Camp Cross. Pt. Lookout Md.
was duly rec, & now I will try &
This is my 23rd birthday, it dont
seem possible that I am so old
it seems but a very short time
ago that I was in my teens.
I shall soon be 30 then 40 & then
60 & an old batch to boot.
I will let you know what I have been
doing since I came here. four or five
days after we arrived here I was
detailed to command the guard
at the small Pox hospital for rebels.
This was situated ½ mile from
camp and outside of the stockade
& blockhouse so it was necessary to
have a strong guard. I was there
7 weeks. I had 35 men under me
for guards. The rebs.were in huts &
my guard was placed around
them. we staid there all the time
my men had tents & I drew rations
etc for them & had a cook & everything
independent of the regts. I was
under the direct command of
the Genl. I had my quarters in a house
close by, had a nice little room all to
myself. I had nothing to do but look
after my guard & see that the rebs. were
kept straight; & make requisitions for
rations, wood etc, did not have to be up
nights at all. the only fault I found with
the situation was it was very lonesome.
There were from 150 to 190 rebs. there all
the time sick with small pox. they died
at the rate of 4 to six a day, a surgeon
of the 2nd N.H. was in charge of them. They
had good care& the best of fare, as
good as our men get in army hospital
plenty of blankets & clothes were give
them. I thought they were treated
most too well.
I expected I would have smallpox
at first. I went in among it every day
& superintended the burying of the
dead sometimes, & then one of my men
was taken with it soon after 9 went
there & was sick in the room next to
mine. I was in to see him every day &
helped take care of him, but I did
not catch it. I don’t think I can catch
it. The surgeon said if a person is
once thoroughly vaccinated he can
never catch it.
Three weeks ago I was taken sick,
had a rising in my head & for 5 days
was quite sick, another officer was
sent to take my place while sick &
then I was permanently relieved.
Capt. Bullin had been trying to get
me back for some time. Lt. Dame is
away on detached service & he wanted
me here. I was glad to come have
been here over a week but did not
go on duty till last Friday. I am
as well as ever. My sickness was
the effect of a bad cold.
By being there I got rid of a great amount
of hard work fixing our campground
& quarters. Men & officers had to go into
the woods & cut timber & raft it down
here. guard houses stables etc had to be
built - ditches dug & a great many
other things done which kept the
rep very busy for the first 5 weeks
when I got back they had just got ready
to live, the men have all got their
tents stockaded & doors made. each
tent has a floor , bunks & a stove.
Most excellent quarters they are.
In camp is the prettiest one I ever
saw. It is [----?] in Mexican style.
Capt Butler & I have got a most excellent
tent our stockade is 5 ½ high above the floor
the timbers are a placed upright in the
ground pined together & caulked & hewed
smooth inside on top of this is a [---?]
tent. This gives us a round room 18ft in
diameter 5½ ft. high at the sides and 20ft. high
in the center. [---?] [----?] tents you know are
round and bell shaped. We have a cottage
[------?], a table, a book & writing cose, sink,
wood box, chairs etc etc a stove in the center of
the room. The sides of the tent is papered
& on one side looking out on the bay is
a window. we thought about having
a carpet, but thought it would not pay
in such a muddy region as this.
Our mess works well there are ten of us
in it. have a large tent for it. have an
excellent cook & first rate living. we have
meat vegetables & pastry the same as at
home. today we had an old fashioned
boiled dish for dinner. for breakfast we
had beefsteak potatoes & fried doughnuts;
& for supper we shall probably have the
remains of the boiled dish - cold & hot biscuits
It costs us from $2.50 to $3.00 a week. we
bought a new cookstove last week.
Our duty is drilling & guard. guard duty
comes pretty often for the officers. we have
to go on about twice a week. I was a
prisoners guard last Saturday for the first
time. we have to visit each post once an
hour during the night. I had to go the
rounds six times Saturday night. it is
more than a mile around. there is always
two Lieuts.of the guard & one is up half the
night & the other the remainder. A new
guard goes on at 9 o’clock in the morning
& is relieved at 9 the next morning. then
we have nothing more to do till 2 o’clock
Gen. Butler has charge of the exchange of
prisoners now. he has the whole control
of all prisoners of war in our possession.
So we have been transferred to his depart-
ment. it is said that all the rebels
now in our hands or that will hereafter be
taken are to be sent here. 2500 rebel
officers are to come here soon. Hitherto no
officers have been kept here, but sent
to Johnsons Island & Fort Delaware.
The prisoners pen in to be enlarged &
more troops will be sent here. I don’t
see why we have not got a job that
will last as long as the war.
Many of the prisoners are taking the
oath of allegiance & will join the U.S.
Navy. All the prisoners from Mo. Ky. &
Tenn. who will are allowed to take
the oath & go home. Here 50 Kentuckians
took the oath last Saturday & were [--?]
at liberty. I don’t know but it is good
policy but I doubt it.
Gen. Marstin is liked very well here, it is
said his administration of affairs here
is very satisfactory to the government
but he is no favorite with the officers. He is
Fifty of our old men have reenlisted for
3 years & will soon go home on a furlough.
If I had been an enlisted man I would reenlist
but as it is I am in for 3 more years anyway.
When I was mustered in as a 2nd Lieut it was
for 3 years & as the regt will now be kept full
and will keep up its organization I have
a good chance to remain in the service for
an indefinite length of time.
I am just your mind about the next
President; I say go for Lincoln for all of
Grant or anybody else.
I bought me an overcoat last week. one
of our officers got it made for him before he
came here, or rather was measured for it and
had it sent to him Lately, as he stands
a good chance to be dismissed the service
he did not want it & I bought it. It is a very
nice heavy coat, black made in regulation
style, with a large cape made to button & to be
worn on to the coat, or not as I please. There is
an extra velvet collar to button on to the cape
if I wish to wear it alone. it cost $40.00. it is
rather expensive, but I want a warm coat, now
I have to be on guard so much this cold weather
& I want to look as well as the rest es-
pecially the 2nd & 12th officers.
We had our first snow storm last week &
there is some snow on the ground now. It
has been very cold here for 3 weeks past.
I rec a Harpers Magazine last week, thank
you for sending it to me.
[along the side of the page]
I shall write to Samuel tomorrow & to Mother soon.
Give my love to all, would like to see you all very much, write again soon
G. S. Gove