certainly is very flattering to me to have him point out General Sigel as his papa, it shows his good sense he knows his papa will come home a great military man if he lives through the next battles for the Colonel will promote a lot of us Sergeants if we show great bravery and daring in the coming action which we hope to do if we dont get too badly scared at the outset ~ but my good name never has suffered yet in that line no matter how dangerous a spot I was in and I hope it never will~"
That's quite the run-on sentence even after adding some punctuation, but that's how it reads!
"We drill some now again in pleasant weather but we are practicing Target shooting a good deal I have had the good luck to hit the target most every day untill lately my luck has turned. I cant hit it but it was because it was so far off yesterday ~ it was 900 yards or nearly 3/4 of a mile ~ I have a good deal to do yet though Davidson the Orderly has returned ~ The colonel has made us all get new clothes & we are dressed up gay enough we have to all appear on parades, Inspections and Reviews with white gloves &c ~ I had to get another pair of pants which is my 4th pair in 8 months it has cost me about 42 (?) dollars for clothing besides what I have had to spend out of my own pocket for clothes. My boots cost me 8 1/2 dollars and sundry other things that makes a soldiers life rather expensive. I wish I could send home some clothing I have a good Dress Coat, a good Pr of pants & Cap & several other things if I could send home would do some good but which I shall have to throw away if we have hard marching. I have already throwed away enough to last me a year ~ "
Continuing on his lengthy letter, the writing becomes significantly smaller as he tries to fill the page with all of his thoughts:
" I got a letter from Millie Fitch the other day and last night I got one from Harry Van Horne. I was glad to learn that Sarah has followed the example of the Saviour
I'll stop there for today. There is another insert written on March 30th with a post script that I'll post as soon as possible. I researched a bit on Capt Campbell and found that the 121st had two Campbell's. A Douglas Campbell and a Cleveland Campbell. I was curious which one Philip was glad to see go. According to the "History of the 121st NYS Infantry" in the Army of the Potomac Series, Cleveland Campbell went on to become a Colonel. Douglas Campbell's fate was slightly different. Here's a passage from that book:
"These changes had been made at different dates, the last being the resignation of Captain Douglas Campbell on April 28th from the hospital where he, for some time, had been under treatment for sickness."
So that fills in a few blanks. I'll pick up where I left off in the next post!
Until next time!