Camp near Bakersville [Maryland]
October 10, 1862
I received your letters of the 3rd & 6th inst. this evening & if you have a chance to send us our boots, do so as soon as you can for I think that we shall soon leave here & that we shall not see much rest this winter. If you cannot send them before we stop for winter quarters, we shall try if we can, providing we get our pay. If you send the box, send all dried fruit you can. Send me a pair of suspenders & some camphor gum. I have an old rubber blanket but would like a new one.
A. P. [Jones] is here but he has none. He looked rather poorly when he got here but with one dollar I bought a few pounds of flour at 4 cents & we have had cakes, He is improving & so am I. I never felt so well as I do now.
I am very much obliged to you for the stamps. You can call on Mary for the pay or rather you have some money of mine. I believe take out the $5 & stamps I guess that $1 will go. I think that this will me until pay day. Speaking of “it made no difference how much or how little I had,” it does with me. I am 20 years old this fall & I shall soon take stand by the side of men to take life as a man & now that I have a chance to save a little, I will try & do it. There will be enough others to look after your pile & that too before you are through with it. But I am not one. I wish to know & be master of my own fortune. If it was safe, I should not send home so much money but keep it with me but it is not. I intend to always behave myself like a gentleman wherever I may be—at home or abroad.
You did not write anything about Camp. I hear that he is a going as sutler in a new regiment. I have received all the money you have sent. I was intending to write to you to have the Spencer boys all get rubber blankets while they could for they are a good thing.
The 137th Regiment are about 15 miles from here. Some of them were over here today. It is a nice little walk. We are about a mile west of Bakersville. I do not think that you will get an answer from your letter. He is not much of a hand to write. I am acting as Sgt. but am not appointed as yet. But there are those that came out sergeant that the same now & George Sabins [26th New York] is high private in a hospital but say nothing. Martin Beers is Orderly Sergt. but would not trade. It is not much here to be put in as officer at home but where you get it in active service, it shows. I would not write any more to the —-unless he answers yours.
Our Colonel [Matheson] is dead. Our Lt. Colonel is colonel of the 37th Regiment and Major is wounded. The Senior Captain is gone to Hagerstown. I am acquainted with [him]. We met in the battlefield at Crampton’s Gap & had a good talk. He seemed very glad that I got through safe. Lieut. [John W.] Farrand got me a canteen of cider. I gave him a drink. When he gets to be more than a Captain, I shall try my luck but before it is useless now.
We have got some 80 odd new recruits for three years. We have about as many 3 as 2-year men. I think that the 2 [year men] will be discharged when their time is up & the others kept so keeping up the regiment. There are no chances for a private soldier to be promoted in the service of the U. S. & that is one thing that makes the men so discontented. There are no encouragements shown.
John Pierce, the boy that worked for Maybee, was killed at Centerville, I think. I do not know where H. Post is. I will answer Edwin’s letter soon. I had seen what was said by one of the G___. I think we are going to have a long rain. We have shelter tents but they are poor. Write soon.
Respectfully, — Chas. E. Bradley
P. S. Part of our Corps have gone to Hagerstown. The rebs are crossing up the river.