1861 October 23: “Typhoid Fever seems to be the trouble with nearly all”
It’s not even the end of October and Jerry is complaining about the cold, wishing that the newest recruits from Northwest Wisconsin will bring a warm winter cap for him. The other big concern for all of the soldiers was illness.
The original letter is in the Jerry E. Flint Papers (River Falls Mss BN) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls University Archives & Area Research Center.
Camp Boardman [Md.]
It is the coldest night of the season. We have had for the last 24 hours a cold rainstorm but it finally cleared up, aweful Cold. Hank and I were just laying in our tents talking over the cold times we should probably experience this winter when it occured to us that we had left some splendid warm winter caps at home which would be first rate to do picket and police guard in. We immediately decided to get right up and write to have them sent. The Judge1 will not be so situated that he can bring anything for his knapsack will probably be crowded So tha with his own things but if he gets any recruits some of them can bring it. We have just had two pairs of drawers given to us by Uncle Sam which adds a great deal to our warmth and comfort. We have also the very warmest kind of over coats. As near as I can learn they have some weathr [sic] here as cold as Wis. only not so much of it.
I still fail to recieve any letters from you. Weather it is your fault or the mails I do not know I little suspect it is from the yours as I now get them regular from others. There is quite a number of our boys sick just as present. Of the River Falls boys there is only th two, Dick, & Bill Johnson2 and they are nearly well Bill has been quite sick, Dick was only barely threatened so that by taking the things in time he is coming right out.
Typhoid Fever seems to be the trouble with nearly all. There has been two funerals within the last two days.
Night before last a man in Company E. wentout on picket and as he was jumping of over a fence his gun went off. Shattering his arm very badly, below the elbow. I have forgotten whether I told you that our guns had been changed again or not. We have now the Springfield musket with clasp bayonet. They are said to be the best musket in the service. They are sighted to send a ball from 1 to 100 yards. One fellow fired his the full distance. The ball struck about two inches over the mark. I call that pretty good. Old Jeff would not have stood much show.
Give my love to mother
Tell her I am as healthy as I ever was in my life,
Write Soon, Jerry
I recieved a letter from Charles last night and answered it to day
1. Judge Edward A. Clapp
2. William F. Johnson, from River Falls, was in Company G of the 4th Wisconsin Infantry.