View Full Version : "he Mosquitoes Are As Big As Pigeons

M.T. Moses
03-03-2011, 02:26 PM
I came across this letter while searching for images of Federal Issued Knapsacks.

1863 Letter Written From Brashear City, Louisiana, By Private Sam White, Co. D, 4th Massachusetts Infantry

Brashear City,
May 6th

Brother Solo, I have now read all your letters they in a bunch.
I expect the reason is that when a Regt. is out on a fighting
expedition they hold the letters back at New Orleans. I went
down to the City the 28th Apr. and found cousin Charlie at
home. Saint [ Cottle ? ] went with me. He seemed glad to see
me, but did not trot out any of his family before I was away.
He said his folks were all sick so I suppose that was the reason.
I guess he did not get a very favorable impression of his country
cousin for we had just got in from that Big Fight, which by this
time you have read all about before this, and I looked dirty
enough for anybody. However he knew I was a soldier and
ought to know what a man will look like after 4 or 5 days of
marching in the dust so thick that you could cut it with a
knife. He wished to be remembered to you and your family
and wanted me to call

before I went home which I shall try
to do and then I will put on some of my Killing Airs and try
to represent the White family better. However I have the
same disposition that I brought from home. If he was glad
to see me alright, if not I do not care a dam(n), he can bite
my arm. Well Solo we have seen a big fight and all came
out with whole heads. It was a wonder but so it was, and by
the looks now we will not have much more dirty work to do.
I do not know but they will give Vicksburg a try, but think
we will not get into it. Our boys all behaved well with a few
exceptions. I cannot 1/2 remember a Battle in a letter so
you must wait until I get home and I will give you the full
particulars. Poor Mathew done to much and he died the
day after. I never thought he had a head big large enough
for anything of the kind and so it has proved. I picked out
the place to bury him and helped to dig the grave. He was a

curious boy but we forgot all when he was dead and all
felt badly. It is sad to leave any of the boys out here but
we cannot help it. He had as good a burial as could be under
the circumstances. One thing I can tell you this is a fine
country but the mosquitos are as big as pigeons and when
they light on you it is all day with you. Peaches, Plums,
and all such things are getting to be full size. Blackberries
are ripe and you can pick a quart in 5 minutes of nice ones.
You can buy a barrel for a plug of tobacco anytime. The
people go for them with Peck Baskets instead of a little
2 quart pail as we would at home. You may think it strange
that there are so many Citys out here but it only takes 25
houses to make a City and 5 or more in a place makes a
Town. The RR running to New O has got 5 or 6 stopping
places all Towns. If our cars were stop so they would be
stopped all

the way into Boston. Everything else is the same way
although Franklin City is a splendid little town about as
large as E. Stoughton. Fine houses and yards. Oleanders
grow in the front yards here as high as the houses almost
and are full of blossoms, beautiful. Tell Mother I will send
her particular word when I am sick but if she wants to be
sick for me so as to get ahead of the time she must quit.
I have been very smart so far and hope I shall continue
so. All the boys are doing pretty well now. They have the
flutters some but get over it in a few days. As soon as
they get on the salt water they will be alright. I think we
will be at home about 1st of July. What do folks at home
say about our time being out. If they attempt to keep us
a day over our time there will be one of the Biggest rows
that has happened during the war. I hope for the good of
the country they will not do it for it will play the Devil if
they do. There [are] 15 or 20 Regts. here and they will
all [ excuse?] duty when their time is up.
Yours as ever, Sam White

Written Vertically in left corner
of 1st page is the following:

give my regards to all tell Mary
to look out for money I have sent
home 60.00 she will get 20 from
Town Clerk and 40 from Seth