1861: Robert W. Christie to George Christie

These two letters were written by Robert W. Christie (1839-1862) who enlisted at LaPorte, Indiana, as a private in Co. E, 29th Indiana Volunteers. He died at Nashville, Tennessee on 15 May 1862.

Robert was the oldest son of Scottish emigrants George Christie (1806-1880) and Margaret Ritchie (1812-1872) of Bluegrass Post Office, Wayne township, Fulton county, Indiana.


Camp Jackson ¹
LaPorte, Indiana
October 4 [1861]

Dear Parents,

I thought I would write you a few lines to let you [know] that I am well at present and hope that you are the same and to let you know that we have to leave tomorrow morning for Indianapolis for to be equipped so you can wait till you hear from me again. I will write you as soon as we arrive there.

Last night a captain and five men brought in a secesh from Plymouth—the one that stabbed a soldier some six weeks ago. ² He was tried by civil law and discharged so the colonel ordered him to be brought into camp. He swears that he will die before he will take the oath so I suppose we will have the job of hanging him. Five more men has gone to bring his son-in-law to camp but they have not got back yet.

The men are all in high glee with the thought of leaving. No more at present.

I remain your fond and doting son, — Robt. Christie

¹ Camp Jackson was located at Stanton’s Grove, one mile east of LaPorte, near Stone Lake, on land owned by Elijah Stanton. It was only in existence for three months.

15Aug1861MarshallCtyRepublic² The 15 August 1861 issue of the Marshall County Republican reported that “Late yesterday afternoon Samuel Wolf, a volunteer in Captain Casey’s company, and James Thompson, an avowed secessionist, got into an altercation about the war, and during the rumpus, while someone was holding Wolf to prevent him from striking Thompson, it is supposed, Thompson cut Wolf across the abdomen. inflicting a dangerous wound, it is said. He also cut Wolf twice on one of his arms but these wounds are not serious. As soon as it became generally known that was Wold was dangerously stabbed an excited crowd collected and some were in favor of lynching Thompson, but Sheriff Barnard interfered and prevented any kind of the kind, taking Thompson under his charge, and promising to keep him safely until morning. As we go to press, 9 p.m., the crowd was pretty well dispersed, and there seems to be no great danger of a popular outbreak.”

22Aug1861PlymouthWeeklyDemocratA week later, the Plymouth Weekly Democrat reported on 11 August 1861, “For the past week Plymouth has been in a grand ferment. A great many have been in danger of losing their lives a great many times. Men with scowling eyebrows and the scent of bad whiskey on their breath have been prevalent. All this excitement was occasioned by the affray mentioned in our last week’s paper. A mob gathered for the avowed purpose of dealing with Thompson (who was charged with having stabbed Wolf,) in a summary manner, and would have done so, perhaps, had not the sheriff smuggled him away in a manner totally unexpected to them. Mr. Barnard managed to get Thompson in jail before the mob, which had by this time arrived, had damaged anybody. For that and two succeeding nights, the jail and the road to Thompson’s house was guarded in order, we presume, to prevent Thompson’s friends from carrying off the jail. He was examined on the night of his arrest, before Esquire Tattle, and held to bail for his appearance at the next term of the Circuit Court in the sum of $15,000, which he gave on Saturday….”



aacivchris1 - Version 2

Addressed to Mr. George Christie, Blue Grass, Fulton county, Indiana

Camp Wood
December 25, 1861

Dear Parents,

I arrived in camp a [few] moments ago and received two letters from father and one from Jane with a box in it. One of the letters was wrote at Louisville. Was sorry that after you had come so far that you had to go back though I got along fine. I was a a house all the time—part of the time at a private house and part at a public house at Nolin ¹ where I wrote my last letter. I am comparatively well at present. Have a slight cold and cough.

The road from Nolin to camp is rough and uneven with high hills of solid rock. Hills off from the road looked like as if they were an hundred feet high covered with brush and rock. The camp is situated on Green river a few rods from camp [and] about a mile from the railroad where the provisions come to [us] and where we got from the cars. I have not been [here] long and have not much to write but you need not be uneasy about me for I was taken good care of when sick. I am now able for duty but will not have [to] go on soon.

I remain your fond son, — Robert

¹ Robert has stated that he was at “Nolin” but there was no such place. A review of the regimental history leads me to conclude that he meant Camp Nevin, Kentucky where it was encamped for some time.

Scene at Camp Wood, 1861



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