Letters of Private Palmer Swan, Co. B

SWAN, PALMER.- Age, 19 years. Enlisted, September 24, 1861, at Taylor, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. B, October 4, 1861; promoted corporal, January 11, 1863; died of disease, August 28, 1863, at Taylor, N.Y. Regimental History says "died at home on furlough." Swan is buried in Pitcher, NY.

A letter from Ron Seils of Romulus, NY a relative of Palmer Swan, to Conrad Bush, who contributed these letters to this website.

  April 14, 2007

Most of the letters were to my gg Grandfather Lyman Wheeler Swan (went by "Wheeler" sometimes "Will".) Also one letter from JW Howard ( Cousin) to Wheeler that mentions Warren Wheeler Follett and Palmer, 1 letter from a Clara in Pitcher to Palmer, one Letter from Horace Halbert to Palmer, 1 letter to Wheeler Swan from Warren Wheeler Follett sent with a letter from Palmer, and few letters from Palmer to his parents, and one letter from his mother.

I am glad that we have the letters that we do, but I sense he wrote so many more.

Family story says that Palmer arrived at train station, sick with dysentery, on a cot.  They loaded him and the cot on a wagon and brought him home.  They ride home was bumpy and long and hastened his death.

Ron Seils, Romulus , NY

The following letters were taken from a typed transcript received from Ron Seils. Minor changes have been made in punctuation and content added [] to improve readability. Paragraph breaks were also added to transcripts posted to this website for readability.

Palmer Swan was the son of  Guirdon, age 56 and Abigail Lyman Swan, age 57. In 1860 they lived in Taylor , Cortland County , NY . The children living at home in 1860 were Margaret “Maggie”, age 20, Palmer, age 19 and Wheeler, age 14.

- Conrad Bush

Letter not dated: [sometime 1861-63]

My dear son Palmer, Monday morn

Knowing your anxiety to hear from us as well as we to hear from you I will write a few lines. We are enjoying usual health. Your Pa lumbering with Mr. Halbert, they worked 7 days over on Reuben Harrisons they have got out 8 logs and about half of them into mill. The rest they will get in the first snow. I feel very anxious about you. I hope you will be very careful of your health. I know not how it is with you now you say you are better. I trust you are, but how much better I don't know. O! Palmer, I hope you will be faithful in every duty especially to your maker.

I have much I want to say to you I hope you will never neglect your Bible. Take it as the man of your counsel and the quick of your life. I hope you will never neglect the throne of grace and if you meet with trials and troubles on your way then cast your name on Jesus and don't forget to pray. Gird on the heavenly arrow of faith and hope and love and when the combat ended he will see you above. I have much I would be glad to say but I must close Palmer.

I hope you will remember that I have the first claim on you for a letter.

Your father wishes to be remembered to all who may know him.

With love and affection I subscribe myself your mother.
[Abigail Lyman Swan]

Letter not dated - [sometime 1861-1863 from Camp of the 76th NY Volunteer Infantry.]

My dear parents
I will try and write a few lines to you an answer to that kind one of which I received last night. I am feeling as well as ever and [as are] the rest of the boys. Ma you thought that it would [be difficult for] me to read your letter but not so for I could read it just as easy as could be but I guess that you will have some trouble in [reading] this I very much ashamed of this letter but I would write you a full sheet if I had time but I shall have to hurry or be late [for the mail] You know that I have generally been very good to write but you will have to excuse me this time for want of time. Please write as soon as convenient and accept this from your lonely son.
Palmer Swan

Tully [New York] Jan 25, 1862
Letter written to L. W. Swan]

Dear Cousin,

I now seat myself to write a few lines in answer to your letter, which I received sometime last week. I received one from Jane at the same time.

We are all as well as common. I have been chopping a little this week, but it come rather tough after doing nothing all winter.

I have not fairly got to going yet. I received a letter from Warren [Follett] and palmer [Swan] last Tuesday night stating that they were in NY City. They had not yet got their pay yet then, but were expecting to the next day.

I presume you have heard from them since then. It snows very fast today and if it continues to snow so a great while, the snow will get fairly deep for there was plenty for good sleighing before. I have sent and got me another songbook and have sent for three more but they have not come yet. I expect them tonight some.

If you want some pieces you have not got if you will let me know perhaps I can accommodate you.

We went to Homer and had our pictures taken a week ago yesterday. We had a good snowy time of it.

I should like to have you come up and visit me this winter. If you will I will play you a tune on the Jews harp; I have got some pretty good ones now.

