Units by State:
Units by State:
Smith, David V. M. (1823-1863) to Charles
Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC04189.15
Author/Creator: Smith, David V. M. (1823-1863)
Place Written: Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland
Type: Autograph letter signed
Date: 4 November 1862
Pagination: 4 p. : envelope.
Summary of Content: He describes non-stop guard duty to his son Charles. Smith also tells the story of a young drummer boy his son’s age, who snuck out of camp in a flour barrel in order to visit town. He advises his son not to become a soldier.
People: Smith, David V.M., Smith, Elizabeth, Smith, Charles, Smith, John M. Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877
Full Transcript: Camp Johnson Nov 4th/62, Charles My Son,, , I Sit down to commence writing you a letter I dont know when I Shall get it done and I don’t know what to write that will interest you, ………(Nov 5th) our fellows had quite a spot of fun last Evening in Camp A Celebrating Election night They had Singing & Speaking and Dancing from a bridge Box fixed for the purpose they kept it up until about 10 Oclock I could not be with t
hem as I was on duty But I was near enough to see the crowd & hear the barraks, I had Some good Sleep last night from 9 oclock until 1 oclock I laid on the ground with a Stick of wood for a pillow and my Blanket over me and slept as well as I ever did in my life at 1 Oclock I went on duty, we have some drummer Boys [inserted: here] about your size and they are quite Smart to the other night they got together and 1 of them  wanted to go in to town very Bad so they got an empty Barrel and put him in it it had one head in it. So when the guard was past so could not see in the Barrel they Rolled it past him (it did not require any Rolling for it was down a steap hill) he Struck it with his bayonet not thinking that there was any Body in it But only made it Run the faster So down the hill it went for about 3 hundred yards and the little drummer crawled out and went into the town with no other harm to himself But a scratched face and when he came Back to camp they let him in and said if he went out that way they would give him a free pass Back…Tell Rufus & Anna to Be good children & don’t forget it yourself write as soon as you can & tell your Mother to write to me I will come home as soon as I can and see you all and hope to find you well and Comfortable so good by & will ever Remain your Loving Father. D VM Smith