Suffolk Oct. 7th, /62
I received your kind letter of the 1st, Oct. last eve. You may be sure was glad to see the pictures. I was glad to hear they were well. That I knew well enough you would worry yourself sick. Now Frank I do hope you will try and not mourn my absence nor give yourself concern on my account. I am perfectly well and tolerably… ent have plenty to eat; at which is good as yet. I have good clothes, plenty of friends if professions can be relied on for I have not yet needed anything more and not an enemy in the regiment or out of it as I know of. I feel satisfied this is my course of duty. I can wrap my blanket around me. Drop down in the open air and in ten minutes am as sound asleep as a possum At home I could not do this. You know I was restless and wakeful thinking of my countries wrongs. We have beautiful weather Frank I know that I pride my domestic enjoyments so highly as any and can but I do not see the use of making such a fuss as many are doing here. It can not be altered now and of all this whining only tends to un-happyness [sic]. I try to take things by the ‘smooth handle’ and find it gives me dedidedly the advantage over those always murmuring at their lot. I do not envy the officers nor despise the men. I think privately get along easier if they work it right, than the Officers can. A great many days we have entirely to ourselves the officers must devote a part of every day to duties and often 24 or 36 hours in succession. When we work we go on 1 hour and off 1 hour, the Officers must be on duty all the time. We only work, just as we mind to, the Officers must obey orders. The Col. Says to us in the morning “boys don’t injure yourselves” and of course we obey. So you see the work is not very hard.
Our Capt. has detailed me to assist the cooking department. For 2 weeks longer, perhaps if things go to suit the Co. I do not crave the place still it has its advantage and I shall try to make the most of them. There will be three of us beside the colored boy and a sergeant who gets all things on hand and keeps the account CC ans so it is not very hard work but some of the men will complain. We have plenty of good bread all the time, plenty of pork or beef; sometimes fresh and sometimes it ‘tastes of the keg’, beans, peas, rice, and potatoes to change and plenty of coffee, sugar to sweeten it, peper, salt, vinegar. More than we want occasionally we have hominy & molasses. So you can see the suffering for well men in camp is “all in the eye”, in marches it is harder of course. More men are coming here everyday. 3 Regiments yesterday don’t know where from. I have not been on picket duty yet or the men like to go and I had just as soon stay around camp. Well I have just fed the animals and got a “little” for myself thought I’d run over to the hospital to see the sick. D. Waite is a little better, one poor fellow has just died, the first our men we have lost “Harry Duncan” from Delante of fever, no others… raw.
The weather is very hot in the middle of the day, nights cool. George Carey had a little saying. Ma Wade was in Westfield a few days since. I hope she will use that horse and buggy and take a little comfort of her life. If I was there we would have a little talk all alone. Now Frank I tell you I have not seen a decent woman since I came to Dixie. Nothing but the “eternal nigger” [sic] round here. The band is just passing I suppose it is escorting some Regiment to their camping ground. We have over 2,000 contrabands to feed here and more coming every day.
I feel sorry for Aunt E. Williams how lonesome she must feel! Frank do you remember our talk about her saving her boys, do you remember what I said? ” Folks might lie out of the army”. So it goes. Some of our boys get me to read their letters for them, it affords me some amusement if they get stuck they are sure to come to me. One fellow’s wife wanted him to write as often as his brother did to his or they would think he didn’t love her as much! Poor thing! Well if that is the rule I must write often and long. Sometimes I think of my affections for you, as they ought to but it is a great comfort to know that my Dear One Can.
Think upon me with Delight
And speak of other days
A proof she love me still in spite
Of all my erring ways.
Well Frank, When I get home we will have a grand old time won’t we?
Well waited to see if there was any news this morning but there is nothing of importance. We had our first burial last eve it was an impressive scene to the boys, we marched to the sound of muffled drums to the grave. The Corporal than with eight men stepped forward fired three volleys over his grave and we returned to camp. Sadder and I hope wiser for what we witnessed. Now Frank, Dearest one you may write when you can, yours came direct to Washington, send the rest the same.
Yours forever O.S. Allen