I can not think of much to write about. You have the advantage of me in writing for there is no one around here that you are acquainted with that I can write about. I should like to be there to go to Spelling School with you sometime but I must stop writing now for I can't think of anything more to write this time.

Please write and answer this when you can and oblige your friend and cousin.
J. W. Howard

Washington [Camp of 76th NY Volunteer Infantry]
March 23, 1862

Dear Cousin

I received your welcome letter this morn. We are well & enjoying life at the best of our ability. There is much to enjoy even in camp life of army. I always tried to enjoy life wherever I was & I think that I did. We are going to leave here & are a going to Fort Massachusetts which is about 4 miles from here. 

I don't know why they should this should help us a moving. We move so often that we cannot get fairly settled down into any shape before we have to move. So you see it is more again. We all hate to move from our place we have got it is so that it seems like leaving our Father's Mansion. I have to make dark marks so that you can read it through the dirt. I will close before [light] get so bad that Palmer can't wrights. So Farewell

W. W. Follett

Dear Brother Wheeler

So Warren has been writing got you and gave me an invitation to write some. I thought that I would prefer the chance for that is some that I like to write to so well as to those of our own family. Warren was troubled to find anything to write I told him that I did not think but while I could think of enough to write. As Warren has told you that we were a going to move I don't know as it be necessary for me to tell it all over but there may be some things that you will not understand so I will try and explain it a little

This Fort Massachusetts where we are a going is one of the forts which is guarded by part of our regiment companies H and I. The reason why we have to leave here is because there is a regiment of artillery that wants to come in here so I suppose that we shall have to leave, but you will want to [write] the same as before. I have just been writing to Mr. Parses and will want it all the same time that I mail this. I want you should find out and let me know whether he gets it or not. O Will when our folks send me those things if they would send them you be [sure] and send me a good large piece of cheese. You do won't you it will go so good. I received these papers that you sent me yesterday and how much good they do me.

I suppose you are pretty busy now a days so you do not feel so much like running about nights as you did when you were a going to school. I don't know as you can read this but I rather guess that you have read so much of my scribbling that you can make it out after a while. I hope you will answer this as soon as you get it and when you write tell all of the news and tell us how the young folks carry themselves. I want to know who goes with who and all about it. I guess that if I write much more I shall write more than Warren does. I wish that I could write a [book] in this. But if I did you would want more than one day to read it in. I guess that this will be enough for now. Write soon and tell all of the news and tell Chauncey [Hyde] that I got his letter this morning. I suppose that I might write more but perhaps if I did I don't believe you could read it all at once so I guess I write a lot.

Give my love to Pa and Ma and all the young folks that you are a mind to and accept this from your Brother Palmer.

Fort Massachusetts April 21st [1862]

Dear Brother
I have just received your kind letter of the 15th and was very glad to hear from you again. It is just one week ago tonight since I got your last letter and I wondered that I did not hear from you but now I see the reason because you did not get the letter of the 7th.

It has been some time since I wrote to you before and the reason is because they have stopped franking letters and now we have got to pay over our own postage. I wrote a letter Sunday to send to you and was a going to send it by Horatio Marble a man I our company that has got his discharge. I don't know exactly where he lives but some where in the town of Lincklaen [Chenango County, NY] but it was so stormy this morning that he did not go so I will burn that up and write another. I have not sent the letter that I wrote to Ma yet not I guess I will explain about that letter I wrote to here. I got a letter from her Saturday it was one that was written to me the day that Elbridge* was buried and I had just got it an I wrote an answer to it Saturday night and had not sent it and don't know when I shall but I guess in the course of a day or two. You may tell her that she may expect it if she has not got it when you get this for I shall send it if I wait a week first. I would sent it in here but I have got it sealed up and I hate to loose the envelope.

I have just got and [ate] I will try and pick up my letters. I guess that it will be short for I shall have to hurry or not sent it today. Lucian Chandler is dead. He died yesterday. You need not brag about town how stout your are for I guess that in about about as heavy as you are for I have gained some since I came here. I was weighed a day or two ago and I weighed 168 lbs. with my coat off and I guess if had my coat on I would have come up to 170 so you [see] that I am getting to be some [stout] as well as you. I don't believe that you can read this for I have written in such a hurry. I will write again as soon as I get something to pay postage with.

So Goodbye from your absent brother Palmer

I like that mistake very much.

I wrote a letter to Cal five days ago. I wish you would give him my respects and find out whether he got it or not and if he did I would expect to hear from him.

