January 1, 1864
What was life like during the American Civil War at Fort Marion in St. Augustine, Florida?
Private Elias Sherwood Peck, of Greenwich Connecticut can help us answer that question. Pvt. Peck wrote letters home during his stay with the 10th Connecticut Infantry Regiment, and his great grandson, Christopher Peck, shared those letters with us. For the next several months we will be sharing these letters as they were written over 150 years ago.
Fla Jan 1st 1864
It is new years day and I am on convalessance camp guard. It is a windy chilly day. Today the colored people hear had quite a time they had a platform fixed up In the park and had our chaplain and the 24th and the minester that Is teaching them to deliver speaches and had two brass bands our and the 24th after the speaking was over they went up stairs in the court house where they had a big dinner. Last night our band played the old year out and the new year in although it rained hard. Perhaps you would like to know what I had for new years dinner It was rice & molasses. A boat came out opposite the harbor but it was so rough that she could not come in. She sent the mall on shore and then put back to Fernandine. I got one letter it was from Lib and father dated Dec 19th I suppose father got that $10.00 check. I sent home & that picture of St Augustine I got my red shirt. Last night we saw a large light off In the woods. It was rebel camp fires. There was 21 of our men take prisoner in stead of 15 and one man killed. The rebel officer appeared to be a gentleman. He hollered to his men not to shoot our but run them down and take them prisoners. He told our officer that he was sorry he was wounded but he would not help it. He would not let his men take the Lieut or Burns watch and he put a pillow under the Lieut head when he left and told him that he was agoing to come down hear some night and surprise the town. There was 100 men out today as woodchopper guard. Wm Burns Is put up the same as Salter and will be sent home with him. If coal is so high this winter what in the world dose father burn It for when he has got lots of wood.