Frederick Tomlinson Peet.

Civil war letters and documents of Frederick Tomlinson Peet online

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to the kindness of Mr Welles I stood in
the presence of the Secy of War. After
passing a few brief compliments Mr Welles
introduced me saying I was wishing a com-
mission in the Regular Service and then
followed it up by saying that I was re-
marcably well qualified for the position,
etc. I then told Mr Cameron that 1 had
been endeavoring for some time to enter
the Service and that through the influence
of Mr Weed my name had been placed on


the appointing list some two or three
months previous. I then spoke about my
wishes to serve my country etc etc, to all
of which he replied that New York had
had her share and that he very well re-
membered Mr Weeds speaking of me, but
the best thing for me to do was to leave it
all in the hands of the Secretary, (meaning
Mr Welles) as he could do nothing until
Congress met. He spoke encouragingly,
and I told him should the commission be
tended me he would not see it disgraced.
He replied "that he did not think it
would," "that he believed me," or some-
thing to that effect.

Mr Welles advised me to go on as usual,
once in a while stop down and see Mr
Cameron as I now knew the way there.
He also advised me to find out when Mr
Weed came in town and ask him to be kind


enough to stop in, or when in the Secretary
of Wars Office to see that it was going on
as well as possible. After thanking Mr
Welles I bid him good morning.

I did not speak of the Marine Corp ap-
pointment, as the vacancy of which I wrote
you had been filled. I happened to meet
the fortunate individual in the Clerks office,
while waiting for Mr Welles.

I then went to see Cousin Ned Wright
& told him of my circumstances. He ad-
vised me to write to Mr Morgan again as
Major Russell, President of the Board of
Examiners for the Marine Corp, had writ-
ten to him saying that he expected the Vin-
2J cennes in, and that there were some south-
.t erners aboard who would throw up their
commissions. Of course he does not want
this knowledge scattered around promiscu-
ously, as it is not known outside of the
Naval Department.


He advised me to get Mr Morgan to
have my name booked, or in other words
get Mr Welles to promise the very first
vacancy to me ; then for me to send in my
application and very likely I would have
the desired position.

The only trouble is that I dislike to trou-
ble Mr Morgan any more, he has been
very kind & I am sincerely grateful ; if it
can be done, I will be very glad indeed.

Ask Mother to send me some good tow-
els we may remain here for some time,
also to have my clothes thickly padded
My pay will commence from Sep 16th 61.
Your affectionate son

Tell Wm I am very much obliged for
the papers.

Dont forget to send my boxing gloves,
and to let me know when to meet them as


they have frequently been known to re-
main for weeks at the express office. If
this reaches you before my clothes are sent
I wish you would send my shoulder straps
double instead of single, they are much
handsomer and I will pay for them. If
you will look at the different ones you will
very readily perceive the difference, most
are the common size but the double ones
are larger and very much finer looking.

Camp of Instruction Nov 4th 61.
My Dear Mother,

I am very much obliged to you for the
letter. You must excuse my seeming neg-
ligence in not answering it sooner, but to
tell the truth, time flies so quickly and my
time is so much occupied that I, who am a
very indifferent writer and correspondent


at the best, find it hard to obtain time,
when perhaps another would think he had
an abundance. I wish you would have
your cartes taken, so that I can carry one
around with me, it would seem more as if
I was among you all at home. It seems
hardly a week since my departure yet
three have passed. Should we winter in
Washington I may be able to obtain a fur-
lough for a few days, otherwise I may not
see you for some time, at least until I can
give an account of myself in the field, for I
dont care about returning before. Every
day we can hear the roll of musketry and
the thunder of cannon, by this time I have
become quite familiar to the sound; when
I first came however I kept continually
thinking it was an engagement.

