Thursday, August 26, 2010

George Writes Home

Today at Beverly Ford: August 26, 2010

Portion of a letter from George Fox (6th New Jersey Infantry/Third Corps) to his brother:

Camp 6th N. J. Vols near Beverley Ford Va. Aug 26th/[18]63
Dear Brother
I have just received your welcome Letter and I now set down to answer it.

We have quite a change in the weather. Last night about dark we had a hard shower and heavy wind and it blew up so cold that we nearly froze in the night. It looked queer this morning to see the boys standing around Cook fires. They have all got their wish for they all was complaining of the weather being so warm.

We have not moved and I do not believe we will for a while. Conscripts is beginning to come in here. The Eleventh Massachusetts received near three hundred the other day. There is going to be three conscripts shot next Saturday for deserting. They belong to the Corn Exchange Regt. (118 Pa) and lay right near us. I was over there today and saw them.

I am in first rate health hope this will find you all the same. I weigh more than I ever did before.
I was over to see the 14th Jersey the other day about one half of them is sick. They are just beginning to find out what soldering is. When I set down to write I hardly know what to write about as it is so dull in Camp nothing going on except the Boys playing Ball.

Give my love to all of our Folks also to Annie, Eddie, Joe and take a large portion for yourself and I Remain
Your Affectionate Brother George W. Fox

George tells us a few interesting things. The hot weather has finally broken, to the point where soldiers gather around the fire to stay warm. Conscripts have begun to filter into camp, the volunteers that flocked into service are now gone. For the remainder of the war it will be mostly conscripts and bounty soldiers.

George also mentions the five soldiers of the Corn Exchange Regiment awaiting execution. These men, all conscripts who spoke no English, deserted either before they arrived in camp or just after. They are to be shot in two days.

George claims good health, but the men of the 14th New Jersey are not doing as well. The 14th is a new regiment and are adapting to life in camp. Finally, he mentions life has gotten dull and playing ball. Playing baseball was a common experience in camp, as was a form of cricket. And I have to feel that George would prefer dull camp life than fighting; but fighting will bring the war to the end and George home.

George Fox transferred to the 8th New Jersey in July 1864, and was mustered out a year later

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