Frederick Tomlinson Peet.

Civil war letters and documents of Frederick Tomlinson Peet online

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Dec 27, 62

I have just finished a letter to Wm do
you know that I have returned to my old
love McGlellan? the testimony in the
Court Martial shows that he left 70,000
men around or within call of Washington,
also the rebels themselves state that they
were nearly beaten on the Peninsular, and
would have been, had McDowal been al-
lowed to cooperate with us.


I had a letter from Major Hastings who
says that the army have no confidence in
Burnside and none in the Government.

I hope that McGlellan will return to
command the army. If the Government
did not send supplies to his army after An-
tietam he was right in remaining until he
was supplied. Also it was excusable in re-
monstating against the order taking him
from the Peninsular. I wish you would
tell Charley & George this, and tell them
to tell Dora Wright.

I shall send some presents next week.
Your affec brother


Marine Barrack

Washington Jan 1, 63
Dear Rebekah.

I enclose $20 for Hatties Watch Chain,

if you think best I will give you more next


month, but this is all I can spare now as I
have to pay $25 for mess and $20 for my
watch. Get the chain as soon as possible ;
get some one to advance more money if
you cant get a good one for this and I will
pay them next month. I cant pay Father
anything this month or next, for next I pay
Creighton, $22.

I am on duty as Officer of day, it is
rather hard luck to be on Christmas Mon-
day & again today, but it cant be helped.
I suppose you all had a nice time to day.

Tell Mother I will write to her next.

I have forgotten whether I answered
Wms letter, however I have nothing to say-
but that I am all right, love to all

Your affec brother



Camp near Falmouth, Ya.
2 Jany. 1863-
My Dear Peet—

I cannot tell you how pleased I was to
hear from you a few days ago— Your let-
ter, so fresh, so gay, so lively, so charac-
teristic—was indeed a new sensation, and
you may be sure, a most agreeable one — I
rejoice in your good fortune & good posi-
tion—We here have suffered a good deal of
fatigue, exposure, disgust and pain — since
we left Sharpsburg ; and I can most ear-
nestly congratulate you that you are else-
where than with us:— for all our exposure
on the march, in the camp— in the field —
has been without profit or honest result to
us or to the Country — At Fredericksburg,
though not sent in, upon any of those suici-
dal charges, — we did a good deal of haz-
ardous outpost duty — the roughest picket

Cmi « <s LBItntS kli OQMBNTS

practice 1 ever went through with — and 1

never passed .1 night more anxious than
that last one when in the Jim gra% of a cold
rainy morning we silently withdrew! our
picket line, expecting every instant to be
attacked — I never knew a more ralrast hat-
tie than this \\.js; tor our poor bo\ s it was
■ charge — "into the jaw s of death, into the
mouth of hell" — Rut perhaps the most
drear> point of the whole eventful five
days — was the desolation of the City: —
nearly every house riddled with canister or
spherical case — many consumed by tire —
all standing with doors c\ windows open —
furniture, books, crockery, provisions
scattered tar and wide. But 1 should not
grie\ e over Fredericksburg and its Battle
— The President tells us w e had a "suc-
cess" there — the Congressional Committee
sa% — "no one was to blame"— and we rind


Halleck, Stanton, & Hurnside still in their
places — All this proves that the episode
was a healthy and satisfactory one, I sup-

What do they in Washington suppose we
are — we of this Army? Do they think we
are babies, or milk sops, or darn fools — to
listen weakly while they gloss over our
terrible disaster and their egregious folly
and mistakes!

We returned yesterday from a recon-
noisance in force across the Rappahan-
nock, which was very fatiguing but quite
lively — The principal and daring part was
done by the 1st Brigade— with 3 compa-
nies of S. S.-"B.," "G," and "H," as
skirmishers in the front, under the Major.
We forded the River in the face of their
picket fire — at Richard's Ford — then
marched six miles on the other side to

FJhV Ford, where we recrossed & bivou-
acked — On the march we had frequent tir-
ing with the enemy's cavalry scouts, and
took several p risoner? — Three of my best

- : - _5. a v .- . - . ■

forma") had some good practice, and

. : ~e i . . - - -_- -. ir.z ?:y::'.
winch they took from a prisoner, both
the mark of the palmetto, and made in
Tiwalli Carolina. Fording the River ■ r
the waist was frightfully cold — my high
. . tz : Rizt- - ZK—ir.z
k took me nearly all night to dry them —
Thaw I saw the old year out & the new
year in. How differently jw, my boy,

