Thomas Pimer, 21st C.V.I., October 21, 1863


Thomas Pimer, 21st C.V.I., October 21, 1863


United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Sources
United States. Army. Connecticut Infantry Regiment, 21st (1862-1865)
Soldiers--Conduct of life


Thomas Pimer writes to his father of his new office in Norfolk and describes Norfolk as a city filled with alcohol and brothels that has damaged many young men. He also complains about lies being spread about him in New London.




H’d Q’rs, Dist. Virginia,
Provost Marshal’s Office,
Norfolk, Oct 21st, 1863
Dear Father
Not hearing (heard) from
you for some time I thought
that I would take advantage
of the few leisure moments
that I now have and write
you a few lines. since I
wrote to you there has been a
conciderable change made in
the situation of the 21st Regt
and myself also. shortly
after I wrote the Provost Marshal
was put under arrest for some
cause not known to me and
in consequense of which the
Office was discontinued which
was the means of my being returned
to my Company. I remained
with the company four days
[page 2]
and was then Detailed as Mail
Agent. I had charge of the
Mails for two weeks in
the mean time the Regt was
ordered to move from Portsmouth
to Norfolk which took place
about three weeks ago. Maj
Bovey the then Provost Marshal
of Norfolk resigned and
Maj Crosby was appointed
his successor. he immediately
after entering upon his Duties
had me Detached from the
Regiment and took me
in the Office with him where
I am at the present time
I am more his second Clerk
and have Charge of all the
Office Books. I do not have
much spare time for pleasure
I am in the Office from 9
A M. untill 4 P.M. and
From 7 untill 9 in the
[page 3]
evening. I am writing constantly
all the time and I tell you
I am pretty tired when
my days work is done. I
am now as usual enjoying
very good health with the
exception of a little cold.
I have a Boarding place
and live nearly as well as
I would at home. I board
with a private family and
they treat me with much
respect although I am
a Nasty Yankee. Norfolk
is a very large City as conta-
ins some nineteen thousand
inhabitants it is a very bad
place for young men. there
are some 50 or 60 houses of
Ill fame here and in most
every store they sell liquor
Oh it is awfull to see the
quantities of young men
[page 4]
that were once steady and honest
now brought down to the grade
of an inebriate + a Thief. Oh
I can mention lots + lots of
young fellows that were once
the pride of their Familys
now are common Drunkards.
yes Norfolk is a wicked place
and I pity the man that
has to stay here and that has
not got the power to controll
his Desires + Passions. Thank
God I have a will of my
own and have the strength
to controll myself in all things.
My young experience in the
life of a Soldier has taught
me a great lesson and I
shall always profit by it.
I am to day as strong and hearty
as any man in the Army while
many who when they left home
were enjoying the beast of
[page 5]
Norfolk, Oct 20 1863
health are now dwindled down
to mear skin + bones and
many are now in their Graves
and what has caused most
of this Liquor and the pleasures
the world affords, the temptation
of woman. yes I have seen all
this been amongst the whole
and can yet say that I am
Inocent of all and thus shall
I always as long as life lasts
be able to say the same. I
was very much Disappointed
a while ago about coming
home. I expected a Furlough
had my papers made out
and Maj Crosby carried
them to Genl Getty but he
had received orders that
[page 6]
day not to grant any more
Furloughs so I could not
come but I am contented
as long as I know that you
are all well and hope the
day is not far distant when
I can again be with you
never to be gone so long again.
I never hear from Del now
A lady wrote to me and
said that Del claimed it
was me that led him
astray. Oh he knows better
if he did say so for there
never were two more steady
young men in the city of
New London than Del and
I when we were togeather
and he wrongs me very
much in talking in
the way I hear he does
but let him go on he will
not make anything by
[page 7]
it. He will find out that I will
prove to the Inhabitants of
New London that I am a
Man and an Honorable one
at that and can prove him
false in all he says of me
and of one other person
that he has wronged. he
is a Coward and a liar
and I would make him
swallow his words if I
had a hold of him. But
enough of this. I am sorry
for him and do honestly pity
him. I must now close. I
hope these few lines will find
you and Mother well and
also the rest of the family. give
my love to Mother and all
inquiring friends. answer
soon and I remain
Your Loving Son
ThS K Pimer

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“Thomas Pimer, 21st C.V.I., October 21, 1863,” Linda Lear Center Digital Collections and Exhibitions, accessed March 6, 2021,

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