Co. H, 10th Pa. Reserves [Warren Guards],
June 5, 18611
Knowing that our Warren friends must be desirous of hearing of their boys, I deem it an especial duty as well as pleasure, to give you a detailed account of all events worthy of notice that have transpired since we parted with your kind hospitalities.
We have just received the Mail, and from its truthful account of our parting at Warren, we find that it is needless to say more upon the subject. The trip to Erie was a less tedious one to all, than any before made to that city and the scene at parting was changed to one of song, laughter and frolic as soon as our homes were lost to sight.
At Erie we were very kindly furnished with dinner at the Reed House by Col. Wm. Patton, whose energy and foresight entitle him to a soldier’s praise and a soldier’s gratitude. After dinner and the performance of a few military evolutions on the street, we were marched on board the cars with our front towards Cleveland; on this train the uproarious merriment of the boys plainly indicated that our leave-taking was forgotten and that they were rejoiced to find themselves nearing their place of duty.
Arriving at Cleveland at about half past four, we were furnished with supper by our Commissary, and then went out for a street parade under escort of Generals Brown and Wilson and one of the city bands. We viewed for the first time, with admiration and respect, the Perry Monument, and gave three rousing cheers for the Commodore. After going through with some evolutions, we were greeted with “three cheers for the Pennsylvania volunteers,” which were responded to by us with three “for the City of Cleveland.” At 8:40 P.M., we left the enthusiastic Clevelanders and turned our heads toward Pittsburgh, where we arrived at 4 o’clock A.M. on Friday; here we again took a meal at the depot.
According to instructions received from the Governor at Erie, our Captain reported the Company to Col. McLane at Camp Wilkens. He equipped us with camp furniture and tents and ordered us to Camp McCall (the name has since been changed to Wright) and on Friday at 11 o’clock A.M., we arrived at our present quarters, all in good health and spirits.
Here we put up nineteen tents during the afternoon and slept in them quite comfortably at night. The next day being Saturday, it was thought best not to go immediately into rigid discipline, but allow the boys a chance to examine their new stopping place.
Camp Wright, named after one of the Governor’s Aids, is situated about a hundred rods from the East bank of the Allegheny river, twelve miles above Pittsburgh, and at Hulton Station on the Allegheny Valley R.R. The camp ground is about 50 feet above the river and well watered and shaded. Its proximity to the river, the railroad and the city makes it a superior location for military quarters.
Ours was the first company on the ground, but on Monday we were joined by the Curtin Rifles of Beaver County. Being the first on the ground Captain Allen was appointed temporary commandant of the camp by Col. McLane, and will probably hold that position until the regiments at Camp Wilkens are sent here.
Our boys are anxious to get to Easton, but we are told that the camp is not quite ready, but will be in a few days.
All of the company are as well now as when we left home, but we have had one man down with asthma. It was young Wallace of Eldred, he was taken care of by a neighboring family and was well enough this morning to start for home, he could not possibly pass the examination.
The rain not permitting us to drill, we have had a very dull time of it since we got here, and the camp fever (quite similar to the Spring fever) is spreading through our ranks rapidly.
I can say without boasting that Warren need not be ashamed of her wild cat company, for all agree that it compares most favorably with any yet seen in this country.
We receive daily little marks of kindness from our friends in that vicinity, which re-awakens our gratitude towards the ladies of Warren; there is a round of praise sent up for them almost daily, and their little conveniences that we carry in our pockets and knap-sacks have served us already dozens of times over.
Please keep us supplied with the Warren Mail. More anon. Yours in haste.