«s Potts is certainly very kind to re-
member me — Please acknowledge to her

m Jf

•The Gone 6c the Saddle"—* .* just tbe
book you wiD like — We have been enter-

:-::.;: x i ■ i itri. ■■•:::. ±e '■ !- — e» :
•Los Miserables**— Also the Pamphlets of

the Prince deJoinviUe, & Gurowski. tbe
itsv.rr. :■?.]• i: :.-.. M . L, ; - A Porter

-:s Mi::.i-.-; the Re::: :
Hi..-.-..-. : the >-.;-• :: War — arte -;■■: iea*:

the Prussia:. C ..:.-.-. .:. :h = C • :'. :izt


•'■ r. . e have take:
A char £:-es :-:: .

courts :: .:....:•. e:c. e:c. etc — ar.j
find out whax . i i and what nefii

r. a c = ::a:r. iay. Thus. :r. this .::::
a|e. H: story : « s . . . »■= _r . r. ;■;::•


Weston returns soon to the Regt. I will
write him to find you when he goes
through Washington— There will be "an
instance" of "Buhler's," I think— when you
two meet ! Quis concursus !

The Major has reed your letter— Write
to us as often as you are in the humor ; re-
member how glad we always must be to
hear from you— Thank you for liking my
sisters they had written to me about meet-
ing and liking you —
Answer my dear Peet.
Your friend & comrade
W....W. Winthrop
Capt. Gomdg "H" Go.
1st Rgt. U S S S.
1st Div. 5th Corps
Army of the Potomac.


Marine Barracks

Washington Jan 9. 63

Dear Mother

1 have not yet answered your letter so 1

will attempt it now.

Every thing goes on here as usual, I am
on duty every three or four days.

I received letters from Major Hastings
& Capt Winthrop; both are well, and hav-
ing a pretty tough time on the Rappahan-

My New Years was very dull, it having
been spent at the barracks. I was invited
to a party last Monday but being on duty
could not avail myself of it. I shall try to
get to Brooklyn this spring. I understand
that Miss Sneeden is to come on before

She will not find it as gay here as she did
last Winter.


I am surprised that you all like my last
carte I think it is horrible.

Tell Rebekah to get Hatties present before
she writes to me again. My Merchaum is
coloring beautifully. You will be pleased
when you see it; dont you think so?

I am now in No 3, with such a blazing
fire in the stove that I am reminded of my
room in Brooklyn — George — & his gas
stove. I had a letter from Harry Hubbell
last week. Also one from Robert. Major
Hastings has just stopped in to see me on
his way to N. Y. I had a pleasant time
talking over the fights etc etc on the Penin-
sular. If possible I will go back for a day
or two with him to the Sharp Shooters, and
see how they get on.

I receive letters from Charley & George
every few days, tell George I will answer
his letter in a short time.


Lt Col Ripley who was in our S. S. &
wounded at Malvern Hill, wrote me a few
days ago.

I wonder why Wm dont write, I have
received no letter from him since I notified
him of the fact that I had returned to Mc-
Glellan again. The weather lately has
been brown in the mornings but lighter
towards night. Tell Father that the trou-
ble with the Monitor was that she was not
braced where the upper deck extended
over the lower.

[Drawings given here]

so when the sea raised her bows up of
course she struck the water heavily as she
sunk again and so wrenched off the upper
from the lower hull She sunk in 2 hours
from the time the leakage commenced.
The other Iron Glads are heavily braced,


so there is no danger of an occurance of

the same sort again.

With love to all I am

Your affectionate Son

Mrs. F T Peet.

General Orders 1 Navy Dept Feb 10. 63

No 5. j*

The following general order of the Presi-
dent is published for the information and
government of the officers & others of the

Naval Service.

Gideon Welles

Sec of Navy.

Executive Mansion
Wash ton Nov 15, 62
The President, Commander-in-chief of
the Army & Navy, desires and enjoins the
orderly observance of the Sabbath by the


officers and men in the Military & Naval
Service. The importance for man and
heast of the prescribed weekly rest, the
sacred rights of Christian soldiers and sail-
ors, and a due regard for the Divine will,
demands that Sunday labor in the Army
& Navy be reduced to the measure of
strict necessity.