*- "Elbridge" is probably Elbridge Burnham, also of Company B, who died April 1, 1862

Fort Massachusetts
May 16, 1862

Dear Brother

I have some news to write this time so I suppose that you want to know now what that is. Uncle Sam has made us a visit and paid us four months pay. Sometime ago we had the [choice] of checks on treasury instead of those bills. The reason of this is related as [follows]. Then if it is lost on the way the government is held responsible for it. I suppose that it will make Pa some trouble for he may have to go to the bank of trust but I thought that this would be the safer way that I could send it. We each one of us that wished to send money in this way signed a paper [allotment] with the amount of money and what we wished to send per month and it was sent [to] the city [Washington, D.C.] and all made out before the paymaster came up to pay us. I can't explain it all to you now but will wait until some time when I have a better chance. I guess that I will not send the money this time but will wait a little for the boys talk some of sending it on a package all together by express but I think that I will send it some way or another in a few days. But I guess that I have said about enough about this for once I suppose that you are all very busy about this time of year. 

I would like very much if I were going to be at home a few weeks to help you. I know that you need me. I feel rather useless some of the time when I think how much you need me at home although I am earning good wages yet. I think that you need me more at home than they do here. I think that if we were wok in York State and should have to work a great deal harder for the same wages than we do here. So I did not think that I was needed at home. I should be perfectly contented. It seems rather curious to me that I don't have any more letters of late. I have got as much as six or eight behind.
not signed
(Palmer Swan)

Fredericksburg June 8th, 1862

Dear Brother

I seat myself again to write to you knowing that you feel anxious to hear from me. It is Sunday afternoon and I have just returned from Meeting. We have had a very interesting discourse and I explored ours much. 

It is very pleasant today and not very warm. The boys are all of them enjoying themselves very well. We do not have to do any very hard duty now. We do not drill any now a days. We have to stand guard every other day and that is about all we have to do. We are still staying in Fredericksburg, but cannot tell anything about how long we shall stay here. We may be here one week from now and we may be in Richmond and we may be some where else no knowing. 

We have had some first rate times since we came here and would like to stay here but then you know that soldiers cannot always stay in one place. We have the most fun singing Union songs. It makes some of the [local] folks have looked rather sour but what do you suppose that we care about that. We are now living right where we can hear them sing secesh songs nearly every day. 

But enough of this I had a letter from Maggie [Swan Warner] a day or two ago and they were all well. I suppose that you are very busy about this time of year.
I suppose that you have got your crops all in before this time and are ready to go to hoeing corn. I don't see many crops growing here but I have seen lots of strawberries here. O Will how much I would like to see it once tonight. I can see just now you all about this time of day. You have first got through supper and Ma is sitting on the lounge reading and you and Pa are listening to her. I think that I should like to happen in just now but then I am off a soldiering now. I hope that if I live I shall have a chance to view these scenes some time.

I shall have to ask another favor of you and that is to send me some more stamps for the reason that I cannot get them here I. I wanted to get some before we left Washington but I did not know that we were a going until a day or two before we left and then I could not get them. Enclose [greetings] all and accept this as [respects] from your absent brother Palmer to Wheeler. Write soon and often.

Fredericksburg June 15, 1862

Dear Brother

Once more I have seated myself to answer your kind letter which was very thankfully received last Sunday.

Perhaps you will think rather strange for waiting so long before answering your letter but I will try and explain this to you. When your letter came I was on guard and had to stay in that day and night on account of the boys being off helping build a railroad bridge across the river and yesterday I was so sleepy that I couldn't write. I am as smart as (a brick) and enjoying life first rate. We have lots of fun here guarding these store houses. It seems strange and enjoying life first rate.

It seems strange what stories folks will get up about us soldiers. I was a little [sick] a few days ago but not so but what I was around all of the time but I am as well as any of the boys now. I hope that you will not believe any of the reports that you hear about us for we don't have but very little trouble nor work to do. The weather is very warm here now I think that if we should have to march from here a while it is so warm tat it would go rather tough.

You wanted that I should tell you how many letters there were that I sent in that box. I cannot tell exactly myself but I should think that there were somewhere between 16 and 20. They were nearly all then cut of the envelopes and all of one person put into one envelope. The package is not very large but considerable well packed. If you will save the bindings to put them away in the same manner somewhere where they will be out of the way you will oblige me very much. 

