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Thread: NEED SOME HELP ON THIS CIVIL WAR CAMP LETTER FROM 1862

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  1. #1
    us
    always diggin

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    NEED SOME HELP ON THIS CIVIL WAR CAMP LETTER FROM 1862

    Hi everyone, i need some help with this cool but unidentified camp letter. i found this in a pile of letters i bought. I cannot figure out what camp this soldier is referring to on the top of the page. It is a terrific letter describing camp life and does give some clues as to when this was written. I just need some help from you guys if you can.
    Like always,
    Thank you
    Rick
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  2. #2
    us
    Tennessee Digger

    Sep 2011
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    Very interesting but I just can't figure it out.
    "Failure is not the falling down, no no, it's the staying down"!

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Scotland, Aye !!

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    Camp Preston, Va. is my guess.
    Don....

  4. #4
    Looks like the stove just vented into the house.
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  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Fly Navy!

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    Really neat just imagining the person writing the letter - what he ate that day - neat!



    "A free people ought to be armed." - George Washington (January 7th, 1790)
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  6. #6
    us
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    I cant find much info on a camp preston , any help as to where. It does look like he wrote camp preston

  7. #7
    us
    Oct 2006
    Herndon Virginia
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    Try this book

    Repairing the "March of Mars": The Civil War Diaries of John Samuel Apperson

    "Pray put no construction on my words I do not mean they should convey, and give them no undue weight.”


    From: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

  8. #8
    us
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    I have a question about the book you were talking about

    Hi, thanx for the book you mentioned i was reading some of it on google books and its good reading, is there a reference in the book about the camp in the letter i posted. Amazon sold out of the book, so i am still using what google gives me access too.

    Thanx again for your help,
    Rick
    TheCannonballGuy likes this.

  9. #9
    us
    Sir

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    May God bless the author of this letter soul.
    TheCannonballGuy likes this.

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Scotland, Aye !!

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    Colonel James Francis Preston of "Smithfield," his plantation near Blacksburg,VA,was so belovedby the men of the 4th Regiment that they named their encampment after him,and the place was called Camp Preston for some years thereafter." Source: Page 190, footnote 95 here:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=LeY4lwwjRH8C&pg=PA205&lpg=PA205&dq=%22Cam p+Preston%22+1862&source=bl&ots=aJVyuPXIqm&sig=uc8 ig59B_jT4zq8QA3lh_uQlhOg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjSu 5zLjpLWAhUJ2mMKHdhDAmQQ6AEIKTAB#v=onepage&q=%22Cam p%20Preston%22%201862&f=false
    Don......

    The letter seems to be written by a person named "Vern".
    If true, you should be able to find a soldier of the 4th Regiment, stationed at Camp Preston in 1862, with the first name of "Vern".
    Last edited by Mackaydon; Sep 07, 2017 at 12:20 AM.

  11. #11
    Charter Member
    us
    Scotland, Aye !!

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    The letter gives clues as to when it was written. This soldier thought he was going to get paid by March 10th. If he got paid monthly, the letter was written after February 10th but before March 10th. Under "Camp Preston" is the number '62'.My guess is that refers to 1862.

    The letter also states where the soldiers slept within their quarters.Note that the second from the right vertical name is the same handwriting as the authors:Vern.

    I could press my luck and also suggest that the drawing of their billeting is one of the out-houses that was at "Camp Preston"--and exists today as this buildingsource: https://www.smithfieldplantation.org/outbuildings)

    Don......
    Last edited by Mackaydon; Sep 07, 2017 at 12:53 AM.
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  12. #12
    us
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    I have to say thank you for that really good info Don, i am going to dive deeper into this with your knowledge. This site never lets me down
    TheCannonballGuy likes this.

  13. #13
    us
    Mar 2017
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    Some random, non-expert thoughts...
    This is really cool and if you can pin to an individual that would be awesome.
    I agree with the name Vern and I think he wrote the names of the people sharing his abode where they slept on the floor (note he is at the right with is butt facing the guns)
    I agree with the dating...Early 1862 so early in the war and possibly written in winter quarters.
    Is it possible that this is some type of winter quarters with the top made of canvas (convoys?)
    He seems to be pretty well off (overcoat, rubber blanket, plentiful food).
    He also has coffee...while Rebs had coffee, it was hard to get and often mentioned special note in letters if one had it. I think his equipment and food might make him a yank.
    I think the name of the camp is the key, but I think the last letter could be a "T". The last part reads to me "fort." His cursive his inconsistent even by period standards so I don't know.

    Good luck with this. I hope you get it solved.

  14. #14
    us
    always diggin

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    i DO AGREE THAT MAYBE IT MIGHT BE A UNION CAMP, BUT THE WORD PRESTON FITS IT AND ITS THE ONLY CAMP I CAN FIND. WHENEVER I LOOK UP ANYTHING WITH FORT AND THE FIRST PART OF IT I CANT FIND ANYTHING THAT MATCHES. I WOULD LOVE IT IF IT WAS A CS CAMP, BUT I JUST WANT TO ID IT. THE NAMES ON THE BUNK I HOPE WILL PUT ME A LITTLE CLOSER. THANX TO ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR INPUT!!!

  15. #15
    Charter Member
    us
    Scotland, Aye !!

    Oct 2004
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    I wrote a request to the Historic Smithfield Plantation.
    I'll let you know whatever I may get as a response.
    Don.........
    TheCannonballGuy likes this.

 

 
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