Orrin Lucas Letter

Robert Adams rpadams357@hotmail.com

Letter from Orrin Lucas in reply to Albert W. Lucas:
Headquarters  117th Regt. N. Y. V.
Fort Alexandria   Sept. 16, 1862
Dear Father:  I received your letter last night.  I as glad to hear from you.  I heard you had enlisted.  We are now stationed at Fort Alexandria.  Our Regt. has to chop.  We have cut down the woods for miles around.  There are lots of Grey Squirrels and Possums and snakes in the woods.  There are some half a dozen detailed from our company to drill on the Artilery.  The Col and Maj and other officers say that our company is the best drilled Company in the Regt.  We chop days and drill by moonlight.  Our rations are not first rate.  Today we had a cup of soup and 1 cracker and a small piece of meat.  That is not a very hearty dinner to chop on.  The rations went very hard for me at first, but now I can make a good meal on a courple of crackers and a cup of coffee.
I wish you would write soon and let me know when you leave Rome and where you expect to go.  I wish you would send me 2 or 3 - 1 cent stamps for I would like to send a paper home once in a while.  I wish you would send me a paper a Herald or Telegraph for I would like to hear from our Regt.  What did you do with the horse?  I would not sell him for you can not get what he is worth.  I would let some one take him to keep this winter.  You ought to buy some hay for the cow.  You can get hay better than Ma can.  Who have you left to take care of the garden and hog, rabbits etc?  Try and leave things in good shape at home.  You now am an old Soldier ha!ha!.  There has been a great Battle at Hagerstown.  We were not there but we heard the Battle.  The dead bodies of Soldiers some of ours and the Rebels are floating down the river.  The Rebels are rather cornered.  We expect they will make a pass down this way.  They are making a Battery here.  We expect to see a battle every day.  Leave things in good shape at home.  Give my respects to all the boys that inquire about me.  I hear that Benj. Pratt deserted, but they caught him again.
I suppose that you heard that The 117th Regt. had a row(?) in Jersey City, but that is false.  Nothing of the kind happened.  Some of our Company are in the Hospital sick.  I was in there a few days.  Have you got your Uniform yet?  I wish You  would get that 50 cents of Coleman and my traps home.  Jerome Seaman has got 2 of my traps.  Do not let any one take the gun or my traps.     Orrin

Orrin died  May 11, 1863 of small pox at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington D.C.

Letter from Albert W. Lucas (age 50 years) to his son Orrin:
Headquarters. Camp Huntington
Sept. 11th, 1862
Dear Son:  I have enlisted in Capt. Powells Co. in Clinton with a town bounty of about 65 dollars.  Messers Crumb Akins, Doc. Cox and Archibal Cox, Jerome Seaman, Ed Richardson, Benjamen Pratt, Isaac Chapman, John Jackson, Stocktrigge(?) Campbell and several others have enlisted at Clarks Mill.  We have received 3 letters from you the 2 last I received in Camp this day.  We have been kept pretty close in Camp since I entered it, but I went home last Monday noon and returned last evening.  Mr. Akins brought me the two last letters,  Your mother and girls are at Sangers field picking hops.  I have bought a good cow for Nineteen dollars.  Our folks left home hop picking Wednesday 3 of Sept the same day that I went to Rome to Muster in.
We have a good time of it here.  I do not know when we leave Rome, but probably in some time next week.  I received as bounty 50 dollars from State, 50 dollars do County,  sixty from town and one hundred at the end of the war.  Making 265 dollars bounty plus years of service 156 dollars for a total of 421.  I have not received only the 50 dollars of county, but shall receive the town and state bounty before we leave Rome.
You write that 3 cent postage stamps are scarce.  I can send you any amount for I have got some forty or more in my pocket, but lest they miss you, I think it woudl be better not to send but 3 or 4 at this time, and send again.  We have about 600 soliers now in Camp and more arriving daily.  I think our Regt. will be filled very soon.  Our Regt. is No. 146 of this state Militia.  Take good care of yourself and we may see each other when we come into service.  Please give my respects to all the boys and all inquiring friends.  You had better direct to Clarks Mills as usual for I shall go there one more time before we leave for good.
From your Father
A. W. Lucas