The Calvin Shedd Papers > Transcripts of Letters > March 15, 1962

Fort Jefferson, Fla., March 15 1862

Dear Wife & Children

I was very glad to hear from you, Yours of the 24th of Feb came to hand yesterday I have written you twice from here & to Mr Huse which he will show you You caution me about eating Fruit no danger of that at all that I have had was 3 Lemons that I paid 15 cts for everything is about twice as high as at the north There is a Rebel schooner lying here in a sinking condition that was taken by a Yankee GunBoat, the crew cut a hole to sink her but our men were to quick for them, the Gunboat fired 26 shots at her before she hove too but without injury.  She is loaded with Fruit & Liquors.  After the crew made the hole in her they took to their Boats and escaped somehow, I have not heard the particulars.  There was a Prize crew of Six put on board to take her to Key West but they could not keep her afloat and were nearly worn out when they arrived here and sent for Soldiers to work the Pump they run her aground with 5 ft of water in her hold, Gen. Brannan Comder. of department of K West was here & inspected our Regt yesterday we Paraded with all our traps and we had a sweat of it.  The three Companys of Zouaves left for Ft Pikens last Eve we were very happy to part with them and the Guard House is to let this morning

The Small Pox has broken out and some 15 men have been sent to Bird Island supposed to be sick with it Levi Le Page from my squad is there his Brother John is sick in the Tent I dont know but he has got it.  I dont feel Frightened as some do Ned & I can kill out all of these Bully Farmers we have done our duty every day while they are sick about half the time and shirk duty the rest, the good soldiers are scarce in this regt that is that do their duty from sence of patriotism & love of country I cant find a man that sticks up to the rack as I do.  I feel the same courage to keep on as I did when I enlisted, although if the war was over I should wish to be at home for a soldiers life as such, I dont like I can tell you, and I never have seen the man yet that did.  Sam has been well all the time till within a day or two has had a sore throat but is some better today; and on duty as Corporal of water Guard; I think he has not missed a Tour of duty since he enlisted he is one of the best Soldiers for duty on the Co. Neds religion is all .... just like mine Ned & Dodge have to cook out doors for the whole Co. and have a hard time of it but we have better Grub than we had from the other cooks when they had a stove & Kitchen read the Coarse writing on the next page first then the fine

My health is good for this climate appetite good although I feel week & languish as one feels in hot days in spring I am writing in my Tent sitting on my Bunk with nothing on but shirt & Trousers bare armed & Barefooted warm at that (the mails are [      ] dont think strange if you dont hear from me every week or fortnight.)

My Dear Annah & Libby (I shall write again soon I write every time the mail leaves for Key West) I wrote to Ada in my last and I will drop a line to you there is a little black Hen with nine tiny chicks scratching at the door of my Tent some are black striped & yellow & white they are cunning little things they pick up Breadcrumbs that the soldiers drop & Corporal Brown makes dough for them every day we dont know who they belong to they stay around our Tents all the time.  I want to see you very much and I think of you very often. the moon shines brighter than in N. H. so bright that we can see to read by its light very well and I love to look at it for I think that you may be looking at it the same time although so far away.  Flies are as thick here as you ever saw them in Dogdays they are very troublesome.  You must write to me when mother writes be good & jolly goodbye

                                From Your Father C. Shedd

Sam & a dozen more in Co. C have got variculoid or small pox I am not very sick three from my squad I dont feel much afraid of it Tell every Body you see to send papers to the Boys for we are outside all civilization we get no news until it is a month old write me about Town meeting and what scandal there is Floating round the village a little more the mail leaves tonight 16th on guard to day or I should have written 

Yours as Ever

C. Shedd

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