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Home > Civil War Sesquicentennial > Grafton Norris Complains Transcript

Grafton Norris Complains Transcript

Camp 11th Maine Volunteers Before Richmond, Va.
January 15, 1865

Luther and Sallie

I received a letter from S- with one enclosed from Juddie sometime in December and have been putting off answering it from day to day and have never got ready towrite.  Either I am lazy or I have to work harder than I amused to doing.  I am now in Command of Co. “C” which is my company and of which I am Captain.  As you know my rank that Sallie asked about last Fall sometime and I forgot to answer her.  There are in the company only about a dozen or fifteen men that have been though the last campaign the other are recruits most all substitutes representing more nationalities thatn there were tongues spoken at Babel. The most of them joined the Co. on the last day of December and they need as much care as so many Children.  Sa only think of having fifty children added to a family and then have to build houses for them all, and teach them to walk and that is nothing to drilling especially when you have Canadian French that cant speak a word of English and you know something of my duties.  I have had to make all my Sergeants and Corporals and teach them their duties.  This is fun.  Eyes-right!  Eyes-Left!  Front!  Right-Face! Front!  Hold your heads up!  Look square to the front.  Place your heels together on a line!  There don’t lop that shoulder. Lean the upper part of the body forward.  Crikky don’t I enjoy it.  This I have heard for two and a half years and am now repeating it continually. I am getting slightly grey and I did think a while ago my eyes were failing as I could not see the lines on a sheet of paper but come to find out I had no window to my house; my teeth are going, in fact I am about done up all on account of a cold in my head. I cant breathe through my nose and you know that is enough to discourage me anytime.  I expect to see Luther out here on this last call but hope he may not have to come  he had better do as Joel did, get a Sub, which is the next thing to murder but then a well sub is better than a sick drafted man who is sure not to find any to many friends in the Army.  I am in hopes that between this and another summer that we shall see indication of Peace plainly  I am more hopeful in regard to the result than I have been since I came soldering.  The old Confederacy is trembling.  Grant and Sherman will tear the old thing down yet.  Gen. Butler is relieved.  Thank God for that. May he never have command of a corporal’s Guard. He has been a perfect nuisance all summer a complete Failure and a damned Tyrant and I am not alone in these sentiments.  He is one of those creatures that would make a man dispise any cause were he connected with it.  He’s gone; I rejoice. You asked me where Archibald Clark was. He has been here stopping with me for a month yesterday he went to Philadelphia to get him a leg is coming back and will do duty yet.  He is worth with one leg more than all the Copperheads in the North.  I fact he is one good honorable fellow such as all men in years to come will have to admire I have two Lieutenants  Frye and Haskell who are notorious for their fighting qualities. Lieut. Frye is here commanding a company with a wound not yet healed received the 16th of August which at the time was supposed would render amputation necessary.  Our Lieut. Colonel who now commands the regiment lost an arm the 16th of August and the stump is so tender yet that he cannot touch it withoug scringing.  Maj. Baldwin was shot through both thighs the 14th of Aug.  he is with us and nearly well only limps a little.  Nelson Norris now a Lieut was shot through the fore arm the ball passing through the side fracturing two ribs has nearly lost the use of one hand  he is on duty Lieut Pane was shot rhough the arm the 14th of August and has but little use of it  came back to the regiment  fought with us the 7th of Oct. and again on the 13th of same month when he struck by a bullet which cut a  piece out of his nose knocked his front teeth out passed through his tongue and down into his throat and had to be taken out through the tongue again he is here for duty  lisps a little but that don’t injure such a man as he is.  These are the officers that are now with us that have been wounded. I might go on with enlisted men for half a dozen pages that have been severely wounded that are now at the front and for duty. Don’t you think these men will admire those Brute at home that have whined for peace for three years.  I have written enough of this kind of composition and now will write Jud a letter and go to bed.

Grafton Norris  Co. C

I have just finished Juddies letter and happened to think about your speaking of Mrs. Chandler.  I have not been to Washington  I should like to hear from her very much.