Civil War Records of Levi H. Robbins

List of Letters


Letter dated May 26, 1861 from Levi Robbins
to his mother Mrs. Benjamin Robbins

(Acton Memorial Library archives 2008.4.4 )

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            Relay House Camp,  May the 26’  1861
                                                                           page 1

    Dear Mother  am goin to write you a letter but I cant write any
much that will be interesting  we have been expecting to start for
some point as gard and stop the passage on some of roads leading
to Harpers Ferry  we had our rations put up for three days and was
ordered to be ready at a minuts notice  that was two days ago and
we have not gon yet and I guess we shant  I suppose you have heard
about the war in alexender I am goin down in to the village to
church and when I get back I will write you about it / after noon I have
been to meeting we got down before it was time so we sent down to
the river and had swim the warter out here in the river is so
mudy and the soill is so red you would think that it was blood spilt
in it but I must tell you about the meeting  it was a Metherdist meeting



    they hollard and groaned and went through thare manovers when
I went to sleep they was quite still but when I woke the Minister
was a hollering then he prayed and all turned round and got down on thare
kneese and holled it was a little house  I don’t know what Mass folks wou
ld think of it  wall I cant write any more a bout that I must fill this sma
ll sheet with something we are stationed on the same place that
George Washington army was in 1812 so the folks say here
it is like jest like a Sunday in july in Mass  stawberrys are ripe out here
grass is pretty tall  I wish I could have come out here in the winter but then
we could not se so much as we can now  I have got to go to meeting again
up in the grove with Reg  the secessionist have to stand it now I tell you
what will you do for wood  I wish I had got some more of that wood home
for you what has Simon done with oxen and how many cows he keeps
you did not get the cow I suppose wall I guess you have had as much milk as
I have  I have not had any milk but one and that throad away it was
so galerky[?] I have not had any butter now I dont care any thing a bout it
now  I had a letter from Susie the other day she is coming home rite
a way she told me to direct my letter to Acton when I write her  I guess
she will be at home as soon as you get this but if she changed the date
of her starting as many times as she generly does but if she is at home
this will answer for both of you so I shall get two for one  I guess we
shall not move from here to stay more than two or three days at
a time until we move east but then we cant tell how t[h]ing will
turn  we have got k[n]ife fork spoon kanteen dipper and lether case to cary
my knife fork spoon in  I wish you could se me when I was all ready to march
with my napsack haver sack canteen cartrage box full of ball catrages
body belt cap box I am goin to draw[?] my shoes to morrow it is so hot to
wear boots but if we have to march I shall be sorry for I shall have to


carry them  less se I have got two shirts two for pants two for footing four towells
four hankechief two coats tree coats come to count them a great heavy blanket
it wont wet through in a rain all night it will cover up two men and it is
the warmest thing you ever saw  then I have got a rubber blanket to
lay down on the wet grass and ground then when we have to march we have to
carry two or three pounds of meat so much bread som pickles cheese and jest what
we happen to [illegible]  I hope I shall get a d[r]awing of our camp so I can send
it to you I dont know but what it is in Frank Leslies now I
have not looked / I have been to meeting again  I make a long
mark when I go to meeting thare is a nother meeting at half
past seven  I dont know but I shall the meeting  I have jest been
to was the best military meeting I ever went to we had ministers
and a lot of sin[g]ing thare was two Reg. of us to day they
marched us up in to the grove and then we set down I laid down
and went to sleep and when it was done they waked me up I can
got to sleep any where I jest as lives sleep out doars as any where when
I get home you will find me out dors most any where I shall be so lone some
when I get home I shant know what to do  who does George Harris
work for does he work down to the Potter place or what do they
do down thare  we go out to drill twice a day and stay a bout a
hour in all but the gard is the most duty we have to have a gard
all round our camp day and night then we have a nother gard that
is called the picket gard thay out a bout ten a clock all round a
cross the field and stand in som dark spot so when any one that may bee
spying round will get ta[l]king and so if any army try to supprise us we can
give alarm  one night I went down the Harpers Ferry rail and they
gard every road and every knoll and holler I shold not want to
try to get in side of the camp I like it first rate   I never felt


so well in my life old Ben Buttler has had a fight over at
Norfolk I heard that thay took food from the secessionist
the report was that the loss on our side was 40 and the other
side was three hundred killed and number[?] hundred taken
prisoners  I have ben all day writing this letter I have jest lit up
Silas has jest called in to se me  I dont know whether he will
stop through the eveing or not the boys are all well thare is less
said a bout home every day a mong the boys  I hope you can read
this better than you could the pencil  does Charley go to school
this summer who teaches the school this this summer it will
better for you if Sarah stops with you  the[n] you will not be
so lonesome in the night  you tell Susie you will let her
that house down to the Berry place but she would fix that so
it would look better then a new house would look after a lot of
paddies had lived in it I hope that we shall get it fixed so we
can all live in it  I wish I had the colt out here today  I wou
ld se some of this place the men are a lazy set out here
havnt I wrote as much as you will want to read  it takes
a bout seven hundred men for gard picket and all every day
thay do the garding then 8th Reg does the garding  I think it
must be lonesome in Acton I do like to live out doars so well I
shant live in the house with you if do come back when I went
in to meeting it seemed so quare to set down on a seat I dont think
of s[i]ting down  we lay down round under the trees  Susie said she would come
by this way I wish she had it is the plesentest place you ever saw
for a camp in hot wether tall oak trees it on the seepest hill you every saw
sofer[?] than grass pond[?] hill on one side the rail road runs through part[?]
of it  I cant think of any thing write to you day but will write you
good long letter next time  Love to all From Levi