I seem to see you running after the sheep when you are getting them down to [?]. I would like to have been there to have helped you but my business not such that I could not be there very well. I am very much obliged to you for writing such a long letter. I think that that was a considerable longer than you have ever written before. When I write to only one person I can most always think of enough to fill up one envelope pretty well but when I come to write to two or three person it makes quite a difference. If I was with you today I think that I could tell you some thing that would please you very much but I guess that I will leave that out for this time. 

I guess that I shall have to close for Everett* has first come in and asked me to attend a meeting of colored people this forenoon. I am a going to write to Pa so I guess that I have written all I can to you for this time. Write as soon as you get this. Love to Ma and Pa.
Palmer Swan

* - "Everett" is probably Everett Fuller, also of Company B. 

January 18th 1863

Dear Friend Palmer

Thinking perhaps you have forgotten you have a friend Clara way up here in Pitcher. I will simply remind you of it by writing you a little about her. I believe I have not written to you since the month of November and I think I have not heard from you since. It seems like an awful while anyway. I saw Eleanor at Church today and we liked to of scolded about you and some others for not writing. She said she had written to you twice by has had no answer yet perhaps you have a good reason as your true friend and well wisher Clara for not writing if so please pardon us if we find fault a little this is better than to feel that we care nothing of you, not so Palmer you have many friends left in Pitcher yet. 

I have been hoping for some time that your turn would soon come to get a furlough or be discharged but it seems that those who we care the least about seeing are the most sure to come home, perhaps their friends are glad to see them. I could mention the names of a few more who are running around about town just as able to work and fight as many of you poor soldiers who have to stay there but perhaps you will be rewarded for it. 

It is quite sickly about here now. Today we have attended the funeral services of Ralf Taylor's little girl four years old a week ago today she was at Church was taken sick Tuesday night and died yesterday her disease was the Diphtheria, a week ago today Chauncey Crandall's funeral sermon was preached by Mr. Allen the house was crowded to overflowing it was a very affecting time my school is out again. I have taught eleven weeks this fall and winter. Am staying at home now expect to go to Norwich soon and get me some new teeth. Palmer you would hardly know me if you could see me for have lost my front teeth. You would think I was some old maid and I guess you would think right. I was at Covenant meeting yesterday and we had a very good one. We have concluded to keep Elder Seeley another year. I think he is a man who wants to do the will of God and has a deep interest in the welfare of the church. George Webster is here occasionally, but I have not seen him but once to have anything of a visit with him. He stays with Jerusha the most of the time at Marathon. You have probably heard that little Addid Champlin is dead. Palmer we are going to have a donation next Wednesday night for Elder Seeley at the Parsonage we would be pleased to see you there. We have heard a letter read today from C. Cady. He is some ways below New Orleans. He wrote an excellent letter to the Church we had our communion at noon instead of Sabbath school.

We have had two choir singing schools this winter, the last one was here last Friday night. I think our choir is improving or the singers rather. I sit below this forenoon and I thought the singing sounded very good much better than it does at the other church. They have Congregational singing the most of the time because L. Warner is all [they have].

I have not seen Kennie since we came back from Oxford, but expect to go out and make her a call soon as George [has] missed her. That he will bring me out as soon as it come good sleighing. We have a very open winter but little snow it best going now we have had but I must close this short epistle hoping that I may hear from you soon. Give my regards to all I am acquainted with. Palmer don't get discouraged but keep hoping and praying that the time will come soon where peace is declared and it shall be the light of all the love and serve God and do his will now. Palmer you must write a long letter and remember.

Letter ends at this point no signature. - believe this to be Clara Baldwin of Pitcher age 16 in 1860

Camp near Pratt's Point
January 26th 1863

Dear Brother

It has been some time since I have heard from you. I have generally heard from you once a week at least but it has now been some three or four days over. The last time that I heard from you you had not heard from me in some time although I have written every few days. I begin to think that you are not a going to get any more of my letters. You have undoubtedly heard of the great move of the army of the Potomac. We are in the same move as the rest of them. We are gone from our old camp 4 days and a terrible time of it we have had. But we are now back in our old camp again safe and sound.* I received a letter from you just before we went away and answered it and I expected that I should have another before this time.

I have been waiting now for nearly 2 days for a letter from you and I final concluded that I would write a letter and wait until after the mail came in for today before mailing it hoping that I should get one from you.

One reason of my hurry to write is to speak a word concerning that box. I think that it should be perfectly safe in sending it now for I think that we shall stay here where we are now for some time and perhaps all winter and I think that there would be no trouble in it's coming for there has been one white boat load of express things come into the landing today.