I heard very distinctly the booming of
the rebel cannon about three Sundays ago,


when they ohtained the schooner from us
which parted her cable. You will remem-
ber reading an account of it in the papers.
I occupy a tent next to the Captain's with
Lieut Winthrop, I like him very much,
and would the Captain better, did he not
mention my peculiarities such as drum-
ming, knocking over things etc a little too
much ; he is very pleasant however, and
down on Coit, D, D, I wish you could
come here and see me I have two little kit-
tens and after meal time I feed them, then
the performance commences; they first
hug each other jump into the air and all
but stand on their heads, it is great fun to
see them it gives a home look to the else
strange things. You must not think that I
am homesick for I never enjoyed myself
better. We work all day and sleep well at
night. It would astonish you to see the


amount of food which I consume, it even
astonishes me, which is the hest way I
know of to let you appreciate the full
amount. We have one of the most beauti-
ful views from our drill ground which I
have ever beheld. We overlook the City,
the Capitol and fading away in the distance
stretches the Potomac ; although sometimes
mist covers the City, the Capitol will al-
ways be seen looming up its proud marble
walls as if to bid defiance to JefF and his
rebel pack, for encamped around it for
miles on either side is our army, all willing
to battle and remain on the battle field if
needs be for the Union.

but I must now bid you a good bye.
With love to all dear Mother I remain
Your ever affectionate boy


Bundle not yet arrived, need it very
much especially the boxing gloves.


Gamp of Instruction Berdans U S. S S.
Washington D. C. Nov 12, 61
Dear Win

I received your songs a few days ago. I
am very much obliged, quite a number of
us congregated in my tent last Sunday
night and sang for an hour or two. We
liked your song very much ; I saw by the
paper that it was sung in Bdway. When
the new words are written you must send
them to me.

The Colonel hinted last night that we
might go to S. Carolina in about two weeks.

I hope we do. I am entirely played out
on the money line. I wish you would ask
father to send me some if he can if not I
will get along without any. I find I can get
no pay for my last two months. Be kind
enough to ask father to send me immedi-
ately my receipts for money spent on Re*


cruiting Service, they are in my bureau
draw or in my writing desk. I think I can
get the money back.

Your affectionate brother


Note— Owing to his father's business connections with
the South, the war caused him severe losses, though he
eventually recovered his business. This accounts for the
many references to financial troubles in the following letters.

Gamp of Instruction Berdans U S S S.
Washington D G Nov 17, 61.
Dear Father,

I have just received your letter with the
vouchers I draw pay from November 1. 61
for the reason that I was then sworn in as
a private at that date into the United States
service, I draw Lieut, pay because I act as
Lieut. My position as Lieut is sure in the
Sharp-Shooters. The Gapt himself is mus-
tered as a private and draws pay from


Nov 2d. We have now sixty odd men.
Ned Wright has not been seen by me ; is
he in Washington or in Newark?

I did not see Mr Morgan. Tuesday
night I could not find Mr Welles residence.
Wednesday & Thursday I sent men to see
if Mr M. had arrived but was unable to
find out. I did not ask for a pass as I was
not certain he was in town and the Colonel
is very particular about granting passes as
the officers have in many instances taken
advantage of it. Friday I received your
last letter, and obtained a pass on the
strength of it. Went to town ; this time
found Mr Welles residence but Mr M had
gone on the 2 P. M. train Yesterday I
wrote to Mr Terry telling him the circum-
stances and wishing him to tell Mr M of
my disappointment in not seeing him.

I am sorry to hear you talk so disconsu-


lately about earnings. Your trouble on
my account may be at once dismissed. I
expect to remain in the U. S. A. I did not
come for money but to serve my country
and God helping I will do it ; be it in South
Carolina or Virginia, with money or with-
out, whether officer or private. My ex-
penses since my arrival will cost you noth-
ing. Gapt will lend me money until I can
repay it with my salary ; the five dollars
you sent I will return as I can get along
without it ; the only thing I want is a navy
revolver, my old pistol is broken and does
not go off once in five times. If you would
pay Mr John Scott $10 for me, I shall be
obliged and will return it to you as soon as
possible. My coat arrived on Friday, it
fits very well. I am in want of shoes but
will get along until something turns up.
Greighton is now here in my tent. I do


not know where I can address Ned Wright
Shall I hand in my application for the Ma-
rine Corp ?

love to all.

Your affectionate Son

F. T. Peet, Jr.
I received Hatties letter yesterday, was
very glad to hear from her, & one from

I have no pen & ink. excuse the writing
as I wish Greighton to carry it down town
and I have not time to copy it.

Gamp of Instruction
Berdans U. S. Sharp Shooters
Washington D G Nov 20th 61
My Dear Mother.

