J.D.P to mom
In Camp Near Gettysburg Penn
My Dearest Mother
Today has been unusually hot, so sweltering in matter of fact that
many of our men have fallen through the heat, today our pickets
encountered enemy cavalry in the town of Gettysburg, I have learned this
through stragglers that had been passing our Brigade since the firing
started, there has been a stif f fight for a ridge which I of course have
not perceived, you may be in no disquiet about my safety as we were not
engaged this day, and while I feel some relief to that ef fect I do feel
chastened to have missed the fight.
The latest reports; so says the sergeant, is that we have driven them,
but he was subdued when we asked, so unlike him.
I have already written about my experiences of camp life and the
continuance of the same, I know may bore you, but having never been one
for tobacco, the chewing or the smoking I find that there is very little
for me to do when we collapse in exhaustion to the ground after a
march, I am relegated to staring morosely into the fire whittling on any
sizable stick I can find to support it, to no artistic avail though I
assure you, as I simply scalp the skin from them and toss them away, I
did a few nights ago try to fashion a sculpture of a man, but having cut
of f the part that was meant to be his head I threw it away, I ponder
trying again, maybe chess pieces, or checker markers, but with no board I
would just end up, assuming I succeeded, selling them as souvenirs anyway.
I have just finished patching up my coat with a piece of striking
plaid cloth that I found, "Watch out for sharpsho oters ifn ye turn
sideways" says the corporal, but you have need no fear, I have yet to see
rifle green out here, though the sergeant said that he heard the noise of
some earlier, during the fighting.
I did not mention earlier did I? a while back a photographer to ok our
company, maybe you have seen it in an illustrated or paper, if so would
you send me a copy, the men are very curious.
Af fectionately, your Son J.D.