September 25, 1862
I received your kind and welcome letter. I was very glad to hear from you and the boys and all friends. My health is good. You would like to know about my eating and drinking. I have more than I need. Last Saturday night four of my tent [mates] were out on picket. We took two loaves of bread with us. I don’t spread the butter quite as thick as I did at home.
I will do nothing but drill a little and keep my gun clean. We get our cooking for twenty-five cents a month but is very cheap. I think we get coffee twice a day, morning and evening. I had a can of soup for dinner a yard and a half long. I have a good blanket & a knapsack. I have had no chance yet to send my clothes home. I will keep my two shirts, my old shoes I left at Camp Curtin.
People are cutting their corn here. I haven’t seen any plowing done here yet. We are on a high place, We can see a great ways. We can see [the Fort] Dix Battery. ¹ I was at their place. I suppose there will be a battle. The rebels want to break the railroad bridge. ² Our men have six cannons planted on the battery.
Company A [had a man injured] on the railroad. One man laid down to sleep with his head on the track. The engine come along and the sand pipe struck him in the back of the head and drug him up the track and hurt him pretty bad. He is getting better.
Nothing more at present but remember your dear husband till death, — Jacob C. Claar
¹ The 15th New York Independent Battery was stationed at the Relay House in Maryland in September 1862 also. It was under the command of Capt. Henry J. McMahon.
² Claar is no doubt referring to the “Washington Viaduct”—the stone railroad bridge spanning the Patapsco River at the Relay House. It was heavily guarded during Lee’s Maryland Campaign in September 1862.