I have a few minutes to myself which I
shall take advantage of by writing you a


letter. I have just returned from practis-
ing shooting and bugling, in the woods near
by ; as my learning to bugle may some
time hence be of benefit, should anything
happen to the buglers.

I have been well since I last wrote you
with the exception of a day or two.

I received a very well written letter from
Fred Terry last Sunday accompanying it
was a crayon sketch of his "french
teacher," in the shape of a Bullfrog on his
hind legs with an umbrella over his

Libby has promised to send me some
pictorial papers which I intend distributing
among the men. We have in our company
(Long Island Company) a fine set of men
with a very few exceptions ; they seem to
like me very well and I am certain I can
return the compliment. I have com-


manded the company on Batallion drill
very often the Gapt being away. As this
is a camp of instruction, each Gapt takes
his turn in drilling the Batallion ; I was in
hopes that the Lieuts would be allowed to
do so likewise, as I wanted to see Gol Peet
manovering one thousand men, but 1 have
heard that the privilige would be confined
solely to the Capt. I believe I can manou-
ver the Batallion now as well as I could the
Company when I arrived.

There is a Grand Review on the other
side of the river today, I heard the cannon
firing some time since. I suppose you are
all thinking about Thanksgiving where you
will assemble and who will be there. 1
wish I could be with you for I always enjoy
it so much That was a terrible calamity
which befell the Hydes. the little girl I
remember very well, she was their young-
est and was very much petted.


Now dear Mother I must say good by;
you must not forget me when you are con-
gregated at Libbys.
With much love
I remain

Your affectionate son

Tell Father that the Marine Corps is a
big thing, the best in the army.

Gamp of Instruction
Berdans U S Sharp Shooters
Washington D. G. Nov 23 61.
My Dear Father

It grieves me greatly to hear of your
trouble but I suppose I can not fully ap-
preciate the greatness of your misfortune
as I have always been free from trouble
owing to your care and the kindness with


which you and Mother have watched over
me. I hope you did not think I was at all
vexed when I returned the money which
you sent ; it was done because I can get
along without, for a time at least, until my
next pay day comes.

But what matter is it if you have lost
your money so long as you can have a
house where you can live in quietness the
rest of life. Your children have all grown
up, honored & respected with the excep-
tion of myself, who can hardly yet be
spoken of thus as I have but commenced
the voyage of* life. I hope not to prove a
disgrace, although Mother used to fear I
would be the black sheep.

Wm writes quite often. I received five
letters one night and have written three
this evening. As to my shoes, 1 think you
had better send me some money and have


them made here; it would he better than
having it done in Brooklyn as it will take
the Express a week or two to carry it ; if
we go into Winter Quarters I shall not
need any until my next pay day.

I wish you would send me my rifle as
soon as possible in order to practice. I can
leave it at Gen Wrights when I leave
Washington. The Captain expects to be
in, should he be able to obtain a furlough,
in the course of a week or two. You
might have Mr Terry or Morgan see him
and from him learn what kind of an officer
I make.

I have three more letters to write so I
must say good by, with much love to you
& mother & the family

I remain Your affectionate Son



Gamp of Instruction Berdans USSS
Washington D. C. Nov 29, 61
Dear Father

Your letter inclosing the Bishops arrived
a day or two previous, another one re-
ceived last night from you. Wm wrote me
saying my pistol would he sent on in a few
days, it being the combined present of
Aunty, Taft, Torrance, & Wm. As soon
as received I shall answer Win's letter,
thanking them through him. I go to day
to see Col Wright. Gapt Hastings went to
N. Y. day before yesterday. Thanksgiv-
ing day was celebrated here in the regular
New England way. Service in the morn-
ing at which time the Colonel took occa-
sion to say a few remarks, and ended by
offering $5 for the best shots— each man to
shoot twice, at 40 rods, the man who made
the smallest no. of inches in the shots was


to take the prize. The shots were all fired
off hand, or on the knee. I shall send an
exact fac-simile of the target to you as soon
as possible.

A dinner was given by the New Hamp-
shire company, of which the Col. & Wife,
Major & his Wife, Adjutant & his Wife, to-
gether with the Line officers were present.
We had turkey pie & pudding, all cooked
in camp; after dinner several little speeches
were made by the officers and it all passed
off pleasantly.