The discipline and character of the Na-
tional forces should not suffer, nor the
cause they defend be imperiled, by the
profanation of the day or name of the Most

"At this time of public distress," adopt-
ing the words of Washington in 1776, "men
may find enough to do in the service of
God & their Country without abandoning
themselves to vice and immorality." The
first General Order issued by the Father
of his Country after the declaration of In-


dependence, indicates the spirit in which
our institutions were founded and should
ever be defended :

"The General hopes & trusts that every
officer and man will endeavor to live and act
as becomes a Christian soldier, defending the
dearest rights & liberties of his Country."

Abraham Lincoln.

Marine Barracks

Wash ton 21, Feb 63.
Dear Mother.

I am on duty to day, & have just finished

a letter to Adams my old chum. How sad

it was about Dr. Cutler, but of course it is

all for the best. I suppose he was as good

and earnest a Christian as any living, and

he no dout has reaped his reward ee'r this.

As I am off duty tomorrow 1 shall go to


Dr Halls. Mrs Potts has made me prom-
ise to take dinner with her.

I did so the last Sunday I was off duty,
she was kind enough to ask me to dinner
every Sunday, they are all — even Old Potts
himself members of Dr Halls church.

Lent has stopped all parties, I stopped
into the church near here, a few days ago,
where there were only 3 people including
myself. The minister is a good but not a
brilliant man, he is the one who reminds
me of Pickwick. I am expecting a letter
from Robert every day, received one from
Julia, Wm, Charley, & John Rutherford
yesterday. I dont care if John is the
greatest exquisite in town, he is a mighty
good fellow. Gapt McCauley asked to
have me sent to Brooklyn but the Col said
there were enough there at present, so I
am booked for a month or two yet. I in-


close an account of Gapt. Woodhulls fu-
neral, where I officiated. We were all in
full dress, epaulettes plumes etc ; we aston-
ished the natives.

I had forgotten that Robert had two
babies, the fact is I cant keep the run of
our family.

What Miss Peet was that married in
New York lately?

I have forgotten whether there were any
questions to be answered in your last let-
ter, so I cant answer them even if there

With love to all

1 remain Your affectionate Son



Marine Barracks

Washington Apl 11, 63
Dear Father

I am on duty to day so cant go to church.

To day is very warm although cloudy.

All the Officers are in town and I am
rather bunged up, I suppose the change of
weather has that effect on every one.

I take the pen to answer your letter, but
have no news to tell except that Gapt Mc-
Cauley & wife arrived yesterday and are
up stairs at this present moment if I may
judge from the way their bell has been
ringing for the last few minutes. Gen
Wright has been assigned to a Dpt in Ten-
nessee, so I suppose we can not expect
Harry for some time yet.

Two officers are to be sent from Brook-
lyn to sea so I may have a chance yet of
seeing you.


I cant think what else to say, nothing is
going on here.

Give my love to all the family.

Your Affectionate Son

I am glad to hear that Libby is improv-

Marine Barracks

Washington Apl 19, 63.
Dear Father

I am about to go to bed but will try to
write you a few lines before that happy
event is accomplished.

The day has been very warm towards
evening however it was quite pleasant. I
walked up town this morning and heard
Dr Hall preach a very excellent sermon,
his assistant preached in the afternoon.

Mr. Humphreys has just reported here


for duty he is a pleasant, gentlemanly and
steady fellow, he graduated at the Naval
Academy and when he received his com-
mish— in our corps was acting Lieut on the
Frigate Potomac.

He and I are to study together the
"parlez-vous" like a Frenchman. His
family are from Hartford.

We met Sec Welles and son on Penn Av
this afternoon and stopped to talk with
them some few moments.

Tell Mother that I guess her dream was
a hum bug for I am at present "a// right."
I am not dead yet. What was the dream
about. I should like to know for I am a
believer in dream sometimes, viz when they
come true.

I am having a very pleasant time. My
dogs are well and growing. Tell Fred
Terry if he will tell me how to send one to
him I will do so.


At present I am the owner of three
spaniels— valued (by me,) at $25 each.
When they are full grown and trained they
will be worth $50 each.

I go to sleep sometimes with all three of
them on me. Lt Wallace stretched him-
self out on three chairs one day and
dropped to sleep, when he awoke he found
two dogs on his chest and one under his
chair. I took them on the Potomac Fri-
day and two of them became sea sick.

I have to answer letters from Wm, Char-
ley, Rebekah, Lt Adams, Harry Hubbell,
and another friend, so I will write one a
day until they are all cancelled.

