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Gilmer Letters Civil War Letters of Russell County
Richmond Va June 6th 1861

Dear Parents

I now seat myself to write you a short letter, merely to let you know how we are doing.  In the first place I and Reeves have a cold; but are well as common, not expecting to have a cold long.  The weather here is damp and cool at this time.  We got wet night before last and I attribute my cold to that.  We are well satisfied and contented and wish that you could be satisfied about us.  I know if you could see how merry a set we are, you would not grieve for us.  When I tell you that we are satisfied and happy, I mean just what I say.  So believe me and do not render yourselves unhappy on account of our situation.  I fear nothing more than sickness and of course know not when I may take sick. The company seems to be in find spirits generally.  There is not much sickness at this place.  We are quartered at the New Fair ground, something like two miles from the citty, a nice level place.  We left Abingdon on Sunday near the middle of the day with 500 troops and arrived at Richmond Tuesday about noon.  We slept in the cars two nights.  We can sleep any where now, sound at that.  We saw a great deal on our trip, crossed many high bridges and through two or three tunnels &c &c.  There are several places about Richmond for quartering troops.  I believe (though do not know for certain) that there are something more than three thousand troops at this camp.  Four companies came in yesterday; two from Texas, one from Apomatox and one from Halifax.  The come every day by hundreds; another company has just arrived.  The companys from Texas had one pure Indian in their ranks.  Richmond is full of canons.  I see no other guns here but the musket.  We have the musket, percussion lock.  We fared badly along the road and have none to waste here.  The Abingdon people (ladies) did all in their power for us before we left.  We got canteens, knapsacks and dinner sacks, (the latter filled with provissions) at Abingdon.  God bless the women of Abingdon.  We know not when we will leave this place; probably not for three weeks.  I saw a sample of our uniform this morning and it is anything but nice.  It is hard to get a nice uniform now - I will put up with whatever we get and not grumble (much).  The soldiers life is changeable.  I expect to suffer once and a while for something to eat, yet I intend to die but one death.  I do not intend to fret myself about every little inconvenience.  I know what to look for, and that is hard times once and awhile.  I sleep on a plank floor with one blanket under and the other on top.  That is very near equal to sleeping on the floor and covering with the door.  We sleep next to a plank fence, the cover extending from top of same toward the ground; a first rate cow house.  I cannot tell you all nor the one hunderdth part.  I think we brought money enough.  I hope this will find you all well and in good spirits.  We will write every two or three days if we can.  Love to all from Mary Ann down to Marcell.

Your affectionate son
John E. Gilmer

Direct your letters to John E. Gilmer
Richmond Va
(care Capt S. Hunt)
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