Theodore** has been down to the landing today and he did not find out whether it was there or not because he could not get in to the landing but he think that he will get it in a few days. The mail has come at last but no letter for me.

I received two papers yesterday from you a Messenger and a County paper and you had better believe that they were thankfully received.
But I must close.
Write soon and accept this from your absent brother.
Palmer Swan

* - The "great move of the Army of the Potomac" refers to what later became known as the "Falmouth Mud March", January 20-24, 1863. For more information, see Wikipedia entry
** - "Theodore" is probably Theodore Birdlebough of Company B. 

Camp Near Pratt's Point
Feb 9th 1863

Dear Brother

I received your kind letter last night and was very glad to learn that you were all in usual health. I suppose that you are having nice times about there days a going to school. I hope that you will improve your time as well as you can for if you should like to be as old as I am you will see the necessity of it.

I received 3 letters last night one from you & Ma and one from Mr. Stoker and one from Maggie (Swan Warner). I answered Maggie's this forenoon and am now trying to answer yours. Night before last I received a letter from you. I don't know where it had been but I should have got it two weeks ago. In it you want to know how many battles I had been in - 8. Don't you think that I have seen my part of the fighting? I do.

I should think they might affect to discharge me now, but I do not think that they will. I guess that I shall have to wait. Your's and Ma's letter both in one sheet this time for I sent to Auntie one sheet to Mr. Stoker and put in this letter so as to save one stamp and you know that I cannot put 3 sheets in one envelope very well. When you write direct to Gaines Brigade instead of Doubleday for Doubleday is no longer commander of this brigade. He has been promoted.
Write soon, from your brother Palmer Swan to Wheeler Swan.

I have just finished writing to Wheeler and now I will try and direct my thoughts to you for a short time. You rec'd that you had heard that the 76 was to be disbanded I think. That this must be a mistake for we have never heard anything of it here. Your box that you sent has not arrived yet but I think that I shall get it with out any dents for others here received boxes lots of them in this regiment and the way is open. There is nothing to hinder us I see it is only a short distance from here to the landing but all of the express things fro the soldiers here to go to dinner. Head quarters before it can go to the regt. and the Brigadier regimental teams have to get them from there. So I presume that my box may be there now.

I presume that I shall get it in a day or two. I hope so at least. You spoke about my being disappointed in your not sending some butter and more cheese. I will tell you what I think and it is this. That beggars should not be choosers. I must say that I had alluded more in there than anything else, but I think that if I get the rest that I ought to be very thankful. I do not see for my part. My folks thought not but to send them for there is nothing that comes so high here as that. I could sell firkins of butter here in a very short time for 5 cents a pound and the cheese that the soldiers have to sell is very poor and sells for 40 cents a pound. But enough of this. A thousand thanks to [those] that had a part in sending the things and I hope that I may live to some day thank them with my own lips. Give my love to Pa and Angeline [Swan] and all others that inquire for my welfare. Write as soon as possible and [pray for me].
Your affectionate son,
Palmer Swan for my dear Mother. [Abigail Lyman Swan]

March 7, 1863

Friend Palmer

I received your letter of Feb 6th in due time but was so drove with the business at the time that I could not consistently answer it then, was very glad indeed to hear from you. I do not loose my interest in the boys that have gone from our midst to bear the toils hardships and deprivations in order to save our country from ruin. Noble Boys thus to go forth in maintenance of the right and my prayer shall be that God will protect you ever and give you the same determination to battle for the right in time to come as you have in time past. 

I am sorry to hear that there are any deserters among your number. I should feel worse to hear that brother Addison* who by the way is supposed near Washington with his reg. had deserted than to know that he had fallen on the Battlefield nobly discharging his duty. I have no fears for those who went from principle Palmer by the way the man that is right at home will as a general thing be right there and if he is not right here he will not be anywhere. 

I think it must do you a great deal of good to know that you have the sympathy of friends at home and more than all else their prayers. I would say to you keep up good courage ever be ready to do your duty cheerfully and your labors will not be in vain. It does me a great deal of good to send a cheerful letter from a soldier (like your own to me.)

It makes me think that they have not forgotten for what they went. Things are passing on about as usual in Pitcher no great change. I suppose you hear from home very often your friends are all in usual health so far as I know. You spoke of Dr. Barnes.** I am glad and think you ought to be very thankful to think you have so good a man for your Physician and Surgeon. I can with confidence recommend him to you. Please remember me to him also to all the boys. It does me good to hear that you are well. I hope that time is not very far distant when this rebellion will have been put down and you permitted to retire and enjoy the fruits of your labors in a free and happy land. 

