January 18, 1864
---A young Pennsylvanian in the Union army, Edwin W. Sampson, is serving as an officer in the 145th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He writes home to his parents and his sister about the weather, camp life, experimental cooking with a Dutch oven, and news from home:
Camp at Oakgrove near Shepardstown
Monday January 18th 1864
Dear ones at home
I received your letter of the 13th ? last night. I am well and hope that this will find you all the same.
I wrote you a letter yesterday afternoon. So I haven’t got much of any thing to write about today, but as I have not anything else to do I thought that I would try to write away a short line in writing to you hoping that the practice with the pen will repay me for both paper and stamps.
It commenced to rain this morning and is poring down both steady and fast. It really looks as though we are going to have another real wet time of it. It is quite warm. Colnol Brown takes comand of the Brigade to day. I rather half wish it was the Regt but yet I wish to see him a high a possible for he deserves it for he’s a thorough soldier. Dinor time.
After dinor. We had a good dinor it taist quite home like. It was a kind of a beefe stew with dumplings in it. We have a nice citchen and dining. Room Oakley is cheaf cook Beebe is taking care of the captains horse and asists Oakley. You may laugh but we have one of them Virginia Bake ovens a stove pot covered with a big heavy lid and you cover it up with coles. So we have rost meete and Oakley says that he will bake us some biscuts or Salaraty’s cakes, but I can tell whether he can do it or not better after he tries it. . . . Libbie I am sorey to hear you talk so discouragingly about playing the Guitar and singing. But keep on you will probably lirn yet and if you dont you can lirn all the rest of the family. Thare can be some musical started out of some of them. I am sure for they can most all sing if you cannot. I hope that I will hear some good playing and singing when I come home again that is if it ain’t to quick. I am glad to hear that the 111th Regt have enlisted again and I hope that they may get thare ranks well filled up while home thare on a furlough. . . . They are a good Regt and deserve a warm welcome home I hope that they will. . . . It has held up from raining just now but I will soon comence again soon. . if you can judge by apearances you need not think that I am short up for paper because I sent this torn sheet but I well knew that I could not fill this. We have plenty of paper Uncle Sam furnishes it for us. I wish that you would tell Henry to write. I don’t think that it would hurt him the least but I will bet you all a most affectionate good bye. From your loving Son and Brother
Edwin W. Sampson
(From the Civil War Day by Day at Wilson Library Special Collections, Univ. of North Carolina: