The following is a letter written by Private Calvin E. Lucas, Co. A, 12th US Infantry. The above image of Pvt. Lucas was obtained from the US Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, Pa.. The text of the letter is revealing in that it gives a history of his service in the 12th., and betrays the emotion of a young man tired of war.
The envelope was addressed to Mr.Calvin S. Lucas, Plymouth, Mass. and postmarked Jan15th,1863. I have endeavored to preserve the spelling and text as they were written in Mr. Lucas' rather stylish cursive script. There are a few words where I am reasonably sure the text below is correct, but not 100%. I think his message is clear despite my feeble effort. -CMP
Dear Father, I thank kind providents that I am permitted to write to you which I thought I should never be allowed that privilege. I received your letter in Emily to day O and I am glad to here you that you are well and in good health. I hope the time will come when I can once more see you. I enlisted in the US army a year ago last Sept. I went for 3 years. I have served about 16 months. I was in Virginia under Gen McClellan. I was all through the 7 days fight before Richmond and I was in 9 general engagements.
I will name them for of course you have heard of them. Gaines mills malvern hill and fair Oaks. O pa I thought of you a good many times. I made up my mind I should never see you again but I hope I shall you said pa that you could get me out I have been thinking that Pa would do me no good for I have not got no particular home you are in one part of the world and ma another Emily and Vester another. I see plainly pa that a little influence will do a great deal amongst our head doctors and Officers don't you think so. O pa I know you are getting Long in years and I want to see you. I don't want you to think that I have have been taught not to love you and forsake you because you had lost your sight. God knows I never did you lost them trying to earn a living for your family and if it is the Lord's will will make you happy. I would have written before but I did not know where you were. I heard that you had gone to california Pa . do you leave(?) any how I wish I was with you. I was made a corporal 13 months ago and in the battle of Gaines mills,2 of our sergeants were killed and I got the other stripe I have got charge of the fatigue gang but I would rather be free. Well it is time for me to go to work give my love to all of my friends and keep a share for your self Please write as soon as you receive this from your affectionate son
Calvin E. Lucas West Philadelphia US Gen Hospital Ward K bed 34
besure and put on the bed and ward
The above text was found in the archives of the US Army Military History Institute, Carlisle Barracks, Pa. 17013-5008 in the Civil War Miscellaneous Collection
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