Yours with much respect. Horace Halbert.

* - "brother Addison" is Addison Halbert of Company C, 7th Ohio Infantry. He was promoted to Sergeant 5/1/1864 and mustered out on 7/6/1864
** - "Dr. Barnes" is Nelson R. Barnes, Assistant Surgeon. 

Letter is written by HALBERT, HORACE, -Age 34 in 1860, lived in Pitcher, Chenango County, New York with his wife Emily G. age 30 and daughter Julia W., age 2. Source US Federal Census for 1860.

Camp Near Pratt's Point
March 12th 1863

Dear Brother (Lyman Wheeler Swan)

I received your kind letter on the 5th last night and now I have got out my paper to answer it. I wrote you a letter yesterday but that does not make any difference. I am determined to answer every letter that I get from home if I do not write to anyone else. I told you in my letter yesterday what I was a going to do that day but I was not able to accomplish the whole of it. So I done my washing this forenoon and now I thought that I would commence this letter if I did not write more than three lines.

I expect to hear the drum beat every minute for drill but what do you care for that. I was very happy last night to receive a letter from Mr. Stoker (?) and right glad was I to hear from him too. Please tell him for me that I am going to answer his letter first as soon as possible and I hope that will not be many days but I must write instead to someone else first. We are not far from the 10th/16th Cavalry now and I see Walter Angel every few days. Bemis is talking every day about you not writing to him and he says that he expects to hear from you every day. Chauncy Hyde says that he wrote to you today or yesterday I do not know which.

I think according to your tell that Mr. Stoker must have a pretty good idea of me if he thinks me writing affect which you intend.

But I must change this selfishness. Supposing that I should tell you what I dreamed last night. I dreamed that I was at home and I went some where to a party. I cannot tell now where it was but any how they were all dressing [teasing] me for some reason or another. First one would tell something mean about me and then another and Oh! I had lots of trouble and wished myself back here again. If this is the way that I am to be when I come home I think that I should rather stay where I am, but I don't think that it would be of any rate. I should not be any afraid of it they would give me again.

We have finished our afternoon drill and it is almost time for dress parade so I shall not have time to write much more now as I expected to today when I commenced this letter.

I think that you shall be obliged to quit writing at this time if you want to. But that I should have written first as quick as I should of as had written to me, but if have not got time.

Write just as soon and just as often as you possibly can and accept this from your loving brother Palmer.
To his brother Wheeler.

Camp Near Pratt's Point
April 8, 1863

Dear Brother,

Now my brother I will see what I can do with you. I have been writing to Ma and of course I will have to write some to you. I do not know what is a going to be yet for it. I have not thought of anything yet but I guess I shall keep going through with the letter. I cannot think of anything to write for I do not go anywhere, stay right at home all for the time. I do not run around nights at all only when I am on guard and then I have to run more than I want to some times. I guess that I shall have to tell you what happened the next to last time that I was out on picket. I do not know as I can explain it to you so you will understand it but I will do the best I can. 

About ¾ of a mile at the right of where I was was a new regt. Doing picket duty the 151st Penn and it does not take but a little to frighten troops that have never been under fire so of course they are all be on look out expecting all the time to see some rebel cavalry after them. So one night about 9 o'clock we heard one gun go off and then another and then another and so on until they fired along the line sometimes and then they rallied and fired a full volley.

This of course created considerable excitement along the line and the commander ordered the pickets doubled and they were kept so until morning and then we found out what all the firing was for, one of the men thought he saw a Cavalry man approaching and he called out for him to halt but he fired and then the rest fired and when they came to find out what it was it proved to be a bull and the fun of it all was that after they had all fired at the bull and all they that fired only one of them hit him. There new what else one think of my siding.

I shall here to stop writing for Theodore [Bridlebough] wants to write some and guess that I have written about enough for one day.

I thank you very much for those stamps for I was almost out. You wrote to me a while ago and said that Mr. Fletchers folks told you that they would write to me and send one of their pictures if I would write to them. If they did so I would have heard from them. I wish that you would write to them and tell them that I never have heard from them and if they don't write to me pretty soon that I shall drop them from my list of friends altogether.

It is not necessary in writing to put in the brigade in the envelope for it will come just as straight. But if you put it in send it to Cutlers Brigade for we have got a new Brigadier General, but enough.

Write soon,
This from your brother
Palmer Swan

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- Last Updated August 1, 2009