The shots at the 40 rods have not yet
been examined, so I can not tell you which
was the best. I must now leave off as Mrs
Berdan has sent me an offer to ride in her
carriage down town. 1 suppose you had a
very pleasant time at Libbys. Give my
love to all and I remain with much love,
Your affectionate Son



[Letter from Bishop Mcllvaine to President Lincoln.]

N. York Nov. 21, 61
My dear Mr President —

A young man, son of an old & special
friend of mine & nephew of Col. Wright,
late of Gen. Scott's staff & now a Lieut of
Col. Berdan's Regt. of Sharpshooters— &
educated at a Military School, earnestly
desires a Lieutenancy in the Marine Corps
— Gov. Morgan has strongly recommended
him to Mr Welles— & Geo. D. Morgan
nephew of Mr Welles has made a special
point with Mr Welles about it, who is well
disposed to favour it. The name is Fred-
erick T. Peet Jr. of Brooklyn N. Y. I
vouch for his high character in every
moral & other respect— earnest devoted to
his country— & just the maw — May I beg
you, my dear Sir— to remember him when
a vacancy occurs.


I sail on Saturday by the Edinburgh for
Liverpool & pray daily for God's guidance
& blessing to you & all who with you bear
the great burdens of our great cause.
Yours very respectfully

Ghas. P. McIlvaine.
The President of the U. S.

Gamp of Instruction
Berdans U S S S
Washington D. G. Dec 6, 1861
My Dear Father

I am in receipt of two of your letters. I
saw Ned Wright yesterday & took dinner
with him, he was as good natured as possi-
ble. Creighton came to camp with Mr
Smetharst. He says Ned has explained it
all. 1 did not ask for particulars as you
will no doubt hear from him in a day or


two I gave Ned Wright my letter from
the Bishop ahout a week ago ; he says that
he will give it to the President in person
and request that it be attended to as a favor
for himself ; he has not been able to see
him as yet, but hopes to soon. He will
draw up an application for me, as he
thinks it will be a reminder to Mr Welles,
whenever he looks over the list of appli-
cants. He also says that the only way for
me to do is to keep pushing it, to have Mr
Morgan or Terry, or any other influencial
man write continually. It is the only way.
He says TatnalPs case has been arrested
some time, still I have hopes that with the
President's consent and Mr Morgan to
push me I shall succeed. I received Moth-
er's Photograph ; it is excellent, it could
not be better, tell her that I ha\e the knife
which she gave me all right.


Ask Aunty to send me her photograph
soon as I may go away before long.

Yours I expect also.

Thank Hatty for her letter and tell her
that she must not be discouraged at my not
writing as I drill all day, but I shall write
my next letter to her. I received one
from Sarah last night. Greighton left me
$7 for shoes. I practice with my rifle &
pistol both, as often as possible. I ran 150
bullets from my pistol a few nights ago.
There is to be another Shooting Match to-
morrow for $5 ; the old target was not
given to me, as I wished it, or I should
have sent it on ; should the one tomorrow
be a good one I will send it.

With love to all I remain

Your Affectionate Son


Please send me another suit of Under-


clothes, also my Aspinwall which I used in
the 7th Regt, and I wish some of the girls
would knit me a cap. F.

Camp of Instruction Berdans USSS
Washington D. G. Dec 15, 61
Dear Father,

It is Sunday evening, I have a fine fire
burning in the fire place and as I may not
write for some time, if I miss this, I take
this opportunity.

Rebekah's carte has been received ; it is
very good, and just such a one as I wanted.
I showed it to Cousin Ned with whom I
took dinner yesterday, he was delighted
and wanted to know if his Wife was not to
have one. I showed him the letter from
Mr. Humphry, and took a copy of the
"Bishops to the President," he not having


yet been able to see Mr. Lincoln. I pur-
pose sending my application with Mr.
Humphrys letter & a copy of the Bishops,
enclosed, to Secretary Welles, & I think
also the one from Geo. Morgan this week,
and let it remain on file. Cousin Ned says
the Officers which you spoke of on the
Hartford were Navy Lieutenants, not Ma-
rines. I should like an entire suit of un-
derclothes, flannel Shirt, under Shirt, draw-
ers, little smaller than the last, & stockings,
also my old black woolen coat (dyed),
with my vest that buttons up high in the
neck, and if possible a pair of white woolen
gloves such as was the fashion last Winter.
Ask Mother to be so good as to pad my
coat & vest as warmly as possible, and to
send on a mince pie if possible.

