29 October 1861: “The news we get here in camp is very little we know of nothing that is going on except the orders we get from our officers…”

Item description: Letter, 29 October 1861, from John D. Hardin, a Union soldier at Camp Stoneman, Washington, D.C., about his daily routine and other matters.

Item citation: From folder 1 of the Jesse C. Haney Papers, #2399-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Camp Stoneman

Washington Oct. 29th 1861

My Dear Jesse,

I received your welcome letter and one herald, two tribunes and two comics all of which were very acceptable. We drill every day on our horses. I will just note our programme for a day. Turn out at roll call 5 1/2 Oclk in the morning. feed and clean our horses then get our breakfast then have our horses all into line ready for drill by 8 1/2 Oclk then drill until 12 1/2 Oclk then get our dinners and have our horses in to line by 1 1/2 Oclk and stay out till dark then come in and feed and get our suppers and roll call about 8 1/2 Oclk P.M. lights put out about 15 minutes after so you see it isn’t a lazy life. We are not practising with the broad sword yet but after we get drilled enough will try and put down rebellion. I am pretty well supplied with under clothing and blankets.

I have not fallen into the habit of drinking and hope I never will and the clean part I will do that if I only have time.You may send me a filter if it is not too much trouble if you would send a book or most any kind of reading matter I would gladly receive it. The news we get here in camp is very little we know of nothing that is going on except the orders we get from our officers, once in a while there is a report of some kind gets around camp and that is the last of it and we don’t know if it is true of not. Last saturday we heard a heavy cannonading and in the evening the report came that our fellows where trying to break the blockade on the Potomac but wether it was so or not I am unable to say. Our folks are all well I believe, they where when I last heard from them. I am pretty well spun out so you will have to excuse me for not writing more I would give you plenty of news but this is the meanest place I ever saw for news everything is kept dark. Give my best respects to the boys in [Jonsey’s?].

My love to you.

I am well and hoping you enjoy good health I will close. Write soon.

John D. Hardin

Direct to
John D. Hardin
Company I Capt. Cooper
Col. Chorman’s Rifle Rangers
Washington, D.C.

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