[Camp Relay at the “Relay House,” between Baltimore and Washington]
September 4, 1862
I take my pencil in hand to inform you that I am well t present and hoping that these few lines may find you all in the same state of health and I hope that the friends are all well.
We have good times here plenty—plenty to eat and drink and not much to do. We have about a half bushel of bred in our box.
We drill three times a day and once in dress parade in the evening—a thousand men in two files. It makes a nice string. Last evening four officers brought seventeen deserters from General Pope’s Division to Camp Relay. This morning at three o’clock, they were taken back to their regiment. A man can’t walk where he pleases. If he does, he will be taken up.
We got our uniform last Saturday. We got marching orders. We were hurried so much that they—most of them—wasn’t dressed. They dressed on the cars. At ten o’clock we got to Baltimore. At eleven o’clock we took supper. We got on cars and went to Camp Relay.
This is a very nice place. Tell Thomas Claar to write [and] Lewis Claar and Henry and everyone else that will. Take good care of Austin and Samuel. My best respects to all enquiring friends.
Nothing more at present but remember your dear husband, — Jacob C. Claar
Write as soon as this comes to hand. I almost forgot to tell you rations—bacon, beef, pork, beans, rye bread, crackers.
Company E, 138th Regt.
Send in care of Capt. Simon Deikerhoof