Give my love to all

Your Affectionate Son

F T. Peet Esq


iMarine Barracks

Washington Apl 29, 63
Dear Mother

I had a letter from Rebekah a short time
ago who says that you dont exactly fancy
my writing such short and unsatisfactory
letters, but I cant excuse myself except by
saying that I hate letter writing especially
when nothing occurs but things which I
know you dont care about knowing such
as new acquaintances, flirtations with pretty
girls etc etc. however I will see if I can by
any possible way make this letter more ac-

Lt Nye now stationed in Brooklyn I
heard has been ordered to Norfolk if so, I
may get a peep at you all before long.
Yesterday I received a letter from Lt
Adams, my old chum, he is at present off
Mobile, on the Colorado flag-ship ; he re-


ports himself well and sober not having
tasted any whiskey since he left Washing-
ton, he has charge of a 11 inch gun.

I called on Miss Wright yesterday and
learned that Gen Wright had returned, but
did not see him as he was out.

Harry is I suppose in New York. I
hope I may get a chance to see him before
he takes the field again.

I serenaded with the help of Lt Wallace
night before last several young and charm-
ing females. We had a beautiful night for
it, plenty of star light and a good share of
the cheese. Our band numbers 29 pieces
but six were absent, and you may well be-
lieve we made "night hideous" and "Rome
howl." One of the ladies threw me the
sweetest kind of a little spotted and worked
handkerchief, which I have now in my
drawer. 1 take it out and smell it every


now and then just to remind me of the time
when it came floating down from the bal-
cony. I was at Admiral Dalgrens that
evening, so on the way home we gave him
or rather his daughter two little pieces. In
all we serenaded 4 houses between 12.30
& 1.30 A.M.

I have some thing to tell which no doubt
will be appreciated— viz— for two days I
did not smoke, on the 3d I came down to
one pipe and two cigars, and to day I have
smoked but one pipe and three cigars.

Lemons and sugar I still adhere to which
with four cups of coffee is about my daily
drink. My Mess bill for this month will
be, counting unpaid debts for the last two
months, $46. We have now so few officers
and so many servants that it takes about
thirty odd dollars a month, which is more
than 1-3 of our pay. I should judge that I


must be regaining my strength for I put up
a 6 lb dumb-bell to day with the greatest

I wish you would send me a history of
England and France.

Tell Harry Hubbell I wont write until
he returns to the army as he cant have
time when in New York to answer it.

How do you like my new carte which I
sent to Wm.

It is past 11 P. M. so I will say "Good
night" and turn in.

Love to Father, Libby, Aunty, Hattie,
Gn, & Ge. I dont ask after Libbys health
for Wm keeps me posted. I have written
two or three times to him since he had a
daughter and each time forgot all about it.
Your Affectionate Son



Marine Barracks

Washington May 9th 63
Dear Father

We have had great news from the Poto-
mac Army, for the last few days there has
been quite an excitement here among all
classes from the "intelligent contraband"
upwards. Our expectations were at their
highest when the news came of our retreat.
The rumor is again about that Fighting Joe
has recrossed and is again at work. This
seems to me to be the only way left, for
now is the time to operate successfully
against Lee, before the latter can repair

I met Mr. Beecher in Willards yester-
day ; he was of the opinion that Hooker
would have hard work in crossing the sec-
ond time, as the reb's would be on the look-
out for him. He mentioned having seen


you a day or two ago. Henry Beecher
4th U. S. Artillery was engaged in the Suf-
folk fight, but was uninjured.

The weather since Hookers return has
been rainy, to day however is again like
spring, the trees are in full bloom and the
Capitol grounds are looking beautifully.
The statue of America, by Crawford, is to
be on the top of the dome by the 4th of
July. Tomorrow I shall go to Dr. Halls
church and return before dinner. I see
the man bringing the letters ; I hope there
is one for me, for however great my dislike
to write, receiving of them is equally pleas-

Wm writes me that his boat is nearly fin-
ished. I shall still hope to some time this
summer sail in it. 1 should like to have
my dogs sent to Brooklyn as they are get-
ting large and a little troublesome. I have


invitation to the reception of Major & Mrs
Smith, who stood up with Gapt McCauley,
they are to be married next Thursday.
She is a Miss McBlair, he is a son of Gen
Smith of Buffalo. My coat is getting so
shabby that I will soon be obliged to either
get a new one or stay in my room, both
alternatives being particularly disagreeable,
for you know I hate confinement of any
kind, and I think you are aware that my
bank has long since stopped specie pay-

Give my love to all at home & to Harry,
when you happen to see him.

