Camp Hamilton, Virginia Civil War Letter April 21, 1862

 Written from Camp Hamilton, Virginia, during the Civil War, on April 21, 1862, by O. Hoyt, to his brother, D.W. Hoyt, Fairfax, Virginia. From the letter…..

Dear Brother,
I received your letter dated April 1st on the 8th. I should have sent the note in my last, but was called away in such a hurry that I had hardly time to finish the letter. You will please find it enclosed today. I have nothing of interest to write about, so I will try and answer a few of your numerous questions., and then, in the language of the poet, “dry up.” Our first Lieutenant is not with the company he is on detached service in the signal department. You must know that a regular system of signals has been established in the army by which they transmit messages from one point to another, by means of a flag in the day time, and by a torch at night. About half of the line officers have built a mess house, have some “tiptop” cooks, waiter to and live in good style. We have our hot biscuit morning and night, pies, doughnuts, and almost everything that we should get at home.
There is a division of the Sons of Temperance in the regiment, but I don’t have anything to do with it. One reason why I don’t, is because it is headed and controlled by our Chaplain A.B. Fuller. Another is, because the best feature of temperance division is not to be found here. I mean, to use a vulgar phrase, the calico. Speaking of the Chaplain, he isn’t very well liked here. He devotes the greater part of his time, to running around and picking up news. And it has got so that if we hear an improbable piece of news, the first question is whether it came from the Chaplain or not……..About all I do for the temperance cause, is to invariably refuse to drink when invited to do so, and to show by my example that a man is much better off without it. Yorktown isn’t taken yet but you may expect to hear of it’s fall in the course of a week or two, if the plans of General McClellan and myself are not interfered with. I was well pleased with the “better half” of your last letter. Give my respects to Mary, and say to her that if she makes that visit to Waltham, my word for it, she will meet with a hearty welcome.......

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