Wednesday, May 8, 2013

April 24, 1863: Lt. James Prall & the 31st NJ Regt.

On April 24, 1863, Lieutenant James Prall, of Company I, 31st NJ Volunteer Infantry Regiment, wrote to his parents in Belvidere.  Some of this letter became illegible because of water damage.  

Prall wrote, "Dear Father & Mother: I once more this afternoon endeavor to write to you  another letter to let you know how I am getting along.    I are still enjoying the blessing of good health  for which I are very thankful...I got a letter from Marsh Summers.  He is getting better.  He say he is in Philadelphia.
[Marshall Summers, of Belvidere, enlisted in the 3rd New York Cavalry in December 1861 and transferred to Company G of the 1st New Jersey Cavalry in April 1862.  He was wounded in the face by two saber cuts at Brandy Station on June 9, 1863, was captured & paroled. He was killed in action at Culpepper Plantation, VA on October 13, 1864.]

"I have been telling you that we have been expecting to move for sometime.  I meant a forward movement of the whole army.  We have moved out of Camp. We moved on last Sunday morning before daylight.  We started about three o.c. in the morning and moved about three miles down the Potomac on a very nice plain along the river near where [we] have our Reviews.  Our whole Brigade is laying near us now.  Such weather as we have had this week ought to be scarcer this time of year.  We have had but one clear day.  Rained all the week and today it rains and blows...We are lying in our shelter tents and I do say I are not much in favor of shelter tents in stormy weather.  In dry weather they are about as good as any.  We are still expecting to move [and] still keep eight days rations in hand all ready packed, ready to move out at one hours notice but if it keeps on raining I don't think we will move very soon for the roads will soon be as bad as they were in the winter.  But I hope we will soon have nice weather again.  We have a fine view of the Potomac River here.  I suppose that we have about eight weeks to stay yet our time will be out on the Seventeenth day of June. That will soon slip away but we can't tell what that time may bring forth.  Governor Parker is down here in the army of the Potomac. He is to be here tomorrow.  I suppose he will Review this Brigade if it does not storm.  We have not received any pay yet nor we don't know when we will but I hope we will soon.
"Elijah Burd is in our tent now getting the mail ready to go out but I will not send this until tomorrow for I thought I will get one to night so now I will stop and finish this letter tomorrow.
"It is now Sunday evening.  I received Clark's letter of the 13th.  I was glad to hear that you was all well and I received a notice again from Washington that there was another letter there for me which I will have to send the notice to  [H.D.] Swayze again and he will send it on to me.  When you write to me again let me know whether you have the letters that you   send with money in Registered or not.  I think you must or they would not stop there.  The paymaster came down to day and I expect he will pay us tomorrow or Sunday.  You need not send me any more money now until I write for it again.  Col. Jonathan Cook from Trenton, the man that receives the money for the New Jersey Soldiers and sends it home for them, was here to day and will be here when we are paid and I will send what money I can spare with him the same as I did before.  I received a letter from Thomas Lommasson to night.  He is about the same as he has been for some time.  I will be glad for him when his time is out for he has had a hard time of it.  I will now close for this time and write you again as soon as we get our pay and let you know  what I send home.  Hoping this may find you all enjoying the same good health that I are, I remain your son, James Prall.  Write as often as you can, all of you."
[Thomas Lommasson (or Lomason), of Oxford (now White Township), was discharged by the regimental surgeon on May 31, 1863.]
Copyright 1999-2013: Jay C. Richards 

No comments:

Post a Comment