Letters from David Beard, New York's 14th regiment

Submitted by Kammra@aol.com
Copy of actual letter
David Beard's Civil War letter dated October 5th, 1861 and sent to his brother William and sister

I got the box last night with the paper & things in, for which I am very much obliged to you.

Camp Mullegan
Oct. 5th/ 61

Dear Brother and Sister,

 I have a good notion not to write to you after all it would just serve you right;      thatís what it would. I am glad to see you can scrape up a few moments time to write to me once in six months. I guess Christy will begin to think I am a ____ sort of a fellow to write to, but I canít help it. I canít honestly, because writing is
getting played out entirely. You see I might write to a dozen different persons in a week. (I have done that many a time since we came down here) & then I would wait about 3 weeks till they were all answered & only think of it, if I was to take all the news & pick out all that was not the same thing over again. I could put the whole dozen answers into one letter (I have just read this to Jim & he says thatís just as true as you live.) Now Bill you wouldnít like that your self would you, Iíll bet you wouldnít. I know I donít. By any means, you wrote just too late to get the News before Father. But I will try & make my letter as interesting as possible. You wanted to know about our advance & about those men firing into each other. Well you will find all this in Fatherís letter. So I shant trouble you with it in this letter.
 A man has to get used to some pretty hard sights if he lives this kind of a life, such as burning up all the houses which I am sorry to say our boys did. I donít say our Regt. altogether but the whole of them. All day long the day after our advance, the houses were burning on every side & they twice set fire to a house just beside where we were encamped in the Woods, but it was seen just in time to have it put out, then they had a guard put over it. It is too bad the boys donít know any better than to go & burn all the houses for donít you see they may come handy for hospitals or for the boys to stay in on a cold night if they should happen to be out on picket & a good many other purposes. I watched a company of artillery shell the rebels yesterday. They had their pieces just a little way from our camp & as this is the first time I have ever seen them throw shells it was a little interesting to me. I have often heard it said that they could see a shell & dodge it but I guess a man would have to look sharp to dodge such ____ & we saw yesterday, but I find my time & space is ____ filled up. So I must come to a close. I canít get you any flower seeds just now but I will get you some as soon as I can. Give my love to that little girl of yours & to Jenny & Christy & Grandmother & all the rest of the folks & remember as your brother,

David Beard
Co. E. Capt. Michaels
14th Regt. N.Y.S.V.
Camp Mulligan

This is a bill I got from Mayor Mitts house 1/4 of a mile from Falls Church. He is now a Mayor in the seccss ____ I sent it for _______
Potrait of David Beard