Letter from John F. Hamlin to his Mother, March 9, 1864 at Bristoe Station

Camp 1st Rifles at Bristow Station VA , Va. March 9th/64

Dear Mother,

I reseaved your welcom letter day before yesterday and was glad to hear from you also to hear that you are all well that is more than I can say of my self. I have got what the docter calls the Mumps. but I have had the mumps once before havent I, I cannot quite remember but I think so, one of the other boys had the same diseas and he had a hard time of it but he caught cold and that made him worse yesterday was the first I felt of it and went to the docter this morning and he excused me from duty. I should have been on guard duty today if it had not been for that. you aught to have seen me when I was eating my breakfast this morning. I could not open my mouth only about an inch and it hurt me to chew the worst way, you wanted to know if I had sent my muster in roll to William Blodget no but I sent him a certificat from Capt Hasard our Division mustering officer (the same man that mustered me in and signed my furlow) certifying that he had mustered me into the service of the U. S. as A Veteran Volentier and that I was credited to the town ship of Sugar Grove Warren Co. Pa. I sent it nearly 2 weaks ago it mus be thare before this or else it was lost, my box has not made its appearance yet I expect it has been smashed open on the road. I was a fol for not hooping it. thare is lot of boxs comes hear that are hooped tight and well nailed that are busted open and another thing, I did not direct it right. I should have directed it to Bristow Station instead of Alexandra. now Mother I must tell you some good news and that is that when I came down hear I did not know as thare was but one singl professes of religion in the whole division besides myself but now I have the names of 17 young men set dow who meat regularly twice every day when not on duty at Chapple of the Christian Commission for the purpos of Worshiping God. The Chapple tent was put up in Saturday febuary 27th, it is crowded and lots stand outside everynight. the preacher is A Baptist but I cant tell the diference betwean him and a Methodist. He is a good man any how thare is no mistake thare was eleven 11 (illegible) forward last night and thare was three converted night before last, one of them was George Gates one of the bys that made A profession last winter when I was in the Battery. Well Mother I thank you for your advice you may rest asured that I shall try to do my duty boath as A Soldier and A Christian. I have meny triels and temptations to contend with but the worst enemy I have to contend with is my own deseatful hart. pray for me mother when it was well with you that I may be ever found at my post doing my duty with an eye singely fixed on the crown and to the Glory of God.”

From your sone
John F. Hamlin

O Mother I like to have forgot about the shanty, I am in another mans shanty that is home on a furlow but I have got to build one prety soon

J. F. Hamlin
I send you my picture.1

  1. Contributed by Descendant Judith Schaechter