A good war-date Union soldier’s letter, 4pp. 8vo., written by Pvt. Harlan P. Martin, Co. E, 123rd New York Vols., Estill Springs, Tenn., April 5, [1864] to his mother:

Estill Springs, Tennessee
Tuesday, April 5th [1864]

Dear Mother,

I received your letter of the 22nd March day before yesterday and as I had wrote to Mason the day before, I thought I would wait a couple of days before answering it. I received the 3 Ledgers you sent last and I sent my diary which I suppose you have got by this time. There has been some talk of our moving from here before long to the front, but there is but little talk about it now. But I think we will leave here before long, but then it is all surmising. We don’t know anything about it. There is nothing new with us at present and everything is quiet. A great many troops are enroute from Nashville to the front now. There has quite a number of regiments passed within the last few days. Two regiments passed down this forenoon. They are veteran regiments and the railroad is so pressed they cannot get transportation.

It has been very rainy for the last ten days and sold too. But I reckon it will be warmer soon.

Companies A, K have come back from McMinnville road and are with the regiment. One of Co. A boys was married while up there. His name was Baker. ¹ John Daicy ² is First Lieutenant now and I suppose H. P. Waite ³ will soon be (if he is not now) 2nd Lt. I heard something about Waite’s sisters writing to the Colonel to have him promoted but I never knew whether there was any truth in it or not.

What was that Harrington girls first name that Ellis Brown married? and where did she live? I sent Mase and Charley a book yesterday. I want you to send me 25 cts worth of postage stamps more as I am out again, or will be before I can get them. When does my term for the Ledger expire?

What is Bill Martin doing this summer? Does Leroy manage any different than what he used to or mind his own business better than he did?

I wish if you could get me a coarse comb and send it in the papers. How would I have to direct a letter to Hiram Draper? I have a notion of writing to him before long. I have not been down to the regiment now for a month but I guess I shall have to go down tomorrow to get me some tobacco and writing paper. My money is nearly gone but I expect we will get paid before long. They owe us over three months pay now and there is talk of our being paid before long. How does Mason make it go farming? I can think of no more at present and so will draw my letter to a close. Give my love to Grandmother and the children. Write soon. So goodbye.

— H. P. Martin
Co. E, 123rd N. Y. Vols.
1st Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Army Corps
Estill Springs via Nashville, Tennessee


¹ There were several soldiers in the 123rd New York Infantry named Baker but only one from Co. A, which was John W. Baker who enlisted at age 18 in September 1862 at Greenwich to serve three years. He deserted on 26 April 1864 at Elk River Railroad Bridge, Tennessee.

² John H. Daicy enlisted at age 25 on August 13, 1862, at Hartford, to serve three years and mustered in as a private in Co. E on August 19, 1862. He was promoted to 1st Sergeant on September 4, 1862, to 2nd Lieutenent on November 11, 1863, and to 1st Lieutenant on March 29, 1864. He was wounded in action on July 30, 1864, at Peach Tree Creek, Georgia, and died of his wounds on July 22, 1864. Buried in the Old Hartford Cemetery in Hartford, Washington County, New York.

³ Harlan P. Waite enlisted at age 25 in July 1862 at Hartford as a private. He was promoted to Second Lieutenant on 6 May 1864 and to First Lieutenant on 12 January 1865.

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