Selected Letters of Seth Gilbert Evans
Page One
(Copyright held by the Pearce Civil War Collection, Navarro College Archives.
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November 26, 1861
Seth Gilbert Evans to "Sisters C J & A" (Clara, Jennie, and Ada)
Camp Wilder

In this letter Evans, who has recently been promoted, asks that one of his sister make him Sergeant's stripes, and describes how to do this. He is temporarily filling the duty of the 2nd Sergeant, who is sick, and a number of members of his company are sick as well. There is much carelessness on the part of the soldiers in drill, and Evans reports that one soldier had his hair clipped by a musket ball
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November 27, 1861
Seth Gilbert Evans to Mother, Sisters, and Friends
Camp Wilder

Evan's regiment is moving to a new camp nine miles beyond Alexandria, Virginia. Capt Gott wants more drill, but Col. Zook favors the regiment to see combat soon. Evans speaks of wickedness and foul language in the camps, all of which brings him "closer to Jesus." In addition, he describes army transport "trains" to carry soldier's belongings upon leaving Camp Wilder. The regiment was marching twenty-one miles to within two miles of the Confederate Pickets. His pack weighs twenty-one pounds and he still has more to carry.

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December 15, 1861
Seth Gilbert Evans to his sisters
"At camp in VA"

Evans describes more camp life, and he shows a definite distrust for the camp doctor. He also mentions a habit of drunkenness amongst the officers. Some of the soldiers have made fun of his prayers and his Christianity. However, he states that "they cannot say enough to make me ashamed of him [Jesus]"
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January 18, 1862
Seth Gilbert Evans to his sisters
Camp California

Evans is working to build his winter camp by putting logs "on" his tent. He also mentions road conditions in the region and in camp, both of which are deep with mud. Evans also mentions that he is afraid they will miss the war if "Uncle Sam" does not begin to move more quickly. Evan's informs his mother that all he needs for his tent is a "bed sted and clothes[,] a table [with] 4 chairs and a wash stand."
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January 23, 1862
Seth Gilbert Evans to Mother
Camp California

Evans describes his physical appearance and how hard it is to keep a clean shirt. Often, he will find elderly women who will wash his clothes for pay. He notes that the sutlers are a "curse to the army." In addition, there is a humorous story of the importance of whiskey over a clean shirt to many soldiers. Evans also notes that he can get his men to do most anything now because he works along side them, even though his Captain remarks that it is not his place.
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March 18, 1862
Seth Gilbert Evans to his sisters
Camp California

The brigade is assigned to protect workmen working to "build up" the railroad to Manassas Junction ("Bull Run"). Members of the 63rd NY have been wounded in the skirmishing. On March 17, there was a tactical ("mock battle") with the Brigade using blank cartridges. Evans speculates it was to put on a show for the General's wife, who was visiting camp. Evans also criticizes the bugler who gives away their position. As soon as the action starts, he says, "I shall kill [him]." The officers can do nothing with him, he says.
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Processor's Note