22 May 1864: “[…]I hope I shant hear of any more deaths but I am afraid I shall if they don’t get rid of the small pox a round there[…]”

Item Description:  This letter, dated 22 May 1864, was penned by Eldridge B. Platt to his parents Enoch Platt and Sallie Bronson Platt, in Waterbury, Conn.  Platt discusses camp life, receiving payment, and fighting “rebs”.  He also expresses his concern over the small pox outbreak.   In accompaniment to this letter, Platt also included a printed brochure on how to collect bounties and pensions.  Eldridge B. Platt was a member of the 2nd Connecticut Light Battery during the Civil War.  He enlisted as a drummer on 12 August 1862. By 11 November 1862, he was serving as a cannoneer. He was discharged 10 August 1865. After the Civil War, Platt became successful in the tool and die making business.22May18641 22May18642 22May18643 22May18644 22May18645 22May18646Item Citation:  Letter dated 22 May 1864, found in folder 6 of the Eldridge B. Platt Papers #4767, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item Transcription:

Brashear City, L.A.
Sunday May 22nd 1864
Dear Father and Mother
As I have got the afternoon to my self I will write a few lines I received your leter of May 1st last Wednesday 18th I tell you I was glad to hear from you and hear that you was well I hope you will remain so but I am sory they is bad news with the good specially the death of Le Grand Bussel I am very sory to hear it but it cant be helped now and so we have got to make the best of it but I hope I shant hear of any more deaths but I am afraid I shall if they don’t get rid of the small pox a round there I am afraid it will spread all over every town but I hope they will stop it in Waterbury I wish the soldyars that had got any diseas about them would have stade a way from home till they got well. am sorry you got disapointed in not getting a leter from me but when you get it you will find us all right and in good health we have ben prety busy long back geting ready for the hot weather we have filed up a large tank with rain water and poot alum in it to purify it it to drink this summer for in a litle while the streams will fall above and the water will be salt and it don’t rain enough to supply us with drinking water and we have had dickes to clean out so we should not have to do it in hot weather I was calculating to write last sunday but we had to the rebs pretty much all day they came about 9 A.M. they fired on our pickits and tride to capture them but they could not stand our shell a whising over that way they made 2 or 3 charges on them but they did no make any thing but we pitched one of them they made an other charge this morning about 4 but the gun boats went up the river and fired on them and drove them off. I am glad that Stephen Church is alive I thought that he got kiled in a batle I guess he has seen enough of this war. If he had been a prisoner on hell Island I guess he has seen what a fellow mite call hard times with many others. I am glad that Emogene is at home I hope she will stay this summer and help you I have offord hur 10 dollars if she would stay and help you I think it is beter for hur and you specially if she will stay she told me about the shop burning down I am afraid she will loose hur pay if the books is burned up I hope she will.
I should think Wilson was going on a large scale a bying all the land both sides of the river down to the cemetry. ha ha buly for Vet being one day a head let Wilson pout he will feel better when he gets over it, I think vet made a good bargain I hope he will tuck on the price Wilson is able to give it I would like to know what all the folks are moveing for in W. B. I wonder whare uncle Orin and uncle Harry is gone the paper did not say, we have got pad off at last 4 months pay I will send home 30 dollars in this leter and you may give 10 to Emogene if she will stay and use the rest your self I shall have 15 dollars to pay dets and a plenty for myself, I hant got any more in particular to write this time So good bye with my best wishes
from your Son
E B Platt


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