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January 29, 2012

Letter from 15 year old soldier to his mother – January 29, 1862

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Transcription of an excerpt from page 1 of a letter from Private Charles Goddard of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, to his mother, Catherine Smith, from Camp Stone. Goddard claimed to be eighteen years old upon volunteering to serve with the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. In fact, he was fifteen years old.

“Camp Stone Jan 29th 1862
Dear Mother[,] I received your letter while on reserve picket at Conrads Ferry[.] I think we had the finest time on picket of any time I have ben on [.] we were back from the river and had only one guarde and he only on during night[.] there was [17] files so that there was nothing for us to do[,] only shoot at a mark and hunt squirrels and any thing we had a mind[.] I see you have not received my letter stating that the box had come and that there was something in it that a fellow don’t get in the army evry day[.] There is nothing of much interest going on in camp. I suppose you have heard that our Conel [Colonel] N J T Dana is apointed Brigadier General […]“

See full letter: 1862-01-29_full_text

Citation: January 29, 1862 Letter from Charles Goddard to his mother, Correspondence 1853-1862. Smith, Orrin Fruit and Family Papers, 1829-1932. Minnesota Historical Society

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