Affectionately Your Son

(turn over)

I saw Major Hastings before he left for
N. Y. he is wounded in the knee.

Lt Baker of our corps will be in Brook-


lyn for a week or two, I have given him
our direction. I suppose he will call on
you. he was on the Congress when the
the Merrimac came out and sank the Cum-
berland; ask him about it. F

The Majors wound is not very serious,
he was struck Sunday morning.

Marine Barracks

Washington May 23d
Dear Father

Today is Sunday and very warm. Ur

Richmond who created quite a furor some

time since has turned out to be a crazy

man. I was sitting on the front porch this

morning talking to some of the officers

when the Dr passed and went in the gate

to the mens barracks. A few minutes

after a carriage drove up and a man

stepped out. I being on duty rose to


meet him. He informed me that he was
in search of Dr Richmond so I sent a man
to direct him where he was. He was ar-
rested by order of Sec Stanton. I went up
to see the affair and found him giving testa-
ments to the music-boys. They took him
to the Insane Asylum over the river. I
understand that he was an Austrian pris-
oner, and obtained his relief on the certifi-
cate of insanity.

It is as hot now as it is in Brooklyn in
August. I wish you would send me my
old brown straw hat and everything else I
may have home that can replace my heavy
clothing. Wm has found a purchaser for
my watch. I hope with the proceeds to
pay you my debts. It is a better watch
than I will have again for a long time I
fear. I had the band out Serenading on
Friday night.


I played for Miss Wright, Potts, & Kin-
ney ; arrived home at 2.20 A.M. The
only results of my labour being a bou-
quette which Miss Kinney threw me. I
was sitting on her front steps. We had
played the "Duet from Norma" and as I
did not see any light in the window or hear
any noise in the house I said to the leader,
"The lady was to leave town tomorrow
morning its quite possible she may have
gone to night, so play a little waltz and we
will go." I had not more than finished the
sentence when down came the bouquette,
so I gave them the benefit of another schot-
tiche. If I have any white pantaloons or
thin underclothes send them ere I melt. I
have smoked much less this month than
formerly. I saw Harry Hubbell some
time, before his departure. How much do
I owe you? Give my love to Mother and


the girls, and tell Hatty to thank Mrs Salt-
ers for sending my gloves.

Your affectionate Son


Marine Barracks

Washington June 8th 63
Dear Father

The weather is quite chilly. Saturday
was warm Sunday was cool to day is cooler
still. Your letter reached me last week.
I dont think Miss Hydes death was as un-
expected as you imagine. Several months
ago, when I saw her I was told by her
friends that she had a very suspicious
cough, and I knew that she had been rid-
ing for her health. She was a very sweet
girl and must be a great loss to her family
as they thought every thing of her. I re-
ceived the cards of Mr Whighthouse &
Miss Worthington. I have ordered two


blue coats, one cloth & one flannel as my
Lesurer was getting about as seedy as the
law allows, it is eaten up with moths, and
a patch in it as large as this sheet of paper.
I will have to get some more underclothes
soon. I bought 3 pr pants (white) from
one of our men ; as we are not allowed to
draw them, we get the men to do it for us
and then pay them, they cost me 1.25 each.
I have no room mate now as Lt Humph-
reys has been ordered to Cairo, which is
considered the most undesirable post in
the Service. As soon as there is a va-
cancy I expect to be ordered to Brooklyn.
I sent my two dogs on last Wednesday.
Charley wrote me from DesMoines last
week. I smoked but about 1-2 as much
tobacco last month as usual. I have in-
quired about Mr Morsells church & Sun-
day-school, he has quite a large school and


his church is well filled on Sundays. I
went there on Ash Wednesday, when
three persons including myself composed
the congregation. He is a very good man
but not a genius, by any manner of
means, far from it ! I understand that Col
Harris leaft his church because he was a
little Seceshy. I called on Sec Welles
twice last week, and met him on the Street
Sunday. He inquired after you all.

I study two hours a day when not on
duty I am now brushing up on Ancient &

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Online LibraryFrederick Tomlinson PeetCivil war letters and documents of Frederick Tomlinson Peet → online text (page 7 of 9)