Erasmus J. Allton Civil War Letters

Fort Duane, South Carolina

Jan. 21st 1865                    Well Catharine, I will now try to write you another letter for I have not heard from you for so long that I am afraid that there is something wrong.  The last letter I received from you was dated away back in November.  Since that I have heard nothing from you.  It may be that the fault is in the mail.  We have received letters from other places but none from home.  We are anxious indeed to hear again from our friends and learn how they are getting along.  We get papers from New York but no mail[.] but I hope that we may soon receive the long looked for messengers of good news.  Since I last wrote to you, we have moved a little and are since camped about 3 miles from Beaufort, South Carolina.

We left Savannah on the 14th and moved down the river 4 miles below the city, and stayed near a fort called Thunderbolt.  On the 16th we got aboard of a steam ship and for the first time in our lives, we sailed out on the broad Atlantic.  The Ocean was very rough, for the wind blew very hard, so that the waves splashed on the top or deck of the ship, and the vessel rolled over from one side to the other like a cradle and sometimes it was almost impossible to keep on our feet.  Several of the boys got very sea sick.  We were on the Ocean about 7 hours and at one time we were about out of sight of land.  We saw several sea monsters playing in the water and they reminded me of a drove of drowning hogs.  We landed in the night at Beaufort and stayed there a couple of days and then moved to our present camp and doing well.  It has been raining for the last two days and is still raining.  The air is cold and damp but we are tolerably well situated.  We don’t know where we will go to next but have a pretty good idea[.] We are enjoying very good health and the army is in a very healthy condition and ready for battle at any time.  The Johnnies are about 12 miles from here.  I must now close my letter for the boys say dinner is ready.  I hope this will find you well and I shall look for an answer soon.  Direct as usual.

                                                                                                                        Yours affectionately,

                                                                                                                        E. J. Allton


Catharine Shick