I called on Miss Bartow & saw her.
Miss Sneeden was there also, but as I had


spent the evening with her a few nights
previous, I did not see much of her, that
evening. Cousin Dora is expected here
before long as Cousin Ned has engaged
rooms. I skirmish the men every day
from 9.30 to 11.30. We generally get
through some six to ten miles of the coun-
try, every day in a different way ; one day
we went to Fort Bunker Hill, and from
thence saw six other forts on the surround-
ing hights. I am well & as happy as I
ever was. Remember me to all at home,
with love I remain Your affectionate Son

I want such a cap as Henry Torrance's.
What relation is Mr Geo D. Morgan to
Mr Welles?


Camp of Instruction Berdans S S
Washington D. G. Dec 22 1861
My Dear Father

I have been waiting for some days to
answer your letter. My application is I
hope safely housed in the War Dept. I
enclosed letters from Hon Wm Humph-
reys & Col Berdans, together with copies
of those from the Bishop & Geo Morgan.
Col Wright says I must keep stirring you
all up in New York & keep you pushing
& shoving until I obtain the position.
There is a Jerseyman trying his hand &
pushing himself very hard, for the same
appt I am very well situated. Winthrop
is one of the best fellows ever lived, and
we are to obtain our commissions from the
U. S. direct. I cant see the difference be-
tween us & the Regulars ; can you ? Col
Grover U. S. A. takes his position tomor-


row. Our Lieut Col. is Capt. Ripley of
Vermont a very fine fellow We expect to
make the Gapt of the Wisconsin Go our
Major. As the Adjutant will leave us for
a few weeks Lieut Winthrop will take his
place and I will act as 1st Lieut. Since I
commenced this letter I have received one
from Mother. I enjoy receiving letters
from Mother as they come so seldom.
Tell Mother I did not take any but my
yellow vest, and the old plaid must be
home, also that I wanted my black coat
merely to save my dress one. Your pho-
tograph is excellent, I received it some
days since ask Aunty to send hers soon,
as I may be ordered away if there is a

Our orderly goes home on a furlough for
the holidays, and will return, it is ex-
pected, with recruits. I will attend a wed-


ding in Washington, Tuesday night, a Miss
Maxwell. She to be married to a Mr.
Eastman of the Navy ; I formed the ac-
quaintance at Gen Wrights. My white
vest will come in play once at least. Cou-
sin Dora with her baby & Uncle Wright
were expected here on Saturday evening.

Unless you can match my coat exactly, I
think it would not be advisable to have it

I send photograph of Lieut Winthrop. I
will send one of the Gapt soon. With a
Merry Christmas to all I remain
Your affectionate Son



Camp of Instruction

Berdans U S Sharp Shooters
Wash Jan 17, 62.
My dear Father.

All right at Gamp. Our rifles are or-
dered by Assistant Sec of War Scott ; the
Colonel read the order a few days ago on
the parade ground, I dont see how there
can be a mistake now. We are to have
Sharpes, double trigger and angular bayo-
net (30 inch). Our sickness is decreasing
only one died last week. Most of our
company invalids are safely and pleasantly
situated in the Indiana Hospital, (Patent
Office) I visit the sick of our company
every day in Gamp, and generally stop a
moment at the Patent Office when in the

I intend going down tomorrow. I have
endeavored to see Mr Odell but as yet


have been unsuccessful in meeting him, or
finding him in, he is residing at Willards.
I remained over night last Monday with
the Captain who has taken a room in F.
St, and endeavoring to get the better of a
cold which has been hanging on for some
weeks. I went to Mr. Odells room but he
was not in. Win sent me a letter to Mr
Roscoe Gonkling, from Oneida county, N.
Y.; he wishes me not to mention my ma-
rine affairs.

I am glad to hear that the Miss Morrells
are to be in town I shall not fail to see

Our men are in want of prayer books.
If the Tract or Bible Society can send us
some I wish you would forward them im-
mediately. We have had none given to
us. Tell Mother I want to see her but
wont get a furlough until we have a fight.


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Online LibraryFrederick Tomlinson PeetCivil war letters and documents of Frederick Tomlinson Peet → online text (page 2 of 9)