10 May 1861


Elmira [New York]
[May] 10, 1861

Afternoon—rains a little. Laid around until supper time. Marched or rather run down to supper. “Silver plates” 1 pint coffee (or something by that name) in “silver” quart cups. The most complaining is about butter. The Cap[tain] said we could have it once a day. The men who complain the most are those whom we should think had never had anything fit to eat at home.

We had lots of fun last night after supper. There was one fellow that is a perfect clown. He got two of the boys & one of the straw beds & went out & then came in with the bed on the boys head & a blanket over the bed which was for an elephant & then he would make the elephant perform & then they came in representing something else each time & so it went on. I thought I should die a laughing. Here we are some 70 or 80 men in one room. at 10 o’clock the lights go out & of all noises I ever heard, none are equal to this.

May 11—I had a very good night’s rest last night (considering). I feel as well as usual. There are 2 or 3 sick this morning. One fellow has just come in with a pail & a clothes broom & some old shoes enquiring for his “room.” Coffee & meat for breakfast. There is a row of men most all around the room. Some are reading papers, testament, some writing & two or 3 groups playing cards. Have just come back from drilling most of which was a slow run. They calculate to drill 6 hours a day. i think I can stand it first rate.

There is quite a number of our boys that drink liquor & they cannot get it only when they go to their meals & so they get a bottle full. One of the officers found one of their bottles most full & he took it & went out into the yard & threw it against a tree.

The victuals are better than we expected. Our quarters are good for all they are in the basement. I guess our barracks will be done tonight & we shall move tomorrow. Can’t tell for certain. The barracks are almost west of T. K. Beecher’s Church. We have to furnish our own towels. We have got good blankets. The beds are small & thin (straw was scarce I guess). I will write you what clothes I want before you come, I guess. If not, fetch handkerchief. If you have got a better satchel (don’t care if it is small), send it along for mine has began to give out. Can you read my letters> If so, let me know it. Write me all of the news.

I went up to the water cure & took bath. Seemed glad to see me. Wanted me to stay all night. Could not. Wanted me to come up when I could. [S___  ] Beecher had talk. Said he had a letter from Kidder in his pocket which he ought to answer.

May 12—Beecher preached upstairs this morning. We had liberty until 12 o’clock & from dinner until 5, saw G. H. F. & E. Vines [?]. H & I have been up to see our barracks. They are nice, There is great preparations going on here.

We have butter 3 times a day. Some of the boys say they are going to give 3 cheers for the good victuals we have had today (Sunday). Cap[tain] said he thought we should start from here last part of this week. We have joined [the] Cayuga Brigade. One of our men had a fit down to the house where we eat tonight. He was a hard drinker. It had a good effect. Fetch shirts, towels, collars, & silk handkerchiefs. A good many of the men have got sore feet. Mine do no trouble me any of any amount.

Caught a little cold first night. My head is stopped up. Mrs. Gleason sends her best respects to all who enquire. — C. E. Bradley