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February 17, 2013

Letter to Governor Alexander Ramsey and a letter from G. Merrill Dwelle to his sister – February 17, 1863

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

Letter to Governor Ramsey regarding the approval of a bridge over the Blue Earth River (see the February 2, 1863 entry for more):

Head-Quarters, District of Minnesota,
DEPARTMENT OF THE NORTHWEST.
Saint Paul, Minn., February 17th, 1863
His Excy. Alex. Ramsey
Governor of Minnesota,
St. Paul,
Sir,
I have the honor to inform you that I have received a dispatch from the Quarter Master General of the Army dated 10 inst. in which he states that in accordance with my recommendation, approved at Head Quarters of the Department of the Northwest, “Col. Clary, Chief Quarter Master of the Dept., has been directed to take measures to have the bridge across the Blue Earth River at Mankato, built.”
Very respectfully
Your obt. Servant
H.H. Sibley
Brig. Gen. Commanding


Letter from G. Merrill Dwelle to his sister:
U.S. Gen Hospital Camp A
near Frederick Maryland
Feb 17th 1863
Sister Carrie
I seal myself to answer yours of Jan 30th without a single item to fill the pages of the sheet on which I am writing[.] The dull routine of Hospital life brings no incidents that we can note like the active field duty of last summers campaign[,] but even then I was always so near exhausted by the fatigues of the long marches that I did not usually have the spirit to write the half that could have been written that would have interested you all. I kept a note of each days occurrences up to the time that we went into camp at Harrisons Landing but after that I felt as if I had not the energy to tax my brain to fill up the pages of a book that would interest no one but myself and ten chances to one I would never read it over again so my trouble would be for nothing, and then I would have cheated idleness of her portion of a soldiers life, which seems to be an essential contribution to our ever willing companion[.] My notes now lies up in the store room packed away in my knapsack, Peace be to its slanders!
About the only thing I can note of a strange nature as occurring in camp is that we were all favored yesterday with a change of shirts.the first for four weeks for some of the men. Such a display of linnen I never saw before, every size and pattern. If Barnum had a number of the most curious ones on exhibition for a few days his museum would be crowded until the novelty wore off. Some of them would hang to the floor on the tallest man[,] others were so short they would just need the pants some were open before others behind and others on the side, I got one of the long ones but not the longest. I wish I could have sent one home that I had once, to give some idea of the size it would well nigh cover the garden spot where you live.  It is a shame the way many of the men have been used in regard to a change of clothing[.] many of the men have had to wear their shirts four or five weeks. I have hired mine washed so I have not suffered like many of them. I am somewhat supprised at the wedding you mentioned in your letter as going to occur in the spring. Who would a thunk it[.] I used to tease Geo. about her before he went home but I did not think he had any idea of taking her to wife[.] Strange event, not so strange either considering both parties. When you see May tell her that I have looked long, anxiously, patiently, wishfully and hopefully, for that promised letter. I suppose it is my fault that [Tirsa] has not heard from me, not so much mine either as, after we left Harrisons Landing I had no writing materials with me yet I wrote her at Lake City on a piece of paper that one of the boys has in his pocket. I presume the letter never reached her as we were on the march[,] although I gave it to the Regimental Post Master. Furnish me with her address next time you write will you[?] I have not heard from Gus, since I left Minn it is my own fault as I neglected writing him[.] Millie writes often[;] is one of the promptest correspondents I have, had it not been for her I should have thought all my friends had deserted me. Millie makes the same complaint that you do, speaks of getting letters from Debora. Did they seem to think a great deal of each other[?] Millie has often spoke of her in the highest terms, in her letters.
The photographs will appear in time[.]
I am still on the mend but, have been suffering from a pain in  or near the wound lately, but I guess it is nothing serious[.] I have helped the nurse about bringing up the rations which has caused a greater exertion[.] Write me soon and answer that pile of gossips in question in my last, please!
Merrill

See whole letter: 1863-02-17_Dwelle_whole

Citations:
February 17, 1863, Letter from H.H. Sibley, Letters Received–District of Minnesota. Minnesota: Governor: Ramsey. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives. Minnesota Historical Society. [111.E.20.4F]
February 17, 1863, Letter from G. Merrill Dwelle to Carrie, Correspondence, 1863. G. Merrill Dwelle papers. Minnesota Historical Society. [A/ .D989]

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