November 17, 1861 Letter from Private Robert Dawson from Hilton Head, S.C.
(transcribed by granddaughter, Ms. Clara Warner)
fort wells Hilton Head, S. C.
Nov 17th 1861
I received yours of the 2 inst. yesterday I was glad to hear from you that you was all well I am well at present and I hope that these few lines may find you enjoying the same blessing the boys are well only a few that have the measles Jim lyons has them he is getting better
Sam has the measles but he is not very bad I got your letter yesterday and I had not time to write yesterday evening I do not think it is any harm to write to day tomorrow we have to go out to throw up intrenchments in the storm on the night of the 1st of november the Winfield Scott had her masts cut away and the 50 Regiment of Penn. volunteers was on her and they threw all their guns and provisions and every thing over board the ship sprung a leak and had her bow stove in and the soldiers had to work day and night to keep the water bailed out to keep her from sinking on last sabbath general stevens ordered us out to camp we had been laying out since we landed we moved back about three quarters of a mile from the ocean, there was the prettiest sight that
I ever saw when we was close to the ocean at night when the ships had their lamps lit up it looked like a city when the gas lights are lit up in daylight from our camp we can just see the masts and it looks like some great deadning of timber there was a good bit of clothing belongs to the rebels found knap sacks and blankets and clothes of all kinds some of the fellows found some money blankets and they kept them Our company was out on a scouting expedition one day I was on guard and could not go along with them several of them found blankets and books and one thing and another I have some books that I allow to take home if I live to get home and I hope by trusting in providence that I may our company got some oranges when they was out I have some of the seeds that I allow to take home they are the sweet oranges the weather has been very warm here until last night and night before it was quite cool I wore two flannel shirts until I came here and I took one of them off and I have been running in my shirt sleeves almost all the time since I came here I hear that there is another fleet a coming no more at present but remain your brother
R D Dawson to Rebecca Dawson
send me all the war news you can direct your letter to R D Dawson
Co, D, R H Reg. P V
2nd Brigade Shermans Division
care Col Tompkins Q.M.D.
New York City
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