Romulus Loveridge, 3rd U.S.C.I., Sep. 11, 1863
Camp 3rd Reg’t. U.S.C.T.
Morris Island, S.C.
Sept 11, 1863
We have not taken
Charleston, nor has this barren
island been transformed into
a second “Garden of Eden”, why
I seize my pen to write you a
hasty letter, but the non-arrival
of mail for us has made us
desperate - there is deep water -
powder + balls near at hand. What
is to be done?
As all our news and love
must come from the north, I
suppose the treason must be great,
but remember we are willing
to pay high premiums for genuine
I take it for granted you
do not expect much from me
for it is glory enough to be a soldier,
without being able to write a
Did I think you were unlike
myself and could sympathize
with the victim, I would tell
you of a foot-race that took
place between one of our boys
and a crab — poor crab got
beaten + the fellow eats rations
for a week at one meal.
But to tell the truth we are
living by eating + drink here
as you do in the land of promise
not knowing what a day may
not bring forth. The weeks just
past have brought forth daily
digging in the trenches, before
Wagner, and last Monday’s
sun rose upon Federal bayonets
upon the parapet of that fort.
Many lives were lost — many
poor fellows wounded during
the seige, but we are thankful
that the number of casualties
was not increased by the capture
of the fort.
The chivalry left in time
to avoid fighting, leaving behind
them guns and ammunition.
They went not away, however,
without leaving unmistakable
tokens of the love they bear
To facilitate our occupation
of their late home — they left
heavy planks across the
moat ring around it. Some,
without reason I think, are
disposed to question their motives
inasmuch as the planks were
driven thick with sharpened
spikes — they being two inches
apart and three inches above
board. Judging of this act in the
light which their previous conduct
enables us to, is not the conclusion
reasonable, indeed inevitable, that
they intended us no injury, but,
probably laying the planks in the
dark, they accidentally got them
down wrong side up — with the
spikes down the planks would have
been more firm.
I see no reason to regard these
people otherwise than as brothers
and well wishers although along
the side of the fort exposed to attack
were driven lances, so arranged
that a party of men having gained
the parapet + then being driven back
must unavoidably fall impaled
upon them. To my mind the fact
that their object, in placing the lances
as stated, was to assist those who
might wish to scramble up the
I sometimes think our kinsmen heedless
But the other day, they carelessly left
lying, unlabelled in the sand, a
small tin box, which a soldier
accidentally hitting with his foot
and rendered amputation necessary.
“A prophet is without honor in
his own land”, so with this
traduced people — but abroad,
their friends are numerous.
Several orders forbid my
writing concerning future plans —
we sometimes thake the liberty
to jump to conclusions.
I predict our next work will
be on Sullivan’s Island.
The Weehawken exploded a
magazine in Moultrie last
Monday. On the same day the
whole or a part of Moultrieville was
burned — cause unknown — at least
Do not get despondent and despair
of the fall of Charleston. Take courage
from the past, if we have taken the
works upon which they mainly relied
it is but reasonable to conclude we
can capture the rest, one or two
months may be necessary for its
accomplishments — but being confident
of a victorious result — the time
will seem short.
Rumors are afloat to
day that Rosencrans’ army have
plucked new laurels from the
hilltops around Chattanooga.
“God speed the right” — but we
had best set ourselves about being
thankful or we cannot keep
pace with the already rapid
progress of the Right.
Will not disaffection tear Lee’s
army limb from limb?
Think of urging men to fight
for the defence of their homes, when
these are already under federal rule!
and appearantly to continue so.
I told you our manner of
living was similar to yours.
You wish to know what
our dish consists? Well, pure sand
is very plenty, but does not constitute
our whole dish. Seafood forms
a frequent dish — oysters — clams —
crabs + fish receiving each, a
share of attention, we purchase
many things of the Post Commissar
and the Sanitary Commission
occasionally leave the pound at
the Hospital + its equivalent, an
ounce with us. Every hill + valley
ought to pour out of its abundance
into the lap of the U.S.S. Commission.
The Sanitary + Christian Commissions
are doing immense good, under the
direction of Dr. Marsh in this Dep’t. or
at least, the S.C. is in his charge. Whatever I
receive from these commissions, I shall accept
as from the good friends of Washington; the
codfish we had for breakfast this morning,
I give George Lyman credit for.
You will please say to Miss Mary
Vail that I enjoyed that bottle of wine
much + found it a great relief to
my “awful infirmities”.
But I am just now informed
of my appointment as senior A.D.C.
to Col. Montgomery, Comdg 4th Brigade
1st Div, and since I am to enter upon
my new duties, at once, you will
be spared reading more than I have
already written. The manner + matter show haste.
With very kind regards for yourself,
and your circle of friends,
Address Romulus C. Loveridge
1st Lieut + A.A.D.C.
4th Brigade, 1st Div.
Morris Island S.C.
N.B. I do not write for publication, so let this
be strictly confidential + delay the reading
of